Blockchain This Week – China, UK, and Crypto, FTX and Coinbase Into NFT, Binance’s Growth and Ripple’s Clean Energy Fund, SEC and ETF

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Antpool Blocks Users From China

One of the largest bitcoin mining pools, Antpool, said it would block IP addresses originating from mainland China. It stated that this move is necessary in order to comply with China’s strict regulations on crypto mining.

WeChat Censoring Crypto Searches?

WeChat, a messaging platform widely used in China, seemingly is censoring searches for “Binance” and “Houbi.” The search for these terms reportedly returns “No more results” in response.

Binance Delists Chinese Yuan

Crypto exchange Binance will stop trading with the Chinese yuan on its consumer-to-consumer (C2C) platform. It said it would also run “inventory” to ensure none of its users are located in mainland China.

Mining Operations Busted in China

Authorities in China’s Zhejiang province raided a mining operation that had set up GPU mining rigs in a publicly funded facility to mine cryptocurrencies. This bust is a part of the elaborate monitoring of suspicious IP addresses belonging to public facilities rumored to be involved in crypto mining.

BTC.com to Exit Mainland China

BTC.com, the mining pool of BIT Mining, announced that it would cease operating in mainland China soon. It has stopped new user registrations from China and is working on closing accounts of the existing users.

BSN Launches More Overseas Portals

Red Date Technology, the firm behind China’s Blockchain Services Network (BSN), signed an agreement with the Turkish Chinese Business Matching Center. Consequently, Red Date will be launching two portals for BSN’s international versions in Turkey and Uzbekistan

BSN Adds Cypherium

In addition, BSN plans to add Cypherium blockchain to its platform. BSN, a network that runs through cloud-based city nodes in China and abroad, has so far integrated with Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Solana, among others.

Digital Pound Foundation

A group of professionals from banks and other private sectors has launched the Digital Pound Foundation to promote the development of a CBDC for the UK. This association will conduct research and lobby for a digital pound and will also help design and launch the digital currency.

Bitcoin and 2008 Meltdown

Though Bitcoin is often considered as an antidote to the financial crisis of 2008, this week, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, Sir Jon Cunliffe, warned that digital currencies could trigger events similar to the 2008 crash. He has urged for strict government-led regulations on crypto to avoid the meltdown.

Miner Jailed for Stealing Electricity

Sanjay Singh, a bitcoin miner from Leicestershire, England, has been jailed for stealing $44,000 (£32,000) worth of electricity to fuel his mining operation at two sites. He has been sentenced to 13 months and two weeks in prison.

Sorare Investigated

The UK Gambling Commission is investigating Sorare, an NFT-based fantasy soccer game running on Ethereum. The commission’s investigation is looking to determine if Sorare needed a gambling license to operate in the UK.

Binance Commits a Billion More for BSC’s Growth

Crypto exchange Binance has committed $1 billion to grow its Binance Smart Contracts (BSC) platform. The company, which had earlier put $100 million to support DeFi projects on BSC, wants to further its investment to attract more developer communities and investors, besides incentivizing new users to try the BSC platform.

Ripple Invests in Clean Energy Fund

Ripple, the crypto solutions provider, has signed a strategic ESG partnership with Nelnet Renewable Energy. The firms have jointly invested $44 million into one of Nelnet’s solar energy funds. The projects financed by this joint venture are expected to offset close to 1.5 million tons of CO2 over 35 years.

Bitcoin for Pet Hospital

El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, disclosed that the government has a surplus of $4 million in Bitcoin due to the rise in the value of the crypto. He stated that these profits would be used to build a hospital for pets.

MSF Gets Millions Worth Ether Donation

An anonymous donor has given $3.5 million worth of Ether to the international humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). This donation was then converted to Australian Dollars and would help MSF provide medical help across the globe.

FTX US Launches NFT Platform

The US unit of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX launched an NFT trading platform on the Solana blockchain. This new marketplace would allow users to mint, auction, and trade NFTs on the Solana network.

Coinbase Follows Suit

Just a day after FTX’s announcement, crypto exchange Coinbase revealed its own plans to launch the Coinbase NFT marketplace. This marketplace would run on Ethereum blockchain and is expected to launch by the end of the year. Within days of this announcement, Coinbase has seen over 1.4 million sign ups for its upcoming NFT platform. 

Fox’s Maskverse

Media giant Fox Entertainment plans to launch NFT packs labeled “Maskverse” representing its show – The Masked Singer. It is working with Blockchain Creative Labs to release these NFTs on the Eluvio blockchain.

NFTs for Valuable Gems

Refinable, an NFT marketplace, is working with jewelry maker NALAS and Sotheby’s to provide proof of authenticity for high-value jewelry using NFTs. This piece, named Shining Stars, is valued at over $300,000 Hong Kong Dollars and has over 200 diamonds. Sotheby’s will run the auction from October 5 to 28, and the successful bidder will receive an NFT proving the authenticity of the jewel.

Bakkt Partners With Google

This week, crypto custody provider Bakkt announced its partnership with Google. According to the statement, Bakkt is looking forward to extending the reach of digital assets to meet the evolving customer demand. As a result of this collaboration, Bakkt users will be able to add their crypto Visa debit cards into Google Pay and use crypto to pay via Google Pay.

SEBA Bank Enables Clients to Earn Crypto Yields

Swiss-based SEBA Bank introduced SEBA Earn that will allow institutional investors to generate income by staking on platforms such as Cardano, Polkadot, and Tezos. In addition, investors can generate yield by lending bitcoin and ether through SEBA.

Jonathan Toebee, a nuclear engineer, working in the US Navy, and his wife have been charged for allegedly selling navy secrets in exchange for Monero cryptocurrency. According to the complaint filed by the FBI, they were actively engaged in selling information regarding the design of the US nuclear submarines to a foreign country.

R3 Acquires Ivno

The enterprise blockchain firm R3 has acquired Ivno, a London-based digital assets firm. R3 considers this acquisition would further strengthen its capabilities in the digital assets and currency space.

Huobi to Fund Crypto Startups

Huobi Ventures, the venture capital arm of crypto exchange Huobi, has teamed up with Republic crypto to launch a crypto accelerator for startups. Huobi is said to have committed $30 million for this project.

An Oracle Factory

A decentralized marketplace iExec, launched iExec Oracle Factory to make it easier for anyone to access oracles. It gives an interface for developers to create their own Oracles, with just a few browser clicks, without having any prior blockchain knowledge.

Polkadot Soars High

This week, Polkadot surged over 25% within 24 hours and has gained more than 35% since last week. At the time of writing, the price was $44.56. This spike coincides with the latest announcement from Parity Technologies, the team behind Polkadot, on the imminent launch of parachains that reportedly would enable multichain support.

And Finally, Bitcoin Tops $60,000 

Bitcoin made it back to $60,000, the first time since April this year. This surge is a result of traders optimistically speculating that the US Securities and Exchange Commission would give the green light to the country’s first bitcoin futures ETF from ProShares. At the time of writing, one bitcoin was worth $61,971.02.

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