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Google Announces Partnership With Coinbase To Integrate Crypto Payments.
Google has announced a new partnership with Coinbase that will enable a select number of customers to pay for cloud services through digital currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The new feature will reportedly be available early next year.
The tech behemoth also intends to investigate the use of Coinbase Prime, a custodial service for trading and storing various cryptocurrencies. Moreover, crypto addresses are also now searchable on Google. Coinbase also announced that it shall migrate some of its data-related applications Amazon Web Services to Google Cloud.
According to Amit Zavery, Vice President, Platform Head, and General Manager at Google Cloud, crypto payments will initially be accepted only a select group of clients who are already active in Web3 through the Coinbase Commerce integration. Amit also stated that the service will be made available to more of its customers in the future.
Lastly, although the specifics of the deal are unknown, Coinbase will reportedly take a portion of the transactions it facilitates, like it does with other Coinbase Commerce agreements.
Binance Hacked For 2 Million BNB
Another major hack occurred in the crypto space, as the worlds biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume was recently targeted. By exposing a vulnerability on the cross-chain bridge, hackers reportedly drained 2 million BNB, the Binance network's native token, which resulted in a loss of $570 million.
The initial report stated that the estimated losses were about $100 million, but this figure quickly increased as aforementioned. The hack occurred on a cross-chain bridge, where users transfer digital assets from one blockchain to another, according to Binance CEO and Co-Founder, Changpeng Zhao.
The hackers had apparently created 2 million BNB tokens out of thin air by exploiting a vulnerability in the Binance Bridge to send themselves one million BNB tokens twice in a row. The hack occurred due to a bug in the smart contract, which allowed the individuals responsible to forge transactions and subsequently transfer funds into their respective wallets.
As a result of the hack, all validators were requested to temporarily suspend BSC (Binance Smart Chain), which helped to keep the problem under control. When BSC discovered what had transpired, it immediately shut down the entire blockchain, and validators reportedly acted quickly to contain the issue.
New Bitcoin Mining Investment Opportunity Announced By Grayscale
Grayscale Investments is giving investors the chance to invest in Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware during the ongoing bear market. Essentially, this will be a private, co-investment opportunity in BTC mining hardware. Foundry, a digital asset staking and mining infrastructure firm, shall reportedly manage daily operations for the company.
The Grayscale Digital Infrastructure Opportunities LLC, also known as GDIO, is now accessible to skilled and experienced retail and institutional investors. Furthermore, Grayscale will distribute a portion of the proceeds from its endeavors to GDIO investors on a quarterly basis. Grayscale will therefore use GDIO investor capital to purchase mining hardware for at least three years. It shall mine and then sell BTC using the hardware.
For those who may not know, Bitcoin mining is the time-consuming and energy-intensive process by which a computer network creates and verifies a new transaction block. A miner is the node in the network which creates that block. Typically, a miner is compensated in BTC for his efforts, which usually necessitate substantial amounts of electricity as well as computing power.
Grayscale still involved with crypto despite ongoing bear market
It is no secret that Grayscale has been interested in crypto for a long time, and many would agree it is among the main companies responsible for pushing the flagship crypto further into the mainstream. As such, Grayscales unique role at the heart of the crypto ecosystem allows the company to create offerings which enable investors to utilize capital in order for it to work across market cycles, according to Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein.
GDIO is hence yet another attempt by the company to supply investors with some much needed exposure to BTC without actually holding the digital asset directly. Investors may additionally buy shares in Grayscales GBTC trust and gain exposure to the worlds biggest crypto by market capitalization through the companys legally regulated business in the United States.
GDIO would be using invested capital to buy mining equipment, which will be readily available in the coming months at likely discounted prices, said Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary, Grayscales Managing Director and Head of Investor Relations. She further stated that GDIO will then use this equipment to mine BTC, sell it on a daily basis, and then distribute the proceeds to investors as aforementioned, thereby generating income. Lastly, according to the company, GDIO will only accept investments from eligible retail and institutional accredited investors.
Accelerating Acceptance And Investment In Metaverse
Several notable companies like Samsung, Emirates, and Nike have already started using the metaverse, with many more expected to follow suit as the emerging technology continues to gain mainstream attention and funding.
In fact, JPMorgan recently described it as a $1 trillion-per-year opportunity, prompting the company to open the first ever virtual bank. This is a significant indicator of the possibilities for brands and businesses to enter the growing decentralized metaverse economy.
An increasing number of brands are thus actively viewing the metaverse as a kind of extension of the Internet or even its evolution, said Yonatan Raz-Fridman, CEO of Supersocial and host of the Into The Metaverse podcast.
The CEO further stated that although there is a lot of work yet to be done, the potential is massive and the main point of attraction is about inviting consumers in to experience different brands in a fresh and innovative way.
With technologies like VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) steadily becoming more accessible, many believe that it is only a matter of time before the metaverse is thought of in the same way as social media is in this day and age. Notable celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, and Reese Witherspoon have also previously endorsed the metaverse concept alongside crypto, blockchain, and NFTs.
Swiss Mcdonalds Accepts Crypto
The Plan ₿ Foundation, a collaboration between the Swiss City of Lugano and USDT stablecoin issuer Tether, recently unveiled a new partnership with payment facilitator GoCrypto to bring Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA payments to Lugano. This will reportedly allow locals to use their wallets at McDonalds as well as a slew of other merchants.
As such, citizens may utilize their wallets to pay through either USDT, BTC, or the local payment token LVGA at these locations. It has also been reported that Lugano shall try to usher in additional businesses to this new arrangement over the next month or so.
The Plan ₿ Foundation hopes to have more than 2,500 merchants accepting these three currencies by the end of next year. Meanwhile, they anticipate serving more than 2,000 customers at the upcoming Plan Forum, which is a Bitcoin conference taking place from October 28th-29th in Lugano, Switzerland.
Oklahoma Senator Introduces The No Digital Dollar Act.
Oklahoma Senator James Lankford has recently proposed legislation to ensure that Americans can continue using physical bills and coins regardless of whether the United States adopts a digital dollar.
Lankford stated that he introduced the No Digital Dollar Act in response to residents' concerns that cash would be phased out once the US created a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency).
Lankfords bill follows the signing of Executive Order 14067 by President Joe Biden, which instructs the government to investigate the potential dangers and advantages of digital assets.
Lankfords proposed legislation, if passed, would prohibit the US Treasury as well as the Federal Reserve from meddling with Americans who tend to favor paper currency irrespective of whether a digital currency already exists. Lastly, the legislation also seeks to ensure that people can retain their privacy while transacting with cash and coins.
Blockchain ETF Officially Launched By BlackRock For European Customers
BlackRock, the worlds biggest asset manager, is rapidly increasing its exposure to digital assets by launching a new European blockchain ETF (Exchange Traded Fund). The company, which manages approximately $10 trillion in assets, announced on September 29th that it had successfully added the iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF to its product suite, thereby providing European clients with exposure to an ETF after launching one earlier this year within the United States.
What to expect?
The BlackRock team firmly believes that digital assets and blockchain technologies will become increasingly relevant for clients as use cases grow in complexity, scale and scope, said Omar Moufti, Product Strategist for Thematic and Sector ETFs at the company.
Moreover, BlackRock has recently increased its exposure to the world of digital assets, initially launching its U.S. focused blockchain and tech exchange traded fund earlier on in 2022, and then partnering with Coinbase to provide its customers with indirect access to a wide range of cryptocurrencies through its Aladdin trading platform. Additionally, it even launched a spot Bitcoin (BTC) private trust in August, which is available to institutional clients residing in the United States.
The future looks bright
Although we are still in the midst of an ongoing bear market, this has not deterred institutional investors from regularly expressing their interest in crypto, blockchain, NFTs, and the metaverse. In fact, BlackRock is not the only financial services titan entering the fray. Banks such as JPMorgan and Nomura, as well as asset managers such as Fidelity and Abrdn, have recently launched digital asset offerings as well, and analysts predict that even more big names in the traditional finance sector are likely to follow suit.
Furthermore, BlackRocks European blockchain ETF, which has 35 holdings and is traded on Euronext, has a total expense ratio of 0.5%. Its biggest investments are presently in Coinbase, trading titan Galaxy Digital, and BTC miner Marathon Digital. IBM, Nvidia and Paypal are also on the list with more expected to join before long.
The continued spread of blockchain technology highlights its potential across several industries, Moufti added. He further stated that the iShares Blockchain Technology UCITS ETF exposure shall provide clients with the chance to participate in globally recognized companies that are actively leading the development of the burgeoning blockchain ecosystem.
Warner Music And Open Sea Collaborate To Bring Select Artists Into Web3
Warner Music Group (WMG) recently announced a collaboration with OpenSea in order to provide a platform for select musical artists to construct and extend their fanbase into the burgeoning Web3 space.
As such, the partnership will give select WMG artists early access to OpenSeas newly launched feature, which enables artists to launch their NFT collections as well as limited edition projects on their own customizable and dedicated drop pages.
These WMG artists will also have access to tailored storytelling features on personalised landing pages, in addition to industry leading protection and safety characteristics of OpenSea. The collaboration seeks to introduce current fan communities on OpenSea to new types of connections and creativity via NFTs and to provide fresh ways for fans to start engaging with music and artists through the Web3 community.
WMGs Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President of Business Development, Oana Ruxandra, believes that a strong community is essential to music as it is indeed artists and fans coming together to commemorate ane enjoy what they love.
Oana further stated that the new partnership therefore helps to facilitate these communities by making Web3 tools and resources available to artists in order to create opportunities for deeper engagement, access, and ownership.
Kazakhstan President States The Country Will Embrace Cryptocurrency Exchange To Cash.
Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recently stated that the country is prepared to legalize a mechanism for converting cryptocurrencies to cash if there is sufficient demand to do so.
On September 21st, Halyk Bank suspended the usage of Russias Mir payment cards in response to U.S. Treasury Department sanctions warnings, prompting thousands of Russians to enter Kazakhstan.
It was at the international forum Digital Bridge 2022 where President Tokayev said that the country aims to become an international leader in emerging digital technologies, crypto ecosystems, and regulated mining. He further indicated that the government has already drafted amendments to national law to pilot a crypto conversion mechanism at the Astana International Financial Centre.
Additionally, Eurasian Bank and Intebix jointly announced the completion of the banks inaugural regulated crypto purchase for fiat. This marked a significant milestone in cryptocurrency adoption within Kazakhstan, thereby enabling locals to legally purchase crypto in exchange for the national currency.
ATAIX, Kazakhstans largest bank, and Altyn Bank are also among the other companies involved in the pilot crypto projects. Kazakhstan is hence fully prepared to go even further if cryptocurrencies and blockchain technoogy can consistently demonstrate continued relevance and security, at which point complete legal recognition will almost certainly be provided, President Tokayev stated.
Assets Of Bankrupt Voyager Digital Purchased By FTX.
The assets of bankrupt Voyager Digital were purchased by exchange giant FTX, according to a recent press release issued by Voyager. Wave Financial, a digital-asset investment firm, was competing with FTX for the acquisition.
Voyager Digital is a crypto lender which declared bankruptcy back in July. Many had scrutinized Voyager's business practices, specifically how the Canadian-listed company stated in marketing materials that investors deposits were insured by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
Although FDIC insurance would typically cover up to $250,000 in bank-held cash deposits, it would however not cover cash that was converted to stablecoins. Voyagers loan book reportedly accounted for nearly half of its overall assets, with nearly 60% of that loan book made up of loans to Three Arrows Capital (3AC), which also filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in July.
Dan Morehead of Pantera Capital States His Prediction For Future Of Blockchain.
Dan Morehead, CEO and Founder of institutional asset manager Pantera Capital, believes that while there may be plenty of distressed financial sectors in the coming years, the digital asset industry shall most likely not be one of them.
Building upon his previous statements, the executive asserted that a crypto bull market is on the way, and that blockchain technology will be used by billions of people in the coming years and that mainstream adoption will continue for the foreseeable future.
Morehead believes that cryptocurrencies will thus become extremely popular sooner rather than later primarily due to the wide range of benefits they can provide to the global financial network.
He added that the most important thing to remember is that crypto is such a disruptive technology that will change nearly all aspects of our lives in the next decade.
Dan also argued that people often place too much emphasis on the primary digital asset when there are countless other viable cryptocurrency protocols which are equally important. He said that while Bitcoin (BTC) has been used as a proxy for blockchain for a long time, there are hundreds of other interesting projects such as Ethereum (ETH) and Cardano (ADA), both of which recently launched significant upgrades.
Cardano’s Long-Awaited Vasil Upgrade Finally Occurs With Much Initial Success
The Cardano (ADA) blockchain has officially launched its highly anticipated Vasil upgrade, which is intended to greatly increase network capacity and reduce transaction costs. The update occurred shortly after one of Cardano's main rivals, Ethereum (ETH), launched their own upgrade known as The Merge, which marked the Ethereum blockchains transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).
Whats there to know?
The blockchains developer company Input Output Global (IOG) has dubbed the update, labeled after the late Bulgarian mathematician and prominent Cardano supporter Vasil St. Dabov, the most noteworthy and ambitious Cardano upgrade to date because of its complexity.
Cardano powers over 1,000 decentralized projects along with ADA, a cryptocurrency with a market cap of over $15 billion. The critical upgrade has been delayed several times since its original June deadline. Cardano developer Adam Dean raised an alarm in August about the test networks failures and apparent rushing. In response to the criticisms however, Tim Harrison, Vice President of Community and Ecosystem at IOG, stated that the September 22nd date was fully agreed upon by the community before also mentioning that the developer team had full confidence in the code.
What will Vasil actually accomplish?
The update is expected to release the second version of Plutus, Cardanos smart-contract language, which shall enable developers to build faster and much more complex decentralized applications (dApps) on the chain. Artano, a Cardano-based NFT project that has been testing Plutus V2, reported a decrease of over 90% in transaction size along with a corresponding cost reduction of more than 75%.
Most notably, the Vasil upgrade will use Cardanos hard fork combinator technology which, according to Cardano developer IOG, introduces brand new features without losing any data from the blockchains previous version. The new Plutus script upgrades will also make additional capabilities available to developers on the mainnet on September 27th after one epoch, which currently lasts about five days.
In any case, the upgrade was described as one of the most complex and consequential updates to the Cardano network ever done. This comment was made by Bill Barhydt, founder of crypto trading platform Abra. In fact, many agree that despite all of the delays and initial problems, the Vasil upgrade is nothing short of a groundbreaking achievement which should be discussed alongside the Merge itself.