Crypto Wallet Ledger Opens Business Unit Dedicated to Institutions

Crypto Wallet Ledger Opens Business Unit Dedicated to Institutions

Ledger, popular for the provision of crypto cold wallets, has announced Ledger Enterprise Solutions’ launching to serve institutional clients.

The newly formed division will offer crypto custodial services for institutions such as Tesla and MicroStrategy, which have embraced Bitcoin in the recent past.

The new division will also provide consulting services to its clients and has already employed 50 people in different categories. Ledger announced that it would employ 60 more people before the end of the year.

Jean-Michel Pailhon will lead the division as the vice president in charge of Business Solutions. Pailhon will be joined by Alexandre Lemarchand, who was recently appointed a vice president in sales and partnerships. In addition, Ledger Enterprise recruited Alex Zinder, the ex SDX developer, the VP in charge of engineering, and Laurent Castillo, ex Thales engineer, the VP in charge of technical architecture. Pailhon explained,

“Ledger Enterprise Solutions represents our company’s investment in the future of broad-scale financial adoption of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets by enterprise-class businesses. Our mission is to enable the digital assets industry to become a multi-trillion dollar industry.”

Already, the division has recruited various clients, including Crypto.com, Bank Frick, BitStamp, Komainu, Nexo, among others.

Komainu, a digital asset custody, is a joint venture with Nomura and CoinShare in June last year. Last week the firm raised $25 million in Series A funding.

The crypto assets custody sector has become a hot cake with numerous institutions entering the crypto space. Ledger joins other custodial services providers in offering enterprise custodial services such as BitGo, Fireblocks, Anchorage, and PayPal’s owned Curv.

Pailhon explained that as more firms continue recognizing cryptos in their balance sheet, there will be a rise in demand for enterprise custodial services. He said,

“As more companies apportion significant parts of their balance sheets to blockchain-based holdings, we recognize the drastic need for enterprise-grade solutions for holding and securing digital assets.”

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Uniswap Reaches 1 Million Users; UNI has Highest Distributed Supply Among Major DeFi Assets

Popular decentralized exchange Uniswap is enjoying increasing volume in 2021, just like the centralized exchanges.

Ever since November 2020, the weekly volume on the platform only went higher, starting from just under $2 billion through the month to climb above $3.50 billion towards the end of December. January saw these numbers rising past $5 billion only to have a record $8.2 billion in the Feb. 21-27 week.

Things are currently slowing down to $5 billion weekly volume, as the cryptocurrency market consolidates in the macro backdrop of the rising USD index, smaller users trying cheaper alternatives like Pancakeswap on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), and NFT mania capturing the attention.

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Interestingly, while DEX Uniswap is managing about $1 billion in daily trading volume, its valuation is only $32 billion. Compared to this, Coinbase does $2.5 billion with a valuation of $100 billion.

“Now, let’s think about a fair price for UNI,” commented DeFi.

Just past weekend, UNI joined the top 10 cryptocurrencies list as the price hit a new high. As of writing, at a price of $32, UNI has a market cap of $16.71 billion.

But while on Uniswap, the fees are 0.30%, Coinbase charges a hefty up to 4%, which can rise further after the markup. During high volatility, both the exchanges recorded higher volume and increased fees paid by users.

The big difference is in their users; Coinbase, which was launched in 2012, revealed in its filing with the SEC that it had 43 million verified retail users in Q4 2020. The company also reported 7,000 institutions and 115,000 ecosystem partners.

Meanwhile, in November 2018 launched Uniswap has just reached 1 million users, as per Dune Analytics.

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While Uniswap has a long way to go, the growing DeFi ecosystem can speed up things.

Just last week, as UNI’s market cap surged to a new all-time high on Sunday, UNI active addresses also increased 4.3% week-over-week, and transfers increased by 10%.

The governance token of the dominant DEX further had a massive 470.3% increase in adjusted transfer value after it spiked to over $4.9 billion, from a daily average of less than $1 billion, on March 5th.

The DeFi token also has a relatively high SER, The Supply Equality Ratio inspired by the 20:20 Ratio – a traditional wealth inequality metric that compares the average income of the richest 20% of society to the poorest 20%.

Among the major DeFi assets, UNI has the highest distributed supply with SER of more than 0.002, likely due to its initial airdrop to platform users, as per Coin Metrics. AAVE, whose SER increased significantly since the start of the year, and COMP also have relatively high SER, just under 0.001.

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Author: AnTy

Brave Acquires Open Search Engine, Tailcat; Breaking Away From Google’s Prying Eyes

Popular privacy-focused web browser Brave has bought out Tailcat, an open search engine, in its efforts to launch a private search engine.

