No week in crypto goes without eye-catching headlines. Crypto news in the past week saw a continuation of some familiar as well as new trends. Some of the notable items included Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, Meta’s dwindling financials, Google’s foray into Ethereum blockchain node services as well the severe impact of the crypto market on venture funds. To summarize, here are the stories that got us talking last week:
Elon begins reign at Twitter
Elon Musk completed the Twitter acquisition deal. The tech entrepreneur and Tesla CEO took the reins at Twitter as well, entering the firm's headquarters with what appeared to be a bathroom sink. The billionaire even changed his Twitter bio to "Chief Twit."
After trying to back out of the deal in July and being sued by Twitter, Musk reversed his position last month, saying that he did indeed want to move forward with the acquisition. Still, Musk’s takeover comes at a time when the microblogging platform is struggling to keep its most active users, according to a Reuters report.
A major revelation regarding this deal came with Binance, the biggest crypto exchange by volume, saying it's now a part owner at Twitter. Binance committed $500 million to invest in the $44 billion acquisition, The Block reported. "Our initial commitment remains the same and we look forward to exploring opportunities to grow the partnership in the future," a Binance spokesperson told The Block.
As far as crypto goes, there are expectations that the platform may pivot to adding more blockchain features.
Meta's giant losses
Social media giant Meta, formerly known as Facebook, released a third-quarter earnings report that disclosed staggering losses. The company said that its metaverse division, Reality Labs, posted a $3.7 billion loss. Year-to-date, the division has totaled losses of $9.4 billion. This prompted major selloffs of the company’s stock and its market capitalization dropped to less than $300 billion.
Meta said that it does not “anticipate that Reality Labs operating losses” will increase significantly next year. Meta is the world’s largest social media company, overseeing platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Outside of Reality Labs, Meta continues to generate robust advertising revenue quarter after quarter with its core apps businesses.
In October of 2021, Facebook rebranded to Meta, embracing metaverse technology at the height of its popularity. The metaverse is a virtual space where users can interact with one another and own various assets. While still an abstract concept, the metaverse is often discussed interchangeably with crypto, NFTs and blockchain technology.
Google offers Ethereum blockchain node service
The cloud division of tech giant Google forayed into public blockchain infrastructure services, starting with Ethereum. On Friday, Google Cloud started a fully managed node hosting service called "blockchain node engine."
The node engine is designed for web3 developers, allowing them to deploy smart contracts and write data on a dedicated node. A blockchain node hosts and synchronizes a copy of the network's transaction history. As such, this product aims to streamline the process of setting up nodes, as well as the complications of hosting them on your own hardware.
Google's first supported blockchain for node engine is Ethereum, though the firm has shown interest in providing additional support for other blockchains in the future. Google began assembling a web3-focused team earlier this year, eyeing the development of hosted services for blockchain developers. Earlier this month, the search engine giant began to natively support data for Ethereum wallet balances.
VCs hit by drop in crypto prices
The bear market is taking its toll on some of the industry’s biggest venture firms. Take for example, Pantera Capital, a notable crypto venture firm that has had a bad year. Pantera's early stage token fund fell 71% in value through the end of September, according to an investor presentation obtained by The Block.
The news comes at a time when many tokens and cryptocurrencies are down by more than 50% amid depressed macro market sentiment. And it’s not just Pantera. Andresen Horowitz (A16z), one of the largest crypto investors, has seen a 40% drop in value for its flagship crypto fund, the WSJ reported.
MakerDAO passes vote to break its DAO
MakerDAO, the issuer of DAI stablecoin, passed a governance vote to break its project into multiple organizations. This marks a big change for one of crypto's largest decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). The MakerDAO community on Monday passed a proposal called “Endgame” and with it set the stage for a new governance architecture for the DAO. Endgame, when implemented, will break up MakerDAO into smaller clusters called “MetaDAOs.”
MetaDAOs will function independently from one another and have their own parallel governance structures. This will lead to separate tokens and decision-making architecture for each MetaDAO. While the vote passed, some community members said MakerDAO's founder Rune Christensen wielded undue influence over it. That’s because more than 70% of the “yes” votes cast by delegates were from voting blocs with ties to the Maker founder, which raised issues about governance centralization.
Some DAO members voting in opposition accused Christensen of “organization capture” — a situation where a special interest takes precedence over the general interest of a group.
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