“Compared to the $10 billion that companies like Facebook plan to invest, and the amounts that could follow from other companies and venture capitalists, the Metaverse is in its early innings.” — Grayscale
Weekly News Report:
1. The crypto market on Thursday, the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, was not as quiet as some anticipated after bitcoin prices briefly broke past $59,000, and trading volume remained at a level similar to the previous three days. Ether soared past $4,500, a more than 6% gain. Altcoins like GALA, SAND, MANA and SHIB were among the winners on the day.
2. Being the decentralized social gaming platform built on the Ethereum blockchain, UFO Gaming launched their own $10k Cup, an Apex Legends Tournament hosted by Twitch streamers Apryze and Nokokopuffs on October 24th. With a prize pool worth a whopping $10,000, UFO Gaming is the first blockchain gaming company to branch off into Esports and create a tournament of this scale.
3. The metaverse may represent an over $1 trillion annual revenue market opportunity, crypto investment giant Grayscale said in a report. The report which was published on Thursday is dubbed “The Metaverse, Web 3.0 Virtual Cloud Economies.” The report looks into the opportunity that will arise from the intersection of trends in gaming and lifestyle with blockchain’s potential to provide infrastructure for digital worlds.
4. Decentraland’s MANA token pushed to a record high on Thursday, hitting $5.84 for the first time. It is up almost 40% in the past seven days. The token of the decentralized virtual reality platform built on the Ethereum blockchain now has a reported market capitalization of $9.2 billion, according to data provider Messari. The surge pushes it ahead of metaverse-related play-to-earn game Axie Infinity’s AXS, which has a reported market cap of $8.6 billion.
5. Animoca Brands and Hex Trust are partnering to provide institutional-grade wallets and financial services for online gamers, the two companies said in a press release on Thursday.
6. Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, has acquired crypto wallet firm BRD, according to Coinbase, which did not disclose the terms of the deal. The price of BRD’s utility token rocketed about 500% following the announcement of the deal.
7. Cryptocurrency lender BlockFi will move to a rate-based withdrawal fee structure beginning Dec. 1, ending free withdrawals, as it cited “increasing transaction costs on the Ethereum network.” BlockFi said in a Twitter post that the move will apply to ethereum, chainlink, PAXG, uniswap and BAT.
8. Mega-bank JPMorgan is looking to hire candidates for the bank’s Software Engineering Group to focus on “Collateral Blockchain Tokenization.” Tier one U.S. banks are busy hiring staff to build out crypto and digital assets functions, with Citi reported this week to be planning 100 hires to beef up its digital asset division.
9. According to a Nov. 24 report from the Bangkok Post, the rollout of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s TAT Coin is coming closer to fruition and is now awaiting government approval according to local figures. A push in Thailand to boost gross domestic product (GPD) by targeting crypto digital nomads is coming closer to fruition.
10. The new German government has cited crypto in its coalition agreement, advocating for an equal playing field between traditional finance and “innovative business models.” The new German coalition is aiming to make the “European financial market supervisory law” fit for crypto-assets and businesses.
11. The Bitcoin network already processes more volume by dollar value than Paypal and the largest decentralized cryptocurrency network in the world by market cap could outstrip Mastercard by as early as 2026. It’s impressive how Bitcoin, as a 12-year-old decentralized network, is 27% of the way in terms of volume processed compared to Mastercard, a company founded in 1966.
12. In a tweet posted by Axie Infinity late Thursday, a lucrative land plot within the monster-battle fantasy NFTs, the game sold for 550 ETH ($2.3 million). According to the game’s developers, it’s the largest sum ever paid for virtual real estate.
13. Citing estimations reported by major local banks in July 2021, the Bank of Russia suggested that the total annual volumes of crypto transactions of the Russian population amount to 350 billion rubles, or $5 billion. Russia has become a global leader in the crypto market. According to data from the digital intelligence provider SimilarWeb, Russia is the second biggest in terms of total traffic on Binance after Turkey.