Metaverse Regulation, Alchemy Raises USD 200M, Stablecoin Hack + More News
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- The European Union authorities need to better understand the futuristic digital world known as the 'metaverse' before they can decide how to regulate it, said Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s antitrust chief, per Reuters. "...the metaverse is here already. So of course we start analyzing what will be the role for a regulator, what is the role for our legislature," she was quoted as saying.
- The Central Bank of Ireland is “highly unlikely” to allow retail investors to be exposed to cryptoassets, it said in a report, citing “the specific risks attached to cryptoassets” and “the possibility that appropriate risk assessment could be difficult for a retail investor without a high degree of expertise.” Cryptoassets are still suitable for wholesale and professional investors, the bank said.
- Martin Gruenberg, the acting chairman of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), named cryptoassets among the agency’s key priorities in 2022. Still, the statement emphasizes the systemic risks that the rapid pace with which digital asset-based products are becoming part of the financial landscape could pose.
- US Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Nellie Liang underscored the need to oversee stablecoin issuers, regulate all crypto intermediaries, and address potential risks posed by increased leverage against digital assets, in a hearing before US lawmakers at the House Financial Services Committee’s hearing today.
- Crypto startup Alchemy Insights raised USD 200m in a new round of financing led by Lightspeed and Silver Lake. Per a Twitter thread, the infrastructure company is now valued at USD 10.2bn. They said that they will be using the funds to double down and continue to invest in “the ecosystem that we all share.” In the last 3 months, the company said it saw 3x growth in teams building on Alchemy and USD 105bn in annualized transactions, up from USD 45bn in October, while in the past 12 months, they saw more than USD 1.5bn in royalties to artists on NFT marketplaces built on Alchemy.
- Polygon (MATIC)’s native stablecoin protocol, Qi Dao, faced an exploit on its Superfluid vesting contract, Qi Dao confirmed on Tuesday. The attacker reportedly took USD 20m. Qi Dao stated that "all funds are safe," that "no user funds have been affected," and that they are "aware there are other tokens affected." Superfluid also confirmed the exploit, but they added that a vulnerability was detected and a patch deployed, while the team now plans to focus on recovering "the affected user funds." They're also offering a USD 1m security bounty to the hacker for the return of the funds.
- Google Cloud said it's adding Virtual Machine Threat Detection (VMTD), which will help detect threats including malware that mines crypto on a compromised account.
- Tokens.com, a publicly-traded company that invests in Web 3 cryptoassets linked to the metaverse, DeFi, NFTs, and play-to-earn gaming, announced that its subsidiary, Metaverse Group, has acquired three new "strategic parcels" in metaverse project Decentraland (MANA). The real estate in this transaction is equivalent to nearly 25,000 sq. ft. (2,323 sq. m) in physical terms, and the Metaverse Group plans to develop the land and rent it out to tenants, they said, without providing any other details about the deal.
- Decentralized virtual gaming world The Sandbox (SAND) announced it has strategically partnered with gaming giant Ubisoft to introduce Ubisoft game IP elements to The Sandbox gaming metaverse. Ubisoft will have its own LAND entertainment destination with interactive experiences and voxel characters.
- Mobile payment service Cash App said that Lightning Network can now be used to transfer bitcoin (BTC) through its app.
- Four researchers: economics professor Rod Garratt from the University of California, Michael Lee and Antoine Martin from the New York Fed’s research and statistics group, and Joseph Torregrossa from the legal group, published a paper titled “The Future of Payments Is Not Stablecoins” arguing that stablecoins aren’t the best way of transferring money if distributed ledger technology (DLT) becomes integrated into traditional finance. They added that the use of stablecoins could lead to shortages of safe and liquid assets as they tie up liquid assets “unnecessarily.”
- Binance signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a strategic partnership with multinational entertainment corporation YG Entertainment Inc. Binance and YG will cooperate on a range of blockchain projects, including collaborations in the NFT space.
- Indian crypto exchange CoinDCX announced that it now has more than 10 million users. Their customer base has more than tripled within a year, they said.
- Crypto exchange Bybit announced its partnership with digital assets institution Cabital. Through this partnership, Bybit users can buy crypto using EUR and GBP directly on the Bybit platform via bank transfers, and transfer crypto between their Bybit and Cabital wallets with no deposit fees required.
- Charlie Hu, former Head of blockchain project Polygon China, has joined blockchain development platform Syscoin as an Ecosystem Advisor. His new role includes driving the company’s expansion into “untapped markets”, they added.