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Crypto: BitGo Sells For $1.2B In Cash, Stock To Galaxy Digital

A hot crypto startup is headed for a big exit with a sale to Galaxy Digital, a leading crypto-focused financial services firm. That startup is BitGo, a crypto custodian platform for institutional holders and large investors. Details: BitGo has agreed to be bought for a price of $1.2bn by Galaxy Digital, a crypto-focused merchant bank with its shares traded on the public markets. The price will be paid with a mix of $265mn in cash and 33.8mn newly issued units of Galaxy Digital common stock, summing up to $1.2bn based on the firm's closing share price on May 4, 2021. The deal comes as Galaxy Digital is gearing up for a listing on the US markets this year. Currently, the company trades on the Canadian stock market. Before now, BitGo reportedly got an acquisition offer of as much as $750mn from PayPal but didn't go through with it. Now with an agreed $1.2bn offer, it doesn't seem like a bad decision. With BitGo's crypto custodian service, Galaxy Digital is increasing its

Crypto: Lat-Am Exchange Bitso Raises Big Funds, Valued At $2.2B

A cryptocurrency exchange serving the Latin American market has raised a big round of funding with a big valuation to match. That exchange is Bitso , which stands out as one of the few licensed and regulated crypto exchanges in the Latin American region. Details: Bitso has raised a $250mn Series C round valuing it at $2.2bn. The round was co-led by buddy investors Tiger Global and Coatue, whom were joined by a mix of new and existing investors including Mary Meeker's Bond, Valor Capital Group, and Paradigm, a crypto-focused investment firm headed by a co-founder of Coinbase. The Series C round follows an earlier $62mn Series B that Bitso closed in December 2020. For a seven-year old startup backed by such huge funding, Bitso is an outlier and obvious leader in the Latin American startup world. People across Latin America have joined the rest of the globe in increasing adoption of crypto  recently, particularly as local fiat currencies in the region depreciate. Such adoption requir

Coinbase Insiders Cash Out Big On Market Debut

After its recent debut on the public markets, several major shareholders of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase have apparently seen fit to cash out big sums of their stakes collectively amounting to billions of dollars. Among such insiders include Coinbase's founder and CEO Brian Armstrong and early VC investors Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures (USV). Brian Armstrong, Coinbase's CEO, sold around 750,000 shares in three separate transactions and netted $292 million from the sales, as indicated by an SEC filing . The sale represents less than 2% of his total holdings in the company. Just like Armstrong, Coinbase's other co-founder Fred Ehrsam sold 298,789 Class A shares at a weighted-average price of $374.72 and netted $112 million. He sold shares on Coinbase's Wednesday debut at prices ranging from $318.67 to $422.76. Coinbase's CFO Allesia Hass sold 255,500 shares at a price of $388.73 and netted roughly $99 million. It represents roughly 15% of her h

NBA Top Shot Parent Dapper Labs Raises $305M, Valued At $2.6B

Dapper Labs, the company behind digital collectibles sensation  NBA Top Shot and Ethereum collectibles game  CryptoKitties , has raised a big new round of funding from what's apparently a large party of sports stars, Hollywood heavyweights, and investment firms. Dapper has raised a $305 million round led by Coatue, a tech-focused investment powerhouse. Coatue was joined by others including NBA legend Michael Jordan and current stars like Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala; musician Shawn Mendes; Hollywood stars Will Smith and Ashton Kutcher; and investment firms a16z, The Chernin Group, USV, and Venrock. Indeed many people and firms chipped into Dapper's funding round and we listed just some of them. Per reports , the round values Dapper at $2.6 billion, not bad for a company at the forefront of the recent NFT craze. Dapper's NBA Top Shot offers video highlights of NBA scenes that users can trade in the form of verifiable digital collectibles known as non-fungible tokens (NF

Crypto Firms Blockchain.com, Chainalysis Raise Mega Rounds

Two of the latest companies in the crypto-sphere to raise a big round of funding are two well-known names, blockchain analysis company Chainalysis and cryptocurrency exchange and wallet Blockchain.com . Chainalysis has announced that it's raised a new funding round of $100 million valuing it at $2 billion, while Blockchain.com has raised a new round of $300 million valuing it at $5.2 billion. Both funding rounds add to the crypto funding frenzy that's been seen in the past year. Chainalysis's $100 million round was led by Paradigm, a crypto-focused investment firm launched by Coinbase co-founder Fred Erhrsam. Other participants in the round included Lee Fixel's Addition and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff via his firm TIME Ventures. The $100 million round for Chainalysis came barely four months after the company closed a previous round of the same exact amount. The company says it's seen exceptional growth over the past year and increased its annual recurring revenue

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Fined $6.5M For False Reporting, "Wash Trading"

Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency exchange that's on its way to a blockbuster IPO , has been fined to the tune of $6.5 million by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to settle charges of "reckless false, misleading, or inaccurate reporting" and "wash trading" by the crypto exchange. Coinbase has been ordered to pay a $6.5 million civil monetary penalty and cease and desist from any further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act or CFTC regulations, as charged. Coinbase's charges of  " reckless false, misleading, or inaccurate reporting"  stems from allegations of the company failing to disclose to the CFTC as required that it was operating more than one automated trading program and trading through multiple accounts on its own GDAX trading platform (now Coinbase Pro).   The automated trading led to perceived trading and liquidity volumes that were misleading to traders and data brokers and such was illegal. For the charges of &q

PayPal Buys Tel Aviv Crypto Startup Curv, Reportedly For $200M

In a move that signals its increasing interest in cryptocurrencies, online payments giant PayPal has moved to acquire Curv, a Tel Aviv-based startup that provides security infrastructure for digital assets and cryptocurrencies.  PayPal has announced an agreement to buy Curv for an undisclosed price. The acquisition comes barely three years after Curv was founded and is reportedly priced at under $200 million. Curv's acquisition by PayPal signals that the online payments giant is doubling down on the cryptocurrency market at a time when it's booming. After its acquisition, Curv will be rolled into a PayPal division focused on blockchain, crypto and digital currencies that was created just last year. Curv is a startup that helps its customers to store their crypto assets securely online. It operates a cloud-based service that lets its customers access their crypto wallets without any hardware device as often done. Curv's market focus is on crypto exchanges, brokers, over-th

New SPAC Deal: Bitcoin Mining Startup Cipher

The latest technology company to join the flurry of SPAC mergers is Cipher Mining, a newly-formed US-based bitcoin mining startup that's an offshoot of Bitfury, a leading maker of bitcoin mining hardware that's based in the Netherlands. Cipher Mining Inc will merge with Good Works Acquisition Corp (Nasdaq: GWAC) in a deal valuing the bitcoin mining startup at $2 billion. The SPAC will be anchored by a $425 million PIPE round committed by investors including Fidelity, Morgan Stanley (via its subsidiary Counterpoint Global), and Cipher's parent Bitfury. Bitfury will contribute a $50 million investment to the PIPE round that's structured as purchase credits for equipment and services from it for Cipher Mining. The SPAC merger will hand over $595 million in gross proceeds to Cipher Mining, consisting of the $425 million PIPE round and $170 million of cash held in trust by Good Works Acquisition Corp. Upon completion of the SPAC merger, the investors in Cipher's PIPE rou

Exec Pay: Coinbase CEO Earned $60M In 2020

The popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase recently released its S-1 filing to the SEC in preparation for a public offering that's expected to come soon, with the S-1 filing providing a peek into its financials and operational stats with information not publicly known before. The core information to have been revealed by Coinbase's S-1 filing is that the company is very profitable, posting a net income of $322 million on $1.28 billion in revenue in 2020. The popular crypto exchange swung from a $30 million loss in the previous year 2019 and grew its annual revenue from $533.7 million to $1.28 billion over the year. Among the noteworthy disclosures to have come from Coinbase's S-1 filing is that the company's founder and CEO Brian Armstrong pulled in a big compensation package of nearly $60 million in 2020, precisely $59.5 million.  Brian Armstrong's $59.5 million pay package consisted of a base salary of $1 million, stock options awards of $56.7 million, and $1.

