Weekly Cryptocurrency News. Friday, March 10

Friday, 10th of March. As the week comes to an end, we can focus on the highlights of the crypto industry over the past few days.

Binance expands the number of assets represented in Proof-of-Reserves

The widely-known crypto exchange has increased the number of Proof-of-Reserves assets to 24.

The company listed eleven new tokens, including MASK, ENJ, WRX, GRT, CHR, CRV, 1INCH, CVP, HFT, SSV and DOGE.

With the expanded list under the March 1, 2023 snapshot, the company reported reserves worth of $63B.

According to the data revealed, users’ deposits in bitcoin are secured by assets on the balance of the exchange by 101.53% – 556,020 BTC. LTC and DOGE have the lowest rates – 100.36% and 100.51% respectively. 

The amount of USDC stablecoin on hand is 5490% higher than the amount of customer balances: ~$64.7 million versus ~$3.55 million.

The exchange roller out their Proof-of-Reserves in November 2022 after the FTX collapse. Initially, the company provided information about the coverage of user deposits in the first-ever cryptocurrency.

The Binance team used Merkle Tree to validate the onchain data. Later, the developers implemented the ZK-SNARK tool to improve security and privacy of the project.

Recall that in February, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, responding to the “FUD-accusations” by Forbes, urged not to include the exchange into the same category as FTX.

The company’s staff also expressed a similar view, disclosing some asset management principles in response to the publication.

FTX reported a $1.6B bitcoin shortfall

FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, reported a combined $8.7 billion shortfall in assets to cover customer claims, with $1.6 billion in bitcoin.

In a presentation to the court, the company acknowledged that it possessed a first-ever crypto worth $6 million with a $5 million in debt.

The firm divided assets into two categories according to liquidity parameters. In the part of funds that are relatively easy to sell, the value of fiat currency and stabelcoins available was $580 million against customer demands of $7 billion. Coins like ETH, SOL and BNB turned out to be in this group.

As of low-liquid assets, FTX recorded a surplus of $773 million. However, experts noted that the value of tokens such as FTT, SRM or MARS seems questionable. For calculations, the company used CoinMarketCap esrimates at the time of the presentation.

According to analysts, it is also difficult to determine the real value of the company’s venture capital investments, which by their book value amount equals $4.5 billion.

The presentation did not include the assets of FTX subdivisions in Japan, Singapore or Cyprus. The funds blocked by the Bahamian authorities were not included in the report either. 

The U.S. branch does not cover $116 million in overall customer claims. The majority of FTX US debt is in stablecoins and ETH.

As a reminder, current CEO John Ray has declared a “significant shortfall” in the platform’s capital.

The media named the launch date for Amazon’s NFT website

On April 24, tech giant Amazon is to launch a Web3 initiative related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). That’s what The Big Whale reports.

According to the newspaper, a separate tab for Amazon Digital Marketplace will appear on the company’s website. Initially, users in the U.S. will have access to 15 collections, and later in other countries.

The media specified that the launch of the initiative was postponed twice allegedly because of the situation around FTX.

In the spring of 2022, Amazon CEO Andy Jesse presupposed NFTs to be sold on the corporation’s platform in the future. He also stressed that he expects “significant growth” in the NFT sector.

In early 2023, Blockworks, while citing sources reported on the company’s plans to launch an NFT-related initiative in the spring.

As a reminder, the Amazon Web Services platform opened a Web3 specialist position in February. The position implies interaction with startups and large enterprises, development of platform services and expansion of product groups.

Earlier, The New York Times wrote about the tech giant’s plans to lay off a record-setting 10,000 people.

Coinbase unveiled a tool for simplified integration of crypto wallets

Another prominent crypto exchange introduced a new service called Wallet-as-a-Service (WaaS).

The tool is designed for quick and easy deployment of cryptocurrencies by companies in the web interface, as well as their integration into applications. WaaS is designed to make setup of a wallet as easy as creating a username and password.

Morover, the tool is a set of APIs and uses multilateral computing technology that shares encryption keys between the user and the company. This means that the wallet can be easily recovered if the customer loses access to their device. 

According to McGregor, several marketers, including Floor, Moonray, Thirdweb and Tokenproof, have already tested the new Coinbase product.

Earlier, the crypto exchange initiated a public campaign Crypto435 in support of digital assets. Its main goal is to convey the basic principles of Web3-technology to policy makers and regulators. 

Remember, in early March, the company announced the purchase of One River Digital Asset Management. The project is to be renamed Coinbase Asset Management.

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