After the LUNA and UST meltdown, many crypto investors have been curious about the project’s rise in popularity and people wonder about the background of Terra’s co-founder Do Kwon. Moreover, it is not commonly known that Terraform Labs was also founded by Daniel Shin, the founder of a payment firm called CHAI. After Shin left the company, the startup saw significant growth and Kwon became the main face of Terra’s ‘Lunatic’ movement.
Do Kwon — A Stanford Graduate That Became the Face of the Terra Money Project Following His Partner’s Departure
The Terra blockchain fiasco will go down in crypto history as one of the craziest events during the last 13 years. It all started during the second week of May, when the once-stable coin terrausd (UST) lost its peg from its $1 parity. This caused a massive bank run-like event where billions of dollars worth of crypto was withdrawn from Curve Finance, Lido, and the decentralized finance (defi) lending app Anchor Protocol.
Terra blockchain’s native token (LUNA) fell significantly in value as well, as the network’s LUNA/UST swapping mechanism drove the coin toward a death spiral. Terra’s entire ecosystem was wiped off the top crypto projects list, and now it is placed at the bottom of the barrel, among a litany of failed digital currencies.
However, for quite some time Terra was considered one of the hottest blockchain projects out there, and LUNA reached an all-time high at $119.18 per unit on April 5, 2022. Today is a different story, as a single LUNA is now exchanging hands for $0.00018000 per unit. While many disliked Terra’s co-founder Do Kwon, a great number of people enjoyed his attitude.
The 31-year-old South Korean native Do Kwon is a Stanford University graduate and according to nymag.com, he allegedly worked for Apple and Microsoft. At Stanford Kwon graduated with a degree in computer science. While not much is known about Kwon’s prior history, he’s been a member of the crypto community for quite some time.
According to a report published by Coindesk authors Sam Kessler and Danny Nelson, Kwon was allegedly involved with another failed stablecoin project called “Basic Cash.” Former Terraform Labs employees claim Kwon operated the Basic Cash project under the pseudonym “Rick Sanchez.” Kwon is known for founding Terraform Labs with Daniel Shin, the founder of a payment firm called CHAI.
Terra’s White Paper, Terra Alliance, and Capital Injections From Well-Known Backers
The Terra project’s white paper was authored by Evan Kereiakes, Marco Di Maggio, Nicholas Platias, and Do Kwon. The white paper details that the main foundations of “Terra Money” include “stability and adoption.” The Terra project was created in January 2018 and LUNA’s first recorded market value was $3.27 per unit on May 7, 2019. By January 2020, LUNA was trading for much lower values at $0.20 to $0.50 per unit.
Then, in February 2021, LUNA started to gain significant market traction and eventually climbed 23,700% to the crypto asset’s all-time price high. Additionally, from October 2020 all the way until May 9, 2022, Terra’s stablecoin terrausd (UST) held its $1 parity with the U.S. dollar. Before both of these tokens and the many other crypto assets built on top of Terra, the project derived from the group Terra Alliance. The group is a 16-member international network of Asian e-commerce and financial advisory firms.
In February 2019, Terra Alliance had an overall reach of around 45 million users in ten different countries with platforms such as Musinsa, Yanolja, TMON, and Megabox. TMON was a billion-dollar startup that was founded by Daniel Shin and in August 2018, Shin told the press his new stablecoin project raised $32 million.
Investors included Arrington XRP, Kenetic Capital, Binance Labs, FBG Capital, 1kx, Hashed, and Polychain Capital. “We are pleased to support Terra, which sets itself apart from most other blockchain projects with its established and immediate go-to-market strategy,” Polychain Capital’s Karthik Raju said at the time.
The project’s official mainnet launch was in April 2019 and ecosystem tools were made available like the block explorer Terra Finder and the wallet Terra Station. In May 2019, Terraform Labs had a corporate funding round led by Arrington XRP Capital, and in August 2019, Hashkey Capital backed the team.
In January 2021, Terraform Labs raised $25 million from Coinbase Ventures, Galaxy Digital, and Pantera Capital. The following July, Galaxy Digital, Arrington XRP Capital, Blocktower Capital, and others injected $150 million into an ecosystem fund created by the Terra team. Additionally, Terraform Labs invested in other companies such as Hummingbot, Stader Labs, Espresso Systems, Leapwallet, and Rain.
Anchor: The So-Called ‘Gold Standard for Passive Income’
2019 was the year Terra started seeing a lot more buzz surrounding the project and in June of that year, the network had its first protocol upgrade. A year later in July, Shin’s firm CHAI launched the CHAI card and by January 2020, Shin left Terraform Labs after two years of working with the project.
Shin still leads CHAI corporation and he still runs TMON as well. While Shin was the face of Terra’s initial leap getting backing from Binance in August 2018, it was Kwon who accepted the $25 million in January 2021, and the $150 million in July 2021. Moreover, in the summer of 2020, a concept built on Terra called the “Gold Standard for passive income on the blockchain” was born.
In June 2020, Anchor Protocol’s white paper was published and it was written by Nicholas Platias, Eui Joon Lee, and Marco Di Maggio. “Anchor offers a principal-protected stablecoin savings product that pays depositors a stable interest rate,” the white paper explains. Nicholas Platias introduced Anchor on July 6, 2020, explaining that the team wanted to get rid of the “highly cyclical nature of stablecoin interest rates” in defi.
For quite some time, Anchor Protocol gave depositors a 20% compounding interest rate until the project decided to shift to a dynamic earn rate at the end of March 2022. The Anchor project started to see a lot more criticism at the time and sustainability concerns. During the last few months, Anchor was called a Ponzi scheme in a number of social media and forum posts written by crypto proponents.
Do Kwon: ‘I Don’t Debate the Poor on Twitter’ and ‘95% of Coins Are Going to Die’
Terra’s stablecoin UST was also criticized by the Galois Capital executive Kevin Zhou who predicted the de-pegging incident well before it happened. Do Kwon was admired by a large army of ‘Lunatics’ and despite Zhou’s early criticisms, Kwon proudly told people to continue staying “poor.” “U still poor?” Kwon asked on social media, “I don’t debate the poor on Twitter,” the Terra founder explained.
Notice how the cockroaches are silent tonight as the 🌕 shines bright
As promised, the moon gave no quarter
— Do Kwon 🌕 (@stablekwon) December 22, 2021
Kwon also once remarked that “95% [of coins] are going to die, but there’s also entertainment in watching companies die too.” The Terra co-founder additionally had problems with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the regulator took issue with Terra’s Mirror Protocol.
Kwon then said he decided to sue the SEC for not using the proper channels to deliver his subpoena and that the regulator lacked jurisdiction over Terra’s properties. “The SEC attorneys were well aware that TFL and Mr. Kwon had consistently maintained that the SEC lacked jurisdiction over TFL and Mr. Kwon, and at no time asked Dentons lawyers whether it was authorized to accept service of subpoenas,” Kwon’s lawsuit stated. Similar to Terra’s suite of stablecoins, Mirror Protocol allowed people to mirror stocks like Amazon or Apple via Terra’s blockchain network.
Would prefer to ask whatever your net worth is and bet 90%
But maybe this is what that is already
— Do Kwon 🌕 (@stablekwon) March 13, 2022
Terra’s Story Continues With No End in Sight
Now the Terra project looks to revive itself from a near-dead state by forking the network without a stablecoin. However, a lot of controversy surrounds the Terra project today and Terra’s co-founder Do Kwon has been blamed for a number of miscalculated errors. Questions have surrounded the bitcoin (BTC) reserves the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) held in order to defend UST’s $1 parity.
Later the Singapore-based nonprofit LFG disclosed what the organization did with the 80K+ bitcoin (BTC) it once held in its reserves. Then three members of the Terraform Labs (TFL) in-house legal team abruptly resigned after the project’s fallout and reports further noted that Do Kwon dissolved TFL before UST and LUNA collapsed.
Woah. Do Kwon describing Terra’s “Protocol Armageddon” in 2021. “A kill switch” where TFL “pulls the trigger” and disappears from the project after cutting all of their ties – “in 24 hours we’re gone.” Is this potentially related to what’s happening with Terra 2 this week? pic.twitter.com/jFDx0zLcIy
— FatMan (@FatManTerra) May 20, 2022
Terra rose to popularity rather quickly, but the project’s demise was even quicker. The Terra project has not been put out of its misery, and the platform’s native tokens still have a small amount of value. Today, many Terra supporters are hopeful while detractors are doubtful that Terra and Do Kwon can revive the broken blockchain ecosystem.
The market has already decided, for the most part, that LUNA and UST are not as valuable as they once were. Whether or not a Terra fork and airdropping new tokens will help the project come back remains to be seen and it’s safe to say, Terra’s story has not ended.
Tags in this story
Anchor Lending, Arrington XRP Capital, Basic Cash, BlockTower, Capital Injections, CHAI, Coinbase Ventures, Daniel Shin, De-Pegging Event, decentralized finance, DeFi, do kwon, Espresso Systems, Eui Joon Lee, Evan Kereiakes, Featured, Galaxy Digital, Hummingbot, Leapwallet, lfg, LFG Bitcoin, LUNA, Luna Foundation Gaurd (LFG), Marco Di Maggio, Nicholas Platias, Rain, Rick Sanchez, Stablecoin, Stader Labs, Terra Alliance, terraform labs, TMON, UST, White Paper
What do you think about the rise of Terra LUNA and the people that helped Do Kwon? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
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When Will Bitcoin Bottom Out? Pi Cycle Bottom Says It Will Happen on July 9
Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts have heard of the Pi Cycle Top indicator, which has “magically” predicted the peaks of several previous bull markets. However, few know that there is also its opposite, Pi Cycle Bottom, which also has some track record in trying to estimate the bottom of a bear market.
But before we take a closer look at Pi Cycle Bottom, let’s remind ourselves why its bullish nemesis has earned so much popularity.
