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As Ethereum Starts to Choke, Will DeFi Move to New Platforms? 



Just as Bitcoin was a spark for the cryptocurrency movement, it seems that Ethereum is likely to take a similar role in the history of DeFi.

Decentralized finance is undoubtedly the biggest hit of 2020, with $12 billion in total value locked looking like a realistic target for 2020. Over recent months, several dApps have topped the charts on DeFi Pulse. Compound, Aave, and Uniswap have recently taken the number one spot, pushing the previously-dominant Maker down the rankings.

However, as the funds have poured into DeFi, the sheer weight of transactions is starting to cause the underlying Ethereum infrastructure to creak. Miners are laughing all the way to the bank as gas prices have soared over recent months.

Photo: Dune Analytics

The situation is only compounded by more and more applications piling on the DeFi bandwagon. Whereas DeFi Pulse used to list around 20 projects, the number has more than doubled over the summer. The vast majority are based on Ethereum.

Therefore, it seems almost inevitable that at some point, DeFi dApp developers will start looking for a new home. At this moment in time, there are several potential contenders.

Lining Up to Compete with Ethereum

One example is the Binance Smart Chain, which launched at the end of August and is already attracting several DeFi applications that mirror their counterparts on Ethereum. For instance, there are multiple implementations of similar code used in the now-infamous SushiSwap. These include BurgerSwap and PancakeSwap – essentially, decentralized exchange protocols that offer the opportunity to mine a native governance token. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has proven to be very supportive of DeFi, pointing out how listing DeFi tokens on his centralized exchange services a decentralized economy.

Another example is Radix. The project is developing a first-layer platform that’s specifically tailored for DeFi applications. Radix differentiates itself through their unique consensus model, Cerberus. To understand why this is important, the project points out how many other potential development platforms aren’t future-proofed for DeFi applications because their sharding protocols lack the necessary composability.

What is Composability?

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept of composability, then it’s necessary to understand how sharding works. The way many sharded blockchains operate is via a central chain and multiple side chains, or shards. In the typical sharding model used by platforms such as Polkadot, Cosmos, or Ethereum 2.0, applications are assigned to their own shard.

However, this segregation of applications by shard makes the idea of atomic transactions impossible. In Ethereum’s current iteration, a user can implement multiple features from different dApps simultaneously – for example, borrowing from one while simultaneously lending in another. However, if the applications are hosted on different shards, it would take multiple transactions to implement the same result.

Radix has spent seven years researching and developing its own sharding and consensus model that’s designed to overcome these issues while also enabling superior throughput. The model, called Cerberus, uses 2^256 shards. Across this huge shard space assets and dApps are deterministically mapped to shard addresses. Cerberus can then stitch together applications across these shards, allowing cross-shard synchronisation for atomisity where needed.

Therefore, composability between dApps is preserved, enabling atomic transactions with limitless scalability. Cerberus is also the subject of an academic paper written by consensus experts from the University of California.

Radix also offers royalties to developers as a share of transaction fees for usage of their smart contracts, as a means of attracting devs to the platform from the point of launch.

The project is about to launch its token sale using an ERC-20 token, with a newly-launched tokenomic model. The model involves price-based unlocking, meaning the tokens will only enter circulation incrementally once the price hits certain threshold values. The token sale is due to start on October 20, with pre-registration opening on October 6.

Stiff Competition

Radix’s plan to overhaul DeFi is ambitious, and the project is also facing stiff competition. Despite its claims about Polkadot’s lack of composability, the platform offers interoperability with Ethereum, making it an attractive proposition for developers. Although Polkadot hasn’t yet completed all stages of its mainnet launch, the token price increases this year indicate the kind of hype surrounding the project, which is developed by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood.

Another new platform garnering significant attention this year is NEAR Protocol. Like Radix, the project also offers developers a share of transaction fees where their smart contracts are used. NEAR puts a heavy focus on usability for developers, end-users, and validators alike – an approach which netted it $21.6 million in a funding round earlier this year, including backing from Andreessen Horowitz’s A16Z blockchain fund.

Just as Bitcoin was a spark for the cryptocurrency movement, it seems that Ethereum is likely to take a similar role in the history of DeFi. As the enthusiasm for liquidity mining and yield farming shows no signs of abating, DeFi seems likely to see a breakout on Ethereum’s rival platforms. However, with benefits including composability, interoperability, lower transaction fees, and greater throughput, such a shift would be to the benefit of all industry participants.

