MakerDAO Increases US Treasury Bond Holdings by 150%

MakerDAO, a lending protocol and stablecoin issuer, has voted in favor of a proposal to expand the amount of United States Government bonds held in its portfolio by 150%, from $500 million to $1.25 billion. This would be a significant increase. This action is being taken with the goals of diversifying its liquid assets and earning a net yearly yield in the range of 4.6% to 4.5%. The remaining $500 million of USDC in the PSM will be handled by decentralized finance asset manager Monetalis Clydesdale. MakerDAO has plans to deploy $750 million of the USDC in the PSM to acquire further US Treasury bonds.

The bonds will be acquired with equal maturities, monthly, and over the course of a period of six months; the total number of slots will be 12, and each slot will be worth $62.5 million. After taking into account the costs of custody, the proposition is anticipated to result in a net yearly return of 4.6% to 4.5%. The income stream of MakerDAO can potentially benefit from an increase in trading expenses. This action will result in the continuation of Monetalis Clydesdale’s management of a current allocation of $500 million from the United States Treasury, which has been in effect since October 2022.

On the other hand, some people who took part in the governance forum had reservations about the proposition. They pointed out that MakerDAO has not yet received any money from Monetalis for the first half billion DAI, and they claimed that questions asked in Maker’s Discord and governance forum were not responded swiftly, which did not provide sufficient time to evaluate the proposal.

The failure of Silicon Valley Bank on March 11 caused widespread fear throughout markets and led to the depeg of a number of stablecoins, including USD Coin (USDC) and Dai. In response to this, MakerDAO said that its community was working on suggestions to convert its stablecoin exposure to money market instruments, such as U.S. Treasurys, “with the objective of diversifying DAI’s liquid collateral.”


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Coinbase NFT launches new creator hub

Coinbase NFT, the NFT marketplace arm of the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has launched a new “Creator Hub” that aims to provide a complete set of tools for NFT creators. The new platform allows creators to launch and market their NFT collections and provides a range of features to help them build and grow their audience.

The Creator Hub is a one-stop-shop for NFT creators that offers a comprehensive suite of tools and resources to help them launch, promote, and manage their NFT collections. The platform provides a simple three-step process for launching an NFT collection, making it easy for creators to get started. The first step is to create an NFT collection, followed by adding assets to the collection, and finally, publishing the collection to the marketplace.

In addition to the simple launch process, the Creator Hub provides a range of features to help creators promote their collections and build their audience. The platform allows creators to track sales on Discord, embed their NFT collections on their websites, and create gated experiences that are only available to NFT holders.

The Creator Hub also includes a range of analytical tools to help creators understand their audience and optimize their collections for maximum engagement. These tools include data on holder wallets, trading volumes, and other metrics that can help creators make informed decisions about their collections.

Coinbase NFT’s Creator Hub is a significant update to its platform, and it is the first time in a while that the company has released such an update. The move is seen as an attempt by the company to keep pace with the growing demand for NFTs and to stay ahead of the competition in the NFT marketplace.

The launch of the Creator Hub has been welcomed by the NFT community, with many users praising the company for its efforts to support creators. One user wrote, “Glad to see that you’re still alive and kicking. For a moment, we thought you were dead.”

The NFT marketplace has exploded in popularity in recent years, and it is now a multi-billion dollar industry. NFTs allow creators to sell digital art, music, and other content as unique, non-fungible tokens, providing a new revenue stream for creators and a new way for collectors to invest in digital assets.

The launch of Coinbase NFT’s Creator Hub is a significant development in the NFT marketplace, providing creators with the tools and resources they need to build successful NFT collections. With the NFT market showing no signs of slowing down, it is likely that we will see more innovations from companies like Coinbase in the coming months and years.


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Yuga Labs earns millions from new NFT collection

Yuga Labs, an NFT conglomerate, has made headlines with the recent success of its latest NFT collection. The company is well known in the NFT world, having launched some of the most popular and valuable collections to date. Their most recent success comes from a new NFT collection minted as part of the “Dookey Dash” web game.

The game’s players could mint a “Sewer Pass” NFT, which was originally needed to play Dookey Dash, and were invited to “The Summoning” to burn their passes in order to mint an NFT from the new collection titled HV-MTL, or Heavy Metal. The new collection features 30,000 NFTs that resemble robotic-like cubes which will later reveal a “Mech” according to the collection’s OpenSea description.

The collection has rocketed on the secondary market since it dropped, with the current floor price sitting at 2.3 ETH, around $4,000, and total trading volume has hit over 6,050 ETH, equivalent to around $10.3 million. With Yuga’s creator earnings set to 5%, the project has already earned the firm over $500,000.

The success of Yuga Labs is not new to the NFT world. The company has already created a number of successful NFT collections, including “Bored Ape Yacht Club” and “Mutant Ape Yacht Club.” These collections have been highly sought after by NFT collectors and have been known to sell for millions of dollars.

Yuga Labs has been successful for a few reasons. Firstly, the company has managed to build a loyal following of collectors who are willing to pay high prices for their NFTs. This has been achieved through the creation of high-quality and unique NFT collections that are highly sought after. Secondly, the company has managed to create a sense of community around its NFT collections, with members often collaborating and working together to create new and exciting projects.

However, Yuga Labs’ success has not come without controversy. The company has been accused of using insider information to benefit its own projects and has been accused of engaging in price manipulation. The controversy has led to some investors questioning the ethics of the company and has led to a decrease in the value of some of its NFT collections.

Despite the controversy, Yuga Labs continues to be a major player in the NFT world. The success of its latest collection, HV-MTL, is a testament to the company’s ability to create highly sought after NFTs. It remains to be seen what the future holds for Yuga Labs and the NFT market, but one thing is for sure, the company is here to stay.


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Playboy loses $4.9 million on NFT holdings

Playboy, one of the most recognizable names in the adult entertainment industry, has disclosed a significant loss of $4.9 million on its Ether (ETH) holdings, which it earned from a non-fungible token (NFT) collection launched in late 2021. The disclosure came in a filing by the company’s parent, PLBY Group, on March 18, 2023.

The NFT collection, called Rabbitars, was launched in October 2021, just before the crypto market reached its peak. Ether’s price has since dropped around 60% in line with the broader market decline, and as of December 31, 2022, the value of Playboy’s crypto holdings stands at $327,000.

According to the filing, PLBY Group took an impairment loss of $4.9 million in 2022 as a result of the crypto prices downturn. Impairment losses are counted as unrecoverable, even if the fair value of digital asset holdings rises after recording the losses. The market price of Ether ranged from $964 to $3,813 during 2022. Still, the carrying value of each Ether that PLBY held at the end of the reporting period reflects the lowest price of one Ether quoted on the active exchange at any time since its receipt.

The company’s statement further explained that positive swings in the market price of Ether are not reflected in the carrying value of its digital assets and impact earnings only when the Ethereum is sold at a gain. PLBY’s NFT collection, Rabbitars, featured a variety of different types of NFTs, including an original art series, limited edition collectibles, and one-of-a-kind digital assets.

The Playboy brand is one of the most recognizable in the world, and its Rabbitars collection was highly anticipated by NFT collectors and Playboy enthusiasts alike. The collection was designed to be a unique and exciting way for fans to interact with Playboy’s iconic brand and its rich history.

The loss incurred by PLBY Group highlights the risks associated with investing in NFTs, which remain highly speculative despite their growing popularity. The NFT market is still in its early stages, and the future of the industry remains uncertain. However, it is clear that companies and investors alike need to be prepared for the potential risks associated with investing in NFTs.

Despite the loss, Playboy remains committed to the NFT market and is likely to continue to explore opportunities in the space. The NFT market has shown significant growth potential, and as the industry continues to mature, Playboy may find new ways to leverage its iconic brand to drive value and create unique experiences for its fans.


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NFT project Doodles pivots to become media franchise

Doodles, a popular NFT project, recently announced that it would pivot away from being an NFT project and instead become a leading media franchise. This move is intended to focus on the project’s most loyal collectors and move away from financial speculators.

The project, which was launched in October 2021, has grown to reach a valuation of $704 million according to a September 2022 funding round. Doodles boasts iconic musician Pharrell Williams as its chief brand officer, and the project has gained a considerable following in the NFT community. However, despite the project’s success, some Twitter users have pointed to perceived problems with the project, such as its recent lack of communication and a March 16 NFT sock drop.

Jordan Castro, one of the project’s co-founders, who goes by the pseudonym “poopie” online, made the announcement on the project’s Discord channel. He said that the team was trying to go from a startup to a leading media franchise, and that Doodles was no longer an “NFT project.” He also said that the project would focus on its most loyal collectors and that it would not spend resources appeasing those with financial motivations.

The announcement was met with mixed reactions, with some NFT enthusiasts expressing concerns about the project’s future direction. However, others praised the move, suggesting that the term “NFT project” is outdated and that such projects are all startups/businesses.

Castro later tweeted a response to the criticism, stating that the project was doubling down on its new focus but would continue to use NFT tech as the connective tissue between everything they do. The aim, he said, was to “evolve beyond vicious speculative cycles” by bringing in intrinsically motivated users, solving real problems, and releasing products with a market fit.

The move to become a media franchise could be a smart one for Doodles, as it will allow the project to expand beyond the NFT space and into other areas of media, such as film, music, and gaming. It could also help the project reach a wider audience and become more mainstream.

However, the success of such a pivot will depend on how well the project executes its new strategy. Moving away from financial speculators and focusing on loyal collectors could be a smart move, as it will help to build a stronger community around the project. However, it remains to be seen whether Doodles can successfully transition from an NFT project to a leading media franchise. Only time will tell if this move pays off for the project and its investors.


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NFT Trading Volumes Plunge After Silicon Valley Bank Collapse

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have been a hot topic in the crypto and art worlds lately, with some NFT artworks selling for millions of dollars. NFTs are unique digital assets that are authenticated on a blockchain, giving them a certain level of rarity and value. However, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has had a significant impact on the NFT market, with trading volumes and sales counts plummeting.

Silicon Valley Bank is a major US bank that provides banking and financial services to technology and life science companies. Its collapse on March 10 sent shockwaves through the financial industry and caused fear and uncertainty among traders, including those in the NFT market. The drop in NFT trading volumes from $74 million to $36 million, as reported by DappRadar, shows how much the market was affected by the bank’s collapse. This decline in trading volume was accompanied by a 27.9% drop in daily NFT sales count between March 9 and March 11.

The decrease in NFT trading volumes and sales counts is a cause for concern, as it indicates a lack of confidence in the market. Traders are understandably worried about the potential repercussions of a major US bank going under, and this has led many to flee the market altogether. The low number of active NFT traders on March 11, at just 11,440, was the lowest recorded since November 2021, which further illustrates the impact of the bank’s collapse.

This setback for the NFT market comes at a time when the industry has been gaining significant attention and traction. The market for NFTs has exploded in recent months, with artists, musicians, and athletes all jumping on the bandwagon. However, the NFT market is still relatively new, and events like the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank serve as a reminder of its volatility.

It is worth noting that the NFT market is not the only one affected by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. The bank’s clients in the technology and life science sectors are also feeling the impact, as they may have difficulty accessing funds and financing. The bank’s collapse may also have wider implications for the broader financial industry, as it raises questions about the stability of the banking system.

Despite the recent setback, there is reason to believe that the NFT market will recover. The market has shown resilience in the face of previous challenges, and it is likely that traders will return once the dust settles. However, the industry will need to address the concerns raised by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and work to build confidence and stability in the market.

In conclusion, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has had a significant impact on the NFT market, with trading volumes and sales counts dropping sharply. This setback serves as a reminder of the volatility of the NFT market and raises concerns about its stability. However, the market has shown resilience in the face of previous challenges, and it is likely that it will recover in due course. The industry will need to address the concerns raised by the bank’s collapse and work to build confidence and stability in the market moving forward.


