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Weekend Wrap: Twitter’s USDC test

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Weekend Wrap: Twitter's USDC test 1
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Behind the Headlines
  • Twitter is the first partner in a new program from payments company Stripe involving the use of USDC to select content creators. Such payments will be accessible through Stripe Connect — its system for integrating payments into online marketplaces — starting with Twitter as its first partner. Stripe claims that businesses and platforms using Stripe Connect will be able to pay out in USDC, without having to buy or hold the stablecoin itself.
  • Two days after the beta launch of its new NFT marketplace, Coinbase’s stock fell to an all-time low during Friday’s trading session. The company announced plans to enter the NFT space back in October of last year and over 1.5 million people signed up for the waitlist. The beta launch kicked off on April 20. Meanwhile, Coinbase’s stock has been consecutively dipping lower since the beginning of the month, according to data from Yahoo! Finance, and the beta launch this week did not change that trajectory. On Friday, $COIN touched a low of $131.25 and later closed at $131.52.
  • The sanctions campaign by US officials against Russia invoked crypto this week. On April 20, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control added Russia-based cryptocurrency miner BitRiver as well as 10 subsidiaries to its Specially Designated Nationals list. According to an announcement shared with The Block, the move is indicative of a broader push against Russia’s crypto mining industry. The Treasury did not mention any particular association between BitRiver and the Putin regime.
  • New on The Scoop: In this new episode, Gauntlet CEO Tarun Chitra described his company’s rise to unicorn status and explains how a project in DeFi can be successful. In his view, it’s not just replicating what exists in centralized finance and putting it on the blockchain. Listen to the whole episode by clicking the image link below.
Weekend Wrap: Twitter's USDC test 4
In 1808, Napoleon Bonaparte oversaw the construction of the Palais Brongniart, France’s first centralized stock exchange. Operating until 1998, it was, at the time, considered an emblem of the French empire’s financial might. 
Earlier this month, it served as the venue for Paris Blockchain Week Summit (PBWS) and its NFT Day counterpart, a conference that showcased an industry aiming to upend the old financial order. With the exception of the more laissez-faire NFT Day, the conference focused heavily on regulation and institutional uptake of digital assets. 
Much of it seemed orchestrated to add weight not only to the idea that crypto is the future of finance — but also that France will be its center in Europe.
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Follow the Money
  • Cricket NFT platform Rario announced a $120 million funding round led by Dream Sports’ venture capital and M&A arm Dream Capital on Thursday.
  • VC giant a16z Crypto is launching an academic research lab focused on web3.
  • Blockchain security firm CertiK raised an additional $60 million just two weeks after it announced an $88 million Series B3 round at a $2 billion company valuation.
  • Aurora-based DeFi protocol Bastion raised $9 million in a funding round led by Three Arrows Capital.
  • Tron is launching a decentralized algorithmic stablecoin called USDD, backed by $10 billion of crypto as collateral.
  • Decentralized identity startup Spruce raised $34 million in a funding round led by a16z.
  • BlockApps, founded in 2015, raised $41 million in a round led by Liberty City Ventures.
  • Lido Finance’s governance forum passed a vote to support Ethereum protocol contributors via the Protocol Guild to the tune of about $6 million.
The Block Research Spotlight
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