Blockchain This Week – Plaid, Flipverse, Mastercard Bridge, 1 BTC Block in 85 Minutes, EU’s Energy Labeling for Blockchain, Interpol Enters Metaverse

Image Credits: FireDrops and Flipverse from Flipkart
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Image Credits: FireDrops and Flipverse from Flipkart

Plaid in Web3

Open banking fintech firm Plaid has stepped into Web3 with its first product – Wallet Onboard. With Wallet Onboard, developers can integrate with over 300 Ethereum wallets seamlessly instead of building separate integrations with each one.

Flipkart Launches Flipverse

One of the largest Indian e-commerce platforms, Walmart backed Flipkart, launched a trial of its metaverse, called “Flipverse.” It has partnered with Polygon based eDAO to give customers a physical shopping experience in the virtual world. The pilot will run for a week, from Oct 17 to 23.

Mastercard to Help Banks With Crypto

Payments giant Mastercard is launching a program to help financial institutions to offer crypto services to their clients. Mastercard intends to be the “bridge” between the banks and Paxos, its crypto partner. Mastercard will also handle the regulatory compliance and security aspects.

A BTC Block Clogs Network

Earlier this week, it took 85 minutes, instead of the usual ten, to mine a block of bitcoin (BTC). As a result, over 13,000 transactions were stuck in the Mempool (memory pool), waiting to get confirmed.

EU’s Energy Efficiency Label

The European Union will soon develop energy efficiency labeling for blockchains. This move is part of the broader plans to cap the energy consumption in the ICT sector.

Interpol’s Police Metaverse

Interpol has unveiled its own virtual world, which is a facsimile of the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France. Here, registered users can interact with officers via their avatars. They can also take immersive trainings in forensic investigation and others.

Lord of the Rings NFTs

Warner Brothers have teamed up with NFT company Eluvio to launch the NFTs of the 2001 iconic movie “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” at web3.wb.com. These NFTs are a gateway to several perks, including a 4K copy of the film, behind the scene footage, and much more.

Cricket Legend’s NFTs

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar is entering the Web3 world with a strategic investment in the digital collectibles platform rario.com. Furthermore, the iconic moments of his life and career will be captured as NFTs and available exclusively on Rario.

Texas Blocks FTX-Voyager Deal

The Securities Board and Texas Department of Banking are seeking to delay FTX’s purchase of bankrupt Voyager Digital’s assets, claiming non compliance with state laws. Documents filed reveal that the state alleges that FTX and Voyager are running money transfer businesses but lack requisite licenses.

Australia Regulator Bans Crypto Sales

Australia’s financial regulator, ASIC, has suspended crypto asset manager Holon Investments from offering bitcoin, ether, and filecoin for 21 days. The decree seeks to protect retail investors from a “risky and speculative” asset class.

Société Générale Crypto Services

SG Forge, the crypto division of French banking giant Société Générale has got the regulatory nod  from France’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). Consequently, it can offer crypto custody and trading services.

Ripple Begins Sidechain Testing

Ripple’s EVM compatible sidechain that allows developers to deploy Ethereum Smart Contracts effortlessly on the XRP blockchain is live on the platform’s devnet. It is the first of the three step process to add the EVM sidechain to the XRP mainnet.

BitKeep Swap Hacked

Crypto wallet BitKeep’s Swap service was hacked, resulting in a loss of over $1 million in BNB Chain and Polygon based tokens. BitKeep has launched a redemption website  with a promise to compensate the victims fully. Meanwhile, this hacker too promptly moved their loot through the Tornado Cash crypto mixer.

Lost and Found

A Celo based lending protocol, Moola Market, was hacked, with the perpetrator making away with $8.4 million. The attacker then returned $7.8 million of the stolen funds to the Moola wallet. Meanwhile, a hacker stole $300,000 worth of OHM tokens from DeFi protocol Olympus DAO, which too was returned after a deal was brokered.

Aptos’ Disputed Tokenomics

The newly launched controversial blockchain Aptos was already facing community ire due to the amount of native APT tokens held by private investors. Adding to that, Aptos has revealed that the coins held by private investors are locked up for 12 months, and the entire circulating supply will be released in the next ten years.

US Regulators Probe 3-Arrows Capital

The US CFTC and SEC are launching a probe into the Singapore based bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. They are looking into whether the firm deliberately misled the investors on the strength of its balance sheets.

New DCCPA Bill Draft Excludes Developers

The new draft of the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA) excludes software developers from being considered as commodity brokers. It means the tax reporting requirement that is mandatory for other crypto stakeholders would not apply to the developers.

Terra Revival Proposal

The developers of the once glorious Terra blockchain have disclosed a four year plan to revive the Luna ecosystem. Termed “Terra Expedition,” the proposal includes incentivizing developers and growing user activities.

News Shorts

Cameron Winklevoss, the co-founder of Gemini crypto exchange, stepped down from Gemini Europe’s board of directors last week.

TempleDAO exploiter who stole over $2.3 million last week has laundered the complete booty using Tornado Cash mixer.

Meta has joined the 59 member MPC Alliance, a nonprofit group focused on cryptographic privacy and security.

Ethereum’s next upgrade, Shanghai, now has a testnet dubbed Shandong that allows developers to test upcoming phases of the platform.

The Telegram messaging app will soon launch a username auction platform on TON blockchain.

To further help the troubled crypto mining sector, Binance announced its plans to offer crypto mining as a service on cloud starting next month.

Fidelity will allow its institutional clients to trade ether on its crypto platform from Oct 28.

VC firm a16z’s Chris Dixon announced the company’s initiative to launch a new accelerator program for crypto entrepreneurs in Los Angeles next March.

The US Income Tax agency IRS has issued 2022 tax guidelines where it categorizes NFTs under the same tax regime as crypto and stablecoins.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s decentralized social media platform, Bluesky, announced its rechristened Authenticated Transport (AT) Protocol  and released documentation on the project.

US Major League Baseball is hiring people in the Web3 space to expand its presence in NFT, digital games, and metaverse.

Web3 Venture Financing

Web3 fashion and lifestyle platform Yoloyolo has raised $3.5 million in a seed funding  round backed by investors, including ParaFi Capital, Mirana Ventures, and Morningstar Ventures.

Web3 Builders Inc, a new Web3 security startup, secured $7 million in seed funding from investors, including the VC arm of OpenSea, Road Capital, and Sparkle Ventures. Alongside, it launched TrustCheck, a free scam prevention tool for crypto, Smart Contracts, and NFTs.

Shardeum, a layer 1 blockchain by Nishcal Shetty, the co-founder of India’s WazirX crypto exchange, closed an $18.2 million seed funding round that saw over 50 investors, including Jane Street, Struck Crypto, and the Spartan Group.

Web3 infra provider ChainSafe secured $18.75 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round led by Round13.

Polkadot based synthetic asset protocol Tapio raised $4 million in a seed round led by Polychain, Hypersphere, and Arrington.

Stardust, the Web3 gaming developer tools provider, raised $30 million in a Series A funding round led by Framework Ventures alongside Acrew Capital, Blockchain Capital, and Distributed Global.

Solana infra startup Helius closed a $3.1 million seed round led by Reciprocal Ventures and Chapter One.

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