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Tether’s Bank Says It Invests Customer Funds in Bitcoin

Deltec Bank & Trust announced it had invested customer funds in bitcoin since the cryptocurrency’s price was around $9,300.

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Deltec, Tether’s Bahamas-based bank, announced Thursday it was investing customer funds in bitcoin.

The announcement, made by Deltec Bank & Trust Chief Investment Officer Hugo Rogers during a year-in-review video, raises new questions about whether the dollar-pegged USDT stablecoin, which is in theory backed by cash and “cash equivalents,” as well as “other assets and receivables made by loans,” is actually backed in any way by bitcoin.

“We bought bitcoin for our clients at about $9,300 so that worked very well through 2020 and we expect it to continue working well in 2021 as the printing presses continue to run hot,” Rogers said in the video.

Through a spokesperson, Tether general counsel Stuart Hoegner confirmed that Deltec is still the stablecoin issuer’s bank.

Deltec made headlines in 2018 after Tether published a letter from the bank announcing that it held a little over $1.8 billion, which roughly lined up with the amount of USDT in circulation at the time.

A Deltec executive later confirmed that the letter, which was unsigned, was authentic.

The next year, the New York Attorney General’s office revealed that Bitfinex, Tether’s sister company through shared ownership and executives, had lost close to $1 billion after its payment processors’ bank accounts were frozen and funds seized. Bitfinex had been covering up the losses by borrowing from Tether’s reserves, which are meant to back the stablecoins it has in circulation.

The companies are currently under an injunction to cease any further loan activities between themselves, though this injunction is set to expire on Jan. 15.

Tether issuance has been on a tear since the injunction was first handed down, and some $25 billion in USDT are currently in circulation. Bitcoin’s price, which some academics and investors allege is buoyed by USDT issuance, has broken new highs, rising past $40,000 per coin as well in recent months.

UPDATE (Jan. 14, 2021, 23:50 UTC): Adds context and links.

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/tethers-bank-says-it-invests-customer-funds-in-bitcoin

Blockchain

Coin Metrics Report Details Surges in ETH, Doge Trading

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Digital currency research firm Coin Metrics has released a new report claiming that bitcoin is beginning to lag when compared with the likes of competing altcoins such as Ethereum and Dogecoin.

Coin Metrics: Altcoins Are Taking Over

While bitcoin is still the world’s number one digital currency by market cap (it is currently trading for about $35,000 per unit), the asset has experienced some serious dips over the past month, while by contrast, Dogecoin and Ethereum have exhibited gains and are regularly moving up the digital ladder.

Coin Metrics garnered much of the information for its report by looking at data from Binance, arguably the largest and most popular crypto exchange on the planet in terms of daily trading volume. Additional statistics were gathered from exchanges such as Coinbase and FTX. Coin Metrics points out that thus far, 2021 has been the year for “smaller altcoins,” suggesting that a great many of them have surged heavily between the months of January and early May. From there, however, a serious crypto crash has taken precedence, with Coin Metrics unable to pinpoint what, exactly, might have been the cause.

For the most part, numerous altcoin pairs are offered on Binance, which explains why the company’s trading volume for many of the world’s smaller assets likely overtook that of bitcoin. The report says:

ETH volume surpassed BTC volume on Coinbase by a wider margin than on Binance. Coinbase did not offer Dogecoin trading in May (although they introduced it in early June), so it did not have a Doge rush similar with Binance, but it did have a relatively high amount of volume for some other altcoins, led by MATIC, ADA and Ethereum Classic (ETC)… Continuing the trend, ETH volume edged out BTC on FTX, although not by much, but comparatively, the top altcoins made up a lower percentage of total volume on FTX than on Binance and Coinbase.

Some of the world’s smaller exchanges – such as Huobi – also saw Ethereum and Dogecoin trading surge to levels beyond what people were doing with bitcoin. The report continues to say:

Similar with Binance, DOGE volume surged on Huobi, taking the spot as the third most traded currency by volume.

Bitcoin Hasn’t Been Fully Cut Out Yet

The only place – according to the document – where bitcoin trading appears to remain dominant at the time of writing is the CME in Chicago, Illinois. The company delves in bitcoin futures trading and has recently opened the door to ETH futures, though this is still in its early stages. Coin Metrics writes:

The markets continued to move mostly sideways over the last week. Bitcoin and Ethereum usage both stayed relatively flat, with daily active addresses dropping 2.5 percent and growing by 3.3 percent, respectively. Ethereum daily transaction fees dropped by over 35 percent week over week as gas prices continued to fall, and bitcoin transaction fees followed a similar pattern, dropping by 40.5 percent.

Tags: bitcoin, Coin Metrics, dogecoin, Ethereum Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.livebitcoinnews.com/coin-metrics-report-details-surge-in-eth-doge-trading/

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How will the drop in this metric affect UNI, CAKE, SUSHI, AAVE?

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Bitcoin maximalists are currently gaining from the dropping altcoin market capitalization. Another group in on that is DeFi project traders and HODLers. This weekend, the altcoin market capitalization dropped further. In the past 7 days, the altcoin market capitalization has dropped along with a drop in altcoin prices. BNB, ADA, DOGE, XRP, DOT and CRV have dropped and this has increased the accumulation, investment inflow.

Low marketcap projects have offered high returns over the past 7 days. There are several factors supporting this narrative. Increasing trade volume of DeFi projects has increased in proportion to altcoin market cap. The demand across exchanges has increased and there is an increase in the number of unique wallet addresses and TVL. This may change the narrative of DeFi to bullish.

High market cap projects may lead to the increase in demand and investment inflow proportionate to the interest of their users. The low market cap projects continue to face a correction when traders exit. The drop in altcoin market capitalization has a direct impact on DeFi users.

Is the diminishing altcoin market capitalization bullish for DeFi

Source: DuneAnalytics

The diminishing altcoin market capitalization has had a direct impact on the investment inflow, the number of traders and the demand across exchanges. This is bullish for DeFi projects as the rising number of users and the metrics related to number of trades, wallets and users indicate a growing interest, investment, institutional investment inflow and growth in DeFi market capitalization.

With the rise in the number of DeFi projects, there is a surge interest from institutions. With the upcoming biggest smart contract event of the year, it is likely that DeFi projects like UNI, CAKE, SUSHI, AAVE that haven’t rallied in the past 2 weeks would rally following increasing demand and popularity, social media mentions.

When the average price chart of these projects is observed, and they are ranked in accordance to their ranking of growth in Active users, there is a strong correlation between users and market capitalization. AAVE, UNI, SUSHI have ranked the highest. Though ranking does not have a direct correlation with social volume and price, it has increased following drop in altcoin market capitalization. This builds a bullish case for DeFi in the following two weeks.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/how-will-the-drop-in-this-metric-affect-uni-cake-sushi-aave

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Bitcoin Taproot upgrade finally achieves activation lock-in!

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The much-anticipated Bitcoin Taproot upgrade passed the Speedy Trial, which was a signaling period which gauged support for the upgrade from bitcoin’s mining sector. Since SegWit, Taproot has been touted as the next significant upgrade for Bitcoin.

Data from Taproot.watch, a webpage created by Bitcoin developer Hampus Sjöberg, released an interesting yet hilarious video to announce the completion of the lock-in stage.

On the official page, it read:

“This period has reached 1815 Taproot signaling blocks, which are required for lock-in.”

Different mining pools tweeted their support for the upgrade on their respective platforms with Slush Pool being the first to do so.

AntPool also supported the upgrade.

What’s next?

Bitcoin core developer Pieter Wuille further elaborated on the path leading to the full activation step for Taproot in a series of tweets. He stated:

“As of block 687284, Taproot signalling has reached 1815 blocks this period, guaranteeing that absent very deep reorgs, it is guaranteed to lock in. Following that, it will activate at block 709632, probably around mid-November 2021.”

He also addressed that ‘there is a lot of work left of course’, which included:

a) PSBT extensions to communicate Taproot keys/scripts/signatures,

b) MuSig2 standardization so the software can cooperate in signing,

c) Output descriptors,

Why is it so important?

Fred Thiel, CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings stated:

“With this upgrade, you’ll see Bitcoin to be the settlement network. Funds are transferred from one institution to another, say one bank to another.”

He added,

“The update would lower the data size of smart contracts, in turn lowering transaction costs. Taproot is also expected to enhance smart contract functionality and efficiency.”

Jeremy Rubin, a Bitcoin Core contributor and founder of Judica projected a similar optimistic narrative,

“With taproot, you get optimization of Bitcoin, much different from how people know Bitcoin today- little too inefficient or reveal too much information about what you’re trying to do. Taproot helps to be private and efficient.”


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-taproot-upgrade-finally-achieves-activation-lock-in

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