OFF BLUE NFT Project Returns Customer Funds After Rarible Suspension

As the craziness in the DeFi market wanes, especially the mania around high APYs and yield farming cooling down, market participants have shifted their focus to non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

With the DeFi tokens down 80% to 90% in the past two months, people have to find excitement in something else.

And it was NFT, which has been seeing a lot of limelight lately. Even Christie’s sold its first NFT with Block21 at 7x the estimated price.

Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard made for DeFi degens, the fact that these digital collectibles can be used for yield farming is just cherry on the top, satisfying their appetite following the absence of food tokens every other day.

Dapper Labs has also taken advantage of the NFT trend and closed an $18 million token sale on CoinList on the back of its collectibles game, NBA Top Shot. The funds were raised with participation from 13,000 people between Sept. to Oct. 2.

Shutting Down

Amidst this, the popular marketplace to create and sell the NFTs Rarible, which launched the first governance token RARI in this space, suspended the OFF BLUE team account over the weekend.

“We have suspended the OFF BLUE team account until further examination due to potential violations of our terms of service. Rarible is not intended to facilitate capital-raising transactions.”

The project has been accused of rug pulling millions of dollars, which has now been refunded, 1 ETH for 1 NFT, as it closes.

Going with doxxing, threaten, and cancel, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried says, the internet overreacted by not going with the path of “ask questions, give feedback, wait for responses, don’t buy unless/until you’re comfortable.”

A few days back, Twitter user @CL, who works at Yearn.Finance, shared his conversation with Blue Kirby — who was the communications manager at the project, and later made an exit after he promoted YFI creator Andre Cronje’s Eminence.Finance, which was exploited for $16 Million — which reflects on the shadiness of the project.

Still Building

OFF BLUE’s idea was to use the proceeds from their several art sales to fund a “custom platform further.” They planned to acquire some epic art, Banksy, KAWS, Warhols, to auction on OFF BLUE but didn’t communicate the game plan over the concern of someone else beating them to it. The official closure statement reads,

“This would have created unimaginable hype for OFF BLUE and positioned the decentralized Sotheby’s for long-term success.”

The team is now returning the Ether, a claim process that will go on for the next 14 days. In case one does not claim the refund, it will go towards the development of the OFF BLUE, which the team continues to build.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Exchange Gemini Makes an Aggressive Move, Adds 15 Hot DeFi Tokens

DeFi is all the rage in today’s crypto world, and no one wants to be left behind, especially cryptocurrency exchanges.

Over the past few months, we saw these exchanges rushing to DeFi space – in the fastest ever listing of these tokens, a complete U-turn from the past few years when crypto projects had to approach them or even pay them to get their tokens listed.

Coinbase has already jumped the altcoins and DeFi mania, this time, it’s Gemini which defines DeFi as a “warm ray of sunlight shining down on us during the winter of our financial discontent.”

According to the exchange’s official announcement, “the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) revolution is coming into bloom, and it presents the possibility of permissionless, bankless, alternatives to the legacy financial system.”

The promise of DeFi is apparently “aligned” with Gemini’s “ethos” of giving its customers “greater choice, independence, and opportunity.”

While the exchange says these new tokens make up some of the major building blocks of DeFi, still, it warns that they present “unique risks,” and the listing doesn’t endorse the protocol and “makes no recommendation that” customers participate in the DeFi ecosystem.

Up until today, Gemini’s list of cryptos was extremely limited. A meager nine coins were available on the exchange for trading viz. BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, ZEC, BAT, LINK, DAI, and OXT.

But on Friday, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss-founded crypto exchange has made an aggressive move and extended this list to 15 more coins.

“We are proud to be the first regulated platform to offer trading and custody support in the State of New York,” for a total of 24 cryptos.

The exchange announced new support for the most popular DeFi tokens, including Balancer (BAL), Curve (CRV), Ren Network (REN), Synthetix Network (SNX), Uma (UMA), Uniswap (UNI), and Yearn.finance (YFI) which are available for both trading and custody.

Five tokens that were previously supported for custody, Decentraland (MANA), Kyber Network (KNC), Maker (MKR), Storj (STORJ), and 0x (ZRX), are now available for trading as well.

On top of this, Keep Network (KEEP), Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), and tBTC (tBTC), three new coins altogether, have been added to its custody.

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Author: AnTy

Apple is Censoring DeFi & ‘Stifling Innovation’ in Crypto Industry: Coinbase CEO

Apple having a row with developers and app providers is nothing new, but the tech giant seems to be especially targeting the cryptocurrency industry.

Last month, Epic games and Apple got into a legal battle when the Fortnite creator launched its own in-app payment system, which also involved the use of bitcoin and cryptos, to circumvent Apple’s “monopoly over in-app payments on iOS.”

As a fact of fact, Apple doesn’t allow to add the ability to earn money using crypto and access Defi apps or Dapps in their iOS apps, said Brian Armstrong, CEO of crypto exchange Coinbase, which has regularly come under fire for taking up the authorities’ side against their customers.

“Why would Apple want to prevent people from earning money during a recession? They seem to not be ok with it, if it uses cryptocurrency,” he said.

According to market participants, tech giants want to be everyone’s bank, and as Podfather Adam Curry told Joe Rogan, it is how they control people.

Stop This!

In a Twitter thread, Armstrong shared the struggles Coinbase is also going through with Apple, which end up creating a “worse” experience for customers.

Besides the company’s Coinbase Earn program, Apple doesn’t let them provide a list of decentralized apps, “which are really just websites” to iOS users.

In the past couple of months, the DeFi sector has exploded, reaching almost $10 billion, amidst the central banks’ quantitative easing and interest rate cuts, which have been devaluing the fiat currencies around the world.

“DeFi and Dapps are a major area of innovation in financial services that has seen rapid growth lately,” and has “enormous potential.”

But Apple doesn’t let companies help the “unbanked and underbanked” on the grounds that the “app offers cryptocurrency transactions in non-embedded software within the app, which is not appropriate for the App Store.”

According to Armstrong, Apple is “holding back progress in the world” by censoring the features and further protecting competition.

He likened Apple’s actions with Microsoft forcing users to use Internet Explorer on Windows, which “led to all their antitrust issues.”

“Apple, it’s time to stop stifling innovation in cryptocurrency. We would like to work with you productively on this. Some day, cryptocurrency could even be integrated into IAP to give people in emerging markets better access to the financial system globally,” said the Coinbase CEO.

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Author: AnTy

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

This Bubble of 2020 Looks A Lot Like XRP of 2017 & What Bitcoin Would After Breaking $20K

The stock market has been flying, especially tech stocks, which makes sense because the sector is relatively less affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

One such stock is Tesla, which gained $108 billion in market value in two weeks. On Friday, TSLA surged 11% to close at a record $1,544.65 as investors bet demand for the electric-car maker’s vehicle remains strong.

tradingview-tesla
Source: TradingView – Tesla $TSLA

Tesla cut prices for its electric SUV Model Y, the latest one with the lowered price, to attract buyers amidst the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are the Fundamentals?

In 2020, Tesla stock prices have jumped 230%, becoming the most valuable car company on the planet.

“Tesla’s valuation doesn’t make sense by any traditional measure,” said Ivan Feinseth of Tigress Financial Partners. However, “it is not a traditional company, so how do you put a traditional measure to it?”

According to economist and crypto trader Alex Kruger, Tesla stocks are looking like what he would expect bitcoin to look when it finally breaks above its all-time high of $20,000.

“When such breakouts occur, animal spirits take control, and all you know is that price will likely run a lot. Fundamentals don’t matter then.”

As Dan Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush, said, “What’s the fundamental value? If you have a million-mile battery, what does that add to the stock? … It comes down to scarcity. How do you play the EV market? … It all comes down to the P-word: profitability.”

Short the Short-Sellers

The price of Tesla shares spent about six years in the $200 – $300 range, and during that time, speculators continued “screaming ‘bubble.’” Tesla was also the most shorted stock in the Nasdaq, by the largest margin, noted Kruger stating, “(Tesla) needed a catalyst to break out of the range,” which was its Shanghai Gigafactory.

Even today, the company is set to become the first to hit a short interest level of $20 billion. And if the short squeeze happens, it could push the price even higher. Already, Tesla short-sellers have lost $18 billion this year.

In turn, Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased on Twitter, ‘Who wears short shorts?’, and said that, “Tesla will make fabulous short shorts in radiant red satin with gold trim,” and “Will send some to the Shortseller Enrichment Commission to comfort them through these difficult times.”

He launched the Tesla short shorts with “S3XY” emblazoned on the back and were so in demand that the website went down.

The Bubble of 2020

Amidst this uptrend, Musk has become richer than Warren Buffett and the world’s seventh-richest person. The 49-year old owns a fifth of Tesla’s outstanding stock that makes for $70.5 billion of his fortune while his majority of ownership for SpaceX accounts for about $15 billion.

Many, however, argue that Tesla is a bubble.

“Headlines remind me of Ripple in Dec/2017-Jan/2018. Too much hope in the air. The market is not taking risks into account properly. But at least Tesla produces cool cars, and has Elon at the helm,” said Kruger.

Overzealous Robinhood traders are the real culprits who are using the stimulus money to pump the stock while stuck at home due to lockdown with time and internet at their disposal.

These traders have been driving even the stocks of the bankrupt companies; recently, they pumped the “joke cryptocurrency” DOGE.

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Author: AnTy

Tether & Other Stablecoins Do Not Affect BTC Price Rather Act As A Safe-Haven: Report

Tether (USDT) has long been accused of manipulating the price of bitcoin, especially during the bull rally of 2017. Tether and its sister company crypto exchange Bitfinex are actually fighting a suit alleging such claims.

Now, as per the latest column, there is “no systematic evidence that stable coin issuance affects cryptocurrency prices.”

The writers of the article, Richard K Lyons, Chief Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer at UC Berkeley and Ganesh Viswanath-Natraj, Assistant Professor of Finance at Warwick Business School, points out how the evidence states stablecoins “consistently perform a safe-haven role in the digital economy.”

As per the significant premiums recorded during the COVID-19 panic in March, it was seen that stablecoin issuance “endogenously responds to deviations of the secondary market rate from the pegged rate.”

Better store-of-value?

Over the last two years, stablecoins have risen dramatically, the total trading volume of BTC/USDT actually exceeded the volume of BTC/USD in 2019.

In 2020 especially, the growth has been off the chart, with the total market cap of stablecoins surpassing $9 billion. A vast majority, about $7.5 billion of this is from the popular stablecoin Tether (USDT).

“That stable coin use should be growing so rapidly is consistent with their ‘raison d’etre’ – to solve the store-of-value problem by pegging their value to the US dollar,” reads the article.

To talk about that creation of Tether, the authors explain that every Tether is issued “in principle” 100% backed by a dollar deposit. It is created when an investor deposits dollars into Tether’s account, creating an equivalent supply of USDT introduced in circulation.

Before 2018, nearly all the Tether was immediately distributed to Bitfinex and other exchanges. But after that, Tether Treasury started retaining a fraction of total Tether in circulation, having the capacity to sell Tether for dollars if the stablecoin’s price is above parity in the secondary market.

The authors found “no significant effect” of Tether flow to the secondary market on major non-stable crypto prices. Although results do not preclude the possibility that price manipulation occurred there has been no systematic effect either.

The paper further argues that stablecoins are used as a vehicle currency and dependent on other factors such as an incentive to arbitrage deviations of Tether’s market price from the peg. The analysis found “strong evidence that one cent increase in the dollar price of Tether results in $0.3 billion to the market.

Another support factoring to Tether flows is the role of the stablecoin as a vehicle currency is that “in periods of risk, some investors will choose to exchange into a better store of value.”

