“The New York-based company, which manages over $10 trillion in assets for institutions, plans to enter the cryptocurrency space with ‘client support trading and then with their own credit facility.‘ In other words, clients would be able to borrow from BlackRock by pledging crypto assets as collateral.
Sources said BlackRock will allow its clients – which include public pension schemes, endowments and sovereign wealth funds – to trade cryptocurrency through the asset manager’s integrated investment management platform. The timetable for unveiling the service is unclear.
A second person with knowledge of the plans said BlackRock was ‘looking to get hands-on with outright crypto‘ and was ‘looking at providers in the space.’
They see all the flow that everyone else is getting and want to start making some money from this.”
“On Monday, Aave founder Stani Kulechov announced the launch of Lens, what he described on Twitter as an ‘open, composable [Web 3] social media protocol to allow anyone to create a non-custodial social media profile and build new social media applications.’
Interoperability and composability will be key features of the new platform. Lens serves as a platform on which developers can hypothetically build a wide range of applications – all while growing on and drawing on a shared base of users.
The cool part is that every app will expand the social graph, essentially there is less need for developers to growth hack for users, instead the focus can be shifted towards better and more humane user experience.
The protocol allows users to create NFT-based profiles that can store posts, publications and follower history; revenue-sharing features for content hosted on IPFS; it also has built-in governance for groups of mutual followers. The protocol is built on Polygon.
A grants program for developers who want to build applications on the protocol is currently open, and a homebrewed social app designed to demonstrate how the platform might be leveraged is ‘coming soon.'”
“Instead of banning cryptocurrencies, the Russian government has decided to regulate them, legitimizing a $2 trillion asset class in the world’s 11th-largest economy. Notably, the plan has the support of the central bank, which had called for a ban on crypto mining and trading.
The government’s blueprint released Tuesday says cryptocurrency purchases in Russia may take place, but only through locally registered and licensed companies so that users are fully verified. Cryptocurrency exchanges and peer-to-peer marketplaces would have to register as legal entities and join an official register of digital-currency exchange operators.
According to the newspaper Kommersant, the approach puts cryptocurrencies on a level with foreign currencies, which are regulated in a similar fashion. The new laws and directives are likely to come into force in the second half of 2022 or early 2023.
This is the second major regulatory cloud to have been lifted from the global crypto market in a month. India last week took a step toward legalization with a tax on digital asset transfers.
Russia’s move reflects a broader shift in regulatory attitudes towards these assets in various jurisdictions around the world. The political and economic cost of banning crypto will outweigh the risk to governments from allowing it to coexist with legacy financial institutions.”
“The two bills introduced on Feb. 2 propose allowing the state of Tennessee as well as its counties and municipalities to invest in crypto, as well as forming a committee aimed at studying crypto and blockchain.
Powell asked Tennessee lawmakers to consider forming a study committee aimed at making the state ‘the most forward thinking and pro-business state for cryptocurrency and blockchain and to foster a positive economic environment for blockchain and cryptocurrency.'”
“The announcement explains that with Tap to Pay, iPhone-owning merchants receive contactless payments by using their mobile devices as a point-of-sale machine.
According to Apple, the soon-to-be-launched Tap to Pay feature will extend support to ‘Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards and other digital wallets.’ It basically means that unless Apple places a direct barrier for it, customers who are using Coinbase Card, Crypto.com Visa Card or a similar payments card would be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings to make payments via Tap to Pay.”
“Buterin claims, ‘Rollups are in the short and medium term, and possibly in the long term, the only trustless scaling solution for Ethereum.’ Plenty of alternative layer 1 blockchains have looked for expandable systems outside of vertical rollups but have sacrificed liveliness, state growth and more, something the Ethereum developer community has taken a strong stance against.
Are current layer 2 companion networks cheap enough?
Rollups are significantly reducing fees for many Ethereum users: Optimism and Arbitrum frequently provide fees that are ~3-8x lower than the Ethereum base layer itself, and ZK rollups, which have better data compression and can avoid including signatures, have fees ~40-100x lower than the base layer.
Even without token subsidies, these rollups have seen significant adoption and are highlighting the demand for cheaper access to Ethereum. Arbitrum, for example, currently has over $2 billion in total value locked (TVL) and is home to a DeFi ecosystem that is beginning to show some promise. However, Buterin believes rollup fees must be even cheaper if they are going to encourage adoption in payments, gaming, and Web 3-focused products.”
“The mobile gaming giant expects to announce partnerships with, and possible purchases of, blockchain firms by the end of the second quarter. Zynga plans to expand the blockchain gaming team from the current 15 people to as many as 100, including filling out senior roles such as creative director and lead producer.
We’re fully tuned up to do acquisitions on the [Web 3] game publisher side. We are taking our community building seriously. We are ramping up that team deeply. When we ignite the community, we will be actively engaged.
Zynga initially gained name recognition through popular Facebook-based social games like Farmville. The move into blockchain gaming offers “future proofing” for the company, said Wolf.”
“The Washington Nationals baseball team said Wednesday it will “explore” in-stadium payments of Terra’s UST stablecoin as part of a nearly $40 million sponsorship. The thrust of that deal centers on exclusive seating naming rights. For the next five years, the ballpark’s home plate VIP lounge will be called “The Terra Club” and feature crypto branding prominently.
We are excited to partner with Terra to name our most exclusive club and explore bringing powerful new fan experiences to Nationals Park, including the use of UST cryptocurrency to make purchases.”
“A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that is raising money to support whistleblower Julian Assange’s defense has collected a record-breaking 12,350 ether ($38 million).
The DAO is a group of “cypherpunks” who started to form on Dec. 10, when a court in the U.K. ruled that Assange can be extradited to the U.S., where he faces 175 years in prison. Earlier this year, the WikiLeaks founder was given the right to request the U.K. Supreme Court block his extradition.
Proceeds will support Assange’s defense through the Hamburg, Germany-based nonprofit Wau Holland Foundation.”