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Crypto this Thursday: Amazon Launches Exclusive NFTs, Coinbase Base Starts Slow, and More

Fernanda T
Latest News
August 10 2023 10:12AM

Amazon dives into the Play-to-Earn universe with exclusive NFTs

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is offering its 170 million top subscribers the chance to claim unique non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in popular blockchain games such as Mojo Melee and Blankos Block Party. Starting August 9th, Amazon Prime members will receive a variety of NFTs that offer unique benefits in games like BBP and Mojo Melee. These NFTs can be traded for profit, driving a Play-to-Earn economy. The collaboration between Amazon Prime Gaming and Mystic Moose has launched Mojo Melee, promising monthly in-game items and tradable digital collectibles. This expansion reflects Amazon’s commitment to blockchain technology and underscores the potential of NFTs in virtual worlds.

BIS joins forces with Ripple to boost cross-border payments

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) formed a task force for international payments including Ripple. Announced on Aug. 9, the group, part of the BIS Payments and Market Infrastructure Committee, aims to improve cross-border payments. Ripple will collaborate with entities such as Mastercard (NYSE:MA) and SWIFT to enhance interoperability. Global cooperation is essential for these improvements, BIS highlighted. Separately, SEC is seeking to review a decision in its case against Ripple Labs.

SoFi: A look at the delicate dance between banks and cryptocurrencies

San Francisco-based SoFi Technologies (NASDAQ:SOFI) has $170 million in cryptocurrencies, with $82 million in BTC (COIN:BTCUSD), $55 million in ETH (COIN:ETHUSD), plus Litecoin (COIN:LTCUSD), Cardano (COIN:ADAUSD), Solana (COIN:SOLUSD), Dogecoin (COIN:DOGEUSD) and Ethereum Classic (COIN:ETCUSD). While it started offering crypto services in 2019, it didn’t get a banking license until 2022. Facing questions from the US Senate and the Federal Reserve over compliance, SoFi’s relationship with crypto is closely monitored, reflecting broader concerns about traditional banks that embrace crypto.

PancakeSwap seeks advanced efficiency in Arbitrum One

PancakeSwap, the second largest decentralized exchange, has expanded to Arbitrum One, an Ethereum Layer 2 scaling, seeking lower fees and accelerated transactions. Initially, it will offer swaps and liquidity provisioning, followed by farming and IFO. This expansion makes DEX more capital efficient, with up to 4,000x greater efficiency thanks to the v3.

Coinbase Base starts quiet, but plans big

On the first day after its launch, Coinbase’s (NASDAQ:COIN) new blockchain, Base, saw flows below expectations, with just $10 million transferred. Data from Dune Analytics shows an enrollment of 15,000 new users and a 40% drop in transactions compared to the previous day. Most transfers were between $500 and $1,000 in Ether. A possible explanation for this slow start is that many investors had already transferred funds to Base before its official launch. Coinbase, meanwhile, is actively promoting its new network to attract more users.

Binance backs post-hack Curve with strategic investment

Binance Labs will invest $5 million in the Curve DAO Token (COIN:CRVUSD) from the Curve decentralized exchange on Ethereum. In response to a recent $70 million hack, Binance is fully supporting Curve. After the announcement, the value of the CRV increased by 4.8%, but then dropped slightly.

Alex Mashinsky had his bail changed

Former Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky had his bail modified by a federal judge to include electronic monitoring and restrictions on withdrawing funds. Mashinsky faces allegations of multiple fraud. After his arrest in July, he pleaded not guilty. Celsius declared bankruptcy in 2022 and was fined $4.7 billion for misleading users. Roni Cohen-Pavon, former director of the platform, also faces similar accusations.

Gemini vs DCG: Duel of giants over fraud allegations

The Digital Currency Group (DCG) has refuted accusations by cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, which claimed fraud on the part of DCG subsidiary Genesis and its founder, Barry Silbert. Gemini alleges Genesis’ financial misrepresentation, linked to the collapse of Three Arrows Capital in 2022. DCG alleges that Gemini’s actions are a public relations campaign, spearheaded by the Winklevoss, to divert attention from its own poor management.

