Happy Wednesday, y’all! We’re halfway through the week and it looks like the crypto market is leaning into its newfound momentum. The global crypto market cap has crossed the $2 trillion mark, heading towards the north.
Bitcoin ($BTC.X) rose by less than 1%, holding steady at $44,000. Ethereum ($ETH.X) appreciated more upside, adding 3% and trading at $3,240. Almost all the other major cryptocurrencies ended the day in the green.
Here’s to hoping this momentum can hold now and into the weekend. And, oh! Speaking of the weekend, the Super Bowl is expected to be something of a Crypto Bowl this year – read more about it below.
Here are today’s stories:
- Super bowl becomes a battleground for crypto firms
- Crypto 101: What is Decentraland?
- Polygon’s new funding shows that it isn’t becoming obsolete with the arrival of Eth2
Check how the major cryptocurrencies are performing:
|Binance Coin (BNB)||
This Sunday, millions of Americans will tune in to watch the Super Bowl – and that means lots of armchair analysis of every play by the Rams and Bengals. However, there’s also a fair likelihood that a keen eye will be talking about the strategies of… other players. Namely, the crypto players. A number of crypto firms have shelled out millions for their ad debut during Super Bowl LVI. The famous 30-second ads are worth $7 million this year.
For instance, FTX, which already has an outsized influence in the sports sphere, will give away thousands of dollars in Bitcoins through a Super Bowl commercial. Four contest winners will split a number of coins depending on when the ad appears in Eastern time. That means, if the ad comes at 10:45 EST, the exchange will give away 10.45 Bitcoin. The exchange has invested $21 million on multiple campaigns, per reports.
Crypto.com has also joined the race – albeit, they’re not presenting a new ad. The company has reportedly spent more than $65 million on an ad campaign starring actor Matt Damon that tells people, “Fortune favors the brave” in a commercial that compares crypto investing to space exploration.
During the match, crypto platform eToro will also air a national commercial. A teaser for the upcoming ad was shared on Twitter with the caption, “Investing will never be the same,” — suggesting that the company has something major to announce. The exchange has invested $25 million in the campaign.
The list doesn’t end here. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the largest U.S.-based exchange, Coinbase, will also advertise on TV, and Canadian exchange Bitbuy will air the ad during the Canada broadcast.
And here’s the funniest part: Binance has started a campaign to criticize peers who are running Super Bowl ads and hiring celebrities to promote cryptocurrencies. The largest crypto exchange said it would encourage people to educate themselves about crypto. The irony is that Binance’s new ads feature celebrities like Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler and Colombian singer J Balvin.
The marketers are clearly looking to capitalize on the buzz surrounding cryptocurrency. Moreover, the latest development highlights that the rivalry between the crypto companies has heated up, and they are in so much rush to go mainstream to show themselves to 100 million viewers.
What is Decentraland?
Do you remember The Sims – the life-simulation video game that was first released in 2000? Players could create virtual people called “Sims” and place them in houses. The world has changed a lot since then – and now blockchain-based games taking games like “The Sims” to the next level with cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and even virtual real estate.
One such virtual reality platform is Decentraland which is powered by blockchain technology, where you can buy, sell, and develop virtual plots of land. You can use the platform to create your own property, monetize it, and do so much more.
Decentraland is a lot like other virtual reality video games, but what makes it different is that it is fully decentralized. That means that unlike traditional social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, people are in control of their own content. People can interact in social VR environments with other users across the globe, and since it is fully decentralized and powered by blockchain, they can open virtual stores, casinos, music concerts, or anything else available in the real world.
Decentraland was founded by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano in 2015 and launched in 2017. As a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), Decentraland is owned by its users or token holders. The token holders vote on policies within its metaverse.
Decentaland lets you buy LAND, just like NFTs.
The system contains 90,601 virtual plots of LAND, which is in the form of an NFT. Therefore, trading LAND is an NFT transaction. The platform has three native tokens – 1) LAND is an ERC-721 token that represents digital land parcels; 2) Estate is an ERC-721 token that represents merged parcels of digital land; and, 3) MANA is an ERC-20 token that represents Decentraland’s cryptocurrency.
