In this patch of your weekly Dispatch:
- Square changes its name to Block
- Nexo launches 0% APR credit lines, invests in 1inch
- Fidelity announces a Bitcoin spot ETF…in Canada
The Big Idea
What’s in a Name?
Name changes of Web2.0 stalwarts have been all the rage lately. First, it was Facebook, which changed its parent company’s name to “Meta” in late October. This week, it was Square, which changed its name to “Block” (as well as Square Crypto’s name to Spiral) just days after CEO Jack Dorsey announced that he was stepping down from the CEO role at the other publicly-traded company he ran, Twitter.
On the one hand, this could be nothing. Just an attempt to get some PR and a fresh slate. On the other, it could be the beginning of what ultimately reveals itself to be a wholesale transition from the Web 2.0 era to the Web 3.0 era.
In the case of Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been abundantly clear about how important he believes the metaverse, powered by blockchain and NFTs, is not only to the company but to society. Indeed, in a week where the leader of the beleaguered Diem (nee Libra) project finally gave up the ghost and moved on to new things, one has to wonder if the difficulty Facebook had in the real world with that project made the metaverse look all the more appealing?
Meanwhile, when Dorsey announced his departure from Twitter, many (us included) speculated it was to go bigger on Bitcoin. The renaming just a couple of days later, especially when taken in combination with the recent whitepaper on Bitcoin DeFi from Square’s TBD division, seemed to affirm this.
Zuckerberg and Dorsey have wildly different visions of the metaverse. It seems that far more than just name changes, these shifts reflect some essential and new battle lines being drawn. Whatever happens, at least for these titans, Web 3.0 is inevitable.
The Latest In…
The Nexo product team just won’t stop. After significantly upping our security line-up with the Whitelisting feature last week, Nexo is now offering… drumroll. 0% APR credit lines. ZERO. Zilch. Nada. Powered by the NEXO Token, the new zero-cost credit gives Gold and Platinum Loyalty clients rates as low as 0% when maintaining an LTV of 20% or below.
- 0% Interest: Platinum users get zero-cost credit when their LTV is below 20%.
- 1.9% Interest: Gold users get a premium low-cost rate when their LTV is below 20%.
P.S. You’re free to go back and forth between the new 0%-1.9% rates or borrow a larger amount using an LTV higher than 20% at our standard, industry-leading rates. The most flexible crypto credit line, ever.
The Latest In…
Wouldn’t be a week in 2021 without there being crypto regulatory intrigue, huh? In the US, this week actually seemed to be something of a prelude. First, there were comments in a conversation between former SEC Chair Jay Clayton and current Chair Gary Gensler at the Dacom 2021 compliance-focused crypto conference. It was largely reiterations of previous themes around wanting crypto companies to be more proactive in seeking to work with the SEC.
Still, the big news was that Congress has scheduled a hearing for next week featuring the CEOs of a number of stablecoin issuers and exchanges. Should be a good chance to check in on the state of the discourse among a key US regulatory body. Meanwhile, the saga of crypto in India continues…this week it appears that crypto isn’t heading for a ban?
The Latest In…
The Bitcoin ETF train keeps on rolling…although not in the United States. Fidelity is launching a spot ETF called the Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF. It will be a spot ETF and seems to follow a meeting a few months back in which the SEC put the kibosh on any plans for Bitcoin spot ETFs. According to a report from CoinDesk, Goldman Sachs, and several other top-tier Wall Street banks are exploring ways to use Bitcoin as collateral for cash loans to institutions.
The Week’s Most Interesting Data Story
Are Investors Excited About the Metaverse?
At the end of October, Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta. As we describe above, the move reflects an emergent focus of the social networking giant on new worlds that transcend either the physical or the current digital. The metaverse we all think is going to be so valuable is likely to be built around NFTs, digital land, and other new infrastructure. One way to see what the market thinks is to look at Meta’s stock price. We think another even more interesting angle, however, is to check out the price of tokens focused on the Metaverse, Gaming, and P2E. Travis Kling tweets exactly that, and as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.
What the Community Is Discussing
We’re officially at the stage of the cycle where we’re discussing the impact that crypto people will have on other areas.
The immense capital raises are definitely one of the notable features of this year. P.S. We’re one of 1inch’s backers now.
Are we at a tipping point?
What to Watch for Next Week:
- What will happen at next week’s House Financial Services Committee meeting?
- Will we finally get clarity on how India is going to regulate crypto?
- Which company will rebrand next?