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Bi-weekly crypto round-up for August 2022 (Part 2)

Despite the bear market and seemingly endless courtroom battles, boatload of VC funding is still pouring into crypto.

The crypto market is still on rocky grounds, especially with the growing uncertainty surrounding the upcoming Ethereum Merge. But at the same time, startups are making headlines almost every day by closing huge amounts in funding rounds. Looks like the venture capitalists still have a massive appetite for crypto and Web3 technology — probably something?

Here’s another bi-weekly coverage of regulatory involvements, announcements, and developments in the crypto space.

Quick take

  • Demand for ENS domains surges amid the excitement surrounding the upcoming Ethereum Merge.
  • BendDAO, an Ethereum NFT lending protocol faced liquidity crisis and almost triggered an unthinkable NFT liquidation cascade.
  • Meta’s NFT integration went live. Users can now connect their wallets and post their digital collectibles on both Facebook and Instagram.
  • Troubled crypto lender Hodlnaut reveals police probe and massive layoff.
  • Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state-owned investment fund, is leading a $100 million funding round for Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming powerhouse Animoca Brands.
  • Crypto.com sues woman after sending her $10.5 million instead of $100 in an accidental transaction.

Key events

We’ve handpicked some of the most relevant emerging stories in the crypto space to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Argentine

Government announcements and regulations

  • 22 Aug: Blockchain-based Socios.com received regulatory approval from Italian regulators to offer cryptocurrencies and digital wallets for its fan engagement and rewards platform
  • 30 Aug: Argentine province Mendoza now allows inhabitants to pay government services in USDT or DAI
  • 31 Aug: Paraguay’s president, Mario Abdo Benítez, vetoed a crypto mining bill, citing ‘massive’ energy cost
Bitcoin

Payments

  • 17 Aug: NFL team Houston Texans to accept Bitcoin as payment for single-game suites
  • 24 Aug: Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach reveals that the company is working with Binance to enable purchases with crypto in more than 90 million stores
  • 24 Aug: Latin American crypto firm Ripio has launched its prepaid crypto card in Brazil, which will allow users to make payments in 28 different cryptocurrencies and earn cashback rewards in Bitcoin
Andreessen Horowitz

Acquisitions and fundings

  • 18 Aug: Collective NFT ownership protocol Fractional raises $20 million in a funding round led by crypto-native investment giant Paradigm and rebrands as Tessera
  • 18 Aug: Crypto investment firm CoinFund inaugurated a $300 million venture capital fund to back early-stage Web3-oriented startups
  • 18 Aug: Bit Mining Limited has closed $9.3 million registered direct offering from institutional investors
  • 19 Aug: Node Capital and Digital Currency Group co-led a $5 million pre-seed funding round for blockchain security firm dWallet Labs
  • 23 Aug: Invesco reveals a metaverse fund that will focus on metaverse technology. On July 31, the investment management giant disclosed that it had $1.44 trillion in assets under management
  • 24 Aug: Estonia-based metaverse avatar creator Ready Player Me raises $56 million in Series B led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Key investors also include Twitch co-founder Justin Kan, Roblox co-founder David Baszucki, and Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat Ventures
  • 26 Aug: Binance and FTX are among the biggest crypto players displaying takeover interest in Voyager Digital’s assets as Coinbase backs out
  • 26 Aug: Animoca Brands’ Japan unit raises $45 million to secure local licences and investments at a $500 million pre-money valuation
  • 26 Aug: Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal has raised $50 million for a new early-stage Web3 fund
  • 26 Aug: Alchemy, a Web3 development infrastructure startup, has acquired Ethereum coding platform ChainShot and will be providing its educational content for free
  • 30 Aug: Singapore-based state-owned fund Temasek to invest $100M in blockchain gaming giant Animoca Brands
  • 31 Aug: Web3 startup studio Stacked secured $13 million in a Series A funding round from crypto hedge fund giant Pantera Capital
Celsius

Defaults, exploits and lawsuits

  • 16 Aug: Latest court filing from Kirkland & Ellis revealed that embattled crypto lender Celsius Network holds $2.8 billion less in crypto assets than it owes to depositors and is on pace to run out of cash by October
  • 16 Aug: Cryptocurrency custody company BitGo plans to sue Galaxy Digital for terminating $1.2 billion acquisition deal
  • 17 Aug: Celsius Network gets approval from a New York bankruptcy judge to sell newly-mined Bitcoin to fund the company’s operations
  • 17 Aug: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed a complaint against blockchain startup Dragonchain for over $16 million worth of unregistered ICO
  • 19 Aug: Crypto lender Hodlnaut laid off 80% of its workforce amid “pending proceedings” with Singapore law enforcement
  • 22 Aug: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has sent cease-and-desist letters to five cryptocurrency companies, including FTX.US, Cryptonews.com, Cryptosec.info, SmartAsset.com, and FDICCrypto.com for making false statements about deposit insurance
  • 24 Aug: Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius countersues ex-money manager KeyFi for ‘gross negligence’, claiming that the defendants’ deceit and incompetence led to tens of millions in losses
  • 24 Aug: The Singapore High Court has approved a petition by 3AC’s liquidators to proceed with a further probe into the insolvent crypto hedge fund’s financials
  • 24 Aug: Coinbase faces $5 million lawsuit from a disgruntled customer over a series of allegations, including exchange crashes and securities violations
  • 24 Aug: SudoRare, a fork of the popular NFT exchanges SudoSwap and LooksRare, defrauded users of around $820,000 just six hours after going live
Charts

Digital banks and exchanges

  • 16 Aug: Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange Eqonex announced that it’ll shut down its operations on Aug 22, citing low trading volume and “intense market competition
  • 16 Aug: Digital bank Revolut granted approval by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CYSEC) to offer crypto services throughout Europe
  • 16 Aug: Crypto.com has signed a pre-registration undertaking with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), marking it the first global cryptocurrency platform operating in the country
  • 26 Aug: Binance has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the City of Busan, South Korea to provide technological and infrastructure support for the development of the city’s blockchain ecosystem and promotion of the Busan Digital Asset Exchange
  • 26 Aug: Zipmex has appointed a restructuring firm to devise a recovery plan after it was forced to halt withdrawals and filed for bankruptcy protection in July
NFT

NFTs, GameFi and metaverses

  • 18 Aug: Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domain registrations surpassed 2 million
  • 19 Aug: Rarible proposes an ApeCoin-centric NFT marketplace that will charge zero platform fees for NFT sales
  • 22 Aug: “NFTfi” protocol BendDao faces a severe liquidity crisis as NFT floor prices plummet, putting dozens of collateralised blue-chip NFTs (such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, CryptoPunks and Azuki) on its platform at risk of forced liquidations
  • 22 Aug: Sotheby’s announces partnership with NFT pioneer Metagolden to auction artist-made jewelry. Among the pieces is an 18k gold and emerald “phygital” ring by Francine Ballard, which will consist of a physical version and its digital twin that’ll exist within the metaverse
  • 23 Aug: Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov proposes auctioning popular usernames and channel links as NFTs

Images: Getty Images


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