For some time now, the cryptocurrency sector has experienced a bear market so bad that when it initially started, sowed fear in a lot of minds.
In fact, some analysts at the time strongly considered the possibility that the effects of the bear market in the sector, especially with adoption, would be considered catastrophic. However, it would seem like their predictions did not come to pass.
Even though the situation may have caused a noticeable amount of loss, it would be unfair to completely disregard the amount of growth that the sector has experienced, especially in the last couple of months.
Usually, bear markets almost completely stop the market, running it down. This case is, however, a little different as there’s been some increase regardless of the general state of the market.
Ethereum based endeavors are currently quite active and also very promising.
Specifically considering Decentralized Finance (DeFi) apps alone, Ethereum currently has a value of at least $340 million in there. This is pretty impressive but doesn’t even take into account all other Decentralized Applications that aren’t DeFi.
There currently are quite a few ETH-Based endeavors that have shown up on everyone’s radar and are worth paying close attention to, this year and onward.
Here are three of them in no particular order:
Top 3 Ethereum Tokens
There’s a very high chance not a lot of people have heard about this especially because it’s not anywhere near the top projects when ranked by their market caps. Nevertheless, iExecshould be closely watched.
An abbreviated form of “I Execute”, iExec is startup based in Lyon, France, with a specific focus on Blockchain-Based decentralized cloud computing. Supposedly, the name is a reference to the firm’s way of letting its users “execute” cloud operations at very interesting rates.
In today’s world, purchasing and keeping hardware to store files and heavy company projects has, for most people, become either completely impossible or largely unnecessary. This problem is now easily solved with cloud computing and iExec plans to make the process even more smooth.
However, the most interesting thing about the firm just might be it’s partnerships with two of the world’s biggest companies: Alibaba and Intel.
In an official blog post by an iExec editor, Blair Maclennan, the partnership was broken down a bit:“On this [iExec blockchain-based] Marketplace, Alibaba Cloud now provides Encrypted Computing, powered by Intel® SGX, to support the iExec Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) solution. This iExec TEE solution provides end-to-end protection of data for blockchain-based computing.”
Furthermore, there is a specific example about how this collaboration can go as far as helping a hospital temporarily access medical data, helping its researchers make considerable improvements in their work. This is one of the many ways iExec’s services could be used.
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
Created by Brendan Eich, co-founder of Mozilla and Firefox, BAT is basically an ERC-20 token integrated with the Brave web browser and is used to pay content creators, publishers and users who use Brave ads. The Brave browser was also created by Brendan and BAT is heavily dependent on it.
It became considerably popular when in November 2018, it was listed on Circle and also on Coinbase. Currently, BAT is accepted by some big publishers like the Washington Post, The Guardian, Vice, Barron’s and also Vimeo.
At the beginning of the year, it was announced that Brave had increased its number of active monthly users by 450% to 5.5 million from the number in 2018. More recently in March, the app officially hit 20 million Android downloads.
Even though it could be argued that not all Brave users have an interest in cryptocurrency, it is almost impossible that a large number of users it currently has will have little or no effect on BAT.
Furthermore, Larry Singer – the co-founder of Wikipedia – publicly endorsed the browser on his website.
Indeed, things are going undeniably well for Brave lately — and BAT by association. Even the co-founder of Wikipedia, Larry Sanger, has made the switch to Brave and announced it publicly on his personal website.
According to him:
“I’ve switched to Eich’s newer, privacy-focused browser, Brave. I’ve had a much better experience using it lately than I had when I first tried it a year or two ago and when it was still on the bleeding edge. Brave automatically blocks ads, trackers, third-party cookies, encrypts your connections—and, unlike Google, they don’t have a profile about you (well, it never leaves your machine; the Brave company doesn’t have access to it). As a browser, it’s quite good and a pleasure to use. It also pays you in crypto for using it.”
This is a token that works with Dai as a way to give voting rights and borrow against other crypto assets. Currently, ETH is the only supported crypto.
It’s a very useful platform that lets a user borrow using ETH by keeping it as collateral in a Collateralized Debt Position (CDP). This then entitles the borrower to Dai – which is a stablecoin – with a corresponding value of the ETH. This Dai may then be used for many different things or later be substituted for ETH.
One great reason to watch out for MKR is its “multi-collateral CDPs”. This has always been the plan but now, it looks like it will happen in the next few months.
Crypto market overview: The top three coins face minor bearish correction
- Bitcoin bulls managed to keep the price above $10,500.
- Bitcoin SV (BSV) was the biggest winner among the top 20 coins.
The market faced slight bearish correction this Friday as the top three made minor losses. Let’s take a closer look at how the top three did and then reveal the biggest winners and losers of the day, among the top 20 coins.
Top three coins
- Bitcoin: BTC/USD fell at the $10,650 resistance level and went down to $10,528. The bulls did manage to keep the price above $10,500.
- Ethereum: ETH/USD went down from $225.85 to $220.65 this Friday. ETH/USD has significant market resistance at $226.
- Ripple: XRP/USD went down from $0.321 to $0.320 this Friday. The asset reached a maximum of $0.3227 and a minimum of $0.31.
Biggest winners and losers (top 20 coins)
- Bitcoin SV (BSV) was the biggest winner among the top 20, as it went up by 8.26% and is priced at $146.33.
- Tron (TRX) went up by 8.07% and is priced at $0.028
- Stellar (XLM) went up by 5.41% and is currently priced at $0.093.
Anchorage Chose South Dakota for Its Crypto Custody – Here’s Why
During a tense Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday, in which Facebook blockchain lead David Marcus was skewered over the social media company’s ambitious Libra project, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) started his remarks with a brief announcement:
“Mr. Marcus, thanks very much for appearing here before us today. Before I begin my questions, I just want to take a moment to commend the South Dakota Division of Banking for their forward-thinking and willingness to allow for innovation in the digital currency space. Another founding member of the Libra Association, Anchorage, just received permission from the Division of Banking to become a South Dakota chartered trust company.”
Observers may have found it odd given the tenor of the hearing, but indeed, Rounds had it right. “Anchorage, which is a Silicon Valley crypto startup,” he said, “has chosen to open its second headquarters in Sioux Falls.”
Amidst the fear, uncertainty and doubt hanging over the hearings, Anchorage was improbably enjoying its moment in the sun.
The startup recently raised a $40 million Series B on the promise of crypto custody services for institutional investors that are “both more secure and more usable.” Anchorage’s technology avoids the traditional dichotomy of internet-connected hot wallets and offline cold storage in favor of specialized hardware security modules (HSMs). The company’s custom HSMs “will process a given transaction only when certain criteria are met,” according to a company blog post from April.
In June, Anchorage also snagged a seat at the table of the Libra Association alongside some of the world’s most powerful brands. (Anchorage investors Andreessen Horowitz and Visa are also founding members of Libra’s initial 28-company consortium.)
CoinDesk spoke with Anchorage CEO Nathan McCauley the day after the Senate hearing about why shopping jurisdictions made sense and what the benefits of launching a subsidiary in South Dakota are expected to be.
While Wyoming is perhaps the most notable state to court the crypto industry, others have also joined in. Montana passed a crypto-friendly securities law in May. In South Dakota, Anchorage is following in the footsteps of fellow crypto custodian BitGo, which got the green light from state regulators in 2018.
Below is an edited transcript of our discussion.
The cost of living is among the lowest in the U.S. and there are no income taxes, but are there specific reasons you selected South Dakota for your new Anchorage Trust subsidiary?
South Dakota knows trust administration, and that kind of institutional memory means abundant access to legal counsel, auditors, office space and talent. There were others states we talked with where a trust company hadn’t been created in over a decade, and “over a decade” was considered recent.
From top to bottom the state is really interested in seeing innovation happen. The South Dakota Trust Charter allows companies to operate on a national level so you can serve clients from every state. There is regulatory clarity that allows crypto natives to increase yields for clients through banking, staking and other kinds of participation. And surprisingly, South Dakota is one of the largest holders of institutional assets in the country, more than $3 trillion, according to the FDIC, three times the size of New York, followed only by Ohio.
It’s also a really nice business climate. We’re hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony in a few weeks and the local chamber of commerce is helping put it together.
How long did it take to get the charter?
We were motivated to do it quickly because from the get-go we knew we wanted to be a qualified custodian for our institutional-investor clients. Initial contact was late December. We met with the Division of Banking three or four days before Christmas and we received our charter on July 16, so it took six, seven months.
Who else is part of the South Dakota crypto community?
BitGo and Kingdom Trust are here as well.
What challenges do you foresee at the federal level?
SEC broker-dealer guidance continues to be a work in progress. We’re in good shape because of our licensure but more regulatory clarity is needed for the industry.
Any plans to expand internationally?
Right now our focus is on the United States because the U.S. remains the center of gravity for institutional investment, but we’re open to conversations with folks from the EU and Asia as many of them are interested in working with a U.S.-based custodian.
You recently deepened your ties with fellow Libra Association members Visa and Andreessen Horowitz, which are both investors in your Series B round. What are you most excited about going forward?
The investment from Visa is an important part of our story because it speaks to the kind of investor we’re attracting and the growing interest in cryptocurrency. It’s also very exciting that social networks like Facebook are getting involved in cryptocurrency to make financial services available to a larger portion of the population in a user-friendly way.
We’re just thrilled to be part of it.
BitMEX May Be the First Target of the U.S.; Which Crypto Platform is Next?
The crypto industry was taken aback earlier today when news broke regarding popular leveraged crypto trading exchange, BitMEX, being investigated by regulatory authorities in the United States.
Importantly, news regarding this investigation came about shortly after top officials within the US government criticized the nascent crypto markets, with the Treasury Secretary warning that they would be implementing and enforcing “very strong” regulations in the near-future.
Crypto Trading Platform BitMEX Under Instigation by CFTC
Earlier today, news broke that BitMEX is currently being investigated by the United States Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for allowing Americans to utilize the platform without having the proper licensing and registrations.
The news, which was first reported by Bloomberg, came closely on the heels of comments from top officials within the US government, who offered a less-than-positive perspective on the crypto markets, deeming them as markets rife with crime and fraudulent activity.
HDR Trading Limited, BitMEX’s parent company, declined the opportunity to comment on the investigation, but BitMEX CEO, Arthur Hayes, has previously stated that the company does ban users from the US who attempt to undermine the company policy – which technically does not allow US residents to access the platform.
It remains unclear as to where this investigation could lead, or as to what the consequences could be. But prominent critic of both crypto and BitMEX, Nouriel Roubini, noted in a recent tweet that be believes the allegations set forth by the CFTC are just a “fraction of the sleeze going on in BitMEX.”
US Government About to Crackdown on the Nascent Markets
The CFTC’s probe of BitMEX comes just one day after US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, told CNBC in an interview that the government would begin policing crypto with “very, very strong” regulations.
Mnuchin further added that the goal of these regulations would be to ensure that Bitcoin and other cryptos don’t become the equivalent of “Swiss-numbered bank accounts.”
Because it is not possible to actually regulate decentralized cryptocurrencies themselves, it is highly probable that the first target of regulators will be crypto exchanges, as many of them have been operating in the shadows beneath the nose of regulators.
In other countries that have more progressive regulations, like Korea, federal regulators first started targeted crypto exchanges, forcing them to adhere to the strict rules that govern the banking industry.
Although it still remains clear as to when and how the US will go about slapping the “very strong” regulations on the markets, it is likely that more exchanges will begin facing increased scrutiny from groups like the CFTC in the near-future.