Press Release

Behind The US$820,000 China CryptoPunk Sale

Welcome to The Daily Forkast, January 4th, 2021, presented by Angie Lau. For the latest in blockchain & crypto news. On today’s show:

00:00 Coming Up
00:38 Kakao and Naver’s move into Singapore stalls
02:07 Cryptopunk NFT sells for over US$820,000 in Shanghai
03:25 Real world applications key to crypto world in 2022

South Korean internet giants Naver and Kakao’s moved into Singapore’s blockchain space because the Monetary Authority of Singapore or MAS, says that their respective blockchain subsidiaries LINE TECH PLUS and Klaytn will not be exempt from complying with its Payment Services Act. The two companies will have to apply for licensing to provide digital token payment services under the MAS.
The Chinese southern provincial level region of Guangxi is researching cross-border finance, supply chain service platforms and e-CNY applications. The move comes as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP the free trade agreement between China, Seven ASEAN countries, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand came into force on January 1st. Now, Guangxi is seen as a gateway for ASEAN trade, with the report saying the plan is designed to support cross-border circulation of capital.

In China, interest in NFTs shows no sign of letting up with CryptoPunk #8690 selling at a Shanghai auction house for a little over 5.2 Million yuan, or around US$820,000. Shanghai auction told Forkast News that payment for the NFT was made in yuan terms. The sell, including more traditional artwork, is a signal that Chinese investors interest in digital collectibles continues to grow, despite state media publicly criticizing NFT hype and speculation. And while NFTs are not included in China’s stepped up ban on cryptocurrency related activities, tech giants have since represented them as digital collectibles. Ironically, the state owned Xinhua News Agency also seems keen to ride the NFT wave, issuing its own digital collectibles. The collection, released on December 20, fourth featured 11 news photos from its archive, each limited to 10000 copies.

2021 was a spectacular year for digital assets, a year where the crypto market cap grew almost four times from the start of the year to the end, but also a year of unprecedented volatility. But within that volatility, of course, there is opportunity, especially in the DeFi space. David Lighton, co-founder of Lithium Finance, the man with the DeFi Download, joins us once again to explore just that.

Angie Lau: The fall we saw in the last month or so has kind of rattled a lot of investors and people in the market. So how does one separate or spot the real value tokens among the thousands of altcoins that are on offer right now?

David Lighton: This was a big year for Bitcoin because inflation was ramping up. Overall confidence in governments around the world has continued to decline in the face of the pandemic, and we’ve seen a lot of mainstream names begin to consider Bitcoin as a credible investment, whether as an alternative to gold or just as an investment, to your point about Ethereum and others. I think if we look more deeply into the sector of blockchain crypto itself and less at the macro, we’re seeing growing liquidity, a massive amount of developer activity. I think what that is really all about is real world business applications that continue to incubate. And so we look closely at DeFi, lending, staking protocols that are leading use case, they’ve kind of exploded. But payments, oracles, any tokens that facilitate trading in real world assets, I think we should continue to look at as they are making progress on building the alternative financial system of the future. And I would just add avoid memecoins.

Angie Lau: If the bear market sentiment from the macro perspective gets stronger. Which DeFi projects would you be watching out for, and why?

David Lighton: You may have seen Chamath, he said that this will be the year that Visa and MasterCard are disrupted by DeFi. And so I don’t think that’s true. I think we’re still deep in the build. But the particular class of DeFi projects that that have high throughput and an established commercial use case, I would be looking very closely on those that that could be individual chains like Avalanche, Polkadot, almost anything that’s EVM compatible and has traction. I’m less bullish on things that aren’t EVM compatible because the developer integrations are very complex. What I would look at now is in particular, projects that are creating more of an established bridge between the fintech kind of financial services ecosystem and DeFi. So anything that has applications to payments, lending, traditional financial services, those would be the DeFi projects that I would want to look very closely at and the bear market or in the bull market.

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