📈 Crypto Markets Rebound After Bitcoin’s Record Losing Streak
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Crypto bulls went to work as U.S. financial markets remained closed for Memorial Day.
After closing for a record ninth week in the red on Sunday, Bitcoin rallied sharply on Monday, gaining 8% to $32,000. Ether is up 10% and trading at around $2,000 in late evening trading in New York.
Overall crypto market capitalization has recovered 10% to $1.37T after hitting a low of $1.24T on Friday, according to data from CoinGecko.
The Latest LUNA Drama
By Samuel Haig
The Terra token has approximately doubled in price two days after its launch, even as controversy surrounding Terra and the activities of its founders continues to grow.
Terra airdropped Terra 2.0’s LUNA to holders of the network tokens of the fallen Terra Classic chain – what’s now known as Luna Classic (LUNC), and the network’s defunct native stablecoin, UST.
The new LUNA token has doubled in value since May 29, last changing hands for $8.50, according to CoinGecko. LUNA has pulled back from a high of $11.45 earlier today.
LUNC’s market cap is now $844M, a fraction of its $1.9B market cap in early May, just before UST lost its peg to the U.S. dollar.
Beacon Chain Live on Ropsten
By Samuel Haig
Venture capital firm a16z has raised $4.5 billion for its fourth crypto fund, the firm announced Wednesday morning.
The new fund dwarfs a16z’s previous fundraising efforts and brings the total amount of money the firm has raised for crypto ventures to $7.6 billion.
“We think we are now entering the golden era of web3,” Chris Dixon, a general partner at the firm, wrote in a blog post announcing the fund. “A massive wave of world-class talent has entered web3 over the last year. They are brilliant and passionate and want to build a better internet. That’s why we decided to go big.”
Crypto Fund 4 will provide nascent crypto companies with $1.5 billion in seed financing and $3 billion in venture financing, according to the firm. Web3 gaming, DeFi, zero-knowledge proofs, decentralized social media, self-sovereign identity and layer 1 and 2 infrastructure are among the fund’s areas of focus.
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Outside of borrowing, users can deposit LUSD to the Stability Pool to earn LQTY rewards and participate in collateral liquidation events — purchasing ETH at a discount when liquidations occur. Lastly, users can stake LQTY to earn protocol revenue, which recently crossed >$28M since Liquity’s launch in April 2021. To learn more, head over to liquity.org to get started and get the most out of your borrowing needs today!
Celsius Under Fire
By Jason Levin
Blockchain analytics company Nansen linked the de-peg of Terra’s US dollar stablecoin to seven large crypto wallets, among them a wallet associated with crypto lending platform Celsius, whose massive sales of UST triggered a stampede for the exit.
UST maintained its peg to the US dollar through a complex network of arbitrageurs – traders who bought and sold the token, as well as a linked, volatile crypto called LUNA, to profit from price differences across exchanges and DeFi liquidity pools.
This all worked pretty well since UST launched in December 2020 – until the market lost confidence in the mechanism earlier this month, sending the network into a death spiral that plunged UST to $0.02 and LUNA from well over $100 to fractions of a cent.
Nansen’s report, released Friday, claims that seven arbitrageurs contributed to UST’s depegging by flooding shallow liquidity pools on Curve with huge amounts of UST.
By Owen Fernau
The Crypto market cap is down 57.7% from its Nov. 8 highs, and economists say we could be on the cusp of the first global recession since the 2008 financial crisis. That revives the undying question: is crypto tethered to the stock market?
Bitcoin has maintained above a 0.9 correlation with the Nasdaq since Apr. 8, according to a dashboard by The Block. A correlation of 1 would mean that crypto and the Nasdaq are entirely in lockstep. Simply put, this means that crypto has been tracking the stock market more than 90% of the time.
A graph charting both the Nasdaq and BTC from the beginning of the year suggests the correlation has been strong throughout the year.
Goblintown NFTs Surge
🚀 Welcome to Goblintown
“F@#king enter already.”
Unfortunately, anyone who entered “goblintown” by Thursday afternoon found that they were already too late — “sold out f!@kers,” the website read.
Of course, the action didn’t stop after all 9,999 goblins had been minted for free. Goblintown was the most popular NFT collection on Thursday, according to data from CoinGecko. In the preceding 24 hours, its floor price shot up 168%, briefly topping 2.3 ETH ($4,200). Its trading volume was almost double that of second-place Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Crypto companies raised a record $30 billion of venture capital (VC) last year and the number of deals in the sector remains elevated despite the recent fall in cryptocurrency markets, Morgan Stanley (MS) said in a report Tuesday. However, deal activity is likely to drop, mirroring trends in other VC categories, the report said.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Tuesday that it plans to research use cases for decentralized finance (DeFi) on public blockchains. Known as Project Guardian and including partners such as JPMorgan, Marketnote and DBS, the project will look to collaborate with the financial industry to examine the “economic potential and value-adding use cases of asset tokenization.”
Luxury brands like Gucci, Balmain, and Balenciaga are getting into all things crypto, and Prada is joining the crowd with the release of its own NFTs. Prada will be launching 100 Ethereum NFTs this Thursday to go along with its latest Timecapsule apparel release. NFTs are unique blockchain tokens that signify ownership of an asset.
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Ethereum Miner Tries to Expedite Testnet Merge By 2 Weeks Ethereum developers foiled a “mischievous” miner’s attempt to expedite Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake on a public testnet by two weeks. On May 26, Twitter flooded with posts flagging that the Ropsten Merge was suddenly on track to go live on May 27 — 13 days ahead of schedule, and three days before the Beacon Chain was scheduled to launch on Ropsten.
Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin Defends Algo-Stables Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin said that algorithmic stablecoins should be scrutinized according to how they fare under extreme market conditions, and whether they can safely wind down when hype falls away. Despite the recent collapse of UST and LUNA, which knocked UST from its $1 peg and wiped billions from the market, Buterin argued in an essay on May 25 that automated stablecoins can make sense.
Bitcoin On Track To Extend Record Losing Streak Bitcoin has lost ground for eight consecutive weeks for the first time in history, and will extend its losing streak if it doesn’t reclaim $30,300 in the next three days.
Ether is trading at the lowest level relative to Bitcoin in seven months, a sign traders may be flocking to so-called digital gold and away from the world computer.
🧑💻 ✍️ Stories in The Defiant are written by Owen Fernau, Samuel Haig, Jason Levin, DeFiDad, Aleksandar Gilbert, and yyctrader, and edited by Edward Robinson, yyctrader, and Camila Russo. Videos are produced by Robin Schmidt, Alp Gasimov and Daniel Flynn. Podcast is led by Camila, edited by Alp.
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