Brave Crosses 25M Monthly Active Users; Privacy Browser Continues Growth Trajectory

The number of active monthly users on Brave Browser has surged over the past year. The service is also seeing significant gains with its Brave Ads program.

Brave Browser enjoyed significant growth in 2020, capitalizing on the increasing focus on privacy to hit new milestones. The privacy-centric browser doubled its user base in 2020, setting itself up for possibly more gains in 2021.

Privacy Focus Benefits Brave

According to a press release, Brave explained that its monthly active users jumped from 11.6 million to 25.4 million last year, per its press release. Daily active users jumped similarly, moving by 126 percent from 3.8 million to 8.6 million. The number of verified content creators on the platform passed one million for the first time.

Brendan Eich, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, explained that the increase in its user base represented the increased desire for people to escape the “surveillance economy.” He explained in the release,

“25 million people have made the switch to Brave in order to protect their privacy and to regain control of their browsing experience. Users are realizing that a new way to browse the Web is just one click away with a seamless Brave download and that they can opt-out of the surveillance economy and instead get rewarded for browsing.”

Eich believes the company’s growth would continue, citing the increased influence of Big Tech companies on the internet landscape. With these firms showing a propensity for collecting user data, Brave will be there to provide a viable alternative.

Building Its Ecosystem

Brave has been doing a great deal of work to improve user security. In July, it partnered with Guardian, a VPN, and firewall service provider, to improve its iOS customers’ security.

The partnership saw the two companies capitalize on their strengths, Brave’s privacy-focused browser, and Guardian’s firewall and VPN offering. Brave’s iOS users can now turn on the Brave Firewall + VPN service in one click, protecting their devices from trackers.

However, the company has also been able to make significant strides in its Brave Ads program. The program allows users to opt-in to watch ads in exchange for the company’s native token Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Last year, Brave pointed out that several top crypto firms had signed up for its ads program. These included stock trading app eToro and crypto lending firm BlockFi.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

UK’s Leading Crypto Miner Increases Bitcoin Holdings by 30% in November

British digital currency miner Argo Blockchain reported an average monthly mining margin of 57% for November compared to 40% in October.

Last month was a good one for the price of Bitcoin, as it rallied 45%, and as a result, good for companies working with the cryptocurrency as well.

Argo Blockchain reported higher revenues for the period, recording a surge from £1.2mln to £1.48mln.

“This has been an extremely exciting month for cryptocurrency miners,” Argo chief executive Peter Wall said in a statement.

“We have seen the value of Bitcoin climb exponentially to over £14,000 as investors and payment service providers are turning their interest to cryptocurrencies.”

Despite the firm mining 115 Bitcoin compared to 126 BTC in October, this has been attributed to changes in the mining difficulty and Zcash halving. In total, the firm has mined 2,369 BTC year-to-date.

As of November 30, the London Stock Exchange-listed company held 178 BTC worth nearly $3.5 million, up from 137 BTC on October 31. The company also has a mining capacity of 16,000, increased from 5,000 machines in the first half of 2019. Wall said,

“At Argo, we are continuing to prioritise efficiency in our mining operations, and this has enabled us to increase our revenue by 23% this month and achieve our highest mining margin since the halving earlier this year.”

The shares of Argo are trading around $11, up 147% in the past two months.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Back in the Mainstream Media Limelight as an Alternative to Savings in Bank

As the Bitcoin price rallied over 27% in October with the highest monthly close ever above $13,000, it has brought back the attention of the mainstream media.

In 2020, Bitcoin has been strengthening its status as a store of value and a hedge against inflation and as we start a new bull cycle, banks and media all have started taking a special interest.

The Wall Street Journal first covered MicroStrategy declaring BTC as a reserve asset in its “‘Cash Is Trash,’ So Let’s Bet $425 Million on Bitcoin.”

According to the publication, with yields close to zero, “the stress to take unprecedented dangers with it’s more likely to rise.”

The article doesn’t really put BTC in the limelight as much as WSJ focuses on MicroStrategy. It noted how once hot, in the late 1990s, the company is now barely growing with its managers along with CEO Michael Saylor, a vocal BTC proponent, involved in civil accounting-fraud charges that were settled with the SEC. But this year, things have changed as since betting on Bitcoin, its corporate shares doubled.

