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Weekly Digest: Leverage, Bitcoin Salary & Funding Book
Every week we make a digest about the most significant news in crypto with bloggers and crypto community members, but this week we decided to find out what companies’ representatives and media think about all things crypto.
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Projects And Updates
On March 3rd, KuCoin’s leveraged tokens became available for beta-testing by invited users in KuCoin’s sandbox. The first batch of tokens BTC3L, BTC3S, ETH3L and ETH3S represent a new kind of crypto derivative without any due data, which can’t be liquidated. Those assets allow users to increase the investments returns with the leverage and it’s a perfect choice for the crypto investors willing to benefit from market volatility, but not ready to take a risk of tokens being liquidated. As per the examples of KuCoin, usage of their new tokens can lead to more than 3 times higher returns than the gains now possible in the Spot market.
“With the launch of this service, KuCoin will give users easier access to more advanced investment tools. Next, KuCoin Leveraged Tokens will support more top coins like LTC and trending coins in the DeFi field or Polkadot ecosystem, complementing KuCoin’s ecosystem as a leading crypto trading service provider." — Johnny Lyu, KuCoin Global CEO
The development of Horizon 2.0 – API package for the development on Stellar blockchain, which had taken several years was finally released on the 2nd of March. Compared to the previous version, which required having a Stellar Core node that needed lots of disk space and complicated configuration, Horizon 2 allows users to choose the necessary configurations and the lighter or more complex version. Developers can either become validators and actively participate in the network development or need to have all the historical Stellar blockchain data to perform transactions and create new events.
“This major release has been years in the making. It lets people deploy Horizon with fewer resources, under looser constraints, and with far more flexibility than ever before!” — Stellar Org
On the 2nd of March Mary protocol update was finally applied to the Cardano mainnet via Hard Fork combinator, which officially makes Cardano a multi-asset network and makes it possible for the users to create tokens on the Cardano blockchain freely and publicly. Despite being a hard fork, it didn’t create a split in the chain as none of the nodes were using out of dated protocol and all the blocks are being validated with the new protocol with the “Mary” updates. Neither new crypto nor the duplicates of Ada tokens were created. For those who own a Cardano node or wallet with Adda only software update is needed to continue the normal usage of cryptocurrency as the new wallets will need to support any new tokens created on Cardano blockchain.
“With this update, the multi-asset era on Cardano has finally begun.” — The Cryptonomist
No fee crypto trading app Robinhood accumulated 6 million funded accounts in 2 months of 2021, even though it had prohibited trading in the last few weeks. Robinhood Crypto, allowing trade 7 virtual coins Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, was downloaded over 3 million times in February thus breaking the records of any brokers ever. The numbers grew despite the fact that Robinhood had temporarily suspended trading of meme-stock, crashed several times since the beginning of this year, increased the margin requirements and banned the transactions from the investors seeking for the instant purchase of the crypto.
“Much of that growth has been fueled by Bitcoin’s rally as millennials have increasingly seen the opportunity in the crypto market amid growing institutional interest.” — Finance Magnates
China’s largest exchange Huobi is starting three funds exclusively for the crypto investments as it already got an approval from the Hong Kong financial market regulator. One fund will invest in Bitcoin, the other one in Ethereum, and the third one will run the multi-strategy but only in crypto. The Huobi launch will boost the cryptocurrency field in Asia and that may cause the rise of Bitcoin and Ehereum prices. But the volume of funds is yet to be decided.
“We aim to become the leading virtual asset management company in Asia in the near future.” — Mandy Liu, Vice President at Huobi Tech
According to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated FAQ purchases of made in fiat are not taxable. With the April tax season getting closer in the USA many users were confused by the Form 1040 question about the acquiring of the digital currency interests during the last year. As the updated FAQ states, if the person bought any crypto using fiat money the tax is not applied. But from the formulation of the answer is clear that crypto to crypto operations must be reflected in the annual report.
“The update comes at a time when crypto adoption is rising thanks to big corp interests and random tweets from some high-profile individuals. Top crypto Bitcoin’s market cap also recently passed the $1 trillion mark.” — Coinquora
From March,1 the CEO of Argo blockchain, London-based crypto mining firm, will be receiving his salary in Bitcoin through Satstreets Exchange according to the daily fiat rate. On the peak of institutional Bitcoin adoption, the company offered this possibility to all of its employees. It’s unknown though who else in the company took such a step.
“I’m also pleased to be the first publicly-traded company that we know of to have their CEO paid in Bitcoin,” — Peter Wall, Argo Blockchain CEO
While the Eastern Europe crypto market is considered as fourth large across the globe, Russia and Ukraine are climbing to become the top crypto-nations in the world, with the total annual amount of transactions reaching $15 and $8 billion respectively. Meanwhile, the biggest credit organization in Belarus partnered with the WhiteBird – the only legal in the former Soviet countries, Belarussian-based crypto market operator to create the crypto buying service for the customers from the region. Mass adoption of crypto in Russia is accelerated by increasing public distract to the official institutions and the existing high compatibility with the e-payments. At the same time government’s plan on implementing their own cryptocurrency will give the digital assets legal status in the country. In Ukraine, the unstable political situation and numerous cash transactions regulations turns more and more citizens to switch to cryptocurrencies.
