Blockchain This Week – AP on Blockchain, Everybody Gets ETF, Bitcoin Soars, Facebook Novi, Walmart Bitcoin ATM

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The Associated Press (AP), the 175-year-old news agency, launched a Chainlink node to give Blockchains secure and trustworthy access to its US race calls, business, and sports news. The data would be cryptographically signed by AP to assure its authenticity. 

AP Launches NFTs

This week, AP also released a collection of NFTs on Binance’s marketplace. This collection, named “Unique Moments,” features digitized photos and news wires from AP’s reporting in the last century.

ProShares Debuts

After getting a nod from the US regulator, ProShares bitcoin futures ETF started trading on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week. This historic moment was followed by a new all-time high for the world’s first cryptocurrency.

Valkyrie Launches Bitcoin Futures ETF

ProShares approval seems like it has opened a floodgate for several similar offerings. Another similar bitcoin futures ETF, ​​Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy fund, from Valkyrie Investments, got a node from the US SEC earlier this week. It commenced trading yesterday on the Nasdaq exchange. Its price dropped from its opening price of $25.52 per share following the steep decline in the price of Bitcoin. 

VanEck’s ETF Coming Soon

The US SEC seems to be in an ETF approval frenzy. It has ratified the investment firm VanEck’s Bitcoin Strategy ETF. This bitcoin futures ETF is expected to start trading on NYSE early next week.

Bitcoin Price Soars and Drops Back

Immediately after ProShares’ debut on the NYSE, the price of bitcoin started climbing over the US $60K. Within a few hours, it was a few dollars shy of hitting the US $67,000. Bitcoin conquered a new all time high of $66,974.77 this week. The price, however, soon tumbled back to $60K. At the time of writing, one bitcoin was worth $61,149.02.

Ether Rallies Too

Ether followed suit and hit an all time high of $4,379.11 this week. At the time of writing, one Ether was priced at $4,038.80. With the prominent cryptocurrencies hitting new highs, the total market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies also attained a new record of $2.7 trillion.

Grayscale Files for Bitcoin ETF

After the US SEC approved ProShares ETF, Grayscale Investments filed an application to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to an ETF. This fund, however, would be backed by bitcoin, unlike other approved ones that are pegged to bitcoin futures.

Invesco Drops Out of the Race

While everyone is racing towards getting the nod from the US SEC for a bitcoin ETF, the investment management firm Invesco has decided otherwise. In a surprise move, it announced that it has considered not to pursue the launch of a bitcoin futures ETF. It said that it would, however, continue partnering with Galaxy Digital partnership to offer investors exposure to digital assets.

Huobi Gets Japanese Regulator’s Approval

Japan’s Financial Services Agency has given approval to the crypto exchange Huobi’s Japanese subsidiary to offer crypto derivatives. Japan is considered to have some of the strictest rules for crypto exchanges to operate in the country.

USDC on Hedera

Circle hoisted its stablecoin USDC to the Hedera Hashgraph network this week. This move is part of Circle’s mission to launch USDC on multiple platforms. Meanwhile, by adding USDC, Hedera aims to boost its own initiative of supporting DeFi development and onboarding on its network through the newly formed HBAR Foundation.

Facebook Pilots Novi

Facebook’s head of financials, David Marcus, announced the start of a “small pilot” of Facebook’s digital wallet, Novi. He stated that the trial would involve the US and Guatemala and aimed to enable family members to send money across borders. Facebook has also teamed up with crypto exchange Coinbase, which will serve as the custody partner.

Bitcoin’s Fleeting Crash on Binance US

On the Binance US exchange, the price of the bitcoin briefly fell as low as $8,200 this week. Although, this 87% drop in value was corrected within a minute. Binance has blamed a “bug” in one of its trading algorithms for this erratic price crash.

