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Crypto scrapes dust ⚔️ AI gets gold rush
Crypto VC investment drops 70% in a year. AI Billion dollar babies - InflectionAI, Typeface, RunwayAI and counting. 'ForeverCR7: The GOAT' NFT collection coming. Gary Gensler AI-generated resignation.
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What goes up must come down🎢
Once the life of the tech party, Crypto's now watching from the sidelines as Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes the limelight?
VC investments in crypto companies have taken a wild ride - 70% down down down in the past year.
Let's talk numbers
In June 2022, we saw $1.81 Billion go into the digital asset space over 149 investment rounds. And September 2022 was a record month with $1.85 Billion in funding.
Fast-forward to this year, and the picture isn't quite as rosy: only 83 projects managed to secure a much more modest total of $520 Million. This makes June 2023 the lowest funded month to date.
Check out the plummet for yourself
Infrastructure projects: received $213 Million in VC funding in June 2023 - 50% drop from the previous month.
Centralised Finance (CeFi): pulled in $101 Million in VC funding. The little engine that could.
Gaming: not to be left out, snagged a respectable $62 Million in VC funding.
The United States: the land of the free and home of 34% of total crypto funding.
Coinbase Ventures: The high school jock of VCs - a whopping 71 rounds of funding. Well, someone's been busy!
For all this plummeting that's happening, we should thank banking turmoil, regulatory clampdowns, specific actions by companies like FTX and Terra and everyone else ( Special mention: Gary) who participated.
In the parallel universe - AI gold rush
Inflection @ AI $4 Billion: AI chatbot startup Inflection AI has raised $1.3 Billion in funding, bringing its valuation to $4 Billion.
The funding round was backed by tech giants Microsoft and Nvidia, as well as notable figures like Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, and Reid Hoffman.
The startup, known for its AI-powered chatbot Pi, plans to use the funds to expand its operations and forge new commercial partnerships. Inflection AI remains independent and retains control over its intellectual property.
Typeface @ $1 Billion: Generative AI startup Typeface has raised $100 Million in a Series B funding round led by Salesforce Ventures, bringing its valuation to $1 Billion.
Other participants: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Madrona, Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, and Microsoft's M12 venture fund.
Typeface was founded in June 2022 by former designers and managers from Meta, Adobe, and Microsoft. It offers a generative content platform for businesses, using AI to create text, images, and other media in response to prompts. Typeface plans to use the funds to fuel growth, innovation and scale its generative AI platform.
Mistral AI @ $260 Million: French startup Mistral AI has raised $113 Million in seed funding at a valuation of $260 Million to compete against OpenAI in developing large language models and generative AI.
Led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from several other investors.
The company, founded by former Google DeepMind and Meta employees, aims to make AI useful by focusing on open-source solutions and targeting enterprises. Mistral AI plans to release its first models for text-based generative AI in 2024. Mistral AI intends to use publicly available data and open-source its models and datasets.
Runway AI @ $237 Million: AI video startup Runway AI has raised $141 Million in a funding round led by Google, Nvidia, and Salesforce. This brings the total funding raised by the New York-based company to $237 Million since its founding in 2018.
Runway specialises in AI-based film and editing tools, with its technology able to create a short film from just a few lines of text. The latest funding will be used to further research and improve the company's models for video and image generation, with a focus on consistency and controllability. Runway's newest product, Runway ML Gen-2, generates short videos in response to written text.
Another $2 Billion: Three AI startups, MosaicML, NoTraffic, and CalypsoAI, have collectively raised $2 Billion in recent funding rounds.
This influx of funding reflects the recognition of AI's potential to disrupt industries and generate significant returns. MosaicML, which was acquired by Databricks for $1.3 Billion, specialises in large-scale neural network training and inference. CalypsoAI, a leader in AI Security, secured $23 Million to further develop its Large Language Model (LLM) security solutions. These investments aim to accelerate the development of custom AI models and enhance the safety and reliability of generative AI and LLMs.
TTD Resignation? 😡
Gary Gensler resigned. What?
No, it’s an AI-generated resignation.
There's this website called "thecryptoalert.com" that claims Gensler has stepped down after an internal investigation.
Now the website seems brand new, with only 17 posts since June 22. And they all are churning out content with the help of AI.
ZeroGPT gives 'em 70% score.
AI-detector ZeroGPT rates the article a whopping 96.8% AI-generated.
