Filecoin (FIL) Launches Free Decentralized Storage Solution for NFT Markets

The solution leverages IPFS and Filecoin blockchain for long-term security of the NFTs.

Released Tuesday, NFT.Storage, a decentralized file storing system, will allow developers and collectors to ‘protect their non-fungible token (NFT) assets.’ According to the statement, the platform lets developers and NFT holders store their assets on the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS) via Filecoin to ensure NFTs last for the long term.

The solution is a service created by Filecoin and backed by Protocol Labs and Pinata to provide unique solutions to the NFT marketplace. Additionally, users can also store metadata associated with the NFTs individually in an effort to keep NFTs ‘accessible in the long-term’, the report further states.

Mikeal Rodgers, Engineering Manager at Protocol Labs, believes NFTs – digital art pieces, music, trading cards, photos, tweets, etc. – are “part of humanity’s cultural legacy.” These assets require to be stored safely in the long term to allow the future generations accessibility of the assets, he added.

“Content addressing and distributed storage networks ensure that digital artwork, basketball cards, and virtual real estate are guaranteed to stay secure and available long-term.”

“NFT.storage makes it completely frictionless to mint NFTs following best practices through resilient persistence on IPFS and Filecoin.”

The core of NFT.Storage service to NFT holders is content addressing, which is simply marking content with hashes. Once you place an asset on NFT.Storage, a hash is assigned to the content – giving it a unique “fingerprint” that can be used to search, find and reference it anywhere on the platform. This produces a secure, unique, and verifiable content and files for NFT users.

Although Filecoin (FIL) is planning to make the storage solution free, there has been no communication on how long the “free storage” will last. The Terms of Service states NFT.Storage will be free for all participants on IFPS “for as long as Protocol Labs, Inc. continues to offer free storage for NFT’s.” All rights to terminate the free storage also reserves with NFT.Storage project.

Finally, NFT.Storage will offer data storage on the NFT solution “ad infinitum or until Protocol Labs decides to conclude the NFT.Storage project.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

“Short the Dollar”, says Bitcoin-friendly US Congressman, Warren Davidson

US Congressman Warren Davidson, a Bitcoin proponent, tweeted on Tuesday, “Short the Dollar.” This has been in response to the Twitter account of Forbes Crypto asking the community to sum up cryptocurrencies in 2020 in three words.

Davidson replied with shorting the US dollar and the hashtag “Sound Money,” referring to Bitcoin.

According to him, Bitcoin is a “great store of value,” which he views “like digital gold versus a true currency.” But he doesn’t own any personally. Davidson’s reply triggered some, Rohan Grey being one of them who wrote,

“Another brilliant monetary insight from one of the Republicans who opposes the #STABLEAct.”

Grey, an assistant professor at Willamette University College of Law, has recently been in the limelight helping draft the controversial Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement (STABLE) Act.

Grey also worked with Rep. Rashida Tlaib on the Public Banking Act draft, which was introduced in October, and a COVID relief plan to invest in the digital wallet.

The latest draft STABLE Act requires any stablecoin issuer to obtain a banking charter and approval from the Federal Reserve and be FDIC-insured. This bill further holds the node operators and network upon which these fiat-based cryptos will operate liable.

According to him, it’s about the systemic risk that stablecoins pose, and as they become larger, they are no different than any other big financial institutions. For him, even if an instrument is issued on a decentralized network, if it is “trying to walk and talk like money, and therefore carries a systemic risk, it should be regulated like money.” Grey said,

“I hold the view…that decentralized networks are not sort of a crowd where there’s nobody liable—that there are actors you can point to that operate and govern and make decisions related to key parts of that infrastructure.”

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Author: AnTy

DeFi Projects Yearn.Finance and Pickle Working Together, Two New Tokens to be Created

On Tuesday, Yearn.Finance creator Andre Cronje wrote about Pickle and Yearn developers coming together to work in Symbiosis. Cronje said,

“This is done to reduce duplicate work, increase specialization, and to leverage shared expertise.”

The plan is to merge Pickle Jars and Yearn’s V2 Vaults.

For this, Pickle will be integrated into Yearn’s ecosystem where Pickle Jars will be deployed as Yearn vaults using the forthcoming v2 design and “Pickle and Yearn TVL merges.”

The total value locked in Yearn.Finance is nearly $600 million, while Pickle only has $39 million in TVL, as per DeBank.

Pickle will be introducing rewards Gauges through which tokens will be distributed, and Yearn Vault depositors get to earn additional rewards by depositing vault shares in gauges.

The devs of Pickle Finance will continue to write strategies for which they will earn a 10% performance fee.

