7 January

The total value of all cryptocurrencies passed $1 trillion Wednesday for the first time ever. At its prior peak in late 2017, the market’s total capitalization was just above $760 billion. Bitcoin represents roughly 69% of the market’s value.

The $1 trillion mark cements cryptocurrency as a investable asset class that no longer sits on the fringes of Traditional Finance as a toy for retail investors. It demonstrates that this asset class is large enough to absorb large orders like we’ve seen recently with the slew of institutions entering over the last few months.

Cryptocurrencies are now almost an institutional-grade venture bet. The market is finally liquid enough to deploy large sums of capital, but still early enough for a 10x return.

Bitcoin has already gained 25% in January, following its more than 300% gain in 2020. Ethereum has also soared over the past 12 months, reaching a total gain of roughly 860% Wednesday after trading above $1,200 for the first time since early 2018.

Crypto is in a unique position to be the most important asset class of the 21st century and still has a lot of room to grow.”

See Also: Bitcoin Sets New All-Time High, Tops $37K Hours After Roaring Past $36K
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“Newsweek, one of the largest American weekly news magazines, has taken a positive spin on Bitcoin (BTC) in a recent article that explores whether the digital asset can become the new gold standard.

Although the article presents little new information for crypto enthusiasts who have been charting Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, it provides more validation that the mainstream narrative surrounding cryptocurrency has changed.

All that glitters is not gold—but it might be Bitcoin. And in the long run, it might be more valuable.”

“A Democratic win in the Senate runoff election ushers in the “Blue Wave” scenario that cryptocurrency traders have been speculating over for months. Biden has pledged to increase government spending, which could lead to higher inflation as well as additional bond purchases (money printing) from the Federal Reserve.

Bitcoin is viewed as a potential hedge against currency debasement by a growing number of investors in both digital-asset markets and on Wall Street.”

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“Voorhees said KYC implementation cost the platform 95% of its users.

We had to be the counterparty – the market maker – to provide that service at scale. The decentralized protocols are now providing a superior service, so we’re embracing this evolution and helping our customers easily connect with them.

Because ShapeShift is no longer acting as any form of financial intermediary or counterparty, this new, frictionless [user experience] frees users from having to provide personal, private information.

The exchange has now integrated with multiple decentralized exchanges (DEX) including ‘Uniswap, Balancer, Curve, Bancor, Kyber, 0x, mStable and half a dozen other DEXs.’ Bitcoin (BTC) will be available for trading via the DEX integration this quarter. Cryptocurrencies and tokens from other non-Ethereum blockchains will also be available in Q1 as well.

ShapeShift receives a portion of trading fees that each DEX charges in return for directing traffic to the DEX. ShapeShift customers also get the exchange’s native token, FOX, in return for every trade conducted on the platform to help facilitate a feeless experience.”

See Also: Kraken Users Are Staking More Than $1B in Crypto

Working products and beneficial use cases have propelled the crypto sub-sector from strength to strength in the past year. While $10 billion was locked in DeFi protocols at the start of November last year, use cases like lending, decentralized exchanges (DEXs), payments, and derivatives, have attracted another $10 billion in the past two months alone.

Of that, the projects with the bigger total value locked (TVL) is Maker, the governance protocol for the DAI stablecoin, with over $3.98 billion. Lending project Aave is next with $2.64 billion, while Ethereum-based DEX Uniswap comes third with $2.47 billion.

But despite the metrics, the $20 billion figure may not necessarily be an outright sign of increased DeFi adoption. Data suggests the increased value in US terms comes from the 43% price rise in ETH (and similar gains in other DeFi assets) instead of the number of the actual assets locked up increasing.”

See Also: Maker’s MKR Token Surges to 2-Year High on DeFi Growth

Institutional investors borrowed ETH to profit off the Grayscale Ethereum Trust. Now they’re having to pay it back as ETH climbs higher.

To make the trade institutional investors borrow ETH at an annual interest rate of around 8%. They use those assets to buy ETHE shares at the value of the crypto on that day, but are subject to a waiting period before they actually receive the shares. After selling the shares, that loan needs to be paid off. That leads borrowers to market buy ETH, pushing Ethereum prices higher. In the meantime, selling ETHE shares pushes those prices lower.

For retail investors and long-term holders, though, the rush to cover ETH loans (and the price increases that could result) are likely a welcome addition to the current crypto bull run.”

“Strike – the Chicago-based startup’s Bitcoin wallet and banking service – is rolling out native support for the euro, pound and Swiss franc, soon to be followed by the Australian and Canadian dollar after partnering with cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Global.

Described by Mallers, as a “Bitcoin neo-bank,” Strike leverages the Bitcoin network and scaling technology the Lightning Network to move fiat fast from point A to point B. Zap plans on providing banking services in up to 200 countries via the international exchange.

We can move any physical value anywhere in the world for no variable cost. Transaction finality from one point to another for free.

Bittrex Global will handle the behind-the-scenes operations with the tokens, which typically are issued on the Ethereum blockchain. Strike itself does not support ether (ETH, +10.12%) or Ethereum-based tokens. Rather, each tether or USDC token is credited to an account on Bittrex and mirrored on Strike’s internal database.”

Williams still refers to the current Mercury release as an alpha. As such, only a fraction of the 469 million governance tokens has thus far been issued. These are held by Dfinity itself.

With Genesis, which is hoped to be reached in the next two to three months, the network will transition into beta. The mainnet is currently running on nodes held in seven independent data centers across the United States, Germany and Switzerland.

The Internet Computer promises to be the first blockchain computer running at web speed with unbounded capacity. It achieves this speed through something called Chain Key Technology, which splits calls to smart contracts into two types: update calls and query calls.”

The protocol has engaged design agency Koto to revamp its token icon, typography, messaging, and more. Key decisions will all happen “on-chain,” to maximize the input of the Polkadot community.

Brand identity and direction are crucially important elements to a growing network like Polkadot, so it was never in doubt that these efforts would need to be led, funded, and approved by the community.”

“As of Monday, 100 doctors and personnel had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccinated personnel also received a digital certificate on their E-HCert App, an electronic wallet for lab results based on the VeChain Thor blockchain.

In a Twitter post earlier this week, the VeChain Foundation said its technology provides governments and individuals assurances that the test results are valid. For all its potential use cases, VeChain has singled out healthcare as one industry primed for disruption due to blockchain technology.”

The Italian Banking Association, or ABI, has affirmed its support for the implementation of a sovereign European digital currency by beginning pilot studies on a digital euro project.

The ABI’s digital euro study will reportedly focus on two major areas — technical feasibility analysis and central bank digital currency programmability to create a distinction from existing electronic payment methods.”

See Also: Iranian Authorities Close 1,620 Illegal Cryptocurrency Mining Farms: Report

“The Tuesday order bars United States citizens or people located in the U.S. from using nine Chinese payment apps.

The executive order takes effect in 45 days, by which time Trump will already be out of office. Given that his earlier order to get ByteDance to divest from TikTok was stonewalled in court while he was still in office, there’s not a ton of reason to believe that Trump will get his way here.

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