Bitcoin falls; sanctions on Russian darknet and crypto exchange. Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded lower on Wednesday, down by 3.11 percent to $45,311 as of 8:00 a.m. Riyadh time.
Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $3,351, down 4.96 percent, according to data from Coindesk.
Crypto exchange Binance among investors to bail out heist victims
Crypto exchange Binance is leading investors’ contribution to a bailout of victims of a $615 million digital coin theft, Sky Mavis, the company targeted in the heist said on Wednesday.
The Vietnam-based company, which runs the game Axie Infinity, said last week it had been hit by one of the largest crypto heists on record, leaving users unable to withdraw their money from the game.
Sky Mavis said it would reimburse the lost money through a combination of its own balance sheet funds and $150 million raised by investors including cryptocurrency exchange Binance and venture capital firm a16z.
“Sky Mavis is committed to reimbursing all of our users’ lost funds and implementing rigorous internal security measures to prevent future attacks,” said Trung Nguyen, CEO of Sky Mavis.
Hollywood’s future is in the blockchain: WarnerMedia CEO
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said the future of Hollywood is in the blockchain as he prepares to leave the media company that he helped lead into the streaming era.
Kilar’s career has straddled Hollywood and Silicon Valley, and he sees blockchain, the digital ledgers that keep track of transactions across computer networks, as transforming the entertainment business, especially as the process of acquiring unique digital collectibles such as NFTs becomes simpler.
“I think there’s going to be a potential wave coming to Hollywood, in the same way that the DVD wave came to Hollywood in the ‘90s,” Kilar told Reuters in an interview after he announced his departure to staff on Tuesday.
New sanctions on Russian darknet and crypto exchange
The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Tuesday on a prominent Russia-based darknet market site and a cryptocurrency exchange that operates primarily out of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The sanctions against Hydra and currency exchange Garantex, published on the Treasury Department’s website, “send a message today to criminals that you cannot hide on the darknet or their forums,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.
The Treasury said that the new sanctions prohibit US persons from making or receiving “any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services” to Hydra or Garantex.
Earlier this week German police also shut down Hydra and seized bitcoins worth $25 million.
“The Hydra market was probably the illegal marketplace with the highest turnover worldwide,” with sales amounting to at least 1.23 billion euros in 2020 alone, the Bundeskriminalamt, the crime department of the country said.
Miami in the spotlight as Bitcoin 2022 kicks off
Thousands of cryptocurrency enthusiasts will be attending the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami from Wednesday to Friday. The event serves as a networking, pitching, and announcements venue for dozens of companies.
Last year, cryptocurrency exchange FTX acquired the naming rights for the NBA arena in downtown Miami, replacing American Airlines. Blockchain.com, the largest crypto company to move to Miami, will house 200 employees in the hip Wynwood district, where many other tech companies and investors are setting up shop.
Will Smith’s venture capital firm invest in blockchain
Ethereum blockchain scaling platform Boba Network raised $45 million in its Series A round, with participation from investors including Will Smith-led Dreamers VC, Paris Hilton and husband Carter Reum’s M13, and cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com, the company said on Tuesday.
The funding round gives Boba a valuation of $1.5 billion, with former football quarterback Joe Montana and crypto funds Hypersphere and Infinite Capital also making investments.
The company plans to use the funds to expand Web3 offerings and invest in projects built on its ecosystem, founder Alan Chiu said.
The market capitalization of Boba Network’s crypto token rose over 19 percent to $272.1 million after the announcement, while its price rose to $1.71 from $1.44, according to CoinMarketCap.
US strengthens investor protection
On Monday, Gary Gensler, the head of the US securities regulator, said the agency is weighing how it could extend investor protections afforded to users of exchanges and alternative trading platforms to crypto trading platforms.
The expanded Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, would see the agency regulate platforms on which the trading of securities and non-securities is “intertwined” by requiring them to register with the SEC, Gensler said in a virtual speech to an audience at the University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater.
Binance’s US unit valued at $4.5bn in seed funding round
Crypto exchange Binance’s US unit said on Wednesday it had raised over $200 million in a seed funding round, at a pre-money valuation of $4.5 billion.
The company said RRE Ventures, Foundation Capital, Original Capital, VanEck, and Circle Ventures were among the investors in the funding round.
Binance said it will use the funds to invest in its spot trading platform and toward the development of new products and services.
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