Polygon Gets Selected For Disneys 2022 Accelerator Program
Polygon, a Layer-2 scaling platform, has been chosen to participate in Disneys 2022 Accelerator Program, which will begin soon. This historic development indicates that despite the ongoing bear market, institutional interest in crypto remains high. As such, the Ethereum scaling platform is among six projects accepted into the Accelerator Program this year, which primarily focuses on AR, NFTs, and AI.
Whats there to know?
Polygon CEO Ryan Watt announced last week that although other projects were selected, Polygon was in fact the only blockchain chosen for Disneys prestigious Accelerator program. The programs application period began on April 22nd, with a deadline of May 13th, 2022. At the time, Disney stated that the accelerator would seek growth-stage companies with a vision for impacting the future of entertainment and technology.
The program was launched in 2014 and participants can receive mentorship via the Disney Accelerator Team.  Disney has always been at the forefront of the entertainment industry, so being able to work with them speaks volumes about Polygons true value, according to Ryan.
A much-needed win?
As previously mentioned, although we are still very much in a bear market, the interest in the crypto and blockchain space has not wavered at all, quite the opposite. As the inevitable Web3 era draws closer, many top projects will have to show real value if they want to survive long-term, and Polygon working alongside Disney would hence certainly be considered as a big win for the company in this regard.
Moreover, those taking part in the program shall also reportedly receive additional investment capital as well as co-working space at Walt Disneys L.A. campus. The program will eventually conclude with a Demo Day on campus. Since the announcement, MATIC also experienced a considerable increase, with Polygon enthusiasts hoping that this could be the start of a potential recovery for the cryptocurrency.
Flickplay, a Web3 application which enables users to discover NFTs through AR capabilities, and Lockerverse, a Web3 storytelling platform which connects brands and creators, were also chosen this year. Some of the other selected companies included the AR-based startup Red 6, the 3D virtual e-commerce startup Obsess, and the AI-powered digital character creation startup Inworld.
Ethereum Merge Date September 19 Announced
Following much anticipation and a plethora of delays, Ethereum Foundation developers have revealed that the upcoming Merge could happen in about two months from now.
Ethereum core developer Tim Beiko announced via a conference call that the networks transition to PoS (Proof-of-Stake) was now tentatively scheduled for the new date of September 19th, 2022. The new estimate was met with no opposition from other core developers and it is being said that the goal now is to ensure that this timeline is maintained and no more significant delays occur.
However, it is important to note that this new date is not finalized and that the announcement should be seen as a planning timeline instead. Still, after the success of both the Sepolia and Ropsten testnets, it does seem likely that Ethereum will initiate the Merge sooner rather than later.
Celsius To File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy After Freezing Withdrawals
Celsius has notified state regulators that it will file for bankruptcy in the very near future, citing growing struggles in dealing with seemingly overwhelming liquidity issues as the main reason for doing so. The company will therefore file for chapter 11 bankruptcy after previously freezing withdrawals.
Celsius confirmed earlier today that they had officially began voluntary chapter 11 proceedings. The company also revealed that it only has $167 million in cash, which shall be primarily utilized to support operations.
The voluntary liquidation is hence intended to let the company stabilize its operations and complete a thorough restructuring transaction which shall reportedly maximize value for all stakeholders.
Throughout the proceedings, the court will allow Celsius to pay employees and continue their benefits while the company files for imminent bankruptcy. Celsius shall remain operational, but there is no word regarding when or even if withdrawals will eventually be reinstated.
Crypto Cards On The Rise
Holders of cryptocurrency credit cards are rising at an exponential rate. According to various reports, traditional credit cards are gradually being phased out in favor of credit cards based around crypto rewards. Crypto.com's Visa and BlockFi's Visa are among the most prominent examples of this.
Admittedly, it's tough to fathom consumers deliberately choosing a currency other than the traditional U.S dollar. However, BTC, ETH, and LTC appear to be the most popular cryptocurrency reward coins today, which is understandable given that these are among the most valuable.
An increasing number of consumers also claim that they are willing to accept various kinds of crypto rewards in exchange for using their crypto credit cards as the digital currency space continues to grow. NFTs are additionally included in these rewards, as are P2E-based incentives.
