Blockchain This Week – Circle Chooses BNY, OpenSea To Add Solana NFTs, Bitcoin Loan to Buy More Bitcoin, Scams and Exploits

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OpenSea To Support Solana NFTs

After months of speculation, the NFT marketplace OpenSea confirmed that it would add Solana based NFTs to its platform in April. As a result, collections such as Degenerate Apes and Solana Monkey Business might find themselves on OpenSea soon. Following this announcement, NFT trading volume on Solana surged 80% from the previous day, and Solana’s SOL token climbed over 12% in 24 hours.

Buy NFTs on TV

Samsung has partnered with Nifty Gateway to create an NFT platform that will appear on Samsung’s new premium Smart TVs. This marketplace will allow TV owners to view and trade NFTs using the TV interface.

Circle Chooses BNY Mellon as Custodian

Circle, the issuer of the second largest stablecoin USDC, has selected the world’s largest traditional custodian Bank of New York Mellon as its primary custodian for USDC. The move is widely seen as Circle positioning itself as a compliant and trustworthy stablecoin.

MicroStrategy Takes Out Bitcoin Loan To Buy More Bitcoin

A subsidiary of business intelligence firm MicroStrategy obtained a $205 million loan from Silvergate Bank using its current bitcoin holdings as collateral. MicroStrategy plans to use the money to buy more bitcoin and to cover general corporate costs.

Mandela’s Arrest Warrant as NFT

Liliesleaf Museum Heritage Site, a South African museum, recently auctioned an NFT representing an arrest warrant issued against former South African President Nelson Mandela in 1962. A total of $130,000 was raised, and the proceeds would fund the museum activities.

EU Passes Strict Crypto Law

This week, European Union lawmakers voted to ban anonymous crypto transactions, a measure considered detrimental to innovation by the crypto industry. Over 90 lawmakers have reportedly voted in favor of the proposal.

Climate Activists Launch Campaign To Lower Bitcoin Energy Use

Several climate activist groups are launching a “Change the Code, Not the Climate” campaign. The campaign supported by Greenpeace and Ripple’s Chris Larsen, who has also funded $5 million, aims to pressure the Bitcoin community to change its consensus mechanism. It plans to buy ads in leading publications over the next month.

Gold Market To Use Permissioned Blockchain

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and the World Gold Council (WGC) announced a joint initiative to use permissioned enterprise blockchain to prove the gold is genuine and ethically sourced while ensuring the data is available only to authorized parties. Initially, two startups, Switzerland’s aXedras using Corda and Canada’s Peer Ledger using Hyperledger Fabric, will provide their blockchain solutions.

NFT Usernames for Blockchain.com Wallets

The crypto exchange Blockchain.com has integrated with domain names provider Unstoppable Domains to allow its 82 million wallets to use human-friendly NFT usernames for their alphanumeric addresses. Users can buy domain names with one of 10 extensions —.bitcoin, .coin, .crypto, .dao, .nft, .wallet, .x, .zil, .888, or the imminent .blockchain — and use them with their Blockchain.com wallets.

Ronin Bridge $625M Hack

The Ronin network, the bridge between NFT video game Axie Infinity and Ethereum, used to process in-game transactions, suffered a $625 million exploit this week. According to Ronin’s blog post, an attacker seems to have used hacked private keys to forge fake withdrawals and found a backdoor to get the required signatures to process the withdrawals. The blog post pegs the loss to 173,600 ether and 25.5 million in USDC, currently worth over $625 million.

BAYC Discord Hit With Phishing Scam

A webhook on the official Discord channel of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) was reportedly briefly compromised. Security researchers state that a ticket tool that pushes notifications was hit. As a result, users were sent links to phony April Fools steal airdrops, clicking on which would perhaps run a script that could steal the user’s NFTs.

Ola Finance Suffers $4.67M Hack

Decentralized lending platform Ola Finance suffered, what it called, a reentrancy vulnerability exploit that drained the platform of 216,964.18 USDC, 507,216.68 BUSD, 200,000.00 fUSD, 550.45 WETH, 26.25 WBTC, and 1,240,000.00 FUSE. This attack that impacted its Fuse network led to a loss of over $4.67 million.

Ark’s Bitcoin Spot ETF Rejected

The US regulator SEC has rejected yet another spot bitcoin ETF, this time from Cathie Wood’s Ark 21Shares. The reason is similar to others where the SEC cites that the ETF does not fulfill the requirement of protecting investors from fraudulent practices.

Rio To Collect Taxes in Crypto

Rio de Janeiro will allow its citizens to pay municipal tax, IPTU, in crypto starting next year. Municipal officials announced this plan at an event in the presence of the city’s mayor Eduardo Paes.

Crypto for Paying Water Bills

The people of Chandler, Arizona, can pay their water bills in bitcoin, ether, and litecoin held in their PayPal accounts. The city, though, will convert them immediately to fiat through the payments processor Invoice Cloud.

SEC’s New Rules for Crypto Disclosure

The SEC released a staff accounting bulletin in which it has laid out new rules for crypto exchanges, banks, and retail brokers acting as custodians for their clients’ cryptocurrencies. As per SEC, US companies must disclose the nature and amount of crypto held by them. They need to categorize them as liabilities and warn investors of the associated risks.

Indonesia To Tax Crypto Transactions

Indonesia plans to levy value added tax (VAT) on crypto asset transactions and capital gains tax on crypto investments at 0.1% each, starting from May 1. According to tax official Hestu Yoga Saksama, the government plans to impose VAT and capital gains tax since it considers crypto as a commodity and not currency.

Buenos Aires’ Digital Identity Platform

According to a whitepaper published this week, the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, has started the work on creating a blockchain based digital identity platform. The system that aims to give the city’s residents control over their personal data is expected to be operational between the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.

Canada’s Web3 Council

In a bid to advocate for a national crypto strategy in Canada, 11 entities formed the Canadian Web3 Council, a nonprofit trade association. The council has exchanges, open source blockchain projects, and investors, including Dapper Labs and Ether Capital.

PrimeBlock To Go Public With SPAC Merger

Bitcoin miner PrimeBlock plans to go public later this year through a merger with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. II (VCXA), a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC). The estimated value of the company stands at $1.25 billion.

WisdomTree Launches New Crypto ETPs

Investment firm WisdomTree launched new ETPs based on Solana’s SOL, Cardano’s ADA, and Polkadot’s DOT tokens. These ETPs are listed on the Swiss stock exchange SIX and Börse Xetra and will be added to the Euronext exchanges in Paris and Amsterdam by the end of the month.

$155M DeFi Fund

HBAR Foundation, which provides grants and resources for developers building on the Hedera, has launched a $155 million “Crypto Economy Fund” that focuses on building the DeFi ecosystem on Hedera. $60 million would be used as liquidity mining rewards for decentralized exchanges and the remaining funds for grants to build DeFi infrastructure.

Cybersecurity With Blockchain

Space cybersecurity solutions provider SpiderOak Mission Systems announced that it had won a contract from satellite builder for the US Government, Lockheed Martin, for its OrbitSecure cybersecurity software. OrbitSecure uses blockchain to trace and timestamp every transaction.

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