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Ex-Diem developers raise additional $150 million from FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto

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Ex-Diem developers raise additional $150 million from FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto

Ex-Diem developers raise additional $150 million from FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto Christian Nwobodo · 14 hours ago · 2 min read

Aptos Labs is now valued at $2 billion as it raises $150 million in latest Series A round. Investment will be used to support developments towards the launch of its mainnet in September.

2 min read

Updated: July 26, 2022 at 10:36 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Aptos Labs, a blockchain startup founded by former Diem developers announced that it has closed a $150 million Series A funding round led by FTX Ventures and Jump Crypto.

Founded less than a year ago, the startup had earlier raised $200 million in a seed round led by a16z. With the latest funding, the startup has a cumulative capital of $350 million and has reached a valuation of $2 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Commenting on the investment round, a partner at FTX Ventures, Ramnik Arora said:

“For blockchain technology to reach the next billion users, we need to prioritize scalability, safety, and ease of use. Aptos does exactly this’

Other investors in this round include a16z crypto, Multicoin, Apollo, Griffin Gaming Partners, Franklin Templeton, Superscrypt, and Circle Ventures.

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From Diem to Aptos

In January of 2022, Meta showed signs of halting the development of its Diem crypto project. The tech giant faced strong resistance from regulators, leading to an eventual sell-off of Diem’s development tools to Silvergate in a $200 million deal. Diem’s CEO Stuart Levey stated that:

“it nevertheless became clear from our dialogue with federal regulators that the project could not move ahead.”

Aptos’ co-founders Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching, core developers leading the Diem project, took a shot to revive the dying Diem blockchain. Consequently, in February, the duo led a team of former Meta employees working on the Diem project to found Aptos, with a mission of delivering “the safest and most production-ready blockchain in the world.”

The Aptos Vision

Aptos is a layer-1 blockchain project seeking to address key issues like scalability, security, and usability, impeding the mass adoption of Web3 solutions.

It was developed using Move (a programming language behind Diem). The project seeks to offer highly scalable, safe, decentralized, and affordable solutions to billions of internet users upon launch.

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Speaking on the launch, Aptos’ co-founder Mo Shaikh said:

“We’re building a blockchain to be the reliable foundation for Web3 that ushers in users from around the world to experience the benefits of decentralization.”

Since its launch seven months ago, the project has made significant progress in its developments. In March, it launched its developer testnet, with 20,000 operational nodes running. The project is currently at the second phase of its Incentivized Testnet launch, with node operators required to test its staking and node reputation frameworks.

With the Aptos Hackathon and Grants program, many developers are already opting to build on the platform. So far, they have secured partnerships with Google, and projects like Pontem Network, Nutrios, and Solrise are building with the Move tools. The Aptos mainnet is expected to be launched by the end of September 2022.

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Acquisitions

Russia To Trial Digital Ruble Settlements For Real Estate Deals

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Russia To Trial Digital Ruble Settlements For Real Estate Deals

The Central Bank of Russia and participating commercial banks want to test various types of payments with the digital ruble, the Russian press reported. The plan is to experiment with smart contracts and transactions related to real estate and crypto asset purchases.

Bank of Russia to Launch Smart Contracts on Digital Ruble Platform

Russia’s central bank intends to start implementing smart contracts with the digital ruble next April, the daily Izvestia unveiled this week, quoting the regulator. Until then, the new incarnation of the national fiat will be put to the test in various scenarios, including automated payments and other transactions between individual users and businesses, like real estate acquisitions.

Bank of Russia finalized the prototype platform of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in December, 2021. In January of this year, a dozen Russian banks joined the pilot project. At its first stage, participants are issuing digital rubles, setting up wallets for banks and citizens, and making transfers between them. Smart contracts will be presented during the second stage of the pilot.

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Smart contracts facilitate the execution of contract terms without involving a third party as a guarantor, Promsvyazbank (PSB) explained. The money is kept in a smart contract wallet on the digital ruble platform and sent to the seller’s wallet as soon as the property rights are transferred. Rosbank added that the technology can be employed for targeted financing of a real estate purchase by a lender.

The digital ruble smart contracts will allow large businesses to carry out complex transactions, Vneshtorgbank (VTB) elaborated for the article. The bank, which is also participating in the pilot, told Izvestia that it plans to begin testing the purchase of digital financial assets (DFAs) with digital rubles in September.

DFAs is the current legal term describing cryptocurrencies and tokens in Russia. A new bill “On Digital Currency,” designed to expand the regulatory framework for crypto assets, will be reviewed by Russian lawmakers this fall. Financial and technological restrictions imposed on Russia over its war in Ukraine may give an impulse to the digital ruble project as well, experts in Moscow say.

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Acquisitions, CBDC, Crypto, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, deals, DFAs, Digital Assets, Digital Currency, digital ruble, Payments, Purchases, Real estate, Regulation, Regulations, restrictions, Russia, russian, Sanctions, Smart Contracts

Do you expect Russia to accelerate the project schedule for the digital ruble currency? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Angel City Football Club

Crypto.com Launches US Exchange — Institutional Investors Granted Access First

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Crypto.com Launches US Exchange — Institutional Investors Granted Access First

The digital currency exchange Crypto.com has revealed it’s launching a crypto trading platform in the United States to waitlisted users and then a progressive rollout will follow. Furthermore, the company says the trading platform’s VIP users will get access to “exclusive events, rewards, and cutting-edge market insights.”

Crypto.com Launches US Exchange Platform — Waitlist Open to Institutional Investors

According to Crypto.com, the company is launching a digital currency trading platform in the U.S. and American institutional investors are invited to join the waitlist. In time the exchange will be progressively rolled out to retail investors as well. Americans have been able to leverage Crypto.com via the mobile application as the firm developed its mobile platform first.

Crypto.com says the exchange is regularly a top-five crypto trading platform by spot volume and its matching engine supports “2.7 million transactions per second and an ultra-low 50-microsecond core latency.” Currently, Crypto.com’s spot volume on March 15, 2022, is the fourth-largest in terms of 24-hour trade volume. The company’s announcement further adds that the firm offers “seamless” U.S. dollar transfers via its partnerships with Silvergate and Circle.

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Over the Last Year, Crypto.com Inked a Number of Strategic Deals, US Exchange Platform Aims to Offer ‘Deep Liquidity for All Market Conditions’

The company has been making big moves over the last year and inking various partnership deals with well-known brand names. In June 2021, Crypto.com signed a long-term, $175 million deal with the entertainment company Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In mid-November it acquired the naming rights to the iconic Staples Center in Los Angeles and it’s now called “Crypto.com Arena.”

At the end of the year, Crypto.com partnered with the Angel City Football Club (ACFC) but then in 2022, the trading platform suffered from a hiccup. On January 17, Crypto.com was breached and the company disclosed that 438 accounts were affected and $34 million in crypto was stolen. At the end of the month in January, Crypto.com also inked a multi-year partnership with the NBA star LeBron James and the basketball player starred in the firm’s Super Bowl commercial in February.

On Twitter, Crypto.com revealed the U.S. exchange announcement via the firm’s official Crypto.com Institutional social media account. “Some things are worth the wait,” the company said. “Crypto.com Exchange is now in the U.S., [with] priority access for institutional investors.” In addition to the opportunity to attend exclusive events, the company says the U.S. exchange offers “robust security” solutions and “deep liquidity for all market conditions.”

What do you think about Crypto.com launching a U.S. exchange? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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