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The Arbitrum Foundation has announced that its “Orbit” program, created to support “layer-3” networks, has achieved readiness for the mainnet. This significant development enables the settlement of these new networks on the Arbitrum main network, allowing blockchain developers to build their own layer-2 or layer-3 networks using Arbitrum’s technology. Previously, these layer-3 networks were only functional on an Arbitrum test network. This move is in line with a broader trend in the Ethereum ecosystem where major layer-2 developers, including Arbitrum, are opening up their technology for others to use, promoting interoperability among various blockchain solutions. In parallel news, the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has moved millions of dollars worth of assets, such as Chainlink’s LINK and Polygon’s MATIC, to Coinbase, potentially indicating an intention to sell these tokens. This development comes as FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is scheduled to testify at his criminal trial. Moreover, in the UK, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill has become law after receiving royal approval. This bill empowers law enforcement agencies to seize and freeze cryptocurrencies associated with criminal activities without requiring a conviction. These measures are part of the UK’s efforts to combat crypto-related crimes and scams as it aims to position itself as a global cryptocurrency hub.
Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures are collaborating on a system to facilitate blockchain-based transactions, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in a manner akin to the SWIFT messaging layer in traditional banking infrastructure. They are testing this system on the Universal Digital Payments Network (UDPN), a permissioned blockchain network involving various banks, financial institutions, and consultancies. UDPN, developed by GFT Group and Red Date Technology, acts as an interoperability bridge between different blockchain networks, offering a regulated environment with decentralised digital identity standards (DIDs). This allows for cross-border transactions without the need for a central organisation like SWIFT. The UDPN currently has around 25 participating organisations conducting proof-of-concept tests. In another development, JPMorgan is now handling $1 billion worth of transactions daily in its digital token, JPM Coin, which facilitates blockchain-based wholesale payments. The bank plans to expand the usage of JPM Coin. Solana Labs has also launched an incubator program for web and blockchain projects building on the Solana blockchain, providing support in fundraising, development, networking, and marketing. The program is open for applications until November 30, and selected projects will receive support from Solana Labs and its partners.
In a speech at the 2023 Securities Enforcement Forum, Gary Gensler, the Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), highlighted the SEC’s enforcement actions, resulting in $5 billion in judgments and orders. However, his comments on the cryptocurrency market, where he criticised the industry and suggested most crypto assets should be treated as securities, stirred controversy within the crypto community. Gensler argued that the crypto market requires stricter regulations to combat scams and fraud. In other news, Bitmain announced the release of the Antminer T21, an air-cooled Bitcoin miner, set to begin shipping in January 2024, with improved energy efficiency. Additionally, Mastercard partnered with crypto payment platform MoonPay to explore Web3 tools for marketing and consumer engagement, aiming to integrate Mastercard’s solutions into the Web3 industry as the company continues to explore blockchain and crypto opportunities.
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