Copper’s Weekly Dispatch – 6 January 2022

Analysing what went right, and what went wrong, in this week’s Crypto Weekly Dispatch

Copper

BTC closed December with a 19% drop – its largest monthly loss since May 2021. Even after a 30% slip from its record high, returns on bitcoin for the year still came in at a respectable 60%. ETH had a superb 2021, having skyrocketed 387%. Meanwhile, the S&P gained 30%, NASDAQ 28%, and gold fell about 4% over the course of 2021 – its biggest decline since 2015.

Just a few days into the new year, BTC and ETH have both nosedived after minutes from the FED’s last meeting released yesterday indicate that interest rates could start rising as soon as March.

The sharp decline in the BTC price is also being attributed to civil unrest and internet outages in Kazakhstan, which is one of the world’s largest bitcoin mining countries with an estimated 18% share of the network’s hashrate. After the mining crackdown in China last year, the Kazakhstan situation once again underscores the risks of a single jurisdiction having too much hash power within its borders.

With 2021 safely behind us, we’ve been looking back on all that we achieved as a company during the year. From key awards to new partnerships and a Series B fundraise, 2021 was full of memorable moments at Copper. Click here for a look at our highlights. Also, one last time, let’s reflect on the final month of 2021 with our December Regulator Roundup that we’ve just published.

As usual, for any questions or comments, send a note. Happy new year!

Best Regards,

Iva Lila

Beneath the headlines

OpenSea continues to take the world by storm, landing a $13bn valuation in its Series C raise. Could rivals threaten the growth of the leading NFT marketplace in 2022?

NFTs were unquestionably the crypto success story of 2021. This time last year, many of us barely knew what a non-fungible token was. Today, the industry has ballooned into multibillion-dollar asset class with interest from the mainstream media, individuals and institutions.

The industry’s head-spinning success was most recently exemplified by the top NFT marketplace, OpenSea, closing a monster $300m Series C funding round that values the company at $13bn – more than eight times its last valuation in July.

The new round was announced two days after the platform reported record-breaking trading volume on day two of 2022 with over $260m worth of digital memorabilia changing hands. This figure places it in line for an unprecedented month in sales volume. To shed some perspective here, OpenSea saw $3.2bn in trading volume in December while in the first four days of 2022 alone, the platform has has already done $824m.

OpenSea has definitely started to feel like the Coinbase of the NFT world these past few months. With all this capital behind it, I’m excited to see what OpenSea transforms itself into. Just like there was once a time when people said ‘but Amazon only sells books’, there’s no knowing where and how far OpenSea’s tentacles will go.

NFTs were unquestionably the crypto success story of 2021. This time last year, many of us barely knew what a non-fungible token was. Today, the industry has ballooned into multibillion-dollar asset class with interest from the mainstream media, individuals and institutions.

The industry’s head-spinning success was most recently exemplified by the top NFT marketplace, OpenSea, closing a monster $300m Series C funding round that values the company at $13bn – more than eight times its last valuation in July.

The new round was announced two days after the platform reported record-breaking trading volume on day two of 2022 with over $260m worth of digital memorabilia changing hands. This figure places it in line for an unprecedented month in sales volume. To shed some perspective here, OpenSea saw $3.2bn in trading volume in December while in the first four days of 2022 alone, the platform has has already done $824m.

OpenSea has definitely started to feel like the Coinbase of the NFT world these past few months. With all this capital behind it, I’m excited to see what OpenSea transforms itself into. Just like there was once a time when people said ‘but Amazon only sells books’, there’s no knowing where and how far OpenSea’s tentacles will go.

Samsung announces NFT platform for smart TVs, opens a store in the Metaverse and utilises blockchain to combat climate change. Is this part of a strategic foray into the crypto world or a FOMO jump on the phenomena of NFTs and the Metaverse?

Korean electronics giant, Samsung, raised eyebrows on Monday with an announcement that it will introduce the world’s first TV screen-based NFT explorer and marketplace platform. The company’s integrated NFT platform app is designed to allow users to discover, purchase, and trade NFTs through supported television sets.

Due to millions of homes having Samsung TVs, the retailer’s embrace of the technology could very well push the asset class further mainstream. Personally, I’m still on the fence about Samsung’s claim that it can enable a ‘groundbreaking’ NFT purchasing experience given that buying NFTs requires the use of wallets, exchanges and 2FA devices. When was the last time you bought something via a TV, and was the experience user friendly?

Samsung’s announcement came at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, where the Metaverse and Web3 are reportedly driving this year’s tech. Earlier today, the company dropped another bombshell by declaring that it has entered the Metaverse in collaboration with the Ethereum-based platform, Decentraland. Specifically, the company has launched a replica of its flagship 837X store that is open for business for a limited time from today. Shortly after the news, Decentraland’s MANA token saw a spike from $2.85 to $3.43.

And that’s not it from Samsung. In addition to the NFT platform and Metaverse store launch, Samsung this week also said that it will plant two million mangrove trees in Madagascar, and use a climate solution platform on the Cardano network called Veritree as evidence of this activity.

Online, everyone is now debating whether or not the company is chasing trends for PR or if its recent moves are part of a long-term vision. In the case of Samsung,  I think it’s the latter.

As far as crypto is concerned, it’s not the first time that Samsung has shown our industry some love. Its venture capital arm, Samsung Next, has invested in several NFT and Metaverse projects, including Axie infinity, The Sandbox, Dapper Labs, Nifty’s and SuperRare. Whereas its Galaxy smartphones have incorporated a blockchain wallet since 2019, and last year included support for crypto hardware wallets.

For me at least, it seems like Samsung’s recent moves genuinely revolve around maximising the benefits of digital asset technology. What remains to be seen is whether the electronics behemoth will enjoy first-mover advantage with NFT and Metaverse tech in the long run.

Roundup of other key developments

INSTITUTIONAL

LEGAL + REGULATORY + GOV + CBDCs

COMPANY + CeFi

DeFi + WEB3 + NFTs + METAVERSE

What to watch out for this week

THURSDAY 6 JANUARY

  • Mytheria IGO. More
  • BeGlobalDAO launch. More

FRIDAY 7 JANUARY

  • SwissBorg Youtube live AMA. More

MONDAY 10 JANUARY

  • Mercor Finance full launch. More

WEDNESDAY 12 JANUARY

  • Day one of the three day Crypto Finance Conference in St Moritz, Switzerland. Attending the event? Reach out to our BDD in Switzerland, Marcos BenitezMore
  • Algorand Twitter Spaces AMA. More

THURSDAY 13 JANUARY

  • CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump to participate in a fireside chat at the Chamber of Digital Commerce. More
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