Coinbase Teases 19 Cryptocurrencies They May List; Prices Jump Across the Board

One of the largest US based crypto exchange Coinbase has revealed that it is reviewing additional 19 cryptocurrencies for potential listing.

The San Francisco-based crypto exchange has announced that the 19 cryptocurrencies are being reviewed as per its Digital Asset Framework which will determine if they will be listed on its popular trading exchange platform.

The firm revealed that it is reviewing the graph, wbtc, uma, tbtc, theta, reserve rights, flexacoin, paxos gold, helium, ocean protocol, Hedera hashgraph, melon, keva, ampleforth, band protocol, fetch.ai, balancer, and curve.

The firm explained that the review process will check various technical and compliance analysis of the above mentioned cryptos where some of them may need to have regulatory license in various jurisdictions.

The exchange however cautioned that being under review doesn’t mean the cryptocurrency will be guaranteed of an automatic listing. The firm also clarified that those not under review doesn’t disqualify them from potential future listing. The firm stated,

“As per our listing process, we will add new assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, subject to applicable review and authorizations. The omission of assets from this publication does not disqualify any such asset from active review and potential listing.”

The firm did not give any timeline on when the review process will be finalized or when the cryptocurrencies can expect to be listed.

As data from CoinMarketCap shows, most of the crypto assets under Coinbase’s review are trading within the green zone which is defined as 2-8%. There are some which have outperformed others like UMA (+10.05), Ocean Protocol (+12.93) and Melon (+17.23%).

Previous support of cryptocurrencies by Coinbase have led to a surge in the value of these coins and tokens. For instance, in June, the exchange’s support for COMP solidified its ranking as a major DeFi token. Similarly, the listing of MakerDAO (MKR) token back in May led to a surge in its prices in major exchanges. However, the ‘Coinbase Effect’ may not always yield a positive effect on the market.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Russia Legalizes Cryptocurrencies for Savings and Speculation But Bans Use as Payment

Russian lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday that gives cryptocurrencies legal status but, at the same time, banned them from being used as a means of payment.

Duma, the lower house of parliament, approved the bill on digital financial assets in the third and final reading. Anatoly Aksakov, who heads the Russian Banking Association and a financial committee in the Duma, as to what a cryptocurrency is now defined in law, said,

“Essentially the cryptocurrency is a complex of digital data, a digital code or a reference, that is stored in the information system.”

The bill has to go now to the upper house of parliament and then to the Kremlin, which is just a formality. The bill will come into force in January 2021.

“Possession of digital currency, its acquisition and transfer by legal means are allowed only if declared,” said the central bank on the new bill. “The draft law introduces the definition of a digital currency, which cannot be a means of payment,” it said.

Russia changed its stance on cryptos in 2018 and promised to regulate the market. However, the regulation had been delayed ever since. At one point, the lawmakers drafted a version of a bill that made trading in cryptos and issuing them illegal.

With the latest draft, cryptos are now kind of like property that one can buy, sell, and invest in but can’t be accepted as a means of payment.

The bill says the issuance of crypto in the country should be regulated by other laws that Aksakov says could be passed during the next parliamentary session in the fall, which ends in late December.

The DFA bill provides the foundation for the crypto legislation in Russia, and the actual regulatory framework for crypto will be defined in the “On Digital Currency” bill.

Many say the current bill doesn’t change anything for the crypto industry in the country, and the DA, which is still in discussion, might “come as a surprise.”

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Author: AnTy

South Korea to Implement 20% Income Tax on Crypto Gains After Finalizing on New Tax Code

South Korea’s government has tabled its final proposed tax code on cryptocurrencies with the tax rule set to be implemented from October 2020. The new tax rule will see a 20% income tax on crypto gains take effect as South Korea’s government scales its effort to capture digital asset revenue.

The final documentation was agreed upon by South Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, which met on July 22. It has since published the revised tax code paying attention to digital assets in a section dubbed ‘Taxation on Virtual Asset Transaction Income.’ Notably, crypto transactions within South Korea’s financial ecosystem were not subjected to any taxes prior to this development.

South Korea’s Crypto Tax Code

According to the authorities, a movement towards taxation was inevitable, given some jurisdictions like Singapore have already made progress in this area. Consequently, South Korea is now catching up after an increase in the use of Bitcoin and other crypto-assets for business activity. With the new tax code in play, gains made from crypto will be categorized as taxable income, obliging the associated parties to report annually.

