USDC vs USDT: The flippening?
Institutional adoption sparks excitement as new launches storm DeFi
BTC’s correlation with equities was noticeable this week amid earnings reports from some of the largest tech companies. The market-leading cryptocurrency continues to trade in an indecisive range around the 39,000 USDT level, and appears to be at the mercy of traditional markets. Also this week, we saw exciting digital-asset adoption news from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Fidelity, as well as new updates from Optimism and Evmos in the decentralized finance sector.
Here’s everything you need to know about these stories, and more, in this week’s edition of OKX Insights’ News of the Week.
Fidelity takes steps to allow BTC into 401(k) plans
Prominent financial-services provider Fidelity announced a plan on Tuesday to provide individuals the opportunity to allocate a portion of their retirement savings to Bitcoin. MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor quickly revealed that the business-intelligence company will be the first to offer this service to its employees.
- Investors hope that this passive bid into retirement accounts can combat some of the downside volatility historically associated with crypto markets.
- While unsurprising for MicroStrategy to participate, given its large BTC holdings, this exemplifies practical steps towards digital-asset adoption that other companies may follow.
Goldman Sachs offers its first crypto-backed loan
- Some may find it inspiring to see steps towards adoption from traditional finance players during a crypto market downtrend. It shows that they recognize legitimate use cases for the assets — other than extracting value when prices increase.
- Crypto-backed loans allow holders access to fiat without realizing gains and incurring tax liability. Crypto natives hope that traditional finance will enable undercollateralized loans that are currently unavailable in the DeFi ecosystem.
OpenSea acquires NFT aggregator Gem
In an effort to support more advanced nonfungible token traders, leading NFT marketplace OpenSea announced Monday that they had acquired popular NFT aggregator Gem for an undisclosed price. Gem aggregates NFT marketplaces to get users the best value available, and allows buyers to sweep NFT collection floors in a single transaction.
- Gem is a strong acquisition, with usage trending upwards since its launch in January 2022. This move helps to differentiate OpenSea from competitors, such as LooksRare.
- With OpenSea’s reluctance towards tokenization, some Gem users were disappointed by this news — hoping for a governance token airdrop from the aggregator. Gem developer Vasa made it clear in messages on Discord that this was still a possibility, stating that “rewards/tokens are not out of the question.”
Optimism announces token airdrop to ecosystem contributors
On Tuesday, Ethereum Layer-2 scaling solution Optimism revealed the distribution for its long-anticipated governance token. OP will be airdropped to wallets that participated on the rollup, with increased rewards for accomplishing specific tasks across the ecosystem.
- Optimism is implementing a two-pronged governance method. OP holders can vote on protocol upgrades and incentive allocations, while special “citizen” NFT holders vote on network revenue distribution.
- Speculators will look to other Ethereum scaling solutions, such as zkSync and Arbitrum, for potential token airdrops that follow Optimism’s example.
Evmos launches mainnet on Cosmos
Evmos is an Ethereum Virtual Machine implementation within the Cosmos ecosystem that allows developers to easily fork applications from Ethereum, and provide DeFi participants with a familiar user experience.
- Evmos is airdropping its native token to the Cosmos community, as well as to Ethereum users proportional to the amount of gas fees one has spent using the blockchain.
- It will be interesting to see if this token distribution method leads to adoption and community growth for Evmos, or if users will sell their airdropped tokens — taking a gift in an otherwise difficult market.