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What Zuckerberg’s money can’t buy – TechCrunch




What Zuckerberg’s money can’t buy – TechCrunch

Welcome back to Chain Reaction.

Last week, we looked at Solana’s smartphone and the post-Apple tech industry. This week, we’re looking at a web3 without Big Tech.

To get this in your inbox every Thursday, you can subscribe on TechCrunch’s newsletter page.

no trillionaires allowed

Unlike other moonshot tech categories, it’s become increasingly clear that there isn’t a huge whitespace open for Big Tech in defining the future for crypto.

This week, Meta announced it will be shutting down its Novi crypto payments wallets in September. This pilot, which was only available in a couple geographies, was pretty much the last hurrah of the company’s broadly ambitious Diem stablecoin plans and leaves the company without a clear path forward for a crypto play that expands beyond its current networks.

This failure was no surprise, Meta has been a punching bag for regulators over the years and that has played out most aggressively in the gutting of their crypto ambitions — something that eventually led to the selloff of its Diem assets and the exodus of its top talent. Meta isn’t alone, plenty of tech’s biggest $1T+ market cap companies (or at least those that were up there a few months ago) have not made a blockchain play despite ideal positioning. For some companies, this might be ideological, but for others it’s clear that the regulatory risks are too present for them to endanger their other revenue streams.

Comparing crypto to another moonshot like AR/VR, it’s clear the government generally has no idea how to regulate internet-native social networking companies while they have a pretty solid idea of what they’re doing when it comes to throwing financial instruments and vehicles into the right buckets. Not having this diversified tech market support means that the lows might continue to sink pretty dang low for crypto hopes pinned on web3 ambitions. AR/VR has been in a dry spell for years but Meta has been spending the industry through the drought without a clear focus on present revenues, this isn’t an investment that GAFAM is going to be dropping in web3 anytime soon.

While most in the crypto industry aren’t going to cry over Meta’s lack of inclusion in the core toolkit of crypto, relying on the good fortunes of financial firms that are entirely bought into crypto alone is why the current flavor of crypto consolidation appears so chaotic. This is likely going to be a very restless year or more for the crypto industry and the deep war chests of the top tech companies won’t make life for them any easier.

the latest pod

Last week while I was away, you got to hear from our talented colleague Jacquie Melinek. Well, she’s back! Big shoutout to Jacquie, who subbed in while Lucas was out sick this week to help me unpack some incredibly juicy but complicated topics, including how all roads in the DeFi downturn seem to lead back to the same hedge fund.

Joining us as this week’s guest was one of the most memorable founders I’ve met – Tux Pacific of crypto custodial startup Entropy. Pacific is a trans, anarchist cryptographer who raised $25 million in seed funding from a16z and other VCs last month. They joined us to chat about what it’s like to raise venture capital as an anti-capitalist and what they think is wrong with how digital currencies are typically stored.

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple, Spotify or your alternative podcast platform of choice to keep up with us every week.

follow the money

Where startup money is moving in the crypto world:

  1. Echo3D raised $5.5 million for cloud storage and AR/VR streaming in a round led by Qualcomm Ventures.
  2. Web3 scaling protocol AltLayer closed a $7.2 million seed round with Polychain as lead investor.
  3. Crypto gaming firm Cauldron raised $6.6 million led by Cherry Ventures to build the “Pixar of web3.”
  4. Binance Labs led a $3 million seed investment in Magic Square, a crypto app store.
  5. DeFi platform Increment Labs scored $1 million in seed funding led by Dapper Labs.
  6. Crypto tax platform KoinX brought in $1.5 million from angel investors including Polygon’s Sandeep Nailwal.
  7. Gaming-focused layer two blockchain Oasys raised $20 million in funding from a private token sale to investors including Republic Capital and
  8. DimensionX, a play-to-earn gaming firm, nabbed $3 million in a funding round led by Coatue.
  9. Klang Games nabbed $41 million led by Animoca Brands and Kingsway Capital for its Seed virtual world.
  10. Singaporean metaverse startup Enjinstarter raked in $5 million from True Global Ventures.

this week in web3

It’s Anita here again, back from a week out of office, during which I had some time to reflect on the weird cognitive dissonance that seems to be unfolding across web3. Valuations are looking miserable, crypto lenders are declaring bankruptcy on a near-daily basis and the overall industry is now worth just one-third of what it was at its peak last year. But, as Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby points out, the same financial fate has befallen plenty of other technologies that still went on to transform the world thereafter.

Clearly, the jury is still out on what exactly this downturn means for crypto, but one thing is clear to me when I look back at this industry’s recent, rapid rise and fall. We actually haven’t “seen this before,” as so many investors and ecosystem participants will have you believe. Two major things have changed from past crypto downturns, and both stem from crypto going from a niche hobby for eccentric people to a mainstream, normal dinner table topic.

First of all, crypto companies are much more interconnected now than they ever were before, resembling traditional finance in 2008. Sam Bankman-Fried is the new Jamie Dimon, bailing other companies out left and right. Crypto lender Celsius halting withdrawals last month may well have been the industry’s Lehman Brothers moment. I can’t say I’m entirely surprised the crypto markets sobered up a bit, but there are a shocking number of parallels between tradfi’s best-known crisis and crypto’s current calamities. Even if the underlying technology is here to stay, it’s still a defining disaster for the industry – let’s not forget, mortgage-backed securities and CLOs are very much still around despite the carnage of 2008.

The second big difference I see between this crypto downturn and past such instances is that crypto just isn’t that quirky anymore. Its journey to the mainstream has brought a heavy dose of groupthink, evident from the trite, jargon-like phrases we now hear repeated over and over again. 

They say we’ve “seen this before,” the crash is a “black swan event,” but not to worry, “it’s still early days.” Crypto will eventually reach “mass adoption” and “onboard the next billion users,” as long as founders keep at it because “the best time to build is during a downturn.” 

I’m not saying I’m a crypto OG. In fact, I only started following it very closely during those dreary lockdown days, when plenty of people were doing the same. But I often recall being much younger, listening with curiosity and wonder to a relative of mine who has a distaste for authority and an affinity for math explain to me why blockchain could change the world. It makes me feel a bit nostalgic for when crypto was a space filled with contrarians, outcasts and truly independent thinkers. To me, that’s the most interesting thing about this space, so I say: let’s keep crypto weird.

TC+ analysis

Here’s some of this week’s crypto analysis you can read on our subscription service TC+ (written by TC’s Jacquelyn Melinek): 

Crypto losses hit $670M in Q2, up 52% from year-ago period
The second quarter of 2022 was one for the books amid a tumultuous period of what I like to call market madness, and the evidence keeps stacking up for the crypto markets. Q2 was full of massive crypto “losses” across the web3 ecosystem, some 97% of which were the result of hacks, according to a new report. 

Crypto trading volume drops in India as additional taxes hit investors
India’s government on July 1 implemented a 1% tax deducted at the source (TDS) on every cryptocurrency trade over 10,000 Indian rupees, or about $127. The law has only been in place a few days, but there’s already been a chilling effect on Indian digital asset marketplaces. The increasing taxation could also serve as a further roadblock for citizens looking to trade crypto as the potential for financial gains dwindles.

FTX policy exec says its ‘priorities have not changed’ amid market madness
As the crypto markets continue to trend downward, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange, FTX, remains undeterred. “Our priorities have not changed,” Mark Wetjen, head of policy and regulatory strategy at FTX, told TechCrunch. “Markets will do what they do, but the reality is that the digital asset marketplace and digital asset ecosystem, we believe, is here to stay.”

The SEC rejected bitcoin spot ETFs again. Now what?
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected Bitwise Asset Management and Grayscale Investments’ applications for bitcoin spot ETFs. Shortly thereafter, Grayscale — one of the largest digital asset managers, with around $20 billion in assets under management — filed a lawsuit against the SEC. But not everyone is convinced the lawsuit will go in their favor…

Valkyrie CEO says suing US SEC for a spot bitcoin ETF ‘isn’t likely to succeed’
“The SEC rejecting both Bitwise and Grayscale’s GBTC spot bitcoin ETF applications is not at all surprising because it follows the same precedent that other asset managers have endured,” Leah Wald, CEO of Valkyrie Investments, said in a Twitter thread. “Suing the SEC isn’t likely to succeed.” The SEC made clear in its response that it views the underlying holdings of futures versus spot as fundamentally different, in particular because the former trades on a regulated market whereas the latter is traded on unregulated markets, Ryan Shea, crypto economist at Trakx, said to TechCrunch.

