Bitcoin vs DeFi: Which Was Most Profitable This Year?

Bitcoin vs Defi Which Was Most Profitable in 2019

Decentralized finance, or DeFi, has come a long way this year. Bitcoin has also made a remarkable recovery from the depths of crypto winter this time a year ago. But which one would be better for long term gains?


For the uninitiated DeFi is the system of staking crypto collateral in a decentralized smart contract governed lending network. It is a completely new way of approaching finance in a world where the current banking system is clearly crumbling.

A number of platforms have emerged and 2019 has seen explosive growth in the amount staked and the returns rewarded. Ethereum is the platform of choice for DeFi and Maker has the market cornered with over half of all assets locked in.

TokenAnalyst has taken a look at gains so far this year for both bitcoin and DeFi platforms. With $1,000 invested on January 1st, BTC would have yielded gains of 133% while hodling ETH would have made just 36%. DeFi platforms have offered considerably less.


The thing to note here is that bitcoin is highly speculative and extremely volatile. Therefore the investment risk is substantially higher, but so is the reward. DeFi platforms are not designed to be high risk investment vehicles, they are designed to replace banks offering greater returns, and for that they have succeeded.

Bitcoin has been around for a decade while DeFi is still in its first real year of growth. Since the beginning of the year the amount invested in DeFi has grown by 140% according to So taking those figures the decentralized finance ecosystem has grown more than bitcoin has this year.

bitcoin defi

There is currently $660 million locked in DeFi platforms and a record volume of ETH at 3.5 million. As the world plunges deeper into debt and interest rates fall into negative territory, people are going to be looking for alternative forms of investment.

Locking digital assets up in a secure DeFi smart contract typically yields between 5 and 20 percent. Considering that Ethereum is the backbone for the entire ecosystem at the moment, further growth will also result in greater demand for ETH so earnings could be twofold.

Bitcoin will always be viewed as the store of value, or digital gold, while Ethereum and DeFi appear to be shaping up as the future of decentralized internet money. The world is on the cusp of a massive paradigm shift when it comes to financial systems and the future clearly needs to be decentralized, as the current system is clearly flawed.

Will DeFi continue to grow as the banking system collapses? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @thetokenanalyst, chart by Defi Pulse

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FED Prints 12.7 Million Bitcoin Worth as Repo Bailout Intensifies

bitcoin will finish federal reserve system

The financial dominoes are stacked and seem ready to fall. US Federal Reserve banking bailouts are intensifying as the central bank adds the equivalent of 12.7 million bitcoin to the financial system this week.


The New York FED added a whopping $111.9 billion to financial markets this week which is the equivalent of 12.7 million BTC. According to the WSJ, the intervention came in two parts; overnight repurchase agreements totaling $76.9 billion, and a 14 day repo totaling $34.9 billion.

Crypto industry observer ‘Rhythm Trader’ didn’t miss the irony;

The Federal Reserve had to loan banks the equivalent of 12,700,000 bitcoin last night to stabilize the financial system.

These repo interventions take in Treasury and mortgage securities from banks in what is effectively a short-term loan of central bank cash, collateralized by the bonds. The aim is to ensure that the financial system has enough liquidity and that short-term borrowing rates remain under control.

The report added that the FED is also buying Treasury bills to increase the size of its balance sheet and to add permanent liquidity to the financial system. These repurchase agreements have been going on this year since the financial system started springing leaks in September.

The situation arises when piles of cash and pools of securities meet, resulting in more than $3 trillion in debt being financed each day. The banks are clearly running low on cash reserves and the current repo market mess is a sign that the banking system lacks the buffers needed in times of turmoil. They’re relying on the FED to keep printing money to bail them out.

There is additional conflict between the central bank and the POTUS who is still angling for negative interest rates. According to Reuters, FED chair Jerome Powell told congress that negative interest rates sought by President Trump are not appropriate for the US economy. The FED has cut rates three times already this year.

Hawkish signals from the US central bank caused safe haven assets such as gold to inch down this week. Since the beginning of the month, the precious metal has lost 3% and from its 2019 high it is down 6%. Bitcoin has followed suit with a slide of over 5% since this time last week.

The longer term outlook for both assets is much brighter, especially if the leaks in the US economy are not repaired. Increasing inflation and decreasing dollar values will emphasize how important it is to diversify, and how crucial stores of wealth will be when the monetary walls come tumbling down.

Will people flock to bitcoin in the next financial crisis? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @Rhythmtrader

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Does Big Drop of Major Bitcoin Mining Firm’s US IPO Valuation Show Declining Crypto Sentiment?

Crypto market sentiment can be gauged by a number of different factors. In 2018 global regulators stomped all over ICOs which pretty much ended the altcoin run but this year it could be Bitcoin mining giants that signal a waning of interest.

Bitcoin Mining Giant Drops IPO Valuation

A few hours ago it was reported that Canaan Creative has reduced its expected IPO valuation to $100 million. Previous estimates were in the $200-$300 million range to this could be a signal that crypto market sentiment is cooling.

Industry insider Dovey Wan seems to think it does adding the ‘rekt alert’ tag to her post. The Chinese Bitcoin mining giant plans to launch its initial public offering later this month.

According to the official announcement the Hangzhou based company plans to raise $100 million by offering 10 million ADSs at a price range of $9 to $11. An American depositary share (ADS) is a USD denominated equity share of a foreign-based company available for purchase on an American stock exchange.

The announcement continued;

“At the midpoint of the proposed range, Canaan would command a fully diluted market value of $1.6 billion and an enterprise value of $1.4 billion.”

The valuation is way down from previous filings of $400 million in October and as much as $1.5 billion last year. Citi, China Renaissance and CMB International Capital are the joint bookrunners on the deal while Credit Suisse has been removed as lead bookrunner.

Canaan has plans to be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker CAN, which would make it the first Chinese company to be publicly traded in the US. This is a large enough milestone regardless of the underwhelming valuation.

Crypto Sentiment Waning?

Crypto sentiment maybe waning in the US where regulators, bankers and politicians continue to stomp all over the industry with heavy boots but elsewhere it is still booming. Facebook has been largely responsible for this with its pugnacious plans to dominate the world’s finances through crypto.

China has been leading the headlines this month as it presses ahead with its blockchain drive. Venture capital, which is down on previous years, is slowly flowing back into the crypto ecosystem in the People’s Republic boosting home grown projects. Even state media has started to run articles on Bitcoin and blockchain in efforts to educate the masses before Beijing launches its own digital currency.

Asia seems to be leading the way at the moment as crypto sentiment remains high in the region. Singapore has positioned itself as a blockchain hub hosting countless crypto conferences this year and Asian exchanges dominate the flows of digital assets.

Despite Canaan’s lower than expected IPO valuation, crypto sentiment still appears to be strong apart from in the US which is in danger of falling behind as the technology advances as many industry experts have pointed out.

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Weiss: Cardano (ADA) is ‘Clearly Superior’ to EOS Following Shelley Test

Back in 2017 when new and exciting crypto projects were emerging on the scene a shill here or there could make all the difference. Some called it market manipulation and in a way it was; an artificial pump to inflate prices which subsequently dumped again. Today’s scene is very different so there needs to be a lot more meat behind any bold claims.

Weiss: Cardano Beats EOS

In a recent tweet, Weiss Crypto Ratings has pumped Cardano today causing a heated reaction as crypto tribalism bears its teeth. There was very little in the way of explanation for the shill in that particular tweet other than the promise of further details.

“Cardano is clearly superior to EOS. EOS was first to market, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that of the two, Cardano is vastly superior. More details on this in subsequent tweets.”

Naturally the argument between supporters of rival blockchain projects heated up with the digital mud being slung back and forth. Some of the responses were discrediting Weiss for posting such a blatant shill without backing it up.

“This implies no more than proof of Weiss’ decreasing credibility” … “First and last point. They pay you more to get shilled” … “So this white paper vs live product you do this comparison ? No basis for these claims”

In terms of technology Cardano is a layered smart contract and dApp platform that calls itself third generation. The first layer is a settlement layer that is responsible for handling cryptocurrency transactions using the native ADA token while the second layer handles the computing of smart contracts. It uses a proprietary modular proof of stake consensus algorithm known as Ouroboros.

It is still very early days for Cardano which has yet to garner any of the dApp usage that rivals EOS, Ethereum or Tron enjoys. However, the reasoning for the endorsement became clear in a second tweet from the respected ratings agency which mentioned the recent Shelly testnest snapshot.

“Cardano completed the 1st snapshot and balance check for its incentivized Shelley testnet. This latest step toward staking will allow investors to earn rewards on their $ADA for the 1st time.”

IOHK boss Charles Hoskinson detailed the update in a recent video which explains how Cardano development is coming along on the path to decentralization. According to the official portal, Shelly is a test environment where ADA users and developers can experiment with stake pools and help build up a collection of pools on Cardano.

Cardano is not the only platform to allow staking rewards. Last week Coinbase enabled seamless Tezos staking by offering rewards for XTZ stored on the exchange. Ethereum is also in the process of switching to proof of stake consensus but considering the size and complexity of the network the transition is likely to take a lot longer than one that is barely used.

At the time of writing there was no reaction for ADA prices which were still flat on the floor as the token slides further down the market cap chart.

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Why 99% Of All Crypto Assets Are Not Investment Worthy

99% of crypto are dead

There are many factors when determining what makes a good investment in the crypto market. Liquidity is one, whether day trading or looking for longer term gains. Recent findings however reveal that only a very few cryptocurrencies have any measurable liquidity.

Only 40 Crypto Assets Have Significant Volume

Back in 2017 when the crypto bubble was inflating like the early universe, investors were advised to look at the whitepaper, the team, the project, and the technology before parting with any cash. Today it is a very different scene, as nearly all of the altcoins have collapsed in price regardless of the team or technology.

This massive contraction, which was largely caused by a regulatory crackdown on ICOs and the bursting of an immature speculatory bubble, has left very few survivors. A different set of criteria has emerged in 2019 for what makes something investment worth, and liquidity plays a big part.

For an asset to be tradable it needs to have daily volume. One that does nothing means that nobody is interested in buying or selling it. Coinmarketcap lists almost 4,800 cryptocurrencies though 99% are completely illiquid.

Crypto industry analyst Willy Woo has pulled some charts showing which ones have the most volume and which altcoins are pretty much dead.

“Coinmarketcap lists 4978 coins. Here’s the top 50 by volume. Below the top 40 doesn’t even register i.e. 4938 coins are illiquid.”

That figure effectively equates to 99% of all the cryptos listed on CMC. Many of them are dead coins with no recent development updates or ongoing work on their respective projects. Some, however, are still soldiering on with updates and blockchain development yet nobody wants to trade them.

The lack of an altseason could be the primary reason. But there are several altcoins that were once top ten contenders in terms of market capitalization, and have now fallen down the chart into digital obscurity.

There is the premise that very few of these projects even existed three years ago as pointed out by Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees. Back then CMC only listed 652 crypto assets so the number has grown by 660% in just three years. Additionally six of the top ten in November 2016 have been dumped down the chart today.

The Liquidity Kings

Back to the liquidity, Tether is the obvious top in terms of volume as it is the current stablecoin standard. Naturally bitcoin and Ethereum make up the next two, with Litecoin in fourth. LTC gets a lot of FUD but it has been a crypto stalwart for the past eight years while many have come and gone.

The rest of the top ten in terms of volume include EOS, BCH, XRP, Tron, NEO and ETC. The thirty below them have minor liquidity but the question remains; are any of the thousands of non-traded altcoins still worth investing in?

Will altcoin volumes surge again? Add your comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter @woonomic

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Anonymity in China’s Crypto Yuan is Bad News for US Lawmakers

china crypto anonymity

While the US drags its regulatory feet and gets bamboozled by bureaucracy, China forges ahead and could launch its own digital currency within a few months.

Crypto Yuan Nearing

According to a central bank official, China’s planned crypto yuan is not all about spying on its citizens. The world’s financial regulators are all casting eyes towards the red dragon as it gears up to be one of the first countries to launch a central bank-backed digital currency.

It has been widely expected that the officially named Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) will give Beijing full control over monetary flow and access to all of the associated personal information that comes with it.

However, head of the People’s Bank of China’s digital currency research institute, Mu Changchun, would like to retain some of that anonymity that citizens have with cash. In a highly uncharacteristic move at a conference in Singapore he stated;

“We know the demand from the general public is to keep anonymity by using paper money and coins … we will give those people who demand it anonymity in their transactions,”

According to reports, he added that there will still be the AML, counter-terrorism, and tax regulations in place as there are with fiat and the bank will still maintain control of the currency but … they would like some level of ‘controllable anonymity’.

“That is a balance we have to keep, and that is our goal. We are not seeking full control of the information of the general public.”

A Threat to the US?

Much of the fear, uncertainty, doubt, and even anger towards crypto this year has been brought about by Facebook. Zuckerberg and his billionaire buddies want their own controllable currency and the world has basically said ‘no way’.

According to MarketWatch, the billionaire social media boss went as far as saying that the imminent rise of a Chinese cryptocurrency could undermine overall dollar dominance of global trade and finance. He could be on to something. The additional anonymity that the PBoC is promising will be another major headache for US lawmakers and bankers.

The reason that crypto is so far behind in America stems from its galloping paranoia over money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing (which is mostly done in cash). Beijing has the same concerns but is willing to advance the technology in order to get a financial upper hand in a world that has been dominated by greenbacks for the past century.

Will China’s cryptocurrency threated dollar dominance? Add your thoughts below.

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Libra Crypto Crumbles as Facebook Launches Alternative Payments Platform

Most of the angst against the crypto industry this year has been instigated by one company. The major economies of the world have collectively given the bird to Facebook and its plans on crypto domination through its own centralized digital coin. The social media giant is now scrambling to launch an alternative payments platform.

Facebook Pay, Not Crypto

It was clear from the start; Facebook’s crypto ambitions were way too lofty considering its appalling track record. The simple lack of trust for the social media giant was enough for regulators and bankers across the globe to slam its Libra crypto project.

The result was a mass exodus of Libra Association partners including the payments heavyweights on which the company hinged its plans. Today Libra barely makes the news as the company appears to have moved on by launching an alternative payments platform.

According to a company blog post, Facebook Pay will be launched this week, starting in the US. The platform claims to provide people with a ‘convenient, secure and consistent payment experience’ across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

On first glance the Facebook Pay app is no different to PayPal or Alipay or any of the hundreds of payment apps out there. Users need to enable the app, when it gets rolled out to the masses, add a payment method which is usually a credit card, and use it to send or receive dollar payments.

There is no crypto currency or blockchain involved and the company included the reminder that this is not Libra;

“Facebook Pay is built on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships, and is separate from the Calibra wallet which will run on the Libra network.”

General Consul at Compound Finance, Jake Chervinsky, noted;

“Facebook Pay sounds an awful lot like an admission that Libra is dead in the water.”

The press release mentioned the words secure and security no less than seven times so it is clear that they know this is a major concern for Facebook users. The bottom line is that if the platform cannot be trusted with data, it shouldn’t be trusted with money whether it is crypto or any other payments platform.

China The New Threat

According to billionaire Zuckerberg, Libra is not the threat anyway. In his opinion, China’s proposed crypto yuan launch will do more damage to global finances and dollar domination.

According to MarketWatch the real challenge for US regulators is the imminent rise of a Chinese crypto currency which could undermine overall dollar dominance. This in addition to the fact that the FED is printing them unashamedly, and president Trump wants to devalue them even further, is another nail in the greenback coffin.

CNBC recently reported that China’s new Digital Currency Electronic Payment, or DCEP, could be launched within a few of months adding further fuel to the financial fire.

Image from Shutterstock

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How Will CME Bitcoin Options Launch In 2 Months Affect BTC Prices?

Many have asserted that the first time Bitcoin futures were launched, a planned market crash followed. The exchange that launched those futures back in late 2017 is gearing up for more institutional products in two months’ time so what impact will that have this time around?

CME Options Launch In January

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is expanding its institutional Bitcoin product lineup. According to a press release one of the world’s leading derivatives market places announced that, pending regulatory approval, options on its BTC futures contracts will be available for trading starting January 13, 2020 – just two months from today.

CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products, Tim McCourt, stated;

“Since the launch of our Bitcoin futures nearly two years ago, clients have expressed a growing interest in options as another way to hedge and trade in these markets. We have worked closely with clients and the industry to establish a robust and increasingly liquid underlying futures market here at CME Group, and we believe Bitcoin options will now offer our customers greater precision and flexibility to manage their risk.”

The Bitcoin futures market has shown strong growth since it was first introduced two years ago. The average daily volume of 6,500+ contracts in 2019 is equivalent to around 32,500 BTC. According to the release almost half of the trading volume is outside the US.

The primary difference between futures and options is that the contract holder is obligated to sell a futures contract on the expiry date. With options there is no obligation to sell the contract on expiry, giving greater flexibility which of course may impact market prices. Investopedia goes into more detail on the differences.

Impact on Bitcoin Prices

When the CME and CBOE launched Bitcoin futures contracts in December 2017, it was during the market peak. It was widely reported that the US government planned this to enable mass shorting of the asset which would burst the bubble. It was a resounding success, three months later Bitcoin had dumped 60%.

According to former CFTC chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, the Trump administration had this in mind all along;

“One of the untold stories of the past few years is that the CFTC, the Treasury, the SEC and the [National Economic Council] director at the time, Gary Cohn, believed that the launch of bitcoin futures would have the impact of popping the bitcoin bubble. And it worked.”

This time around the scene is very different, there has been no massive crypto hysteria, the crypto scene has matured and retail and institutional investment has steadily grown. Therefore there will be no huge incentive to short Bitcoin because it is not at its peak.

Options are more flexible than futures and, just as Bakkt will eventually do, it will increase liquidity for Bitcoin markets which will be bullish for long term prices.

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Is Ethereum DeFi the Answer to the Global Debt Crisis?

ethereum defi answer to global debt crisis

The economic and financial news this year has been grim to say the least. As central banks battle to keep their monetary systems afloat, global debt is skyrocketing to an unsustainable level. A massive paradigm shift is needed and Ethereum could be part of it.

Flawed Fiat = Galloping Debt

All signals are pointing to the premise that we are in the final cycle of the current financial and fiat based system which has rapidly become an unsustainable debt and credit bubble. Economists such as Bridge Water Associates founder, Ray Dalio, have been warning of an impending crisis and the collapse of global reserve currencies.

In a recent report, the billionaire hedge fund manager asserts that central banks are pushing newly printed money on to lenders while buying financial assets in a futile attempt to ramp up economic activity and inflation. Additionally they are depreciating interest rates to encourage more borrowing and spending, while discouraging saving.

In a related medium this week, the narrative that the fiat system is doomed has been continued. The end of the Bretton Woods System and the Gold Standard, turning the USD fiat currency in 1971, was when things started to go wrong. From being backed by the world’s largest gold reserve, the greenback was turned into a piece of paper backed by a centralized authority.

Since then, US national debt has skyrocketed to its current level of $23 trillion and is showing no signs of slowing down. The problem is not limited to America, as the world’s major economies have debts of as much as 70% of their GDP according to the Financial Times.

Enter Ethereum Based DeFi

A new open financial system based on Ethereum could well be part of this paradigm shift that the global financial system desperately needs. Decentralized finance (DeFi) is growing, according to the amount of ETH locked in DeFi is at record levels of 3.5 million. In USD, the figure is approaching its all-time high from July of $650 million. Last week the collateral based stablecoin Dai reached a record $100 million in market capitalization, a third of which was ETH.

Unlike altcoin prices, DeFi has seen explosive growth in 2019 and that is set to continue as global economic pressures intensify.

Ethereum is way more than just a dApp platform; it is the underlying backbone for an entirely new finance system. The following infographic from The Block shows the reach that the network already has, and DeFi is still in its infancy.

Ethereum DeFi

The world is on the cusp of a massive paradigm shift when it comes to financial systems and the future clearly needs to be decentralized if we are to avoid a return to bartering with cattle or cowrie shells.

Will Ethereum based DeFi change the future of finance? Add your thoughts below.

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Chinese E-Commerce Giant Alibaba Offers Free Bitcoin to US Shoppers

bitcoin alibaba

Yes, you did read that right. The company that refused to let its Chinese users buy bitcoin with Alipay has now teamed up with a New York-based BTC app to offer it for free on ‘Singles Day’.

Get Free Bitcoin on Singles Day

As part of a drive to motivate shoppers on China’s ‘Singles Day’ yesterday, e-commerce giant Alibaba has partnered will the bitcoin shopping app, Lolli. The unofficial holiday which falls on 11/11 is the Chinese equivalent of America’s Black Friday.

According to a company blog post Lolli users were able to earn 5% in bitcoin when they shop with partner Alibaba. The day is massively popular in China where its burgeoning younger generation and nouveau riche want to splash the cash to celebrate their solo status.

Lolli’s partnership with Alibaba, which recently warned against crypto payments in China, would allow US-based users who purchase on the Chinese platform to earn a cut in BTC. CEO and co-founder of Lolli, Alex Adelman, stated;

“I’m excited to partner with Alibaba on Singles Day and offer the opportunity to earn bitcoin back to its shoppers. This is a milestone partnership for Lolli as Alibaba is the largest retailer and e-commerce company in the world, launching on Single’s Day, the world’s largest shopping day of the year.”

The app works through a browser extension that notifies users when they’re browsing a partner’s online retail outlet. Lolli works with over 500 partners including big names such as Walmart, Groupon, Toms, Hilton, GAP, and

The official website claims that they are ‘on a mission to spread bitcoin to billions of people all around the world with the click of a button.’

Records Smashed in Shopping Frenzy

It is clear that Chinese and US-based platforms are trying to capitalize on one of the biggest shopping days in the year. According to CNBC Alibaba broke the Singles Day record with more than $38 billion in sales yesterday.

At the end of the 24-hour event, the gross merchandise value stood at 268.4 billion yuan, just under a 26% rise from the figure posted last year. Alibaba offered huge discounts on its global outlets but naturally, shoppers in China were not entitled to earn any bitcoin, even though state media has been trying to educate them on it.

Smartphones from Apple and Huawei were some of the top-selling items as online personalities took to the stage to tout their brands. There was a concern in China that sentiment for US brands may have fallen following the ongoing trade war but this was clearly not the case.

Maybe free bitcoin for Chinese users would have resulted in an even larger profit margin for Alibaba.

Did you go shopping on Singles Day? Add your comments below.

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Building a Future on Ethereum at Canadian Hackathon

A hackathon may sound like something conducted in a disused warehouse by a bunch of computer nerds trying to break into government websites. In reality it is the complete opposite; a gathering of whitehats and industry professionals sharing knowledge and innovating on current networks. A weekend Ethereum hackathon in Toronto, Canada produced some interesting developments as the ETH community continues to grow.

Ethereum Innovation Continues

Ethereum has no shortage of detractors and it gets more than its fair share of FUD. But the bottom line is that there are more developers working on the Ethereum network than any rival blockchain project and this has made it the global standard platform for dApps and smart contracts.

The leading minds in the cryptocurrency space joined over white hat 500 hackers from around the world over the weekend to collaborate on Ethereum based dApps. The Toronto based ETHWaterloo event is organized by the core ETHGlobal team and has been running since 2017.

Prizes were awarded for innovation and 65 projects were submitted over the weekend which brought total hackathon projects to more than 1,000. The most famous dApp ever to emerge from the hackathon was ‘CryptoKitties’ which overwhelmed the network in late 2017.

A recent post by Camila Russo’s ‘The Defiant’ has taken a deeper look into some of the developments and cool things that were built on Ethereum at the event. Previous collaborations have focused on DeFi which is seeing monumental growth this year however this event’s attention was geared towards smart wallets, messaging and gaming.

There were five winners at the event and the first was a concept which turned Google Sheets into an Ethereum wallet. Dubbed ‘Sheetcoin’ (which could have other connotations), the platform allows users to send ERC-20 tokens to a Gmail account. Essentially a Google Sheets sidechain has been strapped on to Ethereum making it ridiculously easy to use.

Another project used Ethereum to prevent spam voice calls, SIM swapping and telecoms providers selling personal data. Eth P2P VOIP uses a token based system that enables users to allow or block calls by placing a price on them that the caller has to pay if not on a whitelist.

A DeFi custody wallet was also developed which, using Metamask, can interact with any dApp. This one if developed further could help simplify DeFi and accelerate its adoption.

Another MetaMask based dApp called Connexion allows users to instant message using their ENS names (Ethereum based domain names). Messages can be sent and received directly on the blockchain without needing third party apps that eat your data such as Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Skype or Apple’s Facetime.

A similar system for notifications was also showcased. Wallet Notify sends push notifications to Ethereum addresses for things such as smart contract expiry, loan liquidations, governance votes etc.

As the Ethereum community grows, more of these hackathons will be scheduled. ETHGlobal already has plans for an online DeFi event early next year.

Ethereum is shaping up to be the future of finance. Watch this space!

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Could Cash Restrictions in Malaysia Boost Crypto Usage

Malaysia has joined a growing list of nations imposing capital controls on their people. Economic and geopolitical tensions are forcing governments to restrict the flow of money across their borders. As this is practically a form of financial subjugation, will more turn to crypto?

Crypto Over Cash Controls?

It was reported by local media this week that Malaysia’s central bank is planning to impose a cash transaction limit of RM25,000 (approx. $US6,000). Bank Negara (BNM) deputy governor and chairman of the National Coordination Committee to Counter Money Laundering (NCC), Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour, said that the measure was to address the abuse of physical cash used for illicit activities.

The restrictions will apply to all cash transactions including payments of goods and services and donations and transfers between parties and businesses. There are a couple of exemptions however including transactions to and from regulated financial institutions and humanitarian aid donations.

