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October 31,2023

Crypto Fundraising October 24 - 30

On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 24th October and 30th October 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done! 

HYTOPIA raised $3M - HYTOPIA (previously NFT Worlds) is a game platform & engine crafted from the ground up. It blends long-sought social and modern features for players.

BRLA Digital raised $600.66K - The fintech BRLA Digital, which specializes in cross-border payments and cryptocurrency infrastructures, has just raised BRL$3 million in its first round of funding.

Cube.Exchange raised $9M - Cube.Exchange aims to solve the problem of founder risk by creating a unique hybrid market structure that takes advantage of the benefits of both traditional exchanges and the efficiencies offered by embracing certain elements of Web3.

Virtual Labs raised $1.2M - Virtual Labs' main research direction is zero-knowledge ZK state channels. Its founder is a Yale University dropout who aims to use zero-knowledge technology.

Noble raised $3.3M - Noble is leveraging the power of cosmos public blockchain infrastructure to usher in a new era of growth for the Interchain ecosystem.

TonUP raised an undisclosed amount - TonUP are delighted to note that the funds amassed from seed round will be strategically channeled to expand.

smIXL raised $13.4M - smlXL will continue to expand and introduce new products building upon the unique capabilities of our iEVM, streaming data platform, and program analysis tools.

Integral raised $8.5M - Integral is a real-time finance platform that automates web3 financial workflows. Integral connects to all of your organization's wallets, safes, exchanges, and custodians.

Atani raised $13M - Atani is an end-to-end platform that enables crypto investors to trade in multiple exchanges, manage their portfolios, perform technical analysis and automate tax reports.

PRINT3R raised $500K - PRINT3R's innovative approach to gamification and user-centric design is setting a new standard. PRINT3R are thrilled to be part of this journey.

Nocturne raised $6M - Founded last year in the United States, Nocturne is building a protocol that aims to allow users to transact anonymously within the Ethereum ecosystem.

Rymedi raised $9M - Rymedi streamlines the transfer of medical records and data via blockchain, and it intends to use the funding to bolster data security and healthcare record accessibility.

Shrapnel raised $37.5M - Shrapnel - is a futuristic shoot-'em-up game built on the Avalanche blockchain. The Shrapnel economy will allow several personas to participate in the ecosystem through play, creation, ownership.

October 30,2023

Firedancer Could Be A Potential Game Changer For Solana

Firedancer is a new Solana validator client developed by Jump Crypto, a division of the Jump Trading Group. It is meant to strengthen the overall resilience of Solana by diversifying its client base and improving performance. Previously, Firedancer processed 1.2 million transactions per second (TPS) in a live demo in November 2022, indicating its potential. It is also written in C/C++ for hardware performance and reliability, and is compatible with Rust.

Solving real problems Notably, Firedancer hopes to greatly reduce the likelihood of software glitches which cause widespread network outages. According to Alchemy, in contrast to the current single validator client that Solana uses, Firedancer aims to diversify the client ecosystem. It is therefore designed for increased performance, resiliency, and scalability. While still in development, Alchemy suggests that early tests indicate Firedancer could provide Solana with some much-needed redundancy and performance boosts.

Enhancing Solana Jump Crypto is mainly offering Firedancer as a solution to the monolithic approach to scalability that Solana has often relied on. Not only did its fd_quic milestone of 1 million TPS show promise, but it also enhanced several components including transaction propagation and load balancing.

Messari believes that Firedancer could alleviate various shortcomings by providing advanced transaction processing, sharding, and optimized networking. For increased efficiency and lower operating costs for node operators, it employs a modified Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocol. While Firedancer has the potential to be transformative, the main challenges thus far include execution, timing, and competition with Ethereum, alongside potential bugs and infrastructure provider adaptation.

