Weekly NFT Report: The ‘Critical’ Price Index

Crypto market has been stabilizing at $1.1t total market cap since the first day of August. Bitcoin rejected $24.3k area for the third time in a month and returned to the narrow hovering range between $22.5k and $23.5k. Ethereum rejected at $1.8k while trading above 100dma ($1,624) with the hopes of Merge. The long-awaited July CPI report tonight, with expected number +8.7%, will be crucial for the global market in terms of inflation concerns. It will show whether the hyper-inflation has peaked and signal how the Fed will react at September meeting. On crypto front, the forked versions of Ethereum continued to be the hottest topic of the week as Final Merge approaches, with different parties expressing different point of views (Justin Sun, Huobi, Circle, Chainlink).

Over the last 7 days:

Outperformers in Top 100: FLOW (+55.8%), CEL (+51.8%), DCR (+35.1%), NEAR (+23.5%), ZEC (+23.2%), AVAX (+19.8%), MINA (+18.4%), GRT (+18.1%), LINK (+17.0%), QNT (+16.9%)

Underperformers in Top 100: 10SET (-17.3%), DFI (-15.6%), SHIB (-9.1%), CRO (-5.8%), CRV (-5.8%), HNT (-4.8%), LDO (-3.6%)

In the NFT space, OpenSea volume (Chart 1) remained plateau at super low level. According to the August’s data over the last 10 days, the monthly volume (Chart 2) and number of NFTs sold (Chart 3) were expected to end lower than July’s. The daily volume surpassed $21m yesterday (highest in three weeks) may feature a positive sign for the market but the sentiment is hard to sustain during a bearish season. NFT market is important for Ethereum long-term sustainable growth as the billions-market provides significant demand for Ethereum.

Chart 1: OpenSea Daily Volume ($USD)
Chart 2: OpenSea Monthly Volume ($USD)
Chart 3: OpenSea Monthly NFT Sold (transaction count)

Magic Eden expanding to Ethereum, building ApeCoin NFT marketplace

  • More in details: Magic Eden, the famous Solana NFT marketplace, announced to go multi-chain expansion. It was confirmed that the first exploration will be Ethereum, the largest NFT market. In addition, Magic Eden also proposed to build an official ApeCoin NFT marketplace, exclusive for Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs. Bored Ape holders will enjoy certain advantages including lower trading fees.

New ERC-721 extension for private NFT transactions

  • More in details: Anton Wahrstatter, Ethereum researcher, unveiled a proposal for ERC-721 extension that uses stealth address to obscure Ethereum transactions. The extension will utilize the function of zk-SNARKS, a privacy-focused component in blockchain. This drew Vitalik’s attention and the Ethereum co-founder even commented that the idea is ‘a low-tech approach to add a significant amount of privacy to the NFT ecosystem’.

Tornado Cash banned by US Treasury

  • More in details: All Americans have been banned from using Tornado Cash, a decentralized crypto-mixing service, as of security concern, since several hackers have taken advantages of using Tornado Cash to launder stolen crypto funds, including the $625m Ronin hack in March.

Curve Finance $573k theft, Nuri filing for insolvency

  • More in details: Curve Finance, the Defi liquidity-providing protocol, issued warning as its front-end UI was compromised. The exploit only affected ‘curve.fi’ but not ‘curve.exchange’. At the time of writing, the team has reverted ‘curve.fi’ to normal and is now safe to use.
  • More in details: Nuri (previously called Bitwala), the German crypto exchange, has filed for insolvency in Berlin. The exchange has been struggling for months since the market selloffs and institutional collapses in the industry. The team claimed the insolvency as temporary and was looking for long-term restructuring solution.
  • Coinbase posting a loss of $1.1b in Q2
  • ‘Rare Apepe YC’ trading volume surged to 3.8k eth | 0.05eth mint price on 5 MAR 2022 | 1eth floor price
  • Circle and Chainlink only supporting PoS Ethereum chain after Merge

Big Money Raises, and Entrants

  • Citigroup is hiring digital assets risk manager, with expertise in cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance and stablecoins.
  • Vaspene Energy, a renewable energy company, raised $4.3m funding led by Polychain Capital and other climate-focused fund. The company makes use of Methane as a power for bitcoin mining. The company will spend the fresh capital to launch a site in California, converting wasted landfill methane gas into bitcoin.
  • CreatorDAO, a decentralized community, raised $20m in seed funding round led by a16z and Initialized Capital. CreatorDAO connects content creators by provision of a share access of capital, technology and operational supports.
  • RISC Zero, a crypto start-up, raised $12m in seed funding round led by Bain Capital Crypto. RISC Zero aims to create a scalable blockchain using zero-knowledge (zk) technology.

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