Značka: Technology

Kraken cuts workforce by 30% in an effort to survive crypto winter

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced on Nov. 30 that it has made one of its “hardest decisions”  and is cutting down its global workforce by approximately 1,100 people, comprising approximately 30% of its total workforce, amid current market conditions.According to CEO and co-founder Jesse Powell, Kraken had to triple its workforce due to the fast-growing crypto ecosystem, and the current pullback takes the size of the company’s team back to where it was 12 months ago. Powell shared in a tweet, “Macro was already tough and we held out but recent industry woes diminished near-term optimism about a crypto rebound.”Rough day at @krakenfx. Headcount rolled back 12 mos. Macro was already tough and we held out but recent industry woes diminished near-term optimism about a crypto rebound. Better positioned now. Glad we were able to take good care of our former colleagues. Been a privilege. ‍♂️ https://t.co/xfwShapS2N— Jesse Powell (@jespow) November 30, 2022Lower trading volumes and fewer client sign-ups amid turbulent market conditions have contributed to Kraken’s decision to cut down its expenses by slowing down hiring efforts and avoiding large marketing commitments. According to the exchange, these changes are necessary “to sustain the business for the long-term while continuing to build world-class products and services in selective areas that add the most value for our clients.”The company stated that employees being let go were given a decent severance package, which includes separation pay covering 16 weeks of base pay, performance bonuses, four months of healthcare coverage including counseling, immigration support and career support, among other benefits. Related: US lawmaker questions major crypto exchanges on consumer protection amid FTX collapseEarlier this year in June, Kraken announced that it would continue to hire over 500 roles in various departments amid a market downturn. The company’s hiring efforts were at the time in stark contrast to major layoff announcements from major blockchain firms such as Coinbase and BlockFi.In support of the decision to continue to expand its staff earlier in the year, Kraken had said: “We have not adjusted our hiring plan, and we do not intend to make any layoffs. We have over 500 roles to fill during the remainder of the year and believe bear markets are fantastic at weeding out the applicants chasing hype from the true believers in our mission.”Current layoffs, however, show a contrasting picture from the CEO’s statements made in June, when he took the opportunity to throw shots at supposed “woke activists” while discussing the company’s decision to hire hundreds of new employees.

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Digital identity platform integrates with zkSync for on-chain KYC

RNS.id, a digital Web3 identity platform developed to support the application and issuance of sovereignty-backed IDs, announced on Nov. 30 that it is integrating with zkSync for on-chain KYC. RNS.ID indicated in a release shared with Cointelegraph that its on-chain KYC solution is designed on a “privacy engine” to encrypt users’ identity attributes or properties into different “hashed slices” with multiple signature verifications.RNS.ID aggregates users’ fragmented identity properties data and uses ZK-proofs to generate encrypted proofs from metadata. Additionally, the company stated that RNS.ID enables users to create their own “minimal disclosure identifying information system” for constrained usages, thereby preventing a breach of personal data and reducing the chances of identity theft. zkEVM’s integration with RNS.id aspires to enable self-sovereignty-based solutions in the realm of digital identity, an emerging space in the digital world. The integration also seeks to leverage blockchain technology to allow identity verification without revealing users’ sensitive data to allow users to maintain privacy, while they interact with the Web3 ecosystem. At present, the company said its RNS.ID is supported by over 80% of crypto exchanges in the world, such as Binance, Coinbase, Bitmart, Kucoin, Gate.io, Bybit, and Huobi, among many others.RNS.ID also partnered with the Republic of Palau, to make it the first sovereign nation in the world to issue digital residency IDs to global citizens. It is said to be the first national identification card issued on the blockchain as “soulbound ID NFTs”. Related: How Web3 resolves fundamental problems in Web2It appears countries around the world are slowly beginning to take interest in Web 3 by incorporating blockchain technology into their structures. On Nov 29, Cointelegraph reported that Dominica had launched a digital identity program and national token in partnership with Huobi. Dominica’s government has agreed to a partnership with Huobi to issue Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) with DMC holders set to be granted digital citizenship in the country. DMC and DID will be issued on Huobi Prime and will serve as credentials for a future Dominica-based metaverse platform.

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Serum exchange rendered 'defunct' following the collapse of Alameda and FTX

The Solana-based decentralized exchange (DEX) has notified its community that the collapse of its backers — Alameda and FTX — has rendered its program “defunct”. The team behind the project shared that “there is hope”, in spite of its ongoing challenges, because of the community option available to “fork” Serum. What’s next for @ProjectSerumWith the collapse of Alameda and FTX, the Serum program on mainnet became defunct.As upgrade authority is held by FTX, security is in jeopardy, leading to protocols like @JupiterExchange and @RaydiumProtocol moving away from Serum.— Serum (@ProjectSerum) November 29, 2022According to the announcement, “a community-wide effort to fork Serum is going strong”. OpenBook, the community-led fork of the Serum V3 program, is already live on the Solana Mainnet with over $1M daily volume, supported by continuous efforts to expand it and grow its liquidity. The existence of OpenBook however poses a threat to Serum, because “with Openbook’s existence, Serum’s volume and liquidity has dropped to near-zero” as users and protocols prefer Openbook because it’s a safer option following the security risks associated with the “old Serum code” which was compromised in the FTX hack. When it comes to its SRM token, the DEX shared that the “future of SRM is uncertain”, as community members appear divided on the subject. Some believe it should still be used “for discounts”, while others believe it should not be used at all due to its exposure to FTX and Alameda. Related: BlockFi bankruptcy filing triggers a wide range of community reactionsOn Nov 12, Cointelegraph reported that FTX was hacked with wallets tied to FTX and FTX US drained of $659 million in cumulative outflows, as reported by Nansen. Following the FTX hack, ​​Solana’s developers forked the widely used token liquidity hub, Serum, after it was compromised in the series of unauthorized transactions. On Nov 12, Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko tweeted that developers depending on Serum were forking the code after the upgraded key was compromised, sharing that many “protocols depend on serum markets for liquidity and liquidations.”

