May 06,2024

Web3 Fundraising Deals - April 30th to May 6th, 2024

MetaPhone successfully raised $1,000,000 in an undisclosed funding round led by JDI, further propelling its vision in the blockchain service industry. MetaPhone is a project on the TON blockchain which aims to establish a Web3 marketing network. Partnering with a leading 3C manufacturer, the initiative offers a flagship-quality device with premium hardware and Web3 features.

 

 

Crestal secured $2,000,000 in Pre-Seed funding, with none other than Sandeep Nailwal backing the project. This injection of capital is set to bolster its initiatives in blockchain infrastructure. Crestal is a dynamic platform for modular services. It enables builders to rely on the Crestal Blockchain for discovering, deploying, and upgrading modular services by connecting decentralized providers to a verifiable Proof of Performance (PoPTM).

 

 

Airstack soared with a $4,000,000 Seed round led by Red Beard Ventures, marking significant strides in the blockchain service sector. Airstack is developing protocols and APIs for browsing, discovering, and consuming on-chain data across projects and across blockchains. Opinionated APIs address specific use cases and enable developers to plug-and-play the APIs with minimal setup, configuration, or custom infrastructure required.

 

 

Kiosk attracted $10,000,000 in undisclosed funding, supported by Electric Capital, to fuel its endeavors in the social category. Kiosk believes that onchain assets are fundamentally social. Kiosk believes there is a stronger connection and deeper belonging when assets are truly integrated into social.

 

 

Mitosis secured $7,000,000 in Seed funding via Amber Group, signaling strong investor confidence in its DeFi ventures. Mitosis comprises the Mitosis L1 Ecosystem and Mitosis Vaults across multiple networks. It manages liquidity by different networks, termed Ecosystem-Owned-Liquidity (EOL), allowing participants to influence liquidity allocation decisions.

 

 

Shadow War hit a milestone with a $5,000,000 Series A round, backed by Momentum 6, in the GameFi domain. Shadow War is a third-person 5v5 action game that blends elements of futurism, fantasy, and competition. The game provides avenues for free players to earn top-tier resources without relying on pay-to-win mechanics.

 

 

Securitize made waves with a $47,000,000 strategic investment by BlackRock, highlighting its pivotal role in the CeFi landscape. Securitize is a digital asset securities firm that facilitates access to alternative investments for shareholders and assists companies in raising capital and managing shareholders.

May 05,2024

Biden Administration Makes Boneheaded Remark On Bankruptcy

In a newly released documentary titled Finding the Money, Jared Bernstein, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and a key economic policy advisor to President Biden, stirred controversy with his remarks regarding the US and their monetary capabilities.

According to Bernstein, the ability of the US government to print its own currency means it cannot go bankrupt. These comments have sparked renewed debates about the role of Bitcoin amidst extensive government spending and increasing debt levels.

 

Lacking Knowledge

It is concerning that the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers appears to lack a comprehensive understanding of economic principles, especially considering the significant role of the agency in shaping domestic and international economic policies. 

Printing money excessively can lead to inflation, diminishing the value of currency. It can erode purchasing power, disrupt economic stability, and create uncertainty for businesses and consumers. Additionally, it may damage the reputation of any given country in financial markets, potentially leading to higher borrowing costs and economic downturns.

What Bernstein said during the documentary, which delves into topics such as government funding, expenditure, and national debt, further illustrate his struggles to articulate a coherent understanding of the economy. Critics argue that his views on government debt and currency issuance are oversimplified and potentially risky.

 

Bitcoin Over TradFi

The controversy has once again brought Bitcoin to the forefront of discussions. Advocates of Bitcoin argue that its fixed supply, capped at 21 million coins, positions it as a hedge against government-led currency printing and inflation, making it a superior option to TradFi.

Bitcoin proponents assert that as governments increasingly accumulate debt and resort to printing money to finance expenditures, the independence exhibited by Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general compared to central bank policies makes them an appealing option for investors seeking to safeguard their wealth.

 

May 05,2024

Meme Coins Continue To Flourish As Bitcoin Looks To Regain Momentum

Bitcoin (BTC) is experiencing a continued resurgence as it reached over $63,000 earlier this week. Meanwhile, the leading meme coin, DOGE, has seen a surge of over 12% in the last 24 hours. Most alternative coins (altcoins), including the famously volatile meme coin category, have similarly experienced significant gains.

