Voyager Seeks Bankruptcy Protection, No bids on Chevy's first NFT+ All the Web3 news you missed this week
Web3 news in the past month has been dominated by crypto turmoil and stagnation in Web3 projects. Imagine how long it took big company like Chevy to agree to participate in a Corvette NFT project. Regardless of softening demand, I expect we’ll see a slew of Web3 projects rolling out in the coming months that were conceived and approved many months ago when market conditions were different. Only time will tell how these projects will fare in the long run and how committed companies will be to experimenting in the Web3 space.
A side note about this newsletter: I’ve slowed down on my interview posts during the summer months due to scheduling. However, there’s been some interest by some people in writing guest posts, so I hope to roll some of those out soon. If you’re interested in writing one, reach out!
Here’s the Web3 news from the past week
TechCrunch interviewed a dozen Chinese crypto founders and investors about how they’ve been navigating the government’s cryptocurrency ban. While many have moved their businesses overseas, they’re eager to retain Chinese programming talent. “Where else are you gonna find thousands of capable engineers?” said one interviewee.
Following the court-ordered liquidation of Three Arrows Capital, the crypto lending firm Voyager Digital filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. The two stories are linked: “According to writer Frances Coppola, Voyager’s loan book accounted for nearly half of its total assets, and nearly 60% of that loan book was composed of loans to Three Arrows.”
Meta is winding down its Novi crypto wallet pilot on September 1, less than a year after it launched, and has advised users to withdraw their funds ASAP. According to the company, the technology it was developing for Novi will be incorporated into future metaverse products.
US Millennials Own More Crypto Than Mutual Funds: Survey (Crypto Potato)
Per a report from Alto, an alternative asset IRA investment firm, 39% of millennials own crypto — roughly the same number that own individual stocks and more than the proportion that are invested in a mutual fund. But they really want to invest in real estate — insofar as that’s a realistic option for this generation — with 77% of survey respondents indicating interest in doing so.
Chevy held its first NFT auction in late June, with proceeds going to the charity DonorsChoose and the winning bidder receiving a Corvette Z06 in a one-of-a-kind color. Alas, nobody bid, even after Chevy extended the auction’s deadline.
While NFT sales have cratered, Facebook has begun trialing NFTs as posts among a small group of creators. According to one such user, it’s like posting a regular photo, plus the ability to mark it as a “digital collectible” — but without the option of directly linking to OpenSea for purchase.
In an interview with Shirin Ghaffary, Meta exec Nick Clegg shared his outlook on metaverse matters like workplace dynamics, content moderation, privacy, and facial tracking. Even though the company’s vision of the metaverse is years away from becoming a reality, Clegg says that it’s important to have these conversations now: “One of the reasons why it is a good idea to talk about the future now rather than, in a sense, be surprised by it when it arrives is that it does allow us to have some of those early discussions about the ethical, societal, possibly even regulatory debates that should accompany any new major overhaul in communications technology. And that arguably didn’t happen the last time around.”
The Metaverse in 2040 (Pew Research Center)
The Pew Research Center surveyed 624 technology experts about their predictions for the metaverse in 2040, reporting that 54% of respondents believe that the metaverse will be a functioning part of everyday life for a half billion people by that time (and that 46% do not). The survey also revealed two major themes: Many experts expect that the metaverse will be more about AR and mixed-reality tools than fully-immersive VR worlds, and they believe the metaverse could “dramatically magnify every human trait and tendency – both the bad and the good.”
DeFi can exist without cryptocurrency, writes David G.W. Birch, with investment banks tokenizing and trading real-word assets like bonds and gold, and collateral like property titles. This reimagined financial services sector also has the benefit of transparency, though a degree of privacy remains essential. “What is needed is not the anonymity of the permission less blockchain but privacy in a well-regulated environment, and this where verifiable credentials deliver,” writes Birch.
Off topic stories I found interesting
As with hustle culture, there are (surprise!) some clear flaws in the positivity-speak that’s come to dominate business in recent years. “Progress is not made by playing pretend,” writes Brian Morrissey. “Solving problems is hard, but you have almost no shot if you deny they exist or actively encourage people to ignore them in the name of positivity.”
In case you missed it - this was the most opened article from last week’s news roundup
Along with an abundance of celebrity sightings and performances — Snoop Dogg, Amy Schumer, Eminem, Pharrell Williams (announced as the new chief brand officer of the Doodles NFT project) — the NFT.NYC conference had several big takeaways. Among them: Interoperability is the aim for many metaverse projects, interest in play-to-earn games is still alive and kicking, and crypto participants are seeing a case for NFT lending during a bear market.
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.