China Blacklists Crypto OTC Trading Desks With A Five-Year Banking Ban As Punishment

  • PBoC blacklists crypto OTC traders in its latest efforts to crack down on money laundering.
  • This has caused several OTC trading desks to shut down as the future turns bleak.
  • The central bank set a three to five-year banking ban in the country as punishment.

Bitcoin over-the-counter (OTC) traders could be facing up to a five-year ban on their banking accounts in China, local reports state. The central bank, People’s Bank of China (PBoC), is heavily cracking down on money laundering activities and is blacklisting several OTC trading desks dealing in cryptocurrencies.

Recently, the Chinese central bank had enhanced its efforts in cracking down money laundering activities hence the latest move. In a bid to stop the illicit and illegal trades, the PBoC is taking a step affront to combat cryptocurrencies being used to launder funds by setting some of the OTC traders under its “disciplinary list.”

The first step in PBoC’s crackdown in the crypto ecosystem will target large OTC traders who trade in millions. According to the report, exchanges that allow transactions away from the public and transact high volumes will be blacklisted. Some have already faced the brunt, having their bank accounts and bank-issued cards blacklisted for the next three years and their online accounts banned for the next five years.

Local banks and financial institutions are now in charge of monitoring money laundering, bidding to keep the vice away at the lowest levels and higher levels of government. The institutions quickly flag and restrict the transactions involved in money laundering, and subsequently, the information is transferred to the local branch of the PBoC.

Once registered, the “blacklist” is transferred to other banks and local financial institutions across the country. This prevents the OTC dealers on the disciplinary list from opening and transferring funds to new accounts.

Despite the crackdown, regulations on cryptocurrency transactions within China remain slim – leaving a grey area on the crypto transactions by investors. Because there are no corresponding rules and regulations, “various financial institutions have different judgment standards for cryptocurrency transactions” hence some crypto OTC desks could be flagged by some local financial institutions.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Cryptocurrency Community Makes a Shift; Betting Big on NFTs

DeFi continues to rage, approaching a $10 billion peak. But the latest talk of the town is NFT. In 2017, it was CryptoKitties; this time, it is digital art.

Non-fungible tokens are a special type of token on the Ethereum network that are using ERC-71 and ERC-155 standards to create verifiable digital scarcity.

The crypto community is betting big on digital art, as evident from the fact that the sales on NFT marketplace Rarible surpassed $5 million this month. One such art, a bronze Bitcoin Bull by Trevor Jones, was sold for $55,555.

“Collectibles are a billion-dollar industry. And this is a digital era in the world. Just look at social media crypto and our phones,” said trader Josh Rager who believes NFTs are here to stay and compared them to investing in digital money.

The potential of NFT is in the fact that it has a wide market. With the potential to make intellectual property liquid, from music, podcasts, videos, anything can be tokenized and traded on verifiable marketplaces. Having a stake in the dominance platform can be valuable.

There is already massive demand for centralized gaming items, and as AR/VR worlds accelerate, the same will be the case for scarce digital art, said Ari Paul of BlockTower.

Bitcoin proponent Anthony Pompliano is also betting big on this relatively new market. He believes, “Digital art is the next evolution of art,” where the traditional art market has a market cap of $65 billion.

A Growing Sector

According to NonFungiable.com, the NFT space recorded around 33,000 transactions of around $3.5 million over the past month.

Amidst this NFT craze, MEME token exploded in popularity, and its price jumped to an all-time high of $1,962 yesterday, up from mere $6.37 just over a month ago, only to crash to $773 today.

Meme basically enables users to stake tokens to farm limited edition NFTs or crypto art. This art can then be resold on the market on platforms like OpenSea and SuperRare. The SupreRare NFT marketplace has “grown at an impressive rate” this year, noted Mason Nystrom, a research analyst at Messari.

Rarible, however, is currently the dominant force in the NFT space, where one can create and sell their digital collectibles. By introducing rari rewards for buying and selling collectibles, it overtook other NFT marketplaces.

RARI tokens also give the holders a right to vote in the governance process and currently trades at $5.71, down from its ATH of nearly $11 on Sept. 10.

Before July 15th, the sale of Rarible NFTs was mostly non-existent, but with the launch of RARI token and a liquidity mining incentive program, the sales on the platform surged to over $6 million, becoming 10x of OpenSea.

Another token with liquidity mining in the form of NFTs where creators can stake their talents for tokens is Whale. This social token has a market cap of $16 million, which is backed by a $1 million portfolio of NFTs.

“This transition to a digital art world is not a question of if it will happen, but rather when. In fact, I personally believe that the digital art market cap will grow to become larger than the physical art market cap,” said Pompliano.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin is Now on Former Hedge Fund Manager Jim Cramer’s Investment Menu

On the latest episode of The Pomp Podcast, Anthony Pompliano tried to convert the guest Jim Cramer into a Bitcoiner.

CNBC’s Mad Money fame, Cramer is a former hedge fund manager who back in 2016 showed his bullishness towards BTC by calling out for $1 million only to get his bears out the following year when the digital asset went under $6,000.

But this time, the co-founder of TheStreet.com got a much-needed lesson to understand Bitcoin, and now he believes buying bitcoin is actually “prudent.”

What changed his mind is the three billion dollars that the central bank printed, which he said: “changed everything.” “I am concerned that I am not being prudent, and I now think that Bitcoin is prudent,” said Cramer.

His idea is to have his inheritance in something his kids will be comfortable with, and it isn’t gold but cryptocurrency.

“I’m going to buy it [Bitcoin] in stages…” he said and that he would keep it untouched for his kids until 2030.

On his investment menu, he had the traditional assets – gold, masterpieces, mansions, and real estate. But what his inflation handbook didn’t have was crypto.

He said gold and crypto belongs to the same category and that one has to “have one or the other.” Cramer said in the light of the current macro environment.

“We’re on a collision course, which makes me feel great about the gold I own, but I do feel that it’s perfectly logical to add crypto to the menu.”

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Author: AnTy

SushiSwap Creator Makes a U-Turn; Returns $14 Million Worth of Ether

In the latest turn of events, just when you think the drama is coming to an end, comes a tweet from Chef Nomi.

It was on the last weekend that the anonymous creator of DEX SushiSwap cashed out his share of the development fund; now, just before this weekend, Chef Nomi apologized to the crypto community for their greed.

The creator also returned all of their $14 million worth of Ether to the treasury and “will let the community decide how much I deserve as the original creator of SushiSwap.”

Now, Adam Cochran, a co-signer of the multi-sig, is proposing to use some of these returned funds to re-buy SUSHI token, which is trading at $2.33.

Currently, the SushiSwap community is working on bringing the policy changes they have voted for to the protocol, including reducing its token reward schedule and introducing fee staking and a lock-up period for newly minted SUSHI.

The Apologies Round

This week, the control of the Uniswap clone was handed over to FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, and the subsequent successful migration of SushiSwap happened. Already it is recording $200 million in daily volume and $1.54 billion of liquidity. The community also voted for ten people as the multi-sig signers for the treasury.

Chef Nomi apologized to all the people involved in the project and “for bringing a bad reputation to the DeFi movement.” At the time of selling his SUSHI tokens, the pseudo-anonymous creator said they deserved the funds for doing all the work.

Synthetix founder is in favor of “powerful incentives” to “attract all the amazing founders languishing in Fintech building shitty TradFi overlays” in crypto, much like Chef Nomi.

But yEarn founder Andre Cronje argued that incentives should be aligned and “earning a casual $1.5m for < 2 weeks worth of work, off of cloning someone else’s work, hardly seems aligned.”

The creator also directed their apologies towards Uniswap creator Hayden Adams, of which it is a copycat.

“I hope that SushiSwap continues to evolve. Don’t let my mistake deter it from being a 100% community-run AMM. The success of SushiSwap will set a precedent for many more community-run projects,” said Chef Nomi. “It has a lot of potential, don’t let my action alone fuck it up.”

Chaos has a way of sorting itself

While those who lost their money during the SUSHI’s 80% price dump following Chef Nomi’s “exit scam” berated him still in the comments section of Twitter, some speculated this move was because he was doxxed.

Others complimented the creator for owning up to their mistakes and correcting them. Cronje said,

“Less apology, more coding. Sushiswap needs you. Get back to work and build something that leaves a legacy. You chose Sushiswap over yourself, now just keep building.”

Amidst this, popular trader Loomdart shared his two bits on the Sushi saga, saying the project is not a conspiracy because “$14m is pennies when you attribute the stress/fear that comes with “doing” what ChefNomi did.” He said,

“Crypto is chaos. chaos just has a way of managing to sort itself out when peoples incentives align.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitmain Pushing for New Mining Machines But Customers aren’t Eager to Indulge

The latest in the Bitmain drama is Zhan Ketuan (Micree Zhan), now selling the world’s first 5nm mining machine to Chinese miners, according to local media channel WuBlockchain.

These new machines will be reportedly shipped in January next year, but bitcoin miners aren’t really keen on buying them. Not only do they require advance payment, but Micree is also suspected of selling problematic chips. Samson Mow, CSO at Blockstream said,

“Bitmain is now pushing 5nm chips despite ongoing quality issues for S17s. The TSMC 5nm process node is still too new, and chances of low yields are way too high. I wouldn’t touch these with a ten-foot pole – especially with the ongoing power struggle within the company.”

Filled with Issues

Not only, Bitmain’s past development doesn’t put much confidence in the new product; the supply of the chips is also under the control of Wu Jihan, who is managing the Hong Kong operations. Bitmain also has little production capacity, which means large buyers would be given the priority. Colin Wu of Wu Blockchain noted,

“Micree cannot obtain 7nm and 16nm production capacity, so he chooses to sell problematic 5nm chips. Although the energy efficiency ratio can reach 25-30J/T, serious problems may occur, and production capacity cannot be guaranteed.”

Micree is expected to hold a press conference on Sept. 17, and although the agenda of the meeting is not clear yet, the latest product is likely to be the drawing point. Meanwhile, the other co-founder Jihan Wu is accusing him of fraudulent acts.

And More Issues

Jihan’s public account released a statement where he reiterates that Micree has been removed from all the positions in the company and its affiliates and any agreements signed by him are subject to legal validity and major disputes. The statement further reads,

“Based on the BM1360 development experience, the first-generation official commercial 5nm chip BM1362 is still under verification. The test chip has not been obtained, and the tapeout has not been completed. It is even more nonsense to promise to deliver mining machine products based on the BM1362 chip in the near future.”

Even Foundry may not be of any help

Here, even their partner Foundry may not be able to help them as Mow said,

“Think of the foundry as a store with ovens, you’re just using their oven. If you suck at baking, you have to sell the shitty bread or eat it yourself.”

“Bitmain probably doesn’t know how to use (Foundry) yet.”

“The major players work with the foundry to fine-tune the process node for years and have experience. So Apple, HiSilicon etc are good. Bitmain, not so much.”

Bitmain officially announced its partnership with Foundry today, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which first reported on this partnership last month.

For crypto miners, obtaining financing is difficult, and this partnership will help them “ship a significant number of machines into North America this year,” said Su Ke, the global sales and marketing director of Antminer at Bitmain.

No Winnings

Management issues at Bitmain cost the company not only its customers but a position in the market as well. Their problems are also not coming to an end anytime soon; as a matter of fact, they continue to lose.

Recently, a court in China denied its appeal seeking $30 million in damages from the three founders of bitcoin mining pool Poolin.

While the mining giant claims Poolin’s executive broke non-compete agreements in starting their very own bitcoin mining operations that lead to a loss of millions to Bitmain, the court found the company failed to provide sufficient evidence for the same.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase & Circle’s USDC Stablecoin Now Available on Algorand Blockchain; Up to 1000 TPS

  • Algorand (ALGO) becomes the latest blockchain to house Circle’s USDC stablecoin.
  • The blockchain promises 1000 transactions per second, providing massive scaling to USDC.

Center Consortium, a blockchain group led by payments firm Circle, and the largest crypto exchange in North America Coinbase, announced the addition of Algorand (ALGO) as the latest blockchain to host its USDC stablecoin. The blockchain becomes the second blockchain, after Ethereum (ETH), to add USDC in a bid to scale and speed up transactions using the token.

In a Medium blog post released on Sept. 9, Center Consortium stated the Algorand blockchain would help ease off transactions on Ethereum presenting a highly scalable and practically costless platform for USDC transfers. Algorand is one of the fastest layer one blockchains in the market today, providing over 1000 transactions per second (TPS) and transaction fees averaging less than a 1/20 of a cent – COSTLESS!

Algorand is a layer one blockchain that leverages blockchain technology allowing developers and users to build instant, seamless and decentralized applications on a scalable and costless platform.

Center Consortium parent company, Coinbase, listed Algorand’s native token, ALGO, in July this year due to customer demand causing a 30% price surge in a day. Algorand will now provide massive scaling to both retail and institutional USDC investors on the platform, Alesia Haas, Chief Financial Officer at Coinbase stated.

The expanding decentralized finance (DeFi) is also making a case for USDC’s addition of Algorand’s blockchain platform. Ethereum’s slow and expensive transactions on its blockchain are sending developers, users, and projects in search of a more scalable platform.

“Expanding USDC from Ethereum to additional blockchains like Algorand will ensure USDC has the flexibility to support everything from emerging DeFi projects to large-scale financial institutions”

“Today’s launch represents a significant improvement to USDC’s scalability, improving its utility and making it a significantly more useful protocol for solving real-world financial problems.”

The USDC stablecoin is available on the Algorand Mainnet starting 9th Sept. The statement also announced payments platform, Circle’s support of Algorand in its ecosystem. Algorand will now be integrated into platforms and APIs, including “Circle Payments, Wallets, Marketplaces and Business Account APIs”.

Jeremy Allaire, CEO and Co-founder of Circle, hopes for a happier future on Algorand’s “scalable and secure blockchain infrastructure.” In a statement to BEG, Allaire praised Algorand as the blockchain of the future as USDC moves to its next growth phase – web-scale infrastructure for global consumer payments applications.

In June, USDC, backed by dollars, announced its launch on Algorand is a debut of its multi-chain framework. The move opened up a gateway for users to transfer their assets from traditional finance systems to Algorand blockchain. Center Consortium plans to add USDC on other blockchains following Algorand’s partnership.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Kenya Leads Crypto Adoption In P2P Exchange Volumes; Ukraine Tops Global Index: Chainalysis

Chainalysis, a cryptocurrency, and blockchain analysis firm, released it’s latest Global Crypto Adoption Index 2020, showing developing countries are witnessing greater adoption for crypto – Ukraine, Venezuela, and Kenya featured in the top five countries with Russia and China completing the list.

The interim report from Chainalysis focuses on four significant parameters to rank the 154 countries that took part in the survey. The metrics to measure crypto adoption include on-chain cryptocurrency received weighted against the purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita, on-chain crypto sent out (transferred) weighted against the PPP per capita, and several on-chain deposits weighted by the number of internet users.

Finally, the overall p2p exchange activity weighted by both the number of users and PPP per capita. The index ranks the countries using all the metrics with those closest to one with the most incredible crypto adoption.

Ukraine and Russia top crypto adoption rankings

A glance at the top 10 ranked countries shows a disparate difference in the levels of development across all countries except for Russia, which ranked highly in all four sectors. Ukraine, Russia, and Venezuela grab podium positions according to the Global Crypto Adoption Index by Chainalysis.

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Despite the three not leading in any of the factors mentioned above, the total index score favors the countries. Ukraine ranked fourth in both the on-chain crypto value received and retail value transfers, while China dominated the two factors. Vietnam (ranking tenth) also ranked highly on these metrics.

Kim Grauer, head of research at Chainalysis, Ukraine, and Russia, top the charts due to their underlying innovativeness and tech native population. The latter country also has a vast network of digital payments and e-payments already, which makes the transition to crypto a bit more seamless, she said.

Notwithstanding, the adoption growth in Ukraine and Russia can both be attributed to the current COVID-19 global pandemic that has shrunk both economies. In a bid to make additional sources of income, citizens in the country are turning to crypto for a solution.

Retail investors are pulling their weight in crypto

According to Michael Chobanyan, founder of Ukraine’s first crypto exchange, Kuna, retail investors (less than $10,000) are pushing the adoption rates in Ukraine in search of better investment tools. A lack of a stable stock market exchange, financial systems failure, and an expensive real estate investment – all collude in growing the retail crypto space, he said.

In a differing tone, Grauer said Venezuela adopted cryptocurrency as a need rather than it being a “cool technology.” The hyperinflation in the country is causing plenty of citizens from South American to turn to Bitcoin (BTC) as “a stable store of value.”

The three states, alongside Kenya, showed strong growth in retail crypto adoption while in China (in fourth) and the U.S. (in sixth), crypto adoption is led by big money players and institutions.

“Looking at the share of the transfers greater than $100,000, we noticed that over the past year, the share of the overall activity in North America that is professional has been growing.”

Kenya leads the P2P volumes metric

Another surprise on the list is East African powerhouse, Kenya, which emerged fifth on the Global Crypto Adoption Index ahead of heavyweight economies such as the U.S., Nigeria, and all of Western Europe. Despite performing poorly in three of the four categories, Kenya leads the world in peer-to-peer crypto exchanges trade volume weighted by its number of internet users and PPP per capita.

The East African state has seen rapid growth in P2P exchanges growth volume in 2020 as Paxful and LocalBitcoins pushed for Bitcoin adoption. P2P exchange volume ranking, however, overlooks the prevalence of regulated, centralized exchanges across other states, unfairly pacing more weight to developing countries. Kenya and Venezuela top the P2P rankings but did not manage to make the top ten on any other ranking metric.

Explaining the rankings, Grauer stated no one ranking metric catapulted any country to the top. The report concludes that cryptocurrency adoption is happening globally – only 12 of the 154 countries scored zero on the index. Additionally, developing countries have high numbers of retail investors as P2P exchanges play a crucial role in enhancing crypto adoption in these countries.

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Author: Lujan Odera

YFI Opening the ‘Floodgates for BTC Hodlers into DeFi’ as it Adds ‘Curve sBTC yVault’ to Yearn.Finance

YFI has passed the latest proposal “YIP 39 – Curve sBTC Pool LIP-Tokens yVault” with 98% votes and 40.48% quorum. The weight of Curve sBTC will increase from 17% to 48% on Thursday.

This development would bring a lot of Bitcoin to Ethereum, which has already reached 46,694 BTC worth $534 million.

The idea of the YIP-39 proposal is to capture the $214 billion in AUM from bitcoin holders by allowing them to “passively grow their BTC holdings.” This would be done by using voting power to increase sBTC pool CRV returns and create a Vault for sBTC Curve Pool LP-token holders — which works almost identically to the yYFI and yCRV vault — who deposit renBTC / wBTC / sBTC in Curve Pool.

“Harvest CRV, sell it for more LP-tokens or renBTC, which is then re-deposited to create, distribute and compound LP-token growth,” states the proposal.

With the YIP-39, the YFI community aims to generate “significant goodwill from Bitcoin holders,” by presenting them with other use cases of the holdings.

It also mentions how currently the most confident BTC holders are only depositing and recycling or farming CRV.

“This can become a black hole for BTC deposits into Curve via renBTC and LP tokens into yVault for passive returns and governance fees,” it adds.

Move where the Money Is

For quite some time now, the YFI community has been discussing bringing BTC, the standard in the crypto world, to Yearn.Finance, which “would open the floodgates for BTC hodlers into defi.”

The rationale behind this has also been to bring a “greater” share of CRV rewards and wBTC revenue into the fold and to maximize AUM to get “governance control of other platforms.”

While “pure” bitcoiners will prefer to keep their BTC in multi-sig and not earn yield and some will go for crypto lenders BlockFi and Aave’s Lend, “there is a huge cohort of btc holders who want yield and will move to where the money is,” noted analyst Ceteris Paribus.

However, there are risks given that the “experimental” projects of DeFi continue to see a loss of funds along with the “Ethereum/smart-contract/synthetic risk.”

But there is also the advantage of higher yield, currently ~50%, maybe >100% soon, and not to mention there is no need for KYC.

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Author: AnTy

dYdX Exchange Launches Its Third Perpetual Contracts With Chainlink’s LINK Token

  • dYdX is the latest exchange to add Chainlink (LINK) perpetual contracts on its platform.
  • The listing allows users to leverage their positions in LINK/USD contracts.

In an announcement on their Twitter, dYdX announced the launch of LINK/USD perpetual contracts that allows users up to 8X leverage.

These perpetual contracts are different from futures contracts in that instead of having a fixed expiration date, they hold an indefinite period of expirations. Moreover, the latter at launch trade at prices different to the market price while perpetual contracts trade very close to the market price.

The exchange said the addition of LINK contracts as its third perpetual contract – after BTC and ETH – is as a result of the coin leading in trading volumes in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. According to the senior growth associate at dYdX, Corey Miller, the exchange is working towards launching other DeFi coins in the coming days.

dYdX is also working on launching standard short-term futures on cryptocurrencies after the implementation of its Layer-2 network. The exchange announced a partnership with Starkware to develop the L2 solution. Miller said,

“Once our L2 [Layer-2] is live, we will be able to launch them on a shorter time horizon.”

dYdX is a decentralized exchange platform, launched in 2018, allowing users to lend, borrow, or margin trade any supported asset. According to DeFi Pulse, the DEX currently has a total value locked (TVL) of $40 million in crypto assets.

Also Read: Huobi Launches Global DeFi Alliance With Compound, dYdX, Nest & MakerDAO as Founding Members

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Author: Lujan Odera

Cryptocurrency ‘Could Be The Next Step In The Evolution Of Money,’ Says IMF

In its latest crypto shilling video, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) clubbed every cryptocurrency in one bundle with the focus on payments.

It doesn’t differentiate bitcoin from others, combining certain properties of the largest digital asset with other cryptos.

“It sounds like they’re gaslighting the general populace to prepare them for an IMF coin,” commented Samson Mow, CSO at Blockstream on the explainer.

Talking about the “special currency” that solve the problems presented by the traditional system, where the payment is processed by a bank or credit card company that takes a cut of the transaction, is time-consuming and expensive, and needs to be trusted with our sensitive data, cryptos are secure and based on the science of cryptography, IMF explains.

They remove the middleman and broadcast the transaction to the entire network, recording it in a permanent way meaning “it’s almost impossible to fool the system,” states the video covering “What are cryptocurrencies?”

With cryptos, transactions are faster, but they can’t process large amounts quickly yet, and even those people who don’t have bank accounts can buy or sell goods and participate in the global economy, it explains.

But the international organization was back to chanting the risk of transactions in most cryptocurrencies being anonymous with some even being untraceable, making it “easier for bad guys to make payments without being noticed.”

And of course, if you lose your password you lose all your money. “If someone can help you recover your money, it’s not your money,” counters Mow.

Not to forget, they are still “highly volatile,” (but not more so than stock markets are currently thanks to the central bank and government). And they are also not even widely accepted, reminded the IMF. IMF states,

“But if we counter the risks, then this new technology or some variation of it can completely change the way we sell, buy, save, invest, and pay our bills.”

What’s not covered is Bitcoin is already there, becoming a new investment class and increasingly becoming a part of the portfolios, that has been attributed to be an inflation hedge and a store of value.

Crypto “could be the next step in the evolution of money,” concludes the video.

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Author: AnTy