DeFi Protocol Synthetix Upgrading to L2 Scaling to Alleviate Gas Costs for Small SNX Stakers

Popular on-chain synthetic assets protocol, Synthetix is in the first phase of its transition to Optimistic Ethereum, a layer two scalability solution for the second-largest network that continues to grapple with congestion and sky-high fees thanks to all the DeFi craze.

Synthetix founder Kain Warwick is “unreasonably excited” about this development who recently hinted at what’s to come by saying those priced out of staking the digital asset will get “unpriced out” soon.

SNX is the 39th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $472 million currently trading in green at $4.70. The DeFi protocol also has about $600 million in crypto deposits.

Get those SNX Working

The first phase involves an incentivized testnet that trial SNX staking on Optimistic Ethereum, aimed at SNX stakers with smaller balancers who may have priced out of participating in staking due to high gas prices.

78.54% of SNX is already collateralized to mint synths.

Optimistic Ethereum is the only “generalized” Layer 2solution for Ethereum, meaning it doesn’t require any specific functionality to be built to support the existing L1 protocols.

“This is a huge milestone for Synthetix, Optimistic Ethereum, and indeed the entire Ethereum space,” reads Synthetix’s official announcement. “Launching SNX staking on OE is a crucial step towards full scalability for the burgeoning DeFi ecosystem, truly allowing anyone around the world access to open financial infrastructure without the friction of high gas costs.”

In this incentivized testnet, the eligible SNX stakers, addresses holding between 1 and 2500 SNX that have staked at least once historically, will get a snapshot of their SNX balance on Optimistic Ethereum’s L2 testnet.

It can then be used to stake, mint, and burn sUSD and also to claim rewards for their participation, which are claimable on the mainnet launch L2.

In other news, SNX is getting listed on crypto exchange Bitfinex on Sept. 26 at 10:00 AM UTC.

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Author: AnTy

Love it or Hate it, UNI Token Stands to Benefit from Uniswap’s Evolution

After releasing the UNI token as part of Uniswap V3, the first update for Uniswap V3 has been made on Github. It might say “trigger a new major release,” but for now, it just seems to be a tease with an IPFS deployment release.

Amidst the growing hype around Uniswap V3, such teases only push the market sentiments towards excitement, which in the DeFi world doesn’t take much to turn into euphoria.

For now, the UNI token is trading at $5.17, still in the green by 6.14%, slowly uptrending towards its ATH of over $8.

Today, with Ethereum Layer 2 solution Ethereum Optimism entering the first phase of its testament launch, Uniswap has announced itself as the early adopter, along with Synthetix and Chainlink.

Additionally, Mask Network rolled out a widget that lets users trade tokens on the biggest decentralized exchange (DEX) by volume, through its Twitter extension. The aim is to make it easier for Web 2 users to migrate to Web 3 apps.

The Question of Decentralization

The top DeFi project, with nearly $2 billion in deposits, is gaining a lot of attention these days thanks to its governance token, which was airdropped to its early adopters.

But not all of its is good; as we reported, there have been questions on the regulatory nature of the UNI token, which is also allocated to team members, advisors, and investors — Uniswap raised $11 million in a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz along with USV, Paradigm, Version One, Variant, Parafi Capital, SV Angel, and A.Capital.

At the time, it has been said the resources will be used to build Uniswap V3, which will “dramatically increase the flexibility and capital efficiency of the protocol.”

Besides the legal nature, the latest report from Glassnode also took a stab at the decentralized nature of the token launch, which raised a few questions.

“With the launch of its UNI token, Uniswap has branded itself as “decentralized,” but it still has a long way to go to reach this point. By giving itself a skeleton key to the protocol, Uniswap has (at least in the near term) sacrificed decentralization for the sake of control,” noted Glassnode.

But the crypto data provider also noted that the decision was “almost certainly” made with the protocol’s best interests at heart. Moreover, the control will gradually transition to the community.

“Despite the team’s lack of transparency and somewhat deceptive marketing, the UNI token remains a strong and likely extremely valuable asset,” combined with Uniswap’s impressive growth, V3 deployment in the pipeline, and activation of fee switch that will enable UNI holders to earn a portion of trading fees.

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Author: AnTy

More Urgent than Ever – Ethereum Layer 2 Solution Goes in its First Phase of Testnet Launch

Ethereum layer 2 solution Optimism is welcoming the first phase of the Optimistic Ethereum Testnet.

This development has become a necessity of the market thanks to DeFi mania, which has sent fee on the second-largest network through the roof.

The airdrop of Uniswap’s governance token UNI last week actually sent Ethereum’s hourly fees 10x up, from just over $100k to more than $900k, the highest ever Ethereum fees on a per hour basis.

Over the past few months, the Ethereum network has been facing unprecedented congestion, which means waiting for hours to get your transaction confirmed. The prohibitive fees and stifling congestion calls for Ethereum scalability.

While ETH 2.0 is still not here and even then, it’s hard to say if it would be able to handle the fast-growing DeFi space, the market is turning to layer 2 solutions, and Optimistic is one of them.

As the team noted itself, “Our mission has felt more urgent than ever, and our path forward clear.”

The First Phase

After 4 “exhausting” months since their last update, Optimistic has achieved the milestone of reaching the first phase of its testnet launch.

This launch would be a gradual process, which is currently open for public use but not for public contract deployment.

“As we gain confidence in the stability of the testnet, we will progress through each phase until the full Optimistic Ethereum system is up and running,” said the team.

Top DeFi projects like Synthetix, Uniswap, and Chainlink have already shared their intention to be early adopters.

Synthetix has officially announced that they are starting the first phase of its transition to Optimistic Ethereum, which involves incentivized testnet with 200k SNX in rewards for participating users.

“This is a huge milestone for Synthetix, Optimistic Ethereum, and indeed the entire Ethereum space,” said Synthetix in its official announcement. “Launching SNX staking on OE is a crucial step towards full scalability for the burgeoning DeFi ecosystem, truly allowing anyone around the world access to open financial infrastructure without the friction of high gas costs.”

In phase one, there will be no deposits or withdrawals, but tokens airdropped into L2 for staking reward. It would be in the second phase that deposits will be enabled, and staked assets can be increased, and in the next phase, withdrawals are enabled.

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Author: AnTy

Brazil’s Hashdex Launches World’s First Crypto ETF in Partnership with Nasdaq

Brazilian manager Hashdex has obtained the approval to launch the world’s first cryptocurrency Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), in partnership with Nasdaq.

Named Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF, the product will be listed on the Bermuda Stock Exchange, as per local media reports.

It is expected to be available by the end of the year, which will replicate the Crypto Nasdaq Index, a joint effort of Nasdaq and Hashdex, which aims to attract institutional investment in cryptos.

Hashdex already has three crypto funds available for investment, with the most accessible one being Discovery that has a minimum investment of $500 and a management fee of 1% per year.

While in the US, several attempts at Bitcoin ETF have been rejected by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Hashdex has chosen the island specifically because of Bermuda’s crypto-friendly regulations.

According to Marcelo Sampaio, CEO of Hashdex, Nasdaq’s formal entry into the digital assets market is yet another confirmation that investments in crypto are being viewed with greater interest and confidence. He said,

“This process should also speed up the entry of institutional investors in this segment. It is a trend that increasingly becomes concrete.”

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Author: AnTy

China Should Seize the ‘First Mover’ Advantages of Launching A CBDC: PBoC

China should aim at becoming the first country to issue digital currency as part of its efforts to internationalize the yuan and lessen its over-dependence on the world’s dollar-dominated payment system, the People’s Bank of China (Chinese central bank) said.

The commentary appearing in China Finance, a People’s Bank of China run magazine, opined that the rights and capacity to offer and control digital currencies is set to become the ‘new battlefield’ among various sovereign nations. The article also claims that issuance and the circulation of virtual currency will alter the current international financial system.

The article argues that China should aim at becoming a first mover in the digital currencies space and calls for the acceleration of the development of the country’s CBDC.

“China has many advantages and opportunities in issuing fiat digital currencies, so it should accelerate the pace to seize the first track,” says the article.

Also, the article argues that data feedback from a Chinese central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) would be vital for the development of a national monetary policy, which is imperative for economic recovery in the post-pandemic landscape.

The article also revealed that PBoC’s digital currency research outfit had filed approximately 130 patents related to crypto applications touching on issuance, circulation, and implementation.

The People’s Bank of China’s research institute was founded in 2015 to look at the feasibility and implementation process of digital currencies, to reduce the costs of circulating fiat currency and enhance policymakers’ grip in the money supply ecosystem.

Last month, various state-run Chinese commercial banks embarked on large-scale piloting of the digital wallet, which is a step closer to the highly awaited official launch of the digital currency. PBoC revealed last month that about 400 million people are involved in the piloting program for a digital yuan.

