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April 09,2024

Fundraising Deals - April 2nd To April 9th, 2024

Mezo and Monad Labs both made waves with their recent funding rounds, raising $21,000,000 and $225,000,000 respectively, showcasing growing investor confidence in blockchain projects. For Mezo, Multicoin Capital and Draper Associates were the main investors, with Pantera Capital leading the charge. Paradigm was the lead investor for Monad Labs.


Yield Guild Games (YGG) secured strategic backing, reflecting the rising prominence of GameFi ventures in the market. Elsewhere, Lumoz and Ritual raised $6,000,000 and $2,000,000 respectively, underlining the continued interest in blockchain infrastructure and services.


QuantAMM garnered $1,850,000 in pre-seed funding, emphasizing the burgeoning potential of decentralized finance initiatives. Elsewhere, both Spotlight and Cellula raised $2,000,000 each, indicating a diverse range of investments across social and gaming sectors.


Other notable names included Zulu Network which raised $3,000,000, Zeus Network which raised $8,000,000, IoTeX which raised a whopping $50,000,000, and LightLink which raised $1,700,000.


These investments signal a promising future for blockchain innovation across various sectors. Excited to witness the continued growth and evolution of these projects! Be sure to follow CryptoWeekly for all the latest information on crypto, blockchain, AI, and more.

April 08,2024

Roman Storm Receives Support By Three Crypto Advocacy Entities

As per recent filings, three prominent cryptocurrency advocacy entities have affirmed their backing of Roman Storm, the developer behind the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, who is currently facing allegations by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The Blockchain Association and Coin Center DeFi Education Fund both submitted amicus briefs on April 5th in support of Storm's motion to dismiss the charges leveled against him.

Storm, an American national and one of the creators of the platform, was indicted alongside Roman Semenov, who is currently missing. Moreover, the co-founder of the crypto mixer, Alexey Pertsev, is undergoing trial in the Netherlands. Storm was arrested by US authorities for his involvement with Tornado Cash, and along with other individuals, he was charged with operating an illicit money transfer business and conspiracy to commit money laundering.


Clarity Is Key

The Blockchain Association criticized the characterization of Tornado Cash by the DOJ as an illicit money transmission operation. They argue that the platform lacks control over the assets of their users, as required by FinCEN regulations, and therefore should not be classified as such. This perspective challenges the legal basis of one of the main charges against Storm and his associates.

On the other hand, the DeFi Education Fund questioned the invocation by the DOJ concerning the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in the case of Storm. They argue that such an interpretation could unfairly hold developers accountable for how others use their software and potentially stifle innovation in the software development sector. The Fund warned that this interpretation of the IEEPA could have severe consequences.


Defending Tornado Cash Devs

Addressing the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering, the amicus brief by Coin Center argued that Tornado Cash primarily serves as a privacy tool rather than a conduit for illicit activities. They draw an analogy between the use of cars by criminals and the use of computers by individuals, asserting that developers cannot be held responsible for all user actions.

Furthermore, Coin Center highlighted the efforts by Tornado Cash developers to block known espionage actors when it comes to accessing the service. They argue that this demonstrates a commitment to responsible oversight and contradicts allegations that the developers were indifferent to any and all malicious usage of the platform.


April 08,2024

El Salvador Looks To Offer Citizenship To Highly Skilled Professionals

Nayib Bukele, the President of El Salvador, revealed a strategy to provide 5,000 complimentary passports to highly skilled professionals globally, highlighting its potential impact on the future of the nation. The development unfolded when Bukele announced via X that El Salvador aims to offer 5,000 free passports, valued at $5 billion in their passport program, to proficient scientists, engineers, doctors, artists, and thinkers via international locations.


The Perks Of Relocating

The President stressed that this accounts for less than 0.1% of the El Salvador population, assuring no complications in granting them full citizenship, including voting rights. Additionally, he pledged zero taxes and tariffs on relocating families and assets, encompassing items of commercial value such as equipment, software, and intellectual property.

This initiative is significant considering the fact that the El Salvador passport currently stands at 38th in the Henley Passport Index, providing visa-free access to 136 destinations all over the world, including numerous countries across both Western Europe as well as South America.


Becoming A Global Destination

The decision aligns with the recent endeavors made by President Bukele to attract foreign investment and talent. Previously, the local Congress passed a migration law facilitating expedited citizenship for foreigners who contribute Bitcoin to various social and economic development projects in the country.

Moreover, El Salvador made history by becoming the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender, a move which sent shockwaves reverberating across the globe. Now, the latest announcement by President Bukele is being viewed as a continuation of these efforts to position El Salvador as a global center for innovation and talent.


April 07,2024

Bitcoin Hovers Around $70K As Decreasing Inflation Makes Everyone Cautious

Bitcoin experienced a contentious week regarding its price movements. It dropped to a ten-day low at one point, only to surge nearly five thousand dollars the following day, though it could not maintain this momentum. NEAR and STX, along with TON and AVAX, have shown notable gains among the larger-cap altcoins.

The altcoins also faced weekly setbacks but have mostly recovered after recent retracements. Dogecoin stands out as the most significant gainer among larger-cap altcoins, jumping by 5% and reclaiming the $0.18 level. The total crypto market cap has risen by about $30 billion since yesterday, reaching $2.665 trillion on CoinGecko.


The Volatility Continues

In pursuit of $68K, Bitcoin encountered a volatile week. It failed to surpass $71,000, leading to a two-thousand-dollar price drop. Despite briefly reaching $70,000 on Tuesday, bears drove another downward leg, resulting in a sharper decline to $66,000. The pressure persisted, pushing Bitcoin to a ten-day low around $64,500. This coincided with reports of the US government transferring 2,000 BTC to Coinbase, confiscated via Silk Road, fueling fears of a significant sale and contributing to the price decline.

However, Bitcoin rebounded after the crash, jumping by nearly five thousand dollars the next day, reaching just over $69,000. Yet, it fell back to $66,000 yesterday. Currently, Bitcoin is hovering around $69,000 after bulls regained control. Its market cap has risen to $1.340 trillion, with dominance over altcoins at 50.3%. Most altcoins saw declines in recent days but have now turned positive, with minor gains. ETH, BNB, SOL, XRP, ADA, SHIB, and DOT have all risen by 1-2% in a 24 hour period.


Other Markets

Investors exhibiting boldness in the stock market are now taking precautionary measures by initiating hedging strategies, as the Federal Reserve appears to have paused its policy pivot. A gradual slowdown in inflation is prompting the Fed to exercise caution regarding potential rate cuts. In Europe, investors are avoiding the riskiest high-yield bonds due to increasing concerns about defaults. Meanwhile, there is a quest to uncover the true secret behind successful art investments which have burst onto the scene as of late.

Elsewhere, New Zealand has implemented stricter regulations on worker visas, citing concerns over unsustainable migration, while Xcel Energy is announcing power cuts in parts of Colorado due to high winds. Market mogul Lemann is expressing efforts to salvage Americanas following a $5 billion fraud scandal, and there is ongoing intervention by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority impacting various currencies. Lastly, preparations for the eclipse in New York range include adventurous activities like skydiving to more serene options like wine tasting, while Puig Group SL in Spain is reportedly gearing up for an IPO filing as early as Monday.

April 06,2024

US Law Enforcement Is Reportedly Harassing ZachXBT

Blockchain investigator ZachXBT claims that the Criminal Investigation (CI) Unit of the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has engaged in what he perceives as borderline harassment in their attempts to enlist his help in blockchain investigations.

In a post dated March 6th on X, ZachXBT stated that while he has been willing to assist victims and support law enforcement with necessary information, he believes that the U.S. law enforcement agency has violated his personal boundaries in their pursuit of his assistance in solving blockchain-related crimes.


