QN – Crypto Digest #1 – Nov 14, 2021

Crypto has dominated financial news this week.

This Sunday, Bitcoin brings the most awaited update in four years. Major payment companies are launching crypto-cards for more adoption. Smart-contract projects also benefit from this trend, highlighting Avalanche.

But not all attention is on Bitcoin. Here are the five major headlines from November 8th:

Avalanche Ready To Break $100

Avalanche has consistently dominated through the market news the whole year (went from <$4 to $98.44). From January to November, AVAX has brought over 20,000% ROI. Nearly $100 after being stuck in the 50s for three months.

So did Solana not too long ago, which then went from $60 to $240. Could AVAX be on the same track?

Avalanche is a flexible smart-contract platform and competes with Ethereum, Solana, PolkaDot, Cardano, and Polygon. Developers use it for building decentralized applications and private blockchains.

In Ava Labs, the selling point is compatibility. And it’s what might be driving the current rally. But what does it mean?

If you trade on browser wallets (like Metamask), you’ll see each “coin” has a different network (chain). Each blockchain has exclusive projects built in it (e.g., Uniswap built-in Ethereum, Star Atlas in Solana, Trader Joe in Avalanche). Trading on networks is like having different crypto wallets.

You can’t convert your crypto from, say, the Ethereum blockchain to Binance Smart Chain. You need a bridge. Avalanche wants to solve this problem by building an interconnected network.

Also, all blockchains require native currency for DEX swaps. Not in Avalanche. If you hold 0 AVAX, you can still swap projects under it.

These features aren’t new. Traders realize they undervalued AVAX, and now they’re rushing to buy it. Avalanche is on its way to winning the smart-contract battle.

Decentraland As Top 5 Traded Coin

The NFT marketplace has surged over 700% in trading volume since August. And so every coin related to this space has started to rally. Axie Infinity (AXS), Enjin (ENJ), Ultra (UOS), Sandbox (SAND), and Decentraland (MANA).

To everyone’s surprise, Decentraland exploded in trading volume this week. After spending years buried below $0.70, it now trades at $3.20. It peaked at $3.79, which isn’t far from the $4.69 all-time high reached just two weeks ago.

How big is Decentraland now?

Well, it’s the 4th most traded coin ($5.38B of 24h trading volume), which places it on the podium with Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s also the cheapest most traded coin, followed by Tron (TRX), Ripple (XRP), and Cardano (ADA). Big deal for a market cap of $5.75 billion.

Despite the selling pressure, MANA will likely cross the ATH if Bitcoin continues the uptrend.

But how did this happen?

It might have to do with the billions of dollars going into NFTs. Specifically, Zuckerberg announced his intention to buy up the metaverse for Facebook (now known as Meta). And thus, investors try to anticipate by trading coins like MANA.

Some expect Decentraland to revert back to $2 while others set projections at $15+. Either way, MANA is here to stay, and it will take a few years to achieve mass adoption.

Loopring Reaches 700% Monthly ROI

Not unrelated to MANA, there’s the crazy Loopring surge (LRC). An Ethereum that’s been trading around $0.20 for years now trades for not less than $2.50. $3.83 ATH reached this November 10th. 

Loopring is an Ethereum-built project that allows developers to create decentralized exchanges. These platforms connect to each other, which offers faster transactions to those networks. And while this usability has made LRC more valuable, the current price probably comes from speculation.

There are rumors (leaks) on Twitter involving GameStop and Loopring in a partnership to launch a new NFT marketplace by the end of the year. While none of this is official, most traders have decided to buy in just in case. 

Since there’s no confirmation of the “news,” LRC has started to fall below $3,00. Although it may pick up again once Loopring or Gamestop announces the partnership.

Whether we’ll see a new marketplace by 2022 or not, it doesn’t change the intrinsic value of Loopring. This all-time high will likely attract more investors. And what we’ve seen this week is a test of how Loopring can go long term.

MasterCard Crypto Cards Across Asia-Pacific

Along with Paypal and VISA, MasterCard is implementing cryptocurrency for payments. It just launched crypto-linked cards across Asia-Pacific, which will soon help the adoption of Bitcoin.

This means customers can buy goods with crypto in any business that accepts MasterCard as payment. Possibly loyalty rewards and cashback.

Typically, you would need a crypto card like Binance’s, Crypto.com, or Wirex. You hold the most traded coins, which you can convert to fiat in the app within seconds. Also supported by VISA and Mastercard.

Now, you can pay with Bitcoin and Ethereum, and there’s no need to convert to fiat. It’s as easy as your good-old credit card. Not only does it help the company’s stock, but also the BTC price.

In parallel, MasterCard partners with the Bakkt digital asset platform to allow banks and merchants to include cryptocurrencies.

The Bitcoin Taproot Upgrade

This November 14th, Bitcoin receives the most anticipated upgrade in four years. The last one (SegWit) happened in July 2017. You know what happened next: Bitcoin Boom, $19,000.

What will it be this 2022?

The last time Bitcoin updated, it surged up to 500%. Today’s all-time high is $68,789.63 (November 11th). So it’s not unreasonable to see a $150K BTC by the beginning of the year. 

The Taproot upgrade creates a soft-fork blockchain based on three BTC Improvement Proposals (BIP340 — Schnorr, BIP341 — Taproot, BIP342 — Tapscript). These changes will lower network fees and speed up transactions. 

After the upgrade, Bitcoin’s security can compete with privacy coins (Dash, Monero, ZCash).

While the impact won’t be immediate, traders have started to take action. Bitcoin’s upgrade is attracting new investors while increasing confidence in holders.

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