Ethereum Developer ConsenSys Partners with Thailand’s Central Bank & French Bank for Retail CBDC

ConsenSys has joined the Bank of Thailand as its technology partner to develop and test a prototype for central bank digital currency (CBDC). Other partners include SCG and Digital Ventures (DV).

As per the announcement, the CBDC will be tested and issued using ERC20 smart contracts. In partnership with Atato, it will “architect a solution using its Enterprise Ethereum stack, including ​Codefi​ and ​MetaMask​.” Charles d’Haussy, Director of ConsenSys in Hong Kong, said,

“A retail blockchain-based CBDC represents a new technology for the issuance of central bank money, where tokenized central bank money is accessible to the general public, and in this case businesses piloting the solution.”

The company that develops for the second-largest network Ethereum and funds the ecosystem startups is also helping French bank Societe Generale in its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) pilot research.

According to the announcement, ConsenSys will work with the bank’s digital arm, SocGen – Forge, and will provide its expertise regarding issuance and management, delivery versus payment, and cross-ledger interoperability of the CBDC. Jean-Marc Stenger, CEO, SocGen said,

“We are pleased to partner with ConsenSys, a company who is a key player in the development of distributed ledger technology globally and offers many of the infrastructure and development tools used by the blockchain community.”

SocGen – Forge is also working with Banque de France on CBDC experiments and recently issued a EUR40 million bond that was settled with a digital euro.

These aren’t the first instances of ConsenSys being involved in CBDC experiments; it has been reportedly helping the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on a CBDC pilot to facilitate cross-border payments between commercial banks as well. Ken Timsit, Global Head of Enterprise Solutions at ConsenSys, said,

“ConsenSys is committed to advances in the CBDC space and has assisted six central banks around the world on CBDC projects.”

In August, it also acquired Quorum, JPMorgan’s blockchain platform on which the bank’s stablecoin JPM Coin is built, which is expected to see its first commercial use this week.

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Author: AnTy

FTX Launches Trading of Tokenized Shares in Partnership with German CM Equity AG

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX will now allow its users to trade not just crypto but tokenized shares of big giants and some of the world’s most popular companies like Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Facebook, and Tesla.

These tokenized equity offerings are backed by the shares of actual stocks, custodied by CM-Equity, and can be redeemed for the underlying shares.

For now, trading is available on more than 12 equity and cryptocurrency pairs like BTC and stablecoins.

Because the tokens represent a fraction of one share, traders will be able to trade even half of a share if they want. Erik Voorhees, CEO of crypto exchange ShapeShift said,

“American companies cannot offer or compete with this. I’m glad intl companies can still innovate, and that crypto breaks down all borders over time.”

There have been some concerns in the crypto community about FTX breaking US regulations by offering trading opportunities for stock CFDs.

But for starters, traders in the US and other restricted jurisdictions won’t be eligible to trade these new offerings.

Also, for this, FTX has partnered with Swiss-based Digital Assets AG and CM Equity AG, a financial firm fully regulated in Germany, to offer fractional stocks.

“CFDs aren’t illegal – and offering them for US-traded companies on the NYSE and NASDAQ is allowed – you just need to follow the regulations and not try and skirt the rules just because you are on a blockchain,” said Adam Cochran, a partner at Cinneamhain Ventures.

In response to this news, the price of FTT jumped to $3.91. But it is to be expected, as FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried said, “Everything on FTX involves FTT.”

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Author: AnTy

Canada-Based Voyager Digital Announces Nearly 2000% Growth In Customers’ Assets Growth In 2020

Quick Read:

– Voyager released its latest financial report for the year with impressive figures

– Recording Increases in customer asset growth, brokerage accounts, and revenue


In a press release, Canadian publicly listed cryptocurrency broker, Voyager announced an impressive 1,159 % surge in revenue, registering approx. $1.1 million over the fiscal year ending June 2020. The total brokerage accounts also grew massively across the past year from 10,000 accounts to 89,000, representing 750% growth. Finally, brokerage accounts’ growth is well reflected in the customer assets growth – a 1,959% growth to $35 million in 2020 from about $1.7 million in June 2019.

