July 20, 2024
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Welcome to TechCrunch Crypto, formerly known as Chain Reaction.

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Hello and welcome back to the TechCrunch Crypto newsletter.

I hope you all “choose rich” this week, which may be the newest slogan the crypto community adopts, thanks to Nick O’Neill, co-founder and CEO of Nifty Portal, who said it in a parody video on Friday. This is arguably a more empowering message, opposed to the long-time crypto catchphrase of telling people to “have fun staying poor.”

Will this help bring more people into the space? Uh, let’s get a rain check on answering that question.

It was an eventful week in the crypto world: bitcoin’s price hit a new all-time high, Solana jumped to early 2022 levels as memecoins on its chain spiked, Sei Labs created a new framework to help Ethereum, Nigeria is at odds with Binance and Worldcoin faces heat in Spain.

More details below.

This week in web3

  1. Solana’s price rises to $160, highest level since January 2022 as memecoin mania rises
  2. Blockchain startup Sei Labs creates an interesting solution to make Ethereum faster
  3. Nigeria demands Binance disclose top users, executives remain detained
  4. Worldcoin fails to get injunction against Spain’s privacy suspension
  5. And…Worldcoin says it’s paused services in Spain, after filing legal challenge to temporary ban
  6. Bitcoin hits new all-time high of $72,700 but one index warns we’re in ‘extreme greed’ territory
  7. NFT platform Zora is offering a novel way for AI model makers to earn money

Crunching numbers

As mentioned, this week the crypto space saw all-time highs for bitcoin, again. It’s up 8.5% on the week at $72,500 and 40.4% higher on the month, at the time of publication. The second-largest crypto, ether, is up 3.8% on the week to $3,900, according to CoinMarketCap data. The total crypto market cap increased 8.3% during the same time frame to $2.75 trillion.

Memecoins across the Ethereum, Solana and Avalanche blockchains have seen a huge rally as the crypto market continues to expand.

Mog coin, a self-proclaimed “culture coin” on Ethereum, has a market cap of $435.3 million and is up 4% on the week. Solana-based dogwifhat, which is based on a Shiba Inu in a knitted beanie, is up 79% over a seven-day period, and Coq Inu, on Avalanche, is up 36% during the same period.

It’s important to remember that while some memecoins will retain price support for an extended period of time, some can plummet within days, or hours. So, DYOR.

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 Melody Hildebrandt, CTO of Fox Corporation, and Mike Blank, COO at Polygon Labs.

Why these two companies? Well, Polygon Labs, the layer-2 blockchain focused on scaling Ethereum, and Fox Corporation, the well-known media conglomerate, joined forces in January to tackle deepfakes as artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent.

Fox released Verify, an open source technical protocol for media companies to register content and grant usage rights to AI platforms, while also allowing consumers to verify content through Polygon’s tech.

We discuss:

  • The Fox and Polygon partnership
  • Protecting content from misuse
  • What role blockchain technology can play with verifying news
  • How deepfakes can affect the U.S. 2024 election

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. Former web3 gaming founders raise $2.5 million for their NFT marketplace to retain users even when there ‘isn’t money to be made’
  2. Netherlands-based institutional exchange D2X raised $10 million in Series A led by Point72 Ventures
  3. Web3 infra provider Polyhedra Network raises $20 million at $1B valuation
  4. ClearToken raises $10 million from institutional investors to improve regulated clearing infra
  5. UXLINK raised $9 million for its web3 social platform and infra to help dApps grow

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. OpenAI’s deals with publishers could spell trouble for rivals
  2. Amazon now lets sellers create listings through a URL by using AI
  3. SpaceX aiming to launch massive Starship for the third time early Thursday
  4. Creators are frustrated but energized as TikTok ban gains momentum
  5. Quick commerce is making fast inroads in India

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