Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Polygon (MATIC) and Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six announced they have created a USD 200m initiative that will back projects at the intersection of social media and Web 3.0. “The motivating force behind Web 3.0 is that a better version of the Internet is possible, one which empowers users over platforms. It is a response to a pervading sense that the current instantiation as represented by the social media giants has strayed too far from the early Web’s open source ideals,” they said.
- Crypto investment platform Matrixport, started by Jihan Wu formerly of crypto mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain, plans to double the value of assets under management and custody, as well as the number of the users on its platform in 2022, per DealStreetAsia. The startup has SGD 10bn (USD 7.33bn) in custody under management and SGD 3bn (USD 2.2bn) in assets under management, while the number of users on the platform has not been disclosed.
- Kraken Ventures, an independent investment fund led by Kraken alumni targeting early-stage companies and protocols across the crypto and fintech ecosystem, said they have closed its first fund, Kraken Ventures Fund I LP, by raising USD 65m. Also, as part of Kraken Ventures’ global expansion, the firm has appointed Laurens De Poorter as Head of Europe.
- Payments infrastructure company Circle partnered with public charity Endaoment to create a disaster relief fund, which will help mid-western American communities impacted by last week’s deadly tornadoes. The companies hope to raise USD 1m in grants to support the American Red Cross and local non-profits.
- Decentralized treasury BitDAO and their venture partner Mirana Ventures launched EduDAO in partnership with student groups and faculties of eight university partners: Berkeley, Penn, Harvard, MIT, Michigan, USC, Oxford, and Tsinghua University. EduDAO will serve as an independent steering committee, allocating up to USD 11m in funding annually for project grants, research, and standalone product development with USD 33m in the fund to start.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued deadline extensions on decisions regarding the NYSE Arca and Bitwise Asset Management’s bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) and the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s bitcoin ETF. The new deadline for Bitwise is February 1, while the Grayscale one will be February 6.
- Ethereum scaling and privacy solution Aztec raised USD 17m in a Series A funding round led by Paradigm. The funds will go toward grants for Aztec’s newly-launched private bridge for Ethereum called Aztec Connect, as well as to support network decentralization and to continue developing the technology.
- Niklas Nikolajsen, the veteran founder of crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse, is stepping down as chairman of the board as of January 1. Luzius Meisser, a board member since 2017, was unanimously appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors in his stead.
- Binance.US said it hired Intel’s top compliance executive, Sidney Majalya, as the exchange’s chief risk officer.
- Rob Collier, previously head of consumer legal at Meta‘s money transfer service Novi, joined social token and NFT platform Rally as General Counsel, to lead all US and international legal and compliance matters.
- Swiss non-profit NEAR Foundation said it has selected global executive Marieke Flament as its new CEO, effective January 1, 2022. Flament was the Managing Director of European operations at Circle and the company’s first Global Chief Marketing Officer, leading the branding and rollout of USD coin (USDC).
- Mobile communications company LINE Corporation announced the launch of LINE NEXT, a venture dedicated to developing and expanding the global non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem. The company, based in both South Korea and the US, plans to introduce a new global NFT platform based on LINE’s experience in developing global services and blockchain technology products.
- Auction house Christie’s has completed an auction of two Wikipedia-related objects directly from Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, titled ‘The Birth of Wikipedia’. The NFT of Wikipedia’s first edit was sold for USD 750,000, and the Strawberry iMac used by Wales to create Wikipedia for USD 187,500.
- Exodus Movement, a non-custodial crypto platform, said it launched its Non-Fungible Token Gallery feature, integrating Solana NFTs into its mobile application. Through its partnership with Magic Eden, a Solana NFT marketplace, Exodus offers its users the ability to browse, search, filter, buy and sell NFTs right from their Exodus wallet, they added.
- Financial services giant HSBC and tech giant IBM announced the successful test of an advanced token and digital wallet settlement between two central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) in a cloud environment. The experiment tested an end-to-end transactional lifecycle covering CBDCs (minting and allocation), eBonds (Delivery Versus Payment (DVP) across primary issuance and secondary trading and coupon payments), and foreign exchange (pricing and Payment Versus Payment (PVP) settlement).
- Binance Holdings, the company behind Binance, has held discussions with regulators in the United Arab Emirates about a potential headquarters in the Gulf Arab nation, Bloomberg reported. The company has talked with regulators from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it added.
- Coinbase announced that it is working on tools to let people access the metaverse, including technology that will allow users to purchase an avatar, define and maintain a public profile, and establish trust. They have not offered a timeline for the project.
- Tech company Ether Capital Corporation announced it has allocated ETH 10,240 (USD 40m) to Ethereum’s Beacon Chain. The company said it has also entered into an agreement with blockchain services provider Figment to run validator infrastructure for this allocation to staking.
- Aryeh Bourkoff, CEO of advisory boutique LionTree, said that they are exploring ways to start accepting crypto as payment for the firm’s services, with the possibility of creating a LionTree token of trust. The company, which acts as an advisor to giants like Amazon and MGM also listed barriers for the industry moving forward, including that the industry is still too exclusive, and that its environmental impact is still worrying.