Welcome to our Friday newsletter - Our weekly crypto news summary, separating the signal from the noise.
Weekly happenings in the crypto industry (Sept 23rd - Sept 30th)
Non-native crypto institutions continue their crypto push despite the bear market. Spain’s largest telecom company Telefónica invests in local crypto exchange Bit2Me and accepts crypto as payment in its marketplace. Meanwhile, SWIFT partners with crypto data provider Chainlink to build a cross-chain protocol focusing on institutional investors.The cleanup after this summer’s crypto implosions is hopefully nearing its end. Crypto exchange FTX has been on a buying spree for the last months, feasting on the carcasses of struggling crypto companies. Its latest purchase is bankrupt crypto lender Voyager for $1.4B. Rumors indicate that Celsius may be the next, of which outspoken CEO Alex Mashinsky has resigned. Meanwhile, the restructuring of struggling crypto futures exchange CoinFLEX is progressing, giving creditors 65% ownership. Do Kwon, the founder of failed stablecoin project Terra, is wanted by South Korean authorities and Interpol.Crypto capital raises are back. We see several crypto VC firms raising enormous amounts, with Pantera Capital planning to raise $1.25B and Fasanara Capital establishing a $350M fund. At the same time, crypto payment firm Strike raises $80M, and the market-leading crypto options exchange Deribit raises money at a $400M valuation.We see elevated activity in the bitcoin mining industry, as the weak scramble to survive the bear market while the strong aim to take advantage of it. Last week, the world’s biggest hosting provider Compute North went bankrupt, and we are still waiting for this effect to hit the market. Jihan Wu, the founder of the world’s largest bitcoin mining machine manufacturer, is setting up a $250M fund to buy distressed bitcoin mining assets. Cash is king in a bear market, and bitcoin mining firms Iris Energy and Cipher look to sell up to $100M and $250M in equity. Meanwhile, bitcoin miner Rhodium plans to go public through a SPAC merger.Stablecoins keep fighting for market shares. A few weeks ago, Binance stopped supporting USDC. This may have led USDC to realize that it must fight hard to maintain its market share, and now the stablecoin has expanded to five new blockchains. Meanwhile, USDC’s main competitor, USDT, goes live on Polkadot. Lightning Labs raised $70M in April to bring stablecoins to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network through its Taro protocol. The company has now released its first software version, allowing developers to experiment with minting and transferring assets on the Bitcoin blockchain.