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Coinbase released its highly anticipated "Year in Review" report for 2021 this week

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

Edition #2 - 28 JAN 2022

Total value locked in DeFi protocols has jumped from about $17 billion at the start of the year to around $250 billion by the end;

Ethereum’s share of DeFi TVL went from nearly 99% at the start of 2021 to about 60% at the end;

Decentralized exchanges reached cumulative volume of over $1 trillion in 2021. Uniswap's protocol accounted for circa 78% of the activity, with instances where it even surpassed Coinbase in trading activity.

Check out this week's big read here.

gaming developments

  • Splinterlands, the leading P2E game, surpassed 1 billion card battles this week in a “historic moment” for the P2E genre. Splinterlands remains the most popular P2E game, with over half a million wallets connected over the last week;

  • One of the most anticipated play-to-earn games – Illuvium, launches private beta testing. Only 500 spots are available for registration, which is likely to increase overtime;

  • SkyMavis is attempting to battle rapid inflation of NFTs in its flagship P2E game Axie Infinity. The developer introduces Axie burning (releasing) mechanism in exchange for Lunar New Year cosmetic items and entries into raffle draws;

  • Last week we highlighted the launch of the first official tennis grand slam in the metaverse – Australian Open on Decentraland. The event has been drawing in around 5,000 unique visitors daily, peaking at over 28,000. The experiment is on track to be the most successful Decentraland’s event to date.

metaverses & vr

  • Goldman Sachs: metaverse is an $8 trillion investment opportunity. The premier investment bank joins the likes of Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, BlackRock and Cathie Wood amongst others in backing of digitalised metaverse assets;

  • UFC, the leading MMA promoter, is actively planning to arrange a VR fight in the metaverse, UFC’s president Dana White confirms;

  • YouTube's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, hints NFTs and other blockchain integration in the platform's 2022 Priorities newsletter;

  • A new survey by Obsess, a virtual store creator and e-commerce platform, found 7 out of 10 customers visiting a virtual metaverse store to make at least a single purchase, 60% of customers are likely to return and do so again. In comparison, global conversion rates for standard e-commerce stores average at circa 3%.

zen portfolio highlight

This week we highlight our portfolio company Spellfire, a collectible card game presenting players with unique experiences in its rich fantasy world consisting of diverse lands, mythical creatures, unique races and magical capabilities.

With a backing of top tier VC funds, private funding round oversubscribed twice and already returning an ROI of circa 400% since it's 27th of January public listing on Huobi Prime, Gate, MEXC and leading DEXs, Spellfire's team is on track to establish this classic 90s card game for the metaverse age.

Find out more by joining Spellfire's vibrant communities on Twitter, Discord and Telegram.


  • DeFi protocol use for money laundering activities increased almost 20x YoY, amounting to 17% of the total value of funds laundered via Crypto;

  • veDAO, a new DeFi project built on Fantom to qualify for Andre Cronje’s ve(3,3) accumulates $2.7 billion of TVL in the first 48 hours after launch;

  • Tantra, a proprietary crypto trading firm offering fixed-rate retail products, forced to liquidate after a string of poor performance, citing "collapsing interest spreads" and a "historical GBTC discount".

funding rounds

  • Crypto Exchange FTX US raises a Series A of $400 million at a valuation of $8 billion, with Softbank, Paradigm, Three Arrows Capital and Lightspeed Ventures leading the round;

  • Fireblocks, a digital asset custody platform, raises $550 million in Series E, lead by Spark Capital and and D1 Capital Partners. The conclusion of the funding round quadrupled Fireblocks’ value to $8 billion since its valuation during Series D in the summer;

  • BreederDAO, a Filipino led gaming guild specialising in lending out NFTs for play-to-earn games, completed a $10 million Series A this week, lead by Andreesen Horowitz and Delphi Digital.


Another rough week for Solana, as it endures its sixth outage this month. This time, for 48 hours straight, causing liquidations across the network. In response, co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko tweets out "lol".

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