In this recap of the crypto world, we will explore the events and news that had the most significant impact in the past week of February 20th. Our focus will be on the following developments:
- New YouTube CEO Bullish on Web3 and the Metaverse
- NFT sales surge following Blur airdrop
- Mastercard to allow crypto payments in Web3 via USDC settlements
- Coinbase Announces Base, Their Upcoming ETH-based Layer 2
- US lawmaker introduces bill aimed at limiting Fed’s authority on digital dollar
New YouTube CEO excited about Web3 and the Metaverse.
YouTube’s new CEO, Neal Mohan, recently shared his optimistic views on Web3 and the Metaverse. As a significant pastime for people worldwide, with around 75 million monthly visitors, it makes perfect sense that the video-streaming platform is receptive to the potential future of entertainment.
It is also a great way to encourage mass adoption of Web3 gaming and blockchain technology since Web3 and the Metaverse typically interact by using this technology to create decentralized virtual worlds with secure transactions and ownership of digital assets. Mohan has mentioned the importance of this in a past blog.
Mohan also acknowledged that many challenges must be overcome before the Metaverse becomes a reality. One major obstacle is the issue of access – only some have access to the technology necessary to participate in the Metaverse fully. Additionally, there are concerns about privacy and security. Still, it could offer users new dimensions of entertainment, social interaction, and opportunities, so he remains optimistic about the future of this exciting technology.
News concerning NFT aggregator, Blur continues to impress.
As you may have heard…Blur is an NFT aggregator that offers a platform and marketplace, distinguishing itself with faster metadata processing for cross-blockchain NFT viewing, buying, and selling. NFT holders have enjoyed using Blur due to quicker transactions, streamlined trading, and lower fees.
Despite Opensea going zero-fee with optional creator fees, this week’s numbers are not looking good for the marketplace giant. The Blur NFT marketplace has recorded a trading volume of $652.28 million over the past seven days, four times higher than OpenSea’s $150.66 million.
According to CryptoSlam, NFT sales surged by 159% from Feb. 17 to Feb. 23, most of the activity driven by Blur’s rewards. The total sales for the week rose to $772 million, with an average asset price of $566.43 on Tuesday, compared to $175.57 on Feb. 14. Cryptoslam’s Yehudah Petscher noted that Blur’s rewards are driving most of the activity across the NFT space, with Blur farming season 2 now open.
People enjoy the site’s mechanics and bidding system. Still, Petscher went on to say that although Blur’s continued success “all hinges on traders remaining active with bids and offers, if Blur continues to reward users with low or no fees, this has the potential to change the space completely.
Mastercard to allow crypto payments in Web3 via USDC settlements.
A Web3 payment protocol, Immersve, has partnered with Mastercard to enable users to make crypto payments in the digital, physical, and future metaverse worlds. The partnership allows decentralized protocols to settle real-time cryptocurrency transactions on outlets accepting Mastercard payments online.
Users can use their existing Web3 wallets to make direct crypto payments without relying on a third party for collateral. Once the transaction is successful, USDC (a United States dollar-backed stablecoin) will be converted to fiat and used to settle trades on Mastercard’s network. Immersive will partner with a third-party settlement provider, enabling users to use USDC for all purchases. USDC
Coinbase Introduces their new Layer 2 ‘Base.’
TL;DR: “Base is a secure, low-cost, developer-friendly Ethereum L2 built to bring the next billion users to web3.”
Coinbase recently announced the testnet launch of Base. It’s an Ethereum Layer 2 network aiming to onboard 1B+ new users into the crypto-economy. The base will house Coinbase’s on-chain products to achieve this goal and provide the best open ecosystem developers can build. They clarified that they would not be issuing any tokens for the network.
Some other notable features mentioned on Coinbase’s website state that their Layer 2 will leverage Ethereum’s security and scalability to power your decentralized apps. They will also make building these dApps easier with their proprietary products to transition you from Coinbase, Ethereum, and other interoperable blockchains. They have also mentioned a full Ethereum Virtual Machine Equivalence (EVM) but have yet to note to what degree or level. They do say using the Optimism Superchain:
“a horizontally scalable network of chains that share security, a communication layer, and an open source development stack. A permissionless system for deploying new chains to a shared network opens the door to massive scale, novel applications, a new revenue model that rewards application developers for the fees their chains generate, and rewards protocol developers for the public goods they create.”
Overall, it will be interesting to see how Base is received – especially from projects prioritizing decentralization since it is only a promise at this stage. More information specific to their approach to devolution can be found here.
Fed’s authority on the digital dollar should be minimized.
On Feb. 22, Representative Tom Emmer proposed the “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives to limit the Federal Reserve’s ability to create a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The bill seeks to safeguard Americans’ financial privacy by preventing the Fed from distributing digital dollars directly to individuals, restricting the central bank from using CBDC-based monetary policy, and mandating transparency for digital dollar-related initiatives. Emmer, who hails from Minnesota, hopes the bill will preserve citizens’ rights to financial privacy.
Representative Emmer emphasized that any digital form of the U.S. dollar must uphold American values of privacy, individual sovereignty, and free market competitiveness. Please do so to avoid creating a dangerous surveillance tool. The proposed bill would amend the Federal Reserve Act, limiting the Fed’s authority concerning CBDCs, if passed in both the House and Senate and signed by President Joe Biden. Emmer introduced a similar bill in January 2022. Supporters of the legislation cited financial privacy as a reason for their approval.
Representative Emmer has been known for his crypto-friendly stance, advocating for reduced regulation to foster innovation in the industry. In December, he requested Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler appear before Congress to address his regulatory failures’ cost.