Wisly Wednesday Industry News
It’s been a mixed week for the crypto market with some interesting developments taking place. Bitcoin plunges to a 3-month low after Elon Musk’s tweets; Fox and Dan Harmon pair for first-ever NFT animated series; Iranian authorities clamp down on crypto exchanges and Nigeria ranks first in Africa for crypto trading.
Bitcoin plunges to a 3-month low after Elon Musk’s tweets
Bitcoin dropped to its lowest level since February 2020 after Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla could sell or has sold its holdings. Its value rebounded somewhat when Musk clarified that Tesla had still held its stake. Finding itself at a low of $42,185 earlier this week, down by 35% on its April high of $65,000, the most popular cryptocurrency fought back to close at $44,896 at the time of writing.
Bitcoin has seen a dramatic fall in value since Musk indicated last week on Twitter that Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin as payment for its electric vehicles due to the effect that mining has on the environment. The announcement created shockwaves in the market that started a broader sell-off in cryptocurrencies with Ether, DOGE and XRP also bearing the brunt of this news.
The suggestion that Tesla may have sold its Bitcoin stake that it bought for $1.5 billion in January 2020 sent investors into panic mode. Musk has been an influential force in the Bitcoin boom, and the thought of Tesla selling its stake would have devastating repercussions for the digital asset and its investors.
Fox and Dan Harmon pair for the first-ever NFT animated series
Fox has made plans to launch a nonfungible token marketplace (NFT) for its new animated series, Krapopolis. The broadcasting company has paired up with Dan Harmon, creator of Rick and Morty, in what is described as the first-ever animated series developed purely on the blockchain. This animated comedy series will launch together with a dedicated marketplace that will sell tokenized digital goods that include NFTs that depict the characters and artwork featured in the series.
Together with this partnership, Fox also announced the launch of a new NFT company called Blockchain Creative Labs. This new company is expected to manage the marketplace for Krapopolis and possible future shows.
Fox Entertainment CEO, Charlie Collier, was vague on details of the blockchain development but mentioned that plans were in place to introduce advertising partners to NFTs. He said, “Not to go too far into it today, but as an advertiser-focused, artist-first and animation-obsessed company, Fox is going to take advertisers into the world of blockchain-powered tokens, including NFTs.”
Iranian authorities clamp down on crypto exchanges
Crypto start-ups in Iran have voiced their disappointment at the Iranian government’s attempt to clamp down on crypto exchange operations in the country. Iranian fintech’s are adamant that there is no existing ban on cryptocurrency trading and that lawmakers and regulators should develop rules to facilitate decentralised money transfers.
The Iran Fintech Association (IFA) is an official representative of companies working in the sector and penned a letter to the speaker of parliament, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, and the head of the central bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, stating “Resorting to restrictive measures is the simplest but not the best response to the issue. Doing so would deprive the nation of potential opportunities and create grounds for underground business.”
This comes after the Central Bank of Iran issued a warning in early May against crypto trading and reminded Iranians about the existing ban on transacting with crypto that is mined outside of its borders. The IFA were steadfast in their opinion that crypto was indeed legal to trade with. They said, “Government regulations only ban using cryptocurrencies for purchasing goods and services. It is explicit that trading cryptos aren’t illegal though traders are accountable for the ensuing risks.”
Nigeria ranks first in Africa for crypto trading
With blockchain technology and crypto trading making massive strides in trade, investment and payments, Nigeria continues to hold first place in the African financial ecosystem. In terms of trading cryptocurrency volumes, Nigeria ranks third in the world behind the US and Russia, with the African country generating over $400 million worth of transactions, as per a recent report by IC Intelligent Insights.
Although the Central Bank of Nigeria has taken steps to regulate crypto operations and related instruments in the country, growth has accelerated in Nigeria with digital money movements appearing to have replaced many cheque and cash transactions. Dr Desné Masie, Chief Strategist and Editor of Insights Newsletter — IC Intelligence, spoke positively about the impact of cryptos on the African financial ecosystem. He said, “With the trend of the segment of the market, it may be of course that all money changing becomes digital in the end. Millennia ago it happened through bartering. Then progressed via metal items of exchange into currencies based on physical notes and coins. Followed by cheques and telex transfers, then interbank electronic exchanges. Now personal banking via Apps on mobile phones is widespread… Meanwhile, more cryptocurrency trading goes on in Nigeria than almost anywhere else in the world, reflecting a loss of faith in more traditional forms of investment.”