Animoca Brands, a Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming company and an active player in the non-fungible token (NFT) market, said on Thursday that it raised $88,888,888 from investors at a valuation of $1 billion, making it the newest crypto unicorn in Asia.
Animoca Brands is the owner of blockchain game titles including The Sandbox ($SAND), F1 Delta Time, and MotoGP Ignition. It has launched multiple crypto tokens including REVV, GAMEE, TOWER, and LMT, used in Animoca Brands’ blockchain games and applications.
Also, Animoca Brands is one of the largest investors in the global NFT space. The NFT powerhouse’s investment portfolio includes Dapper Labs (CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot), Axie Infinity, Opensea, Bitski, and others.
Investors in the latest round included Hong Kong-based Kingsway Capital, RIT Capital Partners (formerly Rothschild Investment Trust), HashKey Fintech Investment Fund, Taipei-based AppWorks Fund, Huobi, among others.
Animoca Brands CEO Yat Siu told GamesBeat on the NFT wave: “I think a rocket ship comes to mind. One of the reasons why the space is growing as quickly as this is pent-up demand going from a rental to an ownership economy… Once they go into digital ownership, they don’t get out. I think that digital ownership is a paradigm shift that the industry needs. The VC firms are all rushing in. It’s getting more mainstream in attention and awareness.”
Binance Faces Investigation by IRS, DOJ
Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance is under investigation by the US Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service. The investigation is around money laundering and tax offenses. As part of the inquiry, officials who probe money laundering and tax offenses have sought information from individuals with insight into Binance’s business, Bloomberg reported.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted after the report: “So much FUD today. It’s a pain for some, an opportunity for others.”
In March, Binance was facing an inquiry from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over whether the exchange allowed U.S. residents to trade on its platform. Last month, Binance faced regulatory scrutiny in Europe for its stock token trading service.
As a response to the regulatory concern, Binance has already hired multiple high-ranked officials from the government and regulators. Last month, former banking regulator Brian Brooks joined Binance’s US affiliate as CEO.
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