Friday, 4 March 2022

Market Summary

Market Summary 4 March 2022

Bitcoin Price: US$ 42,454.00 (-3.28%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,833.99 (-3.84%)


SWIFT to BTC, Alethea AI’s New Drop, & TracerDAO V2

  • Over the weekend, the White House released a joint statement that signaled its intent to remove Russian banks from SWIFT. This disconnects Russian Banks from the international financial system and prevents them from operating globally. Since then, the EU said they are excluding seven Russian banks from SWIFT, excluding those that handle energy payments.
  • Cutting off the Russian Ruble from the world’s financial system led to a sell-off, causing it to drop 20% over the weekend. As Russians try to preserve value, BTC has emerged as one of the options. This caused BTC to trade at an eye-popping 40% premium.
  • The supply of active BTC—as measured by movement in the past <24H—has soared to around 565k BTC. This is the highest level seen in over a year. In fact, only 2 events have seen higher activity: Black Thursday in March 2020 and in May 2020.
  • The supply of BTC held by smaller addresses (0.001 – 10 BTC) saw a steep uptick, which could be a result of capital flight from the Ruble to BTC.
  • The fierce fight between Gem and Genie to be the leading NFT marketplace aggregator continues. Since we last covered this in our NFT Insights three weeks ago, Gem has overtaken Genie in terms of volumes and users despite Genie being first-to-market.
  • Gem has implemented a number of new features in February that makes it very intuitive to use, including a particularly well-regarded feature that introduces rarity rankings directly into the marketplace listings. It’s still early days, though, and users can be fickle as they migrate towards the product that best serves their needs. However, we do believe aggregators will continue to iterate quickly and improve the overall purchase experience for current and future NFT participants.
  • Alethea AI conducted its “State of the Ark” address on Mar. 1, providing a number of key updates and plans for the future. For the uninitiated, Alethea AI is a project that essentially brings interactive NFTs (iNFTs) to life (we covered the team’s first AI NFT drop late last year).
  • A new Alethea NFT collection, Arkiv, will be dropping on Mar. 7. There will be 10,000 NFTs available in a ‘mystery box’ format. Each box could receive one of 11 possible assets that can be used with your iNFT.
  • Tracer enables anyone to deploy permissionless derivative contracts on Arbitrum. There is currently $13.9M of TVL in Tracer contracts, down from a peak of $50M.


OpenSea updates banned countries list sparking decentralization debate

  • U.S.-based NFT marketplace OpenSea has reportedly begun barring Iranian users from its platform, sparking outrage from NFT collectors and raising fresh debate about decentralization in the crypto space. 
  • On Thursday morning, Iranian OpenSea users started posting on Twitter that their accounts were being deactivated or deleted with no prior warning. Iranian NFT artist “Bornosor” vented frustrations to their 4,700 followers, in a tweet that quickly gained traction, garnering 342 retweets and over a thousand likes within a few hours.
  • Bornosor stated, “NOT A gm AT ALL. Woke up to my @opensea trading account being deactivated/deleted without notice or any explanation.”


1inch Network adds a P2P feature to facilitate secure crypto swaps

  • The decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch Network introduced peer-to-peer, or P2P, order functionality within the 1inch decentralized application, or DApp. This feature allows users to specify the person or wallet that will fill the other side of the trade, as opposed to over-the-counter or OTC payments where 1inch matches the order with a taker.
  • According to the company website, this “opens the door to a whole new world” of possible use cases, including transactions within NFT marketplaces, auctions or reverse auctions. Although other services like Binance Pay or Bybit support P2P payments, the company said that they have “stepped in to fill the gap” in demand for this kind of service.
  • 1inch claimed that their P2P service offers trustless swaps backed by smart contracts and complete decentralization. Users can send orders via email or to any messenger using URLs that bypass 1inch’s backend. Within the Twitter thread, the company specified that participants are able to set the swap amount to the current market rate or to reduce and increase the rate by 5% intervals. Expiration dates can also be set to anytime between 10 minutes and 7 days.


Andreessen Horowitz invests $70M in Ethereum staking protocol Lido

  • Ethereum staking solution Lido Finance has raised $70 million from venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz, marking the protocol’s first funding round since May 2021. 
  • Andreessen Horowitz’s investment in Lido is intended to further support the adoption of decentralized staking solutions for Ethereum 2.0, a spokesperson for the venture capital firm said. Ethereum 2.0 marks a significant shift in the network’s consensus algorithm by ushering in the adoption of proof-of-stake (PoS) and other upgrades that could enhance scalability and reduce fees. The transition to Ethereum 2.0, which began in November 2020, is still ongoing.


China’s share in Bitcoin transactions declined 80% post crackdown: PBoC

  • The People’s Bank of China, the central bank of the country, claimed in a recent note that China’s share in the global Bitcoin (BTC) transactions has dropped rapidly from over 90% to 10%.
  • The Financial Stability Bureau of the Chinese central bank released a comprehensive note on Wednesday discussing the impact of the crypto crackdown on the financial markets. The official notice claimed that all peer-to-peer exchanges in the country had been eradicated, which eventually curbed the hype around digital currency transactions.


The city of Lugano will accept Bitcoin, Tether and LVGA tokens as ‘de facto’ legal tender

  • Switzerland’s southern city of Lugano plans for many local businesses to accept some cryptocurrencies as “de facto” legal tender as part of a partnership with Tether.
  • Speaking at the city’s Plan B event on Thursday, Tether chief technical officer Paolo Ardoino said the firm had set up a 3 million-Swiss franc fund in collaboration with Lugano officials to encourage adoption of Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT) and the LVGA token for shops and businesses across the city. Ardoino said the project was aimed at attracting talent from the space to Lugano and making the city a major blockchain hub in Europe.
  • In addition to allowing Lugano residents to pay their taxes using crypto, the project will extend payments to parking tickets, public services and tuition fees for students. More than 200 shops and businesses in the area are also expected to accept crypto payments for goods and services.

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