Uniswap Labs Unveils New Venture Capital Unit Focused on Web3 Projects

Uniswap Labs, the largest decentralized trading and automated market-making protocol on Ethereum, announced on Monday that it has launched a new venture unit- the Uniswap Labs Ventures, to invest in projects across Web3. 

The firm said that Uniswap Labs Ventures would invest in various web3 initiatives, focusing on startups developing consumer-facing apps, developer tools, and blockchain infrastructure. 

It added that it has tapped Matteo Leibowitz, Strategy Lead at Uniswap, to head up the venture arm alongside Uniswap’s Chief Operating Officer, Mary-Catherine Lader.

Leibowitz talked about the new development and said that investments from the new venture unit will be made directly from the Uniswap Labs balance sheet. He, however, did not highlight any details on how large such checks would be or how much balance sheet capital will be dedicated to the fund.

Uniswap Labs Ventures will focus on helping web3 startups to build and scale across strategy, product, design, partnerships, and engineering. The company mentioned that the venture fund will also actively participate in on and off-chain governance of projects. Uniswap Labs Ventures plans to participate in the governance systems of the Aave, Compound, MakerDAO, and Ethereum Name Service protocols. The venture fund will also invest in both equity and token deals.

Leibowitz explained how the company will invest in the project. He stated that the firm will put a lot of emphasis on the persistence and vision of the founders when giving out funds to potential startups.

Before Uniswap Labs launched its venture arm, the company has invested in 11 startups and projects, including DeFi credit markets such as MakerDAO, Aave, Compound Protocol, PartyDAO, and LayerZero as well as Tenderly, an Ethereum developer platform.

Leibowitz admitted that the broader trend of web3 firms making venture investments has shown the desire for collaboration instead of competing with one another. “The growth of Web3 companies supporting each other through venture investments reflects the principles of collaboration that are so fundamental to the industry’s open-source ethos. The Uniswap ecosystem has benefited enormously from third-party contributions, and we’re excited to pay it forward by sharing our experience and expertise with our peers,” he stated.

Uniswap has therefore joined a rising number of crypto-native firms that are now formally committing resources to invest in other firms in the space, including the likes of DeFi protocol Cake and crypto exchange FTX, which both recently unveiled their venture funds.

Providing Decentralized Finance Services

Uniswap is regarded as the largest decentralized exchange (DEX) operating on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform has been helping to lead the decentralized finance (DeFi) movement and has demonstrated itself as a champion for the democratization and decentralization of traditional financial systems.

In September last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) started investigating Uniswap Labs with regards to how investors use Uniswap — the world’s largest decentralized exchange — and how the platform is marketed.

Uniswap responded by stating that it was committed to complying with the laws and regulations governing its industry and to providing information to regulators that would help them with any investigations.

SEC’s probe into Uniswap Labs came amid intensified regulatory interest in crypto and the digital asset market. In August, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler called on Congress to give the agency more authority to oversee DeFi platforms, which are not regulated in the U.S.


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Bored Ape Yacht Club Enters the Movie Scene, Pairing with Coinbase

Seen as the face of the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) has entered the silver screen based on a series of animated short films called “The Degen Trilogy.”

Bored Apes will serve as characters in the film to be hosted by the new media arm at Coinbase. The crypto exchange is expanding its scope by testing the field of film production. 

The first three episodes of the series will be aired at an NFT industry event called NFT.NYC is slated for June.  

For consideration in the series, Bored Ape owners have been asked to submit their apes together with character descriptions to be scrutinized by a Hollywood casting director.

William Swann, the marketing director at Coinbase, noted:

“You can think of this as a love letter to the NFT tech that has provided so much creative liberation for artists. We really look at (Bored Apes) as sort of our North Star in the NFT space. They’ve created such a massive and engaging community.”

Upon release, the Coinbase website will serve as the gateway to accessing the films because viewers will be required to create a Coinbase wallet. 

The series will also tie in with the launch of Coinbase’s NFT marketplace, according to Swann. 

He added that the Bored Apes would not be the only NFTs aired on the big screen because Mutant Apes by Yuga Labs, the blockchain startup behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club, would get similar treatment.

Nicole Muniz, Yuga Labs CEO, stated:

“We’re seeing how NFTs are evolving to be vehicles of access and participation in networks, games, merchandise and now interactive entertainment. This is a breakthrough project and we’re excited to see how this shapes the future of Web 3 for all communities.”

Meanwhile, Yuga Labs raised funds worth $450 million in March. As a result, the funds effectively placed the blockchain startup at a $4 billion valuation. The team aimed to inject the funds into building a media empire that would predominantly feature NFTs.

This fundraising came days after Yuga Labs unveiled a metaverse project dubbed the “Otherside”. The teaser featured an animated Bored Ape NFT smoking Tobacco in what appeared to be a metaverse-themed world.

The Bored Ape made connections with other Yuga Labs-backed NFT collections housed in what looked like a spaceship. 

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First Shadow Fork Launches on Ethereum Mainnet,Transition to PoS Gains Steam

The move from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), known as the merge, attained a landmark achievement after the first shadow fork went live on the Ethereum (ETH) mainnet.

As a the merge’s trial, the shadow fork is a means of stress testing state growth and syncing on the ETH network, according to Ethereum Foundation developer Parithosh Jayanthi. He added:

“We additionally wanted a way to check if our assumptions work on existing testnets and/or mainnet.”

Moreover, some information will be shared by both the shadow fork and the main Ethereum network. As a result, some transactions might emerge on both chains. 

Having already processed 1,558,014 transactions at an average block time of 13.8 seconds, the shadow hardfork showcases what the merge will entail, according to the block explorer page by Ethereum Foundation developer Marius Van Der Wijden.

Deemed as a historical event, Van Der Wijden came up with the shadow fork idea so that it could help with testing the merge. 

The merge is slated for Q2 2022 and will act as the biggest software upgrade in the Ethereum ecosystem. Validators will take up the role of miners when it comes to the confirmation of blocks based on the amount of ETH staked, given that it acts as collateral against dishonest behaviour. 

Market analyst Lark Davis recently noted that the merge would prompt a supply growth rate of -2.8% in the ETH network. He explained:

“At -2.8% supply growth a year post Merge, Ethereum will see about 3.3 million ETH a year burned. By the end of the decade total ETH supply will drop under 100 million. Or put another way, we will burn the equivalent of ALL ETH currently sitting on exchanges.”

Therefore, the merge is viewed as a game-changer that will make the ETH network cost-effective and environmentally friendly and boost the second-largest cryptocurrency as a deflationary asset.

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Hong Kong’s OneDegree to Provide Digital Asset Protection Insurance with Munich Re

OneDegree, a rapidly rising virtual insurance company in Hong Kong, on Monday, announced a launch of a digital asset insurance product, OneInfinity, which aims to offer protection for digital asset managers.

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This comes after OneDegree disclosed that it has formed a three-year strategic partnership with German reinsurance giant Munich Re Group (Munich Reinsurance Company) to provide support for the digital asset insurance product.

The new launch makes OneDegree the first licensed insurance firm in Asia to partner with a global leading reinsurance company in providing digital asset insurance.

In a statement, OneDegree mentioned that OneInfinity is an insurance and technology product designed specifically for digital asset trading platforms, asset managers, custodians and technology providers.

OneInfinity incorporates OneDegree insurance services with Cymetrics’ solutions – a separate product that is offered by a sister company of OneDegree.

Cymetrics assists firms in examining blockchain, cyber, and digital asset risks from the perspective of hackers and insiders in a more flexible and agile manner.

Despite the rapid and mass adoption of digital assets, the lack of insurance capacity not only puts Web3 participants at greater risk but also affects the participation of institutional investors.

According to OneDegree, one of the major reasons for the lack of insurance capacity across the world is the scarcity of data and expertise to underwrite risk related to digital assets.

OneDegree said that it has leveraged such unique strengths and its inter-disciplinary knowledge of blockchain technology, risk management and compliance, to optimize OneInfinity for the end-to-end issuers of digital asset services.

The firm also mentioned that it is happy to have been selected by Munich Re as its digital asset partner, after passing the reinsurer’s thorough due diligence.

