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September 30, 2022

Nasdaq Plans to Launch Digital Custody Service | Ember Nuggets #44

Wondering what's the latest in crypto and Web3 news? We've got just the cure. Here are some fresh nuggets to fill you in!

Let's hop right in.

Nugget #1: Institutional adoption continues quietly in the bear market

Over the past few weeks, we have seen postings or announcements from firms all the way from finance to media show interest in Web3.

The biggest announcement recently has been the Nasdaq, equity exchange operator, which plans to launch a digital custody service under Nasdaq Digital Assets. It has been rumored for months that the exchange has been researching and building its own proprietary solutions leveraging Web3 technology. The launch is pending regulatory approval.

Disney has also recently entered the mix, with the firm posting new job openings focused on Web3. Over the past few months, the company has brought on executives focused on Web3 strategy and the CEO has been very favorable towards Web3 talking about its potential in media for new experiences.

Starbucks has taken a large leap of faith into Web3 leveraging NFTs for its revolutionary new rewards program. From their PR:

“New Starbucks Odyssey experience will offer members the ability to earn and buy digital collectible stamps (NFTs) that will unlock access to new, immersive coffee experiences.”

Next, Chipotle is currently running a Proof of “Steak” promotion in celebration of Ethereum’s merge to Proof of Stake where you can get 99.95% off their new steak meal. Nice one, Chipotle.

And lastly, last week we saw National Lampoon, the American humor brand, announce a formal Web3 venture, NL Studios. The firm is excited about creating a Web3 destination focused on the intersection of artists, audience, comedic entertainment, digital assets, experiences, and IP rights enabled by blockchain innovation.

Rumorville: Per conversations and leaks seen, we expect Amazon to make some moves in the space in the coming months. Meanwhile, many large firms continue to invest in the space via hiring and investing in startups focused on Web3.

Nugget #2: Post Merge

On September 15, early in the AM, the Merge was a success and ETH officially switched to PoS. Since the Merge, ETH has fallen roughly ~15%, markets usually sell the news, but we are also seeing weakness and declines in the broader economy.

One of the biggest changes coming was the reduction of new ETH supply. Since the Merge, according to Delphi Digital, we have seen daily ETH issuance drop from 12.7K ETH per day on PoW to 818 ETH per day on PoS, representing a 93% decline. ETH remains inflationary at 0.2% annual supply increase at current gas levels, but an increase in activity/demand will flip ETH into a deflationary asset in the near future.

Nugget #3: Rapid News Updates

  • Federal Reserve has no near-term plans to launch a CBDC, rather, focused on working with private parties and building a regulatory framework for the space

  • Do Kwon, founder of Terraform Labs, was issued Red Notice by Interpol for not complying with authorities and is wanted in over 190 countries

  • Bitcoin is trading near the 20-day average and holding between $19K - $20K

  • NFT trading volume continues to decline, down 98% compared to its January peak, meanwhile, we continue to see increased traction and adoption from institutional players entering the space

  • FTX has won a preliminary bid to buy Voyager Digital, a digital exchange that declared bankruptcy in the May fallout of 3AC and LUNA, it is awaiting regulatory approval

  • Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius, has stepped down as bankruptcy proceeds for the company, while many are speculating that SBF may come in with a bid to save it from liquidation

  • Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, has also stepped down pending a replacement by Kraken’s current chief operating officer, Dave Ripley

Harsharn Singh

Ember Fund

Focus on NFT/DeFi


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