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Fiat is in 'jeopardy' but Bitcoin, stablecoins aren't the answer either: Ray Dalio

The hedge fund manager instead wants to see an “inflation-linked coin” be brought to the masses which would serve to ensure consumers secure their buying power.

Huawei NFTs, Toyota’s hackathon, North Korea vs. Blockchain: Asia Express 

Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments.

Huawei moves to trademark its NFTs

According to a Jan. 28 report by Sina News, Chinese telecom giant Huawei has recently filed for eight trademarks related to its Huawei “YunYunBao” nonfungible tokens (NFT) series. The trademarks include digital collectibles in the scientific instruments, furniture, education, jewelry, advertising and telecom sectors. Last April, Huawei unveiled its YunYunBao NFTs, featuring characters inspired by its namesake cloud service. Huawei NFTs are minted on its proprietary Huawei Petal Chain, which the telecom giant says has over 1,000 nodes and can handle over 50,000 transactions per second. 

A Huawei cloud NFT. Source: Huawei

Toyota sponsors blockchain hackathon

In a Feb. 1 Medium post, Sota Watanabe, the founder of Japanese blockchain Astar Network, announced that Astar had received a sponsorship from Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota for its latest Web3 hackathon. Astar is currently a parachain built on the Polkadot blockchain. 

According to Watanabe, over $100,000 in prizes will be distributed to projects that develop “intra-company DAO [Decentralized Autonomous Organization] support tools for this hackathon which Toyota employees may actually use in the future.” The hackathon will run from Feb. 14 to March 25.

The Toyota hackathon prize structure. Source: Hakuhodo

“Needless to say, Toyota is the largest company in Japan and one of the world’s leading international companies,” Watanabe wrote. “We are very excited to be hosting the Web3 Hackathon on Astar with Toyota. During the event, we aim to develop the first PoC DAO tool for Toyota’s employees. If a good tool is produced, Toyota employees will interact daily with products on Astar Network.”


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Huawei NFTs, Toyota’s hackathon, North Korea vs. Blockchain: Asia Express 

Our weekly roundup of news from East Asia curates the industry’s most important developments. Huawei moves to trademark its NFTs According to a Jan. 28 report by Sina News, Chinese telecom giant Huawei has recently filed for eight trademarks related to its Huawei “YunYunBao” nonfungible tokens (NFT) series. The trademarks include digital collectibles in the […]

Bitcoin pro traders warm up the $24K level, suggesting that the current BTC rally has legs

On Feb. 1 and Feb 2. Bitcoin’s (BTC) price surpassed even the most bullish price projections after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced plans to raise interest rates by 25 basis points. 

Even though Fed chair Jerome Powell told investors not to wait for interest rate cuts in 2023, during his press conference he did clearly state that the employment data is currently the main focus.

The results of the ADP payroll survey revealed on Feb. 1 that U.S. private-sector hiring was significantly slower in January. ADP’s measure of private sector payrolls was 106,000, well below the 160,000 market consensus. This data fueled investors’ expectations of future interest rate hikes by the Fed going forward.

After testing the $22,500 support on Feb. 1, Bitcoin gained 6.5% in five hours and has since been flirting with the $24,000 level. While the recent gains are exciting, traders should note that the improvement in crypto market sentiment tracked the risk-on attitude seen in traditional markets.

Stocks with negative operating margin presented significant gains on Feb. 2, including Coinbase (COIN) 20%, Cloudflare (NET) 15%, Unity Software (U) 12% and DoorDash (DASH) 10%. That factor alone should be a warning sign that the gains of the last few weeks might not be sustainable. It’s also important to remember that Bitcoin’s 40-day correlation to the S&P 500 remains above 75%.

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Do Dogecoin’s (DOGE) and Shiba Inu’s (SHIB) stalled rallies mean the memecoin trend is dead?

The memecoin phenomenon didn’t prove as effective in the last month's start of year crypto market rally, as the gains of the top cryptocurrencies in this category barely outperformed Bitcoin. The monthly gain of BTC stood at 44.5%, while the top two meme-based coins DOGE and SHIB gained 27% and 40.7%, respectively.

