Blockchain This Week – Coinbase, Kleiman vs Wright, Crypto Mayors, Squid Games, Metaverse

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Coinbase Acquires Agara

Crypto exchange Coinbase is acquiring AI based customer support startup, Agara. Though the firms have declined to disclose the size of the deal, it is reportedly worth somewhere between $40 million and $50 million. Coinbase plans to use Agara’s tech to automate and enhance its customer experience.

Coinbase Testing Service With No Trading Fees

Coinbase is also testing a subscription service that allows customers to buy, sell, or exchange crypto without any trading fees. But, these trades would still incur spread fees.

Coinbase Allows Customers To Borrow With Bitcoin Collateral

Furthermore, Coinbase users can now borrow as much as 40% of their bitcoin value up to $1 million with bitcoin as collateral. Coinbase announced that it would issue these loans at an annual percentage rate of 8%, and the borrowers don’t require credit checks. Customers can get the cash using their PayPal or bank accounts.

Kleiman vs Wright

The civil trial of Ira Kleinman Vs Craig Wright, the computer scientist who claims to be bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, is underway in Miami. This lawsuit alleges that David Kleiman, the late brother of Ira Kleinman, was a co-creator of bitcoin alongside Wright and hence is entitled to receive his share of bitcoin treasure valued at close to $66 million. This week concluded with the testimony of Kleinman, and Wright is expected to take the stand on Monday.

American Mayors Want Their Paychecks in Bitcoin

This week, the newly elected mayor of New York City (NYC), Eric Adams, shared his desire to take his first three paychecks in bitcoin on Twitter. He aims to make NYC the center of the crypto industry. This announcement comes at the heels of another mayor, Francis Suarez of Miami, who too tweeted that he is going to take 100% of his next paycheck in bitcoin.

Animoca’s Blockchain Metaverse Platform Raises $93 Million 

Sandbox, the play-to-earn blockchain-based gaming platform owned by Animoca Brands, has raised over $93 million in a funding round led by SoftBank. The money would be invested to build a metaverse where players can trade NFTs within the game.

Microsoft Enters Metaverse

Microsoft plans to build a metaverse inside its collaboration product, Teams. It is bringing in Mesh, a platform that attempts to combine mixed reality and HoloLens work with meetings and video calls.

Squid Game Rug Pull

The people behind the duplicitous Squid Game crypto have made away with over $3.38 million of the investors’ money. Since its launch last week, the troubled coin has displayed several red flags. The biggest among them had to be that those who invest were not allowed to withdraw. As a result of the scam, the price of SQUID plummeted to $0 from its peak of $2,861 within a few hours.

Ether Hits All Time High

Ether reached a new all time high of $4,664.91 earlier this week. It follows an announcement by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) that it will offer Ether based micro futures on Dec 6.

Polkadot Unlocks New High

Polkadot also scaled a new high when it reached $55 this week. This feat is possibly due to the imminent launch of “parachains” on the network.

Solana Flips Cardano

Solana also climbed to a new all time high of $250.47. In doing so, it flipped Cardano and became the fourth largest crypto by market share. In the last seven days, the Ethereum alternative has gained 26.70%

BitMEX Buys Carbon Credits

The crypto exchange BitMEX has purchased $100,000 worth of carbon credits to offset its bitcoin related carbon footprint for next year. BitMEX, which claims to be officially carbon neutral, says these credits would match the carbon emissions from its bitcoin transactions and the machines run by the exchange.

Binance Temporarily Suspends Withdrawals

On Monday, Binance tweeted that it is disabling the withdrawals due to a backlog. The operation resumed within 25 minutes. But, 20 minutes later, customers were again denied from taking their money out. Binance, however, started allowing people to withdraw again shortly.

Phishing Scam Targets Metamask and Phantom Users

Check Point Research(CPR) has released a report that reveals a crypto phishing scam that has hit the users of crypto wallets MetaMask and Phantom and crypto platform PancakeSwap. According to the analysis, at least half a million dollars have been stolen in multiple incidents where people had their funds stolen while trying to download or install the wallets or swap their currencies on crypto platforms.

“Pulp Fiction” NFTs

The director of the Hollywood movie Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino, is releasing seven NFTs based on the film. The NFTs will launch on Secret Network and be auctioned via OpenSea marketplace. Each NFT features an uncut scene from the movie and also has bonus content that can be viewed only by the owner of the collectible.

Matrix “Red Pill” NFTs

Warner Brothers are releasing NFTs based on their upcoming movie, The Matrix Resurrections. Similar to the film, there is a “Red Pill” and a “Blue Pill” for the NFT owners to choose. These NFTs will be launched on Nifty’s from Nov 30 and will retail for $50 each.

International Chess Foundation’s NFT Marketplace

The International Chess Federation will launch its NFT marketplace on the free TON network. The collection will feature the iconic moments in chess history.

NFTs for Rhino

Black Rock Rhino, a rhino conservancy in South Africa and home to over 200 rhinoceros, is holding an auction of rhino horn NFTs. The proceeds from this Nov 11 sale will be used to fund the sanctuary’s day-to-day expenses. 

Drive&Stake

Drive&Stake, a new blockchain solution for creating mobility data marketplaces, exchanging and monetizing data among various stakeholders, was launched this week. RIDDLE&CODE is supporting the project, along with EFS Consulting and Ocean Protocol.

SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Approval

The US regulator, SEC, has again extended the deadline for its decision about Valkyrie’s bitcoin ETF to Jan 7. It had earlier considered to decide before Dec 8. It said enough time is required to analyze the proposed rule change and issues raised in the comment letters.

Australian Bank To Offer Crypto Services

Commonwealth Bank is the first in Australia that will offer crypto services to customers. It plans to provide custody and crypto exchange services in partnership with Gemini and Chainalysis.

FortKnoxster’s Crypto Suite

The cybersecurity company FortKnoxster launched Crypto Suite, a single app that offers a wide range of features for those who look for security in their crypto transactions. The app supports several functionalities, including end-to-end encryption of fiat and crypto exchanges, crypto to crypto conversions, and biometric and PIN based security.

Bitcoin Whitepaper is 13 Years Old

The seminal paper on bitcoin was published on Oct 31, 2008. The email summarizing the white paper was sent to a metzdowd.com’s cryptography mailing list by bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakomoto on that day. Thirteen years later, the product of that whitepaper is worth over $60,000 a piece. 

And Finally Burger King’s Crypto Giveaway

This week the fast food giant Burger King announced a “Burger King with a side of crypto” offer for its Royal Perks members. These users who spend more than $5 on the Burger King app will earn a reward from the pool of 20 bitcoin, 200 ether, or two million dogecoin. This context will run for three weeks starting Monday.

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