Ripple Getting Rich on XRP Price Jump & Selling the Surging MoneyGram Shares

A year later, Ripple is selling about one-third of its stake in the payments company MoneyGram.

San Francisco-based fintech startup is selling up to 4 million shares, which means roughly 33.3% of its stake, as per the filing with the US SEC on Friday.

In Nov. 2019, Ripple had made a $50 million investment in MoneyGram.

After the sale, Ripple would still own nearly 4.45% of MoneyGram, with the ownership of 3.22 million shares.

Ripple also has the warrant to buy up to 5.95 million additional shares at the predetermined price, which brings its stake at MoneyGram at around 11%.

In June 2019, when the initial investment was originally announced, Ripple bought MoneyGram’s shares at $4.10 each, which was at a “significant premium” to the market share price of $3.18 at the time.

However, currently, MoneyGram shares are trading at $7.42, rallying almost 175% in the past two months, which could profit Ripple.

The news of Ripple taking off some profits from cashing out its stake in MoneyGram came not long after it was revealed that Ripple gave yet another $9 million to the company in Q3 2020 for using its digital asset XRP.

Besides selling the stake in MoneyGram, Ripple, which still has the dominant ownership of XRP, is also benefiting from the huge surge in the price of the digital asset.

Recently, the company started buying back XRP as well — $46 million worth of XRP in Q3 2020.

The third-largest cryptocurrency is currently trading above $0.60, back on the rise today after falling under $0.50 on Thursday.

Before the big drop along with the rest of the crypto market, XRP went as high as $0.78, last seen in Sept. 2018. Now, on the weekend, the digital asset seems to be making another attempt at $1 as the cryptocurrency market enjoys the greens.

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Author: AnTy

Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff Can’t Stop Talking About Bitcoin Day In, Day Out

2020 has been all about people coming out of fiat’s influence and finding the importance of Bitcoin. But among these high-profile names, celebrities, legendary investors who have found love for Bitcoin do not include Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff.

These two people have been bashing Bitcoin for a decade now; either they like to be wrong way too much or are just holding Bitcoin secretly while keeping up with the appearances.

Like a broken record, they started calling names to the leading cryptocurrency yet again as BTC took a drop of 17% to nearly $16,300. Since October, the loss came after a new 2020 high of $19,500, a rally of more than 85%. Even now, BTC is up 135% YTD.

In his latest attempt to do… something, Peter Schiff, a gold proponent, attributed this rally to CNBC promoting Grayscale and covering Bitcoin non-stop positively, which led “greedy speculators” to jump in.

Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini felt the need to share, yet again, that it is not a currency. A highly volatile store of value, “Bitcoin has no role in institutional or retail investors portfolios,” he said.

“In every bubble those who don’t participate always look like fools for missing out. It’s only after the bubbles pop and the air comes out that the real fools are exposed,” said Shiff in another tweet.

If only he would have just put his investment in Bitcoin, like his son, if not done already, that is, instead of seeing these declines after explosive rallies as a way to criticize bitcoin, he would have been buying the dips and accumulating wealth.

According to him, once bitcoin’s bubble deflates, “the real gold remains the best safe haven and store of value left standing.”

He didn’t share with his followers that ever since making a new all-time high above $2,000, the price of the precious metal has declined more than 13% to $1,800.

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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

Fidelity Digital Assets Addresses Common Criticisms And Misconceptions On Bitcoin (BTC)

  • Fidelity Digital Assets responds to common criticisms and misconceptions about BTC.
  • “Bitcoin chose scarcity and decentralization over its payment features.”
  • The top cryptocurrency will not be replaced easily.

Cryptocurrency critics calling out about the market being in a bubble and oncoming failure for most of these tokens. As the top cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC) has faced multiple criticisms, including its high volatility, environmental concerns, failure as a means of payment, and use in illicit activities. Fidelity Digital Assets, a subsidiary of Fidelity Investments, released responses on six of BTC’s common misconceptions and criticisms.

First, Bitcoin has been criticized as a store of value due to its volatility. The report, compiled by Fidelity’s Director of Research, Ria Bhutoria, however, states Bitcoin’s volatility “is a trade-off it makes for perfect supply inelasticity and an intervention-free market.”

As BTC gets to the mainstream economy, Ria believes the volatility will continue to slow down, as seen in previous years. Moreover, day-to-day volatility is expected to go down with “increasing spot and derivative market liquidity and the development of products that allow investors to express interest” in the cryptocurrency.

The argument about Bitcoin failing in its role as a payment system is also disputed in the blog post. The author argues that the blockchain makes a deliberate trade-off to offer users decentralization and settlement immutability. According to Bhutoria, Bitcoin offers a more efficient payment system in some instances, such as international payments. In contrast, incumbent digital payment systems such as VISA, MasterCard are more suitable for day-to-day payments. The statement reads,

“Given its high settlement assurances, Bitcoin optimizes its limited capacity for settling transactions that aren’t well-served by traditional rails.”

The post also responded to the argument that Bitcoin mining wastes energy, making it environmentally unfriendly. Bhutoria argues that Bitcoin mining “is powered by renewable energy or energy that would otherwise be wasted.” While it is undeniable that Bitcoin uses vast amounts of energy, the post states that the crypto benefits make the energy consumed “a valid and important use of resources.”

The biggest criticisms from regulators, authorities, and governments have been that Bitcoin is used in enhancing illicit activities (when in reality it should be compared to corrupt banks). Cases such as the Silk Road saga has further escalated the narrative that BTC pushes further illicit activities. However, the post responds to these criticisms stating,

“Bitcoin, like cash or the internet, is neutral and has properties that may be valuable to good actors and bad actors.”

Additionally, the share of Bitcoins used in illicit activities compared to the non-illicit trades is very small.

The post also targets BTC’s comments being replaced by a competitor in the future and crushing qualms on criticisms on the coin being backed by nothing.

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Author: Lujan Odera

WEF Report Says Blockchain Is A Core Component in Sustainable Digital Finance

The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently released a new report about the future of digital finance on Wednesday. The WEF report noted that blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile platforms represent a core element of digital finance’s sustainable future.

The report noted that blockchain combines coming of age technologies with a sustainable environment-conscious business model. In the report, UBS executive Karin Oertli noted that all these nascent technologies could help organizations and governments to meet their sustainability goals. Oertli wrote,

“We believe that sustainable digital finance will play an essential role in efficiently channeling this capital to fuel innovation, growth, and job creation, at the same time supporting the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.”

Currently, many European countries and top silicon tech firms’ save pledged to reduce their carbon footprint to zero in the next decade owing to the growing concern over climate change and global warming. Thus it has become even more important to bring sustainable business models to rescue the planet earth before it’s too late.

New WEF Report In Line With OECD Research

The latest sustainability report from WEF is not the first report of its kind, which has touted Blockchain as the key to sustainable future business models. It reinstates the research conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD report had made similar claims regarding blockchain and said,

“The core properties of blockchain and other DLT can enable deeper technological integration, standardization, and the possibility of new business models.”

Carbon dioxide emissions are growing significantly with each passing year. Some of the western countries have taken it upon themselves to make sure to cut their carbon footprint from now onwards.

The emergence of blockchain as key to a sustainable future comes just in time as crypto space has been battling the criticism over Bitcoin’s network electricity consumption and carbon emission.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Bitcoin & Digital Currencies Won’t Succeed: Founder of World’s Largest Hedge Fund

Ray Dalio continues to have his concerns about Bitcoin, which he doesn’t prefer over the traditional safe-haven gold, unlike the latest converts like legendary investors Paul Tudor Jones, Stanley Druckenmiller, and Ben Miller.

In his latest interview with Yahoo Finance, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund Bridgewater Associates shared his views on digital currencies, which he said is of two types; the first one is the bitcoin type of currency, which will be an “alternative currency in terms of its supply & demand and an alternative storehold of wealth.”

The second ones are the digitized version of fiat currencies, central bank digital currencies (CBDC), and “we’re going to see a lot more of that,” he said.

But his problem with Bitcoin is that though theoretically, it’s good to be a currency, it has to be an effective medium of exchange, store hold of wealth. Moreover, governments want to control it.

He argued, “I can’t take my bitcoin yet and go buy things easily with it.” As for being a storehold of wealth, it is volatile, and so much of it is based on pure speculation as such not an effective one at that, making it not suitable as a “transaction vehicle.”

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Interestingly, while BTC has recorded +120% year-to-date performance, Bridgewater Pure Alpha II Fund is down by 18% YTD.

Another problem with Bitcoin, according to Dalio, is, “if it becomes material, governments won’t allow it. I mean they’ll outlaw it.”

“They’ll use whatever teeth they have to enforce that they would say you can’t transact the bitcoin, you can’t have a bitcoin,” which would make one a felon to use it. He points out how governments even outlawed gold.

Cash is a Risky Asset

According to Dalio, gold will be a vehicle that central banks and countries will use as an alternative to cash, which won’t be devalued by printing it, and already the precious metal is the third-largest reserves of the US.

“I don’t think digital currencies will succeed in the way people hope they would,” he said.

His views on digital currencies are based on the “new era of monetary policy” we are in, which he believes is the third one where the free market will play a much less role in determining capital market flows.

“The two dimensions of the big change environment you’re going to see: much more government influences and direction of where money goes,” said Dalio, adding “the government will play a bigger” which means there’ll be much more debt that is monetized and that has implications for the value of financial assets and the value of the currencies.

By printing the money, governments have already diminished the value of cash and the value of bonds as they promise to receive a lot of currency, Dalio said.

All of this is shifting wealth to financial assets and, as always, sends stocks and gold higher. Another clear thing is that “cash is a risky asset,” he added.

“So many people think if I go to cash, I’m going to be safe because it’s much less volatile, but please realize in this environment of producing a lot more cash the real returns go down, it’s a seductive risk, risky asset,” because of inflation, said Dalio.

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Author: AnTy

Bull Rally Restarting: DeFi Blue Chips Giddy with Massive Uptrend

Ever since this past weekend, when Bitcoin took a dive to about $14,500, the leading cryptocurrency has taken to relax around $15,000.

With Bitcoin calming down, altcoins are the ones popping. Ethereum is keeping above $445, and although top altcoins are in the green, they are not the ones leading the market.

2020 has been all about Decentralized Finance, and this time it is no different. As a matter of fact, after enjoying a rally in August and topping out in September, recording severe losses, looks like DeFi coins are back for another round.

While the likes of Maker, Loopring, HOT, Sushi, Melon Protocol, Terra, UMA, Wrapped nexus, Bancor, and Compound are up less than 5%, they made record gains in the past week, albeit of mediocre levels.

CoTrader, Balancer, Mainframe, Curve, Augur, bZx Network, and 0x are popping up nicely today, all up over 10%. This DeFi rally, however, is all about the blue chips.

But not all Blue chips are equal, and it is Aave, which is in the lead.

Currently trading at $63, Aave is up a whopping over 140% in just the last five days. It is basically a paradise for scalpers — short-term traders that execute dozens, in some cases hundreds of times, trades per day.

These gains also have heavy negative funding on Aave futures, which means shorts are paying the longs to keep the price of the perpetual swap contracts in line with the underlying asset.

These gains came soon after Aave made the transition from its LEND token to Aavenomics. Before the rebranding as LEND, Aave was pumping hard, and afterward, as AAVE, it is pumping just as hard. Quant trader Qiao Wang said,

“Aave’s token migration and ticker change from LEND to AAVE is the one of the most ingenious price discovery tactics in the history of DeFi.”

“Although the liquidity has deteriorated quite a bit. Doesn’t take a lot of money to move the market by 10%.”

Aave is currently the 5th largest project in the DeFi sector as per its $1.18 billion of total value locked in it, down from $1.67 billion on August 30, as per DeFi Pulse. Overall, the TVL has reached a new record of $12.75 billion.

“YFI & Aave volatility is a distraction to nuke your potential gains from riding out the trend instead of scalping,” noted trader Hsaka.

YFI is another project which is popping hard, about 90% this past week while trading around $17,800. Recently, YearnFinance joined hands with Hegic to introduce Options.

A very similar action can be seen in SNX, pushing for $5. This DeFi token has jumped 20% today and 85% in the last 7 days.

“The bull market is restarting,” said Wang, adding, “Largely depends on BTC/ETH of course. But I’m long, and a buyer of dips.”

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Author: AnTy

New Smart Money Buying Bitcoin Rally; Selling Pressure Entices Bargain Hunting Flow in DeFi

Over the weekend, Bitcoin’s price took a drop of about 8.5% to the $14,400 level. This has the first meaningful retracement ever since the BTC price started trending up this month, going from $13,000 to almost $16,000.

Today, we are back on the move, going as high as $15,845, starting the week with greens of about 3% with $2.6 billion in trading volume.

“Nice recovery over the weekend with low volume but still no higher highs yet. Funding is still okay. We might be chopping a while here,” said trader CryptoSqueeze who has closed his long swing position for now, “until a more obvious pattern forms.”

Bottomed or Short Squeeze?

Up 113.50% YTD, Bitcoin has taken a rest from the recent rally, giving altcoins a chance to record some gains as well.

Bitcoin has no doubt beaten the traditional assets, gold (28%) and S&P 500 (8.63%), by a wide margin in year to date performance. But after many sessions of outperforming the rest of the market, Ethereum staged a dramatic run in the wake of positive news related to its PoS transition.

Additionally, the small-cap index is trading up 9.5%, now almost in lockstep with the large-cap counterpart, which has been up over 10% — in contrast to the performance in previous weeks where capital inflow was largely in the large-cap assets.

DeFi tokens have actually been the ones that recorded percentage gains in four figures. While TVL advanced back to the record highs, DEX Uniswap topped $400 million for the first time since early October.

The magnitude of recent selling pressure in DeFi assets has now “enticed plenty of bargain hunting related flow” with the most notable gainers, in terms of one-week performance including Aave (80%), Hegic (76%), SNX (61%), RUNE (54%), YFI (42%), CRV (26%), YFII (25%), and Uniswap (20%).

Who’s Buying the Rally?

Still, Bitcoin is the one that is only 30% away from its all-time high of $20,000 made during the bull run of 2017. But market participants believe BTC isn’t ready for that level yet and would “dance” around its current levels for a few weeks.

“I still think ur insane if u tryna macro long BTC over $15k,” said trader loomdart.

But according to on-chain analyst Willy Woo, it has been the high net worth individuals, the smart money, that has been buying this rally.

It is not just smart money but also new smart money, as seen in the rate of new investors coming in per hour previously unseen before on the blockchain, which is “seriously bullish.”

As we reported, recently Grammy-nominated rapper Logic also announced to his 2.4 million Twitter followers that he had made a ‘big investment‘ in the digital asset.

This can be seen from the average transaction value between investors taking a big jump upwards, the same as over-the-counter (OTC) desks.

“Bitcoin is still in it’s stealth phase of its bull run,” said Woo.

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Author: AnTy

ProudBitcoiner Pays $9,500 Worth of ETH Gas Fees for $120 Transaction on Uniswap

A Reddit user “ProudBitcoiner” accidentally paid a fee of 23.5172 ETH worth about $9,500 in transaction fees for a transaction he did on popular DeFi protocol Uniswap.

The fee, which is 80 times the transaction value, was done while the user was executing a swap of 0.2955 wrapped ether (ETH) for 531 Chi Gastoken (CHI) on decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap.

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Source: Etherscan

The average fee currently is a mere 0.0022 ETH worth just over $1 unlike in September when Ether fees surged to its highest level ever.

Higher than average fees are generally paid to get the transaction processed quickly. In such cases, people go the manual route.

In this case, the user further explained on Reddit how this actually happened.

“Metamask didn’t populate the “Gas Limit” field with the correct amount in my previous transaction and that transaction failed, so I decided to change it manually in the next transaction (this one), but instead of typing 200000 in “Gas Limit” input field, I wrote it on the “Gas Price” input field, so I payed 200000 GWEI for this transaction and destroyed my life.”

The block had been mined about 24 hours ago, however, he did contact Ethermine for help.

This isn’t the first time such a thing has happened and has not been the highest either. Back in June, someone paid about $5.2 million in fees for two transactions of about $82k.

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Author: AnTy

Asia, Africa, & South America Combined Accounts for Less than 10% of Lightning Network Nodes

About 87% of all the Lightning Network nodes are LND nodes. In comparison, about 11% are C-Lightning, and only 2% of the remaining are Eclair, according to the latest report by members of the Faculty of Computer Science from the University of Vienna, Austria, and Christian Decker of Blockstream, Zurich.

Lightning Network is a layer 2 solution on the bitcoin network for scalable and instant transactions. It currently has a capacity of 1,040 BTC with 14,273 nodes running it, as per 1ML.

In the past couple of years, several implementations of LN have popped up.

In early 2018, Twitter CEO and bitcoin proponent Jack Dorsey-backed Lightning Labs’ CEO Elizabeth Stark, announced the initial release of LND for developers to make it available for testing purposes on the main Bitcoin network.

C-Lightning is Blockstream’s own implementation of the Lightning Network built in the C programming language.

Eclair is for those who want to set up a full Lightning Node, which needs a lot of computer know-how. With this approach, you are routing transactions on the network and can also make your own transactions.

Geographic distribution of LN Nodes

The report titled “Node Classification and Geographical Analysis of the Lightning Cryptocurrency Network” also found that a large share of the total Lightning Network nodes, 44.8%, are located in North America and close behind is Europe with 43.1% share.

In Europe, most of these nodes are located in Central Europe with a very high node distribution on both the East Coast and the West Coast.

The remaining nodes are located in Asia at 6.2% share, Oceania at 2.2%, and then South America and Africa, each having 0.8% and 0.6% of the Lightning Network nodes.

In Asia, most of the nodes are located on the coasts of South Korea, China, and Japan.

It has been further found that multiple node clusters are centered in metropolitan areas. For instance, in Germany, the largest node hub is located in the metropolitan area in Berlin and then Munich and Frankfurt. In Japan, this has been found true with Tokyo, Osaka, and Kobe.

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Author: AnTy