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Weekly Round-up of Cryptocurrency News 13/03/2022

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Here are the top headlines from the cryptocurrency space that you might have missed this week:

Multinational bank Goldman Sachs wants to offer new OTC crypto options

Goldman Sachs is now among several Wall Street banks looking to offer crypto options. The financial services and investment bank revealed this week it has intentions to soon start availing over-the-counter bilateral crypto options for enterprise clients.

A  recent report by Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter, detailed that the American banking giant is looking to sink its claws deeper into cryptocurrencies. The news outlet said that the individual, who preferred to remain anonymous, observed that Goldman Sachs isn’t the only Wall Street bank exploring bilateral options.

The said options enable crypto investors to gain high yields or hedge their risks via customised trades. They give investors a choice to sell and buy crypto or assets at a pre-set price sometime in the future – via ‘put’ and ‘call’ options. Options contracts have a deadline by which investors must decide whether to fulfil them.

Investors are effectively shielded from direct exposure to the heat of crypto assets’ volatility, but they still gain from the volatility.

Goldman Sachs wants to lead banks into this path of the crypto space, which crypto native firms have primarily dominated. Galaxy Digital Holdings, crypto trading and market-making firm GSR, and digital currency prime broker Genesis Global already offer the same.

Chainalysis debuts publicly available sanctions screening tools

Blockchain analytics and intelligence firm has brought forward two tools to help users and businesses easily screen crypto wallets for sanctions: – an on-chain oracle currently available and an API that should launch in April.

The former will be DeFi-focused. Users would be able to leverage it to identify the flagged addresses in a number of Ethereum Virtual Machine chains where it is deployable, including Polygon, Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, Optimism, Arbitrum, Celo, and of course, Ethereum.

The API coming next month will use exactly the same data as the on-chain oracle. However, it would be available to a wider range of applications, including centralised exchanges and mobile user platforms.

Chainalysis noted that while decentralisation-based products have been on the rise, not all decentralised platforms have tapped on the necessary tools to manage sanctions risk effectively.

The blockchain analytics firm wants to use its freely available tools to serve decentralised exchanges, DeFi platforms, dApps, DAOs and more. It will achieve this by providing the necessary ‘lightweight tools’ to perform “basic sanctions checks.”

Stripe launches support for NFT and crypto buys in fiat

Dublin-headquartered financial services company Stripe has taken another stride into the crypto sector. Stripe said Thursday that it’s allowing its users to pay for crypto and NFTs using its payments service.

The news shared by Stripe’s co-founder John Collison on Twitter mentioned that several parts of the crypto sector would benefit, including NFT marketplaces, exchanges, wallets, and on-ramps. Stripe’s API would enable them to “process payments for fiat currencies globally through a single integration.”

The payment service would be protected by KYC requirements/ identity verification and secured by fraud detection measures.

Stripe has also confirmed it is collaborating with firms including FTX, FTX.US, Just Mining, Nifty Gateway, and Blockchain.com to help conduct the initiative. Currently, support for Stripe’s crypto services is available in a limited number of jurisdictions, including the US, UK, and the EU. Outside of these areas, it’s only Japan with access, which is also limited to NFT marketplaces only.

The payments giant also released an NFT collection, Cube Thingies, which debuted on the Nifty Gateway marketplace as part of the launch. The NFTs were priced between $242.42 and $424.24, with the proceeds being channelled to healthcare non-profit Watsi.

The Sandbox founder Sebastien Borget advocates for an open metaverse

The metaverse is one of the exciting elements of the whole Web 3.0 idea, but the founder of the metaverse game The Sandbox Sebastien Borget thinks that it has the potential to get even better. Speaking to CoinTelegraph Brasil, Borget said that for the scene to indeed jump to the next level, it needs to transform into an open metaverse.

Borget observed that a decentralised interoperable multiverse is essential in ensuring users will not be limited in the number of experiences they could explore. He suggested that an evolutionary model of the metaverses would involve a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), managed via voting.

He insisted that it is necessary to move away from the current “microverse” in which we are trapped by big tech – Web 2.0.

The developer also suggested that the ambition by nations including the US and China to develop their own metaverses wouldn’t particularly mean they would gain control over this niche. He explained that such is the case because the breadth of decentralisation of content ownership would mean control can’t be centralised.

Borget expects that the metaverse will continue growing towards the expanse of human imagination, observing that it is already changing how we socialise and will have an even bigger impact in the next decade.

Tomorrowland pushes “the boundaries of creativity and innovation” in its latest partnership with FTX

FTX Europe has reached an agreement with the famed music festival Tomorrowland to help it venture further into NFTs and Web 3.

Tomorrowland wants to leverage the best of blockchain tech with the help of the FTX subsidiary. Specifically, the dance music festival aims to bring these new experiences to its upcoming festivals, including Tomorrowland Winter, Tomorrowland in Belgium, and Tomorrowland Around The World.

Tomorrowland fans will enjoy metaverse experiences and also get the chance to gain an NFT collectable. Out of a total of 6,500 NFTs, 1,500 would be accessible by Tomorrowland Winter attendees. Named ‘The Quest by FTX’, the initiative would allow holders of one of these NFTs to unlock one of the hidden locations where the festival will be held at the end of the month.  

The five undisclosed locations are all located in the mountain ranges of Alpe d’Huez, France.

Possibly soon, users will likely also enjoy the option to engage with their favourite artists through virtual attendance. As FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said, Tomorrowland endeavours to offer “fun and interactive ways to gain access to exclusive events.”





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