Why The Price Of Ethereum Rival Cardano Is Suddenly Soaring

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Age of ADA 🕰️

Cryptocurrency prices had another quiet weekend which could be set to continue with U.S. markets closed for Martin Luther King Day. The bitcoin price is edging towards $40,000 but hasn’t made any big moves since Friday. The rest of the top ten, save ethereum rival cardano, are also falling. Ethereum is off by almost 2% since this time yesterday, while solana and Terra’s luna are leading the major market lower, down 4% and 5% respectively.

Cardano’s ADA is up 10% over the last 24 hours, adding a huge 30% since this time last week and climbing to fifth on CoinMarketCap’s rankings of most valuable coins (though still just half its September price). Cardano is soaring ahead of Thursday’s planned launch of SundaeSwap, the first decentralized finance (DeFi) exchange on the cardano blockchain. Coindesk has a write-up. Meanwhile, virtual land prices in cardano metaverse project Pavia are soaringICYMI: Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson lays out 2022 plans

Just outside of the top ten, the meme-based dogecoin has already given up the gains it made from news of Tesla’s

TSLA
support last week but Polygon’s matic is climbing, adding 2% over the last 24 hours and taking its weekly gains to 12%.

Good to know: Bitcoin options shift has some bulls calling $40,000 the bottom

Walmart

WMT
ventures into the metaverse 💫

Well metaversed: U.S. retail giant Walmart, after missing the e-commerce boat, is getting in early on the metaverse. CNBC yesterday revealed Walmart filed several new trademarks late last month that suggest its planning on making and selling virtual goods. A separate filing also showed the company is looking to create its own digital currency and a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Coindesk has helpfully tracked down the trademark filings. They can be found here, here, here,. here, here, here and here.

Fool me once… The news comes four months after Walmart was the victim of a high-profile and convincing hoax that claimed the retailer would start letting its customers pay with bitcoin rival litecoin. The faked press release fooled a number of well-regarded news outlets and sent the price of litecoin soaring.

Why it matters: The metaverse concept, popularized by Facebook’s rebranding to Meta last year, envisions a virtual world where people live their digital lives. Companies are betting blockchain-based artificial scarcity will mean people are willing to pay for virtual versions of real-world electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and personal care products.

But but but: Even Facebook has admitted a lot of these ideas are many years, maybe even decades, away from launch and Walmart’s plans might generate headlines but are still effectively vaporware for now. In a statement to CNBC, Walmart said it is “continuously exploring how emerging technologies may shape future shopping experiences. We are testing new ideas all the time. Some ideas become products or services that make it to customers. And some we test, iterate, and learn from.”

Tiptoeing: Walmart has shown signs that it’s been thinking about cryptocurrencies more seriously in recent months. In October, it started a pilot program in which shoppers can buy bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks in some of its U.S. stores, Bloomberg noted, adding that Walmart chief financial officer Brett Biggs said in December it’s open to allowing shoppers to pay in cryptocurrency if customers wanted to.

Follow the money: CNBC meanwhile lists some of the other companies that have recently rushed to figure out how their businesses will fit into the brave new virtual world of the metaverse. Nike

NKE
wants to sell virtual branded sneakers and apparel, teaming up with gaming giant Roblox

RBLX
to create an online world called Nikeland. Under Armour, Adidas, Gap

GPS
, Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch

ANF
have announced plans for virtual stores or NFT collections.

The bottom line: There’s money to be made in the metaverse but exactly how, why and for how long is not yet known.

Now read this: Bitcoin crashes the midterms

Miami’s latest crypto extravaganza 😎

☀️ Miami’s latest bitcoin celebration gets underway today, with crypto enthusiasts gathering in the city for the three-day North American Bitcoin Conference. Read the full story on Forbes.

🎤 Speakers include celebrity investor Mark Cuban, who’s recently embraced decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and Miami mayor Francis Suarez. “I’m just going to see if there is anything new,” Cuban said via email, pouring cold water on expectations he’ll make a big announcement. “I don’t expect any fireworks.”

💥 Last year, El Salvador set the bar high for bitcoin conference announcements when it revealed it planned to become the world’s first country to make bitcoin legal tender at Bitcoin 2021 in June.

Breaking: Singapore is cracking down on crypto ads

The week ahead 🗓️

👀 Watch out for these cryptocurrency and crypto-related events this week.

👁️‍🗨️ All eyes are on Miami over the next three days for the North American Bitcoin Conference.

📑 A raft of Wall Street earnings reports land tomorrow, with Goldman Sachs

GS
, Charles Schwab, Bank of New York Mellon

BK
and Interactive Brokers

IBKR
updating investors on their fourth quarters. Bank of America

BAC
and Morgan Stanley

MS
headline Wednesday’s earnings reports.

💳 Amazon and Visa’s

V
U.K. standoff continues. Amazon is now reportedly looking for a solution to its row with Visa over fees. The online retail giant had said it would stop accepting Visa credit cards issued in the U.K. this Wednesday. Many expect Amazon to ramp up its financial services and join Walmart in exploring the virtual metaverse this year.

📲 U.S. carrier Verizon will finally switch on its 5G “ultra wideband” service across almost 50 U.S. cities on Wednesday.

🕑 On Thursday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announces the location of the minute hand on the Doomsday Clock that records the perceived threat of global apocalypse. ICYMIForbes editor Michael del Castillo’s report Unwinding Doomsday’s Clock is a must-read.

Now read this: An NFT restaurant opening in New York will serve up status with a side of seafood