Many Thanks, The First NFT Index Fund, & Crypto's Biggest Threat?

December 22, 2021 | Issue #200

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A Personal Note

This week marks a pretty cool milestone for us here at CoinSnacksIssue #200.

Sheesh. For 200-(mostly)straight weeks, we've been crawling the odd corners of the internet every Wednesday to help our readers (that's you) catch up on what's happening in the world of crypto.

While we don't want to bore you with fluffy reminiscing thoughts, we do want to give out a BIG thanks to our readers who have supported us throughout the years. Despite the countless pullbacks and not-so-newsworthy weeks, many of you continue to stick around – something we don't take lightly. So cheers to learning together and again, thanks. You people are awesome.

For the hell of it, feel free to jump on the wayback machine with us and check out CoinSnacks Issue #1, published in February 2018. BTC was dipping to ~7k. The SEC was freaking out about ICOs. And we were buying DASH thinking it was genius.
 

Valkyrie Launches ETF to Track Bitcoin Balance Sheet Stocks

In early 2021, we took a dive at "crypto stocks" in our Backdoor Report and explained the upside of public companies allocating BTC to their balance sheets.

Several months later, it looks like Valkryie took the strategy to heart...

Balance Sheet Opportunities ETF, trading as VBB on Nasdaq, is long on MicroStrategy, Square, Tesla, and other crypto industry bulls. An actively managed thematic ETF, it steers clear of bitcoin futures, sticking only to equities that invest in the coin.

The ETF is the latest example of mainstream financial instruments with a crypto tilt and comes at a time when about $70 billion worth of bitcoin is sitting on corporate balance sheets.
 

The First NFT Index Fund

It's difficult to develop a long-term NFT investing strategy, but Bitwise is giving it a shot. They’ve launched a Blue-Chip NFT Index Fund, including the likes of CryptoPunks, Bored Ape YC, VeeFriends, Autoglyphs, Cool Cats, and others.

The fund will solely focus on art and collectibles and won’t invest in other NFT areas like virtual land or in-game items. Investments made in the fund can only come from accredited investors and start at $25,000.

Crypto culture is here to stay, and this index is a great representation of how far NFTs have developed this year.
 
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They’re called Coin Sets: they’re built around a central theme and updated as and when the market changes. So if a new coin starts killing it, it’ll get added to your bundle.

All you have to do is choose a theme that interests you – like Blue Chip, Rising Stars, or DeFi top picks – and the Mudrex team will pack the set full of the most profitable opportunities for you.

And if you sign up soon, you’ll get $25 worth of free credits to play with. Diversify your crypto investments today: Visit Mudrex.
 
 DEEP DIVES 

Staking Quietly Building Momentum

Although NFTs continue to get most of the airtime right now, staking is quietly building momentum with companies acquiring businesses, or raising large amounts of capital, to further the technology.

What's Going On?
Over the past number of years, there has been an increasing shift of focus away from Proof of Work (PoW) and onto the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithms. Right now, 19 of the 20 largest smart-contract platforms are based on some sort of PoS consensus mechanism. Ethereum at a $500 billion market cap is expected to move completely to PoS in 2022.

What's Staking?
Staking refers to the process of earning passive income on cryptoassets. It involves users pledging their assets to the network to help validate transactions and make it more secure. In return, users get rewards (usually in the form of the asset being staked). Think of staking like interest rates... the only difference being that staking can be much more lucrative with yields being 5% or more (the current yield from the Staking Rewards index is 7.33%).

Who's Getting Involved?
Well, it seems like everyone. Just in the past week we saw:
  • Staking firm Figment raise $110 million. The company is on track to do $100 million this year by taking a cut from the $7.5 billion in assets it manages for institutional clients
  • Kraken acquire Staked. Possibly in preparation for an IPO, Kraken acquired the company to offer non-custodial staking (users are fully in charge of their keys). Although terms weren't disclosed, Kraken stated that it is “one of the largest deals in the history of crypto”. Even prior to the acquisition though, the exchange said that so far this year its staking business grew 950% to nearly $16 billion
  • Ether Capital (ETHC) staked 10,240 Ether with plans to stake 20,000 more. The company has partnered with Figment to handle the staking
It is becoming clearer by the day that blockchain technology will disrupt traditional finance and empower people to become their own bank via a transparent system that cuts out the inefficient middleman through code.
 

The Future of Work is Not What You Think It Is

It used to be just “work-to-earn,” but the future of income is “x-to-earn” — play to earn, learn to earn, create to learn, and work to earn.

Here's Ben Schecter on how DAOs can coordinate this new activity outside the context of corporate systems.

Related: The Internet of Jobs is coming
 

More EOY Reports...

Continuing our series of major End-of-Year reports, here are three more that should get you through: Get comfortable by the fireplace (or, pool if you are in Florida like us) this Christmas break and get to learning.
 
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So say you want to invest in the biggest cryptocurrencies out there, or in a handful of the industry’s up-and-comers, or in the top smart contract platforms. There’s a Coin Set for that.

And since Mudrex automatically handles all the rebalancing for you, you’ll always be invested in the best crypto your theme has to offer.

You can even invest in Coin Sets without paying any fees for a limited time: Pick your first set here.
 
 REGULATORY FRONT 

The Biggest Threat to Trust in Cryptocurrency

A new report from Chainalysis found that crypto scams netted a near record high of $7.7B in 2021. The high represents an 80% increase from 2020 yet a slight decrease from 2019.

The increase in 2021 was primarily due to two things:
  • The Finiko ponzi scheme which targeted Russian speakers throughout Eastern Europe and netted more than $1.1 billion from victims
  • The emergence of 'Rug Pulls' in the DeFi ecosystem, in which the developers of a cryptocurrency project abandon it unexpectedly, taking users’ funds with them
 TWEET OF THE WEEK 

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