2021 proved to be a very crucial year for Chainlink; since the start of the year, LINK was able to register gains of up to 250 percent when the coin’s price hit its ATH towards the end of February. However, since then, the coin has ended up trading downwards on the price charts.
The past few weeks have seen the price move sideways for considerable amounts of time eventually leading to a price correction on the charts. The recent bearish spell Bitcoin encountered hasn’t made things easy for LINK and the overall bearish altcoin market did exert its force on LINK’s price action.
This also leads to the question of whether or not LINK can manage a recovery run fuelled by adequate bullish momentum. In such a scenario will LINK have to rely on Bitcoin’s influence in the crypto market and follow its lead or will the coin be able to manage an independent rally.
At the time of writing, LINK continued to trade close to the $26 price level and this has been the case for over a week. A move toward its ATH would require a 44 percent hike on the charts and this could be a gargantuan feat for the coin at this point in time.
Market data provided by Santiment gives a better perspective with regard to what LINK is capable of in the coming weeks. Interestingly, Santiment highlighted that the number of on-exchange whale addresses is continuing to decline while large accounts holding the asset off exchanges in cold storage and private wallets are on the rise.
This is a credible indicator of whether or not investors are viewing that asset as a long-term investment or a short-term one. In the case of Chainlink, this also goes to show that as a result of the strong hodler sentiment, LINK’s market can resist a sell-off with a lot more efficiency and thereby sustaining its price.
Chainlink’s exchange supply ratio also fell to a 21-month low earlier today. Despite the coin’s relatively low trading price, its investor base is continuing to back the coin as they expect the price to head back to the $32-$35 range in the near future.
Another reason why one could argue that the hodl sentiment is currently quite high is by looking at the active address count and active deposits. Santiment’s data showed that both these metrics are continuing to decline and if one were to take past precedents into account, the price has on most occasions reacted positively during such phases in LINK’s market.
LINK has traditionally had a high correlation with Bitcoin and there hasn’t been a change in this trend. At the time of writing, the BTC-LINK correlation is at a high value of .77 according to Cryptowatch, making an independent rally a bit difficult.
While it is hard to narrow down on an exact timeline in which LINK will be able to recover its losses and try and establish a new ATH, the coin’s fundamentals tend to concur that it is not a matter of whether such a recovery is possible but a matter of when.
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Mergers and acquisitions are rising, leaving crypto assessments in question
Fintech, cryptocurrency and mergers and acquisitions are poised to intersect significantly in the coming year. M&A activity is expected to rebound quickly — more than 60% of decision-makers at large companies who were surveyed by FTI Consulting for a February report agree that their company has recently been a target of aggressive M&A, and 39% say their companies are looking at M&A as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the cryptocurrency market is making strides toward mainstream acceptance.
As a result, there’s likely to be an uplift in deals involving cryptocurrency assets and valuations throughout 2021. While this trend is likely to spur some exciting developments in the financial sector, it is also starting to raise unprecedented questions about whether cryptocurrency and these complex business models can be accurately assessed and verified in the context of dealmaking.
Digitizing the world of finances
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have driven significant shifts from physical to digital services across a wide range of industries — none more dramatically than in the financial services industry, in which S&P Global has reported that an estimated 420 billion transactions, worth $7 trillion, will switch to cards and digital payments by 2023, reaching $48 trillion by 2030.
PayPal further legitimized cryptocurrency when it began accepting it in November 2020 and announced its acquisition of Israeli crypto startup Curv in March. Visa has also been active in the fintech arena, most recently with its $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid in January. Investors are also keeping a close eye on the developments that will follow Coinbase’s recent debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Naturally, all of this activity is generating a lot of interest in fintech and cryptocurrency companies among traditional financial services institutions and big tech corporations. Even amid market lows during the first half of 2020, cryptocurrency-related M&A hit $600 million, more than the total for all of 2019. All signs point to an even larger year in 2021.
The need for due diligence
Of course with M&A, IPOs and capital raises also comes the need to conduct due diligence, market assessments and valuations. But when cryptocurrency is involved as the primary asset or a key asset, there are additional, complex layers to standard due diligence processes.
Buyers and target companies need to consider conducting a technical assessment of the digital assets at play. Potential buyers will want to know how to verify the cryptocurrency assets and ensure that the target company’s reported assets are accurate. Because cryptocurrency companies often operate under unconventional business models, and due to the very nature of distributed ledger systems, it’s not always clear what’s what. The crux of the issue is to find out about any problems, risks or inaccuracies in a target company’s cryptocurrency assets, framework and business model and whether they have the correct procedures in place to support their crypto-based business activities.
Likewise, cryptocurrency companies that are looking to raise money or sell their business to a larger technology or financial services corporation (or file for an IPO) can help position their business by conducting in-depth assessments that will demonstrate their differentiators and value to potential buyers, and support subsequent valuation and due diligence activities.
The nuances of the crypto space
Many may not understand the importance of conducting a technical assessment and cryptocurrency evaluation as part of their larger financial due diligence, or that it’s even possible. However, experts in this space are beginning to develop complex methodologies to conduct, fast, in-depth and cost-effective technical assessments of cryptocurrency assets and leverage digital forensic investigation techniques to sample and verify digital wallet ownership, digital asset ownership, as well as verify assets under custody, and the value and validity of assets.
Additional areas that buyers should examine in a crypto-focused technical assessment include:
- The full scope of digital asset holdings, including hot wallet services, cold wallet storage, business wallet services, portfolio management and other services.
- Size, locations, duties and other key details relating to technical and sales support, and development teams.
- Risks within cryptocurrency-related contracts, privacy, security, Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering, signatures and other policy controls.
- Code audits across wallets, user interface and application programming interfaces.
