Crypto's surprising signs of strength
Coachella, the U.S.’s top music festival, is auctioning 10 lifetime-pass NFTs that also include exclusive perks for this year’s fest. [Ilja Van Rijswijk via Getty Images]
There’s never a dull moment on the blockchain. Here’s what you need to know this week:
The Ukraine crisis is pressuring crypto markets. But as prices struggle, crypto shows other key signs of strength.
Music’s biggest names are exploring NFTs. From Coachella to Snoop Dogg, the music biz is having (another) NFT moment.
The week in numbers. The amount a DAO is trying to raise to buy the Denver Broncos, and other key stats to know this week.
Crypto shows key signs of strength, even as prices struggle amid geopolitical turmoil
Ever-escalating tensions in Ukraine and unanswered about the Fed’s plan to raise interest rates continue to pressure global markets and crypto prices this week — the S&P 500 entered as BTC dropped below $37,000 on Monday, shedding roughly 5% since Sunday. But for the broader cryptoeconomy, prices are only part of the story, and the news — surprisingly — isn’t all bad. Despite troubling geopolitical headlines, the crypto market has quietly notched a handful of wins over the last few weeks, from rising global adoption to Wall Street’s ever-growing appetite for crypto. Let’s dig in.
Bitcoin mining power reached a new all-time high, as more miners compete to earn BTC rewards in return for verifying transactions and bolstering the blockchain. Mining power (or “”) — often as a proxy for network health and security — hit new last week on February 17, a robust recovery from last summer’s lows after China’s mining crackdown. Since China’s ban, North America has as the world’s leading miner, accounting for more than 35% of Bitcoin ’s hashrate.
Nearly around the world own crypto, according to a new survey that finds the highest rates of adoption in Latin American countries, where crypto investments reached in 2021. As rages in the region, nearly 50% of Argentinians report owning crypto, and crypto credit cards are also in the country. Nearby Brazil saw around worth of Bitcoin trading volume in 2021, and Rio de Janeiro, its second largest city, of its treasury in crypto.
Several U.S. states are proposing crypto bills while awaiting a crypto-related from the White House. A Tennessee bill would allow the state to , an Arizona legislator wants to make , and Missouri legislation would exempt . Meanwhile, Wyoming lawmakers , and Colorado’s governor announced the state will soon accept .
Global financial firms are staffing up crypto divisions and expanding crypto offerings for customers. While Mastercard plans to hire 500 people to expand , Fidelity launched a in Europe, and the New York Stock Exchange filed trademark licenses to . And J.P. Morgan (which now has a *checks notes* in the metaverse) that 300 banks in the U.S. are planning to enable BTC trading.
Why it matters… Although Ukraine news is weighing on global markets and crypto prices, a zoomed-out perspective offers plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the cryptoeconomy as more governments, companies, and individuals join the fold. From Intel’s new mining chip to Twitter’s feature, the list of innovations and opportunities in this vast $1.7 trillion market will only continue to grow. As Walmart’s top board director , “It’s clear this is a powerful and constructive technology with enormous growth potential over the next few years and beyond.”
AIRDROP IT LIKE IT’S HOT
From Coachella to Snoop Dogg, music’s biggest names are doubling down on NFTs
“NFT” may have been Collins Dictionary’s 2021 , but the non-fungible phenomenon shows no signs of slowing in 2022. Leading NFT market OpenSea posted a record-busting in sales in January, and freshly minted holders include , , and (yes, that Picasso). Ever since rock band Kings Of Leon released last year, the music business has grown into one of the most NFT-friendly creative industries, fueled by major labels, music festivals, and megastars. Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest names getting involved.
Snoop Dogg wants to turn Death Row Records into “the first major [label] in the metaverse.” This month, the hip-hop mogul (and vocal NFT -) announced that he’d the iconic Dr. Dre-founded label that launched his rap career in the early ‘90s. Snoop jumped on a Clubhouse last week to clarify his Web3 ambitions: “Death Row will be an NFT baby — we will be putting out artists through the metaverse.” Meanwhile, he’s been teasing exclusive concerts in the “” — a virtual world built on the blockchain gaming ecosystem Sandbox.
Coachella, America’s top music festival, is auctioning 10 lifetime-pass NFTs. The “” includes 10 -based NFTs that grant owners lifetime admission to the California music festival, whose 2022 lineup includes Kanye, Billie Eilish, and Harry Styles. Additionally, each “Key” NFT offers different IRL perks for this year’s fest — Key #10 offers a “fully stocked trailer in the VIP compound.” Its minimum bid? Just north of $100,000.
Universal Music Group — home to Drake and Billie Eilish — is partnering with NFT platform to develop digital collectibles for fans. Curio has released 75,000 NFTs since 2021, and to license audio-visual content from the label’s massive artist roster to make “NFT fan collections,” starting this spring with pop singer Calum Scott. Previously, UMG announced its “Web3 label” , starring the all-digital, Bored-Ape-led band .
Why it matters… Record sales, jaw-dropping prices, and virtual worlds aren’t the only drivers of music’s NFT obsession. NFTs can add value for fans and creators, alike — from concert perks to that automatically pay artists royalties when their work is resold. The music industry has emerged as a testing ground for a growing list of NFT use-cases, and artists like and are aping into new projects that reimagine both the digital value of their art and their relationships with listeners. Or as Snoop , “Blockchain tech has the power to change everything again and tip the table in favor of the artists and the fans.”
NUMBERS TO KNOW
The current valuation of the Denver Broncos, and the amount a , called BuyTheBroncosDAO, to bid for the NFL team. It’s unlikely they’ll get to own the team, though – the NFL to have a principal owner who holds at least a 30% stake, and ownership groups can’t be larger than 24 people.
The number of months that Federal Reserve officials will have to sell any crypto positions, after — barring senior central bank officials from purchasing individual stocks or holding assets like bonds and foreign currencies — take effect. Last year, two Fed officials in the wake of a stock-trading controversy.
How to safely navigate the world of DeFi
From $323 million exploit to the FBI’s of $3.6 billion in stolen crypto, major hacks have been back in headlines lately — but what does that mean for you, and how can you protect yourself? On this week’s episode of , hosts Katherine Wu and Justin Mart discuss everything from to reducing risk when you explore the ever-expanding universe of decentralized finance.
What is the metaverse?
A term coined by sci-fi author Neal Stephenson
A series of interconnected virtual worlds
The theoretical future of the internet
All of the above
Find the answer below.
All of the above