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Gemini to Launch Reward-Based Crypto Debit Card Service via Its Acquisition of Blockrize

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With more companies entering the card services niche, Gemini will be developing new value-added services that will distinguish its cards from the pack.

Unites States-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has unveiled it will be rolling out a cryptocurrency debit card for which users can earn Bitcoin (BTC) based on their purchases. According to a report from The Block, the crypto debit card service which appears to be the growing attraction amongst cryptocurrency firms today will be spawned through Blockrize, a blockchain-based startup acquired by Gemini back in October 2020.

Many details are yet to be revealed about the proposed debit cards but the cards will churn out rewards as high as 3% of total purchases customers make which will be paid out in Bitcoin (BTC), and others yet to be named altcoins. As Gemini exchange’s Chief Operating Officer, Noah Perlman told The Block in an interview, the small team of four from Blockrize joined Gemini when the startup was acquired, and the two teams are working assiduously to rollout the product later this year.

The crypto debit card from Gemini will be “a great way for customers to invest in crypto, get exposure to the asset class, and then be able to sort of get the gains almost like a passive investment,” Perlman said, “And then to the extent that there’s an increase in the value of those assets, that will accrue to them.”

The Gemini executive also reiterated that the fact that digital assets increase in value over time amid inflationary tendencies spiked by the devaluing nature of traditional assets will naturally endear the product to new users.

“Financial rewards are changing,” said Perlman. “Consumers are likely less eager to earn hotel points or airline miles, not just because of COVID, but obviously because they’re consistently devalued and even cash back in some cases. One of the compelling aspects of crypto is the fact that it’s an inflationary hedge.”

Gemini Crypto Card vs Other Firms’ Offerings

Gemini exchange will not be the pioneering crypto firm to unveil plans for crypto debit card products. BlockFi made similar announcements in December 2020 but its own offering will lag behind Gemini’s as the reward rate is set at 1.5% per transaction completed. Neither Gemini nor BlockFi’s cards have hit the market yet so determining the level of acceptance at this time may be overstretched.

Coinbase also has a card product to reward 1% in BTC, and 4% in Stellar Lumens but users will have to make purchases using their crypto holdings to earn the rewards.

With more companies entering the card services niche, Gemini will be developing new value-added services that will distinguish its cards from the pack according to Perlman. The company has opened a Waitlist for the card and those who have gotten on the Waitlist with Blockrize are automatically enlisted according to TechCrunch. Users will need to own a Gemini exchange account as the earnings will be deposited right into it.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.





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83% of cryptocurrencies that peaked in 2018 are still down by 90%

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Data published by crypto market data aggregator Messari shows that 83% of crypto assets that tagged all-time highs in January 2018 are still down by at least 90%.

The data was spotted by CMT Digital analyst Matt Casto, who tweeted data showing the average return-on-investment, or ROI, of crypto assets sorted by the year in which they posted record price highs.

The data set included 410 assets that posted record prices during 2017 or later, with 2018’s 157 star coins performing the worst with an average of -90.71% since the previous ATH. 

2017’s top crypto’s have since crashed by 82% on average, while 2019’s crop is down 72%, and 2020’s standouts have shed 53%.

The data may help support the ‘great repricing’ concept, that the capital that once flowed into the “ghost-chain” layer-one blockchains that dominated the sector in 2017 and 2018 is now being redirected towards the nascent DeFi sector.

The concept is even a trading strategy for some, with dHedge pool manager Wangarian describing his strategy as longing “tokens that obtain direct value accrual (DeFi)” while shorting “dogs**t L1s that have no value accrual whatsoever.”

However, despite the poor performances of many altcoins from yesteryear when compared to their record highs, many older altcoins have still produced enormous percentage gains since bottoming out.

Since finding local lows during the “Black Thursday” crash of March 2020, Cardano (ADA) has increased nearly 1,700%, Zilliqa (ZIL) is up 2,670%, and Decred (DCR) has gained 14,130% from their respective price floors.





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All-time high social activity accompanies 100% rally in Cardano price

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Social media mentions about Cardano have been growing since the beginning of the year, and during this time, the price of its ADA token has more than doubled, in the process surpassing Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to become the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. 

A deeper dive into data from Twitter data failed to identify a specific driver of ADA’s bullish price action, but data from The Tie did show that Cardano mentions recently reached an all-time high, with the price tracking the increase.

Cardano 30-day average tweet volume vs. price. Source: TheTIE

Keyword analysis of Cardano-related tweets also failed to identify the motivating factor behind the recent social media surge but terms like “pool,” “stake” and “staking pools” were the most frequent trigger words in the majority of discussions led by community members.

In private comments with Cointelegraph, Joshua Frank, founder of The Tie, said that chatter regarding an “interoperability bridge between Cardano and IOTA” that began making the rounds on Jan. 2 seems to have corresponded with the upward price movement and a relatively large increase in tweets.

This is referring to a recent discussion on Iota’s discord in which project co-founder Dominik Schiener was asked if the Iota Foundation was interested in developing a “bridge to Cardano.” In response, Schiener stated, “Yeh 100%. Once we’re ready I’ll reach out to Charles again.”

According to Frank:

“24 hours after the idea started being discussed Cardano saw a 63% increase in tweet volume and price surged 27% vs. USD and 25% vs. BTC, suggesting that this was an uncorrelated move.”

ADA price vs. tweet volume. Source: The Tie

Development enters the Gougen phase

Cardano’s roadmap indicates that the project recently transitioned from the Shelly era to the Goguen era.

The Shelly era brought decentralization to the core of the network and enabled ADA holders to stake and delegate their tokens to earn rewards.

Now that the project has entered the Goguen era, the focus of development is on the integration of smart contracts and the ability to build decentralized applications, or DApps, on the network.

The addition of smart contracts and DApps opens a whole new realm of functionalities for the Cardano network, including the ability to create decentralized finance applications.

In a recent conversation with Cointelegraph, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson opined on the future of DeFi and how the team plans to “take the lead in the DeFi space by developing partnerships in the African continent.”

According to Hoskinson, the real potential of DeFi will be realized in developing countries where he sees the potential to acquire 100 million new users within the next three years.

Hoskinson said Cardano was:

“Built for the purpose of creating liquidity for the poorest people in the world and allow them to build wealth and protect the wealth that they’ve acquired.”

Staking backs ADA’s rally

On Jan. 1, prior to any well-known mentions of a bridge between Cardano and Iota, ADA was trading at $0.173, with a 24-hour trading volume of $1 billion.

Over the past two weeks the price and volume increased by more than 200%, with the current daily trading volume averaging $3 billion and ADA trading near $0.358.

ADA/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

One possible source of the upward price pressure is a decrease in the circulating supply due to a large number of ADA holders staking on the network.

Data from Staking Rewards indicates that 70% of ADA’s total supply (21.84 billion ADA) is being staked on the network. Investors who stake earn 4.28% APY for each epoch (5 days), and payouts are automatically distributed at the protocol level.

Total ADA staked. Source: Staking Rewards

There are currently 1,468 active validators on the network serving 140,130 total delegators, with the largest validation pool holding 1.77% of the total ADA supply being delegated by 851 unique wallet addresses.

A continued uptrend in the staking participation rate over the past month, as seen in the chart above, has the potential to lead to further price appreciation as the number of ADA available for trading slowly dwindles.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.