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Web3 domain provider Unstoppable Domains raises $65 million, becomes newest crypto unicorn

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Web3 domain provider Unstoppable Domains raises $65 million, becomes newest crypto unicorn

Web3 domain provider Unstoppable Domains raises $65 million, becomes newest crypto unicorn Christian Nwobodo · 3 hours ago · 2 min read

Unstoppable Domains raised $65 million in a funding round led by Pantera Capital, to scale its domain services as Founder projects a billion people will own at least one NFT domain in the next 5 years.

2 min read

Updated: July 28, 2022 at 1:02 am

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Web3 domain name provider, Unstoppable Domain has reached a $1 billion valuation after it closed a $65 million series A funding round led by Pantera Capital.

Speaking on the investment, Panthera Capital Partner Paul Veradittakit said:

Unstoppable Domains is rapidly defining a new category of decentralized identity that will change the internet as we know it. We’re proud to back Matt and the rest of the team who are making this vision a reality.”

Other investors in the Series A round include Draper Associates, Boost VC, Mayfield, Gaingeles, Alchemy Ventures, Redbeard Ventures, and Spartan Group.

Founder of Unstoppable Domains Matthew Gould noted that for a long while, people’s digital identities have been controlled by large corporations, but as the digital economy becomes integrated into everyday living, it is now imperative for people to own their identity on the internet, which is why they are building Unstoppable Domains.

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Goud went on to say:

The $1 billion valuation highlights the importance of infrastructure behind decentralized, digital identities, separating “the identity component from the finance component,”

With the latest funding, Unstoppable Domains is looking to expand its team, grow new partnerships, and allow more businesses and individuals to build their Web3 identity on the platform.

Unstoppable Domains still growing

The domain naming platform was founded in 2018 to allow users to create NFT domains with full control and ownership of their digital identities.

Domain names issued by the platform are used to replace lengthy crypto wallet addresses and log into supported Web3 applications. Users can register for top-level domains (TLD) like .crypto, .coin, .bitcoin, .x, .888, .nft and .dao.

So far, they have registered over 1.4 million domains, including 300,000 NFT domains and 32 wallets with the .Wallet Alliance.

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To meet the demand of its 240,000 customers, Unstoppable Domains has secured strategic partnerships with Web3 companies like Polygon, Blockchain.com, MoonPay. A  report by Fortune, reveals it has generated more than $80 million in sales since launching its naming service in September of 2019.

Expressing faith in the future for the company, Gould in an interview with Fortune, expressed his thought:

“…one billion people will have at least one NFT domain in five years, and that most people will own about five.”

Web3 domain names are here to stay

In the first week of July, 108,000 ENS domains were registered, indicating a 216% increase from the previous month while generating $684,000 in sales. The spike could be due to the ENS address 000.eth being bought for a record-breaking 300 ETH. Domain flipping could be a major trend as web3 domain adoption increases.

Meanwhile, Unstoppable Domains (UD) has recently threatened to sue its competitor Gateway.io for running a .wallet domain in the competing Handshake system. Unstoppable Domains claims to possess trademark rights in the .wallet top-level domain name.

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Bear Market

Huobi founder Leon Li in talks to sell his shares for up to $3B

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Huobi founder Leon Li in talks to sell his shares for up to $3B

Huobi founder Leon Li in talks to sell his shares for up to $3B Zeynep Geylan · 46 mins ago · 2 min read

Huobi Group’s founder Leon Li is reportedly in talks with Tron founder Justin Sun and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried to sell his majority stake in the exchange.

2 min read

Updated: August 12, 2022 at 11:51 am

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Crypto exchange giant Huobi’s founder and CEO Leon Li is in talks with investors to sell his majority stake for $2 billion to $3 billion.

According to a Bloomberg News report, Tron founder Justin Sun and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) are among the interested parties.

Li holds nearly 60% of Huobi Global’s shares. If Li manages to sell them for $3 billion, it’ll mark the largest takeover in the market since the market cap fell below $1 trillion.

A spokesperson from Huobi confirmed Li’s decision and said:

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“[Li] hopes that the new shareholders will be more powerful and resourceful, and that they will value the Huobi brand and invest more capital and energy to drive the growth of Huobi,”

So far, spokespeople from FTX declined to comment, and Sun said he didn’t have any negotiations with Li regarding the sale.

Huobi Global

Li launched Huobi global in 2013, and the company became one of the largest crypto exchanges. However, it lost momentum when it shut down operations in China in November 2021. The decision came after the Chinese government deemed crypto transactions illegal. The decision hit Huobi harder than any other exchange, as China was Huobi’s primary market.

The exchange has expanded overseas to countries like Turkey and Brazil and is currently considering expansion by obtaining a FinCen license. However, giants like Binance and FTX appear to be Huobi’s competitors in those regions.

Li’s decision to sell his shares was leaked in July 2022 but wasn’t confirmed. At the time, Huobi was also expected to downsize and lay off around 30% of its staff — roughly 300 people. The exchange said that the bearish market conditions posed a financial challenge and that the company would cut costs, including layoffs.

Emergence of M&A

FTX has been bullish on Mergers & Acquisitions since the beginning of the bear market. At the end of May, FTX U.S. president Brett Harrison said that FTX was looking to spread worldwide by acquiring companies with the necessary regional licenses. He said:

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“We’re doing that globally, in places like in Japan, Australia, in Dubai, different places where we’ve been able to either partner with local companies or sometimes do acquisitions to be able to get licenses that we need,”

On the other hand, SBF was sure that many crypto exchanges and mining companies would fail in the current winter market. SBF said that he saw this as an opportunity to purchase companies that need a saving hand.

Following his words, FTX approached Bithumb, BlockFi, and Voyager Digital to purchase their organizations.

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BitMex

Circle to ‘fully and solely support Ethereum PoS’

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Circle to ‘fully and solely support Ethereum PoS’

Circle to ‘fully and solely support Ethereum PoS’ Oluwapelumi Adejumo · 8 hours ago · 1 min read

Circle said it would not have any problem with the Merge, and USDC will function efficiently on a PoS blockchain.

1 min read

Updated: August 9, 2022 at 5:42 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

USD Coin (USDC) issuer Circle has revealed that it would fully support the Ethereum (ETH) proof-of-stake (PoS) chain post-merge.

According to an Aug. 9 blog post, the stablecoin issuer was looking forward to “the future scaling opportunities (the Merge) unlocks as well as the reduced energy consumption profile of the network.”

While we don’t speculate on the possibility of forks post Ethereum Mainnet merge, USDC as an Ethereum asset can only exist as a single valid “version,” and as stated previously, our sole plan is to fully support the upgraded Ethereum PoS chain.

Additionally, the issuer clarified it would not have any problem with the Merge, and USDC will function efficiently on a PoS blockchain.

Circle’s testing environment is connected to the Goerli Ethereum testnet, and we will monitor closely as it merges with Prater in the coming days.

It means the two largest stablecoins in the crypto space, USDT, and USDC, will not support any potential hard forks of ETH.

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Circle’s USDC is not only the largest fiat-backed stablecoin on Ethereum but also the biggest ERC-20 asset within the ecosystem.

Meanwhile, crypto exchanges like Huobi, OKX, Poloniex, BitMEX, and others have revealed that they would support ETH hard forks if there is enough demand in the market.

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Banking

Pictet Group tells private banks to stay away from crypto

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Pictet Group tells private banks to stay away from crypto

Pictet Group tells private banks to stay away from crypto Monica Noronha · 2 hours ago · 2 min read

Pictet’s Asia arm CEO Tee Fong Seng said that though cryptocurrencies have potential, now is not the right time for private banks to invest.

2 min read

Updated: August 4, 2022 at 8:23 pm

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Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

Amid the current market meltdown, Swiss wealth management firm Pictet Group is cautioning private banks against investing in crypto, Bloomberg News reported Aug 4.

Speaking on a panel at the Bloomberg Asia Wealth Summit in Singapore, CEO of Pictet Group’s Asia wealth management arm Tee Fong Seng said:

“Crypto will be an asset class that we cannot ignore, but today I don’t think there is a place for private bankers and for private bank portfolios.”

The crypto market saw one of the most devastating turmoils over the past few months, triggered by the collapse of the TerraUSD (USDTC). Terra’s downfall created a serious liquidity crisis among several crypto lenders that led to the bankruptcy of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, Celsius Network and Voyager Digital.

Other lenders battling liquidity issues are working on restructuring plans while some, like Vauld and Zipmex, have sought bankruptcy protection to figure out a solution. Additionally, the past few weeks have seen a slew of hacking exploits with hundreds of millions lost.

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While private banks shunned crypto a few years ago, with the market skyrocketing since 2020, some banks have warmed up to it. In May, Swiss bank Julius Baer Group Ltd announced that it will offer crypto services to wealthy clients. Last year, Citibank said that it would develop crypto-related services due to growing client interest.

Tee said:

“If you look at the volatility for the last two years, you can make a lot of money, you can lose a lot of money.

The question is, when do we bring the clients into the picture?”

Not everyone is scared of crypto

According to Nanda Ivens, chief marketing officer at Indonesian digital trading platform Tokocrypto, venture capital funds and institutions are displaying more interest in the crypto space, despite the recent turmoil, Bloomberg reported. For instance, Indonesia-based crypto fund Cydonia Capital raised $100 million

As an example, he cited Indonesian crypto fund Cydonia Capital recently raised $100 million, Ivens said.

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“There is a lot of interest for Web3 projects, especially when there are positive, good deal flows coming through those Web3 venture capital funds.”

But still, most remain wary of the crypto market and its prospects, despite the recent rallies. Rich Teo, co-founder and CEO of Paxos Asia said he is “bearish” on crypto and expects more “deleveraging.”

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