Coin Week

  • bitcoinBitcoin$28,340.005.75%
  • ethereumEthereum$1,809.545.23%
  • binancecoinBNB$317.222.73%
  • rippleXRP$0.5717.10%
  • dogecoinDogecoin$0.0759735.08%
  • solanaSolana$21.157.08%

Nvidia CTO blasts crypto for lack of usefulness

Nvidia — Nvidia is among the giants of tech today that has established its name in the gaming world.

However, the company has also been recognized for contributing to the advancement of the crypto world, particularly crypto mining.

One would think that its association with digital coins and assets would have a healthy relationship, but the company seems to hold some resentment towards crypto.

Nvidia’s chief technology officer (CTO) recently slammed the crypto space for its lack of real contribution to society.

The news

In the past few years, computer hardware manufacturer Nvidia raked in some generous revenue thanks to the cryptocurrency mining industry.

People were shocked, however, when the company’s CTO Michael Kagan blasted crypto.

According to The Guardian, Kagan said that crypto in general doesn’t bring anything useful for society.

His goal instead is for Nvidia products to instead be utilized in the development of artificial intelligence, not crypto mining.

“All this crypto stuff, it needed parallel processing, and [Nvidia] is the best so people just programmed it to use for this purpose,” said Kagan.

“They bought a lot of stuff, and then eventually it collapsed, because it doesn’t bring anything useful for society. AI does.”

Resurgence & merit

Kagan argued that the crypto industry collapsed, and it’s hard to blame him.

For most of 2022, cryptocurrency prices had hit new lows that made many believe crypto was finished.

But in recent months, several cryptocurrencies witnessed a revival.

Bitcoin and Ethereum, two of the most prominent cryptocurrencies by market cap, finally bounced back.

In the past month, Bitcoin went up by 17%, while Ethereum was also 7% higher.

Furthermore, the emerging Web3 gaming industry has gone in a better direction.

Regardless, Michael Kagan still doesn’t believe crypto has merit.

“I never believe that [crypto] is something that will do something good for humanity,” he explained.

“You know, people do crazy things, but they buy your stuff, you sell them stuff. But you don’t redirect the company to support whatever it is.”

Read also: Smoke and Mirrors makes its Los Angeles debut


Nvidia shares a strange relationship with the crypto world.

Before Ethereum decided to switch to a more energy-efficient proof-of-stake model in September 2022, the masses sought graphic cards for their crypto endeavors.

At the time, there was a high demand for powerful graphic cards Ethereum miners needed to mine token rewards from the initial proof-of-work model.

However, a problem arose when the pandemic came and led to a supply chain shortage, which also affected chip supply.

As a result, the cost of GPUs soared, making it nearly impossible for gamers to get their hands on the latest generation of graphic cards.

Crypto miners kept cutting in and getting the cards ahead of Nvidia’s target market: gamers.

Instead, the company attempted to force hashrate limitations on its products, which led to hackers finding a workaround.


In 2022, hackers breached Nvidia’s data and claimed they had a customized driver capable of unlocking the company’s graphics card limitations blocking out the ability to mine cryptocurrencies.

The group claimed its customized driver could remove the hash rate limiter on Nvidia’s RTX 3000 GPUs.

“If someone buys us the LHR, we will provide ways to fuck LHR without flashing anything,” the hackers wrote.

“Without flashing = big money for any miner developer.”

In addition, hackers offered to provide documentation and a buildable source code.

Nvidia later released special products exclusively designed for crypto miners.

They introduced the Nvidia Cmp Hx to sway crypto enthusiasts from hogging the chips away from gamers.

The chip is designed for professional mining operations.

Profit & SEC involvement

While Kagan isn’t crypto’s biggest fan, it’s hard to deny that it has been an integral contributor to Nvidia’s profit for years.

In 2017, the company’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) revenue had a massive boost of 200%.

“Our PC OEM revenue increased by approximately 200% due primarily to strong demand for GPU products targeted for us in cryptocurrency mining,” the company wrote at the time.

In 2022, the SEC fined the company for failing to disclose the impact of crypto mining on the gaming branch.

The agency later released a statement saying:

“Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Nvidia agreed to a cease-and-desist order and to pay a $5.5 million penalty.

Image source: BBC

Smoke and Mirrors makes its Los Angeles debut

Smoke and Mirrors — Justin Aversano has raised the bar when it comes to NFT projects using photography.

His project, Twin Flames, is a collection of over a hundred photos of twin siblings, which were later tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain.

Upon its release, the project drew the attention of collectors.

They later generated millions of dollars’ worth of sales.

The Twin Flames NFT project later appeared at the Christie’s auction house and joined the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Aversano recently added to his portfolio a follow-up collection called “Smoke and Mirrors.”

Smoke and Mirrors made its debut at the Gabba Gallery in Los Angeles.

The collection

Smoke and Mirrors is a unique collection that shows Justin Aversano’s interpretation of a tarot card deck.

It was initially launched in 2022 as Ethereum NFTs.

Smoke and Mirrors shows a different portrait representing the individual cards.

