JPMorgan: Corporate Demand for Bitcoin Is A Strong Vote of Confidence for its Future

The tables have turned.

As Bitcoin gets special attention from the publicly traded companies, the banking giant’s views are also changing about the leading digital asset.

According to JPMorgan, Jack Dorsey’s Payment company Square investing $50 million investment in Bitcoin is a “strong vote of confidence for the future of bitcoin.”

What started with MicroStrategy, the first publicly-traded company to put $475 million worth of Bitcoin in its Treasury, has gained strength with Square’s 1% bitcoin allocation. Yesterday, $10 billion asset manager Stone Ridge also announced that it had made BTC its primary treasury reserve asset.

According to the bank’s strategists, including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, this signals that Square sees a “lot of potential” for the cryptocurrency as an asset.

Not only it expects Square to make more BTC purchases in the future, but it also expects other payments companies to follow in its footsteps or risk being left out of a growing segment.

Square already has a deeper connection with Bitcoin; it allows people to buy the digital asset and even actively participates in its development through a special division of Square Crypto. Not to mention, its CEO is a vocal Bitcoin proponent who sees BTC becoming a currency of the internet.

JPMorgan also noted that millennials have been using Cash App to buy BTC; this demand, along with the purchases made by companies like MicroStrategy, indicates the demand for Bitcoin surpassed its supply at a greater level in Q3 than in Q2.

Amidst this source of corporate demand, Bitcoin’s price is trading around $11,400, down from above $11,700 it reached yesterday.

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While BTC has made a good head start this month, JPMorgan only sees a “modest headwind” for Bitcoin in the short term based on its intrinsic value. Although a drop in September eliminated much of the “froth,” it remains 13% higher than the intrinsic value estimate.

Futures show that “there still appears to be an overhang of net long positions.” Meanwhile, options contracts volume is rising, which strategists said is likely that retail traffic is driving this surge.

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Author: AnTy

Blockchain Technology to Grow the Global GDP by $1.76T In the Next Decade: PwC Report

  • China set to benefit the most from blockchain technology growth in the next decade with a protracted $440 billion boost in its GDP during this period.
  • This represents 25% of the total protracted global GDP boost from the innovative technology – set at $1.76 trillion by 2030.

A research report from a ‘big 4′ accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), “Time for Trust,” explores blockchain technology’s global socio-economic impact in the next decade. Targeting 2025 as the tipping point for the technology. If adopted at scale, PwC experts and researchers see a $1.76 trillion impact from the technology by 2030. This represents 1.4% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the world.

The report focuses on blockchain’s practical use in five key areas – provenance, payments and financial instruments, identity, contracts, dispute resolution, customer engagement – and how they deliver value in building transparent and efficient solutions across all industries.

According to the report, Asia is set to witness blockchain technology’s greatest impact, China leading the growth with a $440.4 billion projection. Japan and India expected to witness a $72.3 billion and $62.2 billion increase, respectively.

The United States is expected to witness a $407.2 billion increase in GDP from blockchain innovation growth in the next decade.

PwC report further states blockchain’s role in enhancing transparency and traceability as the sector with the most growth potential – projected to grow by $$961.6 billion by 2030. Anthony Bruce, Partner, and Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Leader, PwC U.K, praised the potential of blockchain innovation in providence and traceability in the healthcare industry, stating,

“For healthcare organizations, blockchain can ensure patient safety is at the heart of the pharmaceutical supply chain. It has the potential to give patients confidence in the authenticity and origin of drugs.”

Payments and securitization of wallets are also picking up the pace and is expected to grow by $433.2 billion in the next decade. The U.S is expected to lead global growth in this period and is expected to experience a $136.3 billion GDP growth from blockchain-based payment systems, with China coming in a close second at $104.6 billion.

“Blockchain has the potential to cut costs, speed up transactions and promote greater financial inclusion by streamlining cross-border and remittance payments,” Lucy Gazmararian, Crypto, and FinTech Advisory, PwC Hong Kong said.

“These powerful innovations will transform the payments infrastructure.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin in Re-Accumulation Phase, Volatility Hits Two-Year Low

Over the weekend, the price of Bitcoin started moving north, making its way from around $10,400 to above $10,700. Trading in the green currently, but the ‘real’ volume at just $824 million is not providing confidence.

While volume on spot exchanges is low, institutional interest in Bitcoin has been “flashing strong since the 27th of July, the day it went through $10k.”

Also, just a small percentage of greens have been enough to carry the rest of the crypto market up with it. In a rare bout of gains, XRP spiked over 8%.

This positive performance across the markets is the result of President Donald Trump’s recovery after contracting coronavirus.

BitMEX Narrative

The market is trying to recover from the BitMEX incident last week. As a result of criminal charges on the popular derivatives platform, more than 45,000 BTC have been pulled from the exchange.

Bitcoin balance on BitMEX has fallen to 120,000, a decline of 27%.

The day the news of criminal charges from CFTC came, the exchange saw the largest negative net flow to date, as 44,000 BTC were withdrawn. Almost 30% of them were transferred to Binance and Gemini in equal amounts.

Open interest, meanwhile on the exchange that crashed 24% remains at 43k BTC, around $456 million — levels not seen since May 2020.

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Besides BitMEX, another narrative at the top of the market’s agenda is the volatility the market participants will be subjected to in the coming weeks ahead of the US elections.

Getting Too Comfortable?

Bitcoin’s 180-day volatility has dropped to its lowest since November 2018, reaching a 23-month low, indicating the market has been mostly unfazed by the unsettling news of BitMEX. Denis Vinokourov of Bequant noted,

“Implied vol remains well contained and even the skew profile, for both Bitcoin and Ethereum, shows signs of stabilization. The market is very crowded, and it is difficult to see how this will change, especially as the entire liquidity provision is dependent on cheap liquidity (Bitcoin) and yield offerings by DeFi platforms (with Ethereum as the backbone).”

During these last couple of weeks, Bitcoin weathered the several negative news that otherwise would have crashed the digital asset’s price — first KuCoin hack losing $281 million customer funds then BitMEX, and the next day the news of Trump testing coronavirus positive. Trader and economist Alex Kruger said,

“It’s been impressive how little bitcoin has moved during this whole Trump ordeal, as well as during the Bitmex-CFTC news. Vol sellers getting too comfortable.”

This could also mean that bitcoin is in re-accumulation mode. Analyst Cole Garner notes,

“Binance with a 2800 BTC sellwall at $11k. Unstoppable force meets the immovable object. Welcome to re-accumulation.”

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Author: AnTy

Salt Lending to Begin the Process of Refunds to Investors in Early 2021

“Anyone who bought SALT from us directly before and including 12/31/2019 will have an opportunity to submit a written claim at a later date to recover the consideration paid plus interest,” tweeted SALT Lending.

This has been in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ordering Salt Blockchain, the owner of the lending platform that offers dollar-denominated loans collateralized by cryptos that it has to refund the raised amount to investors.

As per the SEC’s decision, the token is deemed a security because Salt told investors they could expect to make a return on their investment. Investors will have three months after the filing of a registering statement to submit their claims to Salt, which the company is obligated to pay back with any agreed interest.

“We’re in the early stages of registering the token with the SEC,” said Salt adding that the claim form is expected to be available “in the early part of 2021.”

The refunds for tokens purchased will be provided directly from the company, as per the SEC Order, and if one no longer holds the tokens, they will be asked to provide the evidence of loss or damages.

The company raised $47 million in its initial coin offering (ICO) starting in 2017 through 2019.

Interestingly, the news of Salt reaching a “settlement” with the SEC, which means the company doesn’t have to agree or deny the agency’s findings, worked in its token’s favor. In the past 24 hours, the SALT price has spiked nearly 150%.

