bookmark_borderNot just for gamers and fanboys: Why investors should take NFTs seriously

Some people are making a mint out of NFTs, and almost everyone can try their luck and experience the emerging niche.

If you’ve been following the crypto industry, you might have noticed just an ever-so-slight buzz around nonfungible tokens, that is unless you’ve been locked down in an NFT-proof bunker for the last year.

Originally developed to be used in collectible trading-card games, NFTs can represent any unique assets whose scarcity and ownership can be proven on a blockchain. The development of the technology has since seen NFTs come to be used for a whole host of in-game assets, digital collectibles, unique artworks and so much more.

But if your surname isn’t Guggenheim, you don’t understand why grown adults get so excited about Doctor Who or Star Trek, and your gaming career consists of briefly downloading Candy Crush to your mobile phone, why should you care?

Well, because some of these digital assets are selling for obscene amounts of money. And if you are reading this, it’s completely reasonable to suggest that you are likely interested in digital assets and the opportunities they present.

All that glitters is not gold

Of course, when obscene amounts of money are on the table (and seemingly for something as simple as minting an old tweet onto the blockchain), then every two-bit chancer and their moms, from Anaheim to Zanzibar, will try to get in on the action.

The ensuing gold-rush has seen the burgeoning NFT market compared to the initial coin offering bubble of 2017. Everyone from Litecoin (LTC) creator Charlie Lee to the BBC has warned of the NFT bubble’s potential to imminently burst. Ironically, Lee, in the process, created an NFT that ultimately sold for 5 Ether (ETH) and arguably has genuine value, given his status in the crypto industry.

Like the ICO boom, there are certainly projects of questionable value out there; although this time around, assessing that value is often a bit more subjective than simply doing due diligence on the umpteenth utility token project this month.

Unlike the ICO boom, NFTs have the potential to reach much further than an assortment of libertines, forward-thinking investors and tech nerds, and bring blockchain technology, and ultimately its preferred payment method, cryptocurrency, in front of a far larger mainstream audience.

An emergent scene has built up around trading in NFTs as a primary investment strategy. Some of the major players in the space responded to a question from Cointelegraph on: “Why should investors be paying attention to NFTs?”

It’s the next big thing, you know

Danny is an art enthusiast and has been investing in high-end collectibles, virtual land and art on blockchains for the past two years. He initially discovered Bitcoin (BTC) back in 2013, and having seen how cryptocurrency radicalized the world of finance, was convinced that “NFTs would end up tokenizing everything else.”

“Investing in something that had the potential to go mainstream, while also supporting individual [artists] and projects, was a win/win scenario,” he said. Danny believes that we are still in the early stages of NFT adoption and that “there’s still plenty of opportunities and innovation in the NFT space.”

Zurab Kazhiloti heads up Bitscale Capital, which supports several NFT related projects, including Flamingo DAO, a digital autonomous organization focusing purely on investing in NFT assets. He thinks that everyone who has ever considered investing in art should be paying attention to the NFT market:

“Collectors are able to get amazing art pieces without leaving their home, and artists are able to reach much broader audiences and further monetize their art.”

He also said that the “satisfying feeling of digital ownership is something that people really love.”

But I don’t have an art history degree

So, whether for art, fun or profit, if one wants to get into the NFTs… how does one start? How do you sift the Hashmasks from the Trashmasks (trademarking that, before anyone gets any ideas).

Andrew Steinwold, a managing partner at NFT-focused investment fund Sfermion, takes a strictly rational approach and distills the information into its core fundamentals. These being team (or artist), product, token economics, community, market, data and risks. Following that, he has to consider which assets are available:

“Some projects — it’s easy because they have one investable asset (virtual land has land NFTs), but for other projects, it’s quite hard because they have many differing types of assets (land, items, creatures, tokens, etc).”

Priyanka Desai, vice president of operations at Flamingo DAO, also believes that investors should dig deep, but by playing around to discover the mechanics of each thing. “Everything starts as a toy,” she said, telling Cointelegraph that many members dig into the mechanics to see how they themselves would use it.

Danny likes to consider a potential project’s credentials, market fit and aesthetics, with a particular penchant for art and collectibles with some kind of historical or innovative significance:

“I particularly like pieces of art that I can display on my wall as a conversation starter for guests, as most of my real-world friends are only just starting to wrap their heads around crypto, let alone NFTs.”

Looking for the next big thing

So, where next for the NFT scene and, indeed, the market? What does the future hold for nonfungible tokens? Desai believes that NFTs will bring a big increase in overall crypto adoption, saying: “This is digestible, and media and entertainment are a part of life.”

Furthermore, renowned auction house Christie’s has just sold its first purely digital NFT-based artwork, as Beeple’s “First 5000 Days” sold for over $69 million, and Desai thinks that crypto’s dalliance with the art world could lead to major cryptocurrencies being accepted for all art.

Danny said that this path to mass adoption is already underway, with influencers and artists starting to use NFT revenue streams through direct community and follower engagement. He notes that “people want to support their favourite influencer, artist, actor, etc., resulting in further curiosity about the NFT space.”

He would, however, like to see adoption simplified “to the point that users don’t have to worry about buying a particular cryptocurrency, installing a browser plugin and then trying to understand gas fees.”

Danny is also looking at the play-to-earn element of blockchain gaming with interest, saying that the promise of these mechanics to provide opportunities for anyone in the world to earn a living while participating in a social environment is very powerful. This alone will be a substantial driver of growth over the coming years.

Kazhiloti points out that #NFT recently flipped #DeFi on Google search trends, and he is impressed by how quickly NFTs are coming into the view of regular collectors. He believes that “low entrance barriers and easy access to most of collections” are catalysts of such growth.

Steinwold believes that NFTs will become one of the largest markets in the worlds: “We aren’t even in the first inning yet, so play long-term games with long-term people.” He feels that NFTs are more human and accessible than some of the hard-to-understand concepts of the crypto market. He also said that investors should be paying attention to what NFTs enable:

“Suddenly, every single digital item could be turned into a tradeable good. This means the Internet of Goods is now here, and it will have massive ramifications for our future.”

The cream always rises

The NFT market is certainly experiencing the explosive growth that ICOs saw in 2017, although how far this can go, only time will tell. Professional investors believe that the increase in adoption is only beginning and that potential mainstream acceptance is on the horizon. But a cynic may argue that they could have told you that…

It certainly isn’t showing any signs of stopping soon and whether anything seems to be accelerating. Will it overstretch and burst? In which case, one would imagine that, similarly to the ICO boom, the more worthy assets will still be of value on the other side.

Related: The superheated NFTs? A crypto market niche tipped to boom or bust

Or, will the market mature quickly enough to start naturally sorting the wheat from the chaff and develop valuing and support systems that keep pace with its growth? Either way, we end up with much greater and more mainstream adoption of blockchain technology and crypto.

bookmark_borderBuy-the-dip signal? Ethereum sees surprise gain vs. Bitcoin despite BTC drop

The price of Ether saw gains in its BTC pair on Monday as Bitcoin price dropped below $60,000.

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price made another new all-time high above $60,000 over the weekend. However, the same cannot be said for Ether (ETH), and the market in general didn’t show much strength thereafter for a continuation. As a result, BTC price has dropped by 7% over the past 24 hours.

During this pullback, ETH also dropped in its U.S. dollar pair. However, the ETH/BTC pair actually saw a bounce. It could be the case that altcoins are attempting to stabilize against BTC while Bitcoin is paring some of its massive weekend gains. Interestingly enough, could this be a prelude to a potentially massive rally for Ether later this year? Let’s take a look at the charts.

Ether fails to break above $1,900

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Ether failed to break through $1,900 on March 13, which is essentially the final hurdle before hitting the psychological barrier of $2,000. The entire market is waiting for a clear-cut break above $2,000, and it looks like it has to wait a bit longer.

Since the bottom at $1,300, beautiful support/resistance flips have been seen for more upside. The last support/resistance flip occurred at the $1,740 level, resulting in a rally toward $1,900.

However, Ether’s price came back to this $1,740 level rather quickly. Such a dropdown is a sign of weakness, particularly as multiple tests of key support levels increase the risk of falling further.

In other words, if Ether’s price can’t hold the $1,740 area, the market should expect another leg down toward the $1,500 level.

ETH/BTC holds firm

ETH/BTC 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Luckily for the bulls, the ETH/BTC pair has held up nicely during this latest drop in BTC price, finding support in the 0.029–0.031 sats region. If this support zone is lost, however, the next support is found at the 0.025–0.0275 sats region. This level, in particular, is critical to hold to sustain the current bull market cycle.

Meanwhile, the chart shows that altcoins do not constantly go up. They often experience heavy corrections, and ETH/BTC has already been in correction mode since February.

Nevertheless, the construction itself remains intact and valid, with higher lows and higher highs constantly being printed.

ETH/BTC 3-day chart. Source: TradingView

The chart for ETH/BTC still looks bullish. The constant higher lows have been in play since summer 2019, which kickstarted a general uptrend.

Such uptrends do have periods of consolidation. But as long as the structure of higher lows remains, the bullish structure remains valid. Therefore, the regions previously discussed are important to watch, namely the area between 0.025 sats and 0.0275 sats.

A strong impulse move will likely happen for Ether once Ethereum 2.0 is closer to its release date, which should help resolve some of the scaling issues and high transaction costs. Until then, the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and negativity surrounding the project will likely remain.

However, traders should be aware that times of negative market sentiment are usually the best period to get in, rather than entering, or FOMOing, when the market is overheated. 

A possible scenario for Ether price

ETH/USDT 3-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The critical areas to hold for Ether now are between $1,700 and $1,740. Tests of the resistance levels above should occur as long as this support region remains below. However, the crucial resistance to break is the $1,830–$1,860 level.

However, breaking the $1,830–$1,860 level is unlikely in the short term, given that the market sentiment has shifted in the past few days. If the resistance confirms here, Ether may face another corrective move toward $1,500.

The next big impulse wave could happen once this period of consolidation and compression is completed. This impulse wave should propel Ether far above $2,000. However, patience is key, and investors should understand that developments take time, fundamentally and pricewise.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

bookmark_borderIndia to have a ‘window’ for Bitcoin, says minister amid crypto ban FUD

The Ministry of Finance of India continues to form a careful position on private cryptocurrencies.

The Minister of Finance of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, has given a ray of hope for the Indian cryptocurrency community, as more fear, uncertainty and doubt circulate regarding a supposedly impending ban on digital assets. 

In a March 13 interview with India Today, Sitharaman emphasized that the ministry does not plan to shut off India innovations associated with Bitcoin (BTC) and its underlying blockchain technology.

“From our side, we are very clear that we are not shutting all options off. We will allow certain windows for people use, so that experiments on the blockchain, bitcoins or cryptocurrency. […] and fintech, which depend on such experiments, will have that window available for them. We are not going to shut it off,” she said.

Sitharaman said that the ministry is finalizing a Cabinet note on crypto as India continues formulating its official stance on the asset class. “It is nearing completion, and then it will be taken to the Cabinet. The Supreme Court had commented on cryptocurrency. We are very clear that the Reserve Bank of India will take a call on an official cryptocurrency,” she said.

After India’s supreme court lifted a crypto banking ban one year ago, reports of a new ban started circulating in early 2021. In February, another anonymous Indian official claimed that the government was about to introduce a complete ban on crypto, giving investors up to six months to liquidate their holdings.

On Sunday, Reuters published a report citing an anonymous senior government official who claimed that India is preparing to enforce a blanket ban on crypto and impose major penalties on rule-breakers. As part of an alleged bill, India is planning to criminalize “possession, issuance, mining, trading and transferring crypto-assets,” the source claimed.

Despite reports of a ban from anonymous sources continuing to surface, Sitharaman said in early March that the ministry wants to form a “calibrated” stance on digital assets. 

Nischal Shetty, the founder of local crypto exchange WazirX, seemed optimistic about Sitharaman’s comments in a tweet, stating that it is time for the Indian crypto community to build. 

There you go! #Bitcoin crypto will NOT be shut off.

CBDC does not mean shutting off other Crypto assets & utilities.

India, your time is here. Time to BUIDL and win

Thank you @nsitharaman ji, you’ve brought joy to this

— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) March 14, 2021

The RBI and the Ministry of Finance did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

bookmark_borderTechnoking and Master of Coin — Elon Musk and Tesla CFO adopt new titles

In a world where CEOs and CFOs no longer matter, meet Tesla’s new Technoking and Master of Coin.

Elon Musk’s love affair with cryptocurrency shows no sign of ending, after a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the adoption of new official titles for him and a fellow Tesla executive.

Starting from March 15, Elon Musk will carry the official title of “Technoking of Tesla,” while the firm’s chief financial officer, Zack Kirkhorn, will officially be known as “Master of Coin.” The 8-K form filed with the SEC states:

“Effective as of March 15, 2021, the titles of Elon Musk and Zach Kirkhorn have changed to Technoking of Tesla and Master of Coin, respectively.”

The filing also states that Musk and Kirkhorn will retain their current respective positions as chief executive officer and chief financial officer.

With no sign of an accompanying tweet that the Tesla CEO has become famous for, onlookers can only speculate as to why Musk and Kirkhorn have adopted the new titles.

In early February the Bitcoin spot price increased by $3,000 in a matter of minutes when news broke regarding Tesla’s acquisition of $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC), sending the coin price to a new all-time high in the process.

After a sharp dip in the value of Bitcoin — and the Tesla stock price — the title of “world’s richest man” was briefly lost from Elon Musk’s résumé. However, neither Bitcoin nor Tesla spent too long in the doldrums, as a resurgent coin price soon returned healthy profits to Musk and the company. On March 15, Bitcoin had once again soared to a new all-time high when the coin price flirted with the $60,000 range for the first time in its history.

bookmark_borderElectronic music pioneer Aphex Twin sells NFT for $127K in Ether

Aphex Twin has jumped on the NFT bandwagon by selling an audiovisual piece for nearly 72 Ether.

Electronic music legend Aphex Twin is the latest artist to join the ongoing non-fungible token mania in the music industry.

Richard D. James, popularly known as Aphex Twin, officially announced his own NFT release on major NFT platform Foundation on Saturday.

I’m on @withFND


— Aphex Twin (@AphexTwin) March 14, 2021

According to a linked page on Foundation, the NFT sold at online auction for 72 Ether (ETH), worth around $127,917 at publishing time. The starting price of the piece was 1 ETH, or about $1,800.

Entitled “/afx/weirdcore,” the audiovisual NFT piece appears to be a defective and animated version of the artist’s face, accompanied by sound designed by Aphex Twin. The piece alludes to the cover of Aphex Twin’s I Care Because You Do studio album released in 1995.

Aphex Twin mentioned that the project will donate some of the raised funds to environmental initiatives and charity, stating, “We will spend a portion of the money on planting trees and either donating to permaculture projects or setting them up ourselves, depending on how much we get.” 

Aphex Twin’s NFT drop came on the same day that Russian protest band Pussy Riot released their own NFT on Foundation. At publishing time, the auction for Pussy Riot’s “Panic Attack” is still open, with the latest bid amounting to 100 ETH, or $177,541.

The NFT industry has been booming recently, attracting more and more musicians and artists to benefit from a new method to sell genuine digital artworks online. On March 12, The Gorillaz music video maker Alberto Mielgo claimed that he was preparing his own NFT release. Previously, some big musicians and artists including Linkin Park, Grimes, Daft Punk, and 3LAU also moved into the industry.

下載iBTC 手機APP