Lyons and Natraj point out that portfolio rebalancing toward Tether has minimal intermediate costs. It has been seen during the period of collapse in the bitcoin market in Jan-Feb 2018 and recently in 2020 during the COVID-19 panic that there have been premiums in Tether and other stablecoins and “a significant rebalancing of portfolios away from Bitcoin and towards Tether.”

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Author: AnTy

Fundstrat Tom Lee: Current Bitcoin Market too Small to Keep Up with ETF Market Demand

Cryptocurrency and especially Bitcoin investors have long been arguing in favor of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) from the regulators, but up until now, not a single application (the last rejection being that of Bitwise) has been approved by the United States Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). These investors believe that an ETF would lead to a large inflow of capital into the market and give it a much wider outreach.

But, looking at the rejections of the applications by the SEC it does not look like regulators believe its the right time for the cryptocurrency market to have its own fund.

Recently, Thomas Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors came up with his reasoning behind why the crypto market does not need an ETF at present. Lee said that the cryptocurrency market is not big enough to handle the demand for ETF. He said the present cryptocurrency market needs to be 18 times its current value to handle the ETF demand. Lee said,

“If you’re involved in crypto, the SEC can look like an obstacle,” 

“They’re establishing protections for individuals and right now it’s not convenient for the industry, but if the SEC is someone that people trust to protect them, that’s how you get the mainstream willing to get involved in crypto. Institutions aren’t going to touch crypto if they think the SEC isn’t doing a good job,”

As per a report in Bloomberg, Lee claimed that only when Bitcoin reaches a value of $150,000 to cope up with the daily demand of an ETF. Lee’s comments came during the Blockshow conference in Singapore.

The SEC’s Concern

Bitwise was the latest exchange whose application for a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund was pending before the SEC which like every other previous application was rejected as well. However SEC like before responded with an 112-page reply on why the application was rejected. SEC’s main concern lies towards market manipulation which they believed would be a concern given the small liquidity of the market.

Many analysts claimed that the rejection was a clear sign that the crypto market is still years away from getting an ETF. Todd Rosenbluth, Director of Mutual & Exchange Traded Fund Research of CFRA explained that the ETF is not the issue, it’s the value of the underlying asset. He said,

“It’s not the wrapper, it’s not the ETF product that’s the concern, it’s the underlying asset that the SEC is worried about from a fraud standpoint. They don’t want to pull off that band-aid too quickly.”

Lee was right to point out that Bitcoin needs to have much higher liquidity almost 18 times its present value and trade at a value of around $150,000 to attain the level of liquidity required to meet the demands for an ETF. However, looking at the present price which is hovering around the $9,000 mark and it’s all-time high of near $20k it would be highly speculative to think about a $100,0000+ trading value.

However, crypto trader and analyst PlanB who has been in the limelight recently for his stock-to-flow chart believe looking at the scarcity factor, the $100,000 price point is achievable.

Bitcoin is only behind gold in terms of stock-to-flow value and the chart predicts that the next bull run could start after the block reward halving scheduled in the first quarter of 2020.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson Pose Tough Questions at SF Blockchain Week

Questioning the assumed role of bitcoin – that’s one area few would want to explore, especially in a room filled with blockchain enthusiasts.

This is exactly what Meltem Demirors and Jill Carlson did at the San Francisco Blockchain Week as featured attendees of the event.

Meltem Demirors, the Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares Capital and Jill Carlson, the Founder of Open Money Initiative have become household names in the blockchain circle because of their insightful podcast, What Grinds My Gears – a podcast about the bizarre and buzzworthy happenings in the world of cryptocurrency.

At the main stage of the event, the two women discussed whether bitcoin, rather than providing an alternative to the traditional financial system, as it was touted to do, is in fact heading in the same direction.

The two pointed out that bitcoin was originally created after the failure of the banking system in October 2008. The whole purpose was to decentralize currency and eliminate the middleman. However, when someone else holds a person’s bitcoins, that person fulfils part of the primary function of a bank. And this behaviour seems to conflict with the original ethos on which bitcoin was built.

Carlson said, “Most people in crypto are totally comfortable putting their assets in what are basically banks.” Expressing her disappointment, Carlson added, “I got into this space because I was excited that we could build this whole alternative to the existing financial ecosystem. In reality, what we’ve created resembles the old system, only with fewer risk metrics and models, with fewer controls around it.”

Further delving into whether bitcoins uphold the lure of transparency, Carlson expressed her disillusionment. “Don’t tell me that just because something is happening on-chain makes it transparent to the average retail trader, consumer, etc,” she said. “The average person does not have the ability to go in and conduct the chainalysis that’s necessary to understand what’s going on in the system any more than they could understand JP Morgan’s balance sheet.”

The two also mentioned that just like a big Wall Street institution, some crypto platform and exchanges have become too big to fail. At the end of their talk, Carlson said, “To me, a lot of this conversation, though, is a more existential question of just, ‘Do people actually want to be their own banks and in what context do they?’”

The questions the two women raised do indeed raise a valid point many have begun to digress from.

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Author: Sakshi Jain

Billionaire Investor Mark Cuban: “Gold and Bitcoin are Pretty Much One and the Same Thing”

  • uban, in a recent interview, let it be known to the world that he is not a big fan of precious metals — especially gold.
  • He was recently quoted as saying that he hates gold with what he refers to as, “double-extreme prejudice with an ounce of hot sauce.”

Billionaire Mark Cuban (who is also the owner of the Dallas Mavericks) recently stated in an interview that he hates gold as an investment tool.

He then went on to add that in his view, Bitcoin is pretty much the same as the yellow precious metal — even though the digital asset has the advantage of having a finite supply volume. On the subject, he was quoted as saying:

“They’re both collectibles. The value is based off supply and demand. And the good news about Bitcoin is there’s a finite supply that’ll ever be created.”

Bitcoin has often been referred to as “digital gold” by many finance experts. In this regard, the origin of this term can be dated back to 2015, when a NY Times journalist named Nathaniel Popper published his book of the same name.

Recently, Sonya Mann — ZCash Foundation’s head of comms. — was quoted as saying that due to BTC’s 21 million token supply, the premier digital asset appears to be a much more lucrative SOV (Store of Value) when compared with gold.

She also added that owing to BTCs utility as a software product, the global investment community is now beginning to realize the true potential of this asset.

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Author: Shiraz J

Cryptocurrencies and Sports Industries Join Forces: New Collaborations to Boost Mainstream Use

Crypto-and-Sports-Industries-Join-Forces-New-Collaborations-to-Strengthen-Mainstream-Adoption

Ever since Bitcoin’s performance witnessed some life, especially after the 2018 plummet, many sports and crypto projects have been joining forces. In particular, news outlet, Crypto Potato has provided a brief breakdown of three collaborations thus far. This shows how far crypto and blockchain have come and the rate at which they are taking over newer spaces.

The first-ever alliance between said parties involve an Italian soccer club, Rimini FC 1912 and global mobile blockchain bank, Quantocoin. The latter has been recognized, considering the fact that it provides services to well over two billion traders; not to forget its 25% ownership of the soccer club.

The next endeavor that was elaborated upon entails both European-based soccer club, Newcastle United and blockchain project, StormGain.

Since the announcement, the CEO of StormGain, Alex Althausen expressed enthusiasm in being able to collaborate with a well-known club, stressing that

“cryptocurrencies and mainstream sports is inevitable.”

Finally, Portugal-based soccer club, S.L. Benifica, has revealed that it will be accepting cryptos (primarily BTC, ETH and UTK) as a payment method for merchandise purchases.

This is just a sample of what’s taking place within the blockchain sector and the potential it has moving forward. In addition to partnerships, more and more advertisements are making waves. This is especially important because it attracts the general public, which is what we need for crypto adoption.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai