Thai Energy Billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi Boosts Investment in Crypto

Thailand’s second-richest billionaire, Sarath Ratanavadi, has said he is increasing investments in the blockchain ecosystem, despite the crypto industry’s bitter winter, according to Bloomberg.

Sarath Ratanavadi is the founder and chief executive officer of Gulf Energy Development, a leading Thai energy company with domestic and international projects.

He said the move is to diversify revenue streams and that this multi-level collaboration with Binance, a global leader in blockchain infrastructure technology, provides further opportunities for the company to expand into other digital asset-related initiatives in the future.

Sarath said it is actively partnering with Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, to operate a license for a digital asset exchange and brokerage business in order to operate within the law.

“Digital assets and blockchain technology platforms will be the key drivers for the company’s strongest returns, and our aim is to become the country’s market leader. Recent issues involve individual cases, with the overall market still being sound and having high potential,” Sarath said.

Previously, Gulf Energy also announced the acquisition of BNB tokens to enter the Binance ecosystem.

According to data from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand, cryptocurrency trading volume on licensed exchanges in Thailand in July fell to the lowest level since January 2021, plunging to 54 billion baht ($1.5 billion).

The data also showed that the total number of active trading accounts fell to 260,000 in July from 700,000 in December.

Thailand’s regulator said it had pledged to take action to revise existing regulations, as the recent cryptocurrency sell-off took a toll on retail investors and led to the collapse of several companies.

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Animoca Brands’ Japanese Unit Raises $45m

Animoca Brands’ Japanese unit raised $45 million in financing at a $500 million pre-money valuation.

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The Hong Kong-based crypto gaming and web3 firm raised the fund with MUFG Bank – the largest bank in Japan with a 360-year-old history.

Animoca Brands Japan has planned to use the fund to “secure licenses for popular intellectual properties, develop internal capabilities, and promote adoption of Web3 to multiple partners, increasing the value and utility of their branded content while fostering the development of a safe and secure NFT ecosystem in Japan.”

Although Japan is not a crypto-friendly country yet imposing a 30% corporate tax on profit from cryptocurrency holdings, the island-nation is ripe with anime, manga, video games, movies, and musicians, which could be turned into non-fungible token (NFT) services scouring for IPs.

However, tech firms in Japan have been opening up to NFTs. Line launched its NFT marketplace in Japan in April, a plan that was announced last year.

Line users in Japan can now store their NFTs in their Line-powered digital asset wallet and trade them with friends.

According to a report from Blockchain.News, Animoca Brands announced in mid-July that it had raised $75 million in a funding round.

Investors backed the digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification firm at a subscription price of A$4.50 per share for a total of 23,237,058 new shares, according to details of the fundraising. 

The report added that the funding round placed Animoca Brands at a pre-money valuation of $5.9 billion enjoined high profile investors, including Liberty City Ventures, Kingsway Capital, Alpha Wave Ventures, 10T, SG Spring Limited Partnership Fund, Generation Highway Ltd, Cosmic Summit Investments Limited, and others.

The funding round is an extension of the $358 million boosts the firm received back in January as its valuation remained pegged at $5 billion at the time.

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DJ Steve Aoki to Release NFT Series at Price of 1.5 SOL on August 29

American DJ and EDM producer Steve Aoki, in collaboration with artist Greg Hildebrandt, will release his Non-Fungible Token (NFT) collection on August 29th at 2 pm.

This time, 777 covers art-inspired NFTs and will be released as an NFT series, open to the public for 1.5 SOL.

Greg Hildebrandt, the illustrator, designed these NFTs to feature characters from his acclaimed Neon Future comic book. The comic book is published by Impact Theory by Tom Bilyeu. The collection of 777 NFTs also includes 43 signed by Aoki, 43 signed by Greg Hildebrandt, and 43 signed by Impact Theory founder Tom Bilyeu.

The NFT approach changes the creation rules for creators. In the future, music can face the audience directly, without intermediaries and labels.

For users of the Oddkey, A0K1VERSE, Heavy Metal and Shock Theory community, there will be a chance to buy it for 1 SOL on August 29th, 9 amM2 pmPM PST.

In April 2021, Aoki’s NFT Dream Catcher art collection sales exceeded $4 million.

As early as May 2022, Steve Aoki’s NFT series “Neon Future x Heavy Metal” launched at Solana-based marketplace Oddkey, making the NFT creative figure on the cover of the fantasy sci-fi magazine “Heavy Metal”.

The legendary EDM DJ has been one of the biggest advocates of NFTs.

The Chainsmokers and their manager Adam Alpert, CEO at Disruptor Records, are backing YellowHeart, a new ticketing platform founded by Josh Katz, a music executive.

The YellowHeart platform runs on a public blockchain and is fully decentralized, allowing artists and teams to identify and sell directly to their fans. The platform is planning to go live in 2020.

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Esports, Web3 Firm Ampverse Expands into the Philippines

Esports and Web3 company Ampverse has expanded into the Philippines, making it the fifth market.


With the expansion, Ampverse plans to invest more than 100 million pesos in the Southeast Asian country’s local gaming and esports ecosystem. 

The investment will focus on boosting esports, talent, commerce, and Web3.

Ferdinand Gutierrez, CEO of Ampverse, said, “the gaming scene in the Philippines is flourishing; over the past several years, we have witnessed incredible developments, and the landscape is now ripe for further growth and success. As a Filipino myself, I’m excited to go back to my roots and build something special in this thriving market. My mission is to grow the Filipino gaming ecosystem to world-class status.”

Along with the Philippine escalation, Ampverse has also signed with an amateur Mobile Legends esports team which will play under the Minana brand. The team has reportedly won 11 straight Mobile Legends championships.

Meanwhile, Ampverse has appointed Julius “Banoobs” Mariano as Regional Expansion Manager. Banoobs previously worked for Twitch as Country Manager Philippines and has become well known as a Filipino gaming executive who is also a streamer with a 100,000+ strong social media following.

“Mat (Chief Gaming Officer, Ampverse) and I helped establish and grow the gaming scene in the Philippines nearly a decade ago at Twitch, so it’s a dream to be working together again with our common aim to innovate and build the foundations for the next decade of Filipino gaming,” said Banoobs. 

Meanwhile, Julius is charged with bolstering the Ampverse team on the ground in the Philippines. He will spearhead Ampverse’s growth in-market and will be followed by a number of new hires in the coming months across esports, sales, marketing, operations and web3.

Founded in 2019, Ampverse has entered Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and India. The company is currently working on expanding into the Indonesian market by late 2022.

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FTX Denies Rumours of Merging between Alameda Research and FTX VC

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has denied reports that his two companies, FTX ventures and Alameda Research, are merging venture capital operations.

The news comes after Sam Trabucco, co-CEO of crypto asset fund Alameda Research, announced on Twitter on Aug. 25 that he would be stepping down from his leadership role.

Caroline Ellison will be the company’s sole CEO following the departure of Sam Trabucco.

Sources said the merger is part of an effort to strengthen billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire in response to a prolonged decline in cryptocurrency prices.

Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted back, “This seems like a big misinformation to me!”

He added, “FTX’s venture capital is concentrated under FTX Ventures — unlike Alameda’s venture capital, which is not.”

The venture capital arm of FTX and the venture capital business of sister company Alameda Research are not combined but operate independently as two companies.

Amy Wu, CEO of FTX Ventures, said that the FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange, FTX Ventures, and Alameda all operate entirely as separate entities from each other.

Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison explains that Alameda will focus primarily on exchanges, OTC, and decentralized finance.

She added, “We’re arm’s length and don’t get any different treatment from other market makers. The Alameda team isn’t working too much on the venture side day-to-day.”

FTX Ventures launched earlier this year and raised $2 billion in January, during which no money changed hands between FTX and Alameda.

FTX manages assets through Alameda Research, a quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm, founded by Sam Bankman-Fried in October 2017.

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Coinbase to Launch 2nd Crypto Derivatives Product-Nano Ether Futures for Retail Brokers

Coinbase Derivatives Exchange (formerly FairX) will launch its second crypto derivatives product, Nano Ether Futures Contracts (ET), on August 29.

Coinbase said the BIT would initially target several leading brokerage intermediaries, including retail brokerages EdgeClear, Ironbeam, NinjaTrader, Optimus Futures, Stage 5, and Tradovate, as well as clearing firms ABN AMRO, ADMIS, Advantage Futures, ED&F Man, Ironbeam and Wedbush.

Coinbase Derivatives Exchange launched its first crypto derivatives product, Nano Bitcoin futures (BIT), on June 27.

As of August 24, 2.9MM contracts have been traded in the Nano Bitcoin Futures Contract (BIT), averaging 77,000 contracts per day.

Coinbase is currently awaiting regulatory approval for a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) license. After obtaining the FCM license, the company can offer margin futures contracts directly to clients.

Coinbase Derivatives Exchange is a CFTC-regulated Designated Contract Market (DCM) futures exchange.

FairX launched its futures exchange platform in May 2021 and was acquired by Coinbase earlier in 2022 to launch crypto derivatives products.

Boris Ilyevsky, head of Coinbase derivatives exchange, said that:

“While still in its early stages, we believe that product innovation and an accessible entry point for the retail market have contributed to its success.”

The company said the contract is equivalent to 1/10 the time of ether, requiring less upfront capital for retail investors, allowing participants to easily long or short the price of ether and in volatile markets to manage risk.

Although the product launch comes at a time of heightened volatility in the cryptocurrency market, Coinbase cited a Financial Times report that the global crypto derivatives market is worth $3 trillion.

The cryptocurrency market was going through a downturn. In addition, the price of bitcoin has fallen about 56% this year, and ether, Ethereum’s native token, was down about 70%.

According to Blockchain.News, Coinbase Prime, a comprehensive solution that provides secure custody, an advanced trading platform and Prime services, has launched an Ethereum staking service for U.S. corporate customers, offering businesses a way to gain passive access to risk aversion. opportunity for profit.

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101 Azuki Purchaser ‘LastKnight’ is Adrian Cheng

Adrian Cheng has been revealed to be the mysterious “LastKnight,” who bought 101 Azukis amidst ongoing controversy.


Prior to his revelation, there were weeks of speculation and rumours about the true identity of the LastKnight. However, it was Cheng – an avid Azuki supporter and a person of high-profile interest in the Azuki community.

Cheng’s swooping purchase of 101 Azukis is an example of his testament to building a community-based collective with the Ethereum-native.

Zagabond, Azuki founder, said, “Adrian’s passion for art and technology is inspiring. We share a common vision that Web3 is a cultural shift, and Azuki will play an integral part in this movement. I’m excited to work together with Adrian and his team to show the world what a web3 brand is capable of.”

Cheng is popularly known in the Hong Kong NFT or crypto community for being a cultural pioneer and visionary who aped-in on the potential of Web3 early on. His notable investments include RTFKT and Animoca Brands.

This purchase by Cheng also solidifies his support in bringing phygital (digital and physical) web3 experience starting from Hong Kong to Asia and the World.

According to Cheng, Azuki is a group of like-minded creatives with the shared vision to support individuals in art and culture to bridge the gap between digital and physical with immersive experiences.

Furthermore, Azuki also represents a brand with a creative and community-centric deposition that epitomises Web3 culture.

Through its community of visionaries, Azuki has successfully positioned itself as an undisputed harbinger of an authentic phygital experience.

Azuki was built by Chiru Labs as a brand for the metaverse. Purchasing an Azuki avatar will grant the owner access to The Garden – a space on the internet where art meets technology to support web3 culture. Owners will also gain access to exclusive fashion drops, collaborations, and live events.

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CoinSwitch Kuber Raided by Indian Authorities: Report

Indian crypto exchange giant CoinSwitch Kuber comes off as the next trading platform to be raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).


Local media outlets reported on Thursday, citing one employee from the Bangalore Cell of the ED, that at least 5 premises linked to the trading platform were raided.

According to the anonymous tip, the raid was conducted in relation to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

“We are looking into multiple possible contraventions under FEMA and other entities that are connected to it,” the official said. “Since we did not receive the desired cooperation, we have conducted searches on (residences) of directors, the CEO, and the official premises” of the trading platform.

The raid on digital currency trading platforms in India is no longer a piece of big news as the precedent was set earlier this month with Binance-linked trading firm, WazirX. While the freezing of over $8 million belonging to WazirX was in connection with its alleged role in facilitating money laundering activities for Chinese loan apps.

Scrutiny on digital currency trading platforms is now a major trend, considering the need for regulators to ascertain that digital currency trading platforms follow established money laundering guidelines. The exact charges on CoinSwitch Kuber are yet to be determined, and there is no certainty on whether there is a connection between the enforcement action taken against the trading platform and WazirX.

Unlike the investigation into WazirX, which caused the authorities to raid the house of one of the directors of the exchange, the source did not also confirm if the raid into CoinSwitch Kuber involved any personal director of the crypto marketplace.

Likewise, Bithumb, a South Korean exchange, is one of the trading firms that was raided consistently by the police back in 2020. The incessant crackdown on the platform forced it to offer itself up for sale, with Huobi one of the early firms, hinted to have interest in acquiring the platform at the time.

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Thailand’s Commercial Bank SCB Terminates Deal to Acquire BitKub Crypto Exchange

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), the oldest commercial banking institution in Thailand, has announced the effective termination of its proposed deal to acquire the BitKub exchange.


According to the press release shared by the banking firm, the plan to terminate the deal was circumstantial and approved by the company’s board of directors. 

The deal was first announced in November last year, with SCB committed to buying up 51% of the shares of BitKub for over $500 million, an investment that will give it majority ownership. Following the agreement at the time, the bank said it proceeded to conduct due diligence in conjunction with the exchange. 

The bank, however, said it would be terminating the deal because the transaction has some regulatory issues to resolve directly by the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

“Whilst the results of the due diligence exercise did not reveal any significant abnormal issues which are irremediable, Bitkub is currently in the process of resolving various issues as per the recommendations and orders of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand, which are uncertain in terms of timeframe in resolving those issues. As a result, the Buyer and the Seller have agreed to terminate the Transaction,” the announcement reads. 

The bank said it remains committed to deepening its footprint in the digital currency ecosystem with future acquisitions. Its growth push in the transaction ecosystem will further complement its venture capital outfit, SCB 10X, which invests in both blockchain-based and Decentralized Finance (DeFi) ecosystems. 

Some companies in the SCB 10X portfolio include but are not limited to Fireblocks, Ripple Labs, The Sandbox, and the currently embattled crypto lender, BlockFi.

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Alchemy Snaps Up ChainShot as its First Acquisition

Blockchain infrastructure service provider, Alchemy has announced the acquisition of ChainShot, a crypto education platform to help complement its plethora of crypto-focused offerings.


Positioned to serve as a boost to Alchemy’s Web3.0 University offshoot, ChainShot, which currently offers live and instructor-led Ethereum developer boot camps, will take up a vital role in the broader Alchemy ecosystem.

As an infrastructure service provider, Alchemy has carved out a niche for itself and currently powers platforms like OpenSea, Maker, and Polygon with its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Alchemy’s APIs offer various functions ranging from node infrastructure, transaction history, and NFT functionality. 

“As for the next steps, our goal is to make the integration of ChainShot’s programs and ours as smooth and seamless for students as possible,” said the statement. “We’re still ironing out how the pieces will come together, but one thing is certain: all of ChainShot’s course content that previously cost upwards of $3,000 will be 100% free.” 

The Alchemy solution can be attributed to two innovators, Nikil Viswanathan and Joe Lau. The strength and value Alchemy offer have recently helped the startup onboard traditional companies, including Meta Platforms Inc, Shopify, and Adobe, in their Web3.0 pursuits. 

ChainShot is the first acquisition that will be made by Alchemy thus far despite its robust and deep liquidity. In a funding round in April of this year, the company received $200 million from investors that Lightspeed Ventures and Silverlake led. The funding round earned Alchemy over $10 billion in valuation.

Alchemy’s acquisition is yet another show of the impressive use of funds in the digital currency ecosystem. 

The acquisition of ChainShot will further solidify its divestment strategies, which generally complements its push to integrate as many blockchain protocols as possible. As reported earlier by Blockchain.News, Alchemy has been integrating Solana and Polkadot-based protocols, the latest of which is Astar Network.

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