Recent Market Crash Has Traders Jumping to Stablecoins Like Tether (USDT) To Reduce Losses

The financial crisis in the traditional market was looming large even before Coronavirus pandemic came into the picture. The virus outbreak across the globe sent the market on a free fall and even Bitcoin experienced a scare with a massive fall of almost 50% within 24-hours. Bitcoin was supposed to outshine the traditional market at such times which it is as it has not been on free fall like other markets. However, one crypto token almost seemed to have gained and added $2 billion worth of market cap during these troubled times.

While Bitcoin’s market cap has decreased by 37% since mid-February, Tether has seen an increase of 38% in its market cap. Tether, a stablecoin pegged against the US-Dollar has seen many takers in the times of this financial crisis. Many market pundits and analysts believe that in these times of financial uncertainty and high volatility in the crypto market, stablecoins have gained a lot of traction.

Nic Carter, co-founder of crypto market tracker Coin Metrics believe that investors have been attracted towards the US Dollar and stablecoins like Tether’s USDT has become a prominent source for investors to get their hands on the digital equivalent to the US Dollar. However, Tether has also been at the center of many controversies especially over the issuance of the USDT, which they claim is based on consumer’s demand, but many believe it’s not transparent enough and the firm has been involved in many lawsuits because of that.

Earlier Tether has claimed that each USDT token is backed by the one US Dollar, however, it has refused to get audited by a third-party and during the BitFinex lawsuit, it accepted that only about 70% of its issuance is backed by the US dollar and also removed the claim from its website.

Tracking Tether is Getting Harder

Over the past couple of years, Tether has started issuing its stablecoin on a variety of ledgers which has made tracking of its stablecoin even harder than it has been in the past. Carter said,

“Anecdotally, some non-U.S. traders have told me that they actually prefer the more lightly surveilled Tether because they feel that it’s less likely that their coins get arbitrarily frozen for violating the terms of service.”

Tether has also been accused of manipulating and pumping Bitcoin prices on many occasions as many have pointed out that every time Bitcoin price has fallen significantly Tether releases a new batch of stablecoins which has often led to a rise in Bitcoin price. Tether has denied such claims while analysts haven’t been able to gather enough information to back those claims.

Whatever may be the case with its issuance, nobody can deny its dominance in the crypto market as USDT alone has captured over 95% of the stablecoin market over the years and no one has ever come close to dethrone it despite the slew of accusations around it.

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Author: James W

Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Lightning Network’s Code to be Buried Under Arctic Ice

The Bitcoin codebase snapshot will be encoded onto film and afterwards be stored for 1,000 years under ice, in Svalbard, Norway.

The move is included in the GitHuB Archive Program, which aims to preserve open-source software for the future generations to study it. GitHub closed partnerships with the Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, the Arctic World Archive (AWA) and the Software Heritage Foundation to make sure the code repositories are preserved for a very long time instead of getting lost or being abandoned.

A Pace Layers Strategy for the Program

The storage strategy adopted by the program is one of pace layers, which can maximize durability and flexibility. The most active layer, also called the hot one, involves replicating data to many data centers from all over the world while keeping it available in real-time and live. Solutions like the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine are included in the warm layers and comprise of updating archived copies either monthly or annually, for all the multiple storing locations.

When it comes to the cold layers, AWA is one of them. The cold layers need to be updated once every 5 or perhaps more years. In February, a snapshot of each of GitHub’s repositories was taken for storage. Data will be encoded on film reels by the Norwegian company Piql, and stored by AWA 250 meters under the arctic ice, in the Arctic Code Vault.

There Will Be Backups Too

The film reels will have duplicates, the Bitcoin codebase included, which will be kept at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The program aims to archive for 10,000 years the existent public repositories. Microsoft’s Project Silica is involved too. Quartz glass platters with femtosecond lasers are going to be used for storage.

The more things in the crypto industry become open and transparent, the more projects in this sector are open source and most of the time released on GitHub. Creating a long-term archive of the code involved in crypto will prevent the loss of technologies and give historians something to work with in the future.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Huobi Wallet to Integrate Crypto Lender Cred Allowing Users To Earn Interest

The crypto exchange offering wallet services Huobi has closed a partnership with the decentralized crypto lending company Cred in order to offer user’s interest on their holdings.

The announcement that Huobi Wallet is going to integrate Cred’s borrowing and lending services was made on April 1. Huobi Wallet supports more than 1,000 crypto assets, out of which 8 are stablecoins, in 200 regions and countries. A list with the supported crypto assets for the program wasn’t provided yet, but it was mentioned that Bitcoin (BTC), Universal Dollar (UPUSD) and Ether (ETH) will be included.

Pledged Assets Will Have a Monthly Interest

Cred is based in California and a licensed lender. It was also a founding member for the Universal Protocol Alliance of crypto and blockchain companies. What should also be mentioned about it is that it’s backed by Binance, FBG Capita, Blocktower and Arrington XRP. Its CEO, Dan Schatt, said Cred is very keen to provide its decentralized financial services during so unstable financial times.

Together with Cred, Huobi will offer its users the ability to lend crypto services while receiving a monthly interest, plus the possibility to roll over pledged assets for certain amounts of time. There are no minimum requirements for participation to the program, whereas the interest will be paid in crypto assets and stablecoins. Holders of $150,000 in their wallets will also be able to join a special program and consult with Cred’s Private Client Associates.

Crypto Borrowing and Lending Gaining More Traction

The partnership between Huobi and Cred comes at a time when crypto borrowing and lending are gaining more traction in the crypto industry. Back in January, one of the fastest-developing crypto lender that has a coin loan origination of $4.25 billion, Celsius Network, made the announcement that it will implement compounding interest in the cryptocurrencies being deposited in its wallet. Some other big names in the crypto lending industry are Nexo, BlockFi, SALT Lending and YouHolder.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Two Popular Altcoins Still Recording Over 140% Gains in 2020 So Far

  • The market is enjoying the greens.

As Bitcoin jumps to nearly $6,900, altcoins follow up. However, this time, the world’s leading cryptocurrency is the one that is ruling the market with over 6% gains in the past 24 hours.

Source: Coin360

After experiencing a massive sell-off that dominated all asset classes, whether equities or gold, Bitcoin with other risky and safe-haven assets are back to surging as central banks announce stimulus to combat the coronavirus impact on the economy.

However, according to Vijay Ayyar of crypto exchange Luno, Bitcoin price could spike to $6,500 before finding a range between $3000 and $6,000 until the next bull cycle breakout. He said,

“This is classic redistribution and would be very healthy for future Bitcoin price action and if we were to have bullish momentum going forward.”

The Winners

Among the large-cap cryptos, Monero is recording gains of 12.48% while trading at $46.71. Other coins that emerged as the winner in the past 24 hours are Nano with about 20% gains Steem which is up about 19%, and Enjin Coin which is up over 10%.

The price of Steem is increasing despite the community having a successful hard fork and launching HIVE in an attempt to expel Tron founder and CEO Justin Sun’s Steemit. Ever since the Hive announcement, the price of STEEM has been rising, which could be users attempting to capitalize on the promise of “free airdrop” payouts.

If we take a look at the top gains of the past 7 days, Dash recorded 54% gains followed by Enjin Coin (52.52%), Bitcoin SV (48.11%), STEEM (40.47%), and Nano (39%).

The sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Bitcoin SV currently has 17.96 million addresses with a balance of the digital asset. Over 91% of the addresses are holding 9.01 million BSV for more than a year while less than a year old hodlers are holding 6.77% addresses with 5.79 million BSV. Only 1.46% of the addresses are less than a month old BSV holders.

Which Crypto Rules 2020 so far with gains?

There are a number of small-cap cryptos such as XNS (391%) DATA (139%), QQQ (174%), NMR (132%) and others that are leading the market in year-to-date gains.

However, there are a few known cryptocurrencies that are also recorded significant gains so far in 2020.

Kyber Network is leading the pack with 160% gains. The Ethereum-based on-chain liquidity protocol enables users to trade instantly between a wide range of token pairs. Crypto analysis company Glassnode in its latest report points out how for about 2 years, the growth of KNC holders was relatively stagnant, a trend that broke in mid-February this year.

Several events like increased trading volume, Coinbase listing the token, and the Katalyst upgrade given a Q2 release date all worked in KC’s price favor which is trading at $0.468.

HBAR is another big gainer which is up 146% YTD. One of the recent developments came in the form of a Coronavirus (COVID-19) tracker based on Hedera Hashgraph.

Other gainers are BSV (82%), Lisk (77%), ICX (70%), Dash (60%), DigixDAO (53%), Bitcoin Gold (39%), Steem (38%), Tezos (30%), and Link (22%).

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Author: AnTy

Steemit’s Fork, Hive, Gets A Cease and Desist From Canadian Blockchain Firm Over Name

  • The new Steemit hard fork gave birth to a platform dubbed ‘Hive’ that is currently supported by over 30 developers.
  • This network is barely a week old but has already encountered its first legal challenge following an action by Canadian crypto mining firm, HIVE.
  • The latter claims that Steemit developers who forked the network are riding on a goodwill created by them over their existence period in blockchain and crypto markets.

This move by developers to shift from the original network was not unprecedented as it had been announced on March 18. It was later actualized on March 20 when the Hive platform went live as an alternative to Steemit.

The initiative comes at a time when Tron’s founder, Justin Sun, had just taken over Steemit’s network with the help of Poloniex, Huobi and Binance crypto exchanges. According to developers, this ecosystem takeover is the main reason they opted out of Steemit’s network given the uncertainty of Justin Sun’s actions in future.

The Legal Hurdle

As mentioned earlier, Hive has been called out for using a name that already exists within the crypto space. Canada’s, HIVE Blockchain Technologies, published a notice on 23rd March highlighting it had already sent out warning letters to as to the use of this name;

“In response to multiple shareholder inquiries understandably confused by this Blockchain’s announcement, HIVE clarifies that it has no association with this Blockchain,”

They further added that they are not in dispute of this new Steemit fork apart from the name. It therefore makes sense for the firm to initiate legal action so as to protect their brand according to HIVE’s interim executive chairman, Frank Holmes;

“However, for legal reasons, we have no option but to seek to protect our interests, dispel the ongoing confusion and avoid any potential damage to our reputation,”

Hive’s Technical & Operational Prospects

Despite the legal shortcoming, the Hive (HIVE) token already secured a listing on Bittrex exchange and three other platforms. It is set to be listed by more exchanges in a bid to enable the distribution of its airdropped crypto coins. As it stands, Hive is trading at $0.193 on Bittrex while STEEM is at $0.154. developers have gone an extra step to completely eliminate Justin Sun’s Steemit rights. The team excluded Tron’s founder or any affiliate from its airdrop hence denying them a chance to convert their STEEM to Hive. These advancements by a group of Steemit developers may actually solve the rising issues on decentralization and censorship within this ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Monex Shareholders to Receive BItcoin As Year-End Benefit; A Step Towards Adoption

The Tokyo-based financial service company Monex, which is also behind the crypto exchange Coincheck, has made an announcement on March 23 that it will give its shareholders Bitcoin (BTC) as a gift for the 2019 benefit.

It looks like the shareholders will get BTC worth 500 yen ($4.53) as of this month’s last day, plus the existing shareholder benefit. Only those who own a Coincheck crypto wallet account will receive the BTC gift. Here’s what was further mentioned about the event and its recurrence:

“Please note that it has yet to be determined whether granting the cryptocurrency BTC as a part of shareholder benefits will continue for the fiscal year 2020 and after.”

BTC in Addition to Monex Points

As said earlier, the BTC will come as an addition to the already existing Monex points benefit. It should be noted that in April 2019, it was also announced that Monex Points can be exchanged with cryptocurrency. As a matter of fact, Monex decided to give shareholders that have Coincheck accounts BTC valued at 500 yen ever since September 2019, when the interest in cryptocurrency spiked.

As a matter of fact, Monex was in the news back in February this year, with its efforts to enter the crypto industry and for participating to a $16.7 million funding round for CoolBitX. Furthermore, in November 2019, the US Monex subsidiary Tradestation made the announcement of a crypto brokerage platform launch taking place with the help of the Trade Station Crypto division.

Monex’s Home Country Highly Efficient as Far as Crypto and Blockchain Adoption Goes

Japan, which is where Monex is based, as mentioned earlier, is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to adopting and regulating both blockchain and crypto. Only a week ago, the Japanese Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, the Brokerage SMBC Nikko Securities company and the trading firm Mitsui & Co. have announced their collaboration with LayerX, a blockchain startup, to create a blockchain-based assets company named Mitsui & Co. Digital Asset Management.

More than this, the financial arm of the automotive giant Toyota also talked about a blockchain-based platform for vehicles and IDs, project in which the Toyota Blockchain Lab is obviously very involved.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Central Bank Survey: 80% of Australians Are Aware of Crypto But Only 1% Are Actually Using

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) states that Less than 1% of people in Australia have paid for goods using cryptocurrency, according to a study conducted yesterday.

The findings were revealed in the triennial Consumer Payments Survey (CPS) released by the RBA. They came from around 1,100 respondents and shown that while consumers in the country prefer digital or alternative methods of payment, they’re still not that into crypto. The survey was conducted last year, in October and November.

Many Study Respondents Aware of Crypto

In spite of the fact that many study respondents said they’re aware of crypto’s and that they can be used for services, but only a low number of the people participating in the study reported to have used crypto.

More than 80% of those questioned said they’ve heard of it, which means crypto occupies the third position among the most recognized alternative methods of payment. Tap and go payments with mobile devices and buy now pay later services are on the first two positions.

WeChat and AliPay Users Uninterested in Crypto

The respondents using WeChat Pay, AliPay, the bank-provided Beem It and PayID services, or other in-app mobile payment solutions said they were not using crypto at all. The survey shows that crypto’s usage-to-awareness ratio is the lowest. Here’s RBA’s opinion on the matter:

“Although many respondents had heard of ‘cryptocurrencies’, very few had used a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin to actually make a consumer payment over the past year.”

