Category: Funding

FTX crypto exchange raises $420M from 69 investors

FTX crypto exchange raises $420M from 69 investors

FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has raised $420 million in fresh funding, bringing its total valuation to $25 billion.The firm officially announced Thursday that FTX’s operator, FTX Trading, has completed a new Series B-1 fundraise involving 69 investors, including Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek.Other investors included major venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, Sea Capital, Ribbit Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.According to FTX head of product Ramnik Arora, the new funding will help the company further expand its market opportunities across equities, prediction markets, nonfungible tokens (NFT) and videogame partnerships. “We expect to make strategic investments designed to grow the business and expand our regulatory coverage,” he said.FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said that he founded his company with the idea of “creating a better financial marketplace.” “For this round, we capitalized on those strides and were able to partner with investors that prioritize positioning FTX as the world’s most transparent and compliant cryptocurrency exchange,” he added.The news comes shortly after FTX obtained registration for its Bahamian subsidiary in the Bahamas in September. The exchange has been actively involved in the NFT industry recently, announcing the launch of its own native NFT marketplace last month.This article is developing and will be updated.

Polkadot-based privacy project Manta Network raises $5.5M

Polkadot-based privacy project Manta Network raises $5.5M

Manta Network, a privacy layer project for the Polkadot ecosystem, has completed a new funding round to continue scaling decentralized finance (DeFi) use cases by boosting blockchain privacy.Announced Tuesday, Manta Network’s latest $5.5-million funding round included participation from more than 30 venture funds, including crypto hedge fund CoinFund and alternative investment firm ParaFi Capital.Other investors included Web 3. investment fund LongHash Ventures, CMS Holdings, Divergence, Spartan Group, Global Coin Ventures, SkyVision Capital, Zee Prime and SNZ.The funding has also featured some of the industry’s prominent individual investors from major cryptocurrency companies such as Digital Currency Group, Consensys and Bitcoin.com. According to the announcement, angel investors included SushiSwap’s semi-anonymous core contributor 0xMaki, Dragonfly Capital’s Kevin Hu, ParaFi general partner Santiago Santos and others.Founded in 2020, Manta Network is focused on building a privacy-focused and interoperable blockchain protocol targeted specifically for DeFi applications, aiming to make DeFi genuinely private. The protocol uses zk-SNARKs with Groth16 proofs, the same cryptographic technology implemented behind privacy-oriented cryptocurrency Zcash (ZEC).According to CoinFund CEO and founder Austin Barack, Manta is building “one of the core primitives for privacy preservation within DeFi.” Related: Polkadot Web3 wallet Talisman closes $2.35M seed funding round“Building upon Substrate, which allows for purpose-built layer one networks, Manta can build ZKSnark privacy-preserving architecture directly into the base layer and solve several existing problems users face today such as front running and lack of privacy when making transfers or managing a portfolio,” he said.Earlier this year, Manta Network completed a $1.1-million funding round led by Polychain Capital and joined by major industry firms such as Alameda Research and DeFiance Capital.

Bulls target $100 Filecoin (FIL) after data points to improving fundamentals

Bulls target $100 Filecoin (FIL) after data points to improving fundamentals

Some traders have said that Filecoin (FIL) has lost its momentum because its current price at $64 is more than 70% below its all-time high at $238. However, this decentralized data-sharing platform is showing signs of increasing adoption and this could cause the FIL token price to accelerate its current uptrend.The FIL token is used to purchase storage space and retrieve data from the Filecoin Network. At the same time, its users gain rewards for selling their excess storage using this open-source platform. To compete with existing centralized cloud storage services, Filecoin has economic incentives to ensure files are reliably stored over time.Filecoin (FIL) price at Coinbase in USD. Source: TradingViewNotice how the past three weeks showed a potential reversion to the previous downtrend movement. That upward channel points to a $90 support by mid-November and resistance near $107, which would be a 55% gain from the current pricing.Related: Bitcoin-related altcoins surge as BTC ETF rumors spread across the sectorPartnerships and adoption could pave the way to $100On Sept. 14, Filecoin announced a referral program for users who bring members carrying datasets larger than 90 Terabytes. The network reached 9,000,000 Terabytes in August, and according to their website, there are over 3,000 systems and storage providers serving capacity to 400+ applications.On Oct. 13, Filecoin announced a storage collaboration with Flow Blockchain, which is backed by Dapper Labs. The service will establish decentralized data storage for nonfungible tokens (NFTs), along with the media assets associated with them. Flow’s platforms include Eternal, Starly, Versus and the upcoming multiplayer online game Chainmonsters.More importantly, on Oct. 15, the daily release of Filecoin tokens will decrease by 23.8% to mark a year since the mainnet launched. Specifically, that affects the 7.5% stake held by early investors, equivalent to 150 million FIL tokens after the three-year issuing period.Filecoin future gregate open interest. Source: BybtSince Sep. 30, Filecoin futures open interest has increased by 45%, signaling that investors’ interest is finally starting to pick up. This metric represents the total number of contracts in play, regardless of whether they have actually been traded on a specific date.Glass half full: The funding rate has room for buyers’ leverage To assess whether the market is leaning bullish, one should analyze the perpetual contracts funding rate. Even though buyers and sellers’ open interest is matched at all times, leverage can vary. When buyers (longs) are demanding more leverage, the funding rate turns positive. Thus, they are the ones paying the fees to the sellers (shorts).However, the opposite situation occurs when shorts require additional leverage, and this causes the funding rate to turn negative.Filecoin perpetual futures 8-hour funding rate. Source: Bybt.comThe above chart shows a brief period of excessive buyers (longs) leverage building in early September as the funding rate reached 0.10% or 2.1% per week. More recently, Filecoin’s funding rate surpassed 0.06% per 8-hour as FIL token struggled with the $80 resistance on Oct. 8 but failed to break through.Currently, derivatives metrics show few signs that investors have abandoned Filecoin despite its price hanging 70% below the $238 all-time high. The recent partnership with Flow Blockchain, increasing network use and capacity, and the reduced token emission point to a possible continuation of the previous three-week uptrend. Nothing seems to be holding back FIL from reaching the $90 to $107 range in November.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Bitfury CEO confirms IPO considerations are part of expansion plans

Bitfury CEO confirms IPO considerations are part of expansion plans

Bitfury, one of the world’s largest companies in the blockchain industry, is mulling a potential initial public offering, or IPO, as part of the company’s global growth plans, the company’s CEO confirmed to Cointelegraph.“As Bitfury and its portfolio of companies continue their global expansion in the digital assets space, Bitfury will be considering an IPO as part of its broader expansion and growth plans,” Bitfury co-founder and CEO Valery Vavilov said.According to the executive, Bitfury has not yet determined when and on what exchange the company is willing to proceed with an IPO. The company’s last funding round took place in 2018, with Bitfury raising $80 million at a $1 billion valuation.Bitfury’s investors include European venture capital fund Korelya Capital, South Korean internet giant Naver Group, Asian institutions Macquarie Capital and Dentsu Japan as well as Michael Novogratz’s crypto investment company Galaxy Digital.British news agency The Telegraph originally reported on Bitfury’s potential IPO plans on Oct. 10, citing anonymous sources claiming that Bitfury tapped Big Four accounting firm Deloitte to review its readiness for going public. The publication noted that Bitfury operates its main headquarters in the Netherlands but it is legally based in the United Kingdom. Bitfury did not immediately comment on its legal headquarters to Cointelegraph.Founded back in 2011, Bitfury is a major company in the industry, operating a wide number of services like crypto mining hardware design, software, semiconductor chips’ manufacturing as well as running mobile data centers. The company’s United States-based Bitcoin mining subsidiary, Cipher Mining, was valued at over $2 billion as of March 2021.Related: Bitcoin miner Stronghold will list almost 6M shares in its $100M IPOApart from focusing on cryptocurrency mining, Bitfury has been actively working on cryptocurrency security, blockchain research and compliance, running platforms like Crystal Blockchain, LiquidStack and the most recent spin-off Axelera AI. The firm is also a software provider for some global applications through its Exonum private blockchain framework, which was trialed for Russia’s blockchain-based voting system in 2020