At the time of writing, SALT has been trading at $0.131 with a 24 hour ‘real’ volume of $106,183

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Author: AnTy

OpenBazaar Saved, For Now, Sizable Donation Still Needed for Next Year

Decentralized marketplace OpenBazaar was saved over the weekend from becoming a ClosedBazaar when an anonymous donor agreed to “cover the costs to run OpenBazaar infrastructure through at least the end of the year.”

But 2021 will come soon enough, so the platform wants people to donate while it works to “find ways to lower costs and decentralize more of the infrastructure.”

It first announced its shutdown on Friday unless reportedly a sizable donation of $100k is made to the platform that provides seed nodes, API wallet, and exchange rate API. The marketplace has been reportedly seeing a lack of adoption and user growth.

Some crypto community members took a jab at the employees of the project for attacking bitcoin and supporting SegWit2X – they were one of the signatories of the 2017 New York Agreement.

Call for Help

OpenBazaar launched in 2014 at a hackathon in Toronto as “Dark Market,” it allows people to buy and sell goods online in a peer-to-peer network, without a single entity to oversee or control the process.

Its app Haven will also be removed from the iOS App Store, and Google Play Store on October 1st as such, users are recommended to immediately remove funds from their wallet.

“We wanted to bring the full power of decentralized marketplaces to a global audience,” but failed to achieve the level of user growth and adoption that is required to sustain their business.

Now, to maintain support costs and execute the next phase of the protocol that they “believe can unlock explosive user adoption,” community support, aka funds are needed.

At the time of writing, OpenBazaar has received less than $15k in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Zcash combined.

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Author: AnTy

SEC Takes a ‘Big Step Forward’ Regarding Broker-Dealers Trading Digital Asset Securities

In a no-action letter dated Sept. 25 from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency has released guidance on the settlement of digital asset securities at alternative systems, which “could end up being significant news for exchanges, including DEXs.”

The SEC proposes a “three-step process” for ATS trading that might replace the previous four-step process that FINRA and the SEC instructed broker-dealers to follow. Dating back to the July 2019 statement from the SEC, the letter outlined the factors to be considered to allow ATS operators to facilitate the trade of digital securities.

In the latest process, The broker-dealer custodian can inform the customer about the execution of trades after the fact as such, customers can submit the trade orders and confirmation at the same time, which “doesn’t change much for trading in the industry,” said Brian Farber.

According to the letter, this three-step process would “reduce operational and settlement risk.” Lewis Cohen, founder of blockchain-focused law firm DLxLaw tweeted,

“In the 3-step approach, customers are never exposed to a BD/ATS, so CPR doesn’t apply. It may sound obvious, but still a big step forward.”

Moreover, enforcement action won’t be taken if the broker-dealer operator maintains a minimum of $250,000 in net capital, all applicable securities laws are followed, and an agreement between the broker and their customers states that “broker-dealer operator does not guarantee or otherwise have responsibility for settling the trades.”

This means custodial broker-dealers like Coinbase can legally exchange digital securities without the SEC pursuing enforcement action against them, provided the above-mentioned steps are followed.

According to Farber, it raises new questions such as the undefined term “custodian,” which not every holder uses. The mandate for $250k in net capital would require amending a membership agreement with FINRA. At the same time, the 2019 joint statement clearly prohibits those broker-dealers from custodial functions.

Comptroller Brian Brooks of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency praised the move.

Drew Hinkes, an attorney at US law firm Carlton Fields also tweeted that the big picture is “It got easier to trade digital asset securities. BDs have certainty as to how to trade digital asset securities (and) Custodians are even MORE important.”

But still, there is no clear way to determine which cryptos are security and legal to trade. As such, more clarity and guidance is needed from the SEC.

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Author: AnTy

Israeli Draft Bill Proposes Bitcoin be Defined as Currency to Cut Down the Hefty Capital Gain Tax

Four members of the Knesset, Israel’s legislative body, from the Yisrael Beiteinu faction, the secular nationalist political party, have submitted a private member’s bill seeking to amend the taxation of crypto-related activities so that the sale of bitcoin and crypto-assets isn’t subject to 25% capital gains tax, as per local media reports.

The private member’s bill, submitted by MKs Oded Forer, Yevgeny Soba, Yulia Malinowski Kunin, and Alex Kushnir, was tabled earlier this week on Tuesday that seeks to amend the way digital assets activities are taxed under the Income Tax Ordinance.

Under the ordinance, digital currency is considered an asset; as such, its sale and conversion in fiat currency are subject to capital gains tax. Currently, the tax on most capital gains in the country is 25%.

Section 91 of the Income Tax Ordinance, however, provides relief in the taxation of capital gains from short-term lenders or non-CPI linked bonds — they are taxed at only 15%.

“The regulatory reality in Israel is not adapted to the existing reality in the field,” claims the memorandum of the proposal.

The bill also seeks to add a section in the Ordinance, which deals with the “determination of distributed digital currency.” Under this proposed section, the Minister of Finance may prescribe provisions under which the digital assets shall be determined as a distributed digital currency.

The purpose of the bill is that Bitcoin and other digital assets are considered a currency for the taxation purpose.

“The State of Israel has the ability to be among the leaders in the field of digital currencies, if only it recognizes the use of the blockchain as a currency for everything. It is precisely in this period, when the economic future is unclear It is possible to promote digital payment options due to the social distance that has been forced on us,” said K Forer after the bill was submitted.

The same day another bill was tabled in the Knesset that seeks to allow reporting on digital asset trading once every six months or year.

Currently, those who sell digital currencies are required to submit a report to the tax authority within 30 days of the sale, along with paying an advance on the tax rate applicable to the capital gain arising from the transaction.

“The two bills passed last night by MKs Oded Forer and Sharan Hashakel are an infrastructure on which Israel can be developed as a global financial center and a leader in the field of digital currencies,” said Manny Rosenfeld, chairman of the Israeli Bitcoin Association.

Related Reading:

Breaking: European Commission Proposes Legislation to Turn Crypto-Assets into Regulated Financial Instruments

More Reading: US Lawmakers Propose Two New Bills to Streamline Digital Asset And Crypto Exchange Regulation

Also Read: Russia’s Ministry of Finance Tells Traders to Disclose Crypto Wallets Or Face Fines And Jail

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Mining Legalized in Venezuela But Being Centralized with National Digital Mining Pool

  • Venezuela has fully legalized bitcoin mining.

According to a recent decree from the National Superintendency of Crypto Assets and Related Activities (SUNACRIP), the use, commercialization, import, and creation of mining equipment in the country is regulated under the new law, as per the local media reports.

As per the decree that came into effect this week, those residents interested in mining bitcoin and other cryptos must apply for a license with the Comprehensive Registry of Miners (RIM), which will facilitate the processing of licenses.

A special license will be granted to those users who wish to manufacture using ASIC equipment or built mining farms. Such users are required to provide information about the type of mining activities they are carrying out.

Besides supervising the creation and import of mining equipment, the authorities will also inspect the mining farms, without any exceptions. Additionally, those involved in mining in Venezuela must keep their documentation and records for ten years.

The cost of managing these licenses is not known yet but will be published later by RIM.

The document further confirms creating a National Digital Mining Pool to bring together all the miners in the territory, and those operating outside the pool will be subject to sanctions and infractions.

By making mining centralized, the government would be the one to control the income earned in the form of rewards from mining BTC and further distributing it among the contributors. This means, the government can impose taxes on the payments and even freeze them altogether.

Venezuela is currently going through an economic and political crisis on top of the hyperinflation and sanctions led by the US. Previously, President Nicolas Maduro launched an oil-pegged crypto called petro, which the US Department of Justice alleged is used to circumvent the sanctions and conceal illicit drug-related transactions.

Also Read: Venezuela Blocks Access to Coinbase & Currency Exchange Platform MercaDolar

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Author: AnTy

Survey Suggest 40% of Yield Farmers Can’t Read Smart Contracts; Still Pulling 500% Returns

A recent survey from Coingecko revealed that almost half of the DeFi yield farmers couldn’t read the smart contracts of the project they join. A majority of these yield farmers depend on auditors to monitor the security aspects of the project.

The survey revealed that 40% of the yield farmers could not read the smart contracts of the project they joined in; the report also revealed that the defi yield farming is dominated by males with 90% representation. It further showed that despite these yield farmers not able to read or understand the project, they still managed to make hefty profits; in fact, 90% of the respondents said that they had made a 500% return or more.

Yield Farming Dominated By Limited Users

The Coingecko survey found 1,347 respondents, out of which only a minor 23% of the respondents had participated in some of the yield farming, despite more than 80% being aware of the trend.

However, the most surprising aspect of the survey was that almost half of the respondents never read the code or researched about the projects they were participating in. This is extremely troubling, given the hype around the defi space. This trend could lead to a number of major scams arising; similar to the ICO era of 2017.

Coingecko, in its statement, noted that,

“All farmers should conduct their research before farming in any pools, as there are more copy-paste yield farming tokens that could potentially expose them to a greater risk such as code vulnerability or scams.”

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has been the trend of the crypto town in 2020, where its market cap grew from a few million to over $15 billion in just nine months, and more defi projects have debuted given the rising hype around the space. People joining the hype wagon is understandable, but one should be aware of the risk factor involved. In fact, in the past couple of months, many meme defi projects have launched, managed to raise millions, see it’s market cap grow into billions, and make an exit scam.

All this happened in a matter of a few days.

The Coingecko survey report suggested that astonishing returns like the current times might fade away from the defi space as the hype fades out, but some projects would still allow for it to garner attention.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Nexus Mutual Sees Active Cover Growing 10x, Now Token Price ‘Directly Linked to Adoption’

“DeFi is developing faster than you can say ‘protect me from the risks in DeFi’,” said Kayleigh Petrie, Director of Engagement at Nexus Mutual, an Ethereum based insurance protocol.

Given the sector’s high risk, high gain motto, it makes sense the need for insurance coverage is growing in line with the sector, which has yet again over $9 billion of total value locked, as per DeFi Pulse.

Nexus Mutual contributes nearly $80 million of deposits to 3% of TVL in DeFi with the active cover up to $235,241,926 (635,531 ETH).

In light of this, the team of Nexus Mutual is working on increasing the capacity and scaling the capital. Just this week, they have made a new milestone in the scaling process with MCR – minimum capital requirement.

This means the amount of funds the project requires to operate (reserves) is now driven by cover amounts and not the capital floor, “this implies that token price is directly linked to adoption.”

With a market cap of $372 million, NXM is trading at around $50, as per CoinGecko.

The token that has been only available to members of Nexus Mutual requiring KYC verification has already been roped in by the DeFi blue-chip yEarn, which allows people to earn it through yInsure, which is non-KYC insurance underwritten by Nexus Mutual.

The protocol has sold nearly $250 million in cover, and much of this “enormous demand” has been because of the new entrants in the market, including wNXM (wrapped NXM) and yinsure (yNFT where cover is converted into an NFT).

SAFE is another project which involves staking wNXM and yNFTs to earn SAFE tokens that are behind this demand. The project remained in the limelight this week for being a “sh*tshow” only to be relaunched as a COVER protocol.

As happens in the DeFi market, the launch of a new protocol sees heightened demand, and the same was the case for yieldfarming.insure (SAFE). As a result, the token’s price surged to a new high only to dump soon after as people sold their positions, which also affected the price of NXM.

After this, the blame game started, with anon Chef insurance accusing the investor Azeem Ahmed of unethical decisions while Azeem hit rebuttal.

But now that the project is relaunched, and the SAFE tokens are to be migrated to the new protocol after November 1st, things seem to be coming on track. The token today hit a new ATH at over $800, and NXM is also seeing movement.

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Author: AnTy