Robinhood in Preparation for a Possible IPO Launch in Q1, 2021; Report

Robinhood might be planning to go public early next year, according to a recent publication by Bloomberg. This trading platform, whose popularity has risen in the past few years, is reportedly seeking advisers in the banking domain to support its Initial Public Offering (IPO) process.

Per the Bloomberg report, Robinhood could go public as soon as Q1 of 2021; sources opted to remain unidentified given this information’s private nature. However, they were also keen to highlight that the firm might change this position and abandon the IPO plan altogether.

While Robinhood’s official sources are yet to comment, this move might be a game-changer for the trading platform, given its value proposition to novice investors. Robinhood has become a darling to millennials and the tech-savvy Gen-Z, giving them exposure to various previously cumbersome assets to trade.

In fact, it is one of the popular trading platforms with access to crypto-assets and enjoys the backing of tech-focused VC’s such as Sequoia Capital. Other prominent investors that have allocated funds to Robinhood include Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Ribbit Capital, DST Global, and D1 Capital Partners.

The latest Robinhood valuation is $11.8 billion; this was after the firm raised its series G funding, which totaled $200 million. With the murmurs of an IPO, Robinhood could soon be listed in the U.S stock markets, a move that would expose the firm to more market liquidity.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitcoin Miners Accelerating their BTC Selling Signals Strong & Bullish Market

Today, the price of Bitcoin has jumped over $16,100 for the first time since early January 2018.

The bulls have come charging as the total aggregate open interest (OI) hit another record high.

“The bullish bias continues to ensure steep and favorable term structure for spread traders. The bulls were also in full force in the options market where the skew and the implied vol smile continues to show bullish market positioning, helped on by the contained nature of volatility,” noted Denis Vinokourov of Bequant.

Now that the velocity is improved, miners’ rolling inventory (MRI) is also currently strong.

According to this metric, which shows the year on year percent change in inventories held by miners, miners have started selling BTC again. During the bear markets in 2014 and 2018, there has been lower selling pressure.

But now they are back to selling, which Charlie Morris of ByteTree says is “bullish.”

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Bitcoin annual change in inventory held by miners since 2013

Selling more BTC than produced by miners has been going on for the past three months, but over the weeks, it has been gaining momentum, and currently, the one-day MRI is 140.40%.

“Miners once earned 50% of Bitcoin’s market cap! At that time, they had a huge influence on Bitcoin price. Today, higher miner selling pressure actually signals a strong market,” noted crypto exchange Bitstamp.

Keep On Mining

As we reported, the Bitcoin hash rate has recovered and is already near its all-time highs as miners switch to colder places now that China’s rainy season has ended.

After a dramatic correction, the estimated number of terahashes per second the Bitcoin network continues their recovery, which has been helped by a huge adjustment lower in the mining difficulty last week.

BTC Mining Difficulty 2020
Source: CoinWarz

The mining difficulty is expected to adjust lower once again but at a more measured pace of -6%. However, this may change with only just over 4 days left until the next adjustment.

Amidst this, publicly-traded mining company Hive Blockchain purchased and deployed 1,240 MicroBT WhatsMiner M30S machines already. This largest single purchase doubles the firm’s aggregate hash rate.

Hive’s shares, which had $1.8 million net income in Q1, gained about 490% YTD thanks to the BTC price jump.

Another publicly traded Bitcoin mining company Riot Blockchain reported over $2.4 million in mining revenue, an increase of 42% from 2019 during the same period.

After increasing its hash power in Q3, the company is further planning to expand its mining operations. Currently having a mining capacity of 556 peta hash per second (PH/s), Riot has four purchase agreements with mining manufacturer Bitmain for a total of 16,600 S19-Pro machines that are expected to be delivered and deployed through the end of Q2 2021.

Miners are simply bullish and expect the price of Bitcoin to continue to rise in the next year.

