Značka: Web3

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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Blockchain-based fintech company prepares to enter $500B freight settlement market

The world is quick to blame inflation for the rising prices at grocery stores and retailers. This was the #1 political issue for recent Election Day voters in the United States. For example, media sources recently reported poll data that 85% of Americans could not afford to spend $200 on a Thanksgiving meal in November 2022, and only 25% could afford $100.However, few recognize inflation is only part of the problem. Higher costs for products and services are also directly attributable to settlement fees paid by transportation providers who are forced to take out the equivalent of payday loans against their freight invoices.Shipper payment terms in the transportation industry are known to be egregious, and most transportation carriers cannot afford to wait 30–180 days to get paid. When a carrier factors, it pledges the collection rights in its accounts receivable to the bank and, in exchange, the bank advances cash in about 10 business days.By industry averages, this cost to carriers is 3% of every receivable — often escalating up to a 25% annualized interest rate. The bank then waits the 30–180 days and collects directly from the freight shipper. If inflation is thought of as a silent tax, invoice factoring is a second layer of silent taxes on everything we buy.More than 1 million U.S. trucking companies are factoring 100% of their invoices, and 50% of third-party logistics companies are too. Due to inflation, larger transportation companies are also losing 3% or more of their invoice values when waiting over 60 days to get paid by shippers. These costs create higher freight rates, and the excesses ultimately trickle down to every household and consumer.Fixing a broken supply chain by settling on the blockchainTruckCoinSwap (TCS) is a fintech and freight-tech company utilizing a blockchain-integrated mobile app to provide fast and free freight receivables settlement to transportation companies. Moreover, TCS is listed on CrossTower in the U.S. and abroad in 80 countries, and is now also listed on Uniswap.Chief technology officer Jake Centner explained:“Centralized exchanges can work very well, and the team couldn’t be more proud of the relationships TCS has made. However, the TCS token must also have a decentralized exchange and non-custodial option in the ecosystem for transportation companies and holders. Uniswap has been the gold standard in this space.”To that end, TCS has created a process and platform identical to how carriers are settling now, with one added step. A few days after uploading freight documents into the TCS mobile app, a push notification is sent and settlement is made available in the real-time U.S. dollar (USD) value of TCS tokens.The carrier can then accept settlement via direct deposit from TCS. After receiving the balance in its crypto wallet, the carrier can immediately sell through its exchange market to regain USD liquidity. By taking settlement via TCS, and being able to sell in a matter of minutes, carriers avoid both factoring costs and crypto volatility.By industry averages, TCS estimates every factoring freightliner can recapture a significant portion of its net revenue. In the supply chain, reducing operating costs makes transportation companies more solvent and applies downward pressure on freight rates. In time, the costs of goods and, more specifically, food prices, can decrease.Regarding the company’s adoption, CEO Todd Ziegler shared:“TCS already has truckers involved in the beta, and we were just approached by two more large strategics. One has 223 trucks. The second is one of the largest companies in the U.S. managing freight documents, with over 500,000 transportation users. It speaks volumes that these companies are already interested in integrating with TCS.”The future of freight and blockchainEarlier this month, TCS presented its solution at the Future of Freight conference to over 20,000 attendees and has since gained traction in both the crypto and transportation communities with features in FreightWaves, business publications and other related media.With many strategic relationships already in play, TCS believes it is in a strong position to help carry the transportation industry forward into web3. In looking ahead to the intersection of the two industries, Ziegler offered:“Following recent court rulings and the acceleration of the DCCPA [Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act] on Capitol Hill, we’re going to see U.S. crypto exchanges eliminate several coins. Many exchanges are already struggling for revenue and AUM [assets under management], and they’re not going to stick their necks out in the wake of FTX. The projects with no real use case will be the first to go, and the digital assets with value propositions to industry will see greater market share.”Material is provided in partnership with TCSDisclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you with all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor can this article be considered as investment advice.

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How Web3 resolves fundamental problems in Web2

Web3 returns content rights to the author, enhances the security level, eliminates unfair censorship, ushers in transparency, automates the functioning of software and facilitates a creator economy. Thanks to the characteristics of Web3, businesses can take advantage of opportunities that are beyond imagination. Concepts like decentralization and permissionless cybersphere were just in sci-fi. Nonetheless, Web3 hopes to resolve the problems in Web2, paving the way to a decentralized era in the internet. Data ownership Decentralization puts greater control in the hands of users, ending the monopoly of Big Tech. Users can decide whether they want to share their data or keep it private. The fact that computing power and decision making is diversified makes the system inherently more stable than centralized systems where the whole operation is hinged on a cluster of servers or a core decision-making entity or individual. Though several Web2 applications have moved toward multi-cloud hosting, the resilience of projects that are decentralized in real terms is simply at another level. Enterprises can select a topography for their application, depending on their own data landscape and challenges to address. Data security Data stored in a huge centralized database is quite vulnerable. Hackers need to break through just one system to compromise valuable user data. Often, insiders play a role in tipping key information to external malicious players. Decentralized systems are designed to be resistant to such behavior by a section of participants, making security in Web3 more efficient than Web2 systems in keeping data secure. On the contrary, when almost every company is going digital and data-driven, the risk of malicious attacks has risen exponentially as well. In such a scenario, vandalism in cyberspace has become a big threat, threatening monetary and reputation loss. Decentralization enhances the security level, if not eliminating the problems completely. Unfair censorship Centralized systems often subject users to unfair censorship. Decentralization transfers the authority to the participants, making it difficult for any single entity to influence a narrative that doesn’t suit them. A Web2 social media site like Twitter, for instance, can censor any tweet at any time they want. On a decentralized Twitter, tweets will be uncensorable. Similarly, payment services in Web2 might restrict payments for specific types of work. In Web3, censorship will be hard, both for participants with good intent and malicious players. Decentralized web promises control and privacy to all participants. Moreover, network participants can take an active part in the governance of the project by casting votes.  Financial freedom In Web3, every participant is a stakeholder. Backed by an array of technologies that inherently resist control, Web3 promotes financial freedom. Decentralized finance (DeFi), where anyone can freely engage in financial activities, is a prime example of the independence participants enjoy. Complying with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations opens DeFi to new user groups and mass adoption. Moreover, payments in Web2 are made in fiat, while Web3 payments are made through cryptocurrencies, though fiat payment systems can be integrated as well. Transparency Transparency is something built into the design of decentralized ecosystems. Nodes work in tandem to ensure the frictionless functioning of the system and no single node can take a decision in isolation. Even other participants have a role in decision-making regarding governance through the casting of votes. Related: What are governance tokens, and how do they work? Web3 transactions are practically irreversible and traceable, thus ruling out any possibility of someone making changes in the database post-transaction. This makes Web3 a potent tool against fraudulent behavior. Automation Smart contracts automate the system that can function without any human intervention. The code reflects the agreement between various stakeholders, executing transactions that cannot be reversed. Smart contracts substantially bring down operational costs, eliminate prejudice and make transactions more secure. Projects, however, have to be careful about vulnerabilities in smart contracts code that hackers can take advantage of to steal the booty. This can be overcome by getting the smart contract code thoroughly audited by a team having a proven track record in vulnerability assessments using a mix of manual and automated tooling. A Web3 example of accelerating automation is Zokyo, which specializes as an end-to-end security resource for blockchain-based projects. Creator economy Nonfungible tokens (NFTs), a component of the Web3 ecosystem, have added another dimension to the web economy. These tokens make each digital asset unique in some sense. Regardless of the number of times it is duplicated, there is some way to distinguish it. This feature is useful to safeguard these assets against online forgery and maintain exclusive rights of the owner over their assets. In Web3, NFTs could serve as metaverse assets, game assets, certifications and whatnot, opening up endless possibilities and empowering content creators to make money in an unprecedented manner. Earlier, when audiences consumed the content of a creator, the audience only had the emotional or intellectual benefit. Thanks to NFTs, creators were now able to turn their community members into investors and provide them with some tangible value out of the interaction. For instance, if someone has started a group on a decentralized social media site, the first 50 subscribers might be rewarded with redeemable NFTs if they spend a certain amount of time interacting there. Contrary to what many think, one doesn’t need to have the technical know-how to create an NFT-based economy. No code solutions such as NiftyKit are available for various development needs like building NFT smart contracts, revenue splits, embeddable SDKs (software development kits), token gating and more. Without any coding, one can begin building a creator economy.

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Fenix Games raises $150M to fuel next-generation blockchain gaming

Web3 game publisher Fenix Games raised $150 million in funding to acquire, invest and distribute blockchain games. The fund will be used to create a game publishing company specifically for mainstreaming blockchain games.Fenix Games’ latest funding round saw participation from investors, including Phoenix Group and Dubai-based venture capital firm Cypher Capital, reported local news media Jinse. Chris Ko, CEO and co-founder of Fenix Games, who previously led Mythical Games, considers Fenix Games “like a VC fund” for fueling the next generation of blockchain games.Sharing details into the post-funding gameplan, Ko stated:“We’re actually going to start off with a huge base of capital to invest in those (next-generation gaming) studios. We’re also looking to use our balance sheet to acquire a bunch of existing games in the Web2 space to build a portfolio.” Ko also highlighted that the market for blockchain gaming does not exist as it did for traditional video games such as gaming consoles and mobile gaming. Fenix Games’ strategy going forward is to develop the gaming ecosystem through publishing initiatives.Related: Crypto gaming needs to be fun to be successful — Money doesn’t matterGameFi’s constantly evolving model could make “today’s AAA game companies look like peanuts,” said Jack O’Holleran, CEO of Skale, a multichain Ethereum-native network that powers Web3 games.Finding a sustainable GameFi model, however, remains a challenge. User experience ranks amid the top struggles in the industry owing to high gas fees and technical complexity around buying, owning and trading nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

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Separating Web3 facts from fiction: Report

The term Web3 is often used as shorthand to discuss the new phase of the internet. It describes leaving the era of centralized social media and massive e-commerce platforms and arriving at a utopia of user-controlled data. Web3, in a colloquial sense, is simply an umbrella marketing term that means anything crypto-adjacent. To offer clarity on this topic, the Cointelegraph Research team has released a new report detailing the nature of the real Web3. These key insights are invaluable for investors to understand to separate facts from fundamental misconceptions.The blockchain web and the decentralized webCointelegraph Research’s “Web3: Marketing Buzz or Tech Revolution?” makes a clear distinction between the “blockchain web,” which is the integration of blockchain technology into the web, and the decentralized, permissionless and trustless alternative of the internet, known as the “decentralized web.”Download this free report on the Cointelegraph Research Terminal.The blockchain web has fostered the growth of the ecosystems of nonfungible tokens, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and GameFi that veterans of the cryptoverse will be aware of. Ideally, these ecosystems lack a central authority, and value is derived from the creation of scarce digital assets. The report unpacks how, using blockchain technology, these ecosystems can spill over into the real world and bring new efficiencies to traditional industries.The decentralized web seeks to break the oligopoly of content delivery websites in the present Web2 world. This goal is achieved by building a new web around the principle of decentralization by being permissionless (everyone can participate) and trustless (code so robust that it removes the need for third-party authorities).Are we there yet? No.There is a long way to go regarding the implementation of the idealistic principles of decentralization in both the blockchain web and the decentralized web.The blockchain web, being built on top of the current internet infrastructure, requires hosting services in order to communicate among users and applications. Unfortunately, 60% of all of these nodes on Ethereum are hosted on Amazon Web Services. This gives one centralized authority the power to shut down a majority of the entire blockchain web. The report shows how even DAOs run into the problem of a small group of whales consolidating voting power coupled with low user participation.The decentralized web, unfortunately, is not much better, but there is a reason for optimism. Currently, plagued by the monopolies such as Google, Amazon, Meta, Apple, Microsoft and Tencent, there is very little in the way of decentralization when users go online. However, alternatives using technologies like distributed hash tables are beginning to make it possible to build decentralized versions of popular applications.The Cointelegraph Research teamCointelegraph’s Research department comprises some of the best talents in the blockchain industry. Bringing together academic rigor and filtered through practical, hard-won experience, the researchers on the team are committed to bringing the most accurate, insightful content available on the market.Demelza Hays, Ph.D., is the director of research at Cointelegraph. Hays has compiled a team of subject matter experts from across the fields of finance, economics and technology to bring to the market the premier source for industry reports and insightful analysis. The team utilizes APIs from a variety of sources in order to provide accurate, useful information and analyses.The opinions expressed in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product.

