Bitcoin continues climbing, Block releases hardware wallet, Robinhood expands to EU and VCs may see some relief soon

Chain Reaction
174 Episodes • Last Episode: March 29, 2024

Welcome back to Chain Reaction.

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.

It seems like there’s a pep in every crypto person’s step as Bitcoin had another strong week, increasing over 15% to around $44,000, during a seven-day period, according to CoinMarketCap data. Ethereum, the second largest crypto by market capitalization, also increased over 15% during that time frame, to around $2,300.

In general, the total crypto market cap steadily rose 14% from about $1.4 trillion to $1.6 trillion in the past week as more capital enters the crypto market.

As Bitcoin climbs, it also rejoins the top 10 club for the “top assets by market cap” globally. Bitcoin ranked in at number nine, trailing behind stocks like Nvidia, Amazon, Google, Saudi Aramco, Microsoft, Apple and precious metals like gold and silver, according to CompaniesMarketCap data.

Bitcoin’s total market cap is currently about $854 billion, which accounts for over half of the total crypto market cap.

What’s happening in web3

  1. As Bitcoin reaches the $44,000 threshold, why the surge and what’s next? (TC+)
  2. Block releases Bitkey hardware wallet to 95 countries… kinda
  3. Following UK expansion, Robinhood brings crypto trading to EU
  4. Sona launches its music streaming platform and marketplace to reward fans for buying ‘digital twins’ of songs
  5. The venture landscape may be on the ‘cusp’ of explosive growth after years of macro strain (TC+)

The latest pod

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed David Pakman, managing partner and head of venture investments at CoinFund.

Before CoinFund, David spent 14 years at the venture capital firm Venrock. He also led the Series A and B rounds at Dollar Shave Club, which was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion. And in 1991, David co-created Apple Music when he was a part of Apple’s system software product marketing group.

We discussed the state of the crypto VC environment, areas he’s focusing on for investments and what he thinks investors are missing.

We also talked about:

  • AI compared to crypto.
  • Future of NFTs.
  • Regulatory impact on investors.
  • 2024 outlook.
  • Advice for startups.

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. Swan Bitcoin raised $40 million to expand its institutional offerings
  2. Money market and DeFi yield-focused Curvance raised $3.6 million in seed round
  3. Bitcoin-based project Babylon raised $18 million to develop its staking protocol
  4. Ten raised $7.5 million to improve Ethereum encryption
  5. Ethereum-focused scaling startup Versatus raised $2.3 million at $50 million valuation

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

What else we’re writing

Want to branch out from the world of web3? Here are some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.

  1. Why Congruent turned down over $300M from LPs for its third climate tech fund (TC+)
  2. Early impressions of Google’s Gemini aren’t great
  3. Your mobile password manager might be exposing your credentials
  4. Why in-house platforms can undermine your business strategy (TC+)
  5. Summer’s secondary surge didn’t last, but 2024 should be strong (TC+)

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

Chain Reaction

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Jacquelyn Melinek

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