FTX Now Allows to Short or Long GBTC, ETHE, & BITW

FTX Now Allows to Short or Long Grayscale’s GBTC & ETHE and Bitwise 10 Crypto Index (BITW)

This time, cryptocurrency derivatives exchange FTX has listed the stocks of crypto asset funds.

The world’s largest asset manager Grayscale Investment’s two popular products GBTC and ETHE are now available to trade on FTX. Both the products currently trade at 17% and 15% premium respectively on the secondary market.

Bitwise 10 Crypto Index (BITW), which has more than $500 million in assets is another fund listed by FTX. The price of Bitwise’s crypto fund shares jumped 369%, higher than the digital assets it holds which rallied over 300% last year.

GBTC/USD is trading at $34.9 with $4,052 volume, ETHE/USD at $12.4 with $2,214 in volume, and BITW/USD is trading at $54 with a volume of $2137 on FTX.

As the CEO Sam Bankman-Fried noted in a 2020 review, “FTX has built a reputation as an exchange that’s quick to roll out new products and features,” and the latest listings are just an addition to what the exchange has been doing since last year.

The exchange has tokenized the stocks like Tesla, Google, Amazon, and other hot ones to enable qualified traders to trade them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

They also listed pre-IPO contracts of Airbnb and Coinbase and just last week added Superbowl to its prediction market.

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Author: AnTy

Deribit Now Allows Traders to Bet on Bitcoin’s Rally to $160k & Ethereum to $5k

Deribit Now Allows Traders to Bet on Bitcoin’s Rally to $160k & Ethereum to $5k

Bitcoin and Ether rally is just getting started, with Deribit options’ strikes continue to be higher and higher.

Cryptocurrency derivatives platform Deribit continues to make waves with its new strike rates.

If you think Bitcoin at $100,000 was the real deal, not for Deribit users. $100k was so last month’s thing, now that Bitcoin has surged at bove $28,000 this past holiday weekend, Deribit users are now betting at much higher prices.

Today, Deribit introduced call and put options at the $160,000 Bitcoin strike price expiring on Dec. 21, 2021.

“Remember that we list based on policy, not analysis, etc. Strikes up to delta 10,” noted the exchange which is “for algorithmic traders, institutions, and savvy retail traders.”

These new contracts came just on the back of the weekend’s $140,000 BTC, which was added a few hours after $120,000.

Purchasing these call contracts is a bet that the price of Bitcoin will rise above these levels either on or before their expiry date.

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading at $26,728, seeing a small pullback, after the monster rally of last week, that broke multiple levels of new highs.

But it is not just Bitcoin the crypto market is bullish on. Now that BTC has taken a small step back, Ethereum has taken the reins from the flagship cryptocurrency and after a long time surged above $700 on Monday. After going to nearly $750 yesterday, we fell back under the $700k mark but today the market is on the move again.

And according to Deribit users, ETH is just getting started as the platform added the ETH contracts with a $5,000 strike which expires on Sept. 21 and Dec. 21.

Given that ETH is still about 50% away from its ATH, the digital asset has more room to grow. Not to mention, the Ethereum futures to be launched on CME in February next year will bring a herd of institutions.

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Author: AnTy

ConsenSys Rolls Out MetaMask for Institutions to Bring DeFi to Crypto Funds & Custodians

Ethereum software company ConsenSys has announced a new offering of MetaMask that allows institutions, including crypto funds, custodians, and professional traders, to access decentralized finance (DeFi).

MetaMask is a popular Ethereum wallet with over 1 million monthly active users who recently introduced a token swap feature and increased privacy level.

With DeFi space exploding in 2020, growing to over $14 billion, “Custody providers increasingly seek exposure and access to the diverse, decentralized finance opportunities,” noted ConsesnSys.

According to the firm, professional trading firms’ current process to use the attractive DeFi protocols is inefficient; they are introducing an institutional-grade version of MetaMask.

ConsenSys is working with the digital asset security provider Curv which also announced Curv DeFi for institutions that will integrate MetaMask. Curv Co-Founder and CEO Itay Malinger said,

“Since there is no reliable and secure institutional solution for DeFi, organizations are reverting to retail-level use of MetaMask or custom integrations with individual apps as a workaround.”

“We believe by combining our unique multi-party computation (MPC)-based security infrastructure with MetaMask we will be able to play a significant role in the institutional adoption of DeFi.”

Curv is ConsesnSys’s first launch partner, and it will be collaborating with other custodians and professional trading firms.

Scams Promoted via Google Paid Ads

In other news, MetaMask informed its users about the new scam targeting crypto users – rotter seed phrase attack. These malicious pre-phishing scams are being promoted via paid ads on Google linked to fake versions of wallet websites.

In this attack, a malicious website mimics the original wallet’s website and imitates its onboarding flow. Toward the end of the fake onboarding process on the fake website, the user is instructed to backup their seed phrase previously generated by the scammer.

The user is then taken to the wallet’s real website, where they are instructed to install the wallet and import the rotten seed phrase whose access is with the scammer who waits for the user to add funds to their wallet and then drains the accounts.

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Author: AnTy

DEX Synthetix Now Allows Trading of Brent Crude Oil Powered by Chainlink Oracle

Popular DeFi project DEX Synthetix now allows the crypto market to trade Brent Crude Oil as well.

sOIL (Synthetic Brent Crude Oil) is a non-expiring Crude Oil Index based on the futures prices of ICE Brent Crude Oil, whose price is tracked through price feeds supplied by the Chainlink oracle, which will source the data from ICE for an undisclosed price.

“sOIL is a great case study showcasing that DeFi developers are on the precipice of going far beyond cryptocurrency price feeds and starting to create financial products that provide exposure to food, energy resources, rare earth metals, real-world assets, equities, NFTs, weighted asset baskets, and much more,” said Chainlink in an official statement.

sOIL

The tokens of both the projects are in the green today. Currently, SNX is trading at $4.32, up 561% YTD, while LINK is at $12.65, recording 605% gains in 2020.

With the addition of one of the major futures contracts for global oil markets, a real-world asset has officially entered the DeFi trading world. Recently, crypto derivatives exchange FTX also provided the crypto market exposure to stocks like Apple, Google, Tesla, and Amazon.

“There is significant demand for these assets particularly given the liquidity of the underlying markets and the difficulty of access for the average trader,” notes the SIP 62 “Futures reference price methodology,” which is about converting future market prices into a single reference price for Synths.

According to Chainlink, this is just the beginning as compared to DeFi’s $13 billion TVL, the global market for crude oil is over $1.7 trillion, not including the derivatives market.

“Traditional financial markets are orders of magnitude larger than cryptocurrency markets; DeFi has only begun to scratch the surface of tapping into it.”

Recent News: Synthetix Upgrades to L2 Scaling to Alleviate Gas Costs for SNX Stakers

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Author: AnTy

Crypto.com Forks Uniswap & Launches DeFi Swap on Ethereum

Hong Kong-headquartered Crypto.com has launched a DeFi Swap service, which allows users to swap and farm DeFi tokens.

A fork of Uniswap V2, the platform is powered by its native token CRO, the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which is trading at $0.160, up nearly 6%.

Other coins supported are Wrapped ETH (WETH), Tether (USDT), USDC, DAI, Chainlink (LINK), and Compound (COMP), with more to be introduced in the future.

One can start farming by using any WalletConnect enabled mobile wallet, which the company says will soon be coming on its DeFi Wallet.

Gains & Losses

The liquidity providers (LPs) will be rewarded with 0.3% of the respective liquidity pools’ trading volume. For selected pools, LPs will also receive tokens that are redeemable for coins of the participating DeFi projects.

Crypto.com is guaranteeing a minimum reward pool of 14 million CRO for the first 14 days on this Ethereum-based decentralized protocol.

Meanwhile, those who stake CRO can “boost their yield by up to 20x and harvest the daily yield in as little as 30 days.”

These services, however, are restricted to the residents & citizens of over 30 countries, including the US, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Iraq, and Venezuela.

Much like any DeFi project, the company clearly states using it at your own risk as it cautions of risks involved that aren’t limited to the loss of virtual assets, collapse in liquidity, changes in the smart contacts, extreme volatility, counterparty risk, attacks, hacks, defects, loss of private keys, and regulatory uncertainty.

“Not a Bubble”

The ongoing mania has resulted in the DeFi space exploding with the total value locked in it amassing nearly $10 billion, which after the recent correction, is currently under $8 billion.

However, “DeFi is not necessarily a pure bubble about to burst,” said Crypto.com in its report on decentralized finance. The report continued,

“It might deflate once the hype subsides, but as globalisation progresses and the business ecosystem further shifts towards new-generation business models built upon shared governance and decentralisation, there will be a growing demand for solutions like DeFi which will provide new ways banking, trading and investing – perhaps even setting the standard for economies to climb out of the shadows.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Self-Custody Provider Casa Now Allows Users to Buy BTC via Apple Pay

  • Bitcoin self custody service provider, Casa now allows its customers to buy and hold their own bitcoin.
  • Selling BTC is not supported yet.

According to the official announcement, Casa now allows buying bitcoin with Apple Pay, which gets deposited instantly into the Casa App — straight to the multisig storage. The digital asset here is the real bitcoin and not the IOUs from an exchange. The Colorado-based bitcoin security service provider said,

“With this update: purchasing bitcoin is fast, safe, simple, and direct. You can grow your investment without the risks that come with using a centralized exchange.”

Traditionally, bitcoin investors have to register with the exchange, deposit funds for trading, and then move their digital asset to the wallet. But Casa wants to make the bitcoin journey of new users simpler and faster, said chief executive Nick Neuman. He said,

“With the dollar declining in value and a new era of potential inflation on the horizon, consumers are naturally looking for a safe asset class that’s outside the turbulence of the existing financial system.”

With the Casa app, one can buy up to $250 per day, with a $20 minimum order size, and up to $1,500 per year. The company plans to increase these limits over time.

The Casa app charges a flat processing fee of $0.30 per transaction, plus 2.9% of the total amount purchased. It further includes a mining fee as BTC purchase is sent straight to the Casa wallet.

The purchase feature is launched in their iOS app only and soon will be coming to the Android app too.

The company also clarified the feature as a 100% opt-in, so if one decides not to buy bitcoin, all the existing KYC-free features are preserved. In case you are buying BTC, know-your-customer requirements include no documents and no photo ID scans but card information, full name, email, phone number, and address.

All the information is collected and verified through Apple Pay and processed by their purchase partner Wyre.

“Minimal info collected,” says the company adding, KYC data is also “never stored on Casa’s servers.”

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Author: AnTy

US Regulator Authorizes National Banks and Federal Saving Institutions as Crypto Custodians

U.S. regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC), allows federal banks and national savings institutions to officially custody cryptocurrencies for their customers. The statement released on July 22, confirms that any national bank or savings facility can now hold on to unique cryptographic keys of cryptocurrencies in their vaults pertaining to custody services.

According to the statement, the decision to allow banks to offer crypto custodial services follows a growing demand by investors to safely store their cryptographic keys, which, if lost, capitulates the value of the assets. This news opens up the field to large banks to provide these services, relieving current state-chartered crypto custodians such as Coinbase and Gemini.

Nonetheless, crypto custodial services differ from the traditional custody services banks offer, the statement explained. Given that the digital assets are not physical, digital wallets will be required to safely store the cryptographic keys.

The release, which comes a month after the OCC asked for public input on Crypto and DLT, further states that the increasing technological innovations in the financial world call for “banks and other service providers to leverage new technology and innovative ways to provide traditional services on behalf of customers.”

A modern form of traditional banking activities

Discussing the new regulation, the author of the statement, Jonathan V. Gould, the Senior Deputy Comptroller & Chief Counsel, claimed that cryptocurrency custodial services Is a new form of already existing asset custodian businesses of national banks.

The OCC permits national banks and savings to hold their customers’ cryptocurrencies in both a fiduciary and non-fiduciary role. Banks holding crypto in a fiduciary capacity will need to manage them in the same way as they manage other assets while non-fiduciary capacity targets holding cryptographic keys that control the actual transfer of the cryptocurrency.

Manage your cryptocurrency risk

Brian Brooks, the current head of OCC and a former executive at Coinbase, however, warns on the risk management of custody services across national banks. Focusing on customer assets protection, Brooks said,

“This opinion clarifies that banks can continue satisfying their customers’ needs for safeguarding their most valuable assets, which today for tens of millions of Americans includes cryptocurrency.”

The statement concludes by warning custodians to focus on risk management techniques, due diligence, and KYC/AML compliance as they begin the operations on holding crypto assets. No specific recommendation of customers was provided in the statement with banks open to deal with crypto institutions, as recently seen with JPMorgan onboarding Coinbase and Gemini.

