Web3 Weekly Wonderland | Edition #7 – Sept 2022
Happy Friday, Web3 Wanderers!
Let's rock off your weekend with a Web3 jam that's sure to make you stomp your feet! Grab a seat in the Web3 thrill ride 🎢 and revel in its dazzling ✨ show spanning around five themes reflecting the decentralised world. This party is about to begin!
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First up, check out this tweet to know everything about #TheMerge –
Click here to read the whole thread.
Before we dig into the wonders of the Web3 Wonderland, let’s take a moment to celebrate the historic update of the Ethereum Merge as revealed on the 15th of September, 2022, by strolling down memory lane and crusading through some cool facts that the Ethereum community has witnessed over the last ten years!
Here's the TL;DR:
The Web3 ride goes global, where cryptocurrency custody platform Anchorage Digital announced support for the Japanese yen (JPY) stablecoin and added the GYEN stablecoin to its digital US dollar and euro custody services. Reaching the shores of Brazil, MetaMask integrated the Brazilian government’s payment system Pix and enabled crypto purchases with Brazilian reals.
Big names are also making waves in the Web3 sphere. While Samsung Goldex announced its intention to promote "Gold & Crypto Asset Bank", JPMorgan participated in Ownera's Series A funding round of $20M.
Starbucks is all set to dip into the brewing world of NFTs, with plans to offer an NFT-based Loyalty Program using Polygon's blockchain technology. Forking its way into the Web3 world was also EthereumPoW, which announced plans to launch its hardfork soon after the Ethereum Merge.
Opening up to Web3, The Linux Foundation announced a new collaborative project called the OpenWallet Foundation to support the development of interoperable open-source digital wallets. Revolving around the sphere, game studio Revolving Games raised $25M in Pantera-Led Funding Round to Develop ‘AAA Quality’ Web3 Games.
As we come to a stop and dock our ship, we discover some more notable events – Dock made headlines for announcing the availability of its Web3 ID on Auth0 Marketplace. At the same time, Aave voted to give its developers $15M in retroactive pay for their work building Aave V3.
Let's dig deep into the decentralised dimension –
Decentralised Assets 一 Filled with jam-packed stories from the decentralised assets’ ecosystem, and plenty more from the world of Crypto, DeFi and Tokenised Assets.
New launches are constantly arriving in this burgeoning market as Cake DeFi launched its new global R&D facility, Birthday Research, with a $50M budget to build cutting-edge technology for blockchains and digital assets. The Web3 thrill ride reaches Switzerland, where SEBA Bank launched Ethereum staking services, an institutional-grade offering enabling clients to earn staking rewards on Ethereum.
Then there’s Samsung Goldex, which announced that it would actively promote the establishment of Gold & Crypto Asset Bank, a new decentralised financial institute combining the conventional gold exchange with the DEX. Furthermore, anchoring towards stablecoins, Anchorage Digital announced the launch of a Japanese yen (JPY) stablecoin, GYEN, which will be added to its digital US dollar and euro custodial offerings.
Launches are taking place at a jet speed 一 Solana-based liquidity protocol Jet protocol launched a new swap margin trading product leveraging Orca to simplify the process of leverage swaps. Guarda Wallet, too, announced the launch of its staking platform, allowing users to earn rewards for participating in the network and securing it.
It’s raining money on the Decentralised street – smart contract auditing platform Sherlock raised $4M in a seed round led by Archetype to build the team and fund outside audits on the Sherlock platform. Crypto wallet Sender also hit the bulletins for raising $4.5M in a seed funding round led by Pantera Capital to expand its R&D team further, grow the security threshold for Sender Wallet, and expand its wallet ecosystem.
The clinking of money continues in the digital asset street – with crypto investment product firm 21.co securing $25M in a funding round to develop more crypto product offerings and expand its geographic presence after a recent foray into the US. Further, Nigerian blockchain payments firm Bitmama raised an additional $1.65M in pre-seed funding bringing the total money raised to $2M. Wait, there’s more! Northzone raised a whopping $1B for a new fund to invest in FinTechs, Web3 technology, and cryptocurrencies.
And if that wasn’t enough:
Brazil's crypto adoption shot to the moon as MetaMask integrated the Brazilian government’s payment system Pix via payment infrastructure company MoonPay to begin allowing crypto purchases with Brazilian reals.
Online retail platform Luxlock forged a partnership with Web3 open source software development company Smart Token Labs to offer new shopping options on Shopify.
Onto the regulatory front:
India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) has unfrozen the accounts of crypto exchange WazirX following its cooperation with the ED via active anti-money laundering (AML) checks which blocked suspicious accounts. Moreover, Uruguay became the latest to present a bill project to the country's parliament to clarify how cryptocurrency asset-related activities will be regulated.
As for the product vertical:
The Central Bank of Norway hit a significant milestone in digital currency efforts, releasing the open source code for the country’s CBDC sandbox, offering an interface for interacting with the test network, and enabling functions like minting, burning, and transferring ERC-20 tokens.
Decentralised Tech – Brings the sphere to life with a soiree celebrating Blockchain, Smart Contracts, and Oracles – the ultimate showcase of everything Web3!
Several forces are joining hands to add spice to the Decentralised Tech segment – Fluent Protocol integrated Chainlink proof of reserve to utilise the latter’s industry-leading decentralised oracle network. Blockchain company CasperLabs also made the list as it announced its membership in the Hyperledger Foundation to enable CasperLabs to generate quality open-source resources that can benefit both projects.
Huobi Global and Huobi Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Busan Metropolitan City government to develop its blockchain industry, supporting its vision to become a global digital assets hub.
Taking an oasis approach, Square Enix signed on as a node validator for blockchain gaming project Oasys, with the duo also teaming up to create blockchain games.
Some big names lead the funding front of Decentralised Tech, with Blockchain infrastructure startup Ownera raising $20M in a Series A funding round from backers that included banking giant JPMorgan. Furthermore, blockchain startup Diamond Standard was shining bright as it raised $30M in a Series A funding round to expand its production capacity and accelerate the distribution of its tokenised products.
That’s not all – Magpie Protocol secured $3M in seed funding to enable seamless cross-chain swaps. Autify Network raised a $1.5M pre-seed round. The funds will be added to the $400K in grants and angel investments they have secured from the NEAR foundation.
In other news, KKR made a slice of one of its private-equity funds available on the public blockchain to expand individual investors' access to private investment vehicles. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) also gained notoriety after disclosing a partnership with FinTech company Symbiont to provide more accurate data for financial firms through blockchain technology. On the other hand, the team behind EthereumPoW (ETHW), a proof-of-work splinter from the Ethereum Blockchain, announced plans to launch its hardfork soon after the Ethereum Merge on 15 September.
Virtual Assets World – Where we bring you all the goodness of the Web3 universe through NFTs, Metaverse, and eXtended Reality!
The madness of the metaverse continues to create magnum opuses. Last week, Agoraverse partnered with Ready Player Me to integrate their avatar creator into the Agoraverse experience. Another big name, DBS Bank, forayed into the metaverse world by partnering with The Sandbox to create the ‘DBS BetterWorld’ to showcase the importance of building a better and more sustainable world.
Moving ahead, India’s MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) Startup Hub announced a mega partnership with social media juggernaut Meta to launch an accelerator program to support extended reality (XR) startups in India.
Good news for all the foodies out there! Get your knives and forks ready, for Chipotle debuted a Garlic Guajillo Steak product on Roblox. Already drooling!
Unblocking its way into the metaverse, Metabloqs opened up to an initial 5,000 beta users last week. Launches are in full swing, with Encryptus launching its own virtual office in the metaverse to offer Crypto-Fiat services on the Bloktopia Metaverse.
When money flows in, business rise up! XR Central secured $250K in a seed round led by several angel investors to develop its Do-it-Yourself metaverse building platform, MetaQube. Money jiggled into the UAE-based MetaFi, which secured $3M funding from an array of big names in the Web3 industry. Using the funding, MetaFi will develop a new kind of social trading experience governed by its users, the Trading Metaverse.
In other news, Gartner released six trends that are not only driving the use of metaverse technologies today, but will continue to do so over the next 3-5 years.
Taking their coffee game to the next level, Starbucks made the news for their plans to begin an NFT-based loyalty program with the blockchain technology provided by Polygon. Using NFTs, customers will be able to gain access to digital collectable stamps with benefits.
Having doodled its way into funding, NFT collection Doodles disclosed its $54M incoming funds at the valuation of $704M. The company will be using the funds to hire world-class engineers, creatives, marketers, and business executives.
Further, idexo successfully completed an integration with Zapier, allowing apps that connect to Zapier to connect to blockchains across many chains and unlock thousands of new NFT innovation use cases.
MetaWin wrapped up its biggest competition yet, where a Lucky Winner was awarded an extremely rare Mutant Ape NFT worth over $30,000 to add to their collection.
Life’s good when global brands embrace Web3 technology. Korea-based LG Electronics stepped foot into the NFT space using the help of the Hedera Blockchain. LG Television owners who upgrade their TVs to the latest version will have access to the company's NFT marketplace.
Taking the game to new heights, GameOn announced a collaboration with Crypto Jets Club, further extending its Web3 arsenal. According to the deal, Crypto Jets Club will share 15% of all primary and secondary NFT sales with GameOn.
Revolutionising the industry, RevoLand launched the first E-sports GameFi 2.0 and expanded its services by launching E-Sports in the GameFi ecology.
Not just this, but the revolution keeps getting fueled thanks to funds flowing in 一 Revolving Games raised $25M in a funding round, which it will use to develop scalable decentralised game experiences for in-house titles and with global franchise partners.
Decentralised Governance – A symphony of events jammed on all week, taking in an array of events like partnerships, launches, and so much more!
Amidst the regulatory scrutiny, Apollo DAO, who built its vaults primarily for trading the Terra USD (USTC) stablecoin and Terra Luna (LUNC) token pairs, are closing them down on Terra Classic (LUNC).
On the other hand, DeFi protocol Aave voted to give its developers $15M in retroactive pay for their work building Aave V3.
Similarly, Near Protocol announced it is forming a working group to set standards for self-governance with an initiative, called the Near Digital Collective (NDC), aimed at further decentralising the ecosystem’s decision-making by moving it onto its native blockchain.
To bring things to the ramp walk, ARTISANT joined Red DAO for a novel benchmark measurement of the Web3 fashion NFT utility.
Extending its offerings bit by bit, crypto exchange Bybit announced the listing of OKG, the limited governance-supplied token of Ookeenga, on the Bybit Launchpool.
Decentralised Identity – It's a pretty bonny deal in this segment, with tons of buzz and hype around the notion of identity in the blockchain space.
A lot seemed to be happening in the decentralised identity vertical – content-focused Web3 project Contentos expanded into Europe, with plans to issue soulbound tokens for certified creators. Identity platform Dock also joined docked its ship in the landscape as it announced the availability of Web3 ID on Auth0 Marketplace, a catalogue of trusted technology integrations to extend the functionality of Auth0’s customer identity management platform.
Moving on, decentralised ID Domain name aggregator JazDID announced its plan to launch its first BNBChain decentralised ID domain name suffix “.bab” with a 10,000 total supply. The Linux Foundation also made the news after it announced plans to form a new collaborative initiative called the OpenWallet Foundation to support the development of interoperable open-source digital wallets.
In other headlines, Web3 enterprise Fair.xyz announced a new partnership with OpenSea to release a soulbound token (called the Minter Token) that cryptographically proves that a wallet owner minted an NFT, even if the owner has sold or transferred the digital asset.
It can sometimes be overwhelming for our Web3 wanderers to get their heads around the Web3 world 🌎 with new things popping up every other day 🆕. So, let's learn more about Web3 as we wrap up. Come learn with us! ✨
Web3 Word Of The Week
Bulletproofs: Bulletproofs are a unique type of cryptographic proof designed for speed, security, privacy, and anonymity. The protocol relies on two privacy systems: the zero knowledge tests (the ZK-snarks precisely) and confidential transactions (Confidential Transactions - CT). As a result, Bulletproofs combines the best of both systems. It does not, however, offer individuals total privacy or anonymity, although it does hide the amounts associated with the transfers. Neither the origin nor destination of the transaction is disclosed, nor are any amounts transferred.
Lastly, try out this Web3 munchie 🍩 over the weekend to get a taste of the Web3 realm!
That's all for now!🤘
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Web3 Weekly Wonderland experience, and we'll see you next Friday! 💌
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