Sovereign Wealth Fund Hiring Blockchain Talent to Invest in Web3, Pantera Capital Raises $600M

Sovereign Wealth Fund Hiring Blockchain Talent to Invest in Web3, Pantera Capital Raises $600M for 4th Fund from Endowment

Funds continue to flow into the cryptocurrency market, with Pantera Capital being the latest to raise funding for its another crypto venture fund.

Pantera Capital has raised $600 million for its fourth venture fund, according to tech news site The Information, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The fund is expected to reach $1 billion when it closes in March and will invest in venture equity and crypto tokens that have launched and are in development.

About 75% of the capital for the new fund is coming from institutional sources such as endowments, much different from the firm’s $175 million it raised in 2018, which was mainly funded by individuals, including wealthy crypto investors.

Just two months back in September, Pantera raised $369 million for its then-new blockchain fund. As of August, the firm had $4.7 billion in assets under management.

Tiger Management alum Dan Morehead founded Pantera in 2003 as a global hedge fund which later shifted its focus to digital currencies and since then has backed more than 80 blockchain companies and 65 early-stage deals, including Coinbase, Circle, and Ripple.

The reservations of Pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, and other institutions are surely dissipating as they increasingly invest in crypto space this year. “Institutions are coming” is certainly not a meme anymore.

Banks are also increasing their efforts with Fidelity, UBS Asset Management, and State Street Global Advisors, confirming that they are looking into the potential of offering exposure to crypto, much like rivals BlackRock and Invesco.

Assets in European exchange-traded products (ETPs) and mutual funds with crypto exposure have topped €10.5 billion, according to Morningstar data.

Fidelity said it was “keeping close to the evolution of cryptocurrencies” as part of their wider exploration of the potential for digital assets, while Clemens Reuter, global head of ETFs at UBS, said, “(Cryptocurrency is) an area everyone needs to look at the moment.”

Citi is also hiring 100 people over the next several months to bolster its blockchain and digital assets divisions. The bank has also made Puneet Singhvi the head of digital assets for its Institutional Clients Group (ICG) as of Dec. 1.

“We are focused on assessing the needs of our clients in the digital asset space,” Citi has said in a statement.

Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek is another one hiring more blockchain talent to lead the efforts in exploring opportunities in AI and Blockchain technologies, “which the firm believes are long-term trends and will have a transformational impact across multiple industries and geographies.”

As per the job description on LinkedIn, Temasek is prioritizing projects on multi-currency payments, financial assets tokenization, and self-sovereign identity with a secondary focus on making select investments into web 3 venture funds and direct investments.

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Author: AnTy

A New Option “Select NFT” Coming to Twitter, Dating App Bumble Hiring the “Head of Crypto and Web3”

A New Option “Select NFT” Coming to Twitter, Dating App Bumble Hiring the “Head of Crypto and Web3”

Jack Dorsey’s Twitter will allow NFT profiles to be displayed in a different shape to the regular round images, found app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi.

Another assessment of Twitter’s code, this time by Jane Manchun Wong, showed that the social media giant would soon provide its users with a new option called “Select NFT” to update their profile image.

Users will then need to connect their crypto wallet to link their NFT collection directly into Twitter’s display tool.

With this, the idea is to verify the ownership of the NFT.

In September, Twitter announced that it would roll out a way for users to authenticate their NFTs on the platform. An early preview showed that users could link their personal cryptocurrency wallets and NFT marketplace OpenSea accounts to showcase their NFTs directly on Twitter.

The feature, accessible through the Edit Profile option, also showed that it allowed users to choose an avatar from their NFT collection to replace their profile picture.

Crypto Enters The Dating World

In other news, online dating app Bumble is hiring an executive role of “Head of Crypto and Web3,” as per the company’s job posting. The person will be responsible for laying the foundation to support Bumble’s crypto strategy, focusing on the creator economy. Bumble President Tariq Shaukat said in an interview,

“What we really think is really interesting in the near term is the application of blockchain and crypto in general to the experience that our communities have. Fundamentally, we are not just an ecosystem, but we are a community of people.”

Bumble is testing several things related to crypto that will be rolled out in the coming months, said Shaukat.

“This is something that is going to evolve. We want to make sure we’re setting the technical engineering foundation for whatever emerges in the metaverse and in the Web 3 world.”