TradingView completes new funding round with $3B valuation

TradingView completes new funding round with $3B valuation

TradingView, the price charting platform used as a reference for price movements of cryptocurrencies and other assets, has secured $298 million in a funding round to attain a $3-billion valuation.Led by TradingView’s new investor, Tiger Global, the funding follows a strong growth of the platform’s user base, mostly retail investors, during the pandemic. According to the announcement, TradingView experienced a 400% increase in new accounts and a 237% increase in visitors in the last 18 months.TradingView CEO and co-founder Denis Globa highlighted Tiger Global’s expertise in fintech, adding that the partnership would contribute to informed financial trading. Established in 2011, the platform enables over 30 million monthly users in 180 countries to access price charts of assets such as cryptocurrencies, stocks and futures. “We built this company with the belief that people everywhere want the same thing: to be in control of their own economic futures,” Globa said, adding, “We work towards this by creating an environment where all traders and investors can look first, then leap.”Related: Elliptic raises $60M to advance crypto analytics serviceThe company said that TradingView aims to bolster its broker relationships with partnerships and integrations with major brokerage firms in a bid to enable visitors to trade directly from the platform.Tiger Global’s Alex Cook said that TradingView’s global standing among retail investors positions the company “to be the default social network and financial analysis platform used by all traders and investors.”A known investor in crypto, Tiger Global recently led another mega-funding round. Together with Coatue Management, the venture capital has invested $400 million into the crypto payments startup MoonPay. 

Bitcoin price is correcting, but what does futures data show?

Bitcoin price is correcting, but what does futures data show?

Bitcoin had been underperforming most altcoins for the past two months, but that trend reversed this week when (BTC’s) 20% rally pushed its market capitalization to break the $1 trillion mark on Oct. 6. That shifted investors’ attention back to the leading cryptocurrency, and altcoins are currently in the red for the day. The current positive momentum could be dangerous if Bitcoin traders become overconfident and abuse leverage to open long positions. To avoid this, traders need to carefully analyze derivatives markets to exclude this risk.Top 14 coins weekly performance. Source: CoinMarketCapNotice above how the altcoin market capitalization increased by 5.8% while Bitcoin posted a 20.8% gain in the same period. Sure enough, there were some outliers like Shiba Inu (SHIB) which rose by 200%, Fantom (FTM), which rallied 60%, and Klaytn (KLAY), which gained 36%. However, the aggregate market capitalization from altcoins did not accompany Bitcoin’s performance.Some well-known personalities, such as billionaire Wall Street investor Bill Miller recently expressed their optimism for Bitcoin while raising concerns on most altcoin projects. Miller explicitly mentioned the “big banks” getting involved and referred to “huge amounts” of venture capital money flowing into Bitcoin.The recent Bitcoin frenzy seems driven by the macro-economic scenario. The United States increased its debt limit by $480 billion to pay off its obligations until early December. The inflationary pressure brought by unending stimulus packages and meager interest rates has been fueling the long rally in commodities. For example, oil reached its highest level in seven years, and wheat futures recently hit a record high not seen since February 2013. Even the S&P Case-Shiller home price index has presented an annualized 23.3% gain.To understand if Bitcoin traders got overly excited, traders should analyze Bitcoin’s derivatives indicators like the futures markets premium and options skew.The futures premium shows traders are slightly bullishThe basis rate measures the difference between longer-term futures contracts and the current spot market levels. This indicator is also frequently referred to as the futures premium.Bitcoin 3-month futures annualized basis. Source: Laevitas.chA 5% to 15% annualized premium is expected in healthy markets, which is a situation known as contango. This price difference is caused by sellers demanding more money to withhold settlement longer.The recent 20% Bitcoin price rally caused the indicator to reach the upper limit of this neutral zone, meaning investors are bullish but not yet overconfident. Whenever buyers demand excessive leverage, the basis rate can easily surpass 25%, as seen in mid-May.To exclude externalities specific to the futures instrument, one should also analyze options markets.Bitcoin options signal “neutral” sentiment The 25% delta skew compares similar call (buy) and put (sell) options. This metric will turn positive whenever “fear” is prevalent because traders expect potential downside.The opposite holds when option traders are bullish, causing the 25% delta skew indicator to shift to the negative area. Readings between negative 8% and positive 8% are usually deemed neutral.Deribit BTC options 25% delta skew. Source: LaevitasThe above chart shows that there hasn’t been a single instance of options traders becoming overconfident in the past six months, which would signal “greed” because the 25% delta skew dropped below negative 8%. Meanwhile, the indicator has ranged near 0 for the past week, showing balanced risks between the bears and bulls.Those findings necessarily show a lack of confidence from buyers, but it is quite the opposite. Had Bitcoin bulls already been overly confident at $57,000, there would be little room for additional leverage, increasing the risk of a cascading liquidation if a momentary price correction occurred.Bulls are modestly confident and even a 20% price correction is unlikely to change the situation because the futures market’s basis rate shows a reasonable premium after the recent rally.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Crypto fintech Moonpay reportedly aims for $3.4B valuation in first VC funding

