News
11
Jan
crypto news

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News Summary 1/11: Kazakhstan, Samsung, Stocks, Cryptocurrency Investments and Ode

The unrest in Kazakhstan was reflected in a drop in the Bitcoin network hash rate. Samsung released new TV models that include a built-in NFT platform. Technology stocks have had the weakest start of a new year in 20 years with cryptocurrencies also suffering. Half of billionaire Bill Miller’s portfolio is in bitcoins. Finnish artist Ode published his own NFT collection.

Unrest in Kazakhstan had an impact on the Bitcoin hash rate

Kazakhstan is a country in Central Asia that doesn’t get much attention in mainstream media. The beginning of the year 2022 has changed this. The ongoing riots have been widely reported, and Russia’s military intervention makes the situation even more complicated.

As a country, Kazakhstan is a true giant, as it is the ninth largest country on our planet and roughly the same size as India! Kazakhstan has also become one of the global leaders in Bitcoin mining.

This is due to the Chinese mining ban in 2021. Mining pools moved from China especially to the United States, but Kazakhstan was another big winner. Currently, Kazakhstan provides almost 20 percent of Bitcoin’s hash rate. Kazakhstan is the world’s 2nd largest mining country after the United States.

As the internet in Kazakhstan went down last week, the country’s mining pools fell off from the network. In mainstream media, this was reported as the cause of Bitcoin’s price crash.

bitcoin hash rate

As you can see from the graphic, Bitcoin’s global hash rate is constantly swinging up and down. Even if Kazakhstan is a significant mining hub, its shutdown fits inside the normal swing. A drop in hash rate will not have a direct impact on Bitcoin’s price anyway.

Last summer the situation was different as the Chinese mining pools sold bitcoins, and there was also a general panic in the market.

The biggest drop in hash rate last summer occurred between June 2 and June 27, when the hash rate dropped by more than 50 percent. Bitcoin’s price fell only about 10 percent during this time. It was also in the middle of a months-long downtrend.

There were other reasons behind the Bitcoin price collapse last week, which will be introduced later in this article. This case is a good reminder of how Bitcoin news in mainstream media is still unnecessarily sensational.

Samsung is investing in NFT and Metaverse

Technology giant Samsung released interesting news last week. The company announced its new TV models MICRO LED, Neo Qled, and Lifestyle TV. These models offer many exciting features.

Neo QLEDs optimized with the new Smart Hub that enables smart content curation, cloud gaming, video calls, on-screen multitasking, NFTs management and more.

As the quote above states, Samsung TVs will include a built-in NFT platform. Users can browse NFT art and buy & sell NFTs directly via television. Will it be an Ethereum-based platform (OpenSea) or some other integration – this is not yet announced.

Samsung has been partnering with Theta for a long time. However, Theta’s NFT sector is way behind in popularity compared to larger platforms.

There was also another interesting announcement related to the metaverse.

Samsung is opening a store called 837X in Decentraland, which is one of the leading metaverses on the market. The name 837X refers to Samsung’s flagship store in Manhattan.

You can’t buy Samsung products through Decentraland yet, but this is something one would expect to happen in the near future. Users will be able to browse products in a metaverse without visiting the physical shop. A 3D world is a clear improvement compared to browsing images from a website.

Just before Christmas, we wrote about Nike and Adidas investing in the NFT industry. It won’t be long until all significant brands will be involved in this sector – one way or another.

If you’re not familiar with the NFT world yet, take a look at our NFT beginner’s guide.

Technology stocks have had the worst beginning of the new year in 20 years

Bitcoin’s price development has been depressing in 2022. It hasn’t crashed that much, since Bitcoin already made its biggest drops in November and December. The crypto downturn doesn’t come as a shock because tech stocks have been in a major downfall.

The image below shows the U.S. Nasdaq 100 index, which consists mostly of technology companies. Many well-known giants, like Tesla, Google and Microsoft are included.

nasdaq 100

As we can see, the drop has been quite significant. In fact, we have not seen anything like this since the year 2000. Those who have followed the market remember well what happened at the time: the famous techno bubble burst, with many stocks losing between 80% and 90% of their value.

The stock market reacted to last week’s news regarding the Federal Reserve’s December meeting. Its content scared investors, as the Fed appears to be more hawkish in its monetary policy. Is the zero-interest party really over now?

Uncertainty is the biggest enemy of investors. It always leads to the sale of high-risk investments, which is why cryptocurrencies are also suffering.

Michael Saylor’s Bitcoin purchases have been welcomed in the crypto industry. However, Saylor does not represent the mainstream of institutions. Microstrategy may hold its Bitcoins for the next 100 years, but most institutional investors throw cryptos overboard in uncertain times like now. They also take profits to balance portfolios.

The more big-money investors steps into the crypto industry, the more the laws of the stock market will apply.

Tomorrow we’ll see the latest inflation numbers from the United States. If the inflation is growing significantly from December, we are likely to see another drop in the market. The higher the inflation, the more investors fear the tightening of monetary policy. This will lead to falling stock and crypto prices.

Bill Miller, BTCS and Bitfarms

Next, we’ll go through more positive news about crypto investing. Let’s start with Bill Miller, who caused a riot on social media yesterday. The reason was his interview on the Wealthtrack channel.

Miller revealed his extraordinary investment portfolio. The billionaire holds roughly 50% Amazon and 50% Bitcoin! Thanks to this, Miller immediately became the new favorite investor of the Bitcoin fanatics.

 

Miller’s Bitcoin portfolio isn’t 100% digital coins. He owns, for example, Microstrategy stocks. Even so, it can be said that half of his portfolio is tied to Bitcoin’s success.

Another news relates to a tech company BTCS. It made history last week by announcing to pay dividends in Bitcoins as the first publicly listed company! This is another step in Bitcoin adoption. Investors can still take dividends in dollars if they so wish.

Miners have also faith in Bitcoin’s success. A Canadian mining company Bitfarms announced a major Bitcoin acquisition yesterday. It bought as much as 1,000 bitcoins for about $43 million. Bitfarms holds now a total of 4,300 Bitcoins.

Finnish artist Ode publishes NFT collection

Finnish artist Ode published an NFT collection last week. It’s called #NEOMALMI and it is set in futuristic Malmi, which is a neighborhood in Finland.

The collection will be published on the Solana platform and the NTFs can be purchased from the Solsea marketplace.

An increasing number of artists and celebrities have released NFT collections in 2021. It’s a new way to support an artist. NFT technology enables royalties from future sales that would not be possible in the traditional world.

Although the word NFT has been in the headlines for a year now, technology is still a long way from everyday use. It is still a bit challenging to buy digital art. You must be able to manage a separate Web 3 wallet and buy cryptocurrencies.

So far, the world of NFTs has mainly been a playing field for professionals. This is mostly influenced by Ethereum’s really high transaction fees. The most popular NFT marketplace Opensea operates on Ethereum.

The NFT sector has therefore spread to competing platforms, such as the aforementioned Solana. The advantage here is small transaction fees, which makes NFT trading possible for small investors. The downside is the lower popularity of the platform, which means it lacks the network effect (investors & collections) of Ethereum.

The year 2022 has been really strong for the NFT market. While cryptocurrency prices are dropping, NFT trading platform OpenSea is on track to set new records in trading volume. PhantaBears is one of the trend collections right now.