The framework stipulates that income above 2.5 million Won annually ($2,000) is subject to the outlined tax, while anything below will not be taxed. It goes on to provide guidelines on how to report the crypto trading activity with the payment month set for May. It is also quite noteworthy that this new tax code will apply for both residents and non-residents operating on South Korea domiciled crypto exchanges.

This work has been in progress for over six months, and a final proposal comes as a relief to stakeholders such as courts who had been waiting for better clarity on crypto taxation. A recent judgment had echoed these sentiments, pointing out the need for income tax classification on crypto assets,

“Until now, virtual assets have been recognized only as a function of currency and have not been subject to income tax, but recently, virtual assets (like Bitcoin) are increasingly being traded as goods with property value.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

HM Treasury to Establish Regulatory ‘Gateway’ For Cryptocurrency Promotions

The British government intends to bring some certain cryptocurrencies in to the scope of financial promotions regulations in a bid to protect UK based consumers. They announced at the beginning of this week that they would be looking to put an end to misleading adverts that put retail investors at risk.

According to a proposal published today that was tabled by John Glen, UK financial sector City Minister, the Crypto firms would have channeled through a regulatory gateway before being greenlighted to advertise crypto assets. The Financial Conduct authority (FCA) would play the oversight role for the promotions. Therefore, companies seeking to access the products from these unauthorized firms would require approval from the financial watchdog.

This was after a report from the 2018 crypto taskforce collaborative efforts from the HM treasury, FCA and Bank of England, highlighted that in as much as the crypto sphere and the underlying Distributed Ledger Technology potentially had a lot to offer, they should take steps to protect consumers and markets from looming risks. The risks identified include: Money laundering and terrorist funding and consumer and firm understanding of regulatory framework.

In the statement, the Minister remarking at the deficiencies of the current regulatory framework to catch up with the dynamic products flooding the markets, insisted that the proposal would look to categorize crypto promotions as other financial product promos.

Notably, a recent FCA crypto survey estimates that at least 1.9 million Britons translating to almost 4% of their population own some sort of cryptocurrency. With the number of citizens that have possessed crypto assets increasing to 5.35% in 2020 from last year’s meagre 3%. Bitcoin is the most popular crypto product, with almost 22% of the respondents acknowledging to have heard of Facebook’s Libra initiative despite not being operational yet.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Why Are Only Small-Cap Coins Surging & Large-Cap Crypto’s Looking like ‘Trash’

In the past month, a lot of cryptocurrencies have popped and run a good rally. Dogecoin was covered by the mainstream media when zoomers on Tik Tok made it their mission to take this altcoin to $1 which wasn’t realized, but its volume surely skyrocketed with coins dormant for three years also getting active.

Today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk yet again gave DOGE a push after meming about Dogecoin standard eclipsing the financial standard being “inevitable.”

This week was meanwhile captured by XLM, which decoupled from Bitcoin to jump 25%. The social volume of the cryptocurrency hit an 8-month high last week, “foreshadowing this run-up.”

These greens have the DeFi token KNC seeing the “largest token age consumed spike of its ~3 year history” which was also its “largest 3-mth deviation of any of the top 100 assets.”

“Usually, a spike this large is one of the best leading indications of a long-term price direction shift,” said Santiment. These gains were the result of Kyber Network’s Katalyst upgrade and staking.

The Winner

The winner of 2020 so far, however, is Aave which is up 3,185%. The project is becoming a “VC darling” as this week, it announced the sale of $3M worth of LEND tokens to crypto funds Three Arrows Capital and Framework Ventures just a week after $4.5 million investment from ParaFi.

Aave’s native LEND token has been in high demand throughout this year with the number of daily transactions increasing by almost 10x. It’s large translation volume also hit an ATH at $26 million, double the previous peak. But soon it dropped which signals the most recent LEND rally is driven by retail investors.

However its holders are dropping, a decrease in the number of addresses with a balance means holders are realizing profits by selling their LEND tokens.

However, its growth is still more than just speculation based, “as the team has shipped innovative solutions and managed to substantially grow the usage of its lending protocol,” states The Defiant. It further notices that “on-chain indicators suggest that the current rally may be over-extended as retail users enter the frenzy and large players appear to be selling.”

Do Not FOMO

This past month, coins like Elrond network jumped 300%, Synthetix 200%, Aave 190%, Ampleforth 140%, Kava 137%, Swipe 123%, bZx Protocol 121%, VeChain 06%, LINK 95%, Celsius Network 95%, Compound 90%, Bancor 87%, TOMO 68%, THORChain 65%, Atom 62%, Cardano 51%, Kyber Network 50%, REN 47%, Algorand 44%, and Stellar 41%.

