Welcome back to Chain Reaction.
To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important crypto stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday at 12 p.m. PT, subscribe here.
Editor’s note: There won’t be a newsletter on 12/28; hope you all have a happy holidays and talk to you in the new year!
It seems every time a dog-themed memecoin like Dogecoin (DOGE) or Shiba Inu (SHIB) goes mainstream, another one lurks in the shadows, waiting to pounce on its very own hype train.
The value of the newest such memecoin Bonk (BONK), a Shiba Inu-themed Solana token, has increased by over 400% on the month, according to CoinMarketCap data. The hype for the token and Solana Saga phone skyrocketed last week, after owners of that phone found out they could claim 30 million BONK tokens, worth roughly $560 at the time of publication.
The Saga phone soon after sold out of its 20,000 units in the U.S., and Bonk hit an all-time high six days ago. Solana (SOL), the cryptocurrency connected to the layer-1 blockchain that Saga and Bonk are focused on, has climbed more than 21% on the week, too.
The Bonk hype has faded since, but other Solana-based memecoins like Dogwifhat (WIF) have also benefited a lot from the interest.
A token literally based on a Shiba Inu in a knit beanie, Dogwifhat has risen 42.46% in the last 24 hours, and spiked 864% in the past seven days, at the time of writing. The token currently has a market cap of around $218 million, according to CoinGecko data. In comparison, Bonk’s market cap is more than five times that at $1.14 billion.
Of course, these aren’t the first meme-driven dog tokens to take off, and I doubt they will be the last. Still, these market moves are signaling that retail interest and appetite is turning toward crypto again after a prolonged bear market.
What’s happening in web3
The latest pod
For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed Staci Warden, the CEO of the Algorand Foundation, the organization behind the layer-1 blockchain Algorand.
Previously, Warden worked at the Milken Institute and oversaw initiatives relating to capital market development, fintech financial inclusion, cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
Before that she was at JPMorgan, where she was an executive director leading public sector coverage. She also worked at Nasdaq and the U.S. Treasury. Warden sits on the advisory boards for the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment and the U.S. Financial Technology Association.
As for Algorand, it’s a Singapore-based blockchain that aims to be fast, secure, decentralized and “the greenest” with its carbon-negative network. It had about 615,000 active addresses at the time of recording.
We discussed Algorand’s ecosystem, decentralization and real use cases being built during the bear market.
We also talked about:
- Tokenization of assets
- Foundations behind blockchains
- Challenges of expanding in the U.S.
- Algorand’s plans for 2024
Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!
Follow the money
Financial web3 data startup Tres raised an $11 million Series A round
Gaming titan Nexon invested $100 million into its web3 venture, MapleStory Universe
Innovation lab web3mine, focused on building web3 tools, raised a $6 million seed round
Banking-as-a-service platform provider Fiat Republic raised a $7 million in seed extension
Fyde Treasury raised a $3.2 million seed round to help manage and scale on-chain crypto holdings
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.
Follow me on Twitter Jacqmelinek for breaking crypto news, memes and more.