There was one standout winner in the crypto market last week: Axie Infinity’s SLP, which increased by 181.6% over the last seven days. No other cryptocurrencies came close to this number, but there were many other climbers — such as SHIB (up 35%), LEO (up 22.1%), and EGLD (up 21.3%).
Meanwhile, a few cryptocurrencies experienced declines. CRV’s price decreased by 18.8%, NEAR by 18.7%, and — perhaps most surprisingly of all— SOL by 18%.
As for the biggest coins, BTC enjoyed a modest increase of 2.2%, ETH declined by 4.1% and DOG fell by 9.21% so, in other words, it’s fair to say that last week was a mixed bag. Markets are a long way from their all-time highs, but the price charts indicate investor demand is beginning to support prices at these levels.
Ryan Firth at Mercer Street noted that the bigger picture is that prices have been driven higher by institutional demand since October of 2020 and that investors have been willing to put money into more risky assets like crypto in search of higher returns. However, with higher inflation, interest rates will increase to keep prices in check. He went on to say, “A higher interest rate environment drives down prices of bonds that are currently paying or yielding a lower rate as well as stocks and other “risk on” investments such as cryptocurrencies. The important questions are how quickly and how much will rates go up this year. In short, now might be a good time to buy crypto, but I would dollar cost average in anticipation of even lower price entry points later this year.”
Major NFT marketplace OpenSea is planning to open a venture capital business, and it’s already raised $300 million in a funding round in January 2022. The firm will focus on NFTs and other decentralized blockchain projects, and it will be led by OpenSea cofounder Alex Atallah. It’s also creating an organization called Ecosystems Grants to encourage growth in the NFT community.
The first NFT-linked house in the US sold for $650k through the real estate startup Propy. Although the NFT doesn’t directly represent the housing deed, it represents ownership of an LLC with rights to the house. It can also serve as collateral for crypto borrowing. Propy had previously auctioned an NFT-backed property in Ukraine in 2021, and hopes to launch more NFT property sales in the future.
Coinbase has been alerted of a vulnerability on its exchange — and the problem was exposed by none other than a Twitter user. The white-hat hacker, who goes by the username Tree of Alpha, posted a tweet saying they had found a “market-nuking” exploit and wanted to contact the leadership team. Unsurprisingly, this sent fear waves through the crypto community, but all ended well. Coinbase disabled its Advanced Trading platform, and it’s now only available for specific users.
The major crypto lender BlockFi has been fined $100 million after it lost its settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It was originally investigated for providing a product (high-yield lending offering up to 9.5%) classed as a security. BlockFi will now have to pay $50 to the SEC straightaway and $50 million to other state regulators, in addition to closing all future accounts. However, current accounts can remain open for now.
Former attorney Philip Reichenthal (along with some co-conspirators) has pleaded guilty to bitcoin fraud after tricking victims into sending them around $5 million to buy bitcoin as an escrow agent but then took the money for themselves. Reichenthal was arrested in 2020 and now faces up to 20 years in prison due to a mixture of fraudulent schemes.
There have been many concerns over the Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act, which sets rules for how crypto brokers report their taxes — and it included stakers and miners under the “crypto brokers” category. However, the US Treasury Department has now sent a letter to senators suggesting these rules won’t apply to miners or stakers, and a narrower definition of brokers will be used instead.
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