Blockchain This Week – Web3.0 Feud, 21:21:21, Crypto & Sports, Radioshack & DeFi!

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Dorsey Squares off With VCs Somewhere Between A and Z

This week saw a dramatic face off when Twitter’s erstwhile CEO Jack Dorsey took up the platform he co-founded to take a jab at venture capitalists’ dominance in the supposedly decentralized web3.0 space. He was openly supported by Tesla chief Elon Musk.

The fallout with the VCs resulted in Marc Andreessen of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), on whose firm some of the jibes were directed to, blocking Dorsey on Twitter. It was followed by Dorsey unfollowing several prominent crypto figures, including Andreessen, Gemini co-founder Tyler Winklevoss, and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.

Xinhua’s NFTs

China’s official press agency Xinhua issued a series of free NFTs on Christmas Eve. The NFT drop has 11 different collections of photo journalism and one “special edition” collection representing historical moments of 2021.

Turkey’s Imminent Crypto Law

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan revealed this week that the country’s draft crypto bill is ready and will soon be on its way to the parliament. He did not divulge the recommendations in the proposed law.

El Salvador Buys More Bitcoin but Users Are Mysteriously Losing Them 

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced on Twitter that his country, which spans 21,000 square kilometers, had bought an additional 21 bitcoin on the 21st day of the last month of the 21st year of the 21st century. 

Meanwhile, a Twitter user tweeting under the pseudonym El Comisonado has reported at least 50 instances of El Salvadorans mysteriously losing their Bitcoin from their Chivo wallets. Bukele remains mum on the issue.

Dubai Crypto Zone

In a bid to advance Dubai’s virtual assets market, the UAE authorities are considering establishing a “special zone” at the Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) for businesses working in the digital assets space. DWTC would also act as the regulator, enforcing legislative policies for innovative financial products. Also, crypto exchange Binance has signed an MoU with DWTC to establish an industry hub in Dubai.

Dfinity Opens Ethereum Bridge

Dfinity Internet Computer has launched a cross chain bridge called Terabethia to natively support ERC 20 tokens. It enables asset mirroring and transfer across different chains.

PwC Enters Metaverse

The professional services company, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Hong Kong division, has purchased a land site in The Sandbox, reportedly to help brands that are not familiar with web3.

Visa Partners With 60 Crypto Companies

Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, disclosed that Visa has collaborated with over 60 crypto platforms and launched crypto card programs. Visa intends to make it convenient for customers to spend digital currency at 80 million merchant locations across the globe.

Kraken Acquires Staked

American crypto exchange Kraken has acquired Staked, a non-custodial platform for investors to put their money in digital asset staking. Kraken has not yet disclosed the terms of the deal, but it considers this acquisition as a perfect complement to the services it offers today.

Kintsugi Testnet Launch

Ethereum 2.0 developers have launched Kintsugi public testnet as it inches closer to a proof of stake based platform. This release, available for everyone, comes after four ephemeral testnets available only for developers.

Opera Mulling Over Polygon

Norwegian browser developer Opera is considering adding Polygon to its native digital wallet. It plans to support MATIC transactions from the first quarter of 2022.

Tribute to Stan Lee

Beyondlife.club, Guardianlink.io, Orange Comet, and Graphics India are collaborating to launch a unique NFT collection commemorating the works of celebrated Marvel comics book writer Stan Lee. Chakra The Invincible will be released on Stan Lee’s 99th birthday on Dec 28.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Bitcoin Giveaway

The Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she is giving away $500,000 in bitcoin to her Instagram and Twitter followers. She has partnered with Cash App for the giveaway, where fans who comment on Paltrow’s Instagram and Twitter posts will be randomly selected for $100 worth of bitcoin rewards.

FTX’s Sports Partnerships

Crypto exchange FTX has signed a deal with Monumental Sports Entertainment (MSE), which makes it MSE’s exclusive crypto exchange and NFT partner. As a result, FTX US gets exposure to MSE owned NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and Capital One Arena, where all three teams play.

Crypto.com Buys Super Bowl Ad Space

Crypto.com announced that it had bought an ad for 2022’s Super Bowl. With this move, it follows the crypt exchange FTX US, which purchased a Super Bowl ad space in Oct.

Stephen Curry’s Sneakers

Stephen Curry, the point guard of the American basketball team Golden State Warriors, is partnering with the sports apparel brand Under Armour on an NFT drop. The collection of 2,974 NFTs represents the “Curry Flow 9” sneakers made by Under Armour, which Curry wore when he broke the NBA record for three-point shots on Dec 14.

SEC Rejects Physical Bitcoin ETFs

The US financial regulator SEC has rejected spot bitcoin ETF applications once again. This time, the SEC refused to approve the funds of Valkyrie and Kryptoin, stating that they failed to demonstrate investor safety.

Bitpanda’s Bitcoin ETC

Vienna based crypto platform Bitpanda launched its first exchanged traded cryptocurrency note (ETC) on Deutsche Börse. The ETC will be physically backed by bitcoin kept in cold storage with a regulated custodian and be valued in Euros.

SBI Launches Crypto Asset Fund

Tokyo based SBI Group has launched a crypto asset fund in Japan. The fund invests in bitcoin, ether, XRP, litecoin, bitcoin cash, chainlink, and polkadot. The fund contract is between Feb 1, 2022, and Jan 31, 2023.

Deutsche Telekom and Polkadot

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems has bought a “significant” amount of DOT, Polkadot’s native currency. With this investment, T-Systems will not only be providing infra required for users to run nodes on Polkadot, but it would also be staking on its own.

Polkadot Launches Parachains

Polkadot launched five parachains in a bid to improve the scalability of its network. The five chains by Acala, Moonbeam, Parallel Finance, Astar, and Clover went live on the Polkadot platform.

Gaming Companies Face Backlash

Two game developers, GSC Game World and Ubisoft, have encountered angry players who are fuming over the inclusion of NFTs in some of their games. In response, GSC Game World, the company behind the popular Stalker franchise, has retracted its plans. On the contrary, Ubisoft has continued its push and is teaming up with Aleph.im for NFT image storage.

Spider Man – Crypto Jackers Piggyback Pirates

Cybersecurity firm ReasonLabs has uncovered a crypto jacking malware in certain pirated copies of the recent Spider-Man: No Way Home film. According to the researchers, the ones circulating on the torrent sites have a hidden code that diverts the system’s resources where the movie is downloaded to mine Monero.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Sued

MouseBelt Blockchain accelerator has filed a complaint against Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong in California’s supreme court. MouseBelt is accusing Armstrong of stealing the work of Knowledgr, a platform that distributed scientific papers with tokens, in the pretext of investing in the company.

Us Goes to Court To Recover Embezzled Money

The US Department of Justice has filed a civil forfeiture complaint in a federal court to retrieve over $154 million stolen from Sony Group’s subsidiary and converted to bitcoin. According to the Justice Department, Rei Ishii, an employee of Sony Life Insurance Company Ltd, embezzled the company’s money and converted them into 3,800 bitcoin in May 2021. 

NEAR Adds Support to Terra 

The layer 1 blockchain platform NEAR has added support to algorithmic UST stablecoins of Terra. As a result, the tokens of the NEAR protocol saw a massive 23% jump in their price.

And Finally Radioshack’s Shift to DeFi

A once in vogue, brick and mortar electronics store chain, RadioShack, seems to have pivoted to a decentralized finance business! Its website claims that RadioShack is “going to lead the way for blockchain tech to reach mainstream adoption by other large brands.” It also lists the partnership with Atlas USV, a DeFi protocol that enables applications to be built atop it.

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