crypto recap 3/21 - 3/26
news, notes, funding, charts, and tweets summarizing the past week in crypto
as always, thanks for reading and follow me here
tl;dr: stargate blasts off, Do Kwon takes over goblin town, stablecoins and previously wasted natural gas are good, and everyone wants an NFT marketplace.
image taken 8am Saturday morning
news & funding:
Yuga Labs, BAYC creator, raises $450M @ $4B valuation
Katie Haun launches Haun Ventures with $1.5B in capital to invest in growth of web3 — $500M early stage fund & $1B acceleration fund
Nexo Ventures launches $150M Web3 investment fund
Acala, DeFi network on DOT, announces $250M “aUSD Ecosystem Fund” to support teams building use cases for aUSD (Acala dollar)
Worldcoin, eyeball scanning for tokens, raises $100M @ $3B valuation
Avalanche announces $100M creator fund with Grimes to support projects on the network and exclusively available to web3 social media platform Op3n
Crypto.com to be an official sponsor of 2022 FIFA World Cup, previously acquired naming rights to Staples Center for $700M
Figure Technologies announces 100% loan to value crypto backed mortgages for BTC and ETH of up to $20M
Krafton, PUBG game maker, and Solana Labs announce partnership to develop and market web3 games along with investing partnership
Tekin Salimi launches dao5, $125M early-stage crypto fund that will eventually progress to full DAO ownership and decision making
Bridgewater, Ray Dialo owned largest hedge fund in the world, is dipping its toes into the crypto waters
FTX & CoinShares partner for Solana ETP offering staking rewards
Upshot, NFT appraisal protocol, raises $22M
Line, Japanese messaging giant, to launch NFT marketplace on April 13th
Phi Labs raises $21M in seed funding to continue onboarding and rewarding dapp developers within the Cosmos ecosystem
GameStop announces the beta version of their NFT marketplace with L2 scaling integrations coming from Loopring and IMX
Goldman Sachs and Galaxy Digital partner to complete the first OTC crypto trade involving Goldman
NFL grants teams permission to partner with blockchain enabled companies
Exxon, world’s largest energy company, is piloting a program that diverts excess natural gas to BTC mining
Liverpool FC to release NFTs with Sotheby’s partnership; Diplo releasing NFTs on 3LAU’s Royal platform
Red Door Digital, Taiwan based AAA web3 game studio raises $5M seed round
El Salvador delays issue of $1B BTC bond
thoughts & notes:
Wasted Gas & Stablecoins
Narratives control everything and two of the most important in crypto now, and moving forward, are energy giants repurposing previously wasted excess natural gas for crypto mining (see Exxon announcement, previously Conoco Phillips) and stablecoin demand increasing the backing, adoption, and use of the USD across the globe.
Nic Carter has rewritten the bible on the mainstream misunderstanding of crypto energy use and has a good tweet linked below on how stablecoin growth supports the USD. Expect these narratives to continue coming to the forefront of conversations from crypto proponents and crypto friendly policy makers in the coming months.
Covered extensively by the other half of Page One, s/o Tervo, NFTs continue their ever-expanding broad adoption. OpenSea is obviously the giant but everyone wants an NFT marketplace and NFT plan. Looks Rare, covered more below, is the obvious competitor but we’ve seen numerous companies and NFT projects themselves trying to access the marketplace fees of the fastest growing sector in crypto.
Instagram, Shopify, Looks Rare, Rarible, Foundation, Nifty, Flow, X2Y2, GameStop, Softbank’s Internet Arm, Japanese social media giants, and countless others are trying to angle into the NFT marketplace race. High value and volume collections are also releasing they can create marketplaces themselves rerouting the fees to the NFT creators and treasuries for future expansion (Yuga Labs next?). Solving NFT aggregation (gem.xyz and genie) will also become a major focus as the number of marketplaces expands dramatically.
Expect an overview of the entire ecosystem of marketplaces, aggregators, fractionalization protocols, and NFT enabled financialization coming from Page One soon.
coins recap (7d returns):
STG — +137%
as I wrote about last week, Layer Zero protocol Stargate has the potential to become one of the biggest protocols in the space as they work to enable one-click, native asset cross-blockchain swaps
as of 8 AM Saturday morning they have $3.165B TVL
LOOKS — +27%
The Looks Rare team continues to ship updates, innovate, and slowly eat into OpenSea’s marketshare of NFT transactions. There’s an uphill battle but the team has displayed dedication and their rewards make it likely they’ll continue gaining high value NFT sales and building top down
For a good overview of LR exchange and their growth, you can check hildobby’s great dune dashboard here
AXS — +34%
As Axie tries to recover from their previously unsustainable subsidized growth, the AXS team released Axie Infinity: Origin, their revamped roadmap, and staking for their Ronin token and scaling solution. Read more in a detailed explanation from the team here.
JEWEL — +50%
Similar to Axie and OG DeFi products, DeFi Kingdoms (JEWEL) is in the process of revamping their p2e mechanisms and solving scaling problems to continue onboarding users.
Previously partnering with AVAX for an exclusive subnet and ecosystem onboarding fund, JEWEL announced partnerships with Dopex, Benqi, Ramp, Coinbase Wallet, Synapse, and POKTNetwork this week.
The team covered all of the above and their announcements at AVAX’s summit this week in a detailed post here. Also, s/o Ansem as always
LRC — +47.5%
As I mentioned with Aave and Rune last week, Loopring also falls into the category of DeFi, crypto innovating OG protocols. The team at LRC continues building their ZK scaling solutions.
The GameStop NFT marketplace was announced as taking their first steps to welcome users with the core marketplace built on top of the Loopring ZKR L2. Read more here and access beta marketplace here
Cosmos Ecosystem — ATOM -1%, JUNO -32%, OSMO -10%
In a week were we saw broad rallies across crypto, the Cosmos ecosystem was a notable laggard. Over the past few months, the Cosmos ecosystem was one of the only sectors in crypto showing relative strength throughout the selloff so some of the downtrend is natural reversion to the mean.
Market participants were also pricing in and crowded the ecosystem ahead of the much anticipated Evmos launch which has been severely as the work through problems. Cosmos and IBC are still massively important to the omnichain future but may have also been rerated slightly with the launch of STG and their omnichain solutions.
around the ecosystem:
universe.xyz NFT marketplace goes live, read more here
Alkimiya launches on AVAX mainnet, more info here
REDACTED announces the launch of v2 in April
knower releases a great article on attention, evaluation frameworks & CT
kamikaz_ETH with a good thread on what $STG could enable
Hasu releases new blog with all previous research and writings
Jack Niewold breaks down the upcoming ETH merge
tweets of the week: