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Bullish Despite Pullbacks

We’re halfway through the week and the crypto market is high on hopium despite the recent drop. #BuyTheDip is trending on Twitter, and popular crypto influencers like Carl Runefelt suggest taking advantage of the price drop.

$BTC.X fell below $60,000 today for the first time since mid-October but managed to recover a bit as the day wound down. Similarly, $ETH.X tumbled down to $4,000 but ended up crawling back to around $4,200. Despite that rebound, it is still 11% lower than the past week. Other major cryptocurrencies also suffered a massive market correction and ended in the red. 

On the brighter side of the market, crypto.com coin ($CRO.X) saw a sudden surge of over 25% today. We get into why below.

Hoping that the #BuyTheDip trend will propel the crypto market to a new high, here’s what’s making headlines today: 

  • A $700 million deal will transform Staples Center into Crypto.com Arena
  • Crypto yield products from BlockFi are on the SEC’s radar 
  • Crypto 101: What is DAO?
  • India could ban crypto transactions but allow holdings as assets

Check how the major cryptocurrencies are performing: 

Bitcoin (BTC)
$60,113.62
-0.79%
Ether (ETH) $4,226.78 -0.54%
Binance Coin (BNB)
$572.19
-3.03%
Solana (SOL) $217.05 -2.38%
Cardano (ADA)
$1.86
-1.84%
XRP (XRP)
$1.09
-0.80%
Polkadot (DOT)
$42.06
+1.85%
Dogecoin (DOGE)  $0.23 -1.38%
Shiba Inu (SHIB)
$0.00004777
-2.03%
Avalanche (AVAX) $106.83 +6.18%

Crypto Deal

The Staples Center Will Be Renamed Crypto.com Arena

Los Angeles’ Staples Center, home to teams like the Lakers and Clippers, will become Crypto.com Arena on Christmas Day. The name change is the largest naming rights deal in American sports history, with a price tag of  $700 million. For that steep sum, Crypto.com, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, will own the naming rights for the next 20 years! The announcement has caused the crypto.com coin ($CRO.X) price to spike by over 25%.

“If I had to pick one place to have naming rights, it would be Staples Center,” in the world’s cultural capital, said Kris Marszalek, crypto.com’s chief executive officer, in an interview with Bloomberg. “This is in line with our ambition to be a top brand in the coming years, next to Nike and Apple.”

The deal will become official on Christmas Day, which happens to be the date of the league’s highest-profile regular-season game, a nationally televised match between the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets at the newly christened L.A. arena. The new logo for the building will also be unveiled on the same day. 

Not everyone is happy with the move since the Staples Center has an incredible 22-year history, including two Stanley Cup championships and six NBA Finals victories. Clippers’ star forward Paul George told The Washington Post’s Ben Golliver: “I grew up with … Staples Center being the place to play & the place to be. It will definitely be weird. It’s the same location, but it’s kind of stripping the history here… Good thing we won’t be here too long.”

Despite the mixed reactions, sports are becoming more and more tied to the crypto world. American Airlines Group was replaced as the sponsor of the arena that houses the Miami Heat basketball team earlier this year by cryptocurrency exchange FTX Trading Ltd. Recently, the NBA partnered with Dapper Labs to launch the Top Shot trading card system, one of the first mainstream NFT apps. Some even argue that crypto and sports are made for each other.


Crypto Investigation

BlockFi Is In The Crosshairs With The SEC Over High-Yielding Crypto Accounts

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating cryptocurrency lending platform BlockFi over its high-yield, interest-bearing accounts, according to Bloomberg. The New Jersey-based firm allows users to earn yields as high as 9.5% on certain accounts. 

Compared to bank savings accounts, where a holder can earn 0.06% annually, this is much higher. However, these digital-asset savings accounts are not insured by the federal government. The reason BlockFi and other firms can pay high-interest rates is that they can charge institutional investors that want access to more coins.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the SEC is considering whether BlockFi accounts should be regulated like securities. Backed by Bain Capital and Tiger Global Management, BlockFi is valued at over $4 billion and has more than 500,000 retail accounts.

This is not the first time the crypto lending firm has been on the authorities’ radar. Agencies in five states — Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas, and Vermont — have also issued cease-and-desist orders, ordering BlockFi to stop issuing such high interest-bearing products. 

The action by the SEC follows the agency’s previous moves against Coinbase when the crypto exchange alleged that the SEC threatened to sue the company if it went ahead with its plan to pay users 4% for lending out their cryptocurrencies. Later, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange had to cancel its plan to launch the lending product.


