Two Public Pension Funds Are Investing $50M in A Fund that Provides Exposure to Crypto

Two Public Pension Funds Are Investing $50M in A Fund that Provides Exposure to Crypto and Their Derivatives

Crypto is “an area that’s going to grow in adoption and interest. We think that it’s inefficient enough, so we think there are some alpha opportunities to take advantage of,” said the CIO of one of the pension funds.

Two Virginia public pension funds are making a more direct bet on cryptocurrencies.

After entering the crypto world by investing in venture capital two years ago, the Fairfax County Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) and Fairfax County Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) are now planning to invest $50 million in the main fund of Parataxis Capital Management LLC, according to a report from Bloomberg.

This Fund buys various cryptocurrencies and crypto derivatives. The decision to invest in the Fund is currently pending board approval.

Back in 2018, both the retirement systems within Fairfax, which is the 40th largest in the country, invested in blockchain technology. At the time, PORS invested 0.2% of its holdings, $11 million, and ERS invested 0.3%, about $10 million into the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund. They then invested another $52 million in the following year.

However, despite the stellar upside in the cryptocurrency’s prices with Bitcoin up 329%, Ethereum 734%, and the total crypto market cap 550% in the past year, according to PORS Chief Investment Officer Katherine Molnar, cryptomarkets aren’t accurately reflecting the true price of cryptocurrencies.

“It’s an area that’s going to grow in adoption and interest. We think that it’s inefficient enough, so we think there are some alpha opportunities to take advantage of.”

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Author: AnTy

Human Rights Foundation Provides Grants to Bitcoiners to Boost Education and Software Development

Human Rights Foundation Provides Grants to Bitcoiners to Boost Education and Software Development

  • Human Rights Foundation (HRF) releases its latest Bitcoin development grants.
  • The $70,000 grant was dispersed to four teams focusing on education and software development.

The Human Right Foundation (HRF), a New York-based nonprofit organization, gave its latest round of Bitcoin development grants on Tuesday. The organization focuses on boosting the adoption and development of Bitcoin solutions globally, the latest grant focusing on software development and education efforts in the space.

According to a report, the HRF grant was released to four teams. Muun wallet, a lightning network-based wallet, and Jesse Posner, a Bitcoin core developer, received $25,000 to build software solutions on Bitcoin.

Jesse Posner, a former Coinbase employee, is developing the Discrete Log Contracts (DLCs), threshold signatures, and adapter signatures. The solution aims to reduce the data backlog on the Bitcoin blockchain by computing most data off-chain. Apart from offering scalability, Posner stated the DCL would also improve the contracts’ security on the blockchain.

Muun wallet, on the other hand, is a Bitcoin Lightning Network-based wallet that allows penny-transactions while reducing on-chain transaction fees. The Argentinian firm aims to make crypto accessible to everyone through fast and low fee payment channels. Muun wallet founder Dario Sneidermanis said,

“Being Argentinians, we’ve seen first-hand why this is sorely needed, maybe a little bit earlier than the rest of the world, so it’s important that organizations such as the HRF are paying attention to this.”

Independent journalist Janine, known for the Block Digest podcast and open-source incubator Blockchain Commons, will receive $15,000 to further blockchain education and training.

Janine, an internet privacy and blockchain advocate, has been at the forefront of gatekeeping privacy in the crypto ecosystem. She runs a blog, This Month in Privacy, a monthly roundup of developments and news on Bitcoin, internet privacy, and cybersecurity. Speaking to Coindesk, Janine said she might use the grant funding to launch new avenues to give the blog a multi-media component, teasing the launch of a Q&A series to speak on the web privacy, including Bitcoin.

Finally, Blockchain Commons, a non-profit, open-source Bitcoin and blockchain incubator, will use its funding to enhance Bitcoin education while helping human rights activists worldwide with decentralized financial tools.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Total Value Locked in Harvest Finance Surpasses $1 Billion, Up 366,200% Since September

Decentralized platform Harvest Finance that provides users a way to farm assets for the highest yields now has more than a billion dollars in total value locked (TVL), as per DeFi Pulse.

