Tether (USDT) Market Cap Surpasses $70 Billion, Majority Issued on Tron Blockchain

As the price of Bitcoin hits a new all-time high of $67,000, the market cap of the largest stablecoin, Tether (USDT), has gone to surpass $70 billion in market cap.

The majority of Tether’s 70 billion supply, 51.42%, is issued on Tron (TRX) blockchain at almost 36 billion, followed by Ether which has 33.85 billion USDT supply circulating on its blockchain.

The rest of the USDT supply is scattered on other blockchains, including Omni, Solana, Algorand, EOS, Liquid, and SLP.

After growing 41.7 billion in the first half of this year to nearly 63 billion, Tether supply had a pause until early August. After adding 8 billion in the next month, Tether supply growth has been resting yet again since early last month, only to come back into action in October as traders and investors try to chase the bulls.

USDT’s dominance, however, has been on a decline ever since June last year when it was just above 86%. In the last 17 months, Tether’s stablecoin dominance has lost 30% of its share to now sit at 56.8%. Much of this has been lost to Circle’s USDC, whose market share went from 8% to 25.7%.

Amidst this growth, short-seller Hindenburg Research has launched a $1 million “bounty” program for information on the stablecoin company.

“We feel strongly that Tether should fully and thoroughly disclose its holdings to the public.”

“In the absence of that disclosure, we are offering a $1m bounty to anyone who can provide us exclusive detail on Tether’s supposed reserves.”

Nathan Anderson Hindenburg Founder

Hindenburg also said that it did not hold any long or short positions on Tether, Bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency.

“This stunt from Hindenburg Research is a pathetic bid for attention,” Tether responded in a statement.

“Tether abhors and denounces their actions and transparent motives.”

Days before Hindenburg’s announcement, the US commodities regulator charged Tether with a fine of $41 million over falsely representing that USDT was fully backed by fiat currency. Tether did not admit or deny the wrongdoing.

Recently, crypto lender Celsius Network also said that Tether issues new stablecoins in exchange for collateral in the form of crypto, such as bitcoin, as part of its lending program.

“If you give them enough collateral, liquid collateral, Bitcoin, Ethereum and so on . . . they will mint tether against it,” said CEO Alex Mashinsky. “New USDT is issued for such loans,” and later destroyed when the loan is paid “so it does not permanently increase USDT in circulation.”

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Celsius had borrowed $1 billion worth of USDT from Tether.

Mashinsky, meanwhile, further clarified that the loans of USDT are typically at least 30% overcollateralized.

“We have a select, small group of customers that borrow USDTs in exchange for posting security. These loans are secured by collateral in Tether’s possession of well in excess of 100% of the loan proceeds and earn monthly interest,” Tether told FT, adding:

“This practice is common to other stablecoin issuers. This lending is undertaken narrowly, efficiently, securely, and profitably.”

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Author: AnTy

Celsius Network Raises $400M Led by Canada’s 2nd Largest Pension Fund to Reassure Regulators

Celsius Network Raises $400M Led by Canada’s 2nd Largest Pension Fund to Reassure Regulators

Cryptocurrency lender platform Celsius Network has raised $400 million at a valuation for more than $3 billion in new equity funding from investors despite seeing increased scrutiny from US regulators.

Canada’s second-largest pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) led the funding round along with WestCap, a fund founded by former Airbnb and Blackstone executive Laurence Tosi.

Last year, Celsius had raised $30 million in an equity round led by USDT issuer Tether at a pre-money valuation of $120 million.

The crypto lender has been subject to regulatory pushback by state regulators of Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, and New Jersey in the US for its lending products. The lender says the company’s interest earnings accounts violate securities laws and don’t clarify to its customers if their deposits are protected.

With its latest funding round, CEO Alex Mashinsky Mashinsky told the Financial Times, he hopes to reassure regulators about the stability of the business and open the doors to mainstream financial markets.

“It’s not $ 400 million, it’s the credibility that comes with the people who wrote those checks.”

The company currently manages $25 billion of crypto assets, up from $10 billion just six months back in March. Celsius Network has more than one million registered users.

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Author: AnTy

5th Largest US Bank Is Setting Up Bitcoin Custody, With Other Crypto’s to be Supported Soon

5th Largest US Bank Is Setting Up Bitcoin Custody, With Other Cryptocurrencies to be Supported Soon

US Bancorp (US Bank) has launched a cryptocurrency custody service for institutional investment managers with private funds in the U.S. or Cayman Islands.

The fifth-largest US bank has more than $8.6 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $282 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2021.

It was this week; the bank announced the launch saying bitcoin service provider NYDIG will act as a sub-custodian.

“Investor interest in cryptocurrency and demand from our fund services clients have grown strongly over the last few years,” said Gunjan Kedia, vice-chair of the bank’s wealth management and investment services.

