Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Derivatives marketplace CME Group announced it plans to launch options on Micro Bitcoin and Micro Ether futures on March 28, pending regulatory review. The contracts will be one-tenth of their respective underlying tokens in size and will allow clients to express long- or short-term views with a choice of monthly as well as Monday, Wednesday, and Friday weekly options expiries.
- Crypto exchange FTX announced a potential USD 1bn fund called the FTX Future Fund which will invest in “ambitious projects in order to improve humanity’s long-term prospects.” The fund will invest at least USD 100m but will go up to the maximum if it sees projects it likes, which includes big, philanthropic projects that can “massively scale”, they added.
- Investment firm Hack VC announced a new USD 200 million fund called the Crypto Seed Fund focused on early-stage investments in crypto and blockchain. The fund will be co-led by Hack VC Managing Partners Alex Pack and Ed Roman, and it is backed by Andreessen Horowitz’s Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity, Accolade Partners, and Digital Currency Group, among others.
- Crypto venture capital firm Electric Capital said it has raised USD 1bn to fund crypto networks, Web3 protocols, and blockchain-enabled businesses. The funds have been raised for the creation of two new funds: a USD 400m venture fund and a USD 600m digital token fund, Axios reported.
- Crypto exchange Binance made an equity investment into the Kuala Lumpur-based crypto exchange MX Global Sdn. Bhd., the latter announced. MX Global also landed an investment by Cuscapi Berhad, a digital business solutions provider in Malaysia.
- South African crypto exchange VALR.com raised USD 50m at a valuation of USD 240m in a round led by Pantera Capital. They stated that this funding round was Africa’s largest-ever crypto funding round. The proceeds of the raise will be used primarily to expand across Africa and into other emerging markets such as India, and to bring more products and services to its growing base of global customers, they said.
- Football giant FC Barcelona wants to create their own cryptocurrency to help them “survive financially” against clubs owned by big corporations and foreign investors, president Joan Laporta has said, per ESPN. Laporta said Barca will launch a range of NFTs in the near future and is also working on entering the cryptoasset market. (Learn more: FC Barcelona ‘Rejected’ USD 79.4M Sponsorship Deal from Crypto Firm over ‘Ethical’ Worries)
- The Canadian branch of auditing giant KPMG purchased a Non-fungible token (NFT) called Woman #2681 from the World of Women collection for ETH 25 (USD 73,668). The company also added the NFT picture to their Twitter account banner.
- Cinema chain AMC Theatres said it will start accepting payments in dogecoin (DOGE) and shiba inu (SHIB) tokens by March 19 through crypto payments provider BitPay. The chain already accepts a number of other cryptoassets.
- Gabe Newell, president of gaming company Valve, the parent company of gaming platform Steam, said that 50% of bitcoin (BTC) transactions were fraudulent while the platform was still accepting it as a payment method between April 2016 and December 2017, per PC Gamer. He also added that most NFTs are still “ripping customers off” and that, while distributed ledgers are not inherently problematic, his experience with their technologies has been.
- Web3 data solutions provider Ontology (ONT) announced the release of its Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to allow EVM-based blockchain developers to migrate across ecosystems and construct applications on Ontology. They have also announced a USD 10m EVM Fund to support developers building Web3 / metaverse decentralized applications on Ontology.
- Bitcoin mining company CleanSpark announced that it has increased the starting salary of all existing entry-level positions in its mining operations to USD 19 per hour, which they claim is more than the hourly pay of similar positions at the biggest e-commerce or cloud-computing companies in the United States.
- Samson Mow has announced his departure from Bitcoin development firm Blockstream, where he served as the chief strategy officer. “It’s been a grand adventure working with [CEO Adam Back] for the last 5 years and together we’ve accomplished a great deal from sidechains, to mining, to satellites,” Mow tweeted, adding that the plans to focus on “nation-state bitcoin adoption” now. “[W]e’re on the verge of mass adoption, and I think that I can make it happen faster,” Mow wrote.
- NFT company Dapper Labs onboarded two new executives: Dzmitry Markovich as SVP of engineering and Stephanie Lemmerman as the company’s new chief financial officer (CFO). Markovich was previously the Vice President of Engineering at storage giant Dropbox, while Lemmerman was the CFO of recurring payments solution Recharge Payments.