Blockchain This Week – Crypto Partnerships, Twitter and Doge, US Treasury’s DeFi Risk Report, CBDC for Carbon Credits

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OKX joins Copper’s ClearLoop

OKX exchange has partnered with crypto custodian Copper’s ClearLoop platform. The joint venture would allow their institutional clients to hold assets within the custody firm while delegating them to trade on OKX’s platform. 

TradeFi Banks’ Digital Bonds Platform

French Credit Agricole CIB and Swedish SEB banks are collaborating to create a blockchain based platform for digital bonds. It will enable companies to raise capital and manage securities through smart contracts, with the aim of improving efficiency and real time data synchronization.

Trio Crypto Firms Merge 

WonderFi, Coinsquare, and CoinSmart are set to merge and create one of the largest crypto trading platforms globally. Together, they would have 1.65 million users and more than $600 million in assets under custody.

Twitter’s Doge Tease

Earlier this week, Twitter users were in for a pleasant or a rude surprise when a Shibu Inu icon welcomed them on the social media platform’s website instead of the familiar blue bird. Though the appearance was sudden and lacked any clarification from Twitter’s side, it didn’t take long for the crypto frenzy to pump the price of Dogecoin by at least 35%. But, as suddenly as it appeared, the mysterious Dogecoin logo disappeared and the classic blue bird was back. Dogecoin faced the brunt and dropped as much as 9%.

US Treasury Evaluates DeFi Risk

The US Treasury Department released its first risk assessment report on decentralized finance (DeFi). It highlights the use of DeFi services by cybercriminals and illicit actors such as the DPRK to transfer and launder their illegal proceeds. The report emphasizes that DeFi services subject to the Bank Secrecy Act fail to comply with AML/CFT obligations.

Carbon Credit Trading with CBDC

ANZ Bank has completed the first carbon credit trading as a part of Australia’s CBDC pilot. It has partnered with Grollo Carbon Ventures to tokenize real world ACCUs and use ANZ’s stablecoin (A$DC) to purchase them.

Bitcoin White Paper on Mac

Since 2017, someone has hidden a PDF copy of the Bitcoin white paper inside every copy of MacOS shipped. The PDF can be found within the Image Capture Utility and can be accessed via a function called Virtual Scanner II. The reason behind its inclusion remains a mystery, but some speculate it may have been an internal act of defiance against Craig Wright’s attempts to copyright the white paper.

OPNX Fizzles

OPNX, the new crypto exchange of Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, remembered as founders of the now defunct 3AC hedge fund, launched this week. Su and Kyle also announced the giveaway of its native FLEX token. The trade was, however, lackluster, with its 24 hour volume being a measly 13 dollars and 64 cents.

CZ Rumors

Binance has denied reports that claimed CEO CZ is facing a Red Notice request from Interpol for his arrest. The rumors were spread by crypto Twitter personality ‘Cobie,’ which caused the price of Binance’s BNB token and the broader market to drop. However, a spokesperson for Binance has confirmed that the rumor is false.

Binance Australia Derivatives’ License Canceled

In response to Binance’s request for action, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission canceled Binance Australia Derivatives’ financial services license. From April 14, Binance users will no longer be able to increase derivatives positions or open new positions, and clients will need to close any existing derivatives positions before April 21.

MEV Bots Exploit

MEV bots suffered a loss of over $25 million due to a sophisticated exploit that replaced regular transactions with malicious ones, resulting in the theft of over $25 million. The attacker deposited 32 ETH to become a validator 18 days before the incident and waited until their turn to propose a block. When they got the chance, they created a new block containing their malicious transactions to drain assets. But, Flashbots, developers of the primary MEV software used on Ethereum, MEV-Boost, has responded with a fix to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

Euler’s Happy Ending

In a rare display of atonement in the DeFi space, the person behind the $197 million hack of Euler Finance has returned the remaining sum of $31 million. Euler Labs confirmed the successful recovery of the funds, which comprised of 10,580 ETH and $12 million in DAI.

Bitcoin’s Twin

Dfinity Foundation has issued ckBTC, a cost efficient and liquid token backed on a 1:1 basis with Bitcoin. ckBTC brings layer 2 capabilities to Bitcoin without compromising security. It is integrated directly with the Bitcoin network, making it faster and cheaper to transact.

NFT Tickets

Argentinian airline Flybondi is issuing e-tickets as NFTs through a new integration called Ticket 3.0. It is partnering with NFT ticketing firm TravelX and using the Algorand blockchain. Ticket 3.0 enables passengers to transfer or sell their “NFTickets” without involving the airline. Meanwhile, Flybondi can reduce customer service costs and increase its revenue from trading fees.

Web3 Shorts

JJapan’s Financial Services Agency has warned four foreign crypto exchanges – Bybit, BitForex, MEXC Global, and Bitget. They are accused of operating in the country without proper registration.

Business analytics firm MicroStrategy has acquired 1,045 bitcoins, bringing its total bitcoin holdings to 140,000, purchased at an aggregate price of $4.17 billion.

zkSync has resolved the issue with Gemholic’s smart contract on the Ethereum Layer 2 network that caused 921 ETH ($1.7 million) to be locked.

For the second consecutive month, decentralized exchange Uniswap surpassed Coinbase in spot market trading volume, with Uniswap’s trading volume reaching $71.6 billion in March – 45% higher than Coinbase’s volume.

Several Ethereum projects, including CoW Swap, Agnostic Relay, and Beaver Build, have collaborated to launch MEV Blocker RPC, a tool aimed at protecting users from various MEV attacks.

An attacker exploited a reentrancy bug via a flash loan to drain nearly $1 million from Sentiment, an Arbitrum based DeFi project, with the team temporarily suspending its smart contracts to prevent further deposits.

P2P bitcoin trading platform Paxful is shutting down its marketplace due to “key staff departures” and regulatory obstacles.

Ralph Lauren’s Miami Design District store is now accepting crypto payments, including bitcoin, ether, and MATIC, via BitPay.

Ava Labs has launched Avalanche Evergreen subnets, allowing enterprises to build permissioned blockchains, targeting the financial services industry.

Ether crossed the boundaries of $1900 this week and hit $1,937.50 in anticipation of the Shappella upgrade in the coming weeks that would enable staking withdrawals.

Web3 Investments

Lisk has launched an accelerator program offering grants up to $270,000 to startups building applications on its platform, aiming to attract developers interested in creating Web3 projects.

Singapore based Alchemy Pay secured $10 million from DWF Labs to advance its plans to expand into South Korea. With this funding, Alchemy Pay is valued at $400 million.

Blockchain interoperability protocol LayerZero raised $120 million in a Series B round participated by stalwarts, including a16z crypto and Sequoia Capital, which brought its valuation to an impressive $3 billion. 

Crypto venture firm Dragonfly Capital announced that it had made a $10 million strategic investment in crypto derivatives exchange Bitget.

Astria closed a $5.5 million seed funding round led by Maven 11 and plans to deploy the money to develop its shared blockchain sequencer network.

With the aim to build out its tech stack, team, and community, DeFi hub Nibiru Chain raised $8.5 million in a seed funding round co-led by Tribe Capital, Republic Capital, NGC Ventures, and Original Capital. 

Crypto payroll firm Franklin raised $2.9 million in a seed round co-led by Gumi Cryptos Capital and CMT Digital.

Delphi Labs, part of crypto research firm Delphi Digital, raised $13.5 million in a round led by P2P.

NFT project Ecosapiens raised $3.5 million in a seed round led by Collab + Currency and plans to deploy the fund to make digital collectibles environment friendly.

A web3 infra startup Polyhedra Network raised $15 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Polychain Capital.

Multichain liquidity provider Li.Fi secured $17.5 million in a Series A round co-led by CoinFund and Superscrypt.

Web3 data indexing firm Satsuma raised $5 million in a seed round co-led by Initialized Capital and Archetype.

Crypto exchange Finst raised 4 million euros in an oversubscribed seed funding round led by Sentillia, parent of crypto derivatives platform Deribit.

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