Voyager Innovations, the firm behind the Philippines' top digital payments app Paymaya, has announced it has achieved unicorn status after a recent round of funding, surpassing a $1 billion valuation.
Voyager Innovation announced Tuesday that the new $210 million capital boosted its valuation to $1.4 billion. The company highlighted that the new funds will be used to develop crypto offerings that it recently added to its flagship digital payments app PayMaya.
According to the news release, the recent financing round was led by SIG Venture Capital. It included well-known firms such as KKR, First Pacific Co., Tencent Holdings Limited and PLDT Inc., the Philippines' largest telecom provider.
As reported by Cointelegraph, PayMaya recently introduced crypto services into the app, allowing consumers to buy, sell, and earn crypto using it. The money will be used to develop the crypto offerings further. PayMaya also recently obtained a Virtual Asset Services Provider (VASP) license from the Philippine Central Bank. The firm will also invest the cash in PayMaya-branded digital bank services, such as savings and credit.
According to Voyager, most of the Philippine population is "underserved" in terms of internet and digital finance. It aims to take advantage of this by extending its market reach. As of March 31, PayMaya has over 47 million users.
While many gamers are critical of blockchain-based gaming, Myspace co-founder Chris DeWolfe believes adoption is on the way as the business model inherently provides players more control over their in-game experiences.
DeWolfe, who is now the CEO of game development firm Jam City, told Cointelegraph that “the quality of the game and how developers interact and engage with players to set expectations” could eventually change the perception of skeptics.
The former Myspace CEO also compared the advent of Web3 gaming to the early days of Web2. According to DeWolfe, many analysts were skeptical of the viability of Web2 advertising and business models:
“They also weren’t sure about the quality of user-generated content and if it would be interesting, so there were naturally concerns over adoption. However, MySpace is really a perfect example of just how powerful user-generated content would become.”
The Iranian government will increase penalties for the use of subsidized energy in crypto mining. The move marks another step in the tightening of mining regulation in the country that had faced energy shortages in recent years.
On April 16, the Tehran Times reported, citing the country’s Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission company, that the government plans to drastically increase the fines rates for the mining operators who use subsidized electricity. The company's representative Mohammad Khodadadi Bohlouli specified:
“Any use of subsidized electricity, intended for households, industrial, agricultural and commercial subscribers, for mining cryptocurrency is prohibited.”
According to Bohlouli, the fines for the use of subsidized energy in mining will rise by a minimum of three and a maximum of five times. A repeated violation might lead to revocation of a business' license and even imprisonment of the offender.
Cryptocurrency mining operations in Iran are legal and subject to a licensing process since 2019. As of January 2020, the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade had issued over 1,000 mining licenses. Due to some major challenges to the nation's energy grid, such as drought and reduced rainfall, in May 2021 Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani announced a temporary moratorium on crypto mining. This cycle repeated itself when the moratorium had been lifted in September 2021 only to be reinstated in December.
As the Iranian energy ministry’s spokesman Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi stated in May 2021, announcing fines for the use of subsidized energy, unauthorized mining of cryptocurrencies “creates problems in supplying electricity due to the damage to the local power grid and transformers.”
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.