Monday, May 3rd, 2021
Your Weekly Update On All Things Crypto
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Cardano Announces The Largest Blockchain Deal Ever
Last Thursday marked a landmark achievement for the cryptocurrency industry. IOHK, the development company behind Cardano, announced the biggest blockchain deal in history with the Ethiopian government. The deal will deliver blockchain-based identities for over 5 million students and 75 thousand secondary school teachers in the country.
This deal was the culmination of nearly four years of negotiations between IOHK and the Ethiopian government. The Cardano-based identity system, Atala PRISM, build by IOHK will provide decentralized identifies (DID) for each post-secondary student in Ethiopia. These DIDs will track students' performance, attendance, and extracurricular engagement while also tracking the performance of their teachers.

Many in the western world take the concept of government-issued identity for granted. Having a passport and access to our traditional financial system seem to many as a human right, however, there are many in the emerging world who do not have this luxury. State-sponsored, cryptographic identity will create an explosion of economic activity in Ethiopia, allowing for financial inclusion, financing, land ownership, and reputation systems to emerge.

While the announcement of the 5 million person deal was a major milestone in the advancement of the crypto industry, IOHK's work is far from done in Africa. They are already in talks with over 25 other African countries and plan to roll out their Ethiopian partnership to elementary students and later other sectors of the Ethiopian economy.

What this means for the crypto industry
While many of the emerging DeFi applications on Ethereum show tremendous potential, many of them are focused on the North American market, a market that is not in dire need of the innovations that blockchain can bring. By focusing its attention on Africa, Cardano is targeting a market that is in dire need of progress. Similar to how many third world countries leapfrogged coal and went straight to solar power, or how they skipped the landline and went straight to mobile, blockchain will allow the opportunity for many of these emerging countries to leapfrog much of the traditional financial system and move straight into the world of blockchain.
Within the next few years, Africa may be one of the leading continents when it comes to blockchain adoption and development. This will steam from the tremendous need for the technology it provides, as well as the tireless work done by the IOHK team in driving its adoption.
JP Morgan Flip-Flops: Launches Bitcoin Fund
In what can only be considered the largest flip-flops of opinion by any financial institution this decade, JP Morgan has walked back their harsh criticism of Bitcoin and is now launching a new Bitcoin investment product.

With over $3.2 trillion in assets under management as of 2020, JP Morgan is one of the largest investment banks in the world. In 2017, JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Diamond, made headlines tagging bitcoin as a β€œfraud,” a "terrible store of value" and even went as far as to call it β€œworse than tulip bulbs” and that he would fire any JP Morgan trader caught trading Bitcoin. This was met with harsh criticism from the Bitcoin community when shortly after making those announcements, the company took a position in Bitcoin, capitalizing on the self-induced dip. However, since that time, the company has dramatically softened its tone.

On 15the February 2021, Daniel Pinto, the co-president of JP Morgan Chase, said that "the institution will have to be involved" in cryptocurrencies. Either due to the explosive growth of Bitcoin or the tens of thousands of angry customers that they neglected to offer the asset, JP Morgan has finally come around, albeit with their tail between their legs.

What you need to know:
  • The fund will be an actively managed Bitcoin fund
  • NYDIG will be serving as the custodian for the fund
  • It is slated to roll out later this summer.
  • The fund will be reserved strictly for private wealth clients.

What this means for Crypto:
While crypto heads can take solace in the fact that they can say "I told you so" to JP Morgan, this move actually represents a much larger tectonic shift in the way financial institutions are looking at Bitcoin. However, cold and bearish they may have seemed in the past, the sheer amount of consumer demand for the asset will ultimately force the hand of any financial institution that wants to survive. It is no longer risky to hold Bitcoin, now it's riskier not to.

Alchemy Raises $80M Series B at a $505M Valuation
Alchemy, a blockchain developer platform, announced last Wednesday that it had raised $80 million in a Series B round led by Coatue and Addition. According to Crunchbase, the company previously raised $15M and $18.9M in a Series A and venture round respectively, bringing it's funding since launch to $95.5M and total to date over $114M.

The San Francisco based firm was founded in 2017 by Nikil Viswanathan and Joseph Lau. Alchemy isn't a blockchain but the infrastructure that helps DeFi projects launch applications and access Ethereum nodes. In August last year, Alchemy launched it's full suite of products after a two-year closed beta that served select teams such as MakerDAO and Kyber Network.

Now powering over 70% of the worlds top Ethereum applications, Alchemy operates similarly to that of Amazon Web services but for blockchain companies. The firm has also played a major role in the explosion of NFTs, being the technology behind every major NFT platform such as DapperLabs, Makerspace, OpenSea, Nifty Gateway and many more.

The Series B came at a $505M valuation and adds to a growing trend of investors looking to fund key-players in the blockchain's backbone. So far, 156 start-ups focusing on digital technology, such as Chainalysis and Digital Asset Holdings, have raised $3.1 billion in 2021 compared to the 341 that brought in only $2.3 billion last year. Tom Glocer, a leaddirector at Morgan Stanley and Alchemy investor, says he chose Alchemy because he wants to "invest in the picks and shovels" that help make the ecosystem function.

Nikil Viswanathan explains "it really highlights the power of blockchain and the whole industry and how blockchain has become mainstream," adding "Alchemy has very solidly shown we provide the same accelerating service for blockchain that Amazon Web Services did for the internet."

With fresh capital at hand, Alchemy looks to expand it's suite of developer tools to other blockchains. According to Joe Lau, Alchemy is "blockchain agnostic" and seeks to help as many blockchain networks flourish as possible. The firm will also look to increase it's presence in U.S. tech hubs, and open offices in Europe and Asia. Other investors in the round include DFJ Venture Capital, the Glazer Family, and the Chainsmokers.
Bitcoin Breaks Back Into Ascending Trend
Bitcoin has had a tough go over the last few weeks but is once again showing bullish momentum as it broke back into its ascending megaphone pattern last Monday. After a sharp consolidation last month, Bitcoin managed to find strong buy-side support and bounce off the 128-day exponential moving average (EMA). Up 15% last week, the bullish momentum looks to be continuing as Bitcoin once again works towards its all-time high of $64K.

Altcoin Dominance Breaks Long Standing Resistance
The altcoin market continued its rise last week, breaking a critical line of ascending resistance that it has not been able to break above since July of 2019. With 7 daily candles in a row closing above the line of risistance-turned-support, the altcoin market seems to have a clear line of sight to its previous all-time high of 64% set in January of 2018.

While our sentiment remains positive on altcoins, we still remain cautious that this breakout may have become a "fake-out". If we see a full candle open and close below the ascending (green) line of support, it may be an indicator that sentiment has changed and a new Bitcoin cycle is ready to emerge. A possible catalyst for this shift would be a sudden run in the price of Bitcoin. Given the recency of this major inflection, we recommend everyone stay vigilant and trade safely.

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Raoul Pal's Introduction to the Exponential Age

#CardanoAfrica - The Road Ahead

Chainlink 2.0 Whitepaper | Research Panel
Polkadot (DOT)
Polkadot is a third-generation smart contract platform built by ex-CTO of Ethereum, Gavin Wood. It claims to be on track to deliver the most robust platform for security, scalability, and innovation in the crypto space. With a focus on blockchain interoperability, Polkadot does not seek to replace Ethereum, but instead to complement it by providing developers the opportunity to build on a scalable blockchain while still interoperating with ERC20 (Ethereum) contracts.

DOT has been sliding vs Ethereum in value since March. It is currently trading below the 128 day EMA but is finding support on a critical line of support, 50% down from its relative peak. Given the bullish price action of Ethereum over the past few weeks, Polkadot may be the next base layer protocol to steal the show.

View the chart here.
Terra (LUNA)
Terra is a decentralized financial payment network that rebuilds the traditional payment stack on the blockchain. It utilizes a basket of fiat-pegged stablecoins, algorithmically stabilized by its reserve currency LUNA, to facilitate programmable payments and open financial infrastructure development.

Terra stablecoins offer instant settlements, low fees, and
seamless cross-border exchange - loved by millions of users and merchants. They have also built applications like Anchor that offers up to 20% APY on staked UST stablecoin, and Mirror, which allows developers to built synthetic assets on the Terra.

Terra is currently accessible on Ethereum and Solana but plans to be operational on all leading smart contract platforms in the future.

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We at CryptoWeekly are not Financial Advisors. None of the content or opinions expressed in this newsletter should be considered financial advice. We highly recommend that you do your own research before investing in any project within or outside the cryptocurrency space.