Blockchain This Week – Square Block, Budweiser NFT, ETF & ETP Listings, WisdomTree, BadgerDAO Exploit

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Square to Block

Digital Payments company Square will rename itself to Block, effective December 10. This move follows Square’s plans to expand beyond its original credit card reader business and venture into new technologies such as blockchain. Incidentally, Square’s CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down from his position as the CEO of Twitter earlier this week.

WisdomTree Lists ETPs in Europe

Asset Management firm WisdomTree has listed three crypto based ETPs on Swiss and Frankfurt stock exchanges. Of the three, WisdomTree BLOC focuses on established crypto assets, WALT on altcoins other than bitcoin and ether, and MEGA gives exposure only to bitcoin and ether.

WisdomTree Launches Four Crypto Indices

WisdomTree has also launched four crypto indices to support the three European crypto ETPs and give exposure to the US investors. In the US, WisdomTree is collaborating with Ritholtz Wealth Management and aims to provide the investors a diverse exposure to different crypto assets.

SEC Rejects WisdomTree Bitcoin Spot ETF

The US regulator SEC has rejected WisdomTree’s Bitcoin Trust, a spot Bitcoin ETF this week. The SEC stated that the proposal does not meet its requirement to prevent fraudulent acts and protect investors’ interests.

Fidelity Launches Bitcoin Spot ETF

Meanwhile, US based asset management company Fidelity Investments launched an ETF backed by bitcoin. Fidelity, however, listed its product Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF (FBTC) at Toronto Stock Exchange and not in the US.

Investment Firm Kelly Files for Ether Futures ETF

The investment firm Kelly Strategic Management has submitted a filing, seeking the approval of the US financial regulator SEC, for an exchange traded fund. The Kelly Ethereum Ether Strategy ETF will invest in cash settled Ether futures contracts..

ETF With NFT Exposure

New York based ETF sponsor and investment advisor Defiance ETFs is launching an ETF focusing on NFTs. This fund will track the performance of BITA NFT and Blockchain Select Index, which are composed of NFT and crypto stocks.

BadgerDAO Suffers $120M Exploit

BadgerDAO, working on getting bitcoin to DeFi, has suffered an exploit, losing over $120 million worth of bitcoin and ether. According to blockchain security analysis firm PeckShield, the total loss amounts to 2,100 bitcoin and 151 ether. As per the DAO’s Discord channel, a faulty authorization that permitted attackers to operate the funds rather than contract code vulnerabilities was the reason for the hack. 

Budweiser’s NFT Collection

Budweiser launched Budverse Cans: Heritage Edition – its first series of NFTs. The collection includes 1,936 NFTs ranging from $499 to $999, each referencing the year Budweiser started selling beer in cans. The NFTs unlock future benefits, including access to yet to be revealed Budverse. The collection sold out in less than one hour, with 20% percent of those sold already flipped for a higher price and another 75% up for resale.

Silk Road Founder’s NFT Launch

Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the defunct Silk Road marketplace, announced that he is auctioning an NFT collection of ten items representing his life. The Ross Ulbricht Genesis Collection launched on the SuperRare NFT platform and will run from December 2 to 8. The FreeRoss.org website says the proceeds from the NFT sale will go to prisoner support and efforts to set Ulbricht free.

Snoop Dogg’s NFT Collection

Hip hop star Snoop Dogg released his first NFT collection, collaborating with media artist Coldie in the NFT marketplace SuperRare. The collection dubbed “Decentral Eyes Dogg” is an animated collage of images depicting Dogg’s life.

AMC & Sony Pictures Promote Spider Man via NFTs

AMC and Sony Pictures announced a joint promotion to distribute 86,000 exclusive NFTs to movie fans who reserve or purchase an advanced ticket for the opening day showings of Spider Man – No Way Home. Shortly following the announcement, AMC’s ticket application crashed.

Blockchain Fund in India

Navi Mutual Fund submitted a draft filing with Indian financial regulator SEBI to list a blockchain fund. Navi Blockchain Index Fund of Fund plans to invest in other funds based on the Indxx Blockchain Index that tracks the performance of companies in emerging markets that use blockchain technology.

India Might Not Ban Crypto

After a week of renewed fears of a crypto ban, the Indian government has alleviated the concerns of crypto investors. A cabinet note circulated by the government reportedly indicates that the country no longer plans to ban cryptocurrencies. On the contrary, the crypto assets would be regulated by SEBI.

EU to Pilot Tokenized Securities on Blockchain

The European Parliament is collaborating with the European Council to trial using blockchain to tokenize conventional stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. In this pilot, which might commence in March 2022, some existing legal requirements are temporarily waived, subject to limits.

Fed’s Fintech Research Wing

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has launched the New York Innovation Center (NYIC) in collaboration with the Bank of International Settlement’ (BI) Innovation Center. NYIC is the Fed’s research wing exploring the fintech space, including CBDC, stablecoins, and cross border payments.

Filecoin Green’s Open Source Energy Dashboard

Filecoin Green project has launched an open source dashboard to provide the visualization layer to review the energy consumption for storing and retrieving data from blockchain networks. Interested users can onboard data to the network, create a database, and visualize their energy use.

Binance Resolves Its Doge Problem

Crypto exchange Binance has rebuilt its Doge wallet, resolving the technical issues that led to users’ accounts being frozen. In a post mortem analysis of this two week long problem, Binance denied any “shady circumstances” as alleged by Elon Musk and stated that “a combination of unlikely factors led to an unforeseen issue that ultimately only affected Binance.”

Coinbase Acquires Unbound

Crypto exchange Coinbase has acquired Israeli cybersecurity firm Unbound Securities for an undisclosed amount. Unbound uses a new type of security called multi-party computation technology. With this acquisition, Coinbase has bolstered its crypto security abilities.

Crypto.com To Buy Two Exchanges

Crypto exchange Crypto.com announced its plans to acquire two exchanges in the first half of 2022. It would buy derivatives based North American Derivatives Exchange (Nadex) and a futures focused The Small Exchange.

Huobi Sets up Asian HQ

Huobi Group, the company behind crypto exchange Huobi Global, has chosen Singapore as its regional headquarters. As per Huobi’s co-founder Du Jun, Singapore will serve as headquarters for the entire Asia operations of the firm.

Kimbal Musk’s Giving DAO

Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal Musk launched Giving DAO, his experiment in “decentralized philanthropy.” Kimbal claims to have learned a lot from Web 3.0 and has asked interested audiences to DM him on Twitter to read the “Lite Paper.” 

Adidas Goes to Metaverse

Adidas has partnered with crypto exchange Coinbase and metaverse The Sandbox. Adidas owns a parcel of land allocated to it in The Sandbox, and the Coinbase partnership is supposedly a part of its push to the metaverse.

MicroStrategy Buys More Bitcoin

Microstrategy has bought 7,002 more bitcoin for approximately $414.4 million. The business intelligence firm now has 121,044 coins. As per its CEO Michael Saylor, “Bitcoin is the only property you can truly own, as well as the first technology capable of granting property rights to everyone on earth.”

Google Warns Users of Misuse of Cloud for Crypto Mining

In its latest Cloud Threat Intelligence report titled “Threat Horizons,” Google has warned users about malicious actors using Google Cloud platforms (GCP) to mine crypto. The report claims 86% of the compromised GCP instances were used for crypto mining.

And Finally, a Bizarre Consequence of Omicron on Omicron

The fears around Omicron, the new variant of the COVID-19 virus, had some unexpected effects on the crypto markets. When the markets were crashing all around, one coin – the namesake of the variant – saw a spike in its value. Omicron token reached an all time high of $692.11 earlier this week when the news of the new coronavirus variation started to surface.

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