24 February

Wealthy Ukrainians, at least those who have not fled the country, are looking to cryptocurrencies as a safe haven for their assets as the Russian-Ukraine conflict heats up. However, there’s a limited supply of Tether’s USDT dollar-linked stablecoins, and that limit has pushed up the exchange rate to a sizable premium.

There is nothing you can do with the cash right now in here. We don’t trust the government. We don’t trust the banking system. We don’t trust the local currency.

Most people who want to hedge with cryptocurrencies exchange cash for USDT, and then convert that to other coins such as bitcoin or ether. The problem is, the USDT supply is limited locally so buyers can’t even purchase it at a 4% premium, he said. The situation is worsened by Ukraine’s local currency devaluation. The hryvnia has lost 6% of its value since Feb. 16.

In the worst-case scenario, the internet and the whole banking system could break down in Ukraine, and crypto could be a safe haven.

The majority of people have nothing else to choose apart from crypto. Those who are already in the crypto world are on the safe side, and many are trying their best to get in, with difficulty.

We’re talking about millions of dollars of cash that wants to go into crypto, but we can’t find people who are willing to do the opposite, sell it.”

See Also: Canada, Russia and Crypto’s Place in the World

Circle has launched a new account service aimed at helping businesses transact in cryptocurrencies — potentially opening the door to wider mainstream adoption of digital assets. The new business-centric Circle Account allows enterprise clients to deposit, withdraw, receive and store cryptocurrencies and have all payments settled in the USDC stablecoin.

Circle’s new account features give businesses the ability to seamlessly integrate crypto payments into their operations and use digital assets as collateral. Account holders can send and receive USDC across eight blockchains, including Ethereum, Algorand, Solana, Stellar, Tron, Hedera, Avalanche and Flow.

Some drivers for USDC growth are increased payment use cases, cross-border transactions and the adoption of assets like USDC as a “flight to safety,” especially in countries where the local currency is suffering from a valuation loss.”

Web 3 browser Opera has integrated decentralized finance (DeFi) trading platform DeversiFi to bring a layer 2 Ethereum wallet to its users. With its DeversiFi integration, Opera aims to enable users to transact on Ethereum’s layer 2 directly, offering them fast transacting at low costs.

Opera for Android will become the first mobile browser with a layer 2 Ethereum wallet. Opera’s “Crypto Browser Project” launched in beta earlier this month as an internet browser with built-in Web 3 integrations.”

See Also: StarkWare Launches Layer 2 Product StarkNet on Ethereum
See Also: Puma registers ENS domain, changes name to Puma.eth on Twitter

This year’s conference stood out due to the sheer amount of actual building that occurred. Full of starry-eyed optimism for the future of Web 3 and crypto, simply put, they came to Denver to BUIDL.

It’s wild right now. There’s so many people building in Web 3 – everyone from the brilliant hackers in a college dorm room to the largest corporations.

Many prominent developers compared the energy of the conference to the early days of Web 2. For many projects, that meant new product launches aimed at integrations or tools that streamlined the development process for engineers.

Skale, an Ethereum scaling solution, announced a $100 million ecosystem fund last Friday. ‘Our hackers are grinding. So far, they’ve made over 20 submissions on Skale.’ Last Thursday, data-querying project The Graph announced a similar $205 million ecosystem fund to support dapp development using its technology.

Launched last week, MetaMask Snaps, available only on the developer build of MetaMask, allows third-party projects, such as Solana or Cosmos, to create their own application programming interfaces (APIs) for for the popular Ethereum wallet.

Beyond Web 3, the buzz focused on interoperability.

Reach is a programming language that allows developers to use a few lines of JavaScript code to write Solidity smart contracts.

Ta’s hackathon submission, Proof of Meditation, is a decentralized application (dapp) that takes a user’s heart rate during meditation sessions to generate unique pixel art NFTs. It won a prize in the “Impact” category.”

See Also: Ren Labs Raises $7.5M for ‘Catalog’ Cross-Chain Exchange

Indira Kempis is pro-Bitcoin. Mexico’s president is not.

The legislator praised Bitcoin’s attributes as an inclusive currency that benefits the unbanked. She said she has been consulting with people knowledgeable in the asset, and now she wants to use her political influence to promote the usability of Bitcoin in all of Mexico. She has been working on a proposal for a crypto-friendly legal framework.

We need bitcoin to be a legal tender in Mexico.

In October, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador clearly stated in a press conference that his administration is not interested in adopting Bitcoin as a means of payment—much less declaring it legal tender. He is instead focused on strengthening the country’s financial system by fighting tax evasion.”

The brand refresh is meant to symbolize a pivot to “a product-first focus.” Tendermint’s prior focus was on developing back-end Cosmos infrastructure.

The team’s new growth strategy involves optimizing the user experience of Ignite’s portfolio manager, Emeris, to better on-board newer users into Cosmos and build its developer platform, Starport, into a tool that enables non-coders to easily churn out blockchains and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

Despite the messy breakup of Ignite’s founding team in 2020, the Cosmos ecosystem has enjoyed steady growth over the past year, and Ignite hired 90 new employees in 2021, bringing its total headcount to 120.”