Blockchain This Week – Coinbase Super Bowl, Hostile Takeover, NYSE, JPMorgan, Net Zero Carbon Crypto Mining

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Coinbase’s Super Bowl Ad Crashes Its Website

For the uninitiated, the Super Bowl is an American football championship that determines the winner of the National Football League (NFL), an annual event that has millions of viewers glued to their screens. Naturally, businesses vie for ad spaces for this event, and those who succeed try to come up with the most novel and memorable ads. 

This year, one such advert – “Free Bitcoin” – by crypto exchange Coinbase brought down its website. An innocuous QR code floating around their screens for 60 seconds surely piqued the interest of over 20 million people who landed on the Coinbase website within the next minute to grab $15 worth of free bitcoin along with a chance to win $3 million prizes. With the resulting sudden influx of traffic, the site crashed for a few minutes.

Samsung Doles Out NFTs

In an attempt to drive interest towards its new flagship products, Samsung is giving away NFTs to South Koreans who have pre-ordered its Galaxy S22 phone or S8 tablet. Samsung has teamed up with Theta Labs for this marketing initiative.

NYSE Hints at NFT and Metaverse

The New York Stock Exchange has filed a patent to register “NYSE” for goods serving crypto, NFT, and metaverse ecosystems. The filing also includes a provision for an NFT trading marketplace and virtual stores.

JPMorgan Opens Lounge in Metaverse

The US based bank, JPMorgan, has opened its Onyx lounge in Decentraland, a virtual world built on blockchain. Furthermore, it has also released a paper that explores the opportunities that businesses have in the metaverse.

Mastercard’s Crypto Services

Mastercard announced its plans to offer consulting services for crypto and digital currencies to banks and merchants. The payments giant also stated that it is looking for opportunities to help banks develop and implement CBDCs using its test platform.

L’Oréal and Victoria’s Secret File for Metaverse Patents

The cosmetics heavyweight L’Oréal has filed for 17 trademarks to provide, what it states in multiple filings, a metaverse for people to browse, buy, and sell cosmetics virtually. Similarly, big fashion company Victoria’s Secret has filed three trademark applications related to using the brand in the virtual world, according to trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis.

BlockFi Conforms With SEC

Crypto lender BlockFi has agreed to settle the charges brought against it by the US regulator, SEC, and pay a $50 million penalty and an additional $50 million in fines to 32 states. Furthermore, BlockFi will register its high yield BlockFi Interest Accounts (BIA) product with the SEC as a part of the settlement. According to the SEC, BlockFi’s retail crypto lending product is security, and BlockFi’s failure to register them accordingly warrants the charges.

Canada Sanctions Crypto Wallets

The Canadian police officials have ordered all regulated financial firms to stop facilitating transactions from 34 crypto wallets, allegedly tied to the protesting truckers. This move comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act that deems protests as illegal.

Cent Suspends Tweet Sales

Cent, one of the marketplaces where people can sell their tweets as NFTs, has suspended most of its activities due to plagiarism concerns. As per its CEO, Cameron Hejazi, people are constantly either peddling someone else’s tweets as their own or selling NFTs of other NFTs on his platform.

Circle To Introduce Digital Financial Literacy Course

Peer to peer payments company Circle is planning to introduce a digital financial literacy course for business students. It is collaborating with Bowie State University in the US. and Rhodes University in South Africa. 

Binance Rebrand

Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain, the blockchain layers of crypto exchange Binance, have rebranded to BNB Chain. The rechristening is reportedly an effort to highlight the connection with Binance’s Build and Build (BNB) token and its ecosystem.

A Service To Protect Seed Phrase

The encryption technology company Evervault has launched a 121824 subscription service that enables users to protect their crypto seed phrases. It costs $1 per wallet per month or $10 per wallet per year.

BitRiver’s Net Zero Emissions

The Russian subsidiary of hosting provider for crypto mining, BitRiver, has reported zero net zero carbon emission in H2 of 2021. This report has been verified by UK’s standards testing firm BSI.

Natural Gas for Bitcoin Mining

Instead of burning off excess natural gas through flaring, the oil and gas company ConocoPhillips (COP) is routing this gas from one of its rigs in the Bakken shale of North Dakota to power up a bitcoin mining operation. The oil producer also plans to reach zero routine flaring by 2025.

Three Banks Join Project Carbon

UBS, Standard Chartered, and BNP Paribas have joined Project Carbon, an initiative to develop a platform called Carbonplace, intended to reduce barriers of entry into the voluntary carbon market. Project Carbon was launched last year by financial institutions, including CIBC and NatWest Group.

Tip on Twitter With Ether

Twitter Tips, launched in September last year, allows people to get paid for offering their insights. Until now, users were able to tip in fiat and bitcoin using Venmo, Cash App, or Strike wallet. Since this week, Twitter has enabled adding Ethereum addresses to the tips.

Marshall Islands Recognizes DAOs

The Republic of the Marshall Islands is formally recognizing decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) as legal entities. As a result, any DAO can register and operate in the Marshall Islands

Circle’s $9B Valuation

Circle has doubled its valuation to $9 billion in six months and has renewed its special-purpose acquisition corporation (SPAC) deal with Concord Acquisition Corp. 

Circle and Concord had first announced merger plans in July last year, with Circle valued at $4.5 billion.

And Finally, Plausible Yet Bizarre Build DAO Hostile Takeover

This week, Build Finance DAO lost control of its minting keys and treasury assets when a bad actor succeeded in garnering enough votes to take over the governance of the DeFi platform. The attacker, who goes by the ENS name Suho.eth, then managed to mint enough BUILD tokens to drain the funds in the liquidity pools on Balancer and Uniswap. As per the Build Finance team, the loss is irreversible as the attacker seems unresponsive to any form of negotiations or reparations.

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