Bitcoin ETF unlikely until market cap reaches $2 trillion, fund manager says

A crypto manager said that the much-awaited Bitcoin ETF in the US would likely be delayed until the milestone is reached.

Sorry, no Bitcoin ETF

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have been on the wishlist of crypto market participants for years now, especially among the retail and professional managers in the US.

Such products are regulated, custodied crypto offerings that would allow traders and investors to bet on the growth (or fall) of cryptocurrencies using a well-regulated, legal, and reputed platform which minimizes counterparty risk (the scenario of an exchange failing to pay out or acknowledging one’s trade position).

Investors have waited long for such a fund to make an appearance in the US, and they may have to wait even more if one fund manager is to be believed.

Cathie Wood, the CEO of the crypto-focussed division of Ark Investment, said in a recent appearance at the ETH Trends Big Ideas event that the crypto market had a long way to go before it could be considered formidable in the US markets.

As per Wood, the entire crypto market cap needs to reach at least $2 trillion for Bitcoin or crypto ETFs to be considered/passed by US regulators. This is a near 200% increase than the $700 billion market cap that Bitcoin managed to reach earlier this month, its highest-ever.

She said, “The flood of demand has to be satisfied so it’s going to have to get well over a trillion dollars – $2 trillion, I think, before the [U.S Securities and Exchange Commission] will feel comfortable about a Bitcoin ETF. 

Several US firms have tried to launch their regulated Bitcoin ETFs in the country but have, so far, only met with rejection. At least three such ETFs were rejected in a single day in 2018, while one hopeful even pulled out of the ETF race altogether in 2019 (it said it would try when the laws were more favorable).

Biden is good for crypto

In the rest of his presentation, Wood added that Gary Gensler, the frontrunner to lead the US Securities and Exchange Commission under the Biden administration, held a favorable view of the crypto market and was likely to introduce supportive policies to invigorate their usage.

She called Gensler “pro-Bitcoin” in the meeting, in addition to mentioning the incoming SEC leaders were relatively more crypto-friendly than the previous Trump administration.

Meanwhile, her presentation also contained some price predictions for Bitcoin’s prices, especially as hedge funds, tech firms, and family offices make their way into the burgeoning crypto market.

Wood said that if every S&P 500 company were to invest 1% of their treasury assets into Bitcoin, the asset’s price would increase by $40,000. And for even more hopium, she said that if this allocation reached 2.5% and 6.5%, it could impact bitcoin’s price “by $200,000 to $500,000.”

Talk about hyperbitcoinization.

The post Bitcoin ETF unlikely until market cap reaches $2 trillion, fund manager says appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Stably CEO Kory Hoang explains how first-timers should buy Bitcoin (and where stablecoins are headed)

2020 was the year of decentralized finance. It saw the rise of hundreds of DeFi apps, yield-farming tools, algorithmic stablecoins, and several other avenues revolving around one major theme: How to put one’s passive crypto holdings to generate even more crypto?

Today, Stably CEO Kory Hoang discusses just that. Hoang, the CEO of stablecoin-as-a-service firm Stably, sat down with Alex Fazel, the host of crypto edutainment show Cryptonites, to discuss the rise of stablecoins in a yield-starved environment alongside the upcoming growth of Bitcoin.

Stably CEO Kory Hoang. Image: Cryptonites

As a bit of background, Hoang started Stably in 2018 after raising over $500,000 from venture funds like 500 startups and BEENEXT along with co-founder and firm CTO David Zhang, who met Hoang in 2017 at an algorithmic trading meetup in Seattle. 

Hoang and Zhang previously worked in low-frequency trading of commodities and speculative assets that exhibited high volatility and trend-persistent price anomalies, such as gold ETFs, VIX ETNs, and cryptocurrencies.

In 2017, after quitting their day jobs, they worked towards building Stably, a trustworthy and transparent solution for consumers and investors to issue their own stablecoins worldwide.

Yield-farming in a low-interest world

As a stablecoin entrepreneur, Hoang is unsurprisingly very bullish about the growth of stablecoins in the future, especially in the areas of payments and international settlement. “I’m very bullish on stable coins and other foreign currencies that I believe will come out in droves this year. I’m also very bullish on stable coins that are more than just fiat-backed,” he told Fazel.

What Hoang referred to was the rise of algorithmically-backed stablecoins in the past few months, which, unlike fiat-backed stablecoins, are backed by other cryptocurrencies or even change their circulating supply to match market demand.

He noted, “What we are starting to see now is, you know, generation two, three, and four. Generation twos are decentralized stable coin that may take in generation once they will coin as part of its collateral,” adding:

“An example of this is MakerDAO and Dai. It’s multi collateral.”

Rushing into buying Bitcoin? Don’t

For his initial segment, Hoang recommends newcomers avoid FOMOing into Bitcoin and planning out a stabler investment strategy instead. “All my friends I haven’t heard from in like 10 years heading me up now. Like, “Hey, what do I do with Bitcoin. Should I buy?” My number one piece of advice to anybody? Don’t buy everything all at once upfront. Look into what dollar-cost averaging means.”

Hoang further noted that longer-term investing was the way to go with BTC:

“Don’t buy everything upfront, buy a little bit every month, every week, every quarter or every year so that you don’t put everything up front and it drops on you.”

And even if you were the more adventurous type, that is to step into the intellectual world of algo trading and quantitative analysis, Hoang says to avoid chasing big money, and instead concentrating on compounding your bets.

Want to know the expanse of the algo stablecoin market? More of Hoang’s crypto anecdotes? Or how Vietnam is a major market for stablecoins? Check out the entire episode available for streaming right below!

The post Stably CEO Kory Hoang explains how first-timers should buy Bitcoin (and where stablecoins are headed) appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Early Bitcoin advocate Chamath Palihapitiya to contest for California governor

The star money manager made a big Bitcoin bet back when the project was in its nascency. And he now wants to make the US a better place.

Pushing for education and zero state tax

Social Capital founder Chamath Palihapitiya wants to run for the position of Californian Governor, he said in a tweet on Tuesday. And whether he may have been joking or not, Palihapitiya is a Bitcoin bull and has focused his recent work on the betterment of society.

In addition to his work with Social Capital (which bets on tech firms) and being one of the first employees at Facebook, Palihapitiya is also the current chairman of space travel and exploration firm Virgin Galactic.

“It’s on,” he wrote on Twitter, working in his candidature in a brief one-liner on his site, “California is a mess — it’s too expensive, our teachers are underpaid, and our schools aren’t good enough.’

California has faced a brain drain in the past few years with high taxes, low incomes, and below favorable social conditions for teachers and other critical workers. Other education-related proposals are “no student loans” and “free school vouchers.”

“I’ll give students a free voucher to pick any school they want to attend. Education is a human right and our children should be able to choose where they receive it,” claimed Palihapitiya in his post.

Palihapitiya further proposes a $70,000 minimum salary for teachers on his candidate site, alongside a 0% state tax to raise California’s coffers to over $300 billion. Lastly, he adds that his office would make California a global center for technology and climate jobs, achieving this by “realigning incentives rather than pushing them away.”

Palihapitiya x Bitcoin

Palihapitiya is rumored to have purchased a “large” supply of Bitcoin in 2013 or 2014—in the region of 100,000 Bitcoin. He holds a bullish view of the asset, stating just earlier this month that BTC could easily go to $100,000 and beyond.

His reasons? That today’s leaders are “not as trustworthy and reliable as they used to be.”

Meanwhile, unlike Bitcoin price chasers, Palihapitiya has famously stated his intentions to engage in betterment for society with his gains. Last year, he said he would “buy out” the Hamptons—a vacation spot for the rich and well-heeled—and turn into sleepaway camps for children and build low-cost housing instead.

A perfect way to spend part of the gains if you were to ask me.

The post Early Bitcoin advocate Chamath Palihapitiya to contest for California governor appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Bank of England governor is bearish on Bitcoin, but sees growth of CBDCs

The crypto skeptic made the comments in an online discussion during this year’s Davos agenda.

Bitcoin not the solution?

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey does not see Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies existing in their current forms for a long period, especially as the broader technology sector develops further.

“Are cryptocurrencies here to stay? Digital innovation in payments, yes,” Bailey stated, adding that most digital assets in their current form were far from finished, with their insatiable prices a concern.

The governor noted:

“Have we landed on what I would call the design, governance, and arrangements for a lasting digital currency? No, I don’t think we’re there yet.”

Bailey made the comments during a discussion titled “Resetting Digital Currencies” at yesterday’s Davos Agenda online event, a yearly occurrence hosted by the World Economic Forum.

His comments suggested that the regulations, technical aspects, and the overall market for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin did not favor the everyday economy, one that involves payments and stores of value at a much stable price level.

As such, Bailey does not hold a negative view of digital currencies in general. He said in the meeting that businesses, consumers, and regulators were more likely to look for digital currencies that were “stable, safe and well-designed” before adopting currencies away from the UK pound or the US dollar.

Bailey added that the development (and debate) around stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a lasting solution for payments was much required in today’s environment, stating there remained “big challenges still to solve,” such as lower costs of payments.

The rise of CBDCs

CBDCs show significant development for both technology and regulations in the past year, especially among developed and developing countries.

China led in that regard. The country’s upcoming “digital yuan”— envisioned for a mid-2022 launch — saw pilot tests in major cities among millions of potential users. In the first week of tests, over $3 million worth of the digital yuan was already transacted, with the main use cases at storefronts and grocery stores.

Certain food delivery and ride-sharing apps took part in the trials too, local reports said.

