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News on the Block: Bitcoin Rebounds Following Banking Crisis 

Bitcoin bounces following banking crisis 

After a tumultuous 12 months, Bitcoin edged toward US$30k amid $200b of inflows in the past week.  

Silicon Valley Bank, one of California’s highest-profile financial institutions, fell off its perch this month as the company confirmed it could no longer operate in the current high-interest rate environment. 

As the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sort through the rubble, there was seemingly a benefit to the cryptocurrency sector. 

Bitcoin has surged about $8,000 (or 40%) since the news of Silicon Valley’s demise emerged on March 10th.

Crypto trading volumes have reached their highest since FTX’s unravelling at the tail-end of 2022 – except this time, it’s not from investors running for the hills.  

Whether Bitcoin can breach the coveted $30k USD milestone will be another big test. The next few weeks will certainly make for an interesting watch to see if this is hit or if this is a short term rally. 

Polygon partners with Immutable for new gaming network 

The new blockchain called Immutable zkEVM aims to revolutionise the Web3 gaming industry 

Blockchain developers have long been jostling for a stranglehold on Ethereum scaling solutions. Earlier this week, another player entered the boxing ring, this time a partnership between industry giants Polygon Labs and Immutable. 

The “strategic alliance” revolves around the creation of a new Ethereum scaling solution, Immutable zkEVM.  

Despite the network’s less-than-memorable name, it is exciting news for both the blockchain and gaming industries. The partnership was unveiled a couple of days ago at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. 

Ultimately, Immutable zkEVM is aiming to become the one-stop-shop for all things Web3 gaming. Developers will develop, publishers will publish, and gamers will, well, game.

The network is set for a Q2 2023 release, although the number of games and related NFTs it hosts will no doubt take a while to lift-off. However, Immutable President Robbie Ferguson believes this collab is the “end-game” for his company. 

The current state of Web3 gaming is a little… lacking. The hope is that this partnership corrects the course and ushers in a new reality for gamers and developers around the world. 

Credit Suisse bought out by rival Swiss bank 

Banking troubles continue to strike, with UBS Group AG buying out Credit Suisse in a $3 billion-dollar deal 

Credit Suisse has had a forgettable few weeks. It all started last week, when the bank admitted it uncovered “material weaknesses” in its past financial reporting methods. “Weaknesses” might be a bit of an understatement when we consider the bank posted a monster $8 billion loss in the 2022 fiscal year. 

One of the institution’s major sponsors, the Saudi National Bank, backed out of its relationship and investors followed suit, with its share price falling 21% on the 15th of March. 

UBS Group AG is an international banker that has been a long-time rival of Credit Suisse. Well, a few days ago, UBS emerged victorious as they negotiated a $3.2 billion-dollar buyout of the failing company.

This is less than half the market valuation of Credit Suisse just a couple of days ago. Talk about a steal. 

While the news hasn’t had a massive impact on the cryptocurrency market, it’s yet another dagger to consumer confidence in banks.  

Microsoft considering in-built crypto wallet for Microsoft Edge 

Twitter user uncovers hidden user interface hinting at a potential upcoming non-custodial crypto wallet native to the Microsoft Edge browser 

Despite its relatively small browser market share of 7%, Microsoft is now seeking to expand its reach and influence, Microsoft is now looking to increase its influence among crypto users by potentially integrating a non-custodial wallet into the Edge browser. 

This move would be beneficial for attracting new customers, as it eliminates the need to download and install a separate extension. The integration of a non-custodial wallet into Edge could significantly benefit Microsoft and strengthen its position in the crypto market. 

The wallet was discovered by internet detective “Albacore”, who stumbled across the feature in the back-end of Microsoft Edge.

So far, all signs point toward the wallet being Ethereum-only (although it will let users switch between Ether accounts). It acts just like any other non-custodial wallet, requiring a seed phrase and integrating with decentralized applications. 

Nobody knows whether the feature will ever make it out of its current concept and testing stage. There’s been no public announcement from Microsoft on a potential release date, but a spokesperson is reported as stating that Microsoft regularly tests potential new features. But a major player like Microsoft even considering an in-built wallet is surely a step in the right direction for adoption of cryptocurrency.  

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