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  • Web 3 on Fire: Ethereum's staking platforms continue to grow

Web 3 on Fire: Ethereum's staking platforms continue to grow

Six out of the top ten staking protocols have seen a significant increase in the last month

GM, frens! Ambire here with our weekly newsletter. Today we’ll discuss Ether staking, OpenSea’s manager convicted in the first ever NFT fraud case, Italy implementing the highest crypto tax in the developed world, Mastercard’s new web3 KYC solution and Ordinals pushing BTC txn amount to a new ATH.

Here it goes:

Ethereum's staking platforms continue to grow

Ether staking continues to fatten. The TVL for Lido, WSE, Rocket Pool, Frax, Stakewise, Stakehound, Ankr, Ether.fi and Bitfrost has grown to over $16 billion. The growth of these protocols is impressive and shows no signs of slowing down; in fact, six out of the top ten protocols have seen double-digit growth over the last 30 days.

Lido is currently dominating the market with 73.6% of all Ethereum locked in liquid staking protocols, coming out to 6,206,101 ETH of 8,431,605 ETH locked in total. The other key players such as WSE and Rocket Pool are following close in Lido's footsteps.

The Shapella upgrade has played a vital role in the growth of Ethereum staking protocols. Since then, 400,735 ethereum worth $763,600,542 using today’s ether exchange rates have been added to the liquid staking cache. This influx of ETH has provided a significant boost to the growth of such protocols, resulting in an overall increase of 7.62% in total Ethereum staked over the last month.

The Ethereum staking market is proving to be an attractive investment opportunity as users continue to take advantage of the lucrative returns on offer. With more protocols emerging and increasing liquidity, Ether staking looks set to become even bigger in the months ahead.

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Former OpenSea manager found guilty in the first ever NFT fraud case

OpenSea’s former product manager was convicted on Wednesday. The jury found him guilty of wire fraud and money laundering, making this case the first of its kind to be prosecuted in the NFT industry.

The initial charge was announced back in June and caused a stir within the industry. Throughout the trial, many were watching closely to see what precedent this case would set for future legal proceedings. Nathaniel Chastain, the accused, maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.

Before the trial started, the CEO of OpenSea has publicly called the case unfair and stated that it had taken a toll on Chastain’s mental health. Chastain had also tried to have evidence related to his OpenSea compensation and certain terms thrown out, but was unsuccessful. It's true that this guy got caught with the smallest possible bag and compared to the big players out there who commit even larger crimes every and never get caught, but unfortunately, that’s the way it goes.

Now that this case is over, we can only hope that it sets a precedent for other NFT-related cases and serves as a warning to those who may be thinking of engaging in such activities.

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Research corner: Italy is implementing hefty crypto taxes, is this the right move?

The govt of Italy has decided to tax crypto at a hefty rate of 26%, starting this year. This is a major change compared to the earlier practice when cryptos were treated as foreign currency or when only gains over €2,000 were taxed. The new government hasn't imposed taxation on crypto to crypto transactions either.

However, this new legislation is going to be difficult to implement in practice and could even lead to disputes. Gianluigi Ferrari, a representative of the Italian Association of Crypto Users and Miners (AICU) expressed his concerns and stated that this could lead to the opposite effect of what the government was hoping for. AICU is currently in talks with the authorities about these changes.

If Italy implements a 26% tax on crypto gains, it could become the highest rate in the developed world. This will make the country unattractive for investors, especially for high-growth innovative businesses. The threshold of €2,000 is too small for such a high tax rate and will lower the competitiveness of the country, which desperately needs foreign investment.

The crypto industry is in its early stages and needs to be fostered. Therefore, the government of Italy should rethink their decision and consider setting a lower tax rate with a higher threshold for gains. This would ensure that investors are not deterred from entering the market while also generating some much-needed revenue for the country. You just gotta be clever about it.

Overall, the crypto taxation policies are becoming worse all over the world. It is up to the governments to figure out how they can effectively tax crypto while also encouraging investments in this new industry. If done right, the crypto industry could provide additional benefits to the economy and create jobs in the long run.

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Mastercard launched new web3 KYC solution to stop "bad actors"

Mastercard is launching a new security solution to protect digital asset transactions and increase user verification standards. The solution is called "Mastercard Crypto Credential" which is, according to Mastercard, designed specifically to reduce the chances of malicious actors in the space.

Each user is assigned a unique identifier that is connected to their Mastercard account. This identifier is used to confirm the address of every digital asset transaction. If a "bad actor" slips through the cracks, Mastercard can revoke their verification if they have been found to be engaging in suspicious activity.

The firm has announced the partners involved in developing the security solution. Mastercard has partnered with Bit2Me, Lirium, Mercado Bitcoin, and Uphold for the wallet side, while Aptos, Avalanche, Polygon, and Solana are the partners for the blockchain side. The community is divided on this one, as, for one the extensive verification standards are seen as a way to help legitimize the industry, but on the other hand, it may be viewed as an attempt by Mastercard to take over the space.

Not even to mention that the whole idea behind crypto was to get away from the likes of Mastercard, and not to have a centralized entity in charge of managing digital asset transactions. Nonetheless, as always, the market will decide what stays and what gets rejected.

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Ordinals push BTC transactions to ATH

Ordinals have pumped BTC's average daily txns amounts back to the ATH, and even beyond. BTC's average daily transactions reached a record high of 426,337.14 on April 29 as per Glassnode data — the highest since Dec 2017. This rise in daily transactions reflects an increasing interest and active usage of the network, mostly for Ordinals.

A recent report from Grayscale has indicated that Ordinals are bringing more attention to BTC network, potentially helping its reputation and perception. The asset management firm noted that “Ordinals represent one of the larger opportunities for Bitcoin adoption”.

This increased traction is making waves beyond just BTC as well, with Matixport research in February indicating that NFTs could help push Stacks, a BTC layer2 network, into a billion-dollar token. With STX's market cap now crossing the $1 billion mark, it appears that Matixport was spot on with its prediction.

These developments indicate that Ordinals and NFTs are helping to drive Bitcoin and its associated networks forward into broader adoption. With more users and transactions coming to the network, it's likely that the momentum will only continue in the near future.

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The fun page: our weekly meme collection

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That's all for now, frens.

We'll see you next week. And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better DeFi is here to stay. Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

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