Around the Blockchain with Huobi Global (1 Feb 2022)

Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.

82% of Indian nationals plan to invest in crypto once the government provides more clarity on crypto regulation, a Deloitte survey shows. 55.2% are already invested in crypto while 7.8% are against investing in crypto. That clarity seems to be an eventuality, as Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a 30% tax on crypto incomes and the launch of a CBDC in 2022-2023.

Phantom wallet, built on the Solana (SOL) network, hit unicorn status as it raised a B round of $109 million on a $1.2 billion valuation. The round was led by Paradigm and included Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Variant Fund, Jump Capital, DeFi Alliance, and Solana Ventures. Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX raised $400 million in a series C, lifting its valuation to $32 billion.

Meta (formerly Facebook) has sold its technology and assets from the Diem Association (formerly Libra) to Silvergate bank, marking the end of the company’s most public foray into the blockchain space. Silvergate plans to use Diem’s tools for running a blockchain-based payment network for remittances and other payments.

NFT marketplace OpenSea revealed that more than 80% of the NFTs  made via its free “lazy minting” tool were plagiarized, spam or fake. The statistic underscores the massive IP theft problem in the NFT space, and adds one more topic to the mounting criticism of collectible NFTs.

Ubisoft’s Nicolas Pouard has weighed in on the emotionally charged debate about NFTs in gaming, saying that opposition to NFTs is due to the fact that “gamers don’t get what a digital secondary market can bring to them” and that they incorrectly believe that NFTs are “destroying the planet” and a “tool for speculation”. Ubisoft’s Quartz NFT marketplace is built on the Tezos network, and uses less energy than an average American home. Square Enix, Konami and other gaming companies are also betting on NFTs for gaming.

Show me the money

BTC ended January on a hopeful note inspite of a month-long bloodletting. The leading cryptocurrency rallied to the 38,500 level amid lower volumes attributed to the Chinese (Lunar) New Year holidays, although trade volumes on decentralised exchanges (DEXes) remained strong at over $100 billion for he month of January. Analysts see support levels at 37,000 and resistance at 40,000, but the longer term outlook is mixed, with experts pointing to both positive and negative signals.
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