FUD of the Week: China and US Treasury Unsuccessful in Attacking Bitcoin

This week as we reported, China Police seized more than $4.2 billion worth of the crypto asset from the PulsToken Ponzi scheme.

However, it was the officials informing the public, as the crypto market has known all along, about how and where these funds have been moving thanks to the transparency of the blockchain technology.

Researcher Ergo has been updating the community about the sale of these tokens over the years, which peaked in mid-2019. Only about 15k of the BTC are left of the original 201k BTC now.

What is really interesting about China’s latest summary is that the authorities might be the ones involved in the sale of crypto assets all this time.

“Chen Bo, the mastermind of PlusToken (arrested in June 2019), was entrusted with selling PlusToken’s BTC, via a third party business, on behalf of the CCP?” commented ErgoBTC adding, “In return, he only gets 8 years in the gulag for architecting a multi-billion $ Ponzi? What kind of communism is this?”

The good news about this all is the market won’t be getting smashed as most of the Bitcoin has already been dumped into the open market through OKEx and Huobi. It was this sale-off at that time in mid-2019 that sent BTC crashing from $14k to $6k in six months.

There isn’t really anything left to send to China’s national treasury as they already sold most of it all. However, the same can’t be said of ETH and other altcoins, including LTC, EOS, DASH, XRP, DOGE, BCH, and USDT.

“Most importantly, this can be seen as the first government attack toward Bitcoin via liquidity games and price manipulation. IT FAILED,” said market analyst David Puell.

The price of cryptocurrencies had already taken a big drop before this news hit the market, sending BTC to nearly $16,300. Today, the crypto market is actually green.

Besides, over-leverage and BTC already rallying 85% in less than two months being the reason for the crash, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong spreading the U.S. Treasury FUD is another one.

While “false, it should be taken seriously,” said Puell.

Regulating self-custodied wallets is already forced upon exchanges in countries like Switzerland, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

While the crypto community continues to oppose these regulations, more rules and laws are expected, which means “privacy and ownership, even more so than price, will be the most contested subjects in Bitcoin in the next few years.”

The implication of this in the US on the price of Bitcoin in the long term, however, isn’t expected to change anything.

“The fundamentals remain the same, so in my view, even if we continue correcting ($14k, 12k, or whatever), the cause would be simply out of major market actors taking profits with the aim to buy cheaper,” Puell said.

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Author: AnTy

World’s 4th Largest Bank Drops the $3B Bond Tradeable Against USD & BTC Amid Fintech Backlash

China’s Construction Bank (CCB) has withdrawn the listing of its $3 billion bond on the Malaysian cryptocurrency exchange. The bonds were to be issued by Longbond Ltd, which was to be created specifically to issue digital bonds.

The bond, which was to be tradable on the FUSANG exchange, a crypto trading platform, had CCB Lauban as its listing sponsor.

The day the bond was to be traded, the Labuan-based exchange received a letter from CCB informing them that the world’s second-largest lender “decided not to proceed” with the issuance. The reason for the suspension wasn’t given, said Henry Chong, chief executive of FUSANG. Fusang said in the statement on Monday,

“The exchange has accepted this decision, and is announcing the suspension of the listing with immediate effect.”

This month, Ant Group met with troubles with its record-breaking IPO, just 48 hours before it was to be listed.

According to South China Morning Post, with China’s central bank rolling out its own digital yuan, “CCB’s digital bonds, which can be bought and traded using US dollars or bitcoin, appear to undermine efforts to safeguard its currency sovereignty.”

SCMP is owned by the Chinese Alibaba Group, founded by Jack Ma, who is also the controlling shareholder of Ant Group. Jacky Zuo, an analyst at Hong Kong-based China Renaissance, said,

“If a retail investor could use bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to trade such digital bonds backed by a Chinese bank, there may not be a welcoming stance from the policymakers’ perspective.”

“This could be seen as challenging the digital yuan.”

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Author: AnTy

Despite Vampire Attack 2.0 from SushiSwap, Uniswap Volume Holds

The liquidity on DEX Uniswap fell sharply, from $3.3 billion to $1.7 billion, as the UNI liquidity mining regards program ended on Monday.

Simultaneously, SushiSwap started incentivizing the same pools as Uniswap right on the day Uniswap’s subsidy ended. With this, SushiSwap liquidity continues to rise, the total value locked in the project also jumping back above $1 billion.

“This feels like (a smaller) vampire attack 2.0, with the difference that Sushiswap has a more distinguished product now and is not just an exact clone of Uniswap anymore,” said Hasu, an independent researcher adding that the real kicker is that “Sushi token holders already capture 1/6 of every taker fee, or 0.05% of all trading volume.”

With a 240% increase in TVL in just three days, SushiSwap became the 6th largest DeFi project while Uniswap lost its dominance.

From over $3 billion in TVL on Nov. 15, it has declined to $1.3 billion and at the 4th spot. With this, Maker has again taken back its dominant position from Uniswap, as per DeFi Pulse.

SpartanBlack, a partner at the crypto fund, the Spartan Group, tweeted, “Yield farmers have no platform loyalty. They go where the yields are….”

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Still, the volume on the Uniswap platform is strong, the 7-day volume above $1 billion.

Jeff Dorman of Arca also pointed out, “4 Uniswap pools had more liquidity than needed to facilitate trading, & the excess liquidity left once UNI farming ended. This doesn’t affect volumes. TVL is pointless for Uniswap when there is more capital than needed.”

While LPs are critical to the success of Uniswap, incentivizing market makers isn’t the secret to success, he added. “You need customers too, and Uniswap’s customers are much stickier than the LPs. As long as customers show up, LPs will stay,” Dorman said.

According to him, UNI’s latest move just means the excess unproductive capital is gone.

But even Uniswap community members are not giving up, and a governance vote for continuing farming on the same four asset pairs WBTC/ETH, USDC/ETH, USDT/ETH, and DAI/ETH is proposed. The proposal has to pass a series of governance polls before farming restarts on Dec. 4.

Amidst the focus on Bitcoin and its looming retest of an all-time high, a heated battle for LPs by DeFi based venues is emerging. Recently, Bancor also announced a proposal for BNT Liquidity Mining (LM) — aimed at driving new liquidity to Bancor pools & incentivizing long-term liquidity provision.

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Author: AnTy

US Government Seizes 69,270 Bitcoin in Largest Ever Cryptocurrency Bust

Remember the $1 billion worth of Bitcoin belonging to Silk Road that moved this week? Well, it turns out it was the US authorities doing the moving.

The US is suing for the forfeiture of 69,270 BTC, worth more than $1 billion at current prices. The Justice Department seized these Bitcoins on Tuesday, marking the largest crypto bust the government has ever made.

These BTC are linked to the Silk Road darknet marketplace that the authorities shut down seven years ago.

“The successful prosecution of Silk Road’s founder in 2015 left open a billion-dollar question. Where did the money go?” the authorities said in the statement. “Today’s forfeiture complaint answers this open question at least in part.”

The announcement came amidst Bitcoin’s resurgence to a new 2020 high of nearly $16,000 before retracing a bit today around $15,500.

Bitcoin is on its third such bull cycle, which sees positive momentum from the continued uncertainty around the US elections, weak US dollar, increased institutional and mainstream adoption, and the macro fundamentals that are fueling this rally.

It “almost feels like Bitcoin’s perfect storm,” said Guy Hirsch, managing director for the U.S. at eToro.

The Silk Road

The Bitcoins were seized from an alleged hacker identified as Individual X, “whose identity is known to the government,” as per the statement.

The document points out that the law enforcement officers used a third-party bitcoin attribution company this year to analyze Bitcoin transactions executed by Silk Road and detected 54 transactions that were sent from BTC addresses controlled by Silk Road to two Bitcoin addresses that helped the agents trace them to the alleged hacker.

The Silk Road website described as “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet” by the authorities was operated by Ross Ulbricht from 2011 to 2013. During this time, the darknet marketplace was used to generate about $1.2 billion in illicit sales.

In 2015, Ulbricht was convicted by a New York federal jury of seven criminal counts.

According to the crypto researcher, Chainalysis that assisted law enforcement in tracking down the funds, Silk Road accounts for almost 20% of total Bitcoin economic activity at its peak in 2013.

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Author: AnTy

Apple Can Buy 145k Bitcoin With Just 1% Of Its $191 Billion of Dollars Held in Cash

Apple has a total of $191.83 billion cash on hand, down from quarter third of 2020, when it was $193.8 billion. Apple is known for having one of the largest cash piles among the companies.

At Bitcoin’s current price of $13,300, if the tech giant Apple, hypothetically, decides to buy as much BTC as it can with the cash on hand, it can gobble up 14,423,308 BTC.

Currently, 18,529,856 BTC is circulating in the cryptocurrency market.

This represents 88.24% of Bitcoin’s total 21 million supply but doesn’t include millions of coins lost forever.

Apple is the biggest asset by market cap of $1.9 trillion, while Bitcoin is just 13% of this with a $246 billion market cap at 21st place.

Follow in the footsteps of MicroStrategy

When it comes to other tech giants, Microsoft had $137.98 billion at the end of its fiscal first-quarter. In comparison, Google and Amazon had $121.08 billion and $71.77 billion, respectively, at the end of the second quarter.

With so much money sitting in cash and short-term investments at these big companies, it has captured the crypto community’s attention, especially following publicly listed MicroStrategy and Square replacing a portion of that with Bitcoin.

“Apple’s cash is decreasing in value. Perhaps they should follow in the footsteps of MicroStrategy and test the waters with even 1% percent in BTC,” wrote one trader.

Even with just 1% of its investment, Apple can buy 144,233 BTC.

MicroStrategy was the first one, and since then, others have come forward to announce Bitcoin as a reserve asset as a hedge against the debasing US dollar. MicroStrategy CEO Micahel Saylor actually revealed this week that he personally owns 17,732 BTC and has been running a full node of Bitcoin Core version 0.20.1 for over a month now.

Bitcoin is at the early stages still, and in 2020 it sees increasing adoption with PayPal, JPMorgan, and billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones all feeling its effect.

Compared to gold’s trillion market cap, this digital gold is just starting and has a long way to go.

“We’ve talked about $5T of cash sitting in public company corporate treasuries. What hasn’t been talked about is the $8.5T sitting in sovereign wealth funds, i.e., ‘the wealth of nations’ Their exposure to bitcoin is zero, their optimal portfolio will require it,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo adding to the hopium.

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Author: AnTy

Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) Beats Aave & Curve to Become the Third Largest DeFi Project

Bitcoin on Ethereum continues to grow at warp speed, reaching above $1.6 billion, on pace with 145k BTC.

Several projects like renBTC, imBTC, HBTC, TBTC, pBTC, and sBTC are putting BTC on the second largest network. Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) dominates this growth by accounting for 73.6% of the BTC on Ethereum.

105,132 WBTC worth $1.2 billion has been minted so far, which has increased a whopping 9,380% since the beginning of 2020.

With this, WBTC has jumped past the likes of Yearn.Finance, Synthetix, Compound, Curve Finance, and Aave to become the third-largest DeFi project.

Uniswap, with a record of $2.73 billion in total value locked (TVL) and dominance of 24.12%, and Maker with nearly $2 billion of crypto funds locked are the only ones bigger than Wrapped Bitcoin.

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Source: DeFiPulse

WBTC is one of the fastest-growing DeFi projects, much like the overall sector, which is hitting new highs of $11.4 billion in TVL.

Interestingly, yesterday, the largest WBTC was minted in a single day by CoinList. This largest mint of 5,000 WBTC was made in two separate transactions — the first one involved 1,299.48 WBTC while the second transaction involved 3,697.5 WBTC.

This record breaks the last one made by FTX CEO Sam Bakman-Fried’s crypto trading firm Almeda Research that one-upped the previous record with 2,316.5 WBTC.

WBTC is an ERC-20 token backed by bitcoin in a 1:1 ratio, where the BTC is held in the custody of BitGo.

With this, DeFi users can participate in various applications without actually using their Bitcoin. It further brings Bitcoin’s vast liquidity, with a $210 billion market, to the $42 billion market cap Ethereum network.

Demand for WBTC continues to soar, as seen in its growth as this allows Bitcoin holders to take part in exciting DeFi apps like yield farming and earn income on their BTC without giving it up.

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Author: AnTy

Institutional Asset Manager, Stone Ridge, Buys 10,000 Bitcoin as its Treasury Reserve Asset

The $10 billion institutional asset manager has bought 10k BTC worth $115 million as its “primary treasury reserve asset.”

Publicly-traded MicroStrategy first started the narrative (twice), then last week, Jack Dorsey’s Square bought $50 million Bitcoin, representing 1% of company assets.

Already 15 public companies have bitcoin in their Treasuries, and several small businesses like Tahini and Snappa have converted their US dollars in the balance sheet with the leading digital asset.

Now, Stone Ridge Holdings Group has jumped on the BTC as a reserve asset train. The investment was based on the thesis that “the long term growth of an open-source monetary system—in assets like bitcoin,” co-founder Robert Gutmann told Forbes.

Its crypto subsidiary NYDIG also announced on Tuesday that it had raised $50 million in funding led by VC fund FinTech Collective along with Bessemer Ventures and Ribbit capital.

NYDIG, which offers prime brokerage and custody services to institutional customers, is among the handful of companies that have obtained New York state’s BitLicense.

Gutmann, who has taken over as co-founder and CEO of NYDIG, also shared that they are seeing “pretty dramatic acceleration in the count of institutional investors who want to participate in the market since March of this year.”

The unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus post-COVID-19 pandemic, according to him, will drive more and more people to hedge their investment portfolio with digital assets.

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Author: AnTy

8 Public Listed Companies are Holding Bitcoin in Treasury; Who Will Be Next?

Today, there is a lot of green in the crypto market.

In the past 24 hours, nearly $15 billion has been added to the overall crypto market cap.

And all of this has been because of a nice pop up in Bitcoin. Yesterday, the price of BTC jumped to nearly $11,000 and today it surpassed it.

This 5.6% jump in BTC price has been the result of Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square making a $50 million investment in Bitcoin, which represents 1% of its assets.

“Given the rapid evolution of cryptocurrency and unprecedented uncertainty from a macroeconomic and currency regime perspective, we believe now is the right time for us to expand our largely USD-denominated balance sheet and make a meaningful investment in bitcoin,” noted Square in its Bitcoin investment whitepaper.

These 4,709 BTC were purchased over-the-counter over a predetermined 24-hours period to maintain transaction privacy and price slippage. These BTC are stored in its “Subzero”, the open-source Hardware Security Module-backed solution.

Gaining Momentum

Though not much, Dorsey’s only bitcoin approach is to “start small and hold.”

The community is super stoked about this, seeing it as a big development that would bring others into the market.

“A big deal,” commented Galaxy’s Mike Novogratz. “It’s not the first guy dancing. It’s the second guy. This is now a movement. Corp balance sheets.”

Novogratz also revealed that Galaxy also “has a lot of BTC on our balance sheet.”

With this, now a total of six public companies viz. MicroStrategy (1st and 2nd), Riot Blockchain, Cypherpunk Holdings, and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust hold Bitcoin in their Treasuries.

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Source: Bitcoin Treasuries in Publicly Traded Companies

Amidst this market euphoria, other companies also revealed that they have also invested in Bitcoin.

eToro CEO divulged that they had BTC in their treasury since 2011 and are “still Hodling.”

Jesse Powell, the founder, and CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, also admitted to it in a roundabout way as he answered a crypto enthusiast asking about when his company would make it to this list.

“You think Kraken hasn’t been accumulating bitcoin over the last 9 years?” Powell said.

While corporations adding bitcoin to their balance sheet is bullish, it is also “overrated,” according to trader and economist Alex Kruger who said, “The function of a corporate treasury is not to *invest*. Corporate demand for gold as an inflation hedge is minimal. Thus the likelihood of a bitcoin domino effect among corporates is very low.”

But the interesting thing that could happen, if this becomes a trend is “major banks would be forced to have a crypto team on payroll to service corporate clients’ hedging needs,” he added.

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Author: AnTy

ETH Locked on Aave & Uniswap Records a Sharp Rise

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is back to recovering, currently at over $11 billion, reaching an all-time high of nearly $12 billion from last week, as per DeFi Pulse.

On this climb up, the amount of BTC on Ethereum is already at an all-time of 130.8k BTC. When it comes to Ether, at 8.2 million ETH, it still has some way to go before it hits a peak of 10.67 million ETH.

Interestingly, the third-largest DeFi project Aave with $1.63 billion in TVL, has added over 370 million ETH in just the last three days.

Since Friday, ETH locked in the lending protocol has jumped by more than 190% and a whopping 792% since the beginning of this month. Aave is the fifth largest ETH holder in the DeFi space.

The most amount of ETH is locked in Uniswap at 2.9 million, doubled in the past ten days. While Maker’s ETH balance stayed steady over 2 million throughout this month, both Compound and SushiSwap recorded a drastic drop.

Both are among the top five ETH holders, but the amount of Ether locked in Compound has been on a constant decline since the middle of this month, down 30%. Uniswap clone SushuSwap registered a whopping 72% fall in ETH deposit on its protocol, which is no surprise given its overall sliding value.

The price of Ether meanwhile, is also on the rise, up 3.24% trading at $364, a jump from last week’s low of $320.

These gains are in line with the rest of the crypto market, which is moving in tandem with Bitcoin, approaching $11,000. But while bitcoin’s options market is sending mixed messages, “front-end skew bid and 3-month largely flat,” Ethereum’s is much more bullish.

“This can point to hedging flow, especially given the rising trend of locking Bitcoin on the Ethereum network, as well as lend/borrow flow,” noted Dennis Vinoourov of Bequant.

At the same time, Ethereum bulls are also waiting for an update on the much-needed Proof of Stake (PoS) transition for which the Spadina testnet, dress rehearsal for the most important parts of the Eth 2.0, will go live this week.

However, the best thing happened with the Ethereum transaction fees, which have declined sharply since skyrocketing on Uniswap’s governance token UNI’s launch — another factor acting in support of the DeFi world.

The average cost of processing an Ethereum transaction has fallen to a 49-day lull, at $2.34 compared to early Sept. cost of $14.6, as per Bitinfocharts.

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Author: AnTy

Cryptocurrency Community Makes a Shift; Betting Big on NFTs

DeFi continues to rage, approaching a $10 billion peak. But the latest talk of the town is NFT. In 2017, it was CryptoKitties; this time, it is digital art.

Non-fungible tokens are a special type of token on the Ethereum network that are using ERC-71 and ERC-155 standards to create verifiable digital scarcity.

The crypto community is betting big on digital art, as evident from the fact that the sales on NFT marketplace Rarible surpassed $5 million this month. One such art, a bronze Bitcoin Bull by Trevor Jones, was sold for $55,555.

“Collectibles are a billion-dollar industry. And this is a digital era in the world. Just look at social media crypto and our phones,” said trader Josh Rager who believes NFTs are here to stay and compared them to investing in digital money.

The potential of NFT is in the fact that it has a wide market. With the potential to make intellectual property liquid, from music, podcasts, videos, anything can be tokenized and traded on verifiable marketplaces. Having a stake in the dominance platform can be valuable.

There is already massive demand for centralized gaming items, and as AR/VR worlds accelerate, the same will be the case for scarce digital art, said Ari Paul of BlockTower.

Bitcoin proponent Anthony Pompliano is also betting big on this relatively new market. He believes, “Digital art is the next evolution of art,” where the traditional art market has a market cap of $65 billion.

A Growing Sector

According to NonFungiable.com, the NFT space recorded around 33,000 transactions of around $3.5 million over the past month.

Amidst this NFT craze, MEME token exploded in popularity, and its price jumped to an all-time high of $1,962 yesterday, up from mere $6.37 just over a month ago, only to crash to $773 today.

Meme basically enables users to stake tokens to farm limited edition NFTs or crypto art. This art can then be resold on the market on platforms like OpenSea and SuperRare. The SupreRare NFT marketplace has “grown at an impressive rate” this year, noted Mason Nystrom, a research analyst at Messari.

Rarible, however, is currently the dominant force in the NFT space, where one can create and sell their digital collectibles. By introducing rari rewards for buying and selling collectibles, it overtook other NFT marketplaces.

RARI tokens also give the holders a right to vote in the governance process and currently trades at $5.71, down from its ATH of nearly $11 on Sept. 10.

Before July 15th, the sale of Rarible NFTs was mostly non-existent, but with the launch of RARI token and a liquidity mining incentive program, the sales on the platform surged to over $6 million, becoming 10x of OpenSea.

Another token with liquidity mining in the form of NFTs where creators can stake their talents for tokens is Whale. This social token has a market cap of $16 million, which is backed by a $1 million portfolio of NFTs.

“This transition to a digital art world is not a question of if it will happen, but rather when. In fact, I personally believe that the digital art market cap will grow to become larger than the physical art market cap,” said Pompliano.

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Author: AnTy