In the middle of crypto’s latest bear market, industry and asset class detractors have rallied together to share their skepticism and network with lawmakers at their own anti-crypto conference.
Whereas most crypto conferences exist to promote the latest developments on the cutting edge of the industry, crypto critic journalist Amy Castor said in her Sunday blog post that the Crypto Policy Symposium promises a way for disgruntled nay-sayers to voice their negativity.
Author and symposium organizer Stephen Diehl explained to Castor that this first major anti-crypto event aims to provide the community a way to speak directly with policymakers on how they believe the crypto industry should be dealt with:
“The main goal of the symposium, as Diehl explained it to me, is to give policymakers access to the information and material they need to make informed decisions around crypto regulation.”
A common perception among skeptics like Castor and crypto proponents is that government officials lack a solid foundational understanding of how cryptocurrency works. As Castor notes, government officials are “woefully uninformed.” The similarities may end there as proponents would tout the benefits of the technology and the industry. In contrast, the skeptics will point out the detriments, such as what Castor called “the current DeFi domino collapse.”
Castor complained that policymakers mainly hear from “deep-pocket crypto companies with lots of venture capitalist backing” who could be skewing their policy decisions. Despite her assessment, it still appears quite difficult for the crypto industry to move forward in many jurisdictions, such as New York State, where a Bitcoin (BTC) mining ban looms.
In China, where mining and crypto transactions are outright banned, and in Australia, where crypto financial services remain frozen by regulators, progress is also slow or non-existent.
Members of government regulatory and financial agencies from the United States and Europe have been invited to attend the event. However, it is unclear whether any government officials are confirmed as guests. Only journalists, software engineers, and various professors are confirmed speakers.
The symposium will take place in London and will be live-streamed on September 5 and 6.
The historic deleveraging of the cryptocurrency market could be coming to an end, which could signal the close of the worst of the bear market, according to a JPMorgan analyst.
In a Wednesday note, JPMorgan strategist Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou highlighted the increased willingness of firms to bail out companies and a healthy pace of venture capital funding in May and June as the basis for his optimism. He said key indicators support the assessment:
“Indicators like our Net Leverage metric suggest that deleveraging is already well advanced.”
The deleveraging of major crypto firms, where their assets have been sold either willingly, in a rush or via liquidation, began largely in May when the Terra ecosystem collapsed and wiped out tens of billions of dollars. Since then, crypto lenders BlockFi and Celsius and investment firm Three Arrows Capital have run into their own problems.
Panigirtzoglou added that the severity of deleveraging of some crypto firms could be so severe that they “suggest that the tremors from this year’s crypto market fall continue to reverberate.”
However, Panigirtzoglou argues that deleveraging may be coming to an end, with crypto entities stepping into to bail out struggling companies, stating:
“The fact that crypto entities with the stronger balance sheets are currently stepping in to help contain contagion.”
Amid the calamities befalling several blockchain firms such as Three Arrows Capital and Celsius, Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange is reportedly positioning itself to expand its influence across the industry. Rumors are swirling that FTX is offering to buy the BlockFi crypto lending platform for $25 million, according to a June 30 report from Cointelegraph. However, BlockFi CEO Zac Prince has denied the rumors in a Thursday tweet.
Panigirtzoglou also sees the healthy pace of venture capital funding in the crypto space as a good sign. According to JPMorgan’s estimates, there was about $5 billion in VC funding to crypto firms in May and June. Fundraising metrics tracker Dove Metrics, using Airtable’s data, estimates crypto funding is higher, at $8.6 billion in the same period.
This rate of funding is down $2.2 billion from March and April, but up $3.4 billion from May and June 2021.
The latest predictions from JPMorgan should blow fresh air into the hearts of crypto investors in 2022 who have endured what Glassnode has deemed the worst bear market in the history of crypto trading. Since November 2021, when the total crypto market cap topped $3 trillion, it has fallen below $1 trillion to $934 billion, according to CoinGecko.
Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) took center stage in the year 2021 as artists, influencers, A-list celebrities and the sports industry finally came across a fan engagement tool that empowered the general public to cash in on their success. However, the hype around NFT did not manage to stand its ground, as sales plummeted to one-year lows amid the ruthless bear market of 2022.
The NFT boom, which started in early 2021, upheld its glory until May 2022 — supported by a healthy and bullish crypto ecosystem and positive investor sentiment. However, Bitcoin’s (BTC) struggle to hold on to its all-time high prices had an adverse impact across the crypto ecosystem.
The NFT ecosystem recorded its worst performance of the year in June 2022 as the total number of daily sales fell down to roughly 19,000 with an estimated value of $13.8 million — a number which was recorded back in June 2021.
Last year, however, daily NFT sales of a similar amount were considered impressive as the nascent ecosystem saw mainstream implementations across various use cases.
As evidenced by data from nonfungible.com, the NFT ecosystem witnessed its highest number of daily sales of 224,768 NFTs on Sept. 24, 2021, worth $78.3 million. However, the biggest sale in terms of dollar value took place on May 1, 2022, when 118,577 NFTs were sold in a day for $780.4 million.
Some of the key factors negatively impacting the hype around NFTs are falling Ether (ETH) prices, a lack of secondary market demand and unrealistic gas fees. As a result, over the last three months, the NFT market capitalization suffered a drop of nearly 40% while losing over 66% of its trading volume, as shown by data from NFTGo.
Amid the bear market, crypto entrepreneurs, including Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, are helping governments explore NFT use cases in ID-ing citizens. Social media giant Meta’s Facebook, too, recently announced plans to support NFTs for creators.
A Meta spokesperson revealed that the rollout of NFTs on Facebook would be gradual, beginning with select creators in the United States.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.