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Today in Crypto: US Fed Denies Custodia Bank’s Membership Request, Dapper Labs Lays Off 20% of Staff, Block Reports $1.66BN Profit for Q4, Binance Finds 500 ‘Incorrectly Classed’ Aussie Users
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 US Federal Reserve denied a request from crypto bank Custodia Bank to reconsider its membership application to the Federal Reserve System. Per the press release, "the Board previously concluded that the firm's application as submitted was inconsistent with the required factors under the law. The Board's rules permit an applicant to request that the Board reconsider its application decision."
- Top Shot creator Dapper Labs is laying off 20% of its full-time staff, according to a letter to staff sent by founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou. "We are restructuring the Dapper Labs organization to improve our focus and efficiency, strengthening our position in the market and better serving our communities," he said. The company will provide compensation, health continuation benefits, extended exercise windows for equity stock options, mental health benefits, and job search support, the letter stated.
- Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's payment firm Block reported that in the fourth quarter of 2022, it generated a gross profit of $1.66 billion, up 40% year-over-year. "Square generated gross profit of $801 million, up 22% year over year, and [Block-developed payments app] Cash App generated gross profit of $848 million, up 64% year over year," the Q4 2022 shareholder letter said.
- Israeli blockchain chip startup Chain Reaction raised $70 million in a funding round led by Morgan Creek Digital, bringing the total raised to $115 million. The funds will be used to expand its engineering team as it develops its next chip and rolls out its first one to the market this year, Reuters reported. Co-founder and CEO Alon Webman said that the company will start mass producing its blockchain chip Electrum in the first quarter of this year and that it aims to launch that chip as early as the end of 2024.
- DeFi protocol Huma announced the close of an $8.3 million seed round led by Race Capital and Distributed Global with participation from ParaFi Capital, Circle Ventures, Folius Ventures, Robot Ventures, and others. Huma's first product, built on Ethereum and Polygon, is an on-chain factoring market, which enables businesses or individuals who do not have tokens to borrow against their future income. Initial launch partners include Circle, Request Network, and Superfluid, it said.
- Binance said it identified 500 Australian users incorrectly classed as 'Wholesale Investors' on the exchange. "As per Australian regulation, we were required to inform these users and close any of their own derivative positions with immediate effect," CEO Changpeng Zhao said. He added that the team contacted all impacted users and will fully compensate them for losses incurred while trading derivatives on Binance.
- Law firm Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP announced that it commenced an investigation on behalf of Block investors "concerning the Company's possible violations of the federal securities laws," said the press release. It started an investigation on behalf of Credit Suisse Group AG investors for the same reason.
- Ethereum scaling protocol Polygon and roll-up provider Eclipse partnered to develop Polygon SVM, described as the first Solana-equivalent scaling solution. Polygon SVM is a Layer-2 (L2) blockchain capable of running all smart contracts and tooling compatible with Solana, said a press release. "The partnership enables an unparalleled level of interoperability between Polygon and Solana," it added.
- Euler, a non-custodial liquidity protocol, is among the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols participating in the testnet for Base, a new Ethereum L2 incubated by major crypto exchange Coinbase, said the press release. This follows Euler's recent listing of Coinbase's liquid staking token, cbETH, as collateral. To date, Euler has onboarded more than $44M worth of cbETH to the Ethereum mainnet, it added.
- Outer Edge LA, a four-day major gathering of cultural influencers and Web3 innovators on the American West Coast, announced dozens of new speakers to its lineup, including Animoca Brands Head of Tokenomics Mohamed Ezeldin, The Chopra Foundation CEO and Chief Metaverse Officer Poonacha Machaiah, FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink, ConsenSys NFT Global Co-Head Johnna Powell, CAA Artist, Filmmaker, and Photographer Julie Pacino, Special Council at ApeCoin and Curators Society DAO Founder Gerard Hernandez, Founder, CEO, and EIC of Beyond the Interview Nicole Behnam, and Nft Now Co-Founder, CEO and EIC Matt Medved.