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FTX collapse impacts Miami’s nightclub scene: Report

The fallout from the collapse of FTX spans beyond the Web3 and crypto ecosystem. Reports gathered by the Financial Times suggest that nightclubs in Miami have been negatively affected by the collapse of the once-reputable cryptocurrency exchange.According to nightclub owners, young, nerdy crypto bros went from lavishly spending on champagne showers and buying $50,000 tables at clubs to completely vanishing from the nightlife scene.Andrea Vimercati, director of food and beverage at the Moxy Hotel group, told the Financial Times: “They were ordering 12 or 24 bottles of the most expensive champagne and just showering themselves without even drinking.” According to the nightclub staff, the young, nouveau riche entrepreneurs walked around the clubs pulling out their digital wallets and bragging about the amount of money they were making.However, the unexpected implosion of FTX, loss of funds and fall in the value of cryptocurrencies have completely changed the nightlife scene in Miami. The young crypto entrepreneurs who once splurged in nightclubs now appear to be visibly absent following the collapse of FTX. Gino LoPinto, operating partner at Miami nightclub E11even, shared that once his establishment started accepting cryptocurrency payments, it processed $6 million worth of transactions between April and December 2021. However, over the last three months, the club has only recorded about $10,000 worth of transactions. Related: FTX collapse put the Singapore government in a parliamentary hot seatSince the collapse of FTX, many companies and individuals have been affected. On Nov. 28, BlockFi announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing the collapse for its troubles. On Nov. 15, Cointelegraph reported that FTX-owned Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid took to Twitter to officially announce it had suspended fiat and crypto withdrawals on its Liquid Global platform.

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Tokenized government bonds free up liquidity in traditional financial systems

