Fetch.ai ignores the Bitcoin-led market meltdown by notching a 60% gain

FET’s price spiked by 60% in an otherwise red market thanks to a growing number of real-world use cases and protocol upgrades.

The real-world adoption of blockchain technology is a slowly developing process. It requires the proper use cases and a willing public open to new experiences when venturing outside of their comfort zone.

An increasing number of real-world applications appear to be the motivating factor behind the recent gains seen in Fetch.ai (FET), a protocol focused on building an open access, token-based decentralized machine learning network to support the smart infrastructure being built around the digital economy.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $0.658 on Sept. 6, the price of FET spiked 70% to $1.12 on Sept. 7 — a new record high. Meanwhile, FET’s 24-hour trading volume surged 538% to $590 million.

FET/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The rapid increase in price and trading volume comes as the project tests a new multi-modal transport application called “Deep Parking,” an application built with AI and blockchain technology that helps automobile drivers locate empty parking spaces.

The protocol also achieved a “global first” on Sept. 7 when an on-board Fetch.ai agent successfully interacted with Datarella’s self-sovereign identity, allowing the driver to rent a scooter from Tier Mobility.

Related: Fetch.ai launches NFT platform for AI-generated art

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for FET on Sep. 3, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points, including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. FET price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for FET began to pick up on Sept. 3 and reached a high of 71 around 48 hours before its price increased by 70% over the next two days.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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El Salvador purchases first 200 BTC, President Bukele confirms

El Salvador is the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. Despite opposition from local groups, the government believes cryptocurrency will be a net positive for the economy and society.

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele confirmed Monday that his government has purchased its first 200 Bitcoin (BTC) ahead of the Sept. 7 rollout of a new law set to make the cryptocurrency legal tender. 

“Our brokers will be buying a lot more as the deadline approaches,” Bukele said, referring to the Sept. 7 timetable for fully implementing the new BTC legislation.

The purchase is part of a new $150 million Bitcoin fund passed last week by El Salvador’s Congress. The fund will be used to facilitate conversions from BTC to United States dollars in the lead-up to the new law being implemented. At current prices, the BTC purchase was worth just over $10.36 million.

In June of this year, El Salvador became the first country in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. Although the decision was met with praise by the Bitcoin community, detractors from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund warned that the new strategy isn’t a good idea. More recently, internal opposition, especially among retirees, saw hundreds across the country protest against the new Bitcoin Law.

Recent: El Salvador president announces infrastructure already being built ahead of country’s Bitcoin adoption

Perhaps surprisingly, Bank of America recently outlined at least four potential benefits to El Salvador accepting Bitcoin. In a report published in July, the bank said the country’s adoption of BTC could streamline remittances, promote financial digitization, provide greater consumer choice and open the country to foreign investors.

The new Bitcoin Law gives Salvadorans the ability to hold Bitcoin as part of a long-term investment strategy or withdraw it in cash at any of the 200 ATMs installed across the country. The country is also building infrastructure to support a state-issued Bitcoin wallet, dubbed Chivo. The Chivo wallet will have its own ATM that allows citizens to withdraw cash 24 hours a day without paying commissions.

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PayPal reportedly assembling crypto team in Ireland as Bitcoin adoption grows

The new hires will help PayPal expand its crypto-focused business offering at a time of rapid adoption of Bitcoin and Ether.

Global payments provider PayPal is in the process of recruiting for several cryptocurrency-related positions at its Ireland offices, further highlighting the company’s ambitions in the rapidly growing digital asset market. 

The Dublin-based Irish Independent reported Sunday that PayPal is looking to fill various crypto-focused roles in compliance, anti-money laundering and business development for its Dublin and Dundalk offices.

Related: PayPal set to launch crypto trading in the UK and may embrace DeFi

PayPal launched a dedicated crypto and blockchain business unit earlier this year to support its foray into cryptocurrencies, which initially began in October 2020 by allowing customers in the United States to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC). In March of this year, the company expanded its offering by allowing U.S. customers to pay for goods and services using their digital asset holdings. Two months later, PayPal said it would allow customers to withdraw their cryptocurrencies to third-party wallets

Dan Schulman, PayPal’s CEO, said in April that his company’s crypto business exceeded all expectations in its first six months of operations. The rapid uptake of digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether coincided with a massive price surge that pushed the overall cryptocurrency market to a nearly $2.6 trillion valuation. Although prices corrected sharply between May and July, crypto markets appear to have found a bottom and are now trekking upward again

During PayPal’s quarterly earnings call last week, Schulman indicated that the company’s crypto trading service would be coming to the United Kingdom in the very near future. Upgrades that would allow for faster payments processing are also in development, he indicated. 

Related: PayPal users will be able to withdraw crypto to external wallets

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Cryptocurrency and the rise of the user-generated brand

When looking at cryptocurrencies from a marketing perspective, they present a significant paradigm shift in branding.

In the whirl of excitement and debate over where cryptocurrencies are going and whether they are legitimate, sustainable and prudent investments, there is an overshadowed conversation of interest to those in marketing: Are Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Cardano’s ADA, Litecoin (LTC), XRP, Dogecoin (DOGE), etc., crypto brands?

And, if so, how are those brands created, and what role do they play in each coin’s adoption? Or, for that matter, how does branding collectively contribute (or detract) from the legitimacy of a cryptocurrency as it seeks increased mainstream acceptance/use?

Related: Decentralization vs. centralization: Where does the future lie? Experts answer

To begin to answer that, consider David Ogilvy’s — a British advertising tycoon, known as the “Father of Advertising” — definition of a brand: “The intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” These often include an identity, voice, empathy, value proposition and consistency in delivering on promises made. Ultimately, attributes like these, among others, circle the nucleus of a product/service like atomic particles to create trust, preference and loyalty (or lack thereof).

Branding finances

One could argue that fiat currencies are brands insomuch that their issuing countries work to create value and confidence in them. However, with little to no competition in their native countries, assigned commodity identities (dollar, pound, euro, yuan, etc.), and no real attempt by the governments (the “brand” owner) or other entities to change how the currency is perceived or even used, it’s difficult to consider them as such.

Looking to other examples in finance, stocks are a way to own the brands that issue them. Mutual funds also assume the halo of the brands that manage them — though there are instances where funds such as Fidelity’s Magellan Fund and Vanguard’s Wellesley Income Fund have become prominent brands. You can also think of funds as baskets of brands.

Moreover, commodities such as gold, silver and copper are, well, commodities. And this brings us to cryptocurrencies.

Consider the following:

  • Bitcoin has many unique attributes for a currency, such as: 1) a hero’s epic narrative in the form of Satoshi Nakamoto’s pseudonymous pursuit of a decentralized currency culminating in the now-famous 2008 white paper; 2) a recognizable and evolving identity, as well as its perception of being the founding father of digital currency; 3) “first-mover” advantages that all other brands (cryptocurrencies) are forced to compare or contrast to.
  • Arguably, there are two dominant players, or established brands — Bitcoin and Ether — and a growing, very long list of “challenger brands” in the form of altcoins.
  • Said challenger brands each have individual selling propositions and — with names like Avalanche, Sushi and Chiliz — a means of helping investors/consumers remember them.
  • The swirl around Dogecoin and other so-called memecoins — which the Crypto Dictionary describes as a “joke that turns into a crypto coin” — illustrates how pop culture (and by extension, marketing) influences markets. Older folks may cringe, but for younger generations of investors in particular, there’s nothing unusual about it at all, positioning Dogecoin and others as a consumer currency.
  • Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, there is a rapidly-growing marketplace for cryptocurrencies in which technologies/platforms compete not only for financial engagement but also social currency — that is, a share of voice on social media within the cryptocurrency community and beyond.

For all these truths, a few intriguing questions remain: First, if decentralization is core to the concept of cryptocurrency, who is controlling and nurturing each of the brands? And if trust is a central tenet of brand health, how does a trustless technology fit in?

Related: Bitcoin’s evolving narratives make it antifragile

Cryptocurrencies are the first true user-generated brands

Unlike user-generated content (UGC) — which is solicited by marketing organizations to provide a voice for the customer, authentic perspectives and active engagement — a user-generated brand’s (UGB’s) content is largely unsolicited and uncontrolled. Like sourdough, get it started and it’ll grow on its own. (That seemed like an apropos analogy given sourdough’s global COVID-19 pandemic popularity.)

Lacking a central owner or the equivalent of a brand manager or chief marketing officer, these brands are created and nurtured by project founders, user communities, investors, miners and more. They’re at Meetups, on forums, chat rooms and subreddits. In fact, brand health can be correlated to just how robust the conversation is on channels like these.

Brands are molded by a vocal and growing community of influencers who include crypto heroes like Andre Cronje and Vitalik Buterin, tech pioneers like Marc Andressen and Elon Musk, finance stars like Cathie Wood and Jamie Dimon, and popular voices like Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O’Leary) and The Mooch (Anthony Scaramucci). This all suggests that the trajectory of these UGBs and how they will be consumed by individual investors, institutional investors and the media is largely unpredictable. Or is it?

Related: Experts answer: How does Elon Musk affect crypto space?

Building the crypto brand

Many, if not most, crypto projects have a foundation or decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). Think Bitcoin.org, the Ethereum Foundation, the Cardano Foundation and other open-source resources of which there are too many others to mention. These foundations release white papers as de facto advertisements and raise capital through crowdfunding using initial coin offerings as their currency. And, yes, advertising agencies are hired and other resources are implemented to mold their brands — though those who actually approve the creative can vary widely, perhaps the community of users itself or those holding governance tokens.

Ultimately, from a traditional brand management standpoint, only so much control exists while these projects seed and shepherd their UGBs. Armed with that active, engaged, highly passionate community, they can:

  • Tap into the herd mentality bias that drives much of the category. This is heuristic and describes an investor’s tendency to want to join the conga line — to follow other investors based more so on emotion (fear of missing out) than on rational consideration, and contributes to much of the space’s rapid growth. Be armed with influencers, and let the races begin.
  • Stoke content momentum. User-generated content is a bit like a street performance: Get a few people to hoot and holler, and more people will look to see what’s going on, thus causing the audience to swell. As such, quality content drives a crowd and bequeaths more quality content. The operative word here is “quality.”
  • Make education entertaining. Let’s face it: Most people don’t want to take the time to decipher how Merkle trees and nonces work. They want to understand what this new asset class is, why they need to consider it and how it will help them meet their personal goals. So, there needs to be a strategic call to arms to make the content easy and enjoyable to consume.

Returning to the second question, the most important task of any foundation, along with its community of followers within a UGB, may be to create trust in the trustless. To put it another way, to distinguish and differentiate the currency based on how its technology/project is vetted, secure, truly independent, and — perhaps most importantly — how it can quickly answer the question: What is it for?

This last point, of course, isn’t unique to cryptocurrencies and their UGBs. The institutions that must communicate their choices to customers, the companies selling exchange-traded products, the exchanges themselves, wallet applications and so forth in this category that is growing blisteringly fast while still being a colossal mystery to all but a few, will ultimately distinguish themselves in the mainstream by doing what other great brands have done: Making it clear, making it simple and delivering on a promise.

In other words, to dispel the misconception among the vast majority of non-crypto nerds that all cryptocurrencies are intended to replicate fiat for the purchase of common-day goods and services, and instead, articulate their very specific purposes.

Where cryptocurrencies will go from here will be fascinating to watch. Ark Invest recently described Bitcoin as “the purest form of money ever created.” In an odd way, it may also become the purest form of marketing ever created.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Rich Feldman currently leads marketing for Finario, an enterprise capital planning SaaS provider. Prior, he was chief marketing officer at PrimaHealth Credit and was an agency owner/partner and chief strategy officer at Doner CX (part of the MDC Partners Network), where he led the CRM, analytics, digital media and other strategic areas of the business. Rich has lectured on strategy at the New York University master’s program in marketing, at Syracuse University and is an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut University — where he is an advisory board member of the Ancell School of Business. He is also author of the book Deconstructing Creative Strategy.
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FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried: Institutions are ‘desperate’ for crypto

Is SBF going to lobby the government on behalf of crypto? How badly do institutions want in on the blockchain game? When’s a moat an impediment to growth, and not a protective shield?

As FTX and Alameda Research increasingly enter the public eye, one side effect is that the decabillionaire is himself a growing public figure. Especially after a significant donation to Joe Biden’s campaign for the US presidency, some observers hoped that SBF would come to serve as a kind of professional lobbyist on behalf of the crypto ecosystem. 

While he says he’s open to discussing his views, he’s not trying to work the edges or sell anyone a used car:

So I’m super happy to serve as a resource for anyone in government or else who wants and I think happy talk about what the industry is like […] look, they have so many people who come to them with agendas right here. You know, to the extent I have an agenda, I just want it to flow from my actual thoughts and beliefs. So that’s all I have to talk about is my thoughts and beliefs rather than try and create a fact pattern that happens to fit where I want it to go or something like that.”

Another hot topic of conversation is the growing push towards institutional adoption. While Bankman-Fried says that institutions are increasingly “desperate” to get involved, they’re not always entirely sure what that looks like or what, exactly, they’re aiming to do. As a result, the process is one of feeling things out at times. 

“The first thing that we do is we just listen, right? We’re like, look, what’s what’s your goal here? What you actually want to do? And then we can say, all right, cool, here’s how the industry works right now. Ignoring what you said. Here’s this, here’s the lay of the land. […] We want to be a day away from pulling the trigger on a big deal.”

Finally, he weighed in on the layer one battles between Ethereum and Solana. While Ethereum maximalists are quick to point to the developer and ecosystem moat, SBF wonders how unassailable that moat truly is. When it comes to genuine widespread adoption, it’s important to differentiate between blockers that can be overcome, and blockers that — like scalability — are more stubborn. 

“I think that’s one of the fundamental tensions here, is that like this moat is insurmountable if crypto never grows. But if crypto gets 50 times bigger, the moat is two percent of the eventual pie. The other piece of this, right, is why is the moat valuable as a business? A moat is valuable to keep other people out. A moat doesn’t let you grow itself, right? It gets rid of a particular impediment to your growth, which is competitors, but a moat isn’t growth itself […] If your castle literally can’t get any bigger, maybe no one will ever get into it, but it has 2% of the land right now and it won’t get any more.” 

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