Bitcoin Ramping Up Ahead of the Weekend, Another BTC ATH Incoming?

Depleting speculating supply is “insanely Bullish, of course” as institutions remove the coins from weak hands for “strong” HODLing.

Bitcoin continues to experience volatility around $58k, moving in tandem with the traditional markets as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell vowed to keep the interest rates down and supply the economy with all the help that it needs and “as long as it takes.”

And while the Fed forecasts that inflation (the consumer price index) is likely to ramp up to an alarmingly high rate of 2.4% by the end of the year but says it will be temporary, “common sense and the bond market says they are bluffing, and everybody knows it,” wrote analyst Mati Greenspan.

While Powell, along with his counterparts at the European Central Bank, Bank of England, and The People’s Bank of China, continues to double down and “support the economy” by debasing the currency, the Bank of Japan is stepping away from the aggressive monetary stimulus in favor of a more “sustainable” policy, allowing more fluctuation in 10-year bond yields.

“It is important to strike an appropriate balance between maintaining market functioning and controlling interest rates by allowing interest rates to fluctuate to a certain degree,” said the BoJ in its policy statement.

The central bank kept overnight interest rates on hold at -0.1% and will continue to peg 10-year bond yields at “around zero” but allows them to fluctuate by plus or minus 0.25% instead of the previous 0.2%.

Insanely bullish, of course!

Fed’s dovish statement helped the market climb higher but only to end up lower on Thursday. Before the weekend, S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq are attempting to rebound as yields calm down. Bitcoin went past $59k before coming back to $58k only to go back up.

Crashing bonds have been acting as a major driver bringing the tech stocks down, which in turn pushes S&P 500, other indices along with Bitcoin down.

“Markets went crazy since FOMC. Bonds and tech seem to have put in a local bottom (nothing extraordinary)—Powell to speak three times next week. And stimulus checks coming,” noted trader and economist Alex Kruger, who expects a repeat of last weekend that saw BTC making a new ATH.

While Bitcoin is following the traditional markets, inflows and continued adoption can help the cryptocurrency change direction.

As we have seen on-chain, speculative inventory, Bitcoin reserves on exchanges have been depleting ever since early last year.

“From March 2020, Bitcoin undergoes steep and continued supply shock in sync to USD money printing,” noted analyst Willy Woo.

We have been seeing US money printing climbing up while BTC supply held by speculative “weak hands” reducing and being transferred to institutions and high net worth individuals who are locking up their coins as strong HODLers in response to monetary inflation.

“This is insanely bullish of course. Strong hands have been buying every dip, which has been driving price steeply upwards since Q4 2020,” Woo added.

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Institutions, the asset allocator type like pension funds, come in a strong HODLer category because they only sell when their investment thesis changes.

“The arrival of institutional asset allocators to crypto dramatically increases the number of hodlers & strong hands, and should thus reduce the size of price corrections,” trader Kruger.

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Author: AnTy

New Mimblewimble Code & Community-wide Testnet Launch Might Come in Q1 2021

Implementation of privacy features on Litecoin while other privacy coins getting delisted have people bullish on LTC.

“The first implementation of non-interactive txs is finally ready for testing!” said David Burkett while sharing the update on implementing Mimblewimble to bring privacy to the network.

In the month of December, the first-ever implementation of one-sided txs on Mimblewimble is completed and ready for testing and review and MWEB components have also been added to the GUI.

Going forward, one more week would take to prep Grin++for the final planned hard fork of Grin. And once the new version is released, Burkett will get the new MWEB code ready and launch the new community-wide testnet. This will allow everyone, regardless of technical abilities, to test out the MWEB and provide feedback.

However, there is still no exact date ready for when the code will be finished, but Burkett did ensure that he is “getting very close” but with a lot of automated tests to backfill still, a few outstanding questions about max weight for the EBs & peg-in/peg-out maturity, and lots of small cleanup tasks remaining. He said,

“I’m still expecting to have the code finished sometime this quarter (Q1 2021) though, so it won’t be long.”

Making it a Reality

As per the original plan, the MWEB was to be completed in a year but the team is already two months behind. Burkett said,

“While we didn’t quite meet our original timeline, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I’ve put in countless late-night hours working to make MWEB a reality.”

“But there’s simply too much at stake to release anything less than perfection. LTC deserves it, and we’re all doing everything we can to deliver on that.”

The delay has been because of completely rewriting the code from scratch, while initially it was thought that Grin++’s code would be reused but it didn’t mesh well with the LTC codebase.

Additionally, the original plan included only interactive transactions but that meant users had to be online to receive funds, which would’ve been a whole lot worse for usability, noted the developer who further shared that “at the time, non-interactive txs were not even considered possible in MW, but we figured out a way to do it.”

Enjoying the Greens

During the update, Burkett also urged the community to continue with more donations as he said, “despite huge LTC gains, only 0.25 LTC were donated this month.” Every donation would be matched to litoshi-for-litoshi by Bitcoin creator Charlie Lee.

The price of LTC has been enjoying a rally since 4Q20, moving in tandem with Bitcoin. While Bitcoin went crazy with its over 315% gains in 2020, Litecoin surged just over 220%.

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $10.21 billion is currently trading above $153, up 190% since Oct.

Amidst the ongoing delisting of privacy featured coins, like Zcash (ZEC), Monero (XMR), and DASH from crypto exchanges, some speculate it could make LTC more valuable. Crypto analyst Alex Saunders said,

“More privacy coin delisting news today. My thesis & narrative around Litecoin’s 2nd coming strengthens. With XRP out of the picture & LTC’s regulatory certainty (age, distribution, decentralization, Grayscale Trust) it could regain #3 as it implements privacy features.

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Author: AnTy

SUSHI on Altcoin Party Menu, Collaborating with Yearn on a ‘Stealth Project’

Both Bitcoin and ETH are constantly moving up and down dramatically as investors continue to scoop off coins in the spot market while leverage continues to dominate the derivatives market.

Amidst this, DeFi tokens rallied, and the total value locked in the sector is near ATH at $14.55 billion, as per DeFi Pulse.

Sushi is actually the DeFi token, which is leading the market with 287% gains in the past month, 84.75% in the last week, and is up over 27% today while trading at $2.26.

The recent price rally has pushed its price/sales ratio to just over 7x, which is still below 11x that of Uniswap and 45x of Balancer.

The uptrend has been despite the reports that a potential SushiSwap exploit was discovered and subsequently confirmed on Twitter by 0xMaki, General Manager at SushiSwap.

According to 0xMaki, the culprit got around $10-15K from the 0.05% fees cut of SushiSwap. The exploit was on the Sushibar for fees, but the issue was quickly resolved, and according to reports, the individual responsible for abusing the loophole was also identified by GM 0xMaki as a community member from SNX & possibly ESD.

The gains have been propelled by SUSHI’s merger with Yearn.Finance. After Cream, COVER, AAVE, Akropolis, and PICKLE, YFI’s Andre Cronje announced the alliance with SushiSwap.

In his merger announcement, Cronje said while Sushiswap did some things wrong, much has been done right.

With Sushi focused on expanding their AMM ecosystem and Yearn on their strategies, the overlap has become apparent; as such, it made sense “to take the relationship to the next level.”

The Synergies

Both the projects are merging their development resources to increase their TVL. Sushi will be launching Deriswap — a protocol that combines different DeFi services, including options, loans, and swaps into a single contract — in collaboration, following which it will also be involved in a “stealth project” with Yearn.

The token and governance of Sushi will stay the same, but Yearn will participate in it and add to its treasury some SUSHI the same way Sushi will do to Yearn.Finance. 0xMaki will lead the AMM arm of yEarn while the launched money market will use Sushi LP as collateral.

Cronje’s Yearn project will help create Sushi vaults so people can earn SUSHI-ETH-YFI-wBTC, and its strategies will also use Sushiswap moving forward.

