BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has quietly adjusted its landmark Bitcoin spot ETF application to allow Wall Street giants, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, access. In a late November filing, BlackRock, which looks after around US$10 trillion, updated its Bitcoin spot ETF filing to allow Wall Street banks to act as “authorized participants,” which would effectively allow them to bypass restrictions that prevent them from holding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency on their own balance sheets.
Read on for more on the SEC’s decision on the Bitcoin ETF applications.
Note: Market prices captured in USD at the time of sending. Explore more on Crypto.com/Price.
Blockchain Credit on the Rise
According to debt-tracking platform RWA.xyz, more companies are turning to blockchain-based private credit as they seek financing amid increasing interest rates — with active private loans through digital ledgers having risen 55% since the beginning of 2023 to a total of US$408 million.
Tether Onboards FBI
In an effort to strengthen its commitment to security, Tether has onboarded the Secret Service and FBI to the company’s platform and frozen wallets on the US sanctions list, claiming to have frozen 435 million USDT so far.
Bitcoin Ordinals NFTs Sold by Sotheby’s
The first-ever sale of ‘inscriptions’ created using Bitcoin’s Ordinals blockchain protocol at prestigious auction house Sotheby’s attracted approximately US$450,000 — five times what was estimated — showing a possible greater interest in NFTs to mainstream collectors.
New Stablecoin Ranking Is Out
Credit rating agency S&P released a new stablecoin ranking system, which rates stablecoins on a 1 to 5 scale. It aims to “evaluate a stablecoin’s ability to maintain a stable value relative to a fiat currency.” A score of 1 means ‘very strong’, while 5 means ‘weak’. USDC received a score of 2, the best rating among all stablecoins ranked.
Cronos Launches zkEVM
Cronos Labs launched its Cronos zkEVM Chain testnet, a zero-knowledge (ZK) rollup blockchain network. The testnet is a hyperchain using ZK Stack, launched in a partnership between Cronos Labs, Matter Labs, the team behind zkSync, and engineering teams from Crypto.com, VVS Finance, Fulcrom Finance, and Veno Finance.
New Euro Stablecoin in the Works
Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm, DWS, is forming a new venture with Galaxy Digital and Flow Traders to jointly issue a euro-denominated stablecoin.
SEC’s Bitcoin ETF Review Underway
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler said last week that the agency’s “new look” at applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF had been taking recent court rulings into consideration. Three judges in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled in August that the SEC has to re-review Grayscale’s bid for a spot Bitcoin ETF.
The outcome is still pending.
Chart of the Week
Despite a challenging macro and industry environment, the total cryptocurrency market cap rose +98.61% during 2023 to reach US$1.6 trillion (as of December 18, 2023).
Explore more top crypto events and trends of 2023, followed by our outlook for 2024 in our new report: 2023 Year Review & 2024 Year Ahead.
Research & Insights
Monthly Feature Article | Exploring the Future of Blockchain Gaming: Trends and Opportunities
Over the past decade, the gaming industry has seen tremendous growth and transformation. Amid the transformation, the industry faces new opportunities and challenges.
Into this landscape comes blockchain gaming, which holds the potential to fundamentally change the way games are built, distributed, and monetized.
- The total number of video game players worldwide is projected to hit 3.38 billion in 2023, a YoY increase of +6.3%, with mobile gaming accounting for most of these new players added.
- For blockchain gaming, the market size is valued at over US$3 billion in 2023 and projected to grow to between US$65 to US$90 billion by 2030, with key drivers including more investment and funding in blockchain games, adoption of NFTs, and innovative business models.
- Blockchain games can adopt similar monetization models to traditional games, with the ability to monetize through NFTs, play-to-earn (P2E) or play-to-own (P2O) models.
- Developers are also adopting a hybrid model of traditional and blockchain games, introducing fundamental Web3 concepts with traditional methods.
Read the full report: Exploring the Future of Blockchain Gaming
In collaboration with Crypto.com, coming this Wednesday, December 27, QORPO Game Studio presents the ‘SMILER’ Exclusive NFT Drop. SMILER’s scarcity is a badge of honor for collectors and a ticket to uncharted gaming arenas, giving holders access to all in-game features, alpha tests, and elite tournaments, along with a distinct and cool skin that sets them apart on the battlefield.
It is a rare and valuable asset in the NFT world — and it’s never to be minted again.
QORPO Game Studio spearheads blockchain game development by merging AAA games with captivating NFT designs crafted in state-of-the-art 3D creation engines. With its esports designation, QORPO democratizes competitive gaming with a user-friendly esports infrastructure and empowers players with true ownership, offering a plethora of enticing and utility-rich in-game assets.
This cross-IP endeavor marries strategic warfare with blockchain exclusivity and features various utilities, including:
✅ Guaranteed whitelist for [CLASSIFIED] NFT mint
✅ Whitelist for the future QORPO Game Studio NFT sales on Crypto.com
🎮 In-game playable hero for Citizen Conflict
🎮 Prize-pool esports tournaments🕹️ Beta tests access
Rewards+ Is Now Available in 30 Jurisdictions
Rewards+ provides you with a world of benefits based on your trading activity. Every trade you make puts you on a path to unlock more perks, including higher Earn Plus bonuses, trading rebates, and extra Crypto.com Visa Card rewards. Activate your rewards now or visit our blog for more information. Jurisdiction eligibility applies.
Steadily Build Your Portfolio Across 190-Plus Tokens With Recurring Buy
BIGTIME, CORGIAI, GARI, and 25 other tokens have been added to the Recurring Buy feature in the Crypto.com App. Users can now apply the Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) strategy for over 140 tokens with Recurring Buy. Find out more here.
On-Chain Staking for MATIC in the DeFi Wallet
The DeFi Wallet has introduced on-chain Staking for MATIC, allowing you to stake your MATIC in just a few quick taps and earn rewards of up to 6%. Staked MATIC is auto-compounded to maximize your rewards over time. You will also enjoy the flexibility of unstaking anytime in a secure and convenient manner. Find out more here.
Crypto.com App New Token Listings
Neon EVM (NEON)
Neon EVM is an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) on Solana that allows developers to deploy and scale Ethereum dapps by using Solana as the settlement layer. NEON is the utility token for the Neon EVM ecosystem and will be used for governance and payment of gas fees.
OriginTrail is an ecosystem dedicated to building a sustainable global economy by organizing trusted AI-ready Knowledge Assets. The Trace token (TRAC) is used to perform the operations like publishing on the network and is a utility token that drives the entire DKG.
Oasys is a decentralized blockchain video gaming platform that puts real power in gamers and developers’ hands. OAS is the utility token of Oasys, with staking as one of the major utilities.
Streamr is a decentralized real-time data network, offering low-latency data delivery for global applications. It is powered by the DATA token, which is used for project governance, to incentivize the Network participants, delegate stake on Streamr nodes, and for Streamr Hub payments.
LUKSO is a next-generation EVM blockchain based on Casper PoS. LYX is the utility token, which is essential for various activities within the LUKSO ecosystem, including transaction processing, asset creation, staking, and network security.
Elastos is a public blockchain project that integrates blockchain technology with a suite of reimagined platform components to produce a modern internet infrastructure. ELA is the native token of the Elastos ecosystem, which can be used to secure the network through staking, for process transactions, and as a medium of exchange.
Archway is a Cosmos-native, incentivized Layer 1 blockchain designed to empower developers in deploying high-performance decentralized applications (dApps). The ARCH token is the utility token of the Archway blockchain.
Pyth Network (PYTH)
Pyth Network stands as one of the largest and rapidly expanding first-party oracle networks. The PYTH token serves several key functions within the network, including governance, participation in decision-making processes, and incentivizing data publishers.
Creditcoin is a decentralised credit network built on Substrate that enables blockchain-based credit transactions and credit history building. Creditcoin features its own token, CTC, which is mainly used for vesting and trading (ERC-20 version).
Crypto Level Up
Understanding the ERC-4337 Standard and Account Abstraction
In March 2023, Ethereum’s development team unveiled the ERC-4337 token standard, which allows for account abstraction and removing the need for seed phrases. Read on to find out more about the benefits of ERC-4337 and account abstraction.
More on ERC-4337
In short, ‘pseudo-transaction’ objects are processed by a global smart contract. Private keys no longer need to be used, along with manual processes for network users.
Benefits of Account Abstraction
With account abstraction, users’ cryptocurrency wallets are essentially turned into smart contract accounts. This removes the need for seed phrases and introduces more security measures like two-factor and biometric authentication.
Learn All About ERC-4337 and Account Abstraction.
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In decentralized systems and blockchain technology, a node refers to a computer or device that participates in the network by maintaining a copy of the blockchain and validating transactions.
Nodes play a crucial role in the functioning of decentralized networks, such as cryptocurrencies. They store a complete copy of the blockchain and communicate with other nodes to ensure consensus and verify the accuracy of transactions.
Nodes are categorized into different types, including full nodes, which download and validate the entire blockchain, and lightweight nodes, which rely on full nodes for transaction verification. Nodes contribute to the security, decentralization, and integrity of decentralized networks.
US DOJ Seizes US$9 Million of USDT Linked to Pig Butchering Scams
In late November 2023, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that it seized US$9 million worth of USDT from an organization that employed pig butchering scams. The seizure took place after DOJ agents and analysts traced deposits that victims made via cross-chain bridges across several cryptocurrencies.
Five Essential Safety Practices to Avoid Pig Butchering Scams
1. Never agree to help someone you do not know, especially someone you recently met or only know online, to transfer assets from one point to another, whether fiat or cryptocurrency.
3. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) where possible. This adds an extra layer of security, making it more difficult for potential hackers to access your digital assets.
4. If you have no plans to use your digital assets anytime in the near future, consider purchasing a hardware wallet. These devices store your assets offline, which makes it difficult for bad actors from accessing them via the internet.
That’s it for this week’s Snapshot. Want more? Find out what’s trending in the crypto world.