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Euler Finance Audited 10 Times Before $196 Million Attack

Euler Finance, an Ethereum-based lending protocol, underwent 10 audits from six different blockchain security firms between May 2021 and September 2022. The audits ranked the risk assessment of the platform, measuring the “likelihood of a security incident” and the impact it may have. The risk level for Euler ranged from very low and informational to critical, with none deemed “nothing higher than low risk” with “no outstanding issues.” Despite the extensive audits, Euler suffered a $196 million flash loan attack on March 13, 2023.

In response to the attack, Euler Labs CEO Michael Bentley described it as the “hardest days” of his life in a series of tweets on March 17. He retweeted a user sharing information that Euler had undergone ten audits, commenting that the platform “has always been a security-minded project.” Euler had also issued a warning only 24 hours before launching a $1 million bounty for information leading to the hacker’s arrest, stating that it would launch a bounty “that leads to your arrest and the return of all funds” if 90% of the funds were not returned within 24 hours.

Despite the audits, Euler’s attacker began moving funds through crypto mixer Tornado Cash on March 16, only hours after the bounty was launched. In his Twitter thread, Bentley expressed his frustration at the attack and the sacrifices he had to make as a result, including time with his newborn son. However, he also thanked the security experts who are “working on leads” for the investigation.

While some blockchain security firms, such as Omnisica, found and addressed some “incorrect paradigms” in Euler’s base swapper implementation and how the swap mode was “handled by the codebase,” the audits concluded that Euler had “properly dealt” with these issues, with “no outstanding issues” remaining. Halborn’s audit summary in December 2022 also stated that it had found “an overall satisfactory result.”

In conclusion, Euler Finance’s 10 audits from six different blockchain security firms in two years did not prevent a $196 million flash loan attack. Despite the audits deeming the platform “nothing higher than low risk” with “no outstanding issues,” the attacker was able to move the funds through crypto mixer Tornado Cash only hours after Euler launched a $1 million bounty for their arrest. The investigation into the attack is ongoing.


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Lightning Labs and Tari Labs agree to halt Taro protocol development

In March 2021, Bitcoin software firm Lightning Labs and blockchain startup Tari Labs agreed to halt the development of Lightning’s Taro protocol, after a temporary restraining order was converted into a preliminary injunction by the courts. The decision was made after Tari Labs claimed that the name Taro infringed on its trademark rights, as it was too similar to its own protocol named Tari, which is a registered trademark in the United States.

The temporary restraining order was initially issued on March 13, 2021, by California District Court Judge William Orrick, and prevented Lightning Labs from making any updates or announcements regarding the Taro protocol. The court’s decision to convert the order into a preliminary injunction now means that the development of the protocol will be halted until a court decision is reached.

As part of the agreement, Lightning Labs cannot make any updates to the Taro protocol or merge internal updates with the protocol’s public-facing open-source code. It is also not allowed to announce or launch any milestones of the protocol. However, Lightning Labs is permitted to respond to communications from non-Lightning developers and users, as long as it does not use those communications to further Taro’s development.

Lightning Labs can still reference Taro as the “prior name of the protocol” for announcements pertaining to changing the protocol’s name, as long as it is not “confusingly similar” to Taro or Tari. Tari Labs had first filed a complaint for trademark infringement against Lightning Labs in December 2020, alleging that both firms “compete in the same digital blockchain ecosystem” and provide similar, “in some cases identical,” services.

The Taro protocol is an ambitious project that was announced by Lightning Labs on April 5, 2021, amid a $70 million funding round. It aims to build upon Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade and allow stablecoins to be transferred via the Lightning Network, a Layer 2 solution for the Bitcoin blockchain that enables faster and cheaper transactions than those executed on the base layer.

The news of the temporary restraining order being converted to a preliminary injunction prompted a backlash on Twitter, with Tari Labs co-founder Riccardo Spagni defending the lawsuit, arguing that the letters “I” and “O” are close enough together on a computer keyboard to cause confusion. He also mentioned that Tari had offered to fund Taro’s rebrand a year ago. Tari co-founder Naveen Jain also defended the lawsuit, suggesting that it is “hard to call something ‘frivolous’ when a judge issues a temporary restraining order in your favor.”


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SEC Scholars Program Opens Applications for Fall 2023 Internship

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is now accepting applications for its Scholars Program for Fall 2023. The program offers internships for undergraduate and graduate students interested in business and legal programs. The traineeships are paid and range from $15.09 to $35.27 per hour. The SEC encourages students with an interest in blockchain, distributed ledger technology, computer science, and cybersecurity to apply.

The SEC Scholars Program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to gain practical experience in the securities industry while working alongside SEC staff. The internships are 10 weeks long and begin on Aug. 28, ending on Nov. 3. The program is open to students across the United States, including the SEC’s regional offices in states like California, Colorado, Florida, and Georgia.

The business program pays trainees between $15.09 and $28.83 per hour at the SEC headquarters in Washington D.C., with the lowest range of pay being lower than the current minimum wage of $16.10. The legal program pays more generously, with trainees at both the regional and Washington D.C. offices earning between $23.47 and $35.27 per hour.

Interested applicants must select the lowest pay grade they are willing to accept for the position as part of the application process. The SEC is looking for students who are studying a range of fields, including blockchain, computer science, cybersecurity, and more.

In May 2022, the SEC expanded its cyber unit, which includes “crypto assets” and “cyber” subdivisions. The unit oversees these sectors and helps determine where to pursue enforcement actions. The SEC encourages students with an interest in these fields to apply for the internship.

Those interested in the traineeship have until April 3 to submit their application. This opportunity provides students with a valuable learning experience while also giving them the chance to contribute to the SEC’s mission of protecting investors and maintaining fair and efficient markets.


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Signum Digital Receives Approval for Security Token Offering Platform

Signum Digital, a joint venture of Coinstreet and Somerley, has announced that it has received approval-in-principle from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for its security token offering (STO) and subscription platform. The STO platform, which will be managed under the brand name “CS-Pro,” is a new category of virtual assets built on blockchain technology that represents ownership of tangible assets, such as private equities, real estate, art, and collectibles. The STOs, linked to real-world assets, are expected to lower the risk for potential investors, facilitate their research process, and provide a foundation for the market value of the investment opportunity.

Signum Digital claims that its platform is a pioneering development in Hong Kong. After receiving final authorization from Hong Kong’s SFC, the CS-Pro platform will allow investors to invest in tangible assets through security tokens. The approval-in-principle from SFC for Signum Digital’s STO platform comes after the Hong Kong SFC released preliminary regulations for virtual asset trading platforms last month, and urged the general public to provide their input. The upcoming licensing system, scheduled to begin in June, mandates that digital currency exchanges submit applications for licenses that would let everyday investors trade specific high-capitalization tokens.

Hong Kong has been proposing new initiatives for the city’s cryptocurrency and digital asset sector since last year when it invited firms interested in providing STO services to pitch proposals. Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global also announced last month that it is applying for a license to operate in Hong Kong, possibly moving its headquarters from Singapore to the special administrative region. Recently, Hong Kong has displayed a good deal of interest in becoming a crypto hub as it has invested heavily in supporting the potential of technologies like Web3.

In mid-December, Hong Kong launched its first two exchange-traded funds (ETF) for cryptocurrency futures, which raised over $70 million ahead of its debut. The event came soon after the head of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission announced in October that Hong Kong is willing to distinguish its crypto regulation approach from the Chinese crypto ban enforced in 2021. Hong Kong’s regulatory framework aims to strike a balance between investor protection and fostering innovation in the fintech sector, including virtual assets. The approval of Signum Digital’s STO platform is expected to further strengthen Hong Kong’s position as a leading hub for the digital asset industry.


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