Welcome to Around the Blockchain, Huobi Learn’s daily rundown of the crypto markets.
The City Court of St. Petersburg, Russia has recognized crypto handed over by an extortion victim as a means of payment, and the prosecutor’s office has described the ruling as a precedent. The case saw two Russian citizens, Pyotr Piron and Yevgeny Prigozhin, sentenced to prison for extorting nearly $90,000 in cash and almost $1 million in digital assets from the victim, GA Shemet. While the court had initially stated that crypto was “not a means of payment”, an appeal led the court to issue a new verdict that included the digital cash.
When asked if SWIFT would still exist in five years, Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach shocked those present by saying “no”. He was speaking on a panel adjacent to the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) hosted by the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), and a Mastercard spokesperson then clarified that it was “not as simple as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer”. The spokesperson added that Miebach was merely reinforcing what SWIFT had previously said” and that “its current form will not be the same in the future”.
Terraform Labs have confirmed that its upcoming Luna 2.0 blockchain release on 27 May will be a “brand new blockchain” and will “not share history with Terra Classic”. At the moment, the vote on the new blockchain has achieved a quorum and surpassed the 50% threshold without meeting the 33% veto limit; it will end today at 12:17 PM GMT, after which the path to Luna 2.0 will begin. It remains to be seen if Terraform Labs can execute the proposal, especially after technical issues have prevented two significant proposals from being executed.
Amid tentative crypto market recovery, institutional investors appear to have shifted their attention from BTC to altcoins, with ADA and DOT being the most in-demand and the worst-performing assets simultaneously this week. Both assets saw inflows worth $1 million, while competitors SOL, LTC, XRP and TRX were in the sub-$1 million category. Additionally, $141 in institutional outflows were recorded — the highest in over four months. BTC, on the other hand, marked $153.5 million in outflows this week, while ETH saw just $300,000 in outflows.
After Heinz and Boeing, Microsoft has announced Kawasaki as the latest customer for its “industrial metaverse” — essentially, factory floor workers will wear HoloLens AR headsets to aid with production, repairs, supply chain management in robot-building. This is part of Microsoft’s plan to create a “digital twin” of the workspace, which can hasten processes like repairs and manufacturing. In fact, in selling its mixed reality tech and enabling developers to create their own metaverse experiences, Microsoft has a head start compared to Meta.
Controversial WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann’s blockchain project Flowcarbon has raised $70 million from the private sale of its carbon-backed token, and a group of investors led by Andreessen Horowitz (A16z). The project, which aims to fix the global climate crisis and tokenize the carbon credit industry, calls itself a “pioneering climate technology company working to build market infrastructure in the voluntary carbon market”. Other participants in the funding round included Invesco Private Capital and Samsung Next, while the token sale saw investments from Box Group, Celo Foundation and Fifth Wall.
Show me the money
Blockchain expert, Guggenheim Investments CIO Scott Minerd, has warned that BTC may well lose a staggering 70% of its value and fall to just $8,000 per token; it is currently trading at $29,769.78 (up 1.46% in the last 24 hours). Minerd said, “When you break below $30,000 consistently, $8,000 is the ultimate bottom, so I think we have a lot more room to the downside.”
This warning comes mere days after a similar prediction for ETH from a technical analyst — 22V Research’s John Roque, said he expected ETH to experience a drastic 80% decline to $420 as it had been “oversold daily and weekly” and could not rally. It is currently trading at $29,872.97 (up 2.05% in the last 24 hours).
However, Minerd said that though most crypto was “junk”, BTC and ETH would survive, even if they did not wind up as the biggest players. In fact, he said a “dominant player in crypto” had not yet been seen, adding that there had not been “the right prototype yet for crypto”.
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