Pickle Governance participants will receive DILL in exchange for locking PICKLE for set maturity dates while Yearn vault depositors will earn additional rewards locking Pickle for DILL, up to 2.5x — “the more DILL they hold the greater the rewards” with a minimum locking period of 1 week and maximum 4 years.

The Gauge deposit, withdrawal, performance, and protocol fees will go to DILL holders. Pickle will also earn rewards from all Yearn depositors who use their rewards gauges.

In the announcement, Cronje further shared that a new token, CORNICHON will be distributed proportionally to the victims of the recent Evil Jar attack. This new token is created to track the losses of the attack against Pickle’s DAI Jar.

Following the Pickle and Yearn collaboration news, the price of PICKLE surged past $20. As of writing, it is trading around $17, up from a roughly 66% crash resulting from the hack on the weekend. YFI, meanwhile, is trading at $23,700.

Some community members wondered why there wasn’t a government voting for this collaboration.

A Yearn Finance team member explained that there wasn’t anything for the yearn community to vote on because “creating a Yearn Vault is completely permissionless.” Given that the code is open, anyone can do this. He further pointed out that it is all primarily to do with the Pickle project.

“Yearn is for builders not bureaucrats,” concluded the Yearn.Finance team member.

Also Read: Yearn Finance Creator Andre Cronje Reveals New DeFi Project DeriSwap

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Author: AnTy

Members Of Congress Blasts Acting OCC For His “Unilateral Crypto Decisions”

On Tuesday, the acting Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Brian Brooks, testified before the Senate bringing forward several proposals on the cryptocurrency and the digital assets market. However, multiple congress members have come forward criticizing Brook’s unilateral decisions in the digital assets space, stating the former Coinbase executive is “too focused on crypto.”

In a speech before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Brooks highly praised the digital assets market and the importance of stablecoins. He praised the adoption rate of digital assets among Americans and the exponential growth of the cryptocurrency market, saying,

“These figures clearly illustrate that this payment mechanism is now firmly entrenched in the financial mainstream.

Cryptocurrency has become a popular mechanism for sending and receiving payments for goods and services because transactions post in real-time and provide convenience and security.”

Brooks is, however, facing a backlash from multiple members of Congress who view his crypto-related efforts as the head of OCC as “one-sided.” A letter signed by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and cosigned by Congressmen Stephen Lynch (MA-08) led a letter, which was cosigned by Reps. Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Deb Haaland (NM-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) blasted Brooks for his crypto-heavy leadership.

Read More: OCC Needs To Provide Regulation Clarity To Protect Users And Businesses

The letter argues that Brooks’ stance on digital assets should not take precedence in millions of Americans’ lives while there is an ongoing global pandemic. The members wrote,

“Arguably, the immediate needs of millions of at-risk individuals who have not yet received an economic stimulus check and/or cannot deposit their funds in a bank deserve greater attention than an effort to increase access to financial services to the ‘banked community’ via mobile phones.”

They further questioned his unilateral actions in the digital asset space, including “interpretive letters on cryptocurrency custody, stablecoins, and announced plans to start offering special purpose ‘payments’ charters.” Furthermore, they criticized Brooks’ plan to offer huge corporations such as Amazon and Facebook payment charters, claiming it would increase systemic risks, which could “expose the financial system to significant vulnerabilities.” The lawmakers wrote.

“Our concern regarding the OCC’s excessive focus on crypto assets and crypto-related financial services is shared by the American Bankers Association and other trade groups who have expressed similar reservations that such services move too far away from the core business of banking.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ant Group’s Record-Setting IPO Suspended in Hong Kong and Shanghai Over Regulatory Concern

The stock exchanges of Hong Kong and Shanghai announced on Tuesday that Ant Group’s much anticipated initial public offering (IPO), which would have been the largest stock sale at US$39.67 billion, was suspended less than 48 hours before the start of trading over regulatory concerns.

Just last month, co-founder Jack Ma talked about digital currencies being the future as he said the current system needs to be reformed, “one for the next generation and young people.”

Ma also criticized China’s financial regulator, saying the current regulatory system stifles innovation as he called for a revamp, which may have played a role in this suspension.

Earlier this week, Ant Group’s senior executives, including Ma, had a meeting with China’s top financial regulators and central bank officials that led to a “significant change” to Ant’s business environment.

According to Ant Group’s statement to the two stocks exchanges, the fintech company did not fulfill the listing requirement or disclosure rules. As such, the trading debut was postponed.

Retail investors who applied for the IPO, which was oversubscribed 389 times, will get a refund in two batches, reported South China Morning Post.

About 1.55 million small investors in Hong Kong contributed HK$1.3 trillion ($167.7 billion) into the highly awaited IPO offering, making it the highest amount to be refunded in history.

