Kalam Crypto #64: RAK Crypto Free Zone, Etheruem Shanghai Upgrade Delayed
This week, Ras Al Khaimah announced a crypto friendly free zone, firms distance themselves from crypto bank Silvergate, and Ethereum Shanghai upgrade delayed.
“A fool and their leveraged bitcoin are soon parted” Caitlin Long
Ahlan wa sahlan, and welcome to the 64th edition of CoinMENA's weekly newsletter, Kalam Crypto. This week, Ras Al Khaimah announced a crypto friendly free zone, firms distance themselves from crypto bank Silvergate, and Ethereum Shanghai upgrade delayed. All that and more, so let's dive into this week's letter, and talk crypto:
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Local News 📍
Ras Al Khaimah Launches Digital Assets Free Zone: Ras Al Khaimah is launching a free zone for digital and virtual asset companies called RAK Digital Assets Oasis. The free zone will be dedicated to emerging technologies such as blockchain, NFTs, DAOs, DApps, and other Web3-related businesses. This comes one month after Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) released the Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023, a comprehensive regulatory framework for the virtual asset (VA) industry. These developments highlight the UAE's positive regulatory approach towards the virtual asset industry as it aims to become a global crypto hub.
Global News 🌍
Silvergate-Gate: Crypto bank Silvergate is losing customers and facing financial difficulties as court filings reveal its low capitalization. Major crypto firms including Coinbase, Paxos and Circle distanced themselves from the struggling bank. Similar to traditional banks, Silvergate operates as a fractional reserve bank, only required to keep 8-13% of deposits, leaving depositors vulnerable in the event of a bank run. The recent crypto market collapse prompted many firms to withdraw their deposits from Silvergate, exacerbating the bank's financial woes.
Fractional reserve banking is a risk that many in crypto are aware of and are actively working towards remediating. Cailtin Long’s Custodia Bank was petitioning the Federal Reserve for a banking license where they will keep 108% of customer deposits, but so far their application has been rejected.
Ethereum Withdrawals Delayed: Ethereum's Shanghai upgrade to allow withdrawal of staked ETH has been delayed from March till April. The mainnet hard fork date has not been confirmed, but it is expected to be a month after the testnet deployment. Ethereum upgrades are often delayed due to cautious approaches to avoid mistakes.
Keep An Eye On 👀
NFT Sales Bounce Back: NFT sales volume surged to a 10-month high in February, reaching $2.04 billion, up 117% from January, according to data from DappRadar. The surge was mainly due to Blur, an emerging NFT marketplace that rewards users financially for loyalty and trading high-value NFTs. As we mentioned in last week’s newsletter, Blur has overtaken OpenSea in trading volume.
Tweet Of The Week 🐥
CoinMENA News 🗞
Discounted Card Deposit Fees: For a limited time, enjoy discounted fees on card deposits, now only 2% instead of 3.5%. Offer is valid until Friday March 10th at 11 PM Bahrain/KSA time.
Quiz Corner ✅
Last week’s question: What is a private key?
Answer: A secret code used to spend your cryptocurrency
This week’s question: What is a smart contract?
A binding agreement between two parties executed automatically by a computer program
A program used to mine cryptocurrency
A software wallet used to store cryptocurrency
A public code used to receive cryptocurrency
See the answer in next week’s newsletter.