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Hello, and welcome back to the second edition of the new and improved TechCrunch Crypto newsletter. As previously mentioned, alongside our regularly scheduled news bits, I’ll be adding some fresh recurring segments and features — so if you do (or don’t) like what you see, let me know at email@example.com.
Thankfully, the crypto world wasn’t too chaotic this week — but let’s get into the biggest headlines.
This week in web3
This week the crypto market saw red as the two biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, Bitcoin and Ether, dropped 7% and 13.5%, respectively, on the week, according to CoinMarketCap data. Even with that said, the global crypto market cap was relatively unchanged on the week around $1.55 trillion.
In the NFT world, sales volume declined 16.4% over a seven-day period to $248 million, but the number of buyers — and sellers — increased around 50%, according to CryptoSlam data. The top three collections by sales volume were CryptoPunks at $19.33 million, CryptoUndeads at $12.36 million and Ordinals at $8 million, during the same period.
Our favorite ‘Crypto Twitter’ post
Binance went to court on Monday to dismiss the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission June lawsuit against them — and the judge wasn’t entertaining some of their arguments, as Fortune reporter Leo Schwartz, highlighted below.
In today's hearing for Binance's motion to dismiss the SEC's lawsuit, Binance's lawyers are echoing Coinbase from last week that Howey needs a contract.
This time, the judge is pushing back. "You're being a little too cute," she says, arguing its language is broader.
— Leo Schwartz (@leomschwartz) January 22, 2024
The latest pod
For this week’s episode, I interviewed Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs, the technology company that aims to help grow the ecosystem for the layer-1 blockchain Solana.
The conversation focused on Solana Mobile and its flagship web3 Android smartphone, Saga, which sold out in mid-December, as well as its new phone, Chapter 2 — which was announced last week.
Within its first 30 hours, Chapter 2 had over 30,000 preorders — signaling a lot of demand for the next-generation Android-based phone. At the time of recording, Anatoly shared there were over 40,000 preorders.
Anatoly and Jacquelyn discussed the long road to selling out Saga, how important rewards and developers are and the nitty-gritty details for Chapter 2. They also dove into the company’s strategy and long-term mission of going up against Google and Apple app stores and how long it may take for Solana Mobile to break even.
If you need a refresher on Solana Mobile’s Saga phone, we’ve got you covered:
Follow the money
Polymer Labs raises $23M to build out the Ethereum blockchain’s interoperability
Avalanche-based Masa raised $5.4M to build a “personal data network”
Scene Infrastructure Company raised $3M from a16z to expand FWB token’s utility
Web3 gaming startup Arcade2Earn raised $4.8M in private token round
Ingonyama raised $21 million to improve zero-knowledge technology
This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.
What else we’re writing
Want to branch out from the world of web3? Here’s some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.