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As part of a new series of connect-to-consumer initiatives developed this year, Shopify will allow merchants to connect with fans and drive sales by creating exclusive merchandise for tokenholders. The initiative, dubbed “tokengate,” is available in early-access beta mode.
Ready to give superpowers to your most loyal fans?
Build even stronger communities around your brand and reward your people by unlocking exclusive shopping experiences. Think limited-edition merch drops, discounts, and much more (oh hey @doodles). pic.twitter.com/gyq5iu2GRH
— Shopify (@Shopify) June 22, 2022
To get started, vendors can create a tokengate shop directly on the Shopify app or add the feature directly in-store. Buyers would then need to connect their crypto wallet and verify they are owners of applicable nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, to shop gated merchandise or access exclusive events. The feature serves as a gateway between NFT communities and consumer brands on the platform.
In addition, vendors can partner with other brands for upcoming NFT drops and team up with Shopify’s merchandising partners to develop premium products. Furthermore, vendors can mint custom NFTs on popular blockchains like Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Flow. Afterward, they can list and sell them right from their store.
The beta is open by invitation only to select merchants with an NFT collection. Neither the seller nor buyer needs to pay with crypto to purchase NFTs. Payment gateways include Shopify Payments, Shop Pay, various crypto payment gateways, and credit or debit cards. Buyers can claim their NFTs via email and add them directly to their wallets.
Doodles co-founder Evan Keast, whose NFTs project has joined the initiative, commented:
“As an ambitious community-driven project, we’ve placed a strong emphasis on setting the standard for unique NFT collector experiences. By partnering with Shopify on tokengated merch, we surprised our holders and gave the ownership of a Doodle a whole new meaning.”
ANZ’s stablecoin A$DC has been used to buy Australian tokenized carbon credits, marking another critical test of the asset’s use cases in the local economy.
In March, the “Big Four” bank became the first major Australian financial institution to mint its own stablecoin after overseeing a pilot transaction worth $20.76 million, or 30 million Australian dollars (AUD), between Victor Smorgon Group and digital asset manager Zerocap.
ANZ’s stablecoin is fully collateralized by AUD held in the bank’s managed reserved account. So far, A$DC transactions have primarily been conducted over the Ethereum blockchain.
According to a Monday report from the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the latest transaction saw its long-time institutional partner Victor Smorgon use A$DC to purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).
The carbon credits were tokenized and provided by BetaCarbon, a blockchain-based carbon trading platform that issues digital security assets dubbed BCAUs, which represent one kilogram of carbon offsets per credit.
The transaction also saw participation from Zerocap again, who provided market-making services and liquidity by exchanging the A$DC sent from Victor Smorgon into USD Coin (USDC) so that BetaCarbon could accept the deal. The value of the transaction has not been specified, however.
In terms of the bank’s outlook on the crypto/blockchain sector, ANZ’s banking services portfolio lead Nigel Dobson told the AFR that the firm is looking at blockchain tech as a means of “pursuing the transition of financial market infrastructure” and is not necessarily interested in speculative crypto assets themselves:
“We see this is evolving from being internet-protocol based to one of ‘tokenized’ protocols. We think the underlying infrastructure — efficient, secure, public blockchains — will facilitate transactions, both ones we understand today and new ones that will be more efficient.”
Dobson echoed similar sentiments at the Chainalysis Links event in Sydney on June 21, noting that ANZ promptly “banned the word crypto immediately in all of our internal communications and narrative” when it started exploring blockchain tech a few years ago.
He went on to add that the bank has explored multiple use cases for blockchain tech, such as supply chain tracking and providing on-ramps via stablecoins for institutions to invest in digital assets. However, Dobson suggested that tokenized carbon credits were a key area that the bank has been gearing up for:
“Another area where we have a strong position in terms of sustainability is where we feel the tokenization of carbon credits and marketplaces driven by tokenized assets and tokenized value exchange will be really efficient.”
At the start of this month, ANZ ruled out offering any crypto exposure to retail investors due to their lack of financial literacy.
Maile Carnegie, an executive for retail banking, noted at the Australian Financial Review Banking Summit that “the vast majority of them don’t understand really basic financial well-being concepts.”
We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, our 6 Questions go to Daniel Yan, founding partner and chief operating officer at Matrixport — a digital assets financial services platform where users can invest, trade and leverage crypto assets.
Hey guys, this is Dan — I am a founding partner at Matrixport. I have been COO of the company since 2019 overseeing the day-to-day operation of the company. Late last year, I started to spend most of my time building Matrixport Ventures — the venture investment arm of the company. It has been a great experience for me both personally and professionally. There has not been a boring day since I dipped my toes into crypto, let’s say! Prior to my stint in crypto, I was an options trader in the investment banking industry.
I will have to first challenge the statement that “none have really taken off quite yet!” Ethereum for smart contract, OpenSea for NFTs, MetaMask for DApp, and Uniswap for DeFi — by my standard, they are all moment-defining successful projects.
I believe all of them will stick and present themselves as key components of the “Web3 world” we are going into.
Will there be challengers and totally new categories that we can’t even fathom right now? Absolutely. That’s the beauty of the crypto world. For most people, DeFi was not a thing till 2020, NFT was not a thing till 2021. We will continue to see category-defining innovations coming along as we progress as an industry.
There are many, but if I have to choose one, that would be managing the extremely cyclical volatility and turbulence in the industry.
Due to the nascent nature of the industry (yes, still), things tend to be very volatile both ways — no matter in a bull market or a bear market. Throughout these turbulences, there will always be customers that don’t feel the best — no matter what’s on their positions, their executions or simply on the mood. We always try to help customers go through these times better, and that sometimes means tough conversations, difficult decisions, and other things that’s not so easy.
This could be a cliche answer already, but I think Sam Bankman-Fried is my pick. First, he built an extremely successful business at Alameda and FTX. Then, he became a very vocal supporter on multiple key frontiers in the industry and managed to contribute in a substantial way to the growth of them (Alternative L1, DeFi). At the same time, he managed to build his influence in the traditional finance and regulatory space — now a key lobbyist power for the crypto industry.
It takes a lot to achieve just one of the three, so I think the fact he managed to hit all three is beyond impressive.
Bitcoin goes to $100, and I buy loads of them.
Geeky, goofy and shy. Let’s say I have come a long way from then…
Kindness, courage and confidence.
They are quite self-explanatory, so I guess I don’t need to elaborate more.
However, they are easier said than done — from time to time, I will have to remind myself of these and try to do better.
Be courageous, and don’t be afraid to fail. Keep building, and WAGMI!
Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Sam Bankman-Fried stated on June 20 that his firms Alameda Research and FTX would be “stepping in” to help companies with liquidity troubles amid the current bear market. Over the course of the week, Alameda dished out a loan of roughly $500 million to Voyager Digital, which is suffering from exposure to the potentially insolvent Three Arrows Capital, while FTX supplied BlockFi with $250 million worth of credit.
YouTuber Philip Rusnack, known as Philion, published a video this week on Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape Yacht Club nonfungible token (NFT) project, arguing that the team has embedded alt-right inside jokes, Nazi imagery and racist caricatures of Black and Asian people in the artwork depicted in the tokenized avatars. Such a notion has been a long-running conspiracy theory in the NFT community, and while many people laugh it off, others take the supposed evidence as gospel.
With Bitcoin crashing back down to the lower $20,000s, Google searches for “Bitcoin dead” spiked in the week of Friday, June 18, and hit some of the highest levels on record. Google Trends tracks search interest over time and assigns scores of 1 to 100 based on the total number of user searches. During this period, “Bitcoin dead” achieved a perfect score of 100.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has critiqued the stock-to-flow (S2F) model popularized by pseudonymous investor PlanB. The BTC-focused S2F drew significant attention during the bull run last year, as it went on a relatively long streak of accurate predictions before falling way off the mark in late 2021. Commenting on the S2F model, Buterin noted, “I know it’s impolite to gloat and all that, but I think financial models that give people a false sense of certainty and predestination that number-will-go-up are harmful and deserve all the mockery they get.”
Solana-based DeFi lending protocol Solend created a counter governance vote to the controversial “SLND1 : Mitigate Risk From Whale” poll this week after listening to the strong pushback from the community. The initial vote was intended to allow Solend to reduce the market risk of a massive whale’s potential liquidation by letting the platform access the whale’s wallet. However, the idea has been vetoed after the countervote polled 1,480,264 votes in favor of not going through with the whale takeover.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Harmony (ONE) at 4.06%, KuCoin Token (KCS) at 1.93% and PAX Gold (PAXG) at 1.55%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
“Particularly in the area of digital asset trading, I feel that the UK has missed a trick […] We are getting very close to the point where it will be too late. Other jurisdictions are racing ahead of us.”
Philip Hammond, former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer
“In short, they are just ‘bad’ projects. These should not be saved. Sadly, some of these ‘bad’ projects have a large number of users, often acquired through inflated incentives, ‘creative’ marketing, or pure Ponzi schemes.”
Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance
“The SEC now seems to take the position when they sued us that ‘XRP is a security and always has been,’ but they approved Coinbase going public even though Coinbase is not a registered broker-dealer.”
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple
“Web3 and crypto, in general, is very market-driven, so you have highs and downs. When we build, we always are considering the long game.”
Stani Kulechov, founder and CEO of Aave
“When things are a bit harder in the market, you discover who’s actually building something that might last for the long longer term and what is going to pass away.”
Hester Peirce, commissioner of the SEC
“Even if we weren’t the ones who caused it, or weren’t involved in it. I think that’s what’s healthy for the ecosystem, and I want to do what can help it grow and thrive.”
Sam Bankman-Fried, founder of Alameda Research
With the price of BTC hovering around $20,000 and the Fed yet to reveal any new information regarding efforts to reel in inflation, crypto commentators have argued that the outlook of the price in the immediate term is uncertain. However, a potential fresh pullback may only involve a trip to $16,000, according to some, while others have urged investors to consider a drop to $10,000 as a potential scenario also.
“Consolidating $BTC in a broad range and then going up. MDD (maximum drawdown) is not that big like -20%,” Ki Young Ju, CEO of on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant, wrote in part of a Twitter post.
“At this stage, nobody can say with certainty whether BTC will hold this range or if it will go to sub $10K price levels ever again, but it would be foolish not to have a plan for that possibility,” a tweet argued.
The Horizon Bridge to the Harmony layer-1 blockchain was exploited for $100 million worth of altcoins on June 24. From 7:08 am EST until 7:26 am EST, 11 transactions were made from the bridge for various tokens before sending the tokens off to Uniswap to exchange for ETH. The Harmony team said it is working with “national authorities and forensic specialists” to determine who was responsible, and a post-mortem will follow.
Social media and payments app giant WeChat updated its policies to ban accounts that provide access to crypto or NFT-related services. Under the new guidelines, accounts involved with the issuance, trading and financing of crypto and NFTs will be categorized as an “illegal business” and will either be restricted or banned outright.
According to reports from local media outlets this week, Iran’s Ministry of Energy will have started shutting off the power supply to all of the country’s licensed crypto mining firms by the beginning of July. The government entity cited a potential electricity deficit during the peak summer season as the reason.
“What if we actually can have ownership on our own presence in social media — our profiles, our social identities?” asked Stani Kulechov.
BTC’s high volatility and halving-related bear markets tend to drag down investment and interest in the entire crypto market. Can this be avoided?
The senators introduced new approaches to familiar questions concerning digital assets and how to divide regulatory responsibilities.
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