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BoostVC closes $40M fund as revamped sci-fi accelerator preps for digital demo day

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BoostVC has been an accelerator known for the unconventional bets it has chased — and is still chasing — trends like blockchain and AR/VR that other investors have long sworn off. Its accelerator program has been as classical as it comes, offering perks like office space and living quarters for a relatively tight group of admitted founders.

With the pandemic crisis, BoostVC founder Adam Draper has had to make some adjustments to his latest batch, including a digital demo day taking place next week. Venture capital firms have proven reticent in the past to invest in founders they hadn’t met in person, but the quarantine has forced early-stage investors to step out of comfort zones. Draper hopes that a Zoom-based Demo Day focused on allowing the 13 companies to present and then break off into their own smaller Q&A subgroups will allow investors to feel more comfortable backing the startups remotely.

BoostVC’s digital demo day takes place on April 28.

A smaller group of 13 startups will certainly make logistics easier for Boost; Y Combinator’s latest batch tapped out at 240 companies. The current class is BoostVC’s smallest in recent memory, the result of a format change last year that boosted individual investments to $500K per startup (for a 15% equity chunk) and shrunk the total pool. The change was an attempt by Draper and his team to differentiate the accelerator’s offering and attract founders solving more capital-intensive problems.

Adam Draper gives his oddball accelerator a makeover

The pandemic threw them a curveball, but Draper hopes their tighter group can sell investors next week.

“I can’t say it’s all gone according to plan, we’re a very physical accelerator and we’ve had to completely adapt,” Draper says. “But we’ve gotten the value of getting to see how Y Combinator and 500 Startups did their demo days.”

The latest group includes plenty of bets in Boost’s familiar zones — blockchain, AR/VR, hardware and logistics. Boost has invested more than $50 million in startups since its founding in 2013.

An ebullient Draper tells TechCrunch that BoostVC has just closed a $40 million fund — its fourth and largest to date — to bankroll future batches of startups going through its accelerator. The new fund is backed by Devonshire Investors and ECMC. The firm’s last fund, which clocked in at around $38 million, closed in 2018.

Draper is hopeful that Boost’s next “tribe” can shift back to its in-person format when in kicks off in late August. If not, he hopes his team can apply what they’ve learned to help incubate a new class of startups and ready them for an uncertain market.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2020/04/21/boostvc-closes-40m-fund-as-revamped-sci-fi-accelerator-preps-for-digital-demo-day/

Source: https://blockchainconsultants.io/boostvc-closes-40m-fund-as-revamped-sci-fi-accelerator-preps-for-digital-demo-day/

Blockchain

ECB President Reiterates Digital Euro’s Complimentary Role

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European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde reiterated the Eurozone central bank’s stance that the development of a digital euro is meant to complement, not replace, cash — mitigating fears that Europe’s monetary union is not pushing for a cashless society.

The further solidifying of this stance from Lagarde came via yesterday’s online meeting of the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly, during which the French politician and lawyer stated:

We need to fully reap the potential gains from digital technologies […] In a more digital economy, we also need to ensure the strength and autonomy of European payment systems. […] We are also exploring the benefits, risks and operational challenges of introducing a digital euro. A digital euro could be a complement to, not a substitute for, cash; it could provide an alternative to private digital currencies and ensure that sovereign money remains at the core of European payment systems.

Sovereign Money Under Threat

Lagarde’s reference to a “private digital currencies” may potentially point to Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project and may illustrate a fear that other corporate giants may seek to implement their own private digital currencies.

The Libra project has, thus far, struggled to gain positive traction. Regulators across the world have largely taken an immediate and negative stance against the introduction of private currencies from Big Tech behemoths, like Facebook.

Meanwhile, the recent rise in decentralized finance is also putting pressure on the traditional financial system, especially considering the fact that it coincides with severe economic pressure from 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic — the latter point Lagarde herself acknowledged in yesterday’s speech. With the global economic situation in a highly-questionable state, the ECB presumably feels pressured to advance financial solutions via the latest fintech and blockchain-based techniques.

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Europe’s in the middle of the CBDC race

Despite Lagarde’s statement, the introduction of a digital euro is far from a done deal. Currently, a task force assigned to study the potential effects of a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, has yet to be announced — though is expected to be introduced “in the coming weeks.”

The European Central Bank’s potential interest in a digital euro stands somewhere between China’s full-steam-ahead push to introduce its CBDC as soon as possible and the United States lagging approach to the potential future of currency.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ecb-president-reiterates-digital-euros-complimentary-role/

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CoinGecko: 23% Participate In Yield Farming But 40% Can’t Read Smart Contracts

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Despite the growing DeFi craze in the past few months, a recent survey compiled by CoinGecko revealed that just 23% participate actively in some form of yield farming. However, many of the farmers answered that they don’t know how to read smart contracts but were enjoying high ROIs.

Yield Farming Is A Growing Trend

This year can be safely categorized as the decentralized finance (DeFi) boom. The rapid explosion of its popularity could be attributed to some extent to yield farming – the process of earning a return on capital by locking up funds with specific protocols and receiving rewards.

The popular cryptocurrency data aggregator CoinGecko conducted a survey to shed some light on users’ perspective and approach towards digital assets, the DeFi sector, and yield farming in particular.

As the chart below illustrates, nearly all respondents have heard of the two largest cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Ethereum. 94% have purchased at least one digital asset, while 81% have heard of liquidity mining or yield farming.

Participants Heard Of BTC/ETH/Yield Farming. Source: CoinGecko
Participants Heard Of BTC/ETH/Yield Farming. Source: CoinGecko

Interestingly, out of 1,347 respondents, only 23% answered that they had participated in yield farming in the past two months. According to CoinGecko, this indicated that yield farming is “still a niche but growing trend.”

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The survey also demonstrated that yield farming is primarily dominated by males (90%), while females were only 6%. The remaining 4% preferred not to answer (or were binary).

Yield Farming Dominated By Males. Source: CoinGecko
Yield Farming Dominated By Males. Source: CoinGecko

Farmers Don’t Know How To Read (Smart Contracts)

The past several months displayed that the DeFi field doesn’t lack risks. Whether it was human errors or hacks, numerous protocols failed, resulting in significant losses for investors.

Most of the study participants (79%) claimed that they understand the associated risks to a “reasonable extent.” However, 40% of yield farmers answered that they don’t know how to read smart contracts, and 33%% were not aware of impermanent loss.

According to CoinGecko, these results suggested that farmers are unable to calculate their real ROIs and are “extreme risk-takers for the sake of the high returns.”

Nevertheless, 93% of respondents noted that they had massive ROIs of at least 500% from yield farming. CoinGecko commented that these results are “not a surprise find as many of the current new pools provide insanely high APY of over 1,000%. Our opinion is that these high yields offered are not sustainable as it comes with high risk.”

The large rewards for farmers mean that they don’t mind paying the higher fees on the Ethereum network. Over 70% answered that gas fees of $10 or more per transaction seemed reasonable at this point.

Yield Farmers' Behavior. Source: CoinGecko
Yield Farmers’ Behavior. Source: CoinGecko
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/coingecko-23-participate-in-yield-farming-but-40-cant-read-smart-contracts/

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Bitcoin Indecisive Below $10,500 as Altcoins Continue to Suffer (Wednesday Market Watch)

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Most of the cryptocurrency market is finally taking a breather after a few consecutive days of price drops. Bitcoin sits just shy of $10,500, but some large-cap altcoins like Ethereum are still displaying issues.

Bitcoin Hovers Around $10,500

In the past couple of days, Bitcoin went from a top of $11,150 to a bottom of below $10,300. The primary cryptocurrency correlated with the price performances of other financial markets. Gold and equities plummeted similarly following rising COVID-19 confirmed cases in Europe.

Since yesterday, though, the asset has displayed minor recovery signs. The free-fall stopped, and BTC even headed towards $10,600. However, the bears didn’t allow any further price increases and drove the price down to its current level – around $10,450.

In case Bitcoin continues recovering, it needs to overcome the first resistance at $10,580, followed by $10,700, and $10,840, before having a chance to face $11,000.

Alternatively, the support levels that could assist if it drops lower are $10,300, $10,200, and $10,000.

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btcusd_chart-min
BTC/USD. Source: TradingView

On a 24-hour scale, the correlation between gold and Bitcoin seems interrupted. While BTC has stopped declining, gold is back under $1,900 per ounce. However, this could suggest further adverse price developments for BTC. As reported recently, BTC tends to follow the precious metal as the 60-day correlation between the two reached a new all-time high.

Large-Cap Alts Struggle With Recovery

As it generally happens, the billions of dollars that evaporated from the crypto market cap in the last few days harmed altcoins the most. Ethereum went from challenging $400 to about $330. Despite increasing slightly to $338 since the bottom, ETH is still in the red on a 24-hour scale.

Bitcoin Cash has increased by 0.5%. Thus, BCH has extended its lead over Polkadot for the 5th position as DOT has dropped by 2.7%.

Chainlink has lost the most substantial chunk of value from the top 10 (-8.5%). LINK is down below $8.5, and Crypto.com Coin, which has stayed relatively flat since yesterday, has taken over the 8th spot.

heatmap-min (2)
Cryptocurrency Market Heatmap. Source: Coin360.com

Ultra (21%), HedgeTrade (15%), OMG Network (14%), Celsius (10%), and Synthetix Network (10%) have recovered the most value in the past 24 hours.

After launching its mainnet, getting listed on several exchanges, and exploding in price in days, Avalanche has retraced today by 60%. Orchid has also declined by 15%, followed by Loopring (-9%), Blockstack (-8%), and Ren (-8%).

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-indecisive-below-10500-as-altcoins-continue-to-suffer-wednesday-market-watch/

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