Blockchain This Week – eBay Launches NFT, GameStop’s Crypto Wallet, Crypto in Space, Coinbase In Fortune 500 List

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eBay’s Debut NFTs

E-commerce platform eBay has released its first collection of NFTs, featuring hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. The NFTs, priced from $10 to $1,500, are launched on OneOf, an NFT marketplace built on Tezos and Polygon.

Lockheed Martin to Launch Blockchain Node in Space

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin is partnering with the Filecoin Foundation to explore operating an InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) node in space. They plan to identify a satellite or a space platform that can hold the technology required to run the node and execute a test mission.

SpaceX Launches Crypto Satellite

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the “Crypto-1” satellite in its fifth small satellite rideshare mission, Transporter-5, from Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida. US satellite startup Cryptosat has built this small satellite, which is roughly the size of a coffee mug, using off the shelf parts. It will be used to launch secure blockchain and web3 platforms.

GameStop Unveils Browser Wallet

Video game retailer GameStop has launched a beta version of its self custody digital asset wallet for storing and trading crypto and NFTs without leaving the web browsers. The Ethereum wallet is available on GameStop’s website for enthusiasts to download.

Coinbase Enters Fortune 500 List

This week, Coinbase became the first crypto company to join the ranks of the largest US companies by revenue. With the earnings of $7.8 billion in the fiscal year 2021, Coinbase is 437th of 2022’s Fortune 500 companies.

Stripe Back on Bitcoin Bandwagon

The payments company Stripe announced that it had resumed the service that allows the customers to convert payments or balances to bitcoin four years after suspension. It has partnered with OpenNode, which leverages the bitcoin scaling solution, Lightning Network.

Flowcarbon Raises $70M in Series A

WeWork’s founder Adam Neumann’s blockchain based climate solutions provider, Flowcarbon, has secured $70 million in Series A funding. A16z, Samsung Next, and Invesco have invested $32 million, while $38 million came from the sale of its Goddess Nature Token (GNT). 

A16z’s New Crypto Fund

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has raised $4.5 billion for its fourth crypto fund that will invest in promising web3 startups. This fund, which has been largest so far, brings a16z’s total money raised for crypto investments to over $7.6 billion.

Fantom Spikes Amid Speculation

Recently Andre Cronje, the famous DeFi developer and contributor to the Fantom blockchain, was spotted on GitHub working on Fantom’s fMint protocol, which led to rumors of his return after a hiatus of three months. Consequently, the price of the Fantom token surged by over 12% and reached a 7-day high of $0.52 earlier this week.

Beeple’s Twitter Account Hacked, Crypto Stolen

Digital artist Beeple’s Twitter account was hacked, and the attacker shared a tweet supposedly about a raffle of Beeple’s Louis Vuitton collection, which was, in reality, a link to a phony site. Anyone clicking on the link lost one Ether from their wallets, and in this manner, a total of $70,000 worth of Ether was stolen.

NFL Partners With Mythical Games

The National Football League (NFL) has teamed up with Mythical Games to launch NFL Rivals, a web and mobile game that will run on the Mythical Chain blockchain. The NFL plans to kick off the game, slated for 2023, with a franchise themed NFT collection.

CV VC Unveils African Early Stage Fund

Crypto Valley Venture Capital or CV VC wants to tap into the growing startup investment market in Africa and intends to support blockchain startups in the continent. To that effect, it is launching an early stage fund that will invest in over 100 African startups over the next four years.

Crypto Firms Launch a Scam Reporting Platform

Several firms, including TRM Labs, Circle, Binance, and Solana Foundation, have jointly launched a new community driven scam reporting platform, Chainabuse. This platform aims to enable anyone in the crypto space to warn others about scams, hacks, and other fraudulent activities.

$100M Fund for Crypto Adoption

Ling Zhang and Wayne Fu, previously Binance’s vice president of M&A and head of corporate development, respectively, have collectively launched a $100 million venture fund, Old Fashion Research. The fund will focus on metaverse and crypto adoption in emerging markets.

Beacon Chain Reorg

The Ethereum proof of stake beacon chain experienced a reorganization of up to seven blocks this week, one of the longest in years. The reorg is usually a sign of network failures, bugs, or malicious attacks.

Dogecoin Spikes After Elon’s Tweet

Elon Musk tweeted, stating that soon the merchandise of SpaceX, Musk’s space exploration company, could be bought with Dogecoin. As expected, the price of the meme coin shot up immediately and at one point reached a high of $0.085, an 8% rise.

Brave Adds Solana Support

Brave browser’s new desktop release includes support for Solana network’s SOL and SPL tokens. Users can buy, sell, and hold them using non custodial payments platform Ramp.

Tether Adds Peso Pegged Stablecoin

USDT issuer Tether has launched a new stablecoin MXNT that will be pegged to the Mexican peso on Ethereum, Tron, and Polygon networks. Tether believes that Mexico poses a unique opportunity to offer economical asset transfer options.

Thailand Exempts Crypto Trades From VAT

Thailand has officially introduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) exemption for crypto transfers done through government approved exchanges. This tax break will apply retrospectively from April 2022 and will be in force until December 31, 2023.

Philippines Bank Offers Country’s First Blockchain Bond

UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP), one of the largest banks in the Philippines, has become the first bank in the country to issue digital peso bonds registered on the blockchain. The bonds will have a minimum issue size of one billion pesos and will be distributed on June 20. This issuance is a part of the “Digital Registry & Digital Depository” trial run by the Philippines Depository & Trust Corp.

JPMorgan Trials Blockchain

Investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co is reportedly testing its private blockchain for instantaneous and seamless transfer of collateral assets. According to sources, it has already conducted a pilot transaction, where two of its entities transferred tokenized Black Rock Inc. money market fund shares using blockchain.

Verra Suspends Retired Carbon Credit Tokenization

Verra, the primary carbon credits issuer and a standards authority, announced that it is immediately banning the conversion of retired Verra credits into crypto tokens. Though it favors bank led incentive mechanisms over crypto ones, it said it would allow tokenization of live credits.

GBBC and GDF Merge

The two blockchain industry associations – Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) and Global Digital Finance (GDF) – have merged, becoming a single association of close to 500 institutional members. The combined entity is named Global Blockchain Business Council, with GDF becoming GBBC Digital Finance.

Sony’s Metaverse Push

In its latest annual corporate strategy meeting, the electronics giant Sony announced that it would take a more focused approach to metaverse experiences as a part of its entertainment strategy. It has disclosed that its investment in Epic Games and Bungie is a part of this new strategy.

TAG Heuer Accepts Crypto

Luxury watch manufacturer TAG Heuer announced that its US customers could pay for the watches purchased online using cryptocurrency. The Swiss company has partnered with crypto payments processor Bitpay to facilitate this new payment option.

Terra Community Approves Terra Revival

The proposal to create a new Terra blockchain, proposed by Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon, has received an overwhelming approval of 65.5% of the Luna community that voted. According to the plan, millions of Luna tokens will be distributed to members who can only hope that they will be worth something once the new Terra ecosystem gets widely adopted.

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