Bitcoin Reacts to Biden Picking Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve Chair For A 2nd Term

Bitcoin is currently hovering around $56k and Ether above $4,000 while funding rates normalize, indicating euphoria not high in the market.

Bitcoin jumped 5.3% to nearly $59,550 as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell got nominated for a second term. The nomination next heads to the Senate for confirmation.

Powell guided the US central bank and the nation’s economy through the Covid-19 pandemic by implementing unprecedented monetary stimulus.

President Joe Biden announced Monday following speculation that Governor Lael Brainard might get the spot who will instead be a vice-chair of the board of governors. Biden said in a statement,

“As I’ve said before, we can’t just return to where we were before the pandemic, we need to build our economy back better, and I’m confident that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard’s focus on keeping inflation low, prices stable, and delivering full employment will make our economy stronger than ever before.”

Biden also praised the Fed for its “decisive” actions in the early days of the pandemic, which included $120 million monthly bond purchases, cutting interest rates to near zero, and an array of lending programs.

Now markets are watching closely the pace the Fed will unwind its massive policy support as officials have already said they will start tapering bond purchases that could conclude in late spring or early summer 2022 in response to rising inflation. Interest rate hikes would come after that.

According to Morgan Stanley economists, the Fed will wait until 1Q23 to make its first interest rate hike despite their projection that US unemployment will fall to 3.6% by the end-2022.

Falling core PCE inflation and rising labor force participation are two drivers for no hikes in 2022, as per the bank’s economists. According to them, central banks may ultimately prove dovish, which may not be immediately apparent, “an uncertain dynamic that could push yields and USD higher.”

Dovish and Fed is positive for Bitcoin, and so is lower yields as negative real yields (inflation-adjusted) present a challenge for long-term asset allocators which may look to diversify into riskier assets as we saw with Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund becoming the first U.S. public pension plan to invest directly in Bitcoin and Ether.

As of writing, Bitcoin is hovering around $56k and Ether above $4,000. However, the latest weakness in price action for the past couple of weeks has people losing confidence in the continuation of the bull market.

“I’m not short or saying mkt implode imminent, might short on derivs if time feels right, but atm feeling pretty neutral short term,” said trader CL. “This mkt is pretty fkn frothed up.”

Meanwhile, the Crypto Fear and Greed Index is currently in the neutral, giving a ‘50’ reading while last week it was at 72, indicating ‘greed.’

After last week’s drawdown, funding rates have also normalized, with the highest currently on Bybit at 0.0244% and in negative on FTX and OKEx.

“In crypto, euphoria can be appreciated in the funding rates. This is somewhat similar to credit spreads in traditional finance. If funding is not very high, there is no unsustainable euphoria,” noted trader and economist Alex Kruger.

Funding of perpetual contracts is currently at 0.01% while futures quarterly basis at 12.5%, but for these numbers to be concerned, they need to be greater than 0.05% and 18%, respectively, which hit 0.1% and 40% during April and May, Kruger said

“Can crypto still crash? Yes, most definitively. The Fed is in the process of getting hawkish and winter inflation prints can spook the market into thinking the Fed & the ECB may over react. But euphoria is most definitively not that high nor widespread.”

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Author: AnTy

MoonPay Raises $400 Million in Second Round Funding, Valuation Now at $3.4 billion

MoonPay Raises $400 Million in Second Round Funding, Valuation Now at $3.4 billion

US-based crypto payment startup, MoonPay has completed a $400 million capital injection raise bringing the total valuation of the company to $3.4 billion, a blog post from The Information reads. The funding aims to enhance the features of the platform and boost the global adoption of cryptocurrencies.

This funding round was co-led by venture capital firm Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management aiming to grow the user acquisition rates.

MoonPay launched in 2019 with a simple aim to increase cryptocurrency adoption across the globe. With a team of just two young entrepreneurs — co-founders Ivan Soto-Wright and Victor Faramond — the company set out to create a simple and secure software solution that would enable people from all over the world to participate in the “biggest digital revolution since the internet” the company’s blog reads.

The platform allows users to use their credit and debit cards to buy crypto assets or other digital assets on marketplaces such as OpenSea, Bitcoin.com, Abra, ZenGo, Spot, and Trust Wallet.

Last month, MoonPay partnered with the crypto wallet provider Blocto to provide a fiat on-ramp to the Flow blockchain and easier access to NFT marketplaces. Earlier in the month, the company announced a strategic partnership with Bitmart exchange allowing users to better optimize the trading experience.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Wells Fargo and SoftBank Participates in Crypto Analytics Firm Elliptic’s $60M Funding Round

Wells Fargo and SoftBank Participates in Crypto Analytics Firm Elliptic’s $60M Funding Round

Elliptic, a cryptocurrency analytics firm, announced on Monday that it had raised $60 million in a Series C funding round led by Evolution Equity Partners.

Other investors included SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, AlbionVC, Japan’s SBI Group, Octopus Ventures, SignalFire, and Paladin Capital Group, along with the largest digital asset manager, Grayscale’s parent company Digital Currency Group.

Evolution Equity Partners founder Richard Seewald will join the board of directors of Elliptic, which was founded in 2013.

The London-based company that helps track transactions on blockchain had raised $100 million just four months back at a valuation of $4.2 billion.

The fresh capital will be used to invest in a global network and team along with continuing research and development, said the company.

Besides crypto companies, Elliptic’s clients include government agencies along with traditional financial firms and fintech.

“This fundraising round is an endorsement of the opportunity for cryptoassets in the financial industry,” said CEO Simone Maini.

As the cryptocurrency industry gains regulatory scrutiny and, as a result, companies strive to comply with anti-money laundering laws (AML), blockchain analysis companies are gaining traction.

Just last month, payments giant Mastercard signed a deal to buy CipherTrace for an undisclosed amount. Before that, in March, Chainalysis raised $100 million in a Series D round at a $2 billion valuation.

“The unique nature of crypto as a maturing asset class means there is a growing need for enterprise-grade compliance and transaction monitoring tools,” said Neil Cunha-Gomes, investor for SoftBank Investment Advisers.

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Author: AnTy

New $263 Million Funding Round Sees BitPanda’s Valuation Rise to $4.1 Billion

New $263 Million Funding Round Sees BitPanda’s Valuation Rise to $4.1 Billion

BitPanda, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, has announced the completion of its Series C funding round.

The Vienna-based exchange confirmed the news earlier this week, with a CNBC report confirming that it had raised $263 million. The raise sees BitPanda’s valuation jump to a staggering $4.1 billion.

BitPanda’s Convenient Marriage to Valar Ventures

Per the CNBC report, the Series C round was led by Valar Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel. Other participants include REDO Ventures and British hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard. It is yet another show of support for the company, which has focused entirely on crypto and precious metals derivatives and trading since its inception in 2014.

The Series C funding round is the third time that Thiel’s Valar Ventures will be backing BitPanda. Valar has been there for the company every step of the way. Most recently with its Serie B round in March 2021. At the time, the company raised $170 million in a round that made it Austria’s first unicorn.

With the current funding round, BitPanda has grown over three times in valuation from its March raise. Speaking on the relationship with Valar, Eric Demuth, BitPanda’s chief executive, told CNBC:

“I don’t like to do fundraising. It’s very time-consuming.When you have partners you have a close connection with, and they have deep pockets, you don’t have to do the whole roadshow. Valar wanted to double down and we wanted to stay with them. It was quite an easy process.”

In total, BitPanda has now raised almost $500 million through its three financing rounds. The company has a lot to look forward to, especially as it is now trying a stock trading service that will run 24/7. Demuth told CNBC that the product will most likely be ready by the end of the year, putting BitPanda in the same terrain as companies like eToro and Robinhood that offer exposure to different assets across several classes.