Amidst all these gains, one should refrain from FOMOing, advises economist and trader Alex Kruger. The key rule in trading is peace of mind as one can’t make good decisions if feeling FOMO, he said.

“Fine to chase if trading short-term. Have stops, move them to breakeven if trade works. If not speculating short-term, best to pick a few levels, adjust higher if price moves higher, and wait for corrections. Corrections always come. Particularly in illiquid cryptos,” Kruger said.

He added: “You’d have a very hard time not finding an asset that gives you another entry, over and over and over again.”

Moreover, what’s worth noticing is that these gains are primarily recorded by small-cap cryptos. Out of the large-cap altcoins, Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), BSV, Litecoin (LTC), EOS, and Cardano (ADA), every crypto “besides ETH and ADA look like trash,” said trader DonAlt.

“They’re bad altcoins,” said trader The Crypto Dog. “Money is flowing from old narrative bullshit (interbank settlement, digital silver) to new narrative bullshit – DeFi.”

This fund rotation, however, may turn out to be good for cryptos by being the start of another bull run.

He added: “Enough DeFi euphoria though will kickstart a bull run and eventually all of the garbage can get swept up and run with that.”

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Author: AnTy

Revolut’s Partnership with Paxos Allows its US Users to Buy, Sell, & Hold BTC & ETH in 49 States

Revolut now allows its US users to trade cryptocurrencies by partnering with Paxos. This was made possible by New York-based Paxos getting a new brokerage service to let merchants offer crypto trading services.

Revolut US, the American division of the online bank, is the first client of Paxos. Paxos CEO Chad Cascarilla compared its new brokerage with a “plug-and-play” service that can be used by any company from payment firms to retailers to offer crypto to their customers with Paxos on the backend.

“It’s clear many firms want to offer crypto but are finding it’s difficult to build the regulatory and technological infrastructure to do that,” he told Fortune. “This allows anyone, no matter what type of firm they are, to do that.”

Paxos is a legal trust company, which means it retains all the assets it holds on its customers’ behalf, which allows it to deal with traditional financial firms that have to otherwise keep away from digital assets because of regulation or another risk.

Paxos currently offers a fiat-pegged stablecoin Paxos Standard and a crypto token backed by physical gold.

More Options for US Customers

Just a few months back, in late March 2020, Revolut launched its app and service in the US. Its partnership with the Metropolitan Commercial Bank enabled the company to offer its debit card to US customers.

Now, the European fintech allows its US users to buy, hold, and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) from the Revolut app, but you can’t send and receive crypto from third-party wallets. The feature is available in 49 states due to some regulator issues in Tennessee.

For now, only the top two cryptos are available, unlike its European counterpart, where it offers more cryptos such as XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The company is working on adding more cryptos to the list.

For the first 30 days, Revolut is waiving the fees, which usually is 2.5% for a free Revolut account while Premium and Metal subscription will pay 1.5% in conversion fees. There are some monthly limits on currency exchange for free user users, which means you have to pay a 0.5% fee above that limit.

Square’s Cash App and commission-free Robinhood also let US users buy cryptocurrency via their apps.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Market Bounces Back by 44.5% in Q2 As BTC Gains 78% Since Black Thursday: CoinGecko

The market cap of cryptocurrencies has grown by 44.5% within Q2, according to the first quarterly report by CoinGecko.

In addition to this, Bitcoin’s price gained over 78%, making a comeback from the March bloodbath of Black Thursday. However, the activity in spot trading has gone down by 55%, contrary to expectations.

“Bitcoin’s average monthly price is now up 78% from the March bottom. It took roughly 48 days for the markets to recover from the vertical drop of the Black Thursday, the day when Bitcoin fell vertically by 35% (over USD 3000) in 24 hours.”

The report, published on July 3, marks the first in a series of three scheduled releases. As the world emerges from lockdowns, markets surged throughout Q2. Going by the stats, the trend appears to have been replicated in crypto markets hence debunking the notion that crypto markets are not correlated to traditional asset prices.

Crypto Market Bounceback

Though highly volatile, the digital asset ecosystem may have passed a resilience test, given the economic effects of COVID-19. The crypto market bounced back from the March lows and now seems to have consolidated in what most stakeholders consider a stable position.

Currently, the total market cap of crypto stands at $268 billion, with Bitcoin dominating this portfolio at 63%.

Looking back at the onset of Q2, things were more uncertain, although crypto maximalists have always been optimistic about mainstream adoption, especially with COVID-19 now at our doorsteps. Well, an increase of 44.5% could probably mean that some of the underlying factors have triggered a shift to crypto assets.

Nonetheless, trading activity has been down as crypto hotheads shift focus to DeFi. CoinGecko also noted that the reduced spot trading is likely attributable to more people HODLing and diminished market confidence after Black Thursday. The report reads:

“This may also simply be a result of investors HODL-ing, having no confidence to trade, or perhaps a market shift towards DeFi and Derivatives trading.”

The shift in liquidity towards DeFi networks has significantly boosted ETH, as it topped gains compared to BTC and Tether. The DeFi market is on its way to hitting $2 billion in total locked value, making the ETH prospects even better. While this is the case, the USDT is the most popular trading pair in both spot and derivative markets. A sign that stablecoins have also found a niche in this volatile ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Veteran Investor Predicts Doom for Crypto, Warning BTC’s Value Could Plummet to Zero

  • Veteran Investor Jim Rogers predicts imminent doom for cryptocurrencies that aren’t state-backed, citing the BTC prominently.
  • He has predicted that the government’s push to control the electronic currency realm is Bitcoin’s Achilles heel.

Investor Jim Rogers has now spelled doom for Bitcoin, generally virtual currencies that are not state-backed. This was in a report published by a Japanese media outlet, Aera Dot.

He has expressed the sentiment that the governments globally have put a ceiling on how much cryptocurrencies could adopt. He believes that as soon as a cryptocurrency is taken up as an alternative for fiat rather than being utilized in the betting industry as with the current scenario, governments in the jurisdictions would move to ban the crypto.

Digital Asset Data reports have revealed that most of the Bitcoin in circulation are in holding, proving it is yet to be taken up as a perfect substitute to fiat. 11 million out of the current 18 million BTC that have been mined lay inactive for the better part of last year.

Electronic currency easier to Trace

The Quantum Group Cofounder highlighted the government’s preference for electronic currencies attributing this to the fact that it is easier to trace. This ensures the government’s grip over the residents. Therefore, any crypto asset that outgrows beyond the government’s control risks being terminated.

Notably, various governments have announced plans underway for the development of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC’s). China is seemingly in the lead, with reports indicating that they have completed the back end for the digital Yuan. However, the potential launch dates are yet to be announced. Most of the crypto communities are currently leveraging the BTC as a safeguard against government interference; there is, however growing sentiment that the proposed Digital Dollar could only entitle the government further.

With the US government issuing a historic stimulus package and aid amounting to almost $3 Trillion to cushion their economy from setbacks of Covid-19, some industry analysts have called for the adoption of BTC. Paul Tudor Jones and Dan Tapiero have touted the BTC as a potential hedge for looming inflations.

Roger is opined that the BTC’s value will eventually plummet to zero, insinuating that the cryptocurrency was amidst a bubble. He has highlighted that it will likely outlive all the other cryptocurrencies in circulation currently.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Lending and Interest Income Could Be the Path to Boost Crypto Adoption

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, have come a long way from the early days when they were regarded as an internet bubble waiting to burst.

However, even after a decade, one constant criticism is that digital assets haven’t found a niche, and cannot be spent as easily as it has been advertised for long.

The one feather that these digital assets can borrow from the traditional financial world is lending and borrowing, which is the backbone of the majority of the financial ecosystem and banks. This interest-based income, lending and borrowing have already gripped the digital asset world which is evident from a report from Credmark.

The Credmark report suggests that the crypto lending market has already peaked $8 billion in loan amount by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020.

At present, the market size has grown to $10 billion and expected to grow exponentially as the popularity rises overtime. Not only that the global peer-to-peer lending marketplace has also registered annual transaction volumes in upwards of $85 billion.

Lending and Credit Gaining Popularity in Crypto Verse

Genesis Capital, one of the leaders in the crypto credit market, registered its best quarterly performance in the first quarter of 2020, registering $2 billion in the new loan organizations. The firm doubled on its previous quarterly performance and also registered a 20% spike in active loans from the previous quarter.

Celsius Network, the retail-focused crypto lending platform, registered similar growth and currently boasts of 100,000 retail clients and 260 institutional clients spread across 160 countries. The firm has registered $8.2 billion in coin loans to institutional clients since its inception in 2018.

Crypto lending is mostly based on the underlying assets, which makes an easier process as debt is collateralized with the crypto asset. Apart from these asset-backed crypto lending, another form of a lending ecosystem has risen in popularity over the last year in the crypto space i.e decentralized finance (defi).

Defi is an Ethereum based ecosystem which offers decentralized credit system to users based on the collateralized asset.

Users can lock their Ether, Wrapped Bitcoin and other ERC-20 based tokens in smart contracts and withdraw a loan in non-asset backed stablecoin like Dai and USDC. The defi ecosystem has gained massive popularity in the past year, and the value of assets locked as collateral has already crossed the $1 billion mark.

Thus, looking at the popularity, demand and success of lending and borrowing ecosystems in the decentralized space, it could pave the path for mass adoption of crypto in the long-term.

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Author: James W

COVID-19 Has Uncovered The Need for Verification by Blockchain In A Social Distancing World

Blockchain technology has proven to be a game-changer, even though cryptocurrencies which brought it into the mainstream is still struggling on the regulatory front. While cryptocurrencies were believed to liberate the society from a centralized financial system, blockchain has found various use cases well beyond the financial ecosystem. As of today, blockchain is being actively used in the field of supply-chain management, agriculture, healthcare, and education to name a few.

Many mainstream firms such as IBM, Amazon, Facebook, Samsung, and Microsoft have shown great interest in blockchain technology creating numerous solutions based on the decentralized tech to help enterprises become more efficient. CB Insights in its latest report has calculated that the blockchain solution spending would cross $16 Billion marks by 2023 and also identified at least 58 industries that have limitless potential to harness the decentralized tech.

Key Industries Where Blockchain can Excel

CB Insights report pointed towards numerous industries that can implement various blockchain solutions in their system to see the added benefit of transparency in data, decentralization. The key industries included,

Banking:

Banking services have become more online and digital in the past decade with services like PayPal and Jack Dorsey’s CashApp becoming mainstream. As of today even in the developing nations the need to physically go to a bank for any form of service has reduced significantly. While a majority still need the banks for a number of financial needs, it is no secret that only middle-class and rich folks are the main beneficiaries, while a poor find it difficult to even open a bank account.

Decentralization and blockchain technology can prove to be the real savior of the unbanked and the recent rise of the DeFi ecosystem is a clear example of how decentralized finances can become mainstream with enough reach. DeFi technically does the same thing as a banking system i.e to offer loans and lend money, but without the discrimination.

The fintech industry has seen a rapid growth of near 23% year-on-year and blockchain could be the perfect catalyst to push it in the mainstream. Jan Sammut, the founder of IBIS Brokers explained how blockchain can change the financial world,

“Finance is definitely the sector that has seen the most blockchain adoption.

Since blockchain networks combine settlement, computing, and the unit of account in a single layer, they are perfectly suited to applications such as P2P lending.”

Voting:

Elections are one of the keys practices of any democratic nation, and thus conducting a free and fair election is the core of democracy. Almost every democratic nation currently makes use of the physical casting of ballots to ensure that the casted ballots are valid. The voting process also requires authentication of voter identity secure record-keeping of casted ballots and final tallies to determine the winner. While this process has been carried out for centuries, the ongoing pandemic has made everyone think to look for an alternative to being physically present at the voting booth.

Remote voting through blockchain systems is being actively tested in the USA where people can cast their votes directly from their mobile phones and the casted votes are maintained trough a blockchain-based ledger which ensures privacy and security. With enough trials and testing, blockchain-based voting systems could prove to be a boon for many who cannot go out to cast their votes.

Supply-Chain:

Supply-Chain management has adopted blockchain with open arms and one of the key industries which have ramped up the incorporation of various use cases of the decentralized tech to track goods, food, and beverages. Be it Nestle, one of the biggest food and beverage producers, or French Supermarkets like Carrefour. Most of these firms have experienced the efficiency of implementing blockchain tech in their work process.

IBM has turned out to be one of the biggest suppliers of the enterprise-grade blockchain solution in the supply-chain industry.

Jack Barrett, the CEO of Catalyst commented on the trend of blockchain technology in the supply-chain management suggesting,

“Blockchain is finally breaking out of the hype phase as we have begun to see its innovative capacity at work in the financial industry, the supply chain sector, the real estate market, and so on.

Personally, I see this technology take root and completely overhaul traditional financial systems plagued with cumbersome and costly processes.”

Blockchain Solutions are being actively used in a number of industries and that is only going to grow further as its popularity rises. The decentralized tech has proven to be more efficient and reliable than the centralized systems most of these industries have been using. And given the growth rate of the fintech industry which is near 25% per year, it won’t be a big surprise if the blockchain revolution comes way early than what many experts are anticipating.

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Author: James W