Best Performing Altcoins of Last Week: BNB, TRX, MANA, MKR

Key Insights:

  • Bitcoin’s price faced strong resistance at the $31,000, while altcoins made attempts to recover. 
  • BTC’s recovery above the $27,000 mark pushed certain altcoins towards a short-term recovery.
  • BNB, TRX, MANA, and MKR were among the coins that got a decent upswing.

Bitcoin’s price attempted recovery above the $30,000 resistance level, but after facing rejection ahead of the $31,000 mark, its price oscillated close to $28,983 at the time of writing. BTC’s price jumped by almost 7% in a day, cutting its weekly losses to less than 18%, in tandem altcoins saw a short-term price push.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap was still down by over 50% from its all-time high made in November 2021 at around $69,000. After BTC’s recent short-term uptrend, most of the major altcoins faced the uphill task of recovering above their key support/resistance levels.

Altcoins short-term price surge

Certain altcoins that performed well over the last week in tandem with BTC’s recovery above the $27,000 mark were binance coin (BNB), Tron (TRX), Decentraland (MANA), and Maker (MKR).

In addition to that, two ethereum (ETH)-based altcoins called Chain’s XCN and FLEX Coin’s FLEX token charted notable weekly gains despite the widespread crypto meltdown.

The native token of the blockchain technology company chain, XCN, rose by more than 30% in price over the last seven days from a low of $0.071 to a high of $0.091.

On the other hand, Hong Kong-based futures exchange platform’s native token FLEX jumped by over 33% in the last week from a low of $3.72 to a high of $4.95.

Furthermore, many altcoins like DOT, AVAX, SHIB, MATIC, FTT, FTM, and APE were briefly in the green zone. Apecoin’s APE token rallied by 46%, breaking above the $9.00 level, while FTM, MANA, and GALA saw close to 50% gains over the last week.

BNB, TRX, MANA, and MKR see short-term price gains

Binance Coin’s BNB saw a bounce from the $200 support zone, rising to as high as $300 on May 13. However, the fifth-ranked coin by mark cap faced considerable resistance at the $315 mark and after making a high of $313 on May 13, it made its way back to the $250 level.

FXempire, BNB, Crypto
BNB Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

If bulls fail to ride the sell-side pressure, the price might correct lower, but dips could be limited below the $250 level. At the time of writing, BTC’s price pullback to the $28,900 mark brought BNB’s price down to the $279.36 level.

BNB’s price was down by 9.35% in the last 24-hours and almost 25.62% over the previous week.

Apart from BNB, Tron’s TRX token maintained its price above the key $0.067 mark despite the market-wide sell-off. TRX’s price made it close to the $0.084 mark but faced resistance at the higher level, which led to a pullback towards the $0.067 mark.

FXempire, TRX, Crypto
TRX Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

While TRX’s price maintained its rangebound movement between the $0.067 and $0.084 mark, its price didn’t fall below the key support zone at the $0.065 mark which was noteworthy.

Defi token MKR was another coin that performed well amid high sell pressure in the larger market. On the other hand, Decentraland’s MANA gained up to 50% as the market saw a short-term recovery.

Maker Protocol’s MKR token recovered from the last week’s losses as the price pushed above the $1500 mark. At press time, MKR traded at $1,456.29, noting 1.71% daily and 9.55% weekly gains.

On a weekly chart, MKR’s price made a higher high for the last four days.

FXempire, MKR, Crypto
MKR Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

At the time of writing, data from CoinMarketCap highlighted that MANA was the top gainer in the top 100 assets by market cap.

FXempire, BTC, Crypto, Altcoins
Source: Coin Market Cap

The 33rd ranked coin by market cap traded at $1.14, noting 4.19% daily gains. Over the last two days, MANA’s price recovery above the $1.13 mark has instilled positive momentum for the coin.

FXempire, MANA, Crypto
MANA Price Action | Source: FXEmpire

If bulls push MANA above the $1.15 mark, further gains could be expected in the near term for the alt.

So, what do altcoins need to recover?

Most of the top altcoins have a high BTC correlation during bear markets. The top coin’s price movement and volatility provide ample opportunities for alts to rally.

Crypto analyst Rekt Capital notes that BTC would need a monthly close above the $35,000 mark for a bullish higher timeframe close and to keep losses at bay. While a monthly close above the $35,000 mark may seem unachievable, if volatility and buying pressure takes on the same could pan out in favor of the bulls.

BTC’s monthly close above the key resistance at $35,000 could aid positive momentum to altcoin trajectories. In the last week, BTC’s price has made some decent progress recovering above the range low of around $28,600, but a push from bulls above the $30,000 mark would be needed for altcoins to move upwards.

Analyst Rekt Capital also highlighted that for ‘BTC to develop some semblance of bullish momentum, it needs to keep $28600 as support for price to challenge $32000.’ However, a BTC weekly close below the $28600 mark would be bearish.

Under Amour Goes NFT with NBA 3-Point Record Holder Stephen Curry

Key Insights:

  • Under Armour returns to the NFT space with Stephen Curry 3-pointer NFTs.
  • In December, Under Amour dropped an NFT collection to celebrate Curry’s NBA 3-point record.
  • The latest move underlines the NBA’s strong ties with digital assets and Web3.

This week, Under Armour (UAA) returned to the NFT space, with NBA legend Stephen Curry. The US National Basketball Association (NBA) is an advocate of digital assets and Web3.

In 2020, the NBA and Dapper Labs launched the NBA NFT marketplace Top Shot, built on the Flow (FLOW) blockchain.

Going into this year’s NBA playoffs, the NBA strengthened its ties with web3 to drive fan engagement with the launch of NBAxNFT, an NBA Discord. NBAxNFT provides a platform for the NBA and fans to talk Web3.

Under Armour is also no stranger to NFTs.

Under Armour Goes Digital with Stephen Curry 3-Pointer NFTs

Overnight, Under Armour took to Twitter to announce a new NFT collection, tweeting,

“First you Change the Game for Good, then you mutate it. Every 3 @stephenCurry30 hits during the playoffs is a chance to own a piece of history. Learn more at: https://lab.currybrand.com/currycounter.”

 

According to lab.currybrand.com,

“For every three-pointer Stephen Curry makes in a playoff game, three free digital basketballs are claimable by the most engaged fans. Be fast. Others will be trying as well.”

Fans can purchase the Ethereum-based basketball NFTs on the NF3 Counter (Curry Counter).

The NF3 Counter is a fan engagement platform rewarding Curry fans during his battle through the playoffs. For every Curry three-pointer, fans can claim free digital basketballs.

There is only one claim per wallet per game. After minting, owners can view their NFTs on OpenSea, where fans can buy, sell, and trade the basketball NFTs.

The latest launch is not Under Armour’s first brush with Web3.

In December, Under Armour launched an NFT collection to celebrate Stephen Curry’s three-point record on December 14.

Under Armour announced the drop on Twitter, saying,

“In celebration of the greatest 3-point shooter in the UNIVERSE, we are dropping 2,974 pairs of @stephencurry30’s record-breaking shoe in the Metaverse. The “Genesis Curry Flow” NFT drops at 8pm EST: 2974.Currybrand.com.”

 

By owning 1 Polygon (MATIC) based Genesis Curry Flow, holders are entitled to 1 Decentraland (MANA) shoe, 1 Sandbox (SAND) shoe, 1 Gala Games shoe, and 1 Rumble Kong League shoe.

In November 2021, Under Armour launched Curry Brand to compete with Nike and the Jordan brand.

BTC Markets Goes Couture in Australian Fashion Week Partnership

Key Insights:

  • Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets partners with Afterpay Australian fashion week (AAWF) to deliver couture NFTs.
  • In collaboration with Australian fashion designer Daniel Avakian, AAWF will bring together the physical and virtual worlds of fashion.
  • Australian fashion week follows a 4-day fashion week in March, where big names, including Estee Lauder, debuted in Decentraland (MANA).

This year, we have seen the fashion industry continue to embrace NFTs and the metaverse. Fashion houses including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Victoria’s Secret are no stranger to NFTs and the metaverse.

With the fashion industry seeing NFTs and the metaverse as a reach to the global couture audience, NFT activity and virtual shows are on the rise.

BTC Markets Partners with Australian Fashion Week to Launch an NFT Dress

Today, BTC markets announced that it is the ‘Official Partner of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week.’

Via Twitter, BTC Markets tweeted,

“A week-long exhibition of Australia’s incredible designers will collide with #crypto, with lots of cool giveaways to come – watch this space!”

 

This year, Afterpay Australia Fashion Week will run from May 9-13.

Once more, crypto exchanges eye major events as opportunities to build brand awareness and engage with target audiences.

BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler shared the announcement on Twitter, tweeting,

“Taking Crypto to the Catwalk! Another first from @BTCMarkets – official Cryptocurrency partner for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. We’ve also got an awesome collab with Daniel Avakian to share along with lots of other goodies to announce!”

Bowler will also be a speaker at Afterpay Australia Fashion Week’s “The Talks” on Tuesday, May 10.

Australia Fashion Week announced the event stating,

“Fashion week has entered the metaverse, with NFTs and augmented reality gaining popularity amongst consumers who want more ways to shop and engage with brands. The session will break down the fashion-tech trends.”

AAFW Follows Fashion Houses into the Metaverse

It has been a busy 2022 for fashion as more major fashion houses embark on the virtual journey.

In March, Vogue and UNXD collaborated to deliver a four-day fashion week on Decentraland (MANA) titled MVFW.

Visitors and global brands virtually attended fashion shows, live music events, and after-parties. Attendees could also buy and wear digital clothing, with some digital catwalk collections redeemable for physical pieces.

Big Brand names, including Gucci, have paved the way for the broader fashion industry. In May 2021, Gucci and Roblox hosted “Gucci Garden,” a virtual version of a real-world installation in Italy, which offered themed rooms to commemorate Gucci’s centenary.

In February, Gucci announced that it purchased LAND on The Sandbox (SAND). Gucci planned to offer interactive fashion experiences, where attendees could buy and use fashion items in the metaverse.

ApeCoin Slides in Response to a Controversial Otherside NFT Sell-Out

Key Insights:

  • On Sunday, ApeCoin (APE) tumbled by 21.5% to end the day at $15.68.
  • Otherside sold the Otherdeed NFTs for a flat price after previously planning a Dutch auction launch, reducing APE demand.
  • A second loss in three sessions left APE below the 100-day EMA as indicators turn bearish.

ApeCoin (APE) slumped by 21.5% on Sunday. Reversing a 4.28% gain from Saturday, APE ended the day at $15.68.

Bullish sentiment from the broader crypto market failed to deliver support as APE holders responded to the Otherdeed NFT auction.

APE hit an all-time high of $27.62 on April 28 in response to an anticipated Dutch auction for the Otherside land sale.

Despite the sell-off, APE ranks #29 on CoinMarketCap, holding above Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND) ranked #38 and #40, respectively.

Otherside’s Saturday Otherdeed NFT Sale Sinks APE

On Saturday, Yugo Labs, the platform behind Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), held its Otherside NFT sale.

The sale of 55,000 Otherdeed land NFTs ended within hours, with investors purchasing the NFTs for a flat 305 APE.

 

At the time of writing, Otherdeed for Otherside ranked #1 by trading volume on the OpenSea marketplace for the last 24 hours and the last 7-days.

Otherside NFT OpenSea Rank 7-days

While the sale was a resounding success, APE holders had expected a Dutch auction, which could have pushed the price of the Otherdeed NFTs well above the flat selling price of 305 APE.

As a result of the lower price, APE holders offloaded APE, leading to the reversal.

Each Otherdeed NFT represented a land parcel in Otherside, Yugo Labs’ metaverse game.

Last month, market expectations that ApeCoin will become the ‘payment token of choice’ for the Otherside land sale drove APE to $27 levels.

Bored Ape owner Renegademaster took to Twitter to share news of Yugo Labs getting ready to sell land on the Otherside metaverse.

According to the tweet,

“The sale will be a Dutch auction of some sort starting at 600 $APE.”

Renegademaster went on further to say,

“This info was sent to me by a reliable source, however, is not confirmed or official news. Speculation at this stage so please DYOR as always! Just sharing what I was told.”

In a Dutch auction, the seller considers all bids before finding a ceiling price for the NFT sale. There is then a gradual price decline at predetermined time intervals.

Expectations were for a price ceiling of 600 APE, double the actual flat selling price of 305 APE.

The sale was not without controversy, with high demand causing an Etherscan crash and failed transactions.

APE Price Action

At the time of writing, APE was up 1.91% to $15.91. A bullish start to the day saw APE strike an early high of $16.14 before easing back.

APEUSD 020522 Daily
APE will need to return to $17 to avoid another pullback.

Technical Indicators

APE will need to move through the $17.22 pivot to make a move through the First Major Resistance Level at $18.80.

Broader market sentiment would need to improve to support a move through $17.50.

In the event of an extended rally, APE should test the Second Major Resistance Level at $21.94. The Third Major Resistance Level sits at $26.65.

Failure to move through the pivot would bring the First Major Support Level at $14.08 into play. Barring another extended sell-off throughout the day, APE should avoid sub-$13 levels. The Second Major Support Level sits at $12.49.

APEUSD 020522 Hourly
Failure to move through the pivot would leave support levels in play.

The EMAs and the 4-hourly candlestick chart (below) send a bearish signal. As a result of the last week’s sell-off, APE sits below the 100-day EMA, currently at $17.12. This morning, the 50-day EMA narrowed to the 100-day EMA. We also saw the 100-day EMA narrow to the 200-day EMA; APE price negative.

APE would need to avoid the 50-day EMA and move through the 100-day EMA to support a return to $20.

APEUSD 020522 4-Hourly
A move through the 100-day EMA would support a return to $20.

OpenSea Delists Sands Vegas Casino Club NFTs after Cease & Desist Orders

Key Insights:

  • OpenSea Delists Sands Vegas Casino Club Gambler NFTs.
  • This month two U.S states issued cease-and-desist orders to Sands Vegas Casino Club for NFT sales.
  • Sands Vegas Casino Club reportedly sold NFTs to fund a Metaverse casino, classifying them as securities.

It has been a mixed year for leading NFT marketplace OpenSea. In January, OpenSea saw trading volumes hit a record high before a sharp decline through February and March.

NFT market conditions have improved in April, with OpenSea Ethereum (ETH) based NFT trading volumes already sitting above March levels.

