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Wave Digital Assets Weekly Update - 4/12/2023

Market Overview by Josh Burke, DeFi Trader

Hope in The Markets

The crypto market cap rose by 3% to reach 1.22T over the past 24 hours (from 4/11), led by BTC's rise towards the $30k level and ETH nearing the $2K mark. There has also been an uptick in short liquidations on this crypto market up-move, with approximately $100mn liquidated over the past 12 hrs alone (from 4/11).

In other news, Fortune Crypto 40 has selected Ethereum as the top protocol in its latest benchmark, which lists the top 40 crypto businesses across 8 categories. Bitcoin ranked second on the list. Bitcoin has also surpassed popular search terms like Donald Trump and guns in America, according to Google Trends.

On the Ethereum front, staking deposits have dipped due to regulatory pressure and the Shapella upgrade. Glassnode reports that the amount of ETH being staked monthly has recently declined.

In February, FTX racked up $30M in bills from lawyers and consultants, with Sullivan and Cromwell charging the largest bill of $13.5M for 12,127 hours of work.

In other news, Korea-based exchange GDAC has suspended withdrawals and deposits after a $13M hack. Additionally, OpenSea shares are being offered at discounted prices on secondary markets through the use of SPVs, despite restrictions on stock sales by staff and investors without approval from the board.

In regulatory news, Arkansas moves one step closer to passing a crypto mining bill. Hong Kong’s Finance Chief plans to boost Web3 industry adoption through proper regulation and development. Meanwhile, the Bank of England is reportedly seeking to form a 30-person team to work on a CBDC.

NFT Market News by Matthew Linares, Senior Analyst Amazon to Launch NFT Marketplace

Amazon is reportedly set to launch its own NFT marketplace, which will be run on a private and permissioned blockchain controlled by Amazon. The marketplace will feature digital collectibles from top crypto-native creators such as Beeple and Pudgy Penguins. Twitch, the Amazon subsidiary, has also been tapped to promote the initiative. Several crypto gaming companies have either discussed or signed partnerships with Amazon to sell NFTs tied to their titles on the marketplace. The Fabricant has agreed to be an anchor participant for the marketplace’s fashion vertical. Other planned use cases on the marketplace include exclusive drops of music, ebooks, and movies or TV shows; physical goods shipped after an Amazon customer buys an NFT; access to a private club; or behind the scenes meet and greets with musicians or celebrities. The company is planning to heavily promote its hosted digital collectibles on Prime Day, slated for July 22 and 23, and expects to encourage transactional and transferable NFTs.

According to confidential terms of service agreement and a separate confidential Amazon deck obtained by Blockworks, Amazon's NFT initiative will feature a gas-less and read-only blockchain that will impose strict restrictions on NFT creators, partners, and eventually Amazon customers after launch. Amazon has signed a number of partnerships for the launch that have been kept under tight wraps. The platform is designed for Amazon's 300 million active customers and will not include multichain functionality at launch. Amazon representatives previously reached out to Americana NFT, a crypto-native startup, but the effort did not go anywhere for Americana, and it is said to have thought that Amazon was fishing for intelligence to build out its own marketplace.

Latest News by Sam Eisner, Associate

WELCOME FRIENDS: Hundreds of institutions and prominent individuals have invested directly in crypto, adopted the value thesis, or started building technology to support digital assets since Wave started tracking this metric in late 2020. Now the rise of the Metaverse, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) is driving mainstream adoption of blockchain technologies everywhere we look. We’re continuing to keep track of it every week here:

  • Ralph Lauren is accepting crypto for the first time at its new store in Miami’s Design District. The luxury brand is also offering a crypto-native experience — gifting NFTs via a multi-tiered partnership with online leisure community Poolsuite, which it described as “deeply rooted in the Miami lifestyle.”

REGULATORY ROUNDUP: We're living through the era of regulatory recognition of digital assets. The legislation, litigation, and regulation happening today will dictate the entire future of our industry, and we have a historic chance to shape those changes by staying informed and exerting political influence.

  • Last week the U.S. Department of the Treasury published the 2023 DeFi Illicit Finance Risk Assessment, the first illicit finance risk assessment conducted on decentralized finance (DeFi) in the world. The assessment considers risks associated with what are commonly called DeFi services and includes recommendations for the U.S. government to address illicit finance risks in the DeFi industry. The guidance aims to extend the United States' anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) supervision to address gaps related to the nascent blockchain finance sector.

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