eBay Acquires Major NFT Marketplace KnownOrigin

ebayeBay, the old school global e-commerce leader, has acquired KnownOrigin, a platform that gives artists a space to create original NFTs. Artists and collectors can create, buy and resell NFTs via blockchain-supported transactions through KnownOrigin. The NFT marketplace was founded in 2018 in Manchester, UK and has facilitated $7.8 million in trade volume since, according to figures by DappRadar. With eBay looking to keep up with the world of now digital collecting, the acquisition of KnownOrigin is a crucial step.

“eBay is the first stop for people across the globe who are searching for that perfect, hard-to-find, or unique addition to their collection and, with this acquisition, we will remain a leading site as our community is increasingly adding digital collectibles,” stated Jamie Lannone, CEO of eBay. “KnownOrigin has built up an impressive, passionate and loyal group of artists and collectors making them a perfect addition to our community of sellers and buyers. We look forward to welcoming these innovators as they join the eBay community.”

In May of 2021, eBay began allowing users to buy and sell NFTs along with upgrades to it’s customer experience. Upgrades were made to eBay’s technology with tools that make it easier to find, sell and buy items.

KnownOrigin co-founder David Moor said, “As interest in NFTs continues to grow, we believe now is the perfect time for us to partner with a company that has the reach and experience of eBay. With more than twenty-five years building similar communities of passionate individuals, we are excited by the opportunity to bring a whole new audience on this journey.”

New York Passed a Bill Banning Bitcoin Mining Operations

Albany, NYOn Friday, New York lawmakers passed a bill banning crypto mining operations that utilize carbon-based power sources. If this bill becomes law there will be a two-year prohibition on cryptocurrency mining operations. The bill is now before Governor Kathy Hochul who can either sign or veto it.

According to Perianne Boring, the founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, this bill would make New York the first state in the country to ban blockchain technology infrastructure.

As explained in the bill, the state of New York implemented the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to help regulate and improve the future of the environment. Since cryptocurrency mining operations require a great deal of energy, a new section of the environmental conservation will be added. It states that new applications, new permits and the renewal of existing permits will not be approved “…for an electric generating facility that utilizes a carbon-based fuel and that provides, in whole or in part, behind-the-meter electric energy consumed or utilized by a cryptocurrency mining operation that uses proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions…”

Boring mentioned how the bill could have a negative impact on the economy of the state. “Bitcoin mining operations are providing high-paying and high-grade, great jobs for local communities. One of our members, their average pay is $80,000 a year.”

Boring further addressed how New York is a leader when it comes to state legislation. Whether the rest of the country is going to try and copy New York’s lead in this industry is another topic of discussion.

Others in the crypto space are not happy with the possible new law. Former executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, Bruce Fenton, tweeted, “No government has the right to tell you what software to run.”

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum founder, agreed with Fenton’s tweet and replied with, “The government picking and choosing which specific applications are an okay use of electricity or not is a bad idea. Better to just implement carbon pricing, and use some of the revenues to compensate low-income users.”

Coinbase Introduces New Features

coinbaseCoinbase is adding new features to its wallet app. With the overall goal to cross into Web3, the product will focus on API-first, DeFi-first, and self-custody first, according to Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee.

To streamline participating in self-custody and Defi, Coinbase is integrating its Pay software development kit (SDK) within its wallet. Consensys’ Metamask, the leading browser-based Web3 wallet will also be adopting Pay, said Chatterjee. Users will be able to purchase cryptoassets with fiat and transfer them to the self-custody wallet of their choice through Pay. A guest checkout option will become available for non-Coinbase users.

As long wallet addresses can become complex for identification purposes, “To reduce complexity, the Coinbase Wallet will allow a user to claim an Ethereum Name Service (ENS) address for free. ENS is just one of several services Coinbase plans to integrate,” a spokesperson told Blockworks.

Coinbase will also be releasing a self-custodial dApp wallet, made possible by multi-party computation (MPC), a cryptographic technique for secure private key management. Users will be able to buy NFTs on marketplaces like Coinbase NFT and OpenSea, trade on Decentralized Exchanges such as Uniswap and Sushiswap, and borrow, lend, or swap through DeFi platforms like Compound and Curve.

Users can access dapps without a recovery phrase. The wallet allows the ‘key’ to be split between the user and Coinbase. This adds a layer of security, if access to your device is lost, the key to your dapp wallet remains safe and Coinbase can assist in recovery through their live support. These assets will first be available to a selective amount of US Android users, with a plan to eventually expand to all users and platforms.

The wallet hopes to also support blockchains that are compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) as well as a few particular others, including Solana.

Meta Plans ‘Zuck Bucks’ Digital Currency to Lure Users Back In

metaAs Meta grows its services centered around the metaverse, the platform is planning to introduce a digital currency called ‘Zuck Bucks’ to be used in its family of apps.

Revenue rates for Meta have declined as users are being drawn to new competitors such as TikTok. Its main social networks Facebook and Instagram have seen a drop in popularity. Since February 2nd, Meta’s shares have dropped by 30% and remained down, in part because the company revealed that spending on the metaverse had caused a decline in its fourth-quarter profit. The possible new virtual currency of Meta, a digital token that can only be spent on its platforms, may be what the company thinks it needs in order to create a new attraction to its applications.

Instead of a cryptocurrency per-se, ‘Zuck Bucks’ will most likely be in-app tokens. The tokens will be centrally controlled by the company, similar in comparison to those used in gaming apps like the currency Robux from the favored kids gaming platform Roblox.

To provide incentives for its users, Meta is also aiming to produce “social tokens” or “reputation tokens.” These would be issued as rewards for worthwhile Facebook group contributions. For the Instagram influencers, the company is working on creating “creator coins.”

Meta is further arranging to integrate non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with Facebook. Users will be able to create their own NFTs and use them as a gateway to memberships within Facebook groups. Ways to monetize NFTs via “fees and/or ads” is being explored as well.

This is not the first time Meta has attempted to dive into the world of cryptocurrency. In 2019 Facebook announced Libra – a cryptocurrency to be backed by several government currencies – that immediately faced criticism from politicians and central bankers that it would undermine existing currencies. Libra was then renamed as Diem in late 2020 after several partners aborted the project. Diem pegged the virtual currency to the US dollar but it was scrapped this past January.