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Author: AnTy

Kadena to Launch DEX to Rival Uniswap; Touts Higher Speeds and Multiple Protocol Support

Kadena announced on Tuesday that it would roll out a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) dubbed ‘Kadenaswap’ towards the end of 2020 in a bid to rival Ethereum, which is currently struggling with high gas fees and congestion. This JP Morgan blockchain initiative noted that its pipeline multi-chain DEX will provide DeFi traders with an option capable of handling high volumes as part of its contribution to the burgeoning space.

For starters, Kadenaswap is set to facilitate around 480,000 transactions per second compared to a mere 13 Tps on Ethereum. This has been a significant issue for Ethereum recently, as markets rallied in favor of DeFi ecosystems. Gas fees hit all-time highs, with traders paying as much as $15 per transaction at the beginning of September.

Kadenaswap has since been touted as the game-changer by its stakeholders, including Kadena president, Stuart Popejoy. Speaking to Coindesk, he confirmed that the DEX would have no issues in handling 480,000 Tps based on the fundamentals of Kadena blockchain, a platform that debuted at the beginning of the year.

Furthermore, Kadenaswap, unlike Uniswap, will support various protocols to build within its DEX ecosystem. Kadena’s native bridge infrastructure, coupled with the pact smart contract language, will allow its prospectus clients to integrate a couple of protocols not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cosmos, and Polkadot. Popejoy commented that,

“We already have production code with fully decentralized bridges, and so that creates an interesting opportunity to think of a multi-protocol, multi-venue DEX.”

Like most decentralized projects, Kadena is also considering launching its governance token ‘KDAX,’ used as the fuel to its DEX. This means that KDAX holders will get to vote on proposals intended to improve or keep Kadenaswap sustainable in the DeFi space.

While Kadenaswap stakeholders may be bullish, the DEX will face a tall order in trying to disrupt Uniswap, which currently enjoys $2.3 billion in liquidity and $271 million volume within the past 24 hours. Ethereum 2.0 will launch in the near future, according to the latest updates from the team. If successful, DeFi activity is more likely to continue thriving in this ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bermuda Govt Partners With Stablehouse to Test A Stimulus Token for COVID-19 Aid

On Tuesday, the Government of Bermuda announced that it has rolled out a pilot initiative for digital stimulus token. The program is being run in conjunction with Stablehouse, a Bermuda-based payments startup. The program is expected to offer crucial feedback on whether digital tokens can be used for buying essential goods and services in the country.

Stablehouse claims to be ‘a global virtual currency clearing house’ and facilitates the exchange of stablecoins. The startup is being advised by ex-Tether executive, Phil Potter, who will offer his expertise to the government in the provision of Bermudian Dollar Token, BMDT.

The government is seeking to collect vital information and data on whether merchants will readily accept digital tokens as a payment method. The pilot phase will also establish whether Bermudians are ready to use the tokens to buy essential goods and services.

At the moment, the government has recruited three merchants as well as 20 individuals who were given a stipend of free BMDTs that they use to test the initiative.

Speaking to Decrypt, chief fintech advisor to Bermudian prime minister, Denis Pitcher explained that the project will kick-off with a small number of participants but will gradually expand.

“Our ultimate goal is to end up with a wallet on every phone because wallets are the browser of the future when it comes to money and the future of finance.”

The partnership will see Stablehouse offer point-of-sale services to the merchants as well as provide its Green Wallet that enables clients to store coins while offline easily. The startup will also be handling issuance as well as redemption of the BMDT. It’s important to note that every token is backed by the Bermudian dollar, which is also pegged to the US dollar.

The token will run on Blockstream’s Liquid, which is a sidechain protocol that is designed to link together various exchanges.

The token stimulus initiative has been in the works since last year and is part of a comprehensive plan to introduce digital currency on the island.

Bermuda has implemented various crypto-friendly policies in the recent past. For instance, in October last year, the island allowed its residents to clear their taxes and fees using US dollar-backed stablecoins.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Crypto Community Bashes First-Ever STO IPO Advisors for Shilling INX

The first-ever Security Token Offering (STO) held its IPO for 130 million INX tokens on Tuesday following approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Ethereum-based token was for sale at a price of $0.9 per token.

The IPO came about a year after the project issued its preliminary prospectus, which could become the largest IPO to date in the crypto industry if it manages to raise its targeted $117 million (originally targeted $130M).

A startup with 14 employees has Israeli consulting firm A-Labs Finance and Advisory as its underwriting for public offering. A-Labs’ owner Doron Cohen is the founding partner of INX.

They were founded in 2017 by Shy Datika, the controlling shareholder (31%) and president of INX and Cohen, who, along with Triple-V, owns a 10% share of the company.

