What’s On My Mind by Lark
Fear, Fear, Fear…
Fear is in charge of the market right now. This is a very rare time in markets. Rarely do we see so many events happening at the same time that can have such a big impact and cause so much uncertainty.
Oil markets are soaring as both the UK and USA ban Russian oil imports and Russia threatens to turn off the tap to Europe. Russia is one of the biggest producers of oil and gas in the world. This could have a big impact as prices soar for basically anything that needs to be moved since transportation costs will soar.
Wheat and other commodities including metals are pumping. Russia and Ukraine are massive agricultural power houses and top global producers of wheat among other food products. Russia is also a mining giant with huge reserves of many key metals. Again, we look at many downstream unintended consequences.
Russian economic collapse is happening in real time. Russian equity markets have erased hundreds of billions in value. The Ruble has dropped from 70 to the dollar to over 140 to the dollar in just two weeks. Russian banks like Sberbank (bigger than Lehman Brothers BTW), are on the verge of collapse. Russian airlines will likely collapse. Western companies from Starbucks, to Volkswagon, to McDonald’s, to Coca Cola, to Netflix are pulling out of Russia leaving tens to hundreds of thousands of people unemployed overnight. The Russian central bank has also banned foreign funds from being able to sell their Russian equities, meaning hundreds of billions of depository receipts trading in the UK and USA are now effectively worth 0. How all of this plays out is a real wild card, and it could have far ranging impacts.
The Federal Reserve is meeting next week to decide on rate rises. Inflation is continuing to rise, and the price of most goods are likely to increase further due to the war in Ukraine. How the FED reacts will be a major factor for markets.
We are very possibly looking at a global recession. Now is a time for caution, let’s hope we either see some sort of major shift in the geopolitical situation or that crypto stops correlating and breaks away.
Silver Lining this week is that the Biden executive order on crypto has been released. In general it was a positive order saying that more effort should be made by regulatory bodies to work together, a focus on consumer protection, financial stability, and a digital dollar. Read more HERE
Tai Lopez NFT Fail
Tai is a well known entrepreneur, investor, and online personality. He has often been criticized for his cringey marketing tactics and for selling get rich quick dreams. Well, he decided to make an NFT, because everyone is. And it was a pretty big fail. Only 2,000 of the 18,000 NFTs sold. Why was this the case? Well, they were WAY too expensive. And even though the starting prices were absurdly high, it was also a reverse Dutch Auction, meaning that the price kept going up. Obviously this was meant to induce a feeling of FOMO, but with an end price of 67.2 ETH you need to ask yourself “who in their right mind would buy that crap?” The NFT community absolutely wanted nothing to do with it. Tai’s NFTs were generally reviled as a cash grab by the NFT community. The NFTs were supposed to give some kind of exclusive access to Tai, but it seems that no one really wants that. This is a major contrast to the NFTs launched by Gary Vee called Vee Friends. They have loads of Gary Vee focused utility, and Gary unlike Tai, was a very early believer in and promoter of NFTs. The community accepted him and people wanted what he had to sell.
Fantom Gets Ghosted
Andre Cronje is leaving the crypto space and along with him a huge list of projects that people now fear will be abandoned. So where does that leave us? Well, Andre was involved with around 2 dozen projects, but really just a few of those rose to massive prominence. Let’s look at a few.
Fantom has more than 40 devs and a big ecosystem, it never was a one man show. It has always been much bigger than Andre, although he was a big part of it and a great promoter of it. Fantom is powerful and will live on.
Yearn Finance is a major yield aggregator on Ethereum. Andre has almost not been involved in it at all for like a year or so. There are something like 50 full time team members now. YFI buybacks are ongoing and they have an incubator coming along with a vote lock system. Hardly dead now is it? I am leaving my Ethereum in Yearn Finance.
Fixed Forex is a forex protocol which has often seen very high rates of return for more exotic currency pairs like the Korean Won. This will now be managed by the developers over at Defi Wonderland, not to be confused with the Avalanche’s Wonderland project.
Keep3r is a job matching network. It appears as though Defi Wonderland is also taking over administration of this protocol.
Solidly was just released a couple of weeks ago. Maybe this was the one that burnt him out? Who knows for sure. Anyway, Solidly has announced it will be shutting down from April 3rd. Which is pretty shocking for a brand new protocol. That is unless someone can come in to take it over. The team from Solidex has expressed interest in doing just that. At the time of writing, the future is uncertain for this new protocol.
