Venezuela’s national currency suffers from hyperinflation.
One of the ways that Venezuelans have sought to escape the devaluing bolivar is through Bitcoin.
But now that Venezuela’s government has made it much easier to access US dollars, Bitcoin’s appeal could be tested.
Venezuela’s complex economic conditions have led to it often being referred to as a “case study” in Bitcoin—a cryptocurrency practically tailor-made for an economy saddled with hyperinflation and a repressive government.
And even though Bitcoin use is hardly mainstream in Venezuela, that narrative has more or less held up: the countryranks third in the worldin terms of Bitcoin adoption, according to a September 2020 report from crypto analytics firm Chainalysis.
But recent societal and political changes in the South American nation may soon put that narrative to the test.
Part of the reason why some tech savvy Venezuelans turned to Bitcoin to protect their wealth and escape the devaluing bolivar was because US dollars were difficult to obtain. Buying them was technically illegal, so citizens would resort to the black market to find them.
They no longer have to do that. What’s more, the notoriously “anti-imperialist” government of Nicolas Maduro appears to havenow conceded defeat to dollarization—accepting now the fact that the dollar is the de facto currency of Venezuela.
Earlier this year, Maduro’s government began allowingVenezuelan banks to open accountsfor their customers in dollars. Businesses can now even startpaying their workers in foreign currencies—something that would have been unimaginable in Venezuela a decade ago.
So now that Venezuela has opened its doors to dollars, will that diminish the role Bitcoin plays in the country’s informal economy? Regional experts don’t believe there’s much reason to think so yet.
For most people, the dollar will continue to provide “shelter” from inflation for day to day transactions, but it “will never be a store of value in the same way that Bitcoin is today,” according to Alberto Zambrano, founder of theAJZ Institute, a regional project that offers training on crypto, blockchain and other technologies.
Saulo Muñoz, an economist who specializes in social development, shares a similar view: “Bitcoin is consolidated as an important aspect of a community that currently rejects fiat money,” he toldDecrypt. Muñoz not only sees Bitcoin trading within Venezuela maintaining its momentum, it could even “escalate” as new use cases for the cryptocurrency emerge, he said.
Venezuela currently has a very active peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading market. Trading volume in the country remains the highest among all Latin American countries, according to data from metrics site Useful Tulips. Other than a spike in volume in late December and early January, trading on peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins among Venezuelans remains on par with those recorded throughout the last two years.
That suggests that Bitcoin trading in the country has remained stable regardless of price fluctuations, and more recently, irrespective of the government’s shifting views on currency controls and limitations on the dollar.
What’s more, cryptocurrencies appear to be becoming an increasingly important consideration for Maduro’s government. In September 2019, Maduro confirmed thatVenezuela’s central bank holds Bitcoinand Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, among its international reserves. The state-run platform for remittances also accepts cryptocurrencies andeven expanded that initiativejust last week.
According to Muñoz, insteading of hampering Bitcoin trading, dollarization in Venezuela may just lead to a “diversification of payment methods” on trading platforms.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.
A closely-followed analyst and trader is pulling back the curtain on his biggest crypto position outside of Bitcoin.
In a new tweet, the pseudonymous Kaleo tells his 81,900 followers that FTX Token (FTT), the native asset of crypto derivatives exchange FTX, is primed to erupt over 170% from its current price of $37 in the coming months.
“FTTto $100 this summer confirmed… FTT/USD is my biggest spot bag outside of BTC for a reason.”
Another coin on Kaleo’s radar is Bitmax Token (BTMX). According to the trader, the native token of digital asset trading platform Bitmax is on the cusp of pulling off a massive bullish move.
“Bought a bag of BTMX (BitMax Token). It looks primed for continuation along with the rest of the exchange coins.”
Swipe (SXP), the native asset of the Swipe decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, is also on Kaleo’s list. The crypto strategist expects the token to rise over 100% from its current value of $2.97.
“SXPis by far the biggest laggard when it comes to Sam [Bankman-Fried] coins. Whether it’s just due to the TA or whether there’s some type of major news soon, I expect this to blow past the old ATH (All-time high) when it breaks out of this range. I have a bag.”
The trader is also keeping a close eye on Flow (FLOW), a crypto asset created for use cases in the gaming and non-fungible tokens (NFT). Kaleo believes that Flow is now ready to resume its bullish ascent after breaking out of consolidation.
“FLOWis ready. Send it.”
