OpenSea Acquires Dharma Labs
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
OpenSea acquires crypto wallet Dharma Labs for an estimated $110 million.
Coinbase NFT announces a partnership with Mastercard to support credit card purchases.
Aave governance votes to deploy V3 on Arbitrum and Optimistic Ethereum.
Optimism announces they are working on an additional 30% reduction on transaction fees.
OpenSea Acquires Dharma Labs
OpenSea has acquired crypto wallet platform Dharma Labs for an estimated $110 million. Dharma is a user-friendly wallet designed to onboard new users onto DeFi by connecting them directly to their bank accounts. The platform served as a bridge to DeFi protocols, enabling users to buy, swap, and lend tokens through Compound and Aave.
As part of the deal, Dharma will be shutting down the wallet. Dharma users have until February 18th to either transfer out or sell their tokens. Dharma will be covering all user's gas fees for transactions over $100. Dharma Labs CEO Nadav Hollander will be joining OpenSea as the company’s new CTO. OpenSea’s current CTO, Alex Atallah, will step into a new role as a representative for OpenSea’s NFT Security Group.
The news comes amid Coinbase’s partnership with Mastercard for Coinbase NFT. OpenSea will likely use Dharma Labs to build an integration for direct fiat payments to onboard non-crypto native users to the marketplace. Dharma Labs was founded in 2017 and was initially built as a protocol for lending. Notably, the platform did not have an ICO and later specialized as a wallet with direct fiat on-ramps.
Coinbase NFT Partners With Mastercard
Coinbase has announced a partnership with Mastercard to support credit card purchases on Coinbase NFT. They will work to classify NFTs as “digital goods” to allow a broader group of consumers to purchase NFTs. In some cases, NFTs are classified as quasi-cash purchases under Merchant Category Code (MCC) 6051. The partnership could solidify NFT purchases as digital goods under MCC 5816.
Coinbase NFT is a peer-to-peer marketplace that will enable users to mint, buy, showcase, and discover NFTs. The platform was initially announced to be launched in Q4 of last year but that has since been delayed. It is a highly anticipated marketplace and could stir market share away from OpenSea as being a non-custodial marketplace with direct credit card purchase integrations.
Aave Plans Arbitrum + Optimism V3 Release
Aave will be deploying V3 of its protocol on both Arbitrum and Optimistic Ethereum. The vote to add support for the layer 2 networks was passed by Aave governance earlier this week. Aave V3 is an upgrade to the protocol that will include risk management tools as well as layer 2 specific features to improve upon user experience.
Arbitrum is the leading rollups scaling solution on Ethereum and holds over 50% market share with $3.4 billion in TVL. Optimism is an EVM equivalent Optimistic Rollup focused on cost and latency reduction. Optimism holds nearly $500 million in TVL. Arbitrum and Optimism also have direct fiat on-ramps and CEX integrations making it easier for users to bridge liquidity onto layer 2.
Aave hopes to tap into the user base and liquidity on layer 2 networks with the new integration. The Aave V3 codebase is a separate and independent set of smart contracts from V2, which will be open sourced once all audits are complete. Aave is yet to release an estimated date for the V3 launch of the protocol.
StarkNet Alpha 0.7.0 Releases
StarkNet has released StarkNet Alpha 0.7.0 to the Goerli testnet. The upgrade includes new improvements including support for Block Number and Block Timestamp system calls. OpenZeppelin’s Proxy Upgrade Pattern is also now fully supported for contract upgrades in StarkNet. The Proxy pattern is the common method to enable contract upgrades over Ethereum.
The version includes support for querying pending blocks via the StarkNet CLI. StarkNet is now working on an initial fee mechanism to be released over the next few weeks. StarkNet is a permissionless layer 2 zk-rollup developed by StarkWare. StarkNet remains in an alpha phase and is expected to go live to mainnet later this year.
Optimism Optimizes Gas
Optimism announced they are working on an additional 30% reduction on average transaction fees on the network without the need to upgrade smart contracts. The layer 2 platform already released a cost reduction update earlier this year. Optimism currently holds the 4th cheapest transaction fees on layer 2, ahead of Arbitrum.
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