AI Crypto Firms Will Merge Tokens in Bid to Take on Big Tech

AI-centric crypto firms SingularityNET, Fetch.ai and Ocean Protocol will merge their tokens under a single token known as the Artificial Superintelligence token, ASI, with a fully diluted value of $7.6 billion. Although the three companies will continue to operate separately, an Artificial Superintelligence Alliance comprised of members from each will guide the vision. The ASIA goal is to develop decentralized AI technology on blockchain as an alternative to the large corporations currently controlling AI. The end game, to create artificial general intelligence. The merger is contingent on approval from each community’s members. Continue reading AI Crypto Firms Will Merge Tokens in Bid to Take on Big Tech

Ethereum Software Upgrade Could Reduce Transaction Fees

Ethereum, the second most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, has completed a software upgrade that aims to make its network cheaper. Called Dencun, the update lowers the cost of so-called layer-2 networks — which include chains like Base, Polygon and Arbitrum — to about a cent for transactions that previously cost $1, while exchanges that used to cost a few cents are reduced to fractions of a cent. Accomplished through a new system of storing data, the upgrade is being welcomed as a harbinger of a development renaissance brimming with new applications and free services. Continue reading Ethereum Software Upgrade Could Reduce Transaction Fees

IP Theft Common in NFT Markets, But No New Laws Required

A government study finds that while IP theft is commonplace in the world of NFTs, existing laws can be applied to protect U.S. copyright, trademark and patent rights. Those are the findings of a study released this month by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in conjunction with the U.S. Copyright Office. The 112-page report concludes “existing statutory enforcement mechanisms are currently sufficient to address infringement concerns related to NFT applications, and that changes to intellectual property laws,” or to registration and recordation practices, “are not necessary or advisable at this time.” Continue reading IP Theft Common in NFT Markets, But No New Laws Required

Bitcoin Hits Record $69,000 High Following SEC Rule Change

After a tumultuous two-year slump, Bitcoin rebounded this week when it briefly reached a new all-time high exceeding $69,000, marking a more than 300 percent rise since November 2022 when the price was below $20,000. The prior record of just below $68,790 dates back to November 2021. The 2024 rally comes on the heels of regulatory action approving rules that make it simpler for individuals to invest in Bitcoin by allowing some large investment firms including BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale and Valkyrie to add it to their funds, making it easier for the average investor to choose it as a portfolio option. Continue reading Bitcoin Hits Record $69,000 High Following SEC Rule Change

SEC Treats NFTs as Unregistered Securities, Fines Company

After raising $30 million from investors and generating $5.4 million selling NFTs on marketplace OpenSea, Los Angeles-based entertainment firm Impact Theory LLC has agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission a $6 million settlement in what has been reported as the SEC’s first NFT enforcement action. Impact Theory was accused of selling “unregistered asset securities in the form of purported non-fungible tokens.” Purported, because the SEC claims the NFTs “sold to investors were investment contracts and therefore securities” and as such, are required by law to be registered. Continue reading SEC Treats NFTs as Unregistered Securities, Fines Company

SEC Provides Binance a Lifeline as It Pursues Fraud Charges

A federal court has approved an agreement between Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao and the Securities and Exchange Commission that will allow the embattled cryptocurrency firm to continue operating while fighting an SEC civil fraud lawsuit, the outcome of which may determine the future of the crypto business in the United States. Filed June 5, the Binance charge rocked an industry already reeling from market turmoil and SEC complaints against Coinbase and the founder of FTX. The SEC initially moved to freeze Binance’s U.S. assets, but the company said that would put it out of business here. Continue reading SEC Provides Binance a Lifeline as It Pursues Fraud Charges

CES: Crypto Leaders Weigh Benefits of Wallets, Self-Custody

CoinDesk managing editor Toby Bochan, who moderated a CES panel on “How to Keep Control of Your Crypto” noted the industry is in a “crypto winter” in the aftermath of the FTX meltdown. Panelists pinpointed crypto wallets and other self-custody technology to create trust and ease-of-use for wary customers. Bitski head of product Jasmine Xu noted that newbies face unfamiliar phraseology and uncertainty about the security of their crypto assets. Exchanges are intimidating and untrustworthy for many considering crypto. Xu’s company stores keys in a digital wallet, she said, to “give consumers the safety they need.” Continue reading CES: Crypto Leaders Weigh Benefits of Wallets, Self-Custody

Cryptocurrency Implosion Continues with BlockFi Bankruptcy

The fallout from cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s implosion continues, as BlockFi becomes the latest crypto lender to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in the wake of similar moves by Voyager and Celsius. BlockFi, which was to have been acquired by FTX, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey indicating more than 100,000 creditors, and liabilities combined with assets that range from $1 billion to $10 billion. An outstanding loan to Sam Bankman-Fried’s bankrupt American division FTX US for $275 million was among the liabilities. Continue reading Cryptocurrency Implosion Continues with BlockFi Bankruptcy

Ethereum Foundation Completes ‘Merge’ for Energy Efficiency

Ethereum completed its highly anticipated software upgrade known as The Merge last week, shifting to a more eco-friendly and sustainable framework. The upgrade is designed to reduce Ethereum’s energy consumption while making the platform cheaper and easier to use and laying the groundwork for future improvements. Ethereum developers prepared with diligence and attention to detail, but the industry was still on pins and needles as engineers scanned for snags and, though unlikely, braced for the possibility of systemwide collapse. Huge in scale, it was a high-wire act transitioning a live network. Continue reading Ethereum Foundation Completes ‘Merge’ for Energy Efficiency

Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Method Will Reduce Energy Use

Mining on the blockchain is a notorious energy hog and bad for the environment. Ethereum is on the verge of a big change aimed at substantially reducing its carbon footprint. After seven years of using the traditional proof-of-work mining technique, Ethereum is switching to the more efficient proof-of-stake method that is expected to reduce energy consumption by 99.5 percent. That change, known as The Merge, is scheduled to take place September 14. The Merge will see Ethereum’s proof-of-work blockchain fused with the proof-of-stake Beacon Chain, which launched in December 2020 but has yet to process its first transaction. Continue reading Ethereum’s Proof-of-Stake Method Will Reduce Energy Use

‘Minecraft’ Developer Mojang Rejects Blockchain, NFT Tech

Mojang Studios, creator of the wildly popular “Minecraft” game, has taken a public stance banning NFT integrations and blockchain functionality. The Stockholm-based company, owned since 2014 by Microsoft, stated this week that “integrations of NFTs with ‘Minecraft’ are generally not something we will support or allow.” Mojang says it is updating terms of use with further details explaining its position, but a blog post emphases ensuring “Minecraft” players have “access to the same content.” In a blog post, Mojang concludes NFTs “can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our guidelines.” Continue reading ‘Minecraft’ Developer Mojang Rejects Blockchain, NFT Tech

IP Protection for NFTs and Blockchain Assets Is Still Unclear

As blockchain projects diversify into sales marketplaces for creative works, many find themselves dealing with copyright problems due to uncertainty as to how existing law applies to things like NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). For instance, while purchase of an NFT confers certain rights, copyright isn’t one of them, unless the buyer applies for a standard copyright license. Spice DAO spent $3 million to purchase director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1970s illustrated pitch for an unfilmed version of “Dune,” only to have the “Dune” copyright holder block the ability to turn the storyboards into an animated film. Continue reading IP Protection for NFTs and Blockchain Assets Is Still Unclear

Espresso Raises $32M in Its Bid to Advance Blockchain Tech

Cryptography experts from Stanford University are brewing up Espresso, a new Layer-1 system that aims to crack the so-called ‘blockchain trilemma’ of balancing decentralization, security and scalability. Described as a privacy-focused blockchain geared to those who find the public-facing aspect of most platforms unsuitable for their sensitive data, Espresso Systems is building “solutions that will unlock new possibilities for Web3 applications and usher in the next generation of users.” The company stepped out of the lab this week to introduce itself with $32 million in funding, led by Electric Capital and Greylock Partners. Continue reading Espresso Raises $32M in Its Bid to Advance Blockchain Tech