January 7, 2022 · 3 min read

The Weekly Wrap-Up - 7th January 2022

Swiss Crypto Bank Sygnum Raises $90M in Series B Funding 

Firm Now Valued at $800M

Swiss digital asset manager Sygnum has secured $90M in a series B funding round. The round was led by Hong Kong based Sun Hung Kai & Co - other investors included SBI Holdings and Animoca Brands. 

The firm recently expanded into the DeFi space by launching its ‘DeFi+ Core’ service - an investment product that exposes investors to the DeFi sector.  Syngnum’s client base is now nearing 1000 and the value of assets under its administration have surpassed $2B. The firm is also licensed to manage digital assets in Singapore. 

Kazakhstan Internet Shutdown Causes Bitcoin Mining Rate Drop 

Hash Rate of One of the World’s Biggest Mining Nations Hits Zero 

(Image: Caspian News)

On Wednesday, protests surrounding fuel costs caused Kazakhstan’s government to cut off the nation’s access to the internet. The move resulted in the global aggregated bitcoin mining rate to drop by roughly 15%. 

Kazakhstan’s crypto-mining space has expanded massively since China’s crypto-mining ban in October last year - which resulted in a 50% drop in global hash rate. There are now more than 100 independent Bitcoin mining companies established in the jurisdiction of Kazakhstan.  

Cardano’s (ADA) First DeFi App Launches    

Cardano-Based DeFi Reaches Almost $1M TVL After Just 3 Days    

On Tuesday (4th Jan), Cardano’s first DeFi dApp - DeFi Llama went live. DeFi Llama is a data aggregator similar to DeFi pulse. Until the launch of DeFi Llama, no usable DeFi apps were available on the Cardano blockchain - despite smart contract functionality being added to the network in October last year.

Hundreds of other DEXes, trackers, wallets and NFT projects are reportedly in the works to expand Cardano’s DeFi space. However critics have been quick to point out that dApp development on the chain has been painfully slow. It took over four months from the point of smart contract functionality going to live, for the first Cardano dApp to launch.  

Bitcoin Price Drops More Than 11% Since Beginning of Week   

New ‘Crypto Winter’ Feared

The price of Bitcoin fell more than 11% over the course of this week. The price fell from $47,000 on Monday (3 Jan) to $41,500 today (7 Jan). Bitcoin is now down over 40% from its ATH (all time high) of $70,000 in November last year. 

The price fall is believed to have occurred due to a number of factors. Stock markets fell significantly over the same period and US investors were warned that interest rates were highly likely to increase by March 2022. It is worth remembering however that despite this dip, Bitcoin is up more than 500% over the last two years.

SEC Charges ‘Crowd Machine’ for Conducting an Unregistered ICO 

 ICO Earnings Allegedly Diverted to Gold Mining Operations 

Craig Spoole and his two companies Crowd Machine and Metavine have been charged by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) for an alleged unregistered ICO (initial coin offering) which occurred in 2018. Spoole has been ordered to pay a fine of $195,047

The purpose of the Crowd Machine ICO was publicly disclosed to have been to raise funds for the development of ‘Metavine’, which would have allowed apps to be run on the decentralised Crowd Machine network. The SEC however states that the $5.8M earnings from the ICO were instead diverted to gold mining operations in South Africa, without notifying investors.