YGG Funding Round Led by A16z and DWF Labs Nets $13.8m


Blockchain-based gaming firm Yield Guild Games (YCG) concluded a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z crypto fund. The fundraising saw Digital Wave Finance’s (DWF) investment arm DWF Labs co-lead the million-dollar token purchase that attracted Galaxy Interactive. 

The round attracted active participation from Sangha Capital Fund and Sanctor Capital. YCG acknowledged the input of angel investor David Lee. While the firm was noncommittal about the tokens sold, speculators estimate that YCG parted away with 35% of its 25 million asset value locked earlier disclosed in November 2022.

YCG Gaming Culture Expanding Scope of Play-to-earn Platform

YCG’s origin traces to gaming veteran Gabby Dizon who co-founded the entity alongside fintech guru Beryl Li. Its establishment targeted providing a collaborative platform allowing blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) users to facilitate their peers onboard and derive crypto-based rewards. 

Besides delivering the facilitative platform, YCG expanded its scope and features investment in gaming-oriented non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The investment includes virtual land and in-game merchandise rented to members to utilize during gameplay, yielding profits. 

Dizon established YCG shortly after successfully lending out his Axie Infinity NFTs holdings to users unable to purchase their own required to participate in the game. Besides investing in P2E games, the establishment of YCG and subsequent investment transformed Dizon into the leading in-game asset manager.

YCG Dynamism and Governance by Voting

YCG is a Swiss firm incorporated in 2022 while adopting a dynamic yet non-profit structure. Its co-founders embraced the flexible structure as a move eyeing decentralization.

Besides, YCG identifies with accommodating validation from the token holders who exercise their membership rights to vote on the governance process. 

Dizon observed that the quick uptake of tokens portrays the confidence partners bestow upon YCG’s mission to empower gamers via Web3 gaming. He added that the token purchase’s proceeds supported YCG’s initiatives to avail invaluable experiences and products to the Web3 community. 

Launching Soulbuond Reputation Tokens 

YCG reiterated that the funds would enable it to develop a soulbuond reputation token (SBT) set to become a critical ecosystem constituent. Dizon clarified that SBT tokens would retain permanent links to the user’s crypto wallet

YCG declared plans to introduce SBT after their successful launch in 2022 though as in-game rewards. However, YCG is set to introduce an upgraded version of the web-based application before April. Dizon disclosed that creators in the ecosystem would earn SBT tokens being rewards for completing particular quests and tasks. 

DWF Multi-product Portfolio

DWF Labs managing partner, Andrei Grachev, expressed the commitment to YCG goals given the mutual focus on expanding a blockchain-based economy via Web3. The executive added that DWF Labs runs a multi-stage Web3 ecosystem with multiple products. 

Grachev revealed that DWF Labs recently expanded its portfolio to offer consulting, debt financing, and cybersecurity. He revealed that the addition offered the firm additional revenue generation streams besides treasury management and auditing smart contracts. 

As a managing partner, Grachev lauded DWF Labs’ pursuit of providing trading solutions. As such, he indicated the firm’s superiority in token listing and over-the-counter trading. 

Recently, the firm started providing liquidity support to its clients through partners engaged in various verticals. Grachev confessed DWF Labs advanced support to over 50 Web3-based projects. Its operations featured a closely coordinated collaboration with ByBit and Binance crypto exchanges.

DWF Labs Mutual Focus on Reinforcing Web3-led Gaming Ecosystem

Grachev portrayed optimism that blockchain would leverage its potential to revolutionize the gaming sector. In particular, he considered DWF Labs’-YCG a gateway to facilitate players’ assets and derive earnings from gaming activity.  

Grachev considers YCG partnering with NFT games and various ecosystems, including Axie Infinity, League of Kingdoms and Sandbox, as shaping the blockchain-based game economies. 

Grachev restated the DWF Labs’ goal in supporting YCG as one aimed at expanding the Guild Advancement Program. He added that the program’s expansion would increase players’ earnings from gaming activities. Also, he believed the support presented a participation opportunity in the decentralized gaming sector. 

