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Market Meditations | April 14, 2022

Dear Meditators

Astroport is Terra’s leading DEX by TVL.

Recently launching its Astral Assembly, the protocol’s DAO, control of the exchange has begun migrating to investors. As part of this process, Astroport has enabled staking and is gearing up for something called ‘Terra wars’.

Are you ready to fight for control? 

Today’s Meditations: 

  • Introduction to Astroport
  • Nexo Launches Crypto-Backed Credit Card
  • The Crypto World Is Going Full Circle 

⏰ Top Headlines


? Intro to Astro

The chart below reveals a close correlation between rising TVL in the Terra DeFi ecosystem and the performance of Astroport itself.

Astroport currently enjoys over $1.5 billion in total value locked, making it the most popular choice for swapping tokens and providing liquidity in Do Kwon’s brave new world. It offers a robust list of Terra-native tokens as well as wrapped versions of hallmark assets like Solana, Ethereum and Polygon.

  • Astroport offers competitive rewards rates for many popular pairings, ranging from reasonable returns on like-asset pairs (e.g. stLUNA-LUNA) to degen delicacies enticing those of us with little self-control.
  • xASTRO staking launched at the end of last month, bringing staking and fee-sharing along with preliminary governance processes to Astroport.
  • The next phase, which saw the full launch of the governance organization referred to as the Astral Assembly, arrived on April 6th.
  • All this seems to be foreshadowing something called Terra Wars – a fight over liquidity in the Terra ecosystem akin to what happened on Curve.

The recency and promise of these points have drawn investors to pile into the waiting area at their local Astroport. Please make sure your trays are properly stored and seats are in the upright position as we review proper take-off procedures.

Astroport features familiar steps to patronize their protocol. Investors eager to have a taste of space (no, don’t rush to buy a Coca-Cola Starlight) do so by following a few simple steps:

  1. After clicking “Enter App” on the Astroport site and connecting a wallet, the exchange’s features can be accessed.
  2. The most popular wallet for Astroport is Terra Station. The “Swap” tab can be used to exchange tokens if necessary.
  1. Clicking “Pool” will display a list of available pairings and information including APR, the pool’s Total Liquidity and Volume. Astroport will automatically detect and display eligible pools based on assets held in the connected wallet. Clicking “Get Token” will open “Swap” to facilitate any necessary exchanges.
  1. Once the required tokens are held in Terra Station, clicking “Add Liquidity” allows the amount to be selected.
  2. After liquidity has been deposited, returning to the “Pool” section will provide a view of “My Pools”, displaying liquidity provided and options to Manage and Unstake funds.
  3. In the top right corner of the Astroport page, rewards are displayed and updated as blocks are completed on the network.

DeFi is a perilous pastime, and Astroport is no exception. Risks like impermanent loss, price crashes, and exploits are very real threats. Any services used increase your exposure to these risks. Only assume them AFTER conducting due diligence, and never invest more than you can afford to lose. 

Astroport is an exchange in what looks like a promising ecosystem poised for continued growth. If approached responsibly, moon-bound investments might be taking off from Astroport in 10…9…8…


? Nexo Launches Crypto-Backed Credit Card

Back in 2019, Nexo announced that they were collaborating with Mastercard to create a crypto-backed credit card. Most crypto credit cards simply allow you to earn cash back in the form of crypto. Nexo announced on Wednesday that they have officially launched their crypto-backed card. Let’s learn more about this new card!

  • In collaboration with Mastercard, Nexo has launched its crypto-backed card. This card will enable users to pay for services without selling their crypto.
  • This card is now available for residents of 29 countries including Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, the UK, and others. The card is to be accepted by 92 million merchants worldwide where Mastercard is accepted.
  • The crypto-backed credit line will allow cardholders to use digital assets as collateral, including but not limited to BTC, ETH, and Tether.
  • The credit line starts at the 0% annual percentage rate. The card also requires no minimum repayments and doesn’t take foreign exchange fees for up to 20,000 euros ($21,700).

Why might it be beneficial to not sell your crypto? For tax purposes! While other cards force you to sell your crypto instantaneously, this one will save you the hassle when it comes to tax season. While it is only available in parts of Europe at the moment, they hope to also offer it worldwide.

Use our link to sign up for Nexo and get $100 in BTC!


? The Crypto World Is Going Full Circle 

In 2017, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink called bitcoin an “index of money laundering”. Five years later, BlackRock still headed by Fink, is leading a funding round for one of the most well-known cryptos.

  • According to an official press release on Tuesday 12th April 2022, Circle Internet Financial announced a $400m funding round, expected to close in the second quarter, with investments from BlackRock, Fidelity, Marshall Wace and Fin Capital. 
  • Circle is the issuer of USD Coin (USDC), the second-largest stablecoin with a market cap of $50 billion and a market dominance of 2.5% according to CoinGecko.
  • Circle intends to create a strategic partnership with BlackRock allowing them to explore capital market applications.
  • As per the official announcement, BlackRock will also play a role as an asset manager of USDC cash reserves.

This investment and partnership highlight how the financial world’s biggest players are preparing for the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies as an asset class.


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Twitter 

  • ICYMI: Avalanche developer raising $350 million at $5.25 billion valuation: report – The Block
  • THORChain recently reached a milestone of over $1B in TVL, composed of the assets in its liquidity pools & the $RUNE bonded by nodes that provides security to the network – Messari

We’re Watching


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??‍♂️✍️ Stories in this newsletter were written by Misael Calleja, Kai.A, Nick T., Max P., Kimia K., Ellen B. and Koroush AK. Graphics were produced by Ellen B.


Not financial or tax advice. The content in this newsletter is for informational purposes only. Nothing in this email is intended to serve as financial advice. We are not financial advisors. Every investment and trading move involves risk. Do your own research when making a decision. See our important security disclaimers here.

Disclosure. Some of the links we’ve included are affiliate, they give you rewards and discounts and earn us a commission. Additionally, the Market Meditator writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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