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Are NFTs the Next Big Investment Trend or a Flash in the Pan?

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Traditionalist investors who dismiss NFTs – the new digital asset class taking the art, fashion, music and sports world by storm – are “fooling themselves if they believe they are a passing fad.”

This is the bold – and some might say controversial – observation from Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.

NFTs are one-off digital assets that are verified through blockchain technology, giving buyers certificates of authenticity and ownership. They produce unique, non-interchangeable digital tokens, and can be bought and sold like any other assets but they do not have a physical form.

Mr Green’s comments come as a growing number of globally established brands are becoming increasingly involved in the NFT market including the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Sotheby’s.

The latter, the traditional auction house, held a three-day auction of NFTs by an anonymous artist two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Christie’s last month sold “Everydays – The First 5000 Days,” a digital artwork in JPEG form by an artist known as Beeple, for $69.3 million – which is the third most expensive artwork ever sold by a living artist.

The deVere CEO says: “The virtual hype about NFTs is very real and traditionalist investors who dismiss them as a passing fad are fooling themselves.

“They may be a novelty at the moment, but it makes sense that with the blistering pace of the digitalisation of our world, digital assets will become increasingly valuable.

“Demographics are on the side of NFTs too. Millennials, and Gen Z especially, have digital lives and it’s natural to want to take digital representations of luxury brands, music and art into these worlds – and now they can.”

Mr Green also points to the Great Wealth Transfer. “According to some estimates, $68 trillion in wealth is to be passed down from the baby boomers – the wealthiest generation ever – to their children and other heirs over the next couple of decades,” he notes.

Another key reason why NFTs are here to stay is that they are “positively changing business models,” especially in the creative industries.

“Artists and musicians for example can provide enhanced virtual experiences for collectors and buyers, they can prove if their works are counterfeited, and they can include criteria to get royalties every time their works are re-sold in the future.”

The messaging also comes with a warning.

Mr Green says: “NFTs are the hottest new digital asset – but investors need to exercise extreme caution. This market is still the Wild West in terms of investing. Personally, I would wait until the dust settles.

“That said, those who dismiss NFTs outright would probably have been the people who previously dismissed online retailers such as Amazon and digital currencies such as Bitcoin.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Cryptocurrency

Meme Coin Frenzy SHIB Others Fueled By Dogecoin

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Shiba Inu has been the talk of the crypto-verse and mainstream media recently. It is a meme coin themed around the Shibu Inu dog, a Japanese dog breed that Dogecoin (DOGE) is also basing its image on.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, SHIB hit its all-time high of $0.0000388 on May 10 after it surged more than 2,500 percent from trading at $0.00001478 on May 7.

The token has now been listed on most of the major exchanges, such as Binance, Coinbase, FTX, OKEx and even Binance’s Indian counterpart, WazirX. It had also briefly broken into the top 20 cryptocurrencies list by market capitalization. Currently, it has dropped off in the rankings, with a market cap of just over $6 billion. Earlier on May 10, SHIB’s market capitalization hit an all-time high of over $13.5 billion.

SHIB was launched in August 2020, soon after Dogecoin’s hype on TikTok sent the coin to a two-year high. According to its “Woof Paper,” a total of 1 quadrillion tokens were minted, 50 percent of which was locked into Uniswap with the keys thrown away. The other half, however, was sent to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin’s wallet in an uninvited fashion.

The intention behind sending 50 percent of the tokens to Buterin was to ensure price stability since ideally, the demand-supply dynamic wouldn’t allow the price to swing rapidly since one entity owns a large portion of the circulating supply.

However, Buterin gave away over $1 billion worth of SHIB to a coronavirus charity in India known as the India Covid Relief Fund. This led to the price of the coin crashing by over 50 percent almost immediately as the market began to panic.

According to the coin’s woofpaper, it claims to be the “Dogecoin Killer,” citing the enormous supply of the token as a differentiating factor between the two. In fact, on May 10, the demand for Shiba Inu grew so much that Binance ran out of ETH addresses since the token is based on the Ethereum blockchain.

Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin — a crypto exchange — spoke with Cointelegraph about the positives of such high demand from retail investors: “It can be considered as a way to quickly learn about blockchain and the cryptocurrency industry. It provides new users with a lower threshold compared to some mainstream cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.”

As the token is competing with DOGE, it’s important to assess how it’s performing relative to Dogecoin. At the time of writing, SHIB is trading in the $0.000016 range, amounting to around 10,000 percent of gains in the last 30 days in comparison to around 300 percent gains in the same 30 days for Dogecoin, which is currently changing hands at roughly $0.50. Speaking of Dogecoin’s use cases, Lyu further elaborated:

“Dogecoin has a unique cultural symbol along with abundant application cases. For example, SpaceX announced recently that it will launch the DOGE-1 moon mission, and the cost will be paid by Dogecoin. This will allow more people to learn about and use Dogecoin along with Musk’s preference for Dogecoin.”

DOGE crashed by more than 25 percent following Tesla CEO’s Saturday Night Live appearance where he dropped several references to the meme token. His appearance also led to the price of Tesla dropping 14 percent, thus losing nearly $20 billion in market value.

However, on May 14, Musk made an announcement that he would be working with the DOGE development team to “improve system transaction efficiency.” This news led to the rebound of the token’s price from $0.38 to trading in the $0.50 range as the community envisions further adoption by brands and firms as payment options available to retail investors.

Jake Wujastyk, chief market analyst at TrendSpider — a technical analysis software company — told Cointelegraph that the DOGE price drop before SNL was not a coincidence: “This flush in price to the mid-$0.30s was conveniently timed right before this announcement by Elon Musk.” He further added:

“Dogecoin moved down to the volume shelf around $0.35 earlier in the week (an area where people who originally had profits in the $0.40s+, were back to break even). This is exactly where technical traders should have expected a bounce as supply dried up in this area (due to a lack of profits held by those that held DOGE around $0.35 originally).”

While SHIB is currently the most talked-about dog-themed meme coin apart from DOGE, there are several other highly volatile and speculative dog meme tokens that are floating around in the crypto-verse, which were launched in the hope to replicate the performance of DOGE.

One of the other coins from the same development team as SHIB is called LEASH. This coin has a limited total supply of just 107,647 tokens. Due to this low supply and the hype around the project, the sister token of Shiba Inu has seen astronomical gains of 6,500,000 percent since the beginning of May.

Another such coin is Kishu Inu (KISHU), a token themed around Shiba Inu’s distant relative, the Kishu. The project’s white paper speaks of a farming decentralized application in the future similar to SHIB’s upcoming ShibaSwap marketplace where users can swap the token and even earn rewards through staking. The coin is currently changing hands at $0.00000001, posting over 4,000 percent gains in the last 14 days.

Another coin that is trying to capture the DOGE hype is Dogelon Mars (ELON), a coin based on Elon Musk and his love for space travel. Similar to SHIB’s tokenomics, upon minting, 50 percent of the supply was sent to Buterin’s wallet address, and the other 50 percent was locked on Uniswap in a liquidity pool with an Ether (ETH) pairing. ELON is currently trading at $0.00000070 and has posted over 220 percent gains in the last 14 days.

It doesn’t end there. There are many more projects that are trying to imitate the financial performance of Dogecoin — UnderDog (DOG), Doge Token (DOGET), DogeFi (DOGEFI), DogeSwap (DOGES), PAW Token and ShibaCorgi Token, to name a few. In fact, there is now even a CAT token, which was launched by Netflix show Tiger King star Carole Baskin.

Wujastyk further elaborated on the feasibility of these dog-themed meme tokens: “There are many coins popping up and simply riding the Dogecoin coattails. Most of these coins have no utility at all other than being a vehicle of speculation.” He further added: “These are mostly just coins riding the coattails of the current coin mania. Generally, this does not end well and many new traders will likely get burned.”

Since most of these dog-themed meme coins apart from DOGE are Ethereum-based ERC-20 standard tokens, the hype around them led to additional congestion on the Ethereum network and thus drove up the gas fees. Consequently, the price of dabbling into these coins has now increased substantially.

The blockchain is currently in the process of transitioning to Ethereum 2.0, which will see a proof-of-work consensus model replaced by a proof-of-stake consensus that aims to improve the scalability of the network and thus reduce gas fees for investors. But this process will take some time to conclude.

In the meantime, the general love for dogs and the desire to become quick millionaires like several DOGE investors are leading to meme coins flooding the market. But whether it is just a bubble or if there will be a paradigm shift in crypto due to these tokens remain to be seen. Most likely, Doge will pave the way for these coins and decide their future based on its own adoption and price action.

Disclaimer: The coins described above are highly volatile and speculative in nature. This article is not an endorsement of these coins. If you opt to trade any of these coins, do so at your own risk.

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Bitcoin

Institutions Keep Accumulating Bitcoin As It Dips Below $45K

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After failing to reclaim the $50,000 level, BTC faces renewed selling pressure in the short term. However, short-term headwinds don’t negate the bull market.

Bitcoin (BTC) price slipped below $45,000 on Sunday for the second time in four days, raising the specter of a deeper short-term correction for the flagship digital currency.

Bitcoin fell to a session low of $44,696.01, according to data from coinmarket cap. In the last 24 hours, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is down 7.65 percent over 22.87 percent in the last seven days.

The selloff in BTC contributed to a market-wide correction for crypto assets, as Ethereum (ETH) fell 10.40 percent, Polkadot (DOT) declined 13.84 percent and Binance Coin (BNB) dipped by 6.06 percent In the last 24 hours.

Market sentiment towards cryptocurrencies has soured in recent days after it was revealed that Tesla is no longer accepting Bitcoin payments for its automobiles. Headlines about a possible investigation into Binance by the United States Justice Department have also raised concerns about a potential regulatory backlash.

Meanwhile, Caitlin Long of Avanti digital bank believes that Tether’s first-ever reserve disclosure has spooked investors. In a Twitter thread posted on Saturday, Long said Tether’s “probability of default [and] loss severity in default just went up” because of its credit exposure. Namely, almost two-thirds of the company’s cash and cash equivalents are stored in commercial paper.

Despite all the noise in the market today, institutions are accumulating Bitcoin with ever-growing conviction, offering compelling evidence that the bull market is far from over.

Bitcoin Treasuries, which tracks corporate and institutional exposure to BTC, reported Saturday that institutions have accumulated 215,000 Bitcoin in the past 30 days. That’s equivalent to roughly $10 billion.

Corporations with Bitcoin on their balance sheets have generated a significant return on investment. As Bitcoin Treasuries reported on May 12, the value of MicroStrategy’s BTC reserve has grown by 2.3 times. The value of Square’s Bitcoin stash is up 2.1 times. Riot Blockchain’s holdings have increased in value by 9 times. These figures have declined slightly amid the latest market correction.

Institutions have been flooding Bitcoin for the better part of a year. These so-called smart money investors are one of the biggest reasons for BTC’s ascent from just $10,000 last summer to a high of around $64,000 in April.

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Cryptocurrency

Cardano (ADA) Surges to New All-Time High of $2.37

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Cardano (ADA) has continued its bullish momentum as the project saw a new all-time high reached on Saturday, touching $2.37 on Binance.

Following a tumultuous week of volatility in the market, ADA has seen a new all-time high reached over the weekend. Breaking past the $2 mark.

ADA had previously tested a new high one week ago. However, comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk regarding the “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions” triggered a market sell-off. ADA slumped to a weekly low of $1.50 before continuing its rally towards another all-time high.

The cryptocurrency is currently hovering over $2. With an impressive 25 percent gain in the last week. ADA had previously hit a new high eight days ago. Before seeing three more days of new highs.

Crypto analyst Benjamin Cowen recently tweeted a poll asking “What crypto will be the third coin to make it to $200B market cap?” Surprisingly out of BNB, DOGE, and XRP, ADA was currently the favorite in ratings. With neatly 10,000 votes, ADA was leading the poll with 57 percent of the votes. With BNB coming in second with 24 percent.

Popular forex and crypto trader Peter Brandt had previously tweeted a price target for ADA. Brandt speculates that the price of ADA should hit $2.26 based on his “ballpark” target analysis.

Cardano recently announced it would be launching its Alonzo hard fork in May. The announcement will see the Goguen era of Cardano’s roadmap fulfilled.

The upgrade is set to implement secure smart contracts. The smart contract capabilities will be based on Plutus’s custom-build programming framework.

Furthermore, Input-Output, the parent company of Cardano, has recently partnered with World Mobile Group. The partnership is set to provide affordable network nodes through the Cardano blockchain infrastructure.

The African partnership will allow citizens to backup copies of important documents through the blockchain.

Ada currently has a market capitalization of $72 billion taking the fourth position on coinmarketcap.

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