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Crypto state of play: November 2022

Unraveling some of the biggest news in web3.

8 Nov 2022by Sankrit K

While mass adoption of cryptocurrency is still fairly low (only 4.2% of the global population own crypto assets), we’re inching closer each day. 

Some key catalysts for growth have come from major industry players shifting their attitudes towards web3. From Starbucks introducing NFTs to Twitter’s new boss pumping Dogecoin, these moves hint at mass adoption being just around the corner.

In this article, we’ll look at some of web3’s most recent milestones and what they mean. 

Reddit rolls out NFTs

Social platform Reddit made headlines in October by becoming one of the biggest crypto art marketplaces to launch since OpenSea. Reddit now hosts three million wallet users with its Vault wallet system, and 2.5 million of these were set up just to purchase Reddit’s digital collectible avatars.

These avatars are limited edition profile picture-style NFTs of the platform’s mascot, “Snoo”, and available to purchase through the marketplace at low, fixed rates with fiat currency. The sales topped a whopping $6.5 million, with the highest bid for a PFP digital collectible being $14,817. 

Perhaps the most impressive thing about this, though, is that Reddit proved PFP NFTs are still relevant among users who wish to signal their status as a “collectible” owner. 

This also highlights how Reddit was able to appeal to non-crypto users by building a marketplace into its own platform, and therefore avoiding the dropoff of users who may be intimidated by the more complex interfaces that exist within crypto.

Dogefather’s takeover of Twitter

Twitter is now officially in the hands of Elon Musk, who formalized his new role with a $44 billion acquisition of the social media company. This move is speculated to get Twitter delisted from the stock exchange and become a wholly private company. The largest crypto exchange by volume, Binance, confirmed that it had made a $500 million equity stake in Elon’s acquisition. 

The takeover has been turning heads in the web3 space, with many speculating that this move could make Twitter the ultimate decentralized social media firm and others speculating positive price movements for Dogecoin, given Musk’s association. Dogecoin already rallied 80% with the news of the acquisition.

Besides these speculations, there have been plans for the development of Twitter’s crypto wallet feature. Musk has been a proponent of integrating payments in Twitter, both in fiat currency and crypto.

While the former CEO, Jack Dorsey, is known to be an avid web3 enthusiast, the social media platform was often ridiculed for being slow to innovate and introduce new features. With Musk’s track record of moving fast, “crypto Twitter” might just get what it always asked for: more crypto-friendly features and perhaps even an edit button.

Google Cloud double delivers

Alongside these social media giants, Google Cloud has also been making strides in encouraging business users and web3 companies to embrace crypto. 

It announced the debut of its Blockchain Node Engine on Ethereum, which forms part of Google Cloud’s continued commitment to a decentralized future. 

The Blockchain Node Engine will be a fully managed back-end node-hosting service, which will help web3 developers focus on innovating and developing web3 applications without the stress of managing security, uptime, and sync time. 

With Google Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine, developers can benefit from faster deployment and development of web3 products. This will translate into more secure and better functioning web3 solutions being built for users and will likely propel web3 adoption further.

Google Cloud also announced its partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase to allow users to pay for cloud services with cryptocurrencies starting in 2023.

UK Prime Minister plans global crypto hub

Rishi Sunak, the new Prime Minister of the UK, made waves during his tenure as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the British equivalent of the US Treasury Secretary) by announcing his plans to make the UK a hub for crypto-asset technologies. 

Sunak has been vocal about his intention to prioritize financial technology and has proactively initiated several digital asset-related initiatives, such as the Financial Services and Markets Bill. If passed, the bill could legitimize stablecoins as legal tender in the UK.

With Sunak stepping into power, the crypto industry has been positive about regulations that will help advance the industry and pave the way for migration from web2 to web3. 

Instagram goes all-in on web3

The Meta-owned photo and video sharing platform Instagram had already announced that creators will be able to display their NFTs on their profiles. While positive news for the web3 community, this did not come as an unexpected surprise given Meta's stance on the metaverse.

Recently, though, Meta also announced that creators will be able to buy, sell, and mint NFTs on Instagram without ever leaving the app. This is a big deal as it would allow for seamless commerce on the app and make NFTs more mainstream and easily accessible to users.

It could also increase adoption of NFTs and web3 applications as a whole as it would make it easier for users to experiment and use these technologies without having to leave their comfort zones.

This article does not include any mention of Binance acquiring FTX because that story developed after the article was written.