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Core contributors, investors debate Yearn token mint

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What started as a simple governance proposal to build a war chest for the the Yearn.finance development team has now spilled over into a wider conversation about incentivization, sustainability, and fair project launches in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. 

On Wednesday, Jan. 13 five Yearn community members including multiple core contributors proposed a “Buyback and Build” program that would divert protocol fees towards bolstering the treasury — a proposal that would alter the current system which distributes a dividend to governance participants. The proposal has since been nicknamed ‘BABY.’

In an interview with Cointelegraph, semi-anonymous Yearn core contributor and one of the co-authors of the proposal, Tracheopteryx, said that BABY is meant to allow for superior sustainability at Yearn’s current stage of growth.

“We are proposing to stop paying out protocol fees as dividends to YFI stakers in governance and instead use this revenue for an automated YFI buyback, reinvesting it into growing Yearn. Our core argument is pretty simple: 1) dividends don’t make sense for our early stage of development, and 2) there are better returns available for YFI elsewhere,” he said.

Mint more YFI?

Just a day before the BABY proposal was published, however, another proposal written by a lone community member which was also aimed at sustainability attracted far more debate on the Yearn governance forums. 

Titled “**[Proposal]** Developer Incentives,” it called for the minting of an additional 1000 YFI tokens on top of the original 30,000 — tokens which would be distributed among the core team at their sole discretion in order to incentivize ongoing development.

Core Yearn dev banteg posted a link to the proposal on Twitter on Thursday, setting off a flurry of impassioned debate that rippled out to the wider crypto community:

Both proponents and detractors of an additional mint accused the other side of being greedy, with skeptics saying developers should hew to the original quantity and supporters saying that incentivization is more important than any potential dilution. Even Yearn founder Andre Cronje weighed in on the discussion:

The thread on the Yearn forums now sits at 209 replies, with an estimated read time of 40 minutes, and the debate on Twitter continues into Sunday evening unabated. 

Memes versus reality

The core argument many of those opposed to minting more YFI have put forth is that it would violate the “fair launch” ethos that, in part, made Yearn popular in the first place. Additionally, skeptics of a mint argue that there were previous votes on burning the minting keys to prevent the creation of YFI beyond the initial 30,000. 

A thorough analysis, however, shows that governance never definitively decided on burning the keys that would allow a mint:

Additionally, Tracheopteryx argues that while they can act as an inarguable value driver, memes shouldn’t be the primary consideration for a project. 

“Narratives are powerful, but they are also limiting. Just as the word “table” can never capture the rich multi-sensory experience of an actual hand-crafted wooden table, a meme or narrative compresses reality into easily transmissible meaning-chunks.”

In this case, the easily-transmitted chunks are too focused on a mythos built around YFI’s origin, and not on how the project will continue to create value. 

As a result, fealty to the narrative of YFI’s fair launch — a launch format which its founder has since said was a mistake — is now clouding its future. Because of YFI’s distribution, developers don’t own as significant a share of the governance token relative to platforms like Synthetix and Aave, potentially opening the developers up to being poached by other projects with lucrative offers or losing interest due to their lack of incentivization.

“A narrative is never equal to the on-the-ground reality and reduces optionality. Narratives have value for exactly this reason: they are simpler, easier to understand, easier to share, and due to this they can become focal points for coordination. And in DeFi they can also become conflated and mismatched,” Tracheopteryx added.

Forming consensus

Over the past two days the debate on Twitter has largely devolved into memes and namecalling, but conversations on Yearn’s governance forum and social media channels have been heartening both for their passion and their sophistication, says Tracheopteryx.

“It’s f—-ing awesome. I have been so energized by the community engagement. I am just blown away by how many people care, how many people want to help, and how many people actually do jump in and start working out of nowhere . . . it’s deeply meaningful for me,” he said.

