Here are the top web3 stories from this week.
The Bad News Keeps Coming
📉 Last week rumors started that Crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC) was on the verge of failing. Well, it turned out to be true. Lenders have called their capital back and the firm is in liquidation now. Another struggling entity hitting the news is BlockFi. Last year, the high flying DeFi platform raised a $350MM Series D at a $3Bn valuation. Earlier this month, news hit that they were running out of cash and trying to raise a down round at $1Bn. Then last week, word leaked that FTX was going to lend the company $250MM, but this loan would nearly wipe out the equity holders. Earlier this week, one of their investors Morgan Creek Digital started working on a new bailout to preserve some upside to the current investors. On Thursday, news broke that FTX is working to buy BlockFi for just $25MM to the equity holders. This domino is likely to fall soon. More are sure to follow. There was too much leverage in the Crypto ecosystem, so the forced liquidations will continue.
Solana is Working on a Mobile Phone
📱 Web3 is a mess on the current Apple and Google dominated phone operating systems. Neither of the tech giants have allowed apps with easy integration of Crypto or NFTs. A few apps like MetaMask have found workarounds, but the OpenSea app is just view only currently. Solana has jumped in with an announcement of a web3 focused phone called Saga. Solana CEO Anatoly Yakovenko joked that “people will pull out their laptops in the middle of dates so they don’t miss an NFT minting opportunity”. Their new phone will be Crypto native and avoid the 30% app store fees charged by the incumbents. The phone is expected to cost $1K and will be delivered in Q1 2023.
Kevin Hart is Making a Show with NFTs
📺 I’ve written before about how web3 technology is changing TV and filmmaking. Kevin Hart is the next big-time star jumping into this new trend. He’s launching a show with Roku with a collection of 10K companion NFT collectibles. The NFTs will come with utility including access to bonus content, tickets to Hart’s comedy shows, and more. If you want to see a comedian who is deeper down the Crypto rabbit hole, check out this podcast with Rob McElhenney (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest). McElhenney has launched Adim, a web3 writers collective with backing from A16Z.
Content to Check Out
More Big Talk from A16Z Crypto
📰 Chris Dixon leads A16Z’s huge Crypto effort, and he has been getting out there to evangelize for the industry throughout the downturn. Dixon published a blog post entitled “Toys, Secrets, and Cycles: Lessons from the 2000s”. The general gist is we’re still early, great engineers are working on web3 products, and we’ve seen this movie before with web1 and web2. If you like to listen rather than read, Dixon was a guest on the Capital Allocators podcast and had more to say here. He’s one of my favorite thinkers in the space, check out the blog or podcast.
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