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Global smartphone sales plunged by 20% in Q1, due to Coronavirus

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Global smartphone sales plunged by 20% in Q1, due to Coronavirus

More blue numbers confirm what we are already aware of: Q1 2020 was tough for an already struggling smartphone division. Gartner’s latest report sets the global market at a 20.2% slide as compared to the same time last year, thanks in large portion to fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Every single one of the global top-five productions saw significant drops for the quarter, save for Xiaomi, which saw a small uptick of 1.4%. The Chinese smartphone maker got a surprise bump, courtesy of international sales. Samsung and Huawei and Oppo all observed double-digit drop-offs at 22.7%, 27.3%, and 19.1%, while Apple declined 8.2%. Other companies consolidated for a sizable 24.2% loss for Q1.

The reasons are ones we’ve gone over several times before, nearly all about the global pandemic. Chief among them are comprehensive stay at home orders and general economic uncertainly. Issues with the worldwide supply chain have no doubt been a factor, as well, as Asia was the first to get hit with the virus.

All of this comes in addition to an already plateauing/declining smartphone market. Analysts had expected that the arrival of 5G would help stem the tide a bit — but, well, some stuff happened in there. Notably, Apple’s slide wasn’t as bad as it might have been thanks to a strong start to the year.

“If COVID-19 did not happen, the vendor would have likely seen its iPhone sales reached a record level in the quarter. Supply chain disruptions and declining consumer spending put a halt to this positive trend in February,” Gartner’s Annette Zimmermann said in a release. “Apple’s ability to serve clients via its online stores and its production returning to near normal levels at the end of March helped recover some of the early positive momenta.”

Overall, I suspect that recovery won’t be instantaneous for the market. The future of COVID-19 still feels largely uncertain as countries have begun the process of reopening, and a pricey investment always may not be in the cards for many who are struggling to make ends meet.

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Universal Phone, Toncoin’s Web3 Smartphone, Pre-Sale Sells Out Instantly

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The Universal Phone, a Web3 smartphone powered by Toncoin (TON), has generated remarkable excitement. Its pre-sale, announced by Web3 ecosystem Oyster Labs, sold out within seconds. This rapid response highlights the keen investor enthusiasm surrounding Toncoin’s entry into the mobile device market.

Why the Hype? Key Factors Behind the Sell-Out of Universal Phone

  • Aggressive Pricing for Accessibility: Oyster Labs strategically priced the Universal Phone at just US$99 (plus US$30 shipping) to fuel mass adoption of the Toncoin ecosystem, democratizing Web3 technology, and opening access to a broader range of potential users.
  • Toncoin Connection: The Universal Phone seamlessly integrates with the Toncoin blockchain, offering users unparalleled control over their data—a crucial advantage in AI-driven cryptocurrency projects. Besides, the device provides Web3 cashback, data dividends, and rewards, making it a powerful gateway to Ton-based Web3 projects and revolutionizing blockchain interaction.

Refund Process Underway

Oyster Labs has initiated refunds for some unsuccessful pre-sale purchases, which take an estimated five to ten days, with users receiving confirmation emails once complete, demonstrating a commitment to fairness for those who missed the initial pre-sale.

Market Impact: TON Price and Potential

The Universal Phone’s launch positively impacted TON’s price, which rose 6.9% to approximately $5.79 in 24 hours. Toncoin, with a fully diluted market value near $30 billion and roughly $226 million in daily trading volume, remains a Web3 leader. The surge in interest likely stems from increased awareness of Toncoin’s ecosystem and its potential.

Oyster Labs’ Vision: Accessibility and Mass Adoption

Oyster Labs’ affordable pricing strategy for the Universal Phone aligns with the broader aim of widespread Toncoin adoption within the increasingly competitive base layer industry. By expanding the potential user base, it opens the door for increased platform use and growth.

The Rise of Web3 Smartphones: A Paradigm Shift

The Universal Phone isn’t just another smartphone; it’s a catalyst for a significant shift in how we interact with decentralized technologies. Traditional smartphones, while powerful, are often tethered to centralized systems controlled by large tech companies. Web3 smartphones like the Universal Phone aim to break this mold.

By prioritizing data ownership, integrated cryptocurrency wallets, and seamless access to decentralized applications (DApps), Web3 smartphones offer a gateway to a more secure, user-centric internet experience, enabling individuals to take control beyond traditional devices.

Toncoin: More Than Just a Cryptocurrency

Toncoin (TON) stands apart from many other cryptocurrencies. It stems from the Telegram Open Network, a project initially envisioned by the founders of Telegram. 

Toncoin boasts impressive scalability and transaction speeds, making it well-suited for the fast-paced demands of Web3 applications.

Moreover, Toncoin’s focus on user experience through features like user-friendly addresses and streamlined transactions aligns perfectly to make Web3 more accessible.

Universal Phone Use Cases: Beyond the Hype of Universal Phone

  • Secure Financial Transactions: The Universal Phone’s native Toncoin wallet enables frictionless peer-to-peer payments and interactions with decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.
  • Data Sovereignty: Users can store sensitive information directly on the device with enhanced security, moving away from centralized data storage models.
  • NFT Marketplaces: Imagine browsing, buying, and selling NFTs (non-fungible tokens) directly from your phone, opening new avenues for digital art and collectibles.
  • Decentralized Gaming: Access blockchain-based games and rewards systems, potentially creating a new generation of play-to-earn experiences.

The Future: A Web3-Powered Pocket Revolution

The Universal Phone and the broader movement of Web3 smartphones (Solana Saga, Nothing Phone, and HTC Desire 22 Pro) hold the potential to make blockchain technology and its benefits really mainstream. 

By blending the convenience of a smartphone with the power of decentralized networks, Web3 phones can accelerate the adoption of cryptocurrency, NFTs, and DApps.  

Ultimately, this could lead to a more open, transparent, and user-empowered digital landscape.

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Ethereum surpassed Visa in 2021 concerning the sums traded.

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Ethereum has a high usage rate and a high fee structure, and the implementation of EIP-1559 has resolved some issues. In 2021 Ethereum Surpassed Visa concerning the sums traded on the network.

A detailed analysis of Ethereum in 2021 by Josh Stark points out that the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world has overtaken Visa in terms of value transacted. 

Last year alone, the Ethereum network handled the equivalent of $11.6 trillion in transactions.

In addition to this information, the article also provides data on the total fees paid on different blockchains, including Bitcoin

It also analyzes the arrival of second-layer solutions and the arrival of different players in the sector.

Finally, it is also possible to find detailed information about the ratio between emission and burning of ETH after the introduction of EIP-1559.

Ethereum surpassed Visa

The sums traded by Bitcoin and Ethereum are perhaps the most unexpected facts uncovered in this research.

While Visa transacted a total of 10.4 trillion dollars in 2021, Bitcoin moved US$ 4.6 trillion, passing PayPal. 

Ethereum managed to double the volume of BTC and surpass Visa after closing the year with a volume of transactions equivalent to 11.6 trillion dollars.

Ethereum has a high usage rate as well as a high fee structure and the implementation of EIP-1559 has resolved some issues. In 2021 Ethereum Surpassed Visa concerning the sums trades on the network.

Although it seems that Bitcoin is losing this fight, it is worth remembering that most transactions on Ethereum involve tokens, fungible or not. That is, both have their merits here.

High Usage and High Fees on Ethereum Network

As most blockchains work as an auction system, where transactions with higher fees are accepted first, it is no surprise to find expensive fees when networks are overloaded.

With the explosion of DeFi, NFT, play-to-earn gaming sectors, scalability has been Ethereum’s weak point ever since. In other words, he could be a lot bigger if his rates were cheaper.

The chart below compares some payment solutions’ total fees paid in 2021.

Ethereum has a high usage rate as well as a high fee structure and the implementation of EIP-1559 has resolved some issues. In 2021 Ethereum Surpassed Visa concerning the sums trades on the network.

While a 10-fold difference between ETH and BTC draws attention, Visa’s $24 billion is the focus. After all, this profit belongs to the company. In cryptocurrencies, this profit goes to the miners.

Second layer solutions

Because of the scalability mentioned above, the latter half of 2021 was defined by second-tier solutions on Ethereum. Escaping high fees is the main reason.

Ethereum has a high usage rate as well as a high fee structure and the implementation of EIP-1559 has resolved some issues. In 2021 Ethereum Surpassed Visa concerning the sums trades on the network.

The article highlights that Ethereum validated around 1.2 million transactions per day and that the arrival of these second-tier solutions is managing to increase this number, which is currently at its limit.

The Growth in use cases of Cryptocurrency

Another important observation from Stark’s Ethereum 2021 retrospective is the expansion of cryptocurrency use cases, mainly linked to Ethereum itself.

While until the year 2020, the vast majority of people who lived off cryptocurrencies were investors, developers, and companies. The expansion of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) attracted other professionals to this universe.

For example, artists selling their artwork on NFT are often used by athletes such as Stephen Curry, which also has strong ties to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Currently, he is a partner in one of the largest exchanges in the world and collects NFTs.

Ethereum has a high usage rate as well as a high fee structure and the implementation of EIP-1559 has resolved some issues. In 2021 Ethereum Surpassed Visa concerning the sums trades on the network.

Stark compares revenue between Ethereum and other services used by artists such as Spotify and YouTube Music in the chart above. Pointing out the potential of blockchain, still little explored.

The Ethereum burns with the EIP-1559.

Finally, the report highlights Ethereum’s economic shift in August through EIP-1559. With it, part of the transaction fees began to be burned, reducing the total supply of ETH.

Ethereum has a high usage rate as well as a high fee structure and the implementation of EIP-1559 has resolved some issues. In 2021 Ethereum Surpassed Visa concerning the sums trades on the network.

With a reward of 2 ETH per block, generated every ~15 seconds, Ethereum would have inflation of around 11,520 ethers per day. In November, the network burned its one-millionth ETH.

Despite this, the amount was lowered once the burn was introduced.

Highlighting the end of October, when Ethereum became a deflationary asset for eight consecutive days, that is, the number of ethers decreased in this period.

Ultimately, this shows that ignoring cryptocurrencies is a mistake. 

Like the director of Microsoft, the most visionary already admit that Ethereum will be the new application store.

On the other hand, Bitcoin gains more space as a store of value with each passing day, and today both are dominant in their areas.

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Web3 Investors from 16 nations converged to witness these 6 Graviton-backed Indian startups make their pitch.

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Graviton Web3 Accelerator’s digitally simulcast Demo Day event saw participation from VCs and angels around the world, focused on a cumulative raise of $10Mn for their first cohort. 

Graviton, a web3-focused accelerator for emerging markets backed by global VCs such as Hashkey Capital, Moonrock Capital, NGC Ventures, 369 Capital, Ascensive Assets, Stacker Ventures, MH Ventures, G1 Ventures, Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC), and GravityX Capital, recently organized its first-ever digitally simulcast Demo Day.

The event saw participation from over 70 global investors from 16 countries, with all eyes converging on what the six teams at Graviton are busy building and scaling. These teams have emerged as outliers from a pool of 300+ startups that had applied to get accelerated through the Graviton ecosystem.

Graviton’s uniquely designed accelerator program arms a limited cohort of promising early-stage web3 founders with a healthy infusion of institutional capital (marked by a seed investment into each team), technical grants and integrations from a vast partner ecosystem, mentorship from proven industry experts to help the teams with business strategy, tech fundamentals, growth marketing, and fundraising, as well as expanded networking opportunities to help them raise serious capital in the long run. 

“While the ongoing ‘bear market’ sentiment fosters a conservative investment mindset around the world for crypto platforms, we at Graviton believe that world-class technology products led by visionary founders are always ahead of the curve, and always lucrative to serious investors”, remarked Arpit Nik (Founder & CEO at Graviton and a General Partner at GravityX Capital). Arpit and team have been hard at work since December last year, to identify India’s strongest founders with a penchant to build for the decentralized web. 

The six teams that emerged frontrunners amidst a plethora of applicants, include:

Spydra – An enterprise grade blockchain solution that is helping large organizations migrate their existing tech stack from web2 to web3, making the transition as frictionless as possible. Led by the seasoned and suave Manish Tewari (with massive previous exits at Koovs.com and Pokkt), Spydra is powering the largest status-quo migration in enterprise tech, since the advent of AWS and cloud-computing. They’re already clocking an annual run rate of $100K in revenue, servicing clients such as Raymond, Myntra, and the National Payments Corporation of India. 

Wall – This team is solving one of the most significant challenges of web3, i.e. community building. Wall helps businesses acquire and take community members through beautifully mapped custom user journeys, helping them claim rewards (such as Airdrop tokens), while completing platform-mandated tasks across multiple touch points (such as Twitter, Telegram, Discord, etc). It offsets the community moderation costs for emerging web3 platforms, and after helping 40+ projects design custom reward pathways, Wall is fast emerging as the go-to community building solution for L1 and L2 ecosystems.  Wall is helmed by Anuj Kumar Kodam (ex IIT Kharagpur, IIM Calcutta, and formerly part of the founder’s office at Ola Cabs). 

Strive – Global opinion on the utility of NFTs is divided, and Strive is here to change that. With a proprietary layer that facilitates the sharing and trading of NFT utilities, the team is expanding the possibilities of what one can do with NFTs today. Using Strive, any business, brand, or artist-led community can monetize their audience and influence with ease. Kartik Mehrotra (ex UC Berkeley) leads the show at Strive Network. 

Zoth – Crypto users of today are struggling to find secure and passive income generating opportunities, despite the total value of crypto finance having breached $1Trillion as of 2022. Pritam Dutta (ex Ab-InBev, Mahindra & Mahindra) and team Zoth are on a mission to democratize global access to affordable capital, through the tokenization of real world assets. They’ve already deployed $500K in capital, and have a little under $10M in their managed assets pipeline. 

Fetcch – The motto and creed at Fetcch is to make web3 payments as simple as Venmo or Paypal. Mandar Ray, CEO at Fetcch, explains that they’re building an abstracted middleware layer that removes the complexities associated with wallet addresses, which in turn is a giant leap towards the mainstream adoption of web3. Recently, the team has opened up beta access to Fetcch Pay, their flagship payments product. 

GG Nation – eSports is booming, and team GG Nation has done a stellar job of capturing the mindshare of student gamers across 250+ Indian colleges in 18 cities. Today, GGNation has more than 200,000 gamers on its roster, with an aim to onboard India’s first million gamers. Abhinandan, the founder and CEO, has a remarkable track record with two of India’s biggest sports IPs, Indian Racing League and Premier Futsal, achieving impressive media value, viewership, and live attendance.

Over the last 16 weeks, these teams have been immersed in interactive workshops with a team of 50+ remarkable mentors – all of whom are established thought leaders in their respective domains. And in exchange for their time and imparted wisdom, Graviton has created a circular rewards model, with each mentor acquiring nominal equity in these teams, proportionate to the time they spend nurturing each product. Arjun Kalsy (ex-Growth lead at Polygon), for instance, has a vested interest in the success of each of these six teams, as one of their growth mentors. The same is true for Parth Chaturvedi of Coinswitch Ventures, Vijay Pravin of bitsCrunch, and many others who have become an integral part of the growth journeys of all 6 teams.

The success of Graviton’s Demo Day is owed largely to the efforts of Program Director Jeffrey Broer, who is a seasoned web3 investor at Mulana Capital, and a highly sought-after blockchain mentor and speaker. 

“Supporting visionary entrepreneurs on their transformative journeys in the web3 realm brings me immense joy. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the nurturing Graviton ecosystem for promoting an inclusive culture of progress. May the six teams embark on a remarkable path of growth and achievement!”

– Vijay Pravin (CEO, bitsCrunch & Growth Mentor at Graviton)

“All hands aboard is the philosophy that drives us to help startups and founders. We’re glad that this team of web3 disruptors came together at Graviton, and forever indebted to our invaluable mentors, who have helped craft this journey together. With everyone’s hearts set on building sustainably for the decentralized internet, we’re just really excited about what the future holds for the Indian web3 space”

– Vishal Sanap (Head of Portfolio Growth & Development at Graviton)

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