Maker Foundation Dissolves to Give the Community Full Control Over the Protocol and DAO

Maker Foundation Dissolves to Give the Community Full Control Over the Protocol and DAO

Original decentralized finance (DeFi) project Maker has now completely decentralized MakerDAO making the community now responsible for the protocol.

It started as a DAO, then changed into a Foundation which was a temporary solution for the development of the popular lending protocol, an end to having a self-governed self-operating DAO, which it has now achieved.

This week, Rune Christensen, the CEO of Maker Foundation, announced that the DAO is now fully self-sufficient, and the Foundation will formally dissolve within the next few months.

Over the period of the last six years, its stablecoin DAI has grown to become a $5.25 billion market cap crypto-backed stablecoin.

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In Q2 of 2021, the supply of DAI grew 76%, producing $43 million in earnings, up 136% since 1Q21 and 21,500% year-over-year.

While DAI has a 5% market share of the stablecoin market, the lending protocol has $5.45 billion in outstanding debt compared to $6.62 billion on Compound and $6.89 billion on Aave.

“MakerDAO continues to provide one of the best demonstrations of profitable growth in DeFi,” noted Ryan Watkins of Messari, adding the project also has a powerful business model having zero infrastructure costs with users paying gas, zero cost of capital with MakerDAO minting DAI, and extremely high margin with very low headcount requirements while having global reach without the hurdle of regional financial regulations.

Currently, the project has over $8 billion in assets locked in smart contracts of the Maker Protocol.

In terms of total value locked (TVL), the protocol has $5.85 billion comprising 2.43 million ETH, nearly 17k BTC, and 61.36 million DAI.

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Author: AnTy

Circle Reserves Over $10 Million to Settle SEC’s Case Against Poloniex

Circle Reserves Over $10 Million to Settle SEC’s Case Against Poloniex

Circle also disclosed in a regulatory filing with the SEC that it is being investigated by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which enforces US sanctions.

USDC stablecoin issuer, Circle, has set aside more than $10 million to settle a case against its discontinued cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a regulatory filing.

The Boston-based company sold Poloniex in 2019 after acquiring it just the previous year. On its sale, Circle recorded a realized loss of $156.8 million and said the disposal was to “divest from businesses related to speculative cryptocurrency trading” and to “better align” its business with the products it offers, according to a regulatory filing to the SEC earlier this month.

The agency filed a complaint against Poloniex back in Dec. 2017, at the height of the bull market, related to the trading of cryptos that may be characterized as securities. In March, the exchange offered to settle the case for $10.4 million.

In the filing, Circle further disclosed that it is being investigated by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which enforces US sanctions.

Back in 2019, the company said it received administrative subpoenas from OFAC and an Iranian government agency, looking into possible violations related to registered exchange accounts for people in embargoed jurisdictions and for processing transactions that may have violated sanctions.

Circle expects to pay between $1.1 million to $2.8 million to settle these matters and has put away at least $1.1 million to do so, it said in the filing.

A few months back in May, Circle hired Mandeep Walia, who most recently served as compliance chief for Facebook-backed stablecoin Diem’s digital wallet, as its new chief compliance officer amidst the increased oversight.

Earlier this month, Circle announced that it would go public in a $4.5 billion SPAC merger. On Tuesday, it also published the breakdown of its reserves backing the stablecoin with 61% in cash and cash equivalents.

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Author: AnTy

BUNNY Down Over 97% from its April Peak, Project Enhances Security Protocol After the 2nd Exploit

BUNNY Down Over 97% from its April Peak, Project Enhances Security Protocol After the 2nd Exploit

PancakeBunny, BSC-based decentralized finance (DeFi) yield farming aggregator and optimizer, has been hacked yet again.

Two months ago, PancakeBunny got rekt on Binance Smart Chain, and this time, the same happened on Ethereum sidechain Polygon. In May’s flash loan attack, $45 million was lost; this time, only $2.5 million was lost.

There has been growing speculation that it could be an inside job while the team assures a plan to compensate the victims.

For now, the total value locked (TVL) in the project is at $602 million, up from $593.65 million last week after the hack.

According to Defi Llama, in early May, the project boasted a whopping $7.54 billion in TVL.

