JPMorgan is in advance talks of investing $20 million in ConsenSys thereby pushing ahead the merger of its Ethereum-based Quorum to ConsenSys.
Since the beginning of 2020, the Wall Street banking giant JPMorgan has been thinking of moving its enterprise-grade open-source Quorum blockchain to ConsenSys. It seems like the deal is now closer to realization,
As per The Block, JPMorgan is in advanced discussions of a $50 million fundraise for ConsenSys. Sources familiar with the matter told the publication that JPMorgan is looking to invest $20 million leading the fundraising. This deal will see the merger of Ethereum-based Quorum to ConsenSys with the latter taking over its maintenance and support.
Currently, JPMorgan’s Quorum blockchain uses the Ethereum blockchain network internally. With over 300 member banks, the Quorum platform operates the Interbank Information Network (IIN). The Quorum blockchain uses JPMorgan’s native cryptocurrency dubbed JPM Coin announced in early 2019. The JPM Coin is only used for big-value cross-border payment settlements.
If the deal proceeds further, it will also help JPMorgan to alleviate its cash woes. Earlier this year in April 2020, the company had to cut its staff by 14% amid the global slowdown. A year back, ConsenSys was also planning to raise $200 million as part of its restructuring plans. Post the spin-off from Quorum to ConsenSys, both the IIN and JPM Coin will continue to operate in the same manner.
JPMorgan and Consensys: Focus on Enterprise-Grade Blockchain Solutions
Joe Lubin – one of Ethereum’s co-founders and original backers of the project – founded ConsenSys a few years back. Lubin started this firm by funding it through its own Ethereum wealth. The company majorly focuses on providing enterprise blockchain consulting and solutions. Moreover, it also focuses for developing products for the Ethereum blockchain network.
In the past, ConsenSys has also worked on some big enterprise projects and implementations that use Quorum technology. Some of the world’s biggest agri-business companies are using the Quorum and ConsenSys platforms.
Previously, ConsenSys had also incubated projects like PegaSys by using the open-source enterprise blockchain Hyperledger Besu. Now with ConsenSys’ close proximity to Quorum, there’s some possibility of having close synergies between Quorum and Besu.
Apart from ConsenSys, a number of other big players like EY and Microsoft are working on protocols that encourage the adoption of the Ethereum blockchain. It will interesting to see further developments with the JPMorgan-ConsenSys deal.
Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.
NFT boom and platform upgrades back Decentraland’s (MANA) 100% rally
In the past year non-fungible tokens (NFT) have been gaining ground as the digital art market exploded and developers experimented with a variety of use cases. Data from NonFungible shows that over the past 30 days there were 58,400 NFT sales and $12.7 million worth of volume.
In the same time period, MANA, the token behind the blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland, totaled $636,000 in NFT trades. The virtual reality platform is built on Ethereum blockchain and provides a digital landscape where players can explore, interact with other players and purchase landplots along with other items.
The sector is dominated by crypto-collectibles and games like Cryptopunks, Sorare, Art Blocks, and Axie Infinity. These collectible NFTs range from virtual cards of professional soccer players to crypto-art and crypto-pets.
During the first weeks of 2021 MANA rallied by 68%. In addition to this, some positive news of real-world authors entering the industry put some heft behind the current rally. For example, the creator of Rick and Morty will auction off some of his digital artwork on Jan. 19.
In the past 30 days MANA token traded $368 million in transparent volume according to data from Nomics and this represents a 257% increase from the previous month.
Recently, the average value and number of trades in the Decentraland marketplace has declined to about 20 per day and 70% of the sales are land and virtual properties.
Non-fungible LAND tokens represent an individual’s ownership of land parcels. These tokens contain data like the coordinates for the land and virtual properties. Over the past four months, the largest transaction was worth nearly $150,000.
It is worth noting that MANA tokens are used to purchase in-game goods and services and are also used to settle the fees generated by LAND transactions.
A decentralized autonomous organization governs Decentraland (DAO), and all changes to the code are enacted through a collection of smart contacts. The MANA token allows holders to vote on policy updates, land auctions, and subsidies for new developments.
An interesting feature is that joining this virtual world does not require downloads, as the platform is web-based.
New features attract new users
In the past few months, Decentraland evolved to implement interactive applications, including payments and peer-to-peer communication.
A non-custodial, transparent, and auditable Virtual Casino is also being built in Decentraland. In this space players can use either MANA tokens or DAI stablecoin and another unique feature is that there are no Ethereum gas fees as the transactions take place on a second layer via the Matic network. Although limited games are available, poker and more complex games are being developed.
On Dec. 17, 2020, a voice chat feature was added. This allows users to interact with each other while scrolling through the virtual world, and it replicates the type of social interaction gamers are used to from major platforms like PlayStation and Xbox.
