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Stellar’s XLM Token Rallies to 2-Year High on XRP Woes, OCC Ruling, Ukraine

The token is at the highest level since November 2018 in what one observer called a “perfect storm.”

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Payments-focused Stellar blockchain’s native cryptocurrency XLM has surged to over two-year highs. One analyst says the rally is driven by rival cryptocurrency XRP’s misfortunes and the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) recent guidance on stablecoins.

XLM changed hands at $0.2990 at 11:00 UTC, the highest level since November 2018. The third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has doubled in value so far this week and has gained more than 50% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk 20 data.

Trading volumes have picked up, alongside the price rally. “Average volumes captured by the CF Benchmarks’ XLMUSD settlement price has more than doubled in the past 14 days,” Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks told CoinDesk. Price gains backed by an uptick in volumes are considered sustainable by chart analysts.

According to Denis Vinokourov, head of research at the London-based prime brokerage Bequant, XLM is enjoying a two-fold benefit at the expense of XRP, in part, because XLM is a modified fork of XRP.

On Dec. 22, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs, Ripple Labs, a San Francisco-based developer of the Ripple payment protocol and exchange network, for raising $1.3 billion over a seven-year period to retail investors through its sale of XRP. Since then, the price of XRP has halved to near $0.20 and the crypto community is speculating that funds are being rotated out of XRP into XLM.

Further, XLM seems to be benefitting from the U.S. OCC’s recent decision to allow U.S. banks to use public blockchains and dollar-backed stablecoins as a settlement infrastructure in the financial system, Vinokourov told CoinDesk in a Telegram chat, while adding that, “XRP is unlikely to benefit from in the meantime as it deals with the SEC case.”
In addition, XLM is continuing to rise following Stellar’s announcement earlier this week that it’s helping Ukraine develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Even though Ukraine has since downplayed the importance of Stellar’s role and that the XLM coin would play no part in the CBDC, it apparently hasn’t stopped some investors from buying the token.

“it was reported that the Ukrainian government selected the Stellar blockchain network to build its prospective CBDC, CF Benchmark’s Chung told CoinDesk. “This is turning into a perfect storm for XLM.” 

At press time, XLM is changing hands near $0.2850, and XRP is trading at $0.2290, down 3% on a 24-hour basis. Several cryptocurrency exchanges have delisted XRP since the SEC announced its lawsuit on Ripple. Further, Grayscale Investments has removed XRP from its large-cap crypto fund and and crypto fund manager Bitwise has liquidated its XRP holdings. Grayscale Investments is owned by CoinDesk’s parent company Digital Currency Group

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/stellars-xlm-token-rallies-to-2-year-high-on-xrp-woes-occ-ruling-ukraine

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Aave hits record $288 high as demand for flash loans and staking increases

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Aave (AAVE) price has been on an absolute tear for weeks and today the DeFi-token rallied to a new all-time high at $288.90. 

The decentralized finance protocol is one of the most popular in the market and the recent rally in the DeFi sector is one of the driving forces behind AAVE’s rally.

AAVE/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

At the start of 2021, AAVE price was trading at $83 and the recent rally appears to have bolstered the protocol’s surging total value locked, increasing buy volume on spot and derivatives exchanges and the continued development of Aave’s lending platform and flash loan issuance.

TVL soars to a new high

Data from DeFi Pulse shows that Aave’s TVL rose from $2.03 billion on Jan. 1 and as (BTC) and Ether (ETH) price went parabolic Aave’s TVL also surged.

Total value locked on AAVE. Source: DeFi Pulse

Currently, Aave’s TVL sits at a new all-time high of $3.75 billion, making the platform the second-largest DeFi platform by TVL behind Maker (MKR).

The steady addition of new tokens to the lending and borrowing protocol increases the likelihood that its TVL will continue to rise and help AAVE retain its standing as one of the top DeFi projects in the cryptocurrency space.

