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Exchange tokens rally ahead of next week’s long-awaited Coinbase IPO

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Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges (CEX) have received increased attention over the past couple of months as excitement builds over Coinbase’s April 14 NASDAQ listing and the exchange’s recent announcement that it pulled in $1.8 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2021. 

Even as decentralized finance (DeFi) and popular decentralized exchanges (DEX) like Uniswap (UNI) and PancakeSwap (CAKE) attracted investors, high transaction costs and low liquidity on separate blockchain networks means that many crypto traders stick with CEXs for lower trading costs and the sense of security they offer. 

While Bitcoin, DeFi tokens and a selection of altcoins have garnered most of the media’s attention, exchange tokens have quietly amassed impressive gains over the past few months.

KCS/USDT vs. BNB/USDT vs. WRX/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Four exchange tokens that have seen significant gains of late are Binance Coin (BNB), KuCoin Token (KCS), FTX Token (FTT) and WazirX (WRX).

BNB/USDT

Binance continues to be the most dominant cryptocurrency exchange in the sector and that strength has been reflected in the growth of its native BNB token which has climbed 875% since Feb. 1 due in part to the rise of the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

BNB/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

As the Ethereum (ETH) network continues to struggle with congestion and high transaction costs, BSC emerged to capitalize on the situation by offering low-cost fixed transactions that are paid with BNB.

This added layer of functionality for BNB has significantly increased demand for the token as it powers the Binance DeFi ecosystem and PancakeSwap DEX which is now the fourth-largest DeFi platform by total value locked according to data from Defi Llama.

Total value locked on PancakeSwap. Source: Defi Llama

With signs that trading volumes across the cryptocurrency are on the rise, there is a strong possibility that BNB will see further upside as the Binance ecosystem continues to expand and the Etheruem network continues to face difficulties with scalability and high fees.

KCS/USDT

KuCoin exchange was established in 2017 and operates out of the Seychelles. Similar to BNB, volumes for KuCoin Token (KCS) began to pick up in early February as the bull market began to gather steam.

KCS/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Since Feb. 1, the price of KCS has increased nearly 1,000% from a low of $1.17 to a high of $12.96 on April 8, its highest price since January 2018.

The exchange has capitalized on the growth of DeFi by quickly listing popular and newly released tokens that would otherwise only be available on Uniswap and SushiSwap.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for KCS on April 3, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. KCS price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for KCS began to climb on April 2 and reached a high of 79 on April 3, roughly 34 hours before the price began to rise 90% over the next three days.

FTT/USDT

FTT is the native token for the FTX derivatives exchange which was launched in May 2019 by Sam Bankman-Fried and Gary Wang. 

The token has received increased attention in 2021 partly due to its association with the Serum (SRM) decentralized exchange.

Since trading at a low of $5.68 on Jan. 2, the price of FTT has skyrocketed 750% to a new all-time high of $48.62 on April 8. FTT received an added boost on April 7 when FTX announced an official partnership with the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat.

FTT/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

As the FTX ecosystem grows by combining derivatives, centralized and decentralized finance offerings, FTT token could see further appreciation. The token’s utility and integration to FTX is quite similar to that of BNB, leading some analysts to suggest that FTT is undervalued. 

WRX/USDT

WazirX is a cryptocurrency exchange based in India that claims to be the fastest-growing crypto exchange in the country. The project is part of the Binance ecosystem, which helped start the exchange throughthe launch of a $50 million ‘Blockchain for India’ fund in March 2020.

Compared to other exchange tokens, WRX has been a slower mover in 2021 and price action for the token didn’t really get moving until early April when the platform revealed that it would launch a decentralized NFT marketplace.

Trading volume and token price for WRX began to pick up on March 29 when WRX traded around $0.50 and the subsequent announcement of the NFT marketplace on April 4 led to a surge in activity that lifted WRX price more than 1,200% to an all-time high of $6.65 on April 5.

