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Mehen Protocol Offers Valuable Insights Into The USDM Initiative
Cardano currently lacks a stablecoin backed by traditional currency and relies on algorithmic stablecoins like DJED to support its DeFi ecosystem. The solution to this may have arrived in the form of USDM.
On October 12th, 2023, Mehen CEO Steven Fisher and CFO Matthew Plomin offered their insights into USDM, which is being touted as the premier stablecoin for Cardano. USDM was inspired by the acknowledgement of a significant flaw in DJED, the initial native stablecoin designed for Cardano.
Determined to follow a regulatory-compliant path, Plomin and the Mehen team chose a route akin to the meticulous legal framework employed by USDC, and they have been diligently pursuing it for an extended period.
Going forward, the protocol will collaborate with a prominent lawyer specializing in money transmitter laws to navigate the intricate web of US regulations. He disclosed that the protocol is in the process of securing regulatory approval by multiple states and is adhering to all the relevant anti-money laundering (AML) policies.
Up to this point, the company has reached out to regulatory authorities in every state except New York, primarily due to the high fees and stringent rules in that state. Plomin also added that their aspirations extend beyond the United States, as they are planning to engage with authorities in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other jurisdictions to facilitate a launch.
When asked about their progress, Fisher revealed that USDM has received the green light by 12 states, paving the way for a pre-production launch next month and a full mainnet launch by December 2023.
USDR Loses Its Peg To The US Dollar
Real USD (USDR), a stablecoin backed by tokenized real estate, experienced a significant loss of its value, dropping to nearly $0.5 on Wednesday, breaking its peg to the United States Dollar (USD).
USDR no longer being connected to its peg can be directly attributed to a substantial redemption of its DAI reserve, which constituted up to half of the overall decline.
TangibleDAO, the issuer of USDR, reported that the liquid DAI reserve supporting the stablecoin was swiftly redeemed via its treasury. Given that DAI served as the primary backing, this sudden redemption resulted in the sharp decline. Additionally, a panic-induced sell-off occurred due to the absence of DAI redemptions.
Real USD (USDR) currently has a market capitalization of around $24 million and is accessible on various blockchain networks, including Polygon, Ethereum, Optimism, BNBChain, and Base, according to data by CoinMarketCap.
Going forward, TangibleDAO has unveiled plans to re-establish a dollar peg by leveraging protocol owned liquidity and the liquidation of insurance funds.
International Tensions Result In Decline For Bitcoin And Crypto
Bitcoin recently experienced a 1.2% decline, reaching slightly above $27,000. Investor confidence in riskier assets waned due to escalating tensions in the Hamas-Israel conflict.
As a result of the ongoing conflict, traders anticipated a decrease in prices as trader stopped investing in conventional equities and higher-risk investments in favor of commodities like gold and oil, which had surged by up to 6% over the past week.
On the other hand, the crypto markets suffered a 1.6% dip over a period of 24 hours. ETH saw a 2.2% drop, extending weekly losses to over 5%, while XRP tokens recorded the most significant decline among alternative currencies with a 3% reduction.
Among other significant tokens, DOT and MATIC both slumped by 3%, while XTZ experienced an 8% decline. The only large-cap token that saw gains within a 24 hours timeframe was RNDR, with a 3% increase.
FxPro market analysts, in their daily commentary, observed that Bitcoin recently attempting to breach the $28,000 level triggered a selling wave that pushed the price back to $27,000. This profit-taking activity indicated that investors were not yet willing to commit their funds to risky bets.
SBF Will Not Be Allowed To Use Anthropic As Leverage, As Per The DOJ
Prosecutors argue that Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, should not be allowed to mention the recent fundraising activities of Anthropic in his defense against charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The DOJ and the defense have come to an agreement on many aspects of witness testimony for the trial, but they disagree on whether the defense should be allowed to bring up any issues related to the Anthropic fundraising. The DOJ contends that the $500 million investment in Anthropic in 2022 was sourced via customer funds.
The filing asserts that using evidence concerning the current value of any investments Sam may have can only be employed to support the argument that FTX customers and potential victims will eventually be compensated, which the Court has deemed unacceptable.
Moreover, the DOJ filing emphasizes that the indictment accuses the defendant of wire fraud for misappropriating FTX customer deposits to make investments and other expenses. It is irrelevant whether some of these investments might ultimately yield profits.
Additionally, it would not serve as a defense to the charges if the defendant invested stolen FTX funds with the belief that these investments would eventually generate significant returns and allow him to repay the stolen money.
Regarding Anthropic, it has a substantial agreement with Amazon potentially valued at up to $4 billion, and there are ongoing discussions to secure an additional $2 billion in funding.
Crypto Fundraising October 3 - 9
On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 3rd October and 9th October 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done!
AirDAO raised $7.5M - AirDAO is an ecosystem of innovative, user-friendly dApps accessible through a single dashboard.
Paima Studios raised $1.4M - The Paima team, beyond building core infrastructure, also builds games too.With multiple games live already, Paima have been working on Tarochi.
Toncoin raised an undisclosed amount - Ton is the next generation network aiming to unite all blockchains and the existing Internet. TON blockchain was launched by the founders of Telegram.
Blackbird raised $35M - The funds give the company significant runway, and that the funding will go toward scaling up operations as well as marketing. Blackbird, which is built on Coinbase's Layer-2 Base blockchain.
ParaFinance raised $5M - ParaFinance offers a diverse range of collateral assets for users to choose from. With a wide selection of digital assets, including WBTC, ETH, UNI, and ARB, users can use these as collateral.
Convergence RFQ raised $2.5M - Convergence RFQ is currently building its platform on Solana and then wants to also support the Ethereum Layer 2 network Arbitrum.
Cicada raised $9.7M - Cicada aims to build non-custodial credit products on top of the Cambrian explosion in blockchain-based credit origination protocols.
L1 Advisors raised $1.6M - Through L1 Platform platform, wealth and asset managers will leverage the most powerful decentralized finance protocols and the benefits of self get access to products that aren't possible offchain.
Burnt raised an undisclosed amount - Burnt is building XION, the only layer-1 blockchain specifically built for consumer adoption. Burnt is the Web3 foundry behind XION.
Phaver raised $7M - Phaver is a Web3 social app that rewards users for creating and sharing quality content. The capital will be used to scale the team as well as for product development and additional partnerships.
Fairblock raised $2.5M - Fairblock's goal is to lower risks for average crypto users, adding that there are still many issues with transactions being front-run or having the contents of a transaction leaked.
Hadean raised $47.6M - Founded in 2015, Hadean are a venture backed startup, reimagining distributed, spatial and scalable computing for web 3.0 and the metaverse.
Ostium Labs raised $3.5M - Ostium Labs is currently developing a new protocol for digitized commodities perpetual swaps. Ostium Labs aspire for this platform to attract both traditional commodities traders.
To stay updated with news about future Web3 Funding Rounds, Follow
The U.S Is Threatening The Freedom Of Crypto, According To OpenAI CEO
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently defended cryptocurrencies in light of the challenges they have encountered this year, particularly the heightened scrutiny by the U.S. government. Despite Bitcoin showing an impressive performance in the first half of 2023, its momentum has been somewhat hindered.
A Harsh Environment
Altman, a visionary in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and the driving force behind OpenAI, has expressed his concerns regarding the aggressive stance of the U.S. government towards cryptocurrencies. He believes that the overly restrictive actions imply a larger agenda to establish control over the crypto industry.
Sam recently expressed his disappointment with the approach taken by the U.S. government. He mentioned that these recent developments, particularly an overall forceful stance on crypto, highlights an underlying intention to dominate and manage the crypto sphere. He also discussed the potential risks associated with an increasingly intrusive surveillance state, especially concerning financial transactions.
CBDCs May Not Be The Answer
Additionally, Sam is hesitant about the possible implementation of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), viewing them as instruments that could magnify state authority over individual financial liberties.
The concept of a digital dollar CBDC has been a topic of conversation among U.S. regulators for quite some time. Nevertheless, Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, believes that the realization of such technology remains a distant prospect.
Despite facing criticism by the crypto community due to his involvement with the Worldcoin project, which aims to create a user database using eye scans in exchange for its cryptocurrency, Altman maintains his optimism regarding Bitcoin. He sees the idea of a global decentralized currency as a pivotal technological advancement, and one that is desperately needed in this financial age.
Ledger Employees Get Sacked As Staff Reductions Continue
Ledger, one of the most prominent crypto wallet providers worldwide, has become the latest player in the industry to reduce its workforce due to the deepening impact of the ongoing bear market. This decision follows a series of staff reductions at other prominent crypto and blockchain firms this month.
On October 5th, Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier communicated to the employees that the company had to make a challenging choice to cut 12% of its workforce. Gauthier emphasized the need for focus during these challenging times and pointed to macroeconomic factors, the ongoing crypto bear market, and the aftermath of multiple collapses last year as reasons for this decision.
Ledger reportedly employs approximately 734 individuals, which implies that up to 88 people might be affected by the layoffs. Gauthier expressed confidence that the company would emerge stronger going forward and highlighted the strong sales performance of its crypto wallets. In March, Ledger announced a successful $109 million Series C funding round, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.
Additionally, Ledger has faced a series of controversies and mishaps in recent years, including significant server breaches that exposed the personal information of several customers, leading to many hacks and digital exploits.
Elsewhere, Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics provider, laid off 15% of its workforce (approximately 135 employees) on October 3rd due to unfavorable market conditions and reduced demand for its commercial products.
Chia Network also reduced its workforce by a third, cutting 26 out of 70 employees this month. Binance.US let go of a third of its staff in September due to regulatory pressures and the winding down of its American operations.
Judge Overseeing Ripple Case Officially Declines SEC Request
Judge Analisa Torres issued the decision on October 3rd, 2023. Furthermore, the request for a postponement has been denied as it no longer applies. The hearing is scheduled for April 23rd, 2024, beginning at 9:00 A.M. Before that, a final pretrial conference involving attorneys representing both the SEC and Ripple is scheduled for April 16th, 2024, at 2:00 P.M.
The court has therefore set specific deadlines in its pretrial scheduling order. All necessary pretrial submissions, including the joint pretrial agreement, motion filings, and decision documentation must be submitted by December 4th, 2023, upon which date a copy of each requested document must also reach the court.
Previously, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sought permission to file an interlocutory appeal during the case, which is unlike the usual practice of filing appeals after all issues are definitively decided, with exceptions for crucial matters. However, the court has now rejected the appeal, indicating that the issue at hand does not warrant an exception.
The court listed several reasons for denying the request, including but not limited to the matter at hand not being a purely legal concern, the reported issues lacking legal precedents, the irrelevance of similar cases in the past such as LUNA, among others.
Yield Protocol To Shut Down Operations Soon
Yield Protocol, which had previously secured $22 million in total value locked (TVL) and enjoyed support by prominent venture capital firms is reportedly closing its operations. The decision is a result of the ongoing bear market, which has forced several projects to end their once successful initiatives.
The platform had provided fixed-rate lending and borrowing services on stablecoins based on predefined durations. The closure of Yield Protocol was announced by its X account, which explained that the protocol would gradually conclude its activities. It also mentioned that borrowing and lending services would come to a halt by December 2023.
Lead Engineer Alberto Cuesta Cañada expressed gratitude for the support received over the years. The Yield Protocol website lists backers such as Paradigm, Framework Ventures, CMS, and Robot Ventures. While the protocol had amassed over $22 million in TVL at its peak in April 2022, its current TVL is now slightly above $2 million.
A spokesperson for the protocol cited a lack of demand and uncertainty surrounding regulatory matters as significant factors influencing the decision to cease operations.
Yield Protocol is not the only DeFi project to undergo shutdown in recent weeks. In September, GRO, a protocol based on Avalanche, conducted a DAO vote to terminate its operations. Additionally, in July, AlgoFi, a lending platform based on Algorand, similarly declared its closure through a blog post.
Babylon Unveils Minimum Viable Product (MVP) For Its BTC Staking Protocol
Over 66% of the circulating supply of Bitcoin, which is approximately $329 billion, presently remains dormant. BabylonChain Inc. aims to harness this idle BTC and employ it to establish economic security for Proof-of-Stake (PoS) chains.
Earlier this year, the Babylon team introduced a Bitcoin timestamping protocol that PoS networks could utilize to enhance their long-term security. Subsequently, they introduced a litepaper on Bitcoin staking designed to repurpose inactive BTC in wallets to bolster the security of PoS chains.
Conventional PoS chains depend on their native assets to secure their blockchains. For instance, on Ethereum, stakers can lock their funds onto the network to enhance its security and earn rewards.
Babylon observes that most of this capital currently goes towards securing already-established networks and protocols. Up-and-coming chains often struggle with limited staking resources, which undermine their network security.
So, by utilizing BTC instead of relying on their native tokens, emerging PoS chains have the opportunity to inherit reliable security via Babylon. Co-founder David Tse stated that the ultimate goal for the company is to transform Bitcoin into a security foundation for PoS chains.
The MVP launch will reportedly enable Bitcoin holders to experiment with BTC staking through a user-friendly web application, according to Tse. After the launch, the team will concentrate on fostering the adoption of its protocol within the Cosmos ecosystem.
Crypto Fundraising September 26 - October 1
On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 25th September and 1st October 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done!
Cygnetise raised $4.26M - Cygnetise is a decentralised application that makes the process of managing authorised signatory lists efficient and secure. Using blockchain technology, organisations including PwC, BNY Mellon, SG Kleinwort Hambros (SocGen) and many more.
Pimlico raised $1.6M - The infrastructure layer powering Ethereum's transition to ERC-4337 smart accounts. The funds raised will be pivotal in propelling the development of Pimlico's innovative smart account infrastructure, revolutionizing Ethereum's ecosystem.
LeverFi raised $2M - LeverFi is a platform for on-chain leverage trading using yield-bearing collateral. Developer of decentralized leverage trading platform intended to provide users with the ability to trade with leverage permissionless and transparent platform.
Satsuma raised $5M - Satsuma is a blockchain indexing platform with drop-in support for hosted subgraphs. It features subgraph indexing with high reliability & low block lag, GraphQL API with high availability & low response times, advanced metrics for monitoring indexing and queries and flexible subgraph versioning system.
Avantis Labs raised $4M - Avantis is a decentralized leverage trading platform for cryptocurrencies and forex. One big area of innovation here is introducing dynamic risk management for liquidity providers via tranches, which allows them to select their appropriate risk-reward level.
Fhenix raised $7M - The funds will be used to bring Fhenix's &ldquoconfidential" smart contract platform into a public testnet, dubbed &ldquoRenaissance," early next year and support ecosystem development following the launch of its private devnet in July.
AnchorWatch raised $3M - With this latest investment, AnchorWatch will be in position to complete all regulatory and capital requirements needed to deliver Trident Vault to customers and start selling policies.
Zunami Protocol raised an undisclosed amount - Zunami's innovative approach to Omnipools and aggregated stablecoins swiftly gained market traction, surpassing a TVL of over $7 million in just a few months since the launch of its initial aggregated product.
KYAX raised an undisclosed amount - KYAX help system and data constrained crypto leaders get the right data, into the right hands, with the right reports. Independent blockchain advisory firm Appold has invested in and formed a strategic partnership with digital asset reporting and transaction reconciliation specialist KYAX.
To stay updated with news about future Web3 Funding Rounds, Follow CryptoWeekly
Kraken Plans To Enter The World Of Stock Trading
According to a recent report, the crypto exchange aims to launch this new venture next year, as disclosed by an individual familiar with the intentions of the company.
A Kraken spokesperson stated that the exchange is continually exploring ways to support the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, and that while the company cannot comment on speculations or rumors, plenty of work is being done to expand and improve pre-existing offerings.
The report also indicated that the expansion into US-listed stocks and ETFs would be accessible in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Eligible customers will be able to activate this service, enabling them to access a combination of cryptocurrencies, stocks, and ETFs.
Kraken has pursued the necessary regulatory approvals in the UK and has reportedly applied for a broker-dealer license with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the United States.
The reported expansion into US stocks coincides with Kraken wanting to extend its presence in Europe. The exchange recently obtained an EU e-money institution license via the Central Bank of Ireland and a virtual assets services provider license by the Bank of Spain, indicating its commitment to becoming a part of the thriving local fintech sectors in both countries and its broader investments in Europe.