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Earlier this week, chubby penguinsa collection of NFTs that also doubles as a web3 IP company, raised $9 million for its seed round.
Why does this matter?
Pudgy Penguins isn’t the first NFT-focused company or collection to raise money. However, its initial round is yet another indication of the growing digital asset sub-sector and how projects that can ostensibly be construed as a simple profile picture collection (PFP) can turn into something more.
For context: last September, doodles grossed $54 million at a valuation of $704 million in a round led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s venture capital firm Seven Seven Six. And in March 2022, Yuga Labs, the company behind three top-tier NFT collections, raised $450 million at a $4 billion valuation.
Chubby penguins, who reminds me of club penguinwas launched in 2021 and acquired by a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and web3 enthusiast luca netz in April 2022. Since then, it has expanded from 8,888 NFTs to a suite of products and real-life experiences providing collection owners with live events, physical merchandise, and licensing opportunities.
The collection round was led by 1kx, an early-stage investment firm, and featured participation from Big Brain Holdings, Kronos Research, the founders of LayerZero Labs, Old Fashion Research, and CRIT Ventures. The funds will be used to scale your IP, your equipment, and to “improve offerings” for your community.
As it stands, Pudgy Penguins ranks 21st by all-time NFT sales volume across all networks. The collection has over $252 million in lifetime sales and in the last 30 days, it had $4.2 million in sales, up 102% over that time period, according to CryptoSlam. data.
Of the 8,888 NFTs, only 566, or 6.4%, are for sale, according to their website. The minimum price, or lowest selling price, for a plump penguin is about 4.18 ethers, or $7,700, at current prices. The most expensive is currently on the list of 900 ether, or $1.6 millioneven though it was sold two years ago for 0.009 eth, or about $16.
In the future, Pudgy Penguins and other large NFT collections could serve as leaders paving the way for larger IP movements in the sub-sector. These projects not only make money through sales, but also through investors. And with that, there could be a snowball effect (no pun intended).
This week on web3
Tensor is rising to the top of the Solana NFT market totem pole (TC+)
Just two months ago, NFT trading platform Tensor raised $3 million in a seed round. Fast forward to today and it is close to regaining its position as the largest Solana-based NFT marketplace based on market share. The platform launched a private beta in June 2022 and opened to the public the following month. In March, it had more than 30,000 monthly active users, and in April its MAU increased 317% to more than 125,000, said co-founder Ilja Moisejevs.
Crypto needs a global vision to build better regulatory models (TC+)
The crypto industry is increasingly concerned that US regulators are tightening the space too tightly. Unsurprisingly, that makes companies in the space look to regions that have clearer guidelines, and it seems there are lessons the industry and regulators around the world can learn by looking beyond their borders.
Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Seeks To Drop Most US Charges Against Him
Former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried filed a pretrial motion to dismiss 10 of the 13 charges against him, according to court documents. In Monday’s filing, Bankman-Fried attorneys from the law firm of Cohen & Gresser seek to dismiss the conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud charges. The lawyers are also seeking to dismiss some other charges, including bribery and political contribution charges. However, his attorneys did not appeal three counts: conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Arbitrum co-founder sees DAO’s resolution to election drama as a “testimony to decentralization” (TC+)
It’s been just over a month since the Arbitrum Foundation drama, where the foundation transferred funds from the Arbitrum DAO without community approval, causing an uproar. But if you ask Steven Goldfeder, CEO and co-founder of Offchain Labs, that blunder was just one of the first steps on the path to decentralization.
Mastercard, PayPal and Robinhood take a deeper dive into crypto as industry shows ‘promise’ (TC+)
As the crypto market makes its way through a recession, more money coming in and more users could help it weather the storm. But right now, it’s sometimes challenging for the layman to get into crypto. Understanding gas rates and wallets isn’t intuitive, and the perceived miasma of complication currently surrounding the space doesn’t help either. To help foster user adoption and the resulting capital inflow, web3 needs smoother on-ramps and off-ramps to make it easier to buy and interact with blockchains. Trusted providers with existing core audiences are betting that they can help fill that gap.
Investors Applaud as Coinbase Beats First Quarter Expectations (TC+)
Coinbase reported its first quarter 2023 financial results, vastly exceeding expectations. In the first three months of the year, the US cryptocurrency exchange posted net income of $736 million, a net loss of $79 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $284 million. Analysts had expected much lower revenue of $655 million and a larger loss for the company in the first quarter. In after-hours trading, Coinbase shares were up just over 7%. Certainly, Coinbase’s results are a welcome data set for both crypto bulls and investors in the company.
the last pod
This week we have a bonus episode of a chat by the fireplace jaquelyn did with Nadia Tolokonnikovathe creator of the protest art collective kitten riotat NFT NYC in April.
Tolokonnikova was sentenced to two years in prison in 2012 after being found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” but was released early under amnesty.
Fast forward to 2023 and Tolokonnikova has continued to use the name Pussy Riot to fight for the rights of women and LGBTQ people and against the control of Russia under President Vladimir Putin. Starting in March, Tolokonnikova was added to Russia. most wanted criminal list.
Tolokonnikova has also spoken before the United States Congress, the British Parliament, the European Parliament and has appeared on television shows such as House of Cards.
We dive into an in-depth conversation about Tolokonnikova’s mission, how she uses NFTs as a form of activism, and how she got into space.
We also discuss:
- How others can use NFTs for activism
- Future visions for the NFT utility
- Advice for projects in space
ICYMI: In the past week episode, jaquelyn interviewed jake chervinsky, the policy director of the Blockchain Association, a non-profit organization focused on promoting “pro-innovation” policy for the world of digital assets. He is also a board member of the DeFi education fund and an advisor to a variant of the web3 seed stage fund.
Prior to his work with the Blockchain Association, Chervinsky began his legal career in private practice with a focus on compliance and anti-money laundering and corruption investigations, financial services litigation, and defense against government enforcement. He spends a lot of time in DC, testifying at hearings to help clarify the crypto industry in hopes of guiding it in the right direction.
We talk about all things regulatory, from how Chervinsky sees the current regulatory landscape to whether or not we’re in an era of “repression,” as people call it.
We also discuss:
- Change of mind of regulators
- american crypto companies
- Are cryptocurrencies commodities or securities?
- Stablecoin Legislation
- Future legal frameworks and guidelines
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follow the money
- Crypto Media Platform blocks grossed $12 million at a valuation of $135 million
- Decentralized Crypto Wallet Provider odsy network grossed $7.5 million
- Webb protocol raised $7 million to expand cross-chain privacy
- Ecosystem-focused multi-chain NFT artifact labs grossed $3.25 million
- siphon laba DeFi platform on the Sui Network, raised $1.2 million in a seed round
This list was compiled using information from Messari, as well as TechDigiPro’s own reports.
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