- Governance implications (such as regulatory requirements and standards including the United States government’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation).
- Technical structure and stability.
- Third-party partnerships, data use and obligations.
- Research and development projects and developmental coin/token support.
In addition to traditional financial due diligence and valuations that accompany fundraising and M&A transactions, buyers in this space will also need to validate and assess the technical elements of the target company’s cryptocurrency assets and structures. Doing this right will require the support of a domain expert in blockchain and cryptocurrency who understands the technical complexities and knows what questions to ask. Cryptocurrency remains an enigma to many people, but a thorough, expert-driven technical audit can reveal risks and eliminate guesswork to support the execution of high-value, disruptive deals.
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.
Steven S. McNew is a senior managing director within the technology practice of FTI Consulting. In his role, Steven helps clients evaluate and implement blockchain solutions and builds cost-effective, defensible strategies to manage data for complex legal and regulatory matters. Steven is an expert in blockchain, information and data security, complex discovery and digital forensics. He completed studies in blockchain and cryptocurrency at MIT and has led engagements involving blockchain assessments, pilot projects and software selection and implementation. He has also led disputes involving issues related to blockchain and various forms of cryptocurrency.
AgeUSD to Launch as First Stablecoin on Cardano Network
Multinational blockchain technology company Emurgo initially announced the AgeUSD stablecoin in January 2021. The firm has since announced a partnership between the Ergo Foundation, Emurgo, and Charles Hoskinson’s Input-Output Global, the parent company of IOHK.
The AgeUSD stablecoin will be available on Cardano as soon as smart contract capabilities are launched on the blockchain, it revealed.
Do We Need Another Stablecoin?
Emurgo is aiming to prevent events like MakerDAO’s Black Thursday which emerged through vulnerabilities in its Dai collateralization mechanism. A mass liquidation of the vast majority of Maker vaults resulted in around $4 million in Dai being under-collateralized at the time in March 2020.
AgeUSD’s so-called “Staticoin” protocol-inspired design does not rely on collateralized debt positions (CDPs).
“Thanks to its design, the scenario that happened on Black Thursday is not possible for the AgeUSD protocol. Without CDPs, we do not have liquidation events nor the requirement for users to perform transactions to ensure that the liquidations actually work properly,”
The stablecoin runs on the Ergo blockchain aiming to automate as much as possible within the mathematics of the protocol itself. Reserve providers pay Ergo’s native currency (ERG) to mint reserve coins which represent the underlying collateral. Users of the stablecoin can also deposit ERG into the reserves in order to mint AgeUSD, it explained. This is only allowed by the protocol if there are enough reserves above its reserve ratio. Banks use a similar method to loan out funds.
The Cardano partnership will also enable its native token, ADA, to be used as collateral to mint reserves. However, the potential downside is that the stablecoin is only backed by these two assets whereas Dai is backed by multiple cryptocurrencies.
AgeUSD will launch on Cardano when it rolls out the Alonzo update that ushers in Plutus powered smart contracts. This is expected in the latter half of this year according to the roadmap.
Cardano ADA Price Update
As the long-awaited update nears, ADA prices have been cranking to new highs, the most recent ATH being $1.55 on April 14. At the time of writing, ADA was trading up 2% on the day at $1.45 according to Coingecko.
It is the sixth largest cryptocurrency by market cap which currently stands at $46 billion and there are 32 billion tokens in circulation. The token was briefly flipped by Dogecoin but has regained its position in the charts, just below Tether.
How sustainable is YFI’s current price run?
The past week saw a lot of growth across the cryptocurrency market, with Bitcoin and Ethereum seeing their values pushed towards new all-time highs. However, it is safe to say that the digital assets market is no longer just about the top two cryptos in the market, with DeFi coins such as YFI registering significant gains on the charts.
Over the past 6 months, YFI has seen its price hike by over 520 percent. Now, while this looks extremely promising for the alt, the truth seems to be in yet another shade of grey. The price hike from over $11k in November 2020 to its press time valuation of $48,415 has been less than straightforward.
Akin to many other altcoins in the market, YFI too has endured extended periods of the price going back and forth. However, given the current market scenario, how sustainable is YFI’s current price or is history going to repeat itself in the form of yet another short-term price correction?
Interestingly, data provided by Santiment highlighted that despite the bullish nature of the YFI market, there may be a bit of FUD finally creeping into the market as the price continues to remain close to the $50k-level. In such a scenario, what YFI really needs is a strong level of support for the price if bearishness is to soon hit the market.
Taking a look at a few of the key fundamentals can provide more clarity on where the price is likely to head in the coming weeks. According to data provided by Santiment, YFI’s supply on exchanges has been stagnant for a while and hasn’t been increasing. While fewer coins in exchanges are normally a good sign of hodling, in the case of YFI, if one were to take a look at past precedents, the price decline began as soon as the supply hit a stalemate.
Additionally, the analytics platform also pointed out that the current price rally began with low on-chain activity for the coin. However, over the past few weeks, a trend reversal has emerged, with on-chain activity noting a surge and the price continuing to be inversely relational to it.
With the price inching closer to its ATH, there is always the question of price discovery. YFI seemed to be lacking in this regard, at press time. The coin’s MVRV, as per Santiment’s data, placed it in the danger zone and prime for a new trend reversal, one that can induce a short-term price correction.
In the coming days, if the price correction does set in, YFI’s $44k-price level may end up being a key support level for the coin. However, if this level is flipped to resistance in the coming weeks, a lot of the upward momentum and price surge YFI saw over the past few months might be undone.
This, once again, will result in YFI’s price continuing its current trend by which the coin will be subject to strong ‘push and pulls’ at regular intervals.
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