The banker asserted that it would not affect households since, according to their very small survey, 80 percent of them are of low and middle income with average cash transactions well below the limit.

“Our engagements with individuals suggested that a single transaction over RM25,000 by cash is really (unprecedented). This can also be seen with the average total expenditure of households across various income brackets.”

He added that the two-fold objectives of the cash embargo were to complement the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism framework in Malaysia and send a message that anonymous transactions will not be tolerated.

As another nation stomps on the rights of its people, the use of crypto currency may get a boost as a result. It has already been suggested that Bitcoin and crypto usage could spike as it has done in other countries that have imposed capital controls.

No Bitcoin Rush Just Yet

According to which has measured localbitcoins volume in MYR, there has been no increased activity yet which doesn’t mirror the yo-yoing of BTC price over the past couple of years.


LBC vol MYR –

A Reddit on the topic generated a response from a Malaysian in the crypto industry who suggested it may not cause a big Bitcoin rush. Reasoning would be that individuals can still use large amounts of cash providing they inform the bank the purpose of the transfer. This system is in place in many other countries already.

He added that there were many migrant workers in Malaysia that exclusively use cash and it has yet to develop the digital payments systems that are abundant in China. Additionally, crypto usage for payments is also very low there;

“I have yet to stumble on a place that accepts cryptos. And I’m living in the city. Most crypto fans here are probably like me too – more interested in the speculation and trading part although we know quite a bit about the technology too.”

So initially it does not look to be happening though the pattern of regime enforced capital controls is increasing across the world.

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Do Bitcoin Miners Influence BTC Price Action?

bitcoin miner driving btc price

Recent research has taken a closer look into bitcoin prices and miner flows to crypto exchanges. There have been clear spikes as expected when larger mining pools liquidate but the correlation is not as strong as many would expect. This would suggest there is more hodling going on this year.

Do Bitcoin Mining Pools Impact Prices?

Naturally, when a large quantity of any asset enters the markets, its prices are going to be affected. According to TokenAnalyst, there have been clear correlations between mining pool flow to exchanges and bitcoin prices.

The findings also suggest that some mining pools have chosen to liquidate over the counter as opposed to exchanges this year. This would get them a better rate without the spreads and commissions but may skew the results of studies such as this one.

“Antpool hasn’t sent anything to exchanges in 2019, which would seem to indicate that all their liquidations have been OTC.”

Industry observer ‘Ceteris Paribus’ who delved deeper into the data noted that either bitcoin miners are holding on to more of their stash this year or it is being increasingly sold OTC. Huobi is also the top exchange by far for those using that method and Asian exchanges generally dominate.

“However, looks like more is moving OTC (or miners holding more) in 2019 … With ~657,000 mined per year, (ex. tx fees) leaves ~270,000 for these pools. Of that, 2019 is on pace for ~8,500 sold through exchanges (3% of mined).”

From these figures, it is not possible to conclude directly that mining pools dictate bitcoin prices.

Further research from concurs that in recent instances the interaction between bitcoin miners and exchanges was not significant enough to influence price movements on a large scale.

“As we were curious to find any support to commonly held belief that BTC price action is driven by miners’ behavior, the actual data in fact has revealed the correlation is not statistically significant.”

Interestingly, also concurring with the TokenAnalyst findings, the aggregate balance held by bitcoin miners has increased which implies that they have been hodling through 2019.

“We have also estimated the mining pools’ aggregate balance – the difference between bitcoin production and transfers to exchanges. The chart indicates a strong growth in mining pools reserves despite dramatic price movements in bitcoin.”

As in the past, mining pools will try to time markets to maximize their profits. With bitcoin prices currently, 35% down from this year’s high, the stashing mentality is likely to continue until the pre-halving run which is expected in Q1 2020.

Do you think miners directly influence bitcoin prices? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @ceterispar1bus

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Novogratz: America Will Be Left Behind Without Transition to Crypto

It is clear to see that momentum in the crypto industry is all coming from China at the moment. While the US is still fumbling with regulatory uncertainty, the red dragon is forging ahead with its own crypto and blockchain plans for a digital future.

Get Into Crypto or Lose Out

The US is in danger of falling behind as the race for crypto and digital supremacy heats up. A number of nations, mostly in Asia, have started research and development on their own central bank cryptocurrencies. The US meanwhile is in danger of getting left behind if it refuses to transition to the digital world.

Galaxy Digital founder and hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz stated that the US will lose the crypto and fintech race, and with it the reserve currency status;

“And if we don’t transition to a digital world that will change. We are way behind on a crypto USD.  China is coming. And coming fast. They are way ahead in fintech. Their President just publicly claimed his support to all things blockchain. We risk losing our reserve status”

Morgan Creek co-founder Anthony Pompliano added that future portfolios will be completely digital.

“In the future, portfolios will be 100% digital assets. Investors will have the same asset allocations, but they’ll hold digital stocks, digital bonds, digital currencies, and digital commodities.”

Blockchain and crypto momentum is all coming from China at the moment. The bullish signals were catalyzed by President Xi’s public endorsement of the technology a couple of weeks ago which caused a massive surge in BTC and crypto markets.

Just today Chinese state media headlined an article explaining Bitcoin to the masses. This is a major move from a regime that has been trying to quash all crypto trading and activity within its borders for the past two years.

Last week crypto mining was removed from an official list of industries that China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) intended to crack down on. Recent research also indicates that Asian exchanges are dominating crypto asset flows as the region shapes up as the industry leader.

Dollar Destruction

China’s dominance is just one aspect of how the US is falling behind. With its own economic woes such as galloping national debt, currently over $23 trillion and rising, and devaluation of the dollar, things are going from bad to worse.

The current banking system is completely unsustainable with the FED printing more money to bail out banks and encourage more borrowing and spending rather than saving.

With a president that advocates negative interest rates and a deepening debt crisis the dollar is only going one way. A crypto USD may be a lifeline to keep the currency afloat and stay in the game before China and the rest of the world race ahead leaving America in the digital dust.

Image from Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Headlines to Millions in Chinese State Daily

bitcoin china headlines

This morning bitcoin was making the headlines in a Chinese state newspaper as the bullish momentum gathers pace in Beijing’s blockchain drive.

Bitcoin On The Front Page

Reports are circulating on crypto twitter that Monday’s edition of the official state-run publication of the People’s Republic of China, Xinhua, featured an article titled ‘Bitcoin: The First Successful Application of Blockchain Technology.’

The article was first noticed by Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham who posted it;

The piece was not all full of compliments however and opened with this line according to a translation:

“First of all, Bitcoin is not a tangible currency. It is produced and operated on the Internet … [Unlike] banknotes [which are] supported by national laws and sovereign credit, Bitcoin is completely born in the modern technology Internet era.”

This was to be expected from a regime that strives its hardest to discourage its population from dabbling in digital assets. Nevertheless, bitcoin featuring on the front page of state media could introduce the concept to millions of people.

The report then details how blockchain works, while briefly touching on cryptography, consensus, mining, and halving. When listing characteristics the translated article states bitcoin has …

“Good anonymity, the identity of the account holder will not be known to anyone. People can freely transfer money through Bitcoin without having to verify various identity information like bank transfer,”

But then it countered this positive endorsement with a negative one claiming that BTC is most widely used for ‘black market’ and ‘darknet’ transactions. There were also veiled warnings about price fluctuations;

“The price of Bitcoin is subject to large fluctuations. Bitcoin is just a bunch of data. If it is not linked to real money and physical goods, it is difficult to ensure the stability of its price.”

While the caveats are still clear, China appears to be slowly warming to bitcoin. Just last week bitcoin mining was removed from an official list of industries that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) intended to crack down on.

The move was largely seen as bullish for the industry as was the very public endorsement of blockchain technology by president Xi Jinping a couple of weeks ago. Earlier this year one of China’s major banks posted an educational piece on how bitcoin works, and the state has even started to censor any negative content on blockchain.

Bejing’s blockchain drive is gathering pace and now bitcoin has made front-page headlines, and not all for the wrong reasons.

Will China’s official acknowledgment of BTC be bullish for markets and the industry? Add your comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @mg0314a

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Bitcoin Headlines to Millions in Chinese State Daily

bitcoin china headlines

This morning bitcoin was making the headlines in a Chinese state newspaper as the bullish momentum gathers pace in Beijing’s blockchain drive.

Bitcoin On The Front Page

Reports are circulating on crypto twitter that Monday’s edition of the official state-run publication of the People’s Republic of China, Xinhua, featured an article titled ‘Bitcoin: The First Successful Application of Blockchain Technology.’

