The Head of the SEC’s Crypto Unit Steps Down

David Hirsch, the head of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Crypto Asset and Cyber Unit in the Division of Enforcement, is leaving the agency. After nine years of service, he has decided to depart, though he has not disclosed any details about his future plans. As crypto becomes an increasingly hot political issue in the United States ahead of this year's presidential election, the SEC is finding itself more and more in the spotlight.

Cardano’s Chang Hard Fork Enters Testing Phase

Charles Hoskinson, the founder of Cardano, announced that the Chang hard fork has entered its testing phase. If successful, the upgrade could be implemented by the end of June. This upcoming hard fork will transform the blockchain into a truly community-driven ecosystem. Additionally, it will introduce Plutus V3, which includes solutions for zero-knowledge proofs, enabling more secure private transactions.

The Solana Foundation Successfully Removes Sandwich Attackers

The foundation behind the Solana blockchain recently removed more than 30 validators from its delegation program after it was proven they were involved in so-called sandwich attacks. These validators collectively held 1.5 million SOL, which represents about 0.5% of the staking amount. Such attacks involve manipulating transaction prices, and in the past two months, they have generated tens of millions of dollars in profit.

T-Mobile Enters Bitcoin Mining

At the Prague Bitcoin Conference, a representative of Deutsche Telekom, known as T-Mobile, announced the company's intention to start mining Bitcoin. In his presentation, he revealed that the company has been operating its own node for some time and that T-Mobile plans to participate in the "digital monetary photosynthesis" by engaging in Bitcoin mining in the future.

Polygon Gets a New Governance Hub

The Aragon Project, a prominent developer of decentralized autonomous organizations, is implementing an end-to-end governance solution for Polygon, complete with protocol governance contracts. The goal of the community-driven governance hub is to empower users and builders to influence fundamental technical developments of Polygon through their votes. This project marks a significant step towards more inclusive and decentralized governance for Polygon.

Nigerian Tax Authority Drops Charges Against Imprisoned Binance Executive

The Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service has dropped tax violation charges against imprisoned Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan, who had been arrested on tax-related offenses. The tax authority reviewed its original indictment and, in a revised submission to the court, listed Binance as the sole defendant. Meanwhile, Gambaryan is suffering from malaria and pneumonia in prison. The announcement also revealed that the ordeal is not over, as money laundering charges are still pending.

Swiss Regulator Shuts Down Binance’s Banking Partner

The Swiss regulatory authority has initiated the closure of crypto-friendly FlowBank and filed for bankruptcy proceedings against the institution due to insolvency risks. FlowBank, which served as a banking partner for Binance, also acted as a custodian for several large traders who preferred not to leave their funds on the platform.

Zapper Introduces New Protocol

The DeFi aggregator and portfolio manager Zapper has unveiled its new protocol aimed at making on-chain data interpretation more accessible, even without advanced coding skills. The developers have created indexing templates that simplify the process of indexing on-chain data, enabling users to place data in context more easily. The platform is also preparing to launch a native ZAP token in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Solana Launches Bond

Solana has officially launched Bond, a new blockchain-based customer engagement platform designed to help various brands foster long-term loyalty with their users. Solana Labs promises that brands will not need blockchain experience, as the service will be accessible through a single application programming interface. It will offer collectible limited-edition digital products to encourage repeated engagement.

Holograph Hacked

The blockchain tokenization platform Holograph has confirmed that a hacker breached its protocol operator contract, minting 1 billion HLG tokens worth $14.4 million. As a result, its native token, HLG, plummeted by 79%. The project's developers have since fixed the problematic code and are collaborating with crypto brokers to freeze the malicious actor's accounts.

MicroStrategy Plans New Bond Issuance

MicroStrategy, known for its substantial Bitcoin holdings, aims to raise an additional $500 million through a convertible senior note offering, with an option to increase by $75 million. The company plans to use the proceeds to acquire more Bitcoin and for general corporate purposes. Depending on market conditions and other factors, the notes, maturing in 2032, will be issued in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers.

NEAR’s New Organization Receives $13 Million

The non-profit NEAR Foundation has launched Nuffle Labs, which will develop NEAR's data availability layer, the NEAR Fast Finality Layer, and other tools in the NEAR modular product suite. The independent organization received $13 million in strategic funding for its launch from sources including Electric Capital, with angel investors like Sreeram Kannan from EigenLayer and Sandeep Nailwal from Polygon also participating.

Terraform Labs Agrees to $4.47 Billion Fine

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has submitted a proposed final consent judgment in the Terraform Labs lawsuit and has asked Judge Jed Rakoff of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to approve the plan. Terraform and its co-founder, Do Kwon, agreed to the judgment in late May over the collapse of an algorithmic stablecoin in 2022. The settlement includes $3.58 billion in damages, a $420 million civil penalty, and bans Kwon from serving as an officer or director of any public company.

Paxos Lays Off Staff

Stablecoin issuer Paxos has laid off about 20% of its workforce, amounting to 65 employees. Charles 'Chad' Cascarilla, Paxos co-founder and CEO, stated that the decision was difficult but necessary to capitalize on the significant opportunities in tokenization and stablecoins ahead. The company is reportedly in a very strong financial position for success.

MetaMask Launches New Staking Option

The popular crypto wallet, MetaMask, has launched a pool staking service for Ethereum, allowing users to stake their ETH for rewards with validators operated by the wallet's developer, ConsenSys. The service is currently unavailable to users in the United States and the United Kingdom due to regulatory uncertainties.

Ripple Completes Acquisition of Standard Custody

Ripple Labs has finalized the acquisition of the digital asset custodian, Standard Custody. The company is expected to play a significant role in Ripple's planned introduction of a US dollar stablecoin and the tokenization of real assets. As part of the deal, Standard Custody's CEO, Jack McDonald, has been appointed Ripple's Senior Vice President for Stablecoins while remaining the CEO of Standard Custody.

SushiSwap Undergoes Transformation

The decentralized exchange SushiSwap has introduced a new business model for its ecosystem. They have established Sushi Labs, an autonomous administrative, technical, and operational organization to govern the Sushi ecosystem. Developers hope this new solution will address the protocol's liquidity issues and break Sushi's stagnation with the introduction of the Route Processor product.

MultiversX Introduces Sovereign Chains Solution

The distributed blockchain network MultiversX has launched its Sovereign Chains solution, potentially increasing the transaction throughput of existing layer-2 chains by up to 100 times. This "blockchain-as-a-service" innovation offers customized blockchain solutions across various sectors such as healthcare, education, government services, financial systems, and supply chains.

Crypto.com Receives License in Ireland

The Crypto.com trading platform has received a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI). This approval allows Crypto.com to expand its offerings in the country, including crypto-fiat trading and fiat wallets.

Polygon Approves New Incentives

Polygon's community treasury has announced a long-term plan to incentivize blockchain development. They have approved the release of 1 billion POL tokens over 10 years, with an annual allocation of approximately 100 million POL for builders. POL will be Polygon's native token, replacing MATIC in the future. In the first phase, the treasury will distribute 35 million MATIC (approximately $22 million).

Zksync Token Available Next Week

The ZKsync Association has announced that next week it will distribute 3.675 billion ZK tokens via airdrop to the early users and developers of ZKsync, its Ethereum layer-2 network. This amount represents 17.5% of the total supply of 21 billion ZK tokens. An additional 49.1% of the token supply will be allocated within the ecosystem, while 17.2% will go to investors and 16.1% to the Matter Labs team.

Fireblocks Protection Now Available on Coinbase

Fireblocks, which provides secure infrastructure for digital assets, has announced a partnership with Coinbase International to extend its Multi-Party Computation (MPC) protection to Coinbase clients. From now on, customers using the brokerage platform can use the Fireblocks Network to reduce operational risks in both spot and futures trading. This service is available to both institutional and retail users.

Uniswap Acquires Popular Blockchain Game

The team behind Ethereum's largest DeFi protocol, Uniswap Labs, has acquired the blockchain-based game Crypto: The Game, which is a Survivor-like elimination competition. According to the terms of the deal, CTG founders Dylan Abruscato, Tyler Cagle, and Bryan Lee will continue developing the game as employees of Uniswap Labs, preparing for the launch of the next season. Uniswap Labs has not disclosed the purchase price for CTG.

ZkSync Launches New Governance System

The Ethereum layer-2 network zkSync has launched its new community-driven governance system called ZK Nation. This system allows token holders to propose and vote on network changes. Its primary responsibilities include managing protocol updates and maintaining security. The governance system unifies three on-chain entities: the Token Assembly, the Security Council, and the Guardians.

UwU Lend Suffers Major Hack

Several blockchain security firms, including Arkham, have reported that the lending and liquidity protocol UwU Lend has suffered an exploit worth $19.3 million. UwU Lend, a project initiated by the former CFO of Frog Nation, 0xSifu, is an Aave fork used to support lending of the MIM stablecoin. The hacker managed to steal WETH, WBTC, and stablecoins, selling part of the stolen assets on Uniswap. UwU Lend is currently investigating the cause and plans to offer compensation to affected users.

Loopring Hacked

The Ethereum-based ZK-rollup protocol, Loopring, has announced that its Guardian wallet recovery service, which relies on two-factor authentication, was compromised in a hack, resulting in approximately $5 million being withdrawn from wallets protected by the Loopring Guardian service. The company has temporarily suspended the services and is cooperating with law enforcement to track down the perpetrator.

Io.Net CEO Replaced

Decentralized infrastructure provider (DePIN) Io.Net, which allows users to contribute surplus GPU power to a shared pool in exchange for token-based payments, has replaced its CEO Ahmad Shadid, who is also a co-founder. The Solana-based project has appointed Tory Green, another co-founder and former COO, to the CEO position.

New NFT Regulations in South Korea

The South Korean Financial Services Commission (FSC) has issued new guidelines for regulating NFTs, stating that mass-produced, interchangeable NFTs will be treated as crypto assets. However, non-transferable digital tokens with little or no economic value, such as transaction receipts or NFT concert tickets, will still be classified as traditional NFTs.

HSBC Launches e-CNY Services

HSBC Bank's China division has become the first foreign bank to offer e-CNY services. These services, related to the central bank's digital currency, are available to both retail and corporate customers. The bank has also assisted an educational group in accepting payments in e-CNY for its six branches in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Jiaxiang, and Suzhou.

Roaring Kitty and the Memecoin Craze

GameStop-inspired memecoins GME, KITTY, and ROAR fell by 31% when meme-stock favorite influencer "Roaring Kitty," also known as Keith Gill, held his first live stream in three years. Gill became famous in 2021 for sparking a retail frenzy in GameStop and AMC stock prices. Officially, none of the memecoins are associated with Roaring Kitty, and the GME Solana-based memecoin has no connection to the GameStop stock trading under the same ticker.

Nostra Announces Its Airdrop

Nostra, the leading DeFi protocol on Starknet, has announced the upcoming launch of its NSTR token on June 17, along with its tokenomics. Additionally, a liquidity bootstrapping pool (LBP) snapshot will be taken between June 10 and 13, which includes the airdrop distribution. A total of 100 million NSTR tokens will be unlocked at the time of issuance, with 11% allocated for a community airdrop during the Token Generation Event (TGE).

Wormhole’s New Staking Opportunity

One of the leading interoperable platforms, Wormhole, has launched the "Stake For Governance" feature, allowing W token holders to participate in the Wormhole DAO and influence the platform's future direction. However, they need to bridge their W tokens from Solana to an EVM chain. Introducing staking for governance is a significant step towards decentralizing Wormhole through MultiGov, the industry's first multichain governance system for Solana, Ethereum mainnet, and EVM layer 2 DAOs.

CoinGecko Falls Victim to Phishing Attack

Cryptocurrency data aggregator CoinGecko confirmed that it suffered a data breach on June 5. The attacker sent nearly 24,000 phishing emails through a third-party email platform used by CoinGecko. According to the statement, user accounts and passwords remained secure during the incident, with only data such as user names, email addresses, IP addresses, and the locations where emails were opened being leaked.

Semler Scientific Initiates BTC Acquisition

Semler Scientific, a Nasdaq-listed medical technology company, has expanded its bitcoin holdings by purchasing an additional 247 BTC for $17 million, bringing its total to 828 BTC. The company views bitcoin as an inflation hedge and safe haven amid global instability. Additionally, Semler Scientific announced plans to raise $150 million in capital, part of which will be used to purchase more bitcoin, similar to the strategy of MicroStrategy led by Michael Saylor.

Hong Kong Discusses Introduction of Spot ETH ETF Staking

Negotiations and discussions have begun in Hong Kong with spot Ethereum ETF issuers and custodians about the possibility of ETH staking. According to experts, it is highly likely that this will be approved by the end of this year. Financial company Hashkey and blockchain infrastructure provider Blockdaemon are actively participating in the discussions. They believe this service will provide a significant competitive advantage over American products.

Franklin Templeton’s New Crypto Fund with Staking Rewards

Asset manager Franklin Templeton is considering launching a new crypto fund that would invest in tokens beyond just BTC and ETH. This new crypto fund plans to offer staking rewards as part of its benefits, which is unusual since such a feature was not included in the approved spot Ethereum ETFs.

Hulk Hogan Rugpull

WWE wrestling legend Hulk Hogan reportedly entered the crypto industry for a brief period. He promoted a Solana-based memecoin online, but shortly after, he deleted his posts. In this rugpull-like operation, the token's market capitalization suddenly plummeted from $17 million to $2 million after he deleted his tweets about it.

Bybit Opens to Chinese Users

Dubai-based crypto broker Bybit has officially announced that Chinese users living outside their home country can now open accounts and trade digital assets, as well as utilize the platform's full range of services. Bybit had previously strictly prohibited registration and use by all Chinese users, but this policy has now changed. Data indicates that the number of potential Chinese users could be in the tens of millions.

Telegram Introduces New Payment System

Telegram's CEO, Pavel Durov, has announced a new payment system for digital goods and services. Telegram Stars allows users to make in-app purchases on iOS and Android for digital services, complying with Apple and Google's digital product sales guidelines. App developers can swap the new token for TON on the Fragment exchange.

Robinhood Acquires Bitstamp

American brokerage Robinhood has announced its acquisition of Bitstamp, one of Europe's largest crypto exchanges, for $200 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2025. Bitstamp currently holds over 50 active licenses and registrations worldwide, with Galaxy Digital Partners LLC serving as its exclusive financial advisor.

Binance Renews Partnership with Mastercard

Binance has renewed its partnership with Mastercard, allowing users to purchase crypto assets using their cards. Following a comprehensive review of Binance's stringent checks and processes, Mastercard has decided to permit purchases linked to Binance on its network. In the future, additional products, such as withdrawals, will also be supported.

Nocturne Supported by Vitalik Shuts Down

The Nocturne privacy protocol, supported by Vitalik Buterin, has announced it will gradually shut down operations and discontinue the privacy protocol established last year. According to the announcement, their frontend will remain open until the end of the month, after which withdrawal processes will only be accessible through a self-service system via GitHub. The reason for the closure was not disclosed.

Cardano Partners with Argentina

The Cardano Foundation, which supports the Cardano blockchain, has announced a new partnership in Argentina. Under the agreement with Entre Ríos province, Cardano will facilitate the adoption of blockchain technology in the region. This latest move represents a significant development for the Argentine nation, which has recently focused on strengthening its crypto sector.

MoonPay Lays Off 10% of Employees

Cryptocurrency payment infrastructure company MoonPay has laid off 10% of its workforce, amounting to around 30 employees, citing structural changes, a high cost structure, and lower-than-expected operating margins. These changes aim to improve their cost structure and strengthen the foundations of the financially stable company.

Paxos Launches Lift Dollar (USDL)

Paxos International, operating in the United Arab Emirates, has announced its new yield-generating stablecoin, the Lift Dollar (USDL), with Argentina as its initial market. Theoretically, USDL promises a risk-free yield of approximately 5%, paid daily to users. The asset, which runs on Ethereum, is backed by US dollar deposits and short-term US Treasury bills.

Dapper Labs Settles NBA Top Shot Moments Lawsuit

Dapper Labs, the creator of the popular NBA Top Shot Moments NFT collection, has reached a settlement in the class-action lawsuit alleging the company violated securities laws through the improper sale of digital collectibles. According to court documents, the company agreed to pay $4 million into a settlement fund for eligible plaintiffs.

StarkWare to Bring ZK Scaling to Bitcoin

StarkWare, the developer of Starknet, will extend its zero-knowledge technology to Bitcoin in the future, scaling the network alongside Ethereum. This initiative will make them the first network capable of settling transactions on both Bitcoin and Ethereum, scaling Bitcoin to handle thousands of transactions per second. This upgrade is expected to occur within six months following the implementation of the OP_CAT technical proposal.

Polygon Labs Acquires Toposware

Polygon Labs has announced the acquisition of Toposware, a blockchain research company specializing in zero-knowledge technology. This marks Polygon Labs' third significant ZK acquisition in less than three years, as part of its strategy to enhance its ZK arsenal. While specific details of the deal were not disclosed, Toposware was valued between $20 million and $30 million.

Avail Raises $43 Million

Modular blockchain Avail, which spun out of Polygon last year, has raised $43 million in a Series A funding round ahead of its mainnet launch. Investors include Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Dragonfly, and Cyber Fund. This round brings total funding to $75 million, which will be used to build rollup-centric infrastructure.

IOTA EVM Launches

The IOTA Network has announced the launch of IOTA EVM, a fully EVM-compatible layer 2 solution for the IOTA network. This introduces features such as smart contracts, cross-chain functionality, parallel processing, and enhanced security against Maximal Extractable Value (MEV). The launch is a significant step toward integrating DeFi with real assets, with partners including LayerZero, Stargate Finance, the Pyth Network, and Supra.

Bitpanda Partners with Deutsche Bank

Austrian financial company Bitpanda has partnered with Deutsche Bank to enable real-time incoming and outgoing fiat payments for German crypto traders, providing greater liquidity to the platform. Bitpanda aims to improve the efficiency and security of transfers with this service.

Core Scientific Partners with AI Company

North American bitcoin mining and hosting provider Core Scientific has signed a 12-year contract with AI hyperscaler CoreWeave. This partnership diversifies Core Scientific's business model between bitcoin mining and alternative computational hosting, aiming to maximize cash flow and minimize risk. The agreement is expected to generate approximately $290 million in average annual revenue, totaling over $3.5 billion in cumulative revenue over the 12-year period.

Galaxy Digital Tokenizes 300-Year-Old Stradivarius

Galaxy Digital, led by Michael Novogratz, has tokenized a Stradivarius violin made in 1708, which once belonged to Catherine the Great of Russia. The current owner, Yat Siu, co-founder of Animoca Brands, values the violin at approximately $9 million. This tokenization marks a significant advancement in using blockchain technology to preserve the value of unique real-world assets.

CEO of Aptos Labs Joins the CFTC

The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has appointed Mo Shaikh, co-founder and CEO of Aptos Labs, as a new member of its subcommittee on digital assets. He joins other members from organizations such as BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Uniswap Labs, and Polygon Labs. The 34-member team will advise the agency on regulatory and rulemaking matters.

Binance Restricts Stablecoin Usage in the EU

Binance has announced that starting from the end of June, it will restrict the availability of stablecoins deemed unregulated by the EU in the European Union. The rules outlined in the EU's Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) for stablecoins will come into effect at the end of June. This will be the first step towards entering the new regulatory framework and will significantly impact the stablecoin market in the European Economic Area. There is currently no information on which stablecoins comply with the MiCA regulations.

Australian Spot BTC ETF Launches

Australia-based Monochrome Asset Management announced that its spot BTC exchange-traded fund (IBTC) will be available for trading starting tomorrow, listed on the Cboe Australia exchange. This product is the first and only ETF in Australia that directly holds bitcoin; other similar products only hold bitcoin indirectly and are not subject to investor protection rules under the Australian Financial Services Licensing (AFSL) regime.

OKX Launches in the Netherlands

Crypto broker OKX has announced the official launch of its trading platform and web3 wallet service in the Netherlands. The platform allows Dutch customers to trade nearly 150 crypto assets. As a promotional offer, Dutch customers can deposit euros into their accounts for free, and the broker offers at least 60 trading pairs that can be traded with EUR.

11 Companies Granted Operating Licenses in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) announced that a total of 11 platforms—HKbitEX, PantherTrade, Accumulus, DFX Labs, Bixincom, xWhale, YAX, Bullish, Cryptocom, WhaleFin, and Matrixport HK—have officially applied for virtual asset management licenses. Among the major and well-known crypto brokers, only Cryptocom received a license, while the others withdrew. The reason for these withdrawals was revealed to be a requirement that restricted Chinese users in any region of the world, which most offshore brokers were unwilling to comply with.

Velocore Hacked, $10 Million in Damages

The decentralized financial exchange Velocore on zkSync and Linea has confirmed that it fell victim to a hacking attack. The systems were breached, and a significant portion of their liquidity, amounting to approximately $10 million, was stolen. The hackers transferred part of the ETH through the chains to the Ethereum mainnet. In a statement, Velocore said they are already working with security teams and centralized exchanges (CEXs) to potentially freeze the stolen assets.

ARK Invest Withdraws from Spot ETH ETF

Cathie Wood's ARK Invest has amended its S-1 filing, revealing that ARK Invest will no longer partner with 21Shares on the proposed spot Ethereum ETF. Previously named the Ark 21Shares Ethereum ETF, the fund is now rebranded as the 21Shares Core Ethereum ETF. A spokesperson confirmed the news and added that 21Shares and ARK will continue collaborating on the ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF launched in January and other existing futures products.

Biden Vetoes Crypto Bill

U.S. President Joe Biden vetoed a bill that aimed to repeal the SEC's SAB 121 accounting standard, which pertains to the custody of crypto transactions by companies. "By virtue of invoking the Congressional Review Act, this Republican-led resolution would inappropriately constrain the SEC's ability to set forth appropriate guardrails and address future issues" stated the President.

Another Crypto Broker Exits Hong Kong

Following Binance, OKX, Gate.io, and HTX, Bybit has also withdrawn its application for a virtual asset trading platform license submitted to the Hong Kong SFC. The reasons for this decision are currently unknown.

CZ Begins Sentence at Lompoc Prison in California

Binance founder Changpeng Zhao has started serving his 4-month sentence at the low-security federal prison in Lompoc, California. Zhao was sentenced in April after pleading guilty to charges of aiding money laundering on his crypto trading platform.

Over 4.5 Thousand BTC Stolen from Japan’s DMM Bitcoin

Japanese crypto broker DMM Bitcoin suffered a hacker attack, resulting in the theft of approximately 4,502.9 BTC, valued at 48 billion yen (305 million dollars). The company immediately halted withdrawals and assured users that affected customers would be compensated and damages covered with the support of the group's companies.

Tether Buys Into Bitdeer Mining Company

Bitcoin miner Bitdeer has entered into a subscription agreement with stablecoin issuer Tether for the private placement of 18,587,360 Class A common shares, generating nearly $100 million in revenue for the company. As part of the agreement, there is also an option to purchase an additional 5 million shares at $10 per share, which would bring in an additional $50 million if fully exercised. Bitdeer plans to use the proceeds to expand its data center and develop ASIC-based mining equipment.

Unchained Launches $5 Million Fund

The American Bitcoin financial and custodial service provider Unchained is partnering with the University of Austin to promote alternative financial strategies and integrate Bitcoin into higher education. Together, they plan to launch a long-term foundation fund aiming to raise $5 million, which will remain invested in BTC for at least five years.

New EU Regulation – The Digital Identity Wallet is Here

A new digital identity regulation has come into effect in the European Union, requiring member states to provide each citizen with at least one EU digital identity wallet. This digital identity wallet will be used for electronically signing and storing various documents, such as university diplomas and train tickets. According to EU Commissioner Thierry Breton, the wallet will "revolutionize the way European citizens and businesses engage with online services by seamlessly integrating convenience, safety and privacy.” The regulation must be fully implemented by 2026.

Babylon Secures Significant Funding Again

Babylon, the Bitcoin staking protocol that builds infrastructure to enable staking rewards for Bitcoin within a proof-of-stake system, has raised $70 million in fresh financing led by Paradigm, with support from Bullish Capital, Polychain Capital, Hashkey Capital, Mantle, Galaxy, and Hack VC. According to the company, this funding will accelerate the process of making Bitcoin the security backbone of PoS systems.

Talos Acquires Skolem

The unicorn crypto trading software provider Talos, backed by Citibank and Andreessen Horowitz, has acquired Skolem to expand its DeFi service offerings for institutional clients. Skolem is Talos's third acquisition within 12 months, and as part of the acquisition, it will be fully integrated into Talos.

Fortunafi Tokenization Platform Raises $9.51 Million

Fortunafi, a tokenization platform for real-world assets (RWA), announced that it has raised $9.51 million in its latest, third round of financing. Investors in this round included Shima Capital, Manifold, Jordan Fish (alias Cobie), and Ari Litan from LayerZero Labs. Alongside this funding, the project also introduced its new stablecoin protocol, Reservoir.

The US Treasury Investigates NFTs

The United States Treasury Department, in its new risk assessment on illicit financing, has identified NFTs as highly susceptible to fraud and scams, and significantly exposed to theft. According to the document, NFT platforms lack adequate controls to combat money laundering and sanctions evasion. Therefore, the Treasury recommends additional regulations for the market.

Mastercard Launches New P2P Crypto Payment Option

The payment service provider Mastercard has announced the launch of its first Mastercard Crypto Credential P2P pilot transaction, where crypto brokerage users will be able to send and receive crypto assets through the service for the first time. During the pilot phase, users in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Uruguay will be able to send cross-border and domestic transfers in multiple currencies and blockchains.

AI Protocols Merge

Three web3 protocols focused on artificial intelligence—Fetch.ai, SingularityNET, and Ocean Protocol—have announced the completion of their cryptocurrency merger on June 13. The tokens will be unified under Fetch.ai and will continue under the new name, Artificial Superintelligence Alliance. Starting June 11, users can swap their FET tokens for ASI, and the native tokens of SingularityNET (AGIX) and Ocean Protocol (OCEAN) can be exchanged two days later.

USDC Expands to Brazil

Circle, the issuer of USDC, announced a partnership with several major entities, including Latin America's largest investment bank, BTG Pactual, and the neobank company Nubank. This collaboration aims to expand access to and usage of the USDC stablecoin in Brazil. According to the company's statement, this initiative is seen as an opportunity to enhance USDC accessibility in a market that leads in fintech innovation and adoption.

PayPal Launches PYUSD on Solana

PayPal is launching its stablecoin, PayPal USD (PYUSD), issued by Paxos, on the Solana blockchain. In addition to Ethereum, users of the world's third most widely used blockchain can now utilize PYUSD for cross-border transactions. PayPal aims to provide its users with a digital currency that has stable value, designed for commerce and payments.

GaiaNet Raises $10 Million

The GaiaNet artificial intelligence infrastructure project, aimed at decentralizing networks of generative AI tools, has raised $10 million in its seed funding round. Participants included EVM Capital, Mirana Ventures, Mantle EcoFund, and Generative Ventures Lex Sokolin. The funds will support the development of their AI-based chatbot and the distributed network needed for more private and secure AI tools.

FTX Digital Markets Co-CEO Sentenced to 7.5 Years in Prison

Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets, has been sentenced to 90 months in prison after pleading guilty last September to illegal political donations and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. In addition to the prison sentence, $6 million was confiscated from him, and he was ordered to pay more than $5 million in restitution.

Anzen Finance Raises $4 Million

Anzen Finance, the issuer of the USDz digital dollar, has received $4 million in funding from investors such as Mechanism Capital, Circle Ventures, Frax, Arca, and Infinity Ventures. The fresh capital will be used to expand support for USDz across various blockchains and protocols. USDz is backed by real-world assets (RWA) and can be utilized by other DeFi protocols.

MoonPay Launches Web3 Tools

Blockchain payment infrastructure provider MoonPay has announced the launch of its Web3 Tools platform aimed at helping brands offer an enhanced web3 experience for consumers. The platform enables companies to build web3 communities, foster loyalty, and unlock new revenue streams.

The Sandbox Launches Its DAO

The gaming platform Sandbox has announced the launch of its decentralized autonomous organization, The Sandbox DAO. This initiative allows SAND holders and virtual LAND (NFTs representing plots in the game) owners to vote on projects and propose improvements using Sandbox Improvement Proposals (SIPs). The first voting opportunity begins on May 28.

Solana Validators Benefit

Solana blockchain validators have approved Solana Improvement Document (SIMD)-0096 with 77% support, which allocates all transaction priority fees to the validators for the blocks they produce, instead of the previous 50%. This change aims to enhance network security and improve incentives within the validation system.

Floki Now Has Its Own Bot

The developers of the popular memecoin Floki have introduced a Telegram-based trading bot that allows FLOKI holders to trade any token on the BNB Chain blockchain. Initially, it will be available to a small user base during the testing phase, with a broader rollout planned for mid-June.

