Crypto Mining Service, Titan, Receives Investment Funds From Coinbase Ventures

Crypto Mining Service, Titan, Receives Investment Funds From Coinbase Ventures

The developer of Bitcoin mining software and services Titan has announced a strategic investment fund from Coinbase Ventures. The investment fund was made during Titan’s seed fundraising round.

The investment will allow Titan to expand its offerings, which enable Bitcoin mining firms to achieve growth, profitability, efficiency, and sustenance.

Titan’s Expansion Goals Continue

Titan has been very active in the market lately. Last month, the company announced a partnership with North American mining leaders CoreScientific and CoinMint. The partnership is part of the agreement to become members of the Titan Pool. It is designed to help miners in the cryptocurrency industry meet opportunities and deal with challenges that may come in the future.

The Titan Pool is currently undergoing a high-volume test, as the firm is planning to launch its closed beta this month. Co-founder and chief executive officer of Titan Ryan Condron have commented on the development.

“The investment from Coinbase Ventures serves as a powerful endorsement of the Titan team, roadmap and vision,”

He added that the mining industry had advanced a lot, as it started from being a hobby to becoming an industry. Now, it’s a critical global computing infrastructure. Condron also reiterated that Titan is now equipped to help top miners in the world to overcome their challenges.

Titan says it makes mining less complicated, scalable, and profitable using its advanced mining management software. The company was launched in September 2018 by Matthew Roszak, Jeff Garzik, and Ryan Condron.

Coinbase Prepares for IPO

In another development, Coinbase is certainly one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S, as the cryptocurrency exchange is highly profitable. However, despite its popularity, the company isn’t a publicly listed exchange and doesn’t make its financial figures available to the public.

This may come as a surprise to many, considering the popularity of the exchange. This may change as the company is preparing for an IPO.

Most of the company’s profits are from trading fees from Bitcoin and other crypto assets. The company filed an S-1 form intending to launch an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 22.

The firm has been involved in several projects and partnerships. It has also invested in a lot of startups to expand its portfolio and encourage more cryptocurrency adoption.

The investment with crypto mining pool Titan is another strong indication of where the exchange’s goals lie. While it has invested in several projects, the firm also received funds from top investment firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global Management.

With the firm’s massive growth, many investors would want to participate in its upcoming IPO, which may likely be the biggest in 2021 as Bakkt and Gemini prepare for IPO’s as well.

This is not the first mining investment of Coinbase. In 2018, the exchange also invested in mining hardware startup Coinmine.

The Titan investment will help the crypto mining pool complete its beta testing phase, which is expected to end in February. Mining giant Core Scientific is among the clients currently testing the pool.

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Author: Ali Raza

OKEx Expands Its Real-Time Settlement Platform to New Coin-Margined Perpetual Swaps

OKEx Expands Its Real-Time Settlement Platform to New Coin-Margined Perpetual Swaps

In an announcement this Thursday, the world-leading crypto exchange OKEx confirmed they would expand their real-time settlement platform and add new coin-margined perpetual swaps to their platform. The exchange launched a real-time settlement for all perpetual swaps, futures, and options contracts to improve its customers’ overall liquidity and trading experience.

Real-time settlements for traders started at 8:00 am UTC on Dec. 29 on the ADA/USD perpetual swap to “improve the capital efficiency and improve cross-exchange arbitrage opportunities,” a post from the exchange read at the time. OKEX has since expanded the real-time settlement feature to “ALGOUSD, ATOMUSD, and an additional 20+ coin-margined perpetual swaps, including XLM, YFI THETA”. Here is a complete list of the crypto’s, all paired with USD:

  • ALGO
  • ATOM
  • CRV
  • DASH
  • FIL
  • IOST
  • IOTA
  • KNC
  • NEO
  • ONT
  • QTUM
  • SUN
  • SUSHI
  • THETA
  • UNI
  • XLM
  • XMR
  • XTZ
  • YFI
  • YFII
  • ZEC

The real-time settlement allows users to withdraw their profits from perpetual swap contracts at any time within the day – switching from the 4.00 PM UTC deadline.

“It is a huge benefit to our traders because it opens up greater trading opportunities for them, including cross-exchange arbitrage, as they can now settle their profit in real-time across exchanges,” commented Lennix Lai, the head of financial markets at OKEx.

OKEX has recently faced challenges and huge withdrawals from its platform following a five-week-long withdrawal suspension.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Donations Made to Those Involved in Capitol Riot a Month Prior: Chainalysis Report

Bitcoin Donations Made to Those Involved in Capitol Riot a Month Prior: Chainalysis Report

Alt-right groups and figures, including internet personality Nick Fuentes involved in last week’s Capitol riot, received “large Bitcoin donations,” as per compliance and investigation software provider Chainalysis. The report says,

“While we don’t know if these donations directly funded last week’s violent gathering at the Capitol or any associated activity, the timing certainly warrants suspicion”

Founded in 2014, the blockchain analysis company provides data and analysis to government agencies, exchanges, and financial institutions.

image1

As per the company’s report, a 28.15 BTC donation worth $522,000 (at the time of transfer) was made in a single transaction a month before the riot occurred.

This donation was transferred to 22 separate addresses, many belonging to far-right activists and internet personalities. Nick Fuentes was the biggest beneficiary of 13.5 BTC (worth $250k) while anti-immigration organization VDARE, alt-right streamer Ethan Ralph, and several addresses with unidentified owners also received significant funds, as per the report.

The donor was a now-deceased, computer programmer based in France, suggests the evidence.

The donor-funded his donation wallet with crypto from a French exchange, which was then moved to the donation wallet through an intermediary, which became active in 2013 and is a “relatively early adopter of Bitcoin.”

While Chainalysis don’t want to make the donor’s identity public, it says the information uncovered shows “domestic extremism isn’t strictly domestic.” The report says,

“The data shows that domestic extremists have been receiving a steady stream of cryptocurrency donations since 2016.”

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Author: AnTy

Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors

Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors; Ethereum, Tezos and Polkadot

Fireblocks wants to help institutional investors access crypto staking opportunities. The company’s institutional focus comes at a time when interest in crypto is high.

Digital asset security platform Fireblocks has been working over the past year to improve institutional access to cryptocurrencies. Following the success in decentralized finance (DeFi) and more, the company is now turning its sights to the burgeoning staking scene.

Staking is for Everyone

Fireblocks plans to support hosted proof-of-stake (PoS) services for Ethereum 2.0, Tezos, and Polkadot, as it opens up token staking to its institutional client base.

Fireblocks has over 165 clients, which includes heavyweight crypto lenders Salt, Celsius, and UK-based Fintech firm Revolut. The crypto custodian is partnering with popular staking providers Staked and Blockdaemon to pull this off.

Company chief executive Michael Shaulov confirmed that the move was largely due to increased investor demand.

As he pointed out, most of Fireblock’s customers hold Bitcoin, while a small minority hold altcoins. That small minority is split in assets such as XTZ, DOT, and ETH, which total about $1 billion.

Institutional investors with idle funds, should expect between 5 and 15 percent in yields annually if they lock up their funds on the platform.

Fireblocks’ customers will maintain custody of their funds in their MPC-based wallets. From there, they can monitor their performance on Staked and Blockdaemon.

Data from Staking Rewards shows that the two are ranked first and sixth, respectively, on the list of crypto assets by staked value. With Polkadot staking in particularly high demand, Fireblocks appears to be in an excellent position to land its desired institutional clients.

Staking on Ethereum 2.0 is also on the rise. Industry news sources recently confirmed that Ethereum 2.0 staking on top crypto exchange Kraken had surpassed the billion-dollar mark.

Fireblocks’ Encompassing Institutional Crypto Play

Fireblocks’ cryptocurrency staking service is the latest in a flurry of efforts to drive institutional crypto investment.

Last June, the firm created an open network called Secure Asset Transfer Network, for institutions to connect, trade, settle and transfer crypto on-chain. The network launched with over 55 institutions and 26 exchanges. Participants included brokers, liquidity providers, asset custodians, and market makers. Shaulov said at the time,

“The launch of the Fireblocks Network makes it possible for users to store and transfer assets across the entire institutional ecosystem and removes the need for any middle-men. We’re redefining on-chain settlement processes by adding an unprecedented layer of security and efficiency, preserving the decentralized nature of blockchain, and allowing it to operate at the institutional level.”

The Asset Transfer Network was built on its multiparty computational technology (MCT). The Network also provides access to easy on-chain transfers while streamlining post-trade operations and settlements.

Fireblocks also has interests in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Last March, the company partnered with leading lending protocol Compound to allow institutional investors to access DeFi opportunities. Thanks to the integration, Fireblocks customers can now earn interest via Compound’s lending protocol.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Ripple to Hire Managing Director For RippleNet Payment Network in Europe

Ripple to Hire Managing Director For RippleNet Payment Network in Europe

Blockchain firm Ripple, who is facing legal battles with SEC, has posted a vacancy to fill a managing director position.

According to the job posting, the ideal candidate will manage its cross-border payments network in Europe.

The firm wants to expand its presence in the European market and is seeking a qualified individual to be in charge of that effort.

The new hire will be reporting directly from the company’s office in London to Asheesh Birla, the general manager of RippleNet.

The new hire will be charged with building strategic partnerships in the European region, according to the job post. They will also coordinate with other regional general managers, represent the blockchain giant in the media, and support government relations.

According to the posting, the ideal candidate should have at least 15 years of experience in the fintech industry. Other requirements include the capacity to lead cross-functional teams and deep knowledge of the global payments industry.

Ripple still in serious legal issues

While Ripple is still pushing for more dominance in Europe, the firm faces one of the worst challenges in its existence in the United States. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has come down hard on Ripple, claiming the XRP token is a security in late December.

Ripple, which says it’s a “proud U.S. company,” may make an earlier move to gain considerable market in Europe if its business in the U.S. goes sour.

Before the SEC’s lawsuit, Ripple said it is considering moving its U.S.-based global headquarter to another country with a more favorable environment to its business. Switzerland and the U.K. were two destinations that were repeatedly mentioned.

As a result of the legal issues in the U.S., Ripple’s token XRP has dropped considerably XRP -7.30% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 0.27
-$0.02-7.30%
Volume 4.91 b Change -$0.02 Open $0.27 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 12.48 b
9 s Ripple to Hire Managing Director For RippleNet Payment Network in Europe 1 d Grayscale Investments Buys 2,170 BTC, No ETH Yet While Dissolving XRP Trust Altogether 1 d ‘XRP Is A Cryptocurrency, Not A Security’ Says Japan’s Chief Securities Regulator (FSA)
. Several top exchanges have also suspended the trading of the token on their platform.

Providing a streamlined cross-border payment system

Despite the current turmoil surrounding Ripple, the company is still taking giant strides to expand its operations. Recently, the firm has signed a deal to provide a remittance corridor between Bangladesh and Malaysia with RippleNet.

According to the deal, Bangladesh’s bKash will offer direct connections to Malaysia’s Mobile Money wallet. The former is considered the largest mobile financial services provider with more than 45 million users. These connections will be made possible through the RippleNet platform.

RippleNet is the digital network powered by the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP). The platform helps financial institutions facilitate payments and transactions with one another.

RippleNet utilizes the scalable distributed ledger technology to offer financial solutions to institutions. It is completely controlled by appointed validators that act as permissioned nodes. These validators accept transactions on the platform when they agree that the transaction in question is by the set rules.

