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Exchanges suffer as Chinese users chase DeFi gains

Chinese demand for DeFi is surging, with local exchanges reportedly struggling under the weight of withdrawals destined for yield farming protocols.

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Despite the recent sell-off quickly wiping $2 billion from the total value locked in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, Chinese demand for DeFi appears to be growing.

Daily searches for ‘DeFi’ on the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat spiked to a new all-time high on September 2 of nearly 900,000 — nearly doubling the previous record of 500,000.

On September 7, Chinese journalist Colin Wu reported that many local exchanges were suffering from liquidity issues amid wholesale withdrawal from customers looking to cycle funds into DeFi protocols.

Wu posted charts indicating that many Chinese traders who bought the recent drop in the price of Ether (ETH) had quickly moved to transfer their assets to decentralized exchanges (DEX) for yield farming.

He reports that in response many exchanges have suspended withdrawal services, escalating tensions and giving way to the emergence of a popular “coin withdrawal campaign:”

Wu speculated that the increased prevalence of “crazy” DeFi coins among Chinese exchanges is a defensive measure intended to prevent the migration of capital onto decentralized exchanges.

Adding to the evidence of surging local interest, Chinese crypto reporter ‘Molly’ tweeted on September 2 that DeFi was finally starting to catch on with local investors who have been pooling funds to establish a “farming fund,” adding that “many people are planning their own projects.”

The record spike in WeChat searches coincided with the recent all-time high for the total value of assets locked in the DeFi sector, which fell from $9.5 billion on September 2 to roughly $7.5 billion on September 6, according to DeFi Pulse. Searches for ‘DeFi’ on WeChat also dropped back to 450,000 over the same period.

As of this writing, the DeFi sector holds $8.1 billion. Uniswap is the top-ranking protocol with $1.57 billion, followed by Aave with $1.37 billion, and MakerDAO with $1.29 billion.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/exchanges-suffer-as-chinese-users-chase-defi-gains

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Analyst tells Tesla to dump Bitcoin for buybacks as shares plunge alongside MSTR’s

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A former equities CIO of Goldman Sachs drew an strong response on Twitter after suggesting Tesla should sell its Bitcoin and buy back company shares.

The price of TSLA shares have fallen 28% from $863.42 to $621.44, since news broke on Feb. 8 that Tesla had made a $1.5 billion BTC acquisition.

MicroStrategy’s shares have fared even worse in the short term. The company, which is headed by Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor and just completed its latest acquisition of $15 million in BTC on Mar. 3, is now down 50% from its all-time high of $1,315 from Feb. 9.

Tesla’s share market woes are likely due to a number of factors. In early February, it was reported that Tesla had been reprimanded by the Chinese government over quality control issues after receiving consumer complaints. The broader stock market has also experienced volatility, with the S&P 500 down 4.1% in the last 30 days. 

But the tweet from longtime Tesla analyst Gary Black, who has several decades of financial management experience, sparked a debate on whether Tesla’s purchase of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin last month had benefited investors.

“I don’t want them buying back stock,” said Twitter user Techgnostik. “I want them investing in growth, and making another billion on their BTC position.”

Black countered by suggesting TSLA would also draw inclusion by more fund managers with a share buyback program, considering it of greater value to the investor than buying BTC “with excess cash.”

Some users on Twitter agreed that a stock buyback seemed to be a more appropriate use of funds, while others felt too much attention was being paid to what Tesla did with 8% of their cash reserves.

It’s not easy to ascertain the impact buying Bitcoin has had on a company’s bottom line. While MicroStrategy’s share price has halved in a month, shares of MSTR are still up 340%, (from $146.63 to $645.66), since the company announced its first purchase of 21,454 BTC on Aug. 11, 2020. The price of BTC is currently up 310% from the same date.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/analyst-tells-tesla-to-dump-bitcoin-for-buybacks-as-shares-plunge-alongside-mstr-s

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BitGo To Introduce Crypto Custodial Services To New York Clients

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Digital asset trust company, BitGo has added another feather to its cap. The company announced today that it has received a Trust Charter that will enable it to operate as an independent qualified custodian in the United States’ commercial hub, New York. The license was issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Go, BitGo

California-based digital asset solutions provider, BitGo has expanded its horizon. It will now render cryptocurrency custodial services to New York-based institutional clients. The news was confirmed after the state’s Department of Financial Services issued the New York Trust charter to the company.

