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Being a part of the cryptocurrency world is never boring. We had a bullish market for Bitcoin and some altcoins this March, some creative heists, flourishing regulations worldwide, and an awful lot of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In case you don’t know by now, they’re thematic tokens, unique and collectible, and it seems like everybody wants one. Let’s check our summary!

On the markets

  • Bitcoin (BTC) reached a new All-Time-High (again) in March 13, with over $61,680 per coin [CoinMarketCap]. After that, the price decreased to a minimum of $46,500 per coin (-25%). However, it’s recovered and bullish by now, with over $59,000 per coin. According to some experts, it could even reach $300k for late 2021.
  • As it was announced in February, Tesla started to accept bitcoin payments for their electric cars. Meanwhile, MicroStrategy bought another 205 BTC, and the Chinese firm Meitu bought around $40m in BTC and Ethereum (ETH).

In the United States, the investment bank Morgan Stanley will offer Bitcoin investment funds, and Grayscale launched new investment trusts for five assets: Chainlink, Filecoin, Livepeer, Basic Attention Token, and Decentraland.

  • QR Capital launched the first Bitcoin ETF in Brazil and South America. In the meantime, the central bank of this country is finishing the development of its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Beyond those borders, the Canadian Bitcoin ETF by Purpose Investments also arrived in Chile.
  • The crypto-ATMs experienced an important installation boost year-to-date, according to CoinATMRadar. The total worldwide is almost 17,000, available for coins like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, Tether, and Monero.
  • After some stumbles, the DeFi market keeps thriving. It has around $90b in market capitalization and over $44b in locked value. The dominant chain is still Ethereum, and the leading brands are Maker, Compound, Aave, Uniswap, and Curve Finance [DeFiPulse].

NFTs mania

  • The word “NFT” reached an all-time high interest in Google searches, according to Google Trends. It was even more popular than “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain”. If we check the platform Non-Fungible, we’ll find over 165,000 NFT sales for over $216m the last month.
  • A lot of artists and celebrities are joining the NFT mania. American rock band Kings of Leon was probably the last one to jump in. As part of the promotion for their last album, When You See Yourself, they launched a set of NFTs and sold them for $2m in total.
Kings of Leon in 2017. Image by Raph_PH / Flickr

Meanwhile, Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO, sold his first tweet as an NFT for around $2.9m. Elon Musk made a song about NFTs and he’s selling it as an NFT, and Paris Hilton issued her own NFT as well. Other celebrities with their own tokens include Lindsay Lohan, Grimes, 3LAU, Steve Aoki, and Shawn Mendes.

  • Among the most expensive NFT sales of March (and most likely in history) we have “Everydays: the first 5000 days” by the artist Beeple, sold for $69.3m in an auction by Christie’s. Following suit, the piece “Ocean Font” by the same artist in Nifty Gateway was sold for $6m to Tron’s founder, Justin Sun. Finally, the Cryptopunk #7804, a pipe-smoking teal-colored alien, was sold for over $7.8m.
  • Everyone is doing NFTs, and that includes Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sophia the Robot, a humanoid AI created by Hanson Robotics, made five NFTs based on the works by the artist Andrea Bonaceto. They were sold for $1m in Nifty Gateway.
  • The second-largest museum in the world, Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), announced a future exhibition of NFT art. This will be the continuation “of the State Hermitage’s work on new forms of art”. There’s still no specific date but is planned for 2021.

On security and regulations

  • NFTs also have to do something with security. This March, some accounts in the marketplace Nifty Gateway were hacked and their NFTs were stolen, along with others bought with their associated cards. Apparently, it happened to accounts with 2FA disabled. Luckily, most of the art was recovered.
  • DeFi wasn’t free of hacks this month either. Over $68m were siphoned from the platforms Meerkat Finance and Paid Network. Not long after, the DODO DEX suffered a $3.8m hack. The following targeted platforms were Cream and PancakeSwap with a DNS and phishing attack. Finally, a lottery bug was discovered in the last platform and was fixed before anyone could exploit it.
  • Last year, around 130 verified accounts on Twitter were attacked, and the hacker posted from there the classic giveaway scam with BTC. Now, Graham Ivan Clark, the American teenager who did it, was sentenced as a “youthful offender” to three years in prison. In the meantime, according to Bolster Research, cryptocurrency scams will increase by 75% in 2021.
  • India, Dubai, the United States, Ireland, Spain, and, in general, the whole EU, are preparing new regulations for cryptocurrencies. While Indian authorities are looking for a crypto-ban and the exchanges are speaking about it, Dubai is cooking rules for security tokens. To the USA and EU, the KYC is being enforced more than ever to comply with AML rules. Stablecoins, CBDCs, and cryptocurrency advertising are also in discussion.
  • The exchange Binance is now under scrutiny by U.S. regulators. At the same time, the battle Ripple vs. SEC continues. Now, over 6,000 XRP holders filed a motion to participate in the litigation as “third-party defendants”. In the meantime, after cutting ties with Ripple, Moneygram is facing a class-action lawsuit for not offering enough public details about its partnership with Ripple.

Other news

  • After launching a console with crypto-functionalities and its own token last year, Atari partnered with Decentral Games to launch a new crypto-casino in May. As part of the inauguration, exclusive NFTs will be given away as prizes.
  • Room 77, the world’s first Bitcoin bar (since 2011), announced its closure in October 2020. However, the Bitcoin community is refusing to let it die, so, they issued a proposal to gather partners and add a co-working space for cypherpunks in the day. They want to achieve the goal of 3,700 EUR / month to keep the place working.
Room 77 Bitcoin bar in Berlin. Source: Room 77 Facebook
  • Wasabi and Bull Bitcoin donated around $40,000 to Luke Dashjr, the developer in charge of the Bitcoin Knots client. The latter is alternative software for Bitcoin Core, the most used Bitcoin implementation. We must say that, additionally, Dasjr is one of the most prominent Bitcoin Core devs.

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I'm a literature professional in the crypto world since 2016. It doesn't sound very compatible, but I've been learning and teaching about blockchain and cryptos for international portals since then. After hundreds of articles and diverse content about the topic, now you can find me here on Alfacash, working for more decentralization.

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