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Web3 Weekly Wonderland | Edition #2 – Aug 2022
Welcome, Web3 Wanderers!
Got that Friday feelin’? Hold on to your hats, for we're taking y'all to the wonderland! This week we bring you another edition of the Web3 Weekly Wonderland. Keeping up with what's hot in Web3 can be challenging. 🙅 So, join us on the Web3 thrill ride 🎢 for a weekly dose of adrenaline ⚡ that features six exotic themes coming straight from the decentralised world!
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Let's start off the newsletter with a Twitter thread you won't want to miss ー
Check out the full thread here.
Here’s the TL;DR:
The Web3 Wonderland and its various ‘wonder’ful affairs took quite the detour around the world last week to have us all ‘wonder’ing about the latest goss (yes, we’re having a gala time as we play around with wonderment). The first destination we arrive at is the UK, where Wirex expanded the Wirex Credit program to new regions and developed additional features. To accelerate things further, Polygon and Techstars teamed up to deliver a Web3-themed accelerator in London in 2023.
Taking a ‘halt’ at Singapore next, we witnessed crypto platform Hodlnaut halting withdrawals, deposits, and token swaps due to market volatility, adding to the list of crypto platforms going bust. But that doesn’t mean we’re busting our plans on this world tour. And so isn’t Centric, who partnered with HEALM metaverse for play-to-earn rewards in a worldwide crypto treasure hunt.
On the contrary, the US seemed to be under stormy weather, with The Treasury Department imposing sanctions on virtual currency mixer Tornado Cash, which allegedly helped launder more than $7B since its creation.
But what goes around comes back around after all, and the Web3 landscape observed some fantastic fundraising rounds the past week. Line Games’ new investment arm, Nerdystar, secured $5.8M in investments for its blockchain gaming platform Luxon. And if that wasn’t enough, then Avocado DAO joined forces with Pro Gamer DAO to grow the GameFi space. Game mode: ON.
The list of pioneers doesn’t stop there – Naver Z chose Payoneer to serve as the global payment provider for the ZEPETO metaverse platform, Coinshift partnered with EarthFund to manage its ecosystem of treasuries, and Microsoft released its Entra Verified ID service to offer a more deliberate way to share identity information. Novelty seems to be the middle name for the Web3 sector!
Let's dig deep into the decentralised dimension –
The Decentralised Currency landscape was shaped by the various events that wrecked the headlines last week. Speaking of the events that came in like a wreckin’ ball –
It was a “money doesn't jiggle-jiggle; it folds” kinda moment for the crypto chips segment as it saw a tsunami of funds flowing in. Cash-y headlines like the one's upcoming had the cryptosphere jingling with anticipation! The latest report published by Messari provided the funding data about Web3 and crypto fundraising. Around 1,199 rounds got more funds in six months in 2022 compared to the year before. So far, more than $30.3B has been poured into the rounds. It really is all about the money, money…
Besides all the jiggling news, a firm dedicated to creating a system where cryptocurrencies run responsibly caught our attention, having received funding to pursue its mission. We’re talking about Vespene Energy, which turns methane gas released from landfills into power for bitcoin mining. The company closed a $4.3M funding round led by blockchain investment firm Polychain Capital and other climate-focused funds.
Regulations have certainly made their presence known in the past week by clamping down on the cryptocurrency segment and keeping an eye out on the shady practices happening in the crypto space. Canadian regulators are working in sync with their US counterparts to probe the impact of Celsius Network’s multibillion-dollar meltdown. Authorities in the country teamed up with the US SEC over a trans-border issue. Regulators launched investigations across jurisdictions in the US and Canada over the insolvent lender’s post-crash actions. The screws continue to tighten as the US sanctioned Tornado Cash, a virtual currency mixing firm with links to crypto hacks and alleged attempts to launder more than a staggering $7B worth of virtual currency since its creation in 2019.
On partnership terms, Binance partnered with Mastercard to offer a very enticing crypto card in Argentina. The crypto exchange wants crypto adoption to go up to the fullest extent possible.
New launches did not lag behind, with Ethereum Layer 2 scaling solution Arbitrum launching its new transaction cost-optimised chain – Nova – for all end-users. It also partnered with Reddit on moving community points to Ethereum. The new chain is optimised for low-cost and high-transaction volume applications, including gaming and social media. That’s not all – the owner of one of the biggest derivatives exchanges, CME Group Inc., plans to launch Bitcoin and Ether Euro futures amid a faltering crypto market.
Adding some more zest was the hot dispute between Binance and WazirX, after which the latter announced changes in its fund transfer policy. WazirX will also cease to support off-chain fund transfers between WazirX and Binance via the 'Login with Binance' option.`
Furthermore, Singapore-based crypto platform Hodlnaut halted withdrawals, deposits, and token swaps, citing market volatility, joining a long list of crypto platforms closing their doors. Consequently, Hodlnaut no longer offers regulated digital payment token (DPT) services. Dark clouds seem to have made a comeback over the crypto skies.
