Gab CEO Banned by Traditional & Crypto Payment Processors; Bitcoin is a ‘Free Speech Money’

Thanks to Bitcoin, Gab has achieved its first $100,000 revenue in a month, said Andrew Torba, the social networking service CEO.

For the first time in its four year history, Gab saw a six-figure revenue that too without a “single credit or debit card transaction.”

In his post on Tuesday, Torba shared how Gab has been banned from not only dozens of payment processors like PayPal, Square, and Stripe but also many crypto payment platforms like Coinbase and Bitpay.

Besides the business, Torba said he and his family have also been “blacklisted by VISA for merchant processing.”

Calling Bitcoin “free speech money,” he said the digital asset has been crucial for their future, helping not only businesses like Gab and individuals like him but all those firms and people who are being cut off from the banks traditional payment processing methods.

Bitcoin solves this problem, and as such, they are spending “a lot of time at Gab working to educate our community about the importance of understanding and using bitcoin,” said Torba.

The platform accepts eCheck and checks by mail besides bitcoin as payment options.

“We are excited to continue building the home of free speech online funded by the biggest community of free speech warriors on the planet and with bitcoin, free speech money.”

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Author: AnTy

IDEX to Roll Out Multi-Chain Solution; Starting With Polkadot & Binance Smart Chain

  • IDEX, a popular decentralized exchange (DEX), plans to expand its infrastructure into two extra blockchains, adding its Ethereum (ETH) implementation.

In an announcement shared with BEG, IDEX confirmed a multi-chain solution expansion program that will integrate the decentralized exchange’s infrastructure to Polkadot and Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The latest move aims to expand the possibilities of traders on the platform to tokens, staking programs, and swaps across the blockchains.

IDEX is a layer-2 blockchain solution that combines the non-custodial security of a decentralized exchange while offering a centralized exchange speed and convenience. IDEX runs all of its operations on the Ethereum blockchain and plans to give every IDEX token holder on the ETH blockchain a similar number of tokens on the newly expanded chains.

As Ethereum faces huge gas costs and scalability issues with the rise of the DeFi market, new smart contract platforms such as Polkadot are coming up to offer users faster and cheaper platforms for developers to build their DeFi apps. In a statement on the expansion program, IDEX CEO Alex Wearn stated the expansion program aims to “give customers new networks to complete trades.”

Ethereum is facing tough competition from other blockchains, even in light of the ETH 2.0 Beacon chain launch, expected next week. However, we are stated that the latest move by IDEX to Polkadot and Binance Smart Chain is a diversification tactic rather than a competitive stance as the DEX aims to “put a stake in the ground and plant our [IDEX] flag early.”

The implementation of IDEX will happen on Polkadot Layer 0, meaning that the exchange will connect to a parallel chain (parachain) to Polkadot’s blockchain. IDEX will be integrated on Binance Smart Chain Layer 1, enabling traders to tap into BSC’s centralized DEX ecosystem directly.

The new tokens will be distributed to IDEX users on Ethereum starting December 7, trading on BSC and Polkadot, expected to start in Q1 2021. Tokens that are not claimed promptly will be transferred to a community fund for uses promoting the development of IDEX.

Wearn further stated the decentralized exchange is working on adding new blockchains in the future but is currently working with Polkadot and BSC because both are currently compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). He further said,

“As these platforms grow, we’ll see increased demand for trading these assets and a need for non-custodial trading solutions that support these networks.”

To enhance the cross-chain network that will provide a one-stop-shop allowing different assets to be traded on its platform, IDEX will offer independent assets across each blockchain. Binance Smart Chain and Polkadot will start with the tickers IDXB and IDXP, respectively.

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Author: Lujan Odera

A Call for $100,000 per Bitcoin as All Time High Comes into Sight

In another big move yesterday, the price of Bitcoin went as high as $19,400, a level last seen during BTC’s run-up to a new all-time high.

But with the last resistance level present at $19,300, Bitcoin has yet to make a strong move upwards.

Today, we are back to reaching for the new high, just about 4.5% away from $20,000.

However, technically, the digital asset is just inches away from the ATH if we consider Kraken’s 2017 peak. During the last bull run, different cryptocurrency exchanges had different peaks.

While Bitstamp had the ATH around $19,665, BitMEX had it $100 up at $19,777, and another $100 up on Huobi at $19,867. Gemini’s Bitcoin ATH was at $20,000 while Coinbase was just under $19,900.

The consensus in the market, however, is for the round figure of $20,000, and as Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift exchange, noted, “we’ve already surpassed the more important ATH, which is market cap. BTC value in aggregate is already at its all-time high.”

How High?

Amidst the ongoing bulls onslaught, people are betting that the largest cryptocurrency could go as high as $100,000 in this cycle.

Up 165% YTD, according to Brian Estes, chief investment officer at hedge fund Off the Chain Capital, for Bitcoin, surging from $18k to $100k in a year is not a stretch.

“I have seen bitcoin go up 10X, 20X, 30X in a year. So going up 5X is not a big deal,” Estes told Reuters.

In mid-July, just four months back, bitcoin was around $9.2k, and since then, it has increased 10x in value.

Bitcoin can hit anywhere between $100,000 and $288,000 by year-end 2021, predicted Estes based on the stock-to-flow model, which he said has a 94% correlation with the price of Bitcoin.

But not for Toronto-based independent proprietary trader Kevin Muir said, “Any hedge fund model on bitcoin is rubbish. You can’t model a mania,” adding,

“Is it plausible? For sure. It’s a mania. But does anyone actually have a clue? Not a chance.”

What’s really interesting is the shortage of supply we are seeing. With bitcoin produced in a day already halved, Square’s Cash App, PayPal, and Grayscale are gobbling up the majority of Bitcoin’s supply.

Amidst this, the whale index, addresses holding at least 1,000 BTC, is also at an all-time high at over 2,200, a number up 37% from 1,600 in 2018, suggesting institutional money is pouring in, said Phil Bonello, research director at digital asset manager Grayscale.

As for retail investors that could have been sidelined due to the pandemic may be back again with force now that PayPal has entered the market.

Because of this, Lennard Neo, head of research at crypto index fund provider Stack Funds, expecting a deluge of retail demand even more intense than in 2017, predicts BTC to reach $60k to $80k by the end of 2021.

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Author: AnTy

IOTA to Launch A New Wallet; Firefly Was Built from the Ground Up for the Chrysalis

IOTA has announced a new wallet dubbed ‘Firefly’ according to a recent tweet by the IoT-focused blockchain foundation. The tweet sent out yesterday revealed that Firefly would replace IOTA’s infamous wallet, Trinity, which was hacked earlier this year.

Dominik Schiener, the co-founder of IOTA, quoted this tweet announcement noting that the chrysalis upgrade will feature many upgrades as the platform prepares to go fully decentralized in the awaited 2.0 upgrade.

“With Chrysalis, we are fundamentally upgrading the entire IOTA stack.

Over the coming weeks, everyone will participate in this new IOTA future and try our new Firefly wallet and Testnet. This will be an exciting new chapter for IOTA and the entire ecosystem!”

The Chrysalis upgrade marked the commencement towards ‘coordicide’ where IOTA’s coordinator will be removed to usher in complete decentralization. As we reported earlier, the chrysalis is the final testnet before the coordinator is removed.

IOTA’s developer, Charlie Varley, who commented on the ‘Firefly’ announcement, further expounded that the prospective wallet has been a work in progress. He added that the new wallet is redesigned from scratch based on the experiences learned from Trinity, with the first alpha expected in the course of 2020,

“Firefly is our new wallet. We are aiming for a first alpha this year. Taking everything we learned from Trinity, we redesigned it from the ground up.

In 2021 we will add additional features like contacts and chat. Firefly will set a benchmark for user-facing apps in crypto.”

In February, the Trinity wallet had been compromised, an attack that resulted in the loss of $1.6 million user funds, although this was later reimbursed by IOTA’s co-founder David Sonstebo. IOTA is now looking to improve its ecosystem’s security with the 2.0 launch, which is anticipated to take place in Q1, 2021 when the coordinator is replaced by coordicide.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Coinbase Pro Drops Margin Trading, ‘Common Sense Regulations’ Needed

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is disabling margin trading on the Pro platform, in response to the new guidance from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The exchange pointed to the “recent changes in our regulatory environment” but didn’t specify which guidance led to the move.

All open limit orders for those customers using credit will be canceled by 2 pm PT today, and no new margin trades will be allowed to take place anymore while the product will be taken offline next month once all the existing margin positions have expired.

Margin is borrowing funds from the exchange, which allows traders to leverage their positions to amplify their returns. Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer, in the official announcement said,

“We believe clear, common-sense regulations for margin lending products are needed to protect and provide peace of mind to U.S customers.

We look forward to working closely with regulators to achieve this goal.”

Amidst this, Coinbase’s app has found a place among the Apple App Store’s top 100 free apps. At 73rd spot, Coinbase has jumped about 40 ranks in just one day as the price of Bitcoin rallies towards new highs, trading above $19,000.

In terms of the free finance app, Coinbase has a place at the 5th spot behind the popular apps Square’s Cash App, PayPal, Venmo, and Robinhood, three out of four of which also allow trading in BTC and cryptos.

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Author: AnTy

CNBC’s Mad Money Host, Jim Cramer, Says ‘Not Too Late for Bitcoin’ Even at $19,000

Jim Cramer, the founder of The Street, took to Twitter to share with its 1.4 million followers that it is a good time to jump into Bitcoin. Cramer said,

“It is not too late for Bitcoin.. great alternative to gold… which I have always believed in.”

The host of CNBC’s Mad Money comments came when the largest digital asset is trading above $19,000, a level last seen during the peak of the December bull run. BTC is just inches, not even 5% away from its all-time high of $20,000.

While millennials are already into cryptocurrencies big time, boomers may make an entry into the market too.

Bitcoin is up 168% YDT, with the majority of these gains, nearly 80%, coming in these last two months.

Unlike BTC, which is strengthening its digital gold narrative, the precious metal itself is having a rough past few months. Ever since hitting a new high above $2,000 in August, the gold price has been on a decline. Up only 18.7% year-to-date, the bullion is down -3.74% this month, dropping to the $1,800 level today.

While gold is getting sold off, BTC continues to climb up, inching that much closer to its new ATH. As we reported recently, analysts at Deutsche Bank said that Bitcoin is seeing increasing demand to be used to hedge dollar risk, inflation, and other things for which previously gold has been used.

Bitcoin whales are the one that is busy accumulating bitcoin currently. In the short-term, a much-anticipated pullback could make an entrance, with the number of accumulation addresses falling.

However, going by the narrative that the rally is largely driven by professional asset managers, “this means that Bitcoin will play a more active part in portfolio construction, going forward,” said Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

Talking about its implications for Bitcoin, he said it would make “its once cherished non-correlated asset appeal (…) unclear, but it makes sense that if more institutions hold it, the more likely it will become correlated to traditional assets.”

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Author: AnTy

Korea’s National Assembly Suggests Delaying Income Tax Rule on Crypto Assets to Jan 2022

South Korean lawmakers have allegedly proposed to delay the upcoming income tax rule on crypto-assets by three months from its scheduled commencement date in October 2021. According to the Dong-a Ilbo, a South Korean media which first reported this news, the law might come into effect later in January 2022.

The report notes that South Korea’s National Assembly, led by its planning and finance committee, recently tabled a report to suggest this law’s delay. This is because local crypto exchanges have asked for more time to develop proper tax infrastructures to meet the reporting requirements.

Through the Ministry of Economic and Finance, South Korea’s government made amendments to its tax code back in July. The new framework, which is yet to be approved by the National Assembly, proposed a 20% capital gains tax on crypto trading activity for income above 2.5 million Won ($2000).

As earlier reported by BEG, the suggested South Korea tax code details how transacting parties will annually report their taxes. It outlines that tax payments associated with crypto assets will be paid in May, per the ‘Taxation on Virtual Asset Transaction Income’ section on the new tax code.

Notably, the proposed tax on virtual assets is applied to both residents and non-residents that leverage South Korea-based crypto exchanges for their digital asset activity. With the commencement dates pushed back, the planning and finance committee is expected to update in the coming days.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Binance Sends Final Warning to US Customers; 14 Days to Withdraw Funds

  • Binance continues its efforts to get rid of U.S customers on its platform.
  • Users should withdraw all their funds from the platform in the next two weeks.

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in trading volume, Binance, is hastening its efforts to sweep off every U.S. based customer off its global trading platform, Binance.com. According to a Decrypt report, the exchange is giving every U.S. registered customer 14 days to “close their positions and withdraw their funds” or risk having their funds locked.

Binance is imposing these stricter measures to comply with KYC/AML compliance regulations. It has previously been reported that the exchange warned users geo-tracked using their IP addresses to withdraw their funds from the platform in 90 days.

This followed a warning by CEO of Binance, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, back in July 2019 when announcing a partnership with BAM Trading to launch its U.S. trading platform, Binance US. At the time, CZ confirmed that a “few restrictions would be accompanying the new partnership,” with U.S. customers having access to fewer tokens and features.

However, the latest warning sent via email to U.S. registered users is the most serious yet from the exchange. An email shared by one of our followers said,

“Dear user, as we constantly perform periodic sweeps of our existing controls, we noted that you are trying to access Binance while having identified yourself as a US person,” concerning the U.S registered customers using the platform.

The users have been given two weeks – ending December 8 – to clear their trading positions and withdraw funds from Binance.

“Please note that as per our terms of use, we are unable to service US persons. You have 14 days to close all active positions on your account and withdraw all your funds, failing which your account will be locked.”

The latest warning comes at the back of Binance US, adding Alabama to the states available for customers – with only eleven more states remain outside of the regional exchange’s network.

While the exchange does say the account will be locked, not all hope is lost for withdrawing user funds. It says users can contact customer support to try and get it temporarily unlocked.

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Author: Lujan Odera

VanEck’s Launches Physically-Backed Bitcoin ETN on Deutsche Böerse Xetra

Asset manager VanEck has listed a Bitcoin ETN on the regulated segment of Deutsche Börse Xetra, as per the announcement on Wednesday.

This product will allow investors to participate directly in the performance of bitcoin but without buying the digital currency themselves, making it as “uncomplicated” as trading in shares or ETFs.

“Bitcoin’s low correlation to other asset classes makes it an excellent way to contribute to the diversification of a portfolio,” says Martijn Rozemuller, Head of Europe at VanEck.

For cold storage, VanEck is working with Liechtenstein-based regulated crypto custodian Bank Frick.

The most important feature of this Bitcoin ETPs is that it is physically backed by the real BTC meaning the

“money invested in the ETN is actually used to buy bitcoin.”

Negligible premium/discount to NAV, transparent holdings, transparent prices, and investor protections are its other features, shared Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck’s director of digital asset strategy.

“VanEck is committed to support Bitcoin-focused financial innovation. Bringing to market a physical, fully-backed major exchange-listed Bitcoin ETP was a top priority of our firm. We succeeded! We hope to serve many clients and partners in Europe, Asia and across the world using our innovative, investment-friendly and regulatory-conscious access vehicles,” Gurbacs said.

VanEck had also filed for a Bitcoin ETF in the US in collaboration with SolidX but like all the other proposals, it was rejected by the regulators. Before the final deadline, it actually withdrew its own proposal but said it will continue to pursue an exchange-traded fund.

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Author: AnTy

DeFi Projects Yearn.Finance and Pickle Working Together, Two New Tokens to be Created

On Tuesday, Yearn.Finance creator Andre Cronje wrote about Pickle and Yearn developers coming together to work in Symbiosis. Cronje said,

“This is done to reduce duplicate work, increase specialization, and to leverage shared expertise.”

The plan is to merge Pickle Jars and Yearn’s V2 Vaults.

For this, Pickle will be integrated into Yearn’s ecosystem where Pickle Jars will be deployed as Yearn vaults using the forthcoming v2 design and “Pickle and Yearn TVL merges.”

The total value locked in Yearn.Finance is nearly $600 million, while Pickle only has $39 million in TVL, as per DeBank.

Pickle will be introducing rewards Gauges through which tokens will be distributed, and Yearn Vault depositors get to earn additional rewards by depositing vault shares in gauges.

The devs of Pickle Finance will continue to write strategies for which they will earn a 10% performance fee.

Pickle Governance participants will receive DILL in exchange for locking PICKLE for set maturity dates while Yearn vault depositors will earn additional rewards locking Pickle for DILL, up to 2.5x — “the more DILL they hold the greater the rewards” with a minimum locking period of 1 week and maximum 4 years.

The Gauge deposit, withdrawal, performance, and protocol fees will go to DILL holders. Pickle will also earn rewards from all Yearn depositors who use their rewards gauges.

In the announcement, Cronje further shared that a new token, CORNICHON will be distributed proportionally to the victims of the recent Evil Jar attack. This new token is created to track the losses of the attack against Pickle’s DAI Jar.

Following the Pickle and Yearn collaboration news, the price of PICKLE surged past $20. As of writing, it is trading around $17, up from a roughly 66% crash resulting from the hack on the weekend. YFI, meanwhile, is trading at $23,700.

Some community members wondered why there wasn’t a government voting for this collaboration.

A Yearn Finance team member explained that there wasn’t anything for the yearn community to vote on because “creating a Yearn Vault is completely permissionless.” Given that the code is open, anyone can do this. He further pointed out that it is all primarily to do with the Pickle project.

“Yearn is for builders not bureaucrats,” concluded the Yearn.Finance team member.

Also Read: Yearn Finance Creator Andre Cronje Reveals New DeFi Project DeriSwap

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Author: AnTy