Weekly Crypto Recap (January 15th-21th)

Type: 

News

Here's a weekly recap from Metaverse.SG and the most notable crypto events this week were:

Mozaic's Grant from Arbitrum Foundation 

Solana Mobile's Second Smartphone

OKX Expands to the Middle East

Gulf Binance Opens in Thailand

EU's New Crypto Regulations

Market Reacts to Yuga Labs' Free Dookey Dash


Detailed info is below!


Mozaic's Grant from Arbitrum Foundation


What is Mozaic? Mozaic, a protocol that aims to leverage AI for optimizing yield farming strategies, recently announced with excitement that they have received a grant from the Arbitrum Foundation. This grant is set to be utilized for audit costs and incentives in anticipation of the launch of their Theseus Vault, which is built on top of the GMX.IO Market (GM) pools. The introduction of the vault is scheduled to commence with a group of testers initially, before becoming accessible to a wider public audience.


Details of the grant The grant received by Mozaic is part of a larger initiative by Arbitrum to support projects on its Ethereum Layer 2 network. In the first round of the Short-Term Incentive Program (STIP), 29 projects were chosen to share about $40 million worth of ARB tokens, with the goal of fostering development within the Arbitrum ecosystem. GMX, known for its perpetual trading protocol, was the primary recipient of the STIP, receiving a substantial part of the grant, which equates to $15 million. The allocation of these funds is seen as a significant step in enhancing the services offered by these platforms and integrating them further within the Arbitrum ecosystem.


Who else got granted? It's important to note that nearly 100 projects applied for funding, out of which 29 successfully received grants. Some projects like Lido Finance, a liquid staking solution, and Curve Finance, a major DeFi platform, did not receive grants, sparking discussions about the voting outcomes and their implications on the perceived centralizing influence on the Ethereum staking ecosystem


Solana Mobile's Second Smartphone


New Smartphone Solana Mobile is set to release a second smartphone, following the success of its first model, the Saga. The new phone, which has yet to be named publicly, will retain essential features like the onboard crypto wallet, custom Android software, and access to a decentralized application (dApp) store. However, it will come with new hardware and a more affordable price point than its predecessor, aiming to make crypto-friendly features more accessible to a broader audience​​​​.


Response of the community The initial response to the announcement of this second smartphone has been overwhelmingly positive, with a surge in preorders indicating high consumer interest. Solana Mobile reached its seven-day sales goal within just 24 hours of the announcement, reflecting the market's demand for more cost-effective, crypto-integrated smartphones. The new device will be offered initially at $450, which is less than the $599 price for the Saga, and is expected to ship in the first half of 2025​​.


Potential of the new phone This move by Solana Mobile could potentially address the inflated secondary market prices for the Saga, which saw bids as high as $3,200 on platforms like eBay. The soaring demand was partly driven by the distribution of Bonk tokens to Saga owners, which at one point exceeded the smartphone's price, creating an arbitrage opportunity​​.



OKX Expands to the Middle East


Middle East Expansion OKX's local subsidiary, Middle East Fintech FZE, has been granted a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) license by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This strategic move is set to bolster OKX's presence in the Middle East, enabling the subsidiary to offer services like local currency trading pairs including AED/BTC and AED/ETH. The license will come into operation once certain conditions and localization requirements are fully satisfied by OKX Middle East Fintech FZE.


Goal of the Branch This development is part of a broader trend of crypto firms establishing a foothold in Dubai, which has become an attractive location for cryptocurrency and blockchain companies due to its welcoming regulatory environment. The granting of the VASP license is indicative of Dubai's commitment to becoming a hub for Web3 and cryptocurrency innovation.



Gulf Binance Opens in Thailand 


Thailand x Binance ​Gulf Binance, the joint venture between global cryptocurrency exchange Binance and Thailand's Gulf Innova, has officially commenced operations, opening up its crypto exchange services to the public in Thailand. This follows a successful invite-only test phase that took place in November. The venture, known as Binance TH, allows Thai users to trade cryptocurrencies using local currency pairings, which marks a significant step in Binance’s expansion and local compliance in the region.



EU's New Crypto Regulations


New Legislative Remarks The European Union has reached a provisional agreement which will compel crypto firms to perform due diligence on transactions of €1,000 or more. This measure is part of the EU's broader efforts to bolster anti-money laundering regulations within the crypto sector. This agreement is yet to be officially adopted and will undergo further review by the European Parliament. If endorsed, these regulations will be formally adopted and become effective three years following their publication in the EU’s Official Journal. The EU's new Anti-Money Laundering Regulation (AMLR) seeks to enforce a single rulebook and establish a supervisory authority with oversight over the crypto sector as well. 


Market Reacts to Yuga Labs' Free Dookey Dash


Dip of ApeCoin ApeCoin, the cryptocurrency associated with Yuga Labs' Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystem, experienced a price dip following the announcement of a free version of the Dookey Dash game. This free-to-play iteration of Dookey Dash, called "Unclogged," is aimed at broadening the game's accessibility to a wider audience beyond the holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club's Sewer Pass NFTs. Despite the dip, there was also a report of a subsequent 10% jump in ApeCoin's value, suggesting a volatile response to the news among investors and gamers alike.


The aim of the free version The free version of the game includes new features such as magnetic and slow boosters, catering to an endless runner experience through a digital sewer. The game is available on various operating systems, including Windows, iOS, and Android. The intent behind this move is to attract traditional gamers from the Web2 space to the Web3 ecosystem. Furthermore, Bored Ape Yacht Club and other Yuga's NFT owners might receive special rewards in ApeCoin or other on-chain assets for their engagement with the game.


Overall Yuga Strategy While the initial dip might concern investors, the broader strategy seems to be focused on increasing the game's player base and fostering greater integration of Web3 gaming experiences. The developments also indicate a push by ApeCoin's community to work on their own Layer-1 blockchain, which could potentially increase the utility of APE as the gas and governance token on this new platform.


This was the Metaverse.SG team! Subscribe to our newsletter and see you next week!


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