Bitcoin (BTC) managed to reverse its losses mid-week and gained 7% last week as the interest rate hike by US Federal Reserve has had a minimal effect on the market. BTC is currently trading near $41,700 with Ethereum (ETH) inching towards $3,000 with a 14% weekly gain.
The breakout story of the week belongs to ApeCoin (APE), the token that powers APE NFT ecosystem. The newly launched token is already amongst the top 40 cryptocurrencies by market cap after high volumes of trade in its first week.
We track this story and more themes playing out this week.
Understanding ApeCoin and the ecosystem
The APE ecosystem is a community consisting of Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), two of the most popular NFT collections on the Ethereum blockchain. ApeCoin (APE) is the native governance token that empowers the decentralized community of APE ecosystem. APE has been created as the primary token for all new products and services from Yuga Labs, the company behind NFT projects.
Since its launch in April 2021, BAYC has become the biggest brand in the NFT world with multi-million dollar sales and a growing list of celebrity owners including Serena Williams, Adam Draper, Eminem and Mark Cuban. The floor price to buy any of the 10,000 unique BAYC NFTs is currently set at 100 ETH (equivalent to Rs 2.2 crore). Yuga Labs has recently acquired two of the other biggest names in NFTs — CryptoPunks and Meebits — to expand its portfolio.
APE, with a current market cap of $3.6 billion, is available for trade in certain exchanges in India including Giottus.
Meta, AXP and HSBC expands metaverse
Meta, the parent company behind Facebook and Instagram, is reportedly working on bringing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to Instagram, according to its CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The feature is being speculated to have the option of minting NFTs through Instagram though the specifics of when the implementation will begin remains unaddressed. This decision comes in the wake of NFT support brought by other platforms like Twitter and Reddit.
After banking group JPMorgan and insurance broker IMA Financial Group set up shops in Decentraland, American Express (AXP) has sought a potential metaverse entry. The company has filed trademark applications for its logos and items including the Centurion black card and “Shop Small” program. AXP is also interested to indulge in virtual payments and business transactions for digital media and NFTs.
Leading global bank HSBC has officially announced that it will acquire a piece of virtual real estate in the Sandbox (SAND) metaverse as a part of the larger partnership with The Sandbox to engage with sports, esports and gaming fans. HSBC joins an array of big-name brands and companies that have partnered with the blockchain gaming firm, including Warner Music Group, Gucci and Adidas.
Microsoft backs ConsenSys
ConsenSys, the parent company behind the popular Metamask wallet, has raised $450 million in a series D funding round led by ParaFi capital valuing the company at $7 billion, doubling its worth since its last funding raise in November. New investors including Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Microsoft, Anthos Capital, Sound Ventures and C Ventures participated.
According to ConsenSys, the latest funding will be used to aid growth across the entire ConsenSys product suite and hopes to increase its team size from 700 to 1000 by the end of this year. The firm also plans to use some of the proceeds to roll out a plug-in extensibility system that will allow its products to integrate with a wide variety of protocols other than Ethereum.
Terra to buy BTC
Terra (LUNA), the seventh largest crypto asset by market capitalization, has been the talk of the town recently due to its impressive price action in the last 30 days despite weak performance over the past week. The co-founder of Terra Do Kwon has announced plans to add $10 billion worth of BTC to the project’s reserves soon and believes it will open a new monetary era of the Bitcoin standard. He also added that the reserve BTC would be used to backstop short-term redemptions of TerraUSD (UST), the US dollar value pegged stablecoin of Terra blockchain.
Terraform Labs (TFL) donated 12 million LUNA to the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) with an aim to keep the reserves growing in order to make it mathematically impossible for TerraUSD to undergo a depegging event (where UST loses its peg to the value of the US dollar).
Top Gainers This Week – (as of 8PM, Mar 19, 2022)
- THORChain (RUNE): 41%
- Aave (AAVE): 35%
- Mina (MINA): 30%
Top Losers This Week – (as of 8PM, Mar 19, 2022)
- Anchor Protocol (ANC): -14%
- Kadena (KDA): -8%
- Secret (SCRT): -4%
(Note: Analysis includes top 100 cryptocurrencies only. Source: Coinmarketcap)