PayPal comes up with crypto gimmick

Financial company PayPal to launch it's own stable coin PayPal USD

GM, frens! Ambire here with our weekly newsletter. Today we’re talking about PayPal’s new stablecoin, a vulnerability in Worldcoin code, SEC vs Ripple drama continuing, Ambire’s latest podcast episode, Joe Rogan’s opinion on CBDCs and NFT gas usage trending downwards.

Let’s get down to it:

PayPal's new crypto gimmick

PayPal has announced the launch of its new stablecoin, PayPal USD (PYUSD). The company has partnered with trust company Paxos (the issuer of Binance's BUSD) to provide a stablecoin backed by US dollar deposits and short-term US Treasury notes. The new coin is the latest in PayPal's foray into blockchain technology, aiming to capitalize on the ever-growing crypto trend.

However, PayPal isn't looking at PYUSD as a viable option for merchants to settle transactions with. Or for that matter, for customers to use as a store of value. Rather, PayPal is using this stablecoin as a gimmick to drive users towards their own services and bring in more revenue through fees.

The reason for this is the fact that Paxos is supposed to handle all the risk, and Paxos is subject to very tight regulations. Paxos is compliant with both US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and has a BitLicense but that did not stop NYDFS from ordering Paxos to stop minting BUSD. Fortunately, the BUSD did not go into a death spiral and users were able to exchange it without facing any capital losses.

This is why PayPal's involvement in stablecoins may be short-lived, especially if the US government gets involved in regulating stablecoins. Until Congress passes a law or federal agencies duke it out in a courtroom, the battle over the stablecoin regulation will rage on. This could spell trouble for PYUSD and other potential stablecoins under PayPal's umbrella.

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CertiK found a major vulnerability in Worldcoin code

CertiK has recently uncovered a major vulnerability in Worldcoin's security system, which was previously thought to be impenetrable. This vulnerability could potentially allow anyone without the proper qualifications and vetting process to become an Orb operator, putting the platform at risk.

These "Orb operators" are an important part of Worldcoin's network, as they are responsible for collecting users' iris data, a crucial biometric that is used to verify identity. If an unqualified malicious actor were to become an Orb operator, it could lead to, unsurprisingly, severe privacy violations and the potential misuse of personal information.

The model Worldcoin uses to reward its operators is also at risk of exploitation. By becoming an Orb operator, a malicious actor could collect tokens fraudulently and then dump them onto the market in large quantities. This would cause an increase in the token's supply, resulting in a sharp drop in the price, which would destabilize the whole Worldcoin market.

After being informed of the vulnerability, Worldcoin's security team swiftly acknowledged the issue and promptly implemented a solution, as confirmed by CertiK themselves. Subsequently, the security firm conducted verification and affirmed that the fix effectively mitigated the threat. However, it's pretty interesting how a privacy-invading vulnerability was found in a platform that claims to prioritize user privacy above all else.

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SEC vs Ripple (XRP) drama isn't over?

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has requested an interlocutory appeal in the legal tussle between them and Ripple, a blockchain juggernaut based in San Francisco. The SEC sent a letter outlining its reasons for filing this motion which partly concerns Ripple's "programmatic" offers and sales of XRP tokens on trading platforms as well as other distributions made by Ripple.

It seems like SEC is hell-bent on upholding its claim that XRP is a security and should be regulated as such. However, the judge has already ruled that certain Ripple transactions and distributions do not qualify under the Howey Test, which establishes what counts as an investment contract.

Ripple's head legal counsel Stuart Alderoty was quick to respond to the SEC's action, stating that the Commission does not possess the right to appeal. However, Ripple will soon be filing its counter-response in court this week.

It's hard to say how things will turn out in this legal tussle. We know that the SEC is bent on destroying crypto and everything related to it, so it's understandable that they'd go this far.

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New Ambire Podcast: Decentralizing the future

In this weeks Web3 on Fire podcast episode Ron Rivers of SpiritDao shares insights on DAO challenges, Web3’s future, and the transformative potential of NFTs while exploring the intersection of decentralization and self-actualization.

Check out the episode here:

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Joe Rogan on CBDCs: No f***** way

During a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, musician Post Malone joined host Joe Rogan to delve into a thought-provoking topic: the potential risks linked to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Their conversation revolved around their perspectives on the government's digital currency and its implications for citizens.

The interesting part about this story was Joe's reaction to the topic: he was strongly opposed, stating emphatically, "No **** way. That's what I think. That's checkmate. That's game over." It seemed clear that this viewpoint resonated with Post Malone too, who replied with an emphatic "That is *** checkmate" in agreement with Joe Rogan’s opinion on CBDCs.

This conversation brings up an important point of view, one that is increasingly shared by many people in the crypto community who have concerns about the potential implications of government-issued digital money.

CBDCs do have the potential to revolutionize the way money is transferred and stored, but there are several huge drawbacks.

First, CBDCs could significantly decrease the financial privacy of citizens. Privacy concerns can arise when governments have access to all digital transactions and account balances, as this could lead to major infringements on civil rights.

Second, it is likely that the digital dollar will shift power away from banks and other traditional financial institutions and towards government entities, leading to disintermediation in the financial system, meaning banks may become redundant as the governments take complete centralized control over every single aspect of financial services.

Btw, talking about stablecoins… Did you know that Ambire allows you to conveniently pay for your gas using a wide range of popular coins? Say goodbye to the hassle of exchanging one coin for another just to complete a transaction. This is just one of the many benefits that Smart Contract wallets can provide

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NFT gas usage is trending downwards

It seems that the gas used by NFT transaction and mints is no longer as high in comparison to other activities on Ethereum. This could be attributed to users opting to hold their NFTs rather than trading them on the marketplaces, meaning that gas usage for minting and trading has dropped significantly since 2021 when it was at its peak.

Data from on-chain analytics platform Glassnode suggest that this shift could be pushing NFT marketplaces down the gas usage rankings, as they are no longer near the top spot in terms of gas usage. This trend is also visible on blockchain explorer Etherscan, where NFT projects such as OpenSea have dropped from their former heights in gas consumption rankings.

OpenSea, Axie Infinity and Blur have all seen a significant drop in gas usage since the start of 2021, while others such as SuperRare, LooksRare, and Rarible now account for only 1.85% of total gas usage across the entire Ethereum network. This suggests that users are less prone to actively trading NFTs on these marketplaces.

Is it a sign that the market is maturing, or a sign of instability? It could be argued that users are becoming more comfortable holding onto their NFTs for longer periods of time, which in turn would make them less likely to be active traders. Or, it could be that the market is too unstable for users to make a profit from actively trading.

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Other worthy reads:

Some narratives from Nikyous:

Spirit Swap closing down announcement:

Crypto astrology TA from Chris:

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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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