To purchase LAND, users are required to hold $MANA.X in their Ethereum Wallet. They can go to the marketplace – the one-stop shop for avatars, casinos, movie theatres, etc. By buying LAND, $MANA.X is destroyed or exchanged, and this creates a new entry in the registry. At the time of writing, one $MANA.X is trading at $3.3.
Once a plot of land is purchased, it can be used to build an entire virtual city, apartments, parks, or whatever the user desires. With Decentraland’s LAND Estates feature, users can buy multiple plots. This allows users with similar interests to form a community. Users can gain more control of the development of their districts through a voting system called Agora.
Decentraland is a primitive stage of the metaverse.
The popularity of Decentraland skyrocketed after Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta. The social media giant acknowledged the significance of the metaverse, which is the intersection of virtual and augmented reality, as well as online gaming and experiences. Decentraland claimed that it’s already a metaverse platform where users can buy and sell virtual properties, develop their land, and show off digital collectibles.
Last year, Metaverse Group, a subsidiary of Tokens.com, bought a plot of ‘land’ on Decentraland for USD 2.43 million. The purchase was described as a good example of what metaverse will look like in the future.
When Ethereum announced that its forthcoming Eth2 upgrade would arrive in 2022, the first thought was: What will happen to Polygon, the Layer 2 scaling solution that makes Ethereum transactions faster and cheaper? Is it going to be obsolete after Ethereum’s upgrade?
The simple answer is – no. The latest $450 million funding led by Sequoia Capital India to support the Polygon network’s web3 plans proves the point even more.
To understand how Polygon will remain relevant even after Ethereum 2.0 (or Eth2), let’s first look at how it works.
The Polygon network helps Ethereum’s network by providing an infrastructure that makes transactions cheaper and faster. It is one of a handful of so-called Layer-2 scaling solutions that helps Ethereum increase the number of transactions.
Now, with Eth2, the Ethereum network plans to shift away from proof-of-work (PoW), a system that uses computing power to verify transactions. Since PoW is really slow, the Ethereum developers want to replace it with “proof-of-stake” (PoS). (You can read more here about the difference between PoW and PoS.) Ethereum can only process about 30 transactions per second (TPS). When Eth2 is fully launched, Ethereum is expected to be able to process 100,000 transactions per second.
Although Eth2’s promise sounds exciting, the truth is that even after the upgrade, the Layer 2 scaling solutions like Polygon might be needed in order to address infinite scalability issues.
Ethereum is the largest blockchain network and home to thousands of tokens and decentralized apps. It will continue to grow in the coming years, and so will its scalability issues. While Eth2 will provide a long-term solution to ensure stability on the Ethereum network, Layer 2 scaling solutions might be needed to provide a short-term solution.
Moreover, Polygon announced it would focus on multiple technologies, including zero-knowledge rollups and optimistic rollups. The firm has already acquired two zk rollup startups that will help to enhance the performance of the Polygon network. Polygon’s co-founder Sandeep Nailwal believes that zero-knowledge will be the future of blockchain scaling.
Thus far, the network has processed 23 million blocks and 1.3 billion transactions. Many Ethereum ecosystem protocols such as Curve, Aave, Sushiswap, Uniswap, OpenSea, Decentraland, and The Sandbox have been deployed on Polygon. In other words, one cannot say that Ethereum is upgrading alone; its supporters are getting promoted as well.
Bullets For The Day
- DOJ Seizes $3.6 Billion: In the largest financial seizure in history, the U.S. has seized about $3.6 billion in Bitcoin stolen from Bitfinex during a 2016 hack of the Bitcoin exchange. Two people were detained earlier in the morning. Read more in Bloomberg.
- BlackRock plans to offer crypto trading: The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is getting ready to offer its investors a cryptocurrency trading service. The New York-based company is planning to enter the cryptocurrency space by offering ‘client support trading and then offering their own credit facility.’ Read more in CoinDesk.
- Dog enters the metaverse: Popular meme-coin Shiba Inu will soon enter the metaverse. The developers have said the protocol would soon offer plots of virtual lands in an upcoming project. Read more in Hypebeast.