Voyager Digital also made several partnerships and strategic acquisitions across the fiscal year, including partnerships with leading traditional trading platforms, including Market Rebellion, Sterling Trading Tech, and RoundlyX. Voyager Digital also acquired the crypto wallet services firm Ethos Universal Wallet and Circle Invest, intending to accelerate its growth.

The company also launched the Voyager Interest Program offering 17 digital assets with interest-bearing qualities. To market and sensitize users on the program, the Canadian crypto broker announced an advisory relationship with NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, who will help educate customers on the platform.

Stephen Ehrlich, CEO at Voyager Digital, is looking forward to a bigger 2021 for the company – as they “bolster the platform’s capabilities and meet the demands of the customer base.” In the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, Voyager expects $2 million in revenue, representing a growth of over 200% from Q1 2019. Ehrlich also expects users to witness new products that will enhance their experience and drive them to the digital asset platform.

Some of the upcoming milestones for the firm include integrating Circle’s Stablecoin (USDC) platform services on Voyager, expand globally to other regions and continents (currently available in Canada), list more tokens on its platform and obtain a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) allowing them to carry out digital currency activities in the U.S. Speaking on the expansion, Ehrlich said,

“At the same time, we are focused on accelerating our international expansion by moving into new regions in North America as well as into Europe and Latin America.

Over time, we expect to make the Voyager App available to customers worldwide”.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum Holders Not Staking ETH Altogether Is “Not Unreasonable” – ConsenSys DeFi Report

Ethereum 2.0 is likely to launch its genesis block in Q4 2020, says Ethereum developer ConsenSys in its latest DeFi report.

With the launch of the first phase, Phase 0 – Beacon Chain, the long-anticipated staking will come to ETH. The Proof of Stake consensus mechanism will allow the holders to earn rewards through staking Ether. For this, validators have to lock up their ETH. But this may become a problem as the report states,

“Some community members expressed concern that DeFi could be the number one threat to getting a significant amount of staking participation in Eth2.”

The Risk of Locking ETH

DeFi has been the star of Q3 2020 as it saw “the largest bull run since the ICO boom of late 2017 and early 2018.”

This DeFi bull run started with Compound’s governance token (COMP) release, leading to a frenzy of activity and an exuberant amount of yield.

With various DeFi protocols offering higher returns than staking, ETH holders may elect to direct their tokens elsewhere that wouldn’t even require them to lock ETH up for an unspecified amount of time.

“It is not unreasonable to worry that ETH holders would (at best) wait to see how early staking returns compare to DeFi returns, or (at worst) decide altogether not to “risk” locking up ETH until Phase 1.5 (which is likely at least a year away) in case another similar bull run occurs in the meantime.”

But the team sees the emergence of derivative tokens representing the users’ pooled token. As we reported, recently launched project Lido has already announced the same intentions.

However, it remains to be seen how the holders will really react when the time comes with considerations like the amount of liquidity an ETH holder can access, the volatility of Eth1.x vs Eth2, and the evolving user experience of being an ETH holder to play into their decision making to lock funds.

Major Changes Expected

The report also covered how it was the rise of Automated Market Makers (AMM), governance tokens and yield farming, forks, derivatives, and network effects, and weird DeFi where it “began to incorporate memetic internet culture into the lexicon,” were the trends that defined Ethereum DeFi in Q3.

Although the excitement has come down extensively and the price of DeFi tokens are in capitulation mode, in the afterglow still, “smart financial and technical minds are increasingly attracted to the financial capabilities of Ethereum,” states the report.

