Here are the top web3 stories from this week.
Ethereum Merge Drives Rally
📈 After a few tough months in the Crypto markets, enthusiasm around the upgrade to Ethereum coming soon has led to a big market bounce. The merge is the start of the transition to from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. This will reduce transaction costs and fees on the $ETH network. The price of $ETH has rallied 50%+ from its low near $1,000 last month to over $1,500 now. Other programmable blockchains are rallying alongside Ethereum, with $SOL and AVAX up over 50% as well. Check out my prior post on Ethereum competitors here.
Divide on Big Companies Approach to Web3
🐭 On the plus side, Disney announced six companies for their inaugural Accelerator program for augmented reality (AR), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and artificial intelligence (AI) characters. Snap said they are working on a new feature to allow creators to use NFTs as AR filters within the app. You can read about other big companies embracing web3 here. However, on the negative side, Microsoft said they would not allow NFTs into games on their Minecraft platform, and Tesla sold 75% of the Bitcoin they bought on their balance sheet last year.
More VC Cash for Web3
💰 Even with the Crypto market rout, web3 startups are still raising large, early-stage funding rounds. Zebedee pulled in $35MM for payments infrastructure for NFT games. Merkle Factory got $30MM for a decentralized social network with a former Coinbase exec in charge and A16Z leading the round. Astro Space closed a coin offering at $25MM market cap for a PvP NFT game.
Circle Pushing for 2022 IPO
💸 Stablecoin leader Circle says they are still moving forward with a planned IPO via merger with a SPAC, possibly as soon as Q4 2022. The USDC creator has over $50Bn in assets under management in their program, and they have recently improved transparency and quality on their investment portfolio.
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