So this is pretty cool: despite a lower performance toward the end of the year, according to an extremely comprehensive CoinGecko report, Bitcoin outperformed all major asset classes in 2021. This means Bitcoin one-upped crude oil, NASDAQ, the S&P 500, and gold, even though it was underperforming investor expectations in the fourth quarter. Are we surprised? No. (Cryptopotato)
Another study shows that 43% of the Bitcoin trading volume occurs during United States stock market hours. According to Arcane Research, “trading activity tends to immediately pick up as the U.S. stock market opens, with Bitcoin performance being tightly correlated to that of the S&P 500.” This is apparent even on weekends when the traditional market is closed, according to the report, showing that American Bitcoin and crypto adoption is continuing at a rapid pace. (Cointelegraph)
In other news, large institutions are looking to claim their stake in the metaverse by planting roots in the gaming world, with numerous projects taking root. The largest recent deal was Microsoft’s major acquisition of the gaming platform, Activision Blizzard, to the tune of $69 billion dollars.
This metaverse grab, set to be solidified in 2023, will make Microsoft the third-largest grossing gaming company behind giants Tencent and Sony. The announcement highlighted the company’s intentions to “accelerate the growth in Microsoft’s gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud and will provide building blocks for the metaverse.” (Microsoft)
“Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms,” said Microsoft CEO and Chairman, Satya Nadella. (Cointelegraph)
Google seems to share these gaming sentiments, evidenced by their recent investment in Carry1st, the African social gaming publisher. Google parent company, Alphabet, joined several other big-name investors like Avenir and Riot Games in garnering $20 million in series A funding to expand product development in Africa. This round of funding will be used by Carry1st to expand their team and product offerings, as well as begin to build a foundation for increasingly popular play-to-earn offerings. (Cointelegraph)
Part of this initiative is meant to help with the known connectivity issues experienced in Africa that leave its consumers “underserved.” “Due to app distribution and digital payment problems in the region, it’s extremely difficult for studios to make money off their games–and for consumers to pay for the content they want,” said CEO of Carry1st, Cordel Robbin-Coker. Andressen Horowitz, the blockchain-forward Silicon Valley firm that ran the funding round, spoke of their excitement in making their first investment in an African-headquartered company.
“We see immense opportunity for the company to mirror outstanding successes we’ve seen in markets like India, China, and Southeast Asia. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with founders Cordel, Lucy, Tino, and the Carry1st team on their mission to build the Garena of Africa.” (Forbes)
Speaking of advancing applications, The Cardano Foundation and EMURGO, its commercial conduit, combined forces to accelerate the future of dApp development. According to the blog release, this latest project will work to “foster the development of a community generated and maintained tool stack to support the Cardano ecosystem and accelerate decentralized application development.” (Emurgo)
Emurgo CEO Ken Kodama spoke supportively of the project, saying that this would allow the architects of the future more options for building “socially impactful dApps.” Cardano is known for its attention to projects that play to social causes. The last project they announced centered around climate change, promising the growth and conservation of over two million trees on the territory of Madagascar in early 2022. (Cryptopotato)
Cardano also launched its own metaverse project last week, leading the race with Pavia. Similar to projects like Sandbox Alpha, Pavia allows users to purchase land on the metaverse in the form of NFTs with unique coordinates. Of the 100,000 pieces of land available, 60% were already purchased in a presale this past October with the rest having been set to hit the market in Q1 of 2022. (Coindesk)
From a global perspective, proof of stake projects are looking more sustainable by the minute. “We need to have a discussion about shifting the industry to a more efficient technology,” said Erik Thedéen, the Vice-chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority, who expressed concerns over the implications of crypto mining for the environment. He went on to say that the solution was to "ban proof-of-work," citing the less energy-intensive proof of stake mining as the way of the future. (Coindesk)
The mention of a ban on proof of work mining in the EU provoked outcry, particularly from French investment firm Melanion Capital who spoke out against whispers of this in November 2021. Simply put, they panned the idea of a ban as being “completely misinformed.” It should also be noted that the EU doesn’t account for a significant portion of the mining hashrate, which belongs more to places like the U.S., Russia, and Kazakhstan. (Cointelegraph)
While the rest of the crypto industry aims at greener protocols, statements like these only serve to fuel the existing proof of stake networks. Just this month, Bank of America told clients that Solana could act as the “Visa of the digital asset system” because of its low transaction fees and incredibly scalable future. If nothing else, this prompts further advancement toward the use of renewable resources for proof of work mining—an initiative that is already being heavily worked on in the background by engineers. (Coindesk)
All of this is to say that adopters are looking further than their portfolios. They’re looking outward to where the future of crypto can take them. It’s no longer just something new adopters think of as a buy. It’s developing into more of a lifestyle choice—not just a tool for trade, but a tool for good. How can crypto help solve connectivity issues in Africa? How can crypto evolve the future of gaming? How can crypto make what we have today even better tomorrow? These are all questions developers want to answer,
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