Coinbase lays off an additional 20% of staff + All the Web3 news you missed this week
We still continue to feel the aftershocks of the crypto winter. Coinbase announced an additional 20% in workforce reduction, Tyler and Cameron fire off another open letter calling for the DCG board to remove Barry Silbert - but on a more positive note, FTX has recovered “over $5B” in assets. Expect many more months of similar headlines. Here’s all the web3 news you missed this week.
Here’s the Web3 news from the past week
NFT sales have seen a strong start in the new year, with total sales volume increasing by 26% week-over-week. Ethereum was the most popular blockchain for NFTs, accounting for $164 million of the total $209 million in sales completed over the week. Solana also saw an impressive growth of nearly 30%, despite two major projects - DeGods and y00ts - announcing plans to move to other blockchains. The overall NFT market locked in around $24.7 billion in trading volume across blockchains and marketplaces in 2022, although there was a significant slowdown during the second half of the year with sales dropping 60% from quarter to quarter.
At CES 2023, Web3 and the metaverse were highly featured with companies showcasing innovative projects such as VR headsets, immersive OLED displays and color-changing exterior cars. OVR Technology introduced technology to bring taste and smell to virtual worlds while Flare presented plans for a VR dating world featuring sensations like touch when available. Shiftall unveiled Mutalk - a device which straps onto one’s mouth for more privacy in conversations within virtual worlds. BMW showcased their i Vision Dee concept car with an e-ink film exterior while LG Electronics announced Blade Wallet service on Smart TVs allowing users to buy/sell/trade NFTs along with access of Sansar platform using UGC content. Mastercard partnered with Polygon introducing Web3 Artist Accelerator program training up five emerging artists in Blockchain skills along with release of new NFT Music Pass giving holders access educational materials & events both real life & metaverse.
Crypto exchange FTX has recovered more than $5 billion in assets, according to a bankruptcy attorney. This figure does not include the additional $425 million held by the Securities Commission of the Bahamas. However, there is still an unknown shortfall in what is owed to customers and creditors. The company's new leadership have set a March 15 deadline to estimate recoveries for the purposes of a plan of reorganization, while there may be as many as 9 million creditors involved. Additionally, FTX has entered into cooperation agreement with the Securities Commission of the Bahamas for maximizing joint recoveries.
Coinbase is making its second round of job cuts this year as the company's CEO Brian Armstrong points to pressure on the crypto sector due to "unscrupulous actors" such as bankrupt exchange FTX. This 20% reduction of staff follows an 18% reduction in June and comes amid worries that more negative events may occur in the industry.
Gemini has officially terminated its flagship Earn program after a long-running public spat with crypto lender Genesis. In an email sent to customers, Gemini said it was ending the scheme and requiring Genesis to return all outstanding assets to the program. The termination comes as Gemini accuses DCG and Genesis of committing accounting fraud in court filings and Cameron Winklevoss demands that Barry Silbert step down from his role at DCG. In response, DCG called out Gemini's move as a "desperate and unconstructive publicity stunt."
How Crypto’s Meltdown Changed the Regulatory Debate (The Washington Post)
Cryptocurrency regulation is an increasingly important issue around the world, with individual countries taking a variety of approaches. In the U.S., regulators have agreed that Bitcoin is not a security but are still considering whether or not other tokens like Ether and Ripple's XRP should be considered securities subject to certain rules. Meanwhile in Europe, some tokens will soon fall under new regulations while others remain unregulated; similarly, Singapore has different laws for payment and utility tokens and Brazil recently enacted its first framework for cryptocurrency after the FTX collapse increased interest in putting regulations in place.
Off topic stories I found interesting
Microsoft is making a big bet on artificial intelligence by investing $10 billion in OpenAI, which would value the company at $29 billion. Microsoft will receive a majority share of profits until its investment is paid back, after which it will assume a 49% stake in the company. This move could help Microsoft gain ground in web search, a market currently dominated by Google.
In case you missed it - this was the most opened article from last week’s news roundup
Donald Trump's foray into the NFT market has seen a steep decline, with sales volume and prices crashing since reaching their peak. On Wednesday, sales of his Polygon NFTs were down 98% from their peak day just weeks ago. This sharp decrease in demand suggests that investors may have lost interest in Trump's NFTs but it remains to be seen whether this is a temporary trend or if it will continue going forward.
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