Top meme-coins by total market capitalizations. Source: CoinMarketCap

Doge needs a market moving catalyst

Dogecoin is losing its popularity as its most prominent supporter Elon Musk is reportedly developing an independent Twitter Coin instead of integrating his favorite cryptocurrency with the social media platform owned by the entrepreneur.

For the greater part of 2022, DOGE/USD performed poorly except for when Elon Musk acquired Twitter. The acquisition raised hopes in the Dogecoin community about increased cryptocurrency usage.

However, without any tangible announcements or reports from Twitter hinting at Dogecoin usage, the 100% price surge from October 2022 reversed in the following two months. The Google search volume for the token has also subsided since Q1 2022.

Dogecoin is losing its popularity as its most prominent supporter Elon Musk is reportedly developing an independent Twitter Coin instead of integrating his favorite cryptocurrency with the social media platform owned by the entrepreneur.

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Lack of liquidity mitigated damages to BonqDAO exploit: Report

After amassing $120 million in tokens through an infinite minting glitch, hackers reportedly only cashed out around $1 million due to a lack of liquidity on BonqDAO.

Ethereum (ETH) price is aiming for $1,800 in February — Here is why

Ether (ETH) has been struggling with the $1,680 resistance since Jan. 20. Still, the ascending triangle pattern and improvements in investor sentiment in ETH derivatives provides hope that Ether price could reach $1,800 or higher by the end of February. This, of course, depends on how the Ether price behaves as it reaches the pattern deadline by mid-February. 

Ether/USD price index, 12-hour. Source: TradingView

From one side, traders are relieved that Ether is trading up 33% year-to-date, but the repeated failures to break the $1,680 resistance coupled with negative newsflow might give bears the power to cancel the bullish triangle pattern.

According to a Jan. 30 report from Axios, New York State's Department of Financial Services is reportedly investigating cryptocurrency exchange Gemini over claims that the firm made regarding assets in its Earn lending program. The suspicions followed reports that multiple Gemini Earn users believed their assets had been protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

On Jan. 12, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the Gemini exchange with offering unregistered securities through Earn. In addition, Gemini co-founder Cameron Winklevoss has claimed that Genesis and DCG owe $900 million to Gemini's clients.

Several United States senators have reportedly penned a letter requesting answers from Silvergate Bank, according to a Jan. 31 Bloomberg report. The policymakers were not fully satisfied with the bank's previous answers about its alleged role in handling FTX user funds. Silvergate reportedly cited restrictions on disclosing "confidential supervisory information."

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Chinese Communist Party officials issue KPIs for e-CNY transactions in Suzhou

CCP officials want to see the e-CNY surpass $300 billion in transactions in 2023 through promotional efforts.

Avalanche ‘bull trap’ risks pushing AVAX price down by 30% in February

Avalanche (AVAX) bulls should brace themselves for impact led by a growing divergence between several key indicators on the daily-timeframe chart.

AVAX price chart paints bearish divergence

The daily AVAX chart shows a classic bearish divergence between its price and relative strength index (RSI), a momentum oscillator forming since Jan. 11.

In other words, the price of AVAX has been making higher highs since the said date. But, on the other hand, the coin’s daily RSI has been forming lower highs. This divergence suggests a slowdown in the momentum of the AVAX/USD pair, which may lead to a price reversal.

AVAX/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView

In addition, the declining volumes during the course of AVAX’s ongoing uptrend also hint at the same bearish cues.

The price-RSI and price-volume divergences appear as AVAX price continues its 2023 uptrend. Notably, Avalanche has rallied by more than 100% year-to-date to $22.50 as of Feb. 2, helped by improving risk-on sentiments and news of its partnership with Amazon.

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Is the Metaverse really turning out like ‘Snow Crash’?

‘Snow Crash’ by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash predicted the Metaverse in 1992. This cult book has the amusingly-named Hiro Protagonist running around in an artificial cyber world, trying to stop a virus that wipes minds, aided by his hacker friend Y.T. Reality is a place to escape from, a neoliberal future wrecked by hyperinflation and inequality and run by corporations and gangsters and insane bureaucracy.

In many ways, the book is horribly prescient. (It’s also horribly written in places, more like an info dump than a novel.) The Metaverse was a place where people had digital avatars, where they hung out with friends, went shopping and attended concerts. It was full of ads, the infrastructure was owned by a billionaire, and a virus was wreaking havoc on society. It all sounds familiar.

It wasn’t COVID-19 of course. The Snow Crash virus caused the infected to lose the ability to think for themselves, and they start speaking in tongues.

“Obviously, at the time, we didn’t have social media,” Stephenson told The Washington Post, but added, “I was writing about just a long-standing human trait, which is this tendency for the mind to get hijacked by ideas.”

The metaverse can’t enslave you, yet, but the addictive nature of social media suggests it’s possible you might get hooked on a better virtual world, where your hotter-looking avatar interacts with people from all over the planet and has adventures that are not possible in reality.

Snow Crash
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Is the Metaverse really turning out like ‘Snow Crash’?

Neal Stephenson’s science fiction novel Snow Crash predicted the Metaverse in 1992. This cult book has the amusingly-named Hiro Protagonist running around in an artificial cyber world, trying to stop a virus that wipes minds, aided by his hacker friend Y.T. Reality is a place to escape from, a neoliberal future wrecked by hyperinflation and […]

Top 7 blockchain courses and certifications for beginners

Blockchain courses and certifications help individuals understand the underlying principles and applications of blockchain technology.

State of play: Decentralized domain services reflect on industry progress

Major decentralized domain services weigh in on the state of the industry and the potential for future growth.

Bitcoin bulls must reclaim these 2 levels as ‘death cross’ still looms

Bitcoin (BTC) faces a sink-or-swim resistance test to confirm its “macro breakout,” a new analysis says.

In a tweet on Feb. 2, on-chain monitoring resource Material Indicators flagged key levels to flip to support after BTC/USD spiked above $24,000.

Bitcoin price gears up for trend line showdown

In what was ultimately a boon for Bitcoin bulls, the United States Federal Reserve delivered what risk-on traders wanted to hear on Feb. 1.

With Chair Jerome Powell using the word “disinflation,” hopes immediately began to bet on rate hikes ending sooner and easier monetary conditions returning in their place.

The mood was palpable across crypto, with BTC price action reversing an initial drop to see new six-month highs of $24,250 on Bitstamp.

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Bitcoin Ordinals creators look for fix after first instance of shock porn

A rather unsavory image made it to the front page of the Ordinals website for 30 minutes before it was hidden, however, the image itself is immutable.

72% of institutional traders are crypto-skeptical this year: JPMorgan

The seventh edition of JPMorgan's e-Trading Edit asked 835 institutional traders about their plans for trading digital assets in 2023, among other topics.

BonqDAO protocol suffers $120M loss after oracle hack

An oracle hack allowed the exploiter to manipulate the price of the AllianceBlock token, leading to an estimated $120 million loss, according to Peckshield.

Bitcoin bulls plan to flip $23K to support by aiming to win this week’s $1B options expiry

Bitcoin's (BTC) price has been trading above $22,500 for 12 days. Of course, this situation can change even if Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell issues positive statements about the economy in today’s post-FOMC presser. 

Even if the decision matches the market consensus, the post-meeting statement should be investors' primary area of focus. Specific areas to focus on would be clues for the next meeting in March.

Troubling news for the largest stablecoin Tether (USDT), could also cause a meaningful impact after a Celsius bankruptcy examiner report showed that "Tether's exposure eventually grew to over $2 billion" in Sep. 2021. However, it is unclear if iFinex — Tether’s issuer — suffered any losses. iFinex CTO Paolo Ardoino denied exposure to Celsius and suggested that the examiner had "mixed up" prepositions in the report.

Is a strong correction in stock market ahead?

Legendary portfolio manager Michael Burry, known for being one of the most vocal critics of the subprime mortgage crisis in 2007 to 2008, posted a short note on Twitter on Feb. 1, suggesting that investors "sell."

While the message lacks a supporting thesis, one could conclude that Burry expects a meaningful correction in traditional markets. Considering the 40-day correlation between Bitcoin and the S&P 500 index at 75%, the odds of a BTC price retrace become evident.

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What is Solend and how does it work

Solend is a DeFi lending and borrowing protocol on Solana, noted for its high scalability and composability.

MakerDAO launches $5M legal defense fund

At its inception, the defense fund will receive a budget of $5 million held in the DAI stablecoin.

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