Bank of America to Speed Up Stock Trade Settlement Using Paxos Blockchain Network

Bank of America to Speed Up Stock Trade Settlement Using Paxos Blockchain Network

Crypto firm Paxos has welcomed Bank Of America to its blockchain-based network for settling US equities.

According to Bloomberg, Bank of America has become the latest US bank to join the Paxos Network for blockchain stock settlement. The Paxos network facilitates the quick settlement of securities.

European banking giant Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings Inc’s Instinet already use the network known as Paxos Settlement Service.

Improving Return-on-Assets for BoA

Speaking on the new development, the Bank of America’s head of financing and clearing, Kevin McCarthy, said joining the Paxos network would help improve the return-on-assets in the business, which he said has been a challenge for the bank.

Paxos Settlement Service is an alternative settlement platform to existing market infrastructure. It was launched in 2020 after receiving a no-action relief from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2019. Paxos has also applied for a clearing license with the SEC.

The CEO of Paxos, Chad Cascarilla, said his platform could threaten the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC), which currently dominates equity settlement. The DTCC offers a “T+2” settlement process via legacy software. The DTCC settlement takes up to two days and only offers same-day settlement for trades are recorded on or before 11 a.m.

This is unlike Paxos that settles stock trades within minutes using the blockchain. Paxos runs a permissioned version of the Ethereum blockchain.

Using Blockchain In The Stock Market

In recent times, financial firms worldwide have begun to explore how blockchain can help address inefficiencies in the financial markets. Even as the total value of stocks traded globally is pegged to be around $77.5 trillion, the complexity in stock-related transactions persists. The stock market still has problems regarding the time it takes for transactions to be approved and the operational costs.

NASDAQ is one stock exchange that has been a front-runner when it comes to adopting blockchain. The exchange already uses blockchain technology to issue and manage private securities. Most of the other exchanges are still exploring prototypes and looking into the opportunities in blockchain technology.

Banks like JP Morgan Chase have also leveraged blockchain technology to develop specialized payments systems and offer niche banking products. Since last year, JPMorgan has used the blockchain to execute intraday repurchase agreements totaling billions of dollars.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption is Half of Gold and the Banking System: Galaxy Digital Mining

Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption is Half of Gold and the Banking System: Galaxy Digital Mining

The Bitcoin network consumes a substantial amount of energy; this is what makes it “so robust and secure” while offering “financial freedom to people around the world.”

Galaxy Digital Mining has released a report, “On Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption,” taking a quantitative approach to a question that is more subjective.

In its report, Galaxy compared Bitcoins energy usage to other industries, namely banking and gold.

Bitcoin is a fundamentally novel technology and not a precise substitute for the legacy system, which is more than just a settlement layer or solely a store of value.

And though there is no denying that the Bitcoin network consumes a substantial amount of energy, this energy consumption is what makes it so robust and secure, states the report.

All the criticism Bitcoin has received regarding its energy usage gained spotlight last week after Tesla CEO Elon Musk cited the “insane” usage level as the reason for suspending Bitcoin transactions.

“But these critiques are rarely levied against other traditional industries,” it said. While most often compared to the traditional banking system and gold, unlike Bitcoin’s transparency, these industries are opaque and do not publicly disclose their energy footprints.

image1

When it comes to Bitcoin, nodes, mining pools, and mining machines are the three sources that are direct energy consumers, out of which ASIC machines designed to execute Proof of Work (PoW) required to settle transactions and secure the network accounts for 99.8% of this consumption.

According to Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, however, the Bitcoin network is estimated to consume about 144 TWh per year, more than 114 TWh cited by the report.

The report then points out that while the global annual electricity generation is ~26,730 TWh/yr, the amount of electricity lost in transmission and distribution each year is ~2,205 TWh/yr.

As such, the largest network can actually benefit the energy sector by creating “perfect use cases for intermittent and excess energy,” reads the report.

While Twitter CEO has joined forces with Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest to work in this direction, it is yet to be realized, and for now, just under 40% of the Bitcoin network is powered by renewable energy. However, this is contested by CoinShares’s estimate of over 75% of the network using renewable energy. Ark Invest on the ongoing heated debate around Bitcoin’s energy consumption sparked by Musk, said,

“The concerns around Bitcoin’s energy consumption are misguided. Contrary to consensus thinking, we believe the impact of bitcoin mining could become a net positive to the environment.”

The energy footprint of “always-on” electrical devices in American households meanwhile is ~1,375 TWh/yr, says the digital asset manager’s report.

