Celsius Network Grew 10x in 2020; ‘Huge’ Interest from Retail & Institutions for BTC, ETH & Others

Today, Bitcoin is keeping around $33,000 after recording an approximately 30% correction from January’s all-time high of $42,000.

The mainstream media and the likes of Scott Minerd of Guggenheim and JPMorgan are getting skeptical of this bull run extended further. Still, the cryptocurrency market has seen three of these bull runs and is expecting more uptrend.

According to Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius Network, “seeing a small correction is probably healthy for Bitcoin,” which is still the best performing asset class across 10, 5, or three year periods.

Not to mention, “at the same time, we are also seeing some of the other old coins close to hitting new highs. It is not just bitcoin outperforming. I think it was just a lot of migration of capital from the traditional markets, from the bond markets, from the stock markets into this non-correlated asset class,” Mashinsky said on Bloomberg.

Celsius, the second-largest asset management in the world, manages under $5.3 billion and works with over 350 institutions.

“We grew 10 times during 2020… We have seen huge adoption both in retail and from institutions,” he added.

Retail Front Running the Institutions

Bitcoin skeptics like UBS global wealth management still see Bitcoin failing due to regulatory threats and central banks issuing their own digital currencies.

However, while China is issuing a central currency, they do not promise limited supply, and just like the Fed is printing dollars, they will continue to print their digital versions, Mashinsky said. He added,

“The beauty of bitcoin is that it has limited supply. Everybody in the world knows that no one can print more of these, and the more people come in and buy Bitcoin, the higher the price is going to go.”

Besides the CBDCs, the mainstream media likes to point out how only 2% of buyers hold up to 95% of all Bitcoin. But what they miss about this data is that exchanges hold the BTC of a lot of users.

Mashinsky explains how Celsius has a bitcoin wallet with over $2 billion in it, but it doesn’t belong to one person. Unlike the traditional equities, you can’t really point to the owner. “We have 350,000 users that aggregate their coins into this wallet to earn yields,” he said.

“What we are seeing is that this is the first time in history where the retail guy got in on the next big thing ahead of institutions. The institution is just now running in,” with JP Morgan and Citi recommend Bitcoin for the first time.

The OG’s of the cryptocurrency space has been here for years, which are retail and the ones selling to the institutions.

This is why this time is different from 2017 as we see “some of the world’s smartest investors not just looking to diversify the asset class, but also generating yields and generating alpha on Bitcoin, and Ethereum and 42 other assets we manage. This is a new asset class that is now being adopted by a very broad base of investors,” said Mashinsky.

These institutions are coming in because of the macro environment. The problem is with the monetary system, which saw a half of the world’s dollars created in the last 12 months, basically when corona started.

This currency debasement is making a lot of people nervous and in their search for non-correlated assets to move away from the dollar or the euro, and because there are very, very few options, it is resulting in a stampede in Bitcoin, Mashinsky said.

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Author: AnTy

KuCoin Co-Founder: We Have Recovered 84% Of The Stolen Funds From The September Hack

Crypto exchange, KuCoin, has now recovered approximately 84% of the stolen $281 million worth of crypto assets following a hack in September of this year. This means that the exchange has recovered about $236 million.

KuCoin’s co-founder, who is also the exchange’s CEO, Johnny Lyu, revealed the news through a tweet. Lyu explained that the exchange carried out various activities to recover the stolen funds. He said:

“So far, 84% of the affected assets have been recovered via approaches like on-chain tracking, contract upgrade, and judicial recovery.”

Lyu also explained that the exchange could not reveal further details of the recovery process in accordance with the law enforcement requirements. He also intimated that details might be revealed once the case was closed.

As per the CEO, the exchange has so far reopened trading services for 176 tokens, and it is expected that all the others will be reopened on or before Nov. 22. Currently, KuCoin provides trading services for about 230 tokens.

KuCoin was hacked in September, where most of the lost funds were ERC-20 tokens, which were estimated to be worth $147 million. The exchange also lost Stellar tokens estimated at $87 million, while Bitcoin was estimated to be $30 million. The exchange explained that the heist was orchestrated through a leaked private key to gain access to its wallets.

However, the exchange was able to recover about $160 million days after the heist via protocol projects’ forking, limiting the hacker’s address and redeployment of the contracts.

Lyu’s announcement comes just days after the hacker conducted various transactions from his Ethereum address using ERC-20 tokens to another address, which now holds approximately the ERC-20 tokens estimated to be worth $13.6 million. The exchange has claimed that these tokens’ swapping to different accounts makes them hard to recover but is working with law enforcement to track it.

However, the exchange has assured its clients that it has enough money in its bank accounts to cater to all the losses.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Decentralized Blockchain Platform Celo Wraps Up $10M cGLD Auction on CoinList

cLabs, a Silicon Valley-based blockchain startup, has revealed that it has raised approximately $10 million through auctioning off the Celo Gold (cGLD) tokens which were availed to investors within the CoinList platform.

According to a press statement shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, about 509 investors drawn from different parts of the world were involved in the auction process, and on average paying $1 for every Celo Gold (cGLD) token. The press release also indicated that the majority of the investors are from Germany as well as the United Kingdom. The startup also confirmed that on average, a buyer spent about $519 for the cGLD token and in most instances earned about 50 tokens in bonus for referrals. The auction came to an end on Tuesday morning after running for approximately 12 hours.

The current sale of the cGLD tokens will help the startup to add to its $30 million raised in venture capital funding by companies such as Polychain as well as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). Apart from being a major funder of the project, Polychain is currently one of the 77 entities which are running Celo validator nodes.

Whereas it is not clear when the launch date will be, the CoinList investors are expecting to get their tokens before the end of the year.

[Also Read: Celo Adds 20+ New Members to the Alliance for Prosperity]

According to Andy Bromberg, CoinList co-founder, the cGLD token sale was the second time the platform has conducted a successful token sale this year and follows the successful sale of Solana tokens which raised 1.76 million. Bromberg also stated that CoinList buyers will be able to get the cGLD tokens direct into their CoinList wallets after the Celo mainnet finally goes live. Additionally, the investors can also opt to transfer their tokens to external wallets that they own to Custodians like Anchorage and Coinbase.

CoinList stated that it is focused on assisting prospective crypto projects to succeed and it was a pleasure to partner with the Celo project. Currently, Celo enjoys the support of more than 700 backers.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

1.4M XRP Stolen via Fake ‘Ledger Live’ Chrome Extension; Still Available on Google

Approximately 1.4 million XRP has been stolen from the users in the month of March alone through the use of a fake Google Chrome extension.

Through a thread of tweets released on March 24, a research group known as xrplorer forensics, revealed that hackers are stealing user backup passphrases through fraudulent Ledger Live extensions. Xplorer forensics stated:

“They are advertised in Google searches and use Google Docs for collecting data. Accounts are being emptied and we have seen more than 200K XRP being stolen the past month alone.”

After a while, xrplorer forensics revised the figure from 200k XRP to 1.4 million.

As per the researchers, the majority of the stolen XRP seems to be still intact in accounts, however, a proportion of it has already been cashed out through crypto exchange platform HitBTC.

The researchers have cautioned the public from downloading tools to use within their hardware wallets from different developers apart from the vendor directly. They particularly single out Ledger users and caution them from downloading tools apart from the manufacturer only.

By publication time, two ‘LedgerLive’ extensions are available on Google store for use with Chrome browser. The two extensions comprise of a couple of user reviews that are in tandem with xrplorer forensics warnings.

Through their Twitter account, xrplorer forensics has alleged that about 300 million XRP which is at the moment in different XRP accounts has been earmarked as fraudulent. The researchers claim that most of it has originated from the PlusToken exit scam. In their estimation, about 13 million XRP has originated from different scams and theft schemes.

The researchers have also called out crypto exchange platform bithunter.io, questioning why it didn’t observe the AML alerts for various big and reportedly suspicious transactions. As per the researchers, about a third of the entire XRP received by bithunter comes from suspicious accounts that are in their advisory list.

The researchers also caution other exchanges to be vigilant as scammers are currently consolidating their loot, urging them to be extra careful with the incoming payments.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Blockchain Settlement Network Startup Clear Raises $13M Led By Fidelity VC Arm

Clear, a blockchain startup located in Israel has raised approximately $13 million in the just concluded Series A round to develop a high volume payment platform to enable cross-border payments, Cointelegraph reports.

Clear announced on Wednesday that the funding round was spearheaded by Eight Roads, a subsidiary of Fidelity Venture Capital. The funding round was also participated in by various global telecom firms such as Telefonica Innovation Ventures, Deutsche Telekom, Singtel Innov8 as well as HKT.

The high participation by telecoms is understandable given that Clear is focusing on providing blockchain based solutions for telecoms. The firm is developing a blockchain based transaction platform which will ease cross-border transactions in business to business (B2B) engagements.

Notably, some of these firms like Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, Spain’s Telefonica, France’s Orange, Telstra from Australia as well as UK’s BT Group took part in testing some of Clear’s solutions. The statement by Clear says the concluded Series A funding came after various successful trials where the telecoms moved millions of dollars among them.

The startup’s blockchain-based platform offers telecoms a platform which they can collaborate and clear payments via automation. The protocol by Clear utilizes cryptographic techniques like zero-knowledge proofs which are crucial in easy execution of smart contracts in B2B transactions while at the same time controlling the data involved.

Clear states that its technology will help such firms to lower their operating costs, enhance efficiency as well as deal with mobile fraud.

The chief innovation officer at Telefonica, Guenia Gawendo explained that blockchain comes with an extra layer of trust when it comes to operations. He added that his firm can use Clear’s solutions to meaningfully reduce friction when it comes to financial settlements among the carriers and operators.

Susanna Hui, the managing director at HKT Group, stated that Clear integration is very important in development of fresh products and services especially after the launching of the 5G network. Hui explained that it will now be easier for firms to push boundaries and adopt faster innovation with Clear’s solutions.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Poland Purchased 100 Tons of Gold – Would Bitcoin Be A Better Purchase?

  • Poland now owns approximately $121.9 billion in gold.
  • The Bank of England previously refused to return gold to Venezuela, citing insurance-related concerns.

When it comes to making smart investments, there are many debates over what that actually means. Poland, for example, seems to be preserving their funds with an investment in gold, purchasing 100 tons of the precious metal from the Bank of England. In doing so, the country has become the 22nd biggest holder of gold in the world, but a recent article from BeInCrypto suggests that the investment may be better off in Bitcoin.

Adam Glapinski, the Central Bank Governor, recently told reporters with BNN Bloomberg that their new reserves show their “strength of the country.” The purchase comes around the same time that the idea of a downturn in the economy is being discussed, which has frequently been a point that the crypto community has used to support their own potential, versus the use of traditional assets.

Poland purchased 126 tons of gold in 2018, and the recent purchase puts the country at 228.6 tons in total. The total value is approximately $121.9 billion, considering they acquired the most gold in the Eastern European Union region.

In November last year, Venezuela pushed for the Bank of England to refund 14 tons of gold. However, as BeInCrypto points out,

“even if a country could repatriate its gold, what guarantee is there if the holding party refuses to return it?”

In the situation between Venezuela and the Bank of England, the latter stated that there were insurance-related matters that prevented the return, and the bank wanted to know what would be done with the gold, in the event it was returned.

As the economy and political landscape continue to change, cryptocurrency is becoming even more important as they become a safe asset for consumers. The movement made by Poland isn’t exactly keeping up with the progress of the economy, but there are other countries that has taken a less progressive path as well.

In Germany, a bank started implementing negative interest rates, specifically targeting consumers that make small deposits. A negative interest rate would charge customers for being the owner of a bank account, which most negatively impacts consumers that don’t have this kind of money to spare. Negative interest rates were originally introduced to the European Central Bank five years ago.

With the economic turmoil in Venezuela, there are many people who have been impacted, leaving consumers unable to even provide for the basic needs of their family. At this time, cryptocurrencies provide an opportunity for individuals to possess their own funds in a provable way. With the portability and practicality that cryptocurrency provides, it is clear that it is an easier asset to deal with.

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Author: Krystle M