• NFT trading volume has seen a 117% increase from January to February, reaching $2 billion for the first time since May 2022.
• Ethereum (ETH) was the top blockchain by NFT trading volume, accounting for 83.36% of the entire market.
• Blur and OpenSea were the two busiest NFT marketplaces in February, with Blur facilitating over $1.3 billion in trading volume while OpenSea represented 28.7%.
NFT Trading Volume Returns to Pre-LUNA Crash Levels
Non-fungible token (NFT) market’s trading volume increased to $2 billion in February, reaching its pre-LUNA crash levels, according to DappRadar’s Industry Report.
Trading Volume Increases Significantly
The NFT trading volume recorded a 117% spike from January’s $956 million, as the DappRadar data shows. Meanwhile, sales count recorded a 31.46% decrease, falling to 6.3 million from January’s 9.2 million.
Ethereum is Top Blockchain
In February, Ethereum (ETH) remained the top blockchain by NFT trading volume. The chain recorded $1.8 billion in trading volume, which marks a 174% increase from the $659 million in January.
Blur vs OpenSea
Blur triumphed over OpenSea in terms of trading volume in February. Blur facilitated over $1.3 billion in trading volume throughout the month while OpenSea came second with $587 million.
Profit Chasers vs Art Lovers
• A recent court ruling by Judge Victor Marrero found that the use of certain emojis by DapperLabs in promotional materials could be classified as investment advice.
• Former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca warned the public against using certain emojis in promotional materials following the ruling.
• The court filing referenced a tweet from Dapper Labs which used rocket ship, stock market, and money bags emoji to show market performance.
Court Ruling on Emojis as Investment Advice
A recent court ruling by Judge Victor Marrero found that the use of certain emojis by DapperLabs in promotional materials could be classified as investment advice. The ruling was made in response to a lawsuit filed against Dapper Labs and its CEO Roham Gharegozlou for allegedly violating securities laws by offering its NBA Top Shot Moments. According to the filing, using emojis relating to rocket ships, stock charts, and money bags objectively mean one thing: a financial return on investment.
Former SEC Chief Warns Against Using Emojis for Investment Advice
Following this ruling, former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca warned the public against using certain emojis in promotional materials via Twitter. The court filing referenced a tweet from Dapper Labs which used rocket ship, stock market, and money bags emoji to show market performance. Although Dapper Labs argued that the use of these emojis was intended to provide accuracy to market data and not a means of promoting sales, it was ruled otherwise by Judge Marrero.
NBA Top Shot Moments
NBA Top Shot Moments are non-fungible tokens (NFT) that capture key highlights and video clips from NBA games. These tokens were being promoted as an investment opportunity through carefully chosen emojis according to plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit against Dapper Labs.
Crypto Community Reactions
Several members of the crypto community have argued that Emojis could mean different things to different folks, hence, a rule on its usage could impede freedom of speech. This is especially concerning with regards to tweets which can often contain nuanced messages that are difficult or impossible for regulators or courts to interpret accurately without context or additional information being provided by users themselves.
The court’s ruling serves as an important reminder for all those involved in cryptocurrency marketing activities regarding their responsibility when it comes to potentially misleading statements or representations made online – even if they are only done so via seemingly harmless emoticons or images such as rocketships or moneybags! It is essential that companies remain mindful when creating promotional content so as not inadvertently violate any local regulations related securities law compliance
• FTX’s Nishad Singh is reportedly approaching a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors.
• The CFTC and SEC reportedly plan to file charges against him as well.
• This could be related to the criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and former CEO of FTX.
FTX’s Nishad Singh Approaches Plea Deal
FTX’s former director of engineering, Nishad Singh, is reportedly in talks with U.S. prosecutors to enter a plea deal. Reports from Bloomberg News suggest that Manhattan prosecutors are preparing to file charges against Singh, which could provide assistance in the criminal case against Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder and former CEO of FTX. Additionally, the CFTC and SEC may also be filing charges against Singh in connection with this matter.
Previously on Jan 10th, similar reports from Bloomberg suggested that Singh had discussed a cooperation deal that was likely to lead to a plea deal later down the line; however at this time he was not accused of any wrongdoing yet. The U.S Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York is responsible for overseeing this investigation which began back on Jan 5th when authorities commenced their investigations into Singh’s activities such as developing software used to transfer funds between FTX and Alameda Exchange as well as his involvement in campaign financing .
Plea Deal Expected
At this point it appears that Nishad singh plans to reach a plea deal with authorities as his last two former colleagues have already done so before him – Caroline Ellison who served as FTX’s former Alameda Research CEO pled guilty in December alongside Gary Wang another co-founder of FTX who also reached an agreement with authorities at that time . Both individuals are now said to be cooperating authorities regarding their case against Sam Bankman-Fried , awaiting trial .
Neither the CFTC or SEC have publicly confirmed Bloomberg’s statements at this time but it appears they are both taking part in these proceedings via their respective enforcement actions .
In conclusion , there seems to be mounting evidence suggesting that Nishad sing will soon reach a plea deal with US prosecutors after relatively recent developments from January 5th where he was initially not accused of any wrong doings . His two colleagues have already entered agreements with authorities so it looks like he’ll follow suit shortly .
• Ordinal Punks NFTs are being called out as “sketchy” due to a lack of infrastructure and strong FOMO.
• These Bitcoin NFTs have no on-chain information and the collection is only accessible via OTC channels.
• Despite these drawbacks, demand for Bitcoin NFTs has been rising rapidly with the emergence of „Bitcoin Punks“, a clone of Ethereum’s CryptoPunks.
Ordinal Punks NFTs Called Out As ‚Sketchy‘
A Twitter account has expressed concerns about Ordinal Punks NFTs, asking whether it is „the biggest NFT scam of all time?“ On Feb. 9, CryptoSlate reported that three NFTs sold according to social media posts, including #94 which reportedly sold for 9.5 Bitcoins ($215,800).
Lack Of Infrastructure And Strong FOMO
The Bitcoin chain was not designed to accommodate NFT functionality so there is no infrastructure to verify sales or even facilitate them in a click-and-buy process. Furthermore, details about Ordinal Punks are restricted to people’s accounts rather than openly accessible data.
Price Floor Established For Blue Chip Collection?
According to the Director of Research at PROOF Collective, based on information from a „Google doc,“ Ordinal Punks have a current price floor of 55.4 ETH ($85,500). This amount is considered the ballpark figure for a blue chip collection but some are questioning its legitimacy.
Rising Popularity Of ‚Bitcoin Punks‘
„Bitcoin Punks,“ a clone of Ethereum’s CryptoPunks is also taking off according to @seanbonner who warned against falling for the FOMO due to: (1) No market (2) A lot of scams (3) Low/none transparency (4) Needing to run a Bitcoin node to mint (5) Extreme information asymmetry.
Despite the lack of infrastructure and strong FOMO surrounding Bitcoin NFTs such as Ordinal and Bitcoin Punks, their popularity continues to rise rapidly among crypto enthusiasts. p >
Ethereum Passes $1,700
• Ethereum briefly surpassed $1,700 on February 2, soaring more than $500 since the start of the year.
• Supply of ETH on exchanges have fallen to their lowest levels since June 2018.
• Some analysts suggest a local top may be in play with major ETH profit taking and availability of ETH supply on exchanges forming a gap.
Supply and Demand
The market intelligence platform Santiment identified several key points that suggest a local top may be in. The chart overlaid 3 key metrics: Price (ETH), Ratio of daily on-chain volume in profit loss (ETH) and Supply on exchanges (as % of total supply) (ETH). It found that there is a large gap forming between major ETH profit taking and the availability of ETH supply on exchanges. On February 2, major ETH profit taking hit its highest level since February 2021 while the same day, ETH supply on exchanges fell to below 11.25%, their lowest level since June 2018. This may point to a local top forming into the weekend with ETH currently stable at around $1,640.
Some analysts say the bullish activity on Ethereum may be short-lived due to the factors mentioned above, suggesting a local top could form soon. However other experts remain optimistic about Ethereum’s price growth potential as well as its utility for decentralized finance applications such as trading platforms and smart contracts.
CryptoSlate has provided readers with an Orion Swap Widget which allows them to connect their wallets and trade with CEXs + DEXs aggregated through Orion without needing an account or global access.
Overall Ethereum has seen significant price growth over recent months while also seeing decreased supply levels on exchanges which could indicate an upcoming local top formation although some optimism remains among experts regarding Ethereum’s future possibilities in DeFi applications or trading platforms. CryptoSlate has provided readers with an easy solution for connecting wallets and trading via CEXs + DEXs aggregated through Orion without needing an account or global access via their Orion Swap Widget.
• BlockFi, a bankrupt crypto lending firm, has been granted court permission to pay close to $10 million in employee bonuses.
• The payments will be divided into three installments and will be paid to two tiers of employees, one receiving 42.5% of their base salary and the other receiving 9% of their base salary amount.
• The final payout must be completed within 12 months of court approval if the firm chooses to proceed with the employee retention plan.
Crypto lending firm BlockFi has recently been granted the court’s approval to pay close to $10 million in employee bonuses, despite its bankruptcy status. This news comes as a surprise, as the firm has been in a difficult financial position since the crypto market crash of early 2021.
The filing of the court document did not provide the exact number of employees eligible for the bonus, but reports suggest that BlockFi has about 125 employees. The payments will be divided into three installments and will be provided to two tiers of employees, one receiving 42.5% of their base salary and the other receiving 9% of their base salary amount.
The firm has justified its request by stating that its employees are likely to be hired elsewhere due to the aggressive competition in the market. The court filing also states that BlockFi has been „authorized, but not directed,“ to enact this employee retention program. This means that although the firm will not be required to pay all or any of its employees, it will need to complete the last of the three payouts within 12 months of court approval if it chooses to proceed with the employee retention plan.
This is an interesting move on the part of BlockFi, as it shows the company’s commitment to supporting its employees in spite of its financial struggles. It will be interesting to see what effect this will have on the company’s future, and whether or not the retention program will be successful in retaining the firm’s staff.
• Azuki’s Twitter account was hacked and used to promote a fake virtual land mint.
• Several blockchain security firms blocked the malicious link and no Azuki tokens were stolen.
• Earlier in the week, Robinhood and Moonbirds also had their accounts breached.
On January 27th, the official Twitter handle of the bluechip NFT project, Azuki, was breached by malicious players. This was confirmed by the head of Azuki’s community, Dem, and several project officials urged the community not to click any link. The hackers posted two tweets with malicious links, promoting a fake virtual land mint. In response, blockchain security firms like Wallet Guard and crypto wallets like MetaMask, and Phantom Wallet blocked their users‘ access to the phishing link.
Fortunately, Etherscan data revealed that wallets connected to the hackers have not stolen any Azuki tokens. One of the wallets held 214 ETH ($343,000) as of press time, indicating that the hackers had not yet had the chance to access the funds. However, the hackers were still able to post a malicious link on Azuki’s Twitter bio as of press time.
This news comes shortly after Robinhood’s accounts were also used to promote an unassociated crypto token. Similarly, Moonbirds founder Kevin Rose experienced a wallet breach, resulting in the loss of NFTs worth millions.
Overall, the breach of Azuki’s Twitter account serves as a reminder of the importance of security in the blockchain industry. By taking the necessary steps to secure their accounts, users can help ensure that their assets and accounts are safe from malicious actors.