This, however, should be done with the thought that cryptocurrencies do hold their risks and challenges. It states,

“A national bank or FSA engaging in new activities should develop and implement those activities consistent with sound risk management practices and align them with the bank’s overall business plans and strategies as set forth in OCC guidance.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Revolut’s Partnership with Paxos Allows its US Users to Buy, Sell, & Hold BTC & ETH in 49 States

Revolut now allows its US users to trade cryptocurrencies by partnering with Paxos. This was made possible by New York-based Paxos getting a new brokerage service to let merchants offer crypto trading services.

Revolut US, the American division of the online bank, is the first client of Paxos. Paxos CEO Chad Cascarilla compared its new brokerage with a “plug-and-play” service that can be used by any company from payment firms to retailers to offer crypto to their customers with Paxos on the backend.

“It’s clear many firms want to offer crypto but are finding it’s difficult to build the regulatory and technological infrastructure to do that,” he told Fortune. “This allows anyone, no matter what type of firm they are, to do that.”

Paxos is a legal trust company, which means it retains all the assets it holds on its customers’ behalf, which allows it to deal with traditional financial firms that have to otherwise keep away from digital assets because of regulation or another risk.

Paxos currently offers a fiat-pegged stablecoin Paxos Standard and a crypto token backed by physical gold.

More Options for US Customers

Just a few months back, in late March 2020, Revolut launched its app and service in the US. Its partnership with the Metropolitan Commercial Bank enabled the company to offer its debit card to US customers.

Now, the European fintech allows its US users to buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) from the Revolut app, but you can’t send and receive crypto from third-party wallets. The feature is available in 49 states due to some regulator issues in Tennessee.

For now, only the top two cryptos are available, unlike its European counterpart, where it offers more cryptos such as XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The company is working on adding more cryptos to the list.

For the first 30 days, Revolut is waiving the fees, which usually is 2.5% for a free Revolut account while Premium and Metal subscription will pay 1.5% in conversion fees. There are some monthly limits on currency exchange for free user users, which means you have to pay a 0.5% fee above that limit.

Square’s Cash App and commission-free Robinhood also let US users buy cryptocurrency via their apps.

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Author: AnTy

China’s One Region Accounts for 35.76% of Bitcoin Hash Rate

A Bitcoin Mining Map is launched by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) that allows checking the average monthly bitcoin hash rate produced by different countries around the globe.

Based on the geolocation data (IP addresses) provided by Poolin, BTC.com, and ViaBTC mining pools that collectively represent approximately 37% of Bitcoin total hashrate, this is the first geographical breakdown of bitcoin hash power distribution.

Unsurprisingly, China is the dominant force in the Bitcoin hash rate that accounts for 65.08% of the average monthly share of the total hash rate in April.

This share has decreased from 67.26% in March, 72.03% in February, and 72.82% in January.

In China, Xinjiang provided over 35.76% of this hash power followed by Sichuan (9.66%), Nei Mongol (8.07), Yunnan (5.42%), and Beijing (1.73%).

In April, the US came at second place with a share of 7.24%, followed by Russia 6.90%, Kazakhstan (6.17%), Malaysia (4.33%), and Iran (3.82%).

Canada, Germany, Norway, and Venezuela contributed less than 1% of the Bitcoin network’s hash power.

Source: Cambridge University – Bitcoin Mining Map

But this third halving that will cut the bitcoin block reward from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 coins will intensify the competition to capture the hash rate of the network and may result in a shift in hash power.

Just four days away, amidst the rising hash rate and difficulty, small and overleveraged miners would be washed out from the market and could see the balance of hash rate power tilt in North America’s favor.

Meanwhile, the number of computers running the bitcoin program is dominated by the US at 19.10% after the geographical location of 21.35% share not available, as per Bitnodes.

The US is followed by Germany(17.39%), France (5.82%), Netherlands (4.25%), Canada (3.01%), the UK (2.59%), Singapore (2.58%), Russia (2.31%), and China (2.02%).

These nodes that validate new transactions and store copies of the network’s shared transaction history have fallen to a level not seen since 2017. This decline could be because running a node is getting harder at a rate that is surpassing technological improvement.

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Author: AnTy