Bitcoin Rewards App Fold to Move to Full Lightning Network Support by 2022

Bitcoin Rewards App Fold to Move to Full Lightning Network Support by 2022

Bitcoin rewards and payments app Fold would integrate the Lightning Network by the end of 2022. The Lightning Network is a second-layer scaling solution added to Bitcoin’s network. The Network enables off-chain transactions and near-instant micropayment processing, alongside enhanced privacy.

Fold Partners With OpenNode

In an official press release, Fold said it was committed to integrating Lightning Network support by the end of next year as part of its plans to support and push the Network adoption.

To do this, Fold would partner with Bitcoin payment processor OpenNode for the transition. OpenNode helps businesses to accept Bitcoin payments on the Lightning Network. The app provides instant, low-cost prices with zero chargebacks using Bitcoin.

The collaboration with OpenNode would enable Fold app users to enjoy instantaneous withdrawals of their Bitcoin rewards.

This integration is expected to bring many Fold users to the Lightning Network.

Over 500,000 Fold users are expected to benefit from this integration, many of whom have never experienced Lightning payments before.

“We are continuing our tradition of moving the space towards Lightning as we did before in the early days with Lightning Pizza. By incentivizing users to use Lightning and opt to receive their rewards in a Lightning wallet, we are bootstrapping LN adoption,” Fold CEO Will Reeves explained in the release.

Fold was founded in 2014 by Chris Martin, Corbin Pon, Matt Luongo, and Will Reeves. The Bitcoin rewards firm claims to offer the easiest and simplest way to earn Bitcoin. The app provides Bitcoin cashback through its Visa debit card and mobile application.

Fold’s Lightning integration follows its augmented reality (AR) feature that allows users to earn Bitcoin and in-app benefits by exploring their physical surroundings. Fold launched the new feature alongside a free plan for the firm’s Bitcoin Rewards Debit Card.

Growth In Adoption Of Lightning Network

The Lightning Network has gotten much recognition lately as there has been a lot of enthusiasm surrounding it. Just yesterday, it was widely reported that Twitter was testing a Bitcoin Lightning tipping service. The tipping function is expected to use Lightning for smaller bitcoin payments and would support both custodial and non-custodial wallets.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Yearn’s Builder-First Legal Activism DAO Gets Full Support as Crypto Regulation Heats Up

Yearn’s Builder-First Legal Activism DAO Gets Full Support as Crypto Regulation Heats Up

While the crypto community fights against the controversial bipartisan infrastructure bill that overreaches in its definition of the term “broker” in regards to crypto tax provision, popular decentralized finance project Yearn proposed funding a builder-first legal activism decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

“LeXpunK_DAO will mix long-term strategic advocacy campaigns with rapid-response ‘guerilla lawfare’ raids,” that will respond to current events in real time, it said.

The proposal has received 100% support from its holders in the light of the ongoing regulatory scrutiny. The proposal reads,

​​”Growing mainstream awareness of DeFi is coinciding with institutional outrage over the “Wall St. Bets” phenomenon and political change in the United States to brew a perfect storm of aggressive legal threats against DeFi.”

The proposal further notes how mainstream media is calling DeFi a “shadow financial market, SEC Chair Gary Gensler warning about Defi platforms involving securities swaps, CFTC commissioner Dan Berkovitz finding it incompatible with the policies, and many DeFi bluechip projects receiving subpoenas.

A similar proposal has been made to Curve governance and now Yearn is taking the steps forward with both of the projects estimating to contribute $1 million each to get the ball rolling.

“The time is now. Let’s do cryptolaw the crypto way,” it said.

Amidst this, Uniswap creator Hayden Adaman took to Twitter to call out the detractors of the DeFi Education Fund which was proposed by the DEX. Last month, this caused a lot of drama when the community got upset about the lack of broad involvement as a few hefty voters skewed the decision, and the funds in UNI tokens that were to be allocated over the course of 4-5 years were instantly sold by the Fund.

“Is anyone still mad $20m (out of a $10b treasury)” that was sent to the fund which has the goals to challenge misguided regulatory, legal, and political threats, achieving regulatory clarity, advancing laws that support DeFi, and spurring other DeFi protocols’ governance bodies to contribute to the effort, said Adams.