But WSJ covered Bitcoin again this weekend with “Bitcoin is back trading near three-year highs,” and outpacing stocks, gold, and other assets this year with its 90% returns. Saylor said,

“The Wall Street Journal is beginning to notice Bitcoin and explore its relationship to the wider capital markets, where U.S. stocks alone are worth nearly $52 trillion.”

The leading cryptocurrency actually has been the best performing asset of the past decade and remains so this year as well.

Interestingly, $1.00 invested in BTC at the first market price would have been worth $18,073,700.00 today, while the same in Gold would be a meager $1.81, noted on-chain analyst Willy Woo.

Amidst this, BBC Scotland, a division of the BBC, also noted cryptocurrency as one of the “five alternatives to keeping your savings in the bank.”

The publication noted how in the current environment of low-interest rates, traditional savings accounts aren’t the “most profitable” place to store cash in the long term.

Cryptocurrency described as “completely virtual” money which is “basically a line of code” is one such alternative to traditional savings options.

Compared to the traditional currency which can lose its value, crypto is a viable investment, said Temple Melville of Scotcoin, a non-government project which aims to be an official digital coin in Scotland. He said,

“Governments have recently thrown all the rule books of economics out the window.

The result of that is that there have been trillions of dollars and pounds, euros, yen, you name it, that have been printed.”

While each new fiat currency printed reduces the purchasing power of the currency in existence, there will ever be 21 million Bitcoin, he added.

Other options included gold, stocks and shares, classic cars, and Whisky.

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Author: AnTy

Only 15% of Crypto Exchanges Hold User Funds in Cold Wallets: CryptoCompare Report

According to the monthly crypto exchange benchmark report by CryptoCompare, Gemini and Coinbase are at the top of the top crypto exchanges list with the highest score and “AA” grade. At the same time, Binance DEX grabs the first spot on the decentralized crypto exchanges’ list.

Top-tier exchanges like Coinbase and Binance are pushing the lower-tier ones such as Bitexbook out of the market. Top tier exchanges that have the lowest amount of risk for traders have been increasing their market share throughout 2020, which could be taken as a sign of a more mature market.

Source: CryptoCompare

In Q4 of 2019, the top tier exchanges accounted for 32% of global volume, which jumped to 40% in Q2 of 2020. Lower tier exchanges’ market share meanwhile has continuously been on a decline from 68% in the final quarter of 2019.

Record Low Funds Lost in Exchange Attacks

Security at crypto exchanges at large, however, remains poor. Only a meager 15% of exchanges claim to hold 95% of user funds in cold storage, wallets that aren’t connected to the internet, and as such resistant to hackers.

12% of crypto exchanges use a third party custody provider to store user assets, up from 9% from Q4 2019.

4% of exchanges have been hacked in the last year. Most recently, UK-based crypto exchange Cashaa lost 336 Bitcoin, worth about $3 million in an attack, which resulted in a breach of one of its wallets.

The attack came when the industry is seeing a record low in funds lost in exchange attacks. Cashaa was one of the largest attacks of this year.

Source: TradeBlock

Just last week, a report from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) came in, which the international financial watchdog said regulators need to meet in October to create a more robust global framework for crypto exchanges.

The report also found that about 5% of exchanges offer insurance on digital assets.

Inorganic Traffic Growth

June wasn’t a good month for crypto exchanges. As we reported, the volume dropped dramatically last month.

The same was the case for web traffic with Huobi losing the most – 31.7% between Q1 and Q2. Unlike other exchanges, OKEx saw an increase of nearly 240% in web traffic. Binance also saw a 9% increase.

“However, our research suggests that traffic growth for certain exchanges may be inorganic, as top traffic referrers were crypto ad or faucet sites,” said the quarterly report by CoinGecko for Q2 2020.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Halving Is Not An Event; “There Just Ain’t Enough BTC To Satisfy New Investor Demand”

The equities market finished April with a 12% gain, having its best monthly performance since 1991 despite the ruptured economy.

