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New Layer 2 Blast Attracts $230M TVL in 48 Hours

New Layer 2 Blast Attracts $230M TVL in 48 Hours

Blast's Layer 2 network secures over $230M ahead of its launch, CZ released on $117M bond and Altman's return as OpenAI CEO.

Welcome to the latest issue of Datawallet Daily. Let’s delve into the most impactful developments that have influenced the crypto market in the past 24 hours:

New Layer 2 Blast Secures Over $230M via Airdrop Scheme

Blast, an upcoming Layer 2 network, has attracted over $230 million in ETH and DAI deposits since announcing its airdrop on November 20. This optimistic rollup network, set to launch in February 2024, offers unique features like native yield for ETH and stablecoins, utilizing Lido for ETH staking and MakerDAO’s DAI Savings Rate (DSR). The project, developed by Pacman, Blur’s co-founder, raised $20 million from Paradigm and Standard Crypto.

Blast’s launch coincided with Blur’s second airdrop, leading to a 20% increase in BLUR token value, as traders stake BLUR for future BLAST rewards. Despite its popularity, Blast faces criticism for its one-way bridge, locking deposits until the mainnet launch, and its controversial referral program. The network plans to allocate half of its community airdrop to early adopters in May 2024, with the rest for developer incentives.

CZ Released on $175M Bond, May Return to Dubai

Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the founder of Binance, has secured his release on a $175 million bond, under the condition he returns to the United States two weeks before his sentencing on February 23, 2024. This arrangement potentially allows him to return to Dubai. As part of the bond agreement filed in a Seattle federal court, Zhao must inform the court of his residence, and failure to appear in court could lead to a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail. He has already posted $15 million in a separate trust account, which he agrees to forfeit if he violates the bond conditions.

These developments follow a $4.3 billion settlement between Binance and the U.S., resulting in Zhao’s resignation as Binance’s CEO and a $50 million fine. Despite the upheaval, Binance saw over $950 million in net outflows in the past 24 hours but maintains over $67 billion in token reserves, suggesting the exchange’s solvency is stable.

Sam Altman Reinstated as OpenAI CEO 

Sam Altman is poised to return as CEO of OpenAI, just a week after his removal sparked employee and stakeholder backlash. OpenAI announced an in-principle agreement for Altman’s return, with a new board featuring Bret Taylor as Chair, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo.

Altman expressed enthusiasm about his return and continuing OpenAI’s partnership with Microsoft.

His initial ousting was attributed to a lack of candor with the board, although specific reasons were not detailed. Altman’s departure had led to employee unrest and threats of leaving to follow him. Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI, reportedly played a role in pushing for Altman’s reinstatement.

Circle Introduces “Bridged USDC Standard” for New Networks

Circle has unveiled a “bridged USDC standard” for developers to launch USDC on new networks more efficiently. This innovative approach involves two phases. Initially, developers manage the token contracts, with the new network’s token backed by USDC on an existing network. The second phase transitions control to Circle, directly backing the token with Circle’s reserves. Initially, the token is unofficial and not redeemable by Circle but can potentially become an official version later.

This method aims to eliminate the need for migrations, allowing unofficial tokens in users’ wallets to seamlessly become official. The process requires using a specific crypto bridge and coordination with Circle to ensure a smooth transition to the official token version. This development follows Circle’s recent launches of native USDC on the Base and Polygon networks.

Other breaking news

Wrapping up

Today’s roundup: the drama surrounding Binance and CZ appears to be winding down with CZ’s release on a $175M bond. Despite a $1 billion outflow, Binance’s stability stands firm. In other developments, the new Layer 2 network Blast is making headlines, having secured over $230 million staked in its smart contracts – and this may just be the start. Those concerned about AI industry progress can relax: Sam Altman has been reinstated as OpenAI’s CEO. Additionally, Circle has launched the “Bridged USDC Standard” for new networks, offering a potential fix for liquidity fragmentation in emerging platforms. Stay tuned for further updates!