UAE Debuts Blockchain Carbon Trading Platform at COP28

The United Arab Emirates has taken a significant step in its environmental initiatives by launching a new blockchain-powered carbon tracking and trading platform. This development, announced by an Abu Dhabi government-affiliated research center, aligns with the UAE’s broader efforts to reduce emissions and achieve net-zero goals.

Unveiled at the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) on December 5, the platform is designed to facilitate the international trade of carbon tokens. These tokens are linked to investments in green projects like forestation and carbon capture, representing a novel approach to environmental sustainability.

The Technology Innovation Institute’s (TII) Cryptographic Research Center, part of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council, developed the platform. TII’s announcement on December 5 outlined that blockchain technology can register carbon emissions from any public or private organization worldwide, enhancing transparency and accountability in emissions tracking.

The TII, a key player in the UAE’s “Vision 2021” initiative aimed at economic strengthening and sustainable living, highlighted the user-friendly nature of the platform. It allows users to create tokens representing a specific quantity of carbon dioxide removal, which can be tracked through its entire supply chain journey.

The blockchain is anticipated to be utilized for various applications, including peer-to-peer energy trading, waste disposal tracking, recycling activities, and forestry management. To ensure the integrity and security of the platform, auditors will be involved in its operations.

In line with the global push for more sustainable and energy-efficient technologies, the TII emphasized that the blockchain adopted for this platform is lightweight and efficient, designed to avoid computational wastefulness. This ensures that trading can be conducted with minimal or no cost, making it accessible and practical for widespread use.

Ray O. Johnson, CEO of TII, remarked on the launch:

“We are proud to announce this digitized tracking and trading platform at COP28, representing the UAE’s drive to become a technology and innovation powerhouse and its commitment to leading the world’s climate action agenda.”

This initiative is part of a growing trend in which blockchain technology is increasingly employed to create and manage carbon credits. Efforts to reduce energy usage in blockchain networks are also gaining momentum. For instance, the Solana Foundation has introduced a real-time carbon emissions tracker for its network. Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake model in September 2022 drastically reduced its energy consumption by over 99.9%. Bitcoin miners, too, are turning to renewable energy sources to diminish emissions.

Blockchain-based projects like Power Ledger and Energy Web also work on decarbonization solutions. The COP28 conference, which commenced on November 30 in Dubai, serves as a global platform for these groundbreaking environmental initiatives and is set to conclude on December 12.

Coinbase Introduces Easy Crypto Transfers via Social Media and Messaging Apps

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, has launched an innovative feature in its Coinbase Wallet, streamlining the process of transferring cryptocurrencies. This new functionality enables users to send crypto through links, which can be shared across various popular social media platforms and messaging applications, broadening the accessibility of its services.

As detailed in a blog post on December 5, Coinbase users can now send money via platforms where they can share a link. This includes popular apps like iMessage, Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Significantly, users won’t incur any payment fee when transferring USD Coin, a U.S. dollar stablecoin co-launched by Coinbase and Circle in 2018.

The process for recipients is straightforward. Clicking the shared link will direct them to their device’s app store to download the Coinbase Wallet if they haven’t already. From there, recipients can easily set up a wallet with just one click, as highlighted by Coinbase.

Coinbase has implemented a safety feature whereby if the transferred funds are not claimed within two weeks, they will automatically be returned to the sender. This adds an extra layer of security to the transfer process.

To cater to a broader audience, including those less familiar with technology, Coinbase has introduced a “simple mode” in its wallet. This mode focuses on basic functions like buying, sending, receiving, and viewing assets, making it more user-friendly for new and less tech-savvy users.

The introduction of this feature is part of Coinbase’s initiative to address the complexities and limitations associated with international bank wire transfers. Traditional wire transfers often come with high fees and extensive paperwork, and it can take up to five business days for the funds to arrive. Coinbase’s solution offers a more efficient and cost-effective alternative.

Despite these advancements, as Google Finance reported, Coinbase’s share price has experienced fluctuations. While the share price has increased over 300% in 2023, reaching $140, it remains 59% below its all-time high of $343, recorded on November 12, 2021. This development reflects Coinbase’s ongoing efforts to innovate and expand its services in the dynamic world of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin’s Market Value Surges, Outstripping Meta and Berkshire Hathaway

Bitcoin (BTC), the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has witnessed a significant price surge, breaking through the $44,000 barrier. This recent climb has not only marked a substantial increase in its value but also elevated its market capitalization above major entities like Meta and Berkshire Hathaway.

On Tuesday, the price of bitcoin soared, reaching a high of $44,011 per unit at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Over the last month, BTC has experienced a remarkable surge, with an increase of more than 24% and a 17% rise in just the past two weeks. This week alone, bitcoin escalated by 14% against the U.S. dollar.

BTC’s trading volume has also seen a notable upsurge, reaching $31.68 billion, double the previous day’s volume. The day’s trading ranged between $41,453 and slightly over $44,000. This valuation level for BTC hasn’t been seen since April 6, 2022, before the collapse of the Terra market.

Despite a significant trading volume of $31 billion, the dominant trading pairs for BTC include USDT, FDUSD, USD, USDC, and KRW. Leading global exchanges like Binance, Kraken, Coinbase, and Bitfinex are at the forefront of BTC trading volume.

On Tuesday, BTC’s trading volume was second only to the stablecoin tether (USDT). The upturn in crypto prices led to the liquidation of $160 million in shorts in the last 24 hours, with around $91.34 million stemming from bitcoin short positions. This increase in value has boosted Bitcoin’s market dominance to 51.3% amidst a combined market worth of over $1.65 trillion across more than 10,000 digital assets.

This remarkable price increase has propelled Bitcoin to surpass the market capitalizations of both Meta and Berkshire Hathaway. Bitcoin now ranks as the ninth-largest asset in market valuation, encompassing companies, precious metals, and exchange-traded funds. This achievement underscores Bitcoin’s growing influence and stature in the global financial landscape.

ParaSpace Evolves into Parallel Finance, Maintaining Focus on NFT Lending

ParaSpace, a prominent nonfungible token (NFT) lending protocol, is transforming significantly. The company is rebranding to Parallel Finance, signaling an expanded focus on the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. ParaSpace will continue emphasizing its NFT lending services, a core aspect of its operations, despite this shift.

In a recent discussion with Cointelegraph, Yubo Ruan, the founder and CEO of ParaSpace (now Parallel Finance), shared insights into the protocol’s strategy. He explained that ParaSpace utilizes diversified liquidity pools, dynamic loan-to-value ratios, and price-discovery partnerships to navigate the challenges of high volatility in the market, which often deters bidders for the underlying asset.

Ruan expressed confidence in the viability of NFT margin lending despite recent market downturns. He believes it serves a niche yet expanding group of collectors and investors who seek leverage in their investments. Over the past year, NFT trading volume has seen a dramatic decline from its peak in May 2022, but there are indications of stabilization, particularly in blue-chip collections.

Looking ahead, Ruan envisions NFTs evolving into digital passports that grant access to various virtual and real-world utilities. He also anticipates the development of soulbound tokens, which would act as non-transferable proofs of experience, skills, and reputation.

As Parallel Finance emerges from the rebranding, the protocol aims to diversify its DeFi offerings, focusing on liquid staking and Parallel L2. Parallel L2 facilitates fast transactions with low gas fees, incorporating zero-knowledge proofs and Arbitrum Orbi for enhanced security and scalability. Additionally, the integration of liquid staking with NFT lending is being explored. This would enable NFT holders to earn yields on their staked assets.

In this new framework, users would receive a tradable derivative token representing their staked investment, which could be traded or used like other crypto tokens. This approach aims to resolve the typical liquidity issues associated with staking, allowing users to pursue other investment opportunities without needing to unstake their assets.

Since its inception in 2022, ParaSpace has grown to a valuation of $500 million, boasting over 340,000 users. The company reached a peak total value of $900 million in May and merged with Parallel Finance in August, marking a new chapter in its journey within the DeFi landscape.

Riot Platforms Expands Mining Capacity with Major ASIC Miner Acquisition

Jay Solano

Jay is a crypto and NFT enthusiast dedicated to exploring the dynamic world of digital assets. As a leading crypto blog writer, he relishes sharing his knowledge on the latest trends, breakthroughs, and investment opportunities in the blockchain world.

Arbitrum DAO Expands Grant Budget by $23M to Support More Projects

The Arbitrum DAO, part of the Ethereum blockchain’s layer-2 scaling solution, has recently moved significantly to expand its grant program. This initiative is set to bolster the development of various projects within the Arbitrum community, marking a notable increase in the platform’s support for emerging technologies.

A recent vote by the Arbitrum community, held between November 18 and December 2, led to the decision to disburse an additional $23.4 million in tokens. This move aims to fund all the projects approved under the Short-Term Incentive Program (STIP) but was previously unfunded due to the program’s cap of 50 million ARB tokens. As a result, an extra 21.1 million ARB tokens, equivalent to $23.4 million, will be distributed to 26 additional projects.

The decision to increase the funding was backed by a majority vote, with 216.7 million votes in favor versus 73.1 million against. This increased funding raises the total STIP budget to 71.4 million ARB tokens, supporting 56 projects. The goal is to nurture diverse and emerging builders and to foster a more welcoming environment for new projects in the Arbitrum ecosystem.

Arbitrum operates as a layer-2 network, enhancing the Ethereum blockchain’s capacity for faster and cheaper fund transfers. The network is governed by holders of ARB tokens, which also generate revenue through transaction fees. According to data from DefiLlama, Arbitrum generated over $180,165 in fees and $43,342 in revenue on December 1 alone. For the month of November, its total fees amounted to $5.93 million, with revenues reaching $1.47 million.

The newly approved budget will fund various projects, including Gains Network (4.5 million ARB), Wormhole (1.8 million ARB), and Stargate Finance (2 million ARB). Notably, PancakeSwap withdrew a proposal for 2 million ARB due to the STIP’s Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.

However, this decision to provide additional funding was not without its critics. Some delegates, like those from MUX protocol, opposed the move, arguing that it could lead to funding projects of mixed quality. They advocated for support to projects with strong fundamentals and reasonable grant sizes but were concerned about including varying-quality proposals in a single funding bundle.

Other members of the Arbitrum DAO suggested that conducting a full second round of funding would have been a fairer approach to include additional protocols in the incentives program, instead of back funding. Despite these concerns, the decision is a significant step towards expanding the scope and impact of projects within the Arbitrum network.

Microstrategy Reaps $1.6 Billion from Bitcoin Investment

Microstrategy, a leader in business intelligence, mobile software, and cloud-based services, has achieved remarkable success with its Bitcoin investment. The company’s strategic move into cryptocurrency has yielded a significant profit, showcasing the potential of digital assets in modern investment portfolios.

Having invested $5.314 billion in Bitcoin, Microstrategy’s current holdings are valued at an impressive $6.915 billion. This represents a substantial profit of $1.601 billion, marking a 30% increase in the value of their investment.

Microstrategy (Nasdaq: MSTR) gained this substantial growth following a surge in bitcoin’s (BTC) value, surpassing the $39K mark. The company currently holds the title of the largest bitcoin holder among public and private entities, second only to governments and specific exchange-traded products like Grayscale’s GBTC. As of the latest figures, Microstrategy possesses an astounding 174,530 BTC, valued at $6.915 billion based on current exchange rates.

The company’s journey into bitcoin investment involved purchasing BTC at an average cost of $30,252 per coin. With the current valuation, the company has realized a gain of $1.601 billion, a return of 30.12%, achieved through a strategic approach to dollar-cost averaging its purchases. This success was analyzed by’s “There Is No Second Best,” comparing Microstrategy’s BTC investment profits with a hypothetical scenario of investing in Ethereum (ETH) instead.

In an alternate situation where the company had chosen ETH, its holdings could have been 4,264,829 ETH, valued at $9.245 billion. This would have resulted in a 74% profit, totaling $3.931 billion, significantly higher than the profit from BTC investments. Furthermore, ETH’s potential income at a 4% annual percentage yield (APY) could have added approximately $869.4 million to Microstrategy’s profits.

However, Microstrategy and its CEO Michael Saylor are staunch Bitcoin supporters, famously affirming, “There is no second best crypto asset.” Microstrategy’s BTC assets constitute 27.92% of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust holdings, indicating the substantial size of their Bitcoin portfolio compared to other businesses.

The company’s stock performance has been equally impressive, with MSTR shares increasing by 167% over the past year. Since the year’s start, MSTR has seen a 262% gain, with a 22% increase in the last month alone. Regarding global market capitalization, which includes ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals, Microstrategy ranks the 1,768th largest, while Bitcoin holds the 11th highest market valuation, just below Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Coinbase Reports Significant Rise in Government Data Requests

Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, has experienced a significant increase in requests for customer information from government and law enforcement agencies. Over the past three years, there has been a notable uptick in these inquiries.

According to a recent transparency report by Coinbase, from October 1st, 2022, to September 30th, 2023, the exchange received 13,079 requests for customer information. This figure represents a 6% increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

More strikingly, this number reflects a 209% jump compared to the requests received between July 1st, 2020, and December 31st, 2020, which totaled 4,227.

The report highlights that 57% of these requests originated outside the United States. Notably, 19 countries, including Armenia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Colombia, Moldova, Côte d’Ivoire, New Caledonia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, made such requests for the first time.

Approximately 73% of the law enforcement requests came predominantly from four countries: the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Among these, the United States led the list with 5,686 requests, followed by Germany with 1,908.

The report also mentioned a significant increase in requests from authorities in countries like Australia, Portugal, and France, with increases of 262%, 211%, and 52%, respectively.

Coinbase emphasizes its commitment to maintaining a balance between protecting customer privacy and fulfilling legal obligations. The company ensures that a team of experts thoroughly reviews each request. These professionals follow established procedures to assess the legal validity of each request. In cases where requests are overly broad or vague, Coinbase endeavors to narrow them down to provide a more targeted response. Sometimes, they may even object to providing any information if the request lacks legal basis.

OX Token Surges Following Surprise Tweet from Co-Founder Su Zhu

In a remarkable turn of events, the OX token, the digital currency of the Open Exchange Token (OX), experienced a significant surge in value. This sudden increase came shortly after a surprising social media activity from Su Zhu, the co-founder of the crypto bankruptcy claims platform OPNX.

On December 1, Su Zhu, who had been noticeably absent from social media since his arrest, made a simple yet impactful post on X (Twitter). His message, consisting of just “gm” (short for “good morning”), was his first public communication since September 29, the same day he was apprehended at Singapore’s Changi Airport while trying to leave the country.

The impact of Su’s tweet on the market was immediate and substantial. Within 20 minutes following his post, the OX token’s value soared by nearly 50%, reaching $0.021. This surge marked a 63-day high for the token, a peak that hadn’t been achieved since the day of Su’s arrest, as per CoinGecko data.

However, after reaching this high, the price of OX slightly corrected, dropping by about 6%. Despite this, the market capitalization of OX remains impressive, now exceeding $104.5 million.

Su’s arrest was tied to his attempt to leave Singapore following a court directive ordering his imprisonment for contempt of court. He was slated to serve a four-month sentence, which would keep him detained until the next year. Speculations about his early release started circulating after a wallet believed to be his, named “suzhu.eth,” showed activity on November 29.

OPNX, standing for Open Exchange, is a specialized platform facilitating the trading of creditor claims from bankrupt cryptocurrency companies. This platform was launched by Su Zhu and his co-founder Kyle Davies following the collapse of their Singapore-based crypto hedge fund, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), which went bankrupt in June 2022. After 3AC’s downfall, both founders initially fled Singapore. While Su Zhu returned, Kyle Davies is rumored to reside in Bali, Indonesia.

Antpool Takes Lead Over Foundry in Bitcoin Mining Race for November

Antpool has recently taken a significant step forward in the dynamic world of Bitcoin mining. Foundry USA, a major mining pool, has been leading the pack with the highest hashrate for quite some time. However, in a surprising turn of events this November, Antpool has just nudged ahead of Foundry.

In November, the Bitcoin mining community saw 4,436 blocks being mined. Out of these, Antpool was responsible for mining an impressive 1,218 blocks. This achievement means that Antpool contributed 27.46% to the global hashrate for the month.

This recent development marks a notable change in the mining landscape. Antpool’s rise to the top is particularly evident in a recent three-day period, where 427 blocks were mined. Antpool mined 126 of these, while Foundry mined 114. This puts Antpool’s three-day average hashrate at 29.51%, compared to Foundry’s 26.70%.

By the end of November, Antpool’s total block count stood at 1,218, accounting for 27.46% of all blocks mined in the month. Foundry was a close second, mining 1,216 blocks, roughly 27.41% of the total. Interestingly, Antpool was also responsible for mining 12 16 empty blocks during this time. However, in the overall lifetime ranking, Antpool still sits behind F2pool regarding total blocks mined.

F2pool has mined 82,410 blocks, making up 10.06% of all blocks. Antpool, on the other hand, has mined 79,990 blocks, which is 9.76% of the total. Foundry, despite its recent dominance, has mined a total of 30,684 blocks, or 3.75% of all blocks, placing it behind other mining pools like, Braiins, Viabtc, and the no-longer-active Btc Guild.

Looking at the last year, Foundry had a clear lead, mining 16,335 out of 53,811 blocks, contributing to 30.36% of the year’s total mining. Antpool, in comparison, discovered 12,041 blocks, which is 22.38% of the total. These two outpaced the year’s third-largest pool, F2pool, which mined 7,316 blocks or 13.60% of the year’s total. This shift in the leaderboard showcases the ever-changing and competitive nature of Bitcoin mining.

Jack Dorsey’s Startup Aims to Create Anti-Censorship Bitcoin Mining Pool

Bitcoin startup Mummolin has raised $6.2 million in seed funding led by Jack Dorsey and others, with the goal of providing miners with more control over their block rewards from the network.

The funds will support the launch of a decentralized mining pool called OCEAN. This unique non-custodial pool will directly pay miners their block rewards, eliminating the involvement of a centralized entity, in contrast to traditional mining pools.

Luke Dashjr, a long-time Bitcoin core developer and co-founder of Mummolin, emphasized OCEAN’s transparency and non-custodial nature. He stated, “We are launching as the most transparent pool and the only non-custodial pool where miners are the recipients of new block rewards directly from Bitcoin.”

In traditional mining pools, operators work together to confirm transactions on the Bitcoin network and then distribute the rewards among miners. However, these pools can act as centralized entities, holding custody of the rewards and potentially having the power to withhold payments from individual miners.

OCEAN’s non-custodial approach aims to remove this risk and undue influence over miners. The new mining pool has received praise from industry observers for its focus on decentralization, which aligns with the principles of the Bitcoin network.

Mark Artymko, co-founder and president of Mummolin, highlighted the significance of OCEAN’s direct payouts to miners from the block reward, emphasizing the elimination of undue influence by the pool over miners.

OCEAN’s launch represents a restart of Dashjr’s previous zero-fee pool, Eligius, with updated code and support for the latest Bitcoin addresses and mining machines.

Barefoot Mining is the first customer of OCEAN, and the pool plans to introduce further phases of decentralization improvements and upgrades in 2024.

The seed funding round was led by Jack Dorsey and included participation from Accomplice, Barefoot Bitcoin Fund, MoonKite, NewLayer Capital, the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, and other strategic partners.

OCEAN’s launch is significant in light of recent controversies involving legacy mining pools accused of censoring certain transactions. Censorship resistance is considered a fundamental principle of the Bitcoin network, and OCEAN aims to address concerns related to centralization in mining pools.

Jack Dorsey expressed his support for OCEAN and addressing centralization in mining pools. He sees OCEAN as a solution to the risk of further centralization in Bitcoin mining, which could jeopardize key attributes of the network that Bitcoin supporters value.

Animoca Brands to Become Largest Validator on TON Blockchain

Web3 investment firm Animoca Brands is set to become the most significant validator on The Open Network (TON) blockchain, aiming to bring blockchain-based games to Telegram’s 800 million users.

Animoca Brands plans to invest in the TON blockchain protocol and become the network’s largest validator. The partnership includes funding, research, and the development of an analytics platform for third-party TON ecosystem applications.

While the specific value of Animoca’s investment was not disclosed, part was made directly into Toncoin, which has been staked as part of the validator agreement.

Animoca has conducted extensive market research on the TON ecosystem, focusing on its potential to drive cryptocurrency and GameFi (gaming finance) adoption. The firm intends to support TON Play, a gaming infrastructure project based on the TON blockchain, which allows gaming applications to be built and launched on Telegram.

Animoca also plans to explore porting some of its gaming titles and applications from its portfolio of over 400 Web3 projects to Telegram, potentially reaching Telegram’s massive user base.

Animoca Brands Research has also developed its own TON Analytics Dashboard, which collects metrics from TON’s open internet ecosystem, including TON Blockchain, TON DNS, TON Storage, and TON Sites.

Justin Hyun, Director of Growth at TON Foundation, highlighted the significance of Animoca’s analytics platform and research reports in bringing Web3 functionality to Telegram users’ daily experiences.

Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu emphasized that this investment aligns with their efforts to drive adoption and transition from Web2 to Web3. He sees significant growth potential for gaming within the TON ecosystem and intends to develop TON-based games in the coming years.

This partnership with TON marks the second instance of Animoca becoming a validator for a proof-of-stake blockchain protocol in November 2023. Earlier this month, the firm became a validator for Chiliz Chain, a fan token blockchain used by major football and sports teams.

TON was initially developed by Telegram but faced legal challenges from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, leading Telegram to abandon its development efforts in May 2020. Subsequently, a group of open-source developers took over the project, establishing the TON Foundation in May 2021.