Privacy-Focused Messaging App, Signal Launches Crypto Payments Through MobileCoin

  • Signal, the private messaging app, launches a mobile payment system.

Following an impressive year in the messaging industry, Signal, the popular private messaging app, is launching mobile payments system, mobilecoin (MOB). According to a statement by Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike, who has been an adviser to the project for the past three years, the new payment system aims to provide a simple and private platform to send payments. The platform is built on Stellar blockchain leveraging the blockchain’s scalability and instant payments network.

The platform will launch a beta project first before rolling out the full product, a blog post confirmed on Tuesday. At launch, the beta phase of Signal’s payment service will only be available to U.K. customers enabling them “to send and receive privacy-focused payments as easily as sending or receiving a message.”

Users will send funds, receive funds, keep track of their balances, and review their transaction history directly from the Signal app. MobileCoin aims to improve privacy in financial transactions; hence the app will not have access “to your balance, full transaction history, or funds.” The app also allows users to transfer funds when they switch to another app or service.

The coin will be available to eligible users only on FTX exchange.

However, some analysts look at this as a step back for Signal, who have made their name in enhancing privacy via encrypted messages. “Signal as an encrypted messaging product is really valuable,” Matthew Green, a member of the Zcash Foundation board, said.

“Speaking solely as a person who is really into encrypted messaging, it terrifies me that they’re going to take this really clean story of an encrypted messenger and mix it up with the nightmare of laws and regulations and vulnerability that is cryptocurrency.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Yield Farming & NFT’s Led 2020’s DeFi Boom; Boosting DApp Volume by 1178%: DappRadar

The decentralized finance (DeFi) space has arguably been the most impressive component of the entire crypto industry in 2020.

With Bitcoin rallying to record highs, total assets locked in DeFi protocols have reached record levels too. However, it now appears to be bringing in an influx of users to decentralized apps (dApps), again.

DeFi is Pulling DApps Use

This week, top DApp tracking platform DAppRadar published its 2020 DApp Industry Report, revealing that there has been over $270 billion in transaction volumes in 2020. The platform noted that a staggering 95 percent of these volumes came from the Ethereum-based DeFi ecosystem, marking a jump from $21 billion last year.

The report pointed out that the DeFi space had also contributed to Ether’s growth, with money flowing from Bitcoin to the asset all through the year. DAppRadar explained that this cash influx’s primary driver was the theoretical yields in DeFi, with renBTC and Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC) allowing dApps to tap some of Bitcoin’s liquidity.

Moving on, DAppRadar explained that only ten DeFi dApps accounted for 87 percent of the total transaction volumes on Ethereum. The report echoed findings from November when DAppRadar’s rankings showed that dApps had attracted over a million users in 30 days.

At the time, the top three DApps – DeFi Swap, Uniswap, and Compound, respectively – accounted for over 930,000 users between them. None of the remaining dApps in the top ten rankings had over 30,000 users that month.

Data from Dune Analytics also found that a single DeFi user could have used multiple addresses to interact with several dApps on several occasions during a month. It would be challenging to accurately estimate the actual number of users from DAppRadar’s numbers. As Dune estimated, the total cumulative DeFi wallet addresses were about 901,000.

Even at that, the numbers seem pretty impressive, especially considering that the DeFi space was almost nowhere this time in 2019.

Problems Remain

While the report was positive, it also highlighted some of the challenges plaguing the DeFi space. As expected, it touched issues such as the apparent dependence on the Ethereum blockchain, which has led to challenges like network congestion and higher gas fees.

Hacks and security breaches have also become common, with crafty hackers capitalizing on security flaws in DeFi smart contracts to steal users’ funds. As DAppRadar estimates, hackers have stolen over $120 million across 12 hacks this year. The tracking platform adds that the industry should improve insurance in 2021, which will enhance user confidence.

In general, DAppRadar notes that the future is bright for DeFi. Issues like the coronavirus pandemic and more have brought decentralized platforms into the forefront, and dApps have benefited from that rise in prominence.

With DeFi set to play a more prominent role in the global economy, it should spread its benefits to components like gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and dApps.

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Author: AnTy

Canada-Based Voyager Digital Announces Nearly 2000% Growth In Customers’ Assets Growth In 2020

Quick Read:

– Voyager released its latest financial report for the year with impressive figures

– Recording Increases in customer asset growth, brokerage accounts, and revenue


In a press release, Canadian publicly listed cryptocurrency broker, Voyager announced an impressive 1,159 % surge in revenue, registering approx. $1.1 million over the fiscal year ending June 2020. The total brokerage accounts also grew massively across the past year from 10,000 accounts to 89,000, representing 750% growth. Finally, brokerage accounts’ growth is well reflected in the customer assets growth – a 1,959% growth to $35 million in 2020 from about $1.7 million in June 2019.

Voyager Digital also made several partnerships and strategic acquisitions across the fiscal year, including partnerships with leading traditional trading platforms, including Market Rebellion, Sterling Trading Tech, and RoundlyX. Voyager Digital also acquired the crypto wallet services firm Ethos Universal Wallet and Circle Invest, intending to accelerate its growth.

The company also launched the Voyager Interest Program offering 17 digital assets with interest-bearing qualities. To market and sensitize users on the program, the Canadian crypto broker announced an advisory relationship with NBA Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady, who will help educate customers on the platform.

Stephen Ehrlich, CEO at Voyager Digital, is looking forward to a bigger 2021 for the company – as they “bolster the platform’s capabilities and meet the demands of the customer base.” In the first quarter of the 2021 fiscal year, Voyager expects $2 million in revenue, representing a growth of over 200% from Q1 2019. Ehrlich also expects users to witness new products that will enhance their experience and drive them to the digital asset platform.

Some of the upcoming milestones for the firm include integrating Circle’s Stablecoin (USDC) platform services on Voyager, expand globally to other regions and continents (currently available in Canada), list more tokens on its platform and obtain a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) allowing them to carry out digital currency activities in the U.S. Speaking on the expansion, Ehrlich said,

“At the same time, we are focused on accelerating our international expansion by moving into new regions in North America as well as into Europe and Latin America.

Over time, we expect to make the Voyager App available to customers worldwide”.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Binance And OKEx Latest Crypto Exchanges To List, COMP, Compound’s Governance Token

Compound (COMP) is setting an impressive rise since its launch a fortnight ago with the coin’s price, popularity, and total value locked have seen multiple times growth rates since then. Additionally, several crypto exchanges have rushed to list the token after its impressive performance. After additions to Coinbase Pro, Coinbase, and FTX derivatives exchange, COMP is now set to start trading on OKEx and Binance.

OKEx launches COMP spot trading

Big exchanges are jumping on to listing Compound’s governance token in what can only be described as a FOMO move listing a two-week-old token. OKEx becomes the latest exchange to launch trading pairs of the coin, including the Tether (USDT) and Bitcoin (BTC) pairs.

Users can buy, sell, deposit, and withdraw COMP from the exchange as of Monday, Jun 29, the announcement reads. Trading opened at 9 AM UTC, and as at the time of writing, only 228 COMP has been traded on both pairs on the exchange.

COMP currently trades at an average of $235 across major exchanges representing a 4.31% drop in the past 24 hours. The daily trading volumes remain high at $11 million across 31 listed pairs on over ten exchanges – COMP reached an all-time high daily trading volume of $31 million on Friday.

Safe or not? Binance launches futures trading

In a similar breath, Binance launched futures trading of the COMP token offering USDT settled contracts starting Tuesday, June 30. The statement reads,

“Binance Futures will launch COMP/USDT perpetual contract, with the trading opening on 2020/06/30 09:00 AM (UTC). Users will be able to select between 1-50x leverage.”

However, a section of crypto traders has come forward criticizing the exchange for its high leverage positions on a relatively new token in the market. It is a question of making a profit vs. a safe environment for traders.

Binance, which has been at the forefront in speaking on the need to protect users, faces a dilemma as the volatility of an unproven token may cause a similar flash crash to Matic Network’s in December 2019 and with it liquidate users’ funds.

Rise to the top

Compound is a platform that allows users to earn interest by lending and borrowing digital assets. Launched in 2019, the company ascend to the top of the DeFi industry comes as a shock to many. Compound is currently the largest DeFi platform overtaking Maker (MKR) in total asset value locked (TVL), according to Defipulse.com.

Compound dominates the industry with $626 million in digital assets locked on the platform, representing 38.2% of the total value in decentralized finance.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple Critic Compliments its “Impressive Tech” & XRP Seeing “Real Traction”

  • Messari founder Ryan Selkis says Ripple has built “one of the more impressive tech stacks”
  • Ripple is the “Jekyll and Hyde of crypto” that is doing great work and a phenomenal team while coming up with transparency reports that obfuscate things

Ryan Selkis doesn’t hate Ripple or XRP, clarified the Messari Founder in his latest newsletter. Earlier last year, Selkis released a report contesting the market capitalization of the digital asset XRP and received a lot of backlash from the “XRP Army.”

Then in November, he published a report accusing the company of using RippleWorks charity foundation as a tax shelter, findings that coincided with Elliptic’s report tying $400 million of illicit activity in XRP.

“Yes, I’ve called out the company leadership for lack of transparency, and yes, I’ve compared the company to Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde because of its strange business model. But I actually think Ripple’s tech is interesting, and the asset could prove successful under a certain set of (admittedly unlikely) scenarios,” said Selkis Thursday.

Recently, he appeared on Abra’s Money 3.0 podcast where when asked about Ripple, Selkis shared much positive views on the software company that he said has built “one of the more impressive tech stacks.”

According to him, Ripple’s tech solutions are also much closer to “product fit” than any other (99%) projects in the crypto space.

The issue, however, has always been what he called the “Jekyll and Hyde of crypto.”

Jekyll and Hyde of Crypto

Ripple’s development in the space can’t be denied, having crossed over 300 in its partners’ list that involves some of the world’s top banks and financial institutions.

“On the one hand, you’ve got Dr. Jekyll who’s trying to dis-intermediate SWIFT and working with all these banks and got this phenomenal team and board and advisory members and they are creating interesting tech, solving real problems, and were very early as pioneers in the industry,” explained Selkis.

But in the midst of these developments, Ripple comes up with transparency reports that really doesn’t clear out things much regarding how funds are actually flowing or the actual funding model, said Selkis. The “continuous fundraise” is also treated as revenue by the company.

And the party line is the 80% of XRP that was “gifted to their balance sheet,” and has been sold but they don’t really care about the securities law aspect of it.

“What we do care about is whether the XRP currently outstanding is truly circulating or whether it’s encumbered in some way, shape or form.”

Because if XRP is encumbered, Selkis said two things would happen, either they are understating the amount to sell-pressure from insiders, which is what actually playing over the course of the last 18 months, or their market cap is overstated.

Ripple and XRP are seeing real traction

Ripple could end up doing “very well if the banks take the bait,” and Ripple continues to offer them “sweetheart deal” to buy the digital asset for “pennies on the dollar.”

“So, it’s like “fake it until you make it coin.” The revenue model and what the company actually delivers are two very, very different things, he said.

However, recently, Daniel Vogel CEO of Bitso, Mexico’s remittance company and Ripple partner revealed how the company has been utilizing XRP in remittance flows across the US-Mexico border. He said they’re aiming to capture 20% of the weekly US-Mexico remittance flow by the end of 2020.

“For now, it’s at least one example of a market where Ripple and XRP are seeing real traction. Time will tell if that recipe is replicable in other markets,” said Selkis.

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Author: AnTy

EOS’s Loss is TRON’s Gain as it Officially Becomes the Second-Largest Dapp Ecosystem

  • Defi apps saw the “most impressive” growth while the investment hype of gambling dapps dwindling
  • Ethereum a go-to choice for gamers & financial dapp users while gambling and high-risk dapps rule TRON
  • One dapp causes all the pain to EOS

In 2019, just like price decentralized applications (DApps) sector also saw a boost. The number of dapp users doubled last year in comparison to 2018, with 2.77 million new users, as per the Dapp.com 2019 Annual Dapp Market Report. However, not all of them were active, only 348k old users, 11% of all active users, remained active.

The report finds that nine leading blockchains recorded transactions of 3.26 billion, a whopping more than 2.3 billion belonged to EIDOS on EOS alone.

Interestingly, financial services, like lending dapps registered the “most impressive” growth as the number of financial dapp users increased by 610% while transaction volume by 251%. DeFi dapps are the second-largest category with a total of 1 million active users.

When it comes to gambling users, they increased by 372%, the same as the high-risk dapp users’ growth. However, their investment/presale hype has weakened and its volume dropped significantly, 60% compared to 2018.

Ethereum a go-to choice for gamers & financial dapp users

When it comes out smart contract platforms, Ethereum remained the king with the launch of 690 new dapps and over 1.4 million active users throughout the year, accounting for 10% of the total amount of active users. But recorded one of the lowest activities at 62%.

About half of active Ethereum dapp users have used DeFi apps as evident from the fact that 70% of the volume generated by Ether was through the use of DEXs and financial services.

It also remains the first choice for game developers, having over 200k gamers, which is twice the sum of EOS and TRON games.

Gambling and high-risk dapps rule TRON

Ethereum is followed by Tron which officially become the second-largest dapp ecosystem. 411 new apps built on its blockchain last year. The number of TRON’s mainnet accounts has grown significantly. These over 3.260 million new accounts have been driven by its partnerships, especially with the Samsung, Opera, and issuance of TRC-20 standard USDT.

The TRON-based USDT has actually surpassed $900 million, which is about 20% of the total USDT supply. Gambling and high-risk apps, however, still dominate TRON, accounting for over 75% of the active users and volume.

One dapp causes all the pain to EOS

EOS has taken a beating by seeing only 260 new dapps but they generated a volume of $5 billion, nearly 50% of the total volume. This volume surpasses those of Ethereum and Tron to emerge at the top. They also have the highest activity among all the platforms, reaching 97%. The highest dapp usage rate from its mainnet accounts at 48.9% is also of EOS.

The most important launch on EOS was EIDOS that increased the number of transactions by over 4 times. Prior to its launch, EOS has the largest number of daily active users that dropped by 80% after EIDOS went live on Nov. 1. Although EIDOS’s unique on-chain users were only 2.8% of the total active users on EOS, they contributed 85% of the total amount of transactions.

The migration of its most active dapps EOSbet (Earnbet), Prospectors and Karma to Wax Blockchain also caused great loss to the EOS ecosystem in 4Q19.

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Author: AnTy

3 Drivers That Will Push Bitcoin Above $14,000 in 2020: Fundstrat Research

  • BTC’s impressive 92% return in 2019 was driven by the significant policy and regulatory headwinds
  • In 2020, Bitcoin and crypto total return should exceed that of 2019, Tom Lee founded a research company

In 2019, the Bitcoin price surged about 90%, going from $3,750 to end the month at about $7,200.

What contributed to these gains in 2019 was the events in Q2 that took Bitcoin to its yearly high at $13,900, recording the gains of 160%.

According to Fundstrat Research, these were on the back of Facebook announcing its Libra plan in June and then US President Donald Trump, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin publicly talking about Bitcoin and digital currencies.

“Bitcoin returned 92% in 2019, trouncing all other major assets classes, an impressive return given the significant policy and regulatory headwinds that emerged in 2019 — the Congressional blowback from Facebook’s Libra and the correlated White House bashing of Bitcoin marked the highs for 2019.”

In 2020, Fundstrat says Bitcoin would be seeing yet another such bullish momentum that would push BTC prices up by 100%, meaning we would be climbing to a level that would be higher than that of 2019 and moving closer to its peak of nearly $20,000. The 2020 Crypto outlook” report to its clients:

“For 2020, we see several positive convergences that enhance the use case and also the economic model for crypto and Bitcoin — thus, we believe Bitcoin and crypto total return should exceed that of 2019. In other words, we see strong probability that Bitcoin gains >100% in 2020,” states the company in.“

What will bring over 100% of restaurants for bitcoin in 2020?

But what would push BTC prices at above $14,000? According to Bitcoin bull, Tom Lee founded a research company that has three main drivers for this uptrend.

One of the drivers is the much-anticipated halving event scheduled to occur in May 2020. This event will decrease the coin reward from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 coins and cut down its inflation from 3.68% to 1.80%. This supply shock, while many commentators believe to be a non-event this time, Lee says,

“Bottom line: financial markets tend to discount 1-3 months, and maybe 6 months (max). So highest probability is halvening not priced in.”

The second driver is the 2020 United States presidential election to be held on Nov. 3. The race for the White House has already begun in earnest and the outcome of the election will not only have an impact on BTC but also around the world.

“We’ve never listed U.S. domestic politics as the top risk, mainly because U.S. institutions are among the world’s strongest and most resilient,” write Ian Bremmer and Cliff Kupchan, president of Eurasia Group, a New York City headquartered political risk research and consulting firm.

“This year, those institutions will be tested in unprecedented ways.”

Apart from the 2020 elections, Fundstrat believes geopolitical risks will also contribute to BTC’s 100% bull run.

We already saw Bitcoin reacting to the US-China trade war and US-Iran’s crisis. This year, US-China tensions, U.S. policy toward Iran, Iraq, and Syria, discontent in Latin America over sluggish growth, corruption, and low-quality public services, are some of the top geopolitical risks for the world in 2020 that could play a role in driving BTC prices up.

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Author: AnTy