Weekly NFT roundup April 7-13: Christie’s, Triller, and more

NFTs made headlines again this week as the market continues to grow rapidly. Beyond this week, future developments may include Playboy which will soon begin auctioning NFTs on Nifty, luxury fashion brands that are exploring ways to implement 3D clothing in their offerings, and even Tom Brady who is set to launch his very own NFT marketplace.

CryptoPunk NFT artwork expected to sell for millions at upcoming Christie’s auction

A selection of NFTs from the iconic...

Weekly NFT roundup March 30-April 6: mass industry adoption and environmental concerns

Continuing our new series, this week saw increased NFT adoption in a variety of industries, especially music and art, amidst growing concerns over the environmental impact of NFTs. You can take a look at last week's roundup here, or read all of The Block's NFT stories here.

India’s largest crypto exchange launches NFT marketplace

WazirX continues its successful start to 2021 with the launch of India’s first NFT marketplace. Last month the company’s in-house...

PayPal confirms addition of Checkout with Crypto capability

PayPal has confirmed the launch of Checkout with Crypto, which enables US customers to pay with cryptocurrency and aims to 'significantly increase' utility.

Customers will be able to select their cryptocurrency of choice - Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, or Litecoin - with only one type of cryptocurrency able to be used for each purchase. Once the customer confirms the purchase, the cryptocurrency is then converted to fiat currency by PayPal on the customer's behalf to complete...

Weekly NFT roundup March 23-29: Circle, Klaytn, and more

From Jack Dorsey's first tweet to the Beeple digital artwork sold by Christie's, the non-fungible token (NFT) market has exploded in recent weeks. In the first of a new series, The Block takes a look at the past week’s developments in the budding NFT industry.

Circle launches its NFT payments solution

Global fintech firm Circle, which provides payments and treasury infrastructure for internet-based businesses, has announced a payments solution for NFT marketplaces and...

Ethereum 2.0: What it is, why it is here, and what is on the horizon

Feature Ethereum successfully launched its beacon chain at the end of 2020, the first step in the transition from its current system to the highly anticipated Ethereum 2.0. (ETH2). Despite this initial progress, the remaining upgrades required to realise ETH2 are far more complex, with seemingly everyone in the blockchain sphere having a different opinion on whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Predictions as to what will happen to ETH2 post-launch are even less clear. But to attempt to...

Fergal Downey, Rakuten: On how blockchain is being used for retail, Covid compliance, and more

Ahead of his talk at Blockchain Expo on March 17, The Block speaks with Fergal Downey regarding the inner workings of his engineering team, his thoughts on the challenges facing enterprise organisations, and the potential future directions of the blockchain industry.

Fergal Downey is vice president (VP) of engineering at Rakuten Blockchain Lab in Belfast, the blockchain-based products and solutions team for Japanese eCommerce giant, Rakuten. Prior to joining in 2016, he led an...

Associated Press auctions first NFT artwork commemorating blockchain usage in US election

As non-fungible tokens (NFTs) become an increasingly popular way to create artificial scarcity in the digital marketplace, the Associated Press (AP) has listed its first ever NFT artwork for auction in collaboration with Everipedia and digital artist Marko Stanojevic.

Total sales across NFT marketplaces stood at $500 million (£360m) in February, compared to just $200m (£144m) for the whole of 2020, signifying their increasing popularity due to Bitcoin’s growing value alongside...

Analysis: The increasing scope of UK cryptocurrency regulation

Analysis With the price of Bitcoin rising past US$50,000 in February, the profile of - and investor interest in – cryptoassets continues to increase. With this, the global regulatory landscape is swiftly evolving with recent calls for cryptocurrency to be subject to tightened rules and HM Treasury releasing an important new consultation.

Less than three years ago, Parliament’s Treasury Committee referred to cryptoasset markets as a “Wild West”, in which consumers were...

Umbria partners with Polygon to support development of DeFi protocol

Umbria Network, a decentralised finance (DeFi) platform on the Ethereum blockchain, has announced it will be building its applications on the Polygon network.

Polygon, formerly known as Matic, provides scalable, secure, and instant Ethereum transactions using plasma side chains and a proof-of-stake (PoS) network. It is one of the most active layer-two Ethereum scaling solutions in existence today.

Its developer support program is designed to help developers overcome...

BMW backing brings blockchain startup Vendia’s total funding to £15 million

BMW i Ventures was among the investors to join Vendia’s series A funding round for its serverless SaaS (software as a service) blockchain solution, which raised $15.5 million (£11.2m) and brought their total funds raised to $20.6m (£15m).

The investment was led by Canvas Ventures, with participation from BMW i Ventures and Sorenson Ventures, who joined earlier seed round investors such as Neotribe Ventures, WestWave Capital, Firebolt Ventures, and more.

Vendia is...