#214 - Is web3 breaking? 😳

Plus, SEC replies to Coinbase & Checks Christie's auction

GM and welcome to Decentra Daily.

We're the newsletter that’s all about how the internet’s getting flipped-turned upside down.


  1. Is web3 breaking apart?

  2. Jack Butcher gets a Christie’s show

  3. Blur Blend now supports Bored Apes and Mutant Apes

Plus, all the web3 headlines, memes, and Tweets of the day.

D-Daily takeaway 🥡
BAYC loses its weekend gains. How will it cope with Blur lending??

What's this? 🤔
Our floor price index tracks the biggest, most influential pfp projects, art collections, and gaming assets.

Is web3 breaking? 😳

Sentiment in the space is not great right now.

With memecoins making a mockery of the blockchain, NFT floor prices bottoming out, and governments shutting down crypto exchanges, web3 is beginning to feel like a cold and lonely place.

The mood is so low, that even the Ethereum network cracked under pressure last week.

Failure to finalize

On Thursday, Ethereum suffered a technical issue, causing the network to stop finalizing blocks.

Finalization is the process of validating blocks and adding them to the chain. Once done, new transactions become permanent and immutable – and all previous blocks in the chain are reconfirmed.

Devs gave a sigh of relief when block finalization resumed around half an hour later. But on Friday, a second outage lasted for over an hour. 😳

In these situations, an emergency mode called Inactivity Leak is triggered. In this mode, inactive validators who are not finalizing blocks are hit with increasing penalties, as an incentive to get back online.

Why is this a problem?

If you didn’t know, web3 basically runs on Ethereum.

Bitcoin was a blockchain created to record and transfer digital cash. Ethereum’s devs took that model and said, “What if we make a blockchain that can record and transfer a whole bunch of different digital stuff?”

They created a network that performs more complex transactions, known as smart contracts.

Since then, other “smart” blockchains have appeared, and some companies (called Layer 2s) have even begun building chains on top of Ethereum.

But the Ethereum Mainet remains the fundamental foundation of the web3 economy.

So, any sign of instability coming from Ethereum gets people worried – especially during fragile market conditions like these.

Are things ok now?

The finalization failure didn’t stop transactions from processing, so end users shouldn’t have noticed any service interruption. 👍

In fact, Ethereum is pretty confident about its “inactivity penalty mechanism.”

They designed the safeguard to give their blockchain “the ability to survive World War III.”

And over the weekend, new patches for the relevant part of the Ethereum network (the Beacon chain) were released.

But… the precise cause of Ethereum’s breakdown is still under investigation.

The best guess right now is that the Becaon chain became overloaded and triggered a bug.

Until the root cause of the problem is properly identified, it’s not 100% that the patch will stop the problem from happening more in the future…

Any good Ethereum news?

It looks like gas prices have returned to pre-memecoin levels! 😮‍💨

Notable Tweets ✅

On the web3 wire

Memeland starts a morning “GM” Twitter show 🎧
The witty NFT project is hosting a weekly web3 Spaces on Thursdays, 9 AM HKT. Memeland says the update and discussion show will be “Asia-focused.”

The SEC responded to Coinbase’s court request for answers ✉️
According to the statement, the SEC remains non-committal, and plans to continue with “enforcement actions” against exchanges, despite a lack of clear crypto regulations.

Blur Blend now supports Bored Apes and Mutant Apes 🦍
You can now borrow ETH against your Bored and Mutant Apes, or finance one with a 1 ETH downpayment.

Checks gets the fine art treatment with a Christie’s auction

Fans of Jack Butcher’s Checks consider the project’s eponymous checkmark a “notable” piece of web3 design.

So, apparently, does fine art dealer Christie’s, who’s hosting an auction for a special edition of Checks, called Elements.

Elements is a 152-run of colored Checks inspired by earth, air, fire, and water.

Each piece in the collection is algorithmically generated from four initial “Alpha” editions and comes in both an NFT version and a high-quality physical print.

The collection is divided into 6 tiers, beginning with the 4 alpha editions and decreasing in rarity.

The details

  • The digital editions have a subtle animation

  • The physicals are big 30" x 42" handmade prints from master printmaker Jean Milant

  • Starting bids for Alpha editions will be 0.0044 ETH

  • 30% of sales proceeds go to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital

  • Bidders who own works from the Jack Butcher ecosystem will receive a bonus Infinity Check artwork

Checks Elements prints will be on view at Christie’s New York, 20 Rockefeller Plaza from 20-23 May.

How/when to buy 🫴 💵

Bidding for the Alpha editions began at 10 am ET on the Christie’s 3.0 site and runs for 7 days.

The rest of the collection will be available 24 hours after the Christie's auctions close on 5/23.

Want more? Here’s an interview with Jack Butcher on Elements, from Coindesk.

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Meme of the day

C U Tmrw! 👋

What we're reading this week

business x blockchainweb3 topics & the companies evolving them
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