Top Stories of Last Week
- U.S. Treasury Department reportedly preparing to clarify crypto entities that don’t meet tax code’s definitions of “broker,” with guidance on matter possibly coming next week. Treasury statement, which is not yet public, could provide workaround by effectively limiting bill’s scope to those classified as brokers under tax code and exempt non-broker parties on case-by-case basis.
- Brian Quintenz plans to step down from role as CFTC commissioner on Aug. 31, and will announce role in private sector after departure. Rostin Behnam, acting chairman of Commodity and Futures Trading Commission since January, to be nominated to continue to lead as chairman.
- Polygon acquired Hermez Network, a ZK-Rollups-based Ethereum scaling solution, for $250 million, with two projects merging native tokens (MATIC and HEZ) in first ever such deal in crypto.
- Avalanche platform announced plans for $180 million liquidity mining incentive program to increase scale in DeFi. “Avalanche Rush” will bring top DeFi applications to platform, beginning with Aave and Curve.
- Audius, a music streaming platform based on Ethereum and Solana blockchains, partnering with TikTok on video-sharing app’s new “TikTok Sounds” library.
- Ledger announced partnership with Ethereum staking solution Lido Finance in move that claims greater accessibility and liquidity for independent stakers.
- Fireblocks announced former U.S. SEC Chair Jay Clayton as member of board of advisors. Clayton will work on addressing market structure and customer needs, including support and deployment for firm’s security technology.
- Walmart looking to hire digital currency and cryptocurrency product lead, according to careers page advertising role that seeks to provide leadership with ways to identify technology and customer trends.
- Alibaba Group Holding launched NFT marketplace allowing trademark holders to sell tokenized licenses to their intellectual property. “Blockchain Digital Copyright and Asset-Trade” can be accessed via Alibaba’s Auction platform, with NFTs launched via platform to be issued on “New Copyright Blockchain,” a distributed ledger technology platform centrally operated by Sichuan Blockchain Association Copyright Committee.
- Galaxy Digital filed with SEC for exchange-traded fund that will invest in products with indirect exposure to Bitcoin.
- Binance ordered by London High Court to trace perpetrators of $2.6 million hack upon request from Fetch.ai, an artificial intelligence company, who asked to identify and freeze accounts of hackers. Fetch.ai says hackers stole assets from Binance account before selling, and Binance confirmed it’s helping with recovery of funds. Also named former U.S. Treasury enforcement investigator Greg Monahan as global money laundering reporting officer. Lastly, Binance tightened customer verification requirements on platforms.
- Coinbase partnering with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group to launch Coinbase Japan following greenlight from country’s financial regulators. Also announced it will be purchasing more than $500 million in cryptocurrency to add to holdings after receiving board approval to add assets to balance sheet. Coinbase will also invest 10% “of all profit going forward in crypto.” Additionally, regulatory documents regarding Coinbase revealed list of COIN holders such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, CitiGroup, Bank of America, Millennium Management, BlackRock, Miller Value Partners, Bridgewater, and Tennessee’s Treasury.
- Liquid exchange announced wallets were compromised. Total amount stolen reported to be upwards of $74 million.
- Bitpanda closed $263 million Series C funding round led by Valar Ventures, which values company at $4.1 billion. Alan Howard, REDO Ventures, LeadBlock Partners and Jump Capital also participated in round. Investment platform will use fresh capital on technology, international expansion and growth.
- FinTech Collective raised $250 million for new strategy focused on DeFi. $200 million will be focused on early-stage investments, and $50 million will support open-source, financial protocols and applications being built on Ethereum.
- MobileCoin, a privacy-oriented and mobile-first cryptocurrency project, raised $66 million in Series B funding round led by Alameda Research, Coinbase Ventures, and BlockTower Capital.
- Blockchain infrastructure provider Figment raised $50 million in Series B funding round led by Senator Investment Group and Liberty City Ventures. Anchorage Digital, Galaxy Digital and 10T Ventures also participated.
- Blockchain security firm CertiK raised $24 million in Series B+ funding round co-led by Tiger Global and GL Ventures. CertiK plans to further enhance security infrastructure and expand global team.
- Yield Guild Games raised $4.6 mil in round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Kingsway Capital, Infinity Ventures, and Atelier Ventures.
- Ondo Finance, a protocol meant to accelerate DeFi adoption among institutional investors, raised $4 million in funding round led by Pantera Capital. CoinFund, Protoscale Capital, The LAO and DCG also participated.
- Hyperithm, a digital asset management firm, raised $11 million in Series B funding round co-led by Hashed and Wemade Tree. Other participating investors included Coinbase Ventures, Cocone, GS Futures and Guardian Fund.
Defi / NFT
- Galaxy Digital launched passively managed DeFi index fund that tracks performance of Bloomberg Galaxy DeFi Index. Galaxy DeFi Index Fund offers exposure to decentralized lending and exchange platforms like Uniswap, Aave, Maker, Yearn and others.
- Group of developers led by Paradigm’s Sam Sun prevented SushiSwap’s token fundraising platform Miso from losing more than $350 million worth of Ether after discovering and fixing bug on platform. Vulnerability existed on “Dutch auction” contract on Miso platform, allowing attacker to bid in auction for free.
- Dolce & Gabbana will debut NFT collection on marketplace UNXD later this month. “Collezione Genesi” NFTs will feature items personally designed by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, with collection to launch on Aug. 28.
- 1inch Network expanded to Optimistic Ethereum mainnet, which is expected to help increase transaction speeds and lower gas fees.