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

Crypto-friendly eToro Is Going Public With a $10.4 Billion Valuation

Crypto-friendly eToro Is Going Public With a $10.4 Billion Valuation

The platform is going public via a merger with a SPAC, FinTech Acquisition Corp. V.

Trading platform eToro is planning to go public through a merger with a blank-check firm. The agreement with FinTech Acquisition Corp. V would provide the company a $10.4 billion valuation.

The companies are raising $650 million in equity to support the deal. eToro is planning to go public in the second half of this year.

A rival to Robinhood Markets, eToro became a member of the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) just last year. Founded in 2007, the company with 20 million registered users across the world expanded into the US in 2018.

The zero-commission trading platform also supports cryptocurrency trading but has limited digital assets available for users. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and XLM are the only supported cryptos on the platform.

In the crypto space, just last week, digital asset manager CoinShares also began trading on Nasdaq Nordic. Nasdaq First North Growth Market is an alternative stock exchange for small and medium-sized growth companies in Europe.

After an oversubscribed public offering by 400%, amidst the bull market, the shares started trading under the ticker “CS” changed from “COIN” as mentioned in the earlier release. “COIN” was also proposed for the leading crypto exchange in the US, Coinbase, which is going public through the direct listing with a $100 billion valuation.

CoinShares welcomed around 2,280 new shareholders. Last month, the Jersey-based investment firm launched an Ethereum exchange-traded product (ETP) on the Swiss SIX exchange with $75 million in AUM.

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Author: AnTy

NEM Group Launches ‘Interoperable’ Public Blockchain For Enterprise Users

Blockchain company NEM Group has announced the release of a new public blockchain called Symbol, per a press release today.

Symbol With Atomic Swap Capabilities

The project comes with enterprise-grade programmability and security. It will enable development teams and businesses to execute projects with minimal costs and without complexities.

Its hybrid chain structure layout will enable native compatibility with both public and private chain deployments, providing developers with the option of working with their preferred chain setup. Businesses would also be empowered to create permissioned ecosystems on private networks to store confidential information while still keeping in contact with public blockchains.

According to NEM, Symbol was created with interoperability in mind. The upgrade will see developers leverage on its state-of-the-art Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to easily integrate with existing systems and blockchains, making the shift much easier for them.

Symbol will also enable cross-chain atomic-swaps, allowing users to transfer digital tokens between the network and other blockchains. This is a major plus as atomic swaps allow users to send and receive data (usually a coin) without the presence of an intermediary.

NEM’s Symbol blockchain would also enable decentralized applications (DeFi), security tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its network. This feature dubbed “mosaics” would enable creating custom tokens, shares of stocks, signatures, votes, and others. Each mosaic would operate on a unique identifier, making it easy for the network to monitor its use.

Speaking on the launch, NEM Group’s CEO David Shaw said Symbol’s development results from key learnings the company gleaned from its NEM NIS1 public network. Symbol takes this further by providing a simple blockchain enterprise solution focused primarily on building use cases in the wider blockchain ecosystem.

Symbol would also be introducing what it termed a “delegated financial authority” protocol which would enable on-chain, multi-layer, multi-signature accounts. This feature would greatly streamline business processes like payroll management, according to CTO of NEM Software Kristy-Leigh Minehan. Minehan also said Symbol aims to reduce the chasm between public and private blockchains in the ecosystem.

NEM Group Moves Into CBDCs With Symbol

During the launch, the blockchain technology company said it is already moving into the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) space announcing a partnership with LBCOIN– the world’s first blockchain-based digital coin collector issued by the Bank of Lithuania working on NEM’s platform.

LBCOIN first made a foray into the digital space working with NEM NIS1 in July 2020, with the Lithuanian apex bank issuing 4,000 LBCOIN, equaling 24,000 digital tokens and 4,000 physical collector coins. Symbol’s subsequent launch would see the digital coin collector migrate to leverage on the platform’s more sophisticated offerings.

The team says its NEM NIS1 protocol would still be operational catering to development teams, while its new Symbol blockchain would see enterprise-facing businesses.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitfury’s US Bitcoin Mining Offshoot Set to Go Public, Valued At $2 Billion

Bitfury’s US Bitcoin Mining Offshoot Set to Go Public, Valued At $2 Billion

  • Bitfury’s Bitcoin mining offshoot, Cipher Mining, is set to become a listed firm valued at $2 billion.

In an official announcement on Friday, the mining outfit stated that it had inked a merger agreement with Good Works Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listed in NASDAQ. The announcement noted that the two firms had inked a business combination agreement. Cipher mining is an offshoot of popular Bitcoin hardware offeror Bitfury.

As per the announcement, the merger agreement means that Bitfury’s US mining wing will be listed in NASDAQ under Cipher Mining Inc.

The Good Works-Cipher agreement valued the merged company at $2 billion. More investors such as Counter Group (backed by Morgan Stanley) and Fidelity Management are expected to lead an upcoming$425 million funding series for the new outfit.

The extra inflow of cash will take place through private investment in different public equity or PIPE and funding rounds. The agreement also stipulates that Bitfury will offer approximately $50 million in the form of an investment in kind to top up the $170 million that is available following last year’s Good Works IPO. This means that the combined company has about $595 million in gross cash holdings.

Tyler Page, Cipher Mining CEO, commented on the deal, expressing his delight that it was the right step towards capitalizing on Bitcoin mining operations. Page explained,

“With this transaction, we will be able to combine the formidable skill sets and technologies developed by Bitfury Group over the past ten years with what we believe will be a leadership position on the global cost curve, and thereby create a true leader in the Bitcoin mining industry.”

The merger is expected to materialize at the end of the second quarter of this year. Cipher is looking forward to hitting the 745 megawatts mining capacity before the end of 2025.

Cipher becomes the latest Bitcoin mining outfit to go public, although through an agreement with a SPAC outfit. Australian-based Iris Energy is expected to issue a $39 million IPO during the coming summer.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry

Coinbase going public will be making some people very rich as institutions start to dominate exchange’s volumes, while CT was disappointed in the money-making crypto company having surprisingly small amounts of digital currencies in their treasury balance sheet.

Coinbase Global Inc. has filed with the US SEC for a direct listing on Nasdaq, and it has the crypto market excited, and the traditional markets are taking notice, as the financial statements of the company revealed that the exchange has been making a lot of money.

Interestingly, a good majority, 85% of the 130 companies that went public in the US last year, was unprofitable. But with Coinbase, the matter is altogether different.

San Francisco-based reported revenue of $1.28 billion in 2020 versus $533.7 million in 2019.

Given the record trading volume, the number of new users, as well as the crypto trading platforms it has been acquiring in just the two months of 2021 amidst the wild bull run, the revenue in the first quarter will be off the charts and is expected to surpass $2 billion, for the exchange.

This puts Coinbase with over a $100 billion valuation, more valuable than CME, ICE which owns the NYSE, CBOE, and Nasdaq.

ErikVoorheesCoinbase

Source: Twitter

This will certainly be making Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, and its top executives, rich by billions of dollars as a result of this valuation, which would make it one of the biggest companies to go public since the social media giant Facebook.

The CEO owns 21.8% of the company’s voting power, followed by a16z’s Marc Andreessen at 14.2%, who owns twice as many shares as Armstrong, and co-founder Fred Ehsram 9%. In total, the 11-member board has the majority voting control.

coinbase-shares

Source: SEC Filing

To be listed under the ticker COIN, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Citigroup are the market makers who are also the advisors on the transaction with another addition Allen & Co.

One of the largest exchanges, Coinbase, reported 43 million verified users, steady growth from 23 million in Q1 of 2018. As for the transacting users, in Q4 of 2020, it was 2.8 million, nearly the same as 1Q18 at 2.7 million.

Unlike the transacting users, in 1Q18, when the market topped, Coinbase recorded $56 billion in trading volume, but during the last quarter, it was $89 billion.

The big difference has been in Coinbase’s volume by customer segment, as back in Q1 of 2018, retail dominated the exchange with more than an 80% share; it has completely changed to institutional accounting for 64% of volume in 4Q20.

Exciting & Embarrassing

Crypto Twitter (CT) has been excited about this development as Matt Huang, Co-founder at Paradigm, previously a partner at Sequoia, congratulated the company, “The Coinbase S-1 is just one step along the way toward building a legendary company… but still, one hell of a milestone.”

“This represents another major milestone in the development of the cryptocurrency industry,” tweeted Jay Hao, CEO of crypto exchange OKEx. “Coinbase’s S-1 filing will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the crypto market and usher in a new era of mainstream crypto adoption,” he added.

RobertLeshnerCoinbase

Source: Twitter

What really set off the CT was the fact that Coinbase, which started in 2012 when the price of BItcoin was about $5, holds only $130 million worth of BTC.

Square’s recently announced the purchase of $170 million worth BTC is more than this, and Coinbase’s BTC stash is nowhere even near Michael Saylor’s $2.171 billion bet on Bitcoin.

Besides having 55% of their modest crypto treasury, separate from cash and cash equivalents at $1.1 billion, the company has $24 million (10%) in Ethereum ETH -5.02% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,446.93
-$72.64-5.02%
Volume 31.49 b Change -$72.64 Open $1,446.93 Circulating 114.84 m Market Cap 166.16 b
6 h Crypto Hedge Fund Arca is the Latest to Join the Crowd of Bitcoin Trust Issuers 6 h Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry 7 h 1Inch Decentralized Exchange to Transition to Binance Smart Chain as Ethereum Exodus Begins
, $49 million (20%) in USDC stablecoin USDC -0.02% USD Coin / USD USDCUSD $ 1.00
$0.00-0.02%
Volume 2.46 b Change $0.00 Open $1.00 Circulating 8.59 b Market Cap 8.59 b
6 h Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry 1 w Private Aviation Company Sees 20% Revenue Coming from Bitcoin Paying Users 1 w You Can Now Buy Bitcoin with Apple Pay as BitPay Adds Support
, and $34 million (15%) in other altcoins.

Given that Coinbase is a cryptocurrency-centered company, some even called this crypto stash “embarrassing.”

But many expect Amrstong, Ehsram, and other early backers to own heavy Bitcoin BTC -4.15% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 46,344.77
-$1,923.31-4.15%
Volume 351 b Change -$1,923.31 Open $46,344.77 Circulating 18.64 m Market Cap 863.85 b
5 h A “BIG Deal:” Stone Ridge Files to Add Bitcoin to its Diversified Alternatives Fund 6 h Crypto Hedge Fund Arca is the Latest to Join the Crowd of Bitcoin Trust Issuers 6 h Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry
and crypto bags personally.

Coinbase going public, meanwhile, is also expected to be bullish for other exchanges and their tokens. “I think the bigger the Coinbase IPO gets, the better for exchange tokens. Doesn’t matter that owning an exchange token ≠ actually owning stock. Just matters that a lot of people will feel priced out of coinbase” noted trader DonAlt.

As we reported, US-based Kraken is also planning to raise funds that could more than double its valuation and surpass $20 billion.

Interestingly, in its filing with the SEC, Coinbase also mentions that they do not maintain a headquarter as of May 2020 and that they have become a remote-first company.

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Author: AnTy

Winklevoss Twins Considering Taking Gemini Public; Acquire Blockrize to Launch Crypto Credit Card

Winklevoss Twins Considering Taking Gemini Public; Acquire Blockrize to Launch Crypto Credit Card

Bitcoin HODLers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss offering up to 3% reward in BTC and other cryptocurrencies on their Gemini Credit Cards while “still committed” to Bitcoin ETF but not looking to increase their BTC position.

It’s the season to go public!

After Coinbase, Bakkt, this time its cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.

Bitcoin billionaire brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss told Bloomberg that they are considering taking Gemini Trust Co. public amidst the heightened demand in the crypto market.

“We are definitely considering it and making sure that we have that option,” said Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of the New York-based digital-asset firm.

“We are watching the market and we are also having internal discussions on whether it makes sense for us at this point in time. We are certainly open to it.”

With this news on Thursday came the announcement of the launch of the Gemini Credit Card.

The card will function like a traditional one but with an additional feature to earn crypto rewards on everyday purchases with up to 3% back in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. These rewards will be deposited into cardholders’ Gemini’s accounts automatically.

“Cash is trash,” said Gemini chief executive Tyler Winklevoss. “So as you spend your cash, you get Bitcoin — it’s a pretty good trade-off.”

The launch of these upcoming cards has been accelerated by the acquisition of Blockrize, a fintech startup building a credit card with crypto rewards, for an undisclosed sum. Customers can sign up to the waitlist for the cards that will come later this year.

This the second acquisition by Gemini as back in Nov. 2019, the company acquired Nifty Gateway.

Gemini is making a lot of waves and is further looking to make more with its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The Winklevoss twins were the first to file for a Bitcoin ETF in the US years ago but got rejected by the SEC in 2017. But they are still interested and hired David Abner as Gemini’s global head of business development in December. Abner previously ran ETF efforts at Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, and WisdomTree Europe.

“We still believe in this product, we are still committed to this product,” said Cameron Winklevoss, but only to add that they don’t have anything to share in this regard at the moment.

Gemini is actually the sub-custodian of the Bitcoin held by the ETF filed by Arxnovum Investments Inc. on Monday with the Ontario Securities Commission in Canada.

Meanwhile, the crypto market is rejoicing all the bullish development going on in the crypto space, with Bitcoin going back to $40k today. While the Winklevoss brothers predict Bitcoin reaching $500,000 in a decade, they are “not actively looking to increase our position” because they have “a lot of exposure as it is.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin’s Bull Run Breaks Coinbase; Exposing Possible Issues Ahead of The Public Offering

Bitcoin’s Bull Run Breaks Coinbase; Exposing Possible Issues Ahead of The Public Offering

With Bitcoin ripping through milestones basically every week, investors are flooding the market, and activities are going through the roof. However, exchanges and trading platforms face the problem of sustaining their services with this influx of activities. Much like they did during 2017’s bullrun.

Activity Influx Downs Exchanges

Yesterday, top crypto exchange Coinbase reported that it experienced connectivity issues on its retail exchange and Coinbase Pro trading service.

In a tweet, the Silicon Valley firm apologized for the service outages on its mobile and web apps, adding that it worked on getting things back to normal.

The exchange provided an update a few hours later, confirming that operations had resumed. Of course, that is cold comfort for traders who have lost profit opportunities as Bitcoin BTC 2.83% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 40,843.19
$1,155.86 2.83%
Volume 86.71 b Change $1,155.86 Open $40,843.19 Circulating 18.59 m Market Cap 759.47 b
4 h Bitcoin’s Bull Run Breaks Coinbase; Exposing Possible Issues Ahead of The Public Offering 5 h Wrapped Monero (wXMR) Goes Live On Ethereum Extending DeFi Capabilities To Holders 5 h Gold Is Trashed As USD Regains Strength; Will Bitcoin Hold Onto its Gains?
made a historic push past $40,000.

In such a market rally, arbitrage and profit opportunities come and go in a flash. Exchanges that are unable to stay functional risk losing customers as efficiency now drives the market.

Coinbase isn’t alone in this problem. Kraken, another top exchange and trading platform, told customers on its website that response times on its platform were slower than usual, and its application programming interface (API) was operating sub-optimally. Some clients also claimed to have difficulties connecting to the exchange’s site and mobile apps.

Like Coinbase, Kraken’s issue stemmed from heavy traffic. The same can be said with Binance, Bitfinex and OKEx. The exchange explained that it saw an unexpected hike in trading and transaction volumes, leading to server outages. Hours later, the exchange’s service came back up.

The problem with outages isn’t entirely new for crypto exchanges. With each milestone that Bitcoin reaches, many trading platforms and exchanges have had issues dealing with the increased traffic. For Coinbase, however, this problem is quite a common one.

Last June, the exchange witnessed a 400 percent surge in trading activity as Bitcoin broke past $10,000 for the first time in months. Trading was halted once more in September when Bitcoin hit $12,000.

Time for Coinbase to Sit Up

Issues like these would undoubtedly hamper the company’s standing in the industry, and they couldn’t come at a worse time for it. Last month, Coinbase confirmed that it had sent draft legislation for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Form s-1 is a prerequisite for a public offering, and it solidifies rumors that the Silicon Valley firm has been working towards such a move for months now.

While analysts believe that Coinbase could be valued as high as $28 billion, service outages could hamper its plans and operations post-offering.

Robinhood, a crypto-friendly trading app, is rumored to be on the cusp of a public offering. However, with a history of service interruptions that marred its operations in 2020, the company decided to pause its expansion. This isn’t a line Coinbase would like to toe.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Huobi’s Dollar Pegged Stablecoin, HUSD, to Debut on Nervos Blockchain

Nervos, the public blockchain eyeing to rival Ethereum for China’s DeFi market, is integrating the HUSD stablecoin, according to an announcement on Dec 8. HUSD is a dollar-pegged stablecoin issued by Stable Universal Limited, an Huobi-backed venture. Notably, the HUSD stablecoin will debut as the first of its kind within the Nervos blockchain; before this milestone, HUSD was only supported by Ethereum.

The announcement highlights HUSD’s value proposition within the Nervos ecosystem; some of the featured use cases include trading, payments, commerce, and remittances. Stable Universal CEO Frank Zhang welcomed the support by Nervos, noting that the new expansion is in line with HUSD’s vision to scale DeFi access and the blockchain ecosystem in general. Zhang said,

“We are enthusiastic that this integration bids well for more future projects as we tackle more innovative ways to introduce users to the DeFi ecosystem.”

HUSD Support on Nervos

The HUSD stablecoin is pegged on a 1:1 ratio against the dollar; its debut on Nervos means that the same ratio will hold. As such, the stablecoin will be issued based on Nervos’ SUDT technical standard; this is the native ‘ERC-20’ of the Nervos blockchain network. With the integration set for completion early next year, Nervos users will be able to deposit USD and receive HUSD on a 1:1 basis.