Alvin Kwock, Co-Founder of OneDegree, talked about the development and said: “We are delighted to work closely with Munich Re to offer OneInfinity, a market-leading digital asset insurance product. Digital asset insurance is set to be the gold standard serving the Web3 community. Regulated insurance coverage is a strong signalling effect that supports the trust and credibility of the insured entities. OneDegree is privileged to be Asia’s first insurer to contribute to the secure and compliant development of Web3.”

Investing for International Expansion

Authorized by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority as a virtual insurance provider since April 2020, OneDegree has rapidly established itself as the leading digital asset insurance company in the Hong Kong market by a number of paid users.

Established in 2016, OneDegree is a tech firm that aims to become the next-generation insurance industry leader in Asia. It is the first digital insurance firm in Hong Kong with a fully digitized insurance process end-to-end. It also partners with global leaders in the insurance and health sectors to offer new technology and user experience.

In November 2021, the firm launched the one-month campaign “Onto the Next Insurance Frontier” that aimed to inform the audience that the world is rapidly changing and the same applies to people’s needs in the face of an uncertain future.

OneDegree keeps bringing new impetus to the market with technology and launching diverse insurance products to help customers tackle the pain points that have been troubling them for years.

In November last year, OneDegree witnessed an average monthly growth rate of 30%, and the number of paid users reached over 100,000. The COVID-19 pandemic altered customer behaviour, where the firm saw an increased demand for insurance products and the need for more convenience in acquiring such products. As a result, more customers are turning to digital platforms for insurance products and services.

OneDegree is looking ahead to continue expanding its business in Asia and boosting its efforts to enter Europe to reach more potential customers with insurance technology.


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White Star Capital Announces Second Digital Asset Fund Anchored by Ubisoft

Multi-stage investment platform, White Star Capital, has announced the first close of its second Digital Asset Fund (DAF II),  with backing from top investors like Ubisoft, the named anchor LP provider.


As announced by the company, the DAF II project will propound its core strategies of investing in crypto firms and innovative blockchain protocols, however, with a central focus on Gaming and Decentralized Finance (DeFi).

“White Star Capital has a track record of backing many of today’s top up-and-coming Defi startups and their experience has been very helpful as we grow our company,” said Dr. Chiente Hsu, CEO of ALEX. “The team is passionate, driven, and understands the steps entrepreneurs need to take to lead tomorrow’s decentralized world.”

White Star Capital is an active player in the crypto investment landscape whose operations span several countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and France. As unveiled by the firm, its DAF II will be managed by its Managing Partner Sep Alavi and is supported by Eddie Lee and Luke Xiao in New York, Florent Jouanneau in London, Sanjay Zimmermann in Toronto, and Dimitri Nitchoun in Paris.

Since its inception, White Star Capital has backed a number of protocols, including but not limited to Ledn, ALEX, Multis, Paraswap, Exlusible, and Rally. Per the DAF II allocation strategy, it earmarked as much as $1 million to $7 million for the new projects it will back and particularly focus on startups in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Funding for Web3.0 protocols is becoming a very common event in the digital currency ecosystem. The closure of the DAF II fund is a testament to investors’ unquenchable thirst to back innovative protocols being introduced daily. As reported earlier by Blockchain.News, eToro also floated a $20 million fund last week to make strategic investments in exquisite Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

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London-Based Fabric Ventures to Close Funding for Two New Web3 Funds

As it is becoming a trend in the Web3.0 ecosystem nowadays, Fabric Ventures, a London-based venture capital firm, is on track to close two new Web3.0 funds that will focus exclusively on the “Open Economy.”


As confirmed by Richard Muirhead, the company’s Managing Partner, the two funds will be worth as much as €225 million ($245 million), The Block reports.

Muirhead noted that the first of the funds was largely oversubscribed by its investors, and in a bid to accommodate more backers, the venture capital firm had to expand its hard cap to €125 million. The first fund will support early-stage startups, and the yet-to-be-completed second fund will focus on innovative projects at the Series B stage and above.

Fabric Ventures has a very robust profile as an investor in the digital currency ecosystem. Since its inception, the company has invested in Open Zeppelin, Ocean Protocol, Ramp, NTropy Network, Orchid, Aurora, and Trailblazer Games. The robust profile of Fabric Ventures also extends beyond crypto startups and as a European Investment Fund (EIF) firm, it has holdings in such protocols including PayPal, MySQL, and Block (former Square).

The ultimate focus of Fabric Ventures, according to Muirhead, is to help innovative protocols with the potential of contributing to the Web3.0 ecosystem-scale up their solutions. It is an example of a startup trailing a similar path as a number of blockchain protocols have been dishing out ecosystem funds to help the growth of new outfits building on them.

From Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to Avalanche and Near Protocol, there has been a very precise emphasis on projects that can join in expanding the general utilities of blockchain networks in the fast-emerging Web3.0 powered internet. 

The Fabric Ventures investment will help cover more grounds in anticipation that more protocols will gain more comprehensive access to an integrated network of industry veterans that can also help power their growth.

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Mastercard Files for 15 Crypto & Metaverse Related Trademarks

Payment Operator Mastercard has filed for 15 trademarks related to NFTs, crypto and metaverse, The Block reported.

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The filings have an April 7 status date. They include NFT-backed multimedia, marketplaces for digital goods, and metaverse related payment transaction processing and e-commerce software business.

According to the report, the trademark applications have been filed on a 1b basis – signalling an intent to use them in the future. However, a “bonafide intent” to use the trademark at a future date must be produced.

1b filing system does not require evidence to the government that the trademark is already being used, unlike the 1a application system which is for “actual use.”

Mastercard’s move to trademark crypto is another example of a growing number of payment giants entering the crypto industry.

Rival company, Visa, has already made moves in the industry by adding crypto staff to the team and purchasing a CryptoPunk last summer.

While, another payment company American Express also filed for similar trademarks last month as Mastercard for “downloadable computer software for facilitating the transfer of a virtual payment card to an electronic mobile wallet,” among other areas, The Block reported. 

In another development, Mastercard inked a deal with Coinbase to support its NFT marketplace earlier this year.

There have also been reports of Mastercard’s plans on expanding its consulting services for its crypto section.

According to a recent report by Blockchain.News, Mastercard has planned to expand its consulting services and is making commitments to support several innovations in the cryptocurrencies market.

As announced by the Purchase, a New York-based firm, the expanded consulting service will also encompass Open Banking, Open Data, and Environment, Social & Governance (ESG), the report added.

Mastercard’s prior work in the digital currency ecosystem encompasses helping both banks and Central Banks adopt digital assets. Notably, a number of Central Banks around the world utilise a Mastercard’s solution in the design and deployment of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), helping these apex banks explore all possible scenarios before actual deployment is done, the report further added.

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TravelX, Air Europa Launch World’s 1st Flight Ticket NFTs

TravelX announced on Monday that it has partnered with Air Europa to release the world’s first non-fungible token (NFT) flight ticket collections or “NFTickets.”

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TravelX claims to be building the travel industry’s first blockchain-based distribution protocol. While Air Europa is the third largest Spanish airline flying to over 60 destinations around the globe.

The announcement clarified that with the purchase of the NFTs titled “The Art as the Destination”, owners of the tickets will get access to a special Air Europa flight to Miami Beach this November 29 and the premier art show of the Americas taking place this December in Miami.

The NFTickets were created in a series of 10 in partnership with various artists, and they will be released every 14 days through TravelX’s auction platform. The auction went live on April 11.

“Innovation is in our DNA, we have been pioneers in applying new technologies within our industry, and it can not be different with NFTs, which could be the next step in the travel industry,” said Bernardo Botella, Global Sales Director at Air Europa.  “We are proud to be the first airline to adopt blockchain technology for inventory management and distribution. We’re excited to see where this could take travel as a whole and how it could improve customer experience.”

TravelX said that similar to traditional NFTs, NFTickets are individually rare and are recorded on the blockchain.

The company clarified that when an owner can issue a matching flight ticket by presenting the NFT.

The curator of the NFTicket series is Ximena Casinos, who commissioned acclaimed multi-disciplinary artist Carlos Bentancourt for the first piece.

The NFTs were minted on Algorands carbon-negative blockchain technology, which is energy-efficient and environment-friendly.

“It’s very exciting to give birth to a new kind of NFT, minted on Algorands carbon-negative blockchain,” said Facundo Diaz, Co-Founder of TravelX. “We will blend the best of the traditional NFT but add real-world application and experience. This provides a better flight ticket that travelers can easily manage and trade from their blockchain wallet, combined with a new kind of collectable art piece. We believe NFTickets will be the perfect fusion of art, travel, and technology.”

Currently, TravelX is working on building a blockchain-based distribution protocol designed to create a more secure, decentralized, frictionless, transparent, and efficient travel industry.

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Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Predicts $30K Price Target for BTC by June

In tandem with his call for a “crypto carnage” that is underway in the second quarter, former BitMEX Chief Executive Officer Arthur Hayes has predicted a price slump of $30,000 for Bitcoin (BTC) and $2,500 for Ethereum (ETH) by the end of June this year.


Backing the Bearish Narratives

Hayes is a veteran in the crypto investing game, and his prowess is well showcased in the BitMEX derivatives exchange which he co-founded. While tagging himself as a long-term crypto investor, Hayes believes the prices of BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies have grown so much in the past weeks that a reversal is imminent.

According to Hayes, the strong correlation between Bitcoin and the Nasdaq 100- an index of top tech stocks in the U.S., is enough grounds for the impending reversal that may befall the leading coin. He shared a series of chats that showed the high correlation with these stocks, and he said that a reversal in trend from these stocks is bound to stir a corresponding drawdown in the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

With the effects of the coronavirus clearing across the board, Hayes also argued that the introduction of higher interest rates by the Feds bolsters the outlook of the Nasdaq 100 as a curb against inflation (which naturally favours crypto) will have a tremendous bearish impact on the digital assets.

The war in Ukraine also comes as a major bearish factor that will eventually hurt the price of stocks and, by extension, cryptocurrencies.

Proposed Solutions

While issuing a disclaimer that his commentary is not to be taken as an investment decision, Hayes said he is bullish in the long term, but buys cheaper cryptocurrencies alternatively with a good propensity for growth in the long term.

He also said he is buying put options in the short term, a move that will remain in his favour irrespective of the market trend.

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FTX Digital Co-CEO Launches Crypto PAC as Midterm Elections Draws Near

Ryan Salame, the co-CEO of FTX Digital Markets has launched a new Political Action Committee (PAC) dubbed the American Dream Federal Action.


The PAC seeks to support forward-looking leadership for a strong America and comes off as one of many PACs being backed by prominent crypto personalities.

The interest of digital currency executives cannot be disconnected from the move to help enshrine forward-thinking policies that can only be made possible through the ascension of the right individuals with the right propensity for the growth of emerging technologies. 

While the PACs are developed primarily to support candidates, the involvement of these crypto personalities has showcased that the nascent asset class seeks revolution beyond just the financial ecosystem and other industries it is currently impacting.

Salame is bootstrapping the PAC with a $4 million funding, with expectations of donations from well-meaning citizens. 

“We look forward to supporting forward-looking conservative leaders who understand the urgency of advancing smart policies that set America up for success,” Salame said in a statement announcing the PAC.

As gleaned from the PAC’s website, the organization said it believes that;

“Public policy solutions should have a positive impact on people’s lives and play a vital role in protecting Americans’ freedoms, biosecurity, and system of free enterprise.”

Salame’s growing exploit with the new PAC trails related to moves from Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of FTX Derivatives Exchange. Per a Forbes report, Bankman-Fried soared to prominence in the political landscape as he shelled out the sum of $5 million to back current U.S. President Joe Biden’s campaign through a Super PAC. 

Digital currencies represent an innovative technology and a sprawling industry that is gradually becoming noticeable amongst politicians in Washington and around the country. While the receipt of campaign donations through Bitcoin has become the order of the day, leaders like Colorado’s Governor are making serious concessions by permitting crypto to be received as payment for taxes in the state.

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,592.12 0.03%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,594.14 0.06%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.80 0.28%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 208.97 0.11%