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Ethereuem: The London Hard Fork Has Finally Arrived
After much delay, the highly anticipated update that everyone in the crypto community has been waiting for is finally here, namely Ethereum&39s (ETH) London hard fork. The significant upgrade had gone live at block 12,965,000 at approximately12:40 AM UTC.
The world&39s second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has now finally deployed one of its most anticipated network enhancements, EIP-1559. The hard fork includes various upgrades known as EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals), the most anticipated of which is undoubtedly EIP 1559.
What Does This Mean For Ethereum?
The update brings many EIPs to the blockchain as aforementioned, including EIP-3198, EIP-3529, EIP-3541, and EIP-3554. However, as previously stated, it is the EIP-1559 upgrade that has received the most community engagement and support.
EIP-1559 seeks to enhance Ethereum&39s gas fee market by instituting a base charge, which means wallet providers and consumers would be made aware of the cost of a transaction beforehand (in the past, it was compulsory to participate in a gas fee bid to miners, which meant that several users would often end up over or underpaying to have their transactions be added to the next block).
In other words, EIP 1559 reconfigures the fee system of Ethereum. Rather than its prior auction-based approach, wherein users paid the highest fees to have their respective transactions be included, the new and relatively much quicker Ethereum that has resulted from the post-London update features a dual structure. Under this new model, the authorization of any transaction will now require users to pay miners with a &39basic fee&39 plus tip. Base fees are burnt on a regular basis.
Although the tip rates may be changed by the dApp (decentralized application) user as well as the ETH holder, the &39base fee&39 rate is determined by the consensus. So, whenever the block reaches half of its capacity, the base fee rate rises.
Why Is This Update So Important?
Soaring gas prices have generated many difficulties and caused frequent congestion on Ethereum in the past, which was the case with the recent Stoner Cats NFTs situation. Ethereum is the most extensively used public blockchain at the moment, and so if it desires to maintain its dominance and sustain its continued usage and popularity in the industry, then these problems would have to be solved and that is exactly what the crypto community hopes the London hard fork will accomplish.
A popular misunderstanding however is that the update would lower gas prices, which is not exactly the case. Instead, it is more accurate to state that it will minimize the volatility of gas fees. EIP-1559 will not significantly lower network costs, but it shall make fees more foreseeable for consumers, therefore improving the overall experience for users.
EIP-1559 was initially suggested in 2018 as a way to improve on Ethereum&39s auction-based fee mechanism, however, Vitalik Buterin originally outlined early thoughts for the upgrade on the Ethereum blog in 2016.
How Will Ethereum Deal With Inflation?
EIP-1559 also marks a significant alteration to Ethereum&39s monetary policy. As of now, every transaction with a base fee paid in ETH will be destroyed and withdrawn from circulation. Earlier, miners got the transaction fee, but EIP-1559 reduces the incentive for miners to influence the network by rearranging blocks, lowering the Maximal Extractable Value (MEV).
Furthermore, the miners shall only acquire a tip on top of the standard fee, which will assist them in determining which transactions to prioritize in a new block.
As of the time of this writing, EIP-1559 has already managed to burn ETH worth $1 million. The new upgrade burns the basic fee from all Ethereum transactions, which results in the reduction of the ETH supply. Meanwhile, the price of ETH has increased by more than 6% in the last few hours. Additionally, a handful of deflationary blocks have been successfully committed to the chain as of now, with the quantity of ETH burnt to be more than the block rewards, which is 2 ETH.
The burning of the fees will end up administering additional deflationary (or downward) pressure on ETH. Provided that there is a satisfactory amount of activity on the Ethereum network, ETH may become the very first deflationary cryptocurrency asset. According to Justin Drake (a cryptography researcher currently working at the Ethereum Foundation), the blockchain&39s different scaling solutions should boost the pace at which the fees burn, which he describes as "very optimistic and highly bullish".
In recent weeks, the story around ETH&39s deflationary pressure has also granted the asset positive impetus. ETH is presently trading at approximately $2,800, which is an increase of over 20% in just the last week.