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Author: AnTy

Harvest Finance Increases Bounty to $1 Million to Track the Attacker Who Stole $33.8M

Early Monday, the latest decentralized finance (DeFi) project Harvest Finance, was exploited. It was estimated that $33.8 million of the funds, about 3.2% of the total value locked in the protocol before the attack, was lost.

A couple of days before the attack, the project’s TVL surpassed $1 billion, which has now come down to a mere $300 million, as per DeFi Pulse. Since then, its FARM token has also lost 60% of its value, currently trading at $96.5.

To catch the attacker, the anonymous team behind the project has increased the bounty for identifying the hacker from $400,000, which had already been raised from $100k to $1 million.

Initially, the team said they know the person behind the hack, “who is well-known in the crypto community,” and they don’t want to dox them. As per the latest update, all that the team knows about the hacker so far is that they have an understanding of how DeFi works.

The attacker, meanwhile, is actively “money laundering” Bitcoin through various darknet mixers and crypto exchanges, including Binance, Huobi, Kraken, and Coins.ph, according to the post mortem of the incident.

The attacker reportedly exploited the effects of impermanent loss of USDC and USDT inside the Y pool on Curve.fi repeatedly.

Following the attack, funds from the shared pools, DAI, USDC, USDT, TUSD, WBTC, and renBTC, which were “not affected,” have been withdrawn.

The Harvest Finance team further said that it is taking full responsibility for the engineering error and is now working on a remediation plan for affected users.

The possible remediation techniques the team is considering include implementing a commit-and-reveal mechanism for deposits, stricter configuration of the existing deposit arb check in the strategies, withdrawals in an underlying asset, and using oracles for determining asset price. The team stated,

“We made an engineering mistake, we own up to it. Thousands of people are acting as collateral damage, so we humbly request the attacker to return funds to the deployer, where it will be distributed back to the users in its entirety.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Exchange Reserves on a Sharp Decline While Locked ETH Continues its Uptrend

Activity on the second-largest network is thriving.

Since early this year, daily transactions on Ethereum have been growing, hitting an all-time high last month. Although it has come down some as DeFi mania cooled down, daily transactions are keeping to July-August level.

Ethereum fees have also gone back to normal levels as the DeFi rush came to an end, which in August sent average fees to $10 for the first time, bringing Ethereum’s scaling issues into glaring light.

With the upgrade coming up to keep the fees down for another potential growth spurt, it “would mean less demand for the token because people would need to buy fewer coins to do the same operations. From developers to end-users, it will largely reduce the buying pressure,” wrote analyst Mati Greenspan.

image1

Moreover, as per Glassnode, the popular stablecoin Tether transaction volume on Ethereum also saw a 20% spike over the past 30 days. It reached a new milestone of $600 billion.

“Tether’s important role in the digital asset ecosystem… If you were to add tether’s usage on other chains such as Tron, Omni, and Algorand, the headline figure would be higher still,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether and its sister company crypto exchange Bitfinex.

Out of the total supply of $16 billion, USDT’s supply on Ethereum has also exceeded $10 billion, representing nearly 65% of the Tether token supply on a blockchain.

7.6% of ETH’s Total Supply Out of the Market

Amidst this growing activity, Ether’s amount on exchange wallets has been declining ever since May, as per Crypto Quant. Ethereum exchange reserves have fallen to 11.8 million ETH from the mid-May high of 14.14 million ETH.

image2

This trend coincides with the ETH that hasn’t been moved in over a year, which has reached 60%.

Additionally, 8.7 million of ETH are currently locked in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, as per DeFi Pulse.

“7.6% of ETH’s total supply is currently locked in the DeFi ecosystem. The amount of ETH locked in DeFi increased by a record high of 3.3M in September and has grown by 5.6M in 2020. That’s 2M more than the total supply of ETH has increased this year,” as per The TIE.

image3

The only factor lagging is Ether’s price, which is currently trading around $380, up only 188% YTD and still down 75.76% from its ATH.

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Author: AnTy

Morgan Stanley Head of Emerging Markets: Millennials Prefer Bitcoin (BTC) To Gold

  • Expect heightened inflation as early as 2021, Morgan Stanley’s executive states.
  • Millennials prefer Bitcoin to gold in investments.

Morgan Stanley’s executive states Bitcoin (BTC) and gold are favorable options for investors to hedge against the central banks’ expansionary monetary policies. Speaking on a First Move with Julia Chatterley’s interview on CNN, Morgan Stanley’s head of emerging markets and chief global strategist, Ruchir Sharma, further explained that when it comes to asset investing, more millennials are showing an affinity to the digital gold than its physical counterpart.

As global health teams work to kill off the COVID-19 pandemic, central banks rushed to their printers to print money to stimulate their economies. According to Sharma, the increased monetary expansion policies by the central banks will cause inflation in the economy – predicting the United States could experience it as early as 2021.

The money printing, expansionary monetary, and fiscal policies are setting investors towards looking for more stable assets to invest in, he continued.

“There is this lingering feeling out there that given what central banks are doing in terms of printing so much money, there is a search for alternative assets.”

The seasoned investor advised investors to look at gold as a possible investment asset to cover themselves from the impending inflation. He claims having “about 5% of gold in your portfolio is not a bad idea.” However, for the younger generation and more risky investors, cryptocurrencies are their choice of an investment asset.

“If you’re a bit more adventurous — and I guess it’s more to do with demographics — then obviously search for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. […] I think some of the older [investors] are still buying gold, and millennials are buying more of the Bitcoins and the cryptocurrencies.”

According to a report on BEG in March, over $970 billion in wealth could move into the crypto market as the generational shift happens in the U.S.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Tech is Ruling Again, The Broad Market Working in Bitcoin’s Favor

  • Technology is back to ruling the markets.

Bitcoin rallied on Monday to its highest level since early July 2019. The largest digital asset regained its mojo back towards the end of July and now stands strong as one of the best promising assets with 70% returns YTD.

BTC’s gains came amidst a wider risk-on rally in equity markets. The Nasdaq surged to a record high on Monday while S&P 500 briefly crossed above its record closing level set in February, both lifted by technology stocks.

Tech is apparently the only trade right now

“It is likely for the rest of this year we will see a continued push into technology and technology related areas of the market,” said Daniel Gerard, senior multi-asset strategist at Singapore-based State Street Global Markets.

But the lack of a stimulus package is causing some concern.

“The markets are in ‘show me the money’ mode, perhaps erring on the side of caution, not holding their breath for an imminent deal in Congress,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp.

“Sadly, this leaves the U.S. real economy waddling and many businesses and millions of consumers getting the short shrift.”

Although the S&P 500 is called to be overbought by analysts, any consolidation is expected to be an accumulation.

In the current environment of ultra-low rates, Bitcoin is acting as an inflation hedge. Most recent yields have gone higher, which suggests increased expectations for inflation, which can pull buyers away from risky assets. US elections are also close, and no one wants to disrupt the markets.

Adding to bitcoin’s gains is the weakening US dollar, which softened against most currencies.

Moreover, there is speculation that the Fed will adopt an average inflation target, seeking to push inflation above 2%. Seamus Donoghue, vice president of sales and business development at METACO said,

“Inflation is currently low, but real yields are across the board negative — negative real yields and the monetary stimulus/spending has driven investors to seek out inflation hedges such as gold.”

“Given its limited supply and growing institutional acceptance, Bitcoin will also likely benefit from the market seeking inflation hedges.”

Wall Street veterans like Paul Tudor Jones and George Ball have also been recommending investing in Bitcoin.

Just this month, publicly-traded $1.39 billion company MicroStrategy put $250 million in Bitcoin, and as a result, its stocks closed 15% higher.

Bitcoin not only acted as a reserve asset but also pushed the companies’ prices higher as happened with Jack Dorsey’s Square, which gained over 300% since it started BTC purchases in November 2019.

As Anthony Pomliano said, “It pays to embrace Bitcoin.”

“The best analogue for today is perhaps the Great Depression,” said Nicholas Pelecanos, head of trading at NEM.

“From the conclusion of this crisis to the years that followed, the price of gold more than doubled, rising with inflation, and it is this macroeconomic backdrop that makes Bitcoin so appealing to investors.”

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Author: AnTy

Whale Alert Analysis Reveals Satoshi Stacked $10.9B Worth of Bitcoin (1.125M BTC)

Satoshi Nakamoto mined around 1,125,150 Bitcoin in the early days, according to a new on-chain analysis released by the Whale Alert. Based on the current market prices, the value of this BTC stash is an estimated $10.9 billion.

Whale Alert detailed, in a Medium post, how a miner dubbed ‘Patoshi,’ who is believed to be Satoshi, acquired this number of Bitcoins within a year given the mining activity could only be tracked up to May 2010.

According to Whale Alert, the anonymous Bitcoin network creator mined such a significant number of coins to prevent a 51% attack, which at the time was likely. The analytics firm further pegs its findings on research by Sergio Demian Lerner back in 2013, which was the first to coin the term ‘Patoshi’.

Lerner’s findings revealed that Satoshi had mined close to 1 million BTC, relying on a technique dubbed ”extra nonce’. Notably, this technique is visible in the early pattern of BTC mining and shows the first transaction link which saw Hal Finney receive the first coins in this network.

The ‘Patoshi Pattern’

Lerner went on to define the probable Satoshi mining as the ‘Patoshi Pattern.’ Whale Alert researchers have since been able to isolate most of the nonce patterns attributed to the Patoshi set, hence the latest Satoshi BTC stack update.

Based on the analysis, most of the early BTC mining was done by one individual whose mining software was more advanced than the industry standard back then. The chart below gives an impression of this situation as the straight lines represent normal mining while the ‘saw-like’ lines paint a picture of the Patoshi pattern:

Source; Whale Alert

Whale Alert also learned from this pattern that Patoshi made adjustments on the block time to maintain an average of 0.6 blocks in every 10 minutes. He also kept a steady hashrate by controlling 60% of the processing power in efforts to prevent a 51% attack.

This was, however, reduced to 1 block in 10 minutes as more miners joined the BTC network in order to give them an opportunity to mine as well. As per Whale Alert’s findings, 48 computers supported this operation with one of these designed to coordinate the entire process.

Will Satoshi Liquidate the position?

Most analysts have said that Satoshi stopped mining at block 54,316, with 22,503 being mined by the Bitcoin creator. While this may not be the true position, there seems to be a consensus on the fact that Satoshi indeed holds a significant number of Bitcoins.

That said, the possibility of liquidation cannot be ruled out given these coins were not burned and have been in recent projects borrowing from Bitcoin’s decentralized architecture. Whale Alert now suggests that it unlikely that Satoshi will sell his Bitcoins since the initial accumulation was solely for network fundamentals and not financial gain:

“The timing of the shutdown, the mining behavior, the systematic decrease in mining speed, and the lack of spending strongly suggest that Satoshi was only interested in growing and protecting the young network. The bitcoin mined by Patoshi was possibly a mere byproduct of these efforts, and it is unlikely that the remainder will ever be spent, although the question remains why Satoshi didn’t simply burn them in this case.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Forsage: “Decentralized” Ethereum Blockchain Smart Contract Scheme Rises

As a news organization who began covering the crypto landscape in early 2017, there has been one constant that remains to be consistent so far. And that is, multi-level marketing and cryptocurrency-related, blockchain-based business opportunities simply have all ended up in complete failure and loss for the majority of its memberbase.

Breaking onto the crypto scene in April 2020, Forsage is a fairly new network marketing company, but it proposed an interesting concept – joining their blockchain smart contract setup with a multilevel marketing company for users to earn cryptocurrency rewards by referring and participating in the matrix that is flooded with buzzwords “decentralized”. Found at Forsage.io, with a smart contract-based membership, investors are invited to join the Ethereum Blockchain Matrix Project.

forsage-trends

But is Forsage the real thing, or is there more to this brand than what meets the eye? How will its’ fate be any different than the biggest crypto-industry scams like BitConnect, USI Tech, OneCoin, PlusToken or CloudToken? The list goes on regarding cryptocurrency scams as the graveyard continues to collect HYIPs, coin multipliers, trading bots, recyclers, referral matrixs, mining pools and pyramid schemes alike.

Let’s unravel this mystery together and review some of the inner workings regarding Forsage to see if it is truly 100% decentralized and not prone to hacks or scam tactics because it has no admin or owner.

What is Forsage?

The big selling point of the Forsage multilevel marketing scheme is that they have developed the first 100% decentralized smart contract. This “revolutionary” smart contract technology is based on the Ethereum blockchain, which they originally started up in February this year.

More specifically, the official Forsage website states that they’ve “deployed a self-executing smart contract on the Ethereum Blockchain that exists in perpetuity and cannot be modified by any entity.” The smart contract “facilitates peer-to-peer commission payments between its program participants.”

Also described as the Ethereum Blockchain Matrix Project, this smart contract is supposed to offer any participants “the ability to directly engage in personal and business transactions.” The website itself is vague (at best), attempting to entice other individuals in the cryptocurrency space with known terms for this digital asset and blockchain technology. More or less, it looks like the company is trying to seem more knowledgeable than what their usage of these terms implies.

Anyone that has done their research on this industry or even smart contracts specifically knows that Forsage didn’t actually create the first decentralized smart contract in the world, despite their claims. Before blockchain technology was even developed, smart contracts were proposed in the 1990s, and Ethereum’s launch in 2015 came with their support for decentralized smart contracts. In fact, these types of smart contracts have already been used in use cases outside of crypto.

So, the idea behind the Forsage MLM affiliate marketing and referral program is for people to buy into the compensation plan and pass up sales to sponsors and uplines like a traditional commission structure found in network marketing business opportunities.

Decentralization and Forsage: How Does It Work?

Decentralized? We talking decentralization or just a mild form of it that is all but the same as centralization, just based on a blockchain? Much like any other MLM plan or pyramid scheme, the entire program is fairly straightforward in the commitment that consumers have when they join – pay the membership fee.

The way that anyone makes money through a pyramid structure can vary, but most of that fee goes through the pyramid of other members before them who get a fraction of the fee as commission. Once an investment is paid, the only way that new members will be able to make money themselves is when they recruit someone else and up the chain the commissions go depending on how many levels you are qualified for given your investment risk and tolerance.

forsage-compensation-plan

The membership payment is 0.5 ETH, which is presently $99.36 as of May 15th, 2020. After the new participant pays this fee, they are asked to send on the link to join to their friends. For every person that uses their link to sign up, the member will get 0.025 Eth commission, paid directly from the new member’s entry fee. The remaining free is sent to higher levels in the pyramid, funneling most of the percentage of the fee to the creators of Forsage.

The rewards plan is a bit confusing but is presented like this visual shows:

forsage-commission-structure

All members recruited will go into what’s called an X3 or X4 matrix used by Forsage. The slot fees go to the ETH wallet of the referrer, and the fee to joint goes up to the top of the pyramid. Ultimately, the only sustainably profitable level to be at is as the owner, and the people profiting the last will be the ones at the bottom of the pyramid.

And as the story goes, those who got in earlier and got qualified will now reap the benefits of the newest members who register, get signed up and join Forsage by paying their multi-tiered level pyramid.

The Forsage Smart Contract: Revolutionary or Radical?

The official website at Forsage.io says that all data is is stored on the blockchain and publicly accessible via etherscan.io (or any blockchain explorer). It goes on to mention about its self-executing smart contract: “Forsage Decentralized Matrix Project’s Smart Contract is publicly and perpetually available to view”.

The whole smart contract that Forsage has developed is built on the Ethereum blockchain, further supporting the fact that they are far from the first company to offer a decentralized smart contract.

forsage-smart-contract-blockchain

A smart contract, which is essentially a computer-programmed code with a strict set of metrics that must be met in order for a transaction to be approved. Within the smart contract, the multilevel marketing layout functioning wholly. The fee goes to the smart contract, which sends the money up the pyramid, and the new member becomes a part of the levels. Any new recruit receives a slot under them.

Though there is 0 ETH presently held in the smart contract, it holds over 100,000 transactions, and it can be found at Etherscan.

Also, the keyword decentralization – but questions remain about who setup the website, pays the hosting bill, organized the compensation plan, made the marketing videos and so on. However, due to its popularity within the crypto MLM space, let’s review Forsage’s marketed benefits and highlight the features as to why so many are seemingly interested if not joining.

Features and Benefits of Forsage

All of the features and benefits of Forsage are fairly vague in their description, mostly attempting to appeal to more knowledgeable individuals in the crypto space.

forsage-benefits

For instance, the company says that there are “zero risk factors” involved with the scheme, since anyone can view the public smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. It also states that that the smart contract is immutable, which is exactly the same as any other decentralized smart contract on Ethereum.

In an effort to seem more transparent about their actions, Forsage points out that anyone can view the smart contract’s activity online, showing the exact address (as mentioned above). Furthermore, consumers don’t have to actually reveal their identity to get involved, as the company allows users to sign up with just their Ethereum wallet.

However, the zero-risk factors claim should be examined because the whole crux of this pyramid scheme is paying in so it pays up and then rinse and repeating the cycle.

What Kind of Profits Does Forsage Promise?

According to the claims made online, Forsage manages to make a profit of $1.2 million per week (in ETH), which makes the fact that they have nothing on their smart contract even more curious. Overall, the company says that it has earned a total profit of about $3.9 million.

forsage-profit-claims

forsage-ethereum-earnings

As far as members go, the company states that they have already added nearly 10,000 new people this week, with a total of about 1,500 each day. In the entire network, there are about 32,000 participants claimed to be involved.

The dilemma or primary problem with this is the early adopters seem to all get in quick enough where the make profits because it is new and buzzing, post those results, and then share it as a hook to lure the next investors into the opportunity. This works, until it doesn’t. Whether the website gets yanked down, goes offline, or the marketing firepower dies down, all of these all but eliminate the zero-risk nature of a ticking-time bomb business model. So far, as mentioned in the opening, cryptoasset-related network marketing models have never panned out over the course of years, if not months.

The Creators Of Forsage

Though there are many claims of what Forsage can do and how they can help others, the company is noticeably silent about who may be behind the company. At the top of each “matrix” (which is the same as being the top of the pyramid), there are admins who profit the greatest. The only way consumers can even reach out to the company is through their Telegram channel, which is @smartpeoplechat.

Their website – Forsage.io – was only just registered on February 9, 2020. Obviously, this is all done as a nod to the “decentralization” keywords being showed front and center. The story seems to be painted as Bitcoin didn’t need Satoshi to succeed, so Forsage doesn’t need to mention the select few who kickstarted the whole shebang.

The Bottom Line About Forsage Blockchain MLM

All Forsage appears to be is a pyramid scheme with no product, no service, and no way of making a profit beyond a membership to the program. While it may be a glorified way of growing user adoption when it comes to using smart contracts based on blockchain distributed ledger technology, this appears to be a running-strong today, when will it collapse tomorrow scheme that many are classifying it as an Ethereum-based cash gifting model.

The only way to make money is to bring more people in, and the only attachment to cryptocurrency seems to be the fat that the membership fee is paid in ETH. The website is lacking significantly in information about the people behind Forsage or the way that the brand works, even though they claim to make over a million dollars each week.

While MLMs are legal in some areas of the world, pyramid schemes are broadly illegal in most places, including the United States. Considering the lack of products or services available, it looks like Forsage is just a pyramid scheme with anonymous people to lead it.

While the results of today may look enticing from those enjoying the current success inside Forsage, it may be shortsighted to promote an opportunity in which transparency and value added are ripe to pick at and given the nature of making a successful network marketing business to work with a cryptocurrency payment system has yet to come alive after over eleven years since blockchain has been up and running.

For those that visit Forsage.io to take a look around, please consider all of the inherent risks before joining any top-heavy pyramid structured scheme that has no sustainability baked into it aside from the continual promotion of its bottom up feeding model. Some may proclaim Forsage to be better than all the other crypto MLM scams to disrupt the industry, but at the end of the day, there are sharks in the digital waters who are always preying on new adopters coming into the space – just make sure you don’t take the bait unless you’re fully ready to swim with the sharks.

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Author: Krystle M

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

Bitcoin’s Digital Gold Narrative Reaching ‘Apex’ in Macroeconomic Uncertainty: Report

While halving dominated early conversations in Q1, since then coronavirus has taken over and significantly eclipsed the publicity around the event that is coming in about 25 days, notes the latest report from eToro and the TIE.

COVID-19 along with the macroeconomic uncertainty has Bitcoin emerging as the alternative class and a hedging asset. Born during the 2008-2009 financial crisis that saw massive bank bailouts, inflation, and central bank intervention, in Q1 2020 we are yet again experiencing massive government stimulus packages and interest rates being slashed to zero.

“In this time of great macroeconomic uncertainty, Bitcoin’s digital gold narrative has reached its apex.”

As such, last month, Bitcoin and gold sentiment have been highly correlated with the large changes in sentiment that occurred in unison or within close proximity. Interestingly, still, BTC outperformed not only gold but also S&P 500 up until mid-March. Despite finishing the quarter at a loss of 10.45%, it outperformed the SPY who ended the quarter down 19.92%.

BTC tends to peak with central bank balance sheet growth

On March 12, the market experienced a massive sell-off that occurred in two successive steps. The second drop was “precipitated by automatic liquidations, imparted a long-lasting effect on the market structure,” said Sacha Ghebali & Anastasia Melachrinos of Kaiko.

This has BTC’s correlation to gold and the stock market soaring with markets more volatile than they were a month ago. However, government intervention and fiscal stimulus have the market starting to recover to the early March levels. Kevin Kelly of Delphi Digital noted,

“The backdrop for massive debt monetization is set and it appears all the usual suspects are making their way to the stage. Historical precedent is quite limited given Bitcoin’s relatively short lifespan, but it is notable that prior BTC cycles have tended to peak with major central bank balance sheet growth.”

And all of this is happening near halving. 2020 is already proving to be a turbulent year so far that had miners healthy profit margins turning red after the Covid-19 inspired sell-off. John Todaro of Trade Block explained,

“The network hash rate is closely related to miners’ profit margins. The hash rate increases as the number of resources, in aggregate, committed to securing the network through mining activities rises.”

“As resources dedicated to mining rise over time, the network difficulty increases, which drives efficiency gains in mining activity and/or increased mining costs.

As such, in order to maintain healthy profit margins for miners, a rising hash rate is typically needed to correspond with a rising Bitcoin price.”

But the decreasing hash rate and a decline in network difficulty moved them back into positive territory by the end of the quarter.

Over Q1, nearly all of the cryptocurrencies have been highly correlated, with the exception of Dash.

The report also touched upon the Bitcoin Cash halving which no one really cared about, Cardano’s overall market cap that fell 10x, and that EOS tweets are increasingly coming from the same accounts. The hack of the trinity resulting in IOTA being shut down for nearly a month also saw its long-term perception faltering.

While liquidations of XRP kept Ripple in the green, Stellar’s 50% token burn didn’t result in anything good for the price.

When it comes to the second largest network, Ethereum, a large part of its story, DeFi had a huge chunk of its growth being erased after Ether price crashed. The Black Thursday also forced Maker to shut down.

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Author: AnTy