Ethereum price climbs as Binance and FTX expands operations into UAE
Prominent cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and FTX have been given the regulatory nod by UAE authorities over the past week.
- Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) is currently doing an airdrop, allowing its NFT owners to accrue upto 10,000 APE tokens each (worth approximately AUD$92,000).
- Former Diem tech leads Mo Shaikh and Avery Ching have been able to raise AUD$270 million for a new project called Aptos.
- The number of ETH stored across various centralised trading platforms has dropped to its lowest levels since June 2020.
Ethereum, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency by total market capitalisation, has been flirting with the all-important AUD$4,000 (US$3,000) psychological barrier over the last 72 hours, suggesting that the altcoin may be gearing up for a breakout soon. That said, the digital asset's price has been closely tracking the crypto market at large, especially Bitcoin. A sudden decoupling appears to be highly unlikely. At press time, ETH is trading at a price point of AUD$3,850.
The surge comes at a time when Binance, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, revealed that it had been able to secure a licence – referred to as the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licence. It allows the firm to establish offices in the region and provide local businesses with a range of crypto-related offerings.
Trading platform FTX, led by Sam Bankman-Fried, also announced earlier this week that it had received the regulatory greenlight from UAE authorities to start its crypto operations in Dubai.
Another reason why ETH could be on the rise is Bored Ape Yacht Club's (BAYC) announcement this week that owners of its various NFT offerings currently have the chance to earn a solid amount of ApeCoin (APE) – an ERC-20 governance and utility token – as part of an upcoming airdrop. Eligible participants have up to 90 days to claim up to 10,000 APE worth approximately US$72,000 (AUD$92,000).
Lastly, Diem, Meta's now-defunct crypto offering, has seen 2 of its former divisional heads — Avery Ching and Mo Shaikh — secure a whopping US$200 million from Coinbase Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz for a project called Aptos that has been built using Move, Diem's native programming language.
ETH balances on CeFi exchanges plummet to fresh lows
ETH tokens have been exiting centralised cryptocurrency exchanges at a furious pace, so much so that the total amount of Ethereum across various centralised finance (CeFi) trading platforms currently stand at their lowest levels since September 2018 — showcasing growing long-term investor confidence in the altcoin.
From a numbers standpoint, since the start of 2022, a little over 550,000 ETH (approximately AUD$2.18 billion) has left centralised trading platforms bringing down the total volume of ETH held by these exchanges to just 21.72 million tokens. To put things into perspective, this number stood at a whopping 31.68 million ETH just 18 months ago.
NFTs increasingly being used for donation purposes
Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine has induced a high level of economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions globally, with high-ranking Ukrainian officials even reaching out to sympathisers for immediate financial relief. In the midst of all the craziness, non-fungible tokens (NFT) seem to have made their presence felt by helping raise funds for the East European nation.
In this regard, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, digital artist Trippy Labs and artist collective PleasrDAO (via the use of Ukraine DAO) have been able to sell more than 10,000 NFTs and raise approximately $7 million to help support Ukraine's military.
Disclosure: The author owns a range of cryptocurrencies at the time of writing.