BNB Chain Launches Zero-Knowledge Proof Scaling Tech

BNB Chain has launched a zero-knowledge proof scaling technology, zkBNB.


According to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, the zero-knowledge proof is an option for long-term solutions for decentralised blockchain scalability.

The zero-knowledge proofs utilise mathematical proofs to allow the verification of specific data without the requirement to reveal the details.

BNB Chain is a part of Binance’s Layer 1 protocol which is the most widely adopted in Layer 1 blockchain. It hosts more than $5.4 billion in total value locked (TVL) and currently ranks three across all chains, according to DeFiLlama.

Binance has introduced zkBNB to manage security from its base layer. ZK SNARKs will be utilised to speed up transactions per second (TPS), finality, lower transaction costs, and “scalability, the likes of which have not been seen before in the industry,” according to BNB Chain.

Zero-knowledge proofs are not a new technology. It has been around for more than 30 years, since 1985.

However, the use of ZK proofs in cryptocurrencies is relatively new.

ZK SNARKs were initially used by a fork of bitcoin, Zcash. The use of ZK SNARKs has lately gained traction due to its usage of elliptic curves for proofs, as they have high-security guarantees and viability for scalability.

BNB claims that zkBNB will increase transaction speed, which is beneficial for better functioning applications and user experience.

The Block reported that “the testnet for zkBNB went live on Sept 2, and the target for its mainnet launch is before the end of 2022.”

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Ethereum’s Speculative Action Goes through the Roof as the Merge Edges Closer

Since the merge of Ethereum (ETH) has been awaited with bated breath by the crypto community, the network’s speculative action has skyrocketed.

Market insight provider Glassnode explained:

“Ethereum speculative action continues, with over $6.12B in outstanding Open Interest for Call Options. Put options account for a much smaller $1.5B, making for a Put/Call Ratio of 0.25.”


Source: Glassnode

Call options entail buying, whereas put options signify selling. Therefore, based on open interest being depicted in the ETH network, buying pressure outways selling, thanks to the much-anticipated merge event slated for September 15. 

Despite the merge being elusive for a couple of years, it is anticipated to be the largest software upgrade in the Ethereum ecosystem because it will change the consensus mechanism from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).

Therefore, various experts and institutions believe this event will heighten Ethereum’s quest to be a deflationary asset. 

For instance, American multinational investment bank Citigroup or Citi recently pointed out that the merge would slash the overall Ether issuance by 4.2% annually, making it deflationary, Blockchain.News reported. 

Therefore, the merge seems to have made Ethereum be watched with a keen eye, given that transaction volume hit a monthly high. Glassnode stated:

“Ethereum Transaction Volume (7d MA) just reached a 1-month high of 80,910.738 ETH. Previous 1-month high of 80,814.148 ETH was observed on 02 September 2022.”


Source: Glassnode

Furthermore, Ethereum address activity has been scaling heights, with the number of addresses holding more than 100 ETH, recording an 18-month high. 


Source: Glassnode

ETH was up by 6.7% in the last 24 hours to hit $1,622 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

With the Bellatrix upgrade having already set the ball rolling for the merge, it remains to be seen how the second-largest cryptocurrency plays out after this event. 

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GameStop Announces Partnership with FTX US

GameStop, the world’s largest video game retailer headquartered in Texas, USA, announced that it has entered into a partnership with FTX US (“FTX”) to become FTX’s preferred retail partner in the United States.

The partnership aims to promote “FTX’s digital asset community and marketplace” and bring more GameStop customers into FTX’s ecosystem.

In addition to partnering with FTX on new e-commerce and online marketing campaigns, GameStop will begin rolling out FTX gift cards at select stores.

Specific financial information was not disclosed to the public.

Shares of GameStop rose nearly 12% to $26.84 a share in after-hours trading following the news, even though GameStop reported an almost 4% drop in net sales for the quarter to $1.14 billion.

The company reported revenue of $1.14 billion in the second quarter as of July 30. Operating loss for the quarter was $108 million compared to -$58 million a year ago.

