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Circle expands Asia focus, Mila Kunis and Stoner Cats face SEC, Telegram adds crypto wallet and more

Image Credits: We Are (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Welcome back to Chain Reaction.

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important crypto stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday at 12 p.m. PT, subscribe here.

Another week in crypto means another opportunity for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go after crypto projects. On Wednesday, the SEC charged long-term celebrity couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher for allegedly offering their NFT-based web series “Stoner Cats” as unregistered securities. I feel like I could make a joke here, but it would probably be purr-ty cat-astrophic.

Separately, we’ve rolled out additional coverage from Korea Blockchain Week and Telegram added a self-custodial crypto wallet globally (except for, ahem, the U.S.), among other things. More details below.

This week in web3

  1. USDC issuer Circle expands Asia focus in push to enter the region’s flourishing payments ecosystem (TC+)

  2. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Stoner Cats’ NFTs get smoked by the SEC

  3. Institutional crypto adoption in Asia is growing as the US market remains a question mark (TC+)

  4. MobileCoin, which powers Signal’s anonymous crypto payments, appoints new CEO

  5. Telegram adds self-custodial crypto wallet worldwide, excluding the US

  6. Coinbase ‘committed’ to India, but disables sign-ups amid regulatory roadblock

The latest pod

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn is sharing a panel she moderated live at Avalanche House, while she was in Seoul, South Korea for Korea Blockchain Week.

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The panel focused on the biggest opportunities and challenges facing web3 enterprise and included the following speakers:

  • Dan Sun, startup success manager for web3 APAC lead at Google Cloud

  • Gagan Mac, head of product and senior director of web3 services at Circle

  • Johann Eid, chief business officer at Chainlink Labs

  • Lihan Lee, co-CEO and founder of Xangle

We discussed the state of web3 enterprise adoption today compared to past quarters and years and dove into the ripple effects that catastrophic events from 2022 had on the space.

We also talked about:

  • Regulatory scrutiny

  • Next wave of enterprise adoption

  • New web3 enterprise use cases

Subscribe to Chain Reaction on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest episodes, and please leave us a review if you like what you hear!

Follow the money

  1. 0xPass raises $1.8 million from Balaji Srinivasan and others to build secure login systems for web3

  2. Brine Fi challenges Coinbase, Binance with decentralized exchange as it nets Pantera-led $16.5 million round

  3. NFT startup Rario founders to leave a year after $120 million funding

  4. Thailand’s KBank launches $100 million fund focused on AI, web3 and “deep tech”

  5. Blockchain infra startup Movement Labs raises $3.4 million in pre-seed round

This list was compiled with information from Messari as well as TechCrunch’s own reporting.

What else we’re writing

Want to branch out from the world of web3? Here are some articles on TechCrunch that caught our attention this week.

  1. Apple Event 2023: Everything you need to know about iPhone 15, Apple Watch, USB-C connector

  2. OpenAI to open its first EU office as it readies for regulatory hurdles

  3. Microsoft reveals how hackers stole its email signing key… kind of

  4. This startup has 12 co-founders (TC+)

  5. Here’s how we raised a Series B for our AI startup during a downturn (TC+)

Follow me on Twitter @Jacqmelinek for breaking crypto news, memes and more.