The fifth token on Kaleo’s watchlist is blockchain gaming platform Enjin Coin (ENJ), which he says is gearing up to ignite a big move against Bitcoin.
“I expect a few more days of chop before the next leg up out of this range.”
As for BNT, the native asset of decentralized exchange Bancor Network, Kaleo says he’s buying the dip as he expects the coin to correct in the short term.
“Taking some profit here. I’ll add back on the retest.”
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In anSEC filingthis week, investment bank JP Morgan Chase revealed it is establishing what it calls a “cryptocurrency exposure basket.” Investors can buy structured notes whose value is tied to 11 stocks from companies involved in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
As the basket is based partly on each company’s exposure to Bitcoin as well as liquidity, it includes selections such as cloud software developer MicroStrategy, payments company Square, mining firm Riot Blockchain, and chipmakerNvidia. (Stocks in those four firms comprise 68% of the basket.)
But it’s missing an obvious target: Tesla.
Tesla bought $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin earlier this year and holds an estimated 0.3% of its treasury in the digital asset. Among publicly traded companies, only MicroStrategy has a larger stockpile of Bitcoin,according to Bitcoin Treasuries, with 91,064 BTC—enough for Bitcoin volatility to impact MicroStrategy’s day-to-day stock price.
By comparison, Square has 8,027 BTC, comprising 0.4% of its holdings, and Riot has 1,175 BTC (1.7%). Nvidia, while it doesn’t have Bitcoin on the books, makes graphics processing units that are used in crypto mining.
In short, JP Morgan thinks Tesla’s stock price is too high.
JP Morgan analysts warned on December 9, 2020:
“We recommend investors not weight Tesla shares in their portfolio in equal proportion to the S&P because Tesla shares are in our view and by virtually every conventional metric not only overvalued, but dramatically so.”
Tesla’s stock price closed that day at $604.48. Since it currently stands at $668 after coming down from an all-time high of $900, not much has happened to change the investment bank’s view.
Instead, JP Morgan filled out the remaining 32% of the basket with stock in PayPal (10%), which has integrated Bitcoin and other crypto purchases onto its app; semiconductor companies Advanced Micro Devices (5%) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (5%); crypto derivatives marketplaces Intercontinental Exchange (4%) and CME Group (4%); furniture retailer Overstock.com (2%), which runs a blockchain wing; and Silvergate Capital (2%), a bank for cryptocurrency firms.
Investors can buy into the basket with a minimum of $1,000. For its troubles, JP Morgan deducts 1.5% of the investment and returns.
Shinhan Bank of South Korea has announced the completion of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot. The project was carried out in conjunction with LG CNS and the team claims the pilot is in a bid to get the bank ready for the eventual launch of the nation’s digital won by the Bank of Korea, according to a BusinessKorea report on March 9, 2021.
Shinhan Bank Execute CBDC Pilot
As the world keeps looking for better ways of doing things, central bank digital currencies have become the hottest topics on the lips of 80 percent of apex banks around the world, since digital currencies haveprovento be more efficient for both local and cross border payments.
In the latest development, Shinhan Bank (formerly Hanseong Bank), a Seoul-based lender first established in 1897, has joined forces with LG CNS, the information technology subsidiary of LG Corporation, to carry out a digital won CBDC pilot.
The team says the aim of the CBDC pilot project, which is independent of the Bank of Korea, is to get Shinhan Bank prepared for the eventual rollout of a national digital won by the central bank.
In the real world, apex banks do not distribute fiat currencies directly to the end-users. Instead, smaller banks under the purview of the central bank obtain the fiat currency and in turn, distribute it to their customers in form of withdrawals.
Shinhan Bank assumes the issuance of the digital won by the Bank of Korea will function in the same way and its CBDC pilot created a virtual apex bank which issued and distributed the mock digital currency on the blockchain and sent it to Shinhan bank, which then circulates it to its clients.
The blockchain-based digital won was designed to allow individuals and merchants to easily convert their account balances to the digital won and carry out a vast array of transactions, including local payments, money transfers, foreign exchange and more.
Last September,reportsemerged that the Bank of Korea was in search of a CBDC consulting partner to work out the architecture of its digital won project and it appears everything is going on exactly as planned, as the bank’s CBDC pilot is now in itsfinal stages.
Meanwhile,all handsremain on deck in China for a successful nationwide rollout of the digital renminbi.
In February 2021,BTCManagerinformedthat the Postal Savings Bank of China (PSBC), has launched a new hardware wallet for digital yuan payments.
The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2021 rose 0.4 percent in February 2021 on a seasonally adjusted basis after adding 0.3 percent in January, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Mar 10 shows. At the backdrop of this, the Bitcoin price added to gains of Mar 9, marching to fresh 2-week highs above $56k.
Bitcoin Price Rally above $56k
As of writing, the Bitcoin price is up 15 percent week-to-date, adding three percent in the past 24 hours, according to trackers.
Notably, in the past week, the Bitcoin price has been on a recovery path. It is reversing from $43k pits of the last week of February, printing higher buoyed by institutional demand.
Analysts pin the revival of crypto, and specifically Bitcoin prices, on inflation concerns.
Bitcoin’s inflation-hedging properties and stellar price performance in the last few months are now sparking a scramble.
Public companies and institutional investors are flocking to Bitcoin to protect their assets from value gnawing inflation and for capital gains.
The Fears of the $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package
Part of President Joe Biden’s campaign promises was to offer more financial aid to the economy.
At the core of this was the release of even more checks to affected households in the country.
Towards that end, the approval of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package was critical. Therefore, last week’s Senate Approvals of the mega stimulus package was a win for the president.
However, the combination of an accommodative monetary policy, characterized by record-low interest rates, and a Federal Reserve open to an economy flush with cash translates to a possibility of higher inflation in the near future.
Rising Headline Inflation to Push BTC Prices Even Higher
Already, Jeffrey Gundlach, the founder of DoubleLine Capital, predicts the U.S. economy to heat up.
The result, in his prediction, could see headline inflation rise above the two percent FED target to over three percent. If it tops four percent, Jeffrey says, it could spook the bond market.
Albeit rising treasury yields, FED officials are concerned, expecting inflation to grow in the medium term but to contract in subsequent months.
Rising inflation, on the other hand, could spark demand for Bitcoin, pushing prices even higher. As BTCManager reports, Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, predicts the Bitcoin price to reach $1 million.
Long-term investors use dips in a strong uptrend to buy while short-term investors are fixated on calling a top. In the past few days, data from Glassnode has shown significantly sized Bitcoin (BTC) outflows from Coinbase exchange, which is a sign of accumulation according to analysts.
It is encouraging to note that the demand is not limited to one exchange and data from Material Indicators shows buy orders of $100,000 and higher are reaching an all-time high.
This shows that the influx of institutional investors and large corporations entering the crypto sector continues to accelerate. Proof of this comes as American Residential Warranty became the latest company to buy Bitcoin in order to maximize the returns on its investment portfolio.
Another positive sign is the relative movement of the U.S. dollar and Bitcoin. Usually, these assets are inversely correlated, meaning when the U.S. dollar rises, Bitcoin comes under pressure and vice versa.
However, in the past few days, the rise in the U.S. dollar currency index (DXY) has not been able to stall Bitcoin’s bullish momentum. When a negative event fails to put brakes on the rally, it is a sign of strong demand.
Let’s study the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to determine the possible target objectives and the critical levels on the upside.
Bitcoin broke above the $52,040.95 overhead resistance on March 8, which completed an ascending triangle pattern. This bullish setup has a target objective at $61,075.13. The bears attempted to stall the up-move today, but the long tail on the candlestick shows strong buying on dips.
The 20-day exponential moving average ($50,140) has turned up and the relative strength index (RSI) has risen close to the overbought territory, indicating that bulls are in control.
If the bulls can drive the price above the all-time high at $58,341.03, the next leg of the uptrend could begin. The next major target on the upside is $72,112.
Another possibility is that the price may rise above the all-time high, but the bears will try to trap the aggressive bulls and attempt to pull the price below $52,040.95.
In order to reverse the trend, the bears will have to sink the price below the most recent swing low at $43,006.77.
The bulls are attempting to resume the uptrend in Ether (ETH) and the 20-day EMA ($1,673) has started to turn up as the RSI moves above 60.
If the bulls can sustain the price above $1,879.915, the ETH/USD pair could retest the all-time high at $2,040.774. A breakout of this resistance could resume the uptrend with the next target objective at $2,614.
This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down from the current levels or the overhead resistance and breaks below the moving averages. Such a move could keep the pair stuck inside a large range. The trend could favor the bears if the price breaks below the $1,289 support.
Binance Coin (BNB) soared above the $265 overhead resistance on March 9, which suggests the bulls are attempting to resume the uptrend. The long tail on today’s candlestick shows the bulls are buying on dips.
The buyers will now try to push the price above $309.49. If they succeed, the BNB/USD pair could rally to the all-time high at $348.69. A breakout of this resistance could start the next leg of the up-move to $410 and then $500.
The upsloping moving averages and the RSI near the overbought territory also suggest the path of least resistance is to the upside. This bullish view could invalidate if the price turns down and breaks below the 20-day EMA ($231). Such a move may result in a decline to the critical support at $189.
Cardano (ADA) has been trading in a tight range between $1.0683 and $1.2303 for the past few days. A positive sign is that the bulls have not allowed the price to dip and sustain below the 20-day EMA ($1.102).
If the bulls can propel the price above $1.2303, the ADA/USD pair could start its journey to $1.35 and then to $1.48. The upsloping moving averages and the RSI in the positive territory indicate that bulls are in control.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down and breaks below the range, it could signal a deeper correction. There is a minor support at $0.90 but if it cracks, the pair may drop to the 50-day simple moving average at $0.801.
Polkadot’s DOT token rebounded off the 20-day EMA ($34.07) on March 8 and broke above the downtrend line of the symmetrical triangle on March 9. The altcoin could now rally to $42.2848 and then to the pattern target at $52.50.
The upsloping moving averages and the RSI above 66 also suggest that the bulls have the upper hand. This bullish view will be negated if the price turns down from the current levels or the overhead resistance at $42.2848 and breaks below the support line of the triangle.
Such a move could trap the aggressive bulls and result in the liquidation of long positions. If the price sustains below the triangle, the DOT/USD pair could extend its decline to the 50-day SMA ($26.90).
XRP has once again turned down from the $0.50 overhead resistance. This shows that the bears continue to sell on relief rallies to this level. If the bears sink the price below the trendline, it will negate the ascending triangle pattern.
A break below the 50-day SMA ($0.43) will clear the path for a possible drop to $0.359. If the price rebounds off this support, it could keep the XRP/USD pair range-bound for a few more days.
Conversely, a break below $0.359 will complete a bearish head and shoulders pattern, which could result in a decline to $0.17351.
This bearish view will invalidate if the price turns up from the current levels and rises above $0.50. Such a move could open the doors for a rally to $0.57 and then $0.65.
Uniswap (UNI) has dropped below the breakout level of $33 and the bears will now try to pull the price down to the 20-day EMA ($27.33). The upsloping moving averages and the RSI in the positive zone suggest the path of least resistance is to the upside.
If the price rebounds off the 20-day EMA, the bulls will once again try to resume the uptrend. The UNI/USD pair could pick up momentum on a break above $35. The target objective on the upside is $46.
Contrary to this assumption, if the bears sink and sustain the price below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest a possible change in trend. The next support on the downside is the 50-day SMA at $21.25 and below it $18.
Litecoin (LTC) broke above the 20-day EMA ($189) on March 7 and has reached the $205.18 overhead resistance. This level may act as a hurdle, but if the bulls can push the price above it, a rally to $227 and then to $246.96 may be on the cards.
The 20-day EMA has started to turn up and the RSI has risen into the positive territory, indicating an advantage to the bulls.
However, the bears are unlikely to give up easily. If the price turns down and breaks below the moving averages, the LTC/USD pair could drop to the uptrend line. A breakdown and close below this support could intensify the selling.
Chainlink (LINK) soared above the 20-day EMA ($28.99) on March 8 and reached the overhead resistance at $32. However, the bulls could not push the price above it, indicating selling by the bears near the resistance.
The price has turned down from $32 and the bears are now trying to sink the LINK/USD pair below the trendline. If they manage to do that, the bullish ascending triangle pattern will be invalidated.
When a bullish setup breaks down, it usually traps the aggressive buyers who are then forced to cover their positions. The support level to watch on the downside is $24 and then $20.11.
Conversely, if the price rebounds off the 20-day EMA, the bulls will try to push the pair above $32. If they succeed, the pair may start its rally to $36.93 and then to $43.19. The gradually rising moving averages and the RSI just above the midpoint suggest a minor advantage to the bulls.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has formed an ascending triangle pattern that will complete on a breakout and close above $560. If that happens, the altcoin could start its journey to $631.71 and then to the pattern target at $688.
On the contrary, if the price turns down from $560, the bears will try to sink it below the moving averages and the trendline. If they succeed, the BCH/USD pair could drop to $472.72 and then $432.02.
Both moving averages are flat and the RSI has been hovering around the midpoint, which does not give a clear advantage either to the bulls or the bears.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Today, people can gamble using bitcoin at a variety of online casinos. Online gamblers seeking to avoid cumbersome regulations and enjoy seamless transactions now embrace Bitcoin-friendly casinos.
Although some traditional online casinos have made it quite stressful and daunting for gamblers to use crypto, others are embracing digital currencies.
With cryptocurrency that is powered by blockchain technology, gamblers are beginning to enjoy better alternatives compared to traditional online casinos.
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Recently, some of the best online casinos have adopted a new and revolutionary solution to the issue of government regulation. The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions has led to tech-savvy online casinos allowing guests to gamble using bitcoin.
This post shall explore the top sites where online gamblers can gamble using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Best Online Casinos You can Gamble With Bitcoin
Bitstarz is also a well-known online crypto casino, provably fair, and regulated by the Curacao government. This online casino offers at least 3000 high-quality games. One major glitch is that it doesn’t have a sportsbook feature where players can bet on popular sporting events. The platform accepts not only Bitcoin but also Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and other popular cryptocurrencies.
Bitstarz provides support to its customers through email, online chat, and social media.
If you want to gamble using bitcoin, the FortuneJack site is designed to suit your needs. It was the first-ever online casino to accept cryptocurrency transactions and paved the way for other big names like Atari to follow in the same footsteps.
FortuneJack launched in 2014 and has been the trusted Bitcoin casino ever since. There are more than 50 games available on the FortuneJack website.
The website has a robust support system that includes online ticketing, chat, and many other social channels. New players who verify their accounts on the platform are eligible to receive FortuneJack’s first deposit of 20% cashback or a deposit bonus of 115%.
3. 7Bit Casino
7Bit Casino has some of the best and most generous signup bonuses when you gamble using Bitcoin. As a new player on the platform, you are eligible for bonuses of up to 1.5BTC and free spins.
They provide players with a 100% bonus on their first deposit or 200 free spins and a 50% bonus on second and third deposits. Players can choose between slots, jackpot games, and live table games as well.
It was established in 2013 and operated under the regulation of the Curacao government. CloudBet offers a gambling platform with bitcoin slots, roulette, craps, blackjack, and baccarat. It also provides a live casino with an authentic and real-life experience. CloudBet provides high limits for players. They also offer live sports betting that includes all major leagues like the English premier league, UEFA Champions League, etc.
What is Provably Fair?
This is arguably going to be the next big thing in online gaming. It is a smart contract concept that ensures a level playing ground for gamblers and casino management. Probably fair stops the casino management from cheating, by enforcing fair rules outside the control of casino management and online gamblers. In the gambling world, you often hear the expression “the house always wins.” Well, Probably fair smart contract mechanisms ensure the house never wins through dubious means.
There are many benefits involved when online gamblers gamble using Bitcoin. As an online gambler, you need to always remain vigilant towards fake platforms seeking to scam people out of their precious crypto assets. In the meantime, these five online casinos are great places to bet online using your crypto assets.
You can also share your thoughts about our top crypto gamble sites using the comment section below.
South Korea’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), has announced new possible penalties for cryptocurrency exchanges based or operating in the country if they fail to comply with existing anti-money laundering (AML) rules.
New Penalties for Crypto Exchanges in South Korea
According to the FSC’s statement from earlier today, the newly-announced initiative will affect all virtual asset service providers (VASPs), including digital asset exchanges.
The revision proposal for the supervisory regulation is scheduled to become effective on March 25th, 2021, and it will introduce new penalty standards on such businesses. Per the statement, the revision “simplifies and integrates existing penalty rules and improves rules on penalty abatement to provide relief for small-scale financial enterprises.”
Every virtual asset service provider could become subject to the fines if it violates one of the following three procedures. Namely, those are – failure to report suspicious transaction activities (known as internal control duties), failure to keep relevant data on such transactions (data maintenance duties), and failure to keep separate management of customers’ transaction records.
“The revised regulation also introduces a new penalty abatement of fifty percent. For small-scale entities, penalty abatement can be granted in excess of the fifty percent limit.” – explains the statement.
In another cryptocurrency-related issue that has been ongoing for a few years, South Korea’s congress decided to delay the digital asset income tax last year. The new deadline is set for January 2022.
Bithumb Ahead of the Curve?
Just a few days before the FSC declared its intentions, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb, banned users accessing its website from countries with no anti-money laundering rules.
The press report noted that there’re 21 such nations currently “on the watchlist for failing to implement anti-money laundering measures issued by the Financial Action Task Force.” The FATF is an intergovernmental body that sets international standards to prevent global money laundering initiatives and the financing of terrorism.
Iran and North Korea were the first two blacklisted countries, while Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, and Botswana were still in the gray area.
“The company will continue improving its system to protect investors and enhancing transparency in the crypto market.” – commented an official from Bithumb.
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Crypto.com has announced the launch of a free service that will make filing cryptocurrency taxes in Canada easier.
Crypto Tax for Canadians
According to the company, its new service “makes it easy to file complicated crypto taxes.” Users can import transactions from supported exchanges, and the platform will generate accurate tax reports in a matter of minutes.
“This 100% free-of-charge service enables users to quickly generate accurate and organized crypto tax reports, including transaction history and records of capital gains and losses,” the company said.
Crypto.com said it cooperated with experts to develop the product. “We worked with professional tax advisers to ensure that the calculation logic is consistent with available guidance and laws for filing crypto taxes in Canada.”
The service can be accessed at this page.
Other Tax Solutions
Crypto.com says that the service will also be available in other countries and regions in the future.
It has also pursued other partnerships in the past. In March 2020, it introduced tax prep services via a partnership with CoinTracker, CryptoTrader.Tax, and TokenTax. That means users can export their Crypto.com wallet balance to those tax services.
Furthermore, Crypto.com partnered with Cointracking.info last November. That partnership allowed users to pay for the tax service with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
In addition to its various tax services, Crypto.com offers an exchange, wallet, credit card and other features to cryptocurrency investors.
Disclaimer: The author held BTC, ETH, and DOT at the time of press. Crypto.com is a sponsor of Cryptobriefing.com.
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A digital collage by the artist Beeple will fetch a record amount at a Christie’s auction concluding Thursday morning, further heightening attention around an emerging type of virtual art called non-fungible tokens or NFTs.
“5,000 Days” has vaulted from a starting minimum bid of $100 on Feb. 25 in the online sale to $13.25 million on Wednesday afternoon—with 18 hours still to go. Even if sold at its present price, the picture would be the most-expensive NFT ever sold, beating out the $6.6 million paid last week for another Beeple work, a 10-second video.
Where will bidding end? Christie’s didn’t offer an estimated price range for “5,000 Days,” an unusual decision that has contributed to speculation about what the NFT might finally go for. (Beeple requested the auction leave out the customary estimate, eager to let the market run its course undisturbed.) It’s possible it could fetch as much as $20 million and perhaps higher, according to three active participants in the nascent market for NFTs. For perspective, such a price tag would place Beeple alongside names like Picasso, Rembrandt, Rothko and Van Gogh, all of whom have had work sell at similar levels.
“NFTs, I think, really could be an alternate asset class, one that speaks to a younger generation, who maybe does not want to invest in stocks,” says Beeple. “Maybe they would rather invest in digital collectibles and things like that—things that speak more to their culture and how they sort of interact with the world.”
NFTs are various types of digital media, including artwork like Beeple’s, that trade hands over several different internet marketplaces with the ownership records entered onto the blockchain. The tokens are only a few years old, and they didn’t catch mainstream attention until the past two months attention, driven in large part by the NBA’s Top Shot site and its NFT-based trading cards and by a surge of celebrities selling their own tokens. And, of course, by Beeple’s work going under the hammer at Christie’s, the venerable auction house adding an additional sense of legitimacy to the new genre.
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“What he’s done for the space is an incredible achievement. He’s brought a lot of eyes to the whole industry,” says Danny Maegarrd, a longtime, Australia-based collector of NFTs. “We’re seeing an influx of new people”—both buyers and sellers—“and I’ve been speaking with a number of big name people getting into the space because of Beeple.”
“5,000 Days,” an enormous image measuring 21,069-pixels wide and 21,069-pixels long, is aptly named. It is a collection of 5,000 pictures Beeple drew using computer software over nearly 14 years, many of them completed in a sometimes-disturbing technoir, one that takes an obviously dismal attitude toward capitalism, technology and authority. In one image, teens swig Ocean Spray and skateboard around a skyscraper-size bottle of the cranberry juice, a reference to a viral TikTok video last year. In another, former vice president Mike Pence sits atop a burning White House surrounded by a swarm of giant flies.
“There a lot of people coming into the NFT space quickly. It’s definitely crazy,” Beeple says. “It’s really cool to see its huge potential. I really look at it as something that’s kind of a blank canvas.”