EOS EVM Mainnet Launch Improves Interoperability Between EOS and Ethereum

The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) has announced the beta launch of the EOS EVM mainnet, a significant milestone towards bridging the gap between two major blockchain ecosystems, Ethereum and EOS. The EOS EVM mainnet emulates Ethereum’s Virtual Machine (EVM) and enables developers to deploy decentralized applications (DApps) written in Solidity, the programming language used by the vast majority of web3 developers.

The ENF team has identified Ethereum’s scalability issues as a challenge for mass-scale DApp deployment, which is why they have launched the EOS EVM mainnet. The team aims to leverage the performance of the EOS Network to address this challenge, while also combining the resources of the Ethereum community. According to Yves La Rose, founder and CEO of the EOS Network Foundation, the launch of EOS EVM paves the way for an interoperable future. He emphasizes that EOS EVM is a significant milestone that represents the network’s commitment to a multi-chain future.

La Rose adds that the EOS EVM mainnet offers developers access to lower fees and faster transactions of the EOS network. This is an important development as the Ethereum network is expecting more adoption after the most recent Shapella upgrade. To keep up with this adoption, projects have been prioritizing the implementation of EVM compatibility within their networks. For example, Astar Network recently launched smart contracts that support two virtual machines, including EVM and the WebAssembly Virtual Machine. This allows for the creation of new multichain applications within their network.

In addition, Polygon’s zkEVM, a zero-knowledge rollup scaling solution, released its beta version on March 27. This technology mimics the transaction execution environment of the Ethereum mainnet, allowing DApps to scale with higher performance. With more and more blockchain projects prioritizing EVM compatibility, it’s clear that the future of interoperability between different blockchains will rely heavily on this technology.

In conclusion, the launch of EOS EVM mainnet is a significant step towards improving interoperability between EOS and Ethereum. By combining the resources of the Ethereum community with the performance of the EOS Network, developers can deploy Solidity-based DApps on a high-performance platform with lower fees and faster transactions. As other projects like Astar Network and Polygon also prioritize EVM compatibility, it’s clear that this technology is becoming an important part of the blockchain ecosystem.


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OpenBazaar Set for a Comeback

After being shut down over two years ago due to financial issues and poor user growth, OpenBazaar, a decentralized marketplace, appears set for a comeback. Recent updates on social media and GitHub indicate that progress is being made on building a new version of the marketplace, which was shut down in 2020.

According to a GitHub repository, there has been progress as recent as April 12 on building a new version of the marketplace. Former project lead at OpenBazaar and CEO of OB1, Brian Hoffman, tweeted on April 9 of the progress made on a “new” version of the marketplace, stating that it is “getting more interesting by the day.”

Hoffman has also hinted at the marketplace’s return, citing “freedom of exploration” as a key factor in its revival. In a reply to a tweet asking how the marketplace would be different this time, Hoffman inferred that outside influence had contributed to its initial downfall.

The first hints that OpenBazaar would be launching a comeback came in a tweet from Hoffman on March 28, where he linked OpenBazaar’s GitHub page that showed he had been working on a new version of the marketplace using the programming language Rust. Just hours later, OpenBazaar’s official account also posted a tweet saying that “it is now time to grow again from the ashes,” and that “work has begun.”

Adding to the evidence that the marketplace appears likely to relaunch, the OpenBazaar website currently bears the message “OpenBazaar 3.0 – Coming Soon.”

Hailed as a decentralized eBay alternative, OpenBazaar was first launched back in 2014. It allowed users to interact directly with each other to make transactions using Bitcoin (BTC). The marketplace initially had the name “DarkMarket,” but changed it to OpenBazaar following community input in an attempt to improve its public image.

After the exchange had shut down in 2020, Hoffman tweeted that a future iteration of OpenBazaar would require more independence from OB1, but provided no more information about how this might work.

In summary, OpenBazaar, a decentralized marketplace, is set for a comeback after it was shut down in 2020. Recent updates on social media and GitHub indicate progress on building a new version of the marketplace using the programming language Rust. Brian Hoffman, the former project lead at OpenBazaar, has hinted at the marketplace’s return, citing “freedom of exploration” as a key factor in its revival. The marketplace initially had the name “DarkMarket,” but changed it to OpenBazaar following community input in an attempt to improve its public image. The return of OpenBazaar would be a welcome development for those looking for a decentralized eBay alternative.