Crypto is Swimming in Money

BitPanda’s successful capital raise is just the latest in what seems to be an endless stream of investments in crypto companies and affiliated services. Last week, top social media aggregation and forum platform Reddit announced the completion of its Series F round, where it raised about $700 million. The funding round puts Reddit at a $10 billion valuation.

Reddit has been popular among crypto traders and investors, with many forums dedicated to the space on the platform. But, its big jump came following the GameStop saga – as well as several other orchestrated crypto pumps that took place in the weeks following

TaxBit, a crypto tax startup, also raised $130 million last week in its Series B round, led by IVP and Insight Partners. The funding round brings TaxBit’s worth to $1.3 billion, with the company hoping to use the raised funds to scale its accounting and tax products and open new offices across the United Kingdom and United States.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Crypto Market

Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market

Instead of an elevator, Bitcoin seems to be taking the staircase to the almost $65k all-time high as Crypto Twitter (CT) gets increasingly convinced that we are in the second inning of the bull market.

BTC is currently trading above $46,500, up from $29,350 low on July 20, recording 56.6% year-to-date gains.

The next levels for the leading cryptocurrency to reach are $48k and $50k.

To start the week, the market found strength on Asia open, but the European and North American sessions saw sellers push most things lower, noted Delphi Digital.

Ether is also enjoying the support above $3,000 as it hovers around $3,250, up 333% YTD. ETHBTC has also been trading near 0.07 since earlier this month.

As we reported, the buzzing, however, has been around coins like SOL, YGG, and LUNA that are hitting fresh all-time highs while DeFi and meme coins are also enjoying a bounce.

SOL actually hit another ATH a couple of hours back at $74, currently in a euphoric mode and sitting at the 10th spot with a $20.8 billion market cap, a step under Polkadot (DOT), a $27 billion project trading at $26.55. SOL 3.68% Solana / USD SOLUSD $ 64.70
$2.383.68%
Volume 4.06 b Change $2.38 Open $64.70 Circulating 286.44 m Market Cap 18.53 b
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 1 d Bitcoin Stays Above Critical 200-Day Moving Average as DeFi and Meme Coins Pump 1 d Fastest Horse of the Second Inning of Bull Run? Solana (SOL) Hits New ATHs

Projects from the Solana ecosystem like Audius (AUDIO) and Arweave (AR) are also enjoying gains. AUDIO 7.90% Audius / USD AUDIOUSD $ 2.89
$0.237.90%
Volume 912.65 m Change $0.23 Open $2.89 Circulating 400.24 m Market Cap 1.16 b
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 1 d Fastest Horse of the Second Inning of Bull Run? Solana (SOL) Hits New ATHs 9 mon Blockchain-Based Music Streaming Platform, Audius, Moves to Solana Due to Scaling Issues on Ethereum
AR 11.17% Arweave / USD ARUSD $ 21.68
$2.4211.17%
Volume 64.25 m Change $2.42 Open $21.68 Circulating 33.39 m Market Cap 723.94 m
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 1 d Bitcoin Stays Above Critical 200-Day Moving Average as DeFi and Meme Coins Pump 1 d Fastest Horse of the Second Inning of Bull Run? Solana (SOL) Hits New ATHs

Ethereum, Terra, and Solana are also leading the way in the DeFi as the total value locked (TVL) in the sector reaches $148 billion, rapidly approaching new ATHs.

While not a perfect measurement of adoption, TVL does show “how much value people are entrusting to smart contracts,” said Ryan Watkins of Messari, noting Ethereum TVL has climbed to $116 billion, with Aave (AAVE) and Curve (CRV) being at the forefront. Compared to Terra’s $5 billion, Solana printed a new ATH at $2 bln. AAVE -7.73% Aave / USD AAVEUSD $ 381.13
-$29.46-7.73%
Volume 662.49 m Change -$29.46 Open $381.13 Circulating 12.96 m Market Cap 4.94 b
2 mon Coinbase Enables its Over A Million Wallet Users to Use DeFi — DEXs, NFTs, & More 3 mon Software Provider Temenos Enables Crypto Trading for Banks 3 mon Aave Is Testing Private Pools for Institutions to Ape into DeFi, Reveals CEO Stani Kulechov
CRV -9.34% Curve DAO Token / USD CRVUSD $ 1.93
-$0.18-9.34%
Volume 246.9 m Change -$0.18 Open $1.93 Circulating 402.48 m Market Cap 774.97 m
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 1 w Spot Volume Fell to Lowest Level of 2021; Derivatives Continue to Gain Market Share with NFTs 1 mon Digital Asset Bank Sygnum Now Offers Ethereum 2.0 Staking To Clients

Other popular chains include Polygon (MATIC) at $6 billion, which has drawn the attention away from BSC, which now only has $20 bln in TVL. MATIC -5.18% Polygon / USD MATICUSD $ 1.35
-$0.07-5.18%
Volume 1.25 b Change -$0.07 Open $1.35 Circulating 6.46 b Market Cap 8.71 b
11 h Open Interest & Funding Rates Indicate “Lack of FOMO” in Cryptocurrency Market 4 d Poly Network Declares the Hacker a “White Hat” After He Returns Almost All the Stolen $610 Mln 4 d Kimchi Premium Turns into A Discount, Binance Removes Korean Won Trading Pairs & Trading Options

Degens Aren’t Here Yet!

As we have been reporting, the latest strength in the market has not been on the back of leverage which was very heightened in April and May, painting a bullish picture.

Currently, the market is gradually moving towards its peak without the leveraged long traders, just like when the market broke 2017 ATHs at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021.

As of writing, the highest funding rate on Bitcoin perpetual contracts is 0.02% on FTX, while on some exchanges like OKEx and BitMEX, it is still in the negative, according to Bybt. Traders are not in a rush to get long BTC, meaning frothy conditions are way off.

As for the open interest, it is currently at $16.53 bln on Bitcoin futures and $8.72 billion on Ether futures.

With price “moving at a faster pace than open interest, implying some degree of doubt from futures/perp traders that this rally is real. Or in crypto terms — a lack of FOMO,” said Delphi Digital.

While ETH’s structure looks fairly similar to Bitcoin, the difference between price and open interest growth is a little wider. This lower leverage implies a healthier market with less fuel for liquidations and stop hunts.

In the options market, premiums increased as people bought calls to speculate on the upside, but implied volatility also increased significantly that could signal the market’s expectation of near-term pullback, it added.

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Author: AnTy

BitDAO Raises $230 Million in a Funding Round Led by PayPal Co-Founder, Peter Thiel

BitDAO Raises $230 Million in a Funding Round Led by PayPal Co-Founder, Peter Thiel

  • The quiet market keeps rumbling as investors unload large amounts of cash on yet another blockchain project!

Led by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, BitDAO, a new decentralized governance protocol, raised $230 million in a bid to build the largest asset pool led by a decentralized autonomous organization, commonly referred to as DAOs.

The funding round welcomed top investors alongside Thiel, who led the round, and three of his firms – Founders Fund, Pantera Capital, and Dragonfly Capital – also participated in the raise. Other investors in the round included hedge fund manager Alan Howard, Jump Capital, and Spartan Group.

A DAO represents an organization that has no central organization leading it. Instead, the governance of these organizations lies coded on smart contracts stored on a blockchain hence have immutable properties. BitDAO, now ranking as one of the largest DAOs, aims to “promote and propel the mass adoption of open finance and decentralized tokenized economy” with the latest funding, a statement reads.

The core objective of the funding is to grow the decentralized finance (DeFi) space by building research and development (R&D) centers, providing grants to DeFi developers, and topping up liquidity on blockchain projects.

In a press release, BitDAO stated its goal to promote and support the DeFi sector financially and in talent resourcing to boost industry growth. Moreover, the organization will also use the funding to employ hundreds of people innovating in the DeFi sector and solve various developmental challenges in the ecosystem.

The firm welcomed its first partner in the Bybit crypto exchange, one of the largest digital asset exchanges in the world. Bybit aims to make yearly contributions to the DAO of up to 2.5 basis points (bp) of its futures contracts’ trading volume directly to the BitDAO Treasury. As of current figures, the yearly contribution is expected to generate over $1 billion annually, the statement further reads.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Solana Leads $3M Funding Round in Blockchain Data Platform PARSIQ

Blockchain data monitoring startup PARSIQ has closed a funding round of $3 million, led by the Solana Foundation.

The funding round also included notable investors such as Axia8 Ventures, Mindworks VC, Krypital Group, CoinUnited, and others.

PARSIQ To Use Fund To Expand Product Suite

The PARSIQ platform allows users to customize their notification settings to block out undesired noise while receiving important information in real-time.

The blockchain data firm revealed that the fund raised would be used to expand its product suite.

PARSIQ tools include notifications for token transfers, price fluctuations, and other blockchain-related movements.

Apart from Solana, the PARSIQ tools are also compatible with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and some other blockchains.

Solana Founder Anatoly Yakovenko, while speaking on the investment, said access to blockchain data through apps like PARSIQ was critical.

He noted that PARSIQ would help developers of Solana-based projects worry less when building out their stack, allowing them to concentrate more on their product.

The investment into PARSIQ comes after Solana raised $314 million in a private token sale.

The sale was led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital with participation from Alameda Research, Block change Ventures, CMS Holdings, Coinfund, and others.

Founded in 2017, Solana is an advanced open-source blockchain project focused on providing a highly scalable, secure, and maximally decentralized platform.

Dubbed the Ethereum killer, Solana has been active in building tools and networks for others to build on the platform.

It has several decentralized exchanges (DEXes) and protocols built on it such as Serum, Raydium, KIN, Audius, Mango Markets, Bonfida, Maps.me, Pyth Network, USDC, Phantom wallet, and more.

Solana Hackathon’s Step Finance To Aggregate With Solana’s DEXes

The Solana blockchain had attracted thousands of developers to its network, breaking records for the most number of participants in a hackathon this year.

The hackathon, in collaboration with Serum, had over 3,000 registrations and over 100 project submissions.

One of the projects that emerged from the Solana hackathon is Step Finance, a DeFi position manager and aggregator. Although Step Finance did not win any prize during the event, it appears to be doing very well.

Step Finance started aggregating Solana’s decentralized exchanges (DEXs), including automated market maker Raydium, SerumDex, and Orca, to give traders faster access to price information.

Step Finance’s trading dashboard, called the Step Dashboard, will enable traders to have access to $845 million of liquidity and execute trades quickly at low fees.

Earlier this year, the aggregator completed a private token sale for $2 million in a round that saw participation from various Solana backers including Almaeda Research and Raydium.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Mythical Games Raises $75 Million Funding To Boost NFT-Based Gaming

Mythical Games Raises $75 Million Funding To Boost NFT-Based Gaming

The non-fungible token (NFT) market is no raging as much as it used to at the start of the year as demand from retail investors dropped sharply in Q2 2021. Despite the downturn, investments in NFT are still well alive as venture firms believe the NFT market will return to its glory days in the near future.

Mythical Games, the creator of the popular NFT blockchain game, Blankos Block party, raised $75 million in Series B funding led by growth equity fund WestCap Group. The funding aims to expand the firm’s blockchain gaming experiences and boost the development of the Blankos Block Party game.

The Series B funding round saw existing, and new investors participate in the round. New investors in the firm include 01 Advisors and influencer and serial investor Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerFund. The Series B funding brings the total funds raised by Mythical Games to $120 million to date.

The main attraction to Mythical Games is the Blankos Block Party, a blockchain-based NFT collectibles game that allows players to create their games and own their virtual worlds. The game is built around user-generated content and focuses on integrating the latest social media trends. Blankos also includes the Mythical Marketplace, where users can buy and sell avatar figures and in-game assets collected within the game or created by top artists and game developers in partnership with the firm.

Notwithstanding, the platform also includes the Mythical Economic Engine, which connects the gaming platform to other gaming engines and helps new game creators build regulatory-friendly NFT collectibles. Mythical Games CEO John Linden tells TechCrunch,

“With any new market like [NFTs], it goes through all these different cycles.”

“We think this will actually change gaming for the long haul. The more we talk to game studios, we’re finding more and more potential use cases.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Flare Network Raises $11 Million in Funding to Bring Smart Contracts to All Blockchains

Flare Network Raises $11 Million in Funding to Bring Smart Contracts to All Blockchains

Decentralized finance protocol Flare raised $11.3 million in another funding round supported by heavyweights in the crypto industry. Launched at the tail end of 2020, Flare, a Turing complete Federated Byzantine Agreement-based (FBA) network, announced Hong Kong-based firm Kenetic Capital led the round, including top venture capital firms such as Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Coinfund.

The funding aims to boost the development of smart contract functionalities on blockchains that do not offer native support for smart contracts. At launch, Flare is set to support smart contract functionalities for Stellar (XLM), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), and XRP.

Other participants in the current funding round include crypto VCs such as LD Capital, cFund, Wave Financial, Borderless Capital, and Backend Capital. Adding to the $11 million fund are top crypto private investors Charlie Lee, Vinny Lingham, and Terra CEO, Do Kwan.

The platform’s main goal is to bring additional utility to other non-smart contract blockchains,” Flare CEO Hugo Philion shared in a statement. Supported by Ripple in 2019, Flare is now awaiting its mainnet launch to create a robust and complete blockchain ecosystem.

“The investment brings into the Flare ecosystem key participants in the investment community, together with major exchanges, market makers, blockchain founders, and entrepreneurs that have an interest in driving meaningful developments and participation on Flare.”

Flare Protocol is also planning one of the largest airdrops in crypto so far by awarding every eligible XRP account on the snapshot taken on December 12th, 2020, its native Spark tokens. Despite hundreds of crypto exchanges taking part in the airdrop, close to 2 Billion XRP locked on Coinbase will miss the Spark airdrop, BEG reported last December.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Goldman Sachs Joins Blockchain Infrastructure Company’s $28 Million Funding Round

Goldman Sachs Joins Blockchain Infrastructure Company’s $28 Million Funding Round

Blockdaemon has been acquiring many institutional clients who are starting to allow their customers to buy Bitcoin and Ether before branching out to protocols that pay interest on tokens.

Blockdaemon has raised $28 million from lead investor Greenspring Associates along with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

BlockFi, Warburg Serres, Uphold, and Voyager Digital Ltd., were other investors in the Series A fund-raising, as per the company statement.

The firm that creates and hosts the computer nodes for the blockchain network is planning to make acquisitions and double its headcount to 100. With the latest funding, the company aims to “help institutions quickly and securely scale blockchain infrastructure.”

Over the past year, the company has seen rapid growth and gained customers, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, PayPal Holdings, Robinhood Markets, and E*Trade.

“We’re selling ten times what we did a year ago, mostly to new institutions coming into the space,” said Chief Executive Officer Konstantin Richter.

In the first quarter of 2021, Blockdaemon reported a net income of $18 million and revenue at about $24 million.

Goldman Sachs, which led the $15 million investment into data provider Coin Metrics, contributed $5 million to the Blockdaemon round. “It’s been a long dialogue with them,” Ritcher said.

The CEO further shared in an interview that he’s been seeing a progression among large financial firms that starts with them allowing their customers to buy Bitcoin and Ether before branching out to protocols that pay interest on tokens to secure the network.

“Large institutions are getting serious about paying yield on tokens out to their customers,” he said. “It shows that large financial institutions over time will want to rival Coinbase” by copying its model of easier ways to buy and earn interest on various digital coins.

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Author: AnTy