The historic effectiveness of the Pi Cycle Top
We first wrote about the Pi Cycle Top on BeInCrypto over a year ago, when Bitcoin was close to reaching its previous all-time high (ATH). The indicator is based on the relationship between the double of the 350-day DMA and the 111-day DMA. The signal fired on April 12, 2021, and just two days later, Bitcoin reached a historic ATH of $64,900.
This high accuracy of the Pi Cycle Top was not an exception, as the indicator has been very effective in previous cycles as well. All 3 historical ATHs of previous bull markets coincided with the signal flashing up no more than 5 days before or after the peak.
The only ATH during which the Pi Cycle Top was far from crossed is the most recent one. On November 10, 2021, when BTC reached $69,000, the indicator failed to generate a signal. At the time, this was interpreted as a sign that the second wave of the bull market was not yet over. Today we know that the indicator failed in this case.
Pi Cycle Bottom and the end of a bear market
Pi Cycle Bottom is the opposite of Pi Cycle Top. The bearish version is the relationship between the 471 SMA and the 150 EMA. Moreover, the former is multiplied by a factor of 0.745. Not a very elegant construction, but historically quite effective.
As it turns out Pi Cycle Bottom indicator could be successfully used to estimate the area of the absolute bottom of two previous bear markets (blue lines).
The first time the 150 EMA fell below the 471 SMA was on January 16, 2015. This happened just two days after the absolute bottom of the BTC price at $152.
The second time the Pi Cycle Bottom generated the same signal was on December 16, 2018. This happened just one day after the absolute bottom of the previous bear market at $3122.
We are currently approaching the third signal in history and another bearish crossing of the two moving averages (blue circle).
When will Bitcoin bottom out?
If the relationship between the intersection of the two moving averages and the bottom of the BTC price repeats itself in this cycle, Bitcoin could soon reach the bottom of this bear market. Currently, the 150 EMA has begun the sharp decline characteristic of the recent capitulation phase. A crossover is likely in the coming days.
Cryptocurrency market analyst @TheRealPlanC tweeted his own prediction of the date of the intersection and reaching a hypothetical bottom for Bitcoin. Based on the movement trajectory of the two curves, he estimated that the intersection will occur on July 9, 2022.
If this were to happen, then in exactly 15 days the Pi Cycle Bottom would generate a signal that very accurately indicated the bottom of the BTC price in the previous two iterations.
One step further went another analyst @el_crypto_prof, who combined the potential signal from the Pi Cycle Bottom with a fractal analysis of previous cycles. In his opinion, if a potential Bitcoin bottom were to happen in the near future, it would fit well with analogies between previous cycles.
In the chart above, we can see that for the entire period from April 2021, the analyst includes the post-ATH correction phase highlighted in red. It also includes the latest ATH at $69,000 reached on November 10. Although technically a higher BTC price was reached then, many technical and on-chain indicators suggest that it was already a bear market.
Perhaps this was also the reason why the Pi Cycle Top did not generate a proper signal. If this is true and the correction in the BTC market has been going on for more than a year, then indeed we can soon expect an end to the long-term decline. The Pi Cycle Bottom indicator is just an additional layer of confluence that may make this scenario more likely.
For BeInCrypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.
All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.
It seems NFT-themed Bored & Hungry restaurant no longer accepts crypto
The alleged removal is a bit strange considering Bored and Hungry only opened its doors back in April.
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The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that recently opened NFT-themed burger joint Bored & Hungry no longer accepts cryptocurrency as a form of payment for its food.
When questioned, one Bored & Hungry employee told the Los Angeles Times “Not today — I don’t know.” The individual didn’t give any indication of when the decision was made to cut crypto from the menu of payment options, nor did they know if crypto payments would be making a return.
Bored & Hungry initially launched back in April of this year. At the time, one worker told the Los Angeles Times that the majority of its customers didn’t seem to care about crypto payment options, also noting that customers were generally indifferent to “the restaurant’s fidelity to the crypto cause.”
Another Bored & Hungry restaurant patron told the Los Angeles Times “People want to hold onto their ethereum. They’re not gonna want to use it.” Customer Richard Rubalcaba said, “I don’t know how [crypto purchases] would work, with the crash.”
Many of the restaurant’s patrons stated that they are not hardcore crypto enthusiasts, and simply frequent the establishment for the food. Customer Jessica Perez said, “We rate this up there with In-N-Out, maybe even better.”
Changes to venue’s payment policies seem to fall in line with the overarching crypto and macro economical meltdown transpiring across the globe. But never fear, hungry crypto users! You can still visit Chipotle, which began accepting crypto payments earlier in June via Flexa. Several countries are facing relentless regulations and scrutiny and there are issues of contagion in the crypto market.
Cointelegraph reached out to Bored and Hungry owner Andy Nguyen for clarification on the restaurant’s crypto acceptance, but did not receive a response prior to publication.
When Will Bitcoin Bottom Out? Pi Cycle Bottom Says It Will Happen on July 9
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