MyEtherWallet Provides Easy Access to dApps With DappRadar Integration

  • Popular Ethereum wallet app MyEtherWallet (MEW) has provided an upgrade that decentralized application (Dapp) users will find welcome.
  • Earlier this week, the company announced that it had inked a partnership to provide easy access to Dapps on its mobile app, essentially allowing it to capture several growing crypto markets.

Easy Access to Over 2,000 Apps

A press release explained that MEW had partnered with top dApp analytics site dAppRadar on the initiative. Thanks to the partnership, MEW users will be able to access over 2,000 dApps on their MEW browser.

The new feature will allow MEW users to track applications across several sub-industries, including decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more. It will also allow users to track their portfolios across apps and easily tap into the new wave of crypto-based financial services.

Users can search for specific dApps, and the partners believe that iOS users will be able to view rankings and critical metrics for the applications from later this year.

Currently, these metrics are only visible through web browsers within the MyEtherWallet app. They will most likely include numbers like active users, total value locked, periodic trading volumes, and more. In the announcement, Kosala Hemachandra, MEW’s chief executive, explained:

“Our dedication to bringing DApps to all of our users, no matter how they choose to access them, reflects our belief that wallets can, and should, become the hub where the entire Ethereum DApp ecosystem comes together.”

Gas Fees Reach New Highs

The move is sure to provide easier interaction across the Ethereum blockchain. MEW remains a top figure in the Ethereum ecosystem, and most dApps run on the Ethereum blockchain too. Considering that many of these users are interwoven, easy access between one Ethereum-based service and another should consolidate Ethereum’s influence in the decentralized space.

As for the Ethereum network itself, it continues to deal with the problem of rising gas fees, something that continues to threaten its dominance in the DeFi space primarily. According to data from YCharts, the average gas fees hit an all-time high of $17.50 per transaction on Wednesday, beating the previous record of $17.43 that was set exactly a month before.

The rise forced immediate reactions, with top crypto exchange Liquid announcing that it would have to suspend Ether withdrawals due to the gas hike.

As for the DeFi space, things are getting direr. Many DeFi projects require the execution of smart contracts, and there are now reports of fees associated with protocols running into the thousands of dollars.

It’s been widely reported that large transactions on Synthetix cost as high as $1,100, while simple swaps on exchanges like SushiSwap and UniSwap went as high as $75.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

WallStreetBets Investors Are Coming to the Conclusion that ‘Bitcoin is the Way to Beat Wall Street’

WallStreetBets Investors Are Coming to the Conclusion that ‘Bitcoin is the Way to Beat Wall Street’

After all that occurred last week between Wall Street Bets and Robinhood, the retail traders who make up what’s been described by some supporters like Reddit founder as “revolution” recognize the need for decentralization.

“You can’t beat Wall Street using Wall Street. Switch to Bitcoin and watch the powerful become powerless,” tweeted WSBChairman to his more than 949k followers on Twitter.

This is not the first time that a crypto-friendly tweet came from WSBChairman. On Monday, the Twitter handle posted about Bitcoin being the “only way to truly stick it to Wall Street.”

“The era of cryptocurrency has arrived,” he tweeted the very same day only to add in a subsequent tweet, “Cryptocurrency has never had a better argument for its use.”

Interestingly, unlike Wall Street, where a few powerful people hold the majority of the stakes, in the world of Bitcoin, it’s the smallest participants that hold less than 1-10 BTC, that are estimated to have increased by 130% since 2017 bull market, as per Glassnode data.

The second smallest participants, those holding between 10% to 100%, grew by 14%, while the large entities, those with 100-1k BTC and 1k-over 5k, have decreased by -3% and -7%, respectively.

This movement is also seeing former President of TD Ameritrade, Asif Hirji calling out for a “decentralized stock exchange.”

Muck like Hirji, billionaire Mark Cuban also feels stocks will make their way on the blockchain in the future “and that will make the markets much more efficient, transparent and available to the small investor,” he wrote during his Reddit AMA session on Tuesday. He also said: “I think blockchain is the future, I don’t know if it’s decentralized or private.”

