All posts tagged: blockchains

a16z’s Chris Dixon thinks it’s time to focus on blockchains’ use cases, not speculation

a16z’s Chris Dixon thinks it’s time to focus on blockchains’ use cases, not speculation

‘The focus should be on digital ownership’ The crypto world is riddled with noise. Memecoins, speculation, rug pulls, scams, hype and doomers distract us from all the innovative stuff people are building with blockchains. And sometimes the noise pollutes the stream of information so much, it can get really difficult to continue to believe in the technology. Still, one venture capital veteran feels the only way to cut a clear path is to focus on blockchain technology and startups building in the industry. “Crypto and blockchains are in the news a lot, but a lot of it is around speculation and prices. I feel that there’s another side of the story,” Chris Dixon, partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), told me on TechCrunch’s Chain Reaction podcast. “It’s the side of the story that I live in, that the entrepreneurs we work with live in, which is what I would call the productive side of blockchains.” Dixon has been at a16z since 2012 and he even helped found the firm’s crypto division, which he currently leads. In …

AI and blockchains might need one another to evolve, according to new report

AI and blockchains might need one another to evolve, according to new report

Some of the biggest technological innovations have transpired over the past few years across the artificial intelligence and blockchain industries, independently. And even though the two sectors are reaching different levels of mainstream adoption, they are also facing challenges that the other could potentially help alleviate, according to a new report TenSquared Capital (10SQ) shared exclusively with TechCrunch+. “I think AI needs blockchain more than the other way around,” whether or not the industry realizes it, 10SQ founder Stan Miroshnik said. The AI sector needs more secure data sharing and decentralization marketplaces for its models so people can contribute to its networks. AI also needs model validations and auditing, which blockchain technology can help with, Miroshnik said. On the flip side, blockchain technology can benefit from AI models and agents in real time to improve moderating for vulnerabilities, among other things. Source link

Immutable teams with Axelar for Web3 interoperability with 56 blockchains

Immutable teams with Axelar for Web3 interoperability with 56 blockchains

Do you want to get the latest gaming industry news straight to your inbox? Sign up for our daily and weekly newsletters here. Axelar and Immutable teamed up to create Web3 interoperability through a canonical bridge to Ethereum. Sydney, Australia-based Immutable said the integration announcement marks a significant leap forward in the realm of Web3 gaming interoperability, providing a seamless bridge for user interactions across 56 blockchains. With this integration into the Axelar network, games built on Immutable zkEVM gain the capability to extend across an ever-expanding network. This integration ensures built-in programmability, security, and scalability at the cross-chain network layer. This partnership will help game studios to onboard Web3 players and introduce new channels for increased liquidity, ushering in more scalability and reach. In the initial phase of this collaboration, Axelar will orchestrate direct access between Ethereum and Immutable’s cutting-edge zkEVM chain, a Polygon-based ZK-rollup blockchain seamlessly embedded within Immutable’s Web3 gaming platform. This innovative chain boasts Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility, ensuring low-cost transactions, scalability, and Ethereum-level security for gaming applications. Axelar network …

Blockchains are scaling, now is the time to build: a16z report

Blockchains are scaling, now is the time to build: a16z report

As the crypto market continues to find its footing in an ever-shaky climate, Andreessen Horowtiz, which launched a $4.5 billion web3 fund last year, released its second State of Crypto report. It dives into everything from blockchain activity to new technologies, but one theme that stands out is that blockchains are scaling. The scaling momentum is up from a few years ago when tons of people were using blockchain networks, said Eddy Lazzarin, chief technology officer for a16z crypto. As a result, there was a lot of congestion, mainly on Ethereum, and gas fees were expensive. That time period convinced a lot of people that blockchain growth will come via scalability, Lazzarin noted, resulting in developers being excited to experiment and create new products. “So the effort over the past two years or more is to get scaling solutions off the ground, and now they’re actually working and live. There’s still more to be built, but they’re much cheaper, secure and they work. The momentum is now that developers can use them.” It’s really time …

Haun Ventures leads Sovereign Labs’ .4M seed round to help scale blockchains

Haun Ventures leads Sovereign Labs’ $7.4M seed round to help scale blockchains

Sovereign Labs has raised $7.4 million in seed funding led by Haun Ventures, co-founders Preston Evans and Cem Özer told TechCrunch. The startup is building an “open, interconnected rollup ecosystem” with a software development kit (SDK) to provide a framework for secure and interoperable zero-knowledge rollups (ZK-rollups). “Sovereign’s goal has always been to make scaling [blockchains] simple,” Özer said. “For people who have been in this space for four-plus years, it’s pretty clear that rollups and ZK-rollups are the way to scale blockchains to the masses.” A rollup is a blockchain that gets security from another blockchain, so it’s a way to add functionality to an existing chain without sacrificing security, Evans said. Rollups can be used to support different use cases like tokens, NFTs, smart contracts and so on — but they’re cheaper to operate because they outsource transactions. The capital will be used to build its SDK and hire protocol engineers and researchers with expertise in blockchains and their frameworks, Özer said. Its SDK wants to help Rust (and eventually C++) developers to …

Aztec Network takes on encrypted blockchains with 0M round led by a16z

Aztec Network takes on encrypted blockchains with $100M round led by a16z

Aztec Network, a privacy layer for web3, has raised $100 million in a Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), the startup’s co-founders Zac Williamson and Joe Andrews exclusively told TechCrunch. “At a high level, Aztec is an encrypted version of Ethereum,” Andrews said. “Normally on Ethereum everything is public, but we are making it encrypted. That journey has taken us many years to play out.” Aztec Network launched Aztec Connect, an ecosystem that integrates with Ethereum DeFi protocols like Aave, Lido and Element Finance, in July 2021. In the future, it will integrate with Compound, and five other DeFi protocols, according to its website. Encrypted blockchains provide transparency for the protocol but privacy for the users, so people aren’t required to show their identities when transacting, Williamson said. “The world isn’t nice to live in without encryption,” Andrews said. “Go through your day and think about how many things you wouldn’t want people to see. Not all of it is bad; it’s just your daily life. But think about how you take that …

Despite the Crypto Winter and other scandals, blockchains seem here to stay in the sports betting market

Despite the Crypto Winter and other scandals, blockchains seem here to stay in the sports betting market

According to Grand View Research, the global sports betting market is expected to grow to $182.12 billion in revenue by 2030, up from $76.75 billion last year. So we are seeing a number of startups throng around this market. Thus, HotStreak, a web3 platform for daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests, is betting that a decentralizing payments is an ideal solution for DFS platforms. Meanewhile, you have Polymarket, a global information markets platform for sports betting; BetDEX, a global decentralized sports betting exchange; Aver, a decentralized betting and prediction exchange; and Divvy, a decentralized betting protocol.
 Plus, Super Bowl ads boosted crypto app downloads by 279%, so there is a burgeoning market. And, thus is is that New York-based Frontrunner, a decentralized sports prediction market, has now raised a $4.75M funding round by Susquehanna Private Equity Investments LLP. Joingin get raise was Soma Capital, Gilgamesh Ventures, FBG Capital, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Toy Ventures, Gaingels, Ledger Prime, WAGMI Ventures, and NOA Capital. So what makes Frontrunner different? One of its schticks is that is makes its bettering …