What Are The Key Events In September To Look Out For? CPI, The Merge, FOMC & Vasil

What Are The Key Events In September To Look Out For? CPI, The Merge, FOMC & Vasil

September 2022 is going to be exciting. Although historically, this is a bad month for the stock markets. But it is not so for the crypto markets. In my humble opinion, there are a couple of key events that investors should be looking at very closely as they are all interlinked.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

We are starting with September 13. The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics will share the Consumer Price Index (CPI) report.

One of those data points is the August Jobs figures that are already out. A close look at the U.S. labor market data showed that non-farm payrolls rose by 315,000 in August, higher than the estimated 298,000 but lower than the previous month’s 526,000. A strong employment sector means a more resilient economic condition, thus propelling Fed to tackle inflation more aggressively. Analysts also dig into the jobs report for signs of what is happening with wage growth.

The U.S. CPI figures will ultimately assist the Fed in deciding whether to go for a 50bps or 75bps rate hike, together with the jobs data for August that was provided earlier this month. The U.S. inflation rate increased from 8.6% in May 2022 to 8.5% in July and 9.1% in June. The U.S. inflation rate for August may serve as a benchmark for future Fed rate hikes.

Ethereum Merge  

This is a much-anticipated event in the crypto scene for this year. This event has already begun. They have shipped the Bellatrix upgrade, the final update before the Merge itself that is scheduled to happen from September 13-15.

This upgrade will reduce Ethereum’s carbon footprint as crypto mining will be removed, moving the network’s consensus mechanism from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS). This move has also affected Nvidia’s stock price, as they have been a key supplier of mining equipment. The miners are still hopeful, and they think that the fork will continue to keep them in the business. On top of these, there was a lot of news and marketing buzz around the new Eth PoW airdrop. Key opinion leaders are telling all that borrowing as many ETH from AAVE or Compound would make sense before the snapshot as they can expect maximum utilization.

The bullish signs are showing on the charts, with the price of Ethereum going up to 4.98% while Bitcoin remains stagnant.

Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)

The FOMC holds eight regularly scheduled meetings during the year and other discussions as needed. September 21 is the next meeting.

The Fed Chairman Powell’s “powerful” speech at Jackson Hole on August 26 is primarily to blame for the recent sharp decline in market prices. Powell’s comments were substantially more hawkish than anticipated and alarmed the market.

The market anticipated the Fed to remain neutral after recent inflation statistics revealed that inflation had peaked and prices were dropping. They expected the Fed to keep to its plans to increase interest rates by another 100-120 basis points (1% -1.2%) by the end of 2022, bringing the Fed funds rate to 3.25%-3.5%. At the last FOMC meeting, Powell had also given the market the assurance that the economy would have a soft landing and that no recession was imminent.

Powell used words like “bring some pain to households and businesses” and “very likely be some softening of labor conditions”. Analysts who looked at the speech were reading that the Fed Chair was suggesting the recent fall in inflation was not good enough. To stop inflation once and for all, the Fed was prepared to increase the unemployment rate, reduce wage growth, and sacrifice short-term growth.

For many Americans, the critical question is whether they can continue to keep their jobs, not the increase in rates of September as the Fed bears down on inflation.

The FOMC has raised interest rates four times in 2022 so far. If you are wondering what has the rate got to do with cryptocurrencies. For your information, Bitcoin’s price dipped as low as $17,500 following the Fed’s two-day meeting on June 14 and 15. The Fed raised interest rates by 0.75%. Generally, traders leave the market when interest rates increase, or other markets are impacted, which leads to a sell-off in cryptocurrencies.

Cardano Vasil Hard Fork

The Cardano Vasil hard fork is currently the second most anticipated upgrade in the crypto space, right behind the Ethereum Merge.

Many of us may not know the term “Vasil”. Cardano, ranked 8th on CoinMarketcap is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform: the first to be founded on peer-reviewed research and developed through evidence-based methods.

Vasil is a major upgrade on Cardano, bringing increased network capacity and lower-cost transactions. The upgrade will also bring improvement to Plutus, Cardano’s smart contract platform, to enable developers to create more efficient blockchain-based applications.

Cardano’s ADA token price rose 2.2% in the past 24 hours and 14% in the last week. This upgrade is confirmed to be on September 22.

Impact on the Financial Market

Because Bitcoin is seen as an investment instrument similar to stocks and bonds, the FOMC and macroeconomic pronouncements can greatly impact its price. Numerous studies show that these announcements also impact the financial market as a whole.

It remains to be seen if history will repeat itself and equities will conclude the month of September lower. As additional evidence comes in over the coming months, the idea of a Fed Pivot that was dismissed after Jackson Hole could start to materialize. Investors in the stock market anticipate that the Fed’s decision will provide them with guidance before the results of the upcoming quarter are released and when macroeconomic conditions change in 2023. Perhaps Ethereum and Cardano are the only shining knights in this financial uncertainty.

We will see.

I will end with a quote. “You will most likely come out on top in this bear market if you stick to your financial strategies and maintain your sense. Keep in mind that the people who sow their seeds today can become the millionaires who will profit from the upcoming bull market.”- Anndy Lian

 

Source: https://www.benzinga.com/22/09/28851850/what-are-the-key-events-in-september-to-look-out-for-cpi-the-merge-fomc-vasil

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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NFTs and blockchain key to metaverse future, crypto boosters claim

NFTs and blockchain key to metaverse future, crypto boosters claim

Blockchain technology, used to power cryptocurrencies and other decentralized record-keeping systems, has been struggling to find practical use cases outside ransomware and speculative projects like Bitcoin and NFTs. There have been a number of pilot projects in a variety of industries, but they’ve rarely turned into anything with significant business impact because of issues related to security, scalability, efficiency, and cost.

Now crypto proponents are looking to the metaverse as an area where the blockchain can make an impact.

NFT proponents say it is a better way of personalizing art and content in the metaverse, and say that the blockchain is a technology that can decentralize and secure metaverse content.

However, NfT’s actual use as part of the core infrastructure of the metaverse will likely be limited given those same issues of privacy, security, and inefficiency, plus the lack of legal oversight.

The most successful implementation of blockchain is cryptocurrencies, which are mainly used for speculative purposes. Like cryptocurrency, most people will be using NFTs in the metaverse for speculation, said Anndy Lian, a founding member of Influxo and Asia chairman of BigONE, a top global digital asset exchange.

And the fact that there’s a lack of legal oversight could actually be a benefit for its adoption, he said.

“Indeed, away from the hype about NFTs as high priced art work, one of their chief attractions within the crypto space is that they’re not considered securities for regulatory purposes,” he told Hypergrid Business.

There are privacy concerns regarding the blockchain. Although cryptography is involved in the sense that each transaction that’s added to the blockchain is digitally signed, the actual content of the blockchain is in plain text, unencrypted, available for anyone to read. That means that the public can, for example, trace cryptocurrency payments from wallet to wallet.

However, because of the legal limbo that crypto is currently in, there are no “know your customer” requirements such as those in place for all other types of financial activity.

For this reason, proponents of blockchain say it can prevent the kind of user privacy violations that Facebook — now rebranded as “Meta” — has been criticized for.

And since the blockchain relies on decentralized storage — every participant has their copy of the entire blockchain — there is no central control.

Through tokenization of physical assets for sale in the metaverse platforms, blockchain and NFTs can unlock commerce because this way, they facilitate exchanging of goods digitally, that could not be digitally transacted before, he said. For instance, digital passports such as those promoted by ARCx, can help with credit scoring, collateralized lending, and decentralized commerce in the metaverse, he said.

NFTs are already being used in existing metaverses such as Decentraland, but there are a lot of forgeries and duplication.

Blockchain can assure authenticity

According to proponents, the blockchain’s digital signature mechanism and distributed nature can help creators prove that they are the actual owners of particular content, and help users demonstrate that they are legitimate users.

Using blockchain could reduce NFT forgeries in the metaverse because each node verifies the status and ownership of all assets on the network, hence preventing them from being duplicated or changed, said Cynthia Cao, creator of CC is Dreaming, who is a NFT personality and a leading figure in virtual reality in entertainment.

And it’s not just about digital goods, she added.“In the future, when people upload their consciousness into the metaverse, we cannot ensure that their memories are not tampered with or controlled by anyone without the verification and authentication that blockchain provides,” she told Hypergrid Business. 

Storing metaverse content, data, NFTs, images and other arts on the blockchain can ensure permanent storage of that data as it becomes immutable.

This can prevent illegal tampering of anything of value stored in the metaverse, said Luke Stokes managing director at Foundation for Interwallet Operability.

The FIO protocol is enabling artists to sign their work with an easily readable address that acts as a unique signature for their work, hence preventing NFT forgeries, he told Hypergrid Business.

But there are risks, he added.

“There is also the potential for user error, where people miscopy long complicated addresses or suffer man-in-the-middle attacks that could potentially result in millions of dollars being sent to the wrong address or stolen forever,” he said.

Many existing metaverses and virtual worlds succeed by gamifying social and business experiences.

Metaverse platforms that use blockchain have better digital-based rewarding mechanisms for such gamification, for instance through tokens and in-world digital currencies, said Dinis Guarda, who is author, founder, and non-executive chairman of LynKeyCitiesabc.com, and Openbusinesscouncil.org.

“The metaverse will empower peer-to-peer experiences that will offer jobs, financial empowerment, lending, and trading, he said. “The metaverse and NFTs certification solutions will take on the role of a virtual business-empowered financial system.”

This gamification will lead to further growth of art, fashion, collectives, history, cities, property in the metaverse, he said.

Cryptocurrencies are also being used to trade goods and services, for gaming rewards, betting, and for value speculation in metaverses. In Decentraland, for instance, users can buy NFTs with cryptocurrencies or platform token MANA.

Other examples include Citiesabc.com, a metaverse for cities, and LynKey, a virtual and augmented reality platform using crypto for trading NFTs in property and smart tourism.

Unlike fiat currencies like the US dollar or the Euro, crypto enables very cheap transactions in digital worlds, said Daniel Logvin, CEO at LedgerByte.

“We can actually use blockchain to manage in-metaverse currency,” he told Hypergrid Business. “This provides us with security and transaction verification for our purchases and trades, thus ensuring a solid and transparent economy.”

There have even been grids that used Bitcoin in OpenSim, such as YrGrid back in 2015, though none of these projects ever took off due to the high management and overhead costs of using the volatile Bitcoin currency for in-world payments.

Although gaming and art will continue to lead in adoption of metaverse and NFTs, remote working and virtual living — which increased due to COVID, will play a role in popularizing metaverse, NFTs because even the non-tech world is getting interested.

“I think we are entering a really exciting time for the mainstream adoption of NFTs,” said Influxo’s Lian. “Certainly the rise of NFTs for football fans around the world to capture unique moments and to follow their favorite players is a testament to the maturing of the NFT marketplace.

The dark side of the blockchain

Turning an image or another digital asset into an NFT does not actually create any value, said Maria Korolov, editor and publisher at Hypergrid Business. Since it’s stored on the open blockchain, there is no security for assets. In fact, there’s already an epidemic of people simply “right-clicking” on NFTs to save their own copies, with no repercussions, since the block chain no legal weight behind it. Plus, anyone can add anything to a blockchain, whether or not they are the legal owners of that content.

NFTs are thus nothing more than virtual Beanie Babies, she said.

“NFTs by themselves don’t protect intellectual property,” she said. “Anyone can claim to own IP and put it on the blockchain. And the blockchain itself is notoriously susceptible to being hacked.”

Crypto companies are high-profile targets for attackers. Hackers go after exchanges, virtual wallets, and even the blockchain itself. For example, one approach is the “50 percent hack.” The blockchain is decentralized, and if there’s a conflict between transactions the blockchain automatically opts for the transaction that’s supported by the majority of the participants. Hackers have hijacked blockchains repeatedly by using botnets to create participating nodes and then stealing millions of dollars worth of currency. This vulnerability is built into the fundamental design of the blockchain, and there is currently no known fix.

Hackers steal money from blockchains right, left and center, she said.

Finally, blockchains are inefficient compared to centralized data storage because the data is duplicated in multiple locations, and new transactions require progressively larger amount of computing power, resulting in adverse environmental impact.

“That’s why no major organization has replaced its databases with blockchains,” she said. “Blockchains are inefficient, insecure, and basically unmanageable,” she said. “A bunch of companies have done pilot projects. They issued press releases about the pilot projects. But then when they looked at how those pilot projects actually worked out, they quietly abandoned the whole thing and never mentioned it again and wrote off the money they wasted as a learning experience.”

 

Original Source: https://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2022/01/why-nfts-and-blockchain-are-critical-to-success-of-metaverse/

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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Why Understanding Token Utility Is Key to Finding Real Value

Why Understanding Token Utility Is Key to Finding Real Value

It feels a little like the heady days of the ICO boom of 2017/18 again with the rise of meme tokens, which have captured crypto investor’s attention following DogeCoin’s 14,000% rise in value in the first six months of 2021. Back in the ICO boom scores of crypto projects backed by little more than whitepapers and a compelling story pulled in newbie investors keen to benefit from the spectacular gains on offer. When the ICO market collapsed, and the lack of any real utility for most of these tokens became clear, as well as leaving people out of pocket it also left a question mark over the long-term value of crypto ventures.

 

With the rise of meme tokens the importance of establishing real utility is even more important in 2021, not just for meme coin projects, but also for the wider crypto and blockchain industry. For the crypto investor, faced with an overload of token listings, how do you find the hidden gem rather than fall for a dud, whether a new meme token or an innovative blockchain project? Billionaire entrepreneur, and head of Alameda Research and the FTX cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, Sam Bankman-Fried stated in a recent Vox article that some information are “clearly legitimate”, some information are “clearly bullshit”, and in-between that, there exists a plethora of information that are “a little bit confusing”. “In this financial environment”, he continued, even a token, stock, or asset with a meme can get “a $20 billion valuation”.

 

Projects like ChainLink, Cardano, BitcoinCash, Polkadot, XRP, EOS, Stellar, and many others have been backed by billions of dollars of market cap with billions of dollars in liquidity.” Luke Stokes, Managing Director for the Foundation for Interwallet Operability, pointed out the challenge in finding utility and thus getting in early on a crypto project. It is arguable in many ways that these projects are “innovative and providing solutions in ways investors (actual investors) believe bitcoin and second layer bitcoin solutions currently cannot.” Will these projects still be current in a decade? Is there a way to spot these projects before they reach the leaderboard?

 

As a shorthand for how to spot a coin with real utility and real value, there are several common characteristics worth paying attention to, Stokes. The first is to look at the team, what is their track record, do they have much experience or is their first venture. In such a new sector as meme coins this may not be easy to assess, but it’s still worth looking out for. Secondly, to review the product or service the crypto startup is looking to solve. In the case of meme coin DogeCola, the team not only took the initiative in launching the first crypto-backed cola drink, but has also followed up with its first GameFi product, MoonAlley. “This is a great example of how meme coins are maturity, as they see the need to demonstrate real utility to users, and not some ‘pump and dump’ token. I think it’s just the start of an exciting phase of development in the crypto space, which harnesses the power of the meme community to real world projects, from consumer products to eco campaigns,” said BigONE chairman Anndy Lian. BigONE exchange was the first central exchange (CEX) to list DogeCola, in large part down to its understanding of the value of utility to its long term prospects, confirms Lian.

 

DogeCola has entered the cryptocurrency gaming industry with the intention to bring cryptocurrency into the current traditional economy of the world. “DogeCola is here to stay”, confirmed the DogeCola team last month. When reviewing token value, it’s also worth reading the fine print too when considering the impact that its perceived utility can have on token price. For example, as the DogeCola’s website states: “Even though DogeCola DeFi/Crypto project is related to the brand, the token and the soft drink are not to be considered the same legal entity. DogeCola Token is made, managed, and maintained by a community of Devs in a decentralized way. DogeCola Trademark will be used from a different company aiming to connect crypto and real worlds. BigONE Exchange will continue to find innovative projects to be part of our ecosystem.”

 

So, when looking for crypto projects worth investing in consider whether the token utility helps solve a real need for the customers, from consumer-facing gaming projects to more business to business propositions. In the rapidly emerging play-to-earn (GameFi) sector, the utility token often has value both as the crypto currency to reward the gaming community and to fund in-game transactions. Consider the rise of Axie Infinity, the hugely popular crypto gaming platform which runs on Ethereum, created by Vietnamese developer Sky Mavis. After generating more than $220 million in revenue in 30 days to the start of August, the play-to-earn game has its own in-game token, SLP, that can be sold on an exchange, with top players earning up to 1,500 SLPs a day. As a further revenue stream the game’s cute digital pets called Axies can be sold as a non-fungible token (NFT).

 

So where else should investors look for the long-term gains of utility, rather than a quick buck? Paddy Osborn, managing director of the London Academy of Trading, says it’s clear that the returns from crypto with utility are far superior to coins with no intrinsic value or function. Osborn pointed out that the true challenge, within this complex and fast-paced industry, is to identify these very “hidden gems” before their price skyrockets. A good starting point is that when looking at token utility, any evaluation must be set in a business context. CEO Mayande Walker, who’s blockchain startup OpenCT first emerged in the ICO boom days of 2017, agrees that explaining the role of token utility within the business is key to persuading investors. “When you look at the technical details of how our OpenCT protocol delivers data transport – it soon becomes clear just how dependent it is on a utility token to drive our VPN-killer product, the Private Crypto Network. But it’s also our experience working with governments and global carriers that goes a long way towards convincing would-be-investors and partners of the OCT token’s long-term value” he added.

 

For rising stars of the GameFi sector, or with fast-moving NFT projects it probably involves doing more in-depth research into the sector, as much as an individual project. Attracting attention is Solana, which despite outage issues since the beginning of August, the price of Solana has risen by more than 100%, making it the tenth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.  In the recent Raconteur article Osborn highlights three other coins with real utility, he thinks are worth watching: Polkadot, Internet Computer, and Vechain. Polkadot is building a network with an aim to support a range of different blockchains, enabling them to work together. Internet Computer aims to disrupt the internet space through a decentralised web platform running on a blockchain. Vechain helps companies monitor and analyse their products through each stage of the supply chain in a safe and secure manner. Ultimately, it’s down to the individual investor to do their due diligence before parting with their hard earned cash, whether to back a popular meme coin or invest in a little-known crypto startup’s token.

 

Original Source: https://programminginsider.com/why-understanding-token-utility-is-key-to-finding-real-value/

 

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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