The owner of Dallas Mavericks, who has started seeing the potential in the cryptocurrencies and NFTs, also said he sees DeFi and non-fungible tokens having the potential to “explode in the next 10 years.” But “there will be a lot of ups and downs along the way,” he added.

He also revealed that he owns DeFi tokens AAVE and Sushi and Eth, BTC, and LTC.

As we reported, the cryptocurrency market has been capitalizing on this opportunity as crypto exchanges like FTX and Bitfinex listed the popular stocks among the retail traders. FTX’s crypto tracking app Blockfolio also jumped in and announced crypto and stock trading.

Crypto trading platforms already started to register record user sign-ups, traffic, and volume amidst the “marketing ad for Decentralization.”

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Author: AnTy

DoJ & Chainalysis Partner to Hunt Down NetWalker Ransomware that Targeted Hospitals

DoJ & Chainalysis Partner to Hunt Down NetWalker Ransomware that Targeted Hospitals

The U.S Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Wednesday that it has managed to disrupt notorious ransomware dubbed Netwalker. This operation was done in collaboration with Bulgarian authorities and intelligence firm Chainalysis which provided the resources for tracking the malicious operations and players.

A Canadian national by the name of Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins has since been arrested and charged for using the Netwalker ransomware to acquire $27.6 million worth of crypto assets. The Netwalker hardware was tracked down in Bulgaria and DoJ said that they managed to seize $454,530.19 in cryptocurrencies. Notably, ransomware attacks in crypto increased by 311% to hit $350 million in 2020 according to Chainalysis.

The new developments by the DoJ in collaboration with Bulgaria’s authorities’ further reveal a growing trend in ransomware attacks, especially those that target nascent industries like crypto. Per the Chainalysis Netwalker breakdown, this sophisticated ransomware operates as a ransomware-as-a-service (Raas). Attackers assume the role of affiliates where they pay a commission to administrators, after successful attacks.

“Attackers known as affiliates ‘rent’ usage of a particular ransomware strain from its creators or administrators, who in exchange get a cut of the money from each successful attack affiliates carry out. RaaS has led to more attacks, making it even more difficult to quantify the full financial impact.”

The FBI discovered this ransomware mid-last year; at the time, main targets included hospitals with the pandemic presenting an opportunity to strike. Other institutions like companies, universities, and municipalities have also fallen victim to the Netwalker ransomware attacks.

Well, it seems like authorities have finally caught up with the sophisticated attackers. Acting Assistant AG Nicholas L McQuaid said that they are on top of the matter from all angles;

“We are striking back against the growing threat of ransomware by not only bringing criminal charges against the responsible actors, but also disrupting criminal online infrastructure and, wherever possible, recovering ransom payments extorted from victims.”

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Author: Edwin Munyui

ConsenSys Quorum, an Ethereum-backed Ledger Protocol, Teams Up With China’s BSN

Situated in New York, and renowned as Ethereum’s globally-known ledger protocol, ConsenSys has announced that it will be partnering with the China-based Blockchain Service Network (BSN), bringing the enterprise ledger, Quorum, to China.

What sets this partnership apart from others is down to i. As part of this partnership, Quorum will be made available across 80 different cities within China; all of which operate as public city nodes of BSN’s network. Quorum was previously developed as an open-source protocol layer for enterprise applications. Quorum was also used early on by the investment giant JP Morgan.

Charles d’Haussy, ConsenSys’ Director of Strategic Initiatives, cited China’s rapid growth in importance as a hub for strategic innovation and enterprise blockchain technology:

“China is a great example of where enterprise blockchain is a strong play… What Ethereum is doing with ConsenSys Quorum is connecting people who are essentially migrating from the permissioned chain to the global chain.”

For Quorum, the announcement represents an interesting change in fortunes. From being designed as a high-security, privacy-centric blockchain solution by JP Morgan, it fell into relative obscurity for some time, before being re-housed by ConsenSys. Even now, Quorum is a name that is synonymous with the bank and investment entity, even in d’Haussy’s mind.

“Quorum was very much associated with JPMorgan, but there was also this open-source software which was available to many developers. It may not have been apparent, but there was this large audience of enterprise users, and we are now bringing to this ecosystem other products and applications from ConsenSys.”

In contrast, Blockchain Service Network (BSN) was a relatively new initiative; having been established by Red Date Technology, a blockchain-based software company, along with China’s UnionPay, China Mobile, back in April 2020. Comprised of UnionPay and China mobile, BSN consists of a number of cloud environments and portals within China. What makes BSN such a valuable initiative comes from its connections to the Chinese government; being backed through the National Development and Reform Commission.

Simply put, BSN has been rapidly positioned as a major blockchain initiative within the country’s ‘Digital Silk Road,’ with BSN has deployed over 108 public city nodes in China. Over 88 cities and public cities are connected to this ecosystem as nodes across the world.

For BSN, this partnership would enable it to “substantially accelerate” its rollout to more cities worldwide, according to Red Date Technology CEO and Executive Director of the BSN Development Association,

“After the launch, BSN will include Quorum in BSN’s training programs in 2021 to substantially accelerate the enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and Ethereum-based solutions in China.”

In order to ensure global application, Red Date’s CEO added that the partnership would include longer-standing interoperability between the two blockchain protocols. Permissioned blockchain solutions, d’Haussy explained, represented the best start to any technical journey including large firms, but that it would very much be a long-term undertaking.

But d’Haussy continued on to say that small and larger-scale suppliers lack the connection they once did, and are more receptive to blockchain technology as a means of re-establishing that same connection.

“China’s industries, which are a global network of large and small suppliers, are not integrated as they were in the past… They are jumping on coordination tools such as blockchain.”

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Author: James Fox

Uniswap Generating More Network Fees than Bitcoin; Total Fees on ETH Reaches BTC All Time High

Bitcoin has been the leader in generating more fees than any other network. But that has only been up until June 2020, when decentralized finance (DeFi) mania started kicking in.

Today, this DeFi craze even saw popular DEX Uniswap beating Bitcoin in daily fees of $2.3 million, as per Cryptofees.Info. While BTC only had $1.8 million, Ethereum is unreachable by collecting $8.8 million in fees.

Uniswap, which accounts for 48.5% of DEX volume market share, even without the liquidity incentives, saw $12.7b in traded volume, $36.543 million in fees, and liquidity increased to $3.6 billion over the past 15 days, as per IntoTheBlock.

Another DEX SushiSwap had just under $1 million in daily fees, followed by Synthetix and Balancer, but they only had about $100k to $200k.

In the past week, Ethereum did more than 3x of Bitcoin’s 7-day average fees of just over $3 million, while Uniswap recorded $2.4 million.

“It’s the first DeFi protocol, but not the last. The key feature here is that fees in DeFi benefit not only miners but also LPs and token holders,” noted Santiago R Santos, a partner at ParaFi capital.

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Ethereum entered the space in 2015, and its daily total fees in USD surpassed Bitcoin’s several times since then. But it wasn’t until DeFi exploded that ETH was able to beat the world’s largest network by a wild margin.

During the peak of the 2017 bill market, Bitcoin did nearly $21.4 million in total fees, while at its peak, Ethereum did only $4.55 million.

But earlier in June 2020, compared to Bitcoin’s $383k in total fees, Ethereum recorded a whopping $3.55 million. From here, as DeFi gained more traction, so did Ethereum fees, and this gap between BTC and ETH fees continued to grow.

At the peak of DeFi mania in Sept. 2020, the Ethereum network was used so much that it became unusable as the average fees and gas prices continued to hit new highs. On Sept. 1st, the Ethereum network received more than $17 million in total fees compared to $1.48 million on Bitcoin.

Bitcoin overtook Ethereum for a brief period, a fortnight and a small margin, from late October to early November.

Since then, Ethereum continues to generate millions of dollars in fees every day, setting yet another new record at $21.38 million on Jan. 11, the day the crypto market saw a sell-off.

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Author: AnTy

NexTech Panic Sold its Bitcoin on Dip Because of Double Spend FUD That Never Happened

NexTech Panic Sold its Bitcoin on Dip Because of Double Spend FUD That Never Happened

Bitcoin flowed from weak hands, NexTech, which moved back into cash, to strong hands, MicroStrategy, which bought 314 BTC for $10 million.

  • It didn’t even take one month for NexTech AR Solutions to panic sell their Bitcoin. The company couldn’t even weather the first dip of the bull season.
  • This week showed how Bitcoin flowed from the weak hands, NexTech, to strong hands, MicroStrategy, which bought 314 BTC for $10 million.

On Friday, the company announced that it had sold its Bitcoin ownership of approximately 130.187 Bitcoins with $200,000 in profit. NexTech first bought these BTC in late December and said they “may add more in 2021.”

“The average retail that stayed during the bear market is probably more sophisticated and stronger handed than the average institution that got in Q3/Q4 2020,” noted analyst Qiao Wang.

What’s even more surprising is the reason for this sale, double-spend, never even happened. NexTech CEO Evan Gappelberg said,

“This sale reflects our awareness that something potentially has changed with Bitcoin, which is seen as the digital version of gold. The news that has emerged is that a critical flaw called a ‘double spend’ may have occurred, which if true allows someone to spend the same Bitcoin twice, undermining faith in the system.”

He continued: “If the system is built on scarcity and faith in the system, then a ‘double spend’ would eliminate both -essentially destroying the store of value it was meant to be.” And this made him move back into cash.

The double-spending FUD was the latest one to permeate the cryptocurrency market, which propelled some people to sell their holdings.

As Andreas Antonopoulos explained in detail, this chain re-organization that happened Thursday is a “common occurrence that is part of Bitcoin’s normal operation.”

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Something good did come out of this as Google searches for “Bitcoin double-spend” spiked as people took time to understand it. It can be expected that they might refrain from falling for this FUD the next time, and instead of panic selling their BTC, buy the dips.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto ETP Volume Surges in January as Institutions Flood the Market

Data shows that the trading volumes for crypto-denominated ETPs saw a significant surge in January 2021. Institutions also appear to be cutting their losses as the crypto market braces for a more significant pullback.

All eyes are on institutional crypto investors this week again, as it appears that some have been making significant plays to begin the year. In its recent weekly report, market data and metrics provider CryptoCompare has confirmed a spike in the volume of assets under management (AUM) in crypto-denominated exchange-traded products (ETPs).

Promising Numbers Across the Board

Per the report, there has been a staggering 93.7 percent increase in the AUM for crypto ETPs across the board. In nominal terms, crypto ETPs now holds an impressive $36 billion. Aggregate daily volumes also jumped above $1.5 billion, marking healthy institutional participation to kick-off 2021.

CryptoCompare noted that Grayscale Investments makes up a significant chunk of these figures, with its various investment trusts housing $22.6 billion, 63 percent of all capital invested into crypto ETPs. The New York-based asset management firm’s products were also found to have represented 64 percent of the entire industry’s ETP volumes, pushing $972 million in daily trading volumes.

Grayscale’s dominance in the institutional investment space has been nothing short of astonishing. The company, which operates several investment trusts for large-cap cryptos, has been the go-to source for institutions looking to get their bit of the crypto pie. As a result, its AUM has been on the rise for months.

Earlier this week, Danny Scott, the CEO of crypto exchange CoinCorner, confirmed that Grayscale purchased 16,244 BTC ($607 million) in 24 hours. Even with the threat of a liquidity crunch, the company has continued to suck up Bitcoins from the open market at incredible levels.

While Grayscale dominated trading volumes, the company’s products still trailed in the spot markets, as the premiums on its shares fell by 8 percent this month.

