Crypto Weekly 16/05/2022

Page 1

HIDDEN GEMS

BEGINNERS GUIDE

CRYPTO Page 34

SEC RULES THREAT Page 12

BIGGEST NAMES IN CRYPTO Page 20

THE TerraUSD DEATH SPIRAL

Page 40

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Page 45

WEEKLY $2 cryptoweeklymag.com

May 2022 | Volume 26

THE ART OF INFLUENCERS Page 30

THE CRYPTO CRIME PROBLEM Page 32

METAVERSE INVESTING Page 36

Page 18

BUILDING A VIRTUAL COUNTRY Page 23

MONEY IN THE METAVERSE Page 28

CRYPTO CRASH OPPORTUNITIES Page 44


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CONTENTS $2 cryptoweeklymag.com May 2022 | Volume 26

32

18 07

California Governor Goes Crypto and Signs Executive Order to Promote Adoption

08

Russians are Bypassing the Electronic Iron Curtain by the Millions

12

Exhaustive Rules Should Apply to Digital Assets, Says SEC Chair

13

The Metaverse is 'Going to be Huge,' says Qualcomm CEO

14

The Crypto Market Nosedive Stabilizes After Days of Selling

16

Cathie Wood of ARK Invest Predicts Crypto Boom as Bear Market Fizzles

18

Crash of TerraUSD Describedas a "Death Spiral" Shakes the Cryptosphere

20

The Biggest names in Crypto

22

Bitcoin Is Coming Back, and That's Good News for the Market

23

Building a Virtual Country in the Metaverse

26

New York is Becoming a World Crypto Center

28

Educate Yourself to Make Money with the Metaverse

30

Zen and the Art of Crypto Influencers

32

Is Crypto Crime a Serious Problem?

36

So, You Want to Invest in NFTs and the Metaverse?

40

How to Go From Zero to Lambo as a Crypto Investor

44

The Crypto Crash Offers Opportunities

46

Will There Ever Be an End to the Crypto Crashes?

40




CRYPTOWEEKLY CEO | Nathan Hill

LETTER FROM

THE EDITOR

nathan@cryptoweeklymag.com Publisher | Colin Woolley colin@cryptoweeklymag.com Editor | Robert Stone

Welcome to Crypto Weekly

editor@cryptoweeklymag.com Editorial | Anthony Burton editorial@cryptoweeklymag.com Features | Thomas Stokes tom@cryptoweeklymag.com Advertising | Philip Greenwood philip@cryptoweeklymag.com Design | Dilin Divan dilin@cryptoweeklymag.com

H

ello, and a warm welcome to the 26th issue of Crypto Weekly.

Crypto Weekly is the brainchild of the guys at CMC, and I am Rob Stone, Editor, and I hope to bring you an informative read on everything crypto, every week of the year.

Crypto Weekly Magazine is published by the Crypto Marketing Company 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom, WC2H 9JQ

Another week has gone by and this is our twenty-sixth issue of Crypto Weekly. I have been mining the search engines for the best stories in the news, current happenings, and the ideas the world is excited about in the cryptosphere. For me, crypto is what brought me out of my shell. Life was always a struggle with highs and lows. I got most of my highs from living on the road in a constantly moving state, and my lows were when I had chosen to settle down and get a "JOB". I have done well with my various businesses online, yet, crypto is the best investment in my book. But you have to be savvy.. We got savvy down pat here at Crypto Weekly! It's an act of seeing that brings knowing. It's like, hey I'm awake! As usual, a lot of stuff has happened in the last week because the music never stops in the crypto sphere and the time keeps rolling on. I hope you all enjoy what we have brought together for you this week. Please let us know your thoughts, and if you would like to see something featured, please do get in touch.

Editor@CryptoWeeklyMag.com editor@cryptoweeklymag.com

Follow Us Stay Connected Robert Stone Editor

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NEWS

7

Crypto Weekly

California Governor Goes Crypto and Signs Executive Order to

Promote Adoption 'The cryptocurrency market cap has fluctuated rangebound lately, but the larger narrative about digital assets and blockchain technology seems to be thriving. The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed an executive order on May 4 establishing a regulatory framework for blockchain technologies and crypto-assets.

Facilitating Responsible Web3 Ecosystems The federal government and the states will establish a regulatory framework for blockchain technology while spurring innovation in the sector by implementing the executive order. The California governor's office announced Wednesday that the Executive Order N-9-22 and California Consumer Financial Protection Law would foster "responsible innovation, strengthen California's innovation economy, and protect consumers." Furthermore, the order aims to "create a transparent

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regulatory and business environment for Web3 companies," including blockchain and financial technology firms. California state government further explained that the state would adopt a regulatory approach to crypto-assets aligned with the executive order signed by US President Joe Biden in March on digital assets.

Identifying the Advantages and Risks of Crypto Assets Although crypto assets like BTC and ETH have high returns, many analysts and investors still consider them risky. Several countries have attempted to educate their citizens about the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies, such as volatile prices and low liquidity. According to Newsom, "California is a global hub for innovation, and we're setting up the

state for success by leveraging this emerging technology to spur responsible innovation, protect consumers, and benefit the common good." The new executive order is designed to protect consumers while bolstering California's innovation economy based on a similar philosophy. Additionally, it seeks to create a transparent regulatory and business environment for Web3 companies while balancing consumers' benefits and risks. Additionally, the order will assess how blockchain technology can be deployed by state and public institutions and how research and workforce development can be completed to position California as a leader in the crypto and blockchain sector. California would also collect stakeholder feedback to create crypto-asset regulations under federal authorities. Newsom continued: "Too often, the government lags behind technological advances. We are laying the foundation to allow consumers and businesses to thrive."

May 2022 | Volume 26


8

NEWS Crypto Weekly

Russians are Bypassing the Electronic Iron Curtain by the

Millions

K

onstantin decided to act after the Russian government blocked hundreds of Internet sites in March. With the help of a tool that allows him to browse blocked sites and read taboo news, the 52-yearold manager in Moscow ripped a hole in the Digital Iron Curtain that controlled narratives about the war in Ukraine.

As a result, Konstantin used a virtual private network (VPN), an encrypted digital tunnel. VPNs allow millions of Russians to access blocked content by protecting their location and identities. Since the war began in late February, Russia has been downloading VPNs by the hundreds of thousands a day. A massive surge in demand represents an obstacle to President Vladimir Putin's attempts to seal Russians off from the rest of the world.

May 2022 | Volume 26

Konstantin's download brought back memories of the 1980s in the Soviet Union when he used a shortwave radio to listen to Radio Liberty, which the United States funds, to hear forbidden news of dissident arrests. "We had no clue what was going on in the world. It's the same now," said Konstantin, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the government. "Many Russians watch TV and eat whatever the government feeds them. I wanted to learn what was really going on." There are millions of new Russian VPN users every month, even though they download multiple VPNs every month. Before the war, the ten most popular VPNs in Russia had just under 15,000 daily downloads. Since then, that number soared to 475,000 in March. A recent

analysis of Apptopia found that downloads increased to nearly 300,000 a day this week, based on information from apps, public data, and a proprietary algorithm. According to the Tass state news agency, Yota reports that VPN users were more than 50 times higher in April than they were in January. Mikhail Klimarev, the executive director of Internet Protection Society, connected to jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, said that the group reached its limit of 300,000 users within ten days of launching its own VPN service. According to Klimarev, according to internal surveys, VPN users in Russia have risen to 30 percent of Russia's 100 million Internet users. To counter Putin, Klimarev accessed banned Ukrainian and Western news sites. Konstantin has become sympathetic toward Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a former comedian who has been falsely portrayed in the Russian press as a drug addict. Several times Russia's foreign minister compared Zelensky to Adolf Hitler. VPN use helps millions of citizens access information detailing the true extent of Russian military losses and countering the official depiction of the conflict as one against

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NEWS

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Crypto Weekly

Online traffic at the site declined only briefly after Russian authorities banned it in March. Traffic then began surging from unlikely countries like the Netherlands, suggesting that Russians were using VPNs to appear to be abroad. fascists. Still, it also limits government surveillance of activists. Due to their refusal to comply with Russian censorship laws, Russian authorities banned more than a dozen VPN providers in 2017. Russian authorities have also pressed Google in the weeks leading up to and since the war, requesting the search engine remove thousands of Internet sites associated with VPNs. Google has yet to comment on the situation. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted last month that he had also downloaded a VPN on Belarusian television. Policing such a ban would be hard. Furthermore, many Russians use VPNs for nonpolitical entertainment and communication. The last independent Russian media outlets have closed, and those in exile that provide

critical content, like the popular news site Meduza, have also been blocked by Russian authorities. In a survey conducted by a VPN technology tracker, more than 1,000 Internet sites have been blocked by Russian authorities, including Facebook, Instagram, BBC News, Radio Liberty, and Voice of America. Defining the Russian invasion as a "special operation," as Putin has forcibly done, can result in up to 15 years in jail. Free speech has disappeared, and teachers who question the invasion are reported to the authorities. Despite the desire to see banned content, Tonia Samsonova, a Russian media entrepreneur based in London, asserted

that many Russians are terrified of what the government knows about them, even if they don't criticize Putin. As the spokeswoman for Meduza, Katerina Abramova said that online traffic at the site declined only briefly after Russian authorities banned it in March. Traffic then began surging from unlikely countries like the Netherlands, suggesting that Russians were using VPNs to appear to be abroad. Natalia, an 83-year-old Muscovite, and former computer operator, asked her adult daughter to help her download a VPN on her laptop shortly after the war started. She feared that the government would ban YouTube, preventing her from seeing her favorite program, an online talk show about technology news. The Kremlin has yet to block YouTube, though Russian Internet experts say the probability remains high. "People now just believe lie after lie. I feel so isolated," Natalia said. She found herself looking at banned news sites, including Radio Free Europe, as the war progressed, even as friends around her bought "totally" into the government line that Ukrainians were Nazis and Russia faced an existential threat from the West. She cited, for instance, foreign news stories that indicated there were significant Russian casualties in last month's sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. However, the Russian press has reported only one official death, with 27 soldiers declared "missing."

