Fungible after all? Duplicates may disrupt NFT industry after Ethereum Merge

Fungible after all? Duplicates may disrupt NFT industry after Ethereum Merge

The Merge is the most anticipated event in the crypto industry in years, but could the multibillion dollar non-fungible token industry become an unexpected casualty?

The expected “Merge” of the Ethereum blockchain this week could raise the risk of fraud and scams in the market for non-fungible tokens such as Bored Ape Yacht Club as analysts warn original and new versions of the tokens known as NFTs could confuse buyers.

The US$200 billion Ethereum network accounted for 70% of NFT trading activity in August, making it the world’s leading blockchain for such marketplaces run by companies like OpenSea.

However, the Merge of Ethereum to a proof-of-stake (PoS) network from a proof-of-work (PoW) will create duplicates of the NFTs from the original network, something the unscrupulous could take advantage of, Anndy Lian, author of the new book “NFT: From Zero to Hero,” told Forkast in an interview.

Scams are already prevalent in the NFT industry, which lacks oversight or regulatory protection, and any added confusion could generate more. Lian said some exchanges or marketplaces might temporarily stop transactions to address any complications or confusion that arise.

The Merge

The current Ethereum PoW network involves crypto mining companies using energy-gobbling computer farms to solve cryptographic equations that validate transactions on the blockchain, for which they are rewarded with Ether.

The shift to PoS – in which users validate transactions through “staked” ether – is expected to speed up and slash energy use on the network, which may mollify some critics who say the blockchain industry contributes to global warming.

However, Ethereum miners are less than happy as they see a business model evaporate that  leaves them with redundant and expensive computer farms that cannot be repurposed. Hence, some have pledged to fork the network and create a concurrent PoW Ethereum network.

This is where the potential NFT confusion comes in. All existing NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain will be duplicated on the new PoS system, but if a PoW fork exists, the original NFTs will continue to exist on that network as well.

And this is not just hypothetical, exchanges have had to explain to users what their policy will be regarding duplicates.

Real deal

Leading NFT marketplace OpenSea, which had about four times the sales volume over the last 30 days of its nearest competitor, Magic Eden, announced it was “solely supporting NFTs on the upgraded Ethereum PoS chain.”

Competing marketplace, Rarible, has taken a different approach, saying it recognizes the authenticity of any copies of NFTs created in the same wallet address when they were held on Ethereum.

Rarible noted another potential issue, saying the aggregate number of NFT collectibles may increase, which could depress the value of collections.

“It’s impossible to predict what the actual outcome will be, but it’s highly likely that duplicate NFTs will cause confusion,” said Rarible’s chief strategy officer and co-founder Alex Salnikov in an ­email to Forkast. “Especially for less experienced NFT collectors.”

Déjà vu

This scenario is not without precedent in the NFT market. One of the most popular NFT collections, CryptoPunks, is actually a re-issue of the original — now known as V1 CryptoPunks — to fix a bug in their programming.

However, as V2 CryptoPunks grew to be one of the largest NFT collections, a significant market in V1 versions grew among collectors who were looking to own a piece of NFT history.

CryptoPunks creators, Larva Labs, tried to squash this secondary market using legal means, but ultimately the V1 community won out and both versions can now be traded freely.

Ultimately, Lian believes the market will follow the PoS network as it is recognized as the “official version” of Ethereum.

The upside

The good news for would-be environmentally conscious NFT investors is that PoS is estimated to be roughly 99.95% more energy efficient than PoW, according to the Ethereum Foundation.

“This may cause a new, environmentally conscious user base to adopt the technology which would in turn help drive greater mass adoption of NFT and Web3 technology,” said Rarible’s Salnikov.

“Increasing activity on Ethereum may also bring about new innovative use cases for NFT technology and drive the development of new tools designed for the growing Web3 creator economy,” he added.

That could be good news for buyers whose NFTs denominated in Ether have dropped in value against the U.S. dollar since a peak in November.

But Lian said he is skeptical about the Merge turning the current NFT bear market around.

“I think that’s very wishful thinking.”

 

Source: https://forkast.news/fungible-duplicates-disrupt-nft-merge/

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Cosmos crypto price prediction: Where next after Terra’s crash?

Cosmos crypto price prediction: Where next after Terra’s crash?

ATOM, the native token of the Cosmos network, saw a bullish run in 2021, surging 453.3%.  In the beginning of 2022 the token continued the momentum, rising above $40. But, the surge was short-lived amid negative sentiment in the cryptocurrency markets fuelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The crash of the LUNA token and the TerraUSD (UST) stablecoin at the start of May 2022, both based on the Cosmos network, were also key driving points in the cosmos cryptocurrency’s decline.

Where is the token headed now? Here we take a look at what factors are shaping the cosmos crypto forecast for 2022 and beyond.

What is cosmos (ATOM)?

Coined as “the Internet of Blockchains” by its founding team, Cosmos aims to build an ecosystem of independent interconnected blockchains, allowing them to “interoperate while retaining their security properties”. It was co-founded by Jae Kwon and Ethan Buchman in 2016.

Blockchains can interact through its architecture of zones. Users can build multi-asset public Proof-of-Authority (PoA) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains, like the Cosmos Hub.

Through this the network aims to solve a number of limitations of cryptocurrencies, including scalability, usability and sovereignty. The end goal, the platform’s website notes, “is to create an Internet of Blockchains, a network of blockchains able to communicate with each other in a decentralised way.”

The network’s focus on customisability and interoperability sets it apart from other projects.

Cosmos is based on the Tendermint Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus algorithm designed to ensure finality, order consistency and optional availability. The network also consists of the Cosmos SDK, an industry standard for building blockchains.

Cosmos’ IBC (inter blockchain communication) allows blockchains within the ecosystem to connect so that they can transfer tokens and other data between one another frictionlessly and seamlessly.

In addition, users can also create marketplaces allowing for permissionless global trade. They can build autonomous application-specific blockchains, rather than smart contracts, to avoid high transaction fees and network congestion.

Moreover, users can also create games with unique collectibles in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and character upgrades that they can monetise without third-party approval or app store fees.

According to the network’s website, there are currently (30 May) 265 apps and services on Cosmos, including the Binance Chain (BNB), Terra (LUNA) and Crypto.org (CRO), with over $66bn of digital assets under management.

While the Cosmos Hub is a multi-asset distributed ledger, it offers ATOM, its native token. ATOM is the only staking token of the Cosmos Hub, and acts as a licence, allowing holders to vote, validate or delegate to other validators.

The token can also be used to pay for fees on the platform to mitigate spam, similar to Ethereum’s ETH. The token provides security to the chain, allows holders to earn rewards and vote.

As of 30 May, there are over 289m tokens in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap. The token has a market capitalisation surpassing $2bn and is ranked as the 29th biggest cryptocurrency on the platform.

The bullish run: Technical view

The ATOM cryptocurrency was listed on CoinMarketCap in March 2019. It was trading in bearish territory until the start of 2021. In February 2021, ATOM  surged by 174.2% from the low of $7.3839 to its first peak of $20.25 on 13 February. Between February and May, the token managed to grow an additional 42.1%, reaching above $28 by 9 May 2021.

The ATOM crypto value bottomed out between May and July, dropping by 67% to $9.4857 on 20 July 2021. This bear trend provided an opportunity for a new bull run, which saw the ATOM/USD price surge to the all-time high of $44.54 on 19 September 2021.

The token’s record level came ahead of the platform’s participation at Mainnet 2021, an immersive, agenda-setting summit held annually for crypto industry leaders.

ATOM to USD chart, Mach 2019 – May 2022

ATOM saw new highs once again in October 2021, surging to $43.22 on 26 October 2021 as Cosmos announced that Terra became the latest chain to enable IBC, bringing its native LUNA cryptocurrency as well as its TerraUSD (UST) stablecoin with it.

The cosmos cryptocurrency entered 2022 on a positive note, surging by 97.9% to $41.99 on 4 January 2022 from its $21.22 17 December 2021 low. A second surge followed on 16 January 2022, which saw ATOM’s value rise to $43.61. This was due to several reasons.

Firstly, Cosmos reported to have neared EVM-protocol compatibility, which would allow assets and projects that operate on the Ethereum network to migrate over to Cosmos. Secondly, the project announced that a liquidity staking module was coming to the platform, which would give additional functionality to the stakes chain assets.

That, however, was the last time ATOM was so close to its all-time high as it embarked on a bearish run for the remainder of 2022. Wider negative crypto market sentiment was fuelled by the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine, as well as bitcoin (BTC) falling below $27,000.

What is your sentiment on ATOM/USD?

The token lost around 79% of its value, hitting as low as $9 by mid-May 2022, as seen on the chart above. Today (30 May), the coin is valued at $9.94.

ATOM technical analysis provided by CoinCodex, as of the time of writing (30 May), showed that sentiment on the token was largely bearish.

Relative Strength Index (RSI) reading of 32.5 was neutral yet extremely close to oversold territory. A reading of 30 or below would indicate that the asset has become undervalued and a trend reversal is likely. Meanwhile, the token was trading above its three-day moving average but below its five and 10-day moving averages.

Can ATOM recover?

In the latest cosmos crypto news, the network’s Gravity Bridge announced a number of milestones at the start of March 2022, including the introduction of ATOM with Ethereum DeFi and the Cosmos NFT platform, Stargaze, working with Gravity Bridge to send NFTs from Ethereum to Cosmos.

In April 2022, Cosmos introduced  its Theta upgrade which saw the official launch of Interchain Accounts, a module that has the potential to boost interoperability, traffic and composability.

In May 2022, KYVE, the Web3 data lake solution, joined the Cosmos ecosystem and migrated most of its blockchain protocol from EVM-based chain to the Cosmos SDK-based chain.

At the beginning of May 2022, the prices of the LUNA cryptocurrency and the UST stablecoin crashed, losing over 90% of their values within days. The tokens were based on the Cosmos network.

“As always, the cosmos ecosystem will continue to be a nurturing and safe environment for bold entrepreneurs to bring forth the Internet of Blockchains. Tendermint, IBC and the @cosmos SDK are showing the world how resilient & secure they are under extreme market conditions,” Cosmos said on Twitter during the LUNA crash.

In December 2021, Cosmos promised that its hub will continue to grow in the coming year, announced the launch of interchain security and accounts, more decentralised finance (DeFi) projects and the rise of NFTs.

“Cosmos is not a new token. It has been around since 2017 and has survived through all the down periods. Cosmos constantly remained in the top 50,  although many new investors may not have heard of it as it is not marketed that aggressively unlike Polygon or Binance Smart Chain,” BigOne Exchange chair in Asia, Anndy Lian told Capital.com.

According to Lian, the ATOM token took off because the Cosmos network offers “a simple experience for blockchain developers” with  “easy-to-understand tutorials, tools, and community assistance for developers.”

In 2020, Jae Kwon stepped down from his position as one of the project’s co-founders to focus on a different project. This, according to Lian, is one of the biggest uncertainties for the Cosmos prediction.

“He exited back then after several high-ranked employees left the company in protest of his leadership and it was reported that Kwon’s return to NewTendermint has continued to feud with his former Tendermint colleagues. I am not sure what is the truth and what are the backstories for this, but I think the lack of unity within their group makes this token vulnerable,” he noted.

Lian added that at the moment, ATOM has a strong support around the $9 range.

“Falling below this amount would mean that it may go below its launch price. This could happen too. Apart from the internal risks, I would caution all to look at external risks to manage your portfolio better.”

Cosmos (ATOM) price prediction 2022-2030

Despite the latest downward price action, algorithm-based forecasting service Wallet Investor gave a bullish outlook for its ATOM prediction, as of 30 May, suggesting ATOM is “an awesome long-term investment” with long-term earning potential at 752.13%.

Based on its analysis of past price performance, Wallet Investor’s cosmos coin price prediction suggested that the token could trade at $26.389 in 2023 and $84.685 by 2027.

DigitalCoinPrice also gave a positive ATOM crypto price prediction but saw a much slower pace of growth in future years. The site projected that ATOM could reach the target price of $13.76 by the end of 2022, $18.73 by the end of 2024 and $24.33 by 2025.

By the end of 2027, the site’s cosmos crypto price prediction expected that the coin could reach $34.02. Its long-term ATOM coin price prediction showed the cryptocurrency could trade at $49.10 by 2030.

Note that algorithm-based and analysts’ projections can be wrong. Forecasts and analysts’ expectations shouldn’t be used as substitutes for your own research. Always conduct your own diligence and remember that your decision to trade or invest should depend on your risk tolerance, expertise in the market, portfolio size and goals.

Keep in mind that past performance doesn’t guarantee future returns. And never invest or trade money you cannot afford to lose.

 

Original Source: https://capital.com/cosmos-atom-price-prediction

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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After Terra, Luna crashes, regulators count cost of crypto

After Terra, Luna crashes, regulators count cost of crypto

Spectacular collapse of stablecoin puts focus on regulatory frameworks in South Korea and Singapore.

Taipei, Taiwan – As the crypto winter deepened this month, one wealth-destroying event – the collapse of the TerraUSD (UST) and Luna coins – has brought the human cost of unstable cryptocurrency projects to the surface.

UST, a so-called “algorithmic stablecoin,” plummeted over the last week as it lost its peg against the US dollar and sent its sistercoin Luna crashing to zero, erasing about $45bn. The crash wiped out the savings of untold numbers of investors overnight.

“I felt my heart sink watching Luna go into that downward spiral,” Hank Kennedy, a factory worker in Chicago, told Al Jazeera. “It (the crash) has had a huge impact on my life.

“Now I’m behind on all my bills, and I’ve lost $40,000, which was everything I had in my savings,” Kennedy added. “I was actually thinking that I would be able to make enough money to pay my home off, but instead, I’ve lost everything.”

The incident epitomises regulators’ nightmare scenario of crypto projects going wrong and prompted US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to call for regulation of stablecoins – whose selling point is their supposed stability due to being pegged to another currency or commodity – by year’s end. Former lawyers at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) say the agency is probably already investigating the case.

In Asia, regulators may also have impetus to act.

Do Kwon, the creator of the cryptos, is a South Korean national, while Terraform Labs and the Luna Foundation Guard, the organisations that support the digital coins, are both registered in Singapore.

South Korean authorities launched an “emergency investigation” into the case this week. Investors in Singapore have filed police reports, although authorities have yet to make any move.

Kwon wrote on Twitter last week that he was “heartbroken” about the pain his invention had brought investors and that neither he nor the companies associated with the project had sold UST or Luna to profit from the crash. The statements came after the founder earlier that day proposed a “revival plan” to restart the network and distribute ownership of the project via one billion new tokens issued to holders of the collapsed currency. Kwon and the Luna Foundation Guard did not respond to requests for comment before publication.

The crash comes amid a rethink of the city state’s regulatory approach to digital assets as it tries to position itself as a responsible crypto hub. Singapore’s response could set a precedent as the social and economic costs of poorly managed projects come into sharper focus.

Singapore
Singapore is trying to position itself as a responsible crypto hub [File: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg]

“The government of Singapore is not going to be impressed that a firm registered in its country, with no real material ties to the city-state, has caused such damage to investors around the world,” Sam Reynolds, a Taipei-based crypto analyst at CoinDesk, told Al Jazeera.

“This is likely to lead to a further tightening of rules surrounding crypto firms registered in Singapore for jurisdictional preference yet conducting business primarily abroad,” he added.

Singapore’s parliament had already passed a law last month to increase oversight of firms like Luna that are domestically registered crypto companies but mainly operate abroad.

Under its Payments Services Act 2019, entities that offer payment instruments, such as algorithmic stablecoins, require a Digital Payment Token Services (DPTS) licence. Though Singapore has only issued a DPTS licence to a handful of firms, it has granted many more companies temporary exemptions from the law.

Yet when billions went up in smoke up this month, Kwon’s organizations had neither a DPTS licence nor an official exemption, according to Singapore’s Financial Institutions Directory.

Its failure to register is the first of three interrelated factors that lay compelling grounds for legal intervention by the city-state, according to Anndy Lian, a Singaporean crypto thought leader and author of Blockchain Revolution 2030.

“The second (factor) is this was a stablecoin,” Lian said, noting that since it was advertised as having parity with the US dollar and boasted 20 percent yields, it appealed to investors looking to stake their savings over time. This differentiates it from other cryptocurrencies whose price floats freely and are conducive to speculative trading.

“That means many retail investors got hurt on the pretext they had bought into the project because it is a stablecoin,” said Lian.

“From a Singaporean perspective, if you are a retail investor and you feel that you have been a victim of fraud, and have lost a certain amount of dollars on paper even though you held your investment and did not sell … that is a possible lawsuit Singaporeans can pursue or the government can pursue,” he said.

Cooperation with foreign regulators

The third reason is Kwon’s planned “fork” – the closing of the original network and launching a substitute – which has been put forth to revive the currency. Lian said such a move would  “dilute all the shareholders” and redistribute the tokens in a way that is likely to be highly inequitable.

“I think the Singaporean government will surely take some action after the fork is attempted,” he said.

South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) said this week that increased cooperation with foreign authorities is needed to regulate crypto after the Luna crash.

Lian believes Singapore may coordinate with foreign regulators on the case, too.

“Because this is a global event, there might be a common interest for the US and Singapore to work together on this case,” he said.

Lian said any action should not set the wrong precedent by insulating crypto investors from all losses.

“It would be misleading if investors believed they can claim losses from all altcoins. This was different since this was a stablecoin. We need to make that demarcation very clear,” he said.

“I think more regulatory clarity would need to be established before crypto-specific cooperation with countries could happen,” Reynolds said, referring to the continuing lawsuit between Terraform Labs and the SEC that seeks to establish if the financial watchdog has jurisdiction over the project.

Even if the company were found liable, it is unclear whether it has the assets to repay investors.

“The question would be, what assets would Terraform Labs and the Luna Foundation Guard have to repay investors?” Reynolds said.

“The Luna Foundation Guard, with its current balance sheet, could only pay out pennies on the dollar. And aside from those balances, it is unlikely that Terraform Labs has material assets sufficient to pay out any claims against it in a meaningful way,” he added.

“Before this happens, we would also need a determination if the collapse happened because of fraud, negligence, a coordinated attack, or market rejection of the platform. Right now, that’s not clear.”

Do Kwon
Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon is a South Korean national who registered his company in Singapore [File: Woohae Cho/Bloomberg]

Lian said regulators will look for a strong expression of shared grievances to justify moving forward with a case in Singapore.

In recent days, an online community in South Korea named “Victims of Terra-Luna coin” has been formed for this purpose.

Kennedy, the US worker who lost his funds, said he would readily join a class action lawsuit against Kwon.

“(This is) the reason why people like me try to talk with him on Twitter every day … to get some type of answers,” he said.

As regulators mull over their next move, the saga has offered industry players a moment of pause to reflect on what constitutes good governance and sound investing.

“It will take time to get the trust back,” Lian said, adding the case has spooked institutional investors in Singapore.

“I think we need to rethink what decentralisation means. What will happen next with Luna will not be based on any consensus formed among its community.”

Reynolds said investors should do their research and ensure they have diversified their assets.

“On paper, algorithmic stablecoins were a good idea but the industry is coming dangerously close to a ‘2008 moment’ as a result of one project’s outsized ambition,” he said. “The VCs that backed Terra need to have a serious think about how we got to this moment.”

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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