The fact that the Bitcoin network works 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, “it can offer financial freedom to people around the world without the luxury of stable and accessible financial infrastructure.” The report concludes,

“Is the Bitcoin network’s electricity consumption an acceptable use of energy? Our answer is definitive: yes.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Tether (USDT) Launches on Avalanche Which is Burning Fees at Increasing Speed

Tether (USDT) Launches on Avalanche Which is Burning Fees at Increasing Speed

The Largest stablecoin with a market cap of nearly $59.5 billion, Tether is further expanding to now cover Avalanche as well.

Launched in late 2014, Tether is already supporting Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Liquid Network, Omni, Tron, Algorand, and Solana blockchains. Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether said,

“We are delighted to initiate USDt’s launch on Avalanche.”

“The launch of USDt on Avalanche will provide traders with a fast, cost-effective way to transfer USDt across different exchanges.”

Avalanche is a decentralized smart contracts platform, on which activity has been surging ever since the launch of the Avalanche-Ethereum Bridge (AEB) earlier this year. Since the launch in Feb., 100,000 unique addresses have been created, and users have executed more than 2 million smart contract transactions. Emin Gün Sirer, Director of the Avalanche Foundation said,

“Having USDt launch natively in Avalanche adds another core infrastructure to the rapidly expanding DeFi ecosystem on the platform. It will be a welcome addition to users and developers propelling this continued growth.”

Avalanche’s native token, AVAX, is a hard-capped asset used to pay for fees on the network. It also secures the platform through staking.

With a market cap of $633 million, AVAX is sitting at 40th place and currently trading at $34.73.

The network went through an upgrade in March that reduces the fees by 50% but still accounts for some of the highest fees among the layer-1 solutions, showing real user demand. Fees on Avalanche are burned, which means it benefits all network participants.

Avalanche users have actually burned more fees on smart contract transactions in the six weeks since the Apricot Phase 1 Upgrade than in the first six months of its mainnet.

image1

“Fees for Avalanche users got significantly cheaper, but the burn rate increased as more users, applications, and assets joined the network,” noted Patrick Sutton & Farid Rached of Ava Labs.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Galaxy Digital Reports $860M in Net Income in Q1 2021 and Surpasses $1 Billion in AUM

Galaxy Digital Reports $860M in Net Income in Q1 2021 and Surpasses $1 Billion in AUM

Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital reported a profitable Q1 2021 with $860.2 million in net comprehensive income, a complete turnaround from the $27 million loss in Q1 2020. Novogratz, founder, and CEO of Galaxy Digital said,

“Galaxy Digital reported another consecutive record quarter, as net comprehensive income grew to $860 million from $336 million in the prior quarter.”

Income from the company’s trading business increased to $508.7 million, while net realized gains from investments were $151.1 million in the quarter.

The firm made 12 new investments in the quarter and now holds about 80 investments across approximately 60 portfolio companies.

In Q1 of 2021, during the bull market, Galaxy Digital reported an increase of 50% in trading volumes from the last quarter and a surge of 510% in gross counterparty loan originations to $670 million.

Galaxy Digital Trading also onboarded over 100 new counterparties in the quarter. The firm further launched several products in this period, including a Bitcoin ETF and an Ether ETF.

As of March 31, 2021, the company had $1.27 billion in assets under management.

In the Bitcoin mining realm, Galaxy started hosting its machines at a third-party data center in the United States and expects to achieve up to 1,995 Petahash per second (PH/s) of mining capacity delivered monthly by the end of next year.

The company has appointed Erin Brown as its Chief Operating Officer, who previously served as Chief Risk Officer at Jump Trading. Novogratz said,

“Beyond delivering dramatic organic growth, we announced we would acquire BitGo, which will establish Galaxy Digital as the first full-service digital asset financial platform for institutions and ensure our business is aligned with broader institutional adoption.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Iran Moves to Heavily Fine Crypto Miners Using Household Electricity

Iran Moves to Heavily Fine Crypto Miners Using Household Electricity

The Iranian government has introduced new rules that prohibit cryptocurrency miners from mining bitcoin at home. According to the local news agency The Tehran Times, home miners caught breaking the law would be fined heavily.

Iran Cracks Down On Illegal Crypto Miners

Although crypto mining is legal and accepted by the Iranian government, some crypto miners have reportedly been using household electricity to mine to bypass paying higher tariffs.

Besides the fines, erring miners would also be required to pay extra fees for damages caused to the power network.

Mostafa Rajabi, a spokesperson for Iran’s Energy Ministry, said that the need to monitor crypto mining was necessary as it was one of the two biggest threats to Iran’s electricity supply. The second threat Rajabi noted is a reduction in power coming from hydropower plants due to the lack of rainfall.

The government’s new measures would also see illegal crypto miners who are caught provide compensation for potential damages caused to the electricity network.

According to Rajabi, up to 87% of crypto mining operations in Iran are illegal, and these unauthorized crypto mining can damage the local power grid and lead to blackouts.

Crypto Mining In Iran

Since July 2019, crypto mining has been accepted as a legal industry in Iran. Miners in the country are required to obtain an operating license from the Ministry of Industries and pay their electricity bills based on export rates.

Now that mining is legal, miners have complained about the high power tariffs. This caused a brawl between the miners and the government and led to some miners leaving their farms to use household electricity instead.

Another issue between the Iranian authorities and the country’s crypto miners is the constant nationwide power outages. In January, the Iranian government had reportedly shut down 1,620 unregistered mining farms, blaming them for the widespread blackout, which left millions of people without power.

Iran is a notable player in the Bitcoin mining market. The country ranks among the top 10 countries where miners operate due to its cheap energy.

Despite the trouble with miners, Iran sees crypto mining as a way to generate income for the country. Last year, Iran started exploring the potential use of cryptocurrency as a tool for mitigating the crippling impact of economic issues faced at the time.

The Central Bank of Iran unveiled new rules that directed the proceeds of the mined Bitcoin to be used as government funds to finance the country’s imports. Using cryptocurrencies for foreign trade was one way the government could avoid the adverse effects of the economic sanctions imposed by the US.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Software Provider Temenos Enables Crypto Trading for Banks

Banking software provider Temenos has announced a partnership with online digital asset firm Taurus to enable access to cryptocurrency for financial institutions.

Per its press release, the integration would make it easier for banks to offer cryptocurrency trading to their clients via Taurus’ platform.

Temenos Leveraging Taurus Blockchain Expertise

This will see Temenos’ banking clients exposed to a plethora of blockchain solutions like Taurus-CAPITAL (tokenization and lifecycle management), Taurus-PROTECT (hot, warm, cold digital asset custody), and Taurus-EXPLORER (API-based blockchain connectivity to ten blockchain protocols).

All this will now be accessible through the Temenos MarketPlace.

Temenos notes that Taurus was selected after a thorough review and evaluation process to help banks seamlessly integrate all forms of digital assets across cryptocurrencies, tokenized assets, and digital currencies.

Taurus will be integrated with Temenos’ next-generation core banking software called Temenos Transact.

Speaking on the occasion, Managing Partner at Taurus Sebastien Dessimoz noted that there had been an increase in demand for digital assets since 2020.

According to Dessimoz, Taurus’ blockchain expertise would aid Temenos clients in managing any digital asset and creating digital products easily.

Geneva-based Taurus received a securities license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to launch the regulated crypto marketplace dubbed the Taurus Digital Exchange (TDX).

Taurus said that TDX would enable investors and banks to trade tokenized securities, private assets, real estate, art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and cryptocurrencies.

Taurus is a seasoned blockchain company as it offers services for cryptocurrencies, including staking and decentralized finance (DeFi), tokenized assets, and digital assets, all within its platform.

Taurus Integrates Aave

Taurus has continued to grow its product suite. In March 2021, the Swiss digital asset provider added DeFi protocol Aave to its asset infrastructure. The integration would enable banks and exchanges to deposit and borrow cryptocurrencies like Ether.

Aave, a DeFi protocol catering to both institutional and retail users, facilitates borrowing and lending of digital assets has experienced exponential growth alongside the broader crypto market.

Banks are gradually warming up to decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols like Aave, as the amount of funds locked up in DeFi protocols rises above the $80 billion mark, per DeFi Pulse.

In a research paper published earlier this month by Netherlands-based ING Bank, it was agreed that both centralized and decentralized financial systems need to co-exist to achieve success. The paper states:

“Although DeFi currently appears to be a domain on its own, we envision that centralized and decentralized financial services will converge at some stage as both have unique capabilities that are beneficial to the other. There is, however, the challenge for centralized institutions of making sure that their assets stay within countries that are white-listed.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Hackers Have Received Over $81M in Crypto since January Due to Ransomware: Chainalysis Report

Hackers Have Received Over $81M in Crypto since January Due to Ransomware: Chainalysis Report

Blockchain and crypto analytic firm Chainalysis has released its mid-year findings, which show that ransomware victims have paid approximately $81 million worth of crypto this year.

