a weekly recap of the crypto ecosystem
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tl;dr: crypto’s value again front & center, the SEC’s overreach & Grayscale’s win, USDT dominance grows, ATOM’s upgrade, L1 launches imminent, & we are so back
BTC dominance 42% | ETH dominance 18% | DeFi TVL $47.6B |
Total Crypto Market Cap $1.12T | Stablecoin Supply $135B |
Whew, what another absolutely insane week that culminated in an impressive rally throughout the past two days. As everyone is aware, USDC’s potentially problematic weekend has passed with funds safu and USDC is essentially back at peg after falling to as low as $0.87 as Circle and Coinbase both reopened redemptions during normal banking hours.
While the range of macro outcomes has drastically changed since Jerome said the “ultimate level of interest rates likely to be higher than previously anticipated” last week, and CPI, PPI, and ECB rate hikes loom later this week, crypto’s value as an uncensorable, global, 24/7, permissionless asset class is once again realized as the banking sector processes ongoing turmoil and bank runs.
One of the most anticipated events heading into last week was Grayscale’s appeal v. the SEC in regards to the SEC denying GBTC’s conversion into a spot BTC ETF last June. By all accounts, the judge was as confused as most crypto participants are regarding the logic the SEC uses to routinely deny spot BTC ETFs. Thankfully, the legal system is disagreeing with the SEC’s recent overreach as a judge approved Voyager’s sale to Binance US, the SEC suffered the aforementioned setback in its GBTC case, & the house financial committee held a hearing questioning the Biden admin’s overreach in crypto regulation and Operation Chokepoint 2.0. The market specifically appreciated the Grayscale hearing as the GBTC & ETHE discounts improved as there are renewed hopes for eventual spot ETF conversions.
I would like to stop writing about new ATHs in metrics that correlate to market panics, but unfortunately panic (that doesn’t result in calamity) is great for crypto businesses as this week saw BTC registered it’s highest volume since FTX’s collapse, we saw the largest stablecoin outflow since LUNA’s collapse, Curve reached a new ATH in daily trading volume as USDC and DAI fled to USDT, and DEX volumes reached levels not seen since LUNA’s failure.
Outside of the insanity of the banking sector & the chaos around USDC/ the broad market, some of the week’s notable events that could’ve been lost in the shuffle are:
Instadapp’s Avocado — cross chain aggregator with built in, account abstraction powered next-gen smart wallet; users can now switch to the Avocado network and transfer any token from any supported chain to their address on Avocado with all gas fees paid in USDC instead of a chain’s native currency
Coinbase’s Wallet as a Service — WaaS is a “scalable and secure set of wallet infrastructure APIs, enabling companies to create and deploy fully customizable onchain wallets”. Wallet management and security is historically one of the greatest hurdles to crypto adoption and WaaS aims to solve that by allowing any company to offer their users wallets directly in their apps with onboarding as simple as a username and password.
Binance TWAP — CZ says, “given the changes in stable coins and banks, Binance will convert the remaining of the $1B Industry Recovery Initiative funds from BUSD to native crypto, including BTC, BNB and ETH”. While the distribution percentage to each asset and timing of the TWAP is unknown, it’s certainly a short to mid term tailwind to the crypto market.
ATOM ICS — The Cosmos ecosystem finally approved a version of the long awaited ICS, Replicated Security. The v9 Lambda upgrade goes live March 15th and Replicated Security should increase the chain’s security, ideally onboard more appchains, and provide value accrual to the ATOM ecosystem as up to 25% of the appchain fees are distributed as rewards to Cosmos Hub stakers.
L1 Launches — Despite the market chaos, the building never stops and tomorrow (March 14th) will see the launch of two new L1s. Ironfish, a PoW ZK-powered L1 that has been in development and testnet production for years, and Filecoin (FIL), the decentralized data storage network is launching the Filecoin Virtual Machine. Additionally, Chiliz (CHZ) previously announced they plan to launch their fully functional PoS L1 “sometime in March”
Stablecoins — Interestingly, the total stablecoin supply WoW remains essentially flat (h/t DefiLlama) while USDC supply dropped ~10% and BUSD shed another 3% while DAI and TrueUSD continued their month+ growth gaining ~24% & 116%. Tether was once again the winner this week and the stable of choice market participants swapped USDC to as their dominance grew to 55%.
