While it is true that a week or so of industry news in itself is not a reason to become either bullish or bearish, there are times when you scroll through developments and cannot help but come away feeling positive on, basically, the entire crypto space.

And, then the market dumps.

So to be clear, this positivity doesn’t necessarily mean bullish in the immediate term. Bitcoin ’s price could well dip down further into the 30Ks, and drag most of the crypto market down with it.

Added to that, we have the disorientating phenomenon of NFTs pumping while the crypto they are priced in falls off a cliff.

But, that is not the point, because the crypto bullishness of interest is on a wider scale. It is the kind of mood that sticks in your mind and makes you wonder how you will feel five years from now, looking back on January 2022; this period when the world was a mess, normality had been scattered, and everything that once seemed fixed was up in the air and up for grabs.

If you feel like you are on the cusp of some major transformations, then you are not alone. Perhaps this is the start of substantial change. Either way, much is happening, and at pace.

NFTs Keep Moving Up

One striking observation is how NFT metrics have continued to grow in strength during the extended dip that the rest of crypto has been experiencing. Market cap for the entire NFT space soared from around $60m at the start of 2021, to over $10.6 billion by the end of the year, and has since December’s end, accelerated up to around $12.2 billion.

Partly, this is fueled by a surge of interest from China, but it is also significant that NFTs are integral to metaverse development, play-to-earn gaming and web3 in general. What’s more, the total market cap of all crypto is $2 trillion, so even with the past year’s astonishing growth, NFTs are still only a small fraction of that total.

If any element of the crypto space were to break away and become uncoupled from bitcoin price action, then it would likely be NFTs, as through art, gaming and metaverse projects they have both mainstream utility and a creative appeal which is unrelated to finance and economics.

Microsoft and Activision

Speaking of gaming and metaverses, a huge story this week was Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. This is Microsoft’s largest-ever acquisition, and also the biggest ever deal in the gaming industry.

A Microsoft post mentioned that the acquisition 'will provide building blocks for the metaverse', while Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said: “gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”

There’s that word again, the one that starts with meta.

When Facebook went as far as to rebrand as that actual prefix, Meta, they made an unambiguous statement about the direction of travel for the entire tech industry, and it became apparent that tech’s next destination was interlocked with blockchain technology. It is clear that Microsoft has no intention of losing ground in this field.

Intel to Make Mining Hardware

Another positive recent story is that Intel, one of the world’s leading computer chip manufacturers, appears to be planning on manufacturing bitcoin mining hardware.

The company has a presentation planned for the ISSCC conference (an annual chip industry gathering), in which they will provide details of their Bonanza Mine processor, an 'ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC'.

This all fits in with comments made by Intel’s Senior Vice President Raja Koduri, at the end of last December, with regard to GPUs and mining hardware: “GPUs will do graphics, gaming, and all those wonderful things. But, being able to do much more efficient blockchain validation at a much lower cost, much lower power, is a pretty solvable problem”.

BitMEX Acquires German Bank

On a symbolic level at the very least, news that BitMEX is to acquire Bankhaus von der Heydt, one of Germany’s oldest banks, certainly has an impact.

BitMEX is a crypto trading platform established in 2014, while Bankhaus von der Heydt has been operating in Germany since 1754.

BitMEX CEO Alexander Höptner explained the intention behind the move like this: “Through combining the regulated digital assets expertise of Bankhaus von der Heydt with the crypto innovation and scale of BitMEX, I believe we can create a regulated crypto products powerhouse in the heart of Europe.”

As an indicator of how traditional finance might become subsumed into blockchain alternatives, it is an event to take note of.

There are a few people who intuited what bitcoin could become from the very earliest stages of its existence, and many more who have come on board at later points in the journey, perhaps through bitcoin itself, or perhaps into alternative branches of the crypto environment.

Whatever your entry point, at this stage in the development and expansion of blockchain technology, whether you are focused on just one path or on the broader whole, the long-term bullish signals are emphatic and persistent.

While it is true that a week or so of industry news in itself is not a reason to become either bullish or bearish, there are times when you scroll through developments and cannot help but come away feeling positive on, basically, the entire crypto space.

And, then the market dumps.

So to be clear, this positivity doesn’t necessarily mean bullish in the immediate term. Bitcoin ’s price could well dip down further into the 30Ks, and drag most of the crypto market down with it.

Added to that, we have the disorientating phenomenon of NFTs pumping while the crypto they are priced in falls off a cliff.

But, that is not the point, because the crypto bullishness of interest is on a wider scale. It is the kind of mood that sticks in your mind and makes you wonder how you will feel five years from now, looking back on January 2022; this period when the world was a mess, normality had been scattered, and everything that once seemed fixed was up in the air and up for grabs.

If you feel like you are on the cusp of some major transformations, then you are not alone. Perhaps this is the start of substantial change. Either way, much is happening, and at pace.

NFTs Keep Moving Up

One striking observation is how NFT metrics have continued to grow in strength during the extended dip that the rest of crypto has been experiencing. Market cap for the entire NFT space soared from around $60m at the start of 2021, to over $10.6 billion by the end of the year, and has since December’s end, accelerated up to around $12.2 billion.

Partly, this is fueled by a surge of interest from China, but it is also significant that NFTs are integral to metaverse development, play-to-earn gaming and web3 in general. What’s more, the total market cap of all crypto is $2 trillion, so even with the past year’s astonishing growth, NFTs are still only a small fraction of that total.

If any element of the crypto space were to break away and become uncoupled from bitcoin price action, then it would likely be NFTs, as through art, gaming and metaverse projects they have both mainstream utility and a creative appeal which is unrelated to finance and economics.

Microsoft and Activision

Speaking of gaming and metaverses, a huge story this week was Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. This is Microsoft’s largest-ever acquisition, and also the biggest ever deal in the gaming industry.

A Microsoft post mentioned that the acquisition 'will provide building blocks for the metaverse', while Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said: “gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in entertainment across all platforms today and will play a key role in the development of metaverse platforms.”

There’s that word again, the one that starts with meta.

When Facebook went as far as to rebrand as that actual prefix, Meta, they made an unambiguous statement about the direction of travel for the entire tech industry, and it became apparent that tech’s next destination was interlocked with blockchain technology. It is clear that Microsoft has no intention of losing ground in this field.

Intel to Make Mining Hardware

Another positive recent story is that Intel, one of the world’s leading computer chip manufacturers, appears to be planning on manufacturing bitcoin mining hardware.

The company has a presentation planned for the ISSCC conference (an annual chip industry gathering), in which they will provide details of their Bonanza Mine processor, an 'ultra-low-voltage energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ASIC'.

This all fits in with comments made by Intel’s Senior Vice President Raja Koduri, at the end of last December, with regard to GPUs and mining hardware: “GPUs will do graphics, gaming, and all those wonderful things. But, being able to do much more efficient blockchain validation at a much lower cost, much lower power, is a pretty solvable problem”.

BitMEX Acquires German Bank

On a symbolic level at the very least, news that BitMEX is to acquire Bankhaus von der Heydt, one of Germany’s oldest banks, certainly has an impact.

BitMEX is a crypto trading platform established in 2014, while Bankhaus von der Heydt has been operating in Germany since 1754.

BitMEX CEO Alexander Höptner explained the intention behind the move like this: “Through combining the regulated digital assets expertise of Bankhaus von der Heydt with the crypto innovation and scale of BitMEX, I believe we can create a regulated crypto products powerhouse in the heart of Europe.”

As an indicator of how traditional finance might become subsumed into blockchain alternatives, it is an event to take note of.

There are a few people who intuited what bitcoin could become from the very earliest stages of its existence, and many more who have come on board at later points in the journey, perhaps through bitcoin itself, or perhaps into alternative branches of the crypto environment.

Whatever your entry point, at this stage in the development and expansion of blockchain technology, whether you are focused on just one path or on the broader whole, the long-term bullish signals are emphatic and persistent.