Crypto

Texas vs. Celsius, Revolut Pays Rent In Bitcoin + More News

Alex Mashinsky, CEO of crypto lender Celsius Network. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube, Kitco NEWS

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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Regulation news

  • Texas accused major crypto lender Celsius Network (CEL) of offering residents unregistered securities and is now seeking a hearing to determine whether to issue a cease and desist order against the company, Bloomberg reported. At 15:58 UTC, CEL trades at USD 5.17 and is down by 2% in an hour and almost 12% in a day.
  • Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) has approved the EXOeu token by game publisher Exordium, marking the first time the regulator has given its approval for a security token offering (STO) issued on a Bitcoin sidechain, said Exordium. Local retail investors are now eligible to participate in the sale on major European digital marketplace STOKR.

Adoption news

  • Fintech firm Revolut will become the first customer at any of co-working space operator WeWork’s locations to pay their office rent using bitcoin (BTC), per an announcement.

NFTs news

  • Non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea has announced that it has “requested and accepted” the resignation of the employee who was caught buying NFTs that he knew would later be displayed on the front page of the marketplace. “We are taking this very seriously and are conducting an immediate and thorough third party review,” OpenSea said.
  • Publisher of mobile games Animoca Brands has entered into a binding agreement to acquire a majority stake in NFT solutions provider Bondly. This will position both companies to drive mass NFT adoption across Animoca Brands’ portfolio companies operating in gaming, sports, entertainment, collectibles, and other areas, said the company, adding that “Animoca Brands does not deem the acquisition to be material.”
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DeFi news

  • The on-chain liquidity protocol Kyber Network (KNC) is bringing KyberDMM, said to be the “first multi-chain dynamic market maker” in decentralized finance (DeFi), to the Avalanche (AVAX) network, according to a blog post. This comes in addition to the collaboration Kyber Network already has with the Avalanche Foundation on its “Avalanche Rush” liquidity mining incentive program.

Exchanges news

  • Crypto exchange Bybit today unveiled its new token launch platform, dubbed Bybit Launchpad. The first token to be launched is BIT, the native token of the DeFi-focused community BitDAO.
  • OKEx has announced today the launch of a dedicated GameFi center within their recently launched DeFi Hub, a decentralized mode on the exchange. The new section will serve as a key portal into the emerging GameFi sector of the crypto industry, enabling visitors to discover new and popular play-to-earn blockchain games, they said. Each game profile includes examples of gameplay and explanations of earning mechanics, to help users get started playing and earning crypto.
  • Bitfinex Derivatives has today announced the launch of perpetual contracts for Algorand and XRP, said the press release. The contracts offer users up to 100x leverage and will be settled in tether (USDT) and bitcoin, respectively.

Investments news

  • After recently securing USD 6.5m in a funding round, the new lending and borrowing protocol Minterest was revealed to the public. The protocol offers “token money markets, combined with a uniquely fair incentive structure that will facilitate and promote widespread adoption of DeFi,” the team behind it wrote.
  • The blockchain-based music streaming platform Audius has raised USD 5m in strategic investments from several well-known artists, including The Chainsmokers, Katy Perry, Nas, Steve Aoki, Jason Derulo, and others. The investment round was originated by the early-stage blockchain venture fund Blockchange Ventures.
  • Automated market maker (AMM) MonoX Protocol has closed a USD 5m funding round to “make it economical for projects to launch their tokens using its innovative single-sided liquidity pools,” it said. The round was led by Krypital Group, with participation from Axia8 Ventures, Animoca Brands, Divergence Ventures, Youbi Capital, Rarestone Capital, LD Capital, GenBlock Capital, 3Commas, OP Crypto, and Blockdream.
  • The social network Minds, described as a more decentralized alternative to Facebook, said it is investing 25% of its balance sheet – about USD 2.5m – into cryptocurrencies, according to Forbes. Specifically, the firm said it will put 5% of its holdings into bitcoin, 10% into ethereum (ETH), and another 10% into the stablecoin USD coin (USDC) to earn yield on Circle’s lending and borrowing platform.
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Mining news

  • Bitcoin mining and energy company CleanSpark said it has teamed up with Partnership Gwinnett, a joint public-private initiative to bring jobs to the US county of Gwinnett, Georgia, and to bring investments of nearly USD 145m to CleanSpark’s new Bitcoin mining facility in Norcross, Georgia.

Career news

  • A group of former Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley executives have joined crypto-trading platform Amber, Bloomberg has reported – namely, former Goldman Sachs partner Dimitrios Kavvathas, appointed as chief strategy officer (CSO), ex-Morgan Stanley managing director Todd Miller, now chief operating officer for the Americas, and Sotirios Kavvathas, a former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) manager, now European chief of operations. The group is part of “a growing cohort of Wall Street veterans betting on the volatile world of digital assets,” said the article.
  • Binance said it has added to its Audit and Investigations team with the hire of Nils Andersen-Röed from Europol where he was a specialist on the Dark Web team. He will work on conducting and leading internal and external investigations with the goal of identifying bad actors, as well as on supporting law enforcement agencies with their investigations.
  • Ripple, the global payments company, is looking to build a crypto market-making platform and is currently trying to hire staff in both London and Singapore, Coindesk reported, citing an undisclosed “person with knowledge of the matter.” Launching its own market-making platform would allow Ripple to manage liquidity in XRP, especially if other liquidity providers have retreated from doing so, the report added.

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