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Crypto This Wednesday: Binance Academy on Coursera, New AI Tool Revolutionizes Smart Contracts, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
July 05 2023 09:58AM

Valkyrie Funds proposes Bitcoin Spot ETF in partnership with Coinbase

Valkyrie Funds has proposed a spot bitcoin ETF with shared surveillance partnership with Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN). Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ) is set to list the fund’s shares, and Coinbase is the operator of the largest bitcoin spot trading platform in the US. Major exchanges such as BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) and Fidelity are also pursuing surveillance sharing deals with Coinbase.

NFT royalties hit lowest level since 2021

NFT royalty earnings have hit their lowest level since 2021, according to crypto data firm Nansen. The dominant platform for distributing royalties, until February 2023, was OpenSea, but Blur has changed the landscape by introducing requirements for royalties. Currently, OpenSea and Blur are on par when it comes to royalties. While earnings have declined, projects such as Bored Ape Yacht Club and Azuki have still seen high royalties. In 2022, NFT creators earned $1.8 billion in royalties, with the top 10 projects earning $489 million in residual earnings.

Institutional investors drive BTC and ETH trading volumes

Institutional investors are focusing on crypto products, with increases in trading volumes for Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) and Ethereum (COIN:ETHUSD), according to a report by CCData. BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF registration boosted optimism in June. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) had its best ever June for Bitcoin futures volumes, with an increase of 28.6% to $37.9 billion. Bitcoin Micro (MBT) futures contracts also saw an increase of 21.1%. Ethereum-based products also saw significant increases. The increase in speculation and trading could benefit CME Group’s upcoming Ethereum-to-Bitcoin Ratio Futures product.

Binance Academy and Coursera unite, Binance drops support for Multichain-bridged tokens

Binance Academy has partnered with online learning platform Coursera to offer educational programs on blockchain, web3 and cryptocurrencies. Courses will cater to beginners and potential professionals alike, with digital certificates awarded to students upon completion. Demand for blockchain developers increased by 552% in 2022, highlighting the importance of learning in these areas. The programs will launch in the coming months, offering online content taught by Binance Academy experts. In other news, Binance will temporarily suspend support for eight Multichain-bridged (MULTI) tokens due to issues with cross-chain routes. Users will not be able to deposit or withdraw digital assets from these tokens on networks such as Fantom, BNB Smart Chain, Ethereum and Avalanche. Deposits will continue to be available on other networks. The token (COIN:MULTIUSD) from Multichain experienced a drop in response to the news. The Multichain protocol has faced past issues, including an unsuccessful cross-bridge upgrade and rumors about the CEO. Protocol staff resumed operations but did not provide additional details on other affected routes.

Binance faces regulatory investigation in Australia

Binance faces an ongoing investigation by the Australian Investment and Supervisory Authority (ASIC) into its defunct local derivatives exchange. ASIC conducted searches of Binance Australia offices to analyze whether their clients classified as retail or wholesale investors. Binance is cooperating with regulators and emphasizes its commitment to complying with local regulatory standards. This investigation adds to the increasing regulatory scrutiny facing Binance around the world, including SEC actions in the United States and investigations in France and Nigeria. Other exchanges such as Coinbase, Kraken and Bittrex have also faced regulatory action.

OPNX launches oUSD credit coin for margin trading

Cryptocurrency futures exchange OPNX has launched the oUSD credit coin for margin trading. Available in its phase 1, users can acquire the USD by depositing cryptocurrencies on the exchange. In its phase 2, the platform plans to offer oUSD to users who deposit cryptocurrencies in on-chain contracts to provide “bankruptcy distance”. The oUSD credit coin allows traders to use cryptocurrencies as collateral, and the interest rate is determined by the OX token holders. OPNX co-founder Mark Lamb claims that users will have proven solvency and asset protection.

Teenagers arrested for theft of $4.2 million in cryptocurrencies

Two 17-year-olds have been arrested in the US on charges of stealing around $4.2 million worth of cryptocurrency from a victim via a spear phishing attack. The youths impersonated Coinbase Support and tricked the victim into providing Ethereum and Bitcoin. The investigation involved the FBI and the US Secret Service. The case highlights the importance of cybersecurity in the cryptocurrency industry.

Losses of over $300 million from cryptocurrency hacks in Q2

In the second quarter of 2023, more than $300 million worth of digital assets were lost due to cryptocurrency hacks and exploits, according to a quarterly report by CertiK. There were a total of 212 security incidents, resulting in $313,566,528 worth of Web3 protocols being drained. While the amount is lower compared to the previous year, losses related to exit scams increased to around $70 million. However, losses from instant loans and manipulation of oracles have decreased significantly. BNB Chain (COIN:BNBUSD) had the most incidents, followed by Ethereum. An additional report by PeckShield revealed that half of stolen non-fungible tokens are sold within three hours of theft.

Rocket Pool promises full decentralization and on-chain governance

In response to concerns raised about Rocket Pool’s centralized governance, the project pledged to move towards full decentralization. The community advocate emphasized the commitment to developing on-chain governance for the DAO Protocol (pDAO) and reducing the authority of a single externally owned account (EOA). Rocket Pool is committed to becoming “100% decentralized” and is planning updates to achieve that goal. Comparison with the Lido project, which already has a fully decentralized governance, was also mentioned.

Saxo Bank ordered to sell cryptocurrency holdings by Danish FSA

The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has ordered Saxo Bank to sell its cryptocurrency holdings as financial institutions in the country are banned from trading cryptocurrencies. The FSA has stated that cryptocurrency trading is not a legal activity for financial institutions, and unregulated trading could create distrust in the financial system. Pending the implementation of EU MiCA regulations, cryptocurrency trading activities remain unregulated in Denmark.

Reserve Bank of India to expand digital Rupee for cross-border payments

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expanding its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the “digital rupee”, to facilitate cross-border trade and payments. RBI is negotiating with counterparties in 18 countries to improve the international digital rupee infrastructure. The objective is to reduce costs, increase the efficiency of international transactions and strengthen economic ties. Indian CBDC has already achieved success and is being explored in various sectors, with the aim of expanding its use in different use cases and jurisdictions.

RAK DAO and HBAR Foundation partner to support cryptocurrency ecosystem

RAK Digital Assets Oasis (RAK DAO), a free zone in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) dedicated to cryptocurrency companies, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the HBAR Foundation to offer support to its ecosystem members through a donation and assistance program to leverage the Hedera blockchain. The partnership aims to drive the sustainable growth of the ecosystem and position Ras Al Khaimah as a global leader in the digital economy. The collaboration will offer startups access to grants and expert support, as well as launch joint projects and startup pitch sessions.

DBS launches Digital Yuan billing solution for enterprises in China

DBS Bank has launched a digital yuan merchant billing solution for business customers in mainland China. The new solution allows companies to receive payments in central bank digital currency (CBDC) in an automated way. The platform also offers consolidated business reporting and reconciliation. DBS Bank takes a pro-crypto stance and aims to position its business for a digital future in China. Adoption of the digital yuan is growing in the country.

Bunzz announces “DeCipher” AI tool for smart contracts

Singapore-based technology company Bunzz PTE LTD has announced the upcoming launch of “DeCipher”, an AI-based tool that will revolutionize the generation of smart contract documentation. Scheduled for release in July 2023, DeCipher leverages advanced AI models such as ChatGPT3.5 and 4 for accurate contract analysis. In addition to generating documentation, the tool offers editing and deployment features, facilitating application development and increasing process efficiency. Bunzz is committed to providing cutting-edge technology to the blockchain industry.

Aave token holders vote on converting ETH to wstETH and rETH

DeFi Aave token holders are voting on whether 1,600 ETH, worth $3 million, will be converted to wstETH and rETH. These liquid equity derivatives allow investors to earn returns while maintaining liquidity. The proposal seeks to increase yields for the Aave protocol, which currently yields 1.69% with the 1,600 ETH staked. Voting is ongoing, with the majority of votes in favor so far. The price of the Aave token (COIN:AAVEUSD) recorded a weekly increase of 12.43% and a monthly increase of 18.29%.