This Week in Blockchain

This Week in Blockchain on 15th February 2021

February 14, 2021 Conor Svensson Season 1 Episode 1
This Week in Blockchain
This Week in Blockchain on 15th February 2021
Chapters
This Week in Blockchain
This Week in Blockchain on 15th February 2021
Feb 14, 2021 Season 1 Episode 1
Conor Svensson

Welcome to the first episode of This Week in Blockchain! 

Each week your host, Conor Svensson, founder and CEO of Web3 Labs, will be providing a rundown of the major events that took place in the blockchain industry that are relevant to business during the past week.

  • Watch this podcast here
  • Discuss this podcast on Clubhouse weekly at 12:00 EST / 17:00 GMT

Links to items discussed:

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the first episode of This Week in Blockchain! 

Each week your host, Conor Svensson, founder and CEO of Web3 Labs, will be providing a rundown of the major events that took place in the blockchain industry that are relevant to business during the past week.

  • Watch this podcast here
  • Discuss this podcast on Clubhouse weekly at 12:00 EST / 17:00 GMT

Links to items discussed:

Hi i'm Conor Svensson founder and CEO of Web3 Labs and this is Your Week in blockchain on Monday the 15th of February 2021. The big news in the last week has been Elon musk announcing Tesla's 1.5 billion dollar purchase of bitcoin. A lot of people are now discussing whether this means other companies are going to be following suit. The bitcoin market certainly rallied in the last seven days off the back of this but this bigger question certainly has some important ramifications for companies given that Tesla prides itself on being a very forward thinking and innovative of course, for them it seemed like a more logical thing to do to take this punt of course there are questions on the fact that the bitcoin network uses a lot of power in order to run which is you know doesn't directly correlate with the wider goals of Tesla about creating a greener environment. However it is a sign of their faith in the actual cryptocurrency. But when we think about some you know more established businesses that are sitting on a lot of cash and they have corporate treasury functions that are there for actually managing you know their cash and putting it into different types of investments. The big issue with the cryptocurrency markets is that they are so volatile - you can have a currency move five or ten percent in a single day and that sort of volatility is just not going to be acceptable to your average treasury function within a large organization who do have to you know manage their the cash of that business conservatively and so as a result of that it seems unlikely anyway that other businesses will be following suit. The next item that was big news in the last week was CME Ethereum futures launching successfully. This enables traders to actually take futures derivative contracts on the price of Ethereum and on the first day of them being launched there was actually $30 million USD on day one. Bitcoin futures were launched a couple of years ago but this recognition of Ethereum being used within CME for trading and the response from traders indicates that there is significant demand for these these as an asset class. The blockchain company R3 released a brand new producttoo called Conclave which provides secure enclave functionality to large data sets. One of the problems that a lot of organizations face is that they have data which would be helpful to share with other organizationsfor computations, but they want to preserve the privacy associated with it - they don't want to just hand these data sets over, and so R3 creators of Corda are getting into this space around confidential computing using Intel's SGX enclave. Microsoft have been working focused on this space for a number of years as well with their confidential consortium framework too and and so i think it's testament to the fact that there is a lot of potential corporate interest here because blockchain doesn't provide support for confidential data exchange. The other company that's very involved in this albeit from a decentralization perspective is Oasis Labs, who is providing a network for exchanging of these confidential data sets, hence this Conclave released by R3 is big news and it will be interesting to see how the other vendors follow suit. We also had Mastercard announced that uh they're going tostart accepting crypto payments as well which is another really significant event to happen in the marketplace. One of the the major payment providers is basically saying yes we recognize that there's a need to for merchants to be able to accept crypto and and this this is really going to help continue to kind of help normalize crypto as an actual currency so again it's you know yet another sign that some of the larger incumbents are actually starting to embrace the technology. Moving more into these decentralized worlds as well the Metamask wallet which which provides a a wallet for transacting with Ethereum networks it's something that's very widely used for people who actually want to interact with blockchain applications on the Ethereum blockchain It's a wallet that runs in people's browsers and they also released an iOS and Android app last year. The key challenge with these technologies always is how they actually make money and Metamask in the last few months seems to have managed to overcome that hurdle and this week it's been reported that they are making actually over $100,000 USD a day with their token swap functionality. So what this provides for people who have the Metamask wallet on their phone or on their computer is that they can exchange tokens they have of one specific blockchain asset for tokens of another blockchain asset and metamask takes care of that by behind the scenes going off to decentralized exchanges. But from the point of view of the user they don't see anything different there. Metamask takes 0.875 percent in fees and just given the volume of interest on these decentralized exchanges is actually meant that they've been able to bring in a significant amount of revenue from this feature so it's fascinating to see from business perspective because this is a wallet technology that's managed to find a revenue model as well which has been succeeding for them. The the other thing that's been happening is with the NBA Top Shops. NBA Top Shots are a crypto collectible or none non-fungible token that's licensed officially by the NBA. You might remember a few years back there was a craze called Cryptokitties where people could buy these digital cats that existed on the Ethereum blockchain as what are called non-fungible tokens which are basically tokens that represent one of these kitties and they can be bought and traded and exchanged. They were created by a company called Dapper Labs. Dapper labs weren't happy with the performance of the Ethereum blockchain so then they started creating their own blockchain called the Flow blockchain and then they they got this tie-in with the NBA and they created these NBA Top Shots and the demand has been absolutely crazy for them. Last week they sailed over $2.6 million USD worth in 30 minutes. So if you're interested in seeing where there is genuine consumer appeal for this technology I encourage you to take a look and read up more on them. The packs themselves were $999 each so it shows that people are willing to throw serious money at these digital collectibles. Finally just wrapping up in terms of some prices as well. The overall cryptocurrency market cap is standing at one and a half trillion USD currently. Then also the total value of crypto assets locked in DeFi is up to 40.78 billion right now. With these indicators we're not here to talk about cryptocurrency, however, they do talk to the overall adoption and interest in crypto assets and the applications that have been built on top of cryptocurrency blockchain networks, so it's it's important that we highlight these each week Hopefully you found this brief update useful, I plan to start doing these every week so if you like it please do like and comment on it. I want to keep this brief but i want to make it very helpful so that people can actually see significant things that are happening in the world of business and blockchain that actually intersect and show how this new world is moving forward. Thanks and i'll see you in a week's time!