Skip to content
Observers Sunday Review 10/03/2024

This Sunday will see the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles host the 96th Academy Awards ceremony, with the famous Oscar statuettes presented to the movies, actors and crew considered the best in their fields over the past year.

While we wouldn't want to stake any of our hard-earned crypto on predicting the winners, we have already been treated to the 44th edition of the alternative Golden Raspberry (Razzie) awards, celebrating the very worst that cinema had to offer in 2023.

The Razzie for Worst Picture went to Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, a hastily cobbled-together horror film which took advantage of the fact that the character had recently fallen into the public domain. Pooh and Piglet also won the Worst Screen Couple award for their performances as "Blood-Thirsty Slasher/Killers".

But who or what is considered the best in the crypto field this week?... and which projects would be more likely to receive a Razzie nomination? Read on to find out.

Bitcoin was the big news this week, as we observed strong ETF demand pushing the price of the crypto OG ever higher on Monday, before it went on to break its all-time high twice as the week progressed. The increased interest from retail investors saw instability on a number of exchanges, including Coinbase, although several reported outages didn't cause the company's share price to flinch from its upward trajectory.

The Bitcoin feeding frenzy spilled over into the meme-coin arena, which saw, "Frogs, cats, dogs and even Harry Potter-inspired tokens [...] reaching all-time highs," in terms of price, trading volume and market cap. The bullish sentiment of the crypto market even prompted a renaissance in high-end NFT sales, with CryptoPunk #3100 changing hands for 4,500ETH, making it the 5th most expensive NFT sale of all time. However, the Ethereum network doesn't have the market to itself this time around, with Ordinals topping the trading volume charts, and Solana beating it on NFT-related activity.

By a stroke of luck, car-maker Nissan had chosen the pumping-est week of the crypto year so far to launch its new metaverse experience, offering an interactive (virtual) hands-on with three of its heritage models combined with driver safety training. And Tether has also done pretty well out of the recent bullish price movements, hitting a $100 billion market cap for the first time. We took a deep dive to put this figure in perspective.

Not receiving quite such a positive response was Binance, which 'honored' International Women's Day by launching its own feminine fragrance called CRYPTO. Though billed as a light-hearted way to highlight gender disparity in the industry, the promotion came across as somewhat out of touch, and smelt more like 'crypto bros' than the women it purported to attract.

Binance is also among a trio of major crypto companies recently pushing back against the SEC and what commissioner Hester Peirce calls its 'enforcement only' approach. We took a look at the latest developments in regulator action against Binance.US, Kraken and Terraform Labs. Terraform Labs ex-CEO Do Kwon got some good news this week, as a court in Montenegro ruled that he should be extradited to his native South Korea. Obviously, Team America's World Police weren't happy about that and promised to appeal the decision, because where better than the U.S. to try a South Korean citizen who set up a dodgy crypto venture in South Korea?

Also twisting logic a little this week, was London-based neobank, Revolut. Customers (outside of the U.S.) have been able to buy, sell, hold and even stake cryptocurrency through the Revolut app and ecosystem for some time. However, this week saw a collaboration with MetaMask, which now enables Revolut customers to buy crypto from Revolut, using funds from their Revolut balance or cards... via MetaMask.

Tangible DAO, the issuer of failed real-estate-backed stablecoin USDR, has pivoted to focus on a new permissionless L2 for tokenized real-world assets (RWA). The ecosystem comes ready loaded with its own exchange, Pearl, and Stack, focused on borrowing and leverage. Tangible will act as the L2's tokenization protocol, and even claims to have restored USDR collateralization to 100%.

And finally, our Banking and CBDC Roundup did a whistlestop world tour, covering updates on CBDC development in Hong Kong, China, Jamaica, the EU, India and Kyrgyzstan.