What happened to NFT’s?

2021 saw a huge increase in price and popularity of Non-Fungible Token (NFT) which tracked the rise in cryptocurrencies and stock market and 2021 was the year that NFT’s became mainstream with celebrity endorsements. However in 2022, NFT’s have declined with cryptocurrencies and dropped in price and volume along with other asset classes as interest rates have risen. But there is wide potential use of NFT that has not yet been explored and it looks like NFT’s will stay as an asset class and a will have a major role in the digital asset ecosystem.

The violent death of TerraUSD and Luna!

The $49 billion meltdown of the algorithmic stablecoin Terra USD (UST) coin and it’s lined token, Luna this month has shown the shaky grounds on which the lofty valuations of stablecoins have been built. Terra which has fallen in value from being pegged to USD to less than 5 cents and Luna which was one of the top 10 stablecoins in Jan is now worth less than 1 cent. The death of Terra and Luna has also led to a $300 billion decline in the crypto industry.

DNA effect of BiG Tech

What is the DNA effect? The DNA effect is the ability of large technology companies to build a competitive advantage by leveraging user generated data in their networks. DNA in this context stands for ‘data-network-activities’ and refers to how the business model of large technology companies (like Google, Apple, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent aka Big Tech) depends on direct interactions of users which generates lost of data and the ability of these companies to use this data to scale up operations and enter into new areas like financial services.

Money – cash, digital, crypto and more…..

I came across a short and stimulating article by the IMF staff on current state of digital and paper money which identifies essential, conceptual features of all payment types and based on that categorizes them into 5 types. From the paper, I took away three main insights -first there is a compelling argument that traditional forms of payment transactions by banks (referred to as B-Money) will face intense competition from electronic money (or E-Money) in coming years; this will obviously hurt the profitability of the banks given that all retail banks are rely primarily on deposits for funding and will create further disruption in the banking sector. Second, the article conjectures that eventually banks could be forced to offer electronic money or similar products and we can see that happening already with JP Morgan dipping toes into digital money waters by offering JPM Coin by end of 2019. Lastly, role of the central banks will be pivotal as they could jump into the fray and offer central bank digital currency (being explored by Sweden, Uruguay, China, Thailand, Japan and South Korea) and also shape the environment and the pace of innovation for digital money.

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