October 30,2023

New Plan Announced For Stablecoin Regulation In The UK

The United Kingdom government recently updated its plans to supervise fiat-backed stablecoins. The document, which was released on October 30th, aims to support and govern the use of fiat-backed stablecoins in local payment systems. According to the document, there are plans to present specific policies to the UK Parliament in 2024, delegating oversight of fiat-backed stablecoins to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Regulating stablecoins Notably, the UK Treasury is considering designating local businesses as payment organizers, as authorized by the FCA, with the responsibility of ensuring that foreign stablecoins meet local standards. Non-fiat-backed stablecoins, such as algorithmic stablecoins, will not be accepted in regulated payment networks.

Instead of outright prohibition, the document states that these transactions will remain unregulated. Furthermore, the Treasury regards them as subject to the same requirements as unbacked crypto assets.

In the case of standard stablecoins, the FCA will be given the authority to require stablecoin issuers to keep all reserve funds in a legal trust. The terms of the trust will be outlined in a specific set of guidelines provided by the FCA, including redemption obligations if the company experiences financial difficulties. In such a case, stablecoin issuers in the United Kingdom will be subject to procedures outlined in the Insolvency Act of 1986.

Trust is key The Financial Services and Markets Act, which is the overarching framework for all types of cryptocurrency, was passed in the House of Lords in June 2023. The document frequently refers to the FCMA 2023 bill, which grants the Treasury, the Bank of England, and the FCA the authority to regulate cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, specifically.

In any case, there would need to be a certain level of trust established between UK regulators and local crypto-oriented businesses, something which has been lacking for quite a while now. As cryptocurrencies and stablecoins steadily become more popular, the United Kingdom would have to implement the previously mentioned policies as soon as possible so as to not get left behind.

October 28,2023

El Salvador To Become Highly Popular Crypto Destination In The Future

VanEck Strategy Advisor, Gabor Gurbacs, envisions that the economic growth of El Salvador in the foreseeable future will be driven by an influx of fresh investment capital and immigration.

El Salvador gained prominence when President Nayib Bukele made Bitcoin legal tender in September 2021 and introduced the Chivo Wallet, a BTC custodial wallet for all Salvadorans.

Furthermore, the country has ventured into harnessing its volcanic resources to launch a Bitcoin mining operation called Volcano Energy, backed by a substantial $1 billion investment.

Gurbacs draws a parallel, suggesting that El Salvador could emulate Singapore to become a financial hub in the Americas. He often highlights this potential to portfolio managers and asset allocators. He also anticipates that the primary catalysts behind the aforementioned economic upswing will be increased investment capital and an uptick in immigration.

In another strategic move, El Salvador appointed Dr. Saifedean Ammous, renowned as the author of The Bitcoin Standard, as an economic advisor to the National Bitcoin Office in May. The country is actively accumulating Bitcoin as part of its strategy to eliminate its debt within the next five years.

Additionally, in April, President Bukele took a bold step by abolishing all taxes on technological innovations, which may serve as an incentive for more entrepreneurs and foreign investments to flow into the country.

October 27,2023

Solana Introduces Incubator Program To Help Startups

Solana Labs recently introduced its Incubator program, aiming to foster and support the development of startups operating on the Solana network. The initiative offers an array of resources and assistance to early-stage companies, including engineering support, guidance for entering the market, advice on fundraising, and access to the ecosystem.

The program is designed for technical teams looking to harness the potential of the network while taking advantage of the resources and connections facilitated by Solana Labs.

Through close collaboration with the seasoned Solana Labs team, startups can tackle common challenges encountered in the Web3 domain, such as intricacies in engineering and strategies for market entry, ultimately aiding them in establishing successful enterprises.

Program participants will also have hands-on engineering support, assistance with market entry strategies, and fundraising guidance via the protocol. They will additionally receive feedback on designing user experiences, gain exposure through various promotional channels, and have opportunities to connect with other projects in the ecosystem.

Emon Motamedi, Product Manager at Solana Labs, emphasized the overall goal of eliminating hurdles faced by Web3 founders. Motamedi expressed, that the main focus with the Incubator program is to eliminate the primary challenges currently confronting founders, including obstacles related to Web3 integrations and fundraising.

Furthermore, the program aims to foster engagement with venture capital firms in the network, thereby enhancing liquidity prospects for the startups involved. Notably, it welcomes technical teams with varying levels of experience in the Web3 sector, whether they are well-established Web3 teams or Web2 teams venturing into blockchain technology for the first time.

By furnishing essential resources and support, Solana Labs seeks to empower these startups to surmount challenges and build sustainable enterprises in the Web3 domain going forward.

October 25,2023

Mastercard Exploring Potential Partnerships With Ledger and MetaMask

Now that legislators are slowly adopting a more positive approach towards crypto in general, we could see many traditional finance companies trying to get into the booming industry.

Many crypto wallet companies encounter numerous challenges when expanding into new markets, but both Ledger and MetaMask could potentially tap into the extensive global payment network provided by Mastercard to look for viable solutions.

By utilizing payment cards, wallet providers can also attract more users, foster customer loyalty, and create additional revenue streams, all while enabling seamless cryptocurrency transactions.

For its part, the global payment processor has expressed its interest in investigating novel approaches for worldwide issuance through stablecoin-based settlement and cost-effective, rapid blockchain networks.

Mastercard is also developing a set of guidelines for partner firms, focusing on aspects like safeguarding consumers, fostering price competition, and monitoring transactions. Once approved, the next phase will involve the introduction of a card in either the European Union or the United Kingdom.

Notably, in 2021, Mastercard acquired Ciphertrace, a Mastercard company, a blockchain analytics company specializing in tools for identifying illicit cryptocurrency transactions. The company also has the Engage program which aims to introduce new cryptocurrency cards to the market and provide innovative methods for converting crypto into traditional fiat currency.

October 24,2023

Grayscale BTC ETF Must Be Reviewed, As Per US Court

A formal mandate was has recently been issued by a court in Washington, D.C., reaffirming its August ruling that the SEC must reevaluate the application put forth by Grayscale Investments for a Spot Bitcoin ETF.

The decision was made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in response to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission choosing not to appeal the Ripple XRP case outcome. Judge Neomi Rao pointed out that the SEC did not provide valid reasons for rejecting the Spot Bitcoin ETF application, even though it had approved similar products. Nevertheless, the SEC still has the option to present one.

The mandate, which was submitted on October 23rd, states that in line with the judgment of August 29th, and in accordance with Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 41, the development constitutes the official directive of the appropriate court.

Grayscale had previously argued that its proposed Bitcoin ETF was comparable to previously approved Bitcoin futures ETFs. Therefore, they should have an equal chance of identifying fraudulent or manipulative activities in the Bitcoin and Bitcoin futures market, as the court emphasized.

Other major asset management companies, such as BlackRock and Fidelity Investments, are also seeking SEC approval for Spot Bitcoin ETFs. The recent decision by the U.S. Court represents another step forward for multiple financial institutions in their pursuit of approval for Spot Bitcoin ETFs, which would greatly simplify the incorporation of cryptocurrencies in banking transactions.

October 23,2023

Crypto Fundraising October 17 - 23

On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 17th October and 23rd October 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done! 

Life Beyond Studios raised $3.5M - The upcoming token launched by Darewise will power a full ecosystem on Bitcoin for gaming brands.

Fileverse - Private Collaboration Tool raised $1.5M - The platform leverages smart contracts and stores encrypted data on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), a popular peer-to-peer file sharing network created by Filecoin (FIL)

HeightZero raised an undisclosed amount - HeightZero handles portfolio rebalancing, statement generation, tax loss harvesting and automated billing for crypto clients.

Elixir raised $7.5M - Elixir allows users to supply liquidity directly to pairs on order book exchanges and earn maker rewards with a similar risk-return profile to AMMs. By incentivizing deeper liquidity.

Forge raised $11M - Forge is partnering with game developers, like X Y and Z in the beta period, to help them reach the Forge community and reward their most passionate players and community members.