Polygon Awards $2M Bounty

The layer-2 scalability platform for Ethereum, Polygon has rewarded the white hat hacker Gerhard Wagner with a $2 million bounty. Wagner helped identify a bug in the Polygon plasma bridge that would have allowed malicious actors to repeat their burn transactions up to 223 times, thereby putting over $850 million of capital at risk.

$1M Bounty To Find Tether’s True Backing

Hindenburg Research, a financial research firm focused on short-selling and exposing fraud, announced a reward of up to $1 million for exclusive details on the reserves of Tether (USDT) stablecoin. The research firm argues that Tether’s previous disclosures of financial backing have discrepancies, and information about its holdings has been opaque.

THORChain Is Back

Decentralized exchange, THORChain, which went offline in July after a series of hacks, is back online. THORChain claims that the team has spent the last several weeks making the network more secure and robust. As a result, its native RUNE currency jumped close to 18%

Coinbase Inks Sports Sponsorship Deals

After FTX, crypto exchange Coinbase has announced a series of partnerships with sports associations. It will be the “exclusive crypto platform partner” for the NBA, WNBA, NBA affiliate leagues, and USA Basketball. This multi-year deal will see the Coinbase brand appear on several televised games.

Houston Firefighters’ Retirement Fund Purchases Crypto

The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF) announced that it had purchased $25 million worth of bitcoin and ether. This investment, considered to be the first of its kind for a public pension plan in the US, was facilitated by digital assets company NYDIG.

Russia Mulls Over Replacing USD With Crypto

The government of Russia is considering ways of reducing its dependence on the US dollar. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it is exploring how it could partially replace USD in trade settlements with other currencies and even digital assets.

France Trials CBDC for Government Bonds

The central bank of France, Banque de France, along with a group of the country’s financial institutions, conducted a series of bond deals using blockchain and its CBDC. It is considered one of the EU’s largest to date, with nearly 500 transactions during the trial.

Iran to Pilot CBDC

The recently appointed governor of Iran’s central bank announced that Iran would soon trial its sovereign digital currency. He said the pilot would commence once the Money and Credit Council gives a nod of approval.

Valuable Healthcare Asset Tracking

The Industry IoT Consortium announced Valuable Asset Tracking, a test drive that aims to create a transparent and verifiable asset tracking solution for high-value assets within healthcare facilities using tamper proof hardware and blockchain. IoTeX, one of the consortium members, is spearheading this drive.

Mt.Gox Victims Close To Getting Compensated

The Civil Rehabilitation plan drafted to compensate the investors who lost millions in the Mt.Gox hack between 2011 and 2013 laid out a scheme to repay the victims partially. Creditors voted on this proposal from May 31 to October 8, and at least 50% of the votes were required in favor. Now it is revealed that close to 83% of the creditors who voted exercised their rights in favor of the draft. Those who lost their money have to wait until November 20 for the plan to be finalized.

Bakkt Debuts on NYSE

The digital assets platform Bakkt began trading on the New York Stock Exchange as a public company this week. After launching at an opening price of $9.45, Bakkt had shed over 6% by the end of day 1 of trading. It has stated that it will announce its third quarter results on November 12.

Stan Lee’s Paintings as NFT

Artist Rob Prior had worked with the legendary Marvel comic book writer, Stan Lee, on creating portraits of Lee before his death. Now, Prior is planning to launch an NFT collection called Legacy Collection: Portraits of Stan Lee, representing his iconic portraits. The NFT versions will be released on October 27 through Mogul Productions, a crypto crowdsourcing and funding platform.

What’s the Next NFT? – A Tungsten Cube

The Midwest Tungsten Service is auctioning its 14 inches, 1,784 pounds tungsten cube as an NFT on the OpenSea platform. The NFT reportedly grants its buyer a once a year visiting rights to see this cube.

And Finally Buy Bitcoin at Walmart

This week, Walmart Inc announced that its customers would be able to buy bitcoin at 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States. Coinstar has partnered with the crypto exchange CoinMe.



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