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Coinbase enters Canada, Shibarium faces post-launch hurdles, adoption maintains momentum | Weekly Recap 

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Coinbase enters Canada, Shibarium faces post-launch hurdles, adoption maintains momentum | Weekly Recap 

This week, Coinbase expanded. Shiba Inu’s Shibarium had a rough debut, while crypto adoption maintained momentum, with the Fed and Coca-Cola grabbing headlines. Meanwhile, the crypto market saw significant liquidations.

Coinbase extends services to Canadians

Coinbase warmly embraced its northern neighbors, throwing open its doors to the citizens of Canada. Starting on Aug. 14, the San Francisco-based exchange extended its services to Canadians.

The decision came with an innovation: a partnership with People’s Trust Company to integrate Interac e-Transfers. This strategic move is poised to optimize transaction efficiency for users in Canada.

In an additional stride, the exchange unveiled the exclusive “Coinbase One” membership for fresh Canadian sign-ups, presenting them with a 30-day trial window to delve into the offerings of the platform.

Days after entering Canada, Coinbase revealed its future plans for certain stablecoins in the Canadian market. Starting September 2023, USDT, DAI, and RAI will be exiting the trading scene on Coinbase for its Canadian users. 

It appears the crypto platform’s expansion came with a fine print, catching some enthusiasts off guard. According to Coinbase, a review of assets is just part of the routine, ensuring all listings meet the standards. 

However, while the trading doors are slowly closing, Canadian users still have a grace period to engage in deposits and withdrawals of these stablecoins up until September.

Coinbase now offers crypto futures

In what appears to be a well-choreographed sequence, Coinbase received a courteous nod from the National Futures Association (NFA) to offer futures trading to U.S. customers days after expanding to Canada.

Now, Coinbase’s subsidiary, Coinbase Financial Markets Inc., is set to play the role of a futures commission merchant (FCM), paving the way for customers in the U.S. to indulge in crypto futures trade on America’s largest exchange.

Coinbase vice president of institutional product Greg Tusar labeled this development as a “critical milestone.” This blessing from the NFA enables Coinbase to offer not only traditional spot crypto trading but also a well-behaved lineup of crypto futures.

Shibarium debut suffers post-launch challenges

This week, the teeming Shiba Inu community witnessed the launch of the much-anticipated Shibarium layer-2 scaling solution. However, the launch, which occurred during the Blockchain Futurist Conference on Aug. 16, was riddled with issues hours later.

Following the launch, investors leveraged the Shibarium bridge to transfer their assets from the Ethereum network to Shibarium. However, they faced a shocking reality when they could no longer access their purchases on Shibarium.

Apparently, the funds, which totaled $1.7 million worth of Ether (ETH) at the time the issue came in the limelight, were stuck on the Shibarium bridge contract. The transactions remained in a pending state, according to crypto analytical resource Beosin.

Further investigations showed that the Shibarium Remote Control Protocol (RPC) also went down. In addition, the Shibarium blockchain halted block production for over seven hours. The Shibarium website itself also suffered a downturn.

‘All is well’

Amid the panic that spread across the community, pseudonymous Shiba Inu lead developer Shytoshi Kusama addressed the concerns in an official blog post hours after the issue emerged. 

“All is well,” the developer said. According to him, the escalating issue actually emanated from a scaling problem the Shibarium development team had encountered upon launch. Kusama noted that they did not anticipate the rate of adoption they witnessed upon launch.

He expressed pride in the fact that the layer-2 network was facing a high influx of users, and assured investors that the team is working to scale up the system to accommodate the growing demand. 

Two days later, another Shiba Inu developer Kaal Dhairya provided insights into strategies for managing the increased traffic on Shibarium.

According to him, in response to the unexpected surge in user activity, the platform entered into a fail-safe mode to safeguard user funds. To address the issues at hand, Dhairya has engaged the expertise of several partners.

Furthermore, the team has outlined a series of action plans to navigate these challenges. In the spirit of transparency, they’ve committed to sharing regular updates with the community.

Additionally, they’ve taken an extra step by offering insurance coverage of up to $2 million should any complications arise after the Shibarium network restarts.

Adoption maintains momentum

Crypto adoption within the public and private sectors has continued to make headlines in recent times, and this week was no different. 

Reports from this week suggested that PayPal, in a rather understated manner, slipped in a Crypto Hub right around the time it unveiled its PYUSD stablecoin last week.

PayPal lifted the veil on this new crypto hub on Aug. 7, providing users with a platform to dabble in a range of crypto-related activities.

The hub empowers PayPal users to carry out activities such as buying, selling, sending, and receiving supported crypto assets. It also offers the convenient feature of converting crypto assets to and from the PYUSD stablecoin. 

Coca-Cola and McDonald’s Singapore embrace NFTs

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola made its entrance into the NFT arena. The company stepped into the digital art realm with a brand-new NFT collection, nestled within Coinbase’s layer-2 network known as Base.

In the spirit of Coinbase’s “Onchain Summer” event, Coca-Cola’s debut NFT collection sought to make a statement. Dubbed the Masterpiece collection, it’s a symphony of revered classics and modern marvels, all mingling with the iconic silhouette of the Coca-Cola bottle. 

Coca-Cola wasn’t the only big-name brand sliding into the NFT scene this week. The Singaporean branch of fast food behemoth McDonald’s embraced NFTs. The focus of this digital soirée was none other than Grimace, a large, purple character that was often used as a prominent part of McDonald’s advertising and branding throughout the 1980s and 1990s. 

Working hand in hand with NFT artist The Hidden Walls and the crypto virtuosos at Bandwagon Labs, McDonald’s Singapore will offer an exclusive series of 2,000 one-of-a-kind digital arts, all paying homage to the enigmatic Grimace. 

Singapore Red Cross welcomes crypto donations

Meanwhile, the Singaporean chapter of the venerable humanitarian organization, Red Cross, stepped into the world of crypto philanthropy. The organization struck up a partnership with Triple-A, a crypto payments gateway, giving people the option to use their digital wallets and contribute.

The Singapore Red Cross now welcomes donations in four digital flavors – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USDT, and USDC. Thanks to Triple-A’s nifty payment gateway, one can send these digital tokens their way without breaking a sweat. Wallet compatibility? Check. Also, Triple-A locks in exchange rates for peace of mind.

Fed looks to DLT

The U.S. Federal Reserve took a subtle step into the realm of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

FedNow, the Federal Reserve’s digital solution that brings financial institutions, businesses, and service providers together for harmonious digital payments, is now calling Dropp its newest partner. 

Based on the Hedera blockchain, Dropp functions as a pay-per-use platform, allowing consumers to effortlessly make payments for small-scale goods and services.

Reports reveal that the collaboration with the Fed will see Dropp assume several roles for FedNow, including facilitating cost-effective payments, overseeing incoming funds, and even managing customer credit transfers.

Mastercard explores CBDCs

Global payment giant Mastercard took center stage with a strategic collaboration involving seven payment and blockchain technology enterprises, all of which have notable contributions to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

Mastercard holds the firm conviction that it’s imperative for central banks considering the launch of digital currencies to possess a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies and challenges inherent in these assets. 

The alliance with these payment entities is geared toward fostering this critical awareness. The firms forming this partnership are Ripple, Consensys, Consult Hyperion, Fluency, Fireblocks, Giesecke+Devrient, and Idemia.

A market bloodbath 

Meanwhile, this slew of adoption reports could not hedge against the bloodbath witnessed in the crypto market this week. 

The woes began on Aug. 15 when Bitcoin started witnessing noticeable declines in its value as it dropped to the lower spectrum of the $29,000 territory. As concerns mounted, BTC eventually plummeted below $29,000 on Aug. 16 for the first time in over a week.

Reports confirmed that the dip below $29,000 brought BTC close to retesting the short-term holders realized price. A CryptoQuant analysis noted that BTC was trading at a pivotal point, as a drop below the short-term holders’ realized price could lead to further retracement.

The bearishness gained momentum on Aug. 17, as BTC observed an intraday loss of 7.33% that day. This was its single-biggest loss in a day since the 14% drop on Nov. 9, 2022.

Bitcoin dropped to retest the $25,000 zone, but a recovery saw it close on Aug. 17 at $26,623, picking up some of the losses of the day. This drop reverberated across the entire crypto market, as ETH collapsed by 6.99% and XRP plummeted by a massive 14%.

Interestingly, this market decline coincided with reports of China’s property giant Evergrande filing for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 17. 

The market collapse resulted in massive liquidations involving several crypto assets. Per Coinglass data, the crypto scene witnessed $1 billion in liquidations on Aug. 17, marking the most prominent figure since the FTX implosion last November.