A Futurist take on crypto

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You might not know it, but Cana­da is qui­et­ly becom­ing a major play­er in the blockchain and cryp­to scene: Ethereum has strong Cana­di­an roots, Toron­to-based 3iQ launched North America’s first phys­i­cal­ly-set­tled Bit­coin (BTC) exchange-trad­ed fund (ETF) and the per­cent­age of active cryp­to hold­ers in the coun­try has increased steadi­ly over the past two years. 

Against this back­drop, I had the plea­sure of attend­ing this year’s Blockchain Futur­ist Con­fer­ence in Toron­to, where I got to mod­er­ate two pan­els on rebuild­ing the finan­cial sys­tem through Web3 and onboard­ing the next wave of cryp­to users. The event served as anoth­er reminder that the industry’s bright­est minds are still build­ing amaz­ing prod­ucts despite cur­rent mar­ket con­di­tions. Not to sound over­ly cliche, but it’s hard to be bear­ish on dig­i­tal assets if you adopt a low-time preference.

Blockchain Futur­ist Con­fer­ence 2022 open­ing day, Toron­to, Ontario, Canada.

DeFi needs a ‘killer app’ to go next level, says Ripple exec

You can’t have a prop­er con­ver­sa­tion about the future of dig­i­tal assets with­out talk­ing about decen­tral­ized finance (DeFi). One of the most stim­u­lat­ing pan­els at Futur­ist, titled “The Future of Decen­tral­ized Finance,” fea­tured the head of DeFi mar­kets at Rip­ple Labs, the founder of Teller Finance and exec­u­tives from Aven­tus Ven­tures and FLUIDEFI. Accord­ing to Rip­ple Labs’ Boris Aler­gant, the insti­tu­tion­al adop­tion of DeFi is com­ing next — but not before the indus­try cre­ates the next “killer app” to real­ly pique interest. 

Wealth managers and VCs are helping drive institutional crypto adoption — Wave Financial execs

The cryp­to bear mar­ket has instilled a lot of fear in retail investors. But, for insti­tu­tions and ven­ture funds, adop­tion has been ramp­ing up. At Futur­ist, I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to inter­view two exec­u­tives from asset man­age­ment firm Wave Finan­cial, who explained that high-net-worth indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tion­al investors are increas­ing their expo­sure to dig­i­tal assets. Dur­ing the last bear mar­ket, insti­tu­tions were ask­ing, Is this the end of cryp­to? Now, the ques­tion seems to be much more around, Is this the right time to get in? 

Coinbase posts $1.1B loss in Q2 on ‘fast and furious’ crypto downturn

We all know the cryp­to exchange busi­ness got nuked in the sec­ond quar­ter due to the bear mar­ket. As it turns out, the per­for­mance of top cryp­to exchange Coin­base was worse than expect­ed. The com­pa­ny booked a mas­sive $1.1 bil­lion loss between April and June, eas­i­ly its worst quar­ter since going pub­lic in 2021. Rev­enues were also down 45.1% quar­ter-on-quar­ter and 153.1% com­pared with year-ago lev­els. Although cryp­to prices have rebound­ed mod­est­ly over the past month, retail inter­est and trad­ing vol­umes remain low. That means there could be more pain in store for Coin­base in the short term. 

Amid miner capitulation, Hut 8 maintained BTC ‘HODL strategy’ in July

Some of the world’s largest Bit­coin min­ers have been sell­ing their bags to finance oper­a­tions dur­ing the bear mar­ket — but not Hut 8. The Cana­di­an min­ing com­pa­ny, which trades pub­licly on the Nas­daq and Toron­to stock exchanges, main­tained its dia­mond hands in July as its Bit­coin reserves grew to 7,736 BTC. Hut 8 main­tains an active “HODL strat­e­gy” that involves deposit­ing all self-mined BTC into cus­tody. The company’s resolve is tru­ly impres­sive giv­en how fast and hard Bitcoin’s price has fallen. 

Don’t miss it! Is your SOL safe?

Solana was the tar­get of anoth­er coor­di­nat­ed attack this month after hack­ers stole rough­ly $8 mil­lion in cryp­to from ecosys­tem wal­let Slope. Pos­si­bly due to its ambi­tious design and secu­ri­ty trade-offs to achieve high­er through­put, Solana has been the tar­get of sev­er­al exploits over the past year. This leads us to the vital ques­tion: Is your Solana (SOL) actu­al­ly safe? In this week’s Mar­ket Report, ana­lysts Mar­cel Pech­man, Yashu Gola and Ben­ton Yaun debate whether SOL investors should be legit­i­mate­ly con­cerned. You can watch the full replay below.

Cryp­to Biz is your week­ly pulse of the busi­ness behind blockchain and cryp­to deliv­ered direct­ly to your inbox every Thursday.

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