Get the top stories, funding deals, technical analysis, cryptocurrency jobs and much more delivered to your inbox, every Monday morning.

July 12,2021

Nansen Closes $12M Series A Lead by a16z

Nansen, the DeFi-focused cryptocurrency tracker, announced a $12 Million Series A last week lead by a16z. Additional notable venture firms, including Skyfall Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, QCP Capital, and more, participated in the round.

Crypto tracking has seen significant growth since the boom in decentralized finance (DeFi). Recently, companies like ChainalysisCipherTrace, and TRM Labs have all raised major rounds. However, top-tier blockchain analytics have often been considered a tool for the government, regulators, tax authorities, and legal enforcement. Nansen&39s CEO, Alex Svanevik, believes that "the actual market participants, should have access to the best on-chain analytics as well."

Enter Nansen, an analytics platform for blockchain, that combines on-chain data with a massive and constantly growing database containing millions of wallet labels. "Nansen&39s high-quality data enables investors to follow where the smart money is moving, where influential investors are taking positions as well as for discovering new projects to invest and perform due diligence," Says Svanevik.

The start-up currently analyzes over 90 million Ethereum wallets & their activity. Users access the data & tools through a monthly membership package that is designed to help retail traders in addition to a pricey $2,500 monthly package for more bespoke clients. Although there was no explicit talk about what the fresh capital would be used for, the company will likely scale its offerings and look to expand to multiple chains.

July 07,2021

Unchained Capital Announces $25M Series A From NYDIG

On Friday, Bitcoin financial services firm, Unchained Capital announced the close of their $25M Series A round from lead investor and institutional powerhouse, NYDIG. NYDIG has also committed to lending Unchained another $100 million, for a total commitment of $150 million.

"Historically, there has been a lack of investment in bitcoin-dedicated infrastructure, often in favor of platforms supporting many digital currencies, but Unchained Capital expects this raise to be the first of a growing trend of bitcoin-only businesses attracting capital investment at the scale which has long been deserved," Parker Lewis, head of business development at Unchained, said.

Unchained and NYDIG also plan to offer collaborative custody services in which both hold private keys with the intention of encouraging more financial institutions to do the same.

July 05,2021

New German Law Opens Door For $415 Billion In Bitcoin Buying Power

On June 1st, a new German law came into effect that could theoretically see up to $415 billion flow into crypto. The German Fund Location Act, introduced in April and approved by parliament shortly thereafter, permits Spezialfonds, or special funds, to invest as much as 20% of their portfolios in crypto.

Sven Hildebrandt, CEO of Distributed Ledger Consulting estimates that if every Spezialfond chooses to allocate the full 20% in crypto, that would equate to &euro350 billion ($415 billion), based on the total AUM (assets under management) of such funds in Germany. His work was cited in a report by the financial newspaper Boersen Zeitung in April.

Spezialfonds are the dominant institutional investment vehicle in Germany. While the $415 billion figure is sizable enough on its own, it pales in comparison to the potential inflows that may come from other European countries if they chose to follow suit. Given Germany&39s status as the euro zone&39s most powerful economy, their policy actions have profound impacts on the surrounding neighbours.

There have been other signs of such acceptance of crypto emanating from Germany in recent months. Last Monday, Coinbase received a crypto custody license from Germany's Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). The license allows Coinbase to continue serving the German market. Deutsche Bank also announced its intention to offer custody and brokerage services to its institutional clients in December.

We are currently witnessing the beginnings of a very bullish narrative for institutional Bitcoin buying in Germany. Given their impact and influence on the entire Euro-zone, it will be interesting to see how Germany&39s policy influences the sentiment coming from the rest of Europe.

July 05,2021

Binance Under Attack By Ontario and UK Regulators

The scrutiny and regulatory eye on crypto tighten as the world&39s largest crypto exchange by volume, Binance seems to be the "example", and focus of traditional investment regulators from around the globe. Tension mounts in crypto as the regulation vs. crypto battle heats up, and governments try to retain a position of power in this economic revolution.

As countries push forward with their own centralized digital currencies, decentralized cryptos and exchanges we know and support are being illuminated by regulators and governments as competition to their own projects, and the regulation heat is being turned up. Of course, all crackdowns with crypto regulation are cited as efforts to curtail money laundering, illicit activities, crypto scams, tax evasion, and to protect investors. Countries such as China, India, Turkey, Germany, and Nigeria are leading the regulation parade, and have already put measures or threats of exchange fines in place to restrict or stop crypto trading.

Binance exchange, with a history of traditional investment regulation breaches, has again come under attack by regulators, most recently in Japan and UK. There has also been a recent change for Binance&39s operations in the Canadian province of Ontario, in reaction to regulators&39 dealings with other crypto exchanges. The regulation attacks are aimed at hybrid crypto investments products that are pegged to traditional regulated stock market offerings, a dangerous line for exchanges to walk. Binance seems to be the "example" here but is not alone, many other exchanges are also being addressed by regulators.

Financial Services Agency of Japan has filed its second warning in 3 years to Binance, stating that Binance is not licensed to operate in Japan. In the UK the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has banned Binance from conducting any regulated investment activity within their boundaries, which does not include trading of unregulated crypto investments. In Ontario, Binance ceased operations, where recently 3 crypto exchanges have been issued notice by regulators stating that they were in breach of investment regulations.

Increased threat of regulations and scrutiny is having an impact on the crypto industry&39s overall growth, market sentiment, and maybe the reason a slew of new crypto exchange and trading applications with Britain&39s FCA have been withdrawn in recent months. Regulation in crypto is desirable, necessary, and in most cases welcome. Let&39s hope that these regulations are in fact designed for, and effective in protecting investors, and not just tools to protect the interests of those who are late to the party, and stand to lose some control.

June 28,2021

Post Coinbase Exit, Andreessen Horowitz Doubles Down on Crypto With New 2.2 Billion Fund

Last Thursday, Andressen Horowitz cemented its support for the crypto industry with the launch of a massive new crypto-focused fund called Crypto Fund III. The $2.2 billion Crypto Fund III will be among the largest capital commitments to the crypto ecosystem in history, and roughly four times the size of the firm's second cryptocurrency fund a year ago. The fund will be co-lead by Andressen Horowitz partners, Chris Dixon and Katie Haun.

Andreessen Horowitz also introduced several new advisers to the crypto team, who are meant to help "translate crypto to the mainstream" and perhaps navigate future regulation over the crypto market. Tomicah Tillemann, the former chair of the Global Blockchain Business Council and an adviser to the White House, will join as global head of policy. Two others with government experience Bill Hinman, the former director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Corporation Finance, and Brent McIntosh, former undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs will also join as advisers. Anthony Albanese, who left the New York Stock Exchange last year to take a role on Andreessen Horowitz's crypto team, will now serve as chief operating officer.

In 2013, Andressen Horowitz took a bet on crypto by leading the first funding round for a little-known cryptocurrency exchange called Coinbase. The company pledged to be the financial exchange of the future. Eight years later, the investment has paid off. In April, Coinbase became the first major crypto company to go public and did so in spectacular fashion. Coinbase closed its first day of trading at $328.28 a share, putting its value at $85.8 billion, making it Andreessen Horowitz's biggest exit yet.

After such a phenomenal exit, Andressen Horowitz has chosen to double down on crypto and roll some of their profits into a new gigantic fund. Andreessen Horowitz announced on Thursday its third crypto-focused fund for the "next generation of visionary crypto founders."

Andreessen Horowitz said in a press release about the fund, "The largest crypto fund ever raised to date, Crypto Fund III is a validating moment for the ecosystem and another sign that crypto becoming an ever more mainstream part of our financial infrastructure." Let's hope this statement and the creation of Crypto Fund III serve as the dime light at the end of the tunnel of this major market correction.

