Dispatch #128: Is the Next Bull Run Starting in Asia?
In this patch of your weekly Dispatch:
- The Asian bull narrative emerges
- NFTs’ status
- The Blur insurgency
The Big Idea
An Asia-Driven Bull Run on the Horizon?
Many traders have been trying to determine what’s behind Bitcoin’s recent move up to around $25,000. One of the most prominent emerging narratives is that it’s being driven at least in part by optimism coming from Asia.
Earlier this week, the Hong Kong securities regulator proposed guidelines for virtual asset platforms.
Notably, in contrast to previous statements, they open the possibility of legal crypto trading for retail investors. On top of these rules, Bloomberg reports that Chinese officials have also been attending crypto-related events in Hong Kong, leading to positive interaction with the community.
While China’s crypto trading ban doesn’t show any signs of being lifted, many are now wondering if the country is giving its tacit approval to more open rules in Hong Kong as a way to stay connected to the industry without threatening its own currency.
Whether this theory is right or wrong is something we’ll have to wait and see, but regardless, it’s driving some much-needed, large-scale optimism.
The Latest In…
What’s a Security?
Last week we were so excited to share some NFT mainstreaming news, but alas, this week the scales have balanced with a worrying legal decision out of the US.
Dapper Labs has been in court around a class action lawsuit claiming that their NBA Top Shots are securities. Dapper asked a judge to dismiss the case but they said it was too close to call and so the class action suit could proceed.
This doesn’t mean that Dapper Labs has lost the case nor it implies that all NFTs are securities. However, the decision has certainly gotten the attention of those in the NFT space who previously dismissed this bare idea as ludicrous.
The Latest In…
Stablecoins and CBDCs
- The head of the Bank for International Settlements threw cold water on the idea of stablecoins as money and said he anticipated the G20 to make a “strong statement’ about increasing regulatory scrutiny around them.
- Paxos updated stakeholders, with their CEO saying in an email that they’re holding constructive discussions with the SEC but are still prepared to litigate that BUSD is not a security.
- In CBDC land, the Bank of Russia announced that they could begin piloting the digital ruble for retail users in April.
- “Not so fast,” says GOP Majority Whip Tom Emmer, who this week introduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act.”
The Latest In…
Earlier this month, devastating earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria, killing tens of thousands of people. The world came together to support those affected by this natural disaster. Among the individuals who stepped up to provide much-needed aid and assistance were over 370 members of the Nexo team, who dedicated time and resources to making a difference in the lives of those impacted by the earthquakes. We are proud to have them as part of our team.
We are sharing this because it demonstrates the power of communities, in good times and bad, and is a brilliant example of a grassroots organization, reminding us of how cryptocurrencies came about.
Our call to action, considering the dire situation in Turkey and Syria, is to help people in similar situations across the world; even small donations and gestures can make a big difference. Be that difference. 🙏🏽
The Week’s Most Interesting Data Story
Blur Is Coming for OpenSea’s Crown
While the US court system is exploring whether NFTs might constitute securities, a new NFT exchange has wholly overturned the apple cart of that market. Blur has surged onto the scene, using an aggressive token airdrop strategy to attract traders and volume away from bigger-known competitors. Indeed, some have likened their aggressive tactics to the early days of…ahem…some crypto exchanges that have fallen for grace. Whatever they’re doing, it’s working, and the NFT community is taking note.
What the Community Is Discussing
The Ordinal reaction, counter-reaction, and counter-counter-reaction continues.
Are stablecoins beating Bitcoin in emerging markets?
What to Watch for Next Week:
- Will Blur continue to be the hotness?
- Can we actually go a full week without an enforcement action?
- Will more countries announce CBDC advances?