This week saw the launch of the world's largest cruise ship, in a ceremony performed by footballer Lionel Messi in the Port of Miami. The Icon of the Seas, can cater for up to 7,600 guests, and boasts features such as a water park and concert venue.
That's one way to beat the traffic on the way to the gig, but Philippines President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr thought he had a better way. Bongbong used the presidential helicopter to attend a Coldplay concert north of Manila and avoid the area's notorious traffic jams, but was criticised by many for wasting taxpayers' money.
But who is the icon of the crypto seas this week, and who is just desperate to avoid a traffic jam? Read on to find out.
An online pastor claimed that 'God' had promised a 10x return on his congregation's $3 million investment in the worthless INDX coins that he had minted. The pastor spent his victim's money on luxury purchases and a home remodelling but now faces fraud charges. Meanwhile, another scam was uncovered involving 1,300 meme-coin rug pulls that all followed a similar pattern. Over $32 million has been stolen in total, from more than 42,000 investors.
However, the Avalanche Foundation has put its money behind meme-coins as part of its 'Culture Catalyst' scheme, creating a meme-coin collection to "recognize and encourage the culture and fun symbolized by meme-coins," although only those on the Avalanche blockchain, naturally.
Blockchain of a significantly greater number of notable meme-coins, Ethereum, made several headlines this week:
The launch of the Dencun upgrade on the Goerli testnet brought blob-carrying transactions to avoid the need to use expensive calldata for rollups. A bug in the Nethermind client software temporarily took down 8% of validators and renewed concerns about the dominant position of the Geth client software. MetaMask launched an Ethereum staking service through its wallet, but with a hefty 10% commission on any rewards. And there were two solutions proposed for the network's fragmentation issues. Polymer announced plans to integrate the Cosmos IBC into the Ethereum ecosystem, and Polygon launched its aggregate 'AggLayer' to create a 'single-chain' experience across Ethereum Layer 2s.
Other blockchains in the news were Solana, which launched its token extensions feature to allow token issuers to easily apply controls for compliance and reporting requirements, and Binance's BNB, which carried out its latest quarterly token burn in its long-term bid to reduce the number of circulating tokens by half.
There seems to be some movement towards bankruptcy repayments for creditors of Mt Gox and Celsius, although FTX customers are still to agree on a reorganization plan. Meanwhile, Terraform Labs continued to fight for its ultimate survival by filing for bankruptcy in the United States.
The co-founder of bankrupt crypto hedge fund 3AC gave a whole list of positives from his almost three-month stay in a Singapore prison, calling it an "enjoyable experience". However, the crypto community still felt the need to come together to support the founders of crypto mixer Tornado Cash in their attempt to avoid time in a U.S. jail.
Rounding things up: GameFi platform Arcade2Earn pulled in $4.8 million in a private funding round before a planned public token sale in February. Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica expanded its mobile coverage in Mexico by teaming up with blockchain-based hotspot provider, Helium Network. And our Banking and CBDC Roundup covered RWAs in Switzerland, CBDCs in the U.K. and China, and the BIS announcing new projects involving both RWAs and CBDCs.
Now, we have to get to a Metaverse music gig, but whether to take the helicopter or the cruise ship?...