Institutional investors won’t take Bitcoin mainstream — You will

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Gold Exceeds U.S. Dollars in Russia’s Reserves as Putin Focuses on De-Dollarization

Gold Exceeds U.S. Dollars in Russia’s Reserves as Putin Focuses on De-Dollarization

Russia is now holding more gold than U.S. dollars in its reserves for the first time, according to the latest report by Russia’s central bank. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made de-dollarization his country’s key policy to reduce the Russian economy’s exposure to the U.S. dollar amid heavy sanctions.

Russia Now Has More Gold in Its Reserves Than US Dollars

Gold has reportedly surpassed U.S. dollars in Russia’s reserves of $583 billion for the first time, according to a report published this week by the Bank of Russia. The country has been growing its international reserves in recent years.

The report shows that gold made up 23% of the central bank’s reserves as of June 30, 2020, Bloomberg detailed, citing the latest data with a breakdown. The share of the U.S. dollar in the reserves has fallen to 22% from more than 40% in 2018. The euro made up about a third of the total assets, followed by gold which is now the second-largest component. About 12% is in the Chinese yuan.

The increase in the gold component of the reserves is boosted by the 26% surge in the price of the metal between June 2019 and June 2020, the publication added. The report also reveals that the central bank bought $4.3 billion worth of gold over the period.

Russia became the world’s largest gold buyer after it spent more than $40 billion purchasing gold over the past five years. The central bank said that it stopped buying gold in the first half of last year to encourage miners and banks to export more and bring foreign currency into the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made de-dollarization his country’s key policy in an effort to reduce the Russian economy’s exposure to dollar assets. The multi-year drive to reduce Russia’s vulnerability to U.S. sanctions comes amid deteriorating relations with Washington.

News.Bitcoin.com reported in August last year that Russia and China had been collaborating to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar, and trade settlements in USD between the two countries had fallen below 50%.

What do you think about Russia’s de-dollarization efforts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Bank of Russia, Bloomberg

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

RAMP DeFi Leads The Liquid Staking Race, Opening Ethereum-Based DeFi to Staked Liquidity From Other Blockchains

Participation in the DeFi and staking ecosystems has seen explosive growth over the last year, with the combined sectors currently accounting for over $50 billion in value.

DeFi growth was predominantly fueled by the breakthrough success of Ethereum-based projects such as Aave, Compound, and Uniswap, utilizing ERC20 stablecoins like USDC and Dai to generate yield. Digital assets staked on other networks were left behind, unable to participate in the emerging DeFi ecosystem.

If those stakers wanted to access DeFi without introducing new capital, they needed to unstake and sell their investments to enter the market. That meant giving up on potential capital gains and staking rewards from those assets.

Singapore startup RAMP DeFi is now pioneering an alternative solution, opening up participation in the Ethereum-based DeFi ecosystem – without giving up the future benefits of other staked digital assets. It has attracted investment from Alameda Research, IOST, and Blockwater Capital, among others.

A Cross-Chain Liquidity On/Off Ramp

RAMP DeFi’s innovative decentralized protocol solution proposes that capital staked on non-Ethereum blockchains can be collateralized into a new stablecoin “rUSD” issued on Ethereum, acting as a bridge between non-ERC20 tokens and the Ethereum chain.

By lending/borrowing, bootstrapping stablecoin liquidity, and integrating with other DeFi solutions, rUSD holders can either deploy rUSD into higher yield generating opportunities or swap into USDT/USDC. This creates a seamless on/off ramp for users with staked capital on other chains to access DeFi without giving up future potential gains or rewards from the collateralized digital assets.

How Does It Work?

For each blockchain “X” integrated, a RAMP staking node and smart contract on blockchain X are set up to manage the assets. Token X is staked in the RAMP ecosystem to continue to receive blockchain X staking rewards.

A Wrapped Token X is then issued and used to collateralize and mint a blockchain X native stablecoin, xUSD. xUSD is based on a collateralization ratio similar to MakerDAO.

xUSD can then be swapped into the ERC20 rUSD stablecoin, using the on/off ramp cross-chain bridge. From there, rUSD can be deployed into yield farming opportunities or swapped directly for other stablecoins using decentralized liquidity pools.

A Broadening Ecosystem That’s Gaining Traction

RAMP DeFi’s liquid staking solution opens up an ecosystem of services, assets, and opportunities that is already beginning to gain traction:

rStake

rStake is the part of the ecosystem where non-ERC20 tokens are staked and wrapped tokens are issued to represent the ownership of the underlying assets. It is an aggregator of staking nodes on the participating blockchains, returning 70% of the staking rewards to the user, incentivizing participation through additional RAMP governance token rewards. The remaining staking rewards generate fees for the RAMP ecosystem to help with stability.

rStake has already launched integrations for the IOST, TomoChain, and Tezos blockchains.

rMint

rMint uses the wrapped tokens issued by rStake as collateral to mint a stablecoin for the respective X blockchain (xUSD). xUSD is then swapped into ERC20 rUSD to use in the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem, earning RAMP rewards in the process.

Early adopters include Elrond, NULS, and Solana for cross-chain DeFi farming.

Vaults

The Vaults utility platform for RAMP and rUSD allows holders to stake, farm, and participate in yield stacking opportunities.

rUSD can also be swapped for USDT/USDC directly, and Vaults can connect to existing solutions such as YFI, Uniswap, or Sushi.

rKeeper

rKeeper manages the conversion of liquidated assets into stablecoins for rUSD where necessary for value support or redemptions. rKeeper converts the value of liquidated assets into USDT/USDC at the equivalent rUSD originally minted.

The repurchase of rUSD by rKeeper only takes place when rUSD is less than 1:1 with USDT/USDC, creating stability for rUSD utility.

rBurn

The fees generated by rStake are used to buy back and burn RAMP, removing tokens from circulation. rBurn is designed as a “smart burn” mechanism that again helps provide stability for rUSD as an alternative stable coin and bridge to the Ethereum-based DeFi network.

Opening Up Defi To Non-ERC20 Tokens

RAMP DeFi introduces a solution with the potential to unlock over $30 billion in a previously illiquid staked digital asset sector, set to expand fourfold with the transition to Ethereum 2.0 alone.

The RAMP ecosystem represents exciting growth potential for DeFi, harnessing existing success while opening up further possibilities for ERC20 and non-ERC20 tokens to gain access to additional yield generating services. It frictionlessly connects a range of digital assets to the decentralized finance marketplace, across an increasingly interoperable space, boosting DeFi adoption as a result.

Image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay

Ethereum Signals Bullish Breakout, Why ETH Could Hit New ATH Soon

Ethereum broke the $1,200 resistance to move into a bullish zone against the US Dollar. ETH price is showing positive signs and it is likely to continue higher above $1,300 and $1,400.

  • ETH price is gaining bullish momentum above the $1,200 pivot level against the US Dollar.
  • The price is facing hurdles near $1,280, but it is well above the 100 simple moving average (4-hours).
  • There was a break above a major contracting triangle with resistance near $1,215 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).
  • The pair is likely to continue higher towards $1,400 and $1,500 in the coming days.

Ethereum’s Ether Could Rally Further

This past week, bitcoin and ethereum saw a fresh increase above $1,150 and $35,000 respectively against the US Dollar. ETH price even surpassed the $1,200 resistance zone and settled well above the 100 simple moving average (4-hours).

The upward move was such that there was a break above a major contracting triangle with resistance near $1,215 on the 4-hours chart of ETH/USD. Ether price traded as high as $1,292 before correcting lower.

There was a break below the $1,240 level. The price traded below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent increase from the $1,066 swing low to $1,292 high. However, the broken triangle resistance is acting as a strong support near the $1,200 zone.

