Bitcoin Breaks into a New ATH Above $60,000

Funding surged at one point to 0.5% but now coming down some while just over $1 billion in the past 24 hours with Binance’s degen users yet again leading.

Bitcoin entered the weekend with a very strong move as the leading crypto asset made a new all-time high just as the $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans have also started coming in.

The digital asset broke the Feb. 21st ATH of $58,350 and climbed to nearly $60,266 on Bitfinex, $60,200 on Binance, and $60k on Coinbase. A “significant negative” price gap between Coinbase and Binance shows this surge came from stablecoin buying power, per CryptoQuant.

The market is unaffected by the reports of CFTC probing Binance. As Matt Blom, global head of sales trading at EQUOS, said,

“The bears’ last stand is the $57,800 level, and it looks like we might be seeing that battle play out before the week is over,” and we did. On the downside, around $55k, he sees levels “supported by dip-buying bulls and dip-buying bears alike.”

This momentum saw the funding rate on futures platforms also rising fiercely. Bitcoin’s perpetual funding rate reacted to the bulls, and at one point, longs paid 0.5% to shorts on Deribit, as per Viewbase.

Liquidations were relatively small today as in the past four hours only about $360 million got rekt while 195,975 traders were liquidated for just over $1 billion in the past 24 hours.

And of course, much like always, Binance users were leading the liquidations, which is no surprise given that in the first two months of the launch of Binance Futures, an average of more than 60% of platform traders were using 20x or higher leverage and 21% of traders an eye-popping 125x leverage.

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The new ATH came just a day after MicroStrategy purchased an additional 262 BTC for $15 billion that brought its total holdings to 91,326 BTC. Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy said,

“People still aren’t sure: Are we crazy or are we not crazy?”

“The only way to get economic security is to invest in scarce assets that are not going to be debased by currency expansion. That is the environment that led us to decide we should consider Bitcoin as a treasury reserve asset.”

While Bitcoin bull Saylor continues to move towards 100k BTC holdings, much like the price, the number of addresses with a balance of more than 1k BTC has seen a drop.

According to analyst Lex Moskovski of Moskovski Capital, it could be larger addresses splitting for custody purposes or whale selling.

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Amidst all this, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, which also has invested in Bitcoin, made another tweet in support of the cryptocurrency.

“BTC (Bitcoin) is an anagram of TBC(The Boring Company) What a coincidence!” tweeted Musk. “Both do mining & use blocks & chains.”

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Author: AnTy

“Ethereum to Scale by 100X in the Coming Months,” Says Vitalik on Optimism Rollups Launch

“Ethereum to Scale by 100X in the Coming Months,” Says Vitalik on Optimism Rollups Launch

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin believes the blockchain is closing in on solving its scalability problem, predicting the Optimistic rollup launch in the coming month. The Optimism rollup is a layer two solution aiming to scale the blockchain by a factor of 100, which will solve the medium-term high gas fees as the community awaits the launch of Ethereum 2.0.

Speaking in a podcast aired on Tuesday, Buterin stated Ethereum 2.0 developers are working to integrate these layer two solutions, adding that the Optimism rollup will solve Ethereum’s scalability problems before sharding is introduced on ETH 2.0. He said,

“Rollups are coming very soon. We’re fully confident that by the time that we need any more scaling of that, sharding will have already been ready for a long time by then.”

Rollups are off-chain solutions that compute and store transactional data before bundling up the information and recording it on a blockchain. This reduces the data load on Ethereum, allowing transactions to be processed faster and lowers the fee paid per transaction.

The growth of decentralized finance (DeFi), yield farming, and recently non-fungible tokens (NFT) markets have seen the transaction fees on Ethereum skyrocket to all-time highs. The Optimistic rollup solution’s launch aims to reduce the high gas fees and mold ETH into a user-friendly and cheap form of currency.

According to Buterin, Optimism rollups will increase the blockchain’s scalability by 100 as the chain awaits the launch of sharding – once ETH 2.0 is fully launched.

“The thing to remember is that if you have rollups, but you do not have sharding, you still have 100X factor scaling, right? You still have the ability for the blockchain to go up to somewhere between 1,000 and 4,000 transactions a second, depending on how complex these transactions are.”

Optimism rollups only account for one of the layer two solutions currently in development – adding to Arbitrum’s scaling solutions and ZK rollups. The rollups have been in testing for the past year, and some projects have already integrated them, including Loopring and zkSync. Vitalik predicts Optimism rollups will be fully launched in the “coming months” given the progress already shown by the rollup.

