Značka: Funding

VC Roundup: Lightning Network payment rail, DeFi trading platform and blockchain security firm raise millions

Even with the onset of crypto winter, 2022 has been a watershed year for venture capital funding. Crypto and blockchain companies collectively raised $30.3 billion in venture capital in the first half of 2022, exceeding all of last year’s totals. While the number of deals has declined in recent months, startups at the intersection of blockchain payments, decentralized finance (DeFi) and cybersecurity are still attracting sizable interest from the VC community. The latest edition of VC Roundup highlights some of the most intriguing funding deals of the past month. Related: The risks and benefits of VCs for crypto communitiesZEBEDEE closes $35M Series BZEBEDEE, a Bitcoin (BTC)-powered payment processor for the gaming industry, has raised $35 million from several investors including Kingsway Capital, The Raine Group and Square Enix. ZEBEDEE is essentially a platform that allows game developers to incorporate programmable money, including BTC, into their games. The payment platform is powered by Lightning Network, making ZEBEDEE a “Bitcoin enabler of choice” for its partners, according to Kingsway Capital managing partner Afonso Campos.So, we all know that the Lightning Network transfers value instantly and is ever growing with more than 4K Bitcoin stored on its public channels. But how does it make money?You asked our Development Team and here’s their response pic.twitter.com/f3ZMpEFjhW— ZEBEDEE (@zebedeeio) July 21, 2022Blockchain security company raises $90M Series ABlockchain security firm Halborn closed a $90 million funding round in July that was led by Summit Partners with additional participation from Castle Island Ventures, Digital Currency Group and Brevan Howard, among others. Halborn was founded in 2019 by ethical hackers offering blockchain security services. The company recently warned MetaMask users to be weary of a phishing campaign targeting their browser wallets. DeFi platform Hashflow raises $25M in Series A fundingHashflow, a decentralized finance trading platform headquartered in San Francisco, has closed a $25 million funding round backed by some of crypto’s most prominent venture funds. The investment round, which had participation from Jump Crypto, Electric Capital, Dragonfly Capital Partners and GSR, will aid Hashflow in expanding its product offerings for market markers and institutional traders. See the biggest deals and more VC data from Q1, courtesy of @CointelegraphCS.https://t.co/MPIp7dgMOW pic.twitter.com/KTGDkM4qBf— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) June 3, 2022

Socios acquires 24.5% stake in Barca StudiosFan engagement token platform Socios announced in early August that it would invest $100 million in Barca Studios, the digital content arm of the FC Barcelona football club. Socios, which is owned by blockchain technology provider Chiliz, will help FC Barcelona accelerate its Web3 and nonfungible token (NFT) engagement strategy. Specifically, Barca Studios is pursuing NFT and metaverse projects that will help the football club engage with its vast global fanbase, and will rely on Socios’ blockchain to deliver on the strategy. Related: Crypto Biz: Gucci ‘apes’ into cryptoEtherMail secures seed funding for wallet-to-wallet communications Web3 email solution EtherMail has raised $3 million ahead of the planned launch of its encrypted wallet-to-wallet communication service. Scheduled for release in the third quarter, EtherMail enables Web3 companies to send “rich, relevant content directly to their asset holders,” thereby reducing the risk of communication fraud. The service also streamlines community newsletter distribution by enabling autonomous, self-updating mailing lists. The seed round was led by Fabric Ventures and Greenfield One.

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2 metrics signal the $1.1T crypto market cap resistance will hold

Cryptocurrencies have failed to break the $1.1 trillion market capitalization resistance, which has been holding strong for the past 54 days. The two leading coins held back the market as Bitcoin (BTC) lost 2.5% and Ether (ETH) retraced 1% over the past seven days, but a handful of altcoins presented a robust rally.Crypto markets’ aggregate capitalization declined 1% to $1.07 trillion between July 29 and Aug. 5. The market was negatively impacted by reports on Aug. 4 that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating every U.S. crypto exchange after the regulator charged a former Coinbase employee with insider trading.Total crypto market cap, USD billions. Source: TradingViewWhile the two leading cryptoassets were unable to print weekly gains, traders’ appetite for altcoins was not affected. Investors were positively impacted by the Coinbase exchange partnership with BlackRock, the world’s largest financial asset manager, responsible for $10 trillion worth of investments.Coinbase Prime, the service offered to BlackRock’s clients, is an institutional trading solution that provides trading, custody, financing and staking on over 300 digital assets. Consequently, comparing the winners and losers among the top-80 coins provides skewed results, as 10 of those rallied 12% or more over the past seven days:Weekly winners and losers among the top-80 coins. Source: NomicsFLOW rallied 48% after Instagram announced support for the Flow blockchain via Dapper Wallet. The social network controlled by Meta (formerly Facebook) is expanding nonfungible token integration.Filecoin (FIL) gained 38% following the v16 Skyr upgrade on Aug. 2, which hardened the protocol to avoid vulnerabilities.VeChain (VET) gained 16.5% after some news sources incorrectly announced an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partnership. VeChain Foundation explained that the AWS reference was first cited in a May 9 case study.Tether premium deteriorated slightlyThe OKX Tether (USDT) premium is a good gauge of China-based crypto retail trader demand. It measures the difference between China-based peer-to-peer trades and the United States dollar.Excessive buying demand tends to pressure the indicator above fair value at 100%, and during bearish markets, Tether’s market offer is flooded, causing a 4% or higher discount.Tether (USDT) peer-to-peer vs. USD/CNY. Source: OKXCurrently, the Tether premium stands at 98.4%, its lowest level since June 10. While distant from retail panic selling, the indicator showed a modest deterioration over the past week.However, weaker retail demand is not worrisome, as it partially reflects the total cryptocurrency capitalization being down 69% year-to-date.Futures markets show mixed sentimentPerpetual contracts, also known as inverse swaps, have an embedded rate usually charged every eight hours. Exchanges use this fee to avoid exchange risk imbalances.A positive funding rate indicates that longs (buyers) demand more leverage. However, the opposite situation occurs when shorts (sellers) require additional leverage, causing the funding rate to turn negative.Accumulated perpetual futures funding rate on Aug. 5. Source: CoinglassAs depicted above, the accumulated seven-day funding rate is either slightly positive or neutral for the largest cryptocurrencies by open interest. Such data indicates a balanced demand between leverage longs (buyers) and shorts (sellers). Considering the absence of Tether demand in Asia and mixed perpetual contract premiums, there is a lack of confidence from traders as the total crypto capitalization struggles with the $1.1 trillion resistance. So, presently, bears seem to have the upper hand considering the uncertainties caused by the SEC pressing charges against a former Coinbase manager.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Fed policy and crumbling market sentiment could send the total crypto market cap back under $1T

The total crypto market capitalization broke above $1 trillion on July 18 after an agonizing thirty-five-day stint below the key psychological level. Over the next seven days, Bitcoin (BTC) traded flat near $22,400 and Ether (ETH) faced a 0.5% correction to $1,560.Total crypto market cap, USD billion. Source: TradingViewThe total crypto capitalization closed July 24 at $1.03 trillion, a modest 0.5% negative seven-day movement. The apparent stability is biased toward the flat performance of BTC and Ether and the $150 billion value of stablecoins. The broader data hides the fact that seven out of the top-80 coins dropped 9% or more in the period.Even though the chart shows support at the $1 trillion level, it will take some time until investors regain confidence to invest in cryptocurrencies and actions from the United States Federal Reserve could have the largest impact on price action.Furthermore, the sit and wait mentality could be a reflection of important macroeconomic events scheduled for the week ahead. Broadly speaking, worse than expected data tends to increase investors’ expectations of expansionary measures, which are beneficial for riskier assets like cryptocurrency.The Federal Reserve policy meeting is scheduled for July 26 and 27, and investors expect the United States central bank to raise interest rates by 75 basis points. Moreover, the second quarter of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) – the broadest measure of economic activity — will be released on July 27.$1 trillion not enough to instill confidenceInvestors sentiment improved from July 18, as reflected in the Fear and Greed Index, a data-driven sentiment gauge. The indicator currently holds 30 out of 100, which is an increase from 20 on July 18 when it hovered in the “extreme fear” zone. Crypto Fear and Greed Index. Source: alternative.meOne must note that even though the $1 trillion total crypto market capitalization was recaptured, traders’ spirits have not improved much. Listed below are the winners and losers from July 17 to 24. Weekly winners and losers among the top 80 coins. Source: NomicsArweave (AR) faced a 20.6% technical correction after an impressive 58% rally from July 12–18 after the network file-sharing solution surpassed 80 terabytes (TB) of data storage.Polygon (MATIC) moved down 11.7% after Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin supported the zero-knowledge Rollups technology implementation, a feature currently in the works for Polygon.Solana (SOL) corrected 9% after the demand for the smart contract network could be negatively impacted by Ethereum’s upcoming migration to a proof-of-stake consensus.Retail traders are not interested in bullish positionsThe OKX Tether (USDT) premium is a good gauge of China-based retail crypto trader demand. It measures the difference between China-based peer-to-peer (P2P) trades and the United States dollar.Excessive buying demand tends to pressure the indicator above fair value at 100%, and during bearish markets, Tether’s market offer is flooded and causes a 4% or higher discount.Tether (USDT) peer-to-peer vs. USD/CNY. Source: OKXTether has been trading with a slight discount in Asian peer-to-peer markets since July 4. Not even the 25% total market capitalization rally durinJuly 13–20 was enough to display excessive buying demand from retail traders. For this reason, these investors continued to abandon the crypto market by seeking shelter in fiat currency.One should analyze crypto derivatives metrics to exclude externalities specific to the stablecoin market. For instance, perpetual contracts have an embedded rate that is usually charged every eight hours. Exchanges use this fee to avoid exchange risk imbalances.A positive funding rate indicates that longs (buyers) demand more leverage. However, the opposite situation occurs when shorts (sellers) require additional leverage, causing the funding rate to turn negative.Accumulated perpetual futures funding rate on July 24. Source: CoinglassThe derivatives contracts show modest demand for leveraged long (bull) positions on Bitcoin, Ether and Cardano. Still, nothing is out of the norm after a 0.15% weekly funding equals a 0.6% monthly cost, so uneventful. The opposite movement happened on Solana, XRP and Ether Classic (ETC), but it is not enough to raise concern.As investors’ attention shifts to global macroeconomic data and the Fed’s response to weakening conditions, the window of opportunity for the cryptocurrencies to prove themselves as a solid alternative gets smaller.Crypto traders are signaling fear and a lack of leverage buying, even in the face of a 67% correction since the November 2021 peak. Overall, derivatives and stablecoin data show a lack of confidence in $1 trillion market capitalization support.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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NFT sales will fund the restoration of physical monuments in Ukraine

