ConsenSys Is Planning to Raise Funds at a Valuation of $3 Billion

ConsenSys Is Planning to Raise Funds at a Valuation of $3 Billion

ConsenSys is in talks to raise $250 million at a valuation of $3 billion, according to the latest reports.

Arca and Golden Tree Asset Management are reportedly taking part in this round.

In April this year, the company had raised $65 million in a “formation round” from traditional finance giants including JPMorgan, Mastercard, UBS, and leading companies from the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.

According to PitchBook data, venture capitalists have invested $20.7 billion in cryptocurrency start-ups this year, an increase of more than 160% from the 2018 record.

The US-based blockchain software technology company develops and invests in Ethereum-based projects.

The company was founded by Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin seven years ago, who made staff cuts for over 10% at least twice and then restructured it to split off its investment arm into a separate entity.

ConsenSys is also the owner of the most active wallet in the crypto industry, MetaMask, which launched its institutional arm in December. The app charges a 0.875% fee on each trade and has generated $81.7 million in revenue in the past year, according to TokenTerminal.

The company has projected annualized revenues from MetaMask to increase to $1 billion within the next year. MetaMask has more than 10 million monthly users as of August.

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Author: AnTy

Canada’s First Multi-Crypto ETF Allows Investors to Hold Both Bitcoin and Ether

Evolve Funds Group has launched Canada’s first multi-crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF), which allows investors to hold both Bitcoin and Ether. The ETF now trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker ETC.

The Evolve Cryptocurrencies ETF (ETC), a market-cap weighted crypto fund, currently has about 68% of its holdings in BTC and 32% in ETH.

Raj Lala, Evolve’s President, and CEO said in an interview,

“A lot of investors want to invest in cryptocurrencies. They’re not exactly sure which one to pick, or they may also want to get exposure to the cryptocurrencies that are growing.”

“They’re looking for more of a turnkey solution to participate in the cryptocurrency market.”

The ETF provides exposure to Bitcoin and Ether by holding its Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT) and the Evolve Ether ETF (ETHR).

This new ETF will be rebalanced monthly but doesn’t use leverage and won’t pay distributions. While no management fee is imposed on the ETF, the underlying ETFs held in the fund charge a 0.75% management fee.

Being an ETF allows the product to be less costly, more transparent, and more tax-efficient than mutual funds.

On its first day of trades, the Evolve Cryptocurrencies ETF managed to amass only about $2.1 million in assets, according to the firm’s website. The other two crypto funds, Bitcoin and Ether ETFs, have about $181 million in combined assets under management.

In its most recent study that polled 208 advisors conducted from August 26 to September 10, Evolve found that 40% have invested in cryptocurrency ETFs, while 31% said client interest was their biggest driver. Of the 60% who weren’t investing in cryptocurrency ETFs, 40% cited the asset class as too volatile.

Interestingly, 80% of respondents believe Bitcoin will continue to be the largest cryptocurrency at the end of 2022, while 85% expect Ether to have the most market growth in the coming year.

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Author: AnTy

Fidelity Digital Assets Exploring the Possibility to Offer Yield Funds, Stablecoins, and DeFi Tokens

Fidelity Digital Assets Exploring the Possibility to Offer Yield Funds, Stablecoins, and DeFi Tokens

Fidelity Digital Assets also plans to increase its employee headcount by up to 70% by the end of the year. Meanwhile, its survey reveals over 60% of US investors are neutral to positive about a Bitcoin ETF.

Fidelity Investments is growing its digital assets team to expand its cryptocurrency-related products in response to the increasing interest from financial advisors, family offices, and other institutional investors.

Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets, said in an interview that the company is planning to increase its employee headcount by up to 70% by the end of the year.

Fidelity’s digital asset arm that provides institutional services including trade execution and custody is also exploring the possibility of offering yield funds and other products that may involve stablecoins or DeFi tokens, said the managing director, Peter Jubber.

“All of these are candidates for us as we begin this exploration.”

“Could they result in actual products? Early days.”

Fidelity also published a survey this week that showed that in the US, 79% of family offices have a neutral, positive view of digital assets. The survey of 1,100 professionals was conducted between early December and early April.

It further showed that factors such as fear of inflation due to financial stimulus was a catalyst for many investors to enter the crypto market.

“A catalyst for a lot of industries was the start of the pandemic.”

“Our clients said the factor to get them off the fence were the macro economic issues in the pandemic.”

For the first time, Fidelity surveyed Asian investors and found them to be the most accepting of digital assets, with more than 70% of those surveyed currently invested in them.

Investors are particularly looking for institutional investment products to hold digital assets. More than 60% of U.S. investors express a neutral to positive view about a potential Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Fidelity itself has filed an application with the SEC for a Bitcoin ETF.

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Author: AnTy

Two Public Pension Funds Are Investing $50M in A Fund that Provides Exposure to Crypto

Two Public Pension Funds Are Investing $50M in A Fund that Provides Exposure to Crypto and Their Derivatives

Crypto is “an area that’s going to grow in adoption and interest. We think that it’s inefficient enough, so we think there are some alpha opportunities to take advantage of,” said the CIO of one of the pension funds.

Two Virginia public pension funds are making a more direct bet on cryptocurrencies.

After entering the crypto world by investing in venture capital two years ago, the Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) and Fairfax County Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) are now planning to invest $50 million in the main fund of Parataxis Capital Management LLC, according to a report from Bloomberg.

This Fund buys various cryptocurrencies and crypto derivatives. The decision to invest in the Fund is currently pending board approval.

Back in 2018, both the retirement systems within Fairfax, which is the 40th largest in the country, invested in blockchain technology. At the time, PORS invested 0.2% of its holdings, $11 million, and ERS invested 0.3%, about $10 million into the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund. They then invested another $52 million in the following year.

However, despite the stellar upside in the cryptocurrency’s prices with Bitcoin up 329%, Ethereum 734%, and the total crypto market cap 550% in the past year, according to PORS Chief Investment Officer Katherine Molnar, cryptomarkets aren’t accurately reflecting the true price of cryptocurrencies.

“It’s an area that’s going to grow in adoption and interest. We think that it’s inefficient enough, so we think there are some alpha opportunities to take advantage of.”

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Author: AnTy

Osprey Funds Launches Solana (SOL) Trust to Attract Institutional Investors

Osprey Funds Launches Solana (SOL) Trust to Attract Institutional Investors

Solana has been one of the most talked-about projects in the crypto space this week, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In the latest show of adoption, an institutional investment firm has opened a new Fund for the company’s SOL token.

Big Expansion for Osprey

According to an official press release shared on Thursday, Osprey Funds has launched an SOL-based Trust product for private placement. The press release confirmed that the new product would offer exposure to SOL for investors, making Osprey the first company to offer an investment product dedicated solely to the token.

The Osprey Solana Fund is open to all accredited investors, with a minimum subscription amount of $10,000. Osprey Funds pointed out that it will be looking to list the SOL fund on the OTCQX over-the-counter (OTC) market as soon as possible. The company has also waived its management fee – which stands at 2.5 percent – for all investors in the SOL fund until January 2023.

The SOL Fund is the fourth product to be launched by Osprey. The New York company already offering exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), Polkadot’s DOT token, and the ALGO token from blockchain project Algorand. BTC -3.37% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 44,911.09
Volume 39.2 b Change -$1,513.50 Open $44,911.09 Circulating 18.81 m Market Cap 844.88 b
8 h Osprey Funds Launches Solana (SOL) Trust to Attract Institutional Investors 9 h Bank of Mexico Governor says #Bitcoin More like Precious Metal than Legal Tender, But Sweden’s Sees Eventual “Collapse” 9 h National Australia Bank Observing Crypto As An ‘Emerging Issue’ After Being Accused of Refusing to Do Business with the Industry
DOT -2.32% Polkadot / USD DOTUSD $ 29.26
Volume 3.68 b Change -$0.68 Open $29.26 Circulating 987.58 m Market Cap 28.9 b
8 h Osprey Funds Launches Solana (SOL) Trust to Attract Institutional Investors 3 d Bitcoin (BTC) Finally Records Inflows After 8 Weeks, Solana (SOL) Remains the Favorite Altcoin 1 w Cardano Upgrades Testnet With Smart Contracts Capabilities, ADA Price Surges
ALGO -13.46% Algorand / USD ALGOUSD $ 2.03
Volume 2.61 b Change -$0.27 Open $2.03 Circulating 5.23 b Market Cap 10.61 b
8 h Osprey Funds Launches Solana (SOL) Trust to Attract Institutional Investors 10 h Algorand Foundation Assigns 150 Million ALGO to Support DeFi Innovation on the Blockchain 1 w 76.8% of SOL Supply is Locked to Secure the Network and Not Available for Sale in the Market

