18.06.2021

CryptoKitties Creator Raises $11 Million from Warner, A16z to Launch Blockchain

According to a story in Forbes Thursday, Dapper Labs has garnered $11 million in funding for the project, including investment from Warner. The round is led by Andreessen Horowitz, with other major venture firms like Union Square Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Venrock and Accomplice also participating.

Warner Music is collaborating with Dapper Labs, the company behind CryptoKitties, to create a new blockchain called Flow.

In an email to CoinDesk, Venrock’s David Pakman said Flow is aimed at a specific games use-case:

“Ethereum and pretty much every other Layer 1 smart contracts platform is attempting to build scaleable networks for transactions – like payments. Decentralized gaming and things like cryptocollectibles place different scaling requirements on blockchains that sharding fundamentally doesn’t fix. So, Dapper is building Flow to allow decentralized games to scale to tens of millions of users.”

Pakman argues that the collectibles industry needs a purpose-built blockchain if major brands like Warner and the NBA are going to participate and bring their fanbases along for the ride.

Dapper Labs grew out of a $12 million venture round in 2018 that allowed it to spin out from its parent, Axiom Zen. Later that year it took in an additional $15 million in VC cash, working with many of the same funds.

Built for developers

In a technical primer shared with CoinDesk, Dapper Labs says that Flow is especially designed for “composability” where one developer can use code from one application in a wholly other one. It writes:

“Flow empowers developers to safely and easily build on top of each others’ code, creating entirely new products and services at an accelerating pace. This feature of blockchain, known as composability, has the potential to unlock a new approach to software development.”

Ethereum has been slowly evolving to meet growing demands for network capacity. At the same time, other blockchains with smart contract capabilities, such as Kadena, EOS and Harmony have emerged, poised to scoop up users if Ethereum stumbles in its goal to become “the world computer.” Flow is the latest to join that line-up, but the first that emphasizes collectibles.

Also of note, the round includes a unique structure where backers initially receive equity that can be converted to tokens later for use on the chain (pending, as ever, approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission). This is a structure similar to what venture investors know as a convertible note, where debt is swapped for equity. All being well, Dapper Labs plans to launch Flow in 2020.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain News From Brazil: Sept. 22-28 in Review

Brazil has seen another tumultuous week in the cryptocurrency industry as the central bank of Brazil wants to use blockchain technology starting in 2020, the president of Unick Forex continues to claim they pay customers on time, and the Brazilian Securities Commission investigates the alleged fraudulent activities of more crypto-related companies.

Here is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph Brasil.

President of Unick Forex says it pays customers on time

On Sept. 23, Cointelegraph Brasil reported that president of alleged investment scheme Unick Forex Leidimar Lopes said that the company’s payments are up to date, despite the complaints of thousands of investors who claim that the exchange is not honoring their payments. Lopes said:

“We are paying thousands of customers every day, everything is still normal, everything is working.”

However, despite Lopes’s announcement, nothing seems to have changed. Investors still claim that their funds are blocked and say that the announcement was just another excuse from Unick. One investor added:

“They released the withdrawal but paid nothing. Requesting a withdrawal is easy, it is difficult for them to pay.”

Cointelegraph previously reported that a court in Rio de Janeiro ordered Unick Forex to pay $28,500 to a client who filed a lawsuit against the company for a delay in platform withdrawals.

Central bank of Brazil wants to use blockchain technology starting in 2020

On Sept. 24 Cointelegraph Brasil reported that the central bank of Brazil has decided to move away from its current payment system (Ted and Doc), which it considers slow and expensive. The new blockchain-based instant payment system should launch by November 2020.

The central bank hopes to connect more than 120 regulator-registered financial institutions and assure the availability of funds to the final beneficiary in real time, 24/7.

Regulator investigates crypto-related firms for alleged fraud

On Sept. 20 Cointelegraph Brasil reported that the Brazilian Securities Commission (CVM) started investigating the alleged fraudulent activities of A2 Trader and Kleyton Alves Pinto. CVM stated that both entities are not registered with the institution, adding:

“They cannot perform the activities or provide the services … such as analysis, consulting or distribution of securities.”

The CVM is also investigating two additional companies, Blue Benx and NYC Technology, on charges of operating financial pyramids. According to the Brazilian regulator, these companies promised their customers large returns through various operations involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

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