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The Death Cross Looms

Oh my, what a difficult start to the week! The crypto market continues its New Year slump, making it the worst annual start since the inception of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin ($BTC.X) has formed a death cross, meaning its average price over the last 50 days fell below that of its 200-day moving average. Technical analysts generally recognize this as a bearish signal. Consequently, there is the possibility that the largest cryptocurrency may fall as low as $35,000, according to some experts.

In today’s trading, $BTC.X declined 4.2% and touched $39,000. Ethereum ($ETH.X) fell below $3,000 following a 4% plunge. The prices of altcoins such as Solana ($SOL.X), Terra ($LUNA.X), Polkadot ($DOT.X), and Avalanche ($AVAX.X) have tumbled over 20% in the last seven days.

Despite the gloom in the air, we have some amazing stories to read today that reassure us that blockchain and crypto are the future and will not be affected by ups and downs:

  • PayPal reportedly confirms plans to explore the launch of a stablecoin
  • Congressional candidates issue non-fungible tokens as a means of raising campaign funds
  • In the bearish mood, some altcoins stand out as good investments
  • Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has become one of the richest people in the world

Check how the major cryptocurrencies are performing: 

Bitcoin (BTC)
$41,675.08
-1.28%
Ether (ETH)
$3,066.95
-3.56%
Binance Coin (BNB)
$423.49
-3.82%
Solana (SOL)
$135.24
-4.27%
Cardano (ADA)
$1.13
-4.56%
XRP (XRP)
$0.7346
-3.17%
Terra (LUNA)
$69.72
-7.00%
Polkadot (DOT)
$23.59
-4.56%
Avalanche (AVAX)
$84.12
-5.47%
Dogecoin (DOGE)
$0.1431
-5.44%

Stablecoins

PayPal Mulls Launching Its Own Stablecoin

American fintech giant PayPal Holdings is reportedly working on its own stablecoin. Bloomberg states that the company will build an in-house stablecoin called PayPal Coin. 

Stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that is backed by an existing fiat currency, commodity, or any other cryptocurrency. The development of an in-house stablecoin was first discovered in the source code of PayPal’s iPhone app by developer Steve Moser. The code suggests that such a coin would be backed by the U.S. dollar. 

Confirming the evidence, Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s senior vice president of crypto and digital currencies, told Bloomberg News: “We are exploring a stablecoin; if and when we seek to move forward, we will of course, work closely with relevant regulators.”

PayPal’s latest development is another proactive measure aimed at expanding crypto-related services. In late 2020, it began to facilitate the purchase of select cryptocurrencies. In March 2021, it introduced the “Checkout with Crypto” feature, which allows users to make purchases with their digital tokens. More recently, in September 2021, the company announced it would launch Bitcoin trading services in the United Kingdom.

The technology giant isn’t the first to experiment with stablecoin. Diem, a stablecoin created by Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook), is also in development. In the same vein, the Visa network is now accepting stablecoin $USD.X (which is backed by the U.S. dollar) for settlement.


Pure Politics

With Political Spotlight, Crypto Donations Become the New Cool

With midterms on the horizon, a number of political candidates are embracing the wild west of crypto to fill their coffers. A recent report by Bloomberg says that Democrat Shrina Kurani (running for a House seat in California) and Republican Blake Masters (running for Senate in Arizona), have both offered NFT incentives as incentives for donors.

Using a digital marketplace called SolSea, Kurani distributed NFTs to campaign donors for the first time in order to solicit support from a younger generation, just as Donald Trump raised millions by selling MAGA hats, per Bloomberg’s report.

Last month she tweeted: “When I talked about wanting to launch a NFT for my campaign, I got blank stares. Most folks in the political world had no idea what I was talking about or only knew crypto as something criminals were involved with. We’re bringing a fresh face to crypto.shrinakurani.solsea.io”.  

By the time the offer expired at the end of December, she had raised $6,610 and given out fewer than a dozen tokens.

On the other hand, Masters raised approximately $575,500 by offering donors tokens with cover art for a book on startups he wrote with billionaire and close Trump ally Peter Thiel, per Bloomberg

Despite the development, crypto is still a long way off from becoming a regular source of contributions. And ultimately, given the controversy around campaign financing, taking crypto donations might not be the first thing on every politician’s mind.

But more importantly, the point is that politicians are forming firmer positions about crypto.  Senators like Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have chosen not to embrace crypto because of its unregulated nature, saying that “DeFi is the most dangerous part of the crypto world.” However, some members of Congress like Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy) are actively accepting Bitcoin contributions and are actively involved in crafting pro-market regulations and guidelines for the industry.


One to Watch

You Might Want To Consider These Altcoins

Despite the continuous decline of the crypto market, some altcoins have stood out as good investments. Here are a few worth watching:

1. Near Protocol ($NEAR.X): Near Protocol was launched in April 2020 following token sales from Andreessen Horowitz and Pantera Capital. It’s a platform that claims to provide high-speed solutions to decentralized applications (dapps), was last month integrated with decentralized payments network Terra. With this new partnership, Near Protocol claims to provide the fastest solution to decentralized applications. 

As a result, its native token, $NEAR.X, soared over 20% at the beginning of this year and reached a new peak. Today, the token was traded at $14, with a double-digit gain, suggesting that bullish sentiment will continue.

2. Osmosis ($OSMO.X): Osmosis, a growing decentralized exchange (DEX) built on the Cosmos blockchain, was in green all day. This week, Osmosis reached $1 billion in total value, per DeFi Llama. The Cosmos-related projects are increasingly active, which may be why this is happening. Due to this, $OSMO.X is 15% up from the past week, hovering around $8. 

3. Internet Computer ($ICP.X): Internet Computer, a new cryptocurrency launched last year, has quickly risen in price over the past few weeks. The technology allows smart contracts, computation, and data to scale at web speed. It recently activated a new mechanism that serves as a bridge between chains. Through bridges, blockchains can exchange data, tokens, and smart contract instructions with each other. In response, the governance token ($ICP.X) shot up, trading at $34. This is an increase of over 20% from the previous week.


Crypto Rich

Binance CEO CZ is Worth $96B

Binance’s founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, is worth $96 billion, based on a new Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimate. The estimate doesn’t count his personal crypto holdings such as Bitcoin or Binance Coin. 

Bloomberg estimated Binance generated $20 billion in revenue last year through spot and derivatives exchange volumes and advertising fees. Zhao reportedly owns 90% of the firm, which means he might be the 11th richest person on Earth. 

Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, holds an estimated $45.8 billion worth of Bitcoin. However, most of this Bitcoin has laid dormant for over a decade. He is followed by 30-year-old Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, with $15.4 billion. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong comes next, with a net worth of $8.9 billion. On the list of the richest people, CZ is behind Elon Musk ($263 billion), Mark Zuckerberg ($124 billion), Warren Buffett ($116 billion), and others.

Binance, founded in 2017, has been pivotal to the global cryptocurrency boom of the past year. It saw a $7.7 trillion crypto exchange volume in 2021. However, Binance’s journey has been its own roller coaster ride. The company’s operations are under strict scrutiny around the globe and are not permitted to operate in many countries.

Despite the challenges, the exchange continued to move into the crypto space, and its most recent move is to open a virtual office in Metaverse. Read more about it here.