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Market Strategist Predicts Gold Will Be the Top Performer in 2023 Over Cryptocurrencies and Equities

Market Strategist Predicts Gold Will Be the Top Performer in 2023 Over Cryptocurrencies and EquitiesGareth Soloway, president and chief market strategist at inthemoneystocks.com, predicts that gold will outperform cryptocurrencies and equity performances in 2023. In an interview published Thursday, Soloway emphasized his belief that “gold will be the best performer” this year and stated that the U.S. Federal Reserve will not cut rates until a “massively nasty recession” occurs. […]

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

How AI can make the metaverse a more interactive space

The metaverse will likely impact physical and social interactions, with artificial intelligence a critical factor in this shift.

The potential behind the metaverse is becoming greater as virtual and physical worlds converge. Market intelligence firm Contrive Datum Insights recently found that the global metaverse market is estimated to surpass $1.3 trillion by 2030. According to the study, this growth will be driven by newly adopted virtual economy trends, combined with the rise of both crypto and online games.

Additionally, a recent survey conducted by CoinWire highlighted that the metaverse would likely reshape social lifestyles. CoinWire found that 69% of respondents believe that the metaverse will eventually modify social lifestyles due to new approaches taken for entertainment and activities.

AI will make the metaverse more interactive

Cathy Hackl, author of Into the Metaverse: The Essential Guide to the Business Opportunities of the Web3 era, told Cointelegraph that the metaverse comprises virtual shared experiences that happen both in virtual spaces and in the physical world: 

“It’s just that the physical world side of the metaverse equation hasn’t been fully enabled. It’ll come in the next 10 years. If you take that into account, then how we socialize will be deeply impacted by the metaverse.”

Hackl elaborated that technologies such as volumetric video — a technique that offers a more immersive experience by capturing three-dimensional spaces — will likely change how individuals communicate. “For example, this may help us feel more present when our loved ones are far away,” she said.

Hackl added that artificial intelligence (AI) would help create more interactive metaverse environments moving forward. Although the concept of AI and the metaverse is relatively new, some examples today demonstrate how this may play out.

For instance, Sebastien Borget, co-founder and chief operating officer of The Sandbox — a popular decentralized virtual world — told Cointelegraph that over 1 million users played games in The Sandbox last year. Borget believes that users of The Sandbox have become familiar with using avatars to showcase their digital identities. He said:

“In The Sandbox, users can connect with their digital identity, make friendships and have real emotions through these experiences. It doesn’t matter the background, age or where users are from. The Sandbox is a global, digital nation.”

With this in mind, Borget is aware that metaverse platforms have the potential to reshape social lifestyles. “Three billion people are now digitally native — there is no way back from that. The way to interact is now with avatars in social worlds and across social media platforms,” he said.

Recent: Inside the World Economic Forum: Circle, Ripple reflect on Davos 2023

While this may be, Borget shared that The Sandbox users will eventually be able to incorporate their own physical movements into their digital avatars, resulting in more personalized and realistic characteristics. Borget explained that The Sandbox would partner with Kinetix, a technology startup specializing in AI, to bring “emotes” — animations that express emotion — to video games and virtual worlds.

Yassine Tahi, CEO of Kinetix, told Cointelegraph that emotes will allow users to animate avatars through customized dance moves and physical interactions displayed in reality. “We have developed a unique AI that allows users to record movements with a phone’s camera, which can then be applied to avatars,” he said.

According to Tahi, emotes are important for recreating social interactions. “In the future, people will want to embody the physical world to behave in certain ways in virtual worlds. For instance, if someone falls during a runway show in the physical world, this can be recreated in the metaverse with avatars using emotes.”

Example of emotes being applied to avatars. Source: Kinetix

In addition to emotes, using AI to implement voice characteristics may also help deepen interactions within digital worlds. Sabin Dima, CEO of Humans.ai — a layer-1 protocol built on top of Cosmos — told Cointelegraph that AI would play a massive role in the metaverse when creating better user interactions. “Humans.ai is the blockchain of AI and is being used to mint ‘superskills’ and voices that users can apply to avatars within different virtual worlds,” he explained.

According to Dima, creating a digital voice or allowing avatars to speak in different languages will increase social engagement and improve experiences. To put this in perspective, Dima shared that Humans.ai lets users create digital voices, speak in different languages and implement synthetic voices that may prevent discrimination.

“You can enter a zoom call with a different voice, for instance, which could prevent discrimination if you wish to remain completely anonymous. This will certainly reshape social lifestyles,” he said. Moreover, Dima noted that voices are minted as nonfungible tokens to give users true ownership of their voice clips.

Diana, Humans.ai's Synthetic Avatar, is an example of generative AI technology which can be used for multiple use cases. Source: Humans.ai

Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, further told Cointelegraph that he believes AI will enhance metaverse experiences. 

“One primitive example of this is chatbots. In video games, we constantly engage with non-player characters with rudimentary character development. AI changes this significantly. They will deepen and enhance engagement as well as create deeper meaning and utility to their related ownership of their assets in the metaverse,” he said.

Will metaverse interactions replace physical encounters?

While the metaverse has already started demonstrating how people can engage socially in virtual worlds, incorporating AI within these environments will likely create better engagement. Yet it remains questionable if social interactions in the metaverse will eventually replace physical engagements. 

According to Siu, individuals are already influenced by online experiences. Therefore, he believes that the metaverse will likely create deeper immersion moving forward. Given this, Siu noted that the metaverse will not replace real-life engagements but rather enhance these interactions.

Recent: Genesis Capital’s fall might transform crypto lending — not bury it

Dima added that the metaverse, combined with AI capabilities, will result in a digital transformation that could make individuals “smarter.” “AI will allow avatars to speak in different languages or be present in multiple spaces at the same time,” he said.

Yet while virtual worlds powered by AI will likely result in more realistic experiences, Hackl pointed out that the physical world remains a key part of the metaverse. She said:

“The future of the metaverse is about connected experiences that transcend the physical and virtual divide. They will just be experiences. The difference is that experiences will be augmented by technology.”

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

Market Strategist Warns of ‘Blood’ on February 1 Ahead of Fed Meeting

Market Strategist Warns of ‘Blood’ on February 1 Ahead of Fed MeetingStocks, precious metals, and cryptocurrencies rallied during the first month of the year, and market strategists are saying that markets could retract in the near future if the U.S. Federal Reserve keeps hiking rates and maintaining a broader tightening policy. In three days, on Feb. 1, 2023, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is set […]

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

Finder’s Experts Predict Bitcoin to Peak at $29K in 2023, But Forecast a Low of $13K 

Finder’s Experts Predict Bitcoin to Peak at K in 2023, But Forecast a Low of K The price of bitcoin is set to rise in 2023, but crypto and fintech experts chosen by the product comparison web portal finder.com do not believe the leading digital asset will break the $30,000 range this year. Finder’s panel of 56 specialists convened to give their 2023 bitcoin price forecast, and the panelists suggest bitcoin […]

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

How crypto tokens (not Bitcoin) will outperform stocks in 2023, Arca’s CIO explains

Some crypto tokens will perform better than stocks in 2023 as they become less sensitive to macroeconomic factors, according to CIO at Arca Jeff Dorman.

Digital assets will largely decouple from traditional equity markets in 2023, says Chief Investment Officer at Arca, Jeff Dorman.

Discussing his outlook for 2023 in a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Dorman argues that as the global economy enters a recession this year, equities will be negatively affected while some crypto tokens will perform well: the value of the latter, he explained, is determined not only by macroeconomic factors but also by their utility within the respective ecosystems, which would remain unaltered in a recession.

“You're going to see a lot of stocks get punished under the weight of restructurings and under the weight of lower revenues and lower cash flows. And you're actually going to see a lot of tokens do really well”, Dorman explained. 

Crypto's decoupling process from equities may not involve Bitcoin though, which according to Dorman, will remain highly correlated to the stock markets, given its high sensitivity to macro factors such as global liquidity and interest rates. 

“Bitcoin has just become a 24-seven VIX, it's just a trading vehicle now for large funds who want to get in and out of risk on weekends and overnight trading hours”, Dorman pointed out. 

To find out more about Dorman’s crypto predictions for 2023, check out the full interview on our YouTube channel, and don’t forget to subscribe!

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

Ripple exec expects more crypto acquisitions by TradFi in 2023

Crypto acquisitions in 2023 will further strengthen the industry in the aftermath of casualties like the FTX collapse, a Ripple exec predicted.

The cryptocurrency industry will see increased consolidation in 2023 as healthier companies acquire more crypto and blockchain companies, according to a senior executive at Ripple.

Sendi Young, Ripple’s managing director for Europe, took to Twitter on Jan. 9 to share a set of industry predictions for 2023, expressing confidence about crypto in the near future.

According to Young’s forecast, the coming year will bring many acquisitions in the blockchain and crypto industry, which will help such companies and startups fill the gaps in their capabilities. The acquisitions will further strengthen the industry in the aftermath of casualties like the FTX collapse as well as other issues experienced by firms like Celcius, Voyager, Three Arrows Capital and others, the Ripple exec noted.

Young also predicted that cryptocurrency and blockchain firms will be increasingly acquired by traditional financial (TradFi) companies and other established companies in 2023.

Cast your vote now!

Young’s predictions about the state of crypto acquisitions in 2023 come amid the increasing interest by traditional finance giants in buying subsidiaries of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX. As many as 117 financial and strategic counterparties have expressed willingness to purchase one or more of FTX’s branches like FTX Japan, FTX Europe, LedgerX and Embed, according to a court filing from Jan. 8.

The cryptocurrency industry has seen some major acquisitions recently, with Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital acquiring Argo Blockchain’s flagship mining facility Helios for $65 million in late December. According to Novogratz, the Helios mining deal was a transformative acquisition for Galaxy as the firm works to increase its exposure to the Bitcoin (BTC) mining sector.

Related: Voyager tells court Binance acquisition plan is ‘sound business judgment,’ urgently needed

Among other predictions, Young also forecasted that 2023 will see greater adoption of fiat-backed stablecoins as institutions realize the benefits of blockchain for real-time merchant settlement.

At the same time, central bank digital currencies will also “come of age,” the exec predicted, adding that the FTX collapse has further triggered the need for nations to establish a “dependable digital settlement asset as a secure alternative to other crypto solutions.”

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

Year of Bitcoin miners’ merge? Analysts predict key mining trends for 2023

Public Bitcoin miners will actively work to minimize costs in 2023 by going private or merging with other firms, Hash Rate Index analysts predicted.

After a shocking year for Bitcoin (BTC), public miners will focus on strengthening balance sheets and minimizing costs this year, according to industry analysts.

Bitcoin mining cost minimization will likely lead public miners to either go private or merge with other companies in 2023, Hash Rate Index’s Bitcoin analysts Jaran Mellerud and Colin Harper predicted.

In a blog post titled “10 Bitcoin mining predictions for 2023,” the analysts pointed out that public miners are burdened with strict reporting requirements, such as spending millions of dollars on annual reporting.

After many Bitcoin mining stocks plummeted 90% in 2022, public miners could significantly reduce administrative costs by going private or merging with others to share the costs.

Alongside predicting that 2023 will become the year of Bitcoin miners’ merge, Hash Rate Index also forecasted a massive restructuring year in the Bitcoin mining industry. The analysts are confident that strengthening balance sheets will be a top priority for Bitcoin miners in 2023 as they fight to avoid bankruptcy.

The analysts noted that the unsustainable debt levels of some Bitcoin miners will force them to proceed with debt restructuring as the only option. Debt restructuring can imply negotiating lower interest rates or extending the due dates of the debt, the authors added.

According to the analysts, Bitcoin miners will also increasingly hedge risks in 2023 by utilizing Bitcoin mining derivatives, including those allowing miners to sell their future hash rate for a specific hash price. “We will see a trend commencing of miners seeking to hedge everything that can be hedged, just like what is expected in more mature commodity-producing industries,” Mellerud and Harper stated.

As for broader industry predictions, Hash Rate Index also predicted that the ongoing Bitcoin bear market will likely come to an end in 2023, referring to historical BTC price cycles. However, a full-scale bull market will not commence until traditional finance firms are ready to move into Bitcoin, which would take another one or two years, according to analysts.

Bitcoin hash rate growth is also likely to slow down in 2023, while mining equipment will become even cheaper, the analysts predicted.

Related: Bitcoin miners see mixed successes in tackling debt-fueled overexpansion crisis

Hash Rate Index’s Bitcoin mining predictions come amid the crypto mining industry going through a major crisis fueled by Bitcoin losing about 60% of value in 2022. As many as 100% of public mining companies have been forced to sell almost all cryptocurrency that they mined in 2022 in order to survive the crypto winter.

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

Reviewing El Salvador’s Bukele Predictions for 2022: What Went Wrong?

Reviewing El Salvador’s Bukele Predictions for 2022: What Went Wrong?Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador and die-hard Bitcoin enthusiast, formulated a series of predictions about the behavior of bitcoin and the crypto ecosystem for the past year. These included the top price of bitcoin, the influence of the cryptocurrency on U.S. elections, the issuance of the volcano bonds, and also the construction of Bitcoin […]

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

Dollar Loses to Digital Currencies in 2023, Former Russian President Medvedev Says

Dollar Loses to Digital Currencies in 2023, Former Russian President Medvedev SaysDigital fiat currencies will spread next year while the U.S. dollar will be losing its status of global reserve currency, according to Russia’s former head of state. In a string of tweets, Dmitry Medvedev gave his two cents on what the future holds for the world, a “humble contribution,” as he put it, to the […]

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report

What to expect from crypto the year after FTX

Users are still seeking to move their funds away from centralized exchanges, paving the way for blockchain-based alternatives to thrive.

Cryptocurrency had its Lehman moment with FTX — or, perhaps, another Lehman moment. The macroeconomic downturn has not spared crypto, and as November rolled around, nobody knew that we were in for the collapse of an empire worth billions of dollars.

As the rumors of bankruptcy began to take hold, a bank run was inevitable. Sam “SBF” Bankman-Fried, the once effective altruist now under house arrest, continued to claim that assets were “fine.” Of course, they were not. From Genesis to Gemini, most major crypto organizations have been affected by the contagion effect in the aftermath.

The problem with exchanges like Binance, Coinbase and FTX

Time and time again, the feeble layer of stability has been broken down by the hammer of macroeconomic stress in an atmosphere of centralization. It can be argued that centralized systems grow quickly for the same reason: They value efficiency over stress tolerance. While traditional finance realizes economic cycles in a span of decades, the fast-paced nature of Web3 has helped us appreciate — or rather scorn — the dangers posed by centralized exchanges.

The problems they pose are simple yet far-reaching: They trap skeptical and intelligent investors in a false sense of security. As long as we’re in a “bull” market, be it organic or manipulated, there are far fewer reports to be published about failing balance sheets and shady backgrounds. The drawback of complacency resides in precisely the moment where this fails to be the case.

Related: Economic frailty could soon give Bitcoin a new role in global trade

The way forward, for most people who got hurt by the FTX collapse, would be to start using self-custody wallets. As retail investors scramble to get their crypto off centralized exchanges, most of them need to understand the scope of the centralization problem. It doesn’t stop with retail investors parking their assets in hot or cold wallets; rather, it simply transforms into another question: Which asset are you parking your wealth under?

Often hailed as the backbone of the crypto ecosystem, Tether (USDT) has come under fire numerous times for allegedly not having the assets to back its users’ deposits. That means that in the case of a bank run, Tether wouldn’t be able to pay back these deposits and the system would collapse. Though it has stood the test of time — and bear markets — some risk-averse people might not push their luck against a potential depeg event. Your next option is, of course, USD Coin (USDC), which is powered by Circle. It was a reliable option for crypto veterans until the USDC associated with the Tornado Cash protocol was frozen by Circle itself, reminding us once again about the dangers of centralization. While Binance USD (BUSD) is literally backed by Binance, a centralized exchange, Dai (DAI) is minted after overcollateralized Ether (ETH) is deposited into the Maker protocol, making the stable system rely on the price of risky assets.

There is also a counterparty risk involved here, as you have to take the word of auditors when they say that a particular protocol has the assets to return your deposits. Even in the bull run, there were cases when these assessments were found unreliable, so it makes little sense to outright believe them in such trying circumstances. For an ecosystem that relies so much on independence and verification, crypto seems to be putting up quite a performance of iterative “trust me” pleadings.

Where does that leave us now? Regulators eye the crypto industry with the wrath of justice, while enthusiasts point fingers at multiple actors for leading up to this moment. Some say that SBF is the main culprit, while others entertain the hypothesis that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao is responsible for the undoing of trust in the ecosystem. In this “winter,” regulators seem convinced that human beings and the protocols they come up with require legislation and regulation.

Users leaving FTX, Binance, Coinbase and other exchanges is cause for hope

It is no longer a question of whether the industry should abandon centralized exchanges. Rather, it is a question of how we can make decentralized finance (DeFi) better in a way that doesn’t infringe upon privacy while also reducing the current notions of it being the “Wild West.” Regulators — alongside investors — are awakening to the refurbished idea of centralized organizations collapsing under stress. The wrong conclusion to derive would be that centralized exchanges need to be more tightly regulated. The optimistic and honest one is that they need to be abandoned in favor of DeFi at a much higher pace.

DeFi has been developed to avoid these risks entirely. One such method is to develop agent-based simulators that model the risk of any lending protocol. Using on-chain data, battle-tested risk assessment techniques and the composability of DeFi, we are stress-testing the lending ecosystem. DeFi offers the transparency needed for such activities, unlike its centralized counterparts, which allow funds to be obfuscated and privately rehypothecated to the point of collapse.

Such monitoring can be done in real-time in DeFi, allowing users to have a constant view of the health of a lending protocol. Without such monitoring, insolvency events that have taken place in the centralized finance industry are made possible and can then go on to trigger a cascade of liquidation as the daisy chain of exposure crumbles.

Imagine if all of FTX’s assets were being monitored in real time and shown in a publicly available resource. Such a system would have prevented FTX from acting in bad faith to its customers from the start, but even if there were too much uncollateralized leverage that would lead to a collapse, it would have been seen, and the contagion would have been mitigated.

Related: The Federal Reserve’s pursuit of a ‘reverse wealth effect’ is undermining crypto

A lending system’s stability depends on the collateral value that the borrowers provide. At any point in time, the system must have adequate capital to become solvent. Lending protocols enforce it by requiring the users to overcollateralize their borrows. While this is the case with DeFi lending protocols, it isn’t the case when someone uses a centralized exchange and uses immense amounts of leverage with little to no collateral.

This means that DeFi lending protocols, specifically, are protected from three main vectors of failure: centralization (i.e., human error and humans falling to greed from conflicts of interest), lack of transparency and undercollateralization.

As a final note to regulators, moving away from centralized systems doesn’t absolve them of the responsibility — or eradicate the necessity — of regulating even decentralized spaces. Given that such systems can be regulated only up to a certain extent, they’re much more reliable for decision-making and predictability. A code will reenact its contents unless a systemic risk is found within it, and that’s why it’s easier to narrow down on particular codes and come up with regulations around them rather than believing that each human party will act in the interest of the group at large. For starters, regulators can start stress-testing DeFi applications regarding their transaction sizes and transparency.

Amit Chaudhary is the head of DeFi research for Polygon. He previously worked for finance firms including JPMorgan Chase and ICICI Bank after obtaining a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Warwick.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. 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.

North Korean hackers using stolen crypto to mine more crypto via cloud services: Report