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Bankruptcy Court Approves Compute North’s Reorganization Plan


Compute North announced its reorganization plan garnered court approval. The approval by the bankruptcy court judge came after the largest hosting firm in North America honored a $250 million settlement of secured debt in an agreement with 11 companies. 

Downsized Scale of Compute North Post-restructuring

The approved reorganization plan is set to offer a recovery path for the defunct service provider for crypto mining. The approved plan will put Compute Northon on track, though at a downsized scale of its commanding presence in North America. 

The reorganization plan reveals that Compute North sought bankruptcy protection upon discovering its inability to settle its debt obligations in September. The motion filed before bankruptcy indicated that the crypto miner concluded 13 asset sales. 

In his address during the February 16 hearing, the Compute North lawyers indicated that four of the sales were major activities to settle the secured debt estimated at $250 million.  

Retracing Compute North’s Operations

Judge Marvin Isgur admitted that the ruling was unpleasant to some stakeholders. The pronouncement of the Southern District of Texas judge prompted the crypto mining firm’s attorney to recite Hail Mary. The attorney lauded the approval to enable the firm to retrace its operations through the restructuring plan. 

Compute North disclosed settling the debts it owed various firms to onboard them into the restructuring plan. Doing so was critical to avoid them initiating litigations in the future. Primarily, Marathon Digital Holdings accepted the $40 million offered on February 9 to the unsecured claim. 

Acceptance of Restructuring Process

The firm’s attorney disclosed that 11 firms accepted the offers to their relatively minor claims. However, it took Compute North last-minute intervention to conclude three agreements with two offered to the customers. 

Decimal Digital featured in three holdouts arising from the machines and hosting services ordered from the crypto mining firm. 

The mining giant is set to recover its machines though incurring transport and packing fees expenses. The attorney added that Decimal is assuming a committee position similar to Touzi Capital to oversee the plan investment.  

Corpus Christi Energy Park would retain a $5M unsecured claim arising for the contract to build the Texas-based mining infrastructure. 

BitNile shook off the newcomer tag and claimed $20 million, where $18 million was for damages. The attorney revealed that BitNile lodged a claim alleging fraud from Compute North. 

The miner alleges that Compute North failed to plug in the machines, thereby violating the deal concluded in the August deal. The BitNile secured a $1 million unsecured claim towards the voting purpose. 

Establishing Litigation Trust to Conclude Ongoing Proceedings

The restructuring plan presented before the Texas-based bankruptcy court captures the final list and creditors’ claims categories. Compute North’s attorney indicated that the plan details a litigation trust tasked with sourcing funds from the existing cases. The successful execution of the litigation trust is crucial as it influences the division of the remaining assets among the claimants.

Compute North attorney disclosed that Generate Capital is set to assume two Texas-based sites set for management with the US Bitcoin Corp. 

Foundry, a subsidiary of the Digital Currency Group, acquired two additional mining sites for the $10 million owed as an equipment loan.

The restructuring plan outlines that the remaining unsecured creditors will exercise ownership rights over various assets, including containers and transformers. The plan requires that the claimants would receive the disbursement of such assets. Lastly, the plan illustrates the establishment of trust that will oversee the closure of existing legal procedures.

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Oasys Gaming Network Adds Japan’s SoftBank as its Validators


Oasys gaming network announced the addition of Softbank to the list of official validators. Adding the Japanese conglomerate alongside three others increases the Oasys network validators to 25. 

Explaining the move, Oasys indicated that the additional validators would ease the exploration of viable collaborations within the gaming blockchain. Among the notable projects Oasys seeks to pursue is developing blockchain-based services. 

Oasys Adds Softbank as Official Validator

SoftBank lauded Oasys’ achievement as a provider of advanced technological capabilities that firms could leverage, particularly intellectual property holders and users. Its addition positions it among other lead validators, including Netmarble. Bandai Namco Research, Square Enix, and SEGA. Oasys considers network validators as entities undertaking verification of transactions within the network to guarantee its security.  

Softbank’s inclusion as one of the Oasys validators is not surprising given its reputation and active involvement in crypto projects in 20022. For instance, Softbank led a Community Gaming funding round that raised $16 million. The project aimed at onboarding cryptos onto eSports. It undertook another initiative in September 2022 by supporting the $300 M Web3 fund backed by Deutsche Telekom. 

Series of New Initiatives Launched by Oasys

Months after its initial anniversary, Oasys announced launching the mainnet blockchain protocol hosting over ten playable games. Oasys Network’s rise is evident in its latest achievement, led by the mid-December token sale that yielded $21 million. 

A recent update conveyed on January 31 illustrated Oasys’ plans of listing on Bitbank – a leading crypto in Japan. The move came days after Oasys began gradually shifting the Singapore-registered entity into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). 

The phased approach facilitates Oasys to delegate the decision-making authority to the token holders. Its achievement will stimulate transparency and democracy, enabling the gaming network to overcome centralization risks.  

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Auros Global Restructuring $18M Distressed Debt on Maple Finance


Crypto trading firm Auros Global announced reaching an agreement to restructure the missed settlements on the loans advanced as decentralized finance (DeFi) by Maple Finance.

Auros indicated that funds frozen when FTX filed for bankruptcy protection plunged it into a liquidity crisis. The situation hampered its ability to settle the debt owed to the blockchain-based lending platform. 

Resolution to Shake Off Distressed Debt

The resolution reached through the M11 Credit, the primary creditor in the Maple Finance pool that advanced the debt will enable Auros to shake off the shackles of FTX’s bankruptcy. The statement shared by M11 Credit on February 15 indicated that AUros accumulated over $18 million in unpaid loans that became due on December 20. 

The distressed debt arises from loans advanced from two lending pools on Maple Finance. The liquidity problems that befell the firm led it to miss the loan repayments, particularly with significant exposure to collapsed FTX. The liquidity crisis would compel Auros Global to seek provision liquidation in December 2022 before the British Virgin Islands court.

Reissuing Distressed Debt in Favorable Timeline and Interest 

The statement conveyed by M11 Credit confirmed that Auros settled 55% of the debt from the two lending pools. The firm’s update confirmed reissuing another 40% of the distressed debt for a period capped at nine months. The reissued debt will attract 8.64% annual interest in three cycles, each averaging 90 days. 

M11 Credit confirmed the renewal of the remaining 5% of the distressed debt though at zero interest. The renewed debt would carry a 90-day maturity period.  

M11 Credit declared that the restructuring portrays the desire of the liquidity providers affected by the distressed debt to accomplish full recovery of funds advanced. 

Debt Restructuring Offers Crucial Relief

M11 Credit portrayed the debt restructuring as offering relief for Auros Global after a turbulent credit period. The occurrence of distressed debt was inevitable for lending protocols. Many crypto firms suffered exposure to the collapse of high-profile firms, including FTX, Celsius Network and Three Arrows Capital. The implosion of the influential actors in the crypto space triggered widespread liquidity crisis, insolvency and defaults. 

Meanwhile, restructuring Auros’ distressed debt marks a significant milestone for M11 Credit. M11 restated sustaining hot pursuit to recover $36 million from Orthogonal Finance. The crypto trading firm is alleged to misrepresent its financial position to M11 following the FTX implosion. 

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Lido DAO’s Governance Token LDO Rallies as it Weighs Proposal on $30M Ether Stake


The governance token LDO offered by the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) rallied 10% following the entity’s February 14 proposal on whether to dispose of or stake the ether valued at $30 million within its treasury. 

Proposals on Staked Ether Fuels LDO Rally 

The lead provider of Ethereum staking services using the Lido system issued a vote to allow the community to determine how it handles the $30 million ether in its treasury. The submission of the proposal by Lido’s Steakhouse Financial. The vote tasks the community to consider the four treasury-related suggestions. 