Personal Boundaries

ZachXBT alleged that the Fed have appeared in person at previous addresses, contacted personal email addresses using private data, and sent mail despite his availability through public contact methods.

One of the images shared by ZachXBT included an email via an IRS-CI special agent seeking his assistance and commending his impressive work in blockchain tracing. The email acknowledged the limited expertise of the agent in the blockchain industry and expressed a desire to learn more through ZachXBT. Still, the blockchain investigator criticized the multiple forms of contact as a blatant disregard for professionalism.


Reorganizing Priorities

The incident follows continued refusal by ZachXBT to aid holders of the Complex (SIMPLE) meme coin, minted on the Base blockchain after its developers abruptly terminated the project on April 4th. He expressed discontent with spending significant time helping individuals who choose to invest in speculative meme coins rather than assisting genuine victims.

In contrast, the IRS has been strengthening its partnerships with prominent figures and companies in the blockchain tracing field. In May 2023, it was reported that IRS-CI Chief Jim Lee emphasized the importance of continued collaboration with blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, stating that their partnership has become indispensable for investigating crypto-related crimes. Lee highlighted that without the infrastructure and tools provided by Chainalysis, any efforts by the unit to combat crypto-related crimes would be significantly hindered.

During that time, the IRS-CI estimated that it had seized cryptocurrency assets worth $10 billion since the inception of its investigations into a wide range of crimes involving digital assets.


April 05,2024

PayPal Users Can Utilize PYUSD For International Payments And Transfers

PayPal has unveiled a fresh service enabling U.S. customers to conduct international money transfers utilizing its USD-pegged stablecoin, PYUSD. Accessible via the cross-border payments platform Xoom, the aim is to provide a more economical option for individuals seeking to send funds overseas.

U.S. clients now have the capability to convert PYUSD to USD and send money to individuals in around 160 countries without incurring transaction charges. This strategic move aligns with an overall objective of broadening the adoption of its stablecoin, launched last year, while solidifying its position as a reputable entity in the digital assets arena.


Becoming More Streamlined

Fernandez da Ponte, SVP for Blockchain and Crypto at PayPal, remarked that facilitating U.S. Xoom users with the choice to finance cross-border money transfers using PYUSD aligns with our mission to promote widespread acceptance of cryptocurrencies, alongside providing a convenient means to securely transfer funds to loved ones at a reduced expense.

This introduction of a novel funding avenue arrives at a juncture where consumers are increasingly pursuing cost-effective alternatives for cross-border transactions. According to a World Bank report referenced by PayPal, the average global cost of transmitting $200 stands slightly above 6%. By presenting fee-free transactions for transfers funded through USD converted via PYUSD, Xoom aims to furnish a more economical option.


The Rise Of Stablecoins

To utilize the aforementioned innovative service, U.S. Xoom users maintaining a sufficient balance of PYUSD in their PayPal Cryptocurrency Hub can designate PYUSD as their funding source when initiating a money transfer. Xoom will subsequently convert the PYUSD to USD without any cryptocurrency sale fees, with recipients receiving the funds in the fiat currency chosen by the sender.

The announcement by PayPal coincides with a potential upsurge in the stablecoin domain. Ripple, another prominent entity in the digital payments sphere, recently rolled out its stablecoin primarily tailored for corporate clients. Ripple anticipates the stablecoin market could hit $2.8 trillion by 2028.


April 05,2024

SushiSwap Drama Unfolds As Team Receives Several Accusations

SushiSwap is currently embroiled in a significant dispute over proposed alterations to its governance system. Concerns have arisen among users and a former associate regarding the suggested changes. The contentious proposal seeks to move assets via the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)-controlled treasury to a newly formed entity named Sushi Labs. Additionally, it intends to redirect all future airdrops to Sushi Labs rather than the DAO. These developments have sparked worries about community engagement and transparency within SushiSwap.


Competency Is Needed

The proposed governance modifications entail granting 25 million Sushi tokens to Sushi Labs, sourced through various channels like the Arbitrum (ARB) airdrop, business development, partner grants, Kanpai 2.0, Sushi 2.0, rewards, stablecoins, and Sushi House funds. Future airdrops to Sushi by protocols and partners would exclusively benefit Sushi Labs. However, discrepancies regarding the mentioned wallet holdings in the proposal have led to additional scrutiny.

Previously, the Sushi DAO had approved a ballot window to establish a foundational legal entity structure. Proponents of the proposal argue that updating the organizational framework is imperative as the project evolves. They stress the need for competent legal guidance to effectively represent the global presence of SushiSwap. Moreover, the proposal seeks to empower Sushi Labs with full operational responsibility for core product development to streamline decision-making processes.


Mounting Accusations

In response to these developments, Naïm Boubziz, a former member of SushiSwap, has accused the company of executing a genuine hostile takeover. Through scathing social media posts, Boubziz criticizes Head Chef Jared Grey alleging his intention to kill the community and the DAO while aiming to seize the entire treasury. Boubziz claims to have issued warnings for months, which were ignored under false pretenses. He further alleges deletion of snapshots without appropriate reaction and accuses the community of ignoring the truth.

Boubziz contends that the current governance structure of SushiSwap necessitates updates and emphasizes the importance of community involvement. His accusations intensify the rift between advocates for community involvement and supporters of the proposed changes, posing a critical juncture for SushiSwap. The ongoing signal vote on the controversial governance proposal has seen about 93% of participants voting no. Despite this opposition, a second vote is scheduled for April 9th to determine the fate of the proposal.


April 04,2024

Binance Executive Remains Detained In Nigeria Despite Efforts To Get Him Out

Binance faces legal troubles in Nigeria as an executive remains detained over money laundering accusations. The company is actively working to engage with Nigerian regulators to resolve the issue. The development comes after former CEO Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to a felony concerning his failure to stop money laundering on the platform which also cost the crypto exchange roughly $4 billion.


An International Incident

The cryptocurrency exchange has repeatedly emphasized that the detained executive, Tigran Gambaryan, who joined Binance in 2021 to aid in compliance matters, does not hold decision-making authority. Despite his background in law enforcement and advocacy for transparent financial practices, Binance argues against his culpability in the charges.

Gambaryan, recognized for his work in cybercrime investigations, played a vital role in the Binance Financial Crime Compliance team, contributing to asset recovery and policy development. Before joining Binance, he had a distinguished career as a U.S. Federal Agent handling serious criminal cases.


Bad To Worse

The legal situation for Binance in Nigeria is becoming more intricate with additional charges and the reported escape of another executive involved. Nevertheless, Binance persists in communicating with regulatory authorities. Despite these challenges, the market value of BNB, the native token of Binance, has remained steady, underscoring market resilience amidst the turmoil.

Regardless, the entire ordeal as well as the aforementioned ordeal with Changpeng Zhao has caused a significant drop in the popularity of Binance. Many payment processors, including Wise (formerly known as TransferWise), have removed the ability to buy and withdraw crypto via the exchange using their services.


April 04,2024

Cardano Being Considered To Help With Enhancement Of Voting Processes

Although specific details are lacking, several US states are exploring the potential of leveraging Cardano for enhancing election transparency through the integration of blockchain technology into the voting process.

According to Frederik Gregaard, the CEO of the Cardano Foundation, some US states have reached out to discuss the development of a blockchain-powered voting system. The aim is to conduct elections with increased transparency. Gregaard revealed in an interview with DailyCoin that the states are seeking assistance in implementing a lightweight blockchain solution to enhance the transparency and accountability of their voting processes.


Blockchain Based Voting

Gregaard also hinted at similar discussions taking place in the UK. However, he noted that the Cardano Foundation is currently evaluating the feasibility of meeting the given timeframe requirements. He concluded the interview without disclosing the number or identities of the states involved in the discussions.

Blockchain-based voting has been hailed as a promising application of the technology by enthusiasts. With Cardano, an experienced entity, considering leading such initiatives in the US, the likelihood of a viable solution is considerable.

The Cardano Foundation, like other decentralized blockchain entities, has already incorporated blockchain-based voting into its operations to democratize decision-making. For example, Cardano employs Catalyst, a platform enabling ADA holders to propose and vote on network projects. While such platforms are integral to the Cardano ecosystem, developing a statewide blockchain voting system would necessitate more detailed planning.


Cardano Is Going Global

Cardano may face competition if the idea gains traction in the US. Other blockchain networks, such as Solana, could also be approached by states to develop similar platforms, posing additional competition for Cardano.

Despite potential competition, the Cardano network has been highly active and could be well-equipped to tackle upcoming challenges. Recent data shows a surge in developer activity on Cardano, surpassing even Ethereum. This suggests that developers increasingly view Cardano as an appealing platform with opportunities comparable to Ethereum.

The influence of Cardano has extended beyond voting initiatives, as evidenced by its collaboration with the Dubai Police on a blockchain pilot project. This project aims to securely share sensitive data with global law enforcement agencies like Interpol, showcasing the diverse applications of blockchain technology in combating crime.

Other recent developments on Cardano include the launch of USDM, a fiat-backed stablecoin developed by Mehen Finance. Despite encountering obstacles during development, including a partnership change with Cross River Bank, Mehen successfully partnered with fintech solution Plaid to finalize and launch USDM.


April 03,2024

Avalanche Dominates GDC 2024 As Nearly 30K People Attend

At GDC 2024, Avalanche took center stage with standout games like Shrapnel and Off the Grid. Despite facing challenges, including a significant increase in attendance to nearly 30,000, the event showcased the growing prominence of Web3 gaming.


The Rise Of Web3 Gaming

The presence of Avalanche was notable, boasting one of the largest exhibits, surpassed only by Unreal. Their showcase featured an array of titles such as Shrapnel, Providence, Off the Grid, MEGAWEAPON, BloodLoop, Petopia, and the Merit Circle Beam ecosystem. These games provided attendees with hands-on experiences, demonstrating the diversity and innovation within the Web3 space.

The absence of ImmutableX, a previous heavyweight in Web3 gaming, highlighted the rapidly evolving nature of the industry. Despite concerns such as industry-wide layoffs and uncertainties in traditional gaming, the enthusiasm surrounding Web3 gaming contrasted with the subdued presence of AAA studios and mainstream titles.


Gaming Continues To Grow

The event concluded with the 26th annual Independent Games Festival Awards and the 24th annual Game Developers Choice Awards, celebrating notable achievements in gaming. Winners included Venba by Visai Games, which won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, among other notable entries.

Moreover, GDC 2024 was not solely focused on gaming, as advancements in AI as well as AR and VR technologies were also focused upon, offering new avenues for game development and immersive experiences. Looking ahead, GDC is scheduled to return to the Moscone Center in 2025, continuing its mission to facilitate learning, networking, and innovation within the gaming community.


April 03,2024

Burkett Financial Services Reveals First BTC ETF Investment

Burkett Financial Services, based in South Carolina, has disclosed its ownership of 602 shares of the iShares Bitcoin Trust in a recent filing with the SEC. This disclosure represents the inaugural mention of a Bitcoin ETF in such filings, suggesting an escalating intrigue in digital asset investments within traditional finance circles.

The iShares Bitcoin Trust offers investors an avenue to participate in the crypto market without directly acquiring the digital assets, presenting a more straightforward approach for both institutional and individual investors to enter the market while mitigating typical risks and technical complexities associated with digital currencies.


Investments Continue

The investment by Burkett Financial Services in the Bitcoin ETF mirrors a broader trend where conventional investment entities are contemplating digital assets as feasible investment avenues, indicating a growing acknowledgment of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a diversifying asset within investment portfolios.

This disclosure not only underscores the mounting acceptance of cryptocurrencies but also signifies a shifting investor mindset towards incorporating digital assets into their investment portfolios, further catalyzed by the increasing appeal and adoption of cryptocurrencies.

This development is also notable as it marks the inaugural instance of a Bitcoin ETF appearing in such a filing, a significant factor in tracking institutional investment trends, indicative of the entrenched position of digital assets in investment discourse. This visibility may contribute to enhanced legitimacy for cryptocurrencies in mainstream investment spheres.


Increasing Adoption

The inclusion of Bitcoin ETFs in these filings reflects an evolving regulatory environment for digital assets and acknowledgment of their expanding role in financial markets, potentially fostering broader adoption among a more extensive investor base, including those previously apprehensive about digital asset investments.

In essence, the aforementioned move signifies a pivotal moment in integrating digital assets into traditional finance, not only showcasing heightened interest but also establishing a precedent for future disclosures, likely stimulating further investment in digital assets. This trajectory is anticipated to bolster mainstream acceptance and regulatory progress for cryptocurrencies.


April 02,2024

Funding Deals - March 26th To April 1st, 2024

ChainComply (Belgium) successfully secured $364K in Pre-Seed funding led by Blockchain Founders Group on 03/29/2024. ChainComply relieves AML teams from stressing over their crypto-exchanges interactions with a quick and easy source of investigation tools.

Parallel (Canada) is proud to announce a $35M investment in Venture funding with Solana Ventures leading the way on 03/28/2024. Parallel is a sci-fi based competitive card game where players build decks and face off, bank energy, and build armies to decide the fate of humanity. (United Kingdom) secured $6M in Seed funding with Lightspeed Faction backing them on 03/28/2024. aims to build a decentralized privacy-preserving solution for AI. By replacing the central entity that collects data and organises machine learning with blockchain, FLock aims to empower users to mine insights from their data and monetize at their discretion.

Midas (Germany) raised $8.7M in Seed funding with BlockTower Capital as their lead investor on 03/28/2024. Through Midas, investors gain exposure to investment-grade securities on-chain, while harnessing the full suite of DeFi applications via a permissionless ERC-20 token.

SPIRIT Blockchain Capital Inc. (Canada) successfully secured $406K in Post-IPO Debt financing on 03/28/2024. SPIRIT is transforming global finance through Web3 technology investments and utilizes proven investment strategies for next-generation capital markets and blockchain infrastructure.

peaq (Singapore) announced $15M in Series A funding with Borderless Capital on board as their lead investor on 03/27/2024. Peaq looks to become the blockchain for real-world applications while empowering users to build DePINs and dApps for mobility, connectivity, energy, and more.

BloodLoop (Switzerland) celebrated a $4M Seed investment with Avalanche backing their vision on 03/27/2024. BloodLoop is a 5v5 tactical hero-shooter game, integrated with blockchain technology. secured $4.6M on 04/01/2024 in Seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau, marking a significant milestone in their journey towards revolutionizing blockchain services.

Burnt (XION) raised a staggering $25M in Series A funding from The Spartan Group, reflecting immense confidence in their vision for the future of chain technology. XION empowers developers and brands to create frictionless Web3 experiences, with a Generalized Abstraction layer that removes technical barriers for all users.

Merkle Trade successfully closed a $2.1M seed round backed by Hashed Fund, underscoring the growing interest in DeFi solutions. Merkle Trade is the first-ever gamified perp DEX where users can trade, level up, and unlock instant rewards.


Once again, congratulations to everyone! Follow CryptoWeekly for all the latest updates and deals in crypto, blockchain, AI, and Web3.