Gamers vs. NFTs, Delayed Bitcoin & Ethereum ETFs, Ukrainian Refugee Crypto Card + More News
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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- An independent group of game developers, artists, and staff from the Minecraft game maker Mojang Studios joined forces to draw up a pledge which calls on studios to ensure any implementation of digital ownership, in the form of NFTs or otherwise, among other things:
– Does not embrace artificial scarcity to generate speculative value
– Does not rely on unregulated, volatile cryptocurrency
– Does not disproportionately benefit early adopters or wealthier users/players
– Does not perpetuate negative aspects of the play-to-earn model.
“We have put together a pledge for studios and publishers to sign on to that covers what we consider to be the most problematic aspects of NFTs and digital ownership that must be avoided if the gaming industry is to work towards a sustainable, socially responsible, equitable future for all,” they said.
(Learn more: Final Fantasy Developer Braves Wrath of Gamers with Blockchain Gaming Statements)
- Fund managers Cosmos Asset Management and ETF Securities have had the launch of their bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Australia delayed, according to the Financial Review. The funds, which were set to start trading on April 27, are still subject to “standard checks”, they added.
- Grayscale Investments, which runs an almost USD 30bn BTC trust, is getting ready to expand into Europe and plans to run a series of pilot tests in different markets, Bloomberg reported, citing CEO Michael Sonnenshein. No further details about their plans were provided.
- Business intelligence company MicroStrategy is planning to offer their employees the option to invest in bitcoin as part of their 401(k) retirement portfolio. The offering will be done in partnership with financial services provider Fidelity Investments through the launch of Fidelity’s workplace Digital Assets Account (DAA).
- Web3 accelerator Open Web Collective (OWC) announced it is now accepting applications for Batch 4 of its startup accelerator program. During the three-month program, startups will work with investors and corporate partners to validate business ideas, build products, develop product-market fit, and plan and implement tokenomics, governance, and legal strategies unique to Web3, they added.
- Decentralized infrastructure provider 0x Labs closed a USD 70m Series B financing round led by Greylock Partners at an undisclosed valuation, Forbes reported. The team is planning to use the funding to expand their team and add to their current services and products, it added.
- Gaming organization SNACKCLUB announced it has secured USD 9m in seed funding to launch a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) committed to changing the concept of ownership in gaming.
- Binance announced the launch of the Binance Refugee Crypto Card for all current and new Binance users from Ukraine forced to move to European Economic Area (EEA) countries as a result of the Russian invasion. The card, made in partnership with crypto card provider Cointis, will allow displaced Ukrainians to make or receive crypto payments and complete purchases at retailers in the EEA who accept card payments.
- Brandon Mulvihill and Anthony Mazzarese, former executives at financial services company Jefferies Financial Group, have formed a crypto exchange for institutional investors called Crossover Markets Group, according to Bloomberg. They are in the process of closing a seed round of funding and plan to debut the exchange “late summer to early fall,” they added.
- The Central African Republic has begun creating a legal framework to regulate the use of cryptoassets, Bloomberg reported, citing the country’s Finance Minister Herve Ndoba. The newly adopted proposals include the creation of a regulatory body that will have oversight of digital currencies. The legislation will aim to facilitate the use of cryptoassets in the economy, but will not introduce bitcoin as legal tender, he said.
- Legendary football player Ronaldinho announced the creation of his own token called RON, in partnership with the social token platform P00LS. The token will give holders access to exclusive content, events, and merchandise, as well as token-gated channels and NFTs, they added.
- Digital asset and crypto technology provider Fireblocks announced it has launched institutional decentralized finance (DeFi) access to the Terra (LUNA) protocol and all the dapps (decentralized apps) built on it.
- Bitcoin mining company CleanSpark announced it has finalized USD 35m in non-dilutive financing from venture debt financing provider Trinity Capital. The three-year equipment financing agreement is backed by 3,336 new S19j Pro miners and carries an annual interest rate of 9.9%, they added.
- Meta, the parent company of social network Facebook, introduced the Meta Store, their first physical retail space, which should open on May 9 on their campus in California, USA. The store will provide virtual reality (VR) experiences in their metaverse with several different hardware products, which will also be available for purchase online, per the announcement.
- Ryan Carson, the chief operating officer of the NFT collection Moonbirds, announced on Twitter that he has left the project to start his own NFT venture fund called 121G.fund. His exit comes days after the collection’s mint when he purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Moonbirds. The project’s founder Kevin Rose stated that there would be “stronger controls in place for all future drops” and that these actions went against their internal policy.
- Also, Moonbirds announced a USD 10m funding round led by the venture capital fund Seven Seven Six.
- Reginald Fowler, a businessman who was one of the early investors in a failed professional football league called the Alliance of American Football, pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of bank fraud, wire fraud, and other offenses in a USD 600m cryptoasset scheme.
- Spanish citizen Alejandro Cao De Benos and UK citizen Christopher Emms were charged with conspiring to violate United States sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by working with US citizen and Ethereum (ETH) developer Virgil Griffith to illegally provide crypto and blockchain technology services to the DPRK. The charge carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.