Another Potential Unfriendly Crypto Regulator, Mercedes FTX + More News

Source: Adobe/Andriy Blokhin

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

Regulation news

  • US President Joe Biden plans to nominate law professor Saule Omarova, who has criticized cryptocurrencies, to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Bloomberg reported. She may be tapped as soon as this week, and she’s expected to pursue tougher oversight and stricter rules, the outlet’s sources added.

Marketing news

  • Major crypto exchange FTX announced a long-term relationship with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team. This relationship will span multiple race seasons with the FTX logo being featured prominently on both the cars and the drivers. Part of the FTX branding will be unveiled during the upcoming Russian Grand Prix, which is scheduled for this coming Sunday, September 26th and will continue to expand leading up to the start of the 2022 season, they said.

CBDCs news 

  • US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that the authority will “soon” release research examining the costs and benefits of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to Reuters. He added that no decision has been made and that the priority is for the US payments system to remain "stable and trustworthy." (Learn more: CBDC: A Solution in Search of a Problem?)

Adoption news

  • Ethereum (ETH) scaling solution has announced the mainnet launch of their Boba Network. The network is part of the ongoing efforts to reduce gas fees, improve throughput, and extend the capabilities of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible token (NFT) projects on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Payment technology Bitfinex Pay has announced it will enable users to integrate a crypto payment gateway using a plugin for WooCommerce on WordPress. The deployment of the Bitfinex Pay widget will facilitate receiving payments in bitcoin (BTC) and ETH via the new widget.
  • Cycling manufacturer Colnago has announced they have partnered with blockchain-based platform MyLime, to become the first cycling manufacturer to adopt blockchain technology and provide customers with proof of validity and ownership in order to combat theft and counterfeit. They will start using the technology across its frames in 2022.
  • Crypto payments solution MoonPay has partnered with smart contract wallet service Blocto to enable a wallet with a fiat on-ramp into the Flow ecosystem. This new partnership offers access to the NFT marketplace for online role-playing game Chainmonsters, they said.

Investments news

  • Blockdaemon, an independent blockchain infrastructure platform for node management and staking, said it has closed a Series B funding round of USD 155m with a valuation of USD 1.255bn. The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2*, with participation from Matrix Capital Management, Sapphire Ventures, and Morgan Creek Digital.
  • Decentralized Layer-2 oracle solution Umbrella Network announced today the acquisition of Lucidity, a blockchain-based digital advertising oracle. The acquisition was completed in August 2021 for an undisclosed amount, but said to be "in the tens of millions". At the time of the deal, Lucidity had processed over 600m transactions, and with its integration, “the Umbrella Network will now be the highest transaction volume oracle in the world,” they added.
  • Crypto mining company Argo Blockchain said it has raised aggregate gross proceeds of USD 112.5m by selling 7.5m American Depositary Shares (ADS) during its initial public offering. The ADSs are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “ARBK” on September 23 and the offering is expected to close on September 27, they added.
  • Investment firm Cambrian Asset Management has announced the launch of the Cambrian Bitcoin Systematic Trust and the Cambrian Ethereum Systematic Trust. Qualified accredited investors can subscribe directly to the trusts, which require an initial minimum investment of USD 50,000 in cash or in-kind.
  • Digital broker eToro announced it has launched a DeFi portfolio with eleven cryptoassets. Initial investments start from USD 1,000 and offers a passive investment approach. Meanwhile, eToro's Wall Street debut will be delayed because of regulatory hurdles for special purpose acquisition companies, Financial News reported. The company now expects to go public in the fourth quarter of this year as part of a merger with Fintech Acquisition Corp.
  • Multichain gaming ecosystem Project SEED has announced an investment from Huobi Ventures, the global investment arm of Huobi Group, as part of Huobi Ventures' USD 10m investment program to accelerate cutting-edge GameFi projects.
  • Crypto asset management and custodian platform Cobo said it has raised USD 40m in a Series B funding round led by DST Global, IMO Ventures, and A&T Capital. It added that it will use new funds to refine its DeFi-as-a-Service (DaaS) services, as well as apply for regulatory licenses to meet anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-financing of terrorism (CFT) compliance requirements in various markets.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) company Sternum has announced they have raised USD 27m in a Series B funding round led by Spark Capital. Sternum said it plans to use its new funding for R&D, to advance its platform, and to grow its team overall as it ramps up global go-to-market efforts.

Exchanges news

  • All Australian users of crypto platform Binance will have to complete their verification before they are allowed to trade while existing users who have not verified their account will have it restricted to Withdraw Only until they complete the process, the exchange announced. This decision comes only days after the news that they will not be offering certain financial instruments to Australian traders anymore.
  • Bitfinex and Layer-2 (L2) DeFi trading platform DeversiFi have announced they have launched the first L2 bridge between a centralized and decentralized exchange, enabling fast and low-cost transfers for ERC-20 tokens, starting with tether (USDT). With centralised exchanges seen as the entry point into crypto for many users, the new bridge will propel further adoption of DeFi by providing traders from both exchanges with access to the opportunities on each platform without having to transact on Layer-1 (L1) Ethereum, they said.
  • BitMEX has announced the award of two new Open Source Developer grants to Rene Pickhardt and Chris Coverdale worth USD 33,333 each for eight months. The programme has awarded 10 grantees more than USD 1.5m in funding since 2019.