a weekly recap of the crypto ecosystem
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tl;dr: LINK Functions, the year of Account Abstraction, Metamask x Unity, mobile wallets increase, sovereign rollups on BTC, & the innovation/infrastructure phase
BTC dominance 40% | ETH dominance 18% | DeFi TVL $48B |
Total Crypto Market Cap $1.07T | Stablecoin Supply $135B |
ETH Denver kicked off this week and brought with it the undefeated “conference dump” as BTC & ETH fell ~5% in minutes on Thursday fueled by $200M+ of long liquidations. Obviously, essentially all alts suffered worse fates as prices currently sit slightly above where they stabilized at after the liquidation driven flash crash.
Outside of that one-hour volatility event, the crypto market has remained largely uneventful as BTC and ETH continue their month+ range consolidation. Thankfully, ETH Denver brought with it more than just liquidations as it was a buildooor heavy appreciation week. While increasing prices of course grab attention and news coverage which is its own adoption forcing function, the people and protocols that consistently build for a brighter crypto future deservedly grabbed the crypto headlines this week.
The headlines I’m referring to, while not affecting short-term price movements but drastically improving the long-term adoption potential, include:
Account Abstraction & EntryPoint — ETH devs enabled “EntryPoint” which allows wallet apps to achieve account abstraction allowing wallets to handle complex tasks automatically without requiring users to interact with the ETH chain. As I wrote last week, the tl;dr of AA is that it improves the UI, UX, functionality and security of interacting with crypto by orders of magnitude and it is now able to be natively built on top of across EVM compatible chains.
Safe’s Core — Following the launch of “EntryPoint”, Safe launched Core, an open-source stack that integrates account abstraction to simplify smart contract development. Core “includes partner solutions from payments giant Stripe & Defi protocol Gelato to enhance its features and simplify transaction fee and payment flow, as well as allow for fiat on-ramping.”
Chainlink Functions — Functions are “a serverless developer platform that empowers anyone to easily connect a smart contract to any Web2 API and run custom computations” on-chain. Crypto devs can now quickly & securely build connections from smart contracts to off-chain resources on a self-service basis without having to run their own infrastructure while massively increasing the design space of on-chain data by tapping into the limitless data Web2 provides.
Sovereign Rollups on BTC — Yesterday, Rollkit announced the ability to run a sovereign rollup on BTC. Rollkit is a modular framework for rollups and their newest addition is an early research implementation of a module that allows a Rollkit rollup to use Bitcoin for data availability.
Metamask x Unity — The Metamask SDK is now live in the Unity Asset Store enabling game devs across the world to easily integrate native wallet connections and allow “the dedicated page on the Asset Store will help interested developers to find verified solutions to manage digital assets, set up smart contracts, build on blockchain networks, and more”
Polygon ID — ZK-based solution allowing the verification of credentials on-chain while protecting user privacy, passwordless login, proof-of-uniqueness, composable on-chain, privacy-protected reputation, undercollateralized loans, & more. ID is now part of Polygon’s open-source identity infrastructure allowing devs throughout the space to build and iterate upon their ID breakthrough.
Mobile Wallets — Robinhood rolls out wallet to iOS customers globally, Slingshot Wallet is now available in app stores everywhere, & Uniswap announces their new, limited release (thanks Apple) mobile wallet
So, putting this week’s announcements together we have several more options for mobile wallets (UNI, HOOD, Slingshot) with Metamask SDK now natively available in Unity’s Asset Store while the functionality, UI, UX, and security of all wallets are able to be drastically improved through Account Abstraction, Polygon ID, & Safe’s Core. In addition to that, devs, with the ability to tap into this enhanced wallet functionality, also have a growing design space to deploy applications through Chainlink Functions bringing web2 data on-chain and Rollkit’s rollup module allowing Bitcoin to be used for data availability.
In the January 3rd issue of Round Tripping, I noted the week’s developments as “Increasing the Fluidity of Crypto Rails” while focusing on Visa’s research regarding the ability of account abstraction to enable auto payments for self-custodial wallets and concluded to “expect Account Abstraction to be one of the most talked about topics throughout crypto in 2023 and beyond”.
Whether we call it the innovation cycle during depressed interest phase of the Price-Innovation Cycle or the infrastructure phase of The Apps=>Infrastructure Cycle, this week highlighted the often forgotten fact that crypto rails continue to improve with each additional enhancement compounding throughout the entire ecosystem as the space prepares for the next eventual cycle.
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Polychain Capital looking to raise $400M for its fourth fund
Figment Capital seeking $50M for its second venture fund
Chiliz (CHZ), sports/entertainment L1, launches $50M incubator & accelerator
Bankless co-hosts launching separate venture fund, raising $35M
ZenGo, crypto wallet developer, raising $10M @ $100M valuation
Few and Far, NEAR-based NFT platform, raises $10.5M
DigiFT, DEX for asset-backed tokens, raises $10.5M pre-Series A
Coinflux, L1 blockchain developer, raises $10M in token sale
Mangrove, DEX not requiring market makers to lock capital, raises $7.4M series A
Orange Comet, digital collectible (NFT) infrastructure, raises $7M
Impossible Cloud, decentralized cloud platform, raises $7M seed
Ether.fi, non-custodial liquid staking protocol, raises $5.3M
PortalHQ, wallet infrastructure company, raises $5.3M
Helika, crypto gaming & NFT analytics platform, raises $4M seed
Redeem, developers of sending “utility NFTs” over text, raises $2.5M pre-seed
MetaMask SDK live in Unity Asset Store allowing game devs to integrate wallets
Wormhole integrates Circle’s CCTP enabling the composition of generic messages on top of cross-chain, native USDC transfers
Silvergate shares fall ~50%; the once popular crypto bank said it needed “more than two additional weeks” to finish producing annual report as recent events raised questions about ability to continue operating; Silvergate also discontinued the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN)
Coinbase will suspend trading of Binance’s BUSD on March 13th; Coinbase enables direct send/receive of ETH, USDC, DAI, & WBTC to AVAX’s C-Chain; Coinbase acquires One River Digital Asset Management; Coinbase launches campaign to influence pro-crypto policy in all 435 Congressional Districts
Final Shanghai testnet on Goerli will occur ~March 14th with long-awaited Shanghai upgrade pushed back to the “first two weeks of April”
Homebase lists Texas house as NFT on SOL
Robinhood releases wallet with ETH & MATIC support to global iOS users
Deliotte & Sinclair Broadcast Group to launch new “sports metaverse experience” as Deloitte highlights “advance in the sports NFT market”
Coindesk reports DCG lost $1.1B in 2022
Safe launches Core, an open-source stack that integrates account abstraction to simplify smart contract development on ETH; payments giant Stripe and DeFi protocol Gelato partner with Core to enhance fiat on-ramps & payment solutions
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tokens & protocols:
UNI — launches Uniswap mobile wallet now available in limited early release
LINK — Functions beta live, enables smart contracts to connect to any Web2 API
SWEAT — move to earn token to become claimable in U.S. markets in September
CAKE — Pancake Swap launching V3 the first week of April
MATIC — launches ZK-based identity infrastructure Polygon ID
AAVE — begins governance discussion on deploying v3 to MATIC’s zkEVM
CHZ — launched $50M incubator/accelerator program for Chiliz Labs
ZRX — launches transaction relay API in beta with Robinhood wallet as partner
VELA — launches multichain deposits through Axelar (AXL) partnership
SWISE — launches Atlantic, closed testnet for StakeWise v3
Rollkit — announces ability to run sovereign rollups on BTC
Privacy Pools — ameen launches the sequel to Tornado Cash, live on OP
Scroll — zkEVM product is headed to Goerli testnet, final step before mainnet
ConsenSys — completes private beta of zkEVM, public testing starts March 28th
Phoenix — limit order book DEX on SOL launches beta version
Hashnote — Cumberland Labs backed regulated DeFi platform officially launches
around the ecosystem:
Vitalik’s “Some personal user experiences”
Brian Armstrong’s Op-ed in CNBC on why offshoring crypto is a horrible decision
0xsmac is back with his usually great, timely reads of the week