Total Value Locked in Harvest Finance Surpasses $1 Billion, Up 366,200% Since September

Decentralized platform Harvest Finance that provides users a way to farm assets for the highest yields now has more than a billion dollars in total value locked (TVL), as per DeFi Pulse.

A few days back, Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) captured third place by overtaking popular DeFi projects Aave, Compound, and Curve Finance.

The relatively new project Harvest Finance has jumped to sixth place, pushing above Curve Finance and Synthetix. It has fallen two places as just last night; it was in the fourth spot.

This climbing up the ranks happened thanks to the growing TVL, which increased over 630% in just this month. On Sept. 1st, the TVL was a mere $273k.

While enthusiasm in the DeFi sector has waned, the mania cooled down in September after running hot to its peak in August; Harvest Finance took this time to jump out of nowhere and make it big.

The project has about 630k ETH, 27.42 BTC, and just over 66 DAI locked in it.

However, unlike the growth of the funds locked in this protocol, its token FARM is currently down nearly 23% while trading at $231.56.

Audited by third parties, a process supported by 10% of the token supply, the project had a “vault migration” just this week and introduced a new TUSD pool.

With yield farming becoming hard for smaller farmers due to high gas costs and bugs in unaudited smart contacts resulting in theft, Harvest advertises itself as bringing “BreadToThePeople” by doing it all for the users.

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Author: AnTy

Luno Crypto Exchange Launches Bitcoin Savings Wallet With a 4% Annual Interest Rate

Luno cryptocurrency exchange app is now offering a ‘savings wallet’ that will allow its users to earn up to 4% in annual interest on BTC held. The exchange, which was recently acquired by popular blockchain investment firm, Digital Currency Group, is looking to tap into its 5 million user base by offering better rates than most traditional banks worldwide.

According to research conducted by Luno, 54% of its clientele earn zero percent interest on their cash deposits with local banks. The analysis also revealed, and it’s no surprise, that 95% of Luno users would like to earn interest on their crypto deposits.

The firm has since embarked on offering its new Bitcoin Savings wallet, which will pay out interest every month. Notably, this service carries no fees or fixed terms; users can withdraw their funds at any time. Luno Co-founder and CEO Marcus Swanepoel said that,

“In a time of economic uncertainty, the Bitcoin Savings Wallet is a safe alternative for anyone looking to make meaningful savings on their money.”

He highlighted that this milestone comes when the global community could benefit from investing in a ‘currency’ that is not correlated to an unhealthy economy. Luno, a U.K domiciled company, is currently available in Europe but does not serve the U.S market despite its burgeoning prospects.

The new Bitcoin savings feature by Luno coincides with the recent developments in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), where traditional financial products are now integrated with decentralized protocols. These innovations have been on the rise as speculators and fundamentalists invest in building this ecosystem. Nonetheless, it has presented some challenges, especially with scammers taking advantage of unsuspecting investors.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Coinbase Adds Compound to Its ‘Learn & Earn’ Program; Users Rewarded With Free COMP

  • Coinbase Earn adds Compound (COMP) rewards.
  • COMP token is the ninth token users can learn about to earn rewards.

Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S., offers Compound (COMP) token rewards for users to learn about the governance protocol. In a blog post released on Wednesday, Coinbase Earn, the learning wing of the exchange, announced users could start earning COMP rewards by “watching videos and completing quizzes about the Compound protocol and its governance token, COMP.”

The Coinbase Earn project aims to educate and explain the vast world of crypto and new developments in the ecosystem. As the world of decentralized finance surges, Coinbase aims to have a wholesome view in pushing forward adoption in the space, including voting, buying, staking, and mining – pairing them with intense and incentivized education.

“You can now start advanced tasks for Earn Compound (COMP) on Coinbase. Learn how to use USD Coin with Compound Finance, natively within the Coinbase Wallet app. Start learning how to earn interest with Compound today”. – Coinbase on Twitter.

Coinbase Earn launched in 2018, offering users an opportunity to learn while stacking up cryptocurrencies in rewards. Compound joins the program as the ninth token allowing users to earn from learning on various blockchain projects.

So far, Coinbase Earn has collected over $100 million in rewards to distribute to customers in the program from 0x (ZRX), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Zcash (ZEC), Stellar Lumens (XLM), EOS, Dai (DAI), Tezos (XTZ), Orchid (OXT) and now Compound (COMP).

