The Chainsaw Weekly Wrap: BAYC hit the news this week, along with other dramas. Here it is.
The past seven days were once again filled with rapid-fire developments in the Web3 space with both good and bad news aplenty. So without further ado, here’s the weekly wrap from the crew here at The Chainsaw:
Chainsaw Weekly Wrap: This week in Web3
Starting the weekend strong, Australian users on Web3 Twitter users hacked the algorithm and caused a major stir in the NFT space. The hashtag: ‘#aussiefollowaussie’ kicked off and united the Australian Web3 community under one banner, just in time for the upcoming NFT Fest in Melbourne later this month.
While the Aussie spirit raged across Twitter, we saw the Binance Smart Chain put on pause after a hacker managed to exploit a vulnerability in the BSC Token Hub cross-chain bridge and escape with around US$110 million worth of Binance Coin (BNB).
Unfortunately, the exploits didn’t stop there, with this weeks’ Mango Markets hack and many other DeFI exploits branding October as “the worst month in the worst year” for crypto hacks, according to data from Chainalysis.
Chainsaw Weekly Wrap: SEC trades in Kim K for BAYC
The SEC stopped chasing after Kim Kardashian and decided to put a new target in its sights, none other than the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). The Gary Gensler-led Securities and Exchange Commission continues its epic saga against crypto assets in all their various forms, this time trying to claim that Bored Ape NFTs and the ApeCoin (APE) that circulates through the BAYC ecosystem should actually be classified as securities.
We went to great lengths discussing what the SEC’s new Ape-focused investigation might mean for NFT holders and for the crypto industry as a whole.
For those who hold decentralisation to a high standard, the partnership between US-based crypto exchange Coinbase and tech giant Google may have caused some alarm bells to ring. While the deal is undoubtedly beneficial for many core elements of the Web3 industry — with Google offering its suite of services to Web3 developers – the centralising pressure of inviting Google to be the “layer zero” of crypto is somewhat unsettling.
The EU left Australia in the dust
On the regulation front, the European Union near-unanimously passed one of the most significant pieces of crypto policy to date. The Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) bill will see the EU implement specific, region-wide regulation that will provide clear guidelines to blockchain businesses in its 27 member states.
Regulatory expert Liam Hennessy told The Chainsaw that this move will help crypto businesses in the EU grow, and serves as another poignant example of how regulators in Australia need to up their game when it comes to policy.
Turning up the heat on NFTs
The SEC wasn’t the only one turning up the heat on NFTs, as renowned British artist Damien Hirst began the process of burning thousands of pieces of physical artwork. Hirst explained that the process of burning the art is designed to serve as a visceral provocation to jog people’s thoughts on where the true value of art really lies. By October 30, Hirst will have burned roughly £10 million worth of his own masterpieces.
Speaking of provocative… Some questions arose concerning the CEO of Sushi Swap Jared Gray having uhh “relations” with a horse. The claims seem to be mostly unfounded but they certainly raise a few eyebrows…
Oh yeah and how could we forget? Mark Zuckerberg’s US$10 billion metaverse research fund has started finally delivering the goods, with Meta announcing the utterly groundbreaking addition of “legs” at Tuesday’s Connect event (and even that turned out to be stretching the truth).
Chainsaw Weekly Wrap: Cash is King
Following last week’s update, the pace of crypto investments and fund raises has continued at an unrelenting pace. These are the top stories making headlines in the world of venture capital and private equity:
- Decentralised exchange Uniswap Labs raised US$165 million in a Series B round to expand its existing product offerings, improve user experience through new web apps and launch NFTs in the near future;
- Crypto lending platform Moon Mortgage raised US$3.5 million in seed round financing to allow investors to use their crypto as collateral for financing real estate investments;
- Crypto custodian Copper raised US$196 million in a Series C round and did not disclose what it intended to do with the investment;
- NFT infrastructure company Gomu announced a US$5 million seed round to expand its products to enable NFT communities to scale quicker;
- Nxyz, a provider of data infrastructure for blockchains, raised US$40 million in a Series A round led by crypto-focused investment firm Paradigm. The capital will be used to hire talent, build out support for emerging use cases and to expand across different blockchains;
- Web3 wallet company Zerion raised US$12.3 million to build out its product that aims to streamline cross-chain identity;
- Blockchain development platform Tatum raised US$41.5 million to build our further products for blockchain developers;
- Crypto.com announced it would base its regional headquarters in Paris, investing US$145.3 million in France.
