The 2022 Blockchain Futurist conference in Toronto, Canada wrapped up this week. DeFi and institutional adoption of crypto were high on the agenda.
You might not know it, but Canada is quietly becoming a major player in the blockchain and crypto scene: Ethereum has strong Canadian roots, Toronto-based 3iQ launched North America’s first physically-settled Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) and the percentage of active crypto holders in the country has increased steadily over the past two years.
Against this backdrop, I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, where I got to moderate two panels on rebuilding the financial system through Web3 and onboarding the next wave of crypto users. The event served as another reminder that the industry’s brightest minds are still building amazing products despite current market conditions. Not to sound overly cliche, but it’s hard to be bearish on digital assets if you adopt a low-time preference.
DeFi needs a ‘killer app’ to go next level, says Ripple exec
You can’t have a proper conversation about the future of digital assets without talking about decentralized finance (DeFi). One of the most stimulating panels at Futurist, titled “The Future of Decentralized Finance,” featured the head of DeFi markets at Ripple Labs, the founder of Teller Finance and executives from Aventus Ventures and FLUIDEFI. According to Ripple Labs’ Boris Alergant, the institutional adoption of DeFi is coming next — but not before the industry creates the next “killer app” to really pique interest.
Wealth managers and VCs are helping drive institutional crypto adoption — Wave Financial execs
The crypto bear market has instilled a lot of fear in retail investors. But, for institutions and venture funds, adoption has been ramping up. At Futurist, I had the opportunity to interview two executives from asset management firm Wave Financial, who explained that high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors are increasing their exposure to digital assets. During the last bear market, institutions were asking, Is this the end of crypto? Now, the question seems to be much more around, Is this the right time to get in?
Coinbase posts $1.1B loss in Q2 on ‘fast and furious’ crypto downturn
We all know the crypto exchange business got nuked in the second quarter due to the bear market. As it turns out, the performance of top crypto exchange Coinbase was worse than expected. The company booked a massive $1.1 billion loss between April and June, easily its worst quarter since going public in 2021. Revenues were also down 45.1% quarter-on-quarter and 153.1% compared with year-ago levels. Although crypto prices have rebounded modestly over the past month, retail interest and trading volumes remain low. That means there could be more pain in store for Coinbase in the short term.
Amid miner capitulation, Hut 8 maintained BTC ‘HODL strategy’ in July
Some of the world’s largest Bitcoin miners have been selling their bags to finance operations during the bear market — but not Hut 8. The Canadian mining company, which trades publicly on the Nasdaq and Toronto stock exchanges, maintained its diamond hands in July as its Bitcoin reserves grew to 7,736 BTC. Hut 8 maintains an active “HODL strategy” that involves depositing all self-mined BTC into custody. The company’s resolve is truly impressive given how fast and hard Bitcoin’s price has fallen.
Don’t miss it! Is your SOL safe?
Solana was the target of another coordinated attack this month after hackers stole roughly $8 million in crypto from ecosystem wallet Slope. Possibly due to its ambitious design and security trade-offs to achieve higher throughput, Solana has been the target of several exploits over the past year. This leads us to the vital question: Is your Solana (SOL) actually safe? In this week’s Market Report, analysts Marcel Pechman, Yashu Gola and Benton Yaun debate whether SOL investors should be legitimately concerned. You can watch the full replay below.
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