Decentraland launched its LAND API version 2.0 on Jan. 20, and this upgrade focused on improving marketplace metadata access. The update added endpoints that return more digestible information for those building tools that need data about LAND parcels and estates.
Lastly, Non-Fungible Token (NFT) arts exhibitions have been gaining track in the MANA ecosystem and given the popularity of NFT art, the new feature could draw new participants to the platform. The platform also hosted a few live music events with real-world artists, a clever move considering outdoor events like concerts have come to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although much has been created, some critical features are yet to be implemented. These include a mobile version of the platform, micro-payments infrastructure and integration with virtual reality platforms.
Data from TheTIE, an alternative social analytics platform, shows that the recent price spike was preceded by increased social network activity. Thus, for those betting on MANA token appreciation, it is worthwhile to monitor social network activity data.
Decentraland has added a handful of new features to improve the user’s experience and support the growing NFT collectibles and digital real-estate sector. The new features under development also look promising, but overall, it is still in a very early adoption stage so participants should do their own research when considering whether to invest in MANA.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Is Grayscale is about to unveil a LINK Trust?
Grayscale Investments could be set to launch a raft of new products including a Chainlink Trust, if freshly unearthed filings are to be believed.
According to the State of Delaware’s Division of Corporations, someone set up a Grayscale Chainlink Trust on December 18, 2020.
On the same day, a Basic Attention Token (BAT) Trust, Decentraland (MANA) Trust, Livepeer (LPT) Trust, and a Tezos (XTZ) Trust were also initiated.
Before these communities get too excited, Grayscale Investments is yet to officially confirm it is behind the filings. Some reports have cast doubt on their legitimacy as the registered agent for the Trusts is listed as ‘Delaware Trust Company’ and not Grayscale.
However the Delaware Trust Company is listed on the Grayscale website as one of its official Service Providers and the same details were used for the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust filing in 2013.
Even so, new Trusts are far from certain to launch. Two months earlier in October, a Filecoin (FIL) Trust was created, and this is yet to be made public.
Adding to the uncertainty, a few weeks after the inception of these Trusts, Grayscale CEO and founder Barry Silbert stepped down, replaced by Michael Sonnenshein. It is unclear if Sonnenshein will continue Silbert’s strategy or if he will take the firm in a new direction.
Grayscale last made a filing with the Stellar Lumens (XLM) Trust in October 2018 — more than two years ago.
The Stellar Trust was made public almost six weeks after inception. The majority of Grayscale’s digital-asset trusts are normally made public within days of the legal forming date stated on Delaware’s Corporate Filing website.
The vocal Chainlink army have taken to Twitter to show their support for the filing, speculating what effect this might have on the token’s price.
Twitter user “Bitcoin Collector” stated, “We all know how much purchasing power Grayscale has,” however, he added that the news hasn’t been confirmed.
Chainlink recently passed Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to become the eighth-biggest cryptocurrency with a market cap of more than $9 billion and an all-time high price of $23.30. It has since dropped back to ninth place, losing $2.3 billion in value over a four-day period to trade at $17.8.
Ignoring Bitcoin, Hedera Hashgraph, Reef and Perpetual Protocol rally higher
Bitcoin (BTC) price tumbled more than 10% today to hit a low near $31,000 and at the time of writing it looks like the sell-off has a bit further to go. In a weekly report from crypto fund provider, CoinShares, some institutional investors seem to be booking profits and the analysts also cited the strengthening (trade-weighted) U.S. dollar.
Another indicator that points to professionals selling Bitcoin is the drop in “Coinbase Premium.” As markets continue lower, an increasing number of investors may dump their positions with the intent to buy again at lower levels.
Guggenheim Partners chief investment officer Scott Minerd has turned bearish on Bitcoin for the year. In an interview with CNBC, Minerd said that Bitcoin may have topped out and could “see a full retracement back toward the 20,000 level.”
If Bitcoin plunges, altcoins are also likely to witness selling pressure. Although this may be the case, during sell-offs, tokens backed by strong fundamentals may outperform.
Let’s have a look at three tokens which have held steady during the current market correction.
Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR), the enterprise-grade distributed ledger, has been entering into various partnerships to leverage blockchain technology in real-world use cases in several sectors. If these initial projects are successful, it will open a plethora of future possibilities around the globe. Some of the recent collaborations are highlighted below.
Hedera and content services provider Hyland recently presented a proof of concept to the Texas Secretary of State to secure and verify government-issued records using electronic Apostilles, which will be recognized universally.
Fighting against money laundering and combating terrorism financing are critical regulatory requirements for every financial institution and these obligations are closely monitored by governments. TRM Labs has integrated with the Hedera public ledger to provide robust compliance and risk management solutions to the developers building on Hedera.
The team also has partnered with Everyware to monitor the cold storage equipment used to store COVID-19 and other vaccines at Stratford Upon Avon and Warwick hospitals.
Along similar lines, AVC Global and its Subsidiary MVC’s Track-and-Trace Platform have chosen to collaborate with Hedera to develop intelligent supply chains to reduce risk and fraud and enable the right product to reach the right place at the right time.
Hedera’s strength can be found in its diversified enterprises and the organizations that are part of the Hedera Governing Council. As the number of use cases for the protocol increase, it’s possible that HBAR will also continue to perform well.
HBAR has risen from an intraday low of $0.04151 on Jan. 12 to an intraday high at $0.12467 today, a 200% rally within a short span. The sharp rally on Jan. 20 cleared the overhead hurdle at $0.083.
However, the sharp rally of the past few days has pushed the relative strength index (RSI) deep into the overbought territory, which may have attracted profit booking from traders. This has resulted in the formation of a Doji candlestick pattern today, suggesting indecision among the bulls and the bears about the next directional move.
The HBAR/USD pair could retest the recent breakout level at $0.083. If the price rebounds off this support, the bulls will again try to resume the uptrend. A breakout and close above $0.12467 could resume the uptrend, with the next target objective at $0.16616.
This bullish view will invalidate if the bears sink the price below the $0.083 support. Such a move could drag the pair to the 20-day exponential moving average ($0.06) as a deep fall tends to delay the resumption of the uptrend.
The growing popularity of the DeFi space shows no signs of slowing down. Several new platforms promising innovative products pop up every other day and this makes it increasingly difficult to keep track of all new developments.
Reef’s (REEF) AI and Machine Learning powered algorithms attempt to address this problem by aggregating liquidity from various sources in order to offer users the most profitable option.
To achieve this objective, Reef has entered several partnerships in the past few weeks. The platform added support to Avalanche, enabling Reef’s clients to directly access the products available on Avalanche without leaving Reef’s platform.
Similarly, a partnership with bZx Protocol offers clients several trading and lending opportunities. The addition of a bZx farming pool to Reef’s AI and Machine Learning powered analytics engine will further widen the options available to Reef’s clients.
Reef’s collaboration with OpenDeFi allows users to invest in synthetic versions of real-world assets that are held by a custodian. Traders can invest in physical assets such as gold, silver, or even real estate and they can stake them to receive loans.
Reef finance was recently listed on Binance Launchpool, increasing its accessibility and a recent code audit by Halborn is likely to increase investors’ confidence in the project.
REEF rallied from an intraday low at $0.006516 on Jan. 13 to an intraday high at $0.023 today, a 252% rally within a short period. Due to the short trading history, a 4-hour chart has been used for the analysis.
The REEF/USD pair is currently trading inside an ascending channel, with both moving averages sloping up and the RSI in the positive territory. This suggests that the bulls have the upper hand.
If the pair rebounds off the 20-EMA, the uptrend could resume its up-move inside the channel. A breakout and close above the channel will suggest a pick up in momentum. The critical level to watch on the upside is $0.031 and then $0.042.
Contrary to this assumption, if the bears sink the price below the support line of the channel, the pair could drop to the 50-simple moving average. A break below this support could signal that bears have taken control.
Perpetual Protocol (PERP) is a relatively new entrant in the DeFi space, listing on the Ethereum mainnet on Dec 14. The recent crypto bull run could have accelerated its adoption as traders have been using perpetual contracts to profit from the speeding market.
Even though the platform supports only three trading pairs, Perpetual said their 7-day volume puts them in the top 10 on the DEX Metrics highlighted by Dune analytics.
After its initial success, Perpetual plans to add a fourth trading pair and then follow it up with more additions in due course. The staking pool may launch in February, which will allow PERP token holders to stake and earn rewards on fees generated by trading on the platform. The team is currently working to integrate limit orders sell options to the platform and the feature is expected to go live before the end of Q1.
PERP rallied from $1.844 on Jan. 12 to an intraday high at $6.055 on Jan. 17, a 228% rally within a week. After a three-day correction, the bulls are currently attempting to resume the uptrend.
The shallow correction of the past three days suggests that the bulls are not closing their positions in a hurry. If the buyers can push the price above $6.055, the next leg of the up-move could begin. The next target objective on the upside is $9.41.
On the contrary, if the price turns down from $6.055, the PERP/USD pair may correct to $4.275 and remain range-bound between these two levels for a few days.
A break below $4.275 may intensify selling with the next support at the 50% Fibonacci retracement level. A breakdown and close below the 20-day EMA ($3.19) will signal a possible trend change.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
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