Flowcarbon Raises $70m with VC Shop a16z the Lead Investor

Key Insights:

  • Crypto carbon credit platform Flowcarbon raised $70 million, with crypto venture shop a16z taking the lead.
  • Flowcarbon raised the remaining funds in a token sale of Goddess Nature Token (GNT).
  • Flowcarbon plans to put carbon trading on the crypto map and carbon credits on the blockchain.

Thanks to Proof-of-Work and bitcoin (BTC) mining, in particular, the crypto market has long been associated with environmental degradation.

In July 2021, China imposed a ban on bitcoin mining to support China’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2060. Before the ban, China was the largest bitcoin mining nation, with a hashrate hitting more than 75% at its peak, according to figures from Cambridge University. (75.53% in Sept-19). By contrast, the US had a hashrate of just 4.06% in Sept-19.

Since the ban, however, China has seen its hashrate climb from a Jul-21 0% to 21.1% in Jan-22. The US hashrate stood at 37.84% in Jan-22, making it the largest bitcoin mining nation.

US lawmakers have been unenamoured by its position as the world’s largest bitcoin mining nation. President Joe Biden and the US have a goal of reaching carbon zero emissions by 2050.

The continued use of fossil fuels to provide mining power has led to calls to ban bitcoin and Proof-of-Work mining altogether.

From a global perspective, the increased focus on crypto mining reflects a sense of urgency at the government level and below for more action to save the planet. This increases the need for a transparent carbon credit market.

Flowcarbon Draws Investor Interest with New Carbon Credit Platform

Flowcarbon is an open-source protocol, initially launched on Celo, aiming to bring carbon credits on-chain.

By tokenizing carbon credits, Flowcarbon provides a platform for project developers and carbon buyers to interact directly, resulting in a liquid carbon market with efficient pricing.

The goals to help achieve the Flowcarbon mission include,

  • Creating a more transparent, accessible carbon market.
  • Promoting sustainable practices.
  • Help organizations become net zero or net negative.

Key climate goals include:

  • Incentivize DAOs and other organizations to use on-chain carbon assets to become net zero or net negative.
  • Lead by example to show DAOs how to become net negative carbon contributors by burning a portion of all fee revenue as carbon tokens.

Investor interest has been impressive, with Flowcarbon raising $70 million in its first round of funding.

Among first-round investors was a16z. Announcing its investment in Flowcarbon on Tuesday, a16z said,

“The carbon neutral market could potentially grow to $50B by 2030, and on-chain carbon credits can help facilitate this reality. Bringing carbon credits on-chain adds major efficiencies to the market, enabling individuals and corporations to internalize the cost of emissions, reducing negative externalities that are currently socialized, and ultimately incentivizing more sustainable practices.”

The announcement went on to say.

“Unlike current voluntary carbon credit marketplaces, which are fractured, opaque, and gated, tokenized carbon credits allow anyone the ability to purchase credits and control when they are retired as offsets, with built in liquidity and price discovery.”

With crypto mining receiving government scorn, the launch of Flowcarbon hits home the benefits of blockchain technology and the need for governments to drive innovation.

Crypto Movement Goes Green with Carbon Credit Tokens

In April, FX Empire reported that Algorand (ALGO) is to launch its first carbon emission offsetting smart contract.

As a leader in the sustainability space, the new smart contract allocates a portion of every transaction fee to offset carbon emissions. ALGO is the first pure proof-of-stake blockchain and aims to minimally impact the environment.

Also environmentally friendly is Solana (SOL). In December, Solana achieved ‘carbon neutral’ for the calendar year 2021.

OCBC Bank is also targeting the carbon credit space. In April, the Singapore bank announced plans to launch tokenized carbon credit tokens before 2023.

Metaverse Green Exchange (MVGX) and OCBC will join forces to provide green financing solutions for companies in hard-to-abate industries, including steel, cement, and chemical production.

With other firms also targeting the tokenized carbon credit space, Flowcarbon could set the pace with names like a16z behind them.

