Starting this week, I will try to analyze only crypto topics in Inanomo digests. There is a lot of information and I see how it becomes more and more every week.
If in October 2022 I sometimes thought that it might make sense to release every 2 weeks, then by the spring of 2023 I'm already starting to think about 2 per week!
Starting with this issue, I want to build each narrative around the main themes so that we can clearly trace the evolution in the rhetoric of elites and media personalities. And most importantly, be the first to find out what else developers of new technologies will please us with.
Introductory remarks are over - enjoy reading!
So, the other day, the bitcoin hashrate set a new record and for the first time exceeded 400 EH / s! A fantastic figure, in fact, especially for such a difficult period. Then, as we see on the chart, it fell sharply, but won back half of the fall. And I am sure that new heights are yet to come.
According to a study from Glassnode, there is a hyper-record growth of the BTC blockchain in Mb/day.
On average, this figure is 170 MB, and now it is about 300 MB. Experts attribute this anomaly to the launch of the Ordinals protocol, which I described in detail in the last issue.
In recent weeks, a very unexpected trend has emerged in the Bitcoin network - the constant and immutable writing of data directly into the Bitcoin blockchain. The data files that have been inscribed range from images to audio clips and even a version of the video game Doom.
For those who missed it, let me remind you that the NFT wave has reached the “grandfather”. The number of Bitcoin-NFTs from Ordinals has crossed the 100,000 milestone.
The appearance of Ordinals at the end of January was made possible thanks to the Taproot soft fork. The project uses satoshi numbering (serialization) to write data to the “witness” part of a bitcoin transaction. Arbitrary data in the form of pictures and other objects can take up space up to a limit of 4 MB.
It is important to note that, unlike traditional NFTs, these tokens do not rely on network interaction standards like the classic ERC-721, but are issued directly on the blockchain, which ensures that immutability.
Experts call bitcoin-NFT "digital artifacts" because the developers of smart contracts cannot change anything in them. However, I won’t say that this is a serious plus for interacting with them, but it will definitely resonate precisely as collectible items.
In turn, researchers from Matrixport remind that the concept of NFT on the BTC blockchain is not new - it was proposed by the developers of such protocols as Counterparty and Stacks.
Naturally, this led to a rapid increase in attention to projects and affected the price of their tokens.
It was the STX token from the Stacks Network project that became a major beneficiary of the launch of the Ordinals protocol on the BTC network. By the way, last week it became known that this protocol will be launched on Litecoin.
But back to Stacks. Over the past month, STX quotes have risen by more than 100%. The capitalization of the coin exceeded $1 billion!
Let me remind you that Blockstack is a second-tier network that offers smart contracts compatible with Bitcoin and uses the security of the blockchain of the first cryptocurrency to conduct transactions.
The platform allows users to participate in STX staking, receiving rewards in bitcoin. The sharp rise in popularity of bitcoin-NFT on the Ordinals protocol can bring the Stacks Network project to the level of an ecosystem with a multibillion-dollar capitalization, researchers from Matrixport admitted.
According to experts - Stacks is "well positioned" for the development of DeFi in the digital gold ecosystem.
By the way, about gold. Exactly 13 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto updated the BTC logo by embedding “₿” into a gold coin! And Deutsche Bank believes that BTC could potentially be the gold of the 21st century!
By the way, it is interesting that the report contains the following data:
“In one year, bitcoin consumes as much electricity as the entire population of Pakistan (about 217 million people)!”
Contrary to this information, Paraguay is fast becoming one of the largest mining hubs. There is so much cheap hydroelectric power that it was decided to direct its excess to the needs of miners.
But back to the German bankers. Comparing bitcoin to gold is not new and even smells a little “lame”, but this is where we move on to the next part of the digest.
The same “not involved in the FTX case” (😅) Henry Ginsler said in an interview with NYMAG that almost all types of cryptocurrency transactions already fall under the jurisdiction of the SEC (whose head he is), with the exception of spot (!) transactions in BTC.
The refrain is the words of Senator Lummis, which I have already quoted, that “more and more it looks like only BTC in the US will be considered a commodity, not a security.”
But this does not mean that bitcoin can sleep peacefully. It’s just that, unlike alts, he will fall under the supervision of the CFTC *, and not the SEC.
*The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is the central government agency of the United States of America that oversees the enforcement of the Commodity Exchange Act.
And here we return to Deutsche and his research:
“The trillion dollar market size of cryptocurrencies makes them too important to ignore.”
Marion Labour, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Research.
Not surprisingly, the IMF is terrified of the growth and adoption of the crypto industry, including in the traditional system.
He believes that the consequences for the global monetary system can be significant and is categorically against assigning crypto the status of a means of payment.
Moreover, according to Chainalysis, the volume of criminal transactions reached a record level of $20.6 billion last year.
Recently it became known that the IMF, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the BIS are preparing to publish a joint comprehensive cryptocurrency regulation policy. In my opinion, after almost 15 years, it's time to 😅
After all, according to the FDIC study, there are currently about 136 US banks actively involved in crypto. And that's just the States. And here we smoothly move on to the third part of the digest.
DZ BANK Group, the second largest banking group in Germany (just after Deutsche Bank), has added crypto to its asset management services.
Meanwhile, Alfa-Bank made a test placement of digital financial assets, which was the first issue for credit institutions secured only by monetary rights.
In turn, the Minister of Science and Technology of Zambia reports that the country is ready to introduce digital assets for payments.
By the way, the countries of the conditional 3rd world in terms of crypto and CFA are ahead of the rest. I talked about this a lot in several past issues, I advise you to refresh them in your memory.
The giants are not far behind. Mastercard has partnered with Web3 provider Immersve.
It will allow crypto-payments to be made in decentralized protocols and even in metaverses.
In the case of payment at physical outlets supported by MS, USDC will be converted to fiat.
A similar project was launched by Binance and credit card company Ingenico. The product processes crypto payments through Binance Pay.
Coinbase will add support for Euro Coin (from Circle) to the ETH network.
And Twitter has started testing adding functionality with its "Twitter Coins". So far, payments go through only the Stripe service, which is also described in detail in past issues.
I would like to note that many countries and companies are not only introducing crypto at the level of payments, but are also gradually introducing it at the level of education. Here are some good examples:
Binance will launch classes on cryptocurrencies, blockchain and Web3 at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. Interestingly, last week the Colombian court held the first trial in the metaverse.
JPMorgan will open a crypto lab in Athens.
And the mayor of Lugano, Switzerland reports that in March, a year after the large-scale crypto forum was held, a school program on cryptocurrencies and blockchain will be launched in Lugano.
Meanwhile, Tether CTO (who quietly minted another 1 billion coins) Paolo Ardoino supported the legalization of bitcoin by El Salvador. He also lamented that in Europe (with the exception of Switzerland and its “₿ Plan”) the attitude towards the first cryptocurrency is “not very promising”.
At the same time, in Venezuela, some companies use USDT to settle accounts with foreign customers and suppliers who are afraid to use traditional means of payment due to the risk of sanctions.
Interesting news from Israel. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange plans to allow crypto trading. At the same time, the country will begin to fine for storing cash at the request of the tax.
However, the hottest news, of course, from Hong Kong.
Crypto companies have begun to return to China in anticipation of the introduction of a new crypto regulation regime in Hong Kong.
As I noted earlier in previous issues, the Chinese authorities * intend to make the region their “cryptohub”.
*Let me remind you that Beijing began the fight against cryptocurrencies in the legendary year 2017 and banned their trading in 2021.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government has budgeted HKD50 million to accelerate the development of the Web3 ecosystem! And here we move on to the fourth, final part of the digest.
During the summit in Bali, one of the largest Chinese companies Huawei Cloud announced the launch of a new alliance with a focus on the metaverse and Web3.
As part of this alliance, the company has entered into partnerships with projects such as Deepbrain Chain, Polygon, Morpheus Labs, Numen and EDNS Domains.
Saudi Aramco is not far behind and also announces the beginning of the study of Web3 technologies.
Spotify is testing a new service called "token-enabled playlists" that allows owners to connect their crypto wallets to listen to music NFTs.
In the first phase, this option will only be available to Android users in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.
Lacoste has applied for trademarks related to crypto, metaverses.
In turn, the head of Playboy's Web3 segment, Liz Suman, as part of NFT Paris, said that the men's magazine plans to launch the MetaMansion virtual world by the end of this year.
Blackrock, well known to us from past releases, is launching a metaverse-focused ETF called the iShares Future Metaverse Tech and Communications ETF.
And as the European Commission gears up to regulate the metaverses, science fiction writer Neil Stevenson, who first used the term "metaverse" in Avalanche, has questioned the prospects of technology until humans choose to live in a digital world.
Will beer brewed in Nokia's industrial metaverse speed up the transition to the digital world? It’s hard to say yet, but the company itself decided to refresh its logo for the first time in 60 years. The new logo was presented in order to convey to the public that the company is engaged not only in phones, but also in other fashionable youth business technologies.
In the meantime, Solana has released its "crypto beer" that any company can get for free for their party, as long as it has something to do with Solana itself. And perhaps at the moment this is the only bright spot in a series of failures that befell the project last week.
In the real world, Solana is closing its stores in New York and Miami due to unpopularity among users. Only 500 to 1,000 people visited offline stores per week.
In the virtual reality, Solana's validators restarted the network twice due to an unknown error that caused a complete halt in economic activity on the blockchain. The problem occurred while updating the node software to a more recent version.
I want to end this episode on a positive note. It is up to you to decide how positive (or just comical) it is, but RMS Titanic and Artifact Labs are tokenizing artifacts from the sunken Titanic in the form of NFTs, which they will then sell to accredited investors.