Bitcoin Is Outperforming World Currencies As The Dollar Gets Stronger

As world currencies are tanking against the USD (US Dollar), Bitcoin is holding its ground. A strong USD is creating a debasement as the DXY hit an index high of 114.61. The strength of the USD has increased relative to a basket of other currencies (e.g. British Pound, Japanese Yen, etc.). Since the USD is the global reserve currency, a stronger dollar means higher costs for international trading. This affects prices of commodities that are paid for in USD, because of the exchange rate.

In the last 7 days (as reported on Fortune 9/28/22), Bitcoin has grown 6.3%, hitting $20K+ before eventually settling back to a lower level. Other currencies did not do as well. The biggest losses were the British Pound at -5.3% and the Euro at -3.5%. Even the Yuan was not spared, dropping -2.2%.

(Source Fortune)

Safe haven asset gold did just as poorly as the other world currencies. It has fallen by -1.7% against the USD, while Bitcoin has gone up. At this point it is risk off, and many investors are selling off assets in stocks/equities and moving to the USD. Crypto traders are likewise moving their assets from volatile cryptocurrency to stablecoins (e.g. USDT, USDC) that are pegged to the USD.

To further complicate matters, inflation is getting higher. The US has hiked interest rates in order to combat rising inflation, which kills demand and destroys risk on assets. For many investors crypto is being treated like tech stocks, so there have been many sell-offs regarding that. However, there are still those who believe that Bitcoin can be a way to solve that problem.

The idea behind Bitcoin (per maximalist thinking) is that it could or should be a hedge against inflation or economic uncertainties like currency debasement. That means that Bitcoin should be inversely correlated to inflation, but it has been more correlated to the traditional financial markets. Even though the founder Satoshi Nakamoto never stated that it was Bitcoin’s exact purpose to hedge inflation, it has opened that idea since it is outside the current financial system. It is not state controlled or corporation held, which makes it a neutral store of value. It also has a capped limit (21 million coins), so it cannot increase in supply. Despite this, there are large holders (i.e. whales) who can still manipulate prices.

It is interesting to see how this all plays out. It has been observed over the last few years that a stronger dollar equates to a weaker Bitcoin or BTC. At the moment we are seeing that it is not always the case. People who do not want to lose value in their wealth could start putting their money into crypto like BTC. What is slowly happening is that people from those countries where their currency is getting debased are exploring crypto as a way to preserve their wealth. Perhaps it is a short term trend, but if it remains stable within the next few weeks or months, this could be a sign that the value of BTC is being realized.

The Cardano Vasil Upgrade

According to the Cardano project team, their much anticipated Vasil Upgrade hard fork will proceed on September 22, 2022. The upgrade will bring more scalability and also lower transaction costs on the Cardano blockchain. A smart contract platform, like its competitor Ethereum, Cardano represents a third generation blockchain design.

There have been previous delays to the upgrade due to flaws discovered while testing during the summer of 2022. The Cardano project developers have been criticized for moving too slow in meeting targets, but this was to make sure that the software is stable and secure. What many don’t realize is that this is part of the team’s strategy to deliver a product that is tested for quality, making it less prone to failure. Let us not forget that many cryptocurrency projects have ended in failure due to poor development, not to mention tokenomics.

Cardano’s founder Charles Hoskinson mentioned in a YouTube video (from Altcoin Daily):

“We built Cardano to be the financial operating system of the world …. we understood a roadmap to get there … we’ve maintained actually that level of security and quality that people have come to know …”

Charles Hoskinson

In essence, what Hoskinson is saying is that in order to have a working cryptocurrency token, it has to meet rigorous testing and quality assurance. Despite news of errors in the protocol, it was during testing that they occurred. Errors were discovered on the test network, so that means it can be corrected before deploying to production. Development takes plenty of time in order to guarantee an ecosystem that is reliable and safe to use. The team is now ready to deploy the upgrade to the main network, and this should improve the network significantly.

Cardano is at the Goguen phase (smart contracts) of the roadmap to the Basho phase (scaling). This is the release of the Cardano smart contract platform that uses Plutus, a functional programming language that uses Haskell. This also includes the release of Marlowe which is a high level programming language for financial applications that can also be used for building smart contracts. Plutus is more advanced for high-end developers, while Marlowe can be used by users with no previous background in software development.

What will be interesting is what happens in the Cardano ecosystem after the upgrade. For Cardano’s native token ADA, this could mean a big price boost provided there are no complications during and after the upgrade. Traders and investors are keeping an eye on the price of ADA, as the news has been received positively so far (ADA spot market price was at $0.49 as of writing). This has kept ADA among the top 10 in the cryptocurrency market so far (based on CMC 9/4/22).

Cardano sets itself apart from other tokens. It is not a ‘meme’ nor is it considered a purely speculative asset like many coins that have no utility (i.e. ‘shitcoins;). Instead it has its own unique philosophy that is in line with the fundamentals of cryptocurrency, but based on the foundations of sound engineering. It is building a community with its own ecosystem, much like Ethereum. If Cardano can deliver on the many features it hopes to provide users, we can expect it to remain one of the top (if not the top) cryptocurrency in the market.

Disclosure: This is not financial advice. This is for educational purposes only. Do your own research always to verify information.

The Upcoming Ethereum Merge

Ethereum developers have announced that they are deploying the Ethereum Merge on its blockchain on September 19, 2022 (based on transcript from a conference call). The news has been received positively by the market, which led to a rally in ETH market price. This has been a long awaited event, which will consolidate the beacon chain with the main network to transition Ethereum’s blockchain from PoW (Proof-of-Work) to PoS (Proof-of-Stake).

There have been doubts about the merge since it was first delayed in the summer of 2022. Ethereum has a known history of delaying projects, with market panic when the developers cannot deliver on time. The expectations are sometimes too high for even what the developers can accomplish. When the deliverables do arrive, it usually turns sentiment back to bullish as was the case with EIP1559.

Before the merge can become a success, there are still some hurdles to clear. Tests are underway on testnets (e.g. Ropsten) to make sure that the protocols work properly. There are still major tests that will be conducted on the Sepolia and Goerli test networks. Once these chains have been transitioned successfully without much issues to PoS, then the next step is the Ethereum mainnet. This aims to improve the network to scale the number of transactions and lower fees for users.

Although a date has been set for the merge, it is not final. If there are problems during testing that are serious enough to address, then this could lead to further delays. The hope from ETH HODLers and investors alike is for a successful merge to occur in order to increase Ethereum’s value.

Disclaimer: The information provided is for reference and educational purposes only, and is not financial advice. Always DYOR to verify information.

We Were Warned About Terra LUNA

Prior to the great Terra LUNA meltdown of May 2022, there were warning signs to investors. This came from some notable crypto experts. The main problem was not about the team or developers. They actually have a solid project team with great ideas. It was more about the design of the stablecoin that worried critics. Terra developed an algorithmic stablecoin called UST (Terra USD) that has no actual commodity or asset backing its value. Instead it relies on minting tokens that peg its value to the US Dollar (USD).

In order to meet its peg to the USD, users must purchase Terra’s main coin called LUNA. UST is minted by burning LUNA, and users can hold UST in a DeFi protocol called Anchor to earn yields on interest up to ~20% (has fallen to 18% as of writing). It is a high earning interest rate that attracted investors to flock to UST. This includes many crypto influencers who also urged their followers to put their UST on the Anchor protocol and earn money.

The second problem with this system, is the sustainability of the Anchor protocol in being able to pay users the interest on their deposited UST. It turns out there were liquidity problems that exposed the protocol before. It was back in May 2021, during the cryptocurrency market crash that UST fell to as low as $0.96. That means a deposit of $1,000 would go down to $960 (a loss of $40) not including any yield on interest. This happened once again in May 2022, and this time the price of UST has gone well below the May 2021 mark. As of posting the value of UST was $0.1101 (Coinmarketcap). If you had deposited $1,000, the value will go down to $110.10 or about 90% of your money’s value was lost.

In order to return the peg back to $1, UST needs to be burned to mint more LUNA. During the meltdown that was what happened, but it hyper-inflated the supply of LUNA in the open market pumping into the trillions. This led to a drastic fall in LUNA prices as a “bank run” started with users dumping their UST. The Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) then stepped in by selling reserves in Bitcoin (and other assets supposedly) to try to mitigate the free fall of UST. It just was not enough because more users were selling off their UST than holding. On the Anchor protocol, the UST locked value fell from $14 Billion to under $5 Billion (and still falling as of writing).

Investment and crypto analyst Lyn Alden was one of the experts who warned about Terra’s UST. In a report from Daily HODL:

“Unlike a crypto-collateralized stablecoin, there is no specific threshold where UST breaks. However, if LUNA gets small relative to UST, the probability of an algorithmic bank run increases… Many of them would liquidate their BTC for cash since their positioning at the time was meant to be a stablecoin.” 

The fall of UST did affect Bitcoin prices, as the LFG had to sell off its reserves in BTC. The worst case scenario seems to have played out because it dragged several assets to the downside (UST, LUNA, ANC and Bitcoin). The LFG reserves would not be enough to cover restoring the peg to USD unfortunately.

She also cites some worries about the Anchor protocol:

“Then there’s the unsustainable Anchor yield timebomb. The time bomb is not about how well-managed the yield decline will be. It’s about what happens to UST demand structurally, when the primary demand driver (artificially high Anchor yields) no longer exists.”

In other words, Anchor did not appear to have the money to cover the interest payments. The payments would be coming from money borrowed using the protocol. However, there were more lenders than borrowers, so there was no balance. The yields were so high it could not be sustainable to pay in the long run.

Another warning about Terra LUNA came from Kevin Zhou of Galois Capital. He was one of the critics to sound the alarm and warned the public. Zhou told Coindesk:

“Even if it happened in slow motion, even if it was something like a bank walk, it was more about this thing not being solvent.”

Solvency was indeed an issue. To quote Zhou, “mechanism was flawed, and it didn’t play out as expected.”

There is also a crypto YouTube channel Coinsider that reported about the risk with Terra LUNA and UST. You can check the video which was made back in March 18, 2022 prior to the meltdown. The analysis was spot on and very informative. It may have also helped some people make the right decision of not investing in LUNA/UST or using the Anchor protocol.

What happened to Terra was catastrophic, and probably the worst if not one of the worst collapses in crypto history. Many people have lost money in the Anchor protocol with their UST deposits, while holders of LUNA now have a worthless (under $1) coin that once was valued at over $100 per coin. Regulators are aware of this problem and they could now begin to apply regulations that require money earning protocols to register or comply with financial rules for consumer protection.

The lesson from all this is to be careful when depositing your money into a DeFi protocol. Anchor was not the first protocol to fail like this. Iron Finance had their own meltdown that should have been another warning sign about high interest protocols. It was even endorsed by public personalities, making it more attractive to users which makes it even more problematic. The problem exposed in these systems is that during extreme market volatility, the algorithmic stablecoins were not able to keep the peg to USD. There was nothing the protocol can do when you have a bank run.

Sometimes when it sounds too good to be true (e.g. high interest on deposits), it probably is. It can be risky when big money is involved. Research the project thoroughly and listen to both sides to get a better understanding of the risks involved, and not just the benefits.

Disclaimer: This is opinion and not financial advice. The information provided is for reference and educational purposes only. Always DYOR to verify information.

Cross-Chain Swaps Using The Symbiosis Protocol

One of the main problems in DeFi (Decentralized Finance) is the seamless swapping of tokens. If a user wants to exchange one token for another, they can only do so if the wallet or exchange supports it with a token pairing. The issue here is that not all tokens are swappable with each other. You will need to find a token pair first, to make an intermediate exchange before you can swap for the token you need.

This is because there are many types of blockchains used by tokens and they are not all compatible with each other. The most liquid tokens are the easiest to pair because they have the most liquidity. When you want to swap from a lesser known token for another token, if it does not have a supported pair to swap, you will need to swap it first with a more liquid token. 

Swapping tokens can be frustrating with so many processes involved
(Photo Credit:Andrea Piacquadio)

For example, let’s say you have a token called X and you want to swap it for Z. You realize that you cannot swap them directly with each other. Token Z does not have a pairing with X, so you will have to swap it with another token first. You then decide to swap with token Y, which is paired with both X and Z. You will need to exchange X for Y, and then you can swap Y for Z. That is the best way to convert tokens, but it can also be more time consuming and cost more in terms of transaction fees.

It would be so much easier if things can take place on the backend. If a user can just send their order to swap X for Z, without having to perform any other intermediate step, it would save time and money. It would also be more convenient when it comes to user experience.

Symbiosis provides a solution to swapping tokens across different blockchains. It is a liquidity protocol that integrates the features of a multi-chain AMM (Automated Market Maker) and DEX (Decentralized Exchange). It is like a decentralized version of a digital exchange (e.g. Binance, Coinbase) that functions as an AMM (e.g. Uniswap). 

The Symbiosis app user interface.

With Symbiosis, users can swap any token across different blockchains with no additional software required. This provides interoperability between token swaps. As an AMM, it automates the order book system for unlimited token pairs with the best exchange rates offered. As a DEX, swapping of tokens is direct without requiring a trusted third-party like a payment processor or intermediary. 

Swapping allows the exchange of one token for another.

The process of swapping tokens from Symbiosis is called a cross-chain swap. This allows tokens to be traded across dissimilar blockchains without requiring the authorization from another exchange to process the transaction. Think of it as an open system that facilitates the flow of transactions. The tokens can also be on blockchains that are either EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) or non-EVM compatible. In order to get the best prices for swaps, Symbiosis routes transactions to other AMM DEXes like Uniswap or PancakeSwap. This allows for better price discovery by exploring the best options. Users also don’t have to pay different gas fees across blockchains since the protocol abstracts it into a single transaction fee.

An important benefit of Symbiosis is that it also addresses some issues that can occur during swaps. These are slippage and impermanent loss. A slippage occurs when there is a divergence in the price of the token from the time it was ordered and the fulfillment of an order. This can lead to what is called an impermanent loss. If the price recovers, then the loss is only temporary. However, if the price of a token does not recover right away and it is used for another transaction the loss becomes permanent. To address this, Symbiosis uses liquidity pools that includes stablecoins to offset market volatility with little to no slippage.

Swaps are just one of the many features of Symbiosis, which users will find very useful. It provides a much simpler solution for moving liquidity across multiple chains without experiencing fragmentation due to the many interfaces and processes involved. Current systems make swapping more difficult to the average user. What Symbiosis offers is a one-stop-shop solution for swapping different types of cryptocurrencies with less difficulty.

Disclosure: This article was written for #SymbiosisDeFined. This is not in any way financial advice, but for educational purposes only. DYOR always to verify the information.

First Published At Publish0x (3/23/22)

Things To Know About Getting Paid In Bitcoin

Would you be willing to accept your salary in the form of Bitcoin (BTC)?

Some people are willing to accept their salary in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. These are not just ordinary people, but includes athletes, celebrities, social influencers and even politicians. It is becoming a popular way for some brands to gain exposure by building up the hype around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency by using public figures as ambassadors.

In the sports world, you have athletes like Aaron Rogers, Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Okung and Sean Culkin who have agreed to accept some part of their salary in the form of Bitcoin. These athletes did not have to do that, but the incentives are great. Either they had done their own research or someone may have advised them on the value of Bitcoin.

Some politicians have also agreed to get paid in Bitcoin. One example is Miami mayor Francis Suarez, who agreed to get a paycheck in Bitcoin. This falls in line with the mayor’s own plans of transforming Miami into a cryptocurrency hub. Another example is the mayor of New York, Eric Adams, agreeing to have his first salary paid in Bitcoin. These moves could be politically motivated to promote their respective cities as being open to the crypto space. Nonetheless, it sends a positive signal.

There are countries that are also allowing Bitcoin as payment for salaries. At the top of this list is El Salvador, which is officially the first country to accept Bitcoin as a form of legal tender. Prior to El Salvador, New Zealand had been the first country to allow salaries in Bitcoin, back in 2019. Elsewhere in Latin America, there are proposals in Brazil to accept Bitcoin as an option for salary payments. 

Since the world has become more global in terms of business, Bitcoin is also providing a way for companies to pay for workers who are based overseas. There are now crypto payroll services that process such transactions. What is important here is that these services meet legal requirements, in order to be able to allow companies to pay their workers in Bitcoin. It is much easier with integration to Layer 2 payment rails like the Lightning Network (LN). The LN works with apps to allow Bitcoin payments to be made quickly and cheaply, so it is just like sending any electronic payment. This can be made using a smartphone app, which can help adoption since many users around the world own a smartphone.

Getting paid in Bitcoin is not yet common, but gaining popularity. What is important for anyone who accepts their salary in Bitcoin is to understand that this is a volatile asset. Prices are subject to swings, where the value can fall by 40%, but it can then suddenly recover much higher. This also does not excuse anyone from not paying taxes. Treating it more as an investment asset rather than as just another form of currency is the whole idea of Bitcoin. It may not be ideal if you need fast liquidity like cash, but more so for storing value in the long run.

Another important thing to know about getting paid in Bitcoin are tax laws in respective jurisdictions. In the US, this is a taxable event. An accountant or lawyer who has an understanding of virtual currency laws as it relates to cryptocurrency can help. The taxes are to be paid in fiat, unless the jurisdiction accepts BTC for tax payments. There are states like Arizona which will allow it, so if a payment is received in BTC, the taxes can also be paid in BTC that is commensurate to the fiat amount of that payment. For the most part, taxes are paid in fiat based on the conversion from the Bitcoin payment.

It is easy to just convert Bitcoin to fiat currency after every paycheck. However, it has future price appreciation in valuation for holders which is just like stocks. You also get the benefits of a non-confiscatable store of value that grows over time. If you custody your own Bitcoin in your own digital wallet, it cannot be frozen or taken by anyone. As more people realize that there is more to Bitcoin than currency, perhaps they will be more open to considering it for their next paycheck.

(Photo Credit by David McBee)

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. The information provided is for reference and educational purposes only. DYOR always to verify any information.

Ethereum Reaches A New Milestone As It Prepares For ETH 2.0

There have been plenty of great developments in the Ethereum blockchain. This has been good for its native currency ETH (Ether) and has restored confidence in holders toward the end of the first quarter of 2022. This has led to a rally in ETH price to above the $3K level, starting in March 22. Some analysts take this as an ominous sign that ETH has turned bullish once again, but what is really the motivation behind it?

Toward the end of 2021, Ethereum developers released the Kintsugi Merge test network. This is a more realistic approach to testing how the Ethereum network will be like post-merge (i.e. when the Beacon Chain merges with the mainnet). This allows developers to test the features of the network in an environment that supports PoS (Proof-of-Stake). This is where smart contracts can be tested without any additional costs to developers.

Ethereum developers have also released the Kiln public test network in March of 2022. This is the final test network before the transition to PoS. This is where developers can test their applications and tools before deploying on the mainnet. Node operators and stakers can also test on Kiln, to evaluate the performance on a simulated blockchain.

Toward the end of March 2022, the number of ETH 2.0 validators has reached 300,000+ with over $28 Billion TVL (Total Value Locked). That is based on the valuation of ETH (~$2900-$3,000 circa March 1, 2022). The total amount of ETH locked (requires 32 per validator) has reached 9.6 Million ETH. At the price of ETH in March 28, 2022 at $3,300.62 (10:46 PM EST), the total value locked would be $31.6 Billion. The value of ETH increases with the market, and any surge also brings up the TVL for the validators.

Ethereum is receiving not just retail support, but institutional as well. Macro guru Raoul Pal has become more bullish on his outlook of Ethereum. He believes it is on track to outperform Bitcoin based on its performance. Pal is looking at long term metrics that show that the market Ethereum is capturing covers a much larger base than Bitcoin. This includes the derivatives and money markets, where billions of dollars are sitting. Should even a small percentage of the money flow into the DeFi space, where ETH is a major currency, it can create network effects that can further drive ETH value higher.

Other reports are coming that banks are positive on Ethereum. It seems banks like JP Morgan had at one time been very critical of cryptocurrency. The sentiment has changed, and they now invest in projects that involve cryptocurrency like Ethereum. Perhaps the recent developments in how Ethereum will become more energy efficient and how it is a platform that facilitates a decentralized financial system opens opportunity for capital investments.

The transition to a new consensus mechanism can greatly impact Ethereum network performance. A faster and more energy efficient system gives it a positive outlook compared to Bitcoin and other energy intensive cryptocurrency that use PoW (Proof-of-Work). The more important matter that investors are keeping an eye on is how the move to ETH 2.0 will improve the network’s overall performance. This attempts to solve the problems of scaling, which Ethereum competitors (e.g. Solana, Harmony, Avalanche) have already been addressing. A more stable network with the capability to process more transactions will be huge for Ethereum, and can establish it as a dominant platform for years to come.

Crypto Takes The Spotlight At Super Bowl LVI

The Super Bowl is perhaps the most watched American sporting event. It is the championship game between the two best teams in the NFL (National Football League), a professional football sports organization. In 2022 it was the Los Angeles Rams against the Cincinatti Bengals, played at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood (a Los Angeles suburb). This gave the Rams a home turf advantage in a stadium with a capacity of 70,000 but expandable to 100,240 for events like the Super Bowl. The viewership projection for the Super Bowl in 2022 comes from data analytics firm PredictHQ.  They estimate that the event will attract 117 million viewers on NBC’s network. If the international market is included that could bring figures between 125 -150 million viewers.

That is great exposure for ads, and that is the reason why many are shown during the game’s broadcast. Getting to a large target market and demographic helps keep brands relevant, and does well for marketing to new consumers. With that as a reason for advertising, the crypto (i.e. cryptocurrency) industry took the spotlight with ads  for more exposure to a mainstream audience in 2022.

In Super Bowl LVI, crypto-related fintech companies like FTXCrypto.com, Coinbase and EToro used this opportunity to release their commercials.  The market is not entirely in a boom phase quite yet. The market still has plenty of room to grow and we are at the early stages of adoption. Commercials that reach out to so many people, who actually watch them during the Super Bowl, is one way to get the message across. That is especially true for attracting new customers and crypto users. What is significant is that these companies are an important on-ramp to crypto.

The thing is, commercials for the Super Bowl need to be creative and engaging. This is probably the only time an audience will actually watch commercials because of the entertainment value it also brings during the event. Brands have learned that making their ads the most entertaining and engaging for the Super Bowl is how to capture their target market among the audience. For example we see the usual beer commercials and junk food items. Only this time with popular celebrities and public figures doing the endorsement since this adds more value and reputation to the brand. It is all about brilliant marketing with the theatrics of Hollywood.

How did the crypto ads do? I think they got the message across, but let’s be honest. Probably most of the audience have never before heard about crypto or simply do not understand or care about it. The commercials this year have become more engaging to try to make the target audience more curious and interested, at the very least. In one of their ads, FTX features Super Bowl champion QB Tom Brady (“Tom Brady Wants A Trade“). They feature a familiar face using a not so familiar app for crypto trading. Likewise, Crypto.com had their “Big Game Preview with LeBron James” commercial, as part of their “Fortune Favors The Brave” campaign.

These would be very expensive spots for even a few seconds, but perhaps it will be worth it. NBC was selling 2022 Super Bowl ads for record deals, closing at $6.5 million per 30-second commercial. Companies like FTX and Crypto.com will have no problem paying that amount. These are successful crypto exchanges earning billions in revenues who are willing to advertise. Advertising is a tried and tested formula for capturing new markets. For crypto it can help to bring in more adoption.

All I Want Is Bitcoin For Christmas!

What better idea to give for Christmas than Bitcoin! The premier digital asset is a gift to behold. There will only be 21 million BTC in existence, so having at least one or a fraction of BTC will be very valuable. Here are ways on how you can gift your friends, family and loved ones with the number one cryptocurrency in an easy and secure way.

Bitcoin ATM Voucher

Give a voucher to redeem BTC from a Bitcoin ATM (BTM). Go to the BTM to purchase Bitcoin.  A printed receipt will be given that contains the wallet address of the Bitcoin(s) purchased. The BTC can be redeemed at any time. Best to give with a Christmas or holiday greeting card. This is the best way to give Bitcoin to first time holders.

Hardware Wallets

Purchase a hardware wallet (e.g. Trezor, Ledger) for storing a Bitcoin address private key. This in itself is enough for the gift, but you can also add some BTC to the wallet address. Ideal gift for more advanced users who may already have a hot wallet (i.e. online wallet) on an exchange. Hardware wallets allow users to have full custody of their Bitcoin(s).

Direct P2P (Peer-to-Peer)

Gift Bitcoin the way it was intended to be used, peer-to-peer. Just get the recipient’s wallet address and send the Bitcoin from your wallet. This is now simpler thanks to smartphone apps (e.g. CashApp, Coinbase) which have features for sending cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to other users. You can also use Lightning Network apps (e.g. Strike), which makes it faster to send BItcoins.These apps are  easy to use, but do be wary of transaction fees. It could be a little more expensive during the holidays when the network is busier than usual. 

Crypto-Gifting

Some crypto companies like Coinbase offer a crypto-gifting service. You must have an account on their platform to do this. This will allow you to choose the cryptocurrency of your choice (choose Bitcoin!) and send it as a gift. Provide the recipient’s e-mail address and instructions will be sent on how to claim their Bitcoin present.

Bitcoin Is A Gift That Keeps On Giving

The overall value of Bitcoin is everlasting. It can be worth more than it is currently priced in the future due to demand and supply. It is even more scarce than gold. It is also something that cannot be easily confiscated or restricted, because of its decentralized nature. Bitcoin’s properties make it a good asset to own for storing value.

The takeaway here is to give Bitcoin(s) responsibly. Recipients should be educated on cryptocurrency in general, not just Bitcoin. Spend some time with them to help them learn. With that understanding, you can make sure they will be responsible enough to never reveal a private key and that once it is lost the Bitcoin might never be recovered.  It is about safety and security first in order to enjoy Bitcoin this holiday season.

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. The information provided is for reference and educational purposes only. DYOR always to verify any information.

Spider-Man NFTs … From AMC

AMC Entertainment, the company that operates the AMC Theaters chain, has entered the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) market. In a collaboration with Sony Pictures, they will be giving away 86,000 NFTs for the December 16 release of the movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” This giveaway is open to members of AMC Stubs Premiere, AMC Stubs A-List and AMC Investor Connect with advance purchase of tickets.

According to AMC CEO Adam Aron (via Twitter):

This idea came from YOU! Partnering with @SonyPictures for #AMCFirstEverNFT. More than 100 unique Spider-Man NFTs, given FREE to the first 86,000 online buyers of U.S. AMC December 16 tickets for Spider-Man No Way Home. Only for Stubs Premiere, A-List & Investor Connect members.” 

— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) November 28, 2021

This is not the first time AMC has ventured into cryptocurrency. They are already accepting payments in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin (BTC) for movie tickets. NFTs are like the next step in their journey to the blockchain and metaverse. Spider-Man is a popular Marvel Comics superhero, so an NFT would be a valuable digital collectible. This has future value for trading in the NFT marketplace among collectors. The NFT will be minted on the WAX blockchain.

This is probably part of AMCs strategy to catch up to the trends among millennials and Gen Zers. Crypto is popular among the younger generation and this is a better way to promote your brand. AMC needs to rebound after the pandemic lockdowns, so this is also a way to entice moviegoers to return to theaters with some added benefits to go along with the soda and pop-corn.