Near Raises USD 150M, Pakistan’s Central Bank vs. Crypto, Bitstamp’s Growth Plan + More News

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News about investments

Near Protocol (High-Performance Blockchain) announced that it raised USD 150m in its most recent funding round. The round was led by Three-Arrows Capital and included participation from many crypto-native funds such as Dragonfly Capital, Mechanism Capital, and a16z. The round included many top angels such as Santiago Santos and Alan Howard. The team stated that the funding would be used to increase adoption of Web3 technology through ecosystem funding, development NEAR’s regional centers, and raising awareness for brand, as well as the projects building on NEAR, its global community, to new audiences.
Crypto services startup Zero Hashing has announced that it raised USD 105m through a Series D round of fundraising. The company stated that it will use the proceeds to expand its compliance, marketing and product teams.
Exchange-traded fund ( ) Issuer Simplify Asset Management filed a request to launch Simplify Volt Web3ETF, which would trade under ticker WIII. WIII would put 10% of its assets in the Grayscale BitcoinTrust(GBTC), and also use an options strategy to protect against risk.

Regulation news
According to Reuters , the State Bank of Pakistan recommended that cryptocurrency be banned. This was based on documents presented in a ongoing court case. The SBP argued that allowing it could cause capital flight. The central bank pointed out that all cryptocurrencies are issued in Pakistan and that any Pakistani resident purchasing such tokens will send capital abroad.
A group of bipartisan legislators charged with overseeing the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), requested guidance from the newly confirmed Chairman Rostin Benhnam on cryptoassets, and the agency’s role in regulating them. These questions concern the size and scope crypto markets, as well as crypto crime, and how it differs to crime in traditional financial markets. The CFTC is authorized to “protect customers” and maintain market integrity.
The BitLicense it was granted in 2018 by the New York Department of Financial Services, USA has been surrendered by Crypto custodian Xapo. Although it did not specify why, the company surrendered the license.

News from the Exchanges
Bitstamp is looking at new markets, such as equities and non-fungible tokens and crypto derivatives. Bobby Zagotta, CEO, Bitstamp USA Inc., stated that the company has made significant investments in these areas and that it wants to keep users connected for trades across all asset classes.
Gemini has announced the acquisition BITRIA formerly Blockchange Inc., a digital portfolio management platform for wealth and asset managers. The exchange stated that the integration of BITRIA’s technology with Gemini’s custody and exchange capabilities gives advisors access to the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem and allows them to manage clients’ portfolios through one interface.
Latin America exchange Bitso became the first crypto sponsor for the Mexican National Team, called the Seleccion Mexicana de Futbol. Bitso will partner with the team to provide crypto education opportunities for Mexicans and develop NFTs that will be distributed by the exchange.

CBDC news
The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee raised concerns about the UK’s central banking digital currency ( CBDC ) project. This could threaten the stability of the bank system and lead to controversial privacy debates. They stated that the concept presented a lot of risk and very little reward.
The Bank of Israel continues to expand its research into CBDCs. However, its rollout remains speculative given the range of questions from the token’s costs to the impact on banks, Bloomberg reported, citing Yoav Sffer, the head of the bank’s digital shekel project.

Blockchains and DLT news
Solana (SOL) could eat away Ethereum market share because of its differentiated design , according Business Insider, citing Bank of America Analyst Alkesh Shah.
The IOTA Foundation stated that it was selected to compete against four other projects in round two of the EU Blockchain pre-commercial procurement process. This is the second phase of Phase 1, in which the IOTA Foundation was selected from more than 35 applicants.
Web3.0 Community Innovation Festival ETHDenveris coming between February 11 and 20, 2022. It will gather 5,000+ people and 30,000+ online attendees. This includes thousands of hackers who will compete for more than USD 1m in prizes and bounties, and up to USD 2m investment capital. The Ethereum-focused event will be held both live and virtually and is free to attend.

News about NFTs
China-backed Blockchain Services Network will create infrastructure to support non-fungible tokens ( NTs), according to the South China Morning Post . He Yifan, the chief executive of Red Date Technology which provides technical support for BSN, said that non-fungible tokens are “not a legal issue in China” provided they do not have anything to do with cryptoassets.

Web3 news
DeFi Alliance is a Web3 startup acceleration, stated that Alliance DAO has been created. This decentralized autonomous organization, “the first digital startup nation in the world, to foster the best Web3 startups.” They said that Alliance will begin to emerge over the next few months.

Legal news
Joseph Kent, a software engineer, filed a class action lawsuit in New York Federal Court against a decentralized finance service ( DeFi). The service, PoolTogether is described as a “no-loss prize game” that encourages users to protect their cryptoassets and offers them the opportunity to win prizes from the interest generated by the collected funds to the Wall Street Journal. PoolTogether is considered a lottery, and therefore the lawsuit challenges its legality.

Career news
GSR has appointed John MacDonald, former Citadel Securities managing Director, as its Chief Technology Officer.
Marcus Hughes, a Chief Risk Officer for the Crypto Exchange BitMEX was appointed by their Executive Board.

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