Welcome back to Chain reaction.
Last week we talked about how the NFT community was bad but still ready to party. This week, we examine the desperation of web3 startups for a post-Apple tech industry.
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crypto wants its own iPhone
There are few consumer companies with a better reputation among users than Apple, there are also few “web2” companies that are more looked down upon by crypto startups than Apple.
We’ve talked a bit about Apple’s reputation in crypto over time. App Store rules are pretty hostile to crypto and NFT startups, but it’s not the least understandable move for Apple, which is betting on reducing in-app transactions and justifying its monopoly by saying it protects users from scams and malware. Well, no one can argue that avoiding scams in the crypto space is simple these days, but life under Apple’s mobile empire is still frustrating for legit crypto apps that have to make do to be computer-first in a highly mobile world.
As a result, it’s not so shocking that the crypto world is interested in building a world without Apple. A task that does not seem so simple…
This week, Solana Labs, creators of the Solana blockchain which has seen a meteoric rise and quite a dramatic drop in the price of the token in recent months, announced its own blockchain smartphone. If you’ve read TechCrunch over the years, this should raise your eyebrows. It is almost impossible to build a smartphone business as a startup, many have tried and few have achieved anything close to success.
The Solana phone, called Saga, runs on Android and rocks its own blockchain-centric features, including an integrated hardware wallet that essentially gives users a more secure path to holding and trading crypto or NFTs on their smartphone. . There’s an audience for this phone in the crypto world I’m sure, but it’s far from the ideal launch time for a niche device that’s likely to have an even smaller following this year. next when the phone actually launches.
Web3 got a surprising amount of buy-in from the Web2 giants, but there was a noticeably less warm reception from companies that own mobile hardware. Apple users are unlikely to stand up and demand more access to NFT mobile app purchases, so for now the company’s mobile stranglehold will be a frustration web3 developers are burdened with. to get out almost desperately.
the last module
This week my co-host Anita was on vacation so our colleague Jacquie joined us to dive into the week’s web3 events. We went deeper into the Solana Saga phone topic, we discussed FTX’s alleged interest in taking over Robinhood, we also discussed some of the crypto finance companies that are currently in deep trouble.
For our guest this week, I chatted with Julian Holguin, the CEO of Doodles. Doodles is a very popular NFT project that has made just over $500 million in total sales volume. Holguin was previously a top executive at Billboard and was responsible for turning the Doodles brand into an intellectual property powerhouse. The company just banked its first round of VC funding from Alexis Ohanian and is gearing up for major new NFT launches as it looks to keep the party going even amid a crypto downturn. .
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follow the money
Where startup money is moving in the crypto world:
- Entrepreneur First raises $158 million from the Collison brothers to build a startup school with web3 programming
- Codeless Crypto Gaming Platform Soba Raises $13.5M Led by Lightspeed
- Fitness startup Move-to-Earn Fitmint gets $1.6 million from General Catalyst
- Web3 game Stella Fantasy receives $5 million from Animoca Brands
- Cryptoys kids’ NFT platform earns $23 million from a16z
- NFT Curation App EyesFi Raises $2M From Multicoin Capital
- Blockchain startup Linera receives $6 million from a16z
- Financial security startup PolySign secures $53 million from Cowen Digital and others
- Wallet login startup Dynamic snatches $7.5 million from a16z
- NFT for a good startup R Labs receives $5 million from Softbank
Here are some of the crypto analyzes from this week that you can read on our TC+ subscription service (written by TC’s Jacquelyn Melinek):
This Crypto Winter May Be Long, But Builders Remain Bullish
Even though the top digital assets in the crypto market are still down significantly year-to-date, some market participants are ignoring this and focusing on the long term. The crypto world is working to create human experiences beyond throwing money at each other, said Evin McMullen, CEO of metaverse-focused Disco.xyz. “Now that we no longer look to green candles to occupy ourselves, we have the opportunity to explore the other types of pleasure we can have,” McMullen said. “What other types of coordination games can we solve together that are not based solely on token prizes but are based on our activities as human beings?”
Blockchain gaming unfazed by crypto volatility as gamers ‘seek entertainment’
The Web3 gaming industry is one of the few sectors that doesn’t seem affected by the current crypto market conditions, with capital continuing to pile up in the space – and some industry players say it is. is for good reason. The number of active users of Web3 games “has nothing to do with the market” because even when the economy is down, people will still be looking for entertainment, said Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands.
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