May 21, 2022

Crypto Roundup by DJKupo

4/17/22

Terraform Labs ‘Gifts’ $880 Million in Luna to Luna Foundation Guard (The Block)

“Terraform Labs has gifted 10 million LUNA ($880 million) to the Luna Foundation Guard to help boost the stability of the stablecoin UST. The funding will likely go toward the foundation’s goal of acquiring additional collateral — so far in the form of bitcoin (BTC) and avalanche (AVAX) — to underpin UST. It may also be partially burned to help maintain UST’s peg to the US dollar.”

On-Chain Wallet Profiler Nansen Adds Solana Coverage (CoinDesk)

“Crypto data service Nansen announced Thursday that it is adding support for transactions on the Solana blockchain. In a press statement, the startup pointed to Solana’s growth across non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized finance (DeFi). The integration will ‘help to identify emerging’ trends on both fronts, it said. On Thursday, Nansen’s Solana overview page showed the fast and cheap blockchain had 1.31 million ‘unique 1-day visitors.’ Decentralized exchange (DEX) Serum accounted for 32% of ‘program executions.’”

Meta Begins to Allow Sale of Digital Goods on Horizon, Taking Nearly Half in Transaction Fees (The Block)

“Meta is beginning to allow creators to sell virtual experiences and digital items on its free virtual reality game Horizon Worlds, the company announced earlier this week. But the reaction from creators and people within the NFT community has largely been negative since the announcement. What appeared to be a step in the right direction to empower users to build their own worlds and make money from such efforts was met with backlash because of the sizable cut the company will take from creators.”

Meta Press Release

Central Banks in Emerging Economies Look to Cbdcs for Payment Efficiency, Bis Report Says (The Block)

“A volume of papers from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) points out that payment system efficiency is the top motivation for central banks in emerging market economies experimenting with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) or considering such an approach. The document, published on Thursday, is made up of a series of papers that were prepared for a meeting of deputy governors of central banks from emerging economies, which happened on February 9 and 10.”

Bybit Replaces CME as No. 2 Bitcoin Futures Exchange by Open Interest (CoinDesk)

“Bybit, a cryptocurrency exchange with more than 2 million registered users, has overtaken the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) as the second-largest bitcoin futures exchange by open interest (OI), according to data from Skew. Open interest is the total number of outstanding derivative contracts, such as options or futures held by market participants at the end of a day. Open interest measures the total level of activity in the futures market.”

Ethereum Merge Pushed to Q3 as ‘Final Chapter’ of Proof of Work Looms (Decrypt)

Ethereum 2.0

“The Ethereum merge that forms a key part of the so-called Ethereum 2.0 upgrade has been delayed until the latter half of 2022. ‘It won’t be June, but likely in the few months after,’ Tim Beiko, an Ethereum Foundation developer, said yesterday on Twitter. ;No firm date yet, but we’re definitely in the final chapter of PoW on Ethereum.’ Earlier in the Twitter thread, Beiko had urged a user not to invest in any more mining equipment.”

Circle Will Apply for U.S. Crypto Bank Charter in ‘Near Future’ (Bloomberg)

“The crypto payments startup Circle Internet Financial said it’s closer to submitting an application to operate as a bank in the U.S., pushing forward with a months-old plan even as regulators make it more difficult for crypto companies to secure this kind of license. Circle, the issuer of the second-largest stablecoin, disclosed its intention to become a crypto bank in August and has held ongoing discussions with regulators since then, Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Allaire said in an interview. He declined to say when the company would submit the application, saying only that it would be ‘hopefully in the near future.’”

Fireblocks Teams up With FIS in Capital Markets Crypto Push (The Block)

“Custody platform Fireblocks and payments giant FIS have inked a partnership to accelerate crypto adoption in capital markets. FIS said in a press release that the deal will enable firms of all types to access the largest crypto trading venues, liquidity providers, lending desks and decentralized finance (DeFi) applications.”

