Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.
- Binance wants to set up regional headquarters and be recognized by local regulators as a financial institution, as the exchange would be breaking from its earlier decentralized model, Reuters reported, citing CEO Changpeng Zhao. (Learn more: Crypto Exchange Self-Regulation Kicks In as Regulators Start to Kick)
- Heavily-backed, yet-to-be-launched crypto exchange Bullish has announced a 7-week, private pilot program with simulated crypto assets and paper money that will enable them to seek feedback and streamline their user experience before launch. To encourage participation, they’re awarding a total of USD 525,000 in cash prizes.
- The operators of crypto exchanges Huobi and OKCoin are closing their respective subsidiaries in Beijing amid China’s crypto crackdown, according to the South China Morning Post.
- Mastercard launched a new Start Path global startup engagement program dedicated to supporting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. Founders participating in this program aim to address a host of pain points including asset tokenization, data accuracy, digital security and seamless access between the traditional and digital economy, they said.
- Digital cash project Dash (DASH) has announced the launch of DashDirect, a retail app that allows DASH to be spent at a variety of chains with over 155,000 merchant in-store locations and more than 125 online retailers within the United States.
- AS Roma (ASR), an Italian professional football club, and Zytara Labs, a subsidiary of fintech Zytara Inc., said they have signed a USD 42m, three-year exclusive product partnership agreement, with support from the DigitalBits Foundation. The partners said they will use the DigitalBits blockchain to create official ASR blockchain based digital assets among other goals.
- Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) said it led a USD 20m Series A investment round in Valora, a mobile-first crypto wallet. It has more than 200K users with a balance, and 53K monthly active users in over 100 countries, they added.
- Harvey Finkelstein, the president of e-commerce platform Shopify, announced that his company is now allowing merchants on its platform to sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) directly to their customers. The first store to be supported will be the Chicago Bulls NFT store.
- The Russian Hermitage museum will sell virtual copies of five of its most famous masterpieces in August on the Binance NFT marketplace, the exchange said. The collection consists of works like the Madonna Litta (Leonardo da Vinci), Judith (Giorgione), Lilac Bush (Vincent van Gogh), Composition VI (Wassily Kandinsky), and Corner of the Garden at Montgeron (Claude Monet).
- Yahoo Japan has announced a partnership with telecommunications company LINE Corporation through its LVC Corporation subsidiary to launch a line of NFTs, based on LINE’s proprietary blockchain. The NFTs are scheduled to be available for trading on YAHUOKU!, an online auction service provided by Yahoo! JAPAN, beginning this winter.
- Splinterlands, an NFT-based trading card game, said it has completed a private sale for the upcoming Splintershards (SPS) token, netting USD 3.6m. The funding round included a number of crypto-native funds and ecosystem players, such as Animoca Brands, Gate.io, Polygon (MATIC), and others.
- Decentralized finance (DeFi) aggregator Yearn Finance (YFI)’s founder, Andre Cronje, has introduced the concept of Fixed Forex, a way to bring foreign exchange mechanisms to the sector. There is currently no launch date, and he has added that the system is still experimental and unaudited.
(Updated on July 28, 08:27 UTC: To encourage participation, Bullish is awarding a total of USD 525,000 in cash prizes, not USD 575, as reported earlier.)