Developers are building out the blockchain ecosystem in Barcelona

Welcome back to Chain Reaction.

This week I’m writing the newsletter from the currently sunny and always beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain. I’m here for the Avalanche Summit II, which is hosted by Ava Labs, the creator of the layer-1 blockchain Avalanche.

So far, there have been a lot of discussions surrounding blockchain gaming, decentralized finance and regulation.

Avalanche also announced a partnership with Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence division of Alibaba Group, to deploy metaverses for the online marketplace’s clients. The news was covered exclusively by TechCrunch -- more on that below.

I moderated two panels titled “Expert Insights on the State of Crypto Markets” and “Stablecoins: The Internet Payment Layer.” The TL;DR takeaway right now is that market players are bullish long term and expect the cryptocurrency market cap to grow significantly in the near future (we’ll see) and the stablecoin industry has a lot of space to grow and the ability to shake up the internet payment space.

There are still more interviews to be done, content to be rolled out and panels to be attended, so stay tuned for more of that here in the coming days and weeks.

This week in web3

Alibaba Cloud joins forces with Avalanche to deploy metaverses on the blockchain

Alibaba Cloud has partnered with layer-1 blockchain Avalanche to provide Alibaba’s clients with a launchpad, Cloudverse, that aims to help businesses customize, launch and maintain their own metaverse spaces on Avalanche’s blockchain. “You and I can create a metaverse right now. Within 15 minutes, the chain is up; within hours the wallet is up and the turnkey is up,” Emin Gün Sirer, the founder and CEO of Ava Labs, said. The technology has been made “very easy” and all of the tools are open source, he added.

As the US cracks down on crypto, Hong Kong extends a warm welcome

To create a favorable environment for web3 businesses, the city is facilitating communication between banks and crypto startups, many of which are scrambling to find alternatives following Silvergate Bank’s meltdown. Tightening crypto regulations in the U.S. may give Hong Kong a chance to step up and be the next crypto hub.

How Jack Dorsey’s Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund is fighting for the future of open source software

A crypto wallet theft lawsuit brought about by a man who claims to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto could jeopardize the future of open source software development. That’s according to the Jack Dorsey-backed Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, which is taking on a case to defend 11 Bitcoin developers named in a lawsuit filed by Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist who emerged into the spotlight back in 2016 with a hotly disputed claim of being Bitcoin’s founding father.

Brett Harrison ‘never lost faith in the business’ while at now-shuttered FTX (TC+)

It has been almost six months since FTX collapsed, and a lot has transpired since then, from executives being charged to industry businesses facing ripple effects from its demise. At Consensus 2023, Anthony Scaramucci, former White House comms director and founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, which invested in the exchange, and Brett Harrison, founder and CEO of Architect and former FTX.US president, shared their experiences during FTX’s downfall and what life has been like since.

The latest pod

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed Jake Chervinsky, the chief policy officer at Blockchain Association, a nonprofit organization focused on promoting “pro-innovation” policy for the digital asset world. He is also a board member of the DeFi education fund and advisor for web3 seed-stage fund Variant.

Prior to his work with the Blockchain association, Chervinsky began his attorney career in private practice with a focus on anti-money laundering and anti-corruption compliance and investigations, financial services litigation and government enforcement defense. He spends a lot of time in DC, testifying at hearings to help provide clarity on the crypto industry in hopes to guide it in the right direction.

We dove deep into conversations about all things regulation, from how Chervinsky views the current regulatory landscape to whether or not we’re in a “crackdown” era as people call it.

We also discussed:

  • Regulators' views changing

  • American crypto companies

  • Are cryptocurrencies commodities or securities

  • Stablecoin legislation

  • Future legal frameworks and guidelines

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!

Follow the money

  1. Hardware crypto wallet provider Tangem AG raised $8 million

  2. FARE Protocol raised $6.2 million in a seed round led by Goat Capital

  3. Entendre Finance raised $4 million to support accounting and bookkeeping for blockchain activity

  4. Nolus raised $2.5 million to build cross-chain DeFi leases

  5. OKX Ventures invested an undisclosed amount in Cetus Protocol

This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important crypto stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday at 12 p.m. PT, subscribe here.

Follow me on Twitter @Jacqmelinek for breaking crypto news, memes and more.