June 20, 2024
Summer's secondary surge didn't last, but 2024 should be strong

Welcome to TechCrunch Crypto, formerly known as Chain Reaction.

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Hello and welcome back to the TechCrunch Crypto newsletter.

This week, Starbucks killed its Odyssey NFT program that was launched in 2022, Solana continued to see memecoin momentum and India faces more challenges with the crypto space as government agencies crack down on it.

Details below.

This week in web3

  1. Crypto exchange OKX ceases services in India
  2. Solana is ushering in a new round of memecoin mania
  3. How crypto exchange Backpack climbed its way to success after its major investor FTX died
  4. Starbucks ditches its Odyssey NFT program
  5. Blockchain tech could be the answer to uncovering deepfakes and validating content

Crunching numbers

This week the crypto market prices were lower, but still relatively strong compared to previous months.

Bitcoin was down 6.5% on the week at $67,300 and 32% higher on the month, at the time of publication. The second largest crypto, ether, fell 8.6% on the week to $3,550, according to CoinMarketCap data. The total crypto market cap decreased 6.3% during the same time frame to $2.55 trillion.

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 Tegan Kline, the CEO and co-founder of Edge & Node.

The company is focused on creating and supporting decentralized applications, or dApps, and protocols. It was also the initial team behind The Graph, an indexing and query protocol, or what some have referred to as the Google of web3, which aims to organize open blockchain data and make open data a public good.

Tegan began her career in investment banking before shifting to work as an executive VP of a patent marketplace powered by blockchain and analyzed by AI. This kickstarted her career in web3, data and AI solutions. Before co-founding Edge & Node, Tegan worked as an international business development manager for Orchid, an a16z and Sequoia VC-backed VPN.

This episode is a part of Chain Reaction’s monthly series diving into different topics and themes in crypto. This month’s focused on blockchain and AI integrations.

Tegan and I talk about The Graph network, indexing data and its broader use case for the internet, as well as its “New Era roadmap” that came out in November 2023.

We also discuss:

  • The Graph implementing AI solutions
  • What dApps will unlock in the long term for AI
  • Why AI doesn’t care about crypto
  • Taking a career jump into web3

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 Grindr exec and a married couple launch Rails with $6.2 million round, for its decentralized FTX alternative
  2. Avalanche Foundation announces $1 million liquidity mining incentive program, Memecoin Rush
  3. Morph raises $20 million in seed and angel investment for its EVM layer-2
  4. Mantra raises $11 million to expand real-world asset tokenization in MENA region
  5. Ago raised $2.5 million to make DeFi more accessible through all-in-one platform

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. Reddit prices IPO at $34 per share, the top of the range
  2. NBCUniversal’s Peacock will let you watch 4 livestreams at once for 2024 Paris Olympics
  3. Astera Labs IPO will reveal how much investors want in on AI
  4. After raising $1.3B, Inflection is eaten alive by its biggest investor, Microsoft
  5. Late-stage VCs may be preventing their startups from going public in 2024

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