February 13, 2024

Crypto Weekly Digest #44: Exploring NFT Frontiers, Ethereum's Upgrade & Global Ventures

Welcome to the 44th edition of the Crypto Weekly Digest! ๐Ÿš€๐ŸŒ

Dive into a world where technology meets innovation and the boundaries of finance are constantly redefined.

From groundbreaking partnerships that bridge traditional finance with blockchain to pivotal moments in the world of NFTs and beyond, we've got all the latest news and insights to keep you ahead in the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape.

Get ready to explore how giants like Disney and Epic Games are crafting metaverses, the way Ethereum's latest upgrade is shaking up the crypto space, and much more.


Let's embark on this digital journey together!

๐Ÿš€ Ethereum's Dencun Upgrade: Making Transactions Cheaper and Faster! ๐Ÿ“‰๐Ÿ’ธ

Ethereum is on the brink of a groundbreaking update called the Dencun upgrade, set to roll out on March 13, promising to significantly lower transaction fees and speed up processing times. This eagerly anticipated "hard fork" will introduce proto-danksharding and blob-carrying transactions, a savvy move designed to create more block space and reduce the costs of Ethereum layer 2 solutions. ๐Ÿ’ก

Scheduled for 13:55 UTC, the upgrade's success hinges on reaching slot 8626176 in the Ethereum blockchain. Proto-danksharding is about to revolutionize transaction efficiency by limiting the number of large data "blobs" in each block, ultimately providing about 2 megabytes of additional block space. Since last year's Shapella upgrade, this is Ethereum's most crucial update, aligning with the community's call to "Make Ethereum cheap again!" ๐ŸŒ

source: here ย 

Ondo Finance Joins Forces with Sui: A Game-Changer for DeFi Innovation! ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿ”’

Ondo Finance is set to revolutionize the Sui blockchain ecosystem by introducing a groundbreaking native yield-bearing stablecoin-like asset, USDY. Announced on February 7th, 2024, this collaboration will unlock unparalleled opportunities for developers and users within the Sui network. Leveraging Ondo's expertise in tokenizing real-world assets like treasuries and securities, this integration promises to infuse Sui's rapidly growing DeFi sector with fresh, innovative financial products.

The introduction of USDY, a US treasury-backed and interest-bearing token, marks Sui's debut into native dollar-denominated tokens, enhancing its functionality and solidifying its position in the top DeFi ecosystems ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ’ฐ. With Ondo's reputation for bridging the gap between traditional finance and the blockchain, this partnership is a testament to Sui's attractive performance and future potential in the decentralized finance landscape.

source: here

GoDaddy Teams Up with ENS: Bridging Domains to Blockchain! ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ”—

GoDaddy, a domain registration and web hosting giant, has joined forces with Ethereum Name Service (ENS) to revolutionize how domain names interact with the blockchain world. Announced on February 5, 2024, this partnership aims to seamlessly integrate DNS with ENS, enabling users to link their traditional domain names to ENS without any hassle or extra costs. ๐ŸŒ

This collaboration is an important move towards merging GoDaddy's reliability and global reach with ENS's innovative, decentralized technology. By facilitating a straightforward connection between DNS domain names and Ethereum's blockchain, GoDaddy and ENS are making digital identities more secure and user-friendly. This move not only enhances the visibility of ENS within the Ethereum ecosystem but also simplifies the management of digital assets, fostering a more interconnected and efficient online space. ๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ”

source: here

๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’ผ OSL & UBS Break New Ground with Hong Kong's First Tokenised Warrant!

In a pioneering move, OSL Digital Securities has teamed up with UBS to launch Hong Kong's inaugural investment-grade tokenized warrant, setting a new benchmark in the digital asset sector. This innovative venture, announced on February 7, 2024, features an equity-linked call warrant token minted on the Ethereum blockchain, marking a significant leap in the fusion of traditional finance and blockchain technology. ๐Ÿ”ฅ

This collaboration not only showcases the potential for blockchain to streamline financial transactions with enhanced transparency and reduced costs but also paves the way for more flexible and efficient trading mechanisms in the region. By simulating the complete product lifecycle of an equity-linked structured product token, OSL and UBS are not just crossing a major milestone in Hong Kong's regulated virtual asset landscape but are also demonstrating the transformative capabilities of blockchain technology in reshaping financial product issuance and distribution in Asia. ๐ŸŒ

source: here

๐Ÿ”„๐Ÿ”’ ERC-404: Bridging the Gap Between Tokens and NFTs on Ethereum

Ethereum's new experimental token standard, ERC-404, represents a bold step towards integrating fungible tokens (ERC-20) with non-fungible tokens (NFTs, ERC-721). Unlike previous attempts at NFT fractionalization, ERC-404 introduces a novel mechanism that allows tokens and NFTs to coexist more seamlessly, providing a hybrid solution that could potentially lower transaction costs and increase block space utilization. The main aim? Above all, enhancing liquidity and trading flexibility๐Ÿ’ก

The standard facilitates a dynamic process where NFTs can be minted or burned in alignment with token transactions, offering a unique approach to ownership and trade in the digital space. While the innovation of ERC-404 promises to address some of the liquidity challenges faced by NFTs, it also brings forth questions regarding market adoption, integration complexities, and the experimental nature of its implementation within the Ethereum ecosystem.

