Meta’s Virtual Reality Programmers Earn $1 Million

In recent years, Meta, the parent corporation of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has indicated interest in expanding into the metaverse. This interest comes as a result of the rapid growth of all three of these platforms. Even though the company’s section responsible for developing the metaverse, Reality Labs, is projected to incur enormous losses of $13.7 billion over the period of 2022, Facebook’s chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, is unwavering in his dedication to the company’s long-term ambition.

In spite of the company’s financial woes, a recent article published in The Wall Street Journal revealed that total remuneration for Meta’s virtual reality programmers may reach up to one million dollars. According to the claim, which cites unnamed persons with knowledge of the situation as its source, salary packages for metaverse developers at Meta vary from around $600,000 to roughly one million dollars annually.

The intentions that Meta has for the metaverse have been greeted with opposition from several parties, including the Federal Trade Commission, which has filed a lawsuit against Meta in an effort to prevent the latter from acquiring a virtual reality firm. Because of the “serious risks” involved and the potential for damage, two senators from the United States have also asked Zuckerberg not to provide teens access to the metaverse platform Horizon Worlds.

In spite of the difficulties, Meta is carrying out its ambitions in the same manner as before. A court in the United States gave the business in question permission to go through with the purchase in February of 2023. Additionally, on March 13, the head of commerce and finance technologies at Meta made an announcement that the company will be discontinuing its support for nonfungible tokens on Facebook and Instagram for the time being. This decision was made in order for the company to concentrate on finding alternative methods to promote artists, individuals, and companies.

The fact that Meta is so focused on the metaverse brings a variety of possibilities and difficulties to the table for the organization. The company’s high compensation for virtual reality programmers may raise doubts about the company’s spending priorities, given the enormous losses that have been incurred in the company’s metaverse-building section. Despite this, it seems that Meta is resolved to go through with its plans for the metaverse in spite of Zuckerberg’s unflinching commitment to the long-term vision.


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Twitter disables actions on tweets with Substack links

On April 7, users of Twitter were left feeling upset when they discovered that they were unable to engage with tweets that included links to sites hosted on Substack. When trying to like, retweet, or comment to postings that included Substack links, several users reported getting an error message stating that “some actions on this tweet have been disabled by Twitter.” It was noted by several users that the user interface seemed to record their likes or retweets; but, upon closer examination, it did not appear to be counting or showing the interactions.

At this time, it is not possible to tell if the problem is a defect or a feature that was intended to be there. Since April 6, it seems that Twitter has disabled the ability for users of Substack to embed tweets in their posts, which may be connected to the problem. The Substack representative who was asked about the issue did not specify whether they felt the problem was caused by a change in the Twitter API or a bug.

The issue started happening not long after Substack introduced “Notes,” an application for publishing similar to Twitter that some people feel is intended to compete with the bird app. Substack is often seen as a venue in which bloggers of an advanced level may discuss their ideas with groups of users that have similar interests. Substack has been used to a very significant degree, particularly within the crypto community.

This problem arises as a result of multiple recent, unexplained modifications made to Twitter. The site displayed a picture of Doge in lieu of Twitter’s bird emblem for a number of days, while the nonprofit media group National Public Radio (NPR) was labeled as “state media.” A great number of users are now perplexed and doubting Twitter’s motivations as a result of these developments.

Regarding Substack, it is not apparent what Twitter’s goals or objectives are at this time. It’s possible that an effort was made to suppress competition by making it impossible for Twitter users to engage with tweets that include links to Substack, but it might also just be a glitch that needs to be fixed. In any event, users will be keeping a careful watch on both platforms for any more advancements that may occur.


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Celsius Network Announces Disclosure Statement for Chapter 11 Plan

In a court filing on March 31, Celsius Network revealed that it plans to file a disclosure statement on April 12, containing details about the events that led to its bankruptcy, projected recoveries for certain stakeholders, and answers to frequently asked questions. This is part of its Chapter 11 restructuring plan, which was proposed in February and aims to create a public platform called NewCo that is fully owned by Earn creditors. The restructuring plan is sponsored by NovaWulf, and the committee of unsecured creditors will appoint the majority of the firm’s board members, with no involvement from Celsius founder.

The bankruptcy court is expected to hold a hearing regarding approval of the disclosure statement on May 17, with a vote on the plan to follow. If approved, the restructuring plan would allow Earn creditors to take full ownership of NewCo and appoint a majority of the board members. This would result in no involvement or relationship with the Celsius founder.

Since filing for Chapter 11 in July 2022, Celsius Network’s bankruptcy proceedings in court have included discussions on assets from the firm’s Earn program, crypto holdings, Bitmain coupons, and personal information of its users. In March, the bankruptcy judge approved a settlement plan allowing Celsius custody account holders to receive back 72.5% of their crypto.

Celsius Network was founded in 2017 as a peer-to-peer lending platform for cryptocurrency. The company’s main product, the Earn program, allows users to earn interest on their cryptocurrency holdings. The platform has gained popularity in recent years, with over 1 million users and more than $25 billion in assets under management.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2022, citing liquidity issues and regulatory pressures. Since then, the company has been working on a restructuring plan to address its financial difficulties and ensure the protection of its users’ assets.

The proposed restructuring plan, sponsored by NovaWulf, aims to create a public platform called NewCo that is fully owned by Earn creditors. This would allow users to have more control over the platform and its operations, with no involvement or relationship with the Celsius founder.

The upcoming disclosure statement, to be filed on April 12, will provide claim holders with more information about the restructuring plan and its potential impact on their assets. The statement will also provide answers to frequently asked questions and include details of events leading up to Celsius’ bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy court is expected to conduct a hearing regarding approval of the disclosure statement on May 17, with a vote on the plan to follow. If the plan is approved, it could be a positive step for Celsius Network and its users, providing a path forward for the company to address its financial difficulties and regain stability.


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Thai Political Party Proposes $300 Digital Currency Stimulus

The Pheu Thai Party, Thailand’s political opposition, has announced a proposal to give every citizen of the country nearly $300 in digital currency should the party win the upcoming election. The plan was announced at a campaign event on April 5, where one of the party’s candidates for prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, described the initiative as a blockchain-based stimulus project aimed at boosting the local economy. The proposed stipend of 10,000 Thai baht, or roughly $292 at the time of publication, would be given to every Thai resident who is 16 years or older.

Thailand’s next general election will take place on May 14, with all 500 seats in the country’s House of Representatives up for election. Current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a member of the United Thai Nation Party, is eligible to hold his position until 2025 if selected, following a decision from Thailand’s Constitutional Court regarding his term limit.

The proposed crypto project could potentially cost the government between $14 billion to $18 billion, given that Thailand’s population is over 70 million, with around 50-60 million people over 16 years old. While cryptocurrency exchanges and trading are generally allowed in Thailand, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission has been considering a ban on staking and lending services and has established stricter rules for crypto custody providers. Additionally, the country’s central bank has warned crypto investors about stablecoins pegged to the baht.

Thavisin’s proposal to distribute funds equally to residents is similar to the universal basic income initiative proposed by United States presidential candidate Andrew Yang in the 2020 elections. Yang’s proposal involved giving all eligible people in the United States $1,000 every month.

If the Pheu Thai Party wins the upcoming election and follows through with its proposal, it could potentially have significant impacts on Thailand’s economy and the adoption of blockchain-based digital currencies in the country. However, the proposal also raises questions about the feasibility of such a large-scale distribution of digital currency, as well as the potential risks and challenges that may arise in the implementation process.


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LooksRare Version 2 Upgrades NFT Marketplace

In an effort to provide a better user experience, LooksRare has released version 2 of its NFT marketplace, which includes several new features and improvements. One of the most significant changes is the reduction of trading fees from 2% to 0.5%, which is a 75% reduction. Additionally, version 2 includes gas-efficient contracts that enable users to save approximately 30% on gas fees compared to the previous version.

Another important feature of LooksRare version 2 is that sellers will now receive Ether (ETH) instead of Wrapped Ether (WETH) for most sales. Furthermore, the smart contracts now support bulk buying and selling orders, which is useful for users who want to place multiple trades simultaneously. Additionally, custom recipient aggregators have been introduced, allowing users to purchase NFTs with one wallet and send them to another.

Sellers can now list their NFTs for sale in token prices, which means that prices can be set in US dollars or equivalent ETH. This is a useful feature for sellers who want to provide clarity on pricing and reduce the risks associated with market volatility.

Despite the positive reception to the new features, some users are skeptical that LooksRare version 2 will be enough to attract users from other platforms. Some users have expressed concerns that there are still not enough incentives for good token collections to be listed. However, most LooksRare users have responded positively to the changes, and the platform is expected to become more competitive with other NFT marketplaces, such as OpenSea and Blur.

LooksRare faced some controversy in October when it decided to eliminate creator royalties, but it has also benefited from the recent surge in NFT prices. With the release of version 2, LooksRare is poised to continue its growth and establish itself as a leading NFT marketplace.

Looking ahead, the team has announced that LooksRare version 1 will be discontinued. Users will no longer be able to post version 1 auctions through the public API after April 12, and all current v1 auctions will be removed from the website on April 13. Finally, the smart contracts themselves will be disabled through an admin function at 11:00 am UTC on April 13. By sunsetting version 1, LooksRare is ensuring that its users are fully supported on the upgraded platform and can take advantage of the new features and improvements.


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Conflux to Deploy Uniswap v3 on Network

Conflux, a regulatory-compliant public blockchain based in China, is seeking to expand its reach and attract new users by deploying Uniswap v3 on its network. Uniswap v3 is a decentralized exchange protocol that allows users to trade digital assets without the need for intermediaries.

The move comes just days after the Uniswap v3 code license expired, enabling developers to fork the protocol and deploy their own decentralized exchange. As per the proposal, the deployment of Uniswap v3 on the Conflux network would provide “access to millions of potential new users, particularly in the Chinese and Asian markets.”

Conflux has experienced a spike in traffic in the first quarter of 2023, and the network has a market capitalization of nearly $1 billion, with $45 million in total value locked on-chain. The blockchain has been gaining popularity in the region due to its regulatory-compliant nature, making it an attractive option for projects looking to expand into the Chinese market.

“Currently, 84% of worldwide blockchain applications are submitted in China. Compared to the UK and the US, 11% and 14%. This shows that China is one of the most mature markets in Web3, and exposure is important for all projects,” said Conflux in the proposal.

Conflux also notes that regulatory crackdowns in the United States and Europe would benefit the growth of the crypto industry in Asian markets. Over 80 crypto companies are planning to establish an office in Hong Kong, providing a crypto bridge to mainland China.

Ambre Soubiran, CEO of institutional crypto market data provider Kaiko, agrees that Hong Kong could become a hub for crypto trading and investments. “The U.S. being more stringent these days than ever on crypto and Hong Kong regulating in a more favorable way is going to clearly shift the center of gravity of crypto assets trading and investments more towards Hong Kong,” he noted in a recent interview.

Aside from potential market reach, incentives offered for projects building on top of Uniswap v3 on the Conflux Network are the creation of liquidity pools for CFX token trading pairs, specifically CFX-USDT, CFX-BTC, and CFX-ETH. These liquidity pools would be worth $2 million and locked for two years. The Conflux Foundation would also provide $1 million in “liquidity incentives.”

Conflux is a layer-1 blockchain operating using a hybrid proof-of-work and proof-of-stake mechanism. In a recent development, the network announced a partnership with China Telecom to develop a blockchain SIM (BSIM) card. The BSIM will offer a secure place to store digital private keys and will be able to call upon the said signature to transfer money to other users. In addition, a “one-click direct check” functionality will allow users to check for transaction information and status progress in real-time.

In summary, Conflux’s decision to deploy Uniswap v3 on its network could provide significant benefits to the blockchain and the wider crypto industry. The move will allow the network to access new markets, particularly in China and Asia, where blockchain applications are increasingly popular. Additionally, the creation of liquidity pools for CFX token trading pairs and the provision of liquidity incentives could attract more projects to build on top of the Conflux Network, increasing its overall value and adoption.

Furthermore, the timing of the deployment is interesting, as it comes just after the expiration of the Uniswap v3 code license, which has allowed developers to fork the protocol and deploy their own decentralized exchanges. By deploying Uniswap v3 on the Conflux Network, the blockchain is positioning itself as a strong contender in the rapidly evolving decentralized exchange space.

Conflux’s decision to partner with China Telecom to develop a blockchain SIM card is also noteworthy. The BSIM card will offer a secure place to store digital private keys, providing users with greater security and peace of mind when transferring funds. Additionally, the “one-click direct check” functionality will allow users to check for transaction information and status progress in real-time, improving the user experience.

The move towards greater regulatory compliance in the crypto industry is also a significant factor in Conflux’s decision to deploy Uniswap v3 on its network. The blockchain’s compliance with regulations in China and its partnership with China Telecom position it as a safe and secure option for users looking to invest in the crypto space. As regulatory crackdowns continue in the United States and Europe, Asian markets could see increased growth in the crypto industry, with Hong Kong emerging as a hub for trading and investments.

In conclusion, Conflux’s decision to deploy Uniswap v3 on its network could have significant implications for the blockchain and the wider crypto industry. By providing access to new markets, creating liquidity pools and offering liquidity incentives, the network is positioning itself as a strong contender in the decentralized exchange space. Additionally, the blockchain’s partnership with China Telecom and its compliance with regulations in China could attract more users looking for secure and compliant options in the crypto space. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how Conflux adapts and grows to meet the changing needs of users and developers.


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dYdX to Exit Canadian Market Amid Regulatory Restrictions

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange dYdX has announced that it will be exiting the Canadian market over the next seven days. In an April 7 blog post, the company stated that it will be “winding down services” in Canada, beginning with the halting of new user onboarding in the country. On April 14, the exchange will move all existing Canadian users to “close-only mode,” allowing them to only withdraw funds.

According to dYdX, the decision was made due to increased regulatory restrictions in Canada. The Canadian Securities Administrators recently announced additional restrictions for crypto exchanges’ registration requirements in the country. The new rules require platforms to prohibit Canadian clients from entering into crypto contracts to buy and sell any crypto asset that is a security and/or a derivative.

dYdX stated in its blog post that it is committed to transparency and democratizing access to financial opportunity. The exchange expressed hope that the regulatory climate in Canada will eventually change, allowing it to resume its services in the country.

This move by dYdX follows criticisms the exchange received in September 2022 when it offered a $25 deposit bonus for confirming someone’s identity using a live webcam image. Many dYdX users and individuals in the crypto space raised privacy concerns, and the exchange ended the program due to “overwhelming demand.”

dYdX is a decentralized exchange that specializes in cryptocurrency derivatives trading. It is among the many cryptocurrency exchanges that have faced increased regulatory scrutiny in recent years, particularly regarding investor protection and anti-money laundering measures.

Although dYdX’s exit from the Canadian market may be a setback for the company, it is reflective of the challenges that many cryptocurrency exchanges face in navigating regulatory environments around the world. As the crypto space continues to evolve and mature, it is likely that regulatory authorities will continue to monitor and regulate the industry to ensure investor protection and mitigate risks associated with the emerging asset class.


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Polygon Emerges as Second-Largest Blockchain Gaming Network

Polygon has emerged as the second-largest blockchain gaming network in terms of unique active wallets (UAWs), thanks to a surge in user activity in March. According to the “Blockchain Games Report” by DappRadar, the number of UAWs engaging with games on Polygon hit 138,081 in March, a 53% increase from February. This places Polygon ahead of third and fourth-ranked Hive and BNB Chain, with 84,000 and 80,000 UAWs respectively. The first-placed Wax is well ahead of the pack with 314,000 UAWs.

Polygon, previously known for DeFi DApps, has now gained recognition as a gaming blockchain. The surge in UAWs on Polygon is due in part to the Hunters On-Chain game by BoomLand, which has seen a UAW increase of over 17,000% in the past 30 days, according to DappRadar data. Hunters On-Chain is a Web3 adaptation of BoomLand’s mobile game Hunt Royale, a free-to-play role-playing game with non-fungible token (NFT) integrations and a similar look and style to Minecraft.

On March 9, Hunters On-Chain saw an all-time high UAW count of around 55,300. It is unclear what specifically drove the surge in interest for the game last month, although anticipation for an in-game NFT sale on March 31 may have been a contributing factor.

Looking more broadly, the report noted that on-chain gaming activity decreased by 3.33% in March to 741,567 daily unique active wallets (dUAW). However, games still make up 45.6% of the DApp industry activity in Q1 2023.

Polygon’s bullish momentum has been developing over the past few months, specifically relating to NFTs, gaming, and the metaverse. The team behind the network, Polygon Labs, has notched a long list of big-name partnerships, including Warner Music, Starbucks, Adidas, Reddit, and Adobe, to develop and host NFT projects.

Polygon Labs successfully launched Polygon’s open-source Ethereum Virtual Machine equivalent zero-knowledge rollup on March 27. This technology allows DApps to scale through transaction batching, unlocking higher performance while reducing gas fees to conduct transactions on the network.

The surge in user activity on Polygon is a positive sign for the network’s future, especially as it gains recognition as a gaming blockchain. The partnerships and developments by Polygon Labs show that the team is committed to creating a strong and sustainable ecosystem for NFTs and gaming on the network. As the blockchain gaming industry continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how Polygon competes with other gaming blockchains and how its partnerships and innovations continue to shape the industry.


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Binance.US Struggles to Find a Bank Partner in the United States

Binance.US, the United States arm of the global cryptocurrency exchange, has been struggling to find a bank partner to serve as a fiat on-ramp and off-ramp for its clients in the country. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal on April 8, the recent failures of Silvergate and Signature Bank have left Binance.US without banking services, forcing it to rely on middleman banks to store funds on its behalf.

The regulatory crackdown on banks with crypto clients has also contributed to Binance.US’s struggles. In March, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sued Binance Holdings and its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao for allegedly trading violations. The cryptocurrency exchange has been the focus of a CFTC investigation since 2021.

Binance.US needs a bank to directly hold its clients’ US dollars, but recent attempts to establish direct banking relationships with banks, such as Cross River Bank and Customers Bancorp, have failed. As a result, Binance.US customers have been affected by the lack of a direct bank. In a recent status update, the exchange said that it “was transitioning to new banking and payment service providers over the next several weeks,” adding that some USD deposit services would be temporarily impacted during the transition.

Currently, Binance.US is holding customer funds via financial technology firm Prime Trust. A spokesperson for Prime Trust stated that all funds received from clients are stored through its banking partners.

“We work with multiple U.S.-based banking and payment providers and continue to onboard new partners while upgrading our internal systems to create a more stable fiat platform and offer additional services,” a spokesman for Binance.US told the WSJ.

Binance.US is operating in a similar environment to that which crypto firms are experiencing in the United Kingdom, where banks are moving away from accepting clients from the crypto sector. The few banks still working with crypto firms in the U.K. are requesting more documentation and information about how they monitor clients’ transactions.

In order to address these challenges, Binance.US is actively seeking new banking and payment service providers while upgrading its internal systems to create a more stable fiat platform and offer additional services to its customers. Despite the current difficulties, the exchange remains committed to providing a safe and reliable platform for its clients to trade cryptocurrencies.


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Crypto Miner Sphere 3D Sues Partner over Alleged Bitcoin Spoofing Attack

In a statement for investors, Sphere 3D CEO Patricia Trompeter announced that the company has filed a lawsuit against Gryphon Digital Mining, its partner in charge of managing its crypto mining activities and maintaining the fiduciary duties of Sphere’s digital assets. According to Trompeter, Gryphon has materially breached the Master Services Agreement (MSA) the two companies entered into, and has put the company’s assets at significant risk.

The lawsuit stems from an alleged spoofing attack that occurred on January 18, 2022. The complaint alleges that Gryphon CEO Rob Chang wired BTC to a fraudster posing as Sphere 3D’s chief financial officer. The complaint also states that another eight Bitcoin were sent to the same address a few days later. A spoofing attack occurs when an attacker attempts to trick a system or user into believing that they are someone else through falsifying data, such as IP addresses, email headers, or user credentials, to gain access to a system, steal sensitive information, or launch further attacks.

Sphere 3D and Gryphon Digital Mining have been partners since August 2021. Gryphon is responsible for managing Sphere 3D’s crypto mining activities and maintaining the fiduciary duties of Sphere’s digital assets. In return, Gryphon receives 22.5% of Sphere’s gross profit.

The relationship between the two companies appears to have deteriorated significantly. Trompeter’s statement suggests that the companies were once considering a merger. She also noted that the filing demonstrates that Sphere 3D will not be bullied or threatened by Gryphon. Trompeter stated that Gryphon has failed to act with integrity, failed to honor their contract, and that Sphere 3D will hold them accountable.

In conclusion, the lawsuit filed by Sphere 3D against Gryphon Digital Mining highlights the risks associated with the custody and management of digital assets. Spoofing attacks are a significant threat to the security of digital assets, and companies must take proactive steps to protect themselves and their clients from such attacks. As the crypto industry continues to evolve and grow, the need for robust security measures and contractual agreements that protect both parties will become increasingly important.


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