 

BTC Seeks $64K

Bitcoin endured a challenging trading week with multiple price drops. Despite initially reaching nearly $65,000 on Monday, it faced bearish pressure, sliding to $62,000. The downtrend persisted, dipping below $60,000 and hitting a two-month low of $56,500 by Wednesday, before the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

Following the meeting, where the Fed signaled no imminent interest rate hikes, BTC saw a $2,000 fluctuation before returning to its starting point. It gradually recovered, approaching $60,000 yesterday. Initially halted, it later surpassed this psychological barrier, reaching a multi-day peak of $63,500. Despite some retracement, the flagship crypto currently hovers around $63,000, marking a 6% daily increase. Its market cap now stands at $1.240 trillion, with a dominance of 50.5% over altcoins.

 

Meme Coins Show Gains

Leading altcoin gainers, particularly within the volatile meme coin sector, include Dogecoin, up over 12% to trade at $0.15, and PEPE, with an 11.7% increase. SHIB has also gained 8%, exceeding $0.000025. STX stands out with a 14% surge to $2.4. Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB) have similarly risen by around 3.5%, with ETH surpassing $3,100 and BNB at $585.

Other notable gainers among larger-cap altcoins include TON, BC, AVAX, NEAR, and HBAR. The total crypto market cap has rebounded by over $200 billion since the lows seen on Wednesday, reaching $2.460 trillion on CoinMarketCap.

 

Other Markets

Mexican retailer BBB exceeded its initial public offering goal, raising a substantial $589 million. In the market sphere, there is growing concern as profit outlooks sour. Meanwhile, Warren Buffett weighed in on the corporate tax landscape, foreseeing a likely rise to address the deficit. Attention turns to the future direction of Berkshire Hathaway post-Buffett and the passing of Munger, with ISS advising Boeing investors to reject CEO compensation packages.  Elsewhere, discussions abound on the taxation of capital gains and potential reforms.

In other recent developments, Western sanctions are squeezing Putin and his Arctic gas aspirations, while Treasury Secretary Yellen advises caution post-yen surge. Amidst these market dynamics, BlackRock confronts various challenges, emphasizing the complexity of contemporary financial landscapes and subsequent regulatory policies.

 

May 03,2024

Chainalysis And Tether Team Up To Combat Illicit Activity

Tether (USDT) has partnered with blockchain data platform Chainalysis to oversee activity in secondary markets and combat unlawful behavior. The collaboration involves the development of new monitoring and analysis tools capable of identifying high-risk wallets or those associated with illicit or sanctioned addresses.

 

Monitoring Transactions

According to Tether, secondary market activity refers to transactions made using USDT within the broader ecosystem beyond direct purchases through Tether. These tools, created by Chainalysis, enable Tether to systematically monitor transactions, providing oversight of the USDT market. They empower Tether via their compliance professionals and investigators to pinpoint risky wallets or those linked to illicit or sanctioned addresses.

Tether recently announced a record net profit of $4.52 billion in the first quarter of 2024, mainly attributed to gains via Bitcoin and gold, totaling $3.52 billion, along with $1 billion through operating profits. However, the company has faced scrutiny, with S&P Global Inc. assessing its ability to maintain its peg to the U.S. dollar and assigning it a constrained rating of 4, citing a lack of disclosed information.

 

Tether Soldiers On

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to maintain a stable value by being pegged to a fiat currency or commodity, offering a reliable means of digital exchange and store of value. There are various stablecoins in the market today, including but not limited to USDT, DAI, USDC, and more.

Stablecoins like Tether are cryptocurrencies whose value is typically tied to a fiat currency or commodity. Tether, established in 2014, has the longest tenure and largest circulation volume among stablecoins, though it has faced ongoing scrutiny. Despite this, its price has remained relatively stable, especially in the past year.

 

May 03,2024

Synthetix Founder Believes Meme Coins Can Be Very Valuable

Trading in meme coins can significantly benefit decentralized exchanges (DEXs) by drawing in a large number of non-traditional DeFi traders, according to Kain Warwick, the founder of Synthetix. Warwick highlighted the value of speculation in meme coins, noting its importance even if critics argue that meme coins lack utility. He emphasized that the trading of meme coins generates volume for DEXs, prompting them to develop improved tools in response.

 

Fostering An Ecosystem

Warwick, who is preparing to launch his on-chain gateway platform Infinex, explained that investment in speculative instruments, even those without utility, fosters the development of an ecosystem around them. This investment then flows into infrastructure, which he considers beneficial.

In recent months, meme coin trading has experienced a surge, with the majority of trading occurring on DEXs due to the ease and affordability of token creation tools like pump.fun. Despite the short lifespan of many meme coins, they contribute to significant monthly DEX volumes, reaching a high of $267.9 billion in March.

 

Resonating With Emotions

Warwick expressed his perspective at the ETHGlobal Pragma Sydney event, stating that meme coins, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and GameFi resonate more with human emotions and cultural ideas than DeFi does. He suggested that while finance is impactful, it may not capture the interest of the average person on a daily basis. Instead, Warwick believes that people are more passionate about entertainment mediums like games, movies, and music.

Regarding meme coins, Warwick viewed them as a simple yet effective means of attracting interest in DeFi and crypto. He highlighted the elegance of meme coins alongside their simplicity, where the decision to invest boils down to whether one finds the idea appealing or not, without the complexity of factors like yield or revenue.

 

May 02,2024

Whale Activity Picks Up For Shiba Inu As Holders Look On

Shiba Inu (SHIB), recognized for its dog-themed branding, has recently witnessed a notable surge in whale activity, signaling significant movements of large SHIB tokens. Whale activity, often a crucial indicator of market sentiment and potential price shifts, exhibited an impressive 268% increase in the case of SHIB.

Large transaction volume, typically involving transactions valued at more than $100,000, rose to $98.12 million within a 24-hour period. This surge underscores a substantial increase in whale activity, indicating that significant holders of SHIB tokens are actively participating in buying or selling.

 

Key Developments

The volume of large transactions in Shiba Inu saw a significant rise to 4.17 trillion SHIB on April 29th. This spike suggests that whales in the SHIB market have been notably active, potentially capitalizing on the price decline. Despite this, SHIB still experienced a 12.05% decrease over the past week. This disparity between whale activity and price performance suggests a complex interplay of factors influencing market dynamics.

In other developments within the Shiba Inu ecosystem, the Shiba Eternity collectible card game (CCG) has undergone substantial upgrades. The latest version, 1.2.7, introduces enhancements aimed at improving player interaction and strategic depth. Notable changes include enhancements to the social menu, facilitating easier player connections, and adjustments to fighter mechanics, offering a more balanced gameplay experience. Specifically, these fighters have been adjusted to no longer cause debuff damage to adjacent friendly fighters upon being destroyed.

 

Still Growing

ShibaSwap, the main decentralized exchange (DEX) for the initiative, is reportedly expanding to support Shibarium, which is the Ethereum Layer 2 blockchain for Shiba Inu. This expansion enhances security and interoperability, providing users with a seamless trading experience.

Adding to this momentum, the SHIB/JPY trading pair has been listed on Binance Japan. This listing opens up new trading opportunities for SHIB holders, further extending the reach and accessibility of SHIB in the Japanese market. In any case, the recent surge in whale activity and ecosystem developments present a dynamic portrayal of how the meme coin has been evolving over the years.

 

May 02,2024

Worldcoin Continues To Go Global By Expanding Into Mexico

Worldcoin, the ambitious cryptocurrency venture co-founded by Sam Altman of OpenAI, is extending its reach into Latin America. Recently, the project made its entry into Mexico, while simultaneously encountering regulatory obstacles in Argentina.

The differing situations faced by Worldcoin in Latin America highlight the delicate balance between technological innovation and the necessity for robust data protection legislation. Achieving such equilibrium is crucial nowadays.

On the global stage, the expansion of Worldcoin into Latin America and the regulatory responses mirror broader concerns about the project. Jurisdictions in Kenya and Spain have taken more decisive actions, temporarily halting the project due to privacy concerns.

 

Discussions On Data Protection In Latin America

In an announcement on its official X account on Monday, Worldcoin revealed its expansion into Mexico. Reports by local media indicate that Worldcoin has commenced operations in nine locations across Mexico. This move positions Mexico as the third-largest market for Worldcoin in Latin America, trailing only Argentina and Chile in terms of user engagement.

Despite the excitement, Worldcoin entering into Latin America has raised concerns among local officials in Mexico. María Eugenia Hernández, a representative of the Morena party in Congress, voiced her apprehensions. In Argentina, the response has been more stringent. Carlos Puglelli, a provincial deputy in Buenos Aires, has proposed legislation to regulate companies that gather biometric data using methods such as iris scanning.

 

Adapting To A New Era

Puglelli emphasized that it is crucial to adapt local laws to the challenges posed by the digital era, before adding that this legislation therefore aims to safeguard the rights of consumers and users in an increasingly digitalized landscape, ensuring the privacy and security of their data.

The legislative efforts also include the creation of a Provincial Registry of Digital Applications of Biometric Data to supervise and regulate the activities of technology firms operating in this sector. This registry is part of broader efforts to promote a safer digital environment for consumers, ensuring the responsible handling of personal information and preventing unfair contractual terms.

According to the proposed legislation, the processing of personal data must be given voluntarily, and should ideally be explicit and informed. Furthermore, providers of digital applications must implement adequate security measures such as data encryption and access controls to protect user data. Violations of these regulations could result in significant fines and the revocation of business licenses.

 

May 01,2024

Coinbase Finally Integrates The Bitcoin Lightning Network

Coinbase has recently integrated support for the Bitcoin Lightning Network, a solution facilitating faster and more affordable BTC transactions. Despite its inception in 2017, Coinbase has just now embraced this enhancement to its platform. The incorporation of this new technology is facilitated by Lightspark, a company within the Lightning Network ecosystem founded by David Marcus.

 

Utilizing Lightspark

Following the announcement, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong expressed enthusiasm about joining the Bitcoin Lightning Network, aiming to achieve transactions under one second and costing just one cent, thus ushering in broader adoption. In this integration, Coinbase employs remote-key signing implementation, which is associated with Lightspark, with Coinbase exclusively managing the signing keys while Lightspark operates its node.

The intention to integrate the Lightning Network was disclosed by Protocol Specialist Viktor Bunin in September 2023. Since then, according to Bunin, Coinbase has been assessing the potential and hurdles associated with this technology. Despite the delay, this addition shows that Coinbase is dedicated to remaining at the forefront of technological advancements in the cryptocurrency sector.

 

A Much Needed Integration

The Lightning Network functions as a payment solution layered atop Bitcoin, utilizing BTC transactions and time-locks to establish nodes and channels that facilitate cost-effective and rapid transactions. While conventional Bitcoin transactions often require a minimum of ten minutes for confirmation on the Bitcoin base layer, this solution reduces the wait time to mere seconds and significantly lowers transaction fees. Now, eight months later, this implementation is accessible to millions of Coinbase users.

David Marcus, CEO of Lightspark, expressed excitement about collaborating to introduce the Bitcoin Lightning Network to hundreds of millions of people across more than 100 countries. This milestone marks a significant advancement for the entire network as well as for Bitcoin as a whole.

 

May 01,2024

New Indonesian Administration Looks To Bolster Local Crypto Scene

Winners of the recent Indonesian Presidential election, Prabowo Subianto and Gibran Rakabuming, have pledged to bolster the local crypto sector, aiming to enhance regional competitiveness. Notable industry figures share this view, foreseeing a positive impact on the Indonesian crypto landscape under their leadership.

 

Supporting Crypto Youth

Subianto, affiliated with CFX, and William Sutanto, affiliated with INDODAX, express optimism regarding the new administration and their stance on crypto. Subianto plans to tighten regulations to combat tax evasion, while Rakabuming intends to cultivate blockchain expertise among young people.

Both leaders are dedicated to nurturing the crypto environment, a commitment reaffirmed following their official declaration as winners by the electoral commission on April 25th, 2024. Expectations are high that they will maintain or improve the current crypto-friendly policies. Sutanto emphasizes the potential of Rakabuming to drive innovation in blockchain and cryptocurrency, especially considering his appeal to the younger demographic and strategic planning skills.

 

Witnessing Substantial Growth

Sutanto hopes the new government will strongly support digital assets, positioning Indonesia to compete with neighboring countries like Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Despite not leading in transaction volumes, Indonesia has witnessed substantial growth in registered crypto users during President Joko Widodo and his tenure, who also happens to be the father of Rakabuming.

Furthermore, the Widodo administration established the inaugural national crypto exchange in addition to also introducing a comprehensive tax framework, hinting at potential tax incentives for crypto transactions in the future. These developments set a promising foundation for the incoming leaders, potentially bolstering Indonesia and its profile in the regional crypto market.

 

April 30,2024

Everything You Need To Know About The Hong Kong Spot Bitcoin And Ether ETFs

In a significant development for the Asian cryptocurrency market, ChinaAMC (Hong Kong) Limited announced the upcoming launch of their Spot ChinaAMC Bitcoin ETF and Spot ChinaAMC Ethereum ETF. This event provided insights into their expectations and unique offerings.

 

Interest And Confidence

Zhu Haokang, Head of Digital Asset Management at ChinaAMC (Hong Kong), expressed confidence in surpassing the trading volume of US Bitcoin spot ETFs on the first day. Wayne Huang via OSL confirmed strong initial fundraising, with transactions exceeding those of US counterparts.

Key differences include ChinaAMC and their ability to offer spot and physical subscriptions, along with various currency counters. Interest has come via diverse investors, including Bitcoin mines and those within regions without ETFs. Despite higher fees, ChinaAMC is confident in its competitiveness, emphasizing adherence to ETF standards, flexibility, and robust risk management.

 

Who Can Take Part

Physical subscription allows coin transfer through brokerage firms, with stringent anti-money laundering measures. Mainland Chinese investors are currently ineligible, but qualified and international investors can participate.

The potential impact of Ethereum being classified as a security in the United States will not affect the ETFs in Hong Kong, as local regulations differ. Discussions about listing other coins in Hong Kong are ongoing. ChinaAMC plans to launch innovative financial products related to their ETFs, believing they will improve cryptocurrency prices due to increased liquidity and compliance.

 

April 30,2024

NFT Owners Rejoice As New Token Gets Announced By EigenLayer

EigenLayer, a staking protocol within Ethereum, has prepared a fresh token for NFT enthusiasts after much anticipation and some delay. The token is named EIGEN, and was launched with the unveiling of its white paper on April 29th, 2024.

 

A Mixed Bag

This token found favor among applications rooted in collaborative endeavors, such as prediction markets, gaming virtual machines, and storage solutions. However, individuals residing in countries like the United States and Canada are reportedly not the intended recipients of the upcoming airdrop.

Additionally, EIGEN aims to empower NFT owners with exclusive profit rights, which is a far cry compared to the CC0 copyright stance previously adopted by MoonBirds Tokyo NFTs.  NFT copyright laws are still evolving and vary by jurisdiction. Generally, they pertain to the ownership and reproduction rights of digital assets represented by NFTs. Creators typically retain copyright over the content they mint as NFTs, but ownership and usage rights may be transferred through NFT sales.

 

Augmenting Staking Balances

Functioning on the Ethereum blockchain, EIGEN offers EtherHunt as a viable means for users to augment their staking balances by transferring Ether to EigenLayer, thus earning rewards while validating transactions on both networks.

EigenLayer further asserts its utility in facilitating agreements among individuals on off-chain statements through real-world efforts, such as 1 BTC being equal to 1 USD. Unlike the Augur Reputation token, REP, EigenLayer is designed to be more versatile, finding application across prediction markets and beyond.

 

April 29,2024

Ethereum ETF Gets Listed On DTCC By Franklin Templeton

Asset management firm Franklin Templeton has listed its Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the ticker EZET on the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) website. The ETF, named the Franklin Templeton Ethereum TR Ethereum ETF, appears in the create or redeem section on the DTCC website. However, approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still pending.

 

Franklin Templeton Awaits Approval

On February 12th, Franklin Templeton became the latest asset manager to submit a spot Ethereum ETF application to the SEC, joining a list of others such as BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale, VanEck, Invesco, Galaxy, Ark Invests, and 21Shares.

Last week, the SEC announced a postponement in its decision regarding Franklin Templeton's proposed spot Ethereum ETF, extending the deadline to June 11th. This news, disclosed through a public filing, leaves the fate of this financial product uncertain for now.

The proposed ETF aims to mirror the price of ether and would employ Coinbase Custody Trust Company and the Bank of New York Mellon as custodians. In March, the SEC deferred a decision to endorse the BlackRock spot Ethereum ETF. The SEC now has until May 23rd to approve or reject the VanEck ETF application for an Ethereum ETF tracking the world's second-largest cryptocurrency.

 

Doubts Linger

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst James Seyffart has voiced doubts, suggesting that the current round of Ether ETF applications might ultimately face rejection. Tron CEO and founder Justin Sun also expressed skepticism, stating that it is improbable for an Ethereum ETF to be approved in May, emphasizing the need for long-term education with regulators regarding the cryptocurrency.

In any case, the classification of Ethereum remains uncertain. Presently, ETH is not labeled as a security by the SEC, but this could change rapidly. Reports suggest that several U.S.-based companies have been served subpoenas attempting to categorize ETH as a security.

Ethereum is perceived as a decentralized cryptocurrency, not a security. Nonetheless, regulatory bodies like the SEC continue to monitor the cryptocurrency realm and may issue further guidance or sudden alterations in the future. It's crucial to stay informed about regulatory developments.

 








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