Aversano took the photographs over a three-year period between 2018 and 2021 after he made the Twin Flames NFTs.


According to Justin Aversano, the idea to produce a new NFT series came while he was sitting in Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan’s East Village.

A man walked by holding on to a tarot deck while he frustratingly ranted about black magic.

In addition, Aversano noticed an increased interest in tarot cards, which aligned with his interest in mysticism and magic.

“He comes right in front of me and he throws the tarot cards in the air,” he recalled.

“They’re all raining down in front of me, and I’m like: What is going on right now? And I looked at him, and I looked at the cards, and I asked him: ‘Hey, can I have these? Are you throwing these away?’ And he’s like: ‘Yeah, fuck that black magic shit. I don’t want this.’”

Their exchange gave Averson a physical tarot deck and the inspiration to craft and produce his own tarot deck of photos.

Producing the photos

To create his series, Justin Aversano took several shots of different people for various cards.

He set himself up as the “Knights of Staff” due to it being the only card missing from the tarot deck that was thrown in front of him.

His other subjects included artistic peers, Web3 builders, and people who delved into mystics – all from different parts of the globe.

Among the notable names in the Smoke and Mirrors collection are the Winklevoss twins, musician Nadya Tolokonnikova from the Pussy Riot band, and author Neil Gaiman, who penned a collection of short stories of the same name.

Read also: SEC blasted over lack of clarity by crypto executives

The NFTs

Smoke and Mirrors is a unique NFT collection of 78 black-and-white photos.

They were minted and sold as Ethereum NFTs in 2022.

The original photos were also turned into silkscreen images printed on papyrus.

Smoke and Mirrors is exhibited at the Gabba Gallery between March 25 and April 18.

While the photographs are undoubtedly eye-catching as black-and-white portraits, one photo stands out.

It is a photograph of Justin Aversano’s father standing beside a gravestone that belongs to his mother.

“There’s a lot of confrontation of fear and death in this [collection], and I honor this project towards my father,” said Aversano.

“There’s no coincidence why the death card is of my father next to my mother’s grave.”

“It’s, to me, the purest and best image I’ve ever taken, because it’s the most honest and true. It stops you in your tracks when you see it.”


Aversano originally planned to have Smoke and Mirrors broken down into four shows.

However, he had it split into two: the Los Angeles exhibit and a follow-up show at Expanded.Art in Berlin, which will be curated by Anika Meier between April 25 and May 14.

Aversano has already displayed his work in many prominent venues, but the Gabba show is what matters the most to him due to it being his LA debut.

He spent the past two years making the silkscreen prints in the back of Gabba Gallery with its owner and curator Jason Ostro.

“I’ve never seen a gallerist show up for me like Jason has at Gabba, in my life,” said Aversano.

With his rising profile and name recognition, he could have put Smoke and Mirrors at another prominent gallery.

However, Gabba felt like home for the project, and he felt it was the most honorable thing to do.

“It’s not Gagosian, it’s not Pace – it’s actually real. It’s not a fancy gallery, it’s a community gallery,” said Aversano.

“What we have here is the truth, and down to earth, and the reality is: you just need a space to exhibit, and it doesn’t need to be the best space in the world.”

“It just needs to be what feels right.”

Once the show is done, Justin Aversano will release an accompanying book.

“I’m gonna disappear,” he said.

“That’s my final magic trick after Smoke and Mirrors – I’m gonna do a disappearing act.”

Image source: Arts & Collections

SEC blasted over lack of clarity by crypto executives

SEC – Multiple executives from crypto companies have expressed their frustration with the US government following the latest developments in the crypto space.

Many have blasted them for a lack of clarity with the industry’s rules.

However, a primary focus of the crypto community’s rage lies in the Securities and Exchange Commission due to its aggressive actions against crypto firms.

US & crypto

While other countries have become more accepting of cryptocurrency, the United States is a few steps behind.

The country has yet to develop a comprehensive set of regulations allowing cryptocurrency and blockchains firms to operate without the fear of regulators targeting them.

Since the collapse of crypto exchange FTX in 2022, the US SEC took the initiative to ramp up enforcement actions against companies.

The clash

On Wednesday, the SEC sent Coinbase, one of the top crypto exchanges in the space, a Wells notice.

It warned the company that it found potential violations of US securities law.

Additionally, the SEC unveiled fraud and unregistered securities charges against crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun and celebrities who endorsed digital coins he was endorsing.

Currently, the SEC is in a legal clash with several other crypto companies, including Gemini, Genesis, and Ripple.


“It feels uncollaborative,” said an anonymous crypto executive over the Paris Blockchain Week event.

“It’s very frustrating for players that have been doing right the whole time.”

Meanwhile, ConsenSys CEO and Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin said he thought the ecosystem was frustrated.

“I think we’re sort of continuing to watch the SEC play this game of punishing the people that are still surviving,” said president Nicolas Cary.

“And it’s a little bit, you know, sort of frustrating thing to observe.”

Most of SEC’s actions involve the application of current regulations to the crypto industry decades after the Howey Test.

