Top web3 Headlines This Week
After talking with several readers of this newsletter, I’m going to start with a new content plan this week. On Tuesdays, I’ll bring you the top news from web3 with some of my thoughts and commentary. On Thursdays, I’ll be doing be traditional deep dive on a topic in web3. As a Crypto Executive Guide subscriber, you’ll still be getting two emails a week from me. Like this new plan? Hate it? Let me know.
Sports Betting and Fantasy Coming to the Blockchain
🏀 The race is on to bring sports betting to the blockchain. I did a deep dive on this sector a few weeks ago here. Right now, this won’t be legal in the United States, so most startups are targeting Europe or Asia. You can check out BetDEX and Frontrunner for more. This week Stakes announced a $5.3 million capital raise to bring NFT based prediction games. It looks like they will hit up the U.S. market under skills-based gaming exemptions. Own The Moment and others have built fantasy games on chain as well. This will be an interesting space to watch.
Zora Labs Raises $50 Million for NFT Protocol
🖼️ Zora Labs is an NFT protocol that allows artists and creators to post content to the blockchain to be used in NFTs. Think of this more as an infrastructure layer behind consumer products. They raised $50 Million led by Haun Ventures. If you haven’t heard of Katie Haun, you should check out this excellent Tim Ferriss podcast. Haun was a federal prosecutor who worked on high profile cases around the Silk Road crimes. She then joined A16Z in their Crypto investing team. Back in March she went out on her own, and Haun raised $1.5 Billion for her new fund, the largest raise ever by a female VC.
Products and People
Bringing NFTs to College Sports
🏈 Current USC QB Caleb Williams and USC great Matt Leinart are the most recent entrant into the race to bring NFTs to college sports. The pair are part of the team launching Hall of GOATs to help star athletes sell collectible NFTs to their fans. They follow The Players’ Lounge, a group of UGA football alum, who sold $1MM in NFTs to Dawgs fans ahead of the National Championship in January. LEARFIELD has partnered with Recur for a similar offering. I expect a bunch more competitors before this field thins out to a few winners.
President of Billboard Joins Top NFT Project
🎹 Media exec Julian Holguin stepped down as President of Billboard to take the CEO at the popular Doodles NFT company. Doodles has created 10,000 character NFTs and done activations at big events like SXSW. The lowest priced Doodle sells for about $40K right now. Earlier this year the head of YouTube gaming left for a senior role at the Polygon blockchain. I expect to see many more media execs making the leap to web3 in 2022.
Content To Consume
The Infinite Machine Book is Coming to the Big Screen
📚 Cami Russo wrote the definitive book on the founding of Ethereum called The Infinite Machine. I loved the book, strongly recommend it. She has teamed with famed director Ridley Scott to turn it into a movie. Russo was on the Bankless podcast this week discussing the process of getting this movie made, and she also spoke about their successful NFT sale that is covering some of the production expenses.
NFTs are Going to Change the Music Industry
🎶 Gary Vaynerchuk (“Gary Vee”) released this podcast of a discussion with musicians and execs discussing how he thinks NFTs will impact their industry. I’m with Gary on this. Companies like Royal and Decent are helping musicians sell their royalties direct to fans to circumvent the music labels and their high tax on artists.