Russia has No Plans to Ban Crypto Unlike China, says Deputy Finance Minister

Russia Has No Plans to Ban Cryptocurrencies Unlike China, says Deputy Finance Minister

A Siberian region, which relies heavily on hydroelectric power and is known for its cheap electricity, also saw its energy consumption surging 159% due to an “avalanche” of crypto-mining.

After the US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Gary Gensler clarified in no uncertain terms that they have no plan to ban Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev conveyed the same thoughts.

Moiseev told reporters this week that Russia does not plan to follow the same path as China and introduce a ban on the purchase of crypto by citizens on foreign exchanges, according to a local publication.

“Russian citizens can have a wallet open outside the Russian Federation, but if they operate within the Russian Federation then they will be subject to bans, I think, for the entire foreseeable future, due to our financial sovereignty,” said Moiseev during a “Digitalization of Financial Markets” lecture at MGIMO.

Last month, China strengthened its crackdown on crypto mining and trading; as a result, a flood of Bitcoin miners are now also moving to Russia besides Kazakhstan and the U.S.

A Siberian region, Irkutsk, which relies heavily on hydroelectric power and is known for its cheap electricity, saw retail energy consumption surging 159% this year, from 2020 levels due to an “avalanche” of underground crypto-mining, Governor Igor Kobzev said in a letter to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

“The situation is an unpredictable event for the region and is leading to significant loads on the power grid with the risk of accidents and emergencies,” reads the letter, in which Kobzev said the problem has been exacerbated by China’s ban on mining and called for higher electricity rates for miners.

Close Attention on Crypto

While no plans to ban crypto, the digital currency will not be allowed to be used as a means of payment within the country, as this could result in the loss of the government’s control over the money supply, said Deputy Finance Minister.

Moiseev further said that there is a need to define digital currency and blockchain in the country’s Civil Code and in specialized laws.

“The blockchain will obviously occupy its own niche and will be used where equal rights are needed.”

Last week, Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market had said that they are keeping “close attention” on the topic of digital assets and thinking about implementing legislative restrictions on the investment of unqualified investors in cryptocurrencies.

These measures, according to him, are necessary to protect private investors as billions of dollars are currently spent on the purchase of digital currency. But while there is a great risk, there is also great profitability, he noted.

“Here, of course, we need to prescribe in the legislation the norms that will protect an unqualified investor in ill-considered investments in digital currencies.”

In July this year, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation issued an information letter recommending Russian exchanges not to admit instruments linked to crypto and advised professional participants in the securities market to refrain from offering their unqualified clients access to crypto and the management company to include them in mutual funds.

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Author: AnTy

Comedian Bill Maher Doesn’t ‘Get’ Bitcoin; Money, Unlike Crypto, is ‘Generated by Something Real’

Comedian Bill Maher Doesn’t ‘Get’ Bitcoin; Money, Unlike Crypto, is ‘Generated by Something Real’

According to him, Bitcoin’s “power is based solely on enough children believing in it.” Let’s not tell him about USD or fiat money.

Television host Bill Maher is the latest to mock cryptocurrencies. Taking a jab at Dogecoin (DOGE) on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ show, the comedian said, as “Far as I can tell, it’s exactly the same as the other cryptocurrencies because the whole thing is a joke.”

Referring to it as an “Easter bunny cartoon cash,” he then compared it to Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, saying, “Its power is based solely on enough children believing in it.”

But this wasn’t all; he then shared his views on Bitcoin’s environmental impact, which he says involves “more energy than Netflix, Apple, Facebook, and Google combined.” Each transaction, according to him, “uses more electricity than a million Visa transactions and has the same carbon footprint as watching 85,000 hours of YouTube.”

Where are these estimates even coming from? No one knows.

Attacking the power used by Bitcoin mining, Maher cited Microsoft founder Bill Gates, “Bitcoin uses more electricity per transaction than any other method known to mankind.”

He then goes on to quote a journal that stated that “bitcoin’s growth could single-handedly push global temperatures above the tipping point of 2 degrees celsius.”

Here, Nic Carter, co-founder of Coin Metrics, posted a video in rebuttal, saying the paper quoted is not a solid basis for claims against Bitcoin as it has been widely critiqued both by academics and industry practitioners.

According to Maher, however, Bitcoin supporters are “money-hungry opportunist(s), and you’re not allowed to pretend you care about the environment.”

He then tries to explain that “money had to originate from and be generated by something real somewhere, to which cryptocurrency says no it doesn’t.”

“Cars are bad for the environment, but at least they take you somewhere,” added Maher. He then called out Tesla CEO Elon Musk for supporting cryptocurrencies.

“How can Tesla be all-in on saving the planet with electric cars and then participate in destroying it with this completely unnecessary online play-money?” Well, that should tell you something.

But he found support in Warren Buffett, quoting him on Bitcoin having no intrinsic value and that one just hopes for somebody to pay more money for them.

The crux is simple, as Maher said, “I still don’t get it,” despite claiming to have read about cryptos and had them explained to him. But he goes one step further, “neither do you or anyone else.” He also quoted The Black Swan author Nassim Taleb who called bitcoin an “open ponzi scheme.”

Of course, the crypto community took offense at his uninformed takes and shared Maher’s just as ridiculous takes on cell phones, social media, global pandemic, and more. Even a Maher fan tweeted,

“Huge fan Bill but this is terrible research. Don’t you think? Buffett is 100 years old; he doesn’t know tech. The USD is backed by nothing either & they don’t just print 1 trillion bitcoin out of nowhere, devaluing it like USD.”

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Author: AnTy

Ethereum Miners Accumulating While Active Addresses Point to ‘Strong Price Rally’

Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum has really made substantial gains in 2020, up 75% YTD compared to BTC’s 25%. Even after the March sell-off, Ether has been on an incline, rising 10.52% against BTC the past month. Currently, ETH/USD is trading at $226.

Just like the price, the number of non-zero addresses has been surging, but at a faster pace. Today, Ethereum non-zero addresses broke the previous ATH set just a day back to make a new high of 42,385,447, as per Glassnode.

These addresses have been growing since 2017, notwithstanding the price movement, which went through a bull market in 2017, a bear market in 2018, and now a mix of gains and losses before starting a new bull rally.

Just like retail investors, miners are busy accumulating ETH. In the past 20 days alone, they added 21,000 ETH, worth nearly $5 million, shared Spencer Noon, head of DTCCapital, a crypto-native investment fund.

This latest uptrend came after miners sold ETH in late May and then in early June following the digital asset’s price spiking above $220, “which coincided with the start of Ethereum’s consolidation phase.”

“The prolonged periods of miner accumulation can indicate fairly high confidence levels among ETH mining pools in relation to the asset’s short-term performance,” noted Noon.

A similar uptrend can be seen in the number of addresses interacting with ETH each day, which is being sent or received. In an uptrend for the past three months, it is now approaching the 2019 top.

Such a surge in Ethereum’s daily active addresses has previously coincided with a “strong price rally.” But because currently, Ether is in the weeks-long consolidation period, this may be a decoupling of price action from the network’s utilization.

But at the same time, previously dormant coins are once again moving between addresses as Ethereum’s token Age Consumed spiked at its highest level since February 2019. The spike is also higher than the one recorded on Black Thursday.

“Spikes in Token Age Consumed can sometimes signal changes in the behavior of certain long-term holders, and tend to precede increased volatility in the coin’s price action,” noted Santiment. This latest spike however is most likely due to the sudden movement of 789,534 $ETH (~$184,000,000) from the PlusToken Ponzi scheme.

Ethereum’s token velocity has also hit a 2-year high with the average amount of times active ETH tokens changed addresses spiking to 5.2 per day which might be prompted by the “yield hunting” on various DeFi protocols.

Lastly, as we have been reported, total gas used on the Ethereum blockchain made a new all-time high just as Ethereum miners are voting to increase the block gas limit by 25%. This growth is also due to an increase in the utility of DeFi projects Uniswap and Kyber network, which also ranks in the top 10 by gas usage in the past month.

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Author: AnTy

Risk Appetite Returning in Bitcoin Market While Large BTC Holders Are Growing

Unlike the euphoria in the US stock market, the digital asset market remains completely stable.

With all the money flowing into the stock market, the US dollar which stayed strong during the March sell-off has been declining steadily since mid-May. In contrast to USD, the price of oil is going up but gold is on a decline.

The madness in the stocks however, is reminding crypto enthusiasts of the 2017 bull run. According to analyst Mati Greenspan, the main perpetrator of these “ridiculous” moves is the unwavering support from the Fed which has injected trillions of dollars into the market.

“The thing about infinity is that it doesn’t differentiate between good companies and bad companies. In fact, once we remove all risk, there’s arguably more upside potential in an asset that has little inherent value,” wrote Greenspan in his daily newsletter.

In this week’s two day meeting of the Fed, strategists are expecting Chairman Jerome Powell to soothe markets and reveal its first forecast for the economy.

With the recent market exuberance combined with the latest job data, there is a dilemma ahead for the Fed. If the Fed announces further stimulus, it would risk making the market even crazier and if they withdraw stimulus, the risk is even greater, Greenspan said.

Bitcoin between crucial support and resistance levels

In the bitcoin market, “risk appetite is returning” with open interest on CME Bitcoin options nearly entirely in calls.

In a call option, the holder gets the right to buy an asset while in case of put option it’s the right to sell an asset.

Also, total bitcoin options open interest has surpassed $1.5bln, only one month after crossing $1bln, reported Skew.

Currently, bitcoin is trading just above $9,700 and keeping within the tight range it has been trading in since early June. According to trader Crypto Michael, the current range is a no-trade zone and it is time to be patient.

The leading digital currency is currently between crucial support and resistance levels. As per IntoTheBlock IOMAP Model, around 2.2 million dresses bought over 1.4 million bitcoin between $9,400 and $9,700. Also, about 861,000 addresses bought 560k BTC in the price range of $9,750 and $10,000.

Meanwhile, altcoins are enjoying a rally. Today it’s Maker’s day which is up 23%. Other altcoins recording substantial gains are Loopring (21.54%), Zilliqa (15.38%), and Kyber Network (13.77%).

“We have seen a major re-rating in many of the smaller altcoins (esp DeFi ones) in the past 4-5 weeks while BTC has been range bound. At some point, the valuation of these alts will start to look frothy and the capital will flow back to BTC,” said SpartanBlack of the crypto hedge fund The Spartan Group.

Interestingly, over the past five days, 43 new addresses joined the 100+ Bitcoin club, seeing an uptrend after declining at the beginning of the month.

“Over the past few months, the growing number of large BTC holders has coincided with short-term price rallies for the top coin, and vice versa: short-term whale drop-offs typically signaled an incoming price correction as well,” observed Santiment.

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Author: AnTy

ETH 2.0 will Restrict the Supply and Drive Prices Up, But ‘Unlikely to Succeed as Planned’

Today is a big day for Ethereum as it surpasses 10 million blocks. Unlike the Bitcoin network where it takes 10 minutes to produce one block, Ethereum blocks are mined every 20 seconds.

The digital asset Ether is also recording 57% returns YTD as currently, Ether trades at $205. Moreover, in the past 30 days, Tether paid $757,000 in fees for the processing of transactions on the Ethereum network.

Launched in 2015, Ethereum remains the second biggest network that will go through the PoW to PoS transition in the coming years.

The Ethereum 2.0 roadmap reveals that it will be launched as early as July 2020 but will be implemented in three phases — Phase 0 Beacon Chain which is the one coming by the end of Q2 2020 and will introduce staking.

Phase 2 that will make Eth 2.0 network operational after its introduction at some point in 2022 as Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin recently said, Eth 2.0 issuance could take two years at most.

Back in mid-April, Prysmatic Labs launched Topaz testnet that requires a deposit of 32 ETH, the minimum requirement for staking as planned for Ether 2.0 mainnet.

July launch is likely to be testnet…

The initial launch of Ethereum 2.0 will most likely operate as a testnet network for the new proof of stake (PoS) consensus ecosystem. As such, most of the smart contracts and economic activity will remain on the original network which will exist parallel to Eth 2.0. Moreover, initially, Eth1 coins could be converted into Eth2 but not back.

The issuance rate of Eth2 will depend on the amount of Ether participating in the staking process. And the more ETH is transferred into Eth2, the more coins will be issued. But the more coins are staked the lower the investment return but also lower the annual inflation rate.

The entire economy of Eth 1.0 will be later transferred to new network Eth 2.0, a transition that is “risky, highly complex and will take a considerable amount of time,” noted BitMEX in its latest report.

For Ethereum’s growth to continue, both the full node operators and consensus agents would be required to run larger computers, this would not only become increasingly expensive but could “eventually lead to increased centralisation,” and degrade the censorship resistance characteristic of the system.

As for the much-anticipated sharding for scalability, it would be added to the system in phase 1 which has now been scaled down to just 64 from the original 1,024 shards.

The beacon chain, the parent chain will contain links to each shard. Also, in phase 1, the sharding system and staking process will become interrelated.

An incredibly ambitious project…

According to BitMEX, because of constant experimenting with new and complex systems, Ethereum “satisfies a need in a community keen on trying new ideas.”

As such, a “considerable amount of funds will move into Ethereum 2.0 and earn the staking rewards, perhaps billions of dollars worth of ETH,” predicts BitMEX.

As for what will be the effect of the launch of Ethereum 2.0 on the price, in the short term, a significant amount of ETH will be locked inside the beacon chain attracted by taking which would “restrict the supply of ETH on the market and drive up the price.”

But at the same time, it could merely end up attracting ETH from other contracts where they are locked. But in order to drive long term value, Ethereum 2.0 needs to have sustainable demand as well.

However, before that, there is a lot to be done, the proof of stake and sharding need to work and be “compelling enough to attract the economically significant components of the Ethereum ecosystem over to it.” Moreover, smart contracts and DeFi systems would have to choose between the shards.

So, overall it will be “many years” before the Ethereum ecosystem makes the switch or at least a significant part of it. It said,

“Ethereum 2.0 is an incredibly ambitious project and we consider it highly unlikely that it will succeed as planned, without major hiccups.”

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Author: AnTy