Metaverse and Gaming Survive Crypto Contagion Fallout: Research

Key Insights:

  • DeFi total value locked has been growing for the past month.
  • Metaverse and blockchain gaming were the least affected. 
  • Metaverse-based NFT projects continue to attract global interest.

Crypto analytics platform DappRadar released a report on July 29 detailing how blockchain and crypto projects dealt with the crypto contagion following the collapse of the Terra ecosystem in May.

Following the catastrophic collapse of Terra’s UST stablecoin, $40 billion in retail and venture capital money was wiped out, according to the report.

The spillover effect, known as the crypto contagion, impacted lending firms such as Celsius and brokerages such as Voyager, Three Arrows Capital, and BlockFi. Mass liquidations of leveraged positions and loans caused a run on several platforms, which were forced to suspend withdrawals.

The decentralized finance sector was heavily impacted because Terra’s UST was integral to many lending and borrowing protocols. The total value locked in DeFi has slumped 64% from more than $250 billion in December 2021 to just $90 billion today, according to DefiLlama.

DeFi Hit Hardest

It is no surprise that DeFi suffered the most since a lot of it was based on leveraged lending and borrowing, unrealistic yields, and a lot of exposure to Terra. Now that all this leveraged speculation has been flushed out, a clearer picture of the ecosystem is emerging.

DeFi TVL has been increasing since mid-June, when it fell below $70 billion. Gains have been slow and steady, but the entire ecosystem did not collapse, and there have been many survivors.

MakerDAO (MKR) is back on top as the leading DeFi protocol with a market share of around 9.5%. Its collateral-backed stablecoin, DAI, did not falter during the collapse of UST as it maintained its dollar peg throughout.

The crypto contagion also impacted nonfungible token (NFT) projects, with transaction and sales volumes falling over the first half of the year. Markets are slowly stabilizing, however, and even showing signs of recovery.

Metaverse and Gaming Survive

Two sectors that were not impacted that badly in the Terra aftermath were Metaverse and blockchain gaming. “Blockchain games have been the least affected by the turmoil,” the report noted.

Blockchain gaming, or GameFi, uses tokenized items and in-game currencies to power virtual worlds. A minor dip in activity suggests that users interacted with blockchain games at a similar rate regardless of the crypto contagion.

Metaverses such as Axie Infinity (AXS), Decentraland (MANA), and Splinterlands (SPS) have continued to attract participants this year. The researchers concluded that Metaverse related NFT projects have grown year-on-year and global interest remains strong:

“Metaverse-related NFT projects are a beacon of hope as they reported an overall increase in trade volume and transaction count up by 97% and 27%, respectively.”

Crypto Market Daily Highlights – BTC Set to Extend Losing Streak to Four

Key Insights:

  • It is a mixed session for the crypto top ten, with Cardano (ADA) making a move while others struggled.
  • Updates from developers on the Vasil hard fork delivered ADA support, while the broader market looked ahead to the Fed monetary policy decision on Wednesday.
  • With an hour to go, the total coin market cap was down $1.88 billion to end the day at $1,007 billion.

It is a mixed Saturday session for the crypto top ten. Bitcoin (BTC) revisited sub-$22,000, while Cardano (ADA) recovered from the Friday pullback.

Input Output-HK provided a weekly update on progress towards the end of the month Vasil hard fork, which delivered the ADA upside.

Following disappointing US economic indicators from Friday, the Fed monetary policy decision on Wednesday brings plenty of uncertainty.

Talks of a 75-basis point rate hike ahead of the Fed blackout period provided some cushion while concerns over the US economy linger.

Beyond the Vasil hard fork update, however, there were no crypto news stories to support a bullish start to the weekend.

The Total Crypto Market Cap Falls as the Focus Shifts to the Fed

A bullish start to the Saturday session saw the total crypto market cap rise to a high of $1,031 billion.

However, through the second half of the day, the crypto market cap slid to a low of $981 before support kicked in.

The reversal left the market cap down $1.88 billion for the day. Significantly, the market cap fell back to sub-$1,000 billion before the late recovery. While down for the day, the crypto market looks set to extend the weekly winning streak to three. The total market cap is currently up $76 billion for the week.

Crypto market cap
Total Market Cap 240722 Daily Chart

The Crypto Market Movers and Shakers from the Top Ten and Beyond

At the time of press, ADA was up by 6.83%, with DOGE gaining 1.16%. ETH (+0.56%) and XRP (0.43%) found late support to end the day in positive territory.

However, BNB and SOL led the way down, with losses of 1.07% and 1.10%, respectively. BTC was down by a modest 0.89%.

From the CoinMarketCap top 100, some fared better than others.

With one hour to go, Axie Infinity (AXS) was up 11.8% to lead the broader market. ApeCoin (APE), NEM (XEM), and Decentraland (LAND) also found strong support.

However, NEO (NEO) led the way down, sliding by 6.57%, with Cosmos (ATOM) and Cronos (CRO) close behind.

Total Crypto Liquidations Slide as Cryptos Begin the Recovery

On Sunday, 24-hour liquidations fell, with liquidation levels returning to normal after a mid-week spike.

Crypto liquidations
Total Crypto Liquidations 240722

This morning, 24-hour liquidations stood at $127 million, down from $207 million on Saturday. On Tuesday morning, liquidations had spiked at $691 million.

Liquidated traders fell modestly over the last 24 hours. At the time of writing, liquidated traders stood at 61,924 versus 62,274 on Saturday morning.

One-hour liquidations saw a sharp decline, coinciding with the crypto market recovery from Saturday’s lows.

According to Coinglass, one-hour liquidations stood at $0.526 million, down from $3.74 million on Saturday. Four-hour liquidations stood at $9.33 million, down from $51.48 million on Saturday. (See hourly crypto market cap chart below).

Crypto recovery
Total Market Cap 240722 Hourly Chart

Daily News Highlights

  • Caduceus announced a partnership with cricketing legend Lord Ian Botham to take cricket to the metaverse.
  • Spanish footballing giant, Barcelona FC, launched an NFT live auction at New York Sotheby’s that ends on July 29.
  • Bloomberg reported FTX entering into talks to acquire Bithumb, a South Korean crypto exchange.
  • Activity in the ongoing SEC v Ripple case peaked ahead of the weekend, with William Hinman still the area of focus.

Crypto Market Daily Highlights – June 25 – BTC and ETH Make Ground

  • It was a mixed session for the crypto to ten, with bitcoin (BTC) extending its winning streak while Binance Coin (BNB) saw red.
  • There were no major news stories to provide direction on Saturday, allowing momentum from Friday to spill over to the weekend.
  • After adding $24 billion on Friday, the total crypto market cap rose by a modest $11.5 billion.

It was a mixed session for the crypto market on Saturday. Bitcoin (BTC) logged a second 3-day winning streak of the week, while Binance Coin (BNB) saw red to buck the top ten trend.

There was no major news to derail the latest uptrend, with the crypto market needing to make it four in a row to convince investors of a possible shift from the extended bearish sell-off.

The week ahead will likely be another choppy one with inflation back in focus.

The Total Crypto Market Cap Inches Nearer to $1,000bn

Following a $27 billion rise on Friday, the total crypto market cap increased by $11.5 billion on Saturday. A day high of $954 billion saw the market cap near $1,000 billion, last visited on June 13.

Crypto market cap rises.
Total Market Cap 260622 Daily Chart

Investors continued to put aside downside risks, including fears of a recession, with momentum from Thursday and Friday continuing into the weekend.

For the week, the total market cap is currently up by $58 billion, reducing the June deficit to $354 billion.

On Saturday, DOGE led the way, rising by 2.35%, with BTC (+1.15%) and ETH (+1.38%) close behind.

However, SOL (+0.76%) and XRP (+0.23%) saw modest gains, with ADA ending the day flat.

BNB bucked the trend, falling by 0.21%.

From the CoinMarketCap top 100, The Sandbox (SAND) led the broader market, rallying by 16.3%.

The market speculation of a possible investor buyout of The Sandbox delivered the breakout session on Saturday.

This week, tech companies, including Epic Games, Meta, Microsoft, and Sony, partnered to form the Metaverse Standards Forum.

Decentraland (MANA) also found strong support, gaining 9.0%.

Total Crypto Liquidations Eased, Reflective of Saturday’s Moves

The recent downward trend in total crypto liquidations resumed on Saturday, reflective of market movements.

Going into Sunday, total liquidations stood at $130 million, down from a Saturday morning of $192 million. 54,137 traders were liquidated over the past 24 hours.

One-hour liquidations were also steady. According to Coinglass, one-hour liquidations stood at $5.68 million.

Crypto liquidations ease
Total Crypto Liquidations 260622

Daily News Highlights

  • The Sandbox (SAND) and Decentraland (MANA) enjoyed breakout sessions supported by the formation of the Metaverse Standards Forum.
  • DeFi tokens continued their uptrend as investors began to dip back into the space following the collapse of TerraUSD (UST) and Terra LUNA.
  • Binance CEO CZ told Yahoo! Finance that the company is looking at 50 to 100 deals.
  • News hit the crypto wires of FTX planning to buy a stake in BlockFi.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported Goldman Sachs eying a possible acquisition of Celsius.

Axie Infinity Surpasses Decentraland To Be the Top NFT in 112 Countries

Key Insights:

  • Axie Infinity holds the title of the most-searched community NFT in 112 countries.
  • Although Decentraland is the most popular NFT in the United States.
  • Both AXS and MANA have been attempting to recover from the May-June crash.

The world of NFTs has grown beyond expectations and now hosts millions of people around the world. Now sales of NFT collections may make one think that the Bored Ape Yacht Collection is the biggest NFT collection to exist, however, the reality of the situation is starkly different.