Although a mixture of ERC-20 and ERC-721, ERC-404 remains an experimental standard that has not yet been accepted as an Ethereum Improvement Proposal. Given Binance's support despite the lack of official approval, this advancement may raise eyebrows. Time will tell what implications ERC-404 brings and whether it proves itself safe and stable.๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’ธ๐Ÿš€

source: here

๐Ÿ”’โœจ Charles Wang Applauds Colonylab: A Testament to Blockchain Security Excellence! ๐ŸŒ

In the ever-evolving world of web3, securing smart contracts is paramount, and Charles Wang, a titan in the blockchain security domain, has just given Colonylab the highest form of praise. With over 250 audits under his belt and a track record of safeguarding over $1B in Total Value Locked (TVL), Wang hailed Colonylab's contract as one of the cleanest he has ever audited. This acknowledgment is not just a feather in Colonylab's cap, but a beacon of their commitment to excellence and security in the blockchain space. ๐Ÿ†

The Colonylab team's dedication to innovative features while prioritizing top-notch security has made this collaboration a rewarding journey. As a proud partner of Colonylab, 4soft is thrilled to be a part of a team that sets the gold standard in blockchain security. Wang's optimistic outlook for Colonylab investors only adds to the excitement. As part of this visionary collaboration, we at 4soft are both proud and inspired, eagerly anticipating the groundbreaking advancements for Colonylab and its investors. ๐ŸŒŸ

OKX Dives into Argentina & Kraken Conquers the Netherlands! ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

OKX, a leading figure in the Web3 and crypto exchange arena, has officially expanded its reach to Argentina, marking a great milestone in its global expansion strategy. With its launch on February 7, 2024, OKX brings to Argentina a suite of crypto services, including a secure, non-custodial Web3 Wallet and an exchange platform offering trading, staking, and deep liquidity for a wide array of crypto assets. To cater to the local market, OKX provides Spanish-language support and popular local payment methods within its P2P platform, aiming to bridge the gap between Argentinians and the crypto world in a user-friendly and secure manner. With over 50 million users globally, OKX's move into Argentina underscores its commitment to fostering cryptocurrency adoption and providing robust security measures, including transparent proof of reserves.๐ŸŒŽ

Simultaneously, Kraken has made headlines by securing a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registration in the Netherlands, granted by the Dutch Central Bank. This achievement allows Kraken to offer a comprehensive range of services, including exchange, transfer, custody, and wallet services for virtual assets, marking its fourth European license. Kraken's strategic expansion in the Netherlands is part of its broader aim to tap into Europe's vibrant crypto market, highlighting the Netherlands' high crypto adoption rates and positioning itself as a compliant and trustworthy platform in the region amidst its challenges in the United States.๐Ÿ™

These developments signal a significant leap forward for both OKX and Kraken as they navigate the complexities of global expansion and regulatory compliance, setting new standards for security, transparency, and user experience in the dynamic world of cryptocurrency. ๐Ÿ”

source: here

๐ŸฅŠ๐Ÿ’ฅ Usyk Champions the First Boxing Web3 App: A Knockout for Connectivity! ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ”—

World champion boxer Oleksandr Usyk is revolutionizing the boxing world with the launch of "Ready to Fight" (RTF), the pioneering Web3 app designed to connect fighters globally and expand their fan bases. RTF leverages blockchain and crypto technologies to address a long-standing issue in boxing: finding the right sparring partners. Before RTF, boxers relied on outdated methods like phone books and personal networks to arrange sparring matches.

Usyk, reflecting on his early career challenges, emphasized the app's simplicity and efficiency in connecting fighters, stating that all his current sparring partners were discovered through RTF. The app has already started to change lives, as shared by amateur boxer Steven Torres, who found an incredible opportunity to spar with Usyk through RTF. Highlighting the integration of Web3 technology, RTF aims not just to simplify connections within the boxing community but also introduces users to the crypto world, promising a secure, scalable platform for the sport's future.๐Ÿ†

source: here

๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿ‰ Disney and Epic Games Unite for a $1.5 Billion Metaverse Odyssey! ๐ŸŽฎ

In an epic move towards the future of entertainment, The Walt Disney Company and Epic Games are setting the stage for a groundbreaking 'persistent universe' with a whopping $1.5 billion partnership. This ambitious collaboration aims to intertwine Disney's vast storytelling empire with the immersive digital landscapes of Fortnite, promising a multi-faceted gaming experience where fans can play, interact, and dive deep into the worlds of Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.๐Ÿช


The goal is to enhance the gaming experience, enabling players to craft their own narratives in this vast universe. Furthermore, it also represents a vital advancement toward the eagerly anticipated metaverse. Leveraging Unreal Engine's prowess, this partnership is poised to transform how stories are told and experienced, merging the realms of gaming, entertainment, and interactive storytelling into a unified, dynamic community of Disney enthusiasts and gamers worldwide. ๐ŸŒโœจWill the other streaming giants follow Disney's path and delve deeper into the metaverse? Soon, it will become clear!

source: here

Sothebyโ€™s Metaverse Leaps Forward with Kresus Wallet Integration! ๐Ÿ’ณโœจ

Sotheby's, the iconic British auction house, is embracing the future of art with an innovative jump into the metaverse, partnering with Kresus to integrate its cutting-edge wallet for seamless NFT management. This collaboration marks a notable enhancement to Sotheby's Metaverse, hosted within Decentraland, where users can explore and acquire digital art and collectibles in a virtual replica of Sotheby's London galleries. ๐ŸŽจ

The Kresus wallet, known for its user-friendly seedless design and secure trading features, aims to lower the entry barrier for newcomers to the cryptocurrency and NFT world. This integration is a game-changer, providing art enthusiasts with an easier way to engage with digital art, bridging the gap between traditional and digital art collecting. Furthermore, Sotheby's is set to host a Sealed Auction of Ether Rock, underlining its commitment to pioneering the digital collectibles space and offering a unique blend of art history and blockchain innovation. ๐Ÿ–ผ๏ธ

source: here

๐Ÿ’ธ Tether Fuels Oobit's Vision: Crypto Payments Go Global! โœจ

Tether, a giant in the crypto industry, has thrown its weight behind Oobit, a promising mobile payment app, with a hefty $25 million investment in its Series A funding. This strategic move is set to turbocharge Oobit's mission to bridge the gap between cryptocurrency and mainstream retail transactions. ๐Ÿ’ณ

Oobit's innovative app now enables crypto enthusiasts to effortlessly Tap & Pay at over 100 million retailers worldwide that accept Visa and Mastercard, bringing the crypto payment experience closer to the convenience of traditional credit card transactions.

This investment not only aligns with Tether's vision of financial inclusivity but also marks an essential milestone in the journey towards widespread cryptocurrency adoption. With Oobit, the future of crypto payments looks bright, promising a world where digital assets move freely and seamlessly in everyday commerce. ๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ’ผ

source: here

SEC Revamps Rules: A New Era for Crypto and DeFi Regulation! ๐Ÿ’ผ๐Ÿ“ˆ

The SEC is setting new standards in the crypto world, extending federal securities laws to cover key players in the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (DeFi) sectors. ๐Ÿšจ

This move aims to bring significant liquidity providers under the regulatory umbrella, ensuring transparency and compliance across the board. However, this decision has sparked debate, with the U.S. House Financial Services Republican Committee calling out the rules for being "overly broad" and potentially stifling the dynamic nature of the digital asset market. ๐Ÿ”ง

The lack of clear guidelines and the challenge of implementing these new rules have left many in the crypto community on edge, worried about future innovation and market fluidity. It's a critical moment that could redefine the balance between regulation and growth in the rapidly evolving crypto landscape. ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ’ก

source: here


Saudi Arabia & Hedera Unleash $250M DeepTech Venture Studio! ๐ŸŒโœจ

In a groundbreaking move, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Investment (MISA) and The Hashgraph Association are teaming up to launch a $250 million DeepTech Venture Studio in Riyadh. This strategic partnership aims to catapult the Kingdom into the forefront of technological innovation, leveraging cutting-edge technologies like AI, Blockchain/DLT, and Quantum Computing. Set to kick off in Q2-2024, this venture will focus on nurturing over 500 companies with solutions that span across various deep tech sectors. ๐Ÿ’ก

