• SEC scrutinizes the NFT market over illegal Crypto token offerings. The regulator is probing whether some of the assets are securities. Their enforcement lawyers have sent out queries, subpoenas. A focus of the probe is on whether certain nonfungible tokens, digital assets that can be used to denote ownership of things like a painting or sports memorabilia, are being utilized to raise money like traditional securities. Read more here.

  • G-7, EU officials working on Crypto sanctionability. Finance ministers from the Group of Seven and the European Union are working on preventing Russia from using crypto money to circumvent sanctions, according to German Finance Minister Christian Lindner. While unwilling to reveal any details, Lindner said the issue is being discussed.

  • ShibaSwap 2.0 will include a feature that allows SHIB tokens to be burned, revealed by a key member of the Shiba Inu team known as Archangel. ShibaSwap 2.0 is the planned new version of Shiba Inu's own decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. The exact launch date for ShibaSwap 2.0 hasn't been announced yet. But there's some speculation that it could come in the first half of this year.

  • South Korea to build a $187 million national metaverse project. The country suggested that it will be investing heavily in creating its own metaverse platform. A $187 million national metaverse project will be set up in hopes to spur corporate growth domestically.  This news coming out of South Korea might renew interest among many investors who have put blockchain-based metaverse projects on the back burner.

  • Avalanche's crypto network will be accessible to 4.5 million users via a Wirex integration. Avalanche's integration with Wirex is one of a number of integrations and partnerships the crypto platforms have seen recently. As user and developer interest increase among Ethereum alternatives, layer-1 blockchain networks are top of mind for many long-term investors. Read more here.

  • Shopify already has its NFT software up and running in Beta mode. Currently, Shopify's NFT Beta program is available to all U.S.-based Shopify Plus customers (those that subscribe to the $2,000-per-month service spanning all parts of online business management). The company may have indicated that an expansion of its NFT project is in the works for 2022 in its latest earnings call.

  • Marketers explore Metaverse worlds. Well-known brands including Miller Lite and Gucci have planted flags in the Sandbox and Decentraland. Brands including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Sotheby’s, Samsung Electronics America, and even accounting firm Prager Metis International LLC have also set up promotional locations in Decentraland. The Sandbox is popular with celebrities and entertainment brands. Read more here.

  • 200 Ukrainian artists will raise war funds with their own NFTs. The artists are represented by the country’s leading galleries, including Port Agency, IZOLYATSIA, Ugallery. The digital works will be offered to start Thursday via Holy Water, a tech start-up. Each NFT will have a minimum bid of 0.08 Ethereum (about US$235). The company did not say how many NFTs in total it will offer.

  • Ukraine plans to issue an NFT collection to fund armed forces. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice-prime minister, announced the plan in a tweet on Thursday and said Kyiv would reveal details of its NFTs soon. The move is the latest sign of the Ukrainian government embracing digital assets as a way to fund its armed forces in their battle, and comes after it raised more than $270mn in war bonds.

  • Ukraine accepts dogecoin, other cryptocurrencies for donations as funding rises to $35 million. The Ukrainian government has raised $35 million, through more than 35,000 crypto asset donations since the start of the Russian invasion, according to Elliptic, a blockchain analytics company. The country has also started to accept dogecoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Solana as donations toward its military as Russia’s invasion continues. Read more here.
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