Optimism rollups are expected to be embraced by some of the leading DeFi projects, including Uniswap, which recently launched its upgrade, Sushiswap, AAVE, and derivatives platform, Synthetix. MakerDAO, a borrowing and lending DeFi platform, also introduced its DAI stablecoin to Optimism rollups.

Despite increasing Ethereum’s scalability, Optimism still faces some challenges, in that transferring tokens from the main blockchain to L2 is easy. Still, the reverse process takes up to a week to complete the transaction. This is to allow for potential fraud proofs.

In a forum chat, the MakerDAO community looks to reduce the “reverse process” transaction time on DAI tokens on the L2 solution. The post reads,

“Introducing the Optimism Dai Bridge with Fast Withdrawals – a bridge which will allow locking up L1 DAI to mint L2 oDAI (Optimism-based DAI) as well as allowing oDAI to be burned in exchange for near-instant access to L1 DAI.”

The Optimism Dai Bridge with Fast withdrawals will be launched in the latter half of 2021, the post confirmed.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Private Aviation Company Sees 20% Revenue Coming from Bitcoin Paying Users

Almost 20% of private aviation company PrivateFly’s yearly revenues are now coming from travelers paying with Bitcoin. The use of cryptocurrency as a payment option has surged over the past two months, which previously made up only a marginal amount of revenue.

According to the company’s latest figures, 12% of flights were paid for using Bitcoin in December. These numbers increased to 13% in January, a huge jump from about 2% of previously paid flights through digital currency.

Those paying with Bitcoin tend to spend it on more expensive flights, notes the company. The company CEO Adam Twidell said,

“Some of these are clients who are looking to realize their gains, while others want to hold onto their cryptocurrency, in expectation of future increases. So, in addition to taking out a membership with us in Bitcoin and converting the account funds into traditional currency (as we have offered for a while), we now offer a membership program that allows the account funds to stay in Bitcoin

The price of Bitcoin has nearly increased 13x since its March 2020 low as it currently trades above $52,000.

The company first started accepting Bitcoin as a payment option in 2014 when a tech entrepreneur flew from Brussel to Nice and paid for that trip with digital currency.

PrivateFly has introduced a new membership program that allows its customers to place Bitcoin in an account that is charged using the value of BTC at the time of booking.

Other cryptos accepted by the company include Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and USDC, GUSD, PAX, and BUSD stablecoins.

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Author: AnTy

WallStreetBets Investors Are Coming to the Conclusion that ‘Bitcoin is the Way to Beat Wall Street’

WallStreetBets Investors Are Coming to the Conclusion that ‘Bitcoin is the Way to Beat Wall Street’

After all that occurred last week between Wall Street Bets and Robinhood, the retail traders who make up what’s been described by some supporters like Reddit founder as “revolution” recognize the need for decentralization.

“You can’t beat Wall Street using Wall Street. Switch to Bitcoin and watch the powerful become powerless,” tweeted WSBChairman to his more than 949k followers on Twitter.

This is not the first time that a crypto-friendly tweet came from WSBChairman. On Monday, the Twitter handle posted about Bitcoin being the “only way to truly stick it to Wall Street.”

“The era of cryptocurrency has arrived,” he tweeted the very same day only to add in a subsequent tweet, “Cryptocurrency has never had a better argument for its use.”

Interestingly, unlike Wall Street, where a few powerful people hold the majority of the stakes, in the world of Bitcoin, it’s the smallest participants that hold less than 1-10 BTC, that are estimated to have increased by 130% since 2017 bull market, as per Glassnode data.

The second smallest participants, those holding between 10% to 100%, grew by 14%, while the large entities, those with 100-1k BTC and 1k-over 5k, have decreased by -3% and -7%, respectively.

This movement is also seeing former President of TD Ameritrade, Asif Hirji calling out for a “decentralized stock exchange.”

Muck like Hirji, billionaire Mark Cuban also feels stocks will make their way on the blockchain in the future “and that will make the markets much more efficient, transparent and available to the small investor,” he wrote during his Reddit AMA session on Tuesday. He also said: “I think blockchain is the future, I don’t know if it’s decentralized or private.”

The owner of Dallas Mavericks, who has started seeing the potential in the cryptocurrencies and NFTs, also said he sees DeFi and non-fungible tokens having the potential to “explode in the next 10 years.” But “there will be a lot of ups and downs along the way,” he added.

