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Miners playing high stakes? ⛏️
Miners moved $128M to exchanges; strategy or survival? Zuckerberg’s Meta is blurring lines and PayPal is flirting with NFTs. Buenos Aires is going digital and what's a Web3 horror?
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Bitcoin miners are moving BTC to exchanges like never before.
But why the sudden cash out?
Maybe BTC's recent runway walk at $31,185 is too tempting.
They've sent $128 million to exchanges over the past week, which is a colossal 315% of their daily revenue.
The classic behaviour is for miners to shift BTC profits to exchanges when they're gearing up to liquidate – usually covering expenses and pocketing some profits.
The timing makes sense; Bitcoin recently strutted its stuff, hitting its yearly peak at $31,185.
Despite BTC's price shooting up by over 88% since the start of the year, it's not all smooth sailing for miners.
They're grappling with a 30% slump in profitability since last July, with an over 80% plummet since the 2021 bull market peak.
The cocktail of rising hash rates, peak difficulty levels, and spiralling energy prices is making the waters choppy for Bitcoin miners.
This has squeezed their profitability, making the sale of their hard-earned Bitcoin more of a survival strategy than a choice.
The good and the bad
Bitcoin miners selling their coins is often seen as a "the sky is falling" moment by crypto enthusiasts.
But, at a recent chit-chat sesh at the Bitmain World Digital Mining Summit (WDMS) in Hong Kong, miners dished out some insider info.
Miners' Perspective: To Sell or Not to Sell?
Several key figures from top mining companies chimed in with their insights at the WDMS panel:
Jeff Taylor from Core Scientific:
Highlighted their experience with the hodl strategy, where they amassed a huge Bitcoin stash only to face financial challenges later.
Their current approach? Selling their Bitcoin produce daily.
Taylor Monnig of CleanSpark:
Emphasised their conservative approach, especially during the bull market.
Stressed the strategy of building in bearish periods and believed that more miners would adopt such strategies in the future.
Will Roberts of Iris Energy:
Mentioned that their focus has always been on generating shareholder value through their expertise in running data centers, rather than simply holding onto Bitcoin.
Nazar Khan from TeraWulf:
Labeled their firm as a "converter," emphasising the importance of efficiency in converting power to hash.
Highlighted the significance of their daily monetisation strategy.
So, are analysts getting it wrong?
While on-chain metrics, such as Charles Edward's hash ribbons indicator, have been historical predictors of the Bitcoin market, the dynamics have evolved.
For publicly listed mining companies, selling Bitcoin doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of confidence or distress in the market.
Instead, it's about the broader financial strategy, growth plans, and ensuring stability in a highly volatile ecosystem.
Foundry USA's Hashrate Map reveals that Texas is responsible for 28.5% of the entire US Bitcoin hash rate.
For the uninitiated, the hash rate is like a crypto miner's horsepower, dictating the speed of mining operations.
Following in the lineup are Georgia with a 9.64% share, New York swinging 8.75%, and New Hampshire trotting along at 5.33%.
Back in December 2021, Texas contributed a mere 8.43% of the U.S. hash rate, while Georgia was the reigning champion at 34.17%.
In contrast, 2023 shows a diversified bunch of states participating in the Bitcoin mining rodeo.
Foundry's data from July 21–27, 2023, aligns with Texas experiencing power curtailment.
In simpler terms, Bitcoin miners dial down their operations to balance the energy game during peak times.
The Great Divergence: Bitcoin & Equities
As the Federal Reserve's mantra of "higher rates for longer" echoes in the financial corridors, Bitcoin is showing a stronger sense of independence from equities.
Last Friday, Fed bigwigs sounded the alarm on the potential surge and prolongation of interest rates. While this might make equities frown, Bitcoin is finding reasons to cheer.
Why? Higher rates could signal a tighter embrace on corporate profit margins, pushing Bitcoin to carve its own trajectory.
CoinShares Head of Research James Butterfill says
"The market may realise that the higher rates indicate that the Fed has made a policy error, this then brings into question sound monetary policies of bitcoin versus the Fed,"
How about ETH? This week's Deutsche Digital report drops a spotlight on Ether, which seems to be in a footrace it's losing against Bitcoin.
The core reason? Ether's supply is on the rise.
As the ETH supply swells, Ether's price feels the weight, making Bitcoin look even shinier by comparison.
Hashpower on Arbitrum
A new protocol on Arbitrum called the Lumerin Hashpower Marketplace allows users to trade Bitcoin mining hashpower.
This means that individuals can mine Bitcoin without having to own expensive ASIC machines.
Lumerin has turned Bitcoin hash power into a tradable asset that can be bought and sold on a peer-to-peer marketplace using smart contracts.
Miners can sell their mining capacity, specifying the hash rate amount, duration, and price. This creates a predictable revenue stream for miners, while non-miners can also participate in the marketplace.
Lumerin decentralises the process by streaming actual hash rate directly to buyers' devices.
Mark Zuckerberg - CEO, Meta
'Like we were talking in person’
A recent podcast between Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and AI expert Lex Fridman was not your typical chit-chat.
It took place entirely in the metaverse.
Using Meta's cutting-edge "codec avatars".
These avatars are so lifelike that Fridman remarked, "It felt like we were talking in person."
These avatars are not just aesthetically better; they capture the minutiae of facial expressions and body language, making virtual interactions feel incredibly intimate. It's like that movie scene where you can't figure out if it's reality or digital magic.
With Meta pushing the boundaries of integrating AI into immersive virtual and augmented realities, the vision for the "metaverse" is becoming clearer—a vibrant digital universe, accessible through our screens.
Meta's mission? To make our digital interactions as immersive and real as our physical ones. Deep integration of AI into software and hardware.
As revealed at the Meta Connect conference, AI is at the helm of this metaversal ship, enabling smoother digital experiences.
From AI companions like MetaAI, designed to work with smart glasses, to enhancements in platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp, the blending of the metaverse and AI is revolutionising how we communicate.
Zuckerberg on the podcast.
"I could see a world where people stick to the photorealistic. But I can also see a world that once people get used to the photo, the photorealistic avatars, and they get used to these experiences, that I actually think that there could be a world where people actually prefer being able to express themselves in ways that aren't so tied to their physical reality."
For all the flak Meta has received in the past for its metaverse aspirations (think cartoonish, legless avatars), this recent move seems to be tilting the scales.
TTD NFTs 🐝
NFTs on PayPal? Yes, please.
PayPal recently filed a patent application that aims to integrate NFTs.
The application, which saw the light of day on Sept 21 (though filed in March), paints a detailed picture of how users might buy, sell, and transfer NFTs, both on-chain and off-chain. Here’s a peek:
The third-party service provider is the key player, facilitating all these NFT transactions. Though this mysterious third-party remains unnamed in the patent, the popular blockchain Ethereum does earn a mention.
PayPal’s vision for NFTs is vast. While most see them as collectible digital art, PayPal imagines using them to represent a variety of digital and tangible assets – from music tracks and event tickets to legal documents and even personal property deeds.
Fractional Ownership: This means if an NFT is too pricey for one, several users could own parts of it. They’d receive governance tokens in return, which can then be traded.
Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) make an appearance, with the proposal suggesting a DAO linked to the service provider to boost NFT liquidity.
Royalties: If an NFT is resold, original creators could earn a cut from each sale.
To simplify the experience, the system might work without users having their own digital wallets. Instead, they can lean on third-party brokers for storage and checkout services.
One of the patent’s most intriguing aspects? The potential to conduct off-chain transactions within a combined "omnibus wallet", thereby sidestepping the blockchain's often hefty gas fees.
IYK's NFT-driven products
Tech-integrated apparel startup, IYK's ambitious mission is to incorporate blockchain technology, specifically NFTs, into fashion, and it has now launched an automated platform to facilitate this integration for brands.
Funding Details: On September 28th, IYK shared that it has garnered a whopping $16.8 million in seed funding. The round, spearheaded by VC powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz, saw participation from a diverse group of investors, including Lattice Capital, Collab + Currency, and Palm Tree Crew.
Who’s buying what IYK’s selling?
Imagine this: You buy a limited-edition Adidas tee, flaunting it at your next outing. But instead of just being a conversation piece about style, you can actually scan it with your phone to prove its authenticity.
Yep, thanks to IYK's NFC (near field communication) chips embedded in clothing, it links directly to blockchain tokens or NFTs.
This isn’t just a concept; big names are already in on the game.
From Adidas, and MNTGE to crypto bigwigs like Coinbase, brands are tapping into IYK’s tech.
Asset management firms VanEck and Valkyrie are preparing to offer exposure to ether futures in their exchange-traded funds (ETFs)👇🏻
TTD HelloCrypto 👋🏻
Lights, Camera, Horror in Web3! 🍿👻
Ready to get spooked in style? Universal Pictures is collaborating with Aptos Labs to provide fans a unique web3 experience for the forthcoming horror movie, "The Exorcist: Believer."
This immersive endeavor offers enthusiasts access to exclusive digital artwork, AR filters, and behind-the-scenes content.
The cherry on top? A chance to bag physical rewards.
Universal Pictures wants to create interconnected digital experiences across all platforms and sees web3 as a way to change how fans experience movies.
The campaign utilises Aptos' Move programming language and has received funding from high-profile crypto investors.
Buenos Aires' Digital Swag ID 🔖
City of Buenos Aires has a new digital identity service - QuarkID.
Powered by the Matter Labs' zkSync Era rollup, residents can now store and access personal identification documents such as birth and marriage certificates.
And that's just the start.
In the coming months, the government plans to add more official identity-related credentials to the QuarkID wallet, including proof of income and academic attendance certificates.
The aim is to create a more secure and agile digital interaction between government, companies, and individuals.
The government is also working on legislative changes to grant digital credentials the same equivalence as physical documents.
AlphaSense, which is all about delivering some serious business intelligence through AI, just announced they’ve bagged $150 million in their Series E funding.
The Big Backers:
Bond: Took the lead in this funding.
Google's Parent, Alphabet, via CapitalG: They're in.
Goldman Sachs & Viking Global: Also sprinkled their financial magic.
Valuation rocketed from $1.7 billion (post-Series D in June 2023) to a stellar $2.5 billion now.
What makes AlphaSense special?
They’re not your typical AI model like ChatGPT.
Mixes data from both public and private sectors, leveraging machine learning.
Their platform offers deep insights for business and finance, making it an “insights-as-a-service” hub.
AlphaSense CEO and founder Jack Kokko.
“The additional capital allows us to invest strategically, so we can continue to lead the generative AI revolution in our market, and deliver on our mission of helping businesses find the right data and insights to support more confident and agile decision-making.."
TTD Surfer 🏄
A Chinese worker has been fined 1.06 million yuan for using a VPN to access restricted websites while working remotely for a foreign employer.
SBF, the founder of FTX, helped CoinDesk win a prestigious journalism award for their coverage of his cryptocurrency empire's downfall.
Gemini has denied claims made in a New York Post article that it made a $218 million withdrawal from crypto bank Genesis before customer withdrawals were suspended.
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