Block.one Raises $10B from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year

Block.one Raises $10 Billion from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year

After the record $4 billion ICO, Block.one has again managed to raise $300 million from Peter Thiel, Alan Howard, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, Galaxy Digital, and Nomura bank. EOS, meanwhile, is still down 60% from its 2018 ATH in the ongoing bull market.

Block.one, the software company behind the cryptocurrency EOS, has announced the launch of a new subsidiary Bullish Global.

Planned to be released this year itself, “Bullish” is a new blockchain-based cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange will be offering new automated market making, lending, and portfolio management tools, reads the official announcement on Tuesday.

The exchange will be utilizing the EOSIO software and EOS public blockchain “to produce a cryptographically validated, provable, and immutable audit trail of all transactions processed” on the platform.

Block.one has already raised more than $10 billion for this exchange.

While the initial investment of $100 million in cash, 164,000 BTC, and 20 million EOS came from Block.one itself, $300 million were raised from the big names like Peter Thiel’s Thiel Capital and Founders Fund, Alan Howard, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, Louis Bacon, Richard Li, Christian Angermayer, and global investment bank Nomura.

“Bullish balance sheet is strong, and its vertical integration offers stability and liquidity to the cryptocurrency space. I’m happy to join Bullish as an investor and advisor as it gets started on a long and fruitful journey,” said Thiel.

Block.one is the same company that raised a record $4 billion during the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) mania and received backlash from ESO investors who also filed a lawsuit against it for misleading investors in believing that EOS would be decentralized.

Since its launch at the peak of the last bull market in Jan. 2018, EOS has fallen from the top 10 cryptos list to sit at 23rd place with just over $9.3 billion market cap. As of writing, EOS is trading around $10, still down 60% from its all-time high of $22.71 in April 2018. EOS 54.08% EOS / USD EOSUSD $ 14.28
$7.7254.08%
Volume 19.71 b Change $7.72 Open $14.28 Circulating 953.3 m Market Cap 13.61 b
9 h Block.one Raises $10 Billion from Big Names to Launch a Crypto Exchange Called ‘Bullish’ This Year 11 h Tech Stocks Dragging Bitcoin, Ether, & Crypto’s Down, But ‘Fundamentals Still Strong’ 6 d Bitcoin and Ether Aren’t the Top Traded Crypto’s on Binance Or the Biggest South Korean Exchange

The company is launching the exchange Bullish which will have Peter Thiel, Alan Howard, Richard Li, and Christian Angermayer as its senior advisors.

“Successfully bridging the gap between digital assets and institutional actors will shape the future of the financial sector as we witness greater mainstream adoption of digital currencies,” said Howard.

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Author: AnTy

CryptoPunks Creators Launch New NFT Platform, Meebits; Sell Over 20k 3D Art Pieces in 24 Hours

CryptoPunks Creators Launch New NFT Platform, Meebits; Sell Over 20k 3D Art Pieces in 24 Hours

Larva Labs, creators of CryptoPunks non-fungible tokens (NFTs), announced the launch of a new NFT platform, Meebits, Ethereum-based 3D characters tradable on the blockchain. The platform consists of 20,000 uniquely created NFTs that aim to capture the market and ride with the current demand for these collectibles.

Meebits are randomly generated NFT 3D avatars created using voxels (pixels with volume) which differs from the 2D pixelated CryptoPunks avatars. The team believes the Meebits platform is the ‘next big thing’ in the NFT marketplaces targeting CryptoPunks’ success, which has made over $550 million in sales collectively.

According to a statement from Larva Labs creators, Meebits will serve as avatars for “online gamers, virtual worlds, and virtual reality” in the future. Adding to its 3D features, Larva Labs has also made changes to the no-fee marketplace whereby users and holders of Meebits have the ability to customize trades and exchange Meebits in more complex transactions.

All of the 20,000 Meebits have been minted already, with a Dutch auction company facilitating the distribution of the 3D characters. Potential owners of Meebits raised an average of 2.49 ETH (or ~$8,000) to mint a Meebit at random. The Meebits will be stored in a file hash stored on a smart contract, similar to CryptoPunks.

In the blog post, LarvaLabs co-founders Matt Hall and John Watkinson explained the storage process writing,

“Once all 20,000 Meebits have been minted, we’ll release the file matching that hash on IPFS. This will contain all the attribute and voxel data for each Meebit, so they can live on in perpetuity.”

The launch of Meebits comes less than a month after Larva Labs announced the auctioning of CryptoPunks at Christie’s auction house on 13 May during Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale.

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Author: Lujan Odera

BadgerDAO & RenVM Launch A ‘Bridge’ to Bring Bitcoin to Ethereum in ‘One Click’

BadgerDAO & RenVM Launch A ‘Bridge’ to Bring Bitcoin to Ethereum in ‘One Click’

BadgerDAO and RenVM partner to bring Bitcoin to Ethereum via ‘Badger Bridge.’ The bridge aims to boost BTC utility in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

  • Bitcoin-focused DeFi platform, BadgerDAO announced its partnership with RenVM, an open cross-chain solution, to bring Bitcoin to Ethereum via a Badger Bridge.
  • The bridge will ease users’ yield earning activities while offering instant transactions all in “a few short clicks.” It will be accessible through the Badger app to build a one-stop shop for Bitcoiners in DeFi.

In an aim to appeal to the market, BadgerDAO is launching “The Bridge Mining Program,” termed as the largest incentive program yet in crypto to incentivize the transfer of up to 100,000 BTC (~5.4 billion) to Ethereum with a reward of up to $6 million to participants.

The bridge aims to boost the number of conversions on RenVM, which has processed over 25,000 BTC conversions into Wrapped BTC since June 2020. Apart from impacting the adoption of the two partners, this bridge will also “provide seamless interoperability between platforms for DeFi users boosting the ecosystem,” RenVM chief operating officer Michael Burgess said.

This collaboration looks to further open Bitcoin to the DeFi field with more partnerships with top projects on the way, the statement reads.

“Given this depth of collaboration, we expect to mimic this functionality throughout all DeFi Ecosystems, so keep an eye out for similar products on Binance Smart Chain, Fantom, Solana, Polygon, and more!”

Burgess further stated that the partnership with BadgerDAO is an important step in introducing new innovations that will enable Bitcoin to have more utility.

“We wanted to strengthen our relationship with the BadgerDAO team and really make it the go-to place for putting your BTC to work, so it’s a natural fit. Further, it helps from a UX perspective by consolidating this functionally for users under one roof.”

The partnership follows a recent $21 million investment in BadgerDAO from top crypto venture capital firms in an aim to diversify some of the BADGER tokens held on the platform’s DAO treasury as a “backstop” to huge bearish market movements.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Nasdaq to Launch Coinbase’s COIN Options Trading Starting Today

Nasdaq to Launch Coinbase’s COIN Options Trading Starting Today

Options on Coinbase Global Inc would start trading on Nasdaq options exchanges starting today.

Less than a week after the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US went public, the equity options on the stock will be launched. This would offer investors yet another way to bet on Coinbase.

On Wednesday, Coinbase made the high-profile debut that briefly valued it at over $100 billion. On the day, the COIN shares were worth as much as $430 at one point but are currently down 22.5% as it trades around $319.35.

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During the first day of trading, as we reported, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sold about $292 million in shares in total, which is less than 2% of his entire holdings. Armstrong sold these shares in three batches of 749,999 each at prices ranging from $381 to $410.40 per share.

COIN has been very popular among the general public. It was actually the most bought across the retail clients of UBS for three consecutive days, as per John Street Capital. With a total 3-day inflow of $410 million, it was the largest 3-day period of inflows by a company only after Jack Ma’s Alibaba (BABA) initial public offering (IPO).

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Author: AnTy

Plasm Network Partners with Secret Network to Launch the First Polkadot-Cosmos Cross-Chain Bridge

Plasm Network Partners with Secret Network to Launch the First Polkadot-Cosmos Cross-Chain Bridge

Polkadot-based Plasm Network partners with Secret Network to launch a cross-chain bridge between the two projects. This bridge will allow users to directly send and receive assets across the two platforms in a new kind of “layer zero” protocol.

Announced on Tuesday, the ‘bridge’ results from an ongoing partnership between Plasm Network (PLM) and Secret Network (SCRT), a Cosmos blockchain-based transaction privacy solution, which allows users to transact assets on any of the two networks. Built on Plasm testnet, the bridge will allow private transactions on Secret Network and access to decentralized finance, DeFi, provided on SecretSwap, the platform’s automated market maker (AMM).

“We’ve completed building our bridge with Secret Network,” the blog post reads. “This build will start on our testnet before deploying to mainnet down the road.”

Plasm Network users will be limited to enjoying “secret” transactions and DeFi products built on the Secret DApp hub at launch. By turning their assets to “Secret Tokens,” synthetic tokens on Secret built using ERC-20 standards and privacy features of coins such as Monero and Dash, users can enjoy encrypted transactions, “viewable only to address owners or holders of their viewing key.”

Notwithstanding, the bridge also brings DeFi to Plasm users through Secret DeFi, which allows the building of privacy-preserving DeFi apps.

The mainnet launch will follow the testnet launch once Kusama Network (KSM) is ready for launch and Plasm becomes a parachain on Polkadot. Kusama is a Polkadot parachain testnet unveiled by Polkadot’s co-founder Gavin Wood in 2019.

Speaking on the recent partnership, Plasm co-founder Sota Watanabe said,

“We have considered the light client implementation. And we are highly likely to take this approach after becoming a Kusama Parachain. The implementation we have today is an MVP [minimum viable product].”

Secret Network and Plasm partnership is the first time the Polkadot (DOT) and Cosmos (ATOM) blockchain has a direct connection. This is made possible through the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC) on Cosmos, which allows direct communication between different blockchains.

“This is the first commercial trial that brings Cosmos assets to the Polkadot ecosystem and vice versa.”

“We would like to make the idea of ‘Cosmos vs. Polkadot’ obsolete.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Keep Network to Launch An Updated Bitcoin to Ethereum Bridge, tBTC Protocol V2

Keep Network to Launch An Updated Bitcoin to Ethereum Bridge, tBTC Protocol V2

The Keep Network has released more details of tBTC, a Bitcoin bridge on Ethereum. Keep Network developer Evandro Saturnino disclosed this in a blog post.

Keep Network Unveils tBTC V2

Saturnino made it known that the network considered different changes to address tBTC past issues with collateralization.

The developer said that while the tBTC v1 relies on a 200% outside collateral, it has struggled to scale without more ETH into the network, despite being on top of $300M Total Locked Value (TVL). He said the system works perfectly, but the economic constraints are still present.

This second iteration of tBTC (v2) is expected to require stakers to only lock up Keep rather than both Keep and Ether (ETH), alongside introducing changes to its wallet-generation mechanism.

tBTC is a fully Bitcoin-backed ERC-20 token pegged to the price of Bitcoin. It facilitates Bitcoin holders acting on the Ethereum blockchain, accessing the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, and earning with their Bitcoin.

The network is fully trustless, using a system of “signers” selected by a random beacon to safeguard the deposited BTC. tBTC can be converted to BTC, and vice versa, at any time, with no intermediary needed to sign off.

According to Saturnino, this v2 of tBTC would greatly decrease the staking assets’ collateral ratio.

He added that insurance coverage pools would be used to protect against malicious validators to neutralize risks to the peg. He described the coverage pools as perfectly suited to ensure against fraud in tBTC v2.

tBTC And Existing Bitcoin Tokenized Solutions

First announced in April last year, tBTC was built as an application to allow trustless storage of the Bitcoin-backed tBTC tokens. It was officially launched in May but had issues with a smart contract bug, after which it relaunched in September 2020.

The developer said the team had learned a lot since the protocol launched the second time.

The tBTC protocol works on both the Bitcoin and Ethereum public blockchains, with users locking up BTC so that nodes in the Keep network can mint tBTC while staking 150% of the BTC’s value in ETH.

Bringing Bitcoin to Ethereum is considered to be an exciting prospect by many as the tokenization of Bitcoin gets increasingly popular. It can be split into custodial and non-custodial. Popular custodial solutions like Wrapped BTC (wBTC) are one of the largest, while non-custodial solutions like renBTC have followed closely since its launch last year May.

Meanwhile, the Keep network’s tBTC is still trying to gain ground among DeFi users.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Brazil Approves the First Bitcoin ETF (QBTC 11) of Latin America

The ETF can launch on the Sao Paulo stock exchange under the ticker QBTC 11 by June. The company executive believes this approval could “increase” the pressure for a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S.

Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) of Latin America.

Launched by QR Asset Management, manager of the QR Capital group, the Bitcoin ETF is expected to be listed on B3, the main stock exchange of the region’s largest economy. It is expected to be listed under the ticker symbol QBTC 11 on the Sao Paulo stock exchange by June.

The ETF aims to offer qualified investors exposure to Bitcoin, which has seen the “highest appreciation of the decade” in an easy and secure manner.

The executives say the crypto asset can be an alternative for portfolio diversification for multimarket funds and has attracted interest from family offices and so-called professional investors.

QBTC11 has become the fourth Bitcoin ETF after the launch of three Bitcoin ETFs — Purpose Bitcoin ETF, Evolve Bitcoin ETF, and CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF, in Canada in recent weeks.

This latest Bitcoin ETF approval, the company executives believe, could “speed up” the approval of one in the US as well.

The SEC commissioner, Hester Pierce, said this week in an interview that the agency has “dug ourselves into a little bit of a hole” by refusing to approve a bitcoin ETF.

As we reported, SEC is actually officially on the clock on VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF, while Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge has also filed for a Bitcoin ETF. Other applications pending the SEC’s review are from WisdomTree Investments, VanEck Associates Corp., NYDIG Asset Management, and Valkyrie Digital Assets.

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Author: AnTy

French Retail Multinational, Groupe Casino, to Launch Euro-Backed Stablecoin on Tezos

French Retail Multinational, Groupe Casino, to Launch Euro-Backed Stablecoin on Tezos Blockchain

It will be used for payments across the stores, trading, and loyalty rewards.

First reported by French publication Les Echos, Groupe Casino aims to revolutionize payments across its stores with the launch of its Euro-backed stablecoin, Lugh. The multi-billion revenue retail company plans to use stablecoin, ticker EURL, enhance payments, loyalty rewards, and trading in the future.

The stablecoin is created through a partnership with France-based financial service firm, Société Générale, audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the infrastructure provided by Sceme, and offered on the crypto exchange, Coinhouse. According to the report, the stablecoin is developed on the Tezos blockchain (XTZ) by crypto research and development company Nomadic Labs.

However, the stablecoin does not yet represent electronic money, with plans to introduce it to over 11,000 stores across France and Latin America currently underway.

The coin is named after one of the most prominent gods in Irish mythology, Lugh.

Nearly 500,000 EURL tokens will be released exclusively on the regulated crypto exchange, Coinhouse, during the testing phase – the full launch expected later in the year.

The French central bank announced trial phases of a digital Euro, in partnership with Société Générale last October, making it a one of a kind partnership in Europe. Notwithstanding, the central bank governor announced plans to launch a CBDC to keep up with China and other nations that are already launching their own.

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Author: Lujan Odera

TRON Takes Aim at Ethereum’s NFT Market with the Launch of its TRC-721 Standard

TRON Takes Aim at Ethereum’s NFT Market with the Launch of its TRC-721 Standard

Tron introduces its non-fungible token (NFT) standard, TRC-721, to take over the growing NFT market. DApps created on Tron’s TRC-721 will be compatible with Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard.

Tron founder Justin Sun publicly revealed the specifications of the TRC-721 standard in a tweet shared on Tuesday, which will support the in-demand non-fungible token (NFT) market. An accompanying document explains TRC-721 as a set of standard rules that allows the creation and issuing of NFT tokens on the TRON blockchain.

The standard allows full compatibility of Ethereum’s ERC-721 standard, allowing cross-chain transactions. Additionally, every TRC-721 compliant contract must implement the TRC721 and TRC165 interfaces to start issuing tokens on the blockchain.

To start issuing tokens on TRC-721 standard, users need to install a TronLink Chrome extension and launch their account from a previous mnemonic phrase, a hardware wallet or create a new wallet. A minimum of 350 TRX tokens is needed to start issuing tokens.

Developers only need to customize the name and symbol of the token in a provided template and deploy the smart contract to start minting NFT tokens.

Justin Sun has been a rather active member in the rising NFT market, once bidding over $1 million for Jack’s tweet turned to NFT. Notwithstanding, recent reports state the flashy CEO narrowly missed a bid for the Beeple Art sold by Christie’s for over $69.3 million.

With the launch of the TRC-721 standard, Justin expects Tron to compete with and eventually replace Ethereum’s dominance in the NFT market. Despite the market dominance by Ethereum, recent challenges with high gas fees have caused several users to look to other blockchains. TRON aims to offer users a low fee and instant transaction platform in its new quest in the NFT market.

TRON is also witnessing huge adoption rates as the daily transaction volume increases by the week. Growing from 3.2 million transactions to 3.6 million in less than a fortnight, TRX looks to break the 4 million mark soon.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Alpha Begins its “Multi-Chain Ecosystem” with the Launch on Binance Smart Chain (BSC)

Alpha Begins its “Multi-Chain Ecosystem” with the Launch on Binance Smart Chain (BSC)

Alpha Homora is now also running on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), besides the second largest network Ethereum.

“The beginning of a multi-chain Alpha ecosystem and the value accrual mechanism across multiple chains starts now,” stated the Alpha team.

BSC has seen a lot of traction lately as fees on Ethereum remain elevated, helping Binance Smart Chain make new highs in transaction volumes.

This launch on BSC happened today, and in a matter of three hours, the DeFi protocol had about $117.5 million in total value locked (TVL).

Already, Alpha Homora is among the top ten projects on BSC in terms of TVL. Another lending project, Venus, is the leading one with $5.11 billion in TVL, followed by popular PanakeSwap with $3.65 billion, as per BSCProject.

Alpha’s BSC launch means users can now lend BNB, yield farms on the AMM PancakeSwap with leverage, and receive liquidity mining incentives for both activities.

Leveraged pools that went live with the launch are BNB-ALPHA (2.5x), BNB-CAKE (2.5x), BNB-BUSD (3.0x), BNB-BTCB (3.0x), BNB-ETH (3.0x), and BNB-USDT (3.0x).

Alpha Finance Lab is an ecosystem of cross-chain DeFi products backed by The Spartan Group, Multicoin Capital, DeFiance Capital, and Delphi Ventures.

Alpha Homora is its first product which is a leveraged yield farming and leveraged liquidity providing protocol. The lending DeFi protocol has more than $900 million in TVL on Ethereum.

Last month, the protocol launched its v2 supporting leveraged yield farming of Curve and Balancer pools, alongside Uniswap and SushiSwap pools.

The token ALPHA is a $465 million asset trading at $1.83, up 763% YTD.

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Author: AnTy