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Crypto Has Holiday Hangover

Happy New Year! Hope you had a wonderful holiday and are fully energized to embrace 2022. The crypto market, however, appears to be lagging behind. It kicked off the year on a rather bland note with all the major cryptocurrencies ending in the red. But hey, they’re still very high compared to this time last year.

Bitcoin ($BTC.X) fell 1% today, hovering at $46,000, down 10% from last week. Ethereum ($ETH.X) dropped 1% to $3,700. Terra ($LUNA.X) and Algorand ($ALGO.X) jumped a little but did not fully recover.

In the midst of a sluggish market, the good news is that the NFT marketplace OpenSea saw its best day of trading volume since August. Moreover, the bitcoin hashrate surpassed its peak – and that too on Bitcoin’s birthday. Read more about them below.  

Today’s stories do give us some hope the market will get energized as the year unfolds:

  • OpenSea sees its best day of trading volume since August
  • Samsung is putting NFTs in its smart TVs
  • The top tokens to watch in 2022
  • The Bitcoin hashrate reaches a new all-time high

Here’s how the major cryptocurrencies are performing:

Bitcoin (BTC)
Ether (ETH) $3,760.89 -1.64%
Binance Coin (BNB)
Solana (SOL) $170.57 -3.38%
Cardano (ADA)
Terra (LUNA)
Polkadot (DOT) $30.41 +1.42%
Avalanche (AVAX)
Dogecoin (DOGE) $0.1701 -2.49%

NFT Mania

The NFT Market Storms Strongly Into 2022

After insane growth and popularity in 2021, the NFT market is off to a great start this year. OpenSea, the biggest NFT marketplace, recorded more than $243 million worth of Ethereum trading volume, according to public blockchain data curated by Dune Analytics. As compared to $170 million on January 1, 2021, and $124 million on December 31, 2021, that’s quite a substantial jump. 

Yesterday’s record was the highest since the all-time record of nearly $323 million set in August 2021. Following August, NFT trading volume gradually decreased into the fall.

More than 90% of the market for NFT artwork and collectibles is currently on Ethereum. Dune Analytics data indicates that the demand for Polygon, a sidechain scaling solution for Ethereum that allows lower fees and faster transactions, is increasing. According to the data, Polygon NFT trading at OpenSea reached a record $76.1 million in December.

Along with the rise in trading volume, some NFTs also made headlines. On Saturday, a single Mega Mutant Serum NFT, which is used to create a Mutant Ape NFT from an original Bored Ape ($BAYC.NFT) – sold for 1,542 ETH ($5.66 million). Yesterday, XCOPY’s digital artwork titled “All Time High in the City” sold for 1,630 ETH, or nearly $6.2 million on the SuperRare marketplace.

As the NFT market gains traction and hits new records, it’s for sure that it’s far from slowing down in the near future, and we’ll probably see further variations and developments this year.

Keep Hashing

Bitcoin Hash Rate Taps a New Peak On Its Birthday

Bitcoin kicked off the new year with good news as the amount of computing power backing the network has reached its highest level ever. The network’s hashrate jumped to a new record of 203.5 exahashes (number of cryptographic hashes for blockchain validation) per second (EH/s) on Sunday, according to data from Bitinfocharts

Source: BitInfoCharts

Hashrate refers to how much computing power is being used by a network to process transactions. The higher the hashrate, the safer the network is since a successful attack requires more computing power.

The new peak coincides with a crucial day for the network – the 13th anniversary of Genesis Day. The first bitcoin block was mined on January 3rd, 2009, by the pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. This marked the beginning of the financial revolution we know today. 

The latest development is even more stunning when compared to July 2021, when the hashrate dropped to just 68 EH/s after China’s massive crackdown on the mining industry. After the big jolt, bitcoin mining operators relocated to other countries, including the U.S. and Kazakhstan.

Despite last year’s Chinese crypto crackdown, which took nearly half of the world’s miners offline overnight, Bitcoin mining has now fully recovered now. The rapid recovery showcases the strength and resilience of the robust network.

One to Watch

These Are The Tokens You Should Be Watching In 2022 

The crypto industry had a tremendous year in 2021, but 2022 is slated to be even better, given the excitement around NFTs and metaverses. In addition to the top five tokens of 2021 that we mentioned in our last newsletter, you may also consider placing your bets on these tokens in 2022:

1. Polkadot ($DOT.X): Polkadot blockchain network creates a cryptocurrency network by integrating different blockchain networks. The network launched its parachains last year that bring together different blockchain networks on a common platform. Gavin Wood, the co-founder of the Ethereum, Polkadot, and Kusama blockchain networks, hopes for more parachain networks to go live this year, kicking off the blockchain’s path to becoming an interoperable ecosystem.

Due to the advanced technology behind blockchain, $DOT.X has a lot of room to grow in 2022. With a 226% increase in price over the past year and a $30 billion market cap, $DOT.X is the tenth largest cryptocurrency by trading volume.

2. Terra ($LUNA.X): This blockchain-based stablecoin platform keeps a balance between two different types of cryptocurrencies. Stablecoins developed by Terra are algorithmic stablecoins, which means the protocol will achieve price stability using algorithms. 

With native token $LUNA.X, TerraUSD (UST) has a value of $1 USD and should remain stable. As soon as UST drops below US$1, $LUNA.X supplements the supply of UST to keep its peg to the dollar.

Last year, the blockchain launched its stablecoin TerraUSD (UST), which has now become the largest decentralized stablecoin.  

Terra’s adoption grows along with $LUNA.X’s value. The value of $LUNA.X has increased 13,642.08% to $90 in a year, demonstrating blockchain’s potential for growth in 2022.

3. Avalanche ($AVAX.X): Avalanche, a smart contract platform, uses bitcoin technology to power contracts and various other online transactions. This ‘Ethereum killer,’ was launched in 2020, but in a short span of time has partnered with some big names, such as Deloitte, Orange Comet (a premium NFT company), and broadened its horizon. 

As a result, the token $AVAX.X is among the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap with a market cap of $26 billion. Over the past year, the token has seen an increase of 3,085.19%, currently trading at $108.

4. Algorand ($ALGO.X): Algorand blockchain network is known for its transaction speed. The blockchain can already process more than 1,000 transactions per second – and finish them in less than five seconds. It will eventually be able to process 3,000 transactions per second and aims for more than 45,000 transactions per second. In comparison, Visa claims it can handle 24,000 transactions per second. 

The platform’s efficiency attracted more and more users and investors to Algorand. As a result, the native token $ALGO.X gained attention and surged 302.47% in the past year. With an $11 billion market cap,  the token is sitting at number 18 among the top cryptocurrencies by market cap.

5. The Sandbox ($SAND.X): Considering the hype surrounding metaverse projects, there’s no doubt that The Sandbox will have excellent potential next year. After successfully completing their first Alpha season, the team is now preparing for a second Alpha season.

The Sandbox is an Ethereum-based 3D Metaverse that lets users purchase land and monetize it. Its game-based features include quests, games, and challenges to earn rewards. $SAND.X, the native currency on the platform, soared 15,253.92% in the past year and is currently trading at $5.67.

NFT Mania

Samsung Capitalizes on NFT Hype Train

South Korean technology giant Samsung announced a line of smart TVs that would allow users to purchase non-fungible tokens into the platform. Samsung’s 2022 smart TVs such as Micro LED, Neo QLED, and The Frame will have an NFT Platform app that can be used for searching, buying and trading digital artwork.

“With demand for NFTs on the rise, the need for a solution to today’s fragmented viewing and purchasing landscape has never been greater,” the company said.

Moreover, the platform allows you to learn about NFTs and blockchain that power all crypto assets. The NFTs’ history and blockchain metadata will also be displayed when users search NFTs.

Samsung promised not to compromise the image quality of its smart TVs. Instead, it will stick to the NFT creator’s settings. The exact platforms or marketplaces that will be aggregated by NFT are unknown at this point. 

Samsung is no stranger to the NFT space. Samsung Next, the venture unit of the South Korean tech giant, has invested in several NFT startups, including Sky Mavis (Axie Infinity, $AXIE.NFT, creator), Dapper Labs, Forte, Nifty’s, The Sandbox, and SuperRare.

This is just the latest indication that giant companies want to get into the NFT business. It will be interesting to see if Samsung’s TVs follow the trend of 3D and get into the metaverse world.