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February 2024 Recap: Chainlink PoR Brings Transparency To ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF, Telefónica Fights SIM Card Fraud With Chainlink Functions

In January, U.S. regulators approved spot bitcoin ETFs in what Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov called a watershed moment for crypto. Nazarov’s vision continued to unfold in February, when bitcoin surged toward its all-time high and crypto ETF issuer 21Shares announced its integration of Chainlink Proof of Reserve (PoR) to boost the transparency of bitcoin reserves backing ARKB, a leading spot bitcoin ETF with over $1.58 billion in net assets.

In an official announcement, 21Shares US president and co-founder Ophelia Snyder emphasized how PoR sets a new standard for combining transparency and security in digital asset management.

“This collaboration allows us to offer an unmatched level of insight and safety for our investors’ holdings for ARKB, reinforcing 21Shares’ commitment to leading the way in secure, transparent asset management,” she said.

In an interview with Tanvir Gill on CNBC’s Street Signs Asia, Nazarov elaborated on how bitcoin ETFs supported by Chainlink’s industry-leading decentralized oracle infrastructure are broadening cryptocurrency access and expanding use cases for tokenization. 

“I think what that’s going to do is it’s going to drive a blockchain adoption trend and blockchain adoption generally also drives cryptocurrency value, cryptocurrency adoption,” he said. “And it’s in that tokenization trend where Chainlink and other key technologies come into play.”

CNBC’s Tanvir Gill and Chainlink’s Sergey Nazarov discuss bitcoin ETFs on Street Signs Asia.

Earlier in February, multinational telecommunications company Telefónica integrated Chainlink Functions to securely bring any API on Open Gateway, a global telecoms industry initiative led by the GSMA, onchain. Functions will power the initial use case for Open Gateway’s SIM Swap API, which will allow smart contracts to make information requests to the API while ensuring a device’s SIM card has not undergone unauthorized changes.

In an official announcement, Telefónica Chief Metaverse Officer Yaiza Rubio said, “Telefónica is delighted to strengthen our relationship with industry leader Chainlink and to present the first use case of the GSMA Open Gateway SIM Swap API, which positions us as a Web3 enabler and will allow us to accompany developers towards the web of the future.”

The Chainlink BUILD program, which fosters the growth of promising early-stage and established projects in Chainlink’s ecosystem, continues to expand. February BUILD additions include decentralized perpetuals platform, SubstanceX; institutional liquid staking platform, Dexponent; non-custodial liquid staking protocol, Swell Network; and perpDEX yield management platform, Vaultka

Representatives from BUILD projects Fyde Treasury, ​QuantAMM, Golteum, and Folks Finance also made waves during the first London Chainlink community meetup of 2024 at the University of Westminster. Students, alumni, lecturers, teaching assistants, and working professionals from traditional and decentralized finance gathered for a panel discussion called “BUILDing the Next Generation of DeFi” led by long-standing Chainlink community advocate and DeFi professional, Toby Hill.

Panelists representing Chainlink BUILD projects discuss the future of DeFi at the University of Westminster. (Tatiana Polivoda)

Panelists explained how their projects leverage critical Chainlink infrastructure and discussed hot topics from solving the MEV problem to the intersection of blockchain and AI.

“I was amazed to see how many people were gathered in the audience,” Folks Finance CEO ​Benedetto Biondi told Chainlink Today. “It was a very vibrant crowd with different backgrounds. Many questions were asked by the public after the speech and the audience was quite interactive.”

“It was a stimulating experience and an excellent platform for knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration within our community,” added Golteum co-founder, Max Anderson. “I had a great deal to learn from the valuable interactions and discussions. It’s always a great feeling to gather with other people who share a common interest in blockchains and the systems built around them.”

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