This Week in Cryptos: Facebook Details Unwraps While Binance Now Heads to US


Key highlights

  • Facebook crypto details emerge
  • Binance launching US operation
  • Square Crypto 1st hire is Steve Lee
  • Iceland approves fiat on the blockchain
  • Helium raises $15M Series C

Facebook crypto details emerge

Overflowing from the previous week, more names and associated with Facebook’s secretive crypto project have emerged. CNBC, this week reported 10 Facebook executives linked to the effort. Not just that around 30 open blockchain roles are listed on the Facebook careers page. That number has grown steadily since late last year. The names and designation of the 10 listed were David Marcus- head of Facebook’s blockchain project, Tomer Barel – VP of risk and operations, Kevin Weil- VP of product, James Everingham- head of engineering, Geoff Teehan- head of product design, Eric Nakagawa- head of open source, Raaid Ahmad- head of analytics, Govind Asawa- head of data engineering, Oliver Gratry- head of finance, Susan Portalupi- head of research and Mandeep Walia- head of enterprise risk and compliance.

Binance launching US operation

This week, Binance the leading exchange based out of Malta announced that it is setting up Binance US, a new trading platform specifically targeting U.S. customers, in partnership with a firm called BAM Trading Services. The platform will be operated by BAM while using Binance’s wallet and matching engine technologies. Although it is still unclear who BAM Trading Services is. The company did register as a money services business with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), with an address listed in San Francisco, California.

Square Crypto 1st hire is Steve Lee

Another talent move to cryptos. This week payments company Square has hired former Google director Steve Lee as the first member of its new crypto team. Lee, who left Google in 2015 after eight years at the search giant, has since become a Bitcoin Optech contributor. He’s also an angel investor who lists Lyft, Pinterest, and Yardbarker as key exits. While the move is confirmed, Lee’s role and Key Result Areas are still not known.

Iceland approves fiat on the blockchain

Another country moves to electronic money. And its Iceland. This move has made the country the first in Europe to do so. This week The Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland (FME) has approved Reykjavik-based Monerium as its first electronic money institution. Monerium has regulatory approval to provide fiat payment services on a blockchain and use it throughout the European Economic Area. The company plans to start with Icelandic krona (ISK). Once live, Monerium’s version of ISK will be usable throughout the EU and should shortly be usable in many other parts of the world with similar regulatory regimes.

Helium raises $15M Series C

This week, Helium, a San Francisco, CA-based peer-to-peer wireless network, raised $15m in Series C funding. The round, which brought total funding to $51M, was co-led by Union Square Ventures and Multicoin Capital, with participation from existing backers Khosla Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures), FirstMark and Munich Re Ventures. Co-founded in 2013 by Shawn Fanning of Napster, Amir Haleem, and Sean Carey, Helium is building a peer-to-peer wireless network that connects devices such as smart dog collars and wildfire sensors to the internet by rewarding anyone to become a network operator.

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