Currently Relevant
May 10, 2023

Currently Relevant: Edition 3

This week: Memecoins are back – this time with frogs; resulting spike of activity causes stakers to flock to ETH and rifts in the Bitcoin community; Coindesk’s annual Consensus event demonstrates ongoing appetite for Web3 developments.

Welcome to Currently Relevant, The Relevance House’s regular roundup curating the best of news, views, and stories from the blockchain, crypto, and Web3 space.  

This week: Memecoins are back – this time with frogs; resulting spike of activity causes stakers to flock to ETH and rifts in the Bitcoin community; Coindesk’s annual Consensus event demonstrates ongoing appetite for Web3 developments.

What’s currently relevant in The Relevance House

The pace of development in digital marketing can feel dizzying at times, even for those of us who’ve spent years on the inside. The slow-paced days of print and televisual media gave way to the internet, then social media, and now Web3. However, the trick is knowing the fundamentals. Check out our latest article on the evolution of digital marketing for some further insights.  

VCs are understandably approaching crypto firms with an additional degree of caution following the revelations of 2022. However, what should investors be looking for when vetting blockchain companies? The Relevance House Founder and Chief Relevance Officer German Ramirez was one of the contributors to this selection of hot tips from seasoned founders, published recently in Cointelegraph.

The Big Picture

  • $PEPE, a memecoin dedicated to Pepe the frog, is the latest viral token to inexplicably rocket to the moon in a Lambo only to crash back down, courtesy of frenzied crypto traders with their laser eyes trained on the gains. But beyond the memes, there are some real implications.
  • The trading spree has led to a mixed bag of outcomes. ETH gas fees spiked to a twelve-month high as activity on Ethereum surged, but the frenzy has also drawn in ETH stakers, who have outpaced the rate of withdrawals for the first time since the Shapella upgrade last month.
  • Elsewhere, Pepe-mania spread to the Bitcoin blockchain, where an Ordinals version of $PEPE based on the so-called “BRC-20” text-based inscription emerged. BRC-20 tokens have been surging, but the activity is opening old wounds in the Bitcoin community. On one side: the “maxis” who want to remain faithful to Satoshi’s vision and on the other: Web3 proponents who believe Bitcoin should move with the times. Yes, we have been here before.  
  • Coindesk’s annual Consensus event took place at the end of April in Austin, Texas. It was widely lauded as a success, with firms including Mastercard, Google, and Robinhood in attendance to discuss their Web3 strategies.

What’s new in Web3?

  • The Romanian government has given its backing to the launch of an NFT marketplace developed by the country’s National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics. The new marketplace aims to promote Web3 adoption.
  • “Blockchain is the future of ticketing”, according to Sports Illustrated, which announced the launch of an NFT ticketing platform on Polygon. Event organizers can use the new Box Office feature to organize events and offer multiple pre- and post-event benefits to attendees.
  • The Polkadot ecosystem received a boost with the announcement that MeWe, a social network with 20 million users, is leveraging the Frequency blockchain for a decentralized identity solution. Frequency is a parachain on Polkadot, which is interoperable, so MeWe users will potentially have the opportunity to interact with the entire Polkadot and Kusama ecosystems of parachains.

Focus on fintech and digital assets

  • Somewhat ironically, it seems that DEXs are the biggest beneficiaries of the regulatory clampdown as they continue to outperform their centralized counterparts. Uniswap reached an all-time total of $1.5 trillion trading volume in late April, only a year after reaching $1 trillion in April 2022. On-chain sources also show that Coinbase and Binance have both lost traction since Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade.
  • Only weeks after the SEC announced it was suing for unregistered securities sales, the US branch of Bittrex has announced it is filing for bankruptcy., although global operations will continue.
  • Asset manager Franklin Templeton has put the Nasdaq-listed OnChain U.S. Government Money Fund (FOBXX) live on the Polygon blockchain. It makes the Wall Street giant the first to process transactions and record share ownership on a public blockchain.

Inside the infrastructure

  • Long anticipated, the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation officially passed the final hurdle late in April. The rules bring much-needed clarity to crypto operators in the bloc since registration with any of the 27 EU member states will enable crypto companies to serve clients in all of them.
  • In yet more good news for Polkadot, Big Four consulting giant Deloitte has announced it is using the KILT protocol for a digital identity solution that will improve its KYC and Know Your Business verification procedures.
  • The government of Liechtenstein has announced it will begin accepting Bitcoin for state services, the Prime Minister told a German newspaper. In the same interview, he indicated that the nation would be open to the idea of investing its state reserves in crypto-assets in the future.

Tweet of the week

Are you finding Bitcoin Ordinals a little obscure? Baffled by BRC-20? Then this megathread by Web3 investor Jameson Mah is just what you need to understand the entire phenomenon.

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