While some have predicted a "sell the news" scenario that would cause ETH to fall in price, evidence shows that ETH might reach $3,200, however, only time will tell whether the so-called "king of the altcoins" can reach that mark again, or if the price shall indeed dip once more. Nevertheless, the abovementioned hard fork represents a key step forward for ETH 2.0 and the eventual transition to a full Proof of Work (PoW) model, rather than its current Proof of Stake (PoS) mechanism. Lastly, investors are happy that an alternative token to ETH had not been created which had been one of the main causes of concern prior to the launch of the update.
Meter Passport Bridge Deploys on Moonriver, With Moonbeam Deployment Later This Year
Boston, MA, August 10, 2021. Moonbeam, the Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on Polkadot, announced today the deployment of its Meter Passport bridge on Moonriver. This bridge will connect the Moonriver parachain and Kusama to Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, and Meter, allowing the free movement of assets across the independent networks. Meter Passport will also be deployed to Moonbeam once it launches on Polkadot later this year.
Meter Passport is an N-way blockchain router that allows assets and information to flow directly from one blockchain to another, secured by a group of decentralized relayers. It is designed to serve as the shared, secure infrastructure for various blockchains and multichain DApps.
Moonriver is an Ethereum-compatible parachain on Kusama, serving as an experimental, community-led sister network to Moonbeam. The developer-friendly design and implementation of Moonriver have made it a destination for dozens of new and established DApps alike. The addition of Meter Passport to Moonriver gives users important asset transit options from some of the most popular and active chains in the ecosystem, in addition to the natively interoperable assets on Kusama and Polkadot.
"Today&39s crypto world is fast transitioning from the isolated single blockchain local network model to the interconnected heterogeneous blockchain Internet model.  Smart contracts will have to scale across the blockchain boundaries. Moonriver and Moonbeam stand at the forefront of such landscape shifts in the Polkadot ecosystem. It is our great pleasure to support and provide the most smooth cross-chain experience for the upcoming Moonriver and Moonbeam launch." said Xiaohan Zhu, founder of Meter.
Meter&39s initial set of relayers includes Protofire, Hashquark, InfinityStones, Wetez and, the Meter.io team. A cross-chain transaction will go through when it gets three or more confirmations from the five relayers. An implementation with an increased number of relayers and a higher security threshold will be available later this year.
"In an increasingly multi-chain environment, the key challenges to overcome are connectivity and interoperability between different blockchains," said Derek Yoo, Founder of Moonbeam. "The integration of Meter Passport provides critical transit routes to the Ethereum and BSC ecosystems. This allows users and developers the ability to work with a rich variety of assets in DeFi and other protocols that are deploying to Moonriver and Moonbeam."
Moonriver is currently in the process of launching to Kusama, with balance transfers and a full EVM expected to be available in approximately three weeks. At that point, DApps and other projects will begin to deploy to the network.
About the Moonbeam Network
Moonbeam is an Ethereum-compatible smart contract platform on the Polkadot network that makes it easy to build natively interoperable applications. This Ethereum compatibility allows developers to deploy existing Solidity smart contracts and DApp frontends to Moonbeam with minimal changes. As a parachain on the Polkadot network, Moonbeam will benefit from the shared security of the Polkadot relay chain and integrations with other chains that are connected to Polkadot. Currently, in active development by PureStake, Moonbeam is expected to reach MainNet by Q3 2021. Learn more: https://moonbeam.network/.
Meter.io is a highly decentralized Ethereum scaling solution with a built-in metastable gas currency. It connects to Ethereum and other blockchains as a layer-two protocol and allows smart contracts to scale and communicate seamlessly through heterogeneous blockchain networks.
Meter.io is backed by Pantera Capital, DHVC, DTC Capital (Spencer Noon), GBIC, LD Capital, and AU21 Capital.
Follow Meter.io on social media to learn more about the project and stay up to date about all future announcements.
Hashrate Returns to the Bitcoin Network as Major Miners Relocate and Come Back Online
Chinese miner exodus adds great value to Bitcoin through increased decentralization of mining hash power. This has created opportunities for nations around the world to support and benefit, welcoming the fleeing miners recently ousted from China. Hash power charts are recording a return of those Chinese miners to the Bitcoin network, as they set up shop again elsewhere. The result of this Chinese crackdown on miners is a more decentralized Bitcoin, suddenly increased application of renewable clean energy and Bitcoin&39s fully transparent victory in yet another great test of its staying power and resilience.
The charts are showing us presently that Chinese miners are returning to the Bitcoin network in countries outside China. After the Bitcoin hashrate witnessed a reduction of 54% initially, studies now show that more than 20% of that has returned to the network. Chinese mining dominance which has previously peaked above 75% of all BTC hash power, now after the ban is sitting at less than 50%, with miners returning daily outside China. The United States has shown a big gain in hash power market share. Other countries like Russia, Canada, and Kazakhstan, which have shown support for fleeing miners, are also reaping rewards in increased Bitcoin mining market share.
In today&39s crypto market with the exploding popularity of more centralized coin options and consensus models, it is important to reflect on the most valuable component to the market leader Bitcoin, its decentralized nature. As exampled by China and many others, governments and regulations will play a role in the future of crypto. Seizures, hacks, and sudden adverse regulations should be planned for. The solution to this in most cases is simply Bitcoin&39s greatest value proposition, its decentralization. Seek to control of your own crypto, and invest to propagate the most decentralized platforms. Power to the people. Everyone gets a Ledger.
Horizon Blockchain Games Raises $4.5M From BITKRAFT and CMT Digital
Horizon Blockchain Games (Horizon), a video game and Ethereum Web3 wallet and platform company, has raised $4.5M USD in a pre-Series A round SAFE from strategic gaming and blockchain investors, including BITKRAFT Ventures, CMT Digital, The Xchange Company, Khaled Verjee and Zyshan Kaba. Horizon&39s vision is to bring the symbiotic economies and power of Web3 and Ethereum to players, consumers, and developers alike with products tailor-made for everyday Internet users.
"This year will be monumental for Horizon Blockchain Games as we accelerate the adoption of Ethereum and blockchain technologies," said Peter Kieltyka, CEO of Horizon. "Our Sequence crypto and NFT wallet and our game Skyweaver make blockchain simple, fun and accessible for everyday users. We&39re thrilled to launch both products this year, and to enable virtually anyone with an Internet connection to participate in and benefit from this next generation of the Internet: the decentralized web."
"We first got excited by Skyweaver in 2019 and became even more enthralled when we learned about the vision for Sequence," said Colleen Sullivan, CEO of CMT Digital. "Horizon is poised to make Web3 and Ethereum accessible and enjoyable for virtually anyone with an Internet connection, and we love working with them."
About Horizon Blockchain Games
Horizon is driving Web3 adoption by making blockchain easy, fun, and powerful for users and developers. The Sequence smart wallet and developer platform for Ethereum, NFTs, Web3, DeFi, and Dapps allow users and developers to access and build the next generation of the Internet. Skyweaver is a free-to-play digital trading card game where players can win, own, trade, and sell their NFT cards. Horizon is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, and backed by leading investors Initialized Capital, Golden Ventures, Polychain, Coinbase, BITKRAFT Ventures, CMT Digital, ConsenSys, DCG, Regah Ventures, iNovia, and The Xchange Company. Learn more about the New Dimension Horizon is building at https://horizon.io.
About BITKRAFT Ventures
BITKRAFT Ventures is a global early and mid-stage investment platform for gaming, esports, and interactive media. Founded by esports veteran Jens Hilgers, BITKRAFT serves a worldwide network that spans some of the industry&39s most forward-thinking startups and founders working to build and operate the virtual worlds and economies of the future. BITKRAFT operates five venture funds with a total of over $420M USD in assets under management and has over 40 companies in its global portfolio.
Bitcoin Rallies Following The ₿ Word Conference ft. Elon Musk, Cathie Wood, Jack Dorsey, and More
The B Word conversation with Elon, Cathie, and Jack was a gathering of fantastically talented, diverse, forward-thinking, pro-ESG, creative, and economically grounded minds. It was intensely interesting from many angles and engaged each of them from their different expert perspectives. Elon Musk announces personal and Space X crypto holdings. Cathie Wood clears up some misconceptions around BTC and backs her points with solid economic principles and experiential learnings. Jack Dorsey speaks to his socially and environmentally conscious BTC objectives for Square and Twitter, beliefs, and vision for this historically unmatched form of value exchange. Despite what the markets are showing us presently "the Internets native currency" continues to grow and adapt, illuminating emerging fundamental benefits. Great thinkers like this are helping to amplify Bitcoins growth and benefit to humanity, by exploring these creative and innovative ideas to make it more sustainable and productive.
Elons flat humor persists throughout the conversation, but he is quite clear about his support for, and obvious commitment to many root positive aspects of decentralized value exchange. Our very favorite statement in this interview comes from Elon when he tried to clear the air saying, "I might pump, but I dont dump". This expression seemed a responsible acknowledgment of his crypto common sense and his important influence on crypto price swings. He reinforced his personal and business interests in crypto, and how influencing the price negatively makes no sense for him. He identifies the possible role that Teslas solar division can play in the renewable future of crypto mining, a pretty obvious interest, and motivation.
Elon explains how his retraction of Tesla accepting Bitcoin was related to the sudden surge in cryptos popularity and price caused by his prior announcements surrounding accepting it. Recognizing that a sudden surge in mining transactions could not be solely supported by existing renewables powering the Bitcoin network, and how that fact reflected on a company whose main goal is a cleaner future. With Chinas help, Bitcoin is now above Elons acceptance levels, and he stated that Tesla was conducting "a little more diligence" in investigating before they would "most likely" again accept Bitcoin transactions. All good news and sentiment from Elon.
Cathie Wood is a credible crypto hero that we appreciate a great deal. She is engaging and intelligent, citing Bitcoin economic principles and core strengths in a way that can make sense to anyone. During this conversation Cathie directs Elons attention to the positive influence Bitcoin is having on innovation in, and adoption of renewables. Also interesting is Cathies recognition that the energy used for Bitcoin production will be more efficient when compared to the energy used by the traditional financial services sector, or traditional gold mining facilities, two worthy comparisons. She comments that in her experience many people in Bitcoin development are extremely committed, and have a superior understanding of economics and economic history, a fact that gives her great comfort.
Jack Dorsey comes in to remind us all that Bitcoin is a problem-solving technological innovation that is well worthy of our energy investment, an important point to remember. Jack seems focused on exploring the limits of energy efficiencies, commenting on wasted energy and untapped energy. He referenced an example of capping methane flares from oil production to run mining rigs, neato. These are the innovative ideas that will become solutions as renewable research and adoption become increasingly powered by the profit motivations behind Bitcoin mining. Jack spoke about Square wallet projects and user benefits, insinuating that further crypto adoption news could be on the horizon for Twitter.
In summary, the interview denounced and addressed many misunderstandings about Bitcoin. It spoke to many of the factors that make bitcoin such a great direction for us all to go in. The interview was insightful, news breaking, and could give the crypto market the sentiment change it so desperately needs right now. All via the statement and recognition of obvious Bitcoin truths & potential rollout benefits.
Why Are People Flocking To CBDCs... Is There More Than Meets The Eye
Various central banks across the world have been working for a long time to develop central bank digital currencies, more commonly referred to as CBDCs, for their individual countries. The major reason for such a large number of nations to become increasingly involved is mainly to respond to the cryptocurrency industry's rapid and unprecedented growth. Several governments and financial organizations believe that cryptocurrencies have gradually evolved to pose a significant threat to the current financial system. As a result, the central banks have agreed, with the consent of the relevant corresponding governments, to embark on a program that would digitalize fiat currencies.
It is crucial to recall that investors came into crypto mainly to avoid dealing with banks and third-party intermediaries. However, governments and financial organizations saw this as a sophisticated means of evading regulatory rules and avoiding the mandatory submission of taxes, prompting numerous authority and governmental figures to take an aggressive stance. CBDCs are one such reaction since central bank digital currencies have the ability to not only threaten crypto's supremacy but ultimately replace it, according to a few analysts and experts.
Will Central Bank Digital Currencies Replace Crypto?
As aforementioned, a handful of individuals seem to believe that CBDCs shall ultimately replace crypto. But the matter is not as simple as that. While it is true that investors tend to side with assets that are properly regulated as well as backed by the government, it is also a fact that people have generally become fed up with the constant involvement of intermediaries and regulators, which was a key factor in the crypto industry becoming successful to begin with.
It should be noted that in the past, so many have attempted and subsequently failed to destroy Bitcoin (BTC) and the crypto sector, but CBDCs are unique in that they provide a direct substitute to cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, investors may feel at ease with CBDCs because there would be no anxieties or concerns about governmental regulatory crackdowns.
However, we are still very much in the crypto-age, and the adoption rate for highly valuable digital assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) has only increased over time.
Is Everyone Supportive Of CBDCs?
While we have mentioned that plenty of investors may feel more comfortable with CBDCs rather than crypto, this might not necessarily be the case for everyone, especially at an institutional level.
Recently, a group of Republican senators sent a letter to the USOPC (United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee) expressing their concerns about China's new CBDC, the digital yuan, as the lawmakers believe that this is just another attempt to conduct surveillance on American citizens and gain sensitive information. The senators' identities were Cynthia Lummis, Roger Wicker, and Marsha Blackburn, and they submitted the letter together. The primary concerns were based on data security breaches and espionage.
To provide further emphasis, the senators think that not only may the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) plan on utilizing the digital yuan for surveillance and espionage purposes, but that this has already been occurring. Interestingly, other letters have been submitted in the past that expressed similar worries. Last month, Senator Tom Cotton wrote to President Biden, expressing his concern that China may seek to collect Team USA's DNA at the forthcoming Beijing Winter Games for unknown reasons.
Ultimately, CBDCs are not going anywhere as the world becomes increasingly digitalized. Just like cryptocurrencies, they are inevitable and so it will be interesting to see how each country continues to develop its own central bank digital currency.
Plasma Finance Integrates with Polygon to offer PlasmaSwap
For those who may be unaware, PlasmaFinance is a cross-chain decentralized finance aggregator that allows its customers to successfully manage their respective portfolios via a single, easy-to-use interface. The platform offers the most extensive analytics in the market, as well as simple tools and exposure to the most profitable DeFi returns over any protocol.
Most recently, the aggregator has now been added to Polygon (MATIC), which is a framework and protocol that runs on Ethereum (ETH). The launch involves the complete set of DeFi protocols that are supported by its native decentralized exchange, &39PlasmaSwap&39.
&lsquoEasy DeFi' & PlasmaSwap
Customers may now profit via &lsquoeasy DeFi&39 by transferring liquidity to PlasmaSwap and utilizing Polygon&39s relatively higher speeds and lower costs. The PlasmaSwap users can provide liquidity as well as trade with fees that are reportedly up to 1,000 times cheaper as opposed to those on Ethereum.
Polygon has previously been making headlines and for good reason, as it has firmly positioned itself as an alternative to the world&39s second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. This is due to the fact that it operates on the same network as Ethereum and has all of the benefits of the &39altcoin king&39 built-in, but with significantly cheaper costs as aforementioned.
PlasmaFinance CEO Supports New Initiative
&ldquoWe will not and cannot stand idly by when it comes to pushing for increased DeFi adoption, decreasing the learning curve, and putting the means for financial independence in the capable hands of users," says Ilia Maksimenka, Founder and CEO of PlasmaFinance, in response to today&39s news.
The objective is hence to simplify the process and attract new users to hopefully adopt and actively engage with DeFi protocols, as well as to ensure that both new and current customers receive the finest pricing and performance. Ilia added that yet another significant step ahead has been taken in accomplishing this goal through the deployment of the PlasmaSwap decentralized exchange on Polygon.
&ldquoThanks to PlasmaFinance&39s connection with Polygon, there is no longer a requirement to choose between &lsquoeverything else' or &lsquofast and cheap. Thus, consumers will be able to enjoy the perfect combination", the CEO added. In addition to numerous leading protocols currently supporting the platform, the PlasmaPay wallet is also linked with multiple exchanges as well as an external service provider to buy and sell crypto via bank accounts, credit cards, and various other methods. Once again, the aim is to make DeFi adoption simple and effective for everyone.
Sandeep Nailwal, the COO and co-founder of Polygon, has stated that he is absolutely thrilled to invite DeFi initiatives like PlasmaFinance to join the ranks of Aave, Balancer, Curve, and Sushiswap when it comes to developing on Polygon.
PlasmaFinance to help Polygon compete with Ethereum
The extraordinarily high gas prices charged on the Ethereum network have caused growing dissatisfaction among DeFi users for a while now. PlasmaFinance addressed this issue somewhat earlier this year through an interim solution by offering gas optimization tools, and today&39s announcement would surely be appreciated by both current and new customers.
Moreover, PlasmaFinance evaluated the costs and speed when it launched its PPAY Coinmarketcap Earn campaign in June to demonstrate the potential of Polygon. The conclusions were remarkable, as PlasmaFinance spent only $0.30 to distribute $100,000 worth of PPAY tokens to a whopping 20,000 addresses, achieving transaction finality within just 2 seconds.
PlasmaSwap will provide additional benefits to those who already trade on the DEX on Polygon, such as market data on all DeFi and cryptocurrency tokens, a clean and accessible user experience, portfolio management, sophisticated trading tools like Limit Orders to be used for capital and risk management, Stop Loss, and even Future Orders for up-and-coming new token listings.
Clients need only add their liquidity onto PlasmaSwap on Polygon. As a result, they will be capable of launching and engaging in IDOs throughout all platforms via the IDO Launchpad Alliance and SpacePort. This alliance offers customers a concise summary of all IDO platforms, including active and future IDOs, in a single and convenient location.
Various decentralized finance initiatives may also avail the benefits provided by today&39s announcement. They may use SpacePort to launch their own completely customized and decentralized IDOs. They can also utilize PlasmaFinance and Polygon for improved DeFi capabilities, which include releasing liquidity, exchanging pairs, and innovative mining activities on PlasmaSwap that will also allow for even more benefits from simple and straightforward DeFi at fast speeds and cheap prices.
Australian Digital Finance Industry Looks to Legally Recognize DAOs
Blockchain-powered DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) are proposed to improve efficiencies and change the traditional corporate structure in Australia. Australia is now one of many countries pondering legislation and the potential upside to being a leader in crypto policy and regulation encouraging industry migration, and ultimately benefiting from crypto&39s explosive growth.
Countries around the world are recognizing the emerging opportunities in attracting the crypto industry to set up inside their borders. Being leaders in evolving policies, regulations, and energy infrastructure seems to be an important part of winning the race. The race empowers a global shift to a greater decentralization ideal adoption and is in our opinion a very worthy goal.
Global law firm lawyers and the DeFi industry-focused, lobby senate committee in Australia to create a new limited liability legal entity for DAOs. This legal entity classification for a DAO in Australia would enable project governors to contract with other legal entities through DeFi applications.
The structure of the traditional corporation would change under the DAO model, and a traditional board of directors would be replaced by Internet shareholders, communities, or nodes. The DAO for that network being encoded with a pre-determined set of rules that all participants have agreed to. The DAO would also remove any form of individual liability for the decisions of another node, or member on the DAO network.
Australia&39s decision to legalize a less centralized model of corporate governance echo&39s the moves of many exchanges in the crypto business. Many exchanges are actively working to further decentralize their services, appealing more to the ideals of crypto veterans. Pressure on world authorities to evolve policy and regulation for crypto is being recognized more and more as potentially lucrative, worthy, and in demand. A big case study taking shape in El Salvador right now. Crypto talent and investment will land in the countries that are most interested in supporting the industry with favorable regulation, and world-leading green infrastructure initiatives.
Axelar Raises $25M Series A Lead By Polychain Capital
Axelar, the decentralized interoperability network that connects blockchain ecosystems, applications, and users, has raised $25m in its Series A funding, led by Polychain Capital. The funds will go towards scaling key network integrations and engineering resources for the team&39s rapid expansion.
In addition to Polychain Capital, notable investors in the funding round include Dragonfly Capital Galaxy Digital North Island Ventures Robot Ventures Collab+Currency Cygni Capital Lemniscap Divergence Ventures SCB 10X Hypersphere Zola Global Investors Nima Capital and GoldenCoin TS LLC. Angel investors participating in Series A are Do Kwon, co-founder of Terra Happy Walters, co-founder, and CEO of Catalyst Sports & Media Waikit Lau, founder and CEO of RemoteHQ, and others.
Axelar protocol is powered by a decentralized network and designed explicitly to frictionlessly connect all blockchain ecosystems that speak different languages. Olaf Carlson-Wee Founder & CEO of Polychain Capital said: "Axelar&39s cross-chain solution is truly groundbreaking for the decentralized economy. We are very excited to help support Axelar&39s pioneering blockchain interoperability solutions in leading its investment round. Together, with our shared resources we are looking forward to working with Sergey and Georgios, and the wider Axelar team, in shaping the decentralized economy and blockchain industry for years to come."
Expiring Grayscale GBTC Contracts May Lead To Bitcoin Surge
This July promises to bring an exciting and potentially volatile period for Bitcoin. Late this month, over 140,000 BTC worth of Grayscale GBTC shares will be unlocked and available to the open market. Grayscale is a Bitcoin Trust and has been the largest buyer of Bitcoin in the world over the past two years.
Grayscale is like a black hole for Bitcoin. Once Bitcoin enters the Trust, it does not leave the Trust (aside from the 2% management fee taken by the management company). Here&39s how it works: Accredited investors deposit BTC or USD into the fund in exchange for GBTC shares in proportion to the fund&39s net asset value (NAV). GBTC shares usually trade at a premium to NAV (sometimes as high as 100% higher than NAV. For a long time, GBTC shares traded at a premium of 40% or more to the spot bitcoin price.
When GBTC shares are minted, they have a 6-month lock-up period before they can be sold to retail investors on the open market. This seemed like a sure-fire way for institutions to turn a quick profit. This in turn incentivized institutions to borrowed Bitcoin to lock in the fund in return for GBTC shares which traded at a premium. However, as the Bitcoin price tanked in April, the GBTC price fell to a discount of NAV and the trade fell apart for those institutions who borrowed BTC and received GBTC in return.
It is important to realize that when GBTC shares are traded, no "physical" bitcoin is actually trading hands, only shares of the Trust. There has been much speculation that this GBTC unlock could be a major bearish catalyst for Bitcoin as the GBTC discount will entice buyers to buy GBTC as opposed to BTC on the spot market. However, the actual underlying market dynamics may paint a very different picture.
Investors who entered the trade by locking in borrowed coins might now need to repurchase those to repay the loan. Similarly, those who deposit their bitcoin holdings need to buy back coins to return to their base portfolio. So assuming supply-side factors remain constant, the repurchases associated with Grayscale unlockings could end up putting upward pressure on bitcoin prices.
The debate is far from over and only time will tell what type of influence this unlocking of shares will actually have on the market. But if there is one thing we can count on in late July and August, it&39s volatility!
