21 Oct 2021 · 4 min read
FTX Adds USD 7B in Months, Firefighters Buy BTC & ETH, Worldcoin Comes For Your Eye + 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.
- Crypto exchange FTX has announced the closing of a USD 420,690,000 Series B-1 fundraise, increasing the valuation of the company to USD 25bn, or USD 7bn more than in July this year. The round saw the participation of 69 investors, including Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, Temasek, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, and others. The round will allow FTX to expand into new jurisdictions and improve upon its current offerings, the company said.
- The Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy fund, the second-ever US bitcoin (BTC) futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), is set to launch on Friday, Bloomberg reported. The firm planned to trade under the ticker BTFD, but changed back to the originally planned BTF.
- Crypto startup Copper has opened talks with investors over a new funding round which could value them at more than USD 2bn, Business Insider reported. The company has raised USD 75m previously and has around 160 employees across its London, New York, and Singapore offices.
- The Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund, which has over USD 4bn of assets, has invested USD 25m in bitcoin and ethereum (ETH) through asset manager NYDIG, according to Bloomberg. Their chief investment officer said he preferred direct investments into these cryptassets, rather than taking on risks associated with futures-related investments.
- Canadian retirement company Wealthsimple is letting Canadians choose crypto through a workplace group retirement savings program, by putting up to 3% of their money in bitcoin and ethereum ETFs, according to Yahoo! Finance.
- Worldcoin, a heavily backed startup that aims to create a new cryptocurrency from scratch that gives coins to every person on earth, was launched out of “stealth” on Thursday. The company claims it has so far amassed over 100,000 users globally and aims to hit the 1 billion user milestone by 2023, per CNBC. Worldcoin also unveiled field tests of their biometric device the Orb. "We are in the early stages of designing Worldcoin’s long-term governance strategy, grant programs, and partnerships roadmap," the company said on its website, without elaborating on a possible timeline. Worldcoin is secured by the underlying Ethereum network, they added. To help guard against fraud in the initial distribution of coins, Worldcoin wants to use an iris-scanning hardware device to confirm that each user is a unique person. (Learn more: Why Coinbase-backed Worldcoin is Unlikely to Succeed)
- Crypto-focused investment management company Meta4 Fund Management has announced the launch of Meta4 NFT Fund I, an investment vehicle that will buy rare specimens of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The new private investment fund has secured a lead investment from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), while the fund will invest in digital art and collectibles (i.e., Bored Ape Yacht Club), gaming-related NFTs (i.e, Zed Run), and metaverse related purchase (i.e., virtual land).
- US Federal Reserve board member Randal Quarles stated he does not understand the reasoning behind the issuance of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), saying that the enormous amount of resources, as well as technological risks, could outweigh the benefits. He was also not clear about how a CBDC could address financial inclusion concerns, as its supporters maintain. (Learn more: CBDC: A Solution in Search of a Problem?)
- In a response to US senators, stablecoin project Diem has distanced itself from Facebook, stating that they are an independent organization, whereas Facebook’s Novi is just another member of their association. They also claimed senior regulators had called it “the best-designed stablecoin project that the US government had seen.”
- Crypto mining company Hut 8 Mining has announced a USD 58.7m purchase of 12,000 new miners from Inchigle Technology. The miners are expected to be delivered starting in January 2022, at a delivery rate of approximately 1,000 machines per month, with full deployment anticipated by December 2022, bringing their capacity to around 3.57 EH/s.
- Blockchain platform Orbs has announced the launch of the decentralized finance (DeFi) Open DeFi Notification Protocol, which is designed to supply users with free mobile notifications for consequential on-chain events. The protocol leverages contributions from community members to record events such as accumulated pending rewards, price swings, near liquidations, stop loss, contract upgrades, new governance votes, and more.
- Ethereum protocols Balancer (BAL) and Gnosis (GNO) have announced the launch of the Balancer-Gnosis-Protocol (BGP), which provides users with liquidity, trading prices, and optimized gas costs. BGP removes the need for an external market maker or liquidity provider, they said.
Smart contracts news
- The IOTA Foundation has announced the beta release of IOTA Smart Contracts, which, per the Foundation, enable users to create and execute custom smart contracts on a feeless network, with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) support. Developers will be able to set their own execution fees, which can also be zero.
- The Associated Press said it will make its economic, sports and race call datasets available to blockchains via Chainlink (LINK), enabling smart contracts on any blockchain to interact with the AP's real-world data.