Blockchain This Week – Ropsten Merge, Salesforce NFT Platform, Dell’s Real Time Carbon Tracker, Hacks and Scams, Bitcoin Academy

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Ropsten Is Now Proof of Stake Network

Ethereum blockchain’s oldest test network, Ropsten, transitioned to PoS this week when it completed “The Merge” with Ethereum 2.0’s Beacon chain. This testnet now has blocks consented using the proof-of-stake algorithm, as per core developer Tim Beiko.

Salesforce Joins The NFT Club

Tech giant, Salesforce announced this week the launch of its NFT Cloud. The company aims to help customers mint, manage, and trade NFTs with ease using this no-code product. The NFT Cloud is currently a pilot available to limited customers, and Salesforce plans to offer it widely in October.

Tether Expands to Tezos

USDT stablecoin issuer Tether added Tezos to the list of blockchain networks that supports USDT. With this, USDT is now available on 12 platforms, including Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon. As a result, the price of XTZ, the native coin of Tether, soared over 10% to $2.32.

IOTA and Dell Partner on Carbon Tracking

IOTA Foundation, a DLT platform provider, is working with Dell Technologies to develop a data driven solution for tracking carbon footprint in real time. Climate focused companies, ClimateCHECK and BioE, are also involved with Dell to build this solution on top of Dell’s Data Confidence Fabric and Project Alvarium.

SEC Probes Binance ICO

The US SEC is investigating crypto exchange Binance’s ICO of 2017. It is probing the origins of Binance Coin (BNB) for potential violations of securities regulations and whether BNB was a security when sold in 2017.

BAYC Discord Server Hack

Late last week, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Discord server was compromised, with the scammer making away with 200 Ether (close to $360,000) worth of NFTs. The attacker hacked into BAYC community manager Boris Vagner’s Discord account and used it to post phishing links and steal NFTs and reportedly 145 Ether.

Korean Exchanges Delist Litecoin

Two crypto exchanges in South Korea, Bithumb and Upbit, have delisted Litecoin over its recent changes that enhance privacy. Litecoin recently activated the Mimblewimble Extension Blocks (MWEB) network upgrade, which these exchanges say violates the country’s AML laws.

Move-to-Earn App Suffers DDoS Attack

Stepn, an application on Solana that rewards users with crypto for walking or jogging, suffered DDoS attacks following a recent upgrade. Stepn advised its users to “get some rest” while its engineers worked on fixing the problem. As per Stepn’s Twitter feed, members can now “walk, jog, and run without errors.”

Osmosis Bug Halts Operations

A bug in the code that allowed users to withdraw 50% more than they deposit without any lock-in caused an attacker to exploit the DeFi exchange Osmosis and make away with close to $5 million. Upon discovery, developers of the DeFi application halted the operations to prevent further damage.

Optimism and an Unwitting Mistake

Ethereum layer 2 protocol Optimism lost close to $35 million when 20 million OP tokens earmarked for an airdrop were unwittingly sent to an inaccessible account by its token launch partner Wintermute. An attacker who managed to hack into this account stole the coins, of which 1 million were sent to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s wallet.

IRA Sues Gemini

IRA Financial Trust, which manages individual retirement accounts in assets such as Bitcoin, has filed a lawsuit against crypto exchange Gemini. IRA, which lost $36 million in crypto in a February hack, accused Gemini of not having proper safeguards to protect customers’ digital assets.

Edge’s No KYC Mastercard

The crypto wallet provider Edge launched a new “Confidential Mastercard” that creates a virtual card without seeking any personally identifiable information from the customers. Edge’s CEO, Paul Puey, states that economic empowerment is the defining principle of this card. Though Edge claims to have issued the card through the Mastercard template program with Patriot Bank, Mastercard has denied any official involvement.

Mastercard Wants Easier and Safer NFT Purchase

Mastercard said that it is working with NFT marketplaces to “bring its payments network to Web3 and NFTs.” It is partnering with Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway, and MoonPay to make the process of buying NFTs easier and safer.

USDD Becomes Over Collateralized

Justin Sun’s stablecoin USDD, which started as an algorithmic stablecoin similar to Terra, has changed its plans and shifted to the over collateralized model. The collateral backing USDD includes bitcoin, USDT, and Tron, with the collateral ratio standing at 226.1%.

Circle Adds USDC to Polygon

Stablecoin issuer Circle has added its USDC stablecoin to the Polygon network. With this, users are no longer required to go through the cumbersome, slow, and expensive process of bridging their USDC from Ethereum to Polygon.

Seth Green Gets Back His BAYC NFT

Actor Seth Green, who lost his star NFT, BAYC #8398, alongside three others to a phishing scam last month, has got his upcoming TV show White Horse Tavern’s star back. He has reportedly paid 165 Ether (close to $300,000) for the BAYC NFT.

Metaverse Index Fund

Writer and venture capitalist Matthew Ball collaborated with Multicoin Capital and Bitwise Asset Management to launch the Ball Multicoin Bitwise Metaverse Index. It follows 40 crypto assets chosen by the partners. The associated fund intends to provide an easy and diversified means for investors to get exposure to a wide range of metaverse focussed assets.

NYC Gallery That Allows Remote NFT Display

A new NFT gallery is opening at 510 5th Avenue in New York City on June 15. This unique Web3 NYC Gallery will feature 300 NFT displays from partner Tokenframe, which can be controlled only by associated Genesis NFT owners. They can own exclusive rights to show and sell their NFTs on one of these displays that they can control remotely.

PayPal Allows Crypto Transfers

PayPal is now allowing its users to transfer cryptocurrencies from PayPal to other wallets and exchanges. This long awaited feature that launched this week will cover all PayPal users in the US in a week or two.

EPL Files Crypto Trademarks

The English Premier League (EPL) has filed two crypto and NFT trademarks with the United States patent office. The applications include NFTs, crypto, digital asset trading, and virtual clothing and accessories.

Stranger Things NFTs

Netflix has teamed up with NFT platform Candy Digital to celebrate the fourth season of Stranger Things through the launch of NFT collection on its Palm blockchain. Candy has developed an online game resembling the show, which allows players to win 11,353 NFTs.

Bitcoin Academy

Block CEO Jack Dorsey and rapper Jay-Z announced the launch of Bitcoin Academy to teach financial literacy to the residents of Marcy Houses of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, where Jay-Z grew up. The Bitcoin Academy will have online and in-person classes on topics including “What is Money?” and “What is Blockchain?” It would also have a “crypto kids camp” and give some bitcoin to students for hands-on experience.

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