a weekly recap of the crypto ecosystem
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tl;dr: DeFi’s strong resurgence, token standard ERC-4079 improving NFTs, heavy funding week, ETH merge looking at September, & the usual token/protocol updates
BTC dominance 41% | ETH dominance 15% | DeFi TVL $77.5B |
Total Crypto Market Cap $981B | Stablecoin Supply $153B |
Multicoin Capital announces third fund with $430M to deploy
Lightspeed raises $7B+ for four new funds & unveils new crypto native team
Mysten Labs, builders of new L1 Sui, look to raise $200M @ $2B valuation
SOL based NFT platform Magic Eden launches venture arm for web3 gaming
Animoca Brands, gaming & venture company, raises $75M @ $5.9B valuation
Saber Labs founders launch crypto fund Protagonist with $100M to invest
Gnosis Safe raises $100M in token sale and rebrands to Safe leaving Gnosis
Farcaster, decentralized social network protocol, raises $30M
UnCaged Studios, web3 gaming company building on SOL, raises $24M
Morpho, DeFi lending protocol, raises $18M through native token sale
Inflection Points, crypto recruitment firm, raises $12.6M; buys Proof of Talent
Hang, NFT powered loyalty and rewards platform, raises $16M
Quadrata Network, web3 passport/identity builders, raises $7.5M seed
Hologram, virtual avatar firm, raises $6.5M seed
LI.FI, infra protocol aggregating bridges & DEXs cross chain, raises $5.5M
Circle publishes first of ongoing USDC monthly reserve asset breakdowns
Celsius officially files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as they have $1.8B asset hole
Snapchat testing the display of NFTs as AR filters
GameStop launches public beta of NFT marketplace
Brazilian mobile app PicPay (30M active users) to support crypto payments, launch a crypto exchange in app, & create stablecoin pegged to Brazilian real
Plaid, tech platform enabling bank connections, extending crypto integrations and functionality through partnerships with Binance, Kraken, Gemini
Brave browser officially launches native SOL support inside it’s wallet
thoughts & notes:
Who, what, and why is bidding the DeFi tokens? This question has percolated across Crypto Twitter this week as the DeFi sector, mainly AAVE, CRV, UNI, LDO, and COMP, have continuously out performed the broad market which we can see in DexGuru’s token terminal shown below.
While it remains unclear if there is a specific fund or entity accumulating tokens representing these productive protocols, there’s been a confluence of other factors that could be enabling the consistent bid.
First, there’s the continued functioning and robust protocol design that enables DeFi protocols to operate efficiently as numerous CeFi companies became insolvent through opaque, and likely criminal, lending practices. Secondly, numerous fundamental and narrative catalysts have emerged such as UNI’s listing on Robinhood, AAVE’s proposal of over-collateralized stablecoin GHO, COMP’s code release of their upcoming multi-chain protocol, and MKR’s approved proposals to integrate RWA’s (real world assets) and diversify their holdings into treasuries and IG corporate bonds.
Finally, as we’re all aware, DeFi by every relative price measure has been consistently obliterated to new lows over the past ~year and a half. How much worse could it get? Whether there’s a new fund accumulating DeFi tokens or not, the strength of the sector in response to both fundamental and narrative catalysts is a welcoming site. MATIC for instance is up ~17% this week, see the DexGuru linked chart above, on the back of acceptance in to a Disney accelerator program that wouldn’t benefit them in anyway? The market entertaining and continually bidding tokens on both fundamental (DeFi, SYN) and narrative driven indicators (MATIC, UNI) is a good sign for its overall willingness to take risk as the same catalysts a few weeks ago would’ve likely resulted in short-term wicks and non-sustained rallies.
Token Standard ERC-4079
As regular readers know, and beating a dead horse by now, Page One is extremely excited and monitoring the intersection and application of increased financialization, utility, and liquidity for NFTs. Last week saw the approval of a new token standard, ERC-4907, that will increasingly enable new NFT use cases. The token standard allows efficient NFT renting by introducing an automated “expires” function returning the NFT to the owner after a predetermined time and fee are met.
The above linked thread, along with this one, outline several use cases and practical implications the new token standard can achieve through increased financialization and utility. Automated in-game NFT rentals, temporary membership and usage of token gated clubs, experiences, and software, NFTs as collateral, NFTs representing real world rentable assets, NFTs as interest rate swaps, structured products, and debt financing an asset are the main potential use cases outlined in the linked threads. The rollout, protocols, and use cases enabled by ERC-4079 will be something to monitor as NFTs continue expanding their reach and capabilities.
ETH Merge Update
As the below tweet outlines, we’re inching closer to the implementation of ETH’s transition to PoS through the merge. The critical date to bookmark is the final testnet merge of Goerli on August 11th. All indications are that with a successful Goerli testnet merge taking place, the merge will likely occur in mid-to-late September with September 19th being the tentative target date. These dates are obviously fluid and subject to change, but having a hypothetical date ~2 months from today is an exciting potential catalyst for ETH and crypto at large.
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tokens & protocols:
Canto & $NOTE — L1 deploying core DeFi as Free Public Infrastructure (FPI) is announced with details outlining their launch sequence here
StarkWare confirms StarkNet token that will eventually be used for transaction fees on the ZKR but airdrops not until next year, and abysmal tokenomics
LOOKS investor unlock occurs detailed here, token +12% this week in response
Stepn announces earnings of $122M in Q2, with 5% buying and burning GMT
SOL NFTs are now live on Rarible (RARI)
ZRX introduces Slippage Protection enabling MEV-aware smart order routing
BTRFLY’s Q2 updates on treasury, hidden hand, v2, and more
SFTX, DeFi and social platform for short-term asset management, announced
Lenstube, web3 video sharing platform built on Lens Protocol, is live on mainnet
around the ecosystem:
Vitalik on Network States
Arthur’s back — in-depth analysis on YCC, QE/QT, and fate of dollar/EUR/YEN
article outlining the 16 teams/protocols graduating AllianceDAO’s latest cohort
Nat Eliason with “Understanding and Profiting from Crypto Hype Cycles”