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Unique Web3 tech primed to democratize Internet of Things industry

We live in houses that are capable of monitoring and controlling a wide range of internal processes — from heating and cooling to security and surveillance mechanisms. Our cars keep track of external conditions and are well on their way to driving themselves. Our phones are constantly gathering valuable data and recording our activities — both on our devices and in real life.Smart homes, smart cars, smartphones — all of these and much more are part of the rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT), which serves as the foundation of the machine economy. The IoT is what connects all of our smart devices and machines, and while the industry has produced remarkable achievements that have improved lives around the world, it is also an industry that has been centralized for decades.That centralization has left smart device users with little control over their personal data. W3bstream, a leading project in MachineFi — the decentralized machine economy — has the potential to challenge the current IoT monopoly, benefitting billions of smart device users worldwide.The booming IoT industryMckinsey predicts the IoT is on pace to add anywhere from $5.5 to $12.6 trillion to the global economy by 2030. A huge chunk of that growth is attributed to IoT solutions in the retail, home and health sectors. There are many potential benefits to enhanced connectivity among our devices and the things we interact with, from health and safety improvements to time-saving advantages.However, for all of the promise of the IoT, the proliferation of smart objects and the increasingly important role they play in our lives is raising significant questions tied to privacy concerns and the dangers of concentrated power.One of the reasons that the IoT industry has proven to be so profitable is the increasing value of consumer data. While the IoT has brought improvements to human safety, longevity and quality of life, there are also downsides due to the sacrifices that come at the price of convenience. The privacy debate has been roiling for some time now in the tech sector, as a number of companies have gone to great lengths to acquire user data. The intrusiveness of these companies and the subsequent liberties they have taken in profiting off of the data they collect has drawn the ire of consumers across the world.Despite the concerns that many share regarding privacy overreach, given how thoroughly embedded into our lives services provided by companies like Google and Amazon are, there has been a general sense that little can be done to change the tide and give users control over their data. However, there is an alternative approach to IoT development that has the potential to recalibrate the industry’s power dynamics.W3bstream and the fight for the future of the IoTMachineFi Lab, the core developer of the IoTeX Network — a project that is working to merge blockchain technology with the IoT — has recently announced the rollout of a new product called W3bstream. W3bstream is a chain-agnostic system that has been developed to disrupt the monopoly that has been formed around user data and smart devices.The project has taken a leading role in the nascent MachineFi industry, which has emerged as more efforts are being made to decentralize the machine economy. Key to MachineFi is infusing the principles of Web3 into the IoT, so that users will be able to maintain control over their data and protect their privacy, while still enjoying the benefits of the vast interconnected network of devices and services.Beyond just protecting the end user, W3bstream will give users the option to profit from their own data, reshaping the current state of the industry. The key to being able to do this is the platform’s decentralized approach, which takes the ownership possibilities opened up by blockchain technology and applies it to the full spectrum of the IoT.The strong technological underpinnings of the platform allow it to penetrate into all industries that use and create smart devices. The full range of devices that can operate on W3bstream include sensors, smart TVs, smart homes, self-driving automobiles and even smart cities. Via the platform, Web3 tech can be implemented by connectivity services, supply chain operators, healthcare providers, manufacturing companies and environmental protection agencies, among many others.The benefits without the compromisesThe incentive to introduce Web3 paradigms to these sectors lies in the benefits it will bring to billions of people. Just like in the current iteration of the IoT, people will be able to use their devices to monitor and improve key activities and aspects of their lives. However, in the Web3 model, people also stand to get rewarded for participating in the collection of data, all while being able to maintain their privacy.The way this works is through data pools to which participants can contribute without having to reveal their names or any other information they wish to remain private. In the health sector, this could greatly advance research efforts without participants having to cede unnecessary personal information to third parties that may use the information to profit. Instead, the process would be much more democratic and streamlined to focus on scientific advancement and communal benefit rather than perpetuating revenue flows for corporations that have accumulated sprawling control over various facets of modern life.In addition to the advantages this kind of platform presents for end users, W3bstream is also remarkable for the ease it has introduced into the process of application building. MachineFi Lab’s one-of-a-kind data compute infrastructure enables developers, smart device makers, and businesses to build Web3 applications in less than 50% of the time — and at half the price — it takes to build similar applications with other comparable software.Currently, there are about 42 billion smart devices in use around the world. As substantial a figure as that is, this is still just the beginning of the machine economy; by 2025, people will own about 75 billion smart devices and machines. The more developed this industry becomes, the more difficult it is going to be to make substantial changes. W3bstream and other MachineFi projects are trying to lay the foundation for a democratized IoT now while it is still possible.

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Lido fundamentals shine even as the wider crypto market struggles to regain traction

The crypto market has witnessed a turbulent few weeks after the FTX collapse but Lido Finance, a liquid staking protocol, has been a bright spot amidst the chaos. According to Data from DeFiLlama, Lido protocol has earned $1 million or more in fees daily since October 26. Lido fees and revenue over time. Lido has collected over $1M in fees every day since October 26th pic.twitter.com/GHkzSzYIOo— DefiLlama.com (@DefiLlama) November 18, 2022Let’s analyze the on-chain fundamentals to see why this trend has continued. What’s behind Lido Finance’s growth?Lido’s growth started in May 2021, pre-FTX collapse. The fees reached an all-time high on Nov. 10 as fee revenue nearly topped $2.6 million. The protocol earns 10% of the total Ethereum (ETH) staking rewards generated from user deposits. Data also shows a steady increase in deposits to Ethereum’s PoS consensus translates to an uptick in Lido’s fee capture.Lido total deposits. Source: Dune AnalyticsLido’s fee revenue moves in tandem with Ethereum Proof-of-stake (PoS) earnings since Lido sends received Ether to the staking protocol. After the FTX collapse, Ethereum activity has grown thanks to an uptick in decentralized exchange (DEX) activity. Ethereum fees and revenue also reached a 30-day peak on Nov. 8, posting $9.1 million in fees and $7.3 million in revenue. Ethereum fees and revenue. Source: Token TerminalNew and daily active users keep increasingUnique depositors into the Lido protocol have reached 150,000, demonstrating that Lido is continuing to attract new users. The increase in unique deposits comes after centralized “earn” programs have shown weaknesses due to exposure to their exposure to FTX, Genesis, BlockFi and others. Lido unique deposits. Source: Dune AnalyticsDaily active users and Lido (LDO) token holders are also increasing on Lido. According to data from Token Terminal, daily active users hit a 90-day high of 837 on Nov. 17 further bolstering the platform’s positive momentum. Lido tokenholders and daily active users. Source: Token TerminalRelated: DeFi platforms see profits amid FTX collapse and CEX exodusLido’s market capitalization does not match its on-chain fundamentals While fees, deposits and revenue continue to increase for Lido, the market cap of LDO tokens is not keeping pace. As mentioned above, Lido hit a record amount of fees on Nov. 10, at the same time the market cap decreased from $1.2 billion to $663.7 million. According to Coingecko, during this same period, the price of LDO tokens dropped from $1.80 to a low of $0.90. Lido’s circulating market cap and fees. Source: Token TerminalDespite the market-wide downturn, Lido is showing strong fundamentals on multiple fronts. The steady uptick in DAUs, revenue and new unique participants are all key components for assessing growth and sustainability within a DeFi platform. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Disney brings back Bob Iger as CEO: Here's the crypto connection

Metaverse-backer Bob Iger has announced a surprise return to his former role as CEO of Disney, taking over from now-former CEO Bob Chapek.While Iger is most well known for serving 15 years as the CEO of the global entertainment conglomerate, the Disney executive became known in the crypto community after becoming a director, advisor and investor in Genies, a digital avatar platform running on Dapper Labs’ Flow blockchain.“Thrilled to be joining the Genies Board of Directors to help Akash Nigam and company empower humans to create the ‘mobile apps of Web3’: avatar ecosystems,” Iger said at the time.Iger was still at Disney as an executive and board chairman when the company filed for a Metaverse-related patent on Dec. 28.The patent was for a “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue,” and according to the filing, would allow visitors to Disney theme parks to use mobile phones to generate and project personalized 3D effects onto nearby physical spaces, such as walls and other objects.However, Disney said at the time there were “no current plans” to use the “virtual-world simulator” patent, and the company has yet to announce any products related to the patent.Related: Silicon Valley tech CEOs are not big fans of metaversesAccording to the Hollywood Reporter, Iger’s return will reportedly only be temporary, though, with Iger only agreeing to serve as Disney’s CEO for the next two years. During his new term as CEO, Iger will reportedly work with the Board to set the strategic direction for the company and work to develop a successor.In his absence, Disney has continued to work towards projects involving the metaverse, NFTs and blockchain throughout the year.In September, Disney started hiring for a principal counsel to work on transactions involving NFTs, the Metaverse, blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi).Specifically seeking someone to provide “full product life cycle legal advice and support for global NFT products” and ensure they comply with all current laws and regulations on United States soil and internationally.

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Banks still show interest in digital assets and DeFi amid market chaos

The cryptocurrency sector is the Wild Wild West in comparison to traditional finance, yet a number of banks are showing interest in digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi). This year in particular has been notable for banks exploring digital assets. Most recently, JPMorgan demonstrated how DeFi can be used to improve cross-border transactions. This came shortly after BNY Mellon — America’s oldest bank — announced the launch of its Digital Asset Custody Platform, which allows select institutional clients to hold and transfer Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). The Clearing House, a United States banking association and payments company, stated on Nov. 3 that banks “should be no less able to engage in digital-asset-related activities than nonbanks.”Banks aware of potentialWhile banks continue to show interest in digital assets, BNY Mellon’s 2022 Survey of Global Institutional Clients highlights increasing demand from institutions seeking access to digital assets through reputable custodians. According to the survey, almost all of the 271 institutional investors (91%) are interested in investing in tokenized assets. The survey also found that most of these investors are using more than one custodian, with 35% conducting business with traditional incumbent players.The heightened demand from institutions seeking access to digital assets is one of the reasons why banks are showing interest in cryptocurrency and DeFi offerings. Bobby Zagotta, CEO of Bitstamp USA — a cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2011 — told Cointelegraph that Bitstamp has received many inbound requests recently for their Bitstamp-as-a-Service offering, which allows fintechs and traditional financial institutions to give clients access to cryptocurrency.“Last year, fintechs were asking Bitstamp about services to support cryptocurrency. This year, fintechs have been discussing the downsides of not offering clients access to digital assets. Banks are waking up to the fact that there is client demand to buy and sell crypto, and if people can’t do this with their banks they will go somewhere else,” he said. Zagotta added that banks currently not looking to implement digital asset offerings will lose market share: “Banks are realizing that they could be creating a customer retention problem if they don’t come to market with crypto offerings.” To Zagotta’s point, BNY Mellon’s survey found that 65% of institutions are currently engaging with digital-native platforms rather than traditional financial players. However, BNY Mellon’s findings also indicate that 63% of surveyors would accept longer settlement times in order to transact with a highly rated traditional institution. Recent: Breaking down FTX’s bankruptcy: How it differs from other Chapter 11 casesMoreover, some industry experts believe that large banks can advance their operations by implementing crypto and DeFi solutions. Colin Butler, global head of institutional capital at Ethereum layer-2 network Polygon, told Cointelegraph that while the pilot trade conducted by JPMorgan and the Monetary Authority of Singapore was a milestone toward the adoption of decentralized solutions, it also demonstrates that these entities are testing to see if DeFi frameworks are beneficial. “If the answer is ‘yes,’ then it would allow them to significantly increase the efficiency of their operations,” he said. Butler elaborated that Polygon’s proof-of-stake blockchain ensured that the cross-border transaction conducted between JPMorgan, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and other banking entities was fast, secure, and as cost-efficient as possible. He said:“All of these elements are extremely important when it comes to DeFi adoption. The inherent efficiency of blockchain-based solutions is what gives DeFi an advantage over traditional financial systems that have been built over the past decades. While they’re still ‘working,’ these frameworks are very rigid. The latest advancements in DeFi can help make the whole process of transacting significantly more efficient and convenient.”Echoing Butler, Seamus Donoghue, chief growth officer at METACO — a digital asset custody provider for major financial institutions — told Cointelegraph that he believes all financial assets will eventually be represented on distributed ledgers. As such, Donoghue mentioned that there is an imperative to redesign the financial market infrastructure. “This is the reason why virtually all tier-1 banks are now investing in building new infrastructure: not for the currently bearish crypto market, but for the much larger vision of how every asset will be represented and how value will be created and exchanged, globally,” he said. Donoghue added that banks will eventually become the bridge for institutions seeking exposure to digital assets and DeFi. He explained that this is due to the fact that traditional financial institutions have consumer trust, large balance sheets and a network of market participants creating liquidity, along with a customer base with unmet needs. However, traditional financial institutions remain concerned about regulations. Mathias Schütz, head of client and tech solutions at SEBA Bank — a Swiss-based digital asset bank — told Cointelegraph that traditional banks are hesitant to engage with digital assets due to regulatory uncertainty. In order to solve this, Schütz noted that SEBA Bank, which is licensed by Swiss regulators, acts as a trusted counterparty for institutions to engage with digital assets. “This is why SEBA Bank has been able to partner with a number of major banks in 2022, including LGT Bank, the world’s largest family-owned private bank,” he said. This is also important from a consumer’s perspective, as findings from BNY Mellon’s survey notes that investors are primarily concerned with digital custodians’ legal and regulatory frameworks. Source: BNY Mellon 2022 Survey of Global Institutional ClientsWill market chaos impact interest in digital assets and DeFi?Regulations aside, the recent turn of events with FTX US and Binance may impact how traditional financial institutions view digital assets. While it’s too soon to understand the consequences of this debacle, Donoghue mentioned that the FTX US and Binance shakeup could have a short-term impact. “It could shift banks’ strategies to skip cryptocurrency services, and focus exclusively on digital securities more broadly, at least temporarily,” he said. Eric Berman, a regulatory expert at Thomson Reuters, told Cointelegraph that he doesn’t believe this event will hasten bank involvement in digital assets. “Banking institutions have taken it slow with crypto as it is. The FTX US and Binance situation probably underscores to the banking sector that it has done the right thing in taking a pragmatic approach.” In any case, both Donoghue and Berman are aware that this event demonstrates the need for further regulatory clarity before traditional financial institutions can innovate with digital assets. “The recent negative industry events have emphasized the critical need for safe and compliant infrastructure, business practices and regulatory oversight. So if anything, the demand for asset servicing from trusted institutions such as regulated global banks, has only increased,” Donoghue said. It’s also interesting to point out that BNY Mellon’s survey examined how the Terra ecosystem collapse has impacted institutional investors. According to the report, 9% of institutional asset managers noted that the Terra collapse has not impacted their digital asset plans, while 50% reported taking a short-term pause to reassess, noting they will likely continue soon. Recent: Could Hong Kong really become China’s proxy in crypto?Regarding whether the bear market will impact banks’ interest in digital assets, Butler explained that the crypto market is not much of a factor affecting banks, particularly when it comes to DeFi. For instance, he pointed out that JPMorgan used Polygon to conduct a live cross-currency transaction that involved tokenized Singapore dollar and Japanese yen deposits, along with a simulation of tokenized government bonds. According to Butler, those assets have no correlation with crypto prices. He added:“Essentially, financial institutions are looking for ways to tokenize traditional assets — and this could be anything, from bonds and fiat currencies to real estate deeds — and transact them digitally. As such, these tokens retain the value of their ‘original’ assets, so this is more about the technology itself rather than crypto prices and bear/bull markets.”

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Island nation turns to metaverse to preserve its disappearing heritage

In the South Pacific, the island nation of Tuvalu decided to turn to Web3 technology in order to make sure its culture and society are preserved in the future. On Nov. 15 the country’s foreign minister, Simon Kofe, told the COP27 climate summit that it is looking for alternative ways to protect the county’s heritage against rising sea levels brought on by climate change. One of those ways is through recreating itself in the metaverse.As highlighted by Minister Hon @Simon_Kofe in his speech to leaders at #COP27 we have had to act. As rising sea levels threaten to submerge our home we have made a radical plan for the survival of our nation. Visit https://t.co/AKOS8iul64 Save #Tuvalu. Save the world. pic.twitter.com/P8HMkwz4i7— Tuvalu Ministry of Foreign Affairs (@Tuvalu_MJCFA) November 15, 2022In a video broadcast, Kofe said, “As our land disappears we have no choice but to become the world’s first digital nation.”Allegedly up to 40% of the nation’s capital district is underwater at high tide and the entire country is forecast to be underwater by the end of the century.As Tuvalu builds itself into the metaverse, it will become the first digitized nation in the metaverse. Kofe said the country’s land, ocean and culture are its most precious assets and no matter what happens in the physical world they will be kept safe in the cloud.“Islands like this one won’t survive rapid temperature increases, rising sea levels and droughts so we will recreate them virtually.”Although Tuvalu could become the first sovereign nation to recreate itself in the metaverse, other countries have already begun their own explorations into the digital frontier. Related: Ecosystem is bullish on the metaverse, no matter what the numbers imply In 2021, the Caribbean island nation of Barbados opened up an embassy in the Decentraland metaverse and was the first to do so. An indigenious tribe in Australia had also laid out plans for opening an embassy in the metaverse earlier this year.Other countries have begun offering services in the metaverse. Norway recently opened up a branch of its federal tax offices in the metaverse in order to reach its next generation of users. The United Arab Emirates set up a new headquarters for its Ministry of Economy on virtual land.Major tech-forward cities such as Seoul in South Korea and Santa Monica in California have also created digital counterparts.

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Inaugural Gam3 Awards to honor the best Web3 games of 2022

The inaugural edition of the Gam3 Awards — a new Web3 gaming awards event hosted by Polkastarter Gaming — is set to take place on Dec. 15, according to an announcement provided to Cointelegraph on Nov. 14.Awarding the best gam3s 16 categories. 30+ industry leaders. $300k prizes. 15 December 2022. Save the date. Voting starts soon ⬇️https://t.co/p0niqHYzHw pic.twitter.com/8n0ArqZXS1— GAM3 AWARDS | 15th Dec (@PolkastarterGG) November 14, 2022The awards ceremony intends to recognize this year’s best Web3 games, highlight the developers behind them, and showcase blockchain as a net plus to the gaming industry. In the announcement, the Gam3 Awards said it hopes to celebrate the future generation of Web3-gaming builders by inviting game studios to nominate and recognize their own employees, developers and professionals across specializations who represent the future of Web3 gaming. The event is set to be simultaneously broadcast across Polkastarter Gaming’s Twitch, YouTube and Twitter channels and will feature a jury comprising over 30 gaming and Web3 thought leaders, ecosystem partners and media outlets. Winners of the first Gam3 Awards will receive a portion of the $300,000 worth of prizes from sponsors such as ImmutableX, Blockchain Game Alliance, Machinations, Naavik and Ultra. The event is set to bring together industry leaders, ecosystems and media outlets to reward the top game developers and content creators within the Web3 gaming ecosystem. Speaking with Cointelegraph, a representative confirmed that the venture capital firm Bitkraft would also be joining as a partner and member of the jury. Judges will weigh each game based on multiple criteria including core loop, graphics, accessibility, replayability factor, fun elements and overall playing experience. Winners will be awarded based on categories such as “action game,” “mobile game,” “adventure game,” “casual game,” “RPG,” “shooter game,” “graphics,” “strategy game,” “card game,” etc. Related: Crypto gaming needs to be fun to be successful — Money doesn’t matter Despite the continuing bear market, Web3 and blockchain-based games appear to be growing in popularity and doing quite well. According to the analytical service DappRadar, blockchain games and metaverse projects raised $1.3 billion in the third quarter of 2022. The company’s research revealed that “gaming activity accounted for almost half of all blockchain activity tracked by DappRadar across 50 networks, with 912,000 daily Unique Active Wallets (UAW) interacting with games’ smart contracts in September.”

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Ownership is the future of digital entertainment, says blockchain exec

Web3 is uprooting traditional entertainment industries with a new way of creating and engaging with digital content.The industry has already seen nonfungible tokens (NFTs) display the potential to transform how television scheduled programming can be created. Increased metaverse activity began challenging artists with new possibilities for performances and connectivity with their fans. All the use cases of Web3 technology upgrading the future of digital entertainment include one key component: ownership. Ownership is one of the defining characteristics that distinguishes Web3 activity from its predecessor. According to professionals in the industry, it will also be a defining characteristic not only of Web3 but of the future of digital entertainment. Cointelegraph spoke with Mitch Liu, CEO of the media and entertainment-centric blockchain Theta Labs, on what users can expect in the not-so-distant future of digital entertainment. Foremost, ownership redirects power back to the users actually engaging with the content rather than a few powerful platforms. Liu highlights that specifically with “tokenized economies for entertainment businesses,” both users and platforms benefit:“For platforms that embrace Web3, they gain new ways of monetization at a time when the margins of Web2 business models are shrinking.”This comes at a time when competition within the streaming industry is driving turbulent results for service providers. According to recent reports, platforms such as Paramount+ and Disney+ saw an increase in subscribers in the last quarter. However, stocks dropped as much as 9% for the latter, and earnings for both fell short of official estimates. Related: Social tokens will be the engine of Web3, from fanbases to incentivizationLiu says streaming wars lead to higher costs for users and more ads. Instead, he suggests such platforms need to adopt new business models which highlight user experience. This comes through ownership:“The key is to give the users and fans a say rather than have every decision come from the top down.”Liu continued by saying that, “giving more control back to users, whether it’s immutable ownership of a movie or the right to vote on how a platform operates, will help to avoid centralization.”Metaverse activity is one way to particularly enhance user experience through ownership. As investors are pouring into the metaverse space, entertainment platforms can take advantage of a new frontier with fewer barriers between audiences:“Decentralized economies and user ownership can be built into metaverses from the ground up.”According to a recent DappRadar report, metaverse and blockchain gaming projects cumulatively raised $1.3 billion during Q3. Companies in the space also see the potential Web3 has for entertainment ventures, as blockchain developer Ripple created a $250 million fund to back entertainment and media-focused Web3 projects. Its second wave of creators launched on Oct. 18 of this year.

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