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Top Headlines for 15 March, 2022

Solana NFT Market Gets $27M Series A

In March 2022 Magic Eden, a Solana NFT marketplace, raised $27 million in a Series A funding round led by Paradigm Capital with participation from leading investors such as Sequoia, Variant Capital, and Solana Ventures.

The company plans to use the freshly raised capital to expand its core team, create a fully functional mobile app and develop a gaming vertical. CEO Jack Liu said, “Our goal is to make clear the distinction between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, allowing all the actors to lead the directions of their online interactions”.

Analytics platform Dappradar reports that Magic Eden generated trading revenue of more than $451 million in February 2022 and has become a dominant force in the Solana ecosystem. The second biggest Solana marketplace only saw a trading volume of $12 million. However, compared to OpenSea, these are still modest numbers; the leading Ethereum NFT marketplace reportedly saw a trading volume of over $2.19 billion in January 2022.

Wasabi To Blacklist Suspicious Transactions

Wasabi, a privacy oriented Bitcoin wallet, will restrict its CoinJoin coordinating service from allowing suspicious BTC transactions, according to a statement by its parent company zkSNACKs.

CEO Hartmann Bálint revealed in an interview that the restrictions were implemented on the company’s own initiative. However, Adam Ficsor, nopara73, the inventor of Wasabi, revealed in a deleted Tweet that “the decision was not proactive.” The firm officially said that restricting some transactions is necessary to prevent malicious actors from laundering funds and to keep the parent company safe from potential legal consequences.

Wasabi’s wallet applies CoinJoin, an anonymization technology that involves obscuring the source and destination of a Bitcoin transaction. It provides important benefits for user privacy, especially since the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Nevertheless, the same CoinJoin solution also allows criminals to hide illicit activities from law enforcement.

Wasabi is not the only wallet that can create CoinJoin transactions. The Bitcoin protocol allows for services that implement CoinJoin, and users have many other services to help them transact this way. As Wasabi’s CoinJoin coordinator is a centralized service; it can see the origin point and bar the ones it deems suspicious. On the other hand, Wasabi’s specific implementation is open source and does not collect IP addresses, personal data or public keys.

Blockchan Game Developer Raises $10M

Metaverse Game Studios (MGS), a blockchain game developer, has secured $10 million in its most recent fundraising round.

Pantera Capital, a crypto-focused hedge fund, led the capital raise for MGS. Everyrealm, Solana Ventures, and Animoca Brands. Huobi Ventures, Morningstar Capital, OKX Blockdreams, and Ancient8 are notable investors that also funded the startup.

Angelic, an AAA MMORPG sci-fi game, will be the studio’s debut release. The game’s creators have previously worked on popular non-crypto titles such as League of Legends, Far Cry, and Halo 3. The project teased fans with a preview film in September 2020 and promised to release a founder series NFT collection and two demos this year. According to Animoca Brands founder Yat Siu, the game would bridge the gap between blockchain games and AAA blockbusters.

FTX, Everstake Launch Crypto Crowdfunding Platform for Ukraine

In conjunction with the country’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, Everstake and FTX have established a cryptocurrency crowdfunding platform named ‘Aid for Ukraine.’

The effort attempts to boost donations to fund the country’s defense against the Russian army. Donors can make contributions in a variety of cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH, USDT, DOT, and DOGE. Elliptic, a blockchain analytics business, reports that since Russia’s troops entered Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the country’s government has received more than $60 million in cryptocurrency donations.

According to Merkle Science, approximately $93 million has already been distributed to the Ukrainian government and non-governmental organizations since the invasion. All funds earned through the new project will be directed toward Ukrainian armed troops and residents who need humanitarian assistance.