Hiro, formerly known as Blockstack,announced last weekthat its Stacks token (STX) is no longer a security, and as such, Hiro will stop filing annual reports to the SEC.
“Today, Hiro Systems PBC filed its 2020 annual report with the SEC,” Hiro CEO Muneeb Ali wrote in a blog post. “We expect this to be our last annual report filing, marking the end of a nearly two-year journey since Hiro’s SEC-qualified offering of Stacks tokens (STX) in July 2019.”
Hiro (formerly Blockstack PBC) has filed a 2020 annual report with the SEC.
We expect this to be our last annual filing, as we no longer treat Stacks (STX) as US securities.
This concludes a two-year journey; we anticipate filing an exit report.
— Muneeb (@muneeb) April 28, 2021
Of course, Hiro declaring STX no longer a security is not the same as the SEC saying it. But that’s the whole issue exemplified by Blockstack’s “journey”: there is no precedence for the SEC declaring a crypto token that was once a security no longer a security.
When asked byDecrypt, Ali declined to comment as to whether or not the company has discussed the legal status of STX tokens with the SEC.
Blockstack made waves in the crypto industry in 2019 when it completed the first SEC-approved token sale, raising more than $23 million. But in the time since, some in the industry have wondered whether holding the SEC’s hand was worth it, as some other projects that didn’t play by the rules succeeded anyway.
Hiro first announced in December that it would no longer be treating Stacks tokens as securities once the company’s Stacks 2.0 blockchain launched in January. But now the company has made it official with the SEC.
Previously, Stacks were treated as a security “out of an abundance of caution,” the company says. Now the company believes it has made good on its promise to decentralize the Stacks ecosystem, because the broader Stacks ecosystem has no central governing authority behind it.
“If Hiro disappears, can the rest of the ecosystem function, or is there really a reliance on this company?” Ali said in conversation with Decrypt, adding that the ecosystem canindeed function without Hiro.
Ali and Hiro are basing their argument on the Howey Test, the litmus test the SEC uses to determine whether a token represents a security.
The Howey Test and securities law
The Howey Testrefers to a 1946 U.S. Supreme Court case involving shares in a citrus grove.
Under the Howey Test, an investment contract exists if there is an investment made “in acommon enterprise with an expectation of profit derived from the efforts of others.”as former SEC official William Hinman explained at a Yahoo Finance event in 2o18. In the case of token sales, the investment is also marketed with “the promise that the assets will be cultivated in a way that will cause them to grow in value, to be sold later at a profit,”
Thus a central question of the Howey Test is determining whether one company or entity could reasonably be identified as the driver of potential financial returns.
Without the presence of this centralized entity, the transacted good is not considered a security. As Hiro believes it has decentralized the Stacks ecosystem, that centralized managerial role is absent, and so it has concluded Stacks are no longer securities.
“We’re proud of our regulatory path and hope that it can serve as a model for others seeking to innovate in the crypto industry,” Ali added.
Looking to the future
STX tokens finally started trading in the U.S. in January.
OKCoin, a US-based crypto exchange, listed STX that month. Ali tells Decrypt that OKCoin “takes regulations quite seriously,” and “went ahead and listed STX on their own.”
Since the launch of the Stacks 2.0 blockchain, Ali doesn’t tend to spend much time working with exchanges. “Hiro now focuses on developer tools for Stacks,” he says, “and we don’t deal with exchanges.”
You can hear more from Muneeb Ali on stage at the Ethereal Virtual Summit on Thursday, May 6.
The ability to send money to anyone, anywhere, at any time was one of the original motivations behind Bitcoin (BTC) that helped give rise to the expanding cryptocurrency ecosystem that exists today.
Blockchain-based global remittance platforms are one sector of crypto projects that have evolved over time to help meet the needs of peer-to-peer money transactions, and Telcoin (TEL) is one such project that has made significant gains in 2021.
Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of Telcoin has surged more than 4,100% since Feb. 1, rallying from a low of $0.00066 to a new all-time high at $0.0286 on May 5 as the altcoin saw a record $110 million in 24-hour trading volume.
Shift to global remittances ignite the rally
A scroll through the Telcoin Twitter feed shows that the project recently launched an upgraded protocol that enabled its remittance services between the Philippines and Canada to go live on Feb. 4.
The launch of V2 included new versions of both iOS and Android mobile applications that users in participating jurisdictions can download in the Apple and Google Play store.
