📝 #66: Payday

VeeFriends: From NFTs to IP franchise. Bitcoin all-time high. Casio and Japan Airlines in Web3. Metamask X Mastercard. Ethereum gets cheaper. Top fundings & more.

Hey, it’s Marc. ✌️

This week, Ethereum got cheaper and Bitcoin reached a new all-time high. Bitcoin ETFs are 58% of the way to flipping Gold ETFs for total assets. The space is euphoric and it feels like we’re just getting started with a new cycle of infrastructure and applications.

Be inspired✨

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — George Mumford

📚 Top 5 Reads

  • Web3 in Practice. With Tyler Moebius & Marc Baumann. Link

  • NFTs and IP: A report to Congress. By US Patent & Trademark and Copyright Offices. Link

  • Infrastructure. By Vitalik Buterin. Link 

  • Blockchain tech is reshaping digital marketing & advertising. By Blockchain Council. Link

  • Building The Internet of GPUs. By Multicoin Capital. Link

From our partners

Certhis is Reinventing Brands – Customers Interaction!

✨ Web3 & Brands

From collections to brands 🦄

  • Gary Vee announced a new VeeFriends partnership with Moonbug Entertainment - which is the team behind top children’s entertainment brands Cocomelon and Blippi - to build content franchise. Link

  • VeeFriends is a collection of 283 hand-drawn NFT characters, each with unique traits, created by Gary Vee to build a community around entrepreneurship, innovation, and kindness.

Zoom in: Together, they’re creating a 2D-animated show, titled VeeFriends, tailored for children ages 6–11 and their families.

What they’re saying: Gary Vee insists that VeeFriends is “not just a brand, but a modern entertainment franchise.”

Why it matters: From collectibles, events, games, technology, to entertainment, this moves VF one step closer toward Pudgy Penguins notoriety and fame and further heightens the Web3-native brand’s presence outside of the Web3 bubble.

Be smart: community-led IP-franchise around NFT collections and could potentially establish a new business model for the industry.

Punchline: We’re seeing web3 native brands like Pudgy Penguins and VeeFriends write the consumer commercial IP playbook in front of our eyes.

More on Web3:

  • Several notable Japanese companies (including CASIO, Japan Airlines, and Kyushu Railway Company) are involved in web3 adventure Yoki Origins. Link

  • Nokia’s Technology Strategy 2030 report reveals expansion web3, metaverse, and AI expansion. Link

  • Crypto.com and Altava Group partner to offer digital fashion services. Link

  • Boys Club put on a highly lauded consumer crypto event called /brandnew this week at SXSW. Link


Token2049 in Dubai is where top crypto and Web3 developers, investors, founders, brands, policymakers and an estimated 7,500+ attendees from across the globe get together on April 18th-19th 2024. I’ll be there too!

👉 Get a 10% discount on Token 2049 in Dubai with the code “MARC10”.

🌎 Crypto & Macro

Payday 💳

  • MetaMask is testing a Mastercard payment card, claimed to be the first entirely on-chain card, allowing users to spend crypto on everyday purchases. Link

  • Issued by Baanx1, the card would let users spend their crypto "on everyday purchases, everywhere cards are accepted”. Link

  • Visa, meanwhile, has been working with the USDC stablecoin and Solana on cross-border payments and smoothing out wrinkles like paying ETH gas. Link

Why it’s important: MetaMask is the most popular non-custodied wallet with more than 30M monthly active users.

This fusion of two powerhouses in MetaMask and Mastercard would be a massive unlock for brands in Web3 as more and more consumers come on-chain. 

Zooming out: Large legacy payments companies have been exploring payments via Ethereum, stablecoins, and other cryptocurrencies for a while now.

Ethereum gets cheaper 💰

  • Ethereum underwent the Dencun upgrade, which makes fees cheaper on layer 2 solutions like Optimism and Base. Link

  • The average cost of transactions on scaling solution Optimism has dropped to nearly 4 cents, down significantly from the recent average of around $1.4. Link

Why it’s important: Low transaction fees are key for mass consumer applications and big brands entering the space. This is an important step towards that.

More on Crypto:

  • Bitcoin reaches a new all-time high. Bitcoin ETFs are 58% of the way to flipping Gold ETFs for total assets. Link

  • Wyoming creates new legal framework for DAOs. Link

  • London Stock Exchange to start accepting crypto ETN applications. Link

  • Hong Kong’s central bank starts regulatory sandbox for crypto. Link


  • OpenAI reveals licensing deals with a handful of content providers. Link

🏗️ Start-ups & Tools to watch

  • LimeChain: A leading blockchain consulting & development agency with 120+ chain-agnostic devs. Link*

*partner of Dematerialzd.

💰 Money Moves

  • Beoble: Web3 messaging and social platform received an undisclosed strategic investment from Animoca Brands.

  • Eclipse Labs: Layer 2 developer raises $50M Series A co-led by Placeholder and Hack VC. 

  • Monad Labs: In talks to raise $200M+ round led by Paradigm

  • Elixir: Modular network project raises $8M in Series B, bringing it closer to unicorn status with $800M valuation

That’s all for now, folks. Thank you for being part of the journey.Talk soon,

– Marc

PS: Follow me on LinkedIn and X for shorter insights.

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