“Soaring jobless claims, empty restaurants, and a falling count for active oil rigs show the breadth and depth of the blow to the economy,” said Bloomberg economists Eliza Winger and Tom Orlik.

Amidst this, the Federal Reserve continues to power its money printer. The Fed has dramatically stepped up its effort to prevent a coronavirus depression as it promises to start buying corporate bonds and ETFs in early May. The US central bank later added junk bonds and junk bond ETFs to this list as well.

This meanwhile is helping gold which hovers around $1,700. “The massive monetary support we are witnessing at the movement is helping gold,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.

But the monetary stimulus is not only helping the precious metal but also the digital currency.

Bitcoin outperformed other assets by finishing April up 34%. The leading digital asset has completely retraced the March 12 lows and is currently trading under $9,000.

“Record monetary and fiscal stimulus is creating the perfect macro backdrop for this inflation-protected, non-sovereign digital asset class,” said Jeff Dorman, Chief Investment Officer at Arca.

Bitcoin’s correlation with the S&P 500 which recently surged to its peak is also starting to subsidize. Moreover, the Chinese Yuan is falling against the dollar once again, which “historically had a much higher negative correlation to Bitcoin.”

Amount of Newly Issued Bitcoin Minuscule to Investment Dollar

Bitcoin has some strong tailwinds ahead of halving, which is less than a week away now. Google searches for the keyword “Bitcoin halving” is already at a record high and continues to climb upwards.

Could the rally that started last month continue into May and see us reaching the all-time high? According to Arca, “the halving is not an event at all.”

Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million coins which is a well-known fact. As such, the supply curve is vertical — perfectly inelastic because it doesn’t change based on demand or price.

This means, “price can only change due to a shift in the demand curve.”

Income, trends and tastes, expectations, price of related goods, and the size and composition of the population are the attributes that cause a shift in the demand curve.

Although these factors contribute to the future growth in bitcoin adoption and as such price, they aren’t specific to halving.

But the price of bitcoin is still expected to move higher for the very reason that “the amount of newly issued Bitcoin is minuscule relative to the number of investment dollars.”

Unlike the corporate bond and equity markets which reached $260 billion in March and then added another $25 billion in April 2020, newly minted bitcoin will fall from 1800 BTC per day to 900 BTC per day post halving.

At the current price, this equates to about $240 million per month of new bitcoin, this is about 12 times less than the new equity offerings and 500 to 1000x less than the corporate bonds offerings.

“There just ain’t enough Bitcoin to satisfy new investor demand,” Dorman said.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Price Outlook in May 2020: Time for More Bulls or Bears?

In the month of April, bitcoin price printed a strong and bullish monthly candle. Now that the price is above the level seen before the market crashed in March, bulls are given hope of a bullish trend reversal.

As we reported, this rally was spot driven, and that’s why BitMEX funding rates were depressed.

But the futures market is also looking more bullish with positive premiums. The annualized premium on CME for the June contract is now above the average levels for 2020, indicating positive sentiment once again.

Also, a large spread is currently seen between the realized and implied volatility for bitcoin options.

Interestingly, just this week, “A large Bitcoin whale just graduated to a 5yr HODLer. Last week 68k BTC moved out of the 5yr active supply band, indicating that the last time they moved on-chain was in April 2015,” reported Coin Metrics.

whale just graduated to a 5yr HODLer
Source: Coinmetrics

However, there is still some bearishness left in the market.

“What does give me pause about short term bullishness though is the wider downward facing channel that’s formed in bitcoin over the last year. A channel that must be broached at this time and must be breached in order to make any real bullish calls,” wrote analyst Mati Greenspan in his daily newsletter.

Moreover, as long as the $7,800-$8,200 area is held by Bitcoin, we can very well remain bullish, according to trader Credible Crypto.

These bull calls could turn out to be bears

The market is extremely bullish no doubt with BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes and CNBC’s Brian Kelly calling for a run-up.

With less than 10 days to the halving, “while the whole world is quantitative easing, bitcoin is about to quantitative hardening,” said Kelly.

This daily bitcoin supply is to be cut in half, “in the past, this has been a catalyst for very very big run ups.” As such, we have a “tremendous run up coming into,” halving, he added.

Although Bitcoin has a wood to chop around $9,000, Kelly thinks “in the medium to long term, you now have an asset that is going to be more scarce than gold based on stock-to-flow ratio in an environment where the entire world is printing money.”

Based on past performance, when we had quite a run up, Kelly is seeing in the next 30 to 60 days, a nice run up again.

But CNBC has more often than not worked as a clear indicator of a short reversal and the end of a rally in the past.

With halving around the corner and miner profitability to be cut in half, the price has to climb higher or miners, especially over-leveraged ones will get rekt.

But even though the month of May will have fireworks regardless of what the BTC to USD exchange rate value is, the halving will be the 3rd of 33 planned halving events in bitcoin’s 130-year run. From 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto first released the Bitcoin whitepaper, to when the blockchain for BTC will stop minting new coins in the year 2140, there is without a shadow of a doubt that the market’s momentum, global financial environment and investor-trader-hodler-spectator ecosystem is stronger now than it ever has been in the past 11 plus years.

While the price of Bitcoin in May 2020 may not see over $10,000, the day-one phenomenon built-into the Bitcoin DNA will be cutting its daily supply of newly issued coins into the world at the same time unlimited quantitative easing is happening and trillions of dollars are being printed to prop up the economy during an unprecedented lockdown. Just remember:

The idea of blockchain as a cadaster for tokenizing time as money is in the cards for bitcoin and stars for blockchain. If money is tokenized time via distributed ledger technologies, and time is the source for all measurement – if money is the normal measuring stick, it has to be based on time and blockchain enables virtual programmable money to happen for the first time in history and Bitcoin is the leader for helping globalize the world in terms of being the backbone for all economical activity and commerce.

Whether or not the bitcoin price “moons” right before, during or after the May 2020 halving, or even corrects to half the price it is today; those in the know and on the go who can look at around the corner at the future of finance from a high up enough macro level where all of the driving forces that contribute to how things have been in terms of money as it stands today, and one might start to realize just how fundamentally sound, important and innovative it will be for society no matter what the real-time live exchange rate is.

However, as it stands today, bitcoin is a largely speculative “gambling” asset for most investors and traders, so the price of the BTC cryptocurrency is what gives the leading digital asset its ‘value’ in the market – but the underlying current of how revolutionary blockchain will become and why its first application was always meant to be the best because it engulfs and encompasses so many other ‘value-claimed-asset-trading’ mechanisms, that anyone who wants to roll the dice with Bitcoin should strongly consider its’ overall outlook and optimism within a majorly-decentralized community that has one common goal.

While the crypto world is awaits bitcoin’s halving event and wonders what the price of BTC/USD exchange rate will do, just remember the marathon Bitcoin is on and the halving is just another checkpoint to sprint past and see where the real finish line is for the earth’s best, honest and most transparent financial innovation since accounting was invented.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: Andrew Tuts

Gold’s Demand as a Safe Haven Rises in the West But Falls in the East Due to COVID-19: WGC

Trading near a seven-year high, gold is heading for its biggest monthly gain since 2016 as central banks ramp up the stimulus to keep up the economy after being damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gold rallied in 2020 as investors sought safe haven amidst the unprecedented monetary stimulus sparked concern about currency debasement. The bullion is up over 13% YTD compared to Bitcoin’s 25% gains.

Source: Bloomberg

In 2020, the precious metal’s allure as a store of value boosted as evident from the fact that gold ETFs saw their highest quarterly inflows in four years amidst the global uncertainty and financial market volatility, as per the latest report of the World Gold Council.

Total gold investment demand that includes bars, coins, and gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) all soared, increasing 80% YoY in the first quarter to a high of 3,185t fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global gold demand in value terms reached $55 billion, the highest since Q2 2013 and climbed to new record highs in Indian rupees and Turkish lira, among other fiat currencies, and to an eight-year high in US dollars.

Diversion between East and West

While the demand for gold rose in the west to the levels last seen after Donald Trump’s election and Brexit vote, the bar, jewelry, and coin consumption in India and China dropped to multi-year lows amidst the coronavirus-led lockdowns at higher prices.

“It was an interesting diversion between East and West,” said Louise Street, a market intelligence manager at the council.

In China, the first quarter saw gold consumption declining 48.2% y/y to 148.63t along with the country’s gold production which was down 10.9% y/y. Secretary-General Zhang Yongtao who also noted the increased prices said,

“Since the outbreak, the country has adopted strict prevention and control measures (and) consumer demand has faced an impact.”

Though difficult to forecast demand due to the virus, gold’s safe haven appeal is “very much prominent,” Street said while gold ETFs in Europe and North America dominated purchases, funds in China and India also saw large increases in buying last quarter.

“Gold demand will continue to feel the effects of Covid-19 for the rest of 2020,” Street said.

“In particular, the divergence between investment in gold-backed ETFs and consumers via jewelry will likely continue until there is greater economic and market certainty.”

Central bank hoarding gold too

Meanwhile, central banks continued to amass gold, which grew by 145t in Q1 amidst heightened volatility and uncertainty, but down 8% from 1Q19. WGC is expecting the global gold reserves to slow sharply.

The most significant purchases were made by the consistent recent buyers, with Turkey by far the biggest buyer during quarter one, accounting for 50% of the Q1 global total. Other central banks viz. UAE, India, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan increased their official gold reserves by at least a tonne.

The largest gold buyer since the end of 2005, Russian central bank meanwhile, announced with no explanation that it would suspend its gold buying from April 1st, but it hasn’t been completely ruled out. Recently, it drew down reserves to protect its currency in the face of lower oil prices and economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, pushing their gold’s share of total reserves at 21%.

Total gold supply also fell 4% in Q1 due to coronavirus lockdowns that hit mine production and gold recycling.

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Author: AnTy

After Falling From The Third Spot During Black Thursday; Time to Start Accumulating XRP?

  • XRP/BTC showing monthly support and held up during the crash
  • Ripple leading C++ software engineer Nik Bougalis advises people to work from home
  • Its partner MoneyGram selling all the XRP “as soon as” it receives

XRP is currently recording gains of 3.90% in the past 24 hours while trading at $0.149 but still at fourth place, as per Messari.

The digital lost the third place to Tether (USDT) following the violent sell-off last week that saw XRP falling to $0.11, a level was last seen in May 2017. Meanwhile, the market cap of most of the stablecoin increased, potentially signaling investors piling into cash. But the pain for the digital asset might not be over.

According to a trader with pseudonym Calmly it is time to accumulate XRP as the BTC chart is showing strength. “Begrudgingly, I think it’s time to start accumulating Ripple. The XRP / BTC chart looks like an accumulation of monthly support. The bitcoin pair held up during the crash,” said the trader.

XRP Bull Accumulating

XRP enthusiast Rober Art who has 12.9k followers on Twitter believes $0.10 is coming which according to him is a buy the dip opportunity.

Robert Art is all about XRP and Bitcoin as per his bio reads, and he sees XRP at $200 XRP and BTC at 1 million.

The fourth-largest digital asset by market cap of $4.34 billion is down by 96% from its all-time high of $3.92. But according to the XRP bull, it isn’t a bear market rather the “start of the accumulation zone” which he has been waiting to buy some dips. His latest buying target has projected the XRP even lower at $0.05.

Work remotely amidst coronavirus scare

The losses in XRP along with the crypto market and stock market and other assets have been due to the rising concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

As coronavirus spreads rapidly, cryptographer and leading C++ software engineer at Ripple, Nik Bougalis advised people to work from home.

In a tweet on Monday, Bougalis shared that he has been working remotely for 20 years and is currently leading the team at Ripple.

In another news, Ripple partner MoneyGram is selling all the XRP “as soon as” it receives from the San Francisco-based tech company, reported TheBlock. It was recently revealed that MoneyGram received $11.3 million worth of XRP from Ripple and its other major clients like NB Bank and goLance are also receiving incentives from the company.

