Institutions believe major coins are the "top contender" for a correction, Visa is going further down the crypto rabbit hole, and one of the world's biggest gaming firms is embracing NFTs.
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One of China's biggest property developers has failed to settle overdue interest payments worth tens of millions of dollars. Evergrande reportedly hasn't paid $82.5 million that was due on Monday after a 30-day grace period. Not only does this mean the company is on the brink of default, but it could trigger nasty sell-offs for Bitcoin. Evergrande, which is $300 billion in debt, risks sending shockwaves through the global markets if it collapses.
Cryptocurrencies are the "top contender" for a major correction in 2022, according to a survey of institutional investors. More than half of those polled by Natixis Investment Managers believe the likes of Bitcoin and Ether will suffer a pullback next year. Some 28% of those surveyed have gained exposure to cryptocurrencies — and of those, 62% intend to hold on to their coins, while 28% plan to make further acquisitions. In other developments, 41% think the stock market will cool down.
New research from Visa suggests cryptocurrencies have now achieved "almost universal awareness" — and 94% of adults know about it. The credit card giant's report indicates that many believe digital assets will be used by most consumers within 10 years. It comes as Visa launches a global crypto advisory service to help banks and merchants adopt digital currencies. Retailers will also be able to get advice on releasing NFTs as big brands roll out digital collectibles to the masses.
Google has revealed the top trending searches in 2021 — with cryptocurrencies dominating the list. Around the world, "Dogecoin" was the one of the most popular search terms in the News category — along with queries about Ethereum's price. Among the 10 biggest "Where To Buy" searches in America, six related to crypto, too. Dogecoin and SHIBA INU dominate the top two spots — beating queries related to PS5s and COVID masks. Safemoon, XRP, NFTs and Baby DOGE also make the list.
Non-fungible tokens haven't really appeared in major games — until now. Ubisoft, one of the world's biggest developers, has announced NFTs will play a starring role in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. The company is behind other popular franchises such as Assassin's Creed and Far Cry. Known as Digits, players will be able to get their hands on coveted in-game items, each complete with their own serial number. To address environmental concerns, the NFTs are being launched on the Tezos blockchain.
Home to cheap geothermal energy, Iceland was a haven for Bitcoin mining in the cryptocurrency's early days. But now, the country's biggest electricity provider is cutting supplies to energy-hungry industries as it grapples with power shortages. Landsvirkjun says Bitcoin mining firms on short-term contracts will be affected, as well as the operators of data centers. And for now, new customers who are hoping to purchase energy to mine cryptocurrencies are being turned away.
Coinbase users were left struggling to log into their accounts after Amazon Web Services fell victim to a wider outage. The disruption infuriated the exchange's customers. One wrote: "You really are failing your customers constantly." Coinbase's reliance on a centralized entity that can suffer downtime is problematic for some critics. The Bitcoin rewards platform Lolli tweeted: "AWS went down today. FRIENDLY REMINDER THAT BITCOIN DOESN'T GO DOWN."
Indian investors who fall afoul of new crypto laws could face a $2.7 million fine and an 18-month jail sentence. The government is set to prohibit "mining, generating, holding, selling or dealing" in digital currencies. Those who break the law could also be arrested without a warrant and held without bail, according to Reuters. There are fears the measures could deal a blow to the country's booming crypto sector, with figures suggesting India is home to as many as 20 million investors.
The CEOs of six major cryptocurrencies are heading for a showdown with U.S. politicians in Congress later today. Representatives from Coinbase and FTX will be among them. The congressional hearing is extremely unlikely to be a cozy affair — with the cryptocurrency executives set to face a barrage of confrontational questions from lawmakers who are largely skeptical about digital assets. Bitcoin's shock 20% plunge over the weekend will have given U.S. politicians plenty of ammunition.