Solana-based Decentralized Exchange Slope Finance Raises $8M in Series A funding

Solana-community based decentralized exchange Slope Finance announced to complete the rasing of $8,000,000 in Series A funding, co-led by Solana Ventures and Jump Crypto.

Other investors include Circle. Sequoia China, Genesis Trading, CMS Holdings, Spark Digital, Huobi, etc.,

Slope Finance, the startup behind the Solana blockchain digital wallet, has raised a total of $10.3M in funding over two rounds.

As the most critical user touchpoint, the wallet acts as a gateway for exchanges and smart contracts.

It is reported that Slope Finance provides customers with a cross-platform wallet that can span three different fields: Solana Pay, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). It can support users to transfer or exchange corresponding tokens across chains.

It is reported that the wallet has been widely downloaded up to 1 million times and has 850,000 monthly active users.

Matthew Beck, Partner at Solana Ventures, commented on the investment:

“We are excited to support Slope’s mission to provide a seamless, cross-platform experience for users to engage with Solana’s DeFi, NFT and gaming ecosystems,”

The funds will be used to expand the company’s team in the United States and recruit more high-quality talent to set up corresponding offices.

As reported by Blockchain.News on February 1, another Solana’s wallet named Phantom has secured a $109 million Series B investment led by cryptocurrency firm Paradigm.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Coinbase to Release Q4 Results, Crypto Winter Expected to Cause amid Ukraine- Russia War

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, is expected to release its fourth-quarter earnings report on February 24, 2022, EST. Wall Street analysts project a brief winter in the cryptocurrency market due to the war occurred between Russia and Ukraine. - 2022-02-24T172614.592.jpg

Bitcoin has fallen below $40,000 from a peak of nearly $69,000 in early November amid expected U.S. rate hikes and tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The current price of bitcoin was hovering around 34K-35K. Owen Lau, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co Inc., said: “The biggest concern remains Bitcoin price“.

As a cryptocurrency exchange, most of the revenue comes from cryptocurrency trading,  stock markets and crypto markets are full of bearish sentiment right after Russia launched the latest military operations against Ukraine. Therefore Lau also stated, “people also priced in the concerns of a crypto winter — we may see a bear market for crypto for a while”.

According to Bloomberg, the fourth quarter is expected to report $2 billion in revenue, of which $1.73 billion will come from transactions. Monthly transacting users were estimated at 9.8 million, up from 7.4 million in the third quarter.

Coinbase announced its transaction revenue was $1.235 billion, far lower than analysts’ expectations of $1.614 billion on the third quarter.

The total profit in the third quarter was US$406 million, which was a decrease of 74.7% compared with the second quarter’s $1.6 billion, although higher than the expected $380 million.

Julie Chariell, the senior analyst for fintech and payments at Bloomberg Intelligence, expects Coinbase’s revenue to recover in the fourth quarter, as advertisements for the Super Bowl in recent months have sparked interest in the cryptocurrency market and the upcoming NFT market. 

Nasdaq-listed digital currency trading platform Coinbase Global Inc has expanded support services for its self-custody wallet, including Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in December.

The Coinbase stock fell 1.59% in after-hours trading at $170 after Russia launched a full-scale invasion to Ukraine.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Circle Launches Corporate Account to Support USDC Transactions

The issuer of stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), Circle, has launched a new account service that enables corporate customers to deposit, withdraw, receive and store cryptocurrencies through their account and settle all payments in USDC stablecoins.

Circle focuses on the position as the issuer of stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), one of the fastest-growing USD digital currencies; USDC’s circulation has more than doubled, reaching $52.5 billion as of February 16. Its circulation accounts for stable more than 29% of the currency market, second only to tether (USDT).

The newly added feature enables corporate accounts to integrate cryptocurrency trading into their corporate accounts’ operations and offers eligible investors a stablecoin lending program called Circle Yield, Inc., which offers annual returns of up to 4% to 6%.

Through Circle Account, business holders can pay or receive USDC on eight different blockchains: Ethereum, Algorand, Solana, Stellar, Tron, Hedera, Avalanche and Flow.

A Circle spokesperson said that:

“Some drivers for USDC growth are increased payment use cases, cross-border transactions and the adoption of assets like USDC as a “flight to safety,” especially in countries where the local currency is suffering from a valuation loss.”

Fintech company Circle Internet Financial has revamped its merger agreement with Concord Acquisition Corp (NYSE: CND) through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), doubling its valuation to $9 billion from the $4.5 billion were initially announced in July 2021.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / /

Canadian Rehabilitation Foundation to Accept Crypto Charitable Donations

The Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation (GRHF), a healthcare entity based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is considering adding cryptocurrency to its donation path. - 2022-02-24T164153.104.jpg

This move will make the foundation become the first healthcare facility in Alberta to welcome cryptocurrency donations.

GRHF will cooperate with The Giving Block to realize this cryptocurrency donation and integrate the corresponding technology to make the way for donors to donate cryptocurrency more secure and reliable.

The Giving Block is a top-tier crypto donation solution, which provides an ecosystem for nonprofits and charities to fundraise Bitcoin and other cryptos.

Mark Korthuis, President and CEO of GRHF said:

“By accepting cryptocurrency donations, we’re going to open new pathways to fund innovative health technologies that will make a real difference for patients recovering from injury or living with chronic conditions.”

Mark Korthuis also added that the current global pandemic has caused serious side effects to charities, adding cryptocurrency options will help charities to increase their revenue streams and thus strengthen their competitiveness.

Koleya Karringten, executive director of the Canadian Blockchain Alliance, added that Bitcoin is becoming an important source of funding for charities.

As reported by Blockchain.News on February 02, Alberta, Canada’s most oil-rich province, is seeing growth in the crypto industry to diversify its economy.

Alberta is actively looking to build the province’s tech industry, including mining digital tokens, building data centres, and attracting high-tech workforces.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

SFOX Working to Open Market by Facilitating Trading in Bitcoin Derivatives

Crypto prime brokerage SFOX said they are working to open a market that facilitates banks and market makers to trade in bitcoin derivatives. - 2022-02-24T153417.598.jpg

SFOX co-founder George Melika said that the idea is to use NDFs – non-deliverable forward contracts typically used for currency markets – that will give banks a way to expose clients to the digital currency on a broader scale via contracts that settle in cash.

“It’s a product they’re familiar with, it’s regulated, and they can trust they can get exposure to it without holding the underlying,” Melika told Bloomberg. He also added that banks do not have to buy Bitcoin for clients to be able to trade assets related to the token’s moves.

SFOX’s 120 institutional clients allow it to expand liquidity to a market for NDFs.

SFOX has currently formed a group of engineers and traders to expand access to bitcoin for banks and big investors via a bespoke derivative.

Banks worldwide have been cautious of getting involved with bitcoin due to compliance issues, “know your customer” (KYC) rules and market liquidity.

However, Melika said it might help compliance departments get more comfortable with this newer product since banks already trade NDFs for other assets.

SFOX is also among only a handful of firms dealing in digital assets that have joined the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, according to Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has also been involved in NDFs, which payout in cash since last year, and the bank has used bitcoin futures to hedge their exposure.

According to Bloomberg, more rivals may start trading NDFs following SFOX creating a new product, while some may use the spot market fr hedging.

SFOX said that its new product would help in lowering margin requirements for clients. While Jane Street expects that the demands of institutional investors will be satisfied by the initiative.

NDFs are products “that many institutions are very comfortable with,” Eric Knight, a crypto trader at Jane Street, told Bloomberg. “A lot of institutions are asking how to get exposure to bitcoin, whether it’s through ETFs or futures. But there’s no spot ETF at the moment either.”

According to Bloomberg, NDFs can be bought on a margin that is negotiated among counterparties, unlike an ETF, where a buyer typically has to put up 100% of the capital to purchase the security.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

Bitfury Floats 28MW Bitcoin Mining Farm in Canada

Amsterdam-based Bitcoin (BTC) mining company Bitfury has announced the launch of a new data centre in Sarnia, Ontario, with an initial energy generation capacity of 28 MW.


As detailed in a press release shared by the company, the new facility will commence operations by the end of February with a 16 MW capacity. The remaining 12 MW capacity will be incorporated by the end of May.

The Sarnia facility will run on hardware and software designed and produced by Bitfury, including the company’s specialized ASIC chips and other high-performance mining equipment. 

“As one of the industry’s first and most established Bitcoin miners, we are pleased to continue to expand our operations with the launch of our state-of-the-art facility in Sarnia,” said Brian Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of Bitfury and a former U.S. OCC boss. “The demand for exposure to digital assets is exceptionally high, and the combination of Bitfury’s best-in-class infrastructure and proven operational expertise uniquely positions us to serve as a partner of choice to customers and investors globally.”

According to the company’s announcement, the capacity of the Sarnia plant has to be extended up to 200 MW. The new mining outfit complements Bitfury’s hosting capacity, adding to the company’s existing active digital asset mining sites in North America, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe/Central Asia.

Strategically, the period is a good time for mining-focused companies to extend their capacity. There is a growing shift in resource allocation in the wake of the miners’ crackdown in Kazakhstan. With the likelihood to force Bitcoin miners out of Kazakhstan, most of the current operators, most of whom moved to the country from China last year, will also need a new home altogether.

The impending migration is billed to reduce the Bitcoin mining hashrate, which can favour existing miners, of which Bitfury will be a big beneficiary.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / /

HK-based Ucollex Raises $10M in Funding, Led by Animoca Brands

Hong Kong-based non-fungible token (NFT) platform Ucollex closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Animoca Brands and the MCP IPX One Fund from Japanese investment firm MCP Asset Management. - 2022-02-24T105226.229.jpg

However, the company’s valuation has not been revealed.

The NFT platform focuses on art and pop culture collectables such as artist interviews, 3D art, and virtual experiences without requiring buyers to own a digital wallet.

Among Uncollex’s major success stories, it partnered with crypto exchange Binance to support the first NFT launch from luxury fashion brand Jimmy Choo last autumn.

According to Ucollex board member Roberto Grande, the latest capital will be invested in scaling operations, including platform and blockchain tech development, while also focusing on driving marketing efforts related to significant intellectual property (IP) partnerships.

Ucollex CEO Robert Tran said that ‘Collectortainment’ will be the company’s key offering “as we look to bridge the existing global fandom for pop culture collectables into the new paradigm of blockchain ownership and utility.”

Tran added that anime, toy, and pop culture illustrators will be Ucollex’s major focus for 2022 as “we believe these digital collectables are shaping the new consumer spending in a very impactful way.”

Animoca Brands co-founder and Executive Chairman Yat Siu said that “we are pleased to lead this investment, which we believe will make it easier for intellectual properties to participate in the open metaverse.”

Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands has invested in over 150 NFT-related firms and decentralized products, including Dapper Labs and Sky Mavis.

According to January 19, 2022, report by Blockchain.News, Animoca Brands raised $358.88 million from investors led by Liberty City Ventures.

The report added that with the firm now valued at $5 billion, the startup had notably doubled its value from October when it was worth $2.2 billion atop a $65 million funding.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /

Crypto Market Crashes after Putin Announcing Military Operations against Ukraine

The cryptocurrency market is full of bearish sentiment, right after Russia launched the latest military operations against Ukraine. - 2022-02-24T132300.785.jpg

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, plunged over 7.8%, trading at around $34.7K during the Asia-time trading section, according to CoinMarketCap.

The downtrend of bitcoin has similarly affected other leading cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Binance coin (BNB), ripple (XRP) and Cardano (ADA).

Ethereum, the second-biggest volume crypto, also fell over 9.5 %, trading at around $2385 at present.

Putin announced a “military operation” in Ukraine’s Donbas region on Wednesday local time, requesting Kyiv forces to surrender, according to Reuters and the Financial Times. Reportedly, explosions were heard in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as well.

Prior to the full-scale invasion, Ukraine has approved legalising Bitcoin domestically recently. Some organisations reportedly have been receiving crypto as a means of donations aiding military support. 

As the U.S. announced to impose a new round of sanctions on Russia on Monday, in response to Russian recognition of the sovereignty to two separatist territories- the Donbas and Lugansk region. Analysts said Russia might turn to crypto in response to the latest round of sanctions from the U.S. Meanwhile, Russian authorities considered offering the green light to the regulation of crypto.

The tension between Russia and Ukraine has affected the strong recovery of bitcoin. Bitcoin’s price has once gained momentum followed by the sanction by the U.S.

(Co-authored by Aaron Limbu)

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / / /

Warner Music Group Partners With Splinterlands, Entering Blockchain Gaming

Popular American entertainment record label company, Warner Music Group (WMG), has announced its partnership with blockchain gaming outfit Splinterlands. It looks to offer its artists more options to showcase their creativity.


As contained in a press release shared by the company, the partnership with Splinterlands will enable WMG artists to create and develop unique, play-to-earn (P2E), arcade-style blockchain games.

Since blockchain technology evolved to feature innovations bordering on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), there has been a frantic race amongst global brands to explore avenues in which this technology can be integrated into their existing business suite to enhance overall fan engagement. From Marvel Studios and now Warner Music Group, blockchain technology seems to have found its way into revolutionizing the entertainment industry.

More specifically, Play-2-Earn (P2E) opportunities, a trend that is taking the gaming world by storm. With the WMG and Splinterlands partnership, a series of “mobile-friendly, accessible games that can facilitate wider adoption and foster community building more easily than traditional play-to-earn games,” the announcement confirms.

“I don’t think we can underestimate how massive the opportunity around P2E gaming is. Our partnership with Splinterlands focuses on our artists and their music as we all work together to develop and maintain tokenized games. As we build, we will be unlocking new revenue streams for our artists while further solidifying fans’ participation in value created,” said Oana Ruxandra, Chief Digital Officer & EVP, Business Development, WMG.

As WMG are looking forward, Blockchain games are considered one of the key innovations that will take blockchain technology toward the mainstream adoption curve—drawing on the technical expertise of Splinterlands. The operator is one of the most popular blockchain games around Splinterlands with over 450,000 daily players. 

The Warner Music Group is convinced it has seen a worthy partner to help actualize its dreams to integrate blockchain gaming.

Image source: Warner Music


Tagged : / /

Crypto Ads in India to Brandish with “Highly Risky” Disclaimer

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the sovereign regulatory body for all forms of advertisements, has published a new set of guidelines for stakeholders in the digital currency ecosystem.


As contained in a press release shared by the regulator, the new guideline, set to kick off in April, became necessary in the wake of the proliferation of crypto ads in the past year.

According to the ASCI, the majority of these adverts often contain limited information that may prey on the naivety of Indians. In response to this perceived threat, the regulators mandate that all adverts must carry the disclaimer;

“Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions.” 

The disclaimer must be visible in both print and other forms of media. Specifically, TV Ads that are more than 2 minutes long are mandated to contact a clear voiceover of the disclaimer at the beginning and end, respectively. Additionally, the ASCI said the disclaimer must remain on TV screens for a minimum of five seconds.

As a major caution, the ASCI said adverts should not contain the words “currency”, “securities”, “custodian”, and “depositories”, as this can be misconstrued by the investing public as though cryptocurrencies are regulated commodities.

“We had several rounds of discussion with the government, finance sector regulators, and industry stakeholders before framing these guidelines,” said Subhash Kamath, Chairman of ASCI, “Advertising of virtual digital assets and services needs specific guidance, considering that this is a new and as yet an emerging way of investing. Hence, there is a need to make consumers aware of the risks and ask them to proceed with caution.”

While crypto ads are becoming one of the most prevalent ways for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASPS) to publicize their products and services, regulators, including those from Singapore, UK and France, are tightening their efforts. With the India ad watchdog joining the trend, expectations now mount for more to join in the near future.

Image source: Shutterstock


Tagged : / / / / /
Bitcoin (BTC) $ 39,529.59 2.00%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,167.36 3.51%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 72.70 1.63%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 230.81 2.39%