Axie Infinity Rules NFTs

That is true. Axie Infinity’s NFTs do rule NFTs in a lot of places around the world, except for the United States, where Decentraland has a much higher demand.

But apart from that, in more than 112 countries, Axie Infinity is the most searched for community NFT. The closest competition it has is Decentraland which too only holds the title in 43 countries.

In Oceania, particularly, which compromises Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and New Zealand, Axie Infinity has absolutely no competition. 

While on the other hand, Africa has a wide range of NFT collections finding preference in different countries. Apart from Axie Infinity and Decentraland, NFT collections such as Sorare, Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), and Town Star are also favorites.

AXS and MANA on the Charts

Although Axie Infinity and Decentraland are a favorite among NFT collectors/traders, investors haven’t shown such interest in their native tokens. At the time of writing, AXS and MANA were trading at $15.4 and $0.89, respectively. 

Recovering from the 37.46% crash, AXS marked a 16.6% rally over the last three days, but the coin still has a long way to go before it can attract the attention of spot investors. 

The same goes for MANA as well, which increased by 15.69% after declining by 23.87%.

Since other altcoins such as Waves and Synthetix have rallied by more than 30% in the same time period, AXS and MANA will naturally not receive much attention, but they still have the upper hand in their fields.

Shiba Inu Becomes Ethereum Whales Largest Holding Surpassing USDT

Key Insights:

  • Shiba Inu is the second biggest asset by allocation amongst the Ethereum whales.
  • Trading at $0.00000803, SHIB has slipped below Avalanche in terms of market cap.
  • USD Coin still remains the first priority for the whales.

Despite its absurdity, the meme coin, which managed to attract millions of investors towards itself, has now also managed to attract Ethereum’s whales.

The top 100 whales on the network are basically wallets that hold an average of $14 million in value.

And by the looks of it, Shiba Inu has made itself prominent in their holdings.

Shiba Inu Has the Upper Hand

Although Shiba Inu is not even in the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the global crypto market, among the whales, the altcoin certainly has a lot of demand.

Occupying 13.9% dominance on the top 100 wallets, almost $400 million worth of Shiba Inu currently sits with these whales.

The first position still belongs to the USD Coin, which over the last few weeks has managed to outperform the biggest stablecoin in the world, Tether, significantly.

The former has an 18% dominance in these wallets, whereas the latter only has a 12.42% dominance in these wallets. 

Among the other tokens that the whales prefer to hold include the FTX token, Polygon’s MATIC, Chainlink’s LINK, and Decentraland’s MANA, among others. 

Shiba Inu on the Charts

However, despite finding significant demand, SHIB still has not exhibited a single sign of recovery in more than two months now. Since mid-April, the meme coin has been declining and has managed to wipe out 70.72% of its value.

But trading at $0.00000803, SHIB might be healing onto a path of recovery, with price indicators showing the possibility of an uptrend initiating soon.

The Parabolic SAR’s white dots currently indicate a downtrend, but their proximity to the candlesticks is bound to trigger an uptrend.

This is also backed by the fact that the MACD has officially shifted into a bullish crossover, with the appearance of green bars confirming the change in trend. 

Should SHIB sustain this momentum, it will be able to recover at least some of the losses it has incurred since May.

Here’s a Complete Guide to Investing in the Metaverse

Key Insights:

  • A massive boom in metaverse’s popularity was witnessed in October 2021. 
  • Global revenue opportunity from the metaverse could approach $800 billion by 2024. 
  • NFTs, metaverse tokens, and virtual land are ways in which one can invest in the crypto space. 

Metaverse and NFTs were the buzzwords of 2021 as both sectors saw a massive rise in market capitalization and general interest.

A massive boom in metaverse’s popularity was witnessed in October 2021, when Facebook made big news by changing its name to Meta. However, there’s much more to the metaverse than Mark Zuckerberg or the social media.

Over the last years, curiosity about the investment opportunities in the metaverse has often crossed traders’ and investors’ minds. However, before investing in the metaverse, it is crucial to know more about the virtual world that investors and institutions are so excited about.

The Metaverse and its Growth

According to many, metaverse technology is the next big tech as it has managed to attract social networks, online game makers, and various technology leaders globally.

In a more general sense, the metaverse can include virtual reality – characterized by usually purposeful virtual worlds that continue to exist. It also has augmented reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds.

Terms like social, shared, virtual, and persistently 3D are used to describe the metaverse technology. According to many, metaverse technology is the convergence of the digital and physical worlds within the evolution of the internet and social networks. Additionally, the metaverse also makes use of real-time 3D software.

Over the last couple of years, mainstream organizations have started to jump on the metaverse bandwagon as customer demand for the technology rises. The idea of the metaverse revolves around an online space where people get to connect and interact with each other.

In fact, the metaverse mania is so immense that in January this year the Tennis Australia partnered with Decentraland to host the Australian Open (AO), which was the first official tennis grand slam in the metaverse.

Likewise, in March 2022, presenters, performers, and nominees, at the Grammys had a virtual reality experience in the metaverse via CEEK. More recently, in April this year, another project partnered with Decentraland to introduce for people to marrying in the metaverse.

Metaverse-centric organizations such as Decentraland, Meta, The Sandbox, and others are also building promising metaverse platforms and projects. Prophecy Market Insights predicted that the Global Metaverse Market accounted for $337.23 million in 2020 and is estimated to be $1003.06 million by 2030. The sector is anticipated to register a CAGR of 11.50% over the years.

A Citibank report highlighted that the metaverse economy could be valued between $8 trillion and $13 trillion by 2030.

So, for a market growing at such a high pace, what are the ways in which one can invest in the space? This article will highlight how one can, directly and indirectly, invest in the metaverse.

Investing in Metaverse for Beginners

A Bloomberg report presented that the global revenue opportunity from the metaverse could approach $800 billion by 2024. With investment opportunities in the metaverse on the rise, it could be a good space for beginners to explore. However, the crypto and metaverse market is a tricky sector that often leaves new investors overwhelmed.

Much like cryptocurrencies, the metaverse allows almost anyone to invest and earn from the space. It’s essential to note that investing in metaverse is not limited to buying crypto-assets infact one can also invest or trade-in stocks of metaverse firms.

There are quite a few publicly traded companies from the metaverse space. Furthermore, beginners can choose from different industries in the metaverse space, including real estate, video games, and entertainment.

Decentraland is one firm that offers users the opportunities to buy virtual land in the metaverse. On the other hand, Meta is one traditional finance firm offering investments in the growing space.

That said, some ways a newcomer can invest in the metaverse include purchasing virtual land and prefabricated metaverse properties. Investors can also look at buying metaverse crypto, which offers a decent exposure, especially to beginners.

More seasoned investors can also look at investing in a metaverse ETF which is often considered to be a lot safer and less volatile. Furthermore, one can look at buying metaverse stocks and creating and flipping NFTs.

Directly Investing in the Metaverse

While investing in metaverse can be done indirectly, too, directly investing in metaverse projects has lured many investors. Over the last year and a half, investing in cryptocurrencies and the metaverse has been one of the most exciting areas in the finance space.

Even though many new investors think of investing in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether as similar to investing in the metaverse, it isn’t always mutually exclusive. In fact, one can invest in cryptocurrencies and the metaverse by taking various approaches.

One way of directly investing in the metaverse can be via cryptocurrencies and digital assets like NFTs in the metaverse space. Another way could be by investing or trading metaverse cryptocurrencies like Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND), and Enjin Coin (ENJ).

These metaverse cryptocurrencies can be bought or traded directly from any major crypto exchange like Binance or Coinbase. Multiple assets across the metaverse can be used for buying products and services.

One can also invest in metaverse stocks from prominent firms such as Meta Platforms, Roblox, Microsoft Corporation, NVIDIA, and the Boeing Company, among others. Metaverse real estate is another industry that has seen tremendous growth over the last year.

Market reports have estimated that real estate sales in the metaverse could double in the year 2022. New investors and traders play a huge role in pumping the metaverse space by paying millions of dollars to buy real estate in the metaverse.

One can buy lands on the metaverse with cryptocurrencies like ether, SAND, and MANA. AXS, MANA, THETA, and ENJ are some of the most popular metaverse cryptocurrencies in use. Thus, buying one of these crypto-assets could be the first step to owning land on the metaverse.

As the metaverse technology gains more traction, entrepreneurs and business leaders stand to gain by looking into the space and investing in virtual real estate. Platforms like Decentraland and Otherside offer exciting opportunities in the virtual real estate market.

Staying Safe is the Key

While investing in cryptocurrencies and the metaverse is often seen as a glamorous, get-rich quick scheme investing in projects for their value, ecosystem, market cap, and macro growth is one thing that needs to be kept in mind.

That said, one of the most crucial things in the space is to stay safe and make informed decisions. Most importantly, it is vital to do your research in the market and assess the volatility of this growing space well.

Crypto Price Analysis June 08: ADA, ETH, LINK, BNB, MANA

Key Insights:

  • Despite a majority of cryptocurrencies closing in green, the crypto market declined.
  • Chainlink and Cardano were two of the top performers of the day.
  • Bitcoin made no significant movement rising by just 1.41%

Continuing the downtrend today as well, the crypto market is moving slowly, sideways nonetheless.

As most of the cryptocurrencies were posting green candles today, the crypto market’s total cap didn’t lose much value depreciating by just $16 billion.

Cardano

One of the quickest to fall and one of the quickest to rise, Cardano is on a roll thanks to the bullishness surrounding the release of the Vasil hard fork at the end of June.

The altcoin was trading at $0.6512 and managed to rise by 43% in the last two weeks. 

According to the Bollinger Bands, ADA still has some fuel in it to continue its run as the bands continue to diverge, indicating higher volatility. Plus, ADA is set to rise further, with the basis (center white line) acting as support.

Ethereum

Although the king of the altcoin did not exactly lead the altcoins today, it continued to decline on the charts to trade at $1,791 at the time of this report.

ETH’s consistent drawdown is a concerning matter for investors as the asset does not have much preference in the institutional market either, noting $36 million in outflows this week.

This is also backed by the Chaikin Money Flow indicator, which shows that the altcoin continued observing outflows in the last 24 hours despite attempts at inflows.

Chainlink

Leading the rally in the crypto market today, Chainlink marked an 8.51% rise in the last 24 hours alone. This rise added to the almost 40.41% rise observed since May 31, bringing the coin to trade at $8.54.

This rise also helped the altcoin recover from the bearish zone it has been stuck in since the first week of April as the Relative Strength Index (RSI) entered the bullish neutral zone today.

Binance Coin

The token of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange on the planet, Binance Coin, has observed a unique pattern.

While other altcoins have either risen or moved sideways, BNB rose and declined by the exact same amount in almost the exact same period of time. 

Trading at $288.21, BNB is down by 11.43% after a 22.43% rally, and with the bearish crossover taking place on the MACD, BNB might notice a further decline in prices.

Decentraland

The king of the Metaverse, Decentraland’s token MANA, hasn’t been a hot performer in the last few weeks. Trading at $0.98, the altcoin has been stuck in a sideways momentum with no signs of the pattern breaking anytime soon.

The Parabolic SAR continues to exhibit an active downtrend as MANA has noted a fall in its prices worth almost 10% in the last eight days.

Top 10 Best Altcoin Performers of the Month

Key Insights:

  • While BTC saw a significant pullback in May, some altcoins noted decent price performances.
  • BNB and TRX were among the top performers of last month.
  • TRX’s market gains overshadowed most altcoins’ trajectory.

The year 2022 hasn’t been very fruitful for the global cryptocurrency market cap. Regular reports about the fed hikes, strong correlation with the equities and stock market, and the massive fall of the Terra ecosystem have added to the immense sell pressure faced by bitcoin and altcoins.

While many reasons kept the market moderately bearish throughout the year, bitcoin’s fall down to the $25,800 mark triggered a larger downside for altcoins. As BTC’s price hit $25,000 for the first time after July 2021, most of the altcoins saw massive losses. Nonetheless, some altcoins took advantage of their low BTC correlation and managed to grab the bullish opportunity even during market dips.

From May 1 to May 31, the global cryptocurrency market cap was down by almost 30% losing nearly $543 billion throughout the month. Amid the larger bearish wave, some altcoins stood out due to higher gains throughout May. It was, however, notable that the occasional gains that BTC saw due to external market factors were primarily responsible for altcoins’ short-term rally.

Here are ten altcoins whose performance stood out during the last month:

Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin (BNB), the utility token of global crypto exchange Binance, maintained a relatively better trajectory throughout May despite the larger market’s dramatic fall.

On a shorter time frame chart (4-hours), BNB’s charted a decent recovery after May 14. The coin even managed to make higher highs for most of May.

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

Notably, BNB started the month at $392, and despite the 45% pullback in mid-May, the coin managed to make its way above the $300 mark. At press time, BNB traded at $301.82, noting 6.40% daily and 7.49% weekly gains.

Ripple (XRP)

The Ripple vs SEC fiasco has put XRP in the limelight over the last year. Despite the bearish market momentum, fundamentals for XRP highlighted that price could see recovery going forward.

Unlike other altcoins, the remittance token is taking its time to recover from the recent lows. XRP’s price was at $0.61 on May 1, but the coin saw a major dip in price towards May mid like the larger market. Nonetheless, the coin’s downtick wasn’t as huge as many other tokens in the market.

FXempire, XRP, Crypto
XRP Price Chart | Source: FXEmpire

Tron (TRX)

Tron’s price trajectory over the last month was nothing short of a wonder. While top crypto assets like BTC, ETH, and others noted price pullbacks amid high selling pressure, TRX charted its own bullish trajectory.

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

The coin’s price opened at $0.062 on May 1 and rallied to $0.085 by the end of the month. Data from Messari highlighted that TRX’s monthly ROI vs USD was +25.89%, while its ROI vs ETH and BTC was +94.54% and +60.66% over the same time period.

That said, TRX still had a lot of scope to rise in the long term as the coin was down by 70.66% from its all-time high at press time.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Like the rest of the market, Bitcoin Cash followed BTC’s lead when bitcoin’s price dropped. However, the altcoin’s price gained occasional momentum charting decent market gains.

FXempire, BCH, Crypto
BCH Price Chart | Source: FXEmpire

BCH’s price fell by over 35% in May-mid but soon recovered from the price drop gaining almost 15% from the lower price levels. At the time of writing, BCH traded at $191.37, noting 2.41%daily and 0.82% weekly losses.

Stellar (XLM)

XRP’s competitor XLM has had a better ride than XRP throughout the last month. At least, price-wise, XLM’s trajectory saw quite a few notable jumps in May.

FXempire, XLM, Crypto
XLM Price Chart | Source: FXEmpire

Data from Messari, highlighted that XLM’s monthly ROI vs USD was down by 20.02%; however, the altcoin’s ROI vs ETH and BTC was +23.59% and +2.06%.

Monero (XMR)

Privacy tokens like Monero have had a blast in terms of price. XMR often sees decent price pumps when the market is down; the last month was no different. At press time, XMR traded at $195.63 noting 1.45% daily gains and 3.29% weekly losses.

FXempire, XMR, Crypto
XMR Price Chart | Source: FXEmpire

Data from Messari highlighted that XMR’s monthly ROI vs USD was -2.13%. However, the coin’s ROI vs ETH and BTC was +53.97% and +25.08%, respectively. That said, XMR’s 3-month ROI vs USD was +13.49%.

Ethereum Classic (ETC)

ETC’s price opened at $29 on May 1, but it saw decent price pumps throughout the last month owing to BTC’s occasional gains. At the time of writing, the altcoin traded at $22.56, noting 3.34% daily and 6.09% weekly losses.

FXempire, ETC, Crypto
ETC Price Chart | Source: FXEmpire

The ethereum fork’s monthly ROI vs ETH and BTC was +15.65% and +4.36%, respectively. While the coin was still down by 88.26% from its all-time high made in October last year, its price maintained a relatively better trajectory in May.

Decentraland (MANA)

MANA traded at $1.01, noting 5.25% daily and 3.39% weekly losses at press time due to BTC’s price pullback on June 1. However, MANA’s price held well during the last month despite assets losing close to 50% of market value.

Throughout May, MANA saw occasional price pumps giving way to gains.

STEPN (GMT)

GMT enjoyed a decent market presence and social attention throughout May, however, due to regulatory issues, the coin’s trajectory has become dull once again. The token registered an almost 10% spike in price during intraday trading on May 30; however GMT token appears to have shed these gains at press time.

GMT traded at $1.03, noting 13.77% daily losses at the time of writing.

Maker (MKR)

MKR’s price was at $1563 on May 1, but like the larger market the DeFi token also saw a significant dip in price towards May-mid. However, MKR’s price rose to as high as $2300 on May 11 and continued the uptrend for a week after giving in to larger market’s sell-side pressure.

MKR’s monthly ROI vs ETH and BTC was +28.19% and +4.13%, respectively.

Top 10 Cryptocurrencies To Watch in June 2022

Key Insights:

  • After the crash of May 9, most of the cryptocurrencies fell to their lowest in months.
  • Since last week, the crypto market has regained its lost $138 billion.
  • Top cryptos for the month of June include Terra 2.0, ApeCoin, Dogecoin, and more.

The cryptocurrency market, over the course of the last five months, has witnessed a lot of fluctuations and shifts in trends, but the one thing that did not change was the broader market bearishness.

However, the worst of it came to form only this May when the crypto market crashed twice within the same month.

Today all the cryptocurrencies in the market amount to $1.28 trillion after a 12% recovery three days ago, which brought $137.3 billion back into the market.

And even though one may not have found the best opportunity to make profits this month, the month of June certainly presents an opportunity to make gains with these cryptocurrencies that show promise going forward.

1. Bitcoin

Starting off with the king coin, Bitcoin, regardless of the market conditions, is always a good choice since it will find room for growth with minimal fluctuations.

Since BTC holds a 43% domination in the crypto space, a broader market rally will trigger a rise for BTC as well, and those who enter the market at $30k will certainly gain profits by the end of quarter 2.

Trading at $31,583, BTC is set to rise further after the 11.27% rally noted this week.

2. Cardano

With the Vasil hard fork set to arrive by the end of June, Cardano, at the moment, is one of the biggest coins to look forward to as investors expect this to be the turning point for the cryptocurrency.

A similar bullishness was also noted last year when the Alonzo hard fork was set to activate, and hopefully, this time around, investors can actually recover their losses.

ADA recently noted a 37.44% rise which brought the price up to $0.61, inching it closer to the critical support of $1.

3. Terra 2.0

Although Terra’s UST and LUNC (now Terra Classic) was the cause of one of the biggest crash in the history of crypto this month, Terraform Labs is giving it another shot.

Last week they launched a new blockchain with a new set of tokens still named LUNA to retrace their steps back to their peak.

Despite the depegging and subsequent LUNC supply overflow, Terra as a blockchain holds a lot of potential in the DeFi space, and that will be LUNA 2.0’s boon going forward as it trades at $7.19 today.

4. ApeCoin

Although it has been well over two months since its launch, ApeCoin hasn’t exhibited skyrocketing feats.

The reason behind this is the unfortunate timing as the broader market bearishness combined with the crash of May 9 halted its growth, and the altcoin came crashing down by 75.88%

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that APE is one of the most profitable projects in the crypto space, thanks to it being the token of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection.

The biggest NFT project will only grow further when the BAYC NFT-based feature film is released, and consequently, APE will skyrocket.

5. Dogecoin

The meme coin lives! It is a surprise that DOGE continues to be one of the topmost cryptocurrencies globally and that it has endured the recent crashes.

While Dogecoin does not have much to offer as a blockchain and cryptocurrency, its resilience definitely makes it a worthy investment vehicle. 

Besides, the meme coin will always have the backing of the “DOGEfather” Elon Musk, who recently made it a viable payment option for its SpaceX merchandise.

6. Axie Infinity Shards

One of the biggest Gaming tokens in the crypto space, AXS has always held its position as a profitable crypto investment.

Although the token took a hit in January after Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge was hacked for $625 million, and once again during the recent crash, AXS has bounced back quickly. 

Supported with the launch of Axie Infinity Origins in May, AXS noted the highest single-day rally in more than six months of 35.22%.

As the GameFi protocol continues to expand, AXS will also continue to grow thanks to its utility and value.

7. Flow

If this is a name you haven’t heard before, you’re not alone. Up until a few days ago, Flow wasn’t a big deal, but in the last week of May, the blockchain and token shot up in value owing to the announcement of a prominent Instagram artist’s NFT project on the Flow blockchain.

Consequently, FLOW became the biggest NFT token with a market cap of $2.74 billion, surpassing ApeCoin.

However, this is not what makes FLOW an unmissable opportunity. The blockchain created by Dapper Labs, creators of CryptoKitties, is backed by some major industry players, including Coinbase, Google Ventures, Samsung, Reddit, and Zynga, among others.

This makes the token a highly valuable asset that is poised to witness growth going forward.

8. Uniswap

Uniswap does not warrant an introduction as it is the biggest Decentralized Exchange (DEX) in the world.

Although the entire DeFi space is relatively quiet right now owing to the bearishness in the market, Uniswap still managed to maintain an average transaction volume of $10 billion every week.

As the market recovers, so will the DeFi space, and DEX’s will be in high demand. Naturally, UNI will observe high traction, eventually placing it on the path to a rally, which it might already be on given its recent 17.27% increase.

9. Decentraland

Known to be the pioneer of Metaverse, the Decentraland is definitely a cryptocurrency to look out for this month as Metaverse is becoming a place of choice for not just the crypto niche but also for mainstream industry players who are using it as a means of marketing.

Thus Decentraland is set to observe high demand, which will automatically trigger a rise for MANA.

As it is, the token was the first and the quickest cryptocurrency to recover from the crash of May 9, when it rose by 92.69% in 48 hours.

10. The Sandbox

Last but certainly not least, The Sandbox is also a rising star in the crypto space, being a Metaverse platform.

The Sandbox, although it has been on a downtrend since its all-time high of December, still is a sure-shot investment option, given it recently surpassed the likes of AAVE and Axie Infinity by market cap.

Plus, recently, the platform became the new home of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, whose NFTs will be launched as avatars in the Metaverse.

As the market comes closer to the end of the second quarter, it will be interesting to see which other altcoins rise the ranks to become the next big investment option.

Ex Binance Execs Launch Old Fashioned Research and Web3 Fund

Key Insights:

  • Ex-Binance executives launched a multi-strategy blockchain investment fund targeting all stages of the startup lifecycle.
  • The team aims to capture the underlying value of Web3.0 and support the next generation of crypto native entrepreneurs.
  • Old Fashioned Research joins a growing list of investment shops targeting Web3.

Investor interest in Web3 is on the rise, leading to the launch of Old Fashioned Research (OFR). The crypto winter is pushing investors to explore investment options more directly linked to Web3.

In 2022, several investment banks delivered bullish projections on the metaverse, including Citi, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan.

For investors, however, identifying investment opportunities beyond the most publicized can be a challenge.

The opportunity to enter the space early has also meant that some executives from the crypto space have jumped into the more specialized Web3 space.

Ex-Binance Execs Launch Web3 Crypto Fund

In late 2021, former Binance executives set up an investment platform called Old Fashioned Research (OFR).

Founded by managing partners Ling Zhang and Wayne Fu, OFR set up a $100 million multi-strategy fund. The strategy is to drive crypto adoption in emerging market regions, including Latin America (LatAm) and Africa.

The team reportedly raised the $100 million through a limited partnership (LP) structure with LPs, including angel investors, family offices, and venture capital funds.

As of today, the fund has invested in more than 50 blockchain projects. Investments include WOO, Nestcoin, and Metaverse Magna, Africa’s largest play-to-earn crypto-gaming community.

According to the OFR website, the team will focus “on value-added investments where we can deploy our expertise, resources, and network to drive growth and success of ecosystems and their leading players.”

“Investments will target early-stage incubation, venture capital, M&A and other special situations.”

This year, crypto-focused funds have drawn plenty of media attention, particularly with the crypto winter and cheaper valuations.

Crypto Fund Launches Jump on Rising Demand for Web3 Strategies

Last week, crypto VC giant Andreessen Horowitz, also known as a16z, launched a fund dedicated to Web3 blockchain and gaming startups.

According to the report, “a16z wants a massive slice of the Web3 gaming and metaverse pie.”

It also has “plans to channel millions into firms building the next iteration of the internet.”

This week, Andreessen Horowitz was back in the news with the launch of its fourth fund. According to Reuters, the crypto VC shop raised $4.5 billion for its fourth crypto fund.

Such has been the furor over Web3 that the Hang Seng Indexes company announced the launch of the Hang Seng China Metaverse Index.

According to the May 23 announcement,

“Developments as part of the metaverse concept, which includes virtual reality (VR), gaming, and other digital experiences that use advanced technology in virtual spaces, have captured the attention of people around the world and are rapidly growing in popularity as investment themes among investors.”

The announcement went on to say,

“Riding on this trend, the Hang Seng China Metaverse Index aims to reflect the performance of mainland China companies that are involved in metaverse-related businesses, value chains, and development.”

In the interest of decentralization, OFR and others will be the key to driving growth in the Web3 space.

For investors, this also means that investment options will extend beyond Web3 cryptos, including Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND).

The Sandbox (SAND) Breaks Out on News of Elvis Going Metaverse

Key Insights:

  • This week, news hit the wires of the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, entering the Sandbox (SAND).
  • The Sandbox plans to use Elvis avatars, allowing fans to turn into Elvis in the metaverse.
  • Technical indicators are bullish, with SAND sitting above the 100-day.

On Wednesday, The Sandbox (SAND) rallied by 6.11%, supported by Elvis Presley news. Following a 1.55% gain on Tuesday, SAND ended the day at $1.39.

While the broader market found modest support, the popularity of the King of Rock and Roll was evident mid-week.

News of ‘The King’ entering The Sandbox delivered a breakout session.

The King of Rock, Elvis Presley, Enters the Sandbox

Overnight, The Sandbox announced Elvis Presley’s arrival in The Sandbox. Turning to Twitter, the announcement said,

“Ladies and gentlemen… @elvispresley has left the building and entered #TheSandbox!”

On Wednesday, Web3 studio Run It Wild and Elvis Presley Enterprises announced new partners for the King’s multi-metaverse NFT project, Elvis-On-Chain.

Readying for the June 1 genesis launch, the new partners include The Sandbox, Decentraland (MANA), Dappraft, Metakey, and Voxel Architects.

According to NFT Culture,

“The next phase of Elvis-On-Chain is a digital key that will give fans an all-access pass to the Elvis metaverse, play-to-earn games, Elvis avatars, exclusive wearables, and iconic collections procured by the community wallet.”

Marc Rosen, President, Entertainment at Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises and Iconoverse, said,

“Elvis-On-Chain expands the opportunities for fans to come together in new ways. In a huge commemorative year for Elvis with the launch of Warner Bros. Pictures’ epic big screen drama, ELVIS, from filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, catapulting his legacy into the future.”

NFT Culture went on to say,

“The Sandbox plans to create Elvis avatars for use in their native game, enabling users to turn into Elvis Presley while also building an immersive and gamified world of Elvis in the metaverse.”

Voxel Architects will lead The Sandbox project to ensure that the “Elvis avatars are hand-crafted in meticulous detail.”

Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox, said,

“Elvis Presley is one of the most iconic singers and performers of all time and this partnership will extend his legacy into the metaverse.”

At 7pm UCT, The Sandbox will announce all the details. Fans can tune in via the link provided on Twitter.

The Sandbox (SAND) Price Action

At the time of writing, SAND was up 6.92% to $1.4830.

A bullish morning saw SAND break through the First Major Resistance Level at $1.4600 to strike a day high of $1.4900 before easing back.

Elvis delivers a SAND breakout.
SANDUSD 2605 Daily Chart

Technical Indicators

SAND will need to avoid First Major Resistance Level and the $1.35 pivot to target the Second Major Resistance Level at $1.54.

SAND would need broader crypto market support to hit $1.50 levels.

An extended rally would test resistance at $1.60 before any pullback. The Third Major Resistance Level sits at $1.73.

A fall through the First Major Resistance Level and the pivot would bring the First Major Support Level at $1.27 into play. Barring another extended sell-off, SAND should avoid sub-$1.25. The Second Major Support Level sits at $1.16.

SAND eyes a run at $1.5
SANDUSD 2605 Hourly Chart

Looking at the EMAs and the 4-hourly candlestick chart (above), it is a bullish signal. SAND sits above the 100-day EMA, currently at $1.46. This morning, the 50-day EMA narrowed to the 100-day EMA, providing support. The 100-day EMA closed in on the 200-day EMA; SAND price positive.

A hold above the 100-day EMA would support a run at $1.60 and the 200-day EMA, currently at $1.78.

SAND will need to hold above the 100-day EMA to target $1.5.
SANDUSD 2605 4 Hourly Chart

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.