LianGuai Daily | Cryptocurrency custody company BitGo completes $100 million financing; Coinbase obtains regulatory approval for futures trading

Today’s headline:

Hong Kong Customs strengthens professional training for the Wealth Investigation Bureau to enhance cryptocurrency transaction investigation skills

Coinbase approved to offer futures trading to eligible US customers

Binance to shut down cryptocurrency payment platform Binance Connect on August 16th

Volatility Shares plans to launch Ethereum futures ETF trading on October 12th

LianGuaiyLianGuail to temporarily suspend cryptocurrency purchasing services in the UK starting from October 1st and is expected to resume in early next year

Base ecosystem lending protocol SwirlLend suspected of running away, SWI and TVL tokens are close to zero

Cryptocurrency custody company BitGo completes $100 million financing with a valuation of $1.75 billion

Metaverse project ZepetoX completes $13 million seed round financing, led by Jump Crypto

Regulatory updates

Hong Kong Customs strengthens professional training for the Wealth Investigation Bureau to enhance cryptocurrency transaction investigation skills

According to Sing Tao Daily, Hong Kong Customs recently announced the official establishment of the Wealth Investigation Bureau to comprehensively review intelligence analysis and law enforcement strategies for money laundering activities. Ye Dongjing, Senior Supervisor of Hong Kong Customs Wealth Investigation Bureau, stated that they will establish closer partnerships with banks, virtual currencies, and other industries, allocate more resources for comprehensive data analysis, develop risk-based law enforcement strategies, and enhance professional training for personnel, including arranging relevant personnel to take professional courses and obtain internationally recognized qualifications to enhance cryptocurrency transaction investigation skills.

Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority imposes fines totaling millions of dollars on OPNX and its founders

According to Bloomberg, the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) announced that it has imposed a fine of AED 10 million (approximately $2.7 million) on OPNX in May, but it has not been paid yet. Subsequently, the regulatory agency stated that Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, as well as the two co-founders of OPNX, were fined AED 200,000 (approximately $54,451) each for failing to comply with marketing, advertising, and promotional rules.

Coinbase approved to offer futures trading to eligible US customers

Coinbase announced on its official website that Coinbase Financial Markets has obtained regulatory approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and is designated as a regulated futures commission merchant (FCM) by the National Futures Association (NFA) to provide federally regulated cryptocurrency futures trading to eligible U.S. customers. Coinbase customers will soon be able to access futures trading directly through Coinbase Financial Markets.

NFT

Adidas will collaborate with Japanese streetwear brand BAPE to launch limited-edition sneakers based on NFTs.

According to the Adidas official website, Adidas Originals, a brand under Adidas, announced that it will collaborate with Japanese streetwear brand BAPE to launch a limited-edition sneaker brand called “Triple-White Forum 84 BAPE Low” based on NFTs.

It is reported that these sneakers will be auctioned on the Adidas Collect platform on August 22 with the support of Adidas /// Studio, the Adidas Web3 studio. This is also the first time Adidas has used an auction format to support NFT digital sneakers. In addition, each physical shoe will be equipped with an NFC chip inside the left tongue, allowing the wearer to scan and obtain an NFT-based authentic certificate using a smartphone. The edition is limited to 100 pairs.

Metaverse

Qingtian, Zhejiang Province, releases new policies for the development of county-level metaverse industry.

According to Guangming Daily, Qingtian County, Zhejiang Province, has issued “Several Opinions on Accelerating the Development of the Metaverse Industry,” which includes 10 policies covering rent support, computing power cooperation, project introduction, entrepreneurship and settlement, technological innovation, financial support, application scenarios, and more.

According to the “Opinions,” Qingtian will provide rent subsidies of 100%, 70%, 60%, and 50% to metaverse enterprises that settle in platforms such as Overseas Chinese Headquarters Building, Qingchuang Building, and Qingtian’s offshore areas, depending on the policy category. For metaverse enterprises (excluding trading enterprises) whose annual sales revenue exceeds RMB 30 million, 50 million, 100 million, and 300 million for the first time, one-time subsidies of RMB 200,000, 600,000, 1.5 million, and 3 million will be given, respectively. Qingtian will also issue computing power coupons totaling no more than RMB 10 million per year to support enterprises in carrying out computing power cooperation in Qingtian.

Project Updates

Binance to shut down its cryptocurrency payment platform Binance Connect on August 16.

According to CoinDesk, Binance announced in a statement that it will shut down its cryptocurrency payment platform Binance Connect on August 16 to refocus on its main products and long-term goals. Binance Connect, originally named Bifinity when it was launched in March 2022, supported over 50 cryptocurrencies as well as major payment methods like Visa and Mastercard. A Binance spokesperson said in an email, “We regularly review our products and services to ensure our resources remain focused on core work that aligns with our long-term strategy. Over the past six years, Binance has grown from an exchange to a global blockchain ecosystem with multiple businesses. We are constantly adjusting and modifying our business approach to adapt to the evolving market and user needs.”

Volatility Shares plans to launch an Ethereum futures ETF trading on October 12.

Eric Balchunas, Senior ETF Analyst at Bloomberg, tweeted that Volatility Shares announced plans to launch an Ethereum futures ETF trading on October 12. According to previous reports, Volatility Shares provided detailed information about its proposed “Ethereum Strategic ETF” in a filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 28. The ETF will invest in cash-settled Ethereum futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

LianGuaiyLianGuail will temporarily suspend cryptocurrency purchase services in the UK starting from October 1st and is expected to resume in early next year.

According to Cryptoslate, in an email sent to some users on August 14th, LianGuaiyLianGuail stated that due to new regulations introduced by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it will temporarily suspend cryptocurrency purchase services in the UK starting from October 1, 2023, and will resume in early 2024 (specific date unknown). The company did not specify which rules are involved but stated that these rules will require “additional steps to be implemented before customers can purchase cryptocurrencies.”

Although unable to purchase cryptocurrencies, LianGuaiyLianGuail stated that users will be able to hold and sell their cryptocurrencies during the service interruption period. The company did not specify whether users can transfer cryptocurrencies to other wallets and exchanges, but currently it seems that this feature only applies to US users. The company assures users that their cryptocurrencies are still safe and holding the cryptocurrencies will not incur any fees.

Vitalik: “Community Notes” Feature on X Platform May Be the Closest Example to “Cryptographic Value”

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, shared his thoughts on the “Community Notes” feature of X platform (formerly Twitter), a fact-checking tool, stating that although the feature is not a “cryptocurrency project,” it may be the closest thing to an example of “cryptographic value” seen in the mainstream world.

Vitalik stated that “Community Notes” are not written or planned by a group of selected experts but can be written and voted on by anyone, and which notes are displayed or not displayed is completely determined by an open-source algorithm. The Twitter website provides detailed and extensive guidelines describing how the algorithm works, and users can download the data containing the published notes and votes, run the algorithm locally, and verify whether the output matches the content visible on the Twitter website. Vitalik said, “It’s not perfect, but surprisingly, it comes close to meeting the ideal of trusted neutrality. At the same time, even in controversial situations, it is impressively useful.”

SwirlLend, a lending protocol in the Base ecosystem, suspected of running away, with the protocol token SWI and TVL approaching zero.

SwirlLend, a lending protocol in the Base ecosystem, is suspected of running away. DefiLlama data shows that SwirlLend’s TVL has dropped from $784,000 to $49,200, and the official Twitter account of the protocol has been deactivated. The price of the SwirlLend protocol token SWI also dropped close to zero at 10:00 this morning.

Later today, it was reported that a Rug Pull occurred on Linea involving SwirlLend, and 94 ETH was transferred.

The Ethereum Foundation allocated approximately $9.2 million to 57 projects in Q2 of this year.

The Ethereum Foundation has announced the funding distribution for the “Ecosystem Support Program” in the second quarter of this year, with a total of $9,218,158.34 in funds distributed to 57 projects. The supported projects and activities include more than ten conferences such as the Paris DeFi Security Summit and the Ethereum Argentina Conference, as well as a large number of research projects on cryptography and zero-knowledge proofs.

Cryptocurrency market maker GSR reduces its scale, with the CFO and other executives leaving

According to The Block, several executives and department heads have left cryptocurrency market maker GSR since the end of last year, including CFO Jonathan Hugh. The company has been downsizing during the bear market, especially in the United States, where its trading volume on local exchanges has decreased. According to five sources, including top management and department heads, multiple executives are prepared to leave in this round of layoffs. GSR’s Global Head of Products, Benoit Bosc, and Director of Trading Operations, Aman Bhalla, will also leave the market maker. Other departures include Jake Dwyer, who joined the company in 2021 and led GSR’s DeFi and venture capital programs.

