It’s non-stop in crypto at the moment, and sentiment is good as BTC climbs.
So, let’s get straight into the latest news, starting with a look at Elon Musk’s plans to transform X into an all-in-one financial app, as we wonder whether that also includes crypto.
Here’s what’s in today’s issue:
- Sam shares his thoughts on X handling crypto, crypto funding terrorism, Gemini suing Genesis & Solana launching an incubator.
- This week on chain.
- This week’s trending coins by Rebecca.
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Will X Handle Crypto?
Since Elon Musk took over at Twitter, now X, the changes to the platform have been non-stop, and it all seems to be heading towards the tech billionaire’s long-held vision to create an “everything app” similar to WeChat in China.
Then last week, comments made by Musk during an all-hands meeting call made it clear that his plans for payments on X are not to be taken lightly:
“When I say payments, I actually mean someone’s entire financial life. If it involves money, it’ll be on our platform. Money or securities or whatever. So it’s not just like ‘send $20 to my friend.’ I’m talking about, like, you won’t need a bank account.”
What’s more, the X boss has a timeline in mind:
“It would blow my mind if we don’t have that rolled out by the end of next year.”
So by now you’re probably wondering whether that phrase–“entire financial life”–includes crypto, and there’s plenty to suggest that it does, including the following:
- From March to May 2021, Tesla accepted payment in BTC, and Tesla holds BTC as an asset.
- X is acquiring currency transmitter licenses in the US, which cover money transmission including crypto.
- Musk has often tweeted about Doge, has tweeted images from NFTs, and once even temporarily changed the Twitter logo to a Doge logo.
Also, roll back to May 2022 and you can find Musk, while talking about WeChat as a payment platform, explaining how it needs “a “high-trust situation,” in which “payments, whether it’s crypto or fiat, can make a lot of sense”.
If the everything in everything app really does mean everything, then crypto would need to be part of the package, and Musk has shown often that he’s fully tuned in to the crypto world.
‘Crypto Funds Terrorism’: Continuing Operation Choke Point 2.0?
There was a lot of discussion earlier this year about a theory dubbed Operation Choke Point 2.0, which contended that the political establishment in the US was conspiring to kill the crypto industry by cutting off its access to banking services (the first Operation Choke Point is a real thing dating back to the Obama administration, so it’s not a far-fetched idea.)
Crypto in the US has been contending with huge obstacles related to banking services, along with hostility from the SEC, and now the industry is facing allegations that it funds terrorism. The problem with that last attack though, is that the accusations are based on faulty reporting.
Just to recap recent events:
- On October 10th, the Wall Street Journal reported that Hamas and other terror groups had received large amounts of illicit funding via crypto, with total figures running to hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Elizabeth Warren (one of the most anti-crypto politicians around) cites the WSJ report in a letter to the Biden administration pushing for a crypto crackdown, and the letter is signed by over 100 members of Congress.
- Analytics firms Chainalysis and Elliptic then correct the WSJ’s reporting, explaining that any terror funding received via crypto has been hugely exaggerated by the WSJ.
From there, the WSJ eventually issued a correction, thanks largely to pressure from venture capitalist Nic Carter (who first wrote about Operation Choke Point 2.0), and at a Senate committee hearing addressing Hamas financing, both sides of the argument (pro and anti crypto) presented their cases.
So does this now mean that crypto will get fairer coverage?
Not yet, it seems, as over the weekend, the New York Times emailed out its DealBook newsletter, in which it presented the story detailed above, but again from the erroneous angle first established by the WSJ: that crypto and terrorism are closely linked.
While the NYT does also detail the pushback against the WSJ, what we have in the end is an initial false report in the WSJ setting the tone, the crypto industry then scrambling to put the record straight, but then another outlet (the NYT) causing further confusion.
Still, crypto is ever resilient, and the industry looks battle-hardened enough to keep on correcting its critics and presenting the facts as they really are.
Gemini Sues Genesis
Crypto exchange Gemini and bankrupt crypto firm Genesis used to be business partners, both under parent company DCG, but as Genesis’ bankruptcy case continues, Gemini has now filed a lawsuit against its former partner.
The claim is for over 62 million Grayscale Bitcoin Trust shares, now worth around $1.6 billion, which Gemini alleges are owed to it by Genesis as part of a security agreement entered into in 2022, and which were to serve as loan collateral for users of Gemini’s Earn program.
Earn program users are unable to withdraw their funds, but Gemini states in the lawsuit that $1.6 billion is “an amount that would completely secure and satisfy the claims of every single Earn User”.
Gemini also alleges that, “Genesis has repeatedly taken actions to harm Earn Users and to hinder and delay Earn Users’ recovery of their digital assets. Genesis has deprived Earn Users of the benefit of the Collateral”.
In an update on its website too, Gemini is unequivocal in placing the blame squarely with Genesis, stating, “Genesis is the impediment to making the Earn Users whole”, and alleging that Genesis is trying to take the value of the GBTC shares and funnel it to other creditors.
Solana Incubator to Launch
There’s positive news over at Solana, where Solana Labs are launching a new incubator program called, very straightforwardly, Solana Incubator.
We like the no-nonsense naming approach, and it looks like the program is all about simplicity too, as it aims (according to Solana Labs project manager Emon Motamedi) “to remove the biggest obstacles currently facing founders, including barriers around Web3 integrations and fundraising”.
The incubator will do this by assisting with engineering, mentoring, product fit and marketing, and fundraising, and the aim is to expand the network of Solana projects, while boosting Web3 as a whole.
Solana Incubator is taking applications from new projects until November 30th.
And in other Solana news, asset management firm VanEck last week released a report in which they consulted their crystal ball and made some bold Solana predictions. Cutting straight to the figures, their 2030 bear case values SOL at $9.81, while their bull case puts it at $3,211.
That’s certainly a very wide range, but how do you see Solana’s prospects if crypto is entering a new bull market, and how about over the longer term beyond that? Reply to this email and let us know what you think.
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Are we now in the early stages of a Bitcoin bull market? It certainly feels that way, but then Crypto Twitter can get a little over-excited sometimes, so how about out there in the real world?
Checking in with Google Trends, searches for the phrase ‘buy bitcoin’ have indeed increased at the end of October, coinciding with the BTC price leaping up into the 30-35K region, and amid growing anticipation around spot BTC ETF approval.
Worldwide searches for ‘buy bitcoin’
What’s more, this all comes as the BTC liquid supply continues to decrease, falling to around just 22%, which then brings the potential for increased volatility.
It’s also of note that there’s been a recent small spike in large BTC transactions (meaning those over $100,000), which would suggest institutional activity.
This ties in with a currently prevalent idea that in this cycle, demand may be primarily driven by institutions, rather than by retail.
Notice that the last such spike was in late June, after news of BlackRock’s ETF application.
And when it comes to already existing BTC ETFs (as in, not spot ETFs), there’s been significantly increased trading, with the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (which invests in bitcoin futures) doing $1.7 billion of trade in a week, which is its second busiest week since launch.
Does this suggest that there’s an appetite for spot ETFs in future? That’s certainly a plausible interpretation.
By the way, BTC has offered highly impressive year-to-date returns this year of around 105%, so–just to go off-chain for a moment–is there anything outside of crypto that could have offered better value? Well, hats off to anyone holding orange juice, which has been a standout performer of the year.
And interestingly, back within the Bitcoin world, most BTC mining stocks (all except three) have outperformed BTC itself so far this year (as have MicroStrategy and the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust), showing that exploring all possible BTC vehicles and related products can be a way to increase profits.
In line with current upticks in crypto sentiment, NFTs now look like they’re entering an optimistic phase after a year of reduced activity.
We can see that NFT trading volume is going up (to around $14 million, daily), and it should be kept in mind that this data excludes a new NFT platform called Flooring Protocol.
And in fact, if we take a look at Flooring Protocol–which allows for NFTs to be fractionalized into fungible tokens–we can find that there’s been a promising-looking increase in TVL, from below $3 million to over $16 million, a significant amount in relation to trading volume across the NFT ecosystem.
Looking around the crypto space, it’s good to get a sense of which protocols are picking up use, and when it comes to percentage increases in users over the past thirty days, then Cosmos Hub is hugely out in the lead.
And as blockchain gaming has a lot of potential, then the Ethereum Layer 2 Ronin–which is specialized for gaming, and is the network on which Axie Infinity was built–also stands out in the top five.
On a contrasting note, over the years, the number of new blockchains and coins has continued to grow, but the majority of them are now camped out on the fringes. This situation is reflected in the figures for exchange delistings, which show that in 2023 so far, more coins have been removed from exchanges than in any previous year.
Maybe we should take this as a reminder to never marry your bags, and by the same token (pun intended), to take note of quality when you find it.
Here are my key takeaways from the trends this week and it’s been a week of launches, token listings, and integrations.
- Beldex is a privacy-based ecosystem of dApps that’s announced a $3 million research and development investment from Web3 market maker, Enflux. Beldex is also hosting a giveaway on
- Injective is a Layer-1 blockchain built on Cosmos SDK that’s announced an integration with Google Cloud allowing core chain data from the network to be accessible in Google’s BigQuery.
- Myria is a Layer-2 gaming platform on Ethereum that’s launched a developer grants program with prize money of up to $500K in MYRIA tokens. Myria is also concluding its giveaway with Ridiculous Shooter.
- Gala is a play-to-earn (P2E) gaming ecosystem that’s announced it will allocate $5 billion into NFT offerings within the next year. A new game has also launched on Gala called Legacy which is a game from developer 22Cans.
- Botto is an AI-generated art project that’s seen crypto VC firm Variant double down on its initial investment. Due to this news, BottoDAO has swapped 3.75M BOTTO tokens from its treasury for 505, 125 USDC with Variant to further its evolution.
- Pepe is a memecoin that’s increased 77% in the last week due to the Bitcoin ETF narrative. Whales have been buying, as 6.2 trillion PEPE tokens worth $7M have moved from Binance to an unknown wallet.
- Big Time is a play-to-earn (P2E) game that’s recently skyrocketed 320% after being listed on exchanges such as Coinbase and OKX.
- Firo is a privacy coin previously known as Zcoin that’s seen its FIRO token listed on LetsExchange.
- Oraichain is an AI Layer-1 blockchain that’s seen Bitget integrate with the network to natively support the ORAI token.
- Kujira is a Layer-1 platform on Cosmos that’s celebrating over 1M native USDC tokens on the network. Kujira has also launched Pond which is the easiest way for developers to build dApps on the network.
- Bitcoin has held steady at around $34K as BTC dominance increased to 54% which is the highest level in 2.5 years. Bitcoin on exchanges also dropped to a 5-year low of 2.3M.
- Tellor Tributes is an oracle network that’s now live on the Manta Pacific mainnet. TRB has also entered the top 150 cryptocurrencies by market cap after skyrocketing more than 750% since July. Network activity has also hit a new all-time high.
- Solana is a Layer-1 blockchain that’s seen VanEck predict SOL will rise 10,600% by 2030. This would see SOL reach a price of $3,211 by the end of the decade. Solana’s Breakpoint conference is also taking place from October 30-November 3.
- Fetch[.]ai is a blockchain-based AI platform that’s rallied 60% after the Bitcoin ETF optimism. Fetch[.]ai has also completed the first round of its HackAI event.
- Arbitrum is an Ethereum Layer-2 scaling solution that’s integrated with Celestia for data availability and announced its Orbit software is ready for the mainnet allowing Layer-3 networks to be created.
Thank you so much for your support, and I truly hope that today’s issue will give you insights needed to help you master your wealth.
If you are reading this it means you are on the free version of the Wealth Mastery Investor Report, which is great for news and tips on the crypto markets.
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Lark and the Wealth Mastery Team
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