The article was first noticed by Sino Global Capital CEO Matthew Graham who posted it;

The piece was not all full of compliments however and opened with this line according to a translation:

“First of all, Bitcoin is not a tangible currency. It is produced and operated on the Internet … [Unlike] banknotes [which are] supported by national laws and sovereign credit, Bitcoin is completely born in the modern technology Internet era.”

This was to be expected from a regime that strives its hardest to discourage its population from dabbling in digital assets. Nevertheless, bitcoin featuring on the front page of state media could introduce the concept to millions of people.

The report then details how blockchain works, while briefly touching on cryptography, consensus, mining, and halving. When listing characteristics the translated article states bitcoin has …

“Good anonymity, the identity of the account holder will not be known to anyone. People can freely transfer money through Bitcoin without having to verify various identity information like bank transfer,”

But then it countered this positive endorsement with a negative one claiming that BTC is most widely used for ‘black market’ and ‘darknet’ transactions. There were also veiled warnings about price fluctuations;

“The price of Bitcoin is subject to large fluctuations. Bitcoin is just a bunch of data. If it is not linked to real money and physical goods, it is difficult to ensure the stability of its price.”

While the caveats are still clear, China appears to be slowly warming to bitcoin. Just last week bitcoin mining was removed from an official list of industries that the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) intended to crack down on.

The move was largely seen as bullish for the industry as was the very public endorsement of blockchain technology by president Xi Jinping a couple of weeks ago. Earlier this year one of China’s major banks posted an educational piece on how bitcoin works, and the state has even started to censor any negative content on blockchain.

Bejing’s blockchain drive is gathering pace and now bitcoin has made front-page headlines, and not all for the wrong reasons.

Will China’s official acknowledgment of BTC be bullish for markets and the industry? Add your comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @mg0314a

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Bullish Sentiment Returns as Weekend Rally Adds $10 Billion to Crypto Markets

Just as things were starting to look bearish again and momentum was running thin a weekend rally has set the crypto bulls in motion once again. Positive sentiment has returned to the scene as talk of a ‘Santa rally’ gets bandied about and Bitcoin reclaims $9,000.

Crypto Bulls Back?

Following a Friday dump, Bitcoin spent most of the weekend lulling around the $8,800 level. Bearish sentiment started to creep in with analysts eyeing a further drop to $8,600 or lower. In late trading on Sunday things turned bullish as BTC powered back above $9k.

The single hourly candle tapped $9,150 on the 200 hour moving average before a slight pull back to $9,050. The 3% move has kept Bitcoin within its range bound channel again as analysts eye new triangle formations.

There may be a few more days of consolidation before the apex of this triangle which is likely to induce a larger move.

Trader and analyst ‘The Cryptomist’ has depicted a falling wedge but is bearish in the longer term with a prediction of a low to $7k.

 “Mentioned warning of the falling wedge earlier. We are now testing resistance of the wedge … After this bull momentum is over, I do expect 7.1k still,”

Industry stalwarts remain bullish however and even with short term bear attacks, BTC is set top post higher gains in the future. Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano was quick to point out Bitcoin returns this year;

“Bitcoin YTD: 145%
S&P 500 YTD: 23%
Bitcoin has returned 6x more than stocks to investors so far this year.”

Altcoins Still Moving

Altcoins are slowly strengthening also with more gains today. Since late Friday almost $10 billion has re-entered crypto markets as total cap hits $247 billion.


Total market cap 48 hours –

Ethereum is slowly creeping towards the $200 barrier and has gained 3% on the day to reach and hold $190. ETH market cap is back over $20 billion and further gains are looking likely as analysts remain bullish.

Ripple’s XRP token is getting left behind however and remains flat on the day just over $0.28. Last week’s Swell even did nothing for XRP prices which actually declined by almost 10%.

Bitcoin Cash is having a good run at the moment as a 4% gain takes prices to $295 while Litecoin is creeping up towards $65. Binance Coin is back over $20 again and BSV has added 3.5% to reach $135.

A couple of lower cap altcoins are having double digit gains at the moment and they include VeChain, DxChain and ODEM. In general there is much more green than red on the charts this morning as crypto assets build on last week’s gains.

Sentiment is generally bullish but the larger picture still shows consolidation from a downtrend that began in July. The question now is; will there be a big Santa rally for crypto assets.

Image from Shutterstock

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Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Set New Record Amid BTC Dump

bakkt bitcoin futures new record

What is bullish for some is bearish for others. Bakkt’s physically-settled bitcoin futures contracts continue to gather momentum but the asset itself has retreated back below $9,000 as the bears get back in the game.

Bitcoin Price Falls Through Support

Following a fortnight of range-bound trading in the mid-$9,000 zones, the anticipated downward move has finally arrived. In two swift moves a few hours ago, bitcoin price dumped through support to bounce off the $8,650 level before recovering back to the $8,800 mark where it currently trades according to


BTC prices 1 hour –

Bearish sentiment had been gathering all week as BTC weakened further and showed no signs of being able to break through resistance. A buildup of outflow from crypto exchanges coupled with bearish on-chain metrics as reported by Bitcoinist would only result in one outcome.

Serial bitcoin basher Peter Schiff couldn’t wait to share his glee at the 4% slide

“It looks like the #Bitcoin pump is finally over. Get ready for the dump! … Keep dreaming. Bitcoin is never going to hit $100,000!”

It appears the gold bug has got out of the wrong side of the bed again as his own precious metal has also dumped this week following an easing of trade tensions between China and the US. The geopolitical development may have weakened the safe haven narrative slightly as both bitcoin and gold have slid this week.

There was of course no shortage of amusing responses to the bitcoin bear;

Looking at future short term moves there is support at $8,600 and again at $8,250 while on the upside resistance lies around the $9,150 level.

Total market capitalization has declined by around $10 billion as altcoins follow their leader like the digital lemmings that they are.

Bakkt Action Ramping Up

While the bitcoin bears were roaring the Bakkt bulls galvanized in action as record trading activity was observed on the platform yesterday.

These positions have been building as institutional investors set up long contracts on BTC. Today’s minor decline is insignificant in the long run as the asset is still up 130% since the beginning of the year. Skew markets pointed out that open interest has doubled this week;

There has also been heavy activity on CME futures markets which has seen big volumes for November. Today’s dip is a mere blip in the grand scheme of things. Institutions are showing greater interest, China has turned bullish on blockchain, world banks are getting bailed out by money printing governments, and BTC halving is only six months or so away.

Will bitcoin price head further south or remain range-bound at current levels? Add your comments below.

Images via Shutterstock, BTC/USD charts via TradingView, Twitter: @PeterSchiff, @Bakkt, @BTC_Macro, @skewdotcom

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Why Dai Growing to Record High Indicates Positive Ethereum Growth

In a world plagued by banking bailouts, galloping debt and currency devaluations, a solution is needed. Enter decentralized finance, or DeFi, the future of banking where you are the bank. Ethereum is the platform of choice for DeFi, the Dai stablecoin is hitting new highs, and Maker is moving.

Future Finance Based on Ethereum

Dai is a dollar pegged stablecoin from the Maker Decentralized Autonomous Organization. Unlike traditional stablecoins such as Tether, it is not actually backed by dollars in a vault but collateral which causes its supply to fluctuate.

Tether has massive trust issues as it can be minted at will with no proof of backing aside from their word. Dai only increases when the collateral staked on the network increases and most of that collateral is Ethereum.

As DeFi grows, the amount of Ethereum locked in the system also increases which is why a record high for Dai is also positive for ETH.

According to there is currently over $650 million locked in DeFi. It too is approaching its all-time high of $685 million which occurred in June this year.

There is also a record amount of Ethereum at 2.42 million, or 2.2% of the entire supply locked in DeFi. The site also reports that there is $30 million worth of Dai stored in DeFi which is almost a third of its supply now that it has reached the milestone $100 million.

Maker’s lending platform is the current market leader with almost a 53% share. MKR has been one of the best performing crypto assets this month with a gain of over 26% in just over a week.

It is likely that Maker will continue to gain as the launch of a highly anticipated multi-collateral Dai (MCD) nears. The MCD will allow more tokens to be staked as collateral in the system, it also includes Dai Savings Rate which gives the option to earn savings simply by holding Dai.

When ETH Moon?

The DeFi charts are all clearly bullish yet Ethereum still slumbers. If 2017 was the year crypto boomed, 2019 is the year DeFi hits the scene. Since gains are more sedate, but far superior to anything a bank can offer, the growth is likely to be slow and steady rather than one huge speculation bubble.

Ethereum has a lot of technical hurdles ahead for the network as it migrates to proof of stake. In addition to DeFi, this will provide another way to earn passive income by staking 32 ETH.

Bitcoin maybe a store of wealth but Ethereum is shaping up to be the future of finance, so lending platforms such as Maker with the Dai stablecoin are expected to see a lot of steady growth as monetary systems evolve.

