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Essential Insights for Crypto Investors on Points Trading

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What Should Crypto Investors Should Know About Points Trading


The optimism surrounding the cryptocurrency market surges on, despite occasional setbacks and periods of market stagnation slowing down the price trajectory of major players such as bitcoin and ether. Meanwhile, the market remains active with the introduction and adoption of novel offerings. One area that has piqued the interest of investors encompasses cryptocurrency initiatives that have collectively distributed over 115 billion points to date. The sheer scale of growth calls for an in-depth exploration and a discerning evaluation, attributes that are particularly significant in the landscape of cryptocurrency. The upward trend we have observed since the inception of bitcoin spot ETFs is reminiscent of past bullish phases, which were instrumental in fostering a myriad of pioneering products, services, and organizations.

Nevertheless, not all innovations imply stability or the overall wellbeing of a financial sector. During the last bull run, when bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reached unprecedented peaks, there was a concurrent emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a plethora of decentralized finance (DeFi) schemes, significant enhancements to staking services, and the advent of platforms like FTX. Such bullish periods have a tendency to conceal flawed business models, provide opportunities for malicious entities to exploit the prevailing positive spirit, and ultimately result in detriment to the investor community.

However, this does not imply that the fervor associated with crypto points inherently spells disaster for investors, but it does warrant a thorough examination. Let’s delve into a selection of these ventures.

Exploring Crypto Points

Crypto points vary in nature and are defined differently across projects, but generally, they can be thought of as off-chain tokens that are awarded to platform users for specific actions. These tokens are often doled out in anticipation of future airdrops, alerting users to the actions that may lead to rewards, though airdrops are not guaranteed. The concept is akin to loyalty points or airline miles granted by vendors for customer patronage or specific behaviors.

Critical points to consider include 1) whether the allocation of these off-chain tokens is a taxable event, 2) whether there’s a mechanism to confirm the total number of points issued, 3) the presence of centralized records for users to monitor personal and collective holdings similarly to a permissionless blockchain, and 4) the availability of a whitepaper or a transparent outline illustrating the connection of points to user actions and potential airdrops. While each initiative has its own approach to point distribution, ambiguity appears to be a common theme in addressing these concerns.

Impact of Points on Crypto Volatility

Similar to past crypto market surges, the swift ascent of the crypto points industry has fueled trading, the formation of secondary markets, and a speculative atmosphere among investors eager to capitalize on this rapidly expanding niche. While this is not inherently indicative of misconduct, the dynamics introduced by these nascent assets can precipitate financial losses and raise further doubts about their stability and practical applications.

History shows us that CoinDesk was compelled to discontinue its DESK token due to the establishment of unauthorized secondary markets by traders, despite such practices being expressly prohibited. Similarly, there has been a trend of trading points, predominantly happening on platforms like Whales Market and Pendle Finance. The markets are further complicated by 1) the focus of trades often being not on the points themselves but rather on the tokens expected to be issued as a result of these points, and 2) the employment of leverage in these trades, with magnitudes as high as 74x observed in certain instances.

The fusion of derivatives in a new class of assets with substantial leverage can foster a precarious environment that may leave investors exposed in periods of market turbulence or downturns.

Repeat of Historical Errors?

For those intrigued by crypto points, it’s important to acknowledge the risks evident in the market that echo challenges of previous ventures during bullish periods. The absence of transparent information for investors regarding the full scope of point distribution, airdrop conversion rates, or precise actions required for token generation all contribute to a less-than-transparent market. Moreover, the prevailing leverage, coupled with the persistent pursuit for yield that has characterized various crypto projects, including stablecoins and DeFi, has historically driven progressively precarious practices.

This analysis does not suggest that the market for crypto points is bound for failure; conversely, it posits that investors should maintain an objective lens when evaluating market patterns, the essence of these instruments, and strategies to sidestep the pitfalls that have marred previous bullish periods.

Crypto points represent an area of rapid growth within the digital asset economy, yet investors are advised to proceed with caution to learn from the missteps of earlier bull markets.

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