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High DeFi Yields Threat to ETH 2.0 Staking, Says ConsenSys 



ConsenSys expects DeFi providers and protocols to be fair enough and provide liquid tokens that resonate with the ETH value that an investor stakes.

According to ConsenSys‘s latest Q3 DeFi report, the surge of DeFi and its high yielding liquidity provision opportunities could, in the future, be a barrier to participants who want to stake as soon as ETH 2.0 Phase 0 is unveiled. Better earning opportunities that are found on decentralized finance protocols may limit staking on Beacon Chain, Ethereum’s forthcoming project. Beacon Chain launch could take place within the next six to eight weeks since the ETH 2.0 deposit contract launch is almost near, according to Ben Edgington, developer of ConsenSys.

ETH Holders Should Get Better Staking than DeFi Returns

Last week, Edgington revealed the Ethereum 2.0’s deposit contract address feature is the last “missing link” needed to enable participants to send ETH between both Ethereum and ETH 2.0. Through the new proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, holders of more than 31 ETH will benefit from various staking opportunities, but scaling improvements would not come that soon.

ETH holders will, for a currently unspecified period, have to lock up their funds in a deposit contract in order to gain a variable return – and that is where the challenge arises. DeFi protocols competing to give Ethereum holders greater returns for liquidity are on the increase. As a result, ETH 2.0 would be denied from reaching the staked ETH threshold required for rendering it sufficiently decentralized and secure.

 The report warned as follows:

“It is not unreasonable to worry that ETH holders would (at best) wait to see how early staking returns compare to DeFi returns, or (at worst) decide altogether not to ‘risk’ locking up ETH until Phase 1.5 (which is likely at least a year away) in case another similar bull run occurs in the meantime.

ConsenSys expects DeFi providers and protocols to be fair enough and provide liquid tokens that resonate with the ETH value that an investor stakes. The token might be easily presented or be redeemable as collateral for other protocols leaving the ETH staked on Beacon Chain to remain locked away for some time.

On Sunday, ConsenSys Codefi, a firm that facilitates tokenization and trading, DeFi products, said that it plans to collaborate with Protocol Labs to unveil a Filecoin DeFi Bridge and Storage Market to enable cheaper and faster storage of data.

Ethereum 2.0 Launch Eminent despite Testnet Woes

As Ethereum upgrades a proof of stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and further solves the network’s scalability, deployment of ETH 2.0’s “Phase 0” will need 500,000 ETH deposited for the users to run more than 16,000 validators. ETH’s new release is expected to shield the platform from denial-of-service attacks, curb temporary penalty fees from quadrupling, and implement the genesis delay.

In August 2020, after its launch, the Medalla testnet suffered from very low participation since people were already bored of testnets as per Edgington. On the client front, the testing seemed somewhat one-sided as Prysm Ethereum 2.0 client dominated over other projects like Teku, Nimbus, and Lighthouse. Spadina test network in September also faced a “slightly bumpy” dress rehearsal time at its genesis.

All is not lost, since last week, Zinken testnet conducted a successful trial, which Anthony Sassano – Co-Founder of Etherhub & Product marketing manager for SetProtocol – stated that was the second last dress rehearsal testnet before the platform settles on a date for the ETH 2.0 phase 0 mainnet launch.

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James Lovett is a talented crypto enthusiast who finds pleasure in sharing more knowledge on fintech, cryptocurrency as well as blockchain and frontier technologies. He likes to keep himself furnished and updated with the latest innovation in the crypto industry, blockchain technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies. As a result, he tries to furnish ardent crypto supporters with the latest news on blockchain and distributed-ledger technologies. Indeed, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency is changing the world as we know “one block at a time”. As a hobby, he also trades in small amounts of cryptos every now and then.
An author with experience writing for tech, digital, and cryptocurrency blogs!

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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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Institutional Participation Pushed BTC Price Close to $20K, Altcoin Season Expected Soon




Analysts are hopeful that Bitcoin’s and the overall cryptocurrency market fundamentals are more powerful than ever before. The latest market correction provides fresh opportunities for investors to take long-term positions.

Before the latest market correction, Bitcoin‘s sudden surge close to its all-time high has captivated retail investors and institutions alike. One of the major driving forces behind BTC’s rapid price surge has been massive institutional money inflow. In fact, in the month of November, there’s been massive institutional accumulation for Bitcoin. However, it’s worth mentioning that the altcoin season has all chances to come quite soon too.

The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), a Bitcoin investment vehicle from digital asset manager Grayscale, hit major milestones in the last few weeks. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust holds more than half-a-million BTC as of date, with total valuations over $10.1 billion. Nick Cote of gamified trading platform Hxro Labs told Cointelegraph:

“The primary reason for the steady grind up in Bitcon has been the increased interest and aggressive buying activity from institutions. A lot of investors are going through Grayscale.”

Cote also points at some of the top public-listed financial giants like MicroStrategy and Square who have millions-of-dollars in BTC. These companies have entered BTC as a potential inflation hedge against poor monetary policies by the central banks. Cote called this behavior the “positive feedback loop” for the crypto markets. He added:

“There will be pullbacks of course, but as long as institutions believe in the narrative of Bitcoin being used as a store of value or hedge against inflation, it becomes a positive feedback loop.”

Altcoin Season Coming Soon

NEM head of trading Nicholas Pelecanos said that Bitcoin’s fundamentals have turned stronger than ever before. He cites different reasons like public listed companies moving extra cash to BTC. Besides, some of the fundamental factors are also post-halving supply dynamics. Pelecanos next big bet is the altcoins market. He stated:

“BTC is back at its all-time high levels, but what is worth noting is the valuation of the altcoins which are on average still 50% below their all-time highs”.

However, he asks to be selective while picking altcoins. He notes that several altcoins have failed in attracting adoption. “Some altcoins represent projects that are no longer functioning, yet other projects have seen tremendous development on both adoption and tech,” explained the expert.

Well, Wednesday’s crypto market correction has wiped out over $50 billion from the overall cryptocurrency market cap. The marketwide correction provides new opportunities to make a fresh entry.

On the other hand, crypto analyst Michaël van de Poppe asks investors to maintain caution. “At this point, don’t feel FOMO on things like ETH or XRP. There will definitely be more bullish momentum in the coming months, but be protective of capital,” he added.

More news from the crypto industry can be found here.

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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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