Visa has just launched its Visa Crypto APIs pilot program. This program will allow banks to trade cryptocurrencies. Digital bank First Boulevard is the first bank involved in the pilot with many others on the waitlist. Visa is partnering with Anchorage, the first national “digital asset bank” in the U.S., to offer this crypto capability. So far, Visa has issued bank cards with 35 different crypto firms, but this will be "the first time the company has offered crypto services to banks."
On Wednesday, Paypal had a very profitable Q4 earnings (triple from last year), thanks in part to the crypto services that were made available to U.S. users on November 12, 2020. CEO of PayPal, Dan Schulman, also announced plans to give 29 million merchants worldwide the ability to accept crypto payments.
These two institutions are going to help drive adoption of crypto more and more. Stay tuned.
On February 2, 2021, the votes were in with 1,670 YFI for versus 331 against. The original YFI launch had only 30,000 YFI but with the approved change, YFI supply will increase by 6,666 tokens or 22%. 1/3 of new supply will be allocated to key contributors with some staking to mitigate YFI price changes and encourage contributors to remain with the project. The other will be allocated toward the treasury to help develop YFI further.
The authors’ reasoning for the newly passed proposal:
"Yearn's launch was exceptional at creating a decentralized and engaged community, but it did not provide adequate incentives to retain existing and future contributors on an ongoing basis, nor did it provide the protocol with a war chest to fund future activities."
Read more about the proposal here
*One of the most popular DeFi projects, YFI has risen dramatically since its July 17, 2020 launch. Its developer, Andre Cronje, wanted a platform that optimized yield and...
One of the most popular centralized exchanges for crypto, Coinbase, has decided to do a direct listing on the Nasdaq rather than the New York Stock Exchange according to The Block.
In the Nasdaq Private Market on January 25, Pre-IPO Coinbase shares sold for $200 which would value the firm at around $50.8 billion ($200*254 million shares outstanding). Online database and research agency, Messari had calculated that the firm was valued at $28 billion back in December when Coinbase first filed with the SEC. Futures contracts have Coinbase shares trading at $277 on FTX. All this to say, Coinbase stock is going to be hot. Stay tuned.
A new class action lawsuit has been added to XRP's growing legal troubles. On January 25, Tyler Toomey, a Florida investor filed suit against Ripple Labs and its CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Tyler and others in the class action accused Ripple of tricking investors and selling millions of dollars worth of unregistered XRP coins.
This is similar to the lawsuit on December 22, 2020 where the SEC filed a lawsuit against Ripple Labs and personally named CEOs Christian Larsen and Bradly Garlinghouse in the suit. The plaintiff, SEC, charges the defendants of obtaining over $1.38 billion using digital asset security, XRP, without following proper regulatory guidelines.
Europe's largest digital asset manager with nearly $3 billion in assets under management (AUM) just launched its bitcoin ETP* on January 19, 2021. Each unit of the ETP will be backed by 0.001 Bitcoin. The firm, CoinShares, will list it on Switzerland's main stock exchange with the ticker: BITC. This is a huge step forward in rivaling the US-headquartered Grayscale Investments that has over $20 billion in digital assets. The fund will initially have $200 million with a base fee of 0.98% as compared to Grayscale® Bitcoin Trust 2% fee.
*ETPs are exchange traded products that are similar to mutual funds but can be traded like stocks with prices constantly fluctuating. Mutual funds, on the other hand, only trade once a day after the market closes. Moreover, all ETFs are considered ETPs but not vice-versa as ETPs do not have to be as diversified as ETFs.
BITC Factsheet here.
On 1/18/2021, Binance performed the largest ever token burn of 3.6 million BNB (~$165,791,000 USD). This was done in accordance with their 14th quarterly BNB token burn. Total BNB supply thus decreased to 170,532,825 BNB. They have reached 13% of their goal to burn a total of 100 million BNB (half of the supply).
*BNB powers the Binance Ecosystem. As the native coin of Binance Chain, BNB has multiple use cases: fueling transactions on the Chain, paying for transaction fees on Binance Exchange, making in-store payments, and many more.
A new decentralized exchange, Saddle, went live today, 1/19/2021. They had raised $4.3 million in funding. Its focus is on preventing slippage among pegged value crypto assets such as tBTC, WBTC, sBTC, and renBTC. Only certain addresses are allowed in their guarded launch called Proof of Governance (PoG). Full eligibility details here.
Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association officially whitelists the Enjin Coin in Japan. Whitelisting is the official practice of allowing identified entities access to a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition. This is pretty big news for Enjin, as the coin in itself acts as a store of value when it gets locked into non-fungible tokens within the Enjin ecosystem. In addition, this isn’t just possible within Enjin’s ecosystem alone, but there's a huge amount of potential where cross ecosystem integration can be built through in-app economies.
Japan seems to be a really good use case for Enjin, as Japan contains one of the biggest gaming ecosystems in the world. Even within their corporate structure, we have the likes of Sony, Nintendo, Sega, Bandai Namco, Konami, Square Enix, etc. In addition, they are the first gaming cryptocurrency that was approved by the JVCEA under the Fund Settlement Law.
For this next bull cycle,...
Biden's team just confirmed today that President-elect Joe Biden will nominate MIT blockchain professor Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. Having someone knowledgeable about the crypto space will help expedite cryptocurrency adoption.
However, Gensler is not a crypto enthusiast, but he knows that crypto has the potential to solve many of the problems in today's payment systems. He recommended that the Facebook Libra should be regulated by the SEC, but ultimately, could help improve the current payment system while reducing costs. He was also chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009-2014.
1.13.2021 YFI Proposal Change
One of the most popular DeFi projects, YFI has risen dramatically since its July 17, 2020 launch. Its developer, Andre Cronje, wanted a platform that optimized yield and lending for users, hence the name: YFI or yEarn.Finance, as in you earn. The coin was the first governance token of its kind since it was not pre-mined, pre-sold, or available on exchanges: you could only earn the YFI token from using the protocol. On 1/13/2021, there was a proposal to switch YFI staking rewards with YFI buybacks on the open market. If adopted, this change would simplify the platform and remove the staking requirement to earn YFI. Moreover, capital appreciation from buybacks could reduce taxes that would otherwise be considered dividend income. More proposal details here. Currently, an informal poll shows >90% support among the community.
Another update from 1/7/2021: "Binance Staking Launches YFI Staking with Up to 4.49% APY"
1.13.2021 New DGB Integrations