The Chinese central bank is looking forward to using the digital yuan during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

The article concludes that digital yuan can help in breaking the dollar hegemony in the international monetary system.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

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

The Bahamas Central Bank to Launch Its Digital Currency, the Sand Dollar, Next Month

The Bahamas are on the verge of becoming the first nation in the world to introduce a state-backed digital currency. The Bahamas Central Bank announced that it would issue a central bank-backed cryptocurrency (CBDC) next month.

Chaozhen Chen, the Central Bank of Bahamas assistant manager in charge of eSolutions, said that the virtual currency, known as ‘Sand Dollar,’ is set to enhance financial inclusion, especially the isolated islands within the country.

Chen explained that most people on those isolated islands have no access to banking and digital payment infrastructure. Based on reasoning that the central bank came up with a customized solution that will solve the problem while allowing the country to maintain its sovereignty.

The Sand Dollar transfers will be made using a mobile-based wallet app on users’ phones which will be much easier since more than 90% of the citizens use a mobile phone.

According to the official, the central bank digital currency (CBDC) will adhere to the regulations and rules subjected to the Bahama dollar. Users will have to comply with the anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) rules when it comes to the creation of accounts for the use of the digital currency.

The new virtual dollars will be issued by demand. Chen also revealed that the CBDC would be issued along with the withdrawal of the fiat Bahamian dollars to avoid an oversupply of money in the country.

The Bahamas Central Bank first indicated the desire to introduce a digital dollar in June 2018. At that time, the regulator noted that most smaller islands had witnessed a massive downsizing and closure of commercial banks, which left them with no banking services.

The central bank started a pilot project dubbed ‘project Sand Dollar’ last year in the islands of Exuma and Abaco with a population of 7,314 and 17,224, respectively.

Chen explained that every Sand Dollar would be pegged on the Bahamian dollar pegged on the US dollar.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Lithuania’s LBCOIN, The World’s First Collectible Digital Coin, is Sent to the ECB Council

The world’s first collectible digital coin called LBCOIN was sent to the email inbox of European Central Bank policy makers on Monday from one of their colleagues.

The coin came to Governing Council members as a link to an e-wallet with six digital tokens. These tokens feature a portrait of one of the 20 signatories of Liithunai’s 1918 declaration of independence.

“I’m curious how popular this is going to be among Governing Council members,” said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Lithuania’s central bank governor. “I’ve asked for feedback,” he added.

Just last week, ECB President Christine Lagarde said that they would soon discuss whether or not the eurozone should create its very own digital currency.

Currently, finance chiefs of the euro region are working on devising a regime to regulate fiat-backed stablecoins.

Call for a Digital Euro

Before being sent to the colleagues, the LBCOIN was demonstrated at last week’s Governing Council meeting about how it works.

Based on blockchain technology, the project took three years to complete, Vasiliauskas said.

“We’re the first to issue” such a coin, he said. “The whole experience gave us ample possibilities to comprehend the technology.”

The users of the tokens can also trade them among themselves after activating the tokens. The specific set of them can also be exchanged for a credit card-sized physical coin that has a nominal value of 19.18 euros.

The central bank governor believes the LBCOIN experience will help ECB in reaching the decision on a digital euro. According to him, it was the social media giant Facebook’s stablecoin Libra that helped euro-area central banks in recognizing that digitization can revolutionize the financial system.

“We absolutely need to move forward, we see the Chinese are already testing it in practice, launching the CBDC in certain regions,” he said. “Europe shouldn’t sleep through this again.”

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Author: AnTy

Jack Dorsey’s Square Launches COPA to Ensure Bitcoin & Crypto Remain ‘Free and Open’

Bitcoin proponent Jack Dorsey’s payment company Square, which first ventured into crypto in 2018, is now inviting cryptocurrency firms to join its Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) to ensure the industry remains open-source. Dorsey wrote,

“Square is putting all of our crypto patents into a new non-profit org we’re calling the Crypto Open Patent Alliance, which will maintain a shared patent library to help the crypto community defend against patent aggressors and trolls. Join us!”

On Thursday, the announcement was made, and COPA was launched. In its “fight to keep bitcoin and crypto free and open,” the new initiative is introduced, which ensures new ideas don’t get tied up by patent litigation.

Free to Pursue Crypto’s Future

To tackle the concern of “patent lockup” stifling innovation and adoption, Square asked the crypto community to do “what it is so famous for and come together for the greater good.” The official website reads,

“We believe there needs to be a global native currency for the internet,” and everyone should be able to “participate in cryptocurrencies and have access to its underlying innovation.”

A separate entity from Square, COPA, has a two-prong approach, including a pledge that no member asserts their patents on foundational crypto technology ever except defensively, and creating a shared patent library where members pool their crypto patents and allow each other to use them. Square Crypto said,

“As more companies join and the shared patent library grows, the freer we’ll all be to pursue crypto’s future.”

In the US, the number of blockchain and crypto-related patents already doubled between 2016 to 2017. Even Microsoft filed a patent last year for a mining system powered by human activity.

The Native Currency of Internet but “Intuitive”

Dorsey is known for his bitcoin support, who believes it could be the “native currency of the Internet.”

In an interview with Reuters this week, Dorsey re-emphasized on it, saying, like the internet, bitcoin is consensus-driven. He said,

“I think the internet warrants a […] native currency and […] Bitcoin is probably the best manifestation of that thus far. I can’t see that changing given all the people who want the same thing and build it for that potential.”

But for the leading digital asset to interact with money and change the way most people think of it, it must be “intuitive.”

The main main point here is that bitcoin is expensive to use and that people must understand why they use it and access it in a way that is similar to dealing with cash. Dorsey said,

“We have to build the coin in such a way that it is as intuitive as fast and as efficient as what exists today and obviously goes beyond that.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitmain Pushing for New Mining Machines But Customers aren’t Eager to Indulge

The latest in the Bitmain drama is Zhan Ketuan (Micree Zhan), now selling the world’s first 5nm mining machine to Chinese miners, according to local media channel WuBlockchain.

These new machines will be reportedly shipped in January next year, but bitcoin miners aren’t really keen on buying them. Not only do they require advance payment, but Micree is also suspected of selling problematic chips. Samson Mow, CSO at Blockstream said,

“Bitmain is now pushing 5nm chips despite ongoing quality issues for S17s. The TSMC 5nm process node is still too new, and chances of low yields are way too high. I wouldn’t touch these with a ten-foot pole – especially with the ongoing power struggle within the company.”

Filled with Issues

Not only, Bitmain’s past development doesn’t put much confidence in the new product; the supply of the chips is also under the control of Wu Jihan, who is managing the Hong Kong operations. Bitmain also has little production capacity, which means large buyers would be given the priority. Colin Wu of Wu Blockchain noted,

“Micree cannot obtain 7nm and 16nm production capacity, so he chooses to sell problematic 5nm chips. Although the energy efficiency ratio can reach 25-30J/T, serious problems may occur, and production capacity cannot be guaranteed.”

Micree is expected to hold a press conference on Sept. 17, and although the agenda of the meeting is not clear yet, the latest product is likely to be the drawing point. Meanwhile, the other co-founder Jihan Wu is accusing him of fraudulent acts.

And More Issues

Jihan’s public account released a statement where he reiterates that Micree has been removed from all the positions in the company and its affiliates and any agreements signed by him are subject to legal validity and major disputes. The statement further reads,

“Based on the BM1360 development experience, the first-generation official commercial 5nm chip BM1362 is still under verification. The test chip has not been obtained, and the tapeout has not been completed. It is even more nonsense to promise to deliver mining machine products based on the BM1362 chip in the near future.”

Even Foundry may not be of any help

Here, even their partner Foundry may not be able to help them as Mow said,

“Think of the foundry as a store with ovens, you’re just using their oven. If you suck at baking, you have to sell the shitty bread or eat it yourself.”

“Bitmain probably doesn’t know how to use (Foundry) yet.”

“The major players work with the foundry to fine-tune the process node for years and have experience. So Apple, HiSilicon etc are good. Bitmain, not so much.”

Bitmain officially announced its partnership with Foundry today, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which first reported on this partnership last month.

For crypto miners, obtaining financing is difficult, and this partnership will help them “ship a significant number of machines into North America this year,” said Su Ke, the global sales and marketing director of Antminer at Bitmain.

No Winnings

Management issues at Bitmain cost the company not only its customers but a position in the market as well. Their problems are also not coming to an end anytime soon; as a matter of fact, they continue to lose.

Recently, a court in China denied its appeal seeking $30 million in damages from the three founders of bitcoin mining pool Poolin.

While the mining giant claims Poolin’s executive broke non-compete agreements in starting their very own bitcoin mining operations that lead to a loss of millions to Bitmain, the court found the company failed to provide sufficient evidence for the same.

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Author: AnTy