BTC Mining: Miner Revenue Surges +50% Since Record Difficulty Drop
There are big gains for some in the China Bitcoin miner shakedown on a few fronts. Amidst the China Bitcoin miner shutdown, resulting in massive Bitcoin hash rate drops decreased competition and network difficulty drops have made mining much more profitable for miners outside of China, still hashing. Hash decrease is affecting other POW cryptos as well, and further hashing miner gains can be found in cheap equipment hitting the market. Historical changes in hash power have an impact on Bitcoin&39s efficiency. Bitcoin&39s fundamental programming and economic strengths are now in the spotlight.
What is bad for some is great for others. Bitcoin miners outside of China and still hashing on the network have seen mining revenues jump by over 50% recently, due to Chinese miners going offline, massive reductions in overall Bitcoin hashrate, and an amplifying Bitcoin difficulty drop. With 50% of Bitcoin hash power going dark, half the miners will make zero, and the other half make double. The Bitcoin issuance remains constant and those still mining simply make a greater share of it.
It is not all good news though as the reduction in hash power is having its effect on the network. Bitcoin block interval times have increased this week and reached shocking highs, as you might expect with a massive reduction in the network processing power. The time required to process a block reached a level that had not been seen since early in Bitcoin&39s life in 2009 before it even had a price. It will take some time for difficulty and block interval timing to reach a new equilibrium, based on the new level of network hashrate. Further Chinese miner migration and even lower overall hash rate will prolong the time it takes to reach this equilibrium. The gold rush for hashing miners will continue, at least for a little while. Bitcoin is programmed to deal with this sort of thing in time though, and its fundamental programming strengths will restore the equilibrium.
Bitcoin is not the only POW crypto being affected by the Chinese miners going dark, competition on the Ethereum network has also decreased. As an Ethereum miner, I can tell you first hand that the amount of Ethereum produced by my miners has increased about 25%, in direct relation to the timing surrounding this Chinese miner crackdown.
The miner crackdown could have the positive collateral effect of relieving demand and price inflation for mining equipment, as miners sell equipment in China. Chinese markets are seeing a flood of mining equipment for sale, at bulk pricing that is much lower than what we are seeing in the resale markets lately.
At the end of the day, it is unfortunate the Chinese authorities feel it necessary to take these actions, instead of continuing to lead the world in Crypto. I have trouble seeing the logic in it. We wish our migrating miners the best of luck and hope they find new homes that will support their righteous work. Mining crypto is a rollercoaster of profit and investment, belief in crypto being an essential component. Witness Bitcoin reach a new equilibrium and mitigate this massive hashrate decrease while incentivizing new miners to join. Draw strength in your conviction from Bitcoin&39s perfect economic fundamentals.
Nansen Closes $12M Series A Lead by a16z
Nansen, the DeFi-focused cryptocurrency tracker, announced a $12 Million Series A last week lead by a16z. Additional notable venture firms, including Skyfall Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, QCP Capital, and more, participated in the round.
Crypto tracking has seen significant growth since the boom in decentralized finance (DeFi). Recently, companies like Chainalysis, CipherTrace, and TRM Labs have all raised major rounds. However, top-tier blockchain analytics have often been considered a tool for the government, regulators, tax authorities, and legal enforcement. Nansen&39s CEO, Alex Svanevik, believes that "the actual market participants, should have access to the best on-chain analytics as well."
Enter Nansen, an analytics platform for blockchain, that combines on-chain data with a massive and constantly growing database containing millions of wallet labels. "Nansen&39s high-quality data enables investors to follow where the smart money is moving, where influential investors are taking positions as well as for discovering new projects to invest and perform due diligence," Says Svanevik.
The start-up currently analyzes over 90 million Ethereum wallets & their activity. Users access the data & tools through a monthly membership package that is designed to help retail traders in addition to a pricey $2,500 monthly package for more bespoke clients. Although there was no explicit talk about what the fresh capital would be used for, the company will likely scale its offerings and look to expand to multiple chains.