Blockchain This Week – Web3 World Outside FTX, FTX Contagion Spreads

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It seems like, similar to last week, much of the crypto news this week was consumed by FTX. The distant rumblings of FTX collapse were replaced by its turbulent aftershocks. Instead of turning the spotlight on the once “white knight” of crypto’s undoing, this week, I will focus on web3 news besides FTX and SBF (though I will cover a few salient news items in the end).

Ethereum Climate Platform

During the Climate Conference, COP27, held this week, ConsenSys, with 18 firms, including Allinfra, Microsoft, Polygon, the EEA, and the GBBC, has launched the Ethereum Climate Platform (ECP). ECP is built on Ethereum and aims to compensate for the network’s PoW driven carbon emissions before The Merge.

Tamuwa and Tolam Earth Collaborate

In the same conference, Tolam Earth, a marketplace for high impact carbon offsets, and Tamuwa, Kenya’s largest biomass company, announced a partnership. They will collaborate on creating a marketplace for the CYNK Platform, Africa’s first verifiable emission reduction platform. The MOU also includes white labeling and customizing the CYNK Platform, and creating APIs to link them together.

Blockchain Registry for Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Energy Web Foundation and RMI are building a blockchain based registry for sustainable aviation fuel certificates (SAFc). Several big names, including Boeing, BoA, and Microsoft, are backing this initiative to promote the use of greener fuels.

US Banks’ Digital Dollar Pilot

New York Fed, along with Mastercard, Citigroup, and others, has launched a 12 week digital dollar pilot platform called the Regulated Liability Network (RLN). It would use blockchain to explore opportunities to improve financial settlement processes.

Australia Cancels Web3 Clearing System

After spending $168 million, Australia’s securities exchange (ASX) has canceled its much delayed blockchain based clearing system that was supposed to replace its outdated clearing house system (CHESS). The ASX states the decision was taken “in light of the solution uncertainty.”

Nike’s Swoosh

Sports brand Nike is launching .swoosh, a web3 platform that will allow Nike fans to collect and also create virtual shoes and other sports items. The website is currently in beta and will launch its first digital collection next year.

Renault’s Industrial Metaverse

Automaker Renault has built an industrial metaverse where digital twins of its production lines supply data to the real world. As per Renault, this initiative will enable it to save over $330 million by 2025 and reduce its carbon footprint.

Yuga Labs Donates CryptoPunk

Yuga Labs revealed its Punks Legacy Project initiative, where it plans to donate several CryptoPunks NFTs in a bid to attract museums interested in web3. The first CryptoPunk, Punk # 5, was bestowed to Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art.

Industry Recovery Fund

CZ Zhao, the CEO of crypto exchange Binance, tweeted his plans to launch an “industry recovery fund” to help projects that are strong yet in liquidity crisis due to others’ follies. He has welcomed qualifying projects to apply and asked for interested investors to co-invest.

Bitget and OKX Follow

Crypto exchange Bitget announced that it would increase its Protection Fund to $300 million to protect and assure crypto users. Similarly, the OKX exchange is contemplating a $100 “million market recovery fund,” to help “high quality” projects.

Crypto Exchanges Go Dark

The DeFi platform Uniswap website went down due to an issue with Cloudflare routing . Uniswap advised its users to use the IPFS link instead. Meanwhile, Gemini spooked its customers when its server went down  for less than an hour. It was disclosed later that an issue with AWS storage (EBS) where Gemini databases reside was the root cause.

Genesis In Crisis

The lending arm of the crypto investment bank Genesis Global Trading has new loan originations and redemptions after being severely affected by the FTX’s sudden collapse. It has also reportedly sought an emergency loan of $1 billion from investors.

Meanwhile, another Genesis – Genesis Block Trading ceased OTC trades for the same reason.

Gemini Pauses Earn Withdrawals

Winklevoss brothers’ Gemini exchange has paused withdrawals on its interest bearing Earn program accounts. It said that the Earn program is unable to meet the SLA of five days to meet customer redemption due to its lending partner Genesis Global suspending withdrawals.

FTX Write Offs

Canada’s third largest pension fund, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), has written down its entire investment in FTX. OTPP, which has close to $182 billion in net assets, has invested 0.05% of it in FTX. Crypto investment firm Paradigm has marked down its close to $290 million investment in companies tied to SBF to zero. Similarly, Singapore’s Temasek International wrote off up to $300 million, and Sequoia Capital wrote off $214 million. SoftBank Group Corp. is expected to lose $100 million on its investment.

Cutting Ties With FTX

Payments giant Visa has canceled its partnership with FTX, spelling an end to FTX branded Visa debit cards. Esports company TSM suspended its $210 million FTX partnership. Kraken, meanwhile, has frozen accounts owned by FTX Group, Alameda Research, and their executives.

Web3 Shorts

Tess Rinearson, Twitter’s crypto division head, has left the social media platform amid the mass exodus in the wake of Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter.

Binance.US is reportedly relaunching its bid to acquire bankrupt lending platform Voyager Digital. Binance had lost its last foray at buying Voyager to FTX.

USDT stablecoin issuer Tether is carrying out a chain swap to move 1 billion USDT from Solana to the Ethereum network.

India’s central bank, RBI, has selected eight banks, including SBI, ICICI, and HDFC, for the imminent retail CBDC trial hosted by National Payments Corporation (NPCI).

Wells Fargo and HSBC, who have already settled $200 billion worth of transactions on their blockchain based system, have expanded it to include the offshore yuan.

It was revealed last week that entertainment giant Sony had applied for a patent for an NFT based system that tracks in-game digital assets in 2021.

Binance launched the first in a series of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo themed NFT collections just days before the start of the soccer World Cup in Qatar.

El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele and Tron network’s founder Justin Sun plan to buy one bitcoin per day.

The Securities Commission of the Bahamas has appointed Kevin Cambridge and Peter Greaves of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as joint provisional liquidators to oversee the bankruptcy proceedings of FTX.

Web3 Venture Financing

Netherland based sustainability startup Circularise raised $11 million in a funding round led by Brightlands Venture Partners along with Asahi Kasei and Neste.

Matter Labs, the company behind Ethereum scaling zkSync, has secured $200 million in a Series C round led by Blockchain Capital and Dragonfly.

Lerer Hippeau and Lattice Capital co-led the $4.2 million seed round of Anode Labs, which intends to use the money to create a decentralized network that pays users for their energy storage assets.

Cardano blockchain creator IOG funded a $4.5 million research hub at the Edinburgh university.

Australian startup Arkon Energy raised $28 million in a funding round led by digital assets market maker Blue Sky Capital. Arkon also bought Hydrokraft AS, a Norwegian data center running on renewable energy at an undisclosed amount.

NFT fraud detection startup Yakoa closed a $4.8 million equity round co-led by Brevan Howard Digital, Volt Capital, and Collab+Currency.

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