Total Value Locked in Harvest Finance Surpasses $1 Billion, Up 366,200% Since September

Decentralized platform Harvest Finance that provides users a way to farm assets for the highest yields now has more than a billion dollars in total value locked (TVL), as per DeFi Pulse.

A few days back, Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) captured third place by overtaking popular DeFi projects Aave, Compound, and Curve Finance.

The relatively new project Harvest Finance has jumped to sixth place, pushing above Curve Finance and Synthetix. It has fallen two places as just last night; it was in the fourth spot.

This climbing up the ranks happened thanks to the growing TVL, which increased over 630% in just this month. On Sept. 1st, the TVL was a mere $273k.

While enthusiasm in the DeFi sector has waned, the mania cooled down in September after running hot to its peak in August; Harvest Finance took this time to jump out of nowhere and make it big.

The project has about 630k ETH, 27.42 BTC, and just over 66 DAI locked in it.

However, unlike the growth of the funds locked in this protocol, its token FARM is currently down nearly 23% while trading at $231.56.

Audited by third parties, a process supported by 10% of the token supply, the project had a “vault migration” just this week and introduced a new TUSD pool.

With yield farming becoming hard for smaller farmers due to high gas costs and bugs in unaudited smart contacts resulting in theft, Harvest advertises itself as bringing “BreadToThePeople” by doing it all for the users.

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Author: AnTy

Anchorage & Tokensoft Collab to Bring Wrapped Coins to Ethereum; Zcash (ZEC) Is Up First

The growing popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) has attracted many other digital assets to Ethereum, including Bitcoin, in a wrapped layer one solution. The latest to join the league is the privacy-centric coin Zcash (ZEC). The Wrapped Zcash is brought into the Decentralized ecosystem by Anchorage in association with Tokensoft.

Wrapped ZCash (wZEC) is the first asset launched by the “wrapped” project in association with Ethereum tokenizers Tokensoft and the qualified custodian Anchorage. The liquidity for the wrapped project would be offered by over-the-counter (OTC) liquidity provided by CMS Holdings.

However, Wrapped Zcash is not the first wrapped digital asset on Ethereum. Wrapped Bitcoin has been quite popular as the DeFi market continues to explode. A wrapped digital asset transfers the value of that particular digital asset onto the Ethereum blockchain by creating an ERC-20 token with a 1:1 value representation against the asset. Thus one Wrapped bitcoin would be equivalent in value to that of 1 bitcoin.

This allows for other digital asset holders to access the DeFi space and collateralize that asset instead of buying Ether and then collateralizing it. This also helps in increasing the liquidity of the DEX ecosystem.

Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, Zcash founder and Electric Coin Company CEO, commented on their recent association with Anchorage and Tokensoft and said,

“I’m thrilled that there is such interest, and that people can, and do, innovate and deploy extensions on top of Zcash without the Electric Coin Company’s knowledge or approval.”

“I also agree that it’s great for people to have more alternatives to centralized exchanges (CEXs), and the way that CEX’s have to comply with arbitrary demands from their banks.”

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Author: James W

French Finance Minister Criticizes Crypto But Praises The “Transparency” of Blockchain

French Finance minister accepts blockchain technology’s brilliance but dismisses cryptocurrency assets as a facilitator of illicit activities and terrorist financing.

Earlier in the year, the French Economy, Finance and Recovery minister, Bruno Le Maire, suggested that European Union member states, need to come up with rules and regulations that can be used in the zone to govern cryptocurrencies and global stablecoins such as Facebook-led digital coin, Libra. Speaking on a national TV broadcast on October 18, Le Maire further articulated his stance claiming cryptocurrencies need more surveillance to combat terrorist financing.

“We must strengthen our surveillance systems in the face of terrorist financing. For example, cryptocurrencies must be more supervised.”

However, former breakdance champion turned crypto and Web3 enthusiast, Cyril Paglino, offered a response on Twitter disagreeing with the minister. Responding to the interview video by Le Maire, Paglino states the “terrorist financing” claim is old rhetoric that needs to be done away with as cash offers more incentive to fund terrorist activities.

“This 10-year-old myth about cryptocurrencies needs to stop spreading,” Paglino wrote on Twitter. “Transactions on a blockchain are secure and traceable. No interest in a terrorist. Unlike cash, which circulates to it without any control.”

While agreeing with Cyril on the public and transparent nature of blockchain technologies, Le Maire questions the role of cryptocurrencies in facilitating illicit activities, including fraudulent transactions on drugs, weapons, and money laundering.

The French Finance minister has been a big critic of Facebook’s Libra stablecoin, highlighting the token as a danger to state control across the globe. According to Le Maire, political and monetary sovereignty is at risk; hence regulating the launch and use of global stablecoins like Libra.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bank of Russia Is Studying Pros & Cons of a Digital Ruble; May Start Developing CBDC In 2021

  • The Bank of Russia (BOR) is studying the possibility of launching its digital ruble.
  • BOR and the Ministry of Finance investigate the advantages and cons of adopting a national digital currency within Russia.
  • Can a digital ruble replace the use of the dollar in Russia?

According to Izvestia, a Russian finance news site, the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Russia investigate other nations’ efforts in releasing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The post, published on Monday, highlights some of Russia’s advantages of launching its own digital ruble, including reducing the cost of transactions, more opportunities for cross-border payments, and ending dollarization in its economy hence reducing sanctions from other countries.

Despite the advantages of the digital ruble, the Ministry of Finance cautions on the problems a CBDC could bring along. Digital currencies have long been associated with high volatility risks, poor network security, and its use in promoting illicit activities.

The central bank aims to increase its efforts in launching a digital ruble. While the final decision is yet to be made, BOR plans for the digital ruble to follow FAFT recommendations on digital assets. The digital coin is set to boost the overall domestic economy by enhancing online payments – allowing offline use of the digital ruble if there’s no internet.

According to Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma Committee on the financial market, the digital ruble may start to be built as early as 2021. Once the consultation period elapses, the digital ruble will be released in a pilot phase, with several citizens using it.

Read More: Russian Central Bank To Curb Total Digital Assets An ‘Unqualified’ Investor Can Acquire

Can a digital ruble help in de-dollarization?

The Russian government is working on finding a way around its economy’s dollarization – a digital ruble is expected to do so. The central bank explains that the token will help end corruption, reduce the costs associated with distributing physical cash, and help Russia avoid sanctions.

The bank did not clearly say how the digital ruble will end sanctions from other countries, with Plekhanov Denis Domashchenko, a PRUE lab research lead. G.V., stating it ‘may not be the solution to sanctions.’ According to him, the digital ruble’s launch has more to do with the private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) circulating in the country rather than the dollar.

Russia has had a stern stand against the use and distribution of cryptocurrencies in the past. The digital ruble will not be any different from the regulator, stating that only the issued CBDC will be accepted as money across the country.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Contour Trade Finance Platform Backed by HSBC Launches; Reducing LC Processing Time by 90%

Contour, a blockchain-based trade finance platform, has gone live after a successful beta testing phase. The trade finance platform aims to optimize the traditional financial system by digitizing them and putting them on a blockchain. The trade finance platform is backed by 8 major banks, including HSBC, Citi, ING, Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC, Standard Chartered, and SEB.

The platform was launched back in 2017 as Voltron built on top of the R3s Corda Platform. The platform promise to ease up the slow bureaucratic process for several institutions and companies via a global blockchain network. HSBC tweeted about the official launch of the platform and said,

“We’re excited to announce the world’s first global, decentralized, digital trade finance platform using #Blockchain technology has gone live this week to coincide with #Sibos2020:”

However, it is also important to note that the network is a private blockchain that would be exclusively available for partner companies for data sharing. Thus, even though HSBC’s tweet calls the platform a decentralized network, it is not centralized in the traditional sense.

How Would Contour Optimize Traditional Trade Finance?

After its launch, the first goal for Contour would be to optimize the letter of credit (LC) process among parties, which, on average, takes 10 days to process currently. With Contour’s blockchain system, the time consumed for processing would be reduced by 1/10th, taking around 24 hours.

Contour would develop a rulebook and membership agreement system, which would allow for the reduction of processing time by 90%.

Carl Wegner, the CEO of the platform, explained how the rulebook would help in optimizing the process and said,

“The rulebook is really important. Rather than having to string together four or five different legal agreements between the buyer, seller, buyer’s banks, and seller’s banks, which was very onerous, we now have a rulebook which makes it very easy for everybody to sign up and know what their roles and responsibilities are.”

With the official launch of the platform, all the existing members would migrate to the main net. However, it is unclear how many other members are on the platform apart from the official partners.

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Author: James W

Uniswap Dominates DeFi Scene, Cross $2.09 Billion In Total Asset Value Locked (TVL)

After a slow start, decentralized finance (DeFi) picked up throughout 2020, with over $11 billion in digital assets locked on these platforms. Uniswap, the decentralized exchange (DEX), becomes the first DeFi platform to cross the $2 billion milestone in total value locked (TVL). Such is the growth of the industry that Uniswap’s TVL was larger than the entire DeFi industry three months ago.

DeFi Pulse UniSwap 2 Billion TVL
Source: DeFiPulse

According to DeFi Pulse, Uniswap’s total locked assets’ value stands at $2.09 billion, as at the time of writing. This represents a sharp 800% surge in the value of assets locked in the DEX since August 8, just a month ago. Ethereum (ETH) leads in value with 2.9 million ETH (or 2.90%of the total ETH) placed in liquidity pools on the platform. ERC-20 based USDT and wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC) close out the top three positions.

The TVL in Uniswap represents 18.67% of the total TVL locked in DeFi products, currently standing at $11.1 billion. Maker, a lending and borrowing platform that allows minting of DAI stablecoin, is second with a total TVL of $1.93 billion.

Uniswap is an Ethereum based DEX that leverages liquidity pools instead of order books utilizing an automated market-making system for users to swap any ERC-20 standard-based token. Liquidity providers are then incentivized with the trading fees collected (about 0.03%) paid out to their addresses.

The spike in Uniswap’s TVL can, however, be greatly attributed to the launch of its native token, UNI, earlier this month. Shortly after losing close to $1.42 in TVL after the launch of Sushiswap, a similar platform, Uniswap has seen its fortunes change with the launch of UNI. It, however, should be noted that the drop in TVL was not fully attributed to Sushiswap.

On Sept. 17, UNI launched, airdropping over $500 million in UNI tokens to Uniswap users, which led to a sharp recovery in assets placed in the platform. In less than 48 hours after UNI’s launch, Uniswap’s TVL grew from $748 million to $1.9 billion, showing a great impact of the DEX.

With 4 billion UNI’s still set to be distributed to the Uniswap users, the DEX is on course to be the first DeFi platform to hit the 410 billion in TVL milestone.

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Author: Lujan Odera

ETH Locked on Aave & Uniswap Records a Sharp Rise

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is back to recovering, currently at over $11 billion, reaching an all-time high of nearly $12 billion from last week, as per DeFi Pulse.

On this climb up, the amount of BTC on Ethereum is already at an all-time of 130.8k BTC. When it comes to Ether, at 8.2 million ETH, it still has some way to go before it hits a peak of 10.67 million ETH.

Interestingly, the third-largest DeFi project Aave with $1.63 billion in TVL, has added over 370 million ETH in just the last three days.

Since Friday, ETH locked in the lending protocol has jumped by more than 190% and a whopping 792% since the beginning of this month. Aave is the fifth largest ETH holder in the DeFi space.

The most amount of ETH is locked in Uniswap at 2.9 million, doubled in the past ten days. While Maker’s ETH balance stayed steady over 2 million throughout this month, both Compound and SushiSwap recorded a drastic drop.

Both are among the top five ETH holders, but the amount of Ether locked in Compound has been on a constant decline since the middle of this month, down 30%. Uniswap clone SushuSwap registered a whopping 72% fall in ETH deposit on its protocol, which is no surprise given its overall sliding value.

The price of Ether meanwhile, is also on the rise, up 3.24% trading at $364, a jump from last week’s low of $320.

These gains are in line with the rest of the crypto market, which is moving in tandem with Bitcoin, approaching $11,000. But while bitcoin’s options market is sending mixed messages, “front-end skew bid and 3-month largely flat,” Ethereum’s is much more bullish.

“This can point to hedging flow, especially given the rising trend of locking Bitcoin on the Ethereum network, as well as lend/borrow flow,” noted Dennis Vinoourov of Bequant.

At the same time, Ethereum bulls are also waiting for an update on the much-needed Proof of Stake (PoS) transition for which the Spadina testnet, dress rehearsal for the most important parts of the Eth 2.0, will go live this week.

However, the best thing happened with the Ethereum transaction fees, which have declined sharply since skyrocketing on Uniswap’s governance token UNI’s launch — another factor acting in support of the DeFi world.

The average cost of processing an Ethereum transaction has fallen to a 49-day lull, at $2.34 compared to early Sept. cost of $14.6, as per Bitinfocharts.

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Author: AnTy

Trader Calls for an Extended DeFi Winter for the Best Performing Assets of 2020

The decentralized finance (DeFi) rage made many people in the crypto community very rich. With DeFi tokens surging by as much as 10,000% and more, they have become the best-performing assets of 2020, so far.

2020 saw everything from stocks, bonds, and commodities flying, hitting new all-time highs (ATH). But nothing compares to the success of DeFi.

In the macro, the YTD returns have been: gold 25% and S&P 500 2.62%.

In the crypto market, Bitcoin recorded 45.7% returns YTD. The center of the DeFi world, Ether, which according to Bloomberg strategist Mike McGlone, “appears to be maintaining its platform leadership status” meanwhile rallied 160%.

Now, in the DeFi market, the top year-to-date performers include Cream (+98,900%), Aave (+2,617%), YFI (+2,144%), Loopring (+953%), and Melon Protocol (+877%).

Crypto assets performed well during the Covid-19 crisis thanks to Bitcoin becoming a “refuge” like gold and offering a store of value amidst the concerns of fiat devaluation, weakening dollar, and inflation propelled by huge stimulus injections to counter the pandemic.

“A purely ethereal instrument performs well when the real economy is on pause,” said Marc Fleury, CEO of crypto asset management and fintech firm Two Prime.

As for DeFi solutions, they basically port financial functions like lending, borrowing, trading, earnings, and insuring on blockchains.

DeFi also led to a surge in interest in Ethereum contracts, with 5.2 million ETH now locked in the sector, as per DeFi Pulse.

“Retail cryptocurrency users have increasingly turned to derivatives to maximize their returns,” said Aziz Zainuddin, chief product officer of Fasset.

Time for a Break?

However, recently the growth of DeFi is slowing down. On Sept. 18, the DeFi collateral levels reached over $13.2 billion from less than $700 million at the start of the year.

This week, the losses recorded by DeFi tokens have the TVL of DeFi declining to $6.3 billion, currently around $8 billion.

While the deposits are struggling to get back up, the price of the tokens has been taking a hard beating for the past few days.

In the past seven days, DeFi projects have lost a considerable amount of their value, including Swerve (65%), Rune (59%), Balancer (32%), UMA (30%), YFI (30%), Bancor (25%), and Curve (20%) to name a few.

“Been expecting a DeFi mini-winter since two weeks ago, but the kind of obnoxious shit that happened last few days makes think we are headed for a much longer winter. Could easily be invalidated by price action but need to be mentally prepared whether you’re an investor or founder,” said entrepreneur and quant trader, Qiao Wang.

