Google Updates Advertising Policy on NFT Gaming

Google has clarified its stance on advertising for blockchain-based games involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Effective from September 15, 2023, the tech giant announced,

Beginning September 15, 2023, advertisers offering NFT games that do not promote gambling-related content may advertise those products and services when they meet the following requirements.

The revised policy stipulates that advertisers can promote NFT games that allow players to purchase in-game items, such as “virtual apparel for a player’s characters, weaponry, or armor with better stats, consumed or used in a game to enhance a user’s experience or aid users in advancing the game.” However, Google explicitly mentioned that for NFT games, the following are not allowed:

Games that allow players to stake NFTs in exchange for fungible tokens such as cryptocurrencies” and “Simulated casino gambling (for example, poker, slots or roulette) that offer the opportunity to win NFTs.

To advertise gambling-related content that incorporates NFTs, advertisers must adhere to Google’s “Gambling and games policy” and, as Google points out, they need to “receive the proper Google Ads certification.”

This policy update is a significant shift from Google’s previous stance. In 2018, Google had imposed a blanket ban on all cryptocurrency-related advertising across its platforms. The ban was later relaxed in June 2021, allowing certain companies to advertise.

Reiterating the importance of compliance, Google stated,

As a reminder, we expect all advertisers to comply with the local laws for any area that their ads target. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these products.

Importantly, Google also clarified the consequences of violations, noting that 

Violations of this policy will not lead to immediate account suspension without prior warning. A warning will be issued, at least 7 days, before any suspension of your account.

This policy revision aims to provide clearer guidelines for advertising blockchain-based games with NFTs, reflecting the evolving landscape of the digital gaming and cryptocurrency sectors.

Google has now been accepting crypto and NFT related products. As reported by Blockchain.News on July 12, 2023, Google Play Store announced that video game publishers can now sell NFT games on its platform. Joseph Mills, the store’s group product manager, highlighted this move towards integrating blockchain in mainstream gaming. The new policy mandates developers to clearly indicate any blockchain-based elements within their apps on the Play Console when offering tokenized assets.

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Always consult with a professional before making any financial decisions. This material is the exclusive property of Blockchain.News. Unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution without express permission is prohibited. Proper credit and direction to the original content are required for any permitted use.

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Binance Announces Cessation of The Sandbox NFT Staking and Polygon Network Support

Binance NFT announced critical changes to its platform. As of September 26, 2023, at 06:00 (UTC), the platform will halt The Sandbox NFT Staking Program. This move results from a strategic decision to optimize the Binance NFT Marketplace’s product line-up.

According to the details provided:

Staking LAND NFTs, currently hosted on the Polygon Network, for daily SAND rewards will be suspended from 2023-09-26 06:00 (UTC).

All LAND NFTs staked on the platform will undergo an automatic unstaking process on September 27, 2023 (UTC). Users can expect the return of their staked LAND NFTs to their Binance accounts by September 28, 2023, at 02:00 (UTC). Furthermore, the final distribution of daily SAND rewards will transpire post this time.

Binance NFT also revealed another significant update concerning the Polygon Network. Starting from September 26, 2023, at 06:00 (UTC), the platform will cease support for the Polygon Network. Consequently, Binance NFT Marketplace users holding NFTs on the Polygon Network are advised to complete their withdrawals by December 31, 2023, at 23:59 (UTC). More specific guidance for affected users will be dispatched subsequently.

Post this deadline, activities such as buying, depositing, offering, or listing NFTs from the Polygon Network on Binance NFT Marketplace will be restricted. Simultaneously, any existing listings linked to the Polygon Network will be automatically nullified at 2023-09-26 06:00 (UTC), with the related NFTs being returned to the users’ accounts by September 28, 2023, at 02:00 (UTC).

While Binance NFT extended its apologies for any potential inconvenience, users seeking further clarity can direct their queries to Binance’s Customer Support or consult the platform’s guides.

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Always consult with a professional before making any financial decisions. This material is the exclusive property of Blockchain.News. Unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution without express permission is prohibited. Proper credit and direction to the original content are required for any permitted use.

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Report: Visa Blocks $30 Billion in Fraud, Highlighting Crypto and NFT

Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), a global pioneer in digital payments, unveiled its Fall 2023 Biannual Threats Report, spotlighting the escalating sophistication of fraud schemes in the retail and eCommerce sectors.

Key Takeaways

Phishing Schemes Amplified by AI: The report underscores a notable surge in phishing schemes, now amplified by generative AI tools. This evolution marks a new chapter in the cyber threat landscape.

Ransomware Attacks on the Rise: March 2023 set a new record with approximately 460 ransomware attacks, marking a 91% spike from February 2023 and a 62% increase year-over-year. Notably, these attacks aren’t solely targeting payment data but are compromising any accessible data, including personal identifiable information.

Enumeration Attacks Surge by 40%: The first half of 2023 witnessed a 40% uptick in enumeration attacks. Visa’s real-time Account Attack Intelligence played a pivotal role in identifying and mitigating these threats.

Online Merchants Bear the Brunt: Online merchants accounted for 58% of total fraud and breach investigations, with physical retailers at 20%, and ransomware/fraud schemes at 7%.

Retail-Specific Schemes Gain Traction: The past six months saw a measurable increase in retail-specific fraud schemes. These include counterfeit merchant sites, malvertising, flash-fraud scams, and the emerging “free gift” crypto scam.

Paul Fabara, Chief Risk Officer at Visa, commented, “The $30 billion of fraud prevented in the last six months is a testament to Visa’s proactive approach, even as fraudsters become increasingly sophisticated.”

Global Collaborative Efforts

Visa’s collaboration with global law enforcement has led to significant crackdowns on cybercrime. Noteworthy actions include:

Try2Check Platform Takedown: In May 2023, the US Secret Service dismantled the cybercrime platform Try2Check. Its administrator, Denis Gennadievich Kulkov, now faces a potential 20-year prison sentence.

Operation Urban Justice: This California-based operation targeted Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) fraud, resulting in the arrest of 20 suspects linked to an Eastern European crime syndicate.

Genesis Market Takedown: April 2023 saw an international coalition arrest 119 individuals associated with the cybercrime platform.

Visa’s multifaceted approach, from its Risk Operations Center to its Payment Threat Intelligence team, showcases its commitment to safeguarding the global economy.

Visa has recently unveiled its enhanced stablecoin settlement capabilities. As reported by Blockchain.News, this expansion includes the integration of the Solana blockchain. Furthermore, Visa has embarked on pilot projects in collaboration with merchant acquirers Worldpay and Nuvei.

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Always consult with a professional before making any financial decisions. This material is the exclusive property of Blockchain.News. Unauthorized use, duplication, or distribution without express permission is prohibited. Proper credit and direction to the original content are required for any permitted use.

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OKX NFT Adds Base, Linea Support, Beyond Ethereum, Optimism, Polygon

OKX, a key player in the Web3 technology landscape, broadened its NFT Marketplace’s capabilities by integrating support for Base and Linea blockchains on September 5, according to press release shared with Blockchain.News. This move follows the company’s earlier decision to include Base and Linea in its wallet services, thereby extending the marketplace’s compatibility to 17 different blockchains.

OKX has already supported NFTs on Ethereum, SolanaBinance Smart Chain, Polygon, OK Chain, Immutable X, Aptos, Optimism, Klaytn, Arbitrum and Avalanche Chain.

Base and Linea: A Technical Overview

Base, an Ethereum Layer 2 (L2) solution, is built on the open-source Optimism Stack. It aims to tackle the blockchain trilemma of scalability, security, and decentralization by offering interoperability and composability for participating rollups. The inclusion of Base also brings liquidity from OpenSea, a major NFT marketplace, into the OKX ecosystem.

