NFT mania drives 35% gains for smart contract platform
After briefly crossing $50K, Bitcoin traded sideways last week as the crypto market fell into a late summer lull.
Smart contract platforms, which are benefiting from the booming trade of collectible avatars in the NFT market, were the biggest gainers. Though Ethereum stayed flat, Cardano hit an all-time high of almost three dollars before retreating, and Tezos spiked over 35% on the launch of a new non-fungible token (NFT) platform.
Meanwhile, institutional buyers have been accumulating Bitcoin. MicroStrategy added another 3,907 BTC to their stash of over 100,000 last week, while data from Chainalysis shows that Bitcoin’s biggest investors have been steadily buying more since the end of June.
This Week’s Highlights
- Tezos spikes 35% on NFT play
- Visa buys CryptoPunk amidst NFT mania
Tezos spikes 35% on NFT play
Old-timer proof-of-stake network Tezos surged last week after taking a big step into the booming NFT market.
Launched in partnership with French football team FC Nantes, Golden Goals is a new marketplace for football enthusiasts to trade certified Tezos-based NFTs, which represent items from player portraits to autographed jerseys.
In August so far, Tezos has risen a total of 85% on a steady stream of positive headlines. Just last week, three Swiss crypto firms joined forces to offer tokenized assets on the Tezos blockchain, adding to already positive sentiment from a successful network upgrade earlier in the month.
Visa buys CryptoPunk amidst NFT mania
While most of the crypto market experienced a brief lull last week, NFT trading was in full swing. This was sent into overdrive on Monday by Visa announcing the purchase of a $150,000 CryptoPunk.
Punk no. 7610, a pixelated image of a girl with green eyeshadow and a mohawk, will now be added to Visa’s “collection of artifacts that can chart and celebrate the past, present, and future of commerce,” said Visa crypto head Cuy Sheffield.
The price of Ethereum, which hosts the CryptoPunks collection, drifted slightly lower last week, but Visa’s purchase paints a positive picture of the long-term future; showing both the depth of institutional involvement in blockchain and the broad cultural reach of NFTs.
The week ahead
On Friday, Bitcoin’s long-term outlook was bolstered by Jerome Powell, who said the central bank won’t be in a hurry to begin raising interest rates.
Adding to the positive sentiment, Bloomberg Analyst Eric Balchunas predicted that a long-awaited Bitcoin ETF could be launched as soon as October.
In the short-term, $50K remains the key hurdle for Bitcoin to clear. The reaction at this psychological level could determine market direction for the next few weeks.