ASIC Bitcoin Miner Manufacturer, Ebang, to Launch Crypto Exchange Outside China

  • Ebang International Holdings to launch an offshore crypto exchange that can potentially double their income to $200 Million. This, alongside their new consultancy venture which, will supplement their dwindling revenue by 40% in 2020 will work to reduce their overreliance in the ever-volatile cryptocurrency.al

News has now surfaced that Bitcoin equipment manufacturer; Ebang International Holdings intend to unveil a crypto exchange to operate outside China’s jurisdiction. This is in an attempt to generate more revenue for the firm.

The BTC rig manufacturer could see a revenue increment of up to 40% by the end of this year emanating from their new consultancy business that involves managing datacenters for clients. Chief Financial Officer, Chen Lei in an interview with a media outlet remarked at the potential of doubling their earnings to $200 Million with the launch of the crypto exchange. This timeline could potentially be stretched to 2022.

Dwindling Fortunes

Notably, their 2019 revenue of $109 Million was significantly dwarfed by an excess of $300 Million they generated in 2018. Generally translating to net losses in both 2018 and 2019. This is due to their overreliance in the ever-volatile BTC which, has plummeted significantly well below $4000 before stabilizing. The BTC is currently trading at $9154.21 enjoying a market volume of $15911378811 as per this writing.

The Hangzhou-based ASIC rigs manufacturer filed a $100 Million IPO with SEC this year, April. Their share price after, however, shrunk by almost 4% after June 26th IPO to fall below the projected $4. Most of the funds from the IPO would go into the production of next-gen rigs and their overseas expansion campaign.

According to Mr. Chen, almost 10% of the total revenue generated would go to facilitate transaction fees as they seek to set up a regulatory compliant exchange outside China. This was partly due to ongoing purge on crypto activities in China as they march towards realizing their own CBDC, the digital Yuan.

However, it is yet to be seen how the escalating rows between Beijing and Washington will affect Ebang’s access to US capital markets.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Celo Dollar (cUSD) Stablecoin Launches as the Libra Rival Eyes Digital Ecosystem Dominance

Celo Dollars (cUSD) stablecoins are now live on the platform’s mainnet according to a medium post by the foundation on June 29. This comes barely two months since Celo’s mainnet went live; the project has been making aggressive moves in both development and community growth. With Celo’s stablecoin (cUSD) now accessible, the foundation is optimistic that its vision of an all-inclusive financial ecosystem will be realized.

Notably, Celo’s infrastructure has been gaining popularity as its Alliance membership surged following its debut in March with an initial 50 members. Two months in, the number had grown to 75 as more players collaborate to expand Celo’s ecosystem. Prominent names contributing to this project include Bison Trails, Alpha Wallet, Paxful, Polychain, and Mercy Corps, to mention a few. Currently, the Alliance’s focus is in four areas; communications, policy, remittances, and international aid.

The Celo Dollar (cUSD)

As cryptocurrencies take the center stage of digital asset innovation, programmable money is a no brainer for today’s economy. It is, therefore, not surprising that the digital currency trend has been resilient since Bitcoin recorded ATH back in 2017. Consequently, crypto market players have come up with ways to eliminate some aspects of volatility hence the rise of stablecoins over the course of 2019.

Celo Dollar (cUSD) is designed to further enhance the grown of $34 billion P2P markets, $1.4 trillion PoS market, $248 billion gig economy, and $87 billion remittance market. Users can leverage the cUSD to make touchless merchant payments in the wake of COVID-19 preventive measures. They can also send or receive Celo Dollars locally and internationally at friendly fees that are as low as $0.01.

Finally, this Celo based stablecoin can be used to access financing by borrowing at interest. This is especially valuable in economies with a high unbanked population given the increase in smartphone accessibility hence the opportunity to operate on Celo’s network instead.

Celo’s Prospects

The Celo Alliance is considered a Libra rival in the digital currency space but may soon be in the clear should regulatory pressures favor its existence. It has been making significant milestones since we began 2020, including a $700k grant allocation to startups building on the Celo blockchain network. cLabs, Celo’s founding company, also raised $10 million in the Celo Gold (cGLD) token sale on CoinList in which around 509 global investors participated.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Ripple CTO Bullish on Bitcoin But Has Been Selling His Stash for Years

David Schwartz, chief technology officer at Ripple, recently shared that he is still bullish on bitcoin but is currently selling his BTC stash.

On being asked by Adam Back, co-founder and chief executive officer of the blockchain technology company, Blockstream, “aren’t you pro-BTC and converting XRP into Bitcoin?” Schwartz shared,

“Nope. I’ve been slowly selling bitcoin for the past several years.”

And the reason behind selling bitcoin is the risk. “I’m still bullish on bitcoin, it’s just the level of risk that has me selling,” he said.

This snippet is from the discussion about who is the pseudo-anonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Stop Searching for Satoshi; We are all Satoshi

A Twitter user declared Adam Back as Satoshi Nakamoto to which the cryptographer replied with a simple “not me.”

Some also see Hal Finney, a cypherpunk and early Bitcoin contributor and Nick Szabo, a cryptographer who designed BitGold, as the pseudo-anonymous creator. Both are among the top runners for being Satoshi.

“FWIW they both said it wasn’t them also. We’ll never know – many cypherpunks had no social media footprint, and anon posts. Probably a digital ghost, who burned the nym to be safe,” said Back about Finney and Szabo being Nakamoto.

“Bitcoin is better as a decentralized digital commodity without a founder. We are all Satoshi,” he added.

This is where software engineer and Director at Ripple, Nik Bougalis, came who agreed with Back about Bitcoin being better without a founder.

“Abandoning the Satoshi Nakamoto persona and leaving Bitcoin to the world was a brilliant move,” he said.

A Ripple enthusiast also feels Ripple CTO Schwartz could be Satoshi Nakamoto. Still, Bougalis dismissed this, stating Schwartz has publicly denied it and that “his code & writing style simply don’t match Satoshi’s.”

And, “unfortunately” for Schwartz, he “didn’t find out about bitcoin until 2011.”

Schwartz chimed in to say that he thinks it’s plausible that instead of just an individual, Satoshi was a small group of people.

And that’s where Schwartz shared that he doesn’t have millions of Bitcoins, but he hasn’t lost the keys to his BTC holdings either, which he has been slowly selling for the past some years now.

“Bullish on X but Selling the X? Charlie is that you?,” a user commented on this statement.

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Author: AnTy

Yet Another Balancer Attack for ‘Unclaimed’ COMP; DeFi Liquidity Provider to Reimburse Hack Victims

It hasn’t been 24 hours since the news about a $500,000 hack on Balancer came that a new attack has claimed $2,300 worth of the hot Compound tokens (COMP).

Hao, a hacker and engineer at DeBank, a DeFi wallet took to Twitter to share how this time as well, someone used Andreessen-funded dYdX to flash loan and drained, yes again, unclaimed COMP stored in several pools of Balancer, an automatic market maker.

The hacker explained that the contract flash loaned some tokens from dYdX to mint cToken from these funds. Then they Uniswap v2 to flash loaned some COMP.

The contract joined COMP/cBAT/cUSDT pool to trigger Compound to send unclaimed COMP to this balancer pool. After syncing COMP balance, the contract withdrew from the balancer at an advantage and continued to do the same for other pools.

After getting all the extra COMP, it repaid Uniswap and dydx and made an exit and swapped COMP for ETH in a normal Uniswap V2 trade.

However, @FollowTheChain said the “unclaimed COMP” is just a tiny fraction of COMP that has accumulated since the last movement of each cToken that happened a few minutes before.

According to Balancer Labs, this attack wasn’t like the one from yesterday either.

Amidst this came the good news, that Balancer Labs will be reimbursing all the liquidity providers who lost funds in yesterday’s attack.

It will also pay out the “highest bug bounty available” to Hex capital, who alerted about this vulnerability to balancer Labs in May.

“This is a major issue in crypto today – creating bug bounty programs and then ignoring the results + refusing to pay out. We need to do better,” said Hex Capital.

Market Unaffected

Yesterday’s attack involved two pools of the Balancer that contained deflationary tokens STA and STONK, tokens with transfer fees, worth more than $500,000 getting drained by a hacker.

The attack happened in two separate transactions which were 30 minutes apart. And only the pools with a token with transfer fees were affected by the exploit.

DeFi aggregator 1inch in its official report said the attacker was a “very sophisticated smart contract engineer with extensive knowledge and understanding of the leading DeFi protocols.”

