Blockchain This Week – Growing Mainstream Adoption, Green Initiatives, Blockchain Education

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Digital Assets “Too Large to Ignore”

This week, Bank of America launched its digital asset research by publishing a report – “Digital Assets Primer: Only the first inning.” The report finds that “digital assets are too large to ignore.” It states that they are creating a new ecosystem of companies, opportunities, and applications.

MoneyGram To Pilot Stablecoin Payments

Global money transfer service MoneyGram is partnering with Stellar to trial instant money transfer using USDC stablecoin. The pilot is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021. Eventually, in 2022, the companies are considering a global rollout of the service.

US Bank Offers Crypto Services

US Bank, the fifth-largest bank in the US, announced that it had launched a crypto custody service in partnership with NYDIG. It now offers custodial services for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash and plans to add Ether soon.

Credit Suisse Tokenizes Swiss Resort

The well-known investment bank and financial services firm Credit Suisse has created tokenized shares in an adventure sports company Alaïa SA that owns properties in the Swiss Alps. It is working with crypto custody platform Taurus to create tokens that adhere to the Swiss CMTA standards.

PacSun Accepts Crypto Payments

The fashion retailer PacSun is working with crypto payments provider BitPay to accept crypto payments in its online stores. It would support 11 digital currencies, including Bitcoin and Ether, and five stablecoins.

L.O.L Surprise! To Launch Its Own NFT Marketplace

MGA Entertainment, the company behind the L.O.L Surprise! dolls have teamed up with NFT partnership business Ioconic. Together, they plan to build L.O.L Surprise! NFT marketplace that enables fans to mint NFTs, and buy, sell and trade digital collectibles online.

US SEC Approves ETF With Bitcoin Exposure

The US SEC has given its nod to an ETF, Volt Crypto Industry Revolution and Tech ETF, which tracks stocks with considerable exposure to bitcoin. These companies hold a significant amount of their net assets in bitcoin or derive most of their profit or revenue from bitcoin-related activities. 

National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team

US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the launch of a national cryptocurrency enforcement team. This Department of Justice initiative will address criminal misuse of crypto by several firms, including crypto exchanges, mixing, and tumbling services.

Nigeria’s Federal Court Gives a Nod for eNaira Launch

The original launch of Nigeria’s eNaira digital currency was delayed from October 1 due to a lawsuit brought forth by ENaira Payments Solutions that claimed trademark infringement. But the federal court in Abuja, Nigeria, approved the rollout citing CBDC as a matter of national interest. It has, however, set a date for further hearing on October 11.

Laos Hops on CBDC Bandwagon

The central bank of Laos will soon launch a study to explore CBDC. It has employed the services of Japanese fintech company Soramitsu, which is working on a similar project in Cambodia.

Brazil To Make Bitcoin a Legal Tender?

Aureo Ribeiro, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil, stated that Bitcoin might soon become a legal currency in Brazil, enabling citizens to buy anything from food to houses with the crypto. Ribeiro said that bill 2.303/15 that proposes crypto regulations could also give the nod to the legal use of Bitcoin.

Georgia To Test CBDC Next Year

The National Bank of Georgia plans to launch a CBDC pilot next year. The vice governor of the bank, Papuna Lazhava, said that the initial trial would cover the retail use of the digital currency.

Ukraine’s Crypto Bill Rejected

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has refused to sign a bill that presents the regulation of digital assets. He wants the country’s securities and stock markets regulator to be in charge of the crypto instead of the currently proposed Ministry of Digital Transformation.

An Executive Order for Crypto?

The Biden administration is reportedly considering an executive order aimed for better oversight of the crypto asset class. As per this rumored directive, federal agencies will have to study and recommend on regulating and innovating this sector. Furthermore, the administration plans to coordinate departments’ work on crypto across the executive branch.

Climate Collective

Celo blockchain announced Climate Collective, a group of firms that will focus on tokenizing rainforests to fight against climate change. The community includes Curve Labs, Moss.earth, Kolektivo, and Regen Network. Celo plans to peg its stablecoins in part by rainforests.

Abris Rolls Out “Eco-Friendly” NFT Marketplace

Abris.io launched its curated green NFT marketplace and white label NFT solution on Algorand blockchain. Abris considered using Algorand because it is secure, forkless, and environment-conscious. It added that its green marketplace prioritizes environment protection and profitability for digital art creators.

Track CO2 Emissions on Blockchain

Circulor, a company that provides traceability solutions on Blockchain, is working with commodity trading and logistics house Trafigura to track the latter’s carbon emissions in its nickel and cobalt trading division. Furthermore, Circulor is also part of Trafigura’s responsible sourcing initiative for transparency in ESG reporting.

Phaeton Launches Renewable Energy-powered Blockchain

Phaeton blockchain, reportedly powered by various renewable energy sources, launched this week. According to its CEO, Ron Forlee, Phaeton has reduced energy consumption, keeping in mind its net-zero carbon goal. Furthermore, he says the company is building solar farms, hydrogen gas storage, and wind turbines to power its data centers. He added that Phaeton also uses geothermal energy for cooling purposes.

South African University to Start Blockchain Education

The University of Cape Town is adding blockchain and digital currencies to its curriculum in November. The institution states that the students completing this $693 six-week course will be able to understand better how blockchain technology fits into the current financial system.

Mirror Opens Its Doors to Everyone

Mirror, a blogging platform running on Ethereum, is now allowing all content creators to use its forum. Earlier, the writers could only gain access by earning enough $WRITE tokens in Mirror’s Wednesday Write race.

AMC Theatres Embraces Dogecoin

The meme currency, Dogecoin, got a huge boost this week when one of the world’s oldest theatre chains, AMC Theatres, announced that it now accepts Dogecoin as a payment option for its digital gift cards. Customers can buy digital gift cards worth up to $200 per day with Doge and other crypto using a BitPay wallet.

Yearn Finance Goes Multi-Chain

Yearn Finance, the DeFi protocol built on Ethereum, is now expanding to other blockchains. To begin with, Yearn has chosen the Fantom platform since it considers Fantom to be fast, simple, and easy to integrate.

Compound’s Problems Compounds

Last week, a bug surfaced in one of the smart contracts of DeFi protocol Compound. It allows users to claim an unusually high amount of the platform’s native token, comp. This week, the problem compounded when a function drip was called that moved more funds to the buggy contract, allowing users to claim close to $140 million in comp.

KuCoin Asks Users From China to Move Out

Seychelles-based crypto exchange KuCoin became the latest crypto firm that asked its users from Mainland China to transfer their digital assets out of its platform following the reimposed crypto ban in China. It states it wants to protect the rights and interests of its users and hence is asking them to move out by the end of the year.

Liquid Faces Delays

Earlier this week, a bitcoin sidechain operated by Blockstream, Liquid, faced delayed transaction confirmation due to an issue with its block signing system. As a result, validated, unconfirmed transactions started piling up in the network’s memory pool. After a few hours, the Liquid network announced that the issue resulted from a recent upgrade and that it had released a patch to solve the problem. Liquid also confirmed that the platform is fully functional now.

And Finally, Bitcoin Bounces Back to $55K

This week, the premier cryptocurrency made a strong comeback. It crossed $55,000 for the first time since May this year. Analysts believe the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and SEC chair Gary Gensler’s decision not to curtail crypto trading alleviated the investors’ concerns, leading to this price surge.

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