Crypto

Celsius & MoonPay Ride Unicorns, Coinbase NFT, Margin Trading on Blockchain.com + More News

Source: Adobe/James Thew

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s Gist Vile.

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Investments news

  • Major crypto lender Celsius Network (CEL) announced a USD 400m investment led by WestCap, a growth equity firm, and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a global investment group. The transaction will reflect a valuation of more than USD 3bn for Celsius, the company said, adding that it intends to use the proceeds from this investment to continue expanding its offering and products. Part of the proceeds would also be used to double its team from 486 employees to nearly 1,000 and expand globally through strategic acquisitions. Celsius claims that, as of October 8, 2021, their total assets crossed the USD 25bn threshold and they had more than 1 million customers registered with the platform.
  • Crypto payments startup MoonPay is raising its first round of venture capital at a USD 3.4bn valuation including the investment, The Information reported, citing “two people familiar with the matter.” Investment firms Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management are co-leading the USD 400m financing for the startup, it added.
  • Crypto lending platform SmartFi has raised USD 10m in the first 2 weeks of its SmartCycle token sale. SmartCycle is an index that charts the release of SmartFi tokens to fund loan demand; the more loan demand, the higher the price of the token, which has increased by 85% from the start of the sale until now.
  • Digital asset marketplace for institutional investors SheeldMarket has announced the closure of a USD 10m Series A funding round led by Atomico. The project aims to provide institutional investors with a consolidated view of multiple crypto exchanges and over-the-counter services, which should simplify the process of trading on them.
  • Yup, a web 3.0 social platform that rewards curators, said it has raised USD 3.5m in a funding round led by Distributed Global, an early investor in Dapper Labs, Audius, and Solana (SOL). The funding will be used to further develop a new web 3.0-native social media experience and empower curators across the web, the company said.
  • Trading platform Derived Finance said it has completed a funding round that raised over USD 3.3m across more than 30 venture funds. The funds will be used to build key features for the platform, like multichain support.

NFTs news

  • Coinbase announced Coinbase NFT, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. The initial launch will support Ethereum based ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards with multi-chain support planned soon after, the company said, adding that the waiting list is now open for potential users. “We’re making NFTs more accessible by building user-friendly interfaces that put the complexity behind the scenes. We’re adding social features that open new avenues for conversation and discovery. And we’re going to grow the creator community exponentially, a win for artists and for fans,” Coinbase said.
  • NFT unicorn Sorare is being investigated by the UK Gambling Commission, according to a consumer information notice the watchdog issued. They warned that the NFT platform’s business operates “outside of the gambling regulations that a licensed operator should comply with” and that consumers are advised to take this into account when deciding whether or not to use the platform.
  • Ethereum (ETH)-focused blockchain company ConsenSys has announced the acquisition of the Treum team and their NFT platform from Mesh, a Web3 incubator, for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition will allow ConsenSys to advance its NFT technology offering for creators, brands, rights owners, game publishers, sports teams and leagues, said the company, adding that users of ConsenSys’ NFT technology will be able to leverage its integration with products such as MetaMask and Infura.

Exchanges news

  • Crypto platform Blockchain.com launched margin trading on its Exchange. Upon launch, users can access margin with up to 5X leverage in the BTC-USD trading pair in more than 150 countries, said the press release.

Adoption news

  • 2B4CH, a Swiss non-profit think tank, has announced plans to start a popular federal initiative by collecting 100,000 signatures for the introduction of bitcoin (BTC) to the list of assets held by the Swiss central bank. While they are “not too optimistic” about the actual law being passed, they added that their goal is to open a public conversation and debate.
  • Freddy Borges, director of the Maiquetía International Airport in the capital of Venezuela, announced that they are working to enable crypto payment methods for their users including bitcoin (BTC), DASH, Venezuela’s oil-pegged Petro, and other digital currencies, for purchases of tickets and other services, according to El Siglo. Borges indicated that the use of cryptocurrencies will be governed by the National Superintendency of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities (Sunacrip).
  • US music distributor UnitedMasters will allow artists to get paid in cryptocurrencies from crypto exchange Coinbase, Bloomberg reported. Musicians who distribute music through UnitedMasters can select how much of their royalties they want to receive in crypto, and which coin they want to use.

 

Mining news

  • Bitcoin mining company CleanSpark has announced its purchase of 4,500 units of the Antminer S19 mining machine. The company estimates that its BTC mining capacity will increase by a computing  power of 450 PH/s, equivalent to almost 45% of their current capacity, after the purchased machines are fully operational.
  • US-based Bitcoin miner Bit Digital said it has signed agreements with Bitmain to purchase 10,000 BTC mining hardware. The announced purchases are expected to increase Bit Digital’s miner fleet hash rate by over 1.0 Exahash, the company said without providing any other details about the deal.

Career news

  • Sam Bankman-Fried’s quant trading firm Alameda Research named veteran employees Caroline Ellison and Sam Trabucco as co-chief executive officers, the company said today. As co-CEOs, Ms. Ellison and Mr. Trabucco together will oversee all operations at Alameda while also collaborating to execute on the strategy the organization, it added.
  • Investment firm a16z Crypto has added two technology security experts to its operations team. Nassim Eddequiouaq will serve as a16z Crypto’s chief information security officer, while Riyaz Faizullabhoy will be its chief technology officer.
  • Financial blockchain platform Celo has announced the addition of two new board members from their community, Jai Ramaswamy and Morgan Beller. Ramaswamy has worked as the Chief Risk and Compliance Officer for cLabs since 2019, while Beller had joined the Celo community as an advisor to Celo in February of 2021.
     

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(Updated at 17:28 UTC with an announcement about Coinbase NFT.)

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