Coming every Saturday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Top Stories This Week
The Ukrainian parliament adopted the draft law “On Virtual Assets” Wednesday, which legally recognizes crypto in the country for the first time.
Anastasia Bratko of the Ministry of Digital Transformation said the law allows companies to launch digital asset markets in Ukraine and enables banks to “open accounts for crypto companies.”
Russia also got in on the action, with Anatoly Aksakov — the chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Market — claiming that lawmakers are now weighing up the idea of recognizing the crypto mining industry as a form of entrepreneurship under local business laws.
Yuga Labs, the creators of the immensely popular NFT project Bored Ape Yacht Club, auctioned off a collection of 101 tokenized apes for $24 million this week.
The auction closed on Sept. 10 and was hosted by Sotheby’s, which estimated that the collection would fetch between $12 million and $18 million. Given that the winning bid was $24 million, each Bored Ape in the collection was valued at an average price of roughly $241,000, or 71.24 Ether (ETH), at the time of publication. The figure tallies in well above the floor price on OpenSea’s secondary market of 34 ETH ($115,000 at time of writing).
In some rare nonfungible-based FUD, however, reports surfaced earlier this week that the NFL had barred all teams and members from crypto-related sponsorships, advertisements and NFT sales. The league appears to be putting a pause on crypto hype until it establishes a strategy “for sports digital trading cards and art.”
While MicroStrategy continues to snap up and hodl outrageous amounts of Bitcoin under the guidance of CEO Michael Saylor, strategists have posited that top executives at the firm might not be so fond of the current business model.
Recent filings with the SEC revealed that the company’s top-level execs, such as chief financial officer Phong Le and chief technology officer Timothy Lang, both sold off stock in August of this year by exercising around 30% of the options they received as compensation. Saylor himself has not sold any shares since 2012.
Matt Maley, the chief market strategist of Miller Tabak + Co. has argued that the decisions may reflect concerns about the long-term viability of Saylor’s “hodl modl” and his laser-eyed commitment to tying the company’s fate so closely to the price of BTC increasing over time.
“Senior executives do not sell stock if they think it’s going higher. It’s just a bad sign no matter how you slice it,” Maley said.
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele revealed Monday that the government had snapped up 200 BTC in preparation for the Bitcoin Law going live on Tuesday. The law recognizes digital gold as legal tender.
While the BTC price crashed following the major news event, Bukele was unfazed as the government “bought the dip” by purchasing another 150 BTC during the depths of the mass sell-off that saw the price dip below $43,000.
Regarding the Bitcoin Law, Javier Argueta, the legal counsel to the Presidential House of El Salvador, reportedly clarified the obligations of businesses a day before it went into effect. Argueta stated that businesses are mandated to hold a crypto wallet and accept BTC from customers — but they are also able to choose whether they will receive BTC or USD once the transaction is settled.
Journalist Aaron van Wirdum tweeted about his adventure to a Salvadoran McDonald’s on Tuesday to see if he could make a purchase with BTC and, to his surprise, he was able to load up on the breakfast menu using the newly recognized legal tender.
Cointelegraph’s Andrew Fenton questioned some of the smartest brains in crypto on how to prepare for the end of the bull run and got their takes on the possibility of using on-chain metrics to predict the market crash.
In the two-part series, there are contrasting sets of views regarding the possibility of predicting when crypto winter hits, with Bobby Lee — the brother of Litecoin’s founder Charlie — swearing by the “halving price cycle” school of thought.
Meanwhile, Quantum Economics’ Mati Greenspan and Wolf of All Streets’ Scott Melker believe it’s best to play it safe and take profits on the way up while maintaining a portfolio that doesn’t require you to predict events in advance.
Winners and Losers
At the end of the week, Bitcoin is at $45,529, Ether at $3,305 and XRP at $1.07. The total market cap is at $2.05 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap.
Among the biggest 100 cryptocurrencies, the top three altcoin gainers of the week are Quant (QNT) at 88.16%, Fantom (FTM) at 69.43% and Algorand (ALGO) at 59.54%.
The top three altcoin losers of the week are Telcoin (TEL) at -24.70%, Revain (REV) at -24.16% and Uniswap (UNI) at -24.38%.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
Most Memorable Quotations
“So why should we regulate purely speculative digital tokens? And if we do regulate these tokens, will this lead people to think that they are bona fide investments? That is, will the involvement of the FCA give them a ’halo effect’ that raises unrealistic expectations of consumer protection?”
Charles Randell, chair of the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority
“Cryptocurrencies should be paid for through normal payment channels. If they are not, it should be deemed mined, and capital gains tax must be levied. That is like voluntary disclosure.”
Rama Subramaniam Gandhi, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India
“Merchants stand to benefit considerably from the cryptocurrency model, as card network fees are entirely removed from the equation and the customer/payer bears the transaction costs.”
“In the coming years, many more nation-states will use crypto as part of their monetary policy, either as reserves in their central banks or using cryptocurrency rails for central bank settlements, […] or potentially just simply taking a cryptocurrency — as El Salvador has done — and make it the national currency.”
Charles Hoskinson, founder of Cardano
“Crypto is not just Bitcoin being bought as a hedge against bad monetary fiscal policy. But maybe, more importantly, it’s Web 3.0. It’s the internet of value transfer.”
Mike Novogratz, CEO of Galaxy Digital
“Everyone has to wait and see what the SEC will issue as regulation. Looks like Coinbase wants to take the SEC to court like XRP and prove they went beyond their charter.”
Alex Mashinsky, CEO and co-founder of Celsius Network
“Although it’s in reverse, because gold went from being money to being an asset class in the ‘70s, and Bitcoin is kind of going from being an asset class to also being a currency or being money.”
Jurrien Timmer, director at Fidelity Investments
“The SEC has repeatedly asked our industry to ‘talk to us, come in.’ We did that here. But today all we know is that we can either keep Lend off the market indefinitely without knowing why or we can be sued.”
Paul Grewal, chief legal officer of Coinbase
Prediction of the Week
Early this week, the overall crypto market suffered significant downward price action led by its market leader Bitcoin. BTC fell by roughly $10,000 from its pricing above $50,000.
The altcoin market followed BTC’s downward price action for the most part, although Solana (SOL) seemingly carved out its own path. The asset ended up largely bullish during the week, rallying in price after the market dump, while Bitcoin and other assets looked to stabilize. SOL notched a personal best in price this week, hitting an all-time high of around $217.
SOL’s underlying blockchain operates similarly to Ethereum in that it’s a blockchain for building solutions. Solana has seen increasing utility in the NFT and DeFi niches, which represent two of crypto’s biggest trends.
Mercuryo chief operating officer and co-founder Greg Waisman expressed that a $500 price target for SOL by the end of 2021 is not out of the question. “Solana’s growth runs appear to be mimicking that of Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB), and the $500 projection may turn out to be a conservative one for the coin,” Waisman told Cointelegraph.
FUD of the Week
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong caused a stir this week after he tweeted a 21-post thread about the SEC’s recent “sketchy behaviour.”
On Tuesday, Armstrong claimed that the enforcement body had threatened to sue Coinbase if it launched its USD Coin-based (USDC) lending program that the SEC asserted was a security.
According to Armstrong, the crypto exchange approached the SEC in good faith to provide a brief of the project. However, the enforcer’s response was quite aggressive and provided zero explanation as to why it defined the lending program as a security.
“They refuse to tell us why they think it’s a security, and instead subpoena a bunch of records from us (we comply), demand testimony from our employees (we comply), and then tell us they will be suing us if we proceed to launch, with zero explanation as to why,” he said.
In some non-U.S. related FUD for a change, it was reported on Tuesday that Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, had temporarily suspended the services of the local branch of the Houbi crypto exchange. The Thai SEC also recommended revoking its operating license with the Ministry of Finance.
Huobi, branded as DSDack in Thailand, was slapped with suspension after its operational and management structure was deemed to be non-compliant with local regulations. The SEC asserted that it first informed the crypto exchange about the compliance breach back in February, and it was given until the end of August to get its act together.
However, after failing to remedy the issues, the SEC swooped in and gave the firm three months to return all assets to its clients.
Bitcoin plunged this week as the price dropped from around $52,300 on Tuesday to below $43,000 the following day — marking one of the most volatile days of the year.
The timing coincided with the day that El Salvador made BTC legal tender, which caused some pundits to connect the dots and assert that whales had colluded to blow the fish out of the water amid a news event that should have been a bullish signal.
Trader and analyst Scott Melker, known as “The Wolf of All Streets,” blamed large-volume traders, as he stated, “leave it to whales to dump Bitcoin on the day that El Salvador makes it legal tender.”
“Real volume on the selling as well,” he added.
Best Cointelegraph Features
Nigeria’s central bank digital currency will go into pilot testing on Oct. 1 with a tiered AML/KYC regime for the eNaira.
“People should be taking profit on the way up just as you should be dollar-cost averaging into an asset on the way down.”
The People’s Bank of China released a report announcing actions to stop digital asset fraud have been completed. Will NFTs and GameFi be able to flourish in the regulatory wake?