What a Week for Solana

This announcement is yet another show of support from major institutional players as SOL’s profile grows. The coin has been growing in adoption within developer’s circles for a while. Institutional investors are also taking note. According to last week’s Digital Asset Fund Flows Weekly issue from crypto investment firm CoinShares, institutional inflows to SOL-based products stood at $13.2 million last week. – a jump of 388 percent.

CoinShares added that the inflows to Solna-based products have doubled so fr year-to-date, with the asset absorbing $25 million in 2021 so far. This number could rise even higher, as Delta Exchange announced earlier this week that it had launched options trading for the coin. Investors can now purchase options calls on SOL with daily maturities, although weekly and monthly maturities are expected to be rolled out subsequently.

Besides, investors are still waiting for the Solana Investment Trust announced by Grayscale Investments back in June. Grayscale is the industry’s largest asset management firm, and support for Solana should increase the asset’s credibility among institutional investors even more.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Poly Network Declares the Hacker a “White Hat” After He Returns Almost All the Stolen $610 Mln

What remains to be recovered is the $235 million of funds that have been sent to a “shared multisig” account which requires the keys from both the Poly Network and the hacker to access and the $33 million USDT frozen by Tether.

Poly Network, a little-known project which is not connected to Ethereum sidechain protocol Polygon (MATIC), declared its hacker as a “white hat,” referring to ethical hackers who aim to expose vulnerability upon the return of most of the stolen $610 million funds.

The last $235 million has been sent to a “shared multisig” account which requires the keys from both the Poly Network and the hacker to access the funds, said Tom Robinson, chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic, a crypto tracking firm.

According to the hacker’s message, they will “provide the final key when everyone is ready.”

Additionally, $33 million USDT is also yet to be returned as Tether froze them on the day of the attack. Poly Network said on Twitter,

“The repayment process has not yet been completed. To ensure the safe recovery of user assets, we hope to maintain communication with Mr. White Hat and convey accurate information to the public.”

The hacker claims to have been offered a $500k bounty to return the stolen assets by Poly Network and the promise of not being accountable for the incident.

While the hacker turned down the offer of a bounty, they did ask for donations from the general public as a reward for doing the right thing. The hacker’s donation account has so far received 1.475 ETH worth nearly $4,800.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, in the biggest ever DeFi hack, the hacker attacked the cross-chain network and stole $610 million worth of crypto assets, including stablecoins from three different blockchains Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Polygon.

Founded last year in August by Chinese entrepreneur Da Hongfei, the chief executive of another blockchain platform, NEO, the hack of Poly Network mainly affected the Chinese individuals.

Less than 24 hours after the hack, crypto security firm SlowMist said that it had identified the attacker’s email id, IP addresses, and device fingerprints, adding the hack was “likely to be a long-planned, organized and prepared attack.”

In a series of Q&As, which the hacker did by sending transactions to themselves with text embedded within them, they said the attack was “for fun” and that they just wanted to “expose the vulnerability” before others could exploit it. They also said the plan was “always” to return the funds.

But not everyone believes that, as Gurvais Grigg, CTO at blockchain forensics company Chainalysis and former FBI veteran, said, it was likely that white hat hackers may have returned the money due to difficulties of laundering it.

While the hacker has returned the funds, they may still be pursued by the authorities as “their activities have left numerous digital breadcrumbs on the blockchain for law enforcement to follow, aided by blockchain analytics tools,” said Robinson.

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Author: AnTy

Large VC Firms and Pension Funds Are Coming in Crypto and Inflating the Valuations: PwC

Large VC Firms and Pension Funds Are Coming in Crypto and Inflating the Valuations: PwC

Cryptocurrency companies are enjoying a rapid rise in valuations thanks to the entry of large investors, according to professional services firm PwC.

Big venture capital firms, private equity players, and even pension funds are replacing family offices and boutique firms in these fundraising campaigns of crypto companies, PwC Crypto Leader Henri Arslanian told Bloomberg in an interview.

Arslanian said these big names are putting a bid in for a higher valuation, making smaller venture capital firms unhappy. He added,

“This is happening a lot with very early-stage companies, say, $5 million to $20 million — the prices are being inflated.”

Back in 2020, crypto M&A was about $3 billion, but in 2021 this amount was raised in just the last two to three months alone. Crypto deals have heated up in recent months after crypto asset prices went skywards.

According to Arslanian, besides the regulatory risk, the challenge involves assessing the valuation of businesses that are a few months or years old. Another issue, he said, is a lack of suitable assets to invest in as there aren’t many companies that are “investable, looking for capital and could absorb $100 million.”

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Mining ETF Focused On Green Energy Launches On NYSE

Investment firm Viridi Funds has launched an environmentally friendly, crypto mining-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF). The fund aims to invest in crypto mining firms using cleaner sources of energy.

Viridi Funds’ New RIGZ ETF

The ETF dubbed the Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining and Semiconductor ETF will trade on the New York Stock Exchange’s Arca platform under the symbol ‘RIGZ.’

According to the announcement, Viridi Funds will serve as a sub-adviser to the fund, with Alpha Architect creating the fund’s infrastructure.

The ETF, which has an expense ratio of 0.9%, was first filed by Viridi in April this year.

Viridi said 80% of the fund’s investment would go to publicly traded miners, while 20% would go towards semiconductors that take advantage of clean energy. The fund would only invest in miners who have switched to nuclear or renewable energy sources or are working on offsetting their carbon emissions with carbon credits.

According to the CEO of Viridi Funds, Wes Fulford, the firm would use an internal proprietary screening algorithm to select the companies based on their current and planned energy source.

Viridi Funds is backed by several investors, including CoinShares, Alameda Ventures, Luxor Technology, Fundamental Labs, and Mechanism Capital.

Fulford commented on the recent movement of miners from China to North America. He said this was good news as North American miners have access to renewable energy sources.

“We believe that based on recent developments within the Chinese mining sector, North American miners that have access to sustainable low-cost power, large fleets of new-generation rigs, and access to capital are well-positioned to generate higher returns during the months and years ahead.”

With the migration of Chinese miners to North America, the country now accounts for nearly 17% of all global Bitcoin mining, CNBC reports.

Viridi’s ETF Amid Calls For Clean Energy

Viridi’s new product launch is part of the growing efforts of institutions in focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

Several partnerships have been formed lately by US crypto mining firms to make Bitcoin mining more environmentally friendly. Last week, Bitcoin miner Cleanspark partnered with ESG focused miner Coinmint to increase scalability.

Other companies like Hut 8 and Hive Blockchain have also signed deals recently purchasing new machines to increase their hashrate.

For months, all the buzz has been about Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. While countries like Canada and Brazil have already listed Bitcoin ETFs in their stock exchanges, the US is yet to approve any.

Viridi’s ETF differs because it will not invest directly in cryptocurrencies but will likely have indirect exposure to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. This is because many publicly listed miners have these assets on their balance sheets.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Extreme Right-Wing Groups Using Virtual Assets and Stablecoins to Move Funds: FATF Report

Extreme Right-Wing Groups Using Virtual Assets and Stablecoins to Move Funds: FATF Report

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released a report called “Ethnically or Racially Motivated Terrorism Financing” that talks about the use of cryptocurrencies by terrorists to move funds.

The global anti-money laundering watchdog said few countries had designated extreme right-wing groups (ERW) or individuals as terrorists who appear to be becoming more adept at disguising their financial activities.

Some of these ERWs are also using virtual assets like Bitcoin to move funds, according to a new FATF report. Using “so-called privacy coins” meanwhile allows them to maintain anonymity when making transactions. The report said,

“There has been plenty of interest in VAs from different ERW groups and individuals looking for anonymity, especially after being removed from mainstream payment platforms.”

Those who are more security-conscious and looking for a greater level of secrecy “often choose VAs.” However, the agency noted that “there is limited information on the volume of funds being transferred in this way.”

The FATF further points to the use of stablecoins, one created by the group itself “where transactional data only lasted 24 hours before becoming untraceable.” One far-right organization in South Africa created this stablecoin which was managed by an application styled PayApp that “enables the group to use digital money as cash.”

The report also mentions that these groups have property “central” to their fundraising activities as such argues that authorities should target them to deter terrorist financing and disrupt related financial networks.

Additionally, these groups are using concerts, music festivals, mixed martial arts events, and merchandise sales to raise funds, socialize, and network.

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Author: AnTy

PwC Report: Boom Time For DeFi Sector As Crypto Hedge Funds Show Growing Interest

PwC Report: Boom Time For DeFi Sector As Crypto Hedge Funds Show Growing Interest

A newly released report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) has shown that hedge funds’ interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) is growing.

The research titled the 2020 Global Crypto Hedge Fund Report was conducted in Q1 2020, polling responses from the world’s largest global crypto hedge funds by assets under management (AUM). It specifically focused on funds that invest and trade in cryptocurrencies.

Chainlink, Polkadot, Aave Lead Altcoins In Survey

The report indicated that Chainlink (LINK), Polkadot (DOT), and Aave tokens had grown in popularity as they were in the top five cryptocurrencies hedge funds were investing in.

While the report showed Bitcoin leading as the most popular asset among funds, Ethereum and Litecoin followed suit, featuring 67% and 34% respectively of all crypto hedge funds surveyed. DeFi tokens Chainlink and Polkadot closed up the top five crypto assets with 30% and 28%, respectively, while Aave came at number five with 27%.

The research also noted that some altcoins were more popular than their market capitalizations would suggest. The research reads,

“Among the top 15 traded altcoins, some of them are considerably more popular than their market capitalization would suggest. Litecoin and Chainlink are the second and third most traded altcoins, but their market capitalizations are far lower than Polkadot and Cardano, which fare lower in the trading ranks.”

Also shocking was the discovery that almost 31% of crypto hedge funds use decentralized exchanges (DEXs), according to the report. With Uniswap being the most widely used DEX (16%), followed by 1inch (8%) and SushiSwap (4%).

According to PwC, the total number of assets under management of crypto hedge funds globally doubled in 2020, climbing from $2 billion in 2019 to $3.8 billion.

Crypto hedge funds were also found to be actively involved in staking, lending, and borrowing activities.

Crypto Hedge Funds Push Bitcoin Price By Buying The Dip

According to reports, Crypto hedge funds bought the dip as they saw the crypto market crash as a chance to buy Bitcoin for less.

This was after former Morgan Stanley Trader, Felix Dian encouraged hedge funds to buy the dip, suggesting that this was why they were in the digital currency market.

Professional investors also treated the Bitcoin crash as an opportunity to buy Bitcoin at a discount. Institutions reportedly bought 34,000 Bitcoin on Tuesday and Wednesday last week after selling as much as 51,000 Bitcoin over the previous two weeks.

The buyer pressure was said to have impacted Bitcoin’s price positively by briefly pushing it up to $42.172 before it later dropped to $36,808, following the news of China’s crypto crackdown.

Meanwhile, in recent times banks have launched several cryptocurrency offerings. The latest move was made by investment bank Cowen which partnered with blockchain technology provider PolySign earlier this month to provide qualified institutional clients access to cryptocurrencies.

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Author: Jimmy Aki