• ETH has now merged on the Kiln test network. This is a great step to moving to proof-of-stake and has fortunately forced some hands to move to staking. An approximate 25bps increase from 8.25-8.50%. Meanwhile, gas fees have significantly decreased and almost $5.5B US Ethereum burned. BowTied Bull says that is a great argument for more HODL’ing and lower supply (burned ETH/less miner selling pressure). Read more here.

  • Ukraine legalizes the crypto sector. Ukraine has passed a law that creates a legal framework for the cryptocurrency industry in the country. The law allows foreign and Ukrainian cryptocurrencies exchanges to operate legally, according to the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed the law as donations continue to pour in.

  • Microsoft backs MetaMask parent Consensys. ConsenSys has raised $450 million in a funding round backed by the likes of Microsoft, SoftBank, and Temasek. The investment more than doubles ConsenSys’ valuation to $7 billion. The cash injection was led by ParaFi Capital. Microsoft’s involvement highlights growing interest from the world’s largest tech firms in Web3.

  • Crypto market is in consolidation phase right now. Investors seem to be holding steady with their positions, as crypto holders attempt to determine how to navigate this higher interest rate environment. Various macro factors are likely to impact the price of Bitcoin perhaps more than its peers, given Bitcoin's perception as a gauge of investor demand in the alternative crypto asset class. Read more here.

  • Spotify plans to join the NFT digital collectibles craze. Two recent job ads show Spotify is recruiting people to work on early-stage projects related to Web3. The company is looking for a manager in its future-gazing “Innovation and Market Intelligence” group. They are looking for a candidate with experience in “content, creator, media, web3, and emerging technology industries” to “help define Spotify Moonshots”, the ad said. Read more here.

  • Bitcoin notches a regulatory win in Europe. The European Parliament voted to start work on a regulatory framework for digital assets, without specifically banning “proof of work” tokens like Bitcoin. Key provisions would cover the issuance of digital tokens, including stablecoins. The EU also aims to establish rules for transparency, disclosure, and supervision of crypto transactions.

  • NCA calls for the regulation of crypto mixers. The UK crime agency says technology can disguise transactions that are otherwise traceable on blockchains. So-called “decentralized crypto mixers”, also known as CoinJoin, can be used to disguise transactions that are otherwise traceable on blockchains. Regulation would force mixers to comply with money laundering laws, with an obligation to carry out customer checks and audit trails.

  • Galaxy, Alameda to invest in Blockchain-focused gaming studios. Galaxy Interactive, Republic Crypto, and Alameda Research are launching a consortium. The consortium called NG+ will seek to fund experienced, traditional video-game developers and studios, and help them with token economics and liquidity as they create blockchain-based titles. The members will receive minority stakes in the efforts’ tokens.

  • FTX partners with Kenya firm to expand in Africa. The Hong Kong-based exchange AZA, which offers services including Treasury functions and payments in 10 African countries, plans to build digital infrastructure to connect African markets to the global web3 economy, they said in a joint statement on Wednesday. The companies seek to capitalize on Africa’s fast-growing population. Read more here.

  • Binance deepens Mideast push with Dubai license. Binance Holdings Ltd. has been granted a license to operate in Dubai, days after getting approval in Bahrain, further bolstering its presence in the Middle East. The virtual asset license allows the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange to operate its regional business from Dubai, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • Ex-FB Diem team builds Aptos blockchain, raising $200 million. Andreessen Horowitz led the funding round, which also included Tiger Global, Multicoin Capital, and Three Arrows Capital. The venture arms of crypto exchanges FTX and Coinbase Global Inc. also participated, as did the new crypto fund launched by Katie Haun, the former general partner, and crypto investing lead at Andreessen Horowitz. Read more here.
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