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Top Headlines for 28 April, 2022

Central African Republic Adopts BTC as Legal Tender

Central African Republic (CAR) has become the second country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender, the first being El Salvador. The cryptocurrency will serve as the national currency alongside the fiat Central African CFA franc (XAF), which is also used in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Congo, Chad, and Gabon.

The government of the Central African Republic is not necessarily adopting BTC to protect the country against rising inflation. The inflation rate of XAF is lower than the global reserve currency, the U.S dollar.

As of 27 April, 2022, XAF observes an inflation rate of 4.8%, meaning it offers a safer store of value than the U.S dollar. However, the XAF has also seen wild fluctuations from -3% to 12% since 2017.

Snowden Helped Develop Zcash

Infamous National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden helped create the privacy cryptocurrency Zcash. The whistleblower allegedly collaborated with Zcash creator Zocko Wilcox, Bitcoin core developer Peter Todd, Coin Center’s Peter Van Valkenburgh, and two unnamed developers in the launch of Zcash.

Forbes was the first to break the news of Snowden’s involvement with the cryptocurrency. The whistleblower said, “Bitcoin is quite famously an open ledger. You can’t have free trade without private trade, and you can’t have a free society if you don’t have free trade.”

Zcash is a privacy-centric cryptocurrency which masks information about transactions and balances on its ledger via Zero-knowledge proofs, a cryptographic technique that allows users to prove the legitimacy of a claim without revealing all of the evidence for it. Bitcoin, on the other hand, openly displays transactions and balances on its ledger, although developers have been working on adding privacy features.

After revealing that the United States intelligence agencies conduct mass surveillance operations on its citizens, Snowden was been granted political asylum from the U.S government and has been living in Russia since 2013.

Dragonfly Capital Raises $650M

Crypto investment firm DragonFly Capital has reportedly raised $650 million for its next venture fund. The company previously raised $100 million and $225 million for its last two funds.

Dragonfly’s exclusive partners for the new fund include firms like VC powerhouses TigerGlobal, Sequoia China, and KKR, among others. The company makes strategic investments in decentralized finance, non-fungible tokens, smart contract platforms and decentralized autonomous organizations. They have invested in nearly 60 crypto projects since its inception in 2018, including Avalanche, NEAR, Everyrealm and Dune Analytics.

DragonFly’s Latest fund is the most recent addition to the massive investment war chest being developed by VC firms in the industry. In March 2022 we saw a16z veteran Katie Haun raise over $1 billion for her solo venture. A16z itself has a crypto fund with $2 billion backing.

OkayBears Beats Ethereum NFTs

Solana is gradually challenging the dominance of Ethereum in the non-fungible token (NFT) market, as evidenced by the record $18 million in sales generated by the OkayBears Solana NFT collection on 27 April, 2022.

OkayBears generated more trading volume in a single day than any Ethereum collection. Analytics platform CryptoSlam reports that the total trading volume for Solana NFTs has increased 216%, while Ethereum NFT trading volume has dropped over 25%.

Following the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) style, Okay Bears is a bear-themed profile picture collection of 10000 NFTs minted on Solana. The series was launched on the leading Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden on 27 April 2022 with a minting price for a single OkayBears NFT of around 1.5 SOL or $145.

The secondary market sales for the collection quickly ramped up and generated millions in trading volume in under 24 hours. According to OpenSea, the collection had a 187,543 SOL or $18 million trading volume ranking alongside top trading NFT collections such as BAYC and CryptoPunks.

In contrast, Ethereum-based collections such as Gary Vaynerchuck’s Vee Friends V2 generated a trading volume of 4,565 ETH ($13.1 million), Yuga Labs Meebits saw a volume of 4,136 ETH ($11.9 million), and Imaginary Bits 3,534 ETH ($10.1 million) in the same period.

Do Kids Need NFTs?

Invisible Universes (IU) has released an NFT collection featuring Qai-Qai, the famous doll of Serena Williams and Alex Ohanian’s daughter, on April 2022.

The media studio launched the collection on a social media and NFT marketplace for children called ZigaZoo. IU is leading a movement in the children’s entertainment market to embrace emerging Web 3.0 technologies.

The company creates Internet native cartoon characters related to popular celebrities. Its popular projects include turning Jennifer Aniston’s dog Clyde into a food influencer cartoon named Clydeo and releasing a teddy bear character for the D’Amelio family.

The New York Times reported these developments while posing the question does a child need an NFT? Apparently ZigaZoo and similar platforms believe they do. The reasoning for these new ventures give is that interaction with the world of NFTs and digital assets can allow children to express themselves through art and make them more financially literate.

The NYT, ever critical of the world of cryptocurrencies, views these projects as an attempt by the children’s entertainment industry to extract maximum cash from their little consumers. Platforms like ZigaZoo are pushing their service as an educational opportunity; however, children can learn about financial literacy without buying into possibly overpriced and worthless NFTs. Depending on one’s perspective, the article reasons, avoiding hyped-up tech fads can itself be a vital lesson in financial literacy for young people too. Web 3.0 innovations for children are not going away so we can expect that the debate about the positive and negative social impact of these developments will only continue.