JPMorgan, Mastercard, & UBS Invest in ConsenSys’ $65M Round to “Accelerate the Convergence” of DeFi and Traditional Finance

JPMorgan, Mastercard, & UBS Invest in ConsenSys’ $65M Round to “Accelerate the Convergence” of DeFi and Traditional Finance

ConsenSys, an Ethereum software company, announced the closing of a $65 million round to “accelerate the convergence” of DeFi and Web3 applications on Ethereum.

The companies that took part in this funding involve J.P. Morgan, Mastercard, UBS, Protocol Labs, the Maker Foundation, Fenbushi, The LAO, and Alameda Research.

“Enterprise Ethereum is a key infrastructure on which we and our partners are building payment and non-payment applications to power the future of commerce,” said Raj Dhamodharan, Executive Vice President of Digital Asset and Blockchain Products and Partnerships at Mastercard.

Other investors include CMT Digital, Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund, Quotidian Ventures, and Liberty City Ventures.

Interestingly, several funds invested with Ethereum-based stablecoins, DAI and USDC, read the official announcement by the tech company.

“We are proud to partner with preeminent financial firms alongside leading crypto companies to further converge the centralized and decentralized financial domains at this particularly exciting time of growth for ConsenSys and the entire industry,” said Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsesnSys who co-founded Ethereum. ETH 7.13% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 2,302.61
$164.187.13%
Volume 29.46 b Change $164.18 Open $2,302.61 Circulating 115.46 m Market Cap 265.85 b
3 h CoinList’s Rally Network Liquid Token Sale Attracts 40k Users to Buy $22 Million in RLY 5 h JPMorgan, Mastercard, & UBS Invest in ConsenSys’ $65M Round to “Accelerate the Convergence” of DeFi and Traditional Finance 8 h CoinShares is Launching an XRP ETP (XRPL) as the Digital Asset Nears $2

The company currently has a headcount of 360 and plans to add another 100 employees by the end of this year.

ConsenSys’ list of products includes MetaMask with over 3 million monthly active users across, more than 150,000 developers use Infura’s APIs, and millions of developers using Truffle to create and deploy smart contracts. Meanwhile, its Protocols group, which develops Hyperledger Besu and Quorum, is building Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) for six central banks.

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Author: AnTy

Keep Network to Launch An Updated Bitcoin to Ethereum Bridge, tBTC Protocol V2

Keep Network to Launch An Updated Bitcoin to Ethereum Bridge, tBTC Protocol V2

The Keep Network has released more details of tBTC, a Bitcoin bridge on Ethereum. Keep Network developer Evandro Saturnino disclosed this in a blog post.

Keep Network Unveils tBTC V2

Saturnino made it known that the network considered different changes to address tBTC past issues with collateralization.

The developer said that while the tBTC v1 relies on a 200% outside collateral, it has struggled to scale without more ETH into the network, despite being on top of $300M Total Locked Value (TVL). He said the system works perfectly, but the economic constraints are still present.

This second iteration of tBTC (v2) is expected to require stakers to only lock up Keep rather than both Keep and Ether (ETH), alongside introducing changes to its wallet-generation mechanism.

tBTC is a fully Bitcoin-backed ERC-20 token pegged to the price of Bitcoin. It facilitates Bitcoin holders acting on the Ethereum blockchain, accessing the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, and earning with their Bitcoin.

The network is fully trustless, using a system of “signers” selected by a random beacon to safeguard the deposited BTC. tBTC can be converted to BTC, and vice versa, at any time, with no intermediary needed to sign off.

According to Saturnino, this v2 of tBTC would greatly decrease the staking assets’ collateral ratio.

He added that insurance coverage pools would be used to protect against malicious validators to neutralize risks to the peg. He described the coverage pools as perfectly suited to ensure against fraud in tBTC v2.

tBTC And Existing Bitcoin Tokenized Solutions

First announced in April last year, tBTC was built as an application to allow trustless storage of the Bitcoin-backed tBTC tokens. It was officially launched in May but had issues with a smart contract bug, after which it relaunched in September 2020.

The developer said the team had learned a lot since the protocol launched the second time.

The tBTC protocol works on both the Bitcoin and Ethereum public blockchains, with users locking up BTC so that nodes in the Keep network can mint tBTC while staking 150% of the BTC’s value in ETH.

Bringing Bitcoin to Ethereum is considered to be an exciting prospect by many as the tokenization of Bitcoin gets increasingly popular. It can be split into custodial and non-custodial. Popular custodial solutions like Wrapped BTC (wBTC) are one of the largest, while non-custodial solutions like renBTC have followed closely since its launch last year May.

Meanwhile, the Keep network’s tBTC is still trying to gain ground among DeFi users.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Ethereum Is Generating Over 3-times More Fees Daily Than Bitcoin & 819x than BSC

Ethereum Is Generating Over 3-times More Fees Daily Than Bitcoin & 819x than BSC

Ethereum network is enjoying a rise in activity as ETH price breaks out into a new all-time high of $2,150 and DeFi continues to rise, its TVL reaching past $52 billion.

Ether is finally enjoying an uptrend and as it broke out into a new all-time high at $2,150.

The latest rally in ETH prices came as Bitcoin remained under $60k, sending the altcoins flying. BTC -1.27% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 58,261.70
-$739.92-1.27%
Volume 66.14 b Change -$739.92 Open $58,261.70 Circulating 18.68 m Market Cap 1.09 t
3 h Bitcoin.com Removed from GoDaddy’s ‘Sale List’ But Roger Ver’s Is Willing to Sell for 22M BCH 4 h Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Warns: Crypto is ‘Highly Risky’ & ‘Not Suitable for Retail Investors’ 5 h NBA’s Sacramento Kings to Pay Players and Staff Salary in Bitcoin

As a matter of fact, Ethereum is the most used blockchain in the crypto space. At the beginning of this year, it was settling $12 billion in transactions daily, $3 billion more than Bitcoin.

This has been despite the surge in the fees on the network. On March 31st, the daily average fees on Ethereum went to $23, which has currently dropped to $16.

Ethereum is now collecting over $24.6 billion in daily fees, which is about 3.4x more fees than the largest network, $5.6 billion.

This only shows that despite being costly to use, it continues to be the favorite among users. While Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is getting a lot of use recently, it generates less than $30k in fees.

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The network fees have been growing since last summer when the popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) exploded. As of writing, the DeFi market cap has grown to nearly $110 million, and the total value locked (TVL) in the sector has gone past $52 billion.

Now, the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFT) is also making the network busy. According to Naval Ravikant, the co-founder of AngelList, “With NFTs, blockchains make the jump from finance into creative applications.” NFTs, he said, tokenize all the things and will ultimately “authenticate the world.”

When it comes to network activity, the amount of ETH transferred by smart contracts has risen dramatically since July 2020, likely due to DeFi, at an average of 3-5 million ETH.

The on-chain activity also surged this past week as ETH made new highs. ETH active addresses averaged 611.K per day over the last week, topping 600K for the first time since February, as per Coin Metrics.

On-chain transfer value, denominated in USD, has grown to new peaks the same as median transfer value denominated in ETH, which is yet again likely due to the rise of DeFi. But compared to ETH’s 854K daily transfer count, BTC does about 926K.

Ethereum hash rate grew by 5.2% week-over-week to once again climb to a new ATH.

Institutional interest is another factor fueling Ether prices.

The launch of Ether futures by CME Group has given institutional traders an easy way to gain exposure to the second-largest digital asset and further acting as a DeFi proxy. Earlier last week, Tim McCourt, Managing Director at CME said, the platform has been seeing 767 contracts, equivalent to 38,400 Ether, on average trading each day since its launch on Feb. 8.

Many firms, such as Evolve and Galaxy Digital, are now also launching the Ether ETF and mutual fund.

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Author: AnTy

Shopify CEO Is “Spiritually Aligned With Decentralizing Opportunity;” ‘Dabbles’ In Ethereum & DeFi

Shopify Is “Spiritually Aligned With Decentralizing Opportunity,” Says CEO As He “Dabbles” Into Ethereum & DeFi

The latest person to get an interest in decentralized finance (DeFi) is the chief executive officer of the e-commerce company Shopify, which has more than 1 million users.

“Hey DeFi Twitter. What are the commerce-related opportunities that you are most excited about? What role do you want Shopify to play?” tweeted Tobi Lutke on Saturday.

Nadav Hollander, Co-Founder & CEO of Ethereum wallet Dharma recommended Shopify to facilitate the tokenization of a seller’s revenue stream, which he said would be “a massive new primitive for DeFi services.”

While some may feel off about a centralized organization getting into the DeFi scene, which has over $47.5 billion in total value locked (TVL), according to Lutke, “Shopify is a product of pre-crypto times and spiritually aligned with decentralizing opportunity.”

With its mission to have retail participate, “in spirit (not by your definition) we are helping push against centralization,” he added.

Before he asked about DeFi, Lutke shared that he has been exploring the second-largest network, Ethereum, which has been primarily used for building DeFi protocols.

“Speaking of crypto though- I spent the morning dabbling with ETH Smart Contracts. Mainly to understand how ERC20 works better. Fascinating world,” Lutke said just the day before sharing his interest in DeFi.