As for exchange-traded notes (ETNs), trade volumes almost tripled in January. These were dominated by the BTCE product from ETC Group, which saw nearly $50 million in daily trades.

The second-most traded ETN was the BTCW/USD ETN from WisdomTree, which had $7million in trading volumes, while VanEck’s Bitcoin Vectors saw $5 million in daily trades.

Profit-Taking from Investors

Although the commitments into crypto ETPs have been impressive, institutions are also staying vigilant as Bitcoin’s price begins a significant pullback.

Crypto fund provider CoinShares reported that institutional crypto products had seen $85 million in outflows this past week, asserting that some investors seem to be taking profits following Bitcoin’s bull run over the past month.

CoinShares noted a similar trend in Ether-derived investment products, with $3 million exiting the past week’s market.

Despite the strong profit-taking, institutional inflows are still strong, with $359 million entering crypto investment products this week. CoinShares noted that Bitcoin remains investors’ top prize, with the leading cryptocurrency representing 99 percent of all capital inflows this week.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

German Police Shut Down Dark Market that Facilitated $170M in Crypto Transactions

German Police Shut Down Dark Market that Facilitated $170 Million in Cryptocurrency Transactions

In the latest crackdown on the Darknet marketplace, German police arrested a 34-year-old Australian national near the Danish border who allegedly operated DarkMarket, a site used by half a million people.

According to the prosecutors in the western German city of Koblenz, DarkMarket facilitated at least 320,000 transactions that include 4,650 for Bitcoin (BTC), 12,800 for Monero (XMR), and another cryptocurrency, totaling more than 140 million euros ($170 million).

More than 20 servers were also confiscated in Moldova and Ukraine by the authorities.

The platform was used to sell drugs along with counterfeit money, stolen and fraudulent credit card information, anonymous SIM cards, and malware offerings.

Authorities from around the world contributed to this investigation — from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to the EU’s Europol and police from the U.K., Denmark, and Ukraine.

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Author: AnTy

Deeper Pullback in Precious Metals Indicates Flows Are Moving Towards Bitcoin

However, if the dollar rally continues on “that would sink a few boats.”

Cryptocurrencies are already leading the market gains in 2021.

On Friday, Bitcoin price nearly hit $42,000 and is currently holding strongly above $40k with over $14 billion in ‘real’ volume.

This week, BTC started with a dip to about $28,500 and since then has seen a 42% increment in its value.

“The surge in Bitcoin is indicative of froth but not only in that market, in many other areas where risk premiums have come down sharply in the past year despite a recession,” said Kevin Caron, portfolio manager for Washington Crossing. “We view Bitcoin as a proxy for risk appetite.”

Besides Bitcoin, altcoins also enjoyed a good week with notable mentions including Nano (256%), Pundi X (146%), YFL (130%), Stellar (128%), Loopring (126%), ROOK (118%), Nexus (107%), Verge (96%), ALPHA (87%), YFI (82%), SOL (78%), MATIC (67%), KIMCHI (62%), KP3R (60%), IOTA (58%), and Ethereum (58%).

These gains led to the total cryptocurrency market capitalization to climb to $1.09 trillion.

Bitcoin awakening

While cryptocurrencies are enjoying just another green week, the same is not the case for metals.

As we reported, precious metals have been taking a beating for three days in a row. Since Wednesday, spot gold has lost 6.6% of its value and is now seeing a slight relief to $1,847 per ounce. The same is the case for silver, which slid a good 12.8% during the same period.

These losses have been the result of the US dollar index rising and keeping above the 90 level. Unlike the traditional safe-haven asset, Bitcoin and the stock market remained unaffected by the greenback’s strength.

According to Charlie Morris of ByteTree, the deep slide in precious metals could be the result of flows moving towards Bitcoin. “If this continues, expect a dollar counter-rally. That would sink a few boats,” he said.

Much like gold, treasuries also sold off as investors focused on further stimulus. The sell-off in 10-year US Treasuries pushed their yields to their highest levels since March. Despite the UK economy losing 140,000 jobs in December, the first time in eight months. Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss wealth manager Prime Partners, said,

“Investors are buying the end of an erratic Trump administration and looking forward to something new, which is a Biden presidency and the prospect of a significant spending program.”

The Biden administration is expected to be good for cryptocurrencies with the expectations for more stimulus and money printing. Frank Spiteri, chief revenue officer at CoinShares, said,

“It seems like we’re in the middle of a simultaneous awakening among institutions to Bitcoin as an uncorrelated store of value assets with the possibility of serving as an inflation hedge in the face of a highly unconventional monetary policy environment.”

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Author: AnTy

Binance US, Genesis, & Abra Suspends XRP Support; Bittrex & Uphold Clarifies No Plan to Delist

Much like all the XRP trading and deposit suspension that has happened so far, only the US users are affected. Exchanges clarify that Spark (FLR) Token Distribution in 2021 is unaffected.

Binance’s US-based crypto exchange Binance.US has announced the delisting of XRP on Jan. 13, 2021, at 10 am EST. Binance.US users won’t be able to deposit XRP but withdrawals will be unaffected.

Much like all the trading and deposit suspension that has happened so far, only the US users are affected.

The exchange further clarified that delisting will not affect users from claiming their Spark (FLR) Token Distribution in 2021.

Another one to join this list is Genesis which sent an email to its users, informing them of the XRP trading and lending suspension, as of Dec. 29. The users are not allowed to make new purchases while those who hold XRP have until Jan. 15 to sell it.

The company no longer supports loans in XRP either and both open-term loans and fixed-term loans will also be called. Meanwhile, the “team is actively monitoring the evolving regulatory situation with XRP.”

Abra has also joined the list of companies ending XRP support for US users, despite it being a peer-to-peer transaction network.

According to the firm’s message, Abra plans to suspend trading in XRP for US customers at 3 PM PST on Jan. 15th.

“Abra is registered in most states as an MSB and has had previous legal battles with the SEC that led to them delisting their stock ETF offering,” noted Adam Cochran, partner at Cinneamhain Ventures.

No plans to delist XRP

Amidst all the suspensions, cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, which no longer allows its US customers to trade XRP clarified that they are not going to delist the digital asset and will maintain all XRP markets: BTC-XRP, USD-XRP, USDT-XRP, ETH-XRP, and EUR-XRP.

“Uphold will continue to list XRP until and unless the Complaint is adjudicated against Ripple – specifically citing that XRP is, today, a security, or trading volume dissipates to a point where we can no longer support,” came the tweet from JP Thieriot, CEO of crypto trading platform Uphold.

Australia-based BTC Markets also took to Twitter to share that they are monitoring events in the US regarding the SEC but have “no plans to delist XRP at this time.”

The price of XRP meanwhile lost a considerable amount of its value in the last two weeks. After falling under $0.17, the crypto asset is currently trading around $0.22.

“XRP’s market cap has fallen by 93% from $137B to under $10B. That makes the value of the XRP collapse bigger than Enron and Worldcom,” said Joshua Frank, CEO of The TIE. “While not a bankruptcy, XRP is effectively the third-largest collapse of all-time behind Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual,” he added.

Coinbase Under Hot Water Too

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against US-based crypto exchange Coinbase alleging that it knew XRP was a security and still sold it “illegally”.

Just this week, Coinbase, which recently filed to go public, said it suspended support for XRP trading and deposits.

The case is filed by Thomas Sandoval in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco) and he is seeking damages for the commission paid by him and other users to Coinbase for XRP tokens.

“Until late this month Coinbase sold the XRP token, the value of which was entirely linked to the success or failure of Ripple Co. and the managerial efforts of its executives,” Sandoval said in the complaint. “Indeed, Ripple Co.’s survival as a corporate entity depended on its sale of unlicensed XRP securities to the public to fund its business operations.”

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Author: AnTy