But the real event hasn’t been about the INX being the first STO, but the advisors of the project and in the middle of it is Casa’s Jameson Lopp, who received backlash from the crypto community for shilling a “shitcoin.”

“It enables non-accredited investors to get exposure to crypto exchange cash flows. It’s kind of like BNB except regulatory compliant,” is how Lopp explained the project.

Lopp is actually eligible to purchase 25,000 tokens at $0.01 per piece, which is 98.8% lower than the price it is currently available for the public.

“Don’t conflate permissionless altcoins that try to compete with bitcoin to this, a regulated security token for a specific company,” said Lopp who finds it “interesting because historically the most profitable businesses in the crypto ecosystem are exchanges,” and “this is a very different beast.”

200 million INX tokens have already been minted, out of which 35 million are reserved for the management, employees, early investors, and advisors. Another 35 million have been put into a reserve fund for acquisitions and other operational expenses.

Token holders are entitled to 40% of the adjusted operating cash flow, which is so far negative $4 million and advisors are set to make $225,000.

Bitcoin core developer and founder of Bloq argued that maximalists had made a U-turn as they advertise their Ethereum token sale after calling everything on Ethereum a scam.

Blockstream CSO, Samson Mow, who is also one of the advisors and eligible to buy up to 100k of INX’s at $0.01 per token said he first invested in 2018 and that “the plan is for the INX security token to be issued on Liquid via Liquid Securities, however that will take time and approval from regulators.”

The exchange is estimated to launch in Q1 2021 with listings and the token trading in Q2 of next year.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin HODLer Cynthia Lummis Wins Senate Primary in Wyoming

Former Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) has won the first round of the US Senate race. On Tuesday, she won her state’s Senate GOP primary and is now one step closer to replacing retiring Sen. Mike Enzi (R).

Lummis, who served four terms in the House, will now be facing Merav Ben-David but is about guaranteed to fill the seat.

She is a bitcoin holder, which is no surprise given that her state of Wyoming is leading the US in integrating blockchain technology and cryptocurrency into the regulatory framework.

In an interview with CoinDesk, a few months back, she revealed that she continues to hold onto her first Bitcoin that she purchased in 2013 as she is a “HODLer.” Lummis has never sold and remains a buyer, as it is the way to protect her future.

An advocate of bitcoin, she believes in the current macro environment, “we need stores of value that are decoupled from the economy,” and that is bitcoin.

In the 21st century, where the central bank is printing money and declining the value of the US dollar, “cryptocurrencies may be on the uptick,” she said.

Unlike all the interest towards central bank-backed digital currencies, Lummis is very much clear on this very front as well as she explained how that is a matter of convenience instead of targeting being a store of value.

“As long as a dollar-based digital currency is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S., as opposed to something more scarce, then I don’t think it can add value,” she said.

According to Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics, it is “amazing” that she believes in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have given that “Cynthia is most likely going to be Wyoming’s new senator.”

“Anyone who thought that America wouldn’t eventually embrace Bitcoin is crazy. Bitcoin values and core constitutional American values have a lot in common,” he added.

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Author: AnTy

Russian Monitoring Agency Develops Blockchain Analysis Tool To Track Bitcoin And Monero

A report from local news channel RBC confirmed on Tuesday Russian intelligence unit, Rosfinmonitoring, (Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service), has proposed a cryptocurrency monitoring tool similar to U.S.’s Chainalysis. The agency, in charge of reducing cases of money laundering and terrorist financing in the country, will start tracking Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies including privacy enhanced tokens such as DASH and XMR.

“The Transparent Blockchain”, is a new prototype built in partnership with the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences that will use artificial intelligence to track blockchain activity and cryptocurrency transactions. According to the report, a letter to the Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, Maxim Parshin, has been approved by the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communication.

So far, the Rosfinmonitoring has started preparations for widespread production of the software with the Bank of Russia and financial institutions within the country set to test it in the “near future.”

A $10 million request

The prototype is ready and tested on drug controls, the Federal Financial Monitoring Service confirmed. However, till now development of the blockchain analysis service has been constricted to extrabudgetary funds. To continue the build, the Rosfinmonitoring requested the federal government to increase their funding for the project by 760 million rubles (~$10.42 million) in the next three years.

Russia has been on the forefront in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing using cryptocurrencies. In July, President Vladimir Putin signed two digital asset bills into law – first, authorizing that crypto is property and second, digital assets cannot be used as a form of payment within the country. Earlier this month, the Russian government outlawed sending cryptocurrencies to any anonymous wallets forcing users to be fully KYC compliant.

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Author: Lujan Odera