NuCypher Secures Nearly $11 Million Led by Bitmain, Polychain for SAFT Encryption Project

An encryption startup called NuCypher has been able to raise around $10.7 million USD via a new agreement to sell future tokens. The investment round was led by Polychain Capital, a prominent venture capital firm.

Other prominent investors included Bitmain, Y Combinator Continuity Fund, Hashed, Arrington XRP Capital, Bitfury, Compound VC, Notation Capital, and CoinFund.

The product created by NuCypher is based on the proxy re-encryption technology, which is important because it allows files to be encrypted and for administrators to grant and revoke access to them as time passes.

This company, which was originally created in 2015, started to use the blockchain tech back in 2017. CEO MacLane Wilkison affirmed that the new investment comes during the launch of the company’s mainnet. According to him, the public testnet was used and tested for around two years and now the network is ready for the full launch.

All of the investors agreed to use the tokens that were bought as staking nodes for the network. According to Wilkison, this helps in the decentralization of the network and it allows the traders to earn more tokens, too.

This time, the investors bought 8% of the total supply of tokens. 31% of them were sold before now, meaning that 61% of the tokens were still not in the market. The node operators are paid for securing the network with more tokens, which are released regularly. The idea is that the rewards will decrease and, with them, the inflation of the network.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Sequoia-Backed Band Protocol Releases New BitSwing dApp Allowing Bitcoin Binary Options Trading

A new blockchain startup called Band Protocol, which was recently backed by Sequoia India has just released its first decentralized application (dapp): BitSwing. According to the company, the new dapp lets the users trade BTC binary options, which are a derivative based on Bitcoin.

The crypto media outlet The Block reported that the users of the company can decide to take both long and short positions on the BTC/USD market and that they can try to predict how prices will be a minute after the bet.

The creator and CEO of Band Protocol, Soravis Srinawakoon, affirmed that the product has been largely successful so far as over 40,000 transactions happened during the week in which the testnet was online.

To be able to use the dapp, the users need to install Metamask and then use the program, which is based on the Kovan testnet. After accessing the app, a person can use ETH to bet on the price of BTC by taking either a long or short position. If the person is correct, you can double your amount of ETH. if you are wrong, you lose it.

Despite the successful launch, the company was already criticized for the short timeframe of the predictions. A single minute is not a lot of time and the CEO affirmed that more options would be added soon.

According to the company, revenue is already appearing. Since the launch of the testnet, the company was able to raise around $12,000 USD. During a whole year, the team expects to raise around $300,000 USD alone from the program.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Liechtenstein Regulator Grants Approval To German-Startup Neufund For Token Offerings

Neufund, the Fintech startup based in Germany, starts launching public offerings onto its equity platform (which is a tokenized one) after getting clearance from an economic regulator in Liechtenstein.

On Monday (today), the startup announced the tokenized equity’s retail-grade offerings to the general public.

The CEO and co-founder of NZA (Neufund Zoe Adamovicz) affirmed that after clearance from Liechtenstein’s financial authority, the company is supplying on its pledge to equalize approach to support businesspeople all over the world, with smallest sizes of the ticket as 10 euro.

Adamovicz states that it is an excellent day for Neufund as well as for finance and business world.

It’s worth noting that the investors from the USA will need to be approved to participate. In contrast to other tokenized offerings such as an ICO (initial coin offering), Neufund’s product is designed to be a legally binding asset in the company.

The initial public retail offering being started is for a platform that’s an electric mobility one. The platform is dubbed as Greyp. As per the official confirmation from Neufund, till today, $16 million has been  processed using the platform to date.

Being among the most diligent members of the Ethereum network, Neufund is prospering the codebase from 2016. Neufund is also a partner of well-known hardware crypto wallet Ledger.

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Author: Ali Qamar

Breez Enables Credit Card Use When Buying Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Now

Breez, a new payment startup, has recently unveiled the latest feature of its project, which is set to allow lightning-based BTC purchases directly from its app. These purchases are only possible because of a recent partnership that the company started with MoonPay.

The services will initially be available in a total of 35 different countries and have the goal of simplifying lightning payments.

In case you do not know, the Lightning Network is a layer 2 scaling solution for the BTC network. It was launched at the beginning of 2018 and it has gone quite a long way so far in fixing these problems despite a rocky launch. The technology is still experimental, but it is starting to shape up as a great solution.

According to the CEO of Breez, Roy Sheinfeld, this may even look like a somewhat simple achievement, but nobody has done it before.

Since the start, Breez was always about being more than a simple wallet, the service was meant to be a “holistic experience”, Sheinfeld affirmed. It needs to be UX focused and to provide solutions that no one has been able to provide before in order to make its clients happy.

Before now, the users needed to buy BTC before they could enter the Lightning Network and then move the BTC from its normal wallet to an LN wallet. This new option cuts time and allows the users to enjoy a more streamlined experience.

According to Sheinfeld, users will not need to verify any information if they want to buy less than 150 EUR worth of BTC. To buy more than that, they would need to pass a Know Your Customer (KYC) verification first.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Crypto Startup Eligma Raises $4.4 Million From Pangea Blockchain

A crypto payments startup based in Slovenia called Eligma was recently able to raise $4.4 million USD from Pangea Blockchain Fund. The venture capital company is owned by the famous crypto entrepreneur (and troll) Roger Ver.

According to CEO Dejan Roljic, Eligma was able to double its value in less than a year and a half. This attracted prominent investors such as Pangea Blockchain Fund. Now that the company received this investment, Roger Ver will enter its board of directors.

The company’s main goal is to create a blockchain payments network that will help people to get paid in a more effective way. The idea is to make payments seamless and easy. It was also affirmed that the platform should be able to provide the conversion of crypto to fiat money quickly and that it is set to be used by merchants all over the world.

In order to use a platform, people have to buy and use Eli tokens created by the company. They are built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, but the CEO has already affirmed that these payment tokens will migrate to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network soon. The migration will be made using the money from the investment. The tokens will then be integrated with a Bitcoin wallet.

Curiously, the company has received money from Ver’s company and will not invest in Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, his own version of Bitcoin, but in its competitor Bitcoin Cash instead.

Now, the next goal of the company is to offer its services in Turkey. The country is currently being ravaged by high inflation, so the idea is to offer services there to connect it with Europe.

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Author: Lorraine Mburu

Casa Announces Node Heartbreaks to Encourage Maintenance of Bitcoin (BTC) Nodes

Casa, an important Bitcoin (BTC) startup, has recently started a new initiative to encourage its users to check the status of their BTC nodes more regularly. The Node Heartbreaks program can be used to see if a node is working properly and, according to the company, it does this in a quick, secure and private way.

The program works like this: Casa sends a brief connection from its main servers to the node and checks whether it is online or not. If it is, the connection will be complete and the so-called heartbeat will be sent back. This new service will only work with Casa nodes, obviously.

The Heartbeat SatsBack Reward program is being launched today as well. The program will work together with Node Heartbreaks. Each time the users check their nodes, they will receive 0.0001 BTC, which is around a dollar. They will be able to do it five times a week.

According to the company, no IP data or router details are collected, so people will be able to remain private even by checking the network.

As long as the nodes are operational, people will still be able to keep receiving the rewards. According to the CEO of Casa, Jeremy Welch, this is important in order to create a more healthy network.

The nodes are needed to validate the network, so they need to be working properly. With constant validation, any problem will be found quickly and the efficiency of the whole process will increase over time.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Oracle Software Giant Sues Crypto Startup ‘CryptoOracle’ For Trademark Breach

The practice of adding popular brand names to the name of a startup is a method used to attract clients to a business. The blockchain industry has seen this practice several times over with startups adding popular words such as Bitcoin and Blockchain to their names in a bid to lure customers. Some startups even use parts of popular companies’ names for the same purposes.

CryptoOracle has taken to Court

One blockchain startup, CryptoOracle, has been sued by the software giant, Oracle, for cybersquatting and trademark infringement. The lawsuit claims that CryptoOracle LLC used Oracle’s brand name in a bid to ride on the popularity of the software giant. Cybersquatting is the practice of using an internet domain name in bad faith with the intention of profiting from the goodwill built by another brand or trademark.

CryptoOracle was founded by Louis Kerner in 2017. The blockchain startup is a cryptocurrency advisory firm which serves other blockchain startups and entrepreneurs in the industry. The company sells tickets to events they host at which those interested in blockchain businesses can get the information they need and meet with other players in the crypto space.

Oracle is one of the biggest software firms, and it is famously known for the Java software. They also provide a range of services such as database management and cloud services. Oracle hosts many conferences and educational seminars for different software categories and topics.

Before the lawsuit, a cease and desist order had been issued to Kerner and his brand as Oracle sought to settle the matter out of court. CryptoOracle responded with a filled-in trademark application for their brand name. Oracle said that they could not allow the use of their brand name in the defendant’s business.

A request to force CryptoOracle to change its brand name and withdraw the trademark application has been placed before a federal judge. Oracle’s attorney reportedly said that his client might be entitled to the profits CryptoOracle made during the time they’ve been using the name.

Oracle and Blockchain

Oracle has plans to move into the crypto business through its Oracle Blockchain Platform, and this may be another reason behind the lawsuit. If another company with a similar brand name already exists in the crypto space, it might cause confusion among customers because it is easy to mistake one for the other. Such confusion could cost Oracle some business and the software giant is trying to avoid that.

