1Inch Decentralized Exchange to Transition to Binance Smart Chain as Ethereum Exodus Begins

1Inch, a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on the Ethereum blockchain, has become the highest-profile project to join Binance’s new Smart Chain.

Yesterday, the exchange confirmed that it had moved to the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), marking what could be a broader move away from the leading blockchain network for decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.

Exploring New Opportunities

In its announcement, 1Inch explained that it had successfully moved ten million 1INCH tokens (worth about $40 million) to the Smart Chain. The exchange will use the tokens as a liquidity bridge between the two competing blockchains. Adding that, they will also seed its entire ecosystem on the Smart Chain.

Speaking to industry news sources, Sergej Kunz, 1Inch’s founder, explained that the move was inspired by a necessity to escape the rising gas fees on the Ethereum blockchain; with Binance Smart Chain launching to full fanfare earlier this month, it was the perfect opportunity, and they latched on to it.

Ethereum Better Watch Out

The possible move from Ethereum isn’t a new trend. For months, industry experts – including DeFi protocol developers and analysts – have criticized the Ethereum Network for its rising gas fees ETH -5.02% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,446.93
-$72.64-5.02%
Volume 31.49 b Change -$72.64 Open $1,446.93 Circulating 114.84 m Market Cap 166.16 b
6 h Crypto Hedge Fund Arca is the Latest to Join the Crowd of Bitcoin Trust Issuers 6 h Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry 7 h 1Inch Decentralized Exchange to Transition to Binance Smart Chain as Ethereum Exodus Begins
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With transactions costing more, the blockchain has shown problems with scalability, and several developers have actively shopped for alternatives to move into.

Earlier this month, Harvest Finance, one of the largest yield farming protocols in the DeFi space, made moves to hire developers to bring the protocol to the Smart Chain. While a moderator for the community described the move as an opportunity to show the cross-chain yield farming’s viability, it’s no doubt Ethereum’s problems were driving them away.

ValueDeFi, another leading protocol, confirmed on Twitter that it would also be moving away from Ethereum in the nearest future.

With the leading blockchain now in more danger of losing its crown, the Binance Smart Chain isn’t the only viable option for investors. This week, fast-rising blockchain project Chainlink LINK -3.26% Chainlink / USD LINKUSD $ 25.20
-$0.82-3.26%
Volume 170.53 b Change -$0.82 Open $25.20 Circulating 410.01 m Market Cap 10.33 b
7 h 1Inch Decentralized Exchange to Transition to Binance Smart Chain as Ethereum Exodus Begins 9 h Polkadot (DOT) Proposes Public Utility Parachains to Provide Easy Access to Resources 1 d Chainlink (LINK) Launches Off-Chain Reporting Feature to Improve Network Scalability
took a step forward as it announced the launch of off-chain reporting (OCR) – a feature that will allow its blockchain oracles to aggregate data Externally and publish it to the blockchain.

As the company’s announcement explained, the new feature will further bolster scalability by reducing gas fees and congestion on the network. Other benefits include greater node decentralization and cost-effective node onboarding.

Ethereum is putting a lot of home on its ETH 2.0 upgrade to solve many of its problems. However, even that might not come quickly enough to prevent this exodus.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

China & UAE Central Banks Join HKMA & BoT In ‘Multiple CBDC Bridge’ For Cross-Border Payments

China & UAE Central Banks Join HKMA & BoT In ‘Multiple CBDC Bridge’ For Cross-Border Payments

To reduce cross-border payment’s pain, the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) and People’s Bank of China (PBoC) have joined multiple-CBDC’s projects, announced Hong-Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Bank of Thailand (BoT) on 23rd February.

The project, Central Bank of Digital Currency (CBDC), has pulled many central banks to blockchain across Asia, making regulation easier against regular currencies (fiats). Now, HKMA and BOT are on the road together with the People’s Bank of China and Central Banks of UAE to explore Blockchain Ledger Technology’s possible facilities.

In light of the announcement, the current phase of the exploration into Central Bank of Digital Currency, based on the ‘Inthanon-LionRock’ research project, is going to create a PoC (proof of concept) to,

“Facilitate real-time cross-border foreign exchange payment-versus-payment transactions in a multi-jurisdictional context and on a 24/7 basis.”

