Side-Trading Accusations Put Cryptocurrency Funding in Spotlight
9 mins read

Side-Trading Accusations Put Cryptocurrency Funding in Spotlight

Vitalik Buterin from the Ethereum Foundation gathered over 1,000 people in a conference room in Brussels, and Margaux Nijkerk from CoinDesk was on the sceneWe have this story plus a host of announcements from Europe’s largest Ethereum conference.

However, one of the biggest sensational stories related to blockchain technology is the discovery of (picked up by Sam Kessler from CoinDesk) that a prominent builder in the space has been accused by his former employer, the prestigious crypto venture-capital firm Polychain, of violating ethics rules by accepting an undisclosed personal allocation of tokens from a project that raised funds from the company. Read on.

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Polychain claims Ritual co-founder Niraj Pant, a former general partner, violated company rules. (Ritual)

ADDITIONAL SERVICE? Two months ago, the blockchain development world was rocked by the news that Neel Somani, founder of the highly modular blockchain project Eclipsewas stepping away from his role in response to sexual harassment allegations. Now, new allegations have emerged about the project’s fundraising. Cryptocurrency venture capital giant Multi-chain accused Niraj Pant, the fund’s former general partner, of entering into a backroom deal with Eclipse that violated the fund’s rules, discovery by Sam Kessler of CoinDesk. According to three sources close to the situation and internal Eclipse documents reviewed by CoinDesk, Eclipse’s Somani quietly allocated Pant 5% of the upcoming Eclipse crypto token in September 2022 — just days after Pant tapped Polychain to lead a $6 million pre-seed funding round. The allocation was eventually reduced to 1.33%, worth $13.3 million at the token’s last fully diluted valuation in the private investment round. Pant insists the deal was completely kosher, as it didn’t close until September 2022 — a month after Polychain had already invested in Eclipse. Psychological Operations Co. is also expected to sign a $13.3 million equity stake in Eclipse, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by Kessler and signed by Somani. Panta would receive a grant of Eclipse tokens in exchange for “periodic sync conference calls,” as Eclipse requested. Somani told his inner circle that the generous token grant was intended to encourage Panta to secure Polychain’s cash and the VC veteran’s desired endorsement, according to two people familiar with the matter. “Polychain’s statement to CoinDesk provides a rare glimpse into the sausage-making process in the cozy world of crypto VC firms and the projects they fund,” Kessler wrote. Sarcastic posters on social media platform X snickered that they were “thrilled“to find out that such practices can take place in the crypto fund environment.

Former President Donald Trump’s Republican Party has officially adopted the platform who would strive for support cryptocurrency innovationaccording to a document released Monday by the Republican National Committee. Separately, Multi-currency capitalone of the largest American investment firms focusing on cryptocurrencies, is pledging $1 million supporting Senate candidates who have positive opinions about the industry.

Residents of a small town Granbury, Texascomplained of experiencing physical symptoms due to a “dull hum” coming from a nearby bitcoin mining facility that “exceeded noise limits on a daily basis,” Time reported“A representative for Marathon Digital Holdings, the company that owns the mine, did not respond to questions about the health impact but told Time it was working to remove the noisy fans from the mine site.”

Blockchain games “Now they emerge fully cooked,” writes David Z. Morris in guest column: “That means that many of them are at least as enjoyable as games that have nothing to do with cryptocurrency.” Another CoinDesk contributor, Jeff Wilser, has studied the success tap to earn Baby Hamster Combatgame launched on the TON blockchain that has become so popular in Iran that the deputy chief of the country’s armed forces described it as part of the West’s “soft war.”

Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin gave the opening speech on hardening the Ethereum blockchain as a base layer to a packed room of around 1,100 attendees at a developer conference in Brussels on Wednesday. Buterin he spoke for a long time During his presentation at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) on the strengths and weaknesses of the largest smart contract blockchain and its vast ecosystem, including his concerns about transaction censorship, as well as his proposal to increase the “quorum threshold” from 75% to 80%. Buterin said he believes the strengths of the Ethereum ecosystem include that it is a “large and fairly decentralized staking ecosystem” and that it is a highly international and intellectual community. (I’m not sure if he means Crypto Twitter?)

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin speaks at the EthCC conference on Wednesday in Brussels (Margaux Nijkerk)

Top picks from last week our protocol village a column that describes the most important updates and news in the field of blockchain technology.

Diagram illustrating the operation of Combinder

1. ConnectorDePIN, a data-collection startup, has unveiled “a prototype of an AI-powered nano-grid built in partnership with Nevermined & Valory on behalf of Olas,” according to the team: “Running on peaq, DePIN’s Layer 1 blockchain and Machine RWA, the prototype will demonstrate the feasibility of a Web3-based nano-grid energy management solution involving AI agents—smart software components representing individual household appliances. Using real-world data to simulate the energy needs of an average household, the project team will build a physical nano-grid that includes a pluggable green energy source and an AC unit.”

2.Trilitechfocused on the Tezos blockchain, announced what the team described as a “major development” — the launch of Jstz (pronounced “justice”), a “JavaScript-powered intelligent rollup.” According to the team, “The upcoming Layer 2 rollup being built on Tezos will allow developers to use JavaScript and its vast resources. But beyond enabling the language itself, Jstz is unique in that it is being designed to be compatible with standard JavaScript APIs, allowing developers to leverage a vast ecosystem of familiar, battle-tested JS tools and libraries.” (Read our recent story here on Tezos’ plan for a “canonical rollup.”)

3. A new project called TON Application Chain (TAC) it is being built Layer 2 network for the TON Blockchain ecosystem, known for its ties to popular messaging app Telegram. The project, which is backed by The Open Platform, an investor focused on the TON blockchain ecosystem, will be based on technology from Ethereum-focused Layer 2 developer Polygon, according to a press release. The team made the announcement Tuesday at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) in Brussels, Belgium.

4. Union Laboratoriesmodular interoperability layer, added support for Arbitrum, the leading Layer 2 TVL ecosystem, to connect Arbitrum Orbit chains with IBC-enabled blockchains, as well as other networks that integrate with Union, such as Polygon, Scroll, and Movement. According to the team, “This integration will unlock unprecedented liquidity flow between IBC and the Arbitrum ecosystem. It will also lead to reduced latency for optimistic cross-chain operations, while maintaining the security and integrity of transactions within the Arbitrum ecosystem and beyond.”

5. The development company behind World coin The protocol shared Tuesday that its upcoming Layer 2 blockchain, World Chain, is now open to developers. This means select developers can apply to build, test, and provide feedback to Tools For Humanity, the development company behind Worldcoin, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. World Chain leveraged Optimism’s OP Stack, configurable toolkit which enables developers to build their own blockchains using Optimism technology and create their own network.

Private Equity (PE) Firms Finally See Value in Bitcoin (BTC) miners, thanks to the growing demand for data centers that can run artificial intelligence (AI) machines.

“Even private equity firms that haven’t necessarily been in the data center space before are looking at this,” Adam Sullivan, CEO of one of the largest mining companies, Core Scientific (CORZ), told CoinDesk in an exclusive interview.

Core Scientific recently signed a 12-year, 200-megawatt (MW) contract agreement with CoreWeave, a cloud computing company that addresses AI computing needs with the potential to expand further.

Since news of the deal broke, Sullivan said, Core Scientific has received several offers from major private equity firms offering to fund further AI-related partnerships.

Rome co-founders Anil Kumar (right) and Sattvik Kansal (Rome)

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