Synthetix (SNX) Releases Aggressive Roadmap to ‘Take on CeFi’ in 2021

This week, while other cryptocurrencies are still struggling to reverse their correction, DeFi tokens swiftly made a recovery, with SNX token hitting a new ATH above $16.50. For now, the 23rd largest cryptocurrency is trading around $14.80 SNX 2.17% Synthetix / USD SNXUSD $ 14.84
$0.322.17%
Volume 409.21 m Change $0.32 Open $14.84 Circulating 110.52 m Market Cap 1.64 b
4 h Synthetix (SNX) Releases Aggressive Roadmap to ‘Take on CeFi’ in 2021 1 d A ‘Massive Transfer of Wealth Among Traders’ Sees DeFi Tokens Winning the Round 1 w Three Arrows Capital Holds 36,969 Bitcoin ($1.24B) via An Over 6% Stake in GBTC
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Derivatives liquidity protocol, Synthetix is the blue-chip DeFi project with a market cap of $1.68 billion. Amidst this uptrend, Synthetix released its roadmap for 2021, painting a picture of a

“future where everyone in the world is connected to one another by handheld devices that allow them to hold, trade, and transfer every imaginable asset.”

The roadmap mentions Optimistic Ethereum, Synthetix V3, Synthetic Futures, Asset expansion, dApp Upgrades, and optionsDAO as its high-level priorities.

A complete re-architecture of the Synthetix contracts will be done for the first time since last 2018. Synthetix V3 will involve a new SNX staking mechanism so that SNX is always freely transferable, introducing eSNX, tokenized debt, continuous staking rewards, continuous vesting, and Keep3r implementation, among other features.

The transition to layer two scaling solution Optimistic Ethereum which will lower the gas costs and provide higher throughput, is one of the most exciting things to come. The combination of this with Synthetic Futures will allow projects to compete with centralized futures markets and provide a minimum of 10x leverage. Also, Synthtix will expand into equities.

In the options, sDAO will provide upfront funding based on certain conditions, and oDAO will enable several improvements over the existing binary options implementation.

⁩”As an investor in SNX, it’s great to see the aggressive roadmap here,” said one of the partners of crypto fund The Spartan Group. “This is how $SNX is getting to $10B.”

2021 will also involve a focus on acquisitions and expansion for Synthetix as the scale of the project grows.

“This year we finally take on CeFi, then we come for TradFi…” concluded Kain Warwick, the founder of Synthetix.

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Author: AnTy

Fidelity Digital Assets Dives Into Why Institutions Are Adding Bitcoin to Treasury Reserves

Over the year, several companies have chosen to add Bitcoin to their Treasury reserves, including MicroStrategy, Square Inc., and Tudor Investment Corporation. The latest two, Canada-based BIGG Digital Assets and MassMutual, a 169-year old insurance firm, also added $3.6 million and $100 million in BTC to their reserves in 2020, respectively.

As one of the first institutional investment-focused firms on Bitcoin, Fidelity Digital Assets released a synthesis report on the growing number of institutions adding BTC as a treasury reserve asset – and crucially, why more companies will consider adding Bitcoin-backed treasuries in the future.

From August through October, a billion-dollar publicly traded firm, MicroStrategy, added over 40,000 Bitcoin for $475 million into its Treasury coffers. Less than three months later, Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy’s CEO, announced a doubled down bet on BTC selling $635 million of senior convertible notes to purchase the ‘digital gold.’

The huge bet paid off wonderfully across Q4 2020 for MicroStrategy’s stock (MSTR), which reached a 20-year high after the firm recorded over 50% profit on its BTC Treasury reserves. Despite CITI Bank downgrading its stock from “neutral” to “sell” in their latest report (due to “disproportionate focus on BTC), the firm looks to add even more, Saylor confirmed.

Additionally, Square Inc., founded by Twitter CEO and Bitcoin enthusiast Jack Dorsey, introduced BTC buying and selling through Cash App earlier in the year. The payments firm purchased $50 million worth of bitcoin (or 4,709 bitcoins) in October 2020, representing 1% of their Treasury reserve.

Other institutions such as Stone Ridge, Mode Global Holdings PLC, and Tudor Investment Corporation have also announced Bitcoin allocations this year.

So what is causing a sudden increase in corporations adopting Bitcoin-backed Treasury reserves?

