Crypto Biz: Smart money ignores BTC price correction as $800M set to flow into blockchain startups, Dec. 9

Crypto- and blockchain-focused capital raises continue to make headlines as venture funds look to support the emergence of Web 3.0.

Bitcoin’s (BTC) return to sub-$50,000 levels has many market participants fretting over the legitimacy of their favorite price models. For venture capitalists and other smart money investors, the latest decline is nothing but noise. Instead, they see the emergence of an entirely new economy that is transforming business, redefining monetary value and pushing the internet to a new frontier. 

This week’s Crypto Biz newsletter highlights four major funding deals from the world of blockchain. Below is a concise version of the Thursday edition of our newsletter.

10T Holdings plans $500M crypto fund

Earlier this week, equity fund 10T Holdings filed a notice with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to launch a new $500 million crypto-focused investment fund. The 10T DAE Fund 3.0 has been designed to support mid-to-late-stage companies in the digital asset space. 10T has an excellent track record identifying promising crypto plays, with the likes of Kraken, eToro, Huobi and Ledger already a part of its portfolio.

Binance Smart Chain and Animoca Brands launch $200M GameFi fund

Binance Smart Chain and Animoca Brands have each allocated $100 million to a new development fund focused on the fast-growing GameFi ecosystem. GameFi, which refers to the financialization of gaming, is expected to be one of the biggest trends in crypto in 2022 and beyond. The new fund will focus specifically on projects building on the Binance Smart Chain.

Former Facebook engineers at Mysten Labs raise $36M

Mysten Labs, the research and development firm founded by former Facebook engineers, has raised $36 million from some of crypto’s biggest venture funds, including Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed, Coinbase Ventures and Samsung NEXT. If you haven’t heard of Mysten Labs, the infrastructure developer is working on building a Web 3.0 interface, which includes a “next-generation NFT platform for the Metaverse.”

Related: Hong Kong-based Chiron Partners launches $50M Terra fund

Fintech startup Lydia raises $100 million in Series C

Speaking of major funding news, crypto-friendly fintech startup Lydia has concluded a $100-million funding round, bringing its total valuation to over $1 billion. You can think of Lydia as an alternative to the popular Cash App and Venmo peer-to-peer payment services. And much like those platforms, Lydia provides another mobile payment gateway to the cryptocurrency market.

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Hong Kong-based Chiron Partners launches $50M Terra fund

Terra’s native cryptocurrency, LUNA, has emerged as one of the best-performing digital assets of the past 11 months.

Hong Kong venture capital firm Chiron Partners has launched a new ecosystem fund dedicated to Terra (LUNA), opening the door to new innovations for the layer-one decentralized finance, or DeFi, protocol.

The Chiron Terra Fund I, also referred to as CTI, will deploy $50 million in capital to support innovative projects building on top of the Terra ecosystem. Projects at the intersection of decentralized finance and “metaverse-linked” nonfungible token platforms are eligible for support, the company announced Wednesday.

Built using Cosmos SDK and Tendermint, Terra is a DeFi protocol that uses fiat-pegged stablecoins to power global payment systems. The native LUNA token has been designed to absorb the short-term volatility of Terra-based stablecoins. Following its Columbus-5 upgrade in October, Terra is reportedly set to house over 160 new projects by early 2022.

Terraform Labs, the South Korean development company behind the Terra blockchain, successfully raised $150 million in funding earlier this year. Major crypto venture funds including Pantera Capital, Galaxy Digital and BlockTower Capital contributed to the raise. 

Related: The stablecoin scourge: Regulatory hesitancy may hinder adoption

Terra has emerged as one of the largest DeFi-oriented blockchains on the market, with total value locked surpassing $13 billion, according to industry data. Only Ethereum has a higher TVL.

In terms of TVL, Terra is second only to Ethereum and ahead of Solana, Avalanche, Tron and Polychain. Source: DeFi Llama

In terms of price performance, LUNA has skyrocketed over 9,000% this year. Last month, the cryptocurrency peaked above $77.00. The cryptocurrency has a total market capitalization of $24.2 billion, placing it in the tenth spot among active projects.