Crypto Company Coinbase Unveils S-1 Filing For Direct Listing

After confidentially filing for a public offering in December, the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has now unveiled its S-1 filing  with the US SEC to the public, giving a peek into the company's financials and operational information not publicly known before. Coinbase's S-1 filing shows $1.28 billion in revenue in 2020, more than double its $533.7 million revenue in 2019. The crypto exchange is very profitable with a net income of $322.3 million in 2020, compared to a $30.4 million loss in 2019. With its just-revealed financial stats, it should then be no surprise that investors were recently reported to have driven up the market value of Coinbase, which was valued at $8 billion from its last formal financing round, to over $100 billion in a private market share sale ahead of the company's listing. As it is, technology stocks have been hot as of late and generally seen great favor from public market investors. The crypto markets have been even hotter, with Bitc

Payments Company Square Buys More Bitcoin, Draws Big Gains

Just after the electric carmaker Tesla revealed a purchase of a whopping $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin , another publicly-traded company has seemingly followed suit, this time the Jack Dorsey-led payments company Square (NYSE:SQ) with a $170 million purchase of 3,318 bitcoins that supplements a previous $50 million purchase of the same cryptocurrency. With its newly bought bitcoin haul added to its previous, Square now holds approximately 5% of its entire cash and short-term investments in the popular cryptocurrency. In a statement, Square pitched cryptocurrencies as "an instrument of economic empowerment" as a rationale for betting big on the area. For most companies that are buying bitcoin, Square may be the least surprising as it's a payments company that draws a significant percentage of its revenue by facilitating the trading of bitcoins on its widely-used Cash App. For context, Square just posted its financial results for the full 2020 and declared $4.57 billion in

Tesla Makes Big Bet Of $1.5B On Bitcoin

The Elon Musk-led electric car giant Tesla is the latest major company to buy a huge amount of the world's most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. It's purchased a whopping $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, as indicated by a filing  to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As it's made a big bet on bitcoin, Tesla has also said that it expects to begin accepting bitcoin as a payment option for its products "in the near future", but noted regulatory uncertainties in that area. Tesla's $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase perhaps represents the biggest-ever bitcoin purchase by a global publicly-traded company. It isn't that surprising given that the electric carmaker's CEO, Elon Musk, has been a major promoter of bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies. Tesla didn't disclose the price at which it purchased its big bitcoin haul for. With its purchase, the electric carmaker joins a few other publicly-traded companies and institutional investors that ha

Coinbase To Hold Direct Listing

In December, the popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase confirmed that it had confidentially filed for a public listing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Now in a new announcement , the company has said that it'll hold a direct listing, meaning it'll sell shares directly to the public without getting help from intermediary banks. Coinbase's move to hold a direct listing comes just a few weeks after the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) approved a plan to let companies raise capital through direct listings . As of now, only a few tech companies have taken the path of direct listings, such as Palantir, Slack, and Spotify. Coinbase is one of the most prominent tech IPOs expected this year. Founded in 2012, it's made its mark as the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the US and one of the biggest globally. With a confidential filing already submitted, it's expected that a public S-1 filing will be released soon that'll give a deeper peek into Coi

Coinbase Buys Crypto Startup Bison Trails

Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, has confirmed that it's reached a deal to acquire Bison Trails, a startup that provides software infrastructure for blockchain and crypto companies. Bison Trails' platform helps power critical infrastructure for crypto exchanges, custodians, and funds. The financial terms of Coinbase's latest acquisition weren't disclosed. But for a hint, rumors have it that it's Coinbase's biggest-ever acquisition and before now, Coinbase's biggest acquisition was known to be the crypto trading company Tagomi, for a reported $75 million+. Bison Trails is backed by some $31 million in venture funding, with one of its investors being Coinbase. Other notable investors in the company include Initialized Capital, Blockchain Capital, Galaxy Digital, and Kleiner Perkins. Bison Trails was founded in 2018 as a platform to make it easier for crypto companies to power their crypto services and applications. With its infrastructure, cry

Crypto Exchange Gemini Considers Going Public

Gemini is a popular cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers who are known to be big Bitcoin holders . It's one of the top-ten cryptocurrency exchanges globally while operating from America. In a recent interview with Bloomberg , the Winklevoss brothers talked about the success of their crypto exchange and among several things noted that they're considering taking Gemini public.  “We are definitely considering it and making sure that we have that option,” Cameron Winklevoss who is Gemini's President said in the interview. “We are watching the market and we are also having internal discussions on whether it makes sense for us at this point in time. We are certainly open to it.” Gemini is fresh off a very good year (2020) for cryptocurrencies during which the price of Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies hit record highs. Bitcoin spiked to roughly $42,000 last week before dropping back to around $37,000 as of today. At a time of high positive investor

