Blockchain This Week – Signature Fallout, Meta Insta NFTs, Bitcoin Climbs, Ark Invest

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FDIC Takes Control of Signature Bank

FDIC shut down New York based Signature Bank last Sunday, making it the third largest failure in US banking history. The bank had $110.36 billion in assets and $88.59 billion in deposits at the end of last year. However, all depositors of Signature Bank will be reimbursed, and there will be no losses for taxpayers, according to a joint statement by bank regulators and the US Treasury Department.

Crypto Firms’ Exposure to Signature Bank

Paxos holds $250 million at Signature Bank, with private deposit insurance exceeding its cash balance and FDIC per-account limits. Coinbase has around $240 million in corporate cash balance with Signature Bank. Okcoin temporarily lost its ability to allow US dollar deposits due to Signature Bank’s collapse. Meanwhile, the London based BCB Group paused its planned USD payments program, a joint initiative with Signature. Marathon Digital, though, could access $142 million in cash deposits held in the bank for treasury management purposes. Gemini, however, has no customer funds or GUSD at Signature Bank.

Meta Winds Down Insta NFT Project 

Barely a year after announcing its plans for Instagram NFTs, Meta, the parent company of Instagram, is pausing this digital collectibles initiative. Meta is focusing on other ways to support creators, people, and businesses, according to a tweet by Meta Commerce and Fintech lead Stephane Kasriel. 

Crypto Rallies

Bitcoin posted its best week since January 2021 after climbing above $27,000. With a weekly gain of 38.46%, bitcoin has recovered nearly all of its 2022 losses. Similarly, ether, too, rose more than 28% in the last seven days, making it its best weekly gain since August 2021. At the time of writing, bitcoin was rallying at $27,389.70, and ether was worth $1,810.20

Ark Private Crypto Fund

Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest has successfully raised more than $16 million for its newly launched crypto fund. The fund is split between a domestic and a Cayman Islands-based version as per the recent filings with the US SEC. The ARK Crypto Revolutions US Fund LLC garnered $7,281,630 from nine investors, while the ARK Crypto Revolutions Cayman Fund LLC raised $8,993,330 from one backer. Both funds were opened for investments on March 1.

Ark Invests in Block

Ark Invest purchased 92,165 Jack Dorsey’s Block shares worth about $6.4 million and added them to three of its funds. The Ark Innovation ETF received 77,991 of them, Ark Next Generation Internet added 13,170 shares, and Ark Fintech Innovation ETF added 1,004 shares. 

Hacked Via Google Sheets

PeopleDAO lost 76.5 ether, worth $120,000, to a social engineering hack that targeted its monthly contributor payout form on Google Sheets. The exploit was due to a combination of errors, including the accounting lead mistakenly sharing a link to the payout form with edit access to a public channel on the project’s Discord server. The hacker inserted their address and a 76.5 ETH payment to the sheet and made the row invisible.

Flash Loan Attack

Euler Finance, a DeFi protocol, has reportedly lost $197 million due to a flash-loan attack, as per security firms BlockSec and PeckShield. The attacker drained $136 million of staked ether (stETH), $34 million of USDC, $19 million of wrapped bitcoin (WBTC), and $8.7 million of DAI.

MetaMask Fixes Account Link Issue

Crypto wallet provider MetaMask has addressed the issue where all accounts within a wallet were being linked together while using crypto applications. Furthermore, it has also added new features, such as limiting the data sent to third party services and providing options for changing RPC providers.

.Polygon Addresses

Unstoppable Domains has partnered with Polygon Labs to release the domain ending with .polygon. The service allows using domain names as an alternative to long wallet addresses across 750 applications, games, and metaverses.

EU Data Act

The European Parliament has adopted legislation under the Data Act, which includes provisions on smart contracts falling under EU-wide regulation. While the laws aren’t explicitly aimed at the crypto industry, some worry about the far reaching effects on crypto if the scope isn’t clearly defined.

Fidelity Crypto Live

Fidelity’s crypto investment platform is now open to the public, allowing millions of users to invest in bitcoin and ether. The commission free app was previously only available to users on a waitlist, but now all new and existing customers have access. Fidelity Digital Assets will charge a spread of no more than 1% on bitcoin and ether transactions made through the app.

Salesforce To Manage NFTs

Salesforce has announced that it is expanding its services to include NFT loyalty programs through its new suite of products called Salesforce Web3. The platform will allow companies to build, manage and integrate NFTs into their businesses. It will also offer support for Web3 technologies through its customer service product Customer360.

JetBlue’s SAF Solution on Blockchain

JetBlue and Shell Aviation have partnered to provide 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the next two years. This program uses a blockchain solution called Avelia that allows corporate airline travelers to track their SAF usage and claim carbon saving benefits via a ‘book and claim’ system. The aim is to encourage more SAF sources to come online and generate greater consumer demand.

World ID

Worldcoin, co-created by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, has unveiled its World ID protocol and software development kit. The mobile tool, powered by zero knowledge cryptography, allows users to prove their identity without sacrificing anonymity. But it uses the controversial iris scanning Orb as the primary method of verification, though phone number verification is also available. It has partnered with manufacturing giant Jabil in Germany to increase production of its iris scanning Orbs. Worldcoin is preparing for its mainnet launch in the first half of 2023, with a target of 400 Orbs per month.

ARB Token

Arbitrum, a prominent Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution, is launching a coin called ARB. ARB would mark Arbitrum’s transition into a DAO that would enable ARB holders to vote on important decisions. The tokens will be airdropped to community members on March 23. Though 44% of the ARBs will go to investors and core contributors, Offchain Labs claims the most exciting part of the ARB token is decentralization.

Web3 Shorts

Ethereum’s developers have scheduled the “Shapella” upgrade, marking the completion of Ethereum’s transition to a POS network, for April 12.

Polygon spun off its modular blockchain project, Avail, as one founder Anurag Arjun departed and acquired the project.

Binance CEO CZ stated that the exchange intends to convert $1 billion from its Industry Recovery Initiative funds in BUSD to native crypto assets – bitcoin, ether, and BNB.

Stellar is integrating with Polkadot and Kusama by using the Spacewalk bridge to connect the two blockchain ecosystems with Steller’s fiat on ramps globally.

Web3 Investments

Brazil based web3 gaming studio Jungle raised $6 million in a seed funding round led by Bitkraft Ventures and Framework Ventures to develop a Web3 mobile shooter.

Digital Fashion House DressX closed a $15 million Series A round led by Greenfield Capital and will deploy the fund to boost VR and AR based virtual wearables.

A16z Crypto Startup School and Geometry co-led a funding round of an undisclosed amount that brought crypto wallet infra startup Capsule out of stealth.

Blockchain infra startup Smooth Labs secured $2 million in a seed funding round led by NGC Venture and plans to use the money to build a blockchain infrastructure that allows parallel transaction execution.

Crypto infra provider Orbs is set to raise $10 million in a token round from DWF Labs.

Stablecoin issuer CNHC, whose coin is pegged 1:1 to the offshore Chinese yuan, raised $10 million in a Series A+ funding round led by KuCoin Ventures.

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