A few days back, Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) captured third place by overtaking popular DeFi projects Aave, Compound, and Curve Finance.

The relatively new project Harvest Finance has jumped to sixth place, pushing above Curve Finance and Synthetix. It has fallen two places as just last night; it was in the fourth spot.

This climbing up the ranks happened thanks to the growing TVL, which increased over 630% in just this month. On Sept. 1st, the TVL was a mere $273k.

While enthusiasm in the DeFi sector has waned, the mania cooled down in September after running hot to its peak in August; Harvest Finance took this time to jump out of nowhere and make it big.

The project has about 630k ETH, 27.42 BTC, and just over 66 DAI locked in it.

However, unlike the growth of the funds locked in this protocol, its token FARM is currently down nearly 23% while trading at $231.56.

Audited by third parties, a process supported by 10% of the token supply, the project had a “vault migration” just this week and introduced a new TUSD pool.

With yield farming becoming hard for smaller farmers due to high gas costs and bugs in unaudited smart contacts resulting in theft, Harvest advertises itself as bringing “BreadToThePeople” by doing it all for the users.

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Author: AnTy

Gemini Exchange Becomes First Crypto Custodian With SOC 2 Type 2 Compliance

Gemini Exchange has passed the SOC 2 Type 2 Deloitte evaluation which now provides authentication the exchange is secure.

Yusuf Hussain, the head of risk with the US based Gemini, had this to say about the evaluation and the announcement made on January 23:

“The Type 2 is the highest level of security compliance that any organization can demonstrate.”

Gemini Passed the SOC 2 Type 1 Inspection in 2019

While preparing Gemini had to pass the SOC 2 Type 1 evaluation, back in 2019. The inspection went well and was conducted by Deloitte, and Gemini passed it successfully. Hussain mentioned the accounting giant Deloitte had also completed the Gemini SOC 2 Type 2 inspection. Gemini is regulatory-focused and gives a lot of importance to security and to compliance with regulations. Hussain said it does things this way because it wants to gain its customers’ trust.

The Crypto Needs Rules Campaign

In 2019 Gemini launched a slogan called Crypto Needs Rules, putting them on placards and buses. Since the company is very aware how important protection is, Hussain had this to say about security in the crypto space:

“Doing security wrong in this industry will result in direct loss of customer funds.”

SOC 2 Type 2 Exam for Both the Investing and the Trading Platform

Hussain mentioned Gemini went through the SOC 2 Type 2 exam for both its investing and trading platforms, also for its custody services, pointing out that:

“We’re the only crypto exchange and custodian to demonstrate this level of security compliance of getting a SOC 2 Type 2.”

According to Cointelegraph, Gemini released a statement to them saying, the company plans to undergo the SOC 2 Type 2 evaluation each year from now on. Recently, it launched the insurance company Nakamoto, Ltd. for the crypto custody service it offers.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Crypto Payment Processor BitPay Adds XRP Support On Apple iOS And Android

BitPay, a crypto payment service which provides users a wallet as well as gift cards which can be bought using different coins, is now making it easy to purchase Amazon cards using XRP. BitPay has entered into an agreement with Ripple’s Xpring to offer support for XRP.

The revelations were made by Tiffany Hayden Casheer Inc co-founder through a tweet over the weekend. Tony Gallippi who is BitPay’s co-founder then retweeted the news which is seemingly a sign of confirmation.

BitPay and Xpring, the investment wing of Ripple signed an agreement in October last year. The agreement show the addition of XRP among the virtual currencies which BitPay works with. The recent development indicate that from next week, BitPay will kick off selling Gift Cards for global’s third biggest crypto-XRP. Crypto holders can use the gift cards in different retail and restaurant outlets comprising of Amazon, GameStop, Burger King, DoorDash, Home Depot and Domino’s.

This is a crucial step that Ripple has taken in its effort to promote mainstream use of the XRP crypto. Sean Rolland, director of products at BitPay, stated that scalability as well as speed of XRP makes it unique compared to others in the fray. He added that the inclusion of XRP in BitPay will help in expanding the blockchain-based solutions in the payments space. He said:

“XRP can offer a payment option that is fast, cost-effective and scalable for BitPay customers.”

Despite the positive developments, XRP’s prices remained unchanged and the crypto still lags below $0.25, U-Today reports.

Ripple has been embroiled in a legal tussle with its early investors who accuse the company of running an illegal ICO and are calling for XRP to be deemed as an unregistered security. The case is yet to be determined but David Schwartz has urged Ripple enthusiasts to remain hopeful and optimistic.

In the recent past, Ripple has come under sharp criticism from XRP holders and worshippers accusing the company of price manipulation through dumping of large amounts of XRP. However, the firm has insisted that it does not intend to control prices.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Crypto Payment Processor BitPay Adds 3 Stablecoins For Merchants; GUSD, PAX, And USDC

  • The three stablecoins added are USDC, GUSD, and PAX.
  • The use of stablecoins provides businesses and consumers with the ability to transact immediately with the security of a blockchain ledger.

The largest provider of blockchain payment services, BitPay, is expanding their reach into cryptocurrency. According to a recent press release shared with us by BitPay, the provider will now be offering stablecoin payments, benefiting consumers and merchants around the world. The three stablecoins that the company will be supporting with their settlements and services include the USD Coin by Circle (USDC), the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and the Paxos Standard Token (PAX).

Along with these tokens, consumers can both spend the stablecoins around the world and transact with the speed of cryptocurrency, submitting payments to businesses, friends, family, and others. Any wallet-to-wallet transfer with this crypto asset can be spent as soon as it is received, which means that consumers won’t have to deal with the cost or delay associated typically with bank transfers.

In recent years, due to how efficient cryptocurrency has become to transact, the use of USDC, PAX, and GUSD has increased. By simply being pegged to an unchanging asset, the stability has given renewed confidence to consumers in the industry, only amplified by being validated on a decentralized network. Being hosted on an immutable public ledger offers transparency in this market, while reducing the risk of payment fraud. Stephen Pair, the co-founder and CEO of BitPay, stated,

“Accepting or paying with stablecoins opens up new possibilities for global businesses that require the stability of the dollar but the security and efficiency of blockchain payments. Businesses can invoice international customers without the need for costly, complicated cross-border wire transfers. Customers can send and receive payments using fast, efficient, and volatility-free dollar-pegged stablecoins.”

The managing director of financial operation for Gemini, Joshua Rawlins, weighed in on this new development as well. He remarked,

“The pairing of crypto payment acceptance with a stablecoin like the Gemini dollar— which combines the creditworthiness and price stability of the U.S. dollar with blockchain technology —is powerful. Merchants benefit from faster, cheaper, and fraud-resistant payment settlement and consumers benefit from the ease of using cryptocurrency without worrying about price fluctuations.”

Walter Hessert of Paxos added that the use of PAX allows customers to quickly send their payments, and allows retailers to receive those funds instantly, which he feels is “a crucial step.”

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Author: Krystle M

6 Tailwinds that will Push Bitcoin Price to Double in 2020

  • The most widely traded BTC price provides good support, sustaining below this unlikely
  • In 2020, initial resistance would be at $10,000, but breaking this level should a “matter of time”
  • Declining volatility, limited supply, growing adoption, depreciating yuan, Tether dominance, mimicking gold to take us higher

After losing 16% of its value in November, the price of Bitcoin traded above $7,000 in the first week of December, going as high as $7,800. Currently, we are trading at $7,550, up by 2.80%, as per Coincodex.

Source: Coin360

Mike McGlone senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence says 2019 was the year of Bitcoin’s transition towards the gold. This maturation process, he says would continue as volatility declines.

Just like with gold, Bitcoin is retracing a bear market, said McGlone in Bloomberg’s Crypto Outlook for December 2019 report. He sees $6,500 — the most widely traded price — as good support for the world’s leading cryptocurrency and sustaining below this “unlikely”.

Actually, he says, there are higher chances of it going to a 2019 high than to revising the $3,360 low. This is because Bitcoin has already declined 50% from 2019’s peak, “which will limit further declines.”

In 2020, the initial resistance would be at $10,000 but breaching this should be just a “matter of time” especially if gold continues to advance as expected.

According to McGlone, there are several tailwinds that makes flagship cryptocurrency capable of doubling in 2020.

Volatility Set to Decline

Bitcoin price volatility will continue to decline next year, marking the completion of the transition from a bear to a bull market. Last time, it signaled the inception of the parabolic rally to the 2017 peak.

“The all-time low in 180-day volatility (41% in October 2015) should be revisited next year,” it reads.

Increasing institutional interest and vehicle for exposure such as futures and options are meanwhile contributing to the market’s maturity process.

Limited Supply

The new quasi-currency store-of-value, the report says will continue appreciating because of the key Bitcoin price tailwind, limited supply. Bitcoin has a limited supply of 21 million and the upcoming third reward halving will further cut down the inflation rate from 3.70% to 1.80%.

The only primary bearish factor McGlone says is the BTC price has appreciated so far so fast. And the normal market maturation suggests, it will take longer to hit the 2017 peak.

Growing Adoption

Among the cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is winning the adoption race that combined with the asset becoming increasingly scarce favors price appreciation. The fact that most altcoins are too volatile further enhances the allure of Bitcoin.

Moreover, while there are only 17% more BTC to be created, the number of tradable crypto assets has more than doubled in 2019 alone.

Bitcoin will Closely Mimic Gold

Bloomberg analyst believes Bitcoin trading will closely mimic gold’s. The yellow metal has an upward bias and the 52-week beta of the crypto asset-to-gold is also highest since 2010, about 2x.

“Bitcoin’s relative richness was last comparable to its 2017 surge.”

There is greater potential for continued climbs for Bitcoin in the long term and it shares similar factors with advancing gold.

Tether Dominance

Apart from Bitcoin, Tether is another leader of the crypto market. And Tether boosts Bitcoin as crypto standard, with little to dislodge either of them as the crypto asset leaders.

The report says while the popular stablecoin has positive implications for BTC, it has negative ramifications for most crypto assets. It increases the value of Bitcoin as an equivalent of gold while exposing the “fallacy of so-called cryptos.

“The rapidly increasing market cap of Tether is widening the disparity between Bitcoin and the most speculative digital assets (alt-coins).”

Depreciating Yuan

While Tether is appreciating Bitcoin, it is also depreciating Yuan. From 16th position by the end of 2017, Tether has grown to the fourth-largest crypto asset this year and that has been on the back of “an almost 8% decline in the Chinese yuan and 80% retreat in the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index.”

The analyst also sees Bitcoin to keep on gaining recognition as the “standout independent store-of-value digital asset” just like gold.

Escalating trade tension, showing Chinese economic growth, depreciating yuan and unrest in Hong Kong are actually the “incentives” for currency diversification which would work in favor of Bitcoin.

Now as we march towards the end of 2019, 2020 has a pretty bullish picture to look forward to.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Pros: Safe Cryptocurrency Advertising Product Opportunity?

What Is Crypto Pros?

Crypto Pros is an advertising and marketing tools company that provides users with the ability to earn commissions in the system by referring others to the platform.

After carefully reviewing its operations and what it claims to do, it turns out that the platform is simply a scam. Therefore, before you invest in any of their programs, be warned that your investment could go down the drain.

When you start purchasing at Crypto Pros, you’re introduced to three levels of packages starting from Bronze to Platinum level. A Bronze purchase provides members with a 14-day banner and text ad, while the Platinum subscription delivers unlimited view Text and Banner ads with no expiry date as long as the subscription remains active. Besides, with each subscription renewal, a member receives a new banner and text ad.

Crypto Pros Referrals

Members on Crypto Pros platform can earn without referrals, the platform claims. While they encourage members to make referrals, this is one red flag to watch. The platform claims there are many benefits to making referrals including a faster growth or income and the possibility of earning 100% direct referral matrix matching bonus in the Bronze Matrix and a one-time $25 Sponsor Bonus in the Platinum Matrix.

At Bronze level, users earn a 100% match of the matrix income generated by each of their direct referrals. For instance, if your referral earns $100 in matrix income, you also earn the same amount, and that is what they refer to as Bronze direct referral matching bonus.

For the Platinum subscription, the platform pays a one-time sponsor bonus if the direct sponsor also has a position in the Platinum Matrix.

Crypto Pros Payment Methods

Currently, Crypto Pros only accepts payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC).

Above all, it’s important to note that activities on the platform are only meant to lure unsuspecting customers to their trap. Before you invest, please warned.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Clicxads: Legit Paid to Click (PTC) Crypto Ads Network?

What Is Clicxads?

Clicxads is a crypto ads network that provides the global opportunity for motivated publishers and influencers by shared poll rewards. The platform believes that support is the key for longevity, which is why users can count on them to resolve the issue within 24 hours.

However, amidst all the promises, the platform is a scam. As much as they claim to have the capability to power up the dreams of their users through advertising and earning revenue as influencers and publishers, the platform has no verified owner or manager. The figure displayed on their website says it has 780 members but no one can verify this.

Clicxads Services

The platform claims to offer the following services.

Advertising:

Clicxads claims to offer different revenue streams through advertising, which makes the business module extremely profitable with the best advertising ROI to cater for online traffic demands.

Earning with Facebook:

Clicxads taps into the power of Social Media, which has become a major source of traffic for many online businesses. For that reason, they claim to leverage Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social networks with social-related online traffic.

Bitcoin:

The platform ventures into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, supporting purchases and earnings through cryptocurrencies.

PTC:

Clicxads engages in Paid-To-Click adverts with focus on Geo-targeting, Custom packages for days/clicks, inside/outside advertising, advanced settings and stats.

CPA/GPT Networks:

The company claims to use the most advanced CPA/GPT system, which delivers instant crediting and approval, Submissions control, reversal handlers, fraud protection, and adds offers manually or automatically.

Publishers and Influencers:

They claim to enable their customers to make their websites a money making machine by sending traffic through their banners and affiliate links. The more traffic they send, the more they can earn.

Watching for Clickads’ Red Flags

Before investing in any online project, it’s advisable to watch for potential red flags that could send your investment down the drain. BEG cannot vouch for Clicxads as a genuine platform. Therefore, all users are advised to stay away to avoid this scam.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

CF Benchmarks Awarded FCA Licence To Become The First Crypto Index Provider In Europe

The firm that provides Bitcoin index services to Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) CF Benchmarks has been awarded a crypto index provider license by U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This makes CF Benchmarks the first firm to be authorized as a benchmark administrator in line with the European Benchmarks Regulation (EU BMR).

On Friday the UK’s FCA granted CF Benchmarks to be an administrator which means that financial companies can commence utilizing CF’s indices for any financial product being offered across the European market once the BMR comes into effect in 2020.

CF Benchmark’s CEO Sui Chung expressed gratitude after receiving the license, saying it was a major victory for crypto companies based in the EU zone. He explained that the use and provision of indices are highly regulated in EU and firms using such benchmark must ensure it originates from a regulated benchmark provider.

Chung stated that the regulatory scope for benchmarks within the EU zone for financial-based companies is very broad saying that banks, as well as asset managers, utilize the indices on various aspects. For instance, a fund manager wishing to give an exchange-traded fund (ETF) which tracks an index is required to track a licensed index.

Chung explained that the financial industry can now have access to regulated benchmarks from a highly competent team that will help in enhancing innovation as well as the adoption of virtual assets across the European Union. Speaking to Finance Magnates, Chung also stated that reliable, as well as trusted indices, are important for the development of the crypto market since they will help in bringing in more investors, both individuals, and institutions, to the market.

According to CoinDesk as the crypto industry becomes more popular, crypto indices are also becoming more important, especially from the traditional financial houses and other indices providers are likely to get the nod in the EU zone in the near future.

CF Benchmark was previously referred to as Crypto Facilities and is the current index provider of CME CF Bitcoin Reference rate. The firm was purchased at an undisclosed figure by a major US crypto exchange firm Kraken at the start of the year.

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Author: Joseph Kibe