This stablecoin will be functional on both the Nervos Common Knowledge Base (CKB) and its permissionless layer-1 blockchain. Other than the previously highlighted use cases, the HUSD stablecoin is expected to be a hedge against price volatility. Nervos co-founder, Kevin Wang, shared optimistic sentiments on the milestone to support HUSD,

“Stablecoins have been a priority for Nervos as we build out our ecosystem to support a wide variety of DeFi projects. HUSD has gained remarkable traction in establishing its place as one of the top stablecoins in the market in such a short time, so we’re excited to see what results from this continued collaboration.”

Despite being a recent innovation, the HUSD stablecoin has been making breakthroughs to feature among the top five stablecoins as of press date. The coin enjoys a market cap of over $230 million, while the total issued HUSD stablecoins is past the 2 billion mark since its launch back in July 2019.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Robinhood in Preparation for a Possible IPO Launch in Q1, 2021; Report

Robinhood might be planning to go public early next year, according to a recent publication by Bloomberg. This trading platform, whose popularity has risen in the past few years, is reportedly seeking advisers in the banking domain to support its Initial Public Offering (IPO) process.

Per the Bloomberg report, Robinhood could go public as soon as Q1 of 2021; sources opted to remain unidentified given this information’s private nature. However, they were also keen to highlight that the firm might change this position and abandon the IPO plan altogether.

While Robinhood’s official sources are yet to comment, this move might be a game-changer for the trading platform, given its value proposition to novice investors. Robinhood has become a darling to millennials and the tech-savvy Gen-Z, giving them exposure to various previously cumbersome assets to trade.

In fact, it is one of the popular trading platforms with access to crypto-assets and enjoys the backing of tech-focused VC’s such as Sequoia Capital. Other prominent investors that have allocated funds to Robinhood include Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Ribbit Capital, DST Global, and D1 Capital Partners.

The latest Robinhood valuation is $11.8 billion; this was after the firm raised its series G funding, which totaled $200 million. With the murmurs of an IPO, Robinhood could soon be listed in the U.S stock markets, a move that would expose the firm to more market liquidity.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Law Firm Warns That IRS Is Cracking Down On Coinbase Users Evading Taxes

David W. Klasing, a boutique Californian tax firm, had its Tax Law Office issue out a public release. This release warned investors that the US Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, is going to start a severe bout with users of Coinbase.

Time To Right Your Wrongs

The dual-licensed capital allowance specialist and tax lawyers of the firm state that IRS enforcement activity has begun to increase against Coinbase users, in particular, that fail to comply with the reporting and tax requirements.

The firm warned that tax evaders run the risk of serious criminal and civil trouble going down the line. Urging anyone that has failed, truthfully or otherwise, to report their virtual currency holdings in their past returns, they should correct this now. The same goes for anyone that had filed a misleading or otherwise incomplete picture of your respective cryptocurrency holdings. The firm stated that when the IRS mandates an audit or criminal tax investigation, it’s too late to make amends or use the voluntary disclosure program.

US Agencies Going Hard Against Coinbase Tax Evaders

In October, Coinbase had released a new transparency report, which the law firm claims must be a major wakeup call for the various users of the exchange. The report itself made it incredibly clear that both the Criminal Investigation Unit, the CIA, and the FBI, not to mention the IRS, are filing information requests with the exchange.

The uptick in the IRS doing enforcement activity against Coinbase users dodging tax, in particular, makes it clear that the exchange itself is now working closely with the federal authorities.

Coinbase Not Refusing IRS Demands

The firm noted that the data the IRS requested, as shown by the October report, makes it clear that the agency is expressly investigating these transactions and comparing it to its own taxpayer data. From there, it’s a simple matter of finding discrepancies and then hunting down those Coinbase users who thought it’d be easy to dodge the taxman.

As is already reported, the US courts seemed to be on the IRS’s side, upholding its authority when it comes to summoning comprehensive financial records and data as part of their respective investigations within Coinbase and its users.

Always An Agenda

It should be noted, however, that the tax law firm had a very clear agenda through doing this warning. At the end of its warning, it stressed the skill of its tax attorneys and CPAs, promising the best possible advice for any “errors” someone could have done in that position. Further promises range from preventing future “mistakes” and mitigating any damages for things that already happened.

As the crypto industry at large becomes more and more regulated, it’s a natural expression that taxation will become the norm. Make no mistake, this is a financial asset, and speculation could reap some serious rewards for those with their ears on the ground. As such, the government will demand its cut, as it demands it from any other booming industry.

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Author: Ali Raza