June 21, 2024
Bitcoin hits highs, Binance launches a crypto perfume and Coachella partners with OpenSea

Welcome to TechCrunch Crypto, formerly known as Chain Reaction.

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Hello and welcome back to the TechCrunch Crypto newsletter.

To start things off, here’s a shameless plug: I went on Yahoo Finance last week for a roundtable discussion alongside Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein, CoinDesk Indices managing director Andy Baehr and Matt Kohrs, host of the crypto-centric Matt Kohrs show.

We discussed spot bitcoin ETFs, regulation of digital assets and what the next era for crypto could look like. Watch here.

It was an eventful week in the crypto world: bitcoin’s price hit a new all-time high on Tuesday, Spain’s data protection authority temporarily banned Worldcoin and Binance raised eyebrows after making a crypto perfume to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Curious? Check out more below.

This week in web3

  1. Bitcoin hits new all-time high passing $69,000 for first time since November 2021
  2. Binance made crypto perfume in a baffling attempt to woo women
  3. Worldcoin hit with temporary ban in Spain over privacy concerns
  4. OpenSea’s partnership with Coachella is a sign that NFTs can be more than profile pictures
  5. Binance to halt naira services amid ongoing regulatory probe in Nigeria

Crunching numbers

As mentioned, this week the crypto space saw all-time highs for bitcoin. But the grandfather of cryptocurrencies has since fallen about 3%, from around $69,000 to $67,000, at the time of publication. Still, bitcoin is up 6.5% on the week and 56% on the month. The second-largest crypto, ether, is up 9.7% on the week to $3,800, according to CoinMarketCap data. The total crypto market cap increased 7.7% during the same time frame to $2.53 trillion.

Smaller tokens have also gained a lot of traction this past week. Solana-based dog-themed memecoins saw renewed interest after hype rose in December. Bonk and dogwifhat increased 15% and 115%, respectively, on the week. Separately, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, rose 19% and 125%, respectively, during the same time period.

Which begs the question…who let the dogs out?

Our favorite ‘Crypto Twitter’ post

Excuse the language, but if you didn’t realize how large some memecoins become…maybe now you will. When this X post was written, dogwifhat (WIF) had a market capitalization three times the size of Spirit Airlines’.

For what it’s worth, it has declined since, but dogwifhat (WIF) has a market capitalization of $1.8 billion, which is still 213% higher than Spirit Airlines.

The latest pod

Chain Reaction is doing a monthly series diving into different topics and themes in crypto. This month we’re focusing on blockchain and AI integrations.

For this week’s episode, I interviewed Dee Goens, the co-founder of Zora.

Zora is a platform and protocol that helps developers and creators bring their ideas on chain and on Ethereum through an open and shared environment. The platform has minted more than million NFTs, and has over $300 million in secondary sales and about 1 million unique collectors, according to its website.

Goens previously worked at Coinbase for 2.5 years doing risk management, operations and brand partnerships. Before that, he analyzed emerging technologies’ risk with a focus in blockchains at KPMG.

As we just wrapped up our NFT series for February, Goens is the perfect guest to transition from that topic to AI and blockchains given Zora’s focus on bringing AI on-chain.

In a first for Chain Reaction, we also minted this podcast on Zora’s platform, which you can check out here.

Jacquelyn and Goens discuss how Zora envisions blockchains and AI working together, the roles they can play for NFT creators and what the platform’s developers and community members want more of.

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!

Follow the money

  1. Zama’s homomorphic encryption tech lands it $73 million on a valuation of nearly $400 million
  2. Taiko raises $37 million to build web3 infrastructure for a censorship-free internet
  3. Karma3 Labs raises $4.5 million to improve trust in web3 with ratings and recommendations
  4. Utila raised $11.5 million in a seed round for its enterprise-grade crypto operations platform
  5. Security infra startup Firewall raised $3.7 million to make smart contracts mainstream

This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.

What else we’re writing

Want to branch out from the world of web3? Here are some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.

  1. Elon Musk sues OpenAI and Sam Altman over ‘betrayal’ of nonprofit AI mission
  2. And…Former Twitter CEO sues Elon Musk
  3. Roku disables TVs and streaming devices until users consent to new terms
  4. A leaky database spilled 2FA codes for the world’s tech giants
  5. When your cap table makes your startup uninvestable
  6. Target to launch its own version of Amazon Prime, starting at $49/year

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