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Author: AnTy

Maker Foundation Dissolves to Give the Community Full Control Over the Protocol and DAO

Maker Foundation Dissolves to Give the Community Full Control Over the Protocol and DAO

Original decentralized finance (DeFi) project Maker has now completely decentralized MakerDAO making the community now responsible for the protocol.

It started as a DAO, then changed into a Foundation which was a temporary solution for the development of the popular lending protocol, an end to having a self-governed self-operating DAO, which it has now achieved.

This week, Rune Christensen, the CEO of Maker Foundation, announced that the DAO is now fully self-sufficient, and the Foundation will formally dissolve within the next few months.

Over the period of the last six years, its stablecoin DAI has grown to become a $5.25 billion market cap crypto-backed stablecoin.

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In Q2 of 2021, the supply of DAI grew 76%, producing $43 million in earnings, up 136% since 1Q21 and 21,500% year-over-year.

While DAI has a 5% market share of the stablecoin market, the lending protocol has $5.45 billion in outstanding debt compared to $6.62 billion on Compound and $6.89 billion on Aave.

“MakerDAO continues to provide one of the best demonstrations of profitable growth in DeFi,” noted Ryan Watkins of Messari, adding the project also has a powerful business model having zero infrastructure costs with users paying gas, zero cost of capital with MakerDAO minting DAI, and extremely high margin with very low headcount requirements while having global reach without the hurdle of regional financial regulations.

Currently, the project has over $8 billion in assets locked in smart contracts of the Maker Protocol.

In terms of total value locked (TVL), the protocol has $5.85 billion comprising 2.43 million ETH, nearly 17k BTC, and 61.36 million DAI.

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Author: AnTy

Digital Yuan Is Closing In On A Full Release As Major Institutions Start Using The CBDC

Digital Yuan Is Closing In On A Full Release As Major Institutions Start Using The CBDC

  • Alibaba’s Ant Group partnered with PBoC to develop China’s CBDC report.
  • The digital yuan could overpower the influence of WeChat Pay and AliPay in the future.
  • More institutions are adopting the CBDC as a form of payment.

Ant Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary by Alibaba, has been partnering with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on the central bank digital currency, popular as CBDC, a report from South China for the past four years China Morning Post reads.

This information was revealed over the weekend at a Digital China Summit in Fuzhou. MYbank, a mobile fintech app by Ant Group, was the intermediary to distribute the digital yuan since 2017. Additionally, the central bank’s main research institute, China Digital Currency Institute, picked up the app in mid-2019 to choose consumers to spend, pay and receive the CBDC.

“Ant Group, together with MYbank, will continue to support the research, development, and trial of PBOC’s e-CNY,” a representative familiar with the matter commented.

The influence of the CBDC is unquestionable across China with the trials conducted over major cities are well received by the population. At the core of the growing adoption rates is the support of China’s large banks such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, HSBC, and the China Construction Bank, all of who have taken part in the trial phase of the digital yuan.

To further boost adoption, several large banks are promoting the use of the digital yuan in an upcoming festival on May 5th over the use of platforms such as WeChat Pay and AliPay. The banks are urging the population to download a digital wallet and purchase the digital CBDC, also known as e-CNY in a bid to make their payments “more convenient,” a representative said.

The continuous push towards a digital yuan controlled by the central banks will reduce the control and dominance private companies such as AliPay and Wechat have in mobile payments. To curtail big-company dominance in holding financial data, the Chinese government will launch a full public version of the e-CNY later in the year to battle with the private corporations.

All in all, big institutions have started embracing the CBDC as a form of currency boosting transactions within the country. JD.com, a China-based e-commerce company, announced Monday that some of their employees have started accepting to be paid using the digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) system.

Having participated in the DCEP trials, JD.com integrated the payment solution earlier this year in its business while paying some of its expenses using the digital yuan, a CNBC report stated

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Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto Miners Taking Advantage of Hot Market to Raise Funds

Cryptocurrency companies are taking full advantage of the ongoing bull market. There is a lot of euphoria present in the market as Bitcoin becomes a trillion-dollar asset and the overall crypto market cap grows past $1.7 trillion.

Already, we have seen the leading US exchange Coinbase filing to go public with a whopping $100 billion valuation. This is only expected to lift the market mood further, described by some as a watershed moment for the crypto industry.

Another crypto exchange Kraken is on track to do the same, but not until next year. ICE backed Bakkt took the SPAC route, and so did the Bitcoin miner Cipher.

The same can be seen happening in China, attracting millions of dollars.

Chinese Bitcoin mining machine manufacturer Ebang International Holdings conducted two fundraising rounds just last month. The company that debuted on Nasdaq in June raised $170 million.

Eban plans to use the newly raised capital to expand into crypto mining, to open crypto exchanges in Canada and Singapore, and to launch a Robinhood-like Bitcoin trading platform. Guo Yi, COO at Univest Securities, which underwrote the deals said,

“Ebang’s growth story is very attractive to institutional investors … fundraising by all industry players is getting busier thanks to the bitcoin bull.”

Last month, it also announced that it would be launching Dogecoin (DOGE) and Litecoin (LTC) mining operations, for which they completed a design of a chip for simultaneous mining.

A newcomer, another Chinese company, Code Chain New Continent Ltd, the waste recycling company raised $25 million in February to foray into Bitcoin mining, for which it has ordered 10,000 machines. David Feng, co-CEO of Code Chain said,

“Bitcoin prices present us with a unique opportunity to establish mining operations.”

Another Nasdaq-listed Chinese Bitcoin mining machine maker, Canaan Inc., is expanding into mining.

In private markets, “competition is white-hot and filled with sharp elbows,” said Jehan Chu, managing partner at Hong Kong-based blockchain venture capital firm Kenetic Capital. “Every good-quality funding round is oversubscribed within a week of it being announced.”

Crypto miner Argo Blockchain announced this week that it had raised around £26.8mln (nearly $37.5 million) through a placing of new shares to institutional and other investors. It will allow the company to complete an investment in Pluto Digital Assets and pursue strategic opportunities in crypto mining, decentralized finance (DeFi), and Web 3.0 initiatives.

Cobo, a crypto custodian and wallet service provider, is also planning to launch a new round of venture capital funding this month to finance its international expansion. “The market is bullish, and our business is growing very, very rapidly,” said Jiang Changhao, co-founder and CTO of the Beijing-based company, aiming for tens of millions of dollars.

Amidst this, the world’s largest crypto-mining equipment maker, Bitmain, has been the target of an investigation into illegal talent from Taiwanese firms over a period of three years. Taiwan prohibits firms from China from recruiting locally or doing business without prior approval.

In other news, JPMorgan has filed for a “Cryptocurrency Exposure Basket” through companies that invest in digital assets. The referenced stocks are Riot Blockchain, NVIDIA Corporation, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd., and others.

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Author: AnTy

Bitfinex has Repaid the $850 Million Loan Owed to Tether in ‘Full’ and ‘Early’

Bitfinex has Repaid the $850 Million Loan Owed to Tether in ‘Full’ and ‘Early’

Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has repaid the remaining balance of $550 million of the outstanding loan to Tether, which was the center of allegations of fraud made by the New York Attorney General (NYAG).

The payment has been made in fiat currency by Bitfinex, which was wired to Tether’s bank account in January.

The loan and all interest due on the loan has now been repaid, “early and in full” shared the exchange this week, adding “the line of credit has been canceled.” The stablecoin’s website also states,

“Tether acknowledges that in January, it was repaid the remaining balance of $550,000,000 of the outstanding revolving loan facility owed by Bitfinex.”

Tether, the issuer of $29.13 billion market cap stablecoin USDT, is the sister company of crypto exchange Bitfinex, and both are run by the same officials. USDT’s market cap was $21 billion at the beginning of 2021, which has surged from just $4.28 billion on April 1st, 2020.

Reportedly, it was Bitfinex’s performance that made it possible for the exchange to repay the balance early.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have been benefiting from high volatility and transaction volume ever since last year. During this period, the price of Bitcoin has skyrocketed to a new ATH of $42,000, had a 30% pullback, and is now back on its way to new highs. Meanwhile, tons of altcoins and DeFi tokens are also recording a meteoric rise.

Back in 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James claimed that Bitfinex hid the loss of over $850 million of its clients and corporate funds. Paolo Ardoino, Bitfinex’s chief technology officer told Bloomberg,

“While the repayment of the loan, all interest due, and cancellation of the facility does not directly impact the New York Attorney General’s special proceeding, the credit facility was clearly of interest to the Attorney General’s office.”

“We look forward to continuing our productive and constructive discussions with the Attorney General’s office.”

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Author: AnTy

OKEx Record Outflow of 29,300 BTC Since Resuming Withdrawals, Following a Five-Week-Long Suspension

Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx recorded a significant bitcoin outflow right after the full range of five-week-long withdrawal suspension was lifted on Thursday at 08:00 UTC.

About 2,822 BTC was moved from the Asian exchange in block number 658,728 mined at 08:12 UTC — this was the most significant single-block outflow since May 2019.

In total, 24,631 BTC were moved out of OKEx yesterday, which is an 8-month high since March 13 this year, according to blockchain analytics firm CryptoQuant. The same day, Binance saw an inflow of 28.2k BTC.

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Combining today’s outflows, so far, with yesterday’s results in 29,300 BTC, which have been cleaned out of OKEx. During the same time period, 21,600 BTC has also been deposited.

This has reduced OKExs balance to ~212k BTC, as per crypto data provider Glassnode.

Meanwhile, the price of Bitcoin continues to oscillate between $16k and $17k following the big crash the night before Thanksgiving when the price was trading at the highs of $19,600.

This price drop started as soon as BTC whales began depositing their crypto assets to exchanges. As per IntoTheBlock, more than 93,000 Bitcoin were deposited into centralized exchanges.

If these whales continue to do so, the flagship cryptocurrency price is likely to go either sideways or drop.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum 2.0 Devs Debate On The Legitimacy Of The Just-Launched ETH 2.0 Deposit Contract

Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain is nearing full mainnet release as developers announce an unconfirmed launch of the deposit contract. However, some developers have strongly warned against sending your ether (ETH) tokens to the contract before the official announcement from ETH 2.0 lead developers.

As the crypto social media world remains glued to the U.S. Presidential Election, Ethereum enthusiasts are rejoicing on the “possible” launch of the long-awaited Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract. Following the successful launch of the Zinken testnet, ETH 2.0 focused developers have continuously teased at the launch of Beacon Chain – Phase 0 – starting with the deposit contract.

A deposit contract was apparently posted on GitHub, gaining support from some developers on Ethereum as excitement levels across the community hit peak levels. No official announcement from the lead ETH 2.0 developers has surfaced yet.

The deposit contract will allow users to switch their “ETH 1.0” tokens to the proof of stake ETH tokens. This will lay the groundwork and foundation for users to start staking on the platform and earn rewards.

The contract was apparently posted from lead Ethereum Foundation developer Carl Beekhuizen’s GitHub account, making a case for the release of ‘v1.0.0 eth2.0-deposit-cli’. However, a section of the community has raised doubts on whether Carl’s account is hacked or compromised – with no other channel or developer reporting the release.

Despite the mainstream focus on the U.S Presidential elections, the Ethereum community still celebrated one of ETH 2.0 major steps to a full launch in 2020. A lead developer at ConsenSys, Ben Edgington, however, is cautioning users on sending their cash to the deposit smart contract yet stating the launch will be in the coming “hours.”

Afri Schoedon, a long time Ethereum contributor, previously stated the Beacon Chain would launch in November – a prospect that is increasingly looking to be true. Speaking to Coindesk, David Rugendyke, from ETH 2 staking DApp Rocket Pool cautioned the ETH community that the deposit contract would take a while, but it’s earing its mainnet launch soon. He said,

“This is a tool for generating keys needed for making deposits on the ETH2 deposit contract.

So it looks like they’re announcing this tool is ready to go for mainnet, at least that’s my take.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bloodbath: Bitcoin Crashes & Altcoins In Free Fall, Stocks Plunging as USD Gains Strength

Volatility is back in full force. Today, in a violent move down, Bitcoin crashed hard, going as low as $10,500. On Tuesday, the leading digital asset made a failed attempt at $12,000, and today, it dumped hard.

For now, we have found support at $10,700 with ‘real’ trading volume, also jumping to $3 billion. According to analyst PlanB, this correction is “to shake out weak hands that entered May-Aug.”

Altcoins followed bitcoin with Ether breaking the psychological level of $420, briefly falling to $390 but for now, is around $400 level.

However, this is not the time to wallow in the losses but a good opportunity to buy the dips. And this is why “cash should always be a dedicated part of your crypto portfolio” so that one can use that dry powder to buy these dips.

“Larger bull trend still intact… just lots of descending triangles breaching support. Wouldn’t mind a more degenerate washout so I can load up for some bounce plays,” noted one trader.

While majority of the crypto market is suffering losses, with notable mentions including AMPL (37%), BAL (21%), BAND (20%), CRV (19%), KAVA (15%), MLN (14%), REN (13%), OMG (13%), TOMO (13%), KNC (12%), UMA (11%), Matic (10.36%), and VET (10.26%) Justin Sun’s Tron is up 30% and Just 13% among other assets.

Red Everywhere

Bitcoin hasn’t been alone in this, given that “BTC has been highly correlated with FX since late July.”

Today’s move in markets is due to a US dollar comeback to above 93 level, up from Tuesday’s fresh lows at 91.75. The US dollar might be strong today, but it isn’t showing any huge surge.

“Rather than dollar strength, we can probably say that this is a fiat rebound play,” noted analyst Mati Greenspan. As such, not just bitcoin but spot gold also fell but just 1.5% while spot silver dropped 4.4%.

But the stock market went down hard, especially Tesla, which has been dropping for three consecutive days, down 18% since Sept. 1st.

S&P 500 has taken a fall of 3%, tech-heavy Nasdaq, which rallied the most, fell 4.3%, and the Dow Jones Average slid 2.5%. Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial said,

“Although there is no single driver for the weakness, it seems as if investors all of a sudden realized how overbought stocks are and sold. Someone yelled fire in a crowded theater and everyone left at once.”

But the eerie similarity of this drop with that of 1929, the markets could be in a lot of pain ahead. SentimenTrader tweeted,

“A near-record % of NASDAQ 100 stocks are overbought (RSI > 70). In the past, this ALWAYS led to a stock market pullback over the next 2 weeks. Looking at the past few years more closely, this occurred near the market’s top in January 2018 & January 2020.”

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Author: AnTy

Compound Roadmap to Full Decentralization to Begin with Issuance of COMP to Their Community

  • Compound will now issue COMP tokens to the users of their protocol in a bid to achieve full decentralization.
  • They have released an elaborate plan to be orchestrated over the course of four years as they seek to hand over the governance of the protocol to the Compound users.

News has emerged that Compound administrators of the DeFi lending protocol COMP now seeks to bring onboard their shareholders in the governance process of the protocol as they push towards achieving full decentralization.

In a post, Compound CEO, Robert Leshner, unveils the road map of how they intend to scale up governance to the entire Compound Community. COMP token holders and respective delegates would now be allowed to propose, debate, and vote on all matters relating to their protocol. The vast protocol boasts of locking in at least $100 million in its DeFi ecosystem.

Notably, the COMP governance token was unveiled this year in February, with the majority of the tokens being allocated to Compound top brass and investors. This is when they first included Compound users in decision-making, stipulating that with just 1% of the users backing a proposal they would be able to vote on whether the change was in their best interests. The CEO is convinced that complete decentralization is the way forward, as he shares the sentiment that if there was a Bitcoin corporation controlling the BTC, it wouldn’t be as popular.

“Distribution will be spread over 4 years”

According to CEO Leshner, those who leverage the Compound protocol will automatically qualify and continuously receive the governance tokens as the future of the protocol lay in their hands. 4,229,949 approximately 42% of the COMP token will be diverted to a Reservoir contract. It would in turn disburse 2,880 tokens daily in a four-year plan distribution plan. The plan is aligned to their objective of bringing more users into the governing of the Protocol.

It will trickle down to their array of markets: ETH, USDC, DAI based on the interests generated from the respective markets. From which they will be split 50:50 ratios for suppliers and borrowers with the COMP transferred straight to their wallets for transactions once their addresses reach the 0.001 COMP set threshold.

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Author: Lujan Odera