Wealthy ex-NFT shoppers celebrate in pain – TechCrunch
Welcome back to Chain reaction.
Last week we talked about endless pessimism in the crypto markets. This week we’re talking about parties, tattoos, booze and fun.
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It’s no secret at this point that many onlookers are watching the crypto crash with glee, laughing as tokens plummet and NFT volumes dwindle. The crypto industry has managed to make many consumer haters throughout this bull run – with detractors pointing to the aggressive use of energy, the addictive profile of crypto investing, and the way whose NFTs have become “MLMs for guys” – as justifications for their disgust.
As the bull market winds down, there’s probably a good time here for some soul-searching on how investors’ Web3 vision for the web may give consumers more excitement than skepticism, but something tells me that the crypto industry is about to become more insular. than ever.
This week, NFT locals descended on Times Square in New York City. Expensive images found their way onto the massive advertising screens, coin-operated parties flourished, and a host of suddenly less wealthy collectors found a way to sympathize and double down. My co-host Anita had the chance to visit NFT NYC in person and offered some thoughts below, but in some ways the positive vibes showcase an industry shifting from growth mode to survival mode.
The version of NFT World Survival is of course a bit different. At the event this week, Bored Ape Yacht Club held a festival with Future, LCD Soundsystem and Amy Schumer. Tame Impala headlined Kevin Rose’s Moonbirds event where token holders could get owl tattoos onsite. The NYPD has dismantled tokenized NFT parties. One project hired dozens of protesters holding signs saying “God hates NFTs” to stand outside their event. An NFT startup hired a Snoop Dogg impersonator “Doop Snogg” to roam around their event as a tacit pseudo-approval.
Ultimately, it’s no secret that the NFT market was filled with a lot of bullshit, and any bear market could and should restore some sanity to what’s left, but the lines seem a little blurry in the NFT countries.
In some ways, it feels like the wealthy collectors of the NFT space are jettisoning into space as the world they’ve built prepares for collapse. So-called blue-chip projects with 10+ ETH floors, venture capital funding, and large trading volumes have shown surprising resilience in the face of recession despite falling values of underserved cryptocurrencies. underlyings on which they are based, but NFT project floors across the board have taken major hits as less wealthy collectors seek exit cash where they can, struggling to the bitter end.
the last module
We kicked off this week’s episode by unpacking a controversy sparked by none other than the Dogefather himself – Elon Musk. Musk and his companies, SpaceX and Tesla, are being sued by a Dogecoin holder for allegedly inflating the value of the cryptocurrency, which has since crashed.
It’s time for NFT NYC this week, a crypto conference that has drawn influencers, investors, celebrities and others to New York (more below from Anita, who traveled the city to talk to the NFT community). We took a deep dive into the NFT market itself and what might be driving the apparent exuberance of the NFT space, even in such dire market conditions for crypto and technology in general. We ended this week’s news with two DAO-related disasters that may not bode well for the future of this recently fashionable, but undeniably messy governance structure.
Music and visual artist Latasha joined us on the podcast this week to talk about how NFTs have helped her claim ownership of her creative work and make a living from it. She shared her vision behind Zoratopia, a festival experience she hosted at crypto events across the United States, in her role as Community Leader on the NFT Zora platform.
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follow the money
Where startup money is moving in the crypto world:
- FalconXa digital asset platform for institutional investors, announced a $150 million Series D funding round at an $8 billion valuation led by GIC and B Capital.
- NFT Collectibles Project doodles attracted an undisclosed amount of funding from Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six.
- NFT marketplace based in Solana magic eden raised $130 million in a Series B funding round co-led by Electric Capital and Greylock Partners, bringing its valuation to $1.6 billion.
- Main Trusta crypto and fintech infrastructure startup, landed $100 million for its Series B from investors including FIS, Fin Capital, and Kraken Ventures.
- Permissionless Margin Trading Protocol OpenLeverage landed a strategic investment of an undisclosed size from Binance Labs.
- NFT-Based Meme & Comedy Tool Company terrible petsa project by the producers of the Silicon Valley TV show, raised approximately $4 million in funding led by First Round Capital, XYZ Capital and Moment.
- Astariaan NFT liquidity provider, closed an $8 million seed round from investors including True Ventures and Arrington Capital.
- End statea sneaker-focused NFT platform, provided $5.5 million in seed funding to investors including Archetype and Castle Island.
- Algorithmic exchange rate protocol Increment raised $1.56 million for its fundraising round led by ParaFi.
- Afropolitan raised $2.1m in pre-seed funding from Balaji Srinivasan and other investors to build a digital nation-state for Africans and the African Diaspora.
this week in web3
Hey, this is Anita here, reporting (almost) live from NFT NYC this week. Everyone who lives in Manhattan, myself included, has been surrounded by a deluge of elated degenerates who rejected this week’s recession. You can listen to this week’s podcast to hear my thoughts on all of this, but I want to address a different question here: Does the crypto community practice what it preaches?
There were tons of complaints on Twitter from people who waited in line for hours to get their NFT NYC pass. Even those speaking on the signs had to line up with everyone attending the event, they told me, which apparently took place around three city blocks.
I’ve lived in New York for a while now, so I’m not easily rattled by a long line, but it got me thinking about the irony of the whole thing. NFTs and their associated technology can provide easy authentication and identity verification. NFT stans love to cite the example of events as a primary use case for the technology, which they believe could make administrative burdens such as registering people for a conference much more efficient. So where is this technology at this week’s conference?
I’m sure organizing a crypto event involves creating order out of chaos in a way that’s way beyond my own abilities, so I wasn’t singling out NFT NYC organizers or anyone else. other in particular. But the NFT NYC lines raised a bigger question in my mind about the contradiction between what the crypto community said is the future relative to how the crypto community actually behaves. For example, why are in-person conferences so important for getting to know people on the Web3? Shouldn’t we all be past the point where we have to breathe each other’s air to feel a human connection?
From what I’ve heard over the past year from much of the Web3 community, I would have expected us all to be hanging out with our best friends in the metaverse 24/7 and 7 days a week. The crypto conferences themselves, it seems, present a huge opportunity for Web3 enthusiasts to take advantage of the technology they believe will change everything about the way we live. So far, it seems this opportunity has been largely overlooked.
Here are some of the crypto analyzes from this week that you can read on our TC+ subscription service (written by TC’s Jacquelyn Melinek):
Crypto’s focus on community could knock subscribers off a cliff
The idea of the “family” culture that so many companies advocate seeps deeper into the world of crypto as communities form from a sometimes toxic and bigoted position to relentlessly support the projects in which they invest. Don’t get me wrong, some parts of the crypto community are great – I’m part of a few communities myself – but when misused it can lead the blind to lead the blind.
Crypto Founders Face Falling Valuations, Make Deals Amid Market Volatility
As the crypto market continues to crash, founders in the space are struggling to retain investors who are now trying to minimize their risk and pull out of funding rounds. The market is moving toward a venture capital-friendly landscape, but not all founders are happy with how they’re being treated now that investors are back in the driver’s seat.
Thanks for reading, and again, if you want to have this in your inbox every Thursday, you can sign up on TechCrunch’s newsletter page. See you next week!