Crypto Gift Plans, Bitcoin Goes Baseball, SEC vs. BlockFi + More news

Source: Adobe/Sergey Chayko

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Adoption news

  • A survey of 2,020 Australians, who are aged between 18 and 59 and have engaged with crypto in the last 12 months, found that about 26% would like to buy crypto-centric gifts this holiday season. Over half of the respondents would consider buying actual cryptoassets, such as bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), as gifts.
  • Australian Baseball League team the Perth Heat said they will become the first club in professional sport to offer to pay its players and staff in BTC as part of a new sponsorship agreement, per ABC News. The Heat will allow them to accept BTC as remuneration, or a combination of the cryptocurrency and traditional payments, but there will be no mandate to be paid in bitcoin.
  • Synonym Software, dedicated to bringing new utility and user experiences to Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, announced its launch. By combining the Lightning Network's speed and efficiency with an architected ecosystem of open P2P (peer-to-peer) platforms and applications, Synonym aims to accelerate Bitcoin's ability to act as an independent, self-regulated economy.
  • The Brave browser has launched a built-in crypto wallet in their latest update. The wallet allows for token purchases through Wyre, tracks portfolio performance, swaps a wide range of tokens, and stores non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
  • Cloud computing blockchain network Cudos announced its partnership with agri-fintech company Tingo to tackle the poverty premium through mobile monetization applications. The partnership aims to enable the creation of a distributed cloud for Nigerians, run by Nigerians, that pays Nigerians, they said.

Regulation news

  • Crypto lender BlockFi is being scrutinized by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its popular product that pays customers high-interest rates for lending out their digital tokens, Bloomberg reported. The SEC review focuses on whether the BlockFi accounts are akin to securities that should be registered with the regulator.
  • US Senator Ted Cruz introduced legislation that would repeal an “overly broad and poorly-crafted provision” from the infrastructure package that creates new reporting requirements for many participants within the blockchain industry. He also called the requirements a “devastating attack” on the crypto industry.

Marketing news

  • Professional basketball team the Houston Rockets have announced a partnership with crypto company NYDIG, making the latter the club’s Official Bitcoin Services Partner and Bitcoin Platform. The sponsorship will be paid in bitcoin and the proceeds will be held on NYDIG's bitcoin platform.
  • Shohei Ohtani, baseball player from the Los Angeles Angels, has joined crypto exchange FTX as a global ambassador and is taking a stake in the company, CNN reported.

Economics news

  • In the UK, the cost of living has surged at its fastest pace in almost 10 years, hitting 4.2% in the year to October, the BBC reported. It is mainly due to higher fuel and energy prices, but the cost of second-hand cars and eating out also rose, they said, citing the Office for National Statistics. The Bank of England says it may have to raise interest rates in the "coming months" to tackle rising prices. (Learn more: Rising Inflation: Unless UK Acts Now, It Will Not Be Temporary)

Legal news

  • A US federal judge allowed the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to liquidate approximately USD 56m in proceeds seized from Glenn Arcaro, the lead promoter of fraudulent crypto lender BitConnect. The DoJ added that the liquidation was the most sizable recovery of assets tied to a crypto fraud by the US to date.

Exchanges news

  • Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao says the exchange lost around 3% of its users after they made know-your-customer (KYC) procedures obligatory, per Bloomberg. However, he said that compliance will allow more users to choose the exchange, adding that most people do feel more comfortable using a licensed exchange.

NFTs news

  • Software development company focused on non-fungible token API integration CXIP Labs announced the launch of the CXIP DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), with the goal of letting creators govern and oversee the future of the NFT market instead of semi-centralized marketplaces. Its advisory council includes recording artist and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams and visual artist Jen Stark, among others.
  • Director Quentin Tarantino is being sued by Miramax for copyright infringement after Tarantino announced that he would be auctioning off a collection of NFTs from his celebrated movie “Pulp Fiction,” per the Wall Street Journal. The seven NFTs being sold are from different scenes that were cut from the final film, for which Miramax currently owns the rights.
  • Latvian airline airBaltic has announced they have become the first airline to issue its NFTs in the metaverse. The airline issued limited collector NFTs, showcasing an individual Airbus A220-300 with its registration as well as a piece of art of Latvian city Kuldīga.
  • Decentralized housing market platform Bacon Protocol has announced it has minted four home mortgages as NFTs. Once a loan is minted on the Bacon platform, it is sent to the homeowner, who then makes payments to the Bacon Protocol; this loan has no term, meaning the homeowner can pay what they choose: as little as just the interest due, or as much as they want, with no penalties.
  • An unreleased Whitney Houston track – one she recorded when she was just 17 – is set to be auctioned as NFT via Quincy Jones platform, reported Yahoo news. Bidding on the song begins on December 1, and the winner of the auction will be the only person to have access to the recording along with a one-of-a-kind video NFT.

Investments news

  • Ethereum (ETH) software incubator ConsenSys announced that it has raised USD 200m, bringing the company’s valuation to USD 3.2bn. Funding will support the expansion of its products, MetaMask and Infura, as well as the addition of 400 new roles across its products and services.
  • Ethereum scaling solution company StarkWare closed a USD 50m Series C led by Sequoia Capital, valuing them at USD 2bn.
  • The Ethereum Foundation said it is allocating USD 1m in grant funding to organizations that educate governments and policymakers about Ethereum and blockchain technology. The Foundation is providing grants that total to USD 500,000 to three of such organizations: Coin Center, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Fight for the Future. They are also providing a USD 500,000 grant to the Gitcoin matching pool for their upcoming advocacy round.

DeFi news

  • Self-hosted wallet Portal has announced a strategic partnership with Polygon (MATIC) to improve BTC usability in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. Polygon will run a facilitation node on Portal decentralized exchange (DEX) to provide ongoing liquidity for atomic swaps between BTC and POS-WBTC, WBTC, and other assets.
  • DeversiFi, a layer 2 dashboard with an automated market maker (AMM), announced they’re set to go live on December 1st, and they will be rewarding all traders who use the platform from that date for trading, swapping or staking based on the percentage of trading fees paid weekly. They’ll also be launching liquidity mining, with 16 incentivized pools added to the platform, which contain a mixture of large blue-chip tokens as well as stablecoin pairs and NFT and DeFi tokens.