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Unizen ‘CeDeFi’ smart exchange secures $200M investment from GEM

The alternative investment group is banking on the “CeDeFi exchange” to shape the “future of finance” with a commitment that will bolster Unizen’s ecosystem.

Cryptocurrency exchange Unizen has scored a $200 million investment from private equity group Global Emerging Markets (GEM) which it will use to expand its business and its ecosystem.

Rather than receiving the $200 million in funding all at once, Unizen noted on June 27 that the investment will come in the form of a “capital commitment’, with part of the funding released upfront and the rest will be provided later based on achieved milestones.

Unizen did not disclose what particular criteria it had to achieve to receive the funding.

Unizen calls itself a “CeDeFi” exchange mixing features of both centralized exchanges (CEXs) and decentralized exchanges (DEXs), it runs on the BNB Chain, formerly called the Binance Smart Chain. It aims to attract both retail and institutional investors by finding and aggregating the most cost-efficient trades across CEX’s such as Binance and DEX’s like Uniswap.

GEM is described as a $3.4 billion alternative investment group that focuses on emerging markets, it selected Unizen with the aim to “have a hand in technology that will shape the future of finance.”

Unizen stated that it will use the investment to expand its team, shore up its innovation and marketing pipeline, and speed up the implementation of its trade aggregation ecosystem, also hinting at an upcoming investor token release update for early July though no further details were provided.

Related: Crypto brokerage FalconX raises $150M at $8B valuation

Another arm of Unizen is its ZenX Labs business, a CeDeFi incubator aimed at investing in and supporting decentralized projects by providing technical expertise and assisting with compliance.

ZenX Labs most recently said it was building and launching a small satellite into orbit aboard a SpaceX rocket with the mission funded by entirely by Dogecoin (DOGE), it is expected to launch sometime this year.

For GEM, it’s another investment into a blockchain-related business. In May through its digital asset investment firm GEM Digital Limited, it provided $400 million in funding to KaJ Labs to develop ‘Lithosphere’, a platform for cross-chain decentralized applications powered by artificial intelligence.

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Nifty News: OpenSea acquires Gem, and Chess.com makes a move into NFTs

OpenSea's NFT empire just got bigger with its latest acquisition, while virtual influencer Rae creates an NFT collection to advance girls' education, and online chess players can now turn memorable matches into NFTs with chess.com.

OpenSea buys NFT market aggregator Gem

In a Monday Twitter post, OpenSea announced it had acquired NFT marketplace aggregator Gem for an undisclosed price. A blog post by OpenSea chief executive officer Devin Finzer stated that the company made this move to improve the experience of its more seasoned, “pro” users. 

Gem lets traders buy NFTs across various collections and multiple marketplaces in a single transaction that saves on gas fees. For now, OpenSea is adding popular Gem features such as its collection floor price sweeping tool, and rarity-based rankings to its platform.

Gem will continue operating independently from OpenSea as a stand-alone product, but OpenSea intends to continually integrate more Gem features into its NFT marketplace in the future.

Many of the user comments on the Twitter thread, however, criticized OpenSea's latest move. Amid multiple hacks and recent phishing scandals, collectors like @BandoNFT said he'd rather OpenSea invest to "improve communication and customer service."

Virtual influencer Rae celebrates girls in STEM

Rae is one of Asia’s CGI (computer generated imagery) influencers, many of whom have large followings on Instagram and Weibo. Known as "here.is.rae" on social media, her Instagram bio states that she is a virtual being, digital artist and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) advocate.

Rae announced her upcoming second NFT collection ahead of the United Nations-recognized International Girls in ICT Day on April 28 (information and communication technology.) The virtual influencer intends to use this collection to advocate for better STEM education for young girls. Eight percent of the total sale proceeds and royalty fees will go to a non-profit organization called United Women Singapore.

The collection called “Adventures of Tako” features Rae’s virtual pet named Tako. NFT holders of the first out of three series will receive an audio message from Rae and gain priority access to the launch of the second series of the collection.

Chess.com to launch an NFT marketplace

Wyre, a fiat-to-crypto and payment infrastructure firm, partnered up with the online chess community Chess.com to launch a new NFT marketplace called Treasure Chess. The platform allows users to turn a chess game played on treasure.chess.com into a Treasure NFT. Users can then purchase, sell, mint and collect their "Treasures" on the Layer 2 blockchain Polygon.

Treasure Chess generates an Ethereum Address for users who sign in with their Chess.com accounts. Wyre permits players to use debit cards to buy the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) in order to buy NFTs, without having to have a separate wallet. Labeled an experiment, Chess.com stated that the mission is to make users' chess experience richer and support chess streamers and content creators in celebrating their favorite matches.

Other Nifty News

The recently launched owl avatars Moonbirds NFT collection is bringing new liquidity to the NFT market, according to Cointelegraph market analyst Alyssa Exposito. So much so that The Sandbox metaverse purchased MoonBird #2642 for 350 Ether (ETH), or about $1 million, which was originally purchased for 100 ETH. At the time of publication, Moonbirds had generated 117,115 ETH in volume or slightly over $332 million in sales on OpenSea in a ten-day run. 

Another NFT collection with a soaring market cap is Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC, ahead of Yuga Labs’ The Otherside metaverse land sale. On April 25, BAYC suffered a phishing attack that coincided with the one-year anniversary of its launch. Hackers breached BAYC's official Instagram page and shared links to a fake airdrop.

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