Institutional news from Blackrock, Jane Street & more
The Big Idea
Announcing Nexo Ventures
The crypto space is absolutely booming. Everywhere you look there is dynamism, excitement, and innovation. Experiments in the world of decentralized finance continue to accelerate almost regardless of broader market conditions. NFTs are bringing entirely new types of people to the industry. Games are being reimagined in front of our faces thanks to tokenization. And of course, the possibilities of the metaverse are lighting up people's imaginations.
For all those reasons, we're thrilled to have announced Nexo Ventures – a new $150M fund to invest in these and other Web3 themes. We're incredibly excited to be able to give back to the community by investing in the next generation of great companies with Nexo Ventures. Coinciding with the official launch of the fund this week is our participation in The TIE’s $9M Series A capital raise, which valued the information services company at $100M.
With Nexo Ventures we hope to bring something different than just financing. From Nexo Head of Corporate Finance and Investments (and leader of Nexo Ventures) Tatiana Metodieva:
"Our investment value proposition differs from most traditional investment funds. We’re native to and have a deep understanding of the digital asset industry and technology. We prioritize strategic investments and aim to integrate innovative solutions into Nexo’s product ecosystem and across our global market footprint. We explore the feasibility of enabling Nexo’s users to invest alongside us, thereby leveraging our capabilities to facilitate investor diversification and wealth maximization.”
This has been a big week for crypto and global governments. Then again, that is one of the key themes of this year. A few examples:
Florida's governor has directed the state to explore accepting crypto for tax payments
The Austin, TX government is exploring something similar
New York state is moving closer to a moratorium on Proof of Work mining
India's finance bill (including crypto taxation) is moving forward
The Bank of England has outlined a framework for regulating crypto
An official in Malaysia said that the government should recognize Bitcoin as legal tender
Crazy to think how much of this would have been literally unbelievable even a year or two ago.
The Latest In…
The Institutions Are (Still) Coming
Look, we don't usually have two lists in a single edition, but there's just so much going on in the institutional crypto space.
Goldman Sachs became the first major US bank to do a crypto OTC transaction (with Galaxy).
Bridgewater Associates is reportedly going to invest in a crypto fund.
Blackwater's Larry Fink said that the war in Ukraine could accelerate digital currencies.
Cowen, a prominent investment bank, has created a digital assets division.
Jane Street invests in a new lending protocol.
Chipmaker Qualcomm has created their own metaverse fund (good week to launch a fund if we don't say so ourselves).
The Latest In…
We believe that buying crypto shouldn’t take longer than any other digital purchase. To guarantee that Nexo offers one of the easiest crypto on-ramps, we have made improvements to the buying experience on the Nexo App, resulting in a more intuitive account funding for first-time users, the addition of new topping up and swapping buttons to the Dashboard, and a redesigned process for direct purchases with bank cards.
Over the years, many crypto partisans have said that the global, instant, permissionless nature of crypto would make it incredibly important in disaster scenarios. As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, that thesis is proving true. Crypto donations to Ukraine are approaching $100,000,000, with the majority of that going directly to the government itself. This is disruptive and unique in human history. What's more than that, however, it's also shaping the narrative. While many crypto critics have tried to accuse crypto of being used to evade sanctions (despite unbiased sources like the US Treasury saying that's not the case), what's unignorable is how much the crypto community has rallied to the aid of Ukraine.
What the Community Is Discussing
Are stablecoins the way the dollar remains dominant in the future?
Comments by Vitalik about Bored Apes are getting a LOT of attention.
Hard to disagree.
If you’re in the right-clicking group of people, we won’t judge, but we know of a way to get some APE.
What to Watch for Next Week:
Will crypto donations continue to pour into Ukraine?
Will the US announce more crypto-related hearings?