ValteFri, Jul 23, 2021 3:00 PM
Weekly Digest: Kusama's NFTs & DOGE Commerce with Cryptonomist
Every week we make a digest about the most significant news in crypto with bloggers and crypto community members, but this week we decided to check out what our friends from the media find interesting in the world of crypto.
Dogecoin became the seventh crypto accepted by Coinbase’s e-commerce portal Coinbase Commerce, that allows websites making online sales to cash crypto directly into their accounts, which means the platform now accepts payments in Doge which not so long back wasn’t taken seriously by most of the community. Moreover, the app can pay a merchant even if he's using another crypto wallet. So the users now are able to convert their cryptos, since now including Doge into fiat without leaving the portal. This option first appeared in October 2020 and allows users to benefit from crypto as a payment method.
“Its dedicated influencer Musk has not yet been able to comment on the new step reached by DOGE with his infamous tweets.”
Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, speaking at the fourth Ethereum Community Conference mentioned that Ethereum should go beyond Defi, though, to be defined by it is still better than to be defined by nothing. In his opinion non-financial utilities are a much more interesting part of the blockchain vision regarding its general goal. It’s true that decentralized finance applications almost took over the network, but at the same time, there are other applications that are getting closer to get the same success, for example, NFTs. But blockchain still gets its biggest value from financial transactions and it will probably remain as a main use of the technology. Buterin thinks that many other decentralized projects should appear on Ethereum, in particular, decentralized social media, identity verification, and the financing of public goods. In his opinion, the most interesting use cases will include both financial and non-financial elements.
“Finance is simply the area where the old centralized technology is the worst, and which offers the greatest potential for decentralization.” — Vitalik Buterin
Elon Musk joined a video confrontation with Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and Cathie Wood of ARK, where he distinctly declared his support of Bitcoin. But even more than his words, Elon’s outfit, as it often is, was speaking. The CEO of Tesla appeared in the video conference wearing a t-shirt with the “evolution of money” print, were on the famous picture where human moves from Australopithecus to Homo Sapiens but every step shows specific types of money – from commodity assets to metallic coins, notes, plastic cards and finally Bitcoin. This can be considered as Musk’s opinion on Bitcoin being the next revolution of money. Elon also mentioned that he has Bitcoin as well as Ether and Doge, but he has never sold any Bitcoin, while he did it with the other assets. He also added that he was satisfied with Bitcoin mining moving towards more sustainable energy sources and considering reactivating BTC payments in Tesla, though without specifying how soon this may happen.
“I would like to see Bitcoin succeed.” — Elon Musk
Tether announced that its euro-anchored stablecoin EURT is now available on the European Bitstamp exchange founded back in 2011, which allows trading of Bitcoin and other cryptos in fiat currencies: EUR, USD, GBR, and PAX or stablecoins USDT, USDC, and PAX and now also EURt. As of now, only 40 million EURt tokens have been issued most of them on the Ethereum blockchain; the amount is so small most likely because it’s a relatively young token that always has the value of little more or less 1 euro. Though the news went out the trading pairs were not launched yet. According to Miha Vidmar, Bitstamp’s Chief Product Officer, bringing in EURt will allow users to save time and money without affecting their purchasing power. Before that European citizens and any other users who wanted to exchange crypto for stablecoins had to first sell the stablecoins before cashing them, but now they can withdraw EURt straight away.
“It is worth noting that EURt’s main competitor, Stasis Euro (EURS), still has low trading volumes, mainly concentrated on the DEX 1inch, and partly on Cryptology. In other words, to date, it is not widely used on any large centralized exchange.”
Damien Hirst, known for his dotted paintings and also as a bad boy of the international art scene came out with a new project “the Currency'' in which he offers 10,000 NFTs as physical works for sale at $2000 on the HENI marketplace. But the offer has a twist and not everyone will get the artworks represented as 10,000 unique paintings with characteristic dots signed, numbered, and stamped by hand with the holographic sign of the artist (now stored in a secret vault in England) and minted on PALM blockchain created by Joe Lubin, Co-Founder of Ethereum. Every artwork got a name generated by AI from some of Hirst's favorite song’s lyrics. The collectors though have a choice – either to keep the artwork as NFT or get a physical work and they have only one year to make a decision. After 3 pm BST on July 27th, 2022, all the artworks not handed over NFTs will be destroyed as per the artist’s will. Hirst thinks that’s how he makes people challenge the concept of value through money and art.
“A traditional collector entering the world of NFTs for the first time might readily exchange the token for a physical work, while a crypto collector would choose to keep their NFT, effectively declaring that it is more valuable than the physical work.”
After the warning from the Italian Securities and Exchange commission, Binance made an official statement about the suspension of the services related to the exchange of Stock Tokens that replicate the prices of the shares of Apple, Coinbase, Microsoft, MicroStrategy and Tesla. As those shares are collateralized and regulated financial assets and require specific authorization to allow investments which Binance doesn’t have. The users have 90 days to sell their Stock Tokens or to manually close the positions. The users from European Economic Area can alternatively migrate their positions to the CM-Equity AG portal. It’s also known that Binance only recently hired a compliance specialist and was realizing all the previous products without being aware whether they complied with all the regulations. But Italian regulation body also targets the derivatives section of the exchange website where futures and options are still available to everyone. It is still not clear if Binance will request and go for the necessary authorizations to be able to keep offering them but in accordance with the law. There is also still a question about the indefinite suspension of deposits and withdrawals in fiat currencies which are also regulated, but it might be easier to meet the requirements in this section than in the provision of investments.
“We are shifting our commercial focus to other products.” — Binance
Paypal recently increased the weekly limit for the Bitcoin purchase by 2 times from $20,000 to $100,000 and fully removed the existing annual limit for the same operation. According to the explanation of Jose Fernandez da Ponte, VP & GM, of PayPal’s section, this move is a part of the work PayPal does to meet the ever-changing needs of the customers, so they have more choice and freedom using the services. It also comes with the company’s campaign on releasing many educational materials and guides to help the customers to have a more clear picture of the crypto world. The changes are applied for all 4 cryptocurrencies that are now enabled for use with PayPal. Recently PayPal has also implemented crypto payment options, so now it’s possible to withdraw crypto and to move it to the external wallets. This caused a huge increase in Bitcoin trading on the platform. Crypto options are only available for US users so far.
CoinGecko’s recent report on the Q2 of 2021 shows the tremendous success of Axie Infinity as its trading volumes have increased by 131 since the beginning of the year, making it as popular as never before in its 3 years’ history. Notably, in May the migration of Axies to trade freely on the Axie-Infinity-based Ronin marketplace began that attracted lots of media attention. With the growth of trading volumes, the revenues went up too. At the same time, the same quarter was highlighted by the closure of the Chinese mining farms. Another significant part of the report is the Dogecoin’s progress that brought the meme token to the 5th position among all the cryptos. But it matters to note that SHIB outperformed Doge with the queerly return of 11000%. When it comes to Bitcoin it lost 44% of its all-time-high. The Second quarter of 2021 will be also remembered for the expansion of DeFi beyond Ethereum through BSC and Polygon.
Asia’s largest NFT marketplace has signed an agreement with Shanghai Jiahe Auction Co to offer the NFTs of two historic works of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at auction on 23 July. The idea is to present a new type of “enhanced NFT' 'where the concept of authenticity and value of the information and documentation. In Asia, artworks are getting authenticated through the process of centralized recognition that includes the process of the work analysis with the style of work evaluation, the presence or absence of signatures, related historical materials as well as technical analysis. Blockchain supports the traditional art evaluation process. So those two works of Yayoi Kusama represent the most significant periods of Kusama’s artistic research and they were hidden from the public for 20 years in her studio and now reappeared to be certified by the studio with all the documentation now bound to NFT on Blockchain. Then the information is stored in the IPFS decentralized system.
“When Yayoi Kusama’s works are sold by the auction house at the moment with an estimate on request, the NFT of the work after the transaction will also be delivered, recorded, and confirmed in each subsequent circulation.”
In the latest Coinbase quarterly report made by Apex: E3 which covers all the trading worldwide not only performed on Coinbase, cryptocurrency trading volumes across the world rose 32% in the Q2 2021, while in Europe it increased only by 21% and Asia showing 44% growths for the traded volumes comparing to the previous quarter, the increase in the USA was in line with European. In general, most of the volumes were traded in Asia with the big art thought in the USA. Ethereum is the most traded cryptocurrency that showed a 53% increase compared to Q1, where Bitcoin was booming, but in Q2 it fell by 14%. The biggest increase was shown by Doge with +1250%.
“At Coinbase, our focus continues to be on education and product development around the broader applications within the cryptoeconomy, whilst leaning into regulation across a number of different countries to help build trust in this ecosystem.” — Marcus Hughes, Coinbase’s Managing Director for Europe
Every Week Cardano produces a Cardano SPO column about everything in the network and this week's guest is Eva, a single pool operator who’s involved with Cardano several projects including a catalyst proposal. She's been asked several mixed technical and general questions on the project, in particular about her location (Oxford, UK) and background education (architecture, art history, and philology), but also the reasons she became Cardano Evangelist and stake Pool, Operator. Answering the last question Eva admitted that she has been pulled into Cardano by her friends, but stayed because she got inspired by the academic environment and science base of the project, and then she decided to actively participate in the project even though not having the technological background, and that’s how she ended up running her Ginger pool. Eva revealed some key ideas of the Catalyst Project that are made to give everyone the chance to be a part of the governance and to come up with ideas how various aspects can be developed. She also noted that NFT is naturally in the sphere of her interests as it’s a new era in art history that brings new possibilities and ways of expression.
As announced by the Financial Times, BNY Mellon will be one of the banks in the consortium to launch Pure Digital, the trading platform for cryptocurrencies. The news is not very surprising as NY-based banking giant announced it would be offering crypto services to its customers back in February. The other plans are to launch a Bitcoin ETF together with Grayscale if the SEC will approve it. Pure Digital Trading platform is to become the first one to offer the space for the banks to offer investment services on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The goal is to make the project fast and to integrate custody services into it. So it will be the platform for institutional investors with the environment as close as possible to the traditional investment environments.
“Digital assets are only going to become more embedded in global markets in the years ahead, and this collaboration accords with BNY Mellon’s wider strategy to develop a digital asset capability for clients across the entire trade life cycle.” — Jason Vitale, Global Head of Foreign Exchange at BNY Mellon