Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
Terraform Labs (TFL) and the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) have purchased a combined $200 million worth of AVAX tokens from the Avalanche Foundation to reinforce the stability of TFL’s native UST stablecoin. TFL swapped $100 million worth of its native LUNA token for AVAX tokens to “strategically align ecosystem incentives”, while LFG used its own UST holdings to buy $100 million worth of AVAX. According to TFL founder Do Kwon, LFG chose AVAX for its strong growth in the blockchain’s ecosystem and user loyalty.
DeFi lending protocol Strike has partnered with e-commerce giant Shopify to add BTC payments on Bitcoin’s Lightning Network for millions of retailers. In a press release, Strike said this would allow Shopify merchants to “reach untapped global markets and purchasing power (and) generate savings through low-cost payment processing”. The company added that by “instantly converting BTC payments to dollars”, it would “remove certain complexities” merchants may face in holding BTC.
Trading platform eToro has announced a $20 million fund to purchase NFTs as part of eToro.art, a new initiative that seeks to support NFT creators and brands. eToro’s US MD Guy Hirsch said the fund heralded the launch of the company’s wider NFT strategy, which plans to facilitate further investment in NFTs. eToro plans to commit $10 million to bring new NFT projects to market this year to support emerging brands and creators, and intends to eventually add capabilities to expose customers to use cases outside of digital art.
E-commerce platform Bolt has announced plans to acquire digital currency provider Wyre for $1.5 billion in one of this year’s largest crypto firm acquisitions. Both companies aiming to close the transaction and “fully integrate before the end of the year”, and the completed acquisition will “bring the power of Bolt’s CheckoutOS — one-click checkout, authentication, payments, and fraud protection — to the cryptocurrency ecosystem”. Bolt said the partnership would give its shoppers access to a range of digital currencies and allow them to acquire NFTs via Wyre’s APIs; “hundreds of retailers” will also be able to accept crypto assets as payment.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has issued a letter to to CEOs of FDIC-insured banks requesting that they notify their regional FDIC director of their current and future crypto activities. The FDIC cited “safety and soundness risks (and) financial stability concerns” from crypto exposure as the basis for the letter, which stated that the FDIC will review the information, ask more questions if needed, and provide “relevant supervisory feedback”.
Just days before a national election is expected to be called, Australia’s opposition Labor Party (ALP) is being criticized for its lack of formal policy on the crypto industry. Crypto venture capitalist Mark Carnegie said the ALP’s silence on the topic showed “the failure of leadership”. However, Shadow Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones rebutted this assertion, saying that if the ALP won, it would consider the “broad principles” of “safety and transparency”, which would “inevitably lead to greater regulation of exchanges”. In response, senator Andrew Bragg tweeted: “7 words is not a crypto policy.” He later said the ALP had “no serious agenda for digital assets other than a few throwaway lines”, which was “consistent with their economic plan — which is no plan”.
Show me the money
BTC is continuing its downward trend despite a slight rise yesterday, most recently trading at around $43,500. ETH is doing slightly better, rising 7% over the last 24 hours to just under $3,500. Other major altcoins, however, are seeing mixed results: SOL and AVAX recently saw a respective increase of 2% and 3% after being in the red yesterday, while LUNA has fallen by 4%. Memecoins DOGE and SHIB are mostly stagnant, and CAKE rose by over 6% at one point.