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Kraken Under Investigation, Unstoppable Crypto Unicorn, Coub.com Goes NFT + More News

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Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news. 

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Legal news

  • Crypto exchange Kraken is under investigation as it is suspected of violating US sanctions by allowing users in Iran and elsewhere to buy and sell crypto, the New York Times reported, citing five undisclosed people affiliated with the company or with knowledge of the inquiry. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has been investigating Kraken since 2019 and is expected to impose a fine, per the report.

Investments news

  • Web3 digital identity platform Unstoppable Domains announced it has closed USD 65m in Series A funding led by Pantera Capital at a USD 1bn valuation. The company will use the funding to fuel product innovation and grow its partnerships, they said.
  • Mining pool AntPool confirmed that it invested USD 10m to support the Ethereum Classic (ETC) ecosystem and plans to continue investing more.
  • In the first half of 2022, venture capitalists invested USD 17.5bn in crypto and blockchain firms, per Reuters, citing data from market data provider PitchBook. That puts investment on course to top the record USD 26.9bn raised last year, it added.
  • Blockchain project Cronos (CRO) announced the nine participants selected for the first cohort of its flagship USD 100m-backed Cronos Accelerator Program. Five of them are Web3 Gaming projects, two are in the Infrastructure Analytics Genre, one is a Social Fi project, and one is a DeFi project.
  • Cybersecurity network that utilizes blockchain technology Naoris Protocol said it has raised USD 11.5m from investors worldwide as it prepares to launch a minimal viable product by the end of 2022 and release the full product in mid-2023.

NFTs news

  • Micro-video social platform Coub.com announced the launch of a Watch-to-Earn (W2E) content monetization model and its first NFT marketplace in Q3, 2022. Each Coub NFT contains media assets, as well as a proportionate share of all future W2E earnings from the purchased NFT, they stated.
  • Soft drink giant Coca-Cola announced that it is gifting exclusive digital collectibles to owners of Coca-Cola collectibles in celebration of International Friendship Day (July 30). The collectible features a design inspired by the bubbles in Coke bottles, and when it’s shared with a friend, the unique artwork will be revealed to both holders, they said.

Crime news

  • Crypto exchange OKCoin announced that their risk team has recently stopped a multi-million scam targeting the elderly, recovering USD 1m from a total of around USD 4.1m that was stolen. The scam dubbed the ‘Tech Support Scam’ involves scammers impersonating well-known tech companies and offering to fix non-existent technology issues or renew fraudulent software or security subscriptions, they said.

Regulation news

  • José Manuel Campa, chair of the European Banking Authority, views the regulator’s ability to hire specialized staff as a “major concern,” highlighting worries over authorities’ capacity to supervise digital asset markets, per the Financial Times. He explained that the regulator will not know which digital coins it has authority to supervise until very close to 2025 when Europe’s new crypto regulations are due to come into force.

Stablecoins news

  • Stablecoin issuer Tether (USDT) said that its portfolio holds no Chinese commercial paper. Additionally, its total commercial paper exposure has been again reduced to around USD 3.7bn (from USD 30bn in July 2021), with plans to further decrease to USD 200m by the end of August 2022 and to zero by end of October/early November 2022, they added.

Defi news

  • Blockchain project Flare Network announced its first decentralized exchange (DEX), Pangolin Exchange, which will launch on the Flare mainnet as soon as the mainnet itself goes live. The launch will be accompanied by an airdrop of 2% of Flare Pangolin tokens to all existing Pangolin DEX users, they added.

Mining news

  • Bitcoin (BTC) miner Core Scientific announced that it has entered into a colocation agreement to increase its hosting business by 75MW, which they say will generate approximately USD 50m in annual revenue when the ASIC servers are fully deployed. With the addition of these units, the Company expects to be operating approximately 325,000 ASIC servers (combined self-mining and colocation) in its data centers before year-end, they added.

Career news

  • Crypto business alliance Crypto Council for Innovation announced that it hired Linda Jeng, formerly of the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors, as its new Chief Global Regulatory Officer and General Counsel, as well as Brett Quick, previously of the US Senate Banking Committee‘s National Security, International Trade and Finance subcommittee, as Head of Government Affairs for North America.
  • US Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Goldsmith Romero announced that Joseph R. Cisewski will serve as her Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel. Cisewski has previously served as the General Counsel of Pantera Capital, an institutional asset manager focused on blockchain technology.
  • Music producer Ray Illya Fraser (also known by his stage name illaDaProducer) is joining NFT project Yuga Labs as the new Community and Partnerships Lead.

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