Bitcoin Skeptics Busy Talking About Bananas, 2018 Bear Market & Missing Price Discovery

Despite the price of Bitcoin jumping more than 220% this year, billionaire Mark Cuban still isn’t interested in the leading cryptocurrency.

“My thoughts haven’t changed,” Cuban told Forbes a week before Bitcoin surged past an all-time high of $20,000 to hit a record $23,800 on Wednesday, in a story that was published Thursday.

Bitcoin is “a store of value…that is more religion than solution to any problem,” said Cuban adding that the cryptocurrency won’t be replacing government-backed currency.

“No matter how much (bitcoin) fans want to pretend that it’s a hedge against doomsday scenarios, it is not,” Cuban said.

“Countries will take steps to protect their currencies and their ability to tax, so the more people believe this is anything more than a store of value, the more risk of government intervention they face.”

However, Cuban does agree that bitcoin is like gold in the way that it is a store of value. Although with its supply being limited, as the demand for the digital currency fluctuates, so will the price, which will be volatile, “as long as people accept (bitcoin) as a digital version of gold, it’s investable,” he said.

Despite this optimistic view, Cuban went back to his banana having “more utility” because it has potassium, a “valuable nutrient to every person on the planet,” while Bitcoin is what it is because “enough people have agreed upon” it as an investable asset.

Absolutely crazy right now

Another person that remains skeptical of Bitcoin is the Rosenberg Research chief economist, who calls it a “massive bubble.”

However, given his Bitcoin issues, it looks like it’s him who is in a bubble because he didn’t even take time to understand it before ranting about it.

“You speak to most people that are asking me to put money in bitcoin, they can’t even tell you who the person was that developed it or even how it’s actually mined,” said David Rosenberg. Alright, uninformed boomer!

“It’s just a classic, follow-the-herd, extremely crowded trade. It’s in a massive bubble.”

He had a particular nugget to share with that “there’s really nothing in the protocol to suggest that the supply of bitcoin can’t go up once we hit that limit.”

From the March low of $3,800, during the coronavirus pandemic-induced sell-off recorded in gold, stock, especially oil prices, and every other asset class, BTC has seen a whopping 525% uptrend.

Since October, Bitcoin has rallied 114%, and the chart of the digital asset is looking “absolutely crazy right now” to Rosenberg, who took it as his civic duty to remind everyone of the 2018 bear market after the last time bitcoin behaved with such a “speculative fervor.”

Meanwhile, BTC/USD is holding firm around $23,000, embarking on its price discovery journey.

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Author: AnTy

LibertyX Confirms Bitcoin ATMs at Tesla Gigafactory’s; Elon Musk Questions the ‘Accuracy’

It now appears there is actually a Bitcoin ATM at the Tesla Gigafactory based in Nevada; this is despite Tesla founder Elon Musk downplaying the existence of one, following a tweet by Fold CEO Will Reeves, who claimed to have sighted the ATM over the weekend. The tweet also featured google map images, which reveal that the ATM sits close to the mega facility’s North-East section.

Finbold, which also reported on this news yesterday, seems to have gotten some insights on who might have installed the Bitcoin ATM. According to its Sunday report, speculations were that Bitcoin ATM maker, LibertyX, is the company behind these developments at Tesla. In a follow-up of the same, Finbold has since received a confirmation from the LibertyX team that they are responsible for the upgrade.

LibertyX was keen to highlight that it did not install new machines but upgraded the software of three ATMs in the factory to integrate a Bitcoin selling feature. The firm, which already has 5,000 live ATMs, plans to scale this to over 100,000 in the near future; its ATM manufacturing partners are Hyosung and Genmega. LibertyX also confirmed that the Bitcoin ATMs at Tesla has been live since August and can only be accessed by employees,

“The Tesla locations have been live since August. The ATM is currently only accessible for employees.”

While the Tesla founder is not much of a Bitcoin bull-like Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, he has previously sighted that he owns .25 BTC sent to him by a friend back in the day. In fact, LibertyX is hopeful that Musk will increase his BTC portfolio size with newly integrated Bitcoin ATMs at Tesla’s Gigafactory,

“Elon, 0.25 BTC isn’t enough, and now that you can buy bitcoin from the 3 on-site Gigafactory ATMs, you don’t even need to leave home.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Uniswap & SushiSwap Fork, Sake, Enters; Locking in Over Half A Billion Dollars

Despite the rug-pulling and all the drama in the DeFi sector, newly cloned projects continue to pop up in the market. Copy-pasting has become a norm of the market, just like in 2017, with the initial coin offerings (ICO). And after the food mania, it looks like it’s time for beverages.

The latest project is SakeSwap, a fork of Uniswap and SushiSwap.

SushiSwap itself was the copy cat of popular DEX Uniswap, which saw its creator selling his share of the development fund, then returning it and now under issue for airdropping millions of SUSHI, buying back tokens, and generously rewarding a team member.

“SUSHI tastes better with SAKE!” and “Stake Uniswap LP tokens to claim your very own hot SAKE!” are the latest project’s taglines.

First introduced early last week on Sept. 8, the project has already amassed more than $530 million in deposits.

The initial set of pools available are USDT-ETH, USDC-ETH, USDC-USDT, DAI-ETH, COMP-ETH, LEND-ETH, SNX-ETH, LINK-ETH, UMA-ETH, CRV-ETH, SWE-ETH, STAKE-ETH, SRM-ETH, GRAP-ETH, YAMv2-ETH, BASED-ETH, YFI-ETH, YFII-ETH, SUSHI-ETH, and SAKE-ETH.

This Uniswap and SushiSwap fork comes with a few key improvements. Here, SAKE token holders have governance rights and get a portion of fees paid to the protocol, and “eventually, SAKE holders will own the protocol.” SakeSwap has a tokenomics of deflation.

Unlike SUSHI, SAKE token has been set a limited total volume to avoid dilution and maintain project sustainability. 6% of every SAKE distribution is set aside for its dev fund.

Following SushiSwap, 0.25% of transaction fees go to LPs, while the remaining 0.05% will be converted back to SAKE. As for the remaining 0.05%, 30% of it will be burned while the rest will be redistributed to token holders.

Unlike Uniswap, instead of arbitrators acquiring 100% of slippage, 50% will go to LPs. It even introduces Slippage Token (S Token) to incentivize traders, and once AMM pools are active, holders can farm SAKE by staking S token.

Currently, the SAKE token is trading at $1.39, down 57% from its all-time high at $3.18 hit on the weekend, as per CoinGecko.

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Author: AnTy

Chinese Investors Turn to Yield Farming Despite The Recent Crash of DeFi Token Prices

Chinese investors are jumping onto decentralized finance (DeFi) despite the recent collapse in crypto markets. In an observation first published on Twitter by Chinese journalist Colin Wu, Chinese crypto exchanges are facing a log-jam of withdrawals as users rush to invest in DeFi tokens.

Over the past few weeks, searches for the word “DeFi” have skyrocketed on the popular Chinese messaging app, WeChat, reaching a high of 900k searches on September 7th. The increase in anticipation and demand for these tokens arises from the supernormal growth and APY returns offered by farming protocols, a trend Wu believes will continue in the future.

Wu also reported a shrinking liquidity pool on local crypto exchanges as investors withdraw large amounts of crypto to cycle them into DeFi. The withdrawals caused several exchanges to shut down operations to prevent a bank run on their liquidity pools.

The Chinese crypto community has since responded to exchanges locking them out of their fund’s launching, a “coin withdrawal campaign.” The campaign calls on all investors from troubled centralized crypto exchanges to withdraw their tokens and “delete their trading accounts.”

Data shows the reserves of crypto exchanges present in China have been depleted with the rise of decentralized finance. Following a massive bull run on the majority of “farming tokens,” the recent slowdown in price has seen Chinese investors rush to fill their bags with ETH in preparation for the net mega bull run. Colin Wu wrote on Twitter,

“[…]The recent sharp drop in the price of ETH, many users buy bottoms on exchanges and then transfer to DEX for farming. The stock of ETH and other farm cryptos on the exchange is falling frantically.”

According to Wu, these exchanges are being forced to list these DeFi farming tokens to keep the investors on their platforms and prevent the move to DEXs.

The DeFi ecosystem has a total locked value (TVL) of $7.7 billion, falling from an all-time high of $9.5 billion recorded earlier in September, according to DeFi Pulse. The DeFi ecosystem started off the year with a TVL of $674 million, experiencing over 9X growth in the past nine months or so. With Chinese investors getting into the ring, the DeFi space could be set for another soar in the near future.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum Suffers from Fundamentals Flaws — Is it the New Normal?

  • Markets remain bullish, especially Ethereum, despite the second-largest network continuing to suffer from the fundamental flaws — insanely high fees and clogged up the network.
  • Despite the rising fees, hitting ATH in both USD and ETH terms, ETH price is uptrending, reflecting people’s preference for Ether.