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May 2022 | Volume 26


10

NEWS Crypto Weekly

El Salvador Buys 500 Bitcoin Tokens in its

Largest ever Purchase of the Cryptocurrency

E

l Salvador's government purchased 500 Bitcoins on Monday, marking its largest purchase of the cryptocurrency. President Nayib Bukele, a millennial Bitcoin bull, tweeted Monday: "El Salvador just bought the dip!" Bukele reported that the purchase was made for about $15.5 million at an average price of $30,744 per Bitcoin. El Salvador's largest purchase was on January 21, when it purchased 410 tokens for an average price of $36,585. Bloomberg data shows it now has 2,301 tokens in its Bitcoin reserves. The latest purchase came after Bitcoin fell as much as 12% on Monday to dip below $30,000 amid a steep sell-off in crypto and stocks. Currently, Bitcoin is trading at around $31,598, more than 50% lower from its all-time high from November.

When Bitcoin became legal tender in El Salvador in September 2021, the nation first added it to its government balance sheet. Bukele had previously announced a $1 billion "Bitcoin bond" and the world's first "Bitcoin city," which would be built

near a volcano with the goal of harvesting geothermal energy. In addition, he said El Salvador would use its Bitcoin profits to build 20 schools. As of last week, no investors had bought the Bitcoin-backed bond. "Bentley University is committed to providing business leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a changing global economy," Bentley President E. LaBrent Chrite said in a statement. “We are proud to embrace this technology that our students are learning about, which will soon transform the global business landscape they will soon enter."

Cryptocurrency Accepted by Bentley University for Tuition Payments

B

entley University has begun accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method for tuition. Bentley has partnered with the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the stablecoin

May 2022 | Volume 26

USD Coin. These three cryptocurrencies will also be accepted as gifts and donations. Bentley University claims to be one of the few universities in the country to offer this option.

The Bentley Blockchain Association is led by Bentley student Alex Kim, who started investing in Bitcoin in high school. Since its launch last fall, the group has gathered 257 members, making it one of the few student-led blockchain groups in the country. According to Kim, “College students are interested in learning about blockchain, decentralized finance, and cryptocurrency investments." In a statement on Bentley's website, he noted that these technologies influence the industries in which they will work. Pew Research Center reports that 16 percent of Americans have invested, traded, or used cryptocurrency, and 86 percent have heard of it. Bitcoin is currently listed as a payment option on Bentley University's financial services website.

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NEWS

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Crypto Weekly

in which blocked people have majority control. Blocks prevent sanctioned entities' funds from changing hands and provide an audit trail. To evade international sanctions and finance its weapons program, North Korea has been accused of hacking banks and cryptocurrency holders. Axie Infinity's theft was traced to Lazarus Group, an outfit frequently linked to cybercrime and cyberwarfare by the North Korean government.

A Crypto Token Mixer is Sanctioned for the First Time by the US Treasury

C

rypto mixers are sometimes used to help online criminals hide the true origins of their money. A Bitcoin mixer, Blender. io, has been sanctioned for allegedly and indiscriminately helping North Korea launder money related to the $620 million Axie Infinity heist. The US Treasury is ready

to clamp down on cryptocurrency mixers when they are used by foreign authorities to launder stolen funds. These measures block all Blender property in the US (or controlled by US residents) and US-linked transactions and entities

As a result of the investigation, the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control identified four digital wallets used by Lazarus to launder the rest of the Axie Infinity crypto. For the crime itself, the perpetrators used a "getaway" wallet. The agency stressed that most cryptocurrency activity was legal and that it was only targeting mixers that aid criminals. However, there's a not-so-subtle warning here: the US is willing to sanction crypto service providers if they tolerate state-backed hackers, not just the nations directing those hacks.

Crypto Payments are Now Accepted at all Gucci's US Stores

Gucci and the fashion industry have a long history as advocates of digital assets and virtuality. Fashion brands have increased their Web3 activity in 2022, with some big names filing Metaverse-related trademark applications. Gucci is a Web3 trailblazer while other fashion houses are playing catch up. Gucci's move to begin accepting crypto payments aligns with its Web3 positioning.

US Stores to Accept Crypto Payments Through Pilot Program by Gucci Gucci announced Wednesday that it would begin accepting crypto payments in-store in a pilot program. Vogue Business reports that the pilot program will start at the end of May. To enable crypto wallet payments, stores will email QR code links to customers. More than ten cryptos will be accepted at stores, including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Shiba Inu Coin (SHIB), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), and five USD-pegged stablecoins.

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According to reports, Gucci stores located on Wooster Street (New York), Rodeo Drive (Los Angeles), Miami Design District (Miami), Phipps Plaza (Atlanta), and The Shops at Crystals (Las Vegas) will be part of the pilot scheme. The pilot program will be extended to all North American stores by the summer. Gucci has already ventured into the virtual world before. Gucci purchased the Sandbox (SAND) in February. In the Metaverse,

attendees can buy and use fashion items based on Gucci Vault. The fashion house also launched a Discord and Gucci Grail collection on Gucci Vault and the SuperGucci NFT collections on OpenSea. But the relationship with Web3 began much earlier. Gucci and Roblox hosted a virtual installation of their Gucci Garden in 2021. For Gucci's centennial, Gucci Garden featured themed rooms.

May 2022 | Volume 26


12

NEWS Crypto Weekly

Exhaustive Rules Should Apply to Digital Assets, Says SEC Chair

T

he Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, emphasized the need to apply comprehensive rules to digital assets. Gensler said most cryptocurrencies constitute securities because digital assets are regulated under the current administration. He spoke on reducing risk and increasing transparency in derivatives at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association Annual Meeting on Wednesday. SEC has authority and oversight over cryptocurrencies, Gensler contends amid a debate about which financial regulator should supervise them. According to Gensler, “Most crypto tokens are transactions where someone raises money from the public in the expectation of profits - which is the hallmark of a security or investment contract. Under the Supreme Court's Howey Test, most crypto tokens are investment contracts.”

May 2022 | Volume 26

New Crypto Legislation in the Works The news reflects an uncertain period for cryptocurrencies. However, Gensler stated that cryptocurrencies were "like digital gold, and therefore commodities," implying that the SEC should be in charge of regulating cryptocurrencies instead of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, which currently controls commodities. Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand are preparing a comprehensive cryptocurrency regulation bill at the same time. Lummis argues that most cryptocurrencies are commodities, which would place them under the jurisdiction of the CFTC for trading in spot markets. Lummis also added that crypto products should be bundled into securities, in order to be subject to the Howey Test, which determines whether something qualifies as a security, hence coming under the SEC. Genesler also explained how derivatives such as swaps are based on crypto assets, making them securitybased swaps that are regulated by the SEC. Lastly, Gensler said that derivative trading platforms that offer securitybased swaps must be registered with the SEC. "It's crucial to recognize that if the underlying asset is a security, the derivative must comply with securities regulations," Gensler said.

Concerns Regarding Stablecoins During a recent interview with Bloomberg News, Gensler says he's concerned that crypto exchanges aren't putting up real walls between different business divisions, such as custody, market-making, and offering a trading venue. According to him, combining services may not be in clients' best interests. "Crypto has a lot of these challenges platforms that are trading ahead of their customers," Gensler said. “Often, they're trading against their customers because they're market-marking against them." The SEC chief raised concerns about stablecoins, a type of digital asset pegged to fiat currency. He noted that the three largest stablecoins - Tether, USD Coin, and Binance USD - are all tied to exchanges. "This is not a coincidence," he said. “Each of the three big ones was founded by a trading platform in order to facilitate trading on the platform and to avoid knowing your customer and knowing you have money," he said, referring to know-your-customer controls and antimoney laundering.

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NEWS

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Crypto Weekly

The Metaverse is

'Going to be Huge,' says Qualcomm CEO

I

t is estimated that Meta's (FB) Metaverse business - known as Reality Labs - will operate at a loss of nearly $3 billion in Q1 2022, causing market skepticism about whether the Metaverse will succeed in the future. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, noted that the costs of the technology in the present are setting the stage for its mainstream adoption. Despite skepticism, “the best is yet to come for Metaverse adoption and investment,” says Qualcomm (QCOM) CEO Cristiano Amon. “The opportunity is real. It's going to be very big," Amon said. "Over a decade ago, we started investing in fundamental technologies that allow physical and digital space to merge. Due to those early investments, Qualcomm powers more than 40 virtual reality and augmented reality devices globally." Amon spoke about partnerships, competition, and the company's presence in the auto industry. In fact, the company lost more than $10 billion throughout 2021, so Meta's $3 billion purchase of Reality Labs in the first quarter of 2022 may seem hefty. Earlier this year, the platform reached

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300,000 users. Amon says Qualcomm maintains and secures partnerships with industry giants like Meta and Microsoft (MSFT) to provide hardware and software for extended reality (XR) businesses. He cited Meta as one of Qualcomm's most significant partnerships. “With the Quest and the Quest 2, we have had a very successful partnership with them in the VR space. At CES, we announced we are now making a custom chip for augmented reality with Microsoft as the Microsoft HoloLens scales. We also announced a partnership with ByteDance in the VR space for Tiktok."

With the Quest and the Quest 2, we have had a very successful partnership with them in the VR space. At CES, we announced we are now making a custom chip for augmented reality with Microsoft as the Microsoft HoloLens scales. We also announced a partnership with ByteDance in the VR space for Tiktok

Risks Involved The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.50% on Wednesday to pump the brakes on surging inflation. In light of the Fed's hawkish interest rate hike campaign, uncertainty remains regarding Metaverse investment as investors begin to favor value over growth stocks. VERS, an exchange-traded fund, demonstrates that some investors, both institutional and retail, recognize the potential of Metaverse, although macroeconomic conditions have negatively

impacted the fund. In any case, Amon maintains optimism for the future of Metaverse and XR technology. "We have several different developments to eventually create a companion to your smartphone with fully immersive augmented reality glasses that will look like regular glasses," he said. "And I think that's a big opportunity. It could be as big as cell phones were."

