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Weekly crypto news: Apple includes NFTs in App Store

Weekly crypto news: Apple includes NFTs in App Store

Welcome to another weekly round-up of all the most important crypto news! The crypto market has not been doing so well for a while now, but meanwhile, traditional currencies are also plunging. The British pound keeps getting closer to the dollar and the euro is now even worth less than a dollar. It is fair to say that the economic crisis is in full swing.

However, the crypto market was relatively quiet this week. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) both showed little price action over the past seven days, which might be seen as a positive in the current turmoil.

Beyond that, a lot is still happening in terms of cryptocurrency development and adoption. For instance, it is now even possible to easily buy NFTs via your iPhone. Read along below for all the details and all the other important crypto news from the past week!

Buying NFTs via the Apple App Store

In a long-awaited announcement, Apple has revealed that it will allow developers to sell their NFTs through its app store, within games and apps, although this has raised suspicion in the crypto community.

Developers can now sell NFTs within apps, and new apps can include NFTs. However, as noted by many, attention is drawn to Apple's hefty 30% fee on each NFT transaction. Apparently, the hype that the NFT market experienced last year also attracted a giant like Apple, which has apparently decided to jump into this interesting market to do further business, taking advantage of its dominant position in the app market, thanks to its App store.

This is precisely why many start-ups do not seem interested in using the App store at all, even though, according to the company, many requests have already been received from developers and start-ups. Several start-ups complain that the rules Apple has allegedly imposed on them and the 30% fees make it impossible to use the App store.

Apple has tried to take cover by reducing the fee to 15% for companies billing less than $1 million, but the response from companies in the industry remains very weak. Suffice it to say that average transaction fees are normally around 2-3%.

However, it is not just the high fees that are driving developers away from the App Store, but also other rules, such as that transactions must be made in dollars or other currencies, and not cryptocurrencies.

Still, it is good news that Apple is also making strides in adopting digital assets. Apple is expected to cater to its users more and more.

Disney seeks lawyer for NFTs

Not only Apple, but also the Walt Disney Company is looking to enter the world of NFTs. The Walt Disney Company may be about to expand into the crypto industry after posting a new vacancy for an "experienced corporate lawyer" to work on "emerging technologies" such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse.

According to the vacancy posted Friday on Disney's career website, the company is looking for a "Principal Counsel - Corporate Transactions, Emerging Technologies & NFTs" to work on transactions related to NFTs, the Metaverse, blockchain and decentralised finance (DeFi).

In particular, the entertainment conglomerate is looking for someone who can provide "legal advice and support for the full product lifecycle of global NFT products" and ensure their compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in the US and internationally.

Other duties include "due diligence for NFT, blockchain, third-party marketplace and cloud provider projects", as well as providing regular legal advice on cryptocurrency-related matters and digital currencies and guiding Disney's efforts on emerging technologies.

The new role comes as The Walt Disney Company has slowly positioned itself around the crypto, blockchain and metaverse industries.

During the company's fourth-quarter earnings call in November 2021, CEO Bob Chapek said the firm was preparing to mix physical and digital assets in the Metaverse.

Walmart Land is now part of the Metaverse

Walmart is stepping into the metaverse with two new experiences premiering on the online gaming platform Roblox on Monday.

The retail giant's first step into the virtual world includes a zeppelin dropping toys, a music festival featuring well-known artists, a host of different games and a shop with virtual merchandise, or "verch", that matches what customers can find in Walmart's shops and on its website.

The two experiences are called Walmart Land and Walmart's Universe of Play.

Walmart is experimenting with new ways to reach shoppers, especially after it saw the pandemic shake-up shaking up shopping habits and fuelling consumer engagement with social media, apps and gaming websites.

The mass retailer has organized shoppable live streaming events on TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube. It has created meal recipes through a partnership with Meredith, the media company that owns Allrecipes, Parents and Better Homes & Gardens. It has also introduced an augmented reality tool on Pinterest that allows shoppers to see how furniture or décor would look in their own homes.

Roblox will serve as a testing ground for Walmart as it considers steps into the metaverse and beyond, said William White, Walmart's chief marketing officer. He said the experiences are designed with the next generation of shoppers in mind, particularly Gen Z, generally defined as around 25 years old or younger. White said the company wants to learn from the collaboration.

Strike raises 80 million to revolutionize Bitcoin payments

Digital payments provider Strike, which is built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network, has raised $80 million (~€80 million) in a Series B funding round, which it will use to grow, expand existing partnerships and launch new ones.

Strike enables both businesses and consumers to make cheaper, faster, global payments, and it will use the new capital to boost its efforts to "revolutionize payments" for large merchants, marketplaces, and financial institutions (FIs), the company said Tuesday (27 September) in a press release.

"Enabling a cheaper, faster, and open payment network with some of the largest financial institutions in the world is not quick and easy, but it is happening," Strike founder and CEO Jack Mallers said in the press release. "Every company involved in moving money is interested in superior payments, and we are in talks with many of them."

The funding round follows Strike's public launch of its flagship application programming interface (API) that uses the Bitcoin Lightning Network to enable instant payments and provide an alternative to traditional card networks and settlement fees.

This was again the most important crypto news of the past week. Earlier this week, we also wrote about Cardano's ambitions. Read more in the article "Cardano (ADA) takes on Ethereum and Bitcoin".

Luc Smits van Oyen
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