04 Apr 2022 · 4 min read
UK's Global Crypto Hub Goal, Intel's 'Major Role' in Bitcoin Mining, KuCoin's NFT Move + 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 UK government has today announced moves that they claim "will see stablecoins recognized as a valid form of payment as part of wider plans to make Britain a global hub for cryptoasset technology and investment." The government intends to legislate to bring stablecoins within the payments regulatory perimeter, creating conditions for stablecoins issuers and service providers to operate and invest in the UK, the announcement said. The UK will explore the "potentially transformative benefits" of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in UK financial markets and will legislate to establish a financial market infrastructure (FMI) ’Sandbox’, among other measures. (Learn more: Game Theory of Bitcoin Adoption by Nation-States)
- Australian convenience store and gas station giant On The Run (OTR) will soon accept crypto payments at 170 outlets across South Australia and Victoria through a partnership with crypto platform Crypto.com, per local outlet SmartCompany.
- Tech giant Intel announced it has launched its second-generation bitcoin mining chip, called “Intel Blockscale ASIC.” Each of the chips will have hashrate up to 580 gigahash per second (GH/s) and power efficiency of 26 joules/terahash (J/TH), they added. "The Intel Blockscale ASIC is going to play a major role in helping Bitcoin mining companies achieve both sustainability and hash rate scaling objectives in the years ahead," Jose Rios, general manager of Blockchain and Business Solutions in the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group at Intel, was quoted as saying.
- China will expand the trial of its sovereign digital currency to a number of Chinese cities including Chongqing, Tianjin, Hangzhou, and Guangzhou, per the South China Morning Post. The People’s Bank of China digital currency symposium focused the discussion on the domestic usage of the e-CNY, not mentioning cross-border use of the digital currency.
- KuCoin KuCoin announced the launch of its NFT launch platform called KuCoin IGO, short for Initial Gaming Offering, on April 8, with the first project on it being a card-battle game named Pikaster. Participation details for the first sale should be announced on April 8, and the first-round sale will start at 12:00 UTC, on April 11.
- Binance Binance announced that deposits and withdrawals for Axie Infinity (AXS) and Smooth Love Potion (SLP) on the Ronin (RON) network have been resumed, while withdrawals of Wrapped Ether (WETH) on the Ethereum (ETH) network, and the convert function from WETH to ETH remain closed. The protocol had been exploited for over USD 600m recently.
- Blockchain Tezos (XTZ) has activated the ninth upgrade to the protocol, codenamed Ithaca 2, which concerns block times, scalability, and network validator requirements. Over the last year, the blockchain has seen an increase in smart contract calls per month going from 100,000 in January 2021 to over 6.2m in January 2022, they added..
- The Celo Foundation, which is behind the payments infrastructure project Celo (CELO), announced the launch of Connect the World, a USD 20m campaign to incentivize the development of Celo on- and off-ramps. They also announced an open-source application programming interface (API) specification for payment providers, called FiatConnect, which should help simplify integrations.
- Security services platform ImmuneFi announced that in Q1 2022, the Web3 ecosystem has lost more than USD 1.2bn to hackers, mostly due to Ronin Network which lost over USD 600m, and Wormhole which lost USD 326m. They added that these numbers represent almost a 7.9x growth compared to Q1 2021, when hackers and fraudsters stole USD 154.6m, and 1.6x growth compared to Q4 2021, when USD 753m was lost.
- Lending protocol Inverse Finance announced that it suffered an exploit, with an attacker netting USD 15.6m worth of stolen cryptoassets, which they said they intend to repay to wallet holders 100%. They said that the attacker targeted its Anchor (ANC) money market, artificially manipulating token prices to borrow loans against extremely low collateral.
- Gaming-focused NFT platform Fractal said it has raised USD 35m in a round co-led by Paradigm and Multicoin Capital. The new funds will be used to build their engineering team, they added.
- IBEX Mercado, the company behind El Salvador’s bitcoin (BTC) rollout, announced that it has raised USD 4m in seed funding, with an overall valuation of USD 20m, in a round led by Stillmark. The firm now targets expansion and customer acquisition across the Americas and Europe, they added.
- Venture capital fund SeaX Ventures announced the close of its second fund worth USD 60m, with a previous target size of USD 50m. The fund will make investments of between USD 500,000 and USD 5m in pre-seed, seed, and Series A financings.
- Kurt Hemecker, previously the chief of staff and head of internal business operations and human resources at stablecoin project Diem Networks, joined the blockchain project Mina Foundation as chief operating officer. He will be focused on building out the business development and operations arm of the organization, they added.
- Digital asset investment company KR1 announced that Aeron Buchanan, the Vice President of the Web3 Foundation, has been appointed as a Non-executive Director of the Company.