The US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell outlined four qualities a hypothetical central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the country must have while adding that no final decision has been made on whether to proceed with creating one, Bloomberg reported. Powell reportedly said that a CBDC would need to:
ensure user privacy;
be “identity verifiable,” similar to the way bank accounts are identifiable to prevent money laundering;
be “intermediated,” or widely embraced by the current banking system;
serve as a widely accepted means of payment.
Loans platform Figure is launching a crypto-backed mortgage in early April, and the waiting list is already opened, announced co-founder Mike Cagney. Borrowers will be able to take out mortgages worth up to USD 20m for a 30-year loan, while the loan instrument will also allow payments with the crypto collateral, the company said, adding that it won’t rehypothecate the assets.
Automotive group Geely Holding and the Concordium Foundation, behind the Concordium blockchain project, announced they will jointly finance the establishment of a Geely Holding Blockchain Innovation & Application Center located in Wuxi, China, to develop blockchain in the automotive industry. Geely has already developed several blockchain-based platforms that were implemented to some of their products as part of this partnership, they added.
Manta Network, Acala, and seven other Polkadot (DOT) parachain (other chains attached to Polkadot’s main chain) teams said they have partnered to launch a USD 250m aUSD Ecosystem Fund to support early-stage startups building applications with strong stablecoin use cases on any Polkadot or Kusama parachain. The fund participants are seeking Solidity or Substrate-based applications driving yield or utility for aUSD, including money markets, DEXs, derivatives, asset management, DAOs, payments, and other use cases, they added.
Digital asset investment firm CoinShares and crypto exchange FTXannounced a partnership to launch a physically-backed solana (SOL) exchange-traded product (ETP), which will launch with SOL 1m (USD 95m) in seed capital.
US financial firm Acorn will allow customers to use its app to invest up to 5% of their portfolio in bitcoin (BTC) via an exchange-traded fund (ETF), per Reuters. The firm will determine what percentage of a customer’s portfolio can be put in bitcoin, based on their investment profile, and the percentage ranges from a conservative 1% exposure to an “aggressive” 5% exposure, they added.
A new crypto venture fund called dao5 raised USD 125m, with plans to convert to a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) by 2025, per Forbes. The average investment will fall between USD 500,000 and USD 2m and will go to seed and pre-seed stage companies and projects within the crypto and blockchain industry, per the report.
Canadian financial technology company Mogoannounced the formation of Mogo Ventures to manage its existing investments in strategic partners and companies that support Mogo’s ecosystem. This includes a 39% stake in crypto exchange Coinsquare, investments in major and emerging crypto and Web3 platforms including Gemini, NFT Trader, and Tetra Trust; investments in bitcoin and ethereum (ETH), and investments in gaming companies including Enthusiast Gaming and Eleven Gaming.
Katie Haun, a former partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), raised USD 1.5bn for two new crypto-focused funds for her new firm, Haun Ventures. The funds included USD 500m for an early-stage fund and USD 1bn for an acceleration fund.
Yuga Labs, the company behind the popular non-fungible token (NFT) project Bored Ape Yacht Club, raised a USD 450m funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), putting their valuation at USD 4bn. The new funding will be used to build out an NFT-based, ApeCoin-powered gaming metaverse called “Otherside.”
Tech giant Qualcommannounced the launch of their USD 100m Snapdragon Metaverse Fund, which will invest in developers and companies building extended reality (XR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences, as well as related artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Applications for the fund will officially open in June.