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FTX's Valuation Jumps 20X, Citi Crypto, Non-Fungible Jay-Z + More News

By Sumejja Muratagić-TadićLinas Kmieliauskas
FTX's Valuation Jumps 20X, Citi Crypto, Non-Fungible Jay-Z + More News 101
A fragment of Heir to the Throne, an animated NFT, created by Derrick Adams to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Reasonable Doubt, the debut album of American music megastar Jay-Z.

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

  • Crypto derivatives exchange FTX will be valued at USD 20bn with the completion of the upcoming funding round, expected in the coming weeks, Nikkei Asia reported, citing Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and CEO of the company. A year ago, it was valued at USD 1bn. In the upcoming round, FTX will raise "mid-hundreds of millions" primarily from institutions, the report said, adding that with the fresh capital, the exchange is also looking to make acquisitions to target retail investors and obtain licenses in other jurisdictions.
  • Wall Street giant Citigroup is adding a digital asset group to their offerings for their wealthiest clients, Bloomberg reported, citing a memo. Under Citigroup’s crypto plan, the new group will help clients invest in cryptoassets, stablecoins, non-fungible tokens as well as central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), it added.
  • Robinhood, which had sought to go public this month, has seen its listing plans slowed in recent weeks as the US Securities and Exchange Commission has been asking the company about its growing crypto-trading related business, Bloomberg reported, citing undisclosed people familiar with the matter. While a listing might come this summer, the popular trading app’s plans could also slip into the fall, it added.

Economics news

  • In the US, the May core personal consumption expenditures price index, an important inflation gauge for policymakers, rose 3.4% from a year ago, in line with Wall Street estimates, CNBC reported, adding that that was the biggest increase since 1992 and reflective of ongoing price pressures. Meanwhile, consumer spending was flat for the month, missing expectations, while personal income declined 2%, less than the expected 2.7% drop.

NFTs news

  • Sotheby's is auctioning and non-fungible token (NFT), based on the album cover of Reasonable Doubt, the debut album of American music megastar Jay-Z, released 25 years ago. The auction ends on July 2. Also, Jay-Z changed his Twitter profile picture to a CryptoPunk NFT, purchased for ETH 55 (USD 100,300) two months ago.

  • Digital designer and artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, is launching a new NFT venture next month that will seek to transform historic moments into collectible NFTs, with tennis star Andy Murray’s 2013 Wimbledon win as his first project, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • New Zealand-based NFT producer Orbis Blockchain Technologies has announced a new partnership with comic book juggernaut Marvel, which will allow the Orbis app VeVe to use Marvel’s characters in creating future NFTs, Stuff reported. The NFTs will allow customers to buy limited edition digital comics, and the company has also announced a soon-to-come partnership with toy manufacturer Mattel.

Regulation news

  • Tanzania's central bank has said it is working on President Samia Suluhu Hassan's directive to prepare for cryptocurrencies, according to Reuters. This directive could be pointing towards a possible reversal of the country’s crypto ban from 2019.

Adoption news

  • Web browser Opera has announced a partnership with blockchain ecosystem Celo (CELO) in order to integrate CELO, Celo Dollar (cUSD), and Celo Euro (cEUR) stablecoins in its crypto wallet. Opera has also joined the Celo Alliance for Prosperity, a network of 140+ organizations fostering social impact and financial inclusion through the use of blockchain technology.

Crime news

  • London’s Metropolitan Police said it has seized GBP 114m (USD 158m) in cryptocurrencies in an anti-money laundering sting. The seizure was carried out by detectives from the Met’s Economic Crime Command on the back of intelligence received about the transfer of criminal assets. The investigation continues, they added.

Security news

  • A new malware dubbed “Crackonosh” is making the rounds and its main target seems to be the installation of the coinminer XMRig, through which they have likely netted their authors up to USD 2m since at least June 2018, according to Avast Threat Labs. Crackonosh is distributed along with illegal, cracked copies of popular software and searches for and disables many popular antivirus programs as part of its anti-detection and anti-forensics tactics.

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