These rapid innovation periods also saw an increase in ETH locked in DeFi protocols and a spike in the average gas price. But,

“As the Ethereum community prepares for an upgrade to the base protocol, and the Eth2 Deposit Contract goes live in Quarter 4 of 2020, this cycle could see major changes as DeFi continues to drive major activity on Ethereum.”

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Author: AnTy

Fidelity Digital Asset Services to Custody Crypto Investments for High Net Worth Individuals In Asia

  • Digital Assets Custodian FDAS Expands Into Asia
  • Targeting High Net Worth Crypto Investors With A New Partnership

Fidelity Digital Assets Service, one of the largest financial corporations dealing in Bitcoin, announced a partnership with Stack Funds, a Singapore-based fintech startup, to provide digital assets custody to its customers across Asia, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The partnership targets to offer a secure and accessible crypto custodial service to the high net worth individuals and families across Asia aiming to fill the high demand for such services in the region.

Speaking on the partnership, Christopher Tyrer, head at Fidelity Digital Assets Service in Europe said,

“There is a critical need for platforms which have a deep understanding of what local and regional investors are looking for” that “has historically been lacking in the digital asset space.”

Stack Fund is a leading provider of cryptocurrency and digital assets index funds in Asia. The firm aims to capture more market share across the region with the latest partnership with Fidelity. Customers’ assets and funds will be audited monthly and also receive unique protection programs such as insurance coverage and offer weekly contributions and redemptions.

Following its launch in 2018, Fidelity Investments crypto wing, FDAS, the firm has grown as one of the largest traditional finance custodians of digital assets. The latest move to Asia aims to offer risk mitigation and attract high net worth individuals and families to digital assets, Michael Collett, Stack’s co-founder said.

Collett aims at turning the tide of Bitcoin adoption, which he explains has not been on the explosive tide despite the skyrocketing prices currently. He further said,

“This year has been tough as far as getting people into Bitcoin because it didn’t cover itself with glory in the market downturn. [But] “since the dark-dark days of March we’ve had inquiries pick up again.”

Over the past months, however, a number of institutions and high net worth individuals have entered the crypto space. MicroStrategy’s CEO, Michael Saylor recently announced he personally held over $253 million in Bitcoin announcing the firm wants to buy more Bitcoin. Notwithstanding, PayPal, a global payments firm announced the addition of crypto purchases – opening a gateway to digital assets to over 300 million customers.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Andre Cronje’s Latest Project Keep3r Network Getting Hot While YFI Continues to Nuke

While YFI is getting nuked, the latest token KP3R of Andre Cronje’s latest product Keep Keep3r Network launched yesterday in beta rallied to $381 today.

Keep3rV1 (KP3R) is currently trading at $290, as per CoinGecko.

Already, the token has reached a market cap of over $60 million and became the “most traded pair across DEXes after it spikes over 2,000% within 24 hours of launching.” Currently, it is managing $257 million in daily trading volume.

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Meanwhile, DeFi darling YFI has slipped about 54% in the past month and continues to do so as it currently trades at $11,550. And at the current price, “86.6% of the addresses with a balance in YFI are out of the money,” as per IntoTheBlock.

Cronje, who is known for Yearn,Finance project, first shared this project last week, which only went live this week.

Launched in beta, the network is still under audit. Although Keep3r Network v1 contracts have been released and have been audited and reviewed, bugs could still be found; as such it is advised not to invest one is not willing to lose.

It is basically a decentralized network for projects that need external DevOps and for external teams to find keeper jobs.

Here a keeper is an external person or a team that executes a job, which refers to a smart contract that wants an external entity to perform an action.

To join as a Keeper, you call bond on the Keep3r contract that needs 3 days to be activated. For this, KRP tokens aren’t needed.

As for registering a job, it can be done by submitting a proposal via Governance or through a contract interface.

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Author: AnTy

After Kraken, Avanti Granted the License to Become a Crypto Bank by Wyoming State Regulator

The first one was Kraken, and now another crypto bank is here. The Wyoming State Banking Board granted Avanti Bank & Trust a bank charter with 8-0 votes that give it the same powers as national banks. With this, Avanti can now provide custody service for digital assets as a qualified custodian and deposit customer funds that are 100% backed by reserves.

Avanti is also planning to launch its tokenized US dollar called Avit, for which a patent is pending. The stablecoin is planned to be issued on both Liquid, a Bitcoin sidechain, and Ethereum initially, with other blockchains to follow in the future based on customer demand and network security.

The crypto bank will start providing commercial accounts in early 2021, followed by other accounts with a high minimum balance. Caitlin Long, Avanti’s founder, and CEO said,

“Avanti’s mission is to provide a compliant bridge between the traditional and digital asset financial systems, with the strictest level of institutional custody standards.”

“Wyoming has the only U.S. regulator with a bank supervisory and regulatory program for digital assets that is near completion.”

As a bank, Avanti will fully comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering, and OFAC-related laws, rules, and regulations.

Also Read: Kraken Gets Approval in Wyoming to Become America’s First Crypto Bank

More Reading: Kraken’s Crypto Bank Is “An Accident Waiting to Happen,” says Bank Policy Institute

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Author: AnTy

Risk Aversion in Effect: Losses Recorded Across Bitcoin, DeFi, Stock, & Gold Market

Bitcoin’s red hot rally came to stop on Wednesday when the price of the digital asset dropped just under $13,000. Today, the top digital currency is rebounding, currently at $13,450.

The sell-off, however, wasn’t confined to the crypto market alone and was seen in other markets as well. As a matter of fact, stock markets have been having a rough week as they continue to extend the losses.

Fueled by concerns over tougher coronavirus-related lockdowns and the upcoming US presidential election, stock markets had its worst decline in months. Since Monday, S&P 500 has fallen 5.6% and Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 6.4% with the tech-heavy Nasdaq only suffering 4.6% losses. Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corp said,

“This broad, risk-aversion-trading session is triggering widespread panic selling, which is seeing every risky asset, like gold and Bitcoin, really start to plummet.”

Profit Taking to be Expected

Bitcoin was inches away from hitting the 2019 high of $13,900 when the losses came but interestingly BTC is right where it was the day before the fall.

According to Bloomberg, Bitcoin’s 14-day strength index reading jumped above 70, signifying it to be overbought.

“I think that $14,000 is a very key threshold,” said Moya. “Once that level is taken out, there is going to be a lot more upside here.”

But the crypto community is not concerned about the decline, it is natural after the more than 21% rally. Also, with $14k being the big resistance before hitting an all-time high, people are seeing it as an opportunity to just buy the dips before we moon. As Mike McGlone, a strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence has been saying,

“Something unexpected has to reverse increasing adoption of Bitcoin as digital store-of-value such as gold, or the price has few options but to rise.”

In Capitulation, Still More Pain Ahead

Besides Bitcoin and the stock market, gold also went down to the $1,870 level while the US Dollar took this opportunity to strengthen above 93.5.

However, according to one trader, USD remains “macro bearish” which “in the big scheme of things this is good for BTC however we will have dips along the way.”

Altcoins also went down hard, following the leading digital currency and according to analyst DonAlt is in “capitulation.” He said,

“If this move down on all altcoins keeps going for a couple weeks and starts getting ridiculous I think we might be able to finally find some sort of medium-term bottom.”

As for DeFi, they have been experiencing correction since last month and continued their descent. Even the popular ones, YFI and Aave that looked to capitulate are making new lows. Now SNX has also joined the falling tokens where UNI continues to bleed due to its supply issuance. Quant trader Qiao Wang said,

“I constantly update my views and unfortunately it looks like there’s going to be more pain in DeFi. Originally I thought we won’t see a 80-90% crash which is typical of alts because of the level of sophistication of DeFi investors but that thesis is being invalidated.”

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Author: AnTy

BProtocol Uses $7 Million Flash Loan to Push Through Governance Vote On The Maker Platform

  • A first in the DeFi ecosystem, a protocol uses a flash loan to vote and influence its own governance decisions.

BProtocol Foundation, a platform concentrated on developing Bancor Network, raised a governance proposal vote on the Maker platform using a quick $7 million flash loan to pass its proposal. Maker warned users of the possibility of governance proposals being “rigged” through the use of flash loans following the successful vote completed by BProtocol last week.

BProtocol submitted a vote on Maker to be whitelisted to access the latter’s decentralized price oracle on October 23. To make it happen, the team manipulated the governance vote by borrowing a flash loan and voting for themselves – winning the vote. However, this raised questions on the negative impact of flash loans on the emerging DeFi space.

Flash loans are lending agreements that allow a user to borrow a certain amount of Ethereum and return it within the same block. These loans allow holders to simultaneously buy lower-priced tokens and sell them at a higher price on another platform. However, as seen in the latest and former exploits such as the bZx exchange, flash loans cause unexpected risks and security qualms across the largely untested DeFi ecosystem.

In BProtocol’s case, the team proposed the vote on October 23 and three days later carried out the flash loan. Here’s how it worked:

BProtocol locked 50,000 ETH tokens on dYdX exchange to borrow wrapped ETH, wETH. The team then transferred the wrapped Ether to Aave Protocol to borrow $7 million in Maker governance tokens, MKR. These tokens were then transferred and locked on Maker’s platform to vote on their whitelisting. Once the vote was complete, BProtocol unlocked the funds and paid back the loan.

In a statement on the flash loan vote by Maker, the DAO claimed the increase of flash loan attacks is causing a “risk of malicious governance action [becoming] unacceptably high.” At current times over 63,400 MKR tokens are at susceptible risk of being accessed in flash loans. Still, there is no risk of a governance attack yet – only new executive governance proposals are at risk when submitted. The statement reads,

“In the event of a malicious governance attack that leads to a redeployment of the Maker Protocol before the introduction of flash loan guards into the governance process.”

“The community and domain teams should do everything possible to burn the MKR involved in the attack, regardless of whether the owner was directly involved in the attack.”

Maker DAO is currently looking at solutions to prevent such security breaches and flash loans affecting the decentralized voting process. The team plans to increase the waiting time to execute a proposal from 12 hours to 72 hours to give the community enough time to rectify contentious proposals. They also plan to increase MKR on the hat proposal to over 100,000 MKR to prevent flash loans executions.

The executive plan to add Yearn.finance (YFI) and Balancer (BAL) as collateral on Maker has also been delayed due to the recent attacks.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Aave Takes an ‘Important’ Step Towards Decentralization with the Handover of Governance Keys

In what marks a historic moment, decentralized finance (DeFi) project Aave has officially handed over the protocol admin keys to the governance, which it calls “an important step towards decentralisation.”

Initially launched on Ethereum, LEND token holders were the ones with the governance. Now, about a month away, LEND holders voted for the first Aave Improvement Proposal (AIP) to migrate to the AAVE token at a rate of 100:1, “effectively jumpstarting the Aavenomics.”

The governance tokens were first distributed in a nearly $18 million token sale in November 2017.

Currently, LEND’s migration is going on with the AAVE token now the new governance token of the protocol.

With a total token supply of 16 million AAVE, 13 million will be redeemed by LEND token holders, and 3 million will be allocated to the Aave Ecosystem Reserve.

Besides voting on AIPs, Aave holders can stake their tokens in the Safety Module and earn Safety Incentives in exchange for securing the protocol.

Aave protocol facilitates the issuance of “flash loans,” which has been described as the “first uncollateralized loan option in DeFi.”

Currently, the project is the 5th biggest DeFi protocol by the Total value locked (TVL) of $975 million, down from $1.7 billion on August 31st, as per DeFi Pulse.

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Author: AnTy