The latest earnings data showed that its second-quarter loss was 35 cents per share on an adjusted basis, below the average Wall Street analyst estimate of 38 cents per share.

Although GameStop reported lower net sales for the quarter, the partnership with FTX US attracted an influx of buyers, with GameStop’s jumping 11.06% to $26.48 in after-hours trading.

On a recent GameStop earnings call, Furlong said the company has started working on updating the brand and driving growth. He revealed that the company had developed a redesigned app, its rewards program has attracted new users, and it has hired employees with backgrounds in e-commerce and blockchain gaming.

At the end of May, the video game retailer launched a digital asset wallet for sending, receiving and storing cryptocurrencies and NFTs,

In July, Video game retailer GameStop Corp announced Monday the launch of a public beta version of a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace amid the crypto market’s downturn.

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Digital Wallet Omni Raises $11m in Seed Funding

Digital wallet Omni (formerly known as Steakwallet) announced it has raised $11 million in seed funding on Wednesday at a $50 million valuation.

The deal closed in May, according to a statement. Other investors include Spartan Group, GSR Ventures, and Eden Block, as well as OP Crypto, Shima Capital, Kosmos Ventures, Daedalus Angels, PrimeBlock Ventures, and more. With this investment, Omni will be valued at $50 million after its rebranding.

Funds raised will be used to expand its services and integrations for non-custodial wallets with access to web3 technologies.

Currently, the firm focus on collaboration on the Ethereum Virtual Machine and Layer 2 scaling solutions such as Arbitrum, Optimism and Polygon.

The company revealed that it is preparing to integrate with zkSync and Starknet.

Omni users can store various cryptocurrencies as well as collect and display NFTs in their wallets.

Founded by Engel, Alex Harley, and James Stackhouse, the wallet was formerly known as Steakwallet and launched its rebrand on September 7, ahead of the Ethereum merger.

The product has built its own custom smart contract middleware that allows users to stake on more than 20 protocols. It aims to integrate more Web3 technologies into applications such as staking and token swaps.

“The primary hurdle that stands between users gaining access to the future of the internet is the ease of use. That’s why we built Omni: an incredibly easy-to-use Web 3 application that can do it all without sacrificing even a fraction of self-sovereignty,” Engel said in the announcement. 

The wallet also supports liquidity staking, meaning users can earn interest on their tokens while keeping their assets liquid, opening the floodgates for cryptocurrency yield farming through Omni.

In July, the Non-fungible token (NFT) platform Omni was hacked for 1,300 ether (ETH) ($1.43 million) as the hacker exploited the firm’s reentrancy vulnerability protocol, according to PeckShield.

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Ark Invest Expands Research Arm, Focusing on Blockchain Technology and AI

Ark Investment Management LLC, owned by Cathie Wood, escalated its team. The investment management firm plans to expand its research arm as it seeks deeper development in various fields, including blockchain.

Cathy Wood’s ARK Investment Management has promoted Brett Winton to chief futurist, put four senior research analysts on board, and hired five research assistants, according to official documents.

Brett Winton said:

“We believe that, collectively, artificial intelligence, robotics, energy storage, genomic sequencing, and blockchain technology will rise from less than 10% of the global public equity market capitalization to more than 60% by 2030, representing the largest period of value- creation in history.”

Winton said he would drive ARK’s long-term forecasts across convergent technologies, economies, and asset classes. ARK will dimension the impact of this unprecedented technological boom as it transforms public equities, private equities, crypto assets, fixed income, and the global economy.

ARK founder and CEO Cathie Wood believes this reorganization will expand the size of the team while enabling convergence between the technologies that create the S-curve and the S-curve.

Four senior research analysts got promoted to research directors, including Tasha Keeney, who leads financial modelling for the research team; Sam Korus, who directs the autonomous technology and robotics team; Simon Barnett, who studies life sciences; and Frank Downing, who focuses on Internet development.

In addition, ARK will hire five research assistants to focus on autonomous technology and robotics, digital health, next-generation internet and venture capital.

As the broader digital currency ecosystem tumbled across the board, as did the firm’s investment vehicles, shares in Ark Invest’s portfolio also plunged. The Ark Innovation ETF is down 57.74% so far this year.

Ark Invest also sold off $500,000 worth of Robinhood shares based on Tuesday’s closing price of $8.43 in July.

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China Central Bank Releases Digital CNY Smart Contract Prepaid Fund Management Product

According to the China Financial Association, the Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China has launched a digital renminbi smart contract prepaid fund management product – “Yuanguanjia”.

The product was launched to the public across the country at the 2022 Second China (Beijing) Digital Finance Forum held on September 8.

It aims to provide users with prepaid consumption service scenarios by deploying smart contracts on digital RMB wallets. A solution to prevent merchants from misappropriating funds and protect users’ rights and interests.

This product solves the problem that users avoid merchants running away with prepaid consumption and protects consumers’ rights and interests.

The company that released the digital renminbi smart contract prepaid fund management product-Beijing, Central Business District Xinlian Technology Co., Ltd., said that: “this model transforms prepaid consumption into instant consumption, further clarifies that the ownership of prepaid funds belongs to consumers, and ensures that prepaid funds are not was misappropriated.”

Data shows that the digital yuan (e-CNY), the digital currency of the People’s Bank of China (CBDC), is growing rapidly. Since the public trial, transactions in the new fiat currency have totalled 87.57 billion yuan ($13.68 billion).

Last month The Bank of China, in collaboration with the Education Bureau and financial authorities of Longquanyi District, Chengdu, launched an educational electronic RMB smart contract prepaid fund management product, extending the pilot scope to school education,

As reported on August 25 by blockchain.News, the Beijing municipal government has announced a two-year (2022 – 2024) Metaverse innovation and development plan that will require all districts to follow the newly released Web3 innovation program guidelines.

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Blockchain in Manufacturing Market Speculated to Generate $766.2m in Revenue by 2030

The blockchain in the manufacturing market is expected to render revenue worth $766.2 million in 2030, according to Verified Market Research. 

With a market value of $40 million set in 2021, this sector is anticipated to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80% during the forecast period between 2022 and 2030.

Per the announcement:

“Increasing worldwide energy demand motivates energy and power firms to explore blockchain solutions that can help them improve productivity while reducing maintenance and downtime.”

Therefore, the energy, electricity, and industrial sectors are anticipated to spur demand in this industry. The report added:

“The global blockchain in manufacturing market is expected to increase due to the incorruptible nature of the blockchain, as well as the expanding number of applications that use it.”

The other significant drivers include the growing usage of blockchain technology in supply chain management and retail. 

Some of the key developments in this market include using the IBM Blockchain Transparent Supply (BTS) platform to track the entire fabric manufacturing process in the textile industry.

By application, blockchain in the manufacturing market is categorized into different fields, such as counterfeit management, predictive maintenance, business process optimization, quality control and compliance, and asset tracking and management. 

Meanwhile, a recent report by Research and Markets pointed out that the global blockchain distributed ledger market was expected to hit $20.6 billion by 2027, thanks to rapid digitization. 

Since a blockchain distributed ledger entails a decentralized database, it stores transactions and resources through a peer-to-peer network. Furthermore, cryptography is used to protect data.

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NBA Partners with Sorare for NFT-Based Basketball Fantasy Game

To enhance the fan experience and render more interaction, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has partnered with the web3 fantasy game platform Sorare.

In a statement, the NBA pointed out that the fantasy basketball game will allow fans to develop a lineup of NFT-powered digital collectables based on their favourite teams and players. 

Moreover, earning points will depend on NBA players’ real-life performance. Per the announcement:

“Sorare will launch the first officially licensed, free-to-play digital collectible-based fantasy basketball game, which will be released this fall for the NBA’s 2022-23 season.”

Through the strategic partnership, Sorare will be granted the right to use official NBA team and league logos on its products.

