When is the last time a bank put customer needs, security and open access to all first?
David Kinitsky, Kraken Bank CEO, outlined eight reasons why consumers need a customized banking structure that modernizes the products and services we all utilize on a daily basis.
To design the blockchain-based system that will be “more secure than traditional payment processing technologies,” Michael Giorgio was brought on as Chief Operating Officer of Kraken Bank where he will spearhead a forward-thinking team.
Last September when we first announced Kraken Bank, the Wyoming legislature had provided a pioneer framework to reimagine financial services. Michael sees that framework empowering his vision to “provide an additional level of comfort and safety for our customers.”
For the better part of the past two decades, Michael has built and led teams at commercial banks including Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Laurel Road Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, Connex Credit Union and Quorum Federal Credit Union.
Through that work, Michael discovered the limitations of the traditional financial services system. Digital assets captured his imagination and he recognized that Kraken Bank could actualize the potential of this technology.
Michael and the team are currently building out the Kraken Bank infrastructure as well as ensuring all of the necessary regulatory approvals are in place. A smooth transition for all clients and a safe experience for all customers is our first priority.
Please enjoy the following interview!
You’ve worked at community banks for nearly 20 years. What do you think works about the current system? What are some areas that need improvement? What do you think prepares you for this opportunity?
One of the biggest challenges that banks face today is the continued use of legacy technology stacks, in particular their core banking platform. It’s clunky for the staff to use, the UI lacks customization and integration with third party or custom build systems is less than ideal.
This becomes a major expense in maintenance and support just to “keep the lights on.”
I have learned that in order to be successful, carefully architecting a newer technology stack (API’s, custom configuration, open banking e.t.c.) becomes a key area of focus. The regulatory burden faced by many organizations only continues to increase. By keeping technology operating maintenance costs down allows you to remain competitive and profitable.
What attracted you to the cryptocurrency industry?
I think the inherent security and decentralized processing built into blockchain technology can potentially become more secure than traditional payment processing technologies.
Put simply, cryptocurrency is the future. Within traditional banking, I didn’t see as many opportunities to offer unique products and services to my clients. Now, I’ve stepped into a new world that is looking to bridge the gap between traditional and non-traditional financial products. It’s incredibly interesting to me. Even in recent months, you can see how relevant and mainstream cryptocurrency is becoming with major companies taking large investment positions in assets like Bitcoin.
What do you think is the simplest and quickest way to explain cryptocurrency to an acquaintance that knows little about them?
Cryptocurrency is a global form of money that can be exchanged for goods and services and has the same value wherever you are. It gives you the freedom to send and receive money peer-to-peer without government intervention. Simply put, it’s digital money without the need of a centralized authority.
Cryptocurrencies are non-sovereign and reduce settlement times from days down to minutes. They allow for cross-border transactions without the need to involve costly intermediaries for conversion or transaction. Most of all, it is auditable. When you utilize a reputable exchange, you can verify and backtrack the origins as well as destination of the money.
Give the audience your elevator pitch – why should people join Kraken and embrace crypto asset banking?
Globally, Kraken has nearly 7 million clients and has been running a reputable and secure exchange for more than 10 years. We are a company that continues to evolve and stay apprised of an ever-changing landscape to protect your hard earned assets and your confidential information. Security is our culture. Couple this with our seasoned client experience reps and you’ll find we are truly a best-in-class digital asset exchange provider.
Kraken Bank will provide a simplistic on- and off-ramp from traditional fiat to digital currency positioning us as the most well-rounded financial services provider in the marketplace. Banks are heavily regulated at both a state and federal level; the oversight and risk management framework built into our bank to comply with state/federal law will provide an additional level of comfort/safety for our customers.
What are your thoughts on the regulatory framework around cryptocurrencies?
We are pleased to work within a regulated environment; I come from traditional banking where adhering to state and federal regulations are in practice to protect our most valuable asset, our clients. In my opinion, regulation will help scale adoption especially with institutions that need that compliance framework and with people who are still on the fence about crypto. When someone wants to learn more about this new space, a strong regulatory framework projects confidence for consumers and institutions. Embracing the framework around digital assets will only help continue to propel its trajectory. To the moon!
To get the latest updates on Kraken Bank, sign up here.
Want to help? Kraken and Kraken Bank are actively hiring, with new jobs posted periodically on the company’s careers page. If you don’t see a role at the bank that’s right for you today, stay tuned for more listings soon!
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says he would forever work to make bitcoin better.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressed his support for the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin on his microblogging platform Twitter, in response to a tweet by the Square chief financial officer, Amrita Ahuja. “Our bitcoin strategy hasn’t changed. We’re deeply committed to this community, including working towards a greener future through our Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative,” Ms Ahuja wrote on Twitter. These comments came a few days after Elon Musk’s Tesla suspended bitcoin payments.
#bitcoin changes *everything*…for the better.
And we will forever work to make bitcoin better. https://t.co/wssrF2U0P0
— jack (@jack) May 14, 2021
Square’s Bitcoin asset is valued at $410m.
Square is a digital payments company founded by Twitter chief executive and Jim Kelvey and launched in 2020. The company valued at over $100 billion in 2020 is evaluating Bitcoin as an investment opportunity. Square has purchased a total of $220 million Bitcoin to date. Its Bitcoin asset is valued at $410m. Bitcoin was trading at $48,523.20 on Saturday and is down 13 percent over the past five days since Tesla announced to drop the cryptocurrency as a payment method. “Square is doing exactly this for bitcoin with @SqCrypto,” Jack Dorsey had tweeted last year.
Tesla suspends the bitcoin payment option citing environmental reasons.
Less than two months after Elon Musk had announced to accept the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin payments for Tesla vehicles, the company discontinued its support. Elon Musk announced that the reason they are suspending bitcoin payments is because of environmental concerns. Bitcoin mining uses specialized computers that use massive energy for the process of mining. However, Tesla would continue to retain bitcoin holdings that it acquired sometime in January this year. The leading electric car maker had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins earlier this year, sending the price of the leading cryptocurrency to new highs.
What is Party Parrot Finance?
Party Parrot Finance is a non-custodial lending market equipped with a Virtual Automated Market Maker (AMM).
From humble beginnings to today, decentralized finance (DeFi) has grown exponentially. Currently, billions of dollars of value are locked into numerous DeFi systems, which are being turned into different yield generating tokens, such as the Uniswap LP tokens, or the AAVE interest-bearing tokens.
For the most part, the values of LP tokens are locked in the many ecosystems that make up DeFi and are ultimately inaccessible to the crypto community. Unfortunately, the value locked in DeFi as LP tokens are unavailable to the larger blockchain community because their risks are non-transparent, and their units of account are unsuitable for human consumption.
Thankfully, The Party Parrot is fully equipped to deal with such inconvenience, and is supported by well-established networks such as Solana.
Although not much is known about the Party Parrot’s team, it is fair to imply that the Parrot ecosystem was designed and built to be scalable. The team behind the platform has shown great enthusiasm and expects the protocol to be among the top crypto solutions of its category within the market very soon.
Additionally, the team has expressed its vision of a world with full-scale blockchain adoption, where all crypto or blockchain-related solutions ought to possess the following attributes, ensuring that as the world’s technology grows, the blockchain’s throughput grows as well.
Here are some of its perks:
- Ability to process tens of thousands of trades per second and hundreds of thousands of orders per second
- Ability to process 10 billion social media interactions per day, which is around 100k per second
- Gas costs of less than $0.001
- Scaling with the world
- Ability to process all submissions on a human-reaction-time scale.
What is Party Parrot Finance?
Built on the Solana blockchain network, Party Parrot is a non-custodial lending market equipped with a Virtual Automated Market Maker (AMM). In general, the platform seeks to leverage locked LP tokens by making their value accessible through its highly efficient liquidity and lending network.
Additionally, The Parrot protocol is furnished with a margin trading algorithm designed to enable value locked within DeFi accessible. The protocol relies primarily on LP tokens used as collateral for all operations within its ecosystem.
The blockchain venture is an ambitious attempt to further the expansion of DeFi worldwide. The team behind its protocol aims to disrupt the worldwide DeFi ecosystem through its very first product, the stablecoin PAI, which will be backed by LP tokens as collaterals. In return, this will incentivize all LP token holders to trade with each other confidently.
Party Parrot is set out to create a margin trading product or virtual AMM, where the PAI token would be used as a tool to benefit the whole Parrot community.
Furthermore, through the Parrot lending market, LP token holders can enjoy the full potential of their tokens, as they are given the possibility to benefit from their locked value by borrowing against lender liquidity.
Overall, The Party Parrot financial venture is a for-profit project; so, all goods and services within the platform come with fees. But innovatively, the team behind the protocol will use the fees collected to purchase back the PRT token as protocol incentives.
Across the platform, the fees are collected from stability fees from the stablecoin PAI, as well as borrow interests on the PAI supply. Additionally, the blockchain ecosystem will be able to strive off borrow fees from the lending market, liquidation penalties, And trading fees for the vAMM.
The project is set to be following the roadmap below, ensuring a smooth implementation of all products:
- 2021 Q2 April-June: Stablecoin with LP collaterals.
- 2021 Q3 Solana DeFi Summer: Crypto lending with LP collaterals.
- 2021 Q4 -2022-Q1： Margin trading with vAMM, using PAI.
Also built on the Solana blockchain ecosystem, the PAI stablecoin the Protocol’s very first product. Once fully operational, the token will play an important role within the platform’s ecosystem. Currently, the token is available on devnet for testing purposes and open to all crypto enthusiasts.
The PAI stablecoin will primarily be used to bridge LP tokens to Solana. It will also enable the staking of ETH and BTC tokens on an L1 swap where holders can earn LP yields. PAI holders will be able to also mint PAI, with LP tokens as collaterals, and buy BTC or ETH using PAI under the Serum ecosystem.
Party Parrot Tokens (PRT and gPRT)
PRT is the Parrot protocol utility token, while gPRT is the platform’s governance token.
The PRT token is responsible for all operations and transactions within the platform and currently has a total supply of 1,000,000,000, where 35% is locked as protocol incentives, 17.5% control by the team, 10% as the reserve, and 20% saved for the platform’s ecosystem and partnerships.
As for the gPRT token, it is used as a tool to further long-term participation in governance within the system. gPRT tokens will be given to all individuals who lock up their PRT tokens, where the longer the lockup period, the greater the amount of gPRT tokens are minted for the supply locked.
For every gPRT in an individual possession, additional voting power and protocol incentives boost are granted. The lockup periods range from 1 to 4 years, guaranteeing various benefits depending on the number of years, which is as follow:
- 1 year: 1x (gPRT1)
- 2 years: 1.5x (gPRT2)
- 3 years: 2x (gPRT3)
- 4 years: 4x (gPRT4)
The Party Parrot protocol is a dynamic implementation and combination of already existing solutions powered by the blockchain. The growing DeFi ecosystem has revealed the need for such a solution within the market.
The blockchain solution not only empowers users and token holders but also enables them to benefit from all the services on the platform. Furthermore, through the PRT and gPRT tokens, users can potentially grow to become huge actors within the Parrot ecosystem, allowing them to take part in decisions and processes that affect the platform directly and indirectly.
Party Parrot is a unique protocol and is on pace to have an echoing impact within the blockchain ecosystem for years to come and eventually become a leader within the DeFi space.
Bitcoin (BTC) Transactions Worth Over $1 Million Hit All-Time High As BTC Price Struggles to Hold at $50,000
The world’s largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) has been struggling under the $50,000 levels. After Tesla dropping BTC payments earlier this week, BTC registered more than a 15% price crash and is currently trading 3.64% down at $48,703 with a market cap of $911 billion.
On the other hand, Bitcoin (BTC) whale transactions have been ascending steeply. As per on-chain data provider Santiment, the Bitcoin whale transactions over $1 million are approaching another all-time high.
🐳 #Bitcoin is still dancing around the $50k psychological support, and traders are reacting to the potential of trading in the $40k’s once again this weekend. Our data indicates that the amount of whale transactions over $1m is staying historically high. https://t.co/gkaG8cFFHS pic.twitter.com/FLnHohNfag
— Santiment (@santimentfeed) May 15, 2021
CryptoQuant CEO Ki-Young Ju recently noted that long-term Bitcoin investors don’t need to worry since most of the institutional investors in the U.S. have purchased it above $50,000 levels. However, he noted that derivative traders have to be careful in the short term since the number of whale deposits on the exchange has been increasing.
If you’re a long-term $BTC investor, don’t worry. Your portfolio is the same as institutional investors in the States.
If you’re a derivative trader, be careful in the short term. (Relatively speaking) whales are depositing $BTC to exchanges.
— Ki Young Ju 주기영 (@ki_young_ju) May 14, 2021
Earlier today, Chinese crypto analyst Wu Blockchain noted that Bitcoin’s dominance in the overall crypto space has dropped to under 40% for the very first time in three years. This happens as altcoins continue to gain strength over the world’s largest crypto.
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) May 15, 2021
A Look Into the Institutional Positions In Bitcoin (BTC)
Over the last few months, institutional buying in Bitcoin has continued mostly at levels around $55,000. As Wu Blockchain notes institutions that have purchased Bitcoin after March are currently under losses with the recent BTC price crash. However, one Chinese firm Meitu has managed to offset these losses by purchasing a good quantity in Ethereum (ETH).
In March 2021, Meitu announced the purchase of an additional 16,000 $ETH for $28.4 million and 386 $BTC for $21.6 million. This makes Meitu the first public listed firm to invest heavily in Ethereum (ETH). Wu Blockchain writes:
“Institutions that bought Bitcoin after March have suffered losses due to the recent sharp drop. However, the Chinese listed company Meitu took out more funds to invest in Ethereum in April, so it gained 3x the income, offsetting the losses caused by Bitcoin”.
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