PwC: “Large Crypto Unicorns to Become Increasingly like ‘Crypto Octopuses'”

The value of the M&A’s in the cryptocurrency world saw strong growth this year as it exceeded the total of 2019 just in the first six months of 2020, according to PwC’s latest report on the crypto merger, acquisition, and fundraising landscape.

Compared to last year’s $481 million, the first half of this year recorded $597 million in global deal value as tie-ups became less frequent but bigger.

In the first half of 2020, there were 60 tie-ups versus 125 in the whole of 2019, said PwC.

However, activity continues to shift away from the US as the volume in Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa was 57% compared to 51% last year.

The biggest deal of 2020 was made by Binance Holdings, which purchased CoinMarketCap for $400 million. PwC Crypto Leader Henri Arslanian said,

“We expect crypto M&A activity to remain strong for the coming months particularly with some of the larger or more profitable players acquiring firms that offer ancillary services to their current offerings.”

“We should expect the large crypto unicorns to become increasingly like ‘crypto octopuses’ by acquiring or investing in various ancillary businesses in order to remain dominant.”

Digital asset manager CoinShares also anticipates the materialization of a “more robust M&A market” but says significant industry consolidation is likely to come first to clean up the market fragmentation.

According to them, crypto companies need to demonstrate the ability to generate recurring revenue and stable cash flow, consistent delivery on growth metrics, low margin volatility and above-average margins, low revenue concentrations, and low founder involvement.

According to PwC, the first of the year also saw a spike in fundraising involving trading companies or cryptocurrency exchanges, which has been attributed to the rising digital asset prices, greater regulatory clarity, and increased institutional interest.

2020 saw legendary investor Paul Tudor Jones putting money in crypto, boosting demand from bigger players and MicroStrategy and Square making bitcoin a part of their Treasury.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Exchange Gemini Makes an Aggressive Move, Adds 15 Hot DeFi Tokens

DeFi is all the rage in today’s crypto world, and no one wants to be left behind, especially cryptocurrency exchanges.

Over the past few months, we saw these exchanges rushing to DeFi space – in the fastest ever listing of these tokens, a complete U-turn from the past few years when crypto projects had to approach them or even pay them to get their tokens listed.

Coinbase has already jumped the altcoins and DeFi mania, this time, it’s Gemini which defines DeFi as a “warm ray of sunlight shining down on us during the winter of our financial discontent.”

According to the exchange’s official announcement, “the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) revolution is coming into bloom, and it presents the possibility of permissionless, bankless, alternatives to the legacy financial system.”

The promise of DeFi is apparently “aligned” with Gemini’s “ethos” of giving its customers “greater choice, independence, and opportunity.”

While the exchange says these new tokens make up some of the major building blocks of DeFi, still, it warns that they present “unique risks,” and the listing doesn’t endorse the protocol and “makes no recommendation that” customers participate in the DeFi ecosystem.

Up until today, Gemini’s list of cryptos was extremely limited. A meager nine coins were available on the exchange for trading viz. BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, ZEC, BAT, LINK, DAI, and OXT.

But on Friday, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss-founded crypto exchange has made an aggressive move and extended this list to 15 more coins.

“We are proud to be the first regulated platform to offer trading and custody support in the State of New York,” for a total of 24 cryptos.

The exchange announced new support for the most popular DeFi tokens, including Balancer (BAL), Curve (CRV), Ren Network (REN), Synthetix Network (SNX), Uma (UMA), Uniswap (UNI), and Yearn.finance (YFI) which are available for both trading and custody.

Five tokens that were previously supported for custody, Decentraland (MANA), Kyber Network (KNC), Maker (MKR), Storj (STORJ), and 0x (ZRX), are now available for trading as well.

On top of this, Keep Network (KEEP), Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC), and tBTC (tBTC), three new coins altogether, have been added to its custody.

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Author: AnTy

Leading Iranian Power Stations to Supply Clean Energy to Crypto Miners

Iran has gradually become one of the leading crypto-mining hotspots in the world after China. The country turned to crypto amid growing concerns over its economy due to inflation and sanctions from the United States. The government regulated crypto mining a couple of years back, and since then, the crypto mining industry has flourished to become one of the key industries.

A few months back, the government authorized power plants in the country to mine bitcoin. It seems many power companies in the country are now willing to sell the electricity to the growing population of crypto miners in the country.

As per the latest report published in a local daily dated September 21st, Iran’s Thermal Power Plant Holding Company (TPPH) plans to sell their surplus electrical supply to crypto miners. TPPH is one of the largest power companies in Iran, and the reports suggest that the company is already in talks to hold a tender for supplying surplus electrical energy from three of its powerplants to crypto mining farms in the country.

The Iranian government’s expenditure on building an infrastructure for energy production has borne fruits, and the county has seen great progress in producing electricity. However, the government has also restricted power companies to stable price regimes, limiting these power companies from making great profits. Thus, supplying the surplus energy to crypto miners can prove a big revenue booster for these firms.

Energy Companies to Supply Only Clean Energy

The government has allowed for the distribution of surplus energy to crypto miners; however, this surplus energy needs to be clean and green. As a result, the power companies can only sell electricity produced from clean natural sources like wind and solar rather than ones generated by burning fossil fuels.

At present majority of crypto mining is done via fossil-fuel based electric power, which is available to the miners at subsidized rates. However, the move from TPPH could prove to be a big game changer and could pave the way for the use of clean and green energy for crypto mining.

In fact, Iran has single-handedly brought down the percentage of clean energy used for crypto mining due to the cheap price of fossil-fuel generated electricity. The country has also seen a significant rise in the mining operations ever since the government decided to regulate the mining industry rather than putting a blanket ban. There have been several rumors from time to time that the Iranian government is looking to launch its own central bank-backed digital currency, but nothing concrete has come out of it yet.

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Author: James W

The Bahamas Central Bank to Launch Its Digital Currency, the Sand Dollar, Next Month

The Bahamas are on the verge of becoming the first nation in the world to introduce a state-backed digital currency. The Bahamas Central Bank announced that it would issue a central bank-backed cryptocurrency (CBDC) next month.

Chaozhen Chen, the Central Bank of Bahamas assistant manager in charge of eSolutions, said that the virtual currency, known as ‘Sand Dollar,’ is set to enhance financial inclusion, especially the isolated islands within the country.

Chen explained that most people on those isolated islands have no access to banking and digital payment infrastructure. Based on reasoning that the central bank came up with a customized solution that will solve the problem while allowing the country to maintain its sovereignty.

The Sand Dollar transfers will be made using a mobile-based wallet app on users’ phones which will be much easier since more than 90% of the citizens use a mobile phone.

According to the official, the central bank digital currency (CBDC) will adhere to the regulations and rules subjected to the Bahama dollar. Users will have to comply with the anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) rules when it comes to the creation of accounts for the use of the digital currency.

The new virtual dollars will be issued by demand. Chen also revealed that the CBDC would be issued along with the withdrawal of the fiat Bahamian dollars to avoid an oversupply of money in the country.

The Bahamas Central Bank first indicated the desire to introduce a digital dollar in June 2018. At that time, the regulator noted that most smaller islands had witnessed a massive downsizing and closure of commercial banks, which left them with no banking services.

The central bank started a pilot project dubbed ‘project Sand Dollar’ last year in the islands of Exuma and Abaco with a population of 7,314 and 17,224, respectively.

Chen explained that every Sand Dollar would be pegged on the Bahamian dollar pegged on the US dollar.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Binance Lists Paxos Gold (PAXG) Stablecoin For Trading Against BUSD, BNB, BTC

Binance, one of the leading crypto exchanges in the world, has decided to list gold-backed cryptocurrency by Paxos called Paxos Gold (PAXG). The gold-backed token will be listed against three other digital assets, including the exchange’s native stablecoin called BUSD, the native token Binance Coin, and Bitcoin.

Rich Teo, Paxos co-founder, and CEO Asia believe the listing on Binance would offer traders exposure to real regulated gold. He said:

“PAX Gold will offer [its] users an easy and safe opportunity to gain exposure to real, regulated gold.”

Paxos is a New-York based exchange that launched its gold-backed token Paxos Gold last September and is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Each PAXG token represents an ounce of the physical gold currently stored in the Brink’s London vault. Traders can buy as little as $1 worth of gold.

The listing of PAXG token on Binance came just weeks after Gold prices soared to all-time-highs amid global economic uncertainty. Gold has been a haven asset for centuries, and despite Bitcoin maximalists trying to prove Bitcoin is a better alternative, a majority of the population still sees gold as the true safe-haven asset Paxos Gold token has also been cleared for listing by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

Apart from the approval from the NYDFS, CF Benchmarks has also launched a price index against the US Dollar, which would be real-time and offer daily settlement and spot rate, which would be updated every second.

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, also commented on their decision to add Paxos Gold and noted the importance of gold as an asset class. He said:

“Gold is an asset that has had enduring value from generation to generation. With PAX Gold now on Binance, investors can easily get and trade gold with the click of a button.”

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Author: James W

DCG’s $100 Million Plan to Diminish China’s Dominance on Bitcoin Production

Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group has entered into the bitcoin mining world with the announcement of its new wholly-owned subsidiary, Foundry.

“Digital asset mining and staking provide the backbone of the blockchain technology that will drive that advancement,” noted Silbert, the founder and CEO of DGC. The company runs its own mining operations and provides financing and equipment to crypto startups.

Through its fourth subsidiary, Foundry, which was “quietly” formed in 2019, Silbert will be betting $100 million on the mining sector. Genesis, Grayscale Investments, and CoinDesk are the other three subsidiaries of Digital Currency Group.

Mike Colyer, a former Core Scientific executive, and veteran GE, will be heading the company as the chief executive officer.

With this latest venture, Silbert is looking to bring back some of the bitcoin production to the US from China.

China accounts for more than 65% of the global bitcoin hash rate while the US only accounts for just over 7%, as per the data source from the University of Cambridge.

Silbert believes this is a ripe opportunity for North American crypto firms to capture a considerable share of the world’s mining power.

For cheap power, which is abundant in China during the rainy season, Foundry is launching operations in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and upstate New York along with British Columbia and Quebec in Canada.

Moreover, the company has already been working with Shenzhen-based bitcoin miner manufacturers MicroBT and Bitmain towards this goal. Jordan Chen, COO of MicroBT said,

“Foundry’s understanding of the mining industry and DCG’s full support have made it a key partner in our expansion across North America in the past year. We plan to continue collaborating with Foundry as we focus on increasing our global market share.”

Although, as Silbert notes, “The mining space is littered with the carcasses of failed mining efforts,” Foundry is poised to success because of the concerned lawmakers and policy groups in Washington, D.C., about China dominating bitcoin production.

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Author: AnTy

Market Bets Big on Polkadot (DOT), the Already Here ETH 2.0

Stocks splits are all the rage nowadays. Although they don’t “change a thing in a world of fractional shares,” and happen particularly during the bull market, they bring irrational enthusiasm in the market as we saw with Apple and Tesla, and most recently with Eicher Motors.

This trend seems to be spilling into the crypto market as well. As we reported, the YFI community made an informal proposal for a 10:1 split. YFI’s yet to come but Polkadot (DOT) recently had its redenomination in a 1: 100 ratio.

After the split, DOT became the 7th largest crypto asset by market cap of $4.9 billion, as per CoinGecko. And some are expecting more from DOT, to replace even the third-largest digital asset XRP.

This is because “Polkadot is arguably the most important crypto project since the launch of Ethereum in 2016. Think of it as ETH2.0 without all of the activity that Ethereum currently has yet,” said Spartan Black of crypto fund The Spartan Group.

As DOT went past Bitcoin SV, Litecoin and others, trader Red said, “expecting all dead weight coins in the top 10 like LTC and BSV to get kicked out by legit and functioning projects.”

In just four days, the token jumped a whopping 105% to its all-time high of $5.75 yesterday. At the time of writing, DOT has been trading at $5.43.

Over the weekend, the most highly anticipated competitor to Ethereum was listed on Kraken and Binance. Similar to other platforms within the DeFi space, it offers incentive staking yields and Kraken announced support for it with a 12% annual yield.

However, the listing wasn’t without issues as the exchanges enacted redenomination before the agreed-upon Denomination Day by the Polkadot community, resulting in “the apparent price at approximately 100 times lower than the actual market price.”

Polkadot founder Gavin Woods, who also co-founded Ethereum called the exchanges “unscrupulous,” for making such a move as their actions put the community at risk.

Back in July, the project completed its final private token sale, just prior its launch in which it raised $43 million.

The network facilitates cross-chain communication and interoperability by connecting multiple blockchains with the advantages of sharding, scalability, transparent governance, upgradeability, and cross-chain composability.

Several DeFi projects are also integrated with Polkadot including the leading decentralized data oracles network Chainlink (LINK), lending and earning project Mantra DAO (OM), Ankr (ANKR), Ocean Protocol (OCEAN), and others.

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Author: AnTy

Making a Comeback: Community Favors YAMv3 Parameter Proposal After Migrating 98.5% YAM

The decentralized finance protocol Yam Finance that took the DeFi world by storm is coming back online soon.

Launched amidst much fanfare as a “minimally viable monetary experiment,” this project saw $700 million total value locked in its protocol within 24 hours of its launch only to come crashing back down after a bug was found in its rebase function.

This resulted in the value of YAM that rose to $159.54 to fall to $0.029. Although the price of YAM is still 100% down from its peak, it’s started to see some movement, currently trading at $0.048.

Interest in the project hasn’t waned either as the community took steps to save it. Just this past weekend, the team successfully migrated to YAM v2 after raising funds for the project’s audit and now preparing for the next version.

The Yam v2 governance portal is now live, with the help of Balancer Labs and gasless soft voting client Snapshot Labs.

YAM users are now required to vote and submit proposals that require YAM tokens in their wallet for the V3 launch.

After the migration of about 98.5% of YAM, the final supply of YAMv2 is 3,726,411.

YAMv3 Initial Parameters

YAM launch team has also launched two initial proposals that are subject to community approval. The proposal for the new token economics involves 3.7 million of current supply with 1.1 million YAM for yUSD/YAM Uniswap pool (starts 330k and decreases 30%/week). Additionally, 1 million for community funds and 174k for delegator rewards.

Currently undergoing voting, with 81.5% favorable votes, the community is agreeing on YAMv3 initial parameters proposal, which involves a total V3 supply of 6 million YAM.

It also proposes updating reserve assets to yUSD (yyCRV), which has higher yield potential than yCRV along with hardcode proposal (50K pre-rebase) and quorum (200k pre-rebase) thresholds.

Several other proposals are also being voted for, including “complicate whale governance takeover” by limiting voting power per address to 1/1000 of the total yam supply, which has got 98.16% votes in favor. This proposal was made after YFI’s Andre Cronje exposed a governance flaw inherent to a governance project, Curve founder seizing 70% of the voting power.

The community, however, is against splitting YAM to governance and elastic tokens, the proposal of 1 V2 token: 0.8 V3 tokens as delegator rewards condition, increase rewards for Yamv2 holders, YAMv3 3-day migration period, adding ETH-YAMv3 Uniswap Pool to the initial distribution, adding AMPL/YAM farming pool in YAMv3, and limiting the LP incentives in v3.

Meanwhile, they agreed to allow only the core team and those holding more than 5k YAMv2 to make new proposals.

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Author: AnTy

Another Unaudited ‘Zero Value’ Farming Token is Taking the DeFi World by Storm & Coins Flying

  • The cryptocurrency world has been much faster than the traditional world, and now the DeFi space is running at a quicker pace than crypto.

On Tuesday, a new DeFi project for yield farming was launched called Yam. Within a few hours of its launch, the unaudited project saw a whopping $250 million locked in it. Temporarily it even hit a $325 million nominal fully diluted market cap.

Even BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes has jumped into farm YAM, which the community can’t decide if it is good or bad.

