a weekly recap of the crypto ecosystem featuring news, notes, tokens, charts & more
as always, thanks for reading and you can follow me here
tl;dr: respect the king, L1 stablecoin APY enabled frenzies, protocols collaborate through collateral purchasing, Lightning Network’s big week, & funding is endless.
news & funding:
Pantera Capital seeks to raise $200M late stage crypto fund
NEAR Protocol raises $350M in new funding for continued development; Trisolaris, DEX on NEAR ($TRI), also raises $4.5M
Lightning Labs raises $70M and unveils Taro, a protocol to bring stablecoins to the Lightning Network
LUNA partners with AVAX to add $100M of AVAX to the $UST reserve, protocols to collaborate on a new gaming subnet announced soon
Improbable raises $150M for building blockchain compatible metaverse tech
Tesla, Block (formerly Square), and Blockstream partner to mine BTC through solar power in Texas
GrayScale’s Digital Large Cap Fund, $480M AUM, adds exposure to AVAX and DOT while removing SUSHI and SNX
CertiK, blockchain security firm, raises $88M valuation @ $2B
JAN3, fund for advancing BTC and it’s L2 networks such as Lightning and Liquid, raises $21M @ $100M valuation
MicroStrategy buys $190M worth of BTC; Luna Foundation buys $231M of BTC
Stillmark targets $500M raise for credit fund dedicated to lending capital for companies building within the Bitcoin Lightning space
Sky Mavis, creators of Axie and Ronin, raises $150M to refund users effected in the $625M hack and enhance security
Coin Metrics, crypto data and research provider, raises $35M
Bitstamp set to offer crypto trading services to U.S. banks & fintechs
Binance.US raises $200M+ @ $4.5B pre-money valuation to expand new products and services through M&A
Parallel Finance, lending/staking on DOT, raises $5M valuation @ $500M
Chorus One, staking company, raises $30M to establish Chorus Ventures fund
Boba Network, ETH L2 scaling platform, raises $45M @ $1.5B valuation
Polemos, gameFi/play-to-earn guild, raises $14M seed valuation @ $100M
Moneybox, wealth manager, raises $46M to push/expand crypto offerings
eToro, trading platform, announces eToro.art and $20M NFT creator fund
Hivemapper raises $18M to continue building decentralized mapping protocol rewarding users for participation a la Helium; mainnet to launch in summer
HBAR Foundation launches $250M ecosystem fund to boost brand
Community Gaming, hosts blockchain gaming/esports, raises $16M series A
GOALS, multi-platform blockchain soccer game, raises $15M seed round
ESPN signs partnership with Tom Brady’s Autograph NFT platform
OpenSea officially launches support for Solana NFTs
Kevin Smith to release new film via SECRET network NFTs and collaboration
thoughts & notes:
BTC Week & The King
While these posts, along with the corresponding Page One articles, usually focus on emerging ecosystems, trending/upcoming tokens, and jpegs the king always controls the flows and broad market direction. BTC Miami took place this week and culminated in a flurry of BTC related news and developments.
The first and most important announcement came out of Lightning Network Labs with their announcement of L2 protocol Taro. Taro aims to bitcoinize the dollar by onboarding stablecoins to the Lightning Network & increasing speed. While many BTC holders don’t spend, the ability to have fiat to BTC and back native through the Lightning Network should increase growth & optionality.
Tesla, Block, and Blockstream are partnering to mine BTC through solar power, further solidifying the positive BTC energy narrative I previously highlighted with Exxon and ConocoPhillips diverting flared gas to BTC mining.
Block, formerly Square, also announced the ability for users who receive their paychecks through Cash App’s direct deposit now have the ability to receive all or partial payment directly in BTC and Block will fully integrate Lightning soon.
Shopify, BitPay, Robinhood and numerous others integrate Lightning Network
JAN3, fund for advancing BTC and it’s L2 networks such as Lightning and Liquid, raises $21M @ $100M valuation to invest in companies building on BTC L2 networks while Stillmark targets $500M raise for credit fund dedicated to lending capital for companies building within the Bitcoin Lightning space
UFC, through partnership with Crypto.com, announces bonuses paid in BTC
What’s Old is New Again
There were several token announcements this week with odes to fallen tokens. Terra is adding more collateral to UST diversifying their recent BTC backing by acquiring $100M of AVAX tokens. FXS all but confirmed that they’ll also be adding diversified collateral to their stablecoin reserves, BAL has activated the ve token model, and NEAR confirmed plans of their native stablecoin.
By far the most interesting development this week is the potential development highlighted by Jon and The Wolf above. We are entering a new era of L1 customer acquisition through stablecoin APYs subsidized by various L1 protocols raising ecosystem funding.
Currently, ANC supplies ~20% APY to the Terra ecosystem which lead to massive demand and growth of UST and the LUNA ecosystem culminating in their recent acquisitions of billions in BTC. While we don’t know the APYs and exact mechanics of NEAR’s stablecoin, the confirmation, along with the token developments listed above, could ignite a frenzy of L1 stablecoin APY enabled vampire attacks benefitting the fast moving, plugged in market participants.
FXS — +22.1%
FXS continues innovating, most recently by their alluding of buying crypto collaterals. — “FRAX’s balance sheet will reflect the proportion of the stablecoin’s supply in each network” — Additionally, FXS is entering the stablecoin war through their 4pool alliance with LUNA and REDACTED which you can read about in depth here.
NEAR — +17%
As mentioned above, NEAR’s price appreciation comes from the confirmation of their stablecoin $USN & the fresh injection of $350M in ecosystem funding.
BAL — +20.4%
Balancer activated veBAL to provide 75% of fees generated by the protocol directed to holders who lock their LP tokens of the BAL/ETH pool. The proposal of integrating veBAL to Aura Finance can be seen here along with original announcement of veBAL and the corresponding tokenomics here
ICHI — +95.5%
ICHI is quickly becoming a CT topic of discussion as the token has been up only for the past month. ICHI aims to solve liquidity issues in DeFi which you can read about here and see their beautifully drawn tokenomics here
WAVES — -51%
covered in past weeks as its ponzinomics were unstable, WAVES and its native stablecoin cracked this week as USDN traded as low as $0.76 at currently sits at $0.98. Pushing Alameda and Tabasco is never a good idea as they’ll TWAP dump your ponzi to the center of the Earth. For more information about the debacle you can see the proposal that lead to the downfall here.
around the ecosystem:
Nansen provides a deep dive on the NEAR ecosystem
sudoswap releases a blog outlining their upcoming NFT AMM protocol
Arbitrum Nitro devnet is now live
DeFi Edge back with another good thread, this time on tokenomics
Yearn introduces the Tokenized Vault Standard (ERC-4626), read here
a great recap of everything DeFi in Q1
Route 2 FI with a compilation of threads on how to make it
tweets of the week:
Another great article