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News Summary 1/18: Cardano, Argentina, Inflation and OpenSea

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The growth of the Cardano ecosystem is boosting ADA token. Strike is introducing its popular application in Argentina. U.S. inflation is highest in 40 years – and that is also a problem for cryptocurrencies. OpenSea breaks records, but at the same time suffers from a vampire attack.

Cardano’s ecosystem is growing

Cardano was one of the most discussed cryptocurrencies in 2021. Charles Hoskinson’s project launched smart contracts in September after years of waiting. However, since this milestone, Cardano hasn’t been seen much in the media.

Cardano is now a full-blooded smart contract platform like Ethereum, Solana, and many others. Its ecosystem has also grown steadily in recent months. However, the ADA token has performed poorly and gone down with the rest of the market.

Now, something is finally happening. ADA has gone up the second most of the top 100 cryptocurrencies (+37% at the time of writing). There’s a couple of important Dapp related news giving a price boost.

As the tweet above says, a decentralized exchange called SundaeSwap (DEX) will launch this week. It is a fully functioning beta, which means that all necessary functions are enabled, but transactions can take up to days to complete in the early stages.

This is the first DEX on the Cardano platform. Decentralized exchanges are the most important DeFi applications on other platforms, which is why this launching is a big step. First-stage users also receive SUNDAE tokens as a reward.

Cardano is also boosted by Pavia.

This is a metaverse built on the Cardano platform, and it was officially launched a few days ago. Pavia’s full functionality will be built in 2022. It’s equivalent for popular Sandbox & Decentraland games on the Ethereum platform.

As many as 60 percent of Pavia’s 100,000 virtual grounds have already been sold at the pre-sale stage in 2021. The rest will be opened for public trading in Q1/2022.

Cardano’s growing DeFi ecosystem is tightening the competition for smart contract platforms. The situation is challenging for investors. There are 20 significant and growing Dapp ecosystems in the market. How can one choose the best performers?

Argentina and Rio De Janeiro

Then some interesting news about Bitcoin adoption.

Anyone who has followed Bitcoin-related news knows Jack Mallers and the Strike app. Mallers was an important figure in El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption in 2021. Strike is an app developed by his company that leverages Bitcoin’s lightning network. It enables Bitcoin purchases and transfers with zero fees.

Strike has so far been available in the United States and El Salvador. Last week Strike took an interesting step in launching the app in Argentina!

Argentina has suffered from severe inflation in recent years. For this reason, many have speculated that the country would be a favorable platform for Bitcoin adoption. For the time being, Strike is still operating in Argentina with USDT (dollars), but Bitcoin purchases are likely to be available soon.

Let’s move to the northeast and Rio De Janeiro. This is probably the most famous city in Brazil located on the coast of the Atlantic ocean.

 

Rio De Janeiro made an interesting announcement last week. The city plans to invest 1% of its assets in cryptocurrencies. The case was first reported as an investment in Bitcoin, but the official term is cryptocurrency. The portfolio may therefore contain cryptos other than BTC.

The city’s mayor also announced plans to give a 10 percent tax discount to people who make their payments in Bitcoin.

In conclusion, we can say the adoption of cryptocurrencies is progressing rapidly in North, Central, and South America!

Inflation in the U.S. hit a new record

The most interesting day last week was Wednesday. This was when the U.S.  inflation figures were released for December. Inflation has become the hottest topic in the investing world in 2021. No wonder, as inflation hasn’t been this high since the 1980s.

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading is +7%, representing an increase of 0.2 percentage points from one month ago. Please note that this is YoY (Year-over-Year), which means an addition to the CPI one year ago.

In the opinion of many analysts, real inflation is twice as high. Since the 1990s, CPI calculations have been tampered with to show lower readings.

Why should a crypto investor care about inflation? What’s to worry if a carton of milk or a liter of gas costs more than before?

In short, high inflation forces central banks to take action. The Federal Reserve has already begun tapering its securities purchases. When the program is over in ~2 months, they begin raising the interest rates.

Bitcoin has enjoyed a historic bull market and zero interest rate policy since its inception. “Free money” has helped cryptocurrencies too. Now, high inflation is forcing Jerome Powell (the boss of the Fed) to bring the party to an end. This is poison for growth companies and risky investments, which is why cryptocurrencies have also been falling for two months.

The higher inflation gets, the greater is the risk of the central bank tightening monetary policy and market collapse. For this reason, a crypto investor must also monitor the development of inflation.

Although last week’s reading was a new record, the market reacted slightly positively. Why? It is always about expectations. The consensus in the market was an inflation reading of around 7.0 to 7.1 percent. For example inflation of 7.5% would certainly have hurt the markets.

NFT marketplace OpenSea is breaking records

The cryptocurrency market is performing poorly, but NFTs are hotter than ever! We have reported this also in our previous weekly publications.

Until a year ago, the NFT was basically the same thing as Ethereum. Nowadays there are half a dozen popular NFT marketplaces on competing platforms. For example, Cardano’s most popular NFT market is CNFT.

OpenSea, operating on the Ethereum platform, is the leading marketplace for the entire NFT sector. It has broken wild records in 2022!

Last week, a historic milestone was reached; OpenSea has over a million users! The figure was less than 50,000 users a year ago and half a million just three months ago. More than 100,000 new users have arrived in January 2022 alone.

No wonder OpenSea also broke the monthly volume record a couple of days ago. The previous record was $3.4 billion in August. The figure for January is 3.7 billion, although the month has barely passed the halfway mark. You can find up-to-date statistics on Dune Analytics’ website.

OpenSea’s popularity has also attracted competing projects.

LooksRare, which opened just over a week ago, has launched a so-called vampire attack on OpenSea. The aim is to attract liquidity to LooksRare by offering free tokens for the active users of OpenSea.

LooksRare also competes on costs. Its trading fee (2%) is lower than OpenSea’s (2.5%), which in addition is paid to LOOKS token stakers.

Time will tell if LooksRare manages to gain a significant role in the market in the long run. Similar developments were also seen on the DeFi market in 2020–2021 when popular Uniswap DEX received a lot of clones in a short period of time.

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