The hottest topic of the week is Apecoin, which appeared out of nowhere on the major cryptocurrency exchanges. Ukrainian President Zelensky signed a new law on cryptocurrencies. Aave V3 was launched. Honduras could be the next country to make Bitcoin a legal tender. We have also some Ethereum related news.
Apecoin hit the market
The most talked-about cryptocurrency is Apecoin. It is a very special project, as Apecoin was a completely unknown coin until a week ago. In just one day, the APE token appeared on all major crypto exchanges.
Such a launch is rare, so there must be powerful parties behind it. This is the case indeed. The company behind the scenes is Yuga Labs. This name might not say much to the larger audience, but its biggest brand is familiar to many: the Bored Ape Yacht Club, also known as Bored Apes.
It is the best-known and most valuable NFT collection. The owners of Bored Apes NFTs include a long list of celebrities, especially in the world of entertainment and crypto industry. Yuga Labs further strengthened its position by recently acquiring the rights to the CryptoPunks and Meebits NFT collections.
Apecoin is managed by a decentralized community called the Ape DAO. The token gives voting rights in the decisions of the DAO. The practical operations are managed by a separate Ape Foundation.
However, the right to vote alone would not cause such a sensation. Apecoin is also considered as a currency for Yuga Labs’ upcoming metaverse called MetaRPG. Yuga Labs tweeted about this last Saturday.
— Yuga Labs (@yugalabs) March 19, 2022
MetaRPG is apparently a metaverse game, featuring not only Apecoin but also other Yuga Labs’ NFT brands. We will have more information on this in April.
There are also other NFT related apps coming to the market that will bring uses for Apecoin. One such example is Benji Bananas.
Apecoin has only been in circulation for a few days. Its trading volumes are among the top 10 cryptocurrencies. The price has moved between $6 and $20 for now. At the time of writing, Apecoin has a market value of just over three billion dollars.
We urge you to have great caution with such hype coins. Speculating with them can only be recommended to experienced crypto investors. If you want to invest in Apecoin, you can find it on Binance, FTX, and Coinbase, for example.
If you want more information about the project, you can also read our Apecoin guide.
Ukraine adopts a new cryptocurrency law
Ukraine has been in the news for a month due to the Russian invasion. We have also been busy reporting cryptocurrency-related news from Ukraine. Last week there was an important law introduced in Ukraine. It is not directly related to the ongoing war.
President Zelensky signed this law a week ago. The following was tweeted by Alex Bornyakov, The Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation in the Ukrainian government.
The law “on virtual assets” was signed today! Now crypto is legalized in Ukraine. Thank you, President @Zelenskyy for the support. We believe that crypto industry offers new economic opportunities. We will do our best to bring the bright new future closer as soon as possible.
— Alex Bornyakov (@abornyakov) March 16, 2022
This news should not be confused with El Salvador: it is not the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. This change is more a recognition of the status of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine. Bitcoin had not been prohibited before, but the country lacked clear regulation.
The new law will clarify the operation of companies and cryptocurrency exchanges in particular. It also defines the roles and tasks of the authorities supervising the crypto industry.
Ukraine is already known for its positive attitude towards cryptocurrencies. President Zelensky has met with President Bukele (El Salvador) and discussed the country’s Bitcoin adoption. Stellar has also been the partner of the National Bank of Ukraine regarding a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
At the same time, there was some bad news coming from Ukraine. One of the country’s largest banks, PrivatBank, has blocked purchasing of cryptocurrencies using the country’s local currency. This is apparently an order from the country’s central bank to protect Ukraine’s currency during the war.
Aave V3 was launched
Aave is one of the best-known DeFi protocols. It was initially launched on Ethereum but expanded to six other platforms during 2021: Avalanche, Fantom, Harmony, and the Ethereum scaling solutions Polygon (sidechain), Optimism (Layer 2) & Arbitrum (Layer 2).
Aave is currently the 5th largest DeFi app on the market. The protocol received an important update last week with the release of Aave V3.
1/ Aave V3 is here! 👻
The most powerful version of the Aave Protocol to date, V3 brings groundbreaking new features than span from increased capital efficiency to enhanced decentralization. Read what's new in V3 in the thread below👇or visit https://t.co/H3jTyKRqNs to dive in! pic.twitter.com/LXzn7660nA
— Aave (@AaveAave) March 16, 2022
Updates of this size do not even happen once a year. For example, the Aave V2 was launched in August 2020.
Aave V3 includes a long list of updates. The most visible is related to the graphical interface of the platform, which has been improved. A lot of upgrades have also been done to make transferring assets more efficient. Transaction fees are getting lower and risk management is improving.
The biggest change is probably cross-chain liquidity, which means the ability to transfer liquidity between different blockchains inside the Aave platform.
Aave V3 will also be integrated with many popular DeFi services, including Instadapp, Debank, 1inch, ParaSwap, Zapper, DeFi Saver, and Zerion. You can check out this Twitter thread for a detailed list of changes and implications.
Aave token jumped by over 30 percent to almost $165 after the launch. The current price is a bit over $158.
Bitcoin to become a legal tender in Honduras?
El Salvador is so far the only country where Bitcoin has the status of legal tender. However, we expect this to change in 2022.
Honduras makes Bitcoin a legal tender… if the rumors are true! And they are getting stronger by the day. Various sources say an official announcement will be made in the coming days – perhaps even today. Honduras would be a very logical country to take this step, as it is a neighboring country of El Salvador.
Well-known Bitcoin influencer Max Keiser hinted about this on Twitter last week. Keiser has been an active operator in El Salvador and was the first one to bring up the idea of Bitcoin bonds.
It’s happening… pic.twitter.com/9RvtblXfoK
— Max Keiser: Bitcoin Pioneer 🇸🇻🌋🧡 (@maxkeiser) March 18, 2022
Many also speculate that Honduras will make an announcement at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in two weeks. Anyone who follows the industry remembers well what happened a year ago. Jack Mallers announced at the Bitcoin 2021 conference that El Salvador had adopted Bitcoin as legal tender.
Honduras is by no means the only country that could make such an announcement. Former Blockstream CEO and well-known Bitcoin influencer Samson Mow tweeted last week that he was in Guatemala. Mow recently left his position at Blockstream to focus specifically on Bitcoin adoption at the state level. The visit in Guatemala started a rumor mill on social media. There is also movement in the same direction in Malaysia.
At the same time, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is trying to slow down this development. It granted Argentina a $45 billion loan with the condition of curbing the use of cryptocurrencies. Inflation in Argentina is over 50% and the country’s citizens are changing peso for stablecoins and other currencies at an accelerating rate.
The IMF has also repeatedly asked El Salvador to revoke Bitcoin’s status as legal tender.
Ethereum news: The Merge and ConsenSys
Finally, let’s go through some news related to Ethereum. Let’s start with the technology.
Ethereum’s move towards version 2.0 and Proof of Stake consensus is approaching. Last week, one important step was taken when the key update called The Merge was launched in the Kiln test network. This is the last public test network to be launched before the “official version” is updated.
The Merge describes the merging of the execution layer, which performs smart contracts, and the new Beacon Chain. The Proof of Stake blockchain Beacon Chain has been operational since December 2020. Currently, analysts expect The Merge to take place in June-July.
The second news relates to the company ConsenSys.
NEW: ConsenSys raises $450 million Series D at $7 billion valuation
— The Block (@TheBlock__) March 15, 2022
As the tweet says, ConsenSys recently announced new funding of as much as $450 million. ConsenSys is headquartered in New York and employs over 500 people.
ConsenSys is one of the main developers of the Ethereum ecosystem. Its CEO Joseph Lubin is also known as one of the Ethereum founders. What is interesting about the new deal is that ConsenSys intends to convert the assets into Ether.
This is the official statement from the company:
All proceeds from the round will be converted to ETH to further build ConsenSys’s ‘ultra sound money’ position as a rebalance to its ETH to fiat ratio in line with ConsenSys’ treasury strategy.
One of ConsenSys’ best-known products is the MetaMask Web3 wallet. Almost everyone in the DeFi and NFT sector has been introduced to MetaMask at some point. The wallet has more than 30 million users.
ConsensSys will also channel part of the 450 million pot towards MetaMask. The aim is to increase multi-chain support among other things. ConsensSys has also announced its intention to decentralize MetaMask with a DAO structure. A dedicated token is also likely to be launched.