0x Labs Raise $70 Million From Coinbase, Opensea and Jared Leto

Key Insights:

  • 0x Labs closed a $70 million Series B financing round.
  • Coinbase’s NFT marketplace also makes use of 0x’s technology.
  • Earlier in 2017, 0x Labs raised another $24 million in a ZRX token sale.

NFTs are slowly taking center stage, and some are in the bid of not only promoting but also being a central part of that growth. Coinbase is one such company that, after touching base with NFTs this month, is now helping others in this field excel.

0x Takes Another Giant Leap

According to a report from Forbes, 0x Labs has closed a $70 million Series B financing round with the bid led by the Greylock Partners.

However, they weren’t alone as others, including Pantera, Jump Capital, Ethereum NFT marketplace OpenSea, and Hollywood actor Jared Leto.

The San Francisco-based decentralized exchange infrastructure provider is a key player in the industry. 0x Labs’ technology was also used by Coinbase for its very own NFT marketplace Coinbase NFT. Coinbase itself was a participant in this $70 million investment.

This funding round, however, isn’t the first for 0x Labs. Earlier in 2017, through the sale of the ZRX token, 0x Labs had managed to raise about $24 million and then another $15 million in a Series A equity round, which was led by Pantera Capital.

The company has been building its name in the NFT marketplace industry after releasing a set of NFT swap features in the first quarter of this year.

This way, it enabled users to exchange digital collectibles across multiple blockchains such as Ethereum, Polygon, Fantom, Avalanche, Optimism, BNB Chain, and Celo.

In doing so, 0x Labs also claimed this facility to be 50% less expensive than what the other leading NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea and LooksRare offer.

How Did ZRX Do, Though?

Although the coin did open under $0.2 at the time of its launch in 2017, within a few months, it managed to mark an all-time high of $2.7. However, the downfall and fluctuations that followed since have not made it easy for investors.

Over the course of the last four months, though, the token has had trouble breaching the $1 mark, which it managed to after rising by almost 50% post the launch of Coinbase NFT.

0x ‘s token ZRX is still stuck trading at $0.8

But the broader market bearish cues led to the price falling back to trade at $0.8 at the moment.

CELO Price Rallies 40% After Launch of $20 Million Incentive Program

Key Insights:

  • In tandem with the announcement of the Incentive Program, the protocol’s native token saw a rally.
  • CELO’s price was up 40% in two days.
  • Celo also introduced an open-source API specification for payment providers called FiatConnect.

On April 4, the Celo Foundation announced the launch of ‘Connect the World,’ a $20 million campaign to incentivize the development of ‘high-quality Celo on- and off-ramps around the globe.’

Pumping the Ecosystem

Celo, a proof-of-stake layer 1 blockchain, announced a new $20 million incentive campaign at the start of the Celo Connect conference this week in Barcelona, Spain. The campaign called ‘Connect the World,’ aims to incentivize the development of high-quality Celo on- and off-ramps worldwide.

At the same event, the Foundation also introduced ‘Fiat Connect,’ an open-source application programming interface (API) specification for payment providers to make integrations more scalable.

According to Celo Foundation’s Medium post, the campaign begins with an offer of $50K to the first payment provider in each country to integrate FiatConnect and demonstrate an on- and off-ramp that meets the quality bar. The Foundation will also subsidize on-ramp fees of up to $100K for all providers, making it affordable for users to access Celo assets.

CELO’s price went up by more than 60% since the start of April to its highest point in over three months. This comes amid the project’s latest initiative that plans to spend $20 million to incentivize the development of Celo on- and off-ramps.

The new initiative will work with Celo Foundation’s stablecoins – cUSD, cEuro, and cREAL.

CELO Reaches 3-Month ATH

After the launch of Celo’s new incentive program, the project’s native token price began to rally. The coin surged above $5.5 on some exchanges.

Celo is ranked 19th among decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms in terms of total value locked (TVL), as per analytics firm DeFi Llama. The coin had a market capitalization of over $1.8 billion at press time.

At the time of writing, the coin had corrected to some extent and traded at $4.41. However, on a daily time frame, CELO was still up by 4.30%, while on the weekly, the asset had gained 29.80%

FXempire, Celo, Crypto
CELO Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

Celo’s recent gains on the back of ecosystem-centric developments have pushed the coin to its highest price level since mid-January.

Bitcoin and ETH Show Bearish Signs, LUNA Could Surge Above $125

Key Insights:

  • Bitcoin seems to be forming a top near the $47,150 level.
  • Ether (ETH) struggled to clear $3,530 and $3,550.
  • LUNA seems to be eyeing a fresh rally and might test $125.

Bitcoin

Recently, bitcoin price made a couple of attempts to gain strength above $47,000 and $47,150. However, the bears remained active above $47,150.

As a result, there was a bearish reaction and the price is now trading below $46,550. There was a move below the $43,150 level and the 21 simple moving average (H1). The next major support is near the $45,750 level.

Bitcoin

If the bears remain active, the price may perhaps decline below the $45,150 support. On the upside, there is a major resistance forming near $47,000 and $47,150. A clear move above the $47,150 level could set the pace for a fresh rally.

Ethereum (ETH)

ETH also faced a strong resistance near the $3,535 and $3,550 resistance levels. It seems like ETH is forming a top near the $3,550 level.

It is now trading below the $3,500 support level and the 21 simple moving average (H1). The next major support is near the $3,410 level. A downside break and close below the $3,410 support level may perhaps open the doors for a larger increase.

Ether

On the upside, the price is facing resistance near the $3,500 level. The main resistance is now near $3,550, above which ether price might surge.

Terra (LUNA)

LUNA settled nicely above the $100 resistance zone. The bulls were able to push the price above the $105 and $108 resistance levels.

The past few days were pretty bullish above the $105 level and the 21-day simple moving average. Today, the price started a fresh increase and gained pace above the $115 level. It is up over 5% and the current price action suggests more upsides above the $120 resistance.

Terra (LUNA)

If the bulls succeed, the price could rise towards the $125 level. If not, it might correct lower and test the $110 support.

The main support is now forming near the $105 level and a bullish trend line on the daily chart. If the price fails to stay above $105 and $100, it might start a major downside correction.

ADA, BNB, and DOT price

Cardano (ADA) failed to clear the $1.22 resistance level. It traded below $1.20 and seems like the price might even decline below $1.18.

Binance Coin (BNB) spiked above the $455 level, but there was no upside continuation. The price is now consolidating near $450 and might drop to $442.

Polkadot (DOT) is consolidating near the $22.20 level. If there is a move below the $22.00 level, the price might decline towards $21.20 in the near term.

A few trending coins are DOGE, NEAR, and CELO. Out of these CELO was able to rally above the $4.50 and $4.60 resistance levels.

Bitcoin and ETH Print Bullish Pattern, Why AVAX Aims $100

Key Insights:

  • Bitcoin is gaining pace above the $40,800 level.
  • Ether (ETH) might rise steadily towards $2,920.
  • AVAX rallied 15% and is currently attempting a crucial upside break.

Bitcoin

After a clear move above $40,000, bitcoin price started a fresh increase. There was a clear break above the $40,800 resistance level.

The price even broke the $41,000 resistance and settled above the 21 simple moving average (H1). It is now attempting an upside break above the $41,250 and $41,450 resistance levels. If there is a clear move above $41,450, the price might surge further.

Bitcoin

The next key resistance is near the $42,200 level. If there is no upside break, the price might decline towards the $40,300 level and a connecting bullish trend line on the hourly chart.

Ethereum (ETH)

ETH also followed a similar pattern and started a fresh increase above the $2,720 level. The price settled above the $2,780 level and the 21 simple moving average (H1).

There was a clear move above a key bearish trend line with resistance near $2,790 on the hourly chart during the increase. The bulls even pushed the price above the $2,800 level. ETH is still rising and might climb higher towards the $2,880 level.