The “economic exploit” occurred on July 16, resulting in the minting of 2.1 million polyBUNNY leading to a drop in its price.

As of writing, BUNNY is trading $14.64, down 21% in the past week and more than 97% from its all-time high of $512.75 three months back, as per CoinGecko.

According to the post-mortem, the attacker made a small deposit in one of the Bunny Vaults and, at the same time, made a considerable deposit directly to MiniChefV2 (SushiSwap). They then called for the function “withdrawAll” to execute the attack with the amount deposited in the MiniChefV2 as interest.

The same week, the same exploit occurred on PancakeBuny fork, ApeRocketFi, which lost $260k on BSC and $1 million on Polygon.

Now, the PancakeBunny team has ensured that they are “directly compensating everyone who possessed polyBUNNY at the time of the exploit in the amount of $2.4M.”

Those who held polyBUNNY, including polyBUNNY-ETH and polyBUNNY-QUICK at the time of the exploit, are eligible for compensation in the form of MND tokens from the Team’s share of MND.

MND is the fixed-volume utility token associated with the Mound (MND) Vault to which the Bunny Community has contributed nearly 2 million BUNNY. The Team has/will contribute(d) 1 million BUNNY, 1 million polyBUNNY, 100 million QBT, a portion of all future project tokens, and a share of all future fees from fee-based products. It said,

“The final price of MND will be set at the close of the Community commitment period in a little over 1 week and will be determined by the total value of the assets committed to the Mound (MND) Vault.”

In light of the recent exploit, the team has also revised its protocols to maximize security for the launch of new products with lending platform Qubit to be the first product to launch under this enhanced security protocol.

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Author: AnTy

Visa Customers Spent Over $1 Bln on its Crypto-linked Cards in First Half of the Year

Visa Customers Spent Over $1 Bln on its Crypto-linked Cards in First Half of the Year

Payments giant Visa said that its customers spent more than $1 billion on its crypto-linked cards in the first half of the year, just as the payment processor has been making moves to make crypto transactions smoother.

The company said it was partnering with 50 crypto platforms that will allow its customers to convert and spend digital currencies at 70 million merchants worldwide.

This is yet another step in Visa’s acceptance of cryptocurrencies which announced in March that it would allow the use of USDC stablecoin to settle transactions on its payment network.

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Author: AnTy

Auction House Sotheby to Accept Bitcoin and Ether for the Sale of An Over 100-Carat Diamond

Auction House Sotheby to Accept Bitcoin and Ether for the Sale of An Over 100-Carat Diamond

Auction house Sotheby’s, which has been venturing into the cryptocurrency having sold non-fungible tokens (NFTs), is now accepting payment in Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH) at the sale of a 101.38-carat diamond this Friday.

The pear-shaped diamond could fetch as much as $15 million in the single-lot sale in Hong Kong. There have been fewer than 10 diamonds weighing over 100 carats that ever come to auction, and only two of them have been pear-shaped.

According to Sotheby’s, this could be the most expensive physical object ever publicly offered for purchase with crypto.

Josh Pullan, managing director of Sotheby’s global luxury division, said there had been a growing demand for precious gems, increasingly from a “younger, digitally native generation,” particularly from Asia.

Switzerland-based art adviser George Bak who specializes in blockchain technologies, also noted that many auction house executives were surprised by the fervent interest from collectors who wanted to pay in crypto.

“Many people got rich really quickly from the volatility of the crypto market in the past year, so they’re in a spending mood,” Bak said, according to whom, allowing collectors to pay with cryptos will make an art dealer or auction house “more attractive and innovative” than their competitors.

Despite this volatility, auction houses rarely take the brunt of it. The sellers assume most of the risk, said Bak, who doesn’t expect crypto to replace traditional currencies any time soon.

“This hybrid reality,” where digital wallets and physical artworks co-exist, has a “lot of potential,” he added:

“But as it is still early days, it’s probably a learning curve for everyone.”

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Author: AnTy

Smart Money Is Becoming Bullish on Ether, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrencies Again

Over the weekend, cryptocurrency prices further made a recovery, with Ether surging to almost $2,400.

Since last weekend’s drop to $1,720, Ether soared about 40% and is currently trading around $2,270.

