Blockchain

Blockchain gaming gets a boost with Mythical Games’ $16M Series A

Fortnite, the free multi-player survival game, has earned an astonishing $1 billion from in-game virtual purchases alone. Now, others in the gaming industry are experimenting with how they too can capitalize on new trends in gaming. Mythical Games, a startup out of stealth today with $16 million in Series A funding, is embracing a future in gaming where user-generated content and intimate ties between players, content creators, brands and developers is the norm. Mythical is using its infusion of venture capital to develop a line of PC, mobile and console games on the EOSIO blockchain, which will also be open to developers to build games with “player-owned economies.” The company says an announcement regarding its initial lineup of games is on the way. Mythical is led by a group of gaming i...

Bitcoin and the crypto market is once again crashing hard

It’s not been a pretty year for anyone who owns Bitcoin, but the last 24 hours has been a period to forget as the cryptocurrency dropped below $100 billion in market cap for the first time in more than a year. You have to go back to the end of October — the 29th to be precise — for the last time that the total circulation of Bitcoin in the market dropped below $100 billion. It looks like this will be the first 24-hour period to hold that rate — so much for the relative price stability that many in the industry had complained about, be careful what you wish for! The dip follows a decline that took Bitcoin’s price below the mark $6,000 for the first time this year — it has since plunged below $5,600. That, in turn, caused havoc in the altcoin market with valuations plummeting double-digit pe...

Pure Bit, a South Korean exchange, pulls a $2.8 million exit scam

Another day, another exit scam. This time it comes to us from South Korea, where an exchange, Pure Bit, has completely shut down after raising $2.8 million in Ethereum from investors. The exchange, which promised to deliver something call Pure Coin, was live yesterday and today is completely shut down after posting “Sorry” and “Thanks” to their communications channels. According to a Reddit thread, the team was anonymous and that the process of building and pumping exchange tokens is a “popular trend in Korea.” “They have gotten rid of every evidence,” wrote one reader. “Website hosted by fake name / out of Korea host / messenger / contacts were all fake too. Now their only hope is to keep on track with that ether and hope for the best.” There is no proof yet that the team has pulled a ful...

Three challenges facing blockchain technology

Jonathan Johnson Contributor Nearly five years ago, Overstock.com became the first major retailer to accept bitcoin as a form of payment. It now accepts many top cryptocurrencies. As a member of the senior executive team and board of directors at Overstock.com, I had a front-row seat to those decisions. It didn’t take long for the Overstock team to realize that bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology held great promise beyond cryptocurrencies. We also knew that for blockchain technology to reach its full potential, the startup companies advancing its use would need both financial and human capital support. Overstock set up a venture capital blockchain incubator, Medici Ventures, to do just that. We believe blockchain technology will eventually impact many industries. We are already invo...

Venture capital and the blockchain will be the talk at Startup Battlefield Africa

TechCrunch Startup Battlefield returns to Africa next month, and we have an agenda chock-full of interesting panels and our premier startup competition. Joining us in Lagos, Nigeria on December 11 for a couple of those aforementioned panels will be Chris Folayan, the founder and CEO of Mall for Africa; Nichole Yembra, chief financial, risk and investment officer for Venture Garden Group (VGG) and a managing partner at GreenHouse Capital; and Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, partner at Hacked Capital. Chris Folayan, who is originally from Nigeria, graduated from California State University, San Jose, and founded and sold several companies globally. He also established new companies in Africa, the U.S., the Middle East and Asia. Mall for Africa is a global economy e-commerce infrastructure company enab...

A blockchain firm bought asteroid mining company Planetary Resources

Here’s a match made in…I don’t know, somewhere on the blockchain, I guess. Pioneering space startup Planetary Resources was acquired by, of all things, a blockchain firm this week. ConsenSys, a Brooklyn based firm that specializes in all things Ethereum issued an announcement noting that it has snagged the asteroid mining  company. It’s not entirely clear how the two companies will work together, though ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin (who also helped author Ethereum) did manage to mention “decentralizing space endeavors,” which is certainly on-brand for the head of a blockchain company. “I admire Planetary Resources for its world class talent, its record of innovation, and for inspiring people across our planet in support of its bold vision for the future,” Lubin said in a statement tied to t...

As Tether flails, cryptocurrency exchanges launch rival stablecoins

The promise of Tether, the digital currency pegged 1:1 to the US dollar, was that it could provide the benefits of a cryptocurrency while providing a fiat -backed peg against price fluctuations. But the currency has fallen below the $1 in recent weeks, right as a range of competing currencies are becoming available to meet the growing interest in the so-called “stablecoin” sector. It’s certainly not a coincidence. Stablecoins are digital currencies pegged to a stable asset, such as gold or fiat currencies, or backed by collateral (that could also be a cryptocurrency), or even an algorithm that governs the approach to expanding and contracting the money supply. The goal of every stablecoin project is to achieve the scale and adoption of modern monetary systems, as a store of value and also ...

Coinbase lets you buy and sell USDC stablecoin

A few weeks after Circle announced the launch of USD Coin (or USDC for short), Coinbase also announced that customers can now buy, sell, send and receive USDC on Coinbase. A USDC is a token that is worth exactly 1 USD. Its value is going to stay stable against USD — hence the name stablecoin for this type of coins. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, you can be sure that the value of your USDC wallet isn’t going to fluctuate like crazy. It opens up new possibilities and use cases. While Coinbase lets you hold USD in your Coinbase account, this isn’t safe. If somebody hacks into your account, you could end up with an empty wallet. That’s why you should always try to control the keys of your wallet and transfer your coins to a safer wallet, such as a Ledger wallet or at least a software sol...

Blockchain media startup Civil is issuing full refunds to all buyers of its cryptocurrency

Many doubted The Civil Media Company‘s ambitious plan to sell $8 million worth of its cryptocurrency, called CVL.  The skeptics, as it turns out, were right. Civil’s initial coin offering, meant to fund the company’s effort to create a new economy for journalism using the blockchain, failed to attract sufficient interest. The company announced today that it would provide refunds to all CVL token buyers by October 29. Civil’s goal was to sell 34 million CVL tokens for between $8 million and $24 million. The sale began on September 18 and concluded yesterday. Ultimately, 1,012 buyers purchased $1,435,491 worth of CVL tokens. A spokesperson for Civil told TechCrunch an additional 1,738 buyers successfully registered for the sale, but never completed their transaction. Civil isn’t giving up. T...

Block.Party raises $10M, will adapt Settlers of Catan to its blockchain game console

Blok.Party, the company the upcoming PlayTable game console, announced today raised $10 million in new funding. It’s also unveiling a big content partnership, where Blok.Party will create its own version of the popular board game Settlers of Catan. I first wrote about Blok.Party and PlayTable earlier this year, when co-founder and CEO Jimmy Chen first laid out his vision to use blockchain technology to build a console that can recognize real-world objects (like figurines and cards), creating a hybrid between tabletop and video gaming. The idea may have sounded a little abstract at the time, but it got a lot clearer when Chen dropped by the TechCrunch New York office to play a couple rounds of Catan with me. I’ll admit that I hadn’t played in a while, but it was clear from the start that Pl...

Crypto giant Binance looks to the future with fiat trading and a decentralized exchange

Binance, the one-year-old startup that appeared from nowhere to become the world’s top crypto exchange, is making major moves as it enters the next phase of its business. That includes a plan to offer fiat-to-crypto trading in international markets and the release of a decentralized exchange to complement its current trading site. The company routinely trades more than $1 billion in crypto volumes daily — even in this current bear market — but to date it has only allowed crypto-to-crypto trading. That’s primarily down to the need for regulation in order to offer fiat currency conversation, but that’s set to change. Speaking at a Coindesk event in Singapore last week, CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao revealed plans to launch a slew of local exchanges offering fiat conversation in markets across the ...

It looks like Coinbase is preparing to add a lot more cryptocurrencies

Coinbase aspires to be the New York Stock Exchange of crypto, and it is taking a small — but not insignificant – step to offering a lot more cryptocurrencies after it revamped the process of listing new digital assets. The exchange currently only supports just five cryptocurrencies — Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic and Litecoin — and the process of adding each one has been gradual. The company would announce plans, and then later announce when listing the asset. The idea being to reduce the potential to send the value of a token skyrocketing. (Since support from Coinbase potentially adds a lot more trading volume.) That clearly isn’t a sustainable process if Coinbase is to add “hundreds” of tokens, as CEO Brian Amstrong told an audience at TechCrunch Disrupt it eventually...

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