First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Rally Stalls After US Central Bank Chair’s Comments; Ether Rises

Good morning. Here’s what’s happening this morning:

Market moves: Bitcoin dropped on U.S. Fed Chair Powell’s comment, while ether gained more market share.

Technician’s take: Support levels remain intact, which could establish a tight trading range between $55,000-$60,000 BTC into the Asian trading day.

Catch the latest episodes of CoinDesk TV for insightful interviews with crypto industry leaders and analysis.

Prices

Bitcoin (BTC): $57,157 -1.3%

Ether (ETH): $4,642 +4.4%

Markets

S&P 500: $4,567 -1.9%

Dow Jones Industrial Average: $34,483 -1.8%

Nasdaq: $15,537 -1.5%

Gold: $1,772 -.80%

Market moves

Bitcoin’s price sank after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned Tuesday that the risk of higher inflation has “increased,” signaling the central bank would consider fastening the reduction of its asset purchase policies that have boosted the markets for risky assets.

“A faster Fed taper and increased [interest] rate hike expectations was bad news for bitcoin,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign-exchange broker Oanda, wrote in a market commentary. “Bitcoin is trading more like a risky asset than an inflation hedge.”

On the other hand, ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ended Tuesday with its fourth straight day of gains, trading above $4,600, according to CoinDesk’s data.

“Ethereum is still the favorite crypto bet for most traders and seems like it will make another run towards $5000 once risk appetite returns,” Moya added.

Ether’s growing market dominance is also reflected on the ether-bitcoin (ETH/BTC) chart: The ETH/BTC daily chart on crypto exchange Binance was up by more than 5.2%, at the time of writing, according to TradingView.

ETH/BTC daily chart on Binance (TradingView)

Other layer 1 blockchain-associated tokens also posted gains on Tuesday, led by Terra blockchain’s LUNA token, which logged a new record high price.

Read More: UST Stablecoin Demand, DeFi Incentives Drive Terra’s LUNA to New All-Time High

Technician’s take

Bitcoin Declined Below $58K; Support Between $53K-$55K

Bitcoin four-hour price chart shows support/resistance levels (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Bitcoin (BTC) buyers failed to sustain Monday’s price bounce, although support around $53,000-$55,000 could stabilize the current pullback.

The cryptocurrency is down about 2% over the past 24 hours and is roughly flat over the past week.

The downward-sloping, 100-day moving average on the four-hour chart indicates a short-term downtrend. This means buyers have consistently taken some profit on rallies over the past month.

Recently, the $60,000 resistance level has been a key hurdle for buyers despite oversold readings on the charts. So far, support levels remain intact, which could establish a tight trading range between $55,000-$60,000 into the Asian trading day. BTC was trading around $57,800 at press time.

Important events

8:30 a.m. HKT/SGT (12:30 a.m. UTC): Jibun Bank Manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (Nov.)

8:30 a.m. HKT/SGT (12:30 a.m. UTC): Australia gross domestic product (Q3/YoY/QoQ)

9:45 a.m. HKT/SGT (1:45 a.m. UTC): Caixin China purchasing managers’ index (Nov.)

3 p.m. HKT/SGT (7 a.m. UTC): Germany retail sales (Oct. YoY/MoM)

CoinDesk TV

In case you missed it, here are the most recent episodes of “First Mover” on CoinDesk TV:

Jack Dorsey’s Plan After Resigning as Twitter CEO, Hedera Hashgraph CEO on Real-time Intercontinental Settlement Using Stablecoins

“First Mover” hosts spoke with Blockchain Association Executive Director Kristin Smith as her organization raised $4 million to expand its presence on Capitol Hill. WisdomTree Head of Digital Assets Jason Guthrie shared insights into crypto markets as bitcoin six-month “put-call skew” flipped bearish for the first time since May. Plus, Hedera Hashgraph co-founder and CEO Mance Harmon explained the new partnership with South Korea’s Shihan Bank and multinational Standard Bank on stablecoins.

Latest headlines

Borderless Capital Launches $500M Algorand-Focused Fund

Indian Finance Minister Says Monitoring Crypto Ads; Not Weighing Ban

A16z Leads $28M Round for Privacy Coin Iron Fish

Avalanche, Layer 1 Tokens Soared in November as Ethereum Fees Drove Competition

Kleiman v. Wright: Jury Deliberations Continue in Week 2

Longer reads

The Future of Money: A History: Accounting has defined civilization for centuries. And, now thanks to crypto, we’re going to see accounting 3.0. This essay is part of CoinDesk’s Future of Money Week.

Who Sets the Rules of Bitcoin as Nation-States and Corps Roll In: Can a small team of Core developers protect bitcoin’s integrity now it’s a matter of geopolitical relevance?

Today’s crypto explainer: Is Bitcoin Legal?

Source: Coin Desk

What Is CityCoins and How Does It Work?

CityCoins describes itself as an avenue for citizens to generate crypto-based revenue for themselves and the cities where they live. Think of it as a system that allows users to contribute crypto funds to their home city, or support other cities, in exchange for rewards.

Users of the CityCoins platform have already begun to issue tokens for a handful of major cities, designed to help improve the lives of people living in them. Interestingly, the project has opted to base its operation on a bitcoin-powered ecosystem such that users and cities can potentially earn bitcoin.

Miami and New York have emerged as the first two cities where CityCoins have been launched. There is also the opportunity for citizens to introduce CityCoins for their cities inside and beyond the borders of the United States of America.

How do CityCoins work?

How to create a CityCoin

At a glance, it might seem like the creation and management of CityCoins is carried out by the project’s team. However, the process is actually completely in the hands of individual users. The project simply provides the infrastructure to support each CityCoin’s deployment.

So how do you go about creating a CityCoin for your own City? It’s a four-part process. First off, the crypto community can vote on which city they’d like to launch a CityCoin for next by completing a survey on the website. Once a particular city is narrowed down, it’s important that the chosen city’s mayor supports the proposal and agrees to claim the city wallet (see below).

Then, anyone can initiate the deployment of a new CityCoin by launching a smart contract (a software program running on a blockchain that takes certain actions when predetermined conditions are met) on the Stacks mainnet, or live version.

To do this, you’ll need to:

  • Download the Stacks Web Wallet
  • Fund the wallet with STX tokens, available on leading centralized exchanges such as Binance, KuCoin, Crypto.com and OKEx
  • Head to the MineCityCoins website and connect your Stacks Web Wallet by clicking the top right-hand corner button
  • According to the official website documents, you’ll then need to “Submit the “register-user” transaction via the user interface, which records your Stacks address and optional memo on chain to signal activation of the CityCoin

Finally, a minimum of 20 individuals are then required to send an amount of STX – the native cryptocurrency of Stacks – to the newly created smart contract to activate the mining process. It’s worth noting, however, once a CityCoin smart contract is activated miners must wait 24 hours before being able to mine the newly created CityCoins.

What is Stacks?

Simply put, CityCoins uses a decentralized protocol powered by smart contracts to generate value for participants and their respective cities. The goal is to enable a system that will reward users’ efforts to keep the system afloat and, in the process, generate funds for developing selected cities. Unlike most crypto projects, CityCoins has opted for multiple token systems. This framework allows it to create a unique token for each supported city.

  • Note that smart contracts are programmable agreements deployed on the blockchain to eliminate counterparty risk. In other words, they will only finalize transactions or implement sets of commands when all the parties involved meet the conditions written into the smart contracts.

At this juncture, you may be wondering, how does CityCoins utilize smart contracts-enabled transactions on a bitcoin-based infrastructure, considering that the Bitcoin network does not support smart contracts? This is where a technology called “Stacks” enters the fray.

All of City Coins’ bitcoin-powered implementations exist thanks to Stacks, a blockchain infrastructure built on top of the Bitcoin network to enable smart contract applications. CityCoins can capitalize on smart contract technology and still utilize Bitcoin’s security fabric because it operates on Stacks blockchain, which is technically an extension of the Bitcoin blockchain that provides smart contract functionalities.

Notably, the entire CityCoin ecosystem relies on two core processes. The first is called mining, while the other is stacking.

How CityCoins mining works

CityCoins miners deposit STX into the CityCoins smart contract for a chance of earning CityCoins tokens – such as MiamiCoin or NYCCoin, for example. This process, known as bidding, takes place on the Stacks blockchain and involves a winning miner being selected and rewarded with CityCoins tokens each time a new block is discovered (approximately every 10 minutes, similar to Bitcoin’s block discovery time).

Note that the probability of emerging as a successful miner depends on the number of STX each miner bids (deposits into the smart contract) relative to the total amount deposited by competing miners.

For instance, if your share of the STX forwarded to CityCoins smart contract is 50%, you have a 50% chance of emerging as the miner eligible to claim the CityCoin token-denominated rewards allocated for that specific block. Miners can choose whether to bid for a single block, or up to 30 blocks at a time.

It’s important to note that depositing STX into a particular CityCoins smart contract is a one-way process. In other words, you permanently lose access to the STX tokens forwarded to the protocol’s smart contract, even if you emerge as a winning miner or not. Seventy percent of all STX tokens deposited into the smart contract is distributed among stackers, while the remaining 30% is sent to the city’s wallet.

It’s also worth noting, when mining is first activated for a new CityCoin 100% of STX tokens deposited into the mining smart contract are sent to the city’s wallet during the first reward cycle phase. Each cycle lasts 2,100 Stack blocks (approximately two weeks.)

In the event there aren’t any users stacking, all STX tokens are sent to the corresponding city’s wallet.

CityCoin mining rewards operate in a similar fashion to Bitcoin’s issuance schedule, where rewards are halved systematically every four years. During the first 10,000 blocks, winning miners receive 250,000 CityCoins per block. Rewards are then reduced to 100,000 coins per block for the next 200,000 Stacks blocks (approximately four years.) From there, rewards are halved every 210,000 blocks until Stack block 1,050,000 is reached, upon which a fixed amount of 3,125 CityCoins will be released per block in perpetuity.

Stacks issuance schedule (Stacks)

How CityCoins stacking works

Stacking is very similar to Ethereum staking and requires participants to lock up digital assets in a smart contract for a voluntary period to earn rewards. The only difference is that the earnings are denominated in a different cryptocurrency. When you stake ether – the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum – you earn more ether as a reward. In contrast, CityCoin holders stack their CityCoins tokens to earn STX. The STX they earn comes from the portion of STX tokens deposited by miners, as previously described.

At this early stage, you can only receive CityCoins like MiamiCoin through mining. However, there are plans to list these tokens on exchanges in the near future.

In addition to earning STX tokens, people who stack their CityCoins can also generate bitcoin – providing a dual yield on their assets.

Like the mining process defined above, stacking occurs via the Stacks blockchain protocol.

What is a city wallet?

Each city where CityCoins has been launched has a special wallet called a City Wallet. This effectively acts as the city’s crypto treasury and is where 30% of all miners’ STX bids are sent.

The mayors of these cities can claim the funds in the City Wallet at any time and use the capital generated by cashing out of the tokens to improve the lives of their constituents. Better still, they can further stack the STX tokens accrued in the City Wallet to earn bitcoin.

What is MiamiCoin and NYCCoin?

Already, two cities in the United States of America have started accruing STX in their respective city wallets. These cities are Miami and New York City. CityCoins users have issued native tokens for each city:

  • MiamiCoin ($MIA): MiamiCoin was launched in August 2021 as the first CityCoins token designed to reward miners and generate STX and bitcoin for holders. As its name implies, MiamiCoin provides an avenue for Miami citizens to support the development of their city and, in turn, receive rewards for their contributions. Hence, when a miner deposits STX to the MiamiCoin smart contract, the miner stand the chance of receiving MiamiCoins as rewards. More importantly, a portion of the deposit goes to Miami’s city wallet.

In just under three months since MiamiCoinCoin went live, the protocol’s contribution to the city has grown to $20 million worth of STX tokens. It is worth mentioning that the city’s leadership has since gained control over this wallet.

  • NewYorkCityCoin (NYCCoin): NYCCoin is another variant of the CityCoins tokens specially designed to promote an enabling crypto community in New York. On Nov. 10, 2021, the NYCCoin smart contract was deployed and citizens have already started mining and stacking the token for a chance to earn rewards. Like MiamiCoin, NYCCoin creates an avenue for users to contribute to the economic growth of the city of New York. Already, the mayor-elect of New York City, Eric Adams, has expressed his support for NYCCoin.

Upcoming CityCoins

Austin, Texas has been touted as the next frontier for CityCoins, with plans to launch AustinCoin ATX seemingly in its final stages. However, unlike MiamiCoin and NewYorkCoin, the mayor of Austin, Steve Adler, has yet to endorse the ATX token launch.

Source: Coin Desk

The Transhumanist Case for Crypto

If you want to live forever, you need a money fit for purpose. Bitcoin, for many, is the ticket. It’s the first, largest and most decentralized cryptocurrency. It’s widely adopted – from retail investors to pension funds to nation-states. It has a durable brand. There’s a case to be made that it’s the most recent “Lindy” invention, the idea that ancient phenomena are less perishable by virtue of being around the longest.

But who would want to live forever? As a historical fact, it turns out, many early adopters of cryptocurrency, that’s who! How fitting! Transhumanists, a broad category of people who want to improve the human condition – extending life or extinguishing death, spreading happiness and eradicating suffering through technology – looked at bitcoin as a powerful tool in their arsenal.

This article, part of CoinDesk’s Future of Money Week, is excerpted from The Node newsletter, CoinDesk’s daily roundup of blockchain and crypto news. You can subscribe to get the full newsletter here.

It’s not necessary to name names here, but many of crypto’s earliest advocates had ties to the transhumanist movement. Many influential “crypto natives” still do. There are many flavors of transhumanism: Posthuman, cyborgism, immoralism, biohackers, the singularity are all close cognates. The overriding idea is simply that individual human potential isn’t constrained by our bodies, our biology or even the evolutionary process of natural selection. There’s a pill for that!

Nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science – sometimes abbreviated NBIC – are at the frontier of scientific advancement, pushing the limits of what’s physically and mentally possible. One day, we might have brain-computer interfaces, blending artificial and natural intelligence, perfecting our memories and infinitely expanding the scope of our knowledge. We might have pills to induce a state of bliss. Who knows?

“The purely technical obstacles to transhumanism I’d say are diminishing,” David Pearce, co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association (WTA), now known as Humanity+, has said. He’s right, to an extent. Using a mix of technologies, human beings are already overcoming their natural limits. Death may be a condition for all living beings now, but maybe not for the creatures we may become – or create.

Already, there are several for-profit corporations and nonprofit organizations that freeze human cadavers, of once-living people who hope to rise again in the near future when science has found a solution for disease, depression and death. New York University scholar of digital culture Finn Brunton called these people “extropians,” and chronicled the associations between cryptogenics and crypto.

More from Future of Money Week:

7 Wild Scenarios for the Future of Money – Jeff Wilser

The Downside of Programmable Money – Marc Hochstein

Ethereum in 2022: What Is Money in the Metaverse? – Edward Oosterbaan

The Future of Money: A History – Dan Jeffries

Who Sets the Rules of Bitcoin as Nation-States and Corps Roll In – David Z. Morris

Not able to know the state of the world they’d be born into, the “temporarily” dead need money that could outlast banks and even governments. Many were of a libertarian bent and thought the U.S. dollar was due to collapse. But you don’t need to be a futurist to think bitcoin will persist as long as the internet does. Sufficiently decentralized, bitcoin isn’t a hedge against inflation but societal collapse (in theory).

All of this seems like a gamble. But stay with me, and hold the ethical phone.

Transhumanism – literally “beyond human” – is as focused on setting artificial limits around the human condition as it is about additive technologies. Pearce, for one, looks to genetics as the realm for creating perfect human subjects. He notes that when he founded the WTA, the human genome wasn’t even decoded. Every year since then we’ve learned more about the basic building blocks of life – and eventually will be able to arrange them how we please. And why wouldn’t we choose perfection?

The “morphological freedom” to design babies to have favorable traits – to be smarter, more athletic, more outgoing than their peers – means identifying and dismantling bad genes. It’s literally artificial selection. In a similar way, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto imposed an arbitrary limit around his monetary creation – 21 million BTC.

Some maximalists envision a world where all economic activity flows through the Bitcoin network, which would outcompete other currencies. Bitcoin has some advantages over the fiat system: It’s borderless, censorship-resistant and has settlement finality. It’s only grown in value since being released to the world. And, more importantly, it’s bigger than any government can control.

See also: The World Bitcoin Will Build | Cory Klippsten

In both instances of transhumanism and hyperbitcoinization, a tiny elite would rule. Bitcoin scarcity means that not everyone can share equally in the wealth, and its deflationary attributes reward the earliest adopters. Meanwhile, although Pearce and many transhumanists are broadly utilitarian and advocate for whatever would create the happiest humans (sometimes animals) in the future, he’s not a redistributionist.

In his book, “The Hedonistic Imperative,” Pearce argues that the world would be better if everyone was more like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, rich and blessed with good genes. Whatever Gates-like post-human comes next, which we will create using the most transformative technologies, would mean the rest of humanity is obsolete – unable to compete.

Not every bitcoiner is a transhumanist, and not every transhumanist is a eugenicist, but it’s worth looking at how the movements relate and speak to each other. One lesson from a decade of crypto innovation isn’t whether something is technologically possible – but whether there is the social and cultural will. What might be most Lindy of all is knowing that technology – always an extension of the self – may always escape our control.

Source: Coin Desk

Powell and Yellen Talk Stablecoins, Inflation and Debt

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

Download this episode

On today’s episode of “The Breakdown,” NLW follows up on Twitter’s leadership change, covering a new privacy policy that some are saying has big implications for the platform. He also looks at Sen. Sherrod Brown’s letter to stablecoin issuers from last week and discusses Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before the Senate today.

See also: Bitcoin Turns Lower as Fed Chair Suggests Inflation No Longer ‘Transitory’

“The Breakdown” is written, produced by and features Nathaniel Whittemore aka NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell, research by Scott Hill and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Dark Crazed Cap” by Isaac Joel. Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images News, modified by CoinDesk.

Source: Coin Desk

Market Wrap: Bitcoin Underperforms as Ether and Other Altcoins Rise

Bitcoin was roughly flat on Tuesday while alternative cryptocurrencies such as ether and Solana’s SOL token were up about 5% over the past 24 hours. LUNA, the native token of the Terra blockchain, rallied about 13% as traders chased incentive programs.

Overall, trading conditions were choppy across global markets after the U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggested that monetary policy could tighten faster than expected – potentially a negative for speculative assets, including cryptocurrencies and equities.

Despite short-term price swings, some analysts remain bullish on bitcoin.

Latest prices

  • Bitcoin (BTC): $57,622, -1.0%
  • Ether (ETH): $4,661, +5.4%
  • S&P 500: 4,567, -1.9%
  • Gold: $1,775, -0.5%
  • 10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.436%

“As BTC is looking good to close November below the expected target of $60,000, investors are optimistic that the cryptocurrency will repeat its historic trend of ending the year on a stellar bullish note,” Nikita Rudenia, co-founder of asset management firm 8848 Invest, wrote in an email to CoinDesk. Rudenia has a $70,000 BTC price target by the end of this year.

Other analysts pointed to bearish bitcoin options activity as a point of concern. “Puts are getting more expensive as market participants turn their focus towards hedging spot [positions] or speculating on further downside. In a recent tweet, Genesis Volatility themselves noted a large amount of short-term put purchases,” Delphi Digital wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

Bitcoin dominance falls

Bitcoin’s market capitalization relative to the total crypto market capitalization, or dominance ratio, has declined about 10% over the past two months to the lowest level since September. The decline in BTC’s dominance reflects the recent outperformance of alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins).

Some analysts view the rotation from bitcoin to altcoins as an indicator of greater appetite for risk among investors.

Bitcoin dominance ratio (CoinDesk, TradingView)

Ether outperforms

Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was approaching $4,800, near its all-time high, and was up about 5% over the past 24 hours. BTC was roughly flat over the same period. Technical indicators suggest further upside is likely for ether relative to bitcoin.

The chart below shows the ETH/BTC ratio, which is attempting to break above a five-month trading range. Two consecutive daily closes above 0.080 could yield further upside in ETH/BTC.

ETH/BTC ratio (Damanick Dantes/CoinDesk, TradingView)

Altcoin roundup

  • Grayscale launches new trust dedicated to Solana: Digital asset manager Grayscale Investments announced its newest investment vehicle will be passively invested in Solana, reported CoinDesk’s Jamie Crawley. This marks the firm’s 16th investment vehicle, following similar products that offer exposure to bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, litecoin and stellar lumens. SOL has enjoyed huge growth in 2021, increasing from around $1.50 at the start of the year to $214 as of Tuesday morning. Grayscale is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of CoinDesk.
  • November’s biggest gainer is Crypto.com’s CRO token: Crypto.com’s CRO token more than tripled in November after a slew of prominent advertising deals, which include buying the naming rights to the Staples Center, reported CoinDesk’s Lyllah Ledesma. The cryptocurrency exchange and credit-card issuer founded in 2016 now has a market cap of more than $17 billion, making it the top performer in November among digital assets with a market cap above $10 billion, according to Messari. As of Tuesday, the CRO price was around $0.70, up 226% on the month.
  • Cook Finance launches DeFi Index platform on Avalanche: Decentralized asset-management platform Cook Finance is bringing a suite of decentralized finance (DeFi) indexes to Avalanche. Similar to index products in traditional finance, Cook’s index products are composed of a list of tokens and track the performance of the underlying assets, making it easier for investors to buy a diversified allocation of cryptocurrencies in a single transaction. “We see this launch as providing an easy way for new users who want to get into DeFi indexes but were held back by high gas fees on Ethereum,” said Adrian Peng, CEO of Cook Finance.

Relevant news

Other markets

Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day higher.

Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):

  • Ethereum (ETH): +5.5%
  • Polkadot (DOT): + 4.9%

Notable losers:

  • The Graph (GRT): -4.7%
  • Filecoin (FIL): -2.9%

Source: Coin Desk

Five Things to Know About Twitter’s New CEO Parag Agrawal

Twitter’s co-founder and long-serving CEO, Jack Dorsey, handed the reins to former Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal on Monday. Here are five things to know about the new leader of one of the world’s biggest tech companies.

1. He is a leading force in Twitter’s decentralization projects.

Agrawal oversees Bluesky, Twitter’s project to create a decentralized protocol for social media, which started in 2019, according to The Verge. The project didn’t make noise until this year: In January, it released an ecosystem review of decentralized social media. In August, Agrawal tapped Jay Garber, a crypto developer who worked on Zcash, to lead the Bluesky team. Graber said Agrawal has been a “champion” of the team from the start.

The new CEO also led Twitter’s brand new crypto team, according to The Verge. In September, Twitter launched tipping in cryptocurrencies and verification of non-fungible tokens.

2. He led Twitter’s migration to cloud servers.

Twitter had been plagued by slow performance and difficulty in launching new features, in part because it ran all of its services and projects on its own servers. Agrawal compared Twitter’s tech to a “ball of hair” in a 2020 interview with The Information, a phrase he borrowed from Nick Tornow, a platform lead at the company.

As CTO, Agrawal spearheaded the platform’s migration to cloud servers. In 2018, Twitter migrated cold data storage and Hadoop clusters to Google Cloud. Two years later, Amazon Web Services announced it would be hosting Twitter’s timeline feature.

3. He is concerned about the ethics of tech.

In 2018, Agrawal was part of an effort to determine whether Twitter’s image cropping algorithm was racially discriminatory. During his tenure as CTO the company launched, in April, a responsible machine learning initiative. Agrawal explained his thoughts on Twitter’s responsibility for content moderation in an interview with MIT Technology review, saying that the company’s approach “is rooted in trying to avoid specific harm that misleading information can cause.”

4. He has risen quickly up Twitter’s ranks.

Agrawal started working at the company as an engineer in 2011 and became CTO in 2017. He was Twitter’s first distinguished engineer thanks to his work on revenue and consumer engineering, according to his bio on Twitter’s corporate website.

5. He doesn’t tweet much.

Agrawal is not a big tweeter. His timeline is filled mainly with retweets and comments on company policy.

Source: Coin Desk

Note to Brands: Crypto Isn’t Funny Money. It’s Community

In a mysterious message over Thanksgiving weekend, the Bored Ape Yacht Club tweeted out an image of a 3D-rendered shadowy Ape, wearing pink sunglasses and a green tracksuit. It was an Adidas track suit to be specific, with a BAYC logo on the left breast.

Another popular collection, PunksComic, whose derivative comic series that comes with fractional ownership rights to 16 CryptoPunks and whose initial non-fungible token (NFT) issue sells for over $27,000 at the time of this writing shared a similar image with one of their characters.

Sam Ewen, head of CoinDesk Studios, has spent over two decades in the technology, innovation and creativity marketing industry while working with many of the top brands in the world.

Another popular NFT collector/creator named GMoney also posted an image with his trademark silhouette wearing a hoodie and a crypto wallet address printed adjacent to the Adidas trefoil icon on the garment. All tweets had the simple text “/// 👀” next to them.

This all comes after a busy past few weeks for Adidas and its full-on jump into Web 3 with a land purchase/partnership in metaverse project The Sandbox and also announcing a collaboration with Coinbase with a simple tweet using the Web 3 crypto slang phrase, “Probably nothing.” Brands fail to understand that Web 3 is about community-based ecosystems, not just financial ones. And they are talking directly to the communities and influencers, not their wallets.

Read more: Facebook Steals Another Crypto Idea for Its Nonsensical Rebrand

When AMC cinemas announced that it was starting to accept crypto for ticket sales and concessions, with a specific shoutout to dogecoin holders that it is the next crypto on the list, it got some great press and some supportive comments. However, the movie theater chain seems to have done little to build a toolset to support crypto, nor does it seem to be an active participant in being part of the larger crypto conversation. AMC did it for the eyeballs.

It is not alone. Burger King offered a rewards contest to win either one of 20 bitcoin, one of 200 ether or 1 of 2 million dogecoin, but you needed a RobinHood account to claim the rewards (a marketing partnership at its purest), and it was not very decentralized. Even when Visa bought CryptoPunk 7610 for about $150,000 in August, it barely did much with it beyond a blog post and changing its public relations Twitter handle’s profile picture for one day to the punk avatar. With the CryptoPunk floor now at over $383,000, it may be one of the few brand moves where a marketing purchase gained value after launch.

What AMC, Visa, Burger King and many others (looking at you Arizona Iced Tea, Coca-Cola, Nissan) are missing is that the true value in crypto, and especially Web 3, isn’t in purchasing a funny type of money. It’s about the community itself.

Crypto enthusiasts have always wanted to get others into the ecosystem. In 2015, I gave my daughter and nephew paper wallets with $50 in BTC on them for a Christmas gift, less because I wanted them to trade it in for cash but because I wanted them to start to see how the foundational theories around money were changing and that they could be a part of the movement, too. Brands should be looking at participation in the communities as much as they want people to participate and engage with their brands.

Whether an owner of a Bored Ape, involved in a DeFi liquidity pool or a contributor to ConstitutionDAO, people want others to “ape-in” to the projects not just because it may pump their holdings, but because they get to spend time with a larger and larger group of like-minded collectors and investors and meet others who are “in the club.”

Spend time on Discord channels and users are talking about the project details. But many are also talking about where to vacation, what books to read, cars to check out and which shows they are watching. Just like anyone who has been holding bitcoin, ether or Cardano’s ADA for a few years, when you find your people you talk crypto. But you also talk about life just as much and how this movement is changing us as individuals and as a collective.

Read more: The Bored Ape Founders Haven’t Yet Joined the Yacht Club – Jeff Wilser

What mainstream brands are also not understanding is that the creators, influencers and entrepreneurs of the future are hanging out in these communities on Discord, Telegram, Twitter and other emerging Web 3 platforms. The more the brands engage these people now, the easier it will be to know them and work with them on future brand initiatives.

A few companies seem to be approaching it the right way.

Time Magazine has truly committed to its Web 3 initiative with an active Discord channel of over 8,000 subscribers, art drops with established and emerging artists, Twitter conversations and even a kids animated series based on an NFT artists’ collection. Anheuser-Busch seems to be taking the same route with its Discord server, having almost 5,500 users and a supposed Budweiser NFT drop to come soon.

Read more: Planet of the Bored Apes – Will Gottsegen

It’s a start, but just a start. These communities are full of smart, driven, generous people and ones that brands should authentically access and connect with now or pay exponentially later.

Back in 2016 when I owned a creative marketing agency, if I had told a brand that I could introduce it to a large group of hyperconnected people who are affluent, diverse, world travelers and who want nothing more than to align themselves with each other and the brands that support their ethos, lifestyle and journey with little more than a small financial investment and some spot-on community involvement, they all would have been ready to jump in.

Well, here they are and we are. Will brands take the plunge?

Source: Coin Desk

A16z Leads $28M Round for Privacy Coin Iron Fish

Iron Fish, a decentralized blockchain network that aims to create a cryptocurrency as private as cash, has raised $27.7 million in a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) ahead of the network’s Dec. 1 testnet launch.

“While a number of Web 3 teams are now building developer-oriented privacy tools for blockchains, there’s also a need for mainstream privacy solutions that are accessible for everyday users,” wrote a16z general partner Ali Yahya, deal analyst Elena Burger and crypto partner Guy Wuollet in a blog post. ”That’s why we’re thrilled to invest in Iron Fish, a decentralized blockchain network using zero-knowledge proofs to create a user-friendly, private cryptocurrency.”

Other investors in the round included Sequoia, Electric Capital, MetaStable, Arrington XRP, Terra co-founder Do Kwon, Thesis CEO Matt Luongo and Anchorage co-founder Nathan McCauley.

San Francisco-based Iron Fish launched its first testnet in April and says it has since attracted nearly 2,000 self-identified miners to its community. A testnet is an alternative blockchain used for experimentation and testing, while a mainnet is used for real transactions.

Read more: New Privacy Coin Iron Fish Launches Testnet With $5.3M in Funding

The company is now launching an incentivized testnet that will reward member participation with leadership points that will lead to future mainnet Iron Fish coins.

The Iron Fish roadmap starts with the proof-of-work blockchain with native cryptocurrency and will then extend to include more assets, stablecoins and cross-chain bridges, including layer 2 support.

“Iron Fish is working toward becoming a universal privacy layer for all chains, unlocking a critical need that has previously been missing in the Web 3 ecosystem,” wrote a16z in its blog post.

Iron Fish was founded in 2018 by Elena Nadolinski, a former software engineer at Microsoft and Airbnb.

Source: Coin Desk

A New Asset Class: NFTs Set to Take Off

The history of alternative assets goes something like this: Someone creates something useful and then people realize these can be invested. Commodity futures, for instance, were invented as a way for farmers to lock in prices ahead of a harvest; 70 years later, the global derivatives market is worth hundreds of trillions of dollars. Musicians’ royalties were initially just a legal way for performers to ensure they got paid whenever their recorded music was played; now investment funds like Hipgnosis buy these royalty streams for hundreds of millions of dollars.

This dynamic repeats itself over and over again, from baseball card collecting to sports betting. The latest alternative asset class to emerge is non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the wider GameFi ecosystem.

What perhaps makes the emergence of NFTs more profound than other alternative asset classes is the timing. The world is still gripped by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. A fourth wave of COVID is spreading around the world, bringing with it more economic disruption. Energy prices are spiraling and clogged up shipping is leading to an acute shortage of goods, all while companies report increasing rates of resignation and nobody to fill the subsequent vacancies. Interest rates are still at rock bottom despite galloping inflation.

In times of crisis, new asset classes emerge, forged on the anvil of necessity. Now, the nascent ecosystem around gaming NFTs is growing rapidly. What makes it so interesting is that it reflects the historical pattern of innovation-then-investment that leads to a new asset class. The innovation has come with the creation of blockchain-based gaming, with the play-to-earn model rapidly replacing the pay-to-play model. The gaming assets that then get created have a real and tangible value, despite only existing intangibly. Why? Because people want them to play games with.

Where are the games?

But something curious is also going on. While there are numerous blockchain and crypto game developers, very few of them actually have a game. X World Games (XWG) not only has a game out but has also made it available across platforms. Available on both web (blockchain) and mobile platforms, Dream Card is the first game that bridges Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. Moreover, Dream Card 1.0 and Dream Card 2.0 cover both player vs. player (PvP) and player vs. environment (PvE) modes as well as mobile and PC ends while remaining coherent with all in-game assets being transferrable. Dream Card is free to play, unlike other games that force a deposit of a rather large figure to join the fun. Players of Dream Card 2.0 play to earn, creating value in the process.

New ways of play-to-earn via NFTs

With its products already shaping up its metaverse and ecosystem, XWG’s user stats are soaring. It saw a 428% surge in active users after introducing NFT staking and is now one of the top 10 Binance Smart Chain (BSC) games according to data from DappRadar.

Dream Card 2.0 will feature 22 new Heroes in five roles, adding on top of the pre-existing 40 Heroes in Dream Card 1.0. Moreover, players will get to experience Dream Card 2.0 with enhanced gameplay and earning mechanisms: Players can now purchase NFT assets according to their preferences – could be a monster, a piece of land or even a set piece in the plot. Such purchases would in turn benefit players with lasting revenues generated by and in positive correlation with the game plots playing volume. On top of that, participating in each and every level of game plot will generate and reward the player a lottery ticket that’s designed for getting a chance to win their share at the Prize Pool.

Size and liquidity are important, as with any alternative asset class; the number of holders/buyers are always key factors for value.

As with any alternative asset class, it makes the most sense to own the infrastructure that supports it, as well as the assets – for example, commodity exchanges as well as the derivatives they host. XWG’s platform and its native token, along with the NFTs on its games, are the same: three different but complementary aspects of the whole ecosystem. Taken together they form the basis of a whole new asset class that’s bound to take off – again and always – first come, first served.

Source: Coin Desk

Bitcoin Declined Below $58K; Support Between $53K-$55K

Bitcoin (BTC) buyers failed to sustain Monday’s price bounce, although support around $53,000-$55,000 could stabilize the current pullback.

The cryptocurrency is down about 2% over the past 24 hours and is roughly flat over the past week.

The downward-sloping, 100-day moving average on the four-hour chart indicates a short-term downtrend. This means buyers have consistently taken some profit on rallies over the past month.

Recently, the $60,000 resistance level has been a key hurdle for buyers despite oversold readings on the charts. So far, support levels remain intact, which could establish a tight trading range between $55,000-$60,000 into the Asian trading day. BTC was trading around $57,800 at press time.

Source: Coin Desk