One of the world’s largest economies has officially begun the process of adopting blockchain and digital asset technologies.

The US state of California is the fifth-largest economy in the world, with a gross domestic product (GDP) greater than the UK and behind only China, Japan and Germany.

It is also home to Silicon Valley and the headquarters of the majority of the world’s largest tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple.

Its Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a blockchain executive order to begin examining how to adopt cryptocurrency and other digital asset technologies into its economy and services ‘while protecting California consumers’.

It follows President Joe Biden’s recent call for state agencies to follow the federal government to craft regulations for digital currencies. 

“California is a global hub of innovation, and we’re setting up the state for success with this emerging technology – spurring responsible innovation, protecting consumers, and leveraging this technology for the public good,” said Governor Newsom. 

“Too often government lags behind technological advancements, so we’re getting ahead of the curve on this, laying the foundation to allow for consumers and business to thrive.”

The order will seek to create a transparent and consistent business environment for companies operating in blockchain; create a regulatory approach to crypto assets, exploring and establish public-serving use-cases; and build research and workforce pipelines.

Crypto data provider hails ‘astounding’ institutional adoption

A provider of digital asset data has raised $30 million in Series B funding.

Amberdata provides insights into blockchain, cryptocurrency markets and decentralised finance to financial institutions.

Revenue at the company is climbing rapidly as these institutions adopt crypto at scale, according to CEO Shawn Douglass.

“The rate of institutional adoption of crypto is truly astounding,” he said. “We’ve seen our revenue double in the first quarter of this year as the world’s largest financial institutions come to us for the critical data they need for research, trading, risk, analytics, reporting and compliance as they enter digital assets. 

“Amberdata is poised for massive growth and this financing will allow us to accelerate expansion of our worldwide go-to-market activities, scale our industry-leading data infrastructure, and build out our world-class customer success team. 

“It will also allow us to accelerate new product initiatives including expansion of DeFi depth and coverage, development of digital asset indices, and market intelligence and risk analytics applications.”

The funding round was led by Knollwood Investment Advisory. Susquehanna International Group, Nasdaq Ventures, NAB Ventures, Chicago Trading Company, Nexo, Coinbase and Innovius participated in the capital raise alongside existing investors Citi, Franklin Templeton, Aspenwood Ventures, Rovida Kruptos Assets and Boldstart Ventures.

Cryptocurrency shorts

Luxury fashion brand Gucci is to trial cryptocurrency payments inside its US stores, with payments made via a link containing a QR code which allows them to execute the payment from their crypto wallet. 

London-listed Pluto Digital has launched its Yield Optimisation Platform (YOP), which is designed to allow people to earn a passive income on their crypto.

Crypto exchange Coinbase has opened the beta version of its non-fungible token marketplace to the public.

France’s financial authority has approved Binance’s registration as digital asset service provider, with the exchange now planning to scale its operations in the country.

Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, has refunded $265,000 of Ethereum transaction fees to those who tried and failed to purchase Otherdeed plots in its Otherside metaverse.

Payments company Ramp has partnered with self-custodial cryptocurrency software platform Exodus, allowing the latter’s customers to purchase cryptocurrencies in-app.

Holders of meme coin Shiba Inu can now use it to purchase land in the Shiba VR metaverse.

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 19,200 coins is at $1.8 trillion, a 4.4% increase in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – gained 3% to $39,600 at the time of writing (7am UK). BTC is up slightly in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – climbed 4% towards $3,000. ETH is 2% up 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 added 4% to $401, leaving it 3% up over seven days.

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 jumped 8% towards $94 – enough to see it move back above XRP and Terra in the market cap valuation table – yet is down 6% compared with a week ago.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP added 6% to 64.5 cents, which leaves it 1% down over seven days.

Terra, described as a programmable money for the internet, gained 2% to $86. Its payment token LUNA is 4% lower than its price a week ago.

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, leaped 11% towards 87c. It is 3% up over the course of a week.

Avalanche, a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments, came out of nowhere months ago to break into the top 10 currencies. Its AVAX token rocketed 12% to $67 yet is 3% down in a week.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE added 4% to 13.5c, 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, climbed 7% to $16.25 yet is 4% lower than its price a week ago.

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.