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 Sept 04. Our focus will be on the following developments:
- VISA to Begin Using Solana Blockchain for USDC Settlements
- Gala Games Experiencing Web3 Drama
- Ark Invest Officially Files for Spot ETH ETF
- MetaMask Introduces ‘Sell’ Feature
VISA to Begin Using Solana Blockchain for USDC Settlements
In a significant move toward advancing the efficiency and speed of cross-border payments, global payments giant Visa has announced its support for USDC payments settled on the Solana blockchain. This development represents a pivotal moment for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, as it showcases the growing acceptance of digital currencies and blockchain technology in the mainstream financial world.
As per Cointelegraph, Visa has not only expressed its intent to support USDC on Solana but has also actively engaged in live and completed pilot programs with various issuers and acquirers. These trials involve the seamless transfer of millions of USDC tokens between partners, spanning both the Ethereum and Solana blockchains, to facilitate fiat-based payments. This initiative aims to improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border settlements and presents a modernized solution for clients seeking to send or receive funds from Visa’s treasury.
One notable aspect of this announcement is Visa’s collaboration with Crypto.com. The partnership began with the goal of enabling Crypto.com users to settle cross-border payments using Ethereum, particularly in conjunction with Crypto.com’s Visa cards. This signifies Visa’s willingness to collaborate with established players in the cryptocurrency space, demonstrating its commitment to exploring innovative solutions to enhance the payment ecosystem.
Gala Games Experiencing Web3 Drama
Gala Games, a prominent blockchain gaming platform, has recently become the stage for a dramatic showdown. The co-founders of Gala Games, Eric Schiermeyer and Wright Thurston, find themselves embroiled in a legal battle comprising two distinct lawsuits that have cast a shadow over the platform’s reputation.
The drama began when Gala Games’ CEO, Eric Schiermeyer, made a startling allegation against the company’s director, Wright Thurston. Schiermeyer asserted that Thurston, through his company True North United Investments, which holds a significant 45% stake in Gala Games, had orchestrated the theft of a staggering $130 million worth of GALA tokens in 2021. According to Schiermeyer, the tokens initially found their way into a company wallet but were subsequently dispersed into 43 other wallets under Thurston’s control. The tokens were then allegedly sold through a convoluted series of transactions, described as a “complex web of obfuscatory transactions,” spanning from September 2022 to May 2023.
On the other side of this contentious dispute, Thurston retaliated with allegations of his own. He claimed that Schiermeyer had acted unilaterally and without seeking his input, conducting transactions that led to the “sell-off and waste of millions of dollars in company assets.” In legal terms, this is referred to as “corporate waste.” Thurston’s lawsuit paints a picture of Schiermeyer as having “covertly acted and engaged in transactions on behalf of BGP (also known as Gala Games),” and purportedly using the company’s assets and earnings for his personal benefit.
As per Decrypt, both lawsuits have far-reaching implications, demanding not only the removal of the respective defendant but also substantial compensation and relief. Thurston’s lawsuit is seeking a staggering $750 million in damages, asserting that Schiermeyer misappropriated at least $600 million from the company’s funds for his own purposes. In contrast, Schiermeyer’s lawsuit seeks the recovery of the $130 million GALA tokens that he alleges were stolen, in addition to damages.
Ark Invest Officially Files for Spot ETH ETF
In a bold stride towards advancing the accessibility of cryptocurrencies in traditional finance, Ark Invest and 21Shares have jointly filed for the creation of the first-ever US exchange-traded fund (ETF) designed to directly invest in Ethereum (ETH), the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. This pioneering investment vehicle, known as the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF, is poised to reshape the cryptocurrency investment landscape and offer investors unprecedented access to the digital asset.
What distinguishes the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF from recent proposals for ETH futures spot ETFs is its direct holding of Ethereum. By investing directly in ETH, this ETF not only offers a unique investment opportunity but also demonstrates the unwavering commitment of Ark Invest and 21Shares to providing a variety of products to the market.
The filing made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday signifies a significant milestone in the ongoing evolution of the cryptocurrency industry. Furthermore, according to WatcherGuru, if the ARK 21Shares Ethereum ETF receives regulatory approval, it will be traded under the ticker symbol ARKE, serving as a benchmark for Ethereum-focused investments in the United States.
MetaMask Introduces ‘Sell’ Feature
In a significant move that underscores the growing integration of cryptocurrencies into everyday financial transactions, MetaMask, the popular Ethereum wallet and dApp, has introduced a “Sell” feature. This new option empowers users to seamlessly convert their cryptocurrency holdings into fiat currency, making it easier than ever to access the value of their digital assets.
The mechanics of the “Sell” feature are designed to provide the utmost convenience. Users can initiate cryptocurrency-to-fiat conversions directly within their MetaMask Portfolio. Once the conversion is complete, users have the flexibility to transfer the proceeds to their bank accounts or PayPal balances, bridging the gap between the digital and traditional financial worlds.
As of its launch, the “Sell” feature within MetaMask is primarily focused on ETH-to-fiat conversions. MetaMask has also revealed ambitious plans to expand the feature’s capabilities in the future, incorporating native gas tokens on layer-2 networks. This expansion hints at a broader and more versatile range of cryptocurrency conversions in the pipeline.
In its initial rollout, “Sell” is accessible to users in key markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and select parts of Europe. To cater to the unique requirements of each region, the functionality supports the local currency – the US dollar, the British pound, and the Euro, respectively. However, as part of its commitment to a global user base, MetaMask has announced its intention to expand the availability of this feature to a broader range of regions, truly catering to its worldwide community. Read more on this here.