He also revealed that he owns DeFi tokens AAVE and Sushi and Eth, BTC, and LTC.

As we reported, the cryptocurrency market has been capitalizing on this opportunity as crypto exchanges like FTX and Bitfinex listed the popular stocks among the retail traders. FTX’s crypto tracking app Blockfolio also jumped in and announced crypto and stock trading.

Crypto trading platforms already started to register record user sign-ups, traffic, and volume amidst the “marketing ad for Decentralization.”

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Author: AnTy

The UNI Airdrop is Now Worth Over $7k as Google Searches Rise Up & Volume Hits New Highs

The traditional investors are coming to the world of decentralization. Uniswap allows users to front-run the rest of the world amidst the ongoing censoring.

UNI, the 13th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $5.14 billion, is the largest DeFi token. The digital asset that enjoyed an uptrend throughout last week to reach nearly $20 is up 275% YTD.

These gains made the UNI airdrop currently worth a whopping more than $7,000. The popular decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap launched its governance token UNI in September, less than five months back. UNI tokens were airdropped to all of the users who provided liquidity to the platform before Sept. 1st.

UNI tokens’ worth is increasing as more and more users are using the decentralized exchange, which gained momentum after the Robinhood fiasco. The zero-commission broker halted the trading of popular stocks like GME and has now limited the number of shares that can be purchased. The popular retail app also halted crypto trading last week.

This pushed the traditional investors to the world of decentralized finance (DeFi).

Uniswap is actually allowing traders to front-run the rest of the world as it is open for trading 24/7/365, as is the entire crypto space.

This can be seen in the Google search volumes for “Uniswap,” which is now reaching their DeFi summer levels. The search volumes gained momentum last week just as the WallStreetBets vs. Wall Street battle intensified with trading platforms and social media platforms limited the retail traders’ scope.

Google Trends for the search term “Uniswap”

Source: Google Trends “Uniswap”

Another indicator showing an increased interest in using Uniswap can be seen in its volumes.

Interestingly, throughout January, the decentralized exchange (DEX) has been recording higher than ever volumes. All four weeks of Jan. saw $5.5 billion of volume, as per Uniswap.info.

When it comes to daily volume, it kept above $700 million, and several times it went over $1 billion.

According to Dune Analytics, Uniswap did over $25 billion in volume in January, while its competitor Sushiswap did $12.17 billion, and $6.7 billion was recorded by Curve.

The total DEX volume recorded in the last 30 days was $54 billion, with Uniswap accounting for 48.4% of the share, followed by SushiSwap’s 23.5% and Curve’s 9.6%.

“The writing is on the wall. The majority of non-fiat trading will end up on decentralized, borderless, uncensorable venues,” commented Erik Voorhees, the CEO of the self-custody crypto platform ShapeShift, which is integrating with decentralized protocols and apps.

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Author: AnTy

Retail is Coming While Bitcoin Whales Are Getting Out & Re-Accumulation Completes

Retail is Coming While Bitcoin Whales Are Getting Out & Re-Accumulation Completes

Meanwhile, “unprecedented” interest in the digital asset during the holiday period will see one of the biggest gap on CME.

After hitting both $27k and $28k on the 27th of December, the price of Bitcoin corrected to $25,800.

Today, we are trading just over $27,000 which makes sense after the monster rally of December that gave us an uptrend of more than 60%.

But interestingly, this rally during the holiday weekend seems to be driven by retail. This demand has been unlike any other ever seen during the holiday periods. “Unprecedented” as put by investor Alistair Milne.

Retail is indeed coming as seen in the growing interest reflected on Google Trends, which has surged to February 2018 levels, and exchange activity. Ki-Young Ju, CEO of data provider CryptoQuant noted,

“Retail investors are coming. BTC outflow from whales is a strong bullish signal. Otherwise, it’s a bearish one as whales tend to benefit from retail investors. We need more exchange outflows from whales before another leg up.”

Ju remains very bullish on BTC in the long term and in the short-term as well, he is expecting the $30k breakout soon but says “it’s hard to break $28.5k.”

If the ongoing cycle mimics the latest one, retail will start accumulating here in large numbers attracted by the price rises, now that “inventory depletion on spot exchanges has stopped, signifying the re-accumulation phase of this macrocycle is likely complete,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

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Woo explains that retail tends to store more of their coins on crypto exchanges, which results in the inventory to climb later in the cycle.

Interestingly, “this re-accumulation phase was 2x more powerful than the last cycle. It took 2x longer to complete and the depletion was 2x deeper,” noted Woo adding that it is “very bullish.”

This resulted in one of the biggest CME gaps ever both in terms of BTC and USD. When the traditional markets were closed down, BTC was trading around $23,700 but bitcoin futures on the largest regulated platform will be opening on Monday at a whopping $4,500 above it.

But with the market moving down today, it is to be seen how this week will go, if a much-wanted pullback will finally come or we will hit $30,000 first. Trader Scott Melker on the prospect of a correction said,

“A drop to 20k to retest the former all-time high as support would terrify many when that price was a dream two weeks ago.”

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Author: AnTy

Top US Financial Regulators Call for On-Chain Stablecoin KYC

US regulators’ parting shots keep on coming, which has “zero chance” of becoming an “enforceable rule of law any time soon.”

Top US financial regulators issued a statement calling for on-chain stablecoin KYC.

The latest statement came just a few days after the fiasco of FinCEN’s proposal to extend anti-money laundering (AML) regulation to non-custodial wallets, for which the regulator is now accepting public comments with a deadline of January 4.

Now, regulators are back with their AML rules which now target stablecoins. In a statement on Wednesday, the Treasury Department and other agencies said,

“[Stablecoins] should have the capability to obtain & verify the identity of all transacting parties, including for . . . unhosted wallets.”

The regulators want the stablecoin to be used in a way that manages risk and maintains the stability of the financial and monetary systems. Jake Chervinksy, General Counsel at Compound Finance said,

“There’s exactly zero chance this becomes an enforceable rule of law any time soon. This is just more of Secretary Mnuchin’s personal views coming out on pretty-looking stationery before his tenure ends.”

The statement is released by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, whose members include the Federal Reserve, the heads of Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

In its comprehensive statement, the group says that stablecoins may be securities, commodities, or derivatives, depending on the specific qualities of a particular asset.

And when these fiat-backed cryptos are used for retail payments and at a “significant scale” in the US, “the associated risks may require additional safeguards,” the regulators said.

The group further said that the backers of stablecoins should obtain and verify the identities of all parties involved in a transaction. Also, they need to have “strong reserve management” to handle large-scale redemption.

The members also acknowledged that stablecoins have the potential to enhance efficiency, lower costs, increase competition, and foster broader financial inclusion. Treasury Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich said,

“The statement reflects a commitment to both promote the important benefits of innovation and to achieve critical objectives related to national security and financial stability. Regulators will continue to look closely at stablecoin arrangements, and look forward to a future dialogue on these issues.”

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Author: AnTy

Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff Can’t Stop Talking About Bitcoin Day In, Day Out

2020 has been all about people coming out of fiat’s influence and finding the importance of Bitcoin. But among these high-profile names, celebrities, legendary investors who have found love for Bitcoin do not include Nouriel Roubini and Peter Schiff.

These two people have been bashing Bitcoin for a decade now; either they like to be wrong way too much or are just holding Bitcoin secretly while keeping up with the appearances.

Like a broken record, they started calling names to the leading cryptocurrency yet again as BTC took a drop of 17% to nearly $16,300. Since October, the loss came after a new 2020 high of $19,500, a rally of more than 85%. Even now, BTC is up 135% YTD.

In his latest attempt to do… something, Peter Schiff, a gold proponent, attributed this rally to CNBC promoting Grayscale and covering Bitcoin non-stop positively, which led “greedy speculators” to jump in.

Meanwhile, Nouriel Roubini felt the need to share, yet again, that it is not a currency. A highly volatile store of value, “Bitcoin has no role in institutional or retail investors portfolios,” he said.

“In every bubble those who don’t participate always look like fools for missing out. It’s only after the bubbles pop and the air comes out that the real fools are exposed,” said Shiff in another tweet.

If only he would have just put his investment in Bitcoin, like his son, if not done already, that is, instead of seeing these declines after explosive rallies as a way to criticize bitcoin, he would have been buying the dips and accumulating wealth.

According to him, once bitcoin’s bubble deflates, “the real gold remains the best safe haven and store of value left standing.”

He didn’t share with his followers that ever since making a new all-time high above $2,000, the price of the precious metal has declined more than 13% to $1,800.

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Author: AnTy

AVA Labs Announces Final Testing of Ethereum Bridge; Bringing ETH to Avalanche Blockchain

  • Ethereum (ETH) is coming to Avalanche blockchain, the report states.
  • The “ETH killer” is in its final stages of porting ETH tokens onto its blockchain.

AVA Labs, the creator of Avalanche blockchain, is on a mission to topple the Ethereum dominance in the decentralized applications and finance (DeFi) market as the top blockchain for developers to build on. The latest release of the ‘Avalanche-Ethereum bridge’ will allow the seamless transfer of ETH tokens to the Avalanche chain and back to Ethereum.

Avalanche is an open-source platform for launching decentralized finance applications and enterprise blockchain deployments. The blockchain boasts of having a faster, more scalable, and interoperable system than Ethereum. The latest development could set forth an exodus from the largest smart contract platform, which has had its troubles with the rising DeFi market.

Developed by ChainSafe, the Avalanche-Ethereum bridge is in “its final phase of testing before deploying it on the mainnet,” a statement from AVA Labs reads. Once complete, the bridge will allow simple, secure transfer of crypto assets (ERC-20 and ERC-721 transfers) across the two blockchains.

The cross-transfer of ETH tokens to the Avalanche platform is an addition to the already well ETH-connected blockchain. Avalanche already supports the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), meaning developers do not need to start coding from scratch when building their ETH-compatible DeFi applications.

To use the ETH token within decentralized applications on Avalanche, you port ETH tokens (or commonly referred to as wrapped ETH) into the ChainBridge smart contract, and an equivalent amount of AVA-based token will be minted. These tokens are valued at the same price as the ported asset and can be redeemed at any time.

The Avalanche-Ethereum bridge is set to launch on the mainnet after the final testing phase implementations by AVA Labs partners, including Protofire, Hashquark, POA Network, and Avascan.

In September, BEG reported the AVA mainnet network launch to compete with Ethereum in providing the best development platform for DeFi apps. Emin Gün Sirer, the founder of AVA Labs and a computer science professor at Cornell, stated at the time,

“Avalanche is the first major breakthrough in our space since Satoshi’s leap forward, and we intend to follow in their footsteps to have the same, defining impact as we stand on the cusp of a new decade.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum Proof of Stake (PoS) Will ‘Launch in 2020’ as ETH 2.0 Dec. 1st Launch Confirmed

It’s official! ETH 2.0, the Beacon Chain, is coming next week.

In a dramatic move, Ethereum community members deposited a huge chunk, more than 40% of all ETH required to reach the threshold to trigger ETH 2.0.

With an increase of 279% in deposits in just one day, the ETH community did the deed a day before and confirmed the launch of Phase 0 on December 1st as scheduled.

Interestingly, the price of ETH moved in the exact direction as of the staked Ether, as per Crypto Quant.

The price of ETH was just under $400 when the deposit contract for Beacon Chain was released to the public. And yesterday, ETH hit $600, going as far as $621.

CryptoQuant ETH 2 Staking Rate
Source: CryptoQuant

Now that ETH 2.0 is officially coming in a week and BTC price is making some moves today, ETH price is retreating but still around $600.

Along with this positive price action, Perpetual Swaps Open Interest also reached a new yearly high of $1.69b, both in USD terms and Ether terms.

The crypto community is excited about this development and congratulated the Ethereum team for this achievement.

“Congratulations to the ETH2 deposit contract for hitting the needful amount of ETH for Beacon Chain activation. A momentous achievement indeed!” said Su Zhu, CEO of Three Arrows Capital.

This is a very bullish development not only for Eth but for all things DeFi as “transition to PoS, alongside various upgrades will enable greater network scaling, with that, cheaper transaction and more efficient running of the network,” noted Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

As for those who still want to deposit their ETH, they can do so at any time that is up until it officially closes today.

Bloomberg also noted this development that will allow the second largest network to process the same number of transactions like Visa and Mastercard. Launched in 2015, the project has been working on the upgrade for years now.

“Ethereum needs to scale to become a global substrate of the clearing and settlement layer,” Andrew Keys, a managing member in Darma Capital, told Bloomberg.

According to him, while the current version of Ethereum proved that the real-world items like gold, music, and currencies can be successfully digitized, “now, it needs to be able to serve global volume.”

Keys, who was one of the first employees of ConsenSys, is “100% certain that proof of stake will launch in 2020.”

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Author: AnTy