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Bitcoin Mining Goes Green, Youtube’s NFT Push, and ChatGPT Token Scams

Exploring the latest developments and challenges in the world of cryptocurrency and Web3

Rise and shine Degens,

Over the last week, Bitcoin jumped past $25k for the first time since August 2022 — are we back?! 😂

Maybe not. Polygon cut 20% of its workforce this week and the NFT conference, "Proof of Conference," scheduled for May in Los Angeles, has been cancelled due to less interest than anticipated. 🥶

Diamond hands, my friends. Diamond hands.


🍿 Quick Snack

  • 🟡 Bitcoin miners broaden business models beyond mining to survive market downturn.

  • ♻️ The Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol (SBP) created the Sustainable Bitcoin Certificate (SBC) to promote renewable energy for bitcoin mining and to support renewable energy development.

  • 🚨 Scammers flood cryptocurrency markets with fake ChatGPT tokens.

  • 💰 A recent study by BCG found that male-only founding teams in Web3 startups raise four times as much capital as all-female teams.

  • ▶️ YouTube appoints new CEO, Neil Mohan, who is set to integrate Web3 and NFT features into the platform's offerings.

  • 🌐 World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee warns about the dangers of cryptocurrency and proposes a decentralized reshaping of the internet with "Web 3.0.”

  • 🔒 Aleo blockchain and Leo programming language will enable the creation of anonymous DAOs and private applications, taking web3 to new heights.

  • 💸 +9 exciting funding rounds

🍔 The Full Meal

Bitcoin Miners Diversify to Survive Icy Crypto Winter

  • To stay afloat during difficult market conditions, bitcoin mining firms are changing their names and diversifying their business models.

  • Some miners are now focusing on new products and services that use energy-intensive data centers, such as high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity, instead of bitcoin mining.

  • For example. Vancouver-based crypto mining firm, Hive Blockchain, reported a net loss of US$90 million in Q3 due to the Ethereum blockchain's switch to proof-of-stake validation and the depressed price of bitcoin.

  • As a result, Hive is now redirecting its GPUs to support high-performance computing workloads other than mining.

⚡️ Power Take: Analysts predict that the current trend of corporate rebranding and new business lines is a way for mining companies to avoid struggling mining valuations.

However, some analysts caution that diversifying too much could harm miners' core businesses.

Clean Bitcoin Mining Startup Completes First Sustainable Transaction

  • Climate tech startup Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol (SBP) has created a new tokenized environmental asset called Sustainable Bitcoin Certificate (SBC).

  • Their goal is to incentivize the use of renewable and clean energy for bitcoin mining, and finance renewable and clean energy development at a scale greater than the total amount of energy that the Bitcoin network could ever consume.

  • SBC can be sold to institutional investors and held alongside Bitcoin to ensure that holdings are climate-positive and meet investors' environmental goals.

  • How it works: SBCs can be created using one of three processes: adopting renewable energy forms such as solar, hydro, and wind; investing in and financially supporting renewable energy via the purchase and retirement of Energy Attribute Certificates such as RECs; and adopting CO2e reduction mitigation technologies.

  • To earn SBC, bitcoin miners must pass a third-party audit of their clean energy use.

  • CleanSpark (NDAQ: CLSK), one of the most prominent sustainable bitcoin miners in the United States, has taken part in the first Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol transaction and earned the first issued SBC after successfully completing a third-party clean energy audit.

  • CleanSpark sold SBC to Melanion Digital in the pilot transaction, with each SBC sold at $980.

Beware of Fake ChatGPT Tokens Flooded in Cryptocurrency Markets!

  • Scammers are issuing fake tokens labeled after the AI chatbot, ChatGPT, which has gained popularity in technology circles.

  • Currently, over 170 ChatGPT-branded tokens are being issued on decentralized exchanges. The most popular token (ChatGPT / USD) has a market capitalization of over $400 million on Ethereum.

  • Blockchain security firm, PeckShield, detected dozens of newly created BingChatGPT tokens. Some of these tokens have already dropped over -99%, following a pump and dump scheme.

Women-Led Web3 Startups Lag Behind in Funding, Study Finds

  • A study by BCG found that male-only founding teams in Web3 startups raise four times as much capital as all-female teams. The study also revealed that no all-female team has raised more than $100 million in funding.

  • Only 13% of startups in the Web3 ecosystem include female founders, and just 3% have an exclusively female founding team.

  • Fortunately, BNB Chain has launched two initiatives to mentor and empower women in the Web3 industry. The initiatives, called WWW Founders and WWW Learners, will debut in March and provide a platform for female leaders in the industry to mentor the next generation of female talent.

  • The WWW Founders program will be led by Kirthiga Reddy, the CEO and Co-Founder at Virtualness. The program will bring prominent leaders to help mentor the future leaders of the space.

  • Meanwhile, WWW Learners aims to attract recent graduates and new entrants to the industry. The program aims to create a supportive and empowering community for women in Web3.

YouTube's New CEO Neal Mohan Plans Web3 and Metaverse Revamp for Better Streaming Experience

  • YouTube has announced the appointment of Neil Mohan as its new CEO. Mohan previously held the role of Chief Product Officer for YouTube in 2015.

  • Susan Wojcicki, the former CEO of YouTube, will remain as an advisor to Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

  • In January 2022, YouTube stated its intentions to explore blockchain and Web3 technology to leverage non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and strengthen relationships between creators and fans.

  • Mohan plans to integrate metaverse-based content experiences as well as features such as content tokens through NFTs.

  • He also hopes to transform the gaming sector on the platform to make it more immersive as part of the Metaverse revamp for YouTube.

  • Speaking of gaming. In case you did not know — back in 2022, Ryan Wyatt, former Global Head of Gaming at YouTube, moved on to become the CEO of Polygon Studios.

World Wide Web founder Tim Berners-Lee warns about the dangers of crypto, compares it to gambling

  • Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, recently called cryptocurrency "dangerous" and compared it to gambling in a podcast episode.

  • He believes that digital currencies are speculative and similar to the dot-com bubble, which saw highly inflated internet stocks without a solid business behind them.

  • Berners-Lee thinks that digital currencies can be useful for remittances if they are immediately converted back into fiat currency upon receipt.

  • Dissatisfied with the way his original vision for the web has panned out, Berners-Lee has proposed "Web 3.0" (different from Web3) as a reshaping of the internet.

  • Berners-Lee's Web 3.0 envisions a hypothetical future version of the internet that is more decentralized and not dominated by a handful of powerful players, utilizing technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens.

  • He has his own web decentralization project called Solid, with private information stored in decentralized data stores called PODS (Personalized Online Data Stores) that can be hosted anywhere the user wants.

  • He’s also launched Inrupt, a platform built on top of Solid (which is open source) which aims to give users control of their own data, including how it is accessed and stored.

Leo Programming Language Offers Maximum Anonymity for Private Web3 Applications

  • Aleo is a new blockchain with private smart contracts that is set to launch in June 2023.

  • Aleo is building a new programming language called Leo for developing private web3 applications.

  • Leo is unique among decentralized programming languages because it offers maximum possible anonymity. It uses zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to ensure privacy and offers a wider range of applications for this technology.

  • Community members are already building the first programs that can't be implemented in Solidity, such as a Battleship game that ensures selective privacy with ZKPs.

  • Leo will build a completely anonymous ecosystem around the Aleo blockchain, and developers can choose whether or not to make their smart contracts public.

📖 Further Reading

  • Sony Network Communications and Astar Network launch a Web3 incubation program for NFTs and DAOs, backed by Startale Labs. It will run from mid-March to June 2023 and is open to global startups. (link)

  • Tencent Cloud partnered with MultiversX to integrate Web3 infrastructure into AI and cloud computing. MultiversX released three new metaverse products, and the partnership aims to offer a scalable, open, and interoperable platform for the development of metaverses. (link)

  • Binance provided a workshop on blockchain and cryptocurrency education to the Australian Federal Police. They also launched a Global Law Enforcement Training Program to help law enforcement agencies curb crypto crimes and protect users. Australia has been supporting blockchain initiatives with a $5.6 million grant and a cryptocurrency unit in the police department since 2020. (link)

  • Saudi Aramco has signed an MoU with droppGroup to explore building Web3 technologies for its workers. The collaboration follows Aramco's $5 million investment in Vakt, a blockchain-based commodities post-trade processing platform in early 2020. (link)

  • Deutsche Bank and Memento Blockchain completed Project DAMA, a proof of concept for a one-stop digital fund investment servicing platform. It aims to reduce the effort and cost required to launch and administer digital funds. (link)

  • Galois Capital, a crypto-focused hedge fund, is closing and returning remaining funds to investors due to the FTX scandal. Last year, it managed $200M in assets. Clients will receive 90% of the money not trapped on FTX, while the remaining 10% will be held back for discussion with administrators and auditors. (link)

  • OpenSea eliminated its marketplace fee temporarily to compete with no-fee marketplace Blur. Collections without on-chain royalty enforcement now have optional creator royalties starting at 0.5%. (link)

  • Former FTX director of engineering Nishad Singh plans to plead guilty to fraud charges for his role in a scheme. Singh will join other members of Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle who have already agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. (link)

  • The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) will tighten requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges operating in Canada, with updates to the pre-registration undertaking (PRU) regime expected to be published in the near future. (link)

  • Bosch and Fetch.ai are partnering to create the Fetch.ai Foundation, which will allocate $100 million to fund the development of Web3, AI, and decentralized technologies for various industries. The foundation will fund businesses and companies in the industrial AI space over a three-year period. (link)

  • Paul Pierce, former NBA player, has settled with the SEC for $1.4 million over allegations of promoting the EthereumMax (EMAX) token project without disclosing payment. As part of the settlement, Pierce paid a $1.115 million penalty, roughly $240,000 in disgorgement, and agreed not to promote any crypto projects considered securities for three years. (link)

💸 Funding Rounds

  • Superplastic | $20m Series A-4: character-based product and entertainment company that creates limited edition art toys, apparel, games, and animation (link)

  • Chaos Labs | $20m Seed: cloud platform that allows teams to build high-fidelity agent and scenario-based simulations on mainnet forks (link)

  • TipLink | $6m Seed: lightweight wallet that helps send digital assets by sending an URL (link)

  • Nefta | $5m Seed: helping developers and brands better acquire, engage, and monetise users using the power of blockchain technology (link)

  • Unagi | $5m Seed: free-to-play fantasy sports platform for mainstream consumers leveraging the power of NFTs (link)

  • Gateway.fm | $4.6m Seed: cloud-based infrastructure and blockchain technology to scale web3 projects (link)

  • Superchain | $4m Pre-Seed: by collecting and customizing data in minutes, Superchain serves as the layer on top of which builders create applications, faster (link)

  • Phi | $2m Seed: Web3 Social World created from wallet activities (link)

  • Salsa | $2m Pre-Seed: web3-native messaging platform that helps users discover and connect with relevant people and brands (link)

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