News spread like wildfire and Fox Business Network's Charles Gasparino drove in to confirm that Gensler is NOT resigning.
He got the scoop straight from the SEC
TTD Attack 💀
Poly Network was hacked over the weekend, with the attacker exploiting a vulnerability in the platform's cross-chain bridge tool.
The attacker created billions of tokens, leading to the suspension of Poly Network's services while they assessed the extent of the attack.
The hacker's wallet held nearly $43 Billion worth of cryptocurrency at one point.
The attack targeted bridges that facilitate asset movement across different networks, with significant amounts of tokens issued on various networks like Metis, Heco, Polygon, and Avalanche.
Tokens issued on the Metis network were effectively useless due to a lack of sell liquidity, rendering them valueless.
The attacker managed to swap stolen tokens for approximately $400,000 worth of crypto on decentralised exchanges operating on the Ethereum network.
Estimates of the hacker's total gains vary, with SlowMist reporting over $4 Million worth of digital assets being cashed in.
Poly Network had previously made headlines in 2021 for a historic attack that resulted in a loss of $600 Million. The platform repaid users after the attacker returned $342 Million of the stolen crypto.
The recent attack raises concerns about the platform's security and the recovery of stolen funds.
TTD Thefts 🏴☠️
NFT thefts in June 2023 were the lowest they have been this year, amounting to $2.27 Million, a 23% decrease compared to the previous month.
So what do the numbers say?
The highest month for NFT thefts in 2023 was February, with $16.2 Million worth of NFTs stolen.
In the first half of the year, nearly $40 Million worth of NFTs were stolen.
Half of the stolen NFTs were sold on various marketplaces within three hours of the theft.
The most popular marketplace for selling stolen NFTs in June was Blur, accounting for 86% of the total.
A cyber-thief known as "Fake_Phishing182232" stole two Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFTs and sold them for around 70 ETH on the Blur marketplace.
The twist in the numbers
PeckShield reported that June was the second-highest month for overall crypto exploits in 2023, with a total loss of $92.5 Million resulting from around 42 exploits.
The decline in NFT thefts in June may be attributed to falling floor prices, making NFTs less attractive targets for theft.
NFT floor prices across major collections like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), Azuki, DeGods, and Azuki Elementals experienced significant drops.
Collectors and whales took advantage of the low prices, with "Machi Big Brother" acquiring 84 Azuki NFTs in the past 24 hours to become the second-largest holder.
TTD CR7 ⚽
Cristiano Ronaldo is diving headfirst into the world of NFTs alongside Binance, the crypto exchange.
The exclusive 'ForeverCR7: The GOAT'
The NFTs honouring Ronaldo's incredible feat of scoring 838 career goals (and counting). The collection is set to be unleashed on July 3, igniting a frenzy of excitement.
29,327 NFTs are up for grabs, featuring an array of 20 unique designs.
Four rarity levels: Normal (N), Rare (R), Super Rare (SR), and Super Super Rare (SSR).
The real kicker: the SSR NFTs, limited to a mere seven in existence, they include exclusive benefits such as the opportunity to train with Cristiano Ronaldo and other enticing perks.
At the 48-hour auction, the six SSR NFTs will find their lucky owners. The opening bid? A 15,000 USDT.
Then the last SSR NFT will be reserved for an exclusive giveaway event.
What's in it for you?
Well, owning an SSR NFT grants you a golden ticket to a world of perks: automatic entry into future giveaways, a signed Binance x CR7 poster to proudly display, a personalised video message from Ronaldo himself, an autographed Binance football shirt for your collection, tickets to an upcoming Binance Blockchain Week event, and the pièce de résistance—an incredible in-person training session with the living legend, Cristiano Ronaldo!
The last time
The previous collection, the CR7 NFT Collection, faced challenges due to market conditions but still showcased significant statistics.
Floor price: $1.02
24-hour trading volume: $1,200
Total volume since inception: $897,500
Ownership by 72,833 individuals
Ronaldo's collaboration with Binance follows in the footsteps of his arch-rival, Lionel Messi, whose venture capital firm, Play Time, recently backed the thrilling Web3 gaming startup Matchday.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Singapore regulator bans crypto exchanges from lending, staking for retail investors. Exchanges are expected to keep user funds in a Trust.
Thailand too bans crypto exchanges from offering lending services, putting investor protection at the forefront of its crypto policy approach.
The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working on legal amendments to prohibit peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto transactions.
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