February was a turbulent month for cryptocurrency and the world alike. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already had a cataclysmic effect on many industries—and crypto is no exception. Some exchanges have stood defiantly against banning Russian users, while others are now complying with the devastating sanctions being placed upon the Russian economy.
Elsewhere, Bitcoin made somewhat of recovery after a tricky few months in the doldrums. It reached $45,000 on February 10 for the first time since early January, when it fell below $34,000. Despite being a long way behind its all-time high—and amid the volatility that we have come to expect in the market—Bitcoin is still more than twice as valuable as it was two years ago.
The NFT market also continues to burgeon, with several big organizations announcing deals to create their own platforms. In February, the most notable was Universal Music Group’s partnership with Curio, an NFT platform, to develop NFT collections for its record labels and artists.
Let’s analyze these three areas in more detail.
Cryptocurrency And The Ukraine Conflict
We have seen mounting displays of solidarity with Ukraine over the past few weeks, with people at sporting and cultural events holding banners and other messages of support. This has extended to the crypto world—the Ukrainian government has raised $50 million in cryptocurrency within a week of Russia invading the country. This enabled Ukraine to spend $15 million on military supplies such as weapons and bulletproof vests.
On the Russian side of things, international sanctions over the serious European conflict have brought the idea of borderless transactions—that crypto offers—into question. Binance’s response to the ongoing war in Ukraine was initially that banning Russian access “would fly in the face of the reason why crypto exists.” Since this initial statement, the Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, announced that they would apply the same sanctions as international banks and also donate $10 million for the Ukraine emergency relief fund.
This fits into the trend of government lawmakers and regulators taking more of an interest in digital assets. The reality now is that the cryptocurrency world is not immune from outside influence.
Bitcoin Mini Recovery And NFT Expansion
Bitcoin was faced with its lowest price since July 2021 at the turn of the year, but now it is recovering slowly—despite the war in Ukraine bringing fresh volatility to the market. A recent Deutsche Bank study found that at least 25% of Bitcoin investors are confident that prices will reach over $110,000 per coin in the next few years.
As mentioned earlier, Universal Music Group agreed a major deal for an NFT platform with Curio last month. The agreement represents a significant step forward for the world’s largest music corporation, which nowadays relies primarily on streaming music for its financial survival. They are hoping to create digital artwork and other collectibles for the label and its artists. Starting in March, Curio will act as an online store for fans to purchase legally licensed NFTs, thanks to a partnership between Capitol Music Group and singer-songwriter Calum Scott.
Lastly, on a lighter note, at the end of February, the world’s first-ever NFT vending machine opened up in New York City. The vending machine offers only two products: a “color” for $5.99 and a “party pigeon” for $420.69!
Delchain now offers a custody service for NFTs. If you are interested, check out our services in more detail here.