Crypto fintech Moonpay reportedly aims for $3.4B valuation in first VC funding

Moonpay, a fintech startup dedicated to building crypto payments infrastructure, is reportedly expected to reach a valuation of $3.4 billion after conducting its first round of venture capital funding. The VC funding for the crypto payments startup is being co-led by Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management and will inject funds worth $400 million into the bootstrapped company. MoonPay platform allows the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies and digital assets using mainstream payment methods such as debit and credit card and local bank transfers.While the funding information is not officially announced, a report from The Information suggests that “two people familiar with the matter” have confirmed the development. Once confirmed, Moonpay will represent a small demographic of crypto-related startups to reach unicorn-level valuation within three years.Tiger Global and Coatue Management have partnered previously to fund numerous mid-sized blockchain, decentralized finance (DeFi) and crypto startups. Their latest investment was the $24 million funding for CertiK, a blockchain security firm.Moonpay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Related: 10% of early-stage startups working on blockchain: GSER 2021A Cointelegraph report from Sept. 22 shows a growing trend in blockchain and crypto investments as VCs prioritize emerging technology. Additionally, data from Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 suggests that the blockchain industry has witnessed a 121% growth over the last five years, making it the second-fastest-growing sub-sector in terms of early-stage funding after the advanced manufacturing and robotics industry. Moreover, crypto firms have received more funding in the first quarter of 2021 than the whole of 2020. Talking on a related subject with Cointelegraph, Jehan Chu, founder of Hong Kong-based VC investment firm Kenetic said that “Nothing is more compelling than peer pressure from the likes of Michael Saylor, Elon Musk and the stampede of institutional money charging into the market. VCs must have a position or a view on crypto, or risk missing the biggest market opportunity in a generation.”

Texas Democratic Party aims to use NFT sales for fundraising efforts

Texas Democratic Party aims to use NFT sales for fundraising efforts

Front Row, a marketplace geared towards progressive organizations, has said it will be partnering with the Texas Democratic Party to pilot a program aimed at raising money for candidates and causes using nonfungible tokens.In an Oct. 11 announcement, Front Row said it had already minted digital images of key moments related to the progressive movement, and listed the nonfungible tokens (NFTs) for sale. Some of the featured NFTs include “wanted” posters depicting conservative Texan lawmakers fleeing the state.Front Row says that the funds raised through its NFTs will go “directly towards political groups and individuals,” but did not specify how it planned for the digital purchases to be compliant with current campaign finance laws. Under U.S. law, candidates for federal offices appear unable to receive more than $5,800 from a single individual for the sale of one or more NFTs. “NFTs will become a powerful addition to any political fundraising effort, and the launch of our marketplace will give Democrats across the country a fundraising advantage that its counterparts do not have,” said Front Row co-founder Parker Butterworth, likely referring to Republicans. “We can’t wait to continue turning powerful, exclusive, behind-the-scenes moments into digital assets that help fuel progressive objectives.”Keeping in line with progressive values, Front Row said it also blockchain platform will strive to be carbon-negative by donating a portion of the NFT proceeds to “carbon capture and reduction” causes. Though the platform is starting at the state level in Texas, it hinted at expanding to national candidates and causes. Related: Prioritizing humanity ahead of profits through NFTsThough many local, states, and federal candidates for office in the United States have announced they would be accepting donations in cryptocurrency — likely in a bid to engage younger, tech-savvy voters — NFTs have largely been absent from talks in Congress. Cointelegraph reported in August that the current 117th Congress has put forward 18 bills concerning digital assets and blockchain technology in 2021.

Indian TikTok challenger raises $19M to launch social token on Solana

Indian TikTok challenger raises $19M to launch social token on Solana

Indian short-video sharing platform Chingari is preparing to launch its own blockchain network and social token.Chingari has completed a $19 million funding to launch its mainnet and conduct a token sale for its Solana-based GARI token in November, the firm announced on Oct. 8.Chingari co-founder and CEO Sumit Ghosh said that the token sale is scheduled for Nov. 2, while the mainnet launch and application integration are expected to go live by the end of that month.Co-led by major blockchain investors like Republic Crypto and Mike Novogratz’s investment firm Galaxy Digital, the new raise included over 30 venture funds and individual investors including Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, Solana Capital and Kraken crypto exchange.Ghosh stated that the $19 million funding was completed via a GARI token raise in one seed round and one private round. These raises followed two equity rounds where Chingari raised $1.3 million in 2020 and $13 million in April 2021.According to Ghosh, Chingari’s blockchain platform will allow users to obtain tokens for creating or watching content. “What Axie infinity did for gaming, we want to do for social media,” he said.“The idea that a lot of people can make a small amount of money and uplift themselves by participating in a social platform is very powerful and Chingari wants to make this vision possible,” the executive added.Ghosh declined to comment on whether Chingari has obtained any regulatory approvals for its token.Related: TikTok embraces NFTs with creator-led collectionSince India banned TikTok earlier this year, a number of firms —including Chingari — have tried to fill the void for short video-sharing apps in the subcontinent. Following the ban, Chingari claims that its user base grew from 100,000 to 50 million people in six months.Social media firms are increasingly moving into the crypto industry, with Chinese social media giant TikTok announcing its first foray into the nonfungible token industry in late September. Previously, Twitter enabled its users to tip each other using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).

Gaming VC Bitkraft launches $75M investment fund for blockchain gaming

Gaming VC Bitkraft launches $75M investment fund for blockchain gaming

E-sports investment platform Bitkraft VC has established a $75 million token fund for investing in blockchain gaming and digital entertainment.The fund uses a “stage-agnostic” strategy, meaning that it will put money in companies and startups at any business development stage. Apart from equity investment, the token fund will also invest in cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs). In order to provide regulated investment opportunities, Bitkraft received an investment advisor registration from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2021.The new token fund is led by Piers Kicks, a founding partner in the investment arm of crypto research firm Delphi Digital. Kicks joined Bitkraft earlier this year to lead the company’s investment efforts in crypto and NFTs.Bitkraft stated that the fund has already closed six investments including projects like Yield Guild Games (YGG), Immutable, Alethea AI and Horizon Games. Both YGG and Alethea are direct token investments, Kicks told Cointelegraph. “We were only able to announce the funding after final closing, but have been actively deploying from it,” he added.While the fund has mainly invested in startups building on the Ethereum blockchain, Kicks stated, “We adopt a chain-agnostic approach and assess each project on a case-by-case basis. We are beginning to see some exciting activity on Solana, and will be closely monitoring early gaming projects in that ecosystem.” Related: Axie Infinity developer secures $152M in Series B funding from investorsAccording to Bitkraft Ventures founding general partner Jens Hilgers, the fund is looking to invest in about 25 more companies by the end of 2022. The venture capital firm has more than $540 million in assets under management as of Oct. 1, 2021, with a portfolio spanning more than 60 companies across North America, Europe and Asia.The gaming industry has proved ripe for crypto adoption, with many new use cases for decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFTs. Blockchain game Axie Infinity has emerged as one of the most popular Ethereum-based NFT games this year, with its native token AXS reaching a new all-time high above $155 on Monday. In September, blockchain gamification platform DeFi Land raised $4.1 million to launch a new DeFi game on Solana.

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