Countries like Japan, Singapore, and Korea mulled over their own CBDC developments, with Korea even launching a $400 million fund to explore the use of blockchain technology (and another emerging tech) for use in digital payments.

In the West, some US officials began work on a plan for the digital dollar, while the UK, France, and other European countries either began working on proposals or considered the potential of such currencies for their economies.

The post Bank of England governor is bearish on Bitcoin, but sees growth of CBDCs appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Ethereum-based blockchain solutions to now feature in 80 Chinese cities

One of the only state-recognized blockchain networks in China will now officially work with a major Ethereum development lab.

Ethereum for the Chinese public

Ethereum venture fund and development lab ConsenSys announced Monday it would officially work with China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN), as per a release. The partnership would see further development of the country’s public blockchain networks.

Together with the BSN—the open-source protocol layer that serves as a foundation for businesses to build Ethereum-based enterprise solutions—Ethereum-based enterprise and business solutions will now be available in over 80 different cities via BSN’s public city nodes throughout mainland China, the release noted.

Founded in 2015, ConsenSys develops decentralized software services and applications that operate on the Ethereum blockchain. Some of the firm’s most popular products are browser wallet MetaMask and blockchain node hosting service Infura.

The Blockchain Service Network, on the other hand, is a Chinese government-backed blockchain initiative that works on integrating public blockchain systems into the broader economy. It has been developed by several Chinese tech players and features local blockchain offerings such as Nervos Network, but is, as such, not owned by the Chinese government.

And it’s now getting an Ethereum boost. ConsenSys, as per the release, said its recently acquired Quorum service (purchased from JPMorgan last year) would see its first use case with the BSN. “BSN will include Quorum in BSN’s training programs in 2021 to substantially accelerate the enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and Ethereum-based solutions in China,” said the firm’s executive director Yifan He.

Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys, stated in the regard:

“ConsenSys Quorum is unique in that it spans the whole range of needs for enterprises in terms of privacy and permissioned features, yet is still compatible with the Ethereum mainnet.”

He added that local enterprises in China could ultimately benefit from the transparent collaborative business networks that the broader BSN ecosystem would provide, all while being private and yet scalable.

Scope of work

BSN’s cross-cloud and cross-chain infrastructure network seeks to allow developers to create and deploy decentralized applications (dApps) both conveniently and at a low cost across multiple different protocols.

Now, with the connections to ConsenSys, the latter’s “Codefi” applications—such as enterprise blockchain app Orchestrate, process management app Workflow, and token issuance program Assets—will be made available on the BSN marketplace for developers.

The use cases are significant. The BSN claims to have already deployed more than 2,000 blockchain applications across enterprises and government organizations in China, in the form of over 108 public city nodes in the country and eight nodes abroad.

And Ethereum’s enterprise prowess will now feature on that ride too.

The post Ethereum-based blockchain solutions to now feature in 80 Chinese cities appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Anthony Scaramucci says Bitcoin is “as safe as bonds and gold” after $310m bet

A New York-based fund manager who splashed big money into Bitcoin this month contested the bullish case for the asset in an opinion piece.

Why Bitcoin for the future

SkyBridge Capital co-founder Anthony Scaramucci spoke about the bullish case for Bitcoin in the coming years in an opinion piece published Sunday. He was joined by firm president and COO Brett Messing, who shared the views.

Scaramucci made the headlines earlier this month after his firm unveiled its Bitcoin Fund LP, one that holds over $310 million worth of the asset, $25 million of which is SkyBridge’s own.

On Sunday, he furthered his conviction on the asset. “Investors are scooping up Bitcoin, which, because of its very nature, is impervious to inflation. By the law of supply and demand, that makes Bitcoin a limited—and in-demand—asset,” wrote Scaramucci, paying homage to the asset’s deflationary nature.

He added that Bitcoin’s rapid growth caused governments and regulatory institutions to sit up and take notice about where the digital asset was ultimately heading to, both from a regulatory side and a protectionary side, such as the many risks associated with the digital currency.

In terms of such problems, Scaramucci noted the US Office of Comptroller of Currency had now authorized banks and custodians to provide cryptocurrency services—a move unthought of as recently as 2017—which eliminated several trust issues pertaining to the crypto market.

He added in the regard:

“Until recently, as an investment, Bitcoin has had unique and pronounced risks, but that’s changing, with new rules and regulations that have spurred wider institutional adoption.”

Scaramucci further stated that Bitcoin, despite being in its “early adoption phase,” had relatively matured and now offered “significant long-term value.”

How gold loses this battle

Scaramucci said that in the current market conditions, one that was majorly propped by the US Federal Reserve, investors were “scooping up Bitcoin” as a hedge against rampant, potential inflation.

He further stated that financial institutions like trillion-dollar asset manager Fidelity’s recent advancements into the Bitcoin space made investing (for retail and institutional investors) “as safe as owning bonds and commodities like gold.”

As for Bitcoin’s volatility, Scaramucci attributed that aspect to the newness of the asset class and lack of regulation, adding that the asset’s intangibility made it even more valuable.

“You can always mine for more gold,” he ended.

The post Anthony Scaramucci says Bitcoin is “as safe as bonds and gold” after $310m bet appeared first on CryptoSlate.

World Economic Forum to host cryptocurrency discussions at Davos this week

The International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation has been vocal about its stance on the burgeoning crypto market. And it’s now discussing it more formally.

WEF discusses crypto

This week will see two cryptocurrency events take place between officials of the World Economic Forum, the international commerce think tank, as part of the high-profile Davos meeting.

Held on Monday and Thursday, the two sessions are the first time digital assets would be the sole topic at the WEF. The Geneva-headquartered agency has earlier spoken sporadically about Bitcoin and other crypto assets—even honored oracle service Chainlink as a rising tech player—and foresees the sector to have a positive impact on the world.

As per the “Davos Agenda” program, Monday’s session, called “Resetting Digital Currencies,”  sees WEF blockchain and policy head Sheila Warren, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, and Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek take the stage for discussing digital currencies.

The agenda would revolve around the policies, practices, and partnerships are needed to leverage the opportunities posed by the rise of digital currencies. “COVID-19 has accelerated the long-term shift from cash. Meanwhile, central bank digital currencies are emerging, potentially transforming how people use money worldwide,” the event’s prospectus stated.

On the other hand, Thursday’s event sees Singapore minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Beijing’s National Institute of Financial Research chairman Zhu Min, CoinDesk’s chief content office Micheal Casey, and Overseas Development Institute chief executive Sara Pantuliano.

Past dives

This weeks’ discussions come as WEF officials have positively considered the rise of cryptocurrencies in the future, alongside another emerging tech like blockchain (over which most digital currencies work) and AI.

Last year, the WEF even recognized decentralized oracle service Chainlink as one of the top fifty “technology pioneers” in the world, alongside MakerDAO, Bitcoin development team Lightning Labs, and blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

Such firms are early to growth-stage companies and are involved in work towards the design, development, and deployment of disruptive technologies and innovations. The Forum earmarks such firms to have a “significant impact” on business and broader society.

And now with the official discussions this week, how far more does WEF see crypto assets going?

The post World Economic Forum to host cryptocurrency discussions at Davos this week appeared first on CryptoSlate.

After brief cheers, U.S. banks are back to bashing Bitcoin again

Some US banks have restarted their outrage against Bitcoin even as others have warmed up to the asset in the past year.

How prices affect sentiment

Bitcoin’s infamous price gyrations are known to polarize. The asset, like most other cryptocurrencies, can move by several percentage points in a single day—a stomach-churning experience for those using BTC as an “investment” and otherwise used to trading stonks.

Such movements may not affect the average crypto investor with less than $10,000 in overall holdings. However, when that magnitude reaches millions of dollars, it’s either risk-seeking hedge funds or individuals taking the BTC plunge.

Last year, as BTC moved from under $4,000 to over $41,000, banks and financial institutions spoke high and wide of Bitcoin as a one-size-fits-all macro hedge or even as an alternative to gold.

Banks like JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley (despite being known Bitcoin skeptics) said the asset class is likely to attract ‘hundreds of billions of dollars’ in the coming years, asset management firm Fidelity said it expected family offices to eventually start piling Bitcoin, while mutual fund giant MassMutual invested over $100 million in BTC last year, calling it the “first step” towards possible future plans.

But despite the recent cheers, some banks seem to hold their opinion of Bitcoin in tandem with the asset’s price movements: The recent price crash in the past few weeks has seen some banks starting their onslaught against Bitcoin once again.

The FUD returns

A report released by Bank of America last week said Bitcoin remained an overvalued asset and called it the most “crowded trade” in current times. The bank even said Bitcoin was in a bigger “bubble” than most tech stocks—the latter of which have seen their own run last year, with electric carmaker Tesla zooming from under $200 in 2019 to over $800.

Then came a survey commissioned by Deutsche Bank, which saw 90% of respondents say that the most “extreme” bubble was Bitcoin, with 50% of all survey participants giving it the maximum of 10 points on a 1-10 bubble scale.

In terms of a long-term outlook, respondents said both Bitcoin (and stocks like Tesla) were likely to halve in price than double in value. 

Such outlooks came despite an expected 92% higher global inflation over the next year—a record high; one that Bitcoin seeks to hedge against—with 71% of respondents stating the U.S. Federal Reserve was expected to continue to print more money to allow the markets to continue to grow.

The latest of such caution letters came yesterday after UBS economists told clients that Bitcoin wasn’t even an actual currency. “People are unlikely to want to use something as a currency if they’ve got absolutely no certainty about what they can buy with that tomorrow,” said UBS economist Paul Donovan.

But in a world of incessant money printing and inflation, do such arguments even hold a place anymore?

