Get your daily, bite-sized digest of crypto and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s news. __________Investment news Digital asset marketplace Bakkt Holdings announced international and domestic expansion. Per the press release, it plans to expand crypto capabilities into numerous international markets with existing and new clients by year-end. In Latin America, Bakkt and the long-standing client, stock trading platform Hapi, expanded into Mexico and Argentina and also expect to go live in Brazil by the end of 2023. In Europe, the two expect to launch in Spain, and Bakkt will provide crypto trading and custody services in the UK and EU to the crypto app 3.0 verse. Additionally, Bakkt will partner with 3.0 verse throughout Asia, including Hong Kong and Singapore. The company said it also continues to expand with institutionally-backed clients domestically: Bakkt and EDX Markets, a digital asset marketplace for crypto-native firms and large financial institutions, have preliminarily agreed that Bakkt will join EDX’s clearing house and custodial network, initially serving as a backup qualified custodian. Security news Tron founder and Poloniex owner Justin Sun has offered a 5% white hat bounty to the Poloniex hacker. “Please return the funds to the following ETH/TRX/BTC wallets. We will give you 7 days to consider this offer before we engage law enforcement,” Sun tweeted on Friday. He further claimed that the Poloniex team identified and frozen a portion of the assets associated with the hacker’s addresses, claiming that “at present, the losses are within manageable limits, and Poloniex’s operating revenue can cover these losses.” Metaverse news South Korean metaverse platform ZEP announced a partnership with the Layer 1 platform NEAR Protocol and revealed plans for building on it. According to the press release, “NEAR Protocol and ZEP aim to explore a business model that provides various benefits to users through this collaboration.” The two also plan to develop Web3-related features that enhance the convenience of developers and users. A goal of the collaboration is for ZEP’s partners to be able to easily issue and distribute various Web3-based digital assets, allowing users to enjoy a convenient Web3 experience in the ZEP metaverse environment, it said. Blockchain news The NEAR Foundation, the non-profit that supports the growth and development of the NEAR ecosystem, and Eigen Labs, the startup building out Ethereum restaking protocol Eigen Layer, announced a collaboration to build a fast finality solution meant to power faster, less expensive transactions for Ethereum rollups, including cross-rollup transactions. According to the press release, the two teams are working together to build “the first-ever “fast finality layer” for Ethereum rollups,” which enables transactions to be processed within 3-4 seconds instead of minutes or longer, and 4000x cheaper than the current options. This will also enable secure, low-latency cross-rollup communication, and it will reduce liquidity fragmentation between Layer-2s through increased efficiency while also allowing them to make individual decisions around the sequencers they use to process those transactions, either on-chain or off-chain. The fast finality layer retains all Ethereum security guarantees while adding both NEAR and EigenLayer guarantees, “making it an attractive option for any team building on Ethereum L2s,” the announcement said. DeFi news The Aragon OSx protocol, the foundation layer of the new Aragon stack, now has multichain governance using LayerZero for cross-chain messaging and the zkSync Era rollup for low-cost and secure voting. The code is undergoing audits. Per the press release, this Aragon OSx plugin enables decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to govern assets and permissions across Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) chains from one mainnet DAO smart contract. The plugin can be installed in custom DAOs on Aragon OSx and will launch on the no-code Aragon App in 2024. It leverages LayerZero’s Omnichain Fungible Token Standard (OFT) to extend the capabilities of governance tokens, enabling token holders to cast votes on zkSync no matter which chain their token originated on. DAO members can also vote on zkSync to save gas costs and increase token participation, the announcement added.
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