Linea, a project by ConsenSys, employs Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge (zk-SNARK) cryptography technology. The Ethereum L2 solution is designed to enhance transaction throughput while maintaining a secure environment, aligning with the broader push for scalability in the Ethereum network.

OKX’s Multichain Strategy

The OKX NFT Marketplace is notable for its extensive multichain support, accommodating over 11 blockchain networks. It serves as a centralized hub for NFT transactions, including buying, selling, trading, and collecting, making it one of the most comprehensive platforms in the Web3 space. Major NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, LooksRare, and Magic Eden are among those supported.

Strategic Implications

While OKX has been known for its partnerships with high-profile brands and athletes, including Manchester City F.C. and McLaren Formula 1, the company’s core focus remains on technological innovation. Its recent global brand campaign, “The System Needs a Rewrite,” underscores its commitment to challenging the status quo through Web3 technologies.

The integration of Base and Linea is more than a mere addition of new features; it’s a strategic move that could have ripple effects across the NFT and blockchain sectors. By supporting a diverse range of blockchains, OKX positions itself as a versatile platform capable of adapting to the evolving needs of the Web3 community.

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SEC Commissioners Peirce and Uyeda Disagree on Impact Theory Enforcement Action

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched its first enforcement action targeting a non-fungible token (NFT) provider, Impact Theory, LLC. This unprecedented step by the SEC has not only set a new legal benchmark but also ignited internal discussions within the Commission. This internal divergence is highlighted by a recent statement, “NFTs & the SEC: Statement on Impact Theory, LLC,” issued by Commissioners Hester M. Peirce and Mark T. Uyeda.

The SEC’s Charge: A Brief Overview

The SEC charged Impact Theory for conducting an unregistered offering of crypto asset securities disguised as NFTs. The Los Angeles-based company raised approximately $30 million between October and December 2021 through the sale of NFTs termed as “Founder’s Keys.” The SEC determined that these NFTs were, in essence, investment contracts and thus classified as securities. The company has consented to a cease-and-desist order and is required to pay over $6.1 million, including disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty.

Commissioners’ Response: A Call for Regulatory Clarity

In their statement dated August 28, 2023, Commissioners Peirce and Uyeda expressed dissent over the SEC’s application of the Howey analysis to NFTs. They argued that the Commission should have grappled with the larger questions surrounding NFTs before taking such a significant enforcement action.

The Commissioners pointed out that Impact Theory’s NFTs did not offer dividends or represent shares in the company. They questioned whether the promises made by Impact Theory were sufficient to classify the NFTs as investment contracts. “We do not routinely bring enforcement actions against people that sell watches, paintings, or collectibles along with vague promises to build the brand and thus increase the resale value of those tangible items,” they noted.

Financial and Regulatory Implications

The dissenting statement raises several critical questions that could shape the future of NFT regulation:

Classification of NFTs: The internal disagreement within the SEC highlights the complexity of classifying NFTs as securities, potentially affecting other NFT projects.

Investor Protection: While the SEC emphasizes the importance of registration for investor protection, the Commissioners’ statement calls for a nuanced approach, questioning what kind of information is truly necessary for NFT purchasers.

Legislative Framework: The statement urges the Commission to consider how recent legislative efforts in the crypto space should inform the application of securities laws to NFTs.

Secondary Market Sales: The settlement includes a clause to waive any royalties from future secondary market transactions involving the Founder’s Keys, a point that the Commissioners believe sets a concerning precedent for the NFT market.


The SEC’s action against Impact Theory is a watershed moment, but the dissenting statement from Commissioners Peirce and Uyeda underscores the need for clear regulatory guidelines. As the crypto and NFT landscapes continue to evolve, this case serves as both a cautionary tale and a call to action for regulatory bodies to provide more explicit guidance.

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SEC Charges Impact Theory for Unregistered NFT Sales

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Los Angeles-based media and entertainment firm, Impact Theory, LLC, with conducting an unregistered offering of crypto asset securities in the guise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The company, which raised an estimated $30 million from a broad spectrum of investors, including those from the U.S., is now under scrutiny for its actions between October and December 2021.

The SEC’s order reveals that Impact Theory had introduced three categories of NFTs, termed as Founder’s Keys. These were labeled “Legendary,” “Heroic,” and “Relentless.” The company had positioned these NFTs as a form of investment into its operations. Investors were led to believe that their investments would yield profits if Impact Theory’s endeavors bore fruit. The company’s ambitious claim of “trying to build the next Disney” and promises of delivering “tremendous value” to Founder’s Key holders further solidified this belief. The SEC has determined that these NFTs were, in essence, investment contracts, thus classifying them as securities. This means that Impact Theory’s actions were in violation of federal securities laws, as they had offered and sold these securities without registration.

Antonia Apps, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, stated, “Absent a valid exemption, offerings of securities, in whatever form, must be registered.” She emphasized the importance of registration in ensuring that investors are provided with the necessary protections guaranteed by securities laws.

In response to the charges, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Impact Theory has consented to a cease-and-desist order. This order acknowledges the company’s breach of the Securities Act of 1933’s registration provisions. The firm has been ordered to pay over $6.1 million, a sum that includes disgorgement, prejudgment interest, and a civil penalty. Additionally, a Fair Fund will be established to reimburse the investors who had purchased the NFTs. Impact Theory has also committed to destroying all Founder’s Keys in its possession, publicizing the order on its digital platforms, and waiving any royalties from future secondary market transactions involving the Founder’s Keys.

In 2021, crypto analyst ZachXBT had expressed skepticism about the project. In a series of tweets dated October 14, he highlighted potential issues with the project’s financial goals and criticized its roadmap. He pointed out that even if the NFT prices plummeted, the company would still raise around $33 million. He also took a jab at the company’s strategy, stating half of its roadmap was centered on selling more NFTs, while the other half focused on generic entrepreneurial events. Tom Bilyeu, presumably from Impact Theory, responded to ZachXBT’s criticism, acknowledging the need to earn a reputation in the NFT space through consistent actions.

The SEC’s investigation was spearheaded by a team from its New York Regional Office, with assistance from various divisions.

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Animoca Brands Reports US$402 Million Bookings for 2022

Animoca Brands, a leading figure in the realms of digital entertainment and blockchain technology, has unveiled its financial performance for the year ending 31 December 2022, providing a comprehensive insight into its achievements and future prospects.

The company’s financial health appears robust, with bookings escalating to a commendable A$594 million (approximately US$402 million). This figure represents a significant uptick from the A$428 million (around US$291 million) reported in the previous year. Such bookings are not just mere numbers; they encapsulate the company’s diverse ventures, including token sales, NFT (Non-Fungible Token) sales, and other activities that don’t necessarily fall under the blockchain umbrella.

Diving deeper into their financial reservoir, Animoca Brands has showcased a strong liquidity position. Their cash and stablecoin reserves are pegged at A$286 million (approximately US$191 million). Furthermore, the company’s liquid digital assets, which comprise reserves of the SAND utility token used predominantly in The Sandbox platform, are valued at a substantial A$690 million (roughly US$469 million). Such figures not only highlight the company’s financial prowess but also underscore its strategic investments in digital assets, which are becoming increasingly pivotal in today’s digital age.

Another noteworthy mention is the off-balance sheet token reserves associated with Animoca Brands’ majority-owned Web3 subsidiaries. These reserves have reached a staggering A$2.4 billion (about US$1.6 billion). This includes an array of tokens such as PROS, ASTRAFER, QUIDD, PRIMATE, REVV, TOWER, GMEE, and several others, reflecting the company’s diversified approach in the rapidly evolving blockchain space.

In terms of business expansion, 2022 was a landmark year for Animoca Brands. The company strategically acquired six firms, broadening its portfolio and fortifying its position in the market. These acquisitions include industry players like Grease Monkey Games, known for its prowess in game development, and PIXELYNX, a unique music metaverse gaming platform. Such acquisitions are a testament to Animoca’s vision of integrating diverse digital platforms to offer unparalleled user experiences.

The introduction of Web3 services by Animoca Brands in 2022 is a significant stride towards bridging the gap between traditional web platforms (Web2) and blockchain-based platforms (Web3). With this venture, the company aims to guide other businesses in seamlessly integrating tokens and NFTs into their existing models. This initiative alone contributed a whopping US$120 million to the total bookings for the year, underscoring its success and potential for future growth.

On the leadership front, the company has infused fresh talent into its senior management. The induction of industry stalwarts like Alan Lau, Minh Do, and Jared Shaw is expected to steer the company towards newer horizons.

Product development has also been in the limelight, with Blowfish Studios’ “Phantom Galaxies” making waves by securing US$19.3 million from its Planet Private Sale.

In conclusion, Animoca Brands, with its recognition from industry giants like Deloitte and the Financial Times, continues to shape the digital landscape. Its vast portfolio, strategic acquisitions, and focus on innovation position it as a formidable player in the digital property rights domain and the burgeoning open metaverse.

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Adult Content Platform Onlyfans’ 9,000 Ethereum Drops 25% in Value

On November 30, 2022, Onlyfans’ Ethereum (ETH) holdings had a book value of $11.43 million. On that day, the price of ETH was approximately $1,270, suggesting that Onlyfans held around 9,000 ETH. The purchase cost of these holdings was calculated to be $19.889 million, indicating an average purchase price of $2,210 per ETH.

However, with the current ETH price standing at $1,650, the value of these holdings has decreased to $14.85 million. This represents a floating loss of $5 million, or a 25% decline in value. The information was shared by Twitter user EmberCN.

Another tweet from wublockchain12 corroborated the data, stating that financial reports showed Onlyfans purchased ETH worth $19.889 million. As of November 30, 2022, the value of this ETH had depreciated by $8.455 million, bringing its book value to $11.43 million.

The decline in values of  OnlyFans’ Ethereum holdings serves as a stark reminder of the inherent volatility and risks associated with the cryptocurrency industry.

Beyond its cryptocurrency holdings, OnlyFans, a prominent adult content subscription service, has further augmented its wealth by diversifying into the crypto realm with offerings like NFTs. In February 2022, OnlyFans introduced a new feature allowing users to display verified NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as their profile pictures. This initiative by the UK-based company followed its announcement of the feature’s introduction in December. Joining the ranks of platforms like Twitter and Reddit, OnlyFans is exploring ways to integrate digital tokens into their services.

NFTs, digital assets maintained on blockchain technology, have seen a significant rise in popularity, with individuals purchasing various digital artworks and videos as NFTs. Former OnlyFans CEO, Ami Gan, who stepped down in July 2023, had emphasized the company’s mission to empower creators. She stated that the introduction of the NFT feature marked the beginning of their exploration into the potential role of NFTs on their platform. It’s noteworthy that OnlyFans supports NFTs minted exclusively on the Ethereum blockchain, and creators’ NFT profile pictures will display an Ethereum icon, signifying their authenticity.

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Former OpenSea Head of Product, Nathaniel Chastain, Sentenced in Pioneering NFT Insider Trading Case

Nathaniel Chastain, the former head of product at OpenSea, has been sentenced to three months in prison for his involvement in insider trading with digital assets. Chastain was responsible for selecting which NFTs would be featured prominently on OpenSea’s platform. He was convicted of “fraud and money laundering” in May, with potential penalties of up to 20 years for each charge.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI charged Chastain with generating over $50,000 in illicit profits from NFT trades. This case was highlighted as the first insider trading scheme involving digital assets. Insider trading is deemed illegal when individuals leverage non-public information for personal gain, thereby prioritizing their profits over obligations to their employer or the general public.

Legal representatives for Chastain argued that NFTs, unique digital tokens often representing ownership of digital art, are not securities. They further contended that the information Chastain used was not confidential. However, the court was not swayed by these arguments and allowed the case to proceed to trial.

Chastain’s illicit activities came to light after his departure from OpenSea in 2021. The company had asked for his resignation following an internal investigation that found he had breached his obligations to the OpenSea community. As a consequence of his conviction, Chastain forfeited his equity in OpenSea, which, according to his lawyers, was valued in the millions.

To facilitate his insider trading activities, Chastain created multiple digital wallets and OpenSea accounts. However, his actions did not go unnoticed, with the Crypto Twitter community highlighting his misconduct. Before his charges, Twitter users identified “burner” wallets linked to Chastain, where Ethereum from NFT sales was funneled back to his primary wallet.

In the evolving landscape of the crypto and digital assets market, insider trading has become a growing concern, especially given the less stringent regulations compared to traditional finance. Ishan Wahi, once a product manager at Coinbase Global, Inc., faced the consequences of such actions. On May 9, 2023, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska sentenced him to two years in prison for leaking confidential business information about forthcoming Coinbase crypto asset listings to his brother and a friend. This privileged information allowed them to execute profitable trades before Coinbase’s official announcements. Wahi had earlier confessed to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In the aftermath, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched separate civil proceedings against him.

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Cardano ADA Ecosystem Q2 2023: DeFi Growth, Stablecoins, and NFT Trends

Cardano ($ADA) ecosystem has witnessed significant growth and development in Q2 2023, according to Messari’s recent report. From the rise in stablecoin value to the expansion of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the network has seen remarkable progress.

Key insights from the report include a 34.9% QoQ growth in the total stablecoin market cap on Cardano, reaching $13.5 million, with Indigo Protocol leading the stablecoin and synthetic asset issuance.

Protocols created in the last ~6 months accounted for 47.4% TVL dominance in Q2. Cardano’s TVL (USD) was up 9.7% QoQ, moving from 34th to 21st in TVL ranking across all chains. Average daily dapp transactions were up 49% QoQ, with Minswap leading the growth.

In the DeFi sector, Minswap remained the liquidity king, ending Q2 with a TVL of $48.8 million. New protocols like VyFinance, Liqwid Finance, Djed, and Optim Finance also grew. Indigo and Djed emerged as the main stablecoin issuers, with Indigo witnessing a total liquidation volume of $3.6 million from 870 liquidations in Q2.

NFT transactions were down 35.7% QoQ, with total quarterly trading volume falling 41.9% QoQ to $46.2 million. Notable initiatives included the UN Refugee Agency using NFTs for charity. Milkomeda C1, launched in early 2022, brought EVM compatibility to Cardano, with daily unique contract callers surging 279.9% QoQ, driven by the gaming sector’s growth.

Project Catalyst, a decentralized fund for innovative projects, funded 1,163 proposals in nine rounds, with Fund 10 allocating 50 million ADA (~$14 million) among 13 Challenges. Cardano developers are building tools to support languages like Marlowe, Aiken, Plu-ts, Helios, and OpShin.

IOG launched a toolkit for building custom sidechains, and Wanchain announced its bridge on the Cardano preview testnet. Hydra, a family of scaling protocols, opened its first Head on the Cardano mainnet in March 2023, marking a significant step in scaling solutions.

Cardano’s ecosystem is expanding rapidly, with DeFi owning the spotlight in Q2. New protocols are emerging, and incumbent ones are building and maintaining a presence. The growth in stablecoins, NFTs, gaming, and Layer-2 solutions indicates a vibrant and evolving ecosystem.

With Project Catalyst Fund 10 in progress and continuous development in various sectors, Cardano’s future looks promising and filled with opportunities for innovation and growth.

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