Friday, 22 July 2022

Market Summary

Market Summary 22 July 2022

Bitcoin Price: US$ 23,152.19  (-0.31%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,575.45 (+3.54%) 

 

DAUs of Solana DEXs, Gm.studio Collections, Future of Crypto Gaming

  • Daily active users (DAUs) of DEXs on Solana have declined from 96k on 21st June to 22k on 20th July. On the other hand, DAUs of NFT marketplaces on Solana have stayed consistent between 12-20k during the same period.
  • The most significant decline in DAUs of DEXs occurred during the last week of June, when active users dropped nearly 67% from 96k to 31k.
  • Solana’s DeFi ecosystem made headlines during this period when Solend, the second largest DeFi protocol on Solana, nearly liquidated 95% of the SOL deposits in its lending pool. The protocol eventually reversed its decision to proceed with such a liquidation.
  • gm.studio is a relatively new launchpad for generative artists, started in Feb 2022. It aims to be a full-service platform that guides artists through the steps of launching a successful project: from defining the scope, to smart contract deployment and marketing. A curation team comprising 6 resident artists (Tengil, Ike, Rich Poole, Cyber Sea, nodallydude & cxkoda) steers the studio’s art direction.
  • gm.studio is built by gm.DAO, is a community of NFT collectors, artists, and investors, who are passionate about NFTs and art. The DAO comprises 900 members who are holders of the gmDAO NFT. The NFT provides access to the private community and acts as a governance token to vote on the direction of the DAO.
  • So far, there have been 4 collections launched by gm.studio, released at an affordable mint price of 0.15E (~$230) each. While the first collection, Mind The Gap, was not particularly ground-breaking (it appears inspired by Fidenza), gm.studio appears to be finding its artistic direction over time.
  • The most successful collection is arguably Factura by Mathia Isaksen. It is described as an act of balancing pairs of opposing qualities — monolithic and minute, structure & disorder, intricate & plain. Part of the reason for its success could be attributed to its launch during a period of heightened interest in art. Some people have also drawn parallels between Factura and Kjetil Golid’s Archetype, a well-regarded and popular Art Blocks Curated collection.

 

Crypto lender Vauld seeks protection against creditors: Report

  • Singapore crypto exchange Vauld Group is seeking a moratorium against its creditors — a move that would give the troubled lender more time to restructure its business after collapsing asset prices impacted its operations earlier this month.
  • Vauld filed an application in Singapore on July 8 seeking a moratorium order, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. If granted, the moratorium would provide the distressed lender more time to seek out a proper restructuring plan.
  • The Journal said a Singaporean moratorium order is similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States, although the moratorium helps the company avoid complete closure.
  • Vauld issued a statement on July 11 informing the public that it would pursue a moratorium order to give management “the breathing space it requires to prepare for the intended restructuring for the benefit of all stakeholders.” However, as the Journal reported, the moratorium application was filed three days prior.

 

SEC objects to XRP holders aiding Ripple defense

  • The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is attempting to block Ripple (XRP) holders from aiding in Ripple’s defense, and prohibit attorney John E. Deaton from any further participation in proceedings. 
  • In its official objection submitted on Tuesday, the regulator opposed the decision to recognize 1,746 XRP holders as “amici curiae” along with attorney John E. Deaton.
  • Amici (plural: amici curiae) means “friend of the court” — an individual or organization not a party to a legal case but is permitted to assist a court by providing information, expertise or insights. In this case, in support of Ripple’s defense.
  • Deaton has 3,252 affidavits signed by the token holders essentially stating that they are victims of the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple as a result of lost profits.
  • Holders claim in the affidavits that they either did not assume legal responsibility for purchasing XRP, they bought the tokens for utilitarian purposes instead of investment purposes or they did not buy based on promises made by the company and its representatives.
  • However, in its objection to XRP holders, the commission claimed that they are attempting to operate outside of strictly legal issues. The SEC wrote:
  • “Movants do not propose briefing on legal issues. Instead, they wish to present arguments based on 3,252 affidavits ‘attesting’ to certain facts.”

 

Dogecoin launches new update to improve security and efficiency

  • The developers of the Dogecoin (DOGE) project have released a new update for the core software, which improves security, efficiency and user interface.
  • This latest update, Dogecoin Core 1.14.6, went live early on Thursday, and all the network participants were urged to upgrade to the latest version. The new update comprises numerous security fixes, modifications to the existing fee structure and several new features.
  • A change in the wallet backup directory’s configuration and a limit on the maximum number of addnode records are also among the “breaking changes.” The amount of addnodes has been restricted to 800. An essential upgrade to DOGE’s fee mechanism was included in the release: dust limits for all network participants have been reduced from 1 DOGE to 0.01 DOGE.
  • In the event of congestion, the memory management of the network has been enhanced, according to the GitHub paper. The document also reveals that the network now rejects buggy messages. Dogecoin Core developer Patrick Lodder wrote in a GitHub document that:
  • “This is a new minor version release, including important security updates and changes to network efficiency. All Dogecoin Core users — miners, services, relay operators and wallet users — are strongly recommended to upgrade.”

 

Regulators across the ocean discuss stablecoins and MiCa at joint forum

  • It’s not every week that regulators from both sides of the Atlantic ocean come together to discuss cryptocurrencies. But that’s what happened last week, with the European Union and United States counterparts sharing their thoughts on stablecoins, central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) proposal. 
  • The representatives of the European Commission, the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and several other EU-level bodies have met with officials from the United States Department of the Treasury, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other American colleagues to discuss the regulatory routine. 
  • The meeting took place July 13-14 in the form of the EU–U.S. Joint Financial Regulatory Forum. Digital finance became only one out of six key topics, alongside sustainable finance and climate-related financial risks, regulatory developments in banking and insurance, Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and other immediate issues.

 

What are the long-terms goals for the Ethereum blockchain? Vitalik Buterin explains live at EthCC

  • On Thursday, Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, shared his long-term vision for the namesake blockchain live at the annual Ethereum Community Conference, or EthCC, in Paris. As told by Buterin, Ethereum is currently at an inflection point, or period of rapid change, before the ecosystem’s capability will eventually settle down. 
  • Currently, the foremost priority for Ethereum is building an easy-to-use light client for the consensus layer, execution layer, and layer-2 solutions by default. Next is better support for home stakers or those looking to validate network transactions when Ethereum transitions to a proof-of-stake blockchain but possess less than the required 32 Ether (ETH). Finally, Buterin believes it’s critical that Ethereum can eventually be run on a full node with lighter hardware.
  • As for the long-horizon roadmap, Buterin plans to upgrade Ethereum with better cryptographic technologies, potentially for quantum resistance, if they come out and additionally further integrate with zero knowledge Ethereum Virtual Machines, or zk-EVMs, should they work out. “We also need to keep an open mind,” says Buterin. “We don’t know exactly what the needs of 2032 will demand.”

 

US authorities arrest former Coinbase manager, alleging insider crypto trading

  • United States authorities have brought charges against three people for wire fraud conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to commit insider trading using crypto, one of whom was a former product manager at Coinbase Global.
  • In a Thursday announcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, in conjunction with the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said it had filed an indictment against former Coinbase Global product manager Ishan Wahi as well as his brother Nikhil Wahi and associate Sameer Ramani. The trio allegedly used confidential information Ishan obtained from Coinbase in regard to which tokens would be listed on the exchange to make roughly $1.5 million in gains from trading 25 different cryptocurrencies.
  • According to the authorities, Ishan was privy to certain information on listing cryptocurrencies on exchanges controlled by Coinbase in his position as a product manager from August 2021 to May 2022, a period that encompassed the launch dates of tokens. The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that from June 2021 to April 2022, Ishan passed on information related to the launch date of tokens to his brother or Ramani to invest in the cryptocurrencies before an anticipated price jump due to a major exchange like Coinbase listing the asset. The indictment specifically mentioned $7,000 in profits from trading Tribe (TRIBE), $13,000 from Alchemix (ALCX), Gala (GALA), Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and Powerledger (POWR), and $900,000 from XYO.

 

Hardware wallet industry to outstrip crypto exchanges: Report

  • The crypto hardware wallet industry could be growing at a faster pace than cryptocurrency exchanges, data from several studies suggest.
  • The current bear market has accelerated the development of the cold wallet industry, while many centralized crypto exchanges were scrambling to maintain operations. According to a report by business intelligence firm Vantage Market Research, the revenue of global crypto trading platforms amounted to $330 million in 2021.
  • Released on July 21, the report suggests that the global crypto exchange market revenue would reach a value of $675 million by 2028 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.7%. That’s at least half the CAGR related to the growth of the hardware wallet industry, other reports suggest.
  • The global hardware wallet market reportedly reached a value of $252 million in 2021 and is expected to reach a value of $1.1 billion by 2027, or exhibit a CAGR of 27.2%.

 

SBF: Crypto winter winding down, FTX to turn a profit as it serves as lender of last resort

  • The economic crisis in crypto is waning, FTX co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried thinks. He noted, in an interview on Axios Pro on Thursday, that he is no longer getting “a ton of calls” from distressed businesses, as he was in the first weeks of the so-called crypto winter. Given a positive economic macro-environment, recovery could happen “remarkably fast,” he said.
  • FTX is “willing to lose a little” in its role as lender of last resort, Bankman-Fried said. He noted that $70 million of the loan, worth approximately $500 million total, that Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research made to Voyager Digital was junior to customer assets and could be lost.
  • Nonetheless, Bankman-Fried said he expects FTX to turn a profit every quarter this year. FTX profits are “running kind of roughly in line with last year,” and the company has gained market share in the last few months. FTX rejected the idea of adding Bitcoin (BTC) to its treasury, Bankman-Fried also said, but would have considered it in the range of $15,000.

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