First mover Asia_ Pine to test NFT market liquidity; cryptos well reddened

First mover Asia_ Pine to test NFT market liquidity; cryptos well reddened

The number of users on the NFT markets is at its lowest level this year, but still higher than in 2021, and the crypto lending platform sees an opportunity.

Good Morning. Here's what happened:

Prices: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are plummeting along with stocks.

Insights: Although interest in the NFT market has declined in recent months, crypto lending platform Pine sees an opportunity.

Technician's take: BTC is testing a key support zone, though long-term momentum remains weak.


(BTC): $28,967 -5.3%


Ether (ETH): $1,941 -7.4%

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Cryptocurrencies crash along with stocks

It was a red Wednesday for almost all cryptocurrencies.

Red for bitcoin. Red for ether. And even deeper red for other major altcoins, as investors continue to defy those who say digital assets don't track stocks.

Bitcoin recently traded at about $28,900, within its range in recent days after the collapse of stablecoin terraUSD (UST) and its supporting token LUNA, but fell 5% in the last 24 hours. Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, lost more than 8% in the same period after falling below $2,000. Of the other declining and descending currencies, SOL, AVAX, DOT, MATIC, SAND and MANA have all lost at least 12% recently.

"The market continues its current downward trend," Autonomy CEO James Key wrote to CoinDesk, although he noted that the number of crypto wallet addresses holding small amounts of BTC has surpassed 10 million for the first time. Still, he noted that "institutions ... view crypto as an exotic, risky asset, and when we fall into a recession, these assets are the first to be sold by these players - that's always been the downside of inviting people into the crypto space."

Equity markets had a day to forget as all sectors fell on increasing investor fears of a recession and bad news from the retail sector. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 4.7%, while the S&P 500 dropped 4% - its biggest percentage drop in two years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 1,100 points, down 3.6% and its worst close since mid-2021.

The retail sector has played a big role in the U.S. economy's recent recovery, and the sector also appeared to have a boost last week after a report of strong consumer spending. But on Tuesday, retail giant Walmart announced that its profit fell 25% year-over-year. On Wednesday morning, Target followed with its own disappointing news: sales rose just 3.3%, compared to a 22% increase in the same quarter last year.

Bitcoin, which struggled to hold above the $30,000 mark after the UST debacle, and the rest of the digital asset industry were swept up in the recent events. On Wednesday, London-based miner Argo Blockchain reported first-quarter net income of $2.1 million, down 90% year-over-year.

Mike Novogratz, CEO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital (GLXY.TO), said in a letter posted on the company's website that the company took profits before the UST crashed. Pantera Capital also sold about 80% of its holdings, according to a New York Times article quoting investor Paul Veradittakit.

While Novogratz remains very optimistic about the outlook for cryptocurrencies, he said those hoping for a "V" bottom in the market are likely to be disappointed. "It will take a restructuring, a redemption cycle, a consolidation and a new confidence in cryptocurrencies," he said. Crypto moves in cycles, and we just experienced a big one. "


: $3,923 -4%

DJIA: 31,490 -3.5%

Nasdaq: 11,419 -4.7%

Gold: $1,816 +0.

1%InsightsCrypto lending platform Pine sees an opportunity in NFT markets

Art that adorns the walls of the world's elite isn't usually just for looking at. They also use it as a source of liquidity.

The team behind Pine Protocol wants to do something similar, but for non-fungible tokens (NFT). Pine, which just closed a $1.5 million funding round led by Sino Global, Amber and Spartan Group, is building a platform that will allow NFT holders to access liquidity using their NFT as collateral, as well as a mortgage-like vehicle called "Pine Now, Pay Later" for those who want to buy an NFT but need financing.

"A year ago, I wanted to buy a Meebit, but I had no ETH left in my wallet. So I sold my Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) for 7 ETH to make the trade. I was going to buy back another BAYC, but I never did and I still have my Meebit at that moment. In hindsight, I wish I had access to a platform like Pine," said Alex Ho, Pine's co-founder, in a statement illustrating a use case for the platform. "I decided to build Pine so that NFT owners like me would be able to free up liquidity without having to sell their NFTs."

The platform has loan pools with varying terms in terms of loan interest rates, the amount of liquidation in the event of a loss in value, and the amount of collateralization, Ho said in an interview with CoinDesk.

One particular factor that differs between the pools is the loan-to-value ratio accepted. Pine uses the minimum price (the lowest price offered) of the specific NFT collection from public data published by the markets as a reference for valuation. However, these are subject to the high volatility of the crypto market. In the last two weeks, for example, Ether has fallen nearly 27% against the U.S. dollar, causing valuations to plummet along the way - problematic for those lending dollars against the asset.

How much liquidity is there actually in this market? Twenty-thousand dollar JPEGs are primarily a product of a bull market cycle, but are they held in the same esteem in a bear market?

Data from crypto research firm Nansen suggests that the number of wallets buying and selling is falling, and the number of returning buyers and first-time buyers is also declining.

"The number of projects with weekly sales of more than 10, 100, 1K and 10K NFTs was also down last week, indicating a decline in overall liquidity in the NFT markets," Martin Lee, a data journalist at Nansen, said in a note to CoinDesk.

Transactions per week have fallen 50% this year from an all-time high of around 500,000 at its peak to around 215,000.

However, Lee also pointed to data showing that the number of users per week on NFT markets is the lowest this year, but still higher than at any other time in 2021.

Nansen's data shows that weekly volume is still higher than most weeks in 2021, and in the last 30 days there has been a 58% increase in volume from 941,000 ethers issued per month to 1.49 million.

For Pine, the expensive JPEGs - with all their market volatility and liquidity issues - are just the beginning. The founders envision their asset-backed financing protocol being used beyond this market in other industries by specialized teams.

In theory, NFTs can be used for all types of securities, such as the title to a home or a security agreement to fund investments in a company like a SAFT. After all, similar vehicles exist in traditional finance, and there's no reason why the same shouldn't be possible for cryptocurrencies - if the industry can get away from JPEGs of bored monkeys.

Technicians' OpinionBitcoin struggles

to find

support at $27K-$30K


Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading in a tight range between $27,000 and $30,000 in recent days. This is a key support zone for BTC and also the lower boundary of a year-long trading range.

In the last 24 hours, BTC has fallen as much as 3%.

A decisive break below $27,000 could result in further downside targets for BTC, initially towards $17,823. Moreover, BTC's downward sloping 50-day moving average suggests continued trend weakness that could keep sellers active.

Bitcoin faces strong resistance between $33,000 and $36,000, which could stall a price bounce. On the weekly chart, the momentum remains negative despite oversold levels. This could increase the risk of a price collapse, similar to what happened in March 2020 and November 2018.

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Stablecoins in focus: USDC vs. USDT, key cryptos slip after recent Powell remarks

Bitcoin and major cryptocurrencies slipped as markets digested aggressive remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Meanwhile, traders showed a stronger preference for the USDC stablecoin over Tether. Travis Kling of Ikigai Asset Management spoke on "First Mover" about his market analysis, stablecoins and more. Also, CoinDesk's Nikhilesh De explained the role of cryptocurrencies in Tuesday's primary election.

HeadlinesBiden administration wants crypto exchanges to separate customer and corporate funds: Federal officials saw Coinbase's admission of customer vulnerability in the event of bankruptcy and will call for congressional action to separate customer funds, a source says.

Elwood Technologies touts strong focus on crypto derivatives: Elwood CEO James Stickland, now backed by major banks Goldman (GS), Barclays (BCS) and Commerzbank, predicts "a huge amount of derivatives."

Swiss ETP issuer 21Shares is plunging into the U.S. market with 2 crypto index funds: the new funds are the first crypto products for U.S. clients and will be available only to accredited investors.

Block Sees Bitcoin as Disruptor for Payment Networks and Expects Self-Custody to Grow: CFO Amrita Ahuja said the cryptocurrency could become a "global currency for the internet."

Bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain has come through its UST investment unscathed: The company said it was able to sell its minimum UST stake for about 93 cents per token before the price completely collapsed.

Read longerLindseyMcInerney

: The Metaverse and the 'DIC Punch': on building NFT franchises Stoner Cats and Gimmicks. McInerney is a speaker at CoinDesk's Consensus Festival in June.

Today's crypto explainer: how to buy crypto with the apps you already have

Other Voices: All Those Celebrities Pushing Crypto Are Not So Vocal Now (The New York Times)

Said and Heard

"As it stands, cryptocurrencies play almost no role in economic transactions, except for speculation in the crypto markets themselves. And if your answer is "wait and see," consider that Bitcoin has been around since 2009, making it ancient by technical standards; Apple [AAPL] introduced the iPad in 2010. If cryptocurrencies were replacing traditional money as a medium of exchange - as a means of payment - we should have seen some signs of it by now. Just try paying for your groceries or other everyday goods with Bitcoin. It's almost impossible." (New York Times columnist Paul Krugman) ... "In the crypto-investor space, it's nice when things are looking up, when investors love you and customers love you. But it's always a struggle. I've been doing this for seven years now. I'm always struggling. And people on the outside say, 'Oh, you look so successful.' I'm like, 'Bitch, my job is to get punched in the face five different ways every day.'" (Meltem Demirors in a CoinDesk Road to Consensus Q&A) ... "It's going to be hard to avoid some kind of recession." (Wells Fargo [WFC] CEO Charlie Scharf at the Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival)