In a noteworthy development, Google Cloud has partnered with Polygon (MATIC), taking on the role of a decentralized validator for the Polygon Proof of Stake network.
Google Cloud, renowned for its role in empowering widely-used platforms such as YouTube and Gmail, is now leveraging its robust infrastructure to support the fast and cost-effective Polygon protocol, which shares similarities with Ethereum.
Back in June, Polygon acknowledged the importance of off-chain storage as a means to enhance decentralization. Official communication from Google Cloud also confirmed the collaboration, accompanied by a video detailing their joint efforts with the Polygon network.
Despite the persistent challenges posed by the volatility and unpredictability as well as the regulatory scrutiny from the US government towards the crypto market, the partnership between Google Cloud and Polygon Labs underscores the overall increasing interest in the Web3 sphere, a trend that has been growing since late 2022 and continues into 2023.
This collaboration has been ongoing since April of the previous year when both companies entered into a cooperative agreement, marking the commencement of a multi-year partnership. Notably, Polygon Proof-of-Stake nodes have been made accessible through the Google Cloud marketplace, with Polygon being a part of Google Cloud datasets since 2021.
Representative Davidson Has Had Enough Of Gary Gensler
The SEC, responsible for regulating financial markets in the United States, recently delayed the ARK Invest and 21Shares Ethereum Spot ETF application, which was submitted jointly on September 21st, 2023. A final decision on these applications is not expected until early November.
This is seen as a significant step backward despite many believing that the SEC had begun steadily adopting a more flexible and understanding approach when it came to the crypto industry.
Representative Warren Davidson stated that the seemingly tyrannical rule of Gary Gensler underscores two primary concerns, namely an issue related to Gensler himself and a structural problem within the SEC. To address these issues, Davidson introduced the SEC Stabilization Act, which seeks to remove Gensler and reorganize the SEC.
During a House Financial Services Committee hearing, Gensler faced substantial scrutiny and criticism, particularly regarding the SEC and its initiatives concerning disclosures related to climate and crypto regulation. Republican representatives concentrated their inquiries on these areas, expressing reservations and seeking clarification by Gensler.
Davidson also questioned Gensler and his actions concerning the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) disclosure rule, asserting that his claims of respecting the authority of Congress contradicted his actual conduct.
Notably, Congressman Davidson had previously advocated for the removal of Gensler through the Stabilization Act in June. This proposed bill aimed to transform the SEC into a more democratic institution, rather than being solely led by a single authoritative Chairman.
Crypto Fundraising September 19 - 25
On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 19th September and 25th September 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done!
Afterparty raised $9M - Afterparty is positioning itself to become the first go-to NFT ticketing site that offers fans extra perks. It is an all-in-one event ticketer and organizer, having hosted the first music festival to be fully-ticketed with NFTs back in March 2022.
GVRT raised $7.1M - The team is planning to launch the testnet in Q4 of 2023, with the mainnet slated for Q1 of 2024. Gravity will become the leading derivatives trading protocol on zkSync, just like GMX on Arbitrum and Dydx, which originated from Starkex.
jiritsu.network raised $10.2M - Jiritsu also unveiled today its asset tokenization platform &mdash Tomei RWA. The company said that the Tomei platform offers assurance in asset management through its proprietary attestation system.
Onramp.money raised an undisclosed amount - Onramp is a fiat-to-crypto payment gateway which helps users seamlessly convert fiat currency to desired cryptocurrency. It is a fiat-to-crypto onramp and offramp solution provider.
Fuze raised $14M - The largest Seed investment in a digital assets startup in the history of the Middle East and North Africa. Fuze enables banks, fintechs or enterprises to offer regulated digital assets products to customers through native apps.
Freatic raised 3.6M - Bridging the gap between individuals with untapped knowledge and actors who can take advantage of these opportunities. The raised funds will be used to construct building blocks for trustless exchanges.
CoinScan raised an undisclosed amount - CoinScan has been under development for over two years, and recently completed beta testing.
Mesh raised $32M - Mesh will use the new cash, which brings its total raised to date to $32 million, to further develop its tools for deposits, payments and payouts, as well as support its go-to-market operations
Virtualness raised $8M - Virtualness is a mobile-first platform designed to help creators and brands navigate the complex world of Web3.
Northern Data Group raised $8.5M - Northern Data Group provides not only blockchain but AI computing services. Through the partnership, Tether and
Northern Data Group will collaborate on AI, communication and data storage initiatives.
Essential raised 5.15M - Essential is trying to rewire transaction supply chains in crypto to minimize value extraction by what it describes as &ldquorent-seeking intermediaries," for the benefit of users.
