Also today, Morgan Stanley sets out the risks facing Ethereum... and Melania Trump launches a new NFT collection.
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Bitcoin came perilously close to falling below $40,000 on Thursday amid fresh geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West. Although the Kremlin had claimed that it was withdrawing troops, the U.S. alleges Moscow has added 7,000 troops to the Ukrainian border. All of this is fueling fears that Vladimir Putin plans to invade Ukraine within days — with Western leaders continuing to engage in high-level talks. As of Friday morning, Bitcoin was down 7% and trading at $40,738.52.
Morgan Stanley has warned that Ether's dominance could begin to dwindle as it faces increasing competition from rival blockchains. Setting out the risks associated with the world's second-largest cryptocurrency, analysts at the U.S. investment bank warned that Ether is "less decentralized than Bitcoin." Volatility is also a concern, and whether the network will be able to keep up with increasing storage demands. Uncertainty surrounding the regulation of DeFi and NFTs is another threat.
Melania Trump has announced she is launching even more non-fungible tokens. The former first lady says the POTUS TRUMP NFT collection will celebrate her husband's presidency — and will be launched on Monday. Trump is upping the stakes with this sale as 10,000 NFTs are being offered for $50 a pop. All of this comes after Melania Trump's first NFT sale ended in tears — with Bloomberg reporting that the crypto used to buy these tokens came from a wallet linked to the project itself.
The CEO of Pantera Capital is predicting that the correlation between Bitcoin and the S&P 500 will end soon — and argues that crypto is a safer bet for investors than stocks. Dan Morehead says "blockchain is the best relative asset class in a rising rate environment" — and digital assets will become more attractive as the Fed moves to increase interest rates from next month. He believes that these rate hikes will make equities and real estate less attractive — and "bonds are going to get crushed."