This initiative aligns with Saudi Vision 2030's goal of fostering a vibrant society and diversified economy, but also puts Saudi Arabia on a fast track towards becoming a global hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurship. With comprehensive support ranging from technical engineering to IPO listing guidance, this venture studio is poised to redefine the landscape of Web3 and deep tech innovation. ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ”ง

source: here

Thailand Boosts Crypto Economy: 7% VAT on Trading Gains Suspended! ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿ’ธ

Thailand's Ministry of Finance has taken a bold step to cement the country's position as a digital asset hub by suspending the 7% value-added tax (VAT) on cryptocurrency trading gains. Effective since January 1, 2024, this move aims at stimulating growth within the local cryptocurrency market without setting an expiration date for the tax exemption. ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ’ฐ

By extending VAT relief to transactions facilitated by brokers and dealers regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand not only simplifies crypto trading but also attracts major global exchanges like Binance. This strategic decision underscores Thailand's commitment to fostering a friendly regulatory environment for digital assets, setting a precedent for innovation and development in the crypto space. ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ“ˆ

source: here

๐Ÿ’ก Ethiopia's Power Play: Becoming a Bitcoin Mining Giant! โ›๏ธ

Ethiopia is rapidly emerging as a global hotspot for Bitcoin mining, thanks to its strategic partnership with Chinese miners and access to one of the world's lowest electricity costs, powered by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The country has entered the crypto mining arena by facilitating power supply deals with 21 Bitcoin miners, predominantly from China, leveraging its abundant hydropower resources. โšก


While aligning with Ethiopia's ambition to become a digital asset center, this move represents a remarkable shift in the global Bitcoin mining landscape, potentially rivaling Texas as a leading hub. Despite political and economic challenges, the allure of cheap, renewable energy and a government increasingly open to technological innovation makes Ethiopia an attractive destination for the Bitcoin mining industry, offering a unique blend of economic and geopolitical advantages. ๐Ÿ”—

source: here


Major Crypto Scandal in South Korea: Haru Invest Execs Arrested for $826M Embezzlement! ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ”’

In a shocking development, South Korean prosecutors have apprehended three executives from Haru Invest, a cryptocurrency investment platform, on charges of embezzling a staggering 1.1 trillion Korean won (about $826 million) from roughly 16,000 users. The arrests highlight allegations of deceptive practices, with Haru Invest accused of misleading investors about the safety of their Earn Plus product, which promised returns of up to 12%. ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿ’ฐ

This case underscores the risks lurking in the crypto yield sector, as Haru allegedly concentrated most client investments under a single manager, contrary to its claims of utilizing "risk-free distributed investment techniques." The incident, part of a broader investigation that also involves crypto lender Delio, has sent shockwaves through the crypto community, spotlighting the importance of diligence and transparency in digital asset investments. ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ’ธ

source: here

Solana's Unexpected Downtime: A Blockchain Siesta! ๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ’ค๐Ÿ”ง

Crypto space, buckle up! Solana's blockchain took an unforeseen break, pausing all transactions for 4 hours and 46 minutes. This hiccup occurred with the last transaction freezing at 17:52 UTC+8 on February 6, 2024. ๐Ÿ“†

Upbit had to quickly halt deposits and withdrawals for SOL, GMT, RAY, and ACS, reacting to this downtime. It's not the first time Solana decided to take a breather, as these interruptions are somewhat common, especially during updates. However, Solana's downtime frequency is starting to stand out among its peers. ๐Ÿ›Œ๐Ÿ”„

The network has since resumed, but it leaves the crypto community pondering when the next unplanned nap might occur. If that affects Solana, the projects without a guaranteed business continuity will surely be impacted. Let's see how the community's sentiment evolves. โฐ

source: here, ย here


Dwight Howard's NFT Misfire: A Cautionary Tale for Athletes Diving into Web3 ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’”

Dwight Howard's foray into the NFT world ended in disappointment, serving as a stark reminder for athletes about the complexities of Web3. Described by Zilliqa executive Tom Fleetham as a "complete disaster," Howard's NFT project failed to resonate with fans, suffering from low buyer engagement and facing accusations of a rug pull.๐ŸŒ

This incident underscores the necessity for sports figures to fully grasp the nuances of NFTs before launching such initiatives. While NFTs offer exciting opportunities for fan engagement and international reach, they demand careful planning, authenticity, and a commitment to understanding the technology and market dynamics. ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ

source: here


That wraps up another thrilling edition of the newsletter!

We hope you found this week's roundup enlightening and inspiring as we navigated through the latest developments in crypto, blockchain, and Web3. Remember, staying informed is key to navigating the future of finance. Until next time, keep exploring the endless possibilities that crypto and blockchain technology bring to our digital and physical worlds. See you in the next issue! ๐ŸŒŸ๐Ÿ”’


February 13, 2024