On Wednesday, Brave announced the acquisition of Tailcat, an open search engine that was created by the team that was behind the Cliqz anti-tracking search-browser combo. Cliqz, now defunct, operated under Hubert Burda Media, exited the browser and search space in May last year.

As per the announcement, Tailcat will be used as a base for the much expected Brave Search. The Brave Search will be an inbuilt search engine that is developed to allow private and transparent surfing.

Brendan Eich, Brave co-founder, and CEO explained that the company is focused on launching Brave Search before the end of summer 2021.

“Brave is now working on integrating this technology and making it available to all as Brave Search, first via early access for testers, and then for general availability by this summer.”

At the moment, Brave browser highly depends on a number of external search engines, giving its clients a choice to use popular search engines such as DuckDuckGo that is also privacy-focused, and Startpage, and also the mainstream search engines such as Google. Brave claims that almost “all of today’s search engines are either built by, or rely on, results from Big Tech companies.”

On the other hand, Tailcat is developed on top of a fully independent index whereby it will not collect IP addresses and other personal information and data aimed at enhancing the search results. Eich explained that Tailcat engineers have been developing a privacy-focused search engine over the last seven years till Cliqz ceased operations. As part of the acquisition deal, the Cliqz development team will now move to Brave. The dev team is headed by Dr. Josep Pujol, who hailed the deal as a major breakthrough in offering an alternative to the Big Tech dominance.

The acquisition comes days after Brave announced a major achievement in its efforts to enhance its browser adoption. Brave doubled its monthly active client base from 11 to 26 million.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Uniswap Hits Over Bln in Weekly Trading Volume & 0 Billion Overall

The popular decentralized exchange Uniswap has hit a milestone of processing more than $100 billion in trading volume in its entire life.

Ever since the beginning of 2021, the DEX has been doing more than $5.5 billion per week, which went past $7 billion during the second week of February, as per Uniswap.Info.

With this much volume, Uniswap is the leading decentralized exchange (DEX), capturing the majority of market share, 54.4%, which is down from 70.7% on August 31st due to SuhsiSwap’s launch.

The TVL (total value locked) of the protocol has also surpassed $4 billion for the first time.

Much like the exchange, its token UNI is experiencing a significantly positive price performance. Uniswap Token, with a market cap of $6.34 billion, is trading above $21, up 345% this year so far.

After exchange balances peaked at 36.86 million UNI in early January, a 10% outflow of over 5.3 million UNI tokens occurred, supporting a price rally from $6.33 to over $23.26.

According to Glassnode, over this same period of time, the number of intra-day transactions transferring UNI tokens tripled from 277tx per hour to a peak of 830tx per hr. However, despite this continued price appreciation, there has been a marked slow-down of transaction counts for UNI tokens since the beginning of this month.

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Author: AnTy

MyEtherWallet Provides Easy Access to dApps With DappRadar Integration

  • Popular Ethereum wallet app MyEtherWallet (MEW) has provided an upgrade that decentralized application (Dapp) users will find welcome.
  • Earlier this week, the company announced that it had inked a partnership to provide easy access to Dapps on its mobile app, essentially allowing it to capture several growing crypto markets.

Easy Access to Over 2,000 Apps

A press release explained that MEW had partnered with top dApp analytics site dAppRadar on the initiative. Thanks to the partnership, MEW users will be able to access over 2,000 dApps on their MEW browser.

The new feature will allow MEW users to track applications across several sub-industries, including decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more. It will also allow users to track their portfolios across apps and easily tap into the new wave of crypto-based financial services.

Users can search for specific dApps, and the partners believe that iOS users will be able to view rankings and critical metrics for the applications from later this year.

Currently, these metrics are only visible through web browsers within the MyEtherWallet app. They will most likely include numbers like active users, total value locked, periodic trading volumes, and more. In the announcement, Kosala Hemachandra, MEW’s chief executive, explained:

“Our dedication to bringing DApps to all of our users, no matter how they choose to access them, reflects our belief that wallets can, and should, become the hub where the entire Ethereum DApp ecosystem comes together.”

Gas Fees Reach New Highs

The move is sure to provide easier interaction across the Ethereum blockchain. MEW remains a top figure in the Ethereum ecosystem, and most dApps run on the Ethereum blockchain too. Considering that many of these users are interwoven, easy access between one Ethereum-based service and another should consolidate Ethereum’s influence in the decentralized space.

As for the Ethereum network itself, it continues to deal with the problem of rising gas fees, something that continues to threaten its dominance in the DeFi space primarily. According to data from YCharts, the average gas fees hit an all-time high of $17.50 per transaction on Wednesday, beating the previous record of $17.43 that was set exactly a month before.

