Blockchain This Week – Unicorn Unstoppable, Crypto Dips and Rises, Solitaire Sudoku To Pay Bitcoin

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Unstoppable Domains Attains Unicorn Status

Unstoppable Domains, the startup that creates Web3 domains via NFTs, raised a $65 million Series A round, which brought its valuation to $1 billion. The round was led by Pantera Capital and included Polygon, CoinGecko, and others. The funding will go into further product growth and building partnerships.

Crypto Sinks and Rises

Ahead of the US Fed meeting that anticipated an interest rate hike of 75 basis points, the overall crypto market slumped below the $1 trillion market cap earlier this week. Shares of several companies that have crypto exposure, such as Coinbase and MicroStrategy, were hit

The market, however, rebounded later in the week, with coins such as Ethereum Classic, BNB, and Solana leading the pack. This spring back eventually led to the liquidation of over $202 million bitcoin and ether short positions.

Play Sudoku, Earn Bitcoin

Bitcoin payments operator Zebedee has teamed up with the mobile games studio Viker to bring bitcoin to classic games, such as Solitaire, Sudoku, and Missing Letters. They plan to reintroduce these nostalgic games with rewards in bitcoin.

PepsiCo’s Closed Loop Recycling Using Blockchain

PepsiCo is collaborating with six European startups, including Security Matters, which uses blockchain for waste management. PepsiCo will use Security Matters’ invisible marker tech to sort and pack waste, which enables it to track closed loop recycling and verify sustainability claims.

Solana IRL Store

Solana Spaces, in collaboration with Solana Foundation, is launching a physical store in New York. People visiting this store will learn about Solana and Web3 and set up their first wallet and NFTs.

El Salvador FM Says Bitcoin Adoption Is Growing

Alejandro Zelaya, the finance minister of El Salvador, says bitcoin adoption is “gaining ground,” and it has benefited the country’s unbanked community. Meanwhile, President Nayib Bukele, who stated that the country’s finances are strong, has sent two bills to congress to get the funding to buy back the country’s bonds.

Nirvana Flash Loan Attack

Nirvana Finance, the Solana based DeFi protocol, suffered a loss of $3.5 million when an attacker carried out a flash loan attack to manipulate and drain its liquidity pools. As a result, the price of its native ANA token fell by over 80%. Its NIRV stablecoin lost its dollar peg and was worth close to a cent at the time of writing.

Audius Gets Hacked

Last weekend, close to $1.1 million worth of native Audio tokens were stolen from the decentralized music platform Audius. According to the post mortem report, audited contracts were compromised due to a bug in the contract’s initialization code, which allowed the hacker to invoke the “initialize” function repeatedly.

Ethereum Shadow Fork

This week, the Ethereum proof of stake network executed its tenth shadow fork 26 hours ahead of schedule. This fork is a dry run for code updates that will occur when Ethereum’s final testnet Goerli transitions to the PoS model on August 11.

US Crypto Bills

Multiple crypto related bills came before the US Congress this week. First, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) proposed an amendment to the federal budget bill that would give the treasury department an additional $3 million to invest in blockchain analysis tools and fight crypto crimes.

Next, a bipartisan bill was introduced by Patrick Toomey (R-PA) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), which seeks to eliminate taxes on crypto transactions under $50. Finally, the US bill intended to boost chip manufacturing also recommends recruiting a crypto and blockchain adviser who will work with the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

SEC Probes Coinbase

Crypto exchange Coinbase is facing yet another probe from the US SEC. The SEC is investigating if Coinbase allowed US citizens to trade digital assets without registering them as securities. Consequently, Coinbase shares dropped over 21%.

Titanium CEO Pleads Guilty

According to the press release from the US Justice Department (DOJ), Michael Stollery, CEO of Titanium Blockchain Infrastructure Services, has pleaded guilty to carrying out a fraudulent ICO in 2018. The DOJ accuses that the ICO, which raised $21 million from the US and overseas investors, was neither registered with the SEC nor exemptions obtained. 

Babel Loses $280M User Funds

Hong Kong based crypto lender Babel Finance has reportedly lost 8,000 bitcoin and 56,000 ether of customers, cumulatively worth over $280 million in June when crypto markets plunged to 18 month low. At the moment, Babel is considering converting hundreds of millions of debt into equity to obtain a revolving credit to raise funds.

CZ Sues Bloomberg HK

Binance CEO CZ is suing Bloomberg Businessweek’s Hong Kong publisher Modern Media and its affiliated Twitter and Facebook accounts. He is seeking damages for the publication’s usage of a phrase that translates to “Zhao Changpeng’s Ponzi Scheme” in an online article and subsequently in Twitter and Facebook posts.

Yuga Labs Threatened With Lawsuit

The law firm Scott+Scott is putting together a class action suit against Yuga Labs. It will accuse Yuga labs of falsely promoting BAYC NFTs and ApeCoin as securities with guaranteed returns, while in reality, the value of these digital tokens has significantly dropped over the last three months.

Treasury Department Investigates Kraken

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is probing crypto exchange Kraken. It alleges that Kraken violated sanctions imposed on Iran and allowed its customers in Iran and other unauthorized countries to use the platform despite the ban.

Chia Reissues Tokens

The energy efficient blockchain platform Chia Network is set to reissue its token following a security audit by auditor Trail of Bits. The audit has reportedly revealed potential security weakness, which has prompted Chia to discontinue its current token CAT1, and issue an upgraded CAT2 token. 

Immutable Layoffs

Crypto Game studio Immutable announced a fresh set of layoffs that affected 6% of the company’s workforce. The developers working on the crypto game Gods Unchained are said to be the ones let go.

KuCoin Offers NFT ETFs

Crypto exchange KuCoin is offering ETFs that give fractional ownership of five blue chip NFT collections, including that of BAYC. These ETF products, which are denominated in USDT, are issued in collaboration with Fracton Protocol.

Schwab To List Crypto ETF

Wealth management giant Schwab Asset Management will list its first crypto based ETF on the NYSE on August 4. This ETF will give the investors exposure to firms involved in crypto mining, trading, and brokerage services.

Tokyo Uni Offers Metaverse Courses

The University of Tokyo plans to offer some engineering courses that would enable the students to use their engineering knowledge to handle metaverse. These courses are expected to commence later this year.

B.I.G NFTs

The Christopher Wallace Estate, managers of the now deceased rapper The Notorious B.I.G’s music and unreleased archives, dropped a collection of 3,000 NFTs via the NFT platform, Oneof. These NFTs, which were sold out in ten minutes, give their owners the licensing rights to the audio of a previously unreleased B.I.G freestyle.

Chipotle’s Buy The Dip

Mexican restaurant Chipotle is back with another crypto infused game called “Buy The Dip.” Besides getting promo codes for 1 cent guacamole and 1 cent queso blanco, this interactive game also gives players a chance to earn $200,000 in bitcoin, ether, solana, avalanche, and dogecoin. This online game is open till July 31.

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