a weekly recap of the crypto ecosystem featuring news, notes, tokens, charts & more
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tl;dr: goblin town population growth, every successful token wants a venture arm, sports partnerships as a trojan horse, funding never stops, BTRFLY/FXS developments, and ETH merge delay. let’s get to it.
News & Funding:
Pantera raises $1.3B for new Blockchain Fund, looking to raise again in 2023
Circle, USDC creator, raises $400M, partnering with Blackrock as a strategic advisor, and will apply for U.S. bank charter
Ava Labs, AVAX builder, raising $350M @ $5.25B valuation to continue scaling and building subnet ecosystem
Ignite, formerly Tendermint and core developer of Cosmos, launches $150M accelerator program for multi-chain crypto projects
Terraform Labs “gifts” $880M worth of LUNA to Luna Foundation Guard, to be partially burnt along with used to purchase more backing for UST
Fabric Ventures completing $245M raise for two separate crypto funds investing separately into early and late stage
White Star Capital looks to raise up to $120M for second crypto fund focusing on DeFi and blockchain gaming
Uniswap Labs launches venture arm to invest directly from balance sheet into web3 protocols
EPNS (ETH push notification service), cross-chain communication and on-chain identifiers replacing usernames, raises $10M @ $131M valuation
Toncoin, TON L1 PoS blockchain endorsed by Telegram, raises $250M ecosystem fund from Huobi, Kucoin, others
Fasset, crypto exchange/gateway, raises $22M series A
Genies, metaverse NFT avatar company, raises $150M valuation @ $1B
BloXroute, DeFi trading infrastructure, raises $70M led by Softbank
Civitas, blockchain strategy game, raises $20M from Delphi, 3AC, eGirl, others
Context, wallet tracking social platform, raises $19.5M seed round
Animoca Brands acquires Eden Games, former developers of F1 and Need for Speed games, to build out REVV Motorsport and other blockchain racing games
Dfns, wallet password protection platform, raises $13.5M seed round
Shrapnel, AAA blockchain based shooter game, raises $7M in token sale
Loop, recurring web3 payment solutions, raises $4M seed round
Leap, non-custodial wallet for Terra eco, raises $3.2M in token round
Nasdaq survey indicates tradfi inflows are awaiting crypto ETF approval
Blockchain.com closes sponsorship deal with the Dallas Cowboys
Robinhood adds support for SOL, MATIC, COMP, and SHIB
MGM testing NFT tickets, Amazon explores selling NFTs in the future, Emirates and Dubai continue embracing NFTs and crypto economy, Warner Music partners with POAP for NFT mementos of events
Ethereum successfully shadow forks the merge, but delays the implementation past June now hoping for sometime in Q3
thoughts & notes:
ERC Token Funds
Every form of successful ERC token (20, 721, 1155 alike) are forming and/or exploring venture arms. The space has evolved from exchange venture arms resembling traditional VC funds, to DAOs and anon funds investing in the ecosystem, and now we have treasury balance sheet investing directly from Uniswap joining the likes of Solana/OpenSea ventures and others.
The next logical evolution is NFT venture arms as highlighted by an interaction with NoSleepJon and Calvin here. Every successful project in crypto creating a venture arm to invest in upcoming projects, fund M&A, and acquire each others NFTs & protocol tokens is a reality that’s becoming clear. How this will play out, especially in down trending markets, is undetermined but it’s an emerging space to keep an eye on as funding continues to move down the risk curve instead of TWAPing BTC/ETH and pushing the broad market up (plz).
The Sports Trojan Horse
Coming from the gambling and DFS (daily fantasy sports) world, I’ve noticed increasing parallels between sports sponsorships as a semi Trojan Horse mechanism. While crypto has infinite more practical implementations and future social/economic empowerments when compared to the mundane world of sports betting, the playbook of becoming a topic of conversation and broad awareness through sports in eerily similar.
These parallels have been developing in the background for months as we see FTX leading the charge through partnerships with the Miami Heat, the MLB, Tom Brady, Steph Curry, etc. while Crypto.com bought the naming rights to the Staples Center and Blockchain.com partnered with the Dallas Cowboys (among a growing list of others I may expand upon in a longer post). Sports betting and DFS were looked at as a nascent, blemish ridden industry by the general public, but now major coverage of every sporting event is littered with talk of betting lines, the which side pundits would take, and casino/DFS site partnerships.
Ultimately, the fees, taxes, and deep wealth associated with sports betting industry, along with its ability to establish efficient, open, integrity driven markets led to the public acceptance and awareness. Crypto’s ability to highlight trusted, verifiable, 24/7, global markets applicable to ~everything~ may creep into the general public’s collective consciousness through sports partnerships while the economic and social benefits so many of us deeply believe in continue advancing in the background waiting for their moment to change everything.
BTRFLY, FXS, & FPI
REDACTED CARTEL and Frax dominated the collective token mind share this week as Frax introduced their new token FPI which aims to be a inflation resistant stablecoin that fluctuates in price to steady purchasing power on a consumer price index adjusted basis. For a deep dive on FPI and it’s governance token FPIS you can read an excellent thread here.
REDACTED CARTEL activates Hidden Hand soft-launch and releases a new edition of [Redacted] Files to cover all the recent developments and partnerships throughout the BTRFLY ecosystem along with the rollout of v2. BTRFLY is synergistic with FXS through their hidden hand integration along, their accumulation of FXS and FPI, and FXS’s recent inclusion in the new Curve 4 pool. For an excellent, in-depth overview of the entire system and the connections between BTRFLY, FXS, and FPIS read kamikaz here.
GMT & Move2Earn
In what is otherwise a boring, slow-grind down market $GMT (STEPN) continues to show relative strength and the ability to onboard new users to the ecosystem through crypto-enabled incentives and mechanism design. For a deep dive on the protocol and its potential sustainability, Nat Eliason has you covered here.
Bridge Wars Update
The Bridge Wars have been highlighted and covered extensively here in recent weeks, but as stated previously they will be an ongoing trend for months/years. There was some good coverage on the topic from Our Network here and Aya Kantorovich here where you can read more on one of crypto’s most important sub sectors going forward — Nomad, Stargate, Wormhole, Connext, Hop, Rainbow Bridge, and Synapse are covered in the linked posts.
Other Token News & Reports
Thorchain report and all the recent developments from Messari
Delphi removes paywall and breaks down everything Celestial
Uniswap launches Swap Widget to integrate into any site
Arbitrum airdrop token rumors and ways to ensure you receive it here
NEAR & Bastion Lockdrop info — here, here and eco overview here
Cosmos Theta upgrade goes live, read more here
around the ecosystem:
Mason Nystrom with a look at Web3 infrastructure protocol’s revenue
The Block Research recapping Q1 funding/M&A in a good thread
Tornado Cash now blocks sanctioned addresses
Good read from Peter Hans on expanding the surface area impact of NFTs
FBI & Treasury Department link Ronin hack to North Korea
noodles with a deep dive on actual use of perp protocols
6529 with a mega-thread and introduction into his project OM
tweets of the week:
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