While starting with Bitcoin, it will soon support other cryptocurrencies as well.

US Bancorp is just another bank allowing access to cryptocurrency while the regulatory scrutiny increases.

This week, Bank of America also started covering crypto and released its first report titled “Digital Assets Primer: Only the first inning.”

“Companies aren’t taking the risk of ignoring digital assets and applications and are actively exploring this new technology and its use cases,” reads the report, adding, leading tech companies along with banks, financial institutions, and others have also started to adjust their approach to crypto.

It further noted that an estimated 14% (21.2mn) of US adults own digital assets, with an additional 13% (19.3mn) planning to buy this year. The average age of these potential buyers is 44, and 53% of them are female.

“Despite regulatory headwinds, we are bullish on the prospects for digital assets as it enters the mainstream. We anticipate significant growth as use cases move beyond BTC’s store of value thesis to an industry characterized by product innovation.”

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Author: AnTy

Compound Bug Puts 490k COMP at Risk to Become the Largest Fund Loss in a Smart Contract Incident

Compound Bug Puts 490k COMP at Risk to Become the Largest Fund Loss in a Smart Contract Incident

The total COMP at risk has now increased to about 490k COMP tokens, amounting to over $155 million at the current price of $317.71.

This latest surge in the affected tokens is due to another $68.8 million of COMP being sent to the Comptroller. Last week, this updated Comptroller Contract containing a bug had resulted in erroneously sending millions of dollars to some users.

At the time, Robert Leshner, founder of Compound Labs, had said that the mistaken claims could be at worst 280k COMP tokens.

Now, this figure, according to Leshner, has further increased to 490k after Banteg, the core developer of DeFi protocol Yearn Finance (YFI) — which has more than $5 billion in total value locked (TVL) — tweeted “The best-kept secret in DeFi is out,” on Sunday.

“Someone called drip() on Compound’s Reservoir, which sent another $68.8m of COMP to Comptroller,” added Banteg, noting about 1/4 of that could already be drained. The number was later found to be even higher.

“The bug tallies to $147m, making it officially the largest fund loss in a smart contract incident.”

Leshner then took to Twitter to acknowledge the situation, noting that in the Reservoir contract, the majority of the COMP tokens are reserved for users and drips 0.50 COMP per block into the protocol.

“Nobody had called the function in weeks, and community developers were hopeful that Proposal 63 or 64 (in governance) could go into effect before it was called.”

Mudit Gupta, a developer at DEX SushiSwap, noted that this is why “timelocks on everything are not always the best option,” because though people know about this issue, no one could do anything about it due to the timelock.

Out of the total 490k COMP at risk, 136k is still in the Comptroller, and 117k has been returned to the community so far, Leshner shared.

“Going forward, I’m optimistic about the patches making their way through the governance process, which fix the distribution, and the community members that are working to manage this bug.”

Leshner thanked those who had returned the COMP and said that the protocol had created portraits for them to recognize their deeds.

Last week, as we reported, Leshner had threatened the users that he would report those who did not return the funds to the IRS. But later backtracked the statement as he received criticism and realized his mistake in doing so.

“I’m sorry, and I hope you can forgive me. It was a very very dumb tweet,” he said in response to one user talking about Leshner’s original tweet making him wanna leave the Compound platform.

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Author: AnTy

Third Largest Bank of France Submits a Proposal on MakerDao for $20M Security Tokens Refinancing

Third Largest Bank of France Submits a Proposal on MakerDao for $20 Million Security Tokens Refinancing

Société Générale, the third-largest bank in France with 29 million clients, is directly interacting with decentralized finance through the original DeFi protocol MakerDAO.

This week, the bank submitted a proposal for “[Security Tokens Refinancing] MIP6 Application for OFH Tokens” on the MakerDao forum.

The European investment firm’s blockchain subsidiary made a collateral onboarding application to Maker for $20 million backed by EUR bonds. The proposal reads,

“This first experiment at the crossroads between regulated and open source initiatives is intended to refinance a Covered Bond Token that has been issued last year on the Ethereum public blockchain.”

The bank’s OFH Tokens issued by Societe Generale SFH are covered bonds benefiting from a statutory privilege, which can only be traded over-the-counter (OTC).

Through this pilot use case, SG-Forge aims to refinance the OFH Tokens held by the banking giant and integrate with one of the largest DeFi protocols, MakerDAO.

As per the proposal, this transaction will allow the peer-to-contract lending platform that enables over-collateralized loans to have a different types of collateral assets from the cryptocurrencies. These will be non-volatile types of collateral assets, it added.

The DAI loan will be for up to $20 million for a maturity period of 6 to 9 months. DAI is a fully collateralized stablecoin native to Maker’s decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

“The DAIs have been characterized as digital assets as defined under French Law,” notes the proposal.