June 28,2021

El Salvador to Airdrop $30 in Bitcoin to All Citizens
pOn June th El Salvador made international headlines passing a law to becoming the first sovereign country to accept Bitcoin as legal tender With Bitcoin as legal tender merchants in the country would have to accept Bitcoin for payments alongside the US dollar The bill was passed by a supermajority and is set to come into effect on September ppLast Thursday we got more details on the rollout plan from El Salvador President Nayib Bukele He highlighting an airdrop of in Bitcoin for all citizens of El Salvador The government will use thenbspa hrefhttpsfinanceyahoocomnewselsalvadorrevealsofficialbitcoinhtml targetblankChivo ewalleta preloaded with US of bitcoin for everyone who downloads it The in bitcoin will be sent to users wallets once they verify their identities via the apps face recognition software according to a video of Bukele presenting the feature on FridayppnbspppstrongBrut Force Mass AdoptionstrongppWhile many around the world have rejoiced El Salvadors decision to make Bitcoin legal tender the news regarding the airdrop has stirred up the opposition for privacy advocates By forcing citizens to verify identity via facial recognition this is seen by some as just another tool for mass government surveillance and some have even argued it violates El Salvadors constitutionppnbspppstrongTaking the Good With the BadstrongppAny effort to get Bitcoin in the hands of all a nations citizens is definitely a step in the right direction However as Bitcoin continues its ascent to global adoption it will not be able to maintain the anonymity and privacy that was envisioned by Satoshi KYC and AML laws have done a lot to ensure the safety of consumers and organizations but they do fly in the face of the initial ideals of Bitcoinp

June 28,2021

Marvel Studios Partners with VeVe to Enter NFT Space
pThe growth of thenbspa hrefhttpscoinmarketcapcomviewcollectiblesnfts targetblankNFT marketanbsphas undoubtedly been a major talking point throughout However in recent months there has been less talk of skyhigh prices and a lot of the NFT projects have seen significant declines in their marketcap valuations Indeed the NFT train may have slowed down but the organizations and partnerships evolving tell a different storyppMarvel Studios one of the largest global film and entertainment producers in the worldnbspa hrefhttpscointelegraphcomnewsmarvelrevealsofficialnftswillbeavailableonvevemarketplaceby targetblankannounced last Thursdayanbspthat it has partnered with Orbis Technologies the company behind VeVe to launch NFTs Marvel fans will soon be able to collect digital D versions of their favourite Marvel characters and comic books that vary in rarity and can be displayed in the users virtual showroom The NFTs will be minted on the blockchain and available for users to buy and trade on the VeVe marketplace using the platforms token GEMppThenbspa hrefhttpswwwveveme targetblankVeVe marketplacea also known asnbspa hrefhttpscoinmarketcapcomcurrenciesecomi targetblankEcomi OMIa already consists of DC Comics characters like Batman and other notable brands like Star Trek Ghostbusters Powerpuff Girls and more The marketplace reportedly saw more than NFT sales since December and ts community continues to grow If youd like to learn more about the technical and token utility aspect of VeVe givenbspa hrefhttpsmediumcomecomivevetokensystemandomiutilityabeb targetblankthis a readappMarvels VP of business development Daniel Fink said ldquoWe hope to expand the limits of what Marvel fandom can be starting with personal and interactive digital collectibles that through NFTs fans can truly collect share and enjoy in a way that they have not been able to do beforerdquo Forget the current market sentiments NFTs create new opportunities and experiences for creators brands collectors and fans Marvel one of the largest entertainment studios in the world is a prime example of how this industry will continue to grow regardless of market conditionsp

June 21,2021

Elon to Start Accepting Bitcoin for Teslas Again Once Bitcoin Mining Goes 50% Green
pIt seems as though Elons opinion surrounding Bitcoins true use of renewable energy is changing Is he realizing how Bitcoin can serve as the worlds greatest propellant for the renewable energy industry and understanding better how Bitcoins potential does in fact align with his business goals It should be pretty obvious to all that his business could benefit from a surge in renewable energy product demand Being able to buy a Tesla solar roof with Bitcoin is a nobrainer should be an initiative observed to support Teslas ESG and profit mandates and be a top priorityppElon has lost some credibility and taken flak for his cryptic Tweets and what some are interpreting as Bitcoin price manipulation via his social media posts and influence A little disappointing to realize our new champion of crypto is a novice tourist who is misinformed With his latest marketmoving Tweet however Elon illustrates that his understanding of the facts is evolving and we may be buying his vehicles with Bitcoin again soonppElon recently Tweet reacted to a Cointelegraph article that said Musk had deliberately pumped up the price of Bitcoin so Tesla could sell off a big chunk of it Musk disputes this in his latest Bitcoin price moving TweetppThis is inaccurate Tesla only sold of its holdings to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving the market When therersquos confirmation of reasonable clean energy usage by miners with the positive future trend Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactionsppIt is not explained whom Elon would accept this clean energy usage confirmation but it does identify his acceptance level that we may already be at or be close to El Salvador has demonstrated a positive future trend by announcing a plan to use volcanic geothermal power production as a means to create their own Bitcoin attract Bitcoin miners and stimulate their economy China also seems to be indirectly pushing an improved renewable energy penetration in Bitcoin by forcing miners drawing on their coalpowered energy to leave and set up elsewhere Many miners will land in countries or regions outside of China that have much greater renewable energy infrastructures and supply thus pushing Bitcoins overall application of renewable energy even higher than it presently is Elons wants are already in motion and in fact may have already been achievedppElectricity is the biggest expense involved in Bitcoin mining and the adoption pursuit or purchase of renewable energy sources can reduce or eliminate that expense I cant think of a better motivator than profit for Bitcoin miners to incorporate as much renewable energy as possible Bitcoin profit is a driver for the renewable energy industryppFor Elon to profit is a motivator and he showed his cards with some real nonsense tweets that left many in crypto hyper suspicious of his motives It is nice to see his position on Bitcoin changing back as he digs deeper Elon and Tesla certainly have much to gain in the renewable energy future and in a Bitcoin price expansion We hope he sees a way to facilitate both these things with his announcements Tweets and business moves surrounding Bitcoin His credibility and reputation would be well served by not circulating incorrect facts and FUD on social media impacting the crypto investments of so many others on a whimp

June 21,2021

B-Cube Rolls Out Suite of New Features Following Successful ICO

It&39s been a few months since we last covered b-cube, but we wanted to share an update on one of our favorite up-and-coming projects in the crypto-trading niche. is an AI-powered trading bot platform democratizing access to top-tier AI-trading tools. They completed a successful public token sale in March and have been on a tear adding new features and functionality to their platform. We wanted to take a minute to discuss some of the new announcements and features they&39re launching:

B-Cube Staking & Tokenomics:

The b-cube team has built-in some innovative utility into their BCUBE token. Users will have the ability to lock up their tokens for a given period on the b-cube platform to earn APY. Users that stake their tokens will also be granted free b-cube bots trading courses and other products depending on their amount staked. Token holders will also benefit from profit sharing from the B2B side of b-cube&39s business. When hedge funds pay b-cube to build them custom trading bots, a percentage of the proceeds will be distributed back to BCUBE token holders.

Burning Program:

A percentage of the tokens collected for payment of the services and products on the platform will be burned. 100% of the payments received in BCUBE directly will be burned from August 2021 to August 2022 & 25% of the FIAT payments received for our bots and services will be used to buy BCUBE tokens by the company and will be burned. The b-cube team hopes to reduce the supply of b-cube tokens by 50% within one year time.

New Trading Bots:

The b-cube team is getting ready to release 10 trading bots on their platform. While these bots are new to the public, they have already been hard at work building successful track records. Their results are already available on the site.

DEX Integration:

B-cube makes it easy to integrate your bot with leading exchanges like Binance, FTX, Kucoin, and BitMEX, however, they are now rolling out DEX integration. You will be able to add APIs to leading DEX&39s like Uniswap, but don&39t worry about trading fees.. trading fees are aggregated by the b-cube algorithm and one gas fee can be shared by up to 120 users. Trading fees are also covered by the b-cube so there is no need to worry about trading frequency.

Defi Stake & Trade:

No longer will you have to choose if you want to trade crypto or stake it. Defi stake & trade is one of the most innovative features we have seen in a crypto project. b-cube has partnered with MontraDAO to allow you to stake your defi tokens and automatically unlock your tokens when your bot finds you a trading opportunity. In Q1 2022, you will be able to earn while staking and benefit from AI-powered trading at the same time!

We are excited to watch this project unfold and bring AI-powered trading to the masses. If you are interested in purchasing the b-cube token you can find it on Uniswap, or find more information here.

June 21,2021

BitDAO Launches After $230M Private Sale Round

There&39s a new decentralized autonomous organization on the block.

BitDAO has launched after a $230M private funding round featuring over 20 institutional investors and DeFi partners, already making it one of the world&39s largest DAO&39s. The round saw participation from Peter Thiel, a billionaire entrepreneur and co-founder of Paypal, Alan Howard, Dragonfly Capital, Fenbushi, Founders Fund, Jump Capital, Pantera Capital, and more.

In addition to the funding, Bybit, one of the largest crypto derivatives trading platforms, has pledged to contribute 2.5 basis points from all of its futures contracts transaction volume as recurring support for the BitDAO treasury. Based on 2021 numbers, this could amount to roughly $1B annually.

BitDAO aims to improve adoption, collaboration, and innovation within DeFi. Through the BitDAO treasury, the organization will support new and existing DeFi protocols with funding, R&D, and liquidity. The holders of BDAO, BitDAO's governance token, will be given the opportunity to vote on where this capital is allocated. The BDAO token is pegged to the value of Bitcoin but BitDAO has plans to launch additional pegs. The DAO&39s utilizes a multi-chain design to counteract the potential downsides of centralized pegged tokens.

The fresh capital, and future inflows, will fund new DeFi initiatives through BitDAO&39s grant program and help existing protocols with liquidity using token swaps. Another key objective is to attract talent. BitDAO has plans to employ hundreds and launch development and research centers posed to tackle some of the pressing technical problems facing DeFi.

This is exciting news for the DeFi space. For the past few years, DeFi has had the attention of major VCs, both crypto and non-crypto. Taking a decentralized approach to support the long-term growth of the industry is only fitting.

June 14,2021

Ledger Raises a Massive $380M at a $1.5B Valuation
pLedger the cold storage hardware crypto wallet maker announced its hugenbspa hrefhttpswwwcoindeskcomledgerseriescfundingm targetblank million series Cnbspaat a B valuation in anbspa hrefhttpswwwbusinesswirecomnewshomeenLedgercompletesamillionSeriesCfundraisingvaluingthecompanyatmorethanbilliontostrengthenitspositionastheleadingsecuregatewaytodigitalassets targetblankpress releaseanbsplast Thursday The round was led bynbspa hrefhttpstfundcom targetblankT Holdingsanbspa digital assets fund founded by wellknown macro investornbspa hrefhttpswwwlinkedincomindantapierobb targetblankDan Tapieroa The round saw participation from both new and old investors such as Tekne Capital Uphold Ventures Felix Capital Draper Associates DCG and more The funding will help Ledger expand its product offerings enterprise capabilities and potential international expansionppIn case some of our readers donrsquot already knownbspa hrefhttpswwwledgercom targetblankLedgerrsquosanbspmain offering is a hardware wallet that enables users to store and manage their digital assets offexchange Since its launch in the Parisbased company has played a pivotal role in supporting the growth of the cryptoasset ecosystem and has exploded alongside it To date Ledger has sold over million hardware wallets enables million people monthly to track and manage their assets using Ledger Live and secures aroundnbspa hrefhttpstechcrunchcomledgerraisesmillionforitscryptohardwarewallet targetblank of all crypto assetsanbspworldwideppldquoItrsquos a billion valuation that wersquove reached through this round but the reality is that our real target is a billion valuation and the reason why we think itrsquos going to be a billion valuation is that the marketrsquos going to be really hugerdquo explains Pascal Gauthier chairman amp CEO of Ledger to the Block ldquoComparing bitcoin to gold is fun but this market is going to be the whole value in the world going onto blockchain at one point the whole value in the world being tokenizedhellip Ledger is ideally and uniquely positioned to be that secure gateway to WebrdquoppWith fresh capital at hand the company has plans to bringnbspa hrefhttpswwwledgercomdecentralizedfinancedefi targetblankDeFianbspservices to its users through ledger live a game changer for many who would like to make the switch from online storage Ledger also looks to nearly double its human resources with hopes to hire an additional employees Additionally the company aims to focus on tailoring its services to nonEnglish speakersp

June 12,2021

El Salvador Becomes First Country To Embrace Bitcoin As Legal Tender
pLawmakers in El Salvador made history last Tuesday when they voted to adopt Bitcoin as a new form of legal tender Congress approved President Nayib Bukeles proposal to embrace the cryptocurrency withnbsp out of possible votesnbspThe historic announcement garnered praise from leaders of other South American world leaders including Argentina Paraguay Brazil and Panama Most of which are now frantically trying to organize a plan to make their country the next to adopt favorable cryptocurrency legislationnbspppThe bill passed by El Salvador lawmakers explicitly referred to Bitcoin as a means ofnbspcircumventing hostile actionsnbsptaken by Central Banks such as the FED and the ECB In a tweet shortly before the bill was passed President Bukele said quotIt will bring financial inclusion investment tourism innovation and economic development for our countryquotnbspBukele also instructed stateowned geothermal electric firm LaGeo to develop a plan to offer bitcoin mining facilities using renewable energy from the countrys volcanoesppIn El Salvador around percent of the population do not use or have access to banking services This is particularly concerning for El Salvador considering remittances representnbspa hrefhttpsapnewscomarticlesansalvadorcoronaviruspandemicelsalvadorcddcaafabcbtextRemittancesaccountforpercentandbenefitaboutChouseholds targetblankroughly anbspof their annual GDP Using the traditional financial system sometimes up to of a remittance payment can be taken as fees by the various intermediaries that touch the transaction In a country where th of the GDP comes from foreign remittance the importance of a peertopeer monetary network like Bitcoin can not be understatednbspppnbspppstrongWhat This Means for CryptostrongppThis may be the biggest news for Bitcoin ever The adoption of Bitcoin on a national scale has long been the goal of Bitcoiners but few suspected that day to come so soon Similar to how Microstrategys Bitcoin announcement set off a chain reaction of corporations holding Bitcoin on their balance sheet this announcement will surely lead to a tidal wave of developing nations racing to adopt Bitcoin as a means of paymentnbspppnbspppstrongCurrency is a Game of PowerstrongppThe dominance of the United States on a global stage has largely stemmed from two factors their military and their currency With most developed nations now setting their sites on central bank digital currencies it seemed almost inevitable that power would continue to consolidate towards the largest governments in the world However announcements like these may change everything Now that the example has been set for countries to adopt a decentralized and nationless currency we are less beholden to the powers of our own Central Bank Decentralization always follows the path of least resistance and in doing so it has become the answer for the developing world The place that needs it the mostnbspnbspppFinally now that El Salvador has declared Bitcoin as legal tender in their country other countries must now view it as a foreign currency This means it will no longer be able to be taxed as an asset and must instead be thought of as a foreign investment incomenbspnbspp