To stay updated with news about future Web3 Funding Rounds, Follow
Proposed Celsius Plan Has Many Issues, According To The SEC
The plan proposed by Celsius to use Coinbase as a distributor for international customers has faced opposition from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC is against this plan due to the belief that it exceeds the scope of distribution agency services, involving aspects of brokerage and master trading services which raise many of the concerns presented in the SEC District Court case against Coinbase.
Celsius initiated bankruptcy proceedings in July of the previous year. The regulatory agency had filed a lawsuit against the US based cryptocurrency exchange in June of this year, alleging that its staking service violated US securities laws and that it operated as an unregistered broker.
Furthermore, in July, the SEC took legal action against both Celsius and its former CEO, Alex Mashinsky. In its lawsuit, the SEC accused the bankrupt cryptocurrency lender of deceiving investors and generating billions of dollars through unregistered and deceptive offerings and sales of cryptocurrency securities.
The bankruptcy restructuring proposal put forth by Celsius, contingent upon Court approval, could potentially involve Coinbase in providing brokerage services. However, the SEC pointed out that the Celsius debtors have stated that they do not intend for Coinbase to offer brokerage services to them, despite certain statements suggesting otherwise.
The regulatory agency also emphasized that it retains the right to object if Celsius does not address the specific role that Coinbase will play going forward. In response to this filing, Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal said that the exchange is pleased to collaborate with Celsius to distribute cryptocurrencies to its customers.
Paul added that he is curious as to why the SEC opposes a reputable US public company assuming this responsibility, and that he eagerly awaits discussing this matter with the bankruptcy court and fulfilling the vital role Coinbase has in compensating Celsius customers.
11 Blockchains Added By Google Cloud To BigQuery Data
The Google Cloud division, within its BigQuery data analytics service, has incorporated backing for 11 additional blockchains. These blockchains encompass Avalanche, Arbitrum, Cronos, Fantom, Near, Optimism, Polkadot, Polygon, Tron, as well as the test networks Polygon Mumbai and Ethereum Goerli.
Users now have the capability to perform detailed queries on the blockchain, like evaluating the quantity of minted NFTs or comparing transaction fees, among these blockchain networks. Integration with end-user applications such as Looker and Google Sheets is also accessible.
BigQuery, a Google Cloud-managed data warehouse service, empowers users to execute SQL-like queries on extensive datasets. In 2018, Google Cloud initiated its blockchain data services in BigQuery, aiming to provide developers with access to on-chain data from Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The subsequent year, it augmented support for an additional 6 chains: Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Zcash. Following the recent inclusion of 11 more chains, the cumulative tally of supported networks reaches 19.
Aside from BigQuery, Google Cloud delivers Web3 infrastructure services, including node hosting and the management of validator operations, for various blockchains on its platform, most notably Ethereum, Solana, and Aptos.
Coinbase Wants Clear And Concise Crypto Legislation
Coinbase is urging the broader US crypto community to encourage their Congress representatives to establish clear and sensible legislation for the cryptocurrency industry. The company is emphasizing that the existing approach taken by regulators is hindering innovation and jeopardizing the position of the country as a global technological and financial leader.
A Fresh Start
To rally support for unambiguous cryptocurrency laws, Coinbase has initiated a new campaign targeting the 52 million crypto holders in the United States. These crypto owners, predominantly composed of Gen Z and Millennials (60%), individuals with incomes below $100,000 (75%), and members of racial minorities (41%), represent a younger and more diverse demographic than the overall US population.
Furthermore, a survey conducted in the fall of 2022 revealed that 55% of voters in key American states (Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire) are less likely to support candidates who do not endorse crypto and Web3.
Another survey found that 72% of Americans aged 18 to 34 believe that cryptocurrency provides direct control over personal assets, and an equal percentage agree that digital assets are the future of finance. Coinbase wants to unite these 52 million crypto holders into a potent force to advocate for transparent cryptocurrency regulations as the US approaches its 2024 elections.
Coinbase Leading The Charge
As part of its strategy, Coinbase is backing the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21). This bill, anticipated for a vote in the upcoming fall, proposes to elevate the regulatory authority that the CFTC has over the industry, surpassing that of the  SEC, which has often faced criticism for its enforcement driven regulatory approach, with numerous crypto companies and stakeholders accusing it of exceeding its mandate.
In August 2023, Coinbase introduced an independent advocacy grassroots movement called the Stand with Crypto Alliance, dedicated to advancing sensible crypto innovation and policy. Since its launch, over 100,000 individuals have expressed their support for the organization, with plans to engage the 52 million crypto holders in the US.