The Ukrainian government will be using the proceeds of sales from an online nonfungible token, or NFT, museum to restore artwork in the real world.According to a Friday announcement and information shared with Cointelegraph, Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said the government’s Meta History Museum of War platform, aimed at preserving the timeline of major events in Russia’s war with Ukraine, raised 803.28 Ether (ETH) — roughly $1.3 million at the time — through NFT sales. The ministry said proceeds from the sales will go toward “the restoration of Ukrainian cultural institutions,” many of which have been damaged or destroyed by missile attacks from Russia.”During the six months of the war in Ukraine, the Russians destroyed hundreds of our museums, theaters and cultural institutions,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture and Information Policy. “Ukrainian culture and national heritage have been damaged by almost 6 billion euros, and judging by the actions and intentions of the Russian Federation, this figure will only increase.”Alexander Borniakov, deputy minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine for Information Technology Development, added:“NFT[s] will not stop Russian missiles, but blockchain technology will contribute to the economic recovery and development of Ukraine as an innovation-friendly country.”We wish it was the last drop of NFT artworks, but Russia continues to destroy our homelandTherefore we represent the 3rd drop of the artworks dedicated to events between March 15 – 31. It includes masterpieces created by Maria Oz, Anton Abo, Oleksii Dyvysenko and the others. pic.twitter.com/T43keVzVgL— Meta History: Museum of War (@Meta_History_UA) July 22, 2022The Ukrainian government launched the Meta History project in March, one month after the first missiles struck Ukrainian targets in the ongoing conflict. While the $1.3 million will go toward Aid For Ukraine — a platform launched by the government that accepts crypto donations “to support people in their fight for freedom” — the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has said the funds will be used for restoration rather than supplies for the nation’s military.UNESCO, the agency behind many of the world’s heritage sites based on their significance to history, nature and art, reported that as of Monday, 164 cultural sites in Ukraine had been partially damaged or destroyed as a result of the war with Russia. These include 72 religious sites, 12 museums, 32 historic buildings, 24 buildings for cultural activities, 17 monuments and seven libraries. “These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop,” said UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay in June. “Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted under any circumstances.”Related: Ukraine-based blockchain firm announces ‘we’re still hiring’ amid market downturn, warSince the beginning of the war with Russia in February, Ukraine’s government has raised more than $100 million in crypto donations sent directly to wallet addresses provided by the Ministry of Digital Transformation. According to Aid For Ukraine, crypto donations go toward supplying the country’s military as well as humanitarian aid.

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FTX and FTX US seek even more funding following acquisitions: Report

Crypto exchange FTX and its United States subsidiary FTX US have reportedly each set new fundraising targets following the firms planning several high profile acquisitions and credit lines to firms.According to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg, FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried discussed raising money matching that of a January funding round in which the firm closed on a $400 million round, bringing it to $32 billion in valuation. FTX US reportedly set similar goals, having raised $400 million in January to reach an $8 billion valuation.The report followed both firms acquiring many companies that are seemingly experiencing financial difficulties amid the crypto market downturn. FTX US announced in May it planned to purchase Embed Financial Technologies as part of a deal aimed at “enhancing” the company’s stock offering. The exchange subsequently inked a deal with BlockFi for a $400-million revolving credit facility that left the door open for FTX US to buy the crypto lending firm. FTX has also made its own forays into new acquisitions, announcing in June it had entered into an agreement to purchase Canadian crypto platform Bitvo and was reportedly considering purchasing Robinhood. Bankman-Fried said during an NPR interview at the time that his firms had a responsibility to assess the situation and step in, if needed, as part of efforts to “stem contagion” and prevent a collapse.Related: Celsius moved $529M worth of wBTC to FTX exchange: Should we be worried?These efforts included supplying crypto brokerage firm Voyager Digital with a 200 million USD Coin (USDC) loan and a “revolving line of credit” of 15,000 Bitcoin (BTC) through Alameda — also under the leadership of Bankman-Fried. happy to return the Voyager loan and get our collateral back whenever works for voyager— Alameda Research (@AlamedaResearch) July 8, 2022The FTX co-founder said in June that, unlike many other crypto exchanges, the firm will not be implementing a hiring freeze. Total estimates suggest that through Alameda and FTX, Bankman-Fried has committed roughly $1 billion into acquisitions and financial support for crypto firms. Cointelegraph reached out to FTX , but did not receive a response at the time of publication. FTX US did not comment on the report.

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Christie's launches venture fund aimed at Web3 and blockchain investments

Christie’s, the auction house known for its sales of art and luxury items, has launched an investment fund to support emerging companies with technology enabling “seamless consumption of art.”In a Monday announcement, the auction company said the fund, Christie’s Ventures, will financially support firms in Web3, “art-related financial products and solutions,” and technology related to art and luxury goods. According to Christie’s, its first investment will be in LayerZero Labs, a company developing solutions for enabling omnichain decentralized applications, allowing a more seamless transfer of assets between blockchains. “We will focus on products and services, which can solve real business challenges, improve client experiences and expand growth opportunities, both across the art market directly and for interactions with it,” said Christie’s Ventures global head Devang Thakkar.Christie’s is launching its own in-house investing firm, Christie’s Ventures. The entity will aim to supply seed funding to young companies whose technologies could ultimately help collectors buy and sell more art, digital or otherwise. https://t.co/rzGlaVRAfM— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 18, 2022Related: Christie’s NFT expert to lead CryptoPunks, fake heiress launches NFT collectionThe move into blockchain-related investments represented another step for Christie’s to support ventures in the crypto space. In 2021, the company hosted an auction for a piece of nonfungible artwork from Mike Winkelmann, also known as Beeple, raising more than $69 million. Since then, it has held several high-profile sales for NFT artwork and partnered with the OpenSea online marketplace for on-chain auctions.2022 is shaping up to be a record year for blockchain-related venture funding. As Cointelegraph reported, blockchain- and crypto-focused firms raised $14.8 billion in the first quarter of the year, nearly half of 2021’s totals. Although activity has waned due to the bear market, startups with a focus on Web3 and the Metaverse continue to attract significant capital.

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Crypto Biz: 3AC’s founders are nowhere to be found

In the world of crypto, there’s no such thing as “too big to fail.” Three Arrows Capital, once the most recognizable hedge fund in the industry, has essentially gone belly-up after its founders believed their own hype and decided to go full-degen mode during the worst macro climate of a generation. Since the proverbial shit hit the fan last month, founders Kyle Davies and Su Zhu have kept a very low profile. So low, in fact, that their whereabouts remain a mystery, according to court documents. This week’s Crypto Biz chronicles the latest developments surrounding Three Arrows Capital and explores Grayscale’s legal proceedings against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Liquidators can subpoena 3AC founders despite ‘tricky issues’ with crypto assetsWe may not know the whereabouts of Kyle Davies or Su Zhu, but that won’t stop liquidators from subpoenaing the founders of bankrupt Three Arrows Capital, also known as 3AC. Earlier this week, United States bankruptcy judge Martin Glenn issued an order giving 3AC liquidators permission to demand that the founders attend court. Apparently, Zhu and Davies haven’t been cooperating with their liquidators. Zhu broke his nearly one-month silence this week by alleging that the liquidators “baited” his firm. Whatever that means.Sadly, our good faith to cooperate with the Liquidators was met with baiting. Hope that they did exercise good faith wrt the StarkWare token warrants. pic.twitter.com/CF73xI8r6n— Zhu Su (@zhusu) July 12, 2022Grayscale legal officer says Bitcoin ETF litigation could take two yearsGrayscale’s quest for a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) could get more complicated as the asset manager embarks on suing the SEC for denying its latest application. Specifically, Grayscale is trying to convert its GBTC product into an ETF, but securities regulators won’t let them because of “concerns” about manipulation in the spot BTC market. Craig Salm, Grayscale’s chief legal officer, said the litigation process could take up to two years before a resolution is reached. Who knows, by that time, the SEC may decide to waive its magic wand and approve another spot Bitcoin ETF.Multicoin Capital raises $430M for new crypto startup fundCrypto venture funding has slowed in recent months, but that hasn’t stopped major firms from continuing to raise serious capital. Prominent investor Multicoin Capital announced this week that it has launched a massive $430 million fund to bootstrap crypto and blockchain startups. The firm’s new “Venture Fund III” will allocate between $500,000 and $25 million to early-stage companies, with an increasing focus on decentralized autonomous organizations, the creator economy and consumer-facing products. 2022 is shaping up to be the biggest funding year ever for crypto. Playboy to launch first ‘MetaMansion’ in The SandboxIconic lifestyle brand Playboy is entering the Metaverse — and doing it tastefully, too. The company behind your dad’s favorite raunchy magazine has launched its first MetaMansion in The Sandbox, giving users access to a virtual version of the Playboy mansion. If you decide to pay a visit to the virtual property, you’ll be able to attend a host of gaming and social events and possibly collect nonfungible tokens (NFTs) in the future. Apparently, the MetaMansion builds on Playboy’s Rabbitar NFT project, which is comprised of 11,953 tokenized bunny avatars. Anybunny home? We’re teaming up with none other than…. @playboy! ‍♀️Together, we will be creating a Playboy MetaMansion social game inside #TheSandbox with #NFT collectibles & special experiences for the Rabbitar @PlayboyNFTs community! pic.twitter.com/3l6Wq6ncvt— The Sandbox (@TheSandboxGame) July 11, 2022

Don’t miss it! Why are crypto platforms going bankrupt?The cryptocurrency market may never be the same after 2022 — and that could be a good thing or a bad thing. With companies like Voyager Digital, Three Arrows Capital and Celsius filing for bankruptcy, investors are worried about what comes next. Is your crypto safe being held on exchanges or lending platforms? In this week’s Market Report, I sat down with fellow analysts Jordan Finneseth, Marcel Pechman and Benton Yaun to discuss how the recent wave of bankruptcies will impact the market.[embedded content]Crypto Biz is your weekly pulse of the business behind blockchain and crypto delivered directly to your inbox every Thursday.

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Multicoin Capital raises $430M for new crypto startup fund

Prominent crypto investor Multicoin Capital has launched a new venture fund valued at $430 million, further demonstrating venture capital’s growing interest in the blockchain economy amid the bear market. Multicoin’s Venture Fund III will invest between $500,000 and $25 million in early-stage companies across various crypto- and blockchain-focused industries, the company announced Tuesday. It’s also willing to invest values of up to $100 million or greater for later-stage projects with an established brand and market presence.Related: VC Roundup: ‘Web5,’ Metaverse sports and Bitcoin monetization startups generate buzzVenture Fund III will place greater emphasis on crypto projects that have demonstrated “proof of physical work,” or protocols that have created economic incentives for permissionless contribution. “While the vast majority of crypto-innovation has been focused on coordinating digital communities and economies, tokens also create opportunities for innovation in capital formation and human coordination that extend beyond the digital world and into the physical,” Multicoin wrote.The company also highlighted data decentralized autonomous organizations, also known as data DAOs, as offering strong incentives for user participation. As Cointelegraph reported, Multicoin Capital was a key investor in the data DAO project Delphia, which closed a $60 million Series A funding round in June. 0/ I’m excited to announce that Multicoin has led a $60M round in @delphia with participation from FTX Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Cumberland, Road Capital, and others.Delphia is the first instantiation of a new type of organization uniquely enabled by Web3: a DataDAO.— Tushar Jain (@TusharJain_) June 8, 2022Creator monetization, a category that includes social tokens, nonfungible tokens and decentralized finance, was also cited as a major investment theme moving forward.Related: What are the top social tokens waiting to take off? | Find out now on The Market ReportAs investors brace for more short-term pain in the cryptocurrency markets, venture firms continue to add to their portfolios. In the first quarter alone, $14.6 billion in venture funding flowed into crypto and blockchain startups, according to Cointelegraph Research. Although funding is expected to have declined in the second quarter, 2022 is shaping up to be a record year for venture funding.

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Animoca Brands raises $75M to advance ‘open metaverse’ concept

Blockchain gaming and venture studio Animoca Brands has closed another strategic funding round, giving the company additional resources to expand its acquisition targets in the metaverse sector. The company announced Tuesday that it has closed a $75.32 million funding round at a pre-money valuation of $5.9 billion backed by Liberty City Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Alpha Wave Ventures, 19T, SG Spring Limited Partnership Fund and others. The raise represents the “second tranche” of funding following a $358.8 million raise in January that was supported by venture giants Sequoia China, Winklevoss Capital, ParaFi Capital and 10T Holdings.Animoca said the new capital will fund strategic acquisitions, product development and intellectual property licenses as it looks to advance the so-called “open metaverse” concept. The company said it plans to continue using blockchain technology, including nonfungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance and GameFi, to promote digital property rights. The Metaverse and Web3 are the future, but how can you be a part of it? Learn about opportunities and what skills can give you the edge in this emerging space. https://t.co/D9wGY0zEzt— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 31, 2022Despite the presence of a bear market in digital assets, Animoca has been actively expanding its portfolio in 2022. In April, the venture studio acquired a large stake in Australian digital marketing firm Be Media — a move designed to expand partnerships with the local blockchain industry. The same month, Animoca purchased video game publishers Eden Games and Darewise Entertainment.Related: VC Roundup: ‘Web5,’ Metaverse sports and Bitcoin monetization startups generate buzzAnimoca subsidiary The Sandbox (SAND) has played a leading role in advancing the still-nascent metaverse industry. As Cointelegraph reported, American lifestyle and entertainment brand Playboy recently announced the launch of a “MetaMansion” in The Sandbox — a virtual mansion that will give users the ability to participate in a host of gaming and social events. The Sandbox currently has a total market capitalization of $1.4 billion, making it the second-largest metaverse project behind Decentraland, according to CoinMarketCap.

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3 key metrics suggest Bitcoin and the wider crypto market have further to fall

The total crypto market capitalization has fluctuated in a 17% range in the $840 billion to $980 billion zone for the past 28 days. The price movement is relatively tight considering the extreme uncertainties surrounding the recent market sell-off catalysts and the controversy surrounding Three Arrows Capital.Total crypto market cap, USD billion. Source: TradingViewFrom July 4 to 11, Bitcoin (BTC) gained a modest 1.8% while Ether (ETH) price stood flat. More importantly, the total crypto market is down 50% in just three months, which means traders are giving higher odds of the descending triangle formation breaking below its $840 billion support.#Bitcoin Bottom scenario :Since #BTC downtrend from its peak $BTC has farming the same Decending triangle pattern every time, but each triangle is becoming smallerWe might see another breakdown from triangle & 400WMA can be bottom #Crypto #cryptocurrencies #cryptocurrency https://t.co/BsXBAJHa4P pic.twitter.com/oAQ0IX5XgU— Aditya Siddhartha Roy❁ (@Adityaroypspk) July 7, 2022Regulation uncertainties continue to weigh down investor sentiment after the European Central Bank (ECB) released a report concluding that a lack of regulatory oversight added to the recent downfall of algorithmic stablecoins. As a result, the ECB recommended supervisory and regulatory measures to contain the potential impact of stablecoins in European countries’ financial systems.On July 5, Jon Cunliffe, the deputy governor for financial stability at the Bank of England (BoE) recommended a set of regulations to tackle the cryptocurrency ecosystem risks. Cunliffe called for a regulatory framework similar to traditional finance to shelter investors from unrecoverable losses.A few mid-cap altcoins rallied and sentiment slightly improved The bearish sentiment from late June dissipated according to the Fear and Greed Index, a data-driven sentiment gauge. The indicator reached a record low of 6/100 on June 19 but improved to 22/100 on July 11 as investors began to build the confidence in a market cycle bottom.Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: Alternative.meBelow are the winners and losers from the past seven days. Notice that a handful of mid-capitalization altcoins rallied 13% or higher even though the total market capitalization increased by 2%.Weekly winners and losers among the top 80 coins. Source: NomicsAave (AAVE) gained 20% as the lending protocol announced plans to launch an algorithmic stablecoin, a proposal that is subject to the community’s decentralized autonomous organization.Polygon (MATIC) rallied 18% after projects formerly running in the Terra (LUNA) — now called Terra Classic (LUNC) — ecosystem started to migrate over to Polygon.Chiliz (CHZ) hiked 6% after the Socios.com app announced community-related features to boost user engagement and integration with third-party approved developers.Asia-based flow and derivatives demand is neutral and balancedThe OKX Tether (USDT) premium measures the difference between China-based peer-to-peer trades and the official U.S. dollar currency. Excessive cryptocurrency retail demand pressures the indicator above fair value at 100%. On the other hand, bearish markets likely flood Tether’s (USDT) market offer, causing a 4% or higher discount.Tether (USDT) peer-to-peer vs. USD/CNY. Source: OKXTether has been trading at a 1% or higher discount in Asian peer-to-peer markets since July 4. The indicator failed to display a sentiment improvement on July 8 as the total crypto market capitalization flirted with $980 billion, the highest level in 24 days.To confirm whether the lack of excitement is confined to the stablecoin flow, one should analyze futures markets. Perpetual contracts, also known as inverse swaps, have an embedded rate that is usually charged every eight hours. Exchanges use this fee to avoid exchange risk imbalances.A positive funding rate indicates that longs (buyers) demand more leverage. However, the opposite situation occurs when shorts (sellers) require additional leverage, causing the funding rate to turn negative.Accumulated perpetual futures funding rate on July 11. Source: CoinglassRelated: Analysts say Bitcoin range ‘consolidation’ is most likely until a ‘macro catalyst’ emergesPerpetual contracts reflected a neutral sentiment as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple (XRP) displayed mixed funding rates. Some exchanges presented a slightly negative (bearish) funding rate, but it is far from punitive. The only exception was Polkadot’s (DOT) negative 0.35% weekly rate (equal to 1.5% per month), but this is not especially concerning for most traders. Considering the lack of buying appetite from Asia-based retail markets and the absence of leveraged futures demand, traders can conclude that the market is not comfortable betting that the $840 billion total market cap support level will hold.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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VC Roundup: ‘Web5,’ Metaverse sports and Bitcoin monetization startups generate buzz

A lot has happened in the Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency markets since our last edition of VC Roundup. The monumental collapse of the Terra ecosystem spilled over into other segments of the digital asset market, exposing over-leveraged traders, lending platforms and venture capital funds. In the process, Bitcoin’s price plumbed new lows, falling below the previous cycle’s peak for the first time in its history. Despite macro headwinds inflicting pain on the crypto markets, venture capital firms are still investing in the industry’s most promising startups. The latest edition of VC Roundup highlights funding deals for digital asset infrastructure providers, non-custodial crypto protocols, payment solutions and decentralized identity management companies.[embedded content]Digital asset infrastructure provider closes $53M roundPolySign’s quest to bring institutional-level crypto custody solutions to investors has received backing from several venture capital firms. The firm recently raised $53 million in Series C financing backed by Cowen Digital, Brevan Howard, GSR and more. In addition, the company secured a $25 million credit facility from venture firm Boathouse Capital. Although PolySign didn’t specify how the funding will be allocated, the Series C was closed around the same time that the firm acquired digital asset fund administrator MG Stover. Related: Goldman Sachs downgrades Coinbase stock to ‘sell’Bitcoin startup raises funds to monetize creator economyBitcoin and Lightning Network payments platform Mash raised $6 million in seed funding in June as part of its ongoing efforts to remonetize the internet for developers and content creators. The funding round was co-led by Nic Carter’s Castle Island Ventures and Whitecap Venture Partners, with additional participation from Maple VC, Strategic Cyber Ventures, Aquanow and Spacecadet Ventures. The Mash platform allows developers and content creators to offer customers so-called “pay-as-you-enjoy” pricing options facilitated by BTC and Lightning Network.NFT app Floor raises $8MNonfungible token application Floor has closed a Series A investment round valued at $8 million to advance its mission of making NFTs more accessible to mainstream users. The funding round was led by 6thMan Ventures, with additional participation from B Capital, Worklife Ventures, Collab+Currency, Crypto.com and others. Floor said it will use the funding to accelerate development and bring more utility to NFTs.New crypto projects often depend on Venture Capital firms to help them get off the ground. The real question is, are VCs in it for the community and fundamentals, or for their own benefit? (Via @CointelegraphZN)https://t.co/92Gjt4ZlRI— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) July 8, 2022Euler receives major backingNon-custodial crypto protocol Euler has closed a $32 million funding round that was led by Haun Ventures and included participation from FTX Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Jump Crypto, Jane Street, Uniswap Labs and others. The funding will be injected into the treasury of Euler’s decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, which is being rolled out in three phases. Euler is a decentralized finance protocol built on Ethereum that allows users to lend and borrow crypto assets. “Web5” and decentralized identity attract VC interestDecentralized identity protocol Trinsic recently closed an $8.5 million seed round to continue building its so-called user-controlled identity products. A spokesperson for the company said Trinsic’s products give real-world utility to Jack Dorsey’s “Web5” ambitions. A vocal critic of Web3, the former Twitter CEO announced in June that he is bypassing the third iteration of the internet in favor of “Web5”, a new Bitcoin-centric model for identity management. Related: VC Roundup: The rise of blockchain gaming, DAO management and asset tokenizationKYVE closes $9M raise ahead of mainnet launchWeb3 archiving protocol KYVE has raised $9 million in funding ahead of a planned mainnet launch slated for the fourth quarter of 2022. The funding round, which had participation from Distributed Global, Wicklow Capital, IOSG Ventures, Blockchain Coinvestors, Huobi Incurabor and others, will be used to integrate more ecosystems into KYVE’s so-called decentralized data lake. Several blockchains currently use KYVE, including Avalanche, Zilliqa, Cosmos and Polkadot. Nobody thought that 2022 would bring this.Check out the latest moves in the world of crypto and business in our Crypto Biz. https://t.co/gEIx0PTxXq— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) July 2, 2022

Atmos Labs targets Metaverse sports with seed raisePlay-to-earn developer Atmos Labs has closed an $11 million seed round to continue building Metaverse-focused sports games. The investment round was led by NFT-focused venture firm Sfermion, with additional participation from Animoca Brands, Collab+Currency, FBG Capital, CoinGecko Ventures and several others. Atmos Labs is looking to bring e-sports to a global audience by creating immersive gameplay in the Metaverse.

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Italian government will provide $46 million in subsidies for blockchain projects

The Ministry of Economic Development of Italy has announced that certain blockchain projects will qualify to apply for up to $46 million in government subsidies starting from September.In a Tuesday announcement, the Ministry said companies and public or private research firms will be able to apply for funding from the government for the development of projects related to artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and blockchain technology. The fund will have an initial budget of 45 million euros — roughly $46 million at the time of publication — for expenses and costs from 500 thousand (worth $512,150) to 2 million euros ($2,048,600) as part of the Italian government’s goals for investments in technology, research and innovation.“We support companies’ investments in cutting-edge technologies with the aim of encouraging the modernization of production systems through management models that are increasingly interconnected, efficient, secure and fast,” said Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti. “The goal of competitiveness requires the manufacturing industry to constantly innovate and use the potential of new technologies.”Fondo sviluppo tecnologie e #intelligenzaArtificialeDa #settembre imprese e centri di ricerca possono fare domanda per richiedere gli #incentivi per progetti su Transizione 4.0“#Competitività richiede innovazione e nuove tecnologie” Giorgetti#blockchainhttps://t.co/zfru3tM39m— MISE (@MISE_GOV) July 5, 2022The government directive was made possible by a decree in December 2021 establishing criteria for using the fund and a subsequent one in June 2022 in which the Ministry set the terms and conditions for submitting applications. According to the decree, companies of any size will be eligible to apply for subsidies provided the funds will be used for IoT, AI or blockchain in sectors including industry and manufacturing, tourism, health, the environment and aerospace.Related: ‘Bitcoin-thematic’ ETF lists on Italian stock exchange Borsa ItalianaA member of the European Union, Italy would likely be affected by recent regulations agreed upon by the EU Parliament aiming to bring crypto issuers and service providers within its jurisdictional control under a single regulatory framework. The country’s securities regulator, the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission, or CONSOB, has previously warned residents about the possible risks of crypto investments, while the Organismo Agenti e Mediatori is largely responsible for granting regulatory approval for crypto service providers — in May, the regulator gave the green light to major crypto exchange Binance to open a branch in Italy.

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