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.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Mark Cuban: Blockchain’s Evolution Over Past 3 Years to Support Smart Contracts, Changed the Game

Mark Cuban: Blockchain’s Evolution Over Past 3 Years to Support Smart Contracts, Changed the Game

WSB traders are applying the same principles of the digital/CryptoAsset world, said the billionaire while name dropping Bitcoin, Ethereum, AAVE, and several NFT projects like Mintable, Rarible, OpenSea, NiftyGateway, SuperRare, NBA TopShot, and Bitcoin Origin, and CryptoSlam.

Billionaire Mark Cuban has been getting more and more cryptocurrency-friendly with each passing day. While previously he didn’t find any worth in them, at least not more than bananas, now he realizes that it’s all about the demand and supply.

And this has him penning the blog titled, “The Store of Value Generation is Kicking Your Ass and You Don’t Even Know it,” where he name drops Bitcoin, his favorite AAVE, and several NFT projects.

While Cuban has been involved in the DeFi space for some time now, the battle between Wall Street Bets and Wall Street has him and the people realizing the true power of decentralization. He wrote,

“WSB traders are applying the same principles of the digital/CryptoAsset world to the stock market, and they are loving the fact that the old schoolers are hating it.”

The owner of Dallas Maverick is slowly coming around to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and in his latest write-up, he talks about the evolution in the store of value.

Previously it was gold, which any gold bug would argue has value because of its history as the foundation for currency, a hedge against inflation, and other narratives and while “there are plenty of other “precious metals” that meet the same criteria, gold simply “has more buyers,” he wrote.

Cuban says this changed over the past 3 years as the “blockchain has evolved to support smart contracts and the ability to uniquely identify digital goods and the transactions associated with them.”

Now, everything is digital, and that is all that the New Generation knows — “This generation knows that a smart contract and the digital good it reflects or a CryptoAsset are a better investment than old school sees, touch or feel uses.”

While following the same laws of supply and demand, the digital space offers all the fun and same sense of ownership, “it has none of the hassles beyond remembering my passwords and dealing with wallets,” noted Cuban.

And though digital goods and crypto-assets markets aren’t perfect with high transaction costs, influenced by narratives, and propensity to be moved by a few big players, “the bottom line is that there are a growing number of investors and traders” believe in it.

The young generation loves its different features, including no central authority, and they don’t care about the Old School Wall Street’s narratives of Price-Earnings Ratios or NPV of future cash flows that are just sales pitches “designed to reward the people with the most money.”

“The more decentralized the power, the more power that comes with the collective working together,” wrote Cuban, adding that’s what Wall Street “hates and will fight because it moves the power out of their hands.” Cuban added,

“Every generation in this country has had its unique special power. This Store of Value Generation has found at least one of their special powers in financial unity. We as a country will be far better off if we understand them, respect them and learn from them, quickly.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

“Outrageous Demand” for Bitcoin & Crypto from Retirement IRAs

  • Grayscale continues to add Bitcoin to its stash, currently holding 570,860 BTC.
  • In the past six months, GBTC’s holdings have grown by 56% to represent more than 3% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

As we reported, Michael Sonnenshein, Managing Director of the Grayscale Investments, said the most extensive digital assets manager had seen inflows that “are now probably up 6x what they were last year.” Sonnenshein said in an interview on Thursday,

“It’s some of the world’s largest investors and the allocations that they’re making are bigger than we’ve ever seen before and their time horizon for this is generally something over the medium to longer-term.”

This growing demand can be further seen in the premium that people pay to get exposure to digital assets through Grayscale.

GBTC shares are currently trading at a premium of more than 30%. This premium has been slowly grinding up since early October, when it was just around 6%. However, we are nowhere near the 132% premium people paid in March 2017. On-chain analyst Willy Woo said,

“Wow 33% GBTC premium, that’s outrageous demand for Bitcoin via retirement IRAs.”

“If I was a Euro Pacific shareholder I’d be wondering why the company is not getting in on that obvious growth business. Like Kodak revolutionized photos until one day it didn’t run towards digital.”

However, it’s not just Bitcoin that Grayscale users are after. The premium on other products is even higher than GBTC except for its BCH product, which is actually on a discount (-13%).

ETHE is trading at 170% premium, ETCG 43%, and LTCN at the most significant 2,259% premium. Trader and economist Alex Kruger said,

“When crypto heats up, premiums to Net Asset Value (NAV) for Grayscale products skyrocket.”

“Driven by dumb money buying Grayscale products from a brokerage.”

Grayscale is currently holding 2.94 million ETH, 948.34k LTC, 12.29 million ETC, 225k BCH, 35.65 million XRP, 18.94 million XLM, 192.7k ZEC, and 450.11k ZEN.

In an attempt to protect the average folk by restricting access to asset purchases, SEC has ended up creating “a racket where the many subsidize the few,” said Alex Kruger. Because primary issuance is for accredited investors, an average person has to buy in the secondary market to pay a premium.

The institutions that are buying GBTC do so directly from Grayscale at a 2% fee with a 6-month lock-up but gain a premium twice a year.

The crypto market has repeatedly pointed out that more competition and ETF getting approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission will push these premiums down.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Crypto Thanksgiving Sale Goes Live, Black Friday to Offer More Discount?

Well, what were you expecting after an over 85% rally in these past two months?

This may have taken us all a bit by surprise despite expecting to see this coming for some time now, but it’s a Thanksgiving sale, and buying the dips is the only option.

Bitcoin started breaking one level after another, from just above $10,000 to a new 2020 high of $19,500 just yesterday. And much like BTC, altcoins have been having a wild time.

Recently, Ether went up to $620, and XRP was reaching for $1; everything was simply exploding higher and higher, approaching their mid-2018 highs.

Add today; the market has turned a deep red just like that.

Bitcoin started dropping and didn’t stop until it made its way to nearly $16,300, but the pain isn’t over yet as this 17% crash could further extend into the weekend.

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading around $17,000 with a real trading volume of around $6.68 billion.

Just yesterday, crypto exchange Kraken reported an all-time high volume of $1.4 billion, with $480 million in Bitcoin, $400 million in XRP, and $198 million in ETH. After yesterday, today is going to be another big day for exchanges.

XRP recorded the biggest hit of 25%, falling to just under $0.50 level and Ether to $505.

Today’s biggest losers include Super Bitcoin (-56%), Bankera (-41%), Verge (-37%), ZEN (-32%), KIMCHI (-30%), Zilliqa (-28%), and CRV (-25%).

These deep losses resulted in wiping out $70 billion from the total market cap.

However, still, a few cryptos are recording gains: the notable ones are PumaPay (+56%), Ontology Gas (+53%), and CREAM (22%).

Bears, however, aren’t done with Bitcoin and, by extension, altcoins.

During the last bull run in 2017, the market had an average of 30% retracements nine times; such a pullback will take us to under $14,000 this time.

As Charles Edwards, founder of Capriole Investments, noted yesterday, “19.2K was a technical magnet and biggest near-term test for Bitcoin. That was the time to be super bullish. This is the time to be cautious.”

According to him, the largest cryptocurrency could slide to under $15,000.

“Conditions are very massively overbought and bound for a correction,” said Vijay Ayyar, head of business development with crypto exchange Luno in Singapore. He expects Bitcoin to stabilize and achieve an all-time high, but a large drop would follow even that in the prices for the cryptocurrency.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Bull Rally Restarting: DeFi Blue Chips Giddy with Massive Uptrend

Ever since this past weekend, when Bitcoin took a dive to about $14,500, the leading cryptocurrency has taken to relax around $15,000.

With Bitcoin calming down, altcoins are the ones popping. Ethereum is keeping above $445, and although top altcoins are in the green, they are not the ones leading the market.

2020 has been all about Decentralized Finance, and this time it is no different. As a matter of fact, after enjoying a rally in August and topping out in September, recording severe losses, looks like DeFi coins are back for another round.

While the likes of Maker, Loopring, HOT, Sushi, Melon Protocol, Terra, UMA, Wrapped nexus, Bancor, and Compound are up less than 5%, they made record gains in the past week, albeit of mediocre levels.

CoTrader, Balancer, Mainframe, Curve, Augur, bZx Network, and 0x are popping up nicely today, all up over 10%. This DeFi rally, however, is all about the blue chips.

But not all Blue chips are equal, and it is Aave, which is in the lead.

Currently trading at $63, Aave is up a whopping over 140% in just the last five days. It is basically a paradise for scalpers — short-term traders that execute dozens, in some cases hundreds of times, trades per day.

These gains also have heavy negative funding on Aave futures, which means shorts are paying the longs to keep the price of the perpetual swap contracts in line with the underlying asset.

These gains came soon after Aave made the transition from its LEND token to Aavenomics. Before the rebranding as LEND, Aave was pumping hard, and afterward, as AAVE, it is pumping just as hard. Quant trader Qiao Wang said,

“Aave’s token migration and ticker change from LEND to AAVE is the one of the most ingenious price discovery tactics in the history of DeFi.”

“Although the liquidity has deteriorated quite a bit. Doesn’t take a lot of money to move the market by 10%.”

Aave is currently the 5th largest project in the DeFi sector as per its $1.18 billion of total value locked in it, down from $1.67 billion on August 30, as per DeFi Pulse. Overall, the TVL has reached a new record of $12.75 billion.

“YFI & Aave volatility is a distraction to nuke your potential gains from riding out the trend instead of scalping,” noted trader Hsaka.

YFI is another project which is popping hard, about 90% this past week while trading around $17,800. Recently, YearnFinance joined hands with Hegic to introduce Options.

A very similar action can be seen in SNX, pushing for $5. This DeFi token has jumped 20% today and 85% in the last 7 days.

“The bull market is restarting,” said Wang, adding, “Largely depends on BTC/ETH of course. But I’m long, and a buyer of dips.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Circle Introduces High Yield Interest Rate Accounts on the Fastest Growing Stablecoin

Over the past eight months, the market cap of USDC has surged a whopping 560%.

Before the violent sell-off at the beginning of March, this stablecoin was a mere $445 million, which is ready to hit $3 billion, as per CoinGecko.

USDC’s growth even beats the largest stablecoin Tether’s (USDT), which grew 288% during the same period. However, its total market cap is inches away from hitting $17 billion.

Also, USDC had more than $11 billion of transfer value (adjusted) earlier last week, completely annihilating the previous all-time high of $2.11 billion. However, this record was because of the exploit in the DeFi protocol Harvest Finance, which involved a series of USDC flash loans.

And Circle, which created USDC in collaboration with crypto exchange Coinbase, wants to capitalize on this growth by announcing new high-yield accounts. The tweet from Circle reads,

“Circle is planning to introduce short and medium-term high yield interest rate business accounts built entirely on USDC. Starting at 8% APY, make sure to secure a spot on the waitlist today.”

As per the website, the USDC account starts at 8.5% APY for the open term, while for the fixed term, it starts with 9.50% and can go high as 10.75% for 12-months. The interest will accrue daily and be paid out weekly. Circle states,

“Yield is generated by lending your digital dollars to a network of institutional counterparties that are willing to pay an interest rate for access to additional capital.”

The yield generation offering has been initiated in collaboration with the lending firm Genesis.

Besides high yield savings accounts, it also provides its services to corporate treasuries. Business accounts and APIs were first started in March, allowing companies to “easily upload their dollars to the internet, convert them into digital currency dollars and start storing and using stablecoins for everyday payments,” said Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire at the time.

Back in summer, Circle first started offering lending protocols and rewards for staking USDC. Last month, Circle further shared that USDC would be expanding to Solana and Stellar blockchain, adding to Ethereum and Algorand.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

DeFi Pushes Crypto Hedge Funds to ‘Exceptionally’ Outperform Traditional Counterparts

  • Cryptocurrency hedge funds have witnessed a surge in returns over the past year with the rise in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem, Reuters reported on Thursday.
  • These crypto hedge funds, who also took up Bitcoin positions, outperformed their traditional hedge fund counterparts, as the top crypto coin recorded over 180% increase in 2020.

According to statistics shared in the Reuters article, non-crypto hedge funds, such as BarclayHedge, an alternative investments firm, recorded a 1.70% increase in the first nine months of 2020. However, this is very modest considering the crypto-focused hedge funds, e.g., Vision Hill Group recorded 129% returns across 2020.

The CEO and founder of Vision Hill Group, Scott Army, attributes the explosive growth in returns to the growing DeFi market. The decentralized finance ecosystem takes over traditional banking roles, facilitating lending and borrowing between parties without a bank or financial institution.

One of the biggest institutional investors in the DeFi market, Framework Ventures, a $100 million venture capital firm, sets its sights on the DeFi market exploding in the coming months. Praising the growth of DeFi platforms as Uniswap DEX, which has time and again surpassed centralized exchanges daily volume, Michael Anderson, co-founder of Framework Ventures, said,

“Users are trying to vote with their dollars in terms of how they view the capabilities of DeFi.”

Another crypto hedge fund enjoying the rising crypto market is Off the Chain Capital, who helped Mt. Gox users affected by the 2014 hack to discount their bitcoin claims. The firm recorded 94% in returns across 2020 and has been a top performer since launch in 2016, averaging 112% in returns for the past four years.

At the peak of DeFi euphoria, the ecosystem embraced yield farming and liquidity pools through protocols such as Uniswap, Compound, and Aave, causing an upsurge in the capital deposited to these platforms. According to DeFi Pulse data, the total value locked (TVL) in DeFi protocols has skyrocketed from $657.6 million to over $12 billion in October – currently at $10.8 billion.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

8 Public Listed Companies are Holding Bitcoin in Treasury; Who Will Be Next?

Today, there is a lot of green in the crypto market.

In the past 24 hours, nearly $15 billion has been added to the overall crypto market cap.

And all of this has been because of a nice pop up in Bitcoin. Yesterday, the price of BTC jumped to nearly $11,000 and today it surpassed it.

This 5.6% jump in BTC price has been the result of Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square making a $50 million investment in Bitcoin, which represents 1% of its assets.

“Given the rapid evolution of cryptocurrency and unprecedented uncertainty from a macroeconomic and currency regime perspective, we believe now is the right time for us to expand our largely USD-denominated balance sheet and make a meaningful investment in bitcoin,” noted Square in its Bitcoin investment whitepaper.

These 4,709 BTC were purchased over-the-counter over a predetermined 24-hours period to maintain transaction privacy and price slippage. These BTC are stored in its “Subzero”, the open-source Hardware Security Module-backed solution.

Gaining Momentum

Though not much, Dorsey’s only bitcoin approach is to “start small and hold.”

The community is super stoked about this, seeing it as a big development that would bring others into the market.

“A big deal,” commented Galaxy’s Mike Novogratz. “It’s not the first guy dancing. It’s the second guy. This is now a movement. Corp balance sheets.”

Novogratz also revealed that Galaxy also “has a lot of BTC on our balance sheet.”

With this, now a total of six public companies viz. MicroStrategy (1st and 2nd), Riot Blockchain, Cypherpunk Holdings, and Grayscale Bitcoin Trust hold Bitcoin in their Treasuries.

image1
Source: Bitcoin Treasuries in Publicly Traded Companies

Amidst this market euphoria, other companies also revealed that they have also invested in Bitcoin.

eToro CEO divulged that they had BTC in their treasury since 2011 and are “still Hodling.”

Jesse Powell, the founder, and CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, also admitted to it in a roundabout way as he answered a crypto enthusiast asking about when his company would make it to this list.

“You think Kraken hasn’t been accumulating bitcoin over the last 9 years?” Powell said.

While corporations adding bitcoin to their balance sheet is bullish, it is also “overrated,” according to trader and economist Alex Kruger who said, “The function of a corporate treasury is not to *invest*. Corporate demand for gold as an inflation hedge is minimal. Thus the likelihood of a bitcoin domino effect among corporates is very low.”

But the interesting thing that could happen, if this becomes a trend is “major banks would be forced to have a crypto team on payroll to service corporate clients’ hedging needs,” he added.

Read Original/a>
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.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

YFI Plunge Might be Over After Record Number of Addresses Unload All their Tokens

In the past three days, the DeFi darling YFI has lost more than 36% of its value, going from $34,400 to $21,950 today.

At the time of writing, the 28th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $719 million, has been trading over $23,900, slightly in the red.

The governance token of Yearn.Finance has been plunging recently, which in part, is because of over 55% uptrend it experienced before that. Just this month, the token also hit a new all-time high of $43,678, and after such a peak, a correction is to be expected.

Moreover, the DeFi ecosystem at large hasn’t recovered from the losses yet, following the rally it has been recording from the past few months.

So, YFI is not alone in these losses; as a matter of fact, many like bzrx, SWRV, CRV, UMA, and MLN are down 60% to 85% in the past 30 days.

However, for YFI, there is an additional driver behind the downtrend.

As we reported, Eminence.finance was launched and exploited to drain $15 million, all within a few hours of the project getting in the limelight.

The unannounced and unaudited project was Yearn.Finance founder Andre Cronje’s creation.

Trader and economist Alex Kruger, who has been a YFI bull, revealed that he no longer holds any YFI as he took the profit. “My assessment made on the fly indicated YFI could crash. When shit hits the fan, it usually pays to react fast and hit it,” he said.

He further said trust in founder matters and “Cronje simply made the YFI trade more difficult.”

Kruger wasn’t alone in that given that on Sept. 29, with a 16% drop in price, the number of addresses that transferred out all their tokens and have zero balance reached its highest number ever at 1.72k addresses, as per IntoTheBlock.

In the EMN debacle, not only YFI’s communications lead was involved in promoting the project, but Cronje himself also retweeted Eminence.Finance’s ambiguous tweets.

“EMN is a Yearn product, contract deployed by Yearn #2 Blue muppet, a Yearn team member, shills EMN #3 Cronje talks surprise launches #4 Cronje promotes eminencefi while people buying EMN #5 EMN exploited, everyone gets rug pulled.”

To Cronje’s credit, the crypto community voted to be surprised by the project launch!

In the end, Degen investors might have learned a few things here, especially not to go all rushing-in in barely researched or audited projects.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy