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Today in Crypto: Avant Arte & Yuga Labs Set to Bring 10,000 CryptoPunks Into the Physical Realm, Pfizer-backed VitaDAO Launches Biotech Firm for Longevity Experiments on Animals

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

NFT news

  • The Avant Arte marketplace announced that it is collaborating with Yuga Labs to bring all 10,000 CryptoPunks into the physical realm for the first time with two time-limited print editions, made by Avant Arte’s printmakers Make-Ready. The first, Punk On-Chain, will be available to all Punk holders and will enable them to commission a unique 1-1 physical print of their Punk(s) for €500 ($530). The second, 10,000 On-Chain, will be available for €600 ($630) to Punk holders and fans alike, offering everyone the opportunity to own their own Punk artwork, it said. Both works will be available only for 48 hours on October 26. 

DeFi news

  • VitaDAO, the Pfizer-backed decentralized autonomous organization focused on advancing longevity research, launched its biotech firm, Matrix Bio. 99.9% of the community participating in the vote in late March had approved a collaboration with the University of Rochester’s Aging Research Center co-chair, Dr. Vera Gorbunova. Per the project description, the experiments will be conducted on long-lived animals. The Budget includes financing of up to $300,000 provided by VitaDAO, with up to $200,000 allocated to high throughput screen (HTS) and exploratory medicinal chemistry with a 3rd party CRO or academic ‘fee for service’ facility, and up to $100,000 allocated to the Gorbunova lab for hit compound experiments.

Payment news

  • Hong Kong’s trials of e-HKD digital currency showed potential uses in payment, deposit, and investment scenarios, but relevant players need more experience before a launch date can be considered, Eddie Yue Wai-man, CEO of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the city’s de facto central bank, said in an interview with the South China Morning Post. "There are some interesting use cases of e-HKD in the areas like programmable payments, and in new areas like tokenised deposits and tokenised assets," the CEO said, but adding that "it is still the beginning of the trial process. We have to find a use case that is better than the current retail payments. Because if you are not either safer, faster, or more convenient, then it will not be doable."
  • Crypto payments infrastructure provider MoonPay announced the launch of Swaps in the MoonPay App. Key features of this new functionality include low gas fees, cross-chain swaps, more than 1,500 trading pairs (number may vary by jurisdiction), all wallets in one place, and competitive exchange rates, the announcement claims. Swaps is available globally, in most regions where MoonPay is generally available, it said. The MoonPay App initially launched in May 2023. 

Exchange news

  • Binance's market share declined for the seventh consecutive month in September, according to CCData's monthly Exchange Review. Spot trading volumes on the exchange fell 36.8% to $115 billion in September, recording the lowest monthly spot volumes since October 2020. This reduction also marked the third consecutive decline in volumes since June 2023, leading Binance's market share among spot trading exchanges to stand at 34.3%, its lowest since June 2022, said the report. It added that the combined spot and derivatives trading volume on centralized exchanges fell for the third consecutive month, dropping 20.3% to $1.67tn. Also, "the lack of volatility, combined with the seasonality effects that have historically been seen in Q3, has led to centralised exchanges recording the lowest combined quarterly volumes since Q4 2020."

Mining news

  • Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto-mining monolith Bitmain reportedly paid September wages to its employees after payments were delayed and deducted because of cash flow issues, according to a report by the local media outlet Odaily. "On the afternoon of October 7, Bitmain has repaid September wages, and stated that it only did not pay the performance salary of some people. It has also been repaid, and the basic salary has been released normally on September 30," crypto reporter Colin Wu tweeted