Interestingly, the e-commerce site already supports cryptocurrency, and that too for a long time now; as shared by the Vice President of the company, Kaz Nejatian, “Shopify stores have been accepting crypto since at 2014 I think.”

Not only Shopify accepts the stablecoins USDC and PAX, and others, but they are also members of Facebook’s upcoming fiat-backed digital currency Diem.

“All of our merchants can accept a bunch of different cryptos through our payment integrations.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum ‘Is A Better Platform’ Than Bitcoin says Mark Cuban, But Owns Double the BTC

Ethereum ‘Is A Better Platform’ Than Bitcoin says Mark Cuban, But Owns Double the BTC

The billionaire investor has “a lot of Ethereum,” too, which he says is “the closest we have to a true currency.” He also said, “Crypto will do to fintech what fintech did to banking.”

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban has been very clear that he is very bullish on the cryptocurrency industry.

As Cuban has been saying, “Bitcoin is now accepted as “an alternative asset” and he sees it replacing gold “in the portfolios of a lot of people.”

However, it won’t be instant rather a gradual process as we have started to see with Bitcoin ETFs. While the US is still awaiting its first one, several companies (Skybridge Capital, VanEck, FidelityValkyrieNYDIG, Wisdom Tree, and most recently Goldman Sachs) have joined the race for the same, and three ETFs (Purpose Bitcoin ETFEvolve Bitcoin ETF, and CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF) are already trading in Canada, and one in Brazil. Cuban said in an interview with UpOnly.

“It’s too difficult still to get money into a wallet just to buy bitcoin so you need to have somebody that you can work with that is going to hold it for you because most people are going to be terrified of having you know that bitcoin in their own custody.”

According to him, Bitcoin (BTC) is a store of value platform, but Ethereum (ETH) “is a better platform.”

In an episode of “The Delphi Podcast,” Cuban also revealed his portfolio allocation, which consists of “60% Bitcoin, 30% Ethereum, and 10% the rest.”

Once again, he shared his interest in Ether, saying, “I have a lot of Ethereum,” adding “I wish I had bought it sooner, but I started buying it four years ago, simply because I think it’s the closest we have to a true currency.”

“Crypto Will Do To Fintech What Fintech Did To Banking”

Talking about the biggest obstacle, the high fees on the second largest network, Cuban compares it to “almost like the early days of the internet where bandwidth was the big impediment.”

Saying that during that time, one couldn’t do a video, and it was crazy, “but we knew at some point bandwidth would open up. Transactions per second is the equivalent of bandwidth.”

One of the main sectors built on Ethereum is decentralized finance (DeFi), which “allows anybody to be their own personal banker.” Anyone can do almost anything in seconds, “you just make your choices, and you live with the results,” said Cuban.

As for the biggest challenge in DeFi for regulators, it is “just going to be fraud.”

But as wild west elements start to soothe, Cuban thinks it will be the fintech that will feel the heat first. “Crypto will do to fintech what fintech did to banking,” said Cuban.

He points out how everybody’s building layer two solutions (like Optimism, Hermez, and Polygon) because Ethereum is too slow and 2.0 is still not here, “so everybody’s just trying to take chunks out of it, and that’s what fintech is.”

“Fintech is taking out chunks from the banking system because they’re too slow to do what’s obvious to everybody else, and crypto will do the same thing to fintech because fintech showed where banking is slow, and there’s more open banking coming.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Wallet Integrates with DeFi Blue-Chips for Direct Access to Bank

Ethereum Wallet, Dharma, Integrates with DeFi Blue-Chips for Direct Access to Bank

Ethereum Wallet, Dharma that connects directly to the bank account, has announced integration with popular decentralized finance (DeFi) projects; Aave, Compound, Yearn, and Uniswap.

“It’s as if Coinbase had a Stripe-like API and an app store built into it,” is how the team describes it.

Now, the users can directly and instantly deposit up to $25,000 per week into these protocols that offer automated market-making, lending, and other services.

“Powered by dharmaOS — an open SDK that connects *any* Ethereum protocol action to the Dharma on and off ramp system,” announced the team.

Unlike a fiat on-ramp cryptocurrency exchange which only allows one to buy and sell digital assets and an average Ethereum wallet that has low limits, super high fees, and doesn’t let the users withdraw to the bank account, Dharma claims it “unifies powerful fiat on- and off-ramps with Ethereum superpowers.”

“Would totally crushed any of the fintech P2P lenders or roboadvisors offering in any countries it’s available,” praised Arthur of DeFiance Capital.

Given that DeFi is notorious for its complexity and high fees, especially for new users, this makes sense that the community is excited. This seamless integration can also help drive the DeFi adoption forward. While the total number of DeFi users has exceeded 1 million, only 3.55% of active ETH wallets are currently interacting with DeFi.

Dharma isn’t done; however, as co-founder & CEO Nadav Hollander tweeted, “If you think this is cool, wait ’til you see everything we’re shipping in April.”

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Author: AnTy

Visa to Settle Payments in USDC on Ethereum; ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’

Visa to Settle Payments in USDC over Ethereum; A ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’

The second-largest stablecoin has added 7 billion to its total supply of almost 11 billion in just the three months of 2021.

Digital payments service provider Visa has announced support for stablecoin USDC as a native currency and settlement system on its network.

The USDC will now be used to settle the transaction with Visa over Ethereum ETH 7.83% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,821.24
$142.607.83%
Volume 22.76 b Change $142.60 Open $1,821.24 Circulating 115.25 m Market Cap 209.91 b
10 h Decentralized Exchange, Uniswap, Accounts for 80% of The Daily Active DeFi Users 10 h Visa to Settle Payments in USDC over Ethereum; A ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’ 2 d “We are Believers in Bitcoin,” says Oakland A’s President on Accepting BTC & HODLing it
instead of the legacy banking system.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers.”

Cuy Sheffield Head of Crypto at Visa

This bridge between digital and traditional fiat currencies is made possible with Visa’s pilot program with payment and crypto platform Crypto.com. The exchange reported “record-breaking growth” over the last year.

Visa is also working with Anchorage, the first federally chartered digital asset bank, which is its exclusive digital currency settlement partner.

Throughout last year, Visa was working on establishing a pathway for digital currency settlement within its existing treasury infrastructure, a platform that the company says moves billions of dollars each day across thousands of institutions in more than 200 markets and 160 currencies.

All of this will also allow Visa to support central bank digital currencies (CBDC) directly.

The settlement layer for the world

USD Coin (USDC) is a fast-growing stablecoin whose supply has increased 7 billion in just the three months of 2021 to a total supply of almost 11 billion, the second-largest stablecoin after Tether (USDT). Last year, USDC supply went from a mere $521 million to nearly $4 billion.

“This is massive news, and marks a major turning point in mainstream adoption of crypto,” said Jeremy Allaire, co-founder & CEO of Circle, which along with Coinbase, created USD Coin.

The Ether community is excited, calling it “another step on Ethereum’s journey to becoming the settlement layer for the world.”

With this connection to existing global networks, it will “accelerate (USDC’s) adoption as both a store of value and medium of exchange,” said Allaire.

Now any customer who has a USDC in a wallet and a card attached to their wallet can spend their USD-backed crypto at any Visa accepting merchant.

“This is “Over-the-Top” (OTT) money, and a major step in our mission to build a new global economic system on a more open, global, safe and inclusive foundation built on crypto and blockchain tech.”

Jeremy Allaire Co-Founder & CEO of Circle

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Blocks Consistently At Least 95% Full, ETH’s Use as a Non-Speculative Asset on the Rise

Ethereum Blocks Consistently At Least 95% Full, ETH’s Use as a Non-Speculative Asset on the Rise

The price of Ether continues to struggle as it hovers around $1,700.

Up 135% YTD compared to Bitcoin’s 92%, Ether’s all-time high came last month at $2,050, which is only 45% above 2017 ATH. Bitcoin meanwhile made a new peak earlier this month at about $62k, 210% above the 2017 peak.

According to Kain Warwick, founder of Synthetix, people are basically sitting on the sidelines as the impending 1559 launch, multiple L2 launches, and the shift to PoS all have “significant execution risk and could easily be delayed.”

There’s actually a lot of demand for the second largest network, so much so that Ethereum blocks have been at least 95% full ever since DeFi’s popularity started rising in the summer of 2020.

This month, Ethereum blocks have been 97%-98% full, per Coin Metrics.

Demand for block space has been playing a big factor in the skyrocketing gas prices. Gas fees are ultimately paid to Ethereum miners making up 50% of their revenue. Because each block can have a limited number of transactions due to maximum block size, miners prioritize transactions with the highest gas prices. Leo Zhang, founder at Anicca Research notes,

“Blockspace is the commodity that powers the heartbeats of all crypto networks. In PoW, miners are the producers, mining pools are the auctioneers, and users are the bidders.”ETH Block Fullness %

Source: CoinMetricsEther is actually being used as a non-speculative asset more than ever as its role within the Ethereum ecosystem becomes more significant over time, notes Arthur_0x of DeFiance Capital.

This assessment is based on the fact that the amount of ETH on centralized exchanges has reached the lowest level in the last 19 months. At the same time, ETH balance held in smart contracts have reached over one-fifth of Ether supply at 21.11%, which is more than 12.94% of supply held on exchanges.

Amidst this, the number of ERC-721 contracts is hitting a new peak in the light of ongoing NFT mania. But these 19K ERC-721 contracts are just a small fraction of the 17.84M smart contracts launched on Ethereum.

The overall pace of Ethereum contract creation meanwhile is slowed down in 2021. They are currently averaging $15k-25k new contracts per day after peaking at over 100k new contracts at the end of last year.

Over 3.57 million ETH are also locked in ETH 2.0 deposit contracts. All of this, combined with the upcoming implementation of EIP-1559 and the accelerated timeline of PoS merge, “should further increase the value of ETH,” said Arthur. “The future of Ether looks bright to me.”

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Author: AnTy

Solana (SOL) is ‘Uniquely Positioned’ to Snatch Market Share from Ethereum & ETH Killers, says VC

Solana (SOL) is ‘Uniquely Positioned’ to Snatch Market Share from Ethereum & ETH Killers, says VC

With a market cap of $4.3 billion, SOL is the 24th largest crypto asset, trading around $16.12, up 20% in the past 24 hours and 800% YTD.

Over the weekend, Sino Global Capital, which invests in blockchain projects, shared their research on why they are bullish on Solana, a high-performance blockchain that was chosen by FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman Fried to build the decentralized derivatives platform Serum (SRM).

“Solana fills a major performance gap in the world of blockchains while remaining decentralized and composable,” reads the thread by the firm based on the research done by Max Stein, who previously was at ConsenSys. It bets,

“Solana is a bet that one day we will need fully decentralized systems that can support thousands of high-value complex transactions per second and that the chain that can support that scalability and finality today will accrue significant value.”

According to the firm, the ultrafast, low latency, high-performance blockchain is “uniquely positioned to gain market share from existing smart contract blockchains.” Ethereum is the leader in the smart contract market, and other popular ones include Polkadot, BSC, Cardano, Avalanche, Kusama, VeChain, Algorand, and many others.

Scalability and low cost, which helps both users and developers, are its notable advantages which, as we have seen many times, the second-largest network really struggles with.

Composability is another one, and “Scalable composability is not possible with sharding/layer 2s,” it says. When it comes to Solana, it can process at scale right on a single layer 1, “with transaction finality that meets institutional requirements.”

And while Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is also fast and cheap, it is “significantly less decentralized than Solana.”

Sino Global further points to Solana’s strategic ecosystem advantage — native support both for USDT and USDC, Jump Trading to be market making on Serum, and more importantly, it is aligned with Sam Bankman-Fried and “his burgeoning influential community.”

Audius, with over 2.5 million users, initially launched its ERC-20 token on Ethereum is building its settlement layer on Solana. Another project is 9-year old Maps with a 140 million user base along with Oxygen, Serum, Radium, and Civic building on the blockchain.

While mentioning the network freeze in December and the resultant criticism and caution as risks and threats, Sino Global says it has been “built from the ground up to be a scalable blockchain” by a team that has been working together for more than 15 years, which will help Solana accrue significant value.

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Author: AnTy

AP Partners with Everipedia to Broadcast NCAA’s March Madness Scores to Ethereum’s Blockchain

AP Partners with Everipedia to Broadcast NCAA’s March Madness Scores to Ethereum’s Blockchain

The Associated Press (AP), is partnering with Everipedia, an Ethereum-based software development firm, to broadcast the ‘March Madness’ college basketball tournament. The media company will use Everipedia’s OraQle software to publish live, play-by-play scores and schedules in the largest college sports event in the world, the report stated.

The collaboration will allow the NCAA’s ‘March Madness’ viewers, fans, and enthusiasts alike to view results and schedules for every game on-chain on Ethereum, the second-largest blockchain. The innovative OraQle software will publish on-the-minute reports on the March Madness games, which started on March 18, 2021, at 6 p.m. EST with the four play-in games. Here in the next hour, the full tournament of 68 teams will begin.

Everipedia aims to bring real-world data to the blockchain, including election results, Super bowl, and NBA results on Ethereum. In 2020, AP partnered with Everipedia to distribute data from the 2020 Presidential Election, January 2020 Senate runoffs, and the Super Bowl on Ethereum.

March Madness college basketball tournament is one of the most-watched sporting events across the U.S. In 2019, reports showed nearly 11 million people tuned in to watch the tournament across various channels.

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Author: Lujan Odera