Nike Sues StockX, Government Concern Over NFTs, ETH and BTC Price Up

It was another excellent week for the bulk of the crypto market, with most coins well on their way to a price recovery. The greatest increases were experienced by GALA (up 57.7%) and LEO (up 47.1%). Tokens for gaming platforms also did well, with MANA of Decentraland up 36.6% and AXS of Axie Infinity up 35.5%.

The major cryptocurrencies also did well, with SOL up $113.5, ETH up 15.3%, and BTC up 9.4%. As a result, bitcoin has once again passed the $40,000 mark. Worth a mention also is JUNO up 88.7% and reaching an all-time high, certainly with all these positive moves, cryptocurrency investors will be breathing slightly easier this week.

However, not everyone could be a winner, and a small number of cryptocurrencies moved in the wrong direction. These were CVX (down 5.5%), KLAV (down 3.5%), and XRD (down 3.2%). 

The private mining company Merkle Standard has become one of the first to use some of the newest, most sustainable mining computers on the market. It has signed a deal with bitcoin mining rig manufacturer Bitmain to get thousands of its S19 Pro+ Hydro — a machine that uses liquid cooling technology to help the devices last longer and use less power. This is a step toward solving the sustainability problems associated with mining, but it’s likely that changes to the blockchain protocols themselves will also have to play a role.

Grayscale Investments is a leading asset management company in the crypto world, and it made headlines when it created the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) for bitcoin-related assets. Recently, it’s been planning to convert this trust into a bitcoin spot ETF, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has raised concerns about the move due to the potential for fraud, transparency, and liquidity. Similar problems have resulted in rejected applications for other spot bitcoin ETF applications, such as those from Fidelity and WisdomTree.

This isn’t the only crypto-related issue the US government set its sight on last week. The U.S. Department of the Treasury raised concerns about the use of NFTs — specifically high-value art NFTs — in money laundering. As part of a recent report, the Treasury found that NFTs have been used to enable illegal transactions, although there’s no evidence that they’ve financed terrorist operations. Due to the high prices NFTs can raise and the privacy that comes with them, anyone can sell an NFT and use it as a cover-up for illicit operations.

The rise of NFTs and the possibilities they offer for a new way to sell items online has encouraged many brands to file trademarks for their products. Nike has now filed lawsuits against StockX, a sneaker reseller that it alleges has taken pictures of Nike shoes and sold them as an NFT without authorization. However, the verdict could fall in the favor of either party as the lines remain somewhat blurred — considering an NFT is just a photo, it could be considered fair use. The legitimacy of StockX’s business (it has a $3.8 billion valuation) could also play a role. Luxury designer Hermés also sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rothschild for an NFT related to their products recently, showing that this is a growing problem.

As the founder of Tron and many other blockchain projects, Justin Sun is a well-known figure and influencer in the world of cryptocurrencies. However, the crypto think tank GFX Labs has accused Sun of carrying out a governance attack on his competitor, the DeFi lending protocol Compound. The think tank is concerned Tron borrowed $90k from Compound with the intention of voting as part of the governance program for native tokenholders — this shows the power that high-net-worth individuals can have if they choose to use it, although there’s no evidence Tron plans on voting.

In more positive news, Qredo — a DeFi infrastructure provider focusing on layer-2 solutions — raised $80 million in its latest funding round. It received investment from the likes of Coinbase, Terra, and Avalanche, along with various asset management firms. Qredo aims to eliminate the need for individual keys to increase security and scalability in the crypto sphere, and the latest investments will help it work toward its goal.

As an affiliate, I’ve partnered with TradingView to bring you their unique cryptocurrency screener that helps filter the best and most profitable trading opportunities. Get a free trial and access their charting platform with market-leading features.

At the time of writing, neither Tim Thomas nor Timothy Thomas Limited hold positions in the cryptocurrencies mentioned.

This post was produced by Smart Bitcoin Buyer / Timothy Thomas Limited and syndicated by Tim Thomas.

Featured image credit: Upslash.