Cryptocurrencies

Solana Blockchain has, so far, been one of the most successful in this area.

The Solana blockchain has been one of the best performers of this bull cycle so far, with network activity and integrations increasing despite previous outages and technical challenges.

According to data from Hello Moon, the network saw a record 55 million new addresses created between March and April, thanks to the memcoin craze and increased activity from decentralized applications like DePINs.

One of the newest companies to join the Solana ecosystem is PayPal. The fintech company integrated its stablecoin, PayPal USD (PYUSD), into the network on May 29, aiming to expand its usefulness for everyday transactions.

Similarly, the LayerZero interoperability protocol included Solana on its network of more than 70 threads on the same day. According to LayerZero, Solana’s high throughput and low transaction fees make it suitable for “decentralized applications, particularly in the DeFi, NFT, and gaming areas.”

Solana’s growth is not without challenges. Concerns about network resilience after a series of outages persist across the ecosystem. According to its foundation, the full version of the Firedancer upgrade will be available in the coming months.

Along with Solana’s return, Crypto Biz this week also explores BlackRock funds’ growing exposure to Bitcoin, Riot Platforms’ bid for Bitfarms, Semler Scientific’s use of Bitcoin as a cash reserve, and more.

BlackRock Adds Its Bitcoin ETF to Income and Bond Funds

BlackRock is adding shares of its Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) to its existing fund portfolio. Regulatory filings show that the company’s investment funds purchased shares of its BTC in the first quarter. BlackRock’s Strategic Income Opportunities Fund (BSIIX) acquired iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) for $3.56 million, while Strategic Global Bond Fund (MAWIX) made a $485,000 purchase, filings show filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission dated May 28. IBIT shares represent a small portion of BSIIX and MAWIX’s investment portfolios, worth $37.4 billion and $776.4 million, respectively.

BlackRock’s Strategic Income Opportunities Fund purchased 88,000 shares of IBIT. Source: SEC

Semler Scientific shares rose 30% after adopting Bitcoin as a cash reserve

Nasdaq-listed Semler Scientific (SMLR) saw its stock price rise 30% on May 28 after announcing that Bitcoin would become the Treasury’s primary reserve asset. As part of this strategy, Semler purchased 581 bitcoins for a total of $40 million. The company’s board and senior management reportedly spent “a significant amount of time” studying potential uses of its cash reserves, including evaluating acquisition opportunities. “After considering various alternatives, we decided that holding Bitcoin would be the best use of our excess funds,” Eric Semler, president of Semler Scientific, said in a statement.

Riot Platforms offers to buy Bitfarms for $950 million amid CEO dispute

Bitcoin mining company Riot Platforms has made an offer to acquire Bitfarms, a smaller Canadian competitor, for approximately $950 million in cash and common stock, representing a 24% premium to the average Bitfarms stock price . Riot is already the largest shareholder in Bitfarms, with a 9.25% stake. The offering follows internal management turmoil at Bitfarms, including the recent firing and subsequent lawsuit of former CEO Jeffrey Murphy. The executive sued the company for breach of contract, wrongful termination and damages, seeking $27 million. Bitfarms fired him on May 13 and named Nicolas Bonta, president and co-founder, to replace him.

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest injects $60 million into Elon Musk’s AI project

Cathie Wood’s investment firm ARK Invest has acquired a stake in XAI, Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence startup. Brett Winton, ARK’s chief futurist, announced on May 28 that the new investment represented approximately 2% of the fund’s holdings. The move follows X’s introduction of AI-curated audiences to advertisers on May 10. With an increasing focus on AI-related investments, the company recently revealed that 4% of its holdings were in OpenAI stock and 5% in Anthropic stock. Winton said he believes basic AI models will be worth “several billions of dollars by the end of this decade.”

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