OpenSea acquires DeFi wallet firm Dharma Labs. As part of the deal, Dharma co-founder Nadav Hollander will become OpenSea’s CTO. Just like Dharma, OpenSea serves assets on the Ethereum mainnet and Polygon’s Matic network, perhaps explaining why the firm was an acquisition fit. Dharma also boasts key integrations with many U.S. banks. Read more here.
Andreessen Horowitz seeks $4.5bn for new crypto funds. The planned fundraising illustrates how Silicon Valley firms are fuelling the boom in cryptocurrency start-ups. Andreessen plans to finalize the new funds by March. If successful, Andreessen’s haul would easily surpass any other funds raised to make early bets on cryptocurrency start-ups.
Bitcoin millionaires are moving to Puerto Rico for lower taxes and island living. The U.S. territory has huge tax breaks for those who spend at least 183 days on the island each year. Residents can keep a hold of their American passports while at the same time not having to pay any taxes on capital gains. Controversial YouTube star and NFT investor Logan Paul set up shop there, as did crypto billionaire Brock Pierce, a child actor (of “Mighty Ducks'' fame).
STX is now being listed on Coinbase. It should be noted that while inbound transfers for the STX coin are now available on Coinbase, this token will only be available for trading should liquidity conditions be met. Thus, there's still some uncertainty with respect to this listing. However, investors looking to get in front of the official announcement appear to be buying Stacks en masse. Read more here.
Twitter embraces NFTs with a new profile-picture feature for Twitter’s Blue subscription service. NFT profile pictures will be clearly distinguishable, appearing as hexagons rather than the standard circles. Users can tap on the hexagonal pictures to see more information about the digital pieces of art. For now, only Twitter Blue subscribers using Apple Inc. iOS devices will be able to upload NFT profile pictures.
WHAT TO WATCH
Meta dives into the NFT craze. Teams at Facebook and Instagram are readying a feature that will allow users to display their NFTs on their social media profiles, as well as working on a prototype to help users create or mint the collectible tokens. Meta has also discussed launching a marketplace for users to buy and sell NFTs. All of the efforts are at an early stage and could yet change. Read more here.
Russia’s central bank proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, citing threats to financial stability, citizens’ wellbeing, and its monetary policy sovereignty. The bank proposed preventing financial institutions from carrying out any operations with cryptocurrencies. The proposed ban includes crypto exchanges.
Intel plans to launch a Bitcoin mining chip as the tech giant looks for new revenues in the burgeoning crypto economy. The company plans to unveil a new “Bonanza Mine” chip at the ISSCC Conference on Feb. 23, according to a draft agenda of “highlighted chip releases” at the conference. The chip is described in the draft as an “ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC.”
Sotheby’s to accept Cryptocurrency payments for a rare black diamond made from a meteor. The British auction house announced that they will be accepting payment in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or U.S. dollars for the 2.6 billion years old rare black diamond known as “The Enigma.” These forays suggest that Sotheby’s is targeting a new demographic, the nouveau riche of cryptocurrency. Read more here.
Cardano has entered its latest development stage. Cardano's third phase of its development roadmap is called "Basho," and it promises to deliver some significant upgrades to the ADA network including scalability and the ability to work across different blockchains as well as its own. Specific to scalability, once Basho is fully deployed Cardano will be able to handle millions of crypto transactions per second.