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Asia Crucial to Web3 Gaming Industry

According to a recent report by DappRadar, Asia is a crucial region for the Web3 gaming industry, given its majority share of gamers and gaming revenue, as well as its high interest in blockchain technology. The report highlighted that the Asian market boasts over 1.7 billion video game players, accounting for 55% of the world’s total. In addition, Asia houses over half of the global gaming revenue and has long been “the driving force” behind the global gaming industry.

DappRadar claims that due to these factors, the Asia region “plays a crucial role in the adoption of blockchain gaming.” However, while China, Japan, and South Korea dominate the gaming industry in Asia, they have varying attitudes towards blockchain technology.

China, for instance, has banned crypto and prohibits gaming companies from integrating blockchain technology into their games. On the other hand, gaming companies in Japan and South Korea are “leading the way in the adoption of blockchain technology in gaming,” the report says. It points to Sony’s recent NFT-related patents and gaming firm Sega’s announcement of its upcoming blockchain game as evidence of this trend.

A survey of 1,030 Japanese men and women ranging in age from their 20s to 70s cited in the report revealed a promising outlook for the Japanese blockchain gaming industry. It revealed just over 40% of respondents were familiar with blockchain games, and over half of those familiar had a favorable impression of them.

The report also addressed the Web3 industry on a global scale, highlighting that “visual quality and game experience” are “slightly” more important factors for gamers when evaluating a new game over other aspects such as entry price, the number of active users, and game economies. The report also emphasized the significance of airdrops in motivating gamers to try out new games. It was stated that airdrops are considered “an essential factor,” with gamers still expecting to receive them before starting a new game.

It is clear that Asia will play a crucial role in the adoption of blockchain gaming in the coming years. While China’s attitude towards blockchain technology remains unclear, Japan and South Korea have already begun leading the way in adopting blockchain technology in gaming. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it is likely that blockchain technology will become an increasingly important factor for gamers and game developers alike.


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Uniswap to Launch on Polygon’s zkEVM

Polygon’s zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine (zkEVM) roll-up solution is going to be used for the launch of Uniswap, which is one of the most well-known decentralized exchanges (DEX) built on the Ethereum blockchain. All 191 Ethereum addresses cast their ballots in support of the integration, which means that the proposal has already surpassed the barrier of 40 million votes that was needed for acceptance.

Polygon is a scaling solution provider that was originally known as Matic Network. Their mission is to make it simpler for developers to construct decentralized apps (dApps) on the Ethereum network using their technology. Its zkEVM roll-up approach aims to increase Ethereum’s scalability, security, and usability, while also lowering the prices of transactions.

It is anticipated that the incorporation of Uniswap onto Polygon’s zkEVM will confer major advantages onto both of those platforms. Uniswap, which has been experiencing difficulties on the Ethereum mainnet due to high gas prices and poor transaction times, will be able to use Polygon’s scaling solution in order to provide its customers with transactions that are both quicker and less expensive. In the meanwhile, Polygon will profit from the increased adoption and liquidity that Uniswap delivers to its network thanks to the addition of Uniswap.

The Uniswap proposal to launch on Polygon’s zkEVM was first presented in March 2021, and tokenholders were given until April 14 at 9:05 pm UTC to vote on the proposal. Uniswap is a decentralized exchange (DEX) that allows users to buy and sell digital assets. However, the need for approval, which was 40 million votes, was already met long before the deadline, and over 42.4 million votes were registered in support of the merger.

According to Tally, a voting dashboard for decentralized finance projects, the Ethereum infrastructure provider ConsenSys and the financial modeling platform Gauntlet were among the top donors to the vote, both with over 7 million votes.

It is anticipated that the successful integration of Uniswap on Polygon’s zkEVM would further accelerate the expansion of decentralized finance (DeFi) on both platforms, in addition to the expansion of the Ethereum ecosystem as a whole. Ethereum is positioned to emerge as a more feasible and appealing platform for the development of decentralized apps in the years to come as a result of the proliferation of blockchain scaling solutions such as Polygon.


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Safety Groups Urge Meta to Halt Minors from Joining Metaverse

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has faced backlash from safety groups and advocates for its plans to allow minors into its metaverse app, Horizon Worlds. In a letter addressed to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, safety groups including Airplay, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, and Common Sense Media, among others, urged the company to scrap its plans until potential risks have been assessed.

The letter cited concerns over the safety and privacy of minors who may face harassment and privacy violations on the virtual reality app. According to a report by Bloomberg, the letter highlighted the need for Meta to wait for more peer-reviewed research on the potential risks of the metaverse before allowing children and teens to join.

The Center for Countering Digital Hate released a report in March that found users under the age of 18 have already been facing harassment from adults on the app. During 100 visits to the most popular worlds within Horizon Universe, the study documented 19 episodes of abuse directed at minors, including sexual harassment. These incidents further reinforce the concerns expressed by safety groups and experts.

Meta’s decision to allow minors into the metaverse raises questions about online safety and privacy. While the company has stated that it plans to impose safety measures to protect young users, safety groups argue that more needs to be done. The letter called for a more in-depth assessment of the risks involved and the implementation of stricter safety measures before allowing minors into the virtual reality app.

The debate around online safety and privacy for children and teenagers is not new. Over the years, social media companies have faced scrutiny for their handling of online safety for minors. The addition of virtual reality apps like Meta’s Horizon Worlds adds another layer of complexity to the issue. While virtual reality apps offer a unique experience, they also pose unique risks that must be addressed.

In conclusion, the call by safety groups and advocates for Meta to halt its plans to allow minors into the metaverse app, Horizon Worlds, highlights the importance of online safety and privacy for young users. While the company has promised to implement safety measures to protect minors, further assessment of potential risks and stricter measures are necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of young users.


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HashKey Launches Wealth Management Platform for Institutional Investors

Hong Kong-based digital asset firm, HashKey Group, has launched a new wealth management platform aimed at professional and institutional investors. The move comes in response to a growing demand from investors seeking access to virtual assets. The platform will allow the group to offer solutions to help tap into the “growing opportunities of virtual assets.”

HashKey’s venture capital arm, HashKey Capital, is the first to benefit from the new platform. It will manage portfolios that only contain virtual assets. The company was granted a “Type 9 asset management license” by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, which likely paved the way for its latest offering.

The launch of the wealth management platform comes after HashKey closed a $500 million investment round for a fund that aims to push for mass adoption of blockchain and crypto technologies. The move highlights the company’s commitment to driving the adoption of digital assets.

According to a 2022 study from consultancy firm Boston Consulting Group, only 0.3% of individual wealth is invested in crypto, compared to the 25% invested in equities. However, HashKey believes there is “potential robust demand for virtual assets in the future.”

In addition to launching the new platform, HashKey is expanding its over-the-counter trading service. The company plans to increase the number of tokens in its spot market and increase its liquidity coverage to 24/7. The move is a response to recent challenges in the crypto market, which have highlighted the need for deep and reliable liquidity.

HashKey’s move into the wealth management space comes as institutional investors continue to explore the potential of digital assets. Many are looking for ways to gain exposure to the emerging asset class, which has been one of the best-performing asset classes in recent years.

Overall, HashKey’s launch of a wealth management platform for professional and institutional investors is a significant step forward for the digital asset industry. The move highlights the growing demand for virtual assets and the increasing interest from institutional investors seeking exposure to the emerging asset class. With its new platform and expanded over-the-counter trading service, HashKey is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing interest in digital assets.


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Meta Urged to Halt Metaverse App for Minors

Meta, previously known as Facebook, is under pressure from online safety organizations and advocates to abandon its plans to let kids join its metaverse program, Horizon Worlds. These groups want Meta to stop allowing minors to join Horizon Worlds. However, critics have claimed that the potential hazards of inviting teens and young people into the virtual reality platform have not been thoroughly studied. The corporation has previously declared its plans to welcome teenagers and young adults onto the platform.

The CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg, received a letter on April 14 that was signed by representatives from a number of prominent safety organizations. These organizations include Airplay, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, and Common Sense Media, amongst others. In the letter, Meta was urged to abandon its intentions and instead wait until more study into the possible dangers faced by children and teenagers when using the app has been carried out.

The campaigners voiced their worries over the metaverse’s potential for youngsters to be subjected to hazards such as bullying and invasions of privacy by suggesting that children would likely be more susceptible to these dangers in the virtual world. They referenced to a study that was published in March by the Center for Countering Digital Hate. In the research, incidences of abuse and harassment aimed at juveniles on the site by adults were recorded. During the course of 100 trips to the most popular planets in Horizon Universe, the study discovered 19 instances of inappropriate behavior.

In its answer to the letter, Meta emphasized that it was dedicated to protecting the health and safety of all of its users, including those who were under the age of 18. The business highlighted a variety of safety measures that were already available on the app, including as mechanisms for user reporting and content control. In addition to this, it underlined its continued efforts to collaborate with industry experts and safety professionals in order to enhance safety standards and decrease hazards for all users.

As virtual reality technology grows more widespread and user-friendly, it is expected that discussions over the participation of children and adolescents in virtual worlds will continue. Companies like Meta will need to strike a balance between the need for innovation and expansion and the need for responsible and ethical use of their platforms in order to safeguard vulnerable users. Advocacy organizations will likely continue to advocate for stricter safety measures and increased monitoring in order to protect vulnerable users. As the metaverse develops, it will be very necessary to find solutions to these problems and guarantee that all users may take part in an environment that is free from risk.


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Nigerian Crypto Startup Lazerpay to Shut Down Operations

Lazerpay, a Nigerian start-up that was established in October 2021 by Emmanuel Njoku, Abdulfatai Suleiman, and Prosper Ubi, has decided to discontinue operations since it is unable to get sufficient finance. Njoku announced the news on April 13 through a message that he posted on Twitter. In the statement, he expressed his thanks for the relationships that were created and the influence that Lazerpay had on the cryptocurrency ecosystem. He went on to highlight that the new company had worked very hard to keep the lights on, but unfortunately, they had reached a point where they needed to close its doors.

This announcement comes only a few short months after Lazerpay announced layoffs in November 2022. Those layoffs were also ascribed to the startup’s failure to secure money after the withdrawal of a main investor. According to Njoku, despite the obstacle, Lazerpay has already onboarded more than 3,000 firms and handled more than one million dollars in transactions.

Lazerpay has urged that merchants take their cash from the platform before the deadline of April 30, 2023, utilizing the bank or cryptocurrency payment options. This will enable a smooth transition for Lazerpay’s customers. The company has declared that it will refocus its efforts on fixing any unresolved concerns. In addition, the company is in the process of soliciting proposals from other businesses interested in purchasing its intellectual property.

Lazerpay was developed to encourage widespread use of cryptocurrencies and to assist companies in accepting stablecoin payments from clients located all over the globe. The failure of the venture to get sufficient finance ultimately resulted in the company’s demise, which represents a big loss for the African cryptocurrency market.

The closure of Lazerpay is the most recent event in a string of disruptions that have occurred in the African cryptocurrency market. Paxful, a peer-to-peer marketplace for Bitcoin transactions, also announced last week that it would be closing its doors. Notwithstanding this, a few crypto payment firms on the continent, such as NairaEx, which is a functioning Bitcoin exchange in Nigeria, are nevertheless doing rather well.

Despite the fact that Lazerpay has shut down, Njoku and the other co-founders of the company continue to have a positive outlook on the future of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria and Africa. They have expressed their conviction that the African continent has a significant amount of untapped potential for innovation and development in the cryptocurrency industry.


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Ripple Launches Liquidity Hub to Bridge Crypto and Fiat

Fintech firm Ripple has announced the launch of its latest product, the Ripple liquidity hub, a solution for businesses to bridge the gap between crypto and fiat currencies. The service operates as a stand-alone solution in addition to Ripple’s popular cross-border payments service, on-demand liquidity (ODL). This makes it a global liquidity network offering its partners access to payout rails worldwide.

Ripple’s liquidity hub has been developed from an enterprise point of view to offer digital assets from various market makers, including crypto exchanges and over-the-counter trading desks. When an enterprise partner requires liquidity, it can source it from these large pools of deep liquidity, including United States dollars, Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).

Interestingly, the product launch finds no mention of XRP (XRP), the crypto token issued by Ripple. XRP has been central to most liquidity products and services the fintech firm offers, especially cross-border liquidity services. However, XRP was mentioned among digital assets in the company’s pilot phase.

The omission of XRP from its liquidity pairs could be attributed to the company’s ongoing court battle in the U.S. with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Ripple has been accused by the SEC of selling XRP as an unregistered security, and the company is currently fighting this claim in court.

Despite this, Ripple claims that its liquidity solution will considerably reduce the cost of operations on high-volume transactions. This is done by optimizing cryptocurrency pricing and liquidity across asset pairs. The liquidity hub eliminates the need to pre-finance capital positions to source liquidity or conduct transactions. The service reduces complicated multiplatform administration requirements by enabling organizations to access digital assets in a single place. Additionally, the service locks in optimum pricing for digital assets to protect companies from market instability and price swings.

Ripple has made a name for itself in the fintech world for offering various liquidity solutions and cross-border remittance services. Its popular ODL solution has onboarded several banks worldwide to provide cheap remittance services with the help of cryptocurrencies.

The Ripple liquidity hub is the latest offering from the company and marks its continued push to become a leader in the fintech industry. By providing businesses with access to deep liquidity pools across various digital assets, Ripple aims to make it easier for organizations to conduct high-volume transactions without incurring excessive costs. Although XRP is not mentioned in the product launch, it remains a central part of Ripple’s liquidity products and services.

In conclusion, Ripple’s liquidity hub is a step forward in bridging the gap between crypto and fiat currencies. The service offers businesses access to deep liquidity pools across a range of digital assets, reducing the cost of operations on high-volume transactions. With its ongoing court battle with the SEC, Ripple’s decision to omit XRP from its liquidity pairs is a strategic move to protect the company’s interests. Despite this, Ripple remains committed to providing businesses with innovative solutions that simplify cross-border remittance services and provide access to deep liquidity pools.


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Paxos Identifies Key Opportunities During Crypto Winter

Blockchain infrastructure provider Paxos has published a report aimed at helping the cryptocurrency community navigate the current market conditions during the crypto winter. The Paxos Crypto Winter Report 2023 identifies several key opportunities for crypto projects, including seeking solutions and partnerships.

According to the report, those who view the crypto winter as a “season for bridge-building” will come out ahead of the others. This means partnering with businesses that implement technologies that aim to meet the “real-world needs of the financial sector.” By doing so, projects can position themselves for success once the market recovers.

The report also emphasizes the usefulness of stablecoins, one of the crypto use cases that have “consistently proven itself over time.” Clara Medalie, the director of research at the digital asset data provider Kaiko, explains that stablecoins have been very useful for the entire industry. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of transparency over the reserves of these stablecoins.

Medalie believes that greater transparency is coming: “We need more transparency over the reserves of these stablecoins, which I think we’re going to see.” This will help to ensure that stablecoins remain a viable option for the industry moving forward.

While stablecoins may be an important tool for the industry, there are differing opinions on their regulation. The CEO and executive director of the Stellar Development Foundation, Denelle Dixon, believes that regulating stablecoins may be necessary to maintain a strong dollar globally. Dixon argues that a USD stablecoin is the “way to see that happen.”

On the other hand, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) recently published a working paper that deems stablecoins a less preferable form of tokenized money. The report likens stablecoins to bearer instruments that were prevalent during the era of “free banking” in the United States. While the BIS recognizes the potential benefits of stablecoins, it ultimately concludes that they pose significant risks to financial stability.

Despite differing opinions on stablecoins, the Paxos Crypto Winter Report 2023 emphasizes the importance of seeking solutions and partnerships during the current market conditions. By doing so, projects can position themselves for success once the market recovers.


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