- Pine Street Labs raised US$6 million from Polychain Capital and other top crypto venture capital firms to develop a non-custodial crypto wallet API allowing businesses to plug and play across 12 different blockchains;
- Crypto-native asset management firm BlockTower is launching a dedicated venture arm as well as a new US$150 million fund;
- Cryptography hardware technology company Fabric Systems raised US$13 million in a seed round from investors to build energy-efficient Bitcoin mining equipment;
- Pillow, a crypto investment startup raised US$18.1 million in a Series A round to “to make crypto investing accessible and seamless”.
Once again, the proof is in the pudding. Investment keeps coming in.
Congrats! We’re still in a crab market
How’s everyone’s favourite inflation hedge this morning? Unfortunately, Bitcoin (BTC) is having a bit of a tumultuous end to the week after some really shitty CPI data came out in the US on Thursday.
Despite falling 3% directly off the back of the news, the flagship cryptocurrency has since rebounded upwards before price action decided to settle down somewhat. Traditional stonk markets responded in similar fashion, with the Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500 all declining immediately following the release of CPI figures. All three of the major US indexes witnessed a similar recovery to BTC and finished the day in the green.
Ethereum (ETH) copped a more substantial whalloping than Bitcoin, falling 5% and struggling to regain as much ground. Overall ETH is down 1.6% for the week while BTC is down 0.7%. At the time of writing crypto assets seem to be staging a somewhat substantial recovery, with sharp upticks in the charts of the top 10 largest digital assets.
Winners and Losers
The overall winner of this week is Huobi Token (HT) which saw an incredible 87% gain over the last 5 days. The cause of the surge is largely unclear but some analysts attribute the bear-bucking rally to founder Leon Li Lin, selling his shares to Hong Kong-based asset management firm About Capital with a promise of further investment into the exchange.
Holders of Internet Computer (ICP) are officially this week’s biggest losers, with the smart contract development-based token suffering an overall 13.8% decline over the course of the last seven days.
Chainsaw Weekly Wrap: Impact Corner
NFT all-time-highs may be hitting their all-time-lows but the introduction of NFTs as an investment vehicle for important causes will certainly not disappear.
NFTs to drive fundraising channels for art preservation
This week, the Vincent van Gogh Sites Foundation (VGSF) launched an exhibition in Hong Kong featuring six multimedia artworks as NFTs based on Van Gogh’s homeland that contain a digital scan of a leaf from a heritage site as well as a 3D animation of a Van Gogh painting.
The project aims to spread the legacy of the artist to younger patrons without the constraints of distance and travel. Between 30-50% of the proceeds from the NFTs will go directly to the Foundation and to local artists, in a move to create more fundraising opportunities for real-life preservation projects and traditional art institutions.
Binance invests in Australian education
On Thursday morning, Binance handed out a US$300k donation to the University of Western Australia in an effort to get Aussie universities ready for the impending Web3 job boom.
The CEO of Binance Australia Leigh Travers said the move positions Australia well for the increasing demand in the blockchain industry.
“With Web3 adoption within organisations at incredible levels, we’re encouraging university students to broaden their horizons and seek careers in emerging tech,” he said.
Crypto users send assets to fight breast cancer this month
A number of organisations are partnering with NFT projects to accept crypto donations for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, writes Rachel Wolfson. While NFTs have seen a sharp decline of investment on major marketplaces, NFTs are continuing to grow as a tangible asset to drive donor funds.
Shaney Jo Darden of Keep A Breast (KAB) Foundation partnered with NFTitties to raise awareness and money to help fight breast cancer. Artists and activists were invited to submit artwork representing boobs and the winning artworks were included in the first release of NFTitties.
Last year, Darden partnered with CryptoVoxels to create a globally-accessible fundraising gala in the metaverse.
That’s it for The Chainsaw Weekly Wrap.
As always, here’s Crypto Twitter’s finest memes served fresh for your weekend enjoyment.