The Apollo 11 Moon landing is getting recreated in the Decentraland metaverse

In celebration of the 52nd Anniversary of the Apollo 11’s historic lunar landing,  Banquet, Dapp Craft Studios, The Aldrin Family Foundation, and frequent NASA collaborator, Nick Graham, have joined forces to release Apollo 11-52 inside Decentraland, the decentralized 3D virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain.

The stunning achievement of the lunar landing comes 52 years later in a virtual world format, with the activation set to take place in Decentraland on July 24 at 3:50 pm UTC.

“We are in the early days of a new space age and what better way to celebrate it than with a collection based on the OG of Space: Apollo 11,” said designer Nick Graham, a frequent NASA collaborator and one of the members behind the virtual moon landing project.

He added, “With companies rapidly developing their civilian astronaut programs, space hasn’t been this dynamic in 50 years.”

Space fashion designer

In the real world, Graham is one of the world’s leading space-themed fashion designers. In 2019, his work was showcased during the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary at Cape Canaveral. His “Life On Mars” NYFW show also went viral after Buzz Aldrin and Bill Nye appeared on the catwalk as models for the collection.

 “Our crew began as a group of strangers that spanned multiple generations and hailed from all over the world,” said Matt Bond of Banquet, “And yet, we were all inspired by this shared goal of delivering ‘the spirit of Apollo 11’ to the metaverse.” 

As part of the event, a donation will be made to benefit the Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF), a nonprofit organization that offers STEAM-based educational tools that prepare the next generation of space travelers. “Nick’s long-time support for our organization has helped us raise thousands of dollars to create the explorers of tomorrow,” explained Dr. Andrew Aldrin, President of AFF.

He added, “this virtual collection will expose a whole new generation to the excitement of space.”  

The wearable collection is also dedicated to sustainability and will use polygon mining which is 95% more environmentally efficient than current crypto mining systems.

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Events, audits, and a beautiful MetaVerse: DeFi NFT app Charged Particles gets off to dynamic start

Decentralized non-fungible token (NFT) app Charged Particles can boast quite the start since it went live on earlier in June, as per new data published by the protocol in a recent update.

The app, which wants users to ‘Do more with their NFTs,’ allows the creation of NFTs that represent a basket of other token holdings with fully configurable settings. This makes for somewhat of a traditional index fund, with Charged Particle’s goal to allow its users to hold hundreds or thousands of other equities, bonds, or real-estate products, locked in an ERC71 for users to own, trade, and collect.

Its backers include the likes of DeFi builders from Aave and Synthetix. And just two months in, Charged Particles is already making big moves. 

Charged Particles went live on the Polygon network—in line with being offered across various chains (and being accessible to all users)—bringing low-cost NFT creation and trading facilities to users. 

“High gas costs not only stunt industry growth directly by discouraging many artists from minting NFTs and participating in liquidity mining…[as] the less experimentation there will be in creative and cutting-edge use cases that naturally arise with lower transaction fees. Polygon’s full-stack scaling solution solves this problem. With Polygon you can mint 2000–2500 NFTs for 1 MATIC,” explained Charged Particles’ marketing manager Priyanka M Khanadali in the article.

dApps, Metaverses, and more Charged Particles

On the back of that, the protocol even launched the ambitious dApp accelerator program—providing support to projects building on the Charged Particles Protocol, including but not limited to grants, funding, partnerships, technical support, and advisory support.

The crypto community yearns for security, and the Charged Particles team wasn’t behind on that either. The protocol successfully passed The Arcadia Group Smart Contracts Audit, with the quality of code found to be “good and well managed” and the contracts “well written and structured.”

Futuristic developments were seen on the metaverse side as well. The so-called ‘Liquid Energy’ event on Polygon saw more than a thousand people come together in Cryptovoxels to view the work of Richard Dixon, as the below image shows.

Meanwhile, Charged Particles inked some partnerships as well. The first was a deal with sporting NFT provider SportsIcon for the launch of nested NFTs starring legendary Italian goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, while the one with NFTTrader saw the teams make peer-to-peer NFT trades a reality. And it’s only just been two months since launch!

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Chainlink (LINK) price feeds are now live on Avalanche

Chainlink ‘Price Feeds’ are now live on the Avalanche (AVAX) mainnet, bringing price reference data to protocol developers across a variety of asset classes, as per a release shared with CryptoSlate today.

Chainlink price feeds arrive on Avalanche

Chainlink’s Price Feeds empower smart contract developers to build advanced DeFi applications on the burgeoning Avalanche, such as price-sensitive derivatives markets, low-cost lending applications, high-throughput trading strategies, and other financial applications.

The move to Avalanche was made possible via a Chainlink Community Grant awarded to Protofire — a leading development workshop and Avalanche validator — who adapted, tested, and implemented Chainlink oracles natively into the Avalanche mainnet.

As a result, numerous Chainlink Price Feeds are now available on Avalanche mainnet, with plans to continually roll out new ones to meet ecosystem demand.

“Chainlink has set the standard for oracles and data across blockchains and decentralized applications,” says Emin Gün Sirer, founder and CEO of Ava Labs, in this regard.

He added, “DeFi is already flourishing on Avalanche, but Chainlink’s data will unlock an enormous amount of development across the community and expand Avalanche’s edge as the most technologically advanced platform in crypto.”

Developers start running the gears

DeFi developers on Avalanche can start testing and building with Chainlink Price Feeds using this documentation. Key on-chain functions can now be performed, including but not limited to, calculating collateralization ratios, minting fair market loans, setting exchange rates, pricing synthetic assets, rebasing algorithmic stablecoins, and triggering automated trading strategies.

Meanwhile, some Avalanche teams are already launching their DeFi applications on the protocol using Chainlink, such as the multichain ‘middleware’ app BiFrost. “By integrating Chainlink Price Feeds on both Ethereum and BSC, the BiFrost protocol ensures it has access to the most reliable, decentralized, and highest quality data,” said Dohyun Pak, CEO of BiFrost. 

He added, “Chainlinks’ Avalanche expansion is exciting news for the greater DeFi space and will help secure the BiFrost platform as it scales to meet the demand for a multichain ecosystem.”

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Ethereum 2.0, Burning Man and smart contracts with MetaMask founder Joel Dietz!

You may have not heard of Joel Dietz, but the man behind several crypto protocols apps used by millions daily. These include Ethereum (as part of the founding team), MetaMask, the first smart contract educational channel, and the first academic work on cryptoeconomics. 

Dietz, whose work includes the iconic Swarm Fund, sports research interests ranging from the confluence of blockchain network topologies and swarm intelligence, and how the principles underlying decentralized organizations can be further used to fuel global innovation.

Today, Dietz sat down with Alex Fazel, the host of crypto edutainment channel CryptoNites, talking all things crypto, Ethereum, the upcoming ETH 2.0 update, NFTs, the Burning Man, and much more.

Here’s a snippet of everything they said!

On Burning Man and crypto culture

Dietz kicked off with a segment on his role at the legendary Burning Man Project—an event focused on community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance—and its many parallels to crypto space.

“Burning Man is also kind of evolving its governance structures and interesting ways. I’ve been involved with the platform cooperative movement for a long time looking kind of like stakeholder voting and part of that overlaps with crypto, but it’s also like a broader community in some ways in the cryptocurrency community,” he shared, adding:

“And Burning Man is like starting to look at ways within their kind of future organization around big theme camps and stuff.”

Dietz further stated, “I think there’s a lot of like, overlap conceptually, you know, and some of us back when we first were getting involved in crypto, the reason we wanted to do it was because we thought, you know, we could help governance evolve some of the primitives and thinking about governance was very baked in.”

Into the Ether

On Dietz’s entry into Ethereum, “When I read the Ethereum white paper for the first time I had a nerdgasm you know, and it was just kind of like this wave of like, “oh my goodness, so many possibilities!” And I started, you know, sketching on paper, what you could do and making my own little white papers about different things related to governance and reputational systems and all this kind of stuff.”

“I’ve been concerned for years, you know, and heard, you know, the updates for years. And they were not usually that confidence inspiring, for a variety of reasons. But you know, one of them is I think that Ethereum has not had a very, like, for me, I come from an enterprise software background and open source stuff too,” he further explained.

ETH 2.0 and the NFT multiverse

A segment also focused on Ethereum’s much-awaited move to a proof-of-stake consensus design, away from its current proof-of-work mechanism. The shift has been delayed due to the sheer complexity and scope of the move (which has attracted criticism from several quarters), but Dietz remains upbeat.

“It is kind of similar to what I was saying a lot of the core early innovators and like really talented entrepreneurs and theory and community have trickled away to other projects because they felt constrained within that community. So I mean, I’m still optimistic that Ethereum 2.0 will happen,” he shared.

The man lastly turned to share his thoughts on the growth of the non-fungible token (NFT) space, one that started off as a fringe market in 2019 but has since grown to a $25 billion behemoth.

Dietz shared what excites him the most in that sector, “One thing that I’m excited about the most in that world is like generative art that is basically bound in a blockchain and kind of evolving, you know, along with the blockchain and kind of artificial intelligence.”

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Move over AirBnB, blockchain-based Dtravel has secured 200,000 property listings in its first 30 days

Dtravel.com, the decentralized platform for the home-sharing economy introduced last month by former executives from Airbnb, Expedia, and other travel technology companies, announced today that it had signed on over 200,000 properties in more than 2,000 cities since its launch.

With a goal of listing over one million vacation rentals within its first 12 months, Dtravel is acquiring hosts at a rate 120 times faster than Airbnb, which took 2.5 years to reach 50,000 properties listed.  More partnerships are being finalized and will be announced soon.

“The next generation of hosts want a true sharing economy, not a shareholder economy. Dtravel is the opposite of a centralized company; decision-making power and value within the platform are shared by members of the community, meaning hosts and guests” said Luke Kim, marketing lead at Dtravel, in a statement.

Growing at breakneck speed

Launched just last month, the Dtravel platform is expected to launch property bookings in the next three months, offering hundreds of thousands of vacation rentals powered by its native token (TRVL) — coming soon to Binance Smart Chain and the Ethereum Network — which is held by all hosts.

TRVL can be used for booking stays, qualifying for rewards and loyalty programs, participating in platform governance, and more. “With travel starting to rebound and a record level of interest in blockchain technologies like cryptocurrencies, Dtravel gives eager hosts what has been missing to date: control and ownership over the booking experience,” said Pieter Brundyn, CEO at In Residence, in the regard.

Samy Karim, a Binance Smart Chain ecosystem coordinator, further added, “Dtravel is an example of how decentralized products will sooner or later replace centralized products. It delivers true asset management ownership without having to pay for it. The Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem is all about projects that build the bridge between DeFi and real-life utility and we’re thrilled to see DTravel become a part of it.”

The app is governed entirely by its community through the Dtravel Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), leveraging DeFi blockchain technology to facilitate smart contracts.

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Bitcoin pumps $1,000, large-caps Cardano, Ethereum follow lead

Bitcoin pumped over $1,000 this morning to reclaim the $30,000 level, after briefly dipping under $29,500 last night. Larger altcoins mirrored that move and pumped by high single-digit percentages as of press time, data from multiple tools shows.

Bitcoin, Cardano, Solana pump

The world’s largest cryptocurrency was dragged down this week against a rout in the global equity market—one that pundits peg to the ever-increasing COVID cases and mutants, while critics peg to that of high inflation in the Western countries.

It was, however, met with rejection at the $31,000 price level, and still trades below the 34-period moving average, suggesting the bearish trend isn’t ending yet.

Image: BTC/USD via TradingView.

This morning’s sudden pump, however, brought some temporary green to the red mess. Ethereum logged a 6% increase as of press time, followed by Cardano (+6.1%), Dogecoin (+7.0%), Polkadot (+7.3%), and Solana (+10%).

For the above coins: Ethereum has a positive fundamental catalyst approaching in the form of the much-awaited EIP-1559—the protocol’s shift to a proof-of-stake consensus design—while Cardano’s steadily moving ahead with its own awaited smart contract implementation. 

On the other hand, Solana, a high-speed blockchain whose investors include Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire owner of FTX, seemed to have pumped on the back of FTX’s $900 million record fundraise yesterday.

As such, Bitcoin has continually declined since April 2021, when it reached an all-time high of $64,000, before dropping to as low as $29,312 yesterday. 

And the asset’s market cap has drastically fallen as a result: the Bitcoin network was valued well over $1.1 trillion in April but has since tumbled down by 45% to today’s $533 billion, a level was last seen in December 2020.

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Neon Labs is deploying the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) on Solana

Neon Labs, a company building secure blockchain solutions, announced today that it will be deploying its cross-chain EVM solution on the Solana testnet. The Neon EVM will grant any dApp in the Ethereum ecosystem access to high throughput and fast block time on Solana, as well as lower gas prices without requiring code changes.

The Neon EVM creates a compatibility layer for  Ethereum on the Solana blockchain, allowing anyone to run Ethereum contracts on Solana. It works by introducing incentivized Neon EVM operators to the Solana blockchain who facilitate transactions on behalf of Ethereum dApp users.

These operators receive Ethereum-like transactions from dApps that use Neon EVM. Then wrap them into Solana transactions, which are sent for execution on the Solana blockchain.

“Ethereum is a thriving blockchain ecosystem that has a lot to offer to dApp developers and users in terms of tools and infrastructure. At the same time, Solana is attractive to many due to its technical characteristics and is perceived as an emerging market,” said Marina Guryeva at Neon Labs.

She added, “Thanks to Neon EVM dApp developers will be easily tapping into the Solana market and offer users a great experience without any difference in terms of interface or tools used.”

Running on Solana

At launch, the Neon EVM will run on the Solana testnet – at this time the familiar tools for Ethereum users including Metamask, Remix, Truffle, and others will work on Solana.

Once launched on testnet, the Neon EVM will allow any dApp including UniSwap, SushiSwap, 0x, MakerDAO, and others to be used on Solana. Neon EVM will move to Solana mainnet in Q3 of 2021 and till that an optimization of the number of transactions and the speed of their execution will be performed.

“The Neon team has shown dedication to the development of both the Solana and Ethereum ecosystems,” said Anatoly Yakovenko, CEO of Solana.

“Its deployment on the Solana blockchain will make it significantly easier for EVM projects to take advantage of the low fees, ultra-fast speeds, and future-proof scalability of Solana.  Neon’s EVM scaling solution is a significant milestone and represents a commitment to a multi-chain future,” Yakovenko further explained.

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$540 million ‘rekt’ as top cryptos plunge overnight. Here’s the aftermath

Bitcoin dropped to under $30,000 last night and sparked a selling frenzy in the crypto market—one that led to half a billion dollars in liquidations, $285 million of that in BTC alone.

As per data from analytics app Bybt, over 113,956 traders were liquidated on various crypto exchanges, with the largest single liquidation order occurring on futures powerhouse Bybit—a Bitcoin trade valued at $4.5 million.

$494 million, or 91% of all traders, were in long positions, betting on prices moving upward. A relatively smaller $48 million, or 9% of all traders, were short (they, however, still ended up losing money due to higher leverage or shorting a sudden uptick).

$250 million in Bitcoin liquidations

‘Liquidation’ is a term used to describe leveraged positions getting automatically closed out by exchanges/brokerages as a “safety mechanism,” usually resulting in the initial capital being ‘lost’ by traders.

Futures and margin traders—who borrow capital from exchanges (usually in multiples) to place bigger bets—put up a small collateral amount before placing a trade. However, if prices move against the direction they bet on, the losses exceed the initial amount, and the trade is hence said to be ‘liquidated.’

Bitcoin traders, as usual, took the majority of such liquidations yesterday. Over $250 million worth of Bitcoin trades were liquidated, followed by Ethereum trades ($131 million), XRP trades ($24 million), and Dogecoin trades ($11 million).

Image: Liquidation data via Bybt.

Also high up on the liquidation list were $4.7 million in Ethereum Classic trades, $3.74 million in Litecoin trades, and $3.41 million in Shiba Inu coin trades (as of Tuesday morning).

As such, $220 million of all liquidations occurred on Bybit, followed by $122 million on OKEx, and $69 million on Binance. Deribit and Bitfinex took on some of the lowest liquidations on the other hand, with just $4 million and $629,000 in liquidations respectively.

Meanwhile, the crypto market continues to fall at press time. Large-cap cryptocurrencies like XRP, Solana, and Dogecoin saw 10% declines since Monday, while smaller-cap ones fell up to 40% in some cases.

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Ethereum founding member quits crypto, downplays its overall use case

One of Ethereum’s founding members has stepped down from the crypto space to concentrate on work in other impactful industries, reported Bloomberg over the weekend.

Anthony Di Iorio, who worked with Vitalik Buterin, Charles Hoskinson, Gavin Wood, and other developers in 2013 to build the blockchains of blockchains, is additionally even downplaying the overall use case of cryptocurrencies.

“It’s really a small percentage of what the world needs,” Di Iorio told Bloomberg, adding he would now work in other sectors that tackle ‘complex’ problems—such as Project Arrow, a startup building a zero-emission vehicle, and even consulting a senator from Paraguay.

Why did the Ethereum cofounder leave crypto?

Di Ioria, 48, cited personal security as one of the reasons behind his decision. “It’s got a risk profile that I am not too enthused about, he noted, adding:

“I don’t feel necessarily safe in this space. If I was focused on larger problems, I think I’d be safer.”

Di Ioria, who was reportedly worth as much as $1 billion a few years ago, lives the high life. He travels around with a security team and splashed over $22 million for a three-story penthouse in Canada in 2018.

He even worked with the Toronto Stock Exchange as a chief digital officer for a while, became an angel investor, and launched Decentral, a Toronto-based innovation hub, and software development company focused on DeFi. Di Iorio’s also the man behind Jaxx, a digital asset wallet boasting over 1 million users in 2021.

But the moves seem to have been short-lived. Di Iorio now intends to sell Decentral, and turn to philanthropy and projects that aren’t related to crypto. He would additionally cut away from the other crypto startups he works with, and wouldn’t fund any crypto or blockchain projects moving forward.

Would crypto be a part of Di Iorio’s plans again? Perhaps: “I will incorporate crypto when needed, but a lot of times, it’s not,” he told Bloomberg. Safe to say that’s not happening anytime soon.

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Grayscale just launched a new DeFi fund. But is 50% of that Uniswap (UNI)?

Leading crypto asset management company Grayscale Investments has announced that it would be launching a DeFi Fund and Index, the firm second-ever diversified investment product, as per a release today.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) is a burgeoning crypto niche that has recorded some level of success in the last year. Such protocols do not need the interference of third parties, like banks or other financial institutions, to offer traditional financial services to users, and instead, rely on the extensive use of smart contracts (which are mostly built on Ethereum).

Grayscale Enters Defi

Tthe Fund will enable investors to have exposure to selected leading DeFi protocols. “Grayscale DeFi Fund (the Fund) provides investors with exposure to a selection of industry-leading DeFi protocols through a market-capitalization-weighted portfolio designed to track the CoinDesk DeFi Index,” the firm said in the release. 

Micheal Sonnenshien, the CEO of the firm, noted that the DeFi products could change the face of the financial world. In his words “the emergence of decentralized finance protocols provide clear examples of technologies that can redefine the future of the financial services industry.” He continued that “we’re proud to offer investors exposure to DeFi through Grayscale’s trusted, secure, and industry-leading investment product structures.”

This means investors would be able to invest in DeFi protocols like UniSwap, Aave, Compound, and other top DeFi products. 

Sonnenshien also hinted that this might not be the last of the crypto products of the firm. According to him “Grayscale (will) continues to focus on creating opportunities for investors to access new, exciting parts of the digital asset ecosystem.”

Uniswap making a  majority?

As such GrayScale’s DeFi Index is set to track the Coindesk DeFi Index, which itself has 10 Defi protocols on its list.

Uniswap makes up 50% of the total market cap of all of the assets on that index. Aave has 10.25% while Compound has 8.38%. Other notable protocols on the index include Bancor Network, Yearn Finance, Sushiswap, Curve, MakerDAO, etc.

Already, the crypto-related company offers trust for leading crypto assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and other top digital coins. The firm is also working on converting its Bitcoin Trust into an exchange-traded fund and has enlisted the help of one of the oldest banks in the United States, BNY Mellon, to help it achieve its goal.

Crypto Community Reacts

The announcement by the firm has birthed different levels of reactions from the crypto community on Twitter. While some have welcomed this new fund as a welcome development, others believe that the investment firm should be more focused on fixing its negative GBTC premium.

Some Twitter users also highlighted some Defi protocols they believe the fund should be investing in. According to some of them, Pancakeswap should have been one of the protocols being invested in.

While another user raised concerns on why almost half of the funds are being invested in Uniswap. To them, they believe this could be evenly spread across various protocols in the space.

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No shilling Dogecoin or Shiba Inu? How TikTok’s crypto ban helps the space

Celebrities shilling meme coins like Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and Baby Doge Coin became a recurring theme throughout 2020 as the crypto markets rose. It initially came off as a real surprise to many—considering one of the biggest DOGE cheerleaders was Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, himself—but that sentiment slowly grew to disdain.

The likes of Musk made the incessant tweeting almost simulation-like: He oft-mentioned Dogecoin (as a meme, or sometimes as a feature), with DOGE pumping tens of percent in the minutes afterward.

The first few such tweets sent DOGE roaring over 100% (attracting millions of people to the coin, some even taking it as a ‘serious’ investment), eventually powering the token to a peak price of $0.70 (at a $86 billion market cap).

TikTok, trends, and Dogecoins

Such endorsement didn’t take long to become a ‘trend’ on social media. Crypto circles on TikTok, one of the world’s biggest video-sharing apps, became almost an overnight rage, with teenage investors and models creating on the trending topic for even more views.

But somewhere between the waning crypto interest came the troubles. TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, distanced itself from all things promotional and sponsored earlier this month, effectively banning the rising, yet dedicated, crypto hopefuls.

And while the move wasn’t received warmly by all, it was welcomed by some in the crypto space: “Cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile. Big risk, big reward. But for impressionable young folks on social media, hoping to be the next overnight crypto millionaire, these actions can have an incredibly detrimental impact on their lives and finances,” explained Justin Kline, co-founder of Markerly, in a note to CryptoSlate.

He added, “Dogecoin has fluctuated through massive ups and downs in the last few months, seemingly all orbiting around the behavior of Musk. It’s become clear that there needs to be more regulation around all this; crypto is getting too prominent to still function as the Wild, Wild West.”

Other platforms to follow?

As per Kline, TikTok’s ban on promotional advertising could soon be adopted by other social media platforms, especially those looking to reduce their participation in the world of crypto volatility. 

“I could see other platforms following suit and instituting similar bans on sponsored crypto posts in an attempt to avoid controversy,” says Kline. He adds, “But even if other similar bans don’t go into effect on other platforms, I think this effort from TikTok will provide a much-needed reset and reexamination of how influencers are operating in the crypto space. 

But such moves need to happen soon, he cautions: “We could see other apps use this as an opportunity to tighten up their policies and clamp down on speculative, unregulated posts before the situation gets out of hand or TikTok crypto influencers migrate to their platforms, attempting to recreate the same environment elsewhere.”

Hard to argue with that sentiment considering the blatant pump-and-dumps, Ponzi schemes, and outright scams that ran rampant in the past year.

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85,000 crypto traders ‘liquidated’ after Bitcoin fell to nearly $30,000

Tens of thousands of crypto traders were liquidated last night as Bitcoin briefly dropped to under $30,500, data from multiple sources shows. Altcoins saw a similar dump as a result, with millions of dollars getting shaved off on lesser-known coins like AXIE and SAND.

Over 82,000 traders were liquidated, with the largest single liquidation order taking place on Bybit—a Bitcoin trade valued at $4.86 million.

Liquidations and how

‘Liquidations,’ for the uninitiated, occur when leveraged positions are automatically closed out by exchanges/brokerages as a “safety mechanism.” Futures and margin traders—who borrow capital from exchanges (usually in multiples) to place bigger bets—put up a small collateral amount before placing a trade.

Bitcoin traders took the majority of such liquidations yesterday. As per data from analysis tool Bybt, $146.14 million worth of Bitcoin trades were liquidated, followed by Ethereum traders ($52 million), XRP traders ($8 million), and Axie Infinity traders ($5 million).

Image: Liquidation Data via Bybt.

Traders punting on memecoin Dogecoin took on $5 million in liquidation damages of their own, while Sandbox NFT (SAND) and Chromia (CHR) traders saw losses of $2.59 million and $2.38 million respectively.

Where did the liquidations occur?

Futures powerhouse Bybit saw over $100 million in liquidations alone, with 83% of all traders going ‘long’—or betting on a price rise—on that exchange. $63 million in liquidations came from OKEx, while Binance saw a $23 million chunk get liquidated.

Meanwhile, despite the millions lost, the data is unlike what was seen on several occasions earlier this year. In April 2021, a staggering $1 billion in market liquidations, affecting one million trading accounts, occurred after Bitcoin reached the top and dropped off a cliff.

Then in June, on the back of China’s renewed criticism of Bitcoin, market volatility caused 200,000 traders to get liquidated. Several large-cap cryptos like Solana, XRP, and Polkadot saw double-digit percentage declines, with even Dogecoin racking up $30 million worth of liquidations in a single day.

Still, what looks like madness in traditional circles continues to be a normal day for those in crypto.

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DeFi, leverage trading, and Bitcoin ‘to $1 million’ with CryptoJack

This week’s CryptoNites episode saw host Alex Fazel catch up with crypto trader, investor, and popular YouTuber Jack Skipp to discuss all things Bitcoin, trading, and price predictions for 2021. 

Skipp, who goes by ‘CryptoJack’ and is followed by over 118,000 followers on YouTube alone, started his crypto career over three years ago after formally training to be a pilot.

And he insists today’s successes didn’t come easy. “I’d like to say that overnight success usually takes a few years, it’s not actually overnight, but people don’t see the behind the scenes, the work, the struggles, the amount of effort you put in, they just see the end result,” reminisced Skipp in the podcast.

On Bitcoin and Ethereum

Skipp, arguably like most in the crypto space, keeps a majority of his money invested in Bitcoin. And some majority it is, with over 99% of his wealth safely invested in the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

“Yes, it may not be the smartest idea but again, I really believe in Bitcoin. Like nothing else in this world. I think it’s going to be a very smart financial move, however, and actually, Bitcoin mostly Bitcoin around 9085 to 90% in Bitcoin, the rest in Ethereum, and a few percent allocations to old coins,” he told Fazel.

He added in a word for crypto newcomers and newbies investors, “If you’re kind of new to crypto, just start with buying 50 bucks of Bitcoin, maybe 100 bucks of Bitcoin, and maybe 50 bucks in Ethereum as well.

“I would mainly tailor it towards Bitcoin because this is although Bitcoin is still a risky asset class in the sense of traditional investments, it’s a kind of a safer, a safer one than maybe some of the other old coins,” he further stated.

“And you can even throw a few 100 bucks or a few 1000 bucks depending on your financial situation into some kind of low cap alts maybe if you want to have a gamble, but as long as you realize that this is not always going to pay off and it is a gamble and whatever money you put in.”

BTC predictions for 2021

On the topic of price prediction for 2021 and 2022, Skipp wears his bullishness on his sleeve: “I think we could see $100,000 Bitcoin in the next kind of six to 12 months, maybe six to 18 months. This is very, very easily, easily doable. where we are right now,” he said.

Skipp adds, “And also I think that long term, for example, five or 10 years, we’re going to be seeing a million dollar Bitcoin, it’s going to happen, it’s inevitable that it will happen. Whether it happens in the next five years. 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, however long it will take. I’m going to be waiting for a million-dollar Bitcoin.”

“But this cycle, I think, we have not seen we’ve only really 2x on the previous all-time high. And that’s not really that high. Yes, $45,000. Bitcoin is a high amount, but in comparison to the previous, it’s just it’s we have so much more room to grow. I think putting a price target of $50-$60,000 is not really a realistic target. So at least 100 $150,000 in six to 18 months, at least, that’s very conservative as well. And then in the next 510 years, at least three, four or 500,000 at least targeting upwards of $1 million to $2 million.”

(Catch the rest of the exciting CryptoNites podcast with Skipp’s thoughts on Ethereum, investing, DeFi, and other trending topics right below!)

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China’s Anhui province begins its clampdown on Bitcoin (BTC) mining

Eastern China’s Anhui province became the latest regional county to ban Bitcoin mining in the country, weeks after the government unleashed a harsh plan to stamp out the activity in the nation, reported news outlet Reuters this morning.

Anhui stamps out crypto mines

Anhui, known among tourists for its low-hanging clouds, distinctive granite rocks, and operas, became popular with miners in the past few years for its naturally cool environment and technically savvy talent pool. And while it wasn’t a big crypto mining destination compared to the likes of Sichuan or Qinghai, the region was important nonetheless.

But the Anhui ecosystem turned out to be a short-lived story. Local authorities are said to have ramped up efforts in the past few days to drive out any remaining miners in the region. 

The cleanup is aimed at reducing power consumption as the province faces a “grave” supply shortage of electricity, local reports stated this week.

Projections put Anhui’s electricity demand to rise to over 73.14 million kilowatts in 2024. But the current supply of the province is only 48.4 million kilowatts, which creates a “relatively big gap” and increases efforts to stamp out electricity operations deemed unfruitful by the government.

The Chinese effect on Bitcoin

The move comes weeks after China’s state council vowed to double down on its ban of Bitcoin mining and trading in what was a thriving ecosystem. Research suggested over 75% of Bitcoin’s hashrate—a measure of the computational power per second used when mining—originated from Chinese entities like F2Pool, Huobi, and others as of early-2021. 

But those entities, along with several independent operators, are now moving out, with the US, Iran, Kazakhstan, and South America turning out to be popular destinations.

Meanwhile, the exodus has left its mark on Bitcoin. Ever since China started its cleanup in late-May, the crypto market has plunged nearly 50% on average, with Bitcoin dropping to under $30,000 from an April high of $64,000 and some DeFi alts plunging 80%.

Block times reached a ten-year-low in June, while hashrate steadily dropped alongside. But the move has opened up avenues for miners to turn to clean—and oft-wacky—methods to mine the world’s largest cryptocurrency….such as volcanoes and cow manure.

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1inch Network signs up Quantum Economics in new advisory partnership

Crypto research firm Quantum Economics has signed on to advise the rapidly growing 1inch Network, which unites various decentralized protocols to help build the future of DeFi.

Quantum Economics is a FinTech research, advisory, and money management firm led by Mati Greenspan, formerly of eToro.  Their staff includes some of the most knowledgeable and experienced names in crypto and blockchain, and they work closely with the crypto and financial media where they often appear on television and broadcast interviews. 

The 1inch Network, on the other hand, unites decentralized protocols whose synergy enables the most lucrative, fastest, and protected operations in the DeFi space. And it’s now partnering up with Greenspan’s Quantum Economics to provide even more value to the burgeoning crypto space.

1inch signs on Quantum Economics

As per a release shared with CryptoSlate, Quantum Economics has appointed one of its top analysts, Pedro Febrero, to advise 1inch officers directly. He will be responsible for in-depth industry research, with the goal of identifying market trends and highlighting areas of strategic importance.

“Knowledge is power and research is critical for growth, that’s why we’ve partnered with one of the strongest analysis firms in the crypto space. We look forward to gaining the benefit of their expertise and putting it into practice in order to better serve the entire DeFi community,” explained Sergey Maslennikov, chief communications officer at 1inch, in a statement.

Pedro Febrero, the blockchain analyst at Quantum Economics, added, “It’s an extreme pleasure to enter into this partnership with 1inch. We’ve been monitoring their awesome success lately and are inspired by their rapid growth within our nascent industry.”

“We’re super excited to start working together and already imagining the possibilities. The sky’s the limit.”

Everyone will be able to reap the benefits as we will post regular reports and analyses, which are free for all readers. Joint collaboration updates can be expected in the near future.

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$250 million worth of cryptocurrency seized in UK

$250 million worth of cryptocurrency has been confiscated by UK police in the biggest such move of its kind, the London Metropolitan Police announced early on Tuesday. It broke last month’s $180 million seizure record set by local authorities.

The seizures were made by detectives from the Met’s Economic Crime Command on the back of intelligence received about the transfer of criminal assets. They form part of an ongoing investigation into international money laundering.

“The detectives on this case have worked tirelessly and meticulously to trace millions of pounds worth of cryptocurrency suspected of being linked to criminality and now being laundered to hide the trail,” said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty in a statement.

He added, “As digital platforms develop we’re increasingly seeing organized criminals using cryptocurrency to launder their dirty money.”

Behind the cryptocurrency game

The accused is a 39-year-old woman who was earlier arrested on 24 June on suspicion of money laundering offenses and later released on bail. However, she was interrogated earlier this week in connection with the $250 million illicit stashes of cryptocurrency.

As such, the move comes on the back of a wider crackdown on cryptocurrencies by UK authorities. Last week saw the government put all crypto-related advertising and promotional messaging to a “red alert” category, while separately, UK bank Barclays banned all transactions to and from crypto exchange Binance earlier this month.

But that’s not to say the cops have changed their stance on money laundering via cash. “Cash still remains king in the criminal world,” McNulty said, adding that proceeds of crime were laundered in “many different ways.”

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End of the Musk pump? Dogecoin barely moves after Tesla joke

They say all good things come to an end, and the Elon Musk-inflicted Dogecoin pump is no stranger to that.

“Maybe if it sees a Shiba Inu, the car renders a Dogecoin,” said Musk in a reply to a tweet today, with the original post simply stating: “#TeslaVision can indeed see dogs!.”

The prices, uncharacteristically, however, budged little. DOGE moved from $0.2008 to as much as $0.206 before slightly correcting. But the move was unlike how the market reacted to Musk’s Dogecoin tweets (as lately as a few months ago)—showcasing a general trend of such moves being priced out as they became commonplace.

Image: DOGE/USD via TradingView.

The Dogecoin game

Musk, CEO of electric carmaker Tesla, space exploration firm SpaceX, and other tech-forward businesses, gained notoriety in crypto circles over the past year after incessantly shilling for a good part of late-2020 and early 2021.

The play was usually as follows: Musk oft-mentioned Dogecoin (as a meme, or sometimes as a feature), with DOGE pumping tens of percent in the minutes afterward. The first few such tweets sent DOGE roaring over 100%, eventually powering the token to a peak price of $0.70 (at a $86 billion market cap).

Whether or not Musk personally benefited from the moves is left to one’s imagination. But one thing is for sure: The tweets gradually lowered in their market impact over time, with initial fascination about Musk and DOGE (in crypto circles) slowly turning to a general sentiment of why do it?

The 100% gains slowly simmered down to 70%. Then 50%. Then 20% and then 10%. And they are now down to a small fraction of their initial effect.

As such, as one of the world’s richest men, Musk has little to gain from pumping Dogecoin. But memes and jokes apart, he does seem to show interest in the memecoin’s future prospects.

Earlier this month saw Musk extend his support to an upcoming update on Dogecoin, making fees even cheaper and transactions even faster on the network. He even positioned the memecoin ahead of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies, in a separate tweet last week, calling out the latter’s (supposed) lack of scalability for everyday audiences.

But don’t despair if you’re looking for the Musk pump just yet. The play is still alive in other memecoins….as ‘Baby Doge’ holders recently found out.

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Legacy US bank increases Bitcoin exposure via Grayscale Bitcoin Trust

A division of Chicago’s First Midwest Bank increased its Bitcoin exposure last month, a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed. 

The bank, founded 1933, now holds over 27 Bitcoin via the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)—an institutional, regulated product offered by Grayscale Investments that holds a fraction of Bitcoin per publicly traded share, allowing investors to be exposed to the asset in a safe manner.

First Midwest earlier held 7,693 GBTC shares as of March 2021. However, it seems to be buying the dip with its increase in exposure, holding over 29,498 GBTC shares (≈$910,000) as of June 30.

GBTC, Bitcoin, and market dumps

GBTC, a popular institutional vehicle for trading Bitcoin, is a regulated financial product offered by Grayscale Investments, a multibillion-dollar crypto firm. 

The publicly traded product holds a small amount of Bitcoin in a custodial account for each share offered to investors, forming what is currently one of the only ways for accredited and institutional US investors to legally gain exposure to Bitcoin.

As listed on its website, each GBTC share currently holds 0.00094 BTC, amounting to just over $30 at press time. The share itself trades at $27 at a discounted premium charged by Grayscale (this is determined by market factors such as demand for its product).

Who is buying GBTC?

First Midwest isn’t the only bank investing in Bitcoin via GBTC. Earlier this month saw Morgan Stanley, the US multinational bank, report a 26.5 Bitcoin holding via the institutional product (as part of its Europe Opportunity fund).

Meanwhile, while GBTC allows institutional investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin, some point out the many “unlocks” as potential turning points of the broader market. As CryptoSlate reported this month, JPMorgan stated Bitcoin could drop to as low as $25,000 post the GBTC unlocks later this month.

“While weak flows and price dynamics resulting from last month’s selloff fueled Bitcoin’s recent declines, possible sales of shares in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust upon the expiry of a six-month lockup period could be an additional headwind,” wrote analyst Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou in a client note.

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Crypto.com becomes the UFC’s first official crypto platform partner

UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, and Crypto.com announced a long-term partnership yesterday as part of a strategic move for the latter to connect with mainstream consumers.

Crypto.com will become UFC’s first-ever global Official Fight Kit Partner, entitling it to place its branding on UFC fight kits as worn by UFC athletes in competition, as well as fight kit apparel worn by the athletes’ “corner” men/women. 

This means that from the locker room to the world-famous Octagon, Crypto.com will have meaningful visibility in front of UFC’s global fan base of more than 625 million people and over 150 million social media followers, including the 900 million TV households in 175 countries with access to UFC’s broadcasts.

Crypto.com becomes a long-term partner

The firm shall additionally also receive the designation of UFC’s first-ever Official Cryptocurrency Platform Partner, creating a new sponsorship category for UFC.

“This is a partnership between two companies that are the best at what they do,” said UFC President Dana White, in a statement. “No company has done more to grow the popularity of combat sports than UFC, and now we’re one of the biggest sports brands on the planet. We can help Crypto.com reach more people around the world through the strength of our brand,” she added.

Kris Marszalek, co-Founder and CEO of Crypto.com, further noted, “It’s a historic moment as the fastest growing cryptocurrency platform joins forces with the fastest growing sport to help accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.”

In addition to the massive exposure of the Crypto.com logo placement on UFC fight kits, the partnership offers Crypto.com a wide range of integrations into UFC assets. Crypto.com will have a branded presence inside the Octagon during all Pay-Per-View events and during Dana White’s Contender Series. 

As such, Crypto.com will also be integrated into UFC content on both linear and digital platforms, including live broadcasts, Pay-Per-Views, and UFC-owned social media channels.

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‘BitScam’ and ‘CloudScam’ end up scamming 93,000 Bitcoin and Ethereum users

Lookout, an integrated endpoint-to-cloud security company, today announced the discovery of major crypto mining scams using hundreds of Android apps, as per a release shared with CryptoSlate.

What. How. And Where?

Categorized into two distinct Android app families, BitScam and CloudScam, these apps were designed to target people interested in cryptocurrencies. In total, security researchers at the Lookout Threat Lab identified more than 170 apps that are estimated to have scammed more than 93,000 victims. 

The majority of these apps are side-loaded based on the fact that only 25 were available for download on Google Play. Lookout has been in close contact with Google and the apps on Play have been removed.

The BitScam and CloudScam apps advertise themselves as providing cloud cryptocurrency mining services for a fee. After analyzing the apps, Lookout researchers found that no cloud crypto mining actually takes place. 

The scammers pocket the money spent on apps and upgrades without ever delivering the promised services. Lookout estimated that the apps stole more than $350,000 from their victims.

“These apps were able to fly under the radar because they don’t actually do anything malicious,” explained Ioannis Gasparis, a mobile application security researcher at Lookout. 

Gasparis added, “They are simply shells set up to attract users caught up in the cryptocurrency craze and collect money for services that don’t exist. Purchasing goods or services online always requires a certain degree of trust — these scams prove that cryptocurrency is no exception.”

Rising case of crypto scams 

BitScam and CloudScam apps both trick people into thinking they are paying for cloud crypto mining services. 

In addition to the apps themselves costing money, they promote additional services and upgrades that users can purchase within the apps, either by transferring cryptocurrencies to the developers’ wallets or through Google Play. Such apps also display fake minimum account balances to entice users to spend more money on the services and upgrades. 

The crypto market has been rife with scams, frauds, and hacks ever since it gained traction in the early 2010’s. Billions of dollars have been lost to unassuming tokens, apps, and shady developers, doing little to help liven the image of cryptocurrencies in mainstream circles.

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This crucial Bitcoin metric reached a high. But traders don’t seem to care

Bitcoin spot exchanges outflow transaction count hit a year high, data from CryptoQuant, a popular on-chain data analysis tool for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, showed.

As the network re-adjusted its difficulty, Bitcoin mining saw a sharp rise in its revenue. Analytics service Blockchain.com reported that active miners reaped rewards after the sharp rise as the majority of the hash rate went down in the past few weeks as China imposed strict bans on Bitcoin mining in their country.

Such Bitcoin outflows from exchanges are often seen as a very bullish sign for the price. However, the market didn’t seem to care, as the asset continues to range in the $30,000 to $35,000 price band.

So what’s next for Bitcoin?

 The price action is showing good strength and bounced off the $33,000 support. However, the $35,000-$36,600 area has been a region of concern on many occasions in the past and there is a good chance that the price might face rejection in that area once again and come back down to a lower support level.

Image: BTC/USD via TradingView.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) is also showing strength and indicates further upside to the price however it is crucial to break the $36,600 range.

The volume is still a bit on the lower side and a volume influx will guarantee the continuation of the price uptrend.

The 50MA is currently in the $36,000 region and a flip of the 50MA and the daily resistance will be very bullish for the price.

What’s next for ETH?

Ethereum also looks good against the USDT and BTC pair. There is a small resistance in the $2,400-$2,450 region and it is likely that the price might face rejection there.

The Bollinger Bands, a popular indicator to determine the price action using volatility and historical prices, also showed resistance in the same area and a pull-back towards the 20MA is possible.

The RSI (Relative strength index), similarly to Bitcoin’s, is showing strength, indicating a positive price action in the coming days. On the shorter time frame, $2,300 region is a good area to LONG as that happens to be local support on the 4hr time frame.

Image: ETH/USD via TradingView.

All in all, if BTC manages to stay stable, ETH should push towards the $2,500 mark.

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Bitcoin drops by $2,000. $185 million in longs go ‘rekt’

Bitcoin fell by nearly $2,000 this morning, ‘liquidating’ $200 million worth of futures positions in the past 12 hours and bringing down much of the crypto market alongside.

Liquidations, for the uninitiated, occur when leveraged positions are automatically closed out by exchanges/brokerages as a “safety mechanism.” Futures and margin traders—who borrow capital from exchanges (usually in multiples) to place bigger bets—put up a small collateral amount before placing a trade.

As the spot market drops, futures positions drop alongside and trigger predetermined liquidation levels, which differ based on the amount of leverage and initial capital used. This creates a cascading effect of sorts, resulting in a strong, sudden drop…and nasty consequences.

Bitcoin rekts everything else?

This morning alone saw $185 million worth of crypto ‘longs’ get rekt as Bitcoin fell by thousands of dollars, while $14 million on the “short” side were liquidated. “Long” traders bet on higher asset prices and get stopped out as prices fall, “short” traders, on the other hand, bet on lower prices and get liquidated if prices move upwards.

Of that $185 million, $122 million came from Bitcoin positions alone. Ethereum positions lost over $44 million, while XRP positions lost $12 million.

Over $90 million of all liquidations occurred on futures powerhouse Bybit alone. OKEx was next in that line with $48 million, while Binance traders saw $37 million in damages.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin continues to range in a narrow price band. The asset has traded (mostly) between the $30,000 and $37,000 levels for the past few weeks, showing no signs of a clear breakout.

Image: BTC/USD via TradingView.

Millions of dollars still get liquidated despite the lack of price moves. Wonder what that shows.

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Inside ETH 2.0, parachains, and NFTs with Peng Zhong of Cosmos

This week on Cryptonites saw host Alex Fazel catch up with Peng Zhong of Tendermint, a developing and code maintaining company of high-speed blockchain Cosmos.

Zhong has a long history in the Tendermint and the Cosmos ecosystem joining co-founders Ethan Buchman and Jae Kwon as Tendermint Inc’s first employees in 2015. His deep understanding of the ecosystem and its value proposition stems from spearheading the digital presence and brand of Cosmos and Tendermint, building the first Cosmos wallet, Voyager.

Zhong’s crypto journey, like most, started off back in the limited days of Bitcoin. “I think Bitcoin popped on my radar like almost a decade ago. And that was one of the biggest changes that we’ve seen, you know, since probably the biggest innovation over the last decade or so,” he said, adding:

“But beyond that, right, crypto is pretty exciting, just because it’s the ability for programmable value to be exchanged. And for people to, you know, for programmers to go use that in all sorts of really crazy ways.”

On Cosmos

Zhong says, “Our vision is a feature of a million blockchains. While in Polkadot they are taking more, I would say a pragmatic approach. And this starts with, let’s say, 100 pairs of chains. Another difference is that parachains rely on developers to build the front up some funds to pay for one of these parachain slots, they’re going to be hotly contested over, because it’s so valuable, and you’re going to reach so many users.

He adds, “By having a parachain slot, that becomes a little bit competitive, it becomes quite expensive, and generally, the more funded, more well funded, you know, parachain projects will get the guaranteed slots, well, the ones that are more experimental might not be able to.”

“So how Cosmos works is every chain launches independently of every other. And they are also not required to collect any other chain either. So in fact, every new chain is created and cosmos is its own separate startup. It’s its own separate website, if you can use that metaphor,” Zhong explained.

On NFTs

Zhong says, “So NFTs are definitely a bubble. But at the same time, it’s going to see incredible growth over let’s say, the next decade. I think everything in the real world can be represented as an NFT.

“These sorts of environments are very conducive to NFT. And to allow people to showcase what they have, you know, what they have bought, what they own, etcetera.”

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ETH ‘supply shock’? Devs signal crucial Ethereum update in August

Ethereum developer Tim Beiko has signaled an early August launch for the protocol’s ‘London’ upgrade, an official proposal on GitHub shows.

“This pull request proposes block 12965000 for the mainnet activation of the London network upgrade. The ETA for this block should be between 13:00 UTC and 17:00 UTC on August 4, 2021,” Beiko wrote, adding:

“If we can roughly hit that timeline, then August 4th should provide enough time to advertise the client releases that are mainnet compatible, and allow infrastructure providers & node operators to upgrade.”

London, supply, and Ethereum

The ‘London’ upgrade is a step towards transitioning Ethereum from its current ‘proof-of-work’ consensus design to a ‘proof-of-staking’ one. The latter relies on community users staking their ETH on nodes, which in turn ‘validate’ transactions and provide security to the network.

The move is one of the most anticipated features for Ethereum. It would see benefits like faster transactions, lower fees, and better security.

In addition, ETH is continually ‘reduced’ as more ETH is ‘staked’ on the network. This adds to market dynamics (lesser supply and constant/increasing demand) and may result in higher ETH prices for investors and holders.

The genesis for ‘ETH 2.0,’ as it is termed, went live last year and is already holding over 6 million ETH ($13 billion at press time). 

Meanwhile, the upgrade is all set for August 4, Beiko pointed out in a tweet. But that’s until no one raises an issue otherwise. “Yep, unless someone objects in the next 24h, London should land on August 4th,” he said. “Keep an eye out.”

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Swiss bank UBS says Bitcoin is ‘unsuitable’ for institutional investors

Switzerland bank UBS said in its latest note to investors that the increased crackdown on the crypto market by China makes investing in Bitcoin and other crypto-assets “unsuitable.”

UBS says stiffer regulations are coming

According to the note, the latest crackdown on digital assets by the Asian country has affected the value of the coins and players in the market. It also highlighted the fact that other countries like the United States and United Kingdom could also be planning to implement a set of stiffer regulations against the industry, thereby making investing in the space a huge risk for investors.

The Swiss banking giant went on to state that regulators across the world have shown that “they can and will crackdown on crypto,” while advising investors to “stay clear and build their portfolio around less risky assets.” The firm concluded that “regulatory crackdowns could pop bubble-like crypto markets.”

Governments around the world renew crackdown on crypto

It is worth noting that China has renewed its hostilities towards crypto mining in recent times. The government of the country has enforced the closure of numerous crypto mining sites citing environmental concerns.

Similarly, in the United States, Boston Federal Reserve’s president Eric Rosengren highlighted the fact Stablecoins were being watched closely by the authorities. According to him, Tether is a “financial stability challenge” they are keeping an eye on.

The financial watchdog of the United Kingdom is also not left out. The Financial Conduct Authority has issued several warnings against crypto and once advised investors in the country to be prepared to “lose all of their money” if they invest in the crypto space.

In Nigeria, the apex bank of the country has restricted all financial institutions in the country from offering their services to crypto-related companies with the threat of sanctioning defaulters.

Other countries across the world are also making considerable efforts towards taming the economic effect and impact of the crypto industry within their jurisdiction.

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New IOTA partnership eases out business woes in East Africa

The IOTA Foundation, the non-profit foundation driving open-source distributed ledger technology for a new digital economy, today announced the initial success of its ongoing collaboration with Trademark East Africa (TMEA).

The duo aims to build a decentralized digital infrastructure for optimized trade exports using IOTA’s distributed technology to phase out paperwork from crucial supply chains.

As per the release, IOTA Foundation and Trademark East Africa will work on creating a system for East African businesses and government systems to communicate in a transparent, secure, and instantaneous manner, both amongst themselves as well as with international partners. 

This would further enable traders to focus on developing their product and optimizing their business by digitizing bureaucratic processes and moving export documentation to the Tangle, IOTA’s ledger data structure.

The problem and the IOTA solution

According to Trademark East Africa’s estimates, an African entrepreneur is liable to fill out an average of 96 paper documents for a single transaction. 

However, the system developed by the IOTA Foundation and TMEA anchors the key trade documents on the Tangle and shares them with customs in destination countries to speed up the export process and make African companies more competitive globally. 

“The technology we use, with the permissionless distributed ledger, is about bringing trust to all these actors at the vital point when they exchange the data. The cost of doing cross-border trade has an enormous effect on the cost of goods, which in turn affects the employment and consumer markets,” said Jens Munch Lund-Nielsen, Head of Global Trade & Supply Chains, IOTA Foundation, in a statement.

TradeMark East Africa has made the project a strategic priority and extended its contract with the IOTA Foundation. As such, IOTA will engage governments around the world to take advantage of this innovation with the aim of making cross-border trade inclusive and easy for all.

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El Salvador’s Bitcoin mine could earn over 20,000 BTC ($750 million) a year

El Salvador’s proposed Bitcoin mine could earn hundreds of millions of dollars each year given the current network state, a top miner pointed out in a tweet today.

Bitcoin revenues for El Salvador?

The country made history last month after becoming the first-ever nation to recognize and classify Bitcoin as ‘legal tender,’ allowing citizens to legally pay using the asset for all goods and services in the country, including any remittances sent abroad.

It didn’t, however, stop there. President Nayib Bukele revealed soon after the move the country was planning to harness geothermal energy from its active volcanoes to power Bitcoin mining rigs—using ‘clean’ energy to do so while creating a revenue stream for the nation.

The plan is set to generate over 95 MegaWatt (MW) of energy, enough to power a sizable mine. 

And that move seems lucrative as of today: “95MW can generate 3 Exahashes which, at current Bitcoin network, is around 1800 Bitcoin in Revenues per month or $750 mln per year,” said Bitfury founder George Kikvadze in a tweet.

He added, “I have zero doubt, this will be the most profitable project in the HISTORY of El Salvador or Central America.”

Inside mining and the exodus

Mining “proof-of-work” cryptocurrencies involve using a massive computing system that solves millions of complex calculations each second to validate transactions on networks like Bitcoin.

The miners are, in turn, rewarded in BTC by the network, some of which is sold to cover costs and ensure a running operation. Each block rewards 6.25 BTC (over $216,000) as of 2021, with the biggest miners generating revenues of millions of dollars each day.

Such incentives are a boon for countries like El Salvador (or any other). Harnessing natural resources could mean an added source of revenue for the economy, one that improves livelihoods, provides jobs, and adds to tax income for the country.

Not everyone is on that path, however. China, former home to the biggest mining operations, recently unleashed its latest round of regulation against Bitcoin-related activities last month.

It caused hundreds of miners to leave the country en masse, resulting in the ‘hash rate’ plunging to multi-year lows and miners searching for newer, friendly regions to set up their operations.

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Wyoming legally recognizes EOS-based DAO in historic move

The US state of Wyoming legally recognized The American CryptoFed DAO on Sunday, as per a release. The historic move made it the first-ever federal region to recognize a decentralized autonomous organization, or “DAO.”

Called ‘The American CryptoFed DAO,’ the legal DAO is based on high-speed blockchain network EOS and operates with a dual-token system: One, ‘Ducat,’ an algorithmic stablecoin with unlimited issuance proposed to be used for daily transactions and as a store of value, and two, ‘Locke, a ‘governance’ token with a 10 trillion circulating supply.

“Our digital currency enables municipalities, merchants, and consumers to engage in digital transactions without the cost of processing fees,” explained Marian Orr, CEO of the American CryptoFed DAO and former mayor of Wyoming.

She added, “As a former mayor, I can tell you those costs add up fast. This means cities and their constituents will no longer lose money through transaction fees, enabling increased revenues back to municipalities without raising taxes.”

Enter the DAO

The move followed Wyoming becoming the first state in the nation to pass legislation into law recognizing DAO’s as a distinct form of limited liability companies (LLC), which became effective on July 1, 2021.

DAOs, for the uninitiated, are a newer form of organization that relies on systems, smart contracts, and technologically enforced rules to ensure the smooth running of an operation, without the need for a central body that drives decisions.

This, in theory, makes for a member- or community-driven company that does not operate at the whims and fancies of the top brass but instead rewards contributors directly for their work as the DAO meets its community-governed goals.

The American CryptoFed DAO will be governed by its governance tokens issued pursuant to the token definition described in the Token Safe Harbor Proposal 2.0 outlined by SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce. 

The rules are set by the consensus of the governance token holders and not influenced by a central government, and transaction records are stored transparently and immutably on a designated blockchain.

Meanwhile, Orr’s “CEO” designation is not that shall forever. “In time, my role as CEO will vanish, as all governance token holders will be voting on governance matters without the influence of an executive team,” she explained in the release. All eyes on how this progresses.

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$7 million ‘liquidated’ after Bitcoin drops $1,000 in 30 minutes

Bitcoin fell $1,000 this morning in a sudden drop, taking along with the rest of the crypto and racking up $7 million in ‘liquidations,’ data from several sources shows.

‘Liquidations,’ for the uninitiated, occur when leveraged positions are automatically closed out by exchanges/brokerages as a “safety mechanism.” Futures and margin traders—who borrow capital from exchanges (usually in multiples) to place bigger bets—put up a small collateral amount before placing a trade.

The move followed a choppy weekend market, which saw the asset range between the $33,000 and $35,500 price zones. This morning, however, Bitcoin saw clear rejection at the $35,500 zone, dropping over $1,000 in just 30 minutes.

As the below chart shows, buyers stepped in at the $34,000 level, causing the plunge to temporarily pause. Still, Bitcoin trades under its 34 period moving average—a tool used by traders to determine market trends using historic prices—at press time, indicating further downside for the next few hours.

Image: BTC/USD via TradingView.

Long traders pay the crypto price

As such, the downward move saw other cryptocurrencies fall alongside Bitcoin, costing ‘long’ traders over $7 million. As per data analytics tool Bybt, over 89% of all futures traders were in ‘long’ positions (or betting on higher prices), losing over $7.69 million in all.

$3.6 million of long liquidations happened on futures powerhouse Bybit. OKEx and Binance followed with $1.45 million and $1.28 million in liquidations respectively.

Bitcoin recorded the highest amount in liquidations with $4.2 million, followed by Ethereum liquidations at $2.5 million and XRP liquidations at $614,000.

11% of ‘short’ traders were liquidated as well, with $914,000 lost to the move (while short traders bet on falling prices, they may have used higher leverage that resulted in even them getting liquidated). 

Meanwhile, the plunge further shows that while Bitcoin’s recent adoption (or consideration) as money in some nations provides for a shifting narrative, it remains a highly volatile asset class that’s still in its nascency.

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Why this crypto VC bet big on DeFi cross-chain liquidity tool Unbound Finance

Paul Veradittakit, a partner at crypto venture fund Pantera Capital, explained why the team invested in cross-chain liquidity protocol Unbound Finance in a post yesterday.

“Unbound presents a promising model for the open flow of liquidity across a myriad of DeFi products, laying the path for the highly-composable, cross-chain DeFi of the future,” he stated.

The Unbound DeFi train

Launched earlier this year, Unbound is aiming to create capital-efficient products that are both native and composable to the DeFi ecosystem. The liquidation-free collateralization platform allows users to borrow interest-free loans against liquidity pool tokens as collateral.

Through strategic partnerships, the project is building native bridges to allow cross-chain transfers of its stablecoin and other synthetic assets.

Unbound will offer a suite of products to unlock liquidity from a diversity of automated market makers (AMMs) on different blockchains, including synthetic assets collateralized by liquidity provider tokens (LPTs), new liquidity pools cross-derived from multiple AMMs, financial instruments to compound yields, and returns, and more. 

The protocol’s first flagship product is the UND stablecoin (pegged to the USD, collateralized by LPTs), which enables LPs to access some of the liquidity they have already locked into liquidity pools on AMMs like Uniswap. LPs can deposit LPTs (which they receive from AMMs in exchange for supplying liquidity) to the protocol and can take out loans in UND in exchange. 

‘Explosion’ of liquidity

As per Veradittakit, the ‘AMM’ model is largely responsible for the explosion of “liquidity” on Ethereum. However, as the liquidity is locked up on the protocols, it becomes largely useless as the holdings cannot be used elsewhere.

But Unbound tries to solve this. “At a high-level, Unbound generates new synthetic assets using liquidity provider tokens (LPTs, which are given to liquidity providers in exchange for supplying liquidity to a protocol like Uniswap) as collateral,” explained Veradittakit, adding:

“These LPTs are generally not tradable but still represent a significant amount of value, meaning that without a derivative component, their value cannot be realized until they are redeemed for a share of the liquidity pool that they represent.”

The Unbound protocol currently supports AMMs like Uniswap, Balancer, MooniSwap, and Sushiswap. Strategic partnerships with EVM-compatible public blockchains, like Binance Smart Chain, Polygon and Harmony will support AMMs like PancakeSwap, DFYN, and SeeSwap, among others.

It is backed by leading venture capitalists in the blockchain ecosystem, including Pantera Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, CMS Holdings, Hashed,  LedgerPrime, LD Capital, TRGC, ArkStream Capital, ZeePrime Capital, Future Perfect Ventures, Brilliance Ventures, Woodstock, Coin98 Ventures & GenBlock Digital to name a few.

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