Ethereum’s Layer-2 Solution, Polygon (MATIC) Welcomes Aave and Zapper to Boost DeFi Activity

Ethereum’s Layer-2 Solution, Polygon (MATIC) Welcomes Aave and Zapper to Boost DeFi Activity

As the decentralized finance ecosystem, popular as DeFi, continues to grow at a winged pace, Ethereum gas costs are surging to the roof, forcing investors to look for new faster, and cheaper blockchains. Polygon, an Ethereum layer two solutions, is emerging as the preferred solution as two major DeFi platforms – Aave and Zapper – joined the platform on Wednesday.

Decentralized lending firm, Aave AAVE 0.52% Aave / USD AAVEUSD $ 376.95
Volume 343.06 m Change $1.96 Open $376.95 Circulating 12.46 m Market Cap 4.7 b
2 h Ethereum’s Layer-2 Solution, Polygon (MATIC) Welcomes Aave and Zapper to Boost DeFi Activity 2 d Ethereum Wallet, Dharma, Integrates with DeFi Blue-Chips for Direct Access to Bank 6 d SushiSwap Launches A ‘Game-Changer;’ BentoBox’s 1st DApp Is Kashi Lending & Margin Trading
, will integrate scalable sidechains with Polygon, formerly Matic Network, to address the rising congestion and high gas fees experienced on Ethereum. The team plans to integrate a soon-to-be-released smart contract allowing users to seamlessly port assets across blockchains.

“High transaction fees are a feature of a successful public blockchain, as they define actors ready to pay the market price to use and secure decentralized services.”

Stani Kulechov Aave Founder

The DeFi field has in the past favored those with thousands of dollars to invest while effectively locking out the small spenders. In a blog post on the Aave Medium page, Kulechov states the recent integration with Polygon will bring “inclusivity in the DeFi space,” allowing investors with only hundreds of dollars to participate as well.

“That being said, DeFi was always intended to create a sustainable and more inclusive alternative to traditional finance,” he added. “If DeFi is great but only limited to portfolios of five figures and up, DeFi will be falling short of its mission to finance for everyone.”

At launch, Aave will introduce seven assets available for lending and borrowing on the platform.

Zapper, portfolio management, and batched transaction network is also joining the Polygon network, a statement confirmed on Wednesday. Polygon will be the first in line with Ethereum scalability solutions with plans to integrate Optimism, Binance Smart Chain, and Arbitrum on the way.

With Polygon’s integration, Zapper will enable Ethereum-to-Polygon transfers allowing cross-chain “zap” transfers — its term for multi-transaction, single-click deposits, and withdrawals.

The new partnership will also enhance sending funds from Aave to Polygon, DeFi Dad of Zapper stated in a tweet.

Earlier in February, Matic Network rebranded to Polygon to enable Ethereum ETH 2.97% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,972.51
Volume 30.55 b Change $58.58 Open $1,972.51 Circulating 115.29 m Market Cap 227.42 b
2 h Ethereum’s Layer-2 Solution, Polygon (MATIC) Welcomes Aave and Zapper to Boost DeFi Activity 7 h Enjin (ENJ) Raises $18.9M to Build Out Efinity Parachain, Bringing NFT’s to Polkadot (DOT) 11 h Bitcoin Closes its Best Quarter in 8 Years, With 103% Gains
to compete with its rivals such as Polkadot. DOT 4.05% Polkadot / USD DOTUSD $ 37.69
Volume 2.81 b Change $1.53 Open $37.69 Circulating 925.06 m Market Cap 34.86 b
2 h Ethereum’s Layer-2 Solution, Polygon (MATIC) Welcomes Aave and Zapper to Boost DeFi Activity 7 h Enjin (ENJ) Raises $18.9M to Build Out Efinity Parachain, Bringing NFT’s to Polkadot (DOT) 11 h Bitcoin Closes its Best Quarter in 8 Years, With 103% Gains
The sidechain scalability solution enables significant throughput increase while reducing the fees incurred on Ethereum transactions.

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Author: Lujan Odera

International FX Exchange & Ripple Partner, Mercury to Boost Remittances in South Africa Using ODL

International FX Exchange & Ripple Partner, Mercury to Boost Remittances in South Africa Using ODL

Mercury’s international payments firm to utilize RippleNet On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) platform to ease remittance payments between the United Kingdom and South Africa.

On Tuesday, Ripple confirmed Mercury, which has been using the RippleNet ODL platform and its associated XRP digital asset since 2019, to reduce transaction times and fees to a minimum in South Africa. Mercury was added to the first cohort of South Africa’s Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IGFW), the inaugural fintech regulatory sandbox in the African state.

Mercury-RippleNet ODL was one of the six chosen projects for an inaugural 50 companies that applied to enter the sandbox. Of the six, Mercury is only one of two companies leveraging blockchain to enhance global remittances and payments in South Africa.

Consisting of top financial regulators such as South Africa’s National Treasury, the South African Reserve Bank, and Financial Sector Conduct Authority, IGFW has previously called for strict regulations to be put in place to curb unregulated crypto transactions.

In April 2020, IGFW stated domestic crypto transactions are accepted in the country but under strict adherence to the FATF “Travel Rule” recommendations. This gave rise to the regulatory sandbox –later in the year – the IGFW stating at the time,

“Payments using crypto assets will, in the interim period, be subjected to a regulatory sandbox approach.”

As a member of the sandbox, Mercury aims at enhancing the future of blockchain-based payments/ transfers to “cut the time and cost of sending money into and out of South Africa using RippleNet-ODL service.”

South African tax regulator, South Africa Revenue Authority (SARS), recently announced plans to audit crypto investors amidst the country’s rising demand for crypto.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Wrapped IOTA Launches on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to Boost DeFi liquidity

Wrapped IOTA Launches on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to Boost DeFi liquidity

  • IOTA launches on Binance Smart Chain, or BSC, introducing decentralized finance (DeFi) capabilities for its holders.

In a blog post shared on Monday, IOTA Foundation announced the launch of “wrapped IOTA” on Binance’s decentralized platform, Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The introduction of IOTA on BSC will enable holders of MIOTA, IOTA’s native token, to participate in DeFi applications built on Binance Smart Chain. With the release of this feature, IOTA now lives on two blockchains for the first time.

“Now, with wrapped IOTA on Binance Smart Chain, IOTA holders can use the IOTA Token to participate in DeFi applications on the Binance network.”

This integration follows previous attempts by IOTA developers to build bridges across different blockchains to improve cross-chain interactions. The integration aims at growing liquidity across multiple chains providing IOTA as one of the asset classes you can borrow, lend, stake, and earn on BSC-based DeFi apps.

Users can use the IOTA-Binance bridge to swap their IOTA tokens to wrapped IOTA on Binance to start enjoying DeFi on BSC. The portal also allows reverse transactions from wrapped IOTA to IOTA at a 1:1 exchange ratio at all times. Once the wrapped IOTA has been deposited to your BSC wallet, users can trade, swap, and interact with services similar to any BEP20 token.

IOTA Foundation expects this integration to be the first of multiple chains – possibly Ethereum ETH 1.69% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,846.31
Volume 22.52 b Change $31.20 Open $1,846.31 Circulating 115.27 m Market Cap 212.82 b
3 h Wrapped IOTA Launches on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to Boost DeFi liquidity 5 h Cosmos (ATOM) Enhances Interoperability with Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) Protocol Rollout 7 h CME Is Launching Cash-Settled Micro Bitcoin Futures, One-tenth the Size of One BTC
and Solana SOL 2.49% Solana / USD SOLUSD $ 19.22
Volume 263.92 m Change $0.48 Open $19.22 Circulating 268.2 m Market Cap 5.16 b
3 h Wrapped IOTA Launches on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) to Boost DeFi liquidity 5 d Stablecoin Giant Tether Sets New Record as USDT Market Cap Hits $40 Billion 1 w Solana (SOL) is ‘Uniquely Positioned’ to Snatch Market Share from Ethereum & ETH Killers, says VC
– to increase the cross-chain liquidity.

“We see this integration with Binance Smart Chain as the first step in growing liquidity across multiple chains, while also preparing for the ability for other assets to live on the IOTA network,” a spokesperson from IOTA Foundation said.

IOTA token is up 4.2% in the past 24 hours, trading at $1.55 following the news and Bitcoin’s surge past $59,000 on news that PayPal is adding crypto payments in its 29 million merchant checkouts.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Nasdaq listed Canaan Creative Sees A Boost in Demand for Bitcoin Miners As Crypto Prices Rise

Nasdaq listed Canaan Creative Sees A Boost in Demand for Bitcoin Miners As Crypto Prices Rise

Bitcoin Mining firms are struggling to meet the increased demand for mining machines despite the rising prices of cryptocurrencies.

According to Canaan Creative, a Nasdaq listed firm, crypto mining orders have been rising despite Bitcoin’s hitting new highs in the recent past. Over the weekend, Bitcoin’s price surged to a new level, trading at $60,000. The king coin has been bullish over the last year, with its value increasing by about 110 percent since January this year.

Buoyed by the rising price, Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturers have witnessed their businesses hitting the peak with some grappling to meet the soaring demand.

As one of the largest mining equipment manufacturers, Canaan Creative claims that its orders have been increasing since 2020. The firm stated that North America and Central Asia are the largest sources of the current surge in demand.

According to Global Times, the firm’s presale mining hardware to the North American region were about 120,000 units which is a 17% surge from mid-Feb.

In the wake of the global shortage of mining chips, Canaan entered into agreements with various fabrication plants in advance, giving the company leeway to manufacture mining hardware as per the market demand.

To take advantage of the soaring Bitcoin prices, the firm intends to kick-off its own mining business later in the year rather than just providing mining machines.

The firm stated that Bitcoin’s price is likely to be bullish following the recent plans by the US government to inject about $1.9 trillion into the economy following the sluggish growth and collapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

UC Berkeley & Parity Technologies Partner to Boost Polkadot Blockchain Education Efforts

UC Berkeley & Parity Technologies Partner to Boost Polkadot Blockchain Education Efforts

  • California-based, University of Berkeley partners with a blockchain development firm, Parity Technologies, to create a blockchain curriculum for students and boost education efforts on the blockchain.

Announced this Thursday, the partnership between UC Berkeley and Parity Technologies will kick-off for the remaining part of the 2020-2021 academic year. The partnership aims to enhance blockchain adoption to students and faculty at the university through collaboration to create a solid curriculum and projects and strengthen overall blockchain education across learning institutions.

However, this is not the first time UC Berkeley is headlining a blockchain partnership, previously having hosted a Ripple Inc. blockchain event. In January 2019, UC Berkeley launched its blockchain development accelerator program, Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, to support curriculum development and support new blockchain startups.

Parity joins forces with the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator to create a blockchain curriculum and provide educational panels for students. Speaking at the launch of the Xcelerator program, Gloria Zhao, president of Blockchain at Berkeley, said,

“Blockchain at Berkeley strives to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in our students, so we are excited to help lead this initiative and assist the next generation of blockchain innovators.”

The partnership will also see Polkadot’s co-founder, Gavin Wood, give lectures on blockchain at the university later this month. Parity Technologies founded Polkadot, the sixth largest crypto in market cap, which is also being promoted by the Xcelerator program.

Parity Technologies, on its part, aims to use its substrate blockchain-building framework to educate and learn from the students and teachers on blockchain development. Additionally, Parity will advise and mentor early blockchain startups teaching students how to develop and launch startups on blockchains.

Jocelyn Weber, an executive at the Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator, believes a partnership with Parity is key in enhancing educative efforts and curriculum development for students interested in blockchains. Weber said,

“We strive to expose our students to the tools and skills they will need to enter this space and immediately start making significant contributions.”

“[…] which is why improving their knowledge with tools such as Substrate and networks like Polkadot will be an important part of our curriculum development.”

UC Berkeley has built its brand as a blockchain supporter for the past few years, and the partnership with Parity is yet another step to achieve wide blockchain adoption. Back in October 2018, the university hosted the first crypto-powered music festival allowing event-goers to acquire products, services, and experiences within the event’s network using crypto.

Notwithstanding, Blockchain at Berkeley is also a member of the Universal Protocol Alliance, an organization aiming at accelerating the adoption of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain-backed systems.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Human Rights Foundation Provides Grants to Bitcoiners to Boost Education and Software Development

Human Rights Foundation Provides Grants to Bitcoiners to Boost Education and Software Development

  • Human Rights Foundation (HRF) releases its latest Bitcoin development grants.
  • The $70,000 grant was dispersed to four teams focusing on education and software development.

The Human Right Foundation (HRF), a New York-based nonprofit organization, gave its latest round of Bitcoin development grants on Tuesday. The organization focuses on boosting the adoption and development of Bitcoin solutions globally, the latest grant focusing on software development and education efforts in the space.

According to a report, the HRF grant was released to four teams. Muun wallet, a lightning network-based wallet, and Jesse Posner, a Bitcoin core developer, received $25,000 to build software solutions on Bitcoin.

Jesse Posner, a former Coinbase employee, is developing the Discrete Log Contracts (DLCs), threshold signatures, and adapter signatures. The solution aims to reduce the data backlog on the Bitcoin blockchain by computing most data off-chain. Apart from offering scalability, Posner stated the DCL would also improve the contracts’ security on the blockchain.

Muun wallet, on the other hand, is a Bitcoin Lightning Network-based wallet that allows penny-transactions while reducing on-chain transaction fees. The Argentinian firm aims to make crypto accessible to everyone through fast and low fee payment channels. Muun wallet founder Dario Sneidermanis said,

“Being Argentinians, we’ve seen first-hand why this is sorely needed, maybe a little bit earlier than the rest of the world, so it’s important that organizations such as the HRF are paying attention to this.”

Independent journalist Janine, known for the Block Digest podcast and open-source incubator Blockchain Commons, will receive $15,000 to further blockchain education and training.

Janine, an internet privacy and blockchain advocate, has been at the forefront of gatekeeping privacy in the crypto ecosystem. She runs a blog, This Month in Privacy, a monthly roundup of developments and news on Bitcoin, internet privacy, and cybersecurity. Speaking to Coindesk, Janine said she might use the grant funding to launch new avenues to give the blog a multi-media component, teasing the launch of a Q&A series to speak on the web privacy, including Bitcoin.

Finally, Blockchain Commons, a non-profit, open-source Bitcoin and blockchain incubator, will use its funding to enhance Bitcoin education while helping human rights activists worldwide with decentralized financial tools.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple Partner, SBI Group, Looks to Form Crypto Joint Venture to Boost Revenue

Ripple Partner, SBI Group, Looks to Form Crypto Joint Venture to Boost Revenue

Tokyo-based financial giant SBI Holdings has opened up talks with various international financial institutions to form a crypto joint venture. The firm revealed that it aims to make the crypto business one of its main pillars.

Speaking to Reuters, Yoshitaka Kitao, SBI CEO, revealed that the bank is in talks with numerous financial institutions to set up a crypto venture. Kitao also stated that SBI has already secured two plausible deals but remained coy on the details. The CEO stated that part of the initiative is to pursue mergers and acquisitions.

To enhance its presence in the crypto space, SBI bought TaoTao, a Japanese-based crypto exchange, last year. Kitao explained that the merger and acquisition strategy does not involve taking the minority stakes but partnering with top crypto companies worldwide.

Ripple partner SBI Holdings has witnessed a big jump in profits from its crypto wing for the year ending December 2020. The financial conglomerate’s crypto pretax profit stood at $64 million, which increased 83% compared to 2019. Kitao explained,

“To be number one in the world, our choice is purchasing a leading firm or allying with major global companies. Our merger and acquisition strategy will not be something like taking minority stakes in many companies. Investors once lived in the world where they invested in stocks or bonds; it’s not an either-or situation anymore.”

Kitao also elaborated that institutional interest in crypto assets is rising, which presents a huge opportunity for SBI. He added that institutional investors, mostly hedge funds, are flocking the crypto market, presenting an opportunity for mergers and acquisitions. He also cited that renowned investors like Elon Musk are taking an interest in the crypto industry.

In December last year, SBI purchased cryptocurrency trading outfit B2C2, and the firm is looking to add more.

SBI Holdings is the largest online brokerage firm in Japan and has been offering crypto trading services since 2018.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

BoE Telling Banks to be Ready for Negative Rates Is Another ‘Boost’ for Crypto & DeFi

BoE Telling Banks to be Ready for Negative Rates Is Another ‘Boost’ for Crypto & DeFi

The Bank of England told British banks this week that they will need at least six months to prepare for a shift to negative interest rates.

It was back in October that BOE asked banks to be prepared for sub-zero rates after revealing in September that it was exploring the possibility to lower the rates below zero if necessary.

In a letter published Thursday, the head of the Bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority, Sam Woods, said a majority of banks would need time to implement tactical or strategic solutions to accommodate a negative bank rate, which is six months.

But the Bank also clarified that it is not sending a signal that negative rates are coming at some point in the future, but that it would be a step to be taken if the recovery to the UK economy falters. BoE had forecast a 4.2% slump in the first quarter, while the Threadneedle Street economists forecast the pre-pandemic levels will be achieved by GDP by March 2022.

This will Boost Asset Prices

BoE’s quantitative easing bond-buying program meanwhile remains unchanged at £895bn after pumping an additional £150bn into the economy.

In December, banking executives from Santander and HSBC warned that their systems weren’t ready for negative rates yet. Negative lending rates, which are expected to lower borrowing costs, would result in a loss of income for savers and pension funds.

Besides money printing, it has been ultra-low interest rates that have pushed investors to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as they search for an asset that could provide them higher returns.

Ever since the March sell-off, Bitcoin has jumped more than 1,000%, Ether did 17x, altcoins pumped, and DeFi tokens have simply exploded. Nigel Green, founder, and chief executive of deVere Group said,

“Whilst the debate on whether negative interest rates help the ‘real economy’ or not will continue, there is no doubt that they would help boost financial asset prices.”

According to him, investors will now be looking to top-up their portfolios and move to capitalize on “the lower entry points now before the next significant rally.”

Even Rates on Stablecoins in Double Digits

In the cryptocurrency market, even fiat-based stablecoins are enjoying high-interest rates, especially in the decentralized finance sector.

Popular in the decentralized finance space, the lending rates on stablecoins are up to double digits, as per Defirate. The lending average rate in the last 30 days for DAI is between 2% to 17% on different platforms; for USDC, it goes up to 14%, and USDT’s lending rate gets pushed to 17%.

The cryptocurrency market offers tons of opportunities for investors who want to build on their wealth if negative rates are implemented. And as Green said,

“The best way, as ever, is to bolster portfolios, ensuring they are properly diversified across asset class, sector, region, and currencies.”

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Author: AnTy

Canaan to Supply 6,000 BTC Mining Rigs to Core Scientific; Aims to Boost Power by 400MW

Canaan to Supply 6,000 BTC Mining Rigs to Core Scientific; Aims to Boost Power by 400MW

  • Canaan, one of the leading providers of Bitcoin mining infrastructure, will be supplying 6,000 mining rigs to Core Scientific, a software solutions company for AI and Blockchain situated in North America.

In a release sent to BEG desks, Canaan confirmed the sale of 6,000 Bitcoin mining units of the A1246 model of its AvalonMiners line to Core Scientific, North America’s leading digital mining operator. The new mining rigs will be supplied across Core Scientific’s mining centers across the United States starting March 2021 to bolster Core Scientific’s positions as the leading digital mining firm in the region.

The partnership between the two tech companies looks to bolster the overall ASIC mining power of Core Scientific, intending to boost the power by 400MW with the latest purchase. The mining equipment will be supplied to Core Scientific’s mining firms, beginning in March this year, in a process expected to take at least three months, the statement further explains.

The A1246 model, launched in Q3 2020, is the latest in the line of Canaan’s AvalonMiner model producing a hashrate of 90TH/s with a power efficiency of 38J/TH.

“At Canaan, we are committed to providing ongoing support to our customers, no matter the circumstances and where they are in the world, without compromising on product quality and service standards,” said Nangeng Zhang, CEO, and Chairman of Canaan, reflecting on the challenges that COVID 19 has brought on the global supply chain of Bitcoin mining rigs. “This latest purchase from Core Scientific reflects the reliability of our manufacturing capabilities, and we are thrilled to be supporting their operations as a leader in North America’s mining industry.”

Operating at a net loss for the better part of 2020, Canaan has revitalized itself with new partnerships and clients this year, also snapping up Hive blockchain as a client in January. Hive, the Vancouver listed crypto mining firm, purchased 6,400 AvalonMiner models, increasing its total hashpower by 576 PH/s.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto-Friendly Mayor of Miami Announces New CTO Role to Boost Big Tech Engagement

Crypto-Friendly Mayor of Miami Announces New CTO Role to Boost Big Tech Engagement in the City

Avid blockchain supporter and Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, named the city’s first-ever Chief Technological Officer. Saif Ishoof, Vice President of Florida International University’s engagement, as his pick for the new role.

Over the past few years, Miami’s city has rapidly built its name as the next tech hub in the U.S. intending to snip Silicon Valley companies from San Francisco Bay and build on new technologies such as crypto and blockchain. In a call with Bloomberg’s Quicktake, Suarez revealed the city would welcome its first-ever chief technological officer, CTO, who assumes the burden of building Miami into a fully-fledged technological city.

Saif Ishoof, Suarez’s pick for the new role, is currently the vice president of tech advancement for Florida International University and will become the head of engagement and entrepreneurship in Miami. The new role entails communicating with big tech founders, venture capitalists, and engineers who want to move to Miami. The CTO will provide “concierge services” to tech companies who’d wish to move to the city.

On why the new role is important, Suarez said the city needs “somebody that can reach out to them [big tech and VC firms], somebody that can have a subject of conversation…can connect them to incentives that make it more attractive to come [to Miami].”

Suarez has been a vocal advocate of crypto and blockchain technology in the past. Speaking on the Pomp Podcast in December, Suarez stated the city is open and exploring allocating at least 1% of its Treasury reserves to purchasing Bitcoin to promote its tech city plans. Furthermore, he has held meetings and interviews with top crypto personalities, including Gemini exchange founders, Winklevoss twins.

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Author: Lujan Odera