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Author: AnTy

Binance DEX Clocks $50 Million In Volume For the Month Of October

In its monthly report released on Oct 15, Binance stated that its decentralized exchange, Binance DEX, closed the $50 million mark in terms of volumes going by the data from CoinMarketCap as well as CoinGecko.

According to the report there was a successful upgrade of the Heisenberg hard fork, commonly referred to as the Binance Chain. The upgrade has been in existence for more than five months now and boasts of over 46 million block height and has completed more than 33 million transactions coming from about 300,000 addresses. The report also revealed that there are about 160 BEP2 tokens registered in Binance Chain.

As per the report about 11 community-submitted listing were approved by validators for distribution within the the Binance DEX while two are in the validation process. As per the report, there are now 115 trading pairs in the Binance DEX with the freshly listed ones offering trading promotions programs.

Apart from the impressive figures, the report also added that progress has been made when it comes to strategic partnerships. The exchange has introduced CipherTrace, which is the fresh Anti Money Laundering procedure as well as a special partnership with phone manufacturer HTC Exodus for the manufacturing of a smartphone which will operate on Binance Chain.

Binance Chain is also rolling on the Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS) which it describes as a cryptographic protocol that will help in distributed key signing as well as generation. TSS enables the generation of a signature which is then shared among various parties where every user gets a share of the private key which can be used for signing transactions. Binance also elaborated on the benefits of the TSS like enhanced security, speedy setup as well as certainty in recovery protection.

Binance also stated that BEP 51 was introduced in October and has the capacity to block various transactions from given addresses.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bitcoin Price Drops 5% to $8,360, Altcoins Turn Even Deeper Red

  • Every time frame under monthly looks ugly for Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin needs to see a green wick
  • Bitcoin price takes a drop.

Today, the leading cryptocurrency dropped almost 5% as it went from $8,800 to as low as $8,363 on Bitstamp.

At the time of writing, BTC has been trading at $8,747, as per Coincodex while managing the daily trading volume of $335.5 million.

Every Time Frame Under Monthly Looks Ugly

Bitcoin might have hit $8,350 but this move has been expected for a few weeks now, ever since Bitcoin shot up 42% in late Oct.

Today bitcoin bounced off $8,370s, an area that acted as resistance during the previous range. According to trader Josh Rager, this area needs to hold.

If BTC makes a weekly close below $8,235, Rager says it would “lead to more downside.”

“Currently, every time frame under monthly looks ugly,” he added.

Similar sentiments are shared by analyst Don Alt who says we just need to “wick back up” now, for things to turn good. But if it doesn’t and we start closing below, “8.2-8.3k bias has to flip bearish.”

Analyst Galaxy is seeing a drop below $8,200 but according to him, it won’t be coming before Bitcoin makes a few fakeouts.

The analyst sees Bitcoin surging yet again to above $9,200 that will turn everyone bullish but only to make a U-turn and go below $8k. But it won’t be until another pump that Bitcoin will drop to under $8,200.

This is where he sees the Crypto Twitter going back to making $2k calls but Bitcoin will yet again make a flip and shoot up.

However, as we reported, November has been historically a bullish month for Bitcoin. Also, the SFOX Multi-Factor Market Index has turned “mildly bullish” as of Nov. 11, which was set at neutral a month ago.

Altcoins Fall Harder but Verge & Decred Emerge as Winners

Meanwhile, altcoins are falling even harder. All the positive movements seen in the past few days have turned negative as top altcoins lose between 2 to 5%.

Today’s biggest losers are Augur (7.24%), Maker (7.06%), Qtum (5.87%), Ontology (5.63%), NEO (4.89%), Bitcoin Cash (4.48%), and BNB (4.60%).

However, a few digital assets are enjoying the gains as well.

Verge is today’s winner with 22.94% gains which is driven by PayPal pulling out of PornHub which has the popular adult site looking for new options. Crypto market is seeing this as an adoption opportunity and XVG is already one of the three cryptos accepted at PornHub.

Decred (11.40%), Ziliqa (10%), Horizen ((5.65%), Enjin Coin (5%) are also registering decent gains amidst the red market. NEM, IOST, Waves, PundiX, and Cardano are also in green but less than 3%.

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Author: AnTy