Coinbase Wallet Users Can Now Earn Interest From DeFi DApps Directly In The App

The Coinbase Wallet has just integrated with decentralized finance (DeFi) apps in order to allow its users to lend crypto assets and track the growth of their interest straight from the wallet app.

As an announcement made by Coinbase on Wednesday says, Coinbase Wallet users are already putting millions into DeFi platforms through the wallet’s Dapp browser and WalletLink. Still, Coinbase wants to make their experience even more enjoyable. Until now, they didn’t have the option to compare rates from different providers, nor were they able to see the total of their balance with these providers with out leaving the app itself.

What Does the New Feature Bring?

According to the Coinbase announcement, the new wallet feature allows users who own a Coinbase wallet account to interact with lenders such as dYdX and Compound, which are both DeFi platforms. They can choose their coin and a smart contract provider in order to invest as much crypto as they want into one of the DeFi products.

As said before, they can view how much interest they’re earning and their total balance without having to exit the wallet. iOS users will have the new feature this week, while Android users will still have to wait a few more weeks.

DeFi Products Are Risky

Coinbase wanted to warn investors about the fact that DeFi products are quite new and present a risk. Caution was advised when using them. Here’s what the announcement reads exactly:

“Before you get started, please be aware that DeFi lending apps are relatively nascent and come with risks.

DeFi apps are programs running on the blockchain, and like any computer code they can potentially have bugs that cause you to lose money. Returns are not guaranteed and your deposits are not insured.”

Basic information and the definitions of minimum collateral or contract’s assets under custody are being provided for the wallet’s users to know better what contracts to choose. However, they’re still advised to do their own research in order to understand how the apps work and the risks they’re about to take.

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Author: Oana Ularu

After Black Thursday, MakerDAO Opens Voting Proposal And Will Hold First-Ever Debt Auction

As Ethereum (ETH) price crashed by 30-40% on “Black Thursday”, the decentralized finance world (DeFi) showed signals of collapse with the largest DeFi protocol, Maker (MKR) contemplating shutting down in response to the value tanking.

However, following talks in the community with MakerDAO –governing council – and a revival of the price of ETH over the early morning on Friday, March 13, 2020, the community will vote on changes of the protocol to further carry out its first-ever debt auction.

Maker (MKR) is a platform that gives out collateral-based loans by producing Dai (DAI). The DAI is minted by users taking up collateral-based positions, mostly in ETH, and the ETH is stored on a smart contract. Once the collateral is locked, the contracts mint out a portion of the collateral value in DAI to give to the borrower.

Maker to carry out the first-ever Debt Auction

If the borrower cannot fulfill their debt obligations, then the collateralized ETH (asset) enters the liquidation phase allowing the smart contract to auction it off to pay the debts. However, as the crypto market exhibits an extremely bearish structure and the heightened pandemic of the COVID-19, the auctions were shortly not very attractive with some investors paying a total of ZERO DAI to gain the ETH.

One Maker community member said,

“Some vaults were liquidated with 0 DAI coming back in the system, resulting in a net loss for the system. The MakerDAO had a +500k$ surplus before the price drop and now has a -4M$ surplus that needs to be filled.”

With the Maker platform facing a $4 million deficit in debt obligations, the contract will self-execute on March 15 to open up the first-ever Maker Debt Auction. This means the contract will print out extra MKR tokens to reimburse the 44 million USD in DAI which will then be publicly available for auction.

The community is, however, remaining positive after the current carnage on Maker, stating the platform has become stronger. One member said,

“It was a trying day for #Ethereum, Maker, investors, and lots of other ppl in #defi — great to see the system prevail and while not perfect, it lives to see another day.

MakerDAO teams already reacting to work with $MKR governance to modify the system state.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Torus Rolls Out 1-Click Logins To Decentralized Apps With Gmail, Facebook, and Reddit

The key-management startup that offers one-click logins to decentralized apps (dapps) Torus has announced it has new partners for its Web 3.0 product.

Joining Torus, those that will run nodes to support the decentralized login system are going to be Binance, Etherscan, Ethereum Name Service (ENS), Ontology, Ziliqa, Skale, Matic Network and Tendermint Core.

Web 3.0 Enables Holding of Personal Data Independently

Web 3.0 allows users the holding of personal data independently, all without compromising efficacy or speed. Just like with cryptocurrency, users still need to have a private key in order to login into dapps. Zhen Yu Yong, Torus’ CEO, said Torus combines private keys with mainstream login applications.

