EOS-Based DeFi, Equilibrium, Adds Binance, Eosfinex to EOSDT Stablecoin Governance Council

  • Binance and Eosfinex, Bitfinex’s decentralized exchange, are some of the big names in crypto to join Equilibrium’s EOSDT stable coin governance committee.

According to official reports, the two companies joined the council alongside independent block producers, EOS Nation and EOS Cannon, to provide oversight over approval of contracts and amendments made on smart contracts on the EOSDT stablecoin blockchain.

Equilibrium is an EOS based open finance platform that offers similar capabilities to Maker platform with EOSDT similar to the DAI stablecoin. With the new governance team in place, Alex Melikhov, CEO of Equilibrium, said this will allow the network to fully utilize the features on EOS in his statement,

“One of the main advantages of EOS lies in updatable smart contract code. In other words you can migrate to new versions of your application seamlessly without hard stop of the whole system.”

Binance involvement in the governance of the Equilibrium chain will see the exchange oversee every smart contract on the platform, granting access to upgrades or rejecting them. However, the governance council regulations require at least two parties to give their consent before the smart contract is implemented.

“You can also consider it as establishing a four-eyed principle for Equilibrium’s EOSDT.”

The decision to add the new members was voted by the existing council members not only Equilibrium, Alex said. This is to ensure the best and most reliable participants in governance are chosen for the slots. Such decisions are uncommon on Ethereum DeFi platforms whereby the founders hold the admin keys of the protocol giving them absolute power over the system.

Equilibriums governance council, while not fully trustless, offers the blockchain “decentralization by creating a proof-of-authority framework which consists of trusted counterparts that are independent according to their background.” Alex further said,

“Instead of a single owner who can potentially do whatever they want there is a group of reputable and known ecosystem participants who bid their reputation on the integrity/relevance of these updates.”

While the verdict remains unknown on why Binance joined the governance council, the possibility of BNB being added as a backing asset to the EOSDT stablecoin has improved. According to one spokesperson from the largest crypto exchange, top management is looking forward to BNB getting added as collateral on the Equilibrium DeFi platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Stolen in 2016 $72 Million Bitfinex Hack Moving

Some of the stolen BTC during the $72 million hack of crypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016 has been just moved.

Whale Alert that tracks large movements of top cryptocurrencies reported that 28.3 BTC worth more than $255k has been moved to an unknown wallet.

Four years back, Bitfinex lost 120,000 BTC worth $72 million, when the price of bitcoin was about $600. Today, with each BTC at $9,160, this stash is now worth more than $1 billion.

This isn’t the first time that these hackers are moving their funds. Back in June, last year about 185 BTC were transferred to unknown addresses, at that time BTC price was up over 60% YTD at around $10,000. Then in August, 30 BTC were also moved.

Now, just as happens with large transfers, the crypto community fears the worst.

One twitter user said, “If btc does not crash to sub 4k in 1 month, I’ll delete my twitter.”

Large amounts of Bitcoin on the move surely affects the price as happened on May 10. The BTC price fell about 16% that day after a large deposit took place on Gemini; but that deposit was “abnormally” large at 2,500 BTC unlike just over 28 BTC.

Such kind of big deposits result in heightened activity on the exchange where they were made but also triggers market sell on other exchanges as well. This causes a significant increase in trade volume across all exchanges, resulting in a drop in Bitcoin’s price.

However, at times, relatively small and few orders can also have a significant impact on liquidity across many major exchanges.

Just this week, there was speculation led sell-off that resulted in a brief decline of about 7% in BTC price.

It was after Whale Alert reported that 50 Bitcoin had been moved from a wallet dormant since February 2009. Whale Alert suggested it might have been bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto who moved the coins, triggering the panic among the market, but as we reported it was very unlikely.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Halving Effect: Miner Revenue Tanks 60% But Fees Compensating with 168% Spike

Bitcoin halving is past us and during this time there have been some changes in the network.

As expected, the hash rate of the network crashed 40% from the all-time high put on the halving day as smaller and less profitable miners turned off their machines after being unprofitable.

A decline in hash rate means reduced network security as well. But the long term trend is intact and we have started seeing recovery with the hash rate currently at 99.6 Eh/s.

Actually, bitcoin is still three times more secure than the Ethereum network, its closest runner up. Also, this falling hash rate is expected to be temporary.

Miner revenue takes a hit

In line with the 50% reduction in the bitcoin block reward, total miner revenue has also fallen.

According to the data provided by Blockchain, miners’ revenue crashed nearly 60% to just $7.63 million on the halving day, from two days back.

The violent sell-off in March caused the miner revenue to tank at $6.9 million which peaked on May 6th to $20.6 million only to be hit by halving.

As such, now the percentage of revenue from fees has hit a high of 17.25% that is not seen since January 2018, as per Medio Demarco, co-Founder of Delphi Digital.

Source: Coin Metrics

With block rewards set to halve every four years or 210,000 blocks, “PoW chains will be increasingly at the mercy of transaction fee revenue as the dominant source of funds for the SB (Security Budget).”

The recent reduction in miner reward pushed the BTC fees to revenue percentage higher, which instead of more transactions has been the result of a jump in the average cost of a transaction fee.

The average bitcoin transaction fee has climbed to $5.16, a spike of 1223% in the past month, which was last seen in June 2019, as per Bitinfocharts.

Mining bitcoin getting difficult

Meanwhile, the current average block time is 80% above the target level. This combination of high fees, reduction in mining power has led to longer wait times in between blocks, as such causing mempool to be more backed up.

As the waiting for the transactions to be confirmed by miners continues to add up, people pay higher fees to get their transaction confirmed faster.

Source: Mempool Transaction Count

But difficulty adjustment is there to make it all balance which takes place about every two weeks.

Early in the next week, the estimated negative difficulty adjustment of just under 1% will make it easier to mine bitcoin and bring back its current average time of 18 minutes to back at the target 10 minutes.

This would also result in more mining power coming back online.

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Author: AnTy

Flipside Crypto Report Finds Probable Cause Behind XRP’s Drop In Trade During Weekends

XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency has maintained its spot for quite some time now only behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, XRP has managed to hold onto its position despite the token’s spot price failing to make any significant gain over the past two years. Another interesting thing that came to light was that XRP trading falls significantly during the weekends and nobody knew why?

Flipside Crypto, a blockchain analytics firm seems to have found the answer to this bizarre trading trend and released a report titled “4 Things To Know About XRP Money Flows.” The report found that XRP lacks consumers and retail investors because of which the retail interest in the third-largest crypto asset is quite low.

The report suggests that a majority of the XRP transactions comes from professional traders, investors or payment processors which officially works for the weekdays just like any public or government offices and that is the reason why there is a significant drop in the trading activity for XRP during the weekends.

Flipside Crypto makes use of ‘chain-walking,’ a method to extract stakeholder behavior data which in turn helps blockchain projects to understand their strengths and weakness in order to develop better growth strategies. Flipside Crypto CEO Dave Balter explained where XRP is lagging saying,

“There are a number of impressive blockchains just heading into mainnet, such as Near, Flow (Dapper), Celo and Solana. They are launching with a customer-first mindset and real-world use cases. For example, Flow has already inked deals with the NBA and Warner Music and Celo’s solutions are tailored to aid the financially underserved. Expect big things from these four in 2020 and beyond.”

Ripple the parent company behind XRP has been at the receiving end of several class-action lawsuits which claim that XRP is unregistered security and thus regulators must take action to stop its sale. The fintech firm might not have found many takers in the retail market, but its cross-border remittance technology has been in high demand among banks and financial institutions as it has partnered with over 200 banks all across the globe.

The Flipside report also found that one of the most active XRP wallets is that of Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb who went on to create Stellar (XLM) as well. Recently, he sold a massive chunk of his XRP stash and it seems he is not done yet. The report found that McCaleb currently has $65 million XRP in his wallet which he might be looking to sell in the coming months.

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

Bitcoin Halving Hype Could Give Way to Consolidation or Retracement, But what about Altcoins?

Just four days away from halving, we have some interesting next few weeks ahead of us.

The world’s leading digital asset is already enjoying an uptrend, currently trading above $9,800, breaking off its relation with equities after the correlation between them reached a peak during the past couple of months. This short pump is rolling off the news of $38.4 Billion hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones saying that he will invest a single percent into Bitcoin.

Trader Cantering Clark is expecting S&P 500 to “suffer a bit of altitude sickness up here from a demand standpoint,” as the thing starts going back to normal and approaches “Sell in May and go away” that means “most observed growth in equities occurring between November – April.”

Bitcoin halving on social media

In these last few days leading up to halving, bitcoin-related sentiments that were “sky-high” on most social media channels in the last week’s run-up to $9,000, the mood has cooled down, reports Santiment.

The trend is most visible on Telegram, which recorded a 3-month high only to decline dramatically since BTC’s move above $9k.

Other social channels are reflecting the same pattern. Major crypto subreddits that have been growing “increasingly confident” in Bitcoin since Black Thursday have made a complete 180 and now are firmly in the “ambivalent territory.”

Over the last month, Bitcoin-related sentiment recorded the largest spike on Twitter which is also seeing a steady decline in the bullish overtones since the $9,000 pump.

“The crowd appears deeply divided on the impact of the halvening, its size and direction,” reported Santiment. “At this point, I’d say the bears are just inching out the bulls. But the momentum definitely feels on the side of the bears.”

Now, the facts

The market is eagerly waiting for this third reward halving which the last two times led to bull rallies. As such, everyone is focused on this event that will cut down miners’ revenue into half while the bitcoin network remains strong as ever with all-time high hash rate and difficulty which is near its peak.

But that is to be expected as the analyst with pseudonym Rekt Capital points out, “Investors buy the hype weeks before every Halving.”

Further pointing out the bitcoin halving facts based on previous halvings, he noted that bitcoin retraced on the week of the last two halvings.

After the first halving in 2012, bitcoin consolidated for over a month before rallying, and following 2016 halving, bitcoin retraced and took weeks to recover before it rallied again.

What about altcoins?

Ahead of halving, Bitcoin’s market cap dominance continues to rise, climbing to 75.98%, as per Messari. This jump in BTC’s dominance means altcoins will “feel a lot of pain across the board.”

Already while bitcoin is enjoying a rally, having spiked to $9,800, altcoins are suffering.

Coin360-5-7

“BTC is rallying strongly with only a few days left until the Bitcoin Halving. Unsurprisingly, most of the attention is on BTC which is why capital is flowing away from Altcoins,” said the analyst Rekt Capital.

What this means is that “altcoins will have retraced to attractive prices ahead of their Q2 Hype Cycle.”

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Author: AnTy

BTC HODLers (Over 1 Year) Climb to An All-Time High During Market Turmoil Ahead of The Halving

The world’s leading cryptocurrency is back to showing some movement as we make our way back above $7,000, going to $7,143.

While BTC is still down 3.76% YTD, altcoins like Kyber Network (163%), Hedera Hashgraph (138%), DigixDAO (98%), BSV (97%), and Chainlink (95%) are yet reporting substantial gains.

Interestingly, $912 million worth of Tether (USDT) is currently being exchanged on top ten exchanges with real volume in the past 24 hours compared to Bitcoin’s $883 million, as per Messari.

Today’s gains, however, have been yet again alongside stocks just as oil prices started rebounding.

After about a 5% drop earlier in the week, Dow and the S&P 500 rose 1.9% on Wednesday. The selling has been triggered by a collapse in oil prices which dipped below zero for the first time. Today, some stability returned to the market with the price of international benchmark Brent crude and the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude sharply higher.

US Treasury bond prices meanwhile fell signaling that investors are yet again turning back to riskier investments. Moreover, the US Senate has passed a bipartisan $484 billion coronavirus relief package for distressed small businesses.

As for Wednesday’s first-quarter earnings report, Delta Air Lines had its first quarterly loss in years. Netflix’s shares fell after hitting a record high last week over increased demand anticipation which was met with countries in lockdown.

Bitcoin must remain above $6,200/$7,000 zone

Bitcoin that has a market cap of $130 billion, the same as Tesla along with other digital assets remained somewhat isolated from the latest market crash led by oil.

While the leading digital asset is keeping steady, it didn’t reclaim the key upside levels either all the while the hash rate of the network is back near all-time highs with mining difficulty making a big positive adjustment.

“The market may have been unable to stage the much sought-after rally, but it also remained somewhat resilient and prone to unexpected swings,” noted Denis Vinokourov, head of research at crypto investment brokerage, Bequant.

According to him, the market needs to remain above the $6,200/$7,000 zone because “below that the next support is not seen all the way to the low $5,000 zone.”

But in the current market turmoil, everything is possible, with everything from interest rates, oil futures, to yield going inverted amidst QE, surging employment, and massive bailouts. In such an event, Gabor Gurbacs of VanEck said, bitcoin “seems to make more sense than most markets.”

Bitcoin halving is also now less than 20 days away that will cut down its inflation in half. Price-wise, we can still go lower as trader Crypto Michael said,

“Funny, equity markets go up, BTC go up. The push even came slightly before equity markets opened.

In interesting resistance areas here. Weekly open + yearly level above us. Reclaiming them and I’be interested for longs, but overall expecting retest $6,900.”

Meanwhile, before this big event, the number of addresses holding BTC for more than a year is currently at their all-time high.

“On April 21, 18.99 million addresses were holding 10.83 million BTC for over a year. This number is 25% higher than the same date last year,” noted IntoTheBlock.

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Author: AnTy

BTC’s Inability to Stay Strong in the Time of Crisis Raises Questions About its Safe Haven Status

The past couple of months, amid coronavirus crisis, has seen some of the major markets crash and assets fall to their historic lows including the safe haven assets like Gold, government bonds, and even Bitcoin. Only this week, Crude oil prices registered historical lows and the futures market even went into the negative. While the reason for the failure of traditional financial institutions and assets is understandable, many are mostly shocked as to how Bitcoin has failed to rise to the occasion since many believe this was a perfect time and opportunity for the digital currency to prove its worth.

Bitcoin was created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial recession as a form of an alternate financial system which wouldn’t be controlled by any centralized authorities, thus the issue of inflation won’t arise and while the traditional financial system would be in ruins people could turn towards Bitcoin to save them.

However, that hasn’t happened yet, in fact, Bitcoin saw one of its worst price slumps since its inception when on March 12th, its value fell by almost 50%. And even after more than a month, it has not been able to recover its lost ground.

Bitcoin is also scheduled to undergo the halving of its block reward, which means the number of Bitcoins produced per block will be cut in half, and instead of the current 12.5BTC block, after the halving, each block would produce only 6.25 BTC. Thus the supply of Bitcoin would be less making it a highly bullish event. Therefore, this should have been the best time for Bitcoin, but its price does not reflect the same making many question whether Bitcoin will be able to live up to the hype.

Dan McArdle, co-founder of Messari, a Bitcoin and blockchain analytic firm seems to have an answer. McArdle believes Bitcoin has not failed despite the ongoing struggle to keep its price above the $7,000 mark. He explained that people often believe Bitcoin would act as a hedge at the time of financial crisis or recession, but in reality, Bitcoin is a hedge against inflation and loss of confidence in fiat currencies which he predicted almost two years ago, claiming that against the popular belief Bitcoin won’t be performing in times of liquidity crunch. He explained,

“People have/had this notion that bitcoin is a hedge against a recession, or specifically the S&P. I’ve thought that’s wrong for a while, and indeed we saw a high correlation with the S&P last month as investors everywhere sold everything in the first real global liquidity crunch we’ve seen since 2009. No surprise bitcoin did not outperform.”

Bitcoin Will Flourish Once People Realize the Fiat System is Flawed

The ongoing crisis has brought the whole world to a standstill as the majority of industries have shutdown. The government has decided to offer and maintain the necessary liquidity of the market by printing trillions, which begs the question if the governments can print as they wish to keep the market liquidated why do they need our tax money? And how flawed the fiat system is if it is not backed by anything.

McArdle said that unless the people realize these flaws in the fiat monetary system and how centralized bodies and government control has led them to several recessions, Bitcoin won’t thrive. At present Bitcoin is not even seen as a safe haven and mostly a lucrative form of investment to make profits, so unless Bitcoin reaches the level of a truly parallel financial ecosystem it would be difficult for it to prove its worth.

Whether Bitcoin would reach the levels of 2017 price rise is still debatable given Bitcoin was highly volatile at that point and its price was mostly influenced by rumors news and whales, however, as of today, Bitcoin has come a long way. The volatility even though higher than other asset classes is quite low when compared to the 2017 level. The mining difficulty which directly shows the miner’s density on the platform is also at its all-time high, and many believe even if Bitcoin fails to rally like 2017, it would surely see those highs in the aftermath of halving and the price factor might kick in after a year.

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Author: James W

For All Those Challenging BTC’s Use As A Store Of Value During The Crisis, I Beg To Differ: Analyst

Bitcoin has been keeping above $7,000 for some time now but time and again it falls below the crucial support line. After a brief stint yesterday, today, we are back under $7k, going as low as $6,775.

Source: Coin360

Surging open interest on bitcoin futures while the price continues to decline is also not favorable to BTC price.

Just like bitcoin, the US stock market is sinking as oil prices turn negative. Monday’s losses are extended into Tuesday, with the US crude futures plunging below zero for the first time in history.

So much decline in the prices, so much so that traders are paying to take oil off their hands is the result of collapsing demand for oil in the coronavirus pandemic hit the market. Despite a deal by Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other nations to cut production, the world is running out of places to store about 100 million barrels a day of production.

“If you are a producer, your market has disappeared, and if you don’t have access to storage you are out of luck,” said Aaron Brady, vice president for energy oil market services at IHS Markit. “The system is seizing up.”

Meanwhile, Bitcoin holding its value

The pain in oil markets is carrying over to stocks and the crypto market. With oil trading less than for a cent, the oil/BTC ratio is off the chart. Yesterday, only the May futures were collapsing because they are expiring today and no one wants delivery of that.

But today, June futures are tumbling as well, given that the storage is already full with countries in lockdown, next future contracts don’t seem a good opportunity to buy low either.

“For all those who’ve challenged bitcoin’s use as a store of value or the narrative that bitcoin hasn’t held its value all that well during the crisis, I beg to differ,” wrote analyst Mati Greenspan on the oil debacle.

…and gathering interest & favorable scenario

The latest data from CME, highlighting that its products reached all-time highs in terms of unique accounts last month supports the growing interest in the market. The bitcoin futures curve flipped back into contango as well, though modestly.

Bitcoin is also seeing heightened interest, with legendary Renaissance Technologies’ flagship hedge fund Medallion being the latest one to dip their toes into crypto trading.

In the current world where markets are manipulated by central banks, bitcoin is looking more and more like an attractive option.

Also, Bitcoin will be the option when “investors will be looking for yield in a world with US stocks at record valuations, rates zero or negative, and commodity prices tanking,” said analyst Ceteris Paribus.

In other news, the Treasury Department is evaluating whether it has the authority to stop banks from seizing the stimulus payments to settle the debt. The Trump administration came under fire after banks withheld economic relief money meant to help struggling Americans pay for their essential expenses like food.

Such a situation only further presses upon the advantage of bitcoin, a hard asset that is unseizable.

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Author: AnTy

Not Only Overleveraged BTC Miners But The Halving May Put Some Lenders May Out of Business

The crypto lending firm, BlockFi is now extending credit to miners as the market loses some of its risk appetites because of the coronavirus crisis. “We’re starting to establish relationships with miners for the first time now,” said BlockFi CEO, Zac Prince.

Before this crisis that led the crypto prices to crash and hash rate to decline, the competition was high and competitors were willing to take bigger risks than the company was comfortable with. Prince told Coindesk,

“Two months ago, lots of lenders were accepting miner equipment as collateral, and this isn’t happening anymore. Now, the risk tolerance on the market [has] declined.”

Crypto lenders Nexo and Celsius are still lending to miners but they do not accept mining equipment as collateral. However, not just the miner capitulation but depreciation and physical need to store the equipment make it a risky option. Bitfinex Bitcoin whale Joe007 said,

“Accepting mining equipment as loan collateral is some special kind of stupid.”

“Here I thought that only overleveraged/inefficient miners will go out of business come halving but seems like some hapless lenders will follow them as well.”

With hash rate surging yet again, close to reaching its ATH yet again and an “epic” positive difficulty adjustment coming in next few days with price still around $7,000, miners’ profitability could yet again take a hit especially with halving coming in 25 days. However, popular analyst PlanB known for the Stock-to-Flow model thinks,

“Bitcoin 2020 halving will be like 2012 & 2016. As per S2F model I expect 10x price (order of magnitude, not precise) 1-2 yrs after the halving. Halving will be make-or-break for S2F model.”

Continued growth

Meanwhile, even during the ongoing chaos, BlockFi has had its monthly revenue “more than double” with institutional clients growing as well.

Despite the market turmoil, the crypto lending firm has been seeing continued growth. Starting April 1st, it started offering an increased percent of interest rate on Bitcoin and Ethereum accounts. Those with 5 BTC in their savings account are now earning 6% APY and those with up to 500 ETH have their interest rates rose to 4.5% APY.

The company offers both loans and interest accounts to its users and even during these hard times, they have been able to increase their margins which they then use to improve the interest.

According to Prince, they remained a “source of liquidity” during the volatile weeks that enabled them to withstand the massive sell-off. They actually saw “an increased level of activity and a lot of reshuffling as clients evaluated the market and restructured their assets,” during this time of increased volatility.

The company also announced the addition of a cash-to-crypto onramp on its platform to boost liquidity. Its crypto trading option, added in December, has become quite popular which is growing by “3-5x every month.”

Earlier this year, the company raised $30 million in a funding round led by Peter Theil’s Valar Ventures. Hong Kong-based Three Arrow Capital also joined BlockFi’s list of investors.

The company is now planning to reach out to those who don’t own any crypto as in the backdrop of central banks printing money at unprecedented levels, “bitcoin is a compelling investing story.”

Another company, Grayscale reported record growth in 1Q20, the “strongest” quarter saw 83% of total capital raised in all of 2019 in just one quarter.

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Author: AnTy

ICE-backed Bakkt Rolls Out ‘Limited Beta’ As a Starbucks Payment Option To Mobile Users

Some of the Starbucks mobile app will now have the option of using Bakkt Cash as payment, seeing the limited beta period for this method has started.

The news comes as the Bitcoin (BTCP) derivatives provider is pivoting towards consumer-facing services and after it made the announcement of a $300 million funding round. Here’s what a Starbucks spokesperson said about the partnership with Bakkt:

“We are currently conducting a limited test for our customers, using the Bakkt payment method. Customers can see Bakkt as an option but the test is only available at this time.”

Starbucks, a Strategic Launch Partner for the Bakkt Digital Wallet

In a statement released earlier, Starbucks said it happens to be a strategic launch partner for the dollar denominated Bakkt digital wallet. Here’s what the coffee giant had to add on the matter:

“We anticipate that a range of cryptocurrencies will gain traction with customers and, through our work with Bakkt, we will be uniquely positioned to constantly consider and offer customers new and unique ways to pay seamlessly, at Starbucks.”

Adam White, the President of Bakkt said this on Twitter about the integration:

Bakkt Didn’t Make Any Official Statement about the Partnership

While an official statement about the partnership with Starbucks wasn’t made by Bakkt, on Monday, the company published a blog post in which it describes how it wants to put Bitcoin (BTC) and loyalty points into the same place. Discussions about an offer of crypto payments and loyalty point programs have been happening since February to say the least, when Bakkt made a move to buy Bridge2, the loyalty solutions provider. Here’s what the company’s blog post reads exactly:

“At Bakkt, we take a broad view of digital assets. Whether it’s miles from your favorite airline, loyalty points from the local grocery store, or bitcoin you’ve purchased, the Bakkt app enables you to aggregate all of these assets into a single digital wallet.”

Since the coronavirus threat is continuing to grow in the US, the coffee behemoth Starbucks is applying the take-out only business model.

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Author: Oana Ularu