Crypto Hedge Fund Arca is the Latest to Join the Crowd of Bitcoin Trust Issuers

Meanwhile, GBTC is getting sold off with premium tanking to -3.77% and -5.27% on ETHE. Still, crypto fund assets are about to cross the $50 billion mark, up 12.5x from a year ago, that too without a US Bitcoin ETF.

Arca, the cryptocurrency hedge fund, is the latest one to launch a Bitcoin Trust product, as per the filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday.

This makes sense given the explosive demand for Bitcoin funds, as we saw with the debut of the first Bitcoin ETF in Canada.

With this filing, Arca has joined several other asset managers that aim to provide exposure to Bitcoin without having the investors hold the digital assets themselves. Already, a number of asset managers like Bitwise, BlockFi, OpsreyFund, and others have been racing to launch their own bitcoin investment vehicles.

The Bitcoin products will be competing with the world’s largest digital asset manager, Grayscale.

What looks like the digital asset manager’s first foray into Bitcoin offerings launches with $100,000 so far. Unlike Grayscale’s $50k minimum, Arca is taking in $25k as minimum investments.

Meanwhile, Grayscale, which has $31 billion in its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), holding more than 3.5% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply, is getting sold off.

Currently, GBTC is trading at a negative premium, continuing to fall this week, to its latest low -3.77%, as per Bybt. The same is the case for ETHE, on which the premium is also at its lowest level of -5.27%.

“This is panic or profit-taking selling,” said Eric Balchunas, BI’s senior ETF analyst. “It’s almost like the price of GBTC is an amplified version of Bitcoin price.”

Bitcoin, along with the broad crypto market, has been experiencing a sell-off, which is continuing today as the price of Bitcoin dumps to another low at $44,000, down 24.5% from Sunday’s all-time high of $58,300.

Michael Sonnenshein, chief executive officer of Grayscale Investments, acknowledged the risk of vanishing GBTC premium in a panel for the Bloomberg Crypto Summit on Thursday.

“It’s certainly a risk, no question about it, but ultimately price discovery in GBTC every day is driven entirely by market forces,” Sonnenshein said.

Still, crypto fund assets are about to cross the $50 billion mark, up from a mere $4 billion a year ago that too without a US Bitcoin ETF. These numbers are about the same asset level as ETFs tracking the energy sectors, noted Balchunas, only to add that it still has a long way to go because it is just one-third of gold ETFs.

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“The SEC should consider approving multiple Bitcoin exchange-traded funds at the same time, in our view, after Canada’s regulator gave its initial issuer a significant first-mover advantage. Pent-up demand could put a single U.S. winner well ahead of rivals. An ETF would force Grayscale to decide how to handle the world’s largest Bitcoin tracker,” said Dave Nadig, Chief Investment Officer & Director of Research for ETFTrends.

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Author: AnTy

Blockfolio to Go Through Security Review After Getting Hacked to Display Offensive & Racist Content

Blockfolio to Go Through Security Review After Getting Hacked to Display Offensive & Racist Content

The team has announced a credit of $10 to every current and new users of the app. ACH withdrawals have also been activated on both FTX and Blockfolio.

FTX acquired crypto tracker app Blockfolio, suffered an incident on Tuesday when offensive messages were displayed to its users.

“We are incredibly sorry about the offensive messages posted on Blockfolio today. We will be addressing this ASAP,” noted the team. They have since then removed the offensive messages.

The team also assured that trading or funds weren’t affected, only the displayed information.

Blockfolio-message

Blockfolio took to Twitter to further share that they have revoked access to the compromised Signal submitters in response to the incident. All the users of the app have been credited with $10, as will anyone else who signs up this week at a maximum of 1 million people, said the firm.

Just at the end of last month, Blockfolio enabled trading on its app and saw more downloads than “in any single day of 2017.” FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, also took to Twitter to share the story behind the messages on Blockfolio. The investigation revealed that the,

“Offensive content was produced and published by a competitor exchange of ours who maliciously gained access to someone else’s Blockfolio News/Signal capabilities.”

Sam condemned the actions of the competitor at fault here whose name wasn’t revealed and announced a donation to organizations to “help move the world forward, not backward.” He added,

“We have always and will always strive to work with others in the industry–whether customers, builders, or competitors. We will rise and fall together, and this industry has no place for this behavior.”

The chief executive also said that over the course of next month, they would conduct a security review of the app to “bring them in line with the standards set by trading, and by FTX more generally.”

In other news, both FTX and Blockfolio now support ACH withdrawals.

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Author: AnTy

New Mimblewimble Code & Community-wide Testnet Launch Might Come in Q1 2021

Implementation of privacy features on Litecoin while other privacy coins getting delisted have people bullish on LTC.

“The first implementation of non-interactive txs is finally ready for testing!” said David Burkett while sharing the update on implementing Mimblewimble to bring privacy to the network.

In the month of December, the first-ever implementation of one-sided txs on Mimblewimble is completed and ready for testing and review and MWEB components have also been added to the GUI.

Going forward, one more week would take to prep Grin++for the final planned hard fork of Grin. And once the new version is released, Burkett will get the new MWEB code ready and launch the new community-wide testnet. This will allow everyone, regardless of technical abilities, to test out the MWEB and provide feedback.

However, there is still no exact date ready for when the code will be finished, but Burkett did ensure that he is “getting very close” but with a lot of automated tests to backfill still, a few outstanding questions about max weight for the EBs & peg-in/peg-out maturity, and lots of small cleanup tasks remaining. He said,

“I’m still expecting to have the code finished sometime this quarter (Q1 2021) though, so it won’t be long.”

Making it a Reality

As per the original plan, the MWEB was to be completed in a year but the team is already two months behind. Burkett said,

“While we didn’t quite meet our original timeline, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I’ve put in countless late-night hours working to make MWEB a reality.”

“But there’s simply too much at stake to release anything less than perfection. LTC deserves it, and we’re all doing everything we can to deliver on that.”

The delay has been because of completely rewriting the code from scratch, while initially it was thought that Grin++’s code would be reused but it didn’t mesh well with the LTC codebase.

Additionally, the original plan included only interactive transactions but that meant users had to be online to receive funds, which would’ve been a whole lot worse for usability, noted the developer who further shared that “at the time, non-interactive txs were not even considered possible in MW, but we figured out a way to do it.”

Enjoying the Greens

During the update, Burkett also urged the community to continue with more donations as he said, “despite huge LTC gains, only 0.25 LTC were donated this month.” Every donation would be matched to litoshi-for-litoshi by Bitcoin creator Charlie Lee.

The price of LTC has been enjoying a rally since 4Q20, moving in tandem with Bitcoin. While Bitcoin went crazy with its over 315% gains in 2020, Litecoin surged just over 220%.

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $10.21 billion is currently trading above $153, up 190% since Oct.

Amidst the ongoing delisting of privacy featured coins, like Zcash (ZEC), Monero (XMR), and DASH from crypto exchanges, some speculate it could make LTC more valuable. Crypto analyst Alex Saunders said,

“More privacy coin delisting news today. My thesis & narrative around Litecoin’s 2nd coming strengthens. With XRP out of the picture & LTC’s regulatory certainty (age, distribution, decentralization, Grayscale Trust) it could regain #3 as it implements privacy features.

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Author: AnTy

Retail is Coming While Bitcoin Whales Are Getting Out & Re-Accumulation Completes

Retail is Coming While Bitcoin Whales Are Getting Out & Re-Accumulation Completes

Meanwhile, “unprecedented” interest in the digital asset during the holiday period will see one of the biggest gap on CME.

After hitting both $27k and $28k on the 27th of December, the price of Bitcoin corrected to $25,800.

