Another BTC Milestone, Gaming NFTs, & 2022 Predictions

December 15, 2021 | Issue #199

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Bitcoin Touches New Milestone

It's December of 2021. The markets are sh*tting the bed. A new COVID variant has freaked everyone out again. Eggnog and Christmas gifts are more expensive than ever before... and making matters worse, Bitcoin is down ~27% in a little over a month!

Ah, let's cheer up...

It's December 2021. The markets are cooling off after an incredible 20-year bull. You're probably not sick. And you've just learned that Bitcoin hit yet another milestone, despite being up 100%-plus YTD.

As of Monday morning, 90% of all Bitcoin has been mined. The feat means 18.89 million BTC – of a maximum of 21 million – are now on the open market.

Reaching the milestone took nearly 12 years since the first BTC was mined on Jan. 9, 2009. And while the remaining supply is not expected to be mined until 2140, you find yourself longing a life-changing fixed asset with a quickly diminishing supply... all while inflation is eating your fiat at the highest rate in 39 years.

🍻Not a bad spot to be in.
 

Twitch Co-Founder To Launch A Gaming NFT Marketplace

Justin Kan, co-founder of streaming platform Twitch, said Monday that he’s launching a marketplace focused entirely on gaming NFTs called Fractal.

The platform is being built around the ability for users users to shop for avatars and digital goods. And while it has been focusing on bulking up support for existing crypto games, Kan and the Fractal team are hoping to turn the platform into a sort of Kickstarter for blockchain games, allowing users to buy exclusive NFTs in pre-sales that help fund the creation of the games themselves.

While OpenSea has already seemed to win the lion’s share of NFT marketplace traffic, competing storefronts like Fractal are striving to find their niche.

Interestingly, the entire marketplace will be based on Solana with Kan stating, “I believe that Solana is the future of gaming.”

Although an exciting moment for crypto (especially Solana) as Kan has built some highly influential companies, gamers continue to rally against the idea of NFTs with pushback against Discord, Ubisoft, and now Fractal.

To be quite honest, we stand on both sides of the argument. Cool for crypto and NFT adoption – of course. But perhaps many of you are like us. Our love affair for Warzone, Halo 2, GTA, Smash Bros, and all the classic video game processors of the past, had much more to do with the gameplay itself – never the bundles, skins, flashy add-ons, and so forth.
 
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 DEEP DIVES 

The Year In Funding

Every time we sit down to write our weekly CoinSnacks recap, stumbling across 10-20 new funding announcements is pretty much inevitable. This year the pace of funding has been noticeably different. But how different are we talking about? Just take at Joel John's latest piece at Decentralised:

Crypto VC Funding:
  • 2017: $1.3 billion
  • 2018: $3.7 billion
  • 2019: $2.7 billion
  • 2020: $2.7 billion
  • ...2021: $17 billion

Key Takeaways:

  1. In 2021 there aren't necessarily more rounds (1,289 in 2018 vs. 1,278 so far in 2021), but the size of the rounds has roughly doubled
  2. ~75% of money deployed is concentrated in ~5% of deals this year, as nearly 50 companies raised over $100 million in 2021 (2018 had 8, 2019 had 5)
  3. Crypto native funds aren't necessarily determining the future of the crypto industry at the late stages. The power brokers are slowly becoming the old guards as well-established names focused on late-stage equity with the hopes of delivering an exit through IPOs are deploying capital. Good or bad is yet to be seen, but this is most likely why large crypto companies like OpenSea are going for IPO rather than crypto native options

No Such Thing As Teaching...

While the markets are quiet – without a lot of major news to go around this week – spend some time to reeducate yourself on some of 2021's biggest learning curves...

Because if there's one thing we've learned over the years, it's that just when you think you understand crypto, you don't. And if you are looking to prepare for the future, here are 5 crypto trends to watch for in 2022 from Coinlist and 10 more from Ryan Selkis.
 
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 REGULATORY FRONT 

The World Is Moving Quickly On CBDCs

The world is moving ahead with central bank digital currencies (CBDCs, or digital versions of existing currencies). The U.S., it increasingly appears, isn’t.

So far, 39 countries have advanced to development, pilot programs, or actual launches of CBDCs, while the U.S. is still in the research phase. For example, the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria, has launched a CBDC that’s now in use.

This neat interactive map by the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center, newly updated yesterday, shows where each country in the world stands in its development of a CBDC.
 

IRS Posts Finalized 1040 Form With Revised Crypto Question

The 2020 version of the IRS's Form 1040 asked: "At any time during 2020, did you receive, sell, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?"

This led to a lot of confusion among taxpayers as to whether buying or holding qualified as transacting in crypto. To combat this confusion, the IRS has updated the form for 2021. The revised question asks: "At any time during 2021, did you receive, sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of any financial interest in any virtual currency".

Taxpayers will now answer "yes" if they: received crypto as payment; from an airdrop, mining, staking, or hard forks; exchanged crypto for crypto; or just regular old sold.

Taxpayers will now answer "no" if the only activity they engaged in was: holding, transferring coins between their own wallets, or purchasing crypto using fiat.
 
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