Staking drives demand for AAVE token

AAVE’s trading volume also surged at the beginning of 2021, increasing from $200 million on Jan. 3 to a high of $928 million on Jan. 16.

AAVE price vs. Reported trading volume. Source: TheTIE

As AAVE price reached a new high, it’s 24-hour trading volume notched a record $1.06 billion. This volume surge is partially driven by investors acquiring more tokens for staking, with 26.8% of the total supply of AAVE currently staked on the platform earning an APY of 6.1%

Flash loans attract investors

Another reason for AAVE’s recent surge is the growth of its flash loans.

Flash loans allow cryptocurrency holders to collatoralize their portfolio to fund other purchases or new crypto purchases. The loans also help investors utilize the value in their tokens without the need to sell see them and create a taxable event.

Since launching flash loans less than 12 months ago, more than $1.7 billion have been issued and it’s expected that this figure will increse as the crypto bull market progresses.

Total flash loan issuance to date on AAVE. Source: Messari

As can be seen in the chart above, the most dominant token requested for flash loans is the DAI stablecoin, followed by USDC and ETH. Data from Messari shows that Aave issued $25 million in loans in the first half of 2020, $500 million in Q3, and nearly $1 billion in Q4, including $450 million in December.

The expansion of the flash loan concept will likely attract more users to Aave, especially since they can be used for arbitrage opportunities between DEXs, collateral swaps, self-liquidations and a variety of other applications within the DeFi sector.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/aave-hits-record-288-high-as-demand-for-flash-loans-and-staking-increases

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Blockchain-based-video-game

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Ethereum and the broader cryptocurrency market have seen mixed price action over the past few days and weeks. Ethereum Price is Surging Despite the selling pressure it has experienced at $1,200, ETH beat all odds and surged beyond $1,400, recording a new all-time high at $1,423.38.  At press time, the…

Source: https://btcmanager.com/Blockchain-based%20video%20game%20community%20and%20development%20platform,%20Enjin%20(ENJ)%20witnesses%20the%20launch%20of%20the%20highly-anticipated%20dark%20sci-fi%20action-adventure%20game,%20Age%20of%20Rust./

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Cryptocurrency makes World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda

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The World Economic Forum’s upcoming Davos Agenda will feature two separate sessions on cryptocurrency, offering another compelling sign that digital assets have permeated mainstream consciousness. 

The sessions, titled Resetting Digital Currencies, will be held on Monday and Thursday. The first session will feature five public speakers, including Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union.

Thursday’s group features four speakers, including Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a senior minister for the government of Singapore, and Zhu Min, chairman of the Beijing-based National Institute of Financial Research.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the long-term shift from cash,” reads the prospectus for both sessions. “Meanwhile, central bank digital currencies are emerging, potentially transforming how people use money worldwide.”

It continues:

“What policies, practices and partnerships are needed to leverage the opportunities posed by the rise of digital currencies?”

Davos Agenda is a five-day summit featuring some of the world’s leading figures in finance and government. The cryptocurrency series falls under the summit’s “Fairer Economies” theme. Other themes include “Tech for Good,” “How to Save the Planet” and “Healthy Futures.”

The World Economic Forum is devoting more resources to understanding blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The Geneva-based organization has even created a cryptocurrency working group, which only last month published its inaugural review focusing on the various use cases for digital assets “beyond price and speculation.”

The Forum’s research has cited blockchain technology as a key driver of “sustainable digital finance.” Blockchain and smart contract capability, the Forum’s researchers argue, can unlock “hidden values of legacy digital systems.”

Central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, are one area of research the Forum has delved into over the past 18 months. In Jan 2020, the Forum announced it had developed a framework to help banks “evaluate, design and potentially deploy CBDC.” The framework was developed in conjunction with over 40 central banks, financial institutions and academic researchers.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/cryptocurrency-makes-world-economic-forum-s-davos-agenda

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