Here come the regulators + All the Web3 news you missed this week
Surprising to no one, regulator scrutiny into crypto/Web3 projects is rising since the crash of Terra and other shady behavior. OpenSea’s former head of product (Nate Chastain) was arrested by the FBI in New York on Wednesday in what the DOJ described as the “first ever digital asset insider trading scheme.” Chastain will be charged with wire fraud and money laundering, each count carrying a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
The South Korean Government is forming a Digital Asset Committee in response to the Terra collapse and the NY Department of Financial Services, crypto’s early regulator, is tripling the size of its staff and preparing to issue stablecoin guidance and shortening the timeline for license applications.
…Meanwhile, Terra’s new Luna token launched earlier this week. My guess is we’ll see more stories of regulatory and law enforcement action over the coming weeks/months.
Here’s the Web3 news from the past week
Though there are significant differences between 2018’s crypto winter and the sector’s current downturn — more maturity, greater support from institutional investors, and a harsher macro environment — it does appear that another crypto winter has arrived. But, DappRadar says, “interest in the industry shouldn’t decrease as much as in 2018” — and an industry-wide chill may separate the projects built on hype from those with long-term viability.
Why sustainability is emerging as the key bellwether of Web3 (Fast Company)
Brands looking to establish communities in the Web3 space need to build sustainability into their approach to blockchain technology. That might mean switching to renewable energy with carbon credits or solar power, moving from proof-of-work to less energy-intensive proof-of-stake blockchains, or working with carbon-neutral blockchains.
The NFL has announced the 2023 release of its first blockchain game, which, per a press release, will “[deliver] on the fantasy of being a team General Manager.” Players will compete against each other with their own team rosters, and they’ll also be able to buy and trade NFTs of their favorite players using a custodial wallet.
The TV show “Love, Death + Robots” staged a scavenger hunt in collaboration with the Web3 studio Feature, with 9 pieces of artwork hidden in the real world (on billboards) and digital world (in videos and series episodes) that could be minted as NFTs.
Bernard Marr offers a rundown of the most significant (if not necessarily successful) DAOs to date, among them Uniswap, The DAO, Decentraland, Friends with Benefits, and UkraineDAO.
The Dune crypto collective is facing a reckoning (The Verge)
Spice DAO, which bought a script bible of a never-made “Dune” adaptation and then embarked on a slew of media projects, is one of the “weirdest and most elaborate ventures to come out of the crypto hype boom,” writes Adi Robertson. It’s now dealing with controversy over an organizer who is also behind an online personality known for “over-the-top bigoted screeds, racial slurs, promotion of self-harm and anorexia, and alleged links to an online ‘suicide cult.’” The member has stepped down from the core team of SpiceDAO, which also appears to be scaling back its project plans.
This week, I interviewed “Marcus Aurelius,” a community member at KlimaDAO, which aims to combat climate change through tokenized carbon offsets. We discussed the intricacies of KlimaDAO’s model, the challenges of DAO governance, and reactions to its approach from the old guard climate community.
How the metaverse can be a force for good in an uncertain world (World Economic Council)
The possibilities of the metaverse are an open question, but it could have a wide range of benefits for society, including greater access to healthcare, travel, and job training. (Of course, the metaverse comes with just as many potential drawbacks.)
The metaverse promises to change traditional business models, from more “tasteful” advertising that targets an individual’s interests while preserving their privacy to DAOs promoting “collaborative economics.”
Reported cases of sexual assault and rape in the metaverse, which can without question cause deep psychological harm, beg several questions that currently remain unanswered. Do our avatars have the same rights that we do in the real world, and can an assaulter be held legally responsible for their actions?
Off topic stories I found interesting
The big new idea for making self-driving cars that can go anywhere (MIT Tech Review)
A new wave of companies is applying AI to driverless cars, using reinforcement learning to teach them to navigate traffic. While incumbents haven’t yet been able to make driverless cars a regular part of life, these firms are betting that “smarter, cheaper” technology can crack the code.
In case you missed it - this was the most opened article from last week’s news roundup
Here are the best articles I’ve found on the surviving a prolonged economic downturn
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.