Flipkart Introduces Avenue for Indians to Shop in the Metaverse

Indian retail and supermarket giant, Flipkart is looking to redefine the future of shopping with the launch of the Flipverse, a metaverse arena where shoppers can get a peak of the products they want to buy.


In reality, Flipverse is designed to change the shopping experiences for both the customer and the business brands who embrace the offering. The Flipverse technology was created with the tech stack of eDAO, a Web3.0 startup that was incubated by the Polygon-Layer-2 protocol

According to Flipkart, the aim of Flipverse is to enable customers and brands to get closer to their brands in a way that communication can be both ways. The Flipverse offering is one that will be gamified, interactive, and immersive shopping experience for consumers in a digital world by giving them access to their favorite brands, Super coins, and digital collectibles. 

“The future growth of e-commerce will be influenced by the immersive technologies of today, and Metaverse is one of the significant revolutions in this arena with immense potential,” said Naren Ravula, VP and Head, of Product Strategy and Deployment, Flipkart Labs, 

“The launch of Flipverse will continue to have an impact on innovative industries like e-commerce and enhance the customer experience while delivering a gamified and an immersive shopping experience, especially in light of the adoption of the metaverse and web3 platforms by multiple brands in India. By providing customers with access to their preferred brands, offers, SuperCoins, and digital collectibles, we are aiming to improve their shopping experiences in a virtual and immersive setting.”

The Web3.0 ecosystem might be new, but both companies operating in the space, as well as their traditional counterparts, are currently joining forces to promote the introduction of use cases that can drive enhanced adoption across the board. 

As announced, the first phase of the Flipverse shopping campaign will run for a week, with projections to onboard a million more users in the near future.

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US IRS Introduces Broad Category for Digital Assets Ahead of Tax Season

The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is preparing for the forthcoming tax season, especially as it concerns digital assets.


According to a draft bill published by the tax regulator, investors in the US will be able to see if and how they are supposed to report their digital assets which include crypto coins and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).


The 2022 draft IRS Tax forms have created a new category dubbed “Digital Assets” for the different categorizations of assets that are tied to the emerging blockchain industry. To give a more emphatic and clear picture of the obligations it places on taxpayers, the IRS defined Digital Assets as;


“..any digital representations of value that are recorded on a cryptographically secured distributed ledger or any similar technology. For example, digital assets include non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual currencies, such as cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.”


In order to avoid any gray areas, the IRS stated that any digital asset that behaves in similarity to these assets per this definition will be treated as such.


The regulator stated some set of conditions under which Americans will need to give affirmations based on their crypto holdings. Per the draft bill, anyone who has received payment in cryptocurrencies over the past year received or gifted the assets categorized as digital assets amongst other conditions will have to properly report these items.


Taxing crypto gains is a very volatile subject of discourse in the global ecosystem, and based on their cryptographic nature, the government believes more people choose to hide their crypto transactions in a bid to evade taxes.

The IRS has been exploring quite a number of tailored solutions that can enable them to monitor crypto transactions in a bid to make everyone accountable. Besides working with exchanges to get necessary data on request, other private service providers are also helping the IRS develop tools that can aid its crypto tax goals.

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JPMorgan Hires Former Celsius Network Executive Aaron Iovine As Crypto Regulatory Policy Head

JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Wednesday announced the appointment of former Celsius Network executive Aaron Iovine as its new head of digital assets regulatory policy, a newly created job position as confirmed by a JPMorgan spokeswoman.

Mr. Iovine, who is the former head of policy and regulation for the bankrupt crypto lending platform Celsius Network Ltd., will help JPMorgan navigate regulatory affairs for digital asset trading matters.

Iovine will work with JPMorgan’s regulatory affairs group headed by Sharon Yang, who in the past served as a deputy assistant secretary for international financial markets at the Treasury Department.

Celsius hired Iovine in February this year from Cross River Bank, a digital asset-friendly regional lender. Upon Iovine’s departure, Celsius recently hired Benjamin Melnicki from Robinhood Markets Inc. as its head of cryptocurrency compliance and regulation.

Iovine, who is an experienced attorney, spent almost three years at Cross River, where he led policy and regulatory affairs, according to his LinkedIn profile. He left Celsius in September, two months after the crypto-lending platform filed for bankruptcy in New York.

The announcement comes less than a month after the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon told lawmakers that cryptocurrencies are “decentralized Ponzi schemes.”

In congressional testimony on September 22, Dimon referred to himself as “a major skeptic” on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Despite his hate for cryptocurrencies, the CEO embraces DeFi and blockchain as real and novel technologies that can be applied in both private and public sectors.

