Friday, 15 July 2022

Market Summary

Market Summary 15 July 2022

Bitcoin Price: US$ 20,588.84  (+1.75%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,193.42 (+7.03%) 


Art Blocks Summer, GameStop NFTs, & The Stablecoin Landscape

  • On 7th July, Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist protest art collective, collaborated with artist Ksti Hu to launch a series of Proof of Protest (PoP) NFT collections that helped raise >$107K for charity on Lens Protocol. Pussy Riot sent all the revenue generated to LegalAbortion.eth so the collective can donate to reproductive rights non-profits while maintaining transparency.
  • The fundraiser represents ~69% (nice!) of Lens Protocol’s total user-generated revenue ($155,370K) since its May 18th launch. Lens added about 5k Lens profile owners in 5 days by giving holders of the Limited Edition and Special Edition PoPs access to mint a Lens Profile.
  • GameStop’s NFT marketplace launched its public beta on Jul 12. It is a non-custodial marketplace built on Loopring Layer 2. In less than 48 hours from launch, it has already achieved:
    • >2,000 ETH in trading volume (>$2M)
    • >45,000 transactions made
    • 260+ collections listed
  • It has exceeded the total volume for Coinbase NFT (~1702 ETH since inception). This is quite remarkable, especially given that the launch was relatively low-key compared to Coinbase NFT. Users can bridge their funds seamlessly from ETH to Loopring L2 directly on the marketplace website. The interface is still relatively raw and requires polishing, but it will be interesting to see if it continues to draw new users in.
  • There has been a resurgence of interest in generative art in recent weeks, particularly Art Blocks. This is evident if we take a look at the price action in Chromie Squiggles, the first Art Blocks collection by its founder Snowfro.
  • If you’re invested in crypto assets, you have probably held stablecoins in your portfolio at some point in time. Chances are, you have also heard of several high-profile stablecoin depegging events, leaving unsuspecting holders unable to redeem their stablecoins at par value.
  • Stablecoins have become the backbone of DeFi, with nearly $150B in cumulative market cap. Of this, over 97% are in collateralized stablecoins while the remaining portion is made up of their undercollateralized counterparts. As the name suggests, fully collateralized stablecoins are backed by some sort of collateral – either fiat-collateral or crypto-collateral. Undercollateralized stablecoins, also known as algorithmic stablecoins, are either not backed by collateral at all or partially backed. FRAX is a notable example of a partially backed stablecoin, typically using financial incentives to encourage the market to keep the stablecoin at its peg. UST was a notable example of an uncollateralized stablecoin, and subsequently the risks of such a design.


Ankr Network’s 2.0 upgrade aims to improve Web3 decentralization

  • Ankr is one of the largest remote procedure call (RPC) endpoint providers in the crypto space, which are critical for Web3 dApps that connect with blockchains.
  • Decentralized Web3 infrastructure provider Ankr Network (ANKR) has introduced its Ankr Network 2.0 upgrade aimed at transitioning blockchains into more resilient node networks.
  • The upgrade is detailed in the Ankr 2.0 Whitepaper which was obtained by Cointelegraph ahead of its release later today.
  • The upgrade centers around making Web3 more decentralized through several new features, such as an option to run an independent node, the ability to stake ANKR tokens on a full node, and the Ankr DAO.
  • A spokesperson explained to Cointelegraph:
  • “The upgrade is aimed at transitioning more blockchains, and the DApps built on them, to more distributed and resilient node networks supported by independent node providers.”


Crypto markets need to hit ‘total panic’ before revival: Kevin O’Leary

  • The millionaire investor thinks that the market bottom will be marked by “total panic,” at which point weak companies with “idiot managers” will be weeded out and the industry can continue to grow.
  • Millionaire investor from the Shark Tank TV show Kevin O’Leary says there’s going to be “total panic” and “massive volatility” in the crypto markets ahead before the industry swings back toward stronger firms and clearer regulations.
  • Despite the recent fall of crypto finance firms including Voyager Digital and Celsius, O’Leary told Cointelegraph on July 13 that we’re still missing a “real big event” seen in previous market cycles before we go back to accelerated growth in the space, stating: 
  • “This passion play gets played out over and over again.”
  • Some investors have pointed to the current market conditions as a result of over-leveraged centralized finance firms such as Voyager and Celsius. O’Leary said the problems with firms like those come from “idiot managers” who needed to be weeded out to make the industry more viable.
  • “It’s unfortunate that these companies have gone to zero but you end up with much stronger species.”


3 reasons why Polygon (MATIC) is up 100%+ during a bear market

  • Steady adoption and internal growth back MATIC’s 118% gain, even as most altcoins struggle to hold on to their short-term gains.
  • Unlike bull markets where traders can basically throw a dart at a list of coins to pick one that will go up, bear markets require much more effort to find projects that could perform well over the long-run.
  • One project that has continued to show signs of mainstream adoption despite the onset of a crypto winter is Polygon (MATIC), a layer-two scaling solution for the Ethereum (ETH) network that is looking to build a sustainable Web3 infrastructure on the top smart contract platform.
  • Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since hitting a low of $0.316 on June 18 during the worst of the crypto market sell-off, MATIC has climbed 118% to $0.70 where the price now sits at a major support and resistance level that first appeared in March 2021.
  • Three reasons why the long-term outlook for Polygon remains positive include its continued adoption by mainstream entities, the migration of multiple projects to the Polygon network and an increase in the platforms offering liquid staking services for MATIC.
  • In the past few months, Polygon has established partnerships with Coca-Cola, which released a pride series NFT collection on the network and Reddit, which announced that it was launching an NFT marketplace on the Polygon network on July 7.
  • Most recently, it was announced that Polygon has been selected by Disney to be the only blockchain included in the 2022 Disney Accelerator program, a “business development program designed to accelerate the growth of innovative companies from around the world.”


CoinFLEX resumes withdrawals, limiting users to 10%

  • Since halting user withdrawals three weeks ago, CoinFLEX has announced plans to reclaim up to $84 million in owed funds.
  • Cryptocurrency exchange CoinFLEX is partially reopening user withdrawals, raising cautious optimism that the company was gradually recovering from liquidity constraints that were triggered by a high-profile client default. 
  • Beginning at 5 am UTC on Friday, all CoinFLEX users will be able to withdraw up to 10% of their funds, the company said. All existing withdrawal requests will be canceled and returned to their respective accounts, giving users the ability to initiate new requests in accordance with the 10% limit.
  • The remaining 90% of user balances will be considered “locked funds,” or funds that appear on their balance but cannot be withdrawn, traded or used as collateral.
  • The new guidelines apply to all assets except flexUSD, an interest-bearing stablecoin, which “cannot be withdrawn until further notice,” the company said.


Bitfinex donates 36 BTC to Salvadoran businesses to support economic development

  • Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has donated 36 Bitcoin (BTC) and $600,000 worth of Tether (USDT) to small businesses in El Salvador as part of a broader pledge to support economic development in neighborhoods that have struggled with gang-related violence. 
  • The funds are being distributed in the socially-deprived communities of Ilopango, Soyapango and Apopa, where gang violence and extortion of small business owners are the most common, Bitfinex announced Thursday. The donations, which will be funded through recipients’ Bitcoin wallets, including the state-sponsored Chivo wallet, will support environmentally-friendly business initiatives that employ local workers.
  • In addition to funding the donations, Bitfinex’s parent company, iFinex Inc., is working with El Salvador’s government to create a new regulatory framework for digital assets and securities, the company said.


OKX to extend offers in Dubai after securing a provisional license

  • Crypto exchange OKX has acquired a provisional virtual assets license granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), allowing them to offer additional services to qualified investors and financial services providers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). 
  • In a statement, the OKX team told Cointelegraph that the license allows them to extend products and services in the region. Following this, the exchange will also facilitate research and knowledge sharing within the VARA regulatory ecosystem. The team underscored that regulatory compliance is a priority for them as it protects users.
  • According to Tim Byun, government relations officer at OK Group, the compliance framework given by Dubai’s VARA reflects UAE’s leadership in nurturing the future’s global economy. Byun explained that:
  • “Dubai is a pioneer when it comes to regulation of the virtual assets sector, and it is swiftly becoming one of the top global hubs for the industry.”
  • Byun also told Cointelegraph that the VARA license allows businesses to be compliant with mandates such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) and Know Your Customer (KYC). He also mentioned that “at this point, OKX Dubai expects to offer a broad spectrum of virtual asset products and services.”


Hyosung America makes Bitcoin purchasing app available to 175,000 ATMs

  • It will be up to the specific ATM operator to decide whether they want to incorporate the service making it unlikely all 175,000 of Hyosung’s ATMs will actually support BTC buying.
  • Hyosung America has signed a partnership deal with cash-to-crypto provider DigitalMint that enables Bitcoin (BTC) purchasing across the firm’s 175,000 ATMs located in the United States.
  • Apart from offering its own BTC and Litecoin (LTC) payment rails such as ATMs, bank wires and tellers, DigitalMint also provides software API integrations that allow retailers or ATM operators to sell BTC through their machines.
  • As part of the deal, which was announced on Tuesda, Hyosung America will add DigitalMint’s crypto buying services to its upcoming API-based app store, which is being built for the firm’s ATMs.
  • However, it will be up to the specific ATM operator to decide whether they want to incorporate DigitalMint’s services or not, which means it is unlikely the majority of Hyosung’s 175,000 ATMs will actually support BTC buying.


Celsius vows to return from bankruptcy but expert fears repeat of Mt. Gox

  • Crypto lending platform Celsius confirmed on Wednesday that it has initiated Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in the Southern District Court of New York.
  • The announcement was shared on the company’s Twitter and shared with account holders via email on Wednesday, with a vow to “emerge from Chapter 11 positioned for success in the cryptocurrency industry.”
  • According to Investopedia, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company to stay in business and restructure its obligations. Companies that have successfully reorganized under Chapter 11 include American Airlines, Delta, General Motors, Hertz and Marvel, according to an updated FAQ by Celsius.
  • Danny Talwar, head of tax at crypto accounting software firm Koinly, shared his concerns with Cointelegraph that the proceedings could mean investors and customers of Celsius may not see their funds returned for the “foreseeable future,” similar to the fallout from the Mt. Gox hack in 2014 which is still ongoing:
  • “This could be Mt. Gox 2.0. Court proceedings may drag out the process of Celsius customers receiving any of their deposits back well into the future.”


CryptoPunk sells for $2.6M as big NFT brands floor prices increase

  • Despite the massive downturn in the NFT market, CryptoPunk 4464’s $2.6 million price tag signals that top NFT projects are still managing to attract some serious attention.
  • Despite a major decline in trading volume across the broader nonfungible token (NFT) market, a single CryptoPunk has sold for a whopping 2,500 Ether (ETH) which equates to a price tag of just over $2.6 million.
  • The $2.6 million transaction makes the sale of CryptoPunk 4464 — one of just 24 ape-themed CryptoPunks — the largest NFT sale of the last 30 days across the entire market.

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