Today in Crypto: WeChat & Alipay allow foreigners to pay at Chinese retailers, ETH 699,816 paid as NFT project royalties on Ethereum, Hana Bank & Woori Bank interested in certificate of deposit tokens.

Today in Crypto: WeChat & Alipay allow foreigners to pay at Chinese retailers, ETH 699,816 paid as NFT project royalties on Ethereum, Hana Bank & Woori Bank interested in certificate of deposit tokens.

The Growing Blockchain Industry: Payments, NFTs, Banking, Wallets, Security, Blockchain, and DeFi

Source: AdobeStock / Ralf Image Source: AdobeStock / Ralf

The blockchain industry continues to gain momentum and reshape various sectors, offering innovative solutions and disrupting traditional practices. Let’s explore some recent developments in the payments, NFTs, banking, wallets, security, blockchain interoperability, and DeFi sectors.

Payments News

China’s two mobile payment giants, WeChat Pay and Alipay, have opened up their platforms to foreign users, allowing them to pay at Chinese retailers by linking their foreign credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. This is a significant development as previously, foreign users needed a local bank account to make payments. The introduction of various payment methods, such as scanning, mini-program payment, password-free withholding, and in-app payment, further enhances the accessibility and convenience for foreign card users.

NFT News

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have gained immense popularity, as evident from the royalties paid to NFT projects on the Ethereum blockchain. According to the latest Nansen report, a total of 699,816 ETH has been paid as royalties to NFT projects. Surprisingly, royalties received by projects in the first half of 2023 accounted for only 9.4% of the total, indicating a decline compared to previous years. This decline in royalties can be attributed to the decrease in effective fee rates, which dropped from an average of 2.5% in 2022 to 0.6% in July 2023. Despite the decrease in royalties, the volume of NFTs remains significant, almost reaching half of the 2022 levels.

Banking News

South Korean banks, Hana Bank and Woori Bank, are exploring the potential of “certificate of deposit” tokens (CDs) as an alternative to stablecoins. CDs are perceived as stable from the banks’ perspective, as they closely resemble the current banking system. However, concrete plans are yet to be formulated, pending ongoing discussions on the central bank’s blockchain-based monetary system. These developments reflect the growing interest of traditional banks in exploring blockchain solutions to enhance their offerings.

Wallet News

In the world of crypto wallets, Zengo has recently introduced new features through its premium subscription called Zengo Pro. The subscription offers additional security features at a cost of $20 per month, while basic accounts remain free. Zengo’s CEO, Ouriel Ohayon, emphasizes the importance of solving security issues in the crypto industry and states that the bundled security services provided by Zengo Pro cover various blockchains. This move highlights the growing demand for secure self-custodial wallets.

Additionally, Blocto, a cross-chain wallet application and multi-chain Web3 ecosystem, has announced a $1 million grant program to fast-track user onboarding to Web3. This program enables decentralized applications (dapps) to integrate Blocto’s user onboarding experience directly in-dapp, making it easier for users to create wallets on the Polygon protocols. The selected projects will receive financial incentives along with marketing and operational support, further fostering the growth of the Web3 ecosystem.

Security News

Chainalysis, a blockchain intelligence firm, has published a report analyzing the operations of Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, showcasing how their money laundering strategy evolved following the Bitfinex hack. This report highlights the power of blockchain analysis combined with traditional financial investigation techniques in enabling law enforcement to solve cryptocurrency-related crimes and recover stolen funds. The report also mentions the filing of guilty pleas by the couple, indicating progress in the legal proceedings.

Blockchain News

Connext Labs, a blockchain interoperability protocol, has launched xERC20, a mechanism for Web3 projects to bring their tokens to any blockchain. This protocol aims to solve liquidity and security issues associated with token bridging by shifting ownership and security to token issuers. Connext Labs has partnered with Alchemix, a DeFi protocol for future-yield-backed synthetic assets, as its flagship user for xERC20. This development lays the foundation for broader token interoperability across different blockchains.

DeFi News

Iakov Levin, the founder of the now-defunct custodial crypto investment platform Midas Investments, has launched a new decentralized finance platform called Locus Finance. This platform offers retail investors globally the opportunity to invest in the DeFi market through yield-bearing tokenized vaults. By integrating strategies from various blockchains, Locus Finance aims to provide diversified exposure to DeFi assets. The launch of Locus Finance introduces innovative investment options while addressing the transactional costs associated with traditional investments.

In conclusion, the blockchain industry continues to evolve and disrupt various sectors, offering solutions that enhance efficiency, security, accessibility, and transparency. From payments and NFTs to banking, wallets, security, blockchain interoperability, and DeFi, advancements in blockchain technology are driving unprecedented innovation and transforming traditional practices.