Taproot Activation Signaling Begins Starting with SlushPool, F2Pool, and Foundry

Bitcoin’s Taproot Activation Signaling Begins Starting with SlushPool, F2Pool, and Foundry

Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade, a privacy and scalability improvement, has taken another step closer to becoming a reality.

After the code for Taproot’s “Speedy trial,” an activation method was merged into Bitcoin core last month, Taproot signaling on Bitcoin officially began over the weekend with the second and largest downward difficulty adjustment of 12.6% of the year.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also tweeted the website “taproot.watch,” where you can check the support for the upgrade.

BTC.com produced the first block since it began, but it failed to signal. However, soon others joined in, starting with SlushPool, which has been operating since 2010.

SlushPool mined the first block signaling for Taproot, which was joined by Foundry, a US-based mining pool that is the subsidiary of Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group that also owns Grayscale.

The latest Taproot signal is given by one of the largest bitcoin mining pools, F2Pool. Along with the signal, F2Pool also embedded the message “Of course I hate the Bitcoin success,” the words said by Charlie Munger and agreed by Warren Buffett over the weekend during the Q&A session at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting.

Miners basically signal their support for the upgrade by including particular data in the block they mine. Once 90% of blocks are mined during the current difficulty period, between now and August 11, Taproot will be locked in for activation at the end of the year.

Bitcoin developer Luke Dashjr urged the miner to signal their support ahead of time, saying, “Even though you don’t technically need to upgrade your Bitcoin node for Taproot until November, doing so sooner helps grow confidence in the activation.”

Before the Bitcoin core software release, Bitcoin developer Bitcoin Mechanic released an alternative Taproot activation client. Called “user-activated soft fork” (UASF), it allows node operators to reject miners not signaling for Taproot and mandatory activate it in October 2022. The inclusion of UASF in Bitcoin Core was what led to months of debate.

“Yes, there are differences in opinion. No, this does not resemble debates that have led to past network splits,” said Kraken editor Pete Rizzo referencing the SegWit upgrade in 2017 that led to the fork and creation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). BCH 4.59% Bitcoin Cash / USD BCHUSD $ 1,017.78
$46.724.59%
Volume 3.52 b Change $46.72 Open $1,017.78 Circulating 18.73 m Market Cap 19.06 b
6 h Due to Increased Demand, Social Trading Platform Firm eToro Now Supports DOGE 8 h Bitcoin’s Taproot Activation Signaling Begins Starting with SlushPool, F2Pool, and Foundry 4 d Demand to Borrow Bitcoin Declining While Ether sees Significant Increase: Genesis Q1 Report

There are currently 42 signaling blocks, and 84.92% of the blocks have yet to signal their support.

As we reported, the majority of the miners (89.07%) had already announced their support as per the survey of Alejandro del la Torre, VP of mining pool Poolin.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Nasdaq to Launch Coinbase’s COIN Options Trading Starting Today

Nasdaq to Launch Coinbase’s COIN Options Trading Starting Today

Options on Coinbase Global Inc would start trading on Nasdaq options exchanges starting today.

Less than a week after the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the US went public, the equity options on the stock will be launched. This would offer investors yet another way to bet on Coinbase.

On Wednesday, Coinbase made the high-profile debut that briefly valued it at over $100 billion. On the day, the COIN shares were worth as much as $430 at one point but are currently down 22.5% as it trades around $319.35.

image1

During the first day of trading, as we reported, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sold about $292 million in shares in total, which is less than 2% of his entire holdings. Armstrong sold these shares in three batches of 749,999 each at prices ranging from $381 to $410.40 per share.

COIN has been very popular among the general public. It was actually the most bought across the retail clients of UBS for three consecutive days, as per John Street Capital. With a total 3-day inflow of $410 million, it was the largest 3-day period of inflows by a company only after Jack Ma’s Alibaba (BABA) initial public offering (IPO).

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Goldman Sachs to Start Offering its Wealthy Clients Access to Bitcoin Starting Next Quarter

Goldman Sachs to Start Offering its Wealthy Clients Access to Bitcoin Starting Next Quarter

The bank’s VP says there is “a large contingent of clients” looking for ways to participate in the crypto space and sees Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation.

