$120bn wiped off market as Bitcoin.com launches VERSE token


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Crypto industry stalwart Bitcoin.com has raised $33.6 million in a private sale of its VERSE token.

The company provides crypto exchange services, educational resources, a non-custodial wallet and news around crypto and blockchain.

Bitcoin.com said the token rewards users for participating in its ecosystem, such as buying, selling and swapping digital assets.

The strategic investors include Digital Strategies, Blockchain.com, Kucoin Ventures, Redwood City Ventures, 4SV and Boostx Ventures. Individual investors Jihan Wu, Roger Ver and David Wachsman also participated.

A public token sale will follow this summer.

“Since 2015, Bitcoin.com has been a leader in introducing newcomers to crypto and guiding them along their crypto journey,” said CEO Dennis Jarvis. “So far we’ve built an incredible portfolio of products and services that count more than 4m monthly active users and 30m self-custody wallets created.

“Today, we’re proud to announce VERSE, a utility, and rewards token for everyone who participates in the ready-built Bitcoin.com Verse ecosystem.

“VERSE is user-centric and adds tremendous value across our range of crypto products and services including the Bitcoin.com self-custody wallet app, the Bitcoin.com Exchange, the Verse DEX, Bitcoin.com News, and our upcoming crypto-enabled debit card. We’re also extremely excited to announce the Verse public token sale, which is scheduled to begin in June.”

Zora raises $50m for NFT tooling protocol

Non-fungible token startup Zora has raised $50 million in seed funding to boost its NFT tooling protocol.

The round was led by Haun Ventures – the first investment by the Web3 fund led by Katie Haun, formerly of Andreessen Horowitz – with participation from Coinbase Ventures and Kindred Ventures.

Zora is publicly available and focuses on providing accessible tools to create NFT collections and independent marketplaces for artists and businesses. It was used in the $4m sale of a DOGE NFT last September as well as the ‘Mad Realities’ NFT dating show.

Cryptocurrency shorts

New research claims 33% of Britons have invested in cryptocurrency at some point, up 4% in six months and second only to the Netherlands’ 47% figure in Europe.

Crypto exchange Binance contributed $500m to Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter.

Days after two of Argentina’s largest banks – Banco Galicia and Brubank – announced plans to allow customers to buy and sell crypto, the central bank of Argentina (BCRA) has blocked them to mitigate the risks crypto poses to users and “to the financial system as a whole”.

A federal judge has fined the three co-founders of BitMEX – Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed – $10m each for operating an illegal cryptocurrency derivatives platform and violating money-laundering rules.

Free-to-play mobile games publisher Tilting Point will partner with Polygon Studios to launch 10 Web3 games over the next two years. 

LootRush, a platform for hosting easy-to-access blockchain games, has raised $12m in a seed funding round led by Paradigm with participation from Andreessen Horowitz. It also offers NFT rentals for game play, which cuts the cost for a new gamer and earns yield for the NFT owner.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 19,300 coins is at $1.68 trillion, a 7% decrease in the last 24 hours, equating to a $120 billion loss.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – dived 8% to below $36,500 at the time of writing (7.30am UK). BTC is down 8% in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – shed 6% to around $2,750. ETH is 6% down over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token lost 6% to $379, leaving it 7% down over seven days.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP dropped 6% to below 61 cents, which leaves it 5% down over seven days, but moved above Solana in the market cap valuation table.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token dumped 11% towards $83 and is down 15% compared with a week ago.

Terra, described as a programmable money for the internet, lost 6% to below $81. Its payment token LUNA is 6% lower than its price a week ago.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, dropped 9% to 79c. It is 5% down over the course of a week.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE fell 5% to below 13c, leaving it 9% down in a week.

Avalanche, a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments, came out of nowhere months ago to break into the top 10 currencies. Its AVAX token dived 12% to $59 and is 12% down in a week.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, fell 11% to $14.54 and is 14% lower than its price a week ago.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 250 coins by market cap plus 24-hour price change and volume traded, see below.

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