Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Ethereum (ETH)-focused blockchain company ConsenSys announced the close of a USD 450m financing round, bringing its valuation to over USD 7bn. ParaFi Capital led this raise after participating, joined by Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Microsoft, Anthos Capital, Sound Ventures, and others. They added that the self-custodial wallet MetaMask now supports more than 30m Monthly Active Users (MAUs), growing by 42% in four months.
- Separately, Joseph Lubin, the Founder of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum has questioned the sustainability of rival projects, including the fast-growing Solana (SOL) blockchain, the Financial Times reported. According to Lubin, Solana is paying outsized rewards to users who validate transactions on the network compared to the revenues generated by those transactions and that it needs to “figure out a more sustainable business model for the network.”
- The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), a non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of Stellar (XLM), announced the launch of the USD 30m Matching Fund which co-invests alongside investors globally, matching investments raised from a lead investor up to USD 500,000. The Fund is for pre-seed to Series B companies interested in building on the Stellar blockchain.
- Financial modeling platform Gauntlet announced they’ve raised USD 23.8m in a Series B funding round led by Ribbit Capital, which brought their total valuation to over USD 1bn. The funds will be used to expand their team of developers, engineers, and simulation data scientists, they added.
- Blockchain game Crypto Unicorns raised USD 26m in token sales co-led by TCG and Backed VC. All of the funds raised via token sales are held in the Crypto Unicorns DAO Treasury, designed to be controlled by the community over time.
- Layer 1 blockchain solution Aptos raised USD 200m in a strategic round led by a16z crypto and launched the project’s public devnet. The funds will be used to strengthen the network and to support their community, they added.
- Blockchain travel protocol TravelX announced a USD 10m seed funding round led by Borderless Capital, which closed last November. The company plans to launch its first service later this year, aiming to give travelers easier changes, cancellations, transfers, and sales of tokenized inventory in a simpler, more streamlined manner, they said.
- Decentralized derivatives platform Deus was hacked and the hacker gained around USD 3m, according to blockchain security company PeckShield, which added that the actual loss to the protocol may be greater than that. Lafayette Tabor, the Deus decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) community, announced that there will be a reimbursement plan from his team allocation.
- Saudi Arabia is in active talks with Beijing to price some of its oil sales to China in yuan, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter said. This move would dent the US dollar’s dominance of the global petroleum market, it said, with the people adding that the talks with China over yuan-priced oil contracts have been off and on for six years but have accelerated this year as the Saudis have grown increasingly unhappy with decades-old US security commitments to defend the kingdom.
- Payments giant Visa is inviting undergraduate students to apply for its crypto development program, an 18-month rotational experience “designed to build a fully fluent cryptocurrency team now and for the future.” Program attendees will gain expertise in specific areas such as DeFi, NFTs, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
- Crypto exchange Bitstamp USA said an influx of hires from Wall Street has helped expand its talent pool and boost the gender diversity of its staff, Bloomberg reported, citing Robert Zagotta, CEO of the exchange. They added that women have made up 60% of new hires so far this year, a jump from 37% in 2021, as Wall Street bankers leave their positions in favor of crypto-related jobs.
- Former CEO of entertainment giant Walt Disney, Bob Iger, announced he is joining the board of directors of digital avatar platform Genies. He added he would help the team “empower humans to create the ‘mobile apps of web3’: avatar ecosystems.”
- Digital asset custody solutions provider Copper.co has announced the appointment of Carly Nuzbach Lowery, formerly of crypto exchange Coinbase, as Chief Legal Officer.
- Michele Korver, former chief digital currency adviser at the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), is joining Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) as its Head of Regulatory.
- Blockchain developer Polygon Studios announced five new hires, including C-level executives Michael Blank as Chief Operating Officer and Young Ko as Chief Financial Officer. The new team members at Polygon (MATIC) will be working under former YouTube Head of Gaming Ryan Wyatt who now serves as Polygon’s CEO.
- The Indian Enforcement Directorate is investigating seven cases in which crypto has allegedly been used for money laundering and has attached proceeds of crime worth Rs 135 crore (USD 17.6m), Business Today reported, citing Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary.