Today in Crypto: Aave Announces Launch of GHO Stablecoin on Ethereum’s Goerli Testnet, MakerDAO Establishes Phoenix Labs, LocalBitcoins Closing down
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- Aave today announced the launch of the stablecoin GHO on Ethereum’s Goerli testnet. The Aave Companies said that GHO (pronounced ‘GO’) is the first Aave Protocol-native decentralized, over-collateralized crypto-backed stablecoin pegged 1:1 to the USD. The Aave DAO will manage the supply of GHO and the interest rate, and determine the risk parameters. Developers and prospective integrators can now access GHO codebase and begin testing before GHO’s planned launch on Ethereum Mainnet. “The official launch of GHO is subject to discussion, voting and approval by the Aave DAO who govern the Aave Protocol and GHO,” it added.
- The Maker community participants introduced Phoenix Labs – a newly founded company with a mission to build new products on top of the Maker protocol, completely focused on the DAI stablecoin and with built-in interfaces, said an announcement. All products built by Phoenix Labs are intended to be fully controlled by Maker Governance, meaning that MakerDAO will own every product created by this team. Phoenix Labs has proposed its first product – its first Maker-owned liquidity market for end-users – Spark Protocol, which will act as a liquidity market for supplying and borrowing cryptoassets with variable and fixed rates.
- Core DAO, a Layer-1 blockchain running on a combined Proof-of-Work and Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism known as Satoshi Plus, released its inaugural airdrop to 1.2 million individual users. An announcement said that “this Feb. 8 allocation is among the largest token distributions and smart contract usages to date.” The airdrop was conducted in partnership with the Satoshi App, an application allowing users to “mine” in-app rewards.
- Chainlink Labs and TP ICAP, a company that provides diversified, global markets infrastructure and data solutions, have announced that TP ICAP has joined the Chainlink Network “to bring high-quality forex data to the blockchain ecosystem, with the ability to support 960+ pairs,” said the press release. This forex data is being contributed to Chainlink decentralized oracle networks (DONs) by Parameta Solutions, TP ICAP’s data and analytics division, and will support the generation of tamper-resistant oracle reports, it said.
- LocalBitcoins, one of the earliest peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) exchanges, announced that it is shuttering its business after more than ten years of operation. “We are therefore sad to share, that regardless of our efforts to overcome challenges during the ongoing very cold crypto-winter, we have regretfully concluded that LocalBitcoins can no longer provide its Bitcoin trading service,” said the press release. Suspension of new sign-ups began today.
- Bitcoin miner Bitfarms settled $21 million in debt from BlockFi with a payment of $7.75 million in cash, said the press release. “Our remaining debt, mostly secured by new, high efficiency mining equipment in Quebec, matures on or before February 2024, enabling us to be debt free before the next halving event expected in May 2024,” said Jeff Lucas, CFO of Bitfarms.
- Crypto payment services provider BitPay partnered with Web3 infrastructure company MoonPay to provide BitPay users with increased ways to buy cryptocurrency instantly. Benefits of the integration include fast delivery to any owned wallet address, as well as the ability for buyers to pay with their preferred method, including credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or a variety of local bank transfer methods, the press release said. Future plans include the integration of NFT Checkout, MoonPay’s industry-first solution that enables anyone to buy NFTs with a credit card.
- NEAR today announced it has joined Ledger Live, enabling users to send, receive, and stake (powered by Figment) their NEAR tokens through the Ledger Live digital asset management app. Per a press release, the Ledger by Figment validator allows users to stake their digital assets without sacrificing self-custody or security. Users are also enabled to contribute to the protocol’s security and receive rewards in the form of NEAR.
- Tether released its Q4 2022 attestation, stating that its reserves remain liquid, with the majority of its investments being held in cash, cash equivalents, and other short-term deposits. The report highlights a $300 million reduction in secured loans, more than $700 million net profit added to Tether reserves, and the highest percentage to date of assets allocated in US Treasury Bills, with direct exposure of over 58%, it said.
- Bitso, a cryptocurrency-powered financial services company in Latin America, released “the regulatory principles that guide its operations and its strategic decisions in adherence with the highest industry standards,” said the press release. Its eight regulatory principles for crypto are: defend the interests of clients above all; safe custody of funds; a truly inclusive financial system; technological neutrality; anti-money laundering (AML) policies that prevent crimes; education as a driver of informed risk-taking; borderless access to financial services; and corporate governance agreements that promote ethical practices in companies.
- zkSync developer Matter Labs announced that it would be collaborating with Gitcoin, thanks to which many of Gitcoin’s grant rounds will soon be integrated with zkSync, “ensuring leading web3 projects can fund what matters to them with novel financing models like Quadratic Funding,” said a press release. Gitcoin is going to launch its new main platform Allo, through which they will host all their grant programs to promote public funding and they have chosen zkSync as the home for this platform, it added.
- Aptos Labs, the team that launched the Aptos blockchain, made an equity investment in Chingari, an on-chain short video app. “Chingari has grown its user base significantly in 2022 with more than 2.2M on-chain users, and intends to expand their community with Aptos Network as their preferred layer one blockchain,” said a press release.