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Liquid.com announces first close of ongoing Series C funding, hits tech unicorn status

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Global cryptocurrency platform Liquid.com (“Liquid”) today announced the first close of an ongoing Series C funding that puts the company valuation at over US$1 billion.

This valuation establishes Liquid as one of only two tech unicorns in Japan’s startup space. Founded in 2014, Liquid has achieved unicorn status in less than five years.

This latest round of funding is led by investment firm IDG Capital, with participation from the world’s largest maker of cryptocurrency mining rigs, Bitmain Technologies. This investment in Liquid marks an addition to IDG’s current portfolio of crypto investments, which include Coinbase, Ripple, Bitmain and Kakao’s crypto unit. This deal marks the latest investment for Bitmain this year into a regulated digital asset trading platform, following their investment into ErisX, another derivatives and digital asset trading platform aiming to be a licensed Commodity Futures Trading Commission-regulated futures market and clearinghouse.

Liquid has previously raised more than US$20 million from venture funding, which includes leading Japanese investment firms JAFCO, SBI, B Dash Ventures, Mistletoe, and ULS Group. In 2017, Liquid raised more than US$100m in a pre-discounted ICO raise, which was the first regulated ICO to be done in Japan.

Proceeds from the ongoing Series C funding will be used to fuel global expansion, product development of the core trading exchange business and entering into the security token market.

Liquid CEO Mike Kayamori said: “As we enter into a new age of digital disruption in financial services, consumers are increasingly placing a higher value on digital assets and technologies they can trust and use with greater ease. Our vision is to make financial services accessible to all, which means bringing more people into the digital asset space so that anyone can be a part of it. This first round of Series C funding from our two highly respected investors, IDG Capital and Bitmain, puts us in an incredibly strong position to make a global impact in 2019.”

Bitmain Co-founder Jihan Wu said: “Japan is one of the leading nations in putting crypto industry under proper regulations, and Liquid Group has proven itself to be the exemplary player within such compliant rules. This is a very important and unique moat amid global competition.”

General Partner of IDG Capital Young Guo said: “IDG has been actively investing in the global crypto space since 2012, identifying some key players early. We came to realize that Tokyo has emerged as a top destination for crypto innovation and it is our honor to back such visionary pioneers as Liquid Co-founders Mike Kayamori and Mario Gomez Lozada to carry out this innovation.”

 

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Sinotruk leaping forward to become world-class technology enterprise

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JINAN, China, March 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On March 2, SinoTruk’s Science and Technology Innovation Award Annual Conference 2024 was grandly held, to recognize and rewarding major scientific and technological achievements and outstanding innovative talents since 2022, planning and deploying scientific and technological innovation work ahead. Tan Xuguang, Chairman and General Manager of Shandong Heavy Industry Group, Chairman of China National Heavy Duty Truck Group, attended the conference and delivered a report on scientific and technological innovative work – “Steadily stride forward, embracing change in science and technology”.

 

Over the past five years, Sinotruk has invested nearly RMB 15 billion in R&D, which is the sum of the previous 15 years. It has benchmarked against world-class standards and gradually established a full-process independent research and development system. Sinotruk technological strength has reached the forefront of the national industry. Sinotruk has reshaped the “Yellow River” heavy-duty trucks standard with technology, ranking first in China, and its high-tech indicators are leading the industry. The market share of heavy-duty trucks has increased from 16.5% in 2018 to 26% in 2023, ranking first in China for two consecutive years. In 2023, the export volume exceeded 130,000 vehicles for the very first time, a 2.6-fold increase compared to 5 years ago, making it the largest single-brand global export volume in the world.

Tan Xuguang called on all engineers to keep in mind their mission, be down-to-earth, persistent in innovation, and make long-term achievements through dedicated ten years of hard work. Learn from the global cooperation, grow and become talents through project training, and achieve through continuous value creation. Achieve your meaning in life, strive with vitality and passion while you are young. Let’s set off again for a better future for the century heavy truck industry and the world’s best heavy truck industry!

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Flash News: OKX Introduces Exclusive ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event’ in Collaboration with Babylon, Offering Free Pioneer Pass NFT Minting for the First 100,000 Users Who Stake on Babylon Testnet

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SINGAPORE, March 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — OKX, a leading Web3 technology company, has issued updates for March 2, 2024.

OKX Introduces Exclusive ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event’ in Collaboration with Babylon, Offering Free Pioneer Pass NFT Minting for the First 100,000 Users Who Stake on Babylon Testnet

OKX today announced the launch of its ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event,’ giving users who access the Babylon Testnet and stake any amount of Signet Bitcoin (sBTC) the opportunity to claim Babylon’s Bitcoin Pioneer Pass NFT. To qualify for a spot, users must access the Babylon Testnet and stake any amount of Signet Bitcoin (sBTC).

The event kicks off on February 28 and continues until March 6. Following the event, starting from March 7, participants who have been whitelisted will have the ability to mint their Bitcoin Pioneer Pass NFT using the OKX Wallet and their whitelisted address.

The process of participating in this event is straightforward and involves the following steps:

  1. Firstly, users will need to prepare by setting up their OKX and Keplr Wallets. These wallets will be crucial for interacting with the Babylon Testnet and the subsequent claiming of sBTC and BBN.
  2. Following the wallet setup, users can then claim the sBTC and BBN on Babylon’s Official Discord. These tokens will be needed for staking in the Babylon Testnet.
  3. Finally, users will need to access Babylon’s official website, where users can actively engage, stake their tokens and claim their whitelist spots.

