VC Firm Blossom Capital Raises $432M to Invest in the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

The London-based venture capital company Blossom Capital raised $432 million to invest in early-stage tech startups in Europe. The firm has reserved a third of the proceeds for investments in the cryptocurrency industry.

Blossom Capital Eyes the Crypto Universe

The cryptocurrency initiative, which the British organization launched, does not come as a surprise since its Founder – Ophelia Brown – personally bought bitcoin ten years ago:

“I’ve personally been active in this space since buying my first Bitcoin in 2012. So we’ve kind of debated every year now, when is the right time to keep increasing the exposure and make it core to the fund.”

She also revealed that her company’s strategy includes not only investing in digital assets but also “eyeing equity stakes in early-stage companies developing crypto infrastructure.”

Alex Lim – Managing Partner at Blossom Capital – predicted that cryptocurrencies and applications built around blockchain technology have the potential to “inflate value” for early-stage companies. The notorious volatility of the asset class is not an issue for the exec, and he said his company is focused on the long-term:

“Our investment horizon is a decade long, and we are less concerned about day-to-day volatility.”

The firm has previously invested in the payments company CheckoutCom. Following the funding round, the latter’s valuation climbed to $40 billion, turning it into one of the most valuable startups in Europe. Other bets include the cybersecurity-automation platform Tines and the business planning software Pigment.


Blossom Capital’s most significant investment to date is in the crypto-payments company MoonPay. In November last year, the venture capital firm closed a $555 million round, which increased MoonPay’s valuation to $3.4 billion. Apart from Blossom Capital, the investment was also led by Coatue, Tiger Global, and Paradigm.

Largest Funds This Year

Although only 18 days have passed since the start of the new year, the cryptocurrency space has already seen some massive funding rounds.

On January 5, OpenSea – the leading NFT marketplace – raised $300 million in Series C funding, putting its valuation at more than $13 billion. Hedge fund sponsors such as Paradigm and Coatue led the investment. The hegemon in the non-fungible token universe vowed to distribute the funds to fulfill four goals: accelerate product development; improve customers’ support policy; invest in the NFT ecosystem, and hire more people.

Shortly after, the prominent crypto investor Katie Haun revealed plans to raise a whopping $900 million for a pair of digital asset investment funds. This development could be a significantly large debut for her venture capital firm since she recently left Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

Subsequently, the US cryptocurrency exchange FTX set up a $2 billion venture fund to invest in specific blockchain projects. The entire amount of the funding came from the company’s Founder and CEO – Sam Bankman-Fried.


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U.K. Government to Crack Down on Crypto Advertising

Key Takeaways

  • The U.K. Government published plans today detailing its plans to impose greater restrictions on cryptocurrency advertising.
  • The proposed legislation would subject cryptocurrency promotions to the same rules that other financial advertisers must obey.
  • The crackdown comes amid Members’ of Parliament calls for increased regulatory oversight on digital assets.

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The Government of the United Kingdom has published its plans to impose stringent restrictions on cryptocurrency advertisements. The strengthened rules focus mainly on misleading claims in adverts that might cause consumers harm.

Regulatory Landscape Continues Taking Shape

Her Majesty’s Treasury is clamping down on misleading marketing.

The Treasury of the United Kingdom published the government’s plans for legislation surrounding misleading cryptocurrency promotions today. While the government body emphasized its willingness to encourage innovation, it seeks to regulate cryptoassets under the same standards as other forms of financial advertising. 

The Financial Conduct Authority of the U.K. already has strict standards by which financial promotions on other instruments like equities or insurance products must abide. The Treasury’s outlined plans involve amending the Financial Promotion Order to include digital assets within the purview of the existing financial promotion regimes.

The Financial Services and Markets Act of 2000 bars businesses from promoting financial instruments without approval from the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority, yet the FCA currently is limited in its authority to regulate cryptocurrencies. 

According to the Treasury’s announcement, the FCA “will shortly be consulting on their proposed financial promotions rules that will apply to cryptoassets,” and this legislation will appear before parliament when “parliamentary time allows.”

The Treasury cited increasing popularity of cryptoassets among U.K. citizens coupled with decreasing understanding of what cryptocurrency actually is as evidence of consumers’ vulnerability to scams and fraud.

The plans announced today did, however, take care to acknowledge the need to foster innovation. Chancellor of the Treasury Rishi Sunak noted the “exciting new opportunities” that cryptoassets might offer consumers, but highlighted the need to protect consumers from “being sold products with misleading claims.” 

Other countries have also instituted similar changes—just yesterday, Spain announced new rules for cryptocurrency advertisers.

The move takes place in the wake of increased calls for scrutiny over the emerging digital assets space. On Jan. 4, iNews published a report detailing the grumblings from Members of Parliament pushing for increased regulatory oversight over the space.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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Dogecoin-Friendly AMC Rewards 580K Shareholders With Free NFTs

In brief

  • AMC has given out free NFTs to more than 580,000 shareholders.
  • The movie theater chain began accepting cryptocurrency payments last year.

Movie theater chain AMC has increasingly leaned into the world of cryptocurrency since the initial meme stock frenzy that sent its share price soaring about this time last year. Now the company has made good on its promise to reward shareholders with NFT collectibles.

Today, AMC deployed exclusive “I Own AMC” NFTs to the more than 580,000 shareholders who registered via AMC’s Investor Connect portal by the December 31 deadline. The NFTs were minted on WAX, a platform designed for high-volume applications such as large NFT drops and video games.

AMC previously utilized WAX for its recent collaboration with Sony Pictures, in which the companies distributed 86,000 NFTs to select people who purchased tickets to the film “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Brands such as Mattel, Hasbro, Funko, and Atari have also used the WAX platform for NFT collectibles.

According to AMC’s message to investors, the NFTs will be tradeable, but they also provide perks to holders—such as potential discounts and “other benefits.”

An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a digital item, including collectibles, artwork, video files, and more. The NFT market ballooned over the course of 2021, generating $23 billion worth of trading volume, according to data from DappRadar. Leading marketplace OpenSea has already broken its single-month record for Ethereum NFT trading volume so far in January, topping $3.75 billion as of this writing.

Last year, the movie theater chain revealed plans to begin accepting cryptocurrency payments using a handful of coins, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. It later added support for Dogecoin following a social media push from fans and investors.

In November, before activating Dogecoin payments, AMC CEO Adam Aron said that cryptocurrency already made up 14% of online payments for the company. AMC plans to add support for Shiba Inu, a popular Doge-inspired meme token as well.

Beyond accepting cryptocurrency payments and launching its own NFTs to shareholders, AMC has also explored the idea of launching its own AMC cryptocurrency or token.

“There are a lot of reasons why AMC could be a successful issuer of cryptocurrency as well as a redeemer of cryptocurrency,” Aron told CNBC in October. “That’s just one of half a dozen ideas that we’re working on right now.”


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Ethereum Challenger Harmony (ONE) ‘Heavily Bullish’ As Cardano (ADA) Ignites New Market Cycle: Analyst Michaël van de Poppe

Closely-followed crypto analyst Michaël van de Poppe says Ethereum rival Harmony (ONE) looks very bullish as he predicts a new market cycle for Cardano (ADA).

Van de Poppe tells his 560,800 Twitter followers that he sees Harmony, a blockchain focused on powering a decentralized economy, taking out its final resistance area and rallying by as much as 71% from its current price of $0.32.

“Heavily bullish here. Great [resistance to support] flips.

Looking for continuation towards $0.50-$0.55.”

Source: Van de Poppe/Twitter

Next up is smart contract Cardano, which Van de Poppe posits may have launched a new market cycle against Bitcoin (ADA/BTC) after losing over 50% of its value in about four months.

“New cycle has started? Looking quite good.”

Source: Van de Poppe/Twitter

At time of writing, ADA is trading at 0.000038 BTC ($1.62), up over 46% from its 2022 low of 0.000026 BTC ($1.10).

Another coin on Van de Poppe’s radar is virtual reality platform Decentraland (MANA). According to the crypto strategist, MANA must stay above support at $2.50 to have a shot at sustaining its bullish momentum.

“Crucial area seems to be holding -> bullish continuation?”

Source: Van de Poppe/Twitter

Currently, MANA is exchanging hands at $2.91.

The last coin on the list is The Graph (GRT), a platform that indexes and organizes blockchain data. Van de Poppe says GRT must take out its immediate resistance to generate bullish momentum.

“This one needs to break through a crucial level. If that happens, the trend is likely going to reverse.

Crucial area: between $0.625-$0.65.”

Source: Van de Poppe/Twitter

At time of writing, GRT is trading at $0.55.

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Cardano (ADA) Launches New Project To Accelerate Decentralized Application Development

The Cardano Foundation is accelerating decentralized application (DApp) development on Cardano (ADA) with the help of EMURGO.

In a new announcement, the Cardano Foundation says they are teaming up with EMURGO, the commercial arm of Cardano, to develop a new set of tools to help developers support, maintain, and accelerate DApp growth within the ADA ecosystem.

Cardano Foundation CEO Frederik Gregaard says of the project,

“The development of this tool stack, in partnership with EMURGO, will further enable a vibrant, inclusive ecosystem for third-party smart contract development on Cardano. 

This is the first of a set of open-source architecture we are looking at and are excited to push this forward now. 

We want to provide tools to and support to the community and to ensure we enable the architects of the future.”

The project is set for two stages, MVP1 and MVP2, which are to be built, maintained, and implemented by the Five Binaries, a Czech Republic-based infrastructure development company focused on the Cardano ecosystem.

The first stage of the project will involve the development of a modular tool stack which includes a simple backend that will serve as a proof of concept.

For the second stage of the project, Cardano wants to open the floor to Cardano ecosystem developers.

“For the second stage, MVP2, the Cardano Foundation will reach out to different projects and partners from across the ecosystem, publicly inviting them to contribute to the project. 

At this stage, each pull request to add a new adapter or a backend will be required to follow the programming guidelines of the project, including tests.”

Cardano has “woken up” recently, defying sideways markets to gain 27% in the past week. ADA is trading for $1.45 at time of writing, down 2.75% in the last 24 hours.

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Bitcoin Millionaires Are Flocking To This North American Tax Haven. But What Do The Locals Think?

Bitcoin has made its own fair share of millionaires and with the recent bull rally, there is no doubt that this number went up drastically. This has led to a number of issues of investors who have made their money off the digital asset, the main one being taxes. A lot of these millionaires have begun to flee to places with less strict tax laws, as well as better weather conditions.

Bitcoin Millionaires Flock To Puerto Rico

A recent report from CNBC documents the movements of bitcoin millionaires towards Puerto Rico and its beautiful islands. The subject of the report, 36-year-old crypto entrepreneur and investor David Johnson, outlines why he moved himself and his entire family to the North American country. For the entrepreneur, the tropical paradise was a big push, as well as the tax breaks offered to those who spend at least 183 days on the island.

Related Reading | Altcoins Are Encroaching On Bitcoin’s Dominance On Digital Payments

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Johnson also noted that the decision to move was also predicated on the fact that his friends had all moved to the same destination. The 36-year-old who lived in New York before the move said there weren’t any of his friends left in what is said to be one of the most expensive cities in the world as they had all moved to Puerto Rico.

“That’s where all my friends are. I don’t have one friend left in New York, and maybe the pandemic accelerated this, but every single one of them has moved to Puerto Rico,” Johnson told CNBC.

In addition to offering tax breaks to those who spend a significant amount on the island, residents are also allowed to retain their American passports.

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Locals Not Feeling The Love

Puerto Rican locals are not exactly happy about seeing the move to the tropical paradise. This has less to do with the people coming in and more to do with the fact that the locals themselves do not qualify for the tax exemptions that these non-Puerto Ricans enjoy.

Residents like Johnson who move in from other American states after making their millions with bitcoin and crypto do not have to pay capital gains on their earnings. However, Puerto Rican citizens are having to pay up to 15% long-term capital gains tax.

Related Reading | American Rapper Lil Baby On Holding Bitcoin And Ethereum Over Fiat

This disparity between locals and non-locals has obviously now been the source of tension between the two groups. These tax breaks which were meant to bring more jobs and investors into the region are now being utilized by residents who are trying to get out of paying capital gains tax.

Additionally, the influx of new wealthy residents is causing property costs to surge. Diaz Fournier of Luxury Collection Real Estate told CNBC that the increased demand has led to prices not seen before. “I’ve been tracking the markets for several years, and I was not expecting this,” Fournier said. “You have properties in Dorado Beach that have been sold for more than $20 million.”

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Brazil’s Hashdex to Launch DeFi ETF—The Sixth Crypto ETF in Brazilian Market

Crypto asset manager Hashdex today announced that it has received approval to launch what the company is describing as the “world’s first” DeFi ETF.

Developed in collaboration with cryptocurrency index provider CF Benchmarks, Hashdex’s new CF DeFi Index ETF—which will trade under the ticker DEFI11—will track the price of the CF Benchmark’s DeFi Modified Composite Index. That index will itself track a basket of 12 tokens linked to the DeFi market, with Ethereum, Uniswap, AMP, and Curve making up more than half of the basket’s total value.

The remaining tokens in the index are AAVE, Maker, Polygon, Chainlink, The Graph, Compound, Synthetix, and Yearn Finance. 

DeFi is a catch-all term used to describe a group of protocols, applications, and other tools, mostly available on the Ethereum blockchain, that can be used to borrow, lend, and trade crypto assets without third-party intermediaries. On Ethereum alone, more than $96 billion is currently flowing through DeFi applications, and the market cap for DeFi coins is currently $137 billion, per data from CoinGecko.

An ETF is a financial instrument that allows buyers to invest in shares that represent an asset, such as gold, without actually buying and holding the underlying asset. Cryptocurrency ETFs allow investors to gain exposure to a given coin or token without the need to buy crypto from an exchange or store it themselves in a digital wallet.

According to Hashdex, roughly 70% of its index is made up of DeFi protocols, 15% is in smart contract network tokens, and the remaining allocation is distributed among “support” protocols and scalability solutions.

Crypto ETFs are popular in Brazil

DEFI11 is now the fourth cryptocurrency ETF offered by Hashdex. The company became a pioneer in the investment community after it received approval to launch the Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index FI, an ETF that tracks a basket of cryptocurrencies and the first cryptocurrency ETF in all of Latin America.

Besides HASH11 and the new DeFi ETF (DEFI11), Hashdex offers a purportedly “carbon neutral” Bitcoin ETF (BITH11), as well as an Ethereum ETF (ETHE11). In addition to Hashdex’s products, Brazilans can also trade a Bitcoin ETF (QBTC11) and an Ethereum ETF (QETH11) managed by QR Asset Management. Hashdex’s DeFi ETF would make the sixth crypto ETF to launch in Brazil.

According to Brazilian financial news site InfoMoney, cryptocurrency ETFs were among the most profitable products listed on Brazil’s stock exchange last year. HASH11 has quickly become the second-most popular ETF in Brazil, surpassing BOVA11, which tracks the Ibovespa index, and just behind IVVB11, which tracks the S&P 500. 

The DEFI11 ETF will be launched in February, but the reservation period to acquire the first shares will begin tomorrow, according to an announcement shared by Hashdex on its official Twitter account.

According to Brazilian news site Valor Investe, the initial subscription price will be around 50 reals, or roughly $9. The offer will be coordinated by XP Investimentos (Brazil’s largest broker), Itaú BBA (Brazil’s largest private bank), and Banco Genial.


The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.


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Bitcoin Is Harder To Manipulate Than Gold, Says Analyst PlanB – Here’s Why

Quantitative analyst PlanB is unveiling one property of Bitcoin (BTC) that makes it harder to manipulate than gold.

In a new interview, the pseudonymous trader tells YouTuber Robert Breedlove that gold’s intrinsic properties make it difficult to physically collect.

According to PlanB, vault and insurance costs can run about 1% of a gold collection’s value each year, and expensive transportation fees can add to those costs.

He notes that Bitcoin does not have these disadvantages due to its hyper-portability.

“So gold has this very intrinsic thing where you’d rather have the paper gold than the physical gold. But Bitcoin doesn’t have that disadvantage that gold has. The delivery is easy. The delivery is fast. The delivery is cheap, and holding it is so superior to holding gold.

But once it is illegal or made impossible to withdraw gold, then that opens the door to manipulation, because then it’s basically a fiat world, and it’s very comparable to 1971, when Nixon basically said, ‘Well from now on, you cannot withdraw the gold anymore.’” 

PlanB notes that he uses exchanges for selling and buying Bitcoin but not for custody. He says there’s a risk that traders could at some point be prohibited by governments from physically withdrawing their Bitcoin to personal storage.

“Once that aspect of Bitcoin is lost, then Bitcoin is lost in my view…

Right now, that [hyper-portability] makes Bitcoin manipulation very hard versus gold manipulation which is very easy.” 

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,662.14 1.53%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,594.26 1.72%
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Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 208.99 2.26%