Ethereum’s Ether

Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

The next major support is near the $1,180 level. It is close to the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent increase from the $1,066 swing low to $1,292 high.

On the upside, the price is facing a short-term resistance near the $1,280 level. A clear break above the $1,280 and $1,300 resistance levels could open the doors for a larger increase. In the stated case, ether price might even surpass $1,400 and trade to a new all-time high in the near term.

Dips Supported in Ether (ETH)?

If Ethereum fails to clear the $1,280 and $1,300 resistance levels, it could start a downside correction. The first key support on the downside is near the $1,180 level.

The main support is forming near the $1,150 level (the recent breakout zone). Any more losses could lead the price towards $1,050 and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours).

Technical Indicators

4 hours MACD – The MACD for ETH/USD is slowly gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

4 hours RSI – The RSI for ETH/USD is well above the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $1,180

Major Resistance Level – $1,280

How RAMP DeFi Maximizes APY on Your Staked Crypto Assets

How RAMP DeFi Maximizes APY on Your Staked Crypto Assets

Industry

How RAMP DeFi Maximizes APY on Your Staked Crypto Assets


The growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) has exploded over the last year, beginning with less than $1 billion in total locked value to almost $20 billion currently. DeFi has created transactional opportunities that were previously impossible without blockchain technology, unlocking additional value for users that was previously captured by third parties. With the explosion of DeFi applications, more cryptocurrency users are discovering ways to generate additional yield on their cryptocurrency holdings, both actively and passively.

Examples of how a user can generate additional value through DeFi is by providing liquidity to a decentralized exchange or insurance platform, lending their cryptocurrency, or by staking. Staking is the process of locking up tokens in a network in order to help validate transactions and to serve as collateral against bad actors who may try to exploit the network.

How Does Staking Work?

There are a few methods that allow for a blockchain network to verify its transactions, with the two most popular being Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS). PoW, the verification method the Bitcoin blockchain uses, requires specialized computing equipment and large amounts of electricity to validate transactions and for miners to receive rewards. With PoS, no specialized equipment or power is needed; all that is required is the native currency of the network to be used as collateral. With this method, users can participate in validating the network’s transactions and receive rewards by locking their tokens into a smart contract. If a malicious staking party tries to take advantage of the network, they are punished by having a portion of their stake slashed.

With Ethereum moving to a PoS verification model, ETH owners have a new way to generate yield on dormant ETH. Now, all that is required for a user to earn a yield on their holdings is to lock Ether into the ETH 2.0 staking contract for a fixed period. While Ethereum is a widely used and established crypto network, many much smaller networks have also implemented staking. Some of these platforms offer extremely high annual returns when compared to traditional finance, albeit with more inherent risk. Until now, there hasn’t been a way to stake funds in a smaller network while simultaneously being able to use that value to generate yield on a more established platform like Ethereum. This is where RAMP DeFi comes in.

Gaining Additional Yield

The DeFi sector is still in its infancy, but the amount of innovation in the space is breathtaking, with original new projects popping up on a regular basis. With the focus on DeFi revolving around Ethereum, the largest decentralized smart contract platform, many users want to get involved in the ecosystem but are hampered by having their money tied up in other networks. A solution has arrived courtesy of a platform that allows users to unlock the value staked in non-Ethereum networks: RAMP DeFi.

RAMP DeFi is a novel platform that allows its users to take full advantage of the value of their staked tokens. With RAMP, a user can actively extract the value staked on a non-Ethereum network and bridge the asset onto the Ethereum blockchain, enabling them to remain their stake while also having the ability to generate additional yield. Since the majority of DeFi activity takes place on the Ethereum network, this allows stakers in other networks to get the best of both worlds.

