Crypto markets were rocked on Friday as it emerged that China was implementing a full ban on cryptoasset trading inside the country. Despite it having announced the ban previously, markets reacted badly with big falls in BTC and other altcoins.
BTC entered last week on a downward trend and had already hit a low of $40,500 by Wednesday morning, but it was recovering steadily until the news from China knocked it down more than 8% on Friday. The price then stabilised before a jump on Sunday and returned to over £44,100 this morning.
ETH likewise hit a weekly low on Wednesday, touching £2,700 before a climb back up to over $3,100. Following its own fall of over 9% on Friday, ETH then stabilised along with BTC over the weekend and was trading again at over $3,100 this morning after strong gains on Sunday.
Twitter launches crypto features
Social media platform Twitter has launched a series of crypto-related features on its platform.
Users will now be able to tip popular tweeters in bitcoin through Strike, a third-party payments app built on the Bitcoin Lightning Network. iOS-based Twitter users will now be able to access the Tips feature while the platform says it will roll out Android functionality soon.
The company is also looking to make non-fungible tokens (NFTs) more prominent on the platform, giving creators more tools and moderation functions. Twitter says it is exploring NFT authentication which would let users connect their crypto wallets directly to their social media accounts in order to display their owned artwork on their profiles.
Sorare secures bumper $680 million SoftBank funding
NFT marketplace Sorare announced on Wednesday that it has secured a mega $680 million funding round led by high-profile Japanese tech investment house SoftBank.
Sorare is a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The platform is now valued around $4.3 billion after the Series B funding round. SoftBank led a previous round of investment in July, injecting $532 million. The firm plans to use the fresh cash injection to expand its sports NFT offering.
The firm will expand its football portfolio of NFTs by seeking partnerships with football leagues and associations. It has already secured deals with French heavyweight team Paris Saint-Germain, English Premier League champions Liverpool and the Spanish-based La Liga league.
Sorare is also looking at diversifying its NFT offering, exploring sports beyond football. Issues have arisen among other sports, however, as major leagues such as the NFL in the US specifically proscribe players and clubs from creating or selling NFTs.
Evergrande causes rollercoaster week for crypto markets
The news has been heavily focused on events in China in the past week, with crypto not immune from the permutations.
Early in the week, news began to emerge of the Evergrande crisis which sent contagion spiralling through all markets. Cryptoassets felt the effects as the broad-base selloff took hold on Monday.
Evergrande has massive debt exposure – over $300 billion – and has failed to make payments on time to its creditors. The implications for wider crypto markets are not direct, but with debt fears looming, cryptoassets such as Tether could be affected.
Stablecoins like Tether are pegged to fiat currencies such as the US Dollar. But to maintain the peg they require holdings to match the value of the cryptoasset. Many can’t hold large amounts of cash and instead use commercial paper – a form of short-term debt – to account for the value.
The issue here is that, with Evergrande creating 2008-style contagion risk for debt markets, stablecoins could run into trouble were the commercial paper they hold to lose value. Unfortunately, as such a crisis is unprecedented, it remains to be seen what will happen next.
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