03 Mar 2021 · 4 min read
Brave Buys Search Engine, Kings of NFT, Binance In Colombia + 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.
- Brave, the developer of a crypto-friendly internet browser, said it acquired Tailcat, the open search engine developed by the team formerly responsible for the privacy search and browser products at Cliqz, a holding of Hubert Burda Media. "Tailcat will become the foundation of Brave Search. Brave Search and the Brave browser constitute the industry’s first independent, privacy-preserving alternative to Google Chrome and Google Search," they said.
- On Friday, Kings of Leon will release their new album, titled When You See Yourself, in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT), Rolling Stone reported, citing people involved in the project. The band is dropping three types of tokens as part of a series called "NFT Yourself": a special album package; live show perks like front-row seats for life, and exclusive audiovisual art.
- The Ukrainian central bank, the National Bank of Ukraine, has spoken out about the legal status of crypto in the nation. In a post on its official Telegram channel, the bank stated that “legalizing” crypto was now of the utmost importance, but conceded that its “legal nature” was more complex than “concepts such as cash, currency legal tender and securities.” The bank added that crypto could not be considered a “currency.” The Verkhovna Rada, the nation’s parliament, is set to vote on the second reading of a bill that would recognize cryptoassets, after the first reading passed the house in December 2020.
- The Binance chief Changpeng “CZ” Zhao has spoken to El Universal about Binance Colombia’s pilot with the Davivienda bank. The pilot, which is now underway, is being conducted in a regulatory sandbox along with a number of leading Colombian banks and crypto exchanges. Zhao explained that the pilot initiative would allow select Davivienda customers to buy and sell bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins via an interoperable interface – while certain Binance customers could also use the bank as a fiat on/off ramp.
- Bitcoin-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Sovryn announced that the Origin presale of its governance token SOV has raised the equivalent of USD 10m at a price of 9,736 sats per SOV. This takes the total digital assets funds raised by Sovryn to USD 16m, said the emailed press release. This raise has allowed the leveraging of bug bounty platform for smart contracts and DeFi projects Immunefi to run one of the largest single bug bounty rewards in history, said the release, offering white hat hackers up to USD 1.25m to uncover critical bugs relating to the Sovryn smart contract.
- TaxBit, cryptocurrency tax and accounting automation software provider, has announced a USD 100m Series A funding round. According to the press release, the round was led by Paradigm and Tiger Global with additional participation from PayPal Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, investor Bill Ackman, Qualtrics co-founder and chairman Ryan Smith, investor Anthony Pompliano, former Venmo COO Michael Vaughan, Galaxy Digital, Valar Ventures, Collaborative, Global Founders Capital, Album Ventures, TTV Capital, Original Capital, and more.
- Billionaire hedge-fund manager Marc Lasry and former US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Christopher Giancarlo have invested in crypto-asset and blockchain investment firm BlockTower Capital, Bloomberg reported, adding that terms were not disclosed. Lasry, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Avenue Capital Group, made an investment independent of his firm, said the article, citing people familiar with the matter.
- Australian BTC-focused data center business Iris Energy has doubled a fundraising round to AUD 40m (USD 31.1m) ahead of a planned initial public offering (IPO) in the middle of this year, reported Bloomberg, citing a letter to investors. Proceeds from the fundraising will be used to build a 50 megawatt data center in Canada's British Columbia, while the company already has a funded 30 megawatt project, it added.
- Cryptocurrency mining company Argo Blockchain mined 129 BTC in February, compared to BTC 93 in January. Per the press release, this takes the total amount of BTC mined year-to-date to BTC 222 (currently USD 11.26m). At the end of February, the company held BTC 599 (USD 30.38m). Mining revenue in February amounted to GBP 4.34m (USD 6.04m), compared to GBP 2.48m (USD 3.45m) recorded in January. Argo generated this income at an average monthly mining margin of approximately 81% for the month of February (January 2021: 71%), it said.
- The number of new users starting to bank with the KT-owned South Korean neobank K-Bank has surged again, with revenues also going skyward – with media outlets claiming that a banking partnership with the crypto exchange Upbit is likely the driving force behind much of the movement. Per Sisa Journal and Yonhap, the bank’s revenues have increased more than threefold in the past three months, and 640,000 new customers opened accounts at the bank in February alone. Domestic Upbit customers are required to create a real-name, social security number-authenticated K-Bank account to access the crypto exchange’s services. And as previously reported, crypto trading is now booming again in South Korea, with those aged 30 and above leading the charge.
- Billionaire investor Daniel Loeb, who has "been doing a deep dive into crypto lately," has hired a prominent tech research analyst from investment banking giant Goldman Sachs to reinforce the team that handles venture investments at his Third Point LLC hedge fund, reported Reuters, citing sources familiar with the matter. Heath Terry was the technology, media and telecom business unit leader for Global Investment Research at Goldman Sachs, and will now join Third Point Ventures as a managing director.