Not only was he organized and prepared in advance but also used Tornado Cash, a privacy-focused Ethereum mixer, to get initial funds that hid his source of Ether.

It reported that the attack on one of the Balancer Pools was caused by a complex transaction that the hacker sent to the Ethereum mainnet. Then, with another transaction, the hacker drained another Balancer Pool.

The address with the stolen funds currently has about 601 ETH worth about $133,823.

In its official report on the incident, Balancer Labs reported that it wasn’t aware that “his specific type of attack was possible” which now came to be untrue.

However, they have been warning about the unintended effects of ERC20s with transfer fees in the protocol. As such, STA wasn’t included in the recently put together mining whitelist of BAL.

Now, transfer fee tokens will be added to the blacklist and will continue to audit, the third planned audit is starting soon, and review the protocol.

However, the market seems unaffected for now, as the total value locked in Balancer is $115 million, down from the all-time high of $117 million just a day before, as per DeFi Pulse.

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Author: AnTy

Industry Giants, BHP and Baosteel, Make First Iron Ore Trade for $14 Million Using Blockchain

Mining conglomerate, BHP Group has revealed that it has transacted a $14 million worth of iron ore trade through a blockchain-based platform which has been created by MineHub Technologies based in Canada.

The transaction involved BHP Group and China Baowu Steel Group, which is an offshoot of Chinese giant steelmaker China Baoshan Iron & Steel, which is mostly referred to as Baosteel.

Last month, BHP stated that it was in the process of piloting a blockchain-based iron ore trade with the Chinese conglomerate Baosteel.

In a statement shared exclusively with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, during the transaction process, BHP utilized the blockchain platform to process the contract terms virtually, exchange the documents as well as offer real-time cargo visibility.

The piloting of the blockchain-enabled trading by BHP is part of the firm’s plan to digitize its documentation procedures for its commodities trading fully. According to Michiel Hovers, who is BHP’s sales and marketing executive, the mining industry requires a paradigm shift when it comes to documentation. He said:

“The bulk commodity industry needs a digital revolution to reduce physical documentation processes.”

Baowu Steel, which is state-owned, has previously invested in blockchain technology in efforts to digitize its trade. Last month, the firm conducted what it said was the inaugural blockchain-enabled yuan-denominated foreign letter of credit (LC) with another mining giant called Rio Tinto. The firm used the Contour platform that has been developed on Corda technology R3, which is an enterprise-focused blockchain solutions firm.

BHP’s journey in the blockchain space can be traced back to 2017 after Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum founder announced that the mining giant was developing a blockchain-based application that will help in tracking natural resources.

In February last year, the mining leader in partnership with a Japanese based shipping firm NYK successfully tested blockchain tech.

The Canadian-based MineHub Technology explained that the BHP testing was just one of the many in the pipeline, which will involve its blockchain platform. The firm also stated that the testing comes at an opportune time when various crooked characters are taking advantage of the supply chain uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Binance And OKEx Latest Crypto Exchanges To List, COMP, Compound’s Governance Token

Compound (COMP) is setting an impressive rise since its launch a fortnight ago with the coin’s price, popularity, and total value locked have seen multiple times growth rates since then. Additionally, several crypto exchanges have rushed to list the token after its impressive performance. After additions to Coinbase Pro, Coinbase, and FTX derivatives exchange, COMP is now set to start trading on OKEx and Binance.

OKEx launches COMP spot trading

Big exchanges are jumping on to listing Compound’s governance token in what can only be described as a FOMO move listing a two-week-old token. OKEx becomes the latest exchange to launch trading pairs of the coin, including the Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin (BTC) pairs.

Users can buy, sell, deposit, and withdraw COMP from the exchange as of Monday, Jun 29, the announcement reads. Trading opened at 9 AM UTC, and as at the time of writing, only 228 COMP has been traded on both pairs on the exchange.

COMP currently trades at an average of $235 across major exchanges representing a 4.31% drop in the past 24 hours. The daily trading volumes remain high at $11 million across 31 listed pairs on over ten exchanges – COMP reached an all-time high daily trading volume of $31 million on Friday.

Safe or not? Binance launches futures trading

In a similar breath, Binance launched futures trading of the COMP token offering USDT settled contracts starting Tuesday, June 30. The statement reads,

“Binance Futures will launch COMP/USDT perpetual contract, with the trading opening on 2020/06/30 09:00 AM (UTC). Users will be able to select between 1-50x leverage.”

However, a section of crypto traders has come forward criticizing the exchange for its high leverage positions on a relatively new token in the market. It is a question of making a profit vs. a safe environment for traders.

Binance, which has been at the forefront in speaking on the need to protect users, faces a dilemma as the volatility of an unproven token may cause a similar flash crash to Matic Network’s in December 2019 and with it liquidate users’ funds.

Rise to the top

Compound is a platform that allows users to earn interest by lending and borrowing digital assets. Launched in 2019, the company ascend to the top of the DeFi industry comes as a shock to many. Compound is currently the largest DeFi platform overtaking Maker (MKR) in total asset value locked (TVL), according to Defipulse.com.

Compound dominates the industry with $626 million in digital assets locked on the platform, representing 38.2% of the total value in decentralized finance.

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Author: Lujan Odera

3 Blockchain Firms, iExec, IoTeX, and R3, join Linux Foundation’s Privacy-Focused Consortium

  • Data privacy-focused group, the Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC), which includes heavyweights such as Microsoft, Intel, Alibaba, and Huawei, announces the addition of six companies, including Facebook, Google, Accenture and three blockchain-based firms – IoTeX, iExec, and R3.

The CCC was launched in late 2019 by the Linux Foundation to bring together developers with a frequent need for data privacy to create confidential computing solutions. The CCC employs a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technologies. TEEs allows data to be stored and computed on an excluded and secured area, preventing sensitive data from interacting with other parts of the device or application that may be less secure.

TEEs are heavily used on biometric security systems on smartphones, which keeps sensitive information from unauthorized apps. The data on TEEs is only available to authorized systems allowing systems to run without exposing massive amounts of raw data, which prevents AI and machine learning hacking. In a statement on TEEs, Stephen Walli, chairman of the CCC governing board said,

“Securing data-in-use in hardware-based TEEs can strengthen other security- and integrity-related technologies [such as blockchain-based apps].”

Walli also confirmed that the consortium’s annual budget would be bumped up to $800,000 for the 16 companies in the group so far.

Blockchain firms, IoTeX, R3, and iExec, join CCC

Only half of the new entrants in the consortium deal with blockchain-related services, with R3 an enterprise-focused blockchain company, IoTeX is an internet-of-things company that integrates blockchain technology to secure data and iExec, a decentralized cloud computing firm. The three companies will join Oasis Lab, the only blockchain company present among the CCC founding members.

Blockchain technology and TEEs share the common property of data security. The experience that these blockchain firms can bring data privacy TEEs so users will be able to not only “own their private data, but also to use it in a privacy-preserving way,” Raullen Chai, CEO of IoTex, said in a statement.

According to Chai, the introduction of TEEs in confidential computing will solve two main issues in people’s everyday data privacy – facial recognition and contact tracing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facial recognition and Contact tracing solutions

As governments enhance their public facial recognition systems, there is a group of citizens that fear the data may not be secure enough, which may be hazardous if the system is hacked.

Chai stated the company is working on a confidential computing solution that leverages blockchain technology to offer a middle ground for both the governments and skeptics. He said,

“Facial recognition processes can be executed within a secure TEE-based confidential computing environment, where the raw data (people’s faces) and a cross-referencing database of faces can be analyzed and subsequently forgotten after the desired results are obtained by governments.”

Governments across the world are contributing millions to improve contact tracing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, users providing their location data has been tough given the security and trust issues patients have.

With the introduction of blockchain levered TEEs and confidential computing, Chai said a trustless platform would be created, meaning that users will not have to worry about their private and sensitive data being shared or used without their consent.

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Author: Lujan Odera

BTCPay Server Update Streamlines Refund Process; Adds Notification for Payment Status

The open-source bitcoin payment server BTCPay Server introduced a new system update called Update 1.0.5 on Friday. The updated aim is to ease the interaction between the server and the merchant. This update would make it easier for the merchants to manage their crypto transactions on their website.

The latest update brings a set of new features, including notifications, pull payment, and refunds, along with a few upgrades to the wallet. The BTCPay Server was launched back in 2017 and helped merchants in processing their bitcoin transactions. It also kept all the invoices organized for the owner. The server also has a native wallet that can be used to store bitcoins.

The most talked-about feature of the update is the refund, which streamlines the otherwise quite cluttered process of re-issuing of coins. The update feature would allow merchants to decide a certain amount of bitcoin that can be pulled from the escrow. Before the update, merchants had to manually authorize the payment, where the sender and receiver had no common platform to connect onto, which made the process complex and challenging.

With the new update, merchants won’t have to send and receive numerous messages as the process is automated, where the refund is generated via invoices without the need for any formal communication between the two parties.

The other notable feature is notifications, which comes with an API integration option and allows merchants to monitor their payment status, whether it is confirmed or not. It would also include the status of partial payment and many other similar payments related notifications. All of these will be managed through a dedicated notification page.

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Author: James W

XRP Bagholders Search For Hopium, Did they Find it?

After making a move before the weekend that gave hope to the bagholders, XRP took a dive yet again.

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is currently trading at $0.176 in red like the majority of the market. In the past week, it has dropped by over 6% and 12.5% in the past year.

In the USD market, XRP is able to hold off some losses but in the BTC market, it has dropped to a new low. On June 27th, XRP/BTC dropped to 0.000019 which was last seen in December 2017 just before it exploded to an all-time high of $3.92.

Just like XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is another cryptocurrency that fell to a new low of $0.0240 against BTC.

The situation of XRP prices is so dire that XRP bagholders are going to great lengths to make bizarre connections.

Ripple CTO David Schwartz today took to Twitter to question the 900 years old horse “trough” and XRP investors where Schwartz was indirectly talking about the end of XRP’s declining period.

Not so bizarre for the bagholders, apparently!

Schwartz may not have been giving the investors hope but trader DonAlt is surely providing the much-needed ‘hopium’ to the XRP community.

DonAlt posted a chart where he pointed to about a 500% increase in XRP price. But it’s not all bull talk as he also painted another 38.5% drop from the new low. Or it could very well fall into oblivion.

Another dose of hopium was in the form of SBI Holdings’ crypto fund. Reportedly, the Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings has announced the launch of the country’s first cryptocurrency fund with 50% of its assets to be in the XRP and 30% in Bitcoin (BTC) and 20% in Ethereum (ETH).

A long-term Ripple partner, SBI is also planning to roll out its Security Token Offerings (STO) exchange by this year end and has started working on products that it would offer on the exchange’s release. It has already launched a crypto exchange called SBI VC Trade.

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Author: AnTy

Maker Governance Vote Approves Kyber Network (KNC) and 0x (ZRX) As New Collateral Assets

KNC (Kyber Network) and ZRX (0x) have become the latest members of the Maker family. MKR holders, through a community vote, approved both KNC and ZRX tokens to be the two new collateral assets that now allow the opening of Maker Vaults in a goal to create Dai tokens. The addition and advantages of these two new tokens as collateral assets went through extensive discussions among community members, before the executive vote on the official Maker forum.

The popularity of defi is soaring with each passing day, and many other tokens that cannot be collateralized are converting its value in ERC-20 tokens to gain access to defi—for example, the Wrapped Bitcoin, an ERC-20 token based on Bitcoin. Thus, the addition of new tokens would only expand the Maker ecosystem.

Both KNC and ZRX tokens went through rigorous risk assessment and risk parameters with the results listed below:

KNC Risk Parameters

  • Liquidation Ratio: 175%
  • Liquidation Penalty: 13%
  • Dust: 20 Dai
  • Bid Duration: 6 hours
  • Auction Lot Size: 50,000
  • Risk Premium: 4%
  • Minimum Bid Increment: 3%
  • Debt Ceiling: 5 million
  • Max Auction Duration: 6 hours

ZRX Risk Parameters:

  • Risk Premium: 4%
  • Max Auction Duration: 6 hours
  • Bid Duration: 6 hours
  • Dust: 20 Dai
  • Liquidation Ratio: 175%
  • Liquidation Penalty: 13%
  • Debt Ceiling: 5 million
  • Auction Lot Size: 100,000
  • Minimum Bid Increment: 3%

The addition of these two tokens would only help in progressing the already growing adoption of defi. It also proves that the defi ecosystem can put any asset as collateral as long they can become tokenized. The Maker governance comprising of members in possession of MKR governance token also plays a significant role in approving any particular token that can be collateralized.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh