Binance Delisting FTX Leveraged Tokens on “Lack of Understanding,” Community Calls “BS”

  • Binance to delete all existing” FTX leveraged tokens from March 31st
  • Community questions Binance’s reasoning behind the decision
  • FTX exchange, in which Binance invested last year, meanwhile listing LT USDT pairs to compensate users
  • In a sudden move, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has delisted all the FTX leveraged tokens from its platform.

On Saturday, the exchange announced that they have decided to delist “all existing” FTX leveraged tokens along with the corresponding trading pairs. These delisted pairs will stop trading from March 31st, 10:00 AM (UTC) while deposits and withdrawals will be closed the same day at 08:00 AM.

Until then, users can trade out of their existing leveraged token positions or withdraw these tokens. The user can also choose to continue holding until the delisting date after which the user’s Binance account will be credited with the equivalent value held in each leveraged token in BUSD within 14 days.

The reason for the same given by Binance is the “lack of understanding of how leveraged tokens work by many of our users.”

However, the crypto community is not satisfied with Binance’s reasoning as one user commented, “This is BS. I just had to sell at a loss because of this crap. Come on. The community can read. Educate them. Don’t delist them.”

“They are not designed for long term holding. They devalue over time when markets (underlying assets) fluctuate back and forth. The main reason for delisting is that too many users don’t understand them,” maintained Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ).

While popular trader Hsaka called, “someone got rekt bigly,” another popular trader quipped, “Right, because I imagine the majority of their users totally understand how other leveraged products work!”

FTX Compensating

Interestingly, back in December, Binance invested an undisclosed amount in the derivatives platform FTX. As part of its strategic partnership, Binance also purchased long positions in the native coin of the platform FTX token, FTT.

At the time of writing, FTX token has been trading at $2.30 down 6.31% in the past 24 hours and up 4.89% YTD.

FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried also took to Twitter to share the news that Binance is delisting leveraged tokens as they don’t “want to manage user education/support.”

Banman-Fried also said FTX is listing LT USDT pairs to compensate and users can choose to send their LTs to FTX wallet if they don’t want them turned into BUSD on Binance.

Other Delistings

Besides delisting of FTX leveraged tokens, Binance delisted various other assets viz. BULL, BEAR, ETHBULL, ETHBEAR, EOSBULL, EOSBEAR, BNBBULL, BNBBEAR, XRPBULL, and XRPBEAR.

And tons of other trading pairs will also cease to trade on the platform from March 30 that include BULL/USDT, BULL/BUSD, BEAR/USDT, BEAR/BUSD, ETHBULL/USDT, ETHBULL/BUSD, ETHBEAR/USDT, ETHBEAR/BUSD, EOSBULL/USDT, EOSBULL//BUSD, EOSBEAR/USDT, EOSBEAR/BUSD, BNBBULL/USDT, BNBBULL/BUSD, BNBBEAR/USDT, BNBBEAR/BUSD, XRPBULL/USDT, XRPBULL/BUSD, XRPBEAR/USDT, and XRPBEAR/BUSD.

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Author: AnTy

Galaxy Digital’s Novogratz Remains Bullish as Ever on BTC: “This is the Time for Bitcoin”

The price of Bitcoin has surged 74% from the low the digital currency put on March 12. However, we are still down 36% from 2020 high of about $10,500. But according to billionaire investor Mike Novogratz instead of panicking, this should be taken as a buy the dip opportunity.

In a recent interview with CNBC, the Galaxy Digital Holdings’ CEO said, “If there was ever a time — debasement of fiat currencies, monetization of trillions of dollars of debt, this is the time for Bitcoin.”

The bitcoin bull predicted on Tuesday that the world’s leading cryptocurrency would rally this year as it was designed after the 2008 financial crisis to be an alternative when central banks “run amok.”

In recent weeks, we saw central banks around the world announcing trillions of dollars in stimulus to pump in the financial markets and promising every step necessary to combat the impact of coronavirus on their economies.

“It needs to rally this year,” said Novogratz. “If at the end of the year Bitcoin’s not a lot higher, I’m going to scratch my head and say, ‘Look, what the heck is going on?’”

Bitcoin Looking Promising

Currently, BTC/USD is trading under $6,700 after surging to $6,990 after the $2 trillion stimulus coronavirus bill was passed. The move yet again followed the stock market. Yesterday, the Dow Industrial Average had its historic rise only today to swing between gains and losses.

Meanwhile, one technical indicator, GTI VERA Convergence Divergence is flashing a buy signal. Moreover, according to Christel Quek, co-founder of Bolt Global,

“It could be very likely that traditional investors are seeking to regain liquidity through profit hunting from crypto assets as equities are negative worldwide.”

However, in the short-term, in the next 1 to 2 months, economist and trader Alex Kruger sees everything from equities, their volatility, bitcoin if it remains risk-on, and crude oil to be lower.

It’s worth noting, in less than two months, Bitcoin will experience its third reward halving that would cut down miners block rewards while the cost of mining bitcoin will surge between $12000 to $15,000.

In the next six months, the economist sees equities and gold higher while his 12 months’ view is everything from equities, its volatility, gold to bitcoin going higher. But the main risk he said is if the equities’ bottom is in because of the rising coronavirus cases and the period of lockdown in the US.

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Author: AnTy

1.4M XRP Stolen via Fake ‘Ledger Live’ Chrome Extension; Still Available on Google

Approximately 1.4 million XRP has been stolen from the users in the month of March alone through the use of a fake Google Chrome extension.

Through a thread of tweets released on March 24, a research group known as xrplorer forensics, revealed that hackers are stealing user backup passphrases through fraudulent Ledger Live extensions. Xplorer forensics stated:

“They are advertised in Google searches and use Google Docs for collecting data. Accounts are being emptied and we have seen more than 200K XRP being stolen the past month alone.”

After a while, xrplorer forensics revised the figure from 200k XRP to 1.4 million.

As per the researchers, the majority of the stolen XRP seems to be still intact in accounts, however, a proportion of it has already been cashed out through crypto exchange platform HitBTC.

The researchers have cautioned the public from downloading tools to use within their hardware wallets from different developers apart from the vendor directly. They particularly single out Ledger users and caution them from downloading tools apart from the manufacturer only.

By publication time, two ‘LedgerLive’ extensions are available on Google store for use with Chrome browser. The two extensions comprise of a couple of user reviews that are in tandem with xrplorer forensics warnings.

Through their Twitter account, xrplorer forensics has alleged that about 300 million XRP which is at the moment in different XRP accounts has been earmarked as fraudulent. The researchers claim that most of it has originated from the PlusToken exit scam. In their estimation, about 13 million XRP has originated from different scams and theft schemes.

The researchers have also called out crypto exchange platform bithunter.io, questioning why it didn’t observe the AML alerts for various big and reportedly suspicious transactions. As per the researchers, about a third of the entire XRP received by bithunter comes from suspicious accounts that are in their advisory list.

The researchers also caution other exchanges to be vigilant as scammers are currently consolidating their loot, urging them to be extra careful with the incoming payments.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

IOHK Releases Ouroboros Hydra Protocol to Improve Micropayments on Cardano Network

The IOHK blockchain technology company led by Charles Hoskinson, the Ethereum co-founder, has announced on March 25 the Ouroboros Hydra, its second-layer Cardano blockchain scalability solution.

The Hydra protocol is going to improve the scalability of Cardano, which means it’s going to perform more transactions at lower fees, making it easier for the blockchain applications to operate and encouraging the use of the network. Here’s what the director of Edinburgh University’s Blockchain Laboratory, Aggelos Kiayias, explained what solving scalability could mean:

“Solving the scalability question is the holy grail for the whole blockchain space. The time has come to apply a principled, evidence-based approach in designing and engineering blockchain scalability solutions and this research is a decisive step in this direction.”

Hydra Will Improve Cardano’s Functionality

As a second layer blockchain scalability protocol, Hydra will be on top of other Cardano main protocols and improve the network’s functionality. Its name, Ouroboros Hydra, comes from Greek mythology and has a meaningful resonance because the system’s protocol has each user of the network generating 10 additional heads. Each of these heads will bring a new throughput lane for transactions and data, this way making the blockchain faster with scales. Here’s what Charles Hoskinson had to say about the new protocol:

“Once implemented, it [Ouroboros Hydra] will allow the Cardano blockchain platform to scale to process more transactions than any other blockchain or traditional payment system.”

1,000 Transactions per Second on Each Head

The simulations conducted by the University of Edinburgh revealed that there can be 1,000 transactions per second on each head, which means 1,000 heads can scale 1 million transactions per second. In the last few years, the Hydra project received funds from the EU’s Privilege Project, as it has united researchers in distributed ledger technologies cryptography from all over Europe.

Cardano’s ADA Price to Remain the Same

Cardano’s ADA didn’t meet any change in its price as a result of this news being released. It’s still on the 15th position according to market capitalization, at 1.81% on the day and trading for about $0.029, CoinMarketCap says. Until now, blockchains have struggled to scale and at the same time to not compromise centralization, but it seems Cardano comes to change the game completely.

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Author: Oana Ularu

One Altcoin Is Pumping Amidst the Red Crypto Market

March has been a rollercoaster in the cryptocurrency market. After crashing down hard last week, the market is finally picking up speed again.

Small-cap cryptos are actually the ones leading the market, now only down 23% in March having bounced off of the lows from last week. Last Friday, the small-cap index was down over 40%, only to make a strong recovery.

One of the very few crypto assets that are currently in the green in the crypto market that has yet again turned red is Dash.

Source: Coin360

The 18th largest cryptocurrency by market cap of $670 million is currently trading at $70.22 with 24 hours gains of 4.12%. Earlier this week, the digital asset went down to $39.80 but is up 48.80% in the past 7 days. During the past week, the digital asset jumped 30% against BTC and over 44% in the ETH market.

Up over 62% so far in 2020, Dash, however, is down 96% from its all-time high of $1,726 hit in January 2018 during the bull run.

The digital asset has also started to record an uptick on its blockchain. Recently, 614.72k DASH was transacted on-chain recently.

Active addresses that fell to 42.6k at the beginning of the second week of March bounced to 181k earlier this week and are currently around 76.5k.

New addresses created have also risen to 83.2k while the number of addresses in the money increased from 19% to 23%, noted crypto analysis company IntoTheBlock.

The most important update has been the release of v0.11. The new Dash Platform release os the testing environment for platform functionality with a significant update to Evonet. Other updates Include register public data contracts, DAPI now works in web browsers, distribution package for local development and Evonet, insecure endpoints have been removed, and updated Dash core to v0.15.

Besides Dash, in the past 24 hours, Zcash is also up 1.21% while Enjin Coinis barely in the green. Top altcoins meanwhile are struggling with Ethereum and XRP down 7.44% and 6.77% respectively.

Small cap coins like Curecoin up 54.81%, Bluezelle 32.69%, Blockmason 25.77% are experiencing gains. However, these coins have extremely low volume, some having as low as $1,500.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Miners Are Shutting Off their Rigs as Hash Rate Drops 28% from ATH

  • Trading volume hit new highs on sell-off
  • Bitcoin hash rate down 28% from ATH on March 1st at 136.2 Th/s to below 100 Th/s
  • Bitcoin mining difficulty preparing for a negative 6.5% to 9.1% change
  • Mining profitability falls to its all-time low of 0.077

The price of Bitcoin is keeping stable at around $5,000, currently trading at $5,325 with 24 hours gains of 5.79%. In the past 24 hours, $1.75 billion worth of bitcoin exchanged hands.

The trading volume of the digital currency reached near record highs amidst the deep sell-off last week. On March 12th, bitcoin trading volume soared to a two year high with more than 416,000 BTC changing hands.

The high beat the second-highest day occurred on November 20, 2019, when bitcoin just like the past week, experienced a sudden, deep sell-off.

Source: @TradeBlock

Hash Rate Drops

The bitcoin price went down to as low as $3,850, last recorded in March 2019. The hash rate of the network at that time didn’t falter but finally, the effects could be seen on the hash rate — the computation power to mine BTC. Bitcoin mining pool F2Pool said,

The hash rate of the network is currently down over 28% from the all-time high on March 1st at 136.2 Th/s to back below 100 Th/s, as per data analytics firm Blockchain.com.

Bitcoin miners, particularly in China have started to feel the brunt of the BTC price crash. According to data from F2Pool, a majority of the mining pools have recorded a drop in hash rate. F2Pool tweeted on March 12,

Crypto exchange Huobi’s mining pool experienced a drop of 26% over the past week with 1THash close behind with a loss of 20%. Meanwhile, the bigger pools like Pooling, F2Pool, and Btc.com saw a decline of only 18%, 12%, and 10%.

The bitcoin mining difficulty that has been surging in line with the hash rate and has yet to see a decline is preparing for a negative 6.5% to 9.1% change in the difficulty in the next 8 days. F2Pool said,

Bitcoin mining profitability at a record low

Bitcoin mining profitability has already taken a hit. Less than two months away from reward halving, mining profitability has fallen to its all-time low of 0.077.

With revenues gone flat and a 100% increase in costs, miners will feel the pinch right now which would result in an increase in block times and fees as “transactions compete for space in the chain,” said James Bennett, CEO of crypto data analysis firm ByteTree.

At this point, even the most efficient mining equipment like Bitmain’s AntMiner S17 Pro and WhatsMiner M20S of MicroBT are generating daily profits at a gross margin below 50%.

Now, come halving which will reduce miner revenue by half, if the price of bitcoin doesn’t bounce back higher, miners will capitulate. Christopher Bendiksen, Head of Research at Coin Shares said,

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Author: AnTy

Shell Subsidiary Creates Virtual Power Plant Using Blockchain in Germany For Renewable Energy

On March 12, the Royal Dutch subsidiary of Shell, Sonnen Group, made the announcement that it’s working with the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) to create in Germany a blockchain-based virtual power plant (VPP).

This VPP will include a distributed network comprising of energy storage systems for residential areas in order to reduce the curtailment of renewable energy in Germany and to absorb the excess of wind power. Since the country is going to shut down its nuclear energy and coal plants in the near future, the demand for green energy has increased. However, this led to renewable energy being wasted.

The VPP Will Absorb the Excess Wind Power

The VPP built by Sonnen will support the power grid in the region by absorbing the excess of wind energy stored across Sonnenbatteries. Sonnenbatteries are networked by the use of distributed ledger technology. Sonnen will execute transactions through smart contracts, transactions for which the fees will be processed in the Dai (DAI) stablecoin. By averting the power grid’s overload, the VPP aims to make it easier for Germany to expand its production of renewable energy.

Sonnen is at Its 3rd Launch in Germany

Micha Roon, EWF’s CTO, said that implementing a blockchain-based approach for reducing the wind energy curtailment is a futuristic vision. Meanwhile, the Sonnen eServices’ managing director, Jean-Baptiste Cornefert, made this statement:

“With a flexibility market for renewable energies and the automatic exchange of supply and demand, we are realizing the next step towards a smart grid that can deal much more flexibly with fluctuations from renewable energy.”

The Blockchain Used More and More by German Clean Energy Producers

The power sector in Germany is increasing day by day. More and more clean energy producers are looking into blockchain-based tech. For example, on March 9, Unibright (UBT) the blockchain tech provider, made the announcement that it has closed a partnership with Wasserkraft Mittelrhein, a German energy startup, to create a decentralized network that generates electricity and uses the Unibright Framework.

The power buoys made by Wasserkraft are over 36 feet in length, weighing more than 7 tons. Each of them generates enough energy for 100 households to function normally for 12 months.

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Author: Oana Ularu

XRP Gets a Beatdown, Slips from Third Place as Price Is Looking Down in White Space

  • USDT balance on crypto exchanges reached an ATH of 1,228,582,096.528 USDT on 14 March 2020
  • The court ruled against Ripple which sought to have the claim dismissed that Ripple Labs was the issuer of XRP tokens

XRP has lost its 3rd place to Tether (USDT), a popular stablecoin and much like the digital asset controversial.

Last week, the crypto market endured a violent sell-off that not only resulted in Bitcoin seeing its highest percentage loss in 7 years but also XRP crashing to $0.11 level last seen in May 2017. Currently, XRP/USD is trading at $0.153.

In the past 7-days XRP has lost 34% of its value while being down 48% in the past month.

According to veteran analyst Peter Brandt, XRP is looking into a “white space.” If XRP price takes yet another hit, there might be no other levels to support it from further decline. In early 2018, the price of the crypto asset went straight up to $3.90 and since then has lost 96% of its value.

Another way to look at it is “almost everyone who has bought XRP since May 2017 has a loss. Now, that is an impressive performance,” said Brandt.

The analyst didn’t predict any price targets for the digital asset but isn’t optimistic about its price. According to Brandt, “XRP is not a true crypto,” which he says is “manipulated” and believes this crypto asset is more of a religion than any other coin.

The extreme sell of the XRP has the most devoted of its community members turning their back to this cryptocurrency. Tiffany Hayden, who was once one of XRP’s passionate supporters recently sold all her holdings and disassociated herself from the community.

An important milestone for Tether

This severe crackdown had the digital asset losing its third place to Tether, which surpassed a market capitalization of $5 billion. This comes as no surprise amidst the ongoing crypto bloodbath in line with the stock market and gold as the deadly coronavirus spreads fast.

“This important milestone confirms Tether’s place as the pre-eminent stablecoin, with the biggest market capitalization,” reads the statement put out by Tether on Twitter.

Besides XRP tanking, there has also been a surge in interest in Tether. The USDT balance on the exchanges (1day MA) also reached an all-time high at 1,228,582,096.528 USDT on March 14. Tether (USDT) also remains the second most heavily traded cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, which at one point was five times Bitcoin’s trading volume.

All this has been while the company remains in the midst of a fraud investigation led by the New York Attorney General’s office (NYAG) which is also investigating Tether’s sister company, crypto exchange Bitfinex over allegations that it lost $850 million.

Not to forget that Tether’s claim of being “fully backed” by dollar reserves came out to be only 74% true.

In the meantime, the company is also struggling with a class-action lawsuit that accuses Tether of $1.4 million of damages for manipulating the price of Bitcoin in 2017.

Another Hit to Ripple

In another news, the court ruled against Ripple who sought to have the claim that it violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) dismissed. Ripple wanted the dismissal on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that his XRP tokens were purchased “as part of an initiation distribution,” and that Ripple Labs qualified as a “seller.”

However, the court ruled against the San Francisco-based tech company supporting the plaintiff’s claim that Ripple Labs acted as a seller in issuing XRP but didn’t support his allegations of misrepresentation under the California Corporations Code.

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Author: AnTy

MakerDAO Partners With Payment Processor Simplex To Create A Fiat On-Ramp For Dai

In a press statement released on March 3, renowned DeFi player MakerDAO stated that it has inked a deal with Simplex, renowned payment processor, to develop a fiat-on-ramp for its decentralized stablecoin, Dai, Cointelegraph reports.

The new deal means that it is now possible to purchase Dai using both debit and credit cards from Simplex’s partner companies. Gustav Arentoft the business development head in Europe for Maker explained that the partnership will be beneficial to users now and in the future. He said:

“Having Dai integrated into Simplex is a benefit to current and future users, […] it gives them a straightforward fiat on- and off-ramp with access to the industry’s biggest players.”

A renowned firm within the DeFi sector, MakerDAO, is firm behind the decentralized stablecoin Dai that operates on the Ethereum network for smart contracts. By publication time, DeFi Pulse, DeFi data website, indicated that the decentralized finance applications have a total of $967.4 million locked in them where $550 million, approximately 56%, is locked within MakerDAO’s protocol.

Simplex holds the coveted European Union license for financial institution and boasts of more than 100 partners which support about 13 divergent cryptos as well as 19 various fiat currencies. At the moment, Simplex supports Bitcoin, Binance USD, Nano, Binance Coin, Dash, Tron, Litecoin, Ether, XRP, Cosmos, and Bitcoin Cash.

Simplex has also partnered with different crypto exchange platforms such as OKEx, Binance, OKCoin and KuCoin to enable card payments.

A spokesperson from Simplex stated that MakerDAO started the contract negotiations and many such contracts are lined up from different crypto-asset teams that are keen on creating on-ramp distribution channels. The spokesperson also explained that the partnership will have a positive effect on demand as well as the price as has been the case with other cryptos that the network has been added to.

DeFi solutions have been on the rise in the recent past and DeFi Pulse indicates that the assets locked in these apps has risen by more than 186% in comparison to an year ago.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

US House Financial Services Committee To Hold Digital Currency Hearing Next Month

Chairwoman Maxine Waters just released the March schedule for the US House Financial Services Committee with one interesting addition on March 24th.

The Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy will meet to discuss digital currencies in a hearing called “A Review of Domestic and International Approaches to Digital Currencies.” It will start at 2 pm ET, on March 24, which states the notice from February 21. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver will chair the subcommittee.

No Further Information Has Been Given

Further information on the hearing has yet to be released. Meaning that its mode of inquiry and witnesses are not yet known.

Speculation is that the hearing will include a discussion of Facebook’s Libra, especially since committee chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters was strongly opposed in the past. She even asked before its launch, that Facebook put a stop to its work on the stablecoin.

Concerns Raised by Congress

Rep. Maxine Waters and US Fed Chairman Jerome Powell are not the only members of Congress to raise questions concerning Libra. In the past, Powell argued that it raises serious concerns about financial security, privacy, money laundering, and consumer protection.

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Author: Oana Ularu