Blockchain This Week – Crypto and Climate Change, Coinbase Sues SEC, Binance Staking Token, Google Cloud Web3

148.Blockchain This Week - Image Source iStock
Also available on Other Platforms

Blockchain for Waste Gas Management

The Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol (SBP) has partnered with Crusoe Energy, a waste gas crypto miner. SBP will verify Crusoe’s waste gas procurement and technology by using third party audits. The idea is to ensure Crusoe is verifiably reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that is additive to the clean energy transition. They also audit bitcoin miners’ operations and incentivize them to make their operations sustainable. Consequently, they intend to issue Sustainable Bitcoin Certificates (SBC), which can be independently traded, for every bitcoin mined sustainably.

NFTs for Climate Change

NFT photography platform Rhapsody Curated has partnered with three renowned fine art photographers – Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Nicolas Henry, and Namsa Leuba. Together, they are creating their first ever NFT collections to raise funds and awareness toward combating climate change

Coinbase Sues SEC

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has filed a lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It intends to force the agency to provide a yes or no answer to the company’s request for a rule specific to digital assets. The suit, filed as a writ of mandamus, claims that the SEC has not engaged in drafting such a regulation. At the heels of the lawsuit, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest bought over $8.6 million of Coinbase stock.

Coinbase’s Response to Wells Notice

In response to the Wells Notice it received from the US SEC, crypto exchange Coinbase warned the agency not to pursue enforcement action against the company for the SEC’s own sake. Coinbase has argued that if the SEC had believed that its core business violated securities law, it would have prevented the company from being listed on Nasdaq. 

Binance’s Wrapped Beacon

Binance launched a liquid staking token called Wrapped Beacon ETH (WBETH). It will enable users to participate in DeFi protocols off the exchange while continuing to acquire Ethereum staking rewards. Binance users can now wrap Beacon ETH (BETH) tokens to WBETH and vice versa on the exchange’s Ethereum staking page without any fees. The initial conversion rate is one-to-one, subject to change over time.

Binance US Domains on Polygon

Binance.US has teamed up with Unstoppable Domains to provide unique .BinanceUS domain names to its users. Users can mint these names on Polygon without any gas or renewal fees. This partnership will enable Binance.US customers to get their own personalized domain names, making it easier for them to transact with crypto.

Binance Japan

Binance is set to launch its services in Japan, with its new service named “Binance Japan” scheduled to launch after June 2023. The world’s largest crypto exchange acquired Sakura Exchange BitCoin in November last year, and the existing services on SEBC will be terminated on May 31.

Google Extends its Startup Program to Web3

Google Cloud is expanding its “Google for Startups Cloud Program” initiative to support Web3 builders in scaling their projects quickly and securely. The program includes up to $200,000 in Google Cloud credits over two years and technical support to help them grow.

Google and Polygon Team Up

Google Cloud and Polygon Labs have formed a strategic alliance to increase the adoption of the Web3 ecosystem. They aim to simplify the deployment and management of Polygon nodes. As part of the deal, Google Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine will support Polygon and offer a fully managed node hosting service for web3 development.

Zimbabwe’s Gold Backed CBDC

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe plans to launch a digital currency, which is backed by the country’s gold reserves, as legal tender. The tokens will enable people holding Zim dollars to exchange their money for the gold backed token to protect against the volatility of the local fiat currency.

Genesis and Others Agree for 30-Day Mediation Period

Genesis Global Trading, a bankrupt crypto lender, has agreed to a 30 day mediation period pending the appointment of a mediator. A group of creditors walked away as they couldn’t agree on DCG’s contribution to the debtors’ reorganization plan. As a result, Genesis Global requested the US bankruptcy court for a mediator to assist.

Bonsai Momoka

The creators of Lens Protocol have launched their blockchain scaling solution, initially named Bonsai, in beta. Bonsai aims to address the scalability issue for decentralized social media, such as Lens. Meanwhile, the team renamed the solution to Momoka. The rebrand was to avoid potential trademark issues with a project with the same name. 

Block Buys Intel’s Mining Chips

Block, the fintech payments company owned by Jack Dorsey, has bought a significant amount of bitcoin mining chips from Intel. The purchase would support Block’s plans to enter the mining hardware market with its mining machines. This move is in response to Intel’s decision to end production of its bitcoin mining ASICs by April 2024.

Merlin Hack

The newly launched zkSync DEX, Merlin, was hacked during a public sale of its tokens resulting in the theft of over $1.8 million, despite Merlin conducting an audit by CertiK. Merlin and CertiK have agreed to compensate the victims of the hack. Meanwhile, the culprits are allegedly the rogue developers of Merlin who had the private key to Merlin’s smart contracts.

Web3 Shorts

Circle released its Cross Chain Transfer Protocol for Ethereum and Avalanche, enabling the movement of USDC between the two.

Solana wallet Phantom added support to Ethereum and Polygon, allowing the users to transact on all three chains with the wallet.

Wrapped bitcoin cBTC is now live on the Cardano testnet. Users can mint cBTC from the anetaBTC protocol and use them on the test network.

Visa has opened up jobs in London for software engineers who are proficient and have a passion for Web3.

South Korea has formally charged Terra co-founder Daniel Shin and nine others and has frozen close to $185 million of their assets.

In the London City Week conference held this week, the UK asset manager abrdn hinted at exploring using Hedera as the service provider for its planned tokenized offerings.

The recently uncovered bitcoin white paper hidden inside the OS of every Apple Mac shipped since 2017 will be removed in an upcoming software update.

Web3 Investments

DeFi platform Thetanuts closed a $17 million round led by Polychain Capital, Hyperchain Capital, and Magnus Capital. It plans to deploy the funds for expansion and new partnerships.

TinyTap, a unit of Animoca Brands, raised $8.5 million for web3 education from investors, including Sequoia China and Polygon, which brought its valuation to a grand $100 million. 

CeFi and DeFi institutional credit infra firm, Credora has secured $6 million to build out its tech in a strategic funding round that included S&P Global and Coinbase Ventures.

Crypto VC Framework Ventures led the $5.5 million financing round of DeFi protocol DFlow.

Web3 infra startup Cata Labs raised $4.2 million in a seed round led by Spartan Group and plans to use the fund to build cross chain bridge software.

Multichain DeFi protocol iZUMi Finance raised $22 million in a funding round where it offered a semi fungible token (SFT) to investors. Those who purchased its zk-Fund receive an SFT commensurate with their share, which they can redeem on maturity.

Crypto wallet startup Giddy secured $6.9 million from investors, including Pelion Venture Partners and Peak Capital Partners.Crypto storage provider Zodia Custody raised $36 million from SBI Holdings and Standard Chartered and will deploy the funds to increase its token coverage and improve its Interchange product.

Image Source: iStock


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s