💡 Bitcoin Dips Below $29K. Ethereum's recovery rally fades as sellers prevent it from going above $1900. Curve Finance lost about $50 million in the hack. Optimism hits new record high for daily transactions. The BALD token fell 90% as the developer cut off liquidity. Tether reports $3.3 billion in excess reserves in the second quarter, up $850 million quarter-over-quarter.
Bitcoin, the top cryptocurrency by market value, fell over 1% to $28,962, reaching its lowest value since June 21. Ether also dropped to $1,875, its lowest value since June 28. Data shows that the total value of liquidations for the past 24 hours has risen to just shy of $100 million, with long positions responsible for the majority (85%) of that amount.
As Ethereum grapples with the $1,900 resistance level, a noticeable trend has emerged: bulls continue to book profits near these higher levels. This trend is a clear indication of the current market sentiment – investors are taking advantage of the price spikes to secure their gains.
As Ethereum's price approaches the $1.9K threshold, investors are quickly closing their positions. The chart indicates that when Ethereum's price reached $1,875 on July 30th, the combined liquidation of both long and short positions surpassed $7 million. Notably, bullish investors were the primary contributors to this liquidation, closing positions worth over $5.6 million.
This profit-booking activity near the $1,900 mark is contributing to the selling pressure that's preventing Ethereum from breaking through this critical resistance level. Each time the price nears this level, a wave of sell orders comes in, causing the price to retreat.
While this may be frustrating for those hoping for a sustained rally, it's a common occurrence in volatile markets. Investors, particularly those who may have bought in at lower levels, are often eager to lock in profits when prices reach certain targets. In Ethereum's case, the $1,900 level appears to be one such target.
If the price of ETH gains enough buying pressure to overcome the sell orders at $1,900, it could potentially trigger a new wave of buying activity.
Curve Finance’s DAO token, CRV, has fallen 10.3% to 56 cents following a recent exploit caused by a bug in the programming language used in its tech stack. One of the largest decentralized exchanges (DEX), Curve Finance, was hacked, resulting in projected damages estimated to be between $41 million and $52 million. Other projects using the Vyper programming language are also potentially at risk.
The platform administration confirmed information about the hack. According to its statement and the conclusions of the Vyper project development team, the attacker exploited the "re-entry" vulnerability to gain access to the smart contract. Curve Finance pools that use Viper versions 0.2.15, 0.2.16, and 0.3.0 were affected.
The market is reacting negatively due in part to a lending position held by founder Michael Egorov on lending protocol Aave. Egorov currently has a $168 million lending position on Aave secured by CRV, which is drifting toward liquidation. Should this be liquidated, the rapid price declines would cause a cascading series of liquidations, and the liquidated assets would flood the market. As a result, lending protocol tokens like AAVE, Compound’s COMP, Maple Finance’s MPL, and Maker’s MKR are leading the market declines, with AAVE down 8%, COMP down 8.8%, MPL down 3.2%, and MKR down 2%.
On Monday, the native token of Layer 2 chain Optimism, OP, surged by 9% and is currently trading at $1.6. This increase in OP's value is due to the rise in transaction activity of meme coins on Base, an Optimism-based Coinbase-built layer 2 scaling chain. One such meme coin, BALD, recently launched on Base and reached a market cap of $85 million late on Sunday. Last week, Optimism network experienced a spike in transaction volume after OpenAI's Worldcoin was launched on the network. As a result, the transaction volume on Optimism surpassed its rival Arbitrum for the first time in six months. Since the launch of Worldcoin, the number of transactions has continued to rise, and on Thursday, it reached a new all-time high of 944,668 transactions in a day, according to Etherscan data.
According to data, the newly-launched BALD tokens on the Base blockchain experienced a huge drop of up to 90% after reaching its peak on Monday. This occurred when the token's deployer removed millions of dollars worth of liquidity. During European morning hours on Monday, BALD held as much as $32 million in ether (ETH). Although prices initially dropped to 1 cent from 9 cents, they seem to have recovered to 4 cents as of writing time as a few traders bought the dip.On Sunday, BALD tokens gained popularity among trading circles and amassed a $50 million market capitalization.Currently, blockchain data indicates that the deployer has been adding liquidity in smaller batches of ether, causing prices to steadily rise. Despite this, panicked holders continued to sell tokens en masse.
In other news, Tether – the issuer of the USDT stablecoin – reported holding $3.3 billion in reserve assets to back the value of its stablecoins in its Q2 attestation on Monday. Tether's bitcoin (BTC) holdings increased in dollar value to $1.67 billion as of June 30, up from $1.5 billion three months earlier, according to the filing. The actual number of tokens held was not disclosed.Tether also reported operational profits of over $1 billion for the second quarter, following $1.45 billion in net profits in Q1. As the largest stablecoin in terms of market capitalization, USDT is a key component of the crypto ecosystem that enables trading and asset transfers.Issuing fiat-backed dollar-pegged stablecoins is a lucrative business due to rising U.S. government bond yields, which serve as the primary reserve asset for USDT. Tether's reported profits for Q2 are comparable to those of asset management giant BlackRock, which manages over $9 trillion in assets under management (AUM) and booked operating income of just over $1.6 billion in Q2.Despite its success, Tether continues to receive scrutiny for its opaque reserve management and lack of independent audits, which would provide a deeper financial analysis than attestations alone.
The most essential Fundraising news:
💡 Crypto Firm Flashbots Raises $60M in Paradigm-Led Round
The establishment of the new capital will aid in the development of the SUAVE decentralized platform for maximal extractable value (MEV).
Investors in this round were chosen through a reverse pitch "beauty contest" for decentralization, with no other backers beyond Paradigm being named.
Flashbots is a startup focused on Ethereum research and development, with the goal of mitigating the negative effects of maximal extractable value (MEV), which refers to the potential profit that network operators can extract by previewing or re-ordering upcoming blockchain transactions.
The SUAVE (Single Unifying Auction for Value Expression) platform is an independent network that can function as a mempool (a transaction waiting room) and a decentralized block builder. Developers can utilize SUAVE to launch intra-block applications such as block builders or orderflow auctions, which can compete to execute user preferences, resulting in cheaper and more confidential transactions than those commonly found on chains like Ethereum.
Flashbots also develops MEV-boost, a piece of MEV-optimizing middleware utilized by most Ethereum validators.
💡 Animoca Brands Invests $30 Million in Crypto Payments Application Hi
Hi will soon implement a Proof of Human Identity solution to perform KYC on its users and prevent bots from using its layer 2 network. Animoca Brands, a leading player in metaverse gaming and venture capital, has invested $30 million in hi, a Web3 payments application and protocol. Hi has also partnered with Animoca Brands to enhance the utility of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) across its portfolio companies and the Web3 ecosystem.
According to co-founder Sean Rach, hi operates as a digital-only neobank that provides banking services for crypto and fiat transactions. Hi has teamed up with Mastercard to issue debit cards with NFT imagery, which will be launched in 2022.
Rach mentioned that the funding will be used to scale the app and prepare for the mainnet launch of hi Protocol, which is compatible with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). As cryptocurrency utility expands, leveraging Animoca Brand’s network will help integrate hi's payments infrastructure into its portfolio companies and the broader ecosystem.
💡 Aethir Raises $9 Million in Pre-A Funding for Decentralized Cloud Infrastructure Network
Aethir, a decentralized cloud infrastructure network, has successfully completed a Pre-A financing round, raising over $9 million and reaching a valuation of $150 million. Sanctor Financial Resources, Hashkey, Merit Circle, and CitizenX led the financing, with participation from Maelstrom, Mirana Ventures, and Animoca Brands.
The success of Aethir's Pre-A financing round and the support from prominent investors demonstrate the growing recognition of the importance of decentralized cloud infrastructure in the development of the metaverse network and the gaming industry. By addressing the challenges of high costs and increasing demand, Aethir is positioned to make significant contributions to the growth of AI corporations and gaming studios, particularly in hardware-constrained markets. The financing will enable Aethir to expand into key regions and solidify its position as a leader in the decentralized cloud sector.
ERC-6551, an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) introduced in February by a collaborative effort of developers and individuals associated with Web3 venture studio Future Primitive and NFT creator platform Manifold, enables NFTs to function as self-contained wallets. This proposal introduces a comprehensive mechanism for managing digital assets within the NFT itself, including receiving token airdrops and acquiring derivative collectibles.
To illustrate its application, consider a profile picture (PFP) NFT collection that implements the ERC-6551 token standard. With this integration, the NFT can hold its native cryptocurrency and even store derivative NFTs, like digital wearables, which has earned ERC-6551 the nickname "backpack" wallet.
Although ERC-6551 has not yet been officially recognized as a token standard, various protocols and projects in the cryptocurrency space are already adopting and implementing its functionalities.
Lens, the decentralized social media platform, unveiled its latest update on Monday, introducing the capability for ERC-6551 enabled tokens to manage their own profiles on the platform. Back in May, Stapleverse, the Web3 studio owned by fashion designer Jeff Staple, integrated ERC-6551s into its SAPIENZ NFT collection, enabling token holders to possess external NFTs via their token-bound accounts.
Based on data from SeaLaunch, a collective of pseudonymous blockchain researchers, there have been approximately 3,775 ERC-6551 based accounts created as of the current time, out of which over 2,800 were established since the start of July.
At the heart of ERC-6551 lies the intention to enhance the digital ownership infrastructure within the Web3 ecosystem. This drive led Future Primitive founding developers, Benny Giang and Jayden Windle, to propose EIP-6551. Their motivation was not only to improve their own projects but also to assist others in the space.
Token-bound accounts have already unlocked numerous possibilities that developers are beginning to integrate into their applications. With the introduction of the "backpack wallet," users can associate digital ownership with various assets, enabling diverse applications across different aspects of Web3.
Giang expressed that he envisions early use cases for ERC-6551 NFTs in gaming, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), infrastructure tooling, and more. For instance, in a Web3 game, avatars could possess in-game collectibles or cryptocurrencies, while DAOs might reward members with additional NFTs to signify their involvement and contributions. Moreover, decentralized social networks could enable users to represent their identities through wallet-bound NFTs.
Giang also added that many prominent entities in the space are already exploring and experimenting with the ERC-6551 standard. He anticipates that before the end of the year, and possibly in the next few months, several significant players will have implemented something utilizing ERC-6551 or token-bound accounts.
Although ERC-6551 is gaining attention in the Web3 space, it has not yet achieved official token standard status. During its initial implementation, users have identified certain characteristics in the structure that might present challenges as the token gains wider adoption.
Matt Stephenson, the Head of Cryptoeconomics at crypto investment firm Pantera Capital, informed that the "recursive nature" of tokens with token-bound accounts could introduce minor friction when transferring assets.
Stephenson explained, "If you have a pair of NFT shoes with laces that include a friendship charm, we have a nested structure where the shoe owns the lace, which, in turn, owns the little charm. It used to be the case that transferring the charm alone incurred higher costs."
Windle clarified that ERC-6551 wallets are smart contract wallets, which generally involve higher gas fees for usage. However, he pointed out that even with elevated network fees, gas prices for transfers remain relatively low.
Furthermore, early discussions revolved around the possibility that an ERC-6551 token standard could permit the sale of soulbound NFTs, which are initially non-transferrable, thereby making them no longer soulbound.
As ERC-6551 progresses from its proposal stage to an established token standard, it is likely that novel applications and utilities will emerge as various projects explore and experiment with token-bound accounts for their specific use cases.
SeaLaunch conveyed that the true potential of token-bound accounts is yet to be fully realized, and as the Web3 ecosystem evolves, their adoption is expected to expand into a broader range of use cases and industries. This expansion has the potential to unlock new opportunities for value creation, ownership, and interactions.
However, the core essence of a token-bound account remains digital ownership. Stephenson shared that from a philosophical perspective, it is intriguing that the narrative allows a digital asset to possess its own on-chain assets. Nonetheless, he emphasized that ultimately, there is still a single user behind the token-bound account who owns the wallet and all its assets.
Conferences are a great opportunity to grab the attention of the whales in the crypto industry, spread the word about your project and win some funds! A quick line-up of the upcoming conferences below!
👥 Conference 🌐 Goa, India 📆 Date: 11 Aug 2023
👥 Conference 🌐 Toronto, Canada 📆 Date: 15 Aug 2023
👥 Conference 🌐 İstanbul, Türkiye 📆 Date: 21 Aug 2023
👥 Conference 🌐 Bali, Indonesia 📆 Date: 23 Aug 2023
👥 Conference 🌐 Seoul, Korea 📆 Date: 04 Sept 2023
👥 Conference 🌐 Langelinie, Denmark 📆 Date: 06 Sept 2023
👥 Conference 🌐 Paris, France 📆 Date: 12 Sept 2023
👥 Conference 🌐 Singapore, Singapore 📆 Date: 12 Sept 2023
👥 Conference 🌐 New York, United States 📆 Date: 26 Sept 2023