A handful of government-backed financial institutions have been exploring tokenization use cases to revolutionize traditional financial systems. For instance, El Salvador’s Bitcoin Volcanic bond project has been in the works for over a year and aims to raise $1 billion from investors with tokenized bonds to build a Bitcoin city. The Central Bank of Russia has also expressed interest in tokenized off-chain assets. In addition, the Israeli Ministry of Finance, together with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), recently announced the testing of a blockchain-backed platform for digital bond trading. Cointelegraph Research’s 2021 Security Token Report found that most securities will be tokenized by 2030. While notable, the potential behind tokenized government bonds appears to be massive, as these assets can speed up settlement time while freeing up liquidity within traditional financial systems. Brian Estes, CEO of Off the Chain Capital and a member of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, told Cointelegraph that tokenizing a bond allows for faster settlement, which leads to reduced costs. “The time of ‘capital at risk’ becomes reduced. This capital can then be freed up and used for higher productive use,” he said. Factors such as these have become especially important as inflation levels rise, impacting liquidity levels within traditional financial systems across the globe. Touching on this point, Yael Tamar, CEO and co-founder of SolidBlock — a platform enabling asset-backed tokenization — told Cointelegraph that tokenization increases liquidity by transferring the economic value of a real-world asset to tokens that can be exchanged for cash when liquidity is needed. “Because tokens communicate with financial platforms via a blockchain infrastructure, it becomes easier and cheaper to aggregate them into structured products. As a result, the whole system becomes more efficient,” she said. To put this in perspective, Orly Grinfeld, executive vice president and head of clearing at TASE, told Cointelegraph that TASE is conducting a proof-of-concept with Israel’s Ministry of Finance to demonstrate atomic settlement, or the instant exchange of assets. In order to demonstrate this, Grinfeld explained that TASE is using the VMware Blockchain for the Ethereum network as the foundation for its beta digital exchange platform. She added that TASE will use a payment token backed by the Israeli shekel at a one-to-one ratio to conduct transactions across the blockchain network. Recent: TON Telegram integration highlights synergy of blockchain communityIn addition, she noted that Israel’s Ministry of Finance will issue a real series of Israeli government bonds as tokenized assets. A live test will then be performed during the first quarter of 2023 to demonstrate atomic settlements of tokenized bonds. Grinfeld said:“Everything will look real during TASE’s test with the Israel’s Ministry of Finance. The auction will be performed through Bloomberg’s Bond Auction system and the payment token will be used to settle transactions on the VMware Blockchain for Ethereum network.”If the test goes as planned, Grinfeld expects settlement time for digital bond trading to occur the same day trades are executed. “Transactions made on day T (trade day) will settle on day T instead of T+2 (trade date plus two days), saving the need for collateral,” she said. Such a concept would therefore demonstrate the real-world value add that blockchain technology could bring to traditional financial systems. Tamar further explained that the process of listing bonds and making them available to institutions or the public is very complex and involves many intermediaries. “First the loan instruments need to be created by a financial institution working with the borrower (in this case, the government), which will be processing the loans, receiving the funds, channeling them to the borrower and paying the interest to the lender. The bond processing company is also in charge of accounting and reporting as well as risk management,” she said. Echoing Grinfeld, Tamar noted that settlement time can take days, stating that bonds are structured into large portfolios and then transferred between various banks and institutions as a part of a settlement between them.Given these complexities, Tamar believes that it’s logical to issue tokenized government bonds across a blockchain platform. In fact, findings from a study conducted by the crypto asset management platform Finoa and Cashlink show that tokenized assets, such as government bonds, could result in 35%–65% cost-savings across the entire financial system value chain. From a broader perspective, Perianne Boring, founder and CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, told Cointelegraph that tokenized bonds also highlight how technology-driven innovations in financial instruments can provide investors with alternative financial products. “Generally, such bonds would come with reduced costs and more efficient issuance, and come with a level of transparency and monitoring capabilities that should appeal to investors who want greater control over their assets,” she said. Features such as these were recently demonstrated on Nov. 23, when Singapore’s DBS Bank announced it had used JPMorgan’s blockchain-based trading network Onyx to execute its first tokenized intraday repurchase transaction. Banks use repurchase agreements — also known as repos — for short-term funding by selling securities and agreeing to repurchase them later. Settlement usually takes two days, but tokenizing these assets speeds this process up. A DBS spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the immediate benefits of tokenized bonds or securities result in an improvement in operational efficiency, enabling true delivery vs. payment and streamlined processes with golden copies of records.Challenges may hamper adoption While tokenized bonds have the potential to revolutionize traditional financial systems, a number of challenges may slow adoption. For example, Grinfeld noted that while Israel’s Ministry of Finance has expressed enthusiasm in regards to tokenization, regulations remain a concern. She said: “To create new ways of trading, clearing and settlement using digital assets, a regulatory framework is needed. But regulations are behind market developments, so this must be accelerated.”A lack of regulatory clarity may indeed be the reason why there are still very few regions exploring tokenized government bonds. Varun Paul, director of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and financial market infrastructure at Fireblocks, told Cointelegraph that while many market infrastructure providers are exploring tokenization projects behind the scenes, they are waiting on clear regulations before publicizing their efforts and launching products into the market. Fireblocks is currently working with TASE and Israel’s Ministry of Finance to provide secure e-wallets for the proof of concept, which will enable the participating banks to receive tokenized government bonds. In addition to regulatory challenges, large financial institutions may find it difficult to grasp the technical implications of incorporating a blockchain network. Joshua Lory, senior director of Blockchain To Go Market at VMWare, told Cointelegraph that market education across all ecosystem participants will accelerate the adoption of the technology. Yet, Lory remains optimistic, noting that VMware Blockchain for Ethereum’s beta was announced in August of this year and already has over 140 customers requesting trials. While notable, Estes pointed out that blockchain service providers must also take into account other potential challenges such as back-end programming for brokerage firms to make sure they are equipped to report bonds accurately on their statements. Recent: After FTX: Defi can go mainstream if it overcomes its flawsAll things considered though, Estes believes that the tokenization of multiple assets is the future. “Not only bonds, but stocks, real estate, fine art and other stores of value,” he said. This may very well be the case, as Grinfeld shared that following the proof-of-concept, TASE plans to expand its range of tokenized asset offerings to include things such as CBDCs and stablecoins. “This POC will lead us toward a complete future digital exchange based on blockchain technology, tokenized assets, e-wallets and smart contracts,” she said. Adoption will likely take time, but Paul mentioned that Fireblocks is aware that financial market participants are interested in taking part in replicating TASE’s model in other jurisdictions: “We anticipate that we will see more of these pilots launching in 2023.” 

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Metaverse is a new frontier for earning passive income

When new technologies and platforms are created, there are incredible discovery phases in which economic activity eventually picks up and starts taking shape. The metaverse is arguably in that discovery phase, with many entrepreneurs finding ways to earn passive income on it.As economic activity in the metaverse rises, new passive income opportunities are seemingly being created on a regular basis, as are opportunities to actively earn income. While what works and what doesn’t is still up for debate, there are some in the vanguard of metaverse passive income.What is the metaverse?Before digging into passive income opportunities in the metaverse, it’s first important to analyze what is actually is. The term “metaverse” has been one of the most popular buzzwords in the Web3 space over the last few months, while millions are moved in digital economies focusing on it.The word “metaverse” comes from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 cyberpunk sci-fi novel Snow Crash. In the Web3 space, the term is used to describe a digital world where people actually own the assets within it.The metaverse differs from past digital worlds, like those created in video games, through the use of nonfungible tokens (NFTs). These unique blockchain-based tokens can be freely traded by users but cannot be duplicated or copied. What can be done in the metaverse is still being explored, but so far, real businesses have been created within these metaverses.Another defining characteristic of the metaverse is interoperability. Virtual worlds like that of popular videogame Roblox could be thought of as metaverses, but unlike the new, blockchain-based iterations, players don’t exercise control or ownership over their assets.Various companies have been moving into the metaverse, with Walmart seemingly gearing up to enter the space, while fashion brands like Ralph Lauren and Gucci have signaled that virtual clothes could be a major growth area for them. Companies are entering the space as it grows rapidly and is expected to become an $800 billion industry within two years.Given the potential size, earning passive income in the space could be a great opportunity. Taking advantage of passive income opportunities can be easy for those already deep into the metaverse, but how long each opportunity will allow entrepreneurs to earn isn’t clear.Renting out metaverse landOne of the most well-known ways of earning passive income in the metaverse is by owning property in it and renting it out. Metaverse platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox let users rent land for a fee to others.Recent: Canada crypto regulation: Bitcoin ETFs, strict licensing and a digital dollarThere currently isn’t a lot of data on what type of earnings metaverse landlords can expect, as that information isn’t being widely shared. Nevertheless, it’s known to be an attractive market as companies look to host events on the metaverse.Pavel Sinelnikov, co-founder and CEO of Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Metis DAO, told Cointelegraph that metaverses aim to achieve “digital land ownership and the ability to buy, sell, and rent land and other virtual items,” adding:“Metaverses create an abstraction of real-life, where there is a living virtual economy in the game that is not locked and restricted to the digital domain, but instead extends outside of it; these are real and valued assets, holding value outside of the digital realm.”According to Sinelnikov, the economies seen within metaverses like Decenraland and The Sandbox impact the “greater and real-world DeFi [decentralized finance] ecosystem,” while allowing for more interoperability opportunities.Leasing assetsAnother way to earn passive income in the metaverse involves leasing out assets, as some users may not want to directly purchase expensive NFTs.One well-known example of NFTs being leased to other users to earn passive income comes from the popular game Axie Infinity. The game is based on NFTs called on Axies that were, at one point, rather expensive as the game’s popularity exploded during the bull market.In the game, Axies were needed to compete and earn rewards in the form of Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens. Players who could not afford Axies would receive them from so-called team managers in exchange for some of the SLP tokens they managed to earn. The managers were, in essence, earning passive income from their Axies as other players — called scholars — used them to earn rewards. The practice was so popular that some “scholars” in Venezuela were making a living off of leased Axies.Other metaverse assets can be leased, depending on the platform. Sinelnikov commented that lending, renting and asset fractionalization are interactions that have already been formed on the metaverse, with the best part about them being that “no single provider can restrict the usage or control the market, since the assets belong to you and not to an individual provider.”Secondary market royaltiesSome NFT artists have earned extensive royalties through the secondary market as their creations are traded among collectors. The same type of interaction is possible in the metaverse.Prakash Somosundram, co-founder and CEO of blockchain game launchpad Enjinstarter, told Cointelegraph that “any wearable creator can earn royalties when the assets they create are sold on the secondary market.”John Burris, chief of strategy at metaverse app IMVU, told Cointelegraph that the metaverse is “filled with opportunities to earn,” stating that while some metaverse worlds are play-to-earn and others “host gig-like economies,” almost all of them offer item creation and sales:“With blockchain and NFTs we’ve finally unlocked a true ownership and royalty model where royalties can and will continue to flow back to the original creator, providing well-deserved passive income as those items change hands.”Per Burris, the metaverse “serves as a great way for people to make money no matter who they are, or where they’re from, in the real world.” The ability to create, own and sell goods, he said, opens up opportunities to people that they would not get otherwise.Virtual gamesGaming is one of the metaverse’s largest use cases, with most metaverse worlds either being completely focused on gaming or having a large portion of users focusing on it. Some involve gambling, while others generate their revenue in other ways.Decentral Games’ ICE Poker virtual casino is one of the most popular metaverse gambling operations out there and since it’s based in the metaverse, a lot of the costs traditional casinos have aren’t present.Other games, however, aren’t related to gambling at all. Some generate revenue through asset sales, secondary market royalties or donations. Roderik van der Graff, the founder of global investment firm Lemniscap, told Cointelegraph that one of the firm’s portfolio companies has launched a tower defense game to generate revenue through the metaverse.The game is called Spark Defense and allows users to “monetize their land and complete quests to collect, earn and own NFTs which they can use across the game,” van der Graff said.AdvertisingOur final way to make passive income in the metaverse is through advertisements. Setting up large billboards in popular areas can draw in advertisers looking to get the crowd’s attention to sell their products or services, whether these are in the metaverse or outside of it.Finding advertisers for these billboards may mean the income isn’t completely passive, as after a campaign ends, an advertiser may lose interest and the billboard owner may have to start looking for someone else to rent.In fact, most of the options above are likely to require some involvement from the entrepreneur. Then again, true passive income doesn’t really exist, as even the most passive investments have to be monitored from time to time.Is passive income in the metaverse worth chasing?If generated income isn’t entirely passive, some may consider it not worth chasing, given the drawbacks. According to Burris, downsides include engaging in speculation and dealing with the volatility of the cryptocurrency space, as most transactions are conducted in either NFTs or crypto tokens:“It’s important users and creators looking to create income in the metaverse examine the platforms and metaverses they use, and look at the product as a whole. Is the team experienced? Is the metaverse active? Can it sustain itself through economic downturns?”Somosundram said that the sustainability of an income stream “depends on the success of the specific metaverse and/or game where you generate your passive income,” which may mean often moving on to another venture.It’s also worth pointing out that entrepreneurs may end up betting on a metaverse world that is later on abandoned, making their investment worthless as every passive income opportunity in the metaverse relies on heavy traffic. On the bright side, Somosundram said that passive income from the metaverse is a “great means of diversification along with traditional financial instruments,” and there can be a rapidly expanding number of opportunities out there as the metaverse industry grows.As exact figures aren’t widely shared, it’s up to entrepreneurs whether they want to bet on the metaverse and start building their income streams on it or whether they prefer to focus their attention elsewhere. Those who risk making it in the metaverse may have to innovate to stand out, however.Making it in the digital worldWhile renting property or a digital billboard won’t require significant innovation, some of the more prolific earners are taking different approaches. Somosundram told Cointelegraph the story of a Singapore-based entrepreneur that created a GameFi guild that built up a pool of assets to lease for a fee.In another potential example, he pointed to tattoo artists using a service to “mint wearable tattoo art that generates passive income from the secondary market royalties.”Recent: After FTX: Defi can go mainstream if it overcomes its flawsBurris noted that on the platform he represents, there are “over 200,000 active creators, making over 350,000 new items for sale every month.” He stated: “As more and more people spend their time in virtual worlds, and begin looking toward it as a way to earn a living, it’s important to have both passive and active income opportunities — just like in the real world.”Whether entrepreneurs want to move forward with passive income ideas for the metaverse, it’s worth pointing out that there are no guarantees that the time or money invested will generate returns, as the space is constantly evolving.Economic activity in the metaverse is still at an embryonic stage, as many are still figuring things out. As the metaverse evolves, new opportunities will likely present themselves the same way they’re presenting themselves in the broader cryptocurrency space.

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TON Telegram integration highlights synergy of blockchain community

As a result of a recent upgrade to the wallet bot, users of the Telegram app are now able to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies without leaving the application. The wallet bot was developed by The Open Network (TON, formerly Telegram Open Network) in April. The bot initially enabled users to buy, sell and trade Toncoin (TON) within the Telegram app, but a new update has added a fully functioning cryptocurrency wallet to the application.An independent team of TON developers created the wallet bot to simplify crypto transactions for Telegram users. A representative from the TON Foundation told Cointelegraph, “The creation of the wallet bot is handled by an independent development team, and we are certainly happy that more and more projects are choosing TON as the basis for creating new products,” continuing to say:“TON is intended for millions of users, and one of our goals is to make the use of blockchain no more complicated than using applications that users are used to.”The wallet bot also serves as a fiat on-ramp, allowing users to buy TON using their credit cards within the Telegram app. The currently supported fiat currencies for buying and selling Toncoin are United States dollars, euros, Ukrainian hryvnia, Belarusian rubles and Kazakhstani tenge.Regarding transactions within Telegram, the exchange service that facilitates them also functions as a guarantee and resolves any required conflicts that may arise between the two parties involved in the transaction. The other party may carry out the transactions in complete anonymity; nevertheless, users must provide the bot with their cell phone numbers before participating in any cryptocurrency-related activities made accessible by the application. Recent: Bitcoin miners look to software to help balance the Texas gridThe wallet bot doesn’t charge any fees for buying crypto through Telegram, but sellers will be charged a commission fee equivalent to 0.9% of the selling price for each complete transaction. Currently, the app can only be used to purchase Toncoin (TON) and Bitcoin (BTC). However, the TON Foundation plans to expand the number of cryptocurrencies available for purchase. In addition, in order to transfer crypto through the peer-to-peer functionality on Telegram, users need to register with The Open Network.When transferring crypto to another person, users send the coins to the recipient’s Telegram handle instead of their address. The TON Foundation representative highlighted this feature, saying, “The @wallet bot team is making great strides in this direction, as you can now buy, exchange, and send Toncoin to your contacts without leaving Telegram. There is no need for long addresses or special applications. We think that the future lies in projects like this.”History of Telegram and The Open NetworkTelegram Messenger grew massively in popularity within the crypto community due to its encrypted messaging and ability to create group chats. The bot functionality also makes automating tasks within the groups and chats easier. For example, bots can ban users, respond to questions and link users to useful resources for a project. In 2017, Telegram began monetization plans for the application since it did not use ads. As part of this plan, Telegram Open Network, or The Open Network, was founded by Telegram founders Pavel and Nikolai Durov, and the white paper was released in January 2018. The Open Network was developed as a platform for decentralized apps and an alternative payment processing network to major networks like Visa. To raise funds for the development of TON, Telegram held a private sale for the GRAM, which investors could exchange for the TON token when launched. However, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission would later class the token sale as an unregistered securities offering. As a result, Telegram decided to end its active involvement with TON in 2020. On June 11, 2020, Telegram and the SEC reached a deal in which Telegram agreed to reimburse $1.22 billion as a termination fee in GRAM purchase agreements and pay an $18.5 million penalty to the SEC. Telegram also agreed to provide the SEC prior notice if the company planned to sell any digital assets during the next three years.On May 7, 2020, Free TON was launched as an independent venture to continue the development of the Telegram Open Network, using the freely available source code. The community later grew to over 30,000 members by January 2021, and the Telegram team later transferred the ton.org domain and GitHub repository to the TON Foundation by August 4, 2021.The TON foundation has assumed responsibility for the Telegram token’s underlying cryptocurrency (TON). Before this, users of the apps collaborated on a fundraising effort for the cause. As a result, they contributed more than $1 billion to the growth of the TON ecosystem, which was made possible by their donations.What the future holds for TON and TelegramIt is possible that the TON Foundation’s new Telegram bot update may pave the way for a global cryptocurrency payments service. Furthermore, since the app has over 500 million active users globally, it can act as a catalyst for further crypto adoption if the wallet bot proves to be popular.When asked about the future of Telegram and The Open Network, a TON Foundation representative told Cointelegraph, “Telegram is a user-friendly platform for everyone in the Web3 world — both for communication and developing products using their disruptive technologies. Furthermore, the open platform allows developers to create working products with real-world use cases that can be deployed in the app.” “The wallet bot, based on TON, is a great example of this. There are also many services on Telegram that already use TON, such as donate, mobile and others,” they stated, adding, “A significant development is the launch of the Telegram username auction, which is a great demonstration of how the simplicity of tokenization on TON can open up many real-world examples of the use of blockchain technology.”As well as the wallet bot, The Open Network has developed additional Telegram bots that serve different purposes. The donate bot allows creators to post messages that accept donations via special action buttons that will facilitate a payment process within the Telegram application. The process works by a user contacting the donate bot and following the instructions. Recent: FTX’s collapse could change crypto industry governance standards for goodThe user will also have to add the bot as an administrator on the channel and submit payout information so they can receive the donations. The mobile bot allows users to access the internet when Wi-Fi is unavailable. The Telegram username auction allows users to purchase and auction off their Telegram handles for TON tokens.The recent update to Telegram’s wallet bot can open up a wider range of the public to using cryptocurrency. It can also further solidify Telegram’s reputation as one of the go-to apps for blockchain-based projects seeking to build a community, especially if additional tokens are added to the platform. Telegram already has a lot of the crypto community using the application, and the ability to buy and transfer crypto could bring non-crypto users into the market.

