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- Polygon said it raised USD 450m by selling its MATIC token to investors led by Sequoia Capital India. “This will allow the team to consolidate its lead in the race to scale Ethereum, obviating the need for alternative blockchains and paving the way for mass adoption of Web 3 applications,” they said. The funding includes a three-year lockup, with a third of tokens freed to be traded after each year, Bloomberg added. The new money will be used to provide a “burn rate for three to five years” for six project teams, ranging across India, Serbia, Switzerland, the UK, and the US, it said.
- Digital asset investment products saw inflows totaling USD 85m last week, marking the 3rd week of inflows totaling USD 133m, suggesting continued positive sentiment amongst investors, according to CoinShares. Bitcoin (BTC) continues to lead the inflows with USD 71m last week (USD 22m a weak earlier), while investment products flows for ethereum (ETH) suggest investors remain bearish with outflows of USD 8.5m (USD 27m a week earlier), per CoinShares.
- The blockchain and crypto sector attracted a record USD 30.2bn in investment in 2021 – up from USD 5.5bn in 2020 and more than three times the previous record of USD 8.2bn seen in 2018, KPMG said in its Pulse of Fintech report today.
- Aleo, a platform for building private blockchain-based applications, has raised USD 200m in a Series B funding round led by Kora Management LP and SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Now valued at USD 1.45bn, the company will use this latest funding to develop products and services that will help developers build an ecosystem on top of the decentralized network, they said.
- Nasdaq said it has approved shares of the Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF for listing. The exchange-traded fund said it will invest at least 80% of its net assets in securities of firms that derive a minimum of 50% of their profit from BTC mining and/or other firms engaged in BTC mining.
- The issuer of crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) 21Shares has announced the listing of Chainlink (LINK), Terra (LUNA), and Uniswap (UNI) ETPs on the Euronext Paris and Amsterdam exchanges. As of February 2022, 21Shares says it manages more than USD 2bn in 26 crypto ETPs.
- DriveWealth, a startup that helps fintech firms offer stocks, is getting into crypto trading, CNBC reported. The company is acquiring a crypto firm founded by Harvard-trained quantitative analysts, and it’s launching two subsidiaries to handle and execute trades, they added.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed concerns about how digital asset manager Grayscale will prevent share manipulation, fraud, and other possible issues in its proposal to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into a BTC spot exchange-traded fund (ETF).
- The US Department of the Treasury warned that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) may become a tool for money laundering in the high-value art market in a study published in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020.
- A group of major cryptocurrency firms including Coinbase, Circle, BitMEX, Huobi Global, and more are forming the Crypto Market Integrity Coalition “to combat market abuse and manipulation and promote public and regulatory confidence in the new asset class.”
- Malaysia is assessing the potential benefits of adopting a digital currency, Bloomberg reported. While the central bank aims to speed up the growth of financial technology, it will ensure that new systems face similar scrutiny and safeguards to manage risks, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus was quoted as saying.
- Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking, the trust banking arm of the Japanese financial services giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, will issue a stablecoin named Progmacoin and worth JPY 1 (USD 0.0087) in spring 2023, Nikkei reported. The Japanese Financial Services Agency will allow banks to use the coin under a fund settlement law that is due to be revised soon.
- Core Scientific said its self-mining operations produced 1,077 bitcoins in January, representing a year-over-year increase of 315%. As of January 31, 2022, the company held BTC 6,373 produced from operations, they added.
- South Korean public blockchain platform Klaytn, developed by internet giant Kakao, signed five key partnership deals to pursue its global expansion plans, including a potential stablecoin pegged to JPY and an NFT auction for a household name artist in Q1 2022. The project has also previously secured the central bank digital currency (CBDC) project with the Bank of Korea.
- Decentralized finance (DeFi) bank Ondo Finance, headed by a former digital assets associate at Goldman Sachs Group, proposed that a group of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) band together to take over some parts of the governance of decentralized exchange (DEX) Sushiswap. If Sushi’s community favorably responds to the “temperature check,” the group will submit a more formal proposal, Ondo Chief Executive Officer Nathan Allman added.
- Ethereum-focused blockchain company ConsenSys and decentralized infrastructure provider for Ethereum Gnosis jointly announced a partnership to build customized enterprise-grade applications and access control permissions on top of the Gnosis Safe smart contract wallet. The partnership outlines that ConsenSys will work with enterprises to integrate Gnosis Safe into their operations and build customized solutions.
- Former Manchester United football players, including Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, are teaming up with wealthy Singaporeans Peter Lim and his son Kiat Lim to create a DAO, named CO92, that will allow fans to make sports-related investments alongside them.
- The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) community voted to remove Brantly Millegan as a steward over a tweet he posted in 2016 that recently resurfaced, where he stated his views against homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion, contraception, masturbation, and porn. He will also be removed from his position as director of operations of the DAO’s corresponding legal entity True Names Ltd.
- US-based blockchain infrastructure firm Meter lost around USD 4.4m in a hack this past Sunday, according to blockchain analytics firm PeckShield and Meter itself.
- Digital payments platform Wirex has launched its services in the USA. Per the firm, after partnering with Zero Hash, Checkout.com, Visa, and Sutton Bank, distribution has begun on its debit card across America, adding that Wirex already provides cutting-edge services to over 4.5m users across the EEA and APAC regions.