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OpenSea launches ‘Seaport’ ​​marketplace protocol allowing NFT bartering

“OpenSea does not control or operate the Seaport protocol — we will be just one, among many, building on top of this shared protocol,” said the platform.

Nonfungible token marketplace OpenSea has announced the launch of a Web3 marketplace protocol for “safely and efficiently buying and selling NFTs.”

In a Friday blog post, OpenSea said the marketplace protocol, dubbed Seaport, will give users the option to obtain NFTs by offering assets other than just payment tokens like Ether (ETH). According to the platform, a user “can agree to supply a number of ETH / ERC20 / ERC721 / ERC1155 items” in exchange for an NFT, implying bartering a combination of tokens as a method of payment.

In addition, SeaPort users can specify which criteria — e.g. certain traits on NFT artwork or pieces part of a collection — they want when making offers. The platform will also support tipping, as long as the amount does not exceed that of the original offer.

“OpenSea does not control or operate the Seaport protocol — we will be just one, among many, building on top of this shared protocol,” said the NFT marketplace. “As adoption grows and developers create new evolving use-cases, we are all responsible for keeping each other safe.”

Some on social media seemed to express confusion over concepts in the new marketplace protocol. Twitter user EffortCapital called for others to investigate how Seaport compared to 0x v4 NFT swaps, while user phuktep questioned how trading both NFTs and ETH for a single token would be declared on tax forms.

Related: 5 NFT marketplaces that could topple OpenSea in 2022

The launch marketplace protocol followed OpenSea announcing in April it had acquired NFT marketplace aggregator Gem, aiming to improve the experience of seasoned users. The platform said at the time that Gem would operate as a stand-alone product, with OpenSea planning to integrate Gem features including a collection floor price sweeping tool and rarity-based rankings.

OpenSea launches Seaport ​​marketplace protocol allowing NFT bartering

“OpenSea does not control or operate the Seaport protocol — we will be just one, among many, building on top of this shared protocol,” said the platform.

Nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has announced the launch of a Web3 marketplace protocol for “safely and efficiently buying and selling NFTs.”

In a Friday blog post, OpenSea said the marketplace protocol, dubbed Seaport, will give users the option to obtain NFTs by offering assets other than just payment tokens like Ether (ETH). According to the platform, a user “can agree to supply a number of ETH / ERC20 / ERC721 / ERC1155 items” in exchange for an NFT, implying bartering a combination of tokens as a method of payment.

In addition, Seaport users can specify which criteria such as certain traits on NFT artwork or pieces part of a collection they want when making offers. The platform will also support tipping, as long as the amount does not exceed that of the original offer.

“OpenSea does not control or operate the Seaport protocol — we will be just one, among many, building on top of this shared protocol,” said the NFT marketplace. “As adoption grows and developers create new evolving use-cases, we are all responsible for keeping each other safe.”

Some on social media seemed to express confusion over concepts in the new marketplace protocol. Twitter user EffortCapital called for others to investigate how Seaport compared to 0x v4 NFT swaps, while user phuktep questioned how trading both NFTs and ETH for a single token would be declared on tax forms.

Related: 5 NFT marketplaces that could topple OpenSea in 2022

The launch marketplace protocol followed OpenSea announcing in April it had acquired NFT marketplace aggregator Gem, aiming to improve the experience of seasoned users. The platform said, at the time, that Gem would operate as a stand-alone product, with OpenSea planning to integrate Gem features including a collection floor price sweeping tool and rarity-based rankings.

3K+ Bit Digital hosting partner’s crypto miners go offline after explosion and fire

The company said it will be seeking reimbursement for the lost revenue from mining crypto, with operations at Niagara Falls “hoped to resume within a few weeks.”

New York-headquartered crypto mining firm Bit Digital reported two of its hosting partners ceased operations to more than 4,800 rigs following power disruptions at different facilities. 

In a Thursday announcement, Bit Digital said a substation in Niagara Falls was damaged by “an explosion and subsequent fire,” necessitating its partner Blockfusion USA to take 2,515 Bitcoin (BTC) miners and 710 Ether (ETH) miners offline at the site. In addition, the mining firm reported its Digihost partner experienced a similar cut in power to a facility in North Tonawanda, New York, resulting in 1,580 crypto miners going offline.

