Blockchain This Week – Crypto On Super Bowl, Wirex and Visa Expand Partnership, Siemens’ Digital Bond, Reuters Report

Image Source: iStock
Also Available on Other Platforms

Crypto Takes Back Seat

High profile crypto collapse and several macroeconomic factors led to the muted presence of crypto firms in this year’s Super Bowl. There were, However, some companies, such as NFT and gaming firm Limit Break, which spent $6.5 million on advertisements. Yet, for most parts, crypto firms, even those which were in the final stages of a deal with cable networks, ended up canceling them after FTX induced setbacks.

Wirex and Visa

Crypto payments app Wirex is extending its partnership with Visa and consequently expanding its footprint in APAC and the UK. The two firms are already collaborating by offering crypto linked cards in the US and Europe.

Siemens Issues Digital Bond

German conglomerate Siemens issued a fully compliant 60 million Euro one year digital bond on the Polygon network. The bond was directly sold to DekaBank, DZ Bank, and Union Investment without intermediaries. The money, though, was collected through traditional banking channels.

Binance Moved Large Sums to CZ’s Trading Firm

Over the first three months of 2021, crypto exchange Binance has reportedly moved more than $400 million from its supposedly independent US affiliate, to Merit Peak, a trading firm that lists Binance’s CZ as a manager. A Binance executive had access to Binance.US’ account at Silvergate Bank. Binance.US said this information is “outdated” and that the firm is regularly audited. But, it has acknowledged that Merit Peak operated on its platform in 2021.

Hong Kong’s Tokenized Green Bonds

The Hong Kong government has issued its first tokenized green bond worth 800 million HK dollars. According to government sources, all processes, including coupon payment, settlement, and redemption, would take place on a private blockchain network.

Pay Tax with Crypto

Brazil’s Banco do Brasil has enabled paying taxes with cryptocurrencies. This service is offered to customers who have deposited their crypto with Bitfy, a startup focused on blockchain solutions. The bank’s corporate venture arm has invested in Bitfy.

OpenSea Changes Fees

Earlier this week, the CEO of the NFT marketplace Blur, Pacmac, presented a case for the users to block listing their collectibles on OpenSea, by offering them entire royalties on doing so. Presumably, in response,  OpenSea said it was dropping its fee to 0% for a period of time due to a “massive shift in the NFT ecosystem.”

SEC Sues Terra and Do Kwon

The US SEC has charged Terraform Labs and its CEO, Do Kwon, over its infamous algorithmic stablecoin Terra USD. The SEC has accused Terraform and Do Kwon of failing to disclose a full and fair account of its crypto asset securities to the public.

Paxos and SEC

The US SEC has sent a Wells notice to crypto infra provider Paxos for issuing Binance USD (BUSD), which the SEC claims to be an unregistered security. Paxos responded, saying that it “categorically disagrees” with the SEC.

Web3 SIM Cards

China Telecom plans to introduce the first Blockchain SIM (BSIM) pilot program in partnership with the blockchain platform Conflux Network. The BSIM card will store the user’s public and private keys and can digitally sign the transactions. China Telecom will launch the first program in Hong Kong later this year.

Web3 Layoffs

Crypto firm Magic Eden laid off 22 people, or about 15% of its workforce, this week. Meanwhile, crypto market maker GSR has conducted another round of layoffs, affecting 5% to 10% of staff.

Web3 Shorts

The music streaming service Napster is buying Mint Songs, a web3 music startup that helps artists improve their fan experiences with collectibles.

Norwegian authorities have seized 60 million kroner stolen from crypto game Axie Infinity last year.

Two Stanford University academics Larry Kramer and Andreas Paepcke co-signed Sam Bankman Fried’s bond along with his parents, as per new court filings.

Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem, Hub71, has started a $2 billion initiative to back web3 and blockchain startups in the region.

Bakkt, which provides a platform to connect businesses with crypto, is exiting consumer business to focus on B2B.

GQ Magazine plans to release GQ3, its first NFT collection that will provide the holders, access to the magazine subscription, merchandise, and live events.

Web3 Investments

Swiss digital asset infra company Taurus SA raised $65 million in a Series B funding round led by Credit Suisse.

Blockchain interoperability startup Orb Labs closed a $4.5 million seed round led by Bain Capital Crypto.

Web3 startup Monad Labs secured $19 million in a seed funding round led by Dragonfly Capital. It plans to use the money to develop a new blockchain, which is better than current layer 1 protocols.

Web3 infra provider Caldera raised $9 million from two funding rounds led by Sequoia Capital and Dragonfly, which will go towards hiring, partnerships, and integrations.

Ironblocks raised $7 million to fund a blockchain native cybersecurity platform in a seed round led by Collider Ventures and Disruptive AI.

Japanese financial services giant Nomura’s Laser Digital has made a strategic investment in DeFi protocol Infinity.

NFT animation studio Superplastic closed a $20 million Series A round funded by investors, including Amazon, Google, Kering, Animoca Brands, and Sony Japan.

Another web3 infra startup Nefta, raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by Play Ventures. 

Web3 communications startup Sending Labs raised $12.5 million in a seed round led by Insignia Venture Partners, MindWorks Capital, and Signum Capital.

Maven 11 and Blockchain Capital co-led a $1.7 million pre seed funding round of Blockchain tooling provider Modular Cloud.

Web3 messaging platform Salsa secured $2 million to expand its newly launched mobile app in a pre seed round led by IDEO CoLab VC and studio Unagi raised $5 million in a round led by Sisu Game Ventures to expand Ultimate Champions and move beyond sports.

Image Source: iStock


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s