Blockchain This Week – Crypto Unicorns, Meta’s Highs and Lows, India’s 30% Crypto Taxation

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Crypto in Mainstream 

Société Générale’s Tokens on LuxSE

The Luxembourg Stock Exchange has listed three security tokens issued by Société Générale, though they are not tradeable via the exchange. These tokens are digital bonds and products issued by Société Générale – FORGE on Ethereum and Tezos network.

Visa Bullish on Crypto

Payments giant Visa revealed that it has now partnered with over 65 crypto platforms. Furthermore, it disclosed that crypto spending with Visa cards had exceeded $2.5 billion in the last fiscal quarter.

Meta Joins Block’s COPA

Meta is joining Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a consortium of over two dozen tech and crypto companies who have pledged not to enforce their crypto patents. COPA is led by Jack Dorsey’s payments firm Block.  

GameStop To Launch NFT Marketplace

The gaming giant GameStop has teamed up with the layer 2 NFT platform Immutable X to launch its NFT marketplace. GameStop aims to make it easier to buy and sell low cost, in game assets on its platform.

Ubisoft Continues Its Crypto Foray

Video game company Ubisoft is joining the Hedera Governing Council. It plans to run a node and set up a Hedera track into the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Lab. This week also marks the mainnet launch of smart contract 2.0 on the Hedera network.

Investments in Crypto Companies

FTX Reaches $32B Valuation

Crypto exchange FTX raised $400 million in a Series C funding round that brought its value to a whopping $32 billion. The round was funded by the same investors who backed the US arm of the exchange last week.

Phantom Raises $109M

Solana based crypto wallet Phantom has raised $109 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its valuation to $1.2 billion. The funding round was led by the investment firm Paradigm.

Dune Analytics Gets Unicorn Status

The Web3 analytics platform Dune Analytics has closed a $69.4 million Series B funding round led by Coatue Management LLC. This latest fundraise bring’s Dune’s market valuation to $1 billion.

Regulations, Law, and Crypto

Argentinian Soccer Team Ordered To Drop Binance Deal

Judge María José Gigy Traynor has ordered the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to stop the business deals with Binance, announced last week. The judge ruled that this deal violates the exclusivity contract that AFA has with Socios.com.

Binance Blocks 281 Accounts

Crypto exchange Binance has restricted 281 accounts in Nigeria to adhere to the international money laundering requirements. As per its CEO, CZ, the decision was made at the request of law enforcement authorities.

Nations and Crypto

India To Levy 30% Crypto Tax

In the 2022 budget session, the Indian finance minister proposed a 30% tax on any income made from the transfer of digital assets. Additionally, India plans to introduce a CBDC in the next financial year.

Thailand Abandons Tax Plans

Giving in to the opposition from crypto traders in the country, Thailand’s revenue department has shelved its plan to levy a 15% withholding tax on crypto taxations. 

El Salvador Seeks To Revamp Chivo

El Salvador is seeking the help of the US software company AlphaPoint to fix state sponsored bitcoin wallet Chivo and implement the Lightning Network. The wallet has, in the past, suffered several bugs and glitches.

China Sets up Blockchain Pilot Zones

The Chinese government has set up 15 pilot zones and 164 entities to carry out blockchain experiments in various fields, such as energy, law, education, and finance. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission are among the government bodies participating.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Consensys Buys MyCrypto

Consensys acquired MyCrypto, a wallet interface for the security of Ethereum addresses. It plans to merge MyCrypto with MetaMask, thereby boosting the functions of the crypto wallet.

Silvergate Purchases Diem IP

Meta, formerly Facebook, has sold the technology and assets of Diem stablecoin to Silvergate Capital for $182 million. Silvergate reportedly will use them for launching its own stablecoin. Meanwhile, Meta posted a dismal fourth quarter earnings result that resulted in its stock slumping by 26.4% and its market value tanking nearly $240 billion.

FTX Acquires Liquid

FTX is acquiring Japanese fintech company Liquid Group and all of its subsidiaries. This deal, which is expected to close in March, gets FTX control over one of Japan’s regulated crypto exchanges, Quoine. 

New In Crypto Town

Coinbase Lists Two Solana Tokens

Coinbase is now accepting transfers of Bonfida (FIDA) and Orca (ORCA), which added them to the list of tokens listed on the exchange. Solana’s native token surged over 17% following the announcement.

Solana Pay

Solana Pay, a new software that enables merchants to accept crypto payments on Solana, debuted this week. Solana Pay has integrations with FTX and wallets Phantom and Slope and is supported by Circle, Citcon, and Checkout.com.

Sports Illustrated Enters NFT World

Sports Illustrated, the 68 year old sports magazine, announced its entry into NFTs with the partnership with NFT startup OneOf. It will launch a collection of NFTs on Polygon, with the initial series including sports icons such as Muhammad Ali and Wayne Gretzky.

BitMEX Airdrop

This week, crypto exchange BitMEX launched its native token BMEX with an airdrop of 1.5 million BMEX, issued to users based on their previous activity on the exchange. It also published a lightpaper a day ahead of the launch.

Celebrities, Influencers, and Crypto

Justin Bieber Buys Bored Ape

The Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber paid 500 Ether for a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT – BAYC #3001 – whose market price was 104 Ether.

Kayne West Says No to NFTs… for Now

In a handwritten note published on Instagram, American rapper Kayne West has made it clear that he is not interested in wading into the NFT world just yet. He, however, left the door open with his closing quote, “Ye. Ask me later.”

Sheila Warren Joins Crypto Lobby Group

The former executive of the World Economic Forum, Sheila Warren, joined as CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI). CCI is a crypto lobbying group with members including Coinbase and Fidelity. 

Assange’s NFTs

Digital artist Pak is collaborating with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to release a new NFT collection dubbed “Censored.” The collection is set to launch on February 7.

Paris Hilton Launches NFTs

The socialite and businesswoman Paris Hilton has released an NFT collection dubbed “Paris: Past Lives, New Beginnings.” Hilton collaborated with toy brand Superplastic to launch this collection on the Origin Story marketplace.

Crypto W’s and L’s

Bitcoin Scales $40K Mark Again

After over two weeks of the slump, the price of Bitcoin rose above $40,000 again. It appreciated more than 9.7%, and at the time of writing, one bitcoin was worth $41,616.60. Several other coins, such as Ether and Solana, also skyrocketed by 12.8% and 11.6%, respectively.

Wormhole Hacked

This week, the DeFi bridge Wormhole was hacked with an attacker exploiting a security flaw to make away with close to $325 million worth of crypto. An update – a fix to a bug – published on GitHub but not yet applied on the platform revealed the existence of a vulnerability to exploit. The Wormhole team offered a $10 million bounty to the hacker to return the funds. Meanwhile, Jump Crypto, which is associated with the Wormhole project, said that it had “replaced” 120,000 Ether associated with the hack.

Bitcoin Carbon Emissions Inconsequential

The digital asset investment firm CoinShares has compiled a new research that says the carbon emissions from Bitcoin mining is less than 0.1% of the global carbon footprint. It also claims that  “the emission costs of Bitcoin are dwarfed by its benefits.”

And Finally, MicroStrategy’s Insatiable Determination To Buy Bitcoin

Despite reporting a $146 million impairment for its bitcoin holdings, the business intelligence firm MicroStrategy has bought 660 more bitcoin this week. This new purchase has brought its total crypto holdings to 125,051 bitcoin.

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