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BlockFi Announces Rate Increases On Bitcoin Accounts, Slashes Rates On Ethereum

Crypto lender BlockFi has announced adjustments to its interest rates on account balances for bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH). The startup, through its monthly update published Tuesday, May 21, has informed customers that accounts whose bitcoin (BTC) balances are more than 25 BTC will benefit from 0.15% increase in interest rate. On the other hand, […]

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Crypto lender BlockFi has announced adjustments to its interest rates on account balances for bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

The startup, through its monthly update published Tuesday, May 21, has informed customers that accounts whose bitcoin (BTC) balances are more than 25 BTC will benefit from 0.15% increase in interest rate.

On the other hand, interest rates for accounts whose ether (ETH) balances the range between 25 and 75 ETH will drop from 6.2% to 3.25%.

The interest rates for accounts with bitcoin balances of between 0.5 BTC and 25 BTC remains unchanged, the firm noted. However, accounts with more than 100 ETH stand to earn an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.2%

BlockFi has explained the move by noting that the lending environment for the two cryptocurrencies has changed, with that of bitcoin flourishing while ETH’s has floundered.

In particular, cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex offers ether at a 0.01% borrowing rate. The same rates apply at crypto lending startup Compound, while it only made up 3% of Genesis Capital’s portfolio in Q1 2019.

According to BlockFi, its adjustments in interest rates correspond to the above scenarios.

When it launched its interest-bearing accounts for BTC and ETH on March 4, BlockFi’s interest rates for both cryptocurrencies was 6% APY. That however changed within three weeks when the crypto-lending firm lowered interest rates for top deposit accounts.

The initial rates for both accounts were set at 6.2%, slightly higher than what BlockFi had noted earlier.

But in its announcement, the startup said that it would cut the rates from 6.2% to 2%, with the reduction affecting BTC accounts with more than 25 BTC or ether accounts with over 500 ETH. The changes were set to take effect in April.

At the time, the above cuts did not affect a majority of account holders, with 75% of all the BTC and ETH accounts reportedly having balances lower than 5 BTC or 150 ETH.

Some industry players have sharply criticized BlockFi for the manner in which the firm’s terms and conditions allow it a free hand at setting interest rates on a monthly basis.

For instance, critics have said that the company’s advertising has very little to do with its policy. The founder of law firm Silver Miller, David Miller, noted that BlockFi’s T&Cs “shows that their advertising is not necessarily what they’re guaranteeing.”

He added that it would not be surprising to see people “confused” when the 6.2% rates didn’t materialize. According to him, the company’s advertising makes it appear as if the rates are “guaranteed,” (and they are not).

Gemini Trust Company, regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), is reportedly the custodial provider for BlockFi’s assets. Customers can withdraw all their assets at any time once they place a request for the same.


Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Source link: BlockFi Announces Rate Increases On Bitcoin Accounts, Slashes Rates On Ethereum

Source: https://xbt.net/blog/blockfi-announces-rate-increases-on-bitcoin-accounts-slashes-rates-on-ethereum/

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Supercar maker Mazzanti Automobili launches security token offering

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Italian luxury car manufacturer Mazzanti Automobili has launched its security token offering on regulated digital marketplace STOKR.

As part of the offering, Mazzanti aims to raise 999,999 euros ($1.2 million) on STOKR to develop a special edition of its hypercar model Evantra Millecavalli R.

According to a Feb. 25 announcement, Mazzanti’s STO will allow investors to purchase MZZ tokens, priced at 1 euro each. The token is issued by Mazzanti via Blockstream AMP, a platform for the tokenization of securities built on the Liquid sidechain of Bitcoin (BTC), which has been directly integrated with STOKR.

As part of the STO, MZZ investors will be able to receive a 50% revenue share in the sale of the Evantra special edition. The offering is available for select European countries, with a minimum investment of 50 euros, the announcement notes.

Mazzanti’s founder Luca Mazzanti said that the company has been considering running an STO for a while. The company initially announced its upcoming STO plans earlier in February.

In conjunction with the STO, Mazzanti also announced that the company will allow its customers to purchase all editions of the Evantra model with Bitcoin starting from Feb. 25. The move echoes Tesla’s recent move toward accepting Bitcoin payment for its electric vehicles. 

Based in Luxembourg, STOKR has been listing various STOs in compliance with capital market laws of the European Union. Last year, Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority approved ParkinGO’s offering as the first cross-border STO on STOKR.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/supercar-maker-mazzanti-automobili-launches-security-token-offering

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Finance Redefined: Ethereum exodus continues as Binance ‘helps,’ Feb 17–24.

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The parabolic rise of the Binance Smart Chain has been all over the news this week, aided by a few seemingly unfriendly moves by the exchange itself.

