Nvidia Looks to Fire Up Its Crypto Mining GPU Production; If Demand is Good Enough

Nvidia Looks to Fire Up Its Crypto Mining GPU Production; If Demand is Good Enough

While known for its prowess in the gaming industry for its powerful line of graphics cards, the Chipmaking powerhouse Nvidia has hinted at a possible restart in the production of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) specifically for cryptocurrency miners.

During her time attending an event on Jan. 12, Nvidia Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress alluded to the company’s continued interest in providing its famous line of CMPs for the crypto mining community – providing the market picks up to what she refers to as a “meaningful level.”

CMPs, in contrast to GPUs, are effectively the same kind of graphics card. By removing certain features from GPUs – such as video outputs – CMPs could be manufactured at a reduced cost and on a larger scale for the crypto mining community.

While Kress’s comments have picked up considerable traction among crypto mining circles, the entire prospect hinges on a very sizeable ‘but.’ Of course, that is the possibility that the crypto mining market proves a lucrative one for Nvidia; something that Kress doesn’t hold much hope for. During the event, Kress added that “we don’t believe [mining demand is] a big part of our business today.”

To put this response into context, Kress referred to Nvidia’s RTX 30-Series of GPUs and how many interested parties may also be in the mining community. However, that isn’t to say that there is no market for them, especially when considering Ether miners. For example, an RBC analyst found that $175m in GPU sales came from Ether miners, more than $25m above what Nvidia speculated.

Miners of Ethereum appear to be a more lucrative consumer-base of Nvidia’s GPUs, as they rely upon more than ASIC-using Bitcoin miners.

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Author: James Fox

Russian Crypto Exchange, Livecoin, Shuts Down After Alleged Christmas Eve Hack

Russian Crypto Exchange, Livecoin, Shuts Down After Alleged Christmas Eve Hack

After reporting an attack in December last year, Russian crypto exchange Livecoin has now announced the closure of its services. The exchange stated that it was taking the drastic step following a carefully executed hack in December 2020.

In an official statement, the exchange stated that it could not go on with its business as the hack had affected its technical and financial capacity. However, the exchange clarified that it would refund all its clients. A press release shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide reads,

“Our service has been damaged hard in technical and financial ways. There is no way to continue operative business in these conditions, so we take a hard decision to close the business and pay the remaining funds to clients.”

Currently, the amount of funds left remains unclear. The exchange also did not reveal the dollar amount of funds that were lost in the alleged hack.

The alleged hack occurred at the end of last year, and at the time, Bitcoin was trading above $20,000. During Christmas eve, Livecoin announced that it had been attacked and was not in control of a number of its servers. The exchange warned its users to quit using its services forthwith.

It is believed that the hackers were able to steal about 106 BTC, 236 BCH, 380 ETH, 66.8 million DOGE, 567,012 XRP, and unreported amounts of ERC-20 and USDT.

It is also believed that a huge amount of Ethereum-based funds were changed to DAI on Uniswap, a decentralized exchange. Additionally, a huge amount of the remaining funds were transferred to cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin.

According to the press statement, customers have been given up to March 17 to make official claims for refunds. The firm is also asking its customers to be cautious of potential fraud in various messages and other channels with people representing themselves as team members of Livecoin. The press statement reads,

“Do not send money to anyone. You don’t have to pay to get back your funds from us, the only thing you need is to send a request and follow simple procedure.”

The firm is also asking its clients to get all official communications from Livecoin.news only. However, some clients have stated that the email address given on the new media channel is inactive.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset

Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has become the latest platform to halt XRP trading for US residents from January 30, 2021, at 1:00 UTC due to SEC filing against Ripple Labs. For those users residing in other countries, XRP markets will continue to operate uninterrupted.

US residents with open XRP spot positions on the margin on Kraken are also required to satisfy their margin obligation by January 28, 2021, at 11:59 pm PT, or their positions will be liquidated.

While US residents won’t be able to trade XRP, these users will still be able to deposit, hold, and withdraw XRP on the exchange. Also, this will not affect Spark token airdrop.

As the list of crypto outlets suspending XRP trading for US users continues to get bigger, the digital asset continues to lose its value.

Among the top 100 crypto assets, XRP is not only the one with over 50% losses in the last 30 days but is also among a handful of cryptocurrencies that are experiencing a downtrend.