Japanese Banking Giant Nomura Focuses on Stablecoin Market

The Japanese banking giant Nomura and its digital asset division, Laser Digital, have announced a partnership with Japan’s GMO Internet Group to explore the management of stablecoins denominated in Japanese yen and U.S. dollars. Their plans include a "stablecoin-as-a-service" product aimed at assisting companies in issuing stablecoins in compliance with regulations.

First DePIN in Nvidia App Catalog

The AIOZ Network, a decentralized computing platform, has become the first DePIN solution to be listed in Nvidia’s prestigious Accelerated Applications Catalog. By appearing alongside industry giants like Adobe and Epic Games in Nvidia's global developer ecosystem, AIOZ gains significant visibility for its distributed infrastructure model, promoting open, decentralized solutions for web3 AI, data storage, and streaming services.

Jupiter’s New Project, GUM

The popular Solana DEX aggregator Jupiter has announced the Grand Unified Markets (GUM) initiative, aiming to create a "unified atomic market" on Solana. In collaboration with the Solana Foundation and market makers Wintermute and DWF Labs, the GUM Alliance intends to establish liquid markets for crypto, real estate, forex, stocks, and bonds in tokenized form on Solana.

Farcaster Raises $150 Million

The decentralized social network Farcaster has announced raising $150 million in a funding round led by venture capital firm Paradigm. Investors included a16z, Haun Ventures, and Union Square. Dan Romero, former Coinbase executive and founder of Farcaster, previously stated that this funding would raise the valuation of the company behind the project, Merkle Manufactory, to $1 billion.

MakerDAO Introduces Two New Stablecoins

MakerDAO has introduced two new stablecoins, NewStable and PureDAI, created to eventually replace DAI. NewStable will be backed by real-world assets and designed to generate yield, with the capability to be frozen if necessary. In contrast, PureDAI will be a fully decentralized, over-collateralized stablecoin supported solely by ETH and staked ETH, which resembles an algorithmic solution.

Marathon Strikes Deal with Kenya

Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital (MARA) has announced a collaboration agreement with Kenya's Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to invest over $80 million in developing green energy projects in Kenya. The company will assist the African nation in monetizing its excess energy and managing renewable energy production.

Ethereum’s Latest Upgrade Planned for Q1 2025

Ethereum's core developers are planning to launch Pectra, the next upgrade for Ethereum, in the first quarter of 2025. This update will include the integration of the EVM Object Format (EOF) and replace the account abstraction solution with a new proposal introduced by Vitalik, EIP-7702. Discussions are still ongoing regarding the final scope of the update.

LockBit Finds Another Victim

The crypto-ransomware group LockBit has leaked data stolen from the Canadian pharmacy chain London Drugs after the company refused to pay the $25 million ransom. Reports indicate that dozens of folders have been made public, containing the personal information of hundreds of employees, including payroll data, electronic signatures, resignation letters, medical records, and performance evaluations. LockBit operates a ransomware-as-a-service model, extorting cryptocurrency from its victims.

OKX Exits Hong Kong

The crypto broker OKX has announced that after reassessing their business strategy, they have decided to withdraw their OKX HK VASP license application and will cease providing crypto asset trading services to Hong Kong residents in compliance with regulatory requirements as of May 31, 2024. This decision does not affect OKX's self-custody web3 wallet services.

U.S. Passes Anti-CBDC Bill

On May 23, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill amending the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, prohibiting Federal Reserve banks from directly offering certain products or services to individuals, and banning the use of central bank digital currency (CBDC) for monetary policy and other purposes. For the law to take effect, it still requires a vote in the Senate.

Bitcoin Reaches Mount Everest

Dadvan Yousuf, a 23-year-old crypto enthusiast born in Iraq, successfully climbed the world's highest mountain on May 20 and unfurled the iconic orange Bitcoin flag at the summit of Mount Everest. "A symbol of freedom and independence, even at the highest places in the world," he wrote in a post. The Dubai-based crypto investor and businessman, whose net worth exceeded $300 million, saw the Everest summit as an opportunity to use his success to draw attention to the global lack of financial literacy.

SEC Approves All 8 Spot Ethereum ETFs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the 19b-4 forms for all eight spot Ethereum ETFs submitted by issuers, including BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, and Grayscale. This approval is just the first of two crucial steps needed for the spot ETH ETFs to begin trading. The S-1 forms, required for the public offering of new securities, still need to be approved. It is currently unclear how long this process will take, but some analysts believe it could take several weeks.

Internet Computer Smart Contracts Communicate with EVM Chains

The Dfinity Foundation has announced the release of a new API that allows Internet Computer smart contracts to read and write on any Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). This solution enables dapps to benefit from cross-chain liquidity, community integration, and simplified API key management. Optimism, Arbitrum, and Base systems have already been added, and anyone can add other EVMs at any time.

2 New Grayscale Trusts Launched

Crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments has announced the launch of two new investment products for individual and institutional accredited investors. The Grayscale Near Trust invests in NEAR, supporting the Near protocol, while the Grayscale Stacks Trust invests exclusively in STX, part of the Bitcoin Layer 2 Stacks. Daily subscriptions for these products became available on May 23.

Taiko to Airdrop Soon

Taiko, an Ethereum layer 2 rollup project, plans a "genesis airdrop" for community members, distributing 5% of its 1 billion token supply before the mainnet launch, which is expected soon. The network will operate as an Ethereum-equivalent ZK-EVM. The project has undergone an extensive development period, conducting significant improvements through six testnets.

Small Victory in Passing FIT21

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the "Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act" (FIT21). The bill, which addresses the structure of the crypto market, was approved with a 279-136 vote and now moves to the U.S. Senate, where its future is much more uncertain. The Senate has no companion bill for FIT21, and leading legislators in the Democrat-controlled Senate have shown little interest in the bill. Additionally, the Biden administration has indicated its opposition to the proposal.

Kelp DAO Raises $9 Million

Kelp DAO, an Ethereum liquid restaking platform based on EigenLayer, has raised $9 million in a private token sale round. The round was led by SCB Limited, a Bahamas-based company, in collaboration with Laser Digital. Currently, Kelp offers an Ethereum liquid restaking platform. With the new funding, it plans to launch liquid restaking services for other blockchains, including Bitcoin, Solana, and BNB Chain, in the third quarter of this year.

WisdomTree Receives Approval for Crypto ETPs

Asset manager WisdomTree has received approval from the UK financial authority to launch physically-backed BTC and ETH exchange-traded products (ETPs) on the London Stock Exchange. The ETPs are expected to be listed on May 28.

Spot ETH ETFs Around the Corner

The Cboe BZX exchange has submitted revised 19b-4 forms for the Franklin Ethereum Trust, Fidelity Ethereum Fund, VanEck Ethereum Trust, Invesco Galaxy Ethereum ETF, and ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF. These revised filings are among the documents that need SEC approval for the spot ETH ETFs to become effective. Additionally, VanEck's spot ETH ETF has appeared on the DTCC website, which lists both active and inactive funds, indicating that asset managers are preparing for potential approval.

Donald Trump Accepts Crypto Donations

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has announced that he will accept political donations in the form of cryptocurrencies. In his 2024 campaign, this marks the first time a major party presidential candidate has embraced crypto assets for donations.

Coinbase Launches Oil and Gold Futures Trading

The crypto broker Coinbase has announced that it will begin offering retail futures contracts for oil and gold starting June 3. Coinbase Derivatives, regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), already offers its clients futures contracts for bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and dogecoin.

Uniswap Introduces New Token Standard

Uniswap Labs and Across Protocol are introducing a new Ethereum ERC-7683 token standard to improve cross-chain interoperability. Uniswap will use this new token standard for cross-chain swaps on the upcoming UniswapX platform. The implementation of this new technology will significantly reduce costs for users.

Vote Underway for EVM Implementation on Sei Blockchain

The Sei Foundation announced a proposal to upgrade the layer 1 Sei blockchain. The upgrade to version 2 would be implemented by Sei Labs and includes the introduction of a high-performance, parallelized Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). This would enhance the network's capabilities and allow Ethereum-based contracts to be ported and used on Sei. If the governance proposal is approved, the network upgrade will occur one week later.

Gala Games Falls Victim to Exploit

Someone minted 5 billion GALA tokens, worth over $200 million, from the treasury of the Gala Games web3 gaming platform and has so far exchanged a portion for 5913 ETH. According to a statement from Gala Games, they have blocked the hacker's address and are investigating the individuals behind the exploit.

SEC’s Reversal on Spot ETH ETFs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is asking companies planning to introduce and trade shares of spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to update and resubmit their 19b-4 forms, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter. These documents are intended to inform the SEC about proposed amendments. Analysts have subsequently raised the likelihood of spot ETH ETF products being approved to 75%.

Grayscale CEO Resigns

Barry Silbert, the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of Grayscale, announced that Michael Sonnenshein, the CEO of Grayscale Investments, will resign from his position after 10 years. Sonnenshein's successor, starting August 15, will be Peter Mintzberg, a former executive at Goldman Sachs. Mintzberg brings over 20 years of experience from renowned asset management firms, including BlackRock, OppenheimerFunds, and Invesco.

BounceBit Publishes Its Roadmap

The Bitcoin restaking protocol, BounceBit, which is also supported by Binance, has announced its 2024 roadmap. The outline reveals that BounceBit will be structured around three main pillars this year: the BounceBit Portal, which will serve as the protocol's operating system; the BounceBit Chain, which will function as the project's settlement and execution layer; and the BounceClub, created to support CeDeFi as a service. Specific dates have not been disclosed.

Majority of Asian Institutions Now Hold Crypto

A survey conducted by SBI Digital Assets Holdings revealed that nearly 60% of institutional investors in Asia have gained exposure to digital assets in the past year, with almost half of these investors planning to increase their positions. Tokenization of real assets is also a priority, with nearly 62% of institutions reporting that their clients demand tokenized securities, and tokenized real estate generating particularly high interest.