Blockchain This Week – Ukraine Legalizes Crypto, ApeCoin, Blockchain and Sustainability, HSBC in Metaverse, $100M MachineFi Fund

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Zelenskyy Signs Virtual Assets Bill

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy legalized crypto in the country by signing a bill on virtual assets into law. Now crypto exchanges will be able to operate legally in the country, with banks able to open accounts for them. The law also gives clarity on the legal status, classification, and ownership of digital assets.

ApeCoin Launch

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT owners can now get another reward – ApeCoin (APE) – launched this week. Though ApeCoin is not created by BAYC developers Yuga Labs but by ApeCoin DAO, Yuga Labs is adopting it as the primary token for all its products. Meanwhile, another web 3 game, Benji Bananas by Animoca Brands, will also use ApeCoin. Furthermore, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Amy Wu from FTX are among the several prominent members of the web 3 community who are on the board of the ApeCoin DAO.

Adidas Adopts TrusTrace

The sportswear brand Adidas has become an early adopter of TrusTrace’s blockchain based supply chain traceability system. Adidas aims to gain visibility into its entire supply chain and transparency of its sustainability efforts by connecting its source to settlement processes to TrusTrace’s platform.

Coca Cola Partners With Diginex

Diginex, a blockchain startup, launched its ESG traceability tool – diginexLUMEN – in partnership with Coca Cola and Reckitt. It aims to promote responsible recruitment by helping to better identify forced labor risks deeper in the supply chain. The goal is to ensure all companies can access affordable and scalable due diligence tools.

HSBC Enters Metaverse

The international banking service provider HSBC has partnered with the metaverse gaming platform The Sandbox. Accordingly, HSBC will acquire a plot of land in The Sandbox metaverse that will be developed to engage and connect the financial service provider with the sports, esports, and gaming community.

IoTeX’s $100M Sustainable Ecosystem Fund

IoT on Blockchain network IoTeX announced a $100 million sustainable ecosystem fund focused on the decentralized MachineFi economy. The fund will support over 1,000 startups that work on use cases connecting more than 10 million smart devices to IoTeX’s MachineFi portal in the next three years.

EU’s Crypto Bill Passes Without Bitcoin Ban

The European Parliament passed a version of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill, which omitted the section to ban proof of work based crypto. The bill still states that crypto assets “shall be subject to minimum environmental sustainability standards.” It is now headed to the European Commission for further deliberations and discussions.

FTX To Operate in Dubai

Crypto exchange FTX’s European subsidiary, FTX Europe and MENA announced that it had acquired the license to operate in Dubai. According to the permit, FTX can set up Virtual Asset Exchange and Clearing House services in Dubai.

Binance Opening Shop in Bahrain, Closing Down in Ontario

Crypto exchange Binance revealed that it had obtained the full license to operate from the Central Bank of Bahrain. As a result, Binance will be able to offer crypto trading, custody, and portfolio management services to its customers in Bahrain.

Meanwhile, it has informed the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) that it will no longer onboard new customers in Ontario. This move follows the concerns raised by OSC regarding the exchange’s failure to adhere to Ontario securities law while operating in the region.

Ukraine Launches Official Crypto Fundraising Website

The Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation has launched an official crypto fundraising site, Aid for Ukraine, in partnership with crypto firms FTX and Everstake, with a goal to expedite donations to Ukraine. Aid to Ukraine currently accepts bitcoin, ether, USDT, DOT, Solana, Dogecoin, XMR, ICON, EOS, and NEO tokens.

Russian Bank Gets Digital Assets License

The Central Bank of Russia has issued a license to the country’s largest retail bank Sberbank to trade and exchange digital assets. Sberbank had applied for the permit in January with the intent to distribute virtual assets to the companies banking with it.

Coinbase Hit With Class Action Suit

Three Coinbase users have filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against crypto exchange Coinbase, accusing them of selling unlicensed securities. According to the lawsuit, the company is listing 79 crypto assets that may be deemed as securities and hence have to be registered as securities with the SEC.

Deus Suffers $3M Hack

Close to $3 million worth of Ether and DAI stablecoin were stolen from the DeFi protocol Deus Finance through manipulation of price oracle using flash loans. According to DeFi security firm PeckShield, hackers made away with 200,000 DAI and 1101.8 Ether.

DAODAO

The mysterious and controversial BitClout founder Nader El-Naji is back with yet another brainchild – a project called DAODAO. DAODAO is a DAO that aims to do for DAO what Coinbase did for tokens and what OpenSea did for NFTs. It intends to make it easy for anyone to set up a decentralized organization of their own.

Enjin’s Efinity Parachain

The blockchain startup Enjin launched Efinity, the first parachain on the Polkadot network this week. Efinity will focus on NFTs and house over 100 blockchain based games and applications, starting with CryptoBlades.

Coinbase Adds Solana

Crypto exchange Coinbase added support to the Solana ecosystem on its self custody crypto wallet browser extension. As a result, Coinbase wallet users can manage their Solana and Solana Program Library (SPL) – Solana’s version of ERC 20 tokens – using the extension.

Cactus Goes Live

This week, Hyperledger announced that Hyperledger Cactus, the blockchain interoperability framework, has released its first version after graduating from Hyperledger Labs. The project commenced in May 2020 with the collaboration of Accenture and Fujitsu.

Targeted Advertising in Metaverse

Adshares, a Web3 protocol for monetization space in the metaverse, and cookie3, a blockchain analytics platform, have teamed up to create relevant marketing tools for precise targeting and segmentation of ad audiences in the metaverse. The first implementation will enable ad targeting in Decentraland. 

Rarible Supports Polygon

In a bid to expand its support to multiple blockchains, the NFT marketplace Rarible has added NFT assets minted on Polygon. As of now, the Rarible platform allows NFTs from Ethereum, Tezos, and Flow networks.

GameStop’s NFT Marketplace Plan

The video game retailer GameStop recently announced its plans for an NFT marketplace. The marketplace is expected to launch by the end of the second quarter of the fiscal year 2022.

Amex Files Metaverse Patents

One of the world’s largest payments processors, American Express, has filed seven trademark applications, which indicates its plans for web 3. The filings have plans to offer virtual environments for entertainment, the NFT marketplace, and a plethora of crypto services.

NFTs in Instagram 

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, confirmed this week that NFTs are coming to the picture and video sharing app, Instagram. Though he did not specify the date when it will happen, Zuckerberg wants to enable users to make NFTs of the clothes worn by their digital avatars.

Spotify Looking for Web 3 Candidates

The music streaming platform Spotify has two open positions in the web 3 space. The first one is for a “Senior Backend Engineer” who can uncover the next growth opportunity leveraging technologies, such as web 3. The second one is for a Senior Manager for the Innovation and Market Intelligence team, a person who is familiar with web 3 and other emerging technologies.

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