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SBF leads $50M funding round to bring DeFi to Maps.me’s 140M users

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Leading offline mapping application Maps.me has conducted a $50 million seed funding round to embed decentralized finance tools onto its platform.

The funding round for “Maps.me 2.0” was led by Sam Bankman-Fried of Alameda Research and also featured participation from crypto venture heavyweights CMS Holdings and Genesis Capital.

Maps.me 2.0 will be a wide-ranging application, featuring travel guides, hotel bookings and mapping services, in addition to exchange features and a multicurrency crypto-asset wallet offering annual yields of up to 8%.

Alex Grebnev, the co-founder of Maps.me 2.0, told Cointelegraph that users will be able to “generate yield on their savings by directly lending it out securely to borrowers.”

“We also plan to give our users the ability to trade a wide range of assets that are not limited by geographical boundaries or transaction size.”

Maps.me claims to be the first “mainstream app” to embrace DeFi, with the application boasting a user base of more than 140 million after eight years of operation. Around 60 million users were active in 2020. Bankman-Fried said:

“By embedding and democratizing access to yield-earning finance to millions of users via an everyday app, Maps.me has the potential to really propel DeFi mainstream adoption and bring a groundbreaking technology to the masses.”

The announcement states the platform intends to “break down financial silos determined by nationality or net worth” through its DeFi integrations. Grebnev further explained: 

“The industry is waiting for a catalyst for the mass adoption of DeFi tools and we’re excited to make this a reality by leveraging our active userbase as a means to bootstrap a retail community for a new innovative DeFi platform on Maps.me.”

“Our long-term vision is to create an embedded platform that combines a broad range of financial services that provide an easier way to invest, pay, and travel. We see the ability to bundle things like foreign exchange, investing, credit card, and peer-to-peer payment services — with low fees, no hidden costs, and strong loyalty incentives,” he added.

Maps.me was launched in 2012 under its old name MapsWithMe and was acquired by Mail.ru for roughly $14 million in 2014. On Nov. 2, 2020, Daegu Limited, a member of Grebnev’s Parity.com Group, purchased the app for nearly $20 million.

Grebnev told Cointelegraph that Parity acquired Maps.me with the objective of building “an ecosystem that integrated DeFi tools with a platform that had a large user base.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/sbf-leads-50m-funding-round-to-bring-defi-to-maps-me-s-140m-users

Blockchain

Facebook’s Diem Unveils Its Latest Stablecoin Plans and Strategic Move to the United States

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Diem, the cryptocurrency project headed by Facebook originally known as Libra, recently announced its plans to launch a stablecoin with its focus scaled back to the United States. 

The company stated earlier this year that it would be relocating its primary operations from Switzerland back to the United States, and would withdraw its payment system license application from Switzerland’s financial regulators. “Diem is simplifying its plans for [its] USD stablecoin issuance by shifting its main operations from Switzerland to the United States,” they said.

This decision was later confirmed by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. 

Stablecoins are digital currencies pegged to a fiat currency, with Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) being two prominent examples. California-based Silvergate Bank will become the sole issuer of the Diem USD, while also managing its dollar reserves. 

Diem to Launch Wholly New Subsidiary Diem Networks US Alongside Crypto Bank Silvergate

In a strategic partnership, the two firms have created a new subsidiary called Diem Networks US — which will run the Diem Payment Network (DPN) to facilitate transactions of Diem stablecoins within its network. 

“Silvergate is a leader in financial innovation and an ideal partner for Diem as we move forward with a blockchain-based payment system that protects consumers and enhances the integrity of the financial system,” said Stuart Levey, chief executive officer of Diem.

“We are committed to a payment system that is safe for consumers and businesses, makes payments faster and cheaper, and takes advantage of blockchain technology to bring the benefits of the financial system to more people around the world. We look forward to working with Silvergate to realize this shared vision.” 

Diem’s strategic shift to the United States comes at a time of a rapidly evolving regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. 

Some municipalities and states such as Miami and Wisconsin have embraced the recent innovation, whereas regulators such as the newly-appointed SEC Chair Gary Gensler have critiqued the autonomy of the crypto industry. 

With crypto ETFs and related financial products under intense scrutiny by the SEC, it remains to be seen whether Diem’s decision to relocate back to the United States will bear any fruit.

Featured image from ShutterStock

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://bitcoinist.com/facebooks-diem-unveils-its-latest-stablecoin-plans-and-strategic-move-to-the-united-states/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=facebooks-diem-unveils-its-latest-stablecoin-plans-and-strategic-move-to-the-united-states

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Crypto Research Firm Delphi Digital Launches Latest NFT Fund

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Delphi Digital, a New York-based crypto research and venture firm, recently launched its latest on-chain fund to invest in non-fungible token (NFT) projects. 