FTX rejects UCC proposal, targets FTX 2.0 launch

FTX leaders, including CEO John J. Ray III, disapproved of the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors’ (UCC) proposal to control assets and invest $2.6 billion in Treasuries. After criticism of FTX for spending during the bankruptcy, the company recovered $7 billion of the $8.7 billion owed. FTX plans to launch FTX 2.0, albeit facing skepticism, and has denied cryptocurrency services through FTX Dubai.

Num Finance and TruBit promote Argentine stablecoin in Latin America

Num Finance, an Argentine stablecoin issuer, has partnered with TruBit exchange to promote the adoption of nARS in Latin America. The collaboration will enable the integration of the nARS stablecoin into the TruBit Pro Exchange platform. The strategy aims to expand the access and usefulness of nARS, mainly benefiting Latin American users. The partnership aims to connect traditional finance with cryptocurrencies and tackle monetary challenges in the region.

MakerDAO’s ambition: Spark and the future of lending governance

Rune Christensen of MakerDAO (COIN:DAOUSD) has proposed a new governance token for the Spark Lending Protocol, planning to distribute 2 billion Spark tokens over ten years to encourage continued use. Spark, which accepts assets like Ether (COIN:ETHUSD) and Dai (COIN:DAIUSD) as collateral, can become a subDAO within MakerDAO, an autonomous entity with its own governance. The plan seeks to strengthen the SparkDAO community and encourage adoption of the protocol by adjusting the yield rate on Dai deposits.

Nigeria bets on blockchain to certify its youth

The Nigerian government plans to adopt blockchain technology to issue and verify NYSC certificates. This decision aims to combat counterfeiting problems that have affected the authenticity of certificates. With the support of the Central Bank and NITDA, the measure also brings Nigeria in line with modern digitization trends and provides greater transparency to processes. The growing use of blockchain reflects the country’s openness to technological innovations, including recognizing digital assets in its tax legislation.

Bank of England seeks brilliant minds to unlock the CBDC world

The Bank of England (BoE) has created the CBDC Academic Advisory Group (AAG) to advise on central bank digital currency (CBDC). The group will work closely with Her Majesty’s Treasury (HM) and invite academics to join and provide cross-disciplinary insights. The aim is to deepen the understanding of CBDCs, considering various disciplines, and to promote discussions on their implementation. In February, a public consultation was launched on the digital libra, pointing to future collaborations and research-based assessments by the AAG.

France sets sail for the MiCA era in crypto regulations

In 2024, France will adapt its cryptographic regulations to the pan-European MiCA standard. The Autorité des Marchés Financiers detailed new rules for digital asset service providers, including managing conflicts of interest and protecting customer assets. Platforms registered before 2024 will have lighter guidelines. MiCA, approved in 2023, has raised concerns in the crypto community, such as limits on stablecoins.

India flirts with Web3 with secure browsing and digital signature

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Technology intends to enable the digital signing of documents with cryptographic tokens in a new national web browser. Even without clear legislation on Web3 or cryptocurrency in India, the IWBDC project was launched, seeking a browser with support for Web3 and high standards of security and privacy. The prize pool is US$400,000 and the deadline for entries is July 2024.

Riot hits $76.7M in revenue, overcoming crypto market hurdles

Bitcoin (COIN:BTCUSD) mining company Riot Platforms (NASDAQ:RIOT) reported revenue of $76.7 million for the quarter ending June 30, 2023. Riot reduced mining costs and produced 460 Bitcoins in June, offsetting lower revenue from energy sales. Partnerships, like the one with Midas Immersion, position Riot as a leader in mining. Even facing challenges such as storms and declining hosting revenue, the company has shown resilience and innovation in the unpredictable cryptocurrency market.

Xverse raises millions to expand Bitcoin DeFi universe

Bitcoin wallet Xverse raised $5 million in a round led by Jump Crypto, aiming to improve DeFi capabilities and Bitcoin scaling solutions. Based in Hong Kong, Xverse supports Ordinals, a technique for creating NFTs on Bitcoin.