BI-WEEKLY WEB3 NEWS UPDATES – 01/04/2023

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Bi-Weekly Web3 News

Hello there!

Welcome back to our bi-weekly edition of Web3 News Updates. 

This keeps you in the loop with the blockchain industry’s happenings and whatnot, ranging from startups, funding, adoption, and partnerships.

Here’s a rundown of events and news over the last two weeks:

TL;DR (QUICK TAKE)

  • FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried denies bribery, campaign finance charges 
  • OKX Uses Alchemy Pay’s Fiat Onramp For Easy Purchasing
  • Asian Gaming Giants Rely On Web3 To Transform Global Gaming 
  • Artificial Intelligence Takes Center Stage In Cryptocurrency
  • Executives Predict Widespread Adoption Of Blockchain And Regulated Stablecoins By 2030
  • Ledger Secures $109m Funding, Valued At $1.4 Billion 
  • Binance.Us Halts BUSD Deposits And Withdrawals Via OCBS

FTX FOUNDER SAM BANKMAN-FRIED DENIES BRIBERY, CAMPAIGN FINANCE CHARGES 

Reuters reported that Sam Bankman-Fried, the bankrupt crypto exchange FTX founder, will deny charges of evading campaign finance laws and attempting to bribe Chinese officials. 

Bankman-Fried faces a 13-count indictment, including previous fraud and conspiracy charges, and is awaiting trial in New York in October.

In February, Bankman-Fried faced fraud, conspiracy charges, and accusations of making illegal political contributions. 

He is also accused of attempting to bribe Chinese officials with $40 million worth of cryptocurrency to unfreeze accounts of his firm, Alameda Research, which is bankrupt. Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have yet to respond to requests for comment. 

Following his arrest in December, Bankman-Fried, who was once a billionaire, posted a $250 million bond and is currently staying at his parents’ house in Palo Alto, California. 

As a condition of his bail, he has been given a new phone with no internet access and a laptop that can only access approved sites.

OKX USES ALCHEMY PAY’S FIAT ONRAMP FOR EASY PURCHASING

OKX has integrated Alchemy Pay’s fiat-crypto on-ramp solution, enabling users to deposit using Visa and MasterCard or fiat mobile wallets in emerging markets. 

The integration makes it easy for OKX’s 20 million active users in over 180 countries to purchase cryptocurrencies using local fiat currencies. 

Alchemy Pay provides fiat payment solutions for Web3 and crypto services, with a payment gateway that supports Visa and MasterCard payments in 173 countries and mobile wallets in emerging markets. 

Additionally, the gateway offers low fees, high conversion rates, and simple KYC processes. 

Founded in 2017, OKX is a leading cryptocurrency exchange and Web3 technology company known for its transparency in monthly Proof of Reserves disclosures.

ASIAN GAMING GIANTS RELY ON WEB3 TO TRANSFORM GLOBAL GAMING 

The rapidly expanding Web3 gaming industry is spearheaded by Asia Pacific, where regional gaming companies promote the widespread adoption of blockchain-based games.

With on-chain activity accounting for half of the entire blockchain industry, the Web3 gaming sector is growing at an unprecedented pace. 

In particular, China boasts over 700 million players eager to embrace blockchain-based games, making the Asia Pacific a key player in driving global adoption.

With two-thirds of the world’s largest gaming companies hailing from China, Japan, and South Korea, Asia has the potential to lead the way in Web3 game adoption in the years ahead. 

The region’s influence is already being felt, as Animoca Brands and Sky Mavis – the creators of The Sandbox and Axie Infinity, respectively – emerge as key players in this emerging trend.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TAKES CENTER STAGE IN CRYPTOCURRENCY

While still in its early stages, artificial intelligence (AI) is being utilised in numerous crypto projects. 

AI’s application in crypto displays a promising growth potential, with a compound annual growth rate of 23.6%, projecting the blockchain AI market to surge from $220.5 million in 2020 to $973.6 million in 2027, as per a report by Fortune Business Insights.

Despite calls from notable tech figures, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, to temporarily halt the large-scale development of AI, the crypto industry is seeing a surge in AI-based initiatives.

Recent AI-based crypto projects include:

Blocktrace

Blocktrace is a blockchain forensics and analysis service provider utilising an AI chatbot named Robby the Robot to track transactions and identify trends.

SingularityNET

SingularityNET is a decentralised AI marketplace using blockchain to share and monetise algorithms, powering DApps across industries like finance, healthcare, and transportation.

Fetch.ai

Fetch.ai utilises AI and machine learning algorithms to generate independent economic agents within a decentralised platform via an IEO on Binance. 

Developers can use FET tokens to build and train digital twins for various functions, like data analysis, prediction markets, and supply chain management.

EXECUTIVES PREDICT WIDESPREAD ADOPTION OF BLOCKCHAIN AND REGULATED STABLECOINS BY 2030

Experts predict widespread use of stablecoins by 2030, despite competition between TradFi and DeFi. 

Panellists at the WOW Summit in Hong Kong discuss the future of digital assets, citing the growth rate of the stablecoin market as a factor in their continued use. 

Danish Parliament’s first deputy, Alexandra Sasha, believes regulated stablecoins will become stronger.

Kelvin Lester Lee, the commissioner of the Securities Exchange Commission of the Philippines, is still determining the wide acceptance of regulated stablecoins by 2030 but believes they will still exist and may look different.

Professor Douglas Arner of the University of Hong Kong predicts competition between centralised and decentralised finance and technology regulation approaches throughout the decade. 

He expects regulated stablecoins to emerge as the most widely used monetary instrument embedded in blockchain applications by the decade’s end.

LEDGER SECURES $109M FUNDING, VALUED AT $1.4 BILLION 

Ledger, a leading hardware wallet provider for cryptocurrencies, has announced a successful funding round that raised $109 million, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.4 billion. 

The funding round was led by 10T Holdings and included investments from existing investors such as Cathay Innovation, Draper Esprit, Draper Associates, DCG, and Wicklow Capital.

This funding round will enable Ledger to expand its business and develop new products and services to enhance the security of its users’ digital assets. 

As cryptocurrencies continue to gain popularity, Ledger’s hardware wallets are becoming increasingly important as they provide a secure way to store and manage digital assets.

With this new capital, Ledger plans to continue investing in research and development to bring new products to market, expand its global presence, and grow its team of experts in cryptography, hardware, and software engineering. 

The company also plans to work closely with regulators and policymakers to help shape the regulatory landscape of the cryptocurrency industry.

BINANCE.US HALTS BUSD DEPOSITS AND WITHDRAWALS VIA OCBS

Binance.US, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the United States, has recently suspended BUSD deposits and withdrawals via OCBS, effective immediately. 

This decision comes from an internal review identifying concerns with OCBS, a payment system that facilitates real-time bank settlements.

According to the official statement released by Binance.US, the suspension of BUSD deposits and withdrawals via OCBS is a temporary measure aimed at safeguarding the security and stability of the platform. 

The exchange is actively working on alternative solutions to resume these services as soon as possible and will notify users once they become available.

The suspension of BUSD deposits and withdrawals via OCBS may impact users who rely on this payment method for their transactions on Binance. US.

To minimize disruption, the exchange has recommended that affected users use other payment methods, such as wire transfers or ACH transfers, which are still available.

This is not the first time that Binance.US has changed its payment systems. 

Earlier this year, the exchange added support for the Fedwire network, enabling large bank transactions, and launched its debit card in partnership with Visa.

As the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve, exchanges like Binance.US are constantly adapting to meet the needs of their users and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. 

The temporary suspension of BUSD deposits and withdrawals via OCBS is a proactive step towards achieving these goals and maintaining the trust of the exchange’s customers.

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