Estonia‘s Head of AML Agency Proposes a 28x Increase in Minimum Capital Requirement for Crypto Firms

Estonia‘s Head of AML Agency Proposes a 28x Increase in Minimum Capital Requirement for Crypto Firms

Estonia’s head of anti-money laundering government agency wants to scrap its current crypto regulations and start afresh. Up until now, Estonia has been a crypto-friendly jurisdiction, but that could soon change.

Estonia should “turn the regulation to zero and start licensing all over again,” the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) chief Matis Mäeker, who was appointed in May this year, told a local news outlet.

Mäeker explained that crypto companies had made “tens of billions of euros per year,” but instead of helping the Estonian economy, it has moved to other countries “Their only goal is to get an Estonian license and use it to turn over very large sums, while Estonia gets nothing out of it,” Mäeker said.

The chief has proposed stricter rules for licensing crypto startups and raising the minimum capital requirements from €12,000 (US$13,900) to €350,000 ($405,000).

A bill proposing regulations for crypto licenses will also be introduced in the Estonian parliament, Mäeker said. In the meantime, he called for existing licenses to be revoked.

Last year, the FIU revoked 1,808 cryptocurrency licenses, and currently, there are 400 licenses in Estonia.

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Author: AnTy

MyEtherWallet Partners With Staked To Bring Ethereum 2.0 Staking to the Wallet

  • MEW partners with Staked to introduce Ethereum 2.0 staking on their wallet.
  • A minimum of 32 ETH is required to become a validator, pooled staking to follow soon.

In a press release shared to BEG, MyEtherWallet, a leading Ethereum, and ERC-20 standard wallet interface, is partnering with Staked, a blockchain staking platform, to introduce Ethereum 2.0 staking on its platform. The partnership will allow users and ETH holders to stake their tokens and receive rewards once the ETH 2.0 Phase 1 launch.

The announcement follows the recent ETH 2.0 Phase 0, or Beacon Chain launch, earlier this month – the first stage of a long transitioning process from the proof of work (PoW) consensus to a proof of stake (PoS) mechanism. The partnership will allow MEW web users and MEW Android wallet app users to start staking directly on their wallets. The iOS app staking will launch in the future.

“Staking with MEW means that users stay in control of their funds, and allows them to become a validator and start earning rewards,” The statement further reads. “Validators are run and maintained through Staked, and no further action is required on the part of the user.”

The minimum amount of ETH to stake for one validator is 32 ETH, but you can also stake in multiples of 32 ETH, an email sent to BEG confirmed. There is currently no option to pool ETH in a validators node. Still, MEW developers are looking to introduce this in the future, “but there’s no definite date for that yet,” a spokesperson from the company confirmed.

Kosala Hemachandra, MEW’s Founder and CEO, praised the latest move to partner with Staked, stating “it will help in Ethereum transitioning to a PoS consensus.” He further states,

“Partnering with Staked is about accessibility. Accessibility for MEW users and accessibility for the entire ecosystem.

The more we can connect our infrastructure and create seamless experiences for users, the more we contribute to the overall vision for Ethereum and crypto as a whole.”

The rewards will be distributed to validators’ wallets as soon as the Ethereum blockchain pays them out, but stakers will only be able to withdraw their rewards once the ETH 2.0 Phase 1 is launched.

MEW has had a prosperous year so far, integrating developments on its platform and partnering with other firms to find solutions for the Ethereum community. Recently, MEW partnered with RenVM to teleport Bitcoin to the Ethereum blockchain. This followed partnerships with 1inch DEX, Chainlink, and developments to build a DeFi ecosystem on the interface directly.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ethereum 2.0 Deposit Contract Only at 18% Staked; Will It Launch on Dec 1?

The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade may not happen as soon as the community expected if the minimum threshold of 524k ETH isn’t met within the next week. Currently, 99,488 ETH has been staked in preparation for the launch, roughly 18.97% of the required ETH. Nonetheless, Ethereum 2.0 developers are still optimistic about the Dec 1 launch.

While there is a target date for the ETH 2.0 launch, hiccups hitting the minimum threshold could mean that this date will have to be rescheduled. Going by the updates from Dune Analytics, the eventuality of postponing the launch is more likely than not.

This is because all the ETH must be deposited seven days before the target launch date of Dec 1, according to Danny Ryan, a core researcher at the Ethereum Foundation. If the threshold is not met within the expected time frame, Ryan noted that the genesis would be triggered at a later date when it is achieved,

“If not … genesis will be triggered 7 days after this threshold has been met (whenever that may be).”

So far, a total of 458 contributors have deposited to the ETH 2.0 deposit contract, totaling 3,023 transactions as of press time. Some of the largest contributors include Ethereum’s co-founder Vitalik Buterin who has allocated 3,200 ETH, which is over $1.4 million as per the prevailing market prices.

With the December launch set to mark phase 0 of ETH 2.0, the upgrade to a PoS ecosystem will still be far from over. This will only lay the groundwork for phases 1 and 2, which are expected to roll out in the coming year as part of a full migration from the PoW consensus.

Notably, the Ethereum and larger crypto community have been waiting patiently for this shift. Basically, a migration from the PoW consensus means that Ethereum’s blockchain will be more scalable since less computing power is needed in the PoS model. If successful, the Ethereum blockchain will solve the underlying scalability challenges, which are a pain point to its booming ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Maximum Issuance Of Ethereum to Drop 50% After the ETH 2.0 Launch: Vitalik Buterin

  • Ethereum monetary policies i.e. the minimum necessary issuance (MNI) troubles raises the need for the EIP 1559 proposal.
  • Ethereum 2.0 sets sights on reducing the issuance rate to under 2 million ETH, Vitalik Buterin says.
  • Minimum staking requirements for the ‘Phase 0 launch’ set to boost ETH prices.

Ethereum’s varying inflation rates due to Minimum Necessary Issuance (MNI), raising questions from the community as ETH 2.0 Phase 0 heads into launch. The second-largest blockchain employs a different rewarding structure from Bitcoin’s fixed supply rate; determining the minimum issuance rate as its difficulty bomb adjusts.

While the MNI ensures security on the network, several questions regarding the objectivity in determining the minimum rate and long term survival of the blockchain without continual forking have been raised.

In a recent podcast, Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, answered these questions on the MNI, stating the mechanism ensures issuance and price of ETH remain at a “reasonable cost” in the long term. He said,

“In the longer term, a minimal viable issuance is an explanation for why the parameters like issuance are set up – it seems empirical that these parameters can motivate particular amounts of Ether to be sticking at a reasonable cost.”

ETH 2.0: Inflation set to Drop by 50%

Vitalik believes that the solution to high inflation will be quickly solved with the launch of Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0, expected in less than two months. In the podcast, Vitalik explained that the new proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism will lower the inflation rate by over 50% despite the MNI remaining variable.

“One of the reasons why we’re doing Proof of Stake is because we want to greatly reduce the issuance. So in the specs for ETH 2.0 I think we have put out a calculation that the theoretical maximum issuance would be something like 2 million a year if literally everyone participates.”

Furthermore, Vitalik claims there is a good chance that the staking process will lower the inflation rate to only 1 million ETH tokens per year.

ETH Steady Rise to Continue Following PoS Launch?

Ether’s price skyrocketed past $200 last week as potential stakers filled their bags to reach the 32 ETH minimum limit needed to stake on the blockchain. Stakers will earn around 4-5% returns on their investments per year to keep transactions safe on the blockchain.

Adam Cochran, a partner at MetaCartel Ventures, said the ETH supply may see a huge reduction following the staking and buying frenzy. He estimated that 10 to 30 million Ether could be taken off the open market and with the supply rate dipping 50% following the launch of ETH 2.0, ETH price may appreciate significantly.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto Lender Celsius Drops Its Minimum Loan Request To Help Borrowers During COVID-19

The minimum loan request with Celsius Network went down to $1,000 as a result of the new coronavirus’ effects on the market. Furthermore, the loaning platform is looking to introduce the gold on gold paid out interest.

If the minimum is lowered, more Celsius users will be able to take out loans and know that their cash is secure at hand because they don’t have to sell their assets when the market is down. The CEO and founder of Celsius, Alex Mashinsky, said the minimum has been previously lowered from $3,000 to $1,500, but that with the $1,000 new minimum, users will be able to borrow smaller amounts, all without selling their crypto, even if they will have to put a collateral that’s twice the sum of the loan.

Celsius Will Work Almost as a Bank

Talking about what makes the Celsius business model different from traditional banking, Mashinsky said:

“We do the same thing as the banks, the main difference is that we give 80% back to the users while the banks keep 99%. Because we don’t have to pay dividends to the shareholders.”

He added that when it comes to volume, there are many larger borrowers that dominate Celsius’ portfolio and some of the platform’s loans exceed $10 million. Yet when it comes to sheer numbers, it seems that smaller loans are the ones making up the bulk of the loans.

There’s Also the Gold on Gold Interest

Very soon, more precisely in May, Celsius is going to introduce 2 tokens to its ecosystem, tokens that will be backed by gold: CoinShares’ (DGLD) and Tether Gold (XAUT). The users depositing these tokens will receive interest in gold. Discussing the news, Mashinsky had this to say:

“This is revolutionary, typically, with the gold you have negative yields, you have to pay the bank or another custodian for the privilege of ownership. With Celsius, not only you’ll benefit from the gold’s upside, but you’ll be earning interest in gold.”

Do Americans Need More Loaning Options?

Furthermore, Mashinsky talked about how the Federal Reserve and the US government are addressing the economic situation brought on by the coronavirus crisis. His opinion is that politicians are scared of implementing painful but necessary solutions. He also mentioned that the growth in the economy from before has been achieved by Americans borrowing money. However, this doesn’t mean they will no longer need loans.

What Else Does Celsius Have to Offer?

Celsius users can borrow US dollars or stablecoins such as USDC, USDT, TUSD, EOS and GUSD at the lowest rates in the crypto space and against their digital assets. The yearly rates start at 3.47%, not to mention users are being given the opportunity to receive big discounts if they complete monthly payments in the Celsius’ native CEL token.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Investors Cannot Sell Their Digital Assets Due To Minimum Limits

  • Crypto investors are not being able to sell their virtual currencies due to high minimum limits
  • Blockchain.com says they have increased their limits to remain updated with network fees

It seems that there are several users that cannot sell their digital assets to the market because they are having trouble with the limit imposed by crypto wallets. Many wallets have imposed minimums that are currently close to $100 and small investors would not be able to leave the market if they want to sell.

Should Minimums Be Lowered?

Users that have less than $100 in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies might find it difficult to sell or transact their funds due to the minimums imposed by crypto wallets and platforms. According to a recent article released by Telegraph Money, many of those that purchased small amounts of Bitcoin (BTC) in 2017 and are trying to sell they are not able to do it.

Some of these platforms include the popular Blockchain.com wallet that has established very high limits for users to sell their funds. For example, Telegraph Money explains that there is a user that purchased 0.0062 of a cryptocurrency and found out that the minimum amount he could sell was 0.008. After some time, the user checked and the minimum amount moved to 0.01.

According to what Blockchain.com says, these minimums are established taking into account network fees. A spokesperson for Blockchain.com explained that they have evolved minimums to ensure users don’t pay uneconomical fees to move small amounts of money.

A recent analysis released by Interactive Investor shows that the minimums established by Blockchain.com seem very high compared to other companies. There are almost 18 million wallets that hold less than the necessary Bitcoin to reach the limit imposed by Blockchain.com.

In general, cryptocurrency exchanges have larger minimums for users to deal with virtual currencies. Trade and withdrawal limits also have very high limits. That shows that there are many things that companies in the space have to change, improve and enhance if they want to attract more investors to the market.

There are alternatives such as decentralized exchanges (DEX) and open-source wallets that would give users a different alternative to deal with digital assets and cryptocurrencies. However, newcomers tend to go to the most popular and recognized crypto wallets and services rather than using open source and decentralized platforms, which yet need to become mainstream.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Carl T