Public blockchains rock.
This post is adapted from the latest edition of my newsletter #Web3Weekly. If you would like to receive it in your inbox every Sunday, subscribe here.
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Imagine a couple of technologies that:
- Are fully open source, including publicly available, transparent algorithms. No secret sauce working contrary to users’ privacy, a shared sense of objective truth, and other things necessary for modern society as we know it to continue.
- Are not controlled by the oligarchy of massive public U.S. tech companies that otherwise dominate everyone’s experience of the internet.
- Carry a combined market valuation north of $700 billion nevertheless.
These are actual characteristics of the two biggest blockchain networks, Bitcoin and Ethereum, which constitute a combined 65% of the global crypto market. Right now. Even with the global token market still well below its all-time high of a $3 trillion valuation set in late 2021.
These are real successes — ones that are generally overlooked, in my opinion. Between the obsession with daily swings in the token market and crypto folks’ propensity to squabble about differences between their favorite chains, it’s easy to lose sight of this bigger picture.
Ultimately, it shouldn’t be about “my chain is better than your chain.” It’s about unseating the current shit that the masses of people are actually using, made by a shitty oligarchy based in a single country. That’s what it will take to truly make a better internet for everyone.
On to the week’s notable headlines:
- Token prices suffered a broad pullback, hurt by a strengthening U.S. dollar. Bitcoin posted a weekly decline of 7%. The price correlation between BTC and ETH also tumbled to an 18-month low. Several memecoins were sharply lower, including a Pepe the Frog coin that tumbled more than 60%.
- The recent introduction of non-fungible tokens on the Bitcoin network is slowing transaction confirmations broadly and pushing fees higher. That’s led to an increasingly heated debate pitting NFT issuers against Bitcoin developers and investors who want the platform to remain strictly a monetary network.
- Tether reported a $1.5 billion profit in the first quarter, more than double the previous period.
- Binance said it will cease operations in Canada due to what it views as overly restrictive new regulations.
- Bittrex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Seattle-based exchange, which was recently slapped with charges by U.S. regulators for not registering as a securities broker-dealer, says it has more than 100,000 creditors who are owed up to $1 billion in total.
- A former Coinbase product manager was sentenced to two years in prison for insider trading, the first time U.S. prosecutors and courts have applied such laws to crypto.
- FTX’s former compliance chief is cooperating with plaintiffs’ attorneys in a lawsuit against celebrities who promoted the bankrupt exchange.
- New regulatory filings show PayPal users are holding almost $1 billion in digital assets, mostly bitcoin and ether.
- Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Moody’s, and other corporate heavyweights are joining the Canton Network, a new blockcain platform optimized for managing institutional assets. Canton is set to launch in July, with fintech startup Digital Assets leading its development.
- Facebook parent Meta warned that a wave of hackers is now targeting users interested in the artificial intelligence app ChatGPT, in a trend akin to the earlier proliferation of crypto scams.
- Decrypt reports that the chips from inactive crypto mining rigs are poorly suited for AI applications. Sorry.
- A 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite struck a house in New Jersey, a rare event in such a populated area. The rock could hold clues about the origins of our solar system.
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Note: #Web3Weekly content is intended for journalistic purposes only, not as investment advice. Always DYOR and consult appropriate financial professionals before making investment decisions.
Best wishes for a healthy and productive week ahead.