Sunday, October 4, 2020

🌴Last Week in Crypto🍹9/21/20 - 9/27/20

Check out artist Nathan Head on Rarible! [Screenshot used with permission]

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Welcome to a fresh week folks 👋 

Last week, the crypto market dived before largely bouncing back. Decentralized finance (DeFi) products were especially hard hit for a moment. This opened space in the conversation for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to get some shine, and shine they did. My sense is this surge of interest will fade rather quickly, while nonetheless catalyzing growth in the already-popular NFT niche of crypto.

Go Deeper → Decrypt: NFTs ExplainedDappRadarCoindeskUnconfirmed pod

Now, let’s catch up on what else happened last week in crypto💨

  • 8 New Funding Rounds

  • 4 Tokens to Watch

  • 3 pieces of Macro News

New Funding Rounds 🥞

Seed Rounds

  • Stacked raised $1MM with participation by Alameda and CoinFund. Stacked is a crypto investment automation platform intended to make passive investing easier. Sounds a lot like TokenSets to me 👀

  • Purestake raised $1.4MM led by Hypersphere Ventures. Purestake’s Moonbeam Network is focused on interoperability, with a particular aim to make it easy for Ethereum applications to use the Polkadot network.

  • Dune Analytics, an Ethereum analytics provider, raised $2MM led by Dragonfly Capital, with participation by Coinbase Ventures, Digital Currency Group, and many other big names. Fun fact: Dune Analytics is just 2 people right now, Fredrik Haga & Mats Julian Olsen.

  • Liquity raised $2.4MM led by Polychain Capital. Liquity is a decentralized borrowing protocol that will issue interest-free loans. Read their Medium post for more details.

  • APY.Finance raised $3.6MM. Investors including Arrington XRP Capital, Alameda Research, Cluster Capital and CoinGecko. APY.Finance is a to-be-launched automated investment platform focused on helping users earn yield across a variety of DeFi products. At first blush, this seems like a VC-backed; it’ll be interesting to watch how the products differ.

  • Nori, the carbon removal marketplace, raised $4MM led by Placeholder. Prevent double-spending, save the planet 🌏

Series B

  • Data Gumbo raised $4MM led by L37 with participation by Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures and Equinor Ventures. Data Gumbo is the creator of Gumbonet, an industrial blockchain network that enables transactional certainty across companies, customers, suppliers and vendors.

Not sure what to call it

  • Skynet Labs (née Nebulous) raised $3MM led by Paradigm with participation by a number of other big names to develop their decentralized web hosting platform. They’ve raised over $9MM to-date, with multiple “Seed” rounds, according to Crunchbase 🤷‍♂️

Tokens to Watch 🎨

RARI: Leading the NFT surge, RARI is rewarded for buying and selling digital collectibles on Rarible. If you are keen to track whether the NFT excitement lasts, keep an eye on RARI.

MEME: This started as a joke and is now worth ~$750/token (scroll down a little). Turns out the combination of a “farming” incentive mechanism, memes, and collectibles is potent.

FLOW: Flow is a new layer-one blockchain purpose-built for NFTs by Dapper Labs of Cryptokitties fame. My gut says that with dogfooding by Dapper Labs and a very specific use-case, Flow could gain genuine traction. Read more on Coinlist and let me know me why I’m wrong!

tBTC: Created by the Keep Network team, tBTC allows you to “deposit and redeem BTC in DeFi without intermediaries.” With over $1.2B of Bitcoin on Ethereum before the launch of tBTC, this could add more fuel to the fire.

Macro News ⚖️

Stablecoins gain regulatory clarity in the U.S.: The U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency clarified that banks are allowed to hold deposits that serve as reserves for stablecoins. Folks smarter than I (see below) seem to think that this is important as it clears up previously murky regulatory waters. On a more fun note, check out stablecoin growth 🔥

Go Deeper → DecryptCoindeskCryptobriefingCastle Island’s pod

E.U. regulatory framework proposed: The European Commission officially proposed a regulatory framework for crypto-assets and stablecoins. This is an early but important step towards creating a single regulatory framework for EU-based crypto companies.

Go Deeper → The BlockCNBC

Crypto markets took a dive early in the week: As noted at the top, the crypto market slumped early last week. Most notable was the correlation of crypto with traditional financial markets, as well as how the number of crypto addresses increased despite the market drop. What do you make of that??

Go Deeper → DecryptThe BlockCoindesk