Today in Crypto: PayPal Held $604M in Crypto on Dec. 31, Microsoft Fired its Metaverse Team, Binance Incorporated zk-SNARKs into its Proof-of-Reserves Verification
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- PayPal held a total of $604 million in crypto for its customers as of December 31, according to a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Almost 90% of the amount was held in bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH): $291m in BTC and $250m in ETH. The remaining $63m was held in litecoin (LTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH).
- Sesame Labs, a Web3 marketing platform, announced its launch and $4.5M seed round led by Patron and Wing Venture Capital, with participation from South Park Commons, Script Capital, DoubleJump, Forte, MoonFire, Samsung, Twin Ventures, and angels including Balaji Srinivasan, Robin Chan, Ryan Spoon, and others. “We have developed a web3 marketing platform in collaboration with Polygon and leading web3 gaming partners such as Decentral Games, Ethermon, League of Kingdoms, and others,” it said.
- Microsoft ended a project that aimed to encourage the use of the metaverse in industrial environments four months after it was formed, according to The Information, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter. The Industrial Metaverse Core team’s roughly 100 employees have all been laid off, the person said.
- Binance has incorporated zk-SNARKs into its proof-of-reserves verification to attest that funds held on the platform are backed 1:1 while preserving the privacy of sensitive user data. “Continuing the efforts in providing transparency on user funds, Binance is excited to introduce zk-SNARKs, a zero-knowledge verification method that keeps sensitive information private and more secure, to its Proof of Reserves (PoR) Verification System,” it said.
- China is set to launch the National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center, with the Beijing Academy of Blockchain and Edge Computing being in charge of it. According to China Daily, the center will create a research network with local universities, think tanks, and blockchain businesses to explore core blockchain technologies, with the aim to use the findings to further the digitalization of China and its blockchain industry.
- Titans of War, a Web3 AAA strategic trading card game (TCG) based on historical events, announced plans to launch on ImmutableX, a platform for building and scaling games on Ethereum. The game will allow players to pick a leader among many historical figures to gain access to their specific military units, inventions, tactics, and monuments. Titans of War plans to also offer more combinations in deck-building mechanics, greater gameplay dimensions, and deeper strategy. Titans of War aims to become a full-fledged competitive TCG that offers Staking leagues, Betting tournaments, and Paid Top ladder to fully engage gamers in its “Master-to-Earn” sustainable in-game economy, it said.
- Rebecca Rettig, a member of the crypto-friendly bank Silvergate’s board of directors, resigned on Thursday, according to a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It said that, “Ms. Rettig advised the Company that she has accepted an executive position at another company and is resigning due to her new commitments. Ms. Rettig’s resignation was not the result of any dispute or disagreement […] The Company’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will commence a search for a qualified director candidate to fill the Boards’ vacancies.”
- Crypto miner Argo Blockchain said on Thursday that its founder Peter Wall would step down from his position as chief executive officer and interim chairman to “pursue other opportunities,” Reuters reported. Chief Operating Officer Seif El-Bakly has been appointed as interim CEO, effective immediately, while Matthew Shaw will take over as the board chairman.
- Bitcoin miner CleanSpark announced its earnings for the three months that ended December 31, 2022, saying that it mined 1,531 bitcoins, a 132% increase over the same period the previous year. Last month, the company had its highest monthly production ever, at nearly 700 bitcoins, said the announcement. Revenues for the quarter were $27.8 million, a decrease of $9.3 million, or 25%, from $37.1 million for the same prior year period. The net loss was $29 million, compared to a net income of $14.5 million for the same period last year.