Torus Raised $2 Million in a Seed Round for the Web 3.0 App

In July last year, Torus raised $2 million in a seed round for the Web 3.0 app that was led by Multicoin Capital. Yong explained how Torus users are allowed to login into Web 3.0 apps at the same speed as with the OAuth internet protocol, all without security being compromised. Torus works with Web 2.0 applications like Google too, not to mention it has added 5 new one-click partners, Discord, Twitch and Facebook included. As of date, the startup has more than 100 partnering applications.

Crypto Being Sent to People Who Don’t Have a Crypto Wallet Yet

With Torus, crypto can be sent to people who don’t have a crypto wallet yet. For example, ERC-20 can be sent through Gmail, only to be claimed when the recipient has created a Torus account. Yong tried to explain the difference between Torus and other decentralized login startups by saying:

“The difference between us and [other projects] is they are all using a password manager model. While they can’t outright keep your key, it’s not quite censorship-resistant – they can withhold your key from you.”

More Partners to be Added in the Future

Yong mentioned that Binance and other partners of Torus are going to receive a part of the fees when subscribing dapps like DDEX, for example. He also said his company is looking to bring on board more partners in the future, also to issue a network token.

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Author: Oana Ularu

US Navy Awards $9.5M To SIMBA Chain To Secure Messages On Blockchain Tech For The DoD

  • SIMBA Chain awarded a $10 million contract to develop a secure decentralized messaging solution for the U.S. Navy.
  • This is the first and largest SBIR phase III fully dedicated to Blockchain Solutions.

SIMBA Chain was awarded a 5 year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract, at close to $10 million, by the Naval Air Warfare Center. The SBIR phase III contract is non-competitive and carries a non-compete clause, as announced by the U.S. Navy Blockchain solutions firm.

Secure Decentralized messaging solution

They have been tasked to develop a secure decentralized messaging solution for the Naval Forces. The platform is to be used to service the Navy’s crucial communication capabilities over its land and sea assets. The project is set to improve communications among its stakeholders while providing a secure environment under which they would share confidential materials.

To be developed on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform as Simba chain CEO, Joel Neidig, stated;

“We plan to deliver a ‘bulletproof’ platform that meets all objectives.”

He also expressed his excitement at the opportunity to work with the DOD who he congratulated for prioritizing the platform that would be essential for their operations. He also promised that the platform would be deployed this year with a series of updates over the course of the next 4 years.

“This is a win not just for SIMBA and our partners, but also for the DoD, which has pursued with single-minded focus, a solution to conduct sensitive, mission-critical operations in a manner that is immutable and non-refutable. We plan to deliver a ‘bulletproof’ platform that meets all objectives.”

Previous DOD partnerships

This is notably not the first time that Simba Chain has worked with the DoD. In August last year, they were contracted by United States Air Force (USAF) to secure their supply chain. They set out to develop a tamper-proof Blockchain prototype for tracking additive manufacturing components over the course of their lifecycle. Last September they also worked with the US Navy on tracking Aircraft parts using blockchain technology. They’ve also worked on the current platform DOD is using during the building and testing phase in an earlier SBIR contract.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ledger Partners With FLETA to Provide Crypto Custodian Services For DApps

Ledger closed a partnership with FLETA, which is a blockchain platform for decentralized applications (dapps) based in South Korea, to offer custodian services that comply with the local laws.

Ledger has created Ledger Vault in an attempt to offer its institutional-lever services to more clients. FLETA was created in 2018, launching in November its mainnet and forming a partnership with South Korea to create a proof-of-concept (PoC) network for the country’s healthcare system.

Ledger Expands to Asia

The managing director leading business expansions in the Asia-Pacific region at Ledger, Glenn Woo, said the FLETA partnership is how Ledger plans to help major institutional clients in Asia comply with local regulations:

“We are helping crypto companies, such as exchanges, funds and custodians, to basically abide by the regulations when it comes to wallet management. Our biggest priority is Ledger Vault.”

The French startup is also building a new firm with Global Advisors and Japan’s financial services behemoth Nomura. The company called Koimanu is going to offer institutional investors digital asset management services and help clients implement crypto with their traditional investments.

Ledger Vault to Deal with Regulatory Challenges

When it comes to challenges regulators have regarding crypto firms, these are about protecting investors’ interest when digital assets are lost and securing these assets. Ledger Vault requires authorization on multiple layers, this way demanding the client’s operations team to be more involved when withdrawing assets. Woo said,

“One of the big themes when it comes to regulating crypto institutions on the wallet side is to remove the central point of failure where the CEO of an exchange knows everything. With this infrastructure, we aim to go into more of the regulations jurisdiction where the crypto institutions are struggling to meet the requirements of the regulations.”

