The ‘Shapella’ Show


Apr 17, 2023


Cindy Grazer


Apr 17, 2023


Cindy Grazer


The cryptocurrency world is abuzz with the successful launch of Ethereum's Shapella network upgrade. The upgrade has made the network more sustainable and unlocked the long-awaited ability for initial Ethereum stakers to withdraw their ETH.

Ethereum stakers now find themselves at a crossroads – do they withdraw their rewards and the initial 32 ETH they have staked, or do they stand pat and continue securing the network?

While some predicted a flood of ETH hitting the open market, early indications are that the majority of stakers are actually choosing to re-stake their earnings — boosting overall staking participation and confidence in the Ethereum network.

As the largest proof-of-stake (‘PoS’) network by total capitalization, 15.5% of total Ethereum is being staked, representing a total of $35.8b in value. By comparison, other leading PoS blockchains such as Cardano, Solana, and Avalanche have over 60% of their circulating tokens being staked. With Ethereum being de-risked with Shapella, most pundits expect to see a steady increase in Ethereum staking participation in the coming months.

The Shapella upgrade marks another significant milestone for Ethereum and the broader digital asset ecosystem. It also is the final piece for the network’s switch to proof-of-stake from proof-of-work. While the skeptics will continue to doubt Ethereum’s path to global scale, Shapella shows the network is still dunking on its haters.

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Portfolio News

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The 'Shapella' Show

Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade is complete, starting new era of staking withdrawals - Ethereum’s Shanghai hard fork, also referred to as “Shapella,” has been finalized, enabling withdrawals for users who have “staked” their ether (ETH) to secure and validate transactions on the blockchain. The much anticipated hard fork – essentially upgrading the blockchain by splitting off a new one – has been characterized by members of the Ethereum community as a historic milestone, completing its multi-year transition to a full proof-of-stake network. Read more

Crypto’s Ethereum Network completes key software upgrade without a hitch - Ether rallied past $2,000 for the first time since August after a widely anticipated software upgrade to the most commercially important blockchain went according to plan, and as worries of initial rapid outflows proved unfounded. The so-called Shanghai, or Shapella, update enables investors to queue up to withdraw Ether coins they had pledged to help operate the Ethereum network in return for rewards, a process called staking. And so far, 96% of withdrawal volume has been from users withdrawing their rewards instead of their entire stakes. Read more

Industry News

Bloomberg plans to integrate GPT-style A.I. into its terminal - The financial information giant says Bloomberg GPT, its internal AI model, can more accurately answer questions like “CEO of Citigroup Inc?”, assess whether headlines are bearish or bullish for investors, and even write headlines based on short blurbs. The move shows how software developers in many industries beyond Silicon Valley see state-of-the-art AI like GPT as a technical advancement allowing them to automate tasks that used to require a human. Read more

Twitter partners with eToro to let users trade stocks, crypto as Musk pushes app into finance - Twitter, which is aiming to provide financial services under Elon Musk, will let its users trade stocks, cryptocurrencies and other financial assets via partnership with eToro. The feature rolled out this week on the social media company's app. Read more

Visa+ gives consumers option to send P2P payments to anyone - To address the major pain points of P2P transactions, the payment network Visa is launching a new service that allows P2P payments to be sent and received across different platforms. The service will initially link Venmo and PayPal and then branch out to include other Visa partners, essentially unbundling the act of moving money to and from a P2P network from any P2P network. Read more

FTX is considering using creditor money to restart crypto exchange - The company is still in the early stages of deciding whether to bring back the exchange, which allowed customers to trade digital assets before FTX collapsed. The company could also try to raise money to fund a restart, in which case capital could come from third parties willing to invest in the project, or FTX could use some of the $7.3b worth of cash, crypto and other assets it has so far collected. Read more

Citi predicts $4t of tokenized assets - Citi expects tokenization to be the main driver in the blockchain space, one that will mobilize the entire industry into mass adoption. Its report predicts that “tokenization of financial and real-world assets could be the killer use case driving blockchain breakthrough with tokenization expected to grow by a factor of 80x in private markets and reach up to almost $4t in value by 2030.” Read more

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Parents drain retirement funds to support adult children - Nearly 70% of parents with kids 18 or older say they’ve sacrificed their own finances to help them, according to a new Bankrate report. About half are forking over emergency savings or delaying paying off debt for the sake of their children. And as the market turmoil creates a $7t retirement-savings shortfall, 43% say supporting their adult kids has been draining their retirement funds. Read more

Walmart sues credit-card partner Capital One - Walmart’s lawsuit, which was filed this week, alleges that Capital One didn’t meet certain terms of the card partnership contract. Walmart alleged that Capital One didn’t provide the customer service it was obligated to offer, such as replacing lost cards promptly. It also alleged that Capital One didn’t promptly post some transactions and payments to cardholders’ accounts. Read more

China's payment association warns over risks of using AI products like ChatGPT - The warning against using Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT and similar artificial intelligence tools is due to "risks such as cross-border data leaks." OpenAI has kept its artificial intelligence-powered chatbot off-limits to users in China, but the app is attracting huge interest in there, with firms rushing to integrate the technology into their products and launch rival solutions. Read more

FTX failure rooted in ‘hubris,’ ‘greed,’ debtors report says - Failed crypto exchange FTX Trading lacked fundamental financial and accounting controls, stifled dissent within the company and joked internally about their tendency to lose track of millions of dollars in assets, according to a report by the company’s debtors. Read more

NY Fed survey finds Americans more downbeat on credit access - In the March Survey of Consumer Expectations, the bank found that the share of households who said credit is harder to get versus a year ago rose to the highest level in a survey that dates back to 2014. Read more

Twitter company ‘no longer exists,’ is now part of Musk’s X - Musk has professed his desire to make X similar to China’s WeChat, a super-app owned by Tencent Holdings used for everything from payments and booking event tickets to messaging. But he’s been vague about how it will fit in with his sprawling business empire. Read more

Select Financings

Altruist - California based solution for RIA custodial services raises $112m in Series D funding led by Insight Partners. Read more

Assis - Brazil based virtual assistant for solopreneurs raised $5m in Seed funding led by Costanoa Ventures. Read more

Axle - Atlanta and New York based API for insurance data raised $4m in Seed funding led by Gradient Ventures. Read more

Brassica - Houston based institutional alt investing platform raised $8m in Seed funding led by Mercury Fund. Read more

Clear Street - New York based capital markets infrastructure company raised $270m in Series B funding led by Prysm Capital. Read more

Earned - New York based digital financial advisory service for physicians raised $12m in Series A funding led by Hudson Structured Capital Management. Read more

Martini.ai - California based corporate credit monitoring startup raised $6m in Seed funding led by Neotribe. Read more

PhonePe - India based digital payments company raised $750m in growth funding led by General Atlantic. Read more

Portrait Analytics - Boston based generative AI research platform for investment analysts raised $3m in Pre-Seed funding led by .406 Ventures. Read more

Prophet Exchange - New Jersey based P2P high-frequency sports betting exchange raised $10m in new funding led by MIXI. Read more

Renew - New York based resident renewal process automation startup raised $8m in Seed funding led by Upfront Ventures. Read more

Sei - Decentralized layer-1 blockchain focused on trading raised $30m in new funding led by Jump Crypto. Read more

Vero - New York based property leasing and screening platform raised $9m in Series B funding led by Fifth Wall. Read more

Zeely - Ukraine based maker of an app that builds web stores raised $1m in Seed funding. Read more


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