Proposals include community crowdfunding a treasury in lieu of a mint, and a variety of debt instruments. Ultimately, however, while opposition to a mint remains, consensus is slowly forming in favor of one.

Major tokenholders seem to be rallying in support — so long as there’s an accounting of how the funds will be used, among other stipulations — auguring an eventual successful vote in favor of inflating YFI’s max supply.

While the exact details remain cloudy, Tracheopteryx believes finding the solution will be more of a process than an event.

“There is a lot of momentum emerging to properly compensate the yearn team and build out our treasury. I believe the conversation will continue and more proposals will emerge over the next week at least,” he said.

“Governance action seems to move in waves, we’re in one now.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/core-contributors-investors-debate-yearn-token-mint

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Bitcoin price hits $50K after bullish outlook from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs

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On March 1 cryptocurrency investors woke up to the sight of Bitcoin (BTC) rising from it weekend correction to $44,000 as the market found its bullish momentum and altcoins rebounded from their swing lows.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that the price of Bitcoin increased 16.6% from its low of $43,504 on Feb. 28 to the $50,000 level which bulls are attempting to flip back to support.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Earlier in the day, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor tweeted that the firm had purchased another $15 million worth of Bitcoin, bringing its total holdings to 90,859 BTC and further demonstrating that institutional demand for the top cryptocurrency continues to grow as firms buy each dip’

Analysis of key BTC price indicators also shows that bulls were eager to buy the $43,000 retest which occurred over the weekend.

Not every analyst is bullish

Bitcoin’s surge above $49,000 has some calling for new all-time highs in the near future, but according to veteran analyst Peter Brandt, nothing is certain when it comes to the cryptocurrency market.

Today Goldman Sachs announced that it would restart its crypto trading desk and Brandt was quick to tweet the following chart and point out that its launch didn’t work out so well for the cryptocurrency market in December 2017. 

BTC/USD 1-week chart. Source: Twitter

According to David Lifchitz, Chief Investment Officer of ExoAlpha, it’s still “too early to tell” if the pullback in Bitcoin is over but $44,500 appears to have provided strong support.

In terms of whether the top cryptocurrency could breakout to new highs in March, Lifchitz said he’s uncertain on exactly what might happen as March is historically a bearish trading month for BTC.

According to Lifchitz, tax season in the U.S. could put bearish pressures on the market as investors may need to “sell some of their holdings to pay for earlier realized capital gains.”

From a bullish perspective, the 20% correction during the second half of February may have signaled an “early start” to the usual March weakness, with the worst of the downturn already transpiring.

Lifchitz said:

“Despite the 20% pullback, we’re still in an upward sloping trend since the October $10K breakout. The big unknown is what the miners will do as they are net sellers. They are the real short-term risk.”

Analysis of Glassnode’s Net Unrealized Profit and Loss (NUPL) metric shows that while both 20% corrections experienced during this cycle have created the “signature sideways and choppy” price action typically seen during bull markets, buyers have been stepping in sooner than they had in previous bull cycles and fewer long-term holders are willing to sell their BTC. 

Bitcoin Entity-adjusted NUPL. Source: glassnode

Steadying yields help to stabilize traditional markets

The traditional financial markets also rallied on Monday as Treasury yields stabilized and optimism related to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout boosted investor sentiment about the future of the global economy.

The S&P 500, Dow and NASDAQ all closed the day in the black, finishing up 2.38%, 1.95% and 3.01% respectively. The strong performance from each index occurred as global central banks world continue to reaffirm commitments to accommodative policies that will support the global economic recovery.

Altcoins also recovered their recent losses as Bitcoin price broke out to $50,000.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Binance Coin (BNB) was the best performer in the top 10, increasing 21% to $248, while Ethereum (ETH) saw its price rise 9.46% to $1,525. PancakeSwap (CAKE) and Fantom (FTM) both rallied price 36% and currently trade for $12.30 and $0.558 respectively.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.52 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 61%.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-price-hits-50k-after-bullish-outlook-from-citigroup-and-goldman-sachs

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Goldman Sachs Plans to Relaunch Its Cryptocurrency Trading Desk

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Reports on Reuters today revealed that American multinational investment bank, Goldman Sachs, will offer bitcoin futures and non-deliverable forwards on behalf of its clients starting next week.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the move is part of the bank’s effort to take advantage of the fast-growing crypto space, which is gradually becoming an investment of choice for institutional players. 

Notably, the bank is also considering developing a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) soon as part of its commitment to fully venture into the industry. 

Based on this regard, the unnamed source noted that Goldman Sachs had already “issued a request for information to explore digital asset custody.” 

Goldman’s First Shot At Crypto

In late 2017, Goldman Sachs became the first Wall Street biggest firm to ever consider offering crypto-related products, as the bank was planning to open a cryptocurrency desk.

At the time, the Wall Street financial institution was working on how to address security challenges associated with the business, as well as how it would custody the assets.

Plans were on the way for the launch slated for late 2018 when reports emerged in September that same year that the bank has chosen not to offer crypto-related investments. 

Sources said that the bank dropped its crypto plans due to the regulatory concerns associated with the industry, with regulators breathing down the neck of most projects. 

The issue of regulatory uncertainty has been the major stumbling block that hindered several institutional players from getting involved with cryptocurrencies. 

Interestingly, there have been clearer regulations in recent times luring institutional investors like Microstrategy and Tesla. 

The entrance of these large corporations has given other institutional investors the greenlight that crypto is safe compared to how it was viewed in 2018. 

Thus it could be the reason Goldman Sach is making plans to restart its cryptocurrency trading desk in earnest.

A Change Of Heart? 

However, Goldman Sachs’ second shot at launching a cryptocurrency trading desk comes less than a year after the bank told its clients during a conference call that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not an asset class.

Reports at the time suggested that part of the reason for the call was to discourage its customers from including bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in their portfolio.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/goldman-sachs-plans-to-relaunch-its-cryptocurrency-trading-desk/

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Bitcoin Still Has an Uncertain Future: Citibank Analysts

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In a 100-page deep-dive report dubbed “Bitcoin, at the Tipping Point,” Citibank’s global perspectives and solutions team noted that the cryptocurrency could potentially “become the currency of choice for international trade.”

The analysts acknowledged that the massive interest shown by several large institutional investors like Tesla, Microstrategy, and PayPal is one of the major propellants for the digital asset gaining mainstream adoption.

The team further noted that several other factors, including a wide range of digital payment options like stablecoins and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), could also increase the chances of bitcoin adoption for cross-border settlements.

An Uncertain Future

The report also pointed out that a side-by-side comparison of the risks associated with bitcoin and the opportunities it presents makes it very easy to conclude that the digital asset is at a tipping point.

They wrote:

 “There are a host of risks and obstacles that stand in the way of Bitcoin progress… Weighing the potential hurdles against the opportunities leads to the conclusion that Bitcoin is at a tipping point… Bitcoin’s future is thus still uncertain, but developments in the near term are likely to prove decisive as the currency balances at the tipping point of mainstream acceptance or a speculative implosion.”

Bitcoin Going Mainstream Already 

The concluding part of the report quoted the famous philosopher, Schopenhauer, who said,

“All Truths pass through three stages, first it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

The team states that the positive change in stance on issues about bitcoin by several financial institutions very well prove these words of Schopenhauer, which he said more than 150 years before the bitcoin idea was born.

Several banks had actively shunned bitcoin in the past, arguing that it has no intrinsic value as it is allegedly backed by mere speculations from its proponents.

However, bitcoin’s immense growth has forced its former critics to re-evaluate their stance and join the bitcoin adoption trend. Some of the biggest banks in the world have started offering bitcoin services to their clients.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-still-has-an-uncertain-future-citibank-analysts/

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