Goldman Sachs plans to start offering its first investment vehicles for Bitcoin and other crypto-assets to its wealthy clients in the next quarter.

CNBC reported the news on Wednesday, citing an internal company memo seen by it.

In an interview this week, Mary Rich, the new global head of digital assets for Goldman’s private wealth management division, which targets individuals, families, and endowments with at least $25 million to invest, said,

″We are working closely with teams across the firm to explore ways to offer thoughtful and appropriate access to the ecosystem for private wealth clients, and that is something we expect to offer in the near-term.”

Throughout the first quarter, Goldman Sachs has been working towards offering crypto products as it rebooted its bitcoin trading desk from 2018, filed for an ETF to provide indirect exposure to BTC, and reported “rising” client demand.

Another big name Morgan Stanley is reportedly on track to place clients into its bitcoin funds starting in April.

The investment banking giant is, according to Rich, is looking to offer a “full-spectrum” of investments in digital assets that ultimately range from physical bitcoin to derivatives and traditional investment vehicles.

It is basically all about demand for Bitcoin from the customers, and “there’s a contingent of clients who are looking to this asset as a hedge against inflation, and the macro backdrop over the past year has certainly played into that,” Rich said.

She further said that “a large contingent of clients” also feels like we’re at the dawn of a new Internet and are looking for ways to participate in the crypto space.

While the ecosystem is still at its “very nascent stages,” she said, “it will be part of our future.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Robinhood Adds 6 Million New Crypto Users in First 2 Months; 2021 Starting With A Bang

Robinhood Adds 6 Million New Crypto Users in First 2 Months; 2021 Starting With A Bang

“The numbers are clear: 2021 has started with a crypto bang,” says the online brokerage.

Zero commission online brokerage Robinhood revealed that 6 million new users signed up for its cryptocurrency services in the first two months of this year.

The company launched its crypto services three years ago. Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Litecoin (LTC) are the only available cryptos on the platform.

Robinhood Crypto, which is licensed to engage in virtual currency business activity by the New York State Department of Financial Services, recorded high trading volume amidst a sharp rise in the prices of cryptos.

These numbers just show that much like crypto exchanges which have been registering a sustaining number of new peaks in new user sign-ups and volume, the crypto-mania has spread to everyone.

As we reported, in January, the global crypto users broke the milestone of 100 million, and this week, Square also revealed in its earnings report that its Cash App recorded 1 million new Bitcoin users in January 2021, adding to its 3 million throughout 2020.

As for Robinhood’s crypto division, they averaged about 200,000 new customers trading on its platform per month in 2020, the company said in a blog post. “The numbers are clear: 2021 has started with a crypto bang,” it said.

Robinhood crypto traders by year

Source: Robinhood

The average transaction size of crypto investors on the platform is around $500.

Robinhood, which also offers stock and options trading, currently allows its customers to only buy, sell, and hold cryptos and recently said it also plans to introduce the ability to deposit and withdraw cryptos to other wallets.

The company is expected to go public this year, with a value of over $20 billion, nowhere near the more than $100 billion valuation crypto exchange Coinbase got. The largest crypto exchange in the US, Coinbase, filed to go public with Nasdaq through a direct listing on Thursday.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Germany Banning Derivatives Trading with its New Tax Law Starting 2021

Germany Banning Derivatives Trading with its New Tax Law Starting 2021

You better make only profitable trades; losses are severely publishable by law.

Germany has made changes to its law that no longer allows the losses from income from forward transactions, crypto derivatives trading to be deductible.

In 2020, regulators around the world tightened their noose on cryptocurrencies, and Europe is making a move against derivatives trading.

The new regulation within the framework of the annual tax law has been approved. Under this new law, the limit of losses from forward transactions that can be offset against profits has been increased to up to EUR 20,000, from the previous EUR 10,000, reported a German publication site.

“If the trader realizes option transactions with a total profit of 1,000,000 euros and transactions with a total loss of 800,000 euros in one year, he will not only have to pay withholding tax on the profit of 200,000 euros but also on 990,000 euros from 2021,” explained the tax advisors.

