💰VCs Invested Over $700M In Metaverse Projects This Year
Today, we take a closer look at the steady stream of investments in metaverse projects, accounting for a significant share of this year's VC funding. We also explore the latest moves by MakerDAO in its ongoing efforts to diversify DAI's collateral away from USDC and towards real-world assets.
In lending news, Maple Finance's new direct lending arm, Maple Direct, is poised to launch, offering a much-needed financing solution for Web3 businesses. Finally, in the NFT space, the team behind CyberKongz has launched an upgraded version of the ERC-721 standard - ERC-721x - aiming to enhance security for NFT holders.
✍️ In today’s newsletter:
- Metaverse projects continue to attract institutional investors
- USDC now makes up less than 10% of DAI collateral
- Maple Direct will offer collateralized loans to web3 enterprises
- CyberKongz releases ERC-721x NFT token standard
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Metaverse Projects Attract 44% Of 2023 Web3 Investments
TLDR Nearly half of 2023's VC investments have gone into metaverse projects, totaling $707M, according to DappRadar. The report also suggests that growth in AR/VR could boost the sector. However, digital land, a crucial part of many metaverse ecosystems, has cratered in the bear market.
SO WHAT Despite the volatility, industry experts believe the metaverse industry continues to make progress in various ways. Animoca Brands recently forged a strategic partnership to promote the metaverse and web3 in Japan, while Yield Guild Games co-founder Gabby Dizon sees web3 identity solutions as key to future growth.
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DAI’s Reliance On USDC Drops Below 10% As MakerDAO Expands Bond Holdings
TLDR MakerDAO's DAI, the leading decentralized stablecoin, has reduced its USDC collateral from 51% at the start of 2023 to 9.4%. Real-world assets, consisting mainly of short-term U.S. Treasury bonds, are now the largest source of collateral for DAI. Ether and Lido’s liquid staking token, stETH, also account for significant portions of DAI's backing.
SO WHAT The diversification of DAI's collateral is an important step towards reducing the potential risks and vulnerabilities associated with over-reliance on a single type of collateral, particularly centralized stablecoins. The move could enhance the stability and resilience of DAI and, by extension, the broader DeFi ecosystem in which DAI plays a key role.
Maple Finance To Offer Overcollateralized Loans To Web3 Businesses
TLDR Maple Finance is launching Maple Direct, a lending arm that aims to provide compliant financing solutions to Web3 businesses. This comes in response to a lack of support from traditional banks and the fall of centralized lenders like Genesis and BlockFi. CEO Sidney Powell said the shift towards overcollateralized loans is driven primarily by risk management considerations.
SO WHAT Maple Direct's launch may help fill a gap in the market for secure and compliant lending in the Web3 space. This could stimulate more institutional engagement in the sector, encouraging greater capital flow.
CyberKongz Introduces ‘Stakeless Staking’ With ERC-721x
TLDR CyberKongz has introduced a new version of the ERC-721 token standard, dubbed ERC-721x. This upgrade aims to enhance security for NFT holders by enabling non-custodial staking and introducing a "Guardian" feature, which provides two-factor authentication for transactions. ERC-721x can help protect against scams that exploit token approvals or compromise seed phrases.
SO WHAT The enhanced security features brought by the new ERC-721x standard could provide a more secure and user-friendly environment for NFT holders. It comes as part of a wider trend toward integrating DeFi features into NFT platforms, a shift that could increase the utility and value proposition of NFTs. However, the success and uptake of ERC-721x will ultimately depend on how effectively it is implemented and the security benefits it provides in practice.