The cryptocurrency business is thriving, but a lot of things are happening, including, Microsoft reportedly testing Edge browser Web3 wallet integration, Bitcoin dominance rising to a 9-Month high, Polygon partnering with Salesforce, and much more!
In this issue:
- ZkSync Era mainnet Alpha is now launched on Ethereum.
- SVB’s $72B assets were sold at a $16B discount to First-Citizens bank.
- Euler Finance exploiter returns 51,000 $ETH to Protocol.
- Sony eyes NFT transfers across multiple game platforms, reveals patent.
- Fujitsu interested in crypto trading services, trademark application reveals.
- UAE unveils CBDC strategy, the first phase to Be completed by mid-2024.
- Arbitrum, Ether liquidity providers earn $500K from $ARB Airdrop.
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ZkSync Era mainnet Alpha is now launched on Ethereum.
Layer-2 solution zkSync has suddenly announced the launch of zkSync Era, the first zkEVM platform to open on Ethereum. The zkEVM, which was renamed zkSync Era last month, has only been available to developers since October 2022. But, the metaphorical training wheels are going off, and the general public will be able to engage with Dapps on the platform for the first time.
ZkSync Era was originally known as zkSync 2.0, and its 1.0 cousin, published in December 2020 by developer Matter Labs, is still available as zkSync Lite. ZkSync is a Layer 2 scaling solution that is cheaper and quicker than the main Ethereum network. Rollups are a kind of Layer 2 solution that includes zkSync. zkSync, in particular, is a ZK rollup.
Rollups enable Ethereum to grow by transferring transactions from the mainnet to a layer-2 network such as zkSync. Users may then conduct their transactions on this second network, with transactions being batched and compressed into a little piece of data known as proof. This proof is then returned to Ethereum and validated.
Another key component of zkSync’s scaling offering is a zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine or zkEVM. The team is developing a rollup technique that is based on zero-knowledge cryptography, thus the ZK rather than optimistic rollups. Hence, zkSync’s virtual machine enables this complicated encryption to be readily merged with Ethereum as it now exists, is proven, and is battle-tested.
Polygon, ConsenSys, Scroll, and Taiko are among the projects developing zkEVM, with Polygon set to launch zkEVM on March 27. As a result, zkSync has beaten Polygon to become the first zkEVM to debut on Ethereum.
Account Abstraction will be supported by zkSync Era from the start. Moreover, the zkEVM platform provides several degrees of data availability. zkSync Era will most likely report transaction outcomes and balance movements rather than transmit entire transaction data to Ethereum. This reduces the quantity of data that must be exchanged, assures a stronger connection with Oracle, promotes privacy, and makes additional utilities easier to integrate.
To safeguard zkEVM at launch, zkSync will postpone transaction validation for up to 24 hours, which means that a transaction is only deemed complete 24 hours after it was conducted.
SVB’s $72B assets were sold at a $16B discount to First-Citizens bank.
On Sunday, the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced the purchase and assumption of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank (SVBB), National Association, by First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company (FCBTC).
The move comes after the closure of Silicon Valley Bank by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, with all deposits and assets transferred to the bridge bank to allow the FDIC time to stabilize the institution and market the franchise.
As part of the purchase and assumption agreement, FCBTC will assume all deposits and loans of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank. Depositors of the failed bank will automatically become depositors of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, with all deposits assumed by the new bank insured by the FDIC up to the insurance limit.
Additionally, the 17 former SVBB branches will open as First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company on Monday, March 27, 2023. Customers are advised to continue using their current branch until they receive a notice that systems conversions have been completed.
Furthermore, the acquisition deal included purchasing approximately $72 billion of SVBB’s assets at a discount of $16.5 billion. Roughly $90 billion in securities and other assets will remain in the receivership for disposition by the FDIC. In addition, the FDIC received equity appreciation rights in First Citizens BancShares, Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina, a joint stock with a potential value of up to $500 million.
Euler Finance exploiter returns 51,000 $ETH to Protocol.
Significant developments have been in the ongoing Euler Finance saga, with the hacker returning a substantial amount of the stolen funds to the protocol.
Euler Finance finally received some good news as the hacker behind the crippling $200 million exploit of the platform returned a significant amount to the protocol. Data from Etherscan revealed that over 51,000 ETH, valued at around $90 million as of Saturday, was sent back to Euler throughout the weekend.
However, the hacker also made several other transactions, transferring tens of millions of DAI stablecoins to another wallet, according to the available blockchain data. Just last week, Euler Finance put out a $1 million bounty offered for the hacker to return the funds. At the time, developers had asked for 90% of the stolen funds to be returned. To make matters worse for Euler, it also emerged that the hackers themselves were possibly targeted by the notorious Lazarus Group.
Euler had suffered a massive exploit earlier in the month, with the hacker stealing $200 million lost over four transactions in dai (DAI), USD Coin (USDC), wrapped bitcoin (wBTC), and staked ether (sETH). According to developers, the attacker used a flash loan attack, temporarily tricking the platform into believing that it held varying amounts of eTokens and dTokens. Euler put out a statement at the time of the attack, stating it was working with professionals and law enforcement agencies to recover the stolen funds.
Many prominent industry members slammed the attack on the protocol, which focused on innovating liquid staking derivatives that allowed Ethereum stakers to unlock the liquidity of their staked assets and use it for other purposes.
Sony eyes NFT transfers across multiple game platforms, reveals patent.
Sony Interactive Entertainment, the video game goliath running the PlayStation brand, filed a patent for a framework allowing users to transfer and utilize nonfungible tokens (NFTs) across multiple game platforms.
Over several years, Sony’s interest in crypto has been evidenced by numerous partnerships and trademark registrations. Adding to this list, Sony filed a patent titled “NFT framework for transferring and using digital assets between game platforms.”
Sony’s NFT framework aims to integrate NFTs into gameplay, wherein the technology can represent skins and other popular in-game functionalities. Moreover, it added that the NFT’s ownership could be transferred to other end-user entities for their use across different simulations and platforms. The below diagrams detail Sony’s intended use of NFTs in gameplay.
Once implemented, PlayStation 5 users will be able to experience NFT use cases via mainstream gaming titles. As of December 2022, the total number of active users on the PlayStation Network worldwide was 112 million, which continues to grow year-on-year.
Fujitsu interested in crypto trading services, trademark application reveals.
Japanese tech giant Fujitsu filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), revealing its intent to offer brokerage services for cryptocurrency trading, among other crypto and non-crypto financial facilities.
Fujitsu’s trademark application aims to register a new mark which “consists of the stylized word FUJITSU with a sideways s-shaped swirl over the J and I,” as evidenced in the official document filed on March 16. The branding is dedicated to offering financial services, which include acceptance of deposits, financing loans, and financial management and exchange of crypto assets.
Fujitsu’s growing interest in web3 became evident when it launched a Web3 acceleration platform for startups and partner companies in February. The platform aims to support the creation of a diverse ecosystem of Web3 applications across a range of use cases, such as digital content rights management, business transactions, contracts, and processes.
At the beginning of 2023, financial regulators in Japan urged global regulators to introduce tougher banking rules for the crypto sector.
Deputy director-general of the Financial Services Agency’s Strategy Development and Management Bureau, Mamoru Yanase, acknowledged that the problem wasn’t with crypto. “What’s brought about the latest scandal isn’t crypto technology itself,” he said, adding that the blame lay with “loose governance, lax internal controls, and the absence of regulation and supervision.”
UAE unveils CBDC strategy, the first phase to Be completed by mid-2024.
The United Arab Emirates expects to complete the first phase of its central bank digital currency strategy around mid-2024, its central bank announced on Thursday. This includes proof-of-concept work for a wholesale and retail CBDC.
The Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) also revealed an engagement with G42 Cloud, a cloud platform from the region, and New York-based blockchain firm R3 as the infrastructure and technology providers respectively.
The first phase of the CBUAE’s CBDC (The Digital Dirham) is expected to be completed over the next 12 to 15 months and will include three major pillars, the announcement said.
The first pillar is the soft launch of the ongoing project mBridge, a collaboration between the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the central banks of Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand to study cross-border payments and multi-CBDC transactions.
The second pillar is proof-of-concept work for a bilateral CBDC bridge with India and the third is proof-of-concept work for a domestic wholesale and retail CBDC, the plans for which were first announced last month.
The UAE had announced its digital dirham as one of nine key initiatives of its new Financial Infrastructure Transformation Program at a time when central banks all over the world have been working towards exploring CBDCs.
Arbitrum, Ether liquidity providers earn $500K from $ARB Airdrop.
Entities providing liquidity to one of the most-anticipated token issuances in recent times made over $500,000 in profits in the first few hours, data shows.
Arbitrum’s governance tokens, ARB, went live for claiming on Thursday. The tokens can be used to vote on decisions on future changes to the Ethereum scaling protocol.
Uniswap data shows over $180 million in volume was traded on the ARB/ETH liquidity pool, netting $542,000 in fees for liquidity providers (LPs). LPs are entities that provide two different tokens to any decentralized exchange’s smart contracts – netting a cut of fees charged by that exchange on each trade.
Data shows 9,900 ether (ETH) and 9.34 million ARB are locked on the Uniswap liquidity pool. Another relatively smaller liquidity pool on Trader Joe’s locks up over $3 million.
Annualized yields on the Uniswap pool are between 90%-100% in Asian morning hours on Friday. The Trader Joe’s pool is a significantly larger 800%.
Meanwhile, Nansen data shows over 75% of all tokens were claimed as of Friday, with over 800 million ARB now held by users. ARB has a circulation supply of 1.2 billion and is trading at $1.30 with a market capitalization of $1.7 billion.
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