Crypto is back (at least the memecoins are)

Ethereum and Bitcoin activity skyrockets

Welcome to The Benchmark, a weekly newsletter read by thousands brought to you by Alongside, where we cover the latest crypto news, interview builders in the space, and dive into new projects.

Market Check-in

This week’s latest news

Worldcoin joins the wallet game

Worldcoin, the crypto project co-founded by OpenAI's Sam Altman, has launched its World App, a minimalist crypto wallet built on the Ethereum sidechain Polygon. The app, which is designed to be accessible and user-friendly, currently supports wrapped versions of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins like DAI. For users with a verified World ID, the app will act as a digital passport, giving them access to apps and services exclusive to World ID holders.

Worldcoin's initial rollout faced controversy due to its retina-scanning authentication method and alleged deceptive practices. The project has since refocused on its "proof of personhood" vision. The World ID protocol aims to allow app developers to leverage its network of biometrically-authenticated humans for applications in financial services, voting, and social media account authentication.

Meme coins are all the rage again

PEPE is making “everyone rich”

Everyone is talking about PEPE, a coin based on Pepe the Frog created by Matt Furie (not associated with the project), with a very memeable max supply of 420,690,000,000,000 coins. Launched on April 17 2023, or 20 days ago, PEPE is now a $1B+ marketcap meme. Some of the largest exchanges like Binance and OKX have already listed it, unsurprisingly given the $830M 24hr trading volume PEPE experience in the last 24 hours (that's a lot of fees!).

In the most extreme case, someone named dimethyltryptamine.eth made a fortune from the rapid rise of PEPE, turning a $263 investment into nearly 5,000,000% profit. The trader bought trillions of PEPE tokens just three weeks ago and now holds about $9 million worth of the coin after selling several million dollars' worth.

Worth noting, PEPE is down 50% from ATH as of writing.

It’s time to build (on Bitcoin)

Developers are pushing the limits of the Bitcoin blockchain with the introduction of BRC-20 tokens, a new fungible asset class resembling Ethereum's ERC-20 tokens. With a collective market cap of $125 million, these tokens have driven daily transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain to record highs. The emergence of BRC-20 tokens and Ordinals marks a shift towards greater experimentation within the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Trustless Computer, a Layer 1 built on Bitcoin, is working to create an environment for deploying applications like major DeFi protocols, as well as fungible and non-fungible tokens. The team recently deployed a fork of Uniswap and introduced a wallet built on MetaMask to facilitate the use of their solutions. Despite its name, Trustless Computer is not entirely trustless, as its transactions are processed off the Bitcoin blockchain by specific nodes.

The advent of BRC-20 tokens, Ordinals, and native smart contracts on Bitcoin is drawing attention from a wider audience. As the Bitcoin blockchain experiences increased interest, especially amid the failure of major US banks, developers are seizing the moment to build and innovate within the Bitcoin ecosystem.

More reading from this week

1/ Maker to Spark ‘New Explosion of DAI’ with Custom Lending Market

2/ Binance Resumes Bitcoin Withdrawals After Second Pause

3/ Ethereum Developers in ‘Final Stages of Planning’ for the Dencun Upgrade

Alongside launches Pairs

Alongside introduced Pairs, an easy way to bet on how a token will behave relative to the crypto market as a whole. The market is represented by the Alongside Crypto Market Index token (AMKT), a broad-based, market-cap-weighted, index token. Today, we’re launching the ability to bet on a token underperforming the index. In the future, you’ll also be able to bet on overperformance through the same intuitive interface that unifies the process of executing pairs-trading strategies over the crypto market.

AMKT is now available on Arbitrum

Arbitrum is one of the fastest growing L2 DeFi ecosystems, and by popular demand, AMKT now has liquidity available there as well. Protocols on Arbitrum are now looking at integrating AMKT in the coming weeks.

Bridge to AMKT on Arbitrum here.

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DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.