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At the time of this writing, Bitcoin and Ethereum are up 42% and 37% on the year, respectively.
According to one measure—the difference between prices in perpetual futures and the spot market—Bitcoin investor sentiment is at its highest in 14 months.
Another bullish signal is on the horizon with Bitcoin approaching a golden cross (50DMA crossing above 200DMA).
Meanwhile, 99-year-old Charlie Munger is once again voicing his concerns about the “disgusting” asset class, calling for the US to ban crypto altogether.
Having said that…let’s get to it!
Crypto M&A deal count jumps in 2022
A pair of unusual partnerships
Justice Department is all over SBF
1. Crypto M&A deal count jumps in 2022
Despite a year that saw Bitcoin and Ethereum crash 65% and 68%, respectively, crypto M&A enjoyed its most active year ever by number of transactions.
Deal counts jumped to 204 in 2022, 13% over 2021’s 183.
On the other hand, deal values dropped 64% from $6 billion to $2 billion, mirroring the downturn in crypto prices.
Of note, however, was an increased number of “bridge transactions,” which are characterized by non-crypto companies acquiring crypto-native firms.
These bridge transactions accounted for 36% of all transactions in 2022 which suggests future deal appetite could expand.
2. A pair of unusual partnerships
Crypto is making its way into a couple of mainstream institutions.
Pfizer’s venture arm participated in a $4.1 billion token-based round for VitaDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization that funds research projects focused on longevity and the aging process.
The DAO is part of the so-called DeSci (decentralized science) movement which leverages crowdfunding and NFTs representing intellectual property as sources for funding.
Meanwhile, the US Air Force awarded a $30 million strategic technology initiative to blockchain-as-a-service provider SIMBA.
SIMBA had already been collaborating with the Air Force and Department of Defense to create blockchain-based systems for operations like supply chain management.
Maybe it’s mainstream institutions making their way into crypto?
3. Justice Department is all over SBF
Earlier this month, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) sent an encrypted message to FTX US’ general counsel, a potential witness in his criminal case.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is now looking to ban all communications between SBF and current/former FTX employees.
The defense put up by his lawyers (paraphrasing): “SBF was just trying to help”. Sure you were…
Separately, the DOJ says that while FTX lawyers were attempting to secure assets for bankruptcy in November, SBF was busy trying to move them overseas where he believed foreign regulators would cut him more slack and even let him regain control of the company.
Meanwhile, a New York judge ruled that the identities of the mystery guarantors on SBF’s $250 billion bond should be made public.
The order is on hold until February 7th.
What else we Grittin’ On?
DMV. The California motor vehicle department is coming to the blockchain. It will use the tech to verify car titles and registrations.
NFTs. The first-ever ETF for NFTs is shutting down. The fund launched at the end of 2021
SORARE. NFT-based fantasy sports game Sorare signs a deal with the English Premier League. The crypto platform currently has ~3 million users.
BITCOIN NFT. Ordinal is a new protocol that stores NFTs on Bitcoin. And it's sparked a fiery debate.
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