Friday, 6 January 2022

Market Summary

Market Summary 6 January 2023

Bitcoin Price: US$ 16,831.85(-0.11%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 1,251.24 (-0.45%) 


NFT Market Sees Slight Uptick in Trading Activity as 2022 Ends

  • NFT volume on Ethereum saw an uptick in December 2022, owing primarily to increased activity on Blur, a new marketplace for NFT power users. In December, Blur reported total volume of $484M, nearly twice the $263M volume reported by OpenSea .
  • This follows Blur’s airdrop announcement, which rewards traders that place bids on the platform. This allows traders to earn points and potentially acquire a larger airdrop. The BLUR token is expected to launch by the end of January 2023.
  • NFT trader count on Ethereum also saw an uptick in December as the number of wallet addresses trading NFTs increased by 7.7% month-over-month from ~540K to ~582K.
  • One possible explanation could be that NFT traders are harvesting tax losses before the end of the year. Tax loss harvesting is the timely sale of assets (such as NFTs) at a loss to offset the amount of capital gains tax due on the profitable sale of other assets.


DCG Shuts Down Wealth Management Subsidiary HQ

  • Digital Currency Group (DCG), the crypto conglomerate behind beleaguered crypto broker Genesis and digital asset manager Grayscale, confirmed Thursday that it is shuttering HQ, its wealth management division.
  • “Due to the state of the broader economic environment and prolonged crypto winter presenting significant headwinds to the industry, we made the decision to wind down HQ, effective January 31, 2023,” a DCG spokesperson told Decrypt. “We’re proud of the work that the team has done and look forward to potentially revisiting the project in the future.”
  • The news comes the same day that Genesis announced a massive wave of layoffs—30% of its staff—as DCG and its subsidiaries reel from the contagion spread by crypto exchange FTX’s implosion in November. 


Shopify Merchants Can Now Design, Mint and Sell Avalanche NFTs

  • Shopify (SHOP) expanded its non-fungible token (NFT) integration on Thursday, allowing its millions of merchants to begin designing, minting and selling Avalanche NFTs.
  • Using the Venly Shopify merchant app, storefronts can sell NFTs with “minimal technical knowledge,” according to a press release. NFTs created by merchants are “automatically turned into products” that can be displayed and purchased on their storefronts. In addition, buyers are not required to have an existing crypto wallet and instead will receive an email with a link to a newly-created blockchain wallet.
  • “The integration makes it easy to navigate Avalanche NFT sales from initial design all the way through final distribution,” said John Nahas, vice president of business at Ava Labs, the developer of the Avalanche blockchain.
  • The e-commerce giant launched its first NFT integration in July 2021, allowing merchants to sell NFTs directly from their stores instead of through third-party marketplaces. In addition, the platform released an NFT collection with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.
  • According to Venly, Shopify owners can also earn royalties on secondary NFT transactions through the Venly Market.


Declining Demand for Binance’s BUSD Represents New Chapter in Stablecoin Wars

  • Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, made a big push last year to promote its own stablecoin, BUSD, over those of rivals.
  • But recent speculation over the exchange’s health appear to have undermined the progress, following a spate of $5.5 billion of net redemptions from BUSD in a month. The decline in demand for the stablecoin coincided with other data in December showing outflows of cryptocurrency deposits on the exchange.
  • The market capitalization of BUSD – the number of stablecoins outstanding times its price, theoretically $1 – fell to an 11-month low of $16.4 billion on Jan. 3 from $22.1 billion at the start of December, according to data by CoinGecko. BUSD remained the third largest stablecoin by market capitalization.
  • BUSD is issued by the New York-based financial technology firm Paxos Trust Company under the Binance brand, anchored to the $1 price primarily by assurances that it’s backed by cash and U.S. Treasury bills in reserves. Like rival stablecoins including Tether’s USDT and Circle’s USDC, its purpose is to convert traditional fiat money to crypto assets and facilitate trading.


Animoca halves fundraising target for web3 fund to $1 billion: Bloomberg

  • Animoca Brands has cut in half the amount it hopes to corral for a new web3 and metaverse investment fund.
  • Yat Siu, the Hong Kong-based company’s chair, said in a Twitter Spaces interview that it is now looking to raise around $1 billion for Animoca Capital this quarter, according to a Bloomberg report. Siu had told Nikkei as recently as November that Animoca would target $2 billion for the fund, which will make mid- to late-stage bets in the sector.
  • The news comes with the crypto sector still reeling from the spectacular collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX in November. Around a dozen of Animoca’s portfolio startups were affected, Siu told Bloomberg.
  • “Q1 is the goal and then let’s see what happens,” Siu told Bloomberg of Animoca Capital’s plans, adding that market conditions may mean the fund raises less than its target. “It is fair to say it’s a challenging market. But we have quite a bit of interest.”


Celsius ‘Earn’ Assets Belong to Bankrupt Crypto Lender, Judge Rules

  • A federal judge ruled that customers of Celsius’s interest-bearing “Earn” product had turned over control of their assets to the bankrupt crypto lender, meaning they are part of the company’s bankruptcy estate.
  • Judge Martin Glenn, the chief U.S. bankruptcy judge in the Southern District of New York, said in a court order Wednesday that Celsius’s terms of service made it clear it took possession of crypto assets deposited into its Earn product, dealing a blow to some customers hoping to recoup their funds from the company. Celsius held around $4.2 billion in various cryptocurrencies in its Earn product as of July 2022, with $23 million of that being in stablecoins.
  • “The Court concludes, based on Celsius’s unambiguous Terms of Use, and subject to any reserved defenses, that when the cryptocurrency assets (including stablecoins, discussed in detail below) were deposited in Earn Accounts, the cryptocurrency assets became Celsius’s property; and the cryptocurrency assets remaining in the Earn Accounts on the Petition Date became property of the Debtors’ bankruptcy estates (the ‘Estates’),” he wrote.
  • Glenn also wrote that Celsius had “established a good business reason to permit the sale” of about $18 million worth of stablecoins, a move that state regulators and the U.S. Trustee’s office had opposed. The proceeds from the sale of these stablecoins would fund Celsius’s administrative costs for the next several months.

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