🌊 Venture Round Led by a16z Makes OpenSea Latest NFT Unicorn
Hello Defiers! Here’s what we are covering today,
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THE LEAD The crypto market’s all-time highs are just a memory. The summer slump now seems to be deepening into something more disturbing. And it’s not so far-fetched that Bitcoin may give back all of its gains since the first quarter if bears continue their rampage. Gird yourselves, it’s white-knuckle time in crypto.
NUMBERS On Tuesday, Bitcoin had skidded 3.5% to $29,725, breaking through the important psychological floor of $30,000. Ether, meantime, dropped to as low as $1,734 yesterday, according to data from CoinGecko.
BLEAK While there are signs the tokens are finding new levels in choppy trading, step back and the landscape looks bleak: Bitcoin has lost half of its value since its all-time high of $63,000 on April 16. Ether has fared worse — plunging 57% since those heady days in May. Tokens of the leading DeFi protocols Uniswap, Aave, and Maker, have also swooned — UNI has lost a quarter of its value in the last 14 days.
TLDR Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO and Bitcoin enthusiast, wants to bring decentralized finance onto the OG cryptocurrency protocol.
TBD On July 15, Dorsey announced that his financial services and digital payments company, Square, is creating a new business focused on bringing non-custodial, permissionless DeFi services to Bitcoin. The new company, which is called “TBD” (just like the acronym for “to be determined”), will be an open-source, open developer platform with an open roadmap.
MINTING Dorsey has said that there isn’t anything more important than Bitcoin for him to work on in his lifetime and recently, Twitter experimented with Ethereum-based NFTs, minting and dropping 140 to Twitter users for free.
NEWS The NFT marketplace OpenSea has reached a $1.5B valuation after a $100M Series B funding round led by a16z.
SO WHAT This makes OpenSea the newest NFT-based unicorn, or a privately held startup company valued over $1B. A16z also led OpenSea’s $23M Series A round in March.
BOOM During the NFT boom in 2021, OpenSea solidified itself as the industry’s default secondary market — essentially the Ebay of NFTs. While most of the best-selling NFT projects, like Bored Apes and Meebits, are initially minted and sold on different platforms, OpenSea ends up taking a 2.5% commission on most of the resales of these artworks.
TLDR Sushi has officially announced its next-generation automated market maker (AMM) Trident. While SushiSwap started out as a fork of Uniswap, the announcement explicitly states that Trident is a new AMM “and not a fork.” Trident will focus on capital efficiency (ie: the ratio between invested capital and return) and integrate Sushi’s many products.
BENTOBOX Trident is being built as a decentralized application on top of Sushi’s token vault protocol, BentoBox, which is designed for gas efficiency and cross-app coordination. Currently, the only other app on BentoBox is Kashi, Sushi’s lending and borrowing protocol.
MakerDAO is now completely decentralized. With several Core Units approved by governance to efficiently organize all areas of work within the DAO and the global community now responsible for every aspect of the Maker Protocol, the DAO is now fully self-sufficient and the Maker Foundation has fulfilled its bootstrapping responsibilities.
Crypto exchange FTX has officially closed its Series B funding round, drawing in $900 million from an array of investors. Launched in 2019, FTX has grown to become one of the most publicly visible exchange venues, with its headline-catching sponsorship deals with the likes of Major League Baseball and e-sports team TSM, among others.
🔗 ETH developer Virgil Griffith back in jail after allegedly checking Coinbase account: Cointelegraph
Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith has violated the terms of his bail and has been taken into custody after he allegedly accessed his cryptocurrency account. The remand order came from U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel after Griffith reportedly sought to access Ethereum assets held by Coinbase in May.
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🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in this newsletter were written by Owen Fernau and Dan Kahan, and edited by Edward Robinson, Bailey Reutzel and Camila Russo. Videos were produced by Robin Schmidt and Alp Gasimov. Podcast was led by Camila, edited by Alp.
The Defiant is a daily newsletter focusing on decentralized finance, a new financial system that’s being built on top of open blockchains. The space is evolving at breakneck speed and revolutionizing tech and money. Sign up to learn more and keep up on the latest, most interesting developments. Subscribers get full access, while free signups get only part of the content. Click here to pay with DAI (for $100/yr) or sub with fiat by clicking on the button above ($15/mo, $150/yr).