1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Loses Steam After Briefly Touching $60K
The cryptocurrency’s price fell with stocks amid growing concerns about rising U.S. Treasury yields.
Bitcoin’s (BTC) price slid Thursday, retreating along with U.S. stocks and oil prices as U.S. Treasury yields touched some of the highest levels in a year.
The 10-year Treasury note yield, which moves in the opposite direction from the price, breached 1.75% for the first time since January 2020. The rising yield has been seen by investors as a sign of market worries over future inflation.
A growing number of investors say bitcoin might serve as a good hedge against inflation, but the largest cryptocurrency is also seen as a risky asset. In recent weeks, commentators have warned that higher yields on bonds, typically viewed as a safe investment, might reduce the appeal of bets on riskier assets like stocks and bitcoin.
2. Bitcoin’s ‘Rich List’ Shrinks Amid Continued Price Rally
The number of unique addresses holding more than 1,000 BTC has shrunk by over 8% since Feb. 8 as whales take profits.
Large bitcoin (BTC, -3.11%) investors have been selling some of their holdings amid this year’s price rally, blockchain data shows, supporting recent signs retail buying has been a key factor in supporting the market.
Sometimes referred to as bitcoin’s “rich list,” the number of unique addresses holding more than 1,000 BTC has shrunk by over 8% since Feb. 8, according to the data provider Glassnode.
“Whale addresses have been selling,” market analyst Lark Davis tweeted. “This does not mean the bull run is over. It just means that profit taking is happening.”
3. This Casino in Decentraland Is Hiring (for Real)
Modern video games are full of computer-generated bots who guide players through unfamiliar spaces with canned answers, and Decentraland, the decentralized virtual world, is no exception. But one of the metaverse’s crypto casinos is angling to put those non-player characters (NPCs) out of a job — by employing the players themselves.
Real-life hosts now work the floor at Decentral Games’ Tominoya Casino, helping newcomers to this crypto house of chance try their hand at digital roulette, blackjack and slots. For four hours each day these greeters staff shifts in the metaverse. Then, at the end of the month, they get paid upwards of $500 in DAI or the firm’s DG token.
The hiring push is an early example of real-life employment opportunities in the decentralized metaverse, where players who navigate user-owned landscapes swap cryptos like MANA for pieces of digital art, clothing and even land parcels — all recorded on the blockchain as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
In the case of Tominoya Casino users can also place their crypto on chance. It’s run by proprietor Decentral Games, the distributed autonomous organization (DAO) that began hiring casino greeters late last month. At press time it has on-boarded some 20 part-time greeters and a full-time manager to run the show, according to Decentral Games founder Miles Anthony.
Decentral Games’ NFT casino has generated the DAO “a little over a million dollars in MANA and DAI” over the last three months, Anthony told CoinDesk. He and the other DAO members are betting that real-life floor hosts can generate yet more by boosting table game engagement and improving player retention.
4. This (Small-ish) Swiss Cybersecurity Stock Jumped 80% After NFT-Related Press Release
WISeKey’s stock surged nearly 70% after it mentioned NFT in its press release, which is unusual for the small firm.
It might be a great business move — or maybe just jumping on the NFT bandwagon; either way, investors appeared to be pleased.
WISeKey (NASDAQ: WKEY), a cybersecurity company based in Zug, Switzerland, announced Thursday it’s developing an application for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which would be used to authenticate physical and digital objects of value.
Within hours of the announcement, its U.S. shares, listed on Nasdaq, had soared more than 80% in price, the most in TradingView’s price history dating back to 2019.
5. Federal Reserve’s Powell Says CBDCs ‘Need to Coexist With Cash’
The Fed chairman spoke at a virtual payments conference hosted by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Thursday central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will need to coexist with cash.
Speaking at a virtual payments conference hosted by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Powell cited a report on CBDCs from the Bank for International Settlements and a group of seven central banks, including the Fed.
“One of the three key principles highlighted in the report is that a CBDC needs to coexist with cash and other types of money in a flexible and innovative payment system,” Powell said. “Improvements in the global payments system will come not just from the public sector but from the private sector as well.”
Powell added the Fed Board of Governors is conducting experiments on CBDCs along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which is working researchers at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
In recent months, Powell has emphasized several times that the U.S. would not act fast on issuing a digital dollar because of the physical dollar’s status as the global reserve currency.
The latest comment, though, is in line with Powell’s previous remarks about the Fed taking the prospects for a digital dollar seriously. Powell has said the Fed will engage with the public on the topic in 2021 and will seek congressional approval before issuing one.
CBDCs are an early-stage payments innovation that governments hope can increase payments efficiency and lower costs by running them on blockchains. The details on CBDCs are still murky, and detractors argue most transactions today involve money that’s already digital.
There’s a fear some governments may use CBDCs for increased financial surveillance. At the moment, it looks like the U.S. could favor privacy in its CBDC development.
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March 19, 2021