Crypto News Headlines (22-Jul-2022)

NFX, a venture capital firm with over $1 billion in total capital commitments, has added $62.61 million to its second fund for follow-on investments. They include crypto portfolio companies such as fiat on-ramp startup Ramp, code collaboration network Radicle and minimalist blockchain Celestia.

NFX’s Fund II launched in 2019 with $275 million committed for investments across all sectors. Its $450 million Fund III debuted in October to back pre-seed and seed stage companies.

An amended regulatory filing on July 11 showed the company had increased Fund II to $337.61 million. NFX confirmed to CoinDesk that the additional funds were for follow-on investments in high-conviction companies in the fund’s portfolio.

The parent company of Siam Commercial Bank, SCB X, has delayed a 17.85-billion-baht ($487 million) bid to acquire 51% of the largest crypto exchange in Thailand, Bitkub. The bank, which is the kingdom’s oldest lender, postponed the deal indefinitely as Thai regulations continue to inhibit growth of crypto trading, Nikkei Asia reported, quoting the financial group.

“We have made it clear in our statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) that the deal is still undergoing due diligence,” an unnamed senior official at the SCB X has been quoted as stating. “We don’t know when the deal will be sealed,” he added. Earlier in July, the company notified the SET that the matter is still being discussed with regulatory bodies and that its completion period had been extended.

In an apparent attempt to match rival Magic Eden’s feature set, OpenSea has rolled out its new launchpad feature for minting new Solana NFT projects. However, the leading NFT marketplace’s first drop on the launchpad has been far from a sizzling success from the start.

Zoonies, an alien-themed Solana NFT profile picture project, debuted on OpenSea’s new Solana launchpad yesterday, marking the first project to utilize the feature. A launchpad lets collectors mint (i.e. generate and purchase) NFTs during a primary sale, and it’s a feature that Magic Eden and gaming-centric Solana marketplace Fractal have both had in place for several months.

However, it’s been more than a day since the Zoonies mint began on OpenSea and the project has yet to sell out. As of this writing, less than 5,000 of the 8,888 total Solana NFTs have been minted. The whitelist sale began at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, with the public sale commencing at 7 p.m. ET.

According to the official announcement, the customs seized the funds during drug busts and had been legally forfeited to the state following court rulings. The bulk of the digital assets in various criminal investigations was confiscated in raids before 2018. Last year’s bull run catapulted the stash’s worth to $130 million. However, failing to time the market right cost the authorities a significant fortune.

Finland revealed plans to donate seized Bitcoin to Ukraine in April this year. The country’s ruling body has unveiled multiple operations against drug lords, traffickers, and other criminals over the past years.

The government said it was willing to donate as much as $77 million worth of Bitcoin to war-torn Ukraine. Despite a mixed reaction from the community members across the globe, the donation was approved by the Finnish Parliament within the second supplementary budget this summer.

A government official was then quoted saying,

“Of course, no universal money is earmarked that way. But here, as if mentally, this money from bitcoins is earmarked so that it can be used to support Ukraine.”

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange continues to aggressively expand its reach, becoming the latest crypto firm officially authorized to operate in Cyprus. has received regulatory approval from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the firm announced to Cointelegraph on July 22.

The approval enables to offer a number of products and services to customers in Cyprus in compliance with local regulations. The new regulatory milestone comes in line with’s growing global presence as the firm has been actively expanding its operations, receiving approvals to operate in countries like Italy, Greece and Singapore.

According to co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek, the exchange currently prioritizes Europe as the main region for continued expansion. That is a “testament to our commitment to compliance and collaboration with regulators,” he said.

The largest bitcoin miner by hashrate, Core Scientific (CORZ), has signed an agreement with investment bank B Riley to issue up to $100 million of shares to the bank over two years to enhance liquidity.

Core Scientific has the right but no obligation to issue these new shares, subject to some limitations and conditions, according to a statement. The company plans to use this additional funding to bolster its balance sheet and help the miner expand, Core CEO Mike Levitt said in the statement.

The deal comes as a crypto bear market hammers shares of the publicly traded miners. Stocks of some of these publicly traded miners, including Core, have fallen anywhere between 50% to 80% this year.

Bitcoin miners caught a break this week as the difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) adjusted downward for the third week in a row. The network’s difficulty is essentially measured by how difficult it is to find the correct hash for every minted block subsidy.

The difficulty epoch is assessed every 2,016 blocks, and if the time it takes to mine those blocks is too fast, difficulty increases, and if it’s too slow, the difficulty decreases. The last difficulty increase took place on June 8, 2022, at block height 739,872, as it rose 1.29% higher than the two weeks prior. During the four weeks before the most recent DAA shift, the network recorded two reductions. The first one occurred on June 22, at block height 741,888, as it dropped by 2.35% that day.

The second difficulty change that followed occurred on July 6, at block height 743,904. That particular drop was around 1.41% and the difficulty dropped to 29.15 trillion. Today, after block height 745,920, the difficulty is now 27.69 trillion, a parameter not seen since March 17, 2022.

Yesterday, Ethereum (ETH) held on exchanges hit a four-year low following record staking figures on Ethereum 2.0 (the network’s incoming upgrade, recently rebranded to “Consensus Layer”).

Centralized exchanges tracked by the analytics platform Glassnode currently hold 19.09 million Ethereum, a metric which was just under 20 million in July 2018, suggests Glassnode data.

Moreover, Ethereum held on exchanges has plummeted by 10% from 21.191 million over the past five days.

These data points were also firmed up with high outflows from exchanges recently.

Exchange outflows hit a 13-month high, as reported by Glassnode, indicating less interest among investors to trade or hold the asset on centralized exchanges.

Nearly all industrial-level Bitcoin miners in Texas have fulfilled their promise to suspend operations while the state waits out a heat wave that’s expected to push its electricity grid to its limits.

Tesla (TSLA) opting to sell 75% of its Bitcoin (BTC) holdings is unlikely to have a significant impact on whether other firms will be adding crypto to their corporate treasuries.

For starters, Musk has not entirely abandoned Tesla’s bitcoin position and said on the conference call he remains open to adding to the company’s bitcoin holdings again in the future.

“This should not be taken as some verdict on bitcoin,” Musk noted on the call, saying the sale was needed to boost its cash position given Covid lockdowns in China, one of Tesla’s largest markets.

Tesla was also able to eke out a small profit on its bitcoin sale, despite the sharp decline in bitcoin prices over the last few months. The electric vehicle maker first bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin in Jan. 2021 when the cryptocurrency was selling for around $32,000 to $33,000. Tesla later sold about 10% of its holdings in that first quarter for a profit.

Prince Filip Karađorđević, known as Philip Karageorgevitch in English, placated rumors that an Arab country would “soon” adopt Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. In an interview Philip delivered from Serbia, the prince explained that Bitcoin adoption is an inevitability for all countries.

As a result of the thesis he first shared on a Bitcoin Reserves podcast, some news outlets jumped at the comments. Headlines that an Arab country would soon adopt Bitcoin quickly disseminated. However, as a Bitcoin advocate, Philip expounded that Bitcoin adoption is, in fact, inevitable for all countries and not just Arab states:

“It’s definitely going to happen. But I don’t know which country or who is going to do it where or anything like that, but it’s bound to happen. Every country will eventually adopt Bitcoin.”