Top Five Web3 Coins To Have Under the Radar in 2022

The new era of the internet is here and it is called “Web3”, thanks to the technology that is behind the cryptocurrencies which is blockchain.

In the mid-90s, when the Internet was invented, platforms like “Yahoo!” and “MSN Messenger” were some of the most used ones for search and communication purposes, this was known as “Web1.”

As years passed by, the internet got more adoption and platforms like Spotify and Instagram were launched in this new phase of the internet known as “Web2”.

In 2014, Gavin Wood, known for being co-founder of Ethereum and Polkadot, named and described for the first time ever the word “Web3” in a post called “ ĐApps: What Web 3.0 Looks Like”.

“Web 3.0, or as might be termed the “post-Snowden” web, is a reimagination of the sorts of things that we already use the Web for, but with a fundamentally different model for the interactions between parties.” Gavin Wood

What Is Web3?

Last year, the crypto world gained a lot of attention worldwide, especially in the NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) ecosystem. The main NFT marketplace, OpenSea, got 10x of users since the beginning of the year, from approximately 100,000 users to almost 1 million, according to Dune Analytics data.

As NFTs got an explosive growth last year, some users who bought an NFT could also receive benefits, this is one of the main characteristics in the Web3 era, users are also benefited from artists or creators by supporting them.

“Web3 is the internet owned by the builders and users, orchestrated with tokens,” said Chris Dixon, general partner at VC Andreessen Horowitz.

Five Web3 Coins To Watch This Year

Polkadot (DOT)

DOT is the 10th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ($24 billion) with a value of $24.36 per coin, after reaching its all-time high of $53.88 in November 2021, according to CoinMarketCap.

DOT
September 2021-January 2022 DOT/USD chart. Source: FXEMPIRE

The project was founded by Gavin Wood, Robert Habermeier, and Peter Czaban in 2016, supported by the Web3 Foundation, it is a platform for Web3 where users are in control and it is completely decentralized.

Polkadot has its main chain called “Relay Chain”, which is built as its Layer 0, and in order to have better scalability in the network, there are Parallel Chains known as “parachains” built as Layer 1 blockchains that are connected to the main chain and can be connected to other networks via bridges.

Last month the first five parachains were live on the network through different auctions, which is one of the reasons that the price reached its all-time high. As more parachains are launched this year, we can expect that the price could have a positive reaction to them.

FileCoin (FIL)

FIL is the 37th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ($4.2 billion) with a value of $28.21 per coin, after reaching its all-time high of $191.36 in March 2021, according to CoinMarketCap.

FIL FXEMPIRE
September 2021-January 2022 FIL/USD chart. Source: FXEMPIRE

The project was founded by Juan Benet in 2014, it is a decentralized storage network where users pay storage miners FIL tokens to store their information securely and correctly.

In October 2021, they launched FileCoin Plus, so storage providers can connect with verified clients. According to their official Twitter account, Inflow music will be released next month, a social token platform where fans will also benefit by supporting the artists.

Theta Network (THETA)

THETA is the 40th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ($4 billion) with a value of $4.01 per coin, after reaching its all-time high of $14.28 in April 2021, according to CoinMarketCap.

THETA FXEMPIRE
September 2021-January 2022 THETA/USD chart. Source: FXEMPIRE

The project was founded by Mitch Liu and Jieyi Long in 2017, it is a decentralized video streaming platform in order to stream excellent video quality that is run by a network of hundreds of computers across the globe.

According to its official website, Theta Network has big partners like MGM, Lionsgate, and NASA and during 2022 they are delivering airdrops and an NFT based video platform.

Helium (HNT)

HNT is the 46th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ($3.3 billion) with a value of $31.45 per coin, after reaching its all-time high of $52.71 in November 2021, according to CoinMarketCap.

HNT FXEmpire
September 2021-January 2022 HNT/USD chart. Source: FXEMPIRE

The project was founded by Shawn Fanning, Amir Haleem, and Sean Carey in 2013, it is a decentralized wireless network where IoT devices are used as Hotspots and earn HNT tokens when data is transferred.

The Helium team attended last week at the Consumer Technology Association in Las Vegas and recently partnered with FreedomFi, a 5G network builder.

BitTorrent (BTT)

BTT is the 54th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization ($2.4 billion) with a value of $0.002483 per coin, after reaching its all-time high of $0.01 in April 2021, according to CoinMarketCap.

BTT FXEmpire
September 2021-January 2022 BTT/USD chart. Source: FXEMPIRE

The project originally was founded by Bram Cohen in 2001, but then in 2019, it was acquired by the TRON Foundation, it is the world’s largest decentralized file-sharing protocol that uses its native token BTT which can be earned by seeding files, according to its official website.

Although these five coins are down more than 30% since their all-time highs, the Web3 mania appears just to be starting, these are only five projects but there are many more building it to expand this new era of the internet.

The CEO of Binance Is the Wealthiest Crypto Billionaire

Who would have believed that the CEO of a company founded just five years ago would now join the top 15 richest people in the world? According to Bloomberg, Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ has an estimated net worth of $96 billion.

Bloomberg assumed that CZ owns 90% of Binance and did not include his personal holdings. In November of 2021, Changpeng Zhao was interviewed and revealed that he bought Bitcoin in 2014 and that the other crypto he holds, which is BNB, represents the majority of his net worth. With this known, CZ’s real net worth could be a lot more than $96 billion.

After the Bloomberg announcement, the CEO of Binance tweeted the following on his official account:

“Don’t worry about rankings. Focus on how many people you can help,” said CZ.

Crypto Exchanges CEO Billionaires Club

The CEO of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange Binance by daily volume joins other crypto billionaires in the space, like Sam Bankman-Fried and Brian Armstrong, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and all of them are CEOs of the main crypto exchanges.

Sam Bankman-Fried with a net worth of $15.4 billion is the CEO of FTX cryptocurrency exchange, which last year made historical partnerships in sports such as with the MLB and the naming rights of the stadium of the Miami Heats.

Brian Armstrong with a net worth of $8.93 billion is the CEO of Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange, which started trading publicly on the Nasdaq exchange in April 2021.

Binance Latest Milestones

Binance has really grown since its inception days, having a lot of new services like staking and the NFT marketplace, and one of CZ´s main focus in Binance is to work with regulators as closely as possible.

One of its latest news, in late December 2021 was the completion of the acquisition of Swipe shares, one of the biggest crypto debit card issuer that works with Visa and Mastercard. This acquisition started in July of last year with the purchase of the majority of Swipe shares.

In other recent news, the exchange made in October 2021 a $1 billion funding to its network Binance Smart Chain, in order to expand its global crypto users to 1 billion.

As more people enter the crypto industry, most people probably will begin with Binance because of its recognition. It appears that the real net worth of CZ including his personal crypto holdings could put him near the top five world’s billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett.

The Recently Launched LGBT Token Is Getting Attention

The Spanish project, launched a month ago, has already 10,000 interested users on their waiting list to be the first ones to buy the coin, according to its website. The project wants to have a “social, ethical, transparent, and transversal” payment method.

Although the team behind MariCoin says it’s the first-ever LGBT token, other coins have been around a while back like the “LGBT Token” and “PRIDE” launched in 2018 and 2021 respectively.

About MariCoin (MCOIN)

The project was founded in December 2021 by Juan Belmonte and Francisco Álvarez in Madrid, Spain and during New Years’ weekend, they launched a pilot program in 10 business sites in the LGBT neighborhood called Chueca in Madrid.

“The establishments that accept our coin will be listed on our map, which will work as an LGBTI guide for anyone visiting any city in the world,” Francisco Álvarez said.

According to its official website, MariCoin is built on the Algorand blockchain and is supported by the Venture Capital Borderless Capital. On their roadmap in Q1 this year they will launch their own wallet, MCOIN will be listed in some exchanges and later this year smart contracts will be enabled.

The project got so much attention that their waitlist is closed for the first ones who were interested in the project.

Some People in the Community Are Not Confident About the Project

The project is promising a lot of things, but some are not seeing clearly, starting with the name of the project that comes from a homophobic slur in Spanish.

Justin Ehrenhofer, who is involved in the crypto space, tweeted yesterday about thinking that MariCoin could be a scam because he commented that when you are joining the waitlist, which is a simple Google form, you have to enter how much money you want to invest.

This is not only happening on Twitter but also on Reddit are members claiming that the webpage lacks professionality and does not have any technical descriptions of how the coin is going to work.

Although 10,000 people have joined the waitlist, others are pretty cautious about the project of having red flags. Let’s hope MariCoin will not become the next scam project like the SQUID Game token.

Only time will tell if the team behind MariCoin can accomplish their objectives as they said.

ASIC Miner Manufacturer Canaan Expands Its Operations in Kazakhstan

Bitcoin miners will remember 2021 as the year of the distribution of bitcoin mining operations in many countries which fled out of China, and Kazakhstan was one of the leading countries to allocate these bitcoin mining units.

According to a press release on Tuesday by Canaan, as of December 31 of 2021, they had 10,300 AvalonMiner bitcoin miners operating in Kazakhstan. Canaan also commented this was the last batch of mining units of its first phase of expansion in the country.

“The deployment of over 10,000 mining machines not only deepens our collaboration with leading local mining farms, but also marks our great strikes in our cultivation of the Bitcoin mining business” said Nangeng Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Canaan

Kazakhstan Crypto Mining Situation

In May of last year, China banned all crypto mining operations in the country. Four months later, the University of Cambridge published a study of Bitcoin global hashrate, where Kazakhstan was the second highest country of having bitcoin hashrate (21.9%) after the U.S. (42.7%), where other countries like Canada, Russia, Ireland, and others were named.

As more local bitcoin mining firms continue to grow in Kazakhstan, an energy crisis started in September of last year and the government started rationing electricity depending on the crypto mine location, so the government proposed an energy usage limit of 100 megawatts (MW) for new crypto mines.

In November the Minister of Energy said that the government wouldn’t shut down legally crypto mines, but a few weeks later they didn’t keep their promise and a legal crypto mine with 2,500 units in southern Kazakhstan was shut down.

This energy crisis occurred because three major coal-fired power plants weren’t working, so some local crypto mining firms are staying in the country believing this will get better in the future and others are relocating their mining rigs to other countries like Russia.

Canaan’s Main Focus is the United States and Kazakhstan

Canaan has been very active over the past two months, two weeks ago, they announced a deal with Genesis Digital Assets of 180,000 crypto Avalon Miners, starting the first delivery of 30,000 units in Q1 of 2022 and the remaining units after. Genesis Digital Assets operates its crypto mines in the United States in West Texas.

Despite the energy crisis in Kazakhstan, Canaan still believes in it. In November of 2021, they delivered 2,000 crypto miners, having 32,000 TH/s and planning to have 850,000 TH/s in the near future, commented Canaan in a press release two months ago.

It appears Canaan is fulfilling their Bitcoin hashrate objective in Kazakhstan with this first phase of expansion. With China’s crypto mines banned, companies like Canaan have more opportunities to have their crypto equipment all over the world. They are betting on Kazakhstan that in the near future the energy crisis will be resolved.

DeFi Algorand Based Platform Tinyman Lost $3 Million During an Exploit

Some communities started the year with the right foot and others did not so much like in the Algorand ecosystem.

On January 1st the Decentralised Finance platform built on Algorand network Tinyman was attacked and approximately $3 million of assets were withdrawn from a pool without authorization, according to their official blog statement.

Today, two days after the attack, the official Tinyman Twitter account posted the following statement:

“We advise our users not to use Tinyman at the moment due to the problems we are experiencing. Low liquidity can also cause a loss of value in your funds. We’ll be stopping our swap func. on the interface soon. Please take this warning seriously as this is for our users protection”

About the exploit

According to their official blog statement, there was a lot of volatility in the first hours after the exploit, and certain Algorand Standard Assets (ASAs) were “drained” because of it. Tinyman’s team said that the attackers activated their wallet addresses and deposited a seed fund for the attack.

To continue with the attack, the hackers started targeting some pools, swapping some assets and minted Pool Tokens, allowing the attackers to get two of the same assets instead of two different ones because of an unknown bug in the exploit. This way the attackers were benefited because the “gobtc asset” was more valuable than Algorand’s native token ALGO.

Tinyman also revealed that the attackers swapped pools with stablecoins and withdrew those assets to other wallets and centralized exchanges. The team claimed that users affected by this attack will be reimbursed by the protocol.

DeFi Platforms Come With High Risk

In 2021, “DeFi” was one of the most trending words of the year in the crypto world, and it exists thanks to smart contracts.

In November 2021, the global crypto management risk company Elliptic published a research that revealed that $10.5 billion of assets were lost due to exploits or hacks in DeFi protocols in 2021.

“Decentralised apps are designed to be trustless in that they eliminate any third-party control of users’ funds, but you must still trust that the creators of the protocol have not made a coding or design mistake that could lead to a loss of funds.” said Tom Robinson, Chief Scientist at Elliptic.

The DeFi protocols are new to the space and are growing every day, in January 2021 there was $20 billion of Total Value Locked (TVL) and one year later there are approximately $250 billion, according to DeFi Llama data, increasing more than 10 times in one year.

As more money flows in the DeFi world, more criminals and attackers are tempted to hack the protocols because it’s something very new on crypto and there is no KYC and they are based on smart contracts. Smart contracts are made by human beings that can leave mistakes that attackers can take advantage of.

Let’s hope in the future the market will have more experience on the DeFi ecosystem and can learn about the mistakes of Tinyman protocol and maybe see a possible regulation within the DeFi world.

Avalanche (AVAX) Price Prediction for 2022

2021 has been a very good year in crypto in general, especially in the growth of new alternative blockchains of Ethereum like Avalanche for example.

Avalanche (AVAX), the eleventh biggest cryptocurrency in market capitalization, had a strong year with an excellent bullish performance of +3,100% outperforming almost all of the top 10 cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) +65%, Ethereum (ETH) +413%, Binance Coin (BNB) +1,295%, Cardano (ADA) +646%, and Polkadot (DOT) +199%, according to CoinMarketCap.

Avalanche (AVAX) started the year with a market cap of $281 million and with a $3.66 coin value and ended the last day of the year with a market cap of $26.1 billion with a $107.42 coin value at the time of writing, after reaching an all-time high of $134.53 and a market cap of $30.11 billion in late November.

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What drove Avalanche’s price to reach ATH in 2021?

AVAX’s huge momentum was during the last quarter of the year, on November 16th, Deloitte announced a partnership with Ava Labs, the team behind Avalanche, by launching a platform called “Close As You Go (CAYG)” built on Avalanche blockchain.

This platform will aid state and local governments to demonstrate federal funding during natural disasters and public health emergencies. One week after this huge partnership, AVAX reached its all time high.

“Our new Close As You Go platform can play a critical role in helping these leaders be prepared to aggregate and validate the documentation necessary to demonstrate eligibility for funding and reduce the risk of adverse audit findings down the road.” said Alex Haseley, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Deloitte’s government and public services crisis management portfolio leader.

After reaching all-time high in late November of $134.53, it started to fall and founded support around $80, until mid-December were a report led by Alkesh Shah of Bank of America was published and concluded that Avalanche had a huge scaling capability with faster settlements and lower transaction fees than other alternative blockchains. A few days later, the stablecoin USDC was integrated with Avalanche blockchain, and a week later AVAX price rallied +52% broking the descending channel, as referenced below:

December 2021 AVAX/USD chart. Source: FXEMPIRE

What’s next for Avalanche (AVAX) in 2022?

According to WalletInvestor prediction algorithm model, they forecast an ascending and upward year in AVAX’s price finishing the year at $275 approximately, having fewer returns than 2021 as you see in the picture below:

AVAX/USD WalletInvestor forecast for 2022. Source: WalletInvestor

Other forecasts for next year are even more bullish, Gov Capital’s and CoinPriceForecast expect that AVAX will reach $309 and $305 respectively by December 2022.

It appears AVAX will continue to grow next year, and the bullish sentiment will continue. As DeFi and NFTs gain more adoption, new users entering the crypto industry can see Avalanche´s blockchain as an Ethereum alternative. Let’s hope other big names like Deloitte adopt Avalanche’s blockchain in 2022 while crypto global adoption continues.

The Biggest Bank in Russia Launches the First Blockchain ETF in the Country

Russia’s actions this year on the crypto world haven’t been positive, at the beginning of the year Vladimir Putin said that crypto can be used for money laundering or finance terrorism, and earlier this month the Bank of Russia banned Russian mutual funds from investing in cryptocurrency, but with this major announcement it appears things are changing.

The largest bank in Russia, Sberbank, announced on Thursday that Sber Asset Management is launching a fund called “Sberbank Blockchain Economy ETF” and will be available on the Russian stock market.

“Direct investments in crypto assets are associated with high risks, so it’s difficult to deal with them on your own. As such, we offer to invest not in crypto but rather in firms focused on the development of blockchain technologies” Evgeny Zaitsev. Sber Asset Management CEO said.

The ETF will trade under the ticker “SBBE”

SBBE will track Sber Blockchain Economy Index, which is developed by SberCIB and it tracks stocks of major companies related to blockchain technology.

The fund will be tracking big crypto companies such as cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, cryptocurrency service firm Galaxy Digital, blockchain software developer Digindex and many others, according to the Sber Asset Management statement.

SBBE shares will be in U.S. dollars, but investors will be able to buy shares in the SberInvestor app or through another Russian broker with Russian rubles. Each share will start at $0.13 (10 rubles).

2021: The beginning of the crypto ETFs

With crypto going mainstream, countries are looking at how to regulate them and finding a way to invest in them in a less riskier way like ETFs. One of the major catalysts in the crypto ETF world this year was the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), launched last October on the NYSE, making history of being the first crypto related ETF (futures) in the U.S.

After Proshares ETF was launched, other bitcoin futures ETF were launched in the U.S. in the following weeks like the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF(BTF) and VanEck Bitcoin Strategy( ETF (XBTF).

Other countries like Canada, Brazil and UAE have been less strict with their countries regulations and they have approved spot bitcoin ETFs. Earlier this month, the giant asset manager Fidelity launched a spot bitcoin ETF in Canada.

It appears other countries are moving faster in the crypto ETFs than in the U.S. As more crypto and blockchain companies go public, there will be more ETFs and more opportunities for new players to invest in a regulated way in this new industry. Let’s hope in 2022 the U.S. approves a spot bitcoin ETF following Canada’s direction.

Elon Musk Claims He Is Not the Creator of Bitcoin

During this year, Elon Musk has been very involved in the crypto world, especially in the Bitcoin (BTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE) ecosystems. Yesterday, he was interviewed by Lex Fridman on his podcast and they discussed SpaceX, Mars, Tesla autopilot function, crypto and more.

In the interview, during the crypto related part, they talked about Bitcoin and Dogecoin and Satoshi Nakamoto. He confirmed that he is not Satoshi Nakamoto, but he talked about who might be.

This is not the first time Elon Musk disclosed that he is not Satoshi Nakamoto, back in November 2017 Sahil Gupta, an intern who worked at SpaceX, wrote on Medium that Elon Musk was Satoshi Nakamoto, but Elon denied it and said that he received some bitcoin a few years back but he had lost it.

Elon Musk reveals who could be Satoshi Nakamoto

This part was one of the most trending ones during the podcast, he said that Nick Szabo could be Satoshi Nakamoto, because of his evolution of the ideas behind Bitcoin.

“It seems as though Nick Szabo is probably, more than anyone else, responsible for the evolution of those ideas. He claims not to be Nakamoto, but I’m not sure that’s neither here nor there. But he seems to be the one more responsible for the ideas behind bitcoin than anyone else.” Elon Musk said.

In 2014 a group of linguistic researchers studied Bitcoin Whitepaper together with the writing of Nick Szabo and other 10 other possible creators, and the results were unquestionable.

“The number of linguistic similarities between Szabo’s writing and the bitcoin whitepaper is uncanny,” the researchers said, adding that “none of the other possible authors were anywhere near as good of a match.”

Bitcoin and Dogecoin on Musk’s point of view

Elon Musk said in the interview that he thinks about Bitcoin as a store of value and not as a currency because when a currency is too deflationary and is expected to increase value over time, people prefer to HODL it instead of spending it.

Musk also commented that Dogecoin has much higher transaction volume capability than Bitcoin, as well as lower transaction fees than Bitcoin, calling Bitcoin’s speed “comically slow”.

“Right now, if you want to do a Bitcoin transaction, the price of doing that transaction is very high so you could not use it effectively for most things, and nor could it even scale to high volume” Elon said to Fridman

Although Nick Szabo has denied many times that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, some facts continue to point at him as the creator of Bitcoin. It has been 13 years of Bitcoin creation and it is still unknown who created it and continues to be anonymous.

A Top 10 ETH Whale Buys $3.9 Million SAND

Since Facebook announced the change of its name to “Meta” last October, the digital world has acquired a lot of attention, especially in the metaverse crypto tokens like SAND and MANA.

According to WhaleStats, the 8th biggest ETH whale named “Gimli”, that holds 1 Trillion SHIB as his third biggest asset, grew his SAND holdings by buying 585,844 SAND ($3.9 million), having a total of 3.1 million SAND ($19.5 million).

“Gimli” portfolio is approximately $2.2 billion, and his biggest holding is META that represents 76% of his portfolio. The whale “Gimli” also has ETH, MANA, FTM among his top ten holdings.

SAND is trending in the whale ecosystem in the last 24h

In the last 24h, SAND is ranked as the 4th most purchased coin, with an average quantity of 650 SAND ($4311) at the time of this writing. In fact, yesterday, the 2nd biggest Ethereum whale bought 859,518 SAND ($ 5,775,962), according to WhaleStats.

SAND is the utility coin of The Sandbox metaverse and is the 33th biggest cryptocurrency with a total of $5.6 billion of market capitalization at the time of this writing. It has been an amazing year for SAND with an explosive performance of +17,000%, which high momentum began after Facebook’s big announcement about entering the meta world.

SAND is trading $6.23 per coin at the time of writing, and it’s down 26% from it’s all-time high of $8.40 on November 25th, according to CoinMarketCap.

The Sandbox has gained a lot of attention in this last quarter, one of its biggest partnerships was with Adidas earlier this month, and had previous partnerships with Atari, celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Deadmau5, and Richie Hawtin, according to The Sandbox’s website.

ETH whales prefer SHIB

According to WhaleStats data, Shiba Inu is the biggest token position by dollar value on the top 1,000 Ethereum wallets and the second largest holding after ETH.

SHIB is another “joke” token like DOGE and is now the 13th biggest cryptocurrency with a total value of $19 billion. Although SHIB is down 55% from it’s all time high on October 27th, it’s still up more than 50,000% over the year. An interesting fact about a SHIB holder, is that one wallet that was worth $8,000 a year ago, was worth approximately $5.7 billion when SHIB reached its all time high.

It appears that SHIB is the whales’ favorite coin, and lately with the metaverse growing fast over this last quarter of the year, metaverse related coins such SAND and MANA are gaining a lot of attention from the largest ETH whales.

Dogecoin Co-founder Billy Marcus Reveals Today How Many DOGE He Owns

The cryptocurrency created back in 2013 as a joke by Billy Marcus and Jackson Palmer now is the 12th biggest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $25 billion dollars.

On December 27th, Billy Marcus said on his official twitter account that he holds approximately 220,000 DOGE and that he is not working on the Dogecoin project, but he is a regular member of the DOGE community.

He also said that he isn’t going back to be part of the project because the more he dedicated to the project, the community treated him worse.

Marcus also commented that he doesn’t owe anything to the crypto community, and he is free to talk about anything he wants.He also supports the people that are working to improve the crypto space and is disappointed in the ones that aren’t making it better.

Billy Marcus got his attention in 2021

This is not the first time that Billy Marcus talks about Dogecoin (DOGE) this year. Last January he tweeted that he left the project 7 years ago because of harassment of the community.

“I’m no longer part of the Dogecoin project. I left around 2015, as the community started to strongly shift from one that I was comfortable with. I don’t currently own any Dogecoin, except what has been tipped to me recently, I gave away and/or sold all the crypto I had back in 2015, after being laid off and scared about my dwindling savings at the time, for about enough in total to buy a used Honda Civic.” Billy Marcus said on Reddit.

Six months later, in June, he tweeted that he bought some DOGE after he promised 8 years ago that he would never buy crypto again.

A strong year for DOGE in 2021

It has been a good year for DOGE and crypto in general. Although DOGE is at $0.19 at the time of writing, it is actually down 72% from it’s all time high ($0.68) in May. However, it is still up +4,000% in comparison with its price from a year ago. Elon Musk took a huge influencer role on its price movement during this year, especially when he appeared on Saturday Night Live talking about Dogecoin, which was the same time that the cryptocurrency had its ATH.

Last October, AMC Theatres announced that they will be accepting DOGE to buy digital gift cards, and recently this month, Elon Musk announced that DOGE will be accepted in Tesla as a form of payment for some merchandise.

It appears that DOGE is no longer a joke and it is used to buy real things, Billy Marcus 8 years ago wouldn’t have imagined that DOGE would have come this far. The co-founder has made it very clear that he doesn’t want to be a part of the project again, and as the global crypto adoption continues, we can expect DOGE to continue to grow next year.

Cardano (ADA) Price Prediction for 2022

2021 has been a very bullish year in the cryptocurrency world, starting the year with a $775 billion crypto market cap and closing the year with $2.3 trillion, after reaching an all time high in the crypto market cap of almost $3 trillion in early November.

Cardano (ADA), the sixth biggest cryptocurrency in market capitalization, had a strong year with an excellent bullish performance of +691% outperforming both Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with performances 75% and 453% respectively, according to CoinMarketCap.

Cardano (ADA) started the year with a market cap of $5.5 billion with a value of $0.18 in each coin and ending the last days of the year with a market cap of $49 billion with a value of $1.46 in each coin, after reaching an all time high of $3.03 and a market cap of $97.52 billion in early September.

What drove Cardano’s price to reach ATH in 2021?

ADA’s price all time high coincides with the Alonzo upgrade, in early September, this upgrade got a lot of attention and is the major fact that drove the price up, reaching all time high until mid September where the price started to fall.

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The long awaited Cardano’s Alonzo upgrade finally went live and brought the smart contracts to their blockchain, so developers can create decentralized apps (Dapps) and start entering in the world of DeFi (Decentralized Finance) and NFTs.

“This upgrade is the culmination of six years of incredibly hard work with some of the brightest minds in blockchain and beyond,” said Charles Hoskinson, founder of Cardano.

After reaching all time high in September of $3.03, it started to fall and go sideways in the month of October around 2$, and from November 10th it started a descending channel until recently when it finally had a breakout, and possibly began an ascending channel moving upwards, as referenced below:

ADA/USD chart. Source: TradingView.

What’s next for Cardano (ADA) in 2022?

According to WalletInvestor prediction algorithm model, they forecast an ascending and upward year in ADA’s price finishing the year by breaking the previous all time high of $3.03, having less returns than 2021 as you see in the picture below.

ADA/USD WalletInvestor forecast for 2022. Source: WalletInvestor

Other analysts expect that this bull run will continue next year, having a new ATH for Ethereum and Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but nobody can really have certainty, in the crypto market anything can happen. However, one thing is definitely true, 2021 has been an important year for Cardano (ADA) ecosystem with its upgrade, and has been the year of DeFí and NFTs. Let’s hope 2022 will be the same or better as the crypto global adoption continues.

The Second Biggest SHIB Whale Holder Buys $2.8 Million of SLP

This has been the year of the meme and metaverse tokens, and this is where SHIBA INU and Smooth Love Potion (SLP) come in. Who would have believed one year ago that SHIBA INU and Axie Infinity token would have a $19 billion and $6.25 billion market capitalization at the time of this writing, according to Coinmarketcap?

According to Whalestats, “Light” is not the only one who has been accumulating SHIBA these last days of the year, recently a whale under the name “Tsunade” bought 34 billion SHIB.

What is SLP?

This year blockchain games went mainstream along with the new definition “play-to-earn”, especially in countries with emerging markets like the Philippines and Venezuela, where people are playing the games in order to earn income needed due to their economic, social, and political situation, and Axie Infinity lead this path.

Smooth Love Potion (SLP) is the utility token of Axie Infinity. It is the main source of income for players in Axie’s metaverse. You can earn SLP in the game by completing daily quests, battling other players in the PvP mode or fighting in the Adventure mode (PvE). SLP has a $97.82 million dollar market cap and its ranked #451, according to Coinmarketcap.

“Light” portfolio is not only about SHIBA INU

The whale known as “Light” is the 2nd biggest SHIBA INU holder and the 4th biggest whale in the Ethereum ecosystem with a total portfolio value of $3.7 billion. Light’s biggest portfolio asset is SHIBA INU with a total value of $1.39 billion and it represents the 37% of its portfolio, but has many more tokens following SHIBA INU, like ETH, its second biggest asset with a total value of $669 million and its third biggest asset is Crypto.com CRO token with a total value of $470 million, according to Whalestats.

Metaverse coins such as The Sandbox utility token SAND, and Decentraland MANA token, are also among Light’s portfolio. SAND is on its 6th biggest asset with a total value of $101 million and MANA on its 11th position with a value of $68 million. On the other hand, Lights ranked #5 in the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem with a total portfolio value of $682 million.

It appears that meme coins such as SHIBA INU and metaverse-NFT related coins such as SLP, SAND, and MANA are gaining attention from the biggest whales in the crypto ecosystem like “Light”. This year there has been a huge demand for these coins, especially with the metaverse ones because of its great utility in the play-to-earn world.

We can expect more whales tol keep accumulating following Light’s investments, because they are seeing a huge demand and growth for these kinds of coins.

 

More Than a Quarter of All Bitcoin in Circulation Is Controlled by Few Investors

The research was led by two finance professors Antoinette Schoar from MIT Sloan School of Management and Igor Makarov from London School of Economics. They were able to study and analyze all bitcoin data since its inception, 13 years ago.

This research was possible because Bitcoin uses blockchain technology, which registers every transaction and all the data that happens on the bitcoin network are on a public ledger, so anyone can access and analyze this “on-chain” data.

There is 19 million bitcoin in circulation and the study showed that the first 10,000 wealthiest bitcoin wallets hold 5 million bitcoin ($230 billion equivalent at the time of this writing), and with an estimation of 114 million wallets around the world holding bitcoin according to Crypto.com, that means that 0.01% of bitcoin holders control 27% of all the bitcoin in circulation.

If we compare the wealth in the U.S., according to the Federal Reserve the top 1% of households own almost a third of all wealth.

Is Bitcoin decentralized as it was meant to be?

One of Bitcoin’s main purposes was to be a decentralized system, however, “Despite having been around for 14 years and the hype it has ratcheted up, it’s still the case that it’s a very concentrated ecosystem,” Antoinette Schoar commented.

In the study, the professors analyzed two aspects when considering Bitcoin as centralized. First, that the bitcoin network is more vulnerable, and second, that the benefits of the global adoption and higher prices go to a small group of people.

When the researchers analyzed the volume, they said that the “real volume” was only 10% and were transactions between exchanges and trading desks, and the other 90% of the volume in part was people distributing bitcoin in different wallets to confuse their identity.

What about Bitcoin miners?

One thing to study is that in order to get bitcoin instead of an exchange, mining equipment has been more difficult to access because not everyone can afford to pay these high prices, and not only the equipment, but also the electrical infrastructure you need to have.

According to a study of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Alternative Finance, because China prohibited bitcoin mining earlier this year, it went from having almost two-thirds of all the Bitcoin mining hashrate of all the network in April to almost not having any hashrate in July 2021.

The Chinese bitcoin miners relocated their mining equipment especially to the U.S., and also other countries like Kazakhstan and Canada.

90% (19 million) of all bitcoin is already mined, and there are only 2 million bitcoins to be mined until 2140.

It appears that centralization is a term that nobody wants to hear near the bitcoin ecosystem but the data appears to be that way, we can expect that from today until the last bitcoin is mined, adoption will continue to rise, entering more investors in the Bitcoin world and expect at least that the 10% of the bitcoin is yet still to mined, to be distributed in a more decentralized way than today.

Adidas Will Launch Its First Nft Collection Today

Adidas hasn’t stopped being involved with the blockchain space during the last two months, in November they partnered with Coinbase and earlier this month Adidas announced they were joining the metaverse and NFT world by partnering with the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Gmoney and PUNKS Comic, and today they are launching their first NFT collection named “Into the Metaverse” on their official website.

“The intent is this thing, this NFT, you belong to a community, and we continue to add value to that over time, and it’s gonna also evolve with what we’re learning about the community, how they’re changing and evolving”. Adidas Originals VP of Brand Communications Erika Wykes-Sneyd commented.

“Into the Metaverse” NFT collection

There will be a limited supply of 30,000 NFTs in the collection, each NFT will cost 0.2 ETH ($767 at the time of the writing) and the drop will occur in two phases, the early access phase and the public sale phase. The early access phase will consist of dropping 20,000 NFTs for Bored Ape/Mutant Ape Yacht Club, Pixel Vault, POAP, Gmoney POAP for NFT holders who held their NFTs in their wallets on December 14th. The public sale phase of 9,620 NFTs will be dropped for anyone who wants to be a part of the community, leaving 380 NFTs for future drop events, according to its official website.

Holders of this NFT collection will have great benefits, from virtual land experiences in the digital world to adidas Originals physical merchandise and graphic hoodie as the PUNKS Comic #2.

Will sports clothing companies have a great role on the metaverse?

Adidas is not the only one that has jumped into the metaverse and NFT world, Nike partnered with the gaming platform Roblox to create a metaverse called “Nikeland”, additionaly, this week it entered the space by acquiring RTFKT, a digital design sneaker company. One sure thing is that it appears we are going to live in a double life, a physical and a digital one, and if we are going to have a digital human representing us in the metaverse, we will need something to wear, and these giant sport clothing companies are leading the way. The people in the metaverse will value very much having products of companies they use in real life, which brings new opportunities for these companies to expand in this new digital era. In the future we can expect more clothing companies, not only sports, to join the metaverse and NFT ecosystem.

Former NBA Legend Michael Jordan Jumps Into Blockchain

Who would imagine a six-time NBA champion and his son getting involved in the web3 era? This is a huge step for Jordan’s family to be part of this world that is only getting bigger.

HEIR platform will launch in 2022 and it recently closed a $10 million seed funding round led by Thrive Capital.The web3 platform is built on the Solana blockchain; you can now join the waitlist in their official website. According to HEIR’s official twitter account:

“HEIR is on a mission to define a new era of digital culture where innovators and their supporters are empowered and rewarded through web3”

What is HEIR and what’s its target?

HEIR is a blockchain platform under the holding company named “Heir Inc”, founded by Jeffrey Jordan, Daniel George, and Jeron Smith. It connects athletes and their fans through “Huddles” which offers membership benefits including early NFT drops, videos, and more, all through blockchain technology, according to its official website.

“We envision HEIR becoming the platform that will help cultivate the future of athlete Meta-Brands,” co-founders George and Smith commented.

Fans will support athletes at any moment, so it means if an athlete grows, both will be benefited. The platform will use the HEIR token minted in the Solana blockchain, in which fans will need to buy and hold HEIR tokens in order to have these membership benefits. HAIR expects that generation Z and millennial fans will lead as users of the platform.

Celebrities don’t want to miss out the blockchain revolution

Michael Jordan is joining other celebrities that have jumped into this world, specially in the NFT ecosystem surrounding the basketball world, such as Stephen Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, all owners of a Bored Ape NFT, according to NFTnow.

Other known athletes like Tom Brady and Kevin Durant have partnered with FTX and Coinbase exchange respectively, but this is not happening only in the sports industry, late night host Jimmy Fallon, american rappers Post Malone and Jay Z, as well as DJs/producers Steve Aoki, The Chainsmokers, and Marshmello have also jumped into the space.

Definitely the world of blockchain is pretty hot right now and celebrities don’t want to miss this opportunity. Web3 is bringing many opportunities through blockchain technology such as HEIR platform, however, other industries have also adopted blockchain, such as the music industry, through platforms like 3LAU’s Royal, which also has HEIR’s vision, connecting fans and artists/athletes. It appears this is just getting started and there is a long way to go.

The Blockchain Data Integrity Platform Authtrail Closes A $3.6m Round Of Funding

More than 1 quintillion bytes of data are produced every day all over the world in companies related with different industries, but many of them can’t verify all the data that is processed. Having unreliable data can cost companies a lot of money, so in order to be more efficient, every business needs trustworthy data.

According to Authtrail’s official twitter account, on September 21, Authtrail joined the Moonbeam Network ecosystem.

“Authtrail is a great example of leveraging open Web3 technologies to solve real-world problems for regular users. We are delighted to support the team at Authtrail in bringing Moonbeam as a solution to challenges in enterprise environments,” said Derek Yoo, CEO of PureStake and Founder of the Moonbeam project.

What is Authtrail and how does it work?

Authtrail is a blockchain-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that allows enterprises to check if their data is valid, safe, and trustworthy, using blockchain technology. Once the data is added from databases and apps, for example, from Oracle, SAP or others through the Authtrail API, the data gets hashed in certain amounts of time so the transactions are faster and efficient, then it’s anchored on the blockchain network and verified against other records on the blockchain, all of this happens on the Moonbeam network, according to its official website.

This brings an innovative and efficient way of validating data without using any human effort, giving the possibility to anyone to check the data integrity with just a simple link, which brings one of the main blockchain advantages, traceability.

What industries is Authrail aiming for?

According to its official website, any enterprises can benefit from Authtrail services, but they are aiming to industries with large amount of data, such as the healthcare and pharmaceuticals, banking and insurance, telecommunication and IT, manufacturing and R&D, they are also opened to working with industries such as automotive and robotics.

Reliable data is very important for enterprises in order to be more efficient, it can make them save money, as well as produce additional income. Authrail aims to become a bridge between the real world and the digital world by using blockchain technology of data verification. This funding round is the first step for becoming a leader in data verification and integration of the blockchain space.

El Salvador’s Chivo Bitcoin Wallet Could Be At Risk Of U.S. Sanctions

It has been three months since bitcoin became a legal tender in El Salvador, and all the bitcoin transactions occur through the Government official wallet called “Chivo Wallet”. At first, it seemed everything was good, but lately there have been concerns about the people who are behind this business..

What is Cristosal and what is its implication to the case?

Cristosal is an non-governmental organization (NGO) and a non-profit founded by anglican bishops Justo Martin Barahona and Richard Bower, their objective is to promote justice, human rights, and democratic societies in Central America, through strategic litigation, monitoring of human rights and care for victims of human rights violations, according to their official website.

On December 8th, Zaira Navas, a lawyer and member of Cristosal presented a case of identity fraud to the General Prosecutor of the Republic of El Salvador on behalf of 131 people whose identities were compromised by opening an account in Chivo Wallet and withdrawing the $30 incentive provided if you register in the app.

“Accounts are opened, they take out the bonus of $30 and then they close it again so that it opens again” Zaira Navas said.

Navas and other lawyers of Cristosal also presented the case to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice. This is the second time that Cristosal has filed the same case of identity fraud to the General Prosecutor of the Republic of El Salvador, it has been one and a half month since they introduced the first claim and they haven’t been summoned or informed, Navas commented.

Why does Cristosal think the U.S. could impose sanctions on Chivo Wallet?

Last week the U.S. Department of Treasury applied sanctions, under the Magnitsky Act, to close officials to president Nayib Bukele, including Carolina Recinos, chief of staff and director of one of the companies which owns Chivo Wallet, among others, according to a local news report.

After this news, President Nayib Bukele, said on twitter “These daily accusationsseem absurd.” “It is clear that the United States Government does not accept collaboration, friendship or alliance.” in order to defend his close officials.

Navas claimed that after seeing the connection between Carolina Recinos and Chivo Wallet, the U.S. could be targeting Chivo Wallet in the U.S. because of lack of transparency and it could be linked to corruption. According to Milena Mayorga, Salvadoran ambassador in the U.S., just in November more than $32 million remittances entered to El Salvador through Chivo Wallet.

Cristosal has received more than one thousand complaints of identity fraud. It is not certain that the U.S. could impose sanctions over Chivo Wallet, but according to the facts, it appears there would be no other way.

Ether Joins Bitcoin on BBVA Switzerland’s Cryptocurrency Service

Six months later after BBVA Switzerland launched bitcoin trading and custody services, now they also offer ether to its private banking clients and customers with a New Gen account, where you can buy, sell, and trade your crypto.

“We decided to add ether to our crypto asset “wallet” because, together with bitcoin, they are the protocols that spark the most interest among investors, while also offering all the guarantees to comply with regulation,” said Alfonso Gómez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland

BBVA Switzerland is looking into the future

BBVA Switzerland is the subsidiary of the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBVA) and it specializes in private banking. According to BBVA Switzerland 2020 annual report published last June, they had 4.8 billion Swiss francs or $5.18 billion assets under management.

Three months ago, in September, they launched a new online account called “New Gen” to make it easier for customers who want to invest on their own, in a 100% digital way. They offer stocks, ETFs, Investments Funds, and Cryptocurrencies.

“With New Gen we want to reach a new type of investor, attracted by new sectors that have great potential to transform the future,” says Javier Rubio, Director of Client Solutions at BBVA Switzerland.

In order to open a New Gen account, you must be 18 years old, be a resident of any European country, and have a minimum deposit of $10.000 or its equivalent in Swiss francs or euros. New Gen accounts are also available in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and others, according to the BBVA Switzerland’s website.

Ether is getting attention from institutional investors

Ether is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, at the time of this writing, Ethereum’s market cap is $473.18 billion, it is bigger than the world’s largest banks, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America, according to Infinite Market Cap’s website.

Ether has outperformed bitcoin this year, with a +600% performance, one of the main reasons is the growth of different crypto ecosystems over the Ethereum blockchain in NFTs like the Bored Apes, DeFi like Uniswap, play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity, and metaverse like The Sandbox. Additionally, institutional investors are seeing Ethereum’s different utilities, as an alternative to Bitcoin’s digital gold.

According to a J.P. Morgan Chase report published in September, over the past months, institutions have preferred Ethereum over Bitcoin in numbers of contracts based on Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures contracts. The demand continues growing with the micro ether futures launched last week on CME.

This puts BBVA Switzerland as one of the main institutional players offering ether and, as announced by the company, they will continue to expand their crypto assets portfolio in the future. BBVA Switzerland is making a huge step forward in the crypto industry. There is no doubt the other BBVA subsidiaries are working on offering similar services, but its execution depends on the country’s regulation. In the near future we hope to see other banks offer cryptocurrency services, and collaborate with the growth of crypto institutional adoption. Let’s wait and see which other pioneers decide to join.