BTC and ETH hit all-time highs
New York City’s mayor-elect Eric Adams says he will receive his first three paychecks in bitcoin, and wants schools to offer crypto education. [Eugene Gologursky via Getty Images]
There’s never a dull moment on the blockchain. Here’s what you need to know this week:
U.S. cities are racing to become crypto destinations. New York City, Miami, and Austin are among many cities making crypto moves.
The video game industry sees its future in NFTs. Gaming giants like Ubisoft are bullish about gaming on the blockchain.
The week in numbers. Bitcoin’s new all-time high, a very expensive (and heavy) tungsten cube, and the key digits to know this week.
U.S. mayors race to lead the most crypto-forward cities
Last week, Bitcoin influencer Anthony Pompliano kicked off a new kind of mayoral race when he , “Who is going to be the first American politician to accept their salary in bitcoin?” Miami mayor Francis Suarez he’d take his next paycheck fully in BTC. Two days later, New York mayor-elect Eric Adams that he’d take his first three paychecks in BTC. In quick succession, mayors from and hopped on the bandwagon. But what cities are really in the running to become America’s crypto capital?
Adams has floated a wide variety of pro-crypto policy measures, including , , and a municipal cryptocurrency called (created in partnership the nonprofit CityCoins project, which has helped Miami raise over in municipal funds with its own token, ).
Not to be outdone, Miami’s Francis Suarez, who’s been pitching his city as a crypto hub since 2020, has to taking his entire salary in BTC. Suarez has previously Miami’s cheap nuclear power to Bitcoin mining firms, paying municipal employees in BTC, and even the Bitcoin whitepaper to the city’s website.
In a new , Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin dug into the “crypto city” phenomenon — from blockchain experiments in governance in Reno, NV, to an attempt to create an entirely new crypto-powered city in a remote corner of Wyoming. Crypto-enhanced municipalities, he suggests, could use increased revenue to invest in life-enhancing measures: “They could add more bike lanes, they could use CO2 meters and far-UVC light to more effectively reduce COVID spread without inconveniencing people, and they could even fund life extension research.”
, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles lead the U.S. in crypto jobs, followed by Miami and Chicago. But big, mostly coastal cities aren’t the only places to benefit — for every 100,000 LinkedIn members in Denver, Salt Lake City, and Raleigh, NC, two or more people were hired for crypto jobs.
Why it matters… The crypto industry is booming, with an unprecedented in fundraising so far this year, and cities across the country are hungry for the sector’s workers. Adams, however, seems determined to ensure that New York’s preeminence in traditional finance extends to the cryptoeconomy. Or as the mayor-elect , “NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry and other fast-growing, innovative industries! Just wait!”
Top game developers including EA and Ubisoft eye NFTs as blockchain game startups raise record funds
It started with , the NFT game that has in sales volume to date. As crypto gaming has begun to pick up steam — accounts or crypto wallets are now connected to blockchain games, up more than 500% from last year — a massive wave of investment has arrived. In October alone, $1.5 billion in venture capital made its way to blockchain and NFT gaming startups. Meanwhile, big-league game developers like Electronic Arts have hinted at NFT ambitions. Let’s dig in.
Many top-tier game publishers have expressed interest in NFT gaming. On a recent earnings call, the CEO of Electronic Arts (Madden, FIFA) an “important part of the future of our industry.” Square Enix (Final Fantasy) is even more bullish — having with anime-based NFT digital trading cards (they sold out in a day). The Japanese gaming giant it will also “focus on blockchain games premised on token economies as a form of decentralized content.”
Ubisoft, maker of Assassin's Creed, already has an NFT-based game on the market: it partnered with NFT platform Sorare to release the free-to-play crypto-based fantasy soccer league game , and has intentions to invest deeper in blockchain gaming. Ubisoft Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot that the company wants to be “one of the key players” in the play-to-earn gaming market.
Andreesen Horowitz, Michael Jordan, and the New England Patriots’ ownership group participated in a funding round for — creator of a cartoonish, FUNKO-inspired world called . Mythical, which was launched by veterans of game giants like EA and Activision, developed Blankos as a platform that could connect to games from major developers. “We’re going to step into the space with one of them before too long,” said Mythical’s CEO. “We want to have the right infrastructure in place to start onboarding games that have millions of players.”
At least one major gaming gatekeeper is less excited about this future. Valve, the company that controls leading PC-game marketplace Steam, last month that NFT and blockchain-based games won’t be allowed on its platform — mainstream gaming’s terms of service generally don’t allow in-game items with real-world value. A group of developers have since released an asking Valve to reconsider. Meanwhile, Fortnite publisher Epic Games — which hosts a Steam competitor — remains “open” to the idea of games that incorporate NFTs or cryptocurrencies.
Why it matters… NFTs have grown into — and everyone from Hollywood to fast-food franchises are looking for ways to participate. Gaming, venture firms seem to believe, is an especially natural fit. As developers of some of the world’s most popular games embrace crypto and incorporate NFTs into their games, they could eventually onboard a massive audience to the cryptoeconomy. After all, there are around gamers worldwide.
Numbers to Know
13 trillion Total of the cryptocurrency market on Monday, November 8 — a new all-time high. The runup coincided with twin peaks for BTC (breaking $68,000) and ETH (above $4,800). In other news, protocols had more in value locked as of Tuesday AM — another all-time high.
140 million Approximate number of Chinese citizens (about 10% of the total population) who have activated digital yuan wallets, to the People’s Bank of China. As China cracked down on crypto this year, the country ramped up efforts for its , which has seen adoption grow more than six times in the last four months.
$250,000 Price at auction for an that grants once-per-year access to a 2,000 pound tungsten cube at the Illinois headquarters of metal supplier Midwest Tungsten. Why? Because tungsten — which is almost as dense as gold but much cheaper — has on crypto Twitter, leading fans to buy (much smaller) cubes. The auction’s winner can choose to “burn” the NFT and receive full ownership of the giant cube.
49% Percentage of millennials who said they’re “at least somewhat comfortable” owning crypto in a recent . Meanwhile, 37% of Generation X and 22% of baby boomer respondents to the Bankrate survey reported the same crypto comfort levels.
Which of the following isn’t common crypto slang?
Find the answer below.