This is because only 10,000 euros can be offset from the total losses of 800k euros, and 790k euros are carried forward to the following years.

God forbid if someone made more in losses because then it gets even worse. Not only did you lost assets in a trade, but you will also suffer from a significant tax burden. Independent researcher Hasu, noted,

“At the bottom line, this law effectively bans all derivatives trading starting 2021. But it’s even worse than that because people are still allowed to trade and generate tax debt far in excess of their profit. I’m in shock about the malice behind this.”

The regulators have already announced that warrants and certificates are not classified as futures and CFDs are forward transactions.

The new regulation that is to be applied from January 1st, 2021, will increase the tax burden of private investors significantly, but the good thing is “the courts have to clarify to what extent this provision is constitutional.”

“As others have pointed out, this law is likely unconstitutional, and it’s a huge surprise to see it ratified. Expect a wave of lawsuits against German gov + good chance it will be overturned. But this can take months to years, so be careful in the meantime.”

Hasu Researcher

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

BitMEX Loses its Dominant Position; Competition Among Binance, ByBit, & Others Heating Up

Since starting the month, the price of bitcoin has weathered numerous storms.

From KuCoin’s $281 million hack, US President Donald Trump testing coronavirus positive, UK’s FCA banning crypto derivatives to FATF red-flagging hardware wallets, Europol prioritizing privacy wallets, and of course, BitMEX’ indictment, BTC held through it all.

The leading digital currency kept to $10,000 strongly, and went as high as $11,500 last week, recording a 5.24% increase.

However, the same couldn’t be said of the popular crypto derivatives platform BitMEX which saw its BTC balance decreasing by 30%.

As a matter of fact, BTC futures annualized rolling 3-month basis actually went negative on BitMEX while on FTX, it was +6.52%, +6.30% on Binance, and +5.65% on Deribit.

Although still having a 6% difference to other exchanges, it is now gradually moving upwards to 4%.

Bitcoin futures on the platform are also trading at a discount at $11,460 compared to $11,527 on Kraken, $11,582 on Deribit, $11,594 on FTX, and OKEx, and above $11,600 on both Huobi and Binance for the month of December.

Stealing BitMEX”s Share

Meanwhile, open interest on the exchange went down hard to 35k BTC on the weekend, from the high of 55k BTC, $615 million right before the crash in direct response to criminal charges brought on by the CFTC and DOJ.

OI on BitMEX does not show any signs of slowing down its decline, although currently, it sits at 36k BTC, about $413 million.

Meanwhile, other platforms are capturing this as this month; the total OI increased by 16.6%.

While percentage-wise, FTX saw the biggest jump of 51.2% ($85 million), OKEx was the one that recorded the largest spike in absolute terms at $110 million (13.5%), as per Skew.

Besides BitMEX every platform experienced a rise in their open interest: CME 43.4% ($150 million), Deribit 35% ($60 million), Kraken 26% ($11 million), Bakkt 23% ($3 million), Binance 22.3% ($93 million), Bybit 19.6% ($76 million), Huobi 8% ($41 million), and Bitfinex 4.8% ($3 million).

Binance has actually taken the leader position in the space in terms of open interest with Bybit close behind, surpassing the OI on BitMEX. Vetle Lunde, an analyst at Arcane Research, noted,

“BitMEX has lost its dominant position while the competition in the derivative markets has been sharpened as more exchanges have gained traction.”

Open Interest Distribution
Source: Arcane Research

Traders left BitMEX but didn’t leave the market; they have moved on to other exchanges to trade perpetual BTC contracts.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Crypto Funds Reporting ‘Impressive’ Performance This Year

Bitcoin had a good start in 2020, starting the year at around $7,200. During the market-wide crash in March, the digital asset crashed to $3,800 but only to surge to the yearly high of $12,630 in mid-August.

Up until August 31st, bitcoin recorded a return of 66.6%.

During the same period, Pantera unveiled returns of over 100% across various funds the firm manages, with its bitcoin fund gaining 61%, revealed the firm in its September 2020 investor letter. It was the company’s digital asset fund that recorded 168% returns and the ICO fund having a whopping 323% uptrend while the long-term ICO fund had a 270% return.

The outperformance of other funds has been primarily because of DeFi tokens that rallied hard between May and September of this year. The firm had invested in about 40 ICOs over the years.

Pantera’s Chief Investment Officers also pointed to DeFi as the main driver behind their portfolio performance. “We’ve been positioning the funds towards decentralized finance,” which they started acquiring some years back.

One of the largest digital currency funds in the space, Pantera, has reportedly nearly $500 million in AUM, compared to the largest asset manager Grayscale’s $5 billion AUM.

Also Read: Grayscale Bought 17,100 BTC Last Week, Now Holds 2.4% of Bitcoin’s Supply

Promise for value investing in crypto

Off The Chain Capital is another one that saw returns of 93% YTD compared to 57.2% returns posted by crypto funds during the same period.

The $40 million fund is also in talks to purchase about 1% of crypto-payments processor BitPay and another stake in the crypto exchange Kraken. Back in March, the Florida-based company bought 1% of Polychain Capital and then a year ago a stake in Digital Currency Group.

Additionally, Off The Chain has been buying claims of creditors of Mt.Gox every week and is its largest buyer.

“I learned about Bitcoin” in 2014, said Brian Estes, who runs the fund. “Coming from traditional finance, I thought it was just a scam. After the Mt. Gox hack, my value instincts kicked in, I started doing due diligence. I read the Satoshi white paper, and it clicked with me.”

It was when he started investing in bitcoin and crypto startups like Coinbase. His son actually grew his money from $500k to almost $10 million at the end of the 2017 bull run, which Estes then bought and opened to outside investors last year.

Additionally, it is packaging Bitcoin and Ether into equity-like investments to sell them through brokerage firms.

“Even if Bitcoin doesn’t move, we are making 40-60% a year on harvesting these premiums,” Estes said.

“Off The Chain’s reported performance this year has been impressive and may indicate promise for value investing in the crypto space, even as it has fallen out of favor with traditional equity investors,” said Josh Gnaizda, CEO of CryptoFundResearch.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

XRP Ledger Feature ‘Checks’ Goes Live; Works Similar to a Traditional Paper Check

XRP Ledger has introduced the traditional finance feature of checks starting from June 18th after getting the approval of the validators. The firm claimed that the feature was introduced with ripple v0.90.0. However, it failed to get the required support of node validators to be active at that time.

However, Wietse Wind, a popular XRP contributor, claimed that this amendment was implemented without getting the approval from Ripple-associated validators.

For this amendment to be passed and remain active, at least 80% of the node validators must approve it, and as long as this amendment enjoys majority support, it would be available on the XRP ledger.

What Would be the Use of Checks on XRP Ledger?

The ‘checks‘ feature on XRP Ledger would function quite similar to that of traditional tests where anyone can use them to transfer a certain amount of XRP to a particular person. The holder of the check can then cash the mentioned amount.

The developer also explained that the real transfer of value only occurs once the check is cashed out, so in case the sender of the check does not have the specified XRP in their wallet, then the check would “bounce.”

Until the recipient cashes out, the XRP remains in the sender’s wallet. The official announcement made by the XRP also mentioned that the XRP community does not require to download any update to avail the new Check feature as the minimum requirement for the XRP ledger to support this function as it is already synced with the network.

XRP, as a cryptocurrency token, hasn’t seen any progress in terms of price, failing to get past the psychological barrier of $0.30 ever since the bear market of 2018 and recently also lost its third-position in crypto rankings by CoinMarketCap to Tether’s Stablecoin. However, it has continued to support Ripple’s remittance technology and offers liquidity for the RippleNet.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W

Bitcoin S2F Model Prints the First “Red” Dot Marking the Start of the Bull Market

In 2020 so far, Bitcoin is up 30% while trading at $9,500, starting June with 0.76% losses.

In May, BTC went through ups and downs and made several attempts to take over the $10k level. But overall it remained in the range of $8,500 and $10,000 which continued to get tighter.

After 10.58% of losses in the first quarter of 2020, in the second quarter so far, we are up 48.56%.

As per the Relative Strength Indicator, bitcoin is currently neutral at a reading of 55, the same as market segments with the Crypto Fear and Greed Index having a reading of 50.

However, the good thing is the popular stock to flow model has printed the first red dot, indicating we are at the beginning of a bull run.

The updated S2F chart which has been expected since the third block reward halving last month points to the starting of the next 18-months bitcoin price cycle with its top at $100,000 by the end of 2021, as analyst PlanB has previously pointed out.

However, along the way, bitcoin will go though some pullbacks as occurred in the previous cycles as well.

As we reported, there are a number of factors working in favor of a new bull market. The institutional interest is growing, with Grayscale consuming more bitcoin than what is being created while supply is already entering the market at half the pace it was before halving.

Bitcoin investors are also preferring to holding than looking to sell their BTC in the near future.

No $1 million for Bitcoin

While Bitcoin is making its way to a new bull market, John McAfee, the eccentric billionaire who predicted in 2018 that bitcoin would reach $1 million by the end of 2020 or he will “eat my dick on national television”, dismissed it this weekend.

“What idiot could believe such nonsense?” said the 74-year-old about his prediction which is “the most crippled crypto-tech.”

He called out people to “wake up” on twitter adding “If Bitcoin ever hit $1 mil, it’s market cap would be greater than the GDP of the entire North American Continent.”

“Whale Fucking is a thousand times more likely to make its way onto the Olympics Stage,” than Bitcoin skyrocketing 10,426% from its current level, stated McAfee.

As a matter of fact, the first bitcoin rally from late 2012 to 2014 was 10,000%. However, the percentage of gains has been dropping after that with every bull run.

McAfee actually long maintained his $1 million prediction for bitcoin only to say in January this year that it was “a ruse to onboard new users” adding, “It’s an ancient technology. All know it.”

This time he had this to say, “Are you one of the persons who did not see the absurd humor in it?”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Bitfinex To Delist 46 Crypto Trading Pairs Due to Low Liquidity On March 6th

Bitfinex crypto exchange has revealed that it will kickoff a delisting process starting from coming Friday to remove crypto trading pairs that have very low volumes.

In a blog post released on March 2, Bitfinex stated that it will delist 46 cryptocurrency trading pairs starting on March 6 as a result of low liquidity within the platform. The exchange platform also stated that the removal of the said trading pairs is a normal procedure that is meant to enhance the platform’s liquidity. The blog post also stated that the exercise will streamline as well as optimize the trading experience of the platform’s clients.

Most of the crypto trading pairs which are set to be delisted coming Friday comprise a big list of altcoins that trade against Ether (ETH) which is the second-largest crypto as per its market cap. The list comprises 30 trading pairs such as OKEx tokens (OKB), Nucleus Vision (NCASH) and Verge (XVG).

The rest of the trading pairs comprises of altcoins that trade against Bitcoin (BTC) such as Hydrol Protocol (HOT) as well as Medicalchain (MTN/BTC). The exchange also lists two altcoins that trade against Dai (DAI) which include OmiseGO (OMG/DAI) as well as 0x (ZRX) /DAI. The other trading pair facing the chop trades against Yen (XVG/JPY).

Bitfinex advises its clients to cancel all open orders with the targeted trading pairs by 10.00 AM UTC on March 6. The exchange stated that any remaining open orders by that time will instantly be canceled.

As per data retrieved from the crypto tracking platform, CoinGecko, as of now, Bitfinex supports approximately 350 trading pairs within its platform. By publication time, Bitfinex’s trading volume per day stands at $118 million, Coin360 data shows.

Liquidity within the crypto industry is the ease at which a certain crypto asset can become cash with no effect on its price. Delisting is a common activity to enhance liquidity for crypto exchanges. Bitfinex is not the only platform to delist trading pairs with low liquidity. In 2019, Binance conducted a delisting exercise where 30 crypto trading pairs were removed.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe