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BitMart, Polygon Deal to Improve Functionality, UX

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Digital asset trading platform BitMart is integrating with the Polygon network and supporting its ecosystem. While in the past BitMart only supported MATIC ERC-20 token payments, this new integration allows all BitMart users to transfer funds directly to the Polygon PoS network more efficiently.

Polygon is a full-stack solution for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development. It features Polygon SDK, a modular, flexible framework that supports building and connecting both secured and stand-alone chains. Polygon SDK will also support and offer several auxiliary solutions and products designed to extend Polygon functionalities and improve the developer experience.

“We believe our integration with Polygon will help provide users with a more seamless and cost-efficient experience when moving funds between our exchange and the Polygon network,” BitMart founder and CEO Sheldon Xia said. “More importantly, we are confident this integration will create mutual benefits for both companies.”

BitMart will prioritize premium project listings developed on the Polygon network and provide them with extra privileges based on project quality assessments.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178092-bitmart-polygon-deal-to-improve-functionality-ux/

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Switzerland based Valyo, a Capital Market Platform, Issues a Digital Bail-in Bond

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Raiffeisen Switzerland, a cooperative of cooperatives (the union of independent Swiss Raiffeisen banks), has reportedly secured a CHF 165 million bail-in bond via Valyo’s capital market platform.

As noted by its management, Valyo aims to “open the door to the world of finance, across borders” so that people are able to find solutions in a simple, intuitive and efficient manner.

Valyo aims to serve as the “portal for smart intermediation of assets.” You may use their platform to “carry out the entire bond issuance process on [their] digital marketplace – from entry to repayment.”

This is notably the first bail-in bond that has been issued digitally in Switzerland. It also marks the very first time that Valyo has involved an established bank in the role of joint lead manager via the platform.

The bond has been provided with a 8-year term, and a call option after 7 years, as well as a coupon of 0.405%. The first trading day on the SIX Stock Exchange has been scheduled for September 24, 2021.

On the Valyo capital market platform, issuers and investors are able to come together directly and handle the issue online through the platform. This process includes the recording of transaction data, via book building, all the way to settlement and arranging for the listing of the bond.

Daniel Schwab, CEO at Valyo, stated:

“With the issuance of a bail-in bond, we were able to prove our innovation capabilities once again. In addition, it was possible for us to include a bank as a joint lead partner for the first time.”

As mentioned in the announcement, Fintech startup Valyo Ltd is the digital capital marketplace for the Swiss bond market. Valyo has “enabled the first fully digital execution of an issue on the Swiss bond market.”

Valyo “generates added value by combining personal and professional support with an efficient and fully digitalized issuing process.” Valyo Ltd was “founded in April 2019 with its headquarters in Baden and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raiffeisen Switzerland.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180551-switzerland-based-valyo-a-capital-market-platform-issues-a-digital-bail-in-bond/

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Why Ethereum Will Continue to Dominate DeFi

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Will a new competitor to Ethereum emerge, or will the acknowledged Web 2.0 winner dominate the DeFi space for years to come?

It’s an interesting question for several reasons. One is that the DeFi space is still early in its evolution. Sometimes early mover advantage cements market position but sometimes it doesn’t. It is entirely possible a completely new blockchain system is already being developed that somehow anticipates where the market is headed and addresses several unmet needs as it makes itself indispensable.

In the near- and medium-term, a growing number of industry figures believe Ethereum will maintain its dominant position. One person holding that view is Noelle Acheson, the head of Market Insights and Genesis, a digital prime brokerage. She was previously a managing director of research at CoinDesk.

As Ethereum is used more frequently, that has led to increases costs, and when costs go up, it’s natural to look for cheaper alternatives, which some term “Ethereum Killers”, Acheson said. Such platforms offer such benefits as higher throughput, faster settlements, and lower fees.

Perhaps they are not that different from Ethereum, Acheson suggested.

“While some of these, such as Solana and Avalanche, are seeing strong activity and soaring token prices, they are not so much Ethereum competitors as Ethereum complements,” she believes. “Each offers the user advantages such as speed and cost savings, and some are gaining significant traction with users. Solana, for example, has traded almost $39 million of NFTs over the past seven days, according to Solanalysis. The network has over $11 billion in value locked in smart contracts, more than double what it had a week ago, according to DeFi Llama.

However, none have the breadth of the Ethereum ecosystem. What’s more, recent developments hint that Ethereum will be able to maintain its lead as scaling solutions are rolled out.”

Acheson cited Arbitrum, a layer 2 solution as one example. It executes transactions off the main chain, thereby avoiding higher fees and slower settlements, but it periodically settles to benefit from Ethereum’s blockchain security.

“It launched less than two weeks ago, and already has over $1.5 billion-worth of value locked in smart contracts on the platform,” Acheson said of Arbitrum. “Other layer 2 solutions are gearing up to launch in the coming weeks.”

Acheson said dApps hold enormous potential and the industry will become stronger as more developers come in. It won’t however, follow a typical pattern of various competitors emerging to outdo each other.

“Blockchain is not, unlike other network technologies, about winner-takes-all, something the ‘Ethereum killer’ conversation overlooks,” Acheson suggested. “These are relatively agile platforms that evolve according to experience and demand. It’s probable that not all will thrive, but given the development of bridges and other connective functionalities, there does not need to be one dominant solution. 

“Smart contract networks can support each other, allowing the market to choose acceptable trade-offs, and leaving the deciding factor of success to the end users.”

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180514-why-ethereum-will-continue-to-dominate-defi/

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Binance Hires Nils Andersen-Röed from Europol, Exchange Is Reportedly being Investigated for Insider Trading, Market Manipulation

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Digital assets firm Binance has expanded its Audit and Investigations team with the appointment of Nils Andersen-Röed from Europol where he served as a specialist on the Dark Web team.

As mentioned in the update from Binance, Nils will be tasked with focusing on conducting and leading internal and external investigations “with the purpose of identifying bad actors that attempt to commit crimes on Binance’s platforms and to protect users’ funds, as well as proactively supporting law enforcement agencies with their investigations.”

Nils’ appointment will aim to solidify an “already strong team of security specialists working hard to make sure Binance remains the most secure crypto ecosystem around,” the announcement from Binance noted.

Prior to his role at Europol, Nils had been working as the Project Leader of the Dark Web Unit of the Dutch National Police. He was also serving as the Project Leader of Operation Gravesac/Bayonet, “coordinating the takeover and takedown of the dark web marketplaces Hansa Market and Alphabay.”

As stated in the update:

“Together with colleagues around the world, Nils was instrumental in this global operation. During this action a huge amount of information regarding illicit trades was being gathered and shared with other law enforcement agencies which has led to many arrests around the globe and contributed greatly to cleaning up the crypto industry.”

Nils Andersen-Röed remarked:

“After many years working in law enforcement I am excited to tackle new challenges in the Binance Audit and Investigations team. Over the years I have learned that simply arresting criminals isn’t enough to combat crime, you also need to take a broader look at the whole ecosystem in which they are operating.”

He added that criminals and other bad actors will often try to misuse cryptocurrencies for illegal purposes, which can “have an impact on innocent participants of the whole industry.” He further noted that at Binance, he will be “in a position to keep the platforms and users safe from these bad actors while assisting law enforcement agencies around the world with their investigations and secure prosecutions.”

He continued:

“My goal is to make the cryptocurrency industry (and Binance specifically) a safer place. International collaboration between the industry and law enforcement agencies is key, criminals don’t care about borders. Increased collaboration between the public and private sector will also be beneficial when it comes to fighting crime and making this industry a safer place for everyone.”

According to recent report from Bloomberg, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is looking into whether Binance has exploited its clients.

US probes into Binance Holdings Ltd. have reportedly expanded, with law enforcement officials now examining potential insider trading and market manipulation. This development confirms that Binance is being carefully investigated by US authorities and other regulators globally.

As part of the investigation, US officials are trying to determine if Binance or any of its team members have made returns from taking (illegal) advantage of its clients, according to sources familiar with the matter (and cited by Bloomberg).

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180559-binance-hires-nils-andersen-roed-from-europol-exchange-is-reportedly-being-investigated-for-insider-trading-market-manipulation/

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Indian Fintech Pine Labs Acquires $100M from Invesco Developing Markets Fund

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Pine Labs, which is one of Asia’s leading merchant commerce platforms, revealed earlier this week that it has finalized a new investment round in the company “with the entry” of Invesco, a US-headquartered investment management firm.

Invesco Developing Markets Fund has reportedly invested $100 million in Pine Labs.

As covered in July 2021, Pine Labs had announced a total round size of $600 million and “brought in a marquee set of new investors.” Pine Labs is backed by prominent investors including Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, Actis, PayPal and Mastercard among others.

B. Amrish Rau, CEO at Pine Labs, stated:

“Over the last 18 months we have scaled our Prepaid Issuing stack, Online Payments, and also the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) offering. We continue to make progress in the larger Asian markets with our BNPL platform. Very excited to have a marquee investor like Invesco join us in the journey.”

Justin Leverenz, CIO of Developing Markets Equities at Invesco, remarked:

“The Invesco Developing Markets Fund is pleased to invest in Pine Labs, a leading fintech services company in India that fits our strategy of seeking high quality companies that have durable long-term growth potential.”

Pine Labs provides a fairly wide range of in-store and doorstep payment services as well as a Buy Now, Pay Late or BNPL offering at the point of sale. The Fintech firm recently “beefed-up investment on the consumer side of the business with the acquisition of Southeast Asia’s leading consumer fintech platform Fave in April 2021 and has a leading presence in the Prepaid and Stored Value space through its 2019 acquisition of Qwikcilver.”

As previously report, Pine Labs is one the most established merchant commerce platforms in Asia. It mainly serves large, mid-sized and small merchants across Asia and the Middle East region. The firm’s unique Cloud-enabled platform allows it to provide “a wide range of payment acceptance and merchant commerce solutions including enterprise automation systems such as inventory management and customer relationship management.”

Its stored value platform includes issuing, processing, and distributing digital gift cards “for corporate customers around the world.” In April of this year, Pine Labs acquired Fave, a consumer fintech platform that offers a smart payment app “to the smart generation of consumers looking to pay and save.”

Fave is presently operational in 35 cities across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and India.

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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/09/180557-indian-fintech-pine-labs-acquires-100m-from-invesco-developing-markets-fund/

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