Newsletter: See you onchain, indeed!

This week we cover Zora upcoming L2 chain, Cabin launching the first network city, WEF on crypto regulation, Paradigm “shifting away” from crypto, Crypto x AI, new section: Market Trends, mainstream news and Signal TL;DR.

By Forefront - May 29, 2023

Good morning and welcome to edition 42nd of the FF Newsletter.

This week we cover Zora upcoming L2 chain, Cabin launching the first network city, WEF on crypto regulation, Paradigm "shifting away" from crypto, Crypto x AI, new market section on NFT trends, mainstream news and Signal TL;DR.

Let's get to it.

--- This edition is brought to you by Purple.

Week’s Highlight

Decentralization is crypto's defining promise, and "onchain" is where we can achieve that promise. Zora has been one of the leading advocates for onchain media, and in 2023 they've been shipping faster than almost every team in the ecosystem.

This week came their biggest announcement yet: Zora is launching their own L2 chain. They aren't the first or only consumer-focused company to explore L2s -- Sound hinted that they're launching a Music NFT-focused L2, for example. That said, Zora's announcement has certainly been the most interesting so far, with a testnet already live.

What is the Zora L2? What are the advantages of launching one? It remains unclear, but we can speculate. First and foremost, onchain media can't really thrive in a high-gas environment. L2s are absolutely necessary to scaling the vision, but that doesn't explain why Zora launched its own L2 rather than just deploying contracts to Optimism or Arbitrum.

Regardless, the excitement is at an all-time high. Zora framing their chain as a "world" in and of itself where free creativity is happening is an awesome vision, and it's likely that as Zora builds up their deployments on their own L2, other consumer and creator-focused products will prioritize the Zora chain. Zora can become the home of onchain media.

**Take Note. **Is the app rollup or app chain thesis coming to life? Has L2 summer finally arrived? Momentum is picking up in the world of consumer crypto, and we couldn't be more excited. See you onchain indeed.

What's Poppin'

Cabin Launches the First Network City

Cabin has officially launched their first Network City: a set of globally-distributed properties designed for remote workers and creators who love nature. Each neighborhood features fast internet and access to nature, perfect for the Cabin community member. Cabin Citizenship is a subscription membership to Cabin's network city. It includes access to their global properties, year-round coliving options, signature experiences, and more. The project is extremely ambitious, but has been rooted in strong community and values from day one. We're excited to see Cabin's vision come to fruition and encourage you to check them out!

Pathways to the Regulation of Crypto-Assets: A Global Approach

How best to regulate something that's borderless, open-source, decentralized and constantly evolving? This is the question policymakers, industry, and users are grappling with as the crypto ecosystem develops, and this is the topic of the World Economic Forum's report. This publication, Pathways to the Regulation of Crypto-Assets, sets out to understand and highlight the needs and challenges in developing a global approach to crypto-asset regulation. In doing so, it delves into the various regulatory approaches being adopted by different jurisdictions. The paper's findings, set amid the recent turmoil in the industry, reinforce the urgent need for policymakers and regulators to collaborate with industry and users to realize the benefits while addressing the risks involved.

A Crypto Future: In-depth Report

In building the future, it's important to develop a clear understanding of what that future might look like, and what we want it to look like. The team at CompoundVC published "A Crypto Future," a report outlining various potential crypto futures in-depth. The report tells the story of the next 5 years. For example, in 2024, they claim "there are advanced on-chain search buddies that integrate seamlessly into on-chain data and wallets." In 2026, the US has finally achieved regulatory clarity and tax guidance on crypto assets. This is just the type of report we need to read in order to clarify where we are headed, and decide whether we align with the futures we are racing toward (or if we need to move faster/in a different direction).

VC Fund Paradigm Broadening Crypto-Only Focus To Areas Including AI

The Paradigm is shifting? VC firm Paradigm is taking its crypto-only focus to include "frontier" technologies such as AI. The firm appears to have removed crypto/web3 mentions from the front page of its website earlier this month, suggesting a rebrand in the wake of high-profile collapses in the sector and rising regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. A line that said "we believe crypto will define the next few decades" was removed from the home page, which now makes no mention of web3 or blockchains. One source who was not authorized to speak publicly said the change didn't mean the company was shying away from crypto but rather highlighting its reach into adjacent areas. Still, it is a stark reminder that the crypto market is not still living in 2021.

Where Artificial Intelligence and Crypto Meet

The convergence of AI and crypto is creating new investment opportunities and possibilities. Metropolis, a DAO focused on AI, aims to explore and invest in the most promising AI projects. The combination of AI and crypto strengthens the foundations of blockchain and crypto, such as cryptography and decentralization. In terms of security, AI can automate smart contract development and auditing, as well as detect fraud and protect against hacks and scams. AI also has the potential to enhance financial tooling by improving risk management, market making, and investment strategies. Additionally, the convergence of AI and crypto is impacting areas such as synthetic media, generative AI art, avatars, virtual beings, NFTs, digital asset infrastructure and platforms, gaming, and DAOs, opening up new possibilities and reshaping industries. Metropolis DAO seeks to seize the opportunities presented by the intersection of AI and crypto and contribute to the future of these rapidly evolving fields.

Ledger Recover Delayed

After last week's drama around Ledger Recover, the company's CEO and Chairman issued a formal apology for the way the feature was communicated and announced some changes to the feature roadmap. Most importantly, the Recover code will now be made open source, and a "passcode" feature will be made optional so that it is possible for a user to make sure nobody -- not even Ledger -- can access your seed phrase. Ledger Recover will be launched as soon as the source code is auditable. Backlash for the feature continues and trust in the company continues to fall. Despite seemingly good intentions from Ledger, it remains to be seen whether the company will be able to survive this PR nightmare. Meanwhile Trezor Sales "booming"

Latest on Mainstream...

This week, Beijing released a web3 white paper to promote the industry's development.

The timing of the release is interesting, according to the CEO of Binance, who noted Hong Kong's crypto rules come into effect next week.

Next, Zimbabwe's new gold-backed virtual token is the country's latest attempt to end decades of chaos. The digital coin went live earlier this month in a bid to divert demand for US dollars in the landlocked African nation, where inflation has soared and the local Zimbabwean dollar is struggling. The idea, at least according to officials, is that the new token will give people and businesses an easy way to use the ultra-safe value of gold as a currency benchmark.

Finally, court documents reveal that Fahrenheit has won the bid to acquire Celsius Network. The Fahrenheit group must provide a $10 million deposit within three days to complete the process. A perfect match, we guess.

Signal TL;DR

ERC-6551 Turns Any NFT Into a Web3 Wallet

This piece by @_DKleine article introduces ERC-6551, a new standard for NFT wallets. This standard aims to enhance the functionality and user experience of NFT wallets, offering features such as improved metadata storage, better interoperability, and increased security. The article highlights the potential impact of ERC-6551 in revolutionizing the NFT ecosystem and providing a more seamless and user-friendly wallet experience for collectors and users.

SocialFi: A Blank Canvas for Web3 Social Apps

Mason Nystrom from Variant explores the integration of financial features into Web3 social media platforms. He highlights the emergence of SocialFi as a concept that combines social media interactions with decentralized finance (DeFi). The article also discusses the potential benefits of SocialFi, including content monetization, financial incentives for user engagement, and the creation of new economic models within social media.

▹ Updates - Tornado Cash Gov
▹ Mainstream - FTX 2.0
▹ Regulation - Shaq Got Served
▹ CryptoAI - Solana ChatGPT
▹ Research - Chain Abstraction
▹ Tooling - GroupOS by Station
▹ Techy - Bluesky Algorithms
▹ Interesting - Mercedes Benz NXT

Check out Signal  for daily top web3 social headlines

Market Trends

The line between NFTs and finance is continuing to blur. 

This week, Binance announced a new lending service for blue chip NFTs. Blur is now dominating over 80% of the NFT lending market. The shift from trading to lending is becoming more clear. Even Astaria, a P2P NFT lending platform, is finally launching out of beta.

Increased liquidity should theoretically lead to more adoption and innovation, but it also creates a culture of financialization around cultural assets.

The shift from trading to lending should bring more legitimacy to the world of NFTs, but it remains to be seen what other impact we'll see downstream.

Blur Loans vs NFT trades: Source

For the Culture

Vitalik at EDCON, Montenegro

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The information in this newsletter is not intended to constitute legal, financial or investment advice and should not be construed or relied upon as such. Any opinions reflected are the opinion of the author(s) of the newsletter only and not necessarily of Forefront. Please DYOR.

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