Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Ticks Up, Solana's USD 100M Bet, NFT Ticketing + More News
Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- The Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, went up 1.29% today to 30.28 T. This is the second-highest level ever, and it follows a drop seen two weeks ago which pushed the difficulty below the all-time high of 31.25 T that had been reached two difficulty adjustments ago in mid-May.
- Solana Ventures and Solana Foundation, the two companies associated with the blockchain project Solana (SOL), have set up a USD 100m investment and grant fund to deploy capital into South Korean Web3 startups, TechCrunch reported, citing Johnny Lee, general manager of games at Solana Labs.
- Investment manager focused on digital assets Valkyrie Investments announced that it has raised a total of USD 11.15m in an oversubscribed funding round that counts BNY Mellon, Wedbush Financial Services, and Coinbase Ventures, among other participants. The proceeds will be used to continue to build out proprietary technology infrastructure and make strategic hires, they added.
- Skolem Technologies, institutional-grade asset management and execution services provider that enables investors to access the DeFi markets, announced that it has raised USD 20m in Series A funding. The round was led by Galaxy Digital, among other investors. Skolem intends to use the proceeds to build out its team and scale the platform’s technological capabilities to grow the DeFi market, they said.
- Online marketplace for the virtual real estate economy Parcel raised USD 4m in a seed funding round led by Framework Ventures. The funds will be utilized to continue developing their feature set for their creative directory called the 'Creatorverse' and for expanding marketplace listings to virtual worlds beyond the Ethereum (ETH) ecosystem, they said.
- Investment advisor Delphia raised USD 60m in a Series A funding round led by Multicoin Capital. The company will use the funds to launch its native rewards token, increase the number of ways users can contribute data, and expand its headcount globally, they said.
- NFT music marketplace YellowHeart announced an NFT ticketing partnership with hospitality company Tao Group Hospitality, which will kick off with a three-night NFT ticketing takeover at Marquee in New York City, USA, June 22nd through 25th. NFT tickets for the events will be sold on the YellowHeart marketplace, while an exclusive NFT will be made available only to the attendees for the annual invite-only Swedish Midsummer Party hosted by Tao Group Hospitality.
- The Bank of Jamaica is preparing to issue a nationwide digital currency following recent approval from legislators, per AP News. The bank has updated its website to include a central bank digital currency (CBDC) FAQ section which explains what it is and how it works.
- In the US, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris issued new DFS Regulatory Guidance, setting foundational criteria for USD-backed stablecoins issued by DFS-regulated entities. The new guidance addresses: backing and redeemability, reserve requirements, and independent audits, said the press release.
- The US Department of Justice stated that the government should share more information about crimes tied to crypto and help build up its overseas partnerships to help combat them. They also suggested direct funding support for foreign partners and encouraged other countries to adopt standards meant to combat money laundering.
- Self-custody exchange Edge launched Edge Mastercard, a crypto-backed virtual card that uses the Mastercard open-loop merchant network to enable spending cryptoassets at more than 10m merchants in the US, they said.
- Fintech firm Circle announced support for their USD coin (USDC) on the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain platform, to be used on Circle's payments and treasury platform, which they say is the first bridged version of USDC to gain official support from the coin’s issuer.
- Binance.US confirmed that they will add more options to their newly launched staking feature. The feature currently supports staking for BNB coin (BNB), solana (SOL), avalanche (AVAX), cosmos (ATOM), the graph (GRT), livepeer (LPT), and audius (AUDIO), their website shows.
- Coinbase made a public database called Talent Hub of people it was about to employ but didn’t after its hiring freeze included rescinding job offers. Former Coinbase candidates can self-submit their name, discipline, current company, and contact information, and the database is meant to help those candidates find new opportunities.
- Non-custodial exchange DeversiFi is launching cross-chain swaps that will integrate blockchain network Polygon at launch, and soon add Avalanche, BNB Chain, Optimism, and Arbitrum.
- Sports management company Dorna Sports announced that metaverse and NFT project Animoca Brands will be the title sponsor of two MotoGP Grands Prix competitions in 2022 and 2023. The two events in this season will be officially named the Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragon and the Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, respectively, they added.
- Crypto investment company Grayscale announced it has retained Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., former Solicitor General of the United States, as additional legal counsel to ensure that it has the “strongest possible team of legal minds” ready to support its bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application.
- Institutional crypto investment firm BKCoin Capital announced three senior appointments: Paul Magahis as President, Adriano Caloiaro as Chief Technology Officer, and Leanna Haakons as Director of Business Development & Investor Relations. Magahis previously worked as Head of Capital Strategy at Coinbase, Caloiaro was employed by the provider of enterprise talent acquisition software Greenhouse Software, and Haakons was the Founder and President of financial marketing and consulting firm Black Hawk Financial.