What’s Behind Bitcoin’s Breakthrough? Bitcoin moved past the US$30,000 level for the first time since June 2022, with an increase of more than 80% this calendar year, causing mild euphoria and reaffirmed confidence among market participants. But what’s behind Bitcoin’s rise, despite March’s banking turbulence?
A big factor is likely investors’ increased optimism about the US central bank monetary policy, as well as some looking to the Bitcoin halving that is now only a year away. a16z’s latest State of Crypto Report also affirms that the market has seen rapid and significant progress despite the recent bear market.
Note: Market prices captured in US$ at the time of reading. Explore more on Crypto.com/Price.
China Pacific Insurance Company, a leading Chinese insurer, launched two crypto investment funds in Hong Kong — a venture capital fund and a Proof of Stake token income enhancement fund — through its subsidiary in collaboration with Waterdrip Capital.
PostFinance, Switzerland’s fifth-largest financial services firm, will start offering its users access to cryptocurrency through a partnership with digital asset services provider Sygnum Bank.
Tea and CBDC
The Bank of England is reportedly aiming to set up a team of 30 people to develop a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
NFTs in the Big Apple
This week marked the fifth annual NFT.NYC — the year’s biggest gathering of the global NFT community. Representatives from Crypto.com were on hand to discuss women and diversity in NFTs and the power of the NFT community. Catch up on some of the biggest news from this year’s event.
Consensus by CoinDesk | April 26 to 28, 2023
As the world’s largest and longest-running gathering of the many differing elements that make up the crypto community, Consensus has always sought to live up to its name.
Held in Austin, Texas, later this month — and once again sponsored by Crypto.com — the event offers a plethora of speakers, stages, side events, and experiences. More info and tickets here.
Research & Insights
Monthly Feature Article | Liquid Staking Derivatives: Money Legos in DeFi
This feature report explains how liquid staking works as ‘money legos’ in DeFi and what the upcoming Shanghai Upgrade entails for liquid staking derivatives (LSDs).
- Liquid staking is now the second-largest sector in crypto after decentralized exchanges.
- In liquid staking, native coins of a Proof of Stake (PoS) chain are deposited to a staking pool, which is delegated to one of many validators participating in the consensus protocol.
- Over a third of the total ETH staked is locked up in liquid staking.
- In combination with other DeFi protocols, liquid staking can function as a building block that can be stacked on top of other products to create more financial applications.
Check out the full report: Liquid Staking Derivatives: Money Legos in DeFi.
In the beginning, there were doodles. Later, he called them art. Now Alejandro Rincón (AKA Tattoo AR), a tattoo artist from Colombia, is inking dolls (which he calls MetaDolls) in his latest NFT drop, ‘MD:// Margarita’s Take over’, which arrives this coming Tuesday, April 18. Margarita, MetaDoll #0002, is taking over this drop, “mixing things up and bringing a bunch of new surprises…”
Using tattoos and 3D art modeling (with a background in sculpture and digital art), the Metaverse tattooist took a generic doll and inked life into her. Then he decided to give her a home in a virtual space and has added 2,222 new friends. ‘Margarita’s Take over’ deconstructs identity, exploring the boundaries between life, art, and the digital world.
I wanted to involve the collector as much as possible, so they will be able to customize their MetaDoll and add their own definition of identity to their NFT, which means that this collection will be ever changing and transforming with each holder over time.Tattoo AR, discussing, exploring, and constructing identity
This drop features 📦 Margarita’s Special Mystery Box Giveaways, a 🖼️ Poster Print Giveaway, 🪂 MetaPets airdrops, access to purchase the physical versions, and NFT.NYC Special Edition Doll Giveaway. Early access for ‘MD:// InkMint’ and ‘OG MetaDolls’ NFT holders starts 60 minutes before the scheduled drop time.
Welcome to the Dollverse.
Check out Margarita’s takeover. Or get dolled up.
Reduced Fees for BTC and ETH Spot Pairs
The Crypto.com Exchange has extended its 0% maker fee promotion on BTC and ETH spot pairs. For a limited time, Exchange users will enjoy 0% maker fees and 0.025% taker fees for BTC and ETH USD pairs. Click here to find out more.
BONE, GAS, IOST Trading Competition
In this week’s Crypto.com Exchange Trading Arena event, participants stand a chance to win a share of the US$5,000 total reward pool by spot trading BONE, GAS, or IOST tokens. The top 20 traders will win up to US$1,000 of USDC. Click here to find out more.
Crypto Level Up
Artificial Intelligence’s Potential in Shaping Web3’s Future
Artificial intelligence (AI) is all the rage these days, reaching mainstream consciousness. Content generated by AI has captured everyone’s attention, whether it’s text, images, or audio. Read on to find out how AI has the power to accelerate Web3’s growth.
Applications of AI in Web3
There are four broad areas where AI can be applied in Web3: NFTs, blockchain games, the Metaverse, and Web3 development.
NFTs. With the power of AI, creating generative art NFTs is becoming more efficient. The artist simply needs to craft a framework from a set of rules and parameters before the AI engine can generate the final pieces of art.
Gaming. It’s a similar process for blockchain game developers, where in-game assets and special effects can be created with text-to-image generative AI models. For example, Alethea AI’s CharacterGPT system can generate interactive AI characters from a text description alone. Talk about impressive.
Code. On the backend, AI applications can be used to debug code. This streamlines the development process for individuals building Web3 infrastructure and applications. Smart contract auditing firm Certik, for one, uses ChatGPT to “quickly understand and summarize the semantics of complex code snippets.”
Learn More About How AI Can Help Build Web3.
Which is more striking? The cherry blossoms, ‘Loaded Lions’ card holder, or the Crypto.com Ruby Steel Visa Card? Photo courtesy of our friend @_silverstar88_. We love them all. 😍
Hashtag #CryptoIRL with your Crypto.com Visa Card on your social profiles to get featured! Your 15 minutes of fame in the #CROFam awaits you!
Proof of Burn (PoB)
A consensus mechanism with minimal energy consumption, Proof of Burn (PoB) requires miners to ‘burn’ a portion of their tokens in order to earn the right to add a new block to the network.
How Does Proof of Burn Work?
The process starts with miners sending coins to an unspendable (eater) address where they cannot be spent or recovered. This is called ‘burning’. Miners are then randomly chosen according to the number of coins burned.
Depending on how the PoB system is implemented, miners can either burn the native token of the project or use an alternative currency, such as Bitcoin or Tether. The more coins the validator has sent to the eater address, the higher the chances of being selected to mine the next block.
An example of a PoB concept is Counterparty (XCP), which uses a ‘burning’ mechanism for the creation of new tokens. Users need to send bitcoins to the eater address in order to generate a proportional amount of Counterparty’s native token, XCP.
This Week in Crypto History
Crypto Climate Accord Makes Its Debut
On April 8, 2021, the ‘Crypto Climate Accord’ to decarbonize the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries was announced. The initiative was inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement and led by the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Energy Web Foundation, and the Alliance for Innovative Regulation.
Today, the Accord has over 150 signatories, including the NEAR Foundation and Gala Games. The current aim is to achieve net-zero emissions from electricity consumption by 2030. Additionally, over 200 companies are supporting the Accord, including ConsenSys, KPMG, and Tezos.
That’s it for this week’s Snapshot. Want more? Head over to our Insta feed for bite-size crypto lessons.