Bitcoin and Ether Dump More Going Into Year-End, ETH Killers Showing Great Momentum

Just before the end of the year, the crypto market continues to take a beating. After the initial green start of the last week of 2021, prices have only been going down.

This rout further extended to late Wednesday and early Thursday when Bitcoin price dipped further just under $45,900 and Ether to about $3,585. As of writing, BTC/USD has been trading above $47k while Ether is also over $3,700.

While the leading cryptocurrency is down 31.6% from its $69,000 all-time high early last month, Ether is only down about 24%. This month, however, Bitcoin is down 17.5% compared to ether’s almost 20%, according to Skew.

But while Bitcoin managed to record losses less than Ether, the latter’s 2021 gains at 407% are still greater than Bitcoin’s only 60%.

“It’s not really that clear to the world at large, to the mainstream, that what’s really happening with Bitcoin, with Ethereum, with this whole bucket of technologies…is really a revolution in software development,” said Coinlist CEO Graham Jenkin in an interview. “Blockchain technology represents a totally new way to build, distribute and run software.”

The largest cryptocurrency has shown a positive correlation with the S&P 500 Index this year. But this week, S&P 500 rose to new highs while Bitcoin has only been recording losses.

With the subdued price action, the cryptocurrency’s volatility has also decreased. Even during the winter festive season and weekends, which have seen thin volume, the cryptocurrency has failed to have any wild swings.

“A lot of traders have made life-changing money in 2021 and have been waiting to take profits until after the turn of the year to delay tax payments until 2023,” said Sergio Silva, sales director at Fireblocks. “That’s another source of selling pressure that could cascade into additional weakness in January.”

But despite the ongoing weakness in the crypto market, exchange-traded fund investors (ETF) are still putting money into these products.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), the first Bitcoin futures ETF that started trading in October, has attracted more than $40 million in December for the third straight monthly inflows.

Investors have also poured in $6.5 million into another futures ETF, the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BTF), since the end of last month, its third consecutive month of inflows as well.

2021 belongs to altcoins and not Bitcoin or Ether. The biggest gainers this year have been the NFT pay-to-earn (P2E) game Axie Infinity (AXS) whose gains have been more than 15,900%, and the NFT-based virtual world The Sandbox (SAND), whose returns have been 15,550%. AXS 1.17% Axie Infinity / USD AXSUSD $ 94.97
$1.111.17%
Volume 180.63 m Change $1.11 Open $94.97 Circulating 60.91 m Market Cap 5.78 b
10 h Bitcoin and Ether Dump More Going Into Year-End, ETH Killers Showing Great Momentum 1 d South Korean Exchange Suspends Withdrawals to External Wallets, Govt. Reaches Out to Apple and Google to Block P2E Apps 2 d Axie Infinity Daily Revenue Plunges Over 94% from Peak as Daily Active Addresses Drops by 72%
SAND 1.32% The Sandbox / USD SANDUSD $ 5.91
$0.081.32%
Volume 1.16 b Change $0.08 Open $5.91 Circulating 919.5 m Market Cap 5.43 b
9 h The Sandbox Game Is Migrating to Ethereum Sidechain Polygon and Launching A DAO in 2022 10 h Bitcoin and Ether Dump More Going Into Year-End, ETH Killers Showing Great Momentum 6 d Is This The Beginning of the Santa Rally? Markets Jump in Asia Session

Ethereum killers have been another good play of 2021, with Polygon (13,860%), Terra (12,960%), Fantom (12,260%), and Solana (9,320%) leading this rally.

MATIC 3.24% Polygon / USD MATICUSD $ 2.56
$0.083.24%
Volume 1.93 b Change $0.08 Open $2.56 Circulating 7.16 b Market Cap 18.32 b
7 h StarkWare Proposes to Deploy Aave on its ZK-Rollup L2 StarkNet 9 h The Sandbox Game Is Migrating to Ethereum Sidechain Polygon and Launching A DAO in 2022 10 h Bitcoin and Ether Dump More Going Into Year-End, ETH Killers Showing Great Momentum
LUNA 1.41% Luna Coin / USD LUNAUSD $ 0.01
$0.001.41%
Volume 0 Change $0.00 Open $0.01 Circulating 1.71 m Market Cap 13.68 K
10 h Bitcoin and Ether Dump More Going Into Year-End, ETH Killers Showing Great Momentum 2 d UST Grows 55x to Become the 4th Largest Stablecoin, Terra DeFi Ecosystem Amasses $18B in Assets 6 d Is This The Beginning of the Santa Rally? Markets Jump in Asia Session
FTM -1.91% Fantom / USD FTMUSD $ 2.10
-$0.04-1.91%
Volume 607.67 m Change -$0.04 Open $2.10 Circulating 2.55 b Market Cap 5.34 b
10 h Bitcoin and Ether Dump More Going Into Year-End, ETH Killers Showing Great Momentum 3 d Bitcoin Is Back Above $51k and Ether $4,100 as The Cryptocurrency Market Goes Green 3 w ETHBTC Hits New 2021 High, Dogecoin and Ethereum Price Leading Google Trends in 2021
SOL 0.92% Solana / USD SOLUSD $ 172.53
$1.590.92%
Volume 1.51 b Change $1.59 Open $172.53 Circulating 309.48 m Market Cap 53.39 b
10 h Bitcoin and Ether Dump More Going Into Year-End, ETH Killers Showing Great Momentum 1 w Bitcoin and Ether Breaks Trend With Outflows While Altcoins Continue to See Inflows 1 w Crypto Outliers: Terra (LUNA) Amasses $16.9 Bln & Surpass BSC, Avalanche (AVAX) Aims for 1 Million Daily Transactions

“While Bitcoin showed strength in 2021, we’ve seen a constant stream of capital trickling down into altcoins,” Arcane Research wrote in a note. The firm’s analysts predict the strongest momentum in tokens related to GameFi and the metaverse, along with “ETH-killers” targeting Ethereum.

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Author: AnTy

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen Become FTX Ambassadors and Take an Equity Stake in the Exchange

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen Become FTX Ambassadors and Take an Equity Stake in the Crypto Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX and celebrity couple Tom Brady, a popular football player, and Gisele Bündchen, a renowned supermodel, have announced a long-term partnership.

Both Brady and Bündchen will serve as ambassadors for FTX and have taken an equity stake in the firm but did not disclose it. They did say the duo will receive an unspecified amount and type of crypto assets. Bündchen will also take on the role of FTX’s environmental and social initiatives adviser.

“Tom and Gisele are both legends and they both reached the pinnacle of what they do,” said Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of FTX.

“When we think about what FTX represents, we want to be the best product that is out there.”

Bankman-Fried further said both Brady and Bündchen were “really into” this partnership.

“This isn’t the first time that they’ve been involved in crypto, not the first time they’ve thought about it or even used it, which I think makes it a much more natural and authentic partnership,” said Bankman-Fried. “They’re examples of audiences we’d really like FTX to be the product for.”

Brady has been advocating cryptocurrencies for some time now and last month he added laser eyes to his Twitter profile picture in support of Bitcoin. On Monday, the quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers asked for other ideas after the laser eyes “didn’t work,” in reference to the drop in Bitcoin’s price over the past month.

During the CoinDesk Consensus 2021 forum, earlier this year, Brady said his coaches and teammates had been talking about cryptocurrencies and their prices on a daily basis.

“We’re very interested,” he said at the time, and that they are learning about these emerging markets. “So I’m a big believer in it, I don’t think it’s going anywhere,” said Brady, adding volatility will “absolutely” be there.

“This particular opportunity showed us the importance of educating people about the power of crypto while simultaneously giving back to our communities and planet,” Brady said in a statement.

Brad and Bündchen have also committed to annual multi-million dollar contributions for the duration of the partnership with FTX, which was founded with the goal of donating to charity and has already earmarked $10 million so far.

This latest marketing splash from FTX came on the back of the exchange’s partnership with Major League Baseball earlier this month and before that acquiring the naming rights to Miami Heat’s National Basketball Association stadium to FTX Arena as well as buying 10-year naming rights to an eSports team for $210 million.

“A lot of what we’ve been looking at is what are the things that we can do that will really stand out and represent us well, fit our brand and really capture people’s attention,” said Bankman-Fried.

“We’re going to be doing what we can to try to get news about FTX out there and get more eyeballs on it.”

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Author: AnTy

Digital Asset Manager Grayscale Says It Is ‘100% Committed To Converting GBTC Into An ETF’

On conversion of GBTC into an ETF, the holders of GBTC shares won’t need to take any action, and the management fee, currently at 2%, will be reduced. Meanwhile, the world’s first Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) holds 16,462 BTC without a single outflow since its debut.