Investment and Financing

Metaverse project ZepetoX completes $13 million seed round financing, led by Jump Crypto

According to Decrypt, metaverse project ZepetoX has completed a $13 million seed round financing, led by Jump Crypto, with participation from Collab+Currency, LianGuairataxis, MZ Web3 Fund, and Everest Ventures Group. ZepetoX is a 3D metaverse platform built in partnership between Zepeto, a metaverse platform owned by Korean internet giant Naver, and Jump Crypto. It allows developers and users to build projects based on blockchain technology and plans to launch its first NFT land sale in the coming months. Zepeto is known as Asia’s largest “Web2” metaverse platform with a valuation exceeding $1 billion.

Layer 1 blockchain operator ZetaChain completes $27 million equity financing

According to The Block, interoperability-focused Layer 1 blockchain operator ZetaChain has completed a $27 million equity financing round. Investors in this round include Blockchain.com, Human Capital, VY Capital, Sky9 Capital, Jane Street Capital, VistaLabs, CMT Digital, Foundation Capital, Lingfeng Capital, GSR, Kudasai, and Krust. The valuation has not been disclosed.

Crypto custody company BitGo completes $100 million financing with a valuation of $1.75 billion

According to Bloomberg, cryptocurrency custody company BitGo has completed a $100 million financing round with a valuation of $1.75 billion. BitGo declined to disclose specific investors but stated that investors are from the United States and Asia, some of whom are from outside the cryptocurrency industry. Previous investors in BitGo include Goldman Sachs, DRW Holdings, and Galaxy Digital Ventures. This round of financing will be used for strategic acquisitions, with at least two transactions already in progress.

BitGo is currently the custodian for the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX’s creditors. Other clients of BitGo include financial services company Swan Bitcoin, blockchain developer Mysten Labs Inc., and clothing giant Nike Inc.

New public blockchain Linera completes $6 million new financing round, led by Borderless Capital

According to CoinDesk, Layer-1 blockchain Linera, created by former Meta engineers, has secured $6 million in new financing, led by venture capital fund Borderless Capital, with participation from Laser Digital Ventures (Nomura Securities), Flow Traders, and Eterna Capital. The new funds will be used to “expand the team, launch the development network and testnet for the protocol, cultivate strategic influence in the Asia-Pacific region, and continue to develop its developer academy.” The project aims to bring Web2-like scaling capabilities to Web3 applications by allowing an unlimited number of smaller user chains.

Mining News

Multiple US crypto mining companies establish “Digital Energy Commission” to engage in policy lobbying

According to CoinDesk, as US regulatory agencies and Congress are deciding on the next steps for cryptocurrency regulation, crypto mining companies have formed the Digital Energy Commission to lobby lawmakers for crypto-friendly policies.

In a statement on Tuesday, the commission stated that they will advocate for policies that “promote responsible and sustainable energy development, grid resilience, maintain US competitiveness, and protect national security”.

Reports suggest that crypto mining companies have been at odds with the White House, which has been calling for a 30% consumption tax on mining activities to punish the “harm” they cause to society. These companies have also faced ongoing criticism from Democratic lawmakers who believe that they pose a threat to the environment.

Important Data

SEI price on Korean crypto exchange surpasses $0.5, about twice the price on Binance

According to CoinGecko, Sei (SEI) has significant price differences across multiple crypto exchanges. The highest prices are on the Korean exchanges Upbit and Bithumb, at around $0.54 and $0.5 respectively. The prices on Bitfinex, Coinbase, and Kraken are approximately $0.44, $0.42, and $0.4 respectively, while the price on Binance is around $0.23.

49 million unlocked BLUR tokens transferred to Coinbase Prime, worth about $13.25 million

According to Scopescan, 49 million unlocked BLUR tokens were transferred to Coinbase Prime approximately 20 minutes ago, with a value of about $13.25 million.

Data: LBR team transfers 800,000 LBR tokens to OKX before launching their token on the exchange

According to Scopescan, the LBR team transferred 8 million LBR tokens to OKX (equivalent to $1.84 million) before launching their token on the exchange. Additionally, the LBR team also transferred 50,000 LBR tokens to MEXC.

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