Web4.. Say what now?

Europe is revealing plans for WEB4

GM, frens! Ambire here with our weekly newsletter. Today we’ll talk about Web4, Google changing its crypto policy on its Google Play platform, crypto crime dropping 65%, a new ZK rollup from Consensys and ARB caving in about locking $700m (+ other worthy reads). Let’s get down to it:

Web4.. Say what now?

EU's European Commission has recently released a new initiative called Web4, and it's causing a stir among tech-minded individuals. But what is Web4?

According to EC, Web4 is an ambitious combination of artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, crypto/blockchain, virtual worlds, and extended reality capabilities. Really, anything and everything that people associate with virtual experiences and the internet could be included.

While the initiative aims to modernize society's most critical infrastructure, like transportation and healthcare, it also seeks to create a connected world where citizens can access services with the same ease they do now for communication and entertainment.

In terms of blockchain technology specifically, details are scarce as to how it will be incorporated into Web4. However, the EC has proposed a program called Partnership on Virtual Worlds under Horizon Europe with a potential start date of 2025. This would be a research initiative to create an industrial and technological roadmap for web4 and virtual worlds, so we'll probably see by then.

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Google Play Store reverses its policy on crypto

Play Store is Google's official app store, just like the Apple Store is for iOS. Until recently, Google had strict policies that restricted developers from integrating any crypto services outside of those provided by industry players like exchanges.

However, Google Play has now announced a change in its policy and is opening up its platform to new ways of using blockchain-based digital content within apps and games. This includes the option for users to earn loyalty rewards in the form of NFTs. Google is now even looking forward to seeing innovative ideas from developers.

This change in policy by Google Play Store is a major step forward for crypto and opens up a whole new world of possibilities for developers. For the first time, users will have access to in-game content that can be collected, exchanged, and used for various purposes. This could revolutionize the way people experience digital entertainment.

With this new policy, Google Play Store is taking a major step towards mass adoption of crypto-based services. This suggests that the current opening is just the beginning of a series of possible openings that could eventually lead to crypto integration into apps such as Google Pay. This is for sure a sign that the industry is continuing to grow and mature.

Crypto crime is down 65%

Crypto scammers are having a tough time as crypto-related crimes have decreased by 65% through the end of June 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.

This was reported by blockchain data firm Chainalysis in their crypto crime report released on 12 July. The main reason behind this fall in crypto crimes is attributed to the decrease in scams and dark web market activity.

In total, crypto criminals have made around $3.3 billion less in 2023 than they did the previous year, resulting in a total of $1.0 billion for this year. When compared to June 2022, crypto scammers have made 77% less revenue.

Cryptocurrency exchanges and other entities have taken proactive measures to protect users from such activities by introducing stringent KYC requirements, providing detailed reports on suspicious transactions, as well as working with law enforcement authorities to ensure safety of user funds.

The report also pointed out that the decline in crypto crime is mostly attributed to the lack of incentives for criminals, as many digital currencies have seen a drop in price. As the prices of cryptocurrencies stabilize and more people start using them, crypto crimes are expected to rise again.

Consensys unveils Linea, a new ZK rollup

Consensys has recently unveiled their ambitious project, Linea, a layer-2 network that will help to speed up and reduce costs of transactions on Ethereum's mainnet. This follows its successful testnet phase on Goerli where it managed to create 5.5 million wallet addresses and execute 46 million transactions.

Linea is a type 2 zero-knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machine with an EVM equivalent. The devs are aiming to provide a fast and cost-effective user experience, which will come with up to 15 times lower transaction costs than Ethereum layer-1, at least according to their benchmarks.

The development team behind Linea also claims that the platform is secure and can offer fast transaction speeds, as well as high scalability for its users.

Consensys' entry into the zero-knowledge rollup game should be watched closely, as the implications of this development will be felt not only on Ethereum's mainnet, but maybe even across the entire crypto space.

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ARB DAO caves in and locks $700m for vesting

Arbitrum's DAO has apparently caved in to pressure from the community and has locked up $770 million worth of ARB tokens into a vesting contract in a major step towards increasing accountability and transparency in the organization.

The move came after the approval of the AIP 1.1 proposal that initially sought to allocate over 700 million ARB tokens directly, which sparked community backlash and criticism in the early part of this year. The vesting contract will be used to release funds incrementally to the foundation over a four-year period in order to ensure better governance and increase oversight of the project's funds.

The decision to lock up 700 million ARB tokens is a major shift for Arbitrum and DAO governance as a whole, as it shows that projects are willing to concede to community opinion in order to maintain trust and confidence within their ecosystem. This move signals that the Foundation is committed to becoming an accountable and transparent organization and is a move in the right direction for the future of decentralized governance.

The vesting contract will be regularly monitored by the ARB community to ensure that funds are allocated properly, with progress updates being shared on an ongoing basis. This move will no doubt help restore confidence in the project and help strengthen trust, that was lost due to the controversial initial allocation plan.

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Other worthy reads:

Gary Gensler’s not so bullish outlook on crypto:

A thread on accounts worth following from Hoeem (just take it with a grain of salt):

Farms Of The Month - July 2023 by Wajahat Mughal:

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The fun page: our weekly meme collection

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That's all for now, frens.

We'll see you next week. And remember, the market conditions are temporary, but our commitment to building a better DeFi is here to stay. Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you back next week. Cheers!

Yours, The 🔥 Team

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