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How blockchain technology is used in supply chain management?

To trace the activities along the supply chain more efficiently, concerned parties can access price, date, origin, quality, certification, destination and other pertinent information using blockchain. Traceability, as used in the supply chain sector, is the capacity to pinpoint the previous and current locations of inventory and a record of product custody. It involves tracking products as they move through a convoluted process, from raw materials to merchants and customers, after passing through many geographic zones. Traceability is one of the significant benefits of blockchain-driven supply chain innovations. As blockchain consists of decentralized open-source ledgers recording data, which is replicable among users, transactions happen in real-time. As a result, the blockchain can build a supply chain that is smarter and more secure since it allows for the tracking of products through a robust audit trail with almost concurrent visibility. By connecting supply chain networks through a decentralized system, blockchain has the potential to enable frictionless movement between suppliers and manufacturers. Furthermore, producers and distributors can securely record information such as the nutritional value of items, product origin and quality and the presence of any allergens using a collaborative blockchain network. In addition, having access to a product’s history gives buyers more assurance that the items they buy are from moral producers, thus making supply chains sustainable. On the contrary, if any health concern or non-compliance with the safety standards is discovered, necessary action can be taken against the manufacturer based on the traceability details stored on the distributed ledger.

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Sustainability: What do DAOs need to succeed in the long run?

The rising popularity of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) reflects the growing tendency toward the creation of community-focused projects within the Web3 ecosystem. At its core, a DAO is an organizational structure that allows decentralized decision-making within a community. Currently, there are over 4,000 of these projects in existence, according to the registration data of DeepDAO. With new tools available to make DAOs easier than ever, quantity can easily overtake quality within these communities and it begs the question of what will eventually make these projects relevant in the long run.A basic ingredientThe basic structure for decentralized organizations seems to be similar to any other tech startup: It requires a service or product with added value, a community of users, treasury, a business development plan and marketing.Speaking to Cointelegraph, Santiago Siri, founder of Proof-Of-Humanity DAO (PoH DAO) — the issuer of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) token — shared his special ingredient to make DAOs sustainable: a committed community:“After building a participative community, we can find funding mechanisms, alliances with other DAOs, governance and participation mechanisms and so on. But without a community, the DAO is not real.”The community focus is repeated all across the Web3 space, but just having a group of people signed up for your project will not be enough for it to thrive. As Siri explains, the real priority for a DAO is to give that community a purpose from an early stage. “What usually happens with a project without a soul or purpose, is that a bunch of mercenaries are going to get away with the money without generating value,” he said.Community as the base of a decentralized structure also supports another rather important factor: funding.How to fund a DAOOne step that DAOs commonly add to their economic plans for sustainability is tokenization. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Mitch Oz, DAO Steward for Giveth — a nonprofit organization and open source platform for decentralized projects — warned that tokenization is a rather dangerous step if done at the wrong time.Recent: FTX’s collapse could change crypto industry governance standards for good“Usually when people get the idea of launching a token it’s on the lines of launching an airdrop, building hype. Having a token, a transferable token, is not a great idea to start with and I think that is where a lot of DAOs fail,” he stated.In his experience, Oz recommends to start small when it comes to creating a community token. “I think it’s very important to have some sort of token-weighted governance and start with a token that can’t be bought,” he said.On the other hand, there’s also external financing DAOs can receive via grant programs and venture capital (VC) for tokenized projects. Rather than the fine tightrope traditional first-time entrepreneurs used to walk to get their first approved financing, grant programs focused on supporting Web3 projects and their communities have now provided a new avenue to receive funding.Talking to Cointelegraph, Ashley Dávila, venture capitalist at blockchain-focused venture capital firm Gumi Cryptos, explained that Web3 grants allow DAOs to remain financially independent when receiving external funding.“Grants are generally no strings attached, so they are very attractive and can be seen as revenue. The overall takeaway is that grants are non dilutive and VC funding is dilutive”, she said.Christian Narváez, venture partner at OP Crypto and founder of Web3 Familia DAO, told Cointelegraph that Web3 projects should begin their funding externally through grants before knocking on venture capital’s doors. “I always recommend that Web3 projects that are building up, apply to grants within the blockchain ecosystem. It’s an effective way of getting capital without having to give equity tokens of your project,” he said.Narváez added that there’s even a technique that allows Web3 projects to stay afloat before they are ready to take their project to a VC:“It’s called grant farming, which basically is applying to many grants of different blockchains and raising capital in an equity-free way, allowing projects to maintain ownership as long as possible before they try to raise VC money.” While on the outside, a DAO may seem to run smoothly once it has built a community and received funding, achieving the decentralized dream is not as easy as idealists make it sound. DAO dramaEven as all voting and funding processes are dutifully registered on the blockchain, DAOs still struggle with fund transparency and the centralization of power.Scandals around these issues were a prevalent topic at Devcon IV — an international event dedicated to the Ethereum community. In one instance, members of the Harmony protocol aimed criticism at the Blu3DAO directive, claiming they had observed suspicious fund management and a possible conflict of interest within the founding team and their main sponsor, the Harmony protocol itself.Inconsistencies of information from the DAO also raised alarms. Harmony’s forum also showed ties between the organization and the company MoneyBoss — which is owned by Blu3DAO founders.The blockchain community response was mixed, with support from members of Blu3DAO and questions from users on Twitter. Blu3DAO founders addressed these accusations shortly after they were published, facing more backlash from the blockchain community. The team also provided proof of their transactions on the blockchain a month after the event to discredit fund mismanagement reports and have carried on their operations.Siri further dedicated a part of his time on stage at the event to clarify the so-called “DAO drama” that involved the alleged centralization of voting power in PoH DAO by their governance partner, the Kleros team. Another example occurred in April when the FEI/TRIBE DAO — a merge between the FEI protocol and Rari Capital DAO — reached the headlines with an $80 million hack. Uncertainty fell over the organization’s community once the governance started a tumultuous voting process that went back and forth on the decision to cover the funds.As crypto personality Cobie explained in a Twitter thread, the voting was highly influenced by the FEI protocol itself, which voted against the repayment of funds on a second vote. FEI founder Joey Santoro concluded that their case was an example of the current exploratory status of DAO voting and confirmed the protocol’s separation from Tribe DAO.So, how to start with the right foot on this uncharted territory of DAO?DAOs from the ground upMany new DAOs are born from pre-existing communities, often without funds or a business plan. Because of this, founders and governors take different routes to get their projects off the ground.Such is the case of Cryptonikas DAO, a new women-focused organization led by eight women from Latin America. According to their founder and director, Giselle Chacón, their key to staying on course has little to do with relying only on Web3 tools but rather with creating a strong foundation to become sustainable both as a community and as a business.Speaking to Cointelegraph, Chacón referenced her own experiences as part of a different DAO before starting Cryptonikas, which led her to take a rather traditional approach with her own community.“Now that we are a strong community and we have people who want to fund us, we have proceeded to create a company in the United States,” she said.According to Cryptonikas’ product manager Rosa Jérez, registering the project as a C-Corp business is an effective way to ensure the legality of funding well before opting for grant money.“A C Corp allows us to act as a private company, capable of generating income out of our commercial activities,” she explained.Recent: Bitcoin miners look to software to help balance the Texas gridJeréz also added that this would be the preferred structure for the DAO “until there’s massive adoption of the entire Web3 ecosystem.”Currently, the ideal setup for the majority of the Web3 community is one of total decentralization and betting exclusively on the technological and financial resources within the ecosystem. As Chacón stated, the struggle is to have realistic expectations and get into the DAO space with eyes wide open:“We don’t want to have an utopia. We want our DAO to be sustainable in time as a startup, so we don’t romanticize the process.”

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Polkadot incentivizes its community to fight scams through an “anti-scam bounty”

Polkadot, a protocol that connects blockchains, has announced its latest initiative to help its ecosystem fight scams. According to the company, relying on security-minded individuals within its community to fight scams has proven to be an effective method of safeguarding its ecosystem. To incentivize the members of its community to continue to do the work, Polkadot consistently rewards them with bounties paid in USDC. Polkadot shared that its bounty is currently managed by the general curators, which for now, consists of three community members, and two people from the W3F Anti-Scam department. However, in the long term, Polkadot hopes that the bounty will be eventually managed exclusively by the community. As part of the community-led anti-scam initiative, community members are tasked with finding and taking down scam sites, fake social media profiles, and phishing apps, as well as protecting its Discord servers from raids. Additionally, the community will create educational materials for users as well as an Anti-Scam Dashboard to act as the central hub for all anti-scam activities in its ecosystem.Overall, the initiative encourages participating members to come up with ideas for expanding anti-scam activities to other areas. By decentralizing its anti-scam efforts, the Web3 Foundation and Parity have shifted their decision-making process to the community. Related: Polkadot co-founder Gavin Wood steps down as CEO of ParityPolkadot appears to be making the necessary strides to grow and strengthen its ecosystem. On Oct 17, Cointelegraph reported that Polkadot hit an all-time high in development activity. Project developers reported that 66 blockchains are now live on Polkadot and its parachain startup network Kusama.Since its inception, over 140,000 messages have been exchanged between chains via 135 messaging channels. Together, the Polkadot and Kusama treasuries have cumulatively paid out 9.6 million DOT and 346,700 KSM ($72.8 million total) to fund spending proposals in the ecosystem.

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Casper Association launches $25M grant to support developers on its blockchain

Scalable blockchain network Casper announced the launch of its new Casper Accelerate Grant Program on Nov. 23, created to support developers and innovators who are building apps to support infrastructure, end-user applications, and research innovation on its blockchain.JUST IN from @nextblockexpo: We’re glad to announce the launch of a $25M Casper Accelerate Grant Program. This fund will support learning, development, and innovations in Infrastructure, #dApps, #DeFi, #Gaming & NFTs.Learn more https://t.co/jClYyYxRVW pic.twitter.com/V8KszHEjM3— Casper (@Casper_Network) November 23, 2022The Casper Network is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) enterprise-focused blockchain designed to help businesses to build private or permissioned apps, aimed at accelerating businesses and the adoption of blockchain technology. The network also boasts of solving the “scalability trilemma”, which revolves around “security, decentralization, and high throughput.” It also features upgradeable smart contracts, relatively lower gas fees compared to other Layer 1 blockchains, and developer-friendly features to make it easier for the protocol to evolve as businesses expand their use.To complement the launch of its grant program, Casper said it is creating a new digital portal to support developers and innovators on the network with practical tools and code, to help build their products. The developer portal is scheduled to go live in the first quarter of 2023. Related: zkSync developer Matter Labs raises $200M, commits to open-sourcing platformDespite being in a bear market, projects still appear to be raising and investing funds to improve the web3 ecosystem and the adoption of blockchain technology. On Nov 23, Cointelegraph reported that Onomy, a Cosmos blockchain-based ecosystem, raised millions from investors for the development of its new protocol; a project that seeks to merge decentralized finance (DeFi) and the foreign exchange market. On Oct. 18, Celestia Foundation also announced that it had raised $55 million in funding for building a modular blockchain architecture with the goal of solving challenges inherent to deploying and scaling blockchains. The company shared that it intends to build infrastructure that will make it easy for anyone with the technical know-how to deploy their own blockchain at minimal expense.

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OKX releases Proof of Reserves page, along with instructions on how to self-audit its reserves

Crypto exchange OKX has released a Proof of Reserves page that allows users to audit its reserves to make sure it is solvent. This comes at a time when crypto exchanges are coming under greater scrutiny after the collapse of FTX. OKX announced the new page in a tweet, as well as on its blog. Don’t trust, verify → OKX Proof of Reserves (PoR) is LIVE. To set a new standard of transparency, risk management and user protection, we’re launching our first PoR. You can now verify your assets are backed 1:1 on #OKX ⤵️Details — OKX (@okx) November 23, 2022The Proof of Reserves page offers two different options for users to audit the exchange’s reserves. The first allows users to get a brief summary of the exchange’s current reserves and liabilities for its top three cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, and USDT.This summary currently indicates that OKX has 102% of the BTC and ETH it needs to handle all withdrawals in these coins, while it says that it has 101% of the USDT needed to handle all Tether withdrawals.The second option is labelled “view my audit.” It allows the user to login and view a snapshot of their balances held at the exchange. The company said that these balances should be equal to those found in the asset overview page in the app’s dashboard, unless the user has taken out margin loans.Some users may not trust the company’s web app to give them accurate information, so the company has also provided two help file documents that explain how to audit the reserves using the console on a PC. These documents are titled “How to verify if your assets are included in the OKX Merkle tree?” and “How to verify OKX’s ownership and balance of the wallet address.” One of the documents explained how to query the OKX app’s API to get a merkle tree of customer balances and compare it to balances publicly available on the blockchain. The other explained how users can get a merkle leaf of their own balances and verify that this leaf is part of the larger tree.In the press release, OKX Director of Financial Markets, Lennix Lai, expressed the view that this Proof of Reserves page will help to bring greater transparency to the crypto exchange market:“Our new proof of reserves page and self-audit feature give users the ability to verify that their assets are 100% backed. Third-party audits are also being conducted to provide additional reassurance on top of this. We believe that a far greater degree of transparency needs to be brought to our industry to allow us to build back stronger after recent events.”Crypto exchange FTX suddenly experienced a liquidity crunch from November 7-11, leading the company behind it to declare bankruptcy. In response to this event, several executives of major crypto exchanges have declared that Proof of Reserves pages are needed to provide transparency so that an event like this never happens again.OKX had previously stated that it would provide Proof of Reserves “asap.” Kucoin and Binance have also stated that they plan to provide Proof of Reserves within the next few weeks. Several other crypto exchanges have provided Proof of Reserves pages even before the FTX story broke, including Gate.io, Bitmex, and Kraken.

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