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‘Let’s Not Be Bitcoin’: Yearn Finance Considers Minting $200M in New YFI Tokens

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Bitcoin may be the original cryptocurrency, but that doesn’t mean leading decentralized finance (DeFi) projects aren’t feeling self-confident enough to distinguish themselves from Satoshi’s vision.

“Let’s not be Bitcoin. This idea of hard caps for start-ups is very romantic but not necessarily the best execution path for maximal value,” a participant in Yearn’s governance forums, yfi_lit, wrote on Jan. 13.

Yfi_lit wrote this in defense of his now-modest proposal to mint a fresh new cache of 1,000 YFI tokens (currently priced at over $30,000), the same token that made the portal to DeFi, Yearn Finance, famous last summer, when 100% of its supply was given to Ethereum users with assets staked in key Yearn Finance vaults.

But the newest proposal has evolved. Now the Yearn community is gauging sentiment for increasing the supply by 22%, of a minting of 6,666 additional YFI (worth something like $200 million, at current prices), a third of which would go to core contributors and the rest would go to the treasury. 

The proposal, authored by 11 different people, views “the fair launch as a living concept rather than a single event,” they write.

If sentiment looks good, it will be written up as code and voted on-chain using the governance app, Snapshot.

Not everyone is happy about the new developments, of course. Evoking themes like immutability and fixed monetary policy familiar to many longtime crypto enthusiasts, at least two YFI holders announced on the forum that they could no longer participate in a protocol that wasn’t honoring its understood social contract.

“I have observed the inability for the YFI project to detach itself from lord and saviour Andre [Cronje] and find its own path,” captainobvious wrote under yfi_lit’s post, announcing he’s leaving.

When another user chimed in with the same decision, yfi_lit replied, “Sorry for you to leave, but glad that people with that sort of attitude towards our builders are gone.”

Social contract

And it’s not entirely unfair that some would see a kind of contract. Last year, Cronje put up a proposal himself to never mint any more YFI and it seemed to pass. 

Over 90% of tokens voting supported it, but less than 15% of the token supply took part.

But the vote was never acted on. This is a controversial point in the community, but the current argument is that the only vote was a first phase or sentiment-gathering vote. Users never did the follow-up vote on actual code, so it didn’t actually count.

“What we had in September was a classic case of misalignment between stakeholders in the YFI community,” Spencer Noon, now of Variant Fund, told CoinDesk. “Burning the keys would have likely caused the price of YFI to appreciate in the short run, but potentially at the expense of the project’s long-term sustainability.”

Yearn’s governance processes have become more formalized since those early days, but the confusion around this decision persists.

It appears Cronje has had second thoughts. 

On Jan. 12, he wrote again on Medium about why building in DeFi sucks. “Don’t give away your tokens,” Cronje wrote. “I still have all the responsibility and expectation, except I have 0 of the reward or upside. Don’t do this, I was an idiot.”

Cronje, it should be noted, is famous for expressing his frustrations without being entirely committed to actions he espoused in a heated moment. He has also always had his eyes on the door, and may ultimately view a compensation scheme as something that would tie him down.

That said, Yearn isn’t just Cronje now. As its team and ambitions grow it continues to look more and more like the protocol that will gobble all of DeFi.

Its existing base of supporters doesn’t want to risk losing the talent that has gotten the platform this far; by and large, it appears that the token supply will expand fairly soon.

“Bitcoin has the same mindset, and they’re getting blown out of the water by Ethereum because of it,” yfi_lit contended.

DeFi is building its own set of OG’s and they seem to be largely circling their wagons around this move. Mariano Conti, the former chief of oracles at MakerDAO and current member of Yearn’s multisig (the closest the protocol has to a board of directors), told CoinDesk over Telegram:

“I’m very much in favor. YFI was the first ‘fair launch’ experiment, and my conclusion is that in the end this model didn’t align properly with an ecosystem of developers and strategy writers, which is the lifeblood of a yield aggregator like Yearn.”

Oh BABY

Last September, Joel Monegro of Placeholder wrote a blog post urging communities to consider a “buyback-and-make” approach to using platform profits, rather than “buyback-and-burn.”

Taking this to heart, the Yearn community moved forward a Yearn Improvement Proposal called Buyback and Build Yearn, or BABY. It passed with 99% support but less than 10% of YFI voting.

BABY would use profits from Yearn to buy YFI on the open market and use it for contributor rewards and other Yearn initiatives (see its third quarter 2020 financial report). Previously, most of the revenue was distributed to YFI holders who staked for governance, but the returns for doing so were fairly low.

Yearn is currently earning around $100,000 per week in fees, and community member Ryan Watkins contended that this could be better reinvested in Yearn itself.

“Yearn has proven its ability to provide real value to YFI holders, distributing protocol revenue as dividends is a suboptimal capital allocation strategy given Yearn’s stage of maturity,” Watkins wrote in October.

However, the sense of the community seems to be that BABY itself is not sufficient to hold onto the core team.

The new proposal suggests BABY will only be able to buy 100-300 YFI per year. Despite the fact that Yearn is rapidly expanding and launching a new version soon, “earnings will likely not be enough to accumulate a sufficient amount of YFI for the Treasury,” the proposal authors contend.

If the 6,666 tokens are minted, a compensation committee will take charge of negotiating deals with specific contributors around their “retention package.”

“In my opinion, this is yet another example of YFI having one of the most robust and prudent communities in all of DeFi,” Noon wrote.

Before a proposal can go to an on-chain vote using Snapshot, it has to run for three days in conversation on the forums. It currently has 133 votes, roughly 75% in support of minting more YFI.

Though some have already begun to doubt the process. “At the end of the day, the devs are going to do what they think is best regardless of community opinion,” Dankmonty wrote as the conversation began. “So just let us know. No need for all this drama.”



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GameStop (GME) Surges by Over 50% Now amid C-suite Shake-Up

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GameStock (GME) stock has started its way higher again, gaining over 100% yesterday.

GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME) saw its share price surging by 103% on Wednesday as investors reacted positively to the resignation of the financial chief officer of the company. The shares also took another 83% surge in the after-hours trade of Wednesday according to the available data. The investors proceeded to push the price of the premarket trade on Thursday with a 44% surge. As the trading is going on today, GME stock is rising by 51% now.

It is said that investors and traders are hoping for a resurgence amid the expected resignation of the financial Chief Officer Jim Bell. It was disclosed that the decision was forced by the board and Ryan Cohen, a GameStop Corp investor and the co-founder of Chewy, an online pet and food retailer. This is expected to be done on March 26.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company denied all allegations of forcing Bell out due to a disagreement on something related to the company’s operation. They stated emphatically that the resignation has nothing to do with contention relating to GameStop’s policies, operation, or practices which include accounting principles and practices. This is contrary to the reports that Cohen spearheaded an attack to get him out of the company to execute the transition online.

Cohen owns over 12% of the stocks of GameStop Corp through his company RC Ventures. Somewhere in November 2020, Cohen allegedly wrote a letter to the board of GameStop criticizing the executive team to force them to build a perfect e-commerce platform. In the letter, he stated that GameStop (GME) needs to evolve into a technological company that delights investors. Not just that, it should also deliver a top-notch digital experience instead of priding itself in being just a video retailer that only focuses on a brick-and-mortar footprint. Bell was the first casualty of Cohen’s leadership shakeup.

Jeffery Equity Thinks Bell Have No Issue with GameStop (GME)

Jefferies Equity analyst, Stephanie Wissink in a statement to the client’s acknowledged the effort of Bell during his tenure in the administrative setup of the company. It can be recalled that there was a sharp fall in sales during the late stages of the final hardware cycles. During that period, Mr. Bell led a series of actions that helped to protect the GME equity.

Wissink believes that the expected resignation of Bell was mutual, none Immediate, and not a product of misunderstandings or disagreement between him and the board as activist settlement mostly follows leadership changes. It was also disclosed that instead of looking for a CFO replacement with a retail background, the company will consider someone with a tech background as their primary focus is on e-commerce growth.

Bell refused to comment on the reports of his resignation. Currently, the company has consulted an executive search firm to find a Financial Chief who has the ability and the qualification to drive the company to its expected transformation.

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Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.



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Nash: Bridging Gap between Fiat and Crypto

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Nash Link is a solution for merchants to accept cryptocurrency without setting up a blockchain wallet.

Nash specializes in providing the best fiat/crypto gateway services for both retail and business customers, combining the lowest prices and fees with high-security wallets. This exchange service is fully licensed to operate in Europe.

For BTC, ETH, NEO and USDC, Nash offers 0% fees. This is possible because Nash operates its own crypto-crypto exchange. Nash’s unique Layer-2 exchange provides the same performance as centralized exchanges without taking custody of funds.

For other crypto assets, tradeable on Layer 1 user wallets, Nash charges just 1% fees, with no hidden slippage fees.

What’s more, Nash provides the safest software wallet by using secure multi-party computation (MPC) technology. MPC ensures a user’s full private key is never used to sign transactions and allows for security policies like address whitelists. Nash never has control over user funds.

On the business side, Nash offers its fiat gateway services as a white-label solution for third parties. Fees remain as low as 1%, with no tricks like huge asset mark-ups. Nash is a highly competitive solution for projects seeking a licensed fiat gateway for their platform and token.

Nash Link is a solution for merchants to accept cryptocurrency without setting up a blockchain wallet. Nash pays merchants the exact fiat price they set in their preferred national currency (€, £ or $) with 0% fees, managing risk around price volatility This is also possible thanks to Nash’s Layer-2 exchange.

In 2021, Nash will expand into digital banking services. High-interest DeFi-staking products will go live in Q2. In Q3, Nash will offer national currency checking accounts (with IBANs) on its platform. These will enable an even simpler savings product where users can easily deposit cash and lock it in a DeFi-powered crypto savings account. With a debit card arriving in Q4, Nash will seamlessly integrate traditional and crypto finance by the end of the year.

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Please check out latest news, expert comments and industry insights from Coinspeaker’s contributors.



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Fed Chairman Jerome Powell Said They Would ‘Engage with Public’ on Digital Dollar

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The Federal Reserve chairman said that they would opt for a public-centric approach on cryptocurrencies, however, would proceed with the digital dollar developments only after weighing the risks it poses to the US financial system.

While the CBDC developments across the world are catching up with the pace, everyone is closely monitoring any developments coming from the US. On Wednesday, February 24, disclosed additional details about their plans on the digital dollar. Speaking before the House Committee on Financial Services, Jerome Powell said that the US Federal Reserve would further “engage with the public” on the digital dollar this year. This is for the first time that Powell has given an official timeline for America’s CBDC developments.

Talking about the digital dollar project, Powell said:

“This is going to be an important year. This is going to be the year that we engage with the public pretty actively including some public events that we are working on, which I’m not going to announce today.”

Powell on Digital Dollar

Instead of taking upfront decisions and going to the public, Powell said the Fed would take an alternative approach. Rather, the Fed will directly talk to American citizens regarding the tradeoffs associated with the digital dollar project. Powell said:

“There are both policy questions and technical questions that relate between those two and they’re very challenging questions. We’re going to have a public dialogue … in the meantime we’re working on technical challenges and also collaborating and sharing work with other central banks around the world.”

However, Powell also maintains a cautious stand simultaneously. He stated that things will proceed further only after analyzing the risks to the stability of the US financial system. He also added that the digital dollar design should not “undermine … healthy market function.”

India Working on Its CBDC Project

On Wednesday, India’s central bank governor Shaktikanta Das said that the RBI has started its procedural developments to launch its digital currency in the country soon. “While we cannot guess the date of its launch, it is receiving our full attention,” he said.

However, Das has raised concerns that the use of public cryptocurrencies can undermine the country’s financial stability. The views of India’s monetary authority have been fundamentally opposed to the use of digital currencies. there have also been reports of introducing a ban for crypto use in India.

However, Das added that the Indian central bank is not opposed to the blockchain framework, the underpinning technology for cryptocurrencies. Instead, he added that they will leverage the blockchain’s benefits.

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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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