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DeFi Trading Platform dYdX Raises $10m in Latest Seed Round

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Venture capital coin is flowing into DeFi like never before as another trading platform hits its target for fundraising. The non-custodial Ethereum-based exchange dYdX has announced that it has raised a $10 million Series B round led by Three Arrows Capital and DeFiance Capital.

New investors include Wintermute, Hashed, GSR, SCP, Scalar Capital, Spartan Group, and RockTree Capital. The announcement added that it had continued support from a16z, Polychain Capital, and Kindred Ventures among others.

Millions Pouring into DeFi

dYdX is geared towards more experienced derivatives traders rather than DeFi degens token swapping on Uniswap. Its infrastructure combines non-custodial, on-chain settlement with an off-chain low-latency matching engine with order books to deliver an institutional-grade, liquid, and low slippage trading experience.

Its user base and trade volumes have grown significantly in 2020 as bigger players tend to get more out of DeFi operations than the smaller traders getting stung on gas fees. It added that cumulative trade volume across perpetuals, margin, and spot trading increased 40 times, reaching $2.5 billion in 2020, up from $63 million in 2019.

In terms of users, unique wallets depositing funds into the exchanges’ smart contracts increased by almost five times from 8,000 wallets to 38,588 wallets through December 31. It added that since the start of 2021, the total cumulative trade volume has surpassed $3.5 billion. According to Defipulse.com, the exchange was listed at eighteenth on the TVL list with a near all-time high of $145 million locked.

In February 2021, dYdX will launch Layer 2 solution with StarkWare using zk-Rollups for perpetual contracts.

The announcement added that the funding will be used to decentralize more parts of the stack and hand over more control to users in addition to adding new assets and features to its perpetual contracts. dYdX will also be strategically investing in international growth markets such as Asia, with a focus on China.

The Decentralization Debate

There has also been much debate about whether projects can really call themselves ‘decentralized’ if they’re backed by venture capitalists that will be entitled to a share of any tokens or rewards. In reality, they’re just like corporations with shareholders and the whales will control governance votes and the future direction of the protocol.

Last week, Uniswap founder Hayden Adams responded to a thread started by Synthetix founder Kain Warwick on exactly this subject;

DeFi analyst Chris Blec, who has been highly critical of any form of crypto centralization, aptly commented that VC involvement inevitably leads to decisions that are good for founders and strategic investors, but bad for users.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/defi-trading-platform-dydx-raises-10m-in-latest-seed-round/

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$250M Fund to Invest in Polkadot and Cardano Launched in India

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FD7 Ventures, the cryptocurrency-oriented fund that recently vowed to dispose of its BTC holdings for ADA and DOT, has set up a $250 million micro-fund focusing on investments in teams working on the ecosystems of Polkadot and Cardano.

FD7 Goes to India for DOT and ADA

Based in Dubai, UAE, FD7 is a crypto-oriented investment fund with over $1 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm recently announced somewhat bold plans to dispose of $750 million of its BTC holdings and allocate the sizeable amount into ADA and DOT.

At the time, the company’s Managing Director blasted the primary cryptocurrency and highlighted the potential for Cardano and Polkadot to further rise in popularity and utilization.

FD7 Ventures doubled-down on its belief in the two projects, according to a more recent press release. It reads that the firm has opened an office in Bangalore, India, with the primary focus of offering financial assistance to Polkadot and Cardano.

To do so, FD7 has established a micro-fund targeting $250 million to invest in teams working on the two projects. The statement described this move as part of the overall “strategic road map to build its presence in Bangalore” and further reaffirm its support for Polkadot and Cardano.

“Positioning our new location where we have in Bangalore gives us a home-field advantage to tap into some of the world’s best future talent in blockchain and cryptocurrency development.” – commented Prakash Chand, Global Managing Director at the company.

The new venture plans to invest $1-5 million across 50 companies yearly, with about “thirty percent of those Polkadot and Cardano ecosystem-based companies receiving secondary investments of $5-20 million.”

NFTs Are the Future

The statement also touched upon the growing craze of non-fungible tokens (NFT) and Polkadot’s role in some particular cases. More specifically, it breached the recent partnership between the famous YouTuber Paul Logan and Bondly, which resulted in an impressive popularity boost.

“Just look at Bondly, which is built on Polkadot. It literally blew up overnight when YouTuber Paul Logan sold more than $5 million worth of NFTs in just 24 hours. This is not just a space to watch but one which is proving its investment-worthiness with almost daily records being set with increase use cases for non-fungible tokens that support cryptographic art, collectibles, gaming, and more.” – said Chand.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/250m-fund-to-invest-in-polkadot-and-cardano-launched-in-india/

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China restricts crypto mining in Inner Mongolia

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China has been at the forefront of developing its digital yuan or DECP [Digital Currency Electronic Payment] but has continued to maintain a distance from the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The growing crackdown on Bitcoin mining firms in China has been impacting the sentiment in the area and according to reports, it has now extended a ban on mining projects in Inner Mongolia.

The country will end all cryptocurrency projects associated with mining. This decision followed China’s effort to meet energy efficiency targets. The large amounts of energy consumed by crypto and other industries like steel, coke, and methanol production have resulted in the government’s stringent decision to ban mining activity in the region.

The autonomous region of Inner Mongolia has been a hub for cheap power due to which the mining industry was drawn to it.

The aim of the region has been to cut emission per unit of gross domestic product by 3% this year and gradually control the massive boom in the consumption of standard coal. Although small, the region accounted for 8% of global Bitcoin mining hash power.

China has a 65% hold of the total network hash power allotted to Bitcoin and the above map highlighted that among other regions Xinjiang was the highest contributor to the hash rate in a month.

The abundant supply of coal and the relative remoteness of the region made it more convenient and cheap for miners to set base here. However, no strict actions have been taken to curb this problem by the Chinese government. If the country continued its mission to become more energy-efficient, it won’t be long before miners have to find alternatives to cheap electricity available in various regions in China.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/china-restricts-crypto-mining-in-inner-mongolia

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Central bank digital currency a mixed blessing, says RBI

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India’s central bank has recognized the potential benefits of central bank digital currencies but not without including a few pitfalls.

The Reserve Bank of India offered its assessment of CBDCs as part of its report on currency and finance issued on Feb. 28.

As part of the report, the RBI noted that several countries are exploring the creation of their own sovereign national digital currency.

According to the central bank’s report, CBDCs can help to promote financial inclusion and transactional transparency. The RBI also stated that national digital currencies could be useful as an instrument of monetary transmission by helping to engineer public consumption towards specific categories of products and services.

Detailing the benefits of CBDCs, the RBI also remarked that digital counterparts to sovereign fiat currency could be used by central banks to pump “helicopter money.”

In its analysis, the RBI also expressed concerns about the potential negative impacts of CBDCs on the legacy financial system, noting:

“CBDC is, however, not an unmixed blessing — it poses a risk of disintermediation of the banking system, more so if the commercial banking system is perceived to be fragile.”

For countries with significant credit markets, the RBI argued that CBDCs could threaten the primacy of commercial banks as the primary channel for the transmission of monetary policy.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, India is looking to emulate China in creating its own CBDC. According to RBI governor Shaktikanta Das, the central bank is “very much in the game” of developing a digital rupee.

However, the RBI report did not include any details about the central bank’s digital rupee project. In another portion of the document, the central bank did concede that internationalization of the rupee was inevitable but added that such a move would complicate monetary policy formulation and implementation.

With several countries looking to create their own sovereign digital currencies, CBDC interoperability is becoming a concern among stakeholders. Meanwhile, reports indicate that China’s digital yuan will have a more domestic focus.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/central-bank-digital-currency-a-mixed-blessing-says-rbi

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