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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.

October 17,2023

Over $60 Million Lost Due To Massive Cointelegraph Blunder

Cointelegraph, a popular crypto-oriented news media outlet, recently shared a message on X without obtaining prior editorial approval, falsely claiming that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had granted approval for a Bitcoin ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) to BlackRock. The fake news announcement has since resulted in over $60 million in losses for traders around the globe.

This erroneous information stemmed via an unverified screenshot posted by a user on X. Cointelegraph published a story about the alleged endorsement of the iShares Bitcoin ETF, which garnered over 500,000 views and triggered heightened volatility in the cryptocurrency market shortly after being disseminated.

An internal inquiry determined that Cointelegraph failed to follow its standard procedure of verifying sources before posting breaking news on social media. In response, they are now conducting a comprehensive review and audit of their social media management processes, particularly focusing on the authentication of breaking news prior to publication.

When Cointelegraph initially reported on the BTC ETF, Bitcoin saw its value surge to $30,000 for the first time in months, but it subsequently receded after confirmation that the announcement was indeed false.

More worryingly, there is significant concern that federal regulators may utilize this blunder as a prime example of market manipulation and use it to fuel their crackdown on the crypto industry.

October 16,2023

Crypto Fundraising October 10 - 16

On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 10th October and 16th October 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done! 

OrdinalsBot raised $1M - The startup was founded in February 2023 by Brian Laughlan and Toby Lewis. It recently launched its Software Developer Kit (SDK) providing developers with the tools to seamlessly integrate ordinals functionality into their projects.

Neutral raised $3.2M - In building advanced market infrastructure for the environmental asset markets of the future, Neutral stands at the intersection of these two global trends.

REPUBLIK raised $6M - RepubliK is a Web3 content creation platform where content creators can connect with their audiences and utilize built-in smart contracts to handle monetization processes.

Untangled raised $13.5M - Untangled provides infrastructure to host blockchain-based credit pools, where investors &ndash in this case, certified investors, firms, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) &ndash deposit funds to lend and earn a yield.

Membrane Labs raised $20M - Membrane is a technology platform offering enterprise-grade trading and lending applications for crypto. The capital will be used to help build the type of grown-up trading infrastructure the crypto space needs in order to avoid further disasters.

Beldex raised $3M - Beldex is more than simply a platform it is a trailblazing force transforming the blockchain world. Beldex is prepared to continue making waves in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector.

Parsec raised $5.25M - Parsec is designed to be your eyes and ears. It is the beating heart of the market, equipped with real-time data streams and rich high fidelity visualizations that paint a picture of an often opaque market.

KINO raised $2M - KINO Studio brings the power of technology to film through community building, royalties processing, and IP discovery. KINO's technology makes the entertainment industry faster, stronger, and more connected.

Silks raised $7M - Silks is the first derivative gaming platform that leverages a blockchain-enabled metaverse to parallel the real world of thoroughbred horse racing.

Initia raised an undisclosed amount - The founding team comprises former founders, staff-level engineers, and researchers from the Cosmos and Ethereum ecosystem.

Account Labs raised $7.7M - The strategic investment comes in tandem with the launch of their consumer-centric application, UniPass Wallet, a self-custody wallet focused on peer-to-peer (P2P) stablecoin transfers.

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


October 15,2023

New Crypto Bill Announced By Governor Newsom For 2025

California Governor Gavin Newsom has sanctioned a new cryptocurrency bill, introducing more stringent regulations for businesses engaged in crypto-oriented activities. The bill is set to take effect in 18 months on July 1st, 2025.


A New Era For Crypto Regulation

In a statement released on October 13th, Newsom announced the approval of the Digital Financial Assets Law, mandating individuals and companies to secure a Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) license for participation in digital asset-related endeavors.

In the legislative documentation, it draws a parallel to the money transmission statutes of California, which disallow operations associated with banking and transfer services if they lack a license granted by the DFPI Commissioner.

Nevertheless, this fresh crypto legislation empowers the DFPI to impose rigorous auditing requisites on crypto enterprises and compel them to maintain specific record-keeping mandates. The bill further underscores that businesses not adhering to the legislation will face strict enforcement measures.


The Reason For This Bill

Approximately a year ago, Newsom made it a point not to endorse a similar bill designed to create a framework for licensing and regulating digital assets in California. Despite the bill effortlessly passing through the California State Assembly, Newsom indicated that he would not sign it. He suggested that the legislation lacked the flexibility needed to adapt to the rapidly evolving crypto landscape.

At the time, Newsom conveyed his intention to collaborate with the legislature on crypto licensing initiatives once federal regulations were in place. Meanwhile, various reports indicate that the United States is exploring the possibility of applying the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) to cryptocurrencies as a measure to counteract fraudulent transfers and malicious activities.

In a recent address, Rohit Chopra, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), voiced his intent to authorize this approach to mitigate the harm caused by errors, breaches, and unauthorized transfers within the crypto sector.

October 14,2023

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.

October 13,2023

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.