The hiring reflects the company’s commitment to compliance, as well as its recognition that firms require seasoned teams to deal with cryptocurrency regulatory issues. Regulators are increasing their scrutiny of the digital asset sector following the rising popularity of cryptocurrency trading activities. This has led some companies in the industry to pay closer attention to their compliance procedures.

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MLB is Looking to Hire an Expert to Expand its Metaverse Presence

Major League Baseball (MLB), an American professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world is looking for an expert in Metaverse and Web3.0-related innovations as it looks to expand its current presence in the emerging ecosystem.


According to the details shared on LinkedIn, the MLB job title is “Licensing Manager- Digital Games, NFT, Metaverse.” The hired professional will be undertaking many tasks including the development and execution of partnership strategy in expanding digital portfolio areas including, NFT, Metaverse, wearable technology, and AR/VR strategy.


While this job description already suggests the league association is ready to go all out in the Web3.0 space, the profession will also be tasked with identifying partnerships with marketplaces, tools, and platforms to create best-in-class product experience for baseball fans to access and engage with the league’s expanding digital collections.


While the entire clamor for the metaverse is just building momentum, MLB’s involvement in the space has been quite emphatic. Besides inking a partnership with Candy Digital back in January, a linkup that opened it up to start selling NFTs at the time, MLB is also the official baseball partner of Sorare.


As reported by Blockchain.news in May, the Sorare partnership positions the MLB to help create teams with NFTs representing Major League Gaming players. The created team can then be used to enter tournaments through which the players’ real-life performance is automatically reflected in the game.


Like many Web2.0 organizations, the hiring move from the MLB is considered a bold step and a worthy investment that can generally help in advancing the course of Web3.0. While the role has already seen as many as 108 applicants according to the LinkedIn update, the MLB has not come out to announce it has filled the role as of the time of writing.

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Binance Now Ranked as the Second Largest Voting Power in Uniswap DAO

In a move that has become quite worrisome to Hayden Adams, the founder of the Uniswap decentralized exchange, Binance exchange has delegated as much as 13 million UNI tokens to the Uniswap DAO.


This token automatically springboards Binance as the entity with the second-largest voting power after mega Venture Capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). By the numbers, Binance now holds a 5.9% voting power as against the 6.7% that is commanded by a16z.


Taking to Twitter, Hayden said the UNI token belongs to Binance users, and that he remains unsure of how Binance intends to engage with the Uniswap DAO moving forward.


“..Binance delegated 13M UNI from its books, making it one of the largest UNI delegates (this is only 1.3% of current delegated UNI so governance voting power remains quite distributed). Very unique situation, as the UNI technically belongs to its users,” He said in a tweet shared earlier today.


DAOs are an automated and decentralized governance engine and they help to decide the directions through which the Uniswap protocol will trend per time. 


While Hayden acknowledges that the vote distribution is still well optimized and as such, the Binance newly delegated tokens will not affect its integrity, he still called out to the bigger exchange’s founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao to come to talk or give insights on the trading platform’s plans.


“Normally more gov participation = good, however it’s unclear how binance intends to engage. Binance users would prob prefer to keep these gov rights (similar to what compound has done with cUNI). In the spirit of transparency would love to hear from @cz_binance on their plans.”

DAOs have been proposed as a major alternative, a blockchain-powered corporate tool for running an organization. While some DAOs, like the Uniswap DAO, have functioned perfectly well over time, others, such as the Panda DAO have run into troubles with proposals for the dissolution of the DAO.

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Nigeria Tops in Global Crypto Ownership, With Nearly Half of the Population Being Crypto Users or Owners

With cryptocurrencies being one of the technological innovations taking the world by storm, Nigeria takes the lead in terms of crypto ownership, according to Statista Global Consumer Survey. 

Per the report:

“Nigeria leads in global crypto ownership, where 45% of the population, or almost every second person, uses or owns cryptocurrency.”

The survey interviewed consumers from nations in South America, Asia, and Africa. The study added:

“Thailand ranked in second place, with 44% of the population that used or owned cryptos in the last two years. Turkey follows with 40%, and Argentina and United Arab Emirates round the top five list, with 35% and 34%, respectively.”

Even though the crypto owners in the United States are three times more than those in Nigeria, this represents 16% of the entire population. As a result, the US comes twenty-fifth in terms of crypto ownership.

On the other hand, India has 134 million crypto users, which is the highest globally. Statista recently estimated that there were 257.2 million crypto users globally, denoting 3.2% of the world’s population. This figure is expected to jump to 293.6 million in 2023.

Nigeria has been gaining the spotlight in crypto due to the trends being witnessed.

For instance, a study by Jack Dorsey-owned Block, Inc. revealed that the nation took the helm regarding Bitcoin optimism levels at 60%, Blockchain.News reported. 

