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Ether dazzles, Dogecoin fears, Elon Musk’s big night, Bitcoin boosts Square

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Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Altcoins rally as bulls pile into large-cap tokens and layer-one projects

We’re well and truly in the throes of “altseason” now, with Bitcoin’s dominance showing no signs of diminishing.

Ether delivered a stunning surge that took its price above $3,000 for the very first time, breaking new records throughout the week. On Saturday, ETH remained in uncharted territory after racing to highs of $3,800.

Among those celebrating ETH’s spike will be Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who has officially become a crypto billionaire. Excitement is continuing to build ahead of a long-awaited upgrade that will overhaul the network’s gas fee structure in July.

ETH is in good company, too. EOS rallied by more than 100% this week following a recent protocol that increases the project’s inflation rate. Litecoin has hit a one-year high against Bitcoin, with many analysts predicting extended upside momentum. And Bitcoin Cash jumped 68% amid rumors that a looming hard fork could boost the network’s user base.

Even Ethereum Classic, the hard fork sparked by disagreements after a devastating 2016 hack, has pumped 130% in the past week.

Of course, there’s one altcoin in particular that continues to steal the show…

 

May 8 “day to watch” for Dogecoin amid warning it can suffer an XRP-style crash

DOGE has seemed unstoppable in recent weeks. It hit unprecedented highs of $0.7376 early on Saturday. To put into context how bonkers the joke cryptocurrency’s surge really is, $1 invested on Jan. 1 would now be worth $139 at current prices.

Mania over the financial homage to Shiba Inus everywhere may be about to reach a climax when DOGE enthusiast and mega-billionaire Elon Musk hosts Saturday Night Live. It’s inevitable that his appearance will feature endless sketches about Dogecoin, and that could pump prices even further.

But not everyone is finding DOGE’s surge to be a cause for celebration. Lowstrife, a popular account on Twitter, believes the end is nigh, with the crypto trader spotting eerie similarities between DOGE’s current charts and XRP in the heady days of 2018.

Back then, XRP had hit all-time highs of $3.20 that remain true to this day, but then slowly faded to lows of $0.14 — a loss of 95.6%.

Warning of an impending apocalypse for DOGE, Lowstrife wrote: “Each of DOGE’s major rallies this year has been smaller and less aggressive. What took 18 hours at first has been ongoing for 2 days now. I suspect this is the final push before it’s all over for good. May 8th is the day to watch.”

Even Musk himself has been cooling the hype, reminding followers that crypto investments remain speculative.

 

Square’s Bitcoin revenue up 1,000% in 12 months

A flurry of earnings results this week powerfully illustrated the impact that Bitcoin’s sensational first quarter has had.

Square blew analysts’ expectations by delivering earnings of $0.41 per share between January and March — far beyond the $0.16 forecast. Revenue came in at $5.06 billion, dwarfing predictions of $3.36 billion.

Bitcoin alone drove $3.5 billion in revenue, an astonishing increase of 1,000% in just 12 months. Overall, the crypto-friendly company’s gross profit also surged 79% year on year to hit $964 million.

Square’s also sitting on paper profits of $250 million after making two high-profile Bitcoin purchases — one in February and one in October.

PayPal has also been heralding the “great results” it has been receiving from its crypto service. The platform’s earnings and revenue also exceeded predictions in Q1.

 

Coinbase stock plunges to record low, further decoupling from crypto

The celebratory atmosphere isn’t universal. Coinbase shares tumbled to fresh lows on Thursday as Wall Street investors continued to cycle out of high-flying tech stocks. 

COIN bottomed at $255.15, where it was in danger of breaching the $250 reference price set on the eve of its public listing in April. All of this comes despite the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies surging beyond $2.4 trillion.

FBB Capital Partners’ director of research, Mike Bailey, told Bloomberg: “We saw a mini-bubble in SPACs, IPOs, crypto, clean-tech and hyper-growth in late 2020 and early 2021 and many of these asset classes are nursing bad hangovers.”

(That said, his assertion that crypto is nursing a “bad hangover” is misplaced.)

Coinbase’s woes may be linked to increasing competition among crypto exchanges, which has left retail investors spoiled for choice. There’s a danger that this could eat into the revenues it derives from transaction fees, which make up most of its income.

 

Comedian Bill Maher excoriates environmental impact of crypto

Elon Musk’s stint on the box this weekend serves as a powerful counterweight to comedian Bill Maher, who didn’t leave crypto enthusiasts in stitches during a recent segment.

On Maher’s program, he compared the industry to a virtual game — and talked about mining in a derisive tone. Maher also implied that investing in tokens was a childish endeavor, and illustrated his point with quotes from Warren Buffett.

He said: “There is something inherently not credible about creating hundreds of billions in virtual wealth with nothing ever actually being accomplished and no actual product made or service rendered. […] Unfortunately, what is real is the unfathomable amount of electricity those massive supercomputers suck up for their mining.”

Maher even quipped that Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by Bitcoin’s inventor, is the Japanese term for “Monopoly money.”

Anthony Pompliano shared the clip along with this caption: “Never ask a comedian for investment advice.”

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao replied, writing: “Very sad to watch. Feel really hopeless for him. Joke’s going to be on him. Time will show.”

 

Winners and Losers

 

 

At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $58,366.32, Ether at $3,811.20 and XRP at $1.56. The total market cap is at $2,433,633,423,933.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Shiba Inu, Bitcoin Diamond and Telcoin. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Harmony, Huobi Token and Filecoin.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis

 

 

Most Memorable Quotations

 

“Looks like Uniswap v3 is more gas expensive than v2, roughly as expected.”

Haseeb Qureshi, Dragonfly Capital managing partner

 

“With cryptocurrencies already creating incredible worldwide wealth, it’s real estate that will sustain that wealth and provide buyers with a legacy.”

Alex Sapir, Sapir Corp chairman

 

“We saw a mini-bubble in SPACs, IPOs, crypto, clean-tech and hyper-growth in late 2020 and early 2021 and many of these asset classes are nursing bad hangovers.”

Mike Bailey, FBB Capital Partners director of research

 

“It definitely can go much higher, I think we can see the price go to $10,000, where a lot of ETH bull price targets begin to kick in and people take profits.”

Nikhil Shamapant, retail investor

 

“We’ve committed to having no HQ, and it’s important to show our decentralized workforce that no one location is [more] important than the other.”

Coinbase

 

“Each of DOGE’s major rallies this year has been smaller and less aggressive. What took 18 hours at first has been ongoing for 2 days now. I suspect this is the final push before it’s all over for good. May 8th is the day to watch.”

Lowstrife

 

“DeFi may lead to a paradigm shift in the financial industry and potentially contribute toward a more robust, open, and transparent financial infrastructure.”

Federal Reserve of St. Louis

 

“Volatility is everywhere […] It is not unique to crypto.”

Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO

 

“Of course I hate the Bitcoin success, and I don’t welcome a currency that’s so useful to kidnappers and extortionists and so forth.”

Charlie Munger, billionaire investor

 

“There is something inherently not credible about creating hundreds of billions in virtual wealth with nothing ever actually being accomplished and no actual product made or service rendered.”

Bill Maher, comedian

 

Prediction of the Week

They see ETH rollin’: Why did Ether price reach $3,500, and what’s next? 

Ether’s booming price has prompted feverish talk about a long-fabled “flippening” where ETH overtakes BTC as the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

Although that’s fanciful right now, there are a number of bullish predictions when it comes to where Ether’s price is headed next.

One of them comes from Nikhil Shamapant, a retail investor who recently published a research report where he argued ETH could be worth $150,000 by 2023.

He told Cointelegraph: “It definitely can go much higher. I think we can see the price go to $10,000, where a lot of ETH bull price targets begin to kick in and people take profits. I think we’ll head up to that $10,000-to-$25,000 range, hit a lot of supply and could see some big drawdowns and consolidation at that point.”

 

FUD of the Week 

 

The fees sting, but Uniswap v3 sees more volume on launch day than v2’s first month

Data suggests that Uniswap v3 had a successful first 24 hours — processing more than twice the volume that v2 did in its first month.

But not everyone’s been enamored with the latest iteration of the world’s most popular decentralized exchange, with some users complaining about the costs associated with using it.

One person wrote on Twitter: “Even more expensive to make mistakes now. Tried to migrate my UNI/ETH liquidity to V3, failed and paid 108.09 usd worth of gas.”