Crypto Banking — Silvergate and Signature are both now shut down — Barney Frank, former Signature board member and congressman part of landmark Dodd-Frank Act said “I think part of what happened was that regulators wanted to send a very strong anti-crypto message…no real objective reason” Signature had to be seized; Also, Circle announced Cross River Bank as their new banking partner.
So, putting everything together, the week’s biggest takeaways include: Tether’s dominance continues to grow, the courts and some members of Congress are pushing back against the regulatory overreach, wallets, crypto onboarding, and chain navigation are drastically improving, and crypto’s (mainly BTC & ETH) originally intended purpose of creating the world’s most bearer, 24/7, global, uncensorable, permissionless assets is once again showing its purpose. Onwards and upwards.
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Alpha Transform Holdings announced with $100M for two new funds
Scroll, L2 developer with zkEVM on testnet, raises $50M @ $1.8B valuation
Shardeum, EVM-based L1 in development, raising $5M @ $250M valuation
Kresus, building a “goof-proof web3 superapp”, raises $25M series A
Toku, token-based payroll & tax compliance company, raises $20M
Proven, builders of ZK proofs enabling verifiable solvency, raises $15.8M seed
Cubist, crypto developer tools provider, raises $7M seed
Wild, NFT art platform, raises $7M seed
OpenChat, on-chain messaging platform, raises $5.5M in crowdfunding sale
Gyroscope, stablecoin “between centralized & algorithmic”, raises $4.5M seed
Relai, European focus BTC investment platform, raises $4.5M @ $20M valuation
EtherMail, “web3 email solution” company, raises $4M pre-Series A
Tensor, NFT trading company that is the ‘Blur of Solana’, raises $3M seed
ECSA, Brazilian-based stablecoin issuer, raises $3M pre-seed
Join 10k+ others in supporting Page One.
Amazon planning launch of NFTs tied to real-world assets with a token possible
Getty Images to release rare photographs from archives as NFTs March 21st
Instadapp announces “next-gen smart contract wallet” Avocado
Kraken moving forward with plans to launch its own bank “very soon” despite the currently challenging regulatory environment
Binance.US acquisition of Voyager for $1.3B is approved
Liquid Collective, institutional staking support, launches ETH Liquid Staking
Mt. Gox repayments delayed a month, will go out between April 6th & Oct. 31st
Kucoin sued by NYAG, claims the exchange is an unregistered securities broker
Gate.io partners with Visa to launch Gate Visa crypto debit card in Europe
Coinbase launches “Wallet as a Service” enabling companies to create and deploy fully customizable on-chain wallets; Coinbase announces their new “web3 discovery surface”
tokens & protocols:
ATOM — V9 Lambda upgrade passes vote that will enable Replicated Security
BERA — berachain is real as Dev bear introduces Polaris, the Bearchain EVM network built on top of the Cosmos SDK
MKR — proposal to extend US Treasury investment from $500M to $1.25B
GoGoPool — permissionless staking protocol built for AVAX subnets introduced
GTC — announces gtcETH, Gitcoin Staked ETH Index
ACX — outlines their future and presents roadmap updates
CVX — launches Convex on MATIC & updates cvxFXS staking
JOE — AVAX native AMM is now live on BNB
COMP — Compound III is now live on MATIC
FTM — releases latest mainnet upgrade
PENDLE — launches gDAI Arbitrum pools
ASTRO/INJ — Astroport mainnet is now live on Injective
Ironfish — POW privacy preserving L2 launching March 14th
Elusive — universal, zero-knowledge privacy layer now live on SOL
Maverick — live on ETH, introduces Dynamic Distribution AMM
Ordinals — BTC NFTs hit a new ATH for daily inscription count
Aztec — to sunset privacy infra Aztec Connect & focus on ZK L2 chain
around the ecosystem:
Michael Dempsey’s “Narrative Cycles & Conviction in Technology”
@mattigags on crypto as a reflexive casino in “The Big Gamble”