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“Turns out it was the future of France all along!” said Rune Christensen, founder of MakerDAO.

“Amazed that I had no clue about this at all the whole time. This is one of multiple recent examples in Maker Governance of how the post-foundation model of organization is proving to be more scalable.”

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Author: AnTy

Verifone and BItPay Partnership to Aid Crypto Adoption Among US Merchants

Earlier this week, Verifone – one of the world’s largest point-of-sale(POS) payment service providers – announced a partnership with crypto payment processor BitPay to bring cryptocurrency transactions to businesses, per an official press release.

Crypto Payments for Wherever You Are

The release confirmed that this partnership would ramp up cryptocurrency payments at in-store locations and via online cloud services for e-commerce businesses all across the United States.

Verifone has over 600,000 customers in the United States and processes upwards of $10 billion in annual transaction volumes. The company plans to roll out the crypto payment feature later this year, possibly increasing its user base even more.

Speaking with news sources, Verifone chief executive Mike Pulli explained that the company had been seeking alternative payment channels for a while now. They’ve come to recognize the increased demand that cryptocurrencies have gotten as well, and this seems like a perfect time to venture into the crypto space.

Jeremy Belostock, the company’s head of payments, also explained that the coronavirus pandemic had accelerated the move to mobile payments for many people. This means an increased demand for cryptocurrencies, hence the company’s need to push forward.

The Verifone partnership is the largest for BitPay to date. So far, the company has established itself as the largest payment processor for cryptocurrencies, and it has had some impressive milestones this year.

Earlier this month, BitPay partnered with e-commerce company Shop.com to allow crypto payments. Thanks to the partnership, Shop.com’s customers will now be able to make payments for their purchases using seven digital assets and five stablecoins.

Crypto’s Continued Entry Into Payments

Besides ease of use and access, large payment companies have also been moving more into the crypto space as they look to increase their platforms’ security. For instance, this month saw the bombshell acquisition of crypto analytics and tracking platform CipherTrace by credit card manufacturer Mastercard.

As an official announcement pointed out, Mastercard confirmed that it plans to integrate CipherTrace’s operations into its cybersecurity solutions for cryptocurrencies. The two companies will combine their cyber capabilities and tools to improve Mastercard’s real-time payments and card infrastructure.

Amongst other things, Mastercard executives explained that the CipherTrace acquisition would help ensure that their clients can spend cryptocurrencies easily while maintaining regulatory safety standards.

The move is part of Mastercard’s plan to establish a much broader presence in the crypto space. In July, company CEO Michael Miebach said that they would be looking to become the de facto payment processing channel for intra-country transfers using central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and stablecoins.

With more countries looking to digitize their currencies, Mastercard is looking to make it easier for international value flows using these assets. The CipherTrace acquisition will make it much easier.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Chivo Implements Measures “Against Money Laundering,” El Salvador’s Largest Bank Accepts Bitcoin Payments

Chivo Implements Measures “Against Money Laundering,” El Salvador’s Largest Bank Accepts Bitcoin Payments

There is also “no tax” – income or capital – on profits from Bitcoin investment in the country in order to “encourage foreign investment,”

Bancoagrícola, the largest bank in El Salvador, will be allowing its customers to pay their credit card bills and loans in Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency can also be used to purchase goods and services from the bank’s merchant network.

Founded in 1955, Bancoagrícola is partnering with New York-based payment network Flex to enable the payments in BTC via its mobile app.

Flexa announced that the bank’s customers will be able to pay US dollar-denominated loans and credit card balances with BTC at “the exact fair market rate, without any additional fee or spread.”

Bancoagrícola merchants that are accepting payments through the bank’s Wompi payment gateway can also make use of Flexa-powered bitcoin payments.

Earlier last week, El Salvador became the world’s first nation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar. The adoption also saw multinational chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks accepting BTC as a form of payment.

Adopting Bitcoin also means the nation won’t be levying any tax on cryptocurrency investment.

“If a person has assets in bitcoin and makes high profits, there will be no tax. This (is done) obviously to encourage foreign investment,” Javier Argueta, legal adviser to President Nayib Bukele, told AFP.

“There will be no taxes to pay on either the capital increase or the income.”

As for the fears over the potential for Bitcoin’s illegal use, Argueta said the wallet called “Chivo” allows Salvadorans at home and abroad to buy and spend the cryptocurrency as implemented “relevant mechanisms” to ensure traceability.

“We are implementing a series of recommendations from international institutions against money laundering,” said the adviser adding, transactions would be halted temporarily if the value were to collapse to minimize the impact of extreme currency fluctuation.