The post After brief cheers, U.S. banks are back to bashing Bitcoin again appeared first on CryptoSlate.

You can now earn Zilliqa (ZIL) from CryptoSlate via a quiz on Telegram

You will now be able to earn tokens of the high-speed blockchain app via answering quizzes on our Telegram channel.

Earn ZIL tokens

High-speed blockchain Zilliqa has partnered with CryptoSlate, your 24/7 crypto news and analysis outlet, to bring an innovative quiz contest that allows users to earn ZIL tokens.

Zilliqa is the world’s first blockchain to implement sharding on its mainnet, delivering high performance and high security for enterprises and applications. The core feature that makes Zilliqa scalable is sharding — dividing the network into several smaller component networks (called shards) capable of processing transactions in parallel.

As announced today, CryptoSlate will start sending out $ZIL related quizzes soon. It is on a first come first serve basis and will be provided to all users on CryptoSlate’s official Telegram—CryptoSlateNews.

The quiz allows users to “learn and earn” by answering the provided questions correctly. It has been made possible via the Zeeves bot, Zilliqa’s peer-to-peer reward, and engagement bot. It is the most advanced Telegram-based crypto application in the world.

What is Zeeves?

As per its site, Zeeves can handle all transactions in a secure and splendiferously quick manner. “With it, you can send/receive $ZIL, tip your fellow community members, or buy $ZIL via Telegram,” said Han Wen, SVP of ecosystem at Zilliqa.

The firm’s experts have designed Zeeves, the so-called “bot-ler” to be secure, swift, and efficient. Zeeves account holders have several other benefits as well, such as being part of its global community, which in turn come with many benefits and rewards.

Zeeves Loyalty Programme is a tiered points-based system, designed to drive and incentivize meaningful community engagement. Actions performed through our bot-ler correspond with certain points. 

Over time, one can accumulate points and benefit from special giveaways at the various levels described below. Users who sign up to Zeeves are automatically integrated into this program, and it is live until March 2021.

Follow CryptoSlate news on Telegram here to take part in the quizzes.

The post You can now earn Zilliqa (ZIL) from CryptoSlate via a quiz on Telegram appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Want to fight against Craig Wright’s ‘ownership’ of Bitcoin? Here’s what to do

The computer scientist claims to have “invented” Bitcoin. And he is now forcefully taking over the asset’s open-source whitepaper.

Take down the whitepaper

Controversial Australian computer scientist Craig Wright is now threatening to sue the Bitcoin.org website, which hosts the asset’s nine-page whitepaper, among others, years after he first started to claim ownership of having invented Bitcoin.

Lawyers hired by Wright have enforced and sent out “copyright claim” letters on three sites that work towards Bitcoin education and adoption: Bitcoin.com, Bitcoin.org, and Bitcoincore.org. They allege that the whitepaper is Wright’s property and cannot be republished or used without his consent.

As per documents, the letters were sent in accordance with the English Civil Procedure Rules, Pre-Action Protocol for intellectual property claims. Such letters are usually sent out to caution a person about possible court proceedings if they do not stop their alleged infringement.

On its part, Bitcoin.org said that it would not bend over and give into Wright’s censorship and supposed ownership of Bitcoin. “We will continue hosting the Bitcoin whitepaper and won’t be silenced or intimidated. Others hosting the whitepaper should follow our lead in resisting these false allegations,” it said in a post on Thursday.

The non-profit organization added that the Bitcoin whitepaper, which Wright claims to take ownership of, was both included in the original Bitcoin files and published under the permissive and free MIT license by Satoshi Nakamoto. This means Bitcoin.org (and any other organization/individual) has the legal right to host the whitepaper.

‘I am the founder of Bitcoin’

Meanwhile, some individuals on Twitter urged the public to join Bitcoin.org’s fight against Wright’s claims. “If you want to contribute to http://bitcoin.org’s legal defense against’s CSW’s copyright claims over the whitepaper and alleged ownership of the domain,” said CobraBitcoin.

Starting in 2016, a series of articles and reporters linked Wright to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, claiming at the time that he had invented Bitcoin and “digitally signed messages using cryptographic keys created during the early days of Bitcoin’s development.”

As such, Wright has a long list of court cases and has previously made false statements regarding his involvement in projects. The scientist claims to have a doctorate in theology, comparative religious and classical studies, awarded in 2003 but has not stated which institution granted this doctorate. 

In 2015, he claimed to have a Ph.D. in computer science from Australia’s Charles Sturt University, but the university told Forbes that it only awarded him two master’s degrees and not a doctorate. This, however, was later awarded in February 2017.

The post Want to fight against Craig Wright’s ‘ownership’ of Bitcoin? Here’s what to do appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Did Chainlink (LINK) just get on Grayscale Investments’ offering list?

A mysterious company popped up in the US state of Delaware. But is Grayscale behind that?

LINKies unite

Someone set up a Chainlink (LINK) product under the guise of a Grayscale Investments offering last month, documents from company directory Bizapedia showed.

Neither did Grayscale or Chainlink make any comment, but given the fast rise of LINK and its increasing use case in the past year, a ‘Grayscale Chainlink Trust’ product may not be such a far-fetched idea either.

The news did, however, help the Chainlink ‘marines,’ get charged up on the news, and rightfully so.

Chainlink is the world’s largest oracle service. Oracles are third-party tools that fetch data from outside a blockchain to within it, as blockchains are a means of iron-clad storage and immutability but cannot verify the quality of data going inside them.

This means that bad data can register itself on the blockchain, causing a host of problems and millions of dollars in losses. Chainlink helps avoid this, while additionally also being capable of being an efficient payment system itself.

As per CryptoSlate’s DeFi page, Chainlink has a current market cap of over $8.4 billion and currently trades at $20.6, witnessing a 6% price gain after suffering a broader sell-off in the cryptocurrency market yesterday.

How Chainlink would feature in Grayscale

Grayscale is the world’s largest crypto asset manager and investment platform. It holds over $25.5 billion worth of various cryptocurrencies (mainly Bitcoin) over nine “trusts.” Its products are some of the only regulated crypto-offerings to trade on public markets in the US.

How Grayscale’s products work is like this: the asset manager ties up with a custodian (such as Coinbase) to hold a certain amount of cryptocurrency tied to that “trust” share. Investors can then either subscribe (with a six-month lock-in) or purchase those shares on the open market. 

Investors make money along with the growth of their holdings. As the value of the underlying crypto rises, the price of the trust share rises. And for the legally compliant service, Grayscale charges a sizable premium in the range of 10% to as much as 200%.

A Chainlink trust would work in a similar manner. Grayscale would hold a fixed amount of LINK per share, and accredited investors would be able to purchase it via regulated OTC brokers in the US.

The post Did Chainlink (LINK) just get on Grayscale Investments’ offering list? appeared first on CryptoSlate.

How Phala Network is bringing on-chain privacy to the Polkadot (DOT) ecosystem

The burgeoning Polkadot ecosystem is getting yet another huge use case to its ever-expanding suite of innovative products.

Privacy for transactions

The cryptocurrency space—far, far before its current form—started out with the ethos of financial inclusion and privacy. This meant transacting in a fully private, safe manner while still viewing all such transactions in a publicly accessible and immutable database, i.e. the blockchain.

Somewhere down the line, this use case lost prominence and the blockchain was opened up to much bigger implementations, such as (but not limited to), smart contract services, decentralized identities, oracles, tokenized assets, non-fungible token, art, and a plethora of other features.

Then came Ethereum, with its blockchain-as-an-operating system narrative that allowed developers to build their own use cases atop its blockchain. High-speed blockchains like Polkadot, Cardano, and others followed soon after.

But while the privacy narrative got lost somewhere among all that, a relatively new project is working in that regard on the Polkadot ecosystem. For the uninitiated, Polkadot is among the top ten cryptocurrencies of the world by market cap, providing economic scalability by enabling a common set of validators to secure multiple blockchains.

And bringing privacy to it is the Phala Network, whose founders say is the first confidential smart contract network built on Substrate that aims to provide confidential computation and data protection services for enterprises and users. 

The project would serve the whole Polkadot ecosystem as one of the Polkadot parachains, or projects that are commissioned by and run atop Polkadot to better the entire ecosystem.

Benefits of Phala

Phala’s two products are the pLIBRA and Web3 Analytics. The former is a confidential computation component built for Libra granted by Web3 foundation (as per a blog in March 2020) while the latter is a tool that analyzes user data and output results without invading personal privacy.

More use cases would be added to and unveiled on the network as it grows to serve more people and their communities.

In terms of technology, Phala applies a Trusted Environment Execution (TEE) design that allows confidential data to run in an isolated and private environment and outputs results alone with authorization.

This allows for two separate, distinct organizations to share sensitive data with one other without worrying about a potential data leak. 

Another benefit of Phala is its interoperability features that would allow any two blockchains to interact with each other in a private manner (a difficult problem to solve).

As of today, the Phala Network’s PHA token has a 1 billion supply, and its mainnet was released last year. It has a market cap of over $41 million, and its current circulating supply is 142 million (subject to change as token lockups are released).

The post How Phala Network is bringing on-chain privacy to the Polkadot (DOT) ecosystem appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Former Ripple advisor to become US ‘Comptroller of the Currency’ under Joe Biden

The new administration is said to be more crypto friendly than the outgoing Trump government. And now, even crypto players are joining in.

Treasury to Ripple to Comptroller

Former Ripple advisor and US Treasury official Micheal Barr is tipped to become the next US Comptroller of the Currency, a report on the Wall Street Journal today said.

Barr was a Ripple advisor back in 2015 and worked in the Treasury Department under the Obama administration. At the time, he said the then financial system was outdated and could do with a revamp, one that Ripple’s high-speed distributed ledger and payment service was geared for.

As head of the Office Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Barr would be responsible for overseeing the flow of the US dollar, the nation’s credit spending, and determining charters for public and private banks.

Another task is to manage the fundamental aspect of banking: i.e. managing capital and capital requirements. The OCC works in conjecture with other U.S. regulators and international standard setters to identify and develop policies to address emerging risks to bank capital.

As such, the OCC itself charters, regulates and supervises all national banks and federal savings associations as well as federal branches and agencies of foreign banks. It is an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Barr’s inclination towards cryptocurrencies could see favorable rules for the burgeoning sector, much of which is stuck in archaic regulations and legislations. It could, furthermore, see an increased push for regulating crypto wallets, stablecoins, and the DeFi industry.

US looks towards crypto  laws

In the past months, the US government has taken steps to control and issue directives for the crypto market. Two of the biggest moves are the proposed STABLE act and the “self-hosted” wallets proposal.

The STABLE act requires that any issuer of a stablecoin must comply directly with banking regulations. However, such regulation limits the burgeoning (and wildly innovative) DeFi space by only allowing KYC-ed individuals to transact with decentralized applications.

Similarly, the ‘self-hosted’ wallet act requires crypto wallet users to KYC their wallet addresses and declare all transactions above $3,000, as per a recent proposal. The US government is currently taking comments from the industry in this regard but has faced criticism for the proposal.

However, if Barr is indeed appointed, such acts could either change or become more conducive to the broader crypto sector.

The post Former Ripple advisor to become US ‘Comptroller of the Currency’ under Joe Biden appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Theta Network to be used for micropayments in the World Poker Tour

The purpose-built decentralized video delivery network and cryptocurrency is one of the biggest blockchain by market cap. And its adoption is booming.

Partnering with the WPT

Theta Labs today announced that World Poker Tour (WPT), the premier name in live poker entertainment, has integrated the native Theta Network protocol and Theta Fuel (TFUEL) micropayments on its platform, as per a release shared with CryptoSlate.

The firm is best known for developing Theta Network, the leading video delivery network, and THETA.tv, a decentralized live streaming platform. The THETA token is ranked 23rd in the world with a market cap of $1.9 billion and trades at $2 at press time.

Theta’s infrastructure would enable existing video platforms to drive incremental revenues and reduce content delivery CDN costs while end-users are rewarded for sharing their bandwidth to relay video on a peer-to-peer basis on any PC, mobile, Smart TV and IoT device.

And it’s coming to the World Poker Tour (WPT). As per the release, Theta’s decentralized streaming protocol directly on the WPT website with a brand new 24/7 poker channel built on its blockchain.

“World Poker Tour is excited to fully integrate Theta network peer-to-peer streaming infrastructure on our new Theta powered channel on WPT.com and provide millions of our global fans with a superior viewer experience,” said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour, in the regard.

The integration with Theta integration allows WPT to lower their video delivery CDN costs by 50% or more, while increasing user engagement, viewing times and monetization. This is unlike the existing providers on the market, which charge a high upfront cost for steaming.

Benefits for TFUEL holders

The development has several benefits for TFUEL holders, the token that powers the Theta blockchain. By design, Theta users can earn TFUEL tokens for sharing video content utilizing their excess bandwidth and computing resources. 

For the WPT, the above allows fans to earn as much as $10-$15/month by watching their favorite poker content on their browser with no download required. 

Mitch Liu, Co-founder and CEO of Theta Labs, commented in the regard:

“Theta Labs and WPT continue to lead the media and entertainment industry in the adoption of blockchain technology. This integration marks an important milestone and establishes WPT as the best and most cutting edge televised poker product in the world.”

He added that integrating Theta was a “win-win” proposition that would benefit all stakeholders in the streaming ecosystem. 

And it’s a great benefit for sure.

The post Theta Network to be used for micropayments in the World Poker Tour appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Here’s why the Energy Web Foundation thinks Bitcoin will see a massive rise in 2021

Self-sovereignty and decentralized energy would be on the uptrend as well, the foundation’s co-founders said.

The up and up of Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s rise in 2020 has seen widespread coverage and hype among both the crypto- and traditional-finance markets, with fund managers, tech firms, and even governments discussing and allocation or taking their first steps into the burgeoning market.

But despite Bitcoin’s rise from under $4,000 to over $41,000 last year, some industry insiders say the asset has room to grow further. This thought has been echoed, for the first time ever, even by banks and traditional market participants—with some predictions pegging each Bitcoin to as high as $450,000.

Take the Energy Web Foundation for example. The firm’s founders, Walter Kok and Micha Roon, who lead their team towards accelerating a low-carbon, customer-centric electricity system by enabling any energy asset owned by any customer to participate in any energy market, say decentralized transfers of energy assets and Bitcoin are poised for more rockstar years of growth ahead.

Image: Cryptonites

This, and more, in this week’s interview with Alex Fazel, the host of crypto edutainment platform Cryptonites, a YouTube channel that interviews influential crypto entrepreneurs, personalities, and individuals weekly to narrow the gap between the increasingly complex crypto industry and the normal world.

How this time is different

Kok shared that he has been in the Bitcoin space since 2016 and it has widely evolved since then. He said the market was “quite speculative” and “for a very small group” at the time, but now, the “big money” is coming in as they see Bitcoin as sound money, and that most pricing models position the asset for a mammoth rise.

“It’s much more enterprise-driven, much more enterprise adoption,” Kok said. Roon added in the regard: 

“It’s really hard to assess, but you are right. Enterprises are getting in and so the volatility will go down a little, which will be very welcome. And the rise will be maybe slower in the coming year, but more steady with fewer jigsaws and that’s nice.”

Roon added such price behavior also brought more visibility to the crypto market. “We have seen pretty much a U-turn from the banking sector on crypto. So it’s, it’s really promising. I am very confident in the future,” he said.

Inside the EWT

Apart from Bitcoin’s rise, Kok and Roon see big adoption plans for their Energy Web Token (EWT), which powers the enterprising Energy Web Chain network. The latter is the world’s first open-source, enterprise blockchain platform tailored to the energy sector. 

It is designed on the Energy Web Decentralized Operating System (EW-DOS), a full-stack that includes front-end applications and a variety of software development toolkits, and is maintained by over 25 Validator nodes from 15 countries, including utilities, grid operators, and startups.

Kok said about the token, “We’re building digital infrastructure with the sector. In a source model and we invite a lot of new companies to innovate on top of it,” adding:

“Like you’ve seen lots of innovation on the internet and then because it’s all public infrastructure, everybody benefits, it’s open-source, very nicely put, and that’s a perfect transition.”

But how does EWF work between different enterprises, cities, and entire nations? What do Kok and Roon think of CBDCs and other state-governed digital currency projects? How do blockchains evolve from here? Find out all this and MUCH more in the entire Cryptonites episode available for streaming below.

The post Here’s why the Energy Web Foundation thinks Bitcoin will see a massive rise in 2021 appeared first on CryptoSlate.

There are now over 600k unique Ethereum NFTs on the market

The crypto sub-sector saw a reasonable boom last year. And it’s only increasing.

Ethereum and the rise of NFTs

The non-fungible token (NFT) market grew by leaps and bounds in the past year, seeing a brief growth in mid-2020 and a sudden rise in September. And now, there are over 630,000 such wallets that have been involved in some way in the sub-sector.

Alex Atallah, the CEO of NFT platform OpenSea, said in a tweet this morning, “There are now over 630,000 distinct wallets that have created NFTs or semi-fungible tokens (ERC721 or ERC1155).”

He compared the numbers to the internet’s rise in the late-90s, stating that at the time, only 23 blogs were “live” on the web in 1999, while six years later, that number expanded to over 50 million.

Non-fungible tokens are used to create verifiable digital scarcity, as well as digital ownership, and the possibility of asset interoperability across multiple platforms. They majorly find their applications in art, collectibles, and gaming, but can be used to prove the ownership of just about anything.

Gaming-related NFTs made their appearance after 2016, when Bitcoin-based trading cards, issued by projects like Age of Chains and Rare Pepes, made the rounds. Later on, the launch and popularity of Ethereum saw the NFT market grow further.

June 2017 saw the launch of the “punk” character trading platform CryptoPunk. Later that years in October, DADA.art was built from the CryptoPunks model and launched the first marketplace for rare digital art.

Most of the NFT market back then (and even now) focused on art. However, the launch of popular blockchain games like CryptoKitties, a cat-breeding and trading game, opened up the niche of in-game collectibles for blockchain games.

This was made possible as NFTs represented the ownership of in-game assets and were wholly controlled by the user instead of the game developer. This gave the holders true ownership of their in-game assets.

$777k sale

NFTs are based on Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard, which allows tokens to be issued in the same smart contract while remaining unique. This meant a single smart contract would containing tokens of varying value, each defined by their age, uniqueness, or rarity.

The niche has boomed so far. As CryptoSlate reported last December, Nifty Gateway, a leading NFT marketplace, oversaw the sale of an NFT to the tune of $777,777—an art collection created by digital artist “Beeple.”

Meanwhile, the relatively tiny NFT market continues to flourish. As per NFT tracker NonFungible, the past week saw over 15,000 NFTs sales that generated over $3.6 million in volume. Of that, the CryptoPunks platform saw the biggest revenue, overseeing $766,000 in trading volume.

The post There are now over 600k unique Ethereum NFTs on the market appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Billions of dollars in Cosmos (ATOM) are set for new Ethereum bridge

A new proposal has been announced for a cross-chain development on Cosmos, a high-speed, interoperable blockchain. 

Connecting Cosmos and Ethereum

Althea Network, a decentralized mesh Internet network for rural communities, announced its “Gravity Bridge” product in a blog post this week. The product aims to connect the Ethereum and Cosmos blockchains to each other (technically called a “bridge”) for the Cosmos Hub.

“Backed by billions of dollars of Atoms staked, the Gravity Bridge is the most secure, efficient, and decentralized cross-chain bridge to ETH,” the firm said.

Cross-chain bridges are an integral part of the broader crypto and blockchain ecosystem. These are a step ahead of the one-size-fits-all narrative of earlier blockchains, which brought about problems of scalability, speed, and muted growth.

In simple terms, cross-chain products allow blockchains to “speak” and transfer value to each other and swap assets to each other. Cosmos has been built with these limitations and benefits in mind: It is a decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains, each powered by BFT consensus algorithms like Tendermint consensus.

And the Gravity Bridge helps port it to Ethereum. As per the official announcement, it is an evolution of the Peggy bridge, which itself has been developed in collaboration with the Interchain Foundation.

Benefits of Gravity

As Gravity is installed on the Cosmos Hub, the latter’s validators will directly participate in the operation of the Gravity bridge. That itself is backed by billions of dollars of staked ATOM, making Gravity the most secure bridge to Ethereum in production (after launch).

Gravity is also engineered to be very efficient. The Ethereum contract is highly optimized to use as little gas as possible, and transactions are batched. This allows for cheap and frictionless transactions from Ethereum to Cosmos.

Interoperability is the next feature. “Gravity will be able to bring ERC20 assets from Ethereum into Cosmos, but it will also be able to bring Cosmos assets to Ethereum,” said the blog, adding:

“$ATOM and every other asset in the Cosmos ecosystem will trade on Uniswap and other Ethereum AMMs, bringing a huge amount of liquidity and value to these assets.”

Meanwhile, Althea said it had already tested Gravity on two testnets, and that it would host an incentivized testnet in late Q1 2021. “There will be prizes available for validators, relayers, and hackers,” it said.

Wonder who’s taking that offer up.

The post Billions of dollars in Cosmos (ATOM) are set for new Ethereum bridge appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Here are the US Treasury proposals for Bitcoin and ‘virtual currency’ wallets

They don’t seem very promising, despite the crypto industry’s rapid growth in the past year.

“Self hosted” wallets

A release by the US Department of Treasury on Monday detailed the government’s proposal to regulate crypto assets, wallets, and whitelisting of receiving addresses for citizens. The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) department is inviting comments on its proposals, the release added.

It read, “The United States welcomes responsible innovation, including new technologies that may improve the efficiency of the financial system and expand access to financial services.”

The regulator further said the proposal sought legal protection for citizens and users, apart from protecting national security. Furthermore, such regulations would help law enforcement by increasing transparency in digital currencies and “closing loopholes that malign actors may exploit,” they wrote.

Terming such assets as “convertible virtual currency (CVC)” and “digital assets with legal tender status (LTDA),” the FinCen stated that as per the notice, banks and money services businesses (MSBs) would be required to submit reports, keep records, and verify the identity of customers in relation to transactions above certain thresholds that involve such wallets not hosted by a financial institution (a.k.a “unhosted wallets”) or CVC/LTDA wallets hosted by a financial institution in certain jurisdictions identified by FinCEN.

Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in this regard:

“This rule addresses substantial national security concerns in the CVC market, and aims to close the gaps that malign actors seek to exploit in the recordkeeping and reporting regime.”

He added the proposal already applied to financial institutions and was consistent with existing requirements. “It is intended to protect national security, assist law enforcement, and increase transparency while minimizing the impact on responsible innovation,” Mnuchin added.

Banksters to crypto

As such, the proposal builds on existing Bank Secrecy Act requirements applicable to banks and MSBs by proposing to add reporting requirements for CVC and LTDA transactions that exceed $10,000 in total value.

There would be an additional requirement for banks and MSBs to keep records of a customer’s transactions and counterparties, including identity verification and if a wallet transaction exceeds the $3,000 figure.

Meanwhile, some crypto industry execs have already stated their displeasure at the proposed laws, ever since they were floating around since November last year. Coinbase CEO Brian Amstrong said at the time that such archaic laws would impede the development of fast-moving (and forward-thinking) industry sectors like DeFi.

His solution? Ask the government to accept the crypto market as it is (minus the scams and malicious actors). Wonder who at the Treasury would listen to that.

The post Here are the US Treasury proposals for Bitcoin and ‘virtual currency’ wallets appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Survey reveals how crypto users handle security after Ledger leak

Crypto security is weak across the board, and one wallet provider has a product that can help change that.

Being your own bank is hard

A recently concluded survey by the world’s “coldest” crypto wallet, NGRAVE, sifted out interesting data about the way crypto users handle their assets, passwords, wallets, and funds.

Founded by Ruben Merre, who appeared on a Cryptonites interview (CryptoSlate is the media partner for the edutainment brand) earlier this year, said about his product at the time:

“It is completely immune to any kind of online attacker because nobody can attack it. There is no line of attack possible.”

While crypto security has been a long-held concern among proponents, many in the space fail to take adequate steps when it comes to safeguarding one’s assets. The motto is to “Be your own bank,” but cybersecurity is a hard task, and most users are not adept enough at it.

Image: NGRAVE

Such concerns were validated in NGRAVE’s recent survey. It showed the recent Ledger data leak — which saw hackers gain access to the transactional and personal data of millions of users — had a “clear and significant” negative impact on satisfaction with the security setup in the market.

Storage of exchange information was dismal as well. 1 out of 3 respondents stored more than 40% of their entire crypto holdings on a single exchange. This meant that if an exchange was to shut down, exit scam, or close withdrawals, a person’s capital would be either stuck or lost forever.

A further 44% of respondents did “white list,” or trust, withdrawal addresses, while 27.5% kept a backup online and 17% did not consistently keep a backup.

Furthermore, 25% of all respondents (1 out of 4 people) holding crypto on an exchange did not make a backup of their 2FA recovery code. The latter is an electronic authentication method in which a user gains access to a website/application only after authenticating themselves two times.

Wallets, age, and demographics

Coming to the wallet side, 2 out of 3 respondents reported having a paper backup of their funds, 4.3% had no backup at all, and 7.4% kept an online backup of their seed phrase.

However, this is a critical security concern. As per NGRAVE, most hardware wallet backups today do not have added security layers and are therefore vulnerable, meaning that if someone were to find a users’ paper backup; they would also know their private key (and gain access to their funds, as a result).

Image: NGRAVE

In terms of demographics, the survey found that 50% of all users were older than 35, and 20% of that older than 45. Most users were concentrated in the following age groups: 25-35-year-olds, and 35 years and above.

The gender ratio is heavily skewed in favor of males, who make 90% of the crypto market, with just 10% of female representation. 

NGRAVE’s parting thoughts

NGRAVE said the trend for crypto hard wallets was set to move in three directions:

  1. Hardware wallets will evolve more towards bluetooth, NFC, but likely most of all QR code-based models (versus 3/4 USB today)
  2. Hardware wallets high reliance on paper wallets will move more to metal, and social backups over time. (NGRAVE GRAPHENE’s aim is to push this towards metal backups.)
  3. Backups will become more resilient over time against “if someone finds them, their security is compromised” (NGRAVE GRAPHENE is an encrypted metal backup).

The dangers of hacking and losing funds to crypto scams are multifold. Petr Kozyakov, co-Founder and CBDO of the fintech company Mercuryo.io, said in a note to CryptoSlate that there are many methods that hackers can employ to access your crypto wallet and steal your funds. 

“From phishing sites to malware email to fake apps – there is no shortage of dangers. There are, however, ways to fight them – plenty of which can be used by anyone, even without any particularly deep technical knowledge,” he said, stating such attacks included social engineering attacks, phishing, and improper KYC measures taken by the users.

The post Survey reveals how crypto users handle security after Ledger leak appeared first on CryptoSlate.

How Polkadot project StaFi brings liquidity to staked assets like DOT and ETH2

Massive amounts of capital are locked in staked crypto assets. But a relatively new platform is making those markets both tradeable and liquid.

Enter StaFi

StaFi, founded in 2020 and built on Polkadot, is among the first-ever decentralized protocols that help unlock the liquidity of staked assets via its own platform. This means users can stake their proof of stake (PoS) tokens (which are untradable until they are staked) and get a “rToken” (reward-Token) in return.

These rTokens enable users to both get the staking reward and trade the locked staking token at the same time. “You can stake your PoS tokens through Staking Contracts built by StaFi,” the team said in a post, adding:

“All you have to do is use the tools to stake your PoS tokens, and you’ll receive rToken in return which can be exchanged and traded on DEXes and CEXes in the near future, as well as integrated in other DeFi protocols.”

StaFi developers had earlier launched rETH, a solution to the liquidity of ETH2.0 staking, with the help of community contributors. This opened the gates for the nearly $3.3 billion locked in ETH 2.0 to be tokenized, liquified, and traded.

In addition, the staking amount for users has been lowered to 0.01 ETH instead of the 32ETH ($33,000) required by ETH 2.0, which further lowers the barrier to entry for the masses.

rTokens can be (or will be) generated for Ethereum, StaFi, Polkadot, Kusama, Tezos, and Cosmos. Among those, rETH and rFIS are already under audit; rDOT/rKSM is under development, and rXTZ/rATOM will be started in Q1.

rBridge

The StaFi team is also developing StakingDerivatives for many other public PoS public chains, such as Solana, Near, Avalanche, Nuls, CapserLab, Cartesi, and others. It will also gradually support rSOL, rNEAR, rAVA, and other rTokens in a phased manner, making the ecosystem of rToken more broader.

Another important development for StaFi is the upcoming introduction of cross-chain “bridges,” namely the two-way bridge, rToken bridge, BSC bridge, SOL bridge, among others.

These would allow rTokens to enter different ecosystems, such as the bridge between rToken and Ethereum is our main focus. The team has already completed the development of the two-way bridge linking Substrate and Ethereum, with other bridges on the way for Binance Smart Chain and Solana.

The rise of PoS cryptocurrencies

PoS cryptocurrencies are tokens that generate new blocks through a staking mechanism, meaning the rate of validation of transactions on the blockchain occurring as per a proportionate amount of coins held by users.

This is unlike the proof of work (PoW) cryptocurrencies, which depend on a huge network of “miners” who conduct millions of calculations each second to validate blocks, verify transactions, and unlock “rewards.” However, such a design oft-results in a slower network, high fees, and poor scalability — all of which limit the growth of the crypto ecosystem by way of slower apps and other use cases.

The PoS market has, hence, bloomed in the past year, especially as crypto users search for faster blockchains, turn towards passive yields, and put their crypto holdings to work instead of trying to time market tops and bottoms.

As per CryptoSlate’s data page, the PoS sub-sector comes in at a $55.59 billion market cap as of this writing, with high-speed blockchain Polkadot ($15 billion market cap), smart contract platform Cardano ($11 billion market cap), and payments network Stellar ($6.6 billion market cap) leading that part of the market.

In the past 24 hours, over $17 billion worth of PoS cryptocurrencies were traded on various exchanges, with Cardano (ADA) accounting for over $4.3 billion of that figure. The sector has, cumulatively, returned over 43.49% to investors in the past week as well.

The post How Polkadot project StaFi brings liquidity to staked assets like DOT and ETH2 appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Former Canadian PM says Bitcoin can be one of the world’s reserve currencies

Stephen Harper sees Bitcoin alongside gold and the US dollar as a viable global reserve asset.

Bitcoin to the moon

Bitcoin proponents must be so excited after a blockbuster year. The asset saw widespread adoption by investment funds, traditional finance participants, family offices, and tech funds, and set new all-time highs in December, a figure that was over 100% higher than its previous value.

Now, there’s a new evangelist on the block, and it’s the former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper. In an interview with Jay Martin, president of investment service Cambridge House, at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference on Sunday, Harper said that Bitcoin was fit to be counted along with other hard assets like gold.

However, this didn’t mean that the US dollar was losing its prominence anytime soon. “Other than gold, [and] Bitcoin…I think you’ll see the number of things that people use as reserves will expand, but the U.S. dollar will still be the bulk of it,” Harper stated, when asked about the current state of the global financial market and which assets could make it to “reserve” status.

“It’s hard to see what the alternative is to the U.S. dollar as the world’s major reserve currency,”  he noted.

Not a CBDC bull

Harper has likely seen all of Bitcoin, at least information wise. He was the Canadian prime minister from 2006 to 2015, witnessing the asset’s inception, growth, first bubble, and eventual recovery in his term.

His comments for Bitcoin as a reserve asset came in favor of the Chinese yuan or the European unified currency Euro, stating that the former was subject to high levels of administrative restrictions while the latter faced long-term uncertainty.

Meanwhile, Harper added that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) were an experiment that was “inevitable” but faced a difficult challenge in terms of governance, enforcement, and long-term viability.

He said:

“If you have a digital currency and the purpose of the central bank is to control inflation and create a stable currency and priceability, then digital currency is just kind of an evolution of the marketplace.”

Harper, however, added that if CBDCs were released as part of a series of “wild experiments to the role of central banking” it would worry him “a lot.”

Politicians waking up to crypto

Just last week, Miami mayor Francis Suarez announced that he was considering buying Bitcoin for the city’s treasure, becoming one of the first US politicians to speak positively about cryptocurrencies and the formal use of Bitcoin in a hard asset setting.

He said such a purchase could make the city of Miami one of the most crypto-forward and technologically advanced cities, adding that the hypothetical reserves could have already been “200 percent higher” had he taken the decision to invest earlier last year.

Suarez further stated that he was even looking into allowing citizens to pay taxes and fees to the city in Bitcoin, a move that would make it “the easiest place in the United States to do business if you’re doing it in cryptocurrencies.”

The post Former Canadian PM says Bitcoin can be one of the world’s reserve currencies appeared first on CryptoSlate.

On-chain data shows millionaires are flocking to Bitcoin…and there isn’t enough for all

Demand for Bitcoin increased multifold in 2020. And on-chain data shows the asset’s limited supply may be causing a rush.

The Bitcoin FOMO train

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, saw a push in demand last year amidst a bleak economic outlook, concerns of dollar inflation, weakened fiat currencies, incessant money printing, and low yields in traditional assets.

The rally even saw institutional players sit up and take notice of the asset as it broke through its previous all-time high of $19,800 to as much as $41,750 in December 2020. Some of these included multi-billion funds like Guggenheim Partners, which filed its interest in BTC with the US SEC last year.

Others took the plunge. Paul Tudor Jones, billionaire investor and principal of Tudor Investments, put almost 2% of his capital into the asset class, stating it was a “great speculation” but the “fastest horse” among all other assets in the open market.

Technology firms FOMOed in as well. Fintech service Square, owned by Bitcoin advocate and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, invested $50 million of its treasury funds into BTC, stating it was an instrument of “economic empowerment and provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system.”

But that didn’t eclipse business intelligence firm MicroStrategy’s chad-like Bitcoin buy. Starting in August 2020, the firm built a $1 billion position in the asset. Its biggest purchase came in December when it raised $650 million in a convertible note and used the proceeds to buy more Bitcoin.

What on-chain data says

Despite the volumes, institutional interest in Bitcoin is just getting started. On-chain analyst Willy Woo said in a tweet today that “whale spawning” season was now here, as a record number of big Bitcoin transactions showed.

Woo further mentioned:

“The world has 47m millionaires, 71% of them live in the US or EU, there’s only 14.9m BTC in circulation, and only 4.1m BTC are liquid and therefore able to be bought.”

Such a sell-side liquidity squeeze likely caused the record Bitcoin purchases in the past month, which, in turn, pushed the price of the asset to over $23,000 and beyond, Woo stated.

Meanwhile, Woo added that data showed the supply of the 4.1 million “liquid” coins (or ones that were available to sell) was steadily dropping amidst the money printing and stimulus rounds. An observation that suggested the market is currently low on sellers.

The post On-chain data shows millionaires are flocking to Bitcoin…and there isn’t enough for all appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Mayor Francis Suarez talks benefits of buying Bitcoin for Miami’s city treasury

The official has spearheaded progressive technology regulation for the East coast city. And he’s now turning his attention towards Bitcoin.

Bitcoin for Miami!

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez teased a Bitcoin purchase earlier today, as per a tweet. This was not intended for his personal account, however, with Suarez stating that Miami’s treasury funds could find their way to Bitcoin.

“We hope to make our City of Miami one of the most crypto-forward and technologically advanced cities,” Suarez said in the tweet.

Suarez is already lamenting not buying the world’s biggest crypto asset earlier. As per a related report on Fox Business, the Miami Mayor said that the reserves could have been “200 percent plus” had he committed to the plan earlier.

The Mayor added that Miami was even looking into allowing citizens to pay taxes and fees to the city in Bitcoin, stating it was already looking to create a regulatory framework that made the city of Miami “the easiest place in the United States to do business if you’re doing it in cryptocurrencies.”

Suarez noted:

“I want the creative and the innovative class to come here and create high-paying jobs for my residents.”

He added that Bitcoin was a “a very attractive investment” and that the city of Miami is even considering “diversifying our investment portfolio” and holding a percentage of investments in Bitcoin, as per Fox.

Growing demand…or FOMO?

Bitcoin has been embraced in a big way by hedge fund managers, government officials, and technology entrepreneurs in the past year.

In May 2020, Paul Tudor Jones called Bitcoin the “fastest horse” to bet on and purchased over $70 million worth of Bitcoin futures. He was joined by other fund managers in similar efforts as well.

Then, in August, business intelligence company MicroStrategy purchased over $250 million worth of Bitcoin, followed by another $175 million purchase the next month. The spree didn’t end, however: By December 2020, MicroStrategy picked up another $650 million worth of Bitcoin using a convertible note, bringing its total holdings to over $1 billion.

MicroStrategy is not selling its Bitcoin anytime soon either, stating it to be one of the biggest and best hedges against all other asset classes on the market. It’s a point Suarez seems to believe as well. He said recently, “It’s only going to go up.”

The post Mayor Francis Suarez talks benefits of buying Bitcoin for Miami’s city treasury appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Polkadot launches first parachain as DOT price surpasses $12

The high-speed blockchain has garnered quite the fan following in the past year.

Parachains on Polkadot 

Blockchain ecosystem and crypto protocol Polkadot saw the launch of its first-ever parachain yesterday, a move that pushed the prices of its DOT token to over $12.5 as of press time.

An open-source project founded by the Web3 Foundation, Polkadot is built and maintained by five teams commissioned by the foundation. Its DOT token serves three functions — governance, staking abilities, and bonding to “parachains” — and helps power use cases for the blockchain project.

Parachains are similar to Ethereum’s shards. They spread transactions across multiple nodes and allow for a faster and more-scalable network.

However, the slots for such Parachains are limited, with Polkadot intending to auction them off in nonpermissive candle auctions. In the mid-term (over the next few years), only about 100 parachains slots are available for teams and developers, which creates a huge gap between market demand and supply.

And yesterday saw the first of those launches.

Plasm Network and DOT booming

Plasm Network connected to Polkadot’s Rococo in August 2020 and was officially launched yesterday. The project is a layer-2 technology that runs over Polkadot, supports and runs smart contracts, and solves the critical problem of scalability for dApp developers.

“Our highest priority in 2021 is to become a Polkadot parachain and build a dApps hub on Polkadot. Today we became the first parachain on Rococo V1,” Plasm Network said in a tweet.

As stated back in August, the launch on Plasma would see Plasm launch a PoC with Acala Network, a cross-chain finance hub, and stablecoin protocol to make the first Polkadot cross-chain use case.

This would bring about the first cross-chain, an interoperable program to the broader Polkadot ecosystem.

Meanwhile, traders pushed up the price of DOT to over $12.5 upon news of the launch. The token remains in a firm uptrend, trades about its 34-period exponential moving average, and currently has no resistance levels (from past buyers) above it.

DOTUSD Chart
Source: DOTUSD Chart from TradingView

At press time, and as per Cryptoslate’s DeFi data page, there are currently over 918 million DOT tokens with a market cap of $11 billion. It has returned over 127% to investors in the past month, and 34% in the past day itself.

The post Polkadot launches first parachain as DOT price surpasses $12 appeared first on CryptoSlate.

What does the January 15 deadline hold for Tether, the world’s biggest stablecoin

Tomorrow is an important date for the issuers of Tether, a USD-pegged stablecoin. But what does it mean?

Tether, the crypto heartbeat

Tether Limited, the company behind the widely-used Tether (USDT) stablecoin, will submit several documents explaining its legality to the New York Prosecutor’s Office tomorrow, Jan. 15, before the deadline expires.

It is believed to contain information about Tether’s business practices, its issuance, its supposed one-to-one peg with the US dollar, and other information regarding Tether Limited. 

Stablecoins are one of the biggest use-cases of cryptocurrencies. They are usually pegged on a 1:1 basis with a fiat currency (or algorithmically controlled) and are said to be backed by a certain amount of reserve at all times.

USDT is among the first such stablecoins and the most widely used one. It was founded in 2014 as “realcoin”) by Reeve Collins, Brock Pierce, and Craig Sellers, before rebranding to its current form and stating that “every Tether+ token is backed 100% by its original currency, and can be redeemed at any time with no exposure to exchange risk.”

However, for a few years, several critics have questioned the reserve of Tether, given the company has not yet provided a verifiable audit of its dollar reserves or allowed a third-party auditor to reveal their findings to the public. This has resulted in people questioning the very existence of Tether.

But how does it matter? It’s because USDT’s issuance has reached over $23 billion in recent times, and with daily volumes exceeding even Bitcoin’s, some crypto users are ringing the alarm bells.

That said, however, the January 15 deadline is only the delivery of the required documentation to New York courts. No judgment or judicial charges are expected or levied tomorrow, meaning any fear in the market is likely a result of overreaction.

The controversial rise of USDT

Tether’s problems started after the Panama Leaks papers linked the executives of Bitfinex, Philip Potter and Giancarlo Devasini, to Tether Limited in 2015. This caused controversy at the time.

The second controversy came after USDT supply grew from $10 million to over $2.8 billion from January 2017 to September 2018. The rise was questioned by many, and by mid-2018, Tether accounted for over 80% of the overall Bitcoin volume.

Research suggested that an alleged price manipulation scheme involving tether accounted for about half of the price increase in Bitcoin in late 2017. However, that has not unfazed its backers yet. 

What 2021 holds for USDT is a guess at best. But crypto fanatics are likely praying the critics don’t turn out right.

The post What does the January 15 deadline hold for Tether, the world’s biggest stablecoin appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Jack Dorsey defends his ban of Donald Trump and advocates for Bitcoin’s model

The Twitter founder is a known Bitcoin advocate. But a recent action saw his platform getting embroiled in controversy.

Why ban Trump?

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey took to his platform this morning to explain banning the account of incumbent US President Donald Trump, a move that sparked controversy.

Trump was banned by Twitter last week after alleging his tweets incited violence in the country. “We have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the platform said at the time.

The tweets violated the company’s policy against the glorification of violence, with one tweet said to incite anger among his supporters and the other said to challenge the US elections—which saw Joe Biden get elected, but, in turn, saw Trump allege the election was rigged.

Dorsey, on his part, said today that while the ban action was “dangerous,” it set a meaningful precedent against similar acts in the future. He further expressed sadness at the “extraordinary and untenable circumstances” surrounding Trump’s permanent suspension.

“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban Donald Trump from Twitter,” said Dorsey, adding that even after a clear warning that Twitter would take this action, a decision was taken with the best information on hand based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter.

He continued, “having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications. While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation. And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us.”

When Jack shilled Bitcoin

In the same tweet thread, Dorsey said that Twitter policies were enforced inconsistently. He added the service further needed to look into how it incentivizes distraction and harm, and how it needed more transparency in our moderation operations.

Then, he ended up speaking about Bitcoin, stating the world’s biggest cryptocurrency demonstrated a model of a foundational internet technology that was not controlled or influenced by any single individual or entity.

Dorsey added:

“I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this. I also recognize it does not feel that way today.”

He concluded the thread with a plug about Bluesky, as well as stating the use of decentralized systems and the open internet would push humankind forward.

The post Jack Dorsey defends his ban of Donald Trump and advocates for Bitcoin’s model appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Aragon One CEO resigns after a disagreement over governance decisions

It’s new beginnings for Jorge Izquierdo, who would continue to be involved with Aragon albeit at a community level.

Aragon governance: Gone the other way

Jorge Izquierdo, the co-founder of the internet community and governance protocol Aragon, announced he was stepping down from the protocol he helped build to be worth over $132 million as of today.

Attributing the decision after being “offline” for two weeks following a doctor’s recommendation, Izquierdo said that he was dissatisfied with the way certain community decisions were taken in his absence.

“While I was off, a series of decisions were made in the Aragon Association (mainly wrt its governance) that I disagreed both with the decisions themselves and how they were taken,” he said in a tweet.

Izquierdo added that there were several proposals put forward to fix the doing, but there was “no willingness to revert or amend these decisions and actions.” He stated, “As a result, no changes were made. This motivated the team to leave, and it is also the reason why I am resigning.”

But despite the departure, Izquierdo said he would continue to be an active member of the Aragon community, push for true decentralization, and try to move the project forward using “any necessary means.”

Izquierdo attached a note he’d sent the Association to continue to “fight for freedom,” adding that Aragon’s work was larger than life and that it depended on no single entity or individual. “Even today, I can’t wait to live in this future. Let’s make it happen,” he signed off.

What is Aragon?

Founded in 2017, Aragon aims to provide creators and entrepreneurs with the tools to create a fully decentralized organization/business vertical — using blockchain and its ANT token as a focus.

Using Aragon’s blockchain tools, organizations can create Ethereum-based smart contracts and file-sharing for building a fully decentralized, peer-to-peer operating system. But that’s not an endpoint: Aragon can also be used to create non-decentralized digital organizations as well.

The project is fully open-source and led by the Aragon Foundation based in Switzerland. Its token also serves as a sort of a governance tool that allows holders to vote on Aragon’s future and how the project must proceed.

The post Aragon One CEO resigns after a disagreement over governance decisions appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Here’s why these 10 crypto personalities say Bitcoin is the BEST money

The debate on Bitcoin being money or not rages on. The world’s original, and current biggest, cryptocurrency was initially founded in 2009 by its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto to replace fiat money, but price gyrations have since made it an asset class akin to “digital” gold.

But despite that, popular crypto influencers, builders, and developers are propelling the notion of Bitcoin still being money, one whose deflationary nature, fixed supply, and lack of centralized state actors give it its superiority.

Today, Cryptonites, the edutainment channel run by crypto investing app Swissborg, dove into why some personalities consider Bitcoin money. Featuring host Alex Fazel, the show features snippets of past interviewees like Ray Youssef, Girl Gone Crypto, Dan Held, Max Keiser, and several more.

Here’s what they all said.

Dan Held, growth lead at Kraken

I think Bitcoin’s mission is massive, like if you look at so there’s a terminology in tech called TAM, [for] total addressable market. So when you build a product or service, how big could you get, for example, like Amazon could get as big as all things sold, right, which is a huge TAM.

“So with Bitcoin, the TAM is $250 trillion. Like that it’s that’s its total potential value. It could be because you’ve got real estate, gold stocks, and bonds, and Fiat, those all represent store value.”

He added, “And so when people go, oh, it’d be really boring if Bitcoin only did goals like if it was only digital gold, and like, that use case is 30 x larger than all the other ones combined. So you know, I think Bitcoin blockchain technology is built to build Bitcoin. Bitcoin solves a fundamental problem in society that I think is ultimately a human rights issue.”

MM Crypto, trader and Youtuber

Bitcoin is not only decentralized and not only peer to peer, but it’s also censorship-resistant, but you can also send whenever you want money from A to B and you can set stored data on it like you have nice secondary solutions and no one can prevent you from doing all of that and taking advantage from all of that and, YouTube is centralized banking is centralized. 

And I mean “central” banking, it’s the word that already gives it away. So I think crypto and Bitcoin especially, is really here to stay and to disrupt all different kinds of industries

That Martini Guy, Bitcoin news Youtuber

People are struggling to buy watches at the moment because nobody is really wanting to sell and that’s keeping the prices quite high. Now eventually all these luxury goods, they’re going to decline. And Bitcoin may get lumped in with that. So that’s a big concern of mine. Is Bitcoin a store of value or is it a speculative asset that will only be decided at the point when the luxury market starts crashing? 

“Only time will tell is Bitcoin speculative or is it digital gold. I don’t think it’s digital gold. I’d much prefer it to be cash.”

Not only that, but they offered up $3 trillion of worthless government bonds that the public could buy to essentially loan the government money because they can’t print any more money because, at that point, you’d have hyperinflation essentially devaluing the nation’s currency. 

Lark Davies, The Crypto Lark

Bitcoin dominance has been falling. It’s been falling steadily for a couple of months. Now basically, since Bitcoin has flatlined, which has been happening since a little bit before the Bitcoin halving the price of bitcoin not moving has meant that altcoins are now able to finally breathe again and we’ve seen just massive moves in the altcoin market and the more that altcoins gain the more Bitcoin dominance falls.

“Now, a lot of people are under the false perception that a falling Bitcoin dominance is somehow bad for Bitcoin but that’s absolutely not true.”

We have to remember that Bitcoin hit its all-time high at the height of an altcoin season. So a falling Bitcoin dominance is actually good for Bitcoin because it means that the entire crypto-economy is seeing a lot of activity and if we know one of Bitcoin’s main use cases right now, well outside of just huddling your Bitcoin is actually trading Bitcoin and what people trade Bitcoin for. 

Charles Hoskinson, founder of Cardano

The first thing everybody tells you is a warning is don’t roll your own crypto. But unfortunately, we don’t have that luxury because we’re inventing the crypto as we go along to make these protocols work.

This is like complex heart surgery on very delicate protocols that if you screw up, you introduce all kinds of attacks, like side-channel attacks and other things. So you need a special breed of a developer who’s very elite to be able to do this type of work. 

And people say, Oh, well, no, you don’t Well, then, you know, look at all the hacks and flaws. And you know, how many things have occurred over the last 10 years in our space as a consequence of people not knowing what they’re doing? 

And it’s just common sense. You know, when you get sick and you need surgery? Do you want your butcher to do that? Or do you want your surgeon to do that? Why do you trust the surgeon with your life? Because that person spent more than a decade of his life or her life studying to become worthy of that? 

So similarly, why would you trust an amateur with your privacy, your identity with your money, these types of things, you should aspire to say that the system that you’re using was built on bedrock? 

“It was built by really smart people who knew what the hell they were doing.”

The Moon Carl, Bitcoin trader and Youtuber

I think that in 2020 (recorded last year), halving will be the biggest story, for sure, it is such a huge thing to see the supply, the newly created supply gets cut in half the stock to flow. 

“And I think that this will further create more and more attention towards Bitcoin as a form of money and make more people aware of this inflation schedule that will eventually reach zero.”

As I said, this is the first time in history, we’ve seen something have absolute scarcity, nothing else in the world has 0% inflation, it’s not possible, except in the digital world. So it is the first time we’ve seen something being digitally scarce, absolutely scarce.

Crypto Finally, cryptocurrency marketer

I understand the concept of the market cap, and the idea of someone really large getting involved, you know, all it’s gonna really take to see major price movement is like a billionaire to, you know, put all of their assets into Bitcoin, we’re gonna see big price movement, that’s really where we’re at, there’s a very small percentage of people who are invested. 

And the more that we grow, I can see it growing larger, you know, it’s all speculative. So again, you know, it’s gonna go up, or it’s gonna go down. And I am not a technical analyst. I’m not someone who does price predictions. So I will just preface with all that. I’m not someone who necessarily does those things. 

But I do understand the reasoning as to why people believe that it would grow in the future. I also think that the Goldman Sachs incident was a little strange and its own nature. I think that email was very emotional. I think that there was a lot of stuff that was written in it that you know, well, maybe being true isn’t untrue of other traditional assets.

Girl Gone Crypto, crypto educator and influencer 

Bitcoin and crypto just fit into my whole world philosophy. So much in terms of self-sovereignty, personal freedom, personal responsibility. And so when I found crypto, it just was really the, it just makes a lot of sense. 

“It’s a tool that I think we can use to help get closer to the type of world and the type of society that I would actually want to live in.”

Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful

(Regarding Africa’s crypto adoption.) [They said] there’s no way they’re going to figure out Bitcoin. Now Africa is actually leading Bitcoin adoption. A number of Google searches and the sheer number of peer to peer transactions as well. Yes, this is happening right now.

“It was the people of Africa that taught us what the killer app of Bitcoin really was, and that is a universal translator for money.”

For Youssef, unlike a majority of the current crypto participation and interest, Bitcoin is not an asset that nets thousands of dollars solely for those in the know. Instead, it forms a strong, wholly-decentralized means of exchange for people who are drastically underserved by banks and financial institutions.

Max Keiser, Bitcoin educator

So I think we’re seeing that in the market is that gold is flatlining against Bitcoin, and the industry is moving to Bitcoin, sovereigns are moving to Bitcoin, and corporations are moving to Bitcoin. 

“You know, the US dollar, as Paul Krugman says, is backed by violence. Bitcoin is backed by peace.”

What comes next for Bitcoin? Where is the Bitcoin market going ten years from now? How does the broader crypto space evolve? All that and MORE in the entire video, available for streaming right below.

The post Here’s why these 10 crypto personalities say Bitcoin is the BEST money appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Is Gary Gensler’s appointment as head of the U.S. SEC good for Bitcoin?

The incoming chairman is said to hold a favorable view of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Bad for Wall Street, Good for Bitcoin

Gary Gensler will be named chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by President-elect Joe Biden, as per a Reuters report on Tuesday that cited two sources familiar with the matter.

In an earlier role, Gensler was chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from 2009 to 2014. 

The appointment is said to spark concern among Wall Street firms of tougher regulation under the incoming Biden government. However, others say the administration will be fairer towards the regulation of cryptocurrencies, unlike the previous Trump government.

That, itself, comes on the back of record-high stimulus (over $2 trillion) issued by former SEC commissioner Jay Clayton in 2020 and years of easing rules for Wall Street businesses—regulations that have attracted huge criticism from the general public.

Clayton, as a parting move of sorts, zeroed down hard on payments firm Ripple in December, alleging the firm to have profited billions of dollars from the illegal sales of XRP in the US. The lawsuit further named Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, the co-founders of Ripple, in connection with making $700 million in profits.

But Gensler’s, so far, unlike that. On multiple occasions in the past years, he has testified before the US Congress on the topics of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, token sales, and blockchain technology. 

Gensler has even squatted down comparisons between cryptocurrencies and Ponzi schemes—all while declaring that blockchain technology could be a good alternative to the current tech systems used in the current financial regime.

Gensler’s past work

As former CFTC chairman, Gensler introduced new trading rules after the 2007-2009 financial crisis, inciting the reputation of a “hard-nosed operator” among pundits for pushing back against Wall Street’s greedy, manipulative interests.

One of the most high profile cases even saw Gensler prosecute big investment banks for the infamous Libor rigging case, which saw legacy finance firms manipulate the benchmark for trillions of dollars in lending worldwide.

Meanwhile, as incoming SEC chairman, Gensler is expected to pursue new corporate disclosures on climate change related-risks, political spending, and the composition and treatment of their workforces.

The moves would be a stark contrast from Clayton’s actions: which saw investor groups alleging the regulations unfairly benefited corporations by weakening investor safeguards or diminishing investor rights.

The post Is Gary Gensler’s appointment as head of the U.S. SEC good for Bitcoin? appeared first on CryptoSlate.

Bitcoin veteran has $220 million in a locked wallet…and he can’t access it

You don’t want to be Stefan Thomas, the owner of 7,002 Bitcoin, right now.

What to do?

An American computer scientist is sitting on a fortune of $220 million worth of Bitcoin, as per a report in the New York Times this week. The catch? He can’t access it.

Stefan Thomas, the scientist, safeguarded his Bitcoin long ago using the IronKey flash device—a piece of hardware that boasts Cryptochip Encryption Key management and is encased in an epoxy-filled casing for physical security.

It’s where Thomas’ Bitcoin was locked for safety…years ago. At the time, he wrote down the passcode on a piece of paper, but that got lost and Thomas can neither retrieve nor remember the passcode.

Brute-forcing, or trying new passwords out repeatedly, won’t help in this case either. IronKey allows users only ten attempts to crack the code before encrypting its contents forever.

“I would just lay in bed and think about it. Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again,” Thomas told the NYT.

Despite the unattainable fortune, Thomas has not exactly lost it all. The computer scientist also worked for Ripple, the payments firm in midst of a lawsuit due to the alleged malpractices concerning the distribution and sales of XRP, in 2021. Ironically, he has cashed in his XRP stash as well, making “more riches than he knows what to do with.”

The veteran was initially drawn to the cryptocurrency because of its ethos and the idea of it not being controlled by a country or a traditional bank. However, he’s now having second thoughts:

“This whole idea of being your own bank — let me put it this way, ‘Do you make your own shoes?’”

“The reason we have banks is that we don’t want to deal with all those things that banks do,” he added.

Chronicles of lost Bitcoin

Thomas is one of the many individuals that hold big Bitcoin (or crypto) fortunes in wallets they can’t access or have lost. This has, ultimately, even affected the total supply of the digital gold asset.

According to on-chain analytics firm Chainalysis, about 20% of the existing 18.5 million Bitcoin, valued at over $130 billion at current rates, appear to be lost in various digital wallets.

The post Bitcoin veteran has $220 million in a locked wallet…and he can’t access it appeared first on CryptoSlate.