Blockchain This Week – Amazon and Crypto, Cardano’s Djed, Binance Vs WazirX, A Week Full of Investments

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Amazon and Web3

Amazon is reportedly exploring several web3 avenues of late. They vary from layer 1 blockchains, NFTs, and web3 gaming, among others. Meanwhile, Amazon’s web service giant, AWS, is increasing its hiring in this space. But, in the latest earnings call, Amazon’s CFO, Brian Olsavsky, blamed changes in the crypto trading activity to the slowdown in AWS’ growth in this quarter. 

Cardano Stablecoin

After over a year in making, Cardano has finally released its USD pegged Djed stablecoin. Djed is backed by Cardano’s native ADA token. Within 24 hours of launch, Djed was overcollateralized as it had a backing of over 27 million ADA. Each Djed had six ADA coins supporting it.

Binance and WazirX

Binance and WazirX disputes continue as Binance said it had made an exception by inviting Zanmai Labs, which operates Indian crypto exchange WazirX, to figure out how it will withdraw WazirX customer assets held in Binance wallets. WazirX responded that it had begun the process of transferring from Binance to multi-sig wallets.

Retailers Join Hands for India CBDC Pilot

One of India’s largest retail chains, Reliance Retail, is working with Innoviti Technologies and banking partners Kotak Mahindra and ICICI to participate in India’s digital rupee pilot. Moreover, Indian Oil, Cafe Coffee, and several roadside vendors are reportedly gearing up to use in digital coins.

Orion Exploit

DeFi platform Orion Protocol suffered an exploit that saw the hacker(s) making off with around $3 million in digital assets locked in its smart contracts on Ethereum and BNB Chain. According to security firm PeckShield, it was a reentrancy attack. Orion Protocol CEO Alexey Koloskov claimed that only company funds were stolen, and the customers’ deposits were safe. 

BonqDAO and AllianceBlock Hack

In yet another heist, hackers managed to steal 114 million walbt, AllianceBlock’s wrapped native token, and 98 million beurs from BonqDAO, amounting to around $88 million. The attacker has already converted $1.2 million worth of walbt and beurs to ether and stablecoins.

Resignation Letter as an NFT

Satvik Sethi, a digital assets and blockchain products lead at Mastercard, resigned from his position this week. He cited low pay and poor working conditions as reasons for leaving. He minted his resignation letter as an NFT on the marketplace Manifold for 0.023 ether, stating, “100% of this goes to survival. This isn’t gambling money.”

Bitcoin Rewards Card

Binance and Mastercard have teamed up to launch the Bitcoin Rewards Card in Brazil. This new prepaid card allows customers to manage everyday purchases and pay bills in bitcoin and other cryptos across Mastercard’s 90 million strong merchant network. Furthermore, users get up to 8% cash back on select digital currencies.

Coinbase Adds Safety Features

Coinbase has added some safety features to its wallets. First is the transaction preview, which will inform the users how their balance will change after signing a transaction. Coinbase wallets will also highlight when a dApp is requesting approval to withdraw tokens, including NFTs, from the users’ wallets. Currently, these features are available on the Ethereum and Polygon networks.

Web3 Investments

Blockchain firm Simba Chain, which works on various US military projects, has received an additional $30 million from the US Air Force (USAF) as a part of the USAF’s efforts to advance technologies that can secure its future dominance.

Blockchain security firm Sec3 raised $10 million in the seed round led by Multicoin Capital.

Decentralized exchange Vest plans to launch a decentralized perpetual futures exchange on the Arbitrum network with the undisclosed amount raised in the seed round participated by Jane Street, QCP Capital, and many more investors.

VitaDAO, a DAO that funds research projects on longevity science, has secured $4.1 million in a token based round funded by Pfizer Ventures, Shine Capital, and others.

A billion dollar venture fund, Venom Ventures Fund, has made a strategic investment of $5 million in layer 1 Everscale blockchain. The money would be disbursed in stages depending on Everscale’s progress.

Web3 startup Addressable has raised $7.5 million in a seed round co-led by Viola Ventures and Fabric Ventures to improve marketing to anonymous crypto users.

Web3 gaming platform Oh Baby Games garnered $6 million in the seed round co-led by eGirl Capital and Synergis Capital.

Another web3 startup, Sovereign Labs, secured $7.4 million in a seed round led by Haun Ventures and intends to deploy the funds to help developers create new ZK rollups.

Giga Energy, a bitcoin mining infra startup that uses flared natural gas as a power source, has reportedly raised $10 million in Series A

Crypto miner closed a $9.2 million Series A funding round led by crypto asset management firm Haru Invest. has also secured an $18 million strategic investment.

Another bitcoin miner TeraWulf raised $32 million in a public equity offering and reached an in principle agreement with its existing lenders to restructure its debt.

Hack VC led the $4.9 million seed round of Archimedes, an upcoming DeFi lending and borrowing protocol that promises sustained higher returns on investment.

A yet-to-launch Ethereum re-staking protocol EigenLayer has reportedly raised $50 million in Series A.

Web3 social data platform Port3 Network has secured $3 million in a seed round led by KuCoin Ventures. It plans to build a web3 social data portal with the money.

Web3 Shorts

Crypto firm Protocol Labs has laid off 21% of its employees, thereby reducing 89 roles across the teams. Founder Juan Benet blamed the “challenging economic downturn” for the decision.

Popular role playing game Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast has bowed down to the game’s fans and content creators and retracted their decision to update the Open Game License to prohibit several derivative products, including NFTs.

Troubled crypto miner Core Scientific plans to hand over 27,403 mining machines, about 18% of its total rigs, to lender NYDIG in return for canceling $38.6 million in debt.

Web3 community NounsDAO is creating a comic book series, “Nouns: Nountown,” with a narrative around its Nouns NFTs. Titan Comics and ComicsDAO are collaborating with NounsDAO on this initiative.

Ronin Network has partnered with crypto lender MetaLend to enable players of the play to earn game, Axie Infinity, to borrow against their digital assets and also stake their assets for rewards.

According to its US SEC filing, Tesla took a $204 million impairment charge and lost over $140 million in investing in bitcoin in 2022.

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