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Here Comes the Summer🌞🍭🎡
Base's on-chain party and 700k newbies. Vitalik is taking notes - "X" notes. Amazon's adding an AI touch for reviews. PayPal's taking a break in UK. And what's happening in Toronto?
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One week in, and Base is buzzing.
Since Coinbase popped the lid on its new layer-2 network, Base, we've seen an avalanche of activity: crypto aficionados, big brands, and, well... a few party crashers too.
Joys of summer
Three weeks of Coinbase's fiesta has drawn a mammoth crowd.
This multi-week event, starting from Aug. 9 to 31, is a celebration for art and gaming aficionados.
Guess how many new users? Over 700k. And bridged a total of $242 million to the network.
Peak heat on Aug 10: With temperatures soaring, Base had a record 136,000 daily users.
All that hustle bustled up $2.8 million in fees. Plus, the total value locked? $170.5 million.
Powerhouses like Coca-Cola, Friends With Benefits DAO, and NFT wizard Zora jumped in to host special NFT mints on the Base network.
Coca-Cola pulled in over $450,000 with its newest NFT collection.
The collection blends vintage charm with contemporary art, marrying classic Coke bottles with artistic flair. In just a few initial days, almost 60,000 "Masterpieces" have been minted.
Among 3,000 NFT collections on Base, the Masterpiece contract addresses are already making a mark, securing 8 spots among the top 50 most active collections within 24 hours of their inception.
The NFT sale proceeds are being funnelled to a secondary address, aggregating over 192 ETH (equivalent to $360,000) for the classic artist-themed collections, with secondary addresses for contemporary artist collections raking in an additional $88,000.
And, anotherblock dropped on Aug 14, featuring exclusive beats from Boys Noize & Laidback Luke.
⛈️ Rain on our Parade
RocketSwap took a spill: RocketSwap is a decentralised exchange on Base - suffered an $865,000 exploit. The hack involved a brute force attack on the protocol's server, resulting in the theft of 471 ETH and the creation of 90 trillion LoveRCKT tokens.
SwirlLend? SwirlExit: The platform ghosted, taking $290k from Base and an extra $1.7 million from Linea for the road. SwirlLend, previously operational on both Base and Linea, reportedly made a hasty exit with significant assets. The company shifted approx. $289,500 worth of crypto from Base. This was followed by a transfer of 94 Ether (worth around $1,800) from Linea, bridging the assets to Ethereum. In what appears to be a laundering attempt, they then minted a new token and channeled 253.2 ETH through the Tornado Cash crypto mixer.
Complete Blackout: Post this dubious activity, SwirlLend deactivated all its social media channels and its official website. The company's total value on Base plummeted from $784,300 to $49,200.
BALD Move: An 85% value dip after a sudden $1.9 million liquidity pull. Even before Base became publicly available, the BALD coin witnessed a huge value decline after a questionable liquidity move by its developer.
It was a whole thing. Read more here.
Then, LeetSwap faced some liquidity leaks, sinking $600,000.
According to crypto trade surveillance entity Solidus Labs, the Base platform could be hosting over 500 dubious tokens. Their findings revealed 300 of these tokens have concealed features allowing infinite minting. Additionally, 70 tokens implemented hidden transaction charges, and 60 restricted purchasers from reselling.
Fraudulent activities on Base have resulted in a loss of around $2 million in crypto, as noted by Solidus Labs. This is in addition to "soft" rug pulls, like the one with BALD.
Need for UX Improvements
With all of this happening, ****Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, has publicly committed to refining the user experience (UX) on the Coinbase app, particularly focusing on NFTs.
Wins US Approval for Crypto Futures
Coinbase has received approval from the National Futures Association (NFA) to list crypto futures in the U.S., becoming the first crypto-centric platform to offer regulated crypto futures alongside traditional spot trading. This comes almost two years after their initial application in September 2021.
TTD Blockquote 🎙️
Ethereum Founder, Viltalik Buterin.
Twitter Community Notes, an example of “crypto values”
Vitalik Buterin is impressed with Twitter's (now X) Community Notes.
Just as we're getting used to calling Twitter "X," they introduced a new feature: Community Notes.
Its introduction in December 2022 - still in its pilot phase, enables anyone to be a contributor, and it's steadily becoming an essential tool for pinpointing inaccuracies on the platform.
Vitalik Buterin, sees a reflection of decentralised crypto projects in Community Notes. He praises its decentralised design, community-driven focus, and open code transparency.
Though not technically a "crypto project," Buterin regards Community Notes as a manifestation of "crypto values" in the mainstream realm.
Before a note gets the green light, consensus is the key. This mechanism ensures collaborative decision-making, as highlighted on X's official site.
Buterin emphasises the idea that these notes are not from a single authoritative source. Their existence and relevance are determined by an open-source algorithm. Buterin connects this to his 2020 concept of "credible neutrality", a system that neither discriminates nor is biased.
