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Digital Currency Group acquires crypto exchange Luno for an undisclosed sum

Digital Currency Group (DCG) has acquired cryptocurrency exchange Luno for an undisclosed sum.

The post Digital Currency Group acquires crypto exchange Luno for an undisclosed sum appeared first on The Block.

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All Eyes on Ethereum

Republished by Plato

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One Ether now costs more than US$3000. Did you ever think you’d see the day?

You gotta hand it to the crypto markets: in some ways they’re comically predictable. A month ago, Ethereum was everyone’s favourite whipping boy, a bloated, expensive under-achiever that couldn’t even double its 2017 all-time high. Lol what a weakling.

And with competitors like Cosmos, Solana, Polygon and Polkadot nipping at its heels, perhaps this was the beginning of the end for the network that gave us smart contracts, ICOs, ERC-20 tokens, DeFi, yield farming, NFTs and, to be honest, the entire idea that blockchain was a multi-functional and era-shaping technological breakthrough that you ignored at your peril.

How things have changed. On Monday Ethereum blasted through the US$3000 mark like it was barely there, throwing on an extra 15% while it was at it. The network is now worth a shade under US$400 billion, putting it on par with Mastercard and Walmart, and officially making Vitalik Buterin, the 27-year-old prodigy who created Ethereum, a bona fide billionaire. So, is this how the Flippening begins?

Network to net worth

Due to the speed with which things move in crypto, we tend to underestimate some of the metrics that actually speak to a technology’s success. The new shiny thing is almost always more exciting than some dusty old contraption built in the positively prehistoric year of 2015. Did they even have electricity back then?

But Ethereum stands out from almost all other blockchains in that it’s already being used, at scale, by millions of people and companies. While that may seem like Business 101 – get more customers, be more successful – when it comes to blockchain usage is a particularly powerful factor because of the way it harnesses network effects to improve the value of the system itself. Use it more and the whole system becomes more valuable, both financially and practically, for the network’s users, miners, stakers, investors and developers. Oh, and Vitalik, of course.

How far we’ve come

Ethereum’s issue has always been its inability to scale. If you can’t handle hundreds or even thousands of transactions a second, then you’re not really fit for purpose as a global computer. The result for Ethereum has been a year of increasing network congestion and brutally high transaction fees. Yet the fact that so much continues to be built and transacted on Ethereum tells you exactly how strong these network effects already are.

There’s also an increasing focus on three major changes to the Ethereum network due to arrive before the end of the year:

  • EIP-1559: Lifts one of DeFi’s major innovations in the field of ‘tokenomics’ by implementing a token burn system on every transaction. You use the Ethereum network, you burn some ETH, never to be seen again.
  • Optimism: due for a full launch in July, the Optimism sidechain should significantly improve the speed of Ethereum by leveraging largely incomprehensible processes such as ZK-Rollups and Sharding. It’s already being used by the Synthetix protocol, where it has saved users over $10 million dollars in transaction fees.
  • Ethereum 2.0: This is the big one, Ethereum’s transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake. It’s been coming for years, but the importance of the change cannot be overstated. Already more than 4 million Ethereum are being staked on the Ethereum 2.0 contract, offering an insight into how much ETH might fall out of circulation once the entire thing goes live (potentially in November).

In short, Ethereum is just getting started. The price might seem gaspingly high right now, but remember that Ethereum isn’t trying to be Walmart or Mastercard. It wants to be the thing that Walmart and Mastercard are built on – and that’s a prospect worth having a stake in.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blog.coinjar.com/all-eyes-on-ethereum/

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Revolut app announces Bitcoin withdrawals… within limits

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Europe’s leading financial app Revolut has finally enabled Bitcoin withdrawals four years after it first provided crypto trading services to some users, and a year after it extended trading to all 7 million users worldwide.

Revolut first added Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum trading for premium users back in 2017, however they have only been able to withdraw it as fiat until now.

The financial tech firm announced today the beta launch of Bitcoin withdrawals with exclusive access first given to its U.K.-based top-tier Metal customers. Revolut also plans to roll out withdrawals worldwide — it has users in the U.S., Australia and elsewhere — and to other client tier-bases in the future.

The move follows a similar pathway to Paypal which launched U.S. crypto trading in late 2020, with many noting at time that coins bought on the platform would not be able leave.

To begin with, Revolut users will be able to add three external addresses and withdraw between 500 to 1,000 pounds a month, with Revolut also introducing two-factor authentication to ease security concerns.

Nik Storonsky, Founder and CEO at Revolut, noted that users had demanded withdrawals:

“Crypto withdrawals have been a heavily requested feature within Revolut’s crypto community and we’re delighted that we can begin the gradual process of rolling it out. Customers can lock down wherever they feel safest — whether it’s Revolut, into hot or cold storage, or to another exchange.”

“This is just the start of a long list of new crypto features we plan to launch so we can offer customers one of the best crypto products on the market,” he added.

Revolut is a London based firm that offers its clients’ bank accounts, debit cards, currency exchange, commission-free stock trading, crypto exchange, and foreign exchange services. The app supports customers across Europe, Canada, Singapore, Japan, the United States, and Australia.

In response to the global pandemic, the digital banking app rolled out crypto services for all standard users in April 2020.

Despite Revolut’s interest in cryptocurrency, Kraken expressed difficulties in working with the firm in September 2020, listing Revolut as one of the cloud banking services that did not process deposits or withdrawals from the U.S. exchange.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/revolut-app-announces-bitcoin-withdrawals-within-limits

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Undeterred By Central Bank Scare Tactics Crypto Trading Is Booming In India

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According to a local media source, crypto trading in India is on the rise. This comes as the Indian government is mulling over a ban on private digital currencies, which they say is necessary to protect investors. But, based on the rising popularity of local crypto exchanges, it appears that people remain unfazed.

India Proposes Crypto Ban

Talk of a crypto ban in India has been ongoing since 2018. Back then, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sought to turn the taps off by stopping financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies.

“In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling [virtual currencies].”

But the country’s Supreme Court overturned this ruling in March 2020 because it was deemed unconstitutional. Although many saw this as a victory for common sense, that victory was short-lived.

The start of 2021 saw the introduction of a sovereign digital currency bill. It laid out the framework for a central bank digital currency while also stipulating a ban on private cryptocurrency. The move was met with a massive backlash.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman later responded by saying they have no intention to close down all options. Adding that the government is open to the idea of windows of experimentation.

“From our side, we are very clear we’re not shutting all options off. We will allow a certain amount of, a window for people to use, so that experiments in blockchain, Bitcoin, or whatever you may want to call it.”

What this means exactly has yet to be determined. But, it’s reported that failure to comply could result in jail terms of up to 10 years.

India’s Leading Exchange Reporting Record Volume

Despite the uncertain regulatory situation, India’s biggest exchange, WazirX, is enjoying record business.

Last month, it recorded its highest-ever daily trading volume at $419 million. At the start of 2021, this figure stood at just $17 million. Add to that a doubling of users, from one million to two million, in the first quarter of 2021, and it seems as though Indian investors have not lost their appetite for crypto.

daily crypto trading volume on WazirX

Source: nomics.com

However, in a throwback to 2018’s RBI ban on financial institutions dealing with crypto, reports have emerged today that banks are blocking the payment gateways of cryptocurrency exchanges. WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty pointed out that current legislation does not prohibit banks from dealing with crypto businesses.

“It’s not fair that the crypto industry has a clear go-ahead from the Supreme Court of India, and yet banks deny banking to the industry.”

Bitcoin-bull Anthony Pompliano recently said that banning Bitcoin will backfire considering there is no single point of failure. He added that embracing crypto will be more beneficial from an economic prosperity point of view.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/news/undeterred-by-central-bank-scare-tactics-crypto-trading-is-booming-in-india/

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