Bitcoin Has Only Traded Above the 2020 High for Just Over 30 Hours, In Its Entire History

Bitcoin is aiming for a new all-time high this weekend.

On Friday, the digital asset went as high as $18,980, making a new 2020 high. Now, we are less than 7.5% away from $20k as we currently trade around $18,680.

Interestingly, there have been only 31 hours that BTC traded above $18,900 in its entire history, at the peak of the 2017 bull run, of course, and at $19k for a mere 24 hours. Also, at that time, BTC has been above $19,800 for less than an hour.

“There is little to suggest this rally has run out of steam, and all signs point to a run at the all-time high in the near future,” said Denis Vinokourov, head of research at Bequant in London.

For Su Zhu, the CEO of 3 Arrows Capital, “the next key price to watch will be $36k,” because “this is the strike with the largest BTC Open Interest on Debit Exchange, the dominant market leader in Bitcoin and Ether-settled options trading.”

For now, it would be interesting to see if breaking the much-coveted $20,000 will trigger a pullback for the prices of the Bitcoin, for which the crypto community has been waiting for a long time. A break above ATH is also expected to capture more of the mainstream attention.

Already it has been pacing in 2020, what with the likes of BlackRock, JPMorgan, Ray Dalio, Maisie Williams, Rapper Logic, who went YOLO, and so many more.

Wider institutional acceptance has been particularly seen after PayPal announced its decision to allow its customers to access cryptos.

“When we think about who we see getting involved in the space and seeing how many more access points are being opened, that can further expand the base of investors participating in this asset class,” said Michael Sonnenshein, managing director at Grayscale Investments. “We’re very, very encouraged by the prospects for this space overall.”

Alex Mashinsky, chief executive officer at Celsius Network, a crypto lending platform, also said that today the flagship cryptocurrency had reached a place where institutional investors, banks, and family offices are “legitimately pondering involvement as a defense against currency devaluation.”

With these latest gains, 17% in just last week and over 150% YTD, Bitcoin has become the 15th largest digital asset by the market capitalization of $347 billion.

Beating Mastercard and Walt Disney, the leading digital asset, is ready to take over JPMorgan at $349 billion, just one step above, which it already did, albeit briefly.

As BTC continues to climb the rank up among the biggest assets by market cap, it has Visa at 12th spot with $397 billion market cap, Tesla at 10th spot with $464 billion, and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway at 8th spot with $532 billion market cap in its vicinity to take over.

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Author: AnTy

OpenZeppelin Launches Defender Developer Suite Allowing DApp Building In ‘Minutes’

OpenZeppelin announced the launch of Defender, a developer suite aiming to help developers build smart contracts in “minutes,” on Tuesday. The suite aims to enhance and automate the development and the building of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications on Ethereum. Allowing developers to concentrate on creative inventions instead of spending time rewriting “fundamental code.”

So far, four of the top DeFi platforms – including Aave, dYdX, Compound, and Balancer – are using the product to automate the development operations when building DeFi products.

OpenZeppelin is an Ethereum focused development group providing a secure standard for decentralized applications on the blockchain. Doubling up as one of the top Ethereum smart contract audit firms, OpenZeppelin’s Defender suite will make it faster (development in minutes) to build dApps on a “secure self-secure infrastructure.”

Moreover, OpenZeppelin’s chief technology officer, Jonathan Alexander – speaking to Cointelegraph – stated that easing the process of creating DeFi apps could help reduce the risks of hacks and attacks on smart contracts.

Recently, the Harvest Finance smart contract was exploited as liquidity providers lost $25 million in staked funds. This has been a recurring problem across the decentralized finance ecosystem, including Balancer, YAM Finance, Uniswap, etc. – a problem Alexander believes “could have been avoided or reduced by following a careful security process.”

However, most startup teams lack a transparent security audit due to cost and a “comprehensive system that fully informs them on security best practices and how to assess risk,” he continued.

Props, a blockchain firm using OpenZeppelin’s Defender suite, CEO Peter Watts praised the ease-of-use and enhanced security it offers. He stated,

“Working with high-value smart contracts can be stressful. OpenZeppelin Defender relieves that stress by dramatically reducing the room for human error, making smart contract management simple and safe – it’s a no brainer that will improve the security and efficiency of any team.”

The Defender suite is open source, free, and available for any developer to use Ethereum test nets, including Ropsten, Rinkeby, Kovan, and Goerli.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Winklevoss’ Crypto Exchange, Gemini, Partners With European Payments Processor, BCB Group

The Winklevoss-owned crypto exchange, Gemini, is expanding its presence in the U.K., aiming to provide more efficient payment systems to its clients. The NYFDS regulated exchange announced a partnership with BCB Group, a payment processing service provider, to consolidate and enhance payments from U.K based clients.

Having previously partnered with top crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Bitstamp, as well as crypto custodial firms such as Galaxy Digital, BCB Group’s rapport in the crypto industry is well established’. The partnership with Gemini will enhance the liquidity provisions and fiat-to-crypto conversions to the exchange.

BCB Group is an institutional-grade payment processor offering cryptocurrency-focused companies, accounts, and liquidity to boost financial transactions. The company received it’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) license to act as an authorized payment institution (API) in the U.K. This provides a regulatory cover for Gemini clients in the U.K.

Read More: Gemini Crypto Exchange Opens GBP for Buying, Selling, & Trading in the UK

The partnership with Gemini aims at improving conversions of fiat (i.e., British Pound) to crypto with faster and safer payment processes. According to Blair Halliday, Gemini’s chief compliance officer in Europe, partnering with BCB Group will simplify the payment process for its clients and improve the relationship with banks and institutions in the U.K.

Notwithstanding, Blair believes BCB Group’s partnership will further “secure access to real-time settlement infrastructure, enabling us [Gemini] to integrate with banking partners.” Halliday said,

“Gemini is focused on creating the smoothest experience possible for our UK customers to make deposits into and withdrawals out of their accounts instantly in GBP via Faster Payments, CHAPS, and SWIFT transfers.”

The crypto exchange is known for its regulatory approach, having recently acquired its FCA license granting it an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license. This followed the company’s insistent nature is following the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) crypto-asset registration process.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Giving Strong Bullish Signals, Markets to Roar Higher into Next Year

Today, Bitcoin is on the move, aiming for $11,000, currently trading around $10,915.

Adding to this bullishness is all the dry powder. $20 billion worth of fiat is sitting on the sidelines in stablecoins, which has doubled since May.

https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/bitcoin-re-entering-the-intense-historical-trading-area-following-a-strong-uptrend/
Source: Coinmetrics

Moreover, Bitcoin Difficulty Ribbon Compression is trending up, breaking out of the green buy zone for the first time since the March sell-off.

“Historically, these have been periods characterized by a positive momentum indicating significant BTC price increases,” noted Glassnode.

Not to mention the number of daily active addresses that have been growing strongly this year, with the 180-day average just surpassing its previous ATH.

Meanwhile, in other markets…

While bitcoin started seeing positive moves last week, gold continued down only to make some moves today at 1,871, which is the exact opposite of the US dollar.

The greenback started uptrending right from the beginning of last week, going from 92.75 to today’s 94.74 last seen in late July before it started sliding down. Still, it is holding onto the 94 level.

When it comes to the stock market, it has recorded four straight weeks of declines on the back of a stronger dollar, which is putting pressure on the prices of many assets.

Today, the stock market is also trying to start the week on a green note, opening higher, but it’s to be seen if it will be able to catch up.

Get Ready for the upcoming mania

While Bitcoin (-6.56%), Gold (-4.79%), SPX (-5.77%), USD (-0.62%), and WTI (-7.86%) all are looking to end September on a red note, the next quarter is expected to bring back the greens.

Unlike September and quarter 3, the next quarter has historically been of the green ones. However, for a brief period of time, the US Presidential election will keep the markets uncertain with the major event this week involving the presidential election debate on Tuesday and a vote in the House of Representatives for a second round of pandemic stimulus before the House goes into recess on Friday.

But moving into 2021, things are expected to be even better.

“Impossible to be bearish when we are coming out of the biggest recession in history. The world economy will roar in 2021. Once the uncertainty driven by the US elections is behind us, we are once again off to the races,” said trader and economist Alex Kruger.

According to him, the governments will “overcompensate with ever-increasing fiscal and monetary policy stimulus.”

This means the continuation of a trend that started in April 2020 not only for the stocks but also for crypto, precious metals, the real economy, and others, he said.

The key issue is with the day long term interest rates when they “start rising fast, that’s when we have a major problem.”

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Author: AnTy

Grayscale Launches Second National TV Commercial to Drive Interest In Digital Assets

Grayscale Investments launches a new digital assets TV commercial ad across top stations on Monday aiming at onboarding no coiners onto the crypto bandwagon. The video, which has since been shared thousands of times across social media, raised different opinions across crypto Twitter similar to its previous #DropGold campaign.

The world’s first institutional-focused digital assets firm, Grayscale, launched its second digital assets ad campaign titled “History of Money” on Monday, following the successful “#DropGold” ad, launched in 2019. The new TV commercial is a half-minute explanation of the history and evolution of money from barter trade, to cowrie shells to Roman gold and copper coins and finally the more recent paper form of money and bonds.

While the ad, featured on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox, and Fox Business, promotes the move to digital assets as the next stage of money, Bitcoin (BTC) is not mentioned in the ad, as was the case in the #DropGold campaign. Instead, a list of digital assets on Grayscale’s Trust including BTC, BCH, ETH and XRP are listed as shown in the image below.

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Grayscale’s Digital Asset Trust options. (Image: Grayscale)

The institutional digital assets firm pitches the ad on their blog as:

“A wakeup call that people everywhere should seize what we feel is a once in a generation opportunity that digital currencies may present.”

Crypto journalist, Andrew Thurman, compares Grayscale’s latest ad to Charlie Merrill, a legendary banker known for his efforts to educate and advertise to the population in a bid to popularize the buying and trading of stocks and bonds.

In 1948, Merrill published one of the longest newspaper ads yet in the New York Times titled “‘What Everybody Ought To Know About This Stock and Bond Business”, to push adoption into equities. His gamble paid off. Could Grayscale’s latest ad play a massive role to push liquidity into the crypto markets as well as increase knowledge across ordinary populations and institutions in a similar manner?

Only time will tell. But so far the institution has grown its value of assets under management (AUM) to over $5 billion according to the recently released half year results.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Polkadot Is Now Fully Decentralized After Governance Removes Web3 Foundation Admin Rights

Polkadot (DOT), a blockchain aiming at scalability, security, and connecting other blockchains, is now fully decentralized following a successful vote through community governance. The majority sees the blockchain drop admin rights by Web3 Foundation to introduce a token governance system on the platform.

A tweet sent out at 8.03 AM GMT, Gavin Wood, co-founder of Parity Technologies, lead developer of Polkadot, confirmed the transition to a permissionless network at block #799,302 opening up a new governance future for the community.

The enacted governance proposal introduces an improved “community governance system,” which allows DOT holders to vote and influence decisions on the development of the Polkadot blockchain directly. The governance system also enables the community to vote on changes on the DOT token, such as the recent redenomination proposal of the genesis tokens.

The permissionless blockchain also dropped the admin rights held by Web3 Foundation, making the blockchain fully decentralized. To fully release the blockchain to the community, the vote also struck off the “Chain Candidate 1 (CC1)” tag for its mainnet network.

From Permissioned to Permissionless

After being in the works for the past three years, the Polkadot mainnet finally launched in May, limiting some features to agents and the admin. This permissioned proof of stake (PoS) blockchain allowed Web3 Foundation to take charge of the blockchain in case of a problem or maintenance issue on a newly launched mainnet.

Over the weeks, the community governance has gained more power from the admins through the proof of stake, with nearly 200 validators currently controlling half the DOT supply.

In 2020, the developers and Web3 Foundation have taken massive strides in ensuring the blockchain becomes decentralized. Chainlink selecting to build on Polkadot (only after Ethereum), the development of a Bitcoin Parachain that brings BTC and BTC-backed assets on Polkadot and the launch of staking services – supported by Coinbase and Bison Trails – shows a bright future for the blockchain, Gavin said.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Central Bank Of Sri Lanka Launches A Proof Of Concept (PoC) Blockchain Solution for KYC

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) launches its KYC proof-of-concept (POC) blockchain aiming to improve shared Know-Your-Customer (KYC) services across financial institutions. According to the release, the CBSL aims at financial inclusion across Asian countries and a global scale through digital payment systems.

The PoC blockchain has been in the works since 2018 when the CBSL launched an inter-industry study on the advantages of integrating blockchain systems. The central bank also started a campaign at the tail end of 2019, inviting companies with blockchain expertise in shared KYC proof of concept platform to join its cause on a voluntary basis. With over 40 applications (17 coming from foreign companies), CBSL selected three companies to develop PoCs concurrently.

These companies are Sri Lankan, Sampath Bank PLC, together with the University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) as joint applicants, Norbloc AB from Sweden, and Yaala Labs (Pvt) Ltd and Linearsix (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka startups as joint applicants.