WRX/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

As activity across the cryptocurrency sector increases and billions of dollars worth in stablecoins are minted and deposited on exchanges, CEX tokens are well-positioned to see further growth.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/exchange-tokens-rally-ahead-of-next-week-s-long-awaited-coinbase-ipo

Blockchain

Cardano Reaches All-Time High as Founder Pitches to Mark Cuban

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Cardano, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, reached a new all-time high on Sunday, one day after Charles Hoskinson engaged in a conversation with Mark Cuban around the topic of Cardano’s potential.

ADA, Cardano’s token, has gained more than 60% in value over the past 2 weeks according to CoinGecko data, reaching an ATH of $2.45 on May 16th at a time when projects using Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus protocols like Bitcoin experienced a steep drop in value.

Long seen as one of the biggest potential alternatives to the Ethereum network despite not having completed the development process, Cardano is now gaining traction as news of Tesla’s decision to stop accepting Bitcoin due to environmental concerns continue to affect projects relying on PoW.

While Ethereum will be transitioning to a Proof-of-Stake consensus protocol with the release of Ethereum 2.0, the network still uses a PoW approach that might have prevented it from being considered as a reliable alternative at this time.

This barrier should also be added to concerns about the ability of the network to escalate and operate efficiently at a time of high congestion.

Cardano’s latest releases provided developers and users with the option to create native tokens but the platform is still lacking smart contract features. The Alonzo update, which is expected to occur by the end of this month, will add smart contract support and open the doors for new uses of the network.

Hoskinson Pitches ADA to Mark Cuban Via Twitter

Mark Cuban, an American billionaire with a net worth estimated around $4.3 billion, has shown an increasing interest in cryptocurrencies such as DOGE and BTC over the past months.

The Dallas Maverick’s, an NBA team owned by Cuban, even started accepting the popular Shiba Inu-based cryptocurrency as a valid payment method for acquiring the team’s merchandise and tickets.

The entrepreneur started a Twitter discussion by asking his followers if they were” personally, able to use $ADA for anything?”, with thousands of followers quickly providing their opinions and retweeting his question.

One of such followers was Cardano’s Founder, Charles Hoskinson, who about an hour later replied with an invitation for Cuban to visit him in Colorado to chat about the project.

Hoskinson would later mention that the project has, “five million students in Ethiopia, thousands of assets issued on Cardano, a nice DApp ecosystem brewing for smart contract launch, a new VC model with catalyst, huge community.”

While Cuban seemed to find this information interesting and recognized Hoskinson’s status as an “ETH OG”, he also shared his belief that the platform was still not “there yet” in terms of applications while also mentioning the lack of smart contract functionality.

All Eyes are Set on the Alonzo Update

Like Mark Cuban, Cardano critics have been quick to point out that the network still lacks an essential aspect of blockchain technology: smart contract functionality.

This has made the Alonzo Hard Fork one of the most anticipated deployments for the network, as it will allow the network’s users to actually test the claims made by the project’s development team.

Hoskinson also Tweeted a 12-minute video in which he talked about the project’s history, goals, and status, directly addressing it to Cuban.

In the conversation with Cuban, Hoskinson replied to the concerns around Smart Contracts by tweeting:

“We rebuilt the entire smart contract model. It took four years to do it, but it’s necessary if you actually want security and scale. No more DAO hacks, less off-chain code. Consistent operating cost. Furthermore I want all devs not just solidity devs”

This smart contract model will finally be seen with the release of the Plutus Core in the Alonzo update, which the project’s developers assure will provide greater security and flexibility.

With Ethereum 2.0 also advancing on its development, the success of the Alonzo hard fork will prove to have an important impact on how the race between Ethereum and its competitors advances in the future.

Especially at a time when enterprises are paying more attention than ever to environmental-friendly alternatives to Ethereum and Bitcoin.

990

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://blockonomi.com/cardano-reaches-all-time-high-as-founder-pitches-to-mark-cuban/

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Blockchain

Crypto Companies Raised $2.5 B in First Quarter of 2021, the Highest Ever!

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2021 bull run has propelled Bitcoin, altcoins, and the whole ecosystem into the mainstream limelight as well as adoption. The growing demand for digital assets is evident from the number of mainstream financial firms adding support for cryptocurrencies as well as the number of crypto companies that have become a billion-dollar company after the latest funding round. The first quarter of 2021 saw crypto companies raise a combined capital of $2.5 billion the highest ever and nearly double of 2018 second-quarter total fundraise

Many of these crypto companies attracted funding from mainstream behemoths including Chainalysis whose valuation grew into billions after its latest funding round of $100 million that saw participation from TIME Magazine owner Marc Benioff. Apart from Chainalyis other crypto firms that raised capital to the tune of hundreds of millions in their latest funding round include BlockFi that raised a whopping $350 million in their Series D funding round and Blockchain.com which also raised $300 million to see its valuation grow to $5.2 billion.

Crypto Companies in High Demand

The multi-fold increase in valuation of several crypto companies along with the public listing of many others reflect the growing demand for not just digital assets but also for experienced service providers from the crypto space. Coinbase created history this April after it made its public debut on Nasdaq with an $80 billion-plus valuation and over 50 million registered users.

Apart from crypto companies growing demand in the mainstream market, many traditional financial firms and payment processing giants such as PayPal and Venmo with over 300 million and 70 million customer bases respectively. PayPal that was once a part of Facebook’s infamous Libra association also opened a crypto spending option for its customers across millions of its verified vendors. MasterCard and VISA have also added crypto payment support in one form or other, not to mention, only a few years back these payment processing giants were blocking crypto-related transactions via their platform.

Disclaimer
The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.
About Author
An engineering graduate, Prashant focuses on UK and Indian markets. As a crypto-journalist, his interests lie in blockchain technology adoption across emerging economies.

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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://coingape.com/crypto-companies-raised-2-5-b-in-first-quarter-of-2021-the-highest-ever/

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Blockchain

Bitcoin is more energy-efficient than Gold: Galaxy Digital Report

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A report from the diversified financial services firm Galaxy Digital has revealed that Bitcoin is more energy-efficient than Gold.

Digital assets investment firm Galaxy Digital has published a report detailing that Gold consumes more energy than Bitcoin. The report also notes that banking institutions average twice the energy consumption of the leading cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin has, in the past, been frequently weighed against different assets but none more than Gold. Some industry experts have even described it as the digital version of gold. However, there have been a lot of questions surrounding its energy consumption. Bitcoin’s carbon footprint in 2019 was so huge that it was compared to carbon emissions in the cities of Hamburg and Las Vegas by the Technical University of Munich.

On more than one occasion, the flagship cryptocurrency has been criticised by individuals and institutions that believe it is not energy efficient. The report from Galaxy Digital, however, seems to challenge these claims. It comes just a few days after Tesla announced it would no longer accept Bitcoin payments for its electric vehicles. The automaker cited concerns for its energy usage as rationale for the decision.

The report pointed out that while most people are eager to criticise Bitcoin, they hardly do the same to other financial industries and assets. Galaxy Digital explained that energy usage by the traditional financial industries was harder to assess because the institutions don’t submit data on electricity consumption.

The author of the report was keen to acknowledge that the Bitcoin network consumes a lot of energy, adding that the energy consumed was vital in making the network robust. According to the calculations presented by Galaxy Digital, Bitcoin consumes 113.89 TWh per year. To put this into context, the cumulative energy used by always-on devices annually in the US is estimated to be 1,375 TWh. Bitcoin’s annual electric consumption figure is about twelve times less.

In the case of Gold, the author managed to find a workaround for estimation by evaluating all the processes involved. The author arrived at a rough figure of 240.61 TWh/year, which is more than twice the figure recorded by Bitcoin.

The report considered various aspects for the banking industry, including Automated Teller Machines, card network data centers, banking data centers, and bank branches. Based on the analysis, the average power consumption was noted to be 238.92 TWh/year — slightly less than that of Gold.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://coinjournal.net/news/bitcoin-is-more-energy-efficient-than-gold-galaxy-digital-report/

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