Saddle Finance Raises $4.3M; Launches A Slippage-Free AMM for DeFi Tokens

Saddle Finance Raises $4.3M; Launches A Slippage-Free AMM for DeFi Tokens

  • Saddle Finance, an automated market maker, launches a $4.3 million funding round from top VC firms in the crypto sphere.
  • The platform will offer Bitcoin backed tokens, including wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC).
  • DeFi AMM platform, Curve, accuses Saddle of copying its algorithm.

Saddle, a VC-backed AMM, went live earlier this week, allowing users to deposit, withdraw, swap, and provide liquidity on the platform. The project raised $4.3 million from top crypto venture capital firms, including PolyChain Capital Framework Ventures and Electric Capital. Other investors who participated in the funding round include Coinbase Ventures, Dragonfly Capital, Alameda Research, Divergence Ventures, and Nascent.

The volatility of crypto markets increases the slippage chances, difference between expected (order) price and the execution price, even across stablecoin pairs, Sunil Srivatsa, founder of Saddle and a former Uber senior software engineer, said in an interview.

Saddle is built to minimize slippage chances across different tradable assets such as stablecoins and tokenized assets. Saddle users can now choose amongst four tokenized Bitcoin liquidity pools, namely tBTC, wBTC, renBTC, and sBTC, to swap tokens or provide liquidity. Sunil further stated,

“So one of the problems that we’re setting out to solve is to unlock deep on-chain liquidity for pegged value crypto assets basically. That means you’re able to make trades and lose a very minimal amount to slippage and transaction fees.”

The platform will use Synthetix’s virtual synths, ensuring the trades are completed instantly and prevent any slippage while trading.

Curve claims Saddle copied their code

The launch of Saddle has not been taken on good terms with another AMM platform, Curve Finance, who claim the former copied their algorithm. Curve Finance is an AMM that provides stablecoin liquidity pools, different from Saddle’s tokenized Bitcoin liquidity pools.

In a tweet responding to the difference the two platforms had, Curve Finance blasted the similarities in code between the platform, claiming they have “the same math.”

In a statement first made public on Crypto Briefing, Curve Finance elaborated that Saddle “used the same algorithm.” Furthermore, the QuantStamp audit on the project stated they “were not able to determine how the developers derived formulas copied from Curve’s StableSwap whitepaper.”

The audit further claims that Saddle could be vulnerable to an attack previously noticed on Curve since the smart contract is typically the same.

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Author: Lujan Odera

DeFi Season in Full Swing; Blue Chip Tokens Climbing Up the Ranks

DeFi tokens exploding yesterday with Cream (55.5%), SYN (55%) MTA (46%), 1inch (34%), AAVE (28%), bzrx (26%), SWRV (24%), UMA (22%), and UNI (21%) leading the market.

This had the total value locked (TVL) in decentralized finance (DeFi) at a new ATH above $23.85 bln, DeFi Pulse.

Meanwhile, the market cap of the top 100 DeFi tokens has reached $30 billion.

These gains result in DeFi tokens gaining higher ranking in the entire cryptocurrency market, with Polkadot (DOT) replacing XRP at 4th space, with Uniswap (UNI), Aave, and Synthetix (SNX) particularly climbing up the ranks to become 17th, 18th, and 23rd (now 24th) largest crypto assets by market cap.

Given the development and repricing, DeFi tokens see it won’t be long before several of them join the top 10.

Power of on-chain cash flow

In this past week, HGET (88.8%), CREAM (88%), AAVE (70%), SUSHI (55%), CRV (55%), PEPP (54%), UNI (47%), MTA (39%), 1inch (35%), and RUNE (34%) recorded significant gains.

Cream’s gains are the result of the launch of the road to Cream V2, which aims to become the Iron bank, which “actually *creates* value for tokens like YFI and ALPHA,” which was “previously impossible,” says Kyle Samani, Managing Partner at Multicoin Cap.

YFI, currently trading around $33,420, recently announced the proposal of buying back the crypto asset, and much of the community has come out in support of this.

When it comes to Sushiswap, its TVL has hit the milestone of $2 bln.

