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Unocoin offers bitcoin vouchers; Alonzo upgrade onboards users

Unocoin offers bitcoin vouchers as Alonzo upgrade onboards users

Cardano’s Alonzo Purple upgrade begins onboarding users.

Indian crypto exchange Unocoin offers bitcoin gift vouchers.

And Axie Infinity growth continues at a pace.

We’ll have more on that story — and other news shaping the cryptocurrency and blockchain world — in this episode of The Daily Forkast, August 9, 2021.


Welcome to the Daily Forkast, August 9th, 2021. I’m Justin Solomon, filling in for Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau. Covering all things blockchain.

Coming up, Cardano’s Alonzo Purple upgrade begins onboarding users,
an Indian crypto exchange offers Bitcoin gift vouchers;
and Axie Infinity hits US$ 1 billion in trading volume. What’s next?

Let’s get you up to speed from Asia to the world.

First up, Alonzo Purple, the third and final step to Cardano’s Alonzo upgrade took place over the weekend as user onboarding has begun, and it’s an important milestone for Cardano that brings smart contract capabilities to the network and makes it competitive with Ethereum and other protocols in the DeFi and DApp space.

All expected by the end of the month.

Forkast.News Lachlan Keller has more from Australia.

Hong Kong based developer Input Output Hong Kong, or IOHK, announced the news that user onboarding to its testnet had begun in a 12 part Twitter thread.

Alonzo Purple follows the blue and white stages. Alonzo White, which was launched in mid-July, also supported smart contracts, but only for a closed group of 500 users.

Full support for smart contracts is expected to happen by the end of August or early September.

Once the upgrade is complete, the network is even expected to support an ERC-20 converter, allowing ETH tokens to run on the network.

ADA, the native currency of the Cardano network, showed a moderate price improvement following the announcement, hovering at a high of almost US$ 1.5 over the weekend before dropping slightly as the working week begin.

For Forkast.News I am Lachlan Keller, from Melbourne, Australia.

Meanwhile, fancy buying some gift vouchers with your crypto?

That’s what one India based cryptocurrency exchange is allowing users to do with their bitcoin.

But as crypto applications expand commercially, there is still that nagging issue of whether legislators will ultimately let crypto survive.

Forkast.News Monika Ghosh with the story from India.

Unocoin is the first major crypto exchange to allow Indians to use Bitcoin for the purchase of everyday goods and services.

Users will be able to buy vouchers valued at up to around US$ 67 for use with well-known food, travel and lifestyle retailers, including names such as Domino’s Pizza, Cafe Coffee Day and kitchen appliances brand, Prestige.

Unocoin told Forkast.News it demonstrates to both consumers and the government that cryptocurrencies aren’t just a speculative asset.

“When it comes to the governments, , we keep on speculating whether they will treat it as an asset or like a barterable value transfer system. But what we are trying to do here is more towards the utility of what bitcoin can be used for, not just you accumulate and you hold it for the value to go up and you try to sell it for profit.”

India’s crypto regulation bill was first listed on the parliamentary agenda during the winter season, but was never tabled and has now been postponed indefinitely.

For Forkast.News, I’m Monika Ghosh, Pune, India.

On Monday, Axie Infinity’s founder announced their NFT markets’ trading volume became the first to hit US$ 1 billion.

That came hot on the heels of the announcement that they have more than one million daily active players, just last Friday.

According to data from DAPPRadar, the Axie NFT market now has a trading volume of just over US$ 1.1 billion, meaning it ranks first among all markets, with trading volume increasing over 200% in just the last 30 days.

And data from Token Terminal shows the volume of the native Token AXS has gained over 150% in that same time frame.

If you’re not familiar yet, Axie Infinity is a game inspired by Pokémon. Bundling financing and the game playing players obtain their electronic pet access by purchasing an NFT then game tokens through breeding, fighting and selling advanced pet NFTs. Players can exchange their tokens for fiat currencies.

It’s part of a bigger trend, as DeFi games are on the rise.

According to game data analysis agency Investgame, 24 blockchain game companies completed a total of US$ 476 million in financing in the first half of this year.

Putting fiat to serious work in crypto not just fun and games, I suppose.

And that’s The Daily Forkast from our vantage point right here in Asia.

For more, visit Forkast.News. I’m Justin Solomon. Until next time.

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