If a user is technologically savvy and willing to experiment, there are a lot of new ways to generate impressive yields on cryptocurrency holdings. As DeFi becomes more mainstream and accessible, new methods are being created to increase value, such as unlocking additional liquidity from staked assets. Innovations such as RAMP allow users to push the envelope and experiment with different methods to increase the profitability of their assets. The result? More crypto earnings and more opportunities to generate a passive income.


Disclaimer: The information presented here does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. The statements, views, and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author/company and do not represent those of Bitcoinist. We strongly advise our readers to DYOR before investing in any cryptocurrency, blockchain project, or ICO, particularly those that guarantee profits. Furthermore, Bitcoinist does not guarantee or imply that the cryptocurrencies or projects published are legal in any specific reader’s location. It is the reader’s responsibility to know the laws regarding cryptocurrencies and ICOs in his or her country.

 

Bitcoin Struggles Below $38K, Why BTC Could Dive To $32K

Bitcoin price is struggling to clear the $38,000 and $40,000 resistance levels against the US Dollar. BTC is currently consolidating above $36,000 and it remains at a risk of a downside break.

  • Bitcoin is trading in a short-term bearish zone below the $38,000 and $40,000 resistance levels.
  • The price is holding a key support zone near $35,600 and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours).
  • There is a major contracting triangle forming with support near $35,550 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could start a strong decline if it clears the $35,500 and $35,000 support levels in the near term.

Bitcoin Price Correcting Gains

This past week, bitcoin price climbed higher sharply above the $38,000 resistance against the US Dollar. The BTC/USD pair even spiked above the $40,000 resistance, but it failed to continue higher.

A high was formed near $40,036 and the price settled well above the 100 simple moving average (4-hours). Recently, there was a fresh decline and the price broke the $38,000 support. It even traded below the $36,000 level and formed a low at $34,319.

The price is currently consolidating above the $35,000 level and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours). It was already rejected once near the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $40,036 swing high to $34,319 low.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

There is also a major contracting triangle forming with support near $35,550 on the 4-hours chart of the BTC/USD pair. The triangle support is near the $35,000 breakdown zone and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours).

If there is a downside break below the $35,500 and $35,000 support levels, bitcoin price might accelerate lower. The next major support on the downside is near the $34,000 level. Any more losses could open the doors for a push towards the $32,000 and $30,000 support levels in the near term.

Upside Break in BTC?

If bitcoin stays above the triangle support, $35,000, and the 100 simple moving average (4-hours), it could start a fresh increase.

The main resistance on the upside is near the $38,600 zone and the triangle upper trend line. It is close to 76.4% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $40,036 swing high to $34,319 low. A close above the $38,600 level could open the doors for a strong surge above $40,000.

Technical indicators

4 hours MACD – The MACD for BTC/USD is losing momentum in the bullish zone.

4 hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $35,500

Major Resistance Level – $38,600

YouTuber Ali Spagnola Accidentally Turned $50 in Bitcoin Into $39,000

Popular YouTube artist Alicia “Ali” Spagnola says she became “accidentally bitcoin rich” after receiving a BTC donation made in 2013. 

According to a recent video, first spotted by Bitcoin.com, Spagnola told her 325,000 subscribers that she was “bitcoin rich” from a $50 BTC donation made in 2013. The popular YouTube musician said she received the BTC through her Free Paintings project years ago, after being asked to provide an acrylic interpretation of bitcoin. 

She shared an excerpt of the original email from June 25, 2013, when a requester convinced her to accept bitcoin. 

I would like to pay you $50 (in bitcoins) for your interpretation of a bitcoin- a new virtual currency that makes it super easy to send/receive money over the internet.

Following the latest bull rally for bitcoin, Spagnola’s forgotten BTC ballooned to more than $39,000, prompting her to make a visit to the donator in Las Vegas and personally deliver a larger version of the original portrait. 

The YouTube personality also announced a “pay it forward” initiative with her lucky donation, saying she would send $50 in BTC to ten random commenters on the video. 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Swiