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Crypto Alpha Recap
19.12.2022: NFT infrastructure funding is accelerating. Polygon BD team is relentless. SUI releases tokenomics. Donald Trump sold out his NFT collection.
Last week's sell-off came as the Federal Reserve renewed its commitment to fight inflation with increasingly tight monetary policy. All while the drama around Digital Currency Group rolled into the weekend, with assets in the DCG portfolio taking a hit and triggering market speculation. Markets remain calm, with BTC at $16,5k and ETH above $1,150 as volume decreases. Not much is going on as the holiday season is quickly approaching. The last dataset for this week ahead is Canada / Japan CPI and China's Prime Rate (rumors of a cut to help the overall growth push). So all that's left is the Santa Claus Rally, a term used by investors when they can't really explain what happens in the stock market over some time - also commonly referred to as a calendar effect. It encompasses seven trading days: the year's last five days and the new year's first two.
The S&P 500 Index was up an average of 1.3% a year over those seven days every year since 1950, and was positive the entire year in 79% of those years, according to one estimate.
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Donald Trump got his own NFT collection.
Despite being in a bear market, NFT infrastructure continues to be da dominant factor, as we witnessed with the recent races of marketplaces Blur and Sudoswap. And we saw Donald Trump’s NFT collection sold out hours after its release on Thursday.
Yes, you read that right. It's not the first time a moron is releasing a collection, but for sure, the first time a former president is doing so. The so-called Donald Trump Digital Trading Card collection was announced with an initial mint price of $99 per card and sweepstake prizes, including a one-on-one meeting at Mar-A-Lago, hand-signed memorabilia, or a Group Zoom call. It also guaranteed those who bought 45 NFTs a ticket to a gala dinner with Trump in South Florida. The 45k (44k for the public) collection was minted on Polygon (kudos to their BD team) and netted Donald $4.4m in revenue just for the mint. Initially, it was unclear if this was done with an AI deep fake (check the Crypto Twitter section with Morgan Freeman below), but it was him. The commercial "Better than Lincoln, better than Washington." is hilarious.
Vetting a project is usually time-consuming (team, roadmap, history, social credibility, etc.) to distinguish from clear money grabs and rug pulls. You don’t need to be experienced to know that this collection is likely not for eternity and has zero credibility. But in the end, only one thing matters. Does this thing go up or down? We know the degeneracy in the NFT game has no limits. So has the stupidity of people. The EV for that bet was great; minting out 45’000 NFTs isn’t far-fetched, given the supporter base of Donald. On-chain data shows: 255 wallets had over 45 mints (the gala dinner price), while for 85% of the holders, it’s their first NFT on the Polygon blockchain. 12’874 wallets minted, an average of 3.5 NFTs per wallet. It peaked at 0.839 ETH (~ $1000) late Saturday afternoon and has since gone back down to 0.29 ETH on OpenSea at the time of writing. As royalties are 10%, it netted another 600 ETH (~ $690k) in secondary sales.
Let’s get to the sketchy part. On-chain analysis by NFTherder indicates that the vault wallet, a Gnosis safe, minted 1k NFTs prior to launch. But not just any, the rarest and most valuable ones. That Donald Trump wallet minted 47 of the 179 1/1 and 21 of the 70 autographed NFTs. He owns 26% of 1/1s and 28% of autographed, 0.40% have a 1/1 trait, and only 0.16% have an autograph trait.
To make things worse, the collection borrowed images from the internet, including clothing brands on Amazon and Walmart. One some, they even forgot to remove all watermarks (didn’t even bother to pay, just stole it) from Shutterstock.
Does it matter in a mania? No. Don’t hate the player - hate the game. While this collection will be worthless and soon forgotten, hype mints are back.
Meme of the day:
Wintermute and Venture Cap Octopus were given seats on key FTX Creditor Committee, representing the issues of the million or so potentially owed money.
DeFi dApp developer Core Business Holdings goes public in the US through ARAX acquisition. ARAX is currently investing in Web 3 projects, as well as future Web 4 projects.
Singapore-based crypto trading firm QCP Capital has at least $97M stuck on FTX.
Failed hedge fund Three Arrows Capital estimated assets at $1BN in July, $2BN short of its total liabilities.
Japan moves closer to easing tax on corporate crypto holdings.
B. Riley Financial, one of Core Scientific's largest creditors, is proposing a $72M financing package to extend Core Scientific's runway by more than two years and help stave off bankruptcy.
European crypto exchange Bitvavo owed up to $300M by Genesis. Gemini and Bitvavo have formed a creditors' committee.
Mazars Group, which handled proof-of-reserves audits for exchanges KuCoin, Binance and Crypto.com, elected to stop providing the services because of "concerns regarding the way the public understands these reports"
Software giant Microsoft now explicitly says it doesn't want miners to use services like Azure — unless they get permission.
Curve Finance will deploy on zkSync’s mainnet in 2023. The first time it will be deployed on a new Ethereum scaling technology (ZK-rollup).
Trust Wallet has integrated Thorchain, allowing for in-app cross-chain swaps.
MakerDAO and GnosisDAO join forces to launch the DAO-to-DAO strategic alliance.
Solana DEX Raydium got exploited via a compromised private key, causing a $4.4M loss.
Maple Finance releases version 2.0 after a $36M default. The update focuses on diversifying borrowers and improving risk management parameters.
Magic Eden, Solana’s biggest NFT platform, has added Polygon NFT minting and trading support.
Polygon BD team is working overtime, helping Bangalore International Airport to launch the world's first airport metaverse and partner with Crypto.com DeFi Wallet to store NFTs. Donald Trump also unveiled his own trading card collection.
Chainlink offering NFT price feed oracle to expand DeFi usage.
Magic Eden introduces a discount and rewards system for marketplace users. It allows creating a profile across all wallets and awards users with “Magic Points” based on secondary trading transactions.
Coinbase has added Axelar to its roadmap.
SUI token distribution released.
Dopex will also launch on Polygon.
Arrakis v2 and PALM release (Uniswap V3 layer to run advanced CLOB).
Dopex & PlutusDAO launch Orbinaut, a new AMM on Arbitrum.
Aztec secured $100M in Series B funding led by a16zcrypto.
Amber Group raised $300M in a Series C round after a turbulent month.
Blur, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace geared toward professional traders, raised $11M in a seed round led by Paradigm.
SudoRandom Labs, the leading developer of the NFT AMM SudoSwap, completed a private placement financing of $12.5M a couple of weeks ago.
Blockchain Capital led a $15M round into Blocknative, a crypto infrastructure firm that builds blocks on the Ethereum network.
NFT infrastructure protocol Decent raised $3.5M in seed funding from Y Combinator, Archetype, and Circle Ventures.
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