Brazilian Asset Manager BTG Launches Bitcoin Trading Platform

Brazilian Asset Manager BTG Launches Bitcoin Trading Platform

Cryptocurrency adoption appears to be kicking into high gear in Latin America, with companies and government organizations embracing crypto more.

The latest organization to embrace the industry is BTG Pactual – a top investment banking and asset management firm in Brazil.

BTG Goes For BTC

Earlier today, local news source The Rio Times confirmed that BTG Pactual launched a new crypto trading platform that allows Brazilian traders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The new platform is dubbed Mynt and is open to all Brazilians.

The platform would initially support the trading of Bitcoin and Ether, while other digital assets are expected to follow in the future.

Company chief executive Roberto Sallouti explained that the launch of Mynt was in response to increased demand among locals. He added that besides just letting people buy and trade cryptocurrencies, Mynt would also host educational content to inform crypto newbies and help them make better investment decisions.

Mynt’s launch means that BTG Pactual is the first major Brazilian financial institution to allow customers to participate in cryptocurrency markets. The company is regulated by both the Brazilian central bank and the Brazilian Securities Commission, and it will be looking to operate all its crypto services in line with current regulations.

Mynt represents BTG’s further entry into the crypto market. Earlier this year, Brazil Journal reported that the investment bank had started a crypto investment fund -c allied the Bitcoin 20 Multi-Market Investment Fund. The fund was approved in March, and it was the first Bitcoin fund launched by a Brazilian investment company.

The fund invests20 percent of its assets under management into Bitcoin, while 55 percent is allocated into treasury bonds. 20 percent is allocated to bank deposit certificated, and the other 5 percent to repo operations.

BTG’s Bitcoin fund also partnered with American crypto giant Gemini earlier this year for custody. The partnership will see Gemini Fund Solutions and Gemini Custody – two of Gemini’s subsidiaries – offer custody for BTG’s crypto assets.

South America Opening Up to Crypto

BTG has explained that its objective is to make crypto truly democratized and offer avenues for everyone to invest in the assets, regardless of their purchasing power.

Now that BTG is moving deeper into crypto, it would appear that the industry is finding a home in South America. This year has already seen several developments come from the region, with the most prominent being El Salvador’s decision to accept Bitcoin as an acceptable means of payment in the country.

VISA has also announced plans to integrate Bitcoin payments in Brazil. Earlier this month, Eduardo Abreu, the company’s vice president of new business, told local news source Seu Dinheiro that they plan to integrate crypto as both a store of value and a means of payment. This could be an avenue for even greater crypto adoption in the country.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Yearn Finance to Join Forces with Akropolis; Fourth Merger In a Week

Yearn Finance continues its landmark week with yet another collaboration, as the project appears to be leveraging its name and capabilities to improve its reach.

This time, the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol is partnering with Akropolis, a fellow DeFi project.

Mutual Benefit Going Forward

According to a press release published earlier today, lending and savings protocol, Akropolis confirmed that it had partnered with yield farming project Yearn Finance. The announcement explained that both projects would merge to leverage each other’s strengths, thus enabling each other to “do what they do best.”

Diving deeper, the announcement explained that Akropolis’ developers would use Yearn Finance’s infrastructure to enhance their operational strategies. They will benefit from the expanded Yearn Finance ecosystem, which now includes lending protocol Cream.

Yearn Finance also announced a partnership with Cream last Thursday. At the time, protocol founder Andre Cronje explained that both projects would collaborate to launch Cream v2, an upgrade to the latter’s protocol. They will also merge their development resources and strengthen the integrations between each other.

As for Yearn, the protocol will benefit from Akropolis’ institutional contacts and business development acumen. Akropolis has also committed to deprecate Spart and AkropolisOS, two of its products that aren’t related to yield farming. Both products will be moved to an open-source development mode, focusing on a front end that will allow professional traders to access the new ecosystem from both companies.

Better Insurance Cover

The merger also includes a commitment to help Akropolis recover funds lost in a recent security breach. Earlier this month, the protocol confirmed a hack that was executed across several smart contracts in its savings pools. Akropolis explained that the hackers had targeted areas which it already audited twice. Nevertheless, the Curve sUSD and Curve Y savings pools were affected.

Blockchain records on the Ethereum chain show hackers managed to steal over 2,030,000 DAI tokens by exploiting smart contract vulnerabilities. They moved the funds to a different address shortly after.

Akropolis confirmed that the majority of its assets locked were safe in an official statement. However, it has paused all stablecoin pools, adding that it looked into ways to reimburse affected users.

Looking to leverage Yearn Finance, the protocol explained that it would introduce an IOU token to track the stolen funds. Akropolis will also redirect profits into its token fund to reimburse all affected users, adding that it would streamline insurance protocol integrations to ensure that more users get coverage going forward.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

LibertyX Confirms Bitcoin ATMs at Tesla Gigafactory’s; Elon Musk Questions the ‘Accuracy’

It now appears there is actually a Bitcoin ATM at the Tesla Gigafactory based in Nevada; this is despite Tesla founder Elon Musk downplaying the existence of one, following a tweet by Fold CEO Will Reeves, who claimed to have sighted the ATM over the weekend. The tweet also featured google map images, which reveal that the ATM sits close to the mega facility’s North-East section.

Finbold, which also reported on this news yesterday, seems to have gotten some insights on who might have installed the Bitcoin ATM. According to its Sunday report, speculations were that Bitcoin ATM maker, LibertyX, is the company behind these developments at Tesla. In a follow-up of the same, Finbold has since received a confirmation from the LibertyX team that they are responsible for the upgrade.

LibertyX was keen to highlight that it did not install new machines but upgraded the software of three ATMs in the factory to integrate a Bitcoin selling feature. The firm, which already has 5,000 live ATMs, plans to scale this to over 100,000 in the near future; its ATM manufacturing partners are Hyosung and Genmega. LibertyX also confirmed that the Bitcoin ATMs at Tesla has been live since August and can only be accessed by employees,

“The Tesla locations have been live since August. The ATM is currently only accessible for employees.”

While the Tesla founder is not much of a Bitcoin bull-like Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, he has previously sighted that he owns .25 BTC sent to him by a friend back in the day. In fact, LibertyX is hopeful that Musk will increase his BTC portfolio size with newly integrated Bitcoin ATMs at Tesla’s Gigafactory,

“Elon, 0.25 BTC isn’t enough, and now that you can buy bitcoin from the 3 on-site Gigafactory ATMs, you don’t even need to leave home.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Charles Hoskinson Reveals Upcoming Cardano Stablecoin; ‘Significantly Better Than MakerDAO’

The IOHK CEO and founder of Cardano blockchain, Charles Hoskinson, appears quite obsessed with the Defi hype. Decentralized Finance (DeFi), an Ethereum based protocol, has taken the whole crypto ecosystem by surprise with its phenomenal growth in 2020. The Defi ecosystem, originally valued below $1 billion at the start of the year, has exploded upward, hitting a valuation of $15 billion.

Charles Hoskinson has not hidden his interest; during one of his recent AMA sessions, he revealed that he has become “very obsessed with DeFi lately.” He also went on to claim that this obsession has led to “hundreds of pages of reports, lots of interviews, and discussions.”

Hoskinson, during the AMA, said that the amount of development currently underway on the Cardano blockchain has led to several leaks about the upcoming projects. He cited one example as the recent association with Emrugo to develop a stablecoin, which the CEO believes will be better than MakerDAO. Hoskinson said:

“For example, we’ve partnered with Emrugo, and we’re right now working on the logistics of a stablecoin with them that we’re going to be building first on Ergo to verify everything works correctly, and then we’ll pull it over into Cardano, and this is going to be an algorithmic stablecoin. We think it’ll be significantly better than MakerDAO.”

The Growing Defi Craze

Charles Hoskinson is not the only one obsessing over the Defi hype; just like the ICO era, the defi hype has led to the launch of hundreds of defi tokens in the first half of 2020. Yearn Finance (YFI), a valueless token launched just a couple of months ago, is currently trading at over $30,000.

Binance, a leading crypto exchange, is also eyeing the defi space. In recent weeks, the exchange has listed two popular defi tokens, namely Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) and YFI token.

Hoskinson also said that the growing competition and the rising value of defi tokens are not as much of a challenge for Cardano and argues that it’s more of an opportunity. He explained:

“The reality is that the first-mover advantage is a disadvantage. Those network effects were ephemeral and often covered with mistakes and scars and explosions. You actually want to be in the imitator, the second-mover category for DeFi. And I think we’ll have a lot, lot more luck than the first-movers did in the space.”

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Coinbase Effect Surges Numeraire (NMR) By 160% Following Listing Announcement

An announcement by Coinbase to list AI-focused Numeraire (NMR) token appears to have caused its price to rally by over 160% within the last 24 hours. Metrics from CoinMarketCap indicate that the project’s market cap also surged and currently stands at $127 million while the prevailing price of one NMR token is $46.

Going by these stats, the ‘Coinbase effect,’ which increases the probability of a price surge for tokens set to be listed within its ecosystem, seems to be holding water. The exchange made the announcement only yesterday, but technicals indicate that the market has already caught up with the fundamental value of NMR tokens should the Coinbase Pro listing sail through.

Coinbase highlighted that NMR deposits could be made into its professional trading platform from Monday, August 17, with trading set to begin the following day after 9 AM Pacific Time. Upon the establishment of a stable NMR supply, the Coinbase Pro order books will be rolled out in four phases, which include transfer-only, post-only, limit-only, and full trading. Trading pairs that will feature initially are NMR-GBP, NMR-EUR, NMR-BTC, and NMR-USD.

Numeraire’s (NMR) AI Cutting Edge in Crypto

This hedge fund backed project is among 18 tokens that Coinbase noted it would consider back in 2019. Notably, the hedge, which acts as the NMR parent company, uses AI in executing its fund management role and has since doubled down on the opportunity in crypto markets.

Founded back in 2016, the hedge fund, which is dubbed ‘Numerai,’ has attracted funding from prominent investors like Renaissance Technologies, given its cutting edge in using AI for better prediction models.

With NMR acting as the native token for this AI hedge fund initiative, a debut on Coinbase Pro will expose it to a bigger market. Coinbase, however, said that it would not be available for users in New York State. Currently, users can only fund their accounts through the actual Coinbase Pro platform, although the firm stated that mobile Apps for both Android and iOS would follow later.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Defunct QuadrigaCX Exchange Victims Are Being Contacted By The FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now reaching out to QuadrigaCX victims via email in what appears to be confirmation that the federal agency has started carrying out investigations to try and establish what could have led to the collapse of the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange platform.

Valerie Gauthier, a victim specialist has been emailing multiple people who had engaged in dealings with the platform. According to multiple exchanges that she has engaged with the victims, she is looking to alert them about a news portal that contains information and details about the case against the crypto platform. In some of the exchanges that have been shared with CoinDesk, Valerie notes that:

“A criminal investigation can be a lengthy undertaking, and, for several reasons, we cannot tell you about its progress at its time,” she went on to add that the victims could get in touch with the federal agency by writing an email to [email protected]

She was, however, quick to state that:

“inquiries about the status of the case will not be addressed.”

It appears that the agency has been conducting its own investigations into the collapse of the platform since early 2019. The FBI had released a statement in June last year stating that it was interested in speaking with people who had worked with the cryptocurrency exchange.

Public Questionnaire

The agency had at the time sent out a public questionnaire it wanted the public to fill and submit to them. Multiple people who spoke to CoinDesk noted that they had filled the questionnaire and sent it back to the agency.

So far, the federal agency is among four other national agencies that are interested in looking into the operations of the crypto company. The Canadian Royal Mounted Police has also been undertaking its own investigations.

Payment Processor

On other news, Roger Knox, on Monday went before a judge in Boston and pled guilty to engaging in securities fraud. You should note that Roger is the operator and founder of Wintercap, the Swiss-based asset management company.

He is accused of being a part of numerous schemes aimed at manipulating the market, including taking part in microcap securities pump and dump operations.

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Author: Daniel W

Blockchain Association Board Adds Ripple Executive, Ben Melnicki

Ben Melnicki of Ripple appears to be a new board member of the Blockchain Association. He recently tweeted that he is looking forward to working with the Blockchain Association and its members to “provide regulatory clarity” on what he referred to as a critical issue for the industry and market participants.

The Blockchain Association tweeted that it is pleased to say that it has added Melnicki as a co-chair of the vital working group.

According to a report by UToday, Melnicki is not the first Ripple executive to become a member of the Blockchain Association. For instance, Michelle Bond, who is the head of Government Relations, is also a member of the board.

Further, Melnicki’s membership follows Ripple’s recent announcement that it will be opening a representative office in Washington D.C. This could mean that the company is looking to establish a presence in an area where it could be closer to regulators.

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Author: Silvia A

Cryptocurrency Market Stalls As Horizon Fades: Where Does Quantum Computing Fit In?

The cryptocurrency market appears to have stalled out in the wake of several fundamentals that failed to deliver. Bakkt’s weak BTC futures debut and the withdrawal of VanEck SolidX’s ETF proposal both adversely affected the market, and today’s slump is a direct result.

Investors and traders look to impending fundamental factors as price drivers. In their absence, traders only have charts upon which to rely, and it goes without saying that BTC’s chart hasn’t painted the prettiest picture in recent weeks.

Additionally, the BTC hash rate flash crash didn’t do anything to assuage investor concerns that the Bitcoin network is both secure and stable. At the time of writing, BTC appears to have stabilized (for the moment) above $8,300.

Without any fundamental price drivers in the immediate horizon, the next milestone to look to is the May 2020 halving. Currently, it appears that all of Crypto Twitter is expected a drop to the $6K range, if not lower. While there is, without a doubt, every possibility a sizable decline will occur, we’re not entirely sold.

The BTC halving is approaching, and quickly. Getting in a position to take advantage of the presumed price run leading to BTC’s quadrennial event will be the modus operandi of every intelligent trader in the market.

Given that, we won’t be surprised to see BTC find a price floor above the catastrophic lows being predicted.

Will quantum computing break crypto?

A requisite ability in any cryptocurrency investor’s skill set is that of reading seemingly disconnected events for the ways they may be relevant now, or in the future. Case in point – today, Google reached its “quantum supremacy” milestone, meaning the company’s rudimentary quantum computer outperformed a traditional one.

In a nutshell, quantum computers can easily run through impossibly sophisticated computations in the blink of an eye. Whereas a cluster of some of today’s best computers may take months, to complete a complex calculation, quantum computers will do them in seconds.

What’s That Got to Do with Crypto?

Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the rest are cryptographically encrypted digital assets. Their security is guaranteed by the difficult calculations required to append transactions to the blockchain (via mining). However, a quantum computer, in theory, can easily power through the calculations which cryptographically secure digital assets today. In essence, quantum computers can potentially break blockchains.

In response, blockchain architects are generally doing one of two things:

1. Researching and deploying quantum-resistant cryptography as quickly as possible.

2. Deploying quantum-based blockchains that play nice with their computer counterparts. This prospect has been thoroughly researched, but can’t be undertaken until quantum computing is established, stable, and well understood.

Concerns over how the rise of quantum computing may affect Bitcoin are well-founded but early. Google and IBM have both progressed much faster than anticipated, though their prototypes have a very long way to go before posing a threat to Bitcoin or blockchain generally.

Technologies also grow in tandem. As progress is made in the quantum computing arena, there will be trickle-down and cross-pollination to other sectors – like blockchain.

Back in 2013, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin tried to get funding to build a quantum computer himself. More recently, he suggested quantum-resistant Lamport Signatures as a way to future proof blockchains. For additional reading on the subject, we suggest the following research paper titled “Bitcoin and Quantum Computing” –

Bitcoin’s price is $8,358.70 BTC/USD exchange rate today. The real-time BTC market cap of $150.19 Billion currently ranks #1 with a chart dominance at 66.63%, daily trading volume of $4.59 Billion and live coin value change of BTC 0.68 in the last 24 hours.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Bitcoin Hash Rate Reaches A New High After Surpassing 102 Quintillion Setting A New Network Milestone

Bitcoin network appears to be growing strong day by day. The latest reports show that Bitcoin network’s hash rate has reached a new high surpassing 102 quintillion hashes and setting a new record.

Reliable data from monitoring platform Blockchain revealed on Wednesday that Bitcoin’s hash rate has reached a new high of 102.8 quintillion hashes. The latest new record comes after several records this year.

Hash rate is the total computing power that is necessary in the processing of Bitcoin transactions. A higher hash rate implies that there are many Bitcoin miners out there. The high hash rate also signifies that Bitcoin network is more secure at the moment and cannot be easily infiltrated.

Bitcoin’s hash rate has been on the rise since December 2018 when it was at 31 quintillion hashes per second. The new high means that the hash rate has increased by about 230% since December 2018.

Bulls Excited by the New Hash Rate

Following the revelation of new hash rate, majority of Bitcoin worshippers have shown enthusiasm going by their comments. However, the high hash rate comes at a time when Bitcoin has registered a slight decline in its value trading below the $10,000 mark.

Many commentators remain optimistic that the new hash rate may trigger a price increase for Bitcoin in the near future.

In his twitter account, Lightning Torch organizer Hodlonaut, stated that the new hash rate figures highlight that miners have high confidence in Bitcoin. He forecasted that Bitcoin’s price may rise by 11.85% in the near future. He stated:

“Last readjustment period (2016 blocks, or around 2 weeks) increased 10.38%. We are about half way through the current readjustment period, and on track for another 11.85% increase.”

Majority of Bitcoin worshippers have given their bullish forecasts with some remaining adamant that the king coin will reach a fresh historical high before the end of the year. It remains to be seen whether the prices will follow the hash rate growth. Keep it here as we will keep a hawkish eye on the developments in the market following the new high in hash rate.

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Author: Joseph Kibe