While the past week, the largest DEX by volume Uniswap launched its much anticipated token UNI, this week, a group of large accounts were caught dumping their coin.

This week, we also saw Curve fork Swerve’s TVL crashing from over a billion-dollar last week to a mere $44 million today.

But while the Defi bull market might take a pause, the builders aren’t stopping

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Author: AnTy

Cream Finance Announces AMM, creamY, with Several Innovations that ‘Make it Stand Out’

Cream Finance has introduced an automated market maker (AMM) which focuses on low slippage and fees of stablecoins.

Combining Curve’s very low cost and very high-efficiency feature and Balancer’s updatable for addition or removal of an asset from the pool — unlike Uniswap or Curve pool, which are immutable — creamY has created a “dynamically updateable AMM which consolidates liquidity.”

Besides being dynamic and capital-efficient, this AMM allows users to hold or transact with yielding and provide liquidity using one token.

According to yEarn Finance’s Andre Cronje, who partook in the discussion of the project, the design of creamY. it “can alleviate a lot of the current liquidity pain-points.”

Coming up with innovations such as consolidated liquidity, a mixture of a shared order book, a governed liquidity pool, and allowing single-sided liquidity is what makes it “stand out,” said Cronje.

Right from the launch, It will support exchanges for stablecoins, BTC, and ETH.

It will be supporting cryUSD including USDT, USDC, TUSD, BUSD, yCRV, yyCRV, yUSDT, yUSDC, yTUSD, cUSDT, cUSDC, crUSDT, crUSDC, and crBUSD; cryBTC covering wBTC/renBTC/tBTC/crRENBTC/cWBTC/ycrvRenWSBTC, and cryETH inclusive of WETH/yETH/crETH/cETH.

Although the code of the protocol has been reviewed by several developers and is currently in the final stages of it, like all the DeFi projects, it hasn’t been through production testing yet.

According to the official announcement, creamY will launch with “strong incentive rewards” in CREAM tokens form, which will be escrowed until the end of the LP period.

For now, the CREAM token of the lending protocol with a TVL of $241 million, is trading at $118, up 2.63% since Sunday in line with the broad market.

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Author: AnTy

Blockchain Capital Becomes the 27th Member to Join the Facebook-Backed Libra Association

  • Blockchain Capital, an investment company that was among the first ones to finance crypto-based projects, has joined Libra Association, the governance body spearheading the Facebook-led Libra blockchain project.

In a press statement shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, Libra Association stated that one of the giant venture capital firms in the industry has become its latest member. The association further added that Blockchain Capital will advise on various aspects in regards to its payment system.

Blockchain capital is also set to offer its various experts as well as different industry figures for use by the association, Libra’s chief of policy and communication Dante Disparte stated.

The Libra Association now has 30 members who are working together to design a “more equitable payment system” with Libra.

Blockchain Capital’s co-founder and managing partner, Bart Stephens stated that his company believes that modern technology can be used to enhance financial access in the world. He said:

“Leveraging blockchain technology to improve financial access and promote innovation has been at the core of Blockchain Capital’s portfolio strategy.”

Blockchain Capital was started in 2013 and has so far invested in more than 80 companies within the blockchain and crypto industry inclusive of Ripple and Coinbase.

The Libra Association was started in June 2018 following Facebook’s release of a white paper for its intended stablecoin project dubbed Libra. At that time, the association included various global firms as founding members such as Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, eBay, Stripe, Uber, Andreessen Horowitz as well as Coinbase. However, most of them have departed the association following regulatory pressure and scrutiny from the authorities.

Libra Association has added various firms this year such as Shopify and Checkout.com in efforts to revitalize the association. However, the firm is still miles away from its target of 100 members.

The association which is based in Switzerland has also been active in appointing top executives and on Thursday, the firm announced the appointment of ex HSBC CEO as the chief of its operating firm, Libra Networks LLC. The association had also previously announced the appointment of Stuart Levey, HSBC’s ex legal officer as its CEO.

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Author: Joseph Kibe