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Top Headlines for 7 April, 2022

Richest Bitcoin Whale Dives Back Into Market

The biggest non-exchange Bitcoin address in the world has resumed accumulating the premier cryptocurrency once again in April 2022. The wallet reportedly holds 120,000 BTC worth around $5 billion as of 7 April 2022.

In the first week in April 2022 the whale added 3,241 BTC to its holdings, worth $145 million, as the leading cryptocurrency dipped 5% below its seven-day moving average. The address is the third biggest cryptocurrency holder after crypto exchanges Binance and Bitfinnex.

Blockchain analytics firm Glassnode reported that both whales and holders with less than 1 BTC are accumulating more of the cryptocurrency.

Lightning Labs Raises $70M

Lightning Labs raised $70 million in a Series B funding round led by Valor Equity Partners and joined by global asset manager Baillie Gifford.

The firm plans to use the freshly raised capital to continue developing Taproot Asset Representation Overlay (TARO), a new Taproot-based protocol that will add more functionality to the Bitcoin network, including support for non-fungible tokens and stablecoins.

The company describes the new protocol as an asset overlay built on BTC. Its security is based on embedded consensus, meaning that transactions on TARO include Bitcoin data that is required to be settled on the BTC blockchain.

OpenSea To Add Solana NFTs

Ethereum NFT marketplace OpenSea will add Solana-based NFTs to its platform. The platform previously only hosted NFTs minted on Ethereum, but the rising popularity of Solana NFTs has pushed it to include them.

OpenSea dominates NFT trading volume by a considerable margin. Its move to add NFTs from the second-largest non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem will help the platform consolidate its position as the market leader.

OpenSea has released Solana support in beta with limited collection coverage. It currently allows for trading of 165 Solana collections, although if you search the marketplace by chain, the site reveals an extensive list of more than 865,000 Solana NFTs. Collectors can now buy tokens from some of Solana’s highest-grossing NFT collections, including Aurory, Shadowy Super Coders, Solana Monkey Business, and Degenerate Ape Academy.

Unfortunately the Solana integration with OpenSea has not gone smoothly with users widely reporting issues with minting Solana NFTs on the marketplace. One Solana Labs co-founder said, “Performance sucks under load; fixing that is our highest priority.”

NEAR Raises $350 Million

Ethereum’s rival NEAR Protocol has raised $350 million in its latest funding round led by investment firm Tiger Global with participation from FTX Ventures, DragonFly Capital, Hashed, Republic Capital ParaFi, and MetaWeb.

The project plans to use the funds to improve the protocol’s decentralization. Previously, NEAR raised $21.6 million and $150 million in May 2020 and January 2022, respectively. According to CoinMarketCap, NEAR is the 19th largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $10 billion as of 6 April, 2022. Similar to Ethereum, the NEAR blockchain uses a native token on the network to pay for transaction fees and staking.

DappRadar reports that some of the biggest projects on the network are NEAR Crowd, a decentralized finance app that rewards users for completing tasks, Paras 2.0, an NFT marketplace that features only high-quality digital art produced by select artists, and DeFi app Ref Finance. DragonFly Managing Partner Haseeb Qureshi said, “In the long run, the blockchain will need to scale horizontally to manage the massive [growth] that will come with mainstream adoption.”

LFG Buys $230 Million in BTC

The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) added another $230 million worth of Bitcoin to its treasury reserve for UST on 6 April, 2022.

Terra founder Do Kwon purchased the premier cryptocurrency in a series of transactions and added it to the Luna-LFG wallet making a total of 35,767.98 BTC, worth over $1.6 billion at current prices.

Earlier, on 30 March, 2022, the Terra founder bought $135 million worth of Bitcoin. The price of Terra’s native cryptocurrency LUNA initially hit an all-time high of $106 on the news of Do Kwon’s Bitcoin buying spree. Nevertheless, leading cryptocurrencies slumped between 5 – 10% that day: Bitcoin fell 5%, Ether dropped 7% and Luna also backtracked 8% in the market-wide downturn. Still, with a market capitalization of $37 billion, Luna remains the seventh-largest cryptocurrency in the industry.