Amidst the DeFi Rout, Curve (CRV) is the Biggest Loser

The biggest loser of the ongoing DeFi winter is the decentralized exchange Curve’s token CRV.

Launched in August amidst the controversy of being pre-mined, it didn’t take much time for the token to make its all-time high at $9.60 with the DeFi bull run going on at full speed.

Since then, it has been only on a downtrend, down nearly 93% from its ATH, in just over a month. At the time of writing, CRV/USD has been trading at $0.650.

“This chart is going to look like ZEC,” said trader Moon Overlord. The ZEC price chart is mostly a straight horizontal line, which doesn’t look much different from CRV.

Volume is no different either on the platform. On Sept. 14, Curve recorded its highest volume of $419 million, and since then, it has been on a decline hitting $34.5 million yesterday, last seen in August when it was on an uptrend.

The crazy inflation doesn’t help either, and the token continues to buckle “under continual inflation sell pressure.”

“CurveFinance is a phenomenal product… But given the insane inflation, hard not to be bearish CRV,” said Jason Choi of crypto fund The Spartan Group.

The Power of DEXs

Curve is currently the third-largest DeFi project in terms of total value locked at $1.5 billion, just around its peak. Removing the endogenous asset from the protocol leaves just $339 million.

This DEX is optimized for low slippage swaps between assets pegged to the same value.

It’s clone Swerve has also lost about 89% of its value since its peak. Once having $941 million in TVL and recording over $220 million in volume, Swerve has crashed to $46 million and $3.6 million, respectively.

Uniswap exchange beats Curve as the dominant (21.26%) force in the sector, which has $2.3 billion of Total Value Locked (TVL) — a new all-time high. The highest volume ever recorded on Uniswap has been about a billion twice in a row, which has now come down to just above $300 million. However, UNI has also lost more than half its value since the ATH.

However, both are uncomparable as Curve’s volume is mostly from stablecoins.

Moreover, Uniswap even surpasses the volume of leading cryptocurrency exchanges. In the month of September, compared to Coinbase’s $13.6 billion, Uniswap did $15.4 billion in volume, as per Dune Analytics.

“Uniswap overtook Coinbase in volume in September. Even while facing an onslaught of competitive forks, such as Sushiswap. This is impressive,” noted trader and economist Alex Kruger.

These past few months actually belongs to DEXs, recording $20.5 billion of volume in the last 30 days.

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Monthly DEX Volume By Project

During this summer cycle, the majority of the DeFi tokens have lost a significant amount of their value today, from their highs hit during August 15 and Sept. 1st.

While CRV is at the top, Sushi and bZx aren’t much behind with their 91.5% and 90% losses, respectively. Others have slid down 88% to 35%. During this period, the Ethereum price also dropped 28.7%, currently trading at $351.

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Author: AnTy

Alameda Research and Three Arrows Capital Outdoing Each Other to Mint Record WBTC

On Friday, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s Almeda Research minted the biggest wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) ever, as per WBTC Network.

2317 BTC was minted on Sept. 25, breaking the previous single largest WBTC mint record by just one WBTC, which was set by Three Arrows Capital at 2316.5 WBTC just the day before.

Interestingly, the Singapore-based Three Arrows Capital made the now broken record by breaking Almeda Research’s largest mint of 1,999 WBTC, from last week.

Both the mints represent less than 3%, about 2.7%, of the current wrapped bitcoin supply, at 85,473, worth over $915 million.

Out of the total 116,551 BTC (over $1.2 billion) on Ethereum, WBTC accounts for a whopping 73%. In just five months, the total supply of wrapped bitcoin has grown by nearly 7,500% from 1125 WBTC and more than 13,000% from the beginning of the year.

In other news, WBTC is coming to Tron blockchain.

Tron entered a strategic alliance with custodian BitGo to make WBTC a TRC-20 token, a move which, according to Tron founder Justin Sun will help avoid the surging transaction fees on Ethereum.

“Everyone may now use their BTC/ETH to enjoy all the benefits of the Tron DeFi ecosystem without the high gas fees on Ethereum,” said Sun.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Fees Crashes 80% Much Like Transaction Count as ETH Price Retreats

The most popular USD pegged stablecoin Tether that is the second biggest gas guzzler on the Ethereum network recently adopted OMG Network for the settlement.

This integration between Tether and Layer 2 solution for Ethereum – OMG Network is expected to result in a reduction of fees and confirmation times, which has become extremely important in recent times because of the skyrocketing fees and congestion on the second largest network.

In the first half of August, USDT transfers accounted for 14% of all fees spent on Ethereum. Out of the total $12.9 billion supply of USDT, $8.6 billion (66.6% of all supply) is issued on Ethereum. Just this week, 1 billion TRC20 USDT coins were also swapped into ERC20.

The primary reason meanwhile for the jump in the cost to transact on Ethereum is DeFi applications such as Uniswap, as per ETHGasStation.

ETH25 Leaderboard

This week, the average transaction fees on Ethereum jumped to its all-time high at $6.6 but since then it has dropped 80% to around mid-July levels which as Santiment puts it is a “nice opportunity for significantly cheaper on-chain operations.”

ETH Trans Fees

The immense growth in stablecoins and DeFi usage has been having an adverse result on Ethereum.

As we reported, the debacle of the DeFi experiment YAM. Finance was the real culprit for pushing the Ether fees so high, that wasn’t seen since the launch of the platform in 2015.

The average gas price that has also jumped over 260 Gwei has also come down to about 110 Gwie level, as per Blockchair.

However, the gas usage continues to hit a new all-time high which means the usage of the network hasn’t slowed down, close to hitting 80 billion per day.

This could be because of the transaction count on the network, which dropped to 612k today, down from over 1.2 million on August 10, inches away from the all-time of 1.34 million on January 4, 2018, during the peak of the last bull run.

blockchair eth

Much like these metrics, the price of Ether also took a fall. ETH dropped over 13.5% to $380 in line with Bitcoin falling under $11,400 which has been because of the strengthening US dollar index. At the time of writing, Ether has been trading at $392, still in the red but up 198% YTD.

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Author: AnTy

Institutional Interest Picking Up for This DeFi Token which is on a ‘Tear’ This Year

The biggest gainer of 2020 Aave (LEND) has hit a new all-time high today at $0.58.

The 27th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $736 million that has recorded 6,380% returns YTD is in the double-digits green today.

The protocol also has a record of $1.145 billion of total locked value, as per DeFi Pulse.

As IntoTheBlock notes, this decentralized lending protocol “has been on a tear this year.”

Besides price, LEND’s large transaction volume hit an-time high as well at $148 million last week, which “points to institutional interest picking up for Aave.”

large-trans-volume

Aave has already been a “DeFi VC darling” with the sale of $3M worth of LEND tokens to crypto funds Three Arrows Capital and Framework Ventures. About a week before that, it had secured $4.5 million investment from ParaFi.

The tremendous success of Aave, previously known as Eth.Lend, has been more than just speculative, as it grew to be a $1 billion market with innovations like flash loans, credit delegation, and stable rates.

Additionally, as we reported, just over the weekend, the decentralized money market protocol announced Aave V2, which will be venturing into debt, collateral, and margin trading.

Interestingly, it is also planning the tokenization of all kinds of assets, and collaboration with RealT is reportedly already in the works.

The latest version will also include transition to governance and transaction fee optimizations.

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Author: AnTy

Bitfinex Offers $400M Reward For Info on 120k BTC Stolen in 2016; Hackers Can Collect Too

On August 2, 2016, Bitfinex experienced one of the biggest crypto heists of all time, as hackers exploited the system, running off with approximately 120,000 BTC. Shortly after, the price of BTC collapsed to 20% marking one of the darkest days in the top coin’s history. Now the exchange wants to clear this dark day in history with a $400 million dollar reward to the hackers if the full amount is recovered.

In a blog post on their website, four years later the exchange is offering anyone who will help them recover the Bitcoins a hefty 5% reward for the amount recovered. The statement reads,

“Bitfinex is offering a reward to any persons that connect us with hackers responsible for the unauthorized transfer of almost 120,000 bitcoins from the exchange in August 2016. As part of the same initiative, Bitfinex is also offering a reward to the hackers themselves for the return of the stolen property.”

The exchange is also ready to offer the hackers 25% of whatever amount is recovered (at the current BTC prices) which would translate to a total of 30% for the full reward. The 119,755 BTC currently trade for $1.3 billion at market prices, and a $403 million reward if the full stash is recovered.

The U.S government in 2017 recovered 27 Bitcoins in an investigation but the rest remains with the hackers.

Bitfinex claims they will ensure the process is safe and private enough with the identities of the hackers (if known) will remain uncovered. The statement reads,

“We will work to ensure this can be done safely, thereby protecting the identities of all parties, and Bitfinex reserves the right to impose conditions on any transfers in order to verify claims and ensure a secure process.”

April 2019 marks the first time the hacker moved the stolen BTC with 300 BTC, then trading at $1.5 million, moving into 13 new addresses. In May this year, the hacker moved $255k, or about 29 BTC to another unknown wallet keeping the identity a mystery. On the week leading to the fourth anniversary of the attack, Aug 2, the hacker moved of $12 million in BTC, Whale Alert reported – $7 million transferred on August 3 while the remaining $5 million was moved on July 29.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Florida Teenager, the ‘Mastermind’ Behind Twitter ‘Bit-Con’ Hack, Arrested

A Tampa, Florida teenager has been accused of being the ”mastermind” behind the biggest hack on Twitter and has been placed under arrest.

17-year-old Graham Clark is facing 30 felony charges for “scamming people across America” that includes organized fraud, communications fraud, fraudulent use of personal information, and access to computer or electronic devices without authority.

The charges have been related to the July 15 incident when some of the big accounts including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Kanye West among others were hacked to promote a Bitcoin giveaway scam. The scam was able to steal less than 13 BTC worth about $120,000.

“As a cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is difficult to track and recover if stolen in a scam,” the state attorney’s office said. The suspect behind the attack was found by the FBI and US Department of Justice after a “complex, nationwide investigation.”

IT Department Here

Twitter also released a statement thanking law enforcement for their “swift actions” while sharing further details about the attack.

A small number of Twitter employees were targeted via a phone spear-phishing attack relying on “a significant and concerted attempt to mislead certain employees and exploit human vulnerabilities to gain access to our internal systems,” read the statement.

A total of 130 Twitter accounts were targeted — the hackers tweeted from 45 accounts, accessing the DM inbox of 36, and downloading the data of 7.

The Tempa teen allegedly convinced a Twitter employee that he worked in the Twitter IT department and tricked them into giving them the credentials, as per an affidavit released late Friday.

The Bit-Con

Clark will be prosecuted in Florida so he can be charged as an adult, “This was not an ordinary 17-year old,” said the state attorney who added,

“This could have had a massive, massive amount of money stolen from people, it could have destabilized financial markets within America and across the globe.”

“This ‘Bit-Con’ was designed to steal money from regular Americans from all over the country.,”

“This massive fraud was orchestrated right here in our backyard, and we will not stand for that.”

Clark is just one of the three suspects, the other two were identified as 9-year-old Mason Sheppard from the UK and 22-year-old Nima Fazeli from Orlando.

Sheppard was found thanks in part to his driver’s license used to verify himself with crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance. His accounts were also found to have sent and received some of the scammed BTC.

Similarly, Fazeli used a driver’s license to verify with Coinbase where accounts controlled by him allegedly received payments in exchange for stolen Twitter usernames.

Both are facing $250,000 fine and while Fazeli is facing five years in prison, Sheppard is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy as well on top of computer intrusion as such facing a 20-year sentence.

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Author: AnTy

Bitmain Power Struggle: Truce is Over & Fight for Control Resumes; Bitcoin Miners Could Suffer

The struggle between the co-founder of bitcoin’s biggest miner manufacturer is not looking to end anytime soon. It hasn’t even been two weeks, and they are back at it.

The fight restarted when Bitmain co-founder Micree Zhan or Zhan Keutan attempted to redirect customer payments to a new bank account in a Wechat post at midnight. Dovey Wan, founding partner at Primitive Crypto tweeted,

“This marks the DEATH of Jihan in the Bitmain power struggle IMO: Bitmain just announced it will change the miner sales payment bank account & wiring info into a company Micree serving as legal representative. Micree now financially takes over Bitmain’s core business.”

It may not be a death blow to Jihan yet, but sure seems like a hard blow to the bitcoin miners who are awaiting their big orders.

The infighting between the co-founders could interrupt the product deliveries as it affects the shipments and supply chain. While some are reluctant to buy bulk orders, it is not stopping others from buying machines from Bitmain.

Last week, Core Scientific announced that the hedge fund Horizon Kinetics extended its partnership with the US-based blockchain hosting provider and upgraded its crypto service to Bitmain Antminer S19 and S19 Pro models.

Recently, Core Scientific purchased 17,000 of the latest generation crypto miners from Bitmain.

Source: Twitter

On Monday, Hive Blockchain technologies also announced that it had ordered 200 Bitmain Antminer S17e 60 terahash per second (TH/s) SHA 256 mining machines to scale up its mining power at its bitcoin mining operation in Quebec.

With the cost for the S17e machines approximately US$950 per unit, the purchase was just under US$0.2 million, and the company is anticipating delivery in July, but that’s to be seen. F2Pool noted,

“The slowdown in hashrate growth may continue, as many of the large hardware orders reported recently won’t deliver until late in the summer.”

So far, both the co-founders are claiming to be the company’s real CEO. While Zhan controls the Shenzhen headquarter and factory Wu has the bank accounts and support of the board.

The rivals did reach an agreement to resume deliveries less than two weeks ago. On June 23, the company even published an article to reassure its customers that they have resolved the issue only to delete it within a few hours.

It hasn’t been 24 hours to Zhan’s document with changed sales information, (including the bank account for payments, after-sale service website, and e-mail address) that another official Bitmain WeChat account associated with Wu revoked the document stating it contained false information.

In the new document also posted on the website, citing “abnormal conditions,” Zu said “criminals” are trying to impose Bitmain representations.

It looks like Wu is here to fight, and customers will also have to pay the price.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Records Biggest Network Difficulty Adjustment of 15% Since January 2018

Today, Bitcoin recorded its biggest upward adjustment of +15% since January 2018. The last two adjustments were lower by -9.29% and -6%, after the halving, as per Coinwarz.

CoinWarz BTC Difficulty Chart
Source: CoinWarz BTC Difficulty Chart

After the halving on May 11th, the hash rate dropped more than 40% and the time to find new blocks jumped to 14 minutes which caused the difficulty to lower.

However, in the first week of June, the hash rate of the bitcoin network started recovering following the downward difficulty adjustment and the block time fell to nearly 7 minutes, as per Bitinfocharts.

Now, with new bitcoin mining machines in the market, China’s rainy season at its peak, and inefficient miners having exit the market, this difficulty adjustment will make it harder to mine bitcoin.

Bitcoin Back into Greens

Price-wise Bitcoin is back in the range.

On Monday, Bitcoin fell amidst a renewal in global risk aversion induced by the growing number of coronavirus cases, with China now working to contain a new outbreak and Chinese economic data disappointing investors.

“The digital currency market is not immune when it comes to flight for cash, as evidenced during the February/March selloff,” said Denis Vinokourov, head of research at Bequant, a London-based digital asset prime broker. “With liquidity sapped away, the unwind resulted in a cascade of exits.”

Yesterday, the digital asset bounced off of the lows on the back of central banks’ dovish tone. And today, we are back to trading above $9,500 with 3.76% gains but with just $1.8 billion in real volume.

According to technical gauges, the short-term bottom has been found at $8,900 with upper support present at $10,000 and is expected to sustain its rally since March.

Investors Busy HODLing

Interestingly, more than 60% of bitcoin’s supply has been inactive for at least 1 year now.

This means crypto investors are not taking profits rather choosing to hold onto their BTC which is up 150% since its March lows in the current uncertain economic scenario.

The last time this much percentage of bitcoin supply was inactive was four years back in 2016.

Meanwhile, “HODL Waves,” where each wave represents the period of time in which a percentage of BTC’s issues supply has been inactive, shows that those holding the coins for more than ten years are up 31% and those holding it for two to three years are also up 26%.

Those holding it for a decade, however, might also include those who have lost their coins.

Bitcoin-UTXO-Age-Distribution-HODL-Waves
Source: Unchained Capital – Bitcoin UTXO Age Distribution

These hodling trends only emphasize investors’ bullish outlook of bitcoin’s future. Also, the smart money moving from weak hands to strong hands as macro trends highlights the value proposition of bitcoin.

Also, “the overall network health remains strong” and the Glassnode compass has solidified its position in the green zone.

Moreover, the bitcoin whale population is growing, now 1882 entities are holding at least 1000 BTC. The last time, this figure was so high was in September 2017 as BTC made its way to $20,000.

Interestingly, the first time these many BTC whales were seen was in March 2016. However, the average balance held by each whale has decreased during the period.

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Author: AnTy

China’s Largest Mining Chip Maker, SMIC, Gains Regulator’s Approval On $2.8B IPO

  • One of China’s biggest semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, announces plans to raise a $2.8 billion public sale IPO on the Sci-Tech Board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE).
  • The stock exchange approved the IPO in a document shared by the manufacturer hence increasing the overall competition in the Bitcoin mining firmware chipmaker industry.

According to a document shared on June 1, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), a Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX) listed company, will raise $2.8 billion in an IPO following a successful vetting by the SSE. The amount raised will be partially focused on creating and improving their 14 nm crypto mining chips after the recent partnership with Canaan Creatives.

SMIC partnership with Canaan Creatives will, however, produce other smaller cryptocurrency miners rather than Bitcoin due to the cost and technical challenges involved in the top crypto miners. For example, TSMC announced the launch of a $12 billion dollar plant in the state of Arizona in the U.S. in its plans for global adoption last month.

The Chinese computer chip maker aims at improving its computer chip designs to compete with global competitors – Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The former has been rumored to work with Bitcoin mining firms. Whatsminer and MicroBT. with the latter working with Bitmain to produce Bitcoin mining chips.

The latest $2.8 billion public offering adds to the latest $2.2 billion private funding from China’s largest investment firms, National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund II and Shanghai Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund II.

After a slow start to the quarter due to the Coronavirus and halving uncertainty, Bitcoin mining and its price are back on a bullish trend in China, as reported by BEG. The latest move by the largest computer chip maker in China will enable the country to fight off sanctions levied by the United States that has made it harder for the top chip makers to import to the country.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Price Hovers Below $10,000 But May 2020 Bulls Seek to Prevail

The price of bitcoin is what always brings the biggest crowds naturally. But what do the strong network fundamentals, emerging ecosystem environment and a quantitative hardening due to the mining halving all mean in the grandiose landscape of global economics and finance. Bitcoin’s price is floating around the $9,760 range and was last above $10,000 BTC/USD exchange rate value on May 7th (during the super moon).

As the world continues to reopen its doors for business, commerce and activity, is bitcoin bound to make its presence felt in a post Covid-19 era? Let’s examine a few driving factors coming to the forefront and see whether or not the bullish case for Bitcoin in the month of May 2020 is tangible enough to taste it or is the post-halving cooldown coming during the summer of 2020?

Bitcoin Heading for the Bulls or Bears? US Govt. Pumps in Trillions of new Dollars

Whether you’re a fan of it or not, the United States Government is well on its way to pumping trillions of dollars into its economy in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

In late-March, the US Senate approved a more than $2 trillion stimulus package in order to sure up the losses from the outbreak of COVID-19 across the world. This is a monumental figure on its own, especally when compared to the $1.2trn released in 2008. Shortly after the passage of this package, the House of Representatives gave its approval for a further $3 trillion in funding.

These packages, while aiming to support the millions of American families across the country, are certainly going to impact on the markets. When looking back at the now-famous beginnings of Bitcoin – 2007/8 – US stimulus plans now simply dwarf anything that came before it.

In the past, centralised financial entities, like the Bank of England, or US Federal Reserve, served as a means of controlling inflation through monetary policy. Some of these methods that are more recent to us would be Quantitative Easing, and printing more money.

Both of these have been used, in the past to buy back government or corporate bonds, thereby creating more liqudity. But nothing about monetary policy happens in isolation. Companies like TRON, as we’ve reported previously, have been recipients of stimulus money, the picture is harder to make out when thinking about what this means for the crypto space in general.

What This Means for Crypto

From what we have seen of the crypto market over the course of this week: a bullish run is looking more likely. In what crypto investors and analysts have since dubbed “the most exciting breakout in over a year”, Bitcoin, alongside other big coins, have managed to regain a lot of lost ground.

Bitcoin has managed to pull even higher to hit $9,774 on time of writing; more than 4.7% increase over the course of today. Meanwhile, Ethereum appears to be riding a slight ascending trend, hitting $207, or 3.78% growth.

Bitcoin, in particular, has been helped a lot with what analysts see as a new support level (punching above the. $9100 ceiling this weekend) indicates a potential ascending wedge in the coming days.

Not to mention the fleeting conversation between JK Rowling and Elon Musk about the tangible applications of Bitcoin. Well, more like Elon giving JK a concise brief on why Bitcoin has its feet on solid ground, but still.

But what does this all mean for Bitcoin’s prospects moving forward?

We first have to take into account that, with Bitcoin’s long-awaited halving now in the rear-view mirror, a bullish run is more than likely on the cards. This suggestion is simply down to the fact that every halving has been followed up by a bullish run, as investors seek to capitalize on the introduction of new scarcity.

With the worlds economies moving from serious hits to their GDP’s to a re-opening of their markets, Bitcoin has been managing a relatively constant, if bullish turn. The COVID crisis had the silver lining of providing cryptocurrencies with renewed public interest, as investors look for new hedges for their portfolios. As far as hedges go, investing in cryptos like Bitcoin are looking more appealing, especially as countries aggressively print more money into circulation.

If all goes well, Bitcoin may see a break to record highs, with $11,000 tipped to be one of its destinations. Even in the more pessimistic forecasts, Bitcoin may just hit 9800, before slipping down to 88-8900.

Is a Bearish Correction possible?

Other analysts have suggested that, while a bull run may be underway at the moment, a correction may be coming up shortly after. There are a couple of indicators for this. The number of long positions, for example, outnumber shorts by over 3 to 1.

According to research conducted by Blockchain Whispers, the broader trend from investors leans heavily towards longer-term holding at current prices over shorts. This trend may indicate a more cautious attitude towards future price movements as opposed to fast, upward movements more conducive of short trading volume.

As a solid consolation for even the most pessimistic perspectives is the fact that Bitcoin has already taken on a solid lower support. With the ongoing upward performance, this lower support is likely to be expanded further.

May 2020 Bitcoin Price Outlook

When bitcoin began the first and biggest blockchain of today nearly 4,152 days ago; when the market for bitcoin didn’t even exist and slowly gain traction day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, halving by halving, no one cared about the price of BTC in USD.

“They” cared about the trustless electronic value transfer system and now that those day one principles are three halvings in and over 4,150 days old and counting, the price of bitcoin may be what brings all the attention and admiration, but just remember grabbing a bit of the legacy chain for all cryptocurrencies and cryptoassets will be of great value if enough people continually keep thinking the way they are with the unlimited quantitative easening and uncertainty of the traditional markets.

Whether or not the bullish sentiment continues with Bitcoin over the next 13 days will largely depend on real-time developments and advancements within the space. No matter what scale of the innovation and breakthroughs of distributed ledger technologies, the price may not always be reflective in today’s market.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: James Fox