This allows unbanked and underbanked users to receive crypto straight to their wallets, enhancing global financial inclusion.

At launch, Coinbase Earn will allow users to earn $10 worth of COMP tokens. While the rewards are not great, the value arises from learning how the DeFi governance protocol works.

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Author: Lujan Odera

New Zealand Tax Authority Tells Crypto Firms to Disclose Traders Info & Transaction History

  • New Zealand’s tax authorities dialing down on cryptocurrency users and transactions in the country.

In a statement obtained by the local radio news station, Radio New Zealand (RNZ), New Zealand-based crypto firms must submit their customer’s crypto transaction information to the country’s top taxation authority, Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

According to the report, all companies dealing with crypto assets must “pass on customers’ personal details as well as the type and value of their crypto assets.” This is in a bid for the tax authorities to keep up with the virtual asset industry and formulate a policy that will best help New Zealanders report their crypto tax obligations.

Global tax regulators are heavily hitting on the crypto asset world. Recently, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) introduced crypto laws on its 2020 tax laws, altering form 1040 to make it harder for crypto users and traders to escape their tax obligations.

However, Janine Grainger, chief executive of Easy Crypto, a New Zealand based crypto firm, said the latest effort by the IRD goes against the fundamentals of crypto – privacy. Terming the new rules as “heartbreaking,” Grainger said she would comply but questioned the law.

“Privacy is really important to us… one of the tenets [of] cryptocurrency in general is around having freedom and autonomy and privacy,” she said.

“[..]the point of privacy isn’t to aid people who have something to hide, it’s to ensure we have a fair, open and free society”.

Russia recently introduced an amendment that would see cryptocurrency miners forego their mining rewards and a law that forces crypto traders to disclose their crypto transactions or face criminal charges.

Related Global Crypto Tax News:

Read: Israeli Draft Bill Proposes Bitcoin be Defined as Currency to Cut Down the Hefty Capital Gain Tax

Also Read: Switzerland’s Canton to Allow its Citizens to Pay Taxes in Bitcoin & Ether Starting 2021

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Author: Lujan Odera

Gemini Debuts DeFi Listings in New York Market With Amp, Compound, and Pax Gold

Gemini crypto exchange has announced that New York users will now be able to trade Compound (COMP), Amp (AMPL), and Pax Gold (PAXG) against the USD. The Winklevoss brothers’ led crypto exchange noted that it worked in collaboration with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to receive approval for listing these digital assets. According to the official announcement, active trading of the newly added pairs is scheduled for September 15.

This move is quite significant for the New York market, which had been left out of the DeFi space when it comes to listings on centralized crypto exchanges. Coinbase, for instance, has been quite active in listing ‘hot’ DeFi tokens, but yet to cover prospective users in New York. With COMP’s listing on Gemini, crypto investors and enthusiasts in the big apple will now be able to acquire positions in DeFi through the exchange.

COMP made waves in May when the decentralized protocol debuted this governance token to be used in running the platform. The protocol has since risen to become one of the leading DeFi lending and borrowing platforms; currently, its market cap stands 544 million while the price of one COMP token is $163 as per Coingecko metrics. Tyler Winklevoss, Gemini’s Co-founder, tweeted bullish sentiments as well,

“The #DeFi revolution is upon us. @Gemini is now accepting deposits for $AMP @amptoken, $PAXG @PaxosStandard, and $COMP @compoundfinance. Trading to begin on 9/15!”

Amp and PAXG, on the other hand, propose value in digital collateralization and gold tokenization, respectively. The former will expose Gemini’s clients to Flexa’s Network collateral token ‘AMP’ whose underlying is to act as a form of collateral, supporting the fundamentals of Flexa’s payments network. This innovation allows users to pay merchants’ in crypto while Flexa handles ‘under the hood’ to convert these payments to the merchants’ preferred fiat currency.

Gemini’s venture into the DeFi space has scaled its range of tradeable digital assets to 12; notable mentions that were already featured include BTC, LTC, ETH, and BCH. The exchange highlighted that its updated trading portfolio would be available via API connections and the platform’s Active Trader.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Crypto.com Forks Uniswap & Launches DeFi Swap on Ethereum

Hong Kong-headquartered Crypto.com has launched a DeFi Swap service, which allows users to swap and farm DeFi tokens.

A fork of Uniswap V2, the platform is powered by its native token CRO, the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which is trading at $0.160, up nearly 6%.

Other coins supported are Wrapped ETH (WETH), Tether (USDT), USDC, DAI, Chainlink (LINK), and Compound (COMP), with more to be introduced in the future.

One can start farming by using any WalletConnect enabled mobile wallet, which the company says will soon be coming on its DeFi Wallet.

Gains & Losses

The liquidity providers (LPs) will be rewarded with 0.3% of the respective liquidity pools’ trading volume. For selected pools, LPs will also receive tokens that are redeemable for coins of the participating DeFi projects.

Crypto.com is guaranteeing a minimum reward pool of 14 million CRO for the first 14 days on this Ethereum-based decentralized protocol.

Meanwhile, those who stake CRO can “boost their yield by up to 20x and harvest the daily yield in as little as 30 days.”

These services, however, are restricted to the residents & citizens of over 30 countries, including the US, Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Iran, Iraq, and Venezuela.

Much like any DeFi project, the company clearly states using it at your own risk as it cautions of risks involved that aren’t limited to the loss of virtual assets, collapse in liquidity, changes in the smart contacts, extreme volatility, counterparty risk, attacks, hacks, defects, loss of private keys, and regulatory uncertainty.

“Not a Bubble”

The ongoing mania has resulted in the DeFi space exploding with the total value locked in it amassing nearly $10 billion, which after the recent correction, is currently under $8 billion.

However, “DeFi is not necessarily a pure bubble about to burst,” said Crypto.com in its report on decentralized finance. The report continued,

“It might deflate once the hype subsides, but as globalisation progresses and the business ecosystem further shifts towards new-generation business models built upon shared governance and decentralisation, there will be a growing demand for solutions like DeFi which will provide new ways banking, trading and investing – perhaps even setting the standard for economies to climb out of the shadows.”

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Author: AnTy

MetaMask Rolls Out Mobile Wallet on iOS and Android; Buy Ethereum Directly with Apple Pay

  • MetaMask launches its mobile app allowing users easy access to wallet services.
  • Available on Apple iOS and Android

Following the launch of its public V1 version, ConsenSys (who purchased MetaMask recently) announced on Thursday the launch of its MetaMask Mobile app. The app aims to provide a secure, fast, and easy-to-use wallet for Ether (ETH) and Ethereum-based tokens on the phone. The mobile app will now be available to both iOS and Android users.

According to a statement obtained by BEG, the MetaMask Mobile version will provide similar services to its web version without compromising on the security of the token vaults. However, unlike the web-based version, the mobile version is a native cryptocurrency wallet that will interact with dApps installed on the phone or entering the dApp URL on a built-in web browser.

MetaMask is a crypto wallet that functions as a web browser extension allowing users to connect to web-based dApps directly easily. The platform securely stores ETH and Ethereum based tokens allowing easy and frictionless transactions on any dApp.

The MetaMask mobile version also comes with an easy payment gateway for those who want to purchase ETH and ERC-based tokens. A report from Mashable confirms the mobile crypto wallet will allow users to buy crypto using Apple Pay, debit cards, or other payment methods (depending on the country).

MetaMask remains the DApp wallet of choice even in the rise of DeFi, with ConsenSys stating the wallet has over 4 million users. The MetaMask Mobile app was released in a closed beta version back in 2019, with 135,000 users testing it.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Switzerland-based Atupri Is the First Health Insurance Company to Accept Bitcoin & Ether

Atupri, a health insurance company in Switzerland, is the first such company to offer its user’s policyholders the option to pay bills with cryptocurrency.

The company currently accepts the top two cryptos, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). It further mentions that the transaction fees, so-called miner fees, is the only cost to be paid. Also, they do not yet offer the option of repayments in cryptocurrency.

Starting August 31, 2020, the crypto options have been allowed.

The crypto payment addition is part of the company’s comprehensive digital strategy and “one of many aspects to optimize our service and to offer our policyholders the greatest possible comfort.”

The payments in digital assets are made through the payment system of Bitcoin Suisse AG (BS), a financial intermediary domiciled and registered in Switzerland, which is a member of the self-regulatory organization VQF recognized by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

It is BS that bears the risk of price fluctuations in digital assets. Atupri clarifies that it doesn’t share any data with third parties and that they only send the invoice number to BS. The translated version reads,

“The original claim and the related invoice is in Swiss Francs (CHF). The customer’s payment to BS in cryptocurrency via the system provided leads to a debt-discharging effect. The customer can settle the claim in CHF at any time up to the time of payment with cryptocurrency.”

In its FAQ section, Atupri also briefs that to pay bills with BTC or ETH, one just needs a crypto wallet. It also mentions that paying with bitcoin involves electricity consumption, but it is “negligibly small” compared to the energy consumption of the “traditional” monetary system.

And with computers becoming more and more efficient and the use of renewable energy becoming more widespread, “this difference will become even bigger,” it states.

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Author: AnTy

BitMEX Launches Its Full-Control Mobile App to Crypto Traders In Over 140 Countries

BitMEX launches mobile-based trading app allowing users to enjoy the crypto exchange’s features on the go. According to an announcement on Sept 1, BitMEX Mobile is available on both iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

The mobile trading app aims at improving the user experience on the exchange even when off your work desk. Additionally, its will enable swift crypto futures trading with access to all account features available on the desktop site.

Speaking on the launch of the new mobile trading app, Ben Radclyffe, commercial director of 100x, the parent company of the crypto derivatives exchange, confirmed BitMEX mobile is now available in over 140 companies after a successful test period across 28 countries earlier in the year. He further said,

“Our global audience, many of them are mobile first, so having an innate mobile application that allows them to access our product and our services should help increase our user base.”

The application offers users a host of features including direct deposits and withdrawals on their wallets and trading features including market orders, limit orders, take profits and stop losses. The BitMEX Mobile app provides an easy to configure and clear user interface allowing quick buy options by swiping the page.

The app also provides push notifications, price alerts, biometric logins and authentication as well as better security protocols. The on-the-go app however will not be as complex as the desktop version, Radclyffe said in a statement obtained by BEG. “It’s a slightly degraded experience as you can imagine,” Radclyffe on the differences between the desktop and new BitMEX Mobile app.

BitMEX currently is the fourth largest Bitcoin derivatives exchange in daily trading volume recording $1.80 billion in Bitcoin futures on Sept 1, Skew Market reports. This represents a slight $0.4 billion increase in trading volumes in BTC Futures in the past 24 hours.

BitMEX’s extended efforts to launch the Mobile app follows an announcement that new and existing users are subject to KYC requirements by February 2021 in a bid to be more compliant.

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Author: Lujan Odera

US-based Online Crypto Tax Service Compromised; Hacker Accesses Data From Over 1000 Users

Cryptotrader.Tax was compromised by a hacker who managed to access the data of over 1,000 users of this online tax calculation and filing service. Coindesk reported yesterday that the hacker was able to break into the Cryptotrader.Tax ecosystem through an employee’s account in the marketing and customer service department.

The hacker accessed sensitive information, including personal data such as clients’ names, email addresses, and messages with details on crypto incomes, and payment processor profiles. According to the report, they then preceded to sell affiliated screenshots on the dark web upon which the news was leaked to crypto media.

Following this development, Cryptotrader.Tax Co-founder and CEO, David Kemmerer, confirmed that indeed their system had been compromised on April 7. Kemmerer further reiterated that the hacker had gained access through an employee’s account, noting that they also downloaded a file with around 13,000 rows of information hence the leaked customer data.

He was, however, keen to reassure that filing account passwords were not breached according to a security review done by the Cryptotrader.Tax team. It is also noteworthy that the platform’s website was not compromised as well. Kemmerer highlighted that the Cryptotrader.Tax security team had since taken appropriate measures such as improving monitoring and alerting affected parties.

Despite this recent shake-up of the Cryptotrader.Tax ecosystem, this platform currently proposes significant value in a niche where ambiguity reigns. The project is a Coin Ledger subsidiary and based in Kansas City; its value proposition favors crypto traders in tax reporting. Cryptotrader.Tax enables its clients’ to import trades from over 36 digital asset exchanges. The platform then generates TurboTax compatible reports as per the underlying crypto income gains and losses.

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Author: Edwin Munyui