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Polygon Labs, an Ethereum scaling platform, has launched "The Value Prop," an open database showcasing positive blockchain use cases and applications worldwide. The project, likened to a "Wikipedia for use cases," currently hosts 39 use cases and over 300 applications, with numbers expected to grow. The initiative aims to shift the narrative surrounding blockchain technology, emphasizing its benefits and potential for mass adoption. The database is particularly useful for regulators who are grappling with the challenge of crafting legislation that supports innovation while protecting citizens. The Value Prop's use cases span seven verticals, including education, security & risk management, social impact & sustainability, finance, business & marketing, governance, and information technology. The platform will also feature a testimonials page with written and video messages from people sharing their positive experiences with blockchain technology.
OKX Middle East, the regional branch of the world's second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, has obtained an MVP Preparatory license from Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This allows the company to prepare for offering services once the license is operational. OKX Middle East has set up an office in Dubai World Trade Center and plans to expand its staff to 30 members, focusing on local hires and senior management. Upon activation of the MVP license, the firm will offer spot, derivatives, and fiat services, including USD and AED deposits, withdrawals, and spot-pairs. Tim Byun, OKX global head of government relations, emphasized Dubai's importance as a regional hub for UAE and MENA, praising its comprehensive and timely regulation and dedicated regulator, VARA. Amidst recent lawsuits by the US SEC, crypto exchanges are exploring global options, with Crypto.com receiving an MVP Preparatory license from VARA in March. Both OKX and Binance have halted operations in Canada but remain committed to obtaining necessary licenses. OKX, based in Seychelles, operates a separate brand, OKCoin, in the US and is considering entering the US market in a compliant manner while exploring opportunities in other territories such as the Bahamas, Gibraltar, France, and the EU.
Bitcoin surged past $25,700, marking a 1.3% gain, after BlackRock's iShares unit filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a spot bitcoin ETF on Thursday afternoon. Prior to the announcement, Bitcoin had dipped below $25,000 for the first time in three months, primarily due to concerns over U.S. central bank hawkishness and increased regulatory scrutiny of the crypto industry. The BlackRock announcement reignited optimism for a spot bitcoin ETF, despite the SEC's rejection of multiple applications in the past 18 months. The proposed iShares Bitcoin Trust will primarily consist of bitcoin held by a custodian on behalf of the Trust. Crypto exchange Coinbase will act as the custodian, as stated in the filing. CoinDesk had reported earlier on Thursday about BlackRock's intention to file for a bitcoin ETF.
Sotheby's recently concluded another sale of non-fungible token (NFT) artwork from bankrupt crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), netting over $10.9 million. The live auction in New York featured 37 works from generative artists like Dmitri Cherniak, Tyler Hobbs, and Jeff Davis. Cherniak's Ringers #879, also known as "The Goose," sold for $6.2 million to notable NFT investor 6529, making it the second-highest sale of all time for generative art. Other highlights included Tyler Hobbs' Fidenza #479, which sold for $622,300, Snowfro's Chromie Squiggle #1780 for $635,000, Larva Labs' Autoglyph #218, and Kjetil Golid's Archetype #397, both selling for $330,200 each. All NFTs sold for higher than their estimates. The Grails collection liquidation sales have brought in more than $16 million so far, with Sotheby's describing it as containing "some of the most significant digital artworks ever assembled."
BlackRock's iShares unit has filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the formation of a spot bitcoin ETF, named the iShares Bitcoin Trust. The fund's assets will primarily consist of bitcoin held by Coinbase, the designated custodian. While the SEC has previously rejected attempts to launch spot bitcoin ETFs by other fund management companies such as Grayscale, VanEck, and WisdomTree, BlackRock's status as the world's largest asset manager, with over $10 trillion in assets under management (AUM), may make it harder for the SEC to dismiss the application. CEO Larry Fink's political power could potentially rival that of the SEC and its leader Gary Gensler. Crypto exchange Kraken noted that the proposed ETF is benchmarked against the CME CF Bitcoin Reference Rate, which uses price data exclusively from cryptocurrency exchanges adhering to the highest standards of market integrity and transparency, thus protecting investors. Following the news, bitcoin's price rose about 1% to just below $25,700.