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Weekly crypto news: Italy subsidizes blockchain projects

Weekly crypto news: Italy subsidizes blockchain projects

Whether the worst is over, we don't know, but this week was a very positive one for the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin and Ethereum took the market by storm this week, rising 9.3% and 12.5% respectively. BTC closed the week at €21,300 and ETH at €1,200.

The panic seems to have disappeared from the market for a while, but many analysts are not yet convinced that we have reached the bottom. Ultimately, no one has a crystal ball, so only time can tell us what is to come, but it is still advisable to trade with caution.

So price-wise it was a good week, but in terms of crypto news it may have been an even better week. The trend of countries and companies embracing crypto continues, which was once again proven this past week (July 1, 2022 to July 8). So read along quickly for all the most important crypto news!

Italian government frees up €45 million to subsidize blockchain projects

Italy's Ministry of Economic Development has announced that certain blockchain projects will be eligible to apply for up to €45 million in government grants starting in September.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the ministry said that companies and public or private research firms will be able to apply for government funding to develop projects related to artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology. The fund will have an initial budget of 45 million euros for expenses and costs of 500 thousand to 2 million euros, as part of the Italian government's objectives for investment in technology, research and innovation.

"We support the investment of companies in new technologies with the aim of encouraging the modernization of production systems through management models that are increasingly interconnected, efficient, safe and fast," said Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti. "The goal of competitiveness requires the manufacturing industry to constantly innovate and take advantage of the potential of new technologies."

Argentines flock to Tether (USDT)

Argentine residents rushed to bid up the price of the popular stablecoin tether (USDT) in local fiats last weekend after it was announced that the country's economy minister had resigned.

According to data from CriptoYa, a data provider that tracks crypto prices from Latin American exchanges and peer-to-peer markets, the price of USDT in the Argentine peso (ARS) jumped this weekend from around ARS 250 per USDT on Saturday to between ARS 270 and ARS 280 on Monday.

The country, which has been plagued by high inflation and currency depreciation for decades, has been in the spotlight again this year as inflation has exceeded 50% annually.

Argentina is known as one of the countries with the highest crypto adoption rates worldwide, with blockchain intelligence company Chainalysis ranking it as the country with the 10th highest adoption last year.

The massive move from ARS to USDT this past weekend is likely an indication of uncertainty among the Argentine people about the government's ability to address inflation and other economic problems.

Cardano Vasil upgrade launches successfully on test network

The long-awaited Vasil hard fork has been completed on the Cardano test network, giving it a big step toward a revamped mainnet and promising broad performance upgrades.

Project developers, stake pool operators (SPO) and exchanges are now encouraged to implement their work on the testnet to ensure that integrations run smoothly when the mainnet receives the Vasil-hard fork in about four weeks.

Once completed on the mainnet, the Vasil-hard fork will enable faster block creation and greater scalability for decentralized apps (DApps) running on Cardano. Input Output HK (IOHK), the organization that produced Cardano, said in a tweet on Sunday that in addition to the performance upgrades, developers would benefit from "greatly improved script performance and efficiency" and lower costs.

Vasil will also enable interoperability between Cardano sidechains, one of the key features developers plan to launch in the current Basho phase of blockchain development. Basho is the fourth phase of development for Cardano that focuses on scaling and will be followed by the Voltaire phase, in which governance will be the main focus.

Clearly, there is still hard development going on in the crypto industry, with the Cardano hard fork in sight and, of course, the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.

Lamborghini-backed GT racing team will authenticate car parts with NFTs

Vincenzo Sospiri Racing (VSR), a GT racing team backed by Lamborghini's motorsports division, has announced its collaboration with non-fungible token (NFT) platform Go2NFT to launch a program that certifies race car parts.

In an announcement, former VSR racing champion Vincenzo Sospiri mentioned that their team will build NFT certification for their race cars with Go2NFT and blockchain platform Skey Network. This will allow them to control and ensure the quality of the car parts. He explained:

"This also brings with it a great responsibility to ensure that we can securely authenticate and audit every part of our racing fleet to monitor performance and ensure provenance."
In addition to car parts, VSR plans to expand the NFT certification program to official merchandise and its other products. According to the team, this will give fans peace of mind when purchasing branded products.

Boris Ejsymont, an executive at Go2NFT, said their team understands the challenges brands face when it comes to protecting their intellectual property, and they believe NFTs can provide a solution. Ejsymont said:

"We believe NFT tools can help create more trust and transparency for brands and their fans. This project with VSR is just the beginning of many such collaborations for beloved brands around the world."

This was again the most important and interesting crypto news of the past week. Earlier this week we also wrote about the Central African Republic which is in the process of building its own cryptocurrency. Read more about this in the article "Central African Republic launches its own cryptocurrency".

Luc Smits van Oyen
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