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New lawsuit accuses social media, YouTube influencers of hyping FTX without proper disclosure
lawsuit filed Wednesday named a group of social media influencers and claimed they "actively promoted FTX" to their millions of followers" without disclosing the nature of any payments or compensation. Among the influencers are Erika Kullberg, Ben Armstrong — also known as BitBoy in crypto circles — and Kevin Paffrath, or "Meet Kevin" on YouTube.
The lawsuit alleges that some of the creators, namely Paffrath as well as Graham Stephan and Tom Nash, "have now scrubbed their YouTube channels of all video clips endorsing FTX and praising Sam Bankman-Fried.". In place of that, the lawsuit says creators posted apologetic messages about their representation of the crypto exchange, which is facing investigations from regulators in the U.S. and abroad and could owe as much as $3.1 billion to its top 50 creditors. Representing the plaintiffs is Adam Moskowitz of the Moskowitz Law Firm, who was also involved in a separate FTX-related lawsuit blaming Tom Brady.
Polygon spins off project Avail and co-founder departs
Arjun, a co-founder of Polygon, departed as the company spun off its modular blockchain project, Avail. "Avail will be spun off completely from Polygon Labs," Polygon said in a blog post shared with The Block. Arjun "is moving out of Polygon Labs and will become Avail's sole steward and will continue to lead the project in a separate, standalone and self-funded entity."
Polygon initiated the Avail project in late 2020 and introduced it publicly in mid-2021. Arjun co-created the project and, as part of the spin-off, it is now acquired by a corporate entity wholly owned by Arjun, an Avail spokesperson told The Block. Avail is a modular blockchain that allows developers to build customizable and scalable applications. Unlike monolithic blockchains — such as Ethereum and Solana — modular blockchains break down the essential functions of consensus, security, data availability and execution, and handle them separately.
Blockchain startup Tari Labs wins restraining order against Lightning Labs over Taro protocol
startup Tari Labs has won a temporary restraining order against bitcoin developer Lighting Labs' Taro protocol. Lightning announced the protocol in April of last year. It aims to be used for issuing assets on the Bitcoin blockchain, which can then be transferred over the Lightning Network.
Tari Labs founded its Tari protocol, which enables the transfer of digital assets from tickets to virtual goods, in 2020. Tari owns the U.S. registered trademark for Tari for various cryptocurrency trading and exchange services. The blockchain platform filed a complaint in the Northern District of California against Lightning Labs last year for copyright infringement. It alleges that its Taro protocol and platform bears similar name to its own trademark and offers similar services. U.S. District Judge William Orrick granted a motion on Monday that restrains Lightning Labs.
Unstoppable Domains releases web3 domain names for Polygon blockchain
Domains released the domain ending .polygon in partnership with Polygon Labs. This will make it easier for anyone to send money over the Polygon blockchain through applications that support this service. Crypto domain names are used to replace the long alphanumeric strings that are used to identify wallets publicly.
The idea is that they're easy to type and remember. While such domain services need to be integrated by crypto wallets and applications, Unstoppable Domains says it will be possible to use .polygon domains across 750 applications, games and metaverses. Those wanting to use the service must buy the domains from Unstoppable Domains, with the sale starting March 16. After the sale, the company will put premium domains, like gamer.polygon, up for sale. Web3 domains will give our community a digital identity that they fully own, so they can log into dapps.
DeFiance Capital completes first close of $100 million liquid token fund
Capital completed the first close of a new $100 million liquid token fund by raising "eight figures" in the process, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told The Block. While that could mean anything between $10 million and $99 million, the initial raise came in under $50 million, said one of the sources. The fund has raised “eight figures” and began investing this month.
The Block first reported in September that DeFiance was seeking $100 million for a liquid token fund and that almost half the amount had been committed. Some of those commitments were reduced after the FTX exchange collapsed in November, but the fund still managed to close the first tranche and began investing this month, the source said. "A good mix of investors" backed the vehicle, including crypto funds of funds, family offices and some of DeFiance's existing investors, the source added.DeFiance Capital was founded in 2020 in Singapore by Cheong, a popular crypto personality with over 145,000 Twitter followers.
Lugano After One Year on its Bitcoin and Tether Standard
explains what Lugano has done so far to expand Bitcoin and stablecoin adoption as a means of payment. According to Tether’s post, over 150 merchants around Lugano are now accepting Bitcoin, Tether, and LVGA – Lugano’s Swiss-franc pegged stablecoin – for payments. The Plan B Foundation plans to expand acceptance to 2500 more merchants by the end of 2023.
Lugano has also issued the very first blockchain-based municipal bond. The 6-year debt issuance, worth 100 million CHF ($107 million), can be traded directly on the SDX exchange, which is owned by Switzerland’s financial market infrastructure provider. On educationTether hosted a summer school for 86 students from 26 countries to learn about crypto from experts, and provided 500 grants to further their learning. Summer school students were also provided the chance to connect with potential employers at the Plan B job fair, connecting blockchain industry employers with dormant talent.
Ark picks up more Coinbase stock, adding $6.4 million
Wood’s Ark Invest picked up a tranche of 119,429 Coinbase shares across two funds on Friday, purchasing about $6.4 million of the stock. The investment management firm, which focuses on disruptive innovation assets, added 103,129 Coinbase shares to its Ark Innovation ETF and 16,300 shares to its Ark Next Generation Internet ETF.
Having already bought $3.4 million worth of shares in the crypto exchange on Tuesday and another $20 million on Thursday, Ark has added $29.8 million in Coinbase stock over the past week. Shares in Coinbase closed at $53.44 on Friday, down 8%, valuing the latest purchase at $6.38 million. Crypto-related markets took a hit across the board this week following the collapse of crypto-friendly banks Silvergate and Silicon Valley Bank. The purchase, valued at about $6.4 million, takes Ark’s investment in Coinbase to almost $30 million this past week. Having already bought $3.4 million worth of shares in the crypto exchange on Tuesday.
Uniswap V3 To Deploy On Avalanche Will Open Voting On March 12
Uniswap community’s proposal on deploying Uniswap V3 on Avalanche has been published on the chain and will be voted on the chain from March 12 to March 17. Previously, Uniswap V3 applied for a 2-year copyright commercial protection for its core code before it went live on the Ethereum mainnet on May 5, 2021. The protection period will officially end on April 1.
Uniswap stated that its copyright protection restrictions could be changed through protocol governance, and it can be transferred from Business Source License 1.1 (BSL) to GPL license in advance through governance. To simplify cross-chain message transfer between Ethereum and Avalanche, Uniswap suggests employing LayerZero, an omnichain bridging solution. LayerZero already supports both Avalanche and Ethereum. Previously, Uniswap DAO also approved a proposal to support the deployment of Uniswap V3 on the BNB Chain.
Biden Budget Plan To Close Crypto Tax Loophole For Loss Harvesting
investors could see changes to tax loss harvesting as U.S. President Joe Biden proposes to close a loophole, raising up to $24 billion and lowering the deficit by $3 trillion, as per Coindesk. Find out what this means for the industry and why it matters. U.S. President Joe Biden’s 2023 proposed budget, to be announced Thursday.
Currently, crypto investors can claim losses on their taxes by selling cryptocurrencies at a loss and buying the same amount and type of cryptocurrencies again. The proposed provision would aim to reduce wash sales trading by crypto investors and is expected to raise up to $24 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. The proposed budget lays out Biden’s fiscal priorities and aims to lower the U.S. deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade. The provision would need to pass through the House of Representatives and the Senate before it can go to the president’s desk for his signature. This isn’t the first time lawmakers have tried to close this loophole.
Curve Yield Farmers Rush to Deploy $60M on Newly Launched Conic Finance, Capture 21% APY on USD Coin
new tool to capture yields from prominent stablecoin swapping service Curve has attracted over $60 million from depositors just over a week after launch. Conic Finance, which went live Mar. 1, allows users to deposit tokens into its omnipools, a new product that diversifies exposure across the Curve ecosystem while increasing rewards.
Conic users can earn up to 21% annualized yields on the three omnipools for dai (DAI), frax (FRAX) and USD Coin (USDC). The USDC pool has attracted over $50 million in liquidity alone, as Conic is currently providing one of the highest available yields in the crypto market for USDC. Deposits of frax and dai are considerably lower at $7 million and $5 million, respectively. Each omnipool allocates liquidity of a single asset into different Curve pools. All Curve liquidity provider (LP) tokens get staked on Convex to boost curve (CRV) rewards earnings. Convex (CNX), another Curve ecosystem token.