VeradiVerdict - Issue #160
FTX has been one of the fastest growing companies in the cryptocurrency space and recently raised a record funding round for a crypto startup, $900m at a $18b valuation. The company provides derivative, spot, and synthetic trading across its exchange in addition to a consumer brokerage, the latter which was a result of the acquisition of Blockfolio. More recently, FTX has enabled consumers to earn up to 8% APY on select cryptocurrencies.
Since the acquisition, FTX has been building a consumer brand that appeals more to the mass market and mainstream. This has included the naming rights of the arena where the Miami Heat play basketball and a partnership with Tom Brady where he’s an equity owner in the company. Most recently this week, FTX announced that they have purchased the naming rights for the Cal Football field for a long-term partnership of 10 years for $17.5m. Even more significant, the purchase was made in cryptocurrency and it’s the first collegiate partnership with a cryptocurrency company.
I believe this partnership will bring more exposure to the UC Berkeley community on the benefits of cryptocurrency. Cal has always been a leader among universities with regards to blockchain, as organizations such as Blockchain at Berkeley, Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, and The House Fund have provided capital, education, and mentorship for blockchain startups with UC Berkeley alumni founders. Coming out of these programs, we’ve seen at least a few startups that have reached unicorn ($1b+ valuations) status with ties to the university: Rally, Oasis, and Acala.
I am a graduate of UC Berkeley and am proud that the university has taken a leap forward to embrace cryptocurrency and innovation while continuing to be at the forefront of education and providing opportunities for both alumni and students to succeed in our ecosystem.
- Paul V
On August 18, digital payments giant Visa spent $150,000 to buy a unique work of art, and in so doing quietly took its first step into the metaverse, a nascent online world that promises to transform the internet into a virtual reality.
Digital currency company Circle says it’s changing the makeup of its dollar-pegged stablecoin’s reserves to just cash and U.S. Treasury bonds.
Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange has signed its first college sports sponsorship deal, with the payment in this case to be made in crypto.
The blockchain infrastructure startup says easy access to developer services helps projects "unfold at a higher velocity."
The House will consider the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Sept. 27.
Jared Rice Sr. pleaded guilty to duping investors out of more than $4 million.
IN THE TWEETS
NEW PRODUCTS AND HOT DEALS
OpenNode and Substack will allow some crypto-focused subscribers to pay with both on-chain and Lightning bitcoin transactions.
LETS MEET UP
Mexico City, Aug 30-Sept 1
Los Angeles, Sept 16-17
Mainnet 2021, New York City, Sept 20-24
Coffee meetings or walks in San Francisco
Hi, I’m Paul Veradittakit, a Partner at Pantera Capital, one of the oldest and largest institutional investors focused on investing in blockchain companies and cryptocurrencies. I’ve been in the industry since 2014, and the firm invests in equity, early stage token projects, and liquid cryptocurrencies on exchanges. I focus on early-stage investments and share my thoughts on what’s going on in the industry in this weekly newsletter.