Cryptos: Looking Beyond Money Haste And Money Heist

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Cryptocurrency markets have moved forward undeterred by the events that unfolded as the Squid Game fiasco. Though largely unregulated and fraught with various kinds of risks, cryptocurrencies are getting accepted into the financial mainstream with each passing day. The market capitalization of all crypto assets has increased to $2.72 trillion, from $2.59 trillion at the end of October.

The sheer size of the market and the continuing surge in prices of digital assets that makes it both vibrant and volatile is drawing institutional and individual investor attention like never before. Valuations of businesses with exposures to the digital assets too are being popped up in tandem with the movement in the prices of these virtual currencies.

Bitcoin (BTC), the market leading cryptocurrency is currently trading at $61,899.23, down 7 percent from its all-time high of $66,930 touched on October 20. 94 percent of the holders are in-the-money at current prices.

Ethereum (ETH) is trading at $4,541.29, down around 3 percent from its all-time high of $4,664.91 touched on November 3. The lead alternate coin rallied after Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday announced that Micro Ether Futures would start trading on December 6. The launch of a futures market is expected to provide a forward curve to help investors better manage price risk and as a way to hedge risk exposure. The contracts would be financially settled, without needing to own a digital wallet to exchange Ether.

Meanwhile, the enthusiasm over Metaverse, that spiked with Facebook rebranding itself as Meta, has spilled over to crypto world as well. "Metaverse", a combination of the prefix "meta", meaning beyond, and "universe", was coined by author Neal Stephenson in his 1992 science-fiction novel "Snow Crash" and represents shared virtual environments, typically created by the combination of augmented reality, virtually-enhanced physical reality, and the internet. The term covers games, workplace tools and even community platforms.

It is the prospect and potential of a blockchain based metaverse centered on cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that has spurred a rally in cryptocurrencies used for Metaverse. Of the 94 metaverse cryptocurrencies listed by coinmarketcap.com, around 81 have recorded a price surge in the past week, with 3169th ranked Arcona (ARCONA) token rallying around 1300 percent in the past 7 days.

23rd ranked Axie Infinity (AXS), 40th ranked Decentraland (MANA), 64th ranked The Sandbox (SAND) and 66th ranked Enjin Coin (ENJ) are the four metaverse tokens included in the top-100 cryptocurrencies (according to market capitalization). Of these, MANA and SAND rallied more that 240 percent in the past week. And when Ethereum based metaverse cryptos gain, would Ethereum lag behind? No, and that explains why Ethereum touched a fresh record of $4,664.91 on 3rd November.

As of this writing, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), XRP (XRP), Polkadot (DOT), Dogecoin (DOGE), Terra (LUNA), Avalanche (AVAX), Litecoin (LTC), Polygon (MATIC), Algorand (ALGO), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and VeChain (VET) (XLM) are the top-15 coins in terms of market capitalization. Solana and, Polkadot have posted weekly gains of more than 20 percent. Dogecoin slipped the most, by around 14 percent in a week.

Whether you noticed or not, Solana (SOL) has become the fourth most valuable cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, with just Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB) ahead. The 20 percent weekly gain has also catapulted Solana to the top rank in market capitalization among all proof-of-stake (PoS) crypto assets. The rapid increase in value of the coin is largely attributed to crypto gaming and successful NFT launches.

Blockchain technology uses a consensus algorithm to confirm transactions and add new blocks to the chain. While Proof of Work (PoW), is the original consensus algorithm in blockchain technology, Proof of Stake was developed as an alternative to the effort and energy intensive PoW consensus mechanism. In PoS, a person can mine or validate block transactions depending on the extent of coins held or stake. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin and many others run on Proof of Work algorithm. Ethereum (ETH) is currently in the process of switching to a PoS system.

The top tokens (excluding stablecoins) currently, based on market capitalization are SHIBA INU (SHIB), Uniswap (UNI), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Chainlink (LINK), and Axie Infinity (AXS).

Meme-token SHIBA INU (SHIB) has lost 33 percent over the past week as reports emerged of transactions by a certain large holder, typically called "whale" in crypto world. The billionaire whale has reportedly moved $2.3 billion worth of SHIB to four different wallets and crypto watchers fear a sale is on the anvil.

The top 5 stablecoin tokens ranked according to market capitalization continue to be Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Binance USD (BUSD), Dai (DAI), and TerraUSD (USDT).

Meanwhile, the price of the Squid Game token touched a 24-hour high of $0.1743, versus the 24-hour low of $0.01078 amidst reports that Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the world, is tracking the scammers who disappeared after taking $3 million from investors.

Crypto world is exciting, enchanting and engaging. But without due diligence, trading can expose one to a plethora of risks, be it price risk or liquidity risk or even technology or legal risk.

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