Crypto Market Analysis: 16th August 2021
Cryptoassets continued their surge last week, with Cardano (ADA) a standout performer. ADA started the week at $1.41 but has since soared, reaching over $2.24 on Saturday – a 96% rise. At the time of writing the cryptoasset is trading around $2.14.
Bitcoin continues to edge back towards the $50,000 mark as it maintains its steady recovery. Having started the week below $44,000, BTC at times traded above $48,000 as its rally progressed with some volatility. It is now trading around $47,431.
Ethereum is also now trading comfortably above $3,000 following its long-awaited London hard fork two weeks ago. ETH started the week around $2,950, but despite a blip on Friday has not since fallen below $3,000. It is currently trading around $3,284.
US infrastructure bill approved
The $1trn infrastructure bill passed through the US Senate last Tuesday, meaning cryptoasset tax proceeds could soon help fund the US’ ambitious infrastructure requirements, with plans to raise $28bn in the next 10 years.
The bill contains new regulations for US-based crypto firms to extend the definitions of what defines a crypto ‘brokerage’ to include exchanges, which will set new higher level requirements for tax reporting of users. The bill is now set to head to the House of Representatives for further scrutiny.
Whilst rumours continue to persist about future regulation of the market, the Federal Reserve is still keen to foster faster payments by developing its own digital currency pegged to the US dollar, highlighting enthusiasm for digital payments.
Messi’s ground-breaking new contract leads way for further crypto exposure
Footballer Lionel Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain has caused ripples in the crypto world. Part of his salary will be paid in a type of cryptocurrency, in a move which could be followed by other clubs.
Messi will be rewarded with fan tokens, provided by Socios.com, allowing holders to vote on some decisions related to the club. Whilst these tend to be relatively minor issues, it hands power to holders to help drive the change they want to see.
For example, PSG has previously allowed fan token holders to choose motivational messages which go on the dressing room wall before key games, goal of the season, end of player season awards and receive personal video calls from star players.
Similar to other cryptoassets fan tokens can be sold or exchanged, allowing holders to release capital. However, much like other cryptoassets, price swings are common, leading some financial regulators to issue warnings to investors.
PSG’s scheme saw a surge in the days preceding the move, with trading volumes exceeding $1.2bn – demonstrating fans’ excitement about the signing.
AMC to accept payment in bitcoin
AMC, the US cinema chain that owns Odeon, has announced that by the end of the year it will allow customers to pay for film tickets and concessions in bitcoin.
Whilst it is unclear whether this will apply to Europe, AMC has apparently been exploring the technology and “how else AMC can participate in this new burgeoning cryptocurrency universe”.
AMC follows in the footsteps of Microsoft, Wikipedia and US mobile operator AT&T by accepting the world’s largest cryptoasset as payment. Shares jumped 6% following the announcement before falling back.
AMC has surged 1,500% this year following strong retail investor interest and its unwitting involvement in the Wall St Bets Reddit run.
$600m stolen…then returned in Poly Network hack
A bizarre chain of events has seen the biggest ever cryptoasset heist – before the funds were returned just a few days later.
The Poly Network saw $600m stolen after hackers exploited a vulnerability in its smart contract. The hackers were seemingly able to override the contract instructions for each of the three blockchains, before diverting the funds to three wallet addresses – which were later traced and published by the Poly Network.
But in under 48 hours the hackers started transferring assets back to the Network into a wallet which both parties controlled. Whilst there is a debate as to the motivation behind the attack (white hat hacking or pivoting due to difficulties laundering it), it rounds off a bizarre set of events which may prompt many blockchains to test their security levels in the coming days.
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