Both Coinbase.com and Pro Now Support USDT, “Making Arbitrage Across Exchanges Faster”

Both Coinbase.com and Pro Now Support USDT, “Making Arbitrage Across Exchanges Faster”

For now, Coinbase only supports ERC20 USDT. The total USDT market supply meanwhile surges past 52 billion, up 147% so far this year.

  • Coinbase Pro is officially starting the trading of USDT.
  • The exchange is providing support for six pairs viz. BTC-USDT, ETH-USDT, USDT-EUR, USDT-GBP, USDT-USD, and USDT-USDC.
  • Along with this came the announcement that Coinbase.com is now also supporting USDT.

On Monday, the exchange said that the popular stablecoin will now be available on the main Coinbase platform along with its iOS and Android apps.

“Coinbase customers can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store USDT,” said the exchange. USDT is available in all the supported regions except for New York State.

At this time, the exchange only supports ERC20 USDT running on the Ethereum blockchain, clarified Coinbase as USDT is issued on several blockchains including Tron, EOS, Liquid, Algorand, Solana, and other blockchains.

As of writing, nearly $27 billion USDT is issued on the Tron blockchain compared to almost $26 billion on Ethereum, as per the Tether website.

The total supply of the dominant stablecoin in the market has currently climbed past $52 billion, up 147% so far this year, as per CoinGecko.

According to Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of crypto exchange Bitfinex and its sister company Tether, the largest crypto exchange in the US supporting USDT is of importance because of arbitrage.

“Traders arb across multiple exchanges,” and speed of transfer and low friction are key to that, he noted.

Launched in 2014, Tether was created exactly for this use case, making arbitrage across exchanges faster, he said. Now, after seven years, “all exchanges will be all tethered by a common, high liquidity stablecoin.”

While the dominance of USDT is gradually decreasing in the market as more and more competitors like USDC and BUSD gain traction, Ardoino points out that it is still 4x the second biggest stablecoin USDT with a market cap of just under $15 billion, up 277% YTD. He added,

“Tether and Bitfinex are setting up a massive strategy (including spin-offs and investments) that will open mind-blowing opportunities for the next decade, and this might well be an understatement.”

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Author: AnTy

One Reason Why Bitcoin (BTC) May Continue On Its Parabolic Trajectory

Despite the volatility this week, due to Coinbase making its debut on Nasdaq, the Bitcoin price is holding strong above $62,000.

Amidst this, over $623 million worth of BTC stolen in the Bitfinex hack in 2016 moved, representing 10% of the total 119,756 BTC originally stolen. This could have been an attempt to move unseen amidst all the worldwide frenzy around “COIN” listing.

After hitting nearly $65,000 on Wednesday, BTC took a hit to $61,500, which in part could be due to stolen bitcoin moving and in part COIN shares ending up lowering 24%. But the market expects BTC to be back to a new ATH before taking over $70k.

While anything can happen in the market, we are far from topping out based on past performance.

As CoinGecko notes in its latest 2021 Q1 report on the cryptocurrency industry, the ascent of Bitcoin in this cycle (2020- 2022) is mimicking the trajectory it took in the last cycle (2016-2018).

image1

As we recently reported, despite rallying 1,610% from March lows, due to a wave of institutional adoption amid a conducive macro-environment, BTC is only 225% above its 2017 peak of $20,000. By comparison, the 2017 peak was 1,578% above 2013 ATH, and the 2013 peak was 3,590% higher than the 2011 ATH.

Interestingly, unlike last year and the previous cycle, this cycle we see very low volatility despite bitcoin becoming a trillion-dollar crypto asset, making its way to a six-figure price.

One reason why bitcoin might continue its trajectory, according to the report, is inflation. After spending trillions of dollars, another $1.9 trillion bill was passed this week that will again pour more money into the market.

Moreover, with the Federal Reserve determined to keep interest rates low, there is a growing fear of rising inflation, a setup that has made Bitcoin an increasingly viable hedge against the inflationary macro-environment stated Coingecko.

As we have seen, Bitcoin continues to outperform all major asset classes, but while the stock market is doing good, making new ATHs, gold, and bonds (TLT) did not amidst a “rally” in the U.S. Dollar index and rising bond yields.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization is actually just 10X away from flipping gold.

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When it comes to the rest of the market, Ether is finally moving up, hitting $2,400 this week. But with rising prices comes congestion and fee spikes, making it not conducive for retail users to do even a simple swap using DEXs. ETH 3.60% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 2,523.06
$90.833.60%
Volume 32.2 b Change $90.83 Open $2,523.06 Circulating 115.48 m Market Cap 291.37 b
3 h European Banking Giant, Société Générale, Issues Security Token On Tezos Blockchain 3 h Gitcoin Spins Out of ConsenSys After Raising Over $11M in a ‘Strategic’ Capital Move 4 h Bitcoin Payment Network, BitPay, Joins Square-Led Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA)

With ‘Ethereum-Killers’ racing to offer the cheapest gas fees, this turned out to be good for Binance’s BSC. SOL 6.43% Solana / USD SOLUSD $ 27.85
$1.796.43%
Volume 221.45 m Change $1.79 Open $27.85 Circulating 270.02 m Market Cap 7.52 b
6 h One Reason Why Bitcoin (BTC) May Continue On Its Parabolic Trajectory 1 d Solana’s Data Aggregator Step Finance Raises $2 Million in Private Sale 3 d BNB Flying to Achieve $100 Bln Market Cap Ahead of Coin Burn & Amidst ‘BSC DeFi Summer’
BNB 0.93% Binance Coin / USD BNBUSD $ 544.29
$5.060.93%
Volume 4.59 b Change $5.06 Open $544.29 Circulating 154.53 m Market Cap 84.11 b
6 h One Reason Why Bitcoin (BTC) May Continue On Its Parabolic Trajectory 1 d Ripple Executives File for Lawsuit Dismissal On Back of Last Week’s Victory; XRP Jumps On the News 1 d Binance Is Listing A Tokenized Stock of Coinbase, CZ says ‘Rooting for $COIN’
ADA 1.61% Cardano / USD ADAUSD $ 1.48
$0.021.61%
Volume 5.34 b Change $0.02 Open $1.48 Circulating 31.95 b Market Cap 47.39 b
6 h Cardano Releases Plutus Smart Contract Language in Preparation for Alonzo Hard Fork 6 h One Reason Why Bitcoin (BTC) May Continue On Its Parabolic Trajectory 6 d Revolut Adds 11 New ‘Hot’ Cryptos Including DeFi Tokens for UK and EU Users

“Total TVL is growing, but BSC’s TVL appears to be stealing Ethereum’s thunder – in Q1 2021 alone, BSC’s TVL rose from 3% to 27%. Apr-21 Ethereum is likely losing ground because of rising gas fees which drives away retail users,” noted the report.

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Author: AnTy

NFT Buyers and Sellers Could be Liable to “Unknown” Capital Gains Tax in the United States

U.S. citizens making money off the booming non-fungible token (NFT) market may be unaware of liable taxes from selling the NFTs. Beeple’s record-breaking $69.3 million NFT sales could attract tens of millions in taxes.

As the U.S. tax season fast approaches, investors who buy and sell NFTs using crypto could be liable to a painful surprise capital gains taxes, an expert explained on CNBC this Thursday. The taxable amount from proceeds made from the booming NFT to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could skyrocket past 30% – hurting the huge profits made from the NFT craze.

The “disposition of assets” curse

Despite making unbelievable profits in NFTs, most buyers and sellers remain in the dark over what they should pay in taxes, Shehan Chandrasekera, head of a tax strategy at crypto portfolio and taxes tracker, CoinTracker, said in the CBNC interview.

According to an IRS principle named, “disposition of assets” under its guidance on cryptocurrency taxes affects buying assets such as NFTs using cryptocurrencies. At the core, NFT buyers using highly valued crypto to buy NFTs involves a potential high capital gains tax, Shehan further explained.

“If you exchange virtual currency held as a capital asset for other property, including for goods or another virtual currency, you will recognize a capital gain or loss,” a statement from the IRS crypto guidelines states.

For example, if you bought ETH, the most commonly used crypto in the NFT marketplace, at $100 and the value appreciates to $1,800, buying an NFT token worth 1 ETH will attract a capital gains tax. According to the IRS laws, the ether used to buy the NFT is considered a capital asset and not a currency – as most investors think.

In this case, the NFT buyer will be charged a capital gains tax on the $1,700 increase in ETH value. The investor may also face state crypto taxes, which are applied differently in every state.

According to IRS laws, buying NFTs using appreciated crypto is only part of the taxable events in this growing market. If you ‘flip’ or sell the NFTs at a higher price, which is one of the reasons the NFT market is blossoming, you are liable to a capital gains tax on any gains made and possible income tax in some states.

However, if you buy Bitcoin or Ethereum and directly purchase NFTs, you will not be charged any taxes. Additionally, foreign buyers and sellers are not charged any capital gains by the IRS. It’s also worth noting that the IRS just extended the filing date for 2020 taxes to May 17th.

Beeple could pay millions in taxes

Since the turn of the year, the NFT craze has been growing rapidly as celebrities such as Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, and a list of athletes sell artistic projects through blockchains. NFT stats website, nonfungible.com, shows nearly $200 million worth of NFT art was created and sold over the past week.

Beeple’s $69 million sales of an NFT art piece labeled “Everyday: The First 5,000 Days” and sold at Christie’s auction house could see tens of millions in taxes taken from the proceeds. The buyer of the NFT, a collage of collectibles, is Singapore’s Metakovan, could be liable to pay over $10 million in taxes if they were American.

However, Beeple, who sold the art piece, will “owe federal and state ordinary income taxes on the proceeds,” with experts estimating the taxes could rise to tens of millions.

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Author: Lujan Odera

GBTC Discount Starts Making A Recovery After Crashing to a Record Low of Almost 12%

GBTC Discount Starts Making A Recovery After Crashing to a Record Low of Almost 12%

GBTC share prices have also been taking a beating along with the sell-off in the traditional market while the price of Bitcoin continues to consolidate in the $40k-$50k range.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust has been trading at a hefty discount, nearly 12%, before recovering some to just under 3%.

It was on Friday that the GBTC premium took a sharp drop falling to its record low of -11.92%, as per Glassnode. According to CMS Holdings, this discount is just “some people took some pain and got out and took the L.”

Back on Dec. 22nd, this premium was as high as 40%, and from there, it only went down and during the last week of February was when it ventured into the negative territory.

The recent GBTC discount also coincides with the US equities sell-off. Interestingly while GBTC has been crashing, the price of spot Bitcoin has been consolidating between the $40k-$50 range. Even MicroStrategy shares have been getting sold off, and so have been Tesla and many other tech stocks. ParabolicTrav said,

“US markets are basically right at the bottom now, so the discount is reflective of the “panic” selling we just saw in global markets. Spot BTC barely affected by the sell-offQ, league of its own.”

image1

Though the premium went to its lowest level ever, it wasn’t the first time they went negative. As a matter of fact, these discounts have marked Bitcoin bottoms historically.

As we reported, Bloomberg strategist Mike McGlone sees this discount signaling Bitcoin’s march to $100k. “The steepest ever Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) discount is a rare indication of an improving price outlook for the crypto, if history is a guide,” he wrote. “Sharp reductions in the GBTC premium have often marked bottoms in Bitcoin,” added McGlone.

At the same time, December CME-traded Bitcoin futures settled about 20% higher, “a tailwind for the underlying crypto.”

Moreover, the increasing probability of exchange-traded funds (ETF) in the U.S., on the back of the success of the ones launched in Canada, is adding pressure to the trust’s price.

Eventually, as CMS Holdings said, Grayscale is also expected to be turned into an exchange-traded fund (ETF) or get “turned into physical BTC.” Currently, there is no redemption program with GBTC. Still, given that GBTC represented about 4% of the total Bitcoin market cap now versus Q1 of 2017 when it was just 1%, it has a greater influence on the underlying Bitcoin market.

Meanwhile, much like the premium on GBTC, its shares haven’t been having a good time as it crashed nearly 35% from its Feb. 19 ATH. As of writing, GBTC share was trading at $43.8. Currently, the world’s largest asset manager Grayscale Investments holds 655.54k BTC, representing just over 3.5% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry

Coinbase going public will be making some people very rich as institutions start to dominate exchange’s volumes, while CT was disappointed in the money-making crypto company having surprisingly small amounts of digital currencies in their treasury balance sheet.

Coinbase Global Inc. has filed with the US SEC for a direct listing on Nasdaq, and it has the crypto market excited, and the traditional markets are taking notice, as the financial statements of the company revealed that the exchange has been making a lot of money.

Interestingly, a good majority, 85% of the 130 companies that went public in the US last year, was unprofitable. But with Coinbase, the matter is altogether different.

San Francisco-based reported revenue of $1.28 billion in 2020 versus $533.7 million in 2019.

Given the record trading volume, the number of new users, as well as the crypto trading platforms it has been acquiring in just the two months of 2021 amidst the wild bull run, the revenue in the first quarter will be off the charts and is expected to surpass $2 billion, for the exchange.

This puts Coinbase with over a $100 billion valuation, more valuable than CME, ICE which owns the NYSE, CBOE, and Nasdaq.

ErikVoorheesCoinbase

Source: Twitter

This will certainly be making Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, and its top executives, rich by billions of dollars as a result of this valuation, which would make it one of the biggest companies to go public since the social media giant Facebook.

The CEO owns 21.8% of the company’s voting power, followed by a16z’s Marc Andreessen at 14.2%, who owns twice as many shares as Armstrong, and co-founder Fred Ehsram 9%. In total, the 11-member board has the majority voting control.

coinbase-shares

Source: SEC Filing

To be listed under the ticker COIN, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Citigroup are the market makers who are also the advisors on the transaction with another addition Allen & Co.

One of the largest exchanges, Coinbase, reported 43 million verified users, steady growth from 23 million in Q1 of 2018. As for the transacting users, in Q4 of 2020, it was 2.8 million, nearly the same as 1Q18 at 2.7 million.

Unlike the transacting users, in 1Q18, when the market topped, Coinbase recorded $56 billion in trading volume, but during the last quarter, it was $89 billion.

The big difference has been in Coinbase’s volume by customer segment, as back in Q1 of 2018, retail dominated the exchange with more than an 80% share; it has completely changed to institutional accounting for 64% of volume in 4Q20.

Exciting & Embarrassing

Crypto Twitter (CT) has been excited about this development as Matt Huang, Co-founder at Paradigm, previously a partner at Sequoia, congratulated the company, “The Coinbase S-1 is just one step along the way toward building a legendary company… but still, one hell of a milestone.”

“This represents another major milestone in the development of the cryptocurrency industry,” tweeted Jay Hao, CEO of crypto exchange OKEx. “Coinbase’s S-1 filing will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the crypto market and usher in a new era of mainstream crypto adoption,” he added.

RobertLeshnerCoinbase

Source: Twitter

What really set off the CT was the fact that Coinbase, which started in 2012 when the price of BItcoin was about $5, holds only $130 million worth of BTC.

Square’s recently announced the purchase of $170 million worth BTC is more than this, and Coinbase’s BTC stash is nowhere even near Michael Saylor’s $2.171 billion bet on Bitcoin.

Besides having 55% of their modest crypto treasury, separate from cash and cash equivalents at $1.1 billion, the company has $24 million (10%) in Ethereum ETH -5.02% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,446.93
-$72.64-5.02%
Volume 31.49 b Change -$72.64 Open $1,446.93 Circulating 114.84 m Market Cap 166.16 b
6 h Crypto Hedge Fund Arca is the Latest to Join the Crowd of Bitcoin Trust Issuers 6 h Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry 7 h 1Inch Decentralized Exchange to Transition to Binance Smart Chain as Ethereum Exodus Begins
, $49 million (20%) in USDC stablecoin USDC -0.02% USD Coin / USD USDCUSD $ 1.00
$0.00-0.02%
Volume 2.46 b Change $0.00 Open $1.00 Circulating 8.59 b Market Cap 8.59 b
6 h Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry 1 w Private Aviation Company Sees 20% Revenue Coming from Bitcoin Paying Users 1 w You Can Now Buy Bitcoin with Apple Pay as BitPay Adds Support
, and $34 million (15%) in other altcoins.

Given that Coinbase is a cryptocurrency-centered company, some even called this crypto stash “embarrassing.”

But many expect Amrstong, Ehsram, and other early backers to own heavy Bitcoin BTC -4.15% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 46,344.77
-$1,923.31-4.15%
Volume 351 b Change -$1,923.31 Open $46,344.77 Circulating 18.64 m Market Cap 863.85 b
5 h A “BIG Deal:” Stone Ridge Files to Add Bitcoin to its Diversified Alternatives Fund 6 h Crypto Hedge Fund Arca is the Latest to Join the Crowd of Bitcoin Trust Issuers 6 h Coinbase Going Public Is A Watershed Moment for the Cryptocurrency Industry
and crypto bags personally.

Coinbase going public, meanwhile, is also expected to be bullish for other exchanges and their tokens. “I think the bigger the Coinbase IPO gets, the better for exchange tokens. Doesn’t matter that owning an exchange token ≠ actually owning stock. Just matters that a lot of people will feel priced out of coinbase” noted trader DonAlt.

As we reported, US-based Kraken is also planning to raise funds that could more than double its valuation and surpass $20 billion.

Interestingly, in its filing with the SEC, Coinbase also mentions that they do not maintain a headquarter as of May 2020 and that they have become a remote-first company.

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Author: AnTy

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) Catching Up Fast to Gold’s Largest ETF (GLD)

Bitcoin ETFs are also making waves, with BTCC doing three times more volume than any other ETF in Canada. Meanwhile, Bitcoin price, which is ready to hit $58k, is up 92% YTD compared to gold’s -5.83%.

Grayscale, the world’s largest digital assets manager, has $43.63 billion in assets under management. In less than a month, the asset manager has doubled its AUM as earlier this month it was sitting at $26.4 billion and $20.2 billion at the beginning of the year.

The majority of this AUM belongs to Grayscale’s one product Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which has $36.57 billion in assets under management. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust currently holds 455.47k BTC, just over 3.5% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

This is thanks to the price of Bitcoin hitting a new high above $57,000 today and becoming a trillion-dollar asset.

With this, Bitcoin has achieved 10% of gold’s market cap, with the precious metal’s market cap being around $10 trillion. Price-wise, gold is nowhere near in BTC’s realm. Spot gold is currently trading at $1,783 per ounce, as of writing, down 5.83% YTD compared to Bitcoin’s more than 90% gains in 2021 so far.

Just as the leading digital currency is slowly eating up gold’s market share, the biggest Bitcoin fund GBTC is closing in on the largest gold ETF, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which has $64.85 billion in assets under management.

“GBTC ($39.2b+) isn’t that far from flippening the largest gold ETF, GLD ($64b),” tweeted Nic Carter of Coin Metrics.

The gold ETF that provides “physically held” exposure to the precious metal records $1.49 billion in average daily volume.

image1

While Grayscale clearly dominates the market, an increasing number of funds are now making an appearance. Several organizations are filing for a Bitcoin ETF, allowing institutional investors exposure to the digital asset without actually buying or holding them.

While the US has yet to get one, Canada has already had two. This week, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) also approved the Evolve Funds Group’s application for a Bitcoin ETF.

As we reported, the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), was a roaring success, beating the traditional numbers. The two-day AUM is estimated to be $330 million.

On Friday, BTCC traded $350 million, a jump of 40% from its debut day and three times more volume than any other ETF, noted Eric Balchunas, Senior ETF Analyst for Bloomberg. Joe McCann, a Microsoft strategist said,

“ETFs beget liquidity, and liquidity improves price discovery and price ascent. This is historic volume in Canada for its BTC ETF. When, not if, it gets approved in the US, we will see the same thing happen.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has shut down all the attempts to offer Bitcoin ETF in America, so far, but there are high expectations for one under the new SEC Chairman, for which President Joe Biden has nominated Gary Gensler, who taught a class on Blockchain at MIT.

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Author: AnTy

BTC Breaks Yet Another Level, k, as Elon Musk says, Bitcoin and Ethereum ‘Seem High’

Since making a similar remark on his electric car company, the price of TSLA shares has surged 400%. Tesla CEO is also busy mining his favorite cryptocurrency Dogecoin as a “fun family project.”

The market value of Bitcoin hit the milestone of $1 trillion on Friday as the price of the digital asset broke past many levels.

Today, we went even higher, past $57,000, aiming for the sweet round number of $60k now. As of writing, BTC/USD has been comfortably trading above $57k, with a market cap of $1.06 billion.

With Bitcoin continuing to roar higher, Tesla CEO Elon Musk threw some love at Bitcoin with yet again the picture of Bitcoin in his Twitter profile, but “Just for a day.”

Musk also took a jab at gold bug Peter Schiff, who thinks and talks about Bitcoin day and night, all the time, and this time as well saying gold is real money and better than both fiat and Bitcoin, referring to Musk calling “Bitcoin is almost as BS as fiat money.”

“An email saying you have gold is not the same as having gold. You might as well have crypto. Money is just data that allows us to avoid the inconvenience of barter. That data, like all data, is subject to latency & error. The system will evolve to that which minimizes both.”

Musk explained to Schiff, adding, “That said, BTC & ETH do seem high lol.”

Musk made a similar infamous comment regarding his electric car company back in May last year, “Tesla stock price is too high imo.” Since then, the price of TSLA shares has surged 400%.

Besides Bitcoin, the founder and CEO of SpaceX is also busy mining his favorite cryptocurrency, Dogecoin.

“I just set up some little Doge mining rigs with my kids. It was fun,” said Musk on Saturday. He also shared that he has been using Antminer L3+ rigs to mine the meme coin, which was bought off eBay.

“Not really economic, but it was a fun family project,” he added.

The Next Major Milestone

When it comes to Bitcoin, the leading digital currency is enjoying more than a 92% uptrend in 2021 so far.

Despite the latest round of gains, over 17% this week, the funding rates on Bitcoin perpetual contracts haven’t heated up, currently between 0.0158% on Deribit and 0.1457% on Huobi, as per Viewbase.

While the Perp-spot basis is flat, the basis of the future is sky high while implied volatility is falling and 25-day skew rising, noted trader and economist Alex Kruger adding, “leverage is very high, but inflows are gargantuan.”

Now that the first milestone for $1 trillion has been hit, the next major milestone ahead for Bitcoin is surpassing the market cap of gold which is about $10 trillion. This will put the price of Bitcoin around $500,000.

Qiao Wang of DeFi Alliance has a 90% conviction that it will happen in our lifetime but will this happen during this hype cycle, that’s to be seen.

Before that, going above $100k will make it the world’s largest asset, dethroning Apple. The hopium from Su Zhu, the CEO of Three Arrows Capital,

“This is not yet another cycle; this is the End of Cycles. The one where after BTC flippens gold, it doesn’t flip back. The one where web3 supersedes web2. Where culture is collected and accrued digitally instead of physically. Where life is lived mindfully rather than mindlessly.”

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Author: AnTy

Visa Partners With Digital Bank in Crypto API Pilot Program; Making Buying BTC Easier

Visa Partners With Digital Bank in Crypto API Pilot Program; Making Buying BTC Easier

While it started as an ardent opponent of the use of Bitcoin, the financial service provider Visa has demonstrated its capacity for changing course on first impressions, as it rapidly becomes one of its biggest supporters.

Over the past few years, Visa has been working behind the scenes to partner up with 35 Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-based platforms and set its sights on merging mainstream banking & cryptocurrencies with its new cryptocurrency software program, which will get started later this year.

Visa represents just one of a growing number of multinationals and celebrities that have either taken steps towards or overtly expressed their support for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Globally-renowned stars from actress Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Snoop Dogg have made their positions clear on BTC. Just this week, in fact, Tesla CEO, Billionaire, and Twitter sensation, Elon Musk, hit the front-pages when he added ‘Bitcoin’ to his title, adding that it was “on the verge” of breaking into institutional finance.

Visa Chief Executive, Al Kelly, speaking during the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, laid the company’s aims out in plain terms for attendees, describing Bitcoin as a ‘virtual gold’ which had yet to be harnessed fully as a mode of digital payments.

“Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.”

Alongside Visa, PayPal was one of the payment giants that recently made waves in the cryptocurrency space. Its announcement would allow its 346 million users to buy and spend Bitcoin. While this was met with celebration by investors and enthusiasts alike, PayPal was quick to face flak after users complained of being prevented from moving their digital assets off PayPal’s platform.

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Author: James Fox

North Dakota Lawmakers Propose Making Government-run Bank a Crypto-Custodian

North Dakota Lawmakers Propose Making Government-run Bank a Crypto-Custodian

While being one of the only financial institutions of its kind within the United States, the Bank of North Dakota is being considered as a potential crypto-custodian. A group of lawmakers in the state government of North Dakota proposed making this a possibility this week.

These lawmakers introduced the motion within the text of House Bill Number 1267 on January 11th:

“[t]he Bank of North Dakota may provide custodian services for digital currency and may implement a digital currency exchange.”

For the moment, the critical word within this bill number is ‘may’, as the bill also requires a feasibility report, which will need to occur before August 2022.

“During the 2021-22 interim the Bank of North Dakota shall study the feasibility and desirability of providing digital currency custodian services and of implementing a digital currency exchange. Before August 1, 2022, the Bank shall report to the legislative management’s information technology committee the outcome of the study.”

Since its founding in 1919, the Bank of North Dakota is one of the only government-run banks in America.

Cryptocurrency is Becoming Professional

This proposal’s most impactful message is that it demonstrates that state governments are looking into more formal ties with cryptocurrencies. Especially remarkable when considering what political opinions were on digital assets just years ago.

In 2020, the United States of the Comptroller of the Currency released guidance papers on federally chartered banks the power to operate as cryptocurrency custodians. Then-Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks said at the time,

“This opinion clarifies that banks can continue satisfying their customers’ needs for safeguarding their most valuable assets, which today for tens of millions of Americans includes cryptocurrency.”

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Author: James Fox

IOHK and BONDLY Partner to Launch First DeFi Project on Cardano Blockchain

  • IOHK is making in-roads to introduce DeFi to Cardano blockchain.
  • Bondly, a decentralized exchange, becomes the first DeFi protocol on the blockchain.

Announced on Dec.10, Bondly became the first decentralized finance, or DeFi, to launch and run on the Cardano blockchain. This follows the successful launch of the Goguen testnet, a smart contract functionality that allows developers to build their decentralized apps atop the blockchain.

In a tweet, the Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK) team confirmed the partnership with Bondly, a decentralized peer-to-peer exchange, further stating,

Following Shelley’s successful completion, an upgrade targeting more decentralization on the Cardano network, the community is awaiting the Goguen upgrade. According to the official statement, the Goguen upgrade, expected to launch in 2021 fully, introduces smart contracts and the ability to build decentralized apps on Cardano.

Bondly is a peer-to-peer e-commerce system and decentralized exchange that aims to bring the qualities of DeFi to the traditional finance world. The latest partnership with IOHK sees the two companies share visions and joint roadmaps entering 2021, including the addition of the BONDLY cryptocurrency to Cardano – a switch from the Polkadot ecosystem. Charles Hoskinson, Founder of Cardano, said,

“IOHK’s core mission is to widen and democratize access to financial services, which is why Bondly is a perfect partner for us.”

Once the Goguen upgrade is complete, BONDLY plans to integrate its e-commerce platform, BONDProtect, and BSwap, its over-the-counter (OTC) exchange, Cardano too. BONDProtect is a peer to peer marketplace designed to protect buyers and sellers using smart contract-based escrows that will run on Cardano’s fast and secure network.

Hoskinson further believes BONDLY’s capabilities are essential in further pushing Cardano-based DeFi ecosystems once the Goguen update is launched. DeFi solutions built on Cardano allows the blockchain to “live up its potential” and “replace the global digital financial system,” he further said confidently.

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Author: Lujan Odera