The rise forced immediate reactions, with top crypto exchange Liquid announcing that it would have to suspend Ether withdrawals due to the gas hike.

As for the DeFi space, things are getting direr. Many DeFi projects require the execution of smart contracts, and there are now reports of fees associated with protocols running into the thousands of dollars.

It’s been widely reported that large transactions on Synthetix cost as high as $1,100, while simple swaps on exchanges like SushiSwap and UniSwap went as high as $75.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

IDEX to Roll Out Multi-Chain Solution; Starting With Polkadot & Binance Smart Chain

  • IDEX, a popular decentralized exchange (DEX), plans to expand its infrastructure into two extra blockchains, adding its Ethereum (ETH) implementation.

In an announcement shared with BEG, IDEX confirmed a multi-chain solution expansion program that will integrate the decentralized exchange’s infrastructure to Polkadot and Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The latest move aims to expand the possibilities of traders on the platform to tokens, staking programs, and swaps across the blockchains.

IDEX is a layer-2 blockchain solution that combines the non-custodial security of a decentralized exchange while offering a centralized exchange speed and convenience. IDEX runs all of its operations on the Ethereum blockchain and plans to give every IDEX token holder on the ETH blockchain a similar number of tokens on the newly expanded chains.

As Ethereum faces huge gas costs and scalability issues with the rise of the DeFi market, new smart contract platforms such as Polkadot are coming up to offer users faster and cheaper platforms for developers to build their DeFi apps. In a statement on the expansion program, IDEX CEO Alex Wearn stated the expansion program aims to “give customers new networks to complete trades.”

Ethereum is facing tough competition from other blockchains, even in light of the ETH 2.0 Beacon chain launch, expected next week. However, we are stated that the latest move by IDEX to Polkadot and Binance Smart Chain is a diversification tactic rather than a competitive stance as the DEX aims to “put a stake in the ground and plant our [IDEX] flag early.”

The implementation of IDEX will happen on Polkadot Layer 0, meaning that the exchange will connect to a parallel chain (parachain) to Polkadot’s blockchain. IDEX will be integrated on Binance Smart Chain Layer 1, enabling traders to tap into BSC’s centralized DEX ecosystem directly.

The new tokens will be distributed to IDEX users on Ethereum starting December 7, trading on BSC and Polkadot, expected to start in Q1 2021. Tokens that are not claimed promptly will be transferred to a community fund for uses promoting the development of IDEX.

Wearn further stated the decentralized exchange is working on adding new blockchains in the future but is currently working with Polkadot and BSC because both are currently compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). He further said,

“As these platforms grow, we’ll see increased demand for trading these assets and a need for non-custodial trading solutions that support these networks.”

To enhance the cross-chain network that will provide a one-stop-shop allowing different assets to be traded on its platform, IDEX will offer independent assets across each blockchain. Binance Smart Chain and Polkadot will start with the tickers IDXB and IDXP, respectively.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Trezor Incorporates ‘Tor Switch’ in its Desktop App for Increased Privacy

The popular hardware wallet, Trezor, is working on providing its users’ privacy.

In its desktop app “Trezor Suite,” the cold wallet service provider has implemented the privacy project Tor to allow its users to obscure their connection.

Tor is an open-source network which has its servers distributed around the world run by volunteers and uses a special protocol that encrypts data at multiple levels. One can now not only enjoy the safety of the hardware wallet but the anonymity of Tor as well on Trezor.

“Tor is the perfect match for users who are concerned about sharing identifying data with a third-party service or anyone who might be observing their communications,” said Trezor in its announcement.

By downloading the latest public beta version of Trezor Suite, one can start using Tor with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Currently, The Tor switch is only available in the desktop app, located in the top-right of the Suite window.

Used by the likes of whistleblowers such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden to evade espionage from the US governments and from journalists, security specialists, governments to individuals worldwide, Tor has helped protect human rights and individual freedoms.

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Author: AnTy

DEX Synthetix Now Allows Trading of Brent Crude Oil Powered by Chainlink Oracle

Popular DeFi project DEX Synthetix now allows the crypto market to trade Brent Crude Oil as well.

sOIL (Synthetic Brent Crude Oil) is a non-expiring Crude Oil Index based on the futures prices of ICE Brent Crude Oil, whose price is tracked through price feeds supplied by the Chainlink oracle, which will source the data from ICE for an undisclosed price.

“sOIL is a great case study showcasing that DeFi developers are on the precipice of going far beyond cryptocurrency price feeds and starting to create financial products that provide exposure to food, energy resources, rare earth metals, real-world assets, equities, NFTs, weighted asset baskets, and much more,” said Chainlink in an official statement.

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The tokens of both the projects are in the green today. Currently, SNX is trading at $4.32, up 561% YTD, while LINK is at $12.65, recording 605% gains in 2020.

With the addition of one of the major futures contracts for global oil markets, a real-world asset has officially entered the DeFi trading world. Recently, crypto derivatives exchange FTX also provided the crypto market exposure to stocks like Apple, Google, Tesla, and Amazon.

“There is significant demand for these assets particularly given the liquidity of the underlying markets and the difficulty of access for the average trader,” notes the SIP 62 “Futures reference price methodology,” which is about converting future market prices into a single reference price for Synths.

According to Chainlink, this is just the beginning as compared to DeFi’s $13 billion TVL, the global market for crude oil is over $1.7 trillion, not including the derivatives market.

“Traditional financial markets are orders of magnitude larger than cryptocurrency markets; DeFi has only begun to scratch the surface of tapping into it.”

Recent News: Synthetix Upgrades to L2 Scaling to Alleviate Gas Costs for SNX Stakers

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Author: AnTy

US Defense Information Systems Agency Requests Information on Blockchain-as-a-Service

Blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) is one of the popular niches that stakeholders from other industries invest in to derive the value proposition of this new technology. The U.S Defense Department has now signaled that they are likely to join the bandwagon as per a request for information (RFI) published by its IT agency, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).

The RFI, which is not to be confused with the request for proposal (RFP), seeks to equip DISA with a better understanding of viable options, should it chose to debut a BaaS for its ecosystems. It was published on Nov 4 and invited participation from potential prospects up to Nov 10, after which the policy will be deemed inactive on Nov 25. The publication reads,

”In support of our ongoing effort to create a new Blockchain as a service offering for our mission partners, DISA is conducting market research to ensure a better understanding of the capabilities available in the market place relevant to a Blockchain as a service offering which could be deployed on Z systems.”

According to the RFI, DISA’s main focus in this initiative is to identify viable products that would facilitate a permissioned BaaS that can eventually be scaled on a mainframe environment. The possible solutions must correlate with some technical fundamentals, which include scaling support, full auditing & reporting, governance, administration, and solution hardening, amongst others.

Prospects looking to take part in the RFI will be required to submit their responses in a whitepaper form. The document should feature details such as the respondent’s technical abilities, software identification, and licensing schemas that are available.

Notably, this is not the first time DISA has hinted at deploying a BaaS for its systems; the agency’s innovation lead Sherri Sokol had, in fact, touched on the matter during an interview with CGN back in 2019,

“We are looking at potentially offering something that would be secure, scalable and agile for the networks that our mission partners could create and manage on our infrastructure inside accredited DOD environments …

It would really just be the platform, infrastructure resource management, and monitoring, which are services that DISA already offers.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Polkadot Powered DEX, Zenlink, Partners With Chainlink to Leverage It’s Oracle For DeFi Products

Zenlink, a popular decentralized exchange powered by Polkadot, has joined hands with blockchain oracle firm Chainlink. Chainlink is known for its live data feeds and oracles used for smart contracts. Zenlink would also leverage Chainlink’s oracles for its numerous DeFi products.

Oracles play a crucial role in smart contract programming and execution, making it a core product/service in the DeFi ecosystem. Live market data helps in seamless execution and secure transactions.

Zenlink aims to make the most of this partnership and expand the quality and quantity of services it offers. Currently, the DEX platform allows traders to swap their assets on parachains seamlessly. These oracles would make their financial products more robust and reliable. Zenlink hopes for reliability and security due to the oracle would also attract new traders to the platform.

Guo Tao, Zenlink Co-founder, commented on their recent partnership with chainlink and its importance.

“Zenlink will play a critical role in allowing users and developers to swap assets across parachains securely.

Chainlink’s high-quality data and reliable oracle infrastructure will enable feeders to trust the data feed used to trigger DeFi products built on Zenlink.

This enhances our ability to scale and secure even more value across a wider variety of assets.”

Chainlink One of the Key Oracle Partner in the DEX Ecosystem

Zenlink’s association with Chainlink came as no surprise as more DEX platforms are looking to integrate and leverage live data feeds and oracles into their systems. Chainlink, being a reliable name with a tested record, has become a key player in the DEX market.

Apart from Zenlink, another Polkadot powered platform known as Equilibrium has also brought Chainlink on board to provide decentralized live feeds. Equilibrium also plans to utilize the decentralized oracles to enhance its financial products and services.

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Author: Hank Klinger