Bitcoin hits highs, Binance launches a crypto perfume and Coachella partners with OpenSea

By | March 7, 2024

Welcome to TechCrunch Crypto, formerly known as Chain Reaction.

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Hello and welcome back to the TechCrunch Crypto Newsletter.

To start, here’s a shameless plug: I went to Yahoo Finance last week for a roundtable discussion along with Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein, CoinDesk Indices director Andy Baehr, and Matt Kohrs, host of the cryptocurrency Matt Kohrs Show.

We discussed spot bitcoin ETFs, the regulation of digital assets, and what the next era for crypto could look like. Look here.

It’s been an eventful week in the crypto world: Bitcoin’s price hit a new record on Tuesday, Spain’s data protection authority temporarily banned Worldcoin and Binance raised eyebrows after creating a crypto perfume to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Curious? See more below.

This week in web3

  1. Bitcoin hits a new all-time high for the first time since November 2021, passing $69,000

  2. Binance created crypto perfume in a stunning attempt to woo women

  3. Worldcoin hit with a temporary ban in Spain due to privacy concerns

  4. OpenSea’s partnership with Coachella is a sign that NFTs can be more than profile photos

  5. Binance to suspend naira services amid ongoing surveillance investigation in Nigeria

Crucial figures

As mentioned, the crypto space saw record highs for bitcoin this week. But the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies has since fallen about 3%, from about $69,000 to $67,000, at time of publication. Still, bitcoin is up 6.5% on the week and 56% on the month. The second-largest cryptocurrency, ether, is up 9.7% this week to $3,800, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The total crypto market capitalization rose 7.7% to $2.53 trillion over the same period.

Smaller tokens have also gained a lot of traction over the past week. Solana-based dog-themed memecoins saw renewed interest after the hype increased in December. Bonk and dogwifhat rose 15% and 115% respectively this week. Separately, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu rose 19% and 125% respectively over the same period.

Which begs the question…who let the dogs out?

Our favorite ‘Crypto Twitter’ post

Pardon the language, but if you didn’t realize how big some memecoins are getting… maybe you do now. When this X-post was written, dogwifhat (WIF) had a market cap three times that of Spirit Airlines.

For what it’s worth, it’s fallen since then, but dogwifhat (WIF) has a market cap of $1.8 billion, which is still 213% higher than Spirit Airlines.

A screenshot of a post on X by user IcedKnife

A screenshot of a post on X by user IcedKnife

Image credits: IcedKnife on X (opens in a new window)

The newest pod

Chain Reaction does a monthly series that delves into various topics and themes in crypto. This month we focus on blockchain and AI integrations.

For this week’s episode I interviewed Dee Goens, the co-founder of Zora.

Zora is a platform and protocol that helps developers and makers bring their ideas to the chain and to Ethereum through an open and shared environment. The platform has minted more than million NFTs, has more than $300 million in secondary sales and about 1 million unique collectors, according to its website.

Goens previously worked at Coinbase for 2.5 years in risk management, operations and brand partnerships. Before that, he analyzed the risks of emerging technologies, with a focus on blockchains at KPMG.

While we just wrapped up our NFT series for February, Goens is the perfect guest to transition from that topic to AI and blockchains, given Zora’s focus on bringing AI to the chain.

In a first for Chain Reaction, we’ve also released this podcast on the Zora platform, which you can watch here.

Jacquelyn and Goens discuss how Zora envisions blockchains and AI working together, what roles they can play for NFT makers, and what the platform’s developers and community members want more of.

Subscribe Chain reaction on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to stay up to date with the latest episodes, and leave a review if you like what you hear!

Follow the money

  1. Zama’s homomorphic encryption technology fetched $73 million at a valuation of nearly $400 million

  2. Taiko raises $37 million to build web3 infrastructure for a censorship-free internet

  3. Karma3 Labs raises $4.5 million to improve trust in web3 with reviews and recommendations

  4. Utila has raised $11.5 million in a seed round for its high-end crypto operations platform

  5. Security infrastructure startup Firewall has raised $3.7 million to help bring smart contracts into the mainstream

This list was compiled with information from Messari and TechCrunch’s own reporting.

What else we write

Do you want to break away from the world of web3? Here are some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.

  1. Elon Musk sues OpenAI and Sam Altman for ‘betrayal’ of nonprofit’s AI mission

  2. And… Former CEO of Twitter is suing Elon Musk

  3. Roku is turning off TVs and streaming devices until users agree to new terms

  4. A leaky database spread 2FA codes for the world’s tech giants

  5. When your cap table makes your startup uninvestable

  6. The goal is to launch its own version of Amazon Prime, starting at $49 per year

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