welcome back Chain reaction.
Last week we talked about the endless pessimism in the crypto markets. This week we’re talking about parties, tattoos, booze and fun.
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At this point, it’s no secret that many viewers rejoice at the crypto crash, laughing as tokens drop and NFT volumes shrink. The crypto industry has managed to make many consumer enemies during this bull run – with bad guys highlighting its aggressive energy use, the addictive profile of crypto investing, and how NFTs have become “MLMs for dudes” – as justification for their discontent.
With the bull market ending, there’s probably a good moment for investors to introspect how the web3 vision for the web could give consumers more than just skepticism, but something tells me the crypto industry is about to become more isolating. as usual.
This week, NFT residents descended on Times Square in New York. Expensive displays found their way into huge advertising screens, coin-ops developed, and suddenly a series of less wealthy collectors found a way to compromise and double down. My co-host Anita had the chance to visit NFT NYC in person and gave some thoughts below, but in some ways the positive vibes show an industry going from growth mode to survival mode.
The survival version of the NFT world of course looks a little different. In this week’s event, the Bored Ape Yacht Club hosted a festival with performances from Future, LCD Soundsystem and Amy Schumer. Tame Impala made the headlines of Kevin Rose’s Moonbirds event, where token holders can get an owl tattoo on the spot. The NYPD printed coin-operated NFT lots. One project recruited dozens of protesters holding placards that read “God Hates NFTs” to stand outside their events. An NFT startup hired a Snoop Dogg impersonator “Doop Snogg” to circulate at their events as a tacit endorsement.
All in all, it’s no secret that the NFT market is rife with a lot of bullshit, and any bear market can and should bring some sanity to those left behind, but the lines seem a bit blurry in NFT land.
In some ways, it feels like the wealthy collectors of the NFT field are blasting off into space as the world they’ve built is poised for a meltdown. With 10+ ETH bases, venture finance, and significant trading volumes, so-called blue-chip projects have shown surprising resilience in the face of downturn despite the falling values of the underlying cryptocurrencies, but NFT project bases across the board are less wealthy collectors struggling all the way out of liquidity. As he searched for his ways, he received big hits.
the latest capsule
We started this week’s episode by opening up some of the controversies provoked by none other than the Dogefather himself – Elon Musk. Musk and his companies, SpaceX and Tesla, being sued by a Dogecoin owner For claiming the value of the cryptocurrency that has since crashed.
This week it’s time for NFT NYC, a crypto conference that draws influencers, investors, celebrities, and the like to New York City (more below from Anita, who toured the city talking to the NFT community). We took a deep dive into the NFT market itself and what could be driving the apparent enthusiasm of the NFT space even in the midst of such dire market conditions for crypto and tech in general. We wrap up this week’s news with two DAO-related disasters that have been trending lately, but which may not bode well for the future of undeniably messy governance.
Musical and visual artist Latasha joined us on the podcast this week to talk about how NFTs are helping her claim ownership of her creative work and make a living from it. As head of community at NFT platform Zora, he shared his vision behind Zoratopia, a festival experience he hosted at crypto events across the US.
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follow the money
Where startup money moves in the crypto world:
- FalconXAnnouncing a $150 million Series D round at a valuation of $8 billion led by GIC and B Capital, a digital asset platform for institutional investors.
- NFT collection project doodles He received an undisclosed amount of funding from Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six.
- Solana-based NFT market magic heaven Co-led by Electric Capital and Greylock Partners, the Series B raised $130 million in the round, raising its valuation to $1.6 billion.
- Prime Minister TrustFIS, a crypto and fintech infrastructure startup, has raised $100 million for Series B from investors like Fin Capital and Kraken Ventures.
- Permissionless margin trading protocol Open Leverage Received an undisclosed strategic investment from Binance Labs.
- NFT-based comedy and meme tools company Scary PetsA project from the producers of the TV show Silicon Valley has raised ~$4 million in funding led by First Round Capital, XYZ Capital, and Moment.
- asiaAn NFT liquidity provider has closed an initial round of $8 million from investors including True Ventures and Arrington Capital.
- extreme caseIt raised $5.5 million in seed funding from investors like Archetype and Castle Island, an NFT platform focused on sneakers.
- Algorithmic exchange rate protocol increase It raised $1.56 million for its ParaFi-led seed round.
- Afropolitan Raised $2.1 million in pre-seed funding from Balaji Srinivasan and other investors to build a digital nation-state for Africans and the African diaspora.
this week on web3
Hey, I’m Anita here, (almost) reporting live from NFT NYC this week. Everyone living in Manhattan, myself included, was surrounded by a happy degen deluge this week that denied the setback. You can listen to this week’s podcast to hear my thoughts on all of this, but I’d like to address a different question here: Is the crypto community practicing what they preach?
There were tons of complaints on Twitter from people queuing for hours to get their tickets for NFT NYC. Even those who spoke at the panels said they had to wait with all the event attendees, which apparently swept the three cities.
I’ve been living in New York for a while so I’m not easily shaken by the long line, but this got me thinking about the irony of the whole thing. NFTs and their associated technology can provide easy authentication and authentication. NFT stans like to cite events as a primary use case of technology, which they say can make administrative burdens much more efficient, such as inviting people to a conference. So where is this technology at this week’s conference?
I’m pretty sure holding a crypto event involves creating order out of chaos far beyond my own capacity, so I’m not picking the organizers of NFT NYC, or anyone else in particular. But the lines at NFT NYC raised a bigger question in my mind about the conflict between what the crypto community is. says The future is against how the crypto community actually behaves. For example, why are in-person conferences such a big part of getting to know people on the web3? Shouldn’t we be past the point where we need to breathe each other’s air to feel human connection?
Based on what I’ve heard from most of the web3 community over the past year, I would have hoped that we’d ever be hanging out with our best friends on the metaverse 24/7. It seems that crypto conferences themselves offer a great opportunity for web3 enthusiasts to truly take advantage of technology that they say will change everything about how we live. So far, the opportunity appears to have been largely overlooked.
Here are some of this week’s crypto analysis (written by TC’s Jacquelyn Melinek), which you can read on our subscription service TC+:
Crypto’s emphasis on community could drive followers off a cliff
The idea of a “family” culture, supported by many businesses, seeps into the depths of the crypto world as communities are formed with a sometimes toxic, cult stance to unwaveringly take back projects they invest in. Don’t get me wrong, some parts of the crypto community are great – I’m part of a few communities as well – but when used incorrectly, it can cause the blind to lead the blind.
Crypto founders face falling valuations, pull deals amid market volatility
As the crypto market continues to decline, founders in the space are struggling to hold on to investors trying to minimize their risk and withdraw from funding rounds. The market is shifting towards a VC-friendly landscape, but not every founder is happy with the way they’re being treated as investors are back in the driver’s seat.
Thanks for reading, and again, if you want to get this in your inbox every Thursday, you can subscribe to TechCrunch’s newsletter page. See you next week!