NBA Top Shot Creator, Dapper Labs, Raises $305 Million from Top NBA Players and Celebrities

NBA Top Shot Creator, Dapper Labs, Raises $305 Million from Top NBA Players and Celebrities

Dapper Labs, the company behind the in-demand NBA Top Shot, a collectibles app, raises $305 million in a celebrity-stacked investor pool. Former and current NBA players such as Michael Jordan & Kevin Durant, actors Will Smith, rapper 2 Chainz, and a couple of venture capital firms joined the round.

In a report by USA Today, top NFT collectibles app, NBA Top Shot creator Dapper Labs, is raising $305 million in its latest round of financing. The funding round was led by Coatue Ventures featuring several high-profile celebrities and NBA players, including Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Lowry, Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Drummond, Alex Caruso, and Khris Middleton, among others.

Other high-profile investors in the round include Will Smith, Shawn Mendes and Andrew Gertler’s AG Ventures, Shay Mitchell, and 2 Chainz. Venture capital firms participating in the round include Andreessen Horowitz (az16), Version One, and Barstool’s investor, The Chermin Group.

Launched in July 2019, NBA Top Shot is an NBA-licensed product that lets users purchase digital packs of cards (or “moments”) that can be instantly bought and sold through a marketplace.

Dapper Labs created and manages the Flow Blockchain, an NFT marketplace that sells the NBA Top Shot collectibles. According to a person familiar with the matter, the new funding will be used to expand the NFT marketplace to other sports, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Major League Baseball (MLB) associations.

“We want to bring the same magic to other sports leagues as well as help other entertainment studios and independent creators find their own approaches in exploring open platforms,” Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou.

Speaking to USA Today, a spokesperson from Dapper Labs confirmed the latest round of financing would set the company’s valuation at $2.6 billion.

If you are not familiar with the ongoing NFT mania: NFTs, short for non-fungible tokens, and are unique cryptographically secured collectibles such as digital art, pictures, music, video clips, GIF, etc. NFTs are stored on a blockchain, ensuring the uniqueness of these rare collectibles.

Over the past few weeks, NBA Top Shot has seen increased demands for its collectibles – reporting total gross revenue of $483 million from over 800,000 participants on the platform in March alone. The NBA Top Shot beta app also launched on the Samsung Galaxy Store back in October 2020.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Chainalysis Raises $100 Million with a $2 Billion Valuation, No Plans to Go Public Yet

Chainalysis Raises $100 Million with a $2 Billion Valuation, No Plans to Go Public Yet

Blockchain research and analysis firm Chainalysis is the latest company in the crypto industry to raise funds. The firm has raised $100 million from investors led by Paradigm, co-founded by crypto exchange Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehsram.

TIME Ventures, the investment fund of billionaire Marc Benioff also participated in the funding round along with the previous backers, Addition, and Ribbit.

The new investment came just on the back of a $100 million investment in November, bringing Chainalysis’s valuation at more than $2 billion.

The New York-based company helps private firms and government agencies process and mine blockchain data for analysis recorded on blockchains to root out “cryptocurrency crime and money laundering.”

The company aims to use the raised funds for hiring across all parts of the organization and expand its product portfolio to provide new data solutions.

Chainalysis is building solutions for cryptocurrency businesses and financial services providers to optimize their market development strategies based on on-chain customer behaviors, help asset managers use on-chain data to discover crypto investing opportunities, and government agencies connect on-chain activity to other data sets.

As of yet, Chainalysis has no plans to go public, said Chief Executive Officer Michael Gronager, adding that they are choosing growth over profitability for the time being.

“We’re assuming we can do even better in 2022,” he said. “We can do more, but doing more takes money.”

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Author: AnTy

Lolli Raises $5 Million From Reddit Founder’s VC Fund to Accelerate Bitcoin Adoption

Lolli Raises $5 Million From Reddit Founder’s VC Fund to Accelerate Bitcoin Adoption

Bitcoin rewards company Lolli has raised $5 million in the latest funding round led by Seven Seven Six, the venture capital fund headed by Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit.

“This is an exciting time and opportunity to accelerate adoption and increase accessibility to bitcoin,” said Alex Adelman, CEO, and Co-founder of Lolli.

This funding will be used towards the development of the mobile app, facilitating a seamless shopping experience for a growing user base, and Lolli’s international expansion.

The company raised $3 million in its Seed Round led by PathFinder and investors like Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures, beauty mogul Michelle Phan, Digital Currency Group, and Bain Capital.

Founded in 2018, Lolli offers up to 30% and an average of 7% Bitcoin-back rewards at over 100 retailers. To date, its users have earned more than $3 million in BTC rewards.

“Lolli first launched on Product Hunt in 2018 & won a Golden Kitty + earned #5 Product of the Day,” tweeted Product Hunt, a website to share and discover new products.

In its official announcement, Seren Williams, on behalf of the investment from Serena Ventures, called this a “step towards financial inclusivity for all people.” Ohanian, who was also an early investor in Coinbase said,

“Lolli is leading the way for bitcoin adoption. They have a unique chance to engage with an entirely new Bitcoin user base. As someone who has closely followed and participated in the industry, I see this as a crucial turning point to drive value and create opportunity for the mainstream.”

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Author: AnTy

Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Sold as an NFT for $2.9 Million; Proceeds Donated to African Charity

Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Sold as an NFT for $2.9 Million; Proceeds Donated to African Charity

Twitter and Square CEO and founder Jack Dorsey have announced the first-ever tweet auction is complete, the NFT selling for $2.9 million. The NFT sold via a decentralized auction service, Valuables by crypto company, Cent. The NFT-tweet was sold to Sina Estavi, CEO of the TRON-related company Bridge Oracle, who won the auction after a close competition with Justin Sun, CEO of Tron.

Estavi originally offered 1630.5825601 ETH for the tweet, beating Justin’s 1304.466 ETH (~$2 million) with the coin’s appreciation since then to $2.9 million.

On March 5, Jack minted the first-ever tweet into an NFT on Ethereum. Buying this tweet would mean you are purchasing a “digital certificate of the tweet, unique because it has been signed and verified by the creator.”

The bid proceeds have been sent via Bitcoin to the Give Directly Africa Fund that aims to improve sending money across African countries, including Togo, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the U.S.

Jack Dorsey’s Cash App recently allowed instant sending and receiving Bitcoin using your $cashapptag on the platform. Users can send up to $7000 every week at no cost.

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Author: Lujan Odera

French Gov. to Auction Off $34 Million in Bitcoin (611 BTC); Majority From 2019 GateHub Hack

French Gov. to Auction Off $34 Million in Bitcoin (611 BTC); Majority From 2019 GateHub Hack

An auction firm has been contracted to host the sale of 611 BTC before the end of the week on behalf of the French government.

A French government agency in charge of the recovery and management of seized and confiscated assets will now sell 611 BTC using a local auction house. In early March, the French government officials confiscated a significant amount of the crypto assets from a 2019 GateHub heist. The theft of the crypto assets included Ripple XRP; the French government may have exchanged them for BTC to ease sale on the crypto market.

Using prevailing Bitcoin market prices, the 611 BTC are valued at $34 million.

Individuals wishing to take part in the auction were given up to March 13 to register. The auction will kick off on Wednesday, March 17th, at 9 a.m. The auction features lot sizes of 437, which will range in Bitcoin amounts of 0.11 and up to 2 BTC.

Kapandji Morhange has been shortlisted by French Agency for the Recovery and Management of Seized and Confiscated Assets (AGRASC) to hold the auction.

On other related news, the US government is set to auction about 0.75 BTC valued at about $42,268, using the current value this week. The government officials did not divulge details about the assets’ source or what led to the auction.

This is not the first time when governments are selling seized and confiscated crypto assets via auctions. At the start of this year, Finnish authorities made headlines after a decision was made to auction Bitcoins that had been seized concerning criminal investigations connected to drug trafficking and related crimes. At the time, the government confiscated about 1,666 BTC, which was worth at the time, $860,000.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

FinTech, Investview, Reports a Record Month Adding $1M in Bitcoin & Crypto to Its Holdings

FinTech, Investview, Reports a Record Month Adding $1 Million in Bitcoin & Crypto To Its Holdings

Fintech company Investview Inc. reported the highest monthly gross revenue in the month of February in the company’s history. A public company, Investview, is listed on the OTC Markets Group.

The company had $5.5 million gross revenue last month and another record high of $1.9 million net income. Yet another record high monthly performance was recorded in terms of operating margin, which is estimated at 30% for February.

“It was a record month for gross revenue demonstrating strength and growth from multiple subsidiaries,” said Joe Cammarata, Chief executive Officer at Investview.

Investview also reported more than $1 million worth of digital currency holdings consisting of Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets as of Feb. 28, 2021.

Its subsidiaries are involved in providing financial education tools, content, research, and management of digital asset technology that mines cryptocurrencies, with a focus on Bitcoin mining and the generation of digital assets.

“Financial education remains a driving force with individual demand growing rapidly, especially with greater participation from Gen X and Y.”

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Author: AnTy

Cryptocurrency Exchange Secures $50 Million Investment

Cryptocurrency Exchange Secures $50 Million Investment

FalconX, a crypto trading platform, has secured a $50 million investment from Tiger Global and B Capital Group.

Tiger Global was also involved in BlockFi’s $350 million Series D round, showing “broader conviction in cryptocurrencies as an asset class.”

This year, Bitcoin became a trillion-dollar asset while the overall cryptocurrency market cap has surpassed $1.7 trillion.

In this current crypto boom environment, crypto businesses are raising money left, right, and center. Every day, many companies are announcing their funding rounds with millions of dollars secured in investments.

FalconX’s existing investors include Coinbase Venture, the investment arm of leading US crypto exchange Coinbase, which is marching towards its own public listing with a valuation of $100 billion. Other investors are Accel, Avon Ventures, a venture capital fund with ties to FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, Accomplice, and Lightspeed.

Over the last year, the start-up had its net revenue growing 46x, driven by a substantial increase in demand for crypto assets from institutional investors.

“We believe FalconX is positioned to be an industry leader in the institutional cryptocurrency market,” said Scott Shleifer, partner at Tiger Global.

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Author: AnTy

43 Million Retail Investors Now Gets Access to SUSHI, MATIC, & SKL on Coinbase Pro

43 Million Retail Investors Now Gets Access to SUSHI, MATIC, & SKL on Coinbase Pro

SKALE (SKL) reacted the most to the Coinbase Pro listing. The three crypto-assets will begin trading on March 11 and are not yet available in New York State and on Coinbase.com or its mobile apps.

Coinbase, the leading US cryptocurrency exchange, has listed popular DeFi token SUSHI along with MATIC and SKL.

SUSHI is the governance token of Sushiswap, the second-largest decentralized exchange (DEX), managing about $500 million in daily trading volume. The DeFi token is trading at $18.50, up 450% YTD.

MATIC powers the Polygon Network that aims to provide faster and cheaper transactions on Ethereum using Layer 2 sidechains. Trading at $0.321, the token has been having a spectacular 2021 with 1,720% gains this year so far.

The company disclosed that its investment arm, Coinbase Ventures invested in the project Matic in 2019 and owns MATIC tokens.

Unlike the other two tokens, SKALE reacted to the listing the most with a 93% increase in value, currently trading around $0.55. It is an Ethereum-compatible decentralized network designed to scale Web3 applications.

All three crypto-assets are listed against USD, BTC, EUR, and GBP, with SUSHI having an additional pairing with ETH as well.

Now, US users will be able to get access to these DeFi tokens, which, as Coinbase revealed in its SEC filing, are 43 million. Also, institutions will be joining in as they now account for 64% of Coinbase’s volume by customer segment as of Q4 2020.

These cryptos will be available in all of the exchange’s supported jurisdictions except for New York State. For now, they are not yet available on Coinbase.com or through its mobile apps either.

While the transfers on Coinbase Pro accounts are now opened, trading will begin on March 11.

These listings are just one of the many DeFi tokens that the exchange has been exploring for listing. Several major DeFi tokens, including AAVE, Bancor (BNT), Synthetic (SNX), YFI, Uniswap (UNI), Maker (MKR), are already on Coinbase.

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Author: AnTy

Chinese DEX Platform DODO Loses $2.1 Million In Latest DeFi Attack

Chinese DEX Platform DODO Loses $2.1 Million In Latest DeFi Attack

In a tweet published in the early hours of today, DODO decentralized exchange said a number of its liquidity pools were attacked yesterday, March 8, 2021.

DODO’s V2 CrowdPool Funds Stolen

The attacks which drained a reported $2.1 million from the Chinese auto market maker (AMM) wallet saw its v2 crowdpools compromised.

According to a company update, several of its V2 crowdpools were adversely impacted. Listing them, the liquidity provider said its WSZO, WCRES, ETHA, and FUSI pools were the most affected. However, its V1 and non-crowdpool v2 pools were still relatively safe, while its AC pool funds have been fully recovered.

As a further precaution, the company said it was disabling the protocol’s pool creation portal to limit the level of damage to the network. The company went further to reassure users that it was working closely with its security provider to recover lost funds from the affected pools.

Reactions on Twitter trailed the announcement with many predicting that the funds have already been siphoned through privacy networks like Monero.

Rising Spate of Attacks in DeFi

The decentralized finance (DeFi) space has become target practice for cybercriminals since the sector gained mainstream acceptance in 2020. Cyber thieves continue to cash out in the billions, per a report released by data analytics firm Chainalysis. DODO’s attack is just the latest in a long series of thefts that have rocked the DeFi space for some time now.

Saddle Finance, a DeFi protocol, reportedly got hacked by whales arbitrating for profits within a few hours of its launch. The decentralized platform, which is a spin-off from Curve Finance, saw a large amount of its stablecoin sBTC swapped for other digital assets. Many investors reportedly lost a large chunk of their investments.

Another DeFi protocol PAID Network was also attacked in March. 5. The report released by the company on Medium showed that the attacker used a compromised private key to take advantage of the smart contract upgrade.

The attacker reportedly upgraded to a new smart contract protocol which allowed him to burn and re-mint tokens. He then proceeded to mint a mouth-watering 59,471,745.71 PAID tokens and sold them. 2.5 million of the loot was sold on decentralized protocol Uniswap. The attacker also made away with 2 million ETH before the security team noticed the fraudulent activities.

Industry Experts Tout DODO To Bounce Back

The DeFi project which was launched in August 2020 by Diane Dai, Radar Bear and an anonymous development team raised a seed fund of $600K in a round led by Framework Ventures. The protocol also saw investments coming in from prominent crypto-facing companies like Coinbase Ventures, Galaxy Digital, and Alameda Research and is highly regarded in the DeFi community.

Industry experts have expressed their belief that the DEX platform would rise from the ashes. Jerry Zhou, the managing partner at Puzzle Ventures, took to his Twitter account to express support for the embattled DeFi project.

According to Zhou, he understands how investors may feel about the news but he said they should know that nothing is ever perfect. Zhou explained,

“I can understand some investors and crowdpooling projects feel frustrated about DODO, but you should know the road is never smooth. As far as I know, they have made significant progress in recovering the funds. I believe they will show a good result in the end.”

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Badger DAO, a Bitcoin DeFi Solution, Raises $21 Million from Top Crypto Venture Capital Firms

Badger DAO, a Bitcoin DeFi Solution, Raises $21 Million from Top Crypto Venture Capital Firms

Top crypto venture capital firms invest $21 million in Bitcoin-focused decentralized finance (DeFi) platform, Badger DAO, to kick off a new era on the platform. The move aims to diversify some of the BADGER tokens held on the platform’s DAO treasury as a “backstop” to huge bearish market movements.

Reported on Thursday, Badger DAO, a Bitcoin on Ethereum DeFi solution, announced the sale of $21 million worth of its Treasury assets to four top crypto VC firms, including Polychain Capital, Parafi Capital, Blockchain Capital, and an unnamed whale wallet, 0xB1.

The idea first popped up in the Badger Improvement Proposal, BIP-37, under the “Treasury Diversification through Strategic Partnerships” plan, which aims to diversify a portion of the BADGER tokens stored in the Treasury to stablecoins managing the risk.

While it’s uncommon in the DeFi space, as most projects select to raise funds through the market on their AMMs, BIP 37 suggests funding from VCs offers better benefits for Badger DAO. Raising VCs funds will help Badger DAO reduce the market risks of selling through AMMs while gaining strategic value from the investors.

Chris Spadafora, the founder of Badger DAO, supported the current change in the system that is seeing more VCs invest in decentralized finance platforms.

“DAOs should embrace large investment players based on their willingness to participate in governance and open their network to push the protocol forward,” Spadafora said. “Doing it right for VCs is about becoming a community member vs. an investor.”

Badger DAO Treasury currently holds nearly $700 million worth of its native assets – $BADGER and $DIGG. According to Chris Spadafora, the sale involved an exchange of staked BADGER tokens (bBADGER) for USDC tokens which will be used to create a “backstop” insurance pool for users’ funds.

The proposal suggests the community take a “barbell strategy,” but a clear path on how the stablecoins will be used is yet to be determined. One idea is to hold the tokens as part of the Treasury while the USDC tokens can also be staked to earn yields to help the DAO during bear market conditions.

The VCs will also be “getting involved in governance to help the protocol grow, providing long-term liquidity and building more bridges with institutional ecosystem partners,” Spadafora added.

Badger currently sits on $1.40 billion in total locked value (TVL), according to DeFi Pulse, placing it as the tenth-largest DeFi protocol.

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Author: Lujan Odera