ICE's Bakkt To Go Public With SPAC Deal

Bakkt, the cryptocurrency and digital asset platform launched by the American Fortune 500 company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is set to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Bakkt will merge with VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings (NASDAQ: VIH) in a $2.1 billion deal. Through the merger, Bakkt will be handed over more than $500 million in cash, split into $207 million from  VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings and a $325 million concurrent private placement that'll see participation from investors including Bakkt's parent firm ICE. ICE will contribute $50 million to the $325 million private placement. The company, famously known for owning the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has been Bakkt's anchor backer since it was formed in 2018. Other investors in the project include  Microsoft's M12, Naspers, Horizons Ventures, and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Bakkt is a digital platform for individuals and investors to buy, sell, and sto

PayPal, Coinbase Back Crypto Tax Startup TaxBit

A group of investors including PayPal Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, and Winklevoss Capital have funded a new round for TaxBit, which is a tax automation software for crypto users, exchanges, and merchants. The exact size of the investment isn't disclosed. Before this just- announced funding round, TaxBit is known to have raised around $5.8 million in venture funding. PayPal Ventures and Coinbase Ventures are new investors whereby Winklevoss Capital was already an existing investor. Winklevoss Capital is the eponymous venture firm founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the brothers who founded the popular cryptocurrency exchange Gemini. TaxBit provides software to automate the regulatory hurdle of tax compliance for cryptocurrency adopters. It provides its service to individuals, merchants, and enterprises. TaxBit is based in Salt Lake City in Utah.  "This investment will help us achieve our aim of being the most innovative and trustworthy provider of cryptocurrency tax techn

NFL Star Takes Salary In Bitcoin

Russell Okung, an American football player for the NFL team Carolina Panthers, has become the first major athlete in the US to take payments in Bitcoin, with half of his $13 million annual haul now agreed to be paid with the cryptocurrency, as revealed by NFL sportswriter Ian Rapoport and then confirmed by Okung himself. Half of Okung's $13 million annual pay translates to $6.5 million and will be converted to bitcoin with Strike, a crypto payments app made by a startup named Zap.  Okung has for quite long been a promoter of cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, with tweets dating back months ago in support of the digital currency. Now, he's becoming the first major sports athlete known to take payments with the currency.  Okung's move to begin accepting payments in bitcoin adds to a series of achievements and promotions for the cryptocurrency, which has this year surged more than 270% and now trades at an all-time high of over $28,000 for a bitcoin. Okung signed a $53 mi

Coinbase Suspends XRP Trading

The popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has said that it'll suspend trading of the XRP digital currency following a lawsuit brought against its parent company, Ripple , by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Coinbase has limited XRP trading for its users beginning on Monday, the 28th of December 2020, and will fully suspend its trading on the 19th of January, 2020. The company says the trading suspension won't affect customers' access to XRP wallets and custodian services, whereby only trading of the currency between parties will be halted. The company behind XRP, Ripple, is facing a lawsuit from the SEC that asserts that XRP is a security rather than a digital currency and alleges that the company along with its two top executives, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Chairman Chris Larsen, sold nearly $2 billion worth of XRP without adhering to required securities laws. The lawsuit from the SEC centers on if XRP is to be treated as a security rather than a digita

SEC Brings A Case Against Ripple

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought a case against the digital asset company Ripple and its two top executives, CEO Brad Garlinghouse and Chairman Chris Larsen, alleging that Ripple conducted unregistered securities sales amounting to $1.3 billion while the two executives together sold $600 million worth of the cryptocurrency XRP unregistered and in violation of securities laws. Ripple's cryptocurrency, XRP, is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap globally, after Bitcoin and Ethereum, and Ripple has sold $1.3 billion worth of them to investors. The company has now run into headwinds with the SEC, which is asserting that XRP is a security and not a cryptocurrency given its centralized control by the company behind it. If XRP is taken to be a security, then Ripple will be in violation of US securities laws by offering them to investors without the due registration required for securities and not providing investors with the proper information requir

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