Bitcoin Price: US$ 38,420.81 (-2.48%)
Ethereum Price: US$ 2,551.29 (-4.27%)
- Institutional investors are returning to accumulate Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) shares as the discount to spot price his risen to nearly 30%, data on Glassnode shows.
- Since December 2021, some weekly sessions saw investors pouring in between $10 million and $120 million into Grayscale’s flagship fund. Meanwhile, the biggest capital inflow — amounting to nearly $140 million — appeared in the week ending on Feb. 25, as shown in the chart below.
- The GBTC trust attracted investments as global markets faced back-to-back shocks in the past few months, including a dramatic selloff in the technology stocks, followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that left many fund managers with a double-digit percentage loss..
- Many factors attribute to GBTC’s underperformance, including rising competition from exchange-traded funds (ETF) in Canada. Unlike GBTC, ETFs allow investors for Share Redemptions, a process through which a fund can destroy shares based on demand-supply dynamics.
- Interaction between the cryptocurrency industry and Capitol Hill is becoming ever more intensive as efforts to regulate crypto grow in tandem with its popularity. The surge in crypto industry lobbying last year was given some concrete parameters in February by crypto analytics startup Crypto Head. It released a report showing that the crypto companies that spent the most money on lobbying in 2021 were Robinhood, Ripple Labs, Coinbase and the Blockchain Association. These organizations were the lobbying leaders during the past five years as well, although with different rankings.
- Robinhood spent $1.35 million on lobbying in 2021 and was the only crypto-related organization to spend more than $1 million. Ripple Labs, in second place, spent $900,000. The Economist estimated a total of $5 million was spent by crypto firms on lobbying in the first three quarters of 2021.
- Political action committees (PACs) give the crypto industry another opportunity to influence the political process, and there has been a flurry of organizations on that front as well. The American Blockchain PAC was founded in November with the goal of raising $300 million for pro-crypto candidates. However, it was reported in mid-February to have raised less than $8,000 so far.
- Recently, Ukraine has called for “sabotage” of everyday Russians’ crypto assets due to an ongoing war between the two countries. Among many, its European allies have also voiced mounting concerns that Russia may use crypto to bypass Western sanctions.
- But ironically, it appears that one of the greatest proponents of barring everyday Russians and financial institutions from accessing cryptocurrencies is actually the Central Bank of Russia, or CBR, itself. As reported by local news outlet tass.ru on Thursday, the CBR continues to adhere to its position of proposing to ban the issuance, mining, and circulation of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation. A CBR official stated:
- “The Central Bank currently supports the position that was previously announced and published on the official website. Therefore, there is nothing to add today.”
- To start with the latter question: Yes, the groundwork has already been laid. Sensors from our smartphones, social media, digital devices, and the digital data-driven companies that top the Fortune 500 comprise the new cathedrals, religions and tribal spaces for humanity. These technologies and the onset of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR, and the AI-driven Society 5.0 have seen more change in humanity in the last 50 years than in the previous 30,000 combined. And this is just the beginning!
- While the Metaverse represents the culmination of the last 50 years of technology, it will also invite new and wholly unique ways of thinking and dreaming about humanity’s obsession with bigger and bigger stories. That will include new ways of interacting, communicating, and storytelling, marking a new chapter in our social-economic centralized and decentralized 4IR, Web3, Society 5.0 cultural history.
- The first movers in the Metaverse revolution are and will undoubtedly continue to be the ones that bridge physical and virtual experiences: from creating new cities and new properties, to travel and art, to general experiences, all of which continue expanding and augmenting our society with brand new social media and gaming experiences. At the moment, this is happening on platforms that have significantly large user bases, creator marketplaces, experiences with live digital events, and cutting-edge hardware, and it’s these platforms that are building the basis of this new medium. Web3, AI, blockchain and other decentralized technologies will provide a check on these companies and people behind these platforms that were not present in the earliest days of the internet, ensuring similar mistakes are not made as this foundation is being put in place.
- Decentralized finance projects like Ren pumped in 2021, only to finish the year right back where they started as high fees on Ethereum (ETH) led to decreased activity for many protocols and DeFi took a backseat to more popular sectors like nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
- Three reasons for the potential price reversal in REN are the launch of its first layer-one application Catalog, the launch of VarenX on Polygon and several new partnerships and integrations for REN and the Ren Virtual Machine (RenVM).