Ethereum (ETH)

If the bulls remain in action, the price could surge towards the $2,920 resistance zone. Conversely, the price might correct gains and test the $2,780 support zone. A downside break below the $2,780 support could push the price lower towards $2,720.

Avalanche (AVAX)

AVAX formed a base above the $65.00 level after a sharp decline. The price started a decent increase above the $70.00 resistance zone.

There was a clear move above the $75.00 level and the 21-day simple moving average. The bulls pushed the price above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the key decline from the $98.50 swing high to $65.50 swing low.

Avalanche (AVAX)

The price is now reaching near a crucial bearish trend line with resistance near $82.00 on the daily chart. A clear move above the trend line resistance could further push the price above $85.00.

The next hurdle is near the trend line at $92.00, above which the price might rise towards the $100.00 level. If not, the price might correct gains and test the $75.00 support.

ADA, BNB, and DOT price

Cardano (ADA) is up 5%, and there was a move above the $0.850 level. The next stop is near $0.880, above which the price might rise towards the $0.900 level.

Binance Coin (BNB) is moving higher towards the $392 resistance. The next major resistance is near the $395 level. If the bulls remain in control, the price could even surge above $400.

Polkadot (DOT) gained 4% and broke the $18.50 level. The next key hurdle is near the $19.20 level, above which the price might rise to $20.00.

A few trending coins are MKR, CAKE, and CELO. Out of these, CAKE is up 25%, and there was a move above the $6.50 level.

Dragonfly Research Says Solana’s Speed Surpasses ETH & other Chains

Key Insights

  • Throughput (number of transactions in a particular time) on Solana surpassed the leading EVM chain by a wide margin. 
  • Researchers predict that competing layer-1 chains will outdo EVM chains.
  • However, Solana’s network is still plagued by some issues that need to be addressed. 

Dragonfly Research recently published an experiment comparing the performance of six blockchains by testing the capacity of automated market makers (AMMs) on each chain.

Reportedly, Solana’s Orca decentralized exchange (DEX) was the clear winner in trades per second. At the same time, Ethereum was called the ‘MS-DOS’ of blockchains.

Growth of Layer-1s

Over the years, Ethereum’s lack of scalability led to a mass migration to a new generation of L1s. Most of these L1s use the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), making them compatible with Ethereum wallets and developer tools. The TVL growth of L-1s has been stellar, as seen below.

FXempire, Solana, Crypto, ETH,
Source: The Block

Solana, however, has completely rebuilt its stack from the ground up and claims to be the fastest blockchain in existence. Researchers tested the capacity of AMMs on each blockchain.

They found that Solana’s Orca DEX was the fastest with trades per second of 273.34 transactions per second and new blocks every 590 milliseconds.

BNB Smart Chain came in next with 194.6 trades per second on PancakeSwap, followed by Polygon, Avalanche, Celo (CELO), and, finally, Ethereum.

The researcher “GM” further argued that while there was a rich ecosystem built on EVM compatible chains, the results highlighted that ‘if you want high performance now you have to look outside the EVM space.’ GM concluded that layer-1 blockchains could surpass EVM-compatible chains. He noted:

“Overall, I come away with this impression: Ethereum is the MS-DOS of smart contract operating systems. But the current era of blockchains takes us into the Windows 95 era.”

Solana Stealing the Thunder, But…

Blockchains that are compatible with Ethereum tooling are called EVM chains. They often help in the scalability of the Ethereum network. The experiment attempted to compare blockchain throughput by measuring the number of swaps that could be made per block on native automated market makers.

AMMs refer to decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap and PancakeSwap that facilitate non-custodial token swaps on-chain.

Uniswap v2 was the benchmark since it’s the dominant DEX with $1.6 billion in 7-day transaction volume. The standard was 18.38 transactions per second with 13.2 seconds per new block, according to the report.

While the report results highlighted Solana’s faster performance, proponents of decentralization note other issues on Solana.

The team from the Spookyswap DEX on Fantom Opera criticized the findings, saying that Solana’ is an entirely centralized network, unlike Ethereum.’ Furthermore, the many service outages on Solana have also plagued the grid of late.

Although none of the blockchains in the test were used to their total capacity, GM said they expect that “all of the major L1s will improve over time.”

Dragonfly Research is the research arm of Dragonfly Capital. Its portfolio page shows that it has invested in Celo, Avalanche, Cosmos, and Near. However, the firm does not hold Solana in its portfolio yet.

Celo Launches Brazilian Real-Pegged Stablecoin cREAL

The situation of cryptocurrency in Brazil is significantly different from most others as the world of digital assets has been thriving in the country. Accordingly, the launch of a regional currency pegged stablecoin for multi-purpose use makes for a successful venture. 

cREAL Is Real

The Celo-based stablecoin is pegged to the Brazilian Real but it is not collateralized by the national currency. The cREAL is a decentralized, over-collateralized, algorithmic stablecoin that tracks the value of Real. The announcement from Celo stated:

“Brazil is now the first — and only — country with a Celo stablecoin that can seamlessly be traded, accepted as payment for groceries or even a car, and used to access DeFi apps and services without regional friction.”

Celo created the stablecoin after successfully launching cUSD and cEUR, stablecoins pegged to the Dollar and Euro respectively. And as is with the other two stablecoins cREAL will be based on Celo’s stability protocol Mento, which is in turn supported by digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum in the reserve.

Celo confirmed that starting today the stablecoin will be available in Brazil-based cryptocurrency exchanges such as FlowBTC, NovaDAX as well as Ripio.

Furthermore, Celo asserted:

“A key benefit of cREAL is that it enables users to trade digital assets and transfer value faster, cheaper, and more easily using their smartphones. Transactions speeds average 5 seconds, with fees under one cent.”

If successfully implemented and adopted cREAL could play a huge role in the thriving crypto community of Brazil. The country currently has over 10 million cryptocurrency owners which represent over 4.88% of the population.

The Future of Crypto in Brazil

Owing to the significant volume of money that is transacted in cryptocurrency in the country has led the Brazilian Senate announced bills to regulate the digital assets in the country.

The Bills which are scheduled to be considered in February this year, particularly focus on services related to crypto-assets, transactions, and operations of cryptocurrency exchanges as well the use of crypto by legal entities. The bill will also detail the penalty for crimes related to the illicit use of cryptocurrencies.

Celo Loses 5% of its Value Despite the Team’s Recent AMA Session

The cryptocurrency market has lost more than $200 billion since the start of the week. The leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether have lost major support levels due to the recent bearish trend.

Celo Team Holds an AMA Session on DeFi

Celo Org, the development team behind the Celo blockchain, hosted an AMA session yesterday. The team talked about the decentralized finance (DeFi) space and the developments recorded in the past few months.

Celo is an open platform that supports numerous distributed applications and smart contract development. It also supports payments using e-mail addresses and phone numbers as public keys. The project proposes address-based encryption, which differs from the identity-based encryption model.

CELO, the native token of the Celo blockchain, is down by more than 5% over the past 24 hours. The decline in the coin’s value comes despite the team’s AMA session a few hours, and CELO’s poor performance coincides with that of the broader cryptocurrency market.

CELO Could Drop Below $4

The broader cryptocurrency market has been in a bearish trend for the past few weeks. More than $200 billion has been wiped out from the market in the last four days. Bitcoin lost its major support level at $45k while Ether is struggling below $3,500.

CELO’s technical indicators are still positive. Source: FXEMPIRE

The CELO/USD daily chart also shows that the cryptocurrency is currently underperforming. The technical indicators are still bullish, but the coin’s value could drop lower over the coming hours.

CELO is trading at $4.6 per coin, just above its 50-day moving average of $4.5. If the bearish trend continues, CELO could drop below its 50-day EMA over the coming hours. The MACD line is above the neutral zone but could slide into the negative region if the losses continue. The 14-day RSI of 43 shows that CELO could soon enter the oversold region.