Hindenburg Research Shorts Chinese Bitcoin Mining Maker; Ebang Continues its Fundraising Spree

Hindenburg Research Shorts Chinese Bitcoin Mining Maker; Ebang Continues its Fundraising Spree

The short-seller argues Ebang makes “extraordinary claims” to be a market leader, which is “backed by no evidence,” resulting in EBON shares dumping.

Short-seller Hindenburg Research is shorting Chinese Bitcoin mining machine producer Ebang International Holdings. This sent the shares of the company (EBON) down 20% to $5.53. EBON shares have lost 63% of their value since the mid-March high.

Ebang made its debut on Nasdaq in June last year, and during this period, it has made three fundraising rounds, one in November and two in February this year alone, raking in $170 million in the last two.

According to Hindenburg, Ebang “claims” to be a leading bitcoin miner maker, but their research “indicates no evidence backs this extraordinary claim.” It further goes on to the point that ever since releasing its final miner in May 2019, its sales have been dwindling to near-zero, “delivering only 6,000 total miners in 1H20.”

The ongoing bull run has fueled a surge in fundraising in the crypto sector, which raised $2.6 billion in just three months, more than the amount raised in the entire last year.

Hindenburg has also been short on another Chinese blockchain company and took short positions in electric vehicle companies, including Nikola Corp, Lordstown Motors, insurer Clover Health, and Kandi Technologies Group Inc in the past year.

According to the firm, its research revealed that instead of using the capital proceeds to develop its business, Ebang has been moving the cash out of the company through “a series of opaque deals with insiders and questionable counterparties.”

Interestingly, this week, Ebang also announced the closing of its previously announced best-efforts follow-on public offering for the sale of 14 million units at a purchase price of US$6.10 per unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately US$85.4 million.

The company intends to use its net proceeds to expand its crypto mining business and for the establishment and operation of the mining farms, crypto exchange, and general corporate purposes.

As we reported, Ebang announced the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange just this week, which Dong Hu, Chairman, and CEO of the company, said, “will not only expand the revenue sources from our cryptocurrency business but also optimize the development of our blockchain industry chain.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Mining Chip Maker, Ebang Launches a New Cryptocurrency Exchange, Ebonex

Bitcoin Mining Chip Maker, Ebang Launches a New Cryptocurrency Exchange, Ebonex

Bitcoin mining ASIC chip maker, Ebang International, is expanding its business operations by launching a cryptocurrency exchange.

Canada stock exchange-listed firm, Ebang is expanding its crypto mining operations to the secondary market with the launch of a new cryptocurrency exchange, Ebonex. The exchange will register “qualified investors,” allowing them to deposit, trade, and withdraw from their accounts starting today.

The hardware mining giant launched an invitation-only beta testing phase for Ebonex earlier this year following a successful $100 million IPO in 2020. Dong Hu, Chairman and CEO of the firm, stated the exchange was a “result of the continuing investment in research and development.”

“In recent years, we have made a considerable investment in R&D talent recruiting, as well as product innovation and iteration.”

“The launch of our cryptocurrency exchange business will not only expand the revenue sources from our cryptocurrency business but also optimize the development of our blockchain industry chain.”

The company has not been short of R&D endeavors to improve their business operations – or development of chips. Ebang announced in August 2020; they will shift their focus to AI-powered mining chips in 2024 as a bid to be ‘part of building the future chips.’

The new exchange will start with several top crypto assets available, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), Litecoin (LTC), and Chainlink (LINK). However, the report did not disclose which residents and countries will be eligible to participate in trading services on the exchange.

No comment was received from the exchange as of writing.

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Author: Lujan Odera

“Dark Horse”: BNT Burn Is Around the Corner As A Swiss Bank Embraces Bancor

Bancor, the automated market maker, accounting for 5% of the decentralized exchange (DEX) volume, saw its TVL (total value locked) doubling to $1.66 billion and breaking into the top 10.

Maker is at the top spot with more than $7 billion in TVL, followed by Compound and Aave at $6.7 billion and $5.17 billion, respectively, as per DeFi Pulse.

The DeFi project is now planning to have phase two of Vortex out by introducing a flat protocol fee that uses swap fees to buy and burn vBNT. Each vBNT represents a BNT token locked in the protocol forever, which will create upward pressure on price. 5% of swap fees will be used for this.

The token BNT is currently trading around $7.82, up more than 500% YTD.

The full Vortex roll-out is expected to be done in the next two weeks.

On Thursday, Bancor’s Twitter account posted another development, a Swiss private bank Maerki Baumann with over $9 billion in assets under management, is now accepting BNT along with other cryptocurrencies including BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, and USDT.  And just recently listed a poll on their Twitter asking which crypto should be next, with options of Polkadot (DOT), Uniswap (UNI), Cardano (ADA), or Stellar Lumens (XLM). The bank offers both trading and custody services.

“The ability to participate in DeFi through a bank may be closer than we think,” read the tweet.

Give The Market Leaders A “Run For Their Money”

According to Deribit’s latest market research, Bancor is a “dark horse” which, despite Uniswap’s success and rise of similar competitors, continues to iterate on its original product.

“With the Bancor v2.1 release in Oct 2020, the combination of single-sided liquidity provision and IL insurance seemed to be the USP needed to make a breakthrough in the fiercely contested DEX arena,” it said.

Bancor’s new model is facilitated by a new elastic BNT supply mechanism d, which brings BNT burn into the picture. Elastic BNT supply also creates the possibility of protocol IL insurance.

Through its origin pools, shadow token stablecoin pools, Layer 2 scaling, cross-chain expansion along with UI overhauls and additional improvements in on-chain governance (gasless voting), Bancor can give the market leaders Uniswap & Sushiswap “a good run for their money.”

This research on Deribit came from members of DeFi investment fund DeFiance Capital, which took a position in BNT. They will be used to provide liquidity and earn yield from swap fees and liquidity mining.

“Extremely excited to support Bancor as one of the most interesting and innovative AMM liquidity protocols in this space,” said Arthur of DeFianceCapital.

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Author: AnTy

IGT Gets Regulatory Approval to Use Bitcoin & Crypto’s at Slot Machines

The world’s largest slot machines’ maker, International Game Technology Plc, is looking at offering cryptocurrency as a payment option on its casino games like Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks.

It has been only last year that the Nevada Gaming Commission made it easier for casinos to introduce cashless systems and now IGT has gained regulatory approval for using cashless wallets on slot machines.

The company received a patent this week for the means to transfer crypto between a player’s account on the gaming-establishment and an external crypto account, reported Bloomberg.

This would allow players to move BTC and other crypto assets into their digital wallets on a slot machine through their phones. Company spokesman Phil O’Shaughnessy said,

“IGT secured this patent to bolster its industry-leading patent portfolio in anticipation of any possible future direction in regulated gaming involving cryptocurrency.”

Going the crypto route certainly makes sense especially to attract the younger gamblers. According to IGT, a third of guests at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas are between the ages of 21 and 40.

Now that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins prices have started rallying like crazy, everyone wants a taste of cryptocurrencies.

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Author: AnTy

Serum Blockchain Launches New Automated Market Maker, To Challenge Ethereum’s High Fees

Project Serum announces its own automatic market maker (AMM), the Serum Swap, based on the Solana blockchain. This is a direct challenge to the Ethereum blockchain, which has witnessed a lag in transactions and high gas fees as the DeFi application growth exploded in the past few months.

The new Serum Swap AMM will work similarly to other decentralized AMMs in that you can join a liquidity pool and trade cryptocurrencies on the platform seamlessly.

Serum is a platform launched by Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX Exchange as a competitor to Ethereum – providing a faster and cheaper platform to complete your decentralized finance, DeFi, trades. While Ethereum promises up to 15 transactions per second, the Solana-based Serum Swap “takes about 1 second” to settle a trade or pool addition/removal, and the gas fees at a low of roughly $0.00002 per trade.

At launch, SBF Almeda, as Sam is known on Twitter, announced the Serum Swap platform would offer users over 1 million SRM tokens, native to Serum, to incentivize saving and trading on the AMM. Liquidity providers and traders on the platform will receive these airdropped SRM tokens as additional rewards for their kick-starting actions until November 25 – representing a 600% APY.

Serum continues its fight in the DeFi space with the Swap launch following the recent addition of Circle’s USDC stablecoin – a widely used asset in the ecosystem – and the launch of the Solana-Ethereum bridge, named “Wormhole.” The bridge aims at offering DApps on Ethereum, a direct channel to a scalable and low fee transaction platform.

The platform charges a taker’s fee of 0.3% payable in SRM – 0.25% goes to the liquidity providers (LPs), 0.04% goes to an SRM buy/burn depending on profits and losses made 0.01% goes to the GUI hoster.

While Ethereum’s Uniswap remains the largest swap and AMM in DeFi, with over $2.87 billion in locked value (TVL), a jam and fee raise experienced in the last bullish run could see several investors switch to cheaper and faster platforms.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Cream Finance Announces AMM, creamY, with Several Innovations that ‘Make it Stand Out’

Cream Finance has introduced an automated market maker (AMM) which focuses on low slippage and fees of stablecoins.

Combining Curve’s very low cost and very high-efficiency feature and Balancer’s updatable for addition or removal of an asset from the pool — unlike Uniswap or Curve pool, which are immutable — creamY has created a “dynamically updateable AMM which consolidates liquidity.”

Besides being dynamic and capital-efficient, this AMM allows users to hold or transact with yielding and provide liquidity using one token.

According to yEarn Finance’s Andre Cronje, who partook in the discussion of the project, the design of creamY. it “can alleviate a lot of the current liquidity pain-points.”

Coming up with innovations such as consolidated liquidity, a mixture of a shared order book, a governed liquidity pool, and allowing single-sided liquidity is what makes it “stand out,” said Cronje.

Right from the launch, It will support exchanges for stablecoins, BTC, and ETH.

It will be supporting cryUSD including USDT, USDC, TUSD, BUSD, yCRV, yyCRV, yUSDT, yUSDC, yTUSD, cUSDT, cUSDC, crUSDT, crUSDC, and crBUSD; cryBTC covering wBTC/renBTC/tBTC/crRENBTC/cWBTC/ycrvRenWSBTC, and cryETH inclusive of WETH/yETH/crETH/cETH.

Although the code of the protocol has been reviewed by several developers and is currently in the final stages of it, like all the DeFi projects, it hasn’t been through production testing yet.

According to the official announcement, creamY will launch with “strong incentive rewards” in CREAM tokens form, which will be escrowed until the end of the LP period.

For now, the CREAM token of the lending protocol with a TVL of $241 million, is trading at $118, up 2.63% since Sunday in line with the broad market.

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Author: AnTy

Epic Games Sues Apple for Preventing Fortnight from Using Bitcoin as Alternative Payment Option

Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite has filed a lawsuit against Apple after the company removed the popular video game from their app stores after it implemented its own in-app payments.

According to the lawsuit, Apple’s anti-competitive conduct eliminates alternative payment options like Bitcoin to be used in the game.

Epic Games wants to use alternative payment processing tools beyond Apple’s In-App purchase to spur innovation and provide its users with lower prices and better service. The document reads:

“These innovations could include, for example, alternative means to pay for in-app purchases of in-app content—which Apple does not offer—such as billing to the customer’s cellular carrier, using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, offering rewards points to customers, or providing more than one in-app payment processor.”

Besides the antitrust lawsuit that sought to establish Apple’s App store as a monopoly, Epic also aired a protest video on YouTube calling on gaming fans to support its fight against Apple.

Apple confirmed in a statement to The Verge that they removed the game from their app because it violated the App store guidelines regarding in-app payments. The company also said that they would work with Epic to “resolve these violations” but has no intention to create a “special arrangement” for the company.

Epic also implemented its own payment system in the Android version of Fortnite, leading Google to remove the game from the Play Store as well. However, Android users can still download the game from Epic’s own app launcher as the “open Android ecosystem lets developers distribute apps through multiple app stores.”

As for the iOS users, those who have already downloaded Fortnite can still access the game, but new downloads are disabled. Users meanwhile can still use Epic’s in-app payment system.

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Author: AnTy

Amidst DeFi Boom, Binance Lists Two New Hot DeFi Tokens Maker (MKR) & DAI

Leading spot cryptocurrency exchange Binance is listing MakerDAO’s governance token Maker (MKR) and stablecoin DAI.

The exchange is adding support for eight trading pairs viz. MKR/BNB, MKR/BTC, MKR/BUSD, MKR/USDT, DAI/BNB, DAI/BTC, DAI/BUSD, and DAI/USDT.

This is no surprise given the ongoing DeFi crazy. Binance has been increasingly adding support for these projects, and as we reported, Binance CEO Changepeng “CZ” Zhao is a “very strong proponent” of this sector. However, he did warn that they are “very inherent high risk” and doesn’t see an “overwhelmingly large proportion” of them succeeding.

The DeFi sector actually surpassed $3 billion in total value locked this week, after reaching $2 billion earlier this month only. The hot trend in the DeFi market is yield farming, which is trying to get the highest yield from DeFi products.

The decentralized credit platform built on Ethereum, Maker, is back to dominating the DeFi space at 20.90%, a substantial loss from over 50% up until the launch of COMP token, which momentarily even took Maker’s place.

Also, the majority of ETH, 2.7 million ETH, out of the total 3.9 million ETH locked in DeFi, are in Maker protocol. However, when it comes to DAI, it’s the third biggest protocol with the highest amount of DAI locked at 21 million after Uniswap and InstaDapp.

The 27th largest cryptocurrency by market cap is also enjoying gains today, up 22.50% trading at $572.

Binance’s MKR listing came after Coinbase listed the digital asset last month and DAI a month before that. Both the tokens are also supported on DEXs like Balancer and Uniswap.

The USD pegged stablecoin DAI has been seeing an increase in supply by over 40 million since July 17th, which again is likely due to high demand for it in the DeFi ecosystem. Currently, DAI has a 7.47% supply APY on Compound, 4% to 6% higher than either USDT or USDC.

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Author: AnTy

Jihan Wu Looks to Split Bitmain’s AntMiner Supply Chain & Manufacturing Process

The power tussle in the largest Bitcoin miner maker, Bitmain, is now threatening to essentially hard fork its operations for the production of AntMiner equipment.

On July 16, one of Bitmain’s co-founder, Wu Jihan registered a new firm in Shenzhen, China. The new firm is known as Guiji Yanghang which is an offshoot of a recently registered firm called Beijing Guiyuan Dalu which Wu controls.

Wu engineered the ouster of Micree Zhan Ketuan, Bitmain’s co-founder, late last year after a protracted power tussle between the two. However Zhan managed to retake the control of the firm in June this year after the Chinese authorities sided with him.

According to a source privy to Wu’s plans, the new firm is meant to separate the supply chain from the production process in regards to AntiMiner equipment. This is seen as a counter move to Zhan’s taking over of the Beijing Bitmain Shenzhen factory following his return at the apex of the company last month.

Wu’s move is the most recent in a power tussle saga which could further confuse the firm’s international clients willing to buy the AntiMiner equipment. At the moment, for instance, it still remains unclear what faction will own the AntiMiner brand as well as its shipment logistics. It is also unclear which faction will provide post-sale services.

Last Friday, Wu in an internal letter explained that he had to come back to the firm and take over the leadership in order to save Bitmain from collapse following cash flow issues running into hundred million dollars, reportedly caused by Zhan.

The letter also explained that Wu has started a process of another supply chain to counter the Shenzhen factory’s role which affects the shipment of the AntiMiners.

In a notice published in the company’s WeChat account that is controlled by Wu, the firm apologized to its global clients saying that June shipments are likely to be delayed following external interference of the firm’s management process.

Having been ousted in October last year, Zhan, who is the largest shareholder in Bitmain, was granted control of the firm by the Chinese authorities on June 3.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Maker Governance Vote Approves Kyber Network (KNC) and 0x (ZRX) As New Collateral Assets

KNC (Kyber Network) and ZRX (0x) have become the latest members of the Maker family. MKR holders, through a community vote, approved both KNC and ZRX tokens to be the two new collateral assets that now allow the opening of Maker Vaults in a goal to create Dai tokens. The addition and advantages of these two new tokens as collateral assets went through extensive discussions among community members, before the executive vote on the official Maker forum.

The popularity of defi is soaring with each passing day, and many other tokens that cannot be collateralized are converting its value in ERC-20 tokens to gain access to defi—for example, the Wrapped Bitcoin, an ERC-20 token based on Bitcoin. Thus, the addition of new tokens would only expand the Maker ecosystem.

Both KNC and ZRX tokens went through rigorous risk assessment and risk parameters with the results listed below:

KNC Risk Parameters

  • Liquidation Ratio: 175%
  • Liquidation Penalty: 13%
  • Dust: 20 Dai
  • Bid Duration: 6 hours
  • Auction Lot Size: 50,000
  • Risk Premium: 4%
  • Minimum Bid Increment: 3%
  • Debt Ceiling: 5 million
  • Max Auction Duration: 6 hours

ZRX Risk Parameters:

  • Risk Premium: 4%
  • Max Auction Duration: 6 hours
  • Bid Duration: 6 hours
  • Dust: 20 Dai
  • Liquidation Ratio: 175%
  • Liquidation Penalty: 13%
  • Debt Ceiling: 5 million
  • Auction Lot Size: 100,000
  • Minimum Bid Increment: 3%

The addition of these two tokens would only help in progressing the already growing adoption of defi. It also proves that the defi ecosystem can put any asset as collateral as long they can become tokenized. The Maker governance comprising of members in possession of MKR governance token also plays a significant role in approving any particular token that can be collateralized.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh