Mythical Games Raises $75 Million Funding To Boost NFT-Based Gaming

Mythical Games Raises $75 Million Funding To Boost NFT-Based Gaming

The non-fungible token (NFT) market is no raging as much as it used to at the start of the year as demand from retail investors dropped sharply in Q2 2021. Despite the downturn, investments in NFT are still well alive as venture firms believe the NFT market will return to its glory days in the near future.

Mythical Games, the creator of the popular NFT blockchain game, Blankos Block party, raised $75 million in Series B funding led by growth equity fund WestCap Group. The funding aims to expand the firm’s blockchain gaming experiences and boost the development of the Blankos Block Party game.

The Series B funding round saw existing, and new investors participate in the round. New investors in the firm include 01 Advisors and influencer and serial investor Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund. The Series B funding brings the total funds raised by Mythical Games to $120 million to date.

The main attraction to Mythical Games is the Blankos Block Party, a blockchain-based NFT collectibles game that allows players to create their games and own their virtual worlds. The game is built around user-generated content and focuses on integrating the latest social media trends. Blankos also includes the Mythical Marketplace, where users can buy and sell avatar figures and in-game assets collected within the game or created by top artists and game developers in partnership with the firm.

Notwithstanding, the platform also includes the Mythical Economic Engine, which connects the gaming platform to other gaming engines and helps new game creators build regulatory-friendly NFT collectibles. Mythical Games CEO John Linden tells TechCrunch,

“With any new market like [NFTs], it goes through all these different cycles.”

“We think this will actually change gaming for the long haul. The more we talk to game studios, we’re finding more and more potential use cases.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Flare Network Raises $11 Million in Funding to Bring Smart Contracts to All Blockchains

Flare Network Raises $11 Million in Funding to Bring Smart Contracts to All Blockchains

Decentralized finance protocol Flare raised $11.3 million in another funding round supported by heavyweights in the crypto industry. Launched at the tail end of 2020, Flare, a Turing complete Federated Byzantine Agreement-based (FBA) network, announced Hong Kong-based firm Kenetic Capital led the round, including top venture capital firms such as Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Coinfund.

The funding aims to boost the development of smart contract functionalities on blockchains that do not offer native support for smart contracts. At launch, Flare is set to support smart contract functionalities for Stellar (XLM), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and XRP.

Other participants in the current funding round include crypto VCs such as LD Capital, cFund, Wave Financial, Borderless Capital, and Backend Capital. Adding to the $11 million fund are top crypto private investors Charlie Lee, Vinny Lingham, and Terra CEO, Do Kwan.

The platform’s main goal is to bring additional utility to other non-smart contract blockchains,” Flare CEO Hugo Philion shared in a statement. Supported by Ripple in 2019, Flare is now awaiting its mainnet launch to create a robust and complete blockchain ecosystem.

“The investment brings into the Flare ecosystem key participants in the investment community, together with major exchanges, market makers, blockchain founders, and entrepreneurs that have an interest in driving meaningful developments and participation on Flare.”

Flare Protocol is also planning one of the largest airdrops in crypto so far by awarding every eligible XRP account on the snapshot taken on December 12th, 2020, its native Spark tokens. Despite hundreds of crypto exchanges taking part in the airdrop, close to 2 Billion XRP locked on Coinbase will miss the Spark airdrop, BEG reported last December.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Goldman Sachs Joins Blockchain Infrastructure Company’s $28 Million Funding Round

Goldman Sachs Joins Blockchain Infrastructure Company’s $28 Million Funding Round

Blockdaemon has been acquiring many institutional clients who are starting to allow their customers to buy Bitcoin and Ether before branching out to protocols that pay interest on tokens.

Blockdaemon has raised $28 million from lead investor Greenspring Associates along with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

BlockFi, Warburg Serres, Uphold, and Voyager Digital Ltd., were other investors in the Series A fund-raising, as per the company statement.

The firm that creates and hosts the computer nodes for the blockchain network is planning to make acquisitions and double its headcount to 100. With the latest funding, the company aims to “help institutions quickly and securely scale blockchain infrastructure.”

Over the past year, the company has seen rapid growth and gained customers, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, PayPal Holdings, Robinhood Markets, and E*Trade.

“We’re selling ten times what we did a year ago, mostly to new institutions coming into the space,” said Chief Executive Officer Konstantin Richter.

In the first quarter of 2021, Blockdaemon reported a net income of $18 million and revenue at about $24 million.

Goldman Sachs, which led the $15 million investment into data provider Coin Metrics, contributed $5 million to the Blockdaemon round. “It’s been a long dialogue with them,” Ritcher said.

The CEO further shared in an interview that he’s been seeing a progression among large financial firms that starts with them allowing their customers to buy Bitcoin and Ether before branching out to protocols that pay interest on tokens to secure the network.

“Large institutions are getting serious about paying yield on tokens out to their customers,” he said. “It shows that large financial institutions over time will want to rival Coinbase” by copying its model of easier ways to buy and earn interest on various digital coins.

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Author: AnTy

Treasury Secretary Urges for More Aggressive Spending, President Biden Reveals $6T Spending Plan

While the crypto market is waiting for direction, Janet Yellen calls for more funding to run her agency and improve tax collection, while the proposed budget for the next fiscal year will bring US federal spending to the highest sustained level since World War II.

The price of Bitcoin is chopping between $32k and $42k, and Ether continues to trade around $2,800, but the market is not sure about what’s to come next. The total market cap is also stuck at around $1.7 trillion.

It is expected that Bitcoin may continue to trade sideways for months before it goes on to hit new highs.

Not to mention, the market is yet to get any clarity on China banning Bitcoin and mining. However, energy regulators of Sichuan are having a meeting with local power companies to analyze the impact of crypto mining.

Meanwhile, in the US, on the regulatory front, SEC Chair Gary Gensler is repeating what he has been saying since joining the agency.

This week, in prepared testimony to the financial services and general government subcommittee of the U.S. House Appropriations panel, he will tell lawmakers that cryptos are a highly volatile and speculative asset class that creates the risk of investor fraud and marketplace manipulation.

Not Enough Power?

In the short-term, things might remain uncertain, but in the medium-term and long-term, things are surely looking bright, and crypto is definitely here to stay.

A lot of new interests have been seen from institutions lately, with Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates revealing that he owns some Bitcoin and billionaire investor Carl Icahn sharing his plans to invest in crypto in a “big way” that involves over a billion dollars.

“Volatility may not be different this time, but everything else is,” commented trader and economist Alex Kruger.

As we reported, during this recent deep correction, short-term buyers, particularly those who bought after February, were the ones who sold their crypto assets.

Interestingly, “investor whales” were the ones who bought 77,000 BTC last week’s pullback, as per Chainalysis’s latest report.

Expansive Fiscal Policy

Tapering” has started to be heard at times after making it in the Federal Reserve’s minutes. Fed Vice Chairman Randy Quarles is actually the latest one to talk about gradually reducing the amount of stimulus because he is “quite optimistic about the path of the economy.”

But those in support of “tapering” are very few and far between. Even US President Joe Biden is not done with pouring more money into the markets.

He is now proposing a $6 trillion budget for the next fiscal year, which will bring US federal spending to the highest sustained level since World War II. Also, the Fed continues to be dismissive of inflation worries.

This will be Biden’s third domestic funding proposal of his presidency. His plan includes the American Rescue Plan of $1.9 trillion, a sequel to the $2.2 trillion pandemic relief bill, which was passed in March, the American Jobs Plan of $2.3 trillion, and the American Families Plan of $1.8 trillion for which the Biden administration detailed $1 trillion in new spending and $800 billion in tax credits this week.

Adding to this, today, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen came out pretty strong in favor of spending. Yellen urged congressional leaders to have a more expansive fiscal policy, saying the government is operating on a budget that is behind the time of over a decade and that inflation-adjusted spending has remained stagnant for 11 years.

“We cannot continue to be good stewards of this recovery – and tackle the new bodies of work that Congress assigns to us in the years beyond – with a budget that was designed for 2010,” Yellen said in prepared remarks to the subcommittee on financial services and general government committee on appropriations.

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Author: AnTy

Blockchain Company Paxos Closes New Funding Round Worth $300 Million

Blockchain Company Paxos Closes New Funding Round Worth $300 Million

Paxos, a blockchain startup with PayPal Holdings as a client, announced the recent conclusion of a Series D fundraising round.

According to company CEO Charles Cascarilla, the funding session led by growth equity investment firm Oak HC/FT saw $300 million infused into the New York-based firm.

Other investors include PayPal ventures, Declaration Partners, Mithril Capital, and others.

Paxos Valued At $2.4 Billion Following Latest Investment

The crypto company is now worth $2.4 billion, per an official release.

According to Paxos, the new funds will be used to accelerate the growth of its financial market infrastructure platform. Paxos would also use the additional funding to ramp up recruitment across major departments.

Also, additional liquidity would be added to the platform to improve their customer experience and increase the use of their on-chain tokens.

Cascarilla said that demand for Paxos’ enterprise solution had grown exponentially in the past year in speaking with the funding round.

He ties this down to the company’s approach in providing the most innovative and regulated enterprise solutions to aid the development of a digital economy.

Following this new funding round, Paxos plans to establish a National Trust Bank after it secured a preliminary charter from the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) in the past week. With the approval, Paxos becomes the third federally chartered financial institution to become a crypto custodian following in the footsteps of Anchorage and Protego.

The company has also applied for a Clearing Agency Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission and eyeing a Major Payment Institution license with Singaporean regulatory authorities.

Cascarilla notes that this latest funding round is more of a “confidence capital,” noting that investors believe in their ability to scale the business for the next decade.

Paxos went mainstream following its partnership with payment giant PayPal back in 2020.

The agreement saw the blockchain company powering PayPal’s crypto trading service.

Owing to the success of this deal and PayPal’s desire to explore the larger crypto market, Paxos has also been tapped by the Silicon Valley firm to help its Venmo app offer crypto services.

The Larger Crypto Market Growing

Cryptocurrencies have experienced exponential growth, all thanks to the pandemic-induced lockdowns, which have seen more people rely on online payments.

Realizing the potential benefits crypto can bring to the financial space, institutional investors have flooded into the crypto space, making the once-disregarded sector suddenly significant.

And this acknowledgment was seen when Coinbase went public on April 14 with a projected $100 billion valuation. This milestone has seen many experts forecast a litany of crypto public listings.

One of these experts is Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who reportedly said that more initial public offerings (IPO) should be expected in the blockchain space in the next 12 months.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Millions of Dollars Flow Into Funding Crypto Companies; Digital Asset Bank Avanti, Raises $37 Million

Millions of Dollars Flow Into Funding Crypto Companies; Digital Asset Bank Avanti, Raises $37 Million

“The offering was upsized twice due to market demand,” in its Avanti Bank’s Series A capital funding.

In the ongoing bull market, crypto companies are raising millions of dollars every other day.

Money is flowing into companies dealing with digital assets, and the latest one is Avanti Bank & Trust.

The digital assets bank announced the completion of its Series A capital funding in which it raised $37 million, bringing the total raised capital to date to $44 million.

“The offering was upsized twice due to market demand,” noted the start-up digital asset bank.

Series A shareholders included a global mix of institutional investors, family offices, and cryptocurrency companies like Binance.US, Coinbase Venture, Morgan Creek Digital, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments, The University of Wyoming Foundations, and many others.

“As Bitcoin and digital asset markets mature and financialization network effects take root, there is a tremendous need for both well-crafted laws and experienced, competent operators,” said Trace Mayer, who participated in Series A fund raising.

In its official announcement, Caitlin Long, Avanti’s founder, and CEO shared the bank’s plan to offer API-based U.S. dollar payment services for wires, ACH, and SWIFT and issuance of tokenized, programmable U.S. dollar called Avit along with custody and on-/off-ramp services for digital assets.

Since receiving its bank charter in Oct. 2020, it has received over 2,500 inbound customer inquiries.

In the month of March, we saw the money flowing in huge numbers:

  • Blockchain.com, which raised $300 million at a $5.2 billion valuation,
  • Decentralized project Covalent raising another $2 million,
  • Derivatives trading platform Vega raising $5 million,
  • $23 million by NFT marketplace OpenSea,
  • $133 million by Fireblocks at a $1.8 billion valuation,
  • Bitpanda raised $170 million,
  • DeFi lending protocol Alchemix raising $4.9 million,
  • Crypto exchange aggregator OpenOcean raised $2 million,
  • Decentralized service protocol Automate network was funded for $1 million,
  • Ethereum 2.0 staking protocol StakeWise received funding of $2 million,
  • Rewards-focused startup Eco got $26 million,
  • Bitcoin Rewards App Lolli raised $5 million,
  • CoinSmart crypto exchange raised $3.5M

All of this has happened only in March so far.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Breaks into a New ATH Above $60,000

Funding surged at one point to 0.5% but now coming down some while just over $1 billion in the past 24 hours with Binance’s degen users yet again leading.

Bitcoin entered the weekend with a very strong move as the leading crypto asset made a new all-time high just as the $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans have also started coming in.

The digital asset broke the Feb. 21st ATH of $58,350 and climbed to nearly $60,266 on Bitfinex, $60,200 on Binance, and $60k on Coinbase. A “significant negative” price gap between Coinbase and Binance shows this surge came from stablecoin buying power, per CryptoQuant.

The market is unaffected by the reports of CFTC probing Binance. As Matt Blom, global head of sales trading at EQUOS, said,

“The bears’ last stand is the $57,800 level, and it looks like we might be seeing that battle play out before the week is over,” and we did. On the downside, around $55k, he sees levels “supported by dip-buying bulls and dip-buying bears alike.”

This momentum saw the funding rate on futures platforms also rising fiercely. Bitcoin’s perpetual funding rate reacted to the bulls, and at one point, longs paid 0.5% to shorts on Deribit, as per Viewbase.

Liquidations were relatively small today as in the past four hours only about $360 million got rekt while 195,975 traders were liquidated for just over $1 billion in the past 24 hours.

And of course, much like always, Binance users were leading the liquidations, which is no surprise given that in the first two months of the launch of Binance Futures, an average of more than 60% of platform traders were using 20x or higher leverage and 21% of traders an eye-popping 125x leverage.

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The new ATH came just a day after MicroStrategy purchased an additional 262 BTC for $15 billion that brought its total holdings to 91,326 BTC. Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy said,

“People still aren’t sure: Are we crazy or are we not crazy?”

“The only way to get economic security is to invest in scarce assets that are not going to be debased by currency expansion. That is the environment that led us to decide we should consider Bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset.”

While Bitcoin bull Saylor continues to move towards 100k BTC holdings, much like the price, the number of addresses with a balance of more than 1k BTC has seen a drop.

According to analyst Lex Moskovski of Moskovski Capital, it could be larger addresses splitting for custody purposes or whale selling.

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Amidst all this, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, which also has invested in Bitcoin, made another tweet in support of the cryptocurrency.

“BTC (Bitcoin) is an anagram of TBC(The Boring Company) What a coincidence!” tweeted Musk. “Both do mining & use blocks & chains.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin as a Treasury Asset Goes Global Amidst Renewed Bullish Sentiments

Bitcoin funding rates are gearing up as the price aims for $55,000. Substantial demand for crypto assets from institutions is also here.

Bitcoin had a promising start of the week as we aim for $55,000. In tandem with Bitcoin, Ether and other altcoins have also shaken their uncertainty and recovered strongly.

Traders are getting bullish as the funding rate starts heating up some. On Bitcoin perpetual contracts, the rates are currently between 0.0291% (Deribit) and 0.1908% (Bybit), as per Viewbase. As for Ether perpetual contracts, it is between 0.0550% (OKEx) and 0.1939% (BitMEX). However, the funding rates are still far from February levels.

While the open interest on CME’s Bitcoin futures, which dropped $1 billion to $2.1 bln suggests some cautiousness from institutional investors, the same cannot be said about the digital assets’ addition to balance sheets.

This wave of publicly listed companies using BTC as a reserve asset which was kickstarted by Microstrategy in the US, is now going global as it reaches Scandinavia and Hong Kong.

This week, oil billionaire Kjell Inge Rokke came out strongly in favor of Bitcoin as he said it’s not inconceivable that BTC could one day “be worth mil­lions of dollars.”

Norway’s second-richest person with an estimated $5.4 billion net worth is the co-founder of Aker ASA, which has more recently branched out into green tech and renewable energy companies. And the company is also setting up a new business Seetee AS, to tap into the potential of Bitcoin. It has already deployed $58 million in Bitcoin.

Recently, China’s publicly listed company also added Bitcoin and Ether to its balance sheet. Lennix Lai, director at crypto exchange OKEx commented,

“Meitu is the very first listed company in HK that publicly announced they invested in Bitcoin for cash-hedging purposes. It’s just the beginning of all cash-rich HK-listed companies’ start allocating to crypto.”

“Huge” institutional demand

The $1 trillion market cap crypto asset has been gaining the support of some notable endorsements lately, such as Elon Musk. On Wall Street as well, from custody banking giant Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Mastercard, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan, a growing number of companies are warming up to Bitcoin.

However, when it comes to adding Bitcoin to corporate Treasuries, the companies are finding issues with the accounting of the digital asset as the Financial Accounting Standards Board doesn’t have guidance specific to the accounting for cryptocurrencies.

“I don’t think it’s the best accounting so far,” said Robert Hertz, a former FASB chairman. “I am hoping that if more mainstream companies get into bitcoin, the accounting standards board may revisit the accounting treatment.”

According to US research firm Gartner’s survey of 77 executives last month, about 5% of chief financial officers (CFOs) and senior finance leaders said they plan to hold bitcoin on their balance sheets this year.

While some feel companies would avoid adding Bitcoin to the balance sheet as they are “happy sinking money into very safe places with low interest” to focus on growing the company through its operations, others point out how the value of the dollar continues to get weaker and “Bitcoin flips the script on that.”

Just last week, Goldman Sachs reported substantial demand for crypto assets from institutions. In a survey of nearly 300 clients conducted by the bank, 40% currently have crypto exposure.

Matt McDermott, global head of digital assets for Goldman Sachs Global Markets Division, said in an interview that the current situation is different compared to 2017 due to “huge” institutional demand from private banking clients and across different industry types.

Blockchain technology offers “a real diverse set of opportunities for the financial industry and something that there’s a huge amount of momentum” for in the market, said McDermott.

“We know firsthand just given the various different projects we’re working on. And we see this as a hugely exciting time exploring the potential of that technology.”

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Author: AnTy

Clover Finance Raises $3M in Seed Funding; Bringing Ethereum DeFi Apps to Polkadot

Clover Finance Raises $3M in Seed Funding; Bringing Ethereum DeFi Apps to Polkadot

  • Clover Finance, a Polkadot parachain, completes a $3 million seed round funding to launch a developer-friendly framework for DeFi applications to move from Ethereum to Polkadot.
  • Additionally, Clover Finance will also create a two-way peg for Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.

Clover Finance, a cross-chain compatibility parachain on Polkadot, completed a $3 million seed funding round led by top firms including Polychain Capital, Hypersphere, Bithumb Global Divergence Ventures, a Medium blog post reads. The firm aims to use the funding to provide easy-to-access infrastructure for developers and a “one-stop EVM-compatible framework” enabling Ethereum-based decentralized finance (DeFi) applications to move to Polkadot.

This places Clover Finance in a tight race with MoonBeam Network and DeFi ecosystem Acala, who recently announced solutions to enhance Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility on Polkadot.

The seed round funding will also enhance and accelerate product development, expand the Clover Finance ecosystem and improve partnerships with other firms in the crypto space. This targets providing a more user-friendly platform fostering the adoption of blockchain technology and DeFi across developers and end-users.

Notwithstanding, Clover Finance is planning a future bridge with Bitcoin and Ethereum. Adding to its innovations such as gas redistribution, gasless transactions, and identity-based fee-schedule (which measures gas according to the frequency of transactions), Clover Finance will launch “trustless 2-way pegs between Ethereum and Bitcoin”.

The two-way pegs for Bitcoin, still at the infancy stage, will use new technology, a built-in SPV chain simulation, to connect two blockchains. The technology provides the “possibility to natively inspect a Bitcoin or Ether transaction without storing/ verifying the entire blockchain history.” Polychain general partner Tekin Salimi said,

“One of the challenges prior Bitcoin-Ethereum bridge attempts faced was in Bitcoin’s limited scripting language. We think the Bitcoin/Ethereum bridge is the most interesting feature, as it’s unique to Clover.”

However, the two-way pegs heavily depend on successful implementations and changes on the Bitcoin core network.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Alphabet’s Venture Capital Unit Invests in Blockchain.com’s 0 Million Funding Round

Alphabet’s Venture Capital Unit Invests in Blockchain.com’s $120 Million Funding Round

Blockchain, a cryptocurrency service provider, has raised $120 million in its latest funding round. The funding included investments from Alphabet Inc’s venture capital unit GV.

Other investors in the funding round included hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, investment firms Moore Strategic Ventures, Rovida Advisors, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, and industrial group Access Industries, the company said.

The London-based company said that about 28% of all Bitcoin transactions since 2012 had been routed through its platform.

The total number of unique Blockchain.com wallets created has also reached 67.72 million, up from 32 million at the beginning of 2019 and almost 11 million at the start of 2017, as per their website.

Gaining immense acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, the price of Bitcoin has jumped past $52,000, up from about $30,000 at the beginning of this year.

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Author: AnTy