The dApps world saw a slew of partnerships and other rad stuff in the GameFi and DeFi universe, kicking things up a notch for the Web3 craze.
The segment stole headlines with companies teaming up to fuel the decentralised world. Caduceus partnered with Superpower Squad, a GameFi project bringing an all-out community-based competitive game. As a result, Superpower Squad users will have access to a unique customisation tool powered by their research and development team, The Metacube. The segment keeps getting bigger and better, with Rangers Protocol reaching a strategic partnership with the non-custodial wallet UniPass, aiming to reduce the usage threshold for vast dApp users on the Rangers Protocol network.
The headline-grabbing happenings continue as Arc Finance partnered with Assure, a Web3 decentralised digital wallet, putting a high value on asset security, user experience, and mining revenue. Following up on the bandwidth, the cryptocurrency payroll service Bitwage announced a partnership with the digital currency wallets Casa and Edge Wallet that will bring bitcoin payroll to people everywhere.
The rollercoaster ride only furthers in full swing from here, with even more brands teaming up to bring innovative solutions to the table. G4AL partnered with Yield Guild Games (YGG), one of the largest gaming community-based guilds within the Web3 space. This partnership aims to introduce their latest game, Elemental Raiders, shed light on both parties’ commitment to this new era of Web3 gaming, and create enduring and sustainable games. SupraOracles partnered with Zoksh, allowing users to retain ownership of their assets and funds and assisting them in managing them hassle-free.
Ain't no dull moment when it comes to funding. Korea’s Nerdystar, Line Games' new investment arm, secured $5.8M in investments for its blockchain gaming platform Luxon, bringing the firm’s total funds raised to $10.8M. Using the capital, Luxon will build the Luxon platform and develop top-notch game development, launching its first game later this year. Kicking off the funding scene, Stride, an NYC-based developer of a multichain liquid staking protocol for the Cosmos ecosystem, raised $6.7M in seed funding. Funds will go to recruit technical and non-technical talent to enhance product offerings and grow both the Stride and Cosmos ecosystems.
Not just this, but London-based Old Street Digital (OSD) also raised $2.8M in a seed round of funding. Cashmere, a company that offers enterprise wallet management for users of the Solana blockchain, similarly closed a $3M seed funding round that valued the firm at $30M. The project’s latest fundraising comes as wallet security on Solana undergoes increasing scrutiny.
Maple Finance, a DeFi corporate credit platform, added a new $40M lending pool sponsored by crypto-native investment firm Maven 11. The institutional investor-funded pool will provide borrowers with liquidity, a particularly valuable resource during a crypto bear market.
Regarding the numerous launches, Wirex, a leading crypto and payments ecosystem, rolled out the Wirex Credit program to new regions and unveiled a bunch of new features. Their crypto-back credit lines are now available to UK users while also adding WXT as a token to be used as collateral. Moving forward in the journey, Xend Finance, a worldwide cryptocurrency bank formed in Africa, announced the debut of a payment API called XendBridge and SwitchWallet, a free public wallet infrastructure. The introduction of XendBridge and SwitchWallet is an addition to the pool of products that Xend Finance makes available to start-ups and enterprises.
In other news, Tulip Protocol integrated Chainlink to give users more security, knowing that leveraged positions will be fairly liquidated based on accurate price data. A well-thought-out customer welfare move!
A tornado of utterly fascinating happenings kept the Virtual Assets World thumping to the tune of NFTs and Metaverse.
The Metaverse Multiverse
There's an uptick in handshakes in the Metaverse Magica with ALTAVA Group, the leading luxury fashion metaverse, signing an MOU with Hyundai Department Store, one of South Korea's three largest department stores chains, to bolster their Web3 presence. Hyundai Department Store plans to issue NFTs containing information on promotional events and VIP lounge access and collaborate with artists to create tokenised digital art.
Further on the collaborations, Korean internet company Naver Z chose Payoneer to serve as the global payment provider for ZEPETO, its 320 million-member metaverse platform. The partnership marks Payoneer’s heightened focus on the content creator industry and how it connects entertainment platforms with their global ecosystem.
HEALM announced a new partnership with Centric to introduce the cryptocurrency Centric Rise (CNR) into the company’s augmented reality (AR) treasure hunt. HEALM players can participate in an exciting worldwide treasure hunt to uncover virtual treasure chests filled with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and in-game assets. Time to let your inner Indiana Jones explore the escapade of this treasure hunt!
To keep the funding space glowing and growing, Firefly Games’ CEO Michael Zhang announced the formation of a new venture called MetaWorld Entertainment, with one of the key partners in this new metaverse company being The Sandbox.
On the other hand, Everdome, a hyper-realistic metaverse, introduced that GEM Digital Restricted (GEM), a Bahamas-based digital asset funding agency, agreed to a funding dedication of $10M into the UAE-based metaverse firm via a structured token subscription settlement.
Launches keep the Metaverse realm amplified – Sensorium made the list for premiering an in-engine metaverse streaming channel designed to introduce people to the vastness of the Sensorium Galaxy metaverse. Not just that, but the high-end global marketplace for sneakers The Edit LDN also hit the news for its plans to branch out into the metaverse by creating a premium store within Bloktopia’s crypto paradise. Sneakerheads unite!
In other news, South Korean social networking platform Zepeto is getting a Web3 upgrade with a crypto-enabled metaverse version called ZepetoX. The company said that the new platform, built on the Solana blockchain, is a collaboration between Naver-owned Zepeto and Jump Crypto, the cryptocurrency arm of US-based Jump Trading.
The Non-interchangeable NFTs
Fundings kept the NFT world humming the songs of success. Lysto, a platform that seeks to bring gamers and their credentials on-chain, raised $12M in its pre-Series A funding round from a clutch of investors, including angel investors such as Balaji Srinivasan, Paul Veradittakit, Binny Bansal, and Bobby Ong & TM Lee. Keeping the cha-ching alive, Pinata, an NFT-focused media distribution platform, raised a total of $21.5M funding, allowing users to manage, share, and monetise their media on any blockchain like Ethereum, Solana, etc.
Further, Invisible Universe, an internet-first animation studio, raised $12M in Series A funding to launch new animated IP across social media and web3, expand the footprint to new platforms, and further monetise its existing suite of franchises.
Coming to the skyrocketing new launches, ping pong became the latest sport to play the crypto field. World Table Tennis (WTT), the events arm of the sport's governing body, is pursuing Web3 initiatives in partnership with NFT startup NFT Tech to bring the game to a broader audience. The multiyear tie-up will see WTT issue digital collectables, metaverse experiences, play-to-earn, and move-to-earn gaming. Sounds too good to be true? That’s just the digital world for you!
Knocking the Web3 door, X Protocol announced a partnership with GOGA, the Web3 Language Learning app where users can enjoy a gamified English learning experience and earn money simultaneously. Further, Atomix World and Oxalus came into a partnership to provide fascinating insights into the blockchain industry, especially the NFT field, with the support of an analytics tool, a wallet, and a game hub.
In a surprising turn of events, OpenSea seemed to pass through rather troubled waters as it faced a lawsuit over its stolen NFT policy. The lawsuit was filed by Jesse Halfon, an attorney for NFTs and DAOs. Users have long been frustrated by the platform’s rather irksome policy of dealing with stolen NFTs, and it seems like the discontent has reached an all-time high. With the lawsuit hanging over its head, OpenSea might have to reconsider the way it does things.
A whole load of activities kept the Decentralised Tech space buzzing to the bustling beat of blockchain, creating an overall exuberant vibe.
Harmonising their efforts together, Harmony partnered with Chainstack to enable users to build better with Harmony & run a high-performance Harmony node in minutes. The partnership with Chainstack paves the way toward Harmony’s goals of connecting with more companies capable of helping it scale to billions more daily transactions. If you can dream it, you can do it, they say.
Keeping the momentum high, Polygon, the leading Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development platform, and Techstars have announced a partnership that will see a Web3 theme being applied to Techstars’ London Q1 2023 accelerator program.
Grooving ahead, MetaShooter partnered with Polygon Studios for energy efficiency and scaling on the blockchain. The new collaboration not only promises to lead to ground-breaking achievements but will also lead to an overall improvement in the quality of the project. The secret to building a solid partnership – through mutual improvement!
NULS Blockchain announced a partnership with Suisse Blockchain blending their expertise – Suisse Blockchain with its roots in marketing and regulatory compliance and NULS being grounded in blockchain and multi-chain technologies. It is in both parties interest to create a future where blockchain startups are enabled to take off.
Superior Business Solutions also became the exclusive distributor of Modex's blockchain-based products and services in the MENA region and Africa. Through its partnership with Modex, SBS intends to provide cutting-edge solutions and products with relevant blockchain-powered functionalities in multiple industries, including healthcare, businesses, and finance.
There’s no such thing as too many funding rounds, and the space certainly lives by it. Multi-blockchain platform Geeq received a $25M capital commitment from the alternative investment group Global Emerging Market. Geeq aims to break down barriers such as security and transaction costs to make blockchain more accessible. Furthermore, Singapore-based Merkle Science, which provides blockchain transaction monitoring and intelligence solutions, secured $19M in fresh funding, giving its fair share of increasing funds into the space.
There’s always something new when it comes to novel debuts in the ecosystem. LykaCoin entered the blockchain space with an innovative project. This network is designed for high scalability and zero gas fees, which makes it great for businesses and individuals.
An eruption of events kept the Decentralised Governance space in a whole lotta action! Cashing in, coming close for collaborations – all of this and more are sure to get you hooked!
To create something bigger and better, the metaverse gaming community, Avocado DAO announced its strategic partnership with the Korea-based Web3 gaming community Pro Gamer DAO to create a “Mega” Web 3.0 gaming community and blaze the trail in the GameFi space. The partnership will allow players from both communities to play the fastest-growing and first massively multiplayer online real-time (MMORTS) strategy game, League of Kingdoms.
DAO tooling startup Coinshift partnered with EarthFund, a crypto crowdfunding company that creates decentralised, philanthropic communities to manage its ecosystem of treasuries. Coinshift will handle the treasury for all projects in the EarthFund ecosystem as part of the tie-up. Going up the rollercoaster ride, Pro Gamer DAO (PG DAO) announced its strategic partnership with GuildFi, the interconnected Web3 ecosystem of games, NFTs, and residents. The companies envision creating the best gamers experience for the current and future gaming audiences.
Hands continue to join as Hector Network partnered with BVB, one of Germany's most iconic and loved Bundesliga teams. Live televised games, massive social media presence, and unparalleled visibility mean the partnership with BVB will catapult Hector Network above and beyond the crypto-community into mainstream recognition.
Bringing the rollercoaster ride to the New Launch zone, DBMETA released its global Virtual Reality digital community DBMETA DAO to unfold its decentralised Metaverse DAO. As a decentralised self-governed Metaverse system based on blockchain technology, it will be the key ecosystem to structure the metaverse. Making the game stronger for metaverse’s magic to unlock its true potential!
And to keep the rhythm flowing, PlayMusic is aggregating innovative ways using the DEFI and DAO technologies into the digital collectable’s ecosystem. As part of their latest expansion, the company introduced a brand new concept called "Listen-to-Earn" with an objective comprised of the following equation: DAO + DEFI + MUSIC = PLAY MUSIC. Novelty + Creativity + Technology = Web3 Wonderland Highlight!
On the funding note, CreatorDAO raised a $20M seed funding round led by a16z and Initialized Capital. The project has also attracted a dozen angel investors and big-name celebrities like Paris Hilton and her 11:11 Media, the Chainsmokers, Liam Payne, and Michael Ovitz. Celebrities celebrate the Web3 craze!
For the internet to be truly free, the notion of Decentralised Identity needs to be built with secure offerings that ensure the utmost trust. Many firms have been aiming to achieve the same through the exciting range of initiatives they brought to the ecosystem last week.
SafeMutual, a leading provider of crypto security, recently performed a private Stratosphere DeFi KYC (Know Your Customer) verification that implies the assurance of their identity. This ensures investors and makes them feel safer and more inclined to invest in a project they can trust.
Microsoft also entered the verification realm with its Entra Verified ID service, providing individuals and organisations control over submitting their identity information, including the ability to revoke it.
The focus shifts from digital simulation to digital-native as Binance Labs grabbed headlines for leading a seed funding round for Lifeform, whose mission is to empower Web3 users by providing them with their own decentralised DID.
RISC Zero also announced a $12M seed round to continue its mission of promoting next-generation scalable blockchain using zero-knowledge proof technology using their open source product – the RISC-V zkVM. Additionally, Kirk Simpson joined hands with Peter Carrescia to raise $5M for the launch of Qui Identity, an idea focused on disrupting the digital identity space.
And while we are on the topic of identities, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin backed a proposal to create a new extension for anonymous NFT ownership. Only the new owners of pre-owned NFTs can see who previously held them, as they would not be visible to everybody through blockchain data.
It can sometimes be overwhelming for our Web3 wanderers to get their heads around the Web3 world 🌎 with new things popping up every day 🆕. So, let's learn more about Web3 as we wrap up. Come learn with us! ✨
Web3 Word Of The Week
Soulbound Tokens (SBTs): SBTs are non-transferable tokens representing “commitments, credentials, and affiliations'' that build social relations on Web3 networks. Simply put, they are tokenised symbols of the many traits, features, and achievements that make up a person or entity.
SBTs form the core, or the cornerstone, in an emerging Web3 trend known as the Decentralised Society or DeSoc. They are non-financialised tokens that safeguard people’s identities, successes, and perhaps even past mistakes in the Web3 world.
Lastly, take a bite out of these Web3 delights 🍩 this weekend that’ll immerse you in the Web3 World!
That’s all for now!🤘
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Web3 Weekly Wonderland experience, and we look forward to seeing you next week! 💌
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