In The News: Sberbank, Bitcoin Ordinals, Damus

03 Feb 2023   |   

Following this weekly newsletter, our crypto and web3 news is transitioning to a monthly roundup. Check out our top stories for the week…

Sberbank to Open Up DeFi Platform to 110 Million Customers by May

Sberbank is said to be launching a DeFi platform on Ethereum before May of this year. Users will be able to access it via the MetaMask wallet.

Sberbank's Product Director said the network is currently in closed beta testing, with open testing starting March 1. He added that DeFi could replace traditional banking services in the future.

Sberbank already has a license to issue and exchange digital assets. It has 110 million customers and one million corporate clients.

Source 1, Source 2

A new form of NFTs built on Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s previously rocky relationship with NFTs could be changing with the introduction of new Bitcoin-based NFTs called Ordinals.

Back in 2014, the first blockchain-based ‘NFTs’ were created on Counterparty, a Bitcoin protocol. Two of the most popular collections were Spells of Genesis and Rare Pepes. However, there’s been debate as to whether the Bitcoin blockchain was being misused with some users and developers feeling it was a poor use of Bitcoin resources.

Ordinals is a brand-new NFT protocol which provides an innovative way to store NFTs on Bitcoin. These NFTs are fully on-chain, rather than a link to an external website which is true for the majority of NFTs found on other blockchains. Storing on-chain is also up to 7x cheaper on Bitcoin than on Ethereum’s base layer.

An issue surrounding the ability to have NFTs on the Bitcoin protocol is the nature of the fungibility of bitcoins themselves. The fungibility of Bitcoins means that each one can be used interchangeably and separating them is relatively complex. Ordinals presents an innovative and unique way to attempt to overcome this issue. The process attempts to identify the order in which the coins were mined to create something akin to an identity for each individual satoshi (where a satoshi to a Bitcoin is similar to a cent to a dollar).

The creation of this ‘identity’ of each satoshi means that in some ways they can be perceived as non-fungible, which allows for a different value to be ascribed to one over another depending on what else might be ‘attached’ to it. The most common use case to date for NFTs are images, often forming part of limited number collections such as Bored Ape Yacht Club or CryptoPunks.

It is still early days for the use of Ordinals and time will tell if there is significant adoption in a community that has historically been less enthusiastic about the use of the Bitcoin protocol for NFTs.


Twitter Alternative Damus Quickly Hits 10K Beta Testers

Damus, a censorship-resistant social network with end-to-end private messaging, has gone live on the Apple App Store. It's based on the decentralized networking protocol Nostr, which gained popularity in December after Jack Dorsey, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, donated $300K to its creator.

Damus has integrated a Lighting Network widget to make Bitcoin payments and tips, and Dorsey shared the announcement on Twitter, calling it a “milestone for open protocols.”

After first struggling to get approvals, once approved on the Apple App Store Damus hit 10,000 beta users.


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NFA DYOR (Not financial advice. Do your own research.)

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