Welcome back to Chain Reaction.
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Last week we didn’t publish a Chain Reaction newsletter, thanks to Thanksgiving. But we’re back at it this week and saying goodbye to November after a long, eventful month filled with lawsuits, price changes and the typical crypto chaos.
Let’s get into it.
What’s happening in web3
- Crypto enforcers wielded a heavy hand this year, but don’t expect it to get softer in 2024 (TC+)
- Optimism execs are optimistic for Ethereum’s future amid its ongoing scaling battle (TC+)
- Just how big of a recovery will it take to bring investors back to web3? (TC+)
- Binance and CEO ‘CZ’ plead guilty to federal charges, agreed to pay $4.3B in fines
- China’s tech giants dip their toes into web3, but prospects are limited so far
The latest pod
Optimism is an Ethereum-focused layer-2 blockchain that focuses on scaling and speed, while also lowering costs for users. It helps users interact with Ethereum for about 10x cheaper through its blockchain and provides developers the ability to build decentralized applications (dApps) in a faster, scalable way.
Before taking on this new role at Optimism, Ryan had a little bit of a break, but was the president of Polygon Labs (he came on the podcast at the beginning of the year to talk about it) and before that, he was YouTube’s head of Gaming.
Jing co-founded Optimism in 2018. Before that she founded Plasma Group, a research firm focused on addressing challenges related to scaling Ethereum. She also previously managed blockchain projects at companies like Zcash and Nasdaq.
We discussed how layer-2 blockchains like Optimism are trying to solve scalability issues on Ethereum and where Jing and Ryan see growth opportunities right now.
We also talked about:
- Base building with Optimism’s tech
- Competition between Ethereum and other blockchains
- Long-term adoption
- Web3 gaming
Follow the money
- Acctual raised $3.85 million to help crypto companies better manage their bills
- Web3 education platform Open Campus got a $3.15 million investment from Binance Labs
- Wind.app raised over $3 million to make DeFi accessible to average consumers
- Decentralized perpetual exchange MYX raised $5 million in a seed round at $50 million valuation
- Blockchain-built fitness and wellness app Coral got a $3 million investment from TealLink
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 are some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.
- The 2024 IPO cohort is coming into focus as Shein, Reddit prep to go public (TC+)
- Here’s everything Amazon Web Services announced at AWS re:Invent
- If I’m being honest, I didn’t have what it takes to be a founder (TC+)
- Apple partner Foxconn to invest $1.5 billion in India
- European startup funding halved to $45B in 2023, says Atomico
Follow me on Twitter @Jacqmelinek for breaking crypto news, memes and more.