Over a 14 month campaign, the Stand with Crypto Alliance will concentrate on nine crucial states, namely California, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nevada, and New Hampshire. The advocacy efforts commenced with digital and outdoor advertisements in Washington, DC, starting on September 19th.
Regulatory Changes Force Bybit To Stop Operations In The UK
Bybit will halt the acceptance of new account registrations starting October 1st and cease accepting deposits and other services for existing customers by October 8th. This decision aligns with the impending implementation of new regulatory measures for crypto firms, set forth by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Bybit has therefore informed its users of its intent to suspend operations in the UK next month to ensure compliance with these fresh regulations.
The action is prompted by the introduction of updated guidelines concerning marketing and communications for crypto businesses, as outlined in the June 2023 Policy Statement (PS23/6) titled Financial Promotion Rules for Crypto assets.
Bybit, in its announcement, mentioned that this suspension will enable them to channel their resources towards meeting the new regulatory requirements. Beginning October 1st, no new customer registrations will be permitted, and services for existing customers will be discontinued by October 8th.
For current Bybit customers, this effective date will mean they cannot make deposits, create new contracts, or increase their positions. Nonetheless, users will retain the ability to reduce or close their positions and withdraw funds.
All UK customers have been advised to take necessary steps to manage and gradually unwind their positions. The timeline for this action will remain in effect until January 8th, 2024, at 8:00 am UTC. Bybit also noted that after the specified deadline, any open positions will be liquidated, and the resulting liquidation funds will be available for withdrawal.
Ethereum Futures ETF Filed For By Grayscale
Grayscale Investments, a reputable and well established digital asset management firm, has submitted an application to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) designed to track Ethereum (ETH) futures.
This particular ETF has been officially registered under the Securities Act of 1933, which oversees commodities and spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs. Notably, Grayscale had previously sought approval for a distinct ETH futures ETF under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
In any case, this development holds significance as the SEC has already given the green light to Bitcoin futures ETFs that operate under both sets of regulations, hinting at a more permissive stance towards Bitcoin futures in general.
The recent filing by Grayscale comes after a court ruling which determined that the SEC refusing to grant the company its request to transform its Bitcoin trust into a spot Bitcoin ETF was indeed unwarranted. The court reasoned that the proposed BTC ETF closely resembled approved futures-based BTC ETFs.
Crypto Fundraising September 12 - 18
On behalf of the Web3 community, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the companies that announced their success in fundraising between 12th September and 18th September 2023. We are thrilled to see such tremendous support from all involved. Well done!
Layer N raised $5M - Layer N is focused on increasing transaction throughput and latency potential to replicate the speed of traditional financial markets on the blockchain.
portals.fi raised $2.5M - Portals is a yield and protocol aggregator for transaction bundling, any-to-any swaps, and real-time data. Taking advantage of the lego-like composability of DeFi, Portals allows anyone to create and bundle complex actions into a single transaction with ease.
Club3 raised $3M - Club3 has completed a seed round of $3M. Club3 are also launching the first round of a $200,000 partner grants program.
IMMIX raised $2.7M - IMMIX specialising in the creation of cutting-edge automated trading systems by leveraging sophisticated mathematical models and computational techniques, IMMIX are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the Web3 trading landscape.
Movement Labs raised $3.4M - Financial support will empower Movement Labs to expand the implementation and advancement of Move, a programming language specifically designed for smart contracts.
Gilded raised $3.25M - Gilded promotes cryptocurrency adoption with simple, innovative tools for businesses. Gilded makes it easy for businesses to manage crypto payments by providing a comprehensive invoicing, bookkeeping, and reporting.
Fipto raised 16.01M - Fipto is a global B2B payments and treasury management solution that leverages blockchain technology for fast, cost-effective, and transparent cross-border payments.
Topic.Market raised $2M - On Topic.Market, you can not only voice your opinions on trending topics from cryptocurrency trends to breaking news, but also seize the opportunity to capitalize on them.
ZORIXchange raised an undisclosed amount - ZORIX with an active community of 100k community is dedicated to driving widespread crypto adoption by offering fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat services in USD, EUR, and British Pound, with plans for further expansion.
Only Dust raised 3.19M - OnlyDust has become the largest coordinator of open source developers in the Web3 ecosystem, supporting 500 developers from 17 countries working on ZK rollups, privacy, decentralised finance and beyond.
ProsperEx, raised an undisclosed amount - ProsperEx is a universal decentralized exchange, blending RWA and AI, designed to empower leveraged trading across all assets with unparalleled security and user experience.
To stay updated with news about future Web3 Funding Rounds, Follow
SEC Request For Inspection Of Binance US Documents Gets Rejected
Binance US has been under the spotlight ever since the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) initiated legal action against it. This legal battle resulted in a decline in trading volume for the firm and significant departures.
In the midst of the ongoing drama, the crypto exchange successfully defended itself against the SEC on September 18th, 2023. The SEC had previously requested an investigation into Binance US, alleging that the custody platform Ceffu was closely linked to Binance and used to transfer the funds of US customers overseas, thus violating their prior agreement.
The SEC specifically sought access to the records and communications of Binance US with its wallet custody service providers. In response to these developments, the crypto exchange argued that the request was excessive, unnecessary, and inconvenient.
Ultimately, District Judge Zia Faruqui denied the request for an inspection. However, the court did instruct the crypto exchange to provide additional documentation and expressed doubts about whether Binance US was indeed in control of its assets.
Tokenization Continues To Revolutionize The World
The Boston Consulting Group predicts that the tokenization of tangible assets could emerge as a $16 trillion industry in the near future. However, its influence extends beyond mere financial statistics and can offer novel solutions to real-world challenges, particularly benefiting individuals in developing nations.
During a panel moderated by Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr at the Swiss Web3 Fest, numerous industry professionals provided insights into the practical application of tokenization to real world assets, showcasing its potential to enable unprecedented solutions.
Tokenization Could Be The Answer
Christoph Mussenbrock, representing the decentralized insurance protocol Etherisc, discussed how tokenization solutions can positively impact agricultural production. He highlighted that Kenyan farmers now receive prompt payouts, even if their yields fall short of expectations, in stark contrast to the traditional insurance sector, where waiting periods of up to six months prevail. Such delays can often significantly jeopardize the livelihoods of families.
According to Mussenbrock, traditional insurance companies are increasingly seeking on-chain solutions, marking a significant shift in the industry. He emphasized that this transition is already underway.
Stephan Rind, a member of the BrickMark Group, similarly highlighted how asset tokenization can grant access to financial products that are currently inaccessible to the majority, thus contributing to bridging wealth disparities. Rind stressed the potential for financial inclusion, democratization of capital, and the tokenization of a wide array of assets in various categories, be it real estate or livestock.
A Bright Future
Carlos Mazzi, representing Finka, recounted the experience of tokenizing La Pradera, a 3,000 hectare cattle ranch in Bolivia housing over 3,500 cows. They tokenized the value creation process, converting grass into protein and eventually cash. Mazzi acknowledged the challenges in achieving this, including financial engineering and legal frameworks. However, he noted that market adoption has been slower than expected, attributing it to systemic issues.
Moreover, Rind expressed confidence that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will surpass adoption hurdles. He believes CBDCs will provide wallets to billions worldwide, and regulatory changes will facilitate more capital flowing into asset tokenization.
Jose Fernandez, representing Tokengate, also shared an optimistic perspective, predicting that within a decade, most individuals will engage with tokens daily, whether they are consciously aware of it or not. In any case, the world is certainly changing and tokenization will play a huge part in that paradigm shift going forward.
Changpeng Zhao Unveils New CEO As Shroder Leaves
Following the departure of Binance US CEO Brian Shroder, there has been significant apprehension surrounding the legal challenges plaguing the company in the United States.
The SEC recently accused Binance US of refusing to cooperate in a comprehensive investigation. Federal regulators were mostly concerned about Ceffu, a custody service linked to Binance US. Ceffu emphasized its independence however, stating that it has always functioned as a completely separate wallet solution provided to institutional clients.
Breaking his silence on the matter, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) responded to the recent speculations. CZ acknowledged the recent leadership changes within the American branch of the exchange and expressed his belief that Shroder deserved a break following his notable contributions to the company.
CZ extended his gratitude to Shroder for his service and refuted allegations that he left his position to evade the legal issues facing the company. Nevertheless, CZ announced the appointment of Norman Reed, presently serving as the interim CEO, as the new official CEO of Binance US.
CZ also attributed this decision to the evolving landscape of the crypto industry, emphasizing the increasingly stringent regulatory environment. He highlighted the previous roles Reed held at the SEC, New York FED, Ripple, and DTCC, affirming his suitability for the role.
Despite all the controversy surrounding Binance, which continues to be the largest crypto exchange in the world, CZ urged everyone to disregard the recent fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and encouraged ongoing global development while adhering to the necessary regulations.
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