Damaged financials, cash flows, and profitability

According to the report, three main issues affect a corporation’s decision to hold BTC in its reserves. First, the global COVID-19 pandemic “damaged corporate balance sheets, cash flows, and profitability,” which put most corporations in a precarious position. The sudden reduction in cash flows raises the importance for these institutions to put away excess cash in uncorrelated investments to fight off the recession.

Bitcoin is well-diversified from the demand shocks that health and economic crises cause on stocks, bonds, and traditional finance markets. The report further states,

“Companies may also benefit from bitcoin’s diversification benefits, potential outperformance, and liquidity profile when the core business and other potential investments are disadvantaged by the state of the economy”.

Moreover, BTC offers companies the potential of a longer-term investment profile while also offering liquidity to shorter-term investors. This will help companies maintain their liquidity while diversifying their investments, providing a buffer in difficult times.

Ultra-low interest rates across the world

Secondly, interest rates across the world reached yearly lows as the pandemic struck to stimulate borrowing. However, while corporations may rejoice in having a cheaper leeway for acquiring debt or refinancing existing debt at lower rates, companies with excess cash reserves may suffer as they cannot find attractive rates, the report explains.

While safe-haven assets like gold and Bitcoin generally do not generate interest yields, having these assets in your portfolio prevents cash-filed companies from avoiding negative or ultra-low interest rates, the report also states.

Inflation strikes

Finally, there has been an increase in monetary and fiscal policies globally, with money printing reaching “unprecedented levels.” McKinsey’s report showed that the top 54 economies contributing to 93% of global GDP made over $10 trillion in stimulus payments in two months – over three times more than the 2008 financial crisis. This unchecked and unbalanced economic stimulus could cause a sudden hike in asset and consumer price inflation leading to corporations having less purchasing power with cash.

Bitcoin offers a verifiable and inelastic monetary supply, which differs from the expansive monetary and fiscal currently being broadcast globally. Some companies view BTC as a wealth preserving asset that could prevent inflation risk and store value.

The entry of MicroStrategy, Home Ridge, Square Inc., and Tudor Investment Corporation signals a start of the institutional investment wave in Bitcoin – and who can predict how far it can go?

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Author: Lujan Odera

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

Fidelity Digital to Custody BTC as Collateral for BlockFi’s USD Loans to Institutions

Fidelity Digital Assets will now allow its institutional customers to use their Bitcoin as collateral against cash loans.

This new offering has been introduced in partnership with blockchain startup BlockFi, which announced on Wednesday that it is “thrilled” to support “Fidelity’s entrance into the digital asset financing space.”

“Having an ability to finance positions is a critical component of financial services infrastructure, and this collaboration reflects an exciting development for the digital asset ecosystem,” said Zac Prince, CEO and founder of BlockFi.

BlockFi will be offering US dollar loans to institutional clients holding BTC as collateral in custody accounts at Fidelity Digital Assets (FDA), the unit of Boston-based asset manager Fidelity Investments. Christine Sandler, Head of Sales and Marketing for FDA said,

“We continue to see demand for increased capital efficiency from institutions that maintain long bitcoin positions, and with this collateral agent capability, our customers seeking that efficiency can access more opportunity with the capital that they trust us to keep safe.”

Cash will be offered worth 60% of loans backed by the digital asset with “room for client-level customization” and even adjusted to meet large firms’ needs, said Prince.

Combining risk-managed loan agreement with custody furthers the opportunity for institutions in the digital asset space. Sandler said,

“The business and market momentum we’ve seen this year have reinforced our belief that institutional investors are looking for a more comprehensive offering in the digital assets space.”

With this new offering, FDA is entering into the “thriving lending market” of digital assets that target those Bitcoin investors who want to turn their cryptocurrency into cash without selling.

Hedge funds, crypto miners, and over-the-counter trading desks are the potential customers, Tom Jessop, president of FDA, said in an interview with Bloomberg. He sees the loans to be longer-term than the typical repo trade.

According to him, holding BTC to back loans is “a foundational capability,” and “as the markets grow, we’d expect that this becomes a fairly important part of the ecosystem.”

Right now, BlockFi offers 8.6% APY for users that HOLD BTC on their platform.

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Author: AnTy

MyEtherWallet Partners With Staked To Bring Ethereum 2.0 Staking to the Wallet

  • MEW partners with Staked to introduce Ethereum 2.0 staking on their wallet.
  • A minimum of 32 ETH is required to become a validator, pooled staking to follow soon.

In a press release shared to BEG, MyEtherWallet, a leading Ethereum, and ERC-20 standard wallet interface, is partnering with Staked, a blockchain staking platform, to introduce Ethereum 2.0 staking on its platform. The partnership will allow users and ETH holders to stake their tokens and receive rewards once the ETH 2.0 Phase 1 launch.

The announcement follows the recent ETH 2.0 Phase 0, or Beacon Chain launch, earlier this month – the first stage of a long transitioning process from the proof of work (PoW) consensus to a proof of stake (PoS) mechanism. The partnership will allow MEW web users and MEW Android wallet app users to start staking directly on their wallets. The iOS app staking will launch in the future.

“Staking with MEW means that users stay in control of their funds, and allows them to become a validator and start earning rewards,” The statement further reads. “Validators are run and maintained through Staked, and no further action is required on the part of the user.”

The minimum amount of ETH to stake for one validator is 32 ETH, but you can also stake in multiples of 32 ETH, an email sent to BEG confirmed. There is currently no option to pool ETH in a validators node. Still, MEW developers are looking to introduce this in the future, “but there’s no definite date for that yet,” a spokesperson from the company confirmed.

Kosala Hemachandra, MEW’s Founder and CEO, praised the latest move to partner with Staked, stating “it will help in Ethereum transitioning to a PoS consensus.” He further states,

“Partnering with Staked is about accessibility. Accessibility for MEW users and accessibility for the entire ecosystem.

The more we can connect our infrastructure and create seamless experiences for users, the more we contribute to the overall vision for Ethereum and crypto as a whole.”

The rewards will be distributed to validators’ wallets as soon as the Ethereum blockchain pays them out, but stakers will only be able to withdraw their rewards once the ETH 2.0 Phase 1 is launched.

MEW has had a prosperous year so far, integrating developments on its platform and partnering with other firms to find solutions for the Ethereum community. Recently, MEW partnered with RenVM to teleport Bitcoin to the Ethereum blockchain. This followed partnerships with 1inch DEX, Chainlink, and developments to build a DeFi ecosystem on the interface directly.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Binance Sends Final Warning to US Customers; 14 Days to Withdraw Funds

  • Binance continues its efforts to get rid of U.S customers on its platform.
  • Users should withdraw all their funds from the platform in the next two weeks.

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in trading volume, Binance, is hastening its efforts to sweep off every U.S. based customer off its global trading platform, Binance.com. According to a Decrypt report, the exchange is giving every U.S. registered customer 14 days to “close their positions and withdraw their funds” or risk having their funds locked.

Binance is imposing these stricter measures to comply with KYC/AML compliance regulations. It has previously been reported that the exchange warned users geo-tracked using their IP addresses to withdraw their funds from the platform in 90 days.

This followed a warning by CEO of Binance, Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, back in July 2019 when announcing a partnership with BAM Trading to launch its U.S. trading platform, Binance US. At the time, CZ confirmed that a “few restrictions would be accompanying the new partnership,” with U.S. customers having access to fewer tokens and features.

However, the latest warning sent via email to U.S. registered users is the most serious yet from the exchange. An email shared by one of our followers said,

“Dear user, as we constantly perform periodic sweeps of our existing controls, we noted that you are trying to access Binance while having identified yourself as a US person,” concerning the U.S registered customers using the platform.

The users have been given two weeks – ending December 8 – to clear their trading positions and withdraw funds from Binance.

“Please note that as per our terms of use, we are unable to service US persons. You have 14 days to close all active positions on your account and withdraw all your funds, failing which your account will be locked.”

The latest warning comes at the back of Binance US, adding Alabama to the states available for customers – with only eleven more states remain outside of the regional exchange’s network.

While the exchange does say the account will be locked, not all hope is lost for withdrawing user funds. It says users can contact customer support to try and get it temporarily unlocked.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Cybersecurity Firm, CipherTrace, Files Second Patent for Tracking Privacy Coin Monero (XMR)

  • A cybersecurity firm, CipherTrace announced on Monday their second patent on tracing and tracking privacy-enabled cryptocurrency, Monero (XMR)

A press release shared to the BEG news desk confirms CipherTrace, a blockchain analysis, and cybersecurity firm, has filed its second “Monero tracing” patent – “Techniques and Probabilistic Methods for Tracing Monero.” The patent follows the firm’s registration of the “Systems and Methods for Investigating Monero” patent earlier in the month in a bid to trace and track the privacy-enabled cryptocurrency.

Over the past few years, regulators and governments worldwide, including the United States and Russia, have been working on solutions to tracking XMR. According to the statement, over 45% of the darknet transactions are completed using privacy coins – with Monero leading the line, only second to Bitcoin (BTC).

Monero gives the user total anonymity through a privacy-by-default blockchain, unlike other privacy-based blockchains, ensuring no user can be deliberately or accidentally be traceable.

In September, the crypto intelligence firm announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a forensic tool to track and trace Monero. At the time, CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans confirmed the product has been in the works for a year stating,

“Our research and development team worked for a year on developing techniques for providing financial investigators with analysis tools. There is much work still to be done, but CipherTrace is proud to announce the world’s first Monero tracing capability.”

The latest patent will allow CipherTrace to build unique solutions and a toolkit to help regulators and law enforcement officials easily trace private cryptocurrency. The patent covers many features, including forensic tools to explore the XMR transactions, statistical and probabilistic methods to clustering likely owners, transaction visualization tools and methodologies for gaining intelligence about XMR transactions and node operators, etc.

This will exacerbate money laundering across the virtual asset service providers (VASPs) such as crypto exchanges and custodial services. Monero’s privacy makes it difficult for these VASPs to take on the compliance risk due to the high possibility and risk of money laundering. Over the past year, several exchanges have delisted XMR due to these challenges, including OKEx, Upbit, and recently Switzerland-based ShapeShift.

While CipherTrace works to remove the anonymity that cryptocurrency assets offer, the privacy of the crypto users’ identities will not be disclosed, the statement reads.

“We do, however, identify the Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) that are commercial companies operating cryptocurrency businesses.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

MyEtherWallet (MEW) Integrates 1inch DEX Allowing Direct Swapping of ETH & ERC-20 Tokens

  • DEX, 1inch.Exchange MyEtherWallet (MEW) Partner
  • Directly swap Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 standard tokens on their wallets.

In an announcement sent to our desks on Tuesday, 1inch.Exchange, a decentralized exchange (DEX), confirmed its integration with MEW, a nexus point for transacting ETH and ETH-based products. The partnership aims at providing options for decentralized token swaps across the MEW web-based and mobile apps. Furthermore, users will be offered more diverse options to stake their tokens on MEW in a bid to improve the overall user experience.

MEW is an open-source, free, and easy-to-access Ethereum wallet that provides a secure, self-custodial platform allowing anyone to take advantage of what ERC 20 tokens have to offer. With over 1 million active users, MEW integration of 1inch.exchange will enable these users to carry out any operation from their wallets directly.

Moreover, MEW is compatible with many webs, mobile, and hardware crypto wallets such as Ledger, Trezor, MetaMask, and Coinbase. This allows seamless transfer of Ethereum-based tokens across any platform – with the wallet offering non-custodial protection.

Kosala Hemachandra, MyEtherWallet’s founder and CEO, praised the decentralized efforts by 1inch DEX aggregator that allows users to compare prices across several exchanges and select the best prices for you. In his statement on the partnership, Hemachandra said,

“Working with them to make their platform more accessible to MEW users was an easy decision for us.

DeFi is still in an experimental stage, and companies like 1inch are paving the way for greater adoption.”

The integration opens up a gateway for over 1 million participants to use a 1inch DEX aggregator in its quest to be the biggest DEX platform. Sergei Kunz, CEO of 1inch exchange said,

“With the MEW integration, they will have more options for swapping tokens directly in their wallets, as coin offerings will substantially expand.”

The latest integration follows MEW’s integration of Maker protocol earlier this year, as the wallet provider targets to take over the decentralized finance (DeFi) market. MEW has pushed itself to transform itself from being a simple wallet to a full-service wallet, mobile app, and block explorer, and trading platform.

Also Read: 1inch Exchange Upgrades Its DEX to V2; Enhanced UI & Faster Response Times

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Author: Lujan Odera

Here’s Why BTC and Gold are Getting Hammered while Stock Market Hits New ATHs

On Monday, US markets saw one of their strongest openings in months on the back of progress on the COVID-19 vaccine and Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

Markets soared even before they opened and after that, it was all-time new highs.

S&P 500 made a new peak at 3,628 with a 1.3% move today, beating early September’s record of 3,580.

Much like the equity market, Dow Jones hit a new high at 29,632, with a 1.8% upwards move while tech-heavy Nasdaq fell short of hitting its high.

Not just US stocks but global stocks also surged on Monday after drugmaker Pfizer said that early data from its coronavirus vaccine shows it is more than 90% effective.

France’s CAC 40 jumped 7%, Germany’s DAX climbed 5.4%, and the FTSE 100 in London spiked 4.7%.

Even the price of Brent crude oil vaulted nearly 8% to $42.45 a barrel.

Unlike the mania seen in the stock market, gold crashed hard. The precious metal took a dive to $1,850, with a drop of almost 5.8%. Much like the yellow metal, silver had a bad time today, falling 9.2% to $23.6.

The US Dollar index meanwhile only oscillated between 92 and 93.

When it comes to Bitcoin, initially, it held strong only to fall 6.5% on Bitstamp. Today, BTC moved between the range of $14,824 and $15,854. The leading digital asset remains 24% away from its ATH.

“This volatility is just fast money funds that play BTC as a higher beta GOLD dumping on vaccine news. The players that enter on behalf of the longer-term thesis for Bitcoin are not changing their positioning,” noted trader Cantering Clark.

At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading around $15,200 in the red (-2%) with $3.81 billion in volume.

BTC’s downward movement had altcoins trailing down as well, with top cryptos down between 3% to 8%.

Before the vaccine news even broke out, stocks were already rallying as investors reacted positively to political certainty following Joe Biden’s victory. During his victory speech on Saturday, Biden announced his plans to assemble a coronavirus task force to help curb the virus’s spread.

Coronavirus cases are rising at an alarming rate in the US, forcing some states to shut down parts of the economy. Recently, several major countries in Europe have imposed nationwide lockdowns again.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Custodian, Casa, Now Allows US Customers to Buy Bitcoin Using Their Bank Accounts

Cryptocurrency custody platform Casa announced yesterday that users can now use their bank accounts to purchase Bitcoin on the platform. The platform said it is launching the service for its customers who are based in the US. It also stated that the purchased Bitcoin would be sent directly to the user’s wallet.

According to the announcement, the users can buy up to $200,000 worth of Bitcoin in a single month via the new service, with a 0.99% fee placed on every purchase.

Nick Neuman, chief executive officer of the platform, said users could buy the Bitcoin through partner platform, Wyre. He said there is a mining fee attached to each purchase because all purchased Bitcoins are sent on-chain directly to the user’s wallet.

Crypto exchanges also charge mining fees, usually when users are transferring their digital assets to their wallets.

Casa Buy BTC
Source: Casa Blog

Low transaction fees

According to Casa, the 0.00% fee for a single transaction represents one of the industry’s lowest fees.

Casa claims it has a superior security model that keeps customers’ investments safe as it gives users full control of their funds while keeping the funds safe.

Customers have exclusive access to their wallets because they have the keys. So, they have the freedom to choose how they manage their accounts.

Third-party custodians keep about 50% of all Bitcoin custodians because of the high-security level they provide for BTC stored with them.

They also provide users with full sovereignty and full control over their funds, making the Bitcoin network less resilient.

Casa says one of the benefits of relying on the platform for the custody of funds is that it has reduced the level of risks or complications that traders and investors have when keeping their funds. The high risks are the reasons why many Bitcoiners are not interested in self-custody.

But the Casa platform will take care of those issues as it provides completely secure custody of users’ funds. One other benefit is the fact that their funds are insured against any risk.

The application process is simple

Casa has informed users on how to get started with the platform. According to the company, users can use the bank account button on the Casa app’s purchase screen. They will be redirected to the company’s purchase partner Wyre to complete the process.

The review of the application also doesn’t take much time. According to Casa, each user application review takes between a few minutes to a few hours. Once the review is complete, a notification is sent to the user, and they can start purchasing Bitcoin with their bank accounts immediately.

The company says its processing partner requires a photo ID as well as their full personal information when processing the Bitcoin purchase. The requirements are to make sure the deal is in line with government regulations and protect fraud. The data is never stored on the Casa server as it is submitted via the Casa app.

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Author: Ali Raza