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Welcome back to Chain reaction.
For the first time in a long time, there was less circulation about a certain three-letter crypto exchange, ahem, FTX. But of course that didn’t last long, as the former CEO of FTX (who also goes by three letters – SBF) created a Substack and on Thursday shared his perspective – in a 2,300-word overview – outlining what FTX and Alameda were “pre- mortem.”
A handful of cuts have also been announced in the crypto space in the past seven days, from second-largest exchange Coinbase cutting 20% of its workforce to NFT marketplace SuperRare cutting 30% of its workforce.
This is Coinbase’s second round of major layoffs, after eliminating 18% of its employees, or about 1,100 jobs last June, but there was “no way to significantly reduce our spending without accounting for workforce changes.” Coinbase co-founder and chief executive Brian Armstrong wrote in a post Tuesday.
Amid the bleak and gloomy sentiment of these layoffs, so were a number of market players try to help those affected by the cuts, including Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko, who tweeted, “If you are a departing Coinbase employee, get in touch! I would love to find you a home in the ecosystem.
See, all hope in humanity need not be lost.
It was also a big week for partnerships as more crypto companies joined forces with mainstream Web 2.0 and financial companies like AWS and Mastercard. But rather than say more here, I’ll let the stories speak for themselves. Read more about them below.
This week in web3
AWS partners with Avalanche to scale blockchain solutions for businesses and governments
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is partnering with Ava Labs, the company building layer-1 blockchain Avalanche, to help scale blockchain adoption among businesses, institutions and governments, the two companies told MastStatus exclusively. “Looking forward, web3 and blockchain are inevitable,” Howard Wright, VP and global head of startups at AWS told MastStatus. “Nobody can name the time or date or quarter when it’s going to happen and it’s going to be mainstream, but we’ve seen the growth cycles before. The speed of this one seems to be accelerating and we’re just excited to be a part of this.
6 Crypto Investors Talk DeFi and the Road to Adoption in 2023 (TC+)
The crypto venture capital industry has become more selective thanks to the general market downturn and shaky confidence resulting from a slew of scandals and market disruptions, but investors at major companies are still writing checks in the space. As the market looks to the future, some venture capitalists are reviewing their investment strategies, while others are sticking to their current plans, with perhaps a few tweaks. Read on to find out how active investors feel about DeFi, how they advise their portfolio companies when funding is lacking, how best to approach them, and more.
Mastercard launches web3-focused artist incubator with Polygon
Mastercard, one of the largest financial payment providers in the world, is launching a web3-focused incubator to help artists connect with fans through a new medium, the company shared. Mastercard teamed up with Polygon, a scalable blockchain built on top of Ethereum, which has been making huge strides in the Web 2.0 ecosystem lately. After joining the incubator, participating artists should know how to hit NFTs, represent themselves in virtual worlds and build a community, Raja Rajamannar, head of marketing and communications at Mastercard, told MastStatus.
Web3-focused Beacon launches flagship demo day with 13 crypto startups
We are only in the second week of 2023, but the demo days have already begun as founders try to keep momentum alive in the ever-changing crypto market. Beacon, an early-stage web3-focused accelerator program, launched last year and its flagship cohort has just graduated. The teams in the first cohort, known as Cohort 0, presented their ideas on Tuesday during a demo day hosted exclusively by MastStatus.
When it comes to web3, investors say they’re in it for the long haul (TC+)
Hyped or not, web3 companies seem to be here to stay and investors seem more than willing to continue supporting them. To get a better idea of how the people writing the checks feel about web3, MastStatus surveyed more than 35 investors. feel is a potentially transformative technology.
The latest pod
Chain Reaction is back in action with the launch of Season 2!
For this week’s episode, I spoke with Ryan Wyatt, president of Polygon Labs, one of the largest market shakers and layer-2 blockchains in the crypto space that builds on top of the Ethereum ecosystem.
The past year has been huge for Polygon as it partnered with big name brands like Starbucks, Disney and Mastercard to launch loyalty rewards and accelerator programs. Now Polygon looks to 2023 and new opportunities, and Wyatt shares what lies ahead and how the space still has room to grow.
We also discussed:
- Polygon’s major themes and product vision for 2023
- Mass adoption of crypto and what it will take to get there
- Wyatt’s outlook for the gaming and NFT market
Subscribe Chain reaction On apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to stay up to date with the latest episodes, and leave us a review if you like what you hear!
Follow the money
- Venom Ventures Fund Announced $1 Billion Venture Capital Fund and Made Its First Investment in Nümi Metaverse’s $20 Million Funding Round
- The Easy Company, a “social” crypto wallet, raised $14.2 million in a launch round
- Cosmo blockchain-based DeFi protocol Quasar has raised $5.4 million at a $70 million valuation
- Open Forest Protocol has raised $4.1 million to scale nature-based solutions
- C14 raised $2.5 million to build crypto payment streams
This list was compiled using information from Messari and MastStatus’s own reporting.