Tracking crypto news from around the world

This week’s top-5 stories curated to catch up with the crypto world.

We have launched Cryptogram, an India-focused free weekly newsletter on blockchain tech, global crypto markets, and Web 3.0 technologies which promise to change our future. If you would like to subscribe to this newsletter, click here. You can read our past editions here.

The world’s top asset-management firm, BlackRock, is teaming up with Coinbase to simplify the management and trading of Bitcoin for institutional investors, helping an industry battered by falling prices and regulatory inquiries. From ApeCoin joining the fold and Gucci preparing to make all its US locations crypto-ready this week, Decentraland launching the world’s first metaverse ATM to Starbucks introducing Its Web3-based rewards program next month, and more… Read on.

Coinbase partners with BlackRock in crypto market expansion 

Crypto exchange Coinbase has announced a partnership with investment management company BlackRock that will allow its institutional clients to buy Bitcoin, taking the world’s largest asset manager into the cryptocurrency market. 

Shares of Coinbase soared after the crypto exchange announced the partnership, providing some relief for the crypto-trading platform. 

Top clients of BlackRock will be able to utilise its Aladdin investment-management system to manage their exposure to Bitcoin along with other portfolio assets like stocks and bonds, as well as to ease financing and trading on Coinbase’s exchange. Coinbase will provide crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities.

This collaboration is set to heighten interest in cryptocurrencies and related technology among Wall Street’s established financial players.

ENS domain registration hits all-time high

The Ethereum name service (ENS) domain’s registrations reached a record high in July alone with almost 1.8 million name ownerships and 378,000 new ETH registrations.

ENS domain also stated that it saw about 5,400 ETH (around $8.8 million) in revenue in July, the highest ever recorded in a single month.

The increase in registrations comes as the Ethereum community prepares for the upcoming merge next month, which will convert the leading blockchain for dapps, DAOs, and NFTs from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

The ENS manages the issuance and renewal of. eth domain names built on Ethereum which can be sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and can be linked to one’s cryptocurrency wallet, showing proof of ownership.

Decentraland unveils world’s first metaverse ATM

Metaverse platform Decentraland has launched the world’s first metaverse ATM. Decentraland is a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain that allows users to create, experience, and monetize their content and applications.

The Transak payment gateway and Metaverse Architects studio have joined forces with Decentraland to ease the metaverse user experience. 

The Transak ATM will enable users to purchase Decentraland‘s local cryptocurrency ‘MANA,’ along with any other cryptocurrency, using fiat currency from directly within the metaverse.

The initiative anticipates that the solution will boost conversion rates in metaverse stores, while also lowering the knowledge gap required to operate in Decentraland.

Google AI turns all 10,000 BAYC NFTs into machine-made art

Google Cloud Neural Networks has employed its artificial intelligence (AI) software to transform all 10,000 Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs into machine-made works of art.

These works of art that look abstract take the appearance of ape shapes that resembles the famous Yuga Labs collection in close viewing.

The project was named Artsy Monke, combining the BAYC ape-spiration and the artistic, fine art aspect of the final product. According to reports, all images were created through Google’s collaborative Notebook service Colab in combination with cloud computing.

The platform was well-fed with knowledge related to painting on a canvas to finally produce this result of 10,000 exquisite BAYC NFTs. The AI was also taught twenty various art forms across multiple servers over the course of several weeks.

This 10,000-piece collection began at under 0.001 ETH ($1.40) at the time of sale, in contrast to the normal exorbitant price tags on BAYC NFTs. 

But soon after being listed on OpenSea, the collection was sold out.

Gucci becomes first luxury brand to accept ApeCoin 

Italian fashion giant Gucci has become the first major luxury brand to accept ApeCoin (APE) cryptocurrency in its US stores.

Customers of Gucci in the US will now be able to make in-store purchases using APE, and BitPay, a firm that has helped big names such as AMC Theaters accept crypto payments in the past.

APE is now the 33rd largest cryptocurrency asset, with a market worth of over $2.06 billion.

Other cryptocurrencies accepted at Gucci include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and five stablecoins linked to the US dollar.

Starbucks to unveil its web3-based rewards program 

Coffee store franchise giant Starbucks is planning to launch a new Web3 rewards program in order to attract and retain its customers. Starbucks will soon reveal a new Web3 initiative, including coffee themed NFTs on September 13th, during its annual Investor Day event in Seattle, USA.

The initiative will allow Starbucks to build on its current rewards engagement model while also introducing new methods of emotionally engaging customers. Along with serving as digital collectors, these NFTs would also grant their owners access to exclusive content and other advantages.

According to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, these rewards include one-of-a-kind experiences and Starbucks-branded digital collectibles as both a reward and a community-building element. 

The company is also looking to help brands with integrating NFTs into their existing membership and loyalty programs and transferring them to the blockchain.

Use promocode TNM51 at after registration to get Rs.51 worth free Bitcoin.

Disclaimer: This article was authored by Giottus Crypto Exchange as a part of a paid partnership with The News Minute. Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Please do your own research before investing and seek independent legal/financial advice if you are unsure about the investments.