Winter is here + All the Web3 news you missed this week
coming here. Coinbase is pulling back on its hiring efforts and rescinding offers, Gemini lays off 10% of its workforce, Bitso let go of 80 employees last week. There’s no doubt of a downturn in the market. What’s difficult to know is how much of these layoffs are an adjustment to overly optimistic / unrealistic blitzscaling by these companies in the past year. Either way, most of the crypto / web3 veterans I’ve talked to see a silver lining in this downturn - there will be less distractions to contend with as people focus on building for long term value.
Here’s the Web3 news from the past week
Are People Leaving Their Tech Jobs for Web3? (Blockworks)
Web3 is pulling top talent away from establishment tech firms, with executives from Google, Amazon, Lyft, and YouTube moving into the sector. Crypto companies may be particularly enticing for the youngest members of the workforce, too: A study showed that 94% of investors in the space are Gen Z or Millennials, suggesting that their career aspirations might follow suit.
Fueled by FOMO, swaths of tech companies are shifting their focus to Web3. But the gold rush toward an ill-defined technology has the potential for some very bad outcomes, writes Maxwell Strachan: “It’s at least possible that Web3 could bring about a better, more fulfilling version of the internet. It’s just as likely, though, to prove to be what its harshest critics fear: a ‘hyper-capitalistic’ reframing of the web that ‘contains the seeds of a dystopian nightmare.’”
“Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul,” a research paper co-authored by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, lays out the case for non-transferable soulbound tokens, which essentially act as a blockchain-based CV for individuals. The paper has garnered praise for its focus on building a decentralized society on trust, rather than “hyperfinancialization,” as well as criticism for its potential to create, as one skeptic put it, “a binding permanent record on all people, on the blockchain.”
Time’s Web3 bet (The Rebooting)
Crypto winter notwithstanding, Time president Keith Grossman is all in on Web3, having minted famous magazine covers as NFTs and launched a metaverse newsletter and category of the Time 100 list. Grossman appeared on The Rebooting Show to discuss how Web3 figures into the publication’s growth strategy.
An attacker stole $360,000 in NFTs after hacking the Discord account of Bored Ape Yacht Club’s community manager, Boris Vagner, and posting phishing links to several channels — the third time this kind of scam has affected the BAYC community. While some blame Discord for the breach, others in the crypto space hold users responsible for compromising their own wallets.
Is NFT art any good? (The Verge)
While some NFT art encourages viewers to linger and think, much of it doesn’t add up to a fulfilling artistic experience. “Making sense of a work of art requires that you look closely and try to figure out what you like, what you don’t like, and what stories it might be trying to tell you,” writes Max Pearl. “Distinguishing one CryptoPunk or Bored Ape from another asks nothing of you; it can be done at a glance, in passing, without ever stopping to ask how it makes you feel.”
Salesforce takes crypto plunge with new NFT cloud (TechCrunch)
Salesforce is launching NFT Cloud, a no-code platform that aims to make buying and selling NFTs more accessible to customers in sectors like retail, media, fashion, and consumer goods. While Salesforce seems bullish on the new platform, a group of 400 employees has reportedly sent a protest letter to leadership, citing ethical and environmental concerns.
A DAO has a PAC, and it’s spooky (Politico)
A new political action committee, “Web 3.0 Super PAC,” has been launched by 3OH DAO, an entity that, per Politico, “wants to be the face of Web3 in the world of policymaking.” The news made something of a splash, given the newness of DAOs in the political world, and raised questions about who exactly is behind it. Among the known-ish quantities are 3OH DAO founder Dustin Dill, who has worked in oil and construction, and a mysterious investor called Cult DAO.
Kimbal Musk and His Big Green DAO (CoinDesk)
Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal Musk spoke with CoinDesk about Big Green DAO, which launched in 2021 on the back of Big Green, a nonprofit that has built hundreds of “learning gardens” to teach children how to grow food. Big Green DAO distributes cash to nonprofits, mainly in the food justice space, and aims to revolutionize how such organizations raise money, by shrinking the overhead costs that typically eat into funding and by giving nonprofits full control over where the funds go.
Is Apple About to Disrupt the Metaverse? (TheStreet)
Ahead of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), the tech community speculated about whether the company would announce software for a forthcoming VR headset. No such luck. “The WWDC's opening keynote came and went, and there were zero mentions of realityOS or the rumored headset,” reported Mashable.
The New York State Senate passed a bill imposing a 2-year moratorium on new proof-of-work crypto mining operations, during which time the state plans to conduct a study on PoW mining’s environmental impact.
Joachim Wuermeling, an executive board member for the German central bank, spoke out on the need for international regulations when it comes to financial technology. “To me, DeFi seems more like a casino for tech-savvy speculators,” Wuermeling said.
Off topic stories I found interesting
There’s an interesting trend in media in which people directly involved in a story create their own forums to report on that story. In sports, one of the most interesting cases is the podcast and YouTube channel run by Draymond Green, a NBA player on the Golden State Warriors. Only a few hours after each game, Draymond records his direct thoughts and commentary on his channel, essentially interviewing himself. It’s a good example of an increasing desire among individuals, companies, and brands to become part of the media and control the narrative.
In case you missed it - this was the most opened article from last week’s news roundup
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.
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.