Larry Fink Says BlackRock Is Studying Cryptocurrencies (WSJ)

“BlackRock Inc., BLK -3.85% the massive money manager, is an investor in a $400 million fundraising round for Circle Internet Financial, the crypto-focused company that manages the stablecoin USD Coin. Other investors in the round included Fidelity Investment Inc., Marshall Wace and Fin Capital. Circle has raised $1.1 billion overall, according to Crunchbase. The company is planning to go public through a special-purpose acquisition company later this year.”

Binance Announces 100 Million Euro Investment in France (The Block)

“Binance has announced a 100 million euro ($108 million) investment in France and a partnership with Paris-based startup incubator Station F as the crypto exchange giant expands its footprint in Europe. ‘France is uniquely positioned to be the leader of this industry in Europe,’ Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said from the stage at the Paris Blockchain Week Summit on Wednesday, adding that the company already has a team of about 50 people in the country.”

Blockchain.com Closes Sponsorship Deal with Dallas Cowboys (The Block)

“Blockchain.com announced Wednesday the close of a sponsorship deal with the Dallas Cowboys as part of a broader marketing push to expand its retail user base in the US. The deal comes as companies across the crypto industry ramp up their marketing spending, particularly in the area of sports. Major sporting franchises, too, have eyed crypto as a way to expand fan outreach. Recent deals include ByBit’s 3-year, $150 million deal with Red Bull Racing and Crypto.com’s $175 million, 10-year deal with the UFC.”

Dallas Cowboys Press Release

Pantera Capital Set to Close $1.3B Blockchain Fund (CoinDesk)

“Pantera Capital plans to close the Pantera Blockchain Fund, its first blockchain fund, in the next three to four weeks with about $1.3 billion in committed capital, according to an investor conference call.
The amount is more than double the $600 million target when the company began fundraising last November. Pantera last month said commitments then had surpassed $1 billion.”

Circle Announces $400 Million Raise, Partnership With Blackrock (The Block)

Circle | USDC, Payments & Treasury Infrastructure for Digital Business

“Crypto payments company Circle announced a $400 million funding round on Tuesday. The firm is also partnering with management giant ​​BlackRock as a strategic investor. The round, expected to close in the second quarter, also drew support from Fidelity Management and Research, Marshall Wace LLP and Fin Capital, the company announced.”

Circle Press Release

Ignite (Formerly Tendermint) Launches $150 Million Accelerator for Web 3 Projects (The Block)

“Applications are open for a new Web 3-focused startup accelerator launched on Tuesday by Ignite, a core development team within the Cosmos ecosystem. Eleven investment partners have teamed up to support Ignite Accelerator to the tune of $150 million. They are Alameda Research, KuCoin Ventures, OKX Blockdream Ventures, Hashkey Capital, Chorus One, Figment, Chainlayer, Strangelove Ventures, Forbole, Everstake and Galileo.”

Crypto Lender Celsius to Stop Paying Interest on New Deposits From Us Starting on Friday (The Block)

“Celsius will stop offering its crypto interest accounts to US users at the end of this week. Per an April 11 announcement, the crypto lender will transition new deposits from US users to custody accounts. Critically, those accounts will not pay interest, unless their owners are accredited investors.”

Celsius Press Release

Former Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith Sentenced to 5+ Years in Prison for North Korea Trip (CoinDesk)

“Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith will serve 63 months in prison and pay a $100,000 fine for helping North Koreans use cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions. In September, Griffith pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate international sanctions against North Korea. Griffith was arrested in November 2019 after giving a talk at a cryptocurrency conference in Pyongyang in April of that year.”

Uniswap Labs Launches Venture Unit to Invest In Web3 Projects (The Block)

“Uniswap Labs, the main developer of the Uniswap decentralized exchange protocol, has launched a new venture unit. Uniswap Labs Ventures will invest in web3 projects across categories, focusing on startups building blockchain infrastructure, developer tools and consumer-facing applications.”

Epic Games Raises $2B to ‘Build the Metaverse’ (Decrypt)

Epic Games is the company behind the smash hit Fortnite. Image: Epic Games

“Epic Games, the firm behind the smash hit game Fortnite and the widely used Unreal Engine, today announced that it has raised $2 billion in funding—with ambitions to ‘build the metaverse.’ The funding round was split evenly between previous investor Sony and newcomer KIRKBI, the company behind The LEGO Group, with each firm investing $1 billion at a post-money valuation of $31.5 billion. Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney remains in control of the private company.”

Epic Games Press Release

Mastercard Files for More Than a Dozen Metaverse and Crypto Trademarks (The Block)

“A major financial services firm has thrown its hat into the crypto trademark ring, with new filings related to NFTs, virtual worlds and more. The 15 filings by Mastercard, with an April 7 status date, include NFT backed multimedia, marketplaces for digital goods, and payment transaction processing and e-commerce software business transactions in the metaverse.”

Fabric Ventures Looks to Close Two web3 Funds Worth $245 Million (The Block)

“Fabric Ventures is in the final stages of completing an early-stage web3 fund and on track to close another focused on later-stage investments. The pair will be worth more than €225 million ($245 million) combined, Richard Muirhead, managing partner at the London-based venture capital firm, told The Block.”

White Star Capital Raises $120M Crypto Fund for Metaverse Investments (CoinDesk)

“White Star Capital raised $120 million for its second crypto fund investing in companies developing the metaverse. The fund, DAF II, will invest in crypto networks, decentralized finance and gaming companies, it said in a press release on Monday. It will deploy between $1 million and $7 million in token and equity investments into 20 to 25 companies across north America, Europe, and Asia.”

Near Protocol Is Set to Launch a Stablecoin Called USN (The Block)

“Near Protocol is bringing out its own stablecoin called USN, The Block has learned, according to two sources familiar with the situation. According to one source, the stablecoin is on the way but no timeline has been shared internally so far. Rumors surrounding the stablecoin first surfaced when Zoran Kole, founder of Zorax Capital, claimed in a Substack post that Near Protocol was launching a stablecoin that will offer 20% yield.”

Binance Poaches FCA Official as Global Regulation Head (The Block)

“Crypto exchange giant Binance has appointed a top official from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as its global director of regulatory policy. Steven McWhirter left the regulator after a more than nine-year tenure, where he held a number of fintech-related roles, according to a LinkedIn post on Friday seen by The Block and confirmed by McWhirter. Most recently, he worked as a strategy and engagement manager in the data, technology and innovation division.”

Luna Foundation Treasury Holds Almost 40,000 BTC After Weekend Purchase (CoinDesk)

“The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), the treasury that backs the TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin, added $173 million in bitcoin to its wallet over the weekend via a series of buys. LFG now has 39,897.98 bitcoin in its wallet, worth approximately $1.67 billion. During the past week, the LFG has made a series of digital asset buys: It purchased $230 million of bitcoin on April 6 and $200 million in AVAX on April 8.”

New York Senate Authorizes NYDFS to ‘Assess’ Crypto Companies (CoinDesk)

“The New York State Senate is boosting the state’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) efforts to oversee the cryptocurrency sector. The Senate passed its fiscal year 2023 budget early Saturday, which included a provision tasking NYDFS with developing a new ‘assessment’ or charge for the cryptocurrency companies it oversees to bring its oversight mandate in virtual currencies in line with how the regulator oversees more traditional banks and financial services firms.”

NYDFS Press Release

OCC Chief Continues Push for Bank-Style Regulation for Stablecoin Issuers in the US (The Block)

“The leader of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a US banking regulator, is continuing the Biden administration’s push for bank-style regulation for stablecoin issuers. On April 8, Michael Hsu, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, spoke to an audience at Georgetown Law School on his ‘Thoughts on the Architecture of Stablecoins.’”

Last Week’s Most Read Articles

Kraken to Release Structured Products for Staking Focused On Institutional Investors (The Block)

Gensler Says SEC Exploring Shared Role With CFTC Over Crypto Platforms (CoinDesk)

Jack Mallers’ Strike Announces Shopify Integration for Bitcoin Lightning Payments (CoinDesk)

Lightning Labs Unveils New Protocol for Lightning Network Stablecoins as It Raises $70 Million (The Block)

Robinhood Rolls Out Cryptocurrency Wallet to 2 Million Users (Bloomberg)

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