Andrew Yang Wants to Make New York a Hub for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

Andrew Yang Wants to Make New York a Hub for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies

First Wyoming, then Miami, and now New York, cryptocurrency adoption is rapidly growing.

As we reported, Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez, is working hard on getting the city to lead in technology advancement, and as such, he had gone full-on Bitcoin by enabling the employees to be paid in Bitcoin, taxes and resident fees to be filed in BTC and even putting the digital currency in the city’s Treasury.

But New York might soon compete with Miami to attract the crypto crowd.

Andrew Yang, who is running a campaign to be New York Mayor, and according to a new poll released Wednesday, is actually commanding a double-digit lead in the Democratic primary for mayor, has some big crypto plans for the city as well.

In December last year, Yang, an entrepreneur, and former Presidential candidate, officially filed paperwork to run for New York City mayor. This week, he shared his intention to make the city a bitcoin hub if elected. Yang tweeted,

“As mayor of NYC – the world’s financial capital – I would invest in making the city a hub for BTC and other cryptocurrencies.”

Yang has previously praised cryptocurrencies and advocated for clear regulations surrounding the sector.

New York’s State Department of Financial Services actually introduced BitLicense for businesses dealing in digital assets and granted several during the period of 2015 and 2019.

However, the crypto community isn’t really in support of this license, and even a lawsuit has been filed against NYDFS to abolish BitLicense because it created a “complex and burdensome” set of requirements.

“End the bitlicense,” replied Neeraj K. Agrawal of crypto policy think tank Coin Center to Yang’s tweet on Wednesday.

“Have seen countless companies leave NYC as a result of the overly arduous process, or not enter the market in the first place,” voiced Elizabeth Stark, the co-founder, and CEO of Lightning Labs, in support of Agrawal.

Yang is not the only Bitcoin proponent who is running for Mayor; Bitcoiner Chamath Palihapitiya, as we reported, has also been running a campaign to be California’s governor.

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Author: AnTy

Mt. Gox Saga Continues: CoinLabs Make Deal with Trustee

Mt. Gox Saga Continues: CoinLabs Make Deal with Trustee

The estate only has 0.23 BTC to give out for each BTC that is locked up in bankruptcy with a claim on it.

After several repeats of the postponement of the Mt. Gox rehabilitation plan deadline, the latest development in this more than the seven-year-old case is CoinLab Inc. coming to an agreement with Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee to Mt. Gox bankruptcy, and MGIFLP, a unit of Fortress Investment Group LLC.

As per this agreement, creditors will get the chance to get access to as much as 90% of the remaining Bitcoin lost on the Japanese exchange in 2014.

However, the plan needs to be approved by creditors, said Coinlab in a statement on Friday, adding that investors aren’t obligated to take the early payment and can wait for the lawsuit to settle.

A total of 850,000 BTC belonging to thousands of customers were lost. Since then, the coins that have been found are facing a long and tedious process of reimbursement with no results yet.

According to a CoinLab spokesman, for each BTC locked up in bankruptcy with a claim on it, the estate only has 0.23 BTC to give out. Coinlab’s deal would pay investors from the trust.

Founded in 2012, CoinLab has a $16 billion claim against Mt. Gox. As per the statement, the company is not part of the settlement and will continue its litigation.

“I am thrilled that people are finally getting paid by Mt. Gox,” said Venture capitalist Tim Draper, an original investor in CoinLab.

“As Mt. Gox’s creditors are some of the earliest believers in cryptocurrency, I look forward to getting my Bitcoin as do the tens of thousands of people that have claims.”

This new development in the Mt. Gox saga could be a factor in Bitcoin’s price falling back to $35,550 last night. However, the “move down was already expected from a TA point of view,” noted HXRO Labs. “Objectively, this should be bearish news short term.”

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Author: AnTy

An ‘Extremely Bullish’ Institutional Catalyst for Ethereum is on the Horizon

As Bitcoin enjoys a wild ride to $23,800, Ethereum also managed to make it above $670.

Interestingly for the second-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $75 billion, it is still 57% away from its all-time high despite rallying more than 400% in 2020. And now that Bitcoin has hit a new peak, ETH is expected to follow and make it above $1,000.

In line with these gains, the total number of addresses with a balance of ETH surpassed 50 million for the first time, as per IntoTheBlock data. Not only did ETH make a new record, but it is the first crypto-asset to reach this milestone.

Yesterday, as we reported, CME also announced that it would be launching the Ether futures on February 8, 2021.

It is a big deal for the cryptocurrency as CME represents the institutional interest in the digital asset. Although CME’s bitcoin futures launch at the top of the 2017 bull market was taken as a negative sign for the prices, the retracement was expected after the wild rally.

CME’s bitcoin futures just acted as a catalyst for that correction. Now, as we see in 2020, the biggest regulated bitcoin futures market has been recording more than $1 billion in open interest (OI) on bitcoin futures.

Similarly, CME’s Ether futures, where each contract will have 50 units, will bring more institutional support to the digital asset. Trader and economist Alex Kruger said,

“People mostly remember how bitcoin hit its top on 2017 the exact day the CME BTC futures launched, and proceeded to crash right after. They forget that the CME launch drove the price from 6K to 20K, +225% in 2.5 months. The launch of CME ETH futures is extremely bullish.”

Institutions have been exclusively going into Bitcoin as an inflation hedge. Still, Ether is also now making its place among the investment portfolio, emerging as silver to Bitcoin’s gold, in reference to Ray Dalio discussing cryptocurrencies’ future, seeing their categorization as precious commodities and industrial commodities.

Already, Grayscale’s Ethereum product (ETHE) has 2.94 million Ether in its holding. Jake Chervinksy, General Counsel at Compound Finance, said,

“CME launching ETH futures is a big deal. Combined with Grayscale’s ETHE’s recent growth, this signals rising institutional interest in (& comfort with) ETH. This doesn’t happen without significant demand. ETH’s market structure is maturing quickly.”

Interestingly, while Grayscale holds over 2.5% of Ethereum supply, another 1.53 million Eth (worth more than $1 billion) is locked in ETH 2.0 deposit contract, and a whopping 7.1 million ETH is locked in DeFi.

Things are about to get interesting for Ethereum as well.

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Author: AnTy

JPMorgan: Bitcoin’s Rise Coming at Gold’s Expense; BTC Price Overshot, Bullion Due for Recovery

JPMorgan Chase says the rise of digital assets could make gold suffer.

While money poured into Bitcoin in October, gold saw a record amount of outflows. According to the bank’s quantitative strategists, including Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, this trend is only going to continue in the long run as more institutional investors take a position in the largest crypto asset.

Over the past few months, many have recognized Bitcoin as a good alternative to gold, and JPMorgan is just one of them. As we reported, even Ray Dalio is warming up to digital gold, with Citi, Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, and others seeing Bitcoin as a diversifier to the yellow metal.

Compared to bitcoin’s 156% return YTD without even hitting $20k yet, bullion only raked in 20.5% gains in 2020 after reaching a new peak.

“The adoption of bitcoin by institutional investors has only begun, while for gold, its adoption by institutional investors is very advanced,” wrote the JPMorgan strategists.

According to the bank’s calculations, for now, Bitcoin only accounts for 0.18% of family office assets compared to gold ETF’s 3.3%.

However, bitcoin is seeing a lot of demand, as seen with the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which saw an inflow of almost $2 billion since October, while gold ETFs had a $7 billion outflow during the same period.

“If this medium to longer-term thesis proves right, the price of gold would suffer from a structural flow headwind over the coming years,” wrote JPMorgan’s strategists.

Bitcoin Flow from Gold Funds
Source: Bloomberg

In the short-term, the bank sees Bitcoin prices overshot, hence a selling with gold due for a recovery.

However, many believe both gold and bitcoin should be part of a portfolio. Even Dalio said Bitcoin has similarities to gold and other store holds of wealth.

“Gold buyers do not care what JPM thinks. Americans don’t buy or own much gold. 92% of demand is outside of US. Bitcoin the fastest horse and can go up 20x-would be worth $6 trillion. If so gold doubles to $20trillion in mkt value. Plenty of value to go around,” said Dan Tapiero, co-founder of 10T Holdings.

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Author: AnTy

Square Commits $10M to Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative; Net-Zero Carbon by 2030

Square has launched a clean energy investment initiative to help make the “bitcoin supply chain greener.”

In its press release on Tuesday, the San Francisco-based company announced its plan to become net-zero carbon for operations by 2030. A verified carbon removal portfolio is expected to be launched in Q1 of 2021.

With this came the ‘Bitcoin Clean Energy Investment Initiative‘ to which Square is committing $10 million to support companies that “help drive adoption and efficiency of renewables within the bitcoin ecosystem.”

The new initiative will support companies working on green energy technologies within the bitcoin mining space and accelerate its transition to clean power. Any gains made from this investment will also be reinvested back into the initiative.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a Bitcoin proponent and his company Square, which has invested $50 million in BTC, purchases the largest cryptocurrency on behalf of its Cash App customers.

“We believe that cryptocurrency will eventually be powered completely by clean power, eliminating its carbon footprint and driving adoption of renewables globally,” said Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.

At the end of October, as we reported, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) sent out a letter to banks and cryptocurrency businesses to pay attention to the financial risks associated with climate change and incorporate them into their business strategies. Dorsey said,

“Published estimates indicate bitcoin already consumes a significant amount of clean energy, and we hope that Square’s investment initiative will accelerate this conversion to renewable energy.”

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Author: AnTy

Tezos ‘Delphi’ Upgrade Makes it More Attractive For Defi Projects; Reducing Gas Price By 75%

Tezos has completed the Delphi upgrade, which many believe would make the blockchain a hub for defi projects. As per the official announcement, the Delphi upgrade has brought down the gas fees significantly, allowing users and developers to deploy more complex smart contracts on the platform.

The Delphi upgrade is believed to bring down the gas fee by a whopping 75% along with a four-times lower storage cost.

Tezos network makes use of gas just like Ethereum, but with a different implementation. While the Ethereum blockchain uses gas as a transaction fee, the Tezos network uses it as a limit setter for the consumption of computing power for a transaction. However, the transaction cost is determined by the amount of gas used for that transaction.

Gabriel Alfour, the lead developer at Marigold—and one of the core development teams that worked on Delphi, explained the importance of the lower gas fees and how it can propel the Tezos network to be a leading blockchain when it comes to the deployment of complex smart contracts. He said,

The motivation for such an interim proposal is straightforward. The size and complexity of smart contracts is limited by gas constraints, and so people attempting to build contracts with rich functionality have needed improvements to those constraints for some time.

Thus, such improvements are crucial to enable novel applications on Tezos that target areas like DeFi (“Decentralized Finance”), collectibles, and gaming.

Luckily, in August, we finalized some long-standing work on improving the performance of the Michelson type checker and interpreter, and on refining the cost model, thus mitigating the gas problem.

Growing gas fees due to the network congestion has been a substantial problem for Ethereums mainnet since defi gained traction, and its volume increased significantly. While the launch of ETH 2.0 is believed to solve many of the scaling problems for Ethereum, in the meantime, other blockchains such as Tezos can attract higher numbers of customers to its platform.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Bitcoin Payment Processor Rolls Out ‘BitPay Send’ to Allow Companies to Pay With Crypto

BitPay has announced a new product dubbed ‘BitPay Send,’ which enables companies to make crypto payments without necessarily holding digital assets. The crypto payment services provider targets extending its clientele portfolio with BitPay Send to bridge the gap that exists when it comes to paying for labor or services in crypto.

Powered by a blockchain ecosystem, the BitPay Send platform is built to increase efficiency in crypto payments and target companies of all sizes. This innovation facilitates massive payments such as the ones companies make to contractors, vendors, customers, affiliates, and employee salaries. Given the growing nature of the distributed economy, BitPay Send poses as an ideal platform for companies that source talent, especially from the gig economy.

Per the current systems, transactions can be extremely slow and costly, especially when a cross-border operation is involved. BitPay Send solves this challenge by supporting round the clock crypto payments across the globe. BitPay CEO, Stephen Pair, noted the high rate of blockchain payments adoption, which he attributes to the ease of sending and receiving payments globally. He added that,

“Traditional international payment methods are cumbersome, costly, and slow. With BitPay Send, companies can make mass payouts without having to buy, own or manage crypto and their recipients receive payments quicker and at a lower cost.”

BitPay Send is already in use by AdGate Media, which leverages the facility to make crypto payments to its affiliates. Basically, BitPay assumes the conversion risk, while AdGate only makes a fiat deposit paid out to an affiliate in crypto. Dan Sapozhnikov, the President of AdGate Media, was keen to highlight the value proposition by BitPay Send in their line of business,

“We have lots of affiliates who wanted to be paid in Bitcoin, especially those who are based outside North America and Europe where access to bank accounts is difficult …

having BitPay manage that risk was an important factor in choosing BitPay Send.”

Notably, recipients will only require a BitPay ID and crypto wallet hence the whole notion of eliminating banks as intermediaries. BitPay, which has been operational since 2011, enjoys the backing of prominent investment firms, which include Virgin Group, Index Ventures, and Founders Fund.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Grammy-Nominated Rapper Logic Makes a ‘Big Investment’ in Bitcoin

It’s happening again.

As Bitcoin rallies to make new 2020 highs, reaching closer and closer to its all-time high of $20,000, everyone is paying attention to the crypto king.

Retired rapper Logic, who has two Grammy nominations to his name, shared with his 2.4 million followers on Twitter that he has made a big investment into the digital asset. He didn’t reveal exactly how much.

The crypto community congratulated him and celebrated another bitcoiner in his comments section.

In 2020, the leading digital currency has already turned many skeptics to pro-BTC. Nouriel Roubini, who once called BTC the “mother of all scams,” called Bitcoin a store of value in a recent interview.

Even legendary investor Bill Miller is “strongly” recommending buying Bitcoin despite the digital asset not generating any yield, like gold.

While PayPal integrated Bitcoin and crypto deep into its business just last month, JPMorgan sees BTC as an alternative currency that is in intense competition with gold.

Besides billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones calling Bitcoin a hedge against inflation, the fastest horse, the digital asset, also found its way into publicly listed companies’ balance sheet as a reserved asset.

We recently reported how mainstream media has started to cover Bitcoin while rapper Kanye West and comedian Kevin Hart dropped the Bitcoin bomb.

Bitcoin has entered another cycle that sees it hitting new all-time highs. With the awareness and adoption increasing vastly, it would be interesting to see just how high we go this time.

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Author: AnTy

1inch Exchange Upgrades Its DEX to V2; Roll Out Has Enhanced UI & Faster Response Times

The team behind 1inch Exchange announced plans to upgrade its DEX aggregation platform and make it next-gen, officially calling it 1inch v2.

Yesterday, November 5th, 1inch announced plans to launch the next-gen version of its DEX aggregation platform with several new improvements.

What changes are coming with 1inch v2?

According to the project’s team, one of the new features will be an API known as Pathfinder, which offers a new routing and discovery algorithm. The team further explained that Pathfinder basically finds the best paths for token swaps and that it is very time-efficient, as it can do it in a record time.

In fact, the team plans to boost speed as much as possible. 1inch CEO and co-founder Sergej Kunz noted that the so-called ‘1inch v2′ will focus on speed as its most vital improvement and that this will be something that its users will be able to feel immediately.

Additionally, v2 will also include other changes, such as significant improvements to the user interface. The team wanted to change the UI so much that they created the new one entirely from scratch.

1Inch DEX UI

Apparently, the changes that the project aims to implement will improve the project by quite a bit. The team has had enough in the way of funding to secure the best for its users, thanks to the seed funding round led by Binance Labs a few months ago.

Back then, the DEX aggregation platform managed to raise as much as $2.8 million after the leading exchange’s incubator startup took it under its wing. It attracted many major, influential investors, including FTX, Dragonfly Capital, and even Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital.

DEX volume has been surging for months until October

Of course, the increase in interest in DEXes and DEX aggregators alike rose significantly this year, thanks to the DeFi sector explosion. As some may know, DEX aggregators function as unified portals to the ecosystem of DEXes, which has significantly improved their usability.

Basically, DEX aggregators draw together many different liquidity sources to provide them for DEXes’ traders. With liquidity issues solved, traders are free to trade on numerous different marketplaces with speed and ease.

Of course, it is also worth mentioning that DEXes did see a drop in volume throughout October 2020. Before October, their volumes have been surging for months, only to see a sudden drop last month.

According to available data, DEX volume for September 2020, when DEX was at its peak, at $24 billion every month. However, once October had ended, analysts reported that the monthly volume of decentralized exchanges has dropped to $18.46 billion, which is slightly lower than what was seen in August of this year. However, this is still higher than the volume seen in July.

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Author: Ali Raza

IRS to Revise Form 1040 to Make it Harder for Traders to Escape Crypto Tax Obligation

The Internal Revenue Service is planning to change the 2020 tax form and make sure all taxpayers report about their cryptocurrency transactions.

The standard 1040 form will be altered by adding the following questions on the front page:

At any time during 2020, did you sell, receive, send, exchange or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency? And the taxpayer is required to check the box “Yes” or “No.”

“This placement is unprecedented and will make it easier for the IRS to win cases against taxpayers who check ‘No’ when they should check ‘Yes,’” says Ed Zollars, a CPA with Kaplan Financial Education.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the adjustment on Friday, noting that the question was previously, in 2019, in a spot that not all taxpayers had to fill out. But now it has been moved just below the taxpayer’s identity.

With this, the IRS is stripping any excuse for ignoring the rules. This also means, whoever fails to pay the taxes they owe on crypto transactions can be subject to penalties and, in some cases, even criminal prosecution.

“Primarily based on what we’re seeing, individuals are beginning to get scared,” said Chandan Lodha, the chief working officer of Cointracker, a software program firm promoting crypto tax-prep providers.

The tax agency has been focusing on virtual currency transactions for some time now. Just earlier this month, the IRS issued guidelines clarifying how cryptos are treated for tax purposes when received in exchange for certain services. An individual has to report the digital currency as ordinary income for receiving it through a crowdsourcing platform in exchange for providing a service, as per the memorandum.

In late August, it had also been affirmed that taxpayers must declare their cryptos as income, which were obtained for “microtasks.”

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Author: AnTy