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*Ninepoint Digital Asset Group, is a division of Ninepoint Partners LP.
(7 Day Change as of Mar 10, 2023 3:10PM ET)
Bitcoin Price: $20,020  (14.61%)
DeFi Total-Value-Locked: $44.38B
Ethereum Price: $1,425  (9.63%)
Crypto Market Cap: $935B
Bitcoin Range: $19,622 - $22,655
BITC.U Close: $5.99 (as of Mar 9, 2023)
Ethereum Range: $1,380 - $1,588
BITC.U NAV: $6.10
Bitcoin Dominance: 42.93%  (1.69%)
BITC.U Discount:  1.80%

U.S. Bitcoin ETF Odds Rise as Grayscale Takes its Case against the SEC to Court

Grayscale is currently suing the SEC in court as it seeks approval to convert the $14 billion Bitcoin Trust into an ETF. Industry watchers were caught by surprise in the early moments of the case as two members of the D.C. Circuit panel of judges grilled SEC lawyers and raised doubts over their claims that Bitcoin markets can be manipulated. Over the course of the day, GBTC soared nearly 15% as investors priced in the rising odds of an ETF conversion. Recently, GBTC traded at a discount of nearly 50% to its net asset value so the increase is all from that discount narrowing. Even with Tuesday’s move, GBTC still trades at a 35% discount to NAV and the outcome is far from uncertain, but at least for now the prospect for a Bitcoin ETF has gotten a little bit brighter.

Kraken Looks Beyond Recent Settlement With Upcoming “Kraken Bank” Launch

Kraken is set to launch its bank amid current regulatory environment challenges and the recent closure of its staking services for clients in the United States. The bank launch comes during a tumultuous time for the industry, preceded by the collapse of FTX and numerous enforcement actions by officials. Despite Kraken's recent $30 million settlement with the SEC, the company is moving forward with its plans to launch its bank. Kraken's chief legal officer Marco Santori confirms that "Kraken Bank is very much on track to launch, very soon."

Visa and Mastercard Press Pause On Crypto Push Amid Industry Setbacks

Visa and Mastercard are postponing plans to form new partnerships with crypto firms after a series of bankruptcies has shaken investors' confidence. The payment companies are delaying the launch of certain crypto-related products and services until the regulatory environment, and overall market conditions improve. Both Visa and Mastercard had previously announced partnerships with crypto firms and established teams to explore blockchain technology. While this retreat underscores the ongoing uncertainty surrounding crypto regulation, it doesn't appear to deter either firm's overall crypto strategy or focus.

United States Gets 1st Nuclear-Powered Bitcoin Mining Facility With TeraWulf’s Nautilus

TeraWulf has launched the US's first nuclear-powered Bitcoin mining facility, Nautilus Cryptomine. The facility has nearly 8,000 mining rigs online, representing a hash rate capacity of about 1 exahash per second (EH/s), and plans to add another 8,000 rigs to increase total capacity to 1.9 EH/s by May. TeraWulf secured a five-year power agreement at 2 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), significantly reducing its energy costs compared to the US industrial average of 9 cents/kWh. TeraWulf uses more than 91% of zero-carbon energy, making ESG a core part of its business strategy in hopes of greening the mining industry.

The Rise of Decentralized Physical Infrastructure (DePin)

By Alex Tapscott

Last week I wrote a dispatch from South Africa, a country plagued by many seemingly intractable problems, including underinvestment in core infrastructure. In fact, during our stay, the electrical grid would periodically shut down, a process known as “load shedding,” to spare it from outright collapse. South Africans are exasperated and angry with a government that seems paralyzed by mismanagement and corruption. There seems to be no alternative. Indeed, historically the building out of new physical infrastructure was always the domain of governments or large well-regulated utilities that had the resources to commit billions of dollars and millions of man-hours to creating dams, bridges, electrical grids, wireless networks and so forth. But is there another way?

In Web3, and DeFi specifically, we have seen the emergence of decentralized models for problem solving. For example, decentralized exchanges like Uniswap automate the trading of cryptoassets using smart contracts. Decentralized lending pools connect borrowers and lenders. Decentralized stablecoin projects like MakerDAO self-regulate an asset worth more than $5 billion. And now, decentralized models are appearing in the world of physical infrastructure – called Decentralized Physical Infrastructure or DePIN, where networks use tokens as incentives to pool and coordinate the physical resources of many individuals, turning them into decentralized and resilient systems.

The best research I have seen on this area comes from Messari researcher Sam Kassab, who breaks down DePIN into four categories: cloud networks, wireless networks, sensor networks, and energy networks. He estimated that DePin’s total addressable market is more than $2.2 trillion growing to $3.5 trillion by 2028i. Already there are decentralized storage and computing networks like Filecoin and Akash Network that are competing on price in some areas with giants like Amazon Web Services, better known as AWS. Today, the decentralized wireless network Helium, which already has hotspots in 182 countries. The Render Network has rendered thousands of hours of Hollywood-grade computer graphics by knitting together latent GPUs owned by gamers and former Ethereum miners. These emerging models are just beginning to scratch the surface.

To be sure, there are limits to what decentralized models can achieve. I do not see a path forward for a decentralized model of building a highway, airport, railroad, hydroelectric dam, or nuclear power plant. But in the not-too-distant future, we could see a decentralized power grid made up of solar panels, or a decentralized transportation system made up of self-driving cars. Other kinds of critical infrastructure are more subtle. Consider mapping data. Military leaders understand that a map is a weapon and in the world of business, Google Maps wields a bazooka. Millions of businesses and governments rely on Google Maps’ API for mapping data. On this week’s DeFi Decoded we speak to Ariel Seidman, CEO and Founder of Hivemapper, which aims to use the power of the crowds and incentives to bootstrap a competitor that is community owned. Check it out!


Mapping the World - One HONEY Token at a Time with Ariel Seidman of Hivemapper

Join Alex Tapscott and Andrew Young as they decode the world of Web3 with special guest Ariel Seidman, CEO and Co-Founder at Hivemapper. Listen in as they discuss Ariel's journey to founding Hivemapper, how they incentivize contributors, HONEY tokenomics, the thesis for building on Solana, key milestone metrics, and more!

Hivemapper is a unique mapping platform that offers a decentralized approach to map-building. Hivemapper incentivizes individuals to map high-demand areas while maintaining consistent quality standards. Contributors earn HONEY tokens for their efforts, making the map a community effort belonging to those who construct it. With over 10,000 contributors, 2.7 million Honey transactions, 780,974 unique kilometres mapped, and 498 regions covered, Hivemapper represents a pivotal shift in creating fresh maps and who owns them, sharing the economic benefits with those who contribute.

Tune in to the 85th DeFi Decoded episode to hear Alex, Andrew, and Ariel discuss all things Hivemapper and how they are revolutionizing map creation via ownership. How did non-crypto native Ariel find himself at the epicentre of a decentralized mapping platform? What noteworthy aspects from Helium and Waze does Hivemapper leverage? Which global regions are the most active, and how do their contributor counts affect overall reward capture? Tune in!
Source: The Block
#1: The Rise of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network: A Promising Solution 
The Lightning Network's capacity has grown 58.69% in the past year, now at 5.57K Bitcoin, or $132 million. This layer two solution offers fast, secure, low-cost off-chain transactions via payment channels, supporting micropayments and cross-blockchain atomic swaps without third-party custodians. Its scalability and reliability make it a promising solution to Bitcoin's scalability issues. The network's considerable growth showcases the increasing demand for efficient payment solutions in the crypto market.
Source: The Block
#2: Blur: The Disruptive NFT Marketplace Taking Over The Industry 
Blur, a new NFT marketplace, has surpassed OpenSea, the leading NFT marketplace, with $1.63 billion in sales volume in the past 30 days, compared to OpenSea's $439 million. Blur achieved this by charging lower fees, offering full creator royalties, and offering massive token airdrops. It has been the number one NFT marketplace in volume for the past three months and is on track to make it a fourth consecutive month, accounting for 84% of total NFT marketplace volume so far in March. The competition between marketplaces is heating up, and OpenSea's response remains to be seen.
Source: glassnode
Bitcoin Investors Adopting Long-Term Mindset: HODL Waves Analysis
Bitcoin's "Holding On For Dear Life (HODL) Waves" chart shows the age distribution of Bitcoin's unspent transaction output (UTXO) set throughout its history, enabling analysis of large-scale market behaviour. The graph displays a noticeable shift towards long-term accumulation and holding among investors, with coins held for over a year increasing by 5.73% in the past twelve months. This increase is reflected in the chart's growing concentration of cooler colours, indicating that a larger amount of Bitcoin is being held for longer periods. This suggests that Bitcoin investors are becoming more long-term-oriented and less interested in short-term trading.