Welcome to The Daily Forkast, January 22nd, 2022, presented by Megha Chaddha. For the latest in blockchain & crypto news. On today’s show:
00:00 Coming Up
00:42 Chinese new year digital collections launched
01:30 Hyundai Card VP says crypto passing the “tulip stage”
02:35 Asia’s growing role in the NFT boom
With the Chinese new year fast approaching, big names in the country have sensed a digital collectible, or NFT, opportunity! Tech giants Alipay and baidu are both getting in on the game by launching collections ahead of the holiday which falls in the first week of February, as is financial service provider Unionpay. Baidu’s collection features images for the year of the tiger – with the items called digital collectibles rather than NFTs, as has become common since multiple warnings over NFT speculation were issued in state media. Meanwhile, Chinese video gaming giant Netease, launched its digital collectible platform on Wednesday.
Over in South Korea, the vice president of Hyundai card, a credit card subsidiary of the country’s largest carmaker, says crypto is passing the tulip stage! Chung Tae-Young was referring to how some have compared crypto fever to dutch tulip mania in the 17th century – where a speculative bubble surrounded the highly sought after plant. In a facebook post, he said “virtual currencies have gained dependable brothers named NFT and the Metaverse”, explaining that the two have opened doors for putting virtual assets to the right use and diversifying investment into digital culture, real estate and more. That’s quite a change from April last year, when he said people were making investments blindly. However Hyundai card is no stranger to the NFT space, issuing special NFTs for card users back in August 2020.
Meanwhile, the NFT explosion continues. With data from dune analytics showing sales on just the Opensea marketplace already surpassing the 4 billion US dollar mark this year, but what role does Asia play in that? Opensea isn’t alone in seeing mammoth sales volume – upstart marketplace LooksRare only opened for business on January 10th and has already recorded a whopping 5 billion US dollars in sales. Market expert Yehudah Petscher of CryptoSlam told forkast news that though he initially believed the surge was down to buyers in the US feeling free to spend in the new tax year, he quickly realized other factors were at play, with the asian market coming into the space. He says that’s seen a shift towards different types of projects getting sales – like the Phantabear collection co-created by taiwanese pop icon Jay Chou, which outsold bored ape yacht club and doodles last week. Petscher says this is only the beginning and that he’s expecting these types of sales to grow 100 times. Sithi Srichawla of Singapore-based platform East NFT agrees, saying that quote “Asia will overtake the western market in this new crypto NFT world.” However, while the boom is already well underway, one expert says changes are needed to take it to the next level.
Are altcoins slowly chipping away market share from the defacto crypto leader bitcoin?
According to Bitpay, market giant bitcoin was used in about 65% of the transactions on their platform in 2021 compared to 2020, when over 90% of trades used bitcoin.
Let’s check in with Michael Wu, CEO and founder of amber group on which direction is he seeing the new economy head!
Megha Chaddha: We can now settle our at&t bills and even buy furniture at sites like overstock dot com and pay via bitcoin. As crypto payments go mainstream, do you see alt coins gaining traction and market share at cost of bitcoin, as natural progression?
Michael Wu: Personally don’t think so. I mean, overall, I think altcoin market share will grow. That’s just because overall there will be more alt coins that will have more utility, But I don’t think it will be as a cost of bitcoin overall. We will see adoption of both growing. Now in pure percentage terms that might mean a bitcoin market cap overall might come down as the likes of Ethereum or other layer one tokens or even other leading tokens grow in size. But at the same time, I think it’s more about the growth of both bitcoin and the crypto assets in general in areas such as payments, investments or other utility cases.
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