Subscribe to TechCrunch’s Chain Reaction newsletter to receive a roundup of the biggest and most important crypto stories every Thursday at 12 p.m. PT. In the past week, several major U.S. banks have made headlines, with Signature Bank, a crypto-friendly regional bank, being closed by regulators due to systemic risk that could threaten the U.S. banking system. This closure came just days after Silicon Valley Bank crashed and Silvergate Capital wound down its operations. Signature Bank had 40 branches across New York, California, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Nevada, with $110.4 billion in total assets and total deposits of $82.6 billion as of December 31, 2022. Around 30% of the bank’s deposits came from the crypto industry.
The closure of these banks could push the crypto industry toward decentralization and a need for regulation going forward. With these banks’ closure, it will become difficult for cryptocurrency businesses to move money between entities and access banking services. The overall market turmoil has seemingly created a bullish sentiment in the crypto economy, however, as traders responded positively to the news and the overall market cap rose on the week.
In other news, Meta is winding down support for NFTs on Instagram and Facebook, while Euler Finance, a non-custodial DeFi protocol, was exploited of about $197 million in crypto on Monday. India’s Enforcement Directorate is investigating “several” crypto cases for money-laundering schemes and has seized $115.5 million to date in such crimes.
On last week’s episode of Chain Reaction, Jacquelyn interviewed Jack Mallers, the founder and CEO of Strike, a bitcoin-based payment network and financial app that is trying to grow cross-border payments and remittance markets. Mallers is also the CEO of Zap, a bitcoin investment and payments company that transacts on the Lightning Network.
In funding news, Soul Wallet aims to bring self-hosted crypto wallets to the next billion with $3 million in backing, while KuCoin and Circle back Chinese yuan-pegged stablecoin CNHC in a $10 million round. Virtual fashion platform DressX raises $15 million, DWF Labs invests $10 million in blockchain infra provider Orbs Network, and NFT social platform Metalink raises $6 million in a seed round.