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Thursday Thoughts: Mastercard, Twitter, Amazon, and Celo

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Please share and grow the BitPinas community.

Good morning. Big companies are jumping into the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency train. Twitter is now considering to buy Bitcoin, which is not surprising. Elsewhere, Mastercard may soon allow payments settled in cryptocurrencies.

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts, part of our new series: BitPinas Daily. We will look at the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum and the major cryptocurrencies. Crypto is global, but sometimes news that matters happens while we sleep. So we bring to you what’s happening in our space here and abroad.   

Market Price as of February 11, 2021:

Bitcoin $44,849 -3.7%
Ethereum $1,739.16 -1.69%
Tether $1 +1%
DOT $23.53 +1.51%
XRP $0.503505 +7.13%
SLP $0.0331 +6.2%

Bitcoin closed February 10, 2021, at $44,849 per BTC. We’re up 19% in the last 7 days and up 53% since the year began. This is 6% below the previous all-time high of $48,025 which was hit on Feb 9. 2021.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization stands today at $829,865,986,934 which is 59% of the entire cryptocurrency market. The entire crypto market, by the way, now has a market cap of $1,388,766,397,360 (-2.3%).

On the table above, there’s the cryptocurrency SLP. If you wonder what that is, check out this article: Playing Axie Infinity vs Minimum Basic Salary in the Philippines.

Table of Contents.

Amazon

Amazon to Launch Digital Currency Project in Mexico

A series of job postings revealed that Amazon is launching this digital currency project in Mexico. The job description reads:

“This product will enable customers to convert their cash in to digital currency using which customers can enjoy online services including shopping for goods and/or services like Prime Video,”

Ethereum

Over 3 Million ETH Now Staked on Ethereum 2.0 Contract

Two months ago, the Ethereum 2.0 contract only had 1 million ETH, which is of course still a lot. As part of its transition to proof-of-stake, anyone who staked their ETH are entitled to up to 23% rewards, but you cant’ withdraw your ETH until Phase 1.5 of ETH 2.0 goes live in 2022.

Mastercard

Mastercard to Let Merchants Accept Crypto Payments This 2021

Mastercard, like Visa, was previously a crypto skeptic. But look at them now. According to a source of Coindesk, Mastercard customers’ digital currency payments could be settled in crypto at participating merchants. Of course Mastercard kind of supported crypto transactions before but only for payment, not for settlements. 

Twitter

Twitter Might Purchase Bitcoin, Says CFO

The company is looking at paying employees in Bitcoin.

Central Banks

Christine Lagarde Says It’s Unlikely for Central Banks to Hold Bitcoin

European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde is not changing her mind about Bitcoin being highly speculative. In a press conference call, she said she doesn’t consider Bitcoin as a real currency, and that central banks won’t be holding it as a reserve currency soon. “It’s very unlikely — I would say it’s out of the question,” she said. 

By the way, should Central Banks hold Bitcoin. Blockchain Lawyer Rafael Padilla has a different take on this which you can read here: Counterweight: The Case for Bitcoin as Central Bank Reserve Asset by Atty. Rafael Padilla

Celo

cLabs Raises Fresh $20 Million Funding Following Trial of Valora App in the Philippines

According to Katie Haun, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, it saw the opportunity in Celo two years ago for a “full stack” global payments platform that anyone could use to send, receive, and store money. “Celo can dramatically reduce fees and fraud while also making payments instantaneous and global,” Katie said in a statement.

By the way, CELO and cUSD, which are the tokens on Valora, are available on local virtual currency exchanges BloomX and CoexStar: How to Buy and Sell Celo and cUSD on Local Exchanges in the Philippines

What else is happening

  • Some Ethereum miners are turning to gaming laptops as GPU supplies run dry
  • Polygon (fka Matic) releases layer 2 software development kit for ETH
  • How traditional exchanges are boosting crypto adoption

This article is published on Thursday Thoughts: Mastercard, Twitter, Amazon, and Celo

Please share and grow the BitPinas community.

Source: https://bitpinas.com/price-analysis/thursday-thoughts-mastercard-twitter-amazon-and-celo/

Blockchain

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Urges for Fair Crypto Regulations

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Ahead of the long-anticipated public listing for his company, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong asserted that US regulators are wrong in believing cryptocurrencies are primarily used for illicit transactions. He added that the industry wants to be treated on the same playing field as traditional finance when it comes down to legislative frameworks.

Armstrong on Crypto Misconceptions

The belief that digital assets are mainly used for illegal transactions has been going on for years, perhaps since bitcoin’s usage in some dark web marketplaces starting almost a decade ago. Regulators have used it as a good bashing point, and US-based watchdogs have been at the forefront of those attacks.

US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, has repeatedly outlined the alleged massive usage of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for terrorist financing, Ponzi schemes, buying illegal goods, and everything in between. Naturally, the Treasury’s FinCEN department proposed quite restrictive legislation, which, however, has been indefinitely postponed.

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of the largest US-based crypto exchange preparing for its direct listing today, touched upon these concerns during a CNBC interview. However, he asserted that cash and even the highly-regulated banking sector are more frequently utilized in illegal transactions than crypto.

He referred to a report published today by the recently launched Crypto Council for Innovation indicating that “less than 1%” of all digital asset transactions have illicit roots. Simultaneously, PwC estimations showed that the percentage is more than 4x higher with the traditional economy, and more specifically cash.


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“The data we have just indicates that crypto is really not uniquely crime written. In fact, the data suggests it’s better than cash in that regard.”

Treat us Equally

Armstrong further outlined the significance of adequate regulation for his company, especially now that it will become public, but also for the entire industry. He suggested that the US should treat the crypto space as other financial sectors.

“We want to be treated on the level playing field with traditional financial services at the very least and not have any kind of punishment for being in the crypto space.”

He also joined Kraken’s CEO, Jesse Powell, saying that the world’s largest country by nominal GDP risks falling further behind other nations, such as China, in terms of crypto and blockchain adoption.

“China has really embraced cryptocurrency and blockchain in a big way – starting from about six years ago. They are substantially far ahead.” – Armstrong added.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/coinbase-ceo-brian-armstrong-urges-for-fair-crypto-regulations/

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Blockchain

MakiSwap Raises $1.4M to Build AMM Platform on Huobi Eco Chain

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[Press Release – St, John’s Antigua, Barbuda, 14th April, 2021]

MakiSwap, the number one decentralized exchange on Huobi Eco Chain (Heco), has raised $1.4 million in seed and private funding to build the most robust and feature-rich automated market maker exchange and yield farming platform on Huobi Eco Chain.

The oversubscribed round was led by Inclusion Capital, which incubated and supported MakiSwap in its development efforts. Other participants include Kenetic Capital, LD Capital, NGC Ventures, Polygon Network, DAO Maker, Momentum 6, AU21 Capital, Xend Finance and others. Jawad Ashraf, Founder of Terra Virtua, also joined the round as an individual investor.

MakiSwap is the leading AMM on Huobi Eco Chain, a high-performance blockchain supporting the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Heco was launched by the Huobi Global exchange and was met with formidable community support in China and the Asia-Pacific region. Heco projects are now shifting their focus to the global market, looking to bring in DeFi users from other regions and other blockchains.

MakiSwap was developed by Unilayer, a cross-chain DEX aggregator and DeFi ecosystem. The exchange offers unique features for an AMM designed with the professional trader in mind, including limit orders, advanced charting tools, analytics, and more. MakiSwap also features lucrative yield farming opportunities designed to incentivize users to make the jump into the new protocol and blockchain.

“We’re extremely excited to launch MakiSwap on Huobi Eco Chain and to the public, we do see a big potential for HECO to capture a lot of market share compared to other blockchains in the near future,” said Geo, Founder of Unilayer and MakiSwap.

“Makiswap is leading a new wave of Defi by empowering Huobi’s ECO chain community with key tools and infrastructure. We are excited to support Makiswap in helping to transform global finance through Defi.” Jehan Chu, Founder and Managing Partner, Kenetic

MakiSwap is powered by the MAKI governance token, which will be airdropped to holders of Unilayer’s LAYER token on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain.

About MakiSwap

MakiSwap is the leading AMM exchange on Huobi Eco Chain, developed and launched by Unilayer, a cross-chain liquidity aggregator and unified interface for decentralized exchanges. MakiSwap’s governance token is MAKI, distributed fairly to all holders of Unilayer’s LAYER token. MakiSwap includes an advanced set of features like limit orders and advance charting to offer the best experience for professional DeFi traders.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/makiswap-raises-1-4m-to-build-amm-platform-on-huobi-eco-chain/

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Blockchain

The Message Coinbase Embedded in Bitcoin’s Blockchain on Listing Day

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Paying homage to Satoshi Nakamoto and his message embedded in the Bitcoin Genesis Block in 2009, Coinbase has done the same today. On the day they’re set to become a publicly traded company, the exchange asked a large Bitcoin mining pool to embed a note in the Bitcoin blockchain in regards to the latest stimulus bill. 

  • When launching the Genesis Block of the first-ever cryptocurrency in January 2009, the anonymous creator(s) embedded the following message referring to the financial crisis at the time: 
  • “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” 

  • More than twelve years later, Coinbase has followed the example set by Bitcoin’s creator. The exchange announced they had asked the mining pool F2pool to code the following text: 
  • “TNYTimes 10/Mar/2021 House Gives Final Approval to Biden’s $1.9T Pandemic Relief Bill.” 

  • The commonalities between the two messages spread more than being embedded on the Bitcoin blockchain. Both have referred to the economic struggles in 2009 and 2021 led by the aforementioned banking crisis and the COVID-19-induced crisis.  
  • More specifically, both messages have touched upon the governments’ somewhat controversial measures in trying to fight the consequences of the fallouts. Coinbase’s note cites this article published by the New York Times, which outlined the latest stimulus package aimed to alleviate some of the financial pain from the pandemic.  
  • The largest US-based crypto exchange has chosen today to pay homage to Nakamoto because of the significance of this day. As previously reported, Coinbase is set to become a publicly traded company on August 14th, 2021, through a direct listing. 
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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/the-message-coinbase-embedded-in-bitcoins-blockchain-on-listing-day/

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