Participation in the event offers a multitude of benefits. Users can engage actively with the Babylon Testnet, which in turn enhances their understanding of the Babylon protocol and its functionalities. Furthermore, participants contribute to the development and evolution of the Babylon protocol by being active users.

The ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event‘ is a result of OKX’s partnership with Babylon, a trustless Bitcoin staking protocol. The Bitcoin Pioneer Pass, Babylon’s first commemorative Non-Fungible Token (NFT), is a highlight of this event, representing a significant milestone for both OKX and Babylon.

For more information, please visit the OKX Support Center.

About OKX

A leading global technology company driving the future of Web3, OKX provides a comprehensive suite of products to meet the needs of beginners and experts alike, including:

  • OKX Wallet: The world’s most powerful, secure and versatile crypto wallet which gives users access to over 80 blockchains while allowing them to take custody of their own funds. The wallet includes MPC technology which allows users to easily recover access to their wallet independently, removing the need for traditional, ‘written down’ seed phrases. In addition, OKX Wallet’s account abstraction-powered Smart Account enables users to pay for transactions on multiple blockchains using USDC or USDT, and interact with multiple contracts via a single transaction.
  • DEX: A multi-chain, cross-chain decentralized exchange aggregator of 300+ other DEXs and approximately 15 bridges, with 200,000+ coins and more than 20 blockchains supported.
  • NFT Marketplace: A multi-chain, zero-fee NFT marketplace that gives users access to NFT listings across seven top-tier marketplaces including OpenSea, MagicEden, LooksRare and Blur.
  • Web3 DeFi: A powerful DeFi platform that supports earning and staking on about 70 protocols across more than 10 chains.

OKX partners with a number of the world’s top brands and athletes, including English Premier League champions Manchester City F.C., McLaren Formula 1, The Tribeca Festival, Olympian Scotty James, and F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

As a leader building innovative technology products, OKX believes in challenging the status quo. The company recently launched a global brand campaign entitled, The System Needs a Rewrite, which advocates for a new paradigm led by Web3 self-managed technology.

To learn more about OKX, download our app or visit: okx.com

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UnionPay International and The Tourism Organisation of Serbia Sign MOU to Enhance Tourist Payments and Promote Serbia as a Premier Destination

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BELGRADE, Serbia, March 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — UnionPay International, the leading global card scheme, has entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS). This strategic partnership aims to enhancing the payment experience for tourists and to further facilitate tourism growth in Serbia.

The MOU signing ceremony took place at Belgrade on 27th February 2024, marking the beginning of a collaborative effort between UnionPay International and TOS. The agreement outlines various areas of cooperation:

Jointly promoting Serbia as Travel Destination: Through optimised marketing resources, both parties aim to promote Serbia as tourist destination among UnionPay cardholders, with its rich cultural heritage and unique experiences, provide comprehensive tourism information and payment guides for the tourists visiting Serbia. UnionPay International aims to provide more diversified and convenient payment choices, and ensuring seamless payment experiences for travellers visiting the country.

Privileges and Benefits: The partnership will explore opportunities for preferential activities that bring additional benefits to UnionPay cardholders visiting Serbia. This approach aims to boost the attractiveness of the local tourism market and create a win-win situation for both parties.

Ms Bomee Sheng, Product Director of UnionPay International, expressed her enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are delighted to partner with The Tourism Organisation of Serbia to promote tourism and facilitate payment experiences in Serbia. Through this partnership, we aim to provide UnionPay cardholders with enhanced convenience and benefits, ultimately contributing to the growth of Serbia’s tourism industry.”

Ms Marija Labović, CEO of National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, commented, “This partnership with UnionPay International comes at an important time as we strive to become the most popular all year destination in the region.” She outlines Belgrade’s popularity and the diversity of attractions from city breaks to natural retreats and she is looking forward to the Expo 2027 in the capital, “By leveraging UnionPay’s global network and advanced payment solutions, we are confident that we can attract more visitors to Serbia and provide them with memorable experiences.”

In recent years, Serbia has emerged as one of the most attractive destinations for Chinese visitors. It is hailed as the “heart of the Balkans” and offers a unique blend of captivating landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Its visa-free entry policy, coupled with the exceptional acceptance coverage of UnionPay cards, has played a significant role in attracting Chinese tourists. With over 90% of local merchants and ATMs supporting UnionPay payments and withdrawals, travellers can enjoy seamless payment experiences across various sectors, including retail, dining, hotels, gas stations, toll stations, and tourist attractions.

About The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS)

The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS) was formed under the Law on Tourism of 1994 as the institution in charge of promoting Serbian tourism in domestic and foreign markets, as well as performing other duties relevant for the development of communication and advertising activities in Serbian tourism. The activities of TOS are focused on positioning Serbia’s tourism products in domestic and foreign markets and exploring Serbia’s comparative advantages in terms of tourism, including its geostrategic position and its historical, cultural and natural identity.

About UnionPay International

UnionPay International focuses on the international business of UnionPay, a global payment network that serves the world’s largest cardholder base. Collaborating with over 2,600 partners globally, UnionPay acceptance now reached to 183 countries and regions. Outside the Chinese Mainland, UnionPay is accepted at nearly 67 million merchants and 1.7 million ATMs.

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