MEET NFT TYCOONS
On Monday, we published the cover story of the Forbes 2021 international billionaires issue, which highlights the evolution of the Winklevoss brothers from crew-rowing jocks featured in the hit 2010 film about Facebook, The Social Network, to billionaire tycoons at the forefront of the crypto boom. Since settling with Mark Zuckerberg for $65 million in 2008, the twins built a combined $6 billion fortune through their own bitcoin holdings, crypto exchange Gemini, and investments in crypto startup ventures, including popular NFT platform Nifty Gateway.
However, there are indications that we may have hit the top of the NFT market, at least for now. According to data by Nonfungible.com, which tracks the NFT market, the average price of an NFT has fallen from $4,000 in mid-February to nearly $1,500. Most of the leading NFT platforms have also seen drops in transaction volume and active users, though they remain at historically high levels. Time will tell whether the so-called bubble is popping or whether the market is purely stabilizing.
CRYPTO TOPS $2 TRILLION
On Monday, the total value of cryptocurrencies briefly hit $2 trillion for the first time ever, putting it past the market capitalizations of Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. The market has more than doubled in value so far this year , rising from around $750 billion at the beginning of January.
As usual, bitcoin, which makes up more than half of the cryptocurrency market capitalization, has led the market. However, the latest rally is being driven by ether (ETH), the second-largest digital asset after bitcoin, and binance coin (BNB), the native token of the largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance. Both cryptocurrencies have surged over the past few months due to a burst of interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) , an umbrella term for blockchain-based financial applications designed to replace central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges or banks to offer traditional investment products. On Tuesday, ether hit an all-time high of $2,150. As such, bitcoin’s total value as a percentage of the entire crypto market is the lowest it has been in two years (56.5%).
Source: Messari. Prices as of 4:30 p.m. on April 9, 2021.
COINBASE IS SHOWROOM READY
Ahead of its long-anticipated public market debut next week, Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S., posted its first-quarter results, and they are staggering: $1.8 billion in revenue that soared nearly 900% from $190.6 million in the same period last year, an estimated $800 million in first-quarter earnings, roughly 25 times the $32 million posted a year ago. Additionally, the platform’s verified users (those with confirmed identities who are eligible to trade) swelled to 56 million at quarter’s end, compared to 34 million one year prior.
Coinbase is set to debut on the Nasdaq exchange on Wednesday, April 14, under the ticker COIN, and the event is sure to test Wall Street’s appetite for the resurgent cryptocurrency market. If you are considering an investment, make sure to read our research report laying out important market factors investors should take into account and takeaways from Coinbase’s latest earnings call.
BLOCKCHAIN 50 SYMPOSIUM - Tuesday April 13, 2021
In October, PayPal made waves when it enabled customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency directly via their PayPal accounts. Adding to its crypto support, on March 30, the company launched a crypto checkout service letting customers convert their cryptocurrency holdings to fiat at checkout at no additional cost.
On Tuesday, April 13, PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman will be discussing his company’s crypto journey and the future of money at our annual Blockchain 50 Symposium, which not only features Paypal, but Michael Saylor from MicroStrategy, as well as execs from list members including Visa, Vanguard, Fidelity and Walmart. All are welcome! Click here to RSVP.
Forbes sells NFT of its Winklevoss issue cover for $333,333 [TheBlock]
Crypto trading on Robinhood spiked to 9.5M customers in the first quarter [TechCrunch]
Why Sotheby’s and Christie’s Adore NFTs [Bloomberg]
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