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Author: Ali Raza

Mike Tyson’s New Startup ‘Fight to Fame’ Will Mix Up Entertainment with The Blockchain

Mike Tyson, the famous American boxer star, has recently decided to create a new startup. The platform is set to be an entertainment platform for fighters that will be called Fight to Fame.

This new platform is set to use the blockchain technology to create the conditions that will help aspiring fighters to reach success.

According to Tyson, the platform, which will have Farzam Kamalabadi as CEO, will fulfill one of his goals, which was to be a mentor for new generations of boxers. He affirmed that he’s interested in helping them to find success and real compensation in their careers, so this platform will be his pet project.

Kamalabadi affirmed that the blockchain will be important because it will enable the participants to solve problems that were simply impossible to solve before. This way, fighters can use fan tokens to get money other than the fees that they normally get in the industry.

In this model, the fans can also gain money if the value of the tokens goes up, which can help the fighters and the communities of fans which are created around them.

The new platform is set to be “fully immersive” and use the blockchain to provide a completely new experience. It was also affirmed that the project can be important for the blockchain industry as well. Tyson is a very famous figure, so his endorsement of projects like this one will certainly be important for them to be successful in the future and can drive adoption up.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Free Stock Trading App Robinhood Gets Over $320 Million to Raise Total Valuation at $7.6 Billion


Free Stock Trading App Robinhood Raises $323M Now Valued at $7.6B

Free stock-trading start-up Robinhood is now valued at $7.6 billion after closing its most recent, late-stage funding round. The Menlo Park, California-based company, which offers commission-free stock and cryptocurrency trading, announced a $323 million Series E round led by DST Global on Monday, Reuters reports.

Ribbit Capital, NEA, Sequoia and Thrive Capital are also notable venture capital firms which also participated in the round.

The company which is now six years old, says the new funding will be used to

“keep pursuing its mission of democratizing finance for all.”

Last year, Robinhood’s $363 million funding round brought its valuation to $5.6 billion. The company which was started in 2013, has added several new features to its platform in the last year to justify the valuation increase, including its own clearing system, Clearing by Robinhood. The business also acquired a media startup to launch Robinhood Snacks, which provides short tidbits of financial news.

The company first shook up the brokerage space in 2013 with commission-free trading. Major incumbents like Charles Schwab and Fidelity have battled for lower fees since. The start-up is stepping even further into traditional finance and earlier this year, submitted an application to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC, for a national bank charter. Robinhood hired the former CEO Wedbush Bank and Merchants Bank of California, Scott Racusin, to oversee the project and eventually be president and CEO of the proposed bank.

According to CoinDesk Robinhood went through an eye-popping growth spurt last year. It jumped from 4 million users in the summer to more than 6 million users by the end of 2018. Founders and co-CEOs, Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev, have repeatedly said Robinhood’s long-term strategy involves public listing.

The Robinhood Crypto app has been available to New York residents since May as the company obtained the BitLicense earlier this year.

Robinhood has raised more than $860 million in venture capital funding to date.

Do you believe Robinhood is worth $7.6 billion? Let us know in the comments section.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Tiger Trading Network Partners with Winklevoss Brothers-Owned Gemini Exchange

Tiger Trading Network Partners with Winklevoss Brothers-Owned Gemini Exchange

Fintech startup and crypto-asset order execution management platform, Tiger Trading Network, will from today offer trading on the Winklevoss brothers-owned Gemini exchange. Tiger Trading Network, popular as TTN, confirmed the partnership with the American crypto exchange and custodian on Monday.

The exchange’s head of Technical Exchange Services, Drew Candres, spoke about the partnership, saying that Gemini was happy about it. According to him, TTN’s feature-rich, state-of-the-art user interface is the right platform for professional cryptocurrency investors.

“[TTN] has built a feature rich institutional grade user interface geared towards professional traders,” said Drew Candres, head of technical exchange services at Gemini. “Gemini is happy to be integrated as an execution venue on this platform.”

Co-founded by its current CEO, Glenn Rosenberg, Tiger is a New York City-based firm known for its professional order execution services. In the digital assets market, TTN mostly targets institutional traders.

He previously worked at NEX EBS, a firm known for institutions trading, mostly in the Forex and fixed income markets, then as the company’s senior executive. Rosenberg further divulged that TTN is only interested in working with firms of a particular caliber. He said that they are thrilled to have established a partnership with Gemini.

According to him, Gemini’s integration on the platform is a testament to the virtues of quality, trust, and integrity that the exchange stands by, especially in trading cryptocurrencies. He’s, however, confident that the bond already established would quickly boost their quest to be a world-class trading platform.

TTN hasn’t gone live yet, and every operation it’s currently undertaking is in Beta mode. Also, access to services is still free, although it is restricted to a specific number of traders.

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Author: Lillian Peter