From NFT trading cards of a former U.S. president to aiding uprooted Ukrainians, here is this week’s news for cryptocurrency and Web3…
$100 Million Raise For Aztec Network
Aztec Network has made strong headway in its aim to encrypt the Ethereum blockchain. Web3 investment firm a16z led the way to raise $100 million in Series B funding for the project, which will reduce computational redundancy and add more privacy to prevent exposure of identifying information.
In addition to building the encryption architecture, the funds will be used to double Aztec’s current team of 40 people.
Trading Begins For first Hong Kong Bitcoin And Ether ETFs
China Southern Asset Management subsidiary CSOP Asset Management is listing the first ever bitcoin and ether ETFs on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today. The two funds have already attracted over $74 million in combined investments; $54 million for bitcoin and $20 million for ether.
Donald Trump’s NFT Trading Card Collection Sold Out Within Hours
Former U.S. president Donald Trump released, and sold out, an NFT trading card collection minted on Polygon yesterday. Each $99 NFT purchase also automatically entered the purchaser into a sweepstake to win prizes like a golfing trip or Zoom call with Trump.
The collection included 45,000 NFT trading cards depicting Trump in a variety of costumes and poses. According to OpenSea data, the trading earnings were 648 ETH, or about $785,000, and one holder received an airdrop for 1,000 cards before the public sale.
Digital Euro On the Horizon for the EU
The European Union is making a central bank digital currency a legislative priority in the coming two years. Presidents of the European Parliament, Council, and Commission have signed the joint agreement in advance of the European elections in 2024. Along with the digital euro, priorities also include anti-money laundering provisions for the crypto sector. The Commission plans to put forth a proposal in the second quarter of 2023.
A prototype for the digital euro is already underway with a selection of partners, including Amazon. The design phase will wrap up in March 2023, which will be followed by a decision on whether to implement a euro CBDC later in October.
G20 Looks To A Streamlined Policy Agreement For Crypto
The G20 economic leaders are looking to develop a streamlined policy agreement for crypto assets that would help inform global regulation. The meeting by finance and central bank deputies is taking place this week in Bengaluru, India as part of India’s one-year term of G20 presidency, taking over from Indonesia. The effort will study monetary policy, the banking sector, and the implications of crypto on the economy.
According to Ajay Seth, India's federal economic affairs secretary, “One of the priorities which have been put on the table is to help countries build a consensus for policy approach to the crypto assets."
MetaMask and PayPal Join Forces
MetaMask, the most popular web3 wallet, and PayPal, one of the world’s leading payments processors, have partnered to establish a new fiat on-ramp for ETH.
As part of the beta phase, select users in the United States can now purchase Ether from directly within the MetaMask app by logging into their PayPal accounts.
According to MetaMask’s product manager, Lorenzo Santos, “This integration with PayPal will allow our U.S. users to not just buy crypto seamlessly through MetaMask, but also to easily explore the Web3 ecosystem.”
The MetaMask-PayPal service will be made available to all eligible U.S. users in a matter of weeks.
PayPal has been making gentle forays into crypto in recent times. As of August 2022, PayPal users have been able to transfer, send, and receive Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, but this marks the first time making a direct integration with a web3 wallet.
The U.N. Is Sending Ukrainians Aid In Crypto
The U.N.’s refugee agency will be sending cryptocurrency Coin (USDC), a cryptocurrency pegged to the U.S. dollar, to displaced Ukrainians. The funds are intended for assistance with essentials such as rent and heat. Ukrainians will ultimately be able to exchange Coin for cash at MoneyGram locations worldwide.
This will be our final news roundup for 2022 and we look forward to our next publication on January 6, 2023. Happy holidays from all of us at Marfire and see you in 2023!
NFA DYOR (Not financial advice. Do your own research.)