Whatever they call it, Facebook will still suck.
Meanwhile, the real promise for the future is decentralized tech that’s forging ahead
Re-sharing below the latest edition of #Web3Weekly, my regular newsletter about decentralization. This installment covers Oct. 17–23, 2021. If you’d like to get #Web3Weekly in your inbox every Sunday, please subscribe here.
Facebook may be changing its name soon, according to a big scoop by The Verge’s Alex Heath on Tuesday. Seems the company has caught so much bad PR lately that they want to distract everyone with this little gimmick. As if we’ll then forget all that silly unpleasantness about amplifying hate speech, harming teens’ mental health, and abetting genocide.
Let’s get to the news about stuff that actually represents the future of the internet. Because it’s clearly not the company Mark Zuckerberg founded, no matter what he wants to call the thing:
- Bitcoin took a wild ride. The token hit a new all-time high near $67,000 on Wednesday, helped by the launch of the first exchange-traded fund tracking bitcoin futures in the U.S. (A second, competing futures ETF began trading Friday, underscoring how quickly the crypto industry is advancing, and how fiercely competitive it’s become.) Bitcoin prices quickly reversed course from the new record, however, erasing almost all the week’s gains to post a 7-day rise of just 0.1% as of late Saturday. Nevertheless, the mood among fans of the number-one cryptocurrency remains freshly bullish heading into the end the year, with the token up more than 100% for 2021 so far. In particular, many analysts expect adoption by mainstream investors and corporations to continue marching ahead. A prime example: Wal-Mart has quietly begun hosting bitcoin ATMs in its stores, CoinDesk reports.
- Ethereum’s Altair upgrade is slated to launch on Wednesday. The new software is another milestone in the Ethereum network’s transition from “proof of work” consensus to a faster “proof of stake” method for verifying transactions.
- Ethereum-based decentralized finance platforms topped $100 billion in user deposits for the first time, according to data from DeFi Pulse. That figure has grown by 100 times in just 15 months, The Defiant reports.
- Facing possible new regulations in the U.S., the crypto industry is ramping up its politicking. The Block reports that Coinbase has rebooted its dormant lobbying activities, spending almost $800,000 in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the venture giant Andreessen Horowitz recently published a report proposing a framework for U.S. crypto regulation “to win the future.” All of this comes as the crypto industry could be facing unpopular new rules included in the pending infrastructure bill that has recently dominated legislative talks in the U.S. capitol. But the current bill doesn’t include one provision that seems necessary — creation of a standalone crypto regulatory agency with special expertise — writes William Mougayar, executive chairman at the Kin Foundation.
- Recent hiring activity at Reddit suggests the social news site is preparing to launch a platform for non-fungible tokens, according to reports by CoinDesk and Cointelegraph.
- A “woman” who won a prestigious book award in Spain was revealed to be a trio of male TV writers using a pseudonym. The incident drew cries of sexism, of course. But it may also shed light on attitudes about creative collaboration, which generally isn’t celebrated in the literary world, according to Financial Times columnist Erica Wagner. To read her excellent essay on the pseudonym controversy (and get around the FT’s pesky paywall), click through the Google search results here.
That’s it for now. Thanks for spending some time with the newsletter today! A full revision history of it, including earlier drafts, is available here. If you’d like to get updates like this in your inbox every Sunday, please join our email list here.
As ever, a quick disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for journalistic purposes only, not as investment advice. For the latter, please DYOR and consult appropriate financial pros to make the most suitable choices for your needs.