The month of July 2022 has come to a close, and there have been various crucial industry developments. There is much to talk about this month so let's dive right into our monthly Cointraffic crypto news recap!

Crypto Market Reclaims $1 Trillion Level Amid Rebound From Slump

Despite a bearish second half of 2021 and similar conditions throughout H1 2022, the crypto market cap has surpassed $1 trillion. A welcome development, considering the market cap dropped well below $900 billion not long ago. The market rebound is primarily driven by bitcoin and Ethereum making up solid lost ground. Moreover, the surge became apparent in late July and has extended into early August 2022, although there is still some market volatility to consider.

Things have continued to look up for the crypto industry since BTC reclaimed the $20,000 price level. It even surged to over $23,000 by late July 2022, indicating there may be room for further headway. When the value of Bitcoin goes up, alternative markets are often quick to follow. However, Ethereum took the top spot of attention following some very steep gains. Other notable gainers include Quant, Ethereum Classic, OKB, Polkadot, Cronos, and Internet Computer.


STEPN Generated $122.5 million In Q2 2022 Profit Through Platform Fees

Move-to-earn has become an appealing industry to those passionate about cryptocurrency and pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Through applications like STEPN, users earn crypto rewards for walking, running, or jogging, depending on which shoe NFTs they own. Moreover, users can mint new shoes to keep or sell, upgrade their existing NFTs, etc. It is an interactive approach to becoming a more active individual, and the use of NFTs gives participants a broader sense of accomplishment.

The success of STEPN has yielded in generating $122.5 million in Q2 2022 profit. Five percent of those profits are used to buy back and burn GMT - one of the ecosystem's native tokens - and NFT sneakers from the market. Additionally, some profit will be used as capital reserves to keep improving the move-to-earn ecosystem and its features. That includes better security and server enhancements, anti-cheat improvements, partnerships, and team expansion.


Tesla Sells Most of Its BTC Holdings

Although not too many people were surprised, Tesla decided to convert roughly 75% of its BTC holdings into cash by late Q2 2022. The company pocketed $936 million from doing so. Per Elon Musk, Tela made this decision due to the growing demand for financial liquidity due to China's Anti-COVID restrictions. However, this move does not include liquidating any Dogecoin holdings, as Musk and Tesla remain committed to supporting DOGE regardless of market corrections. Only time will tell if that is a wise decision.

However, Tesla has confirmed it will remain open to future investments in Bitcoin, depending on market conditions. As the crypto markets started to look much healthier in late July 2022, the move to liquidate 84% of BTC holdings may have been a tad premature.


Ethereum Price Rallies By 50% Ahead Of Merge

While most eyes have been on Bitcoin during the recent market reversal, Ethereum has noted the biggest gains. The second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap noted an impressive 50% surge in July thanks to its upcoming merger for ETH 2.0. Although the merge date has not been confirmed yet, there is a strong indication it will happen in September 2022. Moreover, the gains do not nullify the earlier sustained losses when the ETH price dropped from $4,800 to as low as $940.

A contributing factor to this price momentum is the upcoming Goerli testnet merge. Goerlich is the final step for the merge upgrade - scheduled for August 6-12, 2022 - before the activation occurs on the main blockchain. The testnet will enable stakers to run testnet validators, which will play a key role in ETH 2.0. The network will switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, making the network more efficient, scalable, and environmentally friendly. The merger also paves the way for the future upgrade to sharding, boosting the network's throughput even further.


Solana-based NIRV Stablecoin Gets Exploited

The year 2022 has not been kind to the various stablecoins in the crypto industry. Since the collapse of Terra's UST, there has been tremendous scrutiny over algorithmic stablecoins. Unfortunately for NIRV, an algorithmic stablecoin on the Solana blockchain, its value plummeted by over 85% this month. The reason is simple: a hack affecting Nirva Finance - through a flash loan attack - led to losing $3.49 million in Tether's USDT.

Although the exploit primarily affected Nirvana Finance's ANA token, it quickly spilled over to NIRV, bringing its value to $0.14. As the asset no longer has sufficient collateral to warrant its $1 price peg, that volatility is warranted. The Nirvana team offered a bounty of $300,000 if the hacker returned the stolen funds, although it seems unlikely things will ever return to normal. Proceeds from the hack were transferred through Worhole's cross-chain bridge into an Ethereum wallet.