Coinbase-Backed Stablecoin Startup Reserve to Launch ‘Venmo Style App’ in Venezuela

Stablecoin project Reserve announced that it will launch a crypto-fiat payments app in Venezuela and Angola in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on May 12. In the same announcement, the firm revealed that it is listing its separate utility token, Reserve Rights (RSR), on major exchange Huobi Global’s token sale platform, Houbi Prime. Per the press release, the project’s stablecoin app — to be launched for Android users via Google Play “in the coming weeks” — will enable people and businesses to switch back and forth from their local…

Blockchain and DEX Startup Radar Releases New Lightning Network Developer Tools

Radar, the startup behind decentralized exchange Radar Relay that raised $10 million last year, announced that it will release new Lightning Network developer tools. The statement was made in a Medium post published on April 5. The developer tools, which will be released at the Lightning Network hackathon sponsored by the company, Boltathon, include a node configuration helper, a tool for opening channels and requesting channels, an invoice sandbox for test and an invoice decoder. The tools will be accompanied by setup tutorials, software recommendations and configuration guides for connecting…

Crypto Startup TokenPay Buys Equity Stake in Heidi Klum Lingerie Maker

Cryptocurrency startup TokenPay is getting into the lingerie business. Revealed in a filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Switzerland-based startup has spent $1.3 million for a 6 percent equity stake in Naked Brand Group (NAKD), the Australian lingerie company best known for supermodel Heidi Klum’s signature fashion lines. TokenPay’s Derek Capo told CoinDesk the move is part of the startup’s broader diversification strategy following a December 2017 token sale that netted 2,000 bitcoin, or roughly $20 million. Spending token sale proceeds on equity investments has been a…

Blockchain Startup CEO Kidnapped in Kiev

Sunday, a Ukranian blockchain CEO got kidnapped in Kiev. Gregory Kucherkov is the CEO of Cornerstone, an effort to fund real estate investment with a blockchain token. Conerstone is planning an ICO. CCN received a tip from COO Fedir Martynov, and reached out to him by phone. Martynov tells us that the firm has already raised some capital for its ICO in a private sale, and they and the local police believe this may be the motive for the kidnapping. Currently Cornerstone is preparing for an ICO, and has already…

Crypto Finance Startup Circle Seeking Further $250 Million in Funding: Report

Crypto finance startup Circle Internet Financial is reportedly looking to raise a further $250 million in funding. A report from The Information on Saturday, citing a source with knowledge of the matter, said that Circle is seeking to raise the funding via a combination of equity and debt financing. They added that the reason for the move is that the firm’s business has been affected by the prolonged cryptocurrency bear market. Circle has not confirmed the source’s claim, The Information said. The Goldman Sachs-backed firm has previously raised at least $246 million, according…

Blockchain-for-Banks Startup Switches From Hyperledger to R3’s Corda

MonetaGo, a software development company that builds private blockchains for financial institutions and central banks, has decided to change its underlying architecture from Hyperledger Fabric to R3’s Corda platform. The New York-based firm, which has been testing its blockchain-based anti-fraud platform for receivables financing in India, cited concerns with how Hyperledger Fabric would scale up once large numbers of participants joined the system.  MonetaGo CEO Jesse Chanard told CoinDesk, “As we looked at the different scalability pieces of Hyperledger, we saw that it could get challenging, at least at the current throughput…

Security Token Startup Templum Shifts to Private Blockchains

Security token specialist Templum is shifting from public to private blockchains. Announced Monday, enterprise software vendor Symbiont is building a private blockchain and smart contracts system that Templum will use for future security token offerings (STOs) by its clients. Previously, the regulated broker-dealer left the choice of blockchain protocol up to the issuers, but this posed problems, Templum CEO Christopher Pallotta told CoinDesk. Many were choosing ERC-20 tokens that run on top of ethereum, said Pallotta, but that network’s well-known scaling challenges meant trading could be hampered during periods of high transaction…

Digital Asset’s Europe Head Is Latest to Leave Enterprise Blockchain Startup

The upheaval continues at enterprise blockchain company Digital Asset (DA), with the news that Gavin Wells will step down from his role as head of Europe next month. Oliver Hugh-Jones, head of business development for Europe, will assume all of Wells’ client-facing responsibilities, a spokeswoman for DA confirmed to CoinDesk Thursday. Wells’ departure was reported earlier by Risk, a financial industry publication.   “I joined Digital Asset to learn about the technology, but I stayed because of the people I met there,” Wells told the magazine. It is not clear where…

Facebook Acquires Blockchain Startup Chainspace

According to financial news outlet Cheddar, Facebook has acquired a blockchain startup called Chainspace. Another move for the tech giant into the cryptocurrency space perhaps? Chainspace Founded by University College London researchers, the Chainspace blockchain describes itself as “a planetary scale smart contracts platform” and is comprised of a “distributed web of blockchains for scalability, speed, and privacy.” According to its website, the company says that it is excited to be “moving onto something new.” Assumedly this is its new venture with Facebook. Facebook Acquires Chainspace? Facebook has confirmed that it…

Crypto Startup Wants You to Trade on Exchanges Without Trusting Them

A new protocol aims to allow crypto users to maintain control of their private keys while trading on centralized exchanges. Arwen, a startup formerly known as Commonwealth Crypto, launched a testnet version of its namesake protocol Monday. CEO Sharon Goldberg described it as “a layer-two protocol specifically for trading.” In other words, trades will take place off-chain. As Goldberg explained: “You put a smart contract on a blockchain where it locks up coins and once it’s locked up, you can do all sorts of transactions … without posting those transactions…