Illustration by Mitchell Preffer for Decrypt
Crypto traders are feeling the fear. For a start, the price of Bitcoin fell below $35,000 for the first time since January earlier this morning, though that’s hardly unexpected in light of the fact that most leading cryptocurrencies’ prices are in their fifth consecutive week of decline.
Still, most industry pundits over on Crypto Twitter refrained from too much bearish negativity this week. The week began with a lot of screaming directed at Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) franchise creators Yuga Labs for an NFT drop last weekend that was considered shambolic by many. Decrypt covered some disgruntled reactions to the mint earlier this week.
Yuga Labs has since refunded 90.57 ETH (about $265,500) to customers who paid astronomical gas fees during the minting frenzy, but whose transactions failed for some reason or another. Yuga said “it seems abundantly clear” that it will migrate the BAYC ecosystem’s native ApeCoin token off of Ethereum and onto its own blockchain, prompting Ethereum developer Mark Beylin to call the company “con artists of the highest order.”
Just finished exiting all of my Ape related NFTs
now that Yuga has revealed their true colors, I can’t unsee it
con artists of the highest order
— Mark Beylin (@MarkBeylin) May 2, 2022
Also on Monday, crypto podcaster Peter McCormack had something to say about Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 119 (BIP-119). The proposal, pitched to the Bitcoin community by Bitcoin core developer Jeremy Rubin, introduces the controversial new operation code “CheckTemplateVerify” (CTV) to the network.
Even without understanding the tech, BIP119 feels like an attack on #bitcoin.
— Peter McCormack ⬛ (@PeterMcCormack) May 2, 2022
CTV brings the idea of “covenants” (conditional transactions) to Bitcoin, meaning that some Bitcoin theoretically could only be spent if specific conditions are met by the wallet holder. For example, one wallet could receive a certain amount of Bitcoin, yet it might only be allowed to send the money on to whitelisted addresses.
Critics like McCormack argue that this potentially undermines the very fungibility of Bitcoin. Covenants also could leave the world’s favorite crypto susceptible to increased regulatory control.
It’s worth noting that others are keen on Rubin’s proposal, citing solid uses for CTV, including the potential to bring elements of smart contract functionality to the blockchain.
On Tuesday, Former White House communications director and current Bitcoin/Ethereum/Algorand HODLing SkyBridge CEO Anthony Scaramucci tweeted his joy at last week’s news that the world’s biggest sports association, FIFA, tapped green blockchain Algorand in a new sponsorship deal. Scaramucci tweeted his love for ALGO behind his Bitcoin-maxi laser eyes.
FIFA this week. FTX announced spot trading last week. The world will understand Algorand. Patience and faith.
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) May 2, 2022
No, really, Scaramucci was over the moon.
So if you added the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL it still doesn’t have the reach of @FIFAcom @FIFAWorldCup @fifamedia the world’s sport has chosen @Algorand
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) May 3, 2022
Meanwhile, that same day, Dubai’s crown prince Hamdan bin Mohammed tweeted that his crypto-savvy regulators are opening an office in … wait for it … the metaverse! That’s definitely a more confident and dynamic regulatory approach than President Joe Biden’s underwhelming executive order. White House, pay attention!
Today, Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) made its debut in the Metaverse with the establishment of its Metaverse headquarters in the dynamic virtual world of ‘The Sandbox’. The initiative creates a new model to manage and expand Dubai’s government operations
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) May 3, 2022
Ethereum co-founder and CEO Vitalik Buterin jumped on a tweet from Ryan Adams that called Ethereum “not expensive” and gave us a quick update on his creation.
Needs to get under $0.05 to be truly acceptable imo. But we’re definitely making great progress, and even proto-danksharding may be enough to get us there for a while!
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) May 3, 2022
On Wednesday, new Twitter owner Elon Musk changed his profile pic to a BAYC collage and echoed a common sentiment among NFT critics, calling the picture “kinda fungible.”
I dunno … seems kinda fungible
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 4, 2022
The image’s original artist had something important to say. Musk quickly changed his profile picture again. Guess it’s not so fungible after all.
@elonmusk as much I admire your work I’d like you to remove your pfp that I created for our Sotheby’s sale. Or you credit me 😂. Happy to send you the original file minted with the buyer approval pic.twitter.com/e83ZyxWGH5
— Michael Bouhanna (@michaelbouhanna) May 4, 2022
The next day, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao alerted followers of the $500 million that Binance provided for Musk’s $44 billion Twitter bid.
A small contribution to the cause. https://t.co/xD9XZxOWfL
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) May 5, 2022
By Thursday, Coinbase’s new NFT marketplace had been live for a day and had only attracted 150 users. Nick Tomaino of crypto investment firm 1confirmation tweeted his disappointment.
1/ I haven’t sold a share of Coinbase but will sell all my shares if the company doesn’t make a strong move in NFTs in the next year. The current NFT product is not it…
— Nick Tomaino (@NTmoney) May 4, 2022
Meta’s lead project manager for its virtual reality Horizon Worlds social game, Dare Obasanjo, highlighted the extensive gulf between people’s lofty expectations of Coinbase NFT and the stark post-launch reality.
Coinbase hired a VP from Google, Surojit Chatterjee, as their head of product with $646 million compensation package in 2020.
I’ve been waiting to see the product impact of the highest paid PM in tech.
Coinbase NFT is that product. https://t.co/32j1OaKM8m
— Dare Obasanjo (@Carnage4Life) May 5, 2022
Finally, crypto sleuth ZachXBT’s on-chain gumshoe work implicated American boxer and convicted domestic abuser Floyd Mayweather in not one, not two, but three alleged rug pull scams.
1/ Well it appears @FloydMayweather has lied to followers once again. His new project @Mayweverse managed to only bring in $193.5k but the anon team has vanished since minting concluded & proceeds have been transferred away.
Funny enough there are direct ties to THREE rug pulls https://t.co/HKj9r2QR9w pic.twitter.com/ggn1WlBwnc
— ZachXBT (@zachxbt) May 5, 2022