Despite hot inflation figures, the crypto market is currently up on Friday (AEDT) and funding news has barely slowed. Binance, Uniswap, Copper and more have caught our attention.

We’ll start locally…


Binance’s UWA donation

Binance Australia has this week, in collaboration with the exchange giant’s Binance Charity arm, donated US$300k in cryptocurrency to the University of Western Australia.

The donation will be in BUSD, which is a 1:1 USD-backed stablecoin, approved and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

As Binance Australia reps told Stockhead via email, it’s a “notable development for crypto adoption given the uni is a 100-year-old plus establishment”.

The aim of the donation is to help fund and enhance the uni’s existing blockchain course, build out a full master’s program and help develop a “metaverse lab”.

The Australian chapter of the world’s biggest crypto exchange by trading volume has identified there is a “rising need for skills in the disruptive technology”.

It’s forecasting blockchain to be a growing job sector over the next three to five years to align with the introduction of clear government-led regulations, which the exchange believes will “pave the way towards incredible acceleration of the local web3 market”.

Binance Australia’s CEO Leigh Travers said, “The donation will go towards enhancing the course already on offer at UWA, while simultaneously building out a full Master’s program for blockchain technology. We will also see a third of the funding allocated to develop UWA Metaverse labs which will be researched and designed by the students.

“With Web3 adoption within organisations at incredible levels, we’re encouraging university students to broaden their horizons and seek careers in emerging tech,” added Travers.

From left: the UWA’s Prof. Dirk Baur; Assc. Prof. Doina Olaru; Dr Andrzej Gwizdalski; Binance Australia’s corporate product manager Charis Campbell; Prof. Peter Robertson, Dean of UWA Business School. (Image: supplied)

According to the UWA Business School’s Blockchain Program lecturer Dr Andrzej Gwizdalski, the demand for blockchain and crypto knowledge in the workforce is real, and he believes “there is no university better positioned than UWA to educate them”.

Head of Binance Charity, Helen Hai also commented. “The initiative will create equal access opportunities for UWA students to practically engage with blockchain technologies,” she noted. “This is part of Binance Charity’s commitment to advance blockchain education and training worldwide.”

A recent report by using Statista and Glassdoor data showed that Australia is one of the leading countries seeking to employ in the crypto and blockchain sector, with 236 (at the time of publishing) jobs available in the industry.


Uniswap bags one of DeFi’s biggest raises

In one of the largest funding raises ever by a DeFi protocol, Uniswap (UNI) has managed to close a US$165 million Series B round.

The raise, led by Polychain Capital, brings the protocol’s total valuation to a whopping US$1.66 billion, according to Blockworks.

Last week, Uniswap revealed it was looking to reel in at least US$100 million and up to $200m for the raise. Thanks to Polychain, as well as other notable VCs including Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm, SV Angel and Variant, the popular DeFi startup hit its target.

Uniswap founder Hayden Adams wrote in a Thursday blog post that he could never have imagined in 2018, when he first developed the protocol, that it would wind up “supporting $1.2 trillion in trading volume to date”.

“It has grown and evolved in ways I never imagined…and has become critical public infrastructure for exchanging digital value,” he wrote.


Crypto custodian Copper secures US$196m

In another massive middle-finger raise to the bear market this week, London-based crypto custodian and prime brokerage Copper has announced it’s secured US$196 million in a Series C round.

As per the company filing, the crypto custodian raised US$181 million from new and existing shareholders besides a convertible loan note of $15 million.

A list of investors hasn’t yet been named by Copper, however some of its backers from previous rounds include Accel, SoftBank Group, Tiger Global, and Barclays Plc. That’s not an indication or speculation that these companies have participated further this time around, however.

In March this year, also per Blockworks, Copper hired former Citi executive Sabrina Wilson as its new chief operating officer and hired a handful of ex-Bank of America Merrill Lynch employees in April.