U.S. rapper Nasir Jones (better known by his stage name, Nas) is among the fortunate few to have made early investments in Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange expected to reach over $100 billion in valuation when its COIN stock lists on Wednesday.
Jones’ investment firm, QueensBridge Venture Partners, got into Coinbase’s Series B round back in 2013 when it raised $25 million. Around that time Coinbase was valued at about $143 million, according to PitchBook.
The Nas news shows just how far Coinbase’s public listing will ripple across the world of venture capital, with everyone from Wall Street veterans to A-list celebrities all standing to win big when the chips fall this week.
QueensBridge, which was also a backer of Robinhood in 2013 and later Lyft and Dropbox, makes early-stage investments of between $100,000 and $500,000, according to Jones’ QueensBridge co-founder Anthony Saleh.
Dividing the firm’s $100,000–$500,000 stake by the share price at the time of Coinbase’s Series B ($1.00676) points to QueensBridge owning around 99,329 shares on the low end or 496,642 on the high end, according to an analysis by CoinDesk.
At the price that Coinbase shares last traded on private secondary markets – $350 per share – Jones’ firm would have a pot of somewhere between $34.76 million and $173.8 million. If Coinbase shares trade at investment bank DA Davidson’s new price target of $440, QueensBridge could see the value of its Coinbase stake rise to $43.7 million and $218.5 million, respectively.
Saleh and Jones did not return requests for comment. Coinbase declined to comment.
But a source familiar with the matter confirmed QueensBridge remains on the Coinbase cap table.
Fintech CEO: Binance Money Laundering Probe Highlights Need for Greater Trust in Crypto Markets
Last week, Bloomberg broke a story detailing how Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is being investigated by the DOJ and IRS in an attempt to eliminate financial crimes which have arisen due to under-regulation in the sector.
Modulus CEO Richard Gardner today offered a statement noting that the investigation is indicative of exactly why the industry must increase compliance among digital exchanges. Notably Gardner recently filed for a patent on a “Digital Exchange Auditing System,” a revolutionary solution which aims to restore trust in exchanges, particularly those dealing in digital assets and cryptocurrencies.
“What’s interesting about this probe is that Binance has not been accused of any wrongdoing as the inquiry launched,” said Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges. “Right now, regulators are trying to get a handle on the scope of financial crimes, including money laundering, which exist in the sector. They’re still trying to figure out how to regulate a technology that many have trouble fully grasping.”
Incorporated in the Cayman Islands, Binance is without a corporate headquarters, though it has an office in Singapore. According to the Bloomberg article, Chainalysis “concluded last year that among transactions that it examined, more funds tied to criminal activity flowed through Binance than any other crypto exchange.”
“Binance is the biggest, so that’s not necessarily shocking. Though it raises questions about financial crimes more generally. If even the largest exchange can’t, or won’t, limit money laundering and other financial crimes, how do traders, as well as government agencies, know who to trust? They can’t lodge inquiries into every single exchange. There must be a better way. And we think we’ve found it,” Gardner said.
Utilizing the Exchange Trust Score System, exchanges and custodial service providers would implement open-source server-side software which obfuscates and anonymizes data. It then calculates a counter value, which can be inspected in real-time by any third party, such as a regulator or anybody else using Modulus’ explorer app. The counter values are calculated from exchange order data, deposit, and withdrawal figures, among other data points. The data gets inserted into a blockchain via the Modulus application. The counter and encrypted data allows the Modulus explorer app to read data from the blockchain, and it compares the data with real-time counter values being provided by exchange and custodial service APIs.
“What we’ve created is truly revolutionary because the app grades the data collected and will give regulators, or any other end user, a trust score. If an exchange is involved in nefarious financial activities, the trust score will indicate such. We determine the trust score by comparing the expected counter value with the actual counter value. We also partner with custodial service providers to ensure that this mechanism is always operational and is not tampered with in any way,” noted Gardner. Additionally, Modulus’ Exchange Trust Score System utilizes Benford’s Law to analyze the distribution of leading and trailing digits for both the buy and sell orders, as well as the ratio of deposits to withdrawals.
Modulus has been leading the way on exchange trust for years. Earlier this year, Modulus launched a groundbreaking Blockchain-as-a-Service offering, an enterprise blockchain for decentralized verification and tracking, featuring cutting-edge AI-based capabilities. And, in 2018, Modulus launched a market surveillance and risk management solution, which targeted abuse within cryptocurrency markets. Modulus developers are known for upending industries and changing what the industry conceives to be possible. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.
Nigeria Top Nations Most Interested in Cryptocurrency, Ether
Cryptocurrency has become more prominent than ever before and one of the digital coins making the most noise is Ether. Unlike its closest crypto rival Bitcoin, people can build applications on top of Ethereum (the open source blockchain technology behind Ether), therefore making it a very attractive proposition for existing and potential investors.
With the digital currency hitting a record high of over $4,000 per Ether this month (May 2021), Invezz.com utilised online analytics tool Ahrefs to establish which countries in the world are most interested in Ether.
Invezz.com found that the United States is in the number one spot with a substantial average of 1,116,000 online searches a month for Ether. That is the equivalent of 36,000 online searches per day!
In second place is Germany, as there is an average of 736,300 online searches every month from Germans regarding Ether.
Turkey is in third position with an average 408,500 online searches a month from Turks curious about Ether.
Brazil (259,600), France (247,100), United Kingdom (230,000) and Canada (203,000) are among the other countries where there are more than 200,000 searches a month from their respective citizens monitoring Ether online, respectively ranking fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.
In 17th place is Nigeria where there are an average 42,900 online searches each month from Nigerians checking the latest developments surrounding Ether.
When it comes to the price of Ether, there is an average of 11,430 online searches a month from Nigerians specifically checking the price of Ether.
At the other end in 20th position is Austria, where there are an average of 37,700 online searches per month from Austrians interested in Ether – comparable to 1,216 online searches a day.
Jayson Derrick from Invezz.com provides his expert insight on Ether:
“Ether exploded in value over the past year and likely generated life-changing returns for early investors who truly understood the concept from day one.
These days we are noticing high levels of interest from wealthier investors (i.e. those with at least $1 million in assets) who want exposure to cryptocurrencies. These investors tend to be more cautious in how they manage their life savings: they own physical gold bars and have taken advantage of IBM’s dividend reinvestment program for decades.
These investors tend to be more sophisticated and will pay for professional investment advice to maximize their return. They are not interested in “meme” cryptos like Dogecoin. Rather, they are interested in Ethereum and other large-scale coins because of their real life use.
Investors can see Ethereum DeFi projects playing out in real-time. Those who believed in the 2010s that Ether and Bitcoin were a “fad” are quickly changing their thought process and looking to invest now.
By 2030 the world of finance will likely not at all resemble what it looks like today and this is apparent to anyone paying even minimal attention. The extent that Ethereum will play in terms of financial transactions and smart contracts will be exponentially higher over the coming years.
This implies that the era of cryptocurrencies is still in its very early stages. Buying Ethereum at current levels, even close to the all-time high of $4,000, makes sense for investors with a long-term timeframe. A reasonable amount of exposure to Ethereum as part of a well-diversified portfolio across multiple asset classes is certainly a logical investment strategy and one that would be hard to argue against”.
|Ranked: The Countries in the World Most Interested in Ether|
|Rank||Country||Average Monthly Online Searches for ‘Ether’||Average Monthly Online Searches for ‘Ether’ Per 1,000 Internet Users|
Ethereum CEO Vitalik Burns $6.6B Worth of Shiba Inu Tokens
After the dogecoin hype invoked a new ERC20 token project called Shiba Inu, the crypto asset has been making waves throughout the crypto industry.
On Wednesday, the co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin donated $1 billion worth of Shiba Inu to India’s Crypto Covid Relief Fund. Then a few days later on Sunday, Buterin decided to burn 410.24 trillion Shiba Inu tokens worth over $6 billion using today’s exchange rates.
A new token called Shiba Inu (SHIB) has been a topical discussion within the digital currency community, aside from the recent focus on Tesla’s Elon Musk. The coin first started making headlines because of dogecoin (DOGE), as the ERC20 token is considered the “dogecoin killer” and the coin has turned people into multi-millionaires almost overnight. Additionally, five days ago, the co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, decided to donate around $1 billion worth of SHIB to India’s Crypto Covid Relief Fund.
Today, SHIB is exchanging hands for $0.00001538 per unit and is down by 1.21 percent as of press time. At the time of writing, there is a massive circulating supply of over 394 trillion SHIB. The SHIB market has an overall valuation of around $8 billion with more than $3 billion in global trade volume. The Shiba Inu project has a sizable community, a “woofpaper,” and the team’s vision simply claims to be “Decentralized Meme Tokens that grew into a vibrant ecosystem.”
After seeing massive gains in recent times and making headlines stemming from the recent Covid-19 relief effort donation, Vitalik Buterin brought SHIB into the spotlight again.
During the late evening hours on Sunday, Buterin burned 410.24 trillion SHIB and left a message in the transaction hash.
“I’ve decided to burn 90 percent of the remaining Shiba tokens in my wallet. The remaining 10% will be sent to a (not yet decided) charity with similar values to cryptorelief (preventing large-scale loss of life) but with a more long-term orientation,” Buterin said.
Buterin also commented on the recent “dog token” communities.
“I’ve actually been impressed by how the dog token communities have treated the recent donations,” Buterin’s message said. “Plenty of dog people have shown their generosity and their willingness to not just focus on their own profits but also be interested in making the world as a whole better. I support all who are earnestly doing that,” he added.
Moreover, Buterin further added that he wished ERC20 project creators sent funds to charitable efforts rather than to his wallet. Buterin insisted: “I don’t *want* to be a locus of power of that kind.”
The crypto community was informed immediately about the burned 410.24 trillion SHIB with an estimated value of $6.6 billion.
The Twitter account called “Shib Informer” wrote about Buterin’s billion-dollar token burn after the event. “25 minutes ago Vitalik Buterin burned most of his SHIB wallet. He has only 5 percent instead of 45 percent,” the account tweeted.
“I hope some of you are at least able to recognize the good deeds he has done both for the world and for the #SHIBArmy,” the SHIB Twitter account added. “You were all literally doubting a person -which is also one of the smartest persons in the world- that could have destroyed SHIB if he wanted but instead [chose] to use our token to improve the lives of thousands that were suffering.”
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