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- Okcoin said it partnered with Stacks Foundation and venture partners for their new effort, Bitcoin Odyssey, and pledged USD 165m towards projects developing decentralized applications on Bitcoin (BTC) and Stacks, an open-source blockchain network that leverages the security and capital of Bitcoin.
- Blockchain technology solutions provider StarkWave is raising new funding at a USD 6bn valuation, per Calcalis Tech. The round has still not closed and will likely be for at least USD 100m, they added.
- The HBAR Foundation, an organization fueling development in the Hedera (HBAR) ecosystem, announced the launch of its USD 100m+ Sustainable Impact Fund (SIF) “to globally grow the sustainability economy on Hedera.” The SIF will provide grants to solutions that strive to solve fundamental problems in climate accounting for participants in the sustainability economy, including projects focusing on carbon emissions, offsets, and removals, as well as other nature-based projects, they added.
- Investment platform Public said it has purchased fractional investing company Otis for an undisclosed amount. The Public platform will now offer a place where people can invest in any fractional asset, including NFTs, stocks, and crypto, they added.
- DeFi protocol Cega announced it raised a USD 4.3m seed round led by Dragonfly Capital Partners. The funds will be used to accelerate the development of Cega’s technology, they added.
- Fintech company Lunar announced it has raised EUR 70m (USD 77.1m) in a Series D-2 funding round, bringing the Series D total to EUR 280m (USD 308.4m). The new funding will help them keep up with their Nordic expansion, they added.
- The National Bank of Romania approved the acquisition of Twispay by blockchain architecture project Elrond (EGLD). Twispay is a financial institution licensed to provide payment services and to issue electronic money in accordance with the legislation in force and with the authorization received from the Central Bank.
- Blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos (PAX) announced it has received in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to operate digital payments token services under the Payment Services Act 2019. Paxos is now able to offer its digital asset and blockchain products and services to customers domiciled in Singapore.
- Binance is looking to identify and invest in one or two targets in every economic sector, like retail, ecommerce, and gaming, and try to bring them into crypto, the Financial Times reported, citing CEO Changpeng Zhao. Zhao sees the company creating the infrastructure to integrate digital assets into existing industries, per the report.
- Bullish announced that for February 2022, the average daily trading volume on the exchange was USD 213m and annualized monthly trading revenue was USD 97m. They add that the total transaction volume on the exchange has reached USD 14bn since its opening in November 2021.
- Decentralized exchange developer dYdX (DYDX) announced the launch of its iOS app in beta for which users can join a waitlist.
- The number of crypto lobbyists grew from 115 in 2018 to 320 in 2021, while lobbying spending jumped from USD 2.2m in 2018 to USD 9m in 2021, according to a report from consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen. The biggest lobbying spenders in the crypto sector were Coinbase, Ripple Labs, and Blockchain Association, each of which spent more than USD 2m on lobbying between 2018 and 2021, the report added.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) approved the virtual assets law and established the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority, according to a tweet by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The new watchdog is tasked with organizing the issuing and trading of virtual assets and tokens, authorizing virtual asset service providers, as well as preventing price manipulations, among other tasks.
- Web browser Opera announced the integration of the blockchain transactions protocol FIO Protocol in its Android browser, allowing its users to send and receive any kind of crypto using a human-readable wallet address. Users can claim FIO addresses for free via Opera’s built-in crypto wallet.
- Crypto software platform Exodus in 2021 reported fourth-quarter revenue of USD 26.4m, an increase of 247% year-over-year from Q4 2020, and full-year revenue of USD 95.8m, an increase of 350% as compared to 2020.
- The USDF Consortium, a membership-based association of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured banks, announced that three more banks — Amerant Bank, ConnectOne Bank, and Primis Bank — have joined its network, with further growth expected through 2022 and beyond.
- Samuel Reed, one of the founders of the BitMEX exchange, pled guilty to violating the Bank Secrecy Act by willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an anti-money laundering program at BitMEX, the US Department of Justice announced. Violating this act carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.
- Music platform LimeWire is being reincarnated as an NFT marketplace, Bloomberg reported. Austrian brothers Paul and Julian Zehetmayr said they are hoping to use LimeWire’s early-2000s fame to attract users to their new cryptosphere platform, with the two spending most of last year steadily acquiring the various parts of LimeWire’s branding.
- Ripple announced “the first independent creators” to receive funding for their NFT projects through Ripple’s USD 250m Creator Fund. Among them are Justin Bua, an award-winning artist, author, producer, and entrepreneur; xPunks, “which transformed the NFT ecosystem”; and award-winning artist, filmmaker, and photo-scientist, Steven Sebring, they said.
- Crypto exchange Crypto.com airdropped its NFT collection with basketball star LeBron James to fans who found the hidden QR code in its commercial showing young James on the verge of making the fateful decision to skip college and go to the League. Additionally, James has filed four trademark applications for the terms LEBRON JAMES, LEBRON, CHOSEN1, and KING JAMES for NFTs and crypto-collectibles, virtual basketball courts, and virtual footwear, clothing, sports gear, and home furnishings, per trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis.
- Gaming company Misfits Gaming announced it has selected blockchain platform Tezos (XTZ) as its Official Blockchain in a multi-year technical partnership. The deal will encompass marquee branding and sponsorship rights, integrated business practices, and community-building content, as well as providing the launchpad for the new Misfits Gaming Group blockchain gaming platform, Block Born.
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