Amazon is diving deep into the potential of generative AI to provide customers with a more streamlined and enhanced product review experience.
Here's what you need to know
🎯 The Goal: Avoid the hassle of sifting through tons of reviews. Amazon aims to equip customers with a condensed paragraph that outlines the core sentiments and features from all the reviews, placed conveniently on the product details page.
📋 How it Works:
AI-Powered Summary: A brief excerpt, generated using AI, will offer a snapshot of recurring themes from multiple reviews.
Clickable Attribute Buttons: Alongside the summarised text, customers can tap on specific attributes like "ease of use" or "performance" to navigate directly to relevant reviews.
Pre-existing Features: This builds on Amazon's earlier feature where frequently used terms in reviews were clickable.
🚀 Rollout: The feature will initially be made available to a limited set of U.S. mobile users across a broad range of products. As Amazon tests and refines the AI models, they also have plans to expand the feature to encompass more categories.
🚫 The challenge of fake reviews
Historical Struggles: Amazon's challenges with counterfeit and misleading reviews are well-documented. For instance, in 2021, the company revealed it had blocked a staggering 200 million fake reviews in 2020.
Taking Action: Amazon has actively been pursuing and penalising sellers indulging in fake reviews, even filing lawsuits against them.
FTC's Involvement: The FTC's recent intervention, where a supplement manufacturer was penalised $600,000 for manipulating Amazon reviews, showcases the gravity of the issue.
TTD DeFi 💎
PayPal is pressing pause on Bitcoin buys until 2024 in UK
📰 What's the Buzz? Starting October 1, 2023, those in the UK will have to hit the brakes on Bitcoin and other crypto buys via PayPal until early 2024.
🔎 Zooming in
Why the Break? The decision wasn't out of the blue; it's all about abiding by the UK's financial rulebook. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has rolled out some fresh crypto guidelines. For PayPal, this means tweaking their platform to be in full compliance.
What Now for UK PayPal Users? “PayPal customers who currently hold crypto can keep it on our platform at no charge and are also able to sell their currency at any time,” - a spokesperson.
Ledger + PayPal
Owners of Ledger Wallets can now buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a few other popular cryptocurrencies via PayPal and get them sent directly to your Ledger hardware wallet.
Until now, Ledger users leaned on MoonPay, Wyre, or Coinify for on-ramp solutions. But, welcoming a biggie like PayPal into the mix is a massive leap forward for Ledger.
Buy on Ledger Live App; funds go straight to the Ledger hardware wallet. No extra verification for existing PayPal crypto users.
What’s happening in Toronto? Blockchain Futurist Conference.
A whopping 6,800 tech enthusiasts attended Day 1, making it a historic opener. From blockchain and the metaverse to AI, the event promises to cover all the emerging tech grounds with over 25 sub-events.
Star-studded speaker list: Charles Hoskinson, Michele Romanow, and Anthony Di Iorio are among the headline speakers.
Hack and hustle: A hackathon with a jaw-dropping bounty of $100,000 is on the cards. Also making its debut is the ETHWomen Hackathon, which focuses on championing women in the Web3 space through networking and mentorship.
🗣️ Futurist chats
Canadian Crypto Climate: Dean Skurka, the CEO of WonderFi, shared insights on Canada's evolving crypto stance. “Through the platforms that we own and operate, having the licenses that we do, there are fewer venues that can offer [crypto services] to an institutional audience. [...] We’ve seen an increase in activity, not only on the institutional side but also on products that we’ve rolled out that are catered to long-term holders like staking.”
Kraken Talks Canada: Kraken's Mark Greenberg praised Canada's strict yet clear crypto regulatory environment, emphasising its benefits.
“The Canadian regulators have been collaborative, helpful. […] There’s a clear regulatory pathway. It’s allowed us to invest in the country.” However, he highlighted challenges in converting fiat to crypto and vice versa, thanks to major banks' crypto aversion.
Lucas Matheson, Coinbase's director for Canada, paints a future where Canadians embrace digital assets beyond mere investments. “We're all working to build trust with government, with members of Parliament, to help them understand how to build a strong economic plan for Canada that includes digital assets.”
Amidst its legal tangles in the US, Coinbase is eyeing Canada for its expansion. They're rolling out "Coinbase One", a service emphasising staking with zero trading fees and prioritised customer service. They're giving Canadians a free 30-day trial run. Why Canada? The nation's high crypto-savviness and its supportive regulatory landscape make it an ideal choice.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Valkyrie has filed for an ether futures ETF called the Valkyrie Ethereum Strategy ETF.
Members of El Salvador's Bitcoin Beach community are teaching school children as young as 12 years old how to send their first Bitcoin transaction.
Dubai's Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) has fined cryptocurrency exchange OPNX and its founders.
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The Token Dispatch is a daily newsletter that takes you on a 4-5 minute drive through the wild west of the Crypto World. Daily in your email inbox @13:00 GMT. Almost always.