There are green shoots of recovery throughout the crypto markets today, which some have attributed to Morgan Stanley’s reported foray into the field. We’ve got all the details on that one, plus other tales from across the cryptosphere on what’s shaping up to be a bullish day for bitcoin.
Investment bank Morgan Stanley is looking to swap fiat trading for crypto trading. More specifically, it’s seeking BTC price return swaps. As derivatives, these contracts would enable investors to gain exposure to bitcoin without having to hold the underlying asset. The news, if confirmed, can be taken as further evidence of bitcoin’s infiltration into the world of institutional investments. The likes of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have been hesitant to comment publicly on their plans for opening bitcoin trading desks, perhaps due to a desire not to be seen as “pumping” the market, coupled with the need to finalize plans before speaking out. Regardless, the crypto markets seemed to like the story, with digital assets climbing an average of 5% since it broke on Thursday.
Throughout ethereum’s halcyon days of early 2018, its high price was countered with criticism that no one was using the dapps built upon its protocol. The low number of daily average users, critics maintained, was evidence of ETH’s price being driven largely by ICOs and speculation. Those critics may have had a point, but whatever the case, an oddity has emerged: over the past week, as ETH has fallen to its lowest price in 14 months, several ethereum dapps have seen their usage shoot up.
NFT (non-fungible token) marketplaces in particular have been a hive of activity. Nonfungible.com reports that in the past week Decentraland has seen $270,000 of land parcels traded and Cyptokitties has done $170,000. Interestingly, ETH’s falling price may be one of the reasons behind this. MANA, the ERC20 required to purchase land parcels on Decentraland, hit record lows this week, effectively diluting the average price of the 10x10m virtual tracts. This flash sale prompted one whale to splurge on 14 adjacent parcels for a total of 15 BTC.
The average price of Cryptokitties has also gotten cheaper this week thanks to ETH testing the $170 mark. Coupled with publicity generated by the one millionth kitty being born, and the dapp, which once stress-tested the Ethereum network, is back in vogue. With ETH now back above $200, it will be interesting to see whether NFT marketplace momentum can be maintained.