Earlier last month, as we reported, the popular dating app Tinder also announced that it is rolling out an in-app currency so as to encourage users to spend more time swiping and spending real money on the app.

The company expects the coins to play “an important role” because virtual currency is useful in the context of gifting digital goods, said Chief Financial Officer Gary Swidler at the time.

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Author: AnTy

Payment Processor Stripe Is Hiring an Engineer for its Brand New “Crypto” Team

Payment Processor Stripe Is Hiring an Engineer for its Brand New “Crypto” Team

San Francisco-based financial-technology firm Stripe is now hiring for the position of “Staff Engineer, Crypto,” according to the company’s website.

“As the usage of cryptocurrency grows worldwide, it opens up new exciting avenues for businesses and individuals to transact and create value,” writes Stripe in the job description.

With the cryptocurrency space seeing a “growing need” for better building blocks to move funds, accept payments, and exchange between fiat and crypto, Stripe aims to “build faster, more trustworthy, and higher quality crypto-enabled experiences,” it added.

The company created a “brand new” team Crypto and is now looking for a Staff Engineer for this team who will design and build the core components to support crypto use cases and new developments.

The company is looking for someone with experience developing in the cryptocurrency space and will be responsible for laying “the foundation to support and inform Stripe’s crypto strategy.”

Additionally, the person chosen for this role will have to identify and resolve long-term technical challenges that range from blockchain to data storage services and API design to user experience.

The online payment processor notes that it has been supporting the crypto community since 2014 when it contributed to the Stellar Foundation and the same year started accepting Bitcoin.

Founded in 2010, Stripe raised $600 million in March this year at a valuation of $95 billion and currently provides its services in a total of 46 countries.

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Author: AnTy

America’s Largest Retailer, Walmart, Is Hiring A “Cryptocurrency Product Lead”

America’s Largest Retailer, Walmart, Is Hiring A “Cryptocurrency Product Lead”

With this crypto move, the eCommerce company aims to enable a broader set of payment options for its customers.

After e-commerce giant Amazon, multinational retail corporation Walmart is the latest company to hire a crypto lead.

Less than 24 hours back, the company posted a job for a digital currency and cryptocurrency product lead. For this job, Walmart requires someone passionate about Digital Currencies and would be responsible for developing the digital currency strategy and product roadmap at the company.

“As one of the largest retailers and e-commerce companies, Walmart enables a broad set of payment options for its customers.”

The cryptocurrency lead will drive the Digital Currency strategy for Walmart and identify crypto-related investment and partnerships.

For this position, one needs to have a Bachelor’s Degree, over a decade-long experience in product management, technology commercialization, and of course, have experience in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and related technologies as well along with the knowledge of the players involved in the rapidly growing industry.

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Author: AnTy

Amazon Is Hiring A Product Leader to Develop its Digital Currency

Amazon Is Hiring A Product Leader to Develop its Digital Currency

Amazon is hiring a Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead as it progresses into the cryptocurrency sector.

With $1.83 trillion market capitalization, the tech giant is looking for an experienced product leader to develop Amazon’s Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy and product roadmap.

Based in Seattle, Washington, the position is part of Amazon’s Payments & Experience team.

According to the job posting on the company’s website, the person must understand the digital cryptocurrency ecosystem and related technologies to “own the vision and strategy” for its digital currency and its roadmap.

They will be leveraging the domain expertise in cryptocurrency, blockchain, distributed ledger, and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) to develop the capabilities and drive the overall vision and product strategy.

Earlier this year, there has been chatter about the company working on an Amazon Coin when it posted a job for “Software Development Manager – Digital and Emerging Payments” with Mexico’s prime members chosen for the new payment product.

Back in 2019, when Facebook announced its stablecoin project Diem previously known as Libra, Patrick Gauthier, vice president of Amazon Pay, said it wouldn’t be creating its own cryptocurrency anytime soon.

“At Amazon, we don’t really deal in the speculative,” Gauthier said at the time.

Earlier this month, Jeff Bezos stepped down as the company CEO and is now exploring space. Andy Jessy is the new CEO who previously ran Amazon’s cloud-computing division (AWS).

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Author: AnTy

Apple Hiring a Manager with Experience in Alternative Payments including Crypto and Digital Wallets

Apple Hiring a Manager with Experience in Alternative Payments including Crypto and Digital Wallets

Tech giant, which is sitting at $195.57 billion in cash, is looking for a professional in global alternative and emerging payment solutions.

Tech giant Apple is now hiring for a Business Development Manager for Alternative Payments.

The Apple Wallets, Payments, and Commerce (WPC) team is looking for a Business Development Manager to lead Alternative Payments Partnerships — a professional in global alternative and emerging payment solutions.

Posted this week, the job is located at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA, and they are looking for someone with over a decade of experience in financial services.

However, the most important part is more than five years of experience required in or with alternative payment providers, such as digital wallets, BNPL, Fast Payments, cryptocurrency, etc.., as per the job description.

This is an interesting development given that back in August 2019, Apple credit card launched with Goldman Sachs Group, designed to be used with Apple Pay on Apple devices, specifically stated that they would not allow the purchase of cryptocurrencies with it.

Ever since Tesla announced its $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin earlier this year, the crypto community has been expecting another big name like Google, Facebook, or Apple to do the same, but so far, nothing of the like has happened.

In its fiscal Q1 2021 earnings report, the company with a $2.1 trillion market cap revealed that Apple has one of the largest cash piles in the US. Up 2% from last quarter, Apple has $195.57 billion in cash on hand.

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Author: AnTy

Canada’s Central Bank Seeks an Economist to Monitor Digital Currencies and FinTech

The Bank of Canada is hiring an economist for “Digital Currencies and Financial Technologies.”

As per the official page, Canada’s central bank is currently engaged in a “large-scale research program to analyze the risks and opportunities” of the new developments in the fintech sector.

The idea is to ride the wave of innovation in fintech that is transforming the landscape of currency, payments systems, and financial intermediation. “This is a program of major social significance and will require us to break new ground,” says the bank.

The key part of this program is the monitoring framework for money and payments and the “contingency planning” for a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Earlier this week, Deputy Governor Tim Lane said the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating public use of online services, which means the central bank must move quickly to research how a CBDC works.

CBDC “looking a lot more urgent”

Under this position, the economist will be monitoring and analyzing developments in electronic money and payments, including CBDCs, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, crypto exchanges, and others, develop tools for analysis, develop a policy to help maintain Canadian monetary sovereignty, and work on the “the potential development of a CBDC.”

The job position is for a 3 year time period with the possibility of extension and permanence that requires the knowledge of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other networks and have experience in handling and analyzing public blockchain data besides the usual master’s degree in the relevant field.

With the closing date of October 25, the security level required for the position of “FSS Analyst, CBDC” is “Secret.” Currently, there is no specific time frame for the launch of a CBDC, Lane said,

“The main point, I think, is this is all looking a lot more urgent because of the speed with which technology is evolving.”

On Wednesday, during the panel discussion on the future of money, Lane also said that they are talking to several companies, including tech companies, banks, and financial institutions that are developing products or advising on the related things, on issuing a CBDC.

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Author: AnTy

US Authorities Arrest A Women in Murder-for-Hire; Paid $5k In Bitcoin to Scammer

A woman based out of Nevada has been arrested by the authorities for allegedly hiring a hitman to get her ex-husband killed. It is being reported that the woman paid $5000 in Bitcoin on the dark web, but the website turned out to be a scam, and the woman was indicted for conspiring to kill her husband.

The woman was identified as Kristy Lynn Felkins residing in Fallon, Nevada, as per the court documents from the US District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Authorities were tipped off about the payment, who later traced the website and went on to track the bitcoin transaction made by the accused along with the incriminating messages that she exchanged with the bogus dark web website.

How Did the Murder Plot Begin?

The court documents revealed that Felkins started talking to someone over the dark web using a privacy-centric Tor browser (it uses multiple layers of addresses to constantly change the IP address of the user to avoid any tracing) back in 2016. The individual she was talking to advised her to launder bitcoin using peer-to-peer marketplace localbitcoins.com to avoid any tracing.

Felkins was not so sure about the idea and, at one point, even asked the representative of the website whether they were from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). She asked,

“How do I know you are not FBI, they do have the capability to infect one’s device and trace them back to their real IP. Just being cautious.”

Felkins eventually agreed to do as she was asked, and between March 6, 2016, and March 9, she sent 12 Bitcoins to the website. She asked the website to shoot her husband outside his workplace, and at one point, even suggested the murder look like a mugging gone wrong. However, the website demanded an additional $4000 for the task, and Felkins backed out, asking the “hitman” to proceed with the killing as agreed in the first place.

Felkins revealed that her ex-husband was quite abusive both mentally and physically. In one of her conversations with the alleged hitman, she said,

“This man mentally, physically, sexually, and emotionally abused me. I ran, and then he took my children away from me. He now mentally abuses my children and threatens their physical well being. He is quite the snake and master manipulator.”

The shady dark web marketplace, after receiving the money, started to give excuses to her and, at one point, even said that her husband was not found at his workplace. Both parties stopped communication in April 2016, while the authorities came to know about the alleged murder plot almost three years later and indicted Felkins on Thursday.

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Author: James W

Jack Dorsey’s Square Crypto Is Building a ‘Super Unicorn’ Bitcoin Designer Community

Instead of hiring a unicorn designer, Square Crypto is now helping foster a “super unicorn” Bitcoin design community.

After all, according to the team, “Great design is essential to the adoption of new technologies.”

Fifteen months after Square Crypto first came into existence, the company will kickstart a new community of bitcoin designers. They will now offer grants to designers as well, which will last six months. Their existing grant program already gives developers the resources to focus exclusively on Bitcoin.

According to Square Crypto, the designer community of bitcoin is a growing one but also disconnected and underfunded.

Back in May 2019 at the time when Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey first announced that Square is hiring crypto engineers and a designer, he had emphasized that the crypto ecosystem is an “underfunded area.”

“Great design will help more people access this technology faster and better. And we want to see more work to educate,” he said.

As such, instead of hiring one full-time designer, they are building a decentralized Bitcoin design community that won’t be run by Square’s crypto division. The official announcement reads,

“We expect this community to consist of freelance designers, designers who work full-time at bitcoin companies, and designers who are curious about bitcoin but not sure where to apply their skills.”

To participate, or join the Bitcoin Design Slack workspace to engage in discussions with fellow designers, contribute to a bitcoin design guide — with a focus on best practices for user onboarding, payments, private key management, and other areas where bitcoin’s UX currently lacks.

Here, designers also provide feedback on others’ work and contribute user experience research to open-source projects such as Bitcoin Core, BTCPay Server, and Bisq.

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Author: AnTy

44% Think Bitcoin’s in a Bull Market & Alt-Season Will Occur in 2020: Kraken Survey

In the currently unstable environment where industries are laying off, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is on a hiring spree as it moves ahead to expand its team with 67 new hires.

The exchange also released a report called 2020 Sentiment Survey at a time when bitcoin has crashed 50% from this year’s top.

However, despite this, 44% of the respondents that involve investors and traders believe we are in a bull market in comparison to 22% that think we’re in a bear market.

Crypto market widely expects 2020 to be the year of the beginning of the bull run as such these industry participants remain as bullish as ever on the market as despite only 36% of them having raised capital last year, 49% now expect to do so this year.

According to 20% of Kraken’s VIP client base, adoption from central banks, corporations, various generations, institutions, and/or retail users would accelerate the crypto adoption.

Other potential drivers include bitcoin reward halving, conflict (political, war, etc.), FOMO, crisis (currency, debt, financial, etc.), and ongoing product development.

Bitcoin and Altcoins

Currently, Bitcoin is trading around $6,500 but the average price target for this year puts the digital asset at a new all-time high at $22,866, while the most commonly cited target was the $20,000.

Meanwhile, people remain as hopeful of a Bitcoin ETF as ever despite there being no proposal left for the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approval. 48% of the respondents believe a Bitcoin ETF will be approved in 2020.

When it comes to altcoins, the top five choices of Kraken’s survey respondents are Ether (ETH), Monero (XMR), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Tezos (XTZ), in this order.

The reasons for having these altcoins as their favorite included their development team, for hedging, liquidity, security, utility, and volatility.

However, what about the alt-season? The majority, 54%, still believes that the alt-season will occur in 2020.

These respondents see Ether surging to $810 this year, an increase of more than 500% from current prices. While the median price target was $500, the most frequent target was $300.

Coming onto the stablecoins, while over 44% of the respondents don’t use any stablecoin, Tether remains the top choice with 33.6% because of its ease of use, exchange support, stability, and supported pairs.

USDT is followed by USD Coin (8.7%) which is favored for being regulated, stable, and trusted and then DAI (8.4%) because of its Dai Savings Rate (DSR), being decentralized, and Ethereum-based.

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Author: AnTy