The Howey Test is a key test to determine if something is a security or not.

However, many in the crypto industry feel it isn’t the right way to go.

“Where I think you have less successful regulatory regimes is when you try to analyze crypto through the lens of traditional finance,” said Oliver Linch, the CEO of Bittrex Global.

“You say, ‘Well, is it a bit like a security? Is it a commodity?’ No, it’s kind of none of those things. It’s crypto.”

Read also: SEC actions against Coinbase spur reaction from crypto community

Clarity & sympathy

The Paris Blockchain Week is one of the most prominent crypto events in Europe, where the actions of the SEC was one of the hottest topics among attendees.

Several executives requested the US regulators for clarity.

“We’d love to have a little more clarity in regulation,” said Silvio Micali, the founder of blockchain company Algorand.

However, others were more sympathetic with SEC.

They suggested that the watchdog is operating along the existing rules, and that the US government has the power to change them.

“What are they supposed to do? If all you’re given is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail,” said Linch.

Meanwhile, Cary noted that the SEC is only doing their job to protect consumers.


This month, SEC Chair Gary Gensler talked about the points in an opinion piece on The Hill, suggesting the regulator was clear on the rules.

“I find the talking point that there’s a lack of clarity in the securities laws unpersuasive,” he said.

“Some crypto companies might message that the laws are unclearer rather than admitting that their platforms don’t have sufficient investor protection.”

Gensler also cited examples of crypto firms falling under existing securities laws, including instances when companies offer lending products.

Additionally, he said crypto intermediaries aren’t lining up to register with the SEC and comply with the Congress’s laws.

Furthermore, the SEC chair said enforcement actions are another tool from the regulator’s toolbox to weed out noncompliance.

Falling behind

Executives warned that the lack of proper regulation in the United States could lead to the country falling behind others and jurisdictions.

“It’s incumbent, I think, on Congress to actually create a legal regulatory framework that regulates crypto properly, because… crypto is here to stay,” said Linch.

Governments worldwide are weighing up on how they could regulate cryptocurrency.

Dubai and Switzerland have endorsed themselves as crypto-friendly destinations with advantageous regulation.

Meanwhile, the European Union is slated to introduce the Markets in Crypto-Assets or MiCA regulation in 2023.

It is designed to bring rules in and around digital currency companies.

Monica Long, the president of Ripple, believes the US could fall behind other jurisdictions in the crypto economy.

“Europe is really emerging as a leader in terms of setting really clear regulations and rules that allow crypto companies and also traditional finance to embrace crypto,” said Long.

Image source: Cryptopolitan

MapleStory looking to break into Web3 with new game

MapleStory – As the Web3 environment continues to change, developers have taken the initiative to keep up.

Web3 has received a lot of attention in recent years, especially during the NFT boom, which saw thousands of projects emerge.

It has also piqued the curiosity of large corporations, celebrities, and influencers, who are enthusiastic about the new technology.

Nexon, a well-known Asian game publisher, is the most recent firm to enter the Web3 space with a game.

The news

Nexon is attempting to stay current by creating a new Web3 game based on MapleStory.

MapleStory is the company’s popular pixelated 2D role-playing project, developed by Wizet in South Korea and marketed by Nexon.

Nexon announced the creation of MapleStory Universe on Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The Web3 game will be released on a private Supernet on Polygon, demonstrating the company’s commitment to build a name for itself.

The game

MapleStory is one of the longest-running games, having been in operation since 2003.

The game has produced more than $4 billion in sales, according to a Nexon release earlier this year.

It has also attracted over 180 million registered users.

To get a sense of MapleStory’s popularity, check out its Steam page, which has over 260 million players.

Hwang Sun-Young, Group Head of MapleStory Universe, issued a statement expressing his excitement for the project’s progress, saying:

“We are looking forward to expanding the NFT ecosystem envisioned by MapleStory Universe by building on Polygon.”

“We will work closely with the team at Polygon Labs to develop and market the game.”

The Supernets

Polygon is well-known as an Ethereum scaling network, allowing for quicker and cheaper transactions than the Ethereum mainnet.

According to Polygon Labs VP, Global Games and Platform Business Development Urvit Goel, Nexon’s future PC game will use Polygon Supernet, which will allow it to have its own dedicated app chain.

“They have the ability to scale in a way that you can’t scale on a shared blockchain,” said Goel regarding Nexon and its planned Supernet.

“They have a very broad vision of how many transactions they think they’ll do daily, because the game and the IP is so large.”

The Polygon Supernets use a similar strategy.

They, for example, create a specialized sub-network for certain projects to use.

Moreover, Supernets provide authors customisation possibilities and protect decentralized apps (dapps) and games from potential performance concerns on the larger public network.

Read also: Wildxyz creates platform with a massive group of NFT artists

Early announcements

MapleStory Universe was announced in 2022, but no release date has been established as of yet.

Goel, on the other hand, stated that there will be no NFT presales.

Instead, through playing the game, gamers would earn items as NFTs.

“They’re not pushing for in-app purchases,” said Goel, referring to the typical microtransactions in mobile games.

The MapleStory Universe

The future MapleStory Universe is an NFT-centric game, which means tokenized assets will be a part of the game and will be able to be exchanged or transferred through the game’s marketplace.

According to Nexon, the MapleStory Universe will eventually include a crypto asset.

Yet, the specifics have yet to be worked out.

“We plan on issuing our unique coin, and specific details about this will be revealed later with our tokenomics,” said the game studio.

South Korean companies diving into Web3

Nexon is a South Korean and Japanese corporation that generates the majority of its income in the South Korean market.

Polygon Labs’ Urvit Goel stated that it is not the only South Korean studio plunging into the Web3 realm, citing the company’s solid roots in the South Korean market.

“Korea has been by far the leader from a developer standpoint,” he said.

“If you look at the top 10 gaming companies in Korea, 8 out of 10 have publicly stated that they’re building something on the blockchain, which is very unique globally.”

NCSoft and Netmarble are two more big South Korean game developers and publishers experimenting with Web3 projects.

Sui, a new blockchain network, is being built by the two firms.

Krafton, the developer of the popular first-person shooter games PUBG: Battlegrounds, is also working with Solana Labs to launch a number of blockchain ventures.

Polygon Labs president Ryan Wyatt issued a statement underlining the importance of South Korea as a market in Web3 gaming.

Image source: Coincu News

Wildxyz creates platform with a massive group of NFT artists

Wildxyz – The Web3 space is home to many of the latest technology, and it is renowned as the home to several NFT platforms.

While projects come and go with similar missions, art, and utilities, Wildxyz is a unique project that is looking to elevate the NFT space

Founder and CEO J. Douglass Kobs is attempting to pioneer a unique approach in NFT which focuses on “experiential” art.

Wildxyz is also looking to build around a residency program that allows artists to immerse themselves in Web3 and create a community of fellow creators.


Wildxyz is employing a unique model that boasts a strong portfolio of big backers, including:

  • Actress Gwyneth Paltrow
  • LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman
  • Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin
  • Philadelphia 76ers President Daryl Morey

Recently, Wildxyz announced a Matrix Partners-led $7 million seed round with the investors among others.

Furthermore, the firm receives feedback from notable NFT artist Emily “pplpleasr” Yang.


Wildxyz launched last fall alongside its residency program and initial “Season 0” cohort that includes notable artists like Mitchell Chan, Aluna, and Harm van den Dorpel.

Each creator will release NFT-based works through the platform.

However, a Season 1 cohort is set to follow shortly.

The cohort will include names like Sarah Friend and Serwah Attufuah.

Sarah Friend is renowned for creating experimental blockchain projects.

Meanwhile, Attafuah has collaborated with GQ and Paris Hilton to create NFT drops.

  1. Douglass Kob is confident that Attafuah is set to become a household name.

Meanwhile, other artists participating include:

  • Jonas Lund
  • Nic Hamilton
  • Anna Lucia
  • Beryl
  • Lisa Odette
  • Gabriel Massan
  • Idil Dursun
  • Matto
  • Tim Maxwell

Furthermore, the Season 1 group is rounded off with:

  • StupidGiant
  • Santiago
  • Jerk Beasley
  • Nygilia
  • Sam Hains
  • Jenny Jiang
  • Yuma Yanagisawa
  • Mia Pixley

The cohort is a mixed group of artists from various places around the world, with some being more prominent than others while others holding deeper Web3 experiences.

The goal to curate a diverse group of artists seems to have been deliberate.

Wildxyz is creating unique pairings throughout the 12-week virtual residency program, helping the participants learn in that period.

Read also: Heterosis takes a unique spin on flora NFTs

A unique community

Kobs said the residency will feature a slate of programming like artist-led classes to the groups, allowing them to share their skills and experiences.

Wildxyz will also have notable mentors join the cohort.

For example, in the initial group, pseudonymous generative audiovisual artist Deafbeef monitored artist Caleb Ogg’s progress as he prepared the launch for his Machines NFT drop.

According to Kobs, the residency is similar to a Y Combinator catered to artists.

It acts as an accelerator for creators to expand their Web3 skills before producing and launching new art through the platform.

He said the goal is to surround artists with experts and influences they can learn from.

It was developed with the goal of creating connections and community while producing distinctive blockchain art.

“I’m always excited to connect with and learn from any artist in any respect, but have always lacked some sort of structure, I guess,” said Attafuah.

“Wild[xyz] gives me a place to riff off of a really solid community of diversely talented creatives, and I really look forward to the Wild sessions as I take away so much more to reflect on.”

The Wildverse

The residency program is just the beginning of Wildxyz’s long-term goal: a destination for “experiential” art.

The startup is pouring everything into an immersive, spatial platform that can be experienced through either VR or AR.

While many prefer to call it a metaverse, Kobs and his team instead refer to it as the Wildverse as he believes “metaverse” has been “bastardized.”

Each NFT launch on Wildxyz will feature an immersive 3D environment that viewers can walk through.

For example, the Wild Oasis NFTs offer platform benefits and allow holders to explore a jungle setting.

The Machines NFTs hold 2D art pieces and a virtual gallery to view them.

“People want to be in spaces that they can explore, and where they can create an emotional connection to somebody that created work,” said Kob.

“That place doesn’t really exist digitally, in my experience. I haven’t found it.”

The concept of releasing projects like NFT-based interactive games might not seem like the best path to an immersive online art experience.

Instead, Kobs sees the present and future output of the cohorts as the right step into a thriving artist community that can support future Web3 endeavors.

“I think those building blocks are really incredible things built by incredible people, that we get to go explore and then talk about and learn about – and also meet people along the way,” said Kobs.

“I view it as this catalyst for us to build a space that I want to play in and learn in, and that I want to meet people and make these relationships in.”

Image source: Twitter

Silicon Valley Bank collapse leads to pointing fingers

Silicon Valley BankThe immediate shock of the SVB collapse has worn off, and the blame game has begun as individuals hunt for those who are to blame.

Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker is being blamed by the tech industry.

Many hold Becker responsible for the corporation being the second-largest American financial disaster in history.

Becker, according to an alleged SVB employee, publicly announced the bank’s financial issues before quietly putting up financial support to weather the storm.

The activities generated an atmosphere of dread, which led to individuals withdrawing their funds.

“That was absolutely idiotic,” said the employee. “They were being very transparent.”

“It’s the exact opposite of what you’d normally see in a scandal. But their transparency and forthright-ness did them in.”

The buildup

Last Wednesday night, Greg Becker and his leadership team stated that they expected to generate $2.25 billion in cash from $21 billion in asset sales, resulting in a $1.8 billion loss.

Despite its best efforts, SVB has made no definite commitments.

The announcement jolted Silicon Valley, where the bank has been a key lender to technology entrepreneurs.

A lot of company owners were scared.

Many firms withdrew $42 billion on Thursday, according to California regulator filings, while Silicon Valley Bank’s shares plunged by 60%.

Silicon Valley Bank had a negative cash position of approximately $958 million when it closed that day.

“People are just shocked at how stupid the CEO is,” said the SVB employee.

“You’re in business for 40 years and you are telling me you can’t raise $2 billion privately? Get on a jet and fly to Kuwait like everyone else and give them control of one-third of the bank.”

While Silicon Valley Bank has yet to respond, CEO Greg Becker is said to have apologized to staff in a video statement.

“It’s with an incredibly heavy heart that I’m here to deliver this message,” said Becker.

“I can’t imagine what was going through your head and wonder, you know, about your job, your future.”

Read also: Silicon Valley Bank collapse creates domino effect in crypto space


According to Jeff Sonnenfeld, CEO of Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute (CELI), Silicon Valley Bank officials deserve to be chastised for their “tone-deaf, botched execution.”

Sonnenfeld and CELI’s research director, Steven Lian, declared in a joint statement:

“Someone lit a match and the bank yelled, ‘Fire!’ – pulling the alarms in earnest out of genuine concern for transparency and honesty.”

On Wednesday night, Sonnenfeld and Tian stated it was unnecessary to reveal the $2.25 billion unsubscribed capital offering.

They noted that Silicon Valley Bank had enough capital to meet regulatory standards.

They also claimed that disclosing the $1.8 billion gap was unnecessary.

According to Sonnenfeld and Tian, the one-two punch triggered a tremendous frenzy, culminating in a rush to withdraw deposits.

They went on to speculate that the bank might have separated the statements by at least one or two weeks, lessening the impact.

President Joe Biden’s administration revealed a proposal to help Silicon Valley bank customers on Sunday.

Biden also stated that the US government will conduct a thorough investigation of all parties involved in the SVB disaster.

He released a statement saying:

“I am firmly committed to holding those responsible for this mess fully accountable and to continuing our efforts to strengthen oversight and regulation of larger banks so that we are not in this position again.”

The Fed’s involvement

Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Biden’s choice to lead the Feds, and his colleagues, according to Jeff Sonnenfeld and Steven Lian, carry part of the blame.

“There should be no mistaking that Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse was a direct result of the Fed’s persistent and excessive interest rate hike,” they wrote.

They claimed that the Fed’s efforts to keep inflation under control had two effects:

  • The value of the bonds Silicon Valley Bank was relying on for capital
  • The value of the tech startups SVB catered

Silicon Valley Bank, on the other hand, had almost a year to plan for and address the issues.

The unidentified SVB employee referred to the bank’s balance-sheet manipulation as “stupidity,” throwing doubt on the CEO and CFO’s approach.

Yet, the employee, who is also a Wall Street veteran, feels the bank’s demise was caused by blunders and “naivety” rather than unlawful activities.

“The saddest thing is that this place is Boy Scouts,” they said.

“They made mistakes, but these are not bad people.”

Image source: Mint

Silicon Valley Bank collapse creates domino effect in crypto space

Silicon Valley Bank – Last year, the collapse of crypto exchange platform FTX created a domino effect that could be felt across the crypto space.

This year, Silicon Valley Bank has collapsed, which affects both the tech industry and the crypto space.

Following the SVB collapse, several crypto companies have signaled their exposure to the bank, which has upheld a reputation as a prominent lender to tech startups.

What happened?

Silicon Valley Bank was hit with a closure on Friday by the California Department of Financial Protection.

It marked the second-largest bank failure in the United States following the Washington Mutual in 2008.

Last quarter, SVB reported $212 billion in assets.

The bank’s stock started spiraling on Wednesday after rumors emerged that it was seeking an acquisition after it failed to raise sufficient capital to cover its obligations.

In the following days, several venture capital funds advised their clients to withdraw funds.

As a result, $42 billion of withdrawals occurred on Thursday, constituting a run on the bank.

By Friday morning, the Nasdaq froze trading of SIVB shares.

While the bank’s collapse primarily hit venture capital firms and tech startups, crypto companies have disclosed exposures to the bank.


The failed crypto lender filed for bankruptcy in November following the FTX collapse.

According to documents filed on Friday relating to its bankruptcy proceedings, BlockFi has $227 million in funds.

The funds are reportedly uninsured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission due to being in a money market mutual fund, which constitutes a violation of bankruptcy law.

BlockFi initially halted withdrawals days after the FTX collapse.

Last June, it was bailed out by the crypto exchange with a revolving $250 million line of credit.


Circle issues USDC, the world’s second-largest stablecoin.

On Friday, it announced that some undisclosed portion of the cash reserves to back USDC and tie its value to the US dollars were kept in Silicon Valley Bank.

Circle released a statement Friday, saying SVB was among the six banks relied on to manage the USDC cash reserves.

However, they claimed it would be able to continue operating normally.

Stablecoins like USDC are backed by (and pegged to) the value of real-world assets.

They are designed to play a sturdy intermediary between traditional finance and the more volatile crypto markets.

USDC holds a market cap of $42.17 billion, and it is the second-most used stablecoin worldwide.

According to Circle, 25% of assets backing USDC are cash, and they are reportedly fully collateralized.

Last week, Circle separated from collapsed crypto-friendly bank Silvergate, which shut down on Wednesday.

It previously used Silvergate for cash reserves until then.

Read also: Metaverse has drawn bigger names and bigger brands


The crypto-centric venture capital firm might have an amount of exposure to Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse.

According to a February 3 SEC filing, Pantera counted the failed bank among the three custodians of its private funds last month.

It counts as one of the largest crypto-focused VC firms worldwide, raising $1.3 billion in 2022 for a fund that focused on blockchain-based projects.


The Avalanche Foundation, a pillar to the Avalanche blockchain, announced that it has over $1.6 million in exposure to Silicon Valley Bank.

AVAX, its native token, currently holds an incredible market cap of $4.84 billion.

Yuga Labs

The $4 billion company that introduced the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collections is exposed to Silicon Valley Bank.

On Friday, co-founder Grego Solano said the company has limited exposure to the bank.

Yuga Labs has yet to confirm how much, but Solano claims the amount doesn’t impact their operations.


Proof is among the companies that have been hit hard by the closure.

It issued a statement Friday, confirming the company has cash in Silicon Valley Bank.

“Proof holds cash at SVB,” the company tweeted. “We’ve thankfully diversified our assets across ETH, stablecoins, as well as fiat.”

The company has yet to disclose the amount of cash tied with the bank, but conceded that the collapse was a blow.

In addition, it insisted the potential loss wouldn’t affect the security of the customer’s assets or Proof’s roadmap.

Nova Labs

On late Friday, Nova Labs revealed that it was exposed to Silicon Valley Bank.

Amir Haleem, the CEO and co-founder of of Nova Labs, tweeted:

“Nova Labs has some $ stuck in SVB, but the vast majority is in other institutions.”

Image source: The Information

Candy Digital to launch NFT collection based on Getty Images

Candy Digital – In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) burst into the scene, with thousands of projects capitalizing on the movement.

While many projects swung in a direction that offered unique digital assets, Candy Digital capitalized on one of the most popular sports in the United States, creating a collection based on Major League Baseball.

Launching in 2021, they produced the official line of MLB NFTs.

Having established itself as a leader in the NFT space, Candy Digital is going for a new line.

However, this time around, they are looking to create an NFT collection with Getty Images in the hopes of getting another major hit.

The collection

Candy Digital curated a collection of photos after going through Getty Images’ massive archive of stock photos.

For the collection, they are going to focus on some of the most prominent musicians from the 1970s along with the photographers that took them.

Among the icons they are looking to digitize are James Brown, John Lennon, and Elvis Presley.

One of the most unique things about the upcoming collection is the fact that it’s organized to revolve around six photographers like David Redfern and Fin Costello, rather than focusing on musical talents like Jimi Hendrix or the Rolling Stones.

Additionally, the collection isn’t just limited to a certain quantity.

The latest Candy Digital collection is scheduled to launch on March 21 through an open-edition mint.

It also comes after Candy Digital and Getty Images struck a partnership in May 2022.

Prospective buyers can get their hands on the collectibles by then, which are priced from $25 to $200 through a months-long mint availability window.

The partnership

Candy Digital has launched collections in the past based on sports and entertainment.

It managed to secure licenses with Netflix and World Wrestling Entertainment.

According to CEO Scott Lawin, the Getty Images partnership is targeted to fans of music and photography.

“We’re really excited about the fact that we’re talking to a different type of audience,” he said.

“The way we’ve thought about our partnerships, it really is creating opportunities for people not to just go deep in a category that they love, but also discover and collect across different types of content and IP.”

Academic research has found that sports fans are the better audience for digital asset ownership.

However, Lawin described Digital Candy’s partnership with Getty as a long-term relationship that he and the team are looking to build on over time.

They also noted that the Getty archive is home to millions of photos that span over decades and cover a plethora of subjects.

Read also: Momoguro makes debut in the NFT space, courtesy of Baobab Studios

The firm

Candy Digital was founded by Michael Rubin in June 2021.

Rubin is the executive chairman of Fanatics, a sports franchising company, and he is joined by NFT entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck and Galaxy Digital founder and CEO Mike Novogratz.

Due to Rubin’s involvement, Fanatics was a majority owner of Candy Digital.

Months after it was launched, the firm touted a $1.5 billion valuation by October 2021.

By then, it also revealed that it raised $100 million in a Series A round courtesy of Insight Partners and Sofrbank’s Vision Fund 2.

Despite its success, Candy Digital still suffered from crypto winter.

In November, Sportico reported that the firm laid off more than a third of its 100 workforce.

They weren’t alone as other NFT marketplaces like OpenSea also had job cuts, along with NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day creators Dapper Labs.

A change in the winds

In January, Fanatics sold over 60% of its majority stake in Candy Digital to a group of investors.

The group was led by Galaxy Digital and includes ConsenSys Mesh and 10T Holdings, an equity fund.

Michare Rubin published a Fanatics memo saying that NFTs are unlikely to succeed as a standalone business in an imploding NFT market that is witnessing drops in transaction volumes and prices for independent NFTs.

While they have different outlooks, Scott Lawin said Fanatics was a great partner to start the journey with as they leaned first into the sports space.

He added that the sale was a natural shift in a challenging market.


While NFTs can be traded on various marketplaces, Candy Digital NFTs are restricted to its marketplace on Palm, an Ethereum sidechain.

However, Lawin is optimistic that the limitation will change in the long run.

“Part of our roadmap [is] to allow our customers to take custody of their assets and potentially trade those in different marketplaces,” he said.

“It isn’t going to be a flip of the switch. It’s going to be something that we’re spending a lot of time internally with our technology partners, our communities, and our IP partners to do it the right way.”

Image source: Sportico

Metaverse has drawn bigger names and bigger brands

Metaverse – As the Web3 space expands, celebrity interest also grows, with many joining in on NFT collections or commercial chains.

Although it has become common for celebrities to jump into the Web3 space, the names involved are interesting.

With how wide they can gauge fans and bring in new customers, it can’t be denied that there are practical benefits.

For many established names in Web3, it could be the onset of a new era in how people utilize the internet.

Bigger names

The metaverse and Web3 have become interwoven into pop culture for the past couple of years.

Previously, Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton were discussing NFTs when more high-profile celebrities and major brands started paying attention (and eventually participating) to the decentralized web revolution.

A couple of celebrities have already stepped into the metaverse, but none were more influential than Snoop Dogg.

In 2022, the rapper revealed that he was a major NFT whale.

Snoop Dogg later launched his own collection of NFTs (The Doggies) and recreated his mansion in The Sandbox metaverse.

Meanwhile, other celebrities have utilized the metaverse in their own unique ways.

Justine Bieber hosted virtual concerts while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be using the metaverse platform to host business meetings and public appearances.

Major brands

Outside of celebrities, big brands have brought their businesses to the Web3 space to engage with fans and customers.

Nike released a Web3-enabled platform that creates new, inclusive digital communities and experiences.

Dubbed “Swoosh,” it serves as a home for Nike virtual creations.

Swoosh members can collect and create virtual products, from shoes to jerseys, and trade them on an open market.

Meanwhile, other clothing brands like Adidas, Gucci, and Prada are experimenting with metaverse spaces while creating their own NFT collections.

As the space grows, influencers and industries are taking note and utilizing the power of Web3 to make their mark.

Read also: Momoguro makes debut in the NFT space, courtesy of Baobab Studios

A vast potential

The growing interest with Web3 can be boiled down to a new age of the internet.

The innovation allows people to control their data much more securely, with information under stronger private security.

Additionally, Web3 is more accessible across an array of services and experiences.

The gravity of Web3’s potential is insurmountable, giving the power of control back into the hands of the user.

Celebrities and brands that are active in Web3 have more to benefit from a “first-mover advantage,” getting better exposure to early adopters.

The innovative nature creates a foundation of loyalty, providing a means to bring authorized, verifiable merchandise, credentials, and experiences to new customers and old fans.

Simultaneously, the early adopters have an advantage to increase trust and accountability with blockchain’s transparent and secure promise.

New age

As Web3 has been around for a while already, the benefits are seen by many as the most forward-thinking.

However, the future still holds plenty of potential.

Musical artists can use the space to release exclusive content that can only be experienced through the metaverse while offering fans complex forms of interaction.

The Web3 experience holds plenty of benefits, including:

  • VIP access to exclusive merchandise
  • Virtual meet and greets
  • Unlocking tickets to physical performances

Meanwhile, major brands can use the concept and push for the reality of metaverse shopping centers so users can browse physical and digital wares in 3D before deciding to make a purchase.

It can also improve their ability to customize and check the quality of their prospective purchases in real time.

NFT-based loyalty programs can provide bonuses like add-ons and discounts, giving businesses a clear reason to repeat their business model.

Additionally, celebrity Web3 domains provide a utility that helps people enter Web3 and the metaverse.

They function beyond social signaling and trend following, doubling as a digital identity that follows holders through the metaverse.

Furthermore, they can replace complex wallet addresses and simplify them to make a convenient transaction of sending and receiving crypto.

A paradigm shift

With how far Web3 has gotten, the world is still seeing the tip of the iceberg for how Web3 can be leveraged for a wider engagement.

Promotional campaigns can make use of the benefits of NFTs and blockchain while customers will be reassured with the security for their purchases and online interactions.

Image source: Ars Technica

Momoguro makes debut in the NFT space, courtesy of Baobab Studios

Momoguro – The NFT boom has created a unique space that is bringing in people from all backgrounds to share their affinity for Web3.

Several independent projects managed to garner incredible success, catching the attention of major brands and companies across various industries.

Baobab Studios, an award-winning firm, has explored the VR world, and now it is focused on making its mark in the Web3 space.

The news

Baobab Studios is known for producing short films that have won a total of nine Emmy Awards.

Following its venture into VR, the studio is now shifting its sights on Web3 through a family-friendly project called “Momoguro.”

The project will have an accompanying Ethereum NFT collection.

The Momoguro NFT collection is created by Martin Allais and Nico Cassavecchia.

Allais is a multimedia director and animator while Cassavecchia is a writer and director.

The project

Momoguro is going for an incredible double target: NFTs and an NFT RPG that allows players to venture into the world of Uno Plane.

The project is a colorful fantasy world filled with creatures called Momos that players can fuse to create hybrid characters.

Momoguro is minting its genesis NFTs for 0.22 ETH.

According to the mint site, they are dubbed “Holoselves” that players can adopt for the Uno Plane.

In addition, the Momoguro RPG will be set on a layer-2 Ethereum scaling solution called ImmutableX.

It will utilize NFTs as a core game feature.

Furthermore, the RPG is tipped to launch in the second quarter of 2023.

The studio

Baobab Studios was founded in 2015, and has since produced a series of successful independent animated films.

It is headed by Eric Darnell, who played a role in creating Antz and the four Madagascar films.

The studio has brought in some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including:

  • Oprah
  • Lupita Nyong’o
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Ethan Hawke
  • Kate Winslet
  • Daisy Ridley

The success of the project has allowed it to progress further, with projects being adapted into books, comics, games, movies, TV series, and more.

Read also: Avalon receives major funding from supports in recent round


Baobab Studios has clarified that it isn’t a Web3 company.

However, the studio is exploring the possibilities of NFTs engaging with users to create unique storytelling experiences.

Maureen Fan, the CEO and co-founder of Baobab Studies, released a statement, saying: “We believe stories can transcend mediums.”

“Baobab Studios’ mission is to inspire you to dream and bring out your sense of wonder. Make YOU matter.”

“This begins by creating great characters and stories, like Momoguro, where you can be part of the story,” she added.

“We aspire to bring the Momoguro IP to as many channels, streaming platforms, and widespread media as possible.”

Additionally, the creators behind Momoguro believe the project’s lore brings an important message.

“Community plays a big part in this,” said Cassavecchia.

“Inclusivity is paramount for the franchise, from ethnicities, genders and body-types, Momoguro’s ethos is that everyone is welcomed.”

According to Crunchbase data, Baobab is supported by the presence of Pixar cofounder Ed Catmull and Twitch cofounder Kevin Lin on its board.

The project has already raised a total funding of over $31 million from Disney, Samsung, and Comcast.

Hollywood studios and NFTs

Baobab Studios isn’t the first Hollywood firm to dive into NFTs or Web3.

Last year, Warner Bros. released an NFT collection around The Lord of the Rings, allowing buyers to swoop in for a digital copy of the first film.

Other studios have also experimented with NFT projects using their biggest properties, including:

  • Lionsgate
  • Netflix
  • Paramount

However, while other projects are looking to generate more revenue, Baobab Studios are more intent on creating a sense of community.

Momoguro has already produced fans during a Twitter Space event.

The project then gained a strong Twitter following with almost 50,000 members joining its official Discord server.

Image source: Twitter