Crypto 101

What’s a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)? 

You might have heard of ConstitutionDAO, a group raising millions to bid on a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution, which will come to auction tomorrow. We’ll be revisiting if their attempt was successful on Friday, and how did they raise all this money in the first place? Today, let’s start by getting to the bottom of just what DAO is:  

Imagine a company without a CEO, without a hierarchical structure, and without an office. Some people might suggest this is impossible, but blockchain maximalists are trying to change the balance of power by distributing control in a decentralized way. One way they can do that is through so-called Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

DAOs first surfaced in 2016 and have been used to establish a decentralized form of governance, which allows stakeholders (whether that’s people who hold coins, tokens, NFTs, or other assets) to voice their two cents and vote on proposals DAOs are like a direct democracy – where people can choose to propose ideas, which then can be voted on directly by other people. These ideas can range from creating or destroying new coins, to establishing new “laws” or “coded rules”, to making changes to a blockchain protocol or network. In short, the governance tokens represent voting power.

Why do we need DAOs? 

Think of a DAO as the antithesis of central authority and all its absolute power. It exists to give stakeholders direct power, and though some stakeholders might have more “power” (in the form of tokens, NFTs, etc) than others, all the players have to proceed democratically to pass proposals and make changes.

DAOs got their start in June 2016 with the launch of the Ethereum network. The original DAO existed to raise money through the sale of ether, which could then be used to fund the blockchain and developers initiatives. It raised $150 million from 11,000 investors. 

Unfortunately, the DAO was hacked three months after its launch and hackers made off with 3.6 million Ether. The hack was faulted on programming errors and attack vectors. 

In spite of controversy, the DAO ultimately rolled back the Ethereum network to a time before the DAO attack. This effectively gave everybody their money back, which was controversial because blockchains are not supposed to be this easily affected. This is the reason why Ethereum has two distinct blockchains: Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. 

The Future

Despite controversies, some analysts believe that DAOs are the future. One hypothetical example could be an Uber DAO. Imagine a group of developers creating a DAO where the cars are self-driving. This could mean that the entire DAO, and its constituent parts, could operate without human intervention. 

To do this, the creators set up a series of interconnected smart contracts written on an open blockchain like Ethereum. The series of smart contracts would set the rules for invoices and collect payment from the people who ride in the car. 

A DAO-based future doesn’t mean that humans will be completely useless. DAOs can have stakeholders that can set rules and vote on changes. These stakeholders own tokens, or stakes, in the company. 

Token-based DAOs are an essential component of decentralized finance (or DeFi) today. DAOs are already raising funds from the big tech and financial institutions, and it looks like this is just the beginning.


Crypto Regulations

India May Ban Crypto As a Form Of Payment, But Regulate It As An Asset

The Indian government is likely to ban the use of cryptocurrencies for transactions and payments but will recognize them as assets. The Economic Times reported that the Modi government will introduce a crypto regulation bill in the winter session of Parliament. The newspaper said the bill’s final details are being worked out, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Additionally, the government will ban “active solicitation” from crypto firms, including exchanges and platforms. That means that there will be a ban on advertising crypto and crypto products. In anticipation of regulatory clampdowns, cryptocurrency exchanges like WazirX and Bitbins have already stopped advertising

Some crypto lovers took a dig at the government’s approach, saying that the Modi government wants to build a “Digital India,” yet contradicts itself by planning to ban crypto, a highly-digital ecosystem.

Despite the Modi government’s love/hate relationship towards crypto, there won’t be a blanket ban on crypto. Instead, the bill will represent a middle ground, ET reported. A person familiar with the matter told the newspaper: “The overall view within the government is that the steps taken should be proactive, progressive, and forward-looking as it was an evolving technology.”

A meeting with crypto industry representatives was held earlier this week to discuss the steps needed to be taken in the coming days. There is a possibility that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), India’s financial watchdog, will be designated as the regulator, but that has yet to be confirmed, per the report.

India’s stand on crypto has always been confusing. For instance, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is currently experimenting with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), but RBI’s Governor Shaktikanta Das also believes blockchain technology can grow without cryptocurrencies.  Despite all the hurdles, India’s digital currency market reached $6.6 billion in May 2021, compared to $923 million in April 2020. Experts believe that the new bill will settle the dust, and favorable regulations will help the country grow in the crypto sector.