The token SUSHI is also enjoying the greens, surging past $7, bringing the market cap of $924 million.

The DEX project has come a long way since its controversial start, steadily growing its liquidity and volume, both of which are also hitting new highs.

The same is the case for fees that have surpassed $2 million on a daily basis. Sushiswap actually incentivizes LP and token holders by charging traders a 0.30% fee on each trade, out of which 0.25% goes to LPs and 0.05% to those staking xSUSHI.

“The power of on-chain cash flow: over 58% of the circulating SUSHI supply is locked in xSushi, earning a double-digit annualized earnings yield. Coins being accumulated on centralized exchanges and moved into on-chain yield-bearing contracts is a welcome development,” noted Max Bronstein, who previously worked at Coinbase.

Still, Sushiswap’s valuation relative to sales has decreased by 40% during all this growth.

DeFi’s stablecoin not stable

Maker is also finally enjoying this uptrend as it retakes its dominant position in the space, currently at 17.84%, with its TVL surpassing a whopping $4.26 bln.

The Ethereum-based MKR is a governance token for MakerDao as well as Maker’s decentralized lending platform. The latest success in the value of the project is attributed to the increase in the supply of its stablecoin DAI.

DAI’s market cap has grown to $1.3 bln as per Coingecko, up from $129.5 mln on July 1st, 2020.

Unlike DAI, other DAI stablecoins are anything but stable with BASED trading at $0.94, AMPL $0.88, DSD $0.79, DEBASE $0.87, SHARE $0.69, ESD $0.57, and BSD $0.33.

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Author: AnTy

Even Billionaires Complain About the High DeFi Uniswap Fees; Aave Users Get Excited

Even Billionaires Complain About the High DeFi Uniswap Fees; Aave Users Get Excited

“Defi has incredible potential,” says Mark Cuban but cautions that much like derivatives, “risk never leaves the system” here as well.

Ethereum is notorious for its extremely high fees when the network activity amps up.

In January, with ETH and DeFi tokens enjoying an uptrend and offering buy the dip opportunities, too much activity is making the platform costly to use. Popular DEX Uniswap, which has long been the biggest gas guzzler, has spent $28.3 million in gas in the last 30 days.

“The high gas costs are a direct result of *huge demand for trading on Uniswap,” said Hayden Adams, the creator of Uniswap, earlier this month when the fees skyrocketed yet again.

“Scaling is a huge problem. It absolutely sucks small transactions are sometimes priced out during volatility.”

But it looks like it’s not only the smaller users that are feeling the brunt of the hefty fees; even the billionaires are complaining. This billionaire, is none other than crypto skeptic Mark Cuban.

Cuban mentioned that gas was always an issue when Haralabos Voulgaris, Head of Quantitative Research at Dallas Mavericks, suggested there being real value in sending money over a decentralized, permissionless network. Cuban feels,

“Except the gas is always an issue. Just the cost of moving crypto to AAVE is crazy expensive, and the number of non crypto options will increase.”

With the Shark Tank investor who finds more worth in bananas and compares crypto trading with the dotcom bubble,  name dropping popular DeFi project, AAVE got the CT excited AAVE 10.31% Aave / USD AAVEUSD $ 140.95
Volume 509.28 m Change $14.53 Open $140.95 Circulating 12.2 m Market Cap 1.72 b
8 s Even Billionaires Complain About the High DeFi Uniswap Fees; Aave Users Get Excited 1 d A ‘Massive Transfer of Wealth Among Traders’ Sees DeFi Tokens Winning the Round 1 w Three Arrows Capital Holds 36,969 Bitcoin ($1.24B) via An Over 6% Stake in GBTC

“One of the most high-profile billionaires trying out DeFi. I am liking this trend,” noted one such DeFi investor.

However, just because Cuban publicly doesn’t find worth in crypto doesn’t mean he isn’t trying things out, as he responded,

“I don’t think people realize I try to test and use all this stuff and have for years. I still have crypto from the early days of coinbase. I’ve never sold anything.”

As for decentralized finance itself, Cuban says, “DeFi has incredible potential.” Still, according to him, much like derivatives, “risk never leaves the system” as it faces the risk of a dominoes-like collapse. Cuban said on the prospect of Defi fixing the problem of underbanked,

“It’s a long way off for the unbanked. Most deal with cash or lack compute power so they need intermediaries. That’s costly. As DeFi grows away from overcollaterization, it will be interesting to see if access expands or contracts.”

But here, the CT takes over and points out that while “the system is only as strong as its weakest link.” We do, in fact, need better insurance models; the missing point is “unlike tradFi, DeFi is a perfectly transparent system that allows you to measure risk in real time,” said Santiago R Santos, a partner at Parafi Capital.

The DeFi space has grown to over $20 billion in total value locked (TVL) as the DeFi project continues to grow and rise in value. This week, the top US banking regulator actually talked about the opportunities of DeFi and regulators needing to be ready for it.

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Author: AnTy

Wrapped Monero (wXMR) Goes Live On Ethereum Extending DeFi Capabilities To Holders

Wrapped Monero (wXMR) Goes Live On Ethereum Extending DeFi Capabilities To Holders

Cryptocurrency custodian BTSE introduces ‘Wrapped Monero’ on to the Ethereum blockchain. This aims to boost the overall DeFi capabilities to XMR holders.

Privacy tokens such as Monero (XMR) are widely used to mask transactions and preserve user privacy– factors have led to the delisting of XMR on multiple exchanges; Bittrex, the latest exchange to delist privacy-enabled cryptocurrencies. However, this could change with the latest development from the crypto custodian, BTSE – wrapped Monero (wXMR) – a synthetic token built on Ethereum and backed on a 1:1 basis to XMR.

To obtain wXMR, users will need to deposit XMR to BTSE and use the conversion feature to wrap and unwrap them at will at a 1:1 ratio. BTSE will be the sole custodian and in charge of securing the XMR tokens deposited to mint the wXMR. This being the first-of-its-kind asset, BTSE stated the “Proof of Reserves” on privacy tokens is a bit harder than on open blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

So, Why Wrapped Monero?

The launch of wXMR tokens offers users a gateway to spend and use their XMR tokens on Ethereum, expanding the overall DeFi ecosystem. This is expected to “bring additional liquidity to the DeFi ecosystem,” the statement from BTSE reads. Wrapped XMR will allow users of XMR to use their tokens on DeFi products to borrow directly, lend, yield farm, and any other function without the need to sell their tokens to ETH or stablecoins.

Moreover, this is aiming to change the bad publicity that privacy-enabled cryptocurrencies are getting. Over the past year, multiple exchanges have delisted privacy coins such as XMR, DASH, and Zcash from their platforms, citing regulatory uncertainty as to the main reason. Following the FATF ‘Travel Rule’ notice, OKEX Korea paused trading of XMR. Shortly after, Colorado-based Shapeshift delisted privacy coins adding to the unceremonious delisting of these coins from BitOasis and Bittrex.

The delisting of XMR from regulated crypto exchanges arises from money laundering fears and extreme privacy that the crypto employs. With over $2.5 billion market cap, Monero is the largest private crypto employing the “Cryptonote” algorithm to obfuscate both the sender’s and receiver’s address.

Such privacy has seen the coin rise as one of the most popular coins on dark web marketplaces and wanted ransomware payment. In October, ahead of the U.S. Presidential election, hackers demanded XMR payment after attacking Donald Trump’s official campaign website.

The quest to unmask Monero’s privacy led the IRS to raise a $625,000 bounty for companies to build a tracking solution for Monero and the Lightning Network. A cybersecurity firm, CipherTrace, in November, registered its second patent to track Monero.

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Author: Lujan Odera

SNX to Surge Past $2,000 & Reach 3x Ethereum’s Current Market Cap: Report

DeFi bluechip Synthetix (SNX) is one of the biggest gainers of 2020, with more than 863% YTD.

With a $707 million market cap, SNX is the 40th largest cryptocurrency trading at $6.32.

However, according to the latest report, the DeFi token has a potential to go 364x from here that would take the digital asset’s market cap to a whopping $242 billion, more than 3x of the second-largest cryptocurrency Ethereum’s current market cap at $73 billion.

These lofty predictions come from the “confidential” report by Teeka Tiwari’s Palm Beach Research Group, claims an unconfirmed report.

The report, which calls these numbers “conservative,” compares Synthetix with Tesla, Amazon, and General Motors, stating “disruptive tech projects tend to be worth more through their innovations and cutting of overhead costs.”

The decentralized platform on the Ethereum network trades everything from cryptocurrencies, commodities, forex, indexes and will soon add stocks to its list, too, by creating synthetic assets on the blockchain.

As per the report, since the beginning of 2020, Synthetix has grown its user base nearly 4x, and the assets held on its platform have also increased 4.4x to over $750 million. Since February, the platform has also generated over $1 billion in trading volume but “has massive potential to eat more market share from traditional exchanges.”

“Conservatively, we think Synthetic could come to command a premium five times higher than traditional exchanges,” further reads the report. This is because the decentralized protocol eliminates middlemen and expensive overhead costs needed to run an exchange.

With an estimated $130 trillion trading in equities every year alone, even capturing a tiny portion of the market would see the volume on the platform, trading fee, profits, price, and the market cap of the digital asset ballooning, argues the report.

With the bull market in focus, everyone is back to making wilder predictions. However, given that Synthetix is one of the hottest DeFi projects in the market, it can achieve a higher value, but it’s to be seen just how high they will go.

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Author: AnTy

Yield Farming & NFT’s Led 2020’s DeFi Boom; Boosting DApp Volume by 1178%: DappRadar

The decentralized finance (DeFi) space has arguably been the most impressive component of the entire crypto industry in 2020.

With Bitcoin rallying to record highs, total assets locked in DeFi protocols have reached record levels too. However, it now appears to be bringing in an influx of users to decentralized apps (dApps), again.

DeFi is Pulling DApps Use

This week, top DApp tracking platform DAppRadar published its 2020 DApp Industry Report, revealing that there has been over $270 billion in transaction volumes in 2020. The platform noted that a staggering 95 percent of these volumes came from the Ethereum-based DeFi ecosystem, marking a jump from $21 billion last year.

The report pointed out that the DeFi space had also contributed to Ether’s growth, with money flowing from Bitcoin to the asset all through the year. DAppRadar explained that this cash influx’s primary driver was the theoretical yields in DeFi, with renBTC and Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC) allowing dApps to tap some of Bitcoin’s liquidity.

Moving on, DAppRadar explained that only ten DeFi dApps accounted for 87 percent of the total transaction volumes on Ethereum. The report echoed findings from November when DAppRadar’s rankings showed that dApps had attracted over a million users in 30 days.

At the time, the top three DApps – DeFi Swap, Uniswap, and Compound, respectively – accounted for over 930,000 users between them. None of the remaining dApps in the top ten rankings had over 30,000 users that month.

Data from Dune Analytics also found that a single DeFi user could have used multiple addresses to interact with several dApps on several occasions during a month. It would be challenging to accurately estimate the actual number of users from DAppRadar’s numbers. As Dune estimated, the total cumulative DeFi wallet addresses were about 901,000.

Even at that, the numbers seem pretty impressive, especially considering that the DeFi space was almost nowhere this time in 2019.

Problems Remain

While the report was positive, it also highlighted some of the challenges plaguing the DeFi space. As expected, it touched issues such as the apparent dependence on the Ethereum blockchain, which has led to challenges like network congestion and higher gas fees.

Hacks and security breaches have also become common, with crafty hackers capitalizing on security flaws in DeFi smart contracts to steal users’ funds. As DAppRadar estimates, hackers have stolen over $120 million across 12 hacks this year. The tracking platform adds that the industry should improve insurance in 2021, which will enhance user confidence.

In general, DAppRadar notes that the future is bright for DeFi. Issues like the coronavirus pandemic and more have brought decentralized platforms into the forefront, and dApps have benefited from that rise in prominence.

With DeFi set to play a more prominent role in the global economy, it should spread its benefits to components like gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and dApps.

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Author: AnTy

Secret Network Launches Ethereum Bridge; ERC20 Tokens Get XMR & ZEC Like Privacy Features

  • Secret Protocol promises privacy-enabled ERC 20 tokens.
  • A new secret DeFi ecosystem bubbles on Secret Network.

Secret Network, an open-source privacy blockchain that turns Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 tokens into wrapped coins with privacy features like Monero (XMR) and Zcash (ZEC), announced the long-awaited launch mainnet platform this Tuesday. The mainnet is an Ethereum bridge that introduces a host of features, including secret tokens, secret decentralized finance (DeFi), Secret-based AMMs, Secret NFTs, Secret vaults, and pretty much everything to introduce a private DeFi ecosystem.

At launch, the mainnet will support ETH alongside 14 other ER20 tokens as the development team prepares to add support for more tokens in the future, the statement reads. The tokes available on the platform include Ethereum (ETH), Yearn Finance (YFI), Uniswap (UNI), Band Protocol (BAND), Compound (COMP), Chainlink (LINK), Aave (AAVE), Kyber Network (KNC), Synthetix (SNX), Ocean Protocol (OCEAN), Maker (MKR), Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), and DAI, USDT, and TUSD stablecoins.

Secret Ethereum Bridge provides a “front-running resistant and cross-chain system” designed to allow Ethereum (ETH) and ERC20 token users to create privacy-enabled tokens on the network. As the “first and only privacy-enabled blockchain, featuring smart contracts,” the Secret Ethereum Bridge allows users to convert their assets into privacy-enabled tokens and interact with the Ethereum blockchain.

Announced back in September, the Secret network introduces secret tokens, where users will need to lock up their ETH or ERC20 tokens to create synthetic (wrapped) tokens on the Secret Network. The process ensures a highly secure network while minimizing the transaction fees to create the privacy-enabled tokens.

Additionally, the mainnet will also introduce bridge mining, whereby users can lock up their ETH or ERC 20 tokens and start earning SCRT token rewards. These rewards are expected to go live in January 2021 to give users time to get “familiar and comfortable with the Ethereum bridge.”

Following the SCRT token rewards launch, the network is looking to launch an automated market maker (AMM) with special and unique rewards for AMM users and liquidity providers. In total, the Secret Network development team expects to disburse over 2 million SCRT tokens to the community to incentivize the use of DeFi products on its network.

Users will need a Keplr or Metamask wallet to be able to connect to the Secret Network.

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Author: Lujan Odera

DeFi Project Nexus Mutual Suffers $8.25M Attack; Only Founder’s Personal Wallet Affected

DeFi insurance project Nexus Mutual has suffered an attack.

But for the crypto community, the only good thing is that Nexus Mutual founder Hugh Karp’s personal addresses were only affected.

On Monday, the team took to Twitter to share that at 9:40 on Dec. 14 itself, the personal address for the project creator was attacked and drained by a member of the mutual itself.

“Only Hugh’s address was affected in this targeted attack, and there is no subsequent risk to Nexus Mutual or any members,” noted the team.

370,000 NXM worth $8.25 million has been stolen from Hugh’s personal wallet.

As per the initial investigation, this targeted attack was made on Hugh’s hardware wallet by gaining remote access to his computer. By modifying the popular Ethereum wallet MetaMask’s extension, the attacker tricked Hugh into signing a different transaction to transfer the funds to the attacker’s address.

“Since on hardware wallets you often can not validate practically what you are actually signing the weakest point to attack is the interface that creates the sign request – e.g., the Dapp,” said Martin Köppelmann, founder of the prediction market platform Gnosis.

As such, one needs to make sure that the private key only signs what the owner intends to, for which multiple signier or sanity checks must be used to separate the transaction request from signing it, advised Köppelmann.

According to the Nexus Mutual team, the attacker completed his KYC earlier this month and then switched the membership to a new address on Dec. 3rd.

“The mutual is not impacted; the pool of funds and all systems are safe. Our investigation is ongoing to identify the attacker and how they operated,” added the team.

Hugh also took to Twitter to urge the attacker to return the stolen NXM to him, and in return, they will drop the investigation and grant them the $300k bounty.

The project currently has a total value locked (TVL) of about $94 million, and its token NXS is currently trading at $0.226, down 1.91%. The token with a market cap of $15.65 million has a year-to-date performance of about 28%.

Meanwhile, Wrapped Nexus (wNXM), which the attacker used to move the funds, is seeing a bigger drop of over 16% to $16.41.

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Author: AnTy

This DeFi Blue Chip is Coming to Bitcoin with The RSK Market Proposal

“An Aave approach to the Bitcoin world” is what the DeFi Bluechip project is trying to achieve now.

The popular decentralized finance project announced this week that it is now coming to Bitcoin with a new proposal “for an RSK market on the Aave Protocol.”

“This is a huge step for expanding the DeFi ecosystem,” noted the team which launched Aave V2 last week, which saw its market size surpassing $35 million. The upgrade makes the project easier and cheaper to use, with its flash loan functionality also getting a revamp.

Following the launch of the latest version, the team proposed the ability to separately delegate proposal power and voting power —

“a major step in governance scalability as we believe the ability to assess proposals require different skills than those needed to make a smart contract proposal.”

Aave is the fourth largest DeFi project whose governance token AAVE continues to grow strong, trading at $76.28, with a whopping 4,147% year-to-date performance.

The project has $1.6 billion in TVL, with 432.5k ETH, 10k BTC, and 15.55 million DAI locked in it.

The proposal on Aave’s governance forum explains that for leveraging Bitcoin, they will be incorporating the RSK Market. This will be completely done by RSK devs, and integration has already been done with Chainlink, which will be used by Aave.

RSK’s full technology stack is built on top of Bitcoin, and its goal is to add value and functionality to the ecosystem of the largest cryptocurrency by enabling smart-contracts, near-instant payments, and higher-scalability.

Instead of a bridge, Aave proposes creating a Market, a new idea that incorporates new customers that are not using Aave. All new tokens already on RSK Marketplace natively will be brought along with the new proposal to increase the liquidity and opportunities for both companies. The team noted,

“We will bring to the table new customers that will bring new business and liquidity from the bitcoin world that look the DeFi platforms differently.”

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Author: AnTy

IOHK and BONDLY Partner to Launch First DeFi Project on Cardano Blockchain

  • IOHK is making in-roads to introduce DeFi to Cardano blockchain.
  • Bondly, a decentralized exchange, becomes the first DeFi protocol on the blockchain.

Announced on Dec.10, Bondly became the first decentralized finance, or DeFi, to launch and run on the Cardano blockchain. This follows the successful launch of the Goguen testnet, a smart contract functionality that allows developers to build their decentralized apps atop the blockchain.

In a tweet, the Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK) team confirmed the partnership with Bondly, a decentralized peer-to-peer exchange, further stating,

Following Shelley’s successful completion, an upgrade targeting more decentralization on the Cardano network, the community is awaiting the Goguen upgrade. According to the official statement, the Goguen upgrade, expected to launch in 2021 fully, introduces smart contracts and the ability to build decentralized apps on Cardano.

Bondly is a peer-to-peer e-commerce system and decentralized exchange that aims to bring the qualities of DeFi to the traditional finance world. The latest partnership with IOHK sees the two companies share visions and joint roadmaps entering 2021, including the addition of the BONDLY cryptocurrency to Cardano – a switch from the Polkadot ecosystem. Charles Hoskinson, Founder of Cardano, said,

“IOHK’s core mission is to widen and democratize access to financial services, which is why Bondly is a perfect partner for us.”

Once the Goguen upgrade is complete, BONDLY plans to integrate its e-commerce platform, BONDProtect, and BSwap, its over-the-counter (OTC) exchange, Cardano too. BONDProtect is a peer to peer marketplace designed to protect buyers and sellers using smart contract-based escrows that will run on Cardano’s fast and secure network.

Hoskinson further believes BONDLY’s capabilities are essential in further pushing Cardano-based DeFi ecosystems once the Goguen update is launched. DeFi solutions built on Cardano allows the blockchain to “live up its potential” and “replace the global digital financial system,” he further said confidently.

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Author: Lujan Odera