The crypto market rallied up as Ethereum’s Merge heads to its final stage in the coming months. Bitcoin surged to $23.5k, and Ethereum traded at $1.5k after its 50% rise over the last seven days. Despite the ridiculous CPI (9.1%) released last week, the market tended to 75bps rather than a full percentage after the interest rate hike. Moreover, the recently strong price actions confirmed the local bottoms for digital assets. The FOMC meeting next week will be crucial.
In the last 7 days:
Top performers in Top 100: LDO (+170%), ETC (+84%), MATIC (+74%), AVAX (+52%), ETH (+51%), APE (+50%), FTM (+49%), CVX (+47%), CRV (+44%)
Top underperformers in the Top 100: XCN (-10%), PAXG (-1%)
In the NFT space, OpenSea volume (Chart 1,2) continued to plateau at low levels. The number of NFTs sold in July is now (1.1m), 75% of June’s amount (1.5m), after only 19 days. Therefore, it is expected to reach even higher, near 1.8m, by the end of the month. In terms of pricing, most blue-chip NFTs continued its strong price rally, following the successful launch of Yuga Lab’s “First Trip” metaverse and the industry’s positive expectation of the Ethereum’s Merge.
Meta Avatars Store
More in details: The store expands Meta’s web3 story by allowing users to customize their avatars with unique outfits to express their personality. Fashion brands like Balenciaga, Prada and Thom Browne are participating and equipping stores with digital outfits. Digital fashion company, DressX, also joined the store. Avatar creation for the Meta Avatars Store will be available via Instagram, Facebook and Messenger in coming weeks, with VR compatibility.
STEPN running on Ethereum
More in details: After the announcement of $122.5m profit in Q2, the STEPN team plans to allocate its gains to enhance users’ experience, in the areas of security, an anti-cheat system, team expansion, branding, partnerships and most importantly, leverage 5% of the profit to initiate a Q2 $GMT token buyback-and-burn program. Now, STEPN is launching on Ethereum to reach a greater audience. In fact, BAYC holders were incentivized and offered to mint a free pair of STEPN sneaker on Ethereum. The Ethereum’s “STEPN Shoeboxes” currently ranks 4th in terms of its seven-day trading volume on OpenSea, with a 2.2ETH floor price.
Dubai Metaverse Strategy
What is happening: Dubai’s interest in the metaverse has grown immensely over recent years, and now they have unveiled a strategy aiming to provide 40,000 virtual jobs by 2030. Dubai hopes the strategy could turn the country into one of the best metaverse economies. The strategy will include research and development, incentives for web3 companies and projects, metaverse education, engineering skills, AR and VR development, and more.
MetaMundo 3D NFT Marketplace
What is happening: MetaMundo, an Amsterdam-based start-up, created a 3D NFT marketplace whereby buyers can use the 3D NFTs on several metaverse platforms. The company takes 3D designs created by artists and transforms them into multiple 3D files, enabling their use within different metaverses.
Big Money Raises, and Entrants
- Christie’s, the well-known British Auction House, announced “Christie’s Ventures” — an investment fund for fintech companies. The fund will focus on three main areas: Web3 innovation, Art-related financial products, Solutions and Technologies that enable the seamless consumption of art.
- Halborn, a Miami-based blockchain security company, raised $90m in Series A funding, led by Summit Partners, Castle Island Ventures, Digital Currency Group and Brevan Howard.
- Zebedee, a Bitcoin gaming start-up, raised $35m in the Series B funding round, led by Square Enix, the maker of popular game — Final Fantasy. In the last round (during September 2021), Zebedee raised $11.5m, the firm claims the user base has grown ten-fold since then.