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...

BlockApps raises £31m to expand traceability enterprise platform

Blockchain

BlockApps has raised $41 million (£31.4m) in funding for the expansion of its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, STRATO.

STRATO is an Ethereum-compatible blockchain solution that helps enterprises bring more transparency and traceability to their operations.

The oversubscribed funding round was led by Liberty City Ventures, with participation from new investors Morgan Creek Digital, Eidetic Ventures, and Givic. Combined with a prior $9 million (£6.9m) financing...

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...

PwC report calls NFTs key future revenue stream for sports industry

Football Stadium

A new report from PwC, one of the Big Four accounting firms, has called non-fungible tokens (NFTs) “the future of digital assets in sports”.

According to the report, titled Sports Industry Outlook 2022, NFTs and digital assets will be one of the ten major trends across the industry in 2022.

PwC sees three key use cases surrounding NFTs’ “potential to shape fan experiences and boost bottom lines”.

The first and most obvious use case is collectible...

Biden executive order on cryptocurrency to land this week

US Dollar

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on cryptocurrency this week that will mark a major step in the United States’ regulation of digital assets, according to Bloomberg.

The move comes amidst mounting concerns over Russia’s use of cryptocurrency to dodge the sanctions resulting from its invasion of Ukraine.

Treasury secretary Janet Yellen said: “We will continue to look at how the sanctions work and evaluate whether or not there are liquid...

Vitalik Buterin criticises Canada’s protest response as “dangerous”

Canada Trucker Protests

Decentralised blockchains are not all about being the “Wild West” of the technology industry. In many ways they can keep governments in check and “bring the rule of law back”, says Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin.

Buterin, who grew up in Canada, laid out his position on governments overstepping their authority in response to Ottowa’s trucker protests during a Coindesk interview at the ETHDenver conference.

Truckers have spent the better part of a month...

JPMorgan enters the metaverse alongside new report on its potential

Metaverse

JPMorgan is officially the first major bank to enter the metaverse, having opened a lounge in blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland.

That’s right. The United States’ largest bank has a virtual space called the Onyx Lounge fitted with a portrait of Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s CEO, a walk-in presentation on cryptocurrency, and even a roaming tiger.

Named after the bank’s suite of permissioned Ethereum-based services, the Onyx Lounge was revealed alongside a...

China pilots national blockchain development initiative

Central Bank of China

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has launched a national initiative to encourage blockchain development and innovation across a number of regions and industries, according to Cointelegraph.

In a notice, the CAC and other government agencies called for the regulatory authorities to “promote the intensive and balanced layout of blockchain technology infrastructure in the region, form a large-scale production-level cross-chain data exchange support capability, and...

Bank of America expects US CBDC launch between 2025 and 2030

US Dollar

The Bank of America (BoA), the US’ second largest bank after JPMorgan Chase, believes a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for the US dollar is “inevitable”, Bloomberg reports.

According to BoA digital asset strategists Alkesh Shah and Andrew Moss, CBDCs represent the next step in the advancement of electronic currencies.

The bank expects a digital US dollar to be rolled out between 2025 and 2030.

Plans for an American CBDC have been bubbling to the...

NatWest Markets establishes new blockchain team

Teamwork

NatWest has created a new digital team within its capital markets business to upscale its blockchain strategy.

Leading the team will be Chris Agathangelou, who was recently appointed as NatWest’s head of digital capital markets.

The team will focus on delivering credit and rates products to issuers and investors through digital channels and currencies that are underpinned by distributed ledger technology.

With financial markets increasingly embracing...