While his contributions have had a big impact on crypto, defi is not over. Far from it, there are many many teams working hard on developing new and innovative protocols. Perhaps Andre just figured it was time to relax on his fortune? The burn out in crypto is real. I have been feeling it myself recently. The bull runs are hard but fun, the bear dumps are hard and not fun. It almost makes you understand why the stock markets only trade Monday to Friday. There is time to rest.
Fashion NFTs by Sam
As NFTs gain mainstream adoption they crossover into areas not usually associated with crypto. That includes not only things that were already digital before crypto came along (such as gaming), but ‘real-life’ physical items too.
The fashion industry is now incorporating NFTs, and the two worlds seem like a good match for each other.
Sports and streetwear companies in particular appear to have a good understanding of what NFTs are all about, respectfully slotting their brands into the crypto world without appearing too much like they’re jumping on a bandwagon.
The sports/fashion megabrand Adidas dropped its initial NFTs, Into the Metaverse, back last December, selling out rapidly but attracting criticism due to one buyer cleverly manipulating the minting system in their favor.
These are utility NFTs. There are 30,000 identical tokens, and if you own one, you get access to various benefits throughout 2022, including both physical merchandise and, according to the roadmap, virtual experiences (which is a little vague).
Adidas is partnered with BAYC, gmoney, and PUNKS Comic, so you’re getting some big NFT names for your money. Everyone’s always looking to get in on mints, but there’s a lot of value to be had on secondary markets if you time it right. Currently, the Adidas collection has dipped to around 1.1 ETH from a high of over 1.8 ETH a couple of weeks ago.
Something else to look out for in the future is Nike’s CryptoKicks project. Not much is known for sure about it at the moment, but it seems that it will tie sneaker releases in with an accompanying NFT asset.
Also currently making itself web3 friendly is Puma, which has purchased an ENS domain, is now known as PUMA.eth on Twitter, and is flexing a Cool Cats PFP.
It’s not clear exactly what’s being built, but collaborations with Gutter Cat Gang, Lazy Lions, and CatBlox appear to be in the making. And just to show how easily movers in the NFT space all link up together, Puma is working with world chess champion Magnus Carlsen, who is also working with Lympo, a sports NFT platform, to bring chess to the metaverse through The Sandbox.
Karafuru with Hypebeast and Atmos
Picking up a lot of fans, Karafuru is a beautifully garish project that packages up two key current trends: candy-coloured characters, and a manga/anime atmosphere.
And in recent news, Karafuru is now linking up with the fashion world, announcing collaborations with Hypebeast and Atmos coming up in April.
Hypebeast is a very influential fashion and lifestyle site (which has authenticity credentials through having started as a one-man sneaker and streetwear blog), and Atmos is one of the best sneaker shop chains in Japan, originating in Harajuku, at the heart of Tokyo sneaker culture.
The mint price, date and supply are all yet to be announced, but Sneaker Heads is shaping up to be a big project, and the images coming out so far are unique.
Not many details are known at the moment, but the project artist is Ali Dawood, and his existing work is outstanding. There are already a lot of people following Sneaker Heads, which, according to one tweet, aims to integrate sneakers with the NFT space.
Even besides those intentions though, attention and community are important commodities in the NFT space, and this project already has those factors.
The SEC and NFTs
It pays to be aware of possible complications coming down the line, so keep an eye on the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), who are taking an interest in NFTs. Not in the sense that they’re stacking Doodles or anything fun like that, but rather that they think some NFTs could qualify as securities, which would lead to regulation.
Of particular interest to the SEC are fractionalized NFTs (where ownership of an underlying NFT asset is subdivided into multiple tokens, creating liquidity), but it’s worth reading up on the Howey Test to get an idea of what the SEC is looking for.
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Lark and the Wealth Mastery Team
TCL Publishing ltd (director Lark Davis, owner of Wealth Mastery) is not providing you individually tailored investment advice. Nor is TCL Publishing registered to provide investment advice, is not a financial adviser, and is not a broker-dealer. The material provided is for educational purposes only. TCL Publishing is not responsible for any gains or losses that result from your cryptocurrency investments. Investing in cryptocurrency involves a high degree of risk and should be considered only by persons who can afford to sustain a loss of their entire investment. Investors should consult their financial adviser before investing in cryptocurrency.