The initial proposal involves determining if the DAO should cash either stake or sell the 20304 ether held in the treasury. Also, the vote will consider diversifying the DAO’s stablecoin holdings. Lastly, the vote considers whether the DAO should sell the surplus comprising the staked ether as a source of additional capital to settle operating expenses. 

LDO Market Outlook 

The news of the four proposals fueled the LDO token by 18% in the early Wednesday trading. While the price level retreated, LDO’s increment hovered around 10%. The uptrend left the LDO token with a 30% monthly gain. 

Coinmarketcap data shows that LDO is exchanging hands at press time 0855 UTC at $2.76, which is 7% up in a day. Its daily trading volume spiked by 40%, translating to $380 million. The uptrend is evident in the total market capitalization, with a 7% increment to $2.326 billion.

Kraken Challenges Become a Blessing for LDO

LDO rally started last week following the news that the San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken would settle a $30 million fine imposed by US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Also, LDO benefited from the news that the Kraken exchange would terminate crypto staking services within the US. 

Ethereum staking involves locking a defined ETH amount for a time to contribute to blockchain security. The staking process earns the ETH holders network rewards. Lido DAO facilitates users to execute non-custodial staking by locking Ethereum in alternative protocols. 

Lido DAO Cements Leadership in Staking

The facilitation of non–custodial staking by Lido DAO leaves at the pole of decentralized finance protocols with the majority of total value locked. DeFiLlama data ranks Lido DAO at the lead, closely followed by Maker DAO and Curve Finance. The scrutiny of its data shows its platform has $8.4 billion staked ether.

DAO is setting the pace with a unique proposal seeking approval to donate LDO capped at 22 million to a grant program. The proposal seeks the utilization of the donated LDO within the Token Reward Plan (TRP). TRP will feature a distribution platform for voting LDO tokens over four years to the DAO contributors.  

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Airdrop Hype Propel NFT Marketplace Blur’s Token Rally to $500M Trading Volume


The native token of NFT marketplace Blur leveraged the airdrop hype to rally to a $500 million trading volume in a day. The BLUR token prices shot to $5 on February 14 2019, before plummeting by 85% on Wednesday morning. 

Airdrop Triggers BLUR Rally

Explaining the sudden twist of events, price trackers attributed the rally to airdrops. The process involves the voluntary and free distribution of crypto tokens and coins to various addresses to attract users. 

Blur marketplace users received the airdropped BLUR tokens relative to the activity levels, network volume, and transactions executed on the NFT platform. Active users would receive 128000 BLUR tokens. Subsequent analysis by blockchain-based Etherscan revealed users would receive a meager 25 BLUR contrary to the hundreds of thousands distributed to the active colleagues.

Thousands of Wallet Holders Sustain Blur Trading Volume

The blockchain data estimates BLUR holdings to 33000 unique wallet holders by February 15. The data indicates that most users would receive the airdrop and later transfer the tokens to various wallets. 

A quick assessment of BLUR trading volume shows that several traders disposed of the tokens upon receipt of airdrops. While the tokens initially were priced at $1 on Coinbase, they skidded to 48 cents by Tuesday. 

The tokens would regain in early Wednesday activity as BLUR rallied to exchange hands at 72 cents. A review of CoinGecko data illustrates that trading BLUR tokens yielded $530 million. 

The data shows a preference for OKX, Uniswap, and Kucoin exchanges executing the transactions. 

DeFiLlama data demonstrates that the Blur marketplace experienced a sudden spike in total value by $10 million in 24 hours.  

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UK Financial Regulator Tackles Crypto ATM Operators


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) confirmed partnering with the West Yorkshire Police to enforce actions against crypto ATM operators within Leeds. The crackdown on the crypto ATMs follows an earlier proclamation by FCA that illegalizes such operations. 

Joint Enforcement Actions Against Illegal Crypto Operations

The UK lead watchdog in financial affairs announced successful coordination with the West Yorkshire enforcement officers to identify and eliminate crypto-dispensing ATMs operated within the northern City of Leeds. 

The cyber unit from the West Yorkshire police admitted the discovery of multiple live ATMs operated illegally. Nevertheless, the cyber team was noncommittal on the number and their location. Efforts to seek clarification from the FCA turned futile as the regulator declined to disclose further details. 

Scrutiny of the data presented by the Coin ATM radar indicated that the UK hosts 27 Bitcoin ATMs. Such revelation compelled FCA to issue warning letters directing the ATM operators to cease activities and desist from utilizing the machines.

Detective Sergeant Lindsey Brants from West Yorkshire indicated they warned the crypto operators against contravening the money laundering would necessitate initiating investigations. 

UK Stringent Compliance Policy for Crypto Operators

FcA directed all providers of crypto-related services must seek registration and approval. In addition, FCA directs the operators to prioritize compliance with the anti-money laundering provisions without compromising the fight against terrorist financing. 

Any company providing crypto-related services in the UK must be registered with the FCA and comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing.

The FCA echoed previous pronouncements prohibiting registered crypto assets from providing ATM services. Consequently, all crypto ATMs are operating illegally. 

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Algorand Foundation CEO Decries Crypto Crackdown, Challenges SEC to Offer Regulatory Clarity


Algorand Foundation chief executive Staci Warden decried the recent enforcement action by SEC to the crypto-native firms. She questioned the preference for punishing crypto firms instead of formulating clear guidelines. 

SEC’s Enforcement Action Questionable

Warden wondered why the Gary Gensler-led Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) punishes the crypto-native firms rather than lay out clear guidelines. The criticism of the SEC arises from the regulator’s decision to slap the Kraken crypto exchange with a $30 million fine. Instead, Kraken would have avoided the settlement since its staking-as-a-service product would have operated within the agency’s purview. 

Besides settling the $30 million fine with the SEC, Kraken revealed that it would terminate the staking-as-a-service product from the U-based customers. The San Francisco-based exchange launched its staking services in 2019 as an innovative product for that investors would reap high returns. Years later, SEC would consider the high-yield product illegal and allege Kraken executed the sale of an unregistered security. 

Crypto Firms Becoming Victims of Obscure Regulations 

Warden condemned the enforcement action by the Gensler-led watchdog by arguing that Kraken would have avoided the fine had the exchange been a profit-taking and pass-through channel. She dismissed the counterargument by SEC that Kraken is subject to regulations governing other exchanges since it is primarily an exchange offering digital assets. 

Warden regretted that the broader issue regarding crypto regulation needs more clarity. The absence of defined regulation would leave more crypto firms at the mercy of the SEC’s barrel of fines. Such eventualities will deter crypto investors from the US, thereby costing the country the innovative infrastructure. 

Warden’s criticism of the absence of regulatory clarity is evident in SEC’s decision to serve Paxos Trust with the Wells Notice. The plans to charge Paxos for issuing Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin would mirror the Kraken situation. The legal brief alerts the fintech firm that SEC plans to enforce action for dealing with and selling unregulated security. 

Regulation Through Punishment

Warden regrets SEC’s decision by attributing the appetite for imposing fines on the regulation mechanism. She observed that regulation by enforcement coupled with the absence of regulatory clarity make it challenging for crypto operations to know SEC’s expectations from them, 

The Alogorand Foundation executive lamented that regulatory ambiguity adversely affects the utilization of stablecoins, crypto adoption, and staking services. Warden portrayed the three as invaluable input and fundamental primitives to the crypto industry. 

In reference to the recent efforts by Kraken and Coinbase, Warden is optimistic that the industry is attempting to correct the current mess. She projects that the existence of regulatory clarity at the onset of launching their products would align the crypto operations with the SEC’s expectations. Its accomplishment would save investors from the loss of funds spent in endless settlements. 

Editorial credit: mundissima / Shutterstock.com

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