His other project Keep3r, will be integrated inside Sushibar v2, move the full treasury as liquidity to Sushiswap KP3R/ETH (~$11MM), implement on-chain limit orders, stop loss, and take profit for Sushiswap LPs, and will offer gasless swaps via MetaWallet for Sushiswap trades.

Other synergies involve Cream protocol reserve to provide liquidity to Bento Box, Cover agnostic protocol to use SUSHI as coverage, and Coverage money market to include Sushiswap perpetual coverage.

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Author: AnTy

US-Based ShapeShift Delists Privacy Coins Dash, XMR, & ZEC to ‘Avoid Regulatory Risks’

  • ShapeShift is delisting privacy coins from its exchange
  • Regulatory risks in the U.S. led to the delisting of ZEC, XMR, and DASH

Zcash (ZEC) is the latest privacy-enabled crypto to be delisted from Colorado-based cryptocurrency exchange, ShapeShift. This follows the silent delisting of Monero (XMR) and Dash (DASH) from the exchange due to regulatory risks.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Veronica McGregor stated the exchange delisted the coins due to the regulatory risks and uncertainties privacy coins hold.

“At least for the moment, we’re not working with those coins,” McGregor said in an interview.

The delisting of ZEC was made public on Tuesday after Decrypt’s report confirmed that Monero (XMR) and Dash (DASH) were delisted on Friday of last week.

The latest delisting shows ShapeShift taking up a more regulatory approach as regulators start paying close attention to privacy-eccentric coins. At launch, the exchange allowed users to trade and swap cryptocurrencies anonymously – allowing users to open trades without any login or account registration.

However, following money laundering claims (which ShapeShift vehemently countered), the exchange started asking users to submit their “know-your-customer” compliance documents in September 2018.

As governments and regulators take into account the FAFT Travel rule, exchanges across the world have taken a hard stance on privacy coins. BitBay and BitOasis announced the delisting of Monero (XMR) from their exchanges in 2019 due to regulatory risks. And South Korea is set to ban the trading of privacy coins.

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Author: Lujan Odera

South Korea Set to Ban the Trading of ‘Privacy Enabled Coins’ On Virtual Asset Exchanges

  • South Korea bans “privacy coins” trading on crypto exchanges.
  • The updates were made as part of the guidelines to the “Special Payments Act.”

South Korea’s leading financial watchdog, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), announced on Tuesday a ban on the trading of privacy-enabled cryptocurrencies such as Monero (XMR), Dash (DASH), and Zcash (ZEC) from any virtual asset service provider platform. The move follows a guideline update on the ‘Special Payments Act’ that governs the country’s cryptocurrencies laws.

According to the statement, the FSC claims privacy-enabled coins enable high money laundering risk due to the difficulty tracing the transactions. In 2018, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office opened a case on drug dealers who received privacy coins in payment for their illegal goods. The new amendments will curb these kinds of payments preventing the spread of illicit and illegal activities.

The amendments by the FSC will start being implemented and enforced in March 2021, creating strict laws against trading privacy cryptocurrencies. Notwithstanding, the crypto exchanges in South Korea will have to comply with KYC/AML regulations. Customers will have to verify their accounts using a passport, identification card, or any government-recognized document.

Several exchanges have already delisted privacy coins, including South Korean-based OKEx and Upbit exchange. The Japan-based crypto exchange, Liquid, also announced the delisting of Zcash (ZEC) and the other 28 coins to comply with Singapore’s laws.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Chain Swap: Tether Moves 1 Billion USDT from Tron to Ethereum Amid the DeFi Frenzy

Tether, the stablecoin provider, has moved 1 billion USDT coins from the Tron blockchain to Ethereum’s ecosystem which has been burgeoning, given the increased activity in DeFi. Basically, the whole process involves a swap from the TRC20 token standard to ERC20; an initiative that was coordinated together with a 3rd party according to the Twitter announcement by Tether.

The 1 billion USDT moved by Tether comes as a big blow to Tron blockchain whose supply will now reduce to 3.3 billion. As for Ethereum, its supply increased from a prevailing 7.5 billion to 8.5 billion, a move that will probably scale DeFi growth even more. Notably, Tether’s USDT supply went up by over 2 billion within the recent crypto market bull-run, bringing the total to over 13 billion.

Tether was also keen to highlight that the swap will not affect the current USDT supply but simply initiate a shift in the operating blockchain network. Going by the prospects on Ethereum, the move appears to have been motivated by DeFi activity where the USDT coin has found a niche based on its ability to preserve value in such a volatile ecosystem.

As for the 3rd party exchange involved in the swap, Tether did not disclose which crypto exchange it had tasked with this process. However, data from crypto transfer tracking metric Whale Alert, suggests that Binance might have actually been the 3rd party mentioned in Tether swap tweet. This is based on an alert that $600 million USD was transferred from Binance to Tether’s treasury.

With congestion at all-time high in Ethereum’s network, the latest move to increase USDT supply on this blockchain might not play out very well. Tether, however, operates in a total of 7 blockchains with the latest launch being on the Omisego network. It is this diversity that will probably come in handy should Ethereum’s congestion prove unsustainable.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Binance And OKEx Latest Crypto Exchanges To List, COMP, Compound’s Governance Token

Compound (COMP) is setting an impressive rise since its launch a fortnight ago with the coin’s price, popularity, and total value locked have seen multiple times growth rates since then. Additionally, several crypto exchanges have rushed to list the token after its impressive performance. After additions to Coinbase Pro, Coinbase, and FTX derivatives exchange, COMP is now set to start trading on OKEx and Binance.

OKEx launches COMP spot trading

Big exchanges are jumping on to listing Compound’s governance token in what can only be described as a FOMO move listing a two-week-old token. OKEx becomes the latest exchange to launch trading pairs of the coin, including the Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin (BTC) pairs.

Users can buy, sell, deposit, and withdraw COMP from the exchange as of Monday, Jun 29, the announcement reads. Trading opened at 9 AM UTC, and as at the time of writing, only 228 COMP has been traded on both pairs on the exchange.

COMP currently trades at an average of $235 across major exchanges representing a 4.31% drop in the past 24 hours. The daily trading volumes remain high at $11 million across 31 listed pairs on over ten exchanges – COMP reached an all-time high daily trading volume of $31 million on Friday.

Safe or not? Binance launches futures trading

In a similar breath, Binance launched futures trading of the COMP token offering USDT settled contracts starting Tuesday, June 30. The statement reads,

“Binance Futures will launch COMP/USDT perpetual contract, with the trading opening on 2020/06/30 09:00 AM (UTC). Users will be able to select between 1-50x leverage.”

However, a section of crypto traders has come forward criticizing the exchange for its high leverage positions on a relatively new token in the market. It is a question of making a profit vs. a safe environment for traders.

Binance, which has been at the forefront in speaking on the need to protect users, faces a dilemma as the volatility of an unproven token may cause a similar flash crash to Matic Network’s in December 2019 and with it liquidate users’ funds.

Rise to the top

Compound is a platform that allows users to earn interest by lending and borrowing digital assets. Launched in 2019, the company ascend to the top of the DeFi industry comes as a shock to many. Compound is currently the largest DeFi platform overtaking Maker (MKR) in total asset value locked (TVL), according to Defipulse.com.

Compound dominates the industry with $626 million in digital assets locked on the platform, representing 38.2% of the total value in decentralized finance.

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Author: Lujan Odera

XRP is Waking Up But Liquidity in All the Major Corridors Are Taking A Hit

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency XRP isn’t doing really well. Not only it is one of the worst-performing top coins of 2020 with over 6% negative returns but is still down more than 95% from its all-time high of $3.92.

But it might start picking up finally. Today, XRP has jumped nearly 4% and is currently trading at $0.185.