No Premine, No Value But Gains & Gains

The launch of YAM came on a gloomy day when the crypto market turned red following bitcoin down. But, DeFi is in its world.

After surging to an all-time high of $125 today, YAM has gone down to $83.68, as per CoinGecko. Similar to another popular DeFi token YFI, “YAM holds zero inherent value,” reads the announcement.

A governance token of Yam Finance, the project is all about farming YAM by staking popular DeFi tokens.

“Distributed in the spirit of YFI — no premine, no founder shares, no VC interests — simply equal-opportunity staking distribution to attract a broad and vision-aligned community to steward the future of the protocol and token.”

By offering a larger APR rate on several digital assets, it has pushed the prices of the likes of COMP and SNX higher as such decoupling from the broad crypto market.

Many of the tokens involved here are enjoying a surge in their prices — in the past 24 hours, COMP has jumped a whopping 43%, LEND 19.76%, LINK 11.62%, Synthetix 19.86%, and Maker by 22.82%.

Farmers Get YAM

“An experimental protocol,” YAM comes with elastic supply, full on-chain governance, and a governable treasury, similar to Ampleforth (AMPL), where the supply expands and contracts as per market conditions intending to target a 1 USD peg per token.

The difference is 10% of each supply expansion (known as a rebase) is used to buy yCRV, a high-yielding basket of stablecoins. This yCRV is then held in a community governed treasury and used to support price stability.

In its ‘fair-farming’ pools, Liquidity Pools (LP) are awarded YAM. There are eight staking pools, including LINK, COMP, LEND, YFI, MKR, SNX, WETH, and ETH/AMPL.

A total of 5 million YAM are there but subject to change by future releases, which are set to occur every 12 hours. Initially, 2 million YAM, 250k per pool, per week will be distributed to users who stake the tokens as mentioned above. The rest of the 3 million is distributed to YAM LPs for the yCRV/YAM Uniswap Pool.

“This was a 10-day project from start to launch,” says the team while “strongly” urging “caution to anyone who chooses to engage with these contracts.”

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Author: AnTy

Billion Dollar Publicly-traded MicroStrategy Buys 21,454 Bitcoin as a Reserve Asset

MicroStrategy is now taking a deep dive into the world of bitcoin.

The $1.2 billion Nasdaq listed software company has officially announced its position in the largest digital asset. A fortnight after announcing to invest in bitcoin as an inflation hedge, the company has purchased 21,454 BTC at an aggregate price of $250 million, inclusive of fees and expenses.

As we reported, in its earnings call on July 28, 2020, the company shared its bitcoin investment plans as part of its two-pronged capital allocation strategy to “maximize long-term value for our shareholders,” said Michael J. Saylor, CEO, MicroStrategy Incorporated.

According to Saylor, it is their investment belief that bitcoin is a “dependable store of value and an attractive investment asset,” that has more long-term price appreciation potential than holding cash. He said,

“Since its inception over a decade ago, Bitcoin has emerged as a significant addition to the global financial system, with characteristics that are useful to both individuals and institutions.”

The company recognizes the digital asset as “a legitimate investment asset that can be superior to cash” as such giving it a principal holding in its treasury reserve program.

It has been after months of deliberation that the company decided to allocate its capital into bitcoin, revealed the company. The decision was in part driven by macro factors that are creating long-term risks for their investments.

Economic and public health crisis, unprecedented government financial stimulus measures including QE around the world, and global political and economic uncertainty are the factors listed by the company that have a “significant depreciating effect on the long-term real value of fiat currencies and many other conventional asset types.”

And bitcoin provides “not only a “reasonable hedge against inflation but also the prospect of earning a higher return than other investments,” said Saylor.

According to the company, the world’s leading digital asset is a digital gold that is stronger, smarter, harder, and faster than “any money that has preceded it.” The CEO said,

“We find the global acceptance, brand recognition, ecosystem vitality, network dominance, architectural resilience, technical utility, and community ethos of Bitcoin to be persuasive evidence of its superiority as an asset class for those seeking a long-term store of value.”

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Author: AnTy