By Frances Yue
Bitcoin has failed to provide 'a compelling case to be used as a hedge against inflation,' says E&Y blockchain leader
Hello! Welcome back to Distributed Ledger, our weekly crypto newsletter that reaches your inbox every Thursday. I'm Frances Yue, crypto reporter at MarketWatch, and I'll walk you through the latest and greatest in digital assets this week so far.
Find me on Twitter at @FrancesYue_ to send feedback, or tell us what you think we should cover.
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Crypto in a snap
Bitcoin went down 1% over the past seven days, trading at around $29,529 on Thursday, according to CoinDesk data. Ether lost 4.6% over the seven-day stretch to around $1,884. Meme token Dogecoin slumped 5% while another dog-themed token, Shiba Inu , declined 8% from seven days ago.
Biggest Gainers Price %7-day return Green Satoshi Token_BSC $18.88 88.9% Monero $19.03 24.3% Aave $97.24 18.8% Loopring $0.53 17.5% TRON $0.08 15.7% Source: CoinGecko as of May 26 Biggest Decliners Price %7-day return $24.13 -18.2% Maker $1179.88 -17.6% Apecoin $6.61 -16.3% Elrond $77.68 -15.3% Zcash $85.41 -15.2% Source: CoinGecko as of May 26
Ethereum rules it all?
Discussions have heated around layer-one blockchains, or the base networks, after popular blockchain Terra collapsed earlier this month. Terra was once the second largest blockchain for decentralized finance protocols in terms of total value locked, only behind Ethereum.
Paul Brody, global blockchain leader at Ernst & Young Global, said he expects Ethereum to eventually "take over everything," though it has been facing competitions from other smart contract blockchains such as Solana , Avalanche , Cardano and Algorand .
Ethereum is the most reliable blockchain for development, according to Brody, though critics complained that the blockchain can be slow and expensive for transactions.
"We're very selective at EY about which ecosystem to work in. We audit across many ecosystems, but we only do development in the Ethereum ecosystem," Brody told Distributed Ledger in an interview. The firm uses Polygon, an Ethereum scaling platform, for its enterprise activities to lower transaction costs.
"Ethereum is just the largest ecosystem, right? If you're going to be only good at one thing, you should be good at the one thing that has the biggest market," Brody said. Ethereum also has "a lot of institutional maturity", Brody added.
Brody said he does not expect to see a multichain future, where different blockchains co-exist and all contribute to the ecosystem. "People talk about multi-chain as if it was some kind of given, like oh, we're all headed for a multi-chain future. That's really strange," Brody said. "We don't have a multi-network Internet, we have TCP/IP over Ethernet."
"Technology industry loves standards," Brody said. "EVM is a standard, right? TCP/IP is a standard. Windows is a standard. It's very rare that you have truly heterogeneous ecosystems, because that imposes a lot of overhead."
In terms of bitcoin, Brody said he is unclear of what the future of the largest crypto is, as it hasn't provided a compelling case to be used as a hedge against inflation. "More importantly, Bitcoin isn't a developer ecosystem," Brody said.
Brody also highlighted the importance of stablecoins and called for a "good regulatory model."
"The truth is that the vast majority of people really want to transact in dollars," Brody said. While ether will be used for covering transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain, "for enterprises especially, the vast majority of transactions are going to be done in fiat currency-based stable coins," according to Brody.
Regulators have been paying increasing attention to stablecoins, especially after TerraUSD, once the largest algorithmic stablecoin that is supposed to trade one to one against U.S. dollars, fell to as low as five cents at one point. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged Congress to quickly pass a new regulatory framework, while Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, held a press conference touting his legislation in this area.
Terra's validators have passed a proposal to "revive" the blockchain after its crash, according to Terraforms Labs, which backs the blockchain.
The "revival plan" will create a new Terra blockchain without the stablecoin, which is expected to launch on Friday, according to the proposal.
The new chain will keep the name Terra, while the old chain will be called Terra Classic, with its token renamed Luna Classic, the proposal noted. The new Luna tokens will be will be airdropped across Luna Classic stakers, Luna Classic holders, residual UST holders, and essential app developers of Terra Classic, Terraform Labs tweeted.
A16z's crypto fund
Andreessen Horowitz on Wednesday said it has raised $4.5 billion for its fourth and largest crypto fund. "We think we are now entering the golden era of web3," which refers to the so-called next generation of the internet, Chris Dixon, founder and managing partner at the firm's crypto unit, wrote in an email statement.
Of the $4.5 billion, about $1.5 billion will be used in seed investments while $3 billon will go towards venture investments, according to Dixon.
Andreessen Horowitz raised the fund at a time when bitcoin is down more than 55% from its all-time high while ether trades about 60% lower from its record high.
Minerd's bearish outlook
The crypto market is in mayhem this year, while Scott Minerd, global chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners warned that digital assets could experience an even more brutal wash out, with bitcoin potentially sliding all the way back to $8,000.
"When you break below $30,000 consistently, $8,000 is the ultimate bottom, so I think we have a lot more room to the downside, especially with the Fed being restrictive," Minerd told MarketWatch's Joseph Adinolfi in an interview.
The problem with crypto is that most coins are "junk" or "garbage," according to Minerd. Although he believes that both bitcoin and ethereum will ultimately survive the downturn, Minerd said crypto likely hasn't found the right "prototype" yet to help drive more widespread adoption.
Read more: Guggenheim's Minerd believes fine art, real estate will outperform stocks, sees bitcoin bottoming at $8,000
Crypto companies, funds
Shares of Coinbase Global Inc. (COIN) gained 3.2% to $69.28 on Thursday, and they were up 2.9% over the past five trading sessions. Michael Saylor's MicroStrategyInc.(MSTR) rallied 8.9% Thursday to $215.82, and it was up 2.4% over the past five days.
Mining company Riot Blockchain Inc.(RIOT) shares were up 5.8% to $6.80, while it was down 4.7% over the past five days. Shares of Marathon Digital Holdings Inc.(MARA) gained 4.9% to $9.72, with a 6.1% loss over the past five days. Another miner, Ebang International Holdings Inc. (EBON), gained 5.4% to $0.74, with a 0.9% loss over the past five days.
Overstock.com Inc.(OSTK)'s shares jumped 9% to $32.30. The shares have gained 15.7% over the five-session period.
PayPal Holdings Inc.(PYPL) slipped 0.1% to $80.02, and it was down 1.4% over the five-session stretch. Nvidia Corp.(NVDA) shares rose 6.4% to $180.61, looking at a 5.5% gain over the past five trading days.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc.(AMD) shares were up 7.7% to $99.80 on Thursday, while it was up 3.2% from five trading days ago.
Among crypto funds, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF(BITO) went up 0.4% to $18.41 Thursday, while Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF(BTF) was up 0.3% at $11.49. VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF(XBTF) gained 0.2% to $28.88.
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust(GBTC) traded up 1.5% to $19.29.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 27, 2022 03:29 ET (07:29 GMT)
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