Since Bitcoin took to ranging this week after the pullback, altcoins are using this opportunity to rally and DeFi tokens have simply exploded so much that Polkadot (DOT) has replaced XRP as the fourth largest cryptocurrency by a market cap of $14.48 billion XRP 0.78% XRP / USD XRPUSD $ 0.28
Volume 4.09 b Change $0.00 Open $0.28 Circulating 45.4 b Market Cap 12.72 b
8 h Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset 1 d Ripple to Hire Managing Director For RippleNet Payment Network in Europe 2 d Grayscale Investments Buys 2,170 BTC, No ETH Yet While Dissolving XRP Trust Altogether
. Polkadot has been enjoying an uptrend lately, hitting an all-time high at $18.30 in the process DOT 38.25% Polkadot / USD DOTUSD $ 18.16
Volume 8.76 b Change $6.95 Open $18.16 Circulating 900.81 m Market Cap 16.36 b
8 h Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset 1 d Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors; Ethereum, Tezos and Polkadot 1 d 150-Year Old Insurance Company, Metlife, Talks About The New Kids On The Block; The ‘Altcoin Revolution’

XRP is currently trading at $0.289 with a market capitalization of $13 billion.

On data provider Messari, even Cardano ADA 14.96% Cardano / USD ADAUSD $ 0.35
Volume 4.39 b Change $0.05 Open $0.35 Circulating 31.11 b Market Cap 10.75 b
8 h Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset 1 d 150-Year Old Insurance Company, Metlife, Talks About The New Kids On The Block; The ‘Altcoin Revolution’ 5 d Cardano (ADA) Passes Polkadot (DOT) As Largest Cryptocurrency Staking Network
has jumped above XRP at the 5th spot with Liteocin LTC 2.35% Litecoin / USD LTCUSD $ 143.53
Volume 7.13 b Change $3.37 Open $143.53 Circulating 66.29 m Market Cap 9.52 b
8 h Kraken Halts XRP Trading; DOT Replaces the Digital Asset as 4th Largest Crypto Asset 1 d 150-Year Old Insurance Company, Metlife, Talks About The New Kids On The Block; The ‘Altcoin Revolution’ 4 d Grayscale Reopens Deposits for New Investors In Its Crypto Trusts; Excludes Ethereum & XRP
ready to take even the 6th spot from XRP.

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Author: AnTy

Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors

Fireblocks Introduces Crypto Staking for Institutional Investors; Ethereum, Tezos and Polkadot

Fireblocks wants to help institutional investors access crypto staking opportunities. The company’s institutional focus comes at a time when interest in crypto is high.

Digital asset security platform Fireblocks has been working over the past year to improve institutional access to cryptocurrencies. Following the success in decentralized finance (DeFi) and more, the company is now turning its sights to the burgeoning staking scene.

Staking is for Everyone

Fireblocks plans to support hosted proof-of-stake (PoS) services for Ethereum 2.0, Tezos, and Polkadot, as it opens up token staking to its institutional client base.

Fireblocks has over 165 clients, which includes heavyweight crypto lenders Salt, Celsius, and UK-based Fintech firm Revolut. The crypto custodian is partnering with popular staking providers Staked and Blockdaemon to pull this off.

Company chief executive Michael Shaulov confirmed that the move was largely due to increased investor demand.

As he pointed out, most of Fireblock’s customers hold Bitcoin, while a small minority hold altcoins. That small minority is split in assets such as XTZ, DOT, and ETH, which total about $1 billion.

Institutional investors with idle funds, should expect between 5 and 15 percent in yields annually if they lock up their funds on the platform.

Fireblocks’ customers will maintain custody of their funds in their MPC-based wallets. From there, they can monitor their performance on Staked and Blockdaemon.

Data from Staking Rewards shows that the two are ranked first and sixth, respectively, on the list of crypto assets by staked value. With Polkadot staking in particularly high demand, Fireblocks appears to be in an excellent position to land its desired institutional clients.

Staking on Ethereum 2.0 is also on the rise. Industry news sources recently confirmed that Ethereum 2.0 staking on top crypto exchange Kraken had surpassed the billion-dollar mark.

Fireblocks’ Encompassing Institutional Crypto Play

Fireblocks’ cryptocurrency staking service is the latest in a flurry of efforts to drive institutional crypto investment.

Last June, the firm created an open network called Secure Asset Transfer Network, for institutions to connect, trade, settle and transfer crypto on-chain. The network launched with over 55 institutions and 26 exchanges. Participants included brokers, liquidity providers, asset custodians, and market makers. Shaulov said at the time,

“The launch of the Fireblocks Network makes it possible for users to store and transfer assets across the entire institutional ecosystem and removes the need for any middle-men. We’re redefining on-chain settlement processes by adding an unprecedented layer of security and efficiency, preserving the decentralized nature of blockchain, and allowing it to operate at the institutional level.”

