Crypto Biz: Crypto was in full swing at Collision Conference, June 17-23

Despite the bear market in Bitcoin and altcoins, the industry’s builders continue to build for a brighter future.

For all the gloom and doom in the cryptocurrency market these days, our industry continues to make inroads into mainstream tech. This week, I had the pleasure of attending the sold-out Collision Conference in Toronto, and crypto was featured prominently. During the event, I got to moderate three panels, including two that were crypto-focused. The fact that the biggest tech conference in North America is letting me talk cryptocurrency after a six-month bloodbath proves there’s more to the industry than just price. And, I’m not saying the price isn’t important — but context is everything.

My Collision panel on decentralized social media included Stani Kulechov, founder and CEO of Aave and Lens Protocol. 

This week’s Crypto Biz gives you a taste of Collision Conference 2022 and also draws your attention to the latest funding and business news from the world of blockchain.

Institutions are exploring the space — KPMG Canada crypto team

During Collision, I sat down with KPMG Canada’s crypto team to talk about the firm’s recent foray into digital assets. If you recall, I got really excited in February when the KPMG Canada announced it had added Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to its corporate treasury. The firm’s decision to adopt digital assets didn’t come on a whim — it was directed by an internal governance council that did its due diligence before recommending crypto treasuries. The Canadian arm of the Big Four accounting firm remains bullish despite recent market turmoil.

Voyager enters into $500M loan agreement with Alameda amid 3AC exposure

I reported last week that crypto-focused hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) was inching closer to insolvency after a series of leveraged bets turned sour. We knew there would be contagion risk — we just didn’t know how much. Well, this week, trading platform Voyager Digital took out a loan from Alamada Research to cover losses tied to its exposure to 3AC. Specifically, Voyager borrowed 15,000 BTC from Alameda, which is roughly equivalent to the 15,250 BTC owed to it by 3AC. Voyager has requested that 3AC repay its outstanding debts by Monday, or else it’ll pursue legal action.

Crypto brokerage FalconX raises $150M at $8B valuation

Crypto has gifted us with a lot of nasty headlines over the past six months. But, during that time, billions of dollars in venture capital were pouring into the industry. This week, crypto brokerage FalconX announced it had raised $150 million at a valuation of $8 billion in a Series D round that was led by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. The company’s valuation has basically doubled from August when it concluded its Series C funding round. As is always the case, when everyone seems to be panicking, smart money investors are busy accumulating.

Meta set to begin testing NFTs on Instagram Stories with Spark AR

Zuckerberg’s Meta, which is the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced that it’ll begin testing nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on Instagram Stories using Spark AR Studio. “We’re expanding our test so more creators around the world can display their NFTs on Instagram,” the CEO said. “Creators and collectors will be able to share their digital collectibles across Facebook and Instagram after we begin rolling out the feature on Facebook with select US creators at a later date.” Social media is about to undergo a major transformation. We’ll see whether Zuckerberg’s company will maintain its dominance during the transition to Web3 and the Metaverse.

Before you go! Is Bitcoin ready for a recession?

I wasn’t able to attend this week’s Market Report, but my colleagues Benton Yuan, Marcel Pechman and Yashu Gola were able to carry on without me. In addition to giving you the latest trading insights, they discussed Bitcoin’s prospects in the event of a global recession. You can watch the full replay below.

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