Beluga raised $4M - Beluga offers a trustworthy platform that onboards and guides new users on their crypto journey. Beluga suite of software tools allows users to manage their crypto portfolio and use new products.

SynFutures raised $36M - SynFutures, a decentralized derivatives exchange focused on trading crypto perpetual futures.

Ryder raised $1.2M - Ryder's new hardware wallet isn't the first to abstract keys through the Shamir Secret Sharing Algorithm. An implementation of SSS was central to the controversial key recovery service.

Securrency raised $48.65M - Securrency delivers financial technology products for the tokenized issuance and trading of securities. The company's protocol can be utilized on the Ethereum, Stellar, Ripple, EOS.

Takadao raised $1.6M - Takadao builds community-owned financial services on the blockchain, with two flagship products in savings & loans.

CoinMetrics raised $64.6M - Coin Metrics was founded in 2017 as an open-source project to determine the economic significance of public blockchains.

Uplant raised $27M - Upland is an NFT-based real estate mogul simulator created on the open-source EOS blockchain. In the game, &ldquodigital landowners" mint properties

Port3 Network raised $3M - Port3 aggregates and standardizes off-chain/on-chain data to build a Social Data Layer that is universally accessible and powerful for Web3 use cases.

Blockaid raised $33M - Blockaid is the right team, at the right time, with the right investors to solve a problem that will propel this industry forward.

To stay updated with news about future Web3 Funding Rounds, Follow CryptoWeekly

October 22,2023

Tom Emmer Emerges As Unexpected Candidate For Speaker Of House Of Representatives

Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer has taken a surprising step by announcing his candidacy for the position of Speaker in the US House of Representatives. This announcement follows the extraordinary impeachment of Rep. Kevin McCarthy earlier this month.


A New Candidate

Emmer recently discussed the aforementioned decision in tandem with a keen focus on aiming to unify the council and resume overall legislative activities in an efficient manner. In the past, the US government has often struggled in keeping up with rapid technological advancements at both a domestic as well as international level.

He expressed confidence in the accomplishments of the Republican majority in the House over the past ten months and underscored the significance of unity and collaboration. Previously, Emmer had indicated his interest in the role of House Majority Leader and had no intention of pursuing the Speakership.


Being Pro Crypto

Emmer is notably an advocate for cryptocurrency, with a history of making supportive statements regarding Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto community in general. In one of his earlier statements, he stressed that crypto will prosper with or without the involvement of the United States government, and therefore urged Congress to establish sensible, innovation-focused regulations to ensure the continued availability of opportunities in the country alongside the safe adoption of this technology by Americans.

He further claimed that the US does not lag behind China in the realm of crypto and digital assets and drew a distinction between cryptocurrencies and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), which he labeled as government surveillance tools. Emmer argued that crypto promotes freedom, rather than undermining it.

Emmer is also not the only one supporting crypto, as other prominent names such as Senator Ted Cruz and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez have both advocated for the development and adoption of Bitcoin in the past. In fact, the former even introduced the ACCEPT Resolution (Adopting Cryptocurrency In Congress As An Exchange Of Payment For Transactions) earlier this year.

October 21,2023

AXO Finally Makes Public Debut

After a two-year wait, AXO, the latest decentralized exchange (DEX) provided by the Cardano Foundation, has officially made its debut on the public testnet. This allows users to test its innovative trading features, gain hands-on experience, and provide valuable feedback before the platform goes live.

Cardano (ADA) users can now explore a range of newly minted tokens with no intrinsic value for trading, offering insight into the future functionality of the platform. Interesting aspects of AXO include a user-friendly interface for beginners, a more advanced trading interface with viable strategies, indicators, algorithms, and bots, on-chain programmable swaps, and more.

AXO stands out as one of the most sophisticated DeFi platforms that Cardano has to offer, making it a superior choice to competitors like MinSwap and Indigo. Understandably, the launch of AXO generated an overwhelmingly positive response by the community, leading to high traffic on the platform.

However, amid the excitement, some testers raised questions about the underlying infrastructure of the trading platform. Ilya Oskin, Co-Founder of Cardano DEX Spectrum Labs, Inc., criticized AXO, particularly its UTxO-based Order Matching Engine. He noted that the infrastructure seemingly did not allow users to conduct other transactions until their orders were executed on the blockchain due to how it was programmed.

In addition to the feedback and queries regarding the trading platform, some users reported encountering issues with its front end. AXO promptly addressed this as a minor problem with UTxO selection on the website and stated that they were actively working on a solution.

It must be said that although this latest offering by Cardano is promising, the platform is nevertheless playing catch-up with competitors like Solana (SOL), Ethereum (ETH), and Polygon (MATIC), which have had a head start of several years.

However, as platforms like AXO make their entrance, Cardano has the potential to narrow the gap and establish itself as a strong contender in the DeFi space going forward.

Be sure to follow CryptoWeekly for all the latest updates.

October 20,2023

Ripple Celebrates As SEC Finally Surrenders

In a historic victory for Ripple, the SEC has officially withdrawn its allegations against the top two executives of the company.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had accused Chris Larsen, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Ripple, and Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO, of assisting the company in violating federal securities laws in connection with XRP transactions.

However, the regulator has chosen to dismiss the case with prejudice, indicating that it cannot bring the same charges again. While the SEC will continue to pursue compensation for damages, this abandoned legal action represents a substantial success for the embattled crypto company.

Brad Garlinghouse expressed his thoughts on the dropped charges, saying that, in his view, he and Chris were singled out by the SEC in a ruthless effort to personally harm both them and the broader crypto industry in general.

The dismissal of these charges marks the third consecutive legal victory for Ripple against the SEC. Back in July, a judge ruled that the SEC had failed to conclusively demonstrate that XRP transactions violated securities laws. Additionally, the appeal made by the SEC to reverse this decision in October was also unsuccessful.

Ripple Chief Legal Officer Stu Alderoty described the actions taken by the regulatory agency as not a settlement but rather a surrender, before further claiming that this abandoned lawsuit stops any chances of a trial happening next year.

In summary, this development is highly significant as not only had the lawsuit been going on for years, but the fact that a crypto firm has actually won against an official governmental institution speaks volumes. Experts believe that the battle is not yet won however, and that the SEC is not going to truly go down without a fight.

October 18,2023

Here Is How Banks Are Utilizing Generative AI

Amidst the ongoing technological revolution powered by artificial intelligence, several experts recently provided insights into the strategies and hurdles that banking institutions encounter while harnessing the potential of AI.

Numerous banks are strategically adopting various forms of Generative AI. Michelle Grimm, Senior Director of Conversational AI at Fifth Third, advocates for a cautious approach, emphasizing the need to test the waters first. Initially, the focus is on internal applications, with plans to use AI to enhance recruiting processes.

Navigating the landscape of fintech partnerships is another critical aspect for many banks, especially smaller institutions, as it is often a necessity for implementing AI. Lance Senoyuit, a financial services executive consultant at SAP, emphasizes diligence in the decision-making process, considering the highly regulated nature of the banking sector.

Generative AI also identifies patterns and produces valuable insights by analyzing massive amounts of data. These insights can then be stored safely and verified by multiple parties thanks to the immutability of blockchain. This transparency makes it easier to make data-driven decisions based on accurate and reliable data.

AI plays a dual role in fraud detection, serving both as a tool for developing new forms of fraud, such as deep fakes, and as an additional security layer for banks. However, it is not foolproof, and banks must diversify their approach to fraud prevention.

As banks wrestle with the challenges of demonstrating ROI and fine-tuning AI for fraud detection, it is important to remember that innovation and responsibility must go hand in hand. The future of banking is undeniably intertwined with the possibilities and challenges that AI brings.