The CBDC focuses explicitly on resolving the difficulties a user faces during cross-border payments. Complex regulations and cost inefficiencies are the primary barriers to transfer funds across countries. As Mathee Supapongse, BoT’s deputy governor noted earlier,

“The model offers a cross-border corridor network where participants can transfer funds instantaneously on a peer-to-peer basis and in an atomic PvP manner. The design and key findings of the project have added new dimensions to central bank communities’ studies on cross-border funds transfer area.”

The inclusion of Asia’s significant countries’ central banks in the CBDC project would lead other financial sectors to join the track. And if it comes true, the adoptions will create a transparent and inducive environment for CBDC to integrate finance beyond Asia, too.

The growing profile of blockchain has compelled the vast number of government authorities to have a digital alternative to decentralized coins like Bitcoin and its linked currencies.

Due to the highly technical nature of the digital market, government sectors would find it hard to track and control the flow of digital assets. And this will eventually make CBDC the commonplace to come in the future. China is second to none in creating CBDC’s mechanism and trying hardware biometric ID wallets for its digital yuan.

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Author: James W

The European Central Bank & EC Join Together to Research A Digital Euro Launch

The European Central Bank & EC Join Together to Research A Digital Euro Launch

European Union entities, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank (ECB) will be coming together to discuss the potential challenges that come from the creation of the Central Bank Digital Currency, the Digital Euro.

Within a joint statement from both the Commission and European Central Bank, the aims of their effort were to explore its prospects for public and private sectors:

“The European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) are pursuing their efforts towards ensuring a strong and vibrant European digital finance sector and a well-integrated payments sector to respond to new payment needs in Europe.” The ECB will go on to decide whether the project will be put into motion in mid-2021.

“Such a project would answer key design and technical questions and provide the ECB with the necessary tools to stand ready to issue a digital euro if such a decision is taken,” the joint statement reads.

While the ECB officially closed its public consultation phase on January 12th, the news service EURACTIV, a news service centered on EU policy, found that 41% of polled respondents expressed serious concerns. Concerns regarding security (17%) and Pan-European reach (10%) also emerged.

While the European Union has entered the introductory stages of its CBDC, China’s digital currency – the Digital Yuan – has already established itself as the powerful front-runner and sets its sights on a global payments framework based on CBDCs.

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Author: James Fox

Bitcoin ‘Kimchi Premium’ Makes a Comeback As Euphoria Builds

South Koreans have also started to join in on the crypto rally.

Another sign of Bitcoin euphoria can be seen in the “kimchi premium” that has returned.

The positive price gap between South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges and other exchanges is the Kimchi premium which has hit two-year highs amidst the ongoing price rally.

This premium first made its presence known in December around the time Bitcoin breached its 2017 peak of $20,000. At one point this premium was above 6% in January this year.

As of writing, Bitcoin price BTC 4.05% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 35,315.36
$1,430.27 4.05%
Volume 68.8 b Change $1,430.27 Open $35,315.36 Circulating 18.59 m Market Cap 656.61 b
2 h Bitcoin Supply Liquidity Falling Faster than Ever Amidst ‘Tremendous Demand’ 2 h IGT Gets Regulatory Approval to Use Bitcoin & Crypto’s at Slot Machines 2 h What’s Happening on the Bitcoin Network Amidst The Red Hot Market?
is trading at $34,670 on Bitfinex, $34,685 on Coinbase, $35,621 on Upbit, $35,595 on Bithumb, and $34,834 on Binance, as per Coinmarketcap.

The last time such a difference in prices was seen was in early 2018.

“‘Player 2 has entered the game,” said Ari Paul CIO at Blocktower Capital. “The long-running trend of Asia hours being bearish may be broken as South Korea seems to have finally caught a major bid yesterday and continuing into tonight,” he added.

Korean exchanges are also seeing massive deposits. On Tuesday, 3,001 BTC worth more than $99 million was moved to Bithumb, as per data source CryptoQuant. Just this week, Bithumb Global also opened the BTC market for their KRW only market.

These premiums appear for a number of reasons which include the availability of crypto service providers, regulatory environment, fiat currency conversion ease, and economic situation.

