Crypto Analyzer

EMEA Weekly: Ethereum Gets Closer to an Eco-Friendlier Version 2.0, but Next-Gen Scalability Delayed; South African Strauss & Co. to Host NFT Auction for Fine Wines

**Ethereum 2.0, NFT Auction, and Other Major News in EMEA**

The past week has seen several significant developments across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), ranging from the world of cryptocurrencies and acquisitions to innovative business initiatives. Here’s a roundup of the top news from the region:

**Ethereum 2.0 Progress and Scalability Delays:**
The launch of a “shadow” version of Ethereum 2.0 marks a significant stride towards achieving a more eco-friendly future for the popular blockchain network. However, this moment of progress is countered by the announcement of delays in the implementation of scalability – a crucial aspect of Ethereum’s second generation. These delays mean that key enhancements to smart contract blockchain, particularly in terms of scalability, are pushed back to at least 2023. [Learn more](https://www.pymnts.com/cryptocurrency/2022/ethereum-gets-closer-to-an-eco-friendlier-version-2-0-but-next-gen-scalability-still-delayed/)

**South African Strauss & Co. Hosts NFT Auction for Fine Wines:**
Strauss & Co., the renowned South African auction house, is set to conduct a unique auction featuring non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for fine wines. Partnering with five esteemed wineries in the country, the auction will offer NFTs representing collections from the past, present, and future, showcasing vintages ranging from 66 to 288 bottles. This innovative approach to wine auctions adds a new dimension to the market. The event is scheduled to take place from April 18-25. [Read more](https://www.pymnts.com/nfts/2022/south-african-strauss-co-to-host-nft-auction-for-fine-wines/)

**Bosch Acquires UK Autonomous Driving Firm Five AI:**
In the realm of autonomous driving technology, multinational tech giant Bosch has completed the acquisition of Five AI, a British automated driving company. The acquisition signifies Bosch’s commitment to advancing automated driving systems. The deal, which was finalized earlier in the month, is pending approval from antitrust authorities. Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed. [Find out more](https://www.pymnts.com/acquisitions/2022/bosch-acquires-uk-autonomous-driving-firm-five-ai/)

**Nexo Introduces Cryptocurrency Mastercard in European Markets:**
Swiss platform Nexo has introduced a cryptocurrency Mastercard in select European markets, in collaboration with Mastercard and London-based eWallet provider DiPocket. This offering provides users with access to crypto-powered liquidity at over 92 million eCommerce sites worldwide, allowing them to spend without the need to sell their digital assets. The launch of this card marks another step towards integrating cryptocurrencies into everyday financial transactions. [Explore further](https://www.pymnts.com/credit-cards/2022/nexo-mastercard-dipocket-launch-card-backed-crypto-credit-line/)

**Sustainability-Focused Startup Material Exchange Secures Series A Funding:**
Material Exchange, a Swedish Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company dedicated to facilitating the sourcing of sustainable materials for brands such as H&M and Ugg, has successfully raised 25 million euros ($27 million) in a Series A funding round. This achievement reflects the growing emphasis on sustainable practices within the fashion and retail industries, as well as the demand for innovative solutions in supply chain management. The funding will support Material Exchange in expanding its reach and enhancing its product offerings. [Learn about the funding](https://www.pymnts.com/news/investment-tracker/2022/sustainability-focused-startup-material-exchange-notches-series-a/)

As EMEA continues to be a hub of technological innovation, financial developments, and progressive business ventures, these recent events underscore the region’s role in driving forward key advancements in diverse sectors.