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OKEx Insights Institutional investment NFT News of the Week DeFi

Axie Infinity plans to expand, Solana NFT sale sets new record

2021.10.10 Adam James

The cryptocurrency market never stops, and the wheels continue to turn at a rapid pace behind the scenes.

Things are happening behind the scenes of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry this week after Axie Infinity's creator completed a $152 million Series B funding round and MoneyGram partnered with Stellar and USDC. Meanwhile, the United States Department of Justice is ramping up enforcement efforts against cryptocurrency-related crime.

Here's everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week's edition of OKEx Insights' News of the Week.

MoneyGram partners with Stellar and USDC

MoneyGram announced on Wednesday a partnership with the Stellar Development Foundation. 

The money transfer firm is looking to use Circle's USDC stablecoin to enable cryptocurrency payouts in local currencies through the Stellar blockchain, with United Texas Bank acting as the settlement bank.

Key takeaways

  • MoneyGram's new partnership with Stellar comes after a previous partnership with Ripple — which ended earlier this year amid the distributed ledger company's legal battle with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Speaking of the SEC, Circle is currently under investigation by the securities regulator — which hasn't displayed a fondness for stablecoins.

DoJ forms National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team

The U.S. Department of Justice is forming a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team. The initiative is primarily focused on cybercrime, money laundering and consumer protection.

Key takeaways

  • The DoJ's interest in cryptocurrencies isn't new. Less than a year ago, the federal executive department published a framework for cryptocurrency enforcement. More recently, it ramped up its focus.
  • The DoJ isn't solely focusing on cryptocurrency-related cybercrime, however. The department is also initiating a new focus on cyber fraud, in general.

Soros Fund owns BTC, more interested in DeFi

Soros Fund Management has invested in BTC, according to CEO/CIO Dawn Fitzpatrick. The fund is — as the name indicates — the family office of Hungarian-born American billionaire investor George Soros.

Key takeaways

  • Fitzpatrick notably shrugged off the family office's investment in BTC, stating that — in addition to only owning "some coins, not a lot" — Bitcoin is "less interesting than the use cases of DeFi and things like that."
  • The Soros Fund's BTC investment doesn't exactly come as a surprise. Reports from earlier this year from anonymous sources claimed the family office was already trading BTC.

Axie Infinity creator completes $152 million Series B

Axie Infinity creator Sky Mavis completed a $152 million Series B funding round this week. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with additional participation from Accel and Paradigm.

Key takeaways

  • The fresh injection of capital will likely be used to expand the Sky Mavis team and scale operations. Additionally, the company plans to develop its own distribution platform on its in-house Ronin blockchain.
  • Axie Infinity's AXS remains one of the hottest altcoins in the entire market, having risen by roughly 66% over the past seven days — as of the time of this writing.

Solana NFT sells for more than $2 million

This week also saw a new record set for the largest sale of a single nonfungible token on Solana. SMB #1355 from the SolanaMonkeyBusiness collection sold for 13,027 SOL — around $2.1 million, at the time — on Tuesday.

Key takeaways

  • The new record NFT sale on Solana comes less than one month after its first $1 million NFT sale.
  • The high-profile sale serves to prove that Solana is continually finding favor and slowly eating away at Ethereum's market share of the NFT space.

OKEx Insights presents market analyses, in-depth features and curated news from crypto professionals.

Follow OKEx Insights on Twitter and Telegram.

Disclaimer: This material should not be taken as the basis for making investment decisions, nor be construed as a recommendation to engage in investment transactions. Trading digital assets involve significant risk and can result in the loss of your invested capital. You should ensure that you fully understand the risk involved and take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

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