Thanks for reading! And, again, to get this in your inbox every Thursday, you can subscribe on TechCrunch’s newsletter page.

Have a great weekend!

Lucas & Anita

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Tulip Protocol Officially Integrates Chainlink on Solana Mainnet




Tulip Protocol Officially Integrates Chainlink on Solana Mainnet

Today, Tulip Protocol made the announcement that they have integrated Chainlink Price Feeds in order to better secure their yield aggregating platform that is running on the Solana mainnet. The team had previously stated their intention to integrate Chainlink Price Feeds, and at this point, the connection has been completely put into action. Chainlink is the premier decentralized oracle network in the world, safeguarding tens of billions of dollars in smart contracts. It has diversified its offerings across other blockchains, notably Solana, Fantom, Polygon, BNB Chain, and others.

In a recent blog post, the team behind the Tulip Protocol explained that they had integrated Chainlink to provide users with more confidence that leveraged positions will be liquidated equitably using extremely accurate price data and that the protocol will continue to be completely collateralized at all times.

According to Tomasz Wojewoda, Head of Global Sales at Chainlink Labs:

“We’re pleased that Tulip Protocol has integrated Chainlink Price Feeds on Solana, helping secure its yield aggregation protocol with highly robust, decentralized market data. With the high-throughput performance of Solana and the strong security guarantees of the Chainlink Network, Tulip Protocol is able to empower users with a performant and secure platform.”

Tulip Protocol Seeks To Take Advantage Of Solana

Tulip Protocol brings together lenders who receive a return on their deposits and borrowers who are interested in gaining access to leverage. Users who initiate leverage positions are responsible for maintaining a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio that has been previously established. The Tulip Protocol then uses the asset price data that is provided by Chainlink Price Feeds to verify that this ratio is accurate. If the value of the collateral falls below the threshold that was established by the protocol, then their position will be immediately liquidated to assist in guaranteeing that the lenders will be repaid.

Tulip Protocol intends to capitalize on Solana by giving users the ability to more regularly reinvest their income and grow their assets without having to pay exorbitant amounts of gas expenses. Chainlink oracles can now be natively integrated on Solana, making it possible for Solana-based applications to benefit from enhanced levels of security and transparency. Yesterday, OpenOcean made the announcement that they would be integrating Chainlink Price Feeds in order to help secure the limited order functionality on many chains. These chains include Avalanche, Ethereum, Polygon, Fantom, and BNB Chain.

According to Senx, Co-Founder of Tulip Protocol:

 “We’re excited to be using Chainlink Price Feeds on Solana to help secure our yield aggregation platform. By leveraging the most secure and reliable on-chain data available, we’re able to provide our lenders and borrowers with greater assurances that liquidations are based on accurate price data, and the protocol will maintain a healthy loan-to-value ratio through all market conditions.” 

Allowing Stakers To Benefit From Higher APYs

Natives of the blockchain as well as newcomers to the technology are beginning to understand that decentralization does not necessarily equate to a secure platform. Given that Web3 services are currently disclosing their susceptibilities to attacks from both within and outside the network, further initiatives should be undertaken to improve the safety of user assets. Fortunately, a growing number of blockchain businesses are beginning to add various levels of security to their services in order to solidify the trust of their existing customers and attract additional investors in the near and distant future.

Tulip Protocol is the very first yield aggregation platform to be built on Solana, and it features auto-compounding vault techniques. The dApp was developed to make use of Solana’s blockchain, which has a low cost and high efficiency, hence enabling the vault techniques to compound frequently. Stakeholders are able to reap the benefits of greater APYs as a result, without the need for active management.

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Is your SOL safe? What we know about the Solana hack




On this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss the latest updates concerning the recent Solana (SOL) hack.

To kick things off, we broke down the latest news in the markets this week:

Bitcoin realized price bands form key resistance as bulls lose $24K, significant whale activity between $22,000 and $24,800 adds to the complexity of the current spot market setup. Bitcoin (BTC) consolidated lower on Aug. 9 after familiar resistance preserved a multi-month trading range. When will we finally break out of this price range and make the move towards $30K?

Institutions flocking to Ethereum for 7 straight weeks as Merge nears: Report, “Greater clarity” around the Merge has driven institutional inflows into Ethereum products, according to a CoinShares report. Is the ETH merge finally around the corner and will it bring new all time highs to ETH or has the price already been factored into the current price?

Circle freezes blacklisted Tornado Cash smart contract addresses, Crypto data aggregator Dune Analytics said that, on Monday, Circle, the issuer of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, froze over 75,000 USDC worth of funds linked to the 44 Tornado Cash addresses sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list. Could this mark the end for Tornado Cash or is there a way they can redeem themselves?

Next up is a new segment called “Quick Crypto Tips,” which aims to give newcomers to the crypto industry quick and easy tips to get the most out of their experience. This week’s tip: Have some funds ready to buy further downturns.

Market expert Marcel Pechman then carefully examines the Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down. The experts also go over some markets news to bring you up to date on the latest regarding the top two cryptocurrencies.

After Marcel’s market analysis, our resident experts discuss whether your SOL is safe and the latest updates on the Solana hack. We also discuss why the network has been victim to so many hacks and downtimes. What exactly do these exploits mean for the Solana platform and if you should be worried.

Lastly, we’ve got insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. The analysts use Cointelegraph Markets Pro to identify two altcoins that stood out this week: Radicle’s RAD and DigiByte’s DGB.

Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry. Join the YouTube chat room, and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will be given a 1 month free subscription to markets Pro worth $100!

The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (4:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page and smash those like and subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.

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Web3-Based ZepetoX to Build on Solana




Web3-Based ZepetoX to Build on Solana

Singapore, Singapore , Aug. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the ZepetoX team (ZTX, announced its foray into the web3 space, sharing its vision to build an open world that empowers creators and communities to build, play and earn.

ZepetoX is the crypto metaverse initiative jointly incubated by ZEPETO – Asia’s largest metaverse platform with over 320 million registered users – alongside leading global blockchain organizations including Jump Crypto.

As the sole blockchain project comprehensively backed by ZEPETO, ZepetoX will have exclusive ties to ZEPETO in terms of IP including technological, design, and content assets as well as bridges to facilitate user onboarding between the two platforms. ZepetoX’s blockchain development efforts will be advised by Jump.

“ZepetoX is our official venture into the blockchain industry. We feel that web3 opportunities should be advanced through a crypto-native approach, which is why we are excited to have Jump as a contributor to developing a new platform that would have exclusive connections to ZEPETO. Overall, we believe that ZepetoX can build the ideal web3 platform to not only bring blockchain to our existing users but also to expand our footprint in the blockchain space through various disruptive initiatives,” said Daewook Kim, CEO of Naver Z – the operating entity of ZEPETO.

“We are excited to support ZepetoX’s efforts aimed at onboarding new audiences into the rapidly growing crypto space. ZEPETO’s expertise and technological know-hows accumulated over the past years from building an immersive social platform will serve as a springboard for ZepetoX,” said Saurabh Sharma, Partner at Jump Crypto.

Building on the Solana network, ZepetoX will offer a web-based 3D open world with varying levels of gamification integrated as well as opportunities for users to monetize via ownership of digital assets and social interaction. Ultimately, ZepetoX aims to empower self-expression through customizable avatars and lands that can be equipped with NFTs from a rich collection of assets created by diverse creators, DAOs, or communities.

“I am thrilled to see IP powerhouses like ZepetoX choosing to build their metaverse on Solana,” said Anatoly Yakovenko, Co-Founder of Solana. “Projects like ZepetoX create new pathways for onboarding millions of users to web3.”

“Our global team brings a depth of crypto native experiences and our goal is to build on the foundation of ZEPETO to spearhead the adoption of blockchain among metaverse users, developers, and creators,” said co-CEO of ZepetoX, Chris Chang.

In the coming months, ZepetoX will launch its first land sale. The lands will be tradable on the ZepetoX marketplace, which will feature a variety of different NFTs as the open world project evolves. Further details on the sale will be available on the ZepetoX website in the coming weeks.

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About ZepetoX: ZepetoX (ZTX) is a web3 company building an immersive content-driven platform for users to create, trade digital assets and enjoy social interaction. Founded in 2022, ZepetoX is the blockchain initiative of ZEPETO, widely regarded as the largest Asia-based metaverse platform boasting over 320 million lifetime users with over 2.5 billion virtual fashion items sold.



News Via KISS PR Crypto Press Release Distribution Media Contact

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