Blockchain This Week – Web3 Art Fund, Otherside Opens, Verifiable Renewable Energy Charging Solution, Tesla Sold Bitcoin

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Christie’s Web3 Ventures

Renowned auction house Christie’s launched “Christie’s Ventures,” a new fund for fintech companies innovating in the art related financial products, including exploring web3 tech for art. It has also announced LayerZero Labs, an interoperability solution for building dApps to navigate seamlessly across multiple blockchains.

The Otherside Opens

The BAYC developers Yuga Labs opened the Otherside, the metaverse gaming platform, for the first trip in the Bored Ape metaverse. At the time, this platform was open to around 4,300 “voyagers” who own land plots in Otherside.

Yuga Labs has also published the Otherside’s litepaper. The document supposedly is the starter guide for the Otherside, covering the foundational principles of the platform.

24/7 Renewable Charging Solution

The non profit, blockchain based energy solution, Energy Web, is collaborating with Volkswagen Group and Elli to develop a smart-charging solution that enables EV owners to match their electricity consumption with the amount charged using renewable energy. Users can decide when to recharge, the desired level of charge, and from which facility to draw the renewables.

Tesla Sold 75% of Bitcoin Stash

During its Q2 earnings call, EV manufacturer Tesla revealed that it had sold 75% of its bitcoin, amounting to $963 million. It said it now holds $218 million of digital assets. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, claimed that the decision to sell was taken to maximize Tesla’s cash position, given the uncertainty of when the COVID lockdowns in China would ease.

Market Cap Rises, Bitcoin Ebbs

After a brief bull run earlier this week that saw the price climb up to $24K, bitcoin slumped below $23,000. The downturn is attributed to Tesla’s disclosure that it had sold 75% of bitcoin under its possession and ECB’s announcement that interest rates would go up to combat inflation.

Yet, the broader crypto market cap returned to $1 trillion this week. At the time of writing, one bitcoin was worth $22,919.42, and the total market cap was $1,039,695,317,154.976.

Bitcoin Sold, Proceeds to Ukraine

Finland’s customs authorities have sold 1,889.1 bitcoin seized during narcotics busts and other raids before 2018, which were transferred to their control from court rulings. The proceeds, which amount close to $47 million, will be donated to Ukraine.

Zipmex Pauses Withdrawals

Zipmex, the Singapore based crypto exchange, became the latest digital assets platform to pause customer withdrawals. It cited a “combination of circumstances,” including volatile markets and financial difficulties of its business partners, as the reason behind this move. Following this announcement, the SEC of Thailand issued a letter to Zipmex seeking clarity on Zipmex’s AUM and how the deposited funds were used.

Skybridge Suspends Redemptions

Anthony Scaramucci’s Skybridge Capital suspended redemptions in its Legion Strategies fund. The fund took this action due to sharp declines in stocks and crypto, as harder to sell private companies that make up around 20% of the fund’s portfolio. 

Now WeWait

Flowcarbon, the blockchain based climate solutions provider founded by WeWork’s infamous co-founder Adam Neumann, which recently raised $70 million, has delayed its token launch. It claims to be waiting “for markets to stabilize.”

FBI Seizes Crypto Ransom

The US Department of Justice revealed that together with the FBI, they were able to thwart North Korean hackers who held a Kansas state hospital to ransom last year. They were also able to seize $500K in crypto ransom payments by analyzing public blockchain data.

Crypto Exchanges Raided

Seven crypto exchanges in South Korea, including Bithumb, Upbit, and Coinone, have been raided by prosecutors. The raids were in connection with the fraud case associated with the Terra USD algorithmic stablecoin collapse.

Influencer’s Social Media Accounts Hacked

NFT influencer Zeneca’s Twitter and Discord accounts were hacked to perpetrate a phishing scam. The compromised account announced a fake airdrop for Zeneca’s “Zen Academy Founders Pass,” asking the followers to connect their wallets to receive the tokens. 

Coinbase Ex Employee Accused of Insider Trading

The US Department of Justice and SEC have charged former Coinbase product manager Ishan Wahi and two others with insider trading. According to the authorities, Wahi and others made more than a million dollars trading privileged information.

Minecraft Bans Blockchain and NFTs

Microsoft owned studio Mojang, developer of the popular game Minecraft, announced this week that it will not permit using blockchain tech to be integrated into its client and server applications. It also stated that Minecraft’s in game content should not be used to create NFTs.

Premint to Pay Hack Victims

The NFT platform Premint, which suffered a hack where over 300 NFTs of its users were stolen, announced that it would be returning $500K in Ether to the victims. It also plans to acquire wallet security firm Vulcun to prevent such hacks in the future.

Phased Implementation of CBDC

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, is reportedly working on “phased implementation” of the digital rupee in both wholesale and retail segments. Furthermore, the RBI Act, 1934 has been amended to allow the central bank to pilot and issue CBDC.

Indonesia Working on CBDC Design

Indonesia central bank’s governor Perry Warjiyo has confirmed that the central bank is working on designing the digital rupiah and plans to release the design this year. It is currently focusing on cybersecurity features of the CBDC, which would be essential for cross border payments.

South Korea Postpones Crypto Tax

This week, the government of South Korea announced its 2022 tax reform approach. In which, the lawmakers mentioned that the implementation of the crypto earnings’ taxes would be postponed to 2025, from an earlier plan of 2023.

Ether Held in Exchanges Drops

Ether held on centralized exchanges has hit a four year low, with the bourses currently holding 19.09 million, an amount last seen in July 2018. In a week, the numbers have dropped by over 10%. This trend aligns with the significantly growing stakes in Ethereum 2.0, indicating that people are taking ether off the exchanges to stake them in the upcoming PoS network.

Xiaomi Files Blockchain Patent

The China based tech company Xiaomi has filed for a patent to implement blockchain technology to generate its own virtual characters. The patent specifies that the creation of these characters would be randomized by adding gene sequencing.

Coinbase Pauses Affiliate Program

According to certain leaked emails, crypto exchange Coinbase has temporarily suspended its affiliate marketing program. In letters sent to the social media influencers part of this program, Coinbase cites the bear market as the reason for the suspension.

Gemini and BlockFi Layoffs

Crypto exchange Gemini has reportedly axed close to 7% of its workforce, or 68 members, just weeks after it laid off 10% of its employees. Meanwhile, a month after letting go 20% of its staff, crypto lender BlockFi has initiated a voluntary separation program to reduce headcount while avoiding further layoffs.

Polygon Add zkEVM

Ethereum layer 2 platform Polygon launched zkEVM, a new Ethereum compatible scaling solution. zkEVM uses zero knowledge proofs and intends to outpace Visa’s transaction throughput.

Training on Mining

Mining and staking company Foundry has begun Foundry Academy to train people in bitcoin mining. This one week program starts with bitcoin fundamentals and goes up to mining rig troubleshooting and maintenance.

After Merge Comes…

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin revealed during the Ethereum Community Conference that with the upcoming merge, Ethereum 2.0 would be 40% complete. He also has the names for the milestones to come after the merge – The surge, the verge, the purge, and the splurge.

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