Bitcoin Sleeps while NFT Fans Pull All-Nighters

09 Nov, 2021
Bitcoin Sleeps while NFT Fans Pull All-Nighters

It was a ho-hum week for Bitcoin, as the digital currency showed little movement toward its all-time-high set just a week ago.  But other coins were having a moment, as Ether (ETH) set another all-time-high on Wednesday, as did Solana (SOL) on Thursday. The market settled back down by Friday. In the meantime, there was plenty of news and excitement in the digital currency world.

NFTs Shine in New York City’s Spotlight

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) took center stage at the NFT.NYC conference, held November 1-4 in New York City’s electrified Times Square. The event attracted more than 5,000 enthusiasts who “offered a taste of a crypto-filled future,” The New York Times said.  Beyond the after parties and swag swaps, the most exciting news about NFTs came from the gaming industry.

“As if there hasn’t been enough exciting stuff happening at NFT.NYC this week (ready to sleep for a month, anyone?!) I have some very excited news to share: we at @a16z have led the series C in @playmythical,” tweeted Arianna Simpson, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, also known as 16z.

The $150 Million round of funding brings the gaming technology studio’s valuation to $1.25 Billion. The fund was also supported by many notable brands in the entertainment and sports industries, including the National Football League (NFL), which has embraced NFTs.

Joining in on the growing support for NFTs was Electronic Arts (EA) CEO Andrew Wilson, who called the tokens and play-to-earn games part of the company’s future. “I think that in the context of the games we create and the live services that we offer, collectible digital content is going to play a meaningful part in our future,” he said in an investor call this week. “So still early to tell, but I think we're in a really good position and you should expect us to think more innovatively and creatively about that on a go-forward basis.”

Mayoral “Bitcoin-Off” in the U.S.

The mayor of one major U.S. city and the mayor-elect of another have announced their intentions to take their pay in Bitcoin, setting off what news organization Morning Brew dubbed a “Bitcoin-Off.”  Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who is actively promoting his city as the crypto capital of the U.S., announced early this week that he would take his next paycheck in the world’s first digital currency.  “I’m going to take my next paycheck 100% in bitcoin…problem solved!” he tweeted in response to a question posted on Twitter, “Who is going to be the first American politician to accept their salary in bitcoin?”

But Suarez has his work cut out for him. Eric Adams, who was elected this week as the new mayor of New York City, countered Suarez’s announcement with one of his own, tweeting “In New York we always go big, so I’m going to take my first THREE paychecks in Bitcoin when I become mayor. NYC is going to be the center of the cryptocurrency industry…”

The crypto competition between these two East Coast cities is yet another sign that the mainstream sees the value of digital currencies as an economic driver that can’t be ignored any longer. New York does, in fact, lead the way in crypto hires, according to a new study released by Bloomberg which was conducted with LinkedIn. “As crypto and blockchain stand at the intersection of finance and technology, traditional finance hub New York and tech hub San Francisco unsurprisingly led the pack. Los Angeles ranked in third place, followed by Miami and Chicago,” Cointelegraph reports.

Fake Crypto News Strikes Again in the U.S.

Corporations around the globe rely on news wire services to get press releases out.  So, the recent spate of releases going out falsely under a company’s name makes you wonder how some of these fake stories are getting past the wire service gatekeepers.

It happened again this week as a release went out stating that U.S. grocery store chain Kroger would be accepting Bitcoin Cash. The company quickly responded.

"This morning a press release was fraudulently issued claiming to be The Kroger Co that falsely stated the organization will begin to accept Bitcoin Cash. This communication was fraudulent and is unfounded and should be disregarded," a company spokesperson said to CNN.

Kroger is the second major retailer in the U.S. to be targeted by a cryptocurrency hoax.  In September, a press release was sent out via a wire service stating Walmart was entering into a partnership with Litecoin. The company said that the release was not issued by Walmart and the news was fake.

Future announcements such as these will most likely deserve further vetting as fake news continues to be an issue globally.

Joyce Pavia Hanson