· 4 min read

Today in Crypto: Casper Labs' Collab with Google Cloud, Yuga Labs' Experimental Collection, Robinhood's Subpoena, Trezor's Silicon Chips, UAE's Digital Asset Companies Free Zone

Source: AdobeStock / Araki Illustrations

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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Blockchain news

  • Enterprise blockchain software company Casper Labs announced an expanded collaboration with Google Cloud, which includes migrating part of its infrastructure and enterprise applications to Google Cloud, and providing Casper Association grant recipients access to Google Cloud technology to help them build and scale blockchain projects and solutions on the Casper Protocol, the press release said. "Google Cloud will provide the needed infrastructure for Casper Labs' professional services team to deploy and manage blockchain solutions that can meet customers needs from both a private and hybrid perspective," it added.

NFT news

  • Major NFT collection maker Yuga Labs announced a new, experimental collection called TwelveFold – a limited-edition collection of 300 generative art pieces inscribed onto satoshis on the Bitcoin blockchain. They're ordinal inscriptions, said the announcement. TwelveFold auction will launch later this week, with a 24-hour notice with details and exact timing going out on Yuga's social media. The team explained that TwelveFold is a base 12 art system localized around a 12x12 grid, a visual allegory for the cartography of data on the Bitcoin blockchain. The collection includes highly-rendered 3D elements and hand-drawn features, which serve as an homage to the ordinal inscriptions currently done by hand, it said.

Legal news

  • Trading app and brokerage Robinhood Markets said that it was subpoenaed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December, according to a filing. "To the extent that the SEC or a court determines that any cryptocurrencies supported by our platform are securities, that determination could prevent us from continuing to facilitate trading of those cryptocurrencies (including ceasing support for such cryptocurrencies on our platform)," Robinhood said.  

Wallet news

  • Major hardware wallet maker Trezor confirmed that it would start producing silicon chips. "Silicon chip supply chain has been Trezored to keep production and prices stable," the company said in a tweet.

Adoption news

  • The Government of Emirate Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, announced its intention to launch RAK Digital Assets Oasis, a free zone for digital and virtual asset companies, Zawya reported. "It is intended to be the only free zone in the world solely dedicated to digital and virtual assets service providers innovating in new and emerging sectors of the future including metaverse, blockchain, utility tokens, virtual asset wallets, NFTs, DAOs, DApp, and other Web3-related businesses," it said. RAK Digital Assets Oasis will open for applications in the second quarter of 2023.

Gaming news

  • Wagyu Games Studio, a Web3 game development company founded by former Goldman Sachs analyst Grant Haseley, announced today that its free-to-play/kill-to-earn multiplayer zombie survival first-person shooter (FPS) Undead Blocks would be launched on ImmutableX. Each weapon in the game comes as a non-fungible token (NFT) and can be customized to increase damage, ammo capacity, and accuracy, it said. Currently in beta, Undead Blocks can be played on PC, Mac, and internet browsers, and it comes with controller compatibility. The game will soon be available on mobile devices via a special cloud gaming service. The full launch is scheduled for February 28.

Investment news

  • SBI, the Japanese securities giant and Ripple's partner, announced the acquisition of a 100% stake in crypto company HashHub. It intends to convert HashHub into its consolidated subsidiary.
  • Liquid staking protocol EtherFi announced that it completed a $5.3m funding round co-led by investors North Island Ventures (NIV), Chapter One, and Node Capital, with participation from Arrington Capital, Maelstrom, Version One Ventures, and Purpose Investments. Per the press release, "the latest funding round will support EtherFi as it looks to increase its hiring across the next six months, and to build out partnerships with a variety of channels that will feed into the protocol, including custodians, centralized exchanges, crypto wallets, and hardware wallet apps."
  • Cboe Digital announced it joined the Derivatives Market Institute for Standards, Inc. (DMIST) as an Ambassador. Supported by the Futures Industry Association (FIA), DMIST is an industry-governed standards body focused on improving the efficiency, resiliency, competitiveness, and innovativeness of the exchange-traded and cleared derivatives markets, said the press release. Cboe Digital's team of subject matter experts will participate in working groups for developing and vetting proposed industry standards.

Metaverse news

  • RLTY, a new metaverse platform that offers a no-code virtual experience builder for virtual event organizers, announced its launch today. It stated that this "new approach to designing, building and launching customised metaverse experiences allows Fortune 500 companies, brands, conferences, artists and web3 natives to go live in a matter of minutes," while the private metaverse RLTY World offers full customization capabilities. Per the announcement, over the past 12 months, the platform created and launched over 30 metaverse events across major metaverse platforms.

DeFi news

  • Cross-chain solution Axelar announced the launch of a virtual machine allowing decentralized applications (dapps) to run on every chain. Per the press release, the Axelar team partnered with major projects in the industry, including Starknet, zkSync, Celestia, Centrifuge, Coinbase Base, MobileCoin, NEAR, and Shardeum, to integrate the technology. The first two products available will consist of Interchain Amplifier, a streamlined solution to connect chains with Axelar's ecosystem of partners (including Mysten Labs' Sui, NEAR's Aurora, Avalanche, and Polkadot), and Multichain Maestro, a tool for developers to deploy multichain dapps.
  • Edge & Node, the initial team behind The Graph, a decentralized indexing protocol for querying blockchain data, announced that it has begun running an active indexer operation on The Graph's decentralized network. "Edge & Node plans to gradually ramp up the operations in a measured way, so as not to adversely skew the existing indexer ecosystem on the network," it said. The company will index most subgraphs with strong network signal and connect an ENS name with the indexer. Over the next year, Edge & Node aims to become an operator of Firehose and Substreams, two new pieces of technology coming online in the decentralized network, it added.