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Crypto Flipsider News – Microsoft Enters the Metaverse, Animoca Brands Raises $360 Million, Coinbase Partners with Mastercard, OpenSea Buys Dharma Labs, ETH Whale Buys $17 Million MATIC, Intel Mining Chip

Read in the Digest

  • Microsoft pushes deeper into the metaverse with Activision Blizzard purchase, Animoca Brands raises $360 million.
  • Coinbase and Mastercard enter into NFT partnership, OpenSea acquires Dharma Labs.
  • Ethereum whale buys MATIC worth $17 million following EIP-1559 upgrade.
  • Intel is preparing to launch an ‘ultra low-voltage bitcoin mining ASIC.’

Microsoft Pushes Deeper into the Metaverse with Activision Blizzard Purchase, Animoca Brands Raises $360 Million

Joining the slew of companies jumping into the metaverse, Microsoft has announced the $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard – an American video game holding company.

Microsoft explained that the acquisition will accelerate its involvement in the gaming industry across all mobile, PC, console, and cloud platforms. Microsoft added that the deal will also provide the building blocks for its entry into the metaverse.

In other news from the virtual world, metaverse gaming company Animoca Brands has announced the completion of a $360 million funding round. The round was led by Liberty City Ventures.

According to Crunchbase, the metaverse company has now raised an estimated $604 million. The latest funding round has pushed the valuation of Animoca Brands to above $5 billion – three times more than it was valued in October 2021.

Flipsider:

  • Morgan Stanley has remarked that companies could face challenges over persuading their customers to buy into new technology.

Why You Should Care

Microsoft joins a growing list of companies pouring billions into the metaverse to see that it becomes a reality.

Coinbase and Mastercard Enter into NFT Partnership, OpenSea Acquires Dharma Labs

As it builds its NFT marketplace, leading crypto exchange Coinbase has announced a partnership with Mastercard. According to Coinbase, the partnership is intended to reduce friction in the NFT buying process.

As a result of the partnership, Coinbase users will be able to use Mastercard credit and debit cards to make purchases on the crypto company’s upcoming NFT marketplace.

To improve its NFT services, leading NFT marketplace OpenSea announced the purchase of Dharma Labs, a crypto wallet and lending platform. OpenSea is looking to improve the experience of buying, minting, and selling NFTs on its marketplace.

As part of the acquisition, Dharma Labs will shut down its operations and be integrated directly into OpenSea. With Dharma allowing users to deposit fiat in order to trade on Uniswap. this has given rise to rumors that OpenSea could explore fiat for NFT purchases.

Flipsider:

  • With the Dharma Smart Wallet set to be deactivated in 30 days, Dharma Labs has urged users to withdraw or sell their funds before February 18th.

Why You Should Care

Coinbase and OpenSea are exploring ways of getting more people safely and securely involved with the growth of the NFT sector.

Ethereum Whale Buys MATIC Worth $17 Million Following EIP-1559 Upgrade

Since December, reports have emerged about the largest Ethereum whales acquiring Polygon (MATIC). However, more such investors have turned to the Layer-2 scaling solution since EIP-1559 was implemented on the Polygon Mainnet.

The EIP-1559 introduced a token burn protocol to Polygon (MATIC). With MATIC being a fixed supply token, reducing the number of tokens in circulation is intended to create a deflationary model, which is predicted to positively affect MATIC.

According to on-chain data, the 157th biggest Ethereum whale has snapped up a total of 7,483,202 MATIC, valued at $17,396,711 across seven different transactions.  

The 24 hour price chart for MATIC. Source: Tradingview

Flipsider:

  • Despite the initially expected uptrend, MATIC suffered a huge 5% drop over the last 24 hours.

Why You Should Care

With its success in 2021, more people have turned to the Layer-2 scaling solution, with MATIC’s value predicted to gain by even more in 2022.

Intel Is Preparing to Launch an ‘Ultra Low-Voltage Bitcoin Mining ASIC’

Intel, one of the world’s largest computer chip makers, is reportedly planning to enter the crypto and Bitcoin mining hardware market in February. According to reports, the microchip giant has developed an “ultra low-voltage energy efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC.”

With Intel preparing to unveil its “Bonanza Mine” processor at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) commencing on February 23rd, many have suggested that the new mining chip could be announced alongside.

ASIC chips have been widely used in the mining of cryptocurrency because they are particularly suited to the number-crunching involved. Launching an ASIC will pit Intel directly against Bitmain and MicroBT in the market of specialized ASICs for Bitcoin mining.

Flipsider:

  • Cryptocurrency mining has been widely criticized by environmentalists and gamers.

Why You Should Care

Intel is looking to claim a share in the crypto mining hardware market, the rise of which has driven up demand and prices for GPUs.

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