Low Financial Literacy Investors Twice As Likely to Own Crypto vs Market Gurus: Bank of Canada

A new study released by the Bank of Canada has revealed that folks with lower financial literacy are more likely to own Bitcoin than those with higher literacy levels. The paper’s main point of the research was the use of ‘Cash Alternatives’ in Canada throughout 2019; some of the points highlighted include the adoption of cryptocurrencies and the possibility of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

According to the report, cash payments in Canada decreased from 54% to 33% between 2017 and 2019 as more people opted for credit or debit cards instead. It highlights that this trend was mainly fueled by the rise of e-commerce, hence ease of making digital payments. Nonetheless, most Canadians are still using cash within the local Point-of-Sales (PoS).

Crypto Ownership Demographics

With cryptocurrencies getting more hype by the day, the survey revealed that at least 89% of Canadians have heard of Bitcoin. Out of these, 5% percent own BTC while another 1.6% have portfolios in other crypto assets such as Ether and Litecoin. As for the gender and age demographics, the groups which were mostly aware or own Bitcoin fall under young, male, university-educated, or high-income Canadians.

While those demographics may seem to favor financial literate folks, the research revealed that BTC ownership is more correlated to the less financially aware Canadians, ranking the sample into three where 47% had high financial literacy followed by the medium at 35% and finally low at 18%. Interestingly, 8% of the latter group said they own crypto assets compared to 4% of the highly financially aware.

However, awareness is still high among the more financially literate, with around 93% having heard of crypto assets instead of only 72% at the lower financial literacy group. While the digital payments space may be booming, the researchers noted that at least 86% of Canadians have no plans of shifting from cash.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Fed Reveals Details About Digital Cash ‘Without The Anonymity Of Physical Currency’

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester revealed that each American would receive digital dollars directly. She said,

“Legislation has proposed that each American have an account at the Fed in which digital dollars could be deposited, as liabilities of the Federal Reserve Banks, which could be used for emergency payments.”

This was revealed on Wednesday when Mester delivered a speech to the Chicago Payment Symposium titled “Payments and the Pandemic,” in which she talked about “Central Bank Digital Currencies.”

Here she wrote about how during the pandemic, CBDCs have gained traction around the world (China, Bahamas, Brazil, Bermuda, South Korea, Russia, UK, France, Thailand, Japan, and many more).

Fed Digital Cash

Other proposals include creating digital cash — which is just like the physical currency issued by central banks but in digital form and “potentially, without the anonymity of physical currency.”

Digital cash wouldn’t require the involvement of commercial banks as they would be directly issued to the users’ digital wallets with central-bank-facilitated transfer and redemption services.

However, the demand for and use of such instruments is to be further considered, she said, adding the potential risks and policy issues surrounding CBDC also needs to be better understood and costs and benefits evaluated.

Mester also said that the Fed has been researching about issuing CBDC for some time, and already the technology lab of the Board of Governors has been testing the benefits and tradeoffs of distributed ledger platforms.

While the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is working with MIT on different technologies for the CBDC, the New York Fed has collaborated with BIS to understand the relevance of fintech for central banks.

Although the authorities have been doing all the research, she said it “does not signal any decision” by the Fed to adopt such currency as they need to first better understand the issues related to financial stability, market structure, security, privacy, and monetary policy.

Metser concluded her speech by saying that the payment system, which is a critical part of the US infrastructure, must remain modern, resilient, and able to adapt to changing customer needs as they evolve.

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Author: AnTy

Survey Suggest 40% of Yield Farmers Can’t Read Smart Contracts; Still Pulling 500% Returns

A recent survey from Coingecko revealed that almost half of the DeFi yield farmers couldn’t read the smart contracts of the project they join. A majority of these yield farmers depend on auditors to monitor the security aspects of the project.

The survey revealed that 40% of the yield farmers could not read the smart contracts of the project they joined in; the report also revealed that the defi yield farming is dominated by males with 90% representation. It further showed that despite these yield farmers not able to read or understand the project, they still managed to make hefty profits; in fact, 90% of the respondents said that they had made a 500% return or more.

Yield Farming Dominated By Limited Users

The Coingecko survey found 1,347 respondents, out of which only a minor 23% of the respondents had participated in some of the yield farming, despite more than 80% being aware of the trend.

However, the most surprising aspect of the survey was that almost half of the respondents never read the code or researched about the projects they were participating in. This is extremely troubling, given the hype around the defi space. This trend could lead to a number of major scams arising; similar to the ICO era of 2017.

Coingecko, in its statement, noted that,

“All farmers should conduct their research before farming in any pools, as there are more copy-paste yield farming tokens that could potentially expose them to a greater risk such as code vulnerability or scams.”

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has been the trend of the crypto town in 2020, where its market cap grew from a few million to over $15 billion in just nine months, and more defi projects have debuted given the rising hype around the space. People joining the hype wagon is understandable, but one should be aware of the risk factor involved. In fact, in the past couple of months, many meme defi projects have launched, managed to raise millions, see it’s market cap grow into billions, and make an exit scam.

All this happened in a matter of a few days.

The Coingecko survey report suggested that astonishing returns like the current times might fade away from the defi space as the hype fades out, but some projects would still allow for it to garner attention.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Social Capital Reveals its ‘Big Bet’ Bitcoin Investment During Investor Call

In its investor conference call, Social Capital revealed its Bitcoin investment made in 2013.

The company CEO Chamath Palihapitiya, who is a bitcoin proponent, revealed last week that the company invested in Bitcoin seven years back when the price of BTC ranged between $13 to $1,200.

Today, Bitcoin is trading above $10,400.

In the Sept. 15 call, while talking about the company’s aim to “partner with iconic technology companies,” and the plan to take Opendoor public, Chamath likened his latest bet with that of Bitcoin, which belongs to the same category as Tesla and Amazon.

“I believe in this the same way that I believed in some of our other big bets that we’ve made, whether it was Bitcoin in 2013, Amazon in 2015, Tesla in 2016, and Virgin Galactic in 2019. We really try to find companies that we think are run by exceptional leaders with great asymmetric upside, which can 10x in 10 years.”

With Social Capital looking to raise $2 billion for three new blank cheque companies and even planning to go public itself to become the “Warren Buffett of tech investing,” it would be the first publicly-traded company of significant market value to invest in the leading cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin History

This isn’t the first time Chamath has talked about investing in the undisclosed amount of Bitcoin, but he hasn’t clarified if it was a private or fund investment.

A minority stakeholder at the Golden State Warriors and chairman of Virgin Galactic, he also worked as a senior vice president of Facebook from 2007 to 2011.

Earlier this year, he called bitcoin a “fantastic hedge” and advised that “everybody should have 1% of their assets in bitcoin.” He had shared in a separate interview that he bought “a lot” of BTC in 2013 and, at one point, had “almost 5% of all the bitcoin.”

Chamath has called the flagship cryptocurrency a “schmuck insurance” which will “protect our wealth” because it is an uncorrelated hedge to the government’s decision-making.

According to him, the gold 2.0 “is either zero or it’s millions.”

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Author: AnTy

ChainLink Partners With Crypto.com to Integrate Price Feeds Into Its DeFi Wallet

  • Crypto.com has revealed that it has inked a deal that will lead to the integration of Chainlink’s price feeds with its decentralized finance (DeFi) wallet product.

On Monday, the wallet and payment card provider based in Hong Kong, stated that Chainlink’s Price Reference Data has been directly integrated with its DeFi wallet which will give its clients ready access for its price feeds.

The addition of Chainlink’s price feeds into Crypto.com’s DeFi wallet is in line with the latter’s expansion program towards booming spaces. According to Eric Anziani, Crypto.com’s chief operating officer, the partnership will add more value to its customers. Anziani explained:

“I would say with the partnership with Chainlink is kind of our first integration with a DeFi protocol, it brings value to our customers in terms of providing transparency in the prices that we’re giving them in our DeFi wallet and also making sure our ecosystem token CRO can be integrated into the external protocol by building a price feed for CRO specifically thanks to the Chainlink architecture.”

According to a press release shared with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, the firm will start with its native token in receiving the decentralized price feed, CRO/ETH but plans are underway for the addition of CRO/USD. Anziani clarified that the firm will kick off with DeFi tokens, however plans are underway to utilize Chainlink’s price feeds for the rest of the tokens within its ecosystem.

Anziani also explained that the expansion is not intended to take advantage of the current hype, but is driven by the basic belief that each person is entitled to have the control of their money, identity as well as data and the blockchain tech-based firms should lead towards this achievement.

Speaking on the recent controversy surrounding top exchanges listing the much-hyped SUSHI token, Anziani explained that his firm’s clients trust that Crypto.com has solid due diligence protocols before a new asset is listed which informed the firm’s decision not to list it.

Crypto.com rolled on its wallet at the start of this year touting it as a user friendly wallet to capitalize on the buzz around DeFi space.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Hunt for Yield Drives a Record Q2 for Genesis Lending

Genesis released its Q2 2020 report where it revealed a “very strong growth” in direct lending and liquidity mining or “yield farming” and believes this growth will continue into Q3.

The crypto lending service provider added more than $2.2 billion in new originations last quarter marking it the “largest quarter ever,” with a 324% increase from the same quarter last year. Active loans outstanding also surged past $1 billion, representing a 118% increase QoQ.

After decreasing in the previous three quarters, its BTC loan composition increased in this quarter, which came mostly from due to a decrease in USD loan composition over the same period. Combined, BTC and cash dominates the loan portfolio at 83.2%.

“The infrastructure, maturity, and general interest in BTC/USD markets relative to altcoin/USD markets is much greater, and we don’t see that trend redirecting any time soon.”

Since its launch, Genesis has originated over $8.4 billion in cryptocurrency loans.

In Q2 2020, Genesis traded $5.25 billion in spot trading, up from $4 billion in Q1, the majority of which traded on an OTC basis. In its first full month of derivatives trading, it recorded $400 million in notional value, with 80% concentrated in BTC/USD.

Insatiable Appetite

The Genesis report notes the major theme in Q2 was the demand for yield on digital assets, which continues to drive markets with the last quarter being ‘yield-centric.’ The most prevalent forms of yield generation are spot lending, call overwriting, and, most recently, liquidity mining with “an insatiable appetite for all of them.”

This hunt for yield in Q2 led to tremendous growth, especially in June, in the total interest paid to that pool of lenders and the number of unique institutional lenders on its platform, up 24% from previous months and 187% from last year and. The report reads,

“It’s not surprising DeFi yield farming has impacted our lending business, particularly on the demand side. The demand to borrow assets which have the most advantageous fee structures increases when the market is hot and rapidly decreases once the market is onto the next asset.”

Moreover, a jump was seen in call option overwriting,

“as an alternative to spot lending, many of our counterparties are selling out-of-the-money call options to generate yield via premiums.”

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase Teases 19 Cryptocurrencies They May List; Prices Jump Across the Board

One of the largest US based crypto exchange Coinbase has revealed that it is reviewing additional 19 cryptocurrencies for potential listing.

The San Francisco-based crypto exchange has announced that the 19 cryptocurrencies are being reviewed as per its Digital Asset Framework which will determine if they will be listed on its popular trading exchange platform.

The firm revealed that it is reviewing the graph, wbtc, uma, tbtc, theta, reserve rights, flexacoin, paxos gold, helium, ocean protocol, Hedera hashgraph, melon, keva, ampleforth, band protocol, fetch.ai, balancer, and curve.

The firm explained that the review process will check various technical and compliance analysis of the above mentioned cryptos where some of them may need to have regulatory license in various jurisdictions.

The exchange however cautioned that being under review doesn’t mean the cryptocurrency will be guaranteed of an automatic listing. The firm also clarified that those not under review doesn’t disqualify them from potential future listing. The firm stated,

“As per our listing process, we will add new assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, subject to applicable review and authorizations. The omission of assets from this publication does not disqualify any such asset from active review and potential listing.”

The firm did not give any timeline on when the review process will be finalized or when the cryptocurrencies can expect to be listed.

As data from CoinMarketCap shows, most of the crypto assets under Coinbase’s review are trading within the green zone which is defined as 2-8%. There are some which have outperformed others like UMA (+10.05), Ocean Protocol (+12.93) and Melon (+17.23%).

Previous support of cryptocurrencies by Coinbase have led to a surge in the value of these coins and tokens. For instance, in June, the exchange’s support for COMP solidified its ranking as a major DeFi token. Similarly, the listing of MakerDAO (MKR) token back in May led to a surge in its prices in major exchanges. However, the ‘Coinbase Effect’ may not always yield a positive effect on the market.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bitcoin-based Startup Zap Opens Strike for Public Beta And Plans to Release Visa Rewards Card

Jack Mallers, Zap founder, revealed on Thursday that Zap’s Strike product, which enables individuals to receive Bitcoin in US dollar form through direct bank deposits, opens up for the public beta.

Mallers, who is also a lightning network developer, announced that Zap has finally entered Visa’s Fast Track program. In an email with CoinDesk discussing the firm’s 2020 plans, Maller elaborated that joining the program will position the firm to enter the market quickly. He said:

“Visa works with members of the Fast Track program to help them go to market in the most efficient way possible, providing them support and resources every step of the way.”

Mallers also explained that his main focus for 2020 is introducing a Strike card for use by consumers using the app as well as integrating it with Visa Direct, the program which makes Venmo payments so fast. However, he did not give a date when the Strike card will be launched.

Mallers also explained that Visa will be Zap’s partner for consumer issuance offering but will not take part in merchant offering.

Visa has been very aggressive in inking deals with crypto-based firms this year. For instance, with Coinbase, as well as Fold, the shopping reward app, provides corresponding Visa cards. The cards are mostly used by cryptocurrency users who prefer to get crypto rewards as opposed to other forms of kickbacks. Also, there are crypto debit cards that enable individuals to use dollars. Currently, it is not clear the options that Zap will avail to its cardholders this year.

Although Visa confirmed the partnership deal, it declined to offer additional information by the time of publication.

While Cash App by Jack Dorsey, as well as a renowned exchange platform, Coinbase are highly referred to as the mainstream apps when it comes to selling and purchasing Bitcoin, Mallers is set to provide an app with the same capabilities but at low costs.

Currently, the Strike platform is mostly common among small businesses as well as with their customers.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Decentralized Indexing Protocol, The Graph, Raises $5M In A SAFT From Coinbase and DCG

Ethereum-based data startup, The Graph, has revealed that it has raised $5 million after its token sale.

The San Francisco firm announced on Tuesday that the new token sale, utilizing the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT) model, for various accredited investors.

Among the participants were highly reputable firms such as Coinbase Ventures, ParaFi Capital, Framework Venture, as well as Digital Currency Group. Previously, the company had acquired $2.5 million during the seed round, which was led by Multicoin Capital.

The Graph has developed an indexing platform that will help organize blockchain data for easy accessibility. Individuals can utilize The Graph’s open-source platform for searching specific Ethereum data just as is the case with Google search.

According to Yaniv Tal, The Graph CEO, there are thousands of developers who are already using the firm’s tools, which includes the team that came up with decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap as well as token-fueled Aragon project.

Hayden Adams, Uniswap’s co-founder, confirmed that they use The Graph’s tools for Uniswap.info – the company’s analytics site.

Speaking to the press, Framework Ventures’ Michael Anderson, one of the lead investors, stated that his firm was pleased to support Yaniv and his team. According to Anderson, his firm would help The Graph to grow further once it launches. Anderson also stated that The Graph’s reputation was at par with that of Chainlink as well as Ethereum.

At the moment, The Graph is a hosted service but, plans are underway to ensure it moves to a decentralized network before the end of the year.

The Graph was founded in 2018 and currently services thousands of applications. The firm claims that it processed approximately 50 million queries every day, and in May, it processed 750 million queries, which represented an increase of 45% compared with April.

SAFTs are designed to allow firms to sell the rights to future tokens that are only available once the network is launched. The format was developed to ensure that a startup isn’t operating an unregistered securities sale.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Industry Giants, BHP and Baosteel, Make First Iron Ore Trade for $14 Million Using Blockchain

Mining conglomerate, BHP Group has revealed that it has transacted a $14 million worth of iron ore trade through a blockchain-based platform which has been created by MineHub Technologies based in Canada.

The transaction involved BHP Group and China Baowu Steel Group, which is an offshoot of Chinese giant steelmaker China Baoshan Iron & Steel, which is mostly referred to as Baosteel.

Last month, BHP stated that it was in the process of piloting a blockchain-based iron ore trade with the Chinese conglomerate Baosteel.

In a statement shared exclusively with Bitcoin Exchange Guide, during the transaction process, BHP utilized the blockchain platform to process the contract terms virtually, exchange the documents as well as offer real-time cargo visibility.

The piloting of the blockchain-enabled trading by BHP is part of the firm’s plan to digitize its documentation procedures for its commodities trading fully. According to Michiel Hovers, who is BHP’s sales and marketing executive, the mining industry requires a paradigm shift when it comes to documentation. He said:

“The bulk commodity industry needs a digital revolution to reduce physical documentation processes.”

Baowu Steel, which is state-owned, has previously invested in blockchain technology in efforts to digitize its trade. Last month, the firm conducted what it said was the inaugural blockchain-enabled yuan-denominated foreign letter of credit (LC) with another mining giant called Rio Tinto. The firm used the Contour platform that has been developed on Corda technology R3, which is an enterprise-focused blockchain solutions firm.

BHP’s journey in the blockchain space can be traced back to 2017 after Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum founder announced that the mining giant was developing a blockchain-based application that will help in tracking natural resources.

In February last year, the mining leader in partnership with a Japanese based shipping firm NYK successfully tested blockchain tech.

The Canadian-based MineHub Technology explained that the BHP testing was just one of the many in the pipeline, which will involve its blockchain platform. The firm also stated that the testing comes at an opportune time when various crooked characters are taking advantage of the supply chain uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Author: Joseph Kibe