Dragonfly Capital’s managing partner, Haseeb Qureshi, also wasn’t impressed. On Twitter, he wrote: “Looks like Uniswap v3 is more gas expensive than v2, roughly as expected. […] Specifically, it’s about 28% more expensive for single-hop transactions it looks like. For larger transactions that cross multiple ticks/buckets, the gas costs should be slightly larger.”

 

New York bill proposes ban on crypto mining for three years over carbon concerns

A Democrat senator in New York, Kevin S. Parker, is proposing a three-year ban on crypto mining.

Data centers would only be allowed to operate if they pass an environmental impact review, amid concerns that BTC mining could cause the state to miss ambitious targets designed to tackle climate change.

New York Senate Bill 6486 said: “A single cryptocurrency transaction uses the same amount of energy that an average American household uses in one month, with an estimated level of global energy usage equivalent to that of the country of Sweden.”

The bill is yet to receive widespread backing from other senators. However, the Democrats do control the lower house and senate.

 

Employer paid worker in crypto, then demanded it back when price rose

A United States-based business development specialist has claimed that a company that paid them for contract work using cryptocurrency now wants them to return the tokens following a significant rally in the asset’s price.

The unnamed employee, known only as “Crypto Confused,” wrote to MarketWatch and said: “I am not really sure what to do. I have worked with this person for many years, and he has a tendency to try to change the terms of payment after agreeing on a certain way of operating.”

Columnist Quentin Fottrell replied: “If the value of the cryptocurrency had fallen by 100% since August 2020, would he want to pay you in dollars? If it suddenly dipped by that amount today, would he follow up with his employees?”

 

Best Cointelegraph Features

DOGE as internet money? TikTokers and sports fans see a use case for Dogecoin

As experts pinpoint various groups as Dogecoin’s vanguard, the coin’s potential base seems to be a wide coalition.

From nay to yay: JPMorgan’s path to crypto could shake up finance

After bashing Bitcoin back in 2017, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon seems to have softened his stance on crypto, and so has the firm itself.

As Bitcoin’s payment options grow, BTC’s true future role up for debate

Declaring BTC a store of value — gold 2.0 — but not a medium of exchange, defies logic. It must first have a use case.



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As NFT market cools, a chance to learn lessons from its explosive growth

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What a difference three months makes. Back in March, there was a jubilant atmosphere when Beeple’s mega nonfungible token sold for $69.3 million. You didn’t have to look far to find bold proclamations that crypto art was the next bold frontier in culture — offering opportunities to fledgling creators and transforming the way we interact with masterpieces.

Things look a little different now we’re in June. All-time highs for Bitcoin and Ether are a distant memory, and sobering figures published by Protos suggest that NFT sales have plummeted by 90% since their peak in early May. (Some have questioned this data).

It’s a good time to reflect on how far we’ve come, and where we are going next. Endless column inches are now being devoted to the death of NFTs as an asset class — drawing eerie similarities to the hundreds of articles and tweets that have warned Bitcoin is heading to zero ever since its inception. (One of them came in September 2020, not long before the cryptocurrency’s dramatic bull run began).

Although the crypto markets are rather turbulent right now, those catastrophizing over NFTs might be rather short-sighted.

Just look at what Beeple — real name Mike Winkelmann — told CNN back in March: “NFTs as a technology are super exciting and a lot of people are comparing it to the early days of the internet. With the early days of the internet, you had a lot of hype and you had a lot of speculation, and then there was a bubble, and the bubble burst. But it didn’t wipe out the internet, people kept using the internet.”

Essentially, his point is this: NFTs that have real utility will continue to endure. And indeed, it’s worth noting that the Protos research stresses that crypto collectibles such as CryptoPunks have managed to remain resilient during this bearish downturn. (Indeed, Sotheby’s sold a rare CryptoPunk for $11.8 million just last week — what it described as a new world auction record).

Learning lessons

The NFT sector might have taken a beating in the short term, but this doesn’t detract from how these assets are unique, provably scarce and indivisible — transforming the notion of ownership entirely. There are use cases for nonfungible tokens that haven’t been dreamed up yet, and development and innovation in this industry is still at a nascent stage.

Explosive levels of growth in this industry have led to obstacles arising. At times, there has been very little oversight when it comes to the verification process. Congestion on the Ethereum blockchain, the birthplace of NFTs, has also stymied development.

One way of helping the NFT sector bounce back from its current malaise is to increase public awareness about the opportunities that these tokens bring — and make it far less expensive for creators to mint their very own tokens. Right now, digital artists who are just starting out risk overspending on minting NFTs because of Ethereum’s high transaction fees and gas costs — and they may fail to recoup these expenses if their art doesn’t sell.

Creating an environment where nonfungible tokens are easy to discover and inexpensive to buy and sell is nothing short of crucial.

The answers

One platform that is vying to make NFTs more accessible to all is MOVE Network — a developer-friendly blockchain that is energy efficient and well secured. Its end-to-end NFT aggregator brings digital assets together in one place. Gas fees are currently being waived for all users, and the ecosystem gives them a chance to easily tokenize their digital content with minimum expense.

This is coupled by a gamified experience that injects fun, intrigue and excitement back into the NFT space. Through the use of “blind boxes,” rare and valuable tokens are going to be hidden, waiting to be discovered. The project hopes that this will offer a new element of surprise for being a part of the MOVE Network community.

Some of the main focuses for MOVE Network include ensuring that these assets can be traded with ease and setting the foundation for NFT tickets — an innovation that could achieve a newfound level of sentimental value for fans who attend events, all while ensuring that tickets can only be resold under certain circumstances and eliminating the risk of counterfeits entering circulation.

The past 12 months have seen MOVE Network completing a beta test, enabling its platform to be used for demonstrative purposes. A collaboration has been established with the H Collective, a corporation that regularly works with top producers and talent in Hollywood. It’s hoped that this partnership will pave the way for NFTs to revolutionize the film industry. Meanwhile, the platform has also successfully closed a $1.5 million seed funding round to fuel its global expansion, and development of the blockchain technology that fuels its ecosystem.

Movie mogul Sid Ganis — who has worked as a top executive at studios including Sony Pictures, Lucasfilm and Warner Bros — has also joined MOVE’s advisory board. He said: “The film industry is constantly changing and innovating. I have been lucky to be a part of those changes for many years. Now movies and content are moving into the crypto marketplace via NFTs, which is another major shift into the 21st-century world of global entertainment. I am very happy to bring what I know to the process.”

MOVE’s NFT marketplace is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2021, complete with “blind boxes.” A MOVD token sale will also take place, with the cryptocurrency set to be listed on a major exchange thereafter. Later in the year, additional entertainment industry partners are set to be unveiled — with a decentralized NFT trading platform due to launch on Binance Smart Chain.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.





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South Korean crypto exchanges banned from handling coins they issued themselves

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The increased regulatory scrutiny that befell South Korea’s cryptocurrency space in recent times appears to have extended to include exchange tokens.

Exchange tokens are tokens issued by a cryptocurrency exchange that usually offer some benefit to the holder, either through reduced trading fees, regular token burns or other means.

According to a report by Arirang on Thursday, cryptocurrency exchanges are being prohibited from handling any coins or assets issued by themselves. The law also extends to any assets issued by family members, spouses or distant relatives, and is expected to come into effect on June 26.

Businesses which fail to comply with the new regulations could have their operations suspended and face fines of up to $88,000.

South Korea’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) recently contacted 33 cryptocurrency trading platforms to inform them of an upcoming field consultation due no later than Sept. 24. In the week or so since, one Korean exchange, Upbit, delisted a handful of coins, and issued strident investment warnings on another 25 assets, representing 14% of all coins listed on the exchange.

Moving forward, Upbit no longer accepts inbound deposits for the 25 coins mentioned in the warning and has said it will further review the assets to decide whether or not to delist them completely. The deadline for its final decision on the tokens is Friday, June 18.

Related: Korean banks will need to classify crypto exchange clients as ‘high risk

South Korea’s attempts to tighten its grip on the cryptocurrency industry within its borders has seen regulators demand Information Security Management System certificates from crypto trading platforms, essentially acting as a license to operate. Of 20 exchanges with the certificate, 11 have already either delisted tokens, or issued warnings similar to Upbit’s.

Given that many exchange tokens don’t operate on a proprietary blockchain, the legal definition of what it means to “handle” tokens issued by an exchange may be stretched in the coming days and weeks, as South Korea’s coin clean-up continues.