Today, the world’s largest digital asset manager clarified its intentions for a bitcoin ETF: they are fully committed to converting its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Launched in 2013, GBTC is currently a publicly-traded Bitcoin fund in the US and an SEC-reporting company.

Today, with $34 billion in AUM, GBTC only stands behind SPDR Gold Trust in terms of global commodity ETPs. With $2.6 billion in weekly volume, it stands in third place behind only GLD and iShares Silver Trust.

For several years now, Grayscale has been examining ETFs closely from both a commercial and regulatory perspective, said the fund in its official announcement on Monday.

Grayscale actually submitted an application for a Bitcoin ETF in 2016 and has been in conversation with the SEC since then. But they later withdrew the application because the regulatory environment for digital assets wasn’t advanced enough. So far, not a single Bitcoin ETF has been approved either.

This year, however, many applications for the same have been filed, and the market has high expectations from the SEC, especially with President Joe Biden’s nominee for the SEC chair Gary Gensler. The company said,

“While several firms have submitted Bitcoin ETF applications in the form of an S-1 or 19b-4 to the SEC, we are confident in our current positioning and engagement with the SEC.”

When GBTC converts to an ETF, the company says, the holders of GBTC shares won’t be needed to take any action. Also, the management fee, currently at 2%, will also get reduced accordingly.

Since late Feb., GBTC’s coveted premium has been running in the negative, which has been attributed to the rise of other products, including several Bitcoin ETFs trading in Canada.

The first-ever Bitcoin ETF from Purpose Investments (BTCC) currently holds 16,462 BTC, with $1.22 billion in AUM. Launched in mid-February, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF has seen only inflows, and not a single outflow has been recorded yet.

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Author: AnTy

CleanSpark Acquires ATL Data Centers; Now One of the US’ Largest Publicly-Traded BTC Producer

Everyone wants to take a bite of cryptocurrencies. Every day a new big-name announces their digital asset investment.

Just this week, Southeast Asia’s biggest bank, DBS Group Holdings, announced its digital exchange and insurance behemoth MassMutual purchased $100 million in Bitcoin in the long line of mainstream herd jumping on the crypto bandwagon.

CleanSpark is another one that has acquired the US-based Bitcoin mining company ATL data centers for $19.4 million, which “should immediately position us as one of the largest publicly-traded Bitcoin producers in the country,” said Matthew Schultz, Executive Chairman at CleanSpark.

In response to the news, the shares (CLSK) of the company jumped 20%. This strategic acquisition is part of the company’s “larger growth plan” following CleanSpark’s recent $40 million institutional investment.

MicroStrategy was the pioneer in making a big bet on Bitcoin, followed by Jack Dorsey’s Square, which validated the crypto move for CleanSpark. Schultz said,

“The recent, significant investments into Bitcoin by such respected companies as Square, PayPal, and MicroStrategy further validate our due diligence conclusions surrounding this acquisition.”

Mass BTC Production at Lowest Energy Costs

The company is expanding its power from 20MW to 50MW, which is scheduled to be completed in April 2021. It is further working on adding renewable energy generating assets and more than quadrupling the number of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) mining units in operation during the expansion. Zachary Bradford, CleanSpark’s CEO, said,

“Our prior experience in the digital currency mining industry provided insight into how proper energy management was crucial to successful and profitable mining operations.”

In 2018, CleanSpark’s energy professionals were tasked to design and engineer a microgrid solution for a ‘stand-alone’ mobile bitcoin mining system. Now, as part of the ATL complex, the company has 23 such mobile mining rigs and the main facility.

The company currently has 3,471 bitcoin mining units (“ASICs”) on-site that are processing approximately 190 PH/s using about 9.6 MW of capacity, which is expected to increase between 0.9-1.4 EH/s following the equipment and energy expansion.

“We expect that this will result in multiple bitcoins being produced daily at some of the lowest energy costs” to below $0.0285 per kw/h, said Bradford in an official announcement.

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Author: AnTy

PayPal CEO: Entire World is Going to be ‘Digital First’ with ‘Consumers Abandoning Cash’

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said digital currencies are set to go mainstream as more merchants take a “digital first” approach to payments, which means cash is on the way out.

“The entire world is going to come into digital first,” Schulman said at the Web Summit conference on Wednesday. Merchants are moving to accept payments via smartphones and QR codes, and more customers have started to use digital wallets, which “are natural complements to digital currencies.” He added,

“So, over the long run, I’m very bullish on digital currencies of all kinds.”

These remarks came after the popular payment company announced support for cryptos just last month. PayPal is also planning to use digital currencies to shop at 26 million merchants on its network next year.

According to a recent survey by Mizuho, one-fifth of PayPal users have already traded Bitcoin on the app.

Bitcoin’s ongoing exuberance boosts user engagement, with BTC traders reporting over three times higher usage frequency than non-BTC traders. However, converting these non-BTC traders into crypto users is a challenge because only 8% say they plan to trade Bitcoin in the future on the PayPal app.

Schulman also sees China’s largest mobile-payment company Ant Financial as its biggest competitor who had “tremendous success” in the country with a digital wallet with “all elements of financial services, all elements of shopping,” Shulman said.

Drop the Cash

During the conference, Schuman said PayPal’s most significant opportunity is to move toward digital payments and away from cash. The trend that has already been happening is “accelerating” in the pandemic, and “you’re seeing an explosion in digital payments,” he said.

The USD Index has been on a decline ever since March, currently at a level not seen since April 2018 as “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell are once again on Capitol Hill begging Congress for some money.”

Meanwhile, Bitcoin has made a new all-time high, currently trading above $19,000.

According to analyst Mati Greenspan, currently, we are having a very similar setup playing out that we saw just before BTC broke through $14,000. He noted,

“The pattern resulted in an extremely rare upward breakout of an upward facing channel, despite a coinciding psychological barrier.”

While the natural thing for the market to do is have a pullback and test the lows before going for ATH, we are not in a “normal market right now,” and “the question isn’t really when we break $20,000 so much as how it will break,” said Greenspan.

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Author: AnTy

Bitfinex Introduces Lending Service To Compete With The Booming DeFi Ecosystem

  • Bitfinex launches borrowing and lending features to its exchange.
  • Users can take up crypto collateralized loans, paid out in USD or Tether.

Bitfinex exchange is launching the ‘BitFinex Borrow‘ feature aiming to compete with the growing decentralized finance ecosystem. This is a peer-to-peer platform that will allow users to borrow short-term loans directly from the exchange to avoid selling cryptocurrencies. Despite an ongoing investigation by the New York State on BitFinex and its sister company Tether, the exchange is experiencing exponential developmental growth – the latest feature proving a testament.

BitFinex Borrow will allow users to place either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) as collateral to take up a loan in USD or Tether stablecoin, USDt.

The launch follows a resurgence of the DeFi ecosystem in the past few days following a month-long breather that saw investors rush back to Bitcoin. BitFinex Borrow will be competing with decentralized lending platforms such as Aave, Maker, and Compound in a burgeoning market. The exchange also joins Binance, who introduced lending services to its users earlier in the year.

Paolo Ardoino, BitFinex chief technology officer, clarified that BitFinex Borrow is strictly a borrowing platform. Unlike the DeFi lending protocols, users will not pool their funds to obtain a return rate; he further explains.

“This particular offering isn’t about lending out your crypto and obtaining a rate of return on it. The crypto loan is obtained via Bitfinex’s peer-to-peer lending platform, though it may consist of a pool of available credit.”

Once you obtain a loan, the collateralized assets are then offered to a different user through BitFinex Funding – a separate product from the Borrow feature. The two are connected using the Lending Pro feature creating a peer-to-peer web of lending and borrowing.

The service charges a variable and fixed rate ranging between 5.5% and 18.5% depending on several factors, including the amount loaned, the term of the loan, and previous history on the platform, the statement noted. The interest rate is also calculated based on the BitFinex Flash Return Rate (FRR) – offering both a fixed and floating rate.

The FRR is a “moving average of interest rates proposed on BitFinex’s peer-to-peer financing market,” Ardoino stated.

“The moving average of what is available in the market is recalculated every hour,” he added.

“The crypto loan is provided on a peer-to-peer basis through Bitfinex’s financing matching engine (separate and apart from the trading matching engine).”

BitFinex Borrow will offer short term loans with a maximum of 120 days limit on each loan. The loan service is only available to verified customers who have completed the know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Coinbase Custody Exploring 39 Crypto’s Including DeFi Tokens for Listing

Coinbase continues to take its altcoins and DeFi listing spree one step further every other day. Today, the San Francisco-based exchange announced a slew of other tokens its exploring to add support for.

