Xpring Invests in Swedish Startup to Build XRP Hardware Wallet Firmware

Ripple’s investment arm and tech incubator Xpring has invested in Swedish cryptocurrency self-custody startup Towo Labs to build hardware wallet firmware. Xpring announced the news in a blog post on Oct. 16, stating that the startup plans to develop a new version of the XRP Toolkit and hardware wallet firmware supporting all XRP Ledger transaction types, as well as a non-custodial web interface. In a parallel announcement, Towo Labs said that the firmware will support signing cross-currency payments, escrows, orders, and trust lines, among other things. It will also enable…

UK Startup Takes Billion-Dollar Tokenization Plan Stateside

Smartlands is betting on a billion-dollar tokenization vision with a new broker-dealer partnership to make it happen. The British digital tokenization firm is now working with IIP Securities, an international banking consultancy based in New York, as it prepares to bring its security token crowdfunding model stateside. The alliance provides Smartlands access to IIP Securities’ broker-dealer license – a critical element for complying with U.S. regulatory framework and one that has proven difficult, but not impossible, for digital asset firms to win on their own. With the license secured, Smartlands…

tZERO-Backed Startup Seeks SEC Approval to Launch Security Token Market

A firm part-owned by Overstock’s tZERO is seeking regulatory approval to launch one of the first markets for publicly traded, registered security tokens. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday released a rule change proposal that would allow Boston Securities and Token Exchange (BSTX) to create an automated equity trading platform, with ownership records stored on the ethereum blockchain. Unlike its 50 percent shareholder tZERO, whose own trading platform went live in January and handles security tokens exempt from SEC registration requirements, BSTX would list only tokens that are…

TZero-Backed Startup Wants to Launch Security Token Market

Boston Security Token Exchange (BSTX), a platform jointly owned by BOX Digital Markets and Overstock’s blockchain arm tZERO, has filed an application with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve the launch of a market for publicly traded registered security tokens. In the rule change proposal released by the SEC on Oct. 11, BOX asks the commission to “adopt rules to govern the trading of equity securities on the Exchange” which “would operate a fully automated, price/time priority execution system for the trading of ‘security tokens.’” Establishing…

Draper-Backed Startup Launches .Crypto Domains on Ethereum

A startup building domains on blockchains has just launched a .crypto name registry on ethereum. Unstoppable Domains – a firm backed in May to the tune of $4 million by Draper Associates and Boost VC  – said Friday that the new .crypto extension can be connected to users’ public cryptocurrency address, allowing third-parties to more easily send funds. Doing away with long, complex crypto address (for example, a bitcoin address will look something like “1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2”) in favor of a more memorable and less mistake-prone domain will “simplify cryptocurrency payments and lead to mainstream…

South Korean Blockchain Startup Raises $8M for Identity Authentication

Blockchain company Iconloop has secured 10 billion Korean won (KRW) (over $8 million) from seven investment companies participating in a Series A funding round. Per an Oct. 10 announcement, it was Iconloop’s first venture capital investment since its establishment in 2016, with the participation of companies such as Korea Technology Finance Corporation (KOTEC) and T.S. Investment, among others. Building blockchain-based identity authentication service Iconloop is planning to allocate the raised funds to launching its blockchain-based digital identity authentication service called “my-ID”. According to the company, my-ID can be used for…

Decentralized Communication Startup New Vector Raises $8.5M

London-based decentralized communication startup New Vector has raised $8.5 million to drive adoption for Matrix, a major alternative messaging protocol. Slack rival Riot.IM The Matrix protocol, which enables secure communication via end-to-end encrypted messaging applications such as Riot.IM, an alternative to WhatsApp, Telegram or Slack, will continue scaling and growing its network with the newly raised funds, New Vector announced on Oct. 10. Investors of the New Vector’s Series A funding round included London-based European seed fund Firstminute Capital, cloud computing and Software as a service (SaaS)-focused Notion Capital and…

Polychain, Bitmain Back $10.7 Million SAFT for Encryption Startup NuCypher

NuCypher, an encryption startup, has raised $10.7 million in a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) led by Polychain Capital. Marking the occasion, the company launched its public testnet. NuCypher’s particular product is based on proxy re-encryption, which allows files to be encrypted to lots of people and for administrators to grant and revoke access based on certain conditions. The company dates back to 2015, but it began looking at tokens as a way to decentralize its infrastructure in 2017. CoinDesk covered NuCypher as one of the buzzy initial coin offerings…

Coinbase in Talks to Acquire Rental Startup Omni’s Engineering Staff: Report

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is said to be in talks to acquire the human assets of Omni, a Ripple-backed rental and storage firm. According to a report from TechCrunch this weekend, Coinbase may grab Omni’s engineering team to further develop its Coinbase Earn product. Coinbase told the tech news site no deal is on the table currently, however. The acquisition comes amidst layoffs for the rental company, which let seven members of its operations staff go last week. The engineering team has also received interest from Thumbtack, a marketplace for professional services.…

Coinbase Discusses Acqui-Hire With Ripple-Backed Rental Startup

United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is currently discussing the possibility of hiring the engineering team of Ripple-backed storage and rental startup Omni Rentals, tech news outlet TechCrunch reported on Oct. 5. Not the only company interested Per the report, two unspecified sources familiar with the situation told the outlet that Omni is currently struggling with layoffs and just lost seven operations team members. Besides Coinbase, the startup is also in talks with professional hiring intermediary Thumbtack for the same reason. Coinbase would reportedly employ the engineering team to further develop…