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Bitcoin Boom. A Penguin Predicament. And the CT Dumpster Fire.
👋🏽 Hello everyone, gm gm, WELCOME BACK to another edition of the Overpriced JPEGs newsletter, where we’re catching you up on the world of web3, NFTs, and the metaverse.
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0️⃣ Send it to Zero
What are we doing here, folks? We headed into a long weekend expecting to return recharged and invigorated, and instead CT devolved into utter chaos
Love or hate his takes, KRO endured a 2+ hour impromptu AMA with all of CT breathing down his neck. So cut this man some slack. It’s not like he’s flexing a Punk PFP while asking degens to buy him a new iPhone.
We’d love to see the Venn diagram of people screaming derangements at founders from their mom’s basement while triumphantly sending $1.2M to an addy that literally says YouGetNothing.eth
Yup, for better or worse (mostly worse), influencers are riding the GoFundMe meta, and it backfired hard this week when several influencers promoted the artwork of Hope Exist, an Asian artist who recently lost an eye in her battle with cancer.
Song-A-Day man, take it away
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🔥 It’s Getting Hot in Herre
Crypto Twitter shenanigans aside, it’s starting to feel like change is in the air. Yes, we’re still in a pretty brutal market with lots of projects hanging on by a thread. But there’s also heavy tailwinds heading into what could be a hot crypto summer. Hear me out.
For starters, it looks like crypto’s on the verge of mainstreaming in Asia, particularly China and Hong Kong - countries with a combined population of 1.5+ billion people:
Exchanges are lining up for trading licenses as Hong Kong opens its crypto regime to retail traders this week
Big projects are also ramping up with lots on the horizon. This week alone, we got:
Doodles going mainstream with Doodles x CAMP, a family-oriented immersive entertainment + retail experiences in major cities across the US
Current partnerships with massive brands, including: Mickey + Friends, Disney’s Encanto, The Little Mermaid, and Nike Kids Camp
Fewocious announced details for his long-anticipated Fewo PFPs launching in August; Fewo has made a point to highlight the ERC-6551 ‘backpack wallets’ for holding digital wearables + accessories
Web3 gaming also appears to be on the cusp of big adoption. Epic Games has more than 20 blockchain games featured in its store and apps like NFL Rivals and STEPN are bridging the gaps for mobile NFT integration
We’re also looking at some token catalysts, with 9GAG’s Ray Chan confirming the hotly anticipated $MEME launch, and ApeCoin DAO kicking off phase 2 of its nomination cycle, which could mean an infusion of fresh ideas and resources
🥠 Burgeoning Bitcoin
The “BitFi” ecosystem is (still) having a moment. Some 24k BRC-20 tokens have amassed a combined total market cap of nearly half a billion dollars in less than six months, so we’ve rounded up the latest news amidst the Ordinals, meme coin, and token frenzy:
Bitcoin Ordinals hit a massive milestone this week, topping 10 million inscriptions and generating $44M in miner fees
Crypto startup Stably created the first dollar-pegged stablecoin issued directly on Bitcoin using Ordinals Protocol
.sats = ENS domains on Bitcoin. And good news - they’re cheap + you’re still early. Find out how to snag them here.
The BRC-721E token standard enables bridging of ETH NFTs to Ordinals. Not quite sure why anyone would actually want to do this, but now you know it’s an option.
If you’re looking to get on the Bitcoin Bandwagon (or are simply bored of the antics on ETH) we recommend this handy starter kit, some BTC PEZ, and a whole lot of patience
And don’t forget the next Bitcoin halving. The halving itself isn’t expected until April 2024, but bullish sentiment for it usually picks up about 9 months prior - aka right on time for the start of crypto summer 😎
Brazil’s central bank digital currency pilot program begins mid-June; participants include Visa, Microsoft, and Santander
Former Coinbase employee settles insider trading charges with SEC; agrees to cooperate in future investigations
A dozen crypto startups raised $151M+ this week, led by Worldcoin’s $115M Series C
Worldcoin’s lead was Blockchain capital, which explained the investment here
Current investors, former employees, and industry experts spilled the tea on what’s next for Gemini and the Winklevoss brothers
A crypto lawyer analyzes whether Ben.eth’s PSYOP token could fall under the crosshairs of US regulators
🌐 web3 + NFTs
CEO of blockchain analytics firm Nansen cites over-scaling and the brutal crypto market as reasons for a 30% staffing reduction
Reddit Avatars hits 10M holder milestone with a $44.1M market cap and 13.7M total avatars
Yuga says allies will be joining Voyagers in the Otherside, including other Yuga PFP collections and a ‘select group of third party PFP collections’
Binance marketplace launches Peer-to-Pool NFT loan features, beginning w/blue-chip NFTs
Tribute Brand transformed the Chromie Squiggle source code to generate custom sweaters linked to individual Squigs
Founder of the Film Squad media collective promotes blockchain benefits for indie filmmakers
📈 Brands + Biz
Decrypt reviewed Axios’ annual reputation ranking of major brands to reveal how receptive they are to crypto and web3; Chick-Fil-A, Toyota, Pfizer lead the pack
Mercedes-Benz NXT announces its inaugural core collection with gen artist Harm van den Dorpel + art collectors Fingerprints DAO
Warner Bros. teases Superman Web3 Movie Experience
Bacardi Rum introduces custom Snapchat AR lens and Dancing Shoes NFTs, redeemable for physical kicks
Kellogg’s files a dozen trademarks for various brands; plans ‘online virtual worlds’ and NFTs
🤖 AI + Metaverse
A16z released ‘AI Canon,’ a curated list of resources to get smarter about modern AI
VC firm Paradigm rebrands; removes crypto + web3 from home page, broadens scope to include AI tech
NVIDIA’s CEO gave the world a sneak peek at what it might look like when gaming and AI collide, where players can speak to video game characters
A NY attorney used ChatGPT for legal research; Judge demands explanation after 6 cases cited were found to be bogus judicial decisions
Cirque du Soleil is building an immersive world inside Roblox
AmEx Digital Labs ‘experimenting cautiously’ with AI; launches 20 to 25 pilots a year and is looking at direct-to-consumer and small-business services options for AI
TikTok is testing an AI chatbot called ‘Tako,’ available in select countries
Frank DeGods and Kevin Rose join Carly live from LA on the 3rd stop on the OPJ Happy Hour Tour. Frank and Kevin are two of web3’s most provocative founders and they have insightful takes on combatting holder FUD, the irony of sustainability, and VC tokenomics. Plus, Frank spills the beans on how he leverages AI and Kevin dishes on PROOF’s new deal with Spotify. 👇🏾
In our weekly Friday recap, Benny Giang breaks down the new ERC-6551 standard that puts wallets in every NFT. 🤯 Plus, Carly, Gavin, and Zeneca talk Art Blocks and the Sotheby’s 3AC asset sale, Pudgy Penguins’ new toy line, and Jack Butcher’s big week. Catch up here.
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Got something to share with our readers? Leave a comment below or connect with me @hawaiianft (Sparkitysparkz) on Twitter or @jacy (Sparkz) on Bluesky 🤙🏾