Gab CEO Banned by Traditional & Crypto Payment Processors; Bitcoin is a ‘Free Speech Money’

Thanks to Bitcoin, Gab has achieved its first $100,000 revenue in a month, said Andrew Torba, the social networking service CEO.

For the first time in its four year history, Gab saw a six-figure revenue that too without a “single credit or debit card transaction.”

In his post on Tuesday, Torba shared how Gab has been banned from not only dozens of payment processors like PayPal, Square, and Stripe but also many crypto payment platforms like Coinbase and Bitpay.

Besides the business, Torba said he and his family have also been “blacklisted by VISA for merchant processing.”

Calling Bitcoin “free speech money,” he said the digital asset has been crucial for their future, helping not only businesses like Gab and individuals like him but all those firms and people who are being cut off from the banks traditional payment processing methods.

Bitcoin solves this problem, and as such, they are spending “a lot of time at Gab working to educate our community about the importance of understanding and using bitcoin,” said Torba.

The platform accepts eCheck and checks by mail besides bitcoin as payment options.

“We are excited to continue building the home of free speech online funded by the biggest community of free speech warriors on the planet and with bitcoin, free speech money.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Average Transaction Fees Jump 188% to Above $10 Following Price Rally

Bitcoin’s price is experiencing a bullish month with over 25% gains and came very close to hitting 2019 high yesterday.

Currently, BTC is trading around $13,220, having dropped over 4% since rallying yesterday, on the back of the increased trading volume, which has climbed above $3 billion.

This latest bout of volatility is not only proving good for investors, traders, and speculators but also miners as the percentage of Bitcoin miner revenue from fees increased to 22.25% yesterday — the highest value since January 2018.

This is because the average Bitcoin transaction fee has spiked 188% to above $10, as per Bitinfocharts.

The total fees have also jumped to 2.67 million from $403k on Oct. 17.

Coin Metrics BTC Fees
Source: Coin Metrics

Just last week, the average fees were mere $1.4, and from there, as the price of bitcoin rallied and the market jumped in to participate in this euphoria, the activity increased, and so did the fees.

The last time we were at this level was in February 2018, while the all-time high was $55 at the top of the bull market in mid-December 2017.

A similar surge is not seen in transaction count, but a spike was recorded in transaction transfer value.

However, with the latest surge, Bitcoin’s average transaction fee is eclipsing ETH’s at $1.69. Ethereum’s average transaction fees were higher than BTC’s for most of September after it exploded over the summer due to the rapid rise of DeFi.

But the momentum has shifted back to BTC.

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Author: AnTy

Reserve Bank of Australia Is ‘Closely Watching’ CBDC Research, Despite A ‘No Rush’ Attitude

Barely a month after saying it sees no rush in launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has confirmed that it is still following closely on the developments in this space. RBA’s head of policy payments, Tony Richards, said that the monetary authority is also considering going the ‘wholesale’ way where the CDBC would be limited to particular financial institutions.

Richards spoke at a Blockchain, Crypto, and FinTech conference held at the University of Western Australia. He highlighted some of the considerations that RBA will focus on as it continues to deliberate on the CBDC proposition,

“We will be continuing to consider the case for a CBDC, including how it might be designed, the potential benefits and policy implications, and the conditions in which significant demand for a CBDC might emerge.”

While RBA’s mid-September report was skeptical about issuing a CBDC, Richards noted that a public policy case for its issuance is yet to be made. He went on to add that the bank is currently looking at the design options that it could take if it eventually launches a CBDC. Unlike Bitcoin, whose foundation is on the blockchain, Richards anticipates that an Aussie CBDC will take the form of a centralized & permissioned digital ledger.

Other consideration factors include whether to develop the CBDC as a token-based or account-based ecosystem. The RBA is also looking at the retail case as part of its ongoing research on the policy and technological effects of launching a CBDC. Richards confirmed that they would continue to follow closely what CBDC advanced jurisdictions are doing,

“If some jurisdictions do move towards full implementations of CBDC, there will be many central banks like us who will be closely watching.”

