The latest news from the world of cryptocurrencies.
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Coinbase Crypto Exchange Announces Partnership with Germany's Borussia Dortmund Soccer Team – Here’s What You Need to KnowMajor US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has expanded its partnership with German soccer team Borussia Dortmund (BVB) to include advertising in the stadium and promotions on all BVB marketing channels.
According to a recent blog post by Borussia Dortmund, Coinbase has doubled down on its partnership with BVB to become its premium partner. As part of the new extended partnership, Coinbase brand advertisements will be displayed through perimeter advertising and cam carpets in Dortmund's SIGNAL IDUNA PARK, Germany's largest football stadium.
Coinbase initially started its partnership with BVB in July of last year. As part of the deal, Coinbase ads ran on the video screens during home games in the stadium. The exchange also provided workshops on crypto for BVB employees. BVB Managing Director Carsten Cramer said:
"The crypto world offers exciting opportunities, and it is important for us to work with a trustworthy partner in this promising field. The granting of the license by 'BaFin' is the clear signal for us as BVB to now have such a partner at our side in a segment that is still very new and often confusing for non-insiders."
The stadium did not disclose the terms of the deal, including how much Coinbase spent to ink the partnership. The deal would come to an end by the end of June this year.
Coinbase is the biggest crypto exchange in the United States. The exchange is also available in more than 100 countries across the world, including Germany.
Decentraland Founders Are Creditors of Bankrupt Genesis - How Much Are They Owed?Three Decentraland executives, including two co-founders and the platform's CFO, are named among the top creditors of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global.
Decentraland co-founders Esteban Ordano and Ari Meilich and the platform's CFO Santiago Esponda are listed among the 50 largest non-insider unsecured claims against Genesis, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US on Thursday.
The crypto lender revealed the names of its largest creditors on the same day that it filed for bankruptcy, which included crypto exchange Gemini, trading giant Cumberland, Mirana, MoonAlpha Finance, and VanEck’s New Finance Income Fund.
A company called Heliva International Corp also appeared on the list with a $55 million claim. The firm listed Decentraland’s CFO Santiago Esponda as a contact point
Aside from Esponda, a closer look at the document reveals that Decentraland's two co-founders are also listed with non-Decentraland email addresses.
Ordano, who is currently an advisor at Decentraland, is listed as the contact for another company called Winah Securities, to which Genisis owes around $27 million. Notably, the document shows that Winah is located on the same floor in the same building as Heliva.
And finally, Genesis owes $20 million to Meilich's gaming company Big Time Studios. According to his LinkedIn profile, Ari Meilich was a co-founder of Decentraland and worked there until April 2020 as project lead when he left the platform to establish his own company Big Time Studios. He also remains a Decentraland adviser.
Genesis eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday after weeks of speculation about the crypto lender's financial health. Genesis Global Holdco LLC, plus subsidiaries Genesis Global Capital LLC and Genesis Asia Pacific Pte, were included in the bankruptcy filing.
In the filing, Genesis estimated more than 100,000 creditors and between $1 billion and $10 billion in liabilities, as well as assets. The two other entities, Genesis Global Capital LLC and Genesis Asia Pacific Pte, estimated their assets and liabilities in the $100 million and $500 million range, respectively.
Former FTX US President Manages to Raise Funds From Coinbase, Circle for His New Firm After Publicly Blasting SBFBrett Harrison, former president of FTX US, has managed to raise funds from major crypto investors such as Coinbase Ventures and Circle Ventures after publicly blasting FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
According to a Friday report by Bloomberg, Harrison has raised $5 million for his new crypto software startup from Coinbase and Circle. The move comes just days after the crypto boss complained association with FTX has hindered his ability to raise funds.
Called Architect, the venture aims to build trading software to make centralized and decentralized crypto markets easier to use for large investors like institutions. Harrison has said he hopes Architect “will allow people to get their confidence back in trading in this industry.”
The crypto software startup is projected to launch in the second quarter. Harrison said he hopes Architect will be eventually incorporated into Coinbase Global and Circle’s platforms. He said that the funding he raised from investors will be primarily used for recruitment.
The venture has an advisory board of directors that will transition to a formal board and help create corporate transparency, according to Harrison. He said he also wants to create a work environment that allows “people to give and to accept criticism.”
According to a report from research firm Pitchbook, venture funding for crypto startups plummeted 75% in the last quarter of 2022, the lowest since 2020. Only $2.30 billion was invested into crypto startups in Q4 2022 while a record $26.7 billion was invested in blockchain startups in 2022, the majority of which came in the first quarter.
Aside from the record drop in crypto funding, Harrison also had a hard time raising funds due to his association with FTX. In a long Twitter thread on Saturday, he said nearly every venture fund he had reached out to refused to invest citing SBF and FTX issues. He said:
"After that, many conversations eventually came around to the same kind of apology: “We know you weren’t involved in what Sam and others did, but we can’t take on the PR risk of associating ourselves with FTX, no matter how capable you are or compelling your idea is.”
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Top SEC Official Steps Down Following Controversial Meetings with Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX LobbyistsDan Berkovitz, General Counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, has stepped down amid reports that he had met and dined with disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
In a recent announcement, the SEC said that Berkovitz is departing his role at the agency effective January 31. Megan Barbero, currently SEC Principal Deputy General Counsel, will be appointed General Counsel following his departure.
Berkovitz was an ally of FTX within the financial regulatory agency and had meetings with Bankman-Fried and other crypto lobbyists, the Washington Examiner reported. The outlet claimed that it has viewed emails that suggest the SEC official had a warm relationship with SBF.
The emails were initially obtained by the watchdog Protect the Public's Trust. Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public's Trust, said:
“If ever there were a scene to conjure up a vision of a D.C. rigged toward corrupt insiders at the expense of the little guy, it would be difficult to top this one. Not long before its collapse and a raft of fraud charges, SBF and his gang were wooing."
In October last year, as the SEC and CFTC were discussing the best methods for regulating cryptocurrency, Bankman-Fried, FTX General Counsel Ryne Miller, and then-FTX President Brett Harrison met with Berkovitz at a luxury restaurant. The presence of Berkovitz at the dinner shows SBF's efforts to influence lawmakers and regulators.
As reported, SBF was the second largest donor to the Democratic Party, after billionaire George Soros, in the 2021-2022 election cycle, donating $39,884,256 to Democrats. Elon Musk has even suggested that he could have donated as much as $1 billion to Democrats.
Japan Poised to Lift Ban on Non-domestic StablecoinsJapan’s top financial regulator is set to do away with a long-standing ban on the distribution of foreign firm-issued stablecoins.
Per Nikkei, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), the regulator that polices the crypto sector, will make the move “as early as next year.” But the body added that it will first seek approval from lawmakers and the industry.
A number of small-cap yen-, euro-, and USD-pegged stablecoins have already debuted in Japan. But none of the 31 crypto exchanges licensed by the FSA yet offers international stablecoin pairings. As such, Japanese traders have effectively been frozen out of the tether (USDT) and USD coin (USDC) markets.
While the FSA stopped short of stating definitively that the ban would indeed be lifted, it has already begun the consultation process. But with most lawmakers – including the government – now pressing for a more relaxed approach to regulation, few obstacles are likely to stand in the FSA’s way.
The regulator reigns supreme over the Japanese crypto sector. And the government has almost universally accepted the FSA’s crypto-related legislation requests thus far.
However, the FSA noted that allowing domestic exchanges to handle stablecoins will require the government to introduce new laws to ensure fiat-pegged coins are not used to launder money.
Move-to-Earn Crypto FightOut Blasts Past $2.7 Million Raised in Presale – Time to InvestOver the course of 2022, there have been a range of problems for projects across the crypto space, with prices having falling significantly from their all-time highs at the end of 2021.
Nevertheless, certain areas of the industry have continued to excel, and the "move to earn" sector has exploded in popularity.
The nexus of breakthroughs in AI and blockchain have meant that the fitness space has found huge room to grow, and the potential for rewarding people for leading a healthier life has neber been clearer.
Earn rewards for exercisingThe advent of blockchain technology provided all sorts of opportunities for incentivisation, and this has been clearly demonstrated in the play to earn space.
FightOut is a project that is competing with the likes of Stepn in the "move to earn" space, which rewards users of the platform for moving their token.
The FightOut platform operates in much the same way as a personal trainer may, except that one is actively rewarded for the time that they spend exercising with the FGHT token.
All exercises are recorded and can be used to improve the statistics of one's metaverse avatar.
The ability to be able to earn FGHT tokens means that people have an extra incentive to stay healthy and to focus on fitness - all the while making use of blockchain incentives.
FightOut has signed several important brand ambassadorsThe team at FightOut have been working hard over the course of the last few months, and in order to bring exposure to the project they have already managed to sign an array of key brand ambassadors.
Martial artists such as the boxer Savannah Marshall and the MMA fighter Amanda Ribas have both been onboarded by the team, and are to represent the FightOut brand moving forward.
FTX Co-Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Posts $250 Million Bond, Will Remain Under House Arrest – Where is the Money From?Disgraced former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been released from jail after posting a $250m bond in a New York court.
The bond was paid for partly by Bankman-Fried’s parents, Standford law professors Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, putting up the equity in their California home. However, facts still remain unclear about where the rest of the money or other collateral came from, and how much of the $250m even needs to be paid.
According to some widely followed Twitter users, the $250m bond has not been paid – and does not need to be paid – by Bankman-Fried. Instead, it appears that it is sufficient for the court that Bankman-Fried pledges assets worth a certain amount, without actually paying it.
This type of bond is known as a “personal recognizance bond.”