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Digital Asset adds former CFTC chairman to board

New York-based Digital Asset has added the former chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), J. Christopher Giancarlo, to its board of directors. In a Jan. 25 press release, the enterprise blockchain firm said Giancarlo will advise its leadership on strategic issues like asset tokenization and distributed ledger technology (DLT). Digital Asset has raised more than $300 million after completing a $120 million Series D round last April. Its core product is an open-source smart contract language called …

HAL secures $3 million seed funding and integration with DeFi platform Aave

Blockchain analytics provider HAL has secured $3 million in seed funding led by CoinFund, Eden Block, and Animoca Brands. Other investors in the capital raise include Hashkey Capital, Wintermute, SkyVision, imToken Ventures, Bitcoin.com, as well as Alan Howard’s Piquet Ventures, among others. The company plans to utilize the funds to increase its workforce while also launching new products geared towards servicing the broader gaming and fintech industries. HAL providers individual and corporate users with a suite of monitoring and position …

Retail traders are here to stay, says eToro’s US CEO

Episode 4 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and CEO Lule Demmissie of eToro US. Listen below, and subscribe to The Scoop on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Email feedback and revision requests to [email protected] This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Fireblocks, Kraken & ChainalysisFireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Fireblocks enables exchanges, …

Putin pumps the brakes on Russian Central Bank’s push to ban crypto, sees future in mining

Russian President Vladimir Putin is not totally on board with the Central Bank of Russia’s recent call to ban cryptocurrency in the country.  In a January 26 video conference, Putin asked officials in his government to hold talks, including the central bank, on the subject of cryptocurrencies. While he acknowledged “certain risks, first and foremost to citizens of the country, given significant volatility,” he directed his agencies not to neglect the advantages that Russia has in the area. “We also …

Superdao raises $10.5 million seed round, valued at $160 million

Superdao, which is developing a services suite for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), just raised a $10.5 million seed round at a $160 million valuation led by SignalFire. “The vision for the company is essentially Shopify for DAOS,” said Yury Lifshits, CEO and founder of Superdao to The Block. “It’s kind of an all-in-one DAO formation and operating tool, where in one-click you can start a DAO and grow it over time and explore.” The 25-person team is building a member …

Ethereum developer ConsenSys poised to double its valuation in pending fundraise

ConsenSys, the Ethereum software company behind crypto wallet MetaMask, is poised to more than double its valuation with what will be a third fundraise in less than 12 months. The firm has held talks with potential backers about investing at a valuation of roughly $6.5 billion, according to three people close to the discussions. While the size of the latest fundraise is unclear, several sources believe the company’s post-money valuation will be close to $7 billion. ConsenSys declined to comment …

House of Representatives committee schedules hearing on stablecoins for February 8

The House of Representatives will examine the outlook for stablecoin regulation early next month. Per a January 25 announcement from Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the House Financial Services Committee will hold a virtual hearing on February 8 entitled “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets’ Report on Stablecoins.” No witness list is yet available. Largely spearheaded by the Treasury under Secretary Janet Yellen, the report in question came out at the beginning of …

The Era of dFMI for Institutional Digital Asset Markets

Post-trade in capital markets today operates primarily based on provision of balance-sheet to off-set counterparty risk, either directly or indirectly, via settlement agents, CCPs and CSDs etc.  The issues with this ‘hub and spoke’ model are well known, including the resulting massive duplication of data, bifurcated processes, concentration of risk and subsequent deployment of capital and resources that could be better utilized.  Furthermore, the way many markets operate today is slow, and ‘markets’ are fixed to ‘business hours’ with significant …

Binance to resume SEPA bank transfers in partnership with Paysafe

Crypto exchange Binance has partnered with London-based payments company Paysafe to resume Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) bank transfers for customers. Binance temporarily suspended SEPA transfers in July of last year due to “events beyond our control.” Now the exchange has begun rolling out support for SEPA — a system that allows users to make cashless euro payments via bank accounts anywhere in the European Union, as well as several non-EU countries. “There’s a small set of users who will …

Money laundering via crypto rose 30% in 2021, with DeFi laundering up 20x: Chainalysis

New research from blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis finds that money laundering in crypto grew from $6.6 billion to $8.6 billion between 2020 and 2021. While centralized exchanges with weak know-your-customer controls still account for the lion’s share of wallet addresses used in illicit crypto, decentralized platforms shot up by almost 2,000% in terms of value received from illicit addresses. Source: Chainalysis “Undeniably the theme this year is the way that DeFi has become a space for criminals,” Kim Grauer, Chainalysis’ …