Despite this latest increase in price, the funding rate on Ether perpetual contracts is either negative or extremely low at 0.005%. With this, Ether’s price is now lower on the Binance futures market than CME, hence wiping out the arbitrage opportunity for institutional investors.

“Crypto native ETH sept basis (e.g., Binance, Huobi) now lower than CME’s ETH sept basis for first time since CME ETH futures went live. looks like boomers are feeling bullish on crypto (smarter money IMO),” noted trader CL of eGirl Capital.

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Open interest on Ether futures contracts meanwhile is also on the rise along with the price. Total open interest has now gone to $5.57 billion, up from $4.43 billion in late June but still down significantly from the $11.6 billion peak in early May, as per Bybt.

On the leading exchange Binance, OI on Ether futures is 534.16k ETH. In USD terms, it’s $1.21 billion, up from $935.45 million but down from $2.56 billion on May 10. When it comes to Bitcoin, Binance now has 88,000 BTC in OI, while about 11 days back, it was 81.2k BTC, which in itself was an increase from 57k BTC ATH just two days before that.

Amidst all this, the stablecoin market cap has breached $111 billion, making up 7.7% of the total crypto market cap. So far in 2021, stablecoin market cap growth is 3.7x, far outpacing the total YTD crypto market cap growth of 1.9x.

Tether (USDT) remains the dominant stablecoin with almost $62.9 billion outstanding supply, capturing 58.56% market share. USDC, with a $24.3 billion market cap, is not far behind, having a 23.62% market share.

Even algo-stables like TerraUSD, Fei, Liquity, and Frax are showing promising growth, now comprising about 8% of the total stablecoin market cap.

Stablecoins are seeing growth, particularly after the market crash as crypto investors flooded into stables seeking some yield. During the massive sell-off in May, the combined market share of USDC and USDT reached an all-time high of 7% as a percentage of the total crypto market cap, up from a mere 3%.

Ethereum, of course, has the largest piece of the stablecoin pie, with $73.4 billion of the $111 billion outstanding supply issued on its blockchain.

In terms of protocols, in the lending sector, total value locked (TVL) in Aave v2 has $6.73B worth of stablecoins, in DEX space, Curve is capturing $3B in stables, while as a yield aggregator, Yearn has $1.13B of stables on its platform.

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Author: AnTy

Deutsche Borse Takes a Majority Stake for Over $100 Mln in Crypto Finance AG

Deutsche Borse Takes a Majority Stake for Over $100 Mln in Crypto Finance AG

This step has been taken in response to “increasing demand from established financial institutions who are looking to become active in this new asset class.”

German exchange operator Deutsche Borse Group has acquired a majority stake in Crypto Finance AG.

Founded in 2017, Crypto Finance is a Swiss-based fintech firm regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), offers crypto trading and storage in over 200 crypto-assets for institutional and professional clients.

Deutsche Borse will take a two-thirds majority shareholding in Crypto Finance AG in exchange for an investment in “a moderate three-digit CHF million range,” more than 100 million Swiss francs ($108.68 million).

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Jan Brzezek, CEO and co-founder of Crypto Finance, will remain chief executive along with the existing management team.

With this acquisition, Deutsche Börse aims to further get deeper into the digital assets market and provide its customers a direct entry point for investments, including custody. Thomas Book, executive board member for trading and clearing at Deutsche Börse said,

“Digital assets will transform the financial industry. There is increasing demand from established financial institutions who are looking to become active in this new asset class and want a trusted partner.”

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Author: AnTy

Canadian Regulator Takes Action Against Bybit Over Alleged Violations Of Securities Law

Canadian Regulator Takes Action Against Bybit Over Alleged Violations Of Securities Law

The Ontario Securities Commission is pursuing a regulatory action against Bybit Fintech Ltd, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, that operates a cryptocurrency platform in the country.

The regulator accused Bybit of disregarding and flouting the Canadian securities law.

Regulator Files Statement Of Allegations Against Bybit

According to the statement of allegation filed by the regulator, Bybit failed to comply with the registration requirements even though the OSC cautioned unregistered trading platforms in March.

The OSC had issued an April 19 deadline for crypto exchanges to register before offering derivatives products in Ontario, but Bybit failed to do so.

As a result, the regulator has now added Bybit to its investor warning list and has set a hearing date of July 15. The OSC said,

“Entities such as Bybit, which flout this compliance process, expose Ontario investors to unacceptable risks and create an uneven playing field within the crypto asset trading platform sector.”

Potential penalties include payment of not more than $1 million in fines for each failure to comply with Ontario securities law. It may also include penalties stipulating Bybit to cease trading for a given period of time.

OSC’s action against Bybit comes after it took similar enforcement action against another exchange, KuCoin, earlier this month. Last month, the OSC also alleged that crypto exchange Poloniex had not completed its registration process.

The regulator’s reasons have remained the same across all three instances – the exchanges offered securities and derivatives to Ontario residents without complying with the province’s securities laws.

Founded in 2008, Bybit is one of the biggest crypto exchanges with millions in trading volume. Headquartered in Singapore and registered in the British Virgin Islands, Bybit is the third-largest Bitcoin futures exchange by open interest.

Bybit Faces Similar Enforcement Action In Japan, UK

Regulators around the world have become more cautious about cryptocurrency services as exchanges, and trading platforms are now more scrutinized.

Bybit seems to be familiar with these actions. The exchange has not only gotten in trouble in Canada but is also having issues with regulators in Japan.

A few weeks ago, the crypto derivatives platform received a warning from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) over unregistered operations.

Bybit has also previously received a similar warning in the United Kingdom. Earlier on Feb. 24, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a notice alerting the public that the exchange has been operating in the UK without authorization.

A week later, Bybit announced on March 5 that it would stop servicing UK residents from March 31.

Despite these recent hurdles, Bybit still ranks in the top five in terms of the largest Bitcoin (BTC) futures exchanges volume of trades.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Chinese Bitcoin Mining Hub Sichuan Shutting Down Over Two Dozen Operators

Chinese Bitcoin Mining Hub Sichuan Shutting Down Over Two Dozen Operators

While good for the decentralization of bitcoin mining, China shutting down bitcoin mining operations is “not healthy” for the cryptocurrency because it lowers the historic price floor for BTC.

Amidst the ongoing crackdown on crypto trading and mining in China, Bitcoin mining in Sichuan is being shut down.

One after another, mining operations in Sichuan are shutting down due to regulatory pressure, with some miners expecting restrictive policies to be introduced soon, as per local publication Wu Blockchain.

The Sichuan Energy Bureau and the Sichuan Development and Reformation Commission jointly issued a document on Friday to state-owned power generators and distributors ordering them to close down local bitcoin miners.

This measure is expected to impact about 26 mining operators directly.

“What’s messed up is many of the 26 embraced the reg in 2020. Filed their names, paid fees, and allowed to operate in gov-sanctioned hydro consumption parks. Now they get thrown under the bus, while many smaller farms may actually get away by staying under the radar,” said journalist Wolfie Zhao.

In China, Sichuan accounts for the second-largest Bitcoin hash rate share at 9.66%, as of April 2020, after Xinjinag’s 35.76%, according to CBECI.

So far, this has resulted in a decline of 7% in the Ethereum hash rate, while Bitcoin’s hash rate is temporarily not reflecting the effect.

Interestingly, the province is China’s biggest producer of hydropower and offers cheaper electricity tariffs.

“There is a large amount of abandoned hydropower in Sichuan in summer. If it is not used for bit mining, it can only be wasted. The implementation of this policy is currently uncertain,” noted Wu Blockchain.

Sichuan actually sees a lot of activity during the rainy season, which lasts from May to September. Every year, at the end of the rainy season, miners start migrating to other regions.

So, it is possible, another big bitcoin miner exodus out of China may happen.

“The Chinese crackdown on mining is a tragedy for China, a nuisance for Bitcoin, and a windfall for North American Bitcoin miners,” said Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy.

Amidst this, Toronto-based Bitfarms is getting listed on Nasdaq to become the largest publicly traded Bitcoin miner in North America using more than 99% hydroelectric renewable electricity.

While good for the decentralization of bitcoin mining, Charles Edwards of Capriole Investments says China mining FUD is not healthy for Bitcoin because

“It lowers the bitcoin electrical cost, the historic price floor for Bitcoin. This is the price Bitcoin almost never goes below, and it’s been falling.”

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Author: AnTy