Read in the digest
- Trouble in Europe Leads to Nosedive of Cryptocurrency Assets as Buterin Criticizes Russia.
- Canadian PM Cancels Emergency Powers but Calls for Crypto Migrations Are Louder.
- CryptoPunks NFT Sale on Sotheby’s Has Been Canceled.
- Facebook Shows Massive Intent for Metaverse with AI-Focused Developments
War in Europe, Market Crash, Buterin’s Supportive Message
As Russian aggression against Ukraine reached a breaking point and the threat of a full-scale war now is a stark reality, the markets have taken a plunge to new lows.
Bitcoin lost 8.5% of its value to trade at $34,337 following the barrage of Russian missiles on Ukrainian cities. Ethereum followed Bitcoin in the tumble, losing as much as 12% of its value to trade at $2,301 while other leading cryptocurrencies suffered the same fate.
Ethereum’s founder, Vitalik Buterin, took to Twitter to express his displeasure over Russia’s decision to abandon the possibility of a peaceful resolution. Writing in Russian, Buterin noted that “this is a crime against the Ukrainian and Russian people,” and sent a supportive message to Ukraine saying, “Glory to Ukraine.”
The recent dip of cryptocurrencies in the face of macro-economic factors casts a measure of doubt on its capabilities as a store of wealth.
Analysts have theorized that the recent metrics are a result of the increasing correlation between cryptocurrencies and traditional financial markets. At the moment, the global cryptocurrency market capitalization stands at $1.57 trillion, a far cry from the highs of $3 trillion.
- Gold has the last laugh after playing second fiddle to cryptocurrencies as it reached its highest peak since early 2021 in the wake of Europe’s crisis.
Why You Should Care
Fundamentals are an integral part of investing, and keeping an eye out for policy announcements helps traders navigate the markets, in addition to technical analysis.
Trudeau Revokes Emergencies Act Powers but the Case for Crypto Grows
Canada’s Prime Minister has announced the end of the use of the Emergencies Act. The PM disclosed this in a televised press conference, saying the country’s situation is no longer an emergency and “existing laws and local law enforcement authorities can keep people safe.”
The Emergencies Act was invoked last week by the government in the wake of the Freedom Convoy protests seeking to end Covid mandates and restrictions. Things escalated and led to the freezing of the bank accounts of protesters and donors causing an outcry.
After the announcement of the revocation of the Emergencies Act, the government has begun taking steps to unfreeze the affected bank accounts.
The Canadian debacle has triggered conversations on the need for individuals to embrace cryptocurrencies. Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s founder, took it up a notch by saying that “self custodial wallets are important!” The need for cryptocurrencies was even more glaring following the blacklisting on traditional fundraising sites like GoFundMe and GiveSendGo, making the protesters resort to raising funds via Bitcoin.
- The use of cryptocurrencies as a way to circumvent the influence of government authorities comes with the risks associated with upregulation including rug pulls and hacks by bad actors.
Why You Should Care
Canada’s relationship with cryptocurrencies is worthy of note as it has the record of establishing the first Bitcoin ETF in the North American continent and contributes a decent percent to Bitcoin’s global hashrates.
Sotheby’s Cancels NFT Auction, NFT Activity Surpasses Stablecoins & ERC20
An auction on Sotheby’s for a lot of 104 CryptoPunks has been cancelled. According to reports, the rare NFTs were expected to be sold for around $30 million before they were abruptly cancelled by the anonymous seller. Part of the reason for the cancellation was rumors of a lukewarm reaction amongst potential bidders with sources claiming the highest pre-bid offer was $14 million.
The owner purchased the collection in July 2021 for the total sum of $7 million under the pseudonym “0x650d.” After holding the NFTs for over six months, he announced on February 8 that he was entering into a partnership with Sotheby’s to create “the highest profile NFT sale of all time” titled “Punk It!”
CryptoPunks were one of the earliest NFTs in the space and have attained a cult status, reaching over $2 billion in sales volume. On the other hand, Sotheby’s has also been knee-deep in digital art and cryptocurrencies by regularly hosting NFT auctions on their platforms.
In 2021, the auction house recorded over $100 million in NFT sales with Beeple’s $69 million sale being the most iconic. It is important to note that NFT transactions have surpassed that of stablecoins and ERC tokens on the Ethereum blockchain as adoption reaches frenetic levels.
- Bored Ape Yacht Club surpassed CryptoPunks’ floor price after a spike in the value of the collection was triggered by celebrity interest.
Why You Should Care
NFTs are rising in popularity and transaction volumes are a testament to the increasing use cases of this technology.
Zuckerberg Showcases AI Projects Focused on Fleshing Out Metaverse
Facebook stirred the pot after the announcement of the rebrand to Meta. The company’s CEO took to a livestream in the “Inside the Lab” event to disclose the steps the company was taking with AI in the evolution of the metaverse.
The features include the ability of users to create virtual worlds through speech and a leap in the development of interaction with voice assistance. In the livestream, Mark Zuckerberg demonstrated how to use “Builder Bot” to create features like trees and clouds. Other scintillating features that were disclosed included video calling with the addition of VR and AR as the company clearly shows that it is putting all its eggs in the metaverse basket.
The metaverse race has stiffened since the start of 2022 with big tech firms like Microsoft joining crypto firms like SandBox and Decentraland. A recent report by JPMorgan predicted that the Metaverse could become a $1 trillion market opportunity.
- Since the start of the metaverse play, Meta’s market cap has dwindled while user growth has stalled for the first time since its formation.
Why You Should Care
The metaverse is often described as the next frontier, but cryptocurrency enthusiasts do not want big tech firms to have a first-mover advantage because of privacy issues and decentralization concerns.