Industry Insiders Edition 3
Hello everyone! We are back with ‘Industry Insiders’, a dedicated biweekly newsletter that scours the internet to inform and educate people about what’s happening in the crypto world in an engaging and entertaining manner.
In this edition of the newsletter, we’re going to talk about:
👉 Solana has come up with a crypto phone
👉 Facebook’s move into NFTs
👉 A Solend whale nearly crashed the Solana network
👉 Fed hiked interest rates again
The US Federal Reserve announced the biggest interest rate hike in 28 years. It’s part of an ongoing effort to bring down the soaring inflation that has shook the economy and markets from stocks and bonds to cryptocurrencies. The U.S. central bank also announced it would continue reducing the size of its balance sheet. The interest rates were raised by 75 basis points or three-quarters of a percentage point. The economy and the markets are certainly not looking good at the moment. If you’ve been in crypto for a while, it’s still scary but you’ve seen these down-cycles before. The wild swings, volatility, and uncertainty are nothing new to long-term players of the cryptocurrency game. If you’re wondering what’s causing the crash? Well, don’t. Nobody ever really knows the answer. Markets are complicated, and there’s no single, clear-cut answer to why something goes up or down. But, the big picture is that the rising inflation and Fed’s response to that certainly had an impact. Please keep a check on your mental health in these times and stay patient.
Solana is building an Android phone with built-in crypto functionality
Last week, Solana Labs revealed the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) software kit, which provides tools for developing native Android mobile apps, walls, and games, and also includes a decentralized app store. It also revealed the Saga, a powerful Android smartphone that will be released in early 2023. The sizable Android handset will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, a 6.67” OLED display, 12GB RAM, and 512GB of internal storage. The phone is estimated to cost around $1000. They’re also giving out $10M as a way to incentivize developers.
Here are some of the key features and why it matters:
SolanaPay: The phone will let you scan & pay (like Apple Pay, but using crypto)
dApp store: the App Store will have no fees (Typically, google play and apple take ~30% of all revenue)
Seed vault: Your phone becomes your wallet. It stores all your private keys securely.
Solana Mobile Stack (SMS): a software development kit to help developers build dApps. (decentralized-apps)
This move has invited mixed reactions from the crypto community. What are your thoughts? Would you buy one?
Facebook’s going big on NFTs
There’ve been plenty of hints about NFTs coming to Instagram. Recently, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivered some key updates. Here they are:
- Instagram is opening up its NFT features to more users. You’ll also be able to feature your NFTs on Instagram stories.
- NFTs are also coming to Facebook.
- Instagram Marketplace, an NFT marketplace, is coming soon.
- Meta will take no revenue cuts until 2024.
Recently, Meta also announced they were teaming up with other tech companies to create a Metaverse Standards Body. The companies include Adobe, Epic Games, Microsoft, and a few others.
A Solend whale nearly crashed the Solana network
Solend, a decentralized lending protocol on the Solana network, narrowly avoided having 95% of the SOL deposits in its lending pool liquidated. A whale’s account had an outsized presence on the lending protocol and was responsible for the vast majority of the SOL coins within it. The account had an outstanding loan of $108 million worth of US Dollar Coin (USDC) and Tether (USDT), collateralized in SOL, the native cryptocurrency of the Solana network. The loan risked being liquidated as the price of SOL tanked to as low as $27 last week. Had the price of SOL continued to drop, and the $21 million in SOL collateralizing the loan gone into liquidation, Solend would have been left with almost no SOL. Recently, the protocol announced that the whale borrower had moved $25 million worth of USDC debt to Mango Markets, another Solana-based lending protocol, thereby alleviating Solend of some of the burden and reducing the protocol’s risk.
Nuggets from the cryptoverse📊
- The price of Bitcoin fell below $20,000 for the first time since December 2020, following the collapse of Terra and Celsius. Ethereum fell below $1,000 for the first time since January 2020.
- Tether shot back at rumors about its holdings of commercial paper as collateral against its US dollar stablecoin. Tether said it had already decreased its exposure to commercial paper by 17% from $24 billion to $19.9 billion.
- The FBI warned of an increase in LinkedIn cryptocurrency scams.
- Circle, the issuer of the popular USDC stablecoin, is launching a Euro-based stabled coin that will be backed by euro-denominated reserves. The euro has a 32% share of global trading.
- Samsung launched an Apple Wallet competitor called Samsung Wallet. Samsung Wallet helps users store their cards, digital keys, IDs, and more, and users will also be able to easily monitor their digital asset portfolios through integration with Samsung Blockchain Wallet.
- A class-action lawsuit has been brought against Do Kwon and Terraform Labs face a class-action lawsuit for selling unregistered securities and making false statements about the stability of TerraUSD (UST) and the related LUNA token to induce investors to purchase them.
- El Salvador’s Finance Minister said the crypto market crash poses an “extremely minimal” fiscal risk to the country, which holds millions in BTC in its treasury. He said El Salvador hasn’t suffered losses since it has yet to sell the cryptocurrency.
- Elon Musk told Twitter employees he wanted to integrate crypto payments into Twitter more broadly.
- A Dogecoin investor is suing Elon Musk, Tesla, and SpaceX claiming their actions with DOGE constituted a Ponzi scheme. The complaint calls for triple the damages of $86 billion, which is how much the plaintiff alleges has been lost by Dogecoin investors since Musk first started tweeting about it. Musk tweeted he would keep supporting DOGE despite the lawsuit.
- Phantom and Metamask patched a major vulnerability that sometimes caused user seed phrases to be stored on their hard drive.
- A new report from the Federal Reserve points to the recent collapse of TerraUSD and other algorithmic stablecoins as examples of financial stability risks in the crypto markets.
- ProShares, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) provider, announced a new product that will allow investors to bet against Bitcoin, a U.S. first.
- Elon Musk reiterated his support for Dogecoin at Qatar Economic Forum.
- The United Kingdom, in stark contrast to a proposal approved in March by the European Union, will not require senders of crypto assets to collect information about recipients who use unhosted wallet addresses.
- A hacker exploited a vulnerability to steal $100 million from Harmony’s Horizon Bridge, which allows users to transfer their crypto assets from one blockchain to another.
From the World of Web3, NFTs & the Metaverse🔮
- Christie’s NFT head, Noah Davis, is joining Yuga Labs as brand leader for the CryptoPunks NFT collection. Yuga Labs also said it would be rolling out formal IP rights for CryptoPunks owners in the coming weeks.
- OpenSea moves to Seaport Protocol, a new smart contract that will allow its 1.8 million users to save money on Ethereum gas fees. NFT holders will be able to list multiple NFTs for sale at once and only pay one gas fee for the batch of listings.
- Meta partnered with Balenciaga, Prada, and Thom Browne to launch a digital fashion marketplace where creators can design and sell fashion NFTs for Web3.
- Immutable launched a $500M developer and venture fund which will invest in web3 games and NFT-focused companies building on its layer-2 network, ImmutableX.
- The government of Ukraine that its Aid for Ukraine crypto fundraising campaign sold a donated Cryptopunk NFT and raised over $100,000 to support its war efforts.
- The top NFT platform on Solana became a newly-minted crypto unicorn with a $1.6 billion valuation—and it’s going to add other blockchains.
- Rappers Eminem and Snoop Dogg, released a new music video in which they transform into animated versions of their Bored Ape avatars. The music video trended on YouTube throughout the weekend.
- The huge e-commerce platform Shopify added new crypto features. They allow token-gated stores, where you can make a store that requires an NFT to enter. Holders will get access to exclusive merch and events. They are also allowing NFT minting. Shopify brands can mint custom NFTs to list and sell right from their stores. They can use blockchains like Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Flow to create their NFTs.