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Weekly News: CPI rests at 3%, Rick & Morty do Blockchain, & Telegram introduces WalletPay
Stay Updated on the Latest Market Trends, Entertainment Innovations, and Cryptocurrency Developments in this Weekly News Roundup
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) currently rests at 3%, a figure representing only a third of its highest level from the previous year. This indicates a deceleration in inflation across a broad spectrum of categories. This trend alleviates some of the urgency for the Federal Reserve (the Fed) to persist in raising interest rates.
However, as the comparative figures from last year become more challenging, the progression of headline inflation could hit a plateau. Despite this, it’s expected that the reduction in core inflation may gain momentum. This acceleration can be attributed to factors like decreased prices for used vehicles and a continued downturn in housing costs. While the Fed is projected to raise rates again this month, the justification for future monetary policy tightening is becoming less compelling due to the slowing inflation rate.
Indonesia’s Commodity Futures Trading Supervisory Agency plans to introduce a national cryptocurrency exchange, the only platform for public crypto trading in the country, by the end of July.
Google has revised its guidelines to permit the incorporation of digital assets and NFTs within apps available on the Google Play Store.
Telegram has introduced WalletPay, a new feature that enables merchants on the platform to accept payments in Bitcoin, Tether, and Toncoin for their goods and services.
In the transition to Polygon 2.0, the Polygon team proposes a new token, POL, to replace MATIC as the universal token across all Polygon-based networks.
EigenLayer, a protocol that allows staked Ether to secure additional applications beyond the Ethereum blockchain, has rapidly accumulated around $75M in liquid staking tokens amid speculation of a potential token airdrop from the project.
Coinbase Wallet has launched an encrypted messaging feature that enables users to send messages and USDC stablecoins directly to wallet addresses on the platform without transaction fees.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) has encouraged stablecoin issuers to voluntarily comply with the EU’s forthcoming Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulations before they become mandatory over the next 12 to 18 months.
Decentralized exchange aggregator CoW Swap has launched “Hooks”, a feature allowing users to process additional transactions before or after a trade, thus chaining actions like swapping, bridging, and staking together to reduce transaction fees and time.
OpenSea has now incorporated support for NFTs on Zora’s Ethereum Layer-2 Network.
Aave has introduced its GHO stablecoin on Ethereum, allowing Aave v3 users to mint the stablecoin against their deposited assets, offering a fixed interest rate of 1.5%, with a 30% discount for AAVE stakers.
In The News
Ordinals, an inscription method for creating NFT-like assets on the Bitcoin blockchain, has seen a surge in activity following the launch of BRC-69. This new token standard reduces the fees for creating Ordinals by 90%. The increase in usage and the stable fee trend demonstrates BRC-69’s effectiveness. The introduction of Ordinals in January 2023 has stimulated unprecedented activity on the Bitcoin network, indicating the potential for more complex digital asset management on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Krapopolis, an innovative project by Fox Entertainment and Blockchain Creative Labs, is integrating blockchain technology into TV programming. Despite market fluctuations, the project has moved forward with a star-studded cast and a narrative set in Ancient Greece. The show introduced ‘Krap Chickens’ NFTs as tickets to access the series, bringing in 512 ETH (about $957,726). These NFTs offer additional perks like behind-the-scenes content and exclusive events. The launch of Krapopolis could mark a new era of blockchain-based engagement in entertainment.
ConsenSys, the development firm behind MetaMask, has launched its Layer-2 network, Linea, on the main Ethereum network. Linea is a zkEVM that aims to scale Ethereum by reducing transaction costs and increasing throughput for smart contracts. The launch follows five years of development and is expected to offer transaction fees 15 times lower than Ethereum. This launch marks a significant step in ConsenSys’s efforts to enhance Ethereum’s scalability.
Starbucks has partnered with Aku NFT collection for its Web3 loyalty program, Odyssey. This collaboration will introduce an exclusive digital stamp designed by Aku, available to Odyssey members until August 13. Starbucks will also donate $100,000 to a non-profit organization, Blessings in a Backpack. The Aku NFT collection, created by baseball player Micah Johnson, has been popular among celebrities like Trevor Noah, Pusha T, and Tyra Banks. Starbucks’ Odyssey program, launched in partnership with Polygon blockchain and Nifty Gateway, allows members to participate in interactive activities and earn rewards.
Nicole Steel, founder of La Maison Steel, has launched a luxury collection of connected cuffs for the Apple Watch. The SmrtKuffs range from entry-level leathers to diamond-encrusted versions. Each cuff features an NFC chip that provides access to a digital ID and provenance information via an NFT on Polygon. These digital passports also support sustainability and traceability by displaying a product’s CITES certification. In addition to the cuffs, Steel has also introduced a limited-edition bag line that includes NFC chips and additional NFT digital twins. This innovative blend of fashion and technology is part of Steel’s aim to combat counterfeiting and encourage more people to adopt blockchain technology.
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