ELA, API3 and PROM buck the market-wide downtrend by posting a 20%+ gain

Elastos, API3 and Prometheus notch double-digit gains as the wider crypto market falters in the aftermath of BTC’s plunge below $42,000.

Fear and volatility remain the theme of the week as Bitcoin (BTC) continues to face stiff resistance near the $42,000 price level and stock markets were also hard hit on Jan. 18. Investor fear over this year’s proposed rate hikes continue to apply bearish pressure and at the closing bell the DOW was down 530 points, or 1.4%.

Despite the downturn, altcoins managed to overcome the noise and several posted double-digit gains on Tuesday.

Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24-hours were Elsastos (ELA), API3 (API3) and Prometheus (PROM).

Elastos launches a token buyback program

Elastos protocol, a web3-focused project aiming to become the “blockchain-powered version of the internet” broke out with a notable 22% rally.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $2.80 on Jan. 8, the price of Elastos has blasted 120% higher to reach a daily high of $6.16 on Jan. 18 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked 142% to $7.57 million.

ELA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The surge in price and trading volume for ELA came after the Elastos Foundation announced plans for an upcoming ELA buyback program. The platform’s first decentralized exchange, Glide Finance, also saw an uptick in the total value locked for its protocol.

API3 and “first-party” oracles

API3 is a protocol focused on enhancing the communication capabilities between smart contracts and application programming interfaces (APIs) as a way to facilitate the secure and reliable transfer of up-to-the-minute data.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for API3 on Jan. 18, 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. API3 price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for API3 spiked to a high of 77 on Jan. 18 around one hour before its price began to surge 26% over the next two hours.

The surge in interest for API3 comes as the protocol’s first-party oracles are gaining momentum within the crypto community.

Related: Analysts warn that Bitcoin could dip to $38K ‘before an eventual breakout’

Prometheus prepares to launch

The Prometheus protocol offers users a decentralized framework for data monetization designed to facilitate the secure and private exchange of data.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that PROM spiked 30.84% to reach a daily high of $14.68 on Jan. 18 amidst a 300% surge in its 24-hour trading volume.

PROM/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The price turnaround for Prometheus comes as the project prepares for its full mainnet launch. This will include the initial support for seven assets including Binance Coin (BCH), wrapped BTC, PROM, Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC) and Wrapped Ethereum (WETH).

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.973 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 40%.

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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3 reasons why Harmony (ONE) rallied back to its all-time high this week

Strong fundamentals, an influx of new users and a recently launched $300 million developer incentive are just a few reasons why ONE price is chasing a new all-time high.

Bitcoin price is still a ways from its $69,000 all-time high but this isn’t stopping altcoins from moving toward new highs. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since hitting a low of $0.13 on Dec. 4, the price of Harmony (ONE) has risen 163% to establish a new all-time high of $0.38 on Jan. 14

ONE/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the growing strength of Harmony include an expanding ecosystem, the launch of multiple cross-chain bridges and developers interest in finding Ethereum network alternatives.

ONE benefits from Harmony’s $300 million ecosystem development fund

One of the biggest boosts to the overall health of the Harmony ecosystem began back in September when the project launched a $300 million developer incentive program designed to help fund bug bounties, grants and the creation of 100 decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) on Harmony.

Since the launch of the program, 23 DAOs have been funded and launched on the Harmony network with more currently in development.

The incentive program has also helped attract multiple protocols to the Harmony blockchain in some of the most popular sectors of the ecosystem, including DeFi, payment platforms and nonfungible token (NFT) projects.

Cross-chain bridges help raise Harmony’s prospects

Another reason for Harmony ‘s recent strength is the launch of several cross-chain bridges that connect the Harmony network with other Ethereum Virtual Machine compatible networks like Celer and Polygon.

On top of the most recent integration with the Celer c-bridge, which enabled the cross-chain transfer of USD Coin (USDC) and Wrapped Ether (wETH), Harmony launched a cross-chain NFT bridge as part of the Horizon bridge back in November of 2021.

Most recently, the project revealed a collaboration with the L1 protocol Cosmos to create a bridge between the two rapidly growing ecosystems in an effort to further expand its interoperability and help scale cross-chain finance.

Harmony is also in the final stages of creating a native bridge to the Bitcoin network which is expected to be released before the end of Q1 2022.

Related: ICON commits $200M to interoperability incentive fund

New users and ecosystem growth back record high TVL

Another bullish metric backing Harmony’s growth is its rising TVL, which is now at an all-time high of $1.25 billion according to data from Defi Llama.

Total value locked on Harmony. Source: Defi Llama

Several DeFi protocols are thriving on the Harmony network, including DeFi Kingdoms (JEWEL), which accounts for $747 million of the TVL, Tranquil Finance with $201.85 million and Viperswap with a $54.4 million TVL.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for ONE on Jan. 8, 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. ONE price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for ONE spiked into the green zone on Jan. 8 and hit a high of 75 around 48 hours before the price proceeded to increase 50% over the next four 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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Propy rallies 227% as real estate NFTs become reality and PRO lists at Coinbase

A listing at Coinbase and the upcoming sale of the first real estate NFT in the U.S. appear to be providing a boost to PRO price.

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) skyrocketed in popularity over the course of 2021 as the wider public became enthralled with projects like the Bored Ape Yacht Club and CryptoPunks, but these one-of-a-kind digital images are only scratching the surface of what NFT technology is capable of. 

One project focused on expanding the functionality of NFTs beyond the digital art space is Propy, a protocol focused on the integration of blockchain technology with the real estate sector by automating the closing process of home buying to make the entire process faster, simpler and more secure.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $1.12 on Jan. 12, the price of PRO moved 227% higher to hit a daily high at $3.67 on Jan. 14 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked 452% to $29.3 million.

PRO/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the sudden surge in Propy price include the token being listed on Coinbase exchange, the successful completion of the first sale of a real estate NFT and growing potential of NFTs to be used in different use cases.

The Coinbase bump

The surge in the price of PRO on Jan. 14 was in large part due to the token listed on Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States.

Prior to the Coinbase listing, the PRO token was only available on a limited number of exchanges including Huobi Global, Bitrue and the decentralized exchange Uniswap.

Coinbase is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume globally and the main exchange serving U.S.-based investors who have historically conducted the highest volume of cryptocurrency trading.

The first real estate NFT in the U.S.

A second development that is helping to boost the price and trading volume of PRO is the upcoming sale of the first real estate NFT in the United States.

According to Propy founder and CEO Natalia Karayaneva, the reason Propy chose Florida for its first U.S.-based real estate sales include a crypto-friendly state government, positive future price growth and demographic statistics, a growing job market and the state’s 0% individual income tax policy.

While the upcoming sale in Tampa marks the first real estate NFT sale in the U.S., Propy completed the first-ever NFT sale back in 2017 when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington sold his Kyiv apartment for 36 Ether.

Related: NFT sales and blockchain games continue to grow despite the recent market slump: Report

Rising popularity of NFTs and blockchain technology

Another reason for the building momentum behind Propy is the overall growth in awareness of NFTs and blockchain technology.

The promise of integrating NFTs with things like house deeds and corporate contracts has been a topic of discussion for years, and last year’s explosion in NFT interest and trading volume raised the level of public awareness to the point where the concept can gain more traction.

On top of the usefulness of NFT technology, the increasingly dire state of the global financial system has investors looking for secure places to store their wealth, for which real estate has long been a preferred safe haven.

Now, the process of buying and holding real estate is about to enter the 21st century with the integration of blockchain technology and NFTs because the influence of middlemen will be reduced, helping to lower the cost of the entire process.

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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5 NFT marketplaces that could topple OpenSea in 2022

OpenSea surged as the reigning NFT marketplace in 2021 despite community criticism. Here are five rivals that could potentially top it in 2022.

OpenSea has been the dominant decentralized platform for users looking to mint, buy, sell and trade nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Serving more as an NFT aggregator than a gallery, OpenSea locked in $3.25 billion in volume for December 2021 alone, according to data from Dune Analytics and from December 2020 to December 2021, the total volume increased by a whopping 90,968%.

No stranger to contention and criticism, OpenSea has had its fair share of perils and pitfalls. Most notably, its former head of product, Nate Chastain, found using insider information to front-run and profit from selling the platform’s front page NFTs.

Adding to the overall feeling of distrust, the community felt devalued after newly appointed chief financial officer (CFO) Brian Roberts hinted at going public. However, he quickly reaffirmed that OpenSea has no intention to go public anytime soon.

OpenSea might be the top NFT marketplace by transaction volumes at the moment, but in 2022, there are bound to be a handful of competitors aiming to unseat the giant.

Here are five NFT marketplaces that could potentially shake the top contender from its spot in the coming months ahead. 

Coinbase NFT

Coinbase seems to be leaning on elements of centralization as the primary driver for mass adoption. Tapping into the growing popularity of NFTs, Coinbase rivals OpenSea in launching its NFT marketplace, Coinbase NFT. According to reports, the waitlist has exceeded 1.1 million, which is more than OpenSea’s total active user-base alone. 

Monthly active traders at OpenSea. Source: Dune Analytics

Announcing its launch of Coinbase NFT was a signal that captured the increasing value NFTs could capture as digital collectibles continue to go mainstream. Understanding how NFTs bridge culture and commerce, Coinbase NFT is likely to shake up the order of things. Meanwhile, the project has established partnerships with collections like World of Women, DeadFellaz and Lazy Lions. 

While the marketplace has not yet launched, its waitlist alone suggests that many investors are either eager to gain exposure to the technology for the first time or want alternatives to what they already use.

Based on a statement made by Coinbase, Coinbase NFT will be peer-to-peer (P2P) “…with an intuitive design built on top of a decentralized marketplace.” Initially following the ERC-21 and ERC-1155 standards, the product also has plans to support multi-chains in the future. 

Coinbase NFT will primarily function as a marketplace, but the company has hinted that it will also serve as a place to “foster connections.” To date, Coinbase operates in over 100 countries and reports over 73 million active users while Coinbase’s clients quarterly trade $327 billion in volume, proving that there is a decent amount of liquidity in circulation.

More than the amount of volume trading, Coinbase touts its robust user experience (UX) and seamless user interface (UI) design that is streamlined and user-friendly. Even though many take to Twitter and complain about OpenSea’s UX/UI design, many other platforms come with barriers to entry, whereas OpenSea doesn’t. 

FTX NFTs 

Contrary to Coinbase NFT, FTX marketplace launched in October with a small collection of Solana-based NFTs, and it expanded its collection toward those on the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike OpenSea and Coinbase NFT, FTX NFTs is not a P2P platform, meaning it is centralized and custodial, whereby users’ data is recorded and stored on its particular network. This means users and collectors forgo ownership in some sense. 

The implications of it being a centralized platform are that the platform tends to enforce less autonomous perks to its owners and more restrictions and limitations due to securities laws concerns. Unlike OpenSea where users have full autonomy over their digital assets up until the sale, FTX NFTs implements bidding mechanisms. ​​As Brett Harrison, President FTX.US explained in a statement: “By not requiring gas for doing things like bids, we’re going to see a lot more price action and price discovery on the platform, and we hope that in general attracts liquidity,” 

Its law-abiding ways caused such a strong influence across the Solana NFT collections that many had to revoke their formerly promised royalties since FTX NFTs announced it no longer would support projects granting its owners such a perk. 

The consequence came as a result of United States regulatory concerns. Projects on the Ethereum network are also vetted to make sure they are abiding by securities laws and to ensure they are not counterfeit knockoffs. 

As such, OpenSea retains its value as it maintains quite the breadth of NFT collections.

Regardless of its minor hiccups, the marketplace has received attention and undercuts its rival in fee structure. FTX NFTs has a fee structure of 2%, while Coinbase’s is 2.5%. 

The platform also doesn’t seem to be dismissive to users eventually using non-custodial wallets, but its primary focus is value in accessibility.

Rarible 

Long before OpenSea pumped its way to the top, Rarible was putting up monthly trading volumes higher than its counterpart. Despite opening its platform to the community with its governance token RARI — something OpenSea users have persistently been anticipating — Rarible has not been able to sustain the lead it once had over OpenSea. 

In November, the platform’s total value in volume was 4% higher than in October, averaging an estimated $18.2 million. However, its monthly total volume pales in comparison to OpenSea’s, given its daily volume averages at least five times higher.

To Rarible’s benefit, much like FTX NFTs marketplace, it understands the benefit of multi-chain strategic partnering. Rarible has already launched its support of NFTs on the Flow and Tezos blockchain, and there are plans to support Solana and Polygon in the near future. 

Monthly volume (primary vs secondary) sales. Source: Dune Analytics

With its decentralized ethos and its multi-chain support of NFTs, Rarible could become a serious contender in 2022.

Zora 

Zora presents itself as a champion for Web 3.0 and decentralization as it touts its completely “on-chain” permissionless platform. Since decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) tend to gravitate toward these principles, the platform holds its value in historical purchases like PleasrDAOs $4 million purchase of the original doge-meme NFT. 

Zora has a zero-fee structure and centers most of its efforts on being the cornerstone permissionless protocol. Many crypto pundits are attracted to the idea of artists and creators having more autonomy and ownership over their creations. If these remain pertinent concerns in 2022, it’s possible that Zora could see an influx of new users.

Magic Eden 

Magic Eden is currently the top NFT marketplace on the Solana network and according to DappRadar it is ranked among the top ten NFT marketplaces with $267.14 million since its launch in mid-September 2021. 

The number of unique wallets has rebounded and has been steadily increasing in the last two months making it a strong contender to OpenSea. Although it’s important to note that users are known to hold more than one wallet address, perhaps suggesting that there could be fewer unique active users.

OpenSea on-chain data. Source: DappRadar

Low transaction fees at 2% give the platform a competitive edge when compared to other marketplaces and, like FTX NFTs, listing is free for users. As shown below, the number of transactions on Magic Eden often doubles or even triples the amount of transactions occurring on OpenSea.

Magic Eden on-chain data. Source: DappRadar

Although Magic Eden had a higher amount of transactions, the amount per transaction is less than on OpenSea. According to DappRadar, Magic Eden has amassed over 4.5 million transactions within the last 30 days while OpenSea has processed less than half that figure at 1.7 million, yet it has a little over five times the total volume of Magic Eden. 

As the pace of NFTs has been set and digital collectibles continue to go mainstream, 2022 could see a larger demographic whose preferences may not align with OpenSea. By valuing accessibility, regulation and a better user experiences, these five NFT marketplaces are strong contenders to take their spot on top.

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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Pakistanis Lose Millions to Crypto Scam, Pakistan Issues Notice to Binance

Pakistanis Lose Millions to Crypto Scam, Pakistan Issues Notice to BinanceInvestors from Pakistan have become victims of a massive fraud using cryptocurrency. The country’s main law enforcement agency has issued a notice to crypto exchange Binance in relation to the scam which resulted in the loss of $100 million dollars for Pakistanis, media reports revealed. Fraudsters Lure Pakistanis to Invest in Cryptocurrency Through Binance Pakistan’s […]
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