The company noted that the $81 million figure is likely to rise in the coming days as more ransomware addresses are identified and, as such, the figure should be taken as a floor or base at the moment.

According to the report, about $406 million worth of cryptocurrency was paid to ransomware addresses last year, marking the highest ransomware payments in history since the advent of the cryptos. The report also noted that much of these funds are moved from the victim addresses using different mainstream exchanges with lax compliance standards and mixers.

Ransomware is defined as malicious software used to deny a victim’s access to their computer and related files unless they pay a certain amount, mostly in crypto, for the access to be reinstituted.

In the recent past, news about the ransomware attack of the Colonial Pipeline, a company serving about half of the petroleum market in the United States, has dominated the news in the country. Reportedly, Colonial Pipeline was forced to part ways with about $5 million worth of Bitcoin for their system to be unlocked. However, the group responsible for the attack known as DarkSide believed to be located in Russia, had its servers seized by authorities. The attack led to a massive shortage of gas in various petrol stations in the East Coast United States.

A report issued by blockchain analytic firm Elliptic showed that Darkside’s Bitcoin wallet received 75 BTC from Colonial Pipeline on May 8, just a few days before the energy firm resumed its operations. Similarly, Elliptic identified that the same wallet received a payment of Bitcoin worth $4.4 million from a European-based chemical firm, Brenntag, that also suffered a ransomware attack from Darkside.

The report by Chainalysis also notes that the average ransomware payments have risen drastically to about $54,000 so far, with some attackers asking for huge sums like $50 million demanded from Acer at the start of the year.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Newly Exploited BSC-based bEarn Fi Compensating the Affected Users an ‘Extra 5%’ of Deposit Amount

Newly Exploited BSC-based bEarn Fi Compensating the Affected Users an ‘Extra 5%’ of Deposit Amount

Amidst the ongoing BSC DeFi mania, another project was exploited this weekend, resulting in the loss of about $11 million of user funds.

bEarn Fi is the project in question here which is a cross-chain auto yields farming protocol.

What happened on Sunday was bVaults’ BUSD Alpaca strategy was exploited, and 10,859,319 BUSD were drained out of the pool due to an “improper implementation of the function withdraw.” The team said in its incident explanation said,

“We passed the method withdraw from FairLaunch contract with BUSD amount while we should have used ibBUSD amount instead.”

This allowed the withdrawal of more BUSD than needed, which in turn was used to deposit to FairLaunch, increasing the locked BUSD amount in the contract while there was no new deposit.

The team also assured that only the single stake BUSD bVault using Alpaca was affected, and the rest of the bVaults are not at risk.

As a security measure, the team is implementing a deposit limit cap for all of its new bVaults until a full audit is performed.

The team further announced a compensation plan for its affected users, which consists of a combination of the remaining saved funds, Dev Fund, DAO Fund, and a portion of fees generated by the protocol.

While the details are being worked on, “affected users will receive an extra 5% of their deposited amount,” they said.

Every affected user will be able to claim back their funds in the following manner: 87.5% of the initial deposit amount in BUSD and 7.5% of the initial deposit amount in BDOv2.

The remaining 10% of the initial deposit amount will be claimed in BDEX with a vesting period of 80 weeks, the same as the core team.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Increases Bitcoin Price EoY Target to $125k Following Elon Musk Bashing BTC

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Increases Bitcoin Price EoY Target to $125k Following Elon Musk Bashing BTC

VC Pantera Capital is of a similar opinion, saying Bitcoin price is on track to their prediction of $115,212 in August 2021 and if the market takes longer, natural trend growth would hit that level in Feb. 2022.

Fundstrat Global Advisors managing partner Tom Lee is unperturbed by Tesla CEO Elon Musks’ warnings about Bitcoin. He continues to be bullish on the largest cryptocurrency and doesn’t see this having a negative impact on it either. Lee said in an interview with Insider,

  • “I don’t think it’s going to get people negative on bitcoin, but it is going to get people to focus on the problems that are being created by digital assets.”
  • “It is probably better to view it as a call to action for the bitcoin industry to focus on renewables or more efficient ways to provide proof of work.”

Talking about Musk suspending Bitcoin payments, Lee said it makes sense given that Tesla is preferred for being ESG-friendly. He said,

“I imagine it would have been tough to accept bitcoin as payment because of the volatility.”

“So as a practical, treasury matter, unless Tesla is hedging the bitcoin transaction at the time of purchase, I don’t know if it’s great from a company perspective.”