It started on Friday, when Binance suddenly froze withdrawals of Ethereum-based assets for about one hour. Many interpreted it as a move against the blockchain and its ecosystem, given that the cited reason was “congestion issues” — something one hardly imagines is a problem for an exchange, unless they shoulder withdrawal costs for the user.

The day after, FTX started shaming Binance for excessive promotion of BSC on the exchange. Specifically, FTX was apparently “spending millions” in failed deposits that came over the Smart Chain but were meant for Ethereum. FTX’s accusation toward Binance, one of its investors, is that the exchange put BSC as the default option for withdrawing many ERC-20 assets, which caused a lot of failed deposits to FTX.

I can’t say I’ve ever noticed Binance Smart Chain being “the default option” for withdrawals. BSC is the first listed when you attempt to withdraw something like USDC, though it does not actually select the blockchain for you. Still, I can see how some newbies could get swindled by this. People overestimate the degree to which terms like “ERC-20” are known in the casual crypto community. Testing the withdrawal now, Binance forces you to go through a quiz where you confirm you know what you’re doing by selecting BSC. I have no idea when this was introduced, but it’s not impossible that it’s a response to FTX’s statements.

Overall though, there’s nothing inherently wrong with one company using its products to promote another of its products. From the official responses it seems that the Ethereum congestion incident won’t happen again because they “upgraded the systems.”

Cheap tricks would never be able to undermine Ethereum without there being an underlying fundamental weakness. And I think we’ve all had enough with Ethereum gas fees. I tried a non-Ethereum DeFi product recently, and it felt so good to pay just a few cents for a complete interaction.

Binance Smart Chain is already processing more transactions than Ethereum and has over 5 million unique wallets. Ethereum, with its much longer history, is currently sitting at 140 million wallets in total.

Ironically, Ethereum fans should secretly want the bull market to end right now. The longer it goes on, the more gas fees will remain high, and the more people will want to migrate away and seed other environments.

Second largest liquidation day in DeFi history

Speaking of the end of the bull market, a massive slide in crypto markets triggered some $24 million in liquidations on Tuesday, the second highest loss in DeFi history. It would’ve been the highest if not for that infamous day in November when Compound thought Dai was worth $1.3.

The firesale was triggered by nothing in particular, though I suspect that rising bond yields are having their effect on the riskiest of assets on Wall Street, of which Bitcoin is the quintessential representative. And then Bitcoin dragged the rest of crypto with it.

I don’t normally talk about price because I’m not a financial advisor or even a successful trader. But I am feeling a lot of fundamental and sentimental indicators of a coming correction, ranging from a wavering stock market to, well, the strength of Tuesday’s dump.

To top it all off, my non-crypto feeds are being invaded by crypto stuff, which is never a good sign. I certainly hope that I’m misinterpreting what is actually unprecedented adoption and acceptance, but let’s face it — it’s all about price for now, while fundamentals are still lagging.

With layer two platforms and new blockchains coming online, we may get something useful out of crypto and DeFi soon. But everything could happen before we get there. Be especially careful right now and, most importantly, don’t get liquidated.

In other news

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/finance-redefined-ethereum-exodus-continues-as-binance-helps-feb-17-24

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Blockchain soccer gaming startup Sorare raises $50M

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Sorare, a major blockchain-based soccer gaming platform, has raised $50 million from high-profile investors backing major companies like Twitter, Instagram and Discord

The fresh Series A round brings Sorare’s total funding to $60 million, the company told Cointelegraph Thursday.

The funding round was led by Benchmark, an investment giant famous for funding companies like Twitter, Uber and Snap. Accel Partners was another lead investor, known for backing companies like Facebook and Spotify. The round also included some additional investment from investors like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, and Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann.

With the new funding, Sorare is planning to continue growing its ecosystem, including launching a mobile application and onboarding the top global 20 football leagues. “We’re designing an experience where fans can celebrate, share, and live football moments at a deeper connection. We’re making fantasy football a reality,” Sorare said.

Founded in 2018, Sorare provides a digital collectibles platform based on the Ethereum blockchain. With non-fungible tokens, the platform offers a collective fantasy football experience allowing players to manage their players and earn prizes.

Gerard Piqué, strategic advisor at Sorare, explained that the platform aims to meet the significant shift to online and digital fan experiences:

“As world football has shifted from local supporters to global fanbases, football fans are looking for new ways to be connected to the game, the players and other fans.”

Blockchain and cryptocurrency startups have been actively tapping the soccer industry in order to bring new ways of fan engagement using emerging technologies. Socios and Chiliz represent some of the best-known industry efforts, jointly providing blockchain fan tokens for popular global soccer clubs like FC Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. Earlier this week, Polish Legia Warsaw became the latest soccer club to join Chiliz and Socios.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/blockchain-soccer-gaming-startup-sorare-raises-50m

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