The non-fungible token (NFT) frenzy has reached new heights with sales skyrocketing and the craze becoming a major talking point amongst traditional investors, the art world, and the crypto universe.

As per data from Dappsradar, OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, is about to close the month of August at over $3bn of volume traded in 31 days. In January 2021, the monthly transaction volume recorded on the platform was just over $8m.

Visa buying a CryptoPunk and lending legitimacy to the burgeoning sector only made the week all the more crazier for the space. Facebook is also reportedly looking to get involved, while Solana – boosted by a move into NFTs – broke into the list of top 10 cryptos by market cap.

Now, onto the top stories from the week.

Last week's top stories

Cuba will recognise and regulate cryptocurrency

The country’s central bank said Friday it is drafting legislation to regulate cryptocurrency in commercial transactions and to issue licenses for providers of services connected with virtual assets. “Financial institutions and other legal entities may only use virtual assets among themselves and with natural persons to carry out monetary and mercantile operations, and exchange and swap transactions, as well as to satisfy pecuniary obligations,” the bank said. Read More

Jack Dorsey discusses plans to build a decentralised exchange for Bitcoin

Last month, Square CEO Jack Dorsey disclosed plans for a project called TBD that would focus on the development of a platform for open-source financial services dedicated to bitcoin.  That project has a clearer roadmap, according to tweets from Dorsey as well as Mike Brock, the CashApp exec put in charge of the initiative: a decentralised exchange. "Our idea for the fiat DEX is something the enduser shouldn't even need to know is there, and any wallet or service can integrate with,” said Brock, adding the exchange would be in compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer laws. Read More

Visa buys a CryptoPunk as it takes first steps into 'NFT commerce'

Visa announced Monday it had entered into the world of NFTs after purchasing a CryptoPunk for around $150k. Launched in 2017 by Larva Labs, CryptoPunks are a collection of 10,000 pixel art images of misfits and eccentrics. When asked by The Block about the purchase, Visa's head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, said CryptoPunks "pioneered the NFT technology and wave of NFT commerce," so Visa wanted to own one. Read more.

In case you missed it

⚡️USDC reserves will be reversed to cash and US treasuries only.

⚡️PayPal launches crypto services in UK.

⚡️Citigroup gearing up to trade CME bitcoin futures: sources.

⚡️SEC partners with blockchain analytics firm to monitor DeFi space.

⚡️Morgan Stanley loads up on $240m in Grayscale Bitcoin shares.

⚡️Billionaire Simon Nixon’s family office to increase crypto allocation.

⚡️Asset managers and companies accumulate 1.2m Bitcoin worth $57bn.

⚡️Poly Network drama is over: hacker returns the remaining $141m.

⚡️Iran: Legal bitcoin mining can resume from the end of September.

⚡️Blockstream raises $210m, acquires mining chip manufacturer Spondoolies.

⚡️Paxos is rebranding its stablecoin from PAX to USDP.

⚡️MicroStrategy announces new bitcoin buy worth $177m.

⚡️US Kraken exchange targets European license in 2021, says CEO.

⚡️FTX lends $120m to recently hacked crypto exchange Liquid.

⚡️NBA icon Stephen Curry buys Bored Ape NFT for $180k.

⚡️NFT mania sends Ethereum gas prices to 14 week high.

⚡️Paradigm and Founders Fund lead $16m investment in 3LAU's NFT music platform Royal.

From Copper

New Report: Are markets discounting growth cryptocurrencies?

For some investors, digital assets below the Top 100 rankings are like the second page of Google – they hardly ever look there. In the first report of our Under the Radar series, we identified nine cryptoassets that have seen consistent growth but markets may have mispriced them relative to their competitors. Read the full report here.

Webinar: Cross margining and capital efficiency in crypto markets

As capital continues to flow into crypto, investors and traders are looking for new ways to leverage their assets in more productive ways. On Tuesday 31 August, our very own Asen Kostadinov, will join Alameda Research's Sam Trabucco for a Blockworks webinar to discuss the current state of capital efficiency in crypto, where the current needs of investors are being met (and where they aren’t), and the impact of DeFi. Register here to attend.

Alonzo Hard Fork: The Cardano makeover that changes everything

Cardano is undergoing an enormous upgrade to its underlying technology. As smart contract functionality comes into play, the protocol will be in a position to innovate in niches such as DeFi and NFTs. Our latest article describes what investors need to know about the imminent Alonzo hard fork. Read it here.

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