Chicago DeFi Alliance Welcomes New Members To Prop Up Liquidity in Decentralized Finance Startups

Chicago DeFi Alliance welcomes 11 new members, including a decentralized lending platform, Aave, Three Arrows Capital, and ParaFi. The Alliance now focused on forming a network of partnerships between the traditional finance institutions and DeFi startups to provide solutions to liquidity sourcing problems within the decentralized finance market.

The high profile additions to the Alliance comes at a time that the DeFi space is expanding rapidly with the total locked value in DeFi apps recently crossing the $2 billion mark according to DeFi Pulse.

DeFi lending platform, Aave, joins Chicago DeFi Alliance

According to the official statement on Medium, the new members in CDA include Aave, Three Arrow Capital, Gauntlet, QCP Capital, Framework Ventures, Ledger Prime, Jon Kol, Manna Research, Autonomy, Fractal Wealth and Silicon Valley VC ParaFi.

The fast rise of CDA is evident with the addition of these top tier firms into its ranks. Aave is a fast-growing lending platform that allows the user to earn interest on their deposits and place collateral to receive decentralized loans. The DeFi platform is currently the fifth-largest DeFi app, according to DeFi Pulse, with a total value of $170 million in assets locked.

Asset liquidity plays a significant role in Aave’s business structure, and joining CDA will allow the protocol to align and learn from traditional finance liquidity providers and creating its liquidity base. Earlier in the month, BEG reported the firm is partnering with OpenLaw to offer under-collateralized loans to borrowers in a bid to boost liquidity on the platform.

The first cohort of CDA a success!

The Chicago DeFi Alliance is the brainchild of Volt Capital alongside Jump Capital, TD Ameritrade, Cumberland DRW, and CMT Digital, who aim at providing solutions to help DeFi platforms in complex digital asset trading operations, liquidity sourcing and navigating regulation issues.

Since launch in April, the firm has hosted several startups with the first cohort of companies recently completing their six-week program. The first companies to join CDA include trading exchanges such as dYdX, 0x, IDEX, Opyn, Token Sets, Synthetix, and Kyber Network.

The program was a success hosting one-one and roundtable discussions between each DeFi start-up and liquidity providers/trading firms. This allows the startups to build a network connection with industry-leading players in liquidity providence.

So far, CDA has over 70 members from different areas of finance, including “trading firms, and service providers in the legal, tax, accounting, and audit areas.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Chicago DeFi Alliance Announces Seven Startups to Benefit from Its Mentorship Program

  • The Chicago DeFi Alliance, which launched this April, announces its first cohort from hundreds of top blockchain firms’ and startups’ applications from Chicago on Monday.
  • The Alliance seek to mentor budding DeFi startups in the Chicago jurisdiction that boasts of huge contributions to DeFi sphere globally.

News has now emerged that Chicago DeFi Alliance has accepted its first cohort of startups. The Alliance unveiled in April that it had received over 100 applicants for the first group according to a report by CDA partner CMT digital.

“We are excited to work with the founders in the CDA’s initial cohort and we look forward to mentoring as well as learning from these teams.”

A number of industry titans in the DeFi sphere collaborated to consolidate efforts to mentor local startups. The dream team consists of CMT digital, Volt Capital, Jump Capital, Cumberland and DRW announced the joint venture on April 7th 2020 to boost the growth of DeFi startups in Chicago through guidance and meaningful support linking the startups with experts with vast experience in trading and applicable regulations. The startups that qualified for the first cohort are:

  • dYdX
  • IDEX
  • 0x
  • Set Protocol
  • Kyber Network
  • Synthetix

The founding partner of CDA – CMT digital – launched in 2014, and represents the Blockchain arm of the larger CMT group. The CMT group is a dominant player in the investment markets, having been active for about 20 years.

CMT digital has, in the past, been involved in funding big shot crypto firms: Coinbase, BlockFi, Silvergate Bank and even Bakkt. Their investment strategy has been to support projects, whose scope overlaps with infrastructure crucial to supporting digital assets.

CMT digital was involved in a Series A funding round this February alongside Jack Dorsey’s Square and Pantera. Raising up to $14 million for Transparent Financial Systems a Seattle based startup developing a decentralized compensation settlement system.

Chicago’s Contribution to DeFi

Chicago has a high standing in the financial world for its groundbreaking innovations, reflecting at least a fifth of the global derivatives markets. The report by CMT digital shed light into the 4.9 billion that Chicago based exchanges generated in annual global derivatives trading volumes in the 2017 financial year.

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Author: Lujan Odera

CME Suspends Trading Floor As Bitcoin (BTC) Price Plummets To 11-Month Low

  • Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a Bitcoin futures platform, will shut down its trading floor in response to the growing Corona Virus (COVID-19) epidemic.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) dropped over 30% on Thursday as the market embraces the global asset bloodbath from the virus.

Corona Virus has taken the headlines across the globe as firms and economies suffer from the pandemic. While the cryptocurrency market has remained comparatively immune for the past few weeks as other global assets tanked, the market is finally catching a cold as CME announced the closure of its BTC Futures at the end of day on March 13.

Notwithstanding, the price of BTC has tanked to April 2019 levels after a $1,800 USD drop in price at 10.00 AM GMT on Thursday. Will the cryptocurrency market survive the global epidemic and reverse the ultra-bearish trend?

CME set to close trading floor in Chicago

In an announcement from CME, the second company to offer regulated BTC futures in the U.S, trading on the platform will be suspended starting Friday, 13th March at the close of business. The derivative exchange said the move to shut down its trading offices in Chicago is a precautionary move to the increasing cases of COVID-19 virus across the U.S and the world.

Trading will continue normally on CME Globex, with the company only aiming to reduce the large gatherings of people in accordance with medics recommendations. The statement further reads,

“No coronavirus cases have been reported on the trading floor or in the Chicago Board of Trade building. The reopening of the trading floor will be evaluated as more medical guidance on the coronavirus becomes available.”

The Corona Virus effect on Bitcoin?

After CME’s announcement of the closure of its offices come Friday the 13th, BTC’s price has dipped to 11-month lows at $5,600 USD. After a period of immunity against the global pressures that saw the price of stocks plummet and oil price wars by Russia and Saudi Arabia, crypto is finally catching on following the bearish trend.

Currently, a number of crypto firms have tried to mitigate the Coronavirus problem offering work of home assignments, such as Coinbase, Gemini and Blockstack. However, the market looks headed to a crash below the $5,000 mark as fears rise across the investor pool.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Institution Oriented Crypto Exchange Seed CX Cuts Trading Fees

Chicago based crypto exchange Seed CX has cut its trading fees.

Edward Woodford, co-founder and CEO of Seed CX said:

“With our aggressive fee schedule and low slippage books, we continue to be the leading venue globally for cost of execution in the digital asset space. Our one basis point rebate for making is designed to encourage continued tightening and depth in our books. We look forward to continuing to lead institutional digital asset trading with best execution, operational support and technology.”

The exchange officially launched in January, is a regulated institutional cryptocurrency execution and settlement ecosystem. Additionally, both spot and derivatives (pending regulatory approval), Seed CX also offers a regulated post trade settlement infrastructure as well as on/off ramp access for 20 world fiat currencies.

Rather than a multi-tiered fee structure offered by several major exchanges, where traders get lower rate if their transactions reach a certain volume, Seed CX aims to give every participant the best rate possible. Fee compression is already at an advanced stage at Seed CX, while other crypto exchanges still have room to cut, David Martin, chief investment officer at asset manager Blockforce Capital.

Seed CX operates a digital asset exchange built expressly for institutional investors. Through its subsidiaries, Seed CX offers a market for institutional trading and settlement of spot digital assets and plans to offer a separate market for CFTC-regulated derivatives.

There’s a new partnership in the digital asset space, as technology provider Itiviti has announced that it has partnered with Seed CX. The collaboration will allow traditional institutional firms that use Itiviti’s NYFIX network access to Seed CX’s digital asset exchange and settlement ecosystem.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

CF Benchmarks Awarded FCA Licence To Become The First Crypto Index Provider In Europe

The firm that provides Bitcoin index services to Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) CF Benchmarks has been awarded a crypto index provider license by U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This makes CF Benchmarks the first firm to be authorized as a benchmark administrator in line with the European Benchmarks Regulation (EU BMR).

On Friday the UK’s FCA granted CF Benchmarks to be an administrator which means that financial companies can commence utilizing CF’s indices for any financial product being offered across the European market once the BMR comes into effect in 2020.

CF Benchmark’s CEO Sui Chung expressed gratitude after receiving the license, saying it was a major victory for crypto companies based in the EU zone. He explained that the use and provision of indices are highly regulated in EU and firms using such benchmark must ensure it originates from a regulated benchmark provider.

Chung stated that the regulatory scope for benchmarks within the EU zone for financial-based companies is very broad saying that banks, as well as asset managers, utilize the indices on various aspects. For instance, a fund manager wishing to give an exchange-traded fund (ETF) which tracks an index is required to track a licensed index.

Chung explained that the financial industry can now have access to regulated benchmarks from a highly competent team that will help in enhancing innovation as well as the adoption of virtual assets across the European Union. Speaking to Finance Magnates, Chung also stated that reliable, as well as trusted indices, are important for the development of the crypto market since they will help in bringing in more investors, both individuals, and institutions, to the market.

According to CoinDesk as the crypto industry becomes more popular, crypto indices are also becoming more important, especially from the traditional financial houses and other indices providers are likely to get the nod in the EU zone in the near future.

CF Benchmark was previously referred to as Crypto Facilities and is the current index provider of CME CF Bitcoin Reference rate. The firm was purchased at an undisclosed figure by a major US crypto exchange firm Kraken at the start of the year.

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Author: Joseph Kibe