May 2022 | Volume 26


14

NEWS Crypto Weekly

The Crypto Market Nosedive Stabilizes

After Days of Selling

R

ecently, after a five-day route, cryptocurrencies have fallen in lockstep with the broader stock market. According to investors, it's become more common for Bitcoin and other digital assets to fall along with stocks in recent years, given the entry of traditional money managers such as hedge funds and family offices into the space. These funds may decide to sell their crypto holdings during periods of volatility instead of holding on to them.

crypto ecosystem. In a series of large withdrawals from Anchor Protocol, a sort of decentralized bank for crypto investors, TerraUSD, which is usually pegged to a $1 value, moved below that over the weekend. A demand for Ether and Bitcoin to defend TerraUSD's value has also weighed on the price of the two largest cryptocurrencies. TerraUSD's decoupling from $1 seems unlikely to resolve anytime soon, investors say, as many sell orders are still pending.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average decline marked a fourth consecutive session on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite indexes finished higher. Analysts say that stability in the broader stock market could help alleviate some selling pressure from cryptocurrency markets.

Due to a high volume of pending withdrawal transactions caused by network congestion, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, temporarily suspended withdrawals for TerraUSD and Luna tokens -another cryptocurrency used to maintain TerraUSD's peg. Later, it resumed these transactions.

In addition to the recent break of the dollar peg, the third-largest stablecoin by market value has also injected volatility into the

May 2022 | Volume 26

Over the past 24 hours, TerraUSD has dropped as low as 61 cents, according

to CoinDesk, before rebounding to trade around 90 cents by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday. According to CoinDesk, Luna, TerraUSD's sister cryptocurrency, traded around $22.54 on Tuesday, having lost more than half its value in the previous 24 hours. "The Terra situation added fuel to the fire," said Yuya Hasegawa, a market analyst at Japanese crypto exchange Bitbank Inc. Yellen reiterated her call for Congress to authorize regulation of stablecoins after the price of TerraUSD fell on Tuesday. There are expectations that some traders will step in to buy Bitcoin and Ether at reduced prices, even if they fall further in the near future. On Monday, El Salvador's president, Nayib Bukele, wrote on Twitter that the country purchased 500 Bitcoins at an average price of $30,744. After making Bitcoin legal tender last year, El Salvador often adds to its cryptocurrency holdings during sell-offs.

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16

NEWS Crypto Weekly

Cathie Wood of ARK Invest Predicts Crypto Boom as Bear Market Fizzles C

athie Wood, the founder of ARK Invest, says the correlation between crypto and traditional assets indicates the bear market is about to end. Wood says that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are nearing the bottom in a new video update. She says, “this is a temporary phenomenon as the leading crypto asset (Bitcoin) price drops in tandem with the stock market.

Cryptocurrency, a new asset class, should not resemble the Nasdaq, but it does. Currently, there is a high correlation.

picks, she sees it as something that will exponentially grow as it disrupts markets and societies.

If everything starts acting the same, and we're seeing markets capitulate one after another, you know you're in a bear market." Despite the current downturn, Wood says she remains long-term confident in crypto because, like the rest of ARK's investment

"I can't tell you how excited and confident we are that our platforms are going to transform the world and are already entering exponential growth trajectories because of the dreariness in equity and bond markets today, and then commodities and crypto as well, so take a look at our research, read our Twitter profiles for some hope and optimism. This is not about five years from now. We are now living the reality that was only a dream in the tech and telecom bubble." Cryptocurrencies such as blockchain offer exponential growth opportunities, according to Wood. In the next seven to eight years, she believes these sectors will explode 21x. She says, “The global public equity markets currently value disruptive innovation at roughly $10 trillion, approximately 10% of the global equity market cap. We expect that by 2030, that $10 trillion will grow to $210 trillion due to innovations such as genomic sequencing, robotics, adaptive robotics, energy storage, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology. We've been in the business for 45 years, and I've never seen the opportunities I see now.”

May 2022 | Volume 26

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18

NEWS Crypto Weekly

Crash of TerraUSD Described as a

"DEATH SPIRAL"

Shakes the Cryptosphere

Stablecoins have been vulnerable this week as their value plunged to 23 cents, a sign that crypto is vulnerable. Robert Stone

T

he cryptocurrency TerraUSD had one task: maintain its $1 value per coin. The company had largely followed this strategy since its launch in 2020, rarely deviating by more than one penny from its intended price. Consequently, it became a safe haven for traders and investors, a place where they could stash their funds between excursions into otherwise frantic crypto markets. TerraUSD, a decentralized algorithmic stablecoin, seeks to become a replacement for the dollar by combining with the sister token Luna, which does not have a fixed value. TerraUSD would be burned if its value fell below $1, and Luna would be exchanged for that amount. When TerraUSD fell below $1 earlier this week - its cause remains unclear - that algorithmic vision failed miserably, slumping by more than a third on Monday and tumbling as low as 23 cents on Wednesday. UST and stablecoins may

May 2022 | Volume 26

be unfamiliar terms to you, but they're important. The crypto market has been shaken by the sudden disappearance of billions of dollars of wealth. The UST stablecoin is linked to the Luna stablecoin, both of which are part of the Terra blockchain. UST coins are designed to retain their value of one US dollar at all times, but on Saturday they depegged and are now worth as little as 30 cents. Then there's Luna, the heart of Terra's ecosystem. Its value has collapsed in one of the most stunning crypto crashes ever recorded. On Thursday, the coin's price dropped from $116 in April to just a penny. The company's market capitalization now stands at $641 million, down from a peak of over $40 billion. Investments have been lost in the millions of dollars. The price of Bitcoin fell as a result, as it ricocheted back into other

cryptocurrencies. The Luna/UST situation has severely undermined market confidence. The price of most cryptocurrencies has plunged by over 50%. Global inflation and growth fears, coupled with this, do not bode well for crypto in general. $200 billion of value has been erased in a single day as a result of a steep slide. The price of Bitcoin fell below $25,000 for the first time since December 2020 on May 12th and was half the price at which it peaked in November 2021. Ethereum has lost approximately 20 percent of its value in just 24 hours, similar to other cryptocurrencies. The drop in the value of TerraUSD is a serious question mark over the developer's ambition to establish a new financial system. While the hype is high, the cryptosystem may still be vulnerable to the types of bank runs that occur in non-digital environments. In an effort to save TerraUSD, Do Kwon,

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FEATURE Crypto Weekly

billion was held in stablecoins. A trader might sell a Bitcoin for TerraUSD, then use the TerraUSD to buy Ether, another cryptocurrency, without ever touching a dollar or a bank account. Terra's problems began on May 9th when the price of the UST stablecoin plummeted dramatically. Due to the way algorithmic stablecoins operate, a significant increase in the supply of the Luna cryptocurrency token resulted, which is traded against UST to balance the price. In an attempt to convince Congress that stablecoins are a safe place to invest, crypto companies have approached Congress. Those assumptions have been shattered following the collapse of TerraUSD-and with them the notion that crypto is a safe haven. In a volatile financial system, how can you make something stable? That is the conundrum that stablecoins address. Some stablecoins attempt to accomplish this by holding safe assets such as Treasury bills in a reserve account: The Treasury bill account is funded with $1 for every stablecoin created. Redeem a stablecoin and $1 of Treasury bills comes out of the account. The price of Terra's stablecoin began declining dramatically on May 9th. In order to maintain price stability, the supply of

19

Luna tokens increased dramatically as this particular algorithmic stablecoin works. These tokens are traded against UST. Prior to this change, adding or removing Luna tokens was enough to maintain UST's price. As a result of the price slide and the extraordinary amount of Luna minted, supply nearly tripled within a matter of days, the two linked cryptocurrencies fell into a "death spiral" from which neither could recover. At present, UST is trading at around 40 cents instead of $1; and the value of Luna has been almost completely wiped out, falling from $100 to around 1 cent. This nightmare week demonstrates how stablecoins, despite theoretically maintaining a fixed price, are very much affected by larger fluctuations in cryptocurrency markets - and can even be a part of those fluctuations. In the wake of the cryptocurrency crash, Terra isn't the only stablecoin facing problems. USDT, Tether's largest stablecoin by circulation, dropped well below its dollar peg on Thursday morning, trading at 95 cents on some exchanges, but has since recovered. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen weighed in to assure the US House Committee on Financial Services that the moves did not pose a significant risk to financial markets.

TerraUSD's creator, directed that huge sums of money be spent. He rallied TerraUSD's followers on Twitter. "Terra will be back to its former self soon," he wrote shortly after 6 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, when Terra's value was half what it should have been. "As long as we make noise, we will be here."

Stablecoins Form the Backbone of Crypto's Parallel Financial System Crypto enthusiasts should maintain a link to traditional finance, where rent is due, cars are purchased, and bills are paid. However, crypto land is where they want to trade and invest, not dollars, euros, or pounds. Stablecoins are considered as a form of reserve currency, a currency whose value is understood by everyone, and it should not change. Stablecoins are used by professionals and individuals alike. As of Tuesday, some $180

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May 2022 | Volume 26


20

FEATURE Crypto Weekly

Biggest names in Crypto

The

For some time now, cryptocurrencies and other electronic markets have been dominated by influencers. Here are some of the Biggest Names in Crypto and where to find them where they all hang out on Twitter

Elon Musk @elonmusk Elon Musk, the charismatic co-founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, is one of our time's most influential innovators. Musk is worth $242 billion. He recently purchased Twitter for $44 billion. Musk is a controversial leader who has been the subject of lawsuits and investigations by the SEC.

Vitalik Buterin – @VitalikButerin. Vitalik Buterin is the founder of Ethereum. Despite being a technical genius, he sees the evolution of crypto as a holistic system for blockchain projects like smart contracts, as well as a store of value and currency.

Ivan on Tech – @IvanOnTech Ivan On Tech operates an 'academy', which he claims is the world's most comprehensive online learning platform for blockchain and cryptocurrency. In a vlog style format, he discusses the market, news, and analysis from the crypto world on his YouTube channel.

Roger Ver – @rogerkver Roger Ver is a 42-year-old Californian who invested in Bitcoin and early startups that used Bitcoin. He now promotes Bitcoin Cash under the moniker "Bitcoin Jesus".

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Andreas M. Antonopoulos – @aantop Andreas Antonopoulos is an entrepreneur, author, and Bitcoin advocate from the UK. Furthermore, he is a teaching fellow at the University of Nicosia's Masters Program in Digital Currencies. Since 2012, he has stopped working as a freelance consultant and now speaks at conferences about Bitcoin, consults startups, and writes articles for free.

Tim Draper – @TimDraper American venture capitalist Tim Draper is 63 years old. As well as Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper University, Draper Venture Network, Draper Associates, and Draper Goren Holm, he founded various other entities. A few of his most notable investments include Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, AngelList, SolarCity, Ring, Twitter, DocuSign, Coinbase, Robinhood, Ancestry.com, Twitch, Cruise Automation, and Focus Media. Charlie Lee – @vSatoshiLite Charlie Lee emigrated to the United States from Ivory Coast in West Africa at the age of 13. He showed an aptitude for computer science and a keen interest in it during his youth. He worked for a number of top tech companies, including Google and Guidewire Software, in the early 2000s. The idea for Litecoin came to him while he was working as a software engineer at Google.

Anthony Pompliano – @APompliano Owns and sells numerous businesses. Previously, he managed Product & Growth teams at Facebook, and he manages a portfolio of startups valued at more than $500 million.

Tone Vays – @ToneVays Tone Vays is a self-styled analyst, derivative trader, and event organizer. Before discovering Bitcoin, Tone spent ten years on Wall Street. He now operates a YouTube channel about the importance of cryptocurrency.

Despite being comprised of multi-millionaires, tech geniuses, and YouTube channel hosts, crypto remains appealing due to its community-driven nature.

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FEATURE Crypto Weekly

Bitcoin Is Coming Back, and That's Good News for the Market O

ver the past week, the cryptocurrency market value has already been wiped out by $600 billion. Stocks haven't fared much better either. Dow Industrials ended their worst five-day stretch since mid-2020 on Wednesday. However, Bitcoin's pain may be the stock market's gain. Bitcoin lost more than a quarter of its value in the past week and fell to around $28,000 on Thursday – a far cry from the record high of over $68,000 reached just six months earlier. Despite the decline in crypto outpacing the decline in stocks, Barry Bannister at Stifel believes that Bitcoin could act as a bellwether for capitulation among investors -- that point when the market can find a bottom. In a note, Bannister stated, "We monitor several factors which we believe will mark the capitulatory low for stocks. Among those factors is Bitcoin, a powerful speculative instrument, which we believe has downside potential of about $15,000." Stifel predicts the S&P 500 will decline another 5% from Wednesday's close of 3,985 if Bitcoin falls another 50% to $15,000, wiping another $540 billion off its market cap. In the early hours of Thursday, futures

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were tracking the key index down 0.9%, which means we could be nearing a bottom of around 3,700. "Bitcoin is late to the risk capitulation, and a washout, which we see coming for Bitcoin, helps time an equity low," Bannister said. Crypto markets have been pressured by multiple factors, including the failure of stablecoins, which tie their value to a real asset, usually the U.S. dollar. TerraUSD's devaluation from its peg pushed Bitcoin prices down during the past week. The third-largest crypto and the bedrock of the crypto economy, Tether, also slipped off its peg this week, signaling further stress in the digital asset market. However, Bitcoin has also shown a correlation with other risky investments, such as stocks, especially tech stocks, over the past year. Stock prices have fallen in the year 2022 due to a rising interest rate environment, inflation and recession worries, and significant disruptions to supply chains from the Russia-Ukraine war and Covid-19 lockdowns in China. The Federal Reserve has already raised interest rates aggressively this year, and it is likely to keep doing so as inflation has

reached a four-decade high. As part of tightening monetary policy, the central bank is also expected to reduce its bond holdings and shrink its balance sheet. Yet Bannister believes one of the factors in this year's stock market crash--interest-rate increases-have not affected Bitcoin enough. "Equities thrive on excess liquidity, and a plummeting global M2 money supply (translated into dollars) negatively impacts the S&P 500, but more so Bitcoin," said Bannister. "Tighter financial conditions should sharply weaken Bitcoin as well, and we were surprised when Bitcoin had held $30,000 despite weak stock markets." The situation could deteriorate further. Bannister said that the final capitulation in cryptos may not come until the third quarter of this year. Bitcoin has proved to be sensitive to gross domestic product economic data—and usually falls when the manufacturing purchasing managers index drops. Stifel sees that happening into the third quarter of 2022, "indicating that a last, capitulatory Bitcoin drop may be still ahead."

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Building a Virtual Country in the

Metaverse

A

group of heavily armed security guards stands guard at the entrance to the Solana Hacker House one evening in early April near the South Beach Bitcoin conference, a relatively unoccupied part of Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. The security guards here aren't your typical ones. Their intensity is belied by the very benign scene behind the metal detectors essentially a large group of nerds discussing blockchain development in an open-air event space, punctuated by Fun Dimension, a giant arcade. From the look of those guys, they hold a lot of crypto. One of those guys, co-founder, and CEO of Star Atlas, Michael Wagner, and his team have been building a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game based on the Solana blockchain since 2014. It was released in January. The Star Atlas project is highly ambitious and still in its early stages. The first module of the game

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allows players to play and purchase NFT assets. It boasts graphics worthy of a Triple-A (highbudget) game and a sci-fi plot unfolding in 2620. On the newly discovered planet Iris, factions compete for valuable resources, using Atlas’s in-game currency to purchase virtual ships and items to fulfill their objectives and live their lives virtually online. Players use layers of hierarchical decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) to decide the game's governance through the meta-currency Polis. They mirror the structure of state and local governments, from the local to the regional to the top level. “We think of Star Atlas as a kind of independent nation-state," As in Axie Infinity, players can earn a living in Star Atlas through play-to-earn features.

Another player may decide to become an Uber driver in space, shuttle players between planets in exchange for Atlas tokens, which can also be exchanged for fiat. “There's a vibe and energy here that's supportive and conducive to building in crypto. We're building what amounts to a global country and a virtual economy for people to participate in this grandiose vision," Wagner admitted to Jessica Klein, who had been hired to interview him, "but there's real potential here." Wagner introduces himself to Jessica as a "huge advocate for Bitcoin," wearing red pants and a white Solana shirt covering his broad shoulders with a disarming smile. From another party city, Las Vegas, Wagner relocated to Miami - where he is building his career. Atlas’ co-founder Pablo Quiroga and its new head of growth, Estefan Ramirez

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FEATURE Crypto Weekly

Vazquez, have moved to Miami. "There is a lot of energy and vibe here to crypto development," he says. He estimates that the Solana Hacker House alone attracted between 1,000 and 5,000 people. Wagner explains that Discord is essentially the company's headquarters. Although the company is global, it employs close to 200 people spread across 26 countries, from New Zealand to central Africa. Rust engineers are hard to find in any blockchain company, but Star Atlas hasn't had much of an issue finding them. Leadership receives emails from qualified engineers every day, Wagner says, and has thus far hired 45 engineers, the majority of whom engineer blockchain applications. Mr. Wagner himself is not a software developer. Around their shared interest in gaming and computers, he and his high school friends formed a group called the LANarchists in the 1990s. Despite being really nerdy, he's proud of it (looking all grown up now that he's started working out regularly.) "I got into crypto through gaming and PC building," he told Jessica. A guy from that group told Wagner about crypto and mining using graphics processors about a decade after high school. It had

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three GPUs inside a milk crate, and I remember looking at that and thinking, "I can do that." By 2015, Wagner had quit his "regular job" and switched to crypto full time. He founded his first company in 2016, Tokes, at the "intersection of crypto and cannabis," a timely complex nexus. Despite the legalization of cannabis in Nevada, it remained illegal on the federal level, which meant retail companies couldn't use traditional banking methods. Back then, providing the companies with a crypto token seemed like the perfect solution. Still, cryptocurrency was stigmatized after its association with Silk Road, and cannabis sales licenses in Nevada were limited. No one wanted to risk losing their licenses by accepting cryptocurrency. He and his co-founders, Daniel and Jacob Floyd (now both at Star Atlas), opted to take a different route. Instead of going to cannabis retailers, they met with dozens of policymakers to eventually pass Assembly Bill 466. "We could create an in-state, private stable coin," However, that bill was passed shortly before COVID-19, so just as Tokes was gaining momentum, the team's work was put on hold. In addition to Blockchain gaming, Wagner and his team explored "DeFi" (decentralized finance) and NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

In his view, DeFi is the first cryptocurrency gaming product. Wagner is an active yield farmer in DeFi and has seen the gamification in borrowing and moving funds to find the best spread. Wagner attributes much of the game's concept to Daniel Floyd, now Star Atlas' chief product officer. He crafted a plot around three interplanetary fighting factions: the alien-like Oni, the armored Uster, and the human-like Mud. Tokes, however, is still alive - active but "a little dormant," as Wagner puts it. Tokes is going to enter the Metaverse through a product that players can "use in the game," Wagner explains. In fact, Star Atlas intends to incorporate it into itself. The likelihood and potential for people to consume their digital purchases through 3D immersive environments rather than by shopping on a 2D website is very high. “You log in via your avatar, maybe you're playing a game, perhaps you're hanging out with some friends, and while you're socializing, you're looking at your shopping list," he says. "Pay with digital currency, and the package gets delivered to your home. Nothing prevents this from happening." The virtual store in Star Atlas is still a long way from being able to sell cannabis. There is a booth with several screens showing

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the company's high-quality animation in a different section of the Hacker House, past empanada trucks, and other "NFT Metaverse" exhibitors. This is the only demonstration the company has done so far. Daniel Floyd's vision for the game looks like something from "Star Wars" or the videogame "Star Citizen," which influenced Floyd's design. Quiroga is hanging close to the screens, and he describes meeting Wagner in Las Vegas. While standing behind him in line at a coffee shop, Quiroga commented on Wagner's cycling keychain he and Wagner are both cyclists, and during one of those rides, Wagner introduced him to the blockchain.

and this is where crypto and Web3 come into play," he says. Even though none of this will solve social stratification, it can "enable people to collaborate more freely." Players could afford to buy expensive ships as a collective, and wealthy ship owners could employ other players. Imagine a fictional sci-fi game where people have real jobs and can even hire Web3inclined musicians to host concerts that people can attend by holding the right digital tokens they have bought using fiat money. They can form DAOs to purchase ships or make political decisions that may profoundly impact their fortunes in real life.

Wagner offers this: “As we sit in the snow globe of a Solana pop-up in the heart of a lonely section of Miami heavily guarded by security, none of whom we can see from our fake grass seats. It makes you wonder - is it a problem if people become too detached from their actual surroundings, too immersed in a false reality to the point where the line between what's real and what's fake blurs?” Wagner says, "It's a step in the process of getting people into this new world." But Wagner isn't concerned. "Creating a place for people to escape is probably beneficial." "If you ask Elon Musk, there is a very high probability that tomorrow will be 100 years in the future."

"I think it will not be out of line for me to say that Star Atlas is a flagship project being built on Solana," says Wagner) and brought on crypto exchange FTX as the game's onboarding partner. The idea to build the game on Solana came to Wagner through a podcast in which Sam Bankman-Fried talked about it. Star Atlas ultimately selected Solana since it's "highly scalable." This is vital because Wagner believes "gaming will bring the next billion users into crypto." In addition, he points out that Solana provides complex systems with low transaction costs and limited lag time during gaming scenarios. Developing a Triple-A game on a blockchain will appeal to current gamers, crypto natives, and pay-toearn players in developing countries. Plus, Wagner and his team want the experience to be as immersive as possible - not just a fun escape but also a place where players can buy cannabis, govern their communities, and even have a virtual job to earn real money. Wagner says, "all the happenings on the Internet today will be reproduced in these immersive three-dimensional digital worlds." The problems that exist in the real world can easily be translated into Star Atlas. Wagner speculates that Star Atlas assets may cost anywhere between $15 and massive ships that can be auctioned for $5 million or $10 million. Social stratification, in other words, will be affected in Star Atlas, but Wagner proposes a Web 3-based solution to it. "The idea of pooled capital is practically possible with smart contracts in a trustless fashion,

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FEATURE Crypto Weekly

New York is Becoming a World Crypto Center T

he Bitcoin industry is taking up office space in New York City as it strives to stake a claim in the Big Apple as a long-term player. In December, Andreessen Horowitz, one of the largest venture capital firms in the world, signed a long-term lease at 200 Lafayette Street for 33,560 square feet for its $3.1 billion crypto fund. Several crypto businesses, including Coinbase, established their first NYC offices, including Chainalysis, which leased more than 77k square feet at 114 Fifth Avenue; Blocktech, which leased at 55 Wall Street; Cipher Mining, which leased at One Vanderbilt; Arca, a digital asset management company, which leased at 75 Rockefeller Plaza; and Coinbase, which leased 30,000 square feet at 55 Hudson Yards in June of 2021. Current Real Estate Advisors co-founder Brandon Charnas

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brokered the deal with Andreeson and other crypto companies. "Many of our portfolio companies are opening up offices in New York that are based on NFT, Web3, and blockchain."

new crypto companies and sign their own deals. He said, "Let's not just have an office for ourselves. It should contain an event space and an incubator for entrepreneurs. That's what will make us competitive."

Blockchain companies are filling up New York City's office space to establish a longterm presence in the Big Apple. One of the major reasons crypto firms set up shop in NYC: to attract the best employees. According to Charnas, events, as well as office space, are being sought by companies to recruit top engineers. "How better to compete for those engineers than to give them a space that represents the brand, that represents the company, and that says more than just a place to work, it shows the company's ethos," he said. He says that office space firms increasingly need to woo investors to raise more money to invest in

Chainalysis is among the crypto firms setting up shop in New York that aim to take advantage of the city's talent and develop it as a new center of crypto activity. In an email to Yahoo Finance, Chainalysis CEO Michael Gronager said, "New York is the logical home for cryptocurrency businesses." Chainalysis plans to tap into the city's deep talent pool as it grows. Mayor Eric Adams pledged to make New York the epicenter for crypto in an effort to attract talent, create jobs, and boost the economy, as New York competes with Miami for start-ups, venture firms, and crypto

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exchanges. Adams' positive rhetoric about crypto and similar comments from other local politicians are boosting confidence in the business community and luring crypto companies, Charnas noted.

It is estimated that the availability rate for the market rose to 18.5% in the first quarter from 18.1% in the fourth quarter, according to global commercial real estate company Avison Young.

"The New York City area is the historical epicenter of finance in the U.S., which has naturally adapted to crypto, so investing in our office space here will provide long-term benefits for our company," said Hisham Elhaddad, managing partner of HOF Capital, which invests in blockchain technology companies.

"In addition to investment firms long on prime office space, new industries and businesses servicing crypto - such as the media and banking - are also creating demand," Charnas explained. A number of

companies are also exploring ways to pay their leases using crypto and offering new ways to participate in the upside they see when valuations soar. According to Charnas, landlords are offering tenants Bitcoins as rent per month. Additionally, he said sophisticated landlords are speaking with crypto firms and investors who are interested in learning about the valuation and economics of potential tenants. "They're the new tenants leasing office space, and they're staying."

According to data provider CB Insights, NYC attracted $6.5 billion in total funding for crypto companies last year, putting it first among U.S. cities with nearly half of the country's total funding for crypto companies. As Charnas said, “Crypto firms aren't just testing the waters, they're looking to create a long-term footprint.” In his talk, Charnas expanded, "Let's not just sign a short-term lease; let's sign a 10-year lease in New York City." He continued, "That, coupled with the rhetoric from the local government, means New York City is big and will be a center for these business types." Additionally, it's a bright spot for New York's office market, battered by the pandemic.

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Educate Yourself to Make Money with the Metaverse

A

ccording to a study by job search engine Adzuna, job opportunities in the Metaverse continue to grow. Since October 2021, job listings on the platform have increased by 379%. Metaverse-based jobs are available to professionals ranging from engineers to architects to marketers and creatives. A person may need specialized training beyond their professional degree and credentials to land the job. To do business in the Metaverse, you need to learn the basics. Specialized platforms and tools may be required to create virtual environments in the Metaverse. You may want to study cryptocurrency since it has become the preferred currency in the Metaverse. Entrepreneurs, professionals, and would-be Metaverse workers can take advantage of some of Forbes' most popular free courses to stay current on evolving technology. Udemy, Coursera, and other online education platforms offer many of the courses for free or at a very low price.

Courses on the Metaverse from Udemy In addition to courses on Metaverse environments, real estate investing, and NFTs, Udemy offers masterclasses on Metaverse operation. Following are some of our top picks based on their low price, high ratings, and broad curriculum:

Metaverse Master Course from A to Z by Ibozi Training.

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Navdeep Yadav's course on the Metaverse: Everything you need to know about AR, VR, and NFTs.

Blockchain, cryptography, and NFTs: Metaverse Fundamentals, edited by Joan Amengual and George Levy.

Developing Metaverse: Create your first VR app in Unreal Engine, by Dmitry Vasilyev.

By Henrique Centieiro, the Metaverse Masterclass teaches everything there is to know about the Metaverse.

Introduction to the Metaverse & How to Invest In It, by Ali Matar.

Metaverse Fundamentals: The Complete Metaverse Course, by Dan Dan.

Web3 Crash Course, by Josh Snow.

This is a full guide, walkthrough, and tutorial on Metaverse Platforms - 2022, prepared by Learning Hub. Terry Winters, Virtual Real Investing in the Metaverse.

Estate

Coursera Courses on the Metaverse Coursera doesn't have many Metaversespecific courses, but it does offer courses on adjacent skillsets - including digital design, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Most of the courses are produced by accredited universities, and students receive certificates upon completion.

Here are a few of the best options.

Digital Fashion Innovation Specialization, by Sean Chiles and Leslie Holden.

Virtual Reality Specialization, by Dr. Sylvia Xueni Pan and Professor Marco Gillies.

SkillShare Courses on the Metaverse

SkillShare offers a wide range of courses

(for both beginners and advanced students) on topics related to NFTs, crypto investing, and Metaverse basics.

How to Choose the Right Metaverse Courses When you're picking a class or two concerning the Metaverse, you'll want to look at the ratings for each class and decide if the class is within your budget. Take a look at the class level — does it match your understanding of the Metaverse right now, meeting you where you are at and allowing you to enhance your knowledge? You also want to consider the overall time commitment. You can opt for high-value courses that deliver many hours of education for a low price. By contrast, you may want a faster class that you can complete over just a few days if you are pressed for time. After you learn the basics with online courses, you can attend classes about the Metaverse within the Metaverse. The eLearning industry - along with gaming, retail, and real estate - stands to benefit from Metaverse capabilities soon.

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Zen and the Art of

Crypto Influencers A

new professional figure has emerged due to the use of social networks in the last two decades, the influencer. Typically this is a person who has earned a certain reputation in a particular field and, above all, has a lot of followers and is therefore, able to influence the choices of a large group of people. Influencers may have started from scratch on social networks, but they may also be well-known figures who endorse products or companies, or act as testimonials. Companies that hire celebrities with these characteristics have quickly become marketing tools for their products and services. After starting in fashion, the phenomenon expanded to other industries and, eventually, to the crypto culture.

Social Influencers in the Cryptosphere Influencers play an essential and specific role in the crypto world. In addition to presenting products, technologies, or new

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opportunities, they are also capable of making technical concepts and solutions easily understandable to a broad audience. In turn, they mediate the gap between the layman's understanding of finance and the complexity of the context. Most crypto investors do not have the time to keep up with all the developments in the rapidly evolving blockchain industry. They would also find it difficult to distinguish the important from the trivial. Following the cryptocurrency market trend, influencers have become the tool for their followers to stay informed. Their content is shared on specialized blogs or on the most popular social platforms. A blockchain influencer tends to specialize in some specific field. In that field, they become opinion leaders for their followers, thereby significantly impacting the market, for instance, at fundraising events.

community growth, and help build brand reputation. When you launch an influencer campaign for a crypto project, do not expect millions of random contacts; instead, go for contacts who are relevant.

Influencers Get Results

Vitalik Buterin - @VitalikButerin

Roger Ver - @rogerkver

Andreas M. Antonopoulos - @aantop

Tim Draper - @TimDraper

In contrast to large advertising campaigns, influencer campaigns increase brand awareness and recognition, drive

Digital marketers are much less effective at engaging consumers than influencers. According to recent research, consumers would rather trust the opinion of an influencer than advertising.

Famous Influencers Abound Crypto influencers can both be business owners who have built their reputations through their own businesses and people who have made an impression through their social media contributions. Listed below are some famous crypto influencers.

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Charlie Lee - @SatoshiLite

Anthony Pompliano - @APompliano

Erik Voorhees - @ErikVoorhees

Tone Vays - @ToneVays

Ivan on Tech - @IvanOnTech

Is there anything to remember? Always be cautious when taking 'advice' from social media. There are a lot of options out there. Many influencers promise overnight profits, crypto scams, fake copycat accounts, and multi-level marketing schemes. When people who seem credible urge their followers to get involved, it can be challenging to spot them. So lookout for the red flags. Any accounts that are offering misspelled versions of widespread reports or offering to give away free money are classic tell-tale signs. You can assume that something seems too good to be true if it feels too good.

of followers – many of them teenagers. This was a great idea: leveraging the enormous popularity of influencers and the power of cryptonomics to raise money for the less fortunate.

outside of Bitcoin and Ether), the supposed donation will never be accepted. In addition to suspending one member and removing three others associated with the coin, the FaZe Clan denied malice.

Unfortunately, it didn't work out as planned. Its value plummeted after the coin's launch, and large holders immediately sold their holdings. Twitter users who contributed to the FaZe Clan complained they lost their money. The organization is still virtually useless to this day. According to TIME, despite an alleged contribution of more than $80,000 to Binance Charity in June 2021, Binance Charity confirmed that since they do not accept altcoin campaigns (i.e., newly created tokens

Due to gray areas, enthusiasm around crypto, and the lack of industry regulation, overall, scammers worldwide made a record $14 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021. And as the space has evolved, so have the tactics of scammers to stay ahead of the increasingly sane masses. Save the Kids is an example of an influencer-driven crypto project where fans were used as guinea pigs to extract tens of thousands of dollars, only to see the project collapse once it was launched.

Last year, several influential people began to promote an initiative that appeared to be selfless and admirable on the surface. Influencers created a crypto token, ‘Save the Kids’, designed to help children in need while making money for their investors. Many influencers were associated with the FaZe Clan, a community of gamers with millions

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FEATURE Crypto Weekly

Is Crypto Crime a

Serious Problem? European Union countries are currently discussing how to implement new rules to curb dodgy behavior involving virtual assets, but estimates of the share of crypto payments related to financial crime range widely from 0.15% to as much as 46%. Crypto is a world filled with illicit activity - some of which, like scams or hacks, are detrimental to honest users. In contrast, others might seem like a way around rules that were unfair to begin with, like government-imposed capital controls. Those in the crypto industry like to quote the figures at the lower end of the range, and Binance's CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted statistics to argue that crypto is safer than fiat. However, it's hard to estimate the exact scale of illegal virtual asset activity. It usually consists of identifying suspicious addresses and totaling their trade volume - however, illicit users often stay hidden. You'll get a different result depending on how certain you want to be about who the

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illicit actors are online. A suspicious address might require a smoking gun representing absolute proof, or you might be willing to accept probabilistic and speculative evidence. To determine whether new laws to force crypto users to identify themselves are necessary or legal, regulators, judges, and law enforcement must understand the problem. However, there is little agreement on the scale of crypto crime. Almost certainly, the real-life version dwarfs it in dollar terms. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, approximately $2 trillion is lost every year through conventional finance, comparable to the total value of all crypto markets combined. Regulators, however, are not only concerned about the overall volumes but also about what they represent as a share of the crypto sector. In addition to noticing how quickly virtual assets are gaining popularity, they

are thinking about the scope of the problem in the future, not just now. ECB's Fabio Panetta recently said that illicit crypto activity ranges from under 1% to up to half of all virtual transactions, while describing the industry as a lawless Wild West. The figures vary based on whether you consider drug purchases compared to the overall market or as a share of crypto payments. A person who acquires Bitcoin (BTC) just to "HODL" is doing nothing wrong but that means a greater proportion of those who use it to buy something is engaged in illicit activities.

Which wallet do you prefer? Additionally, it is essential to consider how you are counting these transactions - and how you decide which transactions are fraudulent is crucial here. Several industry figures and academics, such as CZ or Georgetown Law's Chris Brummer, cite Chainalysis' statement that

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illicit addresses accounted for just 0.15% of cryptocurrency transactions last year. According to Dr. Sean Foley, an associate professor of applied finance at Macquarie University, the approach leaves plenty of crimes unaccounted for. In 2019, Foley's own paper, evocatively titled "Sex, Drugs, and Bitcoin," was peerreviewed and published in the Review of Financial Studies. Approximately onequarter of Bitcoin users engage in illicit activity, and 46% of Bitcoin transactions involve illicit payments. In an interview with CoinDesk, Foley defended his methods for coming to that estimate. According to Foley, Chainalysis isn't always transparent. "They don’t really accurately document how they arrive at their numbers.”

of the definitive associations," she said. Foley's data, she said, "is extrapolated. It isn't statistically determined." Chainalysis' data is "not extrapolated. It isn't statistically determined." "This is the real amount of transactions that are identified as illicit from the most powerful cryptocurrency dataset in the world." Chainalysis is not an all-inclusive figure, she acknowledged. This excludes real-life crimes like drug dealing that is laundered

via Bitcoin, gray areas like wash trading, or fake sales intended to boost market prices, which is becoming more common for nonfungible tokens. Scams can often only be identified after the rug is pulled, meaning the data can lag and needs to be updated for a given year. But, she said that an approach based on "hundreds of hundreds" of investigators sleuthing darknet forums looking for crime is "definitely, definitely fair."

"The Chainalysis study only examined Ross Ulbricht's wallet seized by the FBI, but I examined all of his behavior.” "I'm going to find a lot more," he said, referring to the Silk Road founder sentenced to prison in 2015. Foley employed the same statistical methods used in nuclear safety and medicine fields to look at each user's network and behavior rather than just looking at addresses known to be suspect. It's not enough to use a mixer to stay anonymous to prove bad behavior, but he says that various indicators can give a good picture of what someone is up to. "The fact that you used tumbler services a lot and that there was a lot of activity when darknet marketplaces were seized suggests they may be acting illicitly," he said.

Foley's actions could have unfairly tainted innocent crypto users by association, say others. Chainalysis chief research officer Kim Grauer told CoinDesk that crime data and wallet associations need to be handled with care. In 2021, Chainalysis says illicit wallets received $14 billion, which is lower than Foley's estimate. "In many cases, people will see money transacting between one wallet and another and conclude that they must be linked," she said - citing an example in which one service handled millions of different addresses. Blockchain has a "quirky" nature, so "if you are not a crime investigator with blockchain experience, I would be skeptical of some

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34

HIDDEN GEMS Crypto Weekly

PROJECT 1

estatex.eu

EstateX

EstateX enables the tokenization of real estate through new and highly advanced blockchain solutions. With this, anyone can get into real estate with as little as $100. Using these solutions, EstateX is able to trade real estate security tokens on their secondary market 24/7 without financial, or country, barriers. The advantage of fractional ownership is that it removes entry barriers and lowers entry and exit costs. Previously, non-accredited individuals could not participate in the real estate market due to restrictions and limitations. By using smart contracts, blockchain offers safe, secure, and transparent transactions that are not controlled by humans, preventing human error and wasting time. It is now possible to buy a fraction of a property and enjoy

PROJECT 2

catcoincrypto.me

perpetual returns, without the need to maintain the property. We all know that the old-fashioned system is in need of an update. And that update seems to be coming; EstateX offers good, realistic solutions to open up this market. Although it seems that the big players and banks don’t like to see this system change, it’s a matter of adapting or giving up for these parties. Blockchain, which is going to be as big as the rise of the Internet, will bring about this revolution. EstateX is acting smartly and is one of the first parties to offer a new way of investing. The only question that arises isn’t or but when will the big banks, real estate parties and investors join the queue behind EstateX

Catcoin

catcoin_bsc

CatCoin was launched on November 26, 2021 by Miaoshi Nekomoto (Satoshi Nakamoto's Cat) as a community-influenced project with big goals but little funding. Renounced by Miaoshi shortly after launch, CatCoin is now completely owned and run by its amazing community. Catcoin is a community-influenced project that connects the crypto world with social media. Catcoin is the first crypto-related project to offer a 24/7 live stream on Twitch.tv, allowing the community

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estatexeu

estatexofficial

catcoinbsc

to share their thoughts on Catcoin at any time. Catcoin values a friendly and caring community. Anyone can be a part of the Catfamily. In addition, Catcoin's development is primarily focused on the Catnip project, which will be developed and released by mid-2022 at the latest and implemented into the Metaverse (Catverse) at the request of the community.

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So, You Want to Invest in

NFTs and the Metaverse? Showing You How Rather than being a product or service, the Metaverse is a speculative idea. It will not be a specific product or service if it is developed. Nevertheless, a number of smart people are behind it. As a result, investing in this idea entails the same risks and rewards associated with any speculative investment: You may get in on something big, or you might lose your entire investment if it doesn't work out. Your financial advisor can help you weigh the pros and cons of speculative investments.

A Bit of History "Metaverse" is an allusion to a dystopian virtual reality in which the wealthy dominate and everyone else loses themselves, coined by science fiction author Neal Stephenson

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in 1992's "Snow Crash." Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook around this theme in 2021. Facebook is now called Meta. Zuckerberg says the company plans to build a reality-based model of the Metaverse.

concept. Apps define the Web2 experience, which extends to mobile experiences that bleed into the real world. Think of calling a cab using Uber.

A Metaverse is a virtual reality where people can interact through various platforms, such as VR headsets, smartphones, and laptops. Users use virtual avatars to interact with the Metaverse, navigating the virtual space and interacting with the virtual reality features. Metaverses also connect various online spaces and platforms into one unified virtual world. You can seamlessly switch between a Zoom call with your boss, a Fortnite match, a Twitter feed, or a Facebook page. Here's what NFTs mean to Web3. This is what is meant by the concept of the Metaverse. In Web1, websites and browsers defined the

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How to Invest in the Metaverse? How can you invest in the Metaverse if you think it's a good idea? Especially since it is still a concept. Several options are available:

Shares of Meta If you're interested in investing in Meta, formerly known as Facebook, you could buy stock. Shares of the company trade under the symbol FB on the NASDAQ exchange. Due to recent losses, the stock now trades at around $196 per share. This is down from $379.38 on Aug. 1, 2021, translating to about $530 billion in market capitalization.

Companies Involved in Video Games/Virtual Worlds Video games, in particular, will probably dominate the Metaverse. These companies already create virtual worlds of the kind envisioned for the Metaverse, so they are already active in that area. Most video game worlds do not share a space. Rather, they exist in individual silos, with very few offering virtual reality gameplay. Virtual reality will have a positive impact on the user experience in one of the biggest areas, entertainment. Despite Zuckerberg's advertising campaign, no productivity-based use case for VR has yet been identified. Nevertheless, video games are likely to be a major focus of the Metaverse. By replacing facial cues with digital avatars, Zoom to a headset doesn't do much for productivity; instead, it destroys the workspace by reducing collaboration. However, entertainment is another story. Immersing yourself in the world of Azeroth would be a very different experience than watching it on a 2-D screen, so this is an industry that could benefit from virtual reality technology soon. Investors who seek to be at the forefront of the Metaverse may be interested in Microsoft, Sony, Apple, and Electronic Arts. These funds would also be excellent options for investing in this space, such as ETFs and mutual funds.

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Manufacturers of Hard Goods Manufacturers of hard goods implementing the Metaverse will require a hardware revolution and software. Users' devices will not meet the demands set by this interconnected virtual space. In particular, core processors, graphics processing, and broadband capacity will need to be upgraded. This development can be tapped into by investing in related companies. If the Metaverse takes off, companies such as Samsung, NVIDIA, and Intel are likely to do well since users will need to upgrade the power of their devices to use this (theoretical) technology. ETFs and mutual funds for this investment are also good options.

Investing in NFTs The majority of articles that discuss investment in the Metaverse recommend investing in non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Non-fungible tokens uniquely provide digital ownership. As a result, you can buy something online, own it, and transfer ownership across all the shared spaces that make up the Metaverse. Therefore, you may display an artwork online after buying the NFT. It is also possible to buy the NFT for a weapon in a video game, thereby owning the weapon in the game and all other areas. The first problem is that investing in NFTs in the Metaverse is speculative on top of speculative. No one knows exactly how a Metaverse will work since it doesn't exist yet. Purchasing an

NFT in this space means you are forecasting the emergence of the Metaverse in a certain form and using a specific technology (here, blockchain), resulting from which specific software (the art, weapon, etc.) will prove useful. It's a lot of guesswork. In their current state, NFTs are highly volatile and wildly speculative. Some people have made money creating and selling NFTs on the primary market. Still, there's little evidence that people have made significant money trading NFTs on the secondary market. In this space, fraud is rampant, with large NFT platforms such as OpenSea regularly removing fraudulent assets. If you believe that blockchain will be the future of the Metaverse, our recommendation is to look at Ethereum instead. It is also a form of digital contract as a speculative and volatile asset.

Conclusion Metaverses envision a world where you can move seamlessly from Google to the New York Times to an individual blog using the same browser and without barriers (although some sites charge for their content). The development of visual virtual reality by large firms (such as Oculus) and smaller ones (such as Boston-based Rendever) has progressed rapidly. This suggests that it may be possible to knit the seamless internet into the increasingly proven virtual experience. The Metaverse is a shared virtual reality that connects the entire online space. It does not exist yet, but tech firms are trying to create it, which opens investment opportunities for people who think this is likely to work.

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BEGINNERS GUIDE Crypto Weekly

How to Go From Zero to

Lambo as a Crypto Investor By Robert Stone

Despite its notorious volatility, the cryptocurrency market is on fire, and many investors want in on the action. Bitcoin and Ethereum, and many other popular digital currencies rise and fall briefly before climbing higher. Crypto traders have been speculating on the market for years, but what if you're new to the market and want to get involved?

Here's how to start from zero investing in cryptocurrency and what you need to watch out for.

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Simple steps for Crypto Investing Your finances must be in order before you invest in cryptocurrency. We all must learn how to be in control intelligently and in every aspect. In addition to a diversified investment portfolio. Investing in cryptocurrencies can diversify your portfolio and increase your total returns. Consider these other factors listed below if you're planning to invest in crypto.

Make Sure You Know Exactly What You're Getting Into Ensure you thoroughly understand what you are investing in before you decide. The prospectus should be read, and the company's financials analyzed thoroughly if you're considering buying stocks—plan to do the same with crypto. There are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies, they all operate differently, and new ones are being created daily. You must understand what you're investing in. Cryptocurrencies are often backed by nothing, neither hard assets nor cash flows. Investing in Bitcoin, for example, relies solely on someone paying more than they paid for the asset. Thus, unlike stocks, where a company's profits can grow and drive returns for you, many crypto assets require the market to become bullish

and optimistic before you can profit. Ethereum, Dogecoin, Cardano, and XRP are some of the most popular coins. Solana has also been incredibly successful. Understand both the upside and downside before investing. A financial investment without assets or cash flow could end up worthless.

Never Invest If You Can't Afford to Lose the Money Speculative assets shouldn't be used to invest money that you need if you can't afford to lose your money entirely. The funds should not be invested in risky assets like cryptocurrency or other market-based assets like stocks or ETFs. You need to have cash that you need in the next few years in a secure account to access it when you need it, whether it's a down payment for a house or an upcoming purchase. If you're looking for a guaranteed return, your best option is to pay off your debts. The rate of interest you're paying on the debt is guaranteed to earn you

money (or save you money). So there's no risk to you. Secondly, make sure your broker or exchange is secure. The assets may be legally yours, but someone has to secure them, and that security has to be strong. Traders who believe their cryptocurrency is not adequately protected may opt to use a cryptocurrency wallet to store their coins offline to prevent hackers from accessing them.

Watch Volatility Cryptocurrency prices are pretty volatile. The price could drop quickly in seconds on a rumor that proves to be unfounded. It can be great for sophisticated investors who can execute trades rapidly or have a good grasp of the market's fundamentals, where it is headed, and where it might go in the future. Investing without these skills - or the highpowered algorithms directing these trades - can be a dangerous game. The volatility can quickly ruin a new investor. It is a game for high-powered Wall Street traders, (Contd.)

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each trying to outmaneuver other wealthy investors. Traders, especially beginners, get scared because volatility shakes them. At the same time, others step in and buy cheaply. Essentially, volatility allows sophisticated traders to "buy low and sell high" while inexperienced investors can "buy high and sell low."

Risk Management Risk management is essential when trading any asset on a short-term basis, and this is especially true with volatile investments such as crypto. As a new trader, you'll need to learn how to manage risk effectively and develop a process that helps you minimize losses. This process will vary from trader to trader. A long-term investor's risk management may never be selling, regardless of price. Investors with a long-term perspective tend to hold positions for an extended period. Risk management could mean setting strict rules on when to sell in short-term trading, such as when an investment has dropped 10 percent. To avoid a crushing loss in the future, the trader rotely follows the rule. Beginner traders might consider setting aside a certain amount of trading money and using only a portion of it initially. If

their position moves against them later, they will still have money in reserve to trade with. Keeping some money in reserve will be easier for you to fund your trading. Ultimately, if you don't have money, you can't trade. While managing risk is essential, it will come at emotional costs. While it is painful to sell a losing position, it can help you avoid worse losses in the future.

The Past is Gone New investors often make the mistake of extrapolating the past to the future. The value of Bitcoin has increased significantly since it was worth pennies a few years ago. However, the critical question is, "Will this growth continue, even if it isn't at quite that pace?" Investors need to look forward rather than backward. What will the future bring in terms of returns? Those buying cryptocurrencies today need tomorrow's gains, not yesterdays. Many Ways are Available for Crypto Investing It would help if you understood what you are buying and whether it fits your needs before engaging in any of these methods since the riskiness of each varies. Directly investing in cryptocurrencies is perhaps the most popular method; however, there

are several other ways to enter the crypto market, some more direct than others.

Trading on a Crypto Exchange or Through a Broker Consider investing in a company that will profit from the rise of crypto regardless of the winner. It's the same potential in an exchange like Coinbase or a broker like Robinhood, which largely derives its revenue from trading crypto.

Blockchain ETFs Investing in blockchain ETFs lets you participate in the emergence of blockchain technologies. You'll gain exposure to some of the top publicly traded blockchain companies through these ETFs. However, it is essential to note that most of these companies do much more than just cryptocurrency, which reduces your exposure to cryptocurrency. Your upside or downside risk is reduced.

Futures Another way to bet on Bitcoin's price swings is to trade futures, which allows you to leverage your investment to maximize your returns. Adding to the volatility of crypto, futures are a fast-moving market.

Crypto funds Several crypto funds (including the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust) allow you to bet on the price swings in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a few other altcoins. Therefore, they can be an easy way to purchase crypto using a fund-like product.

What You Need to Get Started Cryptocurrencies can be purchased for as little as a few dollars. Cryptocurrency exchanges, for example, have a minimum trade amount of $5 or $10. You might find that some apps have an even lower minimum. Some trading platforms will take a massive chunk of your investment if you're trading small amounts. Therefore, you should choose a broker or exchange whose fees are as low as possible. Most so-called "free" brokers include fees in the price you pay for your cryptocurrency, called spread mark-ups.

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that consume a lot of energy to mine Bitcoins. Many miners operate enormous rooms filled with mining rigs to harvest these rewards. A medium-sized country in early 2022 needed as much energy to run the Bitcoin system.

Why should you consider altcoins?

What are the benefits of blockchain technology? Blockchain technology underpins cryptocurrency. Blockchain is essentially a database that records every entry and timestamps it. A blockchain database records and verifies transactions involving cryptocurrencies, verifying the currency's movements and identifying its owners. It is best to think of a blockchain as a running receipt. Decentralized computer networks run most crypto blockchain databases. Then, a redundant database ensures the

transactions in the database are accurate by checking and rechecking them repeatedly. The networked computers must resolve a discrepancy.

What is cryptocurrency mining? A mining process rewards those who verify the transactions on the blockchain database. A predetermined amount of Bitcoins is awarded to them if they succeed. To verify Bitcoin transactions, miners must solve very complex mathematical problems. Miners require powerful computing units

Which is the best way to invest in Bitcoin? There are various ways to invest in Bitcoin, and you can work with many companies to do so.

Crypto Exchanges

Altcoins are alternatives to Bitcoin. Traders used to refer to them as poison coins, as Bitcoin was the largest and most popular cryptocurrency. The term altcoin was used to refer to anything that was not Bitcoin. Although Bitcoin is still the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, it's no longer as dominant as it once was. The term altcoin has become somewhat obsolete due to the popularity of other altcoins, such as Ethereum and Solana. There are now 15,000 or more cryptocurrencies in existence, and it makes less sense than ever before to describe the industry as "Bitcoin and everything else."

Bottom line Because cryptocurrency is a highly speculative area of the market, many smart investors have put their money elsewhere. However, those who want to start trading crypto should start small and only use money that they can afford to lose.

Financial Apps Trading Bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies are possible through many financial apps. The top players here include Robinhood and Webull, and payment apps like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App. Consider the fees you're paying when purchasing Bitcoin.

Cryptocurrency exchanges offer some of the widest selections of cryptocurrencies, and their prices are usually competitive. There are dozens of players, including Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance.

Traditional Brokers Traditional brokers can trade Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies along with stocks and other financial assets, although they have a limited selection of other cryptocurrencies.

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in July 2021 after topping $63,000 in April. Bitcoin would hit its all-time high some four months after that summer low. Crypto history is littered with other examples. Bitcoin neared $18,000 in December 2017 and was below $7,000 by early the following February. Bitcoin's even earlier days hold more cases. A troubling development in the recent crash is the situation with stablecoins, which are widely used tokens pegged to a real asset, usually the dollar. A recent meltdown of the stablecoin Terra (UST) –42.75% has already put downward pressure on Bitcoin, and Tether (USDT) +0.02% —in some ways, the bedrock of the crypto economy, with daily trading volumes more than double those of Bitcoin —is the latest casualty. The price of Tether fell below 96 cents per dollar on Thursday.

The Crypto Crash Offers Opportunities T

he largest digital asset, Bitcoin, fell by more than 25% in the past week due to the cryptocurrency crash. The scale of the selloff is massive, but this isn't the first time cryptocurrencies have experienced extreme volatility. Wall Street is looking for opportunities. During the past 24 hours, Bitcoin fell 11% to $28,000, briefly dipping below $26,000. Last week, the largest crypto was changing hands for around $40,000. Six months ago, it was sitting at its all-time high near $69,000. "While we can't call the bottom, and correlations among asset classes remain elevated, Bitcoin has survived corrections of 70-80% in the past," Martha Reyes, the head of research at digital asset broker and exchange Bequant, said in a note. "This may be an opportunity for institutions to build positions at better levels." The last time Bitcoin saw a crash was last year, when the crypto similarly collapsed by more than 50%. It happened over just three months, with Bitcoin dipping below $30,000

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The uncertainty around stablecoins is a concern and may lead to another flush out

Martha Reyes The head of research at digital asset broker and exchange Bequant

Tether and other stablecoins are used by traders as a source of safety in a volatile world. They have become a top medium of exchange for payments, lending, and other activities based on blockchain technology. It is a systemic risk for the crypto ecosystem if stablecoins fail. "The uncertainty around stablecoins is a concern and may lead to another flush out," said Reyes. "But we may finally get the much-needed regulatory framework that could entice institutions." Regulators worry that if stablecoins take off as privately issued digital money, they could pose risks to broader financial markets and monetary policies. A run on a stablecoin could, in theory, lead to heavy selling in assets held as reserves, such as short-term commercial debt or other cash proxies. “The markets are melting, but this may allow institutional players to start building positions and push stablecoin regulation to provide more confidence," said Reyes.

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week

NFT

The Everything Crash is Here

Why it Will Get Worse

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FEATURE Crypto Weekly

Will There Ever Be an End to the Crypto Crashes?

After dipping briefly below $30,000 for the first time since July 2021, Bitcoin took a brutal fall. Bitcoin is worth less than half of what it was last fall. Other cryptocurrencies, such as Ether and BNB, have suffered similar declines, and volume trading on major exchanges has slowed. Crypto winter is now being predicted, in which a prolonged decline by some will replace the sector's astonishing growth.

S

everal factors are causing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to slide, including larger financial markets and the crash of a major stablecoin. Below are some of the main factors behind the current decline.

Unlike other financial instruments, Bitcoin is not independent. Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, is not centralized or controlled by any authority. Evangelists of crypto have

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long hoped that its independent nature would prevent inflation and crises. It was argued that Bitcoin's independence from the government would ensure its value would persist in the face of economic declines, wars, or drastic policy shifts. These arguments have been disproved in recent years. In March 2020, when the Coronavirus pandemic ravaged the global markets, so did Bitcoin, which fell 57%. Both stock markets and cryptocurrencies recovered and rose at a staggering rate, which analysts believe was triggered by a combination of free time,

disposable income, and pandemic-relief funds pumped by governments. Since the Federal Reserve and other central banks raised interest rates in response to inflation, investors have been wary that change may be in the air. Bitcoin, which is wildly fluctuating by nature, may seem risky to investors seeking a safe harbor. The Bitcoin fall follows the Dow and Nasdaq's worst single-day declines since 2020 and the S&P 500's nadir in December. As a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the market

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Many believe Bitcoin adoption has been slower than expected," Moya said. "At the moment, we are seeing a wait-and-see attitude in the crypto market

Edward Moya Oanda's senior market analyst

has been unsettled, causing inflation, supply chain issues, and high oil prices. In the face of COVID-19 outbreaks, an economic slowdown in China also contributes to financial anxiety. The price of Bitcoin will decouple from the stock market down the road, say some crypto evangelists, but the two are very attached now.

The cryptocurrency market is highly volatile. Cryptocurrency has generated a lot of hype, but even its biggest advocates will admit that success is not guaranteed. In fact, volatility is one of the main reasons many speculators are attracted to crypto: they can make money faster than in traditional ways. Unfortunately, the promise of the boom is also the promise of the bust. Several major bear and bull cycles have occurred since

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Bitcoin was introduced in 2009, with shortterm investors flooding the market and then losing interest. Price drops can be exacerbated by a lack of cash flow, whether from selling shares or other reasons. Traders can invest with borrowed cryptocurrencies on many exchanges, especially during high times. Crypto crashes tend to happen on weekends for a reason. Investors usually tune out during that time to make a big splash. In 2021, more than half of those who owned crypto had just entered the market, according to Grayscale Investments.

China, for example, a crackdown on Bitcoin mining caused the price of Bitcoin to drop from $64,000 in April to $36,000 in June in mid-2021. Around the same time, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrency also declined when Elon Musk announced Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin in May 2021 due to concerns over the environment. Crypto has been rocked by hacks and security breaches, including a $600 million hack of Ethereum's Ronin sidechain. Recent hacks have shaken consumer confidence in crypto, which has slowed growth from new potential buyers.

Regulators and hackers are top concerns. Crypto's value is partly derived from people's belief in it to be rattled by skepticism or policy changes. Crypto enthusiasts have watched in awe as governments have begun to regulate crypto trading and mining in countries such as China, the U.S., India, and Germany. In

CBS News reported that Oanda's senior market analyst, Edward Moya, said that new entrants to the crypto space are slowing this year. "Many believe Bitcoin adoption has been slower than expected," Moya said. "At the moment, we are seeing a wait-and-see attitude in the crypto market."

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“The 'consolidation phase' is coming,” Billionaire Mark Cuban recently stated. He said he is reliving the internet boom when he looks at crypto. Cuban's first fortune came from the Web1 '90s, and he sees the same thing happening in crypto today. "Crypto is going through the same lull as the Internet did," he tweeted last week. "Every chain that copies what everyone else has will fail," he added. Several "exciting" blockchain based innovations have emerged recently in the crypto sectorincluding non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), and play-toearn applications, but–“There has been an "imitation phase" where new blockchains copy popular, existing applications and bring a variation of them to market,” Cuban said in his tweet. Similar behavior was seen during the dot-com boom in the 2000s when internet startups launched copycat products and promised returns before the bubble burst.

Consolidation phase next," where copycat blockchains die out. "There will be blockchains that, rather than die, get acquired or merge

A Luna Foundation Guard, which safeguards UST's price, drained its Bitcoin reserve of $1.3 billion and bought another $850 million in Bitcoin to protect the stablecoin's price. According to Corey Miller, growth lead at dYdX, "The action could add significant sell pressure on Bitcoin, causing the markets to drop alongside its price." In the same article, Cubic Analytics' Caleb Franzen explained that "historically negative performance" can lead to "continued selloffs," which negatively impact prices.

The "Consolidation Phase is here," according to Mark Cuban. We don't know how long the crypto slide will continue. Some predict things will only become worse as investor panic increases.

Cuban says there will be a "consolidation phase next," where copycat blockchains die out. "There will be blockchains that, rather than die, get acquired or merge." He said he sees the biggest opportunity for crypto companies and blockchains to use smart contracts or collections of code that execute a set of instructions on the blockchain. Cuban tweeted that businesses that use smart contracts to improve productivity and profitability will gain a competitive advantage. "The chains that realize this will survive." When the price of Bitcoin dropped below $30,000, evangelists "bought the dip" or entered the market at a discounted rate, and its price corrected. Despite its daily turbulence, they believe that Bitcoin will grow at a zoomed-out rate similar to last.

Mark Cuban Billionaire

TerraUSD or Simply, UST According to some experts, UST, TerraUSD, one of the largest stablecoins, is also thought to have contributed to the recent Bitcoin crash. As part of a pseudobank run, TerraUSD, also known as UST, sank below 70 cents on Monday as holders panicked and sold their tokens en masse.

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