The NBA sees the basketball fantasy game as a stepping stone toward expanding its fan base, according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

He added:

“Our partnership with Sorare will give NBA fans an entirely new way to engage with our teams and players. With Sorare’s emerging NFT fantasy platform, we see significant opportunities to broaden our community of fans and grow NBA basketball around the world.”

By leveraging Sorare’s platform, the basketball fantasy game will be accessible to more than two million registered users across 185 nations.

Nicholas Julia, Sorare’s CEO and co-founder, pointed out:

 “The NBA has been at the forefront of digital experiences and collectibles, and our game gives basketball fans the ultimate sports entertainment experience, where they can play like a general manager, own their game, and foster real-world connections.”

By creating unique digital tokens and signing top leagues and clubs to its fantasy platform, Sorare seeks to boost digital assets and blockchain adoption in daily life. 

For instance, Sorare created an NFT-based fantasy baseball game after joining hands with Major League Baseball (MLB) earlier this year. 

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Signature Bank Suffers $4.27 Billion Crypto Deposit Outflows

Signature Bank, a New York-based commercial bank, published Wednesday its trading update for the mid-Q3 quarter of this year. The bank reported that deposit withdrawals from the bank totalled $4.27 billion as cryptocurrency fear spreads.

In other words, the bank said a $4.27 billion fall in crypto outflows is to blame for a decline in its spot deposit balances.

However, the bank said it is “well-positioned to reach the target of combined loans and securities growth” for the third quarter despite pressure from the outflows of digital assets.

In contrast, Signature said non-crypto deposits increased to $2.64 billion quarter-to-date, with “specialist mortgage banking solutions” accounting for the majority of that sum ($2.29 billion).

The crypto winter has been brutal this year. So far, the share price of Signature bank has decreased 49% since the beginning of this year. This has been attributed to the ongoing harsh crypto winter.

Due to a surge in crypto industry deposits, Signature Bank had one of the best years among banks last year. But all that changed this year.

Uncertainty still pervades the crypto market because of the fallen token values and the impacts of CeFi bankruptcies.

Joe DePaolo, the CEO of Signature Bank, talked about the development and said that the bank has no direct exposure to cryptocurrencies because it only retains the cash deposits of its clients in dollars.

DePaolo said the bank’s growth does not depend on the growth of the digital currency ecosystem. The executive added that while the company’s exposure to the crypto ecosystem remains a headwind, the bank has grown loans at an annualized rate of 25.4% and deposits (ex-digital assets) by 26.3%.

Signature Bank offers financial services to institutional cryptocurrency traders and related firms, including exchanges and miners.

Of course, Silvergate Bank and Signature Bank are the only two U.S. institutions that are crypto-friendly, operating real-time payment networks.

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Protocol Upgrade to Boost Transactions Speed & Cross-Chain Communcation Security: Algorand

Algorand said the new protocol upgrade would boost its transactions per second (TPS) and cross-chain communication security via state proofs.


Algorand is a proof of stake Layer 1. 

The blockchain cryptocurrency protocol’s state proofs aim to connect Algorand to other blockchains and boost TPS.

The state proofs’ interoperability standard provides an interface with any proof of stake blockchain can use for cross-chain communication and transactions, The Block reported.

According to Algorand, this upgrade will increase the network TPS from 1,200 to 6,000.

However, more details are yet to be seen to confirm the upgrade benefits for users and protocols.

According to The Block, “TPS is a measure of speed and is not correlated to finality, which is when a transaction is processed and finalized on the blockchain.”

It added that finality in terms of security guarantees that the transaction will not be reversed and must be considered when assessing TPS in blockchains.

Chief Product Officer Paul Reigle backs the upgrade saying that state proofs are important and innovative for securing blockchain interoperability.

While Algorand’s founder Silvio Micali also echoed similar sentiments saying that state proofs are important as “decentralization does not need to come at the cost of performance or security” and a “critical security feature for communication between networks.”

Currently, there is a heavy demand for cross-chain messaging security and transactions, as several hacks have occurred over the past year.

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