After adding FTX (FTT) and Serum (SRM), Coinbase Custody that offers features such as staking, governance, and decentralized finance (DeFi) and serves institutional clients across the Asia-Pacific region, announced a total of 39 new digital assets that are up for listing.

Coinbase’s crypto custodian has released the latest list of all the digital assets that it is exploring for listing, including some known DeFi tokens and some unknown ones that are heard for the time here only.

Aave (AAVE), Amp (AMP), Ampleforth (AMPL), Ankr (ANKR), ArCoin (ArCoin), Audius (AUDS), Barnbridge (BOND), BitTorrent Token (BTT), Centrifuge (RAD), Conflux Network (CFX), Curve (CRV), DFI.Money (YFII), Elrond Gold (EGLD), JUST (JST), JUST Stablecoin (USDJ), Meta (MTA), MovieBloc (MBL), mStable (MUSD), Neo (NEO), Nervos (CKB), Nexus Mutual (NXM), NKN (NKN), NuCypher (NU), Ontology (ONT), Paxos Gold (PAXG), Paxos Standard (PAX), Reserve (RSV), Reserve Rights (RSR), Request Network (REQ), Skale (SKL), SUN Token (SUN), tBTC (TBTC), Terra (LUNA), The Graph (GRT), Tron (TRX), VeChain (VET), WING (WING), WINK (WIN), and Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC).

Some of these tokens like WBTC have already been supported on Coinbase’s other platform Coinbase Pro.

According to Coinbase, support for any digital asset is subject to its “significant technical and compliance review,” which in some cases may also be subject to regulatory approval in some jurisdictions.

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Author: AnTy

YFI Ready to Take Off As The ‘Ultra High Beta’ or About to Get Smoked?

The DeFi market is going through winter right now, as prices of these tokens take a pullback after making all-time highs during August and September.

Since hitting those peaks, some Defi tokens have taken a harsh beating, like CRV, SUSHI, and bZx, which are down over 90%, some like Aave, Maker, and Loopring only went down about 40%. Amidst this, Yearn.Finance’s governance token YFI is somewhere around the middle.

In August, 1 YFI became equal to 1 BTC and then went past Bitcoin’s ATH $20,000 soon after. It was in the mid of September that YFI hit its peak at $43,678, as per CoinGecko.

Making new highs means the digital assets have to get ready for a correction, and that’s exactly what happened as the DeFi sector as a whole went through a winter.

So Much More Affecting YFI

YFI’s losses were exacerbated because of Eminence.Finance, a project by YFI founder Andre Cronje that rug pulled $16 million. Trader and economist Alex Kruger said,

“YFI has been getting Creamed. Recent underperformance relative to other cryptos has been notable. One could argue it is the chart. But it is not. One can find plenty equally poor charts across crypto. This IMO is the marketplace punishing YFI by removing the Cronje premium.”

According to him, although yields matter which has fallen, the blatant negligence around the EMN launch from Yearn and “how poorly the aftermath was handled… many exited/reduced YFI positions because of it.”

At the time of writing, YFI/USD has been trading at just above $18,000.

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Another reason for this poor performance could be the overall drop in activity in the DeFi sector. Jason Choi of crypto fund The Spartan Group said,

“August has been a phenomenal month for DeFi bulls. Now we’re in the hangover phase of the DeFi party.”

Amidst this rout, we are seeing “flight to quality in yield farming,” with Uniswap accounting for 70% of all TVL in yield farms despite its modest returns of 20%-30%. Choi said,

“The shift in sentiment was rapid. Even “degen” farms offering north of 1500% APY are only attracting ~1/10th of the TVL they did just a month ago.”

“drop is risk appetite and collapse in APY is a direct result of -ve price performance of new crop tokens.”

Moreover, with CRV “buckling under continual inflation sell pressure,” it is affecting YFI as well as yCRV APYs on Yearn.Finance accounts for 60% of its activity.

Macro in Focus

While some call for YFI to go down to four digits due to a head and shoulders pattern, trader Josh Rager sees it making new highs as it has found support at a major 0.618 fib level.

Kruger is also still bullish on this DeFi token despite the price of the token crashing 45% in six days as he said,

“The YFI bigger picture bull case remains unchanged. Odds are high this whole ordeal is short term noise.”

The EMN event, however, should remind speculators of YFI’s high ‘founder risk’ as seen in early August when an interview about Cronje “close to quitting DeFi” tanked the price of YFI.

Overall, the trader expects crypto to take off again after the elections and for DeFi to push even further “as the ultra high beta.” Kruger said,

“Macro matters now. So it makes sense to play from the long side. But if crypto crashes, YFI would get smoked, and no fundamental analysis would stop that.”

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Author: AnTy

AVA Labs to Launch Its Avalanche (AVAX) Blockchain Mainnet On September 21st

  • AVA Labs announces the launch of its mainnet Avalanche blockchain will take place on September 21.
  • The mainnet aims to challenge Ethereum 2.0, providing lower latency and higher throughput.
  • Avalanche mainnet targets the surging world of DeFi products.

AVA Labs, a blockchain development firm, announced it would release its Avalanche blockchain mainnet on September 21. Emin Gün Sirer, the founder of AVA Labs and a computer science professor at Cornell, termed the mainnet “a new beginning for blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized applications.” Adding,

“Monday will mark the beginning of a new era for cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and decentralized applications.”

“Avalanche is the first major breakthrough in our space since Satoshi’s leap forward, and we intend to follow in their footsteps to have the same, defining impact as we stand on the cusp of a new decade.”

According to a statement from the team, Avalanche blockchain mainnet will launch this coming Monday, aiming to provide newly-bred solutions for decentralized finance (DeFi), crypto, and blockchains in general. On the launch of the mainnet, Avalanche’s native token, AVAX, will be distributed to rightful owners, Emin said.

AVAX will be distributed to the early owners of AVA, including those who participated in the private and public sales of the token, developers who were awarded grants from AVA Labs, and those who earned commissions.

Avalanche’s mainnet launch follows 16 months of intense development since the blockchain exited its stealth mode. According to the statement, Avalanche is the first-ever smart contracts platform that delivers sub-second verification and finality of transactions to challenge the upcoming Ethereum 2.0, Ethereum’s forthcoming main update.

Notwithstanding, Avalanche will also support all projects on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and provide EVM development kits. This aims to enable “millions of independent validators to participate as full, block-producing nodes,” the statement further reads.

The launch of Avalanche also brings with it solutions to the burgeoning DeFi ecosystem that has been plagued by over-congestion and high fees on ETH. In a statement obtained by BEG, AVA Labs co-founder and chief operating officer, Kevin Sekniqi, said the development team has always looked for solutions to the DeFi ecosystem with Avalanche to solve the scalability problems.

“There’s no known limit to the number of full, block-producing validators who can participate in Avalanche consensus without losing performance. We’ve tested upwards of 2,000 of these full validating nodes without any drop-off in performance or downtime,” Kevin said.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Deregulating Bitcoin may Increase Speculative Trading Instead of Technical Innovation

Ryozo Himino, the new top financial regulator of Japan, wants the country to take caution over promoting digital assets, arguing that instead of promoting technical innovation, it may end up fueling the speculative fire.

“Deregulating bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies may not necessarily promote technical innovation, if doing so simply increases speculative trading,” Himino told Reuters.

“We’re not thinking of taking special steps to promote cryptocurrencies,” he said. Himino became the new commissioner of the Financial Services Agency (FSA) just last month by replacing Toshihide Endo.

Last year, Himino, under Japan’s chair, spearheaded the G20 debate on regulating cryptocurrencies. Himino was in favor of setting strict regulations on the likes of Facebooks’ Libra, warning the global risks cryptocurrencies pose needs to be addressed first.

Focus on CBDC

According to him, Tokyo needs to shift the focus towards issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could help speed up a cashless society.

Japan has already been studying the technical obstacles to issuing a digital yen and conducting research in joint efforts with other central banks as well.

Himino welcomed these efforts and said, “We shouldn’t be worried about various challenges without even trying to design a plan (for issuing CBDCs).”

“In the end, Japan must think hard about whether to issue CBDCs because there are merits and demerits to doing so. What it can do now is to be ready so that when Japan decides to issue CBDCs, it can do so straight away.”

No “One-Size Fits All” Solution for Banks

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has been making things worse for the country’s regional banks, which are already feeling the pain of years of ultra-low interest rates and a sluggish economy.

According to Himino, there is no “one-size fits all” solution for the banks and said regional banks could use the bail-out programs of the government, cut costs, or raise capital from the markets, though the situation hasn’t been that bad, he said.

“At present, there isn’t any regional bank that is facing concerns over its financial health.”

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Author: AnTy