“Suddenly, the majors start waking up. LTC, EOS, and even XRP are showing great candles,” tweeted trader Crypto Michaël.

According to him, XRP needs to reclaim $0.195 for a test of $0.23 which should put it back above 100-day and 200-day MA.

“For this one; back to support,” he said adding “Similar to BTC pair -> needs to reclaim 2075 and then 2400 sats test likely.”

Adding pressure to the price is the 415 million XRP that is moved by the $2 billion PlusToken Ponzi scheme. Some of these XRP are also sent to exchanges viz. Huobi, OKEx, and HBTC.

Amidst this, XRP holders are partaking in some accumulation. Small to big XRP holders, all bought more XRP but the amount added has been relatively low.

As per the rich list, the top 100 accounts own over 69% of XRP in circulation at 35 billion.

Declining Liquidity Across the Board

XRP may be ready to move but its inaction for a long time has spilled onto its ODL indices. The liquidity index for Bitso, XRP/MXN, one of the most active corridors has fallen to its lowest numbers.

On June 1st, 2020, it hit its all-time high of 37.3 million which has declined to 2.3 million on June 25th, a new low for 2020.

The market liquidity here covers more than just trade volume and helps in assessing “net” liquidity provision.

The case is the same for all the other Liquidity Indexes.

Bitstamp XRP/EUR, has fallen to 7.3 million, last seen in March 2020, from the high of 35.7 million earlier this month. Coin.ph XRP/PHP climbed to 11.5 million in April and is currently at just 1 million, back to early January levels. XRP/AUD market tumbled to 992k, down from 16 million high last month, as per Liquidity Index Bot.

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Author: AnTy

Blockchain Monitor, Chainalysis, Adds Privacy Coins DASH and Zcash To Its Tracking

  • Blockchain transactions analysis firm, Chainalysis, announced the addition of two privacy coins, Zcash (ZEC) and Dash (DASH) to its Reactor and Know Your Transaction monitoring system on June, 8.
  • The two cryptocurrencies are not as private as most people believe despite the blockchains conducting over $1.5 billion in daily transactions.

The New York-based firm is finally dipping its toes into the privacy coin transaction monitoring space by introducing Dash and Zcash to its ring of over 80 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

The two become the first pair of privacy coins to be monitored by Chainalysis, who claim Dash privacy is a simple extension to Bitcoin mixers, and almost all of Zcash’s transactions are not private.

“PrivateSend is a Branded Implementation of BTC Mixers”

Dash employs the PrivateSend feature to obscure users’ transactions in a similar manner to Bitcoin mixers, the announcement reads. Users have an option on whether they would like their coins mixed or not by selecting the “PrivateSend” feature before making the transaction.

The funds are then sent to DASH denominated pools of 1, 10, 100, 0.0001 DASH, etc. and resent to a new “harder to trace” wallet.

Chainalysis have been monitoring Bitcoin mixer transactions for some time and aims to do the same with Dash, which they claim naming it a private coin as a misnomer. According to a study by researchers at Princeton University, you can uniquely identify the single address a PrivateSend output came from.

Only about 1% of the total Dash transactions on the blockchain use the PrivateSend feature with mixing transactions accounting for only 9% of the total transaction volume.

Despite Dash being brought to the spotlight on Chainalysis, the CEO of Dash Core Group, Ryan Taylor, remains positive on the overall effect of the monitoring. He said,

“Chainalysis is a leading provider of advanced AML and blockchain analytics that is necessary for money services businesses needing to balance privacy needs with compliance needs.

Ultimately, both [Dash and Chainalysis] promote the safe use of cryptocurrencies, while ensuring access to legacy financial markets, so I’m pleased that Chainalysis has chosen to implement Dash into their platform.”

He later replied to a few DASH users on the privacy effects of having Chainalysis monitoring.

Over 99.9% of Zcash Transactions are not Private

The Chainalysis’ article also mentions the addition of Zcash, which offers a privacy mechanism using Zk-SNARKS encryption. Zcash makes users funds “private” by sending the amounts to encrypted pools that obscure any surveillance.

However, the statement released showed that over 99% of the total transactions on the blockchain are not private at all. It turns out that the transactions are only shielded in the pool but not the transactions into and out of the pools.

“Transactions into, out of, and between the pools are transparent, but the counterparty addresses within the pool remain encrypted.”

Only 6% of the total transactions interacting with the shielded pool are actually shielded, which accounts to about 0.9% of the total transactions on Zcash.

“Using simple heuristics based on shielded pool usage patterns reduces anonymity.” – Statement on how to trace Zcash transactions.

With most users foregoing the option of joining a shielded pool, tracking individual transactions is even easier.

All in all, only a small percentage of the transactions, about 0.2%, use the DASH and ZEC for illegal activities.

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Author: Lujan Odera

BTC Investors Are Buying the Dip But Watchout, Options Expiry Are Coming

  • Bitcoin addresses holding 0.1+ coins breaks ATH set yesterday as price moves north of $5,800
  • Bitcoin futures and options set to be expired next week

For the past few days now, bitcoin is showing the signs of decoupling from the other risky assets like gold as the digital asset jumped to $5,920, up 8.13%, with more than $2 billion worth of bitcoin exchanging hands-on top ten exchanges with real volume.

Another positive movement is the number of addresses holding over 0.1 BTC just hitting an all-time high yet again. Just a day before, the addresses reached a peak of 2,919,003 only to surpass this with 680 new addresses.

Source: Glassnode

Looks like people are buying the dip and stacking some sats. Bitcoin HODLer Net Position Change is also showing that investors are accumulating. The metric has been positive during the recent BTC price dump, which means long term investors “accumulating discounted BTC and increasing their positions.”

Also, according to MVRV, this is the “best time to accumulate BTC at a relatively discounted price” as it drops below one for the fourth time in Bitcoin’s history.

Market Dynamics to Change

However, as bitcoin surges and altcoins jumping even higher, with Dash (19.49%), IOTA (15.50%), Chainlink (13.47%, BAT (11.14%), and Cardano (11.02%) leading the market gains, bitcoin futures and options are soon to be expired.

While next week, on the last Friday of the month, CME Bitcoin futures will expire, nearly two-third of outstanding options will expire over the next two Fridays.

Bitcoin options volume, however, has been going down since March 12 sell-off, the same as bitcoin futures contracts.

BTC Options Volume SKEW
Source: Skewdotcom

Strength of the infrastructure under question

Late last week, bitcoin plunged to its worst day in seven years as worries over the economic hit from the coronavirus (Covid-19) spread from stocks, oil, bonds, gold, to cryptocurrencies.

This resulted in a dramatic spike in volatility and volumes and the infrastructure created under this strain.

As we reported, Ethereum network congested by getting overwhelmed causing a sharp increase in gas prices and forced liquidations on DeFi projects like MakerDAO.

In the Bitcoin market, futures exchanges saw a rush of triggered liquidations of leveraged positions that fueled the pressure on price. Spread between spot and futures exchanges also jumped. This resulted in at least two major exchanges going down.

While New York-based Gemini went offline for less than 90 minutes and Seychelles-based BitMEX went down twice for a total of 45 minutes. A spokeswoman for Gemini said,

“In an abundance of caution, and to protect the integrity of our marketplace, we paused the market to resolve the issue and ensure all market services were back online in a healthy state prior to reopening.”

As for BitMEX, the exchange suffered two DDoS attacks that day, attackers waited for the right moment and overwhelmed the platform “during a moment of peak volatility.”

This has the market concerned about the strength of the infrastructure.“Volatility is not an issue — it’s whether the technology can deal with the volatility.” said Denis Vinokourov at crypto exchange BeQuant.

“The tech is important. You’re inviting traditional, big firms to trade on platforms that may not be able to withstand the amount of trading.”

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Author: AnTy