Blockchain This Week – Japan Introduces Stablecoin Law, New York Close to Ban Carbon Fueled Mining, Hiring Freeze and Firing

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Japan’s Stablecoin Bill

This week, Japan became one of the first major economies to publish a legal framework for stablecoins. Japan’s parliament passed a bill that defines stablecoins as digital money, which it mandates to be linked to yen or another legal tender. As per the bill, stablecoins can only be issued by licensed banks and other registered companies, and holders are given the right to redeem them at face value.

FTX Japan Launch

Crypto exchange FTX has officially set up shop in Japan and is offering trading services as FTX Japan. FTX Japan is the result of FTX’s earlier acquisition of Liquid Group, the parent company of crypto platform Quoine Corp, which is licensed to operate in Japan.

NY Senate Passes Bitcoin Mining Moratorium

The New York Senate has passed the bill that imposes a two year moratorium on crypto mining operations powered by fossil fuel. The legislation that bars new entrants and bans permit renewals was approved in a 36-27 win.

Singapore Launches Guardian

With the intention to explore potential use cases of asset tokenization and DeFi, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the finance industry have collaborated on “Project Guardian.” The first pilot, led by DBS, JPMorgan Chase, and Marketnode, involves creating a permissioned liquidity pool with tokenized bonds and deposits.

Gemini Layoffs, Coinbase Hiring Freeze

Citing “crypto winter,” crypto exchange Gemini’s billionaire executives Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have announced a layoff of 10% of the staff. On the other hand, Coinbase has extended its hiring freeze while rescinding offers of those candidates who had accepted but had not yet joined the firm.

401K Provider Sues Labor Department

A 401(k) provider, ForUSAll, has sued the US Labor Department for considering investigating companies offering crypto investment options for their clients. ForUSAll opines that such an action would discourage employers from contemplating crypto for retirement planning and circumscribe American investors’ rights to choose how they invest their retirement fund.

Binance’s $500M Web3 Fund

Binance Labs, the investment arm of Binance, has launched a $500 million fund that would invest in web3 projects, which extends the crypto use cases. The investment is backed by DST Global and Breyer Capital. At the same time, Binance has received the regulatory nod to operate as a crypto service provider in Italy.

Chipotle Accepts Crypto

Next time you visit the Tex-Mex restaurant Chipotle anywhere in the US, you will be able to pay for your burritos with crypto. Chipotle Mexican Grill has partnered with Flexa to allow its customers to pay with 98 different digital currencies, including bitcoin, ether, and solana.

Argentina Football NFT Drop

The Argentinian Football Association (AFA) has teamed up with Ethernity to launch a digital collection celebrating the upcoming Finalissima, a football match between the most recent European Cup and Copa America winners, Italy and Argentina. The NFT series will have two digital graphics, one that features Argentinian football icons such as Maradona, who are retired now, and the second that pays tribute to active players such as Messi.

Nike Buys One More ETH Domain

This week, Nike’s web3 arm, RTFKT, bought dotswoosh.eth for 19.72 ether, roughly $35K, at the time of purchase. Though the reason for this purchase is unclear, with this addition, RTFKT now owns ten Ethereum domains.

Prada Enters NFT Space

Luxury fashion brand Prada has launched a Time Capsule Collection that offers limited edition Prada products with NFTs for a period of 24 hours each month on a first come, first serve basis. Furthermore, those who buy one of the only 100 black and white button down shirts by Prada and collaborator Cassius Hirst will also receive an NFT.

Tron’s Elevated TVL

Tron blockchain now has over $5.9 billion in total value locked, which makes it the third-largest platform for DeFi protocols. This bullish progress is attributed to the launch of USDD, a new algorithmic stablecoin that is not very different from the recently imploded Terra stablecoin.

FTX Surpasses Coinbase

Crypto exchange FTX surpassed Coinbase in terms of trading volumes of bitcoin in May 2022, despite having a lesser number of trades. This difference is because the average trade size on FTX was $2K, which was nearly double that on Coinbase ($1K).

Ropsten to Switch to Proof of Stake

Ethereum’s first public test network Ropsten is all set to transition from “proof of work” to the “proof of stake” consensus mechanism. According to the announcement, a new beacon chain has been launched this week, and the merge of the networks is expected to happen around June 8.

Zcash Upgrade

The Electric Coin Company (ECC) announced a significant upgrade of the Zcash privacy coin, Zcash Network Upgrade 5 (NU5). NU5 includes the “Orchard shielded payments protocol” that reportedly removes the dependency on “ceremonies” for trusted setup.

Luna 2.0 Launch

The relaunch of the disgraced Terra’s Luna currency was lackluster. Luna 2.0 opened earlier this week at a price of $18.98, reached a high of $19.54, but swiftly dropped to $4.85 the next day. Yet, after several exchanges such as Binance, crypto.com, and HitBTC announced airdrops and spot pairs, Luna recovered slightly. At the time of writing, one Luna was worth $6.39.

Mirror Exploited Due to Erroneous Luna Listing

After the Terra 2.0 was launched, the old LUNA currency was renamed as Luna Classic or LUNC and was trading at around $0.0001. Whereas the new LUNA token is trading at over $6. But the confusion in the names of the coins on the Mirror Protocol led to Terra Classic validators erroneously reporting the price of the new LUNA token instead of the classic LUNA, now called LUNC. It resulted in a massive exploit of over $2 million on the Mirror protocol. The error reportedly occurred because several validators were not running the latest version of the price oracle.

Solana Suffers Another Downtime

The Solana blockchain was once again down, this time for four hours, due to a bug with the “durable nonce feature.” The network validators had to disable the feature to get the network up and running. Meanwhile, its native token SOL was down by over 11% as the downtime triggered a massive sell-off.

Mazda Joins MOBI

Automaker Mazda has joined the ranks of BMW, GM, and Renault to be part of the MOBI blockchain consortium. As per Nikkei, a key motivation for Mazda is its electric vehicles strategy, which aims to account for 25% of sales by 2030.

OpenSea Ex-employee Booked for Insider Trading

This week, the US Department of Justice has charged Nathaniel Chastain, a former OpenSea employee, with the first ever case of digital assets insider trading. He is accused of using the confidential information to buy NFTs before they were featured on OpenSea’s home page for lower amounts, and selling them at a higher price, once the prices shot up after being displayed on the home page.

Kanye “Ye” West’s NFT Filings

Rapper Kanye “Ye” West has filed 17 new NFT surrounding trademark applications. As per the filings with the US Patents Office, these applications cover a wide range from blockchain based NFTs to crypto tokens and online stores for digital arts. Also included is the Kanye West themed amusement park!

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