Zksync 2.0 Goes Live, Promises Lower Gas Fees, Faster Transactions on Ethereum Mainnet

Matter Labs, a blockchain startup building out a sophisticated roll-up product, announced on Friday the launch of ZkSync 2.0, an Ethereum scaling solution, that is set to enable developers to host smart contracts, deploy DeFi protocols, NFTs and other types of applications on Ethereum network.

According to the report, the launch is highly anticipated since the Layer 2 scaling solution uses zero-knowledge technology while remaining natively compatible with Ethereum applications. Such compatibility is what makes ZkSync 2.0 easy and quick for developers to transfer existing Layer 1 smart contracts and apps (applications) from the Ethereum mainnet to Layer 2.0 ZkSync.

Despite the launch, dapps (decentralized applications) will still not be able to build on the zkSync 2.0 platform, the report said.

Matter Labs calls the release a “baby alpha” phase, meaning access will initially be very restricted. For the first month, the ZkSync 2.0 network will operate without any external applications open for use and no external participants will be able to use it. The Matter Labs team explained that the initial phase is only meant for stress testing and security efforts.

After one month, Matter Labs describes the next phase as “fair alpha” as the stage where developers will be able to transfer their apps onto zkSync 2.0 and start building on the network. According to the report, many cryptocurrency projects, including DeFi protocols like Uniswap, among others, have expressed interest in deploying their apps on the zkSync 2.0 network.

Matter Labs said the final phase is expected at the end of the year when the network will be fully open to everyone.

As per the report, ZkSync 2.0 is a Layer 2 scaling solution that offers low gas and fast transactions on the main Ethereum blockchain (Layer 1), without compromising on security. ZkSync 2.0 significantly reduces gas costs without sacrificing security or user control while enabling users to effortlessly move assets (crypto, DeFi, NFTs, and others) between L1 and Layer 2 at any time, without delays.

Matter Labs, the company behind zkSync, has been working on its 2.0 version since 2020. The firm received funding from both the Ethereum Foundation and top-tier investors, such as Union Square Ventures, to do the task.

Matter Labs launched a 1.0 version back in June 2020 and now has launched the zkSync 2.0 network for deployment.

In the recent past, Ethereum Foundation clarified that while the Ethereum Merge upgrade might improve transaction speeds, it won’t lower gas fees. This is because gas fees are a product of network demand relative to the network’s capacity. In other words, the Merge upgrade does not reduce gas fees since gas costs are based on how much the blockchain is used. This is where the use of Layer 2 like zkSync or StarkNet comes in to introduce cheap and fast transactions on the Ethereum network.

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Global Automotive Metaverse Market to Have a CAGR of 31.4% by 2030 – Research

Global metaverse for automotive products has been forecasted to increase from $1.9 billion in 2022 to $16.5 billion in 2030, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 31.4%. 


The projection was unveiled via an article hinting that the increase is caused by the use of metaverse technologies such as Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) and crypto in the automotive industry. 

Key players in the metaverse automotive industry include; WayRay in Switzerland and Meta Platforms Inc in the United States amongst others. Their primary responsibility is to create goods and give services tailored to the automotive metaverse space.

The metaverse technologies have made it quite easy for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to display their products in the virtual space. 

The idea of virtual showrooms, where businesses may display their products virtually without utilizing actual vehicles, has expanded quickly throughout the automotive industry. By launching its cars only online, the companies operating in these space hopes to cut costs.

Many companies are using or planning to use Virtual Reality (VR) technologies to integrate the metaverse toward achieving advancement in the automotive industry. 

North America has been projected to have the biggest automotive metaverse market with big software providers such as Upland, Sandbox, Roblox, and Unity Technologies that are dominating this region.

The Metaverse Experience for an Enhanced Economy

The Metaverse is a platform that supports virtual activities using avatars. Users can engage in social, recreational, artistic, educational, artistic, and commercial activities via the metaverse.

In a news statement, PwC Hong Kong stated that it had collaborated with the Metaverse technology firm TerraZero Technologies Inc. to offer Metaverse goods and services.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced earlier in October that the Japanese government is striving to promote Web3 services such as blockchain, NFT, and the Metaverse. He claimed that the administration is committed to fostering a society in which new services can be easily developed.

A recent study report released by JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has also forecasted that the market for the Metaverse may boost China’s online gaming market from $44 billion to $131 billion.

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Vitalik Buterin Thinks Twitter Headquarters Should Be Moved to Switzerland

Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin has made suggestions that the Twitter headquarters should be moved from the United States to Switzerland after the Twitter takeover by the richest man in the world, Elon Musk


Vitalik Buterin, tweeted his opinions on the next steps for the top management of the company in a response to a user’s tweet just hours after Musk officially assumed control of the social media site. Although he didn’t give a reason for his suggestion, a Twitter user has suggested that his opinion may be due to the stability and strong financial regulations in Switzerland.


Elon Musk took over as the CEO of Twitter on Friday and confirmed when he tweeted that “the bird is freed”. 


He further highlighted that a content moderation council with a wide range of perspectives will be created by Twitter. According to him, no significant content decisions or account reinstatement will be put in place before the council meets.


The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, is one of the investors in the Twitter buyout by Musk. Binance has verified through its CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), that it has fulfilled its promise to provide Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, with a $500 million investment to assist in the acquisition of the social media firm.


CZ claimed that an intern was responsible for sending the funds after being questioned about Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. It is anticipated that the new alliance would bring Web3 into the Twitter ecosystem.


The Dogecoin (DOGE) Perspective


The price of DOGE has climbed by 10% after the Tesla CEO changed his Twitter bio to “Chief of Twit” on Wednesday as a result of the rumors surrounding Musk’s acquisition. Some Twitter users have predicted that DOGE would replace Bitcoin as the platform’s default payment method.

Charles Hoskinson the Co-founder of Input Output Global, Inc., and the Cardano blockchain platform has also hinted via a tweet that there is a possibility of the DOGE being merged with the Twitter platform since Elon Musk who is a strong supporter of the DOGE is now CEO of Twitter.

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Core Scientific Faces Bankruptcy With Over 78% collapse in Share Value

Prominent Bitcoin (BTC) mining firm Core Scientific has revealed in a court filing that it is contemplating bankruptcy as a possible solution since it is unlikely to be unable to pay its debts shortly due to a lack of cash flow.


Consequently, the share price of the bitcoin miner drastically dropped in the hours after this disclosure.

Following the time of writing this report, the firm’s reserves had dropped from $1.01, where it stopped trading earlier this week to $0.22, a steep decline of more than 78%.

According to the Board’s decision, the company will not make payments due in late October and early November 2022 for a number of its assets and other financing transactions, together with its two bridge promissory notes. 

The court filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asserted that because of this outcome, the creditors under these debt facilities may exercise remedial measures following any applicable grace periods, such as choosing to speed up the principal amount of such debt, suing the Company for failing to pay, or looking to take action about collateral, where applicable.

Core Scientific Set to Declare Bankruptcy

Following the financial crisis, the company is evaluating available measures with the help of a few legal experts, as well as deploying strategic counsel, participating in liability management transactions, raising extra funds, or even changing its current capital structure.

Notably, the firm’s last option, specifically to protect itself from creditors’ litigation, is to declare bankruptcy if these alternative measures fail. Recall that this year, quite a number of enterprises have filed for bankruptcy in the cryptocurrency space as a result of the bear market. 

For instance, Thailand Security and Exchange Commission banned crypto-staking lender services after Zipmex filed for bankruptcy back in September. Additionally, major crypto lender Celsius filed for bankruptcy in July. 

Core Scientific found itself in this situation as a result of the market’s continued decline, among other factors that have driven down the estimated value of bitcoin and in addition to its legal actions against the insolvent Celsius Network

Before this, Core Scientific had already been producing a lot of BTC during the year. With nothing but a median price of about $23,000 per Bitcoin sold back in June, which resulted in the firm selling 7,202 units.

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Binance Continues to Provide Services to Unrestricted Russians Despite EU Sanction

Major crypto exchange Binance has continued to provide services to non-sanctioned Russian people just a few weeks before fresh sanctions from the European Union.


Despite the sanction, Binance’s recently recruited sanctions executive disclosed that it doesn’t imply the firm isn’t abiding by the EU sanction. 

Furthermore, Binance’s global head of sanctions, Chagri Poyraz, revealed in an interview that the Western sanctions aimed at Russia have served as a significant barrier for the enterprise ever since its imposition and the exchange has been striving diligently to adhere.

According to Poyraz, Binance has wholly blocked several areas that are not under Ukrainian authority, including annexations like Donetsk and Luhansk, ever since Russia’s attack on Ukraine began. Poyraz added that there was still an ongoing war in the region and that Binance is keeping a close eye on the situation. 

Meanwhile, globally, Binance has employed more than 500 compliance officers, and over 50% of these officers are actively responsible for the oversight of the restrictions, including anti-money laundering, name screening, as well as other processes.

Growing Ecosystem Sanctions

Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao pointed out that US authorities have imposed several specific sanctions and provided lists of sanctioned people and companies, wallets, and related institutions. Nevertheless, Crypto sanctions are a novel idea in the cryptocurrency space as a whole, and there is still a lack of direction and clarity, specifically when it pertains to various jurisdictions.

Since the official Q&A page of the European Commission contains no further information about the crypto sanctions. Media outlets have been trying to get relevant information as regards the sanction but nothing has been provided by the agency’s press department. 

Whilst Binance still offers services to Russian users, several crypto exchanges and wallets left the country soon after the EU implemented its eighth and most recent set of restrictions.

As of the middle of October, websites including Crypto.com, LocalBitcoins, and Blockchain.com informed their subscribers that services in Russia will be suspended. Recall that the Russian government censors Binance for distributing crypto-related data, making its current services to customers in the country a non-biased one.

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WisdomTree Third-Quarter Crypto Assets’ AUM Drop 36% As Market Losses Continue

WisdomTree, a financial investment company based in New York, on Friday released its latest earning report showing the asset manager’s cryptocurrency holdings have declined by 36% and now stands at $178 million in the third quarter as of September 30.

WisdomTree said its holdings saw a decline of $87 million (36%) in the third quarter owing to the market downturn. According to the report, the company held $265 million in crypto assets at the end of the second quarter while its holding stood at $178 million at the end of the third quarter (July, August, and September).

The report indicated that the company’s crypto holdings have now reduced 56% since January, from $406 million. Overall, WisdomTree said it had $70.9 billion in assets under management at the end of this year’s third quarter.

The decline in holdings reflects the fall in crypto prices and the global crypto market cap, which has declined from $2.3 trillion in January to $1.02 trillion today.

Jarrett Lilien, WisdomTree’s President, and Chief Operating Officer said that the firm has not been deterred by the market crisis, saying that the company’s approach is to bring crypto mainstream.

WisdomTree is one of the several crypto asset managers impacted by the dull and long crypto winter. Several listed crypto business firms have lost interest from investors and faced severe downgrades from the brokerages at large.

The performance of these firms (such as PayPal, and Coinbase, among others) has been highly disappointing, with some (like BlockFi and others) recently announcing reductions of their headcounts while others (like Voyager Digital, Celsius Network, Arrow Three Capital, and others) announced bankruptcy protections.

A consistent increase in outflows from crypto investment products since the TerraUSD collapse has raised concerns over the survival and sustainability of many crypto asset management firms.

While the market downturn has made it difficult for small crypto funds to survive, it has created an opportunity for leading players in the asset management sector to rethink their risk management strategies.

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Japan’s Crypto Exchange Coincheck to List on NASDAQ Stock Market in July 2023

Coincheck, a major crypto exchange in Japan, announced on Friday plans to complete its listing on Nasdaq via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Thunder Bridge Capital Partners IV on July 2, 2023.

Coincheck said the plans to pursue a public stock offering in the US through Nasdaq would give the firm access to the country’s lucrative capital markets.

The exchange said that the move would enable it to expand its crypto asset business by accessing the U.S. capital markets, gaining exposure to global investors, and recruiting talent to realize its growth strategy. Coincheck majority owner Monex Group stated in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

Coincheck announced its public-listing ambitions in March of this year. During that time, its merger with Thunder Bridge Capital was valued at $1.25 billion.

SPACs were the hottest way crypto firms use to hit the public market in 2020 and 2021, but the craze has cooled this year amid an overall market downturn along with added Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations.

Since June this year, the SEC is now more cautious about the overall SPAC process, especially crypto-linked deals, to enhance investor protection.

SPACs overall have been very volatile and on a downward trajectory this year. Crypto companies aiming to go public through SPACs may be running out of time to close the deals, as they appear stuck on the sidelines after failing to find a buyout target.

Circle Internet Financial, the backer of the “stablecoin” USD Coin, has been trying to go public with a SPAC called Concord Acquisition (CND) since July last year.

Also, on the sidelines is a crypto/SPAC deal between eToro Group, an Israel-based online brokerage, and FinTech Acquisition Corp. V (FTCV), a SPAC backed by veteran financier Betsy Cohen. The companies canceled their merger in early July after they couldn’t close the transaction by its June 30 deadline. Failure to gain clearance from the SEC was one of the reasons the deal went bust.

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City of Busan Signs MoU with OKX’s Investment Arm to Spur Blockchain Growth

The City of Busan in South Korea has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with OKX Blockdream Ventures, the investment arm of crypto exchange OKX, to enhance its blockchain sector. 

Per the announcement:

“As part of the agreement, the City of Busan will encourage investors to increase their investments in the Busan blockchain sector. In addition, the City of Busan will supply the necessary resources to attract large amounts of foreign capital for blockchain sector development.”

Therefore, OKX Blockdream Ventures will propel Busan City’s blockchain industry by recruiting top local talent and attracting global ones. Furthermore, it will provide marketing and media solutions.


Based on OKX Blockdream Ventures’ objective of propelling cutting-edge blockchain innovations, it seeks to boost Busan’s local capabilities in this sector.


Dora Yue, the founder of OKX Blockdream Ventures, pointed out:

“Through our industry-leading position, we hope to invest in promising and innovative blockchain projects in South Korea and actively promote the developments of the local blockchain industry.”

Through the strategic partnership, Busan will also attain long-term structural value. Heong-Joon Park, Busan’s mayor, added:

“We welcome VCs onboard in Busan and are expecting much from our future collaboration. We appreciate you actively participating in building Busan’s blockchain ecosystem. Together, we will help to make Busan a blockchain-specialized city.”

Busan has been making collaborations with different crypto exchanges aimed at boosting the digital asset space in the city. 


For instance, it signed a business deal with  FTX to support the establishment of its own exchange called Busan Digital Asset Exchange in August, Blockchain.News reported


As a result, the City of Busan would become a cryptocurrency center that would attract global attention based on a booming digital asset ecosystem. Furthermore, blockchain-specific education would be promoted. 

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Google Cloud Introduces Blockchain Node Engine for Web3 Development

Google Cloud’s latest launch, Blockchain Node Engine, aims to help Web3 developers build and deploy new products on blockchain-based platforms.


The latest on the list of firms leveraging the functions of Blockchain technology is Google, with its newly released Blockchain Node Engine aimed at helping web3 development. 

Per the company’s announcement, the new solution was debuted to cater to the needs of developers instead of making use of self-managed nodes that are quite tasking and require consistent management.

Web3 firms who feel the necessity for devoted nodes can now use Google Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine to relay transactions, deploy smart contracts, and read or write blockchain data with the expected dependability performance and security from Google Cloud compute and network framework.

Blockchain Node Engine is a fully managed node-hosting service that can minimize the need for node operations. 

According to Google, Ethereum will be the first blockchain the Google Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine will support, so as to allow developers to deliver fully managed Ethereum nodes with secure blockchain access.

Developers who use the Blockchain Node Engine can benefit from a more straightforward and faster deployment of new nodes with a specified desired region and network (mainnet, testnet), said Google.

In addition, the Blockchain Node Engine would offer security configurations that can help turn aside unapproved access to assigned nodes. It would also provide fully managed operations by allowing Google Cloud to actively monitor and restart the nodes when needed during an outage.

While Google is starting to stand its ground in the crypto industry as a technology firm, one thing worth noting is that the newly launched blockchain-based technology by Google cloud is once again a step forward for the mass adoption of blockchain technology. 

Earlier this month, the company teamed up with crypto exchange Coinbase to allow some of its clients to pay for cloud services using cryptocurrencies. As reported by Blockchain.News, this collaboration also seeks to cater to the needs of the growing Web3 ecosystem

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Switzerland City Lugano Signs Agreement With El Salvador To Enhance Bitcoin Adoption in The Regions

On Friday, the Swiss city of Lugano and the country of El Salvador signed an economic cooperation agreement aimed at boosting Bitcoin adoption in their own regions and neighboring states and nations.

The two crypto friendly jurisdictions signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on economic cooperation at Lugano city’s Plan B event on October 28.

While speaking at Lugano’s Plan B Forum on Friday, Lugano Mayor Michele Foletti said El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption as legal tender is part of the city’s interest in the agreement. The Lugano Mayor said the partnership will enable the city and the pro-crypto country (Switzerland) to develop a physical government presence in bids to build cooperation with educational and research institutions.

 Milena Mayorga, El Salvador’s ambassador to the U.S., also appeared on the stage, saying that her country plans to open a “Bitcoin office” in Lugano staffed with a new Honorary Consul to promote Bitcoin adoption in the city, Italy, and Europe. She said: “With this agreement, El Salvador is now much closer to Europe.”

Meanwhile, former Blockstream chief strategy officer Samson Mow also spoke at the event and said the agreement is the “next step” in nation-states and cities adopting Bitcoin. He described the collaboration between El Salvador and Lugano as the way alliances were created between places that have adopted Bitcoin.

Other personalities who later joined the stage include Mexican politician Indira Kempis, Serbia’s Prince Filip Karađorđević, and Lugano’s Director of Economic Promotion Pietro Poretti while former Guatemala’s congressperson and potential presidential candidate Zury Rios also delivered her speech via video link.

In March this year, the city of Lugano and Tether, the issuer of USDT stablecoin, formed Lugano’s Plan ₿ as a joint initiative to make the city a European leader in the use of decentralized digital currencies.

Paolo Ardoino, Chief Technology Officer of stablecoin issuer Tether, also appeared on the panel of Plan B Forum on Friday where he said Bitcoin adoption in the city is “working well,” with 40 merchants are already using the cryptocurrency with their point-of-sale systems.

Lugano, the 9th biggest city in Switzerland, wants to become Europe’s Bitcoin city. While Tether is already there helping her, El Salvador, which became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, has joined hands.

In March, Tether’s Paolo Ardoino and Michele Foletti, the Mayor of the city of Lugano, unveiled the plan to transform Lugano into the European Bitcoin capital.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,766.44 1.52%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,649.25 0.54%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.61 0.82%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 232.83 2.59%