“With this new legislation on top of nationwide adoption, the Bitcoin market in Russia is set to skyrocket in the coming years, its effect sure to spill into other countries in the region.” — Dailycoin
As the Reuters reports, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is going to restart the crypto trading desk from next week, trading bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards (NDF). The bank also explores the option of bitcoin exchange-traded funds and recently made a request for the assets storing related data. That’s the second go of the bank giant on the crypto after not very successful attempt in 2018 when the public interest in bitcoin was continuously decreasing after all-time high in the end of 2017. But now with the support holding on around $45,000 and ATH breaking up to $57,000, the trend seems to be engaging for Bitcoin involvement in traditional trading as well.
“This return to the world of crypto through the trading desk, comes at a time when interest in bitcoin is skyrocketing. Especially from institutions that, after the 470% increase in the last year recorded by the crypto queen, have questioned whether they should be entering the market to hedge against inflation.” — Cryptonomist
Historical Funding Book is launched on the Bitfinex Terminal, real-time data feed for the trial of trading ideas, and contains a great amount of the trading data collected by the exchange service since its start in 2012 in the form of snapshots taken every 5 seconds since the founding. It will greatly simplify the trading process, as the traders will be able to avoid going through multiple sources to form their strategy. To access the Historical Funding Book user needs to buy it with Bitcoins through the second layer Lightning Network or with Tether (USDT) or UNUS SED LEO at a cost of $0,02 per hour or data set.
“The addition of funding book data further expands the breadth of data tools available to inform sophisticated automated trading strategies. As an exchange, we’re providing our growing user base with trading tools that have historically been the exclusive preserve of investment funds. Through such innovations, we’re democratizing access to financial markets.” — Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex
The case against Switzerland-based digital currency firm Bancor was dismissed by the federal judge in the USA, stating that the plaintiffs couldn’t prove the damage and lack personal jurisdiction. The main point was in occusing Bancor is selling unregistered securities the issue of its BNT token. Despite Timothy Holsworth’s statement that his purchase of the tokens in Wisconsin via a Singapore-based exchange would bring the matter under the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts, the judge stated that in the absence of reasonable proof that the court had jurisdiction over the company. According to the judge's words the plaintiffs also failed to demonstrate the token’s depreciation and their connection to the Bancor ICO in June 2017.
“The federal securities laws do not reach a purchase and sale outside the United States […] Wherever the current business location of Bancor, New York is not a reasonable and convenient place to conduct this litigation.” — The Judge
Charles Hoskinson, the inventor of Cardano, founder and CEO of IOG will make a speech about the Cardano project in African continent at the Blockchain Africa Conference 2021. The news made the ADA community wonder about the essence of the upcoming keynote, trying to guess if it is related to the IOG plans of bringing millions of Africans to the Cardano blockchain. IOG is now working on signing a contract to grant the internet to the people in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, who don’t have access to it yet, but they plan also to make ADA accessible and available payment method. Yet it’s still unclear what announcements Hoskins is going to make.
“John O’Connor, director of African operations at IOG, teased in early February that the company is in the final stages of securing a government contract in Ethiopia to bring several million users onto the Cardano blockchain, celebrating the world’s largest blockchain deployment to date” — Crypto News Flash
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse applied for the dismissal on SEC charges against him. The SEC accusation states that XPR being categorized as security, performs sales in the USA illegally. But Garlinghouse insists that XPR should be considered the same as Bitcoin and Ethereum which already had not been recognized as securities by the SEC. Garlinghouse is accused of aiding and abetting unregistered sales of XRP, but according to the Ripple CEO’s lawyers to lay those charges SEC needs to prove that Garlinghose consciously supported the Ripple’s violations.
“Today, a letter was filed on my behalf indicating my intent to file a Motion to Dismiss in response to the SEC’s amended complaint against me. Simply put, the SEC’s allegations are regulatory overreach.” — Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO
Anthony Pompliano, The Founder of Morgan Creek Digital Asset and Pomp Investment doesn’t take the widespread tension of the Bitcoin’s price fall. In his Twitter he explains that even with the drop, Bitcoin performed 50% gain since the beginning of the 2021. Just in three months Bitcoin reached from $20000 to the peak of $58000, and it’s obvious such a climb requires a correction, like the one happened this week. With the increasing demand from institutions and retailers, now Bitcoin is more stable than ever before. Not to mention that the algorithm is made the way of not having more than 21 million pieces in the system at once.
“If you liked Bitcoin at $58,000 then you should love it at $44,000” — Anthony Pompliano, The Founder of Morgan Creek Digital Asset and Pomp Investment