Did You See This Crypto Hearing?!
Much of the talk over the last week has been about Gary Gensler’s ordeal before the House Financial Services Committee on the 18th April. However, an arguably much more important hearing took place the following day. This was when the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion convened to discuss stablecoins.
Ah yes, stablecoins - perhaps the hottest of hot potatoes right now. The hearing saw a number of witnesses questioned, including representatives from Circle, the Blockchain Association and the New York Department Of Financial Services. The questions fired at them by politicians on the committee, and the answers to said questions, revealed a lot about what the stablecoin sector is up against in the United States.
Mark my words, a crackdown on stablecoins by US authorities would not be good for the crypto industry. But, perhaps the powers that be have other plans in store. In today’s video, we go through what was said at this consequential hearing. We analyse what it might mean for stablecoins (and much else besides) and speculate on what might happen next.
You can watch that video here.
📈 Crypto Market Forecast 📈
We are in for an exciting week. On Wednesday 3rd May, the Federal Reserve will reveal its latest interest rate decision. Investors are currently expecting the Fed to raise interest rates by another 0.25%. Given that this is the most likely outcome, it’s likely to have a neutral to positive effect on the crypto market and the markets in general. Crypto’s declining correlation with major stock indices suggests that this effect will be closer to neutral as a consequence.
That said, the effect could be closer to positive for some altcoins. That’s because the Sui mainnet launch is expected to occur on the same day. For context, Sui is one of two crypto projects that were created by former developers of Facebook’s (now Meta) failed digital currency project, Libra (later Diem). The other one is Aptos, and it is therefore possible that the general excitement around Sui could cause other layer 1 tokens like APT to rally. The same goes for Solana, given its apparent similarity to Aptos.
Another altcoin that could see some explosive price action is Avalanche’s AVAX. This is because of the Avalanche Summit event, which will occur between the 3rd and 5th May. Chances are that some big announcements will be made that could cause AVAX to pump. As some of you may have seen, Circle recently launched a cross-chain transfer protocol for USDC, making it easy to transfer the stablecoin between Ethereum and Avalanche. Bullish!
There could be some developments on the regulatory front as well. Hong Kong officials recently revealed that they will be issuing crypto company licensing guidelines in May. It’s possible that this could happen as soon as next week, but it’s admittedly unlikely. Then again, Hong Kong has been moving quickly towards crypto adoption. Officials recently reminded banks to provide services to crypto companies. Shortly afterwards, they demanded it.
This is in stark contrast to what’s been going on with crypto regulations in the US. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler recently put out another video cautioning that crypto projects and companies must comply with existing regulations. Coinbase coincidentally posted a video responding to the SEC’s Wells Notice just a few hours later. It’s possible Coinbase posted this response publicly because it knows a lawsuit is imminent and wants to rally support.
In any case, another thing we’ve been watching closely lately is all the leverage in the crypto market. The sudden dip we saw earlier this week was caused by almost 200 million dollars of liquidations, mostly from leveraged longs. This should make you nervous and that’s because even the slightest positive or negative news can result in a massive pump or a dump due to cascading liquidations or massive short squeezes. Keep this mind regarding the catalysts noted above.
🌅 Rise of x-NFTs 🌅
The NFT market is currently in a slump, folks.
Well, to be more precise, the NFT market on Ethereum is currently in a slump, with data from a variety of sources clearly displaying a steep decline in trading activity and other metrics on the network. Particularly, the data shows that the numbers of unique users across top NFT marketplaces including Blur, OpenSea and LooksRare have been steadily declining over the past few months - reaching a level previously seen in mid-2021.
Additionally, data from the analytics platform NFTGo reveals that there hasn’t been a single day in April when the number of buyers outnumbered the number of sellers in the NFT market, placing a greater crunch on liquidity for those wanting to sell their NFTs. This has obviously had an effect on the floor price of many NFT projects, including ‘blue chip’ NFT collections CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club, whose floor prices have fallen below $100,000 this month.
This slump is likely due to a number of factors, including a shift in traders’ focus from NFTs to meme coins, asset rotation due to the incoming tax season, and the unusually high gas prices on Ethereum due to the recent spike in MEV bot activity.
Interestingly however, the NFT trading activity on other chains such as Polygon, Cardano and Solana saw a boost in the past 30 days. Of these, Solana saw the biggest boost, experiencing a whopping growth of 129% in sales volume just over the past seven days.
This is largely in part due to a single NFT project - Mad Lads - that launched on the network last week. Notably, the project hit a record-breaking 24-hour trading volume of $8.2 million on Solana on 22nd April, and generated over $16 million in trading volume within the first week of launch. There’s clearly some excitement surrounding the project.
Why is that?
Well, it’s because Mad Lads is the first PFP collection launched by Backpack, the all-in-one wallet app that’s built around the xNFT (executable NFT) standard. The rumour is that Backpack and its xNFT standard are set to change the way we interact with decentralised applications forever (and in a good way).
Allow me to explain.
Currently, the user experience in Web3 is quite fragmented. Users are split by chains, assets and dApps. Most activities in DeFi require users to open a bunch of tabs on their web browser, constantly connecting and disconnecting their wallets on each site as they switch between tabs for staking and yield farming.
But imagine if you could access all of these different protocols across chains on one user interface - a bit like how you currently access a bunch of different apps on your iPhone. Life would be much easier, no?
Well, that’s exactly what the Backpack Wallet app does. It functions as an operating system for a new standard called the xNFT, or executable NFT standard. In the words of Mad Lads and Backpack creator Armani Ferrante, xNFTs or executable NFTs are “tokenized code representing ownership rights over its execution.”
Put simply, each xNFT will allow users to access and use decentralised applications directly on the Backpack wallet without ever needing to access third-party websites. At its core, Backpack and the xNFT standard provide two things: better distribution and a simplified development experience.
Backpack’s permissionless infrastructure allows any developer to build their own xNFT applications and publish them on Backpack. This means that developers can even mint entire games or programs as limited-edition xNFTs. And the icing on the cake: xNFTs will also live in Solana Mobile's Saga app store.
Tristan Yver, the co-founder of Backpack, once described it as the ‘WeChat’ (the super app popular in China) of Web3. If that’s anything to go by, the possibilities of what we can build with xNFTs could be endless.
📊 Personal Portfolio 📊
BTC 36.62% | ETH 31.43% | USDC 16.85% | USDT 6.74% | ATOM 3.56% | USD 3.41% | DOT 1.39%
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🔮 Video Pipeline 🔮
- SEC’s Crypto Crackdown Criteria: What you should know!
- First Republic Bank Collapse: What Really Happened?
- Is The Crypto Bull Run Back?!
- Gold vs. Bitcoin: The Ultimate Showdown!
- EU’s Mica Bill: Europe Crypto Friendly?!
🏆 What's New At CoinBureau.com This Week? 🏆
📖 Quote of the Week 📖
To finish off the newsletters going forward, we would like to leave you with famous quotes that could help you in your crypto education journey. For today, the virtues of the hodl by the sage of Omaha himself:
“Our Favourite Holding Period is Forever” - Warren Buffet
Team Coin Bureau
Disclosure: Authors may own cryptoassets named in this newsletter. These are unqualified opinions, and a Coin Bureau newsletter, is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as investment advice. Please consult with your investment, tax, or legal advisor.
Guy is one of the founding members and face of the Coin Bureau. Like many of us, he is just an average joe who became “crypto curious” back in 2013. After recognising the potential of blockchain technology, Guy set off on a mission to create crypto educational content, working with others to start the Coin Bureau website and released our first video on YouTube in 2019. You can learn more about him in his Who is Guy? blogpost.