As Bitcoin price rallies, people are getting back into crypto which can also be seen in Bitcoin trending on South Korea’s biggest search engine Naver, which happened the day the digital asset ripped past $30k. The volume on these exchanges has also started to trend up moving into 2021.

Just this week, Naver published an article about Bitcoin, gold, and real estate skyrocketing, noting how BTC surpassed 30 million won at the end of last year.

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Author: AnTy

Chinese Tech Firms Didi, Meituan, & Bilibili Launch Lottery-Based Trials for Digital Yuan

Tests for China’s digital yuan are still ongoing as companies continue to join the People’s Bank in its efforts to digitize the currency.

This week, local news source CLS confirmed that three large internet companies had joined the tests in what appears to be a lottery-style trial.

Everyone Welcome

As the news explained, Didi Chuxing, the largest ride-hailing service in the country, had joined commercial products and bike-sharing company Meituan and video-sharing site Bilibili on a lottery-based trial of the digital yuan. The test will focus on Suzhou, a region on the western side of Shanghai.

The report explained that the trial launched earlier today, and it will involve about 10,000 residents in the city. These residents will vie for about 200 digital yuan units each, which they can spend at merchant stores with point-of-sale technology.

In addition to retail spending, the winners can spend the tokens on the three companies’ services. They can order rides on Didi, pay for bike-sharing on Meituan, and spend on new features from Bilibili’s site. It is unclear how long the trial will last, but it continues what appears to be a series of rests and implementations for the digital yuan.

All Hands on Deck

The companies are just a shortlist in a line of corporations looking to test the digital yuan. The Peoples’ Bank has incorporated several other companies for the better part of the year, with names including Alipay and WeChat Pay, the country’s two largest payment processors.

In October, Huawei, the country’s largest smartphone manufacturer, announced on its Weibo channel that its next flagship device – the Mate40 series – will come with a hardware wallet for the digital yuan. Touting it as a channel to be a part of China’s digital revolution, Huawei explained that the wallet would provide optimal privacy and anonymity.

The wallets will also feature dual transactions, ensuring that users can complete transactions by touching two compatible phones, even without any internet connection.

The tests have also gone beyond just tech companies. Economic Information Daily reported in October that gas stations in Shenzhen had begun accepting the asset. As the news medium confirmed, 11 gas stations had been integrated into the program, and more would join.

The program was the brainchild of Guangdong Petroleum, a state-owned oil, and gas firm. Participating outlets come fitted with barcode readers to ensure easy and quick payments. Guangdong praised the asset’s speed and security, explaining that reviews of its use had been positive. It is expected that these trials have ended already.

A similar giveaway to what is happening in Suzhou also occurred in the Luohu District of Shenzhen. Per a Sina Finance report, the district’s government started a program to send ten million units of the asset (worth about $1.5 million) to 50,000 residents via a lottery.

Unlike this program, however, that one focused primarily on retailers and brick-and-mortar shops across the region.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Coinbase Joins Square’s Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) As A Founding Member

  • Coinbase is the latest founding member to join Square’s Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA).
  • Coinbase joins 18 other founding members aiming to enhance the “open patent policies on crypto projects.”

An announcement on COPA’s official website this Thursday confirms Coinbase, U.S. largest cryptocurrency exchange, joins the alliance as a founding member alongside Square Inc. The alliance aims to push forward an ‘open patents policy’ to boost the growth in developments and innovation in the crypto ecosystem. Coinbase joins the alliance to push “COPA’s missions forward, educate the community and drive membership, and establish and administer the alliance’s policies.”

In September, Square launched the COPA alliance to ensure that Bitcoin and the wider crypto ecosystem remain free and secure. Jack Dorsey, the founder of Square, said at the time that COPA aims to “maintain a shared patent library to help the crypto community defend against patent aggressors and trolls,” further asking more companies to join their goal.

Since the launch of COPA, 18 crypto companies have joined the alliance, including Blockstack, Blockstream, Kraken, Protocol Labs, and Satoshi Labs.

Senior counsel at Coinbase and member of the COPA board, Brittany Cuthbert, stated his enthusiasm with the exchange joining the alliance to create a “foundational patent shield for the crypto ecosystem.” Cuthbert further said,

“As the crypto economy continues to grow, we believe it is important to help empower all projects building towards an open financial system.”

Furthermore, COPA also announced Steve Lee, Square Crypto Lead, and Dan Robinson, a Paradigm researcher, a crypto firm focused on open-source protocols, as COPA’s newest board members.

COPA’s goal aims to enhance development and innovation across the crypto field by abolishing the tying up of “foundational technology in patents and litigation,” given the market is still in its early days. The alliance aims to make these foundational cryptocurrency technologies available to everyone through tackling offensive patent lockup by developers.

All COPA members pledge not to use their foundational development crypto patents, “except for defensive reasons,” which frees up the patents used by any developer across the space. Moreover, the alliance creates a “shared patent library where members pool all of their crypto patents together to form a collective shield of patents.” This allows members of the alliance to use any patent in the library to defend themselves and deter aggressors.

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Author: Lujan Odera

S&P Dow Jones Indices to Launch Cryptocurrency Indexes in 2021; Easing Access for Investors

“Slowly, at first, then all at once.” The latest major finance company to join the crypto bandwagon is S&P Dow Jones Indices. A division of finance data provider S&P Global Inc, the company said on Thursday, would be launching cryptocurrency indices in 2021.

It will be working with the New York-based virtual currency company Lukka to provide data on more than 550 of the top traded cryptos. S&P’s clients will also work with the index provider to create customized indices and other tools on digital assets, it said in a joint statement. Peter Roffman, the global head of innovation and strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices said,

“With digital assets such as cryptocurrencies becoming a rapidly emerging asset class, the time is right for independent, reliable, and user-friendly benchmarks.”

They further said that the idea is to make it easier for investors to access more reliable pricing data about this new asset class and reduce some of the volatile and speculative market risks.

Bitcoin adoption has been gradual up until 2020, when suddenly, everyone wants in.

This is just another step this year that takes crypto into the mainstream. As Bitcoin rallies 170% in 2020, everyone wants to adopt the leading digital currency and enter the realm of cryptos. One analyst noted,

“Having mainstream indexes which represent crypto performance will only bolster adoption, and lead to the creation of fund which represent those indexes.”

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Author: AnTy

Guggenheim Fund Files for Buying 27,700 BTC, 0.15% of Bitcoin’s Total Minted Supply

Guggenheim Partners LLC is the latest one to join the institutional investors bullish on Bitcoin and bet on it.

The company is reserving the right for one of its funds to invest in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which is solely invested in Bitcoin and tracks the leading digital asset prices less 2% fees.

GBTC is currently trading around a 17% premium to BTC price, trading around $19,500. The filing said,

“Except for its investment in GBTC, the Fund will not invest, directly or indirectly, in cryptocurrencies.”

The $5.3 billion Macro Opportunities Fund of Guggenheim, which aims for total return through fixed income and other debt and equity securities, is planning to invest nearly $500 million in Bitcoin, which will be around 27,700 BTC — 0.15% of the total minted supply of the digital asset. According to the company’s filing with US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday,

“The Guggenheim Macro Opportunities Fund may seek investment exposure to Bitcoin indirectly through investing up to 10% of its net asset value in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.”

With this investment, Guggenheim and its chief investment officer Scott Minerd will join the likes of legendary investors like Paul Tudor Jones and Stan Druckenmiller. They have put their money into the flagship cryptocurrency. A crypto analyst noted,

“Expect a lot of fund managers to follow in PTJ and Druckenmiller’s footsteps in disclosing BTC positions into year-end window-dressing season. Career risk of owning BTC has now turned into risk of not owning BTC.”

In the filing, the company described cryptocurrencies as “digital assets designed to act as a medium of exchange.”

It also listed a wide variety of risks, including “highly volatile” prices, trading on “largely unregulated” exchanges that may be exposed to fraud and failure, a crisis of confidence in the most extensive network, and user preference to shift to competing cryptos.

The largest cryptocurrency has been enjoying a strong rally in 2020, surging to its highest level of $19,500 since the peak of the 2017 bull run. Trading around $18,750, BTC is just 8% away from its ATH, while up 160% YTD.

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Author: AnTy

EOS-Based DeFi, Equilibrium, Adds Binance, Eosfinex to EOSDT Stablecoin Governance Council

  • Binance and Eosfinex, Bitfinex’s decentralized exchange, are some of the big names in crypto to join Equilibrium’s EOSDT stable coin governance committee.

According to official reports, the two companies joined the council alongside independent block producers, EOS Nation and EOS Cannon, to provide oversight over approval of contracts and amendments made on smart contracts on the EOSDT stablecoin blockchain.

Equilibrium is an EOS based open finance platform that offers similar capabilities to Maker platform with EOSDT similar to the DAI stablecoin. With the new governance team in place, Alex Melikhov, CEO of Equilibrium, said this will allow the network to fully utilize the features on EOS in his statement,

“One of the main advantages of EOS lies in updatable smart contract code. In other words you can migrate to new versions of your application seamlessly without hard stop of the whole system.”

Binance involvement in the governance of the Equilibrium chain will see the exchange oversee every smart contract on the platform, granting access to upgrades or rejecting them. However, the governance council regulations require at least two parties to give their consent before the smart contract is implemented.

“You can also consider it as establishing a four-eyed principle for Equilibrium’s EOSDT.”

The decision to add the new members was voted by the existing council members not only Equilibrium, Alex said. This is to ensure the best and most reliable participants in governance are chosen for the slots. Such decisions are uncommon on Ethereum DeFi platforms whereby the founders hold the admin keys of the protocol giving them absolute power over the system.

Equilibriums governance council, while not fully trustless, offers the blockchain “decentralization by creating a proof-of-authority framework which consists of trusted counterparts that are independent according to their background.” Alex further said,

“Instead of a single owner who can potentially do whatever they want there is a group of reputable and known ecosystem participants who bid their reputation on the integrity/relevance of these updates.”

While the verdict remains unknown on why Binance joined the governance council, the possibility of BNB being added as a backing asset to the EOSDT stablecoin has improved. According to one spokesperson from the largest crypto exchange, top management is looking forward to BNB getting added as collateral on the Equilibrium DeFi platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera

OKEx Mining Pool Becomes Proof-of-Stake (PoS) Validator For Ethereum 2.0 Topaz Testnet

  • OKEx becomes the latest exchange to join Ethereum 2.0 testnet validators’ pool.
  • The Topaz testnet phase 0 is set to be released in 2020 in readiness for the mainnet launch.

One of Ethereum’s largest mining pools – OKEx Pool – announced they are joining the Ethereum 2.0 Topaz testnet as a validator.

The exchange-based mining pool becomes one of the first pools to launch a Topaz testnet showing its support for ETH moving from a proof of work (PoW) to a proof of stake (PoS) system.

The move is set to mutually benefit existing pools and ETH 2.0 developments, with users expected to be the biggest gainers. The exchange is expected to boost the traffic on the testnet and create a convenient and direct way for a large number of ETH 2.0 Topaz users and dev teams.

“For mining pools, betting on the ETH network will allow them to grow together and share future dividends”. – OKEx Pool benefits on launching support for the ETH 2.0 Topaz testnet.

Alysa Xu, Chief Strategy Officer at OKEx, showed appreciation as OKEx becomes one of the first ETH mining pools to offer support for the Topaz ETH 2.0 testnet network. The exchange pool will work with ETH 2.0 developers to help tap into the potentials the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system offers. In the release, Xu said:

“We appreciate what ETH dedicated to the industry and have great confidence in the potentials of ETH 2.0. We are willing to contribute to the ETH ecosystem.”

The exchange pool has partnered with Prysmatic Labs, to boost development on the Topaz testnet, which is a new iteration of Prysmatic Labs’ testing environment.

“We have already established the collaboration with Prysmatic Lab and more specific cooperation will be carried out by us to promote the development of ETH in the near future.”

As ETH rallies past new resistance levels, the anticipation for the launch of ETH 2.0 grows stronger as potential stakers rush to buy the token.

The Topaz testnet replaces the Sapphire testnet hence changing the number of tokens needed to successfully become a node in staking from 3.2 ETH to 32 ETH. Currently, Ethereum trades at $213 after a 5% boost in the past 24 hours.

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Author: Lujan Odera