The fund, referred to as Delphi InfiNFT, is based on decentralized finance (DeFi) investing protocol Syndicate. “It will enable automation of deposits, cap table, distributions, fund management, reporting, etc.” said Anil Lulla, co-founder of Delphi Digital. 

“NFT’s are changing digital ownership rights, as well as how creators are interacting with their communities. Along with the growth of the NFT space, there is supporting infrastructure that needs to be built alongside it. The goal of this fund is to find the protocols that are moving the NFT space forward and building the infrastructure that is needed.”

Delphi Digital has partnered with NFT investor Gmoney for its NFT fund, who famously purchased a CryptoPunk NFT for a record price of 140 Ethereum worth approximately $180,000 at the time. Gmoney and Delphi will co-manage the fund together. 

According to their website, the fund will look to create an investment portfolio consisting of 20 protocols through InfiNFT. “We plan to deploy at least 80% of the fund’s capital in the first 6 – 9 months as we find protocols that fit with our thesis,” the team report read. 

“We will identify and select leading NFT networks through our networks and communities. We’ll be working directly with the teams we invest in to help them become a core piece of the NFT ecosystem long-term.

Delphi’s InfiNFT is backed by IDEO CoLab Ventures, Divergence Ventures, Axie Infinity, Compound Finance, and Fractional, among others. 

The recent steep Ethereum selloff led to massive losses in market cap across the NFT markets. According to NFT Valuations, Cryptopunks’ total market valuation dropped $600 million this past week — representing over a 66% loss. In spite of the recent volatility, investors like Delphi Digital appear to be confident in the long-term prospects of the non-fungible token space.

Ethereum (ETH/USD), alongside the broader crypto market, suffered week-long losses following the news of Tesla cutting its Bitcoin payments. At press time, Ethereum is down 9.3% in the past week. Source: Tradingview.com
Featured image from UnSplash 

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://bitcoinist.com/crypto-research-firm-delphi-digital-launches-latest-nft-fund/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=crypto-research-firm-delphi-digital-launches-latest-nft-fund

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Cardano, Uniswap, Chainlink Price Analysis: 16 May

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Cardano introduced some target levels at $2.53 and $2.69 via the Fibonacci Extension tool. Uniswap needed to garner bullish strength for a break above $43-$45 resistance. Lastly, a descending triangle breakdown on Chainlink could see a 7.5% retracement towards its 50-SMA

Cardano [ADA]

Source: ADA/USD, TradingView

If buyers were looking to make profits on large-cap alts during the recent turbulent broader market, Cardano was a must inclusion in every portfolio. Weekly gains of 36% were the highest among the top 10 coins by market cap and underlined ADA’s independence from broader market sentiment. Fibonacci Extension tool was used to identify potential target points for the current rally. The 372.2% and $361.8% extension levels stood at  $2.53 and $2.69, respectively. With buying pressure still on the rise according to Awesome Oscillator, ADA made a strong case for an extended rally.

In case of pullbacks, these extension levels can also act as support lines. RSI’s overbought territory indicated the need for stabilization and a dip in volumes could mean some southbound action. Nevertheless, key factors could allow ADA to sustain higher levels moving forward.

Uniswap [UNI]

Source: UNI/USD, TradingView

A descending triangle breakdown showed losses of 8% from the bottom trendline, but buyers stepped in at $35.6-support. In fact, this support has been under the spotlight during recent dips and only reinforced the area as a buffer against extended losses. On the 4-hour timeframe, OBV’s sharp fall was an interesting development which explained why bulls have failed to topple $43-$45 resistance. Considering the dearth of constant buying pressure, Uniswap could trade between $44.4 and $35.6 over the coming days.

A breakout above $44.4 on high volumes would result in a bullish trend but the market was not yet ready for such a swing. Awesome Oscillator’s wavy trajectory suggested that neither side had been fully able to assert dominance.

Chainlink [LINK]

Source: LINK/USD, TradingView

While Chainlink did see losses over the last 24 hours, the bulls held on to $41.2-support – an important development. A descending triangle was prominent on the daily timeframe and a breakdown could see a sell-off between $35.7-39.1. Those hoping to trade on a breakdown can observe the 4-hour timeframe for more sensitive price action.

Awesome Oscillator registered a series of red bars as selling momentum dragged  LINK from a high of $61.9 to a low of $39.7 during the present downtrend. MACD also confirmed a bearish presence in the market. To negate LINK’s pattern, buyers would need to target a rise above $45.6-resistance.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/cardano-uniswap-chainlink-price-analysis-16-may

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