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Crypto VCs ride caution
Funding tumbles as economic uncertainty scares off investors. McNuggets Land: McDonald’s news Metaverse game. Crypto is the future of France? SBF’s brother GBF wanted to buy an island with FTX funds.
Hello, y'all. A free collectible. 20 seconds is all it takes 👇 own it now 🙌
So the crypto world keeps it's promise with them uncertain times.
VCs and investors don't quite dig it.
Venture capital (VC) investments experienced a significant dip of 29.73% in June, bringing the total funds raised to a relatively low $779.32 million.
This was spread over 62 unique deals, as per data from the Cointelegraph Research Venture Capital Database.
Despite the halt in interest rate hikes by the United States Federal Reserve, the larger macroeconomic climate continues to be influenced by geopolitical uncertainties and global efforts to curb inflation. Consequently, the VC investments made in June reflect this caution.
Even so, it's crucial not to interpret this as an entirely negative trend, as the overall investment trajectory for 2023 continues to be positive. This positivity is bolstered by events such as BlackRock, VanEck, WisdomTree, and Fidelity's recent Bitcoin ETF applications, along with Ripple's legal win against the SEC. Despite these events having an immediate positive effect on the crypto market, the VC investment response lags due to the general cautious approach of institutional investors
In June, the data reveals that the distribution of deals remained consistent, with Blockchain Infrastructure maintaining dominance with 20 deals, and over $493 million funding. DeFi and Web3 followed closely, with Centralized Finance (CeFi) and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) rounding out the investment interests for the month.
The most significant deal in June was a $200 million funding round for Islamic Coin (ISLM) from Alpha Blue Ocean's ABO Digital. The total funding for this project aiming to provide a digital financial instrument for Muslims worldwide now exceeds $400 million.
Other notable deals include a $43 million deal for Gensyn, a blockchain-based artificial intelligence project that was led by a16z Crypto with participation from CoinFund and Canonical Crypto. Meanwhile, Mythical Games raised $37 million in a Series C round, and Bitpanda Pro, which recently rebranded to One Trading, closed a $33 million Series A round.
Even though venture capitalists increased their investment into the blockchain sector from March through May, June saw a reversal of this trend, indicating possible future uncertainty.
Nevertheless, short-term fluctuations do not overshadow the general upward trend. Future market developments, influenced by the ETF fillings and the Ripple-SEC lawsuit's implications, are likely to be key indicators for VC investments in July and August.
TTD McNuggets 🍔
Despite the metaverse losing some of its initial hype, companies like McDonald’s Hong Kong are diving in headfirst.
They have recently launched "McNuggets Land," an interactive world within the Ethereum-based metaverse game, The Sandbox.
Celebrating 40 years of McNuggets
McNuggets Land is part of McDonald's celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the beloved Chicken McNuggets. The metaverse world brings to life anthropomorphised nugget characters and décor influenced by dipping sauces. It also offers real-world and blockchain-based rewards through playable quests.
Global accessibility with local perks
Even though the initiative is spearheaded by McDonald's Hong Kong, it’s available for players across the globe. However, some rewards, like food coupons, are exclusive to Hong Kong-based players. Players worldwide can compete for NFT-based in-game items and SAND crypto tokens.
McDonald’s and the Sandbox partnership
Randy Lai, CEO of McDonald’s Hong Kong, expressed his excitement about the collaboration with The Sandbox. This partnership aims to provide innovative and enjoyable experiences to customers using the Web3 metaverse game.
The Sandbox is no stranger to brand partnerships either. It's known for its collaborations with a variety of companies, celebrities, and IPs, including Adidas, Gucci, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Ubisoft, and Warner Music Group.
McDonald's prior dabble in Web3
This isn't McDonald’s first venture into the Web3 domain. McDonald’s France released Big Mac-inspired NFT artwork in April 2021, while the U.S. division launched McRib-themed NFTs in November 2021.
TTD France 🇫🇷
Young Investors embrace the crypto market in France
A substantial number of young investors have entered France's crypto market this year. A survey by crypto exchange KuCoin which gathered responses from 500 adults, revealed that about 8% of internet users aged 18 to 60 in France are involved in crypto.
Of these users, 31% joined the segment within the last six months, and 23% have been investing in crypto for over three years.
Gen Z investors, aged 9 to 24, have shown remarkable interest, with 40% of them entering the crypto space in the last six months. Surprisingly, 60% of Gen Z crypto users earn less than 35,000 euros per year, according to the study.
Compared to older investors, Gen Z seeks "quick returns" from crypto and has a higher preference for Ethereum, with 41% interested in the asset.
Companies have rushed to France after the introduction of the EU's Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation in April. This regulatory framework requires crypto asset service providers to register with national authorities to serve EU clients. France's transparent and sound regulatory environment has attracted companies like OKX and CACEIS Bank to establish a presence in the country.
The crypto market in France holds promising prospects, especially with young investors driving interest. Societe Generale's crypto subsidiary, SG-Forge, recently secured approval as a licensed digital asset service provider in France, setting the stage for further growth as MiCA's full implementation is expected by the end of 2024.
TTD Bankman-Fried 🏝️
This ain't about SBF. But GBF. The brother. Bankman-Frieds - what legends 🐲
The brother of Sam Bankman-Fried had plans to purchase the Pacific island nation of Nauru using funds from the FTX Foundation.
The whole of island. Whole of it. Hello Gabe Bankman-Fried.
The lawsuit filed by the FTX bankruptcy estate, is seeking to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from the remnants of FTX.
The FTX Foundation, a non-profit funded by FTX, was allegedly used as a public relations campaign for the company's executives.
The lawsuit, led by former Enron bankruptcy steward John Ray III, was filed in a Delaware bankruptcy court and includes 48 counts related to the fraudulent transfer of funds by former FTX executives, including Bankman-Fried, CTO Gary Wang, and Alameda CEO Caroline Ellison.
The lawsuit also alleges that Bankman-Fried is using customer money to fund his defense and reveals new information about FTX's alleged excessive spending.
One of the most shocking claims is that Gabe Bankman-Fried, Sam's younger brother, planned to buy Nauru, a country of only 21 square kilometres, to use as a refuge for effective altruists in the event of a major catastrophe.
Gabe Bankman-Fried also had plans to build a lab on the island to advance human genetics. However, Nauru, which gained independence from Australia in 1968, has been in severe economic difficulty since its phosphate reserves ran out in the 1990s.
Nauru also became a hotspot for money laundering activities during the late 1990s when it helped Russian criminals launder an estimated $70 billion.
The island was once on the Financial Action Task Force's blacklist as a haven for money laundering.
The U.S. Treasury designated Nauru a money-laundering state in 2002, leading to harsh sanctions against the country and the closure of the Bank of Nauru in 2006.
It is currently known for hosting an Australian offshore refugee detention centre.
TTD Surfer 🏄
DeFi protocol Conic Finance was drained of 1.7K ETH—worth over $3 million. The root cause was re-entrancy attack, but team claimed that withdrawals were safe.
Nigerian social payments app Bundle has shut its crypto exchange, as shareholders decide to restructure the business to focus on Cashlink.
Craig Wright will be able to fight Bitcoin copyright claim in UK after a bench of three UK judges accepted his appeal to a previous court denial.
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