5 March

“This historically neutral country hasn’t just joined the European Union in sanctioning Russia—it’s going after Russians’ crypto, too. According to a report Friday from the Financial Times, the Swiss federal government plans to freeze crypto assets owned by Russian citizens and businesses held within Switzerland’s borders.

Swiss Finance Minister Guy Parmelin says 223 Russians, including close associates of President Vladimir Putin, have had their bank accounts and physical assets frozen by Switzerland in the past week. The cryptocurrency prohibitions are an additional penalty beyond EU sanctions.”

The U.S. added 678,000 jobs last month, more than expected, in a sign of how tight the labor market has become. A hot labor market can lead to faster wage increases, which can fuel inflation if businesses try to pass along their higher personnel costs to consumers.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 678,000. Economists surveyed by Reuters had projected, on average, a gain of 400,000 jobs during the month. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.8%, from 4% in January. That’s nearing the pre-pandemic level of 3.5% in February 2020.

The Fed’s next monetary-policy meeting is scheduled for March 15-16.”

See Also: Bitcoin Extends Pullback Toward $37K-$40K Support Zone

Venezuela said its minimum wage would now be 50% pegged to the national petro (PTR) cryptocurrency, according to a report from Bloomberg on Friday.

Petro is built on top of the DASH blockchain and is centralized around government issuance, making it more like a central bank digital currency (CBDC) than a cryptocurrency. Not much is known about the petro because its advertised block explorer is inaccessible. According to reports, most Venezuelans do not use PTR by choice.”

“Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix is one of the largest traditional gaming giants with plans to make crypto games. Square Enix follows fellow publisher Ubisoft in making such a move, with Ubisoft recently announcing plans to bring its long-running Rabbids franchise to The Sandbox.

Square Enix will bring the Dungeon Siege fantasy role-playing game IP into The Sandbox in multiple ways, including with an interactive experience on Square Enix’s owned LAND in the shared online world. The publisher also will make Dungeon Siege characters and assets available for players to use within The Sandbox’s game-making tools.”

See Also: CVS Eyes Metaverse With 4 NFT-Related Trademarks

Diagonal’s goal is to provide Web 3 merchants “an entire product suite to make payments as simple as possible,” from connecting wallets and processing payments to handling accounting and sending subscription notifications to customers.

Collecting subscriptions in a decentralized fashion is not trivial, and if implemented sloppily can lead to companies and customers unnecessarily paying extra fees. Diagonal’s team is working on developing a public beta, which they plan to initially release on Ethereum layer 2 blockchains Polygon, Arbitrum and Optimism.”

“We are excited to announce a new wave of grants to fund formal research that aims to create more knowledge about Ethereum, blockchain technology, and related domains. We encourage academics, research centers, PhD Students and all those interested in researching Ethereum to submit their project proposals. This grants round has up to $750,000 in total available funding.

There is a growing number of outstanding researchers who explore various domain areas related to Ethereum and positively impact our shared knowledge on privacy, mechanism design, economics, transparency, financial inclusion, and more. But, we’d like to foster more!”