"You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak." ― George Clooney
1) Binance tops up Aptos bet: Binance Labs is doubling down on its investment in Aptos – a layer 1 blockchain founded by former Meta employees. The VC wing of the largest crypto exchange is adding an undisclosed amount of fresh capital to Aptos' existing funding of over $350M and backed by a16z, Tiger Global, and Multicoin Capital. Post-money valuation now sits at around $4B, according to Binance Labs head Yi He.
Titan's Takeaway: Web3 infrastructure creation is essential for the industry's growth. Among other candidates for a leading role in building the space, such as Mysten Labs, Aptos seems to be pulling ahead thanks to a second cash injection from the CZ-led exchange.
2) Ex-Citadel execs raise $50M: Former Citadel Securities executives picked up $50M from Valar Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and Coatue to fund their high-frequency crypto trading platform Portofino Technologies. Besides acting as a market maker for digital assets, Portofino will be supporting Web3 projects with liquidity and venture capital funding. The company was founded in 2021 but surfaced from its stealth mode just this week.
Titan's Takeaway: High-frequency trading, the practice of using automated systems to execute hundreds of orders in less than a second, is fairly new to crypto but widely known in traditional finance. With its promise, HFT could incentivize hedge funds to join crypto.
3) Epic Games Store lists first NFT game: Blankos Block Party became the first blockchain-based game to land on the game marketplace of Fortnite creator Epic Games. Mythical Games, the studio behind Blankos, boasts that more than one million players have joined since its launch in December 2020. The free-to-play party game lets users collaborate in their hunt for vinyl toys that can be bought, upgraded, and sold within a colorful online world. Blankos has attracted Burberry, and Atari for limited-edition NFT drops.
Titan's Takeaway: Digital item ownership is poised for an accelerated growth period – Blankos Block Party is the only NFT-enabled game in the Epic Games marketplace, where roughly 200 million total users participate globally.
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