He also added that Ledger is offering a personalized insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London syndicate Arch for the clients’ assets. Back in November 2019, the insurance broker Marsh made it possible for Ledger Vault users to be insured through an Arch policy for $150 million.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Grew To $668 Million In 2019, How Will Taxes Be Calculated?

2019’s decentralized finance (DeFi) boom that has led to more than $785 million being locked in crypto assets is giving accountants serious headaches.

Antoine Scalie, the CEO of accounting startup Cryptio says complex assets and transactions make it for the accounting to be more difficult. For this reason, Winklevoss Capital and Dragonfly Capital have invested millions in accounting startups like TaxBit. Alex Pack, the co-founder of DragonFly Capital thinks there are many blockchain attacks around pseudonymity and anonymity, and that the IRS doesn’t really know how to stack DeFi products, since clear categories for experimental assets don’t exist.

TaxBit Working on Tax Optimization

It seems DeFi users who used financial products not offered by exchanges and MakerDAO loans have to enter details about their transaction manually, so they pretty much rely on the help of the Certified Public Accountants and tax attorneys working for TaxBit’s support line.

The Requirements Are Unclear

Both Cryptio and TaxBit are making efforts to make their systems capable of automatically flagging the events in the DeFi ecosystem that have potential to be taxed. Cryptio doesn’t provide retail users a Turbo Tax option like TaxBit does. However, it helps its DeFi clients record information on smart contracts that have been “touched” by the asset.

Since the accounting requirements aren’t at all clear, Credit Karma has conducted a survey and discovered only 0.04% of Americans have reported their crypto transactions for the 2018 taxation, whereas 4% of the population in the country reported they used crypto that time.

This had the IRS issuing an update on the crypto-oriented guidance, back in 2019. Crypto and TaxBit representatives agree the complexity of tax reporting is impeding the crypto adoption. People have no idea how the technology for this works without filling in paperwork. The startups’ role is to make the usage more compliant and mainstream.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Jack Dorsey is Building an Open Source and Decentralized Twitter

  • Twitter is funding an independent team of 5 called Bluesky
  • A decentralized step towards supporting and fostering the values of a free and open Internet

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey has taken another step towards building a decentralized standard for social media.

Bitcoin believer took to Twitter to announce his plans for an open-source Twitter for which the social media giant is funding a small independent team of up to five architects, engineers, and designers dubbed Bluesky.

A Decentralized Standard for Social Media

Dorsey reminiscences about the time when Twitter started which was so open that “many saw its potential to be a decentralized internet standard.”

Due to a variety of reasons, Twitter took the “centralized” path but now such solutions are struggling to meet the new challenges the company is facing.

He further notes that the value of social media is shifting away from content hosting and towards “recommendation algorithm.”

Also, the fact that content and conversation that sparks outrage and controversy have become the center of attention instead of those that “informs and promotes health” is another issue pushing Dorsey towards building a decentralized platform. New technologies meanwhile have made a decentralized approach “more viable.” Dorsey said,

“Blockchain points to a series of decentralized solutions for open and durable hosting, governance, and even monetization. Much work to be done, but the fundamentals are there.”

Dorsey has already taken a step towards decentralization with Square, which is doing the same for Bitcoin with Square Crypto.

Now, for a decentralized Twitter, the company has yet to make a decision if they want to go with an existing decentralized standard or create one from scratch.

However, it won’t be happening overnight rather will take many years to develop “a sound, scalable, and usable decentralized standard” that will allow the company to be more innovative and build an open recommendation algorithm for healthy conversations.

Also, it will have its own share of challenges and as such, it won’t be owned by a single corporation, “furthering the open & decentralized principles of the internet.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitfury Makes Strategic Investment In Shyft Network’s FATF Travel Rule Compliance System

Bitfury has recently acquired Shyft Network, a company that is working on decentralized identity solutions that would help the firms develop a data transfer product. Specifically, Bitfury is going to be investing in the travel rule solution that complies with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and its legal framework.

Bitfury Invests In Shyft Network

According to the information released in a press release on December 5, the company will be working on solutions that would make it easier for exchanges to share information. Cryptocurrency exchanges must be compliant with the current rules imposed by the FATF in which they have to provide information about users trading on their platforms.

During this year, the Shyft Network has been working in order to build its network of partners and work on its team that included former FATF executives. There are already several companies working closely to Shyft and that want to participate in the testing of these solutions.

The new partnership and acquisition will include Bitfury’s subsidiaries called Exonum and Crystal. These are two blockchain-related firms that offer solutions to companies and organizations.

According to Joseph Weinberg, the co-founder of Shyft, crypto exchanges are working on a product that could be launched in early 2020. Furthermore, they are currently working with several countries in different regions to adopt an identity platform.

Regulations in the cryptocurrency market have always been a difficult topic. The current decision of Bitfury Group to acquire the Shyft Network could be related to the fact that Bitfury wants to be close to the development and implementation of systems that would help companies be compliant with FATF requirements.

Several jurisdictions have been creating clear legal frameworks for cryptocurrencies and crypto-related companies. This is expected to improve the relationship between companies and governments while protecting investors from scams and other fraudulent firms.

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Author: Carl T

Binance Controls More than Half of Voting Power on Tron Network

  • “Decentralize the Web” is Tron’s vision but how decentralized it really is?
  • Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has been calling it a “centralized piece of trash” all along, however, about 62% of ETH nodes are running on centralized cloud services.

Recently, DigiByte founder Jared Tate also went ballistic on Twitter, talking about being “disgusted” with Tron – a “completely centralized” network hyping itself as “the most decentralized gift from god.”

In the blockchain and crypto industry, nothing really is decentralized, not as of yet!

When it comes to Tron, more than half, 56% of the New York voting power is controlled by the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, according to TronScan.

“If they split their votes across 25 nodes, they’d have 499k per node and would control 25 out of 27 validating nodes. Decentralization theater. Centralized exchanges are an existential threat for crypto,” said Epicenter podcast co-host Brian Fabian Crain.

Binance became the highest-ranked Tron Super Representative in September this year with 12 billion votes while announcing support for TRX staking as well.

Tron has the top 27 Super Representatives among the 127 candidates that are voted on once every 6 hours. These Super Representatives play a key role in governing the Tron ecosystem as they ensure basic functions like block generation, bookkeeping, and package transactions while also having the right to participate in the voting of TRON network parameters proposals.

These 27 SRs are awarded a total of 336,384,000 TRX annually.

Although for Binance, Crain says, it “makes perfect sense from the point of view of delivering a better product for their users (…) even if it undermines the long-term viability of crypto.”

Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun also has “a huge bag” of Binance’s native token BNB along with other native tokens of crypto exchanges where TRX is listed, revealed Sun last month.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum’s Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Ecosystem is on the Rise, But Why is ETH Still Bearish?

Ethereum’s blockchain network has been on a fundamental uptrend with more Decentralized Finance (DeFi) launching within its ecosystem. The network is now hitting record highs of 2.7 million ETH; this activity is however not reflecting on the price of its native coin. The ETH altcoin is currently down by 1.75% in the past 24 hours trading at $146.20 as per coinmarketcap stats.

The ETH Network Fundamental Growth

Vitalik’s blockchain has survived the times despite criticisms from other communities like Bitcoin and DApp oriented networks. The Ethereum network has grown to dominate the DApp arena and ultimately secured a number 2 market cap position. Analysis within the blockchain space shows that the ETH network is pretty healthy based on its activity and hash rate.

A recent tweet by into the block highlighted the ETH network’s health status based on the past day. According to the stats, ETH blockchain had over 244k active users while the number of newly created addresses stood at 70.7k. It is also notable that only 23.9k addresses had left the network in a span of 24 hours.

Last month’s Ethereum performance summary further highlights the general improvement within the blockchain’s ecosystem. The use of DApps had significantly grown with ETH miners hitting over 9 million blocks. In addition, over 15 million ETH addresses had a positive balance. November also marked the launch of a multi collateral DAI by MAKERDAO; this DApp now accepts both ETH and Basic Attention Token (BAT) for collateralization.

ETH Still Plunging?

Despite the DeFi’s success, the general outlook of the crypto market has not spared ETH’s price. It’s been struggling to maintain support at $150 but the bears pulled it below this level as it slid further down this quarter. However, the last crypto winter was worse than the ongoing downtrend; ETH was trading at around $90 as the peak of 2018’s bear market. The price uncertainty is an inevitable consequence of speculation but the ETH fundamental growth and gradual roadmap realization still stands out.

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Author: Lujan Odera