Furthermore, a KuCoin study showed that high inflation rates and the lack of affordable financial services drove crypto adoption on Nigerian soil. 

The KuCoin survey suggested cryptocurrencies were filling the gap in the traditional currency-based market because Nigerians were using them as an alternative for storing and transferring assets.

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Bitcoin’s Small to Mid-Sized Addresses Continue Going Through the Roof

As Bitcoin (BTC) continues hovering around the $19K zone, small to mid-sized addresses are scaling the heights, according to Santiment. 

The market insight provider explained:

“Bitcoin’s small to mid-sized addresses (holding 0.1 to 10 BTC) hold an AllTimeHigh 15.9% of the coin’s available supply.”



Therefore, Bitcoin addresses have been witnessing heightened activity. Santiment added:

“The number of Bitcoin addresses holding 10,000 to 100,000 $BTC & addresses holding 10 to 100 BTC have reached their highest amount of respective addresses since Feb, 2021. As the number of addresses on a network rises, utility should follow suit.”


Source: Santiment

The market insight provider expects Bitcoin’s use case to surge as the number of addresses increases. This is a bullish sign because demand might rise, pushing prices upwards.

Holding the ground at $19.3K level is crucial 

Since Bitcoin has lacked a significant leg up thanks to tightened macroeconomic conditions, Michael van de Poppe believes holding the $19,300 zone is fundamental because this can prompt a push to the $22,000 area. The crypto analyst pointed out:

“The area around $19.3K is key to hold and then we can expand to $22.2K.”



Similar sentiments were recently shared by analyst Ali Martinez who stipulated that the leading cryptocurrency should stay above $19,200 to reduce selling pressure, Blockchain.News reported. 

Bitcoin was hovering around $19,260 during intraday trading, according to CoinMarketCap.

On the other hand, a market analyst under the pseudonym Tajo Crypto believes Bitcoin is not out of the consolidation woods yet based on unfavourable conditions like inflation and interest rate hikes. Tajo Crypto noted:

“Bitcoin has been between $18K and $25K since July and there seems not to be enough catalyst to make it drop to $17K or pump to $26K. The inflation and rate hike will make Bitcoin continue to struggle till prices normalize. Bitcoin consolidation is far from over.”

Therefore, it remains to be seen how the market plays out in the short term because the UNCTAD recently warned that if tightened fiscal and monetary policies continue, a global recession would be inevitable. 

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Crypto Groups Mobilize Support for Grayscale Spot Bitcoin ETF Lawsuit Fight

Three trade groups representing a broad interest in the crypto industry on Wednesday filed a court brief supporting a Grayscale Investments lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for rejecting the company’s proposal for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The groups, which include the Blockchain Association, Chamber of Progress and Coin Center, and Chamber of Digital Commerce, filed the amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday. In their filing, the group argued that the SEC had firmly denied every application to list ETFs that hold Bitcoin, despite approving several ETPs holding Bitcoin derivatives.

The group stated that the SEC’s denial of Grayscale’s proposal to convert its flagship fund into an ETF violates the regulator’s procedures. The group explained that despite the approval of multiple futures-based Bitcoin ETPs, the SEC has abandoned its investor protection mandate and abused its authority by denying every application for a spot-based Bitcoin ETP, including Grayscale’s proposal.

The group said denying the applications is inconsistent with the Commission’s treatment of similar products and “cuts against SEC regulatory and policy imperatives” by depriving consumers of a product that clearly satisfies regulatory requirements for listing on a national securities exchange.

The groups argued that there is strong consumer demand in the U.S. for Bitcoin exposure and Bitcoin ETFs offer safe, transparent choices for investors. The group claimed that the SEC has applied a double standard in universally disapproving applications to list spot Bitcoin exchange-traded products.

Crypto firms such as Blockchain Capital, Chainalysis, Goldman Sachs, Binance.US, and Fidelity are also included in the membership lists of the Blockchain Association, Chamber of Progress and Coin Center, and the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

In June, the SEC rejected Grayscale’s application to convert its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, citing a failure by the investment manager to answer questions about concerns around market manipulation and lack of sufficient protections under the Grayscale proposal. Grayscale then filed a petition challenging the decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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Hacker Steals $1m from Multi-Chain Crypto Wallet BitKeep

BitKeep’s token swap service was attacked on Monday by an unknown hacker.

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The multi-chain crypto wallet was robbed of $1 million in crypto tokens. The users who were robbed had approved their tokens on BitKeep’s swap service – called a swap router – on the BNB Chain and Polygon.

Reports said that the stolen funds were later scattered through Tornado Cash’s crypto mixer to avoid being traced.

The team tweeted, “BitKeep Swap was hacked, and our development team has managed to contain the emergency and stopped the hacker. The attack was directed to the BNB Chain, causing a loss of about $1 million.”

The hacker was able to seize users’ funds by exploiting a previously contained logic error that allowed them to make a malicious call.

The exploit was exposed to the hacker as BitKeep’s swap contract lacked input validation, which further allowed the hacker to spoof input values. It reveals that the hacker was able to make illegitimate swaps from addresses that had approved to spend on BitKeep’s swap router.

Victims of the exploit shall be refunded, according to BitKeep.

“BitKeep will launch a compensation portal within 3 working days for all victims to apply for a refund,” Bitkeep said.

Other Recent Hacks

Although small in comparison to other hacks, the hack on BitKeep is another case of exploits that have hit the crypto sector this month.

According to Chainalysis, in October alone, more than $700 million has been lost across more than a dozen notable exploits.

The most recent high-profile hack was witnessed by Mango Markets, which came less than a week from Binance’s BNB blockchain’s $80 million hack.

A hacker has stolen $100 million from Mango Markets in early October.

The trading and lending platform hosted on the Solana blockchain was exploited after manipulation in the price of Mango Market’s native MANGO token via an oracle price manipulation attack.

According to Blockchain.News Mango Markets confirmed via a tweet that the company had begun investigating the matter. “We are currently investigating an incident where a hacker was able to drain funds from Mango via an oracle price manipulation. We are taking steps to have third parties freeze funds in flight,” the tweet said.

The hacker’s wallet was funded from an FTX exchange account.

According to blockchain security firm Hacken’s tweets, the hacker first opened an enormous size futures position, which resulted in MANGO token price pump. That further spiked the hacker’s account collateral value and gave access to borrowing a large debt position across multiple coins on Mango Market’s borrowing and lending platform.

According to Hacken, the hacker was then able to borrow and steal roughly $114 million across various tokens since the price of tokens and their collateral was manipulated much higher.

It is yet to understand how, exactly, the hacker was able to inflate MNGO’s value in the eyes of the Mango protocol, according to Robert Chen from blockchain auditors OtterSec.

While in Binance’s BNB blockchain hack case, $80 million worth of Binance Coins (BNB) were stolen after an exploit occurred on a bridge between blockchains.

According to Chainalysis, the total revenue for crypto crime in the first half of this year stood at $1.6 billion, less than the figure recorded in the first half of 2021. The drop in crypto crime figures has coincided with a fall in crypto values. However, some forms of crypto-crime have risen in the last year, such as the value of hacked crypto assets has increased from $1.2 billion to $1.9 billion.

While Bloomberg reported that about $2 billion had been lost in crypto hacks this year, many of those hacks were perpetrated by North Korea-linked groups, and cross-chain bridges used to transfer tokens across blockchains have been a popular target.

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India’s Shardeum Closes $18.2M Seed Funding Round, Valuation at $199M

India-based Shardeum ended its $18.2 million seed funding, raising a valuation of $199 million.

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According to Sharedeum, co-founded by Indian exchange WazirX’s founder and blockchain architect Omar Syed, the seed round had over 50 investors who participated, including Spartan Group, Big Brain Holdings, Jane Street and Foresight Ventures.

The funding round was conducted through a private token sale, and the company is expected to launch in the first quarter of next year and will later stage a public token sale. 

Balaji Srinivasan, former chief technology officer of Coinbase, said, “I invested in Shardeum as I think they are trying an interesting approach to scaling, which increases TPS as more validation nodes are added.”

In comparison, Shardeum’s $18 million raise is an adequate size for a seed round in the third quarter of the year as the amount is closer to the average Series A check size, which comes in at $22.8 million.

According to the company, the new funds will be used for increased marketing efforts and upgrading the development team.

In order to provide incentives to developers to build on the ecosystem, Shardeum plans to host hackathons in India and the US.

Previously, the startup announced that it aimed to raise $18 million at a $200 valuation in August.

The company is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform. It uses dynamic state-sharding technology in pursuit of efficiency gains and to scale the network. 

Sharding also further helps split blockchain infrastructure into smaller pieces. It helps increase block space for more transactions and reduces gas fees. 

According to the company’s announcement, the system has been designed to eliminate user experience issues faced by users and developers of existing and shared blockchains.

Shetty said in a statement, “the blockchain trilemma has been a difficult problem to solve, and scalability is the most significant factor, preventing wider crypto adoption, especially in emerging markets like India.”

He added, “the web3 ecosystem has been on a massive growth spree. For web3 to onboard 1 billion users in the next few years, we need a scalable L1 blockchain which ensures 1 cent fees forever while maintaining decentralization. Shardeum aims to make that happen.”

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,139.00 1.70%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,578.98 0.94%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.34 0.71%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 206.52 1.21%