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💰Wormhole Closes Largest 2023 Crypto Raise With $225M

The Defiant

DeFi Daily

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Wormhole, the cross-chain interoperability protocol, closed the largest crypto funding round of 2023 by securing $225M at a $2.5B valuation.

In other news, opBNB activity is surging, Polkadot's Web3 Foundation is investing $1M in on-chain treasury bonds, dYdX kicked of its rewards campaign, Iota is pivoting to the Middle-East, Aave's GHO stablecoin is reclaiming its peg, and Stellar onboarded EURS.

Plus, the U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned the crypto mixing protocol, Sinbad.

✍️ In today’s newsletter:

  • Wormhole raises $225M
  • OpBNB activity spikes
  • Web3 Foundation invests in U.S. treasuries
  • DYdX launches trading rewards
  • IOTA rallies on major pivot
  • GHO trends towards peg
  • Stellar onbaords EURS
  • Sinbad mixer sanctioned

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TickerValue24h
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CONSUMER1.22pts -0.93%
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🎬 WATCH

Check out our recent interviews with Ethereum's chief scientist, Vitalik Buterin, and MakerDAO's co-founder, Rune Christensen, from the Devconnect conference in Istanbul. And watch our podcast with David Gogel of the dYdX Foundation to find out why his team migrated from an Ethereum Layer 2 to a Cosmos appchain.


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Fundraising

Wormhole Sells $225M of Token Warrants in 2023’s Largest Crypto Raise

TLDR The Wormhole cross-chain bridging protocol bagged $225M at a $2.5B valuation in 2023's largest crypto fundraising round. Investors received token warrants, allowing holders to Wormhole's yet-to-be-released token at a future date.

SO WHAT The round comes after monthly fundraising totals slumped to their lowest level since 2020 earlier this year on the back of the prolonged bear market. Wormhole spun out of Jump Trading Group earlier this month, with Jump employees exiting the company to continue working on Wormhole.

READ MORE: Wormhole Sells $225M of Token Warrants in 2023’s Largest Crypto Raise


Layer 2

OpBNB Leads Superchain Adoption While Base and Optimism Lag

TLDR On-chain activity on OpBNB, BNB Chain's Layer 2, has skyrocketed over the past two weeks. The network processed a record high of 63.3 transactions per second on Nov. 27.

SO WHAT OpBNB was built on top of Optimism's OP Stack. Its rocketing activity comes as Base and Optimism, fellow OP Stack-based L2s, are posting significant decline's in transaction throughput. BNB Chain aims to double the L2's scalability in the coming months with its next major upgrades.

Read More: OpBNB Leads Superchain Adoption While Base and Optimism Lag


Real-world assets

Polkadot’s Web3 Foundation To Invest $1M In On-Chain Treasuries

TLDR The Web3 Foundation is allocating $1M from its treasury to invest in on-chain U.S. Treasury Bills. The transaction will be facilitated by Anemoy, a Centrifuge-based asset manager.

SO WHAT Centrifuge is spearheading the migration of real-world assets on-chain within the Polkadot ecosystem, with its parachain intended to build out and host a robust RWA ecosystem. The Web3 Foundation said it plans to increase its exposure to on-chain treasury bonds in the near future.

Read More: Polkadot’s Web3 Foundation To Invest $1M In On-Chain Treasuries


DeFi

dYdX Chain Launches Trading Rewards Program

TLDR DYdX launched incentives to drive up activity. The leading decentralized perpetuals exchange will distribute $20M worth of DYDX to traders over six months.

SO WHAT The rewards campaign follows dYdX launching a migrating over to a Cosmos-based appchain. The campaign also comes as dYdX is facing competition from Vertex, an Arbitrum-based perpetuals DEX, on the back of its own incentives campaign.

Read More: dYdX Chain Launches Trading Rewards Program


Markets

IOTA Surges After Announcing Middle Eastern and RWA Pivot

TLDR IOTA is the best-performing token among the top 100 after founding a new foundation in Abu Dhabi. Iota said the new foundation will focus on bringing real-world assets on-chain in the Middle East and North Africa region.

SO WHAT The news follows the launch of Iota's EVM-compatible network, Shimmer, last year. The deployment introduced smart contract functionality to the Iota ecosystem, moving away Iota's previous focus on low-cost payments.

Read More: IOTA Surges After Announcing Middle Eastern and RWA Pivot


Stablecoins

“Benevolent Dictator” Succeeds in Bringing Aave’s Stablecoin GHO Near Parity With USD

TLDR Aave's GHO stablecoin has bounced back up to $0.99 after trending away from $1 since launching in July. GHO was changing hands for less than $0.96 just two weeks ago.

SO WHAT GHO's upward momentum follows Aave launching a "Liquidity Committee" on Sept. 20 to drive the token price toward $1. The committee used increased GHO borrowing rates, an incentivized buy-wall on Maverick, and collaborated with DAO treasuries to push GHO's price upward.

Read More: “Benevolent Dictator” Succeeds in Bringing Aave’s Stablecoin GHO Near Parity With USD


Stablecoins

Stellar Onboards Stasis Euro As Issuer Looks To Alt Layer 1s

TLDR Stasis Euro (EURS), the largest Euro stablecoin by market cap, is now live on the Stellar network. The deployment follows Stasis partnering with Folks Finance, Algorand's leading DeFi protocol, to drive adoption of EURS on new networks.

SO WHAT Stasis aims to widen the dominance of EURS over the Euro stablecoin sector. Despite enjoying a market cap lead of 150%, EURS lags behind Tether's EURt and Circle's EURC by trade volume.

Read More: Stellar Onboards Stasis Euro As Issuer Looks To Alt Layer 1s


Regulation

US Treasury Sanctions Crypto Mixer Sinbad

TLDR The U.S. Treasury Department has levied sanctions against Sinbad, a crypto mixing protocol used by Lazarus Group, the North Korean state-backed hacking group. It is now illegal for U.S. residents to interact with the protocol.

SO WHAT The move follows the U.S. Treasury Department's unprecedented move of sanctioning the Tornado Cash mixer last year, which added code to its Specially Designated Nationals list for the first time. Both protocols became popular among criminals in addition to users seeking on-chain privacy, and have been used to launder assets stolen in major web3 hacks.

Read More: US Treasury Sanctions Crypto Mixer Sinbad


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🌍 ELSEWHERE

  • AntPool agrees to refund record $3 million Bitcoin transaction fee ( The Block)
  • Central Banks Aren't Sufficiently Ready for CBDC Risks: BIS Report ( CoinDesk)
  • Celsius grants access to withdrawals for eligible crypto holders ( Cointelegraph)