Kraken Users Have Staked Over $1 Billion in Cryptocurrencies

Kraken Users Have Staked Over $1 Billion in Cryptocurrencies

Top crypto exchange Kraken made a significant splash when it announced its Ethereum staking service last year. Since then, it has gotten a substantial amount of commitment from users.

This week, the exchange confirmed its customers have staked over $1 billion in assets on its crypto service, marking continued growth.

Kraken Users Love Them Some ETH

Citing data from Jeremy Welch, Kraken’s Vice President of Product, the exchange’s users have now staked about 45.5 million XTZ (worth about $120 million) and 58 million DOT (worth $580 million). This adds to the 307,904 ETH ($368.5 million) already being staked on the platform. Welch added that staking positions’ increased growth reflects investors’ and traders’ positive sentiment about cryptocurrencies.

The executive added that staking has also presented a paradigm shift in how people invest in cryptocurrencies. With the crypto asset class on a growth and maturity trajectory, investors are no longer satisfied with securing short-term gains. Many are getting more comfortable with locking their assets up for a long time because they believe the industry will keep growing.

As explained, Kraken launched its Ethereum 2.0 staking service in December 2020. In just four days, the exchange confirmed that it has seen over 100,000 ETH in deposits, with a value of $60 million at the time.

Everyone Wants to Get In on Ethereum 2.0 Staking

It’s easy to see why Kraken’s staking will draw so many investors. The exchange has impressive reward rates, with investors getting between five to seven percent based on network activity.

However, the exchange isn’t alone in the Ethereum 2.0 staking business. Binance, the industry’s largest exchange, launched its staking service in December, with investors getting between 5 and 20 percent in annual percentage yields (APY). It also provided extra incentives for customers who complete its know-your-customer (KYC) identity verification process.

Coinbase also announced two months ago that it would launch Ethereum 2.0 staking in the early part of 2021. The exchange has yet to provide additional details, although it would most likely offer commissions in similar ranges to its competitors.

The increase in staking activity is also coming at a time when Ether is on a significant upsurge. The asset’s value has increased significantly over the past few weeks, rallying on the back of increased activity in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector and on the back of Bitcoin’s jump.

In a blog post, crypto exchange OKCoin also shared some insights n how the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade could drive the asset’s price higher. As many know, the upgrade will essentially transition Ether into the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. It will also provide additional benefits in terms of Ether’s transaction speed and costs.

As OKCoin explains, improvements in Ether’s functionality should lead to a greater demand for the asset. Ether’s price should continue to surge in the long run, leading to a boom for investors – and stakers.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Binance US, Genesis, & Abra Suspends XRP Support; Bittrex & Uphold Clarifies No Plan to Delist

Much like all the XRP trading and deposit suspension that has happened so far, only the US users are affected. Exchanges clarify that Spark (FLR) Token Distribution in 2021 is unaffected.

Binance’s US-based crypto exchange Binance.US has announced the delisting of XRP on Jan. 13, 2021, at 10 am EST. Binance.US users won’t be able to deposit XRP but withdrawals will be unaffected.

Much like all the trading and deposit suspension that has happened so far, only the US users are affected.

The exchange further clarified that delisting will not affect users from claiming their Spark (FLR) Token Distribution in 2021.

Another one to join this list is Genesis which sent an email to its users, informing them of the XRP trading and lending suspension, as of Dec. 29. The users are not allowed to make new purchases while those who hold XRP have until Jan. 15 to sell it.

The company no longer supports loans in XRP either and both open-term loans and fixed-term loans will also be called. Meanwhile, the “team is actively monitoring the evolving regulatory situation with XRP.”

Abra has also joined the list of companies ending XRP support for US users, despite it being a peer-to-peer transaction network.

According to the firm’s message, Abra plans to suspend trading in XRP for US customers at 3 PM PST on Jan. 15th.

“Abra is registered in most states as an MSB and has had previous legal battles with the SEC that led to them delisting their stock ETF offering,” noted Adam Cochran, partner at Cinneamhain Ventures.

No plans to delist XRP

Amidst all the suspensions, cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex, which no longer allows its US customers to trade XRP clarified that they are not going to delist the digital asset and will maintain all XRP markets: BTC-XRP, USD-XRP, USDT-XRP, ETH-XRP, and EUR-XRP.

“Uphold will continue to list XRP until and unless the Complaint is adjudicated against Ripple – specifically citing that XRP is, today, a security, or trading volume dissipates to a point where we can no longer support,” came the tweet from JP Thieriot, CEO of crypto trading platform Uphold.

Australia-based BTC Markets also took to Twitter to share that they are monitoring events in the US regarding the SEC but have “no plans to delist XRP at this time.”

The price of XRP meanwhile lost a considerable amount of its value in the last two weeks. After falling under $0.17, the crypto asset is currently trading around $0.22.

“XRP’s market cap has fallen by 93% from $137B to under $10B. That makes the value of the XRP collapse bigger than Enron and Worldcom,” said Joshua Frank, CEO of The TIE. “While not a bankruptcy, XRP is effectively the third-largest collapse of all-time behind Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual,” he added.

Coinbase Under Hot Water Too

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against US-based crypto exchange Coinbase alleging that it knew XRP was a security and still sold it “illegally”.

Just this week, Coinbase, which recently filed to go public, said it suspended support for XRP trading and deposits.

The case is filed by Thomas Sandoval in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco) and he is seeking damages for the commission paid by him and other users to Coinbase for XRP tokens.

“Until late this month Coinbase sold the XRP token, the value of which was entirely linked to the success or failure of Ripple Co. and the managerial efforts of its executives,” Sandoval said in the complaint. “Indeed, Ripple Co.’s survival as a corporate entity depended on its sale of unlicensed XRP securities to the public to fund its business operations.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Mt Gox Trustee Submits Rehabilitation Plan; 150,000 Bitcoin to Be Returned to Traders

After several consecutive delays, Mt. Gox users could finally get paid after the trustee submitted a draft rehabilitation plan.

Nobuaki Kobayashi, Mt. Gox trustee, submitted the draft rehabilitation plan on Tuesday, Dec. 15. The draft plan promises to repay the former Mt. Gox creditors using Bitcoin. The rehabilitation plan, which has since been posted on the Mt. Gox website, reveals that the trustee is set to return about 150,000 Bitcoin worth approximately $2.6 billion to the former Mt. Gox users. The announcement reads,

“The Tokyo District Court and an examiner will review the draft rehabilitation plan and determine whether to proceed with the rehabilitation proceedings relevant to the draft rehabilitation plan.”

This indicates that the draft rehabilitation plan is currently being reviewed. If the Tokyo District Court okays the plan, then the trustee will repay the money to the creditors within a specified timeframe.

The move comes months after Kobayashi was given another approval extending the date of filing a rehabilitation plan back in October this year. Kobayashi had been given until Dec. 15, 2020, to file the draft rehabilitation plan. The trustee had previously been given several such deadline extensions in April 2019 as well as march 2020.

Mt. Gox was founded in 2010 and arguably underwent the greatest crypto heist in history. The crypto exchange was hacked on two separate occasions in 2011 and 2011, leading to a loss of about 1.35 million Bitcoin. The second hacking led to the exchange’s closure, which catered for about 70% of the total Bitcoin transactions.

Mt. Gox users are yet to receive any management compensation, leading to multiple cases to trace the perpetrators and retrieve the stolen funds.

The Tokyo-based court appointed a Japanese lawyer, Kobayashi, to manage the civil reimbursement process and allegedly has about 150,000 BTC to refund the users. The rehabilitation process is expected to end a protracted legal battle involving the regulators and users.

Mt. Gox is the recent defunct crypto exchange for making positive progress in reimbursement plans. Cryptopia began reimbursements to its users on Dec. 9 after the exchange was hacked last year.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Tesla, Amazon, Netflix, & Pfizer Now Tradeable on Bittrex Against USD, USDT, & BTC

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced on Monday that it will now allow its users to trade popular stocks.

After derivatives platform FTX, Bittrex is the latest one to list the tokenized stocks on its exchange. This is made possible through its partnership with Digital Assets.AG.

