1Inch Moves to Arbitrum For Faster Throughput And Lower Gas Fees

Ethereum multi-chain solution, Arbitrum One is seeing major adoption by the day. The latest protocol looking to tap into lower fees and faster transactions is 1Inch Network.

1Inch Moves To Arbitrum

According to a Wednesday tweet, popular decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) aggregator 1Inch Network announced support to Ethereum layer-two scaling solution Arbitrum.

The move is expected to give 1Inch users and DeFi proponents lower transaction costs, higher transaction speeds, and fast withdrawals.

Much like the former Matic Network, Arbitrum uses roll-ups and sits atop the Ethereum network. It is tasked with bundling transactions together and validating them before adding them to the main Ethereum network.

This technology greatly aids the Ethereum network to continue operating as the older decentralized applications (dApps) platform battles with the twin challenges of network congestion and high gas fees.

Arbitrum’s lower gas fees and higher throughput would benefit 1Inch users known to use the DEX aggregator to search for competitive prices across several exchanges.

Commenting on the recent integration with 1Inch, CEO of the development team behind Arbitrum, Offchain Labs Steven Goldfeder said;

“The Arbitrum One ecosystem is vibrant with many excellent and high volume DEXes, and we’re very excited to have 1Inch users join as a DEX aggregator.”

1Inch also stated in the announcement that a total of seven protocols would be available once it launches on Arbitrum. This includes the 1Inch Limit Order Protocol, UniSwap, BalancerLabs, BreederDodo, SushiSwap, SwaprEth, and WETH, with more expected in the future.

Arbitrum Making Waves Despite Being A Newbie

Like several Optimistic Rollup solutions, Arbitrum is built with the same code that operates on the Ethereum network. This enables development teams to easily cross-compile smart contracts on both networks, and it also ensures full compatibility between the Ethereum network on smart contracts and the Web3.0 interface levels.

Meanwhile, Arbitrum has been a major success since launching on August 31. The layer-two scaling solution has seen growing adoption from major protocols, most especially from the DeFi-facing sub-sector.

Also, its lower fees and faster transaction speed has lured non-fungible tokens (NFTs) enthusiasts who have now shifted their attention to the newcomer. According to data from L2 Beat, over $2 billion total value locked (TVL) have been processed through the Arbitrum protocol.

This has been due to surging interest in viral internet sensation NYAN. The digital meme token, which shows a rainbow-themed Nyan cat, has been in hot demand as digital collectible fans look to farm the ERC-20 token.

Developed by an anonymous developer, NYAN is meant to generate buzz about the Arbitrum network and encourages investors to lock up tokens on Arbitrum to receive rewards, according to a September 8 tweet.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Long-Term Chart Clearly Shows Bitcoin Still in an ‘Uptrend’ But Biggest Macro Headwinds Looms Over Price

“BTC needs another major catalyst to regain momentum and combat some of the uglier charts in the near term,” said Kevin Kelly, co-founder and head of global macro at Delphi Digital, in his latest report.

In April, Bitcoin hit its all-time high at nearly $65,000, and last month, it had a drawdown of 54% to 57% as the price fell to $30,000 on Coinbase and $28,000 on some exchanges. Today, that price finally crossed the $40k mark on the news that legendary investor, Paul Tudor Jones, has upped his allocation of bitcoin to 5% of his portfolio. He originally said 2% back in May of 2020.

Slashing of Bitcoins’ value by half was driven by the major unwind in leveraged positions, profit-taking following one of BTC’s best runs, and of course, the narrative of crypto-mining not being good for the environment.

“When everyone is leveraged long, it’s not a matter of if but when a major correction will take place.”

Wiping out all the gains of 2021 has the cryptocurrency’s year-to-date gains now at just over 35%. In comparison, ETH is up 236%, WTI 45.71%, and S&P 500 13.08%. Both gold and dollar’s YTD gains are negative by 1.20% and 0.57%, respectively.

BTC-v-Major-Asset-Classes-YTD

Still, more than 85% of Bitcoin UTXOs are in profit — “price bottoms following historical drawdowns of similar magnitude tended to coincide with a drop in the % of profitable UTXOs to at least ~55%.”

The total supply of Bitcoin by long-term holders on a percentage basis which recently bottomed at 58.5%, is also now back above 61%, a good sign for the longer term.

For now, BTC has strong support at around $30k, but if it breaks down, the prices can very well dive below $20k.

Not to mention, the death cross is coming — BTC’s 50-day MA is on the verge of crossing below its 200-day equivalent for the first time since March 2020. As we reported, this leads to a bullish golden cross like many times in history, but this could also turn out like 2017 when it solidified the bear market, which would mean the bottom may not be in quite yet.

However, there’s more to Bitcoin price than just technical analysis.

As we saw recently, the sentiments towards cryptocurrency have turned sour, with the Crypto Fear & Greed Index falling to its lowest level since the March 2020 sell-off. On May 30, the reading was 10, which has now gone up to 28.

One of the biggest macro headwinds to BTC, according to Kelly, is the deceleration in the growth of central bank asset purchases.

BTC-Peaks-v-Central-Bank-Asset-Growth

Historically, the price tends to peak at roughly the same time as y/y growth in major central bank balance sheets, which hit $8 trillion for the first time last week.

With the trend of large-scale debt monetization and asset purchases likely to continue, it spells bullish for Bitcoin, but the talks of tighter monetary policy in the face of rising inflation could serve as a headwind for BTC in the near term.

Bitcoin and crypto actually rated to sell-off around the time inflation expectations actually peaked in mid-May. “It’s an important distinction because markets trade on changes in expectations, not backward-looking data prints,” said Kelly.

BTC-Long-Term-Uptrend

However, not only “the long-term chart clearly shows BTC still in an uptrend” despite the recent drawdown and compared to previous cycles, the price trajectory still looks to be right on track, so unless $20k is retested, Bitcoin can continue higher.

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Author: AnTy

Latin America IT Giant Globant S.A Stakes $500,000 In BTC Investment

  • Despite a turbulent week in the crypto market, the nascent industry is still a major attraction for institutional investors.
  • Joining the likes of MicroStrategy and Tesla in holding Bitcoin, software firm Globant S.A has added Bitcoin to its balance sheet.

Globant Joins the ‘Bitcoin Express’

In a detailed financial statement forwarded to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Globant said that it has been making crypto investments for some time now. The IT firm has invested an aggregate of $500,000 for the first quarter of 2021 in cryptocurrencies. This investment was solely spent on Bitcoin.

The multinational tech company founded in 2003 said that it considered Bitcoin an intangible asset due to its lack of a physical form and the limitlessness of its useful life.

Globant S.A has categorized cryptocurrencies alongside its intangible assets like licenses, customer relationships, customer contracts, and non-compete agreements.

Globant S.A is not the first software company looking to diversify its investment portfolio. MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor has long converted the software firm’s cash reserves to Bitcoin.

According to Saylor, Bitcoin is a better store of value than gold, given its hard-cap limit on the number of coins that will ever be mined (21 million to be exact).

This has seen the US firm commit a large portion of its cash reserves to cryptocurrencies, and it currently sits at the top of companies with BTC exposure with 92,079 BTC purchased so far.

BTC Market Crash Affects Institutional Investors

Crypto investors are still licking their wounds following a severe market correction that saw the market shed almost $300 billion. Despite Bitcoin rising almost 90% in Q1 2021 alone, breaking through resistance levels of $65,000, the asset has crashed almost 50%, trading below $32,000 in one week.

Following regulatory clampdown in China and pointed criticism on how each Bitcoin is mined, the premier digital asset suffered a huge shock spilling about $500 billion in the process.

Institutional investors like Globant S.A with Bitcoin on their balance sheets have also not fared well. Some have even seen their investments erode following the massive selloffs occasioned by the crackdown by China.

Data published by Bitcoin Treasuries revealed that some investors holding Bitcoin in their treasuries are treading in the red zone, as the value of their holdings plummets. One prime example of such investors is BlackRock which has seen its initial stake drop from $360,000 to $227,825. Another is Chinese photo app company Meitu which has lost 10% of its investment.

Some others have also gained, crypto mining company Riot blockchain and Voyager Digital Ltd posting 5.8 times the value they initially deposited.

The most affected have been investors who made the transition to crypto in 2021.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

HSBC Maintains Anti-Crypto Stance Amid Growing Institutional Players

HSBC Maintains Anti-Crypto Stance Amid Growing Institutional Players

  • Even as major financial institutions are joining the crypto wagon, HSBC has refused to offer crypto services.
  • Speaking to news agency Reuters, HSBC Chief says the bank is not changing its stance on crypto anytime soon.

HSBC Not Interested In Bitcoin

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase & Co are a few of the legacy-backed financial institutions which have become pro-crypto in the last couple of months.

Despite what many may call a green light by the growing adoption of cryptocurrencies in financial settlements, HSBC Bank has buckled down on its crypto resolve.

According to a Reuters report, HSBC’s CEO Noel Quinn said that the bank would not be offering crypto assets to its customers. He also said that the bank is not planning to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk any time soon.

Speaking on why the bank is maintaining a contrarian stance in the face of widespread adoption, Quinn said that the volatility concerns surrounding crypto assets like Bitcoin were a major problem. He also said the lack of transparency in knowing who initiates a transaction keeps the British-owned bank from diving into the crypto space. Quinn added,

“Given the volatility, we are not into Bitcoin as an asset class; if our clients want to be there, then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business.”

HSBC is a well-known Bitcoin critic and reportedly barred its customers from trading US software company MicroStrategy trading stocks. According to the bank, Bitcoin is a virtual currency product, and customers will not be allowed to buy and trade products referencing the performance of these virtual currencies.

Quinn also spoke on stablecoins – digital assets meant to track the performance of its fiat counterpart. According to the HSBC executive, stablecoins presented an issue due to their reserves backing and accessibility.

Crypto Critics Continue Bashing

Quinn’s remarks come on the back of a major crypto market crash in the last few days. Bitcoin, the poster-child for crypto, suffered a massive slump after a public bashing by Bitcoin supporter Elon Musk.

Musk’s EV firm Tesla Inc which reportedly snagged up $1.5 billion worth of BTC in Feb. 2021 and accepted BTC payments, made a round-about turn after he said the energy consumption of BTC was “insane.”

This sudden change in narrative led to Bitcoin shedding as much as 50% of its market cap and the broader crypto market plunging below its $2 trillion valuations.

As though that was not enough, Chinese officials have reportedly called for a crackdown on cryptocurrencies citing the inherent investor harm it may orchestrate given its volatile nature.

BTC trades at $37,587, a far cry from its $65,000 valuation in mid-April.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Market Experts View Cryptocurrencies As Major Risk, Fed Survey Reveals

Market Experts View Cryptocurrencies As Major Risk, Fed Survey Reveals

The latest version of the US Federal Reserve’s Financial Stability Report has highlighted cryptocurrency as one of the threats to financial stability. The survey polled responses from market experts, including investors and academics, political advisers, and brokerage firms.

Fear of Cryptocurrency Replaces Coronavirus Pandemic Worries

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and stablecoins were seen as a potential risk to the financial stability of the existing financial system, according to about 20% of the 24 professionals contacted by the Fed in the report.

Recall that the Feds had not included cryptocurrencies or stablecoins as a threat in a previous analysis of the risks. Instead, the coronavirus pandemic was mentioned in the previous report published in November.

The top risks or vulnerabilities in the Thursday report were all associated with the pandemic and its effects on the US and global economies. “Vaccine-resistant variants” ranked the highest, with 60% of respondents earmarking it as a potential threat to the continued stability of the economy.

This was followed by a “sharp rise in real interest rates,” which took 50%.

Inflation surge” came next, with 45% of respondents stating this may adversely impact the economy. “US-China tensions” and “risky asset valuations/corrections” both saw 35% of participants tapping them as probable threats, among other concerns.

Fed Reserve, A Potential Threat Not Crypto

The Federal Reserve has been seen as a potential threat to financial stability in the past due to the alleged printing of trillions of dollars by the Central bank, which sprung worries of inflation.

The Fed was said to have pushed the printing of dollars agenda as one of the many tools to help prop up the ailing economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

It also said that it could allow inflation to exceed its 2% target to escape the pandemic-induced recession; it won’t rush to raise rates to head off inflation.

Although Bitcoiners and crypto enthusiasts have argued that the Feds money printing practices could threaten financial stability and cause inflation, some economists do not believe so.

These concerns come at a time where cryptocurrencies have gotten a worldwide embrace from mainstream markets and institutional investors. Companies like Tesla, PayPal, Microsoft, Etsy, VISA, MasterCard, among others, have increasingly adopted cryptocurrencies for payments and services.

MasterCard recently signed a partnership with crypto exchange Gemini to help launch its cryptocurrency rewards credit card. The credit card would offer crypto cashback to Gemini customers every time they shop with it.

In the same vein, VISA partnered with Fintech firm Tala to push the use of the USD Coin (USDC). The collaboration involved Circle, the company behind USDC, and the Stellar Development Foundation that oversees the XLM cryptocurrency coming together to provide access to USDC via its digital wallet.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Digital Yuan Is Closing In On A Full Release As Major Institutions Start Using The CBDC

Digital Yuan Is Closing In On A Full Release As Major Institutions Start Using The CBDC

  • Alibaba’s Ant Group partnered with PBoC to develop China’s CBDC report.
  • The digital yuan could overpower the influence of WeChat Pay and AliPay in the future.
  • More institutions are adopting the CBDC as a form of payment.

Ant Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary by Alibaba, has been partnering with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on the central bank digital currency, popular as CBDC, a report from South China for the past four years China Morning Post reads.

This information was revealed over the weekend at a Digital China Summit in Fuzhou. MYbank, a mobile fintech app by Ant Group, was the intermediary to distribute the digital yuan since 2017. Additionally, the central bank’s main research institute, China Digital Currency Institute, picked up the app in mid-2019 to choose consumers to spend, pay and receive the CBDC.

“Ant Group, together with MYbank, will continue to support the research, development, and trial of PBOC’s e-CNY,” a representative familiar with the matter commented.

The influence of the CBDC is unquestionable across China with the trials conducted over major cities are well received by the population. At the core of the growing adoption rates is the support of China’s large banks such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, HSBC, and the China Construction Bank, all of who have taken part in the trial phase of the digital yuan.

To further boost adoption, several large banks are promoting the use of the digital yuan in an upcoming festival on May 5th over the use of platforms such as WeChat Pay and AliPay. The banks are urging the population to download a digital wallet and purchase the digital CBDC, also known as e-CNY in a bid to make their payments “more convenient,” a representative said.

The continuous push towards a digital yuan controlled by the central banks will reduce the control and dominance private companies such as AliPay and Wechat have in mobile payments. To curtail big-company dominance in holding financial data, the Chinese government will launch a full public version of the e-CNY later in the year to battle with the private corporations.

All in all, big institutions have started embracing the CBDC as a form of currency boosting transactions within the country. JD.com, a China-based e-commerce company, announced Monday that some of their employees have started accepting to be paid using the digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) system.

Having participated in the DCEP trials, JD.com integrated the payment solution earlier this year in its business while paying some of its expenses using the digital yuan, a CNBC report stated

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Author: Lujan Odera

Visa to Settle Payments in USDC on Ethereum; ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’

Visa to Settle Payments in USDC over Ethereum; A ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’

The second-largest stablecoin has added 7 billion to its total supply of almost 11 billion in just the three months of 2021.

Digital payments service provider Visa has announced support for stablecoin USDC as a native currency and settlement system on its network.

The USDC will now be used to settle the transaction with Visa over Ethereum ETH 7.83% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,821.24
$142.607.83%
Volume 22.76 b Change $142.60 Open $1,821.24 Circulating 115.25 m Market Cap 209.91 b
10 h Decentralized Exchange, Uniswap, Accounts for 80% of The Daily Active DeFi Users 10 h Visa to Settle Payments in USDC over Ethereum; A ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’ 2 d “We are Believers in Bitcoin,” says Oakland A’s President on Accepting BTC & HODLing it
instead of the legacy banking system.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers.”

Cuy Sheffield Head of Crypto at Visa

This bridge between digital and traditional fiat currencies is made possible with Visa’s pilot program with payment and crypto platform Crypto.com. The exchange reported “record-breaking growth” over the last year.

Visa is also working with Anchorage, the first federally chartered digital asset bank, which is its exclusive digital currency settlement partner.

Throughout last year, Visa was working on establishing a pathway for digital currency settlement within its existing treasury infrastructure, a platform that the company says moves billions of dollars each day across thousands of institutions in more than 200 markets and 160 currencies.

All of this will also allow Visa to support central bank digital currencies (CBDC) directly.

The settlement layer for the world

USD Coin (USDC) is a fast-growing stablecoin whose supply has increased 7 billion in just the three months of 2021 to a total supply of almost 11 billion, the second-largest stablecoin after Tether (USDT). Last year, USDC supply went from a mere $521 million to nearly $4 billion.

“This is massive news, and marks a major turning point in mainstream adoption of crypto,” said Jeremy Allaire, co-founder & CEO of Circle, which along with Coinbase, created USD Coin.

The Ether community is excited, calling it “another step on Ethereum’s journey to becoming the settlement layer for the world.”

With this connection to existing global networks, it will “accelerate (USDC’s) adoption as both a store of value and medium of exchange,” said Allaire.

Now any customer who has a USDC in a wallet and a card attached to their wallet can spend their USD-backed crypto at any Visa accepting merchant.

“This is “Over-the-Top” (OTT) money, and a major step in our mission to build a new global economic system on a more open, global, safe and inclusive foundation built on crypto and blockchain tech.”

Jeremy Allaire Co-Founder & CEO of Circle

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Author: AnTy

MLB Franchise, Oakland A’s is Offering Full Season Suites for 1 Bitcoin

  • Major League Baseball (MLB) team Oakland Athletics announces they accept Bitcoin payments for their six-person suites.
  • According to the President of the MLB franchise, Dave Kaval, each full-season suite will cost 1 full bitcoin, instead of the normal $64,800, providing a limited discount for Bitcoin buyers till April, stating he is not concerned about the price fluctuations.

During the weekend, the price of Bitcoin hit an all-time high price of $60,000, as the demand for the cryptocurrency reached a fever point. One MLB franchise, Oakland A’s, looks to cash in on the opportunity by offering users Bitcoin-payment options for its full-season six-person suites.

In a tweet by the President, Dave Kaval, Oakland A’s will charge either $64,800 for each suite for the full season or pay 1 Bitcoin (approx. $57,700) an offer that stands until April 1.

What if, during the purchasing period, the price of BTC falls drastically? According to Kaval, fans will be treated to a huge discount if this happens to be able to pay less than $60,000 per suite for the 2021 season. Kaval said the volatility is “part of the romance of the whole situation [with Bitcoin payments],” adding that the company is looking for innovations.

“We’ve always been an organization that wants to innovate, and that’s not to say this is an offer that will still be around in 10 years, but if you don’t try to innovate, it’s never going to happen.”

Oakland A’s becomes the first MLB franchise to accept Bitcoin for tickets. Kaval has been a revolutionary in integrating crypto to sports having been a part of the San Jose Earthquakes, a Major League Soccer (MLS) team, which added crypto in 2014 when he was still an executive. This, alongside demand from Oakland A’s fans, caused the latest turn to crypto payments, Kaval confirmed. He said,

“So, on some level, this is a response to customer demand and when we saw enough of those data points, and when we also saw that the Bitcoin price was approaching our suite price, it was a perfect storm.”

Despite several companies adding Bitcoin as a payment option, very few people choose to pay in Bitcoin given the rising prices and store of value qualities it offers. However, Kaval expects the cryptocurrency to transition from an SoV to a medium of exchange as the price continues to rise. Speaking to Decrypt, he said,

“I think, especially if their Bitcoin has appreciated in value a lot, people will [use it for payments].”

“Right now, it’s being used more as a store of value, but I think its use as a transaction medium will increase over time, and we’re hopeful our product offering will help with that.”

The MLB is the latest Major League to accept crypto payments as sports franchises open up accepting cryptocurrencies. NBA team, Dallas Mavericks, owned by Mark Cuban, announced the addition of Dogecoin (DOGE) for payments – after becoming the first NBA team to add BTC payment options and use blockchains for ticketing.

Kaval believes the widespread adoption of crypto across the Major Leagues shows crypto is here to stay given the “value it provides customers.”

“I think you just need it to be adopted in more places, and MLB, the oldest and most tradition-bound of the professional sports, doing it in our industry is a bellwether moment for people to realize it is in the mainstream, it does provide value to customers.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

RBI Governor Believes Crypto has ‘Major Concerns’ While Teasing the Launch of a Digital Rupee

RBI Governor Believes Crypto has ‘Major Concerns’ While Teasing the Launch of a Digital Rupee

  • Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das expressed ‘major concerns’ on private cryptocurrencies in the country.
  • RBI is still working on a central bank digital currency.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC TV18, Shaktikanta Das, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, said the central bank has “major concerns on cryptocurrencies.” The central bank has already communicated the government’s concerns, who will “take a call,” and if required, Parliament will also decide on regulating crypto.

“Blockchain, not cryptocurrencies.”

Despite the underlying blockchain technology offering certain benefits that should be exploited, according to Das, cryptocurrencies still present major concerns on the country’s financial stability.

“I also want to make it very clear that the blockchain technology is different,” Das said. “The benefits of it have to be exploited, that is another thing, but on crypto, we have major concerns from the financial stability angle.”

The RBI governor did not expound on the challenges that crypto causes on the financial system but said they had shared the government’s findings. The Indian government will consider the points and take a call on regulating private cryptocurrencies.

RBI governor on CBDC launch

The RBI has been stern on accepting crypto as a usable currency in India. In the past fortnight, local reports stated a ban on cryptocurrency looms as the government plans to eradicate cryptocurrency payments from the country. Citing a senior official at the Indian Finance Ministry, the government is planning on an “absolute ban” on crypto, affecting transactions of Indians on foreign exchanges.

In the past month, the central bank called for the launch of a framework for its public digital rupee. Differentiating cryptos to the digital rupee, Das stated the digital rupee is still a “work in progress” on the technology side and the procedural side with plans being made on how and when the CBDC will be rolled out.

The governor, however, did not give a specific date that the digital currency is expected to launch due to “several loose ends [that] need to be tied up.”

“We are targeting to launch it. But if you ask me a date, at this point, it will be difficult for me to say.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Author: AnTy