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Blackrock offers direct bitcoin exposure, FTX brings crypto swaps to Reddit and soccer clubs trademark the Metaverse. These stories and more this week in crypto.

Crypto Market Rally Continues

The cryptocurrency market enjoyed a positive week, following news that inflation is cooling down. With declining gas prices, the U.S. Consumer Price Index remained flat from June to July, providing relief for investors. In addition, Ether surged to a two-month high after developers successfully completed final testing for the Ethereum upgrade expected to happen next month.

Blackrock Launches Private Bitcoin Trust

The world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock, has launched a private bitcoin trust. In a statement, Blackrock said that despite the steep downturn in the digital asset market, they are still seeing substantial interest from its institutional clients. Blackrock considers Bitcoin as the oldest, largest, and most liquid crypto asset, and currently the primary subject of interest from its clients.

FTX Brings Crypto Swaps to Reddit

Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX is launching an integration with Reddit and Arbitrum-built Ethereum wallets to allow users to pay gas fees on Reddit’s Community Points tokens using traditional fiat currency. Community Points are blockchain-based Reddit tokens that allow users to share rewards and interact with the social platform.

Crypto Mixing Service Blacklisted

The US Treasury Department has sanctioned the popular cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash for allegedly helping to launder $7 billion in cryptoassets by failing to impose effective controls. Mixers obscure the trail of funds by mixing tokens with a pool of other assets, concealing the identity of the people involved in transactions.

Crypto Bank Nuri Files for Insolvency

German crypto-focused banking platform, Nuri filed for insolvency, explaining that it’s necessary to ensure the safest path forward for its customers. Despite the insolvency proceedings, Nuri said that customers would still have access to their euro accounts and crypto wallets. Nuri said that the startup has been facing a lasting strain due to significant macroeconomic headwinds.

Robinhood Faces Market Manipulation Claims

Popular trading platform Robinhood is set to defend itself in court against market manipulation claims related to the ‘meme stock’ rally. The proposed class action lawsuit claims the Wall Street Bets-led rally last year led Robinhood to restrict the trading of certain securities like GameStop and AMC, infuriating retail investors, rattling market confidence, and eventually causing artificially depressed share prices.

Monero Gets Major Upgrade

The privacy-focused open-source crypto protocol, Monero, is getting a new upgrade. The upgrade reduces transaction size and increases transaction speed which is expected to improve the performance of the network by 5 to 7%. New changes in fees will also minimize fee volatility and improve overall network security.

Giant Soccer Clubs Trademark the Metaverse

Two of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, Real Madrid and Barcelona, have applied to receive trademarks for elements of their metaverse presence. The application encompasses different activities and services that they can conduct in the metaverse, including a cryptocurrency wallet and the possibility of selling virtual merchandise.

That’s what’s happened this week in crypto, see you next week.

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