Ethereum 2.0 Staking Soars

Ethereum 2.0 Staking Contract Hits 5 Million Benchmark in ETH

Ethereum 2.0, an advancement of the existing blockchain, currently holds over 5 million Ethereum. This estimate takes into account the network’s deposit contract, and it’s the highest figure that has ever been recorded.

Etherscan published statistics on the ETH tracking platform, revealing that the total value of the staked ethereum is approximately $14 billion.

Ethereum 2.0 began life in December of last year when Beacon Chain debuted. Within seven days of the launch, ETH community had staked over $1 million ETH to endorse the network’s upgrade.

Ranked the second biggest digital currency globally, Ethereum has had it rough the previous month.

On May 12, its price reached a record-breaking high of almost $4,350. But 11 days later, it plummeted to reach $1,800. At the time of writing, its price stands at $2,536.19.

In spite of this setback, ETH is still on an upward trend, having gained by over 250% since the beginning of 2021.

The latest increment in ETH’s price has triggered whale movements. At the start of this week, Santiment, a crypto feed for investors, shed light on the increase of whale ETH movements amidst the unpredictable nature of the market.

Based on the most recent data by Glassnode, Smart Contracts has ownership of almost 23% of the total Ethereum that is in supply.

The increasing popularity of DeFi products and NFTs are a few of the reasons why the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency is thriving.

However, it still faces a couple of challenges. One of these is the increasing rate of the network’s gas fees.

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, emphasized the need to sort out such issues in the ETH network.

TRON and BSCP Unite to Launch TRONPAD

TRONPAD Continues the Expansion of the Cryptoverse

Cryptocurrency platform TRON has joined forces with BSCPad, aiming to create and ultimately launch the first IDO launchpad founded on the blockchain.

The new venture, which will be called TRONPAD, will happen solely on BSCPad and is expected to be as successful as BSCPad.

Despite being established just recently, BSCPad has already been crowned the leader with regards to the number of customers and transactions. It’s one of the key players that facilitated the exponential growth of the Binance Smart Chain.

Based on a recent press release, the project has collaborated with the renowned cryptocurrency, TRON, so that this latest invention can be successful.

According to the announcement, both organizations hope to take part in the creation of TRON’s very first native original DEX. Their efforts will be founded on TRON’s network then occur solely on the BSCPad.

However, the announcement didn’t reveal the specific date when TRONPAD would debut. It only stated that more details would be released in the course of time.

Justin Sun, the mastermind behind TRON, remarked that his company was thrilled to be undertaking the new venture with BSCPad.

With the adoption of cryptocurrencies increasing at a fast rate, this is the best time to launch TRONPAD. The latter will act as a uniform IDO platform that can be used for future projects that will be launched on the TRON blockchain.

The PR team further noted that TRON anticipates huge success on its launchpad as was the case with BSCPad. So much so that it will invite an entirely new audience, which can then put money into TRON projects.

Kraken Brings Tribe’s Arjun Sethi onto Board

Kraken Names Tribe’s Arjun Sethi as New Board Member

Arjun Sethi, who helped to establish Tribe Capital, just became one of the board members of Kraken cryptocurrency.

This is following several months of financial support by Tribe of the exchange’s operations. Tribe Capital is a venture capital company, which is headquartered in San Francisco. As we speak, the firm manages assets worth more than $1 billion.

Kraken, on its part, is a platform for trading in cryptocurrency, and it’s been around for the past 10 years or so.

In its first quarter, the crypto saw its trading volume soar, with more than $160 billion getting processed.

This shows that Kraken wasn’t left behind as other trading platforms like BlockFi and Coinbase, also registered massive increases, consistent with Bitcoin’s rally.

Just last month Coinbase joined the leagues of cryptocurrency trading platforms that have gone public. Kraken has also been thinking about making a similar move.

In fact, the firm has been seeking fresh funds as it continues to push for a higher valuation, preferably one that exceeds the $20 billion mark.

Making the announcement about his new position, Sethi stated that Tribe Capital was thrilled by the opportunity of getting to work with Kraken.

In the same way they assisted with the early development of companies like Airbnb, Facebook, Uber, Yahoo and Slack, they hope that they’ll be able to speed up Kraken’s expansion.

This news comes shortly after we learned that Tekne Capital Management LLC and Electric Capital have put money into the exchange.

A spokeswoman speaking on behalf of Kraken revealed that it’s very likely the company will go public in 2022.

She reported that they’d probably use a direct listing approach as a SPAC transaction wasn’t in their cards anymore, given the firm’s size.

Unfortunately, Kraken has been the subject of investigation by the IRS a couple of times now.

In the most recent case, the IRS served Kraken “John Doe” summons. IRS sought the help of the court in asking the trading platform to provide personal details of its customers.

DEFI to Launch on PolkaDOT

Current Unveils New Partnership with Acala ahead of DeFi Launch on Polkadot

Mobile banking app Current just revealed that it will be partnering up with Acala, a decentralized finance (DeFi) avenue founded on the Polkadot (DOT) blockchain.

Current, which is headquartered in New York, was established with the sole aim of offering Americans services often neglected by ordinary banks.

When making the announcement, Current stated that there had not been such a collaboration in the past.

It means the partnership would mark the first hybrid finance (HyFi), bringing together traditional and decentralized financial apps.

Acala would, thus, be their all-inclusive DeFi network, which provides a blockchain avenue acquired by Polkadot.

As a package of cross-chain financial programs, the new HyFi will enable Acala users to trade, get staking derivatives, initiate self-serviced loans, sign up to become liquidity providers and be  eligible for high interest APY on their digital assets.

Current will be operating its own infrastructure. However, it will offer support on the active validator set.

This collaboration with Acala aligns with Current’s customized banking system, Current Core.

The idea behind launching this platform was to fill the gap in closed-loop fiat currencies. This partnership should be able to accelerate expansion of HyFi infrastructure.

Experts have high expectations that the Current Core platform will be able to offer better stability, facilitate speedy transactions and provide cost efficiencies.

So far the company has received endorsement from investors like Avenir, Tiger Global, Wellington Management Company, Sapphire Ventures, Elizabeth Street Ventures, EXPA and QED.

Just a few days ago, the Bank of America teamed up with Paxos, which is a settlement network founded on blockchain.

The Bank of America, ranked the second-biggest in the US, has been carrying out internal transactions by itself for a couple of months now. If it receives the green light to serve as a clearing agency, it will be allowed to provide services to clients as well.

DeFi Coimng to Cardano

DEFIRE – Defi for Cardano

DeFIRE, which is a kind of decentralized smart routing system incorporated on Cardano, announced that it had managed to raise $5 million.

The funding was held ahead of its forthcoming Initial DEX Offering. It saw major players participate, both from legacy and crypto-centric firms.

The fact that this venture has piqued the interest of so many entities at this initial stage is good news for DeFIRE and Cardano.

This routing engine will serve as the first fiat on-ramp for Cardano. It will also be the cryptocurrency’s substitute for native tokens. Specifically, it will enable token holders to exchange one Cardono token for another using direct means.

DeFIRE will double up as an avenue for implementing services, especially the decentralized exchanges for:

  • Order routing services taking place across DEXs
  • Substituting tokens
  • Go-between services between DEXs and wallets

A distinguishing trait that sets this platform apart from the crowd is that it provides a low latency decentralized service.

Furthermore, it has the capacity to tackle institutional order flow originators as well as conventional demands received from retail merchants.

It’s good to point out that DeFIRE was one of the first inventions from OccamRazor. Occam’s President, Mark Berger, expects that Cardano will yield considerable liquidity flows as soon as Alonzo is launched.

The $5 million that was raised during the pre-IDO funding will be used to facilitate several things. One, it will help to optimize token liquidity, which is particularly important in these initial stages.

Two, it will be used to create and foster community support. Lastly, it will come in handy in test price discoveries.

If the IDO is a success, DeFIRE plans to set up a decentralized form of governance for its ecosystem. It intends to achieve this by executing the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).

Many entities are looking up to DeFIRE to see what will become of it, even in this early phase. But having secured the pre-IDO funds marks a step in the right direction.

Ripple Teams Up with Sustainability Pioneers to Achieve Goals before 2030

Ripple, finally voiced its opinion about the ongoing debate relating to sustainability of the cryptocurrency industry.

The firm, which is the majority holder of the XRP digital currency, revealed that it would try to attain carbon net zero within the next 9 years.

On May 15, Ripple posted a tweet, in which it shared a link to its site. In the article linked to, the company outlines several aspects of its environmental strategy.

The article also includes a list of partners that Ripple is working with. These include Mercy Corps, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Institute for Business and Social Impact and Mojaloop Foundation.

Combined, this crypto stakeholder has partnered with non-government organizations in over 80 nations.

Just recently, pioneers in the sustainability space, namely, the Energy Web Foundation, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and Watershed, joined their venture.

Another thing the company draws attention to via the linked post is the performance of green XRP, and how it compares to major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH).

It explains that while Bitcoin utilizes almost 4 billion gallons for every 100 million transactions, XRP only uses 63,000 gallons per 100 million transactions. ETH, on the other hand, uses 239 million gallons.

It is no secret that the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies has been a hotly debated issue in the past couple of weeks.

One of the most prominent players, Elon Musk, has also given his views on fossil fuel emissions arising from mining bitcoin.

The world-renowned entrepreneur took a position in the matter by suspending all Bitcoin payments for Tesla. Needless to say, Bitcoin’s price took a nosedive following the withdrawal. It dropped below its threshold of $50,000.

Interestingly, not everyone saw Musk’s big decision as a positive. A few critics like Tim Draper, explained that the current banking system also causes adverse effects on the environment.

As such, Draper stated that if Musk truly wants to minimize environmental implications, then he should also cease accepting payments in fiat currency.

In the meantime, some countries have taken upon themselves, to implement measures that shield the environment from BTC mining effects.

A case in point is Iran. The country’s officials reported that they would charge fines to any individual found mining using household electricity.

Elon Musk U-Turn on Bitcoin

Tesla Puts a Halt to Bitcoin Payments

Elon Musk withdrew his endorsement of bitcoin as he revealed that Tesla would no longer allow its customers to make payments in the form of the cryptocurrency.

 

He cited environmental concerns as one of the key reasons why he made this move. Specifically, he was concerned with the system of validating bitcoins, and the significant impact it has on the environment.

Musk revealed that had he not made this change, the reputation that Tesla has held over the years, especially in terms of its appeal to other firms, would get damaged.

Following the announcement, Bitcoin price fell to $46,045 on Wednesday. This is the lowest it has been since the beginning of March. On Thursday, it was still down by a whopping 9%, to end at $49,769.

Since embracing Bitcoin payment, Tesla has encountered sharp criticism, particularly from ESG investors who prefer ventures that are environmentally, socially and economically viable.

Musk’s endorsement for the controversial currency contradicted his efforts to preserve the environment, which he has always cited as the reason for venturing into the production of electric cars.

Back in February when Tesla announced that it would be accepting Bitcoin payments, the price of the cryptocurrency skyrocketed by 15% in a span of just 24 hours.

At the time, the company invested $1.5 bn in cash into bitcoin. The plan was to later on accept payment for its cars in form of the cryptocurrency.

Tesla’s endorsement of Bitcoin was a big deal because it served as a validation for the coin in the corporate industry. However, this move triggered a big uproar amongst corporate treasurers regarding the cryptocurrency.

When making the announcement regarding the withdrawal, Tesla mentioned that it would, however, consider working with other cryptocurrencies that have recorded less than 1% of the energy/ transaction recorded by Bitcoin.

Bitcoin uses a system referred to as “proof of work.”

Ether, which is ranked the second biggest cryptocurrency globally, revealed that it would be switching to a different technique known as “proof of stake.” This mechanism does not take up as much energy as others.

Ethereum Continues to Push

Ethereum Sets New Record

On Monday, ethereum reached a new high for the third day in a row.

This is in line with the increasing optimism surrounding decentralized finance (DeFi) although a few analysts believe that the cryptocurrency was overestimated at the present levels.

2021 has seen the value of ethereum skyrocket, in part due to the rising popularity of DeFi. DeFi is a collective term for an array of financial applications, which enable crypto-centric lending other than traditional banking.

Most of these applications are integrated in ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum, which is ranked as the second-biggest coin based on market capitalization, reached new heights with a price of $4,200. The last time it increased this much, it traded at $4,133.40.

Another factor that has worked in this crypto’s favor is the forthcoming technical modifications to its software. There’s also the fact that a new lot of institutional investors in the cryptocurrency sector are growing fond of it.

Chris Weston, who works as the head of research at brokerage Pepperstone, explained that cryptocurrencies have been receiving more involvement from institutional investors than those who haven’t kept up with market trends.

Still, some analysts believe that ethereum’s rising valuation is not supported by the data of how widespread it’s become.

U.S.-based J.P. Morgan, remarked that the sum of the digital addresses within its network ought to align more with a price of about $1,000.

The leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, increased to a 3-week high of more than $60,600. But previously it had plummeted by 2.9% to end at $56,632.

Glassnode, which provides data related to blockchains, released a report on Monday claiming that there are signs that a part of bitcoin capital is moving towards dogecoin and ethereum.

Surprisingly, Dogecoin, which has been registering an upward trend, recorded a steep decline on Monday. It fell 10% to 48.2 cents.

This decrease can be attributed to Elon Musk’s comment about the cryptocurrency being a hustle.

Demand for XRP Sky Rockets!

Ripple Earnings: XRP’s Q1 2021 Results Preview

Ripple, the mastermind behind the XRP cryptocurrency, just revealed its first quarter’s XRP Markets Report. According to this report, the demand for XRP is soaring.

The company managed to make $150.34 million worth of sales during this first quarter of 2021. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, this is an increase of a whopping 97%.

Based on the official statement that the firm released, XRP sales volume skyrocketed all across the globe in Q1 of 2021. This growing volume of XRP sales helps to explain the main function played by on-demand liquidity (ODL) customers.

In this past quarter, the organization made several moves to partner up with different companies globally.

One of these moves is the acquisition of a 40% equity in Tranglo. Tranglo is a well-known cross-border payment platform based in Asia.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, stated that the firm has gained massive popularity throughout Asia. In fact, Asia has seen the highest increase in activities relating to XRP liquidity.

Another trend the company noticed was a rise in whale addresses. It revealed that there was an increase of 71 wallets, which hold 1M to 10M XRP.  Of the 1,196 wallets that hold between 1M and 10M, at least 319 of these hold 10M or more.

Since the beginning of 2021, crypto whales have sparked the movement of this cryptocurrency in considerable amounts.

Whale Alert, which is a crypto analytics company, reported that just one whale account transferred 6 million coins from Kraken to a crypto wallet that remains unknown to this date.

At the point of writing this, the world’s fifth biggest digital currency is selling for close to $1.57.

Singapore Crypto Bank, Hodlnaut Raises Interest Rates

Hodlnaut Raises its Stablecoin Interest Rates and Introduces a Token Swap 

Hodlnaut, which is an upcoming crypto lender from Singapore, revealed that it would be increasing its stablecoin interest rates on the following Dai (DAI), Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).

Hodlnaut serves as a lending platform for cryptocurrencies. It gives investors a chance to make money from their crypto holdings.

The objective of this firm is to enable holders make the most of their crypto assets. At the moment, it has a month-on-month growth rate of 20%.

The number of crypto assets that Hodlnaut manages on its own as of April 2021 is estimated to be worth US $243M.This is according to Crowe Singapore.

The new rates on the stablecoins will take effect from May 4 2021.

Hodlnaut’s initial offering for stablecoins was set at 8.0% Annual percentage rate (APR). This is equivalent to an annual percentage yield of 8.3%.

The rates have now jumped to 10.0% APR or 10.5% APY. These new figures are expected to provide handsome returns to clients who choose to hold their stablecoins with the crypto lending platform.

It’s important to note that Hodlnaut has managed to maintain consistency on the interest rates of both the stablecoins and cryptocurrency. These haven’t changed regardless of the market changes that have taken place.

Juntao Zhu, who is Hodlnaut’s CEO and co-founder, stated that the company’s aim is to offer favorable rates to its clientele. This would allow customers to maximize on their profits from the platform.

Another move that Hodlnaut has taken is to establish a new Token Swap element.

The concept behind this feature is to provide users with a means of swapping their tokens effortlessly.

This will also allow customers to pick which assets they’d like to earn an interest from. Eligible assets include DAI, USDT, BTC, ETH and USDC.