Will We Ever Use Meme Coins for Payment in the Metaverse?

Will We Ever Use Meme Coins for Payment in the Metaverse?

The rise of meme coins has been a surprise not only in terms of the growth of their collective market value, but also their utility. The leading meme coin Dogecoin was originally launched as a joke by its co-founders in 2013 had reached a market cap of over $65 billion in May. Maybe the clue to its later success is in its origination, as a fork of Lucky Coin, itself a fork of Litecoin, which was a fork of Bitcoin! While its original creators never intended it to become so popular, or to rise in value to such stratospheric levels, it’s clearly ‘taken on a life of its own’ to coin a phrase. Now there’s a new twist in the Dogecoin’s tale, with the backing of celebrities like Tesla’s Elon Musk and Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, it’s now being used for payment. So how seriously should we take this latest chapter in the development of meme coins, as a form of payment?

 

While it’s tempting to see the use of Dogecoin for payment as one more inexplicable jump in its unlikely evolution, its brief history shows what’s a consistent driving force behind this – its community. Just two weeks after its launch in 2013 the Reddit forum r/Dogecoin had over 19k members. It’s this community that drove the first real use of the coin, when in 2014 it quickly raised $30,000 to send the Jamaican bobsled team to the Winter Olympics, in a real-life version of the comedy sports movie ‘Cool Runnings’.

 

And without a PR agency to spread the news, the story was picked up by media outlets, broadcasting the meme coin to the world. Dogecoin’s fun meme-driven community backing and simplicity to use are key to its popular success. Maybe it found a market by accident rather than design, but that also underlines the power of memes to spread ideas and grow products.

It’s perhaps not surprising that Shark Tank star and billionaire owner of the NBA team Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, told US-broadcaster CNBC recently that not only is Dogecoin “a medium that can be used for the acquisition of goods and services,” but that also “the community for doge is the strongest when it comes to using it as a medium of exchange”. This was in turn endorsed by Elon Musk, who tweeted: “I’ve been saying this for a while.” So how did Musk, with his Tesla and SpaceX commitments, get so involved with Doge?

 

Apparently, his first contact was in 2018 when Musk asked Doge co-founder, Jackson Palmer, to help him with Twitter scam bots. The next year in 2019, he tweeted that, “Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency. It’s pretty cool.” His follow-up tweets in 2020 only served to inflate the prices of Doge, including in January 2021 when Musk helped send Dogecoin prices up 800%.

So how is Musk ‘putting his money where his mouth is’ and going from meme to payment promoter? The answer lies in his SpaceX business. In the first quarter of 2022 SpaceX will accept Dogecoin as full payment for a payload on the officially titled ‘DOGE-1 mission to the Moon’. DOGE-1 will fly a 40-kilogram cube satellite as a payload on a Falcon 9 rocket, with a hi-tech payload. SpaceX also confirmed that the DOGE-1 mission would adopt Dogecoin to set the standard for “interplanetary commerce”. Musk sees the meme coin as having a future in payments that’s not simply confined to planet Earth!

A latecomer to the meme coin payment party, entrepreneur, and star of Shark Tank Mark Cuban, is altogether more down to earth with his meme coin payment proposals. Cuban’s basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks, is rolling out the coin for payment with the help of BitPay, which is providing it as a payment option for its merchants and consumers. The blockchain payments company confirmed that, “Mavs Fans for Life (MFFLs) can now use Dogecoin to buy tickets and merchandise online, making Mavs merchandise more accessible to MFFLs everywhere, a decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency, Dogecoin enables customers to easily send money online with very low transaction fees and fast transaction times.” Commenting on the Doge-related deal Cuban admitted they provided Dogecoin “because we can!”. He added that for fans who wanted to know more, “we strongly encourage you to talk to your teenagers who are on tik tok and ask them about it”.

So, what makes the meme token so attractive for payments, beyond its popularity? BitPay said Dogecoin’s large supply and low price facilitated ‘efficient micro-tipping content’. “It has an advantage Bitcoin or Ethereum doesn’t necessarily have at this time: Dogecoin has low fees. And when you combine a strong community with low fees, that’s a great recipe. I expect it to continue to grow, and that utility will get greater,” said a BitPay spokesperson. The well-known crypto exchange Coinbase that it’s e-commerce platform ‘Coinbase Commerce’ has begun accepting Dogecoin for payments, allowing its merchants to start accepting the meme token.

Talking of e-commerce, it may be a little ambitious to believe the giant online retailer Amazon will take up Dogecoin for payment purposes, but that hasn’t stopped a petition titled ‘Doge4Amazon’ from picking up strong support in 2021. Started three years ago with 20k supporters, in the last 6 months its jumped from 75k, to 100k, and now to close to 250K signatures. The petition reads: “Amazon.com, being a leader in innovation, should accept Dogecoin as a form of payment. Dogecoin is fast, cheap, and stable. It is stable in value, has the lowest transaction fee of other major coins, has a huge supply of coins, and has a very large, active community with ongoing development.”

 

At the other end of the e-commerce scale from Amazon, it’s reported that SamandZoey.com, a company that produces custom textile designs said they are accepting Dogecoin. “Accepting cryptocurrency, including Dogecoin, seemed like a natural next step for us—we have a history of listening to what our customers want. I’m surprised other eCommerce stores aren’t doing the same,” a spokesman said. Dogecoin may dominate the meme coin landscape but that’s also starting to change, as the demand continues to grow. In July it was reported that Baby Doge, in a bid to follow in Dogecoin’s footsteps, is also moving into e-commerce as a payment option. It’s teamed up with Coin Payments, allowing the meme coin to be used with over 5 million e-commerce businesses worldwide.

For aficionados of meme coins, Dogecoin isn’t the only popular crypto coin that was created in 2013, with a fun animal identity and with strong community backing. MONA was launched in 2013 as part of the MonaCoin Project and is based on the meme of a cat-like figure. It was designed by an anonymous developer who goes by Mr.Watanabe, who like Bitcoin’s anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto has never been officially identified. The meme token, which in March had a market value of around $134 million, is mainly used in Japan which may explain why it’s not more widely known. Its key practical use is as a currency in several stores (both online and on the high street), and according to Investopedia the currency can also be used through Monappy, “an online platform where MonaCoin holders can exchange coins for digital assets, such as coupons, electronics, and other items”. While its success for use in payments was helped by Japan’s Financial Services Agency approval in 2017, the cat-like currency is still dwarfed by Dogecoin in terms of popularity.

Clearly, despite their fun-filled origins meme coins are here to stay and rising in global popularity. Led by Dogecoin, especially in the US, and with celebrity backing from Musk and Cuban, it’s not difficult to see the advantages of its payment-friendly features in terms of low fees and infinite supply. If a major retailer like Amazon jumps on the meme coin bandwagon, it will become a major payment option for consumers. Indeed, you can already see innovation within the mobile meme-coin-led consumer space with DogeCola, a token designed to keep the price stable and avoid Whale speculation, while also offering its own soft drink cola later this year.

It’s also not hard to see meme coins use in related sectors such as music and gaming, as a cross-proprietary platform currency to enable the vision of the ‘multiverse’. In a recent report, UK-based blockchain VC Outlier Ventures sees the need to have a crypto decentralized core, with its own payment system as key: “The defining characteristic of a true Metaverse is that it needs its own economy and currencies native to it, where value can be earnt, spent, lent, borrowed or invested interchangeably in both a physical or virtual sense and most importantly without the need for a government.”

 

Whether it will be used seriously for business-to-business payments, apart from one-offs like SpaceX’s use for promotional purposes, remains to be seen. After all, stablecoins such as Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) are also viable commercial options for digital payments that are fast and low cost and have been expanding rapidly in 2021. But one thing’s for sure about the meme coins, the sky’s the limit when it comes to future payment options for consumers keen to be able to use their favorite cryptocurrency.

 

“Memecoins could be another driver in the new metaverse. Who knows?“

 

– Anndy Lian, Chairman, BigONE Exchange & Author of Blockchain Revolution 2030

 

Original Source: https://hackernoon.com/will-we-ever-use-meme-coins-for-payment-in-the-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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Hacked Crypto Exchange BitMart Promises to Use Its Own Funds to Compensate Affected Users

Hacked Crypto Exchange BitMart Promises to Use Its Own Funds to Compensate Affected Users

Crypto trading platform BitMart said it would use its own funds to compensate users affected by a Dec. 4 hack of the platform — the cost of which it had estimated to be around $150 million, according to a series of updates posted to its website.

Blockchain security and data analytics company PeckShield, however, estimated the loss to be around $200 million.

“Total estimated loss: ~200M (~100M on @ethereum and ~96M on @BinanceChain ). (Previously we only counted the loss on @ethereum). And here is the list of affected assets/amounts on @BinanceChain,” the company tweeted.

Crypto Hack Headlines Bad for Business

Anndy Lian, chairman of BigONE Exchange and founding member of INFLUXO, told GOBankingRates that something reading like “crypto got hacked again” is never a good headline for the industry.

“I have seen many clickbait-like headlines going around to downplay cryptocurrency. The hack is a one-off situation and will act as a reminder to other exchanges to tighten their security and do regular checks for any possible exploits or vulnerabilities,” Lian said.

He added that Bitmart’s promise of paying back the affected projects and users “shows responsibilities and dedication to their clients and also sets a good example for the crypto space and the naysayers quoted in various news.”

“It is unfortunate for the hack to happen to Bitmart. I met Sheldon briefly last month when he was in town. We should all help each other and if any of the suspected transactions went into other exchanges, those who have the ability should stop and seize the culprits. This is the time we should all work together,” Lian added.

Lian’s sentiment was echoed by many in the crypto industry.

Crypto Industry Insiders Laud Bitmart Promise to Repay Affected Users

Michael Fasanello, director of training and regulatory affairs at Blockchain Intelligence Group, told GOBankingRates he was “actually impressed by that gesture of appreciation for their customers and owning the situation.”

Fasanello said that, to the best of his knowledge, this is the first instance wherein a hacked exchange has offered to make restitution to customers from the exchange’s own coffers.

“Until FDIC or a similar federal umbrella is in place, reimbursement of customers or recovery of stolen assets are the only appropriate options available to exchanges who are the victim of cyber-enabled financial crime such as hacks or ransomware attacks,” he said.

BitMart Vows to Move Forward, Make Good on Repayment Promise

BitMart said, on Dec. 4, that it had identified a large-scale security breach related to one of its ETH (Ethereum) hot wallets and one of its BSC (Binance Smart Chain) hot wallets.

“The affected ETH hot wallet and BSC hot wallet carry a small percentage of assets on BitMart and all of our other wallets are secure and unharmed. We are now conducting a thorough security review and we will post updates as we progress,” the company said at the time. “During this period, we will strive to maintain transparency and we appreciate your support. Thank you very much.”

In a subsequent post on Dec. 6, BitMart explained that the security breach was mainly caused by a stolen private key that compromised two hot wallets.

“BitMart will use our own funding to cover the incident and compensate affected users. We are also talking to multiple project teams to confirm the most reasonable solutions such as token swaps. No user assets will be harmed,” the Bitmart update claimed.

The company added that it was doing “its best” to retrieve security set-ups and their broader operation and needed time to make proper arrangements.

“The detailed timelines will be announced very soon. In addition, our CEO, Sheldon Xia, will conduct an AMA at 8PM EST Dec 6 on Telegram to share more info regarding the security breach, compensation arrangement, and how we plan to resume operation. We will strive to maintain transparency and your support to BitMart is highly appreciated,” the update read.

 

Original Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/finance/news/hacked-crypto-exchange-bitmart-promises-200038756.html

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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Op-ed by Anndy Lian: The rise of the use of blockchain and crypto in Southeast Asia

Op-ed by Anndy Lian: The rise of the use of blockchain and crypto in Southeast Asia
By Anndy Lian – Oct 29, 2021 | 09:25 AM GMT+7

TheLEADER A recent Chainalysis report showing stellar growth in cryptocurrency adoption in Central and Southeast Asia (CSAO), making it the fourth-largest crypto market in the world, should come as no surprise.

According to the blockchain analytics firm, the region saw a 2 per cent growth in global market share between July 2020 and June 2021. Which may on face value does not sound significant, but this growth made CSAO the fourth-largest cryptocurrency market in the world, with over $572.5 billion in value sent during the year. This number represents 14 per cent of total global cryptocurrency transactions – and a growth rate of 706 per cent for the region for the year July 2020 to June 2021.

This rosy regional picture of Southeast Asian crypto development had a reality check when on September 24th, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced that all cryptocurrency transactions in China are illegal.

“Virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities,” the PBoC confirmed, warning it “seriously endangers the safety of people’s assets”. Is this a sign that crypto innovation in Southeast Asia is stalled, or are there good reasons for optimism despite the China ban?

“We will see an increasing exodus of Chinese crypto entrepreneurs, and I believe it will lead to a diffusion of crypto technology in Southeast Asia and accelerate the rise of Southeast Asia as a hotbed of crypto innovation,” said Singapore-based Lily Z. King, writing in Forkast.

King suggested an upside to all the FUD caused by the ban, which will drive a significant decentralization of crypto power from China to other markets, particularly Southeast Asia.

“As the economy of Southeast Asia has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, the new inflow of crypto capital and technology might bring a much-needed boost for their digital economy. Taking the long-term perspective, this diffusion is good for the builder-type among Chinese crypto entrepreneurs and is good for the crypto movement globally,” she concluded.

If that thesis is correct, what existing trends in crypto/blockchain are likely to simply accelerate, rather than jump-starting new innovation?

In the Chainalysis report, which to note looks wider than Southeast Asia to include central Asia and Oceania, there has been a marked growth in decentralized finance (DeFi) activity. From May 2020, DeFi activity (as a share of all transaction volume) skyrockets, reaching above 50 per cent by February. This activity is primarily driven by Uniswap, Instadapp, and dydx, with significant activity on Compound, Curve, AAVE, and 1inch.

But behind these insights what can we see in regional user and business adoption that can help understand the possible impacts of the China ban?

The island-state of Singapore is widely regarded as a leading force for crypto and blockchain adoption. According to a Hacker Noon article, there are 634 companies incorporated in Singapore related to crypto, with a total value of $8.3 billion according to CoinMarketCap.

Despite this existing activity, in late 2020, a new multi-million-dollar program was launched to strengthen Singapore’s blockchain ecosystem. One of the program leaders, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), said the need for such support was due to the lack of large-scale successful use cases outside the fintech sector which was hampering mainstream adoption.

“Its nascence means end-user companies have a lack of codified business models on how to work together using blockchain’s trusted environment. The industry is showing signs of silo-ed, specialized, blockchain solutions rather than interoperable network blockchains,” said IMDA.

The IMDA also noted that support for startups seeking like-minded partners was lacking. While the Singapore Blockchain Ecosystem Report 2020, published at the end of last year, found that the coronavirus pandemic had accelerated the application of blockchain technology, used to verify health credentials.

A key driver for crypto businesses setting up shop in Singapore, independent of the latest China ban, is the regulatory clarity provided by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). And indeed, Singapore is already home to many Chinese crypto companies, including Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange founded in China.

“Singapore provides the regulatory clarity with various regulations for different kinds of crypto activities (payment tokens, securities, custody, crypto fund management, etc.). Naturally, that would be attractive for any crypto companies, whether from China or elsewhere, to consider setting up shop in Singapore,” said Chia Hock Lai, co-chairman of Blockchain Association Singapore.

Consider the demographics of the region’s top six economies (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) with a combined population of around 580 million, of which half are aged below 35.

In terms of grassroots adoption of crypto, as opposed to business adoption in Southeast Asia, Vietnam not only tops the rankings for the region but for the world when calculated in terms of the transaction volumes for peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms.

As Chainalysis reported, for their 2021 global report, many residents use P2P cryptocurrency exchanges as their primary on-ramp into cryptocurrency, often because they don’t have access to centralized exchanges. Another reason given for the high uptake in Vietnam is the interest in gambling, which as its illegal gives a boost to demand for such activities through crypto-assets.

Southeast Asia also has a sizable unbanked population, primarily found in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Of the estimated 1.7 billion unbanked people today, 290 million live in the region. This is another contributing factor behind the high P2P uptake, certainly, it’s why Facebook’s crypto wallet Novi is predicted to have a high uptake in the region.

In the Philippines for example, 71 per cent of adults do not have a bank account, according to a 2019 report by the country’s central bank. And unlike the US where younger users have failed to drive Facebook adoption, in the Philippines, almost 33 per cent of the users are aged 18 to 24. This user profile is supported by figures from Metamask, with Filipinos making up a fifth of its ten million active monthly users – driven by the success of the NFT-based game Axie Infinity which allows people to earn by playing.

“The largest swath of gamers on the platform come from the island nation – a little more than 40 per cent – according to the powerhouse behind Axie Infinity, a Vietnamese startup called Sky Mavis,” according to Business Insider.

“The biggest driver for crypto over the next few years is not going to be DeFi, it’s not going to be opening up centralized exchanges. It’s going to be GameFi,” Lu said in a recent Forkast report.

“GameFi is going to drive the crypto adoption in Southeast Asia and South Asia…blockchain games and a play-to-earn sector is what is going to take the adoption of non-crypto users and [turn] them into crypto users once they realize that they can earn more money or supplement their earnings with the game where they can play for two hours, three hours. It’s pretty crazy,” Lu confirmed.

The rich diversity of crypto adoption, whether successful crypto-based businesses or grassroots play-to-earn gamers, shows that there is great potential in Southeast Asia.

While Singapore in many ways is leading the way, the need as identified by the IMDA for interoperable network blockchains underlines that there has to be coordinated action from all stakeholders, to make Singapore the world’s leading user of decentralized technology, faced with the concerted efforts of the Chinese state to be the dominant blockchain power.

Whether it’s better serving the needs of the unbanked, or leading the way in the use of blockchain to spur medical research, the opportunities for innovation are there for the taking.

 

Original Source: https://e.theleader.vn/the-rise-of-the-use-of-blockchain-and-crypto-in-southeast-asia-1635393795663.htm

 

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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