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Author: AnTy

Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank Sees Increasing Crypto Demand from Corporate Investors & Family Funds

Southeast Asia’s Largest Bank (DBS) Sees Increasing Crypto Demand from Corporate Investors and Wealthy Family Funds

DBS Group’s DBS Digital Exchange is “growing very rapidly” and is expected to double the number of clients on the members-only bourse as investors gradually explore cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Singapore’s DBS Group is seeing robust demand from accredited individuals, corporate investors, and investment firms that manage the fortunes of wealthy families for its DBS Digital Exchange.

DBS Digital Exchange, set up in December as a members-only bourse, expects to double the number of members on its new platform for crypto trading to 1,000 by the end of December, reported Reuters. It is further expected to grow by 20-30% annually for the next three years as digital tokens gain acceptability.

“We are growing very rapidly. Investors are gradually exploring cryptocurrencies and digital assets,” said Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, head of capital markets at Southeast Asia’s largest bank by assets and the chairperson of the DBS exchange.

Eng-Kwok also said that the bank’s position as one of the biggest wealth managers in Asia and its expertise in originating deals in capital markets would help it attract more users and grow trading volume.

She added that the exchange is also hoping to list at least half a dozen security tokens by the end of next year. DBS DIgital exchange currently offers trading services between Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and XRP against U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong dollars, and the yen.

DBS’ brokerage arm has already received in-principle approval for the new regulatory framework introduced by Singapore’s central bank that came into effect in January 2020. This license allows its crypto exchange to directly support companies and asset managers to trade in digital payment tokens through its platform.

Kwee Juan Han, DBS’ group head of strategy and planning said,

“Our aim was to create a platform that could serve the entire digital asset value chain, from deal origination to tokenisation, listing, trading, and custody – all within a trusted and regulated bank franchise.”

Han expects new businesses, including the digital exchange and a carbon exchange, to bring a total revenue of S$350 million ($260 million) by 2022-end.

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Author: AnTy

World’s Largest Index Provider Is Looking Into “Direct Exposure” to Cryptocurrencies says CEO

World’s Largest Index Provider Is Looking Into “Direct Exposure” to Cryptocurrencies says CEO

Henry Fernandez, Chairman, and CEO of the world’s biggest index provider MSCI Inc. which is also developing some cryptocurrency indices and products, said in an interview with Bloomberg that they are actively looking into the crypto space.

“We’re still exploring a variety of options and talking to a number of partners, but we’re very bullish on digital assets on the blockchain technology associated with it, obviously including cryptocurrencies. I think they have a role to play in the world. And we’re looking at that. We’re looking at it from the point of you know about direct exposure to the various types of currencies.”

In June, Fernandez had said that the global securities index publisher is considering offering indices based on crypto assets and has been talking to experts about it.

MSCI publishes popular indexes for equities and other securities, which helped asset managers and investors allocate $14.5 trillion in assets globally by the end of last year.

In its recent expansion of offerings, MSCI launched 20 thematic indexes on “megatrends” in China this year to help investors guide their capital into projects in alignment with the Chinese government’s policy goals.

In this week’s interview, besides talking about crypto, Fernandez also shook off concerns about the “investability” of Chinese stocks following Beijing’s recent regulatory crackdown, pointing to previous instances where markets rebounded in the aftermath.

Regulatory compliance has weighed on China “every three, four, five years and obviously the markets have sold off at the time. But very quickly afterward, the markets have recovered and gone through to new heights,” he said.

“There is a lot of criticism on China in terms of lack of compliance,” and it is now going through a corrective phase, Fernandez said, adding: “Countries go through periods like this.”

China also cracked down on cryptocurrency mining and leverage trading in the country that led to a deep sell-off in the crypto asset prices in May and June; however, since then, they have rebounded sharply and are now making moves towards their all-time highs.

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Author: AnTy

America’s Largest Retailer, Walmart, Is Hiring A “Cryptocurrency Product Lead”

America’s Largest Retailer, Walmart, Is Hiring A “Cryptocurrency Product Lead”

With this crypto move, the eCommerce company aims to enable a broader set of payment options for its customers.

After e-commerce giant Amazon, multinational retail corporation Walmart is the latest company to hire a crypto lead.

Less than 24 hours back, the company posted a job for a digital currency and cryptocurrency product lead. For this job, Walmart requires someone passionate about Digital Currencies and would be responsible for developing the digital currency strategy and product roadmap at the company.

“As one of the largest retailers and e-commerce companies, Walmart enables a broad set of payment options for its customers.”

The cryptocurrency lead will drive the Digital Currency strategy for Walmart and identify crypto-related investment and partnerships.

For this position, one needs to have a Bachelor’s Degree, over a decade-long experience in product management, technology commercialization, and of course, have experience in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and related technologies as well along with the knowledge of the players involved in the rapidly growing industry.

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Author: AnTy