Digital Assets.AG is a Swiss-based company that facilitates the tokenization of traditional financial assets. This will allow investors and traders to directly access the listed companies without an external broker or additional fees.

The popular stocks available to purchase and trade on Bittrex include Tesla (TSLA), Alibaba (BABA), SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), Beyond Meat Inc (BYND), Pfizer (PFE), Apple (AAPL), BioNTech (BNTX), Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX), and Bilibili (BILI).

These stocks will be tradeable against US dollars (USD), Tether (USDT), and Bitcoin (BTC).

“The traditional stock exchanges of the world’s financial capitals have for centuries set the terms for engagement and trading,” said Tom Albright, the chief executive of Bittrex Global adding that the decade-old inefficient, complex, and expensive infrastructure is “totally unnecessary.” He said,

“Blockchain technology has the potential to radically broaden access to financial services, and Bittrex Global is very proud to provide people with a portal to build their capital and private wealth in a way that was unimaginable a decade ago.”

Unlike the traditional stock market, Bittrex will allow people to trade twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, users can purchase a fraction of stock instead of entire shares. Even the countries where access to US stocks though traditional finance is not possible will now be able to trade them.

This is just the beginning as the exchange plans to “quickly increase their offerings by giving its customers exposure to ETFs, indices, and additional asset classes.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

OKEx Recent Issues ‘Exposed Weaknesses in Internal Processes’ But Working on Correcting Them

On October 16th, OKEX users were shocked as the exchange unexpectedly halted all cryptocurrency withdrawals on the platform – stretching the halt to over a month. After the “normal withdrawal services” were resumed on November 26th, OKEX CEO Jay Hao joined a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on the official 27,000+member Telegram channel to explain what went down during the withdrawal hiatus on the exchange.

The withdrawal issues started on October 16th, when one of the ‘private key holders’ on OKEX multi-sig wallets was taken into custody by the Chinese police to help in an investigation. The exchange shut down its withdrawal services while all other operations remained functional during this period. The exchange stated they could not provide authorization on withdrawals on the exchange as they could not access the keyholder at the time.

In a transcript of the AMA session, Jay Hao explained the withdrawal pause caused “a lot of uncertainty” as the exchange was not sure when withdrawal services would return. The event has since caused an enormous impact on the exchange’s business activities, Hao explained.

“We have seen an understandable decrease in trading activity on the exchange.”

Following the five-week withdrawal pause, OKEX experienced one of its largest Bitcoin outflows shortly after the services were resumed. Over 29,300 BTC was moved out of the exchange on November 26th, recording its second-largest outflow yet in 2020, only bettered by the March crash withdrawals.

However, the hiatus did not significantly affect the BTC market recently reached a new all-time high as the market responded wonderfully to the news. Hao further explained,

“The incident highlighted the cryptocurrency market’s maturity — reflected in the price of BTC and other major assets in their resilience to the news.”

The China-domiciled exchange is working on new developments to prevent such withdrawals from happening in the future and win back its customers’ trust and confidence.

First, the exchange will implement a new hot wallet system that will follow a four-stage process – private key generation, its backup, enabling a master private key generation, and its backup key. Moreover, each private key will have a backup key that will ensure “there will never be assets lost due to unforeseen events happening to a private key holder,” Jay further said.

image1

OKEX new hot wallet system

A “new exchange transparency plan” that allows the public to view and monitor their wallet addresses at any time will be launched in the coming months. The exchange also plans to reward the loyal users who deposited or held tokens in their accounts during the exchange’s arduous period.

Additionally, Jay addressed the rumors surrounding the withdrawal pause and OKEX founder, Star Xu. In a coincidence, OKEX withdrawals resumed shortly after Xu was released from police custody, causing a buzz that he was the mysterious “private key holder.” Furthermore, Jay bashed rumors that the exchange was facing investigations on money laundering charges. Jay said,

“As stated in many previous announcements, the investigation has no relation to OKEx.”

“We have established, implemented, and continue to refine and Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorist Financing, and Trade & Economic Sanctions Program since our inception to ensure a robust and compliant digital asset trading platform.”

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Nexus Mutual Expands Beyond DeFi, Now Provides Insurance Cover for CeFi

DeFi insurance provider Nexus Mutual has announced Custody Cover’s launch for the users of centralized exchanges and custodians. This means users can now purchase the insurance cover for the funds put into an organization to safely keep their crypto assets’ private keys on behalf of them.

It will cover the users if the custodian gets hacked and the user loses more than 10% of their funds or if withdrawals have been halted for more than three months. Initially, six custodians are supported: BlockFi, Nexo, Celcius, inLock, Ledn, and Hodlnaut.

Nexus Mutual’s second and the latest product aims to “provide protection outside of the DeFi space.” In the long-term, the idea is to cover risks both in and outside the crypto space.

“Having trustless coverage for CeFi services is hugely market expansionary for DeFi,” said the head of research at the crypto fund, The Spartan Group.

A building block for the broader ecosystem, Custody Cover is working towards encouraging more widespread adoption and DeFi onboarding by helping protect newcomers, said the team. A partner of the crypto fund, The Spartan Group, noted,

“Given the amount of assets sitting with CeFi lenders, this move could scale Nexus’ active cover by a multiple of current cover. Potentially very accretive to NXM over time.”

This DeFi project has about $100 million in TVL (total value locked), while its token NXM is trading at $23.90.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Two-Thirds of PayPal Users Aim to Use Bitcoin at Merchant Stores: Study

  • Nearly 20% of PayPal users are ready to use and hold Bitcoin (BTC) on the platform, report.
  • Can this push BTC past its recently set all-time high price?
  • Research firm sets PayPal stock price target set at 35% increase due to BTC excitement.

Nearly a fifth of PayPal users are jumping on to the Bitcoin (BTC) train, a Japanese investment bank report, Mizuho Securities, reported. According to the survey carried out by 380 PayPal users, there is an uptake in BTC purchases on the global payments platform as users take advantage of PayPal’s Bitcoin capabilities.

According to the survey, 17% of the respondents said they had already purchased Bitcoin on PayPal, with a further 65% confirming they will use the top crypto in daily purchases of goods and services.

After years of belittling Bitcoin adoption and banning its customers from participating in Bitcoin trading, PayPal finally embraced cryptocurrencies. In October this year, BEG reported PayPal would allow customers to buy and sell BTC alongside other top cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).

Since Bitcoin’s price has exploded to set new all-time highs as retail customers on the payments platform stack up on the top crypto, Michael Santoli, a CBNC markets commentator, explained BTC’s ripping price growth as a factor of PayPal accumulating more BTC for their customers to purchase.

“Bitcoin ripping in part because PayPal and Square are buying loads of it to facilitate customer trading,” he wrote on Twitter.

Read more: Bitcoin Shortage Is Real; PayPal & Cash App Buying More Than 100% Of All Newly-Issued BTC.

Apart from the boost in Bitcoin’s price and usage on PayPal, user engagement, usage frequency, and PayPal’s stock monetization potential have also seen a boost following BTC’s integration. The survey reads,

“About 50% of PayPal’s bitcoin traders reported increased usage of the PayPal app after beginning to trade bitcoin.

This compares with just 9% who reported reduced engagement.”

Moreover, PayPal has found it difficult to convert non-Bitcoiners into Bitcoiners despite the growth in BTC purchases on the platform. Only about 8% of the non-bitcoin owners have purchased crypto through PayPal, with 42% of the non-Bitcoin holders stating they “do not know yet” if they will purchase the top crypto, the report stated.

Despite the hiccups, PayPal’s integration of Bitcoin has seen the company’s share price (PYPL) double over the course of 2020. Mizuho Securities has since increased its PYPL share price target from $270 to $290 due to BTC and crypto excitement on the platform, a 33% increase from the current price of $218 per PYPL share. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has experienced a 190% increase over the course of 2020, despite crashing to $3,500 in March.

NOTE: With over 200 million customers on its platform, a sample size of 380 does not give the full picture of the Bitcoin purchases and sales already made on PayPal.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Over 3 Billion XRP Held on Coinbase Exchange to Miss Out On Flare Network’s Spark Airdrop

  • Ripple is ready to airdrop a new token to all XRP holders on major cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Coinbase and Binance.US users will miss the airdrop as the exchanges do not support the token.

Flare Networks, a Ripple funded blockchain firm, will airdrop free Spark tokens (FLR) to anyone holding XRP in supporting wallets and exchanges on December 13. However, with over 3 billion XRP tokens held on California based crypto exchange, Coinbase is likely to miss out on the airdrop, Flare Networks, the firm conducting the Spark token airdrop, confirmed.

According to a tweet sent out over the weekend, Flare Networks claimed that the exchange “is likely too late” to participate in the airdrop.

On November 13, Flare Networks launched the airdrop campaign promising users holding XRP free Spark tokens at a ratio of 1:1. Every XRP holder on supported wallets and exchanges as of Dec 12 00.00 GMT (when the snapshot will take place) will be eligible to receive the free tokens.

The XRP Army is enraged with Coinbase and several top crypto exchanges that have yet to announce any plans to support the airdrop. According to Flare Networks, any XRP user on exchanges and wallets not supporting the airdrop will not receive the Spark tokens.

In a message targeting these crypto exchanges, Flare Networks reminded most of the exchanges to announce their position on Spark token distribution on November 24. Binance (except Binance US), Bittrex, and Bitfinex have since replied in support of the Spark token distribution, which will allow XRP users on their platform to enjoy the airdrop.

Coinbase has yet to respond to the distribution despite holding over 3 billion XRP tokens (approx. $1.87 billion) in its wallets. Kraken exchange responded, stating they “do not have plans to support this airdrop/fork.”

Users who hold their XRP in non-supporting exchange wallets and wish to participate in the airdrop need to move their tokens to another supportive exchange.

If you don’t move your tokens from unsupportive exchanges, you are bound to lose the rewards with Flare Networks planning to redistribute the remaining tokens to the eligible XRP holders.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Trezor Incorporates ‘Tor Switch’ in its Desktop App for Increased Privacy

The popular hardware wallet, Trezor, is working on providing its users’ privacy.

In its desktop app “Trezor Suite,” the cold wallet service provider has implemented the privacy project Tor to allow its users to obscure their connection.

Tor is an open-source network which has its servers distributed around the world run by volunteers and uses a special protocol that encrypts data at multiple levels. One can now not only enjoy the safety of the hardware wallet but the anonymity of Tor as well on Trezor.

“Tor is the perfect match for users who are concerned about sharing identifying data with a third-party service or anyone who might be observing their communications,” said Trezor in its announcement.

By downloading the latest public beta version of Trezor Suite, one can start using Tor with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Currently, The Tor switch is only available in the desktop app, located in the top-right of the Suite window.

Used by the likes of whistleblowers such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden to evade espionage from the US governments and from journalists, security specialists, governments to individuals worldwide, Tor has helped protect human rights and individual freedoms.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Lolli Partners with Kroger to Allow Users to Earn Bitcoin Back on Groceries

  • Just before the festivities begin, Lolli has announced its newest partner, Kroger.

Lolli users can now earn Bitcoin back on groceries at America’s largest grocery chain and the second-largest general retailer after Walmart. It allows its users to earn up to 1.5% BTC back on grocery orders for pickup or delivery.

“This is what bitcoin adoption looks like,” tweeted the rewards application that gives back Bitcoin whenever a user shop at the stores supported by Lolli. The Sats-Stacking rewards program has been working hard in the last year and a half to help users earn BTC back on their everyday purchases. They raised $3 million from investors like Ashton Kutcher and Michelle Phan earlier this year.

Already, it supports over 1,000 stores such as Udemy, Groupon, Adidas, GoDaddy, Lululemon, Macy’s, Gap, Nike, and Samsung.

“Our team is continuously looking for more ways to put more bitcoin in your wallet, and today we are furthering that goal by launching our newest partner, Kroger. Kroger serves over 11 million customers daily. These shoppers now have access to earning free bitcoin back on their everyday shopping when using Lolli,” said CEO and Co-founder of Lolli, Alex Adelman.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy