Medha Parlikar & Niamh O’Connell, CasperLabs: Enterprise adoption in blockchain

CasperLabs is the overseer of the Casper blockchain, a proof-of-stake network optimised for enterprise and developer adoption that launched in early 2021.

The Zug-based company provides engineering and professional services to enterprise clients looking to migrate key business processes to a secure and scalable blockchain.

Following a recent partnership with Amazon Web Services and expansion into the Chinese market, The Block caught up with CasperLabs’ CTO and...

Instagram to add NFT support in upcoming pilot

Instagram

Meta-owned Instagram is adding support for users to show off their non-fungible tokens (NFTs) from a number of the most popular blockchain networks.

In much the same vein as Twitter’s NFT integration late last year, users will be able to select their NFTs as display pictures, post their NFTs, and share them with their followers.

However, CoinDesk has confirmed that Instagram users will not be charged a fee for this service as Twitter originally did following its...

Standard Chartered buys into metaverse with The Sandbox partnership

Sandbox

Global banking giant Standard Chartered is following other major competitors journeying into the metaverse by partnering with decentralised gaming platform The Sandbox.

The company’s Hong Kong subsidiary (SCBHK) bought space in The Sandbox’s Mega City district, an area announced in January alongside a number of Hong Kong partners from various sectors.

Led by SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, the partnership will seek...

Coinbase launches NFT marketplace with a focus on community

Coinbase NFT

Coinbase, the largest US crypto exchange, has finally launched the beta version of its NFT marketplace six months after announcing its impending arrival.

The creatively named ‘Coinbase NFT’ will have to compete with more established marketplaces, most notably OpenSea and LooksRare, and thus the company has sought out ways to differentiate its offering.

"We're building a marketplace where you can buy and sell NFTs, of course, but more importantly, you can engage,"...

Circle bags £300m from BlackRock to compete with top stablecoin Tether

Circle

Web3 finance firm Circle has agreed to a $400 million (£307m) funding round as part of a broad strategic partnership with BlackRock.

As the issuer of stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), Circle is responsible for the fifth largest cryptocurrency by market cap alongside a host of decentralised finance (DeFi) tools.

The funding round is expected to close in the second quarter with other investors including Marshall Wace LLP and Fin Capital.

In addition to the capital...

Solana NFTs launch in beta on leading marketplace OpenSea

Sun Rising

Solana NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have finally gone live on Opensea, the leading NFT marketplace.

Despite being the home ground of Ethereum-based NFTs, OpenSea’s users have long requested integration of the Solana network.

Launching in beta with 165 NFT collections and partners, OpenSea plans to “improve the Solana experience” over time and add more collections every day.

OpenSea said: “Solana has emerged as one of the fastest growing NFT ecosystems in...

Gemini research reveals 18% of UK adults own cryptocurrency

Globalisation

Almost one fifth (18%) of UK adults own cryptocurrency and nearly half of these (45%) invested for the first time in 2021, revealing massive growth in terms of adoption.

The figures come from Gemini’s new ‘2022 Global State of Crypto’ report which surveyed 29,293 adults from across twenty countries, including 2,300 people from the UK.

Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange that was launched in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins. Recently, it has received major external...

Axie Infinity network loses £468m in largest ever DeFi hack

$30 million Ether theft

Axie Infinity, one of the biggest success stories in the world of blockchain-based gaming, has become the victim of the largest decentralised finance (DeFi) hack in history.

The Pokémon-style NFT battler saw $615 million (£468m) stolen from its Ronin Network – the Ethereum sidechain created to run the game’s transactions – on March 23.

It took a user being unable to withdraw 5,000 ether (£12m) on March 29 for Ronin to realise that 173,600 ether (£448m) and 25.5...

Bank of England joins MIT as CBDC research partner

The Bank of England and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have agreed to collaborate on a twelve-month joint research project into central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Alongside MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative (DCI), the bank will explore the potential technical challenges, trade-offs, and risks involved in designing a CBDC system. The project is intended to be for research purposes only and will not result in an operational...

LG Electronics expanding into blockchain and crypto opportunities

Seoul, South Korea

LG Electronics, South Korea’s fourth largest company, has added blockchain and crypto as new business areas to its corporate charter as part of its plan to expand beyond home appliances.

According to local news source JoongAng Daily, the two crypto-focused objectives were approved by shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting on March 24.

The objectives were detailed as “the development and selling of blockchain-based software” and “the sale and...