Today in Crypto: Coinbase’s New Blockchain Testnet, Spotify’s Token-Enabled Playlists, 3AC’s NFT Sale, Metaco’s Partnership with DZ BANK AG
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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.
- Coinbase announced the testnet launch of Base, an Ethereum L2 network “offering a secure, low-cost, developer-friendly way to build dapps onchain,” it said. No network token will be issued with Base. Per the announcement, Base is built to be decentralized, permissionless, and open to anyone, it’s powered by the open-source OP Stack, created by Optimism, and it’s optimized for interoperability with Ethereum L1, other L2s, as well as other L1 ecosystems like Solana.
- Bitfinex Securities, a fully-regulated exchange powered by Bitfinex, enabling the issuance and trading of tokenized securities, including equities and bonds, announced the opening of a new regional office in Astana, Kazakhstan. “The opening of the new office in the heart of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) marks a major milestone for Bitfinex Securities as it strives to promote the development of the security token industry,” said the press release.
- Spotify is set to roll out a function called Token-Enabled Playlists, which will allow users who hold Creepz non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to access exclusive content and interact with the app in a new way. Per a Twitter thread, Spotify is working with a startup Overlord, which said that the pilot would be available in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand, and currently only on Android.
- NFTs belonging to the bankrupt hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) will be sold by its liquidators Teneo, according to a recent announcement. The document said that the sale would be done to “realize the value of the NFTs for the purposes of the liquidation” and would begin 28 days after the notice.
- Technology company Metaco announced its cooperation with DZ BANK AG, the central institution to the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken cooperative financial network. DZ BANK is one of the largest German custodians, with €297 billion assets under custody at the end of 2022, the announcement said. Metaco’s custody and orchestration platform, Harmonize, was selected through an extensive proof-of-concept and diligence process to help the bank build an offering to institutional clients in the space of crypto securities (German eWpG) and digital currencies – fully integrated into its current asset management services, it added.
- Ethereum scaling solution zkSync Era announced a collaboration with Sygnum, a digital asset bank with banking licenses in Switzerland and Singapore. Together, said the press release, they will work on several areas, including a proof-of-solvency solution, providing custody options for zkSync Era users via Sygnum-run validator nodes on the protocol, and building on-ramp and off-ramp infrastructure for Sygnum’s client base, as well as future opportunities like a Sygnum HyperChain on zkSync Era’s EVM-compatible Hyperchain prototype.
- Lava Network, a protocol for decentralized blockchain Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and Application Programming Interface (APIs), launched its public testnet after more than seven months of private testnet monitoring, said the announcement. “The protocol represents a one-stop shop for decentralized access to any chain,” it added. Lava Network includes support for over 15 networks, and although omnichain by design, it is also focused on providing RPC to underserved and emergent blockchain ecosystems.
- Aptos Foundation, which supports the growth and development of the Aptos protocol, a layer-1 blockchain powered by Move and Outlier Ventures, announced the launch of The Aptos x Outlier Move Accelerator. The program will take a cohort of promising early-stage startups, supporting them with access to subject matter expertise, as well as mentorship from Aptos Labs and Outlier Ventures, with funding of $100,000. The program will begin in May 2023 and last for 12 weeks. Applications are now open and will close in mid-April.
- Polybase, a privacy-focused decentralized database, announced it raised $2 million in pre-seed funding, led by 6th Man Ventures, with participation from Protocol Labs, Orange DAO, Alumni Ventures, NGC, CMT Digital, Upfront Ventures, and others, “conceptualizing, researching, and building a new frontier for decentralized technology: ‘Web3 SaaS’,” said the press release. It will use the funding to expand the team and develop additional technical capabilities, including completing a mainnet release, funding ecosystem growth, and launching a payment token for its encrypted Web3 native database.
- Astra Protocol, a decentralized KYC platform for Web3, appointed former Samsung Electronics President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn to its Advisory Board to “guide Astra Protocol’s focus on real-world applications as the firm streamlines decentralized compliance within the digital assets industry,” said the announcement. This news follows the partnerships with several legal and auditing firms, including global auditing giant KPMG, it added, saying that this alliance forms part of Astra Protocol’s decentralized legal network (DLN) of legal and compliance experts helping to eliminate risk for crypto applications.
- Web3 infrastructure company MoonPay announced its hiring of Asiff Hirji as President of the company. Before joining MoonPay, Hirji had an extensive career in fintech as the former President & Chief Operating Officer of Coinbase and worked at A16Z, TPG Capital, TD Ameritrade, and Bain & Co., among others, said the press release.