Binance Drops BGBP Stablecoin; Citing Challenges in the Issuance and Redemption Process

Binance crypto exchange announced that it would discontinue its GBP-backed stablecoin ‘BGBP’ as of Nov 17 at 12:00 PM UTC. This coin was tied on a 1:1 ratio against the British pound and launched by Binance back in June 2019.

According to the announcement on Nov 16, the BGBP stablecoin is among a list of trading pairs that will either be removed or cease trading on the Binance exchange. The announcement noted that BGBP’s last trading pair against BUSD marks its final use case within the exchange’s trading ecosystem.

Notably, users who will still hold their BGBP after trading stops will have an option to leverage Binance’s convert function to exchange their stablecoins to GBP on a 1:1 basis. The blog post by Binance reads,

“Please note that BGBP/USDC is the last trading pair for BGBP. For users still holding BGBP after trading ceases, they will be able to use the Convert function to convert their BGBP to GBP at a 1:1 ratio.”

A Binance rep who spoke to theBlock, revealed that the BGBP was the exchange’s first fiat-pegged stablecoin experiment, hence more like a proof-of-concept. According to the spokesperson’s comments, BGBP posed some challenges in issuance and redemption,

It worked, but the issuance/redemption process was not the most friendly for users.”

The spokesperson further highlighted that Binance would instead direct users to its alternative GBP on-ramping services to derive similar utility.

“As such, to offer our users with better services, we have discontinued BGBP and will direct users to our other available fiat on-ramps that offer GBP.”

While Binance issued BGBP, its dollar-backed BUSD stablecoin has thrived more despite being a Paxos stablecoin white-label. According to coinmarketcap metrics, the BUSD stablecoin supply is cool $662 million compared to a mere $700,000 by the BGBP counterpart.

It is noteworthy that the BGBP stablecoin was primarily bought through Binance Jersey, a subsidiary that the exchange is shutting down this month. This also coincides with upcoming U.K stablecoin regulations that seek to implement oversight on these digital assets to be at par with rival payment methods.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

JPMorgan Dives Deep in Blockchain with Onyx, CEO says Tech is Now Just Beyond the ‘Hype Curve’

  • JPMorgan’s stablecoin JPM Coin is finally being used commercially for the first time.

Takis Georgakopoulos, JPMorgan’s global head of wholesale payments, revealed on Tuesday that a major tech firm, whose name is not disclosed, will be using the token to make global payments starting this week.

The investment bank that moves more than $6 trillion a day across more than 100 countries has created a business unit called Onyx. In the making for five years, it is staffed with around 100 employees to do the blockchain projects in-house. Georgakopoulos said,

“We are launching Onyx because we believe we are shifting to a period of commercialization of those technologies, moving from research and development to something that can become a real business.”

The bank aims to save 75% of the total cost for the industry. But the project is months from its commercial launch, said Umar Farooq, the newly named CEO of Onyx.

“If you think about blockchain, we are either somewhere in the trough of disillusionment or just beyond that on the hype curve,” Farooq said, referring to the “Gartner Hype Cycle.” “That’s why at JPMorgan, we’ve been relatively quiet about it until we were ready to scale it and commercialize it.”

As we reported, the bank has also revamped its Interbank Information Network (IIN), piloted in 2017 as Liink that has over 400 banks and corporations as partners.

The company is also looking into creating new, separate payment rails for central banks that are interested in starting their own currencies. Georgakopoulos said,

“If we are able to develop a model that works, we think the probability of adoption becomes very high.”

Additionally, JPMorgan is reportedly actively exploring digital asset custody and is looking for help from crypto firms. To offer the services, it would enlist sub-custodians and have already reached out to firms like Fidelity Digital Assets and Paxos.

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Author: AnTy

Stellar to Become The Third Blockchain to Support Stablecoin USDC; Rolling Out in 2021

USDC is being added to the Stellar blockchain. The stablecoin, which was launched on the Ethereum network, was later added to the Algorand blockchain.

The announcement was made on Thursday at the Stellar Development Foundation quarterly review event. The support of USDC, a stablecoin pegged on the US dollar, aims at enhancing Stellar’s position as a prominent international payments network. The support is set to take place during the second quarter of next year.

Denelle Dixon, Stellar Foundation CEO, explained that supporting USDC will help the platform reach a wide array of clients worldwide. Dixon explained:

“We are focused on creating equitable access to the financial system by building a global network that delivers services to users regardless of their geography.”

Dixon also explained that support of USDC would enable Stellar to expand its global reach and, at the same time, provide different chances of growth as well as innovation for developers and enterprises developing different projects within the network.

USDC is managed by CENTRE, which is a consortium that is led by Coinbase and Circle. The consortium states that the amount of USDC in circulation is approximately 2.8 billion. On the other hand, Stellar, mostly utilized by financial enterprises for international payments, boasts about 4.6 million accounts.

USDC was released in 2018 and is currently the second biggest stablecoin with a $2.75 billion market capitalization. USDC trails Tether’s USDT, which has a market capitalization of $16.17 billion.

CENTRE has stated that Stellar addition is evidence that its multi-chain approach is on course. Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s CEO, explained that Stellar addition would enhance interoperability. Allaire explained:

“We value the increased interoperability and wide range of developers that the Stellar network brings to the table, and look forward to seeing how adding a strong and stable USD anchor to Stellar grows its ecosystem and its importance as a platform driving global financial inclusion.”

Dixon explained that the partnership between USDC and Stellar is set to open numerous opportunities and corridors.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Crypto Derivatives Exchange, Delta, Debuts Call and Put Options to be Settled in Tether (USDT)

Delta Exchange has begun the Call and Put options that will be settled via the USDT stablecoin, making a debut as the first crypto derivative platform to issue such products. The exchange, whose headquarters are based in Singapore, announced this news on September 17 and noted it is one of the four crypto exchanges that currently offer a complete order book for Call and Put options.

The contracts’ underlying digital assets will be Bitcoin (BTC), Binance coin (BNB), Chainlink (LINK), and Ether (ETH), while the maturity periods range from daily to monthly. Unlike futures, options contracts give holders the right to buy or sell but not the obligation, as is the former. This means that option contract holders can choose to execute their positions, depending on whether they are in or out of the money.

Similarly, Delta’s option contracts will give the exchange’s users an option to buy the underlying digital assets if the price goes down, and they were holding a call option. As for the put options, they will sell the underlying if the price goes up or opt for the contract to expire if the target price is still lower than anticipated.

Pankaj Balani, the CEO of Delta Exchange, noted that the options market is an ‘integral part’ of the whole crypto derivatives niche and is therefore optimistic that volumes will surpass futures demand within the next few months. The options have already been listed within the Delta Exchange trading portfolio and were made available to both retail and institutional prospects as of yesterday.

With more speculation and advanced trading in crypto markets, derivative products gain traction amongst the stakeholders in this burgeoning ecosystem. Delta’s Put and Call options further scale the range of available products and probably be among the pacesetters in a space that has traditionally been viewed as ‘sophisticated.’

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Stablecoin Issuer Tether To Move $1B In USDt From TRON To Ethereum; Total Supply Unchanged

  • Tether announces a chain swap transaction containing $1 billion worth of its stablecoin, USDt, from the Tron blockchain to Ethereum.

In an announcement made on Monday, the stablecoin issuer stated the swap will be completed in two tranches, starting Tuesday, September 15. A tweet from the official page of Tether vaguely stated the swap will be completed by a Tier 1 exchange, which asked to perform the swap. The tweet reads,

A token chain swap is a process of moving tokens from one blockchain to another. This process allows users to directly trade on one blockchain instead of another e.g. a user can move their tokens from the Ethereum blockchain to Omni or Tron. It happens solely on the demand by users and issuers have no power over the chain swap.

This does not change the total market capitalization and supply of USDt.

The latest Tether chain swap from TRON to Ethereum comes three weeks following a similar move in August. As the decentralized finance (DeFi) space grows, investors are moving their capital to Ethereum in a bid to capture the gains from the emerging field.

This will set the TRON blockchain aback to about 43.7 billion in total supply hosted by the blockchain while ERC-20 based USDt market cap surges to $9.8 billion.

Tether is opening up its borders to faster and more scalable blockchains such as Solana and Algorand in a bid to ease the congestion on Ethereum. However, the demand for ERC-20 based USDt does not seem to end any time soon as exhibited by the latest chain swap.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase and Circle Launch Major Upgrade in USDC 2.0; Stablecoin Sees ‘Unprecedented Adoption’

Coinbase and Circle, the members of the Centre Consortium, has announced a major upgrade to the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) protocol and smart contract.

Launched in September 2018, this regulated stablecoin saw an “unprecedented adoption” during the pandemic, surpassing $1.4 billion, up from about $450 million at the beginning of March, and recording more than $90 billion in on-chain transaction volume.

With the latest upgrade, USDC will become “significantly easier for people to use USDC in payments, commerce, and peer-to-peer transactions,” besides adding additional security to the smart contract.

More importantly, Centre says USDC 2.0 is introducing “gasless sends.” Transaction on the Ethereum network involves “gas fees” and in order to pay this, most digital wallets are required to purchase and hold a balance of Ether (ETH).

Now, with the latest upgrade, the idea is to remove the barrier to “mainstream adoption and broad usage of digital dollar stablecoins for internet payments.”

The official announcement states USDC 2.0 enables users to delegate the payment of the gas fees to another address, giving the developers the option to either pay the fee on behalf of the customer or deduct the fees in USDC.

As such, customers will be able to send and receive USDC payments on a peer-to-peer basis using only USDC.

“These simplified and improved user experience flows will accelerate the virality of making and receiving payments using USDC on the internet.”

Another thing USDC 2.0 introduces is a new set of on-chain multiple signature contracts which means administrative operations can be managed on-chain, in a result, improving the “security, auditability and in turn resilience.”

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Author: AnTy

Tether Finally Flips Bitcoin: Seizing Increasing Share of On-Chain Transfers

The popular stablecoin, Tether (USDT), has already long been managing more than double the ‘real’ trading volume of bitcoin. Still, now the 7-day average adjusted transfer value of it has also finally flipped the largest digital assets.

Tether’s 7-day average transfer value finally reached above $3.55 billion compared to Bitcoin’s $2.94 billion, taking more and more share of on-chain transfers, states Coin Metrics in its latest report.

USDT vs BTC Transfer Val
Source: CoinMetrics

Stablecoins are increasingly used in popular DeFi applications like Uniswap and Curve, both of which contributed to Tether’s recent surge.

Popular in Asia for on and off-ramps, Tether has also been used for capital flight in China, as per Chainalysis report. Chinese investors moved about $50 billion overseas over the past year due to the devaluation of yuan and trade wars.

The Rapid Growth

USDT has been enjoying massive growth in 2020, whose total supply has also hit the milestone of reaching over 13 billion on August 21st. The supply grew at a rapid rate, as it was less than 10 billion on June 1st, 2020.

In less than five months, Tether supply has grown over 2.6x, from less than 5 billion on March 1st.

Over 66% of Tether’s supply is issued on Ethereum, while the remaining 34% is spread on Tron, Omni, EOS, Liquid, Algorand, SLP.

Tether is further expanding to more networks as it recently announced that this expansion would now cover OMG Network. On August 19, a new USDT integration went live on the Ethereum-based layer 2 protocol.

This resulted in the daily active addresses of OMG Network shooting up to their highest levels since August 2018 and bringing record ETH fees, which went up to new all-time highs due to the rapid rise and fall of YAM, back down to earth.

Tether is the biggest gas guzzler after Uniswap on Ethereum Network and paid $6.4 million in fees in the last 30 days, as per ETH Gas Station. Despite a 28.4% drop week-over-week, ETH total fees remain relatively higher which resulted in bringing ETH average daily transaction fees over the large week to $3.8 million compared to bitcoin’s $1.4 million.

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Fees Crashes 80% Much Like Transaction Count as ETH Price Retreats

The most popular USD pegged stablecoin Tether that is the second biggest gas guzzler on the Ethereum network recently adopted OMG Network for the settlement.

This integration between Tether and Layer 2 solution for Ethereum – OMG Network is expected to result in a reduction of fees and confirmation times, which has become extremely important in recent times because of the skyrocketing fees and congestion on the second largest network.

In the first half of August, USDT transfers accounted for 14% of all fees spent on Ethereum. Out of the total $12.9 billion supply of USDT, $8.6 billion (66.6% of all supply) is issued on Ethereum. Just this week, 1 billion TRC20 USDT coins were also swapped into ERC20.

The primary reason meanwhile for the jump in the cost to transact on Ethereum is DeFi applications such as Uniswap, as per ETHGasStation.

ETH25 Leaderboard

This week, the average transaction fees on Ethereum jumped to its all-time high at $6.6 but since then it has dropped 80% to around mid-July levels which as Santiment puts it is a “nice opportunity for significantly cheaper on-chain operations.”

ETH Trans Fees

The immense growth in stablecoins and DeFi usage has been having an adverse result on Ethereum.

As we reported, the debacle of the DeFi experiment YAM. Finance was the real culprit for pushing the Ether fees so high, that wasn’t seen since the launch of the platform in 2015.

The average gas price that has also jumped over 260 Gwei has also come down to about 110 Gwie level, as per Blockchair.

However, the gas usage continues to hit a new all-time high which means the usage of the network hasn’t slowed down, close to hitting 80 billion per day.

This could be because of the transaction count on the network, which dropped to 612k today, down from over 1.2 million on August 10, inches away from the all-time of 1.34 million on January 4, 2018, during the peak of the last bull run.

blockchair eth

Much like these metrics, the price of Ether also took a fall. ETH dropped over 13.5% to $380 in line with Bitcoin falling under $11,400 which has been because of the strengthening US dollar index. At the time of writing, Ether has been trading at $392, still in the red but up 198% YTD.

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Author: AnTy

Chain Swap: Tether Moves 1 Billion USDT from Tron to Ethereum Amid the DeFi Frenzy

Tether, the stablecoin provider, has moved 1 billion USDT coins from the Tron blockchain to Ethereum’s ecosystem which has been burgeoning, given the increased activity in DeFi. Basically, the whole process involves a swap from the TRC20 token standard to ERC20; an initiative that was coordinated together with a 3rd party according to the Twitter announcement by Tether.

The 1 billion USDT moved by Tether comes as a big blow to Tron blockchain whose supply will now reduce to 3.3 billion. As for Ethereum, its supply increased from a prevailing 7.5 billion to 8.5 billion, a move that will probably scale DeFi growth even more. Notably, Tether’s USDT supply went up by over 2 billion within the recent crypto market bull-run, bringing the total to over 13 billion.

Tether was also keen to highlight that the swap will not affect the current USDT supply but simply initiate a shift in the operating blockchain network. Going by the prospects on Ethereum, the move appears to have been motivated by DeFi activity where the USDT coin has found a niche based on its ability to preserve value in such a volatile ecosystem.

As for the 3rd party exchange involved in the swap, Tether did not disclose which crypto exchange it had tasked with this process. However, data from crypto transfer tracking metric Whale Alert, suggests that Binance might have actually been the 3rd party mentioned in Tether swap tweet. This is based on an alert that $600 million USD was transferred from Binance to Tether’s treasury.

With congestion at all-time high in Ethereum’s network, the latest move to increase USDT supply on this blockchain might not play out very well. Tether, however, operates in a total of 7 blockchains with the latest launch being on the Omisego network. It is this diversity that will probably come in handy should Ethereum’s congestion prove unsustainable.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Altcoins’ Under Heavy Losses, BTC Bias in Favor of Bears as Stock Market Fears Another Sell-Off

Bitcoin’s price remains flat, with volume dying despite the stablecoin supply explosion in 2020. It just took four months for the stablecoin supply to double to reach 12 billion while it took five years to reach the initial 6 billion.

In the past few weeks, bitcoin’s correlation with the S&P 500 is also surging, and it is struggling to outperform the gold.

However, as we reported declining volatility is indicating we may be about to see some action.

“The Bitcoin market continues to trade within range. Caution is advised as long as price remains in this range,” said trader CryptoYoda.

Although the weekly candles are giving a short-term bullish outlook as they slowly trend upwards, the trader says, “Unless $10,500 is taken out, the bias remains in favor of the Bears and further consolidation.”

Retail Activity Pushing Prices Higher

Bitcoin trading sideways, however, has been suitable for altcoins, which have been rallying, most notably Dogecoin. This “joke cryptocurrency” had a volatile last week driven by Tik Tok zoomers.

Retail trading has the equity markets ballooning with the millennial and Gen Z using commission-free apps like Robinhood, which saw a record 3 million new accounts in Q1, to invest in cheap assets. This retail activity also spilled into the digital asset market.

While Dogecoin never reached $1 as the viral challenge went on Tik Tok, on July 8th, over 1 billion units of supply that haven’t moved for two years was suddenly transferred.

Cardano was another one that saw its market reaching new 2020 highs on July 8th, which saw it passing LTC’s market cap after ADA prices rose in anticipation of the Shelley mainnet release.

Meanwhile, LINK jumped to a new ATH and captured the 10th spot, VeChainThor also exploded higher with DeFi tokens using this rally to push even further.

Red or Green?

Amidst the greens, yesterday, bitcoin slid slightly after the stock market dropped, which resulted in Altcoins falling as well. On Monday, Nasdaq rallied to set an all-time high only to close down by over 1%. The last time this happened was in early March 2020, which had traders fearing another March sell-off like situation.

But that time, the Fed wasn’t printing money like crazy.

For now, among the top cryptos, ADA is down the most by 6.50%, followed by Chainlink’s (LINK) about 5%.

Other losers include Ampleforth (37.4%), Loopring (10.89%), Synthetix (10.60%), Theta Token (9.46%), REN (9.28%), Balancer (7.17%), Tezos (7%), Kyber Network (7.96%), Ravencoin (7.96%), Algorand (6.85%), Compound (6.52%), Stellar (6.12%), Ziliqa (5.90%), Elrond (5.5.61), Matic Network (5.09%), VeChian (4.73%), BNB (4.33%), BitTorrent (4.18%), and Tron (3.97%),

In the past hour, however, things have started to turn green.

It all depends on how bitcoin behaves now. If the world’s leading cryptocurrency continues to trade sideways, altcoins will rally. Even a slight uptrend could help these cryptocurrencies, but a drop in Bitcoin price will mean only more losses for the altcoins.

“Alts will likely take a hit once Bitcoin shows its true face in the form of turbulent moves in either direction; thus, more patience is needed,” said CryptoYoda.

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Author: AnTy