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Are we in the next phase of Web3? + All the Web3 news you missed this week
I frequently search for indications that we have entered the next stage of Web3/Crypto. However, the signs currently suggest that we are still in the final stages of the previous era. Recently, we have seen additional layoffs from companies like Gemini (An additional 10%) and Luno (35% of its workforce) and an entrepreneur from Ukraine attempting to raise funds for a time machine using a DAO. The first quarter of the year is likely to continue to be uncertain before a period of calm and then signs of a change as new projects and concepts appear and the remaining companies begin to recover.
Here’s the Web3 news from the past week
Microsoft Shuts Down Legendary VR Metaverse (Motherboard)
AltspaceVR, a social VR platform founded in 2013 and acquired by Microsoft in 2017, has just announced that it will be closing permanently. According to AltspaceVR, the team will be shifting its focus to developing Microsoft Mesh, a new platform for remote workplace collaboration using VR.
How Apple’s Upcoming Mixed-Reality Headset Will Work (Yahoo/Bloomberg)
Apple is developing a mixed-reality headset, likely to be called Reality Pro, that will take a novel approach to virtual meetings and immersive video. The $3000 device is expected to have eye- and hand-tracking systems that could set the technology apart from rival products. The headset will have several external cameras that can analyze a user's hands and sensors within the gadget's housing to read eyes. It will also be able to show immersive video content, serve as an external display for a connected Mac and replicate many functions of iPhones and iPads.
Patnera partner, Paul Veradittakit, top predictions for 2023 are:
1. Tremendous ZK adoption
2. Institutions will increasingly tokenize financial assets
3. More companies will emerge to leverage blockchain data
4. The developer tooling stack will continue to grow as blockchain engineers increasingly seek easy and efficient ways to deploy Web3 projects
5. Non-fungible tokens that provide some kind of value to their holder, such as gaming NFTs and identity NFTs, will expand
Paul writes an excellent substack called VeradiVerdict
Since Zero Knowledge Proofs is often talked about, here’s a simple definition from ChatGPT
A zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) is a way for one person (the prover) to prove to another person (the verifier) that they know a certain piece of information, without revealing any information about the actual information. It's like being able to prove you know the answer to a math problem without actually telling the answer. Instead, you show the steps you used to solve the problem, and the other person can confirm that the steps are correct without seeing the answer.
A simple example of zero-knowledge proof is the game of guessing a number between 1 and 100 that the other person is thinking. The prover doesn't reveal what number they are thinking, but they can prove that they know it by giving hints such as "the number is greater than 50" or "the number is a prime number". With each hint, the verifier can eliminate some possibilities, but they still don't know the actual number.
In a more advanced use case, zero-knowledge proof can be used to prove that a person has a certain attribute, such as being over 18 years old, without revealing their actual age. It can also be used in cryptocurrency to prove ownership of a certain amount of coins without revealing the identity of the owner.
The recent US Department of Justice action against the relatively unknown Bitzlato may have seemed insignificant. However, the crackdown may be a sign that regulators feel more pressure to crackdown bad actors in the space.
Game devs remain skeptical about metaverse and blockchain projects | GDC survey (GamesBeat) Game developers are more skeptical of metaverse and blockchain projects, according to a new survey by the Game Developers Conference. In some ways, that wasn’t a surprising result. The metaverse and blockchain hype soared a couple of years ago, but skepticism went up a lot during the past year as economic doldrums set in and early projects failed to result in sustainable hits.
T crypto industry should be prepared for scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers in the 118th Congress, as lawmakers have gained more familiarity with the sector. The positive perception of crypto has decreased and the educational efforts by industry boosters have been affected by recent events, such as the fraud charges against FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. The article suggests that the session could be significant for the industry as lawmakers could influence how virtual assets are utilized globally, and that hearings focusing on the failure of FTX are expected to take place soon. It also notes that the industry's missteps and scandals will likely be used by lawmakers to make a case for or against legislation, and that the political party divide may become more prominent.
Off topic stories I found interesting
This article was written in 2019, but recently reposted by my network on linkedin in a self reflection post after the recent tech layoffs. Here’s a Forbes summary, since the original article is behind a paywall
Brooks’ blunt message is aimed at college-educated professionals at a similar stage of life: You’ve peaked. Your best years are behind you. He wrote:
“In sum, if your profession requires mental processing speed or significant analytic capabilities — the kind of profession most college graduates occupy — noticeable decline is probably going to set in earlier than you imagine. Sorry.”
In case you missed it - this was the most opened article from last week’s news roundup
This week, Vanity Fair published a detailed writeup on the rise and fall of NFT interest in the art world: SBF, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and the Spectacular Hangover After the Art World’s NFT Gold Rush - Auction houses and talent agencies thought the Web3 works were a fast track to billions. If it weren’t for a global crypto meltdown, they might have pulled it off.
Hi, I’m Andrew Chang - I created the Web3 Roundup to share what I’m learning in this space. I’ve spent my career at the forefront of the technology industry in areas such as crypto/blockchain (Former COO @ Paxos, co-founding partner of Liberty City Ventures), video and adtech. I learn by meeting with founders, investors and other thought leaders and approach Web3 with the same enthusiasm – and skepticism – I had about crypto/blockchain technologies 10 years ago.
You can connect with me on LinkedIn
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