Welcome to the latest edition of our Market Roundup, where we cover the highlights of the past week in the rapidly evolving world of blockchain and decentralized technologies.
The past seven days were a week for meme coins. DOGE remained on an upward trend through most of the week, rising nearly 10% between April 15 and April 19. But a market-wide selloff toward the end of the week plunged the token back into the red, shaving off more than 11%.
(as of 1:30 AM UTC, Apr 21, 2023)
A notable newcomer was PEPE. After the token’s release on April 15, one investor swapped 0.125 ETH, or US$250 at the time, for 5.9 trillion PEPE tokens. At their peak, these tokens were worth US$1.02 million, giving the holder a handsome 4,000x return — on paper. The four-day run appeared to yield impressive results, but realizing those profits is an entirely different matter. With low demand for PEPE tokens, there wasn’t sufficient liquidity to support the investor’s exit (if they wanted to seek one). In fact, moving forward with a swap could have collapsed PEPE’s price.
On an entirely different note, after Etherem’s Shanghai hard fork last week, more than 1 million ETH has been withdrawn. Meanwhile, 17 million ETH remains staked on the Beacon Chain. ETH’s price held above the $2,000 mark until April 19, when it dived alongside most tokens.
Governments x Web3
- A Hong Kong court ruling has recognized cryptocurrencies as property that can be held in trust, aligning with the stance of other common law jurisdictions. The ruling came in a case involving the now-closed crypto exchange Gatecoin. Hong Kong has been making positive moves toward crypto adoption with the aim of becoming a crypto hub.
- Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has called for the UK to become an “innovation hub for the Web3 economy,” saying it could “turbocharge” its crypto sector. The comments came as the UK Treasury is set to restart its Asset Management Taskforce with a focus on developing crypto regulation. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong will speak at a London Fintech conference, providing nine recommendations on how the UK can “cement its place” as a Web3 hub. Armstrong previously met with the UK’s Economic Secretary and City Minister, Andrew Griffith, raising concerns over the de-banking of some crypto firms and the Financial Promotion regime.
- The United Kingdom has formed a new technology agency to develop the nation’s strategy for spurring economic growth via Web3 and the metaverse. The Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology was set up in February, and will spearhead these efforts, as well as examine the regulatory implications for integrating digital assets and virtual environments at the national level. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he wanted to turn the UK into a hub for crypto and channel technical innovations into practical solutions.
- Vechain has launched VORJ, a no-code Web3-as-a-Service platform that allows anyone to create, deploy, and interact with smart contracts on the VechainThor blockchain without needing to understand solidity. The platform combines the familiar Web2 user experience with the ability to create Web3 digital assets with just a few clicks. VORJ can seamlessly integrate with existing projects or help users create entirely new ones from scratch. The initial version of the VORJ frontend supports the fungible ERC-20 and the non-fungible ERC-721 token standards, while the backend supports an extended range of token standards.
- Yoz Labs, a Web3 notification platform, has raised US$3.5 million in funding to develop scalable messaging rails for immediate on-chain notifications directly to users. The funding round was led by Electric Capital and included investors such as Coinbase Ventures, Dapper Labs, and Naval Ravikant. Yoz Labs aims to simplify user notification through a low-to-no code interface that only requires a smart contract to get started. The founder believes that notifications are a prerequisite to unlock the next tier of consumer adoption in crypto.
- Seattle-based Space and Time, a Web3-native decentralized data warehouse, has partnered with Microsoft to offer customers a one-click deployment of the Space and Time data warehouse directly from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace. This integration will allow enterprises to access, manage, and perform analytics on blockchain-native data without re-architecting their existing infrastructure. Space and Time’s novel cryptography, Proof of SQL, allows developers to connect analytics directly to smart contracts, opening up new use cases and business logic on blockchain technology. Microsoft’s venture capital fund, M12, led a funding round for Space and Time in September 2022.
- Asia’s dominance in the gaming industry and its leadership in blockchain adoption will determine the success of blockchain gaming, according to a report by DappRadar. Asia has 1.7 billion gamers, accounting for 52% of the global annual gaming revenue, and is home to 62 of the top 100 gaming firms. Airdrops are the best way to incentivize new gamers to try out blockchain games, the report found. Developers working on integrating tokenomics into their games should focus on creating a high-quality gaming experience, as gamers care less about tokens and more about gameplay and visual quality.
- Gadget-Bot, the production company behind the “Kaidro” sci-fi universe, is launching a PC role-playing game (RPG) on Ethereum scaling network Immutable this year. The game will feature player-versus-player, player-versus-environment, and broader questing mechanics, and will leverage NFTs to give players ownership of playable characters and unique storylines. Kaidro NFT holders will be able to clone their NFTs and sell them back to players who may not be interested in NFTs but want the skins. The game will also offer a free-to-play experience and seasonal, soulbound battle passes as NFTs for extra loot and rewards.
Stories You Might Have Missed
- Multiple major brands are engaging fans by using digital assets. The latest major drop is Nike’s release of digital versions of Air Force 1 sneakers. Nike has its own blockchain-powered platform, .SWOOSH, where members can purchase digital collectibles released by the company.
- Starbucks also released its First Store Collection on Nifty Gateway, highlighting the coffee chain’s first location opened in Seattle in 1971. The NFTs went up for sale on April 19. All 4,579 were sold at a steady clip.
- Ripple-based P2P remittance service MoneyTap has been adopted by three Japanese banks—Yamaguchi, Momiji, and Kitakyushu. The financial institutions are providing their clients with access to MoneyTap. These partnerships are entrenching blockchain-based financial solutions more deeply in traditional finance. MoneyTap is a mobile application developed by SBI Remit, an arm of the conglomerate SBI Holdings. In 2021, SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao suggested that Ripple could shift to Japan if the company moves its headquarters out of the United States.
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