It’s been a bad July for Bitcoin (BTC-USD), KuCoin (KCS-USD), and Gari Network (GARI-USD)… and a good one for Cardano (ADA-USD) – and NFT gamers. (They’re getting their own gaming console!) Let’s dive right in.
Cardano’s “Next Wave” in July
“Coming this month, Cardano’s next wave!” declared co-founder Charles Hoskinson on Twitter yesterday.
On Sunday: Cardano developers made their first official step towards the “Vasil” upgrade that’s been considered a major short-term catalyst for its ADA crypto:
We’re happy to report that today at 20:20 UTC the IOG team has successfully hard forked the #Cardano Testnet. This is an important next step in the journey towards the Vasil upgrade on mainnet. 🧵
— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) July 3, 2022
Developers plan to hard-fork the “mainnet” blockchain in the next four weeks. When they do, all Cardano validators will implement the Vasil upgrade at once, and only the new version of the blockchain will be valid afterwards.
Cardano’s goal: “Increasing throughput and reducing latency in block transmission, to “allow for the network to process a larger number of transactions…without affecting network performance,” as I’ve written before about Vasil and why it matters.
ADA fell about -6% after June 25, when Cardano said it would delay Vasil (originally scheduled for June 29). ADA’s now up +2% on the latest progress there.
Next up: A “Layer 2” scalability product for Cardano is in the works, called Hydra. ADA tends to perform well ahead of such milestones – and Hydra is the next potential upside catalyst this summer or fall.
Meanwhile, on Wall Street:
“Record Inflows” into Bitcoin Short Positions
With bitcoin flat-lining around $19,000-$20,000 for two weeks running – I’d have thought May or June was a better time to take a downside bet and short BTC…
But the past week has seen “record inflows of $51 million into short-bitcoin” positions, according to CoinShares.
That investment firm publishes a “Digital Asset Fund Flows Weekly Report” – and Short Bitcoin is definitely the outlier in its latest table. Otherwise, the top inflows last week were Ethereum (ETH-USD) +$4.9 million, multi-asset crypto funds +$4.4 million, and Solana (SOL-USD) +$1.1 million in fund flows.
Please note: These last three are inflows to normal, bullish positions – not short trades… But they’re noticeably smaller than the +$51 billion inflow to Short Bitcoin.
Context: As CoinShares notes, this is “possibly due to first-time accessibility in the U.S. rather than renewed negative sentiment.”
The first one, ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF (NYSEARCA:BITI), launched June 21. And according to YCharts, it has $69 million in assets under management as of July 1. So far, BITI is up +2.7% as actual BTC is down -1.8% in the same time.
KuCoin, GARI Crash on Twitter Panic
Two widely followed Twitter accounts warned their followers about KuCoin (KCS-USD) and sparked a -11% selloff.
Kong Trading, a YouTuber who seems to post all his content under that pseudonym, tweeted Friday that he was having a hard time withdrawing from the KuCoin exchange:
“Usually the withdrawals take less than 5 minutes,” he wrote, and in a follow-up the next day, he said “my withdrawal was successful after appx 6 hours on BSC USDT.”
Two hours later, “blockchain investigator” @otteroooo agreed that followers should “WITHDRAW FROM KUCOIN RIGHT NOW” in a tweet cited in Cointelegraph. And apparently, “otter hardly wrong in such matters.”
Says the CEO: “No plan to halt withdrawal, everything on KuCoin is operating well,” said KuCoin’s Johnny Lyu later Friday evening.
“We finished $150 M fundraising at $10 B valuation in May, we are one of the few platforms that are still hiring [and] we will soon publish our 2022 H1 review report where you can know more about our operations.” Stay tuned for that, I guess!
Meanwhile: The Solana-based video platform Gari Network (GARI-USD) fell a stunning -84% in two hours yesterday!
An hour in, there were allegations on Twitter that “KuCoin is the Big Whale who is dumping GARI.” The failed Three Arrows Capital had also invested in GARI and “plunged into liquidation” on Wednesday, June 29. That didn’t stop Twitter from speculating that GARI’s plunge was a good old-fashioned “rug pull” by unethical leadership.
To be fair: Gari Network had appeared to be a promising project… But “considering that not even the backing of an A-list celebrity from Bollywood could save GARI token from the wrath of the bear market, investors are advised to make informed investments upon due diligence,” concludes Cointelegraph.
An NFT Gaming Console (that Earns Crypto!)
Like other video-game consoles nowadays, the upcoming Polium One will have 4K Ultra HD…“ray tracing” for ultra-realistic animation…and messaging/voice chat.
Unlike other consoles, Polium will play blockchain games. From a LOT of blockchains, too: Ethereum, Solana, Polygon (MATIC-USD), Binance Smart Chain (BNB-USD), EOS (EOS-USD), ImmutableX (IMX-USD), WAX (WAXP-USD), and Harmony (ONE-USD)!
There’ll be a multi-chain wallet inside, and “security and verification of transactions from the console will be enabled via a fingerprint scanner on the controller,” reports Cointelegraph.
By buying a “Polium Pass NFT,” you’ll get one of the first 10,000 consoles in Q3 2024 – and the NFT “can be staked for a PLAY token, the console’s native token for transacting on its marketplace app.”
Big picture: NFT gaming has been remarkably stable in this bear market, according to DappRadar. And the business model of projects with “real utility” – while you earn crypto along the way – has certainly been successful so far for Helium (HNT-USD) hotspots.
Quote Of The Day:
“Bitcoin is working through a bottoming process at current levels. Our base-case outlook remains for Bitcoin to consolidate around $20,000 for the next six months. [Then] it looks highly likely that BTC enters a new boom cycle in early 2023.”
– Luke Lango & Charlie Shrem, Crypto Investor Network
Furthermore, “BTC and high-quality altcoins will hit new highs by 2024-25,” predicted Luke and Charlie.
Now, that’s a long time from now. “That’s why we are not taking aggressive action at the moment and, instead, are remaining patient. But we think time will prove us right. And if it does, mid-2022 will go down as a seminal crypto-buying opportunity,” conclude Luke and Charlie in their latest update to their Crypto Investor Network.
I talk to the whole crypto team here at InvestorPlace daily – and right now, they’re hashing out their Top Picks for riding out the bear – with the best upside for this upcoming “boom cycle.”
On the date of publication, Ashley Cassell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines. To have more news from The New Digital World sent to your inbox, click here to sign up for the newsletter.