Saga discontinues blockchain gaming, Bitfinex recovers stolen assets, BarnBridge DAO members instructed to cease all activities during investigation, Lightning Labs releases tools for Bitcoin Lightning and AI developers.

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news. __________

Gaming news

  • Sega, the gaming studio once seen as one of the strongest advocates of GameFi and blockchain gaming, is pulling back from the sector, Bloomberg reported. It will withhold its biggest franchises from third-party blockchain gaming projects to avoid devaluing its content, co-Chief Operating Officer Shuji Utsumi said. It’s also shelving plans to develop its own blockchain-based games – at least for now, he said. Utsumi was also non-committal about employing Web3 technology, saying: “We’re looking into whether this technology is really going to take off in this industry, after all.”

Exchange news

  • Bitfinex said that it recovered additional stolen assets from the 2016 hack: it received $312,219.71 in cash and 6.917 BCH from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Under the terms of Bitfinex’s contractual obligations to token holders, these amounts will be used to redeem the Bitfinex-issued Recovery Right Tokens (RRTs), but as there are currently 30 million RRTs in circulation, the amount recovered is not sufficient to redeem all RRT tokens, said the announcement. “We look forward to recovering as much of the stolen bitcoin as we possibly can and redistributing that to holders of the tokens that were issued in response to the hack in 2016,” said Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino.

DeFi news

  • In a July 6 post to the platform’s Discord channel, Douglas Park, a lawyer for the decentralized autonomous organization BarnBridge DAO, told the members to pause “all work” related to the project. The reason is that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “is investigating BarnBridge DAO and individuals associated with the DAO,” Park said. Existing liquidity pools should be closed, no new ones should be opened, and individuals should no longer be compensated for any work on related products until further notice, he said.

AI news

  • Bitcoin Lightning Network development firm Lightning Labs announced the release of a new set of developer tools to enable the Lightning and artificial intelligence (AI) developers to build “global, inclusive, and out-of-the-box” cost-effective Large Language Model (LLM) tooling which incorporates Lightning and bitcoin (BTC). The announcement said that “these tools are built on the L402 protocol, a Lightning native authentication mechanism, and Langchain, a popular library to simplify working with AI agents by adding external data to allow for more advanced functionality.”

Regulation news

  • The Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) urged regulators not to exclude decentralized finance (DeFi) from the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework. The AFME said that “we believe it is crucial to avoid the potential exclusion of so-called ‘decentralised activities’ as this could open opportunities for regulatory arbitrage and weaken the application of emerging frameworks. This exclusion could create unintended risks to financial stability and potential knock-on impacts,” they argued.
  • Canada’s chief financial authority, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), issued guidance to help fund managers comply with law requirements for investment funds holding cryptoassets. Per the notice, bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) are “currently the only crypto assets accepted as investments for Public Crypto Asset Funds.” It stated that “CSA staff are of the view that the markets for bitcoin and ether best support the operations of Public Crypto Asset Funds at this time without compromising investor protection. In the future, greater institutional support and mainstream adoption of other crypto assets may result in those crypto assets becoming suitable investments for publicly distributed investment funds.” It added that exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have the necessary tools to hedge against certain cryptos’ price fluctuations.

NFT news

  • The Cardano Foundation announced the launch of a new technical collaboration with the US-based sports brand Epoch Sports and the full-stack apparel ecosystem Merchadise. The 6,000 Limited Edition Commemorative Jerseys authenticated on the Cardano blockchain were sold in June, during the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship, said a press release. Each jersey features a near-field communication (NFC) patch with a digital non-fungible token (NFT) version of the jersey. Epoch Sports and Merchadise plan to release the remaining NFC-enabled Commemorative Jerseys, with connected NFTs, on the Official 2023 World Lacrosse Championship’s web store.

Blockchain news

  • Cronos Labs, a blockchain startup accelerator focusing on the development of the Cronos ecosystem, announced a partnership with Protocol Labs, an open-source research and development laboratory. As part of the collaboration, Protocol Labs will provide startups within Cronos’ Accelerator Program with the resources needed to develop innovative Web3 applications within the Cronos ecosystem, said the announcement. It will also offer workshops, technical support, and mentorship to the participating startups.