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NFT Marketplace OpenSea Raises $100M in a Funding Round Led by Andreessen Horowitz 

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The world’s largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea has recently raised $100 million from industry investors in a recently-concluded Series B funding round led by leading American venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz.

Making NFT Trading Accessible to More Users

In an official press release published Wednesday, OpenSea noted that it will use the funds to expand its reach into several new international markets to make NFT trading accessible to more users.

The project also added that part of the funding will be used to scale its platform, focusing primarily on hiring new engineering talent to further establish its presence within the NFT space.

The funding round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, received support from several other investors including Coatue and CAA, along with Michael Ovitz, Kevin Hartz, Kevin Durant, and Ashton Kutcher. 

In a statement, Kathryn Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said: “The team at OpenSea realized early on the need for an open, cross-blockchain marketplace where anyone can buy, sell and create digital NFTs which is why they are one of the most important companies in crypto today.

We are thrilled to double down on this team, their technology, and overall vision as they continue to provide the best user experience for today’s creators, buyers, and sellers, in one platform.”

A $1.5 Billion Valuation

The fresh capital comes just a few months after the project received $23 million in a Series A funding round from several angel investors, including Mark Cuban and Ron Conway. With the new funding, OpenSea now has a market valuation of $1.5 billion.


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The platform is also set to become the first cross-blockchain NFT marketplace as it intends to launch official support for multiple blockchains. OpenSea currently supports several chains including Ethereum, Polygon, and Klaytn, with plans to add support for Flow and Tezos.

The NFT space has been witnessing explosive growth in recent months and this funding comes at a time when OpenSea is driving mainstream adoption.

As the largest NFT marketplace, OpenSea recorded a massive influx of investors on its platform. Just last month alone, it sold over $160 million worth of non-fungible tokens and saw its trading volume for the first half of 2021 experience a 45x increase. 

OpenSea CEO: NFT is the New Internet

OpenSea Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Devin Finzer believes non-fungible tokens are on their way to “becoming the new internet” as the adoption of crypto economies continues to grow. 

“We’re proud to be leading this growing industry that we have been part of for a long time. As we continue to scale, our focus will remain on our customers, and providing the best user experience and entry point into NFTs,” Finzer added.

Meanwhile, in another development, Enjin, the creator of the ERC-1155 token standard, became the first NFT platform to join the UN Global Compact in a move to use non-fungible tokens to promote sustainability and equality.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/nft-marketplace-opensea-raises-100m-in-a-funding-round-led-by-andreessen-horowitz/

Blockchain

Orion Pool Users to Gain Access To Trading, Swapping, Staking, & Voting From A Single Dashboard

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Orion Protocol recently launched its AMM solution, Orion Pool, powering multiple crypto-related activities from a single user interface. The platform has integrated leading swap pools, DEXs, and CEXs, constructing the first decentralized gateway to the entire cryptocurrency market.

A New Age Of Decentralized Finance From One Interface

With Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the rise, the blockchain ecosystem is flooded with centralized and decentralized exchanges. As a result, users find it increasingly difficult to manage multiple wallets, monitor price movements, and execute orders across exchanges.

While centralized exchanges (CEXs) are the most preferred solution for trading cryptocurrencies, governments and financial regulators worldwide are clamping down hard on CEXs, making it difficult for the platforms to operate in several jurisdictions. CEXs store data in centralized security processes, making them an easy target for cybercriminals.

Moreover, registering an account on a CEX is a clunky and frustrating process, with several complications of KYC, AML, and other regulatory verifications. DEXs, on the other hand, solve the problems of CEXs, offering users complete control over their funds. However, using DEXs requires a decent understanding of the DeFi ecosystem.

To address these problems and improve accessibility, Orion Protocol has launched its proprietary AMM solution, Orion Pool, establishing itself as the only platform that offers users decentralized access to swap pools, DEXs, and CEXs in one destination.

Following the launch of the Orion Pool, Orion Terminal now offers traders a single portal for trading, staking, swapping, and governance voting. This means users no longer have to create multiple accounts across exchanges or undergo several KYC and AML checks. The benefit is access to the best available pricing in the market at any time through Orion Pool.

