Ireland Adopts AMLD5; Virtual Asset Service Providers Given Three Months to Register

Ireland Adopts AMLD5; Virtual Asset Service Providers Given Three Months to Register

  • Ireland is the latest European state to introduce the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5).
  • Cryptocurrency exchanges are required to register with the central bank within 90 days.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the AMLD5 from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has been transposed into Irish law on Friday, April 23, 2021. The directive, now Irish law, forces virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to register with the Central bank of Ireland within the next three months and comply with all Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.

The directive becomes part of financial laws in Ireland via the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Amendment Act 2021.

The report describes VASPs as firms that facilitate the exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies, an exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets, custodian wallet provider, transfer of virtual assets between digital addresses, and any other activities involving transacting virtual assets.

This starts a new regime in Ireland whereby crypto exchanges must record and keep their users’ KYC/AML information– effectively killing anonymous crypto transactions. As per the guidelines, VASPs operating in the country must comply with these laws or “it will be a criminal offense,” which could result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.

Additionally, VASPs are required to perform due diligence on their clients to find the origin of their funds, destination of transactions and report any suspicious activities to authorities.

As reported last May, the Irish cryptocurrency service providers found it difficult to conduct their business as local banks locked them out as the government delayed implementing the AMLD5. With the new laws, a few crypto companies are looking to restore their partnerships with local banks.

Netherlands became the first European country to charter a cryptocurrency exchange under the new AMLD5 laws in late October 2020. Nederlandsche Bank NV (DNB), the Netherlands’ central bank, approved AMDAX BV as the first digital asset firm to operate under its jurisdiction allowing users to buy and sell crypto through the exchange.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) Catching Up Fast to Gold’s Largest ETF (GLD)

Bitcoin ETFs are also making waves, with BTCC doing three times more volume than any other ETF in Canada. Meanwhile, Bitcoin price, which is ready to hit $58k, is up 92% YTD compared to gold’s -5.83%.

Grayscale, the world’s largest digital assets manager, has $43.63 billion in assets under management. In less than a month, the asset manager has doubled its AUM as earlier this month it was sitting at $26.4 billion and $20.2 billion at the beginning of the year.

The majority of this AUM belongs to Grayscale’s one product Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), which has $36.57 billion in assets under management. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust currently holds 455.47k BTC, just over 3.5% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply.

This is thanks to the price of Bitcoin hitting a new high above $57,000 today and becoming a trillion-dollar asset.

With this, Bitcoin has achieved 10% of gold’s market cap, with the precious metal’s market cap being around $10 trillion. Price-wise, gold is nowhere near in BTC’s realm. Spot gold is currently trading at $1,783 per ounce, as of writing, down 5.83% YTD compared to Bitcoin’s more than 90% gains in 2021 so far.

Just as the leading digital currency is slowly eating up gold’s market share, the biggest Bitcoin fund GBTC is closing in on the largest gold ETF, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which has $64.85 billion in assets under management.

“GBTC ($39.2b+) isn’t that far from flippening the largest gold ETF, GLD ($64b),” tweeted Nic Carter of Coin Metrics.

The gold ETF that provides “physically held” exposure to the precious metal records $1.49 billion in average daily volume.

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While Grayscale clearly dominates the market, an increasing number of funds are now making an appearance. Several organizations are filing for a Bitcoin ETF, allowing institutional investors exposure to the digital asset without actually buying or holding them.

While the US has yet to get one, Canada has already had two. This week, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) also approved the Evolve Funds Group’s application for a Bitcoin ETF.

As we reported, the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), was a roaring success, beating the traditional numbers. The two-day AUM is estimated to be $330 million.

On Friday, BTCC traded $350 million, a jump of 40% from its debut day and three times more volume than any other ETF, noted Eric Balchunas, Senior ETF Analyst for Bloomberg. Joe McCann, a Microsoft strategist said,

“ETFs beget liquidity, and liquidity improves price discovery and price ascent. This is historic volume in Canada for its BTC ETF. When, not if, it gets approved in the US, we will see the same thing happen.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has shut down all the attempts to offer Bitcoin ETF in America, so far, but there are high expectations for one under the new SEC Chairman, for which President Joe Biden has nominated Gary Gensler, who taught a class on Blockchain at MIT.

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Author: AnTy

DEX Balancer Raises Million Ahead of its V2 Launch Next Month

DeFi protocol, Balancer, has secured an investment of $5 million from Three Arrows Capital and DeFiance Capital, both of which will be key strategic partners in its expansion in Asia.

The popular DEX also has Pantera Capital and Alameda Research as its investors, which directly purchased BAL tokens from the Balancer Labs treasury, bringing its total raised fund in Series A round to $12 million.

The funding is expected to further accelerate the growth of Balancer Labs as it prepares for the launch of Balancer v2.

Earlier last week, Fernando Martinelli, the co-founder and CEO of Balancer Labs, shared that the V2 upgrade, expected to launch in March, will bring the project “closer to Balancer’s vision of being the primary source for DeFi liquidity.”

“The Balancer team has pioneered a great deal of innovation in the DeFi space and is one of the most widely used liquidity protocols. We are excited to help them expand further,” said Su Zhu, Three Arrows Capital, a Singapore-based crypto asset hedge fund.

The protocol that works on building the primary source of liquidity for DeFi has a TVL (total value locked) of $1.25 billion.

In the world of DEX, the protocol recently surpassed $10 billion in total swap volume and did about half a billion dollars worth of volume in the past 7 days compared to $1 billion by Curve, $1.3 billion by 0x, $3.5 billion volume recorded on SushiSwap, and $7.6 billion on Uniswap.

Balancer currently has 3.24% of the DEX market share, as per Dune Analytics.

The native token of the project BAL, which has a market cap of $$332 million, enjoyed the news and jumped 30% to hit $50, up 240% YTD.

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Author: AnTy

Decentralized Exchange (DEX), dYdX, Raises $10 Million Following A Record 2020

Decentralized exchange dYdX has raised $10 million in Series B round led by Three Arrows Capital and DeFiance Capital, which the team calls “an important milestone.”

While a16z, Polychain Capital, Kindred Ventures, 1confirmation, Elad Gil, Fred Ehrsam continued their support, Wintermute, Hashed, GSR, SCP, Scalar Capital, Spartan Group, and RockTree Capital are the new investors in the DEX platform. Arthur Cheong, founder of DeFiance Capital said,

“We have been users since the early days and are excited to back dYdX in the current round to accelerate its mission to build the most powerful decentralized trading platform for cryptoassets.”

The funds raised will be used to add new assets and features, partnerships, strategically invest in international growth markets such as Asia, and further expand the team, which recently added six new members across engineering, design, & growth.

The DEX runs on smart contracts on the second-largest network, Ethereum, eliminating the need for a central exchange. The infrastructure of the decentralized exchange combines non-custodial, the on-chain settlement with an off-chain low-latency matching engine to deliver an institutional-grade, liquid, and low slippage trading experience.

The investment came after a “record” 2020 that saw the total cumulative trade volume across the perpetual, margin, and spot trading increasing 40x, reaching $2.5 billion in 2020, up from $63 million in 2019. Also, loan originations registered $17.4+ billion from dYdX lending pools.

In 2021, total cumulative trade volume has surpassed $3.5 billion, with the team preparing to launch Layer 2 solution with StarkWare for cross-margined perpetuals to scale lower cost in February.

Besides these metrics, dYdX users also jumped 4.8x with 38,588 unique wallets depositing funds into the exchange’s smart contracts.

dYdX, however, accounts for only 2.37% of total DEX volume, recording just over $5 million in volume in the last 24 hours. The majority of the DEX volume share is captured by Uniswap at 47.7%, followed by SushiSwap at 21.3%, and Curve and 0x at 11..21% and 9.69%, respectively, as per Dune Analytics.

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Author: AnTy

Gold Is Trashed As USD Regains Strength; Will Bitcoin Hold Onto its Gains?

The traditional safe-haven asset has lost 5.6% of its value in three straight days of losses. The digital gold is still strong above $41k but the market needs to pay attention to the macro environment to see if USD gains take its toll.

Today, gold lost 3.14% of its value while USD gained some strength to move above 90 and Treasury yields made some recovery.

The yellow metal had a good couple of days entering into 2021 as it jumped back above $1,900, but it hasn’t been long that the bullion went down again.

Today the third day in a row that the precious metal has been going down, losing 5.6% of its value since Wednesday.

“It is the first week of January and the staying power for positions tends to be low so moves can get exaggerated,” Tom Fitzpatrick, a Citigroup’s technical strategist, told Bloomberg. Fitzpatrick has been the one that predicted a $318,000 BTC target.

The weakness in gold coincides with the greenback bottoming at 89.2 on Jan. 6 to find its way back above 90 after 10 days.

“Gold and metals getting trashed. The dollar incredibly bottomed on the elections … should have gone down, but didn’t. Rates behaved as expected, but the dollar turned,” noted trader and economist Alex Kruger.

Pay Attention

Unlike gold, the stock market continued its uptrend amidst the growing speculation on further stimulus but despite a sharp slowdown in US hiring.

With the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden getting full control of Congress after the two Democratic wins in Georgia’s Senate runoffs this week, the expectation for more stimulus and higher spending on economic reconstruction has been bolstered.

Bitcoin has also been making strong moves, with this week being yet another wild one for BTC in which the cryptocurrency went from $29,000 on Monday to nearly $42,000 today.

However, trader TheCryptoDog suggests to “pay attention to the macro environment,” adding, “Is the Fed really going to continue such wanton debasement of the dollar?”

Kruger also feels that “If this dollar trend were to continue for much longer it will likely take its toll on bitcoin.”

“This parabolic move upwards, with normally staid Wall Street firms including JP Morgan calling $146,000 as their price target for Bitcoin, and Guggenheim called $400,000, feels like it has a long way to go before exhausting,” is what Guy Hirsch, managing director for the U.S. at eToro believes. “It wouldn’t be all that surprising to see $100,000 at some point this year, given the current momentum.”

While making these new highs every day, Bitcoin has been time and again giving small pullbacks, only to make these daily tops support the very next day for another push higher.

But the market believes that despite being in this new paradigm, “brutal retracements are still possible.”

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Author: AnTy

Guggenheim Pumping its Bitcoin Bag with $400,000 Moon Target

Less than three weeks after filing for buying 27,700 Bitcoin, 0.15% of the digital asset’s total circulating supply, Guggenheim Investments has started pumping its bags.

According to Scott Minerd, chief investment officer at Guggenheim, Bitcoin’s scarcity combined with the Federal Reserve’s “rampant money printing” will push the price of Bitcoin to about $400,000.

Minerd’s BTC moon target came when the world’s largest cryptocurrency broke past $20,000 to well above $23k. Minerd told Bloomberg on Wednesday,

“Our fundamental work shows that Bitcoin should be worth about $400,000.”

“It’s based on the scarcity and relative valuation such as things like gold as a percentage of GDP. So you know, Bitcoin actually has a lot of the attributes of gold and at the same time has an unusual value in terms of transactions.”

Trader and economist Alex Kruger says signaling sky-high targets is how financial markets work to drive “further inflows in a pyramid-like fashion.” As institutions continue to enter the crypto market, Kruger expects them to come with their own more significant numbers.

$400k is not a whacked price target, anyway, at least not for the crypto market, where we have calls for $1 million per BTC in the future. Analyst Qiao Wang said,

“Not sure why people are shocked by the $400k target. Merely puts BTC at the same market cap as gold. But the total addressable market is way higher than gold. It’s gold plus all the zero- and negative-yielding debt.”

According to Seth Ginnis, managing partner at Crypto Fund, $150,000 to $200,000 is like the base case for Bitcoin adding, “I think we could pull forward the next cycle and go to $0.5M to $1M in the 2021-2022 timeframe” and then consolidate in that range for a few years.

For the crypto market beloved, Michael Saylor as well, $1 million per BTC is a real thing, but “one day.”

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Author: AnTy

Popular Exchange Adds Three More Cryptos; CVC, DNT, and MANA Experiencing ‘Coinbase Effect’

  • Coinbase continues its listing spree, adding three more tokens.
  • Users can now buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store CVC, MANA, and DNT.

U.S. largest cryptocurrency exchange announced the listing of Civic (CVC), Decentraland (MANA), and distric0x (DNT), allowing users to start trading, converting, and storing them on their platform. These three tokens joins a string of recent listings on the exchange in the past few months as Coinbase competes with other heavyweights including Binance and Huobi.

At launch, CVC and MANA will be available to customers in every Coinbase-supported region while DNT is not available for trading in New York State.

Coinbase seems in a rush to onboard new tokens after the recent decentralized finance rush. In mid-October, Coinbase announced they are currently progressively looking at 39 DeFi tokens that could be listed on the ‘prestigious’ exchange in the coming weeks.

Civic is an identity verification platform that allows users to privately provide identities to authorities for verification without re-verifying on every other service provider. Service providers incentivize their users and verifiers by paying CVC tokens.

Decentraland is a decentralized and virtual land market that offers prime “virtual plots” of land for the MANA token. District0x powers a network of decentralized marketplaces and communities called districts.

Coinbase also released a strategic process to listen to its customers, who have relentlessly asked for more tokens to be added to the exchange.

As you can imagine, the typical ‘Coinbase effect’ hit each of these coins as soon as the announcement went live. CVC is currently up 124% with a price of $.0571 while DNT is up 347% with a price of $.0419; unfortunately, MANA didn’t experience quite the jump that the two other coins did. Seeing a 32% jump with a price of $0.0875.

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Author: Lujan Odera

YFI Plunge Might be Over After Record Number of Addresses Unload All their Tokens

In the past three days, the DeFi darling YFI has lost more than 36% of its value, going from $34,400 to $21,950 today.

At the time of writing, the 28th largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $719 million, has been trading over $23,900, slightly in the red.

The governance token of Yearn.Finance has been plunging recently, which in part, is because of over 55% uptrend it experienced before that. Just this month, the token also hit a new all-time high of $43,678, and after such a peak, a correction is to be expected.

Moreover, the DeFi ecosystem at large hasn’t recovered from the losses yet, following the rally it has been recording from the past few months.

So, YFI is not alone in these losses; as a matter of fact, many like bzrx, SWRV, CRV, UMA, and MLN are down 60% to 85% in the past 30 days.

However, for YFI, there is an additional driver behind the downtrend.

As we reported, Eminence.finance was launched and exploited to drain $15 million, all within a few hours of the project getting in the limelight.

The unannounced and unaudited project was Yearn.Finance founder Andre Cronje’s creation.

Trader and economist Alex Kruger, who has been a YFI bull, revealed that he no longer holds any YFI as he took the profit. “My assessment made on the fly indicated YFI could crash. When shit hits the fan, it usually pays to react fast and hit it,” he said.

He further said trust in founder matters and “Cronje simply made the YFI trade more difficult.”

Kruger wasn’t alone in that given that on Sept. 29, with a 16% drop in price, the number of addresses that transferred out all their tokens and have zero balance reached its highest number ever at 1.72k addresses, as per IntoTheBlock.

In the EMN debacle, not only YFI’s communications lead was involved in promoting the project, but Cronje himself also retweeted Eminence.Finance’s ambiguous tweets.

“EMN is a Yearn product, contract deployed by Yearn #2 Blue muppet, a Yearn team member, shills EMN #3 Cronje talks surprise launches #4 Cronje promotes eminencefi while people buying EMN #5 EMN exploited, everyone gets rug pulled.”

To Cronje’s credit, the crypto community voted to be surprised by the project launch!

In the end, Degen investors might have learned a few things here, especially not to go all rushing-in in barely researched or audited projects.

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Author: AnTy

Decentralized Storage Network Filecoin to Launch Mainnet on Oct 15th; Raised $200M In 2017

Three years following its successful initial coin offering (ICO) approximated at $205M, Filecoin has finally confirmed that its long awaited mainnet launch is set for mid next month.

In a blog post from the team, the decentralized storage platform stated that the mainnet will be rolled out on Oct.15. The firm also revealed that the network will go live at block 148,888.

The platform is designed as a blockchain rival to Amazon Web Service as well as Cloudflare. The platform conducted one of the most successful ICO’s in history raising $205 million.

Dubbed decentralized dropbox, Filecoin is seeking to end the overreliance on the third-party hosting services used by companies such as Microsoft or Amazon. This will be advantageous to users as their content will not be monitored, like is the case with Dropbox, all information within the Filecoin platform will be encrypted making monitoring impossible.

The upcoming launch will end speculation in regards to years of delay. The firm had forecasted that its testnet would be launched by the end of 2018 while the mainnet was set to go live by 2019. The team then revised its estimation saying that the testnet was to be launched in the spring of last year while the mainnet would be launched by end of last year.

Filecoin was finally able to release its testnet in December last year. At that moment, the firm explained that the mainnet was set to be launched in March this year. Now, almost an year after the launching of the testnet, the firm has announced the mainnet will be launched mid next month.

All signs show that Filecoin is set to meet the expectations. On Aug. 24, the team released an incentivized testnet which is a sign that the platform is at the final stages of its design and development.

However, the team is facing challenges as an infuriated group of miners as well as venture capitalists in China are threatening to fork the platform before it can be officially launched. The group are of the view that they might be underpaid if the mainnet goes live. Protocol Labs, the firm behind Filecoin, had earlier released a paper stating that about 80% of miners could be rendered unprofitable.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

UNI Shorts Get REKT As it Goes Into Price Discovery While Uniswap TVL Hits a Record $2B

It has been only three days since Uniswap launched its governance token UNI.

The free $1,200 crypto stimulus saw 32k accounts selling their 400 UNI instantly, under $5.

This much activity resulted in ETH gas fees skyrocketing to $11.60, yet again and seeing a level of congestion; the Ethereum network has “never” faced before. The good thing is ETH price also spiked to $392 amidst the ETH balance on exchanges reaching the lowest levels so far this year.

But what these sellers didn’t anticipate was the price discovery the token would go on. Yesterday, UNI hit an all-time high above $8.37, and currently, it is trading at $7.13.

“UNI shorts getting rekt. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot of farmers that leverage hedge yields because I do that often, but Jesus this chart looks like someone got rekt, futures were 35% below index and it teleported to the index in a few ticks,” noted trader CL.

These sellers also didn’t take notice of the fact that the decentralized exchange (DEX) handles the same level of volume as the top centralized exchanges such as Coinbase.

“There are VERY few productive assets in crypto space,” said Dovey Wan of Primitive Crypto. “Uniswap Protocol operational efficiency is an order of magnitude higher than Binance and Coinbase.”

Uniswap is currently the dominant force (19.4%) in the DeFi space with a record of $2 billion in TVL, as per DeBank.

This week, the volume on the platform is also gradually growing to over $600 million, which is much more than the likes of Coinbase, Gemini, Poloniex, and Bitfinex.

The token has already been listed on the top cryptocurrency exchanges with futures contracts, providing the opportunity to short or long the crypto asset. DeFi options protocol Opyn also launched the UNI put options.

“DeFi will devour CeFi, piece by piece. It will be very difficult for proprietary, closed platforms to compete with neutral, open infrastructure,” said Jake Chervinksy, a legal counsel at Compound Finance, about the ongoing development in the DeFi space.

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Author: AnTy