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Nukes, NFTs and Meta’s income tax

Hello, and welcome to Chain Reaction, where we’ll get you up to speed with what’s going on in the weird world of crypto every week so you don’t have to join 1,000 Discord chats or follow every hexagonal-profile-picture influencer on Twitter yourself — at least, not if you don’t want to. Don’t take it from us, take it from our colleague Amanda, who said:

This week, we dropped our very first episode, in which we talked about three juicy news topics, one of them being Coinbase’s launch of an NFT marketplace. A lot of crypto exchanges besides the household name OpenSea are trying to make NFTs a thing, and they’re each putting their own spin on the concept to try and attract users. We talked about a few of the companies in this space and gave our thoughts on which of their bold strategies are likely to pay off.

In other, more terrifying news, apparently a North Korean hacker group was behind the ~$625 million Axie Infinity hack — the largest one in DeFi history — and they’re likely to use the funds to help the country build up its nuclear weapons program. Small crypto startups with underdeveloped security measures versus nation-states with major resources is not a battle we want to see play out.

On a lighter note, we also spent some time roasting Meta for its plans to charge exorbitant transaction fees on the sale of digital goods in its Horizon Worlds metaverse.

Our Guest: 3LAU

Our guest this week, 3LAU (known off-stage as Justin Blau), is an electronic music DJ who sold an NFT of one of his albums last March before NFTs were routinely commanding huge sums of money. The sale brought in $11.6 million in 24 hours (!!!), so it’s safe to say 3LAU has a good idea of what generates hype for a project.

If you’re new to web3, this episode will be fun for you. 3LAU can switch between the world of cool entertainers and tech nerds seamlessly (he famously first got into crypto when he was on spring break with the Winklevoss twins).

In our conversation on the pod, he taught us about different types of NFTs beyond just JPEGs of monkeys, how the blockchain can help independent musicians and which aspects of the NFT world can make even a big NFT stan like himself raise an eyebrow.

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To defeat Elon Musk, Twitter needs… more NFTs

Chain Reaction podcast episodes will come out every Thursday at 6:30 a.m. PDT. Subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify or your alternative podcast platform of choice to keep up with us every week.