Dispatch #185: Crypto Abstraction Is Near

4 min read

In this patch of your weekly Dispatch:

  • A Trojan Horse 🐴

  • A Metaverse Address 📣

  • A Financial Highway 🛣️

The Big Idea

The Crypto Singularity We Need?

The ups and downs in the crypto world are enough to keep the uninvested, unbiased market watchers entertained forever. But once in a while, those highs and dips appear boring in the face of true innovation. 

In a bustling corner of Seoul, amidst the neon lights and tech-savvy crowds, NEAR co-founder Illia Polosukhin pulled back the curtain on the latest magic trick for blockchain aficionados – Chain Signatures. Coming from the Near Foundation, creators of the signature NEAR token, it’s all about Chain Abstraction.

We’re barely holding off our blockchain team from taking over this week’s Big Idea:

  • Chain Signatures are a groundbreaking innovation introduced by NEAR, enabling NEAR accounts and smart contracts to sign transactions for any blockchain. 

  • This is made possible through a decentralized Multi-Party Computation (MPC) network, where validators or MPC nodes sign transactions requested by NEAR accounts or smart contracts. These are then sent to the destination chain.

  • Chain Signatures eliminate the need for users to manage multiple accounts across different blockchains, making it easier to navigate the world of decentralized finance (DeFi) and enhancing cross-chain interoperability.

  • Launching alongside Chain Signatures is the Multichain Gas Relayer, eliminating the need for native gas tokens on other chains.

Where does that leave us? NEAR a reality where the distinction between blockchains becomes increasingly blurred, ultimately leading to a seamless transaction experience where users may not even realize which blockchain they're interacting with. 

And that’s good for adoption.

The Latest In…

Just Bitcoin Things

Bitcoin continues to hover around its new-found highland territory at around $70,000. Here’s some developments that kept it there this week:

  • Bitcoin faces a severe liquidity crunch as demand skyrockets, reaching 213,000 BTC per month, according to CryptoQuant. Institutional investments and whale accumulation drive this surge, while sell-side liquidity dwindles to 2.7 million BTC.

  • Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood hails Bitcoin as a "financial superhighway," stressing its vital role in emerging markets. Wood suggests Bitcoin's price could soar above $3.5M, underscoring its potential for further growth beyond previous predictions.

  • Asset manager VSFG and partner Value Partners have applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF with Hong Kong's SFC. This move aligns with reports hinting at the SFC's readiness for spot Bitcoin ETFs in Q2, as Hong Kong aims to establish itself as a global crypto hub.

The Latest In…

The Memecoin Effect

That Big Idea above was introduced at BUIDL Asia this week. And with it came a surprising reality-check on what meme coins are. Apparently, they are crypto’s trojan horse to the fortress of adoption.

  • Memecoins are reshaping the crypto landscape, transcending their initial comedic appeal to become a pivotal aspect of the market, says Maartje Bus, VP of research at Messari.

  • Bus suggests they act as a trojan horse, covertly introducing newcomers to the world of crypto while providing entertainment. This dual role not only promotes wider adoption but also underscores the playful potential of cryptocurrency, seamlessly blending amusement with financial exploration and education.

  • “Crypto is often criticized for not having use cases for the average Joe, and that is a fair comment,” said Bus. “But memecoins actually have been successful, consistently, in bringing people on-chain.”

The Latest In…

Vitalik (Friendly-) Fires the Metaverse? 

That BUIDL Asia conference delivered some gems, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin not missing to chip in his $0.02. According to him the Metaverse entails a broader fusion of crypto, virtual reality, and AI components to realize its full potential. He challenges the notion of the Metaverse as a singular entity, advocating for a comprehensive integration of diverse virtual world elements for its proper implementation. “The Metaverse is poorly defined and often seen more as a brand name than a product,” Buterin commented.

The Week’s Most Interesting Data Story

ETH’s Lead in DeFi

Last week’s Data Story featured Solana’s momentum in DeFi, but it’s still Ethereum that dominates the space with a staggering $43B in total value locked compared to Solana’s $4.6B. It’s a healthy competition for the space and an enjoyable event for spectators.  

Hot Topics

What the Community Is Discussing

The man himself replied!

We’re just as thrilled, BOB! 

They’ve got $1.3T under management, you know…

What to Watch for Next Week:

  • The tussles in crypto regulation

  • The swings before the Halving

  • The promises of asset tokenization

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