Grayscale Adds Chainlink (LINK) to its Digital Large Cap Fund

Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital asset manager, has rebalanced its Digital Large Cap Fund (GDLC) composition to make the crypto asset LINK part of it.

Built on Ethereum, Chainlink is an oracle service provider which was recently announced by Grayscale as a single-asset investment product.

The 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $14.17 billion is the only one qualified for this inclusion in the Fund, out of the other four latest additions, LivePeer (LPT), Filecoin (FIL), Decentraland (MANA), and Basic Attention Token (BAT) by Grayscale. The Fund’s composition is evaluated every quarter.

The Fund’s portfolio, a passive rules-based strategy that seeks to provide exposure to 70% of the digital asset market, has been adjusted by selling its existing components. The cash proceeds from that were then used to purchase LINK.

As of April 2nd, 2021, the Fund is a composition of 79.8% Bitcoin (BTC), 17.5% Ethereum (ETH), 0.80% Bitcoin Cash (BCH), 1.00% Litecoin (LTC) and 0.90% Chainlink (LINK).

On April 1st, Grayscale added 65.67k LINK and now holds a total of 115.57k LINK, worth just over $4 million.

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Author: AnTy

Bitwise 10 Large Cap Index Adds AAVE and Uniswap; CIO Calls DeFi Inclusion a ‘Milestone Event’

Bitwise 10 Large Cap Index Adds AAVE and Uniswap; CIO Calls DeFi Inclusion a ‘Milestone Event’

The DeFi virus is spreading.

Cryptocurrency asset manager Bitwise Asset Management has added two new DeFi blue chips to its Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index as part of the January month-end index rebalance.

“DeFi assets entering the Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index is a milestone event,” said Matt Hougan, Chief Investment Officer at Bitwise.

The Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index (BITX) tracks a total return of the 10 largest crypto assets, which is measured and weighted by their free-float market capitalization and is currently trading at $36,286.

The Index now tracks Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS, Tezos (XTZ), Stellar (XLM), Chainlink (LINK), Uniswap (UNI), and Aave (AAVE). Hunter Horsley, chief executive officer at Bitwise, said,

“The last few weeks has seen de-platforming & censorship by some of our country’s leading companies. In response, new decentralized services—with no corporation, executives, or board—are growing in popularity. Today, the 1st decentralized exchange (UNI) entered the Bitwise 10.”

Just last month, Bitwise liquidated its just over $9 million worth of position in XRP, representing approximately 3.8% share of the Fund, in response to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suing Ripple And its top executives for allegedly selling unregistered securities XRP.

“The Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund does not invest in assets that are reasonably likely to be deemed securities under federal or state securities laws,” said the company at the time.

Bitwise is not the only one to provide its clients exposure to the world of decentralized finance through the popular DeFi tokens. As we reported, the largest asset manager Grayscale Investments has also filed with the SEC for several single-asset trusts that cover various DeFi tokens, including Aave.

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Author: AnTy

Argentina Passes the ‘Solidarity’ Law to Confiscate Wealth

Argentina has approved the wealth tax that will impose a tariff on people with large fortunes in an attempt to boost its revenue. The third-largest economy in Latin America struggling with high inflation and an increase in poverty is heading into its third year of recession.

The “Social Solidarity and Productive Reactivation” Bill was already passed by the lower house and late on Friday, Senators also gave its nod with 42 votes in favor and 26 against.

“This law will allow Argentina to move forward because the situation is really serious,” the Committee on Budget and Finance president Carlos Caserio said. “The emergency declaration is the way to get out of this problem quickly.”

It involves a one-time tax of at least 2% on individuals with assets of more than 200 million pesos ($2.45 million), through which the government aims to collect about $3.7 billion.

“We must find points of connection between those who have the most to contribute and those who are in need,” said ruling party Senator Anabel Fernandez Sagasti on Twitter.

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“When QE is no more sufficient, seize it directly from the people. All in the name of Covid,” wrote one Bitcoiner on Twitter.

The proceeds from the tax will be used for medical supplies (20%), SMEs (20%), “social developments” (15%), student scholarships (20%), and natural gas development programs (25%).

“Bitcoin is the only exit door from this nonsense,” added the crypto enthusiast.

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Author: AnTy

KuCoin Hack: Exchange’s Insurance Fund to Cover User Loss “Completely,” Tether Freezes 33M USDT

The Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin released a statement regarding detecting large withdrawals on September 26, 2020, at 03:05:37 (UTC+8).

The exchange has reportedly lost $150 million worth of funds, although KuCoin hasn’t declared it yet but released “suspicious addresses,” which are constantly updated. As per the company’s internal security audit report, some BTC, Tether, ERC20 tokens, and other cryptos from KuCoin’s hot wallets were transferred out of the exchange.

Tether has already frozen all the stolen USDT, but the community isn’t supportive of the move. This isn’t even the first time they did so; one address in 2017, eight in 2018, seven in 2019, and 24 in 2020 so far has been frozen by the company.

“If you steal our Tether, we’ll steal it right back,” commented one trader on this move.

KuCoin assured that “the assets in our cold wallets are safe and unharmed, and hot wallets have been re-deployed.”

In a live stream, KuCoin CEO Johnny Lyu said one or more hackers “stole” the private keys to hot wallets but those cold wallets, that aren’t connected to the Internet as such considered more secure, were unaffected.

He also said the exchange is in contact with the police and that “all the loss will be covered by KuCoin risk provisions.”

The exchange has transferred the remaining crypto assets to the new hot wallets.

The Asian exchange that trades over 200 cryptocurrencies has a daily trading volume of about $100 million, as per CoinGecko. Following the security breach, its exchange token KCS fell by over 17% but has since recovered to above $0.90.

The trouble at the exchange first started when users complained about withdrawal issues. Initially, it was maintained that the platform was experiencing a system issue, and later, KuCoin’s admin team claimed that “transactions are simply pending,” and funds are SAFU.

While Liu said the amount lost is “small,” that might not be the case, many are pointing out that there could be over 1k BTC and tokens like ETH, LTC, Omni USDT, XRP, YFI, OMG, Maker, Ocean Token, Chroma, Gladius, Hawala, and others lost.

Currently, the investigation is going on, and a security review will also be conducted. Still, the exchange has said that any losses suffered by a user would be “covered completely” by KuCoin and its insurance fund.

As “The People’s Exchange,” we will take full responsibility and maintain transparency,” said the exchange in an official statement.

For now, the exchange has suspended the deposits and withdrawals service, which will be restored gradually once it ensures a safe state.

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Author: AnTy

36% of Big Institutional Investors Own Digital Assets While 80% Find them Appealing: Fidelity

36% of large institutional investors own digital assets such as Bitcoin, according to a survey from Fidelity Investments which also runs a service that trades and secures digital assets. Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets said,

“These results confirm a trend we are seeing in the market towards greater interest in and acceptance of digital assets as a new investable asset class.

This is evident in the evolving composition of our client pipeline, which spans from crypto native funds to pensions.”

Investors in Europe are more likely to own digital assets

Across the US and Europe, a third of the survey’s 774 respondents said they own cryptocurrencies or derivatives. In Europe, 45% of institutions — including pension funds, investment advisers, family offices, and hedge funds are invested in digital assets.

In the US, only 27% of the surveyed 393 institutions said they own digital assets. Interestingly, 59% of these US investors are invested directly and only 22% have done so via futures. Although just over half of Europe’s, interest investors in the US has increased from 22% a year ago. “Europe is perhaps more supportive and accommodating,” said Jessop which could

“be just things going on in Europe right now, you got negative interest rates in many countries. Bitcoin may look more attractive because there are other assets that aren’t paying return.”

Bitcoin continues to be the digital asset of choice

The survey was conducted by Greenwich Associates between November 2019 and early March, right before the market crashed.

Over a quarter of the respondents hold Bitcoin while only 11% are holding Ether. In 2020 so far, Bitcoin is up 32% while Ethereum has gained 86%. After tumbling during the COVID-10 pandemic triggered sell-off, crypto assets have rallied.

Besides price, the survey also noticed that over the last year, there have been incumbent service providers and increasing coverage by the mainstream financial firms, all of which contribute to the upward trend seen in institutional investors’ digital asset ownership.

Volatility the main concern impeding adoption

There is still a lot of scope for growth here as almost 80% of investors surveyed find something appealing about the asset class.

Interestingly, while 25% of European investors find the fact that certain digital assets are free from government intervention to be appealing, only 10% of investors in the U.S. feel this way.

91% of those open to exposure to digital assets in the next five years expect to have at least 0.5% of their portfolio allocated to them.

The majority of institutional investors feel digital assets have a place in their portfolio while 40% believe it to be an alternative asset class and 20% as an independent asset class.

The survey found that price volatility was the top concern followed by market manipulation and lack of fundamentals to gauge appropriate value hindering digital assets’ wider institutional adoption.

But according to Jessop, these issuers are largely those that will “resolve themselves as the market infrastructure evolves.”

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Author: AnTy

TPBank Leverages RippleNet to Boost Vietnamese International Remittances

  • With the large number of immigrant laborers from Vietnam working in Japan, TPBank partnered with RippleNet to offer a fast yet cheaper alternative to facilitate the cross border remittances.
  • They have since collaborated with SBI Remit to offer an efficient Blockchain solution that has reported billions of Yens in transactions between the two countries.

Japan has recently seen an influx in the number of foreign workers living there as the country grapples with a chronic labor shortage. Lax immigration rules, all thanks to the recent deregulation of strict immigration law in 2019, have made it easier for foreign job seekers to easily move and get jobs in Japan.

The Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) based in Vietnam spotted an opportunity it could seize. Their strategic partnership with Ripple in 2019 enabled them to facilitate a Blockchain solution for international remittances between Japan and their local clients.

Global Partners in RippleNet

The unique partnership with RippleNet has granted TPBank access as RippleNet currently boasts of over 300 financial partners in their fold globally.

Notably, shortly after joining RippleNet, TPBank and SBI Remit collaborated to unveil the first money transfer platform specifically tailored to suit the needs of immigrant workers from Vietnam working in Japan in 2019. They zeroed in on those who especially made regular remittances to their kin in Vietnam.

Their clients would no longer have to wait for hours as experienced with institutional legacy systems before their transactions had fully gone through. Instead, they would enjoy unrivalled convenience taking only a few minutes for the cross border transactions to mature.

TPBank CEO, Nguyen Hung has admitted that joining RippleNet has helped them streamline their cross border transaction making them much faster while still upholding transparency.

TPBank has reported processing billions of Japanese Yen in monthly transactions between the two countries all thanks to RippleNet’s Blockchain Solutions. Their remittance services are real-time, faster and yet cheaper.

They have now expressed their intention to extend the support to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), who according to CEO Mr. Hung needs to leverage Blockchain to reduce their overall operational overheads which could instead go into Business Development.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Recent Market Crash Has Traders Jumping to Stablecoins Like Tether (USDT) To Reduce Losses

The financial crisis in the traditional market was looming large even before Coronavirus pandemic came into the picture. The virus outbreak across the globe sent the market on a free fall and even Bitcoin experienced a scare with a massive fall of almost 50% within 24-hours. Bitcoin was supposed to outshine the traditional market at such times which it is as it has not been on free fall like other markets. However, one crypto token almost seemed to have gained and added $2 billion worth of market cap during these troubled times.

While Bitcoin’s market cap has decreased by 37% since mid-February, Tether has seen an increase of 38% in its market cap. Tether, a stablecoin pegged against the US-Dollar has seen many takers in the times of this financial crisis. Many market pundits and analysts believe that in these times of financial uncertainty and high volatility in the crypto market, stablecoins have gained a lot of traction.

Nic Carter, co-founder of crypto market tracker Coin Metrics believe that investors have been attracted towards the US Dollar and stablecoins like Tether’s USDT has become a prominent source for investors to get their hands on the digital equivalent to the US Dollar. However, Tether has also been at the center of many controversies especially over the issuance of the USDT, which they claim is based on consumer’s demand, but many believe it’s not transparent enough and the firm has been involved in many lawsuits because of that.

Earlier Tether has claimed that each USDT token is backed by the one US Dollar, however, it has refused to get audited by a third-party and during the BitFinex lawsuit, it accepted that only about 70% of its issuance is backed by the US dollar and also removed the claim from its website.

Tracking Tether is Getting Harder

Over the past couple of years, Tether has started issuing its stablecoin on a variety of ledgers which has made tracking of its stablecoin even harder than it has been in the past. Carter said,

“Anecdotally, some non-U.S. traders have told me that they actually prefer the more lightly surveilled Tether because they feel that it’s less likely that their coins get arbitrarily frozen for violating the terms of service.”

Tether has also been accused of manipulating and pumping Bitcoin prices on many occasions as many have pointed out that every time Bitcoin price has fallen significantly Tether releases a new batch of stablecoins which has often led to a rise in Bitcoin price. Tether has denied such claims while analysts haven’t been able to gather enough information to back those claims.

Whatever may be the case with its issuance, nobody can deny its dominance in the crypto market as USDT alone has captured over 95% of the stablecoin market over the years and no one has ever come close to dethrone it despite the slew of accusations around it.

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Author: James W

Are Whales Dumping Bitcoin In Large Amounts Driving The Price of BTC Down?

  • Bitcoin’s 90-day correlation with the S&P 500 jumps from 0.1 to over 0.5
  • Before the sell-off, large amounts of Bitcoin were transferred to exchanges
  • BitMEX’s massive liquidations wiped out liquidity

This week the market suffered a panic sell-off and went down to $3,850, seeing the third-largest percent drop of 37.53% after 2011’s 38.67% and 2013’s 48.57%.

Bitcoin has been seeing a drop in its prices since the past month in line with the stock market, so much so that the 90-day correlation between the BTC price and S&P 500 climbed to its highest level ever, particularly after the recent price drop,

In a matter of a day, the correlation went from 0.1 to over 0.5, which could be expected to take a drastic fall again.

Large amounts of BTC transferred to exchanges

The reason behind the sell-off is not just the stock market and bitcoin but also typical safe-haven assets like gold and treasuries has been because of the rapidly spreading Coronavirus (Covid-19) outside of its epicenter China.

However, for the bitcoin market, it has been a little more than that. As we saw on Feb. 13, the crypto asset was trading at $10,500 that fell down to $8,000 level on March 12 when the extreme sell-off took place.

There have actually been whales dumping BTC as large amounts of bitcoin were transferred to exchanges prior to this sell-off. To start with, the $2.9 billion pyramid scheme PlusToken that has been still holding 61,229 bitcoins transferred 13,000 of bitcoin from its wallets to exchanges via mixing services over the last weekend.

Historically, the transfers from PlusToken wallets have coincided with large widespread sell-offs in the market just like this time, according to Arcane Research. Following this wallet transfer, bitcoin plummeted from $9k to $7,500. 13k BTC that were sent to exchanges has been likely to be sold off in the market as the selling persisted over a longer time frame which could be part of the reason behind the price crash on Thursday.

Additionally, another 1000 BTC that belongs to an old mining wallet that dates back to 2010 were also sent to 55 different exchange wallets on Thursday. And soon after BTC price fell from $8k to $7,500 which could have initiated the third-worst trading day in the history of bitcoin.

BitMEX liquidations wiped out liquidity

Besides these huge amounts of Bitcoin, BitMEX liquidations also played a part in the Bitcoin price crash. On Thursday, the crypto derivatives exchange had its largest liquidation rate ever, liquidating $76 million during the massive and a violent sell-off.

These liquidations were further extended into the night when more than $300 million were liquidated only to come at a screeching halt as BitMEX went down for maintenance due to hardware issues.

It has been during this period, that the price of bitcoin bounced hard, jumping 35%, going to $5,200. As we reported, many speculate that it had nothing to do with hardware issues but was done to avoid a total collapse.

The liquidations were likely larger than the liquidity, leading to a massive feedback loop of liquidations which means it could have potentially led to clearing the order book all the way down to zero.

However, BitMEX denied such theories and provided evidence that the downtime was actually due to CPU pressure. The exchange also said that they have a healthy insurance fund for these kinds of events.

Currently, staying above $5,000, the market is in “extreme fear” but if it starts going down, the support is present at $4,000, a level that has historically seen a lot of trading activity.

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Author: AnTy

CoinMarketCap Pricing Data is Now Integrated into Yahoo Finance

Yahoo Finance, known as a large U.S. financial media company has recently integrated its site with CoinMarketCap (CMC). Now, the visitors of the news site are able to see data about crypto prices provided by the largest company in the field. The partnership was announced today, November 21, by Verizon Media, which owns Yahoo Finance, and CMC.

According to the official reports, the new page will show 118 tokens, including the most important ones such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash and Tether. These prices account for over 90% of the global, as most of the tokens listed are the ones with a bigger market cap, therefore being the valuable ones. Right now, CMC has almost 5,000 tokens listed, but most are “dead” tokens.

The media site will also add crypto indices now, the Crypto 200 and the Crypto 200 EX.

CMC Will Also Provide Educational Sources for Yahoo

Another important aspect of this partnership is that CMC will provide educational information about the markets for Yahoo Finance. The daily newsletter will be integrated into Yahoo’s news stream because of this.

The general manager of technology at Verizon Media, Joanna Lambert, affirmed that the partnership with CMC will be important to get reliable information about the crypto market that will help the media group to meet the needs of its sophisticated audience.

Yahoo Finance has been focused on the crypto world for quite a while, reporting on it since before 2017. Last year, the company even integrated BTC, ETH and LTC trading on its official platform.

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Author: Silvia A

Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity Accounts for 10% of MoneyGram Payments from the US and Mexico

  • Ripple previously purchased a large stake in MoneyGram before the implementation of xRapid.
  • Industry players want efficient and inexpensive options for their transactions.

Earlier in the summer of 2019, MoneyGram decided to implement xRapid, which is the On-Demand Liquidity product available through Ripple. Ripple had preceded the implementation by purchasing a large stake in MoneyGram, and recent comments by chief executive Alex Holmes reveal that remittances using ODL and XRP have already started being sent from Mexico. Of these transactions, 10% are using Ripple’s product.

Holmes made his remarks during Swell 2019, speaking with Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. The former expressed how he feels about the present current remittance industry, as well as the way that MoneyGram contributes to the leveraging of blockchain and digital assets.

Through the last decade, additional competition in the industry has allowed remittance to evolve.

Holmes stated,

“What has amazed me the most is the amount of pressure that legacy players face. The fundamental challenge of moving money around the work is that there isn’t a lot of coordination between financial institutions and there should be more solutions to connect all these pieces. More and more companies are looking to make the economy move like it should.”

Holmes continued, saying that money will continue to move around the world, regardless of the challenges that it faces in political or economic struggles. He stated, “Every industry must be omnipresent and understand what their customers want.” Technology is one way that industry players are working to remedy these demands for low-cost, fast, and transparent transactions. Discussing the new product from Ripple, Holmes expressed that the project positions them “at the forefront of this technology.”

Brad Garlinghouse said, during an interview, that Holmes had previously complained that Ripple was moving too slowly with their progress on ODL. While both Ripple and MoneyGram were happy with the 10% use, both companies hope to expand the use of ODL to four global directions. The companies also use a cloud service to benefit customers with their transactions.

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Author: Krystle M