Here’s a quick breakdown of the biggest news stories and developments in the cryptocurrency sector for October 11, 2022.
1. Google to start accepting crypto payments for cloud services in early 2023
Google announced today that it will start letting certain customers pay for cloud services starting early next year. Initially revealed at Google’s Cloud Next conference, the search giant has revealed that it has picked Coinbase to facilitate cryptocurrency payments.
According to CNBC, the search giant was debating which cryptocurrency payments provider to choose, but ultimately settled on Coinbase due to it having “the greatest capability.” Coinbase will earn a commission for every transaction it facilitates, although the exact share was not revealed. In addition, Google is reportedly also interested in exploring Coinbase Prime, an institutional-grade solution that provides secure custody of digital assets.
Speaking to the news outlet, VP and general manager and head of platform at Google Cloud, Amit Zavery, revealed that the company will start accepting cryptocurrency payments from more customers over time.
Coinbase will be moving some of its systems currently hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Google Cloud servers, according to Coinbase’s VP of business development Jim Migdal.
2. CNN discontinues its NFT Vault project, prompting some users to call the move a “rug pull”
Vault by CNN, a project allowing users to collect non-fungible tokens (NFTs) depicting real-world events such as presidential elections and historically important news, was shut down on Monday. The Vault team shared the news with the community on Twitter, thanking users for their “interest and engagement.”
News of our own to share pic.twitter.com/qcxaDXNRYO
— Vault by CNN (@vaultbycnn) October 10, 2022
Some users shared their disdain for the cable news network’s decision – calling it a “rug pull” – and it’s easy to understand why. As recently as last month, new digital collectibles drops and features were teased, leading users to believe the Vault will continue to be maintained and developed. While users will retain the ownership of NFTs, their utility is bound to decrease with the platform’s shutdown.
A large number of commemorative NFTs, ranging in value from $20 to $500, were sold out in the time since the platform launched halfway through 2021. While it is hard to estimate exactly how much CNN earned in the sale of unique digital collectibles, it is safe to assume, based on data available on the website, that users spent at least hundreds of thousands of dollars on news-related NFTs.
3. LayerZero confirms integration with Aptos post-launch
Ominchain interoperability protocol LayerZero will reportedly be integrated with the Aptos ecosystem, once its mainnet goes live. “Our technology will bring interoperability, security, and seamless omnichain transactions to Aptos Mainnet on Day 1,” wrote the LayerZero team on Twitter.
The rumors are true…we are thrilled to announce our complete integration with @AptosLabs! Our technology will bring interoperability, security, and seamless omnichain transactions to Aptos Mainnet on Day 1
We can’t wait to support the teams building in the Aptos ecosystem ? pic.twitter.com/ej2PNAr4KA
— LayerZero Labs (@LayerZero_Labs) October 10, 2022
LayerZero makes use of decentralized oracles to provide the interface for blockchains to interact with one another. According to the LayerZero team, over 20 developer teams are already working on Aptos applications on a dedicated devnet. Earlier this year, the company raised $135 million at a $1 billion valuation from Sequoia, FTX Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz.
Aptos is a highly scalable Layer 1 blockchain being developed by a team of former Diem developers. The Aptos team secured a total of $350 million in funding between two separate funding rounds held in March and July of this year, respectively.
4. Coinbase receives regulatory approval from Singapore’s central bank
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the leading financial regulator and city-state’s central bank, has given out “In-Principle Approval (IPA)” for Coinbase to offer regulated Digital Payment Token products and services in the country. MAS has so far granted 17 IPAs out of 180 applications submitted in total since 2020.
The announcement comes roughly a year after Coinbase revealed Singapore as its tech hub. The exchange has not only been training product managers and Web3 engineers in the Lion City, but has reportedly invested in more than 15 Singapore-based blockchain startups since 2019.
In an official statement published on Monday, Coinbase wrote that Singapore plays a vital “regulatory and commercial role” not only in the Asia-Pacific region but globally. The exchange added:
“We look forward to ongoing collaboration with the government on a pragmatic regulatory framework for digital assets, to empowering local and regional builders as they scale use cases, and to continue supporting efforts to consolidate the island state’s position as a global Web3 hub.”
5. Crypto bank MinePlex raises $100 Million from GEM Digital Limited
Singapore-headquartered cryptocurrency bank MinePlex has secured $100 million in new capital from venture capital firm GEM Digital Limited (GEM). The CrossFi bank has previously raised $18 million during the Series B funding round that closed in February.
“The funding will be used to advance global penetration of the MinePlex ecosystem and the development of new banking technologies,” wrote the MinePlex team in Tuesday’s announcement.
MinePlex aims to provide digital currency payments to millions of users through collaboration with Mastercard and Visa that is coming later this year. Users will be able to transact using Bitcoin, Ethereum, TRON, and Tether. The company is reportedly also working on optimizing its international card program and adding new payment methods to the MinePlex wallet.
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