How we fail to notice the gradual integration of blockchain into everyday life
Today we will talk about how the interest in NFT is growing. Let's talk about how tech giants are driving this process. The SDF is interested in regulating stablecoins. The banking sector has become more loyal to cryptocurrencies.
The popularity of NFT is growing rapidly
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are becoming more and more popular. NFT sales volumes on specialized marketplaces are experiencing strong growth in the first half of 2021. The NFT market is around $ 2.5 billion in June 2021.
What drives this process? Big brands are embracing the trend, and tech giants are helping to grow.
E-commerce giant Alibaba is driving the NFT trend in China.
Taobao is part of the Alibaba group of companies, which is one of the top e-commerce websites in China. It was recently revealed that Taobao will include NFT Arts in its Maker Festival.
NEAR Protocol has partnered with game developers Web3Games and Chinese artist Heshan Huang. The goal of the collaboration is to sell their "real estate" based on non-fungible tokens (NFT) during the Taobao Maker Festival. As you might guess, this festival is sponsored by Alibaba. It will take place later in 2021. The idea behind NEAR Protocol is that buyers will be able to place their order on Taobao and pay in CNY.
It's not even a trailblazer in Alibaba's range of NFT projects.
The South China Morning Post is a print publication that is part of the Alibaba Group of companies. It was recently revealed that the newspaper has tokenized its 118-year-old collection of media assets in NFT format. The newspaper's management noted that it wants actual historical records and genuine historical assets to be immutable due to the blockchain opportunities.
The Italian national football team won the European Championship earlier in July 2021. In addition to the main trophy, they received the first NFT cup in history. Simultaneously, Alipay, a subsidiary of Alibaba and the official partner of the tournament, presented 1,600 copies of the aforementioned NFT Cup to the fans who answered best in a special quiz.
Alipay launched two NFT-based digital artworks in May 2021. Art owners see them on the checkout page of the Alipay app when they shop. The new opportunity attracted a lot of public interest, and Alipay sold about 16 thousand copies of tokens in a few hours of the sale.
Nifty's Inc. created the social platform NFT for artists and possible buyers in collaboration with Warner Bros.
Nifty's Inc. Is the first social media platform about NFT. They recently announced a partnership with Warner Bros. For the release of Space Jam 2, the companies originally linked NFT technologies and famous characters from the film for advertising. Everyone can buy Looney Tunes characters as collectible unchangeable tokens.
To summarize. The popularity of NTFs is growing, and the number of options for their use is growing too. This has a beneficial effect on the NFT market. Companies from the entertainment, gaming, media, and sports industries all hit the trending news on this topic. When the tools to centralize NFTs emerge, traditional financial institutions and tech giants can follow suit.
Cryptocurrencies are confidently strengthening their positions in the banking system
Until recently, banks were conservative about the crypto sector. Bank of America banned financial advisors and clients from trading Bitcoin-related investments back in 2018. Today, trends in banking policy towards crypto are changing towards warming.
Bank of America management has allowed such opportunities for some of their clients. This is due to a large amount of margin required to trade futures. Some clients are ready to trade bitcoin futures.
CME Bitcoin Futures was launched in 2017. The total open interest in the bitcoin futures market is $ 11.3 billion, according to Arcane Research. This confirms the steady growth of institutional participation.
Recently, there has been news from investment banks about the opening up of access to crypto investments. Goldman Sachs has already confirmed its intention to return to cryptocurrency trading after 3 years of inactivity. In May 2021, GS began activities at the bitcoin futures market through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group. Cumberland DRW acted as a commercial partner of the bank.
And in early July, it was revealed that a bank in Charlotte, North Carolina had created a team to research cryptocurrencies and related technologies.
Researchers at Yale University and the SDF have developed two regulatory frameworks for stablecoins
Two weeks ago, on July 17, a publication by researchers Gorton and Zhang appeared in the SSRN electronic library. They say that "privately produced money" (stablecoins) "is not an efficient medium of exchange because it is not always accepted at par and circulating."
Further, solutions to these "systemic risks posed by stablecoins" were proposed.
Plunging into the history of private money, starting with the era of free banking in the United States, from 1837 to 1864, researchers concluded that politicians have two options for regulating stablecoins:
 to make stablecoins equivalent to government money,
 or introduce CBDC, which will lead to taxing private stablecoins.
What does the first option mean? The government may require stablecoins to be issued through FDIC-insured banks. Otherwise, stablecoins should be fully backed by Treasury bonds in the Federal Reserve System.
The discussion of stablecoins is now very active. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell was instrumental in this. He called for stricter regulation of assets like Tether (USDT).
"Cryptocurrencies are unlikely to join the payments universe anytime soon because of their extreme price volatility," Powell said in a July 14 speech before the House of Representatives.
That is, researchers from the Fed are already more open to the idea of introducing and developing CBDC. Unlike peers in Asia and Europe, the US has no plans for a digital dollar soon.
While one side of the blockchain, like Bitcoin, is undergoing a slight freeze and minor breakthroughs, the other is actively developing and being introduced into everyday life. The banking sector, institutional investors, and even regulators are gradually warming towards cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may not become permanent means of payment in the distant future. However, the technologies based on them will surely stay with us forever.
WARNING: Virtual currencies are highly volatile and novel instruments traded on unregulated exchanges with minimal or no regulatory supervision. Investing in virtual currencies is highly risky, and you can rapidly lose your entire invested capital. Before buying virtual currencies, you should consider whether you understand how the market in virtual currencies works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.