According to Dune Analytics, Ethereum-based NFT trading volume for April sits at $2.68bn with a week to go. For March, trading volumes stood at $2.49bn.

With NFT market conditions improving, OpenSea appears to be taking a more cautious approach to avoid regulatory fallout.

OpenSea Delists Sands Vegas Casino Club NFT Sales

This week, OpenSea suspended the sale of Sands Vegas Casino Club Gambler Ape NFTs. This time last week, OpenSea continued to allow the trading of the Gambler NFTs despite regulatory action against the virtual casino.

According to the Sand Vegas roadmap, Sand Vegas Casino acquired 27 plots in Sandbox in January 2022. The virtual casino aimed to meet all regulatory/legal requirements between March and August 2022.

The OpenSea Help Center states that it delists NFTs if it determines the NFT to:

  • Infringe on protected intellectual property,
  • Promote suicide or self-harm,
  • Incite hate or violence against others,
  • Degrade or dox another individual,
  • Otherwise violate our terms of service.

The delisting will cut a funding source for the virtual casino.

Owners of the Gambler NFTs purportedly share in half the casino profits generated.

The OpenSea delisting follows the cease & desist orders from the states of Texas and Alabama.

While the casino website is still up and running and states that the SVCC NFTs are sold out, the Twitter account @sandsvegascasino no longer exists.

Alabama and Texas Issue Sands Vegas Cease-and-Desist Orders

This month FX Empire reported on Alabama and Texas issuing Sands Vegas Casino Club with cease-and-desist orders.

The two states said that the online casino sold NFTs to fund operations. According to the state laws of Alabama and Texas, the NFTs constituted an illegal securities offering.

The Texas State Securities Board press release stated that the virtual casino offered,

“11,111 Gambler NFTs in connection with their development metaverse casinos in popular metaverses such as the Sandbox (SAND), Decentraland (MANA), Infinity Void, and NFT Worlds.”

The press release went on to say,

“Gamblers, acting through avatars, can enter the metaverse casino and play poker and other games using cryptocurrencies. Purchasers of the Gambler NFTs profit from these operations. Not only do they become owners of the metaverse casinos, but they also purportedly share in half the profits generated.”

Nike and RTFKT Go to the Metaverse with CryptoKicks Sneakers

Key Insights:

  • Nike and RTFKT launch CryptoKicks sneakers collection for the Metaverse.
  • In December, Nike bought NFT Sneaker shop RTFKT to drive its web3 goals.
  • Nike went Metaverse in 2021 with ‘NIKELAND’, where players can dress their avatars in Nike products.

As the year progresses, activity in the metaverse continues to gather momentum, with mainstream players identifying web3 as the future.

Metaverse-related trademark filings have been rampant, with Web3 offering endless growth opportunities.

When U.S banking giants JPMorgan and Citi get bullish it is hard to ignore.

In February, JPMorgan put its money where its mouth is, buying land in Decentraland (MANA). JPMorgan projected the Metaverse to deliver over $1 trillion in Metaverse-related yearly revenues.

Last month, Citi delivered a more bullish outlook, projecting a $13 trillion Metaverse by 2030.

NIKE and RTFKT Hit the Metaverse Running with CryptoKicks

Overnight, RTFKT Studios hit Twitter to share a video of the new RTFKT x Nike Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks.

RTFKT tweeted,

“RTFKT, together with Nike CryptoKicks, introduce the future of Sneakers, powered by Skin Vial tech.”

RTFKT and Nike CryptoKicks launch with EVO X, a collection that allows users to change their look with Skin Vials. Skink Vials are collectibles that users can swap.

Collectors can view the Ethereum (ETH) based Skin Vials and RTFKT X Nike Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks Sneakers on OpenSea.

According to OpenSea,

“When equipped with RTFKT Skin Vial NFT, the look of the RTFKT X Nike Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks changes according to the traits of the vial.”

At the time of writing, there were 878 owners with a floor price of 2.79 ETH.

Nike Becomes a Web3 Trailblazer with the Latest Launch

Leading apparel and sports brand Nike is no stranger to web3. In November, Nike went Metaverse with the launch of ‘NIKELAND’, Nike’s Metaverse home on Roblox Corp.

Nike announced the launch of NIKELAND in November, saying,

“Buildings and fields inside NIKELAND are inspired by Nike’s real-life headquarters and hold detailed arenas for the Roblox community to test their skills competing in various mini-games.”

Players can also dress their avatars in Nike products and play games, including Tag, Dodgeball, and The Floor is Lava.

Soon after the launch, Nike purchased NFT sneaker creator RTFKT. Nike purchased RTFKT to support its metaverse goals following the launch of NIKELAND.

There are no other details relating to the CryptoKicks launch, but the RTFKT X Nike Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks could make their way to the NIKELAND digital showroom.

Blockchain Games Raise $2.5B As Dapps Lose $1.2B to Hacks in Q1 ’22

Key Insights:

  • The report suggests over $12 billion worth of NFT trades were conducted in Q1 2022.
  • Overall DeFi protocols have lost more than $1.2 billion in the same period.
  • Gaming projects have noted $2.5 billion invested by Venture Capitalists as GameFi TVL crosses $28 billion.

Crypto is more than just Bitcoin and altcoins now. The space has developed into a world of its own, figuratively and literally, with the arrival of the Metaverse.

NFTs have become a need for investors, and in the midst of all this, gaming projects have also noticed a lot of attention this time around. How much, though, is the question?

DeFi Hits It Out of the Park

According to the DappRadar Q1 industry report, the DeFi space is growing with the broadening adoption of the NFT and Metaverse market and an increased interest in blockchain games.

And the potential that Decentralized Finance (DeFi) presents exceeds the worries of external factors.

Dapps all registered over 2.38 million daily unique active wallets throughout the first quarter, and the DeFi TVL kept its pace maintained throughout the fluctuations.

The biggest gainers this time around were none other than NFTs, which generated over $12 billion in trades thanks to the adoption of NFTs outside of Ethereum.

Furthermore, Q1 2022 was a pretty successful quarter for blockchain gaming projects. These Dapps managed to raise over $2.5 billion from Venture Capitalists as well as capture investors’ attention.

But with every boon comes a bane, and DeFi’s biggest bane is the hacks. DeFi, as the name suggests, is decentralized finance, i.e., it is dependent on no one keeping it safe from direct access attacks or exploits.

But those looking for a loophole manage to find a way to exploit a protocol, which is how DeFi protocols lost over $1.2 billion in the first three months of 2022.

About 50% of this loss is attributed to the Axie Infinity’s Ronin Hack, where exploiters managed to execute the biggest crypto attack, stealing over $615 million. The other major exploit was the Wormhole, wherein $326 million were stolen.

But It Still Did Not Stop the DeFi Growth

Today the total value locked (TVL) across all Decentralized Finance protocols and chains comes up to $214 billion, and while this is huge, it is nothing in comparison to the crypto space’s market cap of $1.9 trillion.

DeFi TVL is at $214 billion as of today | Source: DeFi Llama

The rapidly emerging GameFi space, which, as mentioned above, noticed a lot of interest from users and investors alike, is currently valued above $28 billion and growing thanks to the rise of Metaverse and platforms such as The Sandbox and Decentraland.

Therefore, going forward, these spaces will be noticing much more investment flowing in as DeFi is considered to be the future of finance.

Emirates Airlines Joins Other Big Names with Metaverse Ambitions

Key Insights:

  • Emirates Airlines became one of the first global carriers to target NFTs and the Metaverse.
  • The airline plans to launch its first products in just a few months.
  • As the list of big names targeting the NFTs and the Metaverse continues to grow, ambitious plans for Web3 will likely follow.

Interest in NFTs and the Metaverse shows no sign of abating, as big names continue to target Web3. Decentraland (MANA) and the Sandbox (SAND) have seen a marked increase in Metaverse activity.

While the music, film, and fashion industries have fully immersed in the Metaverse, other sectors have been slower on the uptake.

This week, the airline industry took aim at NFTs and the Metaverse, joining the growing list of industries seeing boundless opportunities with Web3.

Leading U.S investment banks have also been bullish on the Metaverse. In February, JPMorgan projected a $1 trillion Metaverse.

Emirates Airlines Takes Aim at NFTs and the Metaverse

This week, Emirates announced plans to launch NFTs and enter the Metaverse. Emirates intends to invest $10 million into the digital world, targeting customers and employees.

According to the announcement, the airline “plans to build signature brand experiences in the Metaverse, alongside both collectible and utility-based NFTs.”

The first projects are reportedly in the works, scheduled for launch in the coming months.

Chairman and CEO HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said,

“Dubai and the UAE are blazing the way in the digital economy, having a clear vision supported by practical policies and regulatory frameworks in areas such as virtual assets, artificial intelligence, and data protection”

He added,

“Emirates has always embraced advanced technologies to improve our business processes, enhance our customer offering, and enrich our employees’ skills and experiences. We are excited about the new opportunities in the digital space of the future and are committing a significant investment in financial and resourcing terms, to develop products and services using advanced technologies that will deliver on revenue, brand experience, and business efficiencies.”

NFTs and the Metaverse offer airlines and the aviation industry incredible opportunities.

For the airline industry, NFTs could be used for ticketing and to record journeys. NFTs could store flight time, distance traveled, etc. The Metaverse can provide even more exciting opportunities, including virtual lounges.

Emirates may be ahead of the curve when it comes to the airline industry. In 2021, Emirates became the first airline to launch a VR app. The app allows users to view cabin interiors onboard the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777-300ER Gamechanger.

For several years, customers have also been able to view their seats and check in with a 3D seat map.

Emirates Joins a Growing List of Global Brands into the Metaverse

It has been a busy 2022, with an ever-growing number of industries targeting NFTs and the Metaverse.

In March, the Fashion industry held a 4-day fashion week in the Metaverse, with big brand names including Gucci and Victoria’s Secret also targeting NFTs and the Metaverse.

With the music industry and the fast-food chains, including McDonald’s, already in the virtual world, more big names are likely to follow.

Messenger App LINE Launches LINE NFT Amidst Regulatory Uncertainty

Key Insights:

  • This week, messenger app LINE launched its own NFT marketplace with about 40,000 NFTs for sale.
  • As the NFT space grows, regulatory scrutiny will likely intensify, which may affect NFT growth.
  • Increased competition could also lead to a fragmented NFT market, leaving marketplaces more vulnerable to illicit activity.

2022 has seen the news wires flooded with NFT and Metaverse chatter, as mainstream players go Web3.

While NFTs and the Metaverse gain traction, regulatory uncertainty shrouds the ever-expanding world of digital assets.

Despite the ongoing regulatory uncertainty and issues over the classification of NFTs in some jurisdictions, messenger app LINE goes NFT.

Japan and South Korea Messenger App LINE Launch NFT Marketplace

On Wednesday, LINE announced the launch of LINE NFT, an NFT marketplace in Japan. LINE launched LINE NFT through LVC Corporation, which runs LINE’s crypto and blockchain businesses.

According to the announcement,

“A non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace available only in Japan, LINE NFT will offer a wide variety of content, including exclusive NFT videos by Yoshimoto Kogyo Holdings Co. Ltd. Called Yoshimoto NFT Theater, NFTs from classic anime series Patlabor the Mobile Police, and NFTs of other popular characters.”

LINE NFT users can buy and trade NFTs and store their purchased NFTs in their LINE BITMAX Wallet. Holders of LINE NFTs can send or exchange NFTs with their LINE friends.

LINE NFT will initially offer around 40,000 NFT products.

According to LINE, there are approximately 90 million users in Japan.

Regulatory Uncertainty Could Test LINE’s Global Expansion Goals

In Japan, there is currently no law that regulates NFTs. Crypto assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), are considered electronically recorded property values, transferrable through electronic processing platforms, and usable as a means of payment.

By contrast, NFTs do not serve a similar economic function and cannot be considered crypto assets.

Until there are clear guidelines on the classification of NFTs, there remains a risk of unpredictable regulatory action.

The launch of LINE NFT may raise the eyebrows of a few lawmakers, especially when considering the demographics of LINE users in Japan.

NFTs also fall into a grey area in the U.S, vis-à-vis regulatory oversight. As a result of the regulatory uncertainty, platforms may fall foul of regulators.

This week, virtual casino Sands Vegas Casino Club received a cease-desist order for selling NFTs to fund operations. According to the state laws of Alabama and Texas, the NFTs constituted an illegal securities offering.

Sands Vegas Casino sells NFTs on the OpenSea marketplace. NFT sales revenue funds the development of metaverse casinos. Casinos are targeting popular metaverses, including the Sandbox (SAND), Decentraland (MANA), Infinity Void, and NFT Worlds.

News of the cease-and-desist orders comes as Coinbase prepares to launch CoinbaseNFT.

Regulatory scrutiny will likely intensify when considering the current rise in the number of NFT marketplaces.

For leading NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, a more competitive playing field could eat further into trading volumes.

OpenSea Trading Volumes See Downward Trend Since January Peak

Since a January peak, leading NFT marketplaces have seen trading volumes plummet. This month, FX Empire reported OpenSea trading volumes falling for a second consecutive month in March.

Increased competition will further impact trading volumes, as will any shift in the regulatory landscape.

The emergence of new marketplaces will force OpenSea and other established NFT marketplaces to expand offerings, which may also draw greater regulatory scrutiny.

This year, the surge in NFT trading activity and the rise in illicit activity drew the attention of UK lawmakers. British members of Parliament reportedly called on the government to impose tougher regulations on cryptos and NFTs.

The U.S government has also taken a similar stance, with Joe Biden signing an Executive Order to tackle the digital asset space.

U.S Virtual Casino Sands Vegas Ordered to Shut Down for NFT Sales

Key Insights:

  • Two U.S states issued cease-and-desist orders to Sands Vegas Casino Club for NFT sales.
  • Sands Vegas Casino Club reportedly sold NFTs to fund a Metaverse casino.
  • NFT holders can earn revenue shares of metaverse casinos.

Interest in NFTs and the Metaverse shows no signs of abating. Mainstream players have embraced Web3 and are busy exploring ways to incorporate brands into NFTs and the Metaverse to draw in consumers.

Online gambling has gained significant traction over the years. The evolution of NFTs and the Metaverse offer online gambling platforms a new avenue to explore and take the gambling experience to a whole new level.

Texas and Alabama Issue Sands Vegas Cease-and-Desist Orders

On Wednesday, U.S regulators from two U.S states issued Sands Vegas Casino Club with cease-and-desist orders.

The two states have stated that the online casino has sold NFTs to fund operations. According to the state laws of Alabama and Texas, the NFTs constituted an illegal securities offering.

According to a Texas State Securities Board press release, the virtual casino offered,

“11,111 Gambler NFTs in connection with their development metaverse casinos in popular metaverses such as the Sandbox, Decentraland, Infinity Void, and NFT Worlds.”

The press release goes on to say,

“Gamblers, acting through avatars, can enter the metaverse casino and play poker and other games using cryptocurrencies. Purchasers of the Gambler NFTs profit from these operations. Not only do they become owners of the metaverse casinos, but they also purportedly share in half the profits generated.”

The State of Alabama Securities Commission also issued a press release regarding their cease-and-desist order.

According to the Sand Vegas roadmap, Sand Vegas Casino acquired 27 plots in Sandbox (SAND) in January 2022. The virtual casino also aimed to meet all regulatory/legal requirements between March and August 2022.

At the time of writing, the Sand Vegas Casino Club was up and running, with NFTs available for sale on OpenSea.

Virtual Casino Growth Likely to Draw Greater Regulatory Scrutiny

Casinos are making big money in the Metaverse, with growth likely to continue as more mainstream casinos tiptoe into the virtual world.

According to Casino.org, Decentraland’s (MANA) ICE Poker reported revenue of $7.5 in three months. Decentraland reportedly invested in Decentral Games, a DAO focused on delivering the Metaverse casino ICE Poker. ICE Poker launched in October 2021.

Decentral Games founder Miles Anthony stated,

“The casino has around 6,000 users every single day and can have more than 1,000 users playing poker at any given time.”

21Shares Launches Metaverse Focused ETP With The Sandbox Token

Key Insights:

  • 21Shares is soon going to be issuing The Sandbox’s SAND-based ETP.
  • This will be the company’s 30th investment product.
  • Although it is not at its lowest, 21Shares BTC ETF is still trading at a 27.5% discount.

Investment in crypto products has been a growing phenomenon with many investors, novice and experienced alike, looking to put their money into a more diversified asset class, but with the safety assurance of the traditional market.

What does that leave the market with, you ask? The answer is ETFs.

And More Importantly, Metaverse ETFs

Over time Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other major crypto assets have found an audience, however, the emerging altcoins are yet to do so. Regardless there are those who prefer it, and for them, companies such as 21Shares bring out altcoins-based ETPs.

Now the newest addition to this cohort is a Metaverse-based ETP launched with The Sandbox.

The Sandbox established its footing in the virtual world space a while ago, and since then, it has achieved everything from partnering with the HSBC bank to collaborating with celebrities and much more.

Even though it may not be as wildly successful as Decentraland, it still deserves credit for standing shoulder to shoulder.

Decentraland’s floor price is almost twice as much as The Sandbox | Source: Dune

But in line with the rising customer demand for the ETP, 21Shares officially launched the SAND ETP as its 30th product.

Commenting on the same, the Co-Founder of 21Shares, Ophelia Snyder, said,

“The conversation has really shifted away from, Is bitcoin going to exist in three years?, To what will the crypto ecosystem look like in three years? And that means that the types of discussions we’re having with institutional clients are much more sophisticated…and metaverse is one of those things where you’re starting to see real themes emerge in crypto.”

ETPs This Year

Although the emergence of newer and newer ETPs is expected to propel the ETP market to newer heights, that is not the case right now.

Even though 21Shares launched a new Cosmos ETP earlier this year, it did not make a change in 21Shares biggest ETP, the Bitcoin ETF (ABTC).

Trading at a discount since the beginning of November, ABTC is currently down by 27.5% from its standing five months ago.

ABTC is trading at the highest discount of all its competitors | Source: 21Shares

The recovering market from a few days ago was certainly helpful, but the broader market cues cut the rally, and as a result, ABTC’s recovery could not be completed.

But things might change with some positive development in favor of the market, such as the SAND ETP news.

Blockchain.com Launches Asset Management for Wealthy Customers

Key Insights:

  • Crypto exchange Blockchain.com launches asset management for institutional investors.
  • The firm created the service in partnership with the investment firm Altis Partners.
  • It is based on a strategy that tracks the price of Bitcoin versus the USD.

Blockchain.com, which is now a decacorn after raising a Series D funding, has launched an asset-management brand dubbed ‘BCAM.’

Targets Wealthy Customers

Launched Wednesday, the new service will serve high-net-worth customers, institutional investors, and family offices, a Bloomberg report said.

The London-based crypto firm that provides various services, including trading and custody, has partnered with a macro investment manager Altis Partners, for the launch.

The asset management brand will work on strategies that will:

  • Track the price of Bitcoin versus the U.S. dollar.
  • Offer Bitcoin Smart Beta, an “algorithm-based risk-managed exposure” to reduce the volatility while investing in Bitcoin.

The company noted in its blog post

“BCAM provides robust risk management and client services to crypto-assets, integrating them into sophisticated investment strategies.”

Additionally, BCAM will also launch a product that manages exposure to decentralized finance (DeFi) coins such as Decentraland (MANA), Uniswap, and Aave, to name a few.

According to Charlie McGarraugh, chief strategy officer at Blockchain.com, the DeFi coins tied to the application will let users trade, lend and borrow without intermediaries. He said,

“Blockchain.com is doubling down on its institutional business with the launch of the new service… It’s a big opportunity.”

Institutional Demand for Active Crypto Fund Increases

With the rising institutional demand for more actively managed digital asset investments, BCAM combines the traditional financial markets with the new world of crypto to meet the demand, said McGarraugh. He added,

“The advent of distributed ledger technologies and crypto-assets has the potential to change the structure of global capital markets while presenting new opportunities for investors.”

Recently, Abra, a crypto-focused wealth management platform, launched its asset management arm, Abra Capital Management. The service allows clients to access five actively managed funds with exposure to various digital assets, including Ethereum and stablecoins such as Tether.

With Axie Infinity Losing Users, Here’s how AXS Could Perform

Key Insights:

  • Axie Infinity’s active users have witnessed a decline since December 2021.
  • The recent Ronin hack has added to AXS’s selling pressure.
  • For now, AXS’s price is down 7% over the week. 

While most of the top cryptocurrencies have performed adequately well as Q3 came to an end, some projects such as Axie Infinity suffered due to external issues like the Ronin hack.

Notably, Axie’s daily users saw a decline that could have some long-term effects on the ecosystem, thereby pushing competitors like The Sandbox and Decentraland ahead. 

Axie Losing Momentum

Axie Infinity game had been losing users much before the infamous Ronin hack was disclosed last week, restricting the ability of players to move digital money out of the virtual world. 

Sky Mavis, the developer behind Axie Infinity and Ronin, highlighted that the number of daily active users (DAUs) on Axie has fallen 45% to 1.48 million from a peak in November. The latest tally is for the week ended March 28, or a day before the $600 million Ronin hack was discovered. 

FXempire, AXS, Crypto
Source: Bloomberg

The decrease in DAUs has been particularly noteworthy since December when updates to the game were announced. In the last week of March, when information about the Ronin hack surfaced, the hackers took off with Ether and USD Coin. 

Axie’s Ronin bridge is a sidechain built to facilitate faster and cheaper transactions for the game. Thankfully after the hack on Ronin, there were no significant price implications on AXS. 

AXS Price Action

At the time of writing, AXS traded at $64.58, noting a 1.29% decline in 24-hours and a 6.86% fall over the week. The depreciating number of users on Axie could be correlated with the over 50% fall in price the token saw from December 2021 to January 10. 

Nonetheless, the recent market recovery has put AXS above the crucial $60 mark. Furthermore, AXS’s trade volumes have maintained relatively higher levels since the last week of March. 

FXempire, AXS, Crypto
Source: FXEmpire

One worrying price trend spotted on AXS’s chart is its RSI making lower lows indicative of selling pressure taking over the coin’s market. In the short term, the $70.2 mark could act as a strong resistance, and a move above the same could ensure further gains for the token.

Citi Gets Bullish, Projecting a $13 Trillion Metaverse by 2030

Key Insights:

  • On Thursday, Citi analysts projected the Web3 economy to reach $13 trillion by 2030.
  • Greater access to host use cases, including commerce, art, media, advertising, healthcare, and social collaboration, support the bullish outlook.
  • Significant infrastructure investment is needed to reach around five billion Metaverse users.

Market sentiment towards the Metaverse has turned yet more bullish. More mainstream players are entering the Metaverse. Trademark application filings suggest a marked increase in virtual engagement.

Across the broader crypto market, Metaverse-related news has been a key to price action. This week, Zilliqa (ZIL) has surged by more than 100% in response to Metaverse-related news updates on Metapolis. Metapolis is powered by Zilliqa.

With the increased activity and endless possibilities, banks have become particularly bullish with their Metaverse projections.

Citi Projects a $13 Trillion Metaverse and Five Billion Users

Citi delivered a bullish assessment of Web3 on Thursday.

An analyst report talked of the Metaverse becoming the next generation of the internet, bridging the digital and physical worlds in an immersive manner.

The report delivered two projections:

  • A narrow definition with Metaverse usage limited to VR/AR headset users. Analysts project 900m to 1bn users by 2030 and a total addressable market estimate of between $1tn and $2tn.
  • A broad definition, with the Metaverse having unique internet users. Analysts project 5bn users by 2030 and a total addressable market estimate of between $8tn and $13tn.

Citi views gaming as the primary Metaverse use case. Analysts expect the Metaverse to expand and allow people to find new ways to carry out everyday activities.

‘Enterprise use cases of the Metaverse in the coming years will likely include internal collaboration, client contact, sales and marketing, advertising, events and conferences, engineering and design, and workforce training.’

The report does highlight that in its current form, the internet infrastructure is inadequate for ‘building a fully-immersive content streaming Metaverse environment.’

Significant investment is needed to integrate the Metaverse with the real world. Low latency is considered a critical factor in delivering an appropriate user experience.

For a truly immersive Metaverse experience, the report highlights the need for sub-12ms latency and faster connectivity speeds.

In the Metaverse, NFTs will also be a key component. Users can store NFTs in digital wallets and take them everywhere within the Metaverse.

Big Names Take to the Metaverse Supporting Citi’s Outlook

Mainstream interest in Web3 has surged since the beginning of the year. Corporations across industries have entered the Metaverse or have filed Metaverse-related trademark applications.

In February, McDonald’s entered the Metaverse, giving fans a virtual experience to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Warner Music Group bought land in The Sandbox (SAND), with the fashion industry also going virtual.

Last week, a 4-day fashion week took place in Decentraland (MANA), with big names from the fashion industry present.

Sport has also embraced Web3. In January, Tennis Australia went virtual for the Australian Open. The Metaverse gave fans virtual access to Melbourne Park.

The increased activity had caught the eye of JPMorgan earlier this year.

JPMorgan Buys Land and Projects a $1tn Metaverse

In February, JPMorgan put its money where its mouth and bought land in Decentraland. The U.S investment bank is bullish on the Metaverse, forecasting a $1 trillion market.

JPMorgan talked of the limitless opportunities that the Metaverse presents, ranging from virtual workspaces to music artists holding concerts. As a result of these opportunities, the bank sees all types and sizes of companies entering the Metaverse.

JP Morgan highlighted many issues that need addressing. These range from taxation to policing activity.

As more industries enter the Metaverse, the more bullish projections will likely have a cascade effect, accelerating the pace of infrastructure investment and mainstream adoption.

KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell Plan NFTs and Metaverse Entries

Key Insights:

  • Three big names in the food industry have filed NFT and Metaverse trademark applications.
  • KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell follow in the footsteps of McDonald’s that went Metaverse for the Lunar New Year.
  • More are likely to follow to ensure they don’t miss out on NFT and Metaverse opportunities.

Despite continued government and regulatory scrutiny, more and more mainstream names are going virtual.

NFTs enable greater consumer engagement, with the Metaverse offering boundless opportunities and boundaryless revenue streams. Decentraland (MANA) and the Sandbox (SAND) are the two big Metaverse names.

In February, JPMorgan projected a $1 trillion Metaverse, indicative of the furor surrounding the Metaverse. The NFT space and the Metaverse have seen activity pick up markedly in recent months. Mainstream players are filing NFT and Metaverse-related trademarks to avoid being left behind.

Fast-food Giants File NFT and Metaverse-Retailed Trademark Applications

It’s been a busy few months for Metaverse trademark lawyers. On Wednesday, Mike Kondoudis took to Twitter to announce Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell trademark applications.

The fast-food names that fall under Yum! Brands filed trademark applications for their names and logos for:

  • Virtual foods + drinks
  • NFTs + NFT backed multimedia
  • Online stores featuring virtual goods.
  • Virtual restaurants with “actual and virtual goods”

Yum! Brands Follows McDonald’s and Other Big Names into the Metaverse

In February, McDonald’s entered the Metaverse, in celebration of the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Tiger.

McDonald’s partnered with Humberto Leon to dish out a zodiac collection in the Metaverse. For McDonald’s, it was consumer engagement at its best. Fans could view the Zodiac collection, have horoscope readings, relax in the McDonald’s lounge, light lanterns to release into the sky, and even give hongbao (red packets).

Since the Lunar New Year collaboration, McDonald’s also filed crypto, NFT, and Metaverse trademark applications.

Other food industry names, including Wendy’s, Panera Bread, Panda Express, Hooters, Dunkin Donuts, and Burger King, as well as Guy Fieri’s Flavortown, have also filed trademark applications.

The sheer number of applications filed this week alone suggests that a Metaverse Revolution is afoot. Other big names in the food industry will undoubtedly follow in what could also materially alter interaction with consumers.

According to Statista, McDonald’s spent approximately $654.7m on advertising worldwide in 2020. Direct access to consumers in the Metaverse would materially improve the bottom line for McDonald’s and other big ad spenders in the food industry.

Which Altcoins Will Give Bitcoin and Ethereum a Run for Their Money?

Here we take a look at some of the projects.

Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, has been around for over a decade. In 2015, Ethereum entered the blockchain scene as the first smart contracts platform. Both have seen a marked shift in sentiment, driving adoption over the years. The main drivers for adoption have been decentralization and corruption-proof technology.

Adopting trends also hold true for the trading community. Bitcoin’s and Ethereum’s yearly trading volumes are consistently rising.

Adoption has been so significant that not only multinational companies have adopted cryptocurrencies (like Twitter, Tesla, Etsy, Microsoft, or PayPal), but also entire countries. For instance, El Salvador declared Bitcoin legal tender in 2021, allowing citizens and companies to use both the Salvadoran colon and Bitcoin.

While some governments have adopted the decentralized ethos sooner, others continue to withhold this decision for as long as possible. But that’s a topic for another occasion.

The blockchain industry, as a whole, has evolved from the backbone of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

So, there is no way that these two cryptocurrency monoliths would ever leave the sphere anytime soon. But there are new blockchain projects launched every year that solve issues inaccessible to the big players above.

Much smaller by market capitalization, these cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy and have tremendous room for growth and expansion of market share. Investing in and trading with these can prove decisive while steering clear of the often-confusing waters of Foreign Exchange.

Lately, the international Forex broker OctaFX has upgraded its trading pool by adding 25 new and promising cryptocurrencies. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Cardano (ADA)

Cardano is a direct Ethereum competitor among smart-contract platforms. Its founder aided the development of the Ethereum network before founding Cardano in 2015. Since 2019, Cardano’s (ADA) native token has seen sizeable growth. The Cardano ecosystem is considered one of the most decentralized—having an exceptionally high and rare level of self-initiative within its global community. Most of the Cardano community not only hold ADA but also found pools, adding liquidity to support ecosystem growth.

Solana (SOL)

Solana is another ‘Ethereum killer’, as some like to claim within the crypto community. More than killing anything, Solana dilutes ETH’s dominant market share. Much like Cardano, Solana solves issues of scalability and transaction fees that have been a cause of pain for Ethereum users. 2021 was a big success story for the Solana ecosystem.

Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin is the native token of one of the biggest crypto exchanges—Binance. Binance also launched its blockchain to compete with Ethereum’s financial and computing ecosystem. Binance is one huge success story with just one undeveloped aspect—decentralization. But other than that, the company went through tremendous pains to give an exquisite and reliable user experience. Transaction costs are next to none compared to Ethereum and most other competitors.

Polygon (MATIC)

Matic is a ‘layer-2 solution’ formed to support mass adoption of the Ethereum platform. It aims to solve Ethereum’s onchain scalability restrictions. There were and are others, but Matic did a great job back in 2019–2020 of bundling powerful partnerships, setting up collaborations, and garnering a faithful and committed community. Eventually, this led to a meteoric rise in adoption and market capitalization in the first quarter of 2021.

Zcash (ZEC)

With an uncertain future for fiat currencies and monetary policy worldwide becoming more obscure and unpredictable, privacy coins are in high demand. It was one of the most powerful promises of Bitcoin back in 2009—financial privacy in a digital age. Since then, much has changed. Bitcoin proved not to be as private and untraceable as some had expected. After 2014, coins like Monero, Dash, and Zcash entered the crypto playground. Zcash has great bitcoin-based technology and a magnificent team that stands for what it believes in.

Decentraland (MANA)

Decentraland is an Ethereum-based platform that builds a virtual reality, the Metaverse, where you can buy digital land, engage in it and maneuver through it with other users, and capitalize on the processes occurring within the Metaverse. So, keeping MANA in mind as one of the key players in the much-talked-about ‘Metaverse rush’ can prove lucrative in the long run.

An investment opportunity of a lifetime

These are just a fraction of the cryptocurrencies worth discussing. A vibrant, new industry is unfolding—one that will define the destiny of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and the entire new world that ‘Web 3.0’ has in store for us.

Major smart-contract players are serious contenders for significant future market share. While Ethereum will not vanish, its challengers will likely seize opportunities to grow massively. This is true for their governance tokens as well as their cryptocurrencies.

Privacy coins with powerful code and inventive protocols are almost no-brainers, investment-wise. Their straightforward use-case will soon be in such desperate demand—especially with inflation being on the loose long term—that investing in them now will print much wealth for those who dare. Their relative worth will skyrocket compared to today’s prices.

According to many, a virtual, parallel reality called the Metaverse is no fringe gamer’s dream anymore. There is already a vast virtual marketplace manifesting that will soon vividly mimic the real world. So much so that trade, business, administrative procedures, and entertainment will have powerful substitute domains. It’s no niche for some futurologists anymore. Metaverse projects will thrive, no matter what.

In conclusion, these new financial instruments are well worth exploring. Behind them are standing entities akin to what Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook have been to the IT industry over the last few decades ago.


OctaFX is a global broker providing online trading services worldwide since 2011. It offers everything one needs to reach their investment goals, providing top-notch conditions utilized already by 7.5 million clients globally.

The company is involved in a comprehensive network of charity and humanitarian initiatives, including improvement of educational infrastructure, short-notice relief projects, supporting local communities and small to medium enterprises.

On a side note, OctaFX has also won more than 45 awards since its foundation, including the 2021 ‘Best Forex Broker Asia’ award from Global Banking & Finance Review and 2021 ‘Best ECN Broker’ award by World Finance.

Crypto Exchange BTC Markets Partners with Mastercard for Payments

Key Insights:

  • Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets forms a partnership with Mastercard to support crypto card payments.
  • The partnership comes despite some jurisdictions raising concerns over card payments.
  • BTC follows in the footsteps of CoinJar, who partnered with Mastercard in 2021.

BTC Markets is an online crypto exchange with more than 325,000 Australian clients and AU$19bn in traded digital assets.

Focused on the Australian market, users can deposit and withdraw Aussie dollars without fees. Twenty-five tradeable pairs are on offer, with the platform supporting retail and institutional investors. In addition to traditional crypto trading, users may also stake supported cryptos for multiple time periods.

Coin listings include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND), and Algorand (ALGO), among others.

BTC Markets Partners with Mastercard to Support Card Payments

This week, BTC Markets and Mastercard formed a partnership, enabling users to make payments into the exchange.

The partnership will allow customers to make direct debit, prepaid, or credit card payments into the crypto exchange. Previously, BTC Markets users could only make payments by bank transfer.

BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler said,

“As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to grow and evolve, customers are increasingly looking for faster and simpler ways to access cryptocurrency securely and efficiently. We are excited to be partnering with Mastercard who share our focus on stability and innovation and customer protection, and enable us to offer our clients with new ways to engage with this emerging digital asset class.”

Mastercard See Greater Collaboration with Crypto Platforms

In 2021, Mastercard launched crypto-linked credit cards across the Asia Pacific region. Mastercard formed partnerships with Amber Group and Bitkub of Thailand; and Australia’s CoinJar.

The partnership with Mastercard enables users to instantly convert crypto into fiat to spend anywhere that Mastercard is accepted worldwide.

According to the Mastercard announcement, the three exchanges were the first Asia-Pacific-based platforms to join Mastercard’s Crypto Card Program.

In January, Mastercard struck a payments deal with Coinbase to allow users to make purchases on the Coinbase NFT marketplace.

Coinbase is to launch its NFT marketplace soon. This month, Coinbase took to Twitter, announcing the imminent launch of the highly anticipated CoinbaseNFT.

Regulatory Oversight May Limit Mastercard’s Reach

Some jurisdictions are more crypto-friendly than others, which may limit the reach of Mastercard and others in the crypto world.

Last week, FX Empire reported the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) issuing an “enforcement notice ahead of an imminent crackdown on misleading and irresponsible crypto ads.”

As part of the enforcement notice, the ASA indicated that ads must not imply:

  • Cryptocurrencies are suitable for purchase on credit.
  • Cryptocurrencies are a good or secure way to invest savings or a pension.

In Australia, a crypto sector regulatory overhaul is imminent. Regulators may include similar measures to protect investors.

Shiba Inu Transaction Volume Soars 288% As Price Rallies by 21%

Key Insights:

  • The broader market recovery also triggered Shiba Inu’s staggering 21.19% rally.
  • Bullishness coming from investors resulted in the transaction volume rising by almost four times.
  • The rally also led to SHIB’s listing on the Canadian exchange Netcoins.

Today proved to be a rather unexpected event for both Bitcoin and the altcoins as a rally triggered the entire crypto market to rise by over 5% ($120 billion). However, Shiba Inu managed to stand out today after making spectacular gains over the last 24 hours.

Shiba Inu Bags Inflows

In the last two weeks, Shiba Inu noted a stable rise, but today, the altcoin exploded and rose by 21.19%. In doing so, the coin marked a local top of $0.00002854.

But the bullishness over the last 15 days combined with the cues from the broader market is the actual reason behind this rise.

On the MACD indicator, SHIB has observed rising bullishness since March 18, after successfully marking a bullish crossover on the day before. The MACD line (white) only rose further today, leaving behind the signal line (red).

But the rally did so much more for the coin by turning the active downtrend into an uptrend today as the white dots of the Parabolic SAR shifted underneath the candlesticks.

Shiba Inu rose by 21.19% today

Thus, the allure of the Shiba Inu led to a significant rise in the activity from investors as well, and the meme coin noted a stark increase in the trading volume.

While SHIB clocked in about $792 million today yesterday, the same figure rose to $3.08 billion. This marks a 288% rise in 24 hours as of press time, which was certainly beyond expectations.

Shiba Inu’s trading volume spikes by 288% | Source: Yahoo Finance

Most of this came from the buy orders in the market, which exceeded the volume of SHIB sold at different intervals throughout the day.

In aggregate, about 761 billion SHIB worth approximately $21.8 million has been bought out during the trading hours at the time of writing.

Shiba Inu observed higher buys over sell today | Source: IntoTheBlock

Shiba Inu Finds Another Home

While Shiba Inu’s loyal community is enough for the meme coin, today’s performance certainly put it on the hotlist of multiple crypto exchange facilitators.

One of them was a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, Netcoins, which listed Shiba Inu in its library of assets. Along with SHIB, Dogecoin, Decentraland, Polygon, and Fantom were also listed.

But Shiba Inu will also need to bring in some ecosystem development every now and then since, at the moment, no new development has been observed on the network.

LG Electronics To Venture in the Blockchain and Crypto Business

Key Insights:

  • LG Electronics is set to enter the blockchain and crypto business.
  • Other South Korean tech giants like Samsung have already taken their first step towards crypto adoption.
  • South Korean markets have witnessed increasing activity over the last year. 

Crypto adoption is in full swing across the globe, while institutions and corporations aim to capitalize on the growing sector. Of late, more and more top-tier firms from various sectors are jumping on the blockchain train to appease their customers and lure newer participants. 

Another tech giant recently decided to jump on the bandwagon. LG Electronics has added cryptocurrency and blockchain devices as new business areas in its corporate charter. 

Expanding Through Crypto and Blockchain

Heralding an expansion into new fields beyond home appliances, the South Korean tech giant LG Electronics has updated its business development goals to include cryptocurrency and blockchain-based software.

Local South Korean news media organization reported that LG had added two distinct crypto-related objectives during its annual general meeting on March 24. The new objectives include ‘the development and selling of blockchain-based software’ and ‘the sale and brokerage of cryptocurrency.’   

LG’s recent announcement has led people to wonder whether the firm would establish some form of crypto exchange or marketplace. 

A spokesperson from the firm told local news organizations that ‘nothing has been decided yet,’ regarding building a crypto marketplace. According to reports, the company has merely mentioned business areas to expand broadly. 

Notably, the tech manufacturer introduced smart television models with the NFT option last month with a blockchain company called Kakao’s Ground X. LG had also announced a partnership with Seoul Auction Blue, an NFT-focused company, to carry out projects related to NFT-based artworks.  

South Korean Market Looking Ripe

South Korea is a well-known hub for crypto trading activity. A recent survey highlighted that around 3.8% of the population owned some form of crypto assets. Furthermore, South Korean crypto providers booked a $2.7 billion net profit last year.  

Seemingly the market offers good scope for growth for firms as demand for digital assets in the nation is on the rise. Earlier this year, LG’s competitor Samsung announced that it would be launching an NFT platform for its smart TVs and its store in the Decentraland metaverse.

In South Korea, native blockchain platforms like Klaytn are seeing their domestic dominance dwindle, with competitors such as Polygon taking over the NFT marketplace. 

Earlier this year there were rumors about LG creating a crypto-related marketplace emerged when Bithumb CEO Heo Baek-young confirmed that the exchange was working with ‘a large company’ to develop an NFT marketplace.

Fashion Week Kicks Off in the Metaverse With Big Names Going Virtual

Key Insights:

  • Decentraland (MANA) is back in the news, with Fashion Week in full swing.
  • In February, Vogue Business announced a 4-day Fashion Week in Decentraland.
  • The collaboration between fashion, digital assets, and the Metaverse will continue to test the boundaries.

In February, FXEmpire reported news of a 4-day Fashion Week in Decentraland (MANA). The MVFW 4-day extravaganza will allow global brands and visitors to attend fashion shows virtually. Events will include live music and after-parties.

Fashion Week Takes the Industry to the Metaverse

On Wednesday, London retailer Selfridges opened its flagship Metaverse store to kick off #MVFW. The Selfridges flagship store is located on London’s famous Oxford Street and opened its doors in March 1909.

It is the second-largest shop in the UK behind Harrods and even featured in the 2017 movie Wonder Woman.

Over the 4-day event, more than 60 fashion brands, 500+ looks, 4+ after parties, and many artists will attend the event ending March 27.

Following the Selfridges virtual flagship opening, a full 113 years after the original, Estee Lauder debuted today, with other big names hitting Twitter to announce their arrival at MVFW.

Tommy Hilfiger also took to Twitter today, tweeting,

“Inspired by the next frontier of digital technology, #TimmyHilfiger will be adopting @BostonProtocol during #MVFW in @Decentraland to enable the sale of physical items as #NFTs in #BostonPortal.”

#MVFW Twitter activity demonstrates the power of the Metaverse and how fashion’s global expansion can accelerate through a virtual footprint.

At MVFW, attendees can also buy and wear digital clothing, with some digital catwalk collections redeemable for physical pieces.

2022 Looks Set to Become a Defining Year for Virtual Fashion

The start of #MVFW follows news of Space Runners announcing $10 million in financing to build an end-to-end Fashion Metaverse.

For the fashion world, MVFW is a big event and will be the start of something spectacular. In recent months, big fashion names have embarked on the virtual journey.

Last month, Victoria’s Secret filed trademark applications to join an ever-growing list of big names to enter the Metaverse. Victoria’s Secret followed big names in fashion and beyond, including Warner Music Group, McDonald’s, and Gucci.