Blockchain This Week – Visa’s Farmer Focused CBDC, EY Carbon Tracking Platform, Supporting Women In Web3

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Wow! Here is issue 150 of the Blockchain This Week newsletter.

EY ESG Platform

EY has launched the beta version of its Ethereum based platform, EY OpsChain ESG. It allows enterprises to track their carbon emissions and carbon credit traceability. The platform uses carbon emission tokens developed by the InterWork Alliance and is available on EY’s Blockchain SaaS platform.

Visa Launches CBDC Project for Farmers

Visa has launched a CBDC project for SMBs in Brazil, focusing on farmers. The project allows farmers to create tokenized contracts on Ethereum for global investors to invest in their local operations. The platform uses Visa’s Universal Payment Channel (UPC) technology to enable interoperability among different forms of digital assets.

Support to Women Led Crypto Firms

Aegis Custody has offered free custodial services to crypto companies founded or led by women. The aim is to promote gender parity in the industry regardless of their size or stage of development. The initiative will provide six months of free custody services worth $28,000.

NFT Tribute to Barbie

Mattel has teamed up with women led Web3 brand Boss Beauties to launch Boss Beauties x Barbie, a line of on chain virtual collectibles. The NFT series pays tribute to Barbie’s 250 careers since its launch in 1959. The Boss Beauties x Barbie collection features NFTs designed by Boss Beauties, with the first drop featuring artists, astronauts, CEOs, doctors, veterinarians, pilots, and more, and will be sold in packs of four for $25 each on Flow blockchain.

Sam Altman’s World App

Sam Altman’s crypto project Worldcoin launched its World App this week. This app, developed by Tools of Humanity, will allow users to manage their World ID and a range of cryptocurrencies, including Worldcoin’s token, once it goes live later this year. It will also be migrated from Polygon to Optimism’s ecosystem

Canton Network

Digital Asset has announced plans for the Canton Network. It is a network of blockchain networks designed to enable interoperability for financial institutions. Thirty organizations, including BNP Paribas, Deutsche Börse Group, and Goldman Sachs, are set to participate in the network from July. The Canton Network is designed to create a neutral third party zone that is interoperable and secure. 

Deutsche Bank and SMBC Join Partior

Partior, the blockchain network for multi currency interbank payments, has added Deutsche Bank and SMBC as its newest members, joining JP Morgan, Standard Chartered, and DBS Bank. There are also unconfirmed rumors that the OCC has given JP Morgan a non-objection letter to use Partior, but this has not been confirmed.

Binance NFT Marketplace to Host Bitcoin Ordinals

Binance has announced that it will support Bitcoin Ordinals on its NFT marketplace starting in late May. The move aims to help grow Binance’s “multi-chain ecosystem.” Customers will be able to buy and sell Ordinals without the need for a separate Bitcoin wallet.

Binance VIP Service

Binance has launched Capital Connect, a platform that connects VIP users with investment fund managers. The new service platform aims to facilitate connections between eligible high net worth customers and asset managers. As per Catherine Chen, head of Binance VIP services, this initiative is Binance’s response to the high demand from non trading investors who want to engage with active fund managers to park their capital.

Galaxy Digital Posts Gains

Galaxy Digital, a crypto focused financial services company, reported $134 million in net income for Q1 2023 due to gains on digital assets and investments. It marks the first time the company has been profitable since the end of 2021. 

Tether’s Higher Net Profit

Stablecoin issuer Tether announced that it had a net profit of $1.5 billion in the first quarter. It is double the amount in the previous quarter, with an all time high excess reserve of $2.44 billion. The company reported consolidated total assets of at least $81.8 billion and consolidated total liabilities of $79.4 billion as of May 9. It reflects an excess reserve of $2.44 billion, which is much higher than its Q4 numbers of $960 million.

DeFi Native Bank

Berlin based fintech startup Unstoppable Finance announced that it would soon launch Europe’s first compliant “DeFi-native bank” and a fiat backed Euro pegged stablecoin following MiCA’s guidance. It will ensure the stablecoin is backed by reserves, as per the new legislation from Brussels. The stablecoin would be legally classified as an “e-money token” that indexes its value to the price of the fiat currency it references.

Bittrex Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Crypto exchange Bittrex Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware on Monday. This announcement comes less than a month after the US SEC charged it with running an unregistered exchange. The company said it had an estimated $500 million to $1 billion in assets and liabilities and more than 100,000 creditors in a court filing.

Joint Hearing for Crypto

The US Congress’ Agriculture and Financial Services Committees held a rare joint hearing to discuss regulatory gaps for digital assets. They weighed on creating new laws for governing trading platforms and stablecoins to address the broad consensus that more rules are needed for crypto and stablecoin companies. 

Grayscale ETFs

Grayscale has filed for three new ETFs with the SEC, including an Ethereum futures ETF, a Bitcoin composite ETF, and a privacy focused ETF. Additionally, the company has established a Delaware trust.

Marathon Gets Subpoena

Bitcoin mining firm, Marathon Digital, has received a subpoena from the SEC relating to its Hardin, Montana, mining facility. The regulator is investigating any potential violation of federal securities law. Marathon said it is cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.

Move Tokens Without Bridges

Threshold Network and cross chain token protocol Wormhole have teamed up to allow tBTC to be transferred easily across 20 blockchain ecosystems. The integration will enable tBTC to be moved to EVM and non EVM chains without relying on centralized bridges.

IRS Files Claims

The IRS has filed nearly $44 billion in claims against the estate of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX and its affiliated entities. The largest of them includes  $20.4 billion and  $7.9 billion against Alameda Research LLC and two claims totaling $9.5 billion against Alameda Research Holdings Inc. Meanwhile, wallets tied to Alameda Research received $57M from crypto exchange OKX.

Web3 Shorts

The Ethereum network briefly suffered a yet-to-be known technical issue due to which transactions were not getting finalized

MakerDAO has unveiled a five part plan, named Endgame, which includes implementing AI tools and creating a new blockchain.

Paxful, a peer to peer bitcoin marketplace, resumed operations after being suspended for a month due to a lawsuit filed by its co-founder Artur Schaback against CEO Ray Youssef and another co-founder in January 2023.

Ishan Wahi, a former Coinbase product manager, was sentenced to two years in prison for insider trading.

Robinhood reported a 30% decline in crypto trading revenues to $38 million during Q1 2023. The company’s assets “under custody” also decreased by 42% YoY to $12 billion.

Elon Musk’s tweet of a Milady meme caused a 500% increase in sales of Milady NFTs, and the floor price of the project rose nearly 50% within 24 hours.

Franklin Templeton is set to launch its second blockchain fund. It is a private equity fund with a minimum investment of $100,000.

A court has reportedly agreed to set Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon free for a bail of €400,000 ($436,000). 

Web3 Investments

NFT collection Pudgy Penguins completed its $9 million seed funding round led by 1kx. It plans to deploy the new capital to scale its IP and team.

Decentralized wallet developer Odsy Network raised $7.5 million at a valuation of $250 million in a funding round led by Blockchange Ventures.A web3 crowdfunding platform, Artizen, secured $2.2 million from the likes of Consensys Mesh and Animoca Brands to help fund creators working on the intersection of art, tech, and science.

Image Source: iStock


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