Welcome back to The Exchange. Today we’re doing something fun with crypto.
Sure, we could write more about how insurtech valuations are under fresh pressure after Hippo’s Q2 earnings report — we spoke to the company’s president yesterday; more to come — or the latest stock market movements in China. There are big rounds worth considering as well. Roblox reported earnings this week. And Monday.com’s earnings pushed its shares sharply higher yesterday. There’s lots of interesting news to chew on.
But instead of all that, we’re digging back into crypto. Why? Because there are some rather bullish trends that indicate the world of blockchain is maturing and creating a raft of winning players
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Writing about crypto is always a little risky. Cybersecurity folks will complain that we’re abusing the phrase crypto, despite the fact that language always evolves. And Bitcoin maximalists aren’t going to find much below that underscores their core thesis that every coin not mentioned in Satoshi’s whitepaper is, in fact, a scam. Save your tweets, please.
But if you care more generally about the larger global cryptoeconomy, it’s time to imbibe some good news. Our goal is to highlight a few recent trends and then talk a little about what we might see coming from startups.
Encouraging news from your local distributed ledger
The Exchange finds rising NFT volumes bullish, and we have a new thesis for what the value proposition is for such digital assets. The rising tide of mega-rounds for crypto exchanges belies not only the worldwide demand for access to crypto, but also sets the stage for a global cohort of stable, well-funded and trustworthy on-ramps to the crypto world — and, of course, more exchanges imply lower fees over time.
Non-exchange crypto fees are also bullish. And then there’s a wrinkle to the stablecoin game and what sort of economics things like USDC may command in time. We have notes from an interview with Circle to help us there.
NFTs and the concept of joy
I don’t think anyone actually understands what the metaverse is. But the possibility that, in time, unique assets on particular chains — NFTs — will have a part to play in larger digital worlds seems like a reasonable conjecture. One can easily imagine life, as we all become Increasingly Online, leaning on human desires for scarcity as a method of showing status. NFTs will help meet that demand in certain digital ecosystems. Games, probably, though what we consider a game will also evolve as VR becomes more mainstream.
But that future is not here yet. So, what value are NFTs providing today that makes them potentially worthwhile? Joy.