• NEAR Jumps Over 30% After UST Integration

Tokens of Near (NEAR) jumped up to $13.89 on Friday after an integration with decentralized payments network Terra was announced by developers on Tuesday night. Terra’s UST tokens – stablecoins whose value is algorithmically pegged on a one-to-one basis with the U.S. dollar are now supported on the high-speed Near network, developers said in the announcement.

NEAR tokens crossed the $13 mark on Dec 23 

Source : Trading View

Issuing UST on Near is a result of a partnership between Terra and decentralized finance (DeFi) tools NearPad and Rose. Developers say the move will facilitate the growth of UST to new ecosystems on both NEAR and Aurora, a bridge that moves assets between Ethereum and Near. 

DeFi protocols rely on smart contracts instead of middlemen to provide financial services, such as lending, borrowing and trading, to users. 

Terra has a growing user base and expanding to other blockchains helps create further use cases for both its blockchain and issued assets. UST became the world’s largest decentralized stablecoin on Tuesday with over $9 billion worth of coins in circulation. It is now supported on Ethereum, Terra, Binance Smart Chain and Secret network

NEAR tokens crossed the $10 mark on Dec. 21 (TradingView)

NEAR tokens crossed the $10 mark on Dec. 21 (TradingView)

  • Terra (LUNA) hits record $20B TVL, surpassing Binance Smart Chain

Terra (LUNA), an open-source stablecoin network, hit an all-time high of $20.05 billion in total value locked, or TVL, across its 13 product offerings, according to industry data. On Dec. 1, Terra's TVL was at $11.9 billion, signifying a 68% increase in less than a month. This means that the platform's users are investing in large quantities into the protocol to receive staking rewards. 

The price of LUNA, Terra's native token, is also steadily trending upwards, trading above $94 with a 31% increase in one week, according to Cointelegraph Markets Pro. The coin now has a total market capitalization of $34.8 billion, placing it in the top 10 crypto projects.

Source: TradingView

In terms of TVL, Terra is now the second-largest DeFi network below Ethereum and above Binance Smart Chain. For reference, BSC has 225 products in its DeFi ecosystem and a TVL of $16.7 billion, which has been decreasing all month, while Ethereum has $155.7 billion in TVL.

  • UST Overtakes DAI in Market Cap

UST has a market cap of $9.9 billion, while DAI market cap is about $9 billion. UST has been trending up more sharply over that same time period. It started in November at under $3B. A major portion of its gains came in mid-November after the Terra community voted to burn 89M LUNA accumulated in the Terra treasury in exchange for UST. According to Do Kwon, $2.7B had been minted this way.

  • (Backed) Stablecoin supply grew by 388% this year, driven by DeFi and derivatives

According to data from The Block Research, the supply for dollar-backed cryptocurrencies surged by 388% this year. The aggregate supply of stablecoins has increased from $29 billion at the start of 2021 to more than $140 billion. 

Over the course of 2021, retail traders parked stablecoins on decentralized finance protocols as a way to tap into juicy yields. The growth of the derivatives market was another tailwind because most derivatives venues settle futures contracts in stablecoins.

The stablecoin market  came under focus with regulators questioning the possible systemic risk such coins might pose to the market and whether they should come under a more direct regulatory framework. A report by President Biden's Working Group on Financial Markets along with other agencies suggested introducing new legislation to require stablecoin issuers to be regulated similarly to banks. 

  • Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs Flip CryptoPunks Floor Price in Ethereum

As of 10am ET on Wednesday, the lowest-price CryptoPunk listed for sale on creator Larva Labs’ own marketplace was priced at 52.69 ETH, or just over $210,000. At the same moment, the cheapest-available Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT on leading NFT marketplace OpenSea was 53.9 ETH, or about $217,000.

The value of BAYC increases as the tangible benefits it offers to its members increases. BAYC holders receive airdrops of other NFTs (Mutant Ape and Dog Ape), and they can join an exclusive concert in New York City. BAYC is developing a play-to-earn game in partnership with Animoca Brands. In addition, many celebs adored BAYC such as Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Curry, and Post Malone. By contrast, the CryptoPunks creators have not actively engaged their community of late, and the rules for who can commercialize the NFTs is still unclear. 

The price of BAYC and CryptoPunk reflect the tangible values that the owners can receive from holding the NFT. It is now less about joining an exclusive community and more about what benefit can you receive from joining that community. 

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