According to the Telcoin team, Canada is the “first of four initial sending markets that Telcoin is entering for fiat remittances,” and it will soon be “followed by Singapore, Australia, and the USA.”
The project gained further attention in late February when Telcoin CEO Paul Neuner appeared before the Nebraska State Legislature to talk about opportunities in the fintech space and how the state could benefit from legislation geared toward turning Nebraska into a decentralized finance hub.
Layer 2 trading lifts TEL price to new highs
After trading sideways through most of March and April, TEL price received a dose of rocket fuel thanks to the token being listed on the QuickSwap decentralized exchange that operates on Polygon, a layer-2 protocol buil on the Ethereum network.
The lower fee environment of the Polygon network and the attractive yield opportunities for liquidity providers on QuickSwap likely led to the surge in trading volume for TEL.
According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for TEL have been favorable for some time.
The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.
As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for TEL was elevated following its launch on QuickSwap which initially elevated the price above $0.01. The score continued to rise and reached a high of 95 on May 3, roughly two days before the price rallied 84% to a new all-time high on May 5.
With a globally relevant use case now operating in a low fee, layer-2 environment, Telcoin has the potential to attract a wide range of global users. As blockchain technology increases its mainstream presence and new participants look for cheaper ways to transfer funds and make payments, TEL price could see further appreciation.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
After an impressive overnight rally, Dogecoin (DOGE) crossed the $0.50 and smashed every resistance towards new all-time highs. The so-called meme cryptocurrency has surpassed the market cap of giant corporations in traditional finance, some have begun to question the existence of “the people’s coin”.
Trader MeanHash, a Dogecoin holder, believes the cryptocurrency has the potential to ruin the crypto industry. This idea has divided the crypto space into two sides, those that defend what Dogecoin represents and the others, that most view it as a speculative asset and have called for its ban. MeanHash said:
DOGE might actually ruin crypto. Wouldn’t that be a fitting end to all of this? The meme coin destroys trust in the entire ecosystem. The higher it goes the more concerned I am about it all falling apart.
In the other corner is Tyler Winklevoss, founder of Gemini exchange. He claims Dogecoin’s money supply is more transparent, “hard” and predictable than the U.S. dollar.
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However, Chief Financial Officer for the Oslo Freedom Forum and the Human Rights Foundation, Alex Gladstein, has highlighted some of Dogecoin’s flaws. Gladstein pointed towards the cryptocurrency centralized supply, over 80% of Dogecoin is controlled by the top 100 addresses. Gladstein said:
Remember: Dogecoin has had several insane pumps like this before, only to later fall in value by 90%+. In sum: Please do not listen to anyone who says Dogecoin is better than, no different than, or even remotely similar to Bitcoin.
Others, like trader Pentoshi, are much more optimistic:
It’s 2023. The $doge money will flow into the rest of the market you tell yourself again. Dogecoin is now trading at $589. It’s the worlds only payment method after the collapse of the dollar.
DOGE-Day, Elon Musk To Present The Dogefather
The Shiba Inu coin could go parabolic in the short term. D-Day has been set for May 8th, 20201. Elon Musk, Tesla’s Technoking and CEO, one of Dogecoin’s stronger supporters will make an appearance in Saturday Night Live, the popular American comedy show. Musk will apparently “test” how “live” the program is.
The entrepreneur’s statements on the cryptocurrency have been major price drivers, during the past year. In fact, some have argued that Musk brought this cryptocurrency back from the dead zone at $0.05.
At the time of writing, Dogecoin trades at $0.61 with a 9.2% rally in the daily chart and a 143.1% in the weekly chart. The Shiba Inu coin has a price target of $1 for D-Day.
Mercado Libre, the largest e-commerce platform in Latin America, has announced to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it acquired $7.8 million in Bitcoin in the first quarter of 2021. It stated in the report:
“As part of our treasury strategy this quarter we purchased $7.8 million in Bitcoin, a digital asset that we are disclosing within our indefinite-lived intangible assets”.
The purchase makes the Argentinean company the first large Latin American company to acquire Bitcoin for its treasury and sees it join an exclusive club of companies such as MicroStrategy and Tesla, which have previously announced to the authorities the holding of BTC within their assets.
Just last week major Japanese game developer Nexon announced it had purchased 1,717 BTC for it’s balance sheet at a cost of roughly $100 million. Mercado Libre’s announcement makes it the 36th publicly listed company to hold Bitcoin according to Bitcoin Treasuries. Mercado Libre trades on Nasdaq as MELI.
Mercado Libre’s bet on Bitcoin
Beyond the formal announcement, the relationship of the popular eCommerce portal with Bitcoin is not new. As previously reported by Cointelegraph en Español, at the end of April it enabled the use of Bitcoin for their real estate verticals in the Argentine market.
In addition, Marcos Galperín, founder and former CEO of Mercado Libre, has already announced publicly on several occasions that he has owned Bitcoin in his personal portfolio since 2013, and has also expressed a variety of bullish opinions regarding the cryptocurrency ecosystem in Latin America, even stating that he saw Bitcoin as a better store of value than gold.
Worried About A Ban? Then You Need Bitcoin More Than You Think
Skeptics often argue that governments will ban Bitcoin when it becomes too important and threatens national sovereignty. At least these critics understand Bitcoin’s importance and the power that state currency monopolies exert over us. What they fail to understand is the power of distributed open-source technologies and the game theory faced by governments when making these decisions. TLDR: Bans are ineffective—they merely cede global technological power to peers. Authoritarian governments are more inclined to attempt regressive regulations. If you live under that type of regime, you need Bitcoin more than you think.
You Cannot Ban Bitcoin—You Can Only Ban Yourself From Bitcoin
Self-regulation is the most important component of distributed open-source technologies like Bitcoin. The bitcoin supply is preprogrammed with a hard limit of 21 million units, blocks are mined every 10 minutes on average, miners are rewarded with new bitcoin, supply growth halves every 4 years, anyone can view and validate transactions by running a node, and no one can be censored from the network if they have internet access and abide by the consensus rules. These principles remain intact no matter what you, I or regulators think. A government can attempt to ban its citizens from using the network, but Bitcoin will continue to run on the internet. The Securities Exchange Commission’s Hester Peirce made this point recently when she concluded that “governments would be foolish to ban Bitcoin.”
Bans Are Ineffective And Potentially Impossible
Even if a government were to ban bitcoin, it would be ineffective. The U.S. government banned alcohol under Prohibition, but liquor was widely available during that time. Bitcoin is not even a physical entity, so how do governments intend to seize it? It is excruciatingly difficult to ban people from using code on the internet. Ask China—they tried to ban Facebook, but Chinese still access Facebook via VPNs. There are even question marks about the legality of any potential Bitcoin ban in the U.S. because bitcoin is ultimately code, which could be a protected category of free speech under the First Amendment.
Global Regulatory Competition Raises The Stakes
A Bitcoin ban would be foolish and ineffective, but governments could certainly increase the barriers to entry and increase friction. Regulators can implement know-your-customer and anti-money laundering requirements or raise taxes, which would likely slow adoption. However, it is difficult to believe that governments could execute remarkably stricter policies on Bitcoin relative to other financial assets. Although governments have previously overstepped the boundaries with , there is little precedent for being able to do so, nor incentive, with bitcoin. Furthermore, if they did, would they be willing to bear the consequences? Do the world’s leading powers want to turn away from this powerful technology when others embrace it? Republican policymaker Kevin McCarthy commented on this geopolitical tradeoff in a recent interview:
U.S. policymakers are concerned about the possibility of ceding the initiative to China. This type of regulatory competition has pushed Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to embrace bitcoin as he encourages tech-savvy capital to his city.
Perhaps positive bitcoin regulation is just as likely as negative regulation?
Coordination Is Unlikely In A Multipolar World
A ban would be more impactful if all countries were to coordinate and implement it simultaneously. However, what is the probability of global coordination in the fractious world of geopolitics? The U.K. is too busy arguing with the EU and the U.S. bickering with China for them all to clamp down simultaneously on bitcoin. Marko Papic’s multipolar worldview that he outlined in his recent book “Geopolitical Alpha” strengthened my conviction that the geopolitical conditions that would be necessary for a globally coordinated clampdown on Bitcoin do not exist.
Regulators Are Warming To The Tech
Turning from macro to micro factors, are governments willing to destroy Bitcoin companies within their own borders? If we think about the jobs at Coinbase, Gemini and other companies, we realize that Bitcoin is becoming entrenched, particularly in the world’s largest economy. Exchanges exist in most countries worldwide, corporations hold bitcoin on their balance sheets, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange offers bitcoin futures, and people in the U.S. Congress are outright supporters of BTC. In recent weeks, ex-U.S. regulators have joined both Binance and BlockFi, which highlights a growing relationship between Bitcoin-related businesses and the government. There is a high probability that many politicians hold Bitcoin themselves.
I suspect that bitcoin holders have a stronger, more organized and vocal lobbying group than their opponents.
Millennials Might Demand Financial Empowerment
Most countries have adopted a wait-and-see approach because they do not know exactly how to approach Bitcoin technology. They hope that innovation, jobs, and economic growth will emerge, and they argue that the industry is too small to present a real threat. But the longer they wait, the more entrenched the industry becomes, and the less likely negative regulation is. This factor becomes more meaningful if one considers millennials’ rise to economic and political prominence.
The Fall 2020 BlockChain Capital survey reveals 55% of Millennials will likely purchase bitcoin in the next 5 years vs. only 19% for the 55-64 age category. Millennialsare three times more likely to hold cryptocurrency than their parents because they are more familiar with new technologies, and are comfortable with intangible assets and probably view the asset as their opportunity to create a sounder financial future. With each passing year, this generation moves closer to the seat of political power. At the very least, they become a consideration of vote-hungry politicians.
Perhaps You Need Bitcoin More Than You Think?
Ineffective, yes; unlikely, yes; however, a bitcoin ban is still possible.
Governments that ban new technologies tend to take on a certain character though. Such governments aretend to be more authoritarian and less supportive of individual liberties, like those of China and Venezuela. It is in these countries where people need Bitcoin the most. Venezuelans do not care what the government says—they need bitcoin to protect themselves from hyperinflation. Afghanis and Belarusians need access to digital bank accounts to liberate themselves from their oppressive governments. Turkey and Nigeria are both great recent examples of places where Bitcoin becomes a need and a must. In the past month, Erdogan’s Turkish government announced measures to stop merchants from accepting bitcoin, and Nigeria clamped down on exchanges. In response, interest in Bitcoin has shot through the roof in both countries.
Turkey and Nigeria were already bitcoin hotspots because people in those countries know that their government does not protect the value of currency (the U.S. dollar has gained 450% and 170% against the Turkish lira and Nigerian naira, respectively, since 2010). It is telling that these government measures to control bitcoin have not dampened interest in it.
The moral of the story is that if you think your government is going to ban bitcoin, then you need it more than you think.
At some point, governments might become threatened by the Bitcoin ecosystem. It is understandable that the possibility of looming regulation is a barrier for potential investors. However, if we dig into the potential scenarios, we figure out that the government’s, and your, most effective responses to Bitcoin are the same: to embrace it. In this scenario, the governments can at least attempttry to extract as much tax revenue from the burgeoning industry as possible. Unless governments can muster renewed global coordination, bans are foolish. Only the most regressive governments will prevent their citizens from interacting with this powerful technology, and people’s need for Bitcoin is the strongest in those countries. Each individual needs to decide where they sit on this spectrum, but do not take too long to make your decision. The stakes are too high and the opportunity too great to allow the regulatory threat to prevent action altogether.
This is a guest post by Rob Price. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
Crypto strategist Tyler Swope says three emerging altcoins have major growth potential in May.
In a new video, Swope says that with ETH breaking massive ground against Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto markets, a wave of new projects built on the Ethereum network could be about to receive new attention from investors.
The host of Chico Crypto starts his list with Truebit (TRU), a smart contract scalability protocol for Ethereum.
Swope notes that only days ago, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin wrote a blog post proposing Truebit as potentially useful for optimistic rollups, a Layer 2 technology that scales and speeds up transactions on decentralized apps (DApps) and smart contracts.
According to CoinGecko, TRU is trading at $0.86 at time of writing, already up nearly 800% after six days.
Swope connects Truebit with his next pick, Habitat (HBT). Habitat is an optimistic rollup platform that scales projects on Ethereum.
“Is Habitat rollup the most advanced out there? They obviously are using some concept from Trubit’s verification game already before [Ethereum upgrade] Optimism. I can’t answer that question as I’m no developer, so we’ll have to wait as only time will tell.”
HBT, the native governance token on the Habitat platform, is trading at $4.88 at time of writing, up nearly 150% in the last 7 days.
Coin number three that the trader is watching is B.Protocol, a protocol layer for lending platforms that makes them “more secure by eliminating the gas wars and shifting the miner’s profit to the users.”
“Users interact with existing lending platforms via the B.Protocol smart contract. Liquidity providers within B.Protocol provide a cushion to users’ debt which gives B.Protocol precedence over other liquidators. The liquidity providers then share their profits with the users. The user’s reward is proportional to his user rating.
The application is live, going to it we can see it already has over $250,000,000 locked up. It is live for both Maker and Compound, with AAVE coming soon.”
At time of writing, BPRO is trading at $37.54 according to CoinGecko.
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Bitcoin (BTC) entirely recovered from its recent drop that saw the price fall to the $53,000 support level. This move back to $57,500 relieved bulls from the negative pressure of the May 7, 3,500 BTC options contract, which represents $200 million in open interest along with a $1.1 billion options expiry.
Today’s swift recovery could have been partially driven by the news that New Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) partnered with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) to create a framework for U.S. banks to offer crypto trading services.
Patrick Sells, the bank solutions chief at NYDIG, told CNBC that several banks have already signed up for the program.
Moreover, a Mastercard survey found that 40% of the 15,500 interview participants intend to use crypto for payments over the next 12 months. Additionally, it reported that 77% of millennials are interested in learning more about cryptocurrency.
Whatever the reason behind Bitcoin’s recent price recovery, bulls are now in a much better position for the May 7 options expiry.
The equilibrium in the call-to-put ratio is misleading
Options contract buyers pay the premium upfront and thus face no forceful liquidation risk. On the other hand, the call (buy) option provides its buyer with upside price protection, and the put (sell) does the opposite.
This means traders aiming for neutral-to-bearish strategies will typically rely on put options. On the other hand, call options are more commonly used for bullish positions.
Analysts could easily dismiss Friday’s Bitcoin expiry as the put-to-call ratio is flat. This means the neutral-to-bullish and neutral-to-bearish options open interest is balanced. However, these options will expire in less than 38 hours, causing the $65,000 and higher calls to become worthless.
The put options, a right of selling Bitcoin at $48,000 on Friday, are also worthless today. To correctly interpret the potential impact of the May 7 expiry, analysts must exclude the strikes that are too far out from the current price.
Bulls have a $104 million advantage at $57,000
The call (buy) options up to $60,000 total 4,950 contracts ($285 million), and if the price of Bitcoin happens to reach $64,000 on May 7, another 1,620 contracts will boost the call options open interest by $93 million.
Alternatively, the neutral-to-bearish put options add up to 3,150 contracts down to the $54,000 strike. These currently present a $181 million open interest and would be increased by 2,800 contracts down to $50,000. This level would boost put options’ open interest by $161 million.
Although bulls have a $104 million advantage leading to Friday’s expiry, this number would be greatly reduced at any level below $60,000. As the chart indicates, most call options (1,680 contracts) have been placed at this level.
Therefore, bears have incentives to suppress the price below $60,000. At least until 8:00 AM UTC on May 7.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Grayscale has partnered with the NFL team the New York Giants.
The asset manager will sponsor Giants events; it will also offer cryptocurrency seminars to the team.
There are other opportunities for crypto adoption within the NFL.
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Crypto asset manager Grayscale Investments has formed a partnership with the NFL team the New York Giants.
Grayscale Offers Sponsorships and Seminars
According to Grayscale, the firm will primarily act as the sponsor of upcoming events, including home games, the Giants Foundation Golf Outing, and the Giants Training Camp.
Grayscale will also host optional educational seminars on cryptocurrency for team personnel on a yearly basis.
Giants Chief Commercial Officer Pete Guelli has stated that Grayscale will guide it “in navigating the cryptocurrency ecosystem,” adding that the firm “has the institutional knowledge and network of partners that we can access as crypto continues to evolve.”
However, it remains to be seen how the New York Giants will make use of cryptocurrency in a particular sense. It is not clear whether the group will invest in Bitcoin or accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment for merchandise and payments.
Cryptocurrency and the NFL
Grayscale noted in its announcement that it is the first cryptocurrency business to partner with an NFL team.
However, this is not strictly true. In 2019, the Miami Dolphins partnered with Aliant Payments and the Litecoin Foundation. That partnership allowed users to buy select tickets with Litecoin.
Meanwhile, outside of the NFL’s official efforts, several players have sought payment in cryptocurrency with varying success, including Matt Barkley (the Buffalo Bills) and Russell Okung (the Los Angeles Chargers), and Trevor Lawrence (the Jacksonville Jaguars).
In other news, an internal memo seen in March suggests that NFL executives are in “active discussions” with potential partners on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or cryptocollectibles.
Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.
This news was brought to you by Phemex, our preferred Derivatives Partner.
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dCanvas, the world’s largest collaborative art project, is set to make its limited edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs) accessible to the public. The company would release 256 limited edition non-fungible tokens (NFT) to in May 2021.
dCanvas Offers 256 NFTs for Sale
In collaboration with NFT marketplace site OpenSea, dCanvas is making it possible for the public to access its works. Each of the 256 NFTs consists of 16 pixels, which enables the owner to fill in with his artistic vision.
What makes these NFTs unique is that the owner of each NFT is the only person that can determine the colour of each of the 16 pixels, as they truly own the block and they can also reauction it at any time. According to an excerpt from dCanvaswhitepaper:
“Each individual NFT in the dCanvas contract represents a specific 4 x 4 pixel block on an overall 1024 x 1024 pixel canvas board. Ownership of a block allows you to set the color of each of the 16 pixels, using a 32-color palette that is available to everyone and set as metadata in the Solidity smart contract.”
Also, the NFT holders can access an independent DAO that enables the community govern the dCanvas art commissions. The limited allocation of the NFTs would commence on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
Furthermore, users can get the NFTs via the dCanvas app, while transactions would carried out using OpenSea. The partnership with OpenSea means gas fees would be reduced. Users who have previously accessed OpenSea would to only need to pay gas fee to buy the dCanvas NFT. Meanwhile, future bids, purchases, and offers would be conducted on OpenSea without paying for gas fees.
dCanvas has distributed NFTs worth $500,000 to early adopters, various investors, and brands. Some of the private investors include Kyle from NeptuneDAO, Queen Mei, Quidd’s number one NFT collector, Leia from Unic.ly, and Joyce of Global Coin Research.
NFT Fever Still High
This is not the first time that dCanvas is releasing its NFTs to the the public. The collaborative NFT art project earlier opened its NFT sale to the public, with 1024 NFTs. These were sold out under five days. With the company now allocating a smaller number of NFTs, the pieces might sell out quicker.
Individuals who have purchased the dCanvas NFTs can create a profile to showcase their ownership, while also communicating and collaborating with one another.
The NFT market has seen increased adoption in 2021. The first quarter of 2021 has been impressive for the sector, with over $2 billion spent on NFTs. AsreportedbyBTCManagerback in April, popular American rapper Eminem, launched his NFTs.
Even Mattel, parent company of popular toy brands Barbie and Hot Wheels, wascontemplatingjoining the NFT bandwagon. The Beeple NFT, which was sold for almost $70 million, remains the most expensive digital art piece sold till date. In late April, major crypto exchange Binance, announced that it wouldlaunchan NFT marketplace in June 2021.
It’s grifter season: scams and opportunists run amok, and it’s harder than ever to tell who to trust.
Case and point: over the weekend, an influencer by the pseudonym “Crypto Spider” was found to have pumped-and-dumped a meme coin, $SELON — while publicly claiming that he had joined his followers in taking a loss.
step 1: @linkpadvc make a Doge fork called Shibe-Elon
step 2: give themselves a ton of it
step 3: burn 1 of their top address to induce FOMO
step 4: rug
I knew it from instinct, but thanks for @mathieu_ouioui for verifying this onchain. pic.twitter.com/wVOHVHMpb8
— CL (@CL207) May 2, 2021
The drama jarred me personally, despite the fact that I didn’t have any exposure to the failed shitcoin. The reason being is that I quoted Crypto Spider in a piece from January. Had I unwittingly aided a scammer?
I’d gotten his name from a trusted colleague. Part of my beat is emerging projects, and I’m always open to hearing from anon teams and sources — other cryptomedia outlets ignore them to their detriment, given that the largest digital asset in the world was founded by an anon.
When we spoke he told me about an algo stablecoin project, and I now realize that it was likely an effort to use the Cointelegraph platform to pump his bags. Thankfully, I did my due diligence while researching the project: the developers were clever and intrepid, but ultimately working in what appears to be a doomed vertical (though I suppose FEI and OHM are still giving it the old college try), and I profiled them as such.
While my reporting was unlikely to lead anyone astray, seeing Spider exposed as a fraud was nonetheless a jolt. It’s getting harder to tell who to trust out there — a point that Spider made himself.
I reached out to him over the weekend to ask for his side of the story, and he pointed to a Tweet thread from his alleged co-conspirator — one which, oddly, confirmed that he had promoted the project and then sold. He also sighed that he’d become “the target of anyone who shilled or created meme coins.”
1. Wanted to clear up some misinformation surrounding SELON and @CryptoSpider1 ‘s involvement. This token was meant to start out as a joke with a friend on twitter who approached me. I was asked to make the website for my friend and he deployed the token.
— Sheel Patel (@iamSheelPatel) May 2, 2021
It would take the moral nuance of a toddler to claim Spider’s actions are equivocal to the standard influencer cheerleading, but with all the money sloshing around more and more people seem to be getting mixed up with shady deals.
Not even institutions are exempt: Alameda Research invested $20 million in Reef, part of what would have been a larger $80 million deal — but the two companies cut ties over a disagreement regarding Alameda transferring the tokens they purchased to Binance, presumably to sell. Alameda later said it was merely an OTC buy and not a longer-term “strategic investment.”
Anons lie, institutions lie, and despite the money pouring from the sky greed is still getting the better of people. Watch who you listen to and what you invest in — I know I’ll be even more careful going forward.
But here’s one principle that hasn’t led me astray yet: anonymity by nature encourages and enables both the best and the worst in crypto. An anon with integrity can be a guiding light in these choppy waters.
Uniswap v3 mewls out of the gate
After months of anticipation, Uniswap v3 is finally here. It may take a while before it gets its sea legs, however.
We are thrilled to announce that Uniswap v3 is now live on Ethereum mainnet!https://t.co/liqYXtQoM2 has been updated to support v3.https://t.co/VeR2ueZfEk
— Uniswap Labs (@Uniswap) May 5, 2021
In the first few minutes after launching the protocol had attracted $1.3 million in total value locked; at the time of publication it has since risen to $24.3 million. The majority of liquidity is in bread-and-butter trading pairs such as ETH/stable pairs, but specifics are hard to come by; while a blog post from Uniswap says that their info site has migrated to displaying v3 statistics, their top pools are still for Uniswap v2.
Aside from the interface stumble, there is not yet sufficient liquidity to swap at any significant size. Quotes for ETH/stablecoin pairs led to double-digit slippage quotes on orders over 10 ETH or so, and the interface often suggests better prices on v2. (Cointelegraph has a policy in place prohibiting writers from making trades during business hours, so I’m only relaying the quotes I got for the trades).
The low liquidity woes may soon be ameliorated, however. As multiple Twitter observers pointed out, Uniswap is making it simple to migrate liquidity pools to v3 — including Sushiswap LP positions in what some have dubbed a “reverse vampire attack.”
Perhaps coolest of all however is that a long list of Uniswap v3 pool positions, which are represented as NFTs, are now on sale on Opensea. Uniswap founder Hayden Adams bragged about his, the first-ever v3 position. I expect a interesting market to develop over the comping days for early pool positions, and the first positions in culturally important pools may come to have significant value. What would the first EMN-DAI position NFT be worth now?
Proud owner of @Uniswap v3 NFT #1
Mini thread on v3 NFT positions which are SVGs generated entirely on-chain and derived from the properties of the underlying position https://t.co/PLrrlUNHyd pic.twitter.com/JBD9rlxxZn
— Hayden Adams (@haydenzadams) May 5, 2021
In all, a mixed-review launch. But that’s to be expected for a protocol only open to the public for the last few hours, and as Framework Venture’s Vance Spencer puts it, once it’s attracted significant liquidity v3 may well represent a new “era” for capital efficiency in DeFi:
The paleozoic era of DeFi capital efficiency begins today with the launch of v3
Once we get to cross-margined derivatives via @futureswapx / @synthetix_io and undercollateralized loans via @useteller this year, DeFi’s capital efficiency will be as good/better than CeFi https://t.co/1opmve5szf
— Vance Spencer (@pythianism) May 5, 2021
Major stories this week
Balancer and Gnosis team up for Uniswap v3 rival Cowswap
Inverse Finance acquires Tonic in possible first-ever protocol merger
Lido looks to go cross-chain
Federal Reserve says DeFi may lead to “Paradigm Shift”