Coinbase Custody Exploring 39 Crypto’s Including DeFi Tokens for Listing

Coinbase continues to take its altcoins and DeFi listing spree one step further every other day. Today, the San Francisco-based exchange announced a slew of other tokens its exploring to add support for.

After adding FTX (FTT) and Serum (SRM), Coinbase Custody that offers features such as staking, governance, and decentralized finance (DeFi) and serves institutional clients across the Asia-Pacific region, announced a total of 39 new digital assets that are up for listing.

Coinbase’s crypto custodian has released the latest list of all the digital assets that it is exploring for listing, including some known DeFi tokens and some unknown ones that are heard for the time here only.

Aave (AAVE), Amp (AMP), Ampleforth (AMPL), Ankr (ANKR), ArCoin (ArCoin), Audius (AUDS), Barnbridge (BOND), BitTorrent Token (BTT), Centrifuge (RAD), Conflux Network (CFX), Curve (CRV), DFI.Money (YFII), Elrond Gold (EGLD), JUST (JST), JUST Stablecoin (USDJ), Meta (MTA), MovieBloc (MBL), mStable (MUSD), Neo (NEO), Nervos (CKB), Nexus Mutual (NXM), NKN (NKN), NuCypher (NU), Ontology (ONT), Paxos Gold (PAXG), Paxos Standard (PAX), Reserve (RSV), Reserve Rights (RSR), Request Network (REQ), Skale (SKL), SUN Token (SUN), tBTC (TBTC), Terra (LUNA), The Graph (GRT), Tron (TRX), VeChain (VET), WING (WING), WINK (WIN), and Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC).

Some of these tokens like WBTC have already been supported on Coinbase’s other platform Coinbase Pro.

According to Coinbase, support for any digital asset is subject to its “significant technical and compliance review,” which in some cases may also be subject to regulatory approval in some jurisdictions.

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Author: AnTy

Another Red Day Across Markets: Hot Money Flows Out of DeFi & OI Sinks

After opening the day higher, bitcoin, gold, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are dropping further. Meanwhile, the US dollar is 1.3% in the past four days.

Crypto markets are looking weak after losing a great deal of value Thursday, but of course, not as much as some of the tech stocks did.

Tech stocks started declining just as we entered September. Over the past three days, Tesla shares dropped 18% while Apple lost $365 billion in value, which is not only more than the market cap of 491 companies in the S&P 500 but also the entire market cap of crypto.

The strong performance of the stock market since March has been primarily because of the tech stocks, which got sold off this week as investors worry about the continuing crisis in the US jobs market.

After hitting new all-time highs on Wednesday, S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq both fell 3.5% and 4.9%, respectively. Randy Frederick, the vice-president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab said,

“Some of the stocks have gotten a little pricey, and what the actual cause is to spark this sell-off is difficult to say. The leading sector for quite a long time has been the Nasdaq, which is very heavily weighted in technology stocks, so people just saw this as an opportunity to take the profits off the table.”

Also, the US trade deficit expanding to the widest level since 2008, debt set to exceed the size of its economy next year for the first time since World War II, US-China tension heating up, and upcoming elections in November could be playing a part too here.

An Opportunity to Rebuild

A blow to the sentiments in the crypto market came not only because tech stocks went into sharp reverses but also “hot money flow (outflow) from DeFi,” said Denis Vinokourov of the prime broker, Bequant.

DeFi had a record $9.5 billion total value locked in it on Wednesday, which has now come down to $8.6 billion, as per DeFi Pulse. He said,

“It is a reminder that crowded trades bring with it a lot of volatility when someone begins to unwind their positions. Digital asset trades are more than aware of such dynamics, and while the bulls may be feeling particularly salty about the reversal of fortunes, the pull back offers an opportunity to rebuild.”

After falling to nearly $10,000 level yesterday, bitcoin strengthened only to follow equity markets and trading at $10,350. The crypto market, however, remains in heavy red with a few exceptions like TRX, EOS, DGB, CELO, and STORJ.

The futures market is also looking identical to the spot with open interest falling to $439 million. Volume meanwhile surged on CME, recording $1.1 billion and $941 million on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

The same is the case for perpetual swaps, the volume is rising, and open interest is falling, the trend suggesting a substantial amount of long positions got liquidated over the past couple of days.

On OKEx, the quarterly futures saw a negative premium for the first time since mid-May, which is “indicative of extremely pessimistic market sentiment.” Vinokourov said,

“The futures curve also flattened aggressively as leverage buyers were the first ones to look for cover, while in the options market the skew profile also offers plenty of opportunities to capture on market mispricing.”

In the short term, the losses have quite obviously turned people bearish towards BTC. Analyst Don Alt, who has been calling for a drop for some time now, has put his target to about $8,000 now, which isn’t really outlandish as several 30% to 40% pullbacks have been usual during the last bull cycle. But for other traders, “If it goes to 8 or 7k then it goes back to 4 to 5.”

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Author: AnTy

Bison Trails, Coinbase Custody Colab to Add Solana (SOL) Staking as Institutional Demand Grows

Bison Trails and Coinbase Custody are further scaling their collaboration by introducing staking on Solana (SOL) blockchain. According to a press release shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, this initiative will enable Coinbase clients to leverage enterprise-grade validators within the Bison Trails ecosystem.

The two entities have been working together and have recently introduced staking on Polkadot as well. This latest milestone, therefore, comes as a significant boost in the ongoing partnership between Coinbase Custody and Bison Trails. Interestingly, both firms are based in New York, with former being regulated by NYDFS while the latter operates as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service Company.

Following this development, Coinbase Custody will feature among the pioneer digital asset cold storage providers to offer to stake on Solana. Combined with the Bison Trails infrastructure, Coinbase Custody is set to give its users an option to stake Solana tokens while their digital assets are stored offline and safe. The press release reads,

“Customers of both Coinbase Custody and Bison Trails will be able to select their Bison Trails validator via the Coinbase interface. This will make it simple to participate in securing Solana and Polkadot in just a few clicks.”

While the press release does not specify a speculated reward range, it highlights that staking SOL tokens at the moment increases the time-frame of becoming active before inflation adjustments are triggered for users to start earning rewards.

Bison Trails CEO, Joe Lallouz, has touted this advancement, noting the underlying value proposition in user experience,

“It’s a seamless integration and a phenomenal user experience. We look forward to working with the Coinbase Custody team to continue to add support for more protocols in the near future.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Fed Reveals More Details About FedNow to Support Instant Payments in the US

The Federal Reserve unveiled further details about its new real-time payments platform FedNow Service. The platform will enable financial institutions in the US to settle transactions virtually instantly and is set for launch in 2023 or 2024, as per the details revealed last week.

The plans for this new service was first announced about a year ago and since then has been receiving public comments on what it should look like and how it should operate.

FedNow is an instant payment infrastructure that is a tech-enabled leap forward from its century-old payment and settlement services that would allow individuals and businesses to access it “24x7x365.”

Individuals would be able to send $25,000 through the service, though the Fed said they would evaluate the figure after several commentators suggest a bigger transaction limit.

The idea here is to “modernize” the US payment system and promote a safe and efficient payment system. Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard said,

“The rapid expenditure of COVID emergency relief payments highlighted the critical importance of having a resilient instant payments infrastructure with nationwide reach, especially for households and small businesses with cash flow constraints.”

The Fed is connected with over 10,000 different financial situations across the country, and this system will allow them to facilitate funds near-instantaneously.

Competition and inappropriate expansion

Many non-bank payment services like Square and banks offer instant payment while transfers through The Clearing Houses RTP network, a real-time payment platform launched by a group of America’s largest banks and financial institutions in 2017, come with additional fees.

According to the Fed, FedNow will not only allow individuals to send and receive money more quickly and avoid penalties like late fees and businesses to access funds and manage cash flow but also stimulate “healthy competition” in the space.

Fed believes this competition in real-time payments space will result in “efficiencies related to pricing, service quality, and innovation.”

However, not everyone agrees to this as the central bank said it received over 2,200 letters from commentators that it “should not operate in competition with the private sector,” and that it would represent “an inappropriate expansion of the Federal Reserve’s role.”

But the fed argues that it would be playing the same “operational role” it always has, working together with the private sector instead of competing against it.

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Author: AnTy

Chinese Internet Giant Arm, Tencent Cloud, Looks to Form A 100-Member Blockchain Alliance

Tencent’s cloud computing arm venture is bringing together a 100-member blockchain alliance to further blockchain implementation and find new real-world use cases of the decentralized technology.

The news was first published on June 4th, revealing that the 100-member blockchain association would comprise of in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions, en­ter­prises, in­dus­try me­dia, in­vest­ment or­gan­i­za­tions, think tanks, and ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions.

The blockchain alliance would collaborate to establish blockchain standards, while also formulating new use cases for industrial use. The alliance will consist of three critical committees, namely a blockchain stan­dards com­mit­tee, a tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee, and a com­mer­cial ecosys­tem com­mit­tee.

The blockchain standards committee would be responsible for working with federal regulators and blockchain enterprises to derive a common standard for blockchain development.

The technical committee, as the name suggests, would take care of everything technical, be it planning of various products and applications on the blockchain and creation of new technology-based on the blockchain.

The commercial ecosystem committee would look after commercial aspects, such as supply and demand, and other commercial needs.

Tencent has become one of the leading tech firms in China, with multiple subsidiaries focused on different fields of internet and technology. Tencent has also emerged as the leading investor in blockchain technology, among many other tech giants of China. The company has announced that it will invest $70 billion over the next five years towards emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, and Fintech.

Tencent’s aggressive approach towards blockchain can be understood from the fact that China has made it clear that they want to remain at the forefront of the blockchain race. They are already conducting trials for their national CBDC when a majority of the other countries are only on the drawing board.

Tencent, along with other tech giants like Alibaba have also invested significantly in the blockchain space.

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Author: James W

Monsoon Blockchain and HK Crypto Exchange OSL Partner to Build a ‘Digital Asset Powerhouse’

  • Crypto exchange OSL partner with Monsoon Blockchain Solutions in an attempt to further digitization of money and assets.
  • Monsoon set to build a digital powerhouse in Asia pacific region as they merge with other big shot investors.

Reports of this unique partnership between the crypto exchange OSL and Monsoon Incorporated have now surfaced. The Hong Kong-based exchange looked to the Blockchain solutions firm to explore new avenues of asset and Fiat digitization.

In a press release by Monsoon, the company plotted out its quest of establishing supremacy within the US and Asian digital assets markets. They are now poised to unleash various digital tokens inclusive of telecom tokens and the Monsoon token to be hosted on their network.

Its underlying Blockchain, which is Ethereum-based, aims to leverage smart contracts to build a highly sophisticated market solution for Cloud computing enterprises. Monsoon had previously secured other deals with Alibaba, IBM, and Oracle facilitating distribution of data services.

Monsoon also recently collaborated with the phone retailing giant Dixintong (D. Phone) in a lucrative partnership that brought in $2.5 billion by close of 2019.

OSL is reportedly one of Asia’s biggest exchanges by transactional volume. Specializing in brokerage, custody, and exchange services they process over $1.5 billion in transactions monthly on their platform.

So far, It’s hit $171 billion while projected to hit over $4.4 billion by 2024 through global remittances and transactions on its enterprise solution. In a recent investment from Fidelity Investments, OSL allegedly revealed $8.3 trillion in assets they manage a significant bump from 2018, $6.7 trillion figure.

Monsoon to Soon Join the BSN Network

Monsoon has also announced they will join the recently launched Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN). Launched in April 25th of this year the alliance was already onboarded by China Mobile, China UnionPay, and Red Date Tech and set to commence global operations by June 25th and deployed to over 100 Chinese towns

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum incubator ConsenSys to Layoff 14% More Staff Members Amid Coronavirus Crisis

ConsenSys, the New York-based Ethereum incubator may be laying off further staff amid the coronavirus crisis.

A spokesperson from the firm revealed that Consensys is looking to layoff 14% of its current workforce, which is around 90 people. The crisis may have been fueled by the ongoing pandemic, forcing many firms to go on cost-cutting campaigns, including staff layoffs.

However, this is not the first time that the firm is looking to cut short its workforce to manage costs. They went through similar layoffs back in February by almost the same percentage. And prior to that, the firm made further layoffs in late 2018 during the Consensys 2.0 restructuring.

The rumours about layoffs surfaced after a Monday town hall meeting. The currently forecasted layoffs would bring the company headcount to around 550 from the 850 which they started with this year.

A spokesperson from the firm commented on the current layoffs saying:

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted the world’s health and livelihood. ConsenSys has carefully analyzed its business in relation to what is occurring globally.

Like most of its peers, the company is seeing extraordinary uncertainty in the market, with businesses rebalancing priorities and reevaluating timelines.”

The spokesperson also assured that the layoffs were being conducted to manage underlying costs. However, a lot of meticulous planning has gone into it, ensuring that the key functions are maintained to ensure timely development of key products and solutions. ConsenSys would offer laid off staffs with 2 months of severance pay and career transition services.

Talking about the firm’s current focus of work, the company noted that they are currently looking into:

“crisis-related opportunities such as Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), emergency loans disbursement solutions, supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE), and related identity solutions.”

Industries Laying Off Staff, and Cost Cutting To Get Through The Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the whole world to a standstill. With most industries shutting down, laying off their workforce or going through complex cost-cutting procedures. The aim is to survive through the pandemic while ensuring the key aspects of their business is up and running.

Consensys is not new to layoffs as mentioned above it had done two layoffs prior to the current one for different reasons, however, the current layoffs are purely to manage cost amid the COID-19 crisis.

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Author: James W

EU Parliamentary Report on Crypto Oversight Suggests Stricter Measures than 5AMLD

  • The European Parliamentary Research Service has suggested that its regulators should further enhance the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive for more efficiency on crypto regulation.
  • According to a study done by the researchers, the laws should be expanded to accommodate the various upcoming entities within this industry.
  • It also highlighted the risk pegged to financial institutions participating in crypto markets while investors are not well vast with the digital assets.

The EU parliament has been quite progressive in defining crypto legally compared to the global pace. This body adopted the current 5AMLD crypto governing infrastructure back in 2018. At the time, they were moving to enforce stricter KYC/AML laws to curb illegal activities within the crypto markets.

Crypto exchanges and custodial providers were ultimately required to comply with the set-out KYC rules through compliance and collaboration with the mandated regulators. Following the recent developments in crypto, a new report now suggests the region ought to much-advanced standards such as the FATF. The report reads,

“To bring the European AML/CFT framework up to speed with the current reality in the crypto-space, the EU could consider a number of regulatory actions,”

Outlining Exposure risk on Crypto Investments

Cryptocurrencies are known to be highly volatile given the history of price shifts in this market. Notably, the digital assets are also not compatible with traditional finance laws despite close proximity to existing financial markets. The researchers from EU’s parliament have since suggested a more transparent approach by the financial institutions operating crypto portfolios,

“Crypto-assets that do not qualify as MiFID II financial instruments, nor EMD2 electronic money, and hence, escape all EU financial regulation, the EU should, at the very least, put appropriate risk disclosure requirements in place, so that investors and/or consumers can be made aware of the potential risks prior to committing funds to these crypto-assets,”

The report goes on to further highlight that a conservative prudential approach would eliminate digital assets from the funds of financial intermediaries. This is mainly because of the risk exposure attributed to crypto. According to the report, incorporating digital assets into EU banks’ balance sheets could cause enormous losses should the market plummet significantly.

Scale the Regulatory Scope

The report also recommends an update of the AML/CFT framework in a bid to cover more areas within crypto innovation. Given the rise in private tokens, crypto-to-crypto exchanges and financial institutions launching ICOs, the researchers have suggested a focus on entities in this niche for better AML practices.

On the issue of crypto mining, the report says that malicious actors can comfortably leverage the ease of joining this industry for illegal activities,

“Nowadays, coins have emerged that do not always require big energy-consuming server farms to mine, but that can be mined running a few hardware rigs at home,”

This presents an opportunity for the criminal actors to clean their money since all newly mined crypto coins are by definition ‘clean’. However, the EU’s parliament could eliminate this shortcoming based on the report,

“A first regulatory step could be to try to map the use of this technique and subsequently, if it effectively proves an important blind spot, to consider appropriate counter measures.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Market Is Already Pricing In Another Fed Rate Cut, Should You Be Long On Gold, Bitcoin?

  • Stock market plunges today as well, Deutsche Bank says it “has further to go”
  • As fear of global covid-19 pandemic continues to grip the world, the 10-year Treasury drops to record low to 0.667%
  • “Everything is on the table and we are willing to do more,” – St Louis Federal bank president James Bullard
  • Global stocks are extending their slump on Friday

The fear of a global recession triggered by coronavirus has sent stocks plunging yet again with the Dow Jones down 2.3%, the S&P 500 losing 3%, and Nasdaq sliding by 3.3%.

However, according to Deutsche Bank, there is no rest for the exhausted investors as today the bank released a grim analysis where it states that the S&P 500 has already lost 13% to last Friday’s closing low “has further to go.” The bank said,

“Our baseline view is for a total sell off from the last peak of 15-20%, with a bottom some time in Q2. We do view the impacts on macro and earnings growth as being relatively short-lived and the market eventually looking through them and maintaining our year-end target of 3250 for the S&P 500.”

Treasuries yield hits record low

The investors are meanwhile propping up gold prices amidst a flight to safety move. Gold is up 1.03% at $1,685.20 an ounce. Another traditional safe-haven asset Treasury is seeing the demand which led the yield, on 10-year Treasury to drop to its yet another low 0.667% at one point today.

As fears of global covid-19 pandemic grips the world, the benchmark 10-year notes hit an all-time low after the Federal Reserve’s emergency rate cut sent it below 1% for the first time ever. John Taylor, a money manager at AllianceBernstein said,

“What we are seeing is symptomatic of not enough positive yielding, defensive assets within global fixed income.”

“Central banks are doing everything they can to provide stimulus, which can add fuel to the flames of the bond rally.”

The five-year Treasury yield also dropped to a record low 0.5339%, breaching the 2012 low. The 30-year rate has plunged to 1.2742%, also a record low.

Get ready for more stimulus

The market is now again pricing in for another rate cut. Chris Jeffery, head of rates and inflation at Legal & General Investment Management said,

“The market’s focus is squarely on the growing likelihood of the Fed once again hitting the zero lower bound on short-term interest rates and restarting quantitative easing.”

“With the number of coronavirus cases spiraling higher every day, it’s a brave investor who stands in front of that trend.”

Commenting on Fed’s monetary policy actions against the deadly virus, St Louis Federal bank president James Bullard said, “everything is on the table and we are willing to do more.”

And once the rate goes below zero which isn’t too far off, the central bank would turn to more QE and printing where “the poor will pay a far greater price than the rich,” said trader Scott Melker. Crypto trader Joe McCann said,

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Author: AnTy

Russian Bill Divides Crypto Into 3 Types; Technical Tokens, Virtual Assets, and Digital Financial

The world as a whole is slowly starting to accept Cryptocurrencies and, to a further extent, blockchains into their day-to-day functionality.

While countries like Uganda warns against the use of things like Bitcoin, Russia has set out to divide cryptocurrencies into three legal categories. They are thus legitimizing it within the country’s borders.

While not the first to do something like this, the country’s decision is still something of significant note. 

The Three Categories

Alexei Moiseev explained that the three proposed categories for cryptocurrencies are as follows:

  • Technical Tokens: Utility tokens used for the critical functioning of a network. Ethereum would most likely fall into this category.
  • Virtual Assets: Assets used to transact value. Things like Bitcoin and Litecoin could very likely be classified as this, considering their prolific use as a payment medium. Russia’s Western counterparts, the US, has classified these things as commodities.
  • Digital Financial Assets: These could easily be considered securities. Usually, tokens sold during an ICO, these assets have dividends and openly market themselves as a way to make money.

Official Legislation Possibly in November

More than likely, this new way to categorize cryptocurrencies will be officially proposed during the State Duma. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has requested that the bill, dubbed Federal Law No. 419059-7, be adopted at the start of November.

Taking steps, Albeit Slowly

Russia, like many other countries, has concerns that fully legalizing cryptocurrencies within their country would make their own currency, the Russian ruble, obsolete. Russia’s Central Bank and its Ministry of Finance have said they don’t want these cryptocurrencies “unfairly” competing with the ruble.

Even so, Medvedev has taken to the press to say that cryptocurrency-related debit cars are wholly legal within the country. The significant factor of what is legal and what isn’t in terms of cryptocurrencies is the fact of whether or not it can first be linked to the ruble. This is in a bid to keep the ruble relevant as the world goes forward.

Regardless, this new bill will establish rights to cryptocurrency holders, making them able to rely on the government’s support if and when something unexpected (and legal) happens. Digital rights are classified as assets within Russian law and fall under the remit of civil law.

These laws group smart contracts with other, more conventional automatic systems banks use to get their payments for bills. However, there is no precedence within Russia’s legal system. For all of these laws to be enacted, it must first be written down within the country’s civil code. Then, and only then, will these laws be applicable?

The Possible Future of Currencies

Many countries have expressed their lack of tolerance for cryptocurrencies, usually for fear of what it will do to their own if it’s legalised within their borders. France and Germany have taken a stance against Libra, Facebook’s upcoming stablecoin. On the other side, Switzerland is supporting it, albeit if it remains within the country’s financial law.

It’s an exciting thing to speculate what will happen fifty years from now. Will we still use a country’s currency, or will cryptocurrencies have taken over the world. It’s impossible to tell at this point, and we will have to wait and see

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Author: Ali Raza