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Top Headlines for 9 May, 2022

Sony and Theta Labs Launch 3D NFTs

Tech giant Sony is collaborating with the Theta Labs video delivery network to create 3D NFTs designed for Sony’s Spatial Reality Display (SRD), a monitor that lets people perceive images in 3D without traditional 3D accessories.

One of the two NFTs finalized by Sony features a 3D “Tiki Mask.” The two cooperating companies revealed that the series would be a limited edition consisting of only 10 “Tiki Guy NFTs.” Sony has announced that buyers of these cryptocurrencies with a US shipping address will also receive a free Sony SRD tablet, worth $5,000.

The collection will be minted on Theta’s digital art marketplace, ThetaDrop. The marketplace previously hosted high-profile NFT releases such as the World Poker Tour Promotional series, the American Idol NFT drop and the first BFT collection released by American pop star Katy Perry.

As a result of Sony’s NFT release, the consumer electronics company will be able to incorporate its SRD displays into metaverse projects. The metaverse is an immersive experiential version of the Internet powered by mixed reality technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). NFTs are potentially important in the metaverse as they can confer ownership rights to a user in the digital realm.

SEC Fines Nvidia $5.5M

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is fining Nvidia $5.5 million for failing to disclose the financial impact of cryptocurrency mining on its gaming business in its filings with the agency in 2018.

The hardware manufacturer accepted a cease-and-desist agreement and a $5.5 million civil penalty.

On its filing with the SEC on 30 July 2017, Nvidia reported that its revenue from original equipment manufacturing saw an increase of 200%, mainly due to the surging demand for GPUs used for mining cryptocurrencies. The graphics chip producer began citing the impact of crypto mining on its general hardware business in 2017 but failed to disclose that its gaming business has also similarly profited.

Kristina Littman, chief of the SEC’s Cyber Unit, stated that “Nvidia’s failure to disclose critical information deprived investors of critical insight into the company’s business in a key market.” Nvidia justified its disclosure failure by asserting that it was impossible for the company to honestly know the actual number of its GPUs that had purchased for mining cryptocurrencies.

IMF Bullies Argentina To Avoid Bitcoin

Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Argentina’s Central Bank, has barred all regional banks from providing unregulated digital assets services on 5 May, 2022.

Cryptocurrencies have not received regulatory approval in Argentina, which means that the latest directive by the Central Bank effectively puts a blanket ban on all centralized crypto exchange and payment service providers in Argentina.

The IMF agreed to loan Argentina $45 billion to prevent the country from defaulting on international debt. However, the bail out comes with strings attached: the global financial institution wants Argentina to discourage the adoption of cryptocurrency.

IMF tried to make a similar arrangement with El Salvador in January 2022 when the country applied for a $1.3 billion extended fund facility. The financial institution wanted the Latin American country to narrow the scope of its newly released Bitcoin law which recognized the premier cryptocurrency as legal tender in El Salvador. However, unlike Argentina, El Salvador has thus far refused to bend to the condition presented by the IMF as talks between the two sides continue. The Salvadoran government maintains that Bitcoin is simply a payment system and a solution for financial inclusion and considers its choice to be a question of national sovereignty.

ERC-4626 to Usher DeFI 3.0

Much-anticipated Ethereum smart contract standard ERC-4626 is believed to fuel the next wave of DeFi as its applications work with all yield-bearing vaults, making integration and innovation more accessible.

ERC-4626 will replace Ethereum Contract Request 721 (ERC-71), the smart contract standard that enables the creation of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) on the network. The new ERC standard was approved by the community in March 2022 and is already being integrated into some of the biggest projects on Ethereum, including Yearn Finance, Rari Capital and Balancer.

Decentralized finance protocols provide trustless, permissionless financial services without a centralized intermediary. Yield farming services allow users to provide liquidity to a project in return for financial rewards. However, yield farmers who lacked substantial capital or market insights were usually left with only modest profits. To solve this issue, DeFi developers built yield aggregators or vaults that pooled funds from various depositors and then invested them algorithmically in order to automatically maximize yield.

The smart contracts associated with these vaults consist of self-executing code that has little interaction with the user. However, building apps that work with these vaults is also reportedly tricky. ERC-4626 is set to improve the scalability, security, and interoperability issues with decentralized finance vaults. Introducing this new standard to the network will enable decentralized finance builders to create improved, more innovative vault-based DeFi applications.