Web Weekly #11
This week has been really exciting for those in Web3, as well as Web2 – Elon Musk has finally bought Twitter and let’s see how experts view this from the Web3 angle. Of course, this is not the only news this week as the Lisbon Web Summit – the largest European technology conference – also happened this week, so let’s dive into what has happened during the last 7 days of Web3, NFT and crypto, as always, beginning with BTC, ETH and AR markets.
Market Conditions and Updates
Bitcoins price on November 4 was $20,620.91 which is a little bit higher than a week ago, when it was 20,289.47 USD worth. And much lower than it was a year ago when its price was more than 60,000 USD.
Ethereum’s (ETH) price this Friday was 1,583.50 USD which it reached a week ago and has been more or less the same during the previous 7 days. Of course, just the same as Bitcoin, its price has fallen three times since last year when in November it was more than 4,500 USD worth.
In the morning of November 4, Arweave (AR) price reached more than 15.00 USD. Actually this has been a good week for AR, as its price rose to 17.33 USD on Thursday after weeks and even months of being below 14.00 USD. Of course, it’s not as much as 80.00 USD as it was a year ago, but anyway, at least the market looks stable.
What’s Happening in Web3
Elon Musk, Twitter and Web3 – What To Expect
So, on Elon Musk…He has become the proud owner of Twitter and is already getting rid of the old crew and being criticized for his planned actions in different ways. But first, let’s talk Web3 and crypto.
Although the world’s richest man didn’t mention crypto among the reasons for doling out $44 billion to take Twitter off the public markets, there are real indications that Twitter is edging towards Web3, says CoinDesk in its opinion piece on November 1. Musk’s buyout is
a chance to take a prestigious Web2 platform and use it as a sandbox to start taking apart some of the challenges that we’ve seen become synthetical in the Web2 space
Binance Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Hillmann said on CoinDesk TV.
Even more, as claimed by the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, in Decrypt – Binance wants to ensure that crypto and Web3 are part of Twitter’s future after backing Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform. Hence, they have invested 500 million USD in Musk’s takeover according to the article.
"We want to make sure that #crypto has a seat at the table when it comes to free speech," says @cz_binance on @binance investing $500M into @elonmusk's purchase of @twitter. "We want to help bring @twitter into Web3 when they're ready." pic.twitter.com/BmbWJqXvul
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) October 31, 2022
Are CBDCs Threat To Crypto? Yes Or No?
The support for Elon Musk is not the only stand that Binance has stated as its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao spoke at the Web Summit in Lisbon on Nov. 2 about CBDCs and their role in the crypto industry. Central bank digital currencies or CBDCs are not a threat to his company or the crypto sector, Zhao argued in the conference. As the Cointelegraph writes, CZ’s comments appear to have softened compared to his previous stance on CBDCs, because last year, he said that they would never offer the same freedom as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Web3 Funding Seems to Drop
Maybe you noticed but we cover less funding rounds than at the beginning of this rubric. There is a reason why it is so. After a record-breaking 2021 which saw more than $30 billion invested in this burgeoning space, investors seem to be taking a pause, writes Chris Metinko on Crunchbase. Investors are tightening their purse strings on everything right now, he says.
The recently completed quarter only saw slightly more than $3.3 billion roll into startups in the space and that’s a nearly 50% decrease from the previous quarter. That’s the lowest total since just about $1 billion went to startups in Q4 2020, and a far cry from the high of nearly $9.3 billion invested in Q4 last year.
Former Google Ads Boss Launches Web3 Start-up
Despite the data in the previous section, there are new launches and funding rounds still happening. Sridhar Ramaswamy, who led Google’s advertising business from 2013 to 2018, has launched a Web3 company called nxyz. It trawls blockchains and their associated applications for data on things like NFTs and crypto wallets, and then streams it to developers in real-time. The company raised $40 million in a funding round led by crypto-focused venture fund Paradigm, with additional backing from Coinbase, Sequoia and Greylock.
GameStop Adds Support For NFTs Via Immutable X Network
We haven’t written about the gaming industry for a while and this week there are some new events in this area of Web3. The video game retailer GameStop announced on October 31 that it has added support for NFTs minted via Ethereum layer-2 scaling network Immutable X to its marketplace. That means that assets from Web3 games can be bought and sold through the platform. Immutable X is built on top of Ethereum and enables faster and cheaper game, app, and NFT interactions by offloading transactions to a second-layer blockchain.
As Jonathan Reedy, vice president of strategic partnerships at ImmutableX, told to CoinDesk,
ImmutableX hopes to create a gaming landscape that no longer thinks about blockchain gaming in terms of wallets, bridges, chains and rollups but instead, true digital ownership and fun sit at the heart of the gameplay experience.
PRNewswire has summarized the key events since the partnership between GameStop and ImmutableX was announced in February, 2022:
- The launch of a $100m USD grant fund meant to drive new game pitches, signings and integrations from builders and creators powering the future of NFTs and Web3 gaming.
- The integration of ImmutableX into the GameStop Wallet providing players the ability to manage their funds and digital assets.
- Delivered activations from Immutable Games Studio including a cross promotion with Gods Unchained introducing Web3 games to GameStop PowerUp Pro Players.
The Future Of Web3 Games Will Not Be In Hands Of Traditional Companies
Speaking of gaming industry and web3, the CEO of WAX William Quigley shared some of his visions on the topic during the Web Summit in Lisbon. According to his words, traditional gaming firms won’t be the ones that will be in charge of the next generation of Web3 games. He admitted that building video games using blockchains is challenging. Maybe this is why he thinks so:
I actually think the first big games that have multimillion persistent users daily — those will come from new startup studios.
Microsoft Backs Wemade With Its Interest in Web3 And Blockchain
South Korea’s company Wemade, a popular video game developer, said in a press release that it has raised $46 million from Microsoft, Shinhan Asset Management and Kiwoom Securities. In the last few years, Wemade has been exploring ways to incorporate blockchain technology into its new titles and offerings. It recently launched its blockchain Wemix3.0
Tenderly Web3 Gateway Will Help Web3 Developers.. How?
On November 2, Tenderly, creators of an industry-leading Web3 development platform, announced their new product – Tenderly Web3 Gateway. It is an integral part of the Tenderly platform, that gives developers easy access to blockchain and enables blockchain development teams to focus their engineering power on critical activities when building and improving their dapps. In short, the product will help Web3 developers read, stream and analyze blockchain data, according to the company.
NFT Sales Shrank In October – Winter Has Not Gone Yet
Data from October shows that total trading volume and the number of NFTs sold both fell over the course of October, per DappRadar, with Solana trading falling by 50% and Ethereum losing steam as well, as reported on Decrypt. Overall Solana NFT trading volume fell by 50% from $134 million in September to $67 million in October, according to the analytics platform’s data.
Ethereum trading volume also sank in October. DappRadar’s data points to about $518 million worth of total Ethereum NFT trading across marketplaces – down from just over $687 million in September.
Instagram Announces Its NFT Marketplace And Minting Tools
Big news from Meta! On November 3, Instagram announced the launching of its own NFT Marketplace in collaboration with Polygon!
— Polygon – MATIC 💜 (@0xPolygon) November 2, 2022
Just a few days before this announcement, there was news that Instagram is planning NFT creation and trading tools built in. For now, Instagram will allow selected users to sell NFTs via its app and will soon allow all of its users to access its newly launched NFT marketplace.
As for Facebook, the company is expanding access to Stars, which are virtual items that users can buy to support creators during livestreams, as reported on 9to5mac.
Ripple Labs Supports NFTs Aiming To Mass Adoption
XRPL from Ripple Labs is entering the NFT space at a time when royalties for digital creators are in the spotlight, as described on CoinDesk. The company, whose XRP token is the world’s sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has gotten into non-fungible tokens (NFT) and wants to accelerate the mass adoption of tokenization, or representing real-world assets on a blockchain.
Hong Kong Issues An NFT To Test Proof-Of-Concept For Fintech Week
For the Hong Kong Fintech Week (HKFTW) 2022, that was happening on 31 Oct – 4 Nov and is one of the biggest and well- known FinTech events, Hong Kong published an updated version of the policy with three major proposals for web3.
- Hong Kong plans to issue an NFT to test proof-of-concept for HKFTW 2022,
- It revealed plans to tokenise the government green bond for subscription by institutional investors
- Also it plans to launch a pilot project for virtual assets trading to explore various use cases and their benefits to the market.
NFT Hype of The Week – Art Gobblers NFT Collection
Art Gobblers is a highly anticipated NFT collection by Paradigm and Justin Roiland, co-creator of “Rick and Morty”. It was launched on October 31 and quickly garnered millions of dollars in trading volume after going live as a free mint.
Art Gobblers’ stated goal is to create a “decentralized art factory ” using a combination of NFTs, a GOO token and community collaboration. Read more on how it works here.