Today, we are trading just over $27,000 which makes sense after the monster rally of December that gave us an uptrend of more than 60%.

But interestingly, this rally during the holiday weekend seems to be driven by retail. This demand has been unlike any other ever seen during the holiday periods. “Unprecedented” as put by investor Alistair Milne.

Retail is indeed coming as seen in the growing interest reflected on Google Trends, which has surged to February 2018 levels, and exchange activity. Ki-Young Ju, CEO of data provider CryptoQuant noted,

“Retail investors are coming. BTC outflow from whales is a strong bullish signal. Otherwise, it’s a bearish one as whales tend to benefit from retail investors. We need more exchange outflows from whales before another leg up.”

Ju remains very bullish on BTC in the long term and in the short-term as well, he is expecting the $30k breakout soon but says “it’s hard to break $28.5k.”

If the ongoing cycle mimics the latest one, retail will start accumulating here in large numbers attracted by the price rises, now that “inventory depletion on spot exchanges has stopped, signifying the re-accumulation phase of this macrocycle is likely complete,” said on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

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Woo explains that retail tends to store more of their coins on crypto exchanges, which results in the inventory to climb later in the cycle.

Interestingly, “this re-accumulation phase was 2x more powerful than the last cycle. It took 2x longer to complete and the depletion was 2x deeper,” noted Woo adding that it is “very bullish.”

This resulted in one of the biggest CME gaps ever both in terms of BTC and USD. When the traditional markets were closed down, BTC was trading around $23,700 but bitcoin futures on the largest regulated platform will be opening on Monday at a whopping $4,500 above it.

But with the market moving down today, it is to be seen how this week will go, if a much-wanted pullback will finally come or we will hit $30,000 first. Trader Scott Melker on the prospect of a correction said,

“A drop to 20k to retest the former all-time high as support would terrify many when that price was a dream two weeks ago.”

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Author: AnTy

Are Whales Controlling the Bitcoin Move or ‘Liquidity Crunch’ Caused by Miners?

The crypto market is showing resilience, with any dips in the BTC price getting filled up immediately.

Bitcoin is holding firm above $18,000, on track to retest the high set early this week and then onto $20,000. Charlie Bilello, founder, and CEO of Compound Capital Advisors, noted,

“During the last 3 months of 2017, Bitcoin hit a new all-time high once every 3 days, on average. Since its peak in 2017, Bitcoin has gone 1,069 days without a new high. Longest streak ever was 1,176 days (Dec 2013 to Feb 2017). Bitcoin is now w/in $2,000 of a new high.”

As we reported, the demand for risk has the open interest in the future and options on the rise with “the skew showing plenty of evidence of bullish market positioning.” Denis Vinokourov of Bequant said,

“The trend of turning to stablecoin margined products is particularly supportive for the price action and removes some of the unfavourable price action, since Bitcoin margined futures can amplify downside due to convexity.”

The Whale Move

While retail is here, albeit not in full force, it has been the whales, a few large holders, who are driving the rally and continuing to own most BTC.

According to researcher Flipside Crypto, about 2% of the whales control 95% of the digital asset. However, Lyn Alden of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy argues that the same could be said of the stock market, and while the number of addresses with >0.1 or >1 BTC is growing, addresses with >100 BTC have been shrinking, she said.

“The story is that as the price has surged upwards lately, the concentration in the hands of the largest accounts has also risen,” since July, said Eric Stone, head of data science at Flipside.

As per the breakdown, whales own 92.4% of the 2% while cryptocurrency exchanges account for nearly 7% of the digital asset, down from 7.7% a year ago. More than 70% of Bitcoin addresses have less than 0.01 Bitcoin in them. Stone said,

“While whales continue to be a significant force behind the overall BTC market, it is always challenging to ascribe a narrative to a particular price swing.”

“The most likely whale story today is that they’ll cautiously liquidate relatively small amounts of BTC over time, rather than risking a supply shock by liquidating larger chunks all at once.”

Miners’ Move or Lack of it

Besides whales propelling BTC forward, as a large holder can have an outsized impact on the market. Some speculated this rally could also be driven by Chinese miners’ inability to sell their BTC because of a regulatory crackdown, which has led to a “liquidity crunch.”

But Lucas Nuzzi from CoinMetrics pointed out that this isn’t the case as the miners are unlikely to play this significant role in liquidity.

The supply held by mining pools and individual miners shows that they have not been selling their BTC, which is part of a long-term trend. Miner outflows also invalidate the narrative with the recent spikes in funds sent shows that miners are moving assets, which signals the ability to sell. Moreover, the 30-day miner rolling inventory suggests that nothing out of the ordinary is taking place.

The market has matured since 2017, with derivatives, credit markets, and institutional custody becoming a big part of the infrastructure, making it easier for hedge funds, family offices, and other professional investors to jump in.

With supportive macro factors, hedge against inflation narrative, and good old FOMO, Bitcoin is enjoying an uptrend.

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Author: AnTy

Japan Joins the CBDC Race With A ‘Digital Yen’ Trial; 30 Major Firms Will Start Experiments In 2021

While China has already successfully run the pilot test of its digital yuan, now Japan is getting ready to do the same.

In its attempt to catch up, Japan’s 30 major firms will begin experiments of issuing a private digital currency next year, said the group’s organizing body on Thursday, reported Reuters.

The group consists of the three largest banks in the country, along with retailers, utilities, brokerages, and telecommunication firms. Using a common settlement platform, the group will conduct the experiments for issuing a digital currency. Hiromi Yamaoka, a former BOJ executive in an online briefing, said,

“Japan has many digital platforms, none of which are big enough to beat cash payments.”

“We don’t want to create another silo-type platform. What we want to do is to create a framework that can make various platforms mutually compatible.”

Recently, the Bank of Japan announced its plan to experiment with issuing a digital yen in a country where cashless payments make up only 20% of total settlement than China’s 70% and the United States’ 45%.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, and Mizuho Financial Group — the megabanks of Japan have already rolled out their own digital payment systems.

Yamaoka said while private banks will be in charge of issuing the digital currency in the experiments, other entities’ prospects also issuing a digital yen won’t be ruled out.

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Author: AnTy

Only 8% of The Required Ethereum Deposited For Staking; $1.4 Million Came from Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum is getting ready for the first phase of its transition from Proof-of-Work (PoW) to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) as it announces the release of v1.0.0 specs. The mainnet launchpad is currently live.

Along with this release came the deposit contract that allows people to stake their ETH, and ju.once the locked amount reaches 524,288 ETH from a 16,385 validators threshold, the Beacon Chain, the core of ETH 2.0 will be activated.

Although the team believes it can happen by December 1st, preponed from its previous launch date on Bitcoin’s anniversary on Jan. 1st, it is to be seen if the Ethereum holders will really stake this much of ETH as the current numbers don’t show an eager community.

As of writing, 42,501 ETH worth over $19.6 million has been sent to the deposit contract, which is about double what was staked yesterday.

This means only 8% of the required numbers have been sent yet.

The community doesn’t seem real stoked about locking their ETH for an unknown period when the crypto market is enjoying a rally, with Bitcoin on its another bull run that could take it to a new all-time high.

The second-largest cryptocurrency is also enjoying the greens, up more than 22% in the last three days, trading at $462. While up 253% YTD, Eth is still down 67% from its all-time high.

This recent spike in price also has Ethereum’s daily active addresses interacting on its network trending toward the most bullish day since Oct. 16.

“This could be an indication of BTC profits gradually moving over to ETH and other altcoins as the FOMO crowd presumes that Bitcoin will continue its dominance. Remember that markets tend to ebb and flow based on the least expected outcomes by the crowd,” noted Santiment.

Interestingly, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has already sent his first set of Ether for staking. A total of 100 transactions for 32 ETH each were sent from Buterin’s “VB2” addresses.

Buterin sent a total of 3,200 ETH worth $1.47 million, which accounts for 7.5% of all the staked amount so far.

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Author: AnTy

Andre Cronje’s Latest Project Keep3r Network Getting Hot While YFI Continues to Nuke

While YFI is getting nuked, the latest token KP3R of Andre Cronje’s latest product Keep Keep3r Network launched yesterday in beta rallied to $381 today.

Keep3rV1 (KP3R) is currently trading at $290, as per CoinGecko.

Already, the token has reached a market cap of over $60 million and became the “most traded pair across DEXes after it spikes over 2,000% within 24 hours of launching.” Currently, it is managing $257 million in daily trading volume.

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Meanwhile, DeFi darling YFI has slipped about 54% in the past month and continues to do so as it currently trades at $11,550. And at the current price, “86.6% of the addresses with a balance in YFI are out of the money,” as per IntoTheBlock.

Cronje, who is known for Yearn,Finance project, first shared this project last week, which only went live this week.

Launched in beta, the network is still under audit. Although Keep3r Network v1 contracts have been released and have been audited and reviewed, bugs could still be found; as such it is advised not to invest one is not willing to lose.

It is basically a decentralized network for projects that need external DevOps and for external teams to find keeper jobs.

Here a keeper is an external person or a team that executes a job, which refers to a smart contract that wants an external entity to perform an action.

To join as a Keeper, you call bond on the Keep3r contract that needs 3 days to be activated. For this, KRP tokens aren’t needed.

As for registering a job, it can be done by submitting a proposal via Governance or through a contract interface.

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Author: AnTy

Mt. Gox Rehabilitation Plan Deadline Postponed, Yet Again, for Two Months

It’s been over six years, and Mt. Gox creditors are still not any closer to getting their BTC back.

In the Tokyo District Court’s latest announcement, the rehabilitation plan deadline has been postponed, yet again, from Oct. 15, 2020, to December 15, 2020.

Already this deadline has been changed several times, and yet again, they postponed it to two months later, which brings no relief as this could easily be changed again. According to the order,

“The Rehabilitation Trustee is currently formulating the rehabilitation plan, but as there are matters that require closer examination with regard to the rehabilitation plan, it has become necessary to extend the submission deadline for the rehabilitation plan.”

mt gox rehab plan

The cryptocurrency market continues to await the possible release of 150,000 BTC, currently worth over $1.7 billion, to its former users.

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Author: AnTy

Lido to Allow ETH to be Staked on Ethereum 2.0 and Still Participate in DeFi

Ethereum 2.0 is getting ready for first big steps; in the next few weeks, it will begin its transition to proof of stake (PoS) by launching Phase 0 to allow people to stake their ETH.

But it comes with the caveat that the staked ETH will remain unlocked for months or years until transactions are enabled on ETH 2.0. It further means, these stakes ETH, which can only be in the multiple of 32 (worth about $11,850 at the time of writing), can’t be moved, traded, or used as collateral.

To allow people to secure the network through staking and participate in DeFi simultaneously, Lido is launched. Currently, in development, this project is headed by CEO Jordan Fish and CTO Vasiliy Shapovalov, with more details to come over the next few weeks.

This staking solution for Eth 2.0 is built to solve the issue of staked ETH being non-transferable and illiquid.

When using Lido to stake ETH on the Ethereum beacon chain, users will receive a token called bETH, representing ETH on the Ethereum beacon chain on a 1:1 basis.

Staking rewards earned from staked ETH will reflect the user’s ETH balance on the beacon chain, and so will the bETH balances.

“We believe that bETH will be an important base primitive in DeFi, and a foundational building block for the Ethereum money-lego stack,” reads the official announcement.

In this manner, ETH users can earn incentives through staking and simultaneously getting access to additional yield by participating in DeFi protocols.

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Author: AnTy