TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. Andreessen Horowitz raises $515 million for its second crypto fund. BTC fees rise again as mempool congests. Binance CEO talks US crypto regulations. BitMEX losing market share. Uphold doubles bitcoin trading volumes during pandemic, and Ya’an calls for blockchain companies to take advantage of energy excess.
Andreessen Horowitz Raises $515 Million for Second Crypto Fund
Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm, managed to raise $515 million for a cryptocurrency fund to invest in several blockchain technologies, such as crypto networks and businesses. A blog post published by the firm states investments will be concentrated in four key areas: next-generation payment platforms, modern store of value, DeFi, content monetization platforms, and web 3.0. Andreessen Horowitz previously launched a $300 million crypto fund in 2018 with Kathryn Haun in the lead.
BTC Fees Going Up Again as Mempool Congests
— Bitcoin Fees (@BitcoinFeesCash) April 30, 2020
BTC transaction fees started to go up again as a consequence of the resurgence the market experienced recently. According to bitcoinfees.cash, a user would have to pay $2.36 to have a transaction confirmed in the next block (10 minutes). While the mempool size has yet to reach the record levels of 2017-2018, with more than 140 MB in pending transactions, it has grown rapidly and threatens to keep growing if BTC prices get to historically high levels.
Binance CEO Talks US Crypto Regulations
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, offered opinions about the state of crypto regulations in the US, with Binance being involved in a series of class-action lawsuits. Zhao stated he’d like a more relaxed ruleset for the crypto environment. He declared “it would be good if someone actively loosens or drafts a new set of regulations for cryptocurrencies,” claiming this would encourage innovation in the space. “We don’t want to step on the wrong guy’s toes,” he stressed, explaining why the company recently launched Binance US.
BitMEX Losing Market Share
BitMEX has been drastically losing market share in the last 6 months. By the end of November, BitMEX had 41.6% of the total open interest and now only less than 21%. So they lost ~50% of their market share now. Eventually if you don't innovate, you will be overtaken pic.twitter.com/khT62RwoRo
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) April 30, 2020
BitMEX, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, is losing interest from customers, according to data posted by The Block. The exchange has been bleeding customers on their Futures platform, while other new players like CME, Binance, and Bybit have been growing steadily since last November. While the exchange remains one of the most used for Futures trading, its market share went from 41.3% in September 2019 to 20.9% in April. The market is open and new options have taken a slice of BitMEX business.
Uphold Doubled Trading Volumes Amidst Pandemic
Uphold, a digital wallet and trading service, saw its bitcoin trading volumes double in the first quarter of 2020 even with the coronavirus pandemic raging. Uphold CEO JP Thieriot attributes this to the outbreak, stating the virus has “has turned the digital payments space on its head.” Uphold beat the growth of bitcoin trading on other exchanges, that reached 61% Q1 of 2020. The exchange also recently launched a crypto credit debit card targeting the US market that allows using crypto for daily purchases.
Ya’an City Calls for Blockchain Industries to Consume Excess Power
Ya’an, a city situated in the Chinese region of Sichuan, known for its cheap electric power, is calling for blockchain industries to take advantage of its recent surplus. Local public guidance issued last month calls for blockchain industries to make use of the energy, stating these “should construct factories near power plants that have excessive power and are integrated with the State Grid.” While bitcoin and other crypto mining are not mentioned explicitly, they are the most energy-hungry activities blockchain companies can develop.
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