RBA’s First CPS Survey on Crypto

The RBA has previously had doubts about the potential of crypto ever replacing the existing payment methods. The central bank’s CPS use of cryptocurrencies survey on the matter was the first survey done, having a total of 5 of them conducted in the past. It seems Australians were using less cash in 2019, especially those respondents who haven’t yet reached the age of 40.

As a matter of fact, this specific group of people used cash for only 15% of the transactions they made. More than this, the survey discovered that even the seniors are no longer using cash either, although it’s their most popular payment method. The most used payment methods now are mobile ones, especially in the young demographics age group.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Italian Bank Launches ‘Hype’ Bitcoin Trading Service in Wake of the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has inevitably sparked innovation and caused an increase in adoption of some markets sooner than we expected. An Italian bank, Banco Sella, recently launched a BTC trading service in a bid to deal with the tough financial times.

This move is not unprecedented, given the country has been hit the most by COVID-19 in Europe. Banco Sella will now allow over 1.2 million users who registered with their platform dubbed ‘Hype’ to buy and sell Bitcoin. In addition, they will be able to use this digital asset for payments of goods and services. The bank is optimistic that capitalizing on the growing BTC interest while the country is on lockdown will yield a positive ROI in the future.

Hype’s General Manager emphasized on the significance of tapping into this market;

“The cryptocurrency and Bitcoin market in particular continues to arouse interest, especially among the public that constitutes our customer base — by definition young and smart and who, increasingly, expect to be able to access this world through the tool that they use to manage money on a daily basis.”

Will Digital Currencies Help in Curbing Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The world is at an uncertain point as COVID-19 cases increase by the day. This has forced some countries to take radical measures like lockdowns while others are on the frontline of research and development to fight the virus.

Given the situation, a country like Kenya has moved to incentivize its citizens to use M-Pesa services. The leading mobile provider, Safaricom, announced that sending amounts below $10 will be free while it increased transaction limits to $1500 from $700 per transaction. This initiative has seen Kenya’s average use of mobile money rise from $1.5 to $3.5 within the last five days.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Steem Community Accuses Justin Sun of Removing Hive Hard Fork Content On Steemit

  • The STEEM vs Justin Sun beef is heating up as the community complains that the TRON Founder is censoring Hive-relate content on his Steemit platform.
  • As the community plans to hard fork the STEEM blockchain to, Sun has called out the community for trying to “violate the private sanctity of users assets” through forking.

STEEM Community calls out censorship on Steemit

The Medium-like decentralized platform, Steemit Inc. is being accused by parts of the STEEM community for censoring content related to the planned hard fork, Hive. Well according to one crypto trader and educator, Girl Gone Crypto, Steemit took down her neutral explanatory video on the planned hard fork on Mar. 20. She explained on Twitter,

The post which has now garnered over 400 social engagements on Twitter seems to have rattled the Hive community. Jon Olson, a Steem community member wrote,

“This is a pretty big deal. And if you ask me, the ENTIRE reason why this community is forking to $HIVE. There should be no doubt now, this is the right move.”

Exchanges in support of the hard fork?

As the community awaits the hard fork, set to happen in some hours, the exchanges are yet to give a unanimous decision on the way forward for the blockchain –similar to the Bitcoin Cash / Bitcoin SV split. Bittrex exchange is expected to take a snapshot of the balances in Steem Dollars (SBD) and Steem (STEEM) and credit holders Hive (HIVE) and Hive dollars (HBD) in a ratio of 1:1. Binance and Huobi will also join in supporting the hard fork to HIVE.

Over the past week, the price SBD has shot up over 150% as users anticipate the hard fork, which will airdrop new tokens to their wallets

Image: Coinstats

Is the community in support of the Hive hard fork?

According to the founder of the second-largest dApp platform on STEEM, Steempeak’s Scott Jarvie, a large part of the community is increasingly showing signs of moving to the new fork, Hive. In a poll conducted between staying on STEEM and moving to Hive, Jarvie explained that a majority of the users showed interest in moving. With over 200 participants commenting on the post, Jarvie deduced that the “community wants out.” He wrote,

“I have read through every post and am hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t want to move to Hive. We asked them to be honest and we would make sure they wouldn’t get attacked on comments if they were firm in their resolution to stay on Steem.”

However, there remain Steem supporters who see the current planned hard fork – excluding Sun’s tokens – as a move to steal “hard-earned cash” from investors and violation of the private sanctity of users’ assets. Justin Sun, who has remained rather mum during the hard fork planning, threw a dig at the STEEM community planning the hard fork on Twitter.

“When #Bitcoin invented, the beauty of the cryptos is that no one can take them from you,” Sun wrote “The sanctity of private property is guaranteed by the math and code behind it. Freezing people’s funds violates the basic foundation of cryptocurrency.”

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Author: Lujan Odera