A Gateway To The Entire Crypto Market

Constructed on top of Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Orion Protocol is currently integrating Avalanche, Cardano, Elrond, Fantom, HECO, PancakeSwap, Polkadot, SushiSwap, and Uniswap to its ecosystem to add more liquidity to the Orion Terminal. Orion Pool initially launched its multi-asset liquidity pool with ORN/ETH, ORN/BUSD, ORN/BNB, and ORN/USDT pairs.

A week later, the platform introduced its dollar-pegged stablecoin, USDo, to add more utility to the native ORN token. These stablecoins are minted by staking ORN and eventually used as the base token for all trading pairs within the Orion Terminal.

By partnering with verified brokers and exchanges, Orion Terminal allows everyone to trade through major exchanges, such as Binance and KuCoin, without the need for multiple wallets or KYC. This is made possible by Orion’s proprietary Delegated Proof of Broker governance mechanism.

Pre-verified brokers and exchanges execute trade orders on behalf of the users through the Orion Broker Software. The system auto-picks traders based on the ORN they have staked, following which smart contracts take care of the transactions. This ensures that exchanges don’t gain access to user’s accounts while granting users access to trade DEXs, CEXs, and swap pools without multiple accounts.

Although there are already several other liquidity aggregators, Orion Protocol has cemented itself as the first and only platform to provide global and decentralized access to the entire crypto market. As the platform forges ahead with plans to integrate more chains into its ecosystem, Orion Protocol intends to play a key role in shaping cryptocurrency adoption globally.

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Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/news/company/orion-pool-users-to-gain-access-to-trading-swapping-staking-voting-from-a-single-dashboard/

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Binance will ‘work with regulators’ as it expands, says CEO

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Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive officer of Binance, has said he wants the major cryptocurrency exchange to work with local regulators as it establishes regional headquarters.

According to a Tuesday report from Reuters, Zhao, also known as CZ, hinted Binance would depart from its decentralized approach to finance and coordinate with regulators as the company expands.

“We want to be licensed everywhere,” said CZ.

Zhao also reiterated that he would be willing to step down as CEO should someone “with a strong regulatory background” be available. Last week at a SCB 10X virtual summit, CZ said he considered himself more of a tech entrepreneur, while an individual well versed in regulations might be suited to lead the crypto exchange:

“I’m actually looking for a senior person with a strong compliance background, with a strong regulatory background to lead the entire organization,” said CZ, adding:

“I’ve led the company for four years and it’s good, and we’ve got to go through this pivot […] I don’t think I’m the best person to lead that effort. I think having somebody with a very strong regulatory background is actually better.”

This story is developing and will be updated.


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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/binance-will-work-with-regulators-as-it-expands-says-ceo

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Inside El Salvador’s Bitcoin experiment: Cointelegraph video report

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Last month, Bitcoin was adopted as legal tender in El Salvador, joining the U.S. dollar.

The country’s new Bitcoin Law, which will be enforced starting Sept. 7, will allow Salvadorans to use Bitcoin (BTC) as a currency to purchase goods and services, as well as to pay taxes and debt.

El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, has stated that Bitcoin adoption will hugely benefit the 70% of the local population that lacks access to banking services. He also believes that it will attract investments and create new jobs.

However, the Bitcoin Law has raised multiple concerns. Skeptics say the cryptocurrency’s high volatility could pose a threat to the country’s financial stability. A very low internet penetration rate, along with a lack of education about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency within the country, could also prevent Bitcoin from reaching widespread adoption in El Salvador.

To boost Bitcoin adoption, President Bukele has promised to build the necessary infrastructure. This includes 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs and a government wallet meant to guarantee instant conversions of Bitcoin into dollars.

Will that be enough for Bukele’s monetary experiment to succeed? To answer this question, Cointelegraph talked with the people of El Salvador, as well as with critics and supporters of the Bitcoin Law.

Check out the full report from El Salvador on Cointelegraph’s YouTube channel, and don’t forget to subscribe!

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/inside-el-salvador-s-bitcoin-experiment-cointelegraph-video-report

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