Bitcoin Price on Track

In response to Musk calling Bitcoin an environmental concern and being highly centralized, the price of BTC fell to $42,150, a pullback of 35% from its ATH.

However, Lee is confident in Bitcoin and actually upgrades his BTC price outlook from $100,000 to $125,000 by the end of this year.

VC Pantera Capital is of a similar opinion, saying Bitcoin is at “fair value.” The company May investor letter said,

“Bitcoin has been remarkably steady in having a compound annual growth rate of 230% — over ten years. There’ve been a few bubbles…a few bursts…but generally it’s been consistent. The 10-year regression value for bitcoin today is $55,350.96 – which is exactly where it is.”

Fair value marks “a good time to buy” Bitcoin per Pantera, which means the current price of $45,600 makes it cheaper.

image1

Pantera Capital further shared a “fun perspective” noting in 2013, Bitcoin peaked 1,678% above fair value against the current regression model while the 2017 peak’s premium was 667%, 60% lower, 1,477 days later. It added,

“If the same amount of time occurred between that peak and the next and the premium fell by 60% again, Bitcoin would hit $370,554 on New Year’s Day, 2022.”

According to them, Bitcoin is on pace for Pantera’s price prediction from April 2020, according to which BTC would be worth $115,212 in August 2021. If the crypto asset takes longer, “the natural trend growth would hit that level February 20, 2022,” it added.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

“Don’t Give Me Power in Your Project,” says Ethereum Co-founder on Burning SHIB Tokens

“Don’t Give Me Power in Your Project,” says Ethereum Co-founder on Burning SHIB Tokens

Vitalik Buterin, who simply doesn’t want to be the focus of that kind of power, is in support of those earnestly working on making the world better.

After tanking the prices of Dogecoin-inspired meme coins, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has burned a ton of SHIB tokens.

The price of SHIB tokens fell about 58.5% the day Vitalik donated a big chunk of SHIB supply along with other dog-based coins to charity.

After falling in tandem with the broad crypto market over the weekend fueled by Bitcoin sell-off, SHIB is now trading at $0.00001632, but still down 56.4% from its all-time high of $0.00003791 about a week back. BTC -6.28% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 43,537.51
-$2,734.16-6.28%
Volume 74.9 b Change -$2,734.16 Open $43,537.51 Circulating 18.71 m Market Cap 814.7 b
5 h Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption is Half of Gold and the Banking System: Galaxy Digital Mining 6 h Tether (USDT) Launches on Avalanche Which is Burning Fees at Increasing Speed 6 h Galaxy Digital Reports $860M in Net Income in Q1 2021 and Surpasses $1 Billion in AUM

Amidst all this, Vitalik burned about $6 billion worth of SHIB tokens. SHIB -8.34% SHIBA INU / USD SHIBUSD $ 0.00
$0.00-8.34%
Volume 3.46 b Change $0.00 Open $0.00 Circulating 10 t Market Cap 6.48 b
10 h “Don’t Give Me Power in Your Project,” says Ethereum Co-founder on Burning SHIB Tokens 4 d Uniswap Collecting More than Double the Fees Daily Generated by Bitcoin 4 d Is Vitalik Buterin a Villain or a Hero for Dumping the Dog Meme Coins?

During this burn, Vitalik had a message embedded in the transaction for the creator of these tokens; he doesn’t want them to send half the supply to him without his consent. Vitalik’s message said,

“For anyone making coins (or DAO’s, or whatever else) in the future, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ME COINS OR POWER IN YOUR PROJECT WITHOUT MY CONSENT! I don’t want to be a locus of power of that kind. Better to just print the coins into the hands of a worthy charity directly (though do talk to them first).”

While 90% of the remaining SHIB tokens in his wallet will be burned, Vitalik will be donating the 10% to charity with a more long-term orientation because while Covid-19 is a big problem now, “it’s important to think about the longer term future too.”

Explaining the future course of action he will be taking with these tokens, Vitalik also shared the reason behind his initial move, which was “simply holding the remaining coins in the Oxab58 wallet forever was never an option.”

“For security reasons alone, they would have to be moved to a better wallet eventually, and any transaction I make would get interpreted as an action. So… may as well just do the useful thing immediately.”

Vitalik further stated that he “supports” the SHIB community and who are earnestly working on making the world better.

“I’ve actually been impressed by how the dog token communities have treated the recent donations! Plenty of dog people have shown their generosity and their willingness to not just focus on their own profits but also be interested in making the world as a whole better.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy