Week Review: Bitfinex Raised $1 Billion to Cover Seized Funds, Largest Corporations Continue Adopting DLT

by Frederick Ives
Newconomy Media Weekly Digest

In this article, we recap the most important events of the previous week, including major announcements, deals, and token sales.

A billion for the troubled leader of the crypto trading market

Definitely, the hottest news of the week is the $1 billion token sale of the Bitfinex crypto exchange, a leading trading service, founded in 2012 and based in Hong Kong, yet registered in New York city under the BitLicense.

The sale was overshadowed (if not caused) by the allegations that the New York Attorney General’s office has pushed at the end of April, claiming the exchange “lost” $850 million and then secretly made up for the loss from affiliated stablecoin operator Tether.

According to the officials, Bitfinex sent $850 million of the customer and corporate funds to a payment processor dubbed Crypto Capital Corp., serving other platforms as well. The money was then reportedly seized by Polish, Portuguese and U.S. authorities (with the unknown reason).

Amidst the news, Bitfinex users panicked, driving a huge withdrawal chain reaction, with hundreds of million dollars being transferred from the exchange to anywhere else in nearly a day.

Then, the Bitfinex team announced a massive private token sale of its proprietary token with a purpose to close the huge funding gap from missing funds. The platform pledges to repurchase tokens just right after the $850 million stashes will be unfrozen.

However, the CoinDesk reported on May 9 that in just a day after the private sale launch, the Bitfinex has managed to receive the desired amount “in hard and soft commitments”, according to one of the Bitfinex shareholders. No official statement was presented to the date.    

Pepsi, Russian gas and Microsoft

Now, let’s move to less dramatic events. The first update comes from a global corporate giant PepsiCo. The company has tested the blockchain-based solution for its supply chain, which has once again proved distributed ledger’s usefulness and efficiency as a breakthrough technology.

Together with the media agency Mindshare, PepsiCo developed the programmatic end-to-end supply chain solution riding on the Zilliqa blockchain ecosystem. A recent trial concluded the supply chain efficiency increased by almost 30%.

Further use of the blockchain will allow addressing the major challenges in the food and beverage industry, along with “turning around” the firm’s advertising arm, says the beverage company.

Another use-case is from Russia. The thing is, a local oil and gas company “Nordgas trading” has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the “Fin foundation” company, which is currently implementing token payment on gas stations in South Korea. CEO of “Nordgas Trading” Petr Zinchenko told Newconomy about his expectations from the collaboration in a special interview.

In his opinion, the legalization of cryptocurrencies “is a matter of time” in Russia as the Central Bank officially announced it is believing in the prospects of cryptocurrency. Thanks to the new partnership, customers of “Nordgas” will get the option to pay with the crypto for gas in the nearest future. In Zinchenko’s words, their partner is also planning to install several crypto-ATMs on the “Nordgas” stations.

Finally, one more pick from the economic Olymp. JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, has announced a partnership with the global tech corporation Microsoft. Together, they are aiming to accelerate the adoption of enterprise blockchain.

The collaboration will allow JPMorgan and Microsoft customers to use Quorum blockchain, developed by the bank, through Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service, along with the development of blockchain networks in the cloud. Essentially, Quorum becomes the first blockchain platform available through Microsoft’s Azure.

Notable IEOs of the week

We have already told about the Bitfinex token sale, but there several more on the passing week.

A promising project called ThunderCore has become the first startup to raise funds on a new service dubbed Huobi Lite. Yes, the Huobi exchange already runs the IEO platform, Huobi Prime, but the Lite is reportedly an “ultra-fast version” of Prime that “delivers shorter listing cycles and more flexible trading allocations for users”.

ThunderCore promises very fast transactions, accelerated by the DDoS-resilient distributed system, and the specific security option of switching the consensus algorithm to PoW if the nodes act strangely. Previously, the ThunderCore has raised around $50 million, but decided to go through another investment round, worth $15 million.  

ABCC crypto exchange has carried out a token sale for the Connectome project. This was highlighted by a number of novelties. First, ABCC collaborated with the Korean trading platform dubbed Chain X to open its service to Korean customers with the Korean Won as the payment option. Second, both ABCC and Chain X conducted the Connectome event.

At the same time, the supply wasn’t allocated at once, but a certain amount of tokens was released according to a specific schedule before and after the sale. Such a release mechanism will help to protect users in the event of a massive price drop from a sell-off, ABCC team claims.

As for the Connectome itself, the project is striving to connect Blockchain, AI and AR, to create Virtual Human Agents (VHA), virtual valets that are able to assist users in their activity, for instance, book a table at a restaurant, or communicate with an online shop on a refund.

New meetups of Newconomy DAO club

Of course, next week we are planning to gather members of our DAO club to discuss the latest trends and hear the best experts in the crypto industry. The online meetings are scheduled for May 16 and 17. Don’t miss the events!

Participants of the first broadcast will meet some real professionals. Among them is the experienced journalist, founder and CEO of Blockcglobe media Jenny Yang, and the Ruslan Yusufov, Director of private client services at the famous Russian cybersecurity firm Group-IB. Content for the second meetup is still pending.

Also read: IEO on 6 Major Platforms: New Point of Failure or New Market Standard?

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