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SPIRIT Blockchain – Weekly Wrap-up 6/10/2022

Here’s what happened in blockchain and crypto this week.

There is a broad consensus among market participants that cryptoassets have entered a bear market. While tokens across the board have seen continued drawdowns in prices, new data indicates that metaverse items have been more resilient despite a drop in trading volumes. A new report suggests that NFTs have weathered the bear market so far amid ongoing momentum surrounding the blockchain-related virtual worlds, gaming and profile picture projects. 
 
A recent blockchain industry report by DappRadar provided a number of interesting insights, showing that the NFT market generated $3.7 billion in May – a 20% drop from the USD volumes registered in April. On the upside, Yuga Labs’ Otherside metaverse NFTs reached $750 million in trading volume, propelling virtual worlds to their best month with over $850 million in May. 
 
Elsewhere, a slowdown in blockchain gaming investments (see also deal section below) is nowhere to be seen amid a slew of new crypto gaming funds. Dapper Labs recently launched a a $725 million blockchain gaming fund to spur growth on its Flow ecosystem and Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z raised $600 million for a new fund that will invest in the metaverse gaming industry. The gaming category is resisting the crypto crash with only a 5% decrease in activity and 197% growth year-over-year.
 

Meanwhile, science-fiction author Neal Stephenson who coined the term “metaverse” in his 1992 hit novel “Snow Crash” is working with a number of crypto veterans on a new metaverse-focused blockchain. The platform called Lamina1 will be centered on open metaverses with a focus on virtual- and augmented-reality integrations. This week, the company formerly known as Facebook doubled down on its metaverse-first identity, changing its Nasdaq ticker symbol from FB to META.

The metaverse is the concept of an immersive collection of digital spaces and worlds navigated by internet users via 3D avatars. Many developers and CEOs, including Mark Zuckerberg, believe the metaverse will become the future hub of work, shopping, entertainment, and social interaction. Although the concept is still in its infancy, a new Citi report projects that the revenue opportunity to be as much as $13 trillion and have a major impact on not key tech players and cryptoassets.

Market Overview

The global cryptoasset market capitalization currently amounts to $1.29 trillion – slightly up from $1.27 trillion since Friday last week, with bitcoin accounting for 44.5%. Among the top 30 cryptoassets by market cap, Chainlink (LINK) outperformed, gaining 23.1% over the week. During the same period, the price of bitcoin (BTC) decreased by 1.4% to $30,041 while the price of ether (ETH) dropped by 3.2% to $1,773. The total value locked (TVL) in DeFi sits at $104 billion – down from $107 billion last week – with Ethereum accounting for about 65% of TVL.

This Week’s Headlines

  • U.S. Senators Gillibrand and Lummis release long-awaited cryptocurrency bill

  • Korean prosecutors summon all Terraform Labs staff in UST collapse probe
  • Terraform Labs ordered to cooperate with SEC probe of Mirror Protocol
  • New York’s financial regulator issues new guidance on stablecoins
  • Digital Currency Group unveils wealth management subsidiary
  • Bloomberg expands terminal data offering with 40 new cryptoassets
  • Major Korean exchanges to delist Litecoin due to its new privacy features
  • Osmosis validator FireStake admits it drained $2 million during exploit
  • NFT platform OpenSea pledges to take action on scams and plagiarism

 

Notable Deals and Fundraising

  • Algo investment advisor Delphia raises $60 million in Series A round
  • Ethereum borrowing and lending protocol Euler raises $32 million 
  • Crypto asset custodian Entropy raises $25 million in a seed round
  • DeFi protocol Orderly Network raises $20 million from major VC firms
  • DeFi data and trade services provider Skolem raises $20 million
  • Crypto tax software firm Ledgible closes $20 million Series A round
  • PartyBid creator PartyDAO raises $16.4 million led by a16z
  • NFT price tracker Floor raises $8 million in Series A funding
  • MMORPG game Tatsumeeko raises $7.5 million in a seed round
  • Lightning Network startup Mash raises a $6 million seed round
  • Vietnamese GameFi startup Ancient8 raises $6 million through a token sale
  • Crypto payments startup Request Finance raises $5.5 million in seed round
  • Coinbase makes strategic investment in Asian crypto exchange Zipmex
  • Solana launches $100 million fund for Korean crypto startups
  • Ledger and VC firm Cathay Innovation launch $110 million crypto fund
  • Arrington Capital launches $100 million growth fund for Moonbeam ecosystem

 

 

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Manuel Trojovsky, Advisor Investment & Research