Blockchain This Week – Google and Crypto, BNY Mellon Crypto, BNB Hard Fork, NYDIG Layoff, Growing Exploits

Image Credit: NanoStockk from iStock
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Google Partners With Coinbase

In Google’s Cloud Next conference this week, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian announced that Google would start accepting crypto payments for its cloud services starting early next year. Initially rolled out for its Web3 customers, this payment option would be made possible via integration with crypto exchange Coinbase. Furthermore, Google will also use Coinbase Prime, Coinbase’s custody service.

Find Out Ethereum Wallet Balance With Google

Google seems to have quietly added a new feature to its search engine, which enables users to search for an Ethereum address and get the wallet’s ether balance. The data is generated from Ethereum block explorer Etherscan.

BNY Mellon Offers Crypto Custody

The oldest lender in the US, BNY Mellon, is now offering crypto custodian services to traditional fund managers looking to hold digital assets. It had secured approval from financial regulators earlier this year to provide bitcoin and ether custody.

BNB Executes Hard Fork

Binance Chain (BNB) executed a hard fork this week at block height 22,107,423 to secure the network after last week’s $100 million exploit. It patched a critical vulnerability and secured the cross chain infra between BNB Beacon and Smart Chain.

NYDIG Sacks 30% of Staff

Crypto trading company NYDIG has reportedly laid off more than 100 people in the past several weeks. This number amounts to 30% of its staff.

A $100M Hack

A hacker managed to steal over $100 million from Mango Markets, a crypto trading platform on Solana. The attacker exploited the price of the native MANGO token by manipulating a price oracle.

QANplatform Exploit

“Quantum resistant” blockchain QANplatform suffered a cross chain bridge exploit that saw the attacker making away with $2 million worth of tokens in three withdrawals. The project has since paused trading on both centralized and decentralized exchanges.

Temple DAO Hacked

DeFi protocol Temple DAO lost $2.3 million, 4% of its $56.93 million TVL, to an exploit this week. The hacker converted all the stolen funds to ether and transferred them to a fresh wallet.

Hacker Gets Bounty for Returning Funds

A hacker, who goes by the moniker “White hat #1”, will return over 10,000 BNB worth close to $2.7 million, stolen from a crypto project, Transit Swap. Transit Finance, which runs the Transit Swap platform, announced that the hacker will return the money in two tranches of 6,500 BNB and 3,500 BNB each and will keep 2,500 BNB as a bounty.

CNN Pulls Plug on Web3

CNN abruptly pulled the plug from its NFT experiment called Vault, leaving the collectors who bought NFTs from Vault in the lurch. Though CNN announced a partial refund of the initial mint price of the NFTs, the buyers are demanding full reimbursement.

FTX V2 Coming in November

A new and improved version of the FTX order matching engine is slated for launch on Nov 21, 2022. This release will address the complaints of FTX customers, who find the current matching engine slow. The FTX V2 order matching engine is believed to reduce latency by 50%.

TrueFi Issues Default Notice to Blockwater

Collateral free lending platform, TrueFi, has issued a default notice to a South Korean investment firm Blockwater, after the latter failed to make a scheduled payment on Oct 6. Blockwater had taken a $3.4 million loan in BUSD stablecoin, of which $2.96 million is yet to be repaid.

Bittrex Settles Charges

Crypto exchange Bittrex has agreed to pay $53 million in settlement to the US Treasury AML regulators. It is paying $24 million to Treasury’s OFAC and $29 million to FinCEN for violating federal sanctions and having a poor compliance program between 2014 and 2017.

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Skyrockets

Earlier this week, the mining difficulty of bitcoin rose 14% to a new all time high of 35.6 trillion. This hike was the single largest since May when it climbed by 22%. Meanwhile, the bitcoin price fell below the $19K mark following the higher than expected CPI report.

RBI’s Plan for E-Rupee

India’s central bank, RBI, released a paper where it delineates the plan to launch its version of a CBDC, named e-rupee. RBI plans to test it in three distinct phases and intends to issue the e-rupee as an additional form of currency.

Bitcoin Miner Told to Shut Down Operations

The city of Niagara Falls in New York has ordered bitcoin miner Blockfusion to shut down its operations because it allegedly violated the city’s zoning code. Bit Digital, a mining firm that hosts some of Blockfusion’s machines in Niagara Falls, received the ‘cease and desist’ notice last week.

HUSD Gets Delisted, Loses Peg

Earlier this week, crypto exchange Huobi Global delisted 21 trading pairs of HUSD, a stablecoin commonly associated with it. It resulted in HUSD losing its parity with the US dollar and falling close to $0.90 before springing back up to $0.98.

Coinbase Gets Singapore License

Singapore’s central bank, the MAS, has granted the crypto exchange Coinbase in principle approval, to operate in the country. Coinbase has secured a DPT license to start digital payments service in Singapore.

Ripple Inks New Deals

Crypto platform Ripple has signed two new deals for its “On-Demand Liquidity” system. First, it has signed up Lemonway, a regulated payments provider for online marketplaces based out of Paris. Next, it has inked a contract with Xbaht, a Swedish money transfer service.

News Shorts

The US SEC is reportedly investigating Bored Ape creator Yuga Labs over the alleged securities violations during the BAYC sale and distribution of ApeCoin.

Crypto investment product firm 21Shares has launched a bitcoin ETP in the Middle East, which will list on Nasdaq Dubai.

The US SEC has yet again rejected an application for a spot bitcoin ETF, this time Cboe BZX Exchange’s WisdomTree bitcoin spot ETF.

Offchain Labs, the company behind Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution Arbitrum, has purchased Prysmatic Labs and acquired its core Ethereum software development teams.

JP Morgan Chase and Visa are linking their respective blockchain networks, Liink and B2B Connect. B2B Connect will use Confirm, a tool from Liink, to validate new accounts.

Web3 Venture Funds

DeFi startup Arch raised $5 million to make investing in DeFi more accessible. This oversubscribed seed round was co-led by Digital Currency Group and Upload Ventures.

E-commerce API platform Rye closed a $14 million funding round led by the crypto arm of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Rye plans to eventually decentralize the API on Solana.

The Stellar Development Foundation has bestowed the smart-contract platform Soroban with a $100 million adoption fund to build on the Stellar network.

Crypto lending platform Moon Mortgage raised a $3.5 million seed round to allow investors to use crypto as collateral for real estate investments.

SettleMint closed an oversubscribed €16 million Series A round co-led by Molten Ventures and OTB Ventures. SettleMint plans to enhance its web3 low code platform with the fund.

Blockchain developer platform Tatum has secured $41.5 million in a funding round led by Evolution Equity Partners.

Blockchain indexer and private search engine provider Nxyz closed a $40 million Series A round led by Paradigm.

Web3 wallet company Zerion raised $12.3 million in the Series B round led by crypto market maker Wintermute. Zerion plans to build a cross chain identity and data transfer product.

Uniswap Labs closed a $165 million Series B round led by Polychain Capital, which brings its valuation to $1.66 billion.

NFT startup Otterspace secured $3.7 million in a funding round led by Cherry Crypto and Inflection, which it plans to use to “definancialize” Web3.

VC firms Accel and Quona led an $18 million round of the DeFi investment app Pillow.

Crypto custodian Copper has raised $196 million in Series C. The funds included $181 million in fresh capital and a convertible $15 million loan note.

Binance Pool started a $500 million fund to support public and private miners affected by crypto winter.

Image Credit: NanoStockk from iStock

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