The three companies signed agreements on developing shared KYC systems in a meeting presided over by the Governor of CBSL, Deshamanya Prof. W D Lakshman, and Chairman of the National Payment Council, Deputy Governor of the CBSL, Mr. H. A. Karunaratne.

Solutions for the Global Financial Industry

The world is increasing its focus on digital payment systems and currencies, and Sri Lanka aims to be at the driver’s seat in pushing innovation in the field, Lakshman said. On the opportunities that lay ahead with the development of the PoC, he said:

“Evaluating the feasibility of using a technology such as Blockchain to securely share KYC information has the potential to vastly increasing the digital financial inclusion of Sri Lankans. Shared KYC opens avenues to seek opportunities for increasing access to financial services through digital and remote onboarding.”

Other senior officials at the central bank believe the integration of a shared KYC blockchain system will significantly impact the financial operations in Sri Lanka and further provide solutions on a global scale.

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Author: Lujan Odera

U.S Federal Government Subsidiary Releases A $255k Funding For “Crypto Dollar” Development

  • The U.S. National Science Foundation is funding a blockchain project aiming to introduce a “Proof-of-Balance (PoB) consensus mechanism platform.
  • The project aims to directly convert the current supply of circulating dollars into a scarce cryptocurrency allowing users to divert from the volatile cryptocurrencies to the dollar-based digital coin.

In an official announcement by the Key Retroactivity Network Consensus (KRNC), the National Science Foundation, an independent organization under the U.S Federal government is awarding the blockchain project a $225,000 funding from the American Seed Fund to develop a crypto dollar. The American Seed Fund disburses over $200 million to financial and technology startups showing potential in the technical and commercial field.

The crypto dollar will be very much alike to Bitcoin (BTC), given it is scarce, secure and quick to send between peers. However, the project aims to replace the whole crypto market by allowing holders of the dollar to transact on blockchains without the need for BTC, ETH, and other altcoins.

‘A Bitcoin-like platform’

The blockchain will employ a new consensus mechanism, the proof-of-balance (PoB) to replace the ‘wasteful” proof of work (PoW) used on Bitcoin and also the proof of stake set to be implemented on Ethereum 2.0, KRNC CEO and chief scientist Clint Ehrlich said.

According to Ehrlich’s statement, the KRNC’s proof of balance system will enhance the security and management of the platform. Here’s how it works;

The proof of balance system calculates the current wealth of dollars circulating in the global economy and transforming it into a scarce digital asset. Ehrlich explains,

“If today, there is $15 trillion when the currency is launched, it will be possible to only ever unlock 15 trillion [crypto] dollars.”

To ease the transition to the crypto dollar standard users will be able to deposit fiat cash and receive these crypto dollars in return. Users will then be able to use these dollars digitally in a similar way to fiat/ physical dollar that they hold.

Transfer of power to the rich?

The need for blockchains has always been a transfer of power from the centralized rich entities, corporations and governments. However, the proof of balance employed by the KRNC may see the control remain to whoever can pay the most on mining costs.

“Currency is asymmetric so even if an adversary tries to purchase a larger stake, as long as the initial majority of all the fiat money is owned by honest agents the system can remain secure. It’s a way to provide superior security at zero cost.”

Ehrlich believes the current system offers a fairer market giving the billions of people able to access dollars, a voice on the direction of platform. He concludes,

“The playing field is not limited to a few buyers and minors but the billions of people who own fiat money.”

Despite the funding, the National Science Foundation program manager in charge of the grant, Anna Brady-Estevez, emphasized that the National Science Foundation does not endorse the transformation of the dollar into cryptocurrency.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Microsoft’s Blockchain-Based Identity System, ION, Launches Amidst Data Privacy Concerns

Decentralized Identity Foundation (DIF), a non-profit organization aiming at building a digital identity ecosystem, announced the launch of the beta version of Microsoft’s Identity Overlay Network, a Bitcoin-based identity platform.

At the mainnet launch, Microsoft’s ION will enable over 1.1 billion people who lack a legal ID to acquire one and also help in identifying and contact tracing COVID-19 patients.

The accelerating progress in government partnerships to develop decentralized digital ID systems, however, is facing resistance from several experts who believe it may lead to privacy concerns, hacks, and breaches of personal information.