The partnership will enable Malaysia to expand its user-base in Bangladesh by about 20%. Ripple said it wants to bring convenience and greater connectivity to the Bangladesh population, offering them a well-structured and streamlined cross-border payment system.

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Author: Ali Raza

Bitcoin Core Upgrade Introduces Descriptor Wallets and Tor V3 Support

Bitcoin Core Upgrade Introduces Descriptor Wallets and Tor V3 Support

Bitcoin Core developers have rolled out Bitcoin Core 0.21.0, which is a precursor to the highly anticipated Taproot/Schnorr proposal.

An upgrade to the original software client launched by Bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakomoto has been released. According to an announcement on Twitter, the Bitcoin Core Project published an update to the original open-source node.

Changes to Private Keys

The update known as Bitcoin Core 0.21.0 was led by Bitcoin Core lead maintainer Wladimir van der Laan in partnership with other contributors.

This update introduces several security and privacy improvements that might not be apparent for regular every day users. Most significant is the addition of “descriptor wallets, which fundamentally expand the operation of traditional Bitcoin wallets; compact client-side block filtering; fewer rebroadcast attempts, Tor V3 support, and more.

Descriptor wallets require scripts to move the Bitcoins they contain instead of traditional wallets, which require private keys.

The Bitcoin Core developers believe that this change will improve wallet operations’ flexibility, especially on the back end. While the scripts can incorporate private keys, their operations aren’t bound to these keys either. Users might not notice much of the differences between the descriptor wallets and legacy wallets.

However, prominent developer Andrew Chow has expressed his belief that these new wallets would replace the legacy ones by 2023.

Taproot/Schnorr and Tor V3

The new release also marks the end of the Bitcoin Core’s ability to create new Bitcoin wallets automatically. Instead, the Core will load wallets. In cases where specified wallets don’t exist, the system will log errors instead of creating new wallets.

Bitcoin Core 0.21.0 supports the latest version of Tor browser – a privacy-focused browser app popular with crypto users. The Tor project announced last July that it was retiring several of its obsolete versions due to security concerns. By supporting the latest version, the Bitcoin Core is hoping to benefit from enhanced privacy and security all around. Tor’s recent upgrade from Version 2 (V2) to Version 3 (V3)—whose addresses are longer than V2. While V2 addresses are still valid, there are plans to deprecate them soon, leaving many Bitcoin Core nodes in limbo. Providing Tor V3 support means Bitcoin Core users can share their messages/IP with their peers.

The new upgrade appears to be a precursor to Taproot and Schnorr – two highly-anticipated Bitcoin Core proposals. Both are expected to increase the Bitcoin network’s privacy and capacity and have been implemented already. However, they haven’t been activated yet.

Their inclusion in the upgrade means application developers can start building around the protocols.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Gnosis Safe Is Now The 4th Largest Ethereum Wallet Address; Adds 1.5M ETH In A Day

Crypto Custodian, Gnosis Safe Is Now The 4th Largest Ethereum Wallet Address; Adds 1.5M ETH In A Day

Gnosis Safe added over 1.5 million Ethereum tokens in a single day. The value of the ETH and ERC20 tokens stored soared to $2.3 billion, making the firm the fourth largest custodian of ETH.

In a tweet sent out on Thursday, Gnosis Safe, an Ethereum digital assets custodian, confirmed over 1,500,000 ETH (~$1.8 billion) was added to their safe on Jan 14. This brings the total amount of ETH stored on Gnosis wallets to slightly above 2% of the total supply of ETH.

Just a day earlier, the crypto custodian announced they had reached a million ETH stored in their safe after a 600,000 ETH deposit by an unknown account. The latest transaction is also unknown but is widely speculated to institutional money – a bullish indicator for ETH price in the future ETH -1.86% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,162.91
-$21.63-1.86%
Volume 35.74 b Change -$21.63 Open $1,162.91 Circulating 114.27 m Market Cap 132.88 b
2 h Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors; Ethereum, Tezos and Polkadot 4 h Crypto Custodian, Gnosis Safe Is Now The 4th Largest Ethereum Wallet Address; Adds 1.5M ETH In A Day 7 h DeFi Project CREAM Reinventing with Zero Collateral Protocol-to-Protocol Lending Platform
.

According to Etherscan’s ‘Rich List‘ –ranking the top account addresses by value – Gnosis Safe is the fourth largest account with 2.5 million ETH held in the account or 2.18% of the total ETH supply. Only Wrapped ETH deposit contract address (4.59%), Binance ETH address (2.53%), and Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract address (2.19%) have larger amounts of ETH tokens than Gnosis Safe. Back in August of 2020, the wallet had just toppled $1 Billion AUM.

Gnosis Safe is a smart contract powered platform that provides users with a safe and secure multi-signature wallet solution to retail and institutional holders. Individual users will need to sign the transactions from multiple wallets or devices, while institutions can choose to delegate several employees to sign the transactions.

Safe replaced the Gnosis Multisig wallet in 2019, enhancing its infrastructure, security, and users’ functionality. The custodian also launched its iOS and Android mobile apps on its mainnet and Rinkeby testnet platforms.

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Author: Lujan Odera

FinCEN Extends Public Comments Period on Crypto Regulation by 45 Days; Into Biden Administration

FinCEN Extends Public Comments Period on Crypto Regulation by 45 Days; Into the Biden Administration

FinCEN cites “the robust responses” provided so far for extending the comment period on its proposed rule.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has announced reopening the public comment period on the proposed midnight rulemaking on certain transactions of cryptocurrencies.

Under this rule, banks and money service businesses like crypto exchanges would be required to keep records, submit reports, and verify customers’ identity in transactions above a certain threshold, $10,000.

According to the regulator, the rule aims at closing anti-money laundering regulatory gaps for convertible virtual currency and digital asset transactions.

The regulator received “robust responses” and has reviewed over 7,500 comments submitted during this original comment period of this midnight rulemaking.

As such, FinCEN is now extending the period (again) to 45 days to continue “its active engagement with the cryptocurrency industry to ensure innovation with integrity that appropriately addresses anti-money laundering and national security risks,” reads the official announcement.

The cryptocurrency industry has been vehemently against this rule, along with several congress makers who wrote an open letter to the Treasury asking for an extension arguing that hasty decisions could curb the innovation and leave the US behind.

“This doesn’t guarantee the rule won’t go through, but takes us well past January 20 & into the Biden administration,” said Jake Chervinsky, General Counsel at Compound Finance.

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Author: AnTy

Is Tesla’s Elon Musk Becoming A Bitcoin Fan? Understanding BTC’s Value In Transactions

Is Tesla’s Elon Musk Becoming A Bitcoin Fan? Showing His Understanding by Promoting its Latency Reduction in Transactions

Elon Musk has been sharing pro-Bitcoin, and Dogecoin sentiment for a while. Will the Tesla CEO become the world’s biggest institutional crypto investor?

Elon Musk, the second-richest man in the world and chief executive of Tesla Motors Inc., has been flirting with the possibility of making a significant investment in Bitcoin for a while now.

Last week, the billionaire shared some of his thoughts about money, displaying that he appears to understand Bitcoin and its potential finally.

Latency Reduction Wins

Musk had engaged in a lengthy Twitter conversation that began with famous writer Ben Mezrich (who wrote ‘Bitcoin Billionaires‘ about the Gemini owned Winklevoss Twins), who claimed that he would never turn down the option to get paid in Bitcoin if he was ever offered.

The billionaire answered in the affirmative, prompting a Bitcoin-friendly Twitter user reply about the limitations of gold and fiat currency when it comes to acting as currency. Replying to the user, Musk provided his view of money, saying:

“The thing we call money is just an information system for labor allocation. What actually matters is making goods & providing services. We should look at currencies from an information theory standpoint. Whichever has least error & latency will win.”

Elon Musk CEO of Tesla, SpaceX & Dogecoin

With his comments, Musk appeared to have been pumping Bitcoin. The leading cryptocurrency has proven to be much faster than conventional systems that facilitate money and asset transfers.

As he said, latency reduction should be the objective of payment processors, especially in cross-border transactions. However, with the SWIFT global banking system proving to be both slow and expensive, Bitcoin provides a viable alternative.

Crypto Investor Musk?

The second-richest man has been making more overtures to Bitcoin over the past few months, suggesting that he might make a big-money splash and join the growing ranks of institutional investors.

Following Bitcoin breaking its previous all-time high of $20,000, Musk tweeted a meme suggesting that the leading cryptocurrency was looking rather tempting.

Picking up on the meme was Michael Saylor, the chief executive of Virginia-based business intelligence firm MicroStrategy.

Saylor counseled that Musk could convert Tesla’s entire balance sheet into Bitcoin, explaining that the move could be a “$100 billion favor” to the automaker’s shareholders. The CEO added that he could always share his playbook with Musk.

MicroStrategy made a significant splash in the crypto space last year, investing close to $1 billion in Bitcoin across several transactions. Last month, it completed a $650 million capital raise after releasing convertible senior notes to investors. As the company claimed, it would use most o the funds raised to make Bitcoin purchases.

The Virginia-based firm is now looking to counsel other companies looking to make similar moves. This week, MicroStrategy announced a conference tagged “Bitcoin for Corporations,” open to any company looking to move to the Bitcoin standard and convert its reserves to the asset.

It’s improbable that Musk will make such a move, although he could put any of his estimated $181 billion wealth into the leading cryptocurrency.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Jerome Powell: Fed is Studying Risks of Stablecoins As A ‘Very High Priority’

Jerome Powell: Fed is Studying Risks of Stablecoins As A ‘Very High Priority’

Meanwhile, the central bank isn’t feeling the “urge or need to be first” on CDBC’s as they already got the first-mover advantage with the U.S. dollar being the reserve currency.

The US Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, said on Thursday that the central bank needs to find “better regulatory answers” for global stablecoins, and it is their “high-level focus.”

“That’s been a high-level focus, and that will continue to be a high-level focus because they could become systemically important overnight,” Powell said while speaking at an online event hosted by Yahoo Finance and conducted by the Princeton economist Markus Brunnermeier in New Jersey.

“We don’t begin to have our arms around the potential risks and how to manage those risks. The public will expect that we do and have every right to expect that. So that’s something that we’ve been working on with our colleagues around the world… It’s a very high priority.”

Just last month, the U.S. President Trump’s Working Group on Financial Markets said stablecoins must meet the same regulatory standards as banks and other financial institutions.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde shared similar views when in November, she warned in an op-ed that if stablecoins became widely adopted, they could “threaten financial stability and monetary sovereignty” around the world.

This week, she called Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset” that is facilitating “funny business.” As such, “there has to be regulation,” Lagarde added, “This has to be applied and agreed upon.”

No Need for CBDC Yet

The Fed, meanwhile, is in no hurry regarding a central bank digital currency (CBDC); it is actually estimated to take “years rather than months” before the central bank releases a CBDC, said Powell. “We don’t feel an urge or need to be first” on CDBCs, reiterated Powell while continuing,

“Effectively, we already have a first-mover advantage because (the U.S. dollar is) the reserve currency.”

Still, the Fed is “investing heavily” in understanding the technology and studying all the policy risks CBDCs pose.

According to him, it was when private-sector money, like Bitcoin and other cryptos, was created that the Fed looked into CBDC. But while people think of these cryptocurrencies as money, “at some point, they find out that it’s not money and that’s a really bad thing we need to avoid,” he said.

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Author: AnTy