Weekly Recap
May 26, 2023

Crypto Fundamentals #029

Sam Altman’s Worldcoin raises Series C, Finnish Fintech company launch, Element Market and Socket

Jimmy Zheng

gm friends.

here’s what happened in crypto this week👇

🌞 Sam Altman’s Worldcoin raises $115mm Series C to bridge the humanity gap in a post-AI world

💫 Finnish Fintech company launches first stablecoin compliant with European Union’s MICA regulations

🤝 Trends to Look out for on the Artemis Blockchain Activity Monitor: Element Marketplace and Socket

🫡 Artemis Product Update: Artemis Sheets Upgrade

This week saw a continued grind downwards (average and median WoW price decline of ~2.9% and ~2.7%, respectively). FTM and NEAR saw the largest price drops with ~10.3% and ~7.0% WoW declines, respectively, while MATIC and ARB both saw 2.7% WoW gains.

🌞 Sam Altman’s Worldcoin raises $115mm Series C to bridge the humanity gap in a post-AI world

Alex Bania, CEO of Tools for Humanity, the organization behind Worldcoin, announced a $115mm Series C fundraise to continue building towards “a more unified and equitable global economy driven by the internet economy.” The crypto-focused project was co-founded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and aspires to complete a three-part mission: 1) create a global identification system, 2) create a global currency and 3) create a super-app that enables payment, purchases and transfers of both cryptocurrencies and traditional assets (TechCrunch).

The round was led by Blockchain Capital and was accompanied by a blog post illustrating the future vision of the project. The post includes a fun nod to the headache that is captchas - the post notes that “humans around the world collectively spend somewhere between 200-500 years each day solving CAPTCHA puzzles (4.6 billion Internet users encounter a CAPTCHA once every 10 days and take 15-35 seconds to solve successfully).”

me too man me too

Besides just addressing captchas, the real goal of the WorldCoin project is to distinguish between humans and machines in a post-AGI world. As we’ve noted in a prior blogpost, the WorldCoin project aims to provide proof-of-humanity (the first part of the mission to create a global identification system) to allow for humans to recognize when they are interacting and transacting with other humans in a digitally environments. The blog post provides additional detail around how the “World ID” will utilize zero-knowledge proofs to ensure privacy for its users, and how the platform will eventually allow for “equitable distribution of scarce resources” and “one-person, one-vote” governance systems. WorldCoin is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious crypto projects today, and we look forward to the continued progress of the TFH team.

💫 Finnish Fintech company launches first stablecoin compliant with European Union’s MICA regulations

Membrane Finance has launched the first stablecoin fully compliant with the upcoming MiCA regulation on the Avalanche blockchain network. The EUROe is a full-reserve stablecoin which will be considered an “Electronic Money Token (EMT)” under the MiCA regulation when it comes into effect in 2024. Per MiCA, EMTs are to be backed 1:1 with real world assets. In this instance, if Membrance finance issues EUR 100k of a Euro-pegged EMT, they would be required to hold EUR 100k (or assets denominated in EUR) in a vault or bank account. Additionally, EMT issuers are subject to certain obligations, such as 1) supervision by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and 2) requiring an Emoney license and MiCA license in order to legally issue EMTs.

Membrane Finance expects that the EUROe will be utilized by institutions such as brokers, fintechs and enterprises to interact with the Avalanche blockchain in order to consummate crypto-native use cases such as making instantaneous programmatic remittances and payouts, transacting on decentralized applications, and accepting payments for gaming, e-commerce and NFT marketplaces. The Membrane team also highlights the merits of the Avalanche network, noting that the blockchain is “environmentally friendly… one of the fastest growing blockchain ecosystems, with over 850,000 monthly active users.”

We will continue to watch how the Euro regulated stablecoin market develops, and what type of traction these institutions get as MiCA regulation goes live. It will also be interesting to see what other chains regulated stablecoins eventually choose to deploy on, and whether they take share away from existing stablecoin offerings (or simply grow the total pie!).

🤝 Trends to Look out for on the Artemis Blockchain Activity Monitor: Element Market and Socket

Element Marketplace is a decentralized NFT aggregated marketplace that has recently seen an uptick in usage on Polygon.

As background, Element Marketplace was funded by Dragonfly Capital and Susquehanna Investment Group back in May 2021. The platform calls itself the “first community-driven aggregated marketplace” and its Polygon platform houses some household names in Polygon NFTs including Y00ts and Trump Digital Trading Cards.

The recent uptick in activity appears to be driven by the release of “Element Pass Standards (EPS),” which holds a value that “is anchored by the long-term development of the Element platform.” 🫠

Socket is a cross-chain interoperability platform that allows developers to build interoperability directly into an application’s infrastructure. The primary contract called on Socket appears to be the “Refuel” contract. Refuel aims to solve a common problem users face when bridging across chains: not having native tokens (gas-paying tokens) on the bridged-to chain to perform transactions. Refuel solves the problem by allowing the user to receive native (gas-paying) tokens on the new chain along with the transferred assets. Per Socket (Refuel) documentation, “The user receives equivalent $ amount of destination native token for the source native token they deposit. For example, if a user deposits $5 of MATIC on Polygon, they'll receive $5 of BNB minus the gas fees on BNB Chain.” The recent uptick in usage across chains seems to indicate that the Socket pain point is real and resonates with users moving assets across chain.

🫡 Artemis Product Update: Artemis Sheets Upgrade

The Artemis team is happy to share continued product updates on Artemis Sheets - the best way to get crypto data in google sheets and excel. With our new search functionality, its never been easier to find the exact metrics you’re looking for and port it straight into your google sheet! Check it out here!

Detailed L1 dashboard for people who love more numbers in smaller font:

Link to the Artemis Sheet Template

Note: Revenue represents fees that go to the protocol’s treasury or are returned to tokenholders via a burn mechanism (source: Token Terminal). Weekly commits and weekly dev activity as of 5/6/23.

The content is for informational purposes. None of the content is meant to be investment advice. Use your own discretion and independent decision regarding investments.

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