The Asset Transfer Network was built on its multiparty computational technology (MCT). The Network also provides access to easy on-chain transfers while streamlining post-trade operations and settlements.

Fireblocks also has interests in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Last March, the company partnered with leading lending protocol Compound to allow institutional investors to access DeFi opportunities. Thanks to the integration, Fireblocks customers can now earn interest via Compound’s lending protocol.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Swiss Stock Exchange, SIX, Adds A New Bitcoin ETP (BTCE) From Issuer ETC Group

SIX Swiss Exchange, one of the leading marketplaces for crypto products, has welcomed a new Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) provider known as the ETC Group. According to the official announcement, ETC Group will join 5 other ETP providers, scaling the number of listed ETP’s to 34.

The new Bitcoin ETP goes by the ticker ‘BTCE’ and tracking Bitcoin’s price BTC 6.28% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 38,620.37
Volume 63.56 b Change $2,425.36 Open $38,620.37 Circulating 18.6 m Market Cap 718.36 b
6 s Swiss Stock Exchange, SIX, Adds A New Bitcoin ETP (BTCE) From Issuer ETC Group 11 min New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Warns Crypto Investors to Watch Out for Scams 44 min Howard Marks Warms Up to Bitcoin; His Son Holds A ‘Meaningful Amount’ of BTC For The Family
to inform its performance. Basically, this crypto-oriented product gives exposure to Bitcoin while operating under the regulated SIX exchange marketplace. The ETP is available in GBP, CHF, and USD trading pairs.

Given that the ETP tracks Bitcoin, ETC Group has 100% physically backed the BTCE ETP; in simple terms, the Group owns Bitcoin as the underlying asset to this particular crypto product. Investors can, therefore, participate in the crypto markets by tracking the price of BTC, which is reflective of the ETP performance.

SIX Swiss Exchange head of markets, Christian Reuss, said the milestone would further expose investors to more crypto products,

“We welcome ETC Group to the family of ETP providers offering their products at SIX. With the new product, investors gain access to 100 different crypto products trading on our platform and with this have even more opportunities to diversify their portfolio.”

The exchange also reported that it broke the billion-dollar barrier in crypto products trading turnover to CHF 1 billion in 2020. This figure has increased by over 100% compared to 2017’s turnover, around CHF 525 million; crypto-related trades broke previous records to hit 48,024.

Meanwhile, ETC Group who is the provider of the newly listed Bitcoin ETP, has experience in the innovation of digital asset-backed securities; the firm enjoys backing from heavyweight London-based institutions such as XTX Ventures and ITI Capital.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Warns Crypto Investors to Watch Out for Scams

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority Warns Crypto Investors to Watch Out for Scams

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has become the latest financial watchdog to issue cryptocurrency risk warnings to crypto holders and investors.

The warning is coming as the crypto market is witnessing a gradual contraction in market prices. The financial watchdog has warned citizens dealing with crypto assets to be wary of the risks since digital assets are not regulated in the country. FMA stated,

“Cryptocurrencies are not regulated in New Zealand and are often exploited by scammers and hackers.”

A rise in crypto scams

Based on NZ Herald’s report, the FMA has expressed worries about the increasing cryptocurrency scams in New Zealand, with several unregulated digital exchanges promising unusually high returns that are unrealistic.

This latest announcement from the FMA is coming barely 24 hours after the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning about the risk of cryptocurrency investments in the country.

Highly volatile market

The watchdog added that New Zealanders looking to invest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies should be very careful because they are highly volatile and risky investment vehicles.

The FMA said it shares the FCA concerns, and crypto holders and investors should be prepared to lose all their invested funds if they continue in the highly volatile crypto market.

Many cryptocurrency exchanges based overseas are not regulated, as they carry out their business exclusively online. As a result, investors of such exchanges are at high risk of losing their entire investments if something goes wrong in the market. The FMA noted that there is no assurance that their funds will be safe since it’s difficult to find out who is selling, buying, exchanging, or offering the cryptocurrencies.

In the past year, the crypto market has risen substantially, as almost all the digital assets added considerable gains. Now the overall market cap of crypto assets stands at over $1 trillion, with Bitcoin having about 70% of the share.

In 2020, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency rose by more than 300%. But with the rise in the value of cryptocurrencies, more people became interested in the crypto market. As a result, crypto scams more than doubled as well.

Elliptic, a crypto assets risk management provider, reported recently that threat actors are hiding stolen Bitcoin in privacy wallets. Some criminals are also using pictures and details of famous people to deceive crypto holders on fake news websites.

The threat actors have used scam Bitcoin ads featuring unauthorized pictures of celebrities and personalities like Waleed Aly, Chris Hemsworth, and Andrew Forest to lure their victims to part ways with their cryptocurrencies. The report revealed that these cybercrimes are linked to threat groups from Moscow.

Verifying registration status of the exchange

New Zealand’s watchdog has also issued an advisory to crypto investors who deal with crypto exchanges. According to the regulator, users should verify whether the exchange holds their New Zealand dollars in a trust account. They should also ensure that the exchange is dully registered with the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR), which is required in the case of a dispute resolution.

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Author: Ali Raza

Winklevoss Twins Considering Taking Gemini Public; Acquire Blockrize to Launch Crypto Credit Card

Winklevoss Twins Considering Taking Gemini Public; Acquire Blockrize to Launch Crypto Credit Card

Bitcoin HODLers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss offering up to 3% reward in BTC and other cryptocurrencies on their Gemini Credit Cards while “still committed” to Bitcoin ETF but not looking to increase their BTC position.

It’s the season to go public!

After Coinbase, Bakkt, this time its cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.

Bitcoin billionaire brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss told Bloomberg that they are considering taking Gemini Trust Co. public amidst the heightened demand in the crypto market.

“We are definitely considering it and making sure that we have that option,” said Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of the New York-based digital-asset firm.

“We are watching the market and we are also having internal discussions on whether it makes sense for us at this point in time. We are certainly open to it.”

With this news on Thursday came the announcement of the launch of the Gemini Credit Card.

The card will function like a traditional one but with an additional feature to earn crypto rewards on everyday purchases with up to 3% back in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. These rewards will be deposited into cardholders’ Gemini’s accounts automatically.

“Cash is trash,” said Gemini chief executive Tyler Winklevoss. “So as you spend your cash, you get Bitcoin — it’s a pretty good trade-off.”

The launch of these upcoming cards has been accelerated by the acquisition of Blockrize, a fintech startup building a credit card with crypto rewards, for an undisclosed sum. Customers can sign up to the waitlist for the cards that will come later this year.

This the second acquisition by Gemini as back in Nov. 2019, the company acquired Nifty Gateway.

Gemini is making a lot of waves and is further looking to make more with its Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

The Winklevoss twins were the first to file for a Bitcoin ETF in the US years ago but got rejected by the SEC in 2017. But they are still interested and hired David Abner as Gemini’s global head of business development in December. Abner previously ran ETF efforts at Bear Stearns, BNP Paribas, and WisdomTree Europe.

“We still believe in this product, we are still committed to this product,” said Cameron Winklevoss, but only to add that they don’t have anything to share in this regard at the moment.

Gemini is actually the sub-custodian of the Bitcoin held by the ETF filed by Arxnovum Investments Inc. on Monday with the Ontario Securities Commission in Canada.

Meanwhile, the crypto market is rejoicing all the bullish development going on in the crypto space, with Bitcoin going back to $40k today. While the Winklevoss brothers predict Bitcoin reaching $500,000 in a decade, they are “not actively looking to increase our position” because they have “a lot of exposure as it is.”

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Author: AnTy

Fidelity Increases Its Stake in the First Hong Kong Regulated Crypto Exchange, OSL

Fidelity Investments, a leading global asset manager interested in crypto, has increased its capital allocation to BC Technology Group. This firm runs the first crypto asset exchange to be licensed in Hong Kong, OSL. According to the regulatory filing, Fidelity increased its ownership stake from 5.29% to 6.29% after acquiring an additional 3.3 million shares at HK$52.3 million ($6.7 million).

Before this event, Fidelity’s shares at BC Technology stood at 17,795,500, an investment that the asset manager acquired last year at a rough figure of $14 million. The latest increment is a sign of the bullish outlook in being exposed to Hong Kong crypto markets where regulators seem to have been slowing capital inflows. Notably, BC Technology raised around $90 million in a top-up share placement last week.

Having received the Hong Kong license, OSL crypto exchange might be well onto the path of exponential growth. This much-coveted license is issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, which means that OSL now gives crypto exposure to both retail and institutions. The exchange recently touted its status as the world’s ‘first SFC-licensed, listed, digital asset wallet-insured, Big-4 audited digital asset trading platform for institutions and professional investors.’

Going by such fundaments, Fidelity’s capital scaling in Asia comes as no surprise; in fact, the firm recently invested in a Singapore regulated fund manager dubbed Stack Funds in a move that will enable investors to purchase and store crypto assets. Fidelity also launched a Europe based unit towards the end of last year; this particular entity was launched in the United Kingdom and will focus on extending Fidelity’s services to the larger European market.

Overall, Fidelity has had quite a good run in the crypto space; its CEO, Abigail Johnson, a crypto enthusiast, recently revealed that their custody operations have been ‘incredibly successful.’ Having launched its Bitcoin fund in early 2020, Fidelity targets investors who can invest a minimum of $100,000. Per the company’s latest updates, an estimated 36% of institutional investors have exposure to BTC or other crypto assets.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

BitMEX Partners With Chainalysis to Enhance KYC/AML Compliance On The Exchange

BitMEX Partners With Chainalysis to Enhance KYC/AML Compliance On The Exchange

The crypto derivatives exchange extends its partnership with crypto intelligence firm, Chainalysis. The partnership will bolster the exchange’s ability to stop illicit transactions.

In a post on the BitMEX blog, the exchange confirmed an extension and expansion of its partnership with Chainalysis, a blockchain surveillance tool. The extended partnership will see BitMEX integrate the blockchain intelligence provider in a bid to identify and stop illicit transactions conducted on the crypto derivatives exchange.

BitMEX will leverage Chainalysis’s Know Your Transaction (KYT) screening capabilities to investigate illicit activities to enhance compliance on the exchange. This technology has been widely integrated by other exchanges and governments tracking crypto transactions to stop “money laundering through detecting and flagging risky or suspicious behavior,” the report reads.

“As a responsible player in the crypto space, we must maintain a well-rounded, agile compliance function to detect bad actors and illicit transactions,” Malcolm Wright, the Chief compliance officer at BitMEX, said.

“Chainalysis offers a highly innovative solution that supports our vigilance to these threats, and we are glad to partner with them.”

The exchange is rapidly complying with international KYC/AML laws following the recent lawsuits charging BitMEX’s top executives for money laundering, market manipulation, and unregistered trading. In October, the exchange announced the User Verification program, which forced every trader on the platform to be fully verified by November 5th. Last week, the exchange confirmed that all users had been fully verified to keep up with global KYC/AML compliance.

Furthermore, BitMEX has partnered with Eventus Systems, a leading surveillance and risk management firm, to “mature its trade compliance capabilities.” The exchange also added Refinitiv World-Check One to its list of compliance suite tools to enhance its anti-crime financial compliance in November last year.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Grayscale Reopens Deposits for New Investors In Its Crypto Trusts; Excludes Ethereum & XRP

Grayscale Reopens Deposits for New Investors In Its Crypto Trusts; Excludes Ethereum & XRP

Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust and Digital Large Cap Fund Trust are now open for investments from new customers.

Grayscale Investments is gearing up for a healthy 2021 as it finally reopens most of its investment trusts and allows deposits.

According to an update on the company’s website, clients can now deposit funds into its Bitcoin Investment Trust and the Digital Large Cap Fund Trust.

Grayscale trusts

All Systems Go

As the update shows, the Grayscale Ether Trust is still unavailable, and not everyone on Crypto Twitter is taking that very well. However, that could change any moment for now considering the interest in Ether. The company’s XRP Investment Trust remains unavailable, which is not surprising considering the legal battle Ripple Labs has with the SEC.

Grayscale closed all of its investment trusts last month, as reported on  Twitter. A company spokesperson later confirmed that the move was due to a mandatory lock-up period for selling recently purchased shares of its Bitcoin Investment Fund.

Now that investments are opening up again, Grayscale appears set to continue with the momentum it held in 2020. Buoyed by increased institutional investment and the Bitcoin rise, Grayscale was able to solidify its place as the crypto industry’s top asset management firm. It currently holds $24.5 billion in assets under management and controls three percent of Bitcoin tokens in circulation.

Markets Open as Investors Eye 2021

The firm is also seeing a significant opportunity for growth in 2021. Last Thursday, company CEO Michael Sonnenshein told Bloomberg that Grayscale had seen a considerable increase in activity and commitments from pension funds and endowments.

With institutional investment hopefully increasing, Grayscale will be looking to benefit and add to its vast portfolio. The development could also bode well for the crypto market at large. Many believe that institutions were the driving force behind last year’s crypto rally, and a continuation of that trend should improve confidence in the marker’s long-term viability.

Retail investors also appear to be making significant moves. Yesterday, Alex Saunders, an Australian crypto-focused journalist, reported that crypto trading activity on PayPal had reached a new all-time high of $242 million. As the journalist put it, this surge shows an increased interest in the crypto space from retail traders.

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Author: Jimmy Aki