Blockchain This Week – Retire on Bitcoin, BAYC NFTs Stolen, Snowden and Zcash, C.A.R. Adopts Bitcoin

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Fidelity To Allow 401(K) Investments in Bitcoin

Fidelity Investments, the largest provider of retirement savings and investing plans or 401(k) in the United States, is launching a Digital Assets Account offering. Accordingly, the companies that offer 401(k) accounts to their employees via Fidelity will be able to invest up to 20% of their employees’ retirement funds in bitcoin, starting later this year.

Immediately after this announcement, MicroStrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor tweeted that his firm is looking forward to working with Fidelity to become the first public company to offer this service.

BAYC NFTs Heist

The Instagram and discord accounts of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) were hacked earlier this week, and a fraudulent link claiming that the users could mint NFTs in the upcoming OthersideMeta was sent to BAYC members. Those who clicked the link had their wallets compromised and their Bored and Mutant Apes worth $13.7 million stolen.

Intuit Sued Over Trezor Hack

Weeks after a phishing attack originating from Mailchimp email service let hackers into Trezor crypto wallets a class action suit has been brought up in San Jose, California by affected customers of Mailchimp operator Intuit. The lawsuit was filed by Alan Levinson, who allegedly lost $87,000 worth of crypto from the hack.

Snowden – One of the Zcash Creators

Edward Snowden, the former NSA consultant and whistleblower, revealed himself as John Dobbertin, one of the six creators of privacy focused cryptocurrency Zcash. His identity, which was unknown since 2016, was let out in a leaked video from Zcash Media.

Finland To Give Seized Bitcoin to Ukraine

Finland’s government is planning to donate around 73 million euros worth of bitcoin seized from several criminal investigations to Ukraine. It has selected two local virtual assets providers, Coinmotion and Tesseract, as brokers to sell 1,890 bitcoin and share the proceeds in euros, which will then be donated.

Bitcoin Is Now Legal Tender in Central African Republic

The African nation, Central African Republic, has become the second country after El Salvador to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. The country’s National Assembly passed the corresponding bill, which President Faustin Archange Touadera signed into law. 

El Salvadorians’ Lukewarm Response to Bitcoin

The US National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) has published a working study that claims that only 4 out of 10 people in El Salvador have continued to use the Chivo wallet after getting their $30 bitcoin bonus. Furthermore, the study found that 88% of bitcoin accepting Businesses convert back to dollars, thus concluding that bitcoin is not a widely accepted currency in El Salvador.

Panama Passes Crypto Law

The legislators of the Latin American nation Panama approved a bill that seeks to regulate crypto in the country. The law also recognizes and provides a legal framework for DAOs and STOs.

Bitcoin Mining Moratorium

The New York State Assembly has passed a two year moratorium on crypto mining activity this week. The bill, sponsored by Democrat Anna Kelles, proposes to prevent mining firms from renewing operating permits or applying for new ones if their operations are run on fossil fuel. 

OpenSea Buys Gem

NFT marketplace OpenSea has acquired Gem, an NFT marketplace aggregator service. Gem enables collectors to buy NFTs in bulk from multiple platforms in a single transaction, thereby saving considerable fees for buyers. OpenSea considers this purchase as beneficial to its more advanced “pro” users.

A16z Crypto Research Lab

The venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) has launched its own crypto research lab. The intent is to combine academic research with conceptualizing ideas and working upon them in companies where A16z has heavily invested.

Polygon’s Supernets

Ethereum layer two scaling platform Polygon has launched a new protocol – Supernets network, to bolster web3 technology. Supernets use Polygon Edge, released last year to enable developers to build custom networks without the costs associated with servers. Polygon is also distributing $100 million to early Supernets users.

Musk Buys Twitter, Doge Jumps

Earlier this week, when Twitter accepted Dogecoin patron Elon Musk’s $44 billion offer, Dogecoin shot to the moon. Immediately following the news, Doge jumped 26% and reached $0.16. At the time of writing, one Doge was worth $0.14.

Standard Chartered Lands in Metaverse

The Hong Kong subsidiary of the multi-national Standard Chartered Bank has stepped into the metaverse in partnership with the metaverse platform, The Sandbox. The bank has bought virtual land at The Sandbox’s Mega city district and plans to create a metaverse experience here.

Japanese Carmakers in Metaverse

The Japanese carmakers, Nissan and Toyota, have set up their operations in the metaverse. Nissan has opened a virtual showroom to host vehicle launches, whereas Toyota has created virtual workstations for employees to use avatars to take part in company meetings.

Kraken Gets Permit

Crypto exchange Kraken has obtained a Financial Services Permission (FSP) license from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) to operate as a regulated crypto platform in the Middle East and North African regions. Kraken claims to be the first crypto exchange to receive a full financial license from ADGM.

Solana NFT Sales Soar With Okay Bears

This week, a new profile picture NFT project Okay Bears launched on Solana. With over $18 million in sales in one day, Okay Bears’ trading volume has been more than any of the top Ethereum based NFT projects.

Cardano Block Size Grows

Earlier this week, the Cardano mainnet was upgraded to increase the network’s block size by 10%. The block size, which was earlier 80KB, is now 88KB. This upgrade intends to improve the platform’s throughput and scalability.

Telegram Users To Send Crypto via Chat

Over 550 million Telegram users will be able to send crypto to other users using the messaging app, thanks to the bot service that is being added by The Open Network (TON), a blockchain platform conceptualized by Telegram. The initial rollout would support sending and receiving of Toncoins.

An ETP That Combines Bitcoin and Gold

Switzerland’s SIX stock exchange has listed an ETP that gives the investors exposure to both bitcoin and gold. ETP issuer 21Shares and crypto data provider ByteTree Asset Management have developed this product.

BlackRock’s Crypto ETF

The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, has listed its iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC), which tracks the US and international firms that are involved in the crypto space. The fund allocates 11.45% of the investment to the crypto exchange Coinbase. Others include bitcoin miners Marathon Digital Holdings (11.19%) and Riot (10.41%).

FTX’s $1B Charity Fund and Print Ad Campaign

At the 2022 Crypto Bahamas event, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and supermodel, philanthropist, and FTX’s head of environmental and social initiatives, Gisele Bundchen, announced the launch of “In On,” FTX’s first print ad campaign and $1 billion charity fund. The ads that would highlight FTX’s commitment to effective altruism and global impact will appear in several magazines, including Vogue and GQ.

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