There’s been plenty of good press for Polygon (MATIC-USD) – and quite the opposite for Helium (HNT-USD) and Axie Infinity (AXS-USD). Let’s get into the headlines, plus the new crypto ETF set to launch this week.
Polygon Racks Up More Positive Press from Celebrities
Muse – one of the biggest stadium-rock acts of the 2000s and 2010s – has been releasing singles that got decent airplay this year, like “Compliance” in July. “Won’t Stand Down” from January was also nominated for a Video Music Award.
Now, Muse its putting out its first full album in four years…as an NFT. “It is the first new format to be added to the charts since album streams in 2015,” reports The Guardian. And it’s happening on the Polygon (MATIC-USD) blockchain, courtesy of music NFT platform Serenade, which is partnering with Muse’s label (Warner Records UK).
By choosing Polygon, Serenade is able to include eco-friendliness in its branding:
“When compared to other leading blockchains like Ethereum, Polygon’s carbon footprint is 44,000 times smaller,” reads Serenade’s About page. They say it’s 1/10 of a tweet – and “You would have to mint 197,000 Serenade NFTs to equal the carbon footprint of a single 12” vinyl.”
Its new partner Warner Records has just a ton of major acts on its label. Can’t wait to see who’ll be next to embrace the new music-chart format of NFTs.
Even bigger celebrity: In crypto and blockchain, Ethereum (ETH-USD) founder Vitalik Buterin looms even larger than Muse does in alternative rock.
But the most enthusiastic endorsements tend to be for infrastructure projects. While we’re still laying the foundations for the New Digital World, so to speak, Vitalik Buterin also came out in favor of zero-knowledge (ZK) rollups.
For better scalability within the Ethereum ecosystem, developers historically tended to use “Optimistic rollups.” In an interview in July, Vitalik noted that “ZK rollups lower security risk even if the rollup has a very high capacity,” saying that “zkEVMs will make lots of things more amazing at L1 and L2.”
And who is launching the first zkEVM (a virtual machine that can deploy on Ethereum, with zero-knowledge technology)? Yep: Polygon.
“The Future Is Now,” declared Polygon on July 20 when it announced that Polygon zkEVM code is now open and available for developers, plus “soon we’ll have a public testnet.” Polygon’s MATIC crypto is a standby of our Crypto Investor Network portfolio, but they just put out a subscriber alert featuring another pick, too, that’s especially urgent.
Ethics Allegations Against Helium and Axie Infinity
I’ve written before about Helium (HNT-USD) and how it’s aiming to provide decentralized Wi-Fi… Starting with Internet of Things (IOT) devices like Lime electric bikes and scooters. I remembered seeing information about Helium/Lime from 2019 – but when I looked for anything more recent, I came up empty-handed, so it seemed the partnership had died out.
Indeed: Lime is reportedly “preparing to send a cease and desist to Helium” for having listed Lime as a partner in its marketing… And even saying that to The New York Times in February. Lime says that in summer 2019, they only held a “brief test of [Helium’s] product that didn’t last beyond a month or two.”
Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), “whose logo appeared on Helium’s website right next to Lime’s, says that it also doesn’t use the technology. ‘Helium is not a Salesforce partner,’ Salesforce spokesperson Ashley Eliasoph told The Verge.”
Luckily for those mining the crypto with Helium Hotspots (or investing in it)… HNT prices have reacted very little (as I write) since Helium’s bad press began on July 25 with viral tweets about its meager revenues so far.
And Axie Infinity (AXS-USD) is actually up about +7% (with other major cryptos) after its latest controversy:
Bloomberg reported Thursday that “Axie Infinity CEO Moved Crypto Tokens Before the Company Revealed Hack.” $3 million worth of crypto, in fact!
Axie leadership famously failed to notice the $625 million theft for six days until sounding the alarm… At least, it seemed that way. But about 22 hours before Axie announced the hack, the $3 million of AXS transferred to a crypto wallet that had received “an initial distribution of tokens made to people involved with Axie Infinity in November of 2020” – which, according to Bloomberg’s source, we can assume is one of the founders. Digging in further, he concludes it was none other than CEO Trung Nguyen.
Bloomberg’s report of insider trading is “baseless and false,” Nguyen said on Twitter; his team was only trying to “provide liquidity while we worked on a full backing of the bridge.”
“The Founding Team chose to transfer it from my wallet to ensure that short-sellers, who track official Axie wallets, would not be able to front-run the news,” Nguyen added.
Either way…I’m sure Axie players and investors would have appreciated the heads-up, which Nguyen and the other founders sat on for at least 22 hours! It’s another reason to play it safe – and stay away from this once-promising play-to-earn (P2E) project.
Charles Schwab Will Launch “Crypto Stock” ETF
Like most growth investments, it’s been a rough year for crypto stocks… And now, Charles Schwab is providing a new way to buy the dip.
This Thursday, the Schwab Crypto Thematic ETF will come to the NYSE under ticker symbol “STCE.”
Rather than tracking actual cryptos (through futures contracts)… The firm chose to build its Schwab Crypto Thematic Index from “crypto stocks.” Below is the Top 10, which makes up 49% of the index. It’s mainly trading apps, miners and companies supplying or financing them:
Charles Schwab is following rival fund providers into this corner of the markets – while charging the smallest fees. STCE expenses will be 0.30%, while Fidelity charges 0.39% and BlackRock charges 0.47% for similar ETFs, per Blockworks.
Meanwhile, ETFs that invest in bitcoin futures, for example, might charge 1% or 2%. The comparable crypto-stock fund Grayscale Future of Finance ETF (NYSEARCA:GFOF) has more than double the fees of Schwab’s: 0.70%.
So, these low-cost crypto funds (from big-time firms) stand a good chance at attracting major dollars to the ETFs – and, thus, the underlying stocks.
Quote Of The Day:
“It is becoming increasingly likely that the Fed thaws this crypto winter early.”
– Luke Lango & Charlie Shrem, Crypto Investor Network
Luke and Charlie’s current take on the state of crypto markets concerns two possible scenarios:
“We still think consolidation into the end of the year, before a new boom cycle in 2023, is the most likely outcome,” they explain in Saturday’s update to their Crypto Investor Network.
But here’s the other possibility, in the context of bitcoin prices:
“What was a sideways consolidation pattern has suddenly become an upward-sloping trend channel. Based on historical resistance levels, it looks like that channel could soon become the support line for a new uptrend, wherein BTC rallies back to all-time highs by the end of the year.”
Why? The Federal Reserve. “The futures market has made a dramatic pivot over the past month to predict that the Fed’s last rate hike will happen in December 2022,” Luke and Charlie report.
“Uncoincidentally, as the futures market has made this pivot, cryptos had their best month of the year… If the futures market is right and the Fed does start a rate-cut cycle in early 2023, then this current breakout in BTC could be the start of a new ‘boom cycle.’”
Wrapping up the update, Luke and Charlie say: “Until then, we continue to preach an investment strategy anchored around patience. If this current breakout does accelerate, we will consider putting more chips on the table right away. For now, though, we still think this is a just an upside bounce in a sideways consolidation channel.”
There is, however, one crypto that Luke and Charlie are particularly excited about right now. That’s because it has a unique catalyst versus what’s going on with its peers lately. Click here for Charlie’s briefing on the strategy involved. When you sign on to Crypto Investor Network today, you’ll see their latest alert Saturday on their urgent crypto play.
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.