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Following SEC notice, Coinbase abandons plan for crypto lending program

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United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has announced it will not be pursuing its Lend crypto lending program.

In a Sept. 17 update to a blog announcing the program in June, Coinbase hinted at difficulties in regulatory clarity across the crypto industry in its decision to not bring the crypto lending product to the market. According to the exchange, “hundreds of thousands of customers from across the country” had already signed up for Lend, a program that aimed at offering 4% annual yield returns on deposits of USD Coin (USDC).

The announcement comes less than two weeks after the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, threatened Coinbase with legal action if the exchange launched Lend, which it has deemed a security under its purview. Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal later claimed the lending product was not an “investment contract or a note” and questioned the SEC’s decision as lacking clarification. At the time, the exchange said it would be pushing the launch of Lend back “until at least October.”

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Coinbase continues to be one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, with more than $6.3 billion in daily trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap. This month, the exchange also announced plans to raise $1.5 billion in a debt offering to further grow the company’s balance sheet.

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Coinbase

Coinbase adds ETH2 ahead of key upgrade this week

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  • The ETH2 coin listed on Coinbase will mirror the original Ether (ETH) token at least up to June 2022.
  • This comes just ahead of the Arrow Glacier update that would delay the difficulty bomb on Etheruem.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase seems to be preparing for a key upgrade on the Ethereum blockchain coming up this week on December 10. The crypto exchange has added a mirrored version ETH2 of the Ethereum blockchain’s native cryptocurrency Ether (ETH).

This new version of Ether just tracks the original Ether market data synchronously. As you can see in the below tweet, the cost of purchasing ETH2 is the same as that of the ETH crypto. Interestingly, the two trading volumes, market cap, circulating supply and price turn out to be the same.

However, unlike the original ETH, the new ETH2 crypto shows no trading activity. It seems that the newer version will just merely track the ETH market data at least up to mid-2022. It also shows that Coinbase is making all the early preparations for Ethereum 2.0 upgrade. Thus, ETH2 seems to be posing as the native cryptocurrency of the ongoing update of the Ethereum blockchain.

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Interestingly, the recent ETH 2 listing on Coinbase happens just before the upcoming upgrade “Arrow Glacier” which will further delay the difficulty bomb.

Arrow Glacier update before Ethereum 2.0

The upcoming Arrow Glacier update on Ethereum will delay the difficulty bomb which would make it difficult for people to mine Ether. However, if the BOMB is triggered, it will slow down the Ethereum blockchain as far as it remains proof-of-work.

One of Ethereum’s core developers – Tim Beiko – said that the Arrow Glacier upgrade could probably be the last upgrade before Ethereum 2.0 goes live by June 2022. The Ethereum 2.0 will bring a significant change to the network design. Firstly, this includes a full-scale transition from the Proof-of-Work (PoW) to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain.

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In the existing PoW Ethereum network, nodes have to validate each transaction to maintain the Ethereum public ledger. However, the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade will introduce “sharding”. This will divide the entire network into small segments dubbed “shards”. Later, it will randomly assign the nodes to each shard.

This will remove the need for each node to scan the entire chain while improving the speeds and lowering the costs required to maintain the network. These individual shards will share the transaction details with the Beacon Chain, which is the backbone of Ethereum 2.0.

ETH2 won’t be a new crypto

The Beacon Chain will validate transactions on each shard while assisting the Ethereum 2.0 network in reaching consensus. It will detect dishonest validators and further initiate penalties by removing a part of the validator’s stake from circulation.

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The current ETH token will serve as a staking token in the Ethereum 2.0 PoS design. Staking of ETH will allow validators to participate in a network consensus and thus receive block rewards.

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Colombia: Gemini and Bancolombia Will Start Offering Crypto Services Next Week

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Bancolombia and Gemini partnered up to offer crypto services in Colombia as part of the country’s regulatory sandbox. The project will launch next week.

People in Colombia will soon have a new option to buy their favorite cryptocurrencies using their bank accounts just as easily as they buy any other product.

The US-regulated cryptocurrency exchange Gemini announced that it had finally completed all the necessary steps to move to the implementation phase of a project that would allow Colombians to buy cryptocurrencies with the funds stored on their Bancolombia accounts.

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This partnership is of great importance for the development of the local crypto industry as Bancolombia is the largest bank in the country, with total assets amounting to $275.76 billion in 2020 and over 16 million users in the same year.

Gemini and Bancolombia Partner to Offer Crypto Services in Colombia

Although the move could serve as a frictionless on-ramp for millions of Colombians to enter the crypto world, the service will for now be restricted to a limited number of users. Neither Gemini nor Bancolombia specified how many people will qualify for the service.

The project will last for one year, starting on December 14, 2021. During that time, all eligible users will be able to buy bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) from Gemini using their Bancolombia accounts.

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That is to say, Gemini would handle processes involving cryptocurrencies, and Bancolombia would deal with all matters concerning the movement of any amount of Colombian pesos -the country’s official currency.

The project is being executed within the regulatory sandbox that the country is currently implementing as a way to stimulate innovation in financial services. This is also why it is so heavily restricted and slowed down.

In a regulatory sandbox, government regulators grant certain advantages to startups that wish to test the viability of their proposals but are unable to implement them due to heavy bureaucratic procedures and possible legal hurdles.

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Cynthia Del Pozo, Gemini’s Principal, Strategy and Corporate Development, shared her excitement in an official blog post, noting that the crypto industry could help with the expansion of many Latin American economies.

Crypto is borderless by nature, and we are committed to expanding crypto access to individuals across the globe. We believe that crypto can play an important role in the development of Latin America as interest in blockchain and innovative technologies proliferates throughout the region.

As we continue on our mission to build the future of finance, we invite institutions from across Latin America exploring opportunities in crypto to reach out to us here.

The Trend of Regulatory Sandboxes

Colombia’s regulatory sandbox is being promoted by the country’s Financial Superintendency with the collaboration of other regulatory bodies.

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There are nine projects approved for implementation. However, only two are in an operational phase: Gemini with Bancolombia and the Bitpoint exchange and payment startup MOVii. Other projects involve players such as Binance and the Latin exchanges Bitso and Buda.com.

Currently, Brazil and Spain have also designed policies similar to the Colombian one. Brazil’s regulatory sandbox promotes fast and efficient payment systems, while Spain seeks to strengthen its security and compliance mechanisms.

However, Spain is also working on stepping up its crypto game. The country’s Central Bank is prioritizing the design and implementation of a CBDC on its latest development plan for 2020-2024. A little slower than its Brazilian counterpart, which plans to launch its own CBDC next year.

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Coinbase Pro list Brazilian company token plus six altcoins; prices soared up to 500%

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Coinbase Pro, the platform for traders of the American brokerage Coinbase, announced this Monday (06) that it will open trading for seven new cryptocurrencies in pairs with dollars (USD) and tether (USDT) from Tuesday (7th). Among them is Moss Carbon Credit (MCO2), a token created by Brazilians through a partnership between Moss Earth and One Percent.

The highlight among listed cryptocurrencies, however, is Circuits of Value (COVAL), which had its price soaring after Coinbase’s announcement, marking up to 500% appreciation in a few hours. The MCO2 token also gained relevant value and almost doubled in value.

See the performance of each of the cryptocurrencies in order of percentage gained in the last hours, considering Coinmarketcap data.

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1- Circuits of Value (COVAL)

The valuation champion of this new group of Coinbase Pro tokens, Circuits of Value began earning prices around 2 pm on Monday, going from $0.01 to quintuple its price about 20 minutes later, reaching $0.012. At the time of writing, the COVAL token trades at $0.07 with a 250% appreciation.

COVAL is a token issued on the Ethereum network that powers Emblem, a platform where users can create custom combinations of ETH, ERC-20 and NFT tokens in a single tradable token called a Vault.COVAL token price graph (Source: Coinmarketcap)

2- Moss Carbon Credit (MCO2)

The token first peaked at 75% appreciation after the listing was announced, going from $9.22 to $20.31 also within minutes. At the time of writing, Moss Carbon Credit is trading at $17.70 with a can of approximately 85%.

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MCO2 is a token for carbon credits. The project’s objective is to combat climate change. As described by Coinbase, burning an MCO2 token on the Moss Carbon Credit platform is equivalent to offsetting a ton of CO2 footprint.

MCO2 token price graph (Source: Coinmarketcap)

3- Spell Token (SPELL)

According to data from Coinmarketcap, Spell jumped from US$ 0.01058 to US$ 0.01396 between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm this Monday, making a rise of more than 40% at the time. Later, at around 5:30 pm, the cryptocurrency still remained high above 50% and at the same level of US$ 0.013

According to Coinbase, the SPELL token governs the Abracadabra.money platform, which allows users to deposit guarantees in the form of cryptoactives with interest to mint a stablecoin called MIM.

4- SuperFarm (SUPER)

With a 35% appreciation, the SUPER token tried to follow the $1.50 home this afternoon, down from $1.14 earlier, but ended up dropping a few cents. Even so, the currency continues with a high above 15%.

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SuperFarm is used to power the platform of the same name, created to issue NFTs and also to vote on future solutions.

5- Idex (IDEX)

The IDEX token gained 26% in price over the same period when it jumped from USD 0.26 to USD 0.33. On this Monday afternoon, the asset is still up at around 7% while its price also remains above US$ 0.30.

According to Coinbase, the Idex token feeds the decentralized exchange of the same name, where assets help both protect the protocol and reward its users.

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6- Polkastarter (POLS)

Altcoin POLS was the second lowest valued after the Coinbase rating. Around 1:40 am it went from $3.12 to peak at $4.13, making a rise of approximately 25%. At the time of writing, the currency is trading at $3.70 with a 12% increase.

The POLS token is used in the Polkadot-based cross-blockchain fundraising platform called Polkastarter, where POLS can be used for both voting and paying for transactions.

7- Shapeshift FOX Token (FOX)

FOX token holders were able to witness its 10% appreciation over the same period as other altcoins listed by Coinbase Pro, when the asset went from $0.77 to $0.84.

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FOX, the Coinbase note describes, is an Ethereum token that governs ShapeShift, a decentralized exchange. By participating in the ShapeShift DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), FOX holders can vote on future integrations of assets, products and fee structures into the platform.

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