Cardano’s ADA Overtakes XRP to Become Fourth-Largest Cryptocurrency After ‘Mary’ Hard Fork

Cardano’s ADA Overtakes XRP to Become Fourth-Largest Cryptocurrency After ‘Mary’ Hard Fork

  • ADA just flipped XRP in market cap, establishing a firm lead over the latter.
  • Blockchain projects are seeing significant gains as many look for Ethereum alternatives.
  • 2021 already saw significant shifts in the crypto rankings as the industry continues to adapt to new developments and price movement.

In what is the latest seismic shift, ADA, the native cryptocurrency for blockchain platform Cardano, has now flipped XRP to break into the top four crypto rankings.

Mary Making Moves

According to data from CoinMarketCap, ADA is now the industry’s fourth-largest asset, reaching its highest market cap metric over the weekend. As of press time, ADA the asset has gained 90 percent in the past seven days compared to XRP, which has lost 26 percent of its value in the same period. ADA now holds a market cap of $20.5 billion. With the asset holding over $1 billion in market cap gains over XRP, this new reality could hold on for a while.

The Cardano ecosystem has been witnessing some significant change recently. Last week, the Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) team, the blockchain project’s developers, announced an update to the blockchain to take it one step closer to the Goguen era.

Dubbed “Mary,” the update will essentially bring the blockchain closer to being a multi-asset, decentralized smart contract network platform. With it, developers will be able to create user-defined native tokens that can easily be transacted across the Cardano network.

The update will also allow other projects to migrate or offer part of their token supply to the Cardano blockchain. Unlike networks such as Ethereum, Cardano uses a mechanism that handles all tokenization on its ledger instead of smart contracts. So, all tokens in the blockchain can follow the same support system instead of requiring the creation of multiple layers like those in ERC-20 tokens.

IOHK believes that this new approach will improve the Cardano blockchain’s performance and scalability, while also reducing transaction costs. Amongst others, the hope is that the update will encourage decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol developers, who have been growing increasingly frustrated with rising gas costs and other features that have maligned the Ethereum blockchain.

“Mary” is one of two hard forks that will allow Cardano to move into the Goguen era. It is expected to be implemented on the Cardano mainnet by the end of the month, depending on IOHK’s tests’ outcome.

Blockchain Projects on the Rise

ADA was one of the biggest winners of 2020, gaining over 600 percent as the Cardano blockchain became more popular as a possible Ethereum substitute for DeFi protocol developers and more.

The asset is also seeing significant gains in staking – a part of the crypto industry that is buzzing with activity. Data from Staking Rewards shows that ADA is now the highest digital asset by staked value, with $14.3 billion, 71 percent of its total circulating value, locked in staking pools.

So far, several blockchain projects have seen significant gains in price this year. 2021 already saw the rise of DOT, which has eclipsed names like Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin to become the sixth-largest digital asset. With $18.5 billion in current market cap, it could be making a run for XRP soon as well.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Is Waiting for Regulators to Come Down Hard on Bitcoin

Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Is Waiting for Regulators to Come Down Hard on Bitcoin

While O’Shares ETFs’ chairman is ready to miss out on the golden opportunity, preferring to live in his bubble, Bitcoin hit $24,700 on Christmas. Meanwhile, Pomp feels “we’re underestimating the psychological shift,” which will result in more capital flow into this asset.

So, this week, Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks offered a special merchandise discount for Bitcoin buyers.

Yes, the same Cuban who sees bananas as more valuable than Bitcoin offered the fans of Mavs an opportunity to pay with Bitcoin through BitPay. However, for Bitcoiners, spending their BTC simply doesn’t make sense when the digital asset is trading near its all-time high of $24,400.

But Cuban’s buddy Kevin O’Leary who also appears on Shark Tank says what Cuban believes is that “bananas are a bigger common currency and he’s probably right.”

O’Leary appeared on CNBC on Thursday to talk about Bitcoin when he yet again shared his doubt about BTC as he said, “there is no evidence” of the world’s largest digital asset having a “reverse correlation to correcting markets,” as such it can’t be used to protect capital.

