📝#77: Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire

SEC wants innovation “sandbox” for on-chain trading. Coinbase introduces Smart Wallets. Robinhood acquires Bitstamp: Challenger to Coinbase?. Kraken’s upcoming IPO. Nvidia’s power play with a new AI chip. & more

Hey, it’s Marc. ✌️

Your 100% signal on Web3 this week:

  • SEC wants innovation “sandbox” for on-chain trading

  • Coinbase introduces Smart Wallets

  • Robinhood acquires Bitstamp: Challenger to Coinbase?

  • Kraken’s upcoming IPO

  • Nvidia’s power play with a new AI chip

  • Consensus 2024 highlights

  • Christiano Ronaldo’s failed NFT sale

  • The Sandbox raises $20M

Let’s dive in. 🦈 | Read time: 4min

📚 Top 5 Reads

  • Food and Drink Brands in Gaming. By GEEIQ. Link

  • How We’re Thinking About AI. By Variant. Link

  • The state of AI in early 2024. By McKinsey & Company. Link

  • A marketplace for algorithms. By Jack Dorsey. Link

  • LLMs and AI agents get on-chain (audio). By Chain Reaction. Link

  • Pudgy Penguins: A Blueprint for Community-Led Brands. By Marc Baumann. 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 & Consumer

Consensus 2024: All Eyes on Regulation🇺🇸

Consensus 2024, one of the biggest crypto & web3 conferences, wrapped up in Austin last week. It was highly political.

Highlights:

  • U.S. Independent Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, advocated for recognition of decentralized currencies like Bitcoin, followed by a statement on Trump verdict on X. 

  • A16z Crypto's Chris Dixon announced a $25M donation to Fairshake PAC to support pro-crypto candidates.

  • Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK Invest, stated that the approval of ether ETFs is due to crypto becoming a significant election issue

  • The CEO of Ripple ($45M contributor to Fairshake PAC) anticipates more crypto ETFs, including for XRP, Solana, and Cardano

Zooming in: Fairshake PAC is a pro-crypto political action committee that aims to support political candidates who favor responsible regulation of the crypto industry

Beyond Regulation: Goldman Sachs' Mathew McDermott emphasized tokenization's potential and called Bitcoin ETF approval as the "big psychological turning point.”

Punchline: The mood at Consensus 2024 was optimistic, driven by ETH ETF approval, FIT21 and a heating political debate in the US.

More on Web3:

  • Animoca Brands introduced Japanese NFT marketplace, SORAH. SORAH is designed to cater to the unique preferences and regulatory requirements of the Japanese market, offering a curated selection of NFTs from local creators and brands. Link

  • Coinbase introduced Smart Wallets. It allows onboarding with simple passkeys and enables gasless experiences. Link

  • Magic Eden unveils new analytics pages for Bitcoin Runes, with chart integration into collection pages. It’s the leading marketplace for Runes, next to OKX and Unisat. Link

  • Christiano Ronaldo sells only $10k NFTs in latest drop. Again: We’ve moved beyond simple NFT drops. Link

🌎 Crypto & Macro

Where there’s smoke💨 there’s fire🔥

  • Backed by BlackRock and Citadel Securities, TXSE Group plans to launch the Texas Stock Exchange in Dallas

  • Armed with a hefty $120M in funding, TXSE plans to file for US SEC registration later this year, commence trading in 2025, and unveil its initial listings by 2026.

Why it matters: These are of the largest asset managers in the world.

The TXSE is challenging NYSE and NASDAQ and could potentially run on a distributed ledger infrastructure, potentially Ethereum or Base.

Larry Fink (CEO of BlackRock) has been talking about tokenization for the last 2 years. And the market is huge.

Only last year:

  • J.P. Morgan started tokenising funds as a proof-of-concept Link

  • Standard Chartered investment arm launches tokenization platform, “Libeara”. Link

  • Singapore Central Bank started tokenization pilots. Link

  • UBS is testing a tokenized fund on Ethereum. Link

  • Swift started tokenization experiments. Link

By the numbers:

  • AB Bernstein projects $5 trillion in assets could be tokenized over the next five years.

  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimated tokenized assets could reach $16 trillion by 2030.

Source: BCG

Meanwhile: SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce wants to create a "sandbox" for issuing, trading and settlement of securities on a distributed ledger.

In the same months it approved an Ethereum ETF. 

Punchline: Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Usually.

More on Crypto:

  • Robinhood, the popular stock and crypto trading app, is set to acquire Bitstamp, one of the oldest crypto exchanges, for $200M in 2025. This is major news and part of a bigger consolidation trend. Link

  • Kraken in talks for pre-IPO fundraising round, IPO expected in 2025. They’ve been preparing for this for years. Link

  • Eigenlayer surpasses $20BN in TVL, becomes 2nd largest DeFi protocol. Link

  • The Sandbox raises $20M in convertible debt at $1B valuation, $SAND spikes. Link

  • Biden vetoes pro-crypto bill. Link

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🎮 Gaming

  • Mythical Games announced a partnership with Pudgy Penguins to build an icy new mobile party game. Link

🧠AI

Nvidia’s Power Play 💪

  • Nvidia unveiled its next generation of AI chips, just months after announcing its previous model.

  • It’s the next iteration of high-bandwidth memory and will be released in 2026.

Not just any chip:

  • Nvidia plans to release a new AI chip every year with ‘Blackwell Ultra’ in 2025, and ‘Rubin’ in 2026, following ‘Rubin Ultra’ in 2027.

  • Rubin architecture, featuring 8-Hi HBM4 stacks, is expected to debut with R100 CPUs.

  • Rubin strengthens the market position of Nvidia as it has an estimated 80% market share in AI chips.

Why it’s important: By bringing powerful AI training capabilities to the edge, Rubin can enable a wider range of devices and applications to utilize advanced AI models.

This enables new possibilities in areas like autonomous vehicles, robotics, and healthcare.

Meanwhile: Nvidia flips Apple as stock hits $3 Trillion market cap amid AI boom. Link

🏗️ Start-ups & Tools to watch

  • Certhis: The all-in-one Web3 Infrastructure to democratize brands' Web3 adoption to create new interaction, communication, with their community. Link *

*partner of FiftyOne Insights

💰 Money Moves

  • Babylon: Bitcoin staking project raises $70M led by Paradigm. Link

  • Chainge: Secures $13M investment from GEM Digital and Alpha Token Capital. Link

  • Twelve Labs Inc: Nvidia co-led a $50M round for an AI startup focused on video search. Link

  • The Sandbox: Metaverse gaming platform has raised $20M at $1B valuation. Link

That’s all for now, folks. Stay tuned for more on Memecoins and the big crypto consolidation.

Talk soon,
Marc 

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

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