#Web3 Weekly: Feb 21–28, 2021

Peter A. McKay
3 min readFeb 28, 2021

Crypto wasn’t spared from Wall Street’s market rout last week. But not to worry.

Photo by Bermix Studio via Unsplash

Re-sharing below the latest edition of #Web3 Weekly, my regular newsletter about decentralization. If you’d like to get it in your inbox every Sunday, subscribe here.

Crypto markets had a rough week, as did everything else. But longer-term dynamics still seem to favor rising adoption of the technology.

The world’s crypto markets shed about one-fourth of their total valuation, which recently stood at $1.3 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap data. Bitcoin was especially volatile, hitting a new record over $58,000 early in the week before tumbling later. It traded around $43,000 this morning, down 24% over the last seven days.

The selling started on Wall Street, where fears emerged of a possible wave of inflation on the way as the world’s major economies recover from their virus-related weakness later this year. Bonds were particularly hard it, which spilled into stocks, and then other assets as well, including crypto.

Given the token market’s strength earlier in the year, some of the week’s selling likely consisted of traders taking a convenient opportunity to pause and lock in earlier profits. Some may have also been raising cash to cover losses in other assets. But if the inflation story continues to play out as expected in the broader economy, that would likely benefit crypto over the longer haul, especially cryptocurrencies like bitcoin that have limited issuance.

The week’s other headlines:

  • As in other things, Big Tech’s influence over artificial intelligence increasingly looks worrisome. Fast Company took a look at how a handful of giant companies are able to direct the conversation around the emerging tech sub-specialty that is AI, determine which ideas get funding, and decide who gets to create and critique the tech. Google’s controversial firing of a respected AI ethicist recently cast a spotlight on the giants’ control over the AI space. But the issue runs even deeper, Fast Company says.
  • China enlisted Ant’s MYbank and Tencent’s WeBank to help expand its pilot of a digital yuan. Bloomberg news reports that e-wallets from the two firms will have exactly the same functions in a new digitual yuan app as those from six state-owned lenders in a trial that’s currently running in several locations. As usage of a digital yuan widens, it could transform daily consumer payments in the world’s number-two economy.
  • Black representation in the U.S. tech industry has only increased 1% in the last six years, according to the nonprofit Kapor Center.
  • Miami’s mayor dropped in on the popular Blockchain & Booze virtual meetup. Francis Suarez explained his recent efforts to turn his city into a blockchain innovation hub.
  • Tokenized basketball highlights are booming. Slate reports that videos of National Basketball Association players’ on-court feats are fetching up to $100,000 as non-fungible tokens, even though some of the clips are available for free online.
  • Those “laser eyes” on your Twitter feed are bitcoin-related. Some users are altering their profile picks as part of a new movement dubbed #LaserRayTil100K, encouraging a focus on getting the token to the $100,000 milestone.
  • MC Hammer waxed philosophical on Twitter about the intersection of science and philosophy. Seriously. It was worth reading, as was the discussion it prompted in the replies.

That’s it for now. Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! If you’d like to get updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.

— Peter A. McKay

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Peter A. McKay

Storyteller, thought leader, and marketer focused on blockchain/web3. I publish #w3w, a newsletter about decentralization. Ex-reporter for the Wall St Journal.