The securities have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended or with any other regulatory authority of any State or other jurisdiction of the United States or Canada and (i) may not be offered, sold or delivered within the United States or Canada, or to, or for the account or benefit of any U.S. Person or Canadian, and (ii) may be offered, sold or otherwise delivered at any time only to transferees that are Non-United States Persons and Non-Canadians.

November 15, 2022

FTX; Crypto onramps; Rolex; CryptoAM awards

Welcome to Swarm Markets’ media memo. This weekly update provides comments from Swarm Markets’ co-founders, Philipp Pieper and Timo Lehes, on key industry news that has caught our eye, plus our own developments. 

Comments available on the following news items:

  • Now more than ever is the time for true DeFi self-custody principles to apply
  • Rolex NFTs shed light on RWA digital ownership possibilities
  • Progress on the crypto ‘ramp’ continues
  • Swarm nominated for outstanding contribution to DeFi

Events of the past week show why fundamental DeFi principles matter

A week is a long time in crypto, as many watchers of the space are acutely aware of right now. The community has been quick to dissect a series of big issues laid bare in the last few days, and it likely will take some time to assess the landscape once the market begins to settle again.

There are some really important points to stress here, and some clear ways in which these kinds of episodes can be prevented from happening in the future. This is particularly salient in the DeFi sector, which is still looking to establish its presence, and coping with credibility setbacks caused by bad actors. 

The fundamental purpose of DeFi is to provide solutions to financial needs and solve problems that exist in the TradFi realm by using new digital, blockchain based, technologies. Underpinning this should be transparency for customers while ensuring the security that self custody provides. Deviation from these core principles is simply not DeFi. 

One of the big upshots of the past week’s events has been a rising chorus of voices calling for tighter regulation of the space. Swarm for its part has always called for more oversight, and for the sector to adopt a regulation-first approach to ideas and innovation. This is in the interest of users, investors and regulators. 

What is clear is that the ‘move fast and break things’ approach is not appropriate when you’re dealing with people’s hard-earned money. Regulation that brings DeFi within the remit of existing legal frameworks and looks to protect users from loss – by preemptively ensuring that the infrastructure isn’t fundamentally flawed – is the only way forward. 

Crypto on-ramp investment activity highlights importance of entry points

Despite market strife in many areas of crypto, users are still looking at how to solve issues such as onramping. As much as the narrative in the current market is of capital flight, there are still investors out there looking at ways to solve and improve the fiat-to-crypto conundrum.

The latest example of this is a $70 million raise by ‘Ramp’ looking at this very issue. The firm in its announcement appears confident of its USP and utility despite the adverse market conditions. This is a fair position to take. While the firm has its own innovations for the onramping question, the wider point here is that stablecoins are a significant point of entry for many looking to use Web3. 

Stablecoins are a key component of the sector, providing interoperability with TradFi and fiat currency. What’s really important now is for major stablecoins to be working well in the current market. This comes first with the innovators building the coins, but is also incumbent on regulators to codify what good looks like. 

Jurisdictions such as the UK are taking a particularly close look at stablecoins through its Financial Services and Markets bill, currently moving through parliament. But we must also create a legal framework that offers entrepreneurs and private companies the clarity needed to develop private stablecoins to foster a healthy market. The quicker we have robust and innovation friendly rules in place, the sooner the entire ecosystem can grow confidently. 

Rolex NFTs: could RWA digital proof of ownership be on the cards for luxury watches?

Eagle-eyed crypto watchers have spotted Rolex filing trademarks for its own NFTs. Such a move is a logical step for a firm which prides itself on high-end, high-value products. 

There is some detail on what the Rolex trademark could imply, including metaverse and digital auction applications. It alludes to a collection of digital imagery ownership to go with your brand-new $12,000 watch. 

Interestingly, many brands that have been around for decades are using NFT technology to remain relevant and as a new way to connect with customers. But the technology could also turn into something more tantalising – digital on-chain verification that you own that watch. 

This is the real potential of NFTs, much maligned recently thanks to plummeting digital cartoon values. The application of putting real world assets (RWAs) onto blockchain technology to verify and secure digital ownership is a no brainer for Rolex. 

Let’s not forget that luxury watches are a highly sought after item – and not just by high-net worths. Luxury watches such as Rolexes are fair game for real-world criminals these days. Old-fashioned property rights systems won’t cut it in the modern world, making digitally verifiable ownership a necessity not a luxury. 

Swarm Markets nominated for City AM CryptoAM Awards 2022

We’re very pleased to announce that Swarm Markets has been shortlisted as a finalist in the category of Outstanding Contribution to DeFi by an independent panel of judges for the City AM CryptoAM Awards 2022. 

We were shortlisted from a list of nine other firms, including serious crypto players such as Aave and Coinbase, but are proud to just have been nominated nonetheless. 

Swarm is committed to delivering and raising awareness of permissioned DeFi to more people and providing DeFi-led solutions to age-old financial problems. 

You can find out more about the awards here: