UNI Holders Continue to Increase as Uniswap Dominance Jumps 24% in Just Over a Month

While centralized cryptocurrency exchanges struggle to live, with at least 75 of them closed down due to hacks and scams so far this year, Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) are leading 2020.

These past couple of weeks, even big exchanges like KuCoin and BitMEX weathered some storms.

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has some part to play in this. With DEXs growing rapidly, as evident from its volume hitting $24 billion, an increase from $11.6 billion last month, a shift has been seen from CEXs to DEXs.

Until last year, the total monthly DEX volume never saw $500 million, and in 2020, it never went below this figure.

As we reported, the popular DEX Uniswap that saw $15 billion traded last month actually surpassed the volume on the leading centralized cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Increasing every month, Uniswap volume also makes up for 65% of all DEX volume as such the fourth largest crypto exchange by volume.

Liquidity on the platform also continues to hit new highs, keeping above $2 billion in October.

Interestingly, while the total value locked (TVL) in the DeFi sector decreased from $11.23 billion this week to $10.18 billion, TVL in Uniswap increased 12% to over $2 billion, becoming the first DeFi project to hit $2 billion in total crypto funds locked.

Uniswap is the dominant force in the DeFi ecosystem, with the amount of ETH locked in the project hitting a new high of 3.2 million. Uniswap’s dominance currently sits at 21.9%, up 24% from the beginning of last month, as per DeFi Pulse.

Its governance token UNI is currently trading at $2.64 in the red, down nearly 36% in the past seven days.

However, despite the recent fall in UNI’s price, along with the rest of the DeFi tokens, the number of UNI holders continues to increase daily.

As per data source IntoTheBlock, as of Oct. 5, the number of addresses holding UNI tokens reached a new high of 85.02k addresses.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Crashes Below $10,000, Is The ‘Altcoin & DeFi Apocalypse’ Over Yet?

While the stock market is closed today, recognizing Labor Day, the crypto market is bleeding.

For now, in another red day to mark the start of a new week, cryptocurrencies had a repeat performance. Much like last week, bitcoin dropped below $10,000 to as low as $9,880 on Bitstamp, albeit briefly.

The ‘real’ trading volume meanwhile remains weak at just $1.4 billion.

“One more flush before a bounce seems likely. Stocks probably go up tomorrow. Corn could rally with it,” said one trader.

However, if we look back at the last bull cycle, the average correction is 35%. Given the fact BTC has only retraced 20% so far, another drop could see us below $8,000.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR), which highlights when the average stakeholder is in a state of profit or loss, dipped below 1 for the first time since April. Currently, it is hovering right at the neutral line. Rafael Schultze-Kraft CTO at crypto data provider Glassnode noted,

“This means bitcoins moved on-chain at a (small) loss, potentially shaking out some weak hands. Imo it is very crucial to hold this level here so a bearish trend reversal doesn’t get confirmed.”

Ether Crashes Hard

While bitcoin is at the precipice, Ether is getting beaten hard. The second-largest cryptocurrency lost nearly 35% of its value last week to drop to $320. Currently, ETH/USD is around $335. Analyst Rekt Capital said,

“Indeed the $360 has switched into a resistance, offering lower prices. Price breaks back into the $160-$360 range. Very low $300s is a real possibility going forward. $290 would be perfect.”

The spark plug for these losses was a decline of 6.1% in the Ether balance on top 100 exchanges, from 16.92 million to 15.89 million over the past week.

Last week, before crashing, ETH price jumped to a new 2020 high last seen in June 2018, which led to an increase in this exchange’s balance as investors and traders took off some profits.

The good thing is, despite the drop in price, the Ethereum network keeps on growing, with the number of addresses with a balance in ETH hitting a new all-time high on the weekend at 45.88 million addresses, as per data source IntoTheBlock.

This means people are buying the dips. These addresses have increased by 34.8% since the beginning of 2020.

The silver lining to this plunge in ETH price is “DeFi will yet again benefit from the temporary collapse in Ethereum gas fees, and the vicious loop of chasing higher yield will resume yet again until the pressure cooker can no longer hold,” said Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

DeFi Going Back to Greens

A crash in Ether prices is not good news for altcoins, especially DeFi tokens.

However, unlike last week’s 10% to 20% losses, the altcoins are down 2% to 10% today. Among the top altcoins, LINK with 3.70% gains and BSV 5.97% are the only exceptions.

As for the DeFi tokens, in the past hour, they all have turned green fast with CRV, SRM, and JUST up 8%.

But in the past 24 hours, SNX and CRV are down over 11%, RUNE 9.4%, SRM 9.3%, YFI 8.5%, KAVA 8.1%, BAND 7.2%, REN 6.6%, LRC 5.1%, KNC 4.7%, LEND 3.1%, COMP 1.7%, AMPL 1.4%, and WBTC 1%.

The biggest loser in the past seven days has been Ampleforth, which lost over 63% of its value with other notable mentions, including Melon (50%), Bancor (47%), and Curve (46%), as per CoinGecko.

As a result, the total value locked in the DeFi sector also dropped by 21% to $7.5 billion.

While more losses could be in order, depending on Bitcoin’s next move, which itself is waiting for the stock market, trader and economist Alex Kruger says the “alts apocalypse” the market experienced “won’t happen again even if BTC were to go down.”

Alts apocalypse was the leading digital currency losing 5% of its value resulting in alts crashing 20-50%, which was “extraordinary” because “Multiplier is usually in the 1.5-3x, not 4-10x.”

“Feel confident alts bottomed. BTC may flirt again with 9Ks. But alts bottomed. What the market saw yesterday was total obliteration. Strong hands remained, weak hands folded,” said Kruger.

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Author: AnTy

Visa Partner Non-Custodial Lightning Network Wallet Zap Secures $3.5M Funding

The non-custodial Lightning Network wallet Zap has closed a $3.5 million seed round led by Green Oaks Capital, which previously backed Robinhood and Stripe. Morgan Creek co-founder Mark Yusko and Anthony Pompliano also joined the round.

This big development came just months after the payment startup partnered with Visa. Zap currently employs 13 people from all over the world.

Jack Mallers founded zap, and before, the Maller family funded April. Jack’s grandfather helped found the Chicago Board of Exchange (Cboe) and then co-founded First American Discount Corporation with his son.

The core of the product Lightning Network is the second layer of bitcoin, which enables faster and cheaper transactions.

With this open-source non-custodial wallet, users’ don’t even know they are using bitcoin as they use dollars.

“One of the early use cases for us is content creators. Journalists or video game streamers or adult film actors and actresses, put up profiles backed by our infrastructure, and anyone in the world can tip them,” Mallers, 26 told Forbes.

Zap launched its flagship product Strike, a Lightning native neo-bank that addresses pain points for the mass adoption of crypto. In June, the company announced it was admitted to Visa’s Fast Track program and would be launching its card within a year. Strike rewards and Strike merchant tools would also be coming shortly, he said.

Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey who is a bitcoin advocate have also taken an interest in Lightning with investing in Lightning Labs, the leading developer of Lightning Network.

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Author: AnTy

OKEx Closes Partnership with Paxful to Enable Fiat On-Ramps

Famous crypto exchange OKEx and peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace Paxful have just closed a new partnership to offer its customers new fiat on-ramps.

In a statement from Monday, Paxful said the new move will also bring benefits to its own users, as it provides ease of access and better liquidity. As per the same statement says, Paxful will also provide for OKEx a fiat-to-crypto ramp, meaning its customers will be able to buy Bitcoin (BTC) with more than 160 currencies, the Euro, the Indian Rupee, the Pound Sterling and the Thai Baht included. Here’s what Paxful’s co-founder and CEO, Ray Youssef, had to say about the new move:

“With this partnership, we hope to make crypto more accessible as a real-world payment method.”

Paxful Users to Operate on the OKEx Options Trading and DEX Platforms

Paxful further said the partnership will as well enable its users to use the OKEx trading options and DEX platforms. Jay Hao, the CEO of OKEx, had this to say about the new agreement with the P2P marketplace:

“Through this partnership, we can reach more users in developing regions using Paxful’s existing infrastructure and payment options.”

Paxful to Push into the Southeastern Asian Market

When it comes to Paxful’s plans for the future, these are about pushing into new markets. Artur Schaback, the co-founder of Paxful, said his company is looking into several Southeastern Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. As per data from Useful Tulips, a well-known analytics firm, the trading volume at Paxful in Southeast Asia has been considerably growing over this past year.

Schaback further admitted that regulations are and will always raise concerns, seeing Paxful announced Wednesday on Twitter that it no longer conducts transactions through or with the Bank of Venezuela, which is state-owned, as a result of US sanctions.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Numerai Raises $3M in Second NMR Token Sale, Led by Union Square Ventures, Placeholder

Numerai, a hedge fund and information marketplace, has closed its second native token NMR fundraising round at $3 million.

The fundraising round saw participation from CoinFund, Union Square, Placeholder, Ventures, and Dragonfly Capital.

The first token sale was conducted in March last year, raising $11 million with its fundraising round being led by Paradigm and Placeholder. A majority of the funds raised in the first round were utilized to build the hedge fund.

Numerai is also known for hosting tournaments for data scientists who help the firm find the best trading strategies for the hedge fund. The firm stated that a portion of the raised funds would be utilized to develop their other venture Erasure which is a popular defi information staking protocol and 17th largest Dapp.

Currently, $2.1 million worth of tokens are locked in the information staking protocol which is primarily used for its data scientist tournaments along with its marketplaces Erasure Quant and Erasure Bay.

Erasure Bay is Numerai’s latest initiative, which launched back in March this year to make the interaction between the user and the platform simpler. This new marketplace makes it easier to exchange information before people could only submit predictions related to the equity market, but with Erasure Bay now they can do so.

Richard Craib, the founder of Numerai who was also one of the investors in the fundraising round commented on the success of the token sale and said:

“[This fundraising] gives us a lot more money that goes directly to developing Erasure and increasing the number of stakes, increase the users, and letting the protocol be used all over the Internet,”

Talking about the Erasure Bay, he said:

“Erasure Bay is demonstrating that you can trust other people online if they’re willing to put some cryptocurrency at stake and let you burn it if they misbehave. We did not expect all these weird use cases but we’re into it.”

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Author: James W

Ripple Execs Meet With Central Bank Of Brazil Officials in ‘Closed to the Press’ Meeting

Ripple Inc.’s, Brad Garlinghouse held a ‘closed to the press’ meeting with Brazil’s Central Bank officials on May 30th to discuss “institutional matters” in the South American country. Top officials from both Ripple and the Central Bank of Brazil held the meeting at 1700 hrs to 1800 hrs. What could be the motive behind the closed-door meeting?

Ripple Executives meet with the Central Bank of Brazil Officials

According to the Agenda of Authorities of Banco Central do Brasil website, the schedule of Roberto Campos Neto, the central bank’s president, showed he met online with Ripple executives on Saturday evening last week. While major details on the meeting remain unrevealed to the media, the agenda only hinted at “institutional matters”.

Three Ripple executives and board members accompanied CEO at Ripple Inc., Garlinghouse – Ben Lawsky, Member of the Board of Directors of Ripple, Eric van Miltemburg, Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Ripple, Luiz Antonio Sacco, Vice President of Global Operations and General Director for Latin America at Ripple.

Brazil’s central bank was led by Roberto joined by João Manoel Pinho de Mello, the Financial System Organization and Resolution Director, and Otavio Ribeiro Damaso, Regulation Director.

Both, Ripple and the Central bank of Brazil officials have remained silent on the conference discussions. Could the bank be looking at a possible central bank digital currency (CBDC) or settlement platform?

Brazil’s QR based instantaneous payment system

The most sensible explanation for the meeting may be to discuss the QR-based payment system that the central bank is developing. PIX, the non-crypto payment platform will offer P2P ad B2B payment solutions within the country aiming to reduce the transaction costs and speed of transactions.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitfinex Partners With Koine to Offer Institution-Grade Crypto Custody to Clients

The digital asset trading platform Bitfinex has closed a partnership with Koine to provide the exchange’s customers institutional-grade digital asset custody services.

Koine made the announcement of its new partnership on Wednesday. The exchange is registered in the British Virgin Islands and aims to draw in new institutional investors through this new collaboration. Offering them the opportunity of storing their holdings safely. Koine’s CEO and chairman Hugh Hughes said this about the new agreement:

“Collaborating with Bitfinex to help bring new funds into their trading environment is an extremely important step in our evolution.

It is leading exchanges like these that will benefit from the shift to a more traditional market structure that will quickly lead to institutional capital participation and the rapid growth of trading from algorithmic funds.”

Koine Is FCA Regulated

London-based Koine has been regulated by the UK’s financial market authority known as the Financial Conduct Authority or in short, the FCA. It offers custody solutions and features a platform that provides both digital assets and fiat currencies segregated and settlement custody services.

In the Wednesday announcement was also detailed how Koine’s customers who have Bitfinex accounts are going to be able to obtain for their trades a line of credit on the exchange. Koine has in place a security model that replaces the hot wallet and cold storage model, which isn’t so secure seeing private keys still need to be eyed by staff.

It can be that Koine’s security model, together with its DvP settlement and the fiat custody services is a post-trade alternative to traditional capital markets.

Bitfinex Runs an Aggressive Expansion of Services

A little bit controversial, Bitfinex has an aggressive approach when it comes to the way it expands its services. Only last month, it launched a social networking platform for its traders to interact with each other.

Furthermore, it offers multiple staking services and up to 10% annual interest. After it added Tezos (XTZ) staking to its platform yesterday, it did it again today for Algorand (ALGO). Here’s what Bitfinex’s CTO, Paolo Ardoino, had to say about the new partnership:

“We have always focused on building a service fit for institutional trading.

In this collaboration with Koine for the delivery of custody post-trade infrastructure, we make another step on the path towards massive institutional participation in the crypto-trading market.”

In the meantime, Koine is closing other partnerships with many crypto players, as it aims to expand its custodial services. For example, it recently announced its collaboration with London-based digital asset OTC broker Digital RFQ.

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Author: Oana Ularu

UFC and ChiliZ (CHZ) Partner to Offer MMA Fans Tickets & Experiences Using Socios App

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Ethereum (ETH) based eSports platform – Chiliz – has closed a partnership to allow UFC fans to use CHZ tokens for various experiences.

The announcement was made on May 7th by ChiliZ. It also said UFC fans will have access to the ChiliZ blockchain-based app Socios. With the CHZ token from ChiliZ, UFC fans will be able to exchange these tokens on Socios for different rewards, like UFC tickets and experiences.

The new partnership is going to give more than 318 million UFC fans access to the offers, which also include pre-sales of tickets. More details on the offerings will be announced in the following weeks.

UFC and ChiliZ
Source: UFC / ChiliZ Parter

UFC Fans Will Get to Have a Voice

Alex Dreyfus, the CEO of Chiliz, said in a statement that the partnership is more about giving UFC fans a voice than about buying tickets. Here are his exact words on this:

“The idea is that (before the pandemic) 99.9% of sports fans, like YOU, are not in the stadium and yet you are a fan of few teams.

So we offer teams the ability to engage and monetise their global fan base by creating Fan Tokens and attaching rights, experiences, gamification around these Fan Tokens.”

He added that more than 200,000 people have already downloaded the Socios app and that he hopes their numbers to rise this year. Twitter Socios followers were very enthusiastic too. Dreyfus further announced CHZ token holders will be given exclusivity to the UFC Fight Island.

Tokenizing the Sporting World

As a sports tokenization platform, Chiliz has already secured deals with soccer clubs such as Juventus, FC Barcelona, AS Roma, Paris Saint-Germain, CA Independiente, and Atlético de Madrid. Besides, it collaborates with esports behemoth OG for the production of Fan Tokens.

Another of its partnerships is with the Lagarde Sports and Entertainment for the Major League Baseball and the National Football League. Earlier in 2020, Chiliz collaborated with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The startup was founded in 2018 and raised more than $60 million in a private placement funding from Binance that same year. Its revenue is generated through Fan Tokens sales.

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Author: Oana Ularu

What Caused Bitcoin to Fall Back Below $7,000?

While the stock market is closed today on the occasion of Good Friday, crypto markets are open like they are always. And they are in the mix.

Source: Coin360

After trading above $7,000 for the better part of the week, yesterday, we fell below this level and are still trading down around $6,850.

As we reported, before this dump, a huge amount of BTC was transferred to the crypto exchanges which indicated an incoming sell-off and we got one.

Bitcoin flows into and out of exchanges can tell a lot about the potential crypto market activity. As we saw during March’s massive sell-off when BTC price fell by 50%, a total of 80,000 BTC went into crypto derivatives platform BitMEX between March 12th and 13th. 52,000 BTC also moved out of BitMEX where the price of bitcoin dropped to $3,600 compared to $3,850 on other exchanges.

According to crypto data tracker, Coin Metrics, this time, 1,000 BTC were deposited on Huobi exchange just before the price dropped below $7k.

Source: Coinmetrics

Crypto data analyzer Glassnode also noted that a whopping 150,000 BTC spike in raw volume was recorded on April 11. This volume, however, was caused by the change from an in-house transaction on crypto exchange Bitfinex.

The total raw volume has been 216,244 BTC worth $1.49 billion and change-adjusted volume was 38,179 BTC worth $263 million.

Funds movement on exchanges presented us with a potential upcoming movement in the market which this time translated into a drop in price. However, Bitcoin is still over 75% above the low we put in mid-March. Analyst Mati Greenspan said,

“Bitcoin has remained remarkably stable in the last few weeks and if we zoom out on the chart we can see something quite comforting. The level that it’s trading at now, similar to the stock market, is a level that would have been deemed quite normal throughout 2018 and 2019.”

“This is happening with the third halving only a month away.”

The halving is now officially just a month away, with the estimated date May 11 as miners continue to add more hash power to the Bitcoin Network.

Since falling to about 94 Th/s on March 22, we have recovered 12.5%. The growing hash power is also because of the halving experienced by Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV. Previously BTC accounted for 97% share of hash rate which has now increased to 99% while both BCH and BSV’s share that was just 3% further fell to 1%.

As for the price which is trading at a significant discount compared to the historical trend and the Stock-to-flow model, “BTC price will take some time to crawl towards model value (like after Nov2012 and Jul2016 halving),” said analyst PlanB.

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Author: AnTy

Huobi Wallet to Integrate Crypto Lender Cred Allowing Users To Earn Interest

The crypto exchange offering wallet services Huobi has closed a partnership with the decentralized crypto lending company Cred in order to offer user’s interest on their holdings.

The announcement that Huobi Wallet is going to integrate Cred’s borrowing and lending services was made on April 1. Huobi Wallet supports more than 1,000 crypto assets, out of which 8 are stablecoins, in 200 regions and countries. A list with the supported crypto assets for the program wasn’t provided yet, but it was mentioned that Bitcoin (BTC), Universal Dollar (UPUSD) and Ether (ETH) will be included.

Pledged Assets Will Have a Monthly Interest

Cred is based in California and a licensed lender. It was also a founding member for the Universal Protocol Alliance of crypto and blockchain companies. What should also be mentioned about it is that it’s backed by Binance, FBG Capita, Blocktower and Arrington XRP. Its CEO, Dan Schatt, said Cred is very keen to provide its decentralized financial services during so unstable financial times.

Together with Cred, Huobi will offer its users the ability to lend crypto services while receiving a monthly interest, plus the possibility to roll over pledged assets for certain amounts of time. There are no minimum requirements for participation to the program, whereas the interest will be paid in crypto assets and stablecoins. Holders of $150,000 in their wallets will also be able to join a special program and consult with Cred’s Private Client Associates.

Crypto Borrowing and Lending Gaining More Traction

The partnership between Huobi and Cred comes at a time when crypto borrowing and lending are gaining more traction in the crypto industry. Back in January, one of the fastest-developing crypto lender that has a coin loan origination of $4.25 billion, Celsius Network, made the announcement that it will implement compounding interest in the cryptocurrencies being deposited in its wallet. Some other big names in the crypto lending industry are Nexo, BlockFi, SALT Lending and YouHolder.

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Author: Oana Ularu