Polygon Successfully Averts Catastrophic Loss Of Up To $850 Million

Polygon Successfully Averts Catastrophic Loss Of Up To $850 Million

Polygon has paid the highest bug bounty in DeFi history to a white hat hacker that exposed a dangerous vulnerability. The $2M was paid for drawing the attention of the network to a potential flaw that could have led to losses of up to $850M. DeFi has come under severe criticism regarding its security in […]

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Animoca Brands doubles valuation to $2.2B with new $65M funding round

Animoca has raised $65 million in its latest funding round, with more than 43.8 million of newly issued shares to be distributed to investors at a price of $1.51 per share.

NFT-game and virtual property developer Animoca Brands has doubled its valuation to $2.2 billion after closing a new funding round that fetched $65 million.

The latest funding round was conducted at a pre-money valuation of $2.2 billion, and included backing from gaming giants Ubisoft Entertainment along with Liberty City Ventures, Sequoia China, Dragonfly Capital to name a few.

It’s more vindication for a company that was kicked off the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in March 2020, in part for its involvement in cryptocurrencies.

According to the Oct. 20 announcement from the firm, more than 43.8 million newly issued shares will be distributed to investors at a price of AUD $2 per share, or USD $1.51.

Animoca has now raised a total of $203.88 million in 2021, with the firm becoming a crypto unicorn in June when it raised $138.88 million as part of two tranches of a capital raise at a valuation of $1 billion.

The brand-focused metaverse and interactive content company said the latest funding will go towards funding “strategic investments and acquisitions, product development, and licenses for popular intellectual properties.”

Animoca co-founder Yat Siu outlined the company’s vision around digital ownership and NFTs moving forward:

“In 2018 we laid out a strategy based on our assessment that in the future digital property rights would revolutionize industries by expanding financial inclusion, and that this significant change would start with NFT adoption in games. That future is already here.”

“With the backing of our new strategic investors, Animoca Brands will continue to advance blockchain in gaming — and beyond — to introduce billions of gamers and Internet users to true digital ownership,” he added.

Related: NFT gaming proposition in question as regulators and traditional gaming pullback

This is another sign of big money pouring into NFT gaming and virtual property-focused firms.

Oct. 19, Galaxy Interactive, a venture capital firm focused on next-generation interactive technology, announced that it had raised $325 million from 70 different investors for its second fund focused on virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and NFT gaming.

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New Zealand’s Easy Crypto raises $11.75M, eyes stock market float

According to Easy Crypto, the $11.75 million in series A funding round may be the largest sum of investment raised in New Zealand for a local start-up.

New Zealand-based crypto exchange Easy Crypto has raised $11.75 million (NZD $17 million) in Series A funding, as the firm eyes a potential initial public offering (IPO) in the future.

The round was led by venture capital fund Nuance Connected Capital. According to an Oct.6 announcement from Easy Crypto, the NZD 17 million figure “seemed to have set a new record in New Zealand” for the largest Series A funding from a local firm.

The funding round marks a significant milestone for the firm. Co-founder and CEO Janine Grainger ha expressed how difficult it had been to garner investment in the early stages the company due to working in the “fringe” crypto sector.

The funds will be used to accelerate growth via product and tech development, investment in talent, and expanding to new markets in Indonesia and the Philippines to service the unbanked.

The round was oversubscribed by 50% and included participation from a host of local and international companies including KiwiSaver provider, Pathfinder, Icehouse Ventures, Even Capital, GDP Venture (Indonesia), Hutt Capital (U.S.) and Seven Peaks Ventures (U.S.).

Easy Crypto was founded by siblings Janine and Alan Grainger in 2017, and has generated $760 million (NZD 1.1 billion) worth of sales to date, from a customer base of more than 150,000 across NZ, Australia, South Africa and Brazil. The platform hosts buying and selling services for 151 digital assets and also sells a range of hardware wallets from Trezor and Ledger.

According to the Tech Crunch — which is yet to list Easy Crypto’s latest funding round — the largest previous Series A funding rounds in New Zealand are from analytics firm Joyous, and blockchain-based FinTec service providers TradeWindow, which both fetched $10.3 million (NZD $15 million) each.  NZ-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm Vital fetched the highest amount internationally via a US$15 million (NZD $21.6 million) Series A funding round in the U.S last month.

Janine Grainger, Easy Crypto co-founder and CEO spoke to the New Zealand Herald on Oct.6 and said that the firm plans to use the funds to ramp up its overseas operations, and target new markets in South East Asia such as Indonesia and the Philippines:

“The reason that we’re targeting those markets was that there is a large population of people who are unbanked or underbanked, and don’t have the same access to financial products like you and I do.”

Grainger also said that the firm is looking at a potential IPO.

“We are still working out what that looks like, and what plans there are for us into the future but very likely we would be looking at an IPO,” she said.

The CEO said that Easy Crypto generated $3.46 million (NZD $5 million) worth of revenue in the previous financial year, and is on track to more than double that amount this financial year.

According to the firm, its customer base has grown by “almost five times over the past 12 months.” Grainger told the NZ Herald that the firm’s path to success has been tough as it took 13 months to get its first dollar of investment, before being able to raise $11.75 million within three weeks in 2021.

“Cryptocurrency is seen as a bit fringe still, a bit volatile and I think it’s taken us a while to find investors who perhaps had that forward-looking and strategic vision to be able to take a punt on what we’re doing,” she said.

Related: New Zealand central bank releases issue paper on digital currency

There has been something of a pall cast over the industry in New Zealand due to the now-defunct crypto exchange Cryptopia becoming the victim of a major hack in 2019. Roughly $16 million to $18 million worth of crypto was swiped from the platform.

Cointelegraph reported in July that a former Cryptopia employee pled guilty to the theft of around $172,000 in crypto he obtained by making a copy of users’ private keys while working at the firm.

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Fantom price gains 100% after launching a 370M FTM incentive program

FTM gained 500% in the past six weeks, and a newly launched $320 million incentive program could see the rally extend further.

The Ethereum network continues to enjoy being the top smart contract platform in the blockchain industry. However, the competition is slowly gaining market share because high costs and network congestion are still challenges for the protocol. 

One project that has been gaining traction in August is Fantom (FTM), a layer one smart contract platform that utilizes a directed acyclic graph architecture as a means to solving the problems of slow transaction speeds and high transaction fees.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since hitting a low of $0.15 on July 20, the price of FTM rocketed 500% to an intraday high of $0.90 on Monday as its 24-hour trading volume exploded by 1,250% to a record $1.26 billion.

FTM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the surging momentum in Fantom include the launch of a 370 million FTM incentive program, a significant growth in social media engagement and the continued increase in the amount of value locked on the protocol.

Fantom launches a liquidity incentive program

The biggest momentum boost for Fantom came on Monday with the announcement of a 370 million FTM — $320 million — incentive program, designed to attract new protocols and liquidity to the Fantom ecosystem.

Under the program, developers who launch on the Fantom network will be able to apply for rewards from the Fantom Foundation and will receive between 1 million to 5 million FTM depending on the total value locked (TVL) in the protocol in question.

In order to qualify for rewards, a protocol must maintain a TVL above a time-weighted average (TWA) of $5,000,000 or $100,000,000 for an extended period of time. If the TWA falls below the $5,000,000 minimum at any point, reward distribution will be paused until the TVL once again reaches the required minimum.

Social media engagements surge in August

Lunar Crush registered Fantom’s building momentum throughout August via social media metrics. The platform showed a 34% increase in social media mentions compared to July; social media engagements also shot up by nearly 96%.

On-chain data for the network also showed a steadily increasing engagement rate because the network now has 415,000 unique addresses conducting more than 300,000 transactions per day.

These numbers could significantly increase in the weeks and months ahead thanks to the release of the FTM incentive program, which has already lead to a new record high in the number of transactions on the Fantom bridge.

Fantom bridge transaction count. Source: Twitter

Related: This service is declaring that it’s “crypto altseason” again

Significant gains in DeFi

The third reason for Fantom’s explosive growth is the increasing TVL of its DeFi ecosystem, which is led by the SpookySwap exchange and its $192 million TVL.

According to data from DeFi Llama, the total value locked on the Fantom blockchain has now surpassed $657 million with a 19.52% increase coming over the last 24-hours.

Total value locked on Fantom. Source: DeFi Llama

As seen in the chart above, the launch of the Fantom Incentive Program helped spark a significant rally in the TVL on Fantom. However, the network was already seeing impressive gains in the metric even before the launch of the program.

Between Aug. 4 and Aug. 23, Fantom’s TVL grew from $269 million to a high of $510 million without any special incentives. This increase proves that interest in interacting with the platform has been on the rise for multiple weeks.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for FTM on Aug. 29, prior to the recent price rise. 

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points, including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. FTM price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score climbed into the green zone on Aug. 28 and reached a high of 70 on Aug. 29, around four hours before the price increased 80% over the next day.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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DeFi aggregator Zerion snags $8.2M in Series A

Executives representing investors Mosaic Ventures and Placeholder have joined Zerion’s board of directors as part of the deal.

Ethereum-based DeFi aggregator, Zerion, has raised $8.2 million in a Series A funding round.

The non-custodial aggregation platform facilitates access to more than 60 Ethereum-based protocols, such as Aave, Yearn.finance, and Curve. Zerion has processed more than $600 million worth of volume in 2021 so far with a median trade of $1,000.

The raise was led by Mosaic Ventures, and also featured participation from Placeholder, Digital Currency Group, and Blockchain.com Ventures, among others.

Mosaic co-founder and partner, Toby Coppel, and venture partner at Placeholder, Brad Burnham, have joined Zerion’s board of directors as part of the round.

The company has now raised $10.2 million in total, building on its $2 million seed round in December 2019.

Zerion hopes the war chest can help its user base grow from roughly 200,000 to above seven figures. The project plans to expand its team from 18 to 25 before 2022, and revamp its trading interface and portfolio tracking feature.

Zerion is planning to enable support for other popular blockchains and layer-twos that are sufficiently popular among DeFi users during the third quarter. The team estimates its customers open their app nine times daily on average.

Related: DeFi aggregator raided by five hackers on launch day

The decentralized finance sector has exploded in popularity over the past year, with the total number of addresses that have interacted with DeFi protocols increasing from 25,000 to nearly 3 million in 12 months.

Despite DeFi tokens suffering massive drawdowns amid the recent crypto market crash, most of the sector’s leading projects have still gained by multiple factors since the start of the year.

In the past seven days DeFi tokens have surged with Aave (AAVE) up 25.4%, Synthetix (SNX)  increasing 46.4%, Uniswap (UNI) up 16.6% and Compound (COMP) up 29.2%.

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