Blockchain This Week – Japanese Metaverse Zone, Solana Outage, Visa and Mastercard Crypto Plans, Shappella, Silvergate

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Japanese Metaverse Economic Zone

Fujitsu and Mitsubishi are working together to develop a blockchain based “Japanese Metaverse Economic Zone.” To allow the usage of virtual goods and money across various virtual contexts, the firms seek to build a shared platform and standards.

Solana Outage

The Solana network went down over the weekend, and took two attempts to bring it back up. The reason for the outage is reportedly still unknown.

Visa and Mastercard Crypto Plans

Reuters reported earlier this week that Mastercard and Visa had put their crypto partnership plans on hold due to several troublesome events in the space. But Visa contradicted this report and ascertained that the firm remains committed to its crypto strategy, despite the recent failures in the sector.

Trezor to Produce Model T chip

Trezor, a popular hardware wallet provider, announced that it has taken over the production of its Model T chips in-house. The move is expected to increase the company’s production capacity. It would also allow for more customization and control over the security of its devices.

Silvergate Plummets

Crypto bank Silvergate admitted to the US SEC that it may be “less than well-capitalized” and said it was “reevaluating its business.” This revelation led to several crypto firms, including Coinbase, Circle, and Paxos, severing ties with Silvergate. Silvergate stock plummeted 50% within hours of the news. Meanwhile, Moody’s downgraded Silvergate’s credit rating for the second time in less than two weeks. Finally, Silvergate suspended its Silvergate Exchange Network as a part of what it called a “risk-based decision.”

IMF Says Crypto Ban Is Not “Off the Table”

As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), banning crypto should still be considered as a possible course of action. The IMF, though, added that the pros and cons of crypto regulation should be considered before a decision is taken.


This week, Ethereum developers succeeded in launching the Shanghai-Capella (Shapella) upgrade on the Sepolia testnet. With it, the EIP 4895 proposal, which aims to allow users to withdraw validator stakes, was successfully deployed to Sepolia.


Yuga Labs, the creator of the popular NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club, has launched a new collection called “TwelveFold.” TwelveFold is a collection of 300 generative art pieces placed on a 12×12 grid. Yuga Labs calls it “a visual allegory for the cartography of data on the Bitcoin blockchain.” This collection will be minted on the Bitcoin based Ordinals protocol.

DCG Lost $1.1B in 2022

Crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group (DCG) reported a net loss of $1.1 billion in 2022 due to challenging market conditions. At the end of the year, DCG held cash and cash equivalents of just over $262 million. Investment assets amounted to $670 million.

New Metaverse Sports Experience

Deloitte and Sinclair Broadcast Group are jointly launching a new metaverse sports fan community experience. They are using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to enhance the ways fans connect and engage with the content they love.

Safe’s Core

Blockchain platform Safe launched a new development stack called “Core” in collaboration with Stripe and Gelato. Core is an open source stack to make it simple to develop and manage the “smart contracts” by separating the functionality from externally owned accounts.

Gamium Surges

Metaverse platform Gamium announced that it is partnering with Meta and Telefonica on the Metaverse Activation Program. This initiative aims to help scale Web3 startups. In response to this news, Gamium’s native token GMM surged 340%.

Polygon ID

Polygon, a popular Ethereum scaling solution, has launched a new web3 ID service called Polygon ID. This service can authenticate users without revealing personal data. The developers say it could be beneficial for KYC checks.

Coinbase News

Coinbase launched an online petition as a part of its campaign to advance pro-crypto policy in all 435 US congressional districts. Furthermore, it is buying crypto asset manager One River Digital Asset Management for an undisclosed sum. Finally, it plans to suspend trading of Binance USD (BUSD) on March 13 as it states BUSD no longer meets its listing standards.

Web3 Shorts

Web3 sports token platform Chiliz is starting a $50 million incubator program under the auspices of Jump Crypto, which will support early stage projects in the sports and entertainment sector building on the Chiliz blockchain.

Robinhood Markets revealed in its most recent 10-K filing that it was subpoenaed by the US SEC last December.

At a hearing in the Singapore High Court, crypto lender Vauld received another extension to its legal protection from creditors, this time until March 24.

Twitch streamer Kyle Jackson a.k.a Mongraal, who won a digital key in the Yuga Labs game Dookey Dash has sold it for 1,000 ether ($1.6 million).

Twenty five of the Algorand wallet MyAlgo were exploited for $9.6 million, after which Algorand advised users to withdraw funds from their wallets.

Crypto project Volt Inu released the alpha version of its NFT based online multiplayer game, Battle royale.

Crypto custodian Finoa received three license approvals from Germany’s financial regulator BaFin.

The US SEC has charged former FTX Director of Engineering Nishad Singh for being an active participant in defrauding investors.

401(k) provider ForUsAll plans to allow employees to allot a part of their 401(k) directly into 28 crypto constituents of the CoinDesk Market Select Index (CMIS).

The French National Assembly voted in favor of new licensing rules for crypto firms to align with broader EU regulations.

Bitcoin miner Marathon canceled its fourth quarter earning call as it claims to have been notified of “accounting errors” going back as far as 2021 and intends to correct them.

Web3 Investments

Ether.Fi raised $5.3 million in the funding round led by North Island Ventures and Chapter One to further its cause to decentralize staking.

To build its order book based decentralized exchange, Mangrove raised $7.4 million in a Series A round led by Cumberland and Greenfield Capital.

Term Labs closed a $2.5 million round led by Electric Capital to bring its fixed rate offering product to crypto customers.

HV Capital and 1kx led the $7 million seed funding round of Impossible Cloud, which is seeking money to decentralize cloud storage.

Layer 1 blockchain Conflux raised $10 million in a token round from DWF Labs, which caused its native token to jump 9.3%.

NFT and metaverse startup Orange Comet raised $7 million in an equity funding round.

NFT finance protocol Insrt Labs raised $2.2 million in a pre-seed round led by Hashkey Capital and Infinite Capital.Redeem secured $2.5 million in a pre-seed round led by Kenetic to enable users to transfer their NFTs over text messages.

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