📝 #71: The Crypto Killer App

Stripe ads crypto. Bitcoin Runes go live. ConsenSys sues SEC. CZ faces 3 years in prison. Telegram to tokenize stickers & more.

Hey, it’s Marc. ✌️

We rebranded this week. Stripe adds crypto. This is a major catalyst for global crypto adoption. Plus: The launch of Bitcoin Runes marks one of the most significant developments for Bitcoin since Ordinals last year.

Let’s dive in. 🦈

📚 Top 5 Reads

  • 15 Token Thoughts. By joshcrnls.eth. Link

  • 2024 Q1 Crypto Industry Report. By CoinGecko. Link

  • Why Bitcoin Runes are Significant. By Adam Hollander. Link

  • The first clear path to hundreds of million crypto users. By Kyle McCollom. Link

  • What do gamers want from brands? By GEEIQ. Link

Boson Protocol – Real Web3 Commerce, with Web2 UX

As the next bull market emerges, so does a new crypto-rich, Web3-savvy demographic, who are demanding authentic Web3 commerce experiences. Uniquely, with Boson, you can sell physical things as NFTs, with a slick Web2 experience while running on a fully decentralized Web3 backend. No more Web3 washing required!

✨ Web3 & Brands

Bitcoin Runes Goes Live 🗿

  • Runes are a new protocol that enables fungible tokens on Bitcoin. 

  • Runes launched on Block 840,000, following the halving last week, and was created by Casey Rodarmor, the creator of the Ordinals protocol. Link

Why it’s important: Runes creates a new asset class on the world’s greatest blockchain. Unlike Ordinals, Bitcoin’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs), runes are fungible (similar to Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard).

Zooming in: Runes utilize the existing Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) model of Bitcoin for efficiency. While miners earn additional revenues, some argue that the surge in Rune transactions congests the network and isn't aligned with Bitcoin's core purpose.

By the numbers:

  • Runes dominated chain activity (81% of Bitcoin activity with 750k Txs) and accounted for 64% of fees

  • Since launch, 935k users have “etched” 9k+ Runes

Zooming out: Runes spur a new wave of innovations on Bitcoin, such as DeFi applications or Memecoins, which have become an important driver of protocol adoption.

Punchline: Many expect an upcoming “Bitcoin Summer” with ordinals, runes, and Bitcoin layer 2 protocols taking off. We’re just getting started.

👉 Looking to learn more? Ping us. 

More on Web3:

  • Telegram announces plans to tokenize stickers and emojis as NFTs, with 95% of revenue going to creators. Link

  • XCopy’s latest piece, Slave, sold at auction for 315E ($965,000). Link

🔵 Get a 50% welcome discount on your PRO subscription—available for a limited time only!

🌎 Crypto & Macro

The Crypto Killer App🚀

  • Payments processor Stripe will allow merchants to receive funds in the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin. Link

  • Stripe will initially support USDC transactions on Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon networks.

How it works: When users make purchases with stablecoins, Stripe works behind-the-scenes to convert merchant payouts - in real time - to their local fiat.

Be smart: Previous attempts to make crypto payments mainstream have failed because providers didn’t own critical parts of the payment stack or lacked market power.

By the numbers: 

  • Stripe has over 100 enterprise customers that process more than $1 billion each per year on Stripe.

  • 1 in 10 people worldwide transacted with a business using Stripe in 2022.

Be smart: This could be a good opportunity for other layer one chains, such as Sui and others to achieve mass consumer adaption.

Stripe can’t ignore what’s happening in crypto.

What Maja Vujinovic has been calling since 2017 a “killer app” for crypto, which is stablecoins & tokens. Trojan horse, perhaps? 

Are you still doubting it?  

Only after 10 years, Tether has a $100B market cap.  And USDC has $34B market cap after 6 years. 

It’s clear: No incumbent can ignore blockchain technology anymore. 

Why it’s important: Stripe is one of the biggest payment providers. This is a massive boost for global crypto adoption. 

Punchline: Watch other big players follow Stripe. We at FiftyOne Ventures believe, that e-commerce is the way to onboard millions of people into crypto. 

The US Is Dropping the Hammer ⛓️

The US gov is cracking down on crypto:

  • CZ, co-founder and former CEO of Binance, faces 36 months of prison and a $50M fine for violating anti-money laundering, unlicensed money transmitting, and sanctions violations law. Link

  • SEC is also looking to impose a $5.3B fine on Do Kwon and Terraform Labs, the steepest fine yet.

  • SEC also recently pressed for a $1.8B fine in the Ripple case.

Why it’s important: These high-profile cases and penalties suggest the US is not mincing words: Crypto crimes aren’t worth the risk.

By the numbers: A non-comprehensive list of other crypto founders who went to jail:

  • SBF, FTX: Sentenced to 25 years in March 2024.

  • Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road: Life in prison beginning in 2015.

  • Do Kwon, Terraform Labs: Sentenced to 4 months in prison in Montenegro before being expedited to US.

  • Arthur Hayes, BitMEX: 6 mths home confinement + 2 yrs probation in 2022.

  • Ruja Ignatova, OneCoin: She remains at large for running a ponzi.

  • Charlie Shrem, BitInstant: 2 years in 2015 related to Silk Road

Punchline: Jailing founders became part of the industry’s maturation.

Bitcoin halves 🌗

  • The Bitcoin Halving is now complete after surpassing block number 840,000, reducing block subsidy from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.

Zooming in: The Bitcoin halving is a predetermined event where the reward for mining new Bitcoin blocks is cut in half, occurring roughly every 4 years.

Why it’s important: Historically, Bitcoin's price has seen significant gains in the 6-12 months after each halving event:

  • 2012 halving: Bitcoin price up 1,095% in 180 days after

  • 2016 halving: Bitcoin price up 73% in 180 days after

  • 2020 halving: Bitcoin price up 117% in 180 days after

The big picture: Bitcoin's fixed supply and decreasing inflation rate reinforce its potential as a scarce, deflationary asset class post-halving.

More on Crypto:

  • Consensys sues SEC over attempts to regulate Ethereum as a security. Link

  • IRS appears to be preparing to require disclosure of self-custodial wallet addresses from American DeFi users. Link

  • Hong Kong Spot BTC & ETH ETFs begin trading next week. Link

  • Hedge Funds are succumbing to mind-boggling memecoin returns. Link

🧠AI + Metaverse

  • Meta introduces Llama 3, a free AI assistant available on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. Link

  • Apple releases OpenELM: small, open source AI models designed to run on-device. Link

💰 Money Moves

  • Turnkey: Crypto wallet built by former Coinbase employees raises $15M Series A led by Lightspeed Faction and Galaxy Ventures.

  • Tevaera: Gaming ecosystem built on zkSync closes $5M round led by Laser DIgital, Nomura Group.

  • Prime Intellect: Decentralized AI firm raises $5.5M seed round led by CoinFund and Distributed Global.

  • Movement Labs: Closes $38M series A round led by Polychain Capital.

  • Aligned Layer: Closes $20M series A to build a universal verification layer on Ethereum.

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.

🔵 Get a 50% welcome discount on your PRO subscription—available for a limited time only!

📈 Top 3 Charts to Share with Friends

Source: GEEIQ

Partner with us

⚡️ Amplify Your Growth

Together with our global network of technology and execution partners, we accelerate start-ups and consumer brands to unlock next-gen consumer growth across Web3 and emerging technologies.

We’re also to offer our partners exposure to thousands of b2b Web3 industry leaders & access to the FiftyOne network to grow your business.

For advertisements: Get in touch today | For partnerships: Reply to this email.

How did you like this newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

1  The Runes protocol itself sets a higher minimum transaction fee compared to standard Bitcoin transactions. This means users creating or trading Rune tokens have to pay more to get their transactions included in a block.

Subscribe to keep reading

This content is free, but you must be subscribed to FiftyOne Insights to continue reading.

Already a subscriber?Sign In.Not now

Join the conversation

or to participate.