New generations of investors will not be too confident with banks given their track record. So a decentralized solution with people in full control of their own finances is exactly what is needed.

Image from Shutterstock

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Asian Bitcoin Exchanges Dominate BTC Flow as Tether Slams Manipulation FUD

asian bitcoin exchange dominate btc flow

Asia has always been at the forefront of the bitcoin and crypto trading. The US has been too busy tripping over its regulatory feet to keep up this year while the nations of the Far East forge ahead. Recent research has revealed that Asian exchanges are also dominating in terms of BTC flow.

Binance and Huobi Leading Bitcoin Flow

Research recently carried out by TokenAnalyst indicates that Binance and Huobi are clearly leading in terms of Bitcoin transactions and flows. Technically Binance is headquartered in Malta but the exchange was born in Asia and its CEO is Asian so for argument’s sake we’ll consider it an Asian exchange.

Likewise with Huobi which is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, founded in China. According to the research, Huobi wallets sent the most Bitcoin to Binance wallets in 2019. Interestingly the reverse was the second-largest flow.

“But also on the flip side, the second largest exchange ‘interflow’ in 2019 was the inverse, i.e Binance to Huobi,”

These two exchanges have clearly dominated outflow and inflow so far this year handling over double the volume. Third place for outflow was US-based Bitfinex with over 210,000 BTC while Hong Kong-headquartered BitMEX was fourth with 165,000 BTC outflow.

For inflow Binance was again the clear leader with 544,000 BTC followed by Huobi with 247,000 BTC. Kraken came third with 237,000 BTC inflow.

It would have been interesting to see how Coinbase compared but the data was not available. Other Asian heavyweights were omitted from the results, such as Bithumb, Upbit and OKEx but it is still clear that Asian exchanges are dominant in this area.

Tether Responds to Whale Pump Claim

In a related crypto exchange development, Bitfinex has just published a response to what it terms a ‘flawed paper’ by Griffin and Shams. A few days ago Bitcoinist reported on the assertion by the two academics that the 2017 Bitcoin rally was caused by a single entity on Bitfinex. The theory accuses Tether of minting new stablecoins without being fully backed while BTC purchases using USDT kept pumping on the US exchange.

Tether responded yesterday stating that the authors did not have a complete dataset and their argument is flawed.

“This critical lack of information means they are unable to establish a valid sequence of events through which the alleged manipulation could have happened.”

It also claims that the authors do not reference any data disputing that Tether has sufficient reserves to back up USDT in circulation, though it has not proved otherwise itself. Just a statement that reads;

“All Tether tokens are fully backed by reserves and are issued pursuant to market demand, and not for the purpose of controlling the pricing of crypto assets.”

Tether and Bitfinex are likely to be in the spotlight for years to come, or at least until USDT dominance drops and other stablecoins get a larger share of the market.

Share your views on Tether’s claims below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @thetokenanalyst

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Maker (MKR) Moving on Multi-Collateral Dai Launch, Will Ethereum Follow?

Decentralized finance is making the media more often as concern grows over another global banking crisis. Ethereum is at the forefront of DeFi platforms at the moment and Maker is the market leader with over 50% share. The launch of a new multi-collateral Dai could send both higher.

Ethereum Based DeFi Evolves

Maker has a fair few accolades going for it. It is by far the most successful Ethereum based money protocol. According to Maker accounts for over half of the $650 million locked in DeFi. As much as 2% of the total supply of Ethereum is also locked in on the platform and over 2.4 million ETH is locked in DeFi in total.

Just this week Dai hit a $100 million supply for the first time as DeFi gathers steam in a world where banks cannot be trusted. The multi-collateral Dai (MCD) is nearing launch date and this is definitely causing Maker (MKR) to pump at the moment.

MakerDAO is the organization behind the Dai stablecoin and its accompanying decentralized credit system. Dai is dollar pegged but not dollar backed. It is more valuable because it derives its worth from pledged collateral. The supply is dynamic because it is created and destroyed based on loans made relative to that collateral. It is the backbone of the DeFi system of Ethereum blockchain and smart contract based lending.

In a detailed report the Maker Foundation’s Gregory Di Prisco explains the evolution of the multi-collateral Dai which will allow more tokens to be used as collateral. The last month’s DevCon 5 in Osaka, Japan, CEO of the Maker Foundation, Rune Christensen, revealed that the MCD is ready to launch on November 18, just ten days away now.

It will mark a huge milestone reached for the MakerDAO project and a turning point that will have a strong impact on the future of DeFi. The MCD will include a highly anticipated Dai Savings Rate (DSR) which gives the option to earn savings simply by holding Dai.

The blog went on to add;

“Multi-Collateral Dai represents a tool in the DeFi toolbox that can help harness the power of money to solve global problems. Because of DeFi’s reliance on transparent, honest collaboration, even the most extreme global financial inequality might one day become a thing of the past.”

Maker On The Move

As the MCD launch date nears Maker prices have started to move. MKR is today’s top performing crypto asset surging 15% in the past 24 hours.


MKR prices 24 hours –

MKR shifted from $575 to top out above $680 as volume lifted from $5 to $7 million. Since this time last week, Maker is up 25% making it one of the top performing altcoins at the moment.

Momentum is likely to continue as the MCD launches and DeFi picks up pace. Ethereum will only follow in time as it becomes the standard monetary platform of the future.

Image from Shutterstock

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Instead of ‘Swelling’, Ripple’s XRP is ‘Selling Hard’, But Why?

ripple xrp dumping hard

Ripple’s Swell conference usually provides good bullish momentum for its native token XRP. The annual gathering of company bigwigs, bankers and academics provide an opportunity to ‘big up’ the product, but that is not being reflected in its crypto prices today.

Highlights From Ripple Event

Company executives and industry experts have gathered in Singapore this week for the Swell event from November 7 – 8. In a press release earlier this week the San Francisco based fin-tech firm announced that it had surpassed 300 customers and seen a tenfold year on year increase in transactions on RippleNet.

The event is usually used by company bosses and Ripple advocates to deliver future plans for the payments network. Earlier this week CEO Brad Garlinghouse spoke to Forbes before the event kicked off stating;

As we kick off the conference, we’re really pleased with all the momentum. There are strong network effects: the more customers you have on the network, the more value in joining the network.

He also told Bloomberg that 99% of the crypto assets out there that are trying to solve similar problems will probably go to zero. Or course, his own centralized crypto asset will not be among them so he doesn’t think about its price in the short term.

On the opening day of Swell senior director of product, Ginger Baker hosted a panel of On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) customers. ODL, which was announced at last year’s conference, leverages XRP as a bridge currency to eliminate the need for pre-funding in cross border payments.

There was a lot of talk about the expansion of the network and onboarding new customers in addition to presentations from some of the firm’s partners. The usual flashy ostentation was in abundance but no major announcements emerged from day one.

XRP Not Swelling

The lead up to the conference has been quite bullish for XRP which has gained almost 15% over the past month. The ‘XRP Army’ on crypto twitter has been hyping the event for weeks however their efforts have been in vain as the token slumped on day one.

Following a brief pump to top out just over $0.31 XRP plunged 11% as it wicked out at $0.275 yesterday. A slight recovery has left the Ripple token trading just above $0.28 at the time of writing, but it appears a fresh dump has just begun and the token is selling hard.

Ripple XRP

XRP prices 1 hour –

Maybe the XRP Army was expecting bigger things from day one of Swell, and maybe the will come on day two, at the moment though that looks unlikely.

Will XRP get a boost from the second day of the Ripple conference? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, XRP/USD charts via TradingView, Twitter: @Ripple, @AlexSaundersAU

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Will Bitcoin Follow Gold Prices Down as Trade Tensions Ease?

Trade tensions between the US and China appear to be easing as the two powerhouses come to agreement. The lifting of tariffs is good for economic stimulus but safe have assets such as gold are now starting to cool off, will Bitcoin follow suit?

US China Trade War Over?

Officials from both sides stated yesterday that tariffs could be rolled back as part of the first phase of a wider deal. Reuters reported that a timetable has yet to be set but both China and the US are in agreement that a trade deal can be made.

Experts have warned that there is still a lot of work to be done and the situation is fragile and can fall apart quickly. Optimism has returned to markets on the development as global stocks were boosted yesterday.

Not all assets have benefited from the easing of trade tensions however. Gold, after hitting a six year high in September has retreated. The safe haven narrative only appears to apply when economic pressures are escalated. Gold prices have retreated 5.3% since this year’s peak and have slumped almost 2.7% this week in a fall to $1,468/oz according to

Goldbug and undecided Bitcoin detractor, Peter Schiff, didn’t miss the opportunity to point out that the precious metal is still investment worthy.

“Gold is selling off on the prospects of the trade war ending.  But it’s not the trade war, but the war on savings waged by central banks that is behind gold’s rise. Future U.S. trade & budget deficits will now be larger than ever, making gold ownership more important than ever!”

Ok, so when it was a trade war, it was that causing gold’s increase, but now it is the FED dropping interest rates. Mr Schiff appears to be a little undecided at the moment so maybe he should look towards Bitcoin again.

It was pertinently pointed out further down the thread that precious metal prices are also susceptible to manipulation;

“Derivatives markets run precious metals pricing. JPM and many other bankster crooks caught numerous times rigging metals markets. It’s a farce with zero price discovery just like the equity and debt markets.”

Back in September it was widely reported that JP Morgan traders were accused by the DoJ of manipulating precious metal markets.

What About Bitcoin?

So, back to Bitcoin, will it follow gold prices and retreat also as the safe haven narrative loses steam? At the time of writing BTC is still consolidating in the low $9,000 range where it has been for the past two weeks.

Analysts remain on the fence as to Bitcoin’s next direction and technical signals are ambiguous.

One thing is for sure though, with the current banking/credit/debt crisis exacerbating, there will still be a huge need for a safe haven, be it Bitcoin or gold.

Image from Shutterstock

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Coinbase Tezos Pump Fires Up Spreads Across Crypto Exchanges

coinbase tezos xtz pump

Tezos price spiked sharply today after Coinbase announced staking rewards for XTZ. The token pumped so hard that huge spreads opened up between exchanges leading to arbitrage opportunities for savvy traders.

Crypto Exchange Pump Inbound

Late yesterday Coinbase announced that it was expanding access for Tezos staking. The offer of earning rewards for XTZ stored on the exchange was only available to US customers however. Coinbase will be staking the tokens on behalf of its users and distributing the rewards back into their wallets.

Staking is the next evolution of consensus which will let users earn income by participating directly into the network and blockchain. Coinbase added that staking Tezos via a delegated staking service can be confusing so it would be doing all of the leg work for its American clients.

The announcement added;

The current estimated annual return for Tezos staking on Coinbase is ~5%. You’ll see your pending rewards increase in real-time in the app, and once your initial holding period completes (35–40 days), you’ll receive rewards in your account every 3 days.

Clearly this beats pretty much anything that a bank can offer these days with many of them dropping interest rates into negative territory. Staking and decentralized finance (Defi) based on Ethereum could well be the future of finance as the world teeters on economic collapse.

Coinbase also offers an ‘Earn Tezos’ campaign which rewards users in XTC ‘simply by learning about the token and taking a few quizzes.’ The exchange is clearly working towards simplifying the process of buying and earning with crypto assets which is good for the industry as a whole.

Tezos Market Reaction

As expected XTZ prices surged on the news adding over 50% in a pump from $0.90 to top $1.40. Trade volume cranked from $13 million to over $60 million with Coinbase Pro taking a quarter of that volume.

Analyst and trader Alex Krüger noted that huge spreads between exchanges were forming as the crypto asset surged.

The spread on $XTZ between Coinbase and Bitfinex or Kraken has been over 20% for over an hour now. By the way, $XTZ is up 70% in Coinbase tonight. Just another day in crypto.

This would have provided some good arbitrage opportunities between the exchanges for canny traders that wanted to make a bit more than the 5% staking reward.

At the time of writing, Tezos prices had retreated to $1.15 as the FOMO starts to fade. The bigger picture though is no better than any other altcoin as XTC is down 90% from its all-time high as most of them still are.

Will Tezos become a top ten crypto asset? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @krugermacro

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Central Bank Survey: Canadian Crypto Awareness and Ownership Increasing

A lengthy survey into the awareness and usage of Bitcoin and crypto assets by Canada’s central bank has revealed impressive growth despite the recent bear market. The research also offers good insights as to what Canadian’s think of the crypto industry and what the future may hold for a cashless society.

Crypto Growth in Canada

The Bank of Canada Bitcoin Omnibus Survey (BTCOS) has been carried out over the past few years to ascertain trends in Canadians’ awareness, ownership and use of Bitcoin and other crypto assets. The in-depth research, which has recently been published, has followed the rise and fall of crypto markets and trends associated with it.

The central bank’s motives for carrying out the survey were to understand how its usage by Canadians could affect the financial system. The findings also help the bank, which has maintained its rates recently, with decisions on moving towards a cashless society and whether Canadians are ready for it yet.

The results found that between 2016 and 2018 the share of Canadians who were aware of Bitcoin increased from 62% to 89%. This is unsurprising since it was all over mainstream media during the surge in prices up to all-time high.

The crypto market pump also increased the number of Canadians buying Bitcoin as this rose from 3% to 5% during the period as speculation drove prices higher. The demographics were also unsurprising as those owning Bitcoin were largely university educated males aged 18 to 34. All demographics however showed an increase in awareness over the period as crypto assets made the headlines.

Hodl On Canada

Despite the massive bear market the survey revealed that Bitcoin ownership continued to increase in 2018. It added that 5 percent of Canadians owned Bitcoin in 2018, an increase from 4 percent in 2017 and 3 percent in 2016.

This indicates that Canadians, like their counterparts across the globe were accumulating during the crypto winter of 2018. Interestingly BTC ownership tripled among those aged 55 and older from 0.5 to 1.7 percent during the same period.

Disposable income also played a big part as ownership fell from 4.3 to 2.8 percent among those with household incomes below $30,000 while it increased from 4.3 to 7.0 percent among those with incomes above $70,000. This created an ownership gap that did not exist in previous years.

The report stated that its findings were similar to those in the US. In 2018 the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Survey of Consumer Expectations found that 85 percent of respondents had heard of crypto assets, while 5 percent owned them. In the UK however Bitcoin ownership was only 3% that year.

The research also noted that in 2017 the primary reason for owning Bitcoin was speculation while the following year BTC owners reported using it more often for buying goods and services or making person-to-person transfers.

So, in conclusion, crypto awareness and ownership in Canada has increase despite a massive market collapse in 2018. This bodes well for the future as those figures are likely to grow even more as a new bull phase begins.

Image from Shutterstock

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Will Ethereum Based DeFi Beat The Banks As Interest Rates Plummet?

Decentralized finance based on Ethereum could be the future of savings if banks continue to slash rates, punishing savers. There are more ways to make profits with cryptocurrencies than simply speculating on their prices and DeFi is emerging as a game changer for the future of finance.

Ethereum For Bank Beating Finance

Every week another bank around the world cuts its rates and many have now gone into negative territory. These efforts are taken to encourage spending and borrowing and discourage saving and earning interest as economies around the globe cool off and head for recession.

DeFi, or decentralized finance, is a way to lock up crypto assets securely via a smart contract and earn interest on them through lending platforms. According to over $650 million has been locked up and the figure is rising.

Since the beginning of the year the amount staked on DeFi platforms has doubled and that trend is expected to continue as the world’s economies contract and banks continue to punish their clients.

MakerDAO is the leading platform with a dominance of around 53% at the moment. According to a Defiant report borrowers are increasingly pulling Ethereum from other platforms and using it as collateral on MakerDAO instead.

Borrowing rates are also falling as MakerDAO beats other DeFi platfroms such as Compound Finance and dYdX. A further consequence of cheaper borrowing costs is that Dai supply is now at a record high of 100 million.

Borrowing and lending rates should continue to decline as DeFi grows as they are a result of increasing liquidity. The report added that this year the big selling point of DeFi has been the ability to earn double-digit interest on a dollar-linked assets anywhere in the world.

“That’s compelling to both developed-world users with near-zero returns on their savings accounts, and developing-world users with devaluing currencies and restricted access to dollars.”

DeFi rates are likely to remain higher than traditional finance for the foreseeable future due to the riskier nature of the investments. DeFi is also streets ahead of the banking system which today requires a ridiculous amount of personal and financial information from its clients, which verges on a violation of privacy.

To become the future of finance DeFi has to beat the banks and it is already doing so on returns and ease of use. With the users having custody of their own funds which are secured by smart contracts, banks appear pretty much redundant in comparison.

With the already well-established Ethereum as the primary platform there is a solid ground for a future free from centralized banks which have proved time and time again that they cannot be trusted.

As negative interest looms and fiat currencies are massively devalued, the financial system needs a revolutionary shake up for both savers and borrowers. Cutting out the middle man is what crypto is all about and DeFi does just that.

Image from Shutterstock

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Bitmain Power Struggle Heats Up as Co-Founder Wrestles For Control

bitmain power struggle

Chinese mining giant Bitmain is in the midst of a power struggle. Co-founder Micree Zhan who was ousted last week has returned with a vengeance asserting that he will use a legal team to regain control of the company.

Bitmain Battle Rages On

Last week’s news that Jihan Wu had taken control of the world’s largest bitcoin mining hardware supplier was music to the ears of Bitcoin Cash holders. Wu is a big proponent of BCH and the company reportedly hoarded a huge stash of it in 2017. He told employees not to engage his former partner as the spat intensified.

The ousted Micree Zhan who owns an estimated 36 percent stake in the company has not taken the move lying down. According to an open letter published on WeChat and sent to all Bitmain employees, Zhan described the move as a coup without consent.

Micree Zhan just sent a open letter to all Bitmain employees confirming that he was removed as the legal representative of the company without consent, and that he will take back control of the company through legal channels.

The letter distributed on Wednesday claims that Zhan was removed from the firm without any consent or prior knowledge, adding that he plans to resolve the issue through legal methods and the courts.

According to a translation of the letter, he wrote;

It was embarrassing that as a Bitmain co-founder, the biggest shareholder, and a registered legal representative, I got ousted without any knowledge in this coup while on a business trip. I didn’t realize until then that those scenes in TV shows, where you get stabbed on your back by those partners you trusted and ‘brothers’ you fought together with, can really happen in real life.

Industry insider Dovey Wan tweeted further translations, adding that it should be turned into a movie;

I feel really bad for Bitmain, such an ugly public fight is just cannibalistic. Ego is a person’s worst enemy.

Wan originally shared the correspondence between Wu and the rest of the company staff stating that Zhan was dismissed immediately and should no longer be acknowledged.

The power struggle at the world’s largest bitcoin mining manufacturer could have wider implications on the industry. Last week it was reported by Bitcoinist that Bitmain’s mining pools were starting to lag with Antpool and dropping in hash rates.

On the positive side, it could decentralize China’s heavy dominance in bitcoin mining.

Will the Bitmain battle adversely affect the industry? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @Excellion, @DoveyWan

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Will Microsoft’s Ethereum Token Onramp Make ETH Prices Surge?

microsoft ethereum onramp

There has been a lot of FUD around Ethereum lately and this is largely due to a very sluggish market in terms of price action. In terms of technology and adoption though progress is still being made and a massive endorsement from Microsoft may help that undervalued price move again.

Ethereum Token Creation Platform

It was reported this week that software giant Microsoft has created a platform for self-issuance of Ethereum based tokens. Forbes, which has been known for its fair share of FUD and misreporting when it comes to crypto, reported that Azure Blockchain Tokens went live for preview and testing.

The platform is aimed at enterprises and a few have already started minting their own tokens. At the moment users will have access to a permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain that uses the firm’s Azure cloud computing to reach a consensus on transactions.

However, in the future developers will be able to use Azure Blockchain Tokens on the public Ethereum blockchain which will provide a huge onramp for ETH users.

Trader ‘Crypto Cactus’ noted that this is pretty bullish for Ethereum as it is already the world’s dominant smart contract platform;

Yesterday Microsoft rolled out a service that will onramp users to $ETH. This will include, bonds, documents, currencies, inventory, licenses, loyalty points, smart contracts and more. Most undervalued project in crypto?

An increasing set of token-building templates that conform to the Token Taxonomy Initiative (TTI) will be available to enterprises. TTI is a standard initiative and enterprise consortium spearheaded by Marley‌ ‌Gray, the principal architect at the Azure Blockchain Tokens platform.

The platform is taking an unprecedented step in allowing competing protocols such as R3, IBM or AWS. Gray added;

We are creating a platform in the cloud where any token within the TTI framework can snap into place

Ethereum is currently the number one choice for those wanting a decentralized solution on a public blockchain. Any other tokens minted will be owned by the corporations that spawn them.

The Ethereum FUD has increased recently as the network approaches its largest and most significant upgrade from ETH 1.0 to 2.0 but the bottom line is that nothing else is really competing at the moment.

ETH Market Reaction

Ethereum prices have been steadily climbing this week and hit a high of $190 a few hours ago. The gain marks an increase of over 5% on the day and its highest level for a week.


Momentum is still lacking though and nothing is going to happen until ETH breaks the psychological $200 barrier. The Microsoft news has had no real impact on short term Ethereum prices, but it has been one huge endorsement for the network which has bigger things to come next year.

Will Ethereum price top $200 this week? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Shutterstock, ETH/USD charts by TradingView, Twitter: @TheCryptoCactus

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Ron Paul: Protecting Wealth in The Next Crash Will Involve Buying Crypto

A lot of attention has been turned to the banking system this year as it battles to keep the economy afloat. The repo market is a huge red flag in the US, yet the government remains staunch in its policies on regulating the crypto industry. Ex-congressman and crypto stalwart Ron Paul has been talking about the future and it is not a pretty picture.

Crypto Could be The Answer

Host Naomi Brockwell sat down with the former congressman at the recent Litecoin summit to get his take on the ongoing battle between government and the crypto industry. In the NBTV interview, Dr Paul kicked off by stating that the government has a responsibility and has been messing up causing the depressions and recessions.

He continued stating that competition is healthy and decentralized digital assets provide that. There is a large responsibility to protect people’s wealth which banks are failing to do due to the massive flaws in the current financial system.

Brockwell acknowledged that Ron Paul was one of the first to attempt to educate people about monetary policy and the actions of the FED, before crypto even really existed. He continued adding that so many more people know what is happening now and the news, especially when the FED is concerned is not always good.

Ron Paul is predicting a major economic crash and as host Naomi pointed out; we are no longer at the stage where we can make a lot of money but the stage where we need to protect what we have.

“It’s not easy, hopefully the crypto market is going to help. Protecting wealth has traditionally been done by owning ‘stuff’. People will want to get out of the dollar and buy assets such as property. Some people, if they’re comfortable with it, will be buying cryptocurrencies,”

Savings and investment funds are no longer an option with negative interest rates looming. Ron Paul concluded that this time will be very different and people really need to be aware of what the government is doing in order to protect themselves when it comes tumbling down.

Another Great Depression

In a related interview on Kitco News Gerald Celente, publisher of the Trends Journal, stated that the FED is just shooting money in to keep the ‘addicted bull running’. Central banks are artificially boosting an economy which is on the brink of another great depression.

He added that this ‘cheap money’ is an attempt to encourage more spending but the earnings are not there and consumer debt levels are getting heavier. As Bridgewater Associates founder, Ray Dalio, pointed out in a recent article, printing money is the only viable solution as there are no limitations on it.

Without saying it directly, all three are hinting at getting into safe haven assets before the next major economic collapse comes. Gold will be the choice for many, but crypto and Bitcoin is emerging as number two, especially for younger generations who already mistrust the government and banking system.

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Bitcoin Mining is Not Banned in China: Report

bitcoin btc mining china

All bitcoin and crypto market bullishness is emanating from China at the moment. One industry insider has just revealed that, contrary to earlier reports, China will not be banning bitcoin mining.

No Bitcoin Mining Ban in China

Within the past hour or so Chinese industry insider and Primitive Crypto founding partner, Dovey Wan, posted an official announcement stating that bitcoin and crypto mining has been removed from a list of industries that Beijing was planning to crack down upon.

6 months ago CT was screaming abt “China banning bitcoin mining” when a fuzzy drafted “guideline” was published by China state planning dept. The official version is out:  cryptocurrency mining is removed from the “eliminating category”. The message is so clear here

Earlier this year, the South China Morning Post reported that China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had revealed a draft list of industrial activities it sought to restrict or prohibit. Bitcoin and crypto mining was on that preliminary list.

As reported by Bitcoinist at the time, the move may have been good for BTC as mining operations become more decentralized. Either way, it is not going to happen now as crypto mining has officially been scratched from that list.

In other words, the NDRC has deemed that bitcoin mining does not fall under any of these categories and should not be prohibited in China. It also means that there will not be ongoing efforts to hamper the industry by restricting or overcharging for electricity.

Interprovincial authorities may make their own rules up about the practice but on the whole, the news adds to the bitcoin and crypto bullishness emerging from the People’s Republic at the moment.

At a press conference today, the NDRC stated that 2,500 suggestions had been added to the initial draft though none were related to bitcoin mining. A translation offers the following rationale for inclusion or elimination;

During the revision period, more than 2,500 opinions and suggestions were received from various quarters. After careful study and study one by one, most of them were adopted and absorbed. The main reasons for failure to adopt are those that do not comply with laws and regulations or relevant policies, do not meet the overall interests of industrial development, and are not advanced in technology.

At the time of writing there had been no reaction on bitcoin prices which continue to consolidate around the mid $9,000 level. Beijing’s blockchain drive continues to gather pace though.

Will the mining endorsement move bitcoin prices? Add your thoughts below.

Images via Bitcoinist Image Library, Twitter: @DoveyWan

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