USD 200M Avalanche, NFTs Get Grammy & USD 100M, Wall Street Hunts For Crypto Pros + More News

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Investments news

The Avalanche Foundation said it has launched Blizzard, an over USD 200m fund dedicated to accelerating development, growth, and innovation across the ecosystem of builders and users of the Avalanche (AVAX) public blockchain “and beyond.” The fund is composed of contributions from the Foundation, Ava Labs, Polychain Capital, Three Arrows Capital, Dragonfly Capital, CMS Holdings, among others.

Digital asset investment products saw inflows totaling USD 288m last week, compared with the USD 1.47bn a week prior, which was marked with the bitcoin (BTC) futures ETFs debut in the US, per CoinShares data. Bitcoin saw the majority of inflows totaling USD 269m last week, while ethereum (ETH) broke its 3-week dry spell with inflows totaling USD 17m and increasing its market share back to 32%. 

MTD – month-to-date; YTD – year-to-date; AUM – assets under management. Source: CoinShares

Cryptoasset manager NYDIG said it has acquired BTC payments application maker Bottlepay. The acquisition will allow NYDIG to integrate Bottlepay’s Lightning Network infrastructure into its existing bitcoin platform, they added.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) hub Ardana has announced it has raised USD 10m in a public sale. The company aims to become a DeFi gateway on its native blockchain, Cardano (ADA).

Ex Populus, a developer of a game publishing model which is built on Ethereum, said it has closed a USD 3m seed round that was led by Animoca Brands, with participation by CMS, Enjin, Infinity Ventures, Outlier Ventures, and other investors.

NFTs news

Non-fungible token (NFT) investment firm Sfermion announced it has raised USD 100m in their Fund II investment round. Sfermion invests across the entire non-fungible capital stack, focusing on three types of investments – early-stage venture equity, tokens, and direct NFTs.

The Recording Academy, the Grammy Awards, and NFT platform OneOf jointly announced that the music awards are getting their own NFTs. Details on the collection, which will include digital collectibles and experiences celebrating Grammy winners and nominees, will be unveiled in January and a portion of the proceeds from the NFT sales will go to its scholarship fund, they added.

Huobi Group announced the launch of a trial for Huobi NFT, an NFT marketplace, enabling users to purchase NFT artwork, collectibles, and other digital items. Huobi has expanded its initiatives and services to all facets of the NFT space, including investments and project incubation.

Career news

Some of the biggest Wall Street banks and financial firms have added about 1,000 crypto-related roles since 2018, according to Revelio Labs, which collects data by scraping LinkedIn, as reported by Bloomberg. Among those hiring the most are JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., it added.  

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is looking for a specialist to foster digital asset underwriting, transaction processing, and custody in the cloud, according to a recent job posting. The new hire would work with global financial institutions and innovative fintechs, and “transform the way they transact digital assets (ex. cryptocurrencies, [central bank digital currencies] CBDCs, stable coins, security-backed tokens, asset-backed tokens and NFTs) from price discovery to execution, settlement, and custody.”

Exchanges news

Binance said that all crypto withdrawals were temporarily disabled on this platform “due to a large backlog” today.

BitMEX announced it is expanding its brokerage service BitMEX Link to Switzerland. They said they will develop new business lines and functions under the BitMEX brand, including capabilities for spot, brokerage, custody, information products, and an academy “to deepen knowledge of digital assets and crypto trading.”

Adoption news

Burger King announced that it is teaming up with investment platform Robinhood to offer Royal Perks loyalty members the chance to win a “side of cryptocurrency,” including dogecoin (DOGE), ETH, or BTC. Royal Perks members who spend USD 5 or more on the Burger King app, website, or in-restaurant using “My Code” (a code requested during checkout) at participating locations will be rewarded with crypto, where dogecoin is the primary prizing, but BTC and ETH will be given to a few lucky members.

Regulation news

South African pension funds will be banned from investing in BTC or other cryptocurrencies under new draft rules, according to Business Insider. Finance minister Enoch Godongwana has put forward a set of changes to regulations that govern exactly how pension funds may invest member money.

Mining news

Bitcoin miner Rhodium Enterprises intends to become a publicly-traded company, raising up to USD 100m, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Rhodium said that its 80 MW of power capacity is enough to run more than 22,600 miners at its “initial Texas site,” with a total hash rate of about 1.8 exahash per second (EH/s).

Fortress Technologies has announced the purchase of 4,500 Bitmain Antminer S19j Pro (100 TH/s) Bitcoin mining machines. This adds 450 PH/s to the Company’s total contracted hash rate, more than tripling its previous contracted hash rate of 195 PH/s, they said.

Atlas Technology Group said it has selected Core Scientific Holding Co. to host a large quantity of last-generation Bitcoin miners. Installation of the new miners is expected to be completed in 15 months, they said, adding that miners from Atlas will require more than 100 MW of power at full capacity. 

Gaming news

Mobile game developer Gamee announced the launch of play-to-earn mobile esports platform Arc8, based on the Polygon (MATIC) blockchain.  This launch will be followed by the platform’s first NFT pre-sale, G-bots — a collection of 1,000 in-game characters playable in exclusive tournaments within the Arc8 App, they added.

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