According to Bit Digital, the damage from the explosion and fire did not directly affect any mining rigs — just the substation providing electricity. In addition, the mining firm did not suggest any of its rigs were the cause of the accident, which was attributed to “faulty equipment owned by the power utility,” and will be seeking reimbursement for the lost revenue from mining crypto.

“Blockfusion is working with its insurer and the utility to restore power as quickly as possible,” said Bit Digital. “Operations are hoped to resume within a few weeks, but at this time there can be no assurances as to timing.”

The mining company and its partners have six facilities across the United States, with three in New York and one each in Texas, Nebraska and Georgia. With the roughly 4,805 rigs offline, Bit Digital reported its operating hash rate had dropped 46.8%.

Related: Protesters burn Bitcoin ATM as part of demonstration against El Salvador president

Publicly traded on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, the price of Bit Digital shares fell more than 6% over the last 24 hours to reach $1.59 at the time of publication. The firm has made moves toward having greener operations, reporting that 67% of its energy for mining is from renewable sources.

Tether reports 17% decrease in commercial paper holdings over Q1 2022

“This latest attestation further highlights that Tether is fully backed and that the composition of its reserves is strong, conservative and liquid,” said Paolo Ardoino.

USDT Stablecoin issuer Tether (USDT) has reported it cut its reserves allocation to commercial paper investments and increased that of United States Treasury bills over the first quarter of 2022.

In a Thursday blog post, Tether reported its reserves were “fully backed,” seemingly in an effort to assuage many users’ fears around USDT briefly depegging from the dollar on May 12. According to the stablecoin issuer, its commercial paper holdings over Q1 2022 decreased 17% from roughly $24 billion to $20 billion, with an additional 20% reduction to be reflected in the firm’s next quarterly report. Tether also increased investments in money market funds and U.S. Treasury bills by 13% over the same quarter, from roughly $34.5 billion to $39 billion.

“Tether has maintained its stability through multiple black swan events and highly volatile market conditions and, even in its darkest days, Tether has never once failed to honor a redemption request from any of its verified customers,” said Tether chief technical officer Paolo Ardoino. “This latest attestation further highlights that Tether is fully backed and that the composition of its reserves is strong, conservative and liquid.“

As part of an $18.5 million settlement with the Office of the New York Attorney General in February 2021 — in which authorities alleged the firm misrepresented the degree to which its USDT stablecoins were backed by fiat collateral — Tether is required to disclose its reserves every quarter. In February, the company reported it had cut its reserves allocation to commercial paper in Q4 2021 from roughly $30 billion to $24 billion, a 20% decrease.

Related: The United States turns its attention to stablecoin regulation

With a market capitalization of more than $74 billion at the time of publication, USDT exceeds Tether’s reported reserve assets at more than $82 billion. During the extreme volatility in the crypto market over the last two weeks, Tether reiterated that it would “honour all redemptions from verified customers” for USDT, seemingly in an effort to prove the asset was as stable as its namesake.

Tether launches crypto and blockchain education program in Switzerland

“It is essential that educational institutions are put into place to help better inform not only traders and investors but future business owners,” said Paolo Ardoino.

Switzerland’s southern city of Lugano will host a blockchain- and cryptocurrency-focused school as part of a partnership between the local government and Tether (USDT).

In a Thursday announcement, Tether and Lugano said they will be launching the Plan ₿ Summer School in an effort “to bring blockchain and crypto education to the masses.” The education center is part of Tether’s “Plan ₿” initiatives with the Swiss city, which have included making Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT) and the LVGA token legal tender in the area.

According to the school’s website, the two-week program will run in July and feature speakers including Blockstream CEO Adam Back and Tether and Bitfinex chief technical officer Paolo Ardoino. Topics include basic introductions to stablecoins and cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain analysis and regulatory policy around digital assets.

“As adoption continues to drive participation in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, it is essential that educational institutions are put into place to help better inform not only traders and investors but future business owners looking to implement these financial tools into their everyday lives,” said Ardoino.

Related: Swiss think tank initiates vote to add Bitcoin in federal constitution

Co-organized with the nearby Franklin University Switzerland, or FUS, and supported by the Università della Svizzera Italiana and FUS’ Taylor Institute, the Plan ₿ school initiative is aimed at equippi a new generation of workers with the skills needed in the digital asset space. Other crypto-friendly countries including El Salvador — where BTC has been accepted as legal tender since September 2021 — have launched similar education centers in an effort to increase adoption.

Meta trademark filing hints at plans for crypto payments platform

The five applications suggest the social media firm may use its namesake in a payments processing platform called Meta Pay.

