crypto news

Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, BNB, XMR, ETC, MANA

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined for eight consecutive weeks, the first such losing streak since 1923. On May 20, the S&P 500 briefly fell into bear market territory, indicating that traders continue to sell risky assets in fear of a recession. 

Due to its tight correlation with US equities markets, Bitcoin (BTC) has remained under pressure for many weeks. The bulls are attempting to push Bitcoin higher during the weekend and avert an even longer losing streak.

Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360

Bitcoin’s performance in the first five months has been the worst since 2018, indicating that sellers are in control. However, after several weeks of weakness, the crypto markets may be on the cusp of a bear market rally.

What are the critical levels that may signal the start of a sustained recovery? Let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may outperform in the near term.

BTC/USDT

Bitcoin rebounded off the crucial support at $28,630 on May 20, indicating strong buying near this level. The bulls are attempting to push the price above the downtrend line, which could be the first indication that the selling pressure may be reducing.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Above the downtrend line, the BTC/USDT pair could rise to the 20-day exponential moving average ($31,887). The bears are likely to defend this level with vigor. If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, the bears will once again try to sink the pair below $28,630.

If they manage to do that, the pair could drop to $26,700. This is an important level to keep an eye on because a break and close below it could open the doors for a decline to $25,000 and then to $21,800.

Conversely, if buyers thrust the price above the 20-day EMA, the pair could attempt a rally to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level at $34,823. If this level is scaled, the pair could climb to the 50-day simple moving average ($37,289).

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows that the price is getting squeezed between the downtrend line and $28,630. The 20-EMA and the 50-SMA have flattened out and the relative strength index (RSI) is just above the midpoint suggesting a balance between supply and demand.

This balance could tilt in favor of buyers if they push and sustain the price above the downtrend line. If that happens, the pair could start its northward march toward the 200-SMA.

On the contrary, if the price turns down from the current level, the bears will attempt to sink the pair below $28,630 and gain the upper hand.

BNB/USDT

Binance Coin (BNB) recovered sharply from the critical support at $211 and has reached the overhead resistance at the 20-day EMA ($323). This is an important level for the bears to defend because a break and close above it could indicate that a bottom may be in place.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

Above the 20-day EMA, the BNB/USDT pair could rally to $350 and thereafter to the 50-day SMA ($376). This level could again act as a stiff hurdle but if bulls thrust the price above it, the pair could rally to the 200-day SMA ($451).

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down sharply from the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that bears have not yet given up and they continue to sell at higher levels. The pair could then drop toward $211. If the price rebounds off this level, the pair may consolidate between $211 and $320 for a few days.

BNB/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls are attempting to push the price above the overhead resistance at $320. If they succeed, the pair could rally toward $350. The bears are likely to defend this level aggressively. If the price turns down from $350, the pair could again drop to $320.

If the price rebounds off this level, the pair could remain range-bound between $320 and $350 for some time. The bullish momentum could pick up above the 200-SMA and the pair may rally to $380 and later to $400.

Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level, the pair could drop to $286 and then to $272.

XMR/USDT

Monero (XMR) dropped below the strong support at $134 on May 12 but the bears could not sustain the lower levels. This suggests aggressive buying on dips. The price has recovered sharply to the 20-day EMA ($179).

XMR/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If bulls push and sustain the price above the 20-day EMA, the XMR/USDT pair could rise to the overhead resistance zone between the 200-day SMA ($202) and the 50-day SMA ($212). The bears are expected to mount a strong defense in this zone

If the price turns down from this zone but bulls arrest the subsequent decline at the 20-day EMA, it will suggest a potential change in trend. Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level, the bears will try to pull the pair to $150 and thereafter to $134.

XMR/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The 4-hour chart shows the formation of higher lows and higher highs. The bears tried to pull the price below the 50-SMA but the bulls defended the level successfully. This suggests a change in sentiment from selling on rallies to buying on dips.

The pair could next rally to the 200-SMA where the bears may offer a strong resistance. If bulls overcome this barrier, the pair could rally to $225. Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down and breaks below the 50-SMA, the pair could slide to $150. A break below this level could challenge the strong support at $134

Related: Dollar Cost Averaging or Lump-sum: Which Bitcoin strategy works best regardless of price?

ETC/USDT

Ethereum Classic (ETC) dropped sharply from $52 on March 29 to $16 on May 12. The bulls are attempting to start a recovery which could face resistance at the 20-day EMA ($23).

ETC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, the bears will again attempt to resume the downtrend by pulling the ETC/USDT pair below the critical support at $16.

On the contrary, if buyers propel the price above the 20-day EMA, it will suggest the start of a stronger relief rally. The positive divergence on the RSI also points to the possibility of a recovery in the near term. The pair could then rise to the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $30 where the bears may mount a strong resistance.

ETC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The price has been trading between $19 and $23 for some time. This suggests that the bulls are attempting to form a higher low but the bears continue to pose a strong challenge at higher levels. The flattening 20-EMA and 50-SMA do not give a clear advantage either to bulls or bears.

If buyers drive the price above $23, it will suggest the start of a new up-move. The pair could first rally to the 200-SMA and then to $33. Alternatively, if the price turns down and plummets below $19, the bears will gain the upper hand. They will then attempt to sink the pair to $16.

MANA/USDT

Decentraland (MANA) turned down from the 20-day EMA ($1.24) on May 16 but a positive sign is that the bulls did not allow the price to sustain below the psychological level at $1.

MANA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The buyers will once again attempt to push the price above the 20-day EMA. If they succeed, the MANA/USDT pair could rally to the 50-day SMA ($1.72). The bears may again mount a stiff resistance at this level but if bulls clear this hurdle, the pair could start its northward march toward the 200-day SMA ($2.72).

Contrary to this assumption, if the price slips below $1, the bears will try to sink the pair to the crucial support at $0.60. A break and close below this level could start the next leg of the downtrend.

MANA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The pair is stuck between $0.97 and $1.36, indicating that bulls are buying the dips below $1 and the bears are selling on rallies. The 20-EMA and the 50-SMA have flattened out, indicating that the consolidation may continue for some more time.

If buyers propel the price above the 50-SMA, the pair could rise to the resistance of the range at $1.36. The bullish momentum could pick up if buyers overcome this barrier. Conversely, the bears could gain the upper hand if the price turns down and plummets below the support at $0.97.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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What is total value locked (TVL) in crypto and why does it matter?

In 2022, Ethereum appeared as the largest network by DeFi TVL, accounting for over half of the total DeFi volume worldwide.

To give some perspective, the Ethereum DeFi network includes just under 500 protocols. It has a TVL of approximately $73 billion, with 64% of the market share, compared with BNB Smart Chain, which is the second-highest TVL at $8.74 billion in value at 7.7% of the market share, Avalanche with $5.21 billion and 4.5% of the market share and Solana with $4.19 billion and 3.68% of the market share.

It’s very easy to read a TVL crypto chart. It represents the TVL for the entire DeFi market is expressed in USD, with the percentage of movement in the last 24 hours and the crypto with higher dominance.

The total value locked metric across all chains clearly indicates that Ethereum is the network with the highest TVL. In essence, TVL is an excellent indicator for the DeFi area of cryptocurrency and probably the most utilized to assess the health and growth of the market. While TVL growth signals a positive outlook for the market, however, its reliability must be taken prudently, as it is nearly impossible to interpret the indicator with precision. 

Market volatility is one of the main variants that can highly affect the value of locked assets, starting with the price of ETH, whose platform is where most assets sit. The considerable increase in the price value of ETH inevitably affected the TVL of DeFi from 2020, but that means the total value locked can increase without any new users or capital coming into DeFi.

Furthermore, because of the nature of DeFi services, money can easily move around and be counted multiple times, thus miscalculating protocols’ liquidity capacity. As with every indicator, TVL is only an estimate of the market’s condition and because of its flaws and approximation, it should not determine an investor’s strategy.

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Dollar Cost Averaging or Lump-sum: Which Bitcoin strategy works best regardless of price?

Bitcoin (BTC) has declined by more than 55% six months after it reached its record high of $69,000 in November 2021.

The massive drop has left investors in a predicament about whether they should buy BTC when it is cheaper, around $30,000, or wait for another market selloff.

This is primarily because interest rates are lower despite Federal Reserve’s recent 0.5% rate hike. Meanwhile, cash holdings among the global fund managers have surged by 6.1% to $83 billion, the highest since the 9/11 attacks. This suggests risk aversion among the biggest pension, insurance, asset, and hedge funds managers, the latest Bank of America data shows.

Many crypto analysts, including Carl B. Menger, see greater buying opportunities in the Bitcoin market as its price searches for a bottom.

But instead of suggesting a lump-sum investment (LSI), wherein investors throw down a huge sum to enter a market, there’s a seemingly safer alternative for the lay investor, called the «dollar cost averaging,» or DCA.

Bitcoin DCA strategy can beat 99.9% of all asset managers

The DCA strategy is when investors divide their cash holdings into twelve equal parts and buy Bitcoin with each part every month. In other words, investors purchase more BTC when its prices decline and less of the same asset when its prices rise.

The strategy has so far provided incredible results.

For instance, a dollar invested into Bitcoin every month after it topped out in December 2017—near $20,000—has given investors a cumulative return of $163, according to CryptoHead’s DCA calculator. That means a circa 200% profit from consistent investments.

Bitcoin DCA calculator. Source: CryptoHead

The Bitcoin DCA strategy also originates from an opinion that BTC’s long-term trend would always remain skewed to the upside. Menger claims that buying Bitcoin regularly for a certain dollar amount could have investors «beat 99.99% of all investment managers and firms on planet Earth.»

Cracks in the DCA strategy

Historical returns in traditional markets, however, do not support DCA as the best investment strategy. Instead, the LSI strategy proves to be better.

For instance, a study of 60/40 portfolios by Vanguard, which looked at every 12-month timeframe from 1926 until 2015, showed that all-at-once investments outperformed the DCA two-thirds of the time, averaging 2.4% on a calendar year basis.

Related: Bitcoin ends week ‘on the edge’ as S&P 500 officially enters bear market

This somewhat raises the possibility that Bitcoin, whose daily positive correlation with the benchmark S&P 500 index surged to 0.96 in May, would show similar results between its DCA and LSI strategies in the future.

Thus, investing regularly in Bitcoin with a fixed cash amount might not always give better profits than the all-in method.

BTC/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView

But what about combining both?

Larry Swedroe, chief research officer for Buckingham Wealth Partner, believes investors should invest with a «glass is half full» perspective, meaning a mix of LSI and DCA.

«Invest one-third of the investment immediately and invest the remainder one-third at a time during the next two months or next two quarters,» the analyst wrote on SeekingAlpha, adding:

«Invest one-quarter today and invest the remainder spread equally over the next three quarters. Invest one-sixth each month for six months or every other month.»

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Cointelegraph Store: Introducing Bitcoin Pizza Day merch for crypto OGs

Twelve years ago today, on May 22, 2010, programmer and early Bitcoin (BTC) miner Laszlo Hanyecz made history when he traded 10,000 BTC for two large pizzas. It was the first real-world cryptocurrency transaction, and media attention from the act legitimized Bitcoin in a big way.

Inspired by that delicious turning point in decentralized finance, the Cointelegraph Store has created a fresh new line of merchandise. And you won’t even have to tip your driver when it arrives.

Bitcoin Pizza apron

The Bitcoin Pizza Organic Cotton Apron will cook up a slice of fashion for the crypto chef in your life. Shield yourself against food mishaps, heat and more kitchen conundrums with this 100% organic cotton apron, complete with adjustable straps and a large front pocket with two compartments. 

The Cointelegraph unisize apron is available in three different colors navy, black and rope (shown below).


Bitcoin Pizza apparel

Whether you need to stay warm or keep it cool, the Cointelegraph Store has you covered. Choose between the brightly colored, unisex Bitcoin Pizza Tee, Bitcoin Pizza Tank Top or Bitcoin Pizza Hoodie. If pizza is just as great hot as it is cold, there’s no reason you can’t be too.

The Cointelegraph hoodies are available in Irish green and indigo blue options, tailored for all sizes.


Bitcoin Pizza accessories

Sometimes you just need some fun crypto flavor in your life. So, cozy up with the premium, linen-feel Bitcoin Pizza Pillow. Carryout is a breeze with the vibrant print of the Bitcoin Pizza Tote Bag. And never be without a beverage for your food with the Bitcoin Pizza Mug, which features a joyful pop of color on a classic ceramic coffee mug.

Celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day with the Bitcoin Pizza merch collection. Pick up some of this exclusive swag for you or anyone you know who might need a hot, fresh new look. The Cointelegraph Store is ready to take your order.

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Terra’s meltdown highlights benefits of CEX risk-management systems

The collapse of Terra’s ecosystem — namely, native coin LUNA and algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD (UST) — rocked the wider blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem. Not only did Terra-ecosystem tokens (such as Anchor’s ANC) collapse in value, but the widespread fear, uncertainty and doubt sent market-leading cryptocurrencies Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) below $27,000 and $1,800, respectively, on some exchanges.

As of the time that I’m writing this article, the cryptocurrency market still hasn’t recovered — even if Terra’s contagion has been mostly contained.

Related: What happened? Terra debacle exposes flaws plaguing the crypto industry

A huge blow to industry confidence

Crypto market participants — and especially those involved with LUNA and UST — were wiped out in the collapse of the two assets. For people who were staking the supposedly safe “stablecoin” tenuously pegged to the dollar to earn interest, the UST death spiral was absolutely brutal. Not just hedge funds, but regular individuals lost a lot of money. In some cases, they lost their life savings.

Unfortunately, most regular users (and even some of the hedge funds) were unaware of the risks involved with staking algorithmic stablecoins, despite a history of experimental failures on the algo-stable front and no successful implementations.


Regulators took the bait

Regulators were quick — almost too quick — to use Terra’s dramatic unwinding as an example of why stablecoin (and decentralized finance) regulation is required. United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was quick to mention the event in a Congressional hearing of the House Financial Services Committee on the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s Annual Report to Congress, where she requested lawmakers develop a “consistent federal framework” on stablecoins in an effort to address risks.

Related: DeFi: Who, what and how to regulate in a borderless, code-governed world?

Yellen’s comments are relatively tame when compared to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s, who has repeatedly lambasted decentralized finance (and, by and large, crypto) as an industry run by “shadowy super coders” and criminals. The lawmaker also recently wrote with Senator Tina Smith that “investing in cryptocurrencies is a risky and speculative gamble,” among other things. Reading between the lines, Terra’s collapse is throwing fuel on Congressional crypto critics’ fires.

The picture being painted by some lawmakers — and certainly not just by those in the U.S. — is that the crypto industry is a dangerous place for people to invest their money. They often cite a lack of regulations, user protections and risk-mitigation systems (when not busy falsely stating its primarily used by criminals).

However, this painting isn’t exactly a realistic one.

The role of CEXs in the risk management and user protection

The old “Wild West” days of the cryptocurrency industry are long-gone — at least, in the centralized exchange (CEX) space. Many advanced trading platforms with centralized order books do, in fact, provide safety nets and risk-mitigation measures with the sole purpose of protecting their users from severe market volatility.

As an example, in the wake of the crypto market collapse around LUNA and UST last week — which was devastating for so many crypto investors and traders — OKX stood out as cryptocurrency exchange that was able to protect its customers from the brutal effects of the meltdown.

I’ll explain how that worked — OKX’s risk-management system accomplished this by first noticing the price volatility of LUNA and sending an email alert to all investors who were staking UST on OKX Earn, the exchange’s crypto-earning aggregator platform that includes DeFi earning offerings. Over two phases, OKX released over 500 million UST belonging to over 9,000 investors. The price of UST during these two phases was $0.99 and $0.8. OKX also notified Earn users that their UST had been released from staking.

Related: Risk management in crypto: Aka ‘the art of not losing all your money’

Releasing/unlocking investors’ UST from being staked via OKX Earn gave investors a chance to avoid further loss on their UST, which failed to maintain its peg to the dollar.

Why risk management matters in crypto

The Terra collapse and wider effects on the cryptocurrency market demonstrate why crypto exchanges need advanced risk management systems — especially when providing access to decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols offering favorable yields. The response of OKX’s risk management system, which gave traders a chance to be protected by the effects triggered by the severe volatility in the markets, highlights the benefits of using a centralized exchange platform for “doing DeFi.” Instead of “going it alone,” so to speak, and staking on Anchor or other protocols, utilizing a CEX’s offerings may offer user protection and risk mitigation if and when things go wrong for the protocol in question.

Of course, there must be a balance between the founding values of crypto — independence, decentralization, freedom, “trustless” security — and risk mitigation for people and companies who want to invest in, earn or trade crypto. At the end of the day, we all want everyone to have safe and independent access to the ever-growing world of crypto. However, not everyone is ready (or even wants) to take on all the risks themselves.

Centralized exchanges still have a major role to play in facilitating safer access to decentralized finance through advanced risk-mitigation systems. As more and more new people enter the exciting world offered by blockchain technology, we can provide guidance, expertise and risk-mitigations to help ensure that — at the end of the day — they stick around.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Lennix Lai is the managing director of OKX. He leads the business strategy and operations for OKX, internationally. Before joining OKX, Lennix served at JP Morgan, AIG and Cash Financial Services Group. With 15 years of experience in the worlds of financial services and fintech, Lennix plays a key role in OKX’s transformation from a standard centralized exchange into the largest hub for DeFi services, nonfungible tokens and blockchain gaming — as well as crypto trading.

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6 Questions for Sonali Giovino of Defiyield

We ask the buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for their thoughts on the industry… and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!


This week, our 6 Questions go to Sonali Giovino, head of communications at Defiyield, a cross-chain asset management protocol that empowers users to be a part of the DeFi ecosystem.

 

Sonali Giovino has been working in the crypto space since 2017 when she began holding weekly educational workshops, which lead to public speaking events on cryptocurrency and blockchain and her production of Vancouver’s first Blockchain Yacht Cruise Conference. She brings 20+ years of experience as a technical communicator to her position at Defiyield, previously holding roles in marketing, project management, business development and event coordination. She is passionate about growing the DeFi community and introducing others to asset management and has emerged as a recognizable female thought leader in the tech space as a result. 


1 — What is the main hurdle to mass adoption of blockchain technology?

I think the main hurdle to mass adoption of blockchain technology is that there are still so many people who don’t understand what blockchain or DeFi is, how it works, and what benefits it can bring to our society. The more we can support the industry through education, the more widespread adoption can be. That’s one of the biggest reasons I got involved in the space and with Defiyield specifically as a main focus is consistently educating new and existing users. It is still early for blockchain, and I believe consistent, gradual growth over time will lead to a more rapid growth as people have a better understanding of the space. When the internet was first growing, only a few businesses and people were using it. Fast forward to the present and it’s rare to hear of someone who isn’t using the internet for work, play, everything. With each passing year, we are seeing new developments in the crypto and blockchain space, and now some governments are even building their own digital currencies. Despite hurdles, blockchain technology is the future.

2 — If you were investing in startup companies right now, what kind of blockchain-based business opportunity would catch your eye?

Projects that are able to integrate and offer a connected network of blockchain, protocol and investing opportunities consolidated into one place are definitely gaining a lot of attention. I would be drawn to projects that simplify the process for users. Some projects require users to bridge their networks and blockchains, but anything with one click or one move is the type of opportunity that would catch my eye. People want to invest in projects that can simplify action steps into one place. Easy, simple and less work so you can spend more energy on growing, learning and finding the best opportunities.

3 — What does decentralization mean to you, and why is it important?

Decentralization gives people more control, and it’s an important freedom to not have a single entity, like banks or governments, controlling your assets. If something goes wrong with the bank or an institution has a single point of failure, it could affect several other systems in the banking process. In decentralized systems, however, even if one node goes down or if there is a failure in the blockchain, there are several other nodes leaving the transaction safe and unaffected. Decentralization truly puts more control and power back into the people’s hands where it belongs.

4 — Which two superpowers would you most want to have, and how would you combine them for good… or evil?

If I could have any two superpowers, I would want to utilize teleportation and super-human strength. I would fly around the world and between the planets to explore the universe and all the mystical elements it has to offer. I’d be eager to learn from different civilizations, share knowledge, and maybe hang out with an alien or two. 

5 — Close your eyes and think of a happy place. What do you see?

When I close my eyes and think of a happy place, I see palm trees, ocean views and sunrises and sunsets that start and end my days. I am with family and friends, all engaging in meaningful conversations and enjoying memorable nights of laughter and joy. In my happy place, a beautiful white dog is running around the garden, and I see myself thinking out loud about all the items on my bucket list I’m excited to knock off for that month and the next. I see myself unfolding into all the beautiful things this world and the relationships I carry with it have to offer me in every moment.

6 — What is the book that influenced you the most? Why?

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav has influenced me the most because it speaks to me about ways to understand consciousness, breaking through inner patterns, and the differences between the personality and the soul. I love how the book speaks to understanding emotions and thoughts, and how it explains that everything is energy, which if misaligned, causes us to manifest or create misalignments in our personal reality. This book showed me that we have the power to make change in our lives. 

A wish for the young, ambitious blockchain community:

I wish the young, ambitious blockchain community nothing but success in learning, loving and growing within the space. The community has so much to offer and can be a place where anyone can feel confident in the control they have over their finances, assets, artwork, whatever blockchain-integrated area of life they enjoy. 

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NFTs: Empowering artists and charities to embrace the digital movement

Depending who you ask, NFTs are either a new and exciting way to invest, or a bearish, overhyped sector. Regardless, journalists, investors and collectors have paid significant attention to the growing NFT market in the past year. NFTs continue to be one of the most popular Web3 entry points, an opportunity for everyone from casual art fans to crypto billionaires to own a unique asset stored on the blockchain. 

As NFT visionaries have recently pointed out, NFTs also have the potential to be used for incredible causes beyond digital asset collection. In the past six months, communities have launched NFTs to raise support for causes like testicular cancer, human trafficking and the war in Ukraine. While many believe the NFT trend is finally on the path to sustainable growth, its potential as a tool for charities is poised to reach exciting new highs in the coming months.

This mission-driven innovation is not a new concept for the crypto and Web3 worlds. Metaverse worlds connect people that may have otherwise never met in the real world. Digital currencies and DeFi have created financial access and freedom for millions, if not billions, of people. In the closely related longevity space (the science behind healthier, longer human lives), research advancements are making it possible for people to live comfortably in their bodies for longer. The world we live in now is vastly different than it was even five years ago — and it isn’t stopping. The next element to be disrupted (or, in my view, upgraded) will be charitable giving through NFTs.

Related: NFT philanthropy demonstrates new ways of giving back

Showcasing your support

Back in the mid-2000s, we saw a trend where supporting your favorite causes became fashionable. Bright yellow Livestrong bracelets, WWF shirts and tote bags sporting charitable foundation logos became an easy way for people to show to the world that they cared about a certain cause. While bumper stickers and printed water bottles remain a common avenue for people to show off their philanthropic side today, there is a lack of high-quality, top-level rewards that offer the same visibility. When donors give to a charity, their contribution is typically only recognized with a “thank you” note and the opportunity to have their names listed on a commemorative plaque. This is definitive proof, but it lacks the engagement and community that people find inspiring.

NFTs linked to charitable giving are making showcasing charity support fashionable in the digital world. NFTs created by charities are not only developed with a cause in mind — they are also designed to be attractive and exciting. Buying a mission-driven NFT also gives one a beautiful piece of digital art to show to the world. With Instagram and Spotify moving to bring NFT functionality to their platforms, the future of NFT-driven donations looks like it will be increasingly social. There is the potential for communities already on these social platforms to rally around meaningful causes, as we saw happen with the Twitter community helping fund a member overwhelmed by high medical costs. The crypto community has proven itself to be a powerful force time and again, making me confident in a bright future for NFTs and charity.


NFTs benefit artists and foundations

While there is a lot of attention given to the latest celebrities joining the NFT craze and new drops with rare art, less explored is what purchasing an NFT actually means for a charitable organization. I’ve mentioned before that it is time for the philanthropic sector to embrace the crypto wave, as embracing digital currencies and technologies like NFTs can attract visionary investors keen on innovative ideas and new ways to look at the world.

When these visionaries, or anyone, purchases a purpose-driven NFT, they have the opportunity to uniquely showcase their support for a cause. It is also important not to overlook the artist in these conversations. Creators are using NFTs to redefine their relationships with supporters, including encouraging their fanbases to support causes they care about. There is a common misconception that purchasing NFTs is a new way for investors to spend money.

Mission-driven NFTs are challenging this narrative by showing the world that NFTs are a way to unite charitable giving and supporting artists. They are allowing organizations to benefit from new technology while still remaining true to their mission and values. I believe longevity is one field that will adopt this technology with ease. Longevity supporters are forward-thinking luminaries who also happen to be crypto enthusiasts — a perfect match for NFT-related giving. I expect we will see more on this very soon.

Related: While men wanted, women did: Empowering female creators with NFTs and crypto

A new approach to charitable giving

In general, the phrase “charitable giving” has had an element of “old-school” philanthropy. It reminds me of writing paper checks sent through the mail to your favorite 501(c)3. Of course, this still makes you feel good about supporting a cause, but it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of ongoing engagement. Building a community of innovation-focused and passionate supporters is an incredible way for charities to reach new audiences and achieve their fundraising goals. It will, however, take a shift in the way we think about giving to make this a reality.

In my opinion, the new charitable giving is crypto-native, social and decentralized. By accepting crypto donations directly, you can give to foundations directly, without having to cash out your crypto and be subject to tax responsibilities. The social element of giving will empower you to highlight the causes you care most about through your NFT collection. And it will be truly decentralized, which means that anyone, anywhere in the world can support meaningful causes. While donor recognition dinners may become a thing of the past, a virtual network of connected supporters with diverse backgrounds and perspectives offers an exciting alternative future. NFT-based utilities are also an incredibly powerful tool in helping communities track membership and reward contributions with perks and access to exclusive opportunities and services beyond the distribution of a digital image.

We’re living longer, and living in a more connected society than ever before. It follows that we should then be more supportive and philanthropy-minded — but, to do that, we need to bring charitable giving into the fold.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Garri Zmudze is a managing partner at LongeVC, a Switzerland and Cyprus-based venture capital firm accelerating innovative startups in biotech and longevity. He is a seasoned business expert and angel investor with several successful exits across biotech and tech companies. He is a long-time supporter and investor in biotech companies including Insilico Medicine, Deep Longevity and Basepaws.

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Bitcoin targets record 8th weekly red candle while BTC price limits weekend losses

Bitcoin (BTC) gave bears little joy over the weekend as the May 22 weekly close looked set to revolve around $30,000.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Waiting for Bitcoin to «make a decision»

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView followed BTC/USD as it held a narrow range after the Wall Street trading week.

With volatility absent, traders hoped for a move to larger areas of support or resistance next.

“Still wedged between the supply and demand zone .. Hoping for a break today so we have some juicy action to play with,” popular trader Crypto Tony summarized, noting upside and downside targets were around $27,900 and $31,000, respectively.

Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe meanwhile said that he expected “green numbers for Bitcoin” over the coming week.

Should it close at current levels of $30,000, meanwhile, BTC/USD would still seal a record eighth consecutive red candle on the weekly chart.

BTC/USD 1-week candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

The week of the World Economic Forum could likewise be overshadowed by external market turmoil, Cointelegraph noting that the S&P 500 had already lost 20% from its peak to enter official bear market territory.

Fellow popular Twitter account PlanC nonetheless noted that Bitcoin’s correlation to stocks had been decreasing compared to the previous months.

Bitcoin Pizza Day is here

Attention was more focused on a different price story on the day, however, as May 22 marked the infamous Bitcoin Pizza Day.

Related: Bitcoin Pizza Day rewind: A homage to weird and wonderful BTC purchases

On May 18, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, one of the earliest Bitcoin miners, purchased two pizzas for a total of 10,000 BTC, saying at the time that he could alternatively sell the stash for around $41.

Hanyecz’s move became legendary, with his original post advertising it on the Bitcointalk forum still live.

Then trading at under $0.0005 per coin, Bitcoin since appreciated by approximately 1.38 billion percent to reach its all-time highs of $69,000 eleven-and-a-half years later.

According to dedicated monitoring resource, the Bitcoin Pizza Index, Hanyecz’s purchase was worth $295 million as of May 22.

Bitcoin Pizza Index (screenshot). Source: Bitcoin Pizza Index

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Bitcoin Pizza Day rewind: A homage to weird and wonderful BTC purchases

Happy Bitcoin Pizza Day! Before you dial for a Margherita to commemorate the world’s first real-world Bitcoin transaction, here’s a slice of trivia:

What do a family holiday to Japan, a 50 Cent album, a steak dinner, and a framed cat photo all have in common? 

They were all paid for with Bitcoin (BTC) by members of the Cointelegraph Bitcoin community! And just like the Bitcoin pizzas that cost 10,000 BTC, which are now worth more than $300 million, the community’s Bitcoin purchases have also skyrocketed. 

Benjamin de Waal, the VP of Engineering at Bitcoin exchange Swan Bitcoin told Cointelegraph, “I spent 7 BTC on a family trip to Japan a few years back.” In today’s value, 7 BTC is worth well over $200,000 —  but Ben’s happy because his kids are happy:

“It would have been worth a lot more now; but I don’t regret it at all. A good childhood full of adventure, fun, and learning is priceless.”

Felix Crisan, the scammer vigilante, told Cointelegraph how he once spent 50 BTC (worth $1.5 million) developing a new software module for his company in 2015. Crisan added that in 2016:

“​​Let’s not forget some almost 1BTC ‘spent’ betting who the next US president’s going to be.” […] Of course, I didn’t win.”

That’s a $30,000 bet at BTC’s current market price.

Jeffrey Albus, Editor at Cointelegraph, shared that he splashed out on a steak dinner to demonstrate Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer capabilities «sometime in 2011 or early 2012.» 

«We paid 15 BTC — 12 for the meal, plus 3 BTC left as a tip (which the waitress probably threw away.)»

Worse still, the value of 15 BTC back over ten years ago was so small that it fell short of the total bill: Albus had to top it up with good old greenbacks. The value of the Bitcoiner-appropriate steak dinner is now worth shy of half a million dollars.

In a word to the wise, Julien Liniger, CEO of Swiss Bitcoin exchange Relai–and a Bitcoin maximalist through and through, told Cointelegraph that he “bought a bitcoin hoodie for 0.1 BTC back in the days, but that was the last thing” — a roughly $3,000 hoodie. He explained that “it then became too stupid of a thing to me to spend instead of stack sats.”

Meanwhile, the team at CoinCorner, the UK Bitcoin exchange behind the contactless Lightning Network payment card, shared a few stories. Danny Scott, the CEO, bought the 50 Cent album “Animal Ambition” with Bitcoin when the market price was around $600. 50 Cent famously “forgot” he accepted 700 BTC for the album — let’s hope Scott forgets the missed gains, too!

Molly Spiers, CoinCorner’s Head of Marketing, told Cointelegraph, “I bought a photo postcard of my cats […] for 0.009 BTC.” The $270 postcard was sadly not enough for Spiers to keep a hold of it; ‘I’ve lost them somewhere over the years — I’d have framed them with pride!”

Fortunately, there are “no regrets,” as it does “make for a good story.” Plus, she shared a picture of the cats:

Molly Spier’s cats. The photo postcard is sadly lost. Source : Molly Spiers

While “experimenting with Bitcoin as a currency,” Matthew Ward, CoinCorner’s software developer, told Cointelegraph that he “bought the game Cities Skylines back when it launched on Steam in March 2015 for 0.108 BTC.” You can be the judge of whether the graphics merit a $3,000 price tag:

Cities Skylines gameplay. Source: themacgames.net

Finally, Didi Taihuttu, known as the father of the Bitcoin Family and sometimes the Bitcoin tattoo guy, spent 2.75 BTC on a Bitcoin miner in 2014. Taihuttu told Cointelegraph that “the strangest part is that when BTC hit around $200, I gave up mining BTC and started to mine dogecoin (DOGE).” Had he held the BTC, he would have over $180,000.

Related: ​​Try topping this: PizzaDAO celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day with 100 parties worldwide

Taihuttu also shared that during his adventures as The Bitcoin Family, he’s parted with over 9 BTC ($270,000), which he describes as “losing 9 BTC but gaining an amazing adventure.”

And for those wondering what happened to the 10,000BTC Hanyecz spent on the pizzas, according to Cointelegraph research, 5% of the total landed in a very wealthy wallet, while “some of the funds were seemingly liquidated” on a failed crypto exchange.

The wealthy wallet that chowed down on some of Hanyecz’s BTC is in the top 15 richest wallets in Bitcoin, accumulating over 53,000 BTC. The total spent or sent from the wallet is 0 BTC: a certified Bitcoin hodler.

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Bitcoin stands apart from other crypto, and what that means for US public policy

United States President Joe Biden’s executive order on digital assets has kickstarted an interagency mission to support financial innovation while protecting American consumers and interests. While many industry leaders welcome the constructive tone, some critics hope for a crackdown. We don’t blame them.

Many cryptocurrency projects operate behind thin veils of decentralization. In public, they’re sold on the premise that they distribute power. Behind the curtains, leaders pull the strings. In the recent case of Wonderland, a serial scammer and felon directed a $1 billion treasury.

Many projects secretly pay influencers to shill their tokens. The price pumps. Insiders dump. Naive investors lose money. Sometimes, the shillers are celebrities. And, sometimes, those celebrities leak the surprisingly low cost of their integrity.

Related: Year of sponsorships: Celebrities who embraced crypto in 2021

Hundreds of projects suffer technical vulnerabilities. Seemingly every week, hackers exploit hidden software bugs. The third-largest ever occurred in early February, with $326 million — gone. And then in late March, another $600 million — poof.

Many cryptocurrencies are blatant scams — some, proudly pyramid-shaped. Market participants treat these as facts of life, with oft-used terms for exit scams (“rug pulls”) and pyramid-shaped projects (“Ponzis”).

To most, cryptocurrencies look the same, like tomatoes pasted in Aisle 9 — only tasteless, useless, and more numerous. The cynical see the menu of cryptocurrencies as a proxy most-wanted list. Neither group is entirely wrong.

Yet one item on the menu stands apart. It is arguably one of the more important technological advances since the internet, itself. Buy it or not, we don’t care. But we three professors do care to bring one simple message: Bitcoin (BTC) is special. It deserves study and discussion.

Let’s talk about Bitcoin

Bitcoin is genuinely decentralized. Tens of thousands run nodes all around the world. Operating a node is easy; you could do so within the hour with an internet-connected computer and a few hundred gigabytes of storage. In 2017, these nodes vetoed a controversial change to Bitcoin that would have upped the network’s centralization by making it harder for ordinary people to run a node. In doing so, they trumped a majority of Bitcoin miners, exchanges and other powerful legacy players.

Bitcoin’s decentralization makes it fair. No foundation enjoys a trademark or governs its monetary policy. This contrasts not only with more centralized cryptocurrencies but with the Federal Reserve, itself. In the past year, three Federal Reserve officials have resigned after a series of, let’s say, well-timed trades. Bitcoin has never had any officials resign in disgrace — it has no such officials. The network automates these jobs away.

Bitcoin’s decentralization also makes it secure. Most money is digital and sits under the thumb of third parties like banks and payment processors. But innocent Russian and Canadian citizens remind us that third parties can freeze and seize those balances, especially when subject to state pressure. Reliance on third parties jeopardizes funds. Bitcoin participants can hold their own private keys and thereby save and send value without third parties. Bitcoin is in a different league than other cryptocurrencies. In the digital age, Bitcoin’s unparalleled level of decentralization makes it the safe haven from state and corporate overreach.

Related: The meaningful shift from Bitcoin maximalism to Bitcoin realism

And unlike most other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin never had a private token sale to venture capitalists or an initial coin offering to enrich insiders. Bitcoin is the most widely distributed digital asset. In an important sense, it has no insiders — only early adopters.

The main early adopter, Satoshi Nakamoto, mined about a million Bitcoin (5% of the maximum supply). Satoshi’s holdings are fully visible, and Satoshi never spent a single dime. With most other cryptocurrencies, the rich get richer, sometimes in hidden ways, and have more say over the network. Not so with Bitcoin.

Whereas some projects move fast and break things, Bitcoin moves slowly but surely. Bugs are rare. Granted, this conservative approach has tradeoffs. Upgrades are as rare as bugs. And Bitcoin lacks the flexibility of other platforms. But in exchange, countries and corporations feel secure with Bitcoin on their balance sheets.

You may have heard of hacks and stolen Bitcoin. These cases don’t involve weaknesses in Bitcoin, itself. They illustrate instead the pitfalls of insecure key storage or relying on third-party custodians.

Related: Satoshi may have needed an alias, but can we say the same?

Finally, Bitcoin is no scam. It can certainly be used for scams — much like the U.S. dollar, or other digital assets. But the Bitcoin network offers final settlement of its native asset, much like the Federal Reserve System offers final settlement of the U.S. dollar. People do speculate wildly on the Bitcoin price. Such is the way for early stages of innovation. And people worldwide need it even as privileged Westerners speculate.

Bitcoin’s design involves tradeoffs, to be sure. Its public ledger makes privacy difficult, though not impossible. It requires energy for its security. And its fixed supply engenders price volatility. But for all that, Bitcoin has become something remarkable: a neutral monetary system beyond the control of autocrats. Ideologues will balk as they seek that perfect — but perfectly elusive — monetary system. Wise and pragmatic policymakers, by contrast, will instead seek to use Bitcoin to improve the world.

Here’s what that means for public policy

First, we must not assume that cryptocurrencies share more in common than they, in fact, do. Bitcoin leads them all precisely because no one leads it. The policy must begin here from a place of understanding — not of cryptocurrency, in general, but of Bitcoin, in particular. As President Biden’s executive order conveys, digital assets are here to stay. The general category isn’t going anywhere precisely because Bitcoin, itself, isn’t going anywhere. We owe it special attention. Not Bitcoin only, but Bitcoin first.

Second, Bitcoin is credibly neutral since the network remains leaderless. Consequently, the U.S. can use and support Bitcoin without “picking winners and losers.” Bitcoin has, in fact, already won as a globally neutral monetary network. Nurturing the Bitcoin network, using Bitcoin as a reserve asset, or making payments over Bitcoin would be analogous to deploying gold within the monetary system — only digital, more portable, more divisible, and easier to audit and verify.

We commend President Biden for recognizing that digital assets deserve attention. We’ll need all hands on deck — from computer scientists, economists, philosophers, lawyers, political scientists, and more — to spur innovation and nurture what’s already here.

This article was co-authored by Andrew M. Bailey, Bradley Rettler and Craig Warmke.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Andrew M. Bailey, Bradley Rettler and Craig Warmke are fellows with the Bitcoin Policy Institute and the Resistance Money Bitcoin research collective and teach, respectively, at Yale-NUS College, the University of Wyoming and Northern Illinois University. Warmke is also a writer for Atomic.Finance.

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The truth behind the misconceptions holding liquid staking back

Blockchains have relied on proof-of-work (PoW) validation since their inception. Yet the PoW consensus proved to be unsustainable with its high energy usage and its need for fast, powerful hardware creating high barriers to entry. That’s why blockchains are adopting proof-of-stake consensus algorithms (PoS), where those wanting to earn rewards don’t have to compete against other miners, but can simply stake part of their crypto for a chance to be chosen to be a validator — and reap the returns.

Everyone who owns crypto on PoS blockchains must want to take advantage of the opportunities staking provides, right? Actually, according to our report, while 56% of those surveyed had staked before, many who hadn’t staked or wouldn’t stake again pointed toward the same hesitation: They don’t want their assets locked up in staking, not when those assets could be put to use elsewhere. This is why liquid staking provides the best of both worlds. It allows investors to stake their assets while also allowing them to use those assets in other projects during lock-up.

Despite the fact that this innovation is able to lower barriers to staking, there’s still confusion about what liquid staking is and what it can offer to the crypto community. What follows are some of the misconceptions about liquid staking and what the truth is about this new opportunity.

Related: The many layers of crypto staking in the DeFi ecosystem

What is liquid staking?

Staking is changing the way blockchains function. It brings better energy efficiency to blockchain validation, more flexibility to the hardware needed and quicker transaction frequency. But despite its benefits, one of its biggest challenges — and what’s holding many back from staking — is the lock-up period. Assets are inaccessible to the holder while being staked, and those owners can’t do anything with them — like invest in decentralized finance (DeFi) — while they’re being staked. It’s because of this sacrifice that many are hesitant to stake.

However, liquid staking solves this issue. Liquid staking protocols allow holders of staked assets to get liquidity in the form of a derivative token that they can then use in DeFi — all while the staked assets continue to earn rewards. It’s a way to maximize earning potential while having the best of both worlds.

PoS is also swiftly rising in popularity. PoS protocols account for over half of crypto’s total market cap, a total of $594 billion. The opportunities will only increase as Ethereum moves fully to PoS in the coming months. However, only 24% of the total market capitalization of staking platforms is locked in staking — meaning there are many who can stake but aren’t doing so.

Related: The pros and cons of staking cryptocurrency

Four misconceptions of liquid staking

Despite the benefits of liquid staking, there’s still confusion about how it functions. Here are four common misconceptions, and how you should be thinking about liquid staking instead.

Misconception 1: Only one player or protocol will exist. One of the misconceptions about liquid staking is that only one player will exist through which investors can gain liquidity. It may seem that way since it’s still so early in the liquid staking space, but in the future, multiple liquid staking protocols will coexist. There may also be no capping to the number of liquid staking protocols that can coexist, either. In fact, the more the number of protocols, the better it is for the network, as it can reduce instances of stake centralization and fears of a single point of failure.

Misconception 2: It’s only limited to liquidity. Liquid staking isn’t just a way to get liquidity. While liquid staking does help PoS networks acquire staked capital that secures the network, it is not just limited to that. It’s also a way to get composability because you can use your derivative in multiple places, which you can’t do with an exchange. The synthetic derivatives that are issued as part of liquid staking and used in supported DeFi protocols for generating more yield actually help in constructing monetary building blocks across the ecosystem.

Misconception 3: Liquid staking is solved at the protocol level. People think liquid staking will be solved at the protocol level itself. But liquid staking isn’t just about enabling functionality at a protocol level. It’s about coordinating with other protocols, bringing more use cases, more features and more usability. A liquid staking protocol is solely focused on developing the architecture that will facilitate the creation of synthetic derivatives and ensuring that there are DeFi protocols with which those derivatives can be integrated.

Misconception 4: Liquid staking defeats the purpose of staking overall. Some say liquid staking defeats the purpose of staking or locking up assets, but we’ve seen that’s not true. Liquid staking not only increases network security but also helps achieve a crucial objective of the PoS network, which is staking. If there is a solution that issues derivatives for staked capital within the network, then not only is the staked capital ensuring that the PoS network is secure, but it is also creating an enhanced experience for the user by enabling capital efficiency.

The future of PoS

Liquid staking not only solves a problem for crypto enthusiasts who want to stake by issuing tokens they can use in DeFi while their assets are staked. An increase in those staking their assets — which is made easier by making liquid staking available — actually makes the blockchain more secure. By learning the truth about common misconceptions, investors will enable staking to truly become an innovative new way for blockchains to achieve consensus.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Mohak Agarwal is the CEO of ClayStack. He is a serial entrepreneur and investor on a mission to unlock the liquidity of staked assets.

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Why is Ethereum used for NFTs?

When choosing any blockchain for minting NFTs, such as Ethereum for NFT development, ensure the robustness of its smart contracts, check the blockchain’s fee structure, security measures and transaction speed, and assess the possibility of forking.

In the cryptocurrency market, NFTs are a significant niche. They provide further exposure to cryptocurrencies for people who might not otherwise have come into contact with these assets. In addition, they actively contribute to the mass adoption of blockchain technology because they are so closely linked to digital art and gaming.

However, the resilience of a blockchain’s smart contracts is a major component of the overall security of distributed ledger technology. Smart contracts must go through extensive testing to provide the highest level of reliability and efficiency, ensuring minimal risk of downtime, breaches and hacks.

Additionally, cost-effective solutions are required for NFT-based transactions, which is critical for using and adopting nonfungible assets. As a result, the cost structure for NFTs on the blockchain is an important factor to consider, with feeless being the ideal option.

Hard forks can jeopardize nonfungible features, as duplicating NFTs calls their integrity into question. Therefore, it is critical to design NFTs and their marketplaces on fork-resistant blockchains.

Similarly, as blockchains are immutable by design, faster finality means attackers have fewer time frames in which to compromise the digital ledgers. Therefore, any platform that achieves faster transaction finality while maintaining decentralization is ideal for creating NFT marketplaces.

Other than these considerations, the final selection of blockchain for NFT development depends on your goals, like why you want to own NFTs, your budget and your investment objectives. If you are clear on the questions, you need to do your research and compare various NFT blockchains before spending your hard-earned money.

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Crypto gaming and the monkey run: How we should build the future of GameFi

You’ve seen it before. An amazingly talented gaming founder teams up with a top-tier studio, promising to create a wondrous game experience built on the industry’s most powerful engines. But then, it happens: It’s paired with a dubious shitcoin that launches well before even a morsel of game content drops.

In the not-so-distant past, mainstream media may have referred to the hype-fueled crypto bull market — but, with Bored Ape floor prices still in the clouds, we’ll respectfully call it what it is: the monkey run. Market volatility aside, Metaverse evangelists still claim that Web3 finance will revolutionize the way that games monetize. I call BS.

The focus right now is not on new monetization models. The only thing these token raises are challenging is the idea of capital formation — not monetization. However tempting, the monkey run has quickly deluded some of our brightest founders into believing that they should raise a nonsensically large amount of capital from tokens printed out of thin air, as a faulty substitute for a real monetization strategy.

We’re ready for a change of mindset. The critical question is this: how can we make the hyper-capitalized, hyper-hyped Web3 Metaverse project work — for gamers, for founders, and for investors?

Related: Blockchain games take on the mainstream

Path #1: Shilling is thrilling

Everyone does well in a monkey run, financially speaking. From major smart contract platforms to experimental DeFi protocols to the next Axie Infinity copycat, the monkey market beautifully substantiates the notion that there actually are no shitcoins — only shit prices.

For a clearer picture, journey with me through the deal pipeline into the heart of crypto venture capital, where shiny new metaverse and gaming projects relentlessly flood inboxes. Links to cinematic trailers, Unreal Engine mockups, and convoluted “token economics diagrams” abound, parroting their demands to raise millions on simple agreements for future tokens to adequately prepare their token launch(es) and initial decentralized exchange offering.

The game’s launch date, you ask? Maybe it’s a “mini-game” planned for Q3, or a massive triple-A launch in mid-2023. What about the kind of utilities the token will have on day one? Well, you can stake them for more tokens, and they might even give you access to the game’s first NFT sale. Sometimes they even advertise a utility-less utility token and a governance-less governance token — justifying their existences because the big daddy exchanges agreed to list them in just a few months.

This might read like an exaggeration, and I wish it were. However, these are the most troubling realities facing the current landscape of token launches in the middle of a bull — excuse me, a monkey market. They capture short-term enthusiasm without a sustainable plan for future-building. These pitches capture a moment — but not the right perspective and business model required for the future of gaming.

Related: Metaverse-as-a-service will be the basis of the next internet era of Web3

Path #2: Building to last

The GameFi token landscape is incredibly fragmented. While early liquidity is tempting, a premature token launch has serious risks. The balancing act of creating sticky tokenomics and successful game design actually offers a narrower focus for project tokens: user engagement and retention, not pure monetization.

The final optimization problem? Maximize additional user retention and engagement per project token emitted, subject to some level of existing Web3 revenues and user community.

You do not immediately need your own project token to monetize your application. Tokens are simply forms of exchange for the assets that your virtual world generates and sells. If your Web3 game can’t operate on an already liquid, volatile token or, worse, a well-pegged stable, then your game is in trouble. Try again!

Instead, raise enough private capital to comfortably get through beta launch. In beta, work with your smart contract platform of choice to integrate its native token and your stablecoin of choice into your game. Begin to observe your core game loops and key revenue streams.

Think of yourself as a data scientist! Is there user behavior you know is defensibly fun but still underperforms? Is it such a valuable loop that perhaps a subsidy can kickstart things? Is currency volatility something your users avoid? Where are your most engaged users coming from? How many are underpaid laborers in developing countries? How many are prosumers looking for the next hip social hangout? How many are whales driving auctions through the roof?

Ultimately, you must design your token to incentivize users to stay in your world. For instance, just like with foreign currencies, you could offer a discount to consumption when paid for in your own project token — but you price your digital goods in USD. You could also utilize the layered-risk treasury strategy, whereby you accept USD (and equivalents), the L1 or L2 of your choice, and your project token. This ensures that you have a large, existing audience immediately equipped to engage with your world. It also helps safeguard you during crypto and macro downturns, and the excess can be used to reward investors and users without exerting sell pressure on your token — among other massive benefits.

Related: How blockchain games create entire economies on top of their gameplay: Report

The most important thing you can do as a gaming founder in Web3 is to stay focused on improving your game. Tokens cannot make your game — but they can break it.

The right priorities for a sustainable GameFi future

The unique value of gaming and metaverse applications is not the token they circulate. Project value is created by revenues which, in the long run, spawn from unique, in-game digital assets. When these NFT-based assets are owned, experienced and understood by a community, value builds and builds — otherwise stated, the community’s unwillingness to sell increases.

I’m excited for the day when this model becomes the status quo — because it means we’ll be closer to the best Web3 games we’ve ever seen. Instead of the market rewarding short-term bag grabs, we’ll see superior gameplay and tokenomics wrapped into one gaming ecosystem built for the long term.

Engagement, retention, then monetization. Optimize for those things, in that order. Choose the right path.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Alex Ye leads Republic Crypto’s early-stage research, investments, and token economics strategy — helping secure and advance cutting-edge projects for Republic Crypto’s advisory portfolio. Before Republic Crypto, Alex drove fintech and blockchain investments at ZZ Capital, crypto fund research at $7 billion venture fund Top Tier Capital Partners, and at the endowment of the University of Chicago, his alma mater.

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Do Kwon faces legal trouble in South Korea, China remains Bitcoin mining powerhouse, and Ethereum 2.0 eyes ‘huge testing milestone’: Hodler’s Digest, May 15-21

Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.

Top Stories This Week

Court documents reveal Do Kwon dissolved Terraform Labs Korea days before LUNA crash

Terraform Labs co-founder dissolved two of the entity’s locations in South Korea, as well as Terraform Labs Korea, just prior to the LUNA and UST collapse, according to legal documents. Although the decision to dissolve the offices was made during an April 30 shareholder meeting, the timing raised eyebrows within the cryptocurrency community. 

As one might expect, the aftermath of Terra’s implosion continued to reverberate across the market this week. South Korea’s government is looking into the situation and Do Kwon himself could be summoned to a parliamentary hearing.

Huge testing milestone for Ethereum: Ropsten testnet Merge set for June 8

In the first half of June, Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet merge is scheduled to commence. Put simply, the event will simulate the Ethereum proof-of-work (PoW) mainnet and Ethereum proof-of-stake (PoS) Beacon Chain merge.

“Ropsten testnet is getting merged on June 8!” said Prysmatic Labs Ethereum core developer Preston Van Loon. “Merging Ropsten is a huge testing milestone towards Ethereum’s mainnet merge later this year.”

Further reporting indicates an August target for the actual merge.

China returns as 2nd top Bitcoin mining hub despite the crypto ban

Although China banned crypto in 2021, the country still accounts for about 21% of Bitcoin’s mining power as of January 2022, according to data from the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI). 

Back in 2019, China held over 75% of the world’s Bitcoin hash rate. Although 21% is a step down from its former glory, the number puts China in second place in terms of BTC’s global hash rate, with the United States in first. The CBECI also included data on other countries, revealing that the states of Kentucky, Georgia and Texas currently lead BTC hash rate production in the U.S.

Crypto giants co-launch Chainabuse platform to water down rising scams

The crypto community now has a free platform for raising awareness about scams and other nefarious activity, thanks to combined efforts from Circle, Aave, TRM Labs, Civic, Hedera, The Solana Foundation and Binance.US. 

The online platform, called Chainabuse, offers both individuals and businesses a place to provide awareness about fraud in crypto and finance. Additionally, the platform includes a database of hacks and scams.

Goldman Sachs and Barclays invest in UK crypto trading platform Elwood

Elwood Technologies, an institutional crypto trading platform, has secured investment from two mainstream giants: Barclays and Goldman Sachs. Part of a Series A funding round, the investments from the mega banks came alongside other players, such as Galaxy Digital. 

Goldman sees increasing institutional crypto interest, according to global head of digital assets Matthew McDermott. “As institutional demand for cryptocurrency rises, we have been actively broadening our market presence and capabilities to cater for client demand,” he said.

Winners and Losers

At the end of the week, Bitcoin (BTC) is at $29,037, Ether (ETH) at $1,943 and XRP at $0.40. The total market cap is at $1.24 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Kyber Network Crystal v2 (KNC) at 46.16%, KuCoin Token (KCS) at 19.99% and Kadena (KDA) at 17.37%. 

The top three altcoin losers of the week are TerraUSD (UST) at -62.18%, Convex Finance (CVX) at -23.47% and Helium (HNT) at -21.56%.

For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.

Most Memorable Quotations

“When the market is hot, it’s hard to focus because there is so much noise.”

Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, partnerships lead at Joyn

“Focusing on and investing in user experience is the road to mass adoption and to the new world of Web3.”

Dominik Schiener, co-founder and chairman of the Iota Foundation

“Ethereum’s overwhelming mindshare helps explain why its users have been willing to pay more than $15 million in fees per day on average just to use the blockchain.”

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)

“If you create an algorithmic stablecoin and you don’t expect speculative attacks, welcome to the real world.”

Mike McGlone, senior commodity strategist for Bloomberg

“ESG is a scam. It has been weaponized by phony social justice warriors.”

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

“Crypto as a technology and asset class introduces value and innovation that are unique and irreplaceable, and we believe that one bad apple in the short run will not affect long-term demand for crypto assets and the industry as a whole.”

Jun Du, co-founder of Huobi Global

Prediction of the Week 

Bitcoin price predictions abound as traders focus on the next BTC halving cycle

Bitcoin remained in the doldrums this week, reflecting uncertainty and subdued demand across the digital asset space. Speculation on where BTC might head next revolves around the timing of the asset’s four-year halving cycle, as well as Bitcoin’s previous price action. One possible outcome, based on the halving cycle, sees BTC’s price potentially bottoming in the final two months of 2022. Some speculators, however, remain hopeful for an upcoming $100,000 blow-off top for BTC.

FUD of the Week 

Deus Finance’s dollar-pegged stablecoin DEI falls below 60 cents

DEI, an algorithmic stablecoin of the Deus Finance project, declined to $0.52 earlier this week. The asset was meant to hold value on par with $1. However, DEUS, the project’s governance token, increased significantly in price, reaching $327.28 at one point, up from $163.40. The DEI price collapse came after the protocol experienced two flash loan attacks in recent months. Fears of a UST-style bank run on the asset also compelled Deus Finance developers to pause DEI redemptions.

South Korean watchdog reportedly fines Terraform Labs $78M for tax evasion

Terraform Labs and Do Kwon reportedly must pay $78 million due to tax evasion, according to news outlet Naver. The tax evasion charges come from South Korea’s tax authority. 

This is not the first time Terraform Labs has raised red flags on tax evasion. The company first appeared on tax authorities’ radar in June 2021 on suspicions of corporate and income tax evasion.

Axie Infinity’s Discord bot compromised, hackers issue fake minting message

The Discord channel for GameFi NFT project Axie Infinity saw its MEE6 bot (a commonly-used tool on Discord for channel management) compromised this week. Among its wrongful actions, the apprehended bot put out an untrue minting announcement. MEE6 bot takeovers are reportedly nothing new. The situation was fixed, although users may have to restart Discord for the changes to take effect. The MEE6 Discord support channel did not acknowledge the suspicious activity.

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How to incorporate a DAO and issue tokens to be ready to raise money from VCs

What is a DAO?

A DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, is an online-based organization that exists and operates with no single leader or governing body. DAOs are run by code written on a blockchain like Ethereum (ETH) and are owned and operated by the people who use them.

There are many different types of DAOs, but they all have one thing in common: they are decentralized, meaning that decisions about the organization’s future are decided by the collective group and not a single individual.

This decentralization is what makes DAOs promising, as it theoretically removes the possibility of corruption or manipulation by a single entity. Smart contracts (and not people) execute the terms and conditions of the organization, making them incredibly efficient and resilient to change.

How does a DAO work?

A DAO is a collection of smart contracts that live on the Ethereum blockchain. These contracts interact with each other to form the organization. They are written in such a way that anyone in the world can use them.

The code for a DAO is public, and anyone can view it to see how it works. This transparency is one of the key features of a DAO. Compared to traditional organizations, DAOs are much more efficient because there is no need for a middleman or central authority.

Another key feature of a DAO is that it is autonomous, meaning that it can operate without human intervention. This is made possible by using smart contracts, which can automatically execute tasks according to the programmed rules.

DAOs are self-governing and self-sustaining, meaning they can continue to exist and operate even if the original creators are no longer involved. This is another advantage of using smart contracts. They ensure the DAO continues to follow its original rules even if the people running it changes.

Some of the most well-known DAO tokens and platforms are Uniswap (UNI), Aave (AAVE), Compound (COMP), Maker (MKR) and Curve DAO.

Steps to raise money from VCs after incorporating a DAO

Write a white paper

After incorporating your DAO, you will need to write a white paper. A white paper is an essential document that explains what your DAO is, what it does and how it works. It should be clear, concise and easy to understand.

Your white paper will be used to convince potential investors to support your DAO, so it’s important to ensure it’s well-written and persuasive. To help you get started on writing your DAO’s white paper, check out our detailed guide here.


Create a pitch deck

In addition to a white paper, you will also need to create a pitch deck. A pitch deck is a short presentation that gives an overview of your DAO and its purpose.

Your pitch deck should be clear, visually appealing and easy to follow. It should also include information about your team, your progress to date and your plans for the future.


Create a website

The next step in raising money for your DAO is to create a website. Your website should be professional and informative. It should include your white paper as well as any other relevant information about your DAO.

It should also have a way for potential investors to get in touch with you. This could be through a contact form, an email address or a social media account.


Reach out to VCs

Once you have created a white paper, pitch deck and website, you can start reaching out to venture capitalists, or VCs. When contacting VCs, it’s important to be clear about your objectives and what you are looking for.

Some VCs may be interested in investing in your DAO if they believe in its mission. Others may be more interested in the financial return that investing in your DAO would give them.

Related: Venture capital financing: A beginner’s guide to VC funding in the crypto space

It’s also important to remember that VCs are busy people. They receive hundreds of pitches every week, so you need to ensure that your pitch stands out.

Negotiate terms

Once you have found a VC interested in investing in your DAO, you will need to negotiate the terms of the investment. This includes the amount of money the VC will invest, and the equity stake they will receive in return.

It’s important to remember that you are in a strong position when negotiating with VCs. After all, they are the ones who are interested in investing in your DAO. As such, you should aim for terms favorable to you and your team. This includes getting a large equity stake and a high valuation for your DAO.

Close the deal

Closing the deal is an important step in raising money for your DAO. Once you have negotiated the terms of the investment, you will need to close the deal. This involves signing a contract with the VC, as well as receiving the agreed upon amount of money. It’s a good idea to have a lawyer review the contract before you sign it.

Use the funds

Once you have closed the deal and received the investment, you will need to use the money wisely. This means spending it in a way that will help your DAO achieve its objectives. Some of the things you could use the money for include hiring employees, marketing your DAO and developing new features.

It’s also important to remember that you will need to report back to the VCs on how you are using the money. For this reason, ensure that your expenses and progress are all properly tracked.

Pay back the VCs

Eventually, you will need to pay back the VCs. This could be through a sale of your company, an initial public offering (IPO) or another exit strategy. Paying back the VCs is an important step in the life cycle of a DAO. It is also a good way to show them you are committed to your business and have faith in its future.

Related: What is an IPO? A beginner’s guide on how crypto firms can go public

Can DAOs replace VCs?

Are DAOs a viable replacement for venture capitalists? The answer is that it depends. VCs typically invest in early-stage companies and help them grow through the provision of capital, mentorship and connections.

DAOs can provide some of these same services, but they’re not well suited to invest in early-stage companies. This is because DAOs are decentralized and cannot make quick and decisive decisions.

VCs, on the other hand, are centralized and can make quick decisions that help early-stage companies grow. So, while DAOs can provide some of the same services as VCs, they’re not a perfect replacement. A VC is probably a better choice if you’re looking for an organization to invest in early-stage companies.

A hybrid future of DAOs and traditional VCs

DAOs are a new and innovative way of organizing people and resources. While they can’t exactly replace traditional VCs, they can potentially disrupt the industry.

We’ll likely see a future where DAOs and traditional VCs work together to support the growth of early-stage companies. For example, a DAO could provide the capital and resources while a VC provides the mentorship and connections.

Such a hybrid model would allow early-stage companies to get the best of both worlds: the capital and resources they need to grow, and the mentorship and connections they need to succeed.

VC DAOs already exist, proving that such a model is possible. One example is The LAO, a venture capital DAO. It focuses on early-stage blockchain projects based on Ethereum (ETH) and has funded over 30 projects so far. How it works is that governance remains a function of the blockchain while an external service provider takes care of the administrative and legal procedures.

Another good example is MetaCartel Ventures, a private VC DAO and a spin-off of the Ethereum ecosystem grant fund, MetaCartel. The VC DAO arm is managed by a board of «mages,» who conduct functions like presenting investment proposals, due diligence and voting on proposals. They mainly fund early-stage decentralized applications and protocols at the moment.

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Web3, NFTs, Metaverse: The tools for a truly decentralized future

Attendees to the BlockDown Croatia 2022 festival were witness to Cointelegraph’s discussions around sociopolitics of the Web3 ecosystem, non-fungible tokens (NFT) and the Metaverse. It turns out that ongoing innovations across the crypto ecosystem are well-positioned to dictate the future of media and entertainment.

While crypto continues to blur the lines between the virtual and physical worlds, Cointelegraph’s editor-in-chief, Kristina Cornèr, agreed that “It’s been a crazy year” when talking about the rising impact of crypto innovations within media companies during the BlockDown festival.

Cornèr highlighted use cases within the NFT space that gives independent artists and journalists a platform to raise funds and counter real-world challenges such as climate change. In a separate discussion with Dylan Dewdney, the founder of NFT3, a unified identity network, Cornèr raised questions related to the merging of virtual and physical worlds in the Metaverse.

According to Dewdney, real-world problems have a good chance of seeping into the Metaverse despite the merger of the two worlds. However, he suggested developing a psuodenomous system wherein users are verified but can choose not to disclose their identities to other members of the Metaverse.

As the world slowly shifts into its new home, the Metaverse, Dewdney believes that “the real world will become better.” However, it will require the people to inculcate some of the ethos of crypto — especially in relation to equitability and personal responsibility:

“I think its time for the world to evolve and we are starting to lay the technical foundations for a lot of that. You have to be careful about how this plays out and really take individual responsibility about spreading that message.”

Showcasing an in-house attempt to create the biggest truly community-owned Web3 festival, Cornèr too revealed the relaunch of BlockShow — Cointelegraph’s flagship event — as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) that allows attendees to own a stake in the show and participate in organizing events. According to BlockShow CEO Addy Crezee, the goal at BlockShow DAO is “to bring more people to Web3 and help people feel the benefits of the ownership economy.”

Getting further into discussing the sociopolitics involved with living in the Metaverse, Dewdney told Cornèr:

“We’re still going to have all the same problems because we’re still the same old boring humans who do the same old petty things, and also great things.”

If the crypto community can successfully decentralize the internet, “it’s a future really worth getting excited about” — at an individual as well as other social levels.

With NFT3, Dewdney aims to provide a decentralized identity service for the Metaverse ecosystem. The service can associate various information with a pseudonymous but real-life identity. On an end note, Dewdney believed that the crypto ecosystem needs to evolve beyond the financial use case into the “human use case” of blockchain.

Related: $3B flows to metaverse and Web3 gaming this month as a16z tips in $600M

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) recently launched a $600 million Games Fund One dedicated to gaming startups with a focus on Web3. The fund aims to support game studios, consumer applications and gaming infrastructure providers.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, Metaverse projects are too attracting investments from gaming industry titans. In April, Epic Games, creator of the popular Fortnite title, raised $2 billion to create a metaverse with funding from Sony and Lego.

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Bitcoin ends week ‘on the edge’ as S&P 500 officially enters bear market

Bitcoin (BTC) struggled to recover its latest losses on May 21 after Wall Street trading provided zero respite.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

BTC price reflects drab stocks performance

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD trading at dipping below $28,700 into the weekend, subsequently adding around $500.

Down 4.7% from the previous day’s $30,700 highs, the pair looked firmly rangebound at the time of writing after United States stocks indices saw a volatile final trading day of the week.

The S&P 500, managed to reverse after initially falling at the open, nonetheless confirmed bear market tendencies, trading at 20% below its highs from last year.

«Another wacky day in the stock market. Dow Jones -500 early in the day, then recovers it all and closes +8,» popular Twitter account Blockchain Backers commented about broader U.S. market performance.

«Bitcoin still just teetering on the edge.»

As Cointelegraph reported, various sources had called for Bitcoin to fall once again in a manner similar to last week’s capitulation event.

Continuing the conservative macro outlook, fellow Twitter commentator PlanC argued that external shifts could still bring Bitcoin down significantly from current levels.

«If the Crypto market was in a bubble I would say 25k to 27.5k is the Bitcoin bottom, but there is a decent probability that macro factors drag us down to 22-24k. Significant black swan, 15-20k becomes a possibility,» part of a tweet on the day read.

Beyond stocks, the U.S. dollar index (DXY) was consolidating after a strong retracement from twenty-year highs.

U.S. dollar index (DXY) 1-hour candle chart. Source: TradingView

May competes with 2021 for worst on record

With ten days left until the end of the month, BTC/USD risked May 2022 being the worst in terms of returns in its history.

Related: Bitcoin must defend these price levels to avoid ‘much deeper’ fall: Analysis

Data from on-chain analytics resource Coinglass showed month-to-date returns currently totaling -22% for Bitcoin, the largest retreat of any year except 2021’s -35%.

2022, the collective figures confirmed, was also the worst performing first five months of the year for Bitcoin since 2018.

BTC/USD monthly returns chart (screenshot). Source: Coinglass

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Needed: A massive education project to fight hacks and scams

The common narrative around the prevailing threats to mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies is that regulators will put the kibosh on their legality, it has to get much easier for “ordinary” people to use, and the magnitude of its volatility has to be tempered.

All of these are true. But there’s something perhaps just as consequential: scams, hacks, fraudulent exchanges, dumps and the like. Why? Every attack leaves a scar. And the scars are mounting fast.

According to a study by Chainalysis, scammers got away with $14 billion worth of crypto in 2021, which represents hundreds of thousands — maybe millions — of victims in a community where every negative experience has a voice in an echo chamber.


Today, very few are immune to scams and attacks

The urgency for reigning in the dark web is rooted in behavioral economics: loss aversion. For most in the mainstream, once they lose a “significant” amount of money to a scam or hack, there’s a good chance they’ll be done with the whole asset class — if not forever, for a very long time. The specter of loss drowns the potential for gain.

And, unfortunately, the likelihood today of virtually every crypto trader and/or user being victimized is quite high. (Even Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, was the victim of a scam, which is described in the book The Cryptopians.) The bad guys are simply that good.

Example one. You read on your Reddit that your favorite token is doing an airdrop. You’ve heard about others receiving these “free gifts of money,” so you jump on the link and are taken to a page where you see what looks like a live trade book. “For every token you send us, up to 500, we’ll send you back two as your reward,” it says. And there’s a timer indicating just 30 minutes left in the event; you better rush to get your tokens. So you do. What you soon learn is that the Reddit channel where you learned about the “offer” wasn’t official; the airdrop was a scam; the timer continuously restarted itself; and you just sent your tokens to a total stranger.

Example two. You type in the URL “coinbase.pro.com” and are presented with a screen saying your account has been compromised — and given a number to call. The person on the other side asks for your date of birth, email address and account information so that they can reset your username and password. You start to grow suspicious but are feeling pressured. So, you provide what they’ve asked for, while a knot in your gut senses that you provided way too much information than you should have. Before long, coins are missing from your account. The proper URL it turns out was “pro.coinbase.com.”

Example three. You’re new to the space and feel like you’ve missed out on the coins that have been “overnight sensations” and made so many people so much money. So, when you see the opportunity to invest in SQUID Coin — which will become part of a pay-to-play online game based on Squid Game, the popular Netflix series, you jump on it. Two weeks later, however, you learn that the developers — whose names are nowhere to be found — have abandoned the project and cleverly set an exit trap called an “anti-dumping mechanism.” Your coins are worthless. You’ve just had the rug pulled out from under you.

Now imagine these actual scams, and thousands of others, being repeated over and over and over again — 24/7.

Related: 4 clever crypto scams to beware — Dubai OTC trader Amin Rad

With each passing day, momentum and enthusiasm are compromised

Against that constant, devious drumbeat, high-profile attacks further accentuate doubts: Axie Infinity’s $650-million Ronin Bridge hack, Beanstalk Farms’ $182-million flash loan attack, and Crypto.com’s $33-million hack of user wallets, for example. (These have all happened just this year.)

Before long, a lawless narrative dominates. Meanwhile, ongoing mainstream adoption brings along with it even more nefarious opportunities as “newbies” — who simply aren’t paying attention to best practices in safeguarding their funds — are further victimized. Millions of would-be participants are now watching on the sidelines and preaching “I told you so” to the newest victims.

Which leads me to my central proposition: an urgent need to go on the offensive. A marketing offensive.

Yes, the quest for innovative new safeguards and security features is warranted and welcomed. But it’s not enough.

Related: In defense of crypto: Why digital currencies deserve a better reputation

What’s needed now is a Manhattan Project, a Marshall Plan, or any other analogy you can think of that means galvanizing massive resources quickly and producing a viable solution to a problem. Because let’s face it, revolutions in tech can be bumpy; it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Crypto needs a rallying cry, a manifesto, and an educated public to ensure that its awesome potential is realized. In short, get in front of the narrative, lead the discussion, empower safe adoption, and help the crypto community’s newest participants grow hand-in-hand with its creators. Crypto needs a member-funded, coordinated campaign.

Introducing the Crypto With Confidence Project

Here’s what I propose:

  • The top 25 projects by market capitalization, the top 10 centralized exchanges, the top five prime brokers, the top three global trade associations and other stakeholders band together to create a foundation, a decentralized autonomous organization, or other entity in which category consumer education is all it does to ensure that people can Crypto With Confidence. (Treat “crypto” like a verb? Why not.)
  • Members of the group, which provide funding and marketplace leadership, are promoted as “sponsors” of the ensuing campaigns, which help them to assert their commitment to security and advocate their brands. It also projects unity.
  • Job 1: Create the equivalent of public service announcements and “how to” content to help consumers be more vigilant about the threats they face. Nestled somewhere between “You can do it!” and “Watch out!” — with “Isn’t new technology awesome!” wedged in between — the idea is to groom and educate an activist public in thwarting crypto crime and provide the calm and confidence to enthusiastically participate in crypto and Web3.
  • Job 1a: Create a mnemonic such as PARK that can be used universally. For example: “Before you put a transaction into motion, shift into PARK — Pause, Assess, Request, Keep.” Pause to ask the question(s), Is it too good to be true? Is it unusual? Assess the company, project and/or people you’re engaging with. Do you know them? Do they know you? Have you done your homework? Request information, ask questions, and make sure you’re behaving responsibly. Keep your private keys safe and share them with nobody other than those you’re okay with having access to your funds. There are, of course, many ways to approach this.
  • Now, to set the right tone and ensure it succeeds, it’s critical to make the effort “entertaining.” Really entertaining — so that I can’t avoid paying attention, so that a sense of seriousness is communicated without it being turn-me-off serious, so that it’s clear that something which is destined for mainstream adoption is acting in a very mainstream manner. Think Marvel characters defeating punk scammers or a rotating cast of A-list actors playing the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. And this can’t be a one-and-done kind of thing. It needs to kick off big then become a continuous campaign.
  • Incorporate marketing best practices: create a curriculum of content, including a course that concludes with certification; drive continuous engagement via newsletters, Discord or Telegram channels, email journeys, etc.; reward them for taking the time to become smarter and more vigilant with — you got it — crypto.

Think of it: not only will the Crypto With Confidence Project accelerate best practices in safety and security, it’ll help mitigate a central argument of regulators; consumers and investors can’t protect themselves.

Look, Web3 is still in its infancy. The perceptions, attitudes and behaviors that are forged today are likely to have material impact for decades to come. If venture capitalists can raise billions to fund new projects and protocols, the community can certainly come together to make a massive statement about how it is collectively looking out for the welfare and best interests of the people it hopes to engage.

So, let’s go. I’m in. Are you?

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Rich Feldman leads the marketing for Finario, a global enterprise capital-planning software-as-a-service provider. Rich has lectured on strategy at New York University and Syracuse University Newhouse School and is an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut University, where he is an advisory board member of the Ancell School of Business. He is also the author of the book Deconstructing Creative Strategy published by the Association of National Advertisers.

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Blockchain, crypto set to take sports industry beyond NFT collectibles

Bitcoin (BTC) has been attributed as the most prominent blockchain use case, showing the technology’s prowess in successfully delivering an immutable and truly decentralized ledger over the past 13 years. Adding to the years of innovations since then— that saw the introduction of altcoins, non-fungible tokens (NFT), decentralized finance (DeFi) and more, a study conducted by fintech giant Deloitte highlighted the untapped potential of the crypto ecosystem to open up newer markets for the sports industry.

Fan tokens and NFTs were first introduced to the sports industry to increase fan engagement via collectibles and voting mechanisms. However, Deloitte, one of the Big 4 accounting firms, envisions the industry further embracing crypto and blockchain technology over the coming years:

“A nexus will form around sports collectibles, ticketing, betting, and gaming. We are just beginning to see its [cryptocurrency’s] potential, as well as the new markets it could lead to.”

Highlighting incoming trends in the sports industry, Deloitte’s 2022 sports industry outlook report expects an eventual rise in blockchain-enabled innovations, as a result of which “The use of NFTs, crypto, fan tokens, and ticket innovations will grow and evolve.”

“Moving beyond NFTs,” Deloitte expects the sports industry to start soon linking spectators with season tickets over the blockchain. While the initial move toward this goal would mean merely associating game tickets with NFTs as means to reward fans, innovations around smart contracting could potentially open up new use cases:

“We could see fractional ownership of season tickets and suites and a reinvention of the ticket resale process.”

As a result, new revenue streams can be created for sports organizers and teams as smart contracts streamline the processes related to dynamic ticket pricing and resales. However, Deloitte shared four key factors that need to be addressed by the ecosystem: implementing new standards, educating fans and considering compliance and tax implications.

Additionally, Deloitte’s study revealed that NFTs catalyzed the merger between the physical and virtual worlds in sports while predicting over $2 billion in sports-related NFT transactions in 2022 alone.

On an end note, the finserv recommended sports organizations keep an eye on the NFT boom and its impact on other segments such as gaming.

Related: Aussie media company goes all in on NBA fan engagement with NFTs

Supporting Deloitte’s report on the rising NFT trend across the sports industry, Australian media company Basketball Forever recently launched Hoop Hounds, an NFT project aimed to increase National Basketball Association (NBA) fan engagement and provide substantial real-world utility for the tokens.

Basketball Forever founder Alex Sumsky resonated with Deloitte’s findings when he told Cointelegraph that the technology is more than just a token tied to a JPG and allows organizations to provide innovative ways to increase user engagement and give the fans real utility.

As part of the initiative, Basketball Forever will offer 8,888 different “hounds” — various basketball and NBA personalities depicted as animated canines — each with unique traits and differing levels of rarity.

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Arthur Hayes to serve 2-year probation owning up to BitMEX’s AML mishap

Bringing closure to the long-awaited judgment related to the money laundering activities over the BitMEX crypto exchange, one of the four federal district courthouses in New York reportedly sentenced two-year probation and six months of home detention to founder and ex-CEO Arthur Hayes.

Arthur Hayes, along with the other BitMEX co-founders — Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed — and the company’s first non-employee Gregory Dwyer, pleaded guilty to the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations on Feb 24, admitting to “willfully failing to establish, implement and maintain an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) program at BitMEX.”

Indictment against BitMEX co-founders and employees for violating BSA. Source: Justice.gov

Pleading guilty to supporting money laundering is a punishable offense, often carrying a maximum penalty of five years prison time. However, both Hayes and Delo made their guilty pleas ahead of the March trial date and had agreed to pay $10 million in criminal fines each.

On April 7, Cointelegraph reported that Hayes voluntarily surrendered to US authorities in Hawaii six months after federal prosecutors first levied charges, to which his lawyers stated:

“Mr. Hayes voluntarily appeared in court and looks forward to fighting these unwarranted charges.”

According to the indictment, public court filings, and statements made in court, Hayes was released after posting a $10-million bail bond pending future proceedings in New York. However, prosecutors from the Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit found the entrepreneurs to be guilty of not implementing AML safeguards, including not fulfilling know-your-customer (KYC) obligations.

Despite the imminent possibility of serving jail time, owning up to the allegations resulted in Hayes being sentenced to a home confinement sentence that requires him to spend the first six months of his sentence from home. In addition, he also agreed to pay a fine of $10 million.

Related: Blockchain and crypto can be a boon for tracking financial crimes

Busting the myth related to the ease of laundering money using crypto, a new analysis highlights the potential of blockchain technology and crypto to track down financial crimes.

While numerous projects within the crypto ecosystem were victims of targeted attacks, bad actors continue to struggle when it comes to cashing out the stolen funds.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Dmytro Volkov, chief technology officer at crypto exchange CEX.IO, said that the notion of crypto being primarily used by criminals is outdated, adding:

“In the case of Bitcoin (BTC), whose blockchain ledger is publicly available, a serious exchange with a competent analytics team can easily monitor and thwart hackers and launderers before the damage is done.”

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