Binance Labs, the venture capital and incubation arm of Binance, has closed a $500 million investment fund. 

The fund is supported by leading global institutional investors such as DST Global Partners, Breyer Capital, and Whampoa Group. Other major private equity funds, family offices, and corporations also subscribed to the fund as limited partners.

The new fund will invest in projects that can extend the use cases of cryptocurrencies and drive the adoption of Web3 and blockchain technologies.

“In a Web3 environment, the connection between values, people, and economies is essential, and if these three elements come together to build an ecosystem, that will accelerate the mass adoption of the blockchain technology and crypto,” said Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance. 

“The goal of the newly closed investment fund is to discover and support projects and founders with the potential to build and to lead Web3 across DeFi, NFTs, gaming, metaverse, social and more.”

Since 2018, Binance Labs has invested in and incubated more than 100 projects from over 25 countries. Its portfolio includes industry-leading projects such as 1inch, Audius, Axie Infinity, Dune Analytics, Elrond, Injective, Polygon, Optimism, The Sandbox and STEPN.

Binance Labs makes investments across three different stages: incubation, early-stage venture, and late-stage growth.

DeFi startup Cloudwall Capital raises $6.3m

Digital asset risk management startup Cloudwall Capital has raised $6.3 million in seed funding.

Founded in 2021, the company is building a product, Serenity, which will provide institutional investors with the risk management insights to effectively build portfolios and manage risks inherent in digital assets so they can invest confidently. 

It says that recent volatility in the digital assets market has shown a clear need for a platform that can help investors assess risk and correlation more accurately, make better decisions when it comes to investing and demonstrate to their investors that they have institutional-grade stacks to assist their work. 

The seed round was led by LocalGlobe and Illuminate Financial. They were joined by a syndicate of investors including IA Capital Partners, Eberg Capital and NEMO Ventures, along with founder and operator angel investors from across decentralised and traditional finance. 

It will see the company grow its team to 15 people by the end of the year and further develop the platform with an aim to launch an early access program this summer. 

Cloud-based platform Serenity combines risk management with research to give investors an overview of their assets and potential. It allows investors to pull in their portfolios and access historical data from a range of sources including centralised exchanges and blockchain data to analyse and demystify the digital asset market, including the ability to break down the entire market. 

The platform’s statistical and machine learning algorithms will also enable investors to run simulations and stress tests on their portfolios to see how they will behave. Serenity doesn’t offer advice to managers on what to do – instead, it provides clients with the data and insights to understand the context of what is going on and likely outcomes to support better decisions. 

CEO Kyle Downey was the MD and global head of automated risk trading and quantitative investment strategies IT at Morgan Stanley, while COO Jia Yng Wee spent 20+ years in global markets and private banking at Morgan Stanley, DB, Coutts and Nomura, covering senior operations and business management roles.

Head of research Ilya Kulyatin is a former FinTech founder and has more than a decade of quant research experience in hedge funds, asset management and market-making. 

Cryptocurrency shorts

Tom Tate, mayor of Australia’s sixth-largest city Gold Coast, says he is open to the idea of residents paying taxes in cryptocurrency in future. It follows similar statements from the Bahamas, Lugano in Switzerland, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Colorado in the US, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and The Central African Republic. Some residents in China are already able to pay taxes using the digital yuan.

The Bank of Uganda is to invite cryptocurrency businesses to participate in its regulatory sandbox. 

An employee at Yuga Labs, owner of Bored Ape Yacht Club, had his Discord server account hacked. By posting a phishing link on the page, the offenders were able to drain more than 175 ETH from investors’ accounts.

Amid the crypto bear market, Coinbase has ‘unhired’ employees set to start work with the crypto company, leading to complaints on social media. The new recruits, now cut adrift, have been offered a severance payment of two months’ salary plus the help of a ‘talent hub’ to help them look for a new position elsewhere.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 19,700 coins is at $1.28 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK).

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – is around $31,150. BTC is 2% up in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – is around $1,870. ETH is 1% down over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token is at $306, leaving it 4% down over seven days.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, is just below 62 cents and 20% up over the course of a week.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP is at 40 cents and more or less where it was seven days ago.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token is at $41.59 and down 10% compared with a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE is at 8.3c, leaving it 3% down in a week.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, is at $9.72 and 7% lower than its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token is at $26.47 and 4% down in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.