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Bitcoin

Ethereum Soars Ahead Of Major Upgrade, Boosting Bitcoin And The Price Of BNB, Cardano, Polkadot And Solana

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Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin, is soaring as traders pile into the cryptocurrency ahead of a closely-watched upgrade code-named London.

The ethereum price is up 8% on the last 24 hours, with its rally helping the bitcoin price to tick slightly higher and sending ethereum’s biggest rivals—Binance’s BNB, cardano, polkadot and solana—up between 3% and 10%.

The combined cryptocurrency market, currently dominated by bitcoin and ethereum, has added almost $500 billion since its July lows.

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Ethereum’s London upgrade, designed to improve network efficiency and fee predictability, is scheduled to go live around 8am EDT and is part of ethereum’s long-awaited move away from the energy-intensive proof-of-work model used by bitcoin to proof-of-stake—allowing users to generate new ether tokens via their exising holdings.

The London upgrade will also see some of ethereum’s ether tokens destroyed, or “burned”—a change that some think will mean ethereum is able to further close the gap on bitcoin’s $700 billion market capitalization as its tokens become more scarce. Ethereum currently boasts a market capitalization of around $300 billion. Earlier this year, ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin said the upgrade could mean ethereum becomes more “sound” than bitcoin.

Ethereum’s price, up a massive 500% on this time last year, has outpaced bitcoin and most other major cryptocurrencies in recent months as the market for decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) explodes.

DeFi, the idea that the likes of lending and insurance can be replicated by software protocols cutting out banks, and NFTs, unique digital crypto tokens tied to media, have both become multi-billion dollar markets over the last couple of years. Almost all DeFi funds and NFTs are currently based and traded on ethereum’s blockchain.

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However, some of ethereum’s rivals, including Binance’s BNB, cardano, polkadot and solana which proponents claim are already more technologically advanced than ethereum, are hoping to win DeFi and NFT market share.

“Just like in 2017, ethereum has proven itself to once again be at the epicenter of crypto market activity,” Pete Humiston, manager at U.S. bitcoin and crypto exchange Kraken’s Intelligence division, said in a report out this week.

“Both DeFi and the NFT space, two robust industry subsectors worth tens of billions of dollars in their own right, take place almost exclusively in ethereum’s ecosystem today. This may explain why demand has been so resilient. Ether has been an outperformer all this year, and we see no reason why that will change in the near-term.”

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Market & Analysis

Major Luxury Fashion Brands Are Wooing The $2 Trillion Dollar Crypto Market

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Although I don’t write much about breaking news in the luxury industry, by contrast, the crypto market is having a considerable impact on the global supply chain. More to the point, the fashion industry intends to capitalize on the estimated $2 trillion dollars. Moving forward, in this feature, my aim is to showcase to you the top brands spearheading this milking process and the innovative technology that will soon aid their operations.

The Future Is Now For Fashion brands:

Since the birth of the fashion industry trend has been the currency. And at this point it time, nothing seems to be trending more than blockchain technology. Essentially, the technology has given the industry and ultimatum; sink or swim. As a promise to establish luxury brands who are riding on the waves on this trend, I would be off-center not to mention Bvlgari, as well as Hublot, which launched an E-warranty that enables customers to authenticate a product via a simple photo taken with a mobile phone. Moreover, the latter has also begun selling specific timepieces via Bitcoin only, a bold move, but one met with high interest by collectors around the globe.

During a time when sustainability practices are at the forefront of most manufacturing strategies with common sense, fashion brands are making their best efforts to lighten the carbon footprint. As a result, there have been more and more fashion brand owners and billionaires on the lookout for better means of accessing the market besides Bitcoin. Not surprisingly, Prada spA, and Richemont’s cartier signed an alliance alongside other fashion brands like LVMH, to provide a Blockchain solution to combat counterfeiting; offering product authentication.

Citing volatility concerns, market behemoths are exploring alternate means of storing and utilising their wealth on-chain. The rise of stablecoins pegged to national currencies provide such an opportunity, with decentralized finance (DeFi) projects like Onomy Protocol building progressive and interoperable stablecoin ecosystems, whilst simplifying the adoption of blockchain technology. International brands may exchange these stablecoins between national currencies on the Onomy Exchange, which brings the $6.6T per day Forex market on-chain.

Volatility may also be viably dealt with through value preservation mechanisms – in fact, the introduction of the world’s very first adaptive digital currency, NDAU serves as a compliment to Bitcoin in the blockchain space. Accepted on top-finance platforms such as Investview and showcased to millions of investors on Bittrex Global, NDAU proves its capacity to be an adaptive store of value, one that is able to preserve wealth while alleviating the downside risks.

At the Fashion Institute of Technology, an abundant number of professors, including myself, are racing to catch-up and comprehend how all this works. Moving on, another tech company soon to be thriving in the waters of blockchain technology is NFT Tech, the first NFT creation and trading infrastructure with a liquid matching engine. Through this ecosystem, users may create, collect, and trade digital collectibles alongside fellow enthusiasts, while no longer having to pay exorbitant fees, or waste time trying to find trading partners. 

This re-engineers the NFT ecosystem from the ground up, opening the doors to adoption by fashion brands and their customers worldwide which have already begun dabbling in the space by releasing digitized versions of their clothing designs or blockchain-based ownership tracking services.

Crypto opportunities: This is where fashion takes a deep dive.

While the crypto market’s sideways price actions led to interest dropping, social influencers such as luxury brand (Tesla) owner, Elon Musk have “flipped the coin”, resulting in a magnanimous transition from $178 billion to a whooping $2 trillion as at this year (2021), according to Coindesk.

The widespread adoption of cryptocurrency, as well as the introduction of the new non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on blockchain tech, have led to massive interest from top brands all over the world.  I receive a pitch at least once a day asking me to cover this topic. Sadly, by the time I catch-up, something new arrives.

It is no different in the diamond industry, as high-end luxury brands such as De Beers team up with similar major players as well as smaller brands to develop an open source blockchain platform called Tracr; it enables these brands to trace their supply chain from ground floor to consumers.  This is where is gets very interesting in the fashion business. A platform such as tracer can inform a brand about the intricacies of the cotton crop yield. It blows my mind to think how the technology can trace all the details of the supply chain.

Another example is Nike; because of NFTs’ ability to certify uniqueness, Nike has adopted this technology, and hence manufactured digital shoes, which are virtual, unique, and tradeable representations of real products. Such is also the case with Louis Vuitton, which has started using NFTs to track the provenance and ownership of luxury goods. Gucci has expressed interest in launching its own NFTs, stating that “it’s only a matter of time”, as reported by TheBlock

Speaking about opportunities, social billionaires are preserving their fortunes and sustaining their luxury lifestyle by investing in crypto assets and NFTs.

One brand that makes this possible is AXIA. This ecosystem is a comprehensive overhaul of today’s most popular internet services, implemented in a decentralized and secure manner. Its over 17 applications range from a banking portal to a privacy-focused search engine, all of which are underpinned by AXIA Coin. 

The asset-supported digital currency is described as an effort to “upend traditional financial structures, lower participant costs, and advance a more equitable and inclusionary economic model on a global scale.” Through AXIA, users not only preserve the value of their funds due to the stability of the AXIA Reserve, but are able to create ongoing value through their activity in the network, all of which generates monetary rewards for themselves and others. 

Fortune Phuture 

Amongst the sea of decentralised technologies and investment platforms for index strategies, Phuture Finance stands out head and shoulders! 

As seen on Bitcoin.com, “Phuture Finance raised $1.5m in Seed Funding to Launch Indexing Protocol on Ethereum ”. Its private seed round fundraise included prominent blockchain investors, including NGC Ventures, SevenX, Moonrock Capital, Origin Capital, Waterdrip Capital, and D64.

Other notable investors that participated include Genblock Capital, Decentralabs, Synergia, Vendetta Capital, Richard Ma (CEO of QuantStamp), Danish Chaudhry (CEO of Bitcoin.com Exchange), and leading liquidity provider Skynet Trading

“The thriving decentralised investment platform for passive index strategies.”

Phuture was built in such a way that native and non-native crypto users can create and invest into both new and existing indices created by the community. The platform provides an architecture that rebalances across multiple indices simultaneously, making it’s index unique, scalable and combined. 

In an interview with Bitcoin.com, Charles Story (Head of Growth,Phuture) said “At Phuture we’re delighted to be partnering with some of the most exciting investors in the space. We’ll be working in unison to redefine the role of an index within a Web 3.0 environment, and fulfil our vision of becoming the de facto index solution within crypto.”

The capital raised will be used to fund the continued development of Phuture as it moves towards its upcoming version one launch, as well as building out the ecosystem; including the Phuture team and early user base.”

Oliver Blakey, Managing Partner at Ascensive Assets also had this to say in an interview with Bitcoin.com about their investment in Phuture “We’re proud to be backing Phuture as its lead investor. We believe that indices are going to have a huge role to play within crypto, just as they have in traditional finance. 

Phuture is introducing a new blueprint for indexing protocols and its development trajectory converges the usability gap between crypto natives and the wider market – an invaluable attribute to have as crypto continues to permeate into traditional finance.”

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