Social media giant Facebook’s parent company, Meta, may be planning to launch a payments platform with support for cryptocurrency. 

According to records submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, on May 13, Meta filed five applications for its namesake to be used in a platform called Meta Pay. The filings included Meta’s name for use in a “online social networking service for investors allowing financial trades and exchange of digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, digital and blockchain assets, digitized assets, digital tokens, crypto tokens and utility tokens.”

In March, Meta filed eight trademark applications with the USPTO related to Metaverse and blockchain technology. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said on May 9 that the company had begun testing digital collectibles on Instagram, signaling a move toward adding nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. Meta currently controls several major apps including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Facebook.

Other companies based in the United States including Gatorade producer Stokely-Van Camp, the Air Force, the New York Stock Exchange, and Mastercard have filed similar applications related to possible entries into the Metaverse or otherwise expanding into the crypto space. According to the USPTO website, trademark applications take roughly eight months to process the first action as of March.

Related: Meta’s Reality Labs posts $2.9B loss: ‘I recognize it’s expensive,’ says Zuck

Since rebranding from Facebook to Meta in October 2021, the social media giant has announced many initiatives seemingly aimed at extending a hand to crypto users. In addition to its work online, Meta also recently expanded its real-world presence with the opening of a brick-and-mortar metaverse-themed retail store in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Early polling from Terra vote indicates 91% are in favor of ‘rebirth’

Despite the overwhelming approval of the proposal as of Wednesday, many Terra users on social media suggested the network burn its LUNA tokens.

Terraform Labs CEO Do Kwon’s plan to create a new blockchain “without the algorithmic stablecoin” TerraUSD (UST) has the support of 85 million community votes.

In a proposal opened to the Terra (LUNA) community on Wednesday, more than 91% of votes at the time of publication were in favor of “rebirthing” the Terra network — roughly 85 million out of 93 million, with up to 284 million votes yet to be cast. The proposal needs roughly 188 million votes in favor to pass before the window closes on May 25.

At the time of publication, the biggest validator to come out in support of the proposal is Terra infrastructure provider Orbital Command, holding 1.39% of the voting power. Major validators with more than 2% of voting power have not yet made a decision, including cross-chain stablecoin bank Orion.Money with 8.63%.

The governance proposal Kwon drafted on Monday called for a new chain named Terra not linked to UST, using the token LUNA. The “old” blockchain would continue to support “residual UST holders” and operate under the name Terra Classic (LUNC).

In addition to forking Terra, the proposal, if approved, would airdrop LUNA tokens to “Luna Classic stakers, Luna Classic holders, residual UST holders, and essential app developers of Terra Classic.” Terraform Labs’ wallet would also be removed from the whitelist for the LUNA airdrop, making Terra a “fully community-owned chain.”

Despite the overwhelming approval of the proposal at the time of publication, many on social media seem to be against forking Terra. Some users on the Terra subreddit suggested the network “go with a burn” in an effort to compensate token holders rather than a hard fork.

Amid the uncertainty around the future of the Terra network, people at Terraform Labs have experienced their share of volatility. According to their LinkedIn profiles, three members of the Terraform Labs’ legal team stopped working for the firm as of this week, and the National Assembly’s Political Affairs Committee in South Korea reportedly summoned Kwon for a parliamentary hearing regarding the volatility around UST and LUNA.

Related: What happened? Terra debacle exposes flaws plaguing the crypto industry

Should the proposal pass, Kwon said the new LUNA blockchain would go live on May 27 with “a final snapshot” taken of the LUNC network at block 7,790,000.

Crypto users react to Terraform Labs legal team purportedly leaving company

Many on social media called for legal action against Do Kwon, while others speculated the potential departure of the legal team could have been over concerns about money.

The ongoing saga with Terraform Labs, the blockchain developer behind Terra (LUNA), took a turn following a supposed change in employment status for many on the firm’s legal team.

According to their LinkedIn profiles, Terraform Labs general counsel Marc Goldich, chief litigation and regulatory counsel Noah Axler and chief corporate counsel Lawrence Florio have all stopped working for the blockchain firm as of May 2022. Goldich started at Terraform Labs in August 2021 while Axler and Florio joined in January 2022.

The change in employment status for three members of Terraform Labs’ legal team followed major volatility in the crypto market after the price of LUNA collapsed to $0.00 within two weeks. Stablecoins including Tether (USDT) depegged from the U.S. dollar, while the price of TerraUSD (UST) has dropped more than 88% since May 8.

Do Kwon, the co-founder of Terraform Labs, proposed a rescue plan on Wednesday in which the company’s team would mint more UST than usual. Validators for the Terra blockchain halted network activity two separate times amid extreme volatility, while Kwon later suggested users vote to fork the Terra Luna blockchain in an effort to save the ecosystem, still seemingly on a downward spiral.

Even before some of Terraform Labs’ lawyers seemingly cut ties to the firm, many crypto users, likely facing significant losses, called for legal action against Kwon. Others speculated the potential departure of Goldich, Axler and Florio could have been the result of a moral dilemma defending Terraform Labs, or concerns about from where their next paycheck would come.

Related: What happened? Terra debacle exposes flaws plaguing the crypto industry

Should their departure be due to concerns over the LUNA and UST crash, the legal team would not be the first players in the crypto space to abandon a seemingly sinking ship. In December 2021, SushiSwap chief technical officer Joseph Delong resigned, citing “chaos” in the running of the decentralized exchange.

Cointelegraph reached out to Marc Goldich, Noah Axler, and Lawrence Florio, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

Celsius Network’s crypto mining subsidiary SEC filing suggests plans for IPO

The SEC requires companies in the United States to file an S-1 registration for shares to be listed on a national exchange, like the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.

Celsius Mining, the mining subsidiary of crypto lending platform Celsius Network, has filed paperwork with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, suggesting plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

In a Monday announcement, Celsius said its mining subsidiary had filed a Form S-1 draft registration statement with the SEC, suggesting the firm may be planning an initial public offering. The SEC requires companies in the United States to file an S-1 registration for shares to be listed on a national exchange, like the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange.

Reports suggest it can take anywhere from three to six months for the SEC to approve an IPO, potentially meaning shares of Celsius Mining could be listed in the United States by the end of 2022. Crypto exchange Coinbase sent its S-1 registration statement to the SEC in December 2020 and listed its COIN shares on Nasdaq roughly five months later, in April 2021.

Founded by Alex Mashinsky in 2017, Celsius Network allows users to earn interest by holding cryptocurrencies. In June 2021, the platform invested more than $200 million into Bitcoin (BTC) mining infrastructure as well as positions in Core Scientific, Rhodium Enterprises and Luxor Technologies, later announcing the yields would be redistributed to depositors.

Related: Celsius Network execs deny rumors of significant losses amid market volatility

According to the Celsius website at the time of publication, roughly 1.7 million people use the platform, holding more than $16.9 billion in assets as of May 6. The crypto lending firm was the first in decentralized and centralized finance to hold more than $20 billion in assets under management. 

Crypto donations fund ATVs and gas masks for Ukrainian military

Ukraine’s ministry of digital transformation has utilized cryptocurrency and nonfungible tokens, even CryptoPunks, in an effort to fund its military and humanitarian aid.

Ukrainian officials have used funds from the crypto donation platform launched by the government to purchase supplies for the country’s military amid its ongoing war with Russia.

In a Friday tweet, Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, announced that the country had purchased five all-terrain vehicles, which “will come in handy for a challenging environment” — possibly referring to conditions near the front lines with Russia or where roads have been damaged or destroyed. Funds for three of the ATVs originated from Aid for Ukraine, a platform the government launched in March that accepts crypto donations “to support people in their fight for freedom.”

At the time of publication, Aid for Ukraine has reportedly raised more than $60 million in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), Polkadot’s DOT, Solana’s SOL and USD Coin (USDC). Fedorov reported on Wednesday that the government had already used some of the funds to supply 5,000 gas masks to state border guards and the army. Aid for Ukraine has also purchased more than 5,000 “optical and thermal imaging devices” for the nation’s military since the war began; tablets aimed at helping Ukrainians escaping the country find accommodations and aid; bulletproof vests; medical supplies; vehicles; and clothing

Related: The Ukraine invasion shows why we need crypto regulation

Since the beginning of the Russian military invasion in February, the Ukrainian government has turned to the crypto space many times as a solution for receiving funds from concerned parties. Fedorov announced in April that the government would accept contributions toward the war effort in the form of nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which will in turn be sold to “contribute to the Ukrainian victory,” and it recently launched a charity NFT collection with pieces from Ukraine’s video game developers and digital artists.