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- FTX.US, US-regulated crypto exchange and the American affiliate of global FTX International, announced that it has agreed to acquire Ledger Holdings Inc., the parent company of LedgerX LLC., a US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)-regulated digital currency futures and options exchange and clearinghouse. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. If the deal closes, which could happen as early as October, FTX.US will be able to offer US clients a distinct product line from industry heavyweights such as Coinbase, Kraken, or Gemini, Forbes added. Brett Harrison, CEO of FTX.US, explained that while the company has future plans to merge the two operations’ product offerings, it will be conscientious regarding specific customers that can trade these products, wanting to convey a degree of seriousness with the platform and not promote a ‘gamified’ experience.
- Coinbase said they are hiring builders for their Protocol team to work on projects that have the potential to scale blockchains by several orders of magnitude to reach the exchange’s goal of billions of users globally. The Coinbase Protocol team is a group of engineers who will focus on 1) contributing to open source projects, 2) integrating cutting edge technologies with Coinbase products, and 3) supporting developers through Coinbase’s grant programs.
- Australian crypto start-up Swyftx has launched in New Zealand following a period of rapid growth, said the press release. It has achieved revenue growth of more than 6,000% in the last financial year and is now the second-largest Australian crypto exchange, it said. Swyftx’s customer base grew by 1,659% – adding up to 8,000 users a day to its platform in 2021, which has around 350,000 customers across Australia.
- Blockchain technology company ConsenSys has announced that MetaMask, a mobile app and browser extension that functions as a crypto wallet, now has more than 10m monthly active users, who can access the decentralized web where they swap tokens, borrow, lend, mint and buy non-fungible tokens (NFTs), play games, etc. This represents a 19x growth compared to July 2020 – from 545,080 monthly active users in July 2020 to 10,354,279 in August 2021, MetaMask has grown over 1,800% in one year, they added.
- Blockchain.com announced that they have surpassed more than USD 1trn in crypto transacted on the platform, stating that they have "handled nearly a third of all Bitcoin network transactions since 2012, with the majority of all transactions processed through Blockchain.com Wallets taking place over the past 2 years." There are three main drivers behind the platform’s growth in recent years: 1) having more than 76m active wallets in retail; 2) exponential growth in their institutional market business; 3) continual growth of their brokerage and exchange business.
- Nigeria will work with Bitt Inc as a technical partner in its bid to launch its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) later this year, called the ‘eNaira’, the Central Bank said on Monday, as reported by Reuters. Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele said that the eNaira would operate as a wallet against which customers can hold existing funds in their bank account, and that it would accelerate financial inclusion, as well as enable cheaper and faster remittance inflows.
- The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the 15 finalists for the global competition to develop retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) solutions (Global CBDC Challenge). The finalists, comprising financial institutions, FinTechs, and technology solution providers, will progress to the Acceleration Phase of the Global CBDC Challenge, before they pitch their solutions to a panel of judges and an international audience at this year’s Singapore FinTech Festival, they said. The finalists include Consensys, IBM, Standard Chartered Bank, Bitt, and others.
- Crypto venture capital (VC) firm Three Arrows Capital is launching a NFT-dedicated fund, Starry Night Capital. It was announced by pseudonymous NFT collector Vincent Van Dough, who said that the fund will be investing in art and collectibles, will launch an “NFT education portal,” promote emerging artists, and launch a physical NFT gallery space in a “major city” before the end of the year.
- Frog-themed digital collectible cards from the mid-2010s, built around the Pepe the Frog meme, and known as Rare Pepes, are becoming popular yet again. For example, one Rare Pepe was sold for ETH 149.99 (USD 475,145) recently on the OpenSea marketplace, while another was sold for ETH 111.1 (USD 351,948).
- The Polkadot (DOT)- and Kusama (KSM)-focused decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Parallel Finance confirmed that it has raised USD 22m in a Series A funding round that valued it at USD 150m. Polychain Capital led the round, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Slow Ventures, Blockchain Capital, and Alameda Research.
- Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) confirmed they’re leading Syndicate‘s USD 20m Series A funding round. "We’re excited to be partnering with the Syndicate team and the community that they’ve brought together to help build the infrastructure that will drive [decentralized autonomous organizations] to widespread adoption," they said.
- Smart contract platform Fantom (FTM) announced their incentive program, saying that, starting August 30, protocol teams will be able to apply for rewards from the Fantom Foundation based on their total value locked (TVL), scaling from FTM 1m up to FTM 5m in its first iteration, and to be changed accordingly depending on the needs of builders. Fantom is committing FTM 370m (USD 278m) to this program.
- Offchain Labs, a provider of scaling solutions for Ethereum (ETH), has raised USD 120m in its latest Series B funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other newly announced investors in the round include Polychain Capital, Ribbit Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Pantera Capital, Alameda Research, Mark Cuban and others. Ravi Mhatre from Lightspeed has also joined the company’s board. The company has also announced that its Arbitrum One mainnet will open to the public today.
- Singapore-headquartered digital asset exchange Zipmex has completed its USD 41m Series B funding round, attended by Bank of Ayudhya, which is part of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), as well as Master Ad and Plan B Media. Other contributing firms include those that engaged in Zipmex’s Series A funding round this winter. Zipmex is also about to launch a new marketing campaign centred around the possibilities of access for all to the power of digital payments, said the press release.