Good day everyone! What an interesting last twenty-four hours in the industry. If you are not sure of the context of that statement, don’t worry, I’m going to break it down in today’s post. It’s going to get a little deep, think pour-over versus yesterday’s espresso shot. So grab that coffee ☕️ and let’s go!
The biggest storyline happens to be about Bitcoin, Telsa, Elon Musk’s recent tweet that sent the blockchain industry & crypto Twitter into a frenzy — this also took a toll on the broader digital currency markets. In February, Musk and the company announced their purchase of $1.5 billion in bitcoin (BTC) and would begin accepting it as a means of purchase for its vehicles. A significant event for the industry. Then, yesterday Musk tweeted that Tesla would no longer be accepting Bitcoin until mining transitions to more sustainable energy. Additionally, he noted that the company would not be selling its current bitcoin holdings for hopeful future use AND that it was looking at alternatives.
The quick breakdown on all this. 1) Bitcoin & crypto mining has been discussed at exhausting lengths over the last decade. There are a number of great founders and companies focused on climate-friendly solutions — and making progress. Anthony Pompliano wrote a great article on this today to add some clarity on the misconceptions.
Next, it was 93 days between statements and no public effort was made to support the network in finding solutions. I’m calling this out as the blockchain industry is incredibly open, open-source, and embraces collaboration. 3) He said the company is holding and not selling its current position of Bitcoin, but does not mention converting it to another digital currency — keep watch here. 4) They’re looking at alternatives solutions, of which there are many.
Short-term this feels like a punch in the gut for the industry. But it didn’t stop MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor from adding to the company’s treasury with another $15m bitcoin purchase yesterday. Looking beyond Musk’s tweet, we’ll be ok.
Moving on to another notable name, Mircosoft. After many twists, turns and attempts to capture those integrating blockchain into their technology stacks or newly developed decentralized applications (DApps), the company will be shutting down Azure’s Blockchain-As-A-Service (BaaS) — RIP☠️ . While I’m a little disappointed, this is probably the right move as more platforms arise and a great emphasis is placed on distributed storage solutions/protocols. I expect to see more traditional cloud providers and enterprise companies do the same over the next 6–12 months.
On the mobile front, Samsung is partnering with hardware wallet provider Ledger. The partnership is focused on enhancing the Samsung Blockchain Wallet that ships with Galaxy smartphones. This move is great for everyone involved. Samsung made a great decision here to further get ahead of the market and support their relationship with Decentraland by offering additional secure storage as the NFT market explodes and DApps see greater adoption.
The Diem Association has decided to partner with Silvergate to launch its long-discussed stablecoin. The association has also begun plans to relocate from Switzerland back to the U.S.
We welcome Huobi Ventures officially into the blockchain landscape! The team launched a $100m venture fund 💸 for blockchain & decentralized finance (DeFi) projects. Also launched is a $10m fund specifically for the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) ecosystem.
Speaking of NFTs…the NFT-focused game developer Animoca Brands has raised new funding 💸 of $88,888,888 at a $1b valuation. The company is responsible for games such as F1 Delta Time, The Sandbox, MotoGP, among others.
The Polkadot ecosystem seems to be heating up during this recent fundraising cycle! Early-stage company and decentralized exchange (DEX) dTrade ($6.4m, Seed) who is working to bring derivatives trading to the Polkadot. Funded by the founders of Derbit, Attrace ($2.5m Seed) a cross-chain platform working on a referral layer for the tokenized economy.
Over the last few months, I’ve given and participated in several talks about our new digital/virtual economy and the Metaverse being built. I’m incredibly bullish overall and looking through the landscape for great opportunities. However, the last year has further increased my views on an emerging new income stream called, “Play-To-Earn” and believe it to be a future revenue stream for many if not all. As crypto, digital currencies, and [digital] goods grow in adoption, they also are bridging the worlds of gaming and our future of work. Thank you to Anil Lulla (Co-Founder of Delphi Digital) for sharing this inspiring documentary from the Play-To-Earn team.
Lastly, here’s a few things I’m reading 📖: