What’s new in crypto: part 2

Synapse Network
10 min readApr 14, 2023

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The Synapse Network comes back with the second iteration of the only column on the internet that gives you a wide variety of information on everything crypto, all in bite-sized pieces for easier consumption!

Nubank Makes Great Strides in the crypto world amidst Sector-wide Crisis.

The Brazilian neo-bank Nubank, known to favour crypto adoption, surprised the market by hiring David Marcus, the former head of cryptocurrencies at Meta when a key member of its management team resigned.

According to reports in the media outlet Criptofacil and afterwords reiterated in a Nubank press release, Marcus was appointed directly to Nubank’s board of directors. Marcus, who previously made a name for himself at the electronic payments giant PayPal, headed the Libra/Diem project when he worked at Meta. The Facebook project eventually failed to materialise, following the intervention of multiple new USA regulations. Meta initially hoped that Libra would become a ‘global stablecoin’.

Marcus was also responsible for creating a crypto wallet for the project, originally called Calibra. Last year, he launched Lightspark, a company that provides solutions for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network.

While Nubank made a major acquisition with the former crypto head a major exit also took place: senior director and global head of public policy, Bruno Magrani, announced his resignation from the company after five years. According to O Globo, Magrani will take a sabbatical year before pursuing his entrepreneurial projects.

The bank began embracing multiple aspects of the crypto world last year and now allows access to crypto trading via its app. Nubank boasts about 70 million customers, about a third of the Brazilian population. It is also active in other Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Colombia.

What will the new hire bring to the major Brazilian bank?

On 1 March Nubank made an important announcement: it has launched its own token, called Nucoin, which will be linked to the bank’s loyalty program. The bank’s exclusive currency uses an eco-friendly verification process in the form of a POA on its blockchain network.

The board of directors of Nubank stated that “as a member of the Board of Directors,” Marcus “will play a key role in Nubank’s journey as the company expands its multi-country, multi-product and multi-segment strategy.”

David Vélez, CEO and founder of Nubank, specifically said:

“David Marcus has an impressive career, working at the intersection of financial services and consumer technology, shaping the future of the industry. He brings unique perspectives on how to grow financial and consumer products on a truly global scale. We will expand our reach into new markets and segments and continue to push for more innovation.”

The crypto market continues to mature and evolve, but the crypto landscape in Brazil presents several unknowns. However, thanks to the emergence of innovative players like Nubank and the hiring of experienced crypto professionals like David Marcus, the Brazilian cryptocurrency market could play an increasingly important role in the coming years.

Traditional Investors are once again making headlines as US companies receive $100 million via a crypto fund.

Despite the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s attempts to keep the crypto sector in check, a new digital asset fund could reignite the market’s growth.

It is a partial merger between leading companies Alpha Sigma Capital and Transform Ventures. The two new funds will raise $100 million to invest in the future of Web3.

Alpha Sigma Capital, a Californian digital asset fund, announced the initiative. In an interview with Reuters, CEO Enzo Villani (former head of international strategy at OKX) explained how the funds can foster the development of Web3 integrations and spread DeFi innovations in the mainstream market.

Villani stated:

“The growth of blockchain tech and the growth of Web 3 are starting to happen.” “A lot of things that are happening right now in the crypto sector will turn out to be challenges. I think they were going to happen anyway.”

While we share the same vision as the CEO, Synapse believes that while our market growth is inevitable, we still have to face the current state of things, meaning that careful manoeuvring is and will be the name of the game for a while yet.

Transform Ventures, the VC wing of Puerto Rico-based Transform Group, forms the other half of the merger. Transform Group, one of the largest blockchain PR firms in the world, has launched over 150 tokens representing 57% of the total crypto market.

Under the leadership of CEO, Michael Terpin, the company has spearheaded the PR strategy of large projects such as Ethereum, Tether and Dash. This is the latest in a string of recent wins for Terpin.

The merger between Alpha Sigma and Transform Ventures will result in the initial establishment of two funds. The first fund, established this month, is called ‘Alpha Liquid Digital Asset fund’ and was started with Terpin’s personal investment of $2.65 million. Subsequently, according to Terpin’s CEO, other figures spearheading the market will make a cash injection of $2.9 million. The second fund will be a closed venture capital fund focused on blockchain tech. Although it has not yet been established, it is rumoured that this fund will be called Aegean Fund.

It is hoped that the funds will help fuel the growth of start-ups in the Web3 sector, as 2023 is considered a key year for the industry, ahead of Bitcoin’s next halving in 2024 spring.

USD weakness leads to a BTC downturn as Solana and Polygon trading volume stays consistently high.

This latest dip may be an important accumulation zone, as selling pressure on Bitcoin (BTC) has contributed to a broader market decline and tokens of some of the largest blockchains fell as much as 6% on Thursday morning in Asia. Reporting the news was the online media outlet CoinDesk.

A sudden slide happened as Bitcoin fell below $20,000 during European hours in the first week of March.

Although the broader traditional markets were more affected by SVB’s downfall Ether (ETH) lost over 6% following BTC’s weakness in the wake of the Silicon Valley giants crisis.

Toncoin (TON), on the other hand, bucked the trend, as it rose 6% going against the trends without any immediate apparent catalysts, and Shiba Inu (SHIB) also rose 2.2%, buoyed by the imminent beta launch of Shibarium, its native blockchain.

Silvergate and Gemini’s problems may have compounded the issue of the price collapse

as their statement by Silvergate Bank declaring that it will ‘voluntarily liquidate’ its assets and close the operations of its holding company, Silvergate Capital Corp has led to market unrest and retail fear.

The immediate consequences are on hand as the price drop has caused more than $100 million in liquidations in just 24 hours, data from the analysis tool Coinglass shows. Just over 85% of these liquidations were made on ‘short’ positions, i.e. by traders betting on falling prices. Over 70 million USD of these figures occurred on Bitcoin and Ether futures alone.

Cathie Wood does not lose faith in Bitcoin and cryptos

Cathie Wood, founder and CEO of capital firm ARK Invest, reiterated her optimistic stance on Bitcoin and other cryptos during the Lyceum Miami event while speaking with journalist and investor Anthony Pompliano.

Despite recent debacles in the crypto sector, from the FTX bankruptcy to that of Silvergate Bank still fresh in our minds, Wood said that she is still optimistic, confirming that she has a very good feeling about the future of cryptos, mentioning that the market is still young and growing.

The online publication cryptoslate.com reports excerpts from the interview in an article about the event. Wood claims:

‘Our confidence grew over the course of this year because FTX, Celsius, Three AC, and Voyager, were all centralised companies. The opaquely managed companies went out of business. The same goes for regulated centralised companies, think of Genesis, which went bankrupt. Or Silvergate, also regulated, but again, very centralised.”

Wood once again reiterates Bitcoin’s role as a safe haven asset against inflation and the potential to play a key role in diversifying institutional portfolios.

When considering Bitcoin as a new asset class, according to Wood, it is important to recognise that it shares the same characteristics as the evolution of the derivatives market. Like derivatives, Bitcoin is a new financial instrument that has faced regulatory challenges and uncertainties. ‘I think that’s really where this new asset class comes in,’ she said.

Wood spoke about some of the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies. In particular, she referred to the potential regulatory crisis that we are now seeing and the probable technological disruption that may happen to existing sectors.

She also stressed the importance of conducting thorough research and due diligence before investing in any cryptocurrency-related assets, a sentiment shared with passion by each member of the Synapse Network.

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest was one of the first mainstream financial firms on Wall Street to start buying Bitcoin in 2015. Wood attributes her unwavering confidence and courage to the focus she and her team put on research and data analysis, factors that help her not lose focus even when markets are bearish.

“As in the cryptocurrency world, what gave us the courage of our conviction and somewhat protected us from criticism was our research and discoveries happening faster, not slower, faster. When times are tough, innovation becomes stronger. Faster, better, more efficient, more creative, more productive.

Gordon Ramsay launches new NFT project in the Sandbox Metaverse.

In the wake of multiple issues plaguing the DeFi ecosystem, a new household name makes its entrance into the world of NFTs.

The NFT Evening online media published news this morning that The Sandbox, a leading NFT gaming platform, has announced the upcoming release of Gordon Ramsay’s NFTs Hell’s Kitchen Avatar Collection.

The collection includes 2,333 avatars with a look inspired by the famous chef. The avatars will allow fans to show their love for Ramsay and The Sandbox in style! The collection will be released on 14 March, so let’s take a look at what’s in store!

According to the announcement, the Hell’s Kitchen avatar collection promises to take fans on an unprecedented culinary adventure. The NFT collection has been well received on Twitter, both by players who are avid Ramsay fans and those who simply enjoy collecting unique and interesting avatars.

Furthermore, with its fiery design and a nod to the chef’s iconic TV show, this collection was a big hit with blockchain players and cooking enthusiasts alike.

Sandbox has a solid reputation for delivering high-quality content through high-profile partnerships. The Hell’s Kitchen avatar collection is simply the latest addition; the company has recently partnered with other mainstream brands and companies such as Warner Music Group, Forbes, and even Playboy, showcasing strong interest by traditional brands in the new technology showcased by the Metaverse.

In fact, the latest avatar launch is not the first collaboration between Sandbox and Chef Ramsay. Back in August 2022, Ramsay announced the arrival of Hell’s Kitchen in The Sandbox’s metaverse, complete with his avatar; according to the official announcement released by the chef, players will have the opportunity to create new dishes, participate in challenges, collect recipes and compete to become head chef.

Sandbox has become famous for its innovative approach to gaming, particularly its use of blockchain technology and NFTs. This approach allows for unique collectable game assets. These assets include avatars that can be bought, sold and traded between players. Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen Avatar Collection is just one example in the sea of interesting introductions made by Sandbox

In an all-red market, Real Estate sales in the DeFi Ecosystem are steadily growing, with Spain leading the charge.

According to a new study, Spain has become the hub of cryptocurrency-powered real estate. According to the media outlet Criptonizando the research, conducted by Forex, found that 289 properties were put up for sale in Spain using cryptos as a payment option. These properties were mainly concentrated in the southern cities of Alicante and Marbella, but several houses were also located in Barcelona.

As the Media states:

“This number places Spain ahead of all other countries and by a significant margin.”

Thailand ranked second on the list, with 227 properties listed for sale in crypto. Portugal, on the other hand, took third place with 130 properties. Furthermore, it was revealed that the average price of a property listed for sale in Bitcoin (BTC) in El Salvador, was 40 BTC, signifying that market leaders and rich retail investors are looking towards this new avenue of crypto usage.

Meanwhile, property sellers in other countries are also starting to accept BTC and ETH as payments.

Even in Germany, there are properties currently for sale with signs claiming to accept payment in BTC. For example, a house in Thuringia, Germany, was put up for sale on the British platform Rightmove, where the seller stated that he would accept payment in Bitcoin.

Several properties were put up for sale in crypto in Spain through the real estate platform Idealista. For instance, a seller in Gran Canaria once again wrote that BTC or ETH were both accepted as payments. The owner of a chalet in Aragon also announced his willingness to accept crypto in exchange for his property.

We can track down this trend that first started in Spain as the first tokenized property was a flat in Seville, that popped out in the market back in 2021 and was sold to international clients using the Ethereum blockchain.

Last year, the owner of the most expensive house in Venezuela put his property up for sale in crypto. Experts believe that some ‘young people with considerable knowledge of crypto’ prefer to accept tokens over fiat currencies in real estate transactions following the failure of multiple mainstream markets around the world.

That’s all folks!

What’s new in Cryptois a long-form column that focuses on aggregating and displaying events of critical importance in the DeFi landscape. This article signs the second iteration of our series, and we hope that the info you found here was both satisfactory and useful for your crypto journey.

To keep up with anything De-Fi, just follow us here on Medium or check out our other media, like Twitter and Telegram!

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