NFTs inch up in value as major cryptocurrencies decline. (Getty Images)

NFTs Inch Up as Cryptocurrencies fall

Cryptos are back in the red, but NFTs are back in the green. Rumors about the SEC and words on data from the president as big banks explore blockchain. News in brief from Yuga Labs, Meta, AWE, RealWear, and the Little HODLer.

An Eye on the Markets

Major cryptocurrencies have had their ups and downs this week, but have largely been trending down. Bitcoin has lost about 5% to be back in $22.6k territory, while Ethereum has had a somewhat more comfortable time and remains above $1.6k. The general cryptocurrency market followed a similar trajectory, though some tokens are still in the green including Polygon, Polkadot and ChainLink.

Why the drop? Nothing in the news points to an obvious answer. One potential explanation is that this is your standard “correction.” After months in the red, prices shot up. People who had all that they could take of the bull market may have called in an apparent top and sold off leading to a (likely temporary) fall in value.

NFTs Are Back(?)

When the overall crypto market was having a harder time, so were NFT sales. Now NFT Evening reports that NFT sales are inching back up. The trend is most engaging because many NFT sellers fail to adjust the token price of their offerings when the value of those tokens go down, so it would make sense that NFT sales would go higher when token values went lower.

An Eye on the Fed

There’s a rumor that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking to ban staking. This is just a rumor that originated with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong. Even in his tweet, Armstrong called the idea a rumor that he had heard elsewhere.

Armstrong suggests that the argument of the SEC is that staking constitutes securities, which would put them under the control of the SEC. If this argument sounds familiar, most cryptocurrencies arguably constitute securities. If they are, virtually all cryptocurrencies themselves and their exchanges qualify as unregulated securities — the greatest fear in the crypto world.

Spotlight on the President

President Joe Biden gave his State of the Union address this week and a key topic was the collection of data by big tech. That talking point makes its way into this news roundup because one of the biggest concerns regarding the Metaverse is the vast amounts of data that the hardware and software need to run properly.

It will be interesting to see whether any legislation on big data is considerate of the required data and protects consumers, or whether it goes too far in trying to protect consumers and becomes an obstacle to immersive technologies.

Not Quite Fedcoin

Another one of the more interesting questions in federal regulation of cryptocurrencies is how long they can afford to wait to do so — if ever they attempt to. One factor driving this question is institutional actors.

We know that the federal government itself is exploring a digital dollar, but one of the biggest banks is reportedly building a digital dollar using Ethereum. Visa is reportedly building a crypto strategy around an Ethereum-based “USDC.”

News in Brief