The spicy crypto news keeps on coming. Among other things, a huge Binance Labs funding announcement stopped us scrolling for a minute… plus something about Chipotle payments…


Binance Labs to give crypto firms a $500m boost

Did you think the crypto funding space was slowing down a bit in these bear-market conditions? If it has a tad across the board, certain big VCs such as a16z (which raised a stupendous US$4.5b last week) aren’t abiding. And Binance Labs, the venture capital arm of crypto-exchange giant Binance, is the latest to splurge.

The division has this week raised US$500 million to establish a fund that will invest in Web3 and blockchain enterprises. And that’s basically longhand for crypto companies.

DST Global Partners, Breyer Capital, Whampoa Group and various other private equity funds all participated in the raise, according to a blog post sent into the wild on Wednesday.

“The goal of the newly closed investment fund is to discover and support projects and founders with the potential to build and to lead Web 3 across DeFi, NFTs, gaming, Metaverse, social, and more,” said Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

The fund will be looking to incubate startups; support companies in early-stage development, as well as some that are already established in “late-stage growth”.


More crypto news in brief: Chipotle, Fidelity, South Korea

• Popular US-based Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle is reportedly now accepting crypto payments through digital payment provider Flexa at all of its restaurants in America. And there are something like 2,950 of those.

Flexa announced the partnership midweek, although anything about it is yet to appear on Chipotle’s website.

But according to the digital payments provider, the Fortune 500 Mex-tastic chain will be accepting all of  the 98 cryptocurrencies Flexa currently supports. And that includes Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and seven US-dollar-pegged stablecoins such as USDC.  And yeah, Dogecoin (DOGE), too.

• US firm Fidelity Investments, the fourth-largest asset manager on the planet (US$4.5 trillion AUM), is on a crypto hiring spree.

Specifically, its subsidiary Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC, that is, which is looking to bring on 110 tech workers and 100 customer-service specialists, all with blockchain experience, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The new hires will reportedly help build out the infrastructure needed to support Ethereum services. And what that means, is Fidelity is planning to offer custody and trading services for Ethereum (ETH) to its institutional client base.

Potentially a big shot in the arm for Ethereum? Yeah, potentially. Meanwhile, Bitcoin fan and Tongan MP Lord Fusitu’a is one of many on Crypto Twitter taking note…

• South Korea, known for its stringent crypto regulatory policies, is aping into the metaverse. According to CNBC, the nation’s government plans to invest more than 223.7 billion won (about US$177.1 million) directly into various metaverse projects.

It makes the Asian powerhouse one of the first national governments to make such a commitment in this particular, nascent technological sector.

The program is reportedly being led by the country’s science and information and communication technologies ministry, which describes the metaverse as: “an uncharted digital continent with indefinite potential”.