With the current CBDC developments, it appears that these digital assets may soon become part of legal backed tenders in global circulation. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) recently released a CBDC report in collaboration with seven major central banks. Russia has also issued a consultative paper on CBDCs, while Japan’s central bank is set to pilot its digital yen in 2021.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

BitMEX Loses its Dominant Position; Competition Among Binance, ByBit, & Others Heating Up

Since starting the month, the price of bitcoin has weathered numerous storms.

From KuCoin’s $281 million hack, US President Donald Trump testing coronavirus positive, UK’s FCA banning crypto derivatives to FATF red-flagging hardware wallets, Europol prioritizing privacy wallets, and of course, BitMEX’ indictment, BTC held through it all.

The leading digital currency kept to $10,000 strongly, and went as high as $11,500 last week, recording a 5.24% increase.

However, the same couldn’t be said of the popular crypto derivatives platform BitMEX which saw its BTC balance decreasing by 30%.

As a matter of fact, BTC futures annualized rolling 3-month basis actually went negative on BitMEX while on FTX, it was +6.52%, +6.30% on Binance, and +5.65% on Deribit.

Although still having a 6% difference to other exchanges, it is now gradually moving upwards to 4%.

Bitcoin futures on the platform are also trading at a discount at $11,460 compared to $11,527 on Kraken, $11,582 on Deribit, $11,594 on FTX, and OKEx, and above $11,600 on both Huobi and Binance for the month of December.

Stealing BitMEX”s Share

Meanwhile, open interest on the exchange went down hard to 35k BTC on the weekend, from the high of 55k BTC, $615 million right before the crash in direct response to criminal charges brought on by the CFTC and DOJ.

OI on BitMEX does not show any signs of slowing down its decline, although currently, it sits at 36k BTC, about $413 million.

Meanwhile, other platforms are capturing this as this month; the total OI increased by 16.6%.

While percentage-wise, FTX saw the biggest jump of 51.2% ($85 million), OKEx was the one that recorded the largest spike in absolute terms at $110 million (13.5%), as per Skew.

Besides BitMEX every platform experienced a rise in their open interest: CME 43.4% ($150 million), Deribit 35% ($60 million), Kraken 26% ($11 million), Bakkt 23% ($3 million), Binance 22.3% ($93 million), Bybit 19.6% ($76 million), Huobi 8% ($41 million), and Bitfinex 4.8% ($3 million).

Binance has actually taken the leader position in the space in terms of open interest with Bybit close behind, surpassing the OI on BitMEX. Vetle Lunde, an analyst at Arcane Research, noted,

“BitMEX has lost its dominant position while the competition in the derivative markets has been sharpened as more exchanges have gained traction.”

Open Interest Distribution
Source: Arcane Research

Traders left BitMEX but didn’t leave the market; they have moved on to other exchanges to trade perpetual BTC contracts.

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Author: AnTy

Is FTX CEO Accelerating the Deep DeFi Rout?

After going through a deep pullback in the past month, most of the DeFi tokens struggle to let go of the losses.

Although the news of Square buying $50,000,000 worth of BTC has sent the market into a tisy, not all coins are moving out of the red. Coins like UNI (+22%), LRC (+13.5%), and KNC (+5%) are recording some gains. DeFi darling YFI has manged to dig itself out of the deep red into the green (+5%).

Much like the price, the total value locked (TVL) in the DeFi Sector has declined by almost 10% to $10.12 billion, as per DeFi Pulse.

Popular DEX Uniswap, however, is an exception to this, whose TVL has jumped 30% in a fortnight.

Keep on Dumping!

As we reported, numerous popular DeFi tokens have lost 80% to 90% of their value since hitting all-time highs during the period of mid-August and the beginning of September.

But still, they continue to go down more and more, which could be seen as an opportunity for the project enthusiasts to buy these tokens at low prices which might have missed them the first time around.

In the past 7 days, more losses have been incurred by the DeFi sector, with YFII leading with almost -46% drop. Other notable losers include SUSHI (-41%), CRV (-37%), YFI (-29%), SWRV (-33%), bzrx (-37%), UNI (-24%), UMA (-25%), LEND (-20%), and SNX (-17%).

As another round of losses hit DeFi tokens, Twitterati points to derivatives exchange FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried shorting YFI, CRV, and UNI.

Some market participants speculate that Bankman-Fried might be behind the latest dose of losses, especially for YFI, CRV, and UNI, which he has been dumping on leading spot exchange Binance.

It is worth noting that Bankman-Fried is also the CEO of the quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm Alameda Research.

The Catalyst…

While some aren’t liking it, others said Bankman-Fried is simply shorting a few cryptos, which means he believes the coin will decline in value.

Jason Choi of crypto fund The Spartan Group found it all absurd, stating, “Always find it amusing that the idea of shorting is deemed evil on crypto twitter.”

And if you think Bankman-Fried will short his FTT or SRM, that’s a big fat no, because he ain’t short on his creation, of course, rather he is “long as fuck.”

Trader Moon Overlord also pointed out the obvious nature of the situation, which is “a person apart of a trading firm does a trade.” Back in late August, when FTX acquired the crypto portfolio tracker Blockfolio, the trader said, “FTX didn’t pay for a portfolio tracker they could build in 5 minutes they paid $150M for your data and bag info.”

The market also likened Sam’s behavior with billionaire investor George Soros acting as a catalyst in collapsing the British pound in 1992 by shorting it.

In the process, Soros made an estimated $1 billion profit. While that incident was viewed as “a permanent black mark on the UK as a center of financial prestige,” following the event, “Britain entered a period of growth and prosperity,” noted Sahil Bloom, VP at Altamont Capital Partners.

If not Soros, someone else would have used the opportunity to their advantage, and he “merely accelerated” the process. The same could be seen in the DeFi market, which may finally find its bottom and embark on a new bull run.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum ‘Getting Ready for Spadina’ Testnet Next Week

The Spadina testnet of ETH 2.0 has been scheduled for genesis before the month ends, on September 29 at 12 pm UTC, as per the dev update.

The means, next week, a “dress rehearsal” Testnet for the community to practice sending deposits, launching beacon nodes, and validator clients starting from genesis.

For this, Eth2 Standard API definitions are complete, and implementation started, and voluntary exit implementation is ready. Prysm web UI beta testing, meanwhile, will be coming in the first week of October.

It is a small scale testnet that will last just three days with 1024 validators with the main net spec requiring 16384 validators to launch.

For the eventual launch of Ethereum 2.0, Spadina’s deployment was announced a couple of weeks back, following the Medalla testnet going live last month.

This mainet-configuration test network will run parallel with Medalla with the aim to practice the more difficult and risky parts of the process before reaching the mainnet.

ETH 2.0 is expected to go live later this year or early next year with its phase-zero launch, but not everyone is excited to stake.

Still, a good 65% of 287 respondents of the ConsenSys survey revealed earlier this year that they intend to stake 32 ETH.

However, the extremely high fees and congestion on the Ethereum network are making it unusable for the small players for now. As we reported, Coinbase will no longer be covering the gas fees for its users.

“The Ethereum gas price is high due to increased network activity, which means that we have to find avenues to either support this increase in activity, or to reduce it,” said Kosala Hemachandra, founder and CEO of MyEtherWallet (MEW).

According to him, this can be done by “increasing the block gas limit to a safe amount and also by utilizing existing layer 2 solutions.”

Just this week, Optimism took its first step towards its testnet with Synthetix, Chainlink, and Uniswap being the early adopters.

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Author: AnTy

Euphoria Back in the Market? Bitcoin to Hit $11,000 But Ether is Struggling This Time

The leading digital currency is approaching the levels seen right at the beginning of this month before we went down under $10,000 to hit as low as $9,800.

In a bullish start of the week, bitcoin first hit $10,750 yesterday, and now today, the crypto asset recovered some more and went further up to as high as $10,945 on Bitfinex, for now.

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading at $10,900 in the greens, with real trading volume also slowly climbing to $1.9 billion. The greens have also turned market sentiments from “fear” to “neutral.”

Ether’s Lack of Upside

This time, Bitcoin is leading with Ethereum slow on the uptake, barely in the green at $375.

Just like Ether’s gains have been attributed to the success of DeFi, the underperformance is linked to DeFi as well. Meanwhile, with the Ethereum network already clogged up, the trading activity across DEX will suffer yet again because of the elevated fees.

“This double edged sword notion is nothing new,” said Denis VinoKourovo of London-based broker Bequant but noted, with Ethereum 2.0 on track for a November 2020 launch, it “may soon cause a bit of a stir in the derivatives market place.”

While the much-needed upgrade is on track, Ethereum Foundation also announced the impending launch of a second parallel testament called Spadina, which will run alongside the currently active Medaala testament.

The second “dress rehearsal,” Spadina has a mainnet like configuration. It will last for three days, giving everyone another chance to go through the process of deposits and the launch of the genesis block. VinoKourovo added,

“If markets are indeed underpricing the success of Ethereum2.0 launch, then vol spread between Ethereum vs. Bitcoin will narrow, as it stands 1m IV ETH vs. BTC is 77% vs. 55%, whereas 6m out the same spread is at 82% vs. 72%.”

Rest of the Market

Just like Ether, DeFi tokens aren’t feeling as euphoric either.

In the DeFi space, bZx Network is currently down 22%, which has been because of yet another hacking that resulted in the theft of $8 million worth of cryptocurrency.

Other notable losers include RUNE (8%), CRV (7%), SUSHI (5%), SNX (4%), and COMP (2%).

Meanwhile, YFI is trading in the green by 6.42% at $41,843, along with LPC (3.59%), BAL (3%), UMA (2.35%), and CREAM (1.24%).

But it is KIMCHI, which is leading with 46% gains and YAMV2 with over 13%.

Among the top digital assets, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is up by 4.43% and Crypto.Com Chain (CRO) 3.73%.

Meanwhile BNB (-8.47%), Tron (-4.60%), and LINK (-2%) are recording losses.

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Author: AnTy

C.R.E.A.M Finance Goes Live on Binance Smart Chain; Deposits Jump Past $300 Million

Earlier this month, Binance announced the launch of Binance Smart Chain to enable the creation of smart contracts and the staking mechanism for BNB.

At that time, it announced Ethereum-based Cream as its DeFi collaborator, and today the DeFi project has gone live on Binance Smart Chain.

Unlike the sky-high costs on the Ethereum network, BSC boasts of only $0.05 – $0.10 per transaction.

“BSC never aimed to replace ETH, BSC is just ETH-compatible. Smart projects are giving their users more options. Option for cheaper fees,” said Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao.

Binance is speeding up its efforts to keep up with the DeFi world. Recently, it announced a $100 million fund to connect the DeFi and CeFi world with “support for Yield Farming with major crypto assets coming soon to Binance Smart Chain.”

As Binance chases DeFi, its native token BNB enjoys the greens of 18% to trade at $27.5.

Meanwhile, right from the launch of Cream on BSC, the tokens supported are BNB, BUSD, BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC.

“The Binance ecosystem and its reach of 400,000+ accounts and fiat gateways covering over 170 countries and regions will help get DeFi into mass adoption,” states Cream’s official announcement.

Since its launch two months back, C.R.E.A.M Finance has amassed $309 million in deposits or total value locked (TVL), $224 million of which were added just this week — making it the 10th largest DeFi project as per DeFi pulse.

This week, the DeFi aggregator also launched an automated market maker (AMM) called ‘Swap,’ a market that is increasingly getting crowded with new projects popping up every other day.

A fork of Balancer, Swap comes with a slightly lower fee structure than the popular Uniswap with support for Yearn, Aave, Compound, Balancer, Uniswap, and TokenSet besides its own tokens.

The governance token of the project is currently trading at $252 in green. In the past seven days, Cream has jumped 170% in value and made its ATH at $289 on Wednesday.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Rules the Macro & Poised to Attract More Traditional Equity Investors

August is coming to an end, and hopefully, it will end Bitcoin’s ranging.

This month started on a good note as July saw the largest digital asset breaking above the key levels, moving from $9,000 to $12,000.

But August remains within $11,000 – $12,000, for the most part, and is now looking to end the month right around where it started it.

Trading under $11,500, bitcoin is managing just over $1.3 billion in ‘real’ trading volume. BTC ranging meanwhile is good for altcoins.

LINK is back on the move and up 5.58% while Cardano, Monero, and EOS are recording greens of over 3%.

Other gainers include NEM (25%), Siacoin (17%), Waves (10.71%), BTT (9.68%), and NEO (7%).

DeFi meanwhile is on their own trajectory of explosive gains.

For starters, YFI has broken above Bitcoin’s ATH to well nearly $25,000. Tendies is trading above $1 with 33% gains and Ampleforth 26.8%.

Against BTC, almost every DeFi token has surged in the past year, last 90 days, and in the past month.

2020 is all about DeFi.

The Macro of it

In the macro world, the stock market is also enjoying an uptrend.

All the market trends this year have been affected by the central bank policies in its attempt to prop up the economy battered by the pandemic. In response, the Federal Reserve dropped the interest rates to virtually zero and started printing money by adopting quantitative easing.

However, in expanding its balance sheet as a percentage of GDP, the Fed is nowhere near the Swiss National Bank and Bank of Japan, though it has surpassed the Bank of England and is making efforts to catch up to European Central bank.

This has US stocks making new highs, with S&P 500 surging over 3,500, up 3.6% from the February high. The equity market still recorded just 7.7% returns YTD.

In comparison to SPY, although bitcoin is still down 42.5% from its ATH, it is up 56.46% in 2020 so far.

Tech dominant Nasdaq had an amazing year, which is up 28.6% but Dow Jones industrial average remains in the red by 0.74% YTD.

Coming onto the precious metals, gold broke the 2011 peak to surpass $2,000, with over 29% returns in 2020. But it was silver that rallied the hardest, 52.7%, and left everything behind.

The US Dollar index meanwhile has been losing its strength since mid-March and is down by 4.65% YTD.

This week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also shared that they will let the inflation run above its 2% target and plans to keep interest rates low.

“Crypto discourse has been objectively dominated by the likely bullish nature of this decision for BTC and the rest of the asset class. Traditional equity investors are speculated to continue to want to look elsewhere to invest their capital, and alternative means of currency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and precious metals should (at least in theory) benefit,” noted Santiment.

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Author: AnTy

Bakkt Institutional Investors are Buying the Bitcoin Dips at Record Level

This month has been all about ranging for bitcoin.

The largest crypto asset entered August on a bullish note. On July 20th, BTC/USD was trading around $9,150 when the bulls came in, and bitcoin started uptrending.

On August 2nd, the digital asset went above $12,100 only to crash back to $10,500 within a few minutes. From there onwards, every Monday of this month, we have been hitting $12k level only to drop soon after.

This week, the market seems even more shaky than usual, with prices now around $11,470. The price has managed to recover somewhat from yesterday’s low of about $11,110, last seen on August 5th.

However, this has been largely in line with the precious metals as everyone eagerly awaited Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech this Thursday during a virtual version of the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole, Wyoming, conference.

Powell is expected to outline the central bank’s most active efforts ever to spur inflation back to a healthy level. The conference matters for the crypto market as well because of Bitcoin correlation with gold and the speech being an important driver for risky markets.

Keeping Steady

Meanwhile, as the market turned red, Bakkt institutional investors took this opportunity to buy the dips.

Yesterday, the ICE-backed physically delivered bitcoin futures platform’s trading volume broke into an all-time high of $147 million.

The last time Bakkt made a new record was twice in a row on July 27th and 28th at $134 million and $145 million, respectively. This volume record was the result of the price of BTC surging from $9,900 to about $11,400.

bakkt-btc-futures
Source: Skew

This month also saw physical delivery on Bakkt recovering strongly, with the amount of bitcoin futures held in expiry increased by 133% to 135 BTC in August from the July lows at just 58 BTC.

The USD amount increased by even more, 202%, ending up at $1.6 million, as per Arcane Research.

August has been good for Bakkt as volume continues its way up. But unlike the trading volume and physical delivery of BTC, open interest has been moving in the opposite direction, downwards.

Open interest on bitcoin futures surged to $27 million on August 3rd, from $8 million on July 27th, and since then, it has been declining, reaching $9.5 million on August 25th.

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Author: AnTy