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LWIC is a weekly rundown posted on Mondays that covers the biggest news from the previous week:
- What companies raised money?
- What tokens got all the headlines?
- What macro news matters?
Welcome to a fresh week folks 👋
Last week, the U.S. Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force published a report titled “Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework." It focuses on the threats, relevant laws & regulations, and future strategies for ensuring that blockchain tech does not enable the violation of the law, or threaten public safety and national security. My non-expert reaction is that crypto projects need to be certain of their compliance or ready to play ball with regulators. A middle ground, if there ever was one, no longer exists. Time to lawyer up!
Now, let’s catch up on what else happened last week in crypto💨
11 New Funding Rounds
3 Tokens to Watch
2 pieces of Macro News
New Funding Rounds 🎰
Not sure what to call it
Propy raised $1.2MM so far, with participation by Tim Draper, Michael Arrington, Second Century Ventures’ REACH incubator and Escrow Agent Japan. Propy intends to automate real estate transactions using blockchain.
Alpha Finance Lab raised an unknown sum from Spartan Group, Multicoin Capital, and DeFiance Capital to build cross-chain decentralized finance products. For all the Harry Potter fans out there, they have a themed product called Alpha Homora 🧙♀️
BoringDAO raised $1.45MM from DeFiance and Hashkey, among others. BoringDAO enables Bitcoin and other blockchains to be used on Ethereum-based DeFi protocols, joining multiple other projects in the growing endeavor.
Covalent raised $3.1MM co-led by Woodstock Fund, 1kx Capital, and Mechanism Capital. Other participating investors include CoinGecko and Alameda Research. Covalent provides an API for blockchain analytics 📊
Gauntlet Network raised $4.3MM led by Paradigm, with participation by First Round, IA, Polychain and Standard Crypto. Gauntlet enables crypto protocols to model how governance decisions could play out in the real world. This is really fascinating stuff, especially as more protocols’ communities gain decision making power.
Draper Goren Holm announced the first close of its new $25MM venture fund. The fund will be focused on Seed and Series A investments into blockchain companies.
Whitestar announced a $30MM first close of its digital asset fund. Whitestar will use it to invest in “crypto-networks and blockchain-enabled businesses at each layer of the tech stack.”
Tokens to Watch 🎢
YFI - Yearn finance continues to be a wild ride. Last week, Coindesk reported that Yearn creator Andre Cronje quit DeFi. Apparently in response, Andre tweeted, “Still here. Still building. Nothing has changed. Anyone that says otherwise fuck off. I'm just done tweeting and being on social media.” Andre’s involvement, or lack thereof, does matter. He is a leader of a protocol that currently is putting ~$590MM to work for its users. YFI is worth ~$16,800/token as of writing.
INDEX - Launched last week, the Index Coop is a decentralized organization focused on “enabling the creation and adoption of crypto index primitives.” INDEX is the coop’s native token. The crypto index space is heating up, especially with Bitpanda joining the mix. Bitpanda recently raised $52MM.
FLOW - Flow raised $18MM on Coinlist. Mentioned a few weeks ago during crypto’s mini NFT-boom, Flow is a purpose-built blockchain for the entertainment industry that counts the NBA, Unisoft, and Warner Music Group among its partners.
Macro News 🔲
Square bought $50MM bitcoin: Following in Micostrategy’s footsteps, Square bought 4,709 bitcoins as a way to expand their “largely USD-denominated balance sheet and make a meaningful investment in bitcoin.” Expect more large companies to follow-suit, especially since Square made their process public 🍻
Crypto derivatives banned in the U.K.: The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned U.K. firms from selling, marketing, and distributing derivative products to retail consumers. “The FCA considers these products to be ill-suited for retail consumers due to the harm they pose... retail consumers might suffer harm from sudden and unexpected losses if they invest in these products.” The ban goes into effect on January 6, 2021 🙅♂️