Maven's Insights - October 2022

04 November 2022

After the transition to the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, excitement around the Ethereum network has not slowed down. The smart contract platform caught the attention of telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, which announced that they will support the Ethereum blockchain by running validator nodes. On top of that, they have partnered up with StakeWise DAO and are utilizing their liquid staking services alongside participation in the governance process. Tech giant Google announced that they will be offering a cloud-based blockchain node hosting service, after having formed a partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase to provide crypto payments for its cloud services last month.

MakerDAO, one of the largest stablecoin issuers and oldest DeFi protocols, announced that they are planning to acquire 400 million USD worth of US Government bonds and an additional 100 million USD worth of investment grade corporate bonds. The move is the latest in a line of moves that show the convergence of DeFi and CeFi. Similarly, France has allowed its third biggest bank of the country, Société Générale, to become a custodian of digital assets as well as to be involved in the buying and selling of these assets. By obtaining their digital asset service provider license they can now operate among various well known platforms such as Binance and FTX. 

Mastercard announced the launch of their new service which is dubbed ‘Crypto Sources’. With this service they aim to support Fintech companies and banks in the onboarding process of digital assets. The service includes trading and asset custody assistance, and a fiat on- and off-ramp, among various other functionalities. To further strengthen their proposition for this new product, they will work together with Paxos, which is a regulated blockchain infrastructure provider. 

While the European Union is working on finalizing the details of the MiCA framework, the British authorities are working on their own regulatory framework for digital assets as well. The previous draft of the law allowed the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate stablecoins only. However, a new clausule will be added which states that all digital assets will be regulated and fall under the domain of the Financial Conduct Authority. At the time of writing, the bill still has to pass the British administrative process.

While the Twitter and Elon Musk takeover saga has gotten quite some media attention this month,  their new NFT integration has gone somewhat under the radar. The social media platform will allow users to buy, sell, and display NFTs directly through tweets in collaboration with four NFT marketplaces over multiple blockchains. This announcement is in line with the company’s strategy of integrating NFTs, having allowed holders of certain NFT collections to link their NFTs to their profile earlier this year. 

The English Premier League is looking to tap into the world of digital collectibles through a partnership with Sorare. The platform of digital collectibles would be responsible for the static images which will be displayed as NFTs, and would see the Premier League following on the tails of La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A, and MLS in partnering with Sorare for their NFT fantasy sports platform.

Our portfolio company Mekatek launched the first version of its block space market for the IBC-ecosystem called ‘Zenith’. Mekatek’s goal is to capture and democratize the value of MEV (i.e. the maximum amount of profit that can be generated by ordering transactions of a block a certain way) in the Cosmos ecosystem. The system is comparable to the Ehtereum-native Flashbots, and allows supply from block producers and demand from independent network participants to meet in an equitable environment.

This month our venture investment in Celestia was announced, having raised an astounding 55 million USD from its backers. Celestia is a modular blockchain that specializes in providing data availability. By using this modular architecture it allows other layers that specialize in execution and settlement to efficiently be built on top of it. With the decoupling of the consensus and application layers comes a whole set of new possibilities for the builders of dApps. To get a thorough understanding of why we are so fond of Celestia, read the full explanation here.

Our portfolio company, Maple Finance, has issued over 1.8 billion USD in loans, having issued almost 40 million USD in loans again this month. For a short recap of October as a Pool Delegate on the platform, please check out the full articles on our USDC, wETH and KYC USDC pools. If you would like to learn more about being a lender on Maple Finance, you can reach out to us directly.