Welcome back Chain reaction.
Last week we looked at web3 without the winner of web2. This week, we’re looking at a crossover episode for meme investing.
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Pump power supply
A weekly dispatch from the crypto editor’s desk TechCrunch Lucas Matney:
What happens when meme stock and meme asset type conflict? Well, investors all hope that the result is a very real wave of money.
This week, GameStop launched the NFT marketplace. The reception wasn’t particularly overwhelming, the market reportedly raked in around $2 million in sales, which equates to less than $50k in transaction fee revenue on the first day. Daily volume tends to decline in the following days but is far from a shameful launch, especially when one considers the setbacks suffered by competitive emerging markets like Coinbase NFT.
GameStop is hoping to find a revenue-generating vertical to reduce its reliance on traditional sales. The timing may have been better for the company as NFT dollar volume has plummeted as cryptocurrency prices plummeted, but this is clearly still a registered vision given the company’s very unique investor profile. company. GameStop is down more than 40% from its November highs, but things have been much less bleak in the past few months as the company’s stock is up about 50%.
Beating OpenSea – the current market leader – wouldn’t be a trivial task, but it doesn’t seem like GameStop is specifically aiming for feature-by-feature mimicry, but rather a goal to contribute. something different for the ecosystem.
Most of the secondary NFT sales happen on the Ethereum or Solana blockchain, GameStop is launching their market on what is known as layer 2 of Ethereum, a secondary network that handles most of the calculations but still relies on the network. Ethereum itself when storing data on a blockchain.
This is a vision of modular blockchains that Ethereum creator Vitalkik Buterin is very supportive of, but it complicates things because it forces crypto investors to rally behind a network. new because there are many layer 2 options. GameStop currently uses an aggregate network called Loopring to package transactions, the complication is that you can only trade on GameStop with NFTs minted on Loopring, which means you can’t buy popular collectibles like CryptoPunks or Bored Apes on GameStop’s store.
It’s still a risky choice for GameStop, which will likely add support for other chains on the way, but for now still on another set of rails that most of the NFT dollars are spent today. This seems to signal a slightly more forward-thinking option than one might expect, if this is a pure cash grab they can effectively capture existing money. than by playing straight.
Pure intentions only get you so far in the crypto world, and GameStop recognizes success here is still a steep climb, but meme stock buyers have recognized more challenges in many years. years, so they are still not satisfied with the risk.
Lucas and Anita are back in action this week and they wasted no time making headlines. This week’s news stream got them chatting about everyone’s favorite meme stock, GameStop, and its bold foray into the NFT market even after it reported a $381 million loss for the fiscal year. main before. They also talk about another disappearing act of founders of a crypto company that lost billions of dollars of other people’s money (profits) and made several crypto venture fund launches that they’ve seen in the past week.
Joining them on the show is Naveen Jain, founder and CEO of Yat, the company behind the emoji identifiers you’ve seen celebrities like Ke$ha use in their profiles. their Twitter history. Jain talked to them about the concept of identity in both web2 and web3, and Anita used the opportunity to put him on the board under the pretext of lobbying Unicode for an overdue biriyani emoji from long. All are welcome.
according to money
Where startup money is moving in the crypto world:
- Crypto-focused donation API launch Change raised a $5 million seed round co-led by Freestyle and the NEA.
- Faster raised $30 million led by a16z for Merkle Manufactory, its decentralized social networking protocol.
- Brand Animoca raised more than $75 million from investors including Liberty City Ventures and Kingsway Capital to build the open supermarket in an extension to a funding round it raised in January.
- Digital Asset Management Platform Safe raised a $100 million strategic round led by 1kx with participation from investors including Tiger Global and Digital Currency Group.
- DeFi Lending Platform Morpho Labs raised $18 million in a seed round co-led by a16z and Variant Fund.
- Aggregation Protocol DEX LI.FI raised a $5.5 million strategic round from investors including 1kx and Dragonfly Capital.
- Cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform Thalex closed Series A €7.5 million from Bitfinex, Bitstamp and others.
- Tender meata liquidity staking platform, raised $3 million for a seed round led by Eden Block Ventures.
- Bravo Royale raised $3 million in seed funding from Solana Ventures, 6th Man Ventures and others for the NFT-based battle royale video game.
- MetaOasis DAOa diversified real estate developer, has scored $1.5 million in seed funding led by KuCoin Ventures.
of the week on web3
Weekly window of web reporter thoughts Anita Ramaswamy:
Most crypto investors don’t actually use their digital currency for very frequent transactions. They tend to prefer to hold their cryptocurrency in the hope that it will increase in price over time. But there is one notable exception that has prompted many US crypto holders to part ways with their tokens – charity.
From research that crypto donors are actually more generous in their giving than cash donors. The optimist in me says this may be influenced by web3’s strong sense of community. The skeptic in me knew that it was also a smart financial move for these donors because Substantial tax benefits of crypto donations, as it is treated as an asset rather than cash under the US tax code. Regardless of the motivation behind it, crypto donations can be a useful tool for charities looking for new ways to raise funds.
The 2021 bull market is a boon for startups that help charities facilitate these crypto donations, including The Giving Block and Endaoment, both of which saw Donation volume skyrocketed on their platform during the year. But the startup Change is taking a different approach, developing APIs to help companies and charities process donations. I caught up with the founders, Sonia Nigam and Amar Shah, this week to chat about the $5 million seed round they just closed to double down on the crypto space (you can read more about that here). In the past, they focused on online fiat donations but see strong potential for crypto donations as they believe blockchain can provide the transparency donors want but that is not always the case. also guarantee them.
We already know things are going bad this crypto winter, so it’s particularly interesting to see a startup using this time to invest more deeply in the web3 capabilities of it instead pump the brake or run for the hills. Charitable donations on blockchain have a lot of potential but can be a tough business, so only time will tell if startups like Change can bring transparency to the world. obscurity of nonprofits or will they face tough challenges despite their profit intentions, like many web3-native, offset-based regenerative finance (ReFi) projects carbon inefficient, vulnerable to abuse to meet their environmental goals. The latter is a topic for another day, but I think it’s always worth thinking about how cryptocurrencies can grow as a good momentum, even if the actual implementation is much more difficult.
TC + analysis
Here are some of this week’s crypto analysis available on our TC+ subscription service from senior reporter Jacquelyn Melinek:
The US government is studying the impact of NFT on intellectual property
After the NFT boom in the past year, the US Patent and Trademark Office and the US Copyright Office are launching a joint study to investigate the impact of digital assets on intellectual property rights. . The study comes about a month after Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a Democrat, and North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican, wrote to the offices asking them to consider NFTs. with their exponential growth in a short period of time.
Despite NFT selling volume down, the market has more fundamental strength than you think
The negative sentiment in the crypto market has dropped to the NFT sub-sector. Over the past 30 days, NFT sales volume on the top 10 blockchains has decreased, according to data from aggregator NFT CryptoSlam. Nick O’Neill, CEO and co-founder of The Nifty, told TechCrunch: “The NFT market is not great, but there is still great momentum. Even with that said, it’s hard to ignore bearish macro trends, O’Neill notes.
Have a great weekend and remember you can subscribe on TechCrunch Newsletter Trang to get this in your inbox each week,
Lucas & Anita