Former Goldman Sachs President Not a ‘Strong Believer’ in Bitcoin; It ‘May Fail’

Gary Cohn, former economic chief to Donald Trump, says Bitcoin may fail, despite the digital asset having more than a decade long history, growing adoption, and increasing value from mere cents to $19,550 today.

On being asked about his views on Bitcoin, which is on a tear, and how the digital asset and cryptocurrency fundamentally transform our economy, Cohn had the typical ‘love blockchain but hate bitcoin’ reply. Former Goldman Sachs President and Chief Operating Officer in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday said,

“When we talk about blockchain we come back and talk about the infrastructure, that’s the highways and the pipes that are necessary for bitcoin but they’re necessary for many other applications and I think they’re very useful and I’m very bullish on them.”

As for Bitcoin, he doesn’t have a “strong opinion” on the flagship cryptocurrency, which has a market cap of $360 billion. He said,

“In essence, I’m not a strong believer in bitcoin… it is a developing asset potentially and for all the reasons it’s a strong developing asset class it may fail.”

He further explains that part of an asset class’s integrity to a system is knowing who owns it, why it’s being transferred, and if it is used for legitimate causes or corrupt practices. The 60-year old said,

“The bitcoin system today has no transparency to it, so there are a lot of people that question why would you need a system that does not have an audit trail, does not have integrity.”

According to him, Bitcoin “lacks some of the basic integrities of a real market” because “you don’t know who owns it, you don’t know exactly how much exists today, how much has been mined how much has been lost, how much has been thrown away on hard drives because they don’t exist anymore so it.”

This is the weakest argument ever for starters, he is talking about cash, and second, if Cohn had bothered to get himself acquainted with Bitcoin, he would have known the most extensive network is a transparent one, and that’s why the different government agencies have been able to catch people trying to route their funds in BTC to avoid authorities.

Haters are just going to hate and miss being part of this revolution until it’s too late.

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Author: AnTy

Canaan Reports a Q3 Net Loss $12.3 Million Despite the Crypto Market Comeback

Canaan Creative, a Nasdaq listed Bitcoin miner manufacturer, has reported another loss in Q3 according to the latest unaudited financials released on Nov 30. This time the number jumped to $12.3 million, which is around four times the $2.38 million reported for the previous quarter. Contrary to the BTC market performance, the firm appears to be struggling after its share price tumbled on the announcement of the Q3 results.

Revenues also dropped to $24 million compared to $100 million in Q3 of 2019; however, this was a 5% increase from Canaan’s Q2 revenues this year. The financial report quotes a figure of $26 million for cash equivalents, which is an 18% jump from its previous $22 million in Q2. It further highlights that Canaan has allocated $30 million into short-term financial products where it can withdraw liquidity conveniently at any time.

Canaan’s CFO, Quanfu Hong, defended the performance and attributed a big part of the loss to reduced activity at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hong noted that demand has started to increase, and they are set to be back on track with Q4 pre-sale orders,

“Demand for mining machines in the market continued to rebound in Q3 2020. We have received a large number of pre-sale orders scheduled for delivery starting in the fourth quarter.”

Nonetheless, Canaan is still taking a hit on its market share according to the latest stats; its terra hashes sales tanked to 2.9 million compared to 3.7 million in Q3 of 2019. On average, one T/H costs $8.27 this year, while last year’s price was well over $27 per T/H. Its competitors Microbt, Bitmain, and Ebaang, continue to capitalize on the shortcomings.

Currently, one Canaan share price is trading at $5, having lost 13% within the past 24 hours. Like Bitmain, the firm has also been a victim of internal wrangles, which saw some of its directors dropped from the registry back in July.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitcoin Mining: Network Congestion, Fees Uptick, China Ban, & Russian Hash Power in Play

In the world of Bitcoin mining, the hash rate of the network, the computing power used to validate BTC transactions has taken a drop following the positive difficulty adjustment of 8.8%.

The 7-day average hash rate of the network is currently at 131 EH/s, down from the all-time high of 146.8 EH/s, as per Blockchain.com.

A decline in the hash rate resulted in a sudden jump in the total number of unconfirmed transactions in the mempool to over 91.2k today only to get back down to 43k shortly.

This clogging of the network happened as the Bitcoin price broke new ATH’s yesterday. This led the crypto exchange Coinbase to experience delays in BTC withdrawals.

Before the issue was resolved less than five hours after the incident was first reported, Coinbase stated, “We are currently experiencing delays in processing BTC withdrawals due to Bitcoin network congestion.”

This, as usual, had the fees on the network jumping to $5.3, up from around $2 on Nov. 22nd. Miners are enjoying this spike in fees and price with their 7-day average revenue pushing above $18 million.

China is at it again

Amidst this came the report from China that crypto miners located in Baoshan, Yunnan have received a notice of the ban on November 30. As per the document, the power station is asked to stop supplying power to the miners.

After Sichuan and Xinjiang, Yunnan is the third-largest mining place in China.

According to Chinese publications, the attitude of Chinese local power companies continues to change towards crypto mining. It is reportedly more of a demand for economic interests than because of political pressure.

“China rolling out all the old tricks. Bull market confirmed,” commented Alistair Milne on this.

Siberia Dominates Russia’s Hash Power

According to a report by HASHR8 Inc., Russian bitcoin miners rank among the top three countries for contributing hash rate to the largest network.

It further reveals that Russia’s Siberian region accounts for the dominant portion of the country’s mining facilities. It is the “significant energy surplus from advanced hydropower infrastructure in the region” that enables the miners to “secure extremely competitive electricity rates.” The report stated,

“The estimates indicated that Russia’s share of hashrate was comparable to that within the United States. Recent estimates by industry professionals in Russian mining put Russia’s energy draw from mining at ~800 to 900 MW.”

The report mentions that the federal law passed in the country this year “clearly defines Bitcoin mining as an economic activity.”

It further noted that pooling activities must be carried out with a “foreign entity.” While the mining hardware imported is subject to a 20% tax, those imported indirectly through Kazakhstan only involve a 12% VAT charge.

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Author: AnTy

Andre Cronje’s Yearn.Finance Confirms Fifth Partnership with DEX SushiSwap

It’s another day and another merger for Yearn.Finance, which just notched up its fifth major collaboration in a week.

In a blog post from yesterday, yearn founder Andre Cronje confirmed that the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol had collaborated with decentralized exchange (DEX) SushiSwap.

Overlapping Developments and a Path Forward

SushiSwap is a fork of DEX Uniswap. In his blog post, Cronje explained that Yearn and SushiSwap had overlapped in recent developments. SushiSwap has expanded on its automated market maker (AMM), and Yield has broken bonds with its money market and yield strategies. With so much overlap in the systems, Cronje claimed that they could take their relationship to the next level.

Under the new merger, both protocols have agreed to share resources. The total value locked in both protocols will also increase, and the collaboration will see Yearn strategies use SushiSwap going forward.

Also prominent in the new marriage is that SushiSwap will help Yearn launch Deriswap, a new product from Cronje. Announced last week, DeriSwap is a protocol that combines different aspects of DeFi. It focuses primarily on options, swaps, futures, and loans. While Cronje offered scant details about the protocol, he pointed out that it would use the standard Uniswap contract, with liquidity providers offering ETH-BTC. When traders swap tokens, liquidity providers earn fees.

Beyond the developments already laid out, Cronje also highlighted that users would need to vote on several new ones. These include Yearn participating in SushiSwap’s governance and adding SUSHI tokens to its treasury and vice versa. Developers are also proposing grants for Sushi contributors, which will be paid via yGift, and more.

Yearn’s Landmark Week

This appears to be the one merger that doesn’t have to do with any other announced by Yearn Finance in the past week. So far, Yearn’s SushiSwap collaboration is it’s fifth in a week, demonstrating the protocol’s seriousness about expanding its footprints across the DeFi space.

Yesterday, the lending and savings protocol Akropolis confirmed that it had partnered with Yearn to develop its operational strategies.

The protocol will benefit from the expanded Yearn ecosystem, including names like lending protocol Cream and insurance market coverage provider Cover.

Yearn is expected to benefit from Akropolis’ business development infrastructure and institutional contacts. Akropolis will deprecate AkropolisOS and Spark, two of its products that aren’t related to yield farming. Both products will be moved to open-source development and incorporate front ends to allow professional traders to access the new ecosystem from Akropolis and Yearn.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Tezos’ Edo Upgrade Will Implement Zcash’s Sapling Protocol for Shielded Transactions

  • Tezos becomes the latest blockchain to add Zcash’s Sapling privacy protocol.
  • The blockchain is also planning minor changes on its network.
  • Tezos allows self-amendment of the protocol without the need for a fork.

An announcement from Tezos, the baking algorithm network, confirms its blockchain is welcoming the Sapling privacy protocol from Zcash allowing users to send shielded transactions. As the new upgrade is known, Edo comes less than a month following the launch of the ‘Delphi’ upgrade on November 12. The latest updates aim at improving Tezos users’ privacy across the blockchain.

Apart from the sapling privacy protocols, the Edo upgrade will also add on minor fixes on the blockchain, including additional improvements on gas costs and performance, introducing the “adoption period to the voting schedule, ticketing, and some minor bug fixes.

Sapling, a privacy protocol developed by the Electric Coin Company (in charge of Zcash), allows users to send “shielded transactions” to enable privacy. Tezos will integrate this protocol giving their holders an option to send these types of transactions hence enhancing their privacy.

According to the joint press release from Nomadic Labs, Marigold, and Meta state – three Tezos smart contract developers – the new upgrade will be integrated easily on to the platform. This is only possible on Tezos compared to other running blockchains as the only “self-amending” platform. The release reads,

“Our proposal allows smart contract developers to easily integrate Sapling in their smart contracts and create privacy-conscious applications.”

“Because Tezos can be amended, it was possible for us to add this exciting new feature directly to Tezos itself.”

This has been a year’s long journey for Tezos. They announced Sapling’s testing back in December 2019 since the development team has improved the performance by carrying out “extensive research and testing” on the privacy protocol’s workings.

The Edo upgrade will also include “Tickets,” an improvement aiming to make it much “easier and simpler for developers to write secure contracts.” The statement explains ticketing as a “convenient mechanism for smart contracts to grant portable permissions to other smart contracts or to issue tokens.”

The new upgrade also targets to change the voting system by introducing a “fifth period” or the “adoption period.” According to the proposal, the adoption period will increase the period between adopting a proposal and activation from one block (about a minute) to two weeks. This will allow “seamless transitions of proposals,” giving bakers, indexers, and other users of the network certainty in activating the proposal.

If the Edo upgrade is accepted, the Baking Accounts proposal will follow the next major upgrade, expected in about three months.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Facebook-Led Libra Rebrands to ‘Diem’ in Attempt for a ‘New Start’ & Gain Regulatory Approval

Facebook has rebranded its stablecoin project Libra as “Diem” in its latest effort to gain regulatory approval. The new name comes after the Latin word “day” — denoting “a new day for the project.”

The Diem Network is preparing to launch its first digital coin as early as January next year, called the Diem Dollar.

First announced in June 2019, the project that aims to build a safe, secure, and compliant payment system received a lot of backlash from the regulators and raised concerns among the central banks over its impact on financial stability and monetary sovereignty. Stuart Levey, CEO of the Geneva-based Diem Association, said,

“The original name was tied to an early iteration of the project that received a difficult reception from regulators. We have dramatically changed that proposition.”

“We wanted a new start.”

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As we reported, the team is currently waiting to obtain a license from Swiss regulators to launch. It is also in talks with the US federal and state regulators but isn’t waiting for approval from them.

To satisfy regulators, Diem will comply with the sanctions and regulatory reporting requirements. “All of these design features we think make for a project we think that regulators will welcome,” Levey said.

The new network has also abandoned the 100-member goal and currently has 27 participants. The idea is to take things even more slowly; as such, just one digital currency — US dollar-pegged stablecoin — is being launched for now. It may pursue additional fiat-based cryptos later, said Levey. He added,

“We are not trying to cut all ties, by any stretch. It (the name change) is to signify that the association is operating autonomously and independently.”

The Diem Association also has no more plans to eventually transition to a permissionless blockchain to allow everyone to participate in verifying transactions.

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Author: AnTy