Weekly Cryptocurrency News. Friday, Nov. 10

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

Binance launches its own Web3 wallet

The renowned crypto exchange has unveiled its brand-new Web3 wallet, available to users via the platform’s mobile app.

The roll-out was announced personally by the company’s CEO Changpeng Zhao at the Binance Blockchain Week conference held in Istanbul. 

“Web3 wallets represent more than just storing digital assets — they are an integral part of the Web3 framework, empowering individuals with the ability for self-sovereign finance,” he added. 

The utility runs straight within the primary Binance app and uses multiparty computation (MPC) technology, which splits private keys into three smaller parts (known as key shares) and stores them on different servers. 

Two of the three key shares are linked to the user’s account, and the third is maintained by the exchange itself. 

This encryption method “mitigates the risk of the keys being compromised and reduces the vulnerability of the system,” according to the announcement. Richard Teng, head of regional markets at Binance, noted that use of MPC eliminates the fear of losing one’s seed phrase. 

That said, if a user forgets their recovery phrase, loses their device or deletes the app, they won’t be able to regain access.

“We want our users to be assured that they are interacting with Web3 within a secure and protected ecosystem. That is why we have incorporated MPC technology as well as Binance’s trusted security infrastructure within the Web3 Wallet,” the top manager pointed out.

The company representatives also clarified that the app is not currently available for US users. 

OpenSea valuation nosedives to $1.4B, NFT market is devastated

US investment firm Coatue Management has slashed its share in non-fungible token marketplace by 90%, from $120m to $13m, The Information reports, citing its internal documents. 

The investment value adjustment implies a reduction in the platform’s estimate to $1.4b. Coatue also cut its investment in Web3 payments provider MoonPay by 90% as well.

Back in January 2022, OpenSea raised $300 million, bringing its valuation to a whopping $13 billion at the time. 

However, Privitive Ventures’ Dovey Wan said the figure dipped to $1.2 billion over September 2023, and according to her, the marketplace’s team is impeding the sell-off among investors in the OTC market who are trying to exit the project this way.

Severe troubles erupted after OpenSea disabled the Operator Filter on-chain tool, which collects royalties, back in Aug. 31. The decision never received the support the team had hoped for.

Billionaire Mark Cuban called the initiative a grave mistake. He saw the move as harming the marketplace’s credibility and hurting the industry as a whole. Meanwhile, Yuga Labs (the studio behind famous NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)) revealed that it intends to end its partnership with the platform by February 2024.

In early November, OpenSea stated that it was downsizing 50% of its staff due to a U-turn in the development. As per CEO Devin Finzer, the latest strategy envisions a smaller team with a much more direct line of communication with users. 

By late October, OpenSea’s trading volume amounted to $91.4m out of a total $307.6m, the lowest since April 2021. Speaking of Blur, its not-so-distant rival, the figure hit $180.8 million.

In terms of sales volume and the number of monthly active traders, OpenSea still outperforms its closest competitor, but falls behind in average price of NFTs. 

Trust Wallet introduces WaaS, Binance is its first customer

Non-custodian Trust Wallet has introduced Wallet as a Service, which allows enterprise customers to run decentralized applications (dApps) on the company’s stack. 

“Trust Wallet WaaS is designed for a broad range of clients. From Web3 natives and centralized crypto exchanges to startups and traditional businesses eager to expand their offerings with decentralized solutions,” according to the press release. 

Among the major advantages of the service is the rapidity of product deployment, reducing the time needed to build products down from several years to a couple of months. 

As per the statement, WaaS provides a simplified implementation of Web3 technologies while providing improved user experience and security at the same time. 

It empowers firms to expand their business by integrating services for digital asset management, cross-chain transfers and seamless connectivity with other ecosystems. 

SEC backs FTX reboot if done ‘within the law’

The kiss of life to FTX is possible as long as its new leadership does so with a clear understanding of the law, SEC chair Gary Gensler told CNBC on the sidelines of DC Fintech Week.

“Build the trust of investors in what you’re doing and ensure that you’re doing the proper disclosures — and also that you’re not commingling all these functions, trading against your customers. Or using their crypto assets for your own purposes,” the official explained. 

He also said if ex-NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) president Tom Farley or “someone else” seeks to engage in a revival of FTX, it should then be all handled “within the law.” 

Gensler named Farley because he was on a list of three prospective buyout candidates for the now-bankrupt crypto trading platform.  

On Nov. 2, a jury found former FTX executive Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of all criminal charges. The court will render a final sentence on March 28, 2024.

SEC head emphasized that his agency would never have allowed the NYSE to condone hedge fund leadership or conducting all the trading against the customers’ interests.

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