He pointed out how in March 2020, when all the market sold-off, from stocks to gold, “if you owned bitcoin you got slaughtered and you had a lot more volatility than the S&P.”

The Fear of Regulator

While Bitcoin as a concept of a digital currency is one that would work, “it’s not even a single-cell amoeba if you took all of the market cap of bitcoin, totally irrelevant,” he said.

While O’Leary sees Bitcoin’s $445 billion market cap as an issue, the crypto market and many high-profile names like Paul Tudor Jones, and JPMorgan among others see it as a huge opportunity because BTC has so much capital to acquire.

According to the chairman of O’Shares ETFs, “it’s fun if you’re an individual, high net worth person that wants to just play with it” and put capital into it. “But the financial markets deal with regulators and you can only operate within the confines of those rules,” he said.

“No institutional sovereign fund investor has asked for an index of all of the cryptocurrencies”, he said. Interestingly, just this month, the S&P Dow Jones and CBOE announced that they will be launching the crypto index next year.

The reason why these institutional sovereign fund investors don’t want to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon, according to O’Leary is “they fear the regulator.” He added,

“I’m waiting for the day that one of these regulators comes down hard on bitcoin. Grown men are going to weep when that happens. You’ll never see a loss of capital like that ever in your life, it’ll be brutal and I’m just saying you got to get ready for it to that point.”

Underestimating the Shift

O’Leary’s remarks have been in reaction to Bitcoin proponent Anthony Pompliano, who also appeared on CNBC to talk about how the huge amount of BTC bought by Grayscale and corporations like Square and MicroStrategy are “not coming back out into the market.” Pompliano, co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets said,

“People are basically taking Bitcoin off the market and so you don’t need tons and tons of new interest but I actually think that we’re underestimating the psychological shift that investors have gone through. This is because of the four trillion dollar marketing campaign run by the US government for the devaluation of the US dollar in 2020.”

“Investors are listening… they’re paying attention and they’re choosing to move their capital into an area where they can protect their wealth and Bitcoin serves not only a store of value but also an asymmetric type potential return,” he said adding that we just haven’t had such an asset and “as people wake up and understand it they’re going to continue to see more and more capital flow into this asset in the coming years.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN) in the Lead with 123 Blocks Following the Hard Fork Chain Split

The Bitcoin Cash Network, a hard fork of the largest network Bitcoin, has yet again split into two new Blockchains.

Out of the total hash rate, Bitcoin accounts for the majority at 98.1% while Bitcoin Cash has a share of 1.2%, and a mere 0.7% goes to mine Bitcoin SV, which was the result of the hard fork from Bitcoin Cash in Nov. 2018.

During this upgrade, Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCH ABC) received no hash power making it possible for Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN) to become the dominant software of the Bitcoin Cash network.

BitMEX’s research arm said there are no two chains because BCHN produced three blocks after the split, and not a single one was produced by BCHA.

But Bitcoin ABC took to Twitter to share that Bitcoin Cash blockchain has split into two chains, and now there are two separate coins called BCHA and BCHN. As such, people who owned Bitcoin Cash before the split now own both of those coins.

All of this has been because Bitcoin Cash went through a hard fork on Nov. 15 at 12:00 UTC, which has been contentious.

It is a regular thing for the Bitcoin Cash network, which undergoes an upgrade every six months. If the community is unable to meet consensus, the chain splits, which is what happened when BSV came into existence and exactly what’s happening this time as well.

This time, the upgrade also included a controversial new “Coinbase Rule,” which requires 8% of mined Bitcoin Cash to be redistributed to Bitcoin ABC to fund protocol development.

This was opposed by another group who removed this “miner-tax” from their source code.

With the last common block between the BCHN & BCHA networks now mined by Antpool, the chains have split at height: 661,647.

The BCHN chain is currently 123 blocks ahead.

Bitcoin Cash Hash Rates by Network Summary
Source: Coin.Dance

Even before the fork, 80% of the miners supported it, and some major crypto exchanges also announced support for BCHN.

With hash power in BCHN’s favor, if BCH ABC doesn’t attract enough hash power, the blockchain may just disappear.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Developers Set to Release ETH 1.x “Berlin” Hard Fork in January After Delays

The Berlin fork stands as a hard fork of the current ETH 1.x proof-of-work (PoW) blockchain. This system-wide upgrade includes low-level changes to improve the original mainchain while ETH 2.0 is still under development. At first, the planned launch was to be in July but pushed back to summer thanks to a perceived need for higher client diversity, alongside clients and employees experiencing burnout.

Geth Ruling The ETH Nodes

In particular, devs highlighted Geth, which stands as one of 11 client specifications. Even so, 79% of all Ethereum nodes operate on it, having gained 5% since December last year. As such, developers have a serious concern that some critical bugs could develop thanks to the rolling updates to ETH 1.x, which itself is gearing towards a complete transition to a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm.

Péter Szilágyi stands as the team leader for Geth and gave a statement last Friday about the matter. He highlighted that it’s critically important that this update is done right, seeing as Geth is the majority of the network. Szilágyi stated that the ETH team couldn’t afford to not be correct about this matter.

Rushing Could Lead To Disaster

As a result, the update needed to be delayed to ensure that the entire thing will operate smoothly. With the five languages listed by the Ethereum foundation, 11 clients in total, a small niche or nuance for the one client can quickly turn into a catastrophic bug if not appropriately investigated.

Ever since, the process of including various Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) and determining which one will end up in the hard fork, has seen a significant shift.

Changing Of EIP Lineups

At the original launch plan in June, Berlin was scheduled to add three EIPs. The first was EIP-2315, which held simple subroutines for the EVM. The second was EIP-2537, which would add BLS12-381 curve operations. Lastly, EIP-2929 would see gas cost increases when it comes to state access opcodes.

Now, however, things have changed. EIP-2537 will now not be included within the Berlin update. EIP-2537 will make it possible for the ETH 1.x and the ETH 2.0 blockchains to speak with each other, thanks to similar cryptographic setups.

The remaining EIPs will see a new life, as it will now be included within the YOLO v3 short-run testnet, which is set to release within the next few weeks.

It should be noted that EIP-1559 and other important EIPs that would restructure the transaction model of Ethereum will now no longer be included within the Berlin update.

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Author: Ali Raza

Green Shots Emerge in DeFi Following the Painful Unwinding of the Crowded Space

During the recent correction, the DeFi market pulled back hard, so much so that the seven days percentage returns are still in the negative by 20% to 40%.

Except for a handful of top DeFi tokens, all of them plunged 70% to 95%.

But the market seems to be gaining momentum yet again. While in the past hour, DeFi tokens are slowly turning red, in the last 24 hours, significant gains have been made.

Notable mentions include Cream (81%), Swerve (81%), Hydro Protocol (44.3%), bZx Protocol (30%), YFI (17%), Loopring (12%), Aave (10%), Bancor (6.3%), Chainlink (5.6%), Serum (5%), Synthetix (3.8%), and CRV (2.5%).

Total Value Locked (TVL) in DeFi has also climbed to $7.95 billion after falling to the $6.78 billion low today from the high of $9.5 billion on Sept. 2nd.

Uniswap, with $1.47 billion in TVL, is now dominating the DeFi space, a position juggling between Aave, Curve Finance, and the long-standing leader Maker.

Another Vicious to Resume

The market correction was actually the domino effect of DeFi positions unwinding after the head chef of SushiSwap decided to call it a day by pulling a Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, or you could say Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin.

“The uber-crowded trade in US equities is nothing compared to the crowded nature of DeFi space,” said Denis Vinokourov of London-based brokerage service Bequant.

When DeFi tokens started going down, “the spillover effects turned out to be significant,” which makes sense given that almost $10 billion worth of capital was splashing in the ecosystem. Vinokourov said,

“Going back to the recent price action and as demonstrated in the past, crowded trade unwinds are extremely painful and broad-based but eventually green shots emerge.”

And this is what we are seeing in the market currently. Also, with a considerable reduction in Ethereum gas levels and potential interest from China, another vicious circle will soon resume.

An Opportunity for Competitors

During the DeFi craze, network fees being too darn high also came back in the light. Ethereum miners made a killing from transaction fees, pocketing a total of $113 million in profit in August, up over 3,660% from the meager $3 million earned just four months back.

This means the Ethereum network has all to gain from this DeFi craze and to lose as well.

So, what the second-largest network needs, according to Vitalik Buterin, is nothing but “drastic increase in scalability” – which involves only sharding and rollups, and that has been coming for years.

This makes it a big opportunity for Ethereum competitors such as Cardano, Tezos, and EOS. But while Cardano has just released its mainnet, EOS is not seeing much traction, recording $1.74 billion volume compared to Ethereum’s $5.64 billion.

But according to Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one, the company behind EOS, “EOS will unleash DeFi… EOS has the performance, liquidity, and developer community to support DeFi applications that aren’t possible anywhere else.”

Polkadot is another one that jumped the ranks thanks to a denomination – crypto’s version of the stock split.

In the meantime, market participants acknowledged Ethereum’s layer2 solutions like the OMG network and Loopring, resulting in these tokens outperforming.

But Vinokourov says, Ether contenders “command significant financial firepower and a competing platform to rival Ethereum’s DeFi is likely a matter of time.”

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Author: AnTy

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

Jihan Wu Looks to Split Bitmain’s AntMiner Supply Chain & Manufacturing Process

The power tussle in the largest Bitcoin miner maker, Bitmain, is now threatening to essentially hard fork its operations for the production of AntMiner equipment.

On July 16, one of Bitmain’s co-founder, Wu Jihan registered a new firm in Shenzhen, China. The new firm is known as Guiji Yanghang which is an offshoot of a recently registered firm called Beijing Guiyuan Dalu which Wu controls.

Wu engineered the ouster of Micree Zhan Ketuan, Bitmain’s co-founder, late last year after a protracted power tussle between the two. However Zhan managed to retake the control of the firm in June this year after the Chinese authorities sided with him.

According to a source privy to Wu’s plans, the new firm is meant to separate the supply chain from the production process in regards to AntiMiner equipment. This is seen as a counter move to Zhan’s taking over of the Beijing Bitmain Shenzhen factory following his return at the apex of the company last month.

Wu’s move is the most recent in a power tussle saga which could further confuse the firm’s international clients willing to buy the AntiMiner equipment. At the moment, for instance, it still remains unclear what faction will own the AntiMiner brand as well as its shipment logistics. It is also unclear which faction will provide post-sale services.

Last Friday, Wu in an internal letter explained that he had to come back to the firm and take over the leadership in order to save Bitmain from collapse following cash flow issues running into hundred million dollars, reportedly caused by Zhan.

The letter also explained that Wu has started a process of another supply chain to counter the Shenzhen factory’s role which affects the shipment of the AntiMiners.

In a notice published in the company’s WeChat account that is controlled by Wu, the firm apologized to its global clients saying that June shipments are likely to be delayed following external interference of the firm’s management process.

Having been ousted in October last year, Zhan, who is the largest shareholder in Bitmain, was granted control of the firm by the Chinese authorities on June 3.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Qtum Completes Testnet Hard Fork Prior to the Real Event in August; Adds Offline Staking

The Qtum network has completed a hard fork on its testnet in the run-up to its mainnet hard fork, which is scheduled to take place on August 28, 2020, on block height 680,000. The testnet hard fork – initiated on June 29 at block no 625,000 and the last phase of the testnet – are scheduled to start on July 6 before the mainnet upgrade undertaking.

This hard fork would introduce offline staking on the Qtum network. The firm also confirmed that, during the testnet phase, more than 300 network participants managed to gain 1000 Qtum through staking. The firm released a statement on the addition of offline staking and said:

“Offline staking is one of the biggest changes to the Qtum protocol to date. Up until now, Qtum has allowed Proof-of-Stake consensus staking only from online nodes that secure and operate the blockchain. As a result, QTUM holders who did not want to run a full node had security concerns, or struggled to meet the resource and power requirements were unable to participate in staking.”

The founder of the Qtum network believes that testnet staking would help users become familiar with its staking ecosystem, and help clients understand how easy it can be to stake your token and earn passive income on top of it. He said:

“This will empower the community to undertake the same tasks in a realistic setting when the mainnet hard fork goes live in late August, bringing offline staking to the Qtum ecosystem.”

Offline Staking Would Make Qtum More Decentralized

Qtum believes the offline staking service would make the network more decentralized than ever as it would attract more traders towards the staking. The staking will be the second hard-fork for the blockchain network; the first one took place back in October 2019 at block number 466,000.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Telegram Fined $18.5M As Court Battle With SEC Closes; Ordered to Pay Back $1.2B for ICO

  • After a long hard fight to launch and distribute the GRAM tokens, Telegram and the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) agreed to settle.
  • The messaging app will pay the SEC an $18.5 million fine and distribute $1.22 billion back to its investors within the next four years.

According to a court filing on June 24, 2020, the U.S Southern District Court of New York Judge Kevin Castel, ordered Telegram to pay a civil penalty of $18.5 million to the SEC within the next 30 days for violating the securities laws in issuing its GRAM tokens during its public offering.

The court also ordered the disgorgement of the $1.7 billion ICO raised in 2018, asking Telegram to return $1.22 billion (72% of the ICO amount) as agreed in the ICO contract – if the project failed to launch. Telegram already stated that U.S. investors will receive 72% of their investment back with non-U.S. investors having the option to defer their payment for one year and receive 110% of their funds back.

A three-year watch

Telegram will also have a three-year “baby-sitting” period whereby they will need to give the SEC a 45-day notice before the launch or issuance of a similar token to GRAM –

“cryptocurrencies, digital coins, digital tokens, or (and) similar digital asset issued or transferred using distributed ledger technology.”

However, the company is only obliged to give notice to the SEC and does not constitute SEC giving approval or consent on the asset. The statement further reads,

“Nor should this [notice] be construed to require Defendants to provide the Commission with any information beyond the notice contemplated herein.”

A fair ruling?

Lawyer and governing council at Compound Finance, Jake Chervinsky, weighed in on ruling stating it may be the best outcome for Telegram. He tweeted,

“Telegram’s SEC settlement seems fair given the facts & circumstances surrounding the TON project & Grams offering (which were very bad for Telegram).”

The six-month-long court battle finally comes to a close but “sadly ends [this saga] on a confused District Court opinion”, Jake said on the court’s decision to use the Howey Test to prove Telegram’s token is a security. No more GRAMs, but TON blockchain lives on as an open-source network.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum Classic Successfully Completes Third Hard Fork Phoenix, Earlier Than Expected

  • Ethereum Classic (ETC) completes its third successful hard fork on May 31, 2020.
  • The hard fork implements the “Ethereum Istanbul” hard fork upgrades making the two sister chains totally compatible.

Ethereum Classic completed its third successful fork of the year, named Phoenix, which introduces complete compatibility with Ethereum, including its Istanbul hard fork upgrades.

The ETC Phoenix upgrade scheduled to go live at block number #10,500,839, however, came about ten days early from the planned event date. This hard fork follows the successful updates of Atlantis and Agharta upgrades in the past year.

While the two blockchains will remain completely independent, the update increases the efficiency in collaborative use cases, tools, and future opportunities to absolute technical compatibility between ETH, ETC.

So far, a total of 326 clients or 68.4% of the total client nodes have successfully synced to the Phoenix upgrade including Corgeth, Multigeth and OpenEthereum (which has a few issues).

Despite the hard fork going live over 14 hours ago, Besu client node is yet to sync on the new update fully. Besu is used by enterprise clients, including projects like Hyperledger, which does not affect the blockchain in any way.

Parity client is currently moved to OpenEthereum after the Parity Tech devs no longer manage and maintain the client.

ETC/USD Remains Stagnant Despite Successful Fork

The price of ETC against the dollar dropped on the news of the fork coming ten days early – losing three percent in the past day. The ‘original Ethereum’ currently trades at $7.00 across major exchanges, representing a 6.2% spike in the past week.

Ethereum Classic continues its fight to supremacy after surviving a certain death during Ethereum’s fork from the chain. Recently, the leading blockchain developers on Ethereum Classic, ETC Labs, announced they would integrate Chainlink’s decentralized oracle system to improve the system.

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Author: Lujan Odera