1. Canada-based Ether Capital Stakes 10,240 ETH
Ether Capital, a Canadian technology group, announced that it has staked 10,240 ETH, worth $40 million, to Ethereum’s Beacon Chain. The Beacon Chain will introduce proof-of-stake (PoS) to Ethereum; thus Ether Capital’s allocation makes them a validator and security provider to the network as it transitions away from proof-of-work (PoW). The move comes in accordance with its vision of being a leading supporter of the Ethereum and Web3 ecosystems.
The company currently holds 43,512 ETH, including the balance it just staked, and intends to allocate at least 30,000 ETH (~69% of the company’s ETH) to the Beacon Chain prior to the merger. Ethereum’s migration is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022, upon which Ether Capital will receive transaction fee revenue in addition to the bottom line staking yield. In the meantime, the group will earn an adjusted floating yield of 5.22% on its staked ETH balance.
Ether Capital’s motion makes it among the only publicly traded companies staking an ETH balance of this magnitude according to a Tweet from the company. Adding to this achievement, Ether Capital leverages self-custody to stake and hold its Ethereum and will open source its processes to some extent in the near future.
2. Polkadot Parachains Launch Officially
As of this week, five parachains have officially launched on the Polkadot blockchain. These chains are Acala, Astar, Clover, Moonbeam, and Parallel Finance.
A total of $2.4 billion was raised for these parachains during their auction periods. Parachains are selected on the Polkadot network with an auction process, in an effort to lease network space. Winning projects lease parachain slots for a period of 96 weeks.
These projects focus on a number of different cryptocurrency products ranging from lending and borrowing to NFTs.
The idea of parachains is that each individual parachain can accommodate different user profiles, but all of them are ultimately run by a single chain, which is Polkadot’s Relay Chain.
According to The Block, there are currently over 200 projects focused on 19 different use cases that are waiting to participate in the Polkadot auctions.
3. The Tron Foundation to Dissolve Next Summer
Justin Sun, the crypto “wunderkind” and probably the most controversial figure in the space, made a new “announcement”, but this time it is about him quitting the cryptocurrency space.
A day later, the Tron Foundation, the organization behind the TRON cryptocurrency, announced that it will dissolve itself by next summer. With this move, the foundation leaves the development and governance of the blockchain entirely in the hands of its community.
How much development and governance Tron had to date by its community is a subject of debate and whether it will exist in the hands of its community remains to be seen.
1. Nexo Allows Users Borrow Funds Against CryptoPunks and Bored Apes
According to Decrypt, Nexo is preparing to allow its users to borrow against their CryptoPunk and Bored Ape non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The platform currently offers earning, exchanging, and additional borrowing products in over 200+ jurisdictions worldwide and has issued over $6 billion in credit to date.
NFTs are relatively illiquid by nature; especially collections with high floor prices, such as Punks and Bored Apes. This makes it difficult for holders of such NFTs to realize or deploy the value of their digital assets. However, this is quickly changing as a result of newly emerging products, like the one to be offered by Nexo. Incorporating NFTs into lending products is beginning to allow the vast value locked in NFTs to be deployed alternatively. This makes value that was otherwise illiquid and stagnant to be more dynamic and play additional roles in building up the greater ecosystem.
Nexo’s lending desk already accepts more than 20 cryptocurrencies and 40 fiat currencies that can be borrowed for or against. Incorporating NFTs into its lending desk puts it among the most expansive lending product providers in the ecosystem. The platform intends to add additional NFT collateral options in the future after a successful launch with the initial two collections.
2. GigLabs to Enable Shopify Merchants to Create and Sell NFTs
GigLabs is a platform that allows brands to underscore their images using non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In a recent announcement, the group made public the GigLabs NFT App will be available for Shopify Plus merchants to use. Using the GigLabs platform, select Shopify merchants will be able to build and sell NFTs straight from their pre-existing storefronts. GigLabs products are known for their ease of use which will enable Shopify merchants with little NFT or crypto experience to leverage the integration.
Shopify is a multinational e-commerce company based in Canada. It offers a platform for online marketplaces and retail point of sale systems. The platform saw gross merchandise volume of $120 billion in 2020 with over 2.6 million open storefronts in the United States alone. GigLabs integration with Shopify brings NFTs to a large audience of prospective users and merchants. The merger between the two groups introduces a unique concept that allows digital assets to be sold alongside physical items on a centralized marketplace.
3. Adidas Enters the Metaverse with $23 Million Sales
Sportswear brand Adidas officially entered the world of metaverse by making an NFT collection sale.
There was tremendous demand for the sale, which lasted for only 24 hours and generated a turnover of $23.4 million, according to Decrypt.
The NFT Collection rankings website, Crypto Slam ranks Adidas as the third largest collection in terms of the total sales volume during the last 7 days.
Adidas first unveiled its plans to launch an NFT collection at the beginning of this month, when it bought a Bored Ape NFT from OpenSea and dressed it with Adidas apparel.
A total of 30,000 Adidas Originals NFTs were minted on the Ethereum blockchain. The first 20,000 NFTs were offered to the Pixel Vault, Bored Ape, and Mutant Ape NFT holders.
Of the remaining 10,000 NFTs, Adidas holds 380 of them for future events and it sold the remaining 9,620 to the public. Each customer was able to buy two, which sold out in less than a second.
This sale constitutes Adidas’ first foothold in the metaverse. In addition to that, the Sandbox, the leading metaverse game after Axie Infinity, announced last month that Adidas had bought a parcel of virtual land on the Sandbox’s metaverse.