Microsoft’s ION Partnership With Casa Wallet

The spread of COVID-19 has seen multiple digital identity and contact tracing apps come up in a bid to curb the spread of the pandemic. Microsoft’s ION will partner with Casa, a startup known for its Casa HODL Bitcoin wallet, to improve the “authentication, privacy and security” of users’ digital identities on the platform. ION’s project lead, David Buchner said:

“We are thrilled to have Casa collaborating on ION with us, which showcases the potential of building real-world applications that leverage the strong foundation Bitcoin provides.”

The ION project employs a tagging system, whereby instead of including all the data on a specific transaction on the platform, the info is given a reference number. The number is then added to the ledger, and is easy to retrieve the transaction at any time from the ION nodes.

Several other initiatives, including ConsenSys, backed the project, Uport, form the DIF, and this will allow the interoperability of the systems across the DIF platform. DIF leader Rouven Heck said:

“Everybody wants to move fast and has a high interest in demonstrating this technology can be very powerful.”

The miners on the BTC network validate and verify the reference numbers for a small fee.

A Race to Form Partnerships With Governments

Competition across the blockchain digital identity industry is spiking as governments continue to show interest in citizens’ medical and financial records. The targeted blockchain contact tracing on COVID-19 platforms has seen adoption by several governments and corporations.

In compliance with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) credentials, over sixty corporations around the world formed the COVID-19 Credentials Initiative (CCI) to develop digital identity passports. Late last year, eleven South Korean startups announced plans to launch the blockchain-based digital identification service within the government’s regulatory sandbox.

However, some analysts remain skeptical of the actual safety and security of the personal data collected on these platforms.

‘Data Collected is Extremely Hard to Protect.’

On the subject of contact tracing and data collection by these decentralized identifiers, Blockchain Commons founder Christopher Allen said the project would have a hard time upholding user privacy as the data such as the location of the patient is “incredibly hard to protect.”

Microsoft and IBM, who have been at the forefront of funding and developing digital identifiers, have faced much criticism, Harry Halpin, CEO of privacy-tech startup Nym, the latest industry player branding these systems “feel-good rhetoric.” Harry sarcastically said:

“Governments need to establish identities of who owns these keys, so they say, ‘OK, we’ll have an open standard, call it decentralized, and make it mandatory.’”

As the digital id systems grow, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released guidance for government regulation on financial institutions that use these systems.

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Author: Lujan Odera

OMG Network Partners With Bitfinex To Add Tether (USDT) Stablecoin On The Plasma Sidechain

OMG network becomes the first sidechain ever to add USDT capability aiming to improve the scalability and reduce costs of transaction on the platform. In the official announcement released on June 1, 2020, OMG Network announced a partnership with Tether’s sister company, Bitfinex Inc., to successfully integrate of the stablecoin on OMG’s Plasma sidechain.

Tether (USDT) becomes the latest token to join the OMG Network’s, once called OmiseGo, Plasma sidechain. The partnership between OMG Network and Bitfinex, adding the stablecoin, aims at “reducing the confirmation times, making payments faster, and lowering the transaction costs” on the Ethereum network. The upgrades will not affect the security of the platform – statement says it will operate at “the same level of security as Ethereum”. CEO at OMG Network, Vansa Chatikavanij.

“Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of the OMG Network that supports thousands of transactions per second and reduces transaction costs to a third of Ethereum.”

OMG Plasma sidechain to solve scalability issues

Ethereum has seen increased gas prices over the past few weeks as reported by BEG as the network’s usage reached an all-time high in anticipation of the Ethereum 2.0 launch. ETH currently offers a capped number of transactions per second at 7-15 TPS causing lags when there is high traffic on the network. USDT is currently approaching 50% of the total transactions on Ethereum and Bitfinex is looking to let off some pressure to an Ethereum sidechain.

Addition of USDT will solve most of the issues with Ethereum – improving scalability and reducing volatility on the platform.

Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex, supported Vansa’s statements saying the reduction of fees and scalable platform “allows traders to react faster to trading opportunities.” He further says,

“By migrating USDt value transfers to the OMG Network, we save costs, drive performance improvements, and relieve pressure on the root chain. This is good for Bitfinex, our users, and the entire Ethereum ecosystem.”

OMG Network mainnet test launches

OMG Network, a platform based on the Ethereum network also announced the launch of its mainnet test on June 1. The new blockchain iteration of its Minimal Viable Plasma design will introduce a “Tesuji Plasma architecture” and employ a “proof-of-authority” (PoA) consensus mechanism.

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Author: Lujan Odera