Blockchain This Week – PayPal To Expand Crypto Services, Winamp In Web3, Chainlink Staking, FIFA NFTs, Ledger Stax

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PayPal Looks to Expand in Crypto

Payments giant PayPal is looking to expand its crypto services outside the US and the UK, with its first rollout soon to happen in Luxembourg. It could prove to be an opportunity for PayPal to offer crypto services in the other 26 countries in the EU block once the MiCA regulation comes into effect.

Winamp Goes Web3

The nostalgic music player of the 90s, Winamp, is now supporting Ethereum and Polygon based audio NFTs in its latest desktop update. Users can connect their MetaMask wallets on web browsers, Chrome, Firefox, and Brave to load music from their ERC 721 and 1155 tokens.

Chainlink Staking Live

Staking for decentralized oracle network Chainlink is live on Ethereum. Holders of Chainlink’s LINK token can stake them and contribute to the security of the network and receive rewards for doing so.

Coca Cola’s FIFA NFTs

Beverages giant Coca Cola is collaborating with Crypto.com to launch 10,000 football world cup NFTs. These NFTs are generated by tracking players’ movements in the games. The collection will be available on Crypto.com’s NFT platform and designed. by digital artist GMUNK.

Ledger Unveils Stax

Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger debuted its hardware wallet Ledger Stax this week. It resembles a smartphone yet is roughly the same size as a credit card and weighs about 45 grams. Ledger had tapped iPod creator Tony Fadell to design this $279 crypto device.

Digital Vinyl

Warner Music Group is partnering with Polygon, e-commerce platform LGND.io, and Dutch electronic music label Spinnin’ Records to launch LGND Music. Warner plans to see its digital music collectibles on LGND Music, starting Jan 2023, which will give customers access to some “special content” from their favorite artists.

Maple Finance Woes

The fallout of FTX collapse continues as Orthogonal Trading, whose funds are still stuck in FTX, ended up defaulting on $36 million of loans that it took from crypto lender Maple Finance. As a result, Nexus Mutual decided to divest from Maple Finance’s M11 Credit wETH pool. Nexus Mutual stands to lose $3 million on its investment in Maple Finance.

Waves DAO Framework

Waves blockchain is launching a new DAO governance architecture called “Power Protocol” in Jan 2023. This new framework will provide tools for DAOs to manage their network efficiently. Furthermore, Waves is planning an airdrop of native POWER tokens alongside the protocol’s launch.

ConsenSys Responds to Privacy Backlash

Two weeks after releasing its controversial privacy policy, ConsenSys is amending some of its data sharing practices and rebuilding MetaMask’s settings page to address user concerns. It stated that it would now only collect wallet and IP addresses when users broadcast their “write” transactions through Infura’s RPC endpoints.

More Layoffs

As the crypto winter and other adverse events roil the crypto industry, crypto companies continue laying off staff to stay afloat. This week, Australian crypto exchange Swyftx let go of 90 employees. Furthermore, crypto tax startup Koinly has cut 14% of its workforce. Meanwhile, Bybit plans to lay off 30% of its staff. At the same time, troubled crypto firm Amber Group is considering to cut its staff down from around 700 to less than 400.

Zodia’s Plan for Crypto Firm Insolvency

London based crypto custodian Zodia Custody launched a new service, Interchange, to offer clients an opportunity to protect their digital assets from crypto exchange insolvency. Users can keep their assets in Zodia Custody and only mirror them on the trading exchanges.

Fir Tree Sues Grayscale

A hedge fund, Fir Tree, has filed a lawsuit against Grayscale BTC Trust (GBTC), accusing it of mismanagement and stonewalling Fir Tree’s demand for answers. Fir Tree claims that there are “serious questions about Grayscale’s management of the Trust and reports of the liquidity crisis,” given GBTC’s relationship with Digital Currency Group and Genesis.

Blur Issues 50% Refund

A confusion inducing user interface (UI) could have possibly led a user to lose 70 ether on the NFT marketplace Blur. Blur has decided to issue a 50% refund to some customers presumably affected by misleading UI.

Nomad Bridge Reopens

Cross chain bridge Nomad, which was exploited for over $190 million in Aug, is restarting its operations. It is also offering partial refunds to affected users who complete the KYC verification via the crypto platform CoinList.

Free Swaps from USDT to USDC

Coinbase announced its plans to offer fee free swaps from Tether’s USDT to USDC stablecoin, of which it is a co-founder. Coinbase claims that since USDC is 100% backed by cash and regulated instruments, it is safer than Tether with dubious tokenomics.

Strike Enables Crypto Payments to Africa

Strike, the payments platform that uses the bitcoin lightning network, now allows its US users to send crypto instantly to Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana at low cost. This new “Send Globally” feature is built in partnership with African payments company Bitnob.

News Shorts

P2P payments platform Circle and publicly traded SPAC Concord Acquisition Corp mutually agreed to terminate their proposed business combination after the deal ran out of time.

Japanese banking giant SMBC is working with HashPort to trial soulbound tokens to verify user identities and behaviors.

ConstitutionDAO is back with version 2. ConstitutionDAO2 wants to buy a rare copy of the US constitution in the Sotheby’s sale slated for Dec 13.

A federal judge has authorized the 3AC liquidators to issue subpoenas to the firm’s co-founders, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies.

Sam Bankman Fried (SBF) has appointed high profile attorney Mark Cohen to represent him.

SBF is slated to testify at a congressional hearing on FTX collapse on Dec 13, as per the US House Committee on Financial Services.

Web3 Venture Financing

Uniswap based DeFi protocol Panoptic secured $4.5 million in a seed round funded by investors, including Uniswap Labs Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, and Jane Street.

Crypto accounting and compliance firm Bitwave raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Hack VC and Blockchain Capital.

Game development platform The Mirror raised $2.3 million in a pre-seed round led by Founders Fund.

NFT based decentralized video platform Shibuya secured $6.9 million in seed funding led by a16z and Variant.

NFT trading platform NF3 has raised $1.65 million in a seed round led by Infinity Ventures Crypto and Spartan Group.

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