Forecaster Hype Grows, Bluesky Opens to Public, and SEC's Hester Peers Open to New Token Proposals | Tech Crunch

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Welcome to TechCrunch Crypto, formerly known as Chain Reaction.

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Hello and welcome back to the fourth edition of the new and improved TechCrunch Crypto newsletter. You may already know this deal, but in addition to our regularly scheduled news bits, I've added some recurring segments and features — so if you like what you see (or don't), let me know at

Anyway, let's get into the big highlights below.

This week on Web3

  1. Decentralized social network Forecaster is trying to reach mass adoption through Web 2.0 techniques
  2. Perhaps that's why bitcoin spot ETFs haven't sent crypto prices to the moon yet
  3. The SEC's Hester Peirce still plans to push for a token 'safe harbor' plan
  4. a16z's Chris Dixon says it's time to focus on blockchains' use cases, not speculation
  5. Bluesky is now open for anyone to join

Crunching numbers

According to CoinMarketCap data, the crypto market grew relatively this week by market capitalization, with Bitcoin and Ether the two largest cryptocurrencies, up 5.7 and 6% respectively for the week. The global crypto market cap rose 5.5% to $1.72 trillion in the seven-day period.

Among the top 10 tokens by market cap, Solana is up 7.7% the most during the week at the time of writing.

Our favorite 'Crypto Twitter' post

That awkward moment when your crypto friends and normie friends see “zero knowledge” as two different meanings. But if you don't know… see the definition here.

Image Credits: X (Opens in a new window)

A fresh pod

This year, Chain Reaction is doing a monthly series diving into different topics and themes in crypto. To kick things off, this month we're focusing on NFTs.

For this week's episode, I interviewed Devin Finzer, CEO of NFT marketplace OpenSea. This is our first full video recording and it's on TechCrunch's YouTube channel; Check here.

He co-founded OpenC in 2017 and it has become one of the most popular and well-funded NFT marketplaces. Two years ago, it raised $300 million in a Series C round at a $13.3 billion post-money valuation, raising its total capital to over $400 million. Some of its investors include Andreessen Horowitz and Paradigm, as well as celebrities such as Kevin Durant and Ashton Kutcher.

Although the NFT market's trading volume has fallen from an all-time high in late 2021 to early 2022, as other NFT marketplaces pop up and challenge their dominance, OpenSea is still surging ahead.

Devin and I will discuss the importance of web3 games that integrate NFTs, the challenges faced by web 2.0 organizations launching their own digital collections and marketplace.

We also get into:

  • Big use cases for NFTs
  • The future mission of the organization
  • Retaining community members
  • Gaining market share and trading volume

But still wait…

This week we also have a bonus episode with US Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Hester Peirce.

I moderated a fireside chat with Commissioner Peirce at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business along with Eddie Cullen, former candidate for Mayor of New York City in 2021 and co-founder and CEO of Cressight Innovation Corporation.

We discussed a number of timely topics, including the SEC's spot bitcoin ETF approval, policymaking to keep crypto innovation alive in the US, and the Commissioner's Token Safe Harbor Proposal 2.0 and whether Peers is considering a new one.

Subscribe A chain reaction Pi Apple Podcasts, Spotify Or your favorite pod platform to catch up on the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!

Follow the money

  1. Superform Labs has raised $6.5 million to help others distribute, manage and access the yield
  2. MediConCen raises $6.85 million to automate insurance claims with AI and blockchain tech.
  3. Immoblocks has raised $5.67 million for its blockchain-based real estate investment platform
  4. FileCoin-Centric Staking Protocol GLIF Raises $4.5 Million in Seed Round Led by MultiCoin
  5. Tether led a $25 million Series A round for mobile payment app Oobit

This list was compiled with information from Messari and TechCrunch's own reporting.

What else are we writing?

Want to break away from the web3 world? Here are some stories about TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.

  1. Why Latin American SaaS Startups Differ From Their US Peers
  2. Of course, it's good for Spotify that Joe Rogan's podcast is no longer exclusive
  3. Apple Vision Pro review: The infinite desktop
  4. Adam Newman is trying to buy back WeWork
  5. Mamoon Hameed and Ilya Fushman of Kleiner Perkins: 'More than 80%' of pitches now have AI

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