"Routine will take you further than willpower." Shane Parrish
Ahlan wa sahlan, and welcome to the 63rd edition of CoinMENA's weekly newsletter, Kalam Crypto. This week, Abu Dhabi launches a one billion dollar Web 3 fund, Coinbase launches an Ethereum Layer 2, and the NFT marketplace war escalates. All that and more, so let's dive into this week's letter, and talk crypto:
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Local News 📍
Abu Dhabi launches a billion-dollar Web 3 fund: Venom Ventures Fund, a partnership between Venom Foundation and Iceberg Capital, will invest in web3 applications such as dApps, DeFi, banking services, and gaming. The fund will focus on the region but will invest globally from seed to Series, A, B, C to IPO. The goal of the fund is to foster the development of the web3 market in the UAE. Peter Knez, one-half of a two-person leadership team at Venom stated “A good time to launch something like this is when liquidity is scarce,”. This is great news for regional crypto and fintech entrepreneurs, and further bolsters the UAE’s plans to become a global crypto hub.
Global News 🌍
All about that Base: Coinbase made some waves this week when they announced Base, an Ethereum Layer 2 where anyone, anywhere, will be able to build decentralized applications (DApps) on. This is a big deal because instead of launching their own layer 1, they decided to build on Ethereum. Base will not issue a token, and will instead use ETH as the native gas token. While the crypto industry’s reaction to the news was overwhelmingly positive, Wall Street analysts are less optimistic and view it as Coinbase cannibalizing its own revenue streams. However, a Coinbase spokesperson thinks Wall Street is missing the forest for the trees. With this infrastructure product, Coinbase aims to onboard the next 1 billion people onto crypto and reduce the friction users experience by providing a simplified “out of the box” web 3 ecosystem. This move by Coinbase further validates Ethereum’s roll-up-centric roadmap instead of layer 1 sharding.
Paxos breaks up with Binance: The former BUSD issuer has ended its ties with Binance citing "The market has evolved and the Binance relationship no longer aligns with our current strategic priorities,". Since Paxos received the Wells notice from regulators last week, a bank run has ensued on BUSD and its market cap has dropped by 30% over the past month.
Keep An Eye On 👀
The percentage of Ethereum Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliant blocks is decreasing. After the Merge, OFAC-compliant blocks shot up to 80%, but have since been trending downwards and are now at 45%.
Beef Of The Week 🥩
Blur vs OpenSea: Continuing on from last week’s beef, volumes on Blur have overtaken Opensea by a significant margin. So far, Blur has seen almost $1 billion in trading volume this month, compared with just $240 million for OpenSea. However, OpenSea continues to have about twice as many users. Over the past week, 10k+ addresses canceled their OpenSea orders because right now, Blur is running a loyalty program for its users that will pay out approximately $300 million in BLUR tokens. In the meantime, LooksRare, an Opensea competitor has joined Blur in attacking OpenSea. Has Blur completely disrupted the NFT marketplace? Sure does look like it so far.
Face Palm Of The Week 🤦♂️
Solana goes down, again: We genuinely lost count of how many times this has happened over the past year. The chain was down for several hours but is now back up.
Tweet Of The Week 🐥
CoinMENA News 🗞
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Quiz Corner ✅
Last week’s question: Where is cryptocurrency stored?
This week’s question: What is a private key?
A public code used to receive cryptocurrency
A password used to access your cryptocurrency wallet
An encryption algorithm used to secure your transactions
A secret code used to spend your cryptocurrency
See the answer in next week’s newsletter.