The news reiterates the company’s motive to exhaust the possibilities of the new financial landscape. It announced in December last year that it had over $16 billion in assets in its custody. With the surge in institutional interest, BitGo now has its eyes set on the world’s financial and commercial epicenter. Speaking on the latest milestone, BitGo CEO Mike Belshe said:

“We are extremely proud to receive the approval for a trust charter from NYDFS to serve the world’s premier financial organizations that are based in New York State. The past year has been exceptional for BitGo and the digital asset markets overall, primarily due to the influx of large financial services institutions that bring a new level of credibility, liquidity and stability to the crypto ecosystem.”

The license will enable New York’s premier institutions to key into the digital revolution while staying within the state’s regulatory framework. BitGo’s list of reputable partners adds an extra layer of trust. It claims to be backed by Goldman Sachs, Craft Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Redpoint Ventures, and Valor Equity Partners.

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What’s In Store?

BitGo intends to go all-in for its prospective clients. Asides from its fully secured custodial services, it outlined several benefits of the New York Trust.

It will adopt a sophisticated, independently verified system control – SOC 2 Type 2. The SOC 2 Type 2 compliance records how a company safeguards customer’s data. This system control type verifies compliance with standard procedures and often gives a competitive edge.

Prospective clients will benefit from BitGo’s “comprehensive insurance coverage,” which it says covers up to $100 million in digital assets. Its multi-signature technology is yet another selling point.

New York – The New Crypto Hub?

The city of New York is becoming a destination for mainstream cryptocurrency companies. This week, leading blockchain sports and entertainment platform, ChiliZ announced that it would set up an office in New York.

Perhaps this is fueled by the state’s unwavering efforts to maintain a regulated framework that attracts investment and prioritizes asset protection. The New York Financial Services Law, which was enacted five years ago, necessitates the regulation of companies in the digital asset space. The state’s Department of Financial Services approved the sale and trading of eight cryptocurrencies in August last year.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitgo-to-introduce-crypto-custodial-services-to-new-york-clients/

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Co-founder of Floyd Mayweather-promoted ICO sentenced to 8 years

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Sohrab Sharma, the co-founder of the notorious celebrity-spruiked initial coin offering of 2017, Centra Tech, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his leading role in the fraudulent scheme that duped investors out of more than $25 million.

Shama had previously pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, and mail fraud for material misrepresentations made by him and his co-conspirators to solicit investors to participate in the scheme.

United States attorney, Ilan Graff, described Sharma as having “led a scheme to deceive investors by falsely claiming that the start-up he co-founded had developed fully functioning, cutting-edge cryptocurrency-related financial products.”

“In reality, Sharma’s most notable inventions were the fake executives, fake business partnerships, and fake licenses that he and his co-conspirators touted to trick victims into handing over tens of millions of dollars.”

The court found that Sharma and co-defendants Robert Farkas and Raymond Trapani founded Centra around July 2017, claiming that the firm offered a crypto debit card and other digital asset-related products. The group conducted an ICO from July 2017 until October 2017, distributing unlicensed securities in the form of CTR tokens.

To promote the offering, the group issued materials falsely claiming the team had partnerships with Visa, Mastercard, and Bancorp, money transmitter licensing in 38 U.S. states, along with an entirely fictional CEO boasting more than 20 years experience in the banking sector and a master’s degree from Harvard University.

While the team raised $25 million at the completion of the ICO, authorities found those crypto assets were worth more than $60 million at certain times during 2018.

The U.S. Marshals Service seized 100,000 Ether from Centra which it sold for roughly $33.4 million earlier this year. The proceeds will be made available to potential use in a remission program to compensate victims of the fraud.

Sharma was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit more than $36 million.

In December, Centra co-founder Robert Farkas was sentenced to one year in prison for his role in the scheme. Trapani has also pleaded guilty.

Celebrities DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather, who promoted the offering on social media in 2017, agreed to six-figure settlements without admitting to wrongdoing in 2019 after Centra’s investors filed a lawsuit against the pair.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/co-founder-of-floyd-mayweather-promoted-ico-sentenced-to-8-years

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