Blockchain This Week – Metaverse Portfolio, Environment Friendly Mining Chip, $250M Metaverse Fund, ESPN and NFT

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HSBC’s Metaverse Discretionary Strategy Portfolio

HSBC Holdings launched the Metaverse Discretionary Strategy portfolio that will invest in the metaverse ecosystem. This fund will be available for HSBC’s wealthy clients in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Intel Launches More Efficient Mining Chip

Technology giant Intel launched “Intel Blockscale ASIC,” its second generation bitcoin mining chip. At a hash rate of 580 gigahash per second and power utilization of 26 joules per terahash, Intel claims these chips are more efficient than others available in the market.

Bitcoin Miner To Relocate To Move Away From Fossil Fuels

Bitcoin mining company Marathon Digital Holdings plans to move from its existing facility in Hardin, Montana, to a location with sustainable energy sources. This decision is part of its commitment to reach 100% carbon neutrality by the end of the year.

Paid in Bitcoin

At Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, the payments platform Block announced that Cash App users who receive their paychecks through the app’s direct deposit feature could opt to get all or a portion of their wages in bitcoin. Alongside, it has added a “round up” bitcoin feature for those using Cash App’s debit card. And it will soon enable users to receive bitcoin via the Lightning Network.

Hedera’s $250M Metaverse Fund

Hedera announced a $250 million in HBAR for developers who bring metaverse to the Hedera Hashgraph platform. This fund targets B2C and B2B2C projects that focus on virtual worlds, digital collectibles, and fan engagements in the metaverse, among others.

ESPN Launches NFT Collection

ESPN has launched its first NFT collection on Polygon in collaboration with NFL quarterback Tom Brady’s NFT startup, Autograph. The first drop is based on ESPN’s docuseries on Brady called “Man in the Arena: Tom Brady.”

Ledger Buys Virtual Land for Education

Hardware crypto wallet provider Ledger is partnering with Metaverse platform The Sandbox to collectively devise educational content for people new to crypto and metaverse. It is also buying 36 tracks of virtual land in The Sandbox, where it plans to create a series of play to earn educational games.

Starbucks To Enter Metaverse With NFTs in 2022

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced this week that the coffeehouse chain would enter the Metaverse and get into the NFT business by the end of the year. He stated that Starbucks would soon add NFTs and Metaverse into its marketing strategy.

Movie as an NFT

Director Kevin Smith will release his new horror film “Killroy Was Here,” which can only be accessed via NFTs minted on Secret Network. NFT owners can create short films using their NFTs, and Smith plans to use some of them to create a sequel to the movie.

Soderbergh’s $300K Grant on Crypto Funded Film Platform

“Ocean’s Eleven” director Steven Soderbergh’s production company Extension 765 has launched the Andrews/Bernard Award on the blockchain based film financing platform, Decentralized Pictures. It is offering a $300,000 grant to support filmmakers. 

More Cities for Digital Yuan Trials

China’s central bank PBOC is adding more cities to test its CBDC. It plans to conduct pilots in Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen, and six cities in the Zhejiang province.

Binance Lawsuit Dismissed

US District Judge Andrew Carter dismissed a lawsuit that alleges that the crypto exchange Binance has violated US security laws by selling crypto as unregistered securities. The suit was quashed since the judge ruled that the plaintiffs sued Binance too late to file the lawsuit. 

MicroStrategy Buys More Bitcoin

The business intelligence firm MicroStrategy said it had purchased 4,167 more bitcoin for close to $191 million. As of today, MicroStrategy holds 129,218 bitcoin valued at over $6 billion.

Metaverse ETP

Swiss ETP issuer, 21Shares, launched a Metaverse ETP focused on The Sandbox’s SAND token. It is the 30th crypto ETP from 21Shares and will be listed on Euronext Paris and Amsterdam.

Bitstamp as a Service

Crypto exchange Bitstamp will offer a white label version of its crypto trading services to banks and fintech in the US. Bitstamp has been providing this “Bitstamp as a Service” offering to its European and Latin American clients and is now extending it to US financial institutions.

WeChat Suspends NFT Accounts

The Chinese messaging app, WeChat, has reportedly suspended accounts that are allegedly linked to NFTs. WeChat is looking to preempt the promotion of NFTs from these accounts.

MailChimp Phishing Targets Crypto Users

A phishing scam allegedly perpetrated by a MailChimp insider has targeted users of the crypto wallet provider, Trezor. Trezor confirmed that investigations are ongoing and that it had taken the affected email domain offline. It is unclear at the moment if any funds were compromised.

Dogecoin Spikes After Musk Announcement

Earlier this week, in a regulatory filing, Elon Musk revealed that he had taken a 9.2% stake in social media company Twitter. Immediately following this news, Dogecoin, which is heavily promoted by Musk, rose by 10%, from $0.143 to over $0.156. 

Tokenized Stocks

Japan Exchange Group (JPX), which operates the Tokyo Stock Exchange, outlined its mid term strategy regarding digital securities. It stated that it plans to launch a marketplace for blockchain based tokenized securities by April 2025.

FTX Invests in IEX

Crypto exchange FTX’s US arm FTX.US will make a strategic investment in the company that operates US based stock exchange, IEX. In this partnership, FTX and IEX will collaborate to build a venue for trading digital asset securities.

UFC Champions Get Bonuses in Bitcoin

Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) and have entered into a partnership that will see the UFC players earning bonuses in bitcoin. The top three fighters at each UFC pay per view event will receive $30,000, $20,000, and $10,000 worth of bitcoin, respectively.

Slovenia’s Flat Tax on Crypto

The Slovenian government has proposed a flat rate tax proposal on crypto transactions and is seeking the approval of the country’s parliament. The recommended under 5% tax is a part of the government’s post COVID recovery plan.

EU Bans Crypto Services to Russia

The European Union has added a prohibition on providing high value crypto asset services to Russia. It aims to prevent Russia from using crypto to circumvent sanctions. 

Pray4Ukraine’s NFT Sale

Pray4Ukraine, a newly created Ukrainian charity project, has launched an NFT collection consisting of 9,930 artworks of hundreds of the country’s digital artists. The proceeds from the sale will go directly to another Ukraine focused charity, Come Back Alive.


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