Most of the best crypto rewards credit cards also offer digital cash back. The BlockFi Rewards Visa is hence the most popular crypto rewards credit card among Americans, with 40% of the target demographic currently using it. Could this be a sign of the seemingly inevitable shift to the Web3 era? Only time will tell.
Acquiring Bitcoin: A Brief Background To Bitcoin Mining
Despite the emergence of many other digital currencies, Bitcoin continues to reign supreme. It is arguably one of the most accessible options for those new to cryptocurrency. Bitcoins can be traded, bought and sold, but to find them, they, like gold, need to be mined. So before you can think about investing in bitcoin, you need to understand more about the acquisition process lets explore.
Bitcoins can be found hidden inside blocks of data. A miner, using an algorithm provided by the creators of bitcoin, has to solve equations in order to extricate the bitcoins from the data. The digital process has to be undertaken with software and equipment designed for that specific purpose. There is a finite supply of Bitcoins. There are only twenty-one million of them out there. Around nineteen or so have already been mined, meaning, obviously, there are only around two million more left to mine.
What Happens When They Run Out?
As mentioned above, bitcoins have a finite supply, and they are beginning to near their end. In all honesty, twenty-one million is an arbitrary number, and no one really knows why it was chosen. It could be to protect the coin against inflation and provide it with a more stable value. Once they are all mined, thats it. It is unlikely that bitcoin will waver from this limit, and no such plans to increase the amount have been announced.
As all of the bitcoins are mined, obviously, the supply becomes scarcer, and the coins themselves get rarer. This could drive the price up, increasing the earning potential of investors. This is why more and more cryptocurrency investors are scrambling to invest before they become harder to find and the price gradually begins to increase.
Entering the Market
The cryptocurrency market is incredibly volatile, and this volatility is likely to increase as the number of remaining bitcoins dwindles. This is why most investors are attempting to enter the market now. Once you have entered the market, either by mining the coins yourself or investing in them, there are two routes for you to consider. Firstly, you could choose to sit on them and wait for the maximum price as they become rarer. Or, if you do not have the luxury of time, you could choose to seize the advantage offered by the smaller market fluctuations. If you arent sure how to make the most of your investment, Paxful has a number of resources that can help you to find out how to make money with Bitcoin.
When Will All the Bitcoins be Mined By?
While it might seem like bitcoins are beginning to run out, with most of them having already been mined, the truth is that the rate has slowed. Only ten percent of all bitcoins are left to mine, but most sources estimate that this will take years. The general consensus is that the last bitcoin will be mined by the year 2140.
Since its initial release, bitcoin has remained one of the most popular and accessible forms of cryptocurrency. It is ideal for novices and those who do not have a tech background. That being said, it is still important that you do your research to learn more about the cryptocurrency, the acquisition process and how to make the most out of your investment strategies. By all accounts, there is still a while before all of the bitcoins are mined, which means there are still plenty of chances to get involved.
Crypto Holders No Longer Allowed To Work On Regulatory Policies In The U.S
The United States Office of Government Ethics announced that Executive Branch employees who own cryptocurrency assets would be barred from working on any crypto-related regulations going forward. Naturally, this sparked some heated discussions across numerous channels, all of which examined the pros and cons of this decision as well as the broader debate pertaining to the ethics and economic conflicts of interest in general.
If you hold crypto, you're out of luck
One of the biggest complaints that the cryptocurrency community has had against the new policies made by the Executive Branch of the U.S government is that anyone who owns cryptocurrencies would not be allowed to take part in the writing and decision making of policies pertaining to crypto and blockchain. For example, if there is a regulation which states that all stablecoins (BUSD, USDC, USDT, etc.) are to be backed by the United States Dollar (USD), then anyone who owns a stablecoin that is not backed by the dollar, such as DAI, would not be allowed to work on any policy concerning stablecoin regulation and management.
Elsewhere, others have been saying that this is just the latest attempt by U.S regulators to undermine the success of the crypto industry, and that bringing in people who have little to no hands-on experience regarding DeFi to make regulatory policies about decentralized finance is indicative of the fact that the United States government, in particular regulatory agencies like the SEC, have repeatedly adopted an anti-crypto stance.
Others believe that this could be a good thing as it is important to have individuals making regulatory policies who are not directly involved with crypto as this provides an objective and relatively unbiased perspective free from any conflict of interest, but the counter argument here is that why is this seemingly only applicable for cryptocurrencies and not other industries like housing and real estate.
The U.S to be left behind?
Due to the aforementioned new policies, it should come as no surprise that many U.S-based crypto enthusiasts, businesses and investors have started moving abroad. This is not just limited to those living in the United States either, as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao recently relocated to Dubai in the UAE amidst growing regulatory concerns in the U.S. This makes sense as the United Arab Emirates continues to steadily become a global hub of sorts for all things relating to crypto and blockchain.
Ultimately, many would agree that the new policies are a massive step backwards in terms of bringing the U.S to the forefront of digital innovation and global dominance. Whereas a growing list of countries around the world are actively making efforts to facilitate crypto investors and businesses, it would nevertheless appear as if the United States could indeed be left behind in the inevitable global shift to the Web 3.0 era.
Solflare, A Solana (SOL)-Native Wallet, Recently Announced A New Integration With FTX.com And FTX.US
Solflare, a Solana (SOL)-native wallet, recently announced a new integration with FTX.com and FTX.US in order to make portfolio management for Solana users easier and more accessible.
According to Solflares team, this will simplify transfers between custodial and non-custodial accounts by allowing users to successfully manage FTX funds directly from their respective Solflare web extension and, later, through the mobile wallet. In order to connect the exchange accounts with Solflare, however, users should be aware that FTXs KYC rules would still apply.
Furthermore, because liquidity is sourced from FTX rather than Solana, token swaps on FTX accounts within the Solflare wallet will remain unaffected by Solanas frequent network congestions. Despite this, deposits and withdrawals on the Solana network may still seldom experience relatively slow speeds. Also, the wallet provides support for the deposit, withdrawal and visualization of FTX NFTs.
With this latest integration, Solflares ability to carry out coordinated airdrops along with various other yield incentives for DeFi users can be significantly improved. At the moment, Solana remains in the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalization but only barely, and something needs to change sooner rather than later if SOL looks to recover its previous heights.
Ethereums Public Testnets, Sepolia, Has Officially Been Merged
One of Ethereums public testnets, Sepolia, has officially been merged. This brings Ethereum developers one step closer to a merge on the main blockchain which is expected to occur later on in 2022.
Sepolias Proof-of-Work (PoW) chain, also known as the execution layer, merged with its Proof-of-Stake (PoS) beacon chain in this event, referred to as the consensus layer.
To accomplish this, node operators on both the PoW and PoS sides of the testnet were required to update their respective client software at the same time. The point of this experiment was to see if the validator nodes from both of Sepolias chains could cooperate.
The merge on a public testnet serves as a trial run for the main network. Moreover, this activity will most likely also assist client firms in identifying and resolving software issues prior to the deployment of the mainnet.
The merge will be tested on three public testnets, according to Ethereum developers. Ropsten and Sepolia are two recent examples. Only the Goerli testnet remains to be merged, with numerous reports indicating that this will probably happen in the next few weeks if all goes well from now on.
Grayscale Sued The SEC After Failure To Approve Their Proposed BTC Spot ETF
Grayscale Investments has filed a lawsuit against the United States SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) less than an hour after the SEC denied its application to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust product to an ETF. Lately, the SEC has been facing considerable backlash following its alleged anti-crypto attitude, which also previously included the infamous lawsuit against Ripple (XRP).
Essentially, a spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETF is made up of the flagship crypto or assets related to the price of BTC itself. The SEC turned down Grayscale's application after referencing concerns regarding market manipulation, Tether's role in the larger crypto ecosystem, and the apparent lack of any kind of reliable surveillance-sharing agreement between a regulated exchange and a significantly-sized regulated market.
The SEC also echoed concerns brought forth by the regulator in rejecting other spot BTC ETF applications for many years now. However, although the SEC maintains its stance on ETFs, a vast majority of the crypto community believes that this is just the latest attempt by the agency to undermine the cryptocurrency industry and impose total control over the burgeoning digital space.
More than meets the eye?
Grayscale essentially requested that the SEC's order be reviewed by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in its filing. The investment firm stated earlier this year that it was prepared to file a lawsuit against the SEC if its application was denied, stating that it would register a proceeding via the Administrative Procedures Act. In order to do this, Grayscale hired former Solicitor General Don Verrilli, who has experience in APA deliberations.
Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein stated that Grayscale encourages and acknowledges the SEC's obligation to safeguard investors, preserve fair, orderly, and effective markets, and last but not least facilitate capital formation. However, he continued, Grayscale is extremely disappointed and strongly disagrees with the SEC's decision to keep denying spot BTC ETFs access to the U.S market.
What comes next?
Only a few Bitcoin futures ETFs have been authorised for trading so far. Spot BTC ETFs trade on the price of the flagship cryptocurrency, whereas futures-based BTC ETFs trade on the price of CME's BTC futures product which would also be linked to an index. Furthermore, proponents of Bitcoin ETFs claim that futures markets are still largely dependent on the underlying spot BTC price, whereas the SEC points out that CME's futures market is regulated via the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission).
Ultimately, time will tell as to which direction the SEC will head in as the crypto, blockchain and DeFi sector continues to skyrocket in terms of popularity and usage around the world.
Cardanos Vasil Hardfork Successfully Launches On Testnet
Although Cardano's Vasil hardfork is yet to be fully released, the ecosystem's developer IOHK has nevertheless announced that the hardfork of the testnet over the weekend was a resounding success. The success of the testnet is a vital part of Vasil, as it plays a major role towards finalizing and releasing the mainnet upgrade.
It was via Twitter that IOHK confirmed the successful testnet hardfork, before adding that Cardano SPOs (Stake Pool Operators) must finalize all integration and testing processes soon and so too should all developers and comptaible exchanges.
Furthermore, the intricate program of work that the Vasil hardfork entails shall necessitate projects checking backward compatibility and SPOs making some scripting modifications.
Moreover, there will be a 4 week timeframe after the testnet hardfork to allow SPOs, developers, and exchanges to successfully test and upgrade prior to IOHK fully activating the Cardano mainnet hardfork.
The team reaffirmed that the Vasil enhancements ensure higher throughput via diffusion pipelining, as well as an improved developer experience through significantly enhanced script productivity and effectiveness along with lower costs.
Finally, the Vasil upgrade shall also involve improvements to Cardano cryptographic primitives, thereby allowing for better interoperability with other blockchains, as well as a tuned Plutus interpreter in addition to a brand new cost model, all of which are crucial components of Plutus V2 scripts.
OpenSea Security Breach
OpenSea issued a blog post earlier today informing its community that an employee of Customer.io, its email vendor, had reportedly shared a list of the marketplace's users' and newsletter subscribers' email addresses with an unauthorized third party.
The Customer.io employee had allegedly abused their position in order to obtian access to the list before subsequently sharing this information with the unnamed third party. Following the breach, OpenSea cautioned users to expect potential phishing attacks, claiming that email phishing attempts are more common than ever before nowadays.
It also advised users not to share crypto wallet passwords and addresses or participate in any transactions posted through email links. Although OpenSea has yet to confirm if the breach involved crypto wallet data, it did issue a warning according to which anyone who had shared an email address with the company to exercise caution nonetheless.
Lastly, although the NFT marketplace has already reported the breach to law enforcement authorities, it does not change the fact that this is just the latest incident associated with OpenSea's platform, with some customers even considering leaving the marketplace behind altogether due to the apparent lack of safety and security.
Alameda Research Commits $500 Million to Fund Distressed Trading Platform, Voyager Digital
Three Arrows Capital (3AC), a well-known cryptocurrency hedge fund, has now defaulted on a loan worth over $670 million. Voyager Digital, a digital asset brokerage, had recently issued a notice according to which the fund failed to successfully repay a $350 million loan in USDC and 15,250 BTC.
Voyager stated that it aims to continue pursuing 3AC recovery. In the meantime, the broker stressed that the platform is still operational and is actively fulfilling customer orders as well as withdrawals. However, experts believe that such assurance is presumably an attempt to keep fear of contagion from spreading throughout the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem and market.
Stephen Ehrlich, Voyager CEO and Co-Founder, said that the team is working tirelessly and quickly to improve the situation and pursue viable options to continue meeting customer liquidity demands.
Elsewhere, FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried's quantitative trading firm, Alameda, committed $500 million in funding to Voyager Digital in the previous week. Voyager has already drawn $75 million from this credit line, and Sam is also now the single biggest shareholder of Voyager Digital.
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