The fees on Ethereum had reached the highest since 2015 when it launched, surging past $7. More than 17,500, $6.8 million are currently being spent on fees daily on the network. Spencer Bogart, general partner at Blockchain Capital,

“Mempools are getting more competitive as value at stake for pending crypto tax increases. This increased competitiveness is a byproduct of increasing adoption and utility and likely part of a new normal.”

Soaring transaction fees means the daily profit of Ethereum miners is now at its highest point in 27 months. As per Bitinfocharts, the daily profitability of Ethereum miner operators is at $5.8 per 100 megahashes second (MH/s) of computing power — a level last seen in early May 2018.

Who Exactly is Responsible for Soaring Ethereum’s Fees?

No doubt, this spike in fees is caused by a high demand for space on-chain, with the median gas price at its all-time high of 217 Gwei and mean gas price even higher at 224 Gwei.

But users need to pay far more than the media gas to use the network effectively, and Etherscan is recommending gas price of over 350 Gwei for a 20 second wait time.

The reason is simple, “the anticipation of a bull market has created massive demand in all niches – large and small, familiar and arcane, dated and nascent,” notes Glassnode.

One reason for this massive demand for transactions on Ethereum is stablecoins, especially USDT, which is the second biggest gas guzzler, as per Etherscan.

In August, USDT transfers accounted for 14% of all fees spent, while other stablecoins account for just 1.2% of fees spent.

But the most significant gas guzzler belongs to the “other contracts” category, which accounts for more than 65% of all gas spent this month. This category covers DeFi, DEXs, and arbitrage bots.

Uniswap is the most significant contributor to Ethereum’s gas price spike, which is responsible for 39% of fees spent by the top 20 contracts this month.

Among these 20 contracts, arbitrage bots make up for almost 20% of fees, spending $2.5 million worth of ETH in gas.

Ponzi schemes also continue to be high fee payers, which takes the place of 2nd (Forsage.io) and 19th (Lionsshare.io) in most gas-intensive contracts this month so far, stated Glassnode in its report.

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Author: AnTy

Fintech Unicorn, Revolut, Reveals 150% Increase In Its Crypto Holdings In 2019

  • London based fintech, Revolut, reports $140 million in losses in 2019 despite its cryptocurrency holdings growing to $123 million, a 200% increase from 2018’s holdings. The company also recorded a 2.5x boom in customer growth rate in 2019.

Revolut published its 2019 financial year report on August 10, showing a sustained growth in its cryptocurrency holdings at £93.3 million (~$122.27 million), representing a sharp 151% increase from 2018’s crypto holdings – £37.1 million (~$48.62 million).

Despite the rapid growth in customer acquisition and crypto holdings, Revolut registered over a 200% increase in losses. As of December 31, the company posted a total loss of £106.5 million (~$139.57 million) through 2019, tripling the £32.9 million (~$43.11million) published in 2018.

“We still have some way to go, but we are pleased with our performance in 2019,” Nik Storonsky, founder and CEO at Revolut, said speaking to CNBC. “We increased daily active customers by 231%, and the number of paying customers grew by 139%.”

The report states the company’s losses are mainly due to expansion and market acquisition costs incurred in 2019. As reported by BEG, the British fintech unicorn recently received a green light to operate in Australia by the ASIC, extending its reach to 24 territories, including the U.S., Russia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand.

The company did not release the breakdown of its crypto holdings to the public with six main digital assets available on the platform – Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and recently added Stellar Lumens.

They offer its users a direct platform to purchase cryptocurrencies and store them securely. However, the firm also owns its stash of cryptocurrencies, which are accounted for as “intangible assets.” The report states:

“Cryptocurrencies are recognized at fair value using the revaluation model. Accordingly, an impairment loss on an asset that was not previously re-measured is recognized in profit or loss.”

The losses recorded are further strained by the fact that revenues were up 180% to £162.7 million ($221.6 million) in 2019 as compared to £58.2 ($75.7 million) in 2018. The company also announced an increase in its cash holdings, which doubled to £2.281 billion, up from £903 million in 2018.

Revolut also states its currency exchange business is facing a blip in 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic as traders are not as interested. However, the pandemic has had an unusual positive effect on its crypto businesses in the short term, the report further states.

The U.K. fintech firm recently partnered with Paxos in a bid to expand its crypto purchase and custody services across 49 of the 50 states in the country.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple Moves from ‘Writing Cheques to Writing Code’ While Still Finding Use Cases for its Tech

Despite soaring 50% at the end of July, the price of XRP continues to trade under $0.30 and down 93% from its all-time high.

This has been despite Ripple unveiling that it is buying XRP in the secondary market at market prices and may further continue to do so in the future, trying to quell the accusations of dumping the digital asset on investors.

Ripple currently sits on about 55% of XRP’s total supply worth about $16 billion after having to cash $1.2 billion of its holdings since early 2017. It is the third-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum by a market cap of nearly $12 billion.

“We are a capitalist, we own a lot of XRP,” said Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. “So do I care about the overall XRP market? 100%.”

The company aims to “deliver a lot of utility through XRP”; however, it could take “years,” he said.

Still Finding Use Cases

According to a report by FT, the San Francisco-based fintech start-up launched in 2012 is still trying to find use cases for its blockchain technology underpinning XRP. In this attempt, it is aiming to become the Amazon of the crypto world.

When Garlinghouse took the CEO position five years ago, the company focused on payments but is now trying to produce tools for developers to build their own applications on their blockchain.

According to Garlinghouse, this latest effort will put Ripple in the same position as a broader blockchain platform as Amazon has become a platform for e-commerce.

“Amazon started as a bookseller and just sold books. We happen to have started with payments,” he said. “Two years from now, you’re going to find that Ripple is to payments as Amazon was to books.”

But Ripple hasn’t been hit with its first application and has also been facing lawsuits over claims they sold unregistered securities, and bears a big question mark on the (security) nature of its digital asset.

Cutting Back on Handouts

Ripple gained much attention for attaining over 300 banking and financial institutions as its partners include some big names. Santander is one of its “largest and most important customers,” but like many other partners doesn’t use XRP rather only some of Ripple’s software. This is because the digital asset wasn’t active in enough markets to support the bank’s needs.

Not only trying to be close to the bank gets them “a lot of hate in the crypto world,” this whole situation is like “Uber trying to disrupt the taxi industry by working with the taxis,” said Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder.

This year, it was also found that Ripple has been using its crypto reserves to draw more users and partners. The company handed MoneyGram $31 million worth of XRP in “market development fees” to encourage them to use its cryptocurrency.

Ripple also distributed about $500 million, much of it in XRP, through its Xpring fund to see new applications using its blockchain technology. One such effort involved Coil that received $260 million, which generated little in returns.

Ripple has since cut back on Xpring handouts, and the company has now moved from “writing cheques to writing code,” said Ethan Beard, SVP at Ripple.

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Author: AnTy

Altcoins’ Under Heavy Losses, BTC Bias in Favor of Bears as Stock Market Fears Another Sell-Off

Bitcoin’s price remains flat, with volume dying despite the stablecoin supply explosion in 2020. It just took four months for the stablecoin supply to double to reach 12 billion while it took five years to reach the initial 6 billion.

In the past few weeks, bitcoin’s correlation with the S&P 500 is also surging, and it is struggling to outperform the gold.

However, as we reported declining volatility is indicating we may be about to see some action.

“The Bitcoin market continues to trade within range. Caution is advised as long as price remains in this range,” said trader CryptoYoda.

Although the weekly candles are giving a short-term bullish outlook as they slowly trend upwards, the trader says, “Unless $10,500 is taken out, the bias remains in favor of the Bears and further consolidation.”

Retail Activity Pushing Prices Higher

Bitcoin trading sideways, however, has been suitable for altcoins, which have been rallying, most notably Dogecoin. This “joke cryptocurrency” had a volatile last week driven by Tik Tok zoomers.

Retail trading has the equity markets ballooning with the millennial and Gen Z using commission-free apps like Robinhood, which saw a record 3 million new accounts in Q1, to invest in cheap assets. This retail activity also spilled into the digital asset market.

While Dogecoin never reached $1 as the viral challenge went on Tik Tok, on July 8th, over 1 billion units of supply that haven’t moved for two years was suddenly transferred.

Cardano was another one that saw its market reaching new 2020 highs on July 8th, which saw it passing LTC’s market cap after ADA prices rose in anticipation of the Shelley mainnet release.

Meanwhile, LINK jumped to a new ATH and captured the 10th spot, VeChainThor also exploded higher with DeFi tokens using this rally to push even further.

Red or Green?

Amidst the greens, yesterday, bitcoin slid slightly after the stock market dropped, which resulted in Altcoins falling as well. On Monday, Nasdaq rallied to set an all-time high only to close down by over 1%. The last time this happened was in early March 2020, which had traders fearing another March sell-off like situation.

But that time, the Fed wasn’t printing money like crazy.

For now, among the top cryptos, ADA is down the most by 6.50%, followed by Chainlink’s (LINK) about 5%.

Other losers include Ampleforth (37.4%), Loopring (10.89%), Synthetix (10.60%), Theta Token (9.46%), REN (9.28%), Balancer (7.17%), Tezos (7%), Kyber Network (7.96%), Ravencoin (7.96%), Algorand (6.85%), Compound (6.52%), Stellar (6.12%), Ziliqa (5.90%), Elrond (5.5.61), Matic Network (5.09%), VeChian (4.73%), BNB (4.33%), BitTorrent (4.18%), and Tron (3.97%),

In the past hour, however, things have started to turn green.

It all depends on how bitcoin behaves now. If the world’s leading cryptocurrency continues to trade sideways, altcoins will rally. Even a slight uptrend could help these cryptocurrencies, but a drop in Bitcoin price will mean only more losses for the altcoins.

“Alts will likely take a hit once Bitcoin shows its true face in the form of turbulent moves in either direction; thus, more patience is needed,” said CryptoYoda.

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Author: AnTy

U.S Treasury Secretary Says the Country Will Not Shut Down Despite Second Wave COVID-19 Fears

U.S Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has ruled out the possibility of a second lockdown despite a spike in new COVID-19 cases within the United States. This comes as Wall Street and Asian markets dipped towards the end of last week in fears of possible second wave.

Mnuchin was speaking to CNBC reporter, Jim Cramer, on June 11 as he made these remarks. He went on to defend the position of keeping the economy open noting that a contrary move would cause more damage,

“We can’t shut down the economy again. I think we’ve learned that if you shut down the economy, you’re going to create more damage.”

Furthermore, many vital areas such as medical have been put on hold and ought to bounce back according to Mnuchin. The Treasury Secretary noted that they foresee a bounce back in the remaining two quarters of 2020.

The Optimistic Outlook

While the U.S remains as the highest country with active COVID-19 cases, Mnuchin signaled an optimistic future for the leading economy. He emphasized that President’s Trump approach was prudent coupled with the $3 trillion stimulus approval from the House of Reps and Senate. Notably, only about $ 1.6 trillion of the injected funds are the in U.S economy. Mnuchin has since highlighted that another $1 trillion will be pumped into the economy within the next month.

Following this progress, the U.S Treasury Secretary, said that his number one job is getting everybody to work; an initiative that is already underway in collaboration with the Trump administration. Mnuchin said,

“We have the Fed program, we have Main Street [lending program], which is going to be now up and running, and we’re prepared to go back to Congress for more money to support the American worker.”

Recently, another $3 trillion stimulus package was passed by the House Democrats sparking debate but is yet to be voted in the Republican-dominated Senate. The latter, however, prefer a more conservative approach towards increasing federal deficit to ease the COVID-19 economic effects.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

LocalBitcoins Show Strong Transaction Volume Despite The Recent Regulatory Clampdowns

Bitcoin peer-to-peer decentralized marketplace, LocalBitcoins, has continued to maintain steady volumes despite the change in policies around the world that now require the user to complete a KYC procedure and even banned cash transactions.

The policy change was undertaken in accordance with new European anti-money laundering directives. In fact, the policy change was made in June 2019 and people thought it would really hamper the business and customer inflow.

However, the data suggest that policy changes didn’t really have any negative impact on the peer-to-peer exchange’s volume. In fact, the trading volume on the platform is well on-par with centralized exchanges such as OKEx and Coinbase, as per a data set from Nomics.

The data set revealed that in the past 12 months, OKEx and Coinbase have seen a volume drop of 30% and 45% respectively, while LocalBitcoins in the same time frame saw a decline of 27% which is less than both the prominent exchanges.

One of the spokespeople from the peer-to-peer exchange revealed that cash transactions on the platform were minimal and constituted only 0.5% of the total volume on the exchange. Thus removing the cash transaction option did not really have any long-lasting impact.

LocalBitcoins was created back in 2012 as a peer-to-peer exchange where anyone can buy/sell their bitcoins without the need to create an identity-based account, The main motive was to avail banking and financial services to the underprivileged who cannot get access to banks.

Developing Nations With Financial Troubles Contribute Largest to the Volumes

LocalBitcoins registered elevated transaction volumes from developing nations that are facing financial troubles due to various reasons. For example, transaction volumes recorded from Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela have risen by 51%, 46%, and 125% respectively in the past couple of months.

Thus, it is quite clear from these statistics that LocalBitcoins volume hasn’t degraded after the policy change which many believe would bring the platform’s doom. In fact, since the policy change, the exchange has managed to keep its trading volume in-line with mainstream centralized crypto exchanges These statistics also prove that people do not really care about privacy for as long as they get to trade bitcoin.

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Author: Silvia A