Altcoin News, Bitcoin News, Blockchain News, Cryptocurrency news, Ethereum News

Andy Watson

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Institutional Buying Can Push Bitcoin (BTC) Price to $250K, Says Investor Raoul Pal




Investor Raoul Pal notes that institutional purchases are storing Bitcoin in cold storage creating a supply squeeze. This will propel BTC price to new highs with a wide gap in demand and supply.

The latest institutional money inflow in the cryptocurrency market has made analysts hopeful for the next Bitcoin rally. Raoul Pal, popular investor and founder of Global Macro Investor, notes that Bitcoin price can touch $150,000 by November 2021, meaning BTC price will nearly 9x from the current levels or surge by over 800%. Interestingly, Pal notes that this is his most conservative target during his interview with CoinTelegraph.

Pal further adds that if massive sums of institutional money continue coming to Bitcoin (BTC), the price could also skyrocket to $250,000. Pal also backs his claims saying that the fundamentals of Bitcoin are a lot stronger than the 2017 crypto bubble. The 2017 bull run was all due to the FOMO among retail players with very little institutional participation.

Pal also mentions that the entry of big players is sucking up all the additional supply of Bitcoin this year. MicroStrategy bought around 40,000 Bitcoin (BTC) worth $425 million. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) is holding more than 500,000 BTC worth over $10 billion. Jack Dorsey backed Square Inc has also bought $50 million worth of Bitcoin.

Note that all these BTC’s are going to cold storage that will ultimately result in a supply squeeze. Pal notes that this will be the biggest catalyst for the Bitcoin (BTC) price surge. All the macros are playing in favor of Bitcoin, he adds. Pal further that this time its the biggest imbalance in BTC supply and demand ever in history.

Raoul Pal and Other Experts Speaking on Bitcoin

The news of COVID-19 vaccine arrival has caught fire and market analysts are hopeful of a faster economic recovery next year. Pal notes that despite the recovery, governments will continue to push more money into the economy as stimulus measures. This will ultimately lead to the devaluation of fiat he says.

On the other hand, the surge in inflation and the lower interest rates will further fuel the BTC price to new highs. “It’s life-changing. No other assets have an upside of 5x, 10x, in such a short span of time,” he adds.

But Raoul Pal is not alone to give such a massive target for Bitcoin. Other market analysts and big players have also stated something similar. Last week, the author of the stock-to-flow model – PlanB – predicted the Bitcoin bull run to resume in January 2021. He also added that the BTC price can skyrocket all the way to $100K next year.

JPMorgan analysts also said that Bitcoin (BTC) has turned to be a more preferred asset class than gold.

By the way, today is an important day for the crypto community. On this day 3 years ago, Bitcoin managed to go above $10,000 for the first time in its history which was a crucial milestone for its further growth.

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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.

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Chinese Authorities Seize Over $4.2B Worth of Digital Assets from PlusToken Ponzi Scheme




The PlusToken Ponzi scheme is reported to have begun back in May 2018 and advertised a non-existent crypto arbitrage trading platform. 

Chinese law enforcement has seized cryptocurrencies worth over $4.2 billion from the PlusToken Ponzi scheme. Apparently, a total of 194,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 487 million XRP, 6 billion DOGE, 79,581 units of BCH, and 213,724 USDT have been seized by Chinese law enforcement from seven convicts during the crackdown.

This is a major crackdown that will see the Chinese government own over 1% of the total bitcoins in the circulating supply. Crypto scams have dominated the recent past as the industry adoption rose immensely to both institutional and retail investors.

Things have shifted from the dark web-oriented schemes to the open net thus making it much more difficult for the law enforcement agencies to spot all of them. With a significant portion of crypto investors still not fully educated on the risks associated with the crypto market, Ponzi schemes are poised to thrive parallel to the anticipated bull rally.

The seizure has coincided with increased volatility in the entire crypto market that has seen most assets drop by two digits in the past few days. In addition, it has coincided with the OKEx resumption of withdrawal services after closing for five weeks.

PlusToken Ponzi Scheme

According to the court ruling, the confiscated digital assets will be processed according to Chinese law and the proceeds transferred to the national treasury.

As for the perpetrators, they will serve between 2-11 years behind bars. It is reported that up to 15 people have been convicted, with the offered fines ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. Prior to the arrest, one of the perpetrators is reported to have laundered over $22 million into Chinese Yuan.

Apparently, Chinese law enforcement followed part of the laundered money that was spent on luxury cars, real estate, and insurance policies in Hong Kong. Chinese law enforcement has heavily invested in cyberspace to counter the rising cyber crimes fueled by the increased adoption of digital assets.

The PlusToken Ponzi scheme is reported to have begun back in May 2018, and advertised a non-existent crypto arbitrage trading platform. The scheme asked its customers to deposit not less than $500 and promised hefty returns on a daily basis.

According to court filings, PlusToken had attracted approximately 2.6 million global customers between April 6, 2018, and June 27, 2019.

It was during this period that the scheme managed to collect over 314k BTC, approximately 117,000 BCH, 1.8 million units of LTC, around 928 million XRP, 51 million EOS, 9 million units of ETH, and over 96k units of DASH.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
Mythology is my mystery!
“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”

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Blockchain Firm Jelurida Will Launch On-Chain Version of Bridge Game




Lior Yaffe, co-founder and core developer at Jelurida, confirmed that this is only the first step of his company’s foray into blockchain-based gaming.

Swiss-based blockchain development firm Jelurida has announced it is developing an on-chain version of the card strategy game Bridge. Dubbed Bridge Champ, the game aims to disrupt the existing online Bridge gaming space, which is stagnating in a state of duopoly. Jelurida, which operates the Ardor blockchain, plans to use the game as a jumping-off point for broader expansion into the casual gaming space. 

Bridge is one of the most popular card games in the world, played in clubs, online, and at home with friends. It’s even recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee due to its chess-like complexity, which demands smart strategizing skills. It also has a significant footprint online. However, the online bridge sector is dominated by two platforms, neither of which supports white-label solutions. 

Bridge Champ – a Blockchain-Based Bridge Gaming Platform

Now, Jelurida, in partnership with the Bridge Online Academy, plans to bring blockchain into play. Bridge Champ is developed on Ignis, the Ardor blockchain’s main child chain, which offers ready-made features and functionality that can support online gaming. Bridge Champ is a purpose-built, fully customizable, online environment for bridge players to connect. The gaming engine will have open API’s so that users can set up competitions, and features include video and audio sharing. 

However, the platform’s strength will lie in the way it leverages blockchain’s capabilities to bring new features to online bridge games. There will be an in-game economy for competition registration and organization, along with cryptocurrency assets used for “mining” bridge tokens based on “proof-of-play” and player achievements. Achievements will be logged securely on the Ignis blockchain, eliminating any fraud or tampering. Cards will be dealt using provable randomization, and cheating will be virtually impossible. 

Lior Yaffe, co-founder and core developer at Jelurida, confirmed that this is only the first step of his company’s foray into blockchain-based gaming. He stated that the company is “developing an ecosystem around game tokens that will be available for use to other casual gaming platforms.”

Broad Scope for Global Blockchain Adoption

Gaming has long been considered one of the best use cases for blockchain technology. The technology lends itself well to many use cases in the gaming segment, including in-game rewards paid in digital coins, in-game assets based on non-fungible tokens, and the ability for gamers to actually own their accounts through blockchain encryption. 

Furthermore, blockchain technology itself could find a massive global audience in the estimated 2.7 billion gamers worldwide. Unlike many industries ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, gaming has proven to be highly resilient as people seek out new ways to stay entertained at home. So much, in fact, that industry analysts have doubled their growth forecasts for the global gaming market, predicting a 12-15 percent year-on-year increase to $170 billion in 2020. 

The Blockchain Game Alliance recently showcased some of the key developments taking place at the convergence of blockchain and gaming during its 2020 Demo Days

One demonstration previewed a trading card game that could prove to have mass appeal – Doctor Who: Worlds Apart. The game is fully licensed by the BBC, which produces the iconic show, and features a cast of characters from its history, which dates back over five and a half decades. The cards are digital collectible items, each with hand-drawn artwork. The demo days also featured blockchain-based VR, arcade, and MMO games. 

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Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.

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