Algorand Hits High, El Salvador Partners with China, Tough Going for Crypto Funds

It’s time to welcome in a new year — but which cryptocurrencies have begun 2022 with a bang, and which ones are hoping to buck their current trend in the months to come? Leading the way among the winners is YFI, which increased by 24.9% over the last week. It’s followed by ROSE (up 20.8%) — which reached all-time highs — ATOM (up 18.9%), and SUSHI (up 18.7%).

But not all coins fared quite so well. OHM fell 25.9%, HOT by 16.6%, BCHA by 13.9%, and SAND by 12.6%.

How did the big names do? For the most part, not so great — SOL fell by 8.8%, BTC by 6.7%, and ETH by 6.9%. However, this could be a window of opportunity for investors in 2022 considering incorporating crypto or even NFTs into their investment plans for the new year.

Algorand might not be on the list of big gainers above, but it was another coin that ended the year on a high. This is partly down to a new $3 million liquidity incentive program associated with AlgoFi, its new decentralized lending protocol, which will give out rewards to users who supply, borrow, or stake on Algofi as an incentive to use the platform. Along with further funding that Algorand has provided for its developers, the protocol seems to be set up for a great year. Keep in mind, like many other coins, Algorand is only available on limited exchanges, and they tend to be the bigger ones like Coinbase.

We heard plenty about El Salvador’s bitcoin-centric plans last year, from making bitcoin legal tender to intentions of creating an entire bitcoin city. But its latest dream appears to be a collaboration that will see the country partner with China to build a new national stadium. President Nayib Bukele announced the plans on Twitter, in which he explained that the stadium will use modern styles and represent the country’s shift to a high-tech future — something it seems that crypto will play a key part in.

The founder of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) had a shock when none other than rap superstar Eminem joined the club on the last day of 2021 by purchasing an NFT in the collection — for almost $462,000. At the time of writing, Eminem still sports the image as his profile picture on Twitter, which features a military hat and hip-hop clothing. It’s yet another piece of proof that the tokens aren’t going anywhere yet.

However, the Bored Ape Yacht Club has also faced its fair share of challenges. Last week saw parody projects — which go by the name PHAYC and feature almost exact copies of the BAYC artwork but left-facing — gain momentum. The community isn’t aiming to trick anyone out of their money by posing as BAYC, but rather to poke fun at the perceived ridicule of the NFT market right now. However, given the success of so-called meme coins in the past, PHAYC could end up taking off.

Despite the hype about Grayscale Investment’s bitcoin fund earlier in 2021, it, unfortunately, ended the year on a downer, with the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust dropping 30% between November and December. The Ethereum Trust has also suffered, decreasing by 22%. This is linked to falls in the wider crypto markets over the same period, and investors will be hoping it’s simply a temporary drop.

Yet there have also been a few big success stories over the last few days. Mining company Bitfarms has secured a $100 million loan backed by bitcoin. Offered by financial firm Galaxy Digital Holdings, the loan has an APR of 10.75% and a six-month term, and Bitfarms plans to use it to finance growth and increase its hash-rate for mining. Could this be an early case study of how large-scale crypto-backed loans can be feasible?

Also, meme coin protocol Shiba Inu has launched its own decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). Although it’s still in beta version, the Dogecoin competitor hopes it will give its users more chances to influence the direction and available pairs on ShibaSwap, the protocol’s crypto exchange. 

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