Ethereum Upgrades, FTX at Super Bowl, New Bitcoin ETFs + More News

Source: Adobe/Stanislav

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

  • The Altair hard fork, the first mainnet upgrade to the Ethereum (ETH)’s beacon chain, went live today. As reported, the update is considered a "low stakes warm-up" to the upcoming Merge, when the current Ethereum mainnet, which is secured by a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, "merges" with the beacon chain proof-of-stake (PoS) system.

Marketing news

  • Crypto exchange FTX has purchased an ad in the Super Bowl, the annual US football championship, according to Bloomberg. While the exchange has staked out space in sports broadly, football is the focus, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was quoted as saying.

Investments news

  • Valkyrie, the company behind one of the futures-backed bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) now approved in the US, has filed an application with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to launch the Valkyrie XBTO Levered BTC Futures ETF. The fund would deliver returns worth 1.25 times the return of a bitcoin reference price, and would be able to hold derivatives such as futures and options, per the filing.
  • Financial products provider Direxion is planning a Direxion Bitcoin Strategy Bear ETF that would offer managed short exposure to CME Bitcoin futures contracts, according to a filing with the SEC.
  • Trading app Robinhood’s crypto trading revenue has fallen by 78%, from USD 233m in the second quarter of this year, to USD 51m in the third, according to Bloomberg.
  • Blockchain infrastructure platform QuickNode has raised USD 35m in a Series A funding round led by Tiger Global. The new funding will be dedicated to growing the company's services by allowing them to support new chains and further expanding the product offering, they said.

Adoption news

  • The Miami-Dade County in Florida has approved a resolution to create a taskforce to study the feasibility of accepting crypto as a form of payment for taxes. The taskforce will explore how Miami-Dade could accept crypto as a method of payment for taxes, fees, and services, but also explore crypto and blockchain initiatives.
  • Payment provider Visa Inc. has joined rival Mastercard Inc. as an investor in Deserve, the latter’s CEO, Kalpesh Kapadia, told Bloomberg. Deserve has previously launched a Visa credit card in partnership with cryptocurrency financial services provider BlockFi.

NFTs news

  • A single non-fungible token (NFT) from the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection has been sold for USD 3.4m at auction house Sotheby’s Natively Digital 1.2 online auction, the first held on its newly-launched Sotheby’s Metaverse marketplace. The NFT is listed by Rarity Tools as the third-rarest gold fur ape in the collection of 10,000 randomly-generated avatars, and is ranked 17th overall based on the combined rarity of traits seen in the image.
  • News outlet The Economist has sold the NFT version of its cover called Down the Rabbit Hole for ETH 99.9 (worth USD 420,000 at the time of the sale). The cover art was originally made by a digital artist named Justin Metz and is based on Alice in Wonderland.
  • NFT project Drops has announced the launch of its NFT lending platform’s testnet. The platform enables participants to use their metaverse items as loan collateral.

Banking news

  • The central bank of Spain is introducing new registration guidelines for local virtual currency service providers, including banking institutions. Institutions are required to submit a registration request even if their end customers are not located in Spain, and they are recommended to use the electronic registry form but may also proceed via other channels like mail.