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Crypto Is Down, But Spirits Are High

Welcome to a new week, everyone. So far, it’s pretty much the same as last week. The crypto market is failing to recover, but there’s very little crypto joy as the sell-off looks to continue into the holiday season.

Bitcoin ($BTC.X) briefly spiked today, but it still remained depressed around $46,000. Ethereum ($ETH.X) dropped in double digits, falling 11% from last week. 

Other leading cryptocurrencies like Solana ($SOL.X) and Shiba Inu ($SHIB.X) also struggled to regain the momentum they experienced last month, which led them to new all-time highs.

In total, the global crypto market capitalization shrunk 7.4% today. It’s now coming back down to $2 trillion. However, even with this gloom, some analysts are banking on a comeback before the end of the year.

But with crypto assets more correlated with equities than they ever have been, the U.S.’s interest rate decisions could be pivotal events for price movements in cryptoland. Investors will be watching that on Wednesday.

Worrying doesn’t accomplish much, though. So in an effort to keep good spirits and retain high hopes (and valuations), let’s dive into today’s stories:

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club to launch Play-to-Earn NFT game
  • Robinhood partners with Chainalysis ahead of crypto wallet launch
  • WhatsApp launches cryptocurrency payments in the U.S.
  • A few altcoins are surging despite the gloomy time
  • Myanmar’s government in exile recognizes Tether as a national currency

Check how the major cryptocurrencies are performing: 

Bitcoin (BTC)
Ether (ETH) $3,791.00 -8.30%
Binance Coin (BNB)
Solana (SOL) $156.33 -10.03%
Cardano (ADA)
Polkadot (DOT)
Dogecoin (DOGE)  $0.1582 -6.94%
Terra (LUNA)
Avalanche (AVAX) $79.53 -9.72%

NFT Mania

The Gamification of NFTs is Here — Brought To You By Bored Apes 

One of the most well-known and expensive NFT collections, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10000 unique Bored Ape NFTs, is expanding into its own game. 

Yuga Labs, the Bored Ape Yacht Club creator, announced today that it would develop a play-to-earn game in partnership with Animoca Brands. Angola is the publisher of the upcoming metaverse game, The Sandbox. It has also invested in several crypto industry projects, including Axie Infinity and NBA Top Shot maker Dapper Labs.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is scheduled to launch in Q2 2022, but no other details have been announced. At this point, it is unclear whether the Bored Ape Yacht Club game will only be exclusive for NFT holders or if everyone will be able to play, possibly with benefits for NFT holders. 

While Bored Ape NFTs run on Ethereum, they did not announce which blockchain platform will be used for the game. Several Ethereum-based games, such as Axie Infinity, use layer-2 scaling solutions to reduce fees and increase transaction speed, which is cheaper and faster than the Ethereum blockchain network.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club has seen insane growth in the last eight months, with a number of celebrities joining, Adidas signing on, and virtual bands sprouting up from the BAYC community. The hype might seem dumb to some people, especially since we are talking about people buying tokens that signify ownership over an image of a digital ape. However, NFTs are in vogue. It’s hard to question why the demand is so great.

A whopping $10.7 billion trading volume in Q3 clearly demonstrates that NFTs are here to stay (at least until enough people get rugged or bored). However, even if you zoom out, NFTs remain just one application as part of the promise of web3, which is expected to change prevailing ideas on money, entertainment, and art.

Keep An Eye On It

Robinhood Partners With Chainalysis Before Crypto Wallet Launch

To protect the safety and privacy of customers, trading app Robinhood ($HOOD) will integrate analytics tools from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis during the rollout of its crypto wallet. 

The app will utilize two of the company’s core technologies:n Know Your Transaction (for monitoring compliance) and the Chainalysis Reactor (for investigations.) Know Your Transaction will identify money laundering or suspicious transactions, while Reactor will allow the brokerage to analyze transactions.

The move comes after the trading app experienced a large data breach, which saw 5 million customer emails stolen last month. To avoid the same mistake, and in the spirit of a “safety-first company,” the platform is taking precautionary steps before launching its much-anticipated crypto wallet. This comes at a time when regulatory compliance standards are becoming increasingly important as consumers gain access to cryptocurrency.

Robinhood still hasn’t set a release date for its crypto wallet app, but it claims that it has a waiting list of 1.6 million people signed up for its crypto wallet. It’s expected to debut in 2022. In October, the trading app released an alpha version of its wallet to select users.

Robinhood currently lets users trade traditional stocks and a number of cryptocurrencies on its app. However, users can’t store, withdraw or deposit crypto outside of the Robinhood platform. The Robinhood crypto wallet will allow customers to deposit and withdraw a wide variety of cryptocurrencies — including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. 

Robinhood has been on a rollercoaster ride since its IPO in July. $HOOD price hit $85 per share in August, but it’s currently trading below $20.

Crypto Payments

WhatsApp Adding Crypto Payments To Its Chat Experience

WhatsApp users in the U.S. can now use WhatsApp to send and receive money. The new feature is powered by Novi, Meta’s new digital wallet that was launched last month. 

Payments will be made using Pax Dollars (USDP), a U.S. Dollar stablecoin issued by Paxos. The token is also regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

According to Novi, sending a payment works much like sending photos on WhatsApp. The feature is accessed via the paper clip icon on Android or the + icon on iOS. Tap “Payment” to access it, and your money will be transferred instantly.

The company claims that there are no fees for sending or receiving money, no limits on how frequently payments can be sent, and no fees to keep a balance in your account or to withdraw it. 

In addition to making sending and receiving money easier for the common person, the new feature also puts Facebook (now Meta) closer to its ambitious digital currency project, which has seen many ups and downs over the past years, as it’s faced backlash from lawmakers and regulators worldwide. 

Additionally, executive departures have plagued the Digital Currency Project. Earlier this month, David Marcus, the executive who co-founded Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Diem, announced his departure. During the WhatsApp-Novi launch, Marcus seemed happy, and he said that it was “the best goodbye gift ever from the best team.”

One to Watch

Not Everything in Crypto is Doom & Gloom

While the crypto market isn’t in its best place, there is always hope in buying the dips? Here are a few we’ve been watching:

1)Revain: The Ethereum-based online review platform token soared 40% today.

Founded in 2018, the blockchain-based review platform consists of seven review sections: projects, exchanges, wallets, games, casinos, mining pools, and cards. In each review section, companies are ranked based on their user rating and the number of reviews. It aims to provide authentic customer feedback on all global blockchain products and services based on new emerging technologies.

An update on the platform could be responsible for the current surge. As part of the update, an author can now write ten reviews in a day with no limit on the number of reviews each author can write overall.

On the rise, $REV hovered around $0.01265279 today, but it is still miles away from the all-time high it set four years ago at $3.85.

2)SushiSwap: After witnessing the high-voltage drama surrounding the exodus of its Chief Technology Officer, decentralized exchange SushiSwap seeks to get back on its feet ASAP. To help shepherd them back, the Avalanche blockchain is leading this initiative with a developer’s proposal to incorporate SushiSwap under their umbrella.

Daniele Sestagalli, one of the top developers of the Avalanche network, has proposed to use Wonderland and Abracadabra projects to absorb SushiSwap into their ecosystem. 

The combined market capitalization of these projects is nearly $6 billion. If the Sushi community accepts the offer, Sestagalli will be added to the SUSHI crypto development team. 

Furthermore, this would also alter SushiSwap’s administrative structure. This proposal can be passed by the community since SushiSwap is decentralized.

Thanks to this news, the token ($SUSHI.X) jumped 10% today and 18% from a week ago. SUSHI transactions have increased 280% in the past 24 hours, indicating an insane surge in trading volume.

Pure Politics

Nobel Prize Winner Uses Crypto To Fight For Democracy In Myanmar 

Nobel peace prize laureate and icon of democracy, Aung Saan Suu Kyi, was sent back behind bars last week, but her pro-democracy movement continues in Myanmar. Her party, the National Unity Government (NUG), is now betting on crypto. The exiled government declared the United States dollar-based stablecoin Tether ($USDT.X) as an official currency for local use, instead of the Myanmar Kyat. 

Earlier this year, the European Union recognized NUG as the only legitimate representative of the country. However, the United States hasn’t recognized any regime in Myanmar.

Myanmar is going through a crisis on multiple fronts. The “Junta” (a local term for a committee of military leaders leading the government), which came to power earlier this year, has tightened control over the banks and internet. Due to this, the NUG has been facing donation issues and many Burmese citizens have been arrested in the past few months for donating to the NUG. Further, the Myanmar Kyat continues to lose value as the military continues to rule the country. Only in the last four weeks, the value of Myanmar’s fiat currency has fallen 60%. That is why NUG switched to using $USDT.X in the country where the military regime declared digital currencies illegal in 2020. NUG’s adoption of $USDT.X, therefore, is a sign of defiance. 

The primary reason why Kyi’s party chose $USDT.X as a legal tender is “to make easy and speed up the current trade, services, and payment systems,” per NUG’s Facebook post. 

One might question why the party selected $USDT.X, which has itself had a bumpy ride over two years. Despite that, crypto has emerged as a new tool for politicians across the globe. Whether a country is booming like the U.S. or experiencing a crisis like Myanmar, there is just no good way to separate politics from cryptocurrency anymore.