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SEC secures seed funding – TechCrunch

Hi everyone, and welcome to Chain reaction

In our Chain Reaction podcast this week, Anita and I chatted with Jill Gunter of Slow Ventures about why there are so many blockchains and if we’re heading towards a future where everything is built on one chain. More details below.

Last week, we discussed a bit about Bitcoin’s political isolation that occurs due to its energy footprint. In this week’s podcast, we covered how the Wikimedia Foundation banned crypto donations after accepting them for 8 years simply because of Bitcoin and Ethereum’s energy footprint. More than a decade later, this saga has only just begun. This week we talked about how crypto cops are trying to keep up with the Web3 explosion.

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the hottest plug

This week, the government’s top crypto cops got new funding to build their team and they put out a nice little press release to tell the crypto industry they’re coming for them. SEC expands team from 30 to 50 and renames former “Cyber ​​Unit” to “Crypto Assets and Cyber ​​Unit”. Hiring up to 20 more enforcement officers is a big deal for the SEC, although in cryptoland that kind of staffing is what happens to most startups after a seed fundraiser.

It’s always been an uphill battle for the SEC, but 10 years ago the threat of someone spinning headlines willy-nilly from their basement wasn’t quite what it is today. today. The crypto faucet has posted thousands and thousands of suspicious projects that I’m sure the regulator would love to touch, but right now they’re left with the near impossible task of moderating an industry that’s exploding and expanding its ambitions with at -the most modest consideration for the spirit of securities law.

As we touched on a bit in the podcast this week, the news of the SEC crypto unit expansion has not been warmly received by people in the industry, say what they will, it’s more advice before there’s no more application. It’s not entirely surprising, of course. This has always been a great little talking point for crypto companies on the subject of regulation – they can say they actually want more regulation because they know how far off most of that regulation is. Then, when action is finally taken against them by the government, they may complain that the underfunded agency is going after them because they are singling them out from others who are doing the same thing. This has been the case for a while now.

That’s not to say the SEC didn’t do anything, I’m sure they’re much more focused on the big cases at this point. The agency says it has filed more than 80 “enforcement actions” against fraudulent, unregistered deals “resulting in monetary relief totaling more than $2 billion.” It’s a nice chunk of change but still a drop in the bucket.

Now, for the part of the SEC, they say they are focused on using their enhanced team to crack down on fraudulent or illicit activity in the following areas: crypto asset offerings, crypto asset exchanges, crypto asset lending and staking products, decentralized finance (“DeFi” platforms), non-fungible tokens (“NFT”) and stablecoins. That’s…pretty much all there is to it, although they didn’t say anything specifically about the metaverse I guess…For people warning of an impending regulatory crackdown on crypto, I think it’s important to set expectations and take stock of who exactly is on the other side of the equation.

pod #3

Hello chain reaction friends! It’s Anita again with an update on our latest podcast episode.

Yuga Labs’ chaotic NFT land sale stole the show in the crypto world this week, temporarily clogging the entire Ethereum network and leaving some users paying thousands of dollars in gas fees for NFTs they have never actually obtained. Yuga has pledged to refund gas fees on failed trades, but the crypto community has been abuzz with all sorts of hot takes and even conspiracy theories about why and how we got here, that Lucas and I unpacked in the broadcast.

Our guest this week was Jill Gunter, venture capital partner at Slow Ventures and co-founder of a new privacy-focused Layer 1 blockchain, Espresso Systems. I already got into the weeds with Jill in my Espresso post after her Series A last month, so for this week’s pod Lucas and I asked her some bigger questions that we thought about, like why he there are so many different blockchains in the first place and what it will take for tradfi to get to grips with crypto.

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follow the money

Where startup money is moving in the crypto world:

  1. Crypto Decrypt Publication Raises $10M Hack VC, Canvas Ventures and Others
  2. Americana ‘Physical’ NFT Market Receives $6.9M From Seven Seven Six
  3. DAO tooling startup Syndicate raises $6M from a16z, Carta and others
  4. Sports betting app NFT Stakes gets $5.3 million from DCG
  5. DeFi startup MYSO raises $2.4 million from Huobi
  6. Metaverse eSports Team DAO receives $5 million from Klaytn and Animoca
  7. Web3 sports platform OneFootball secures $300 million from Liberty City Ventures
  8. Argent crypto wallet app fetches $40 million from Index
  9. Layer 2 blockchain Minka raises $24M from Tiger
  10. NFT/crypto wallet Venly receives $23 million from Courtside Ventures

analysis added

Some additional crypto analysis from our TechCrunch+ subscription service hosted by Jacquelyn Melinek

Why the Axie Infinity Co-Founder Thinks Play-to-Earn Games Will Drive NFT Adoption
Popular play-to-earn crypto game Axie Infinity has made huge strides in 2021, going from a massive user spike to total revenue up over 50,000% from the same period last year. But as we’re nearly halfway through 2022, a question arises: Does Axie hold up to its hype? The data doesn’t quite say it, but Axie co-founder Jeff “Jiho” Zirlin is unfazed. “You can’t have exponential growth all the time; there is a refractory period,” he said, but the game has more plans in the works for the next growth cycle.

Crypto Bahamas Signals Stronger Ties Between Old and New Worlds of Finance
I may be recovering from a sunburn, but don’t feel bad for me. I was in the Caribbean at Crypto Bahamas, a conference co-hosted by crypto exchange FTX and investor forum SALT, where over 2,000 invite-only attendees discussed the nature of crypto as it thrives on the traditional financial market and what is needed for the future. of this nascent digital asset industry to succeed. The event was also significant as it was both FTX and SALT’s first crypto-focused conference and appears to be the start of a bridge being built between the two worlds of traditional finance and decentralized finance.

Bitcoin miners say energy efficiency and regulatory certainty are key to industry success
Speaking of Crypto Bahamas… some of the biggest names in bitcoin mining at the event took the stage and talked about what they believe is first and foremost necessary for this industry to succeed: efficiency and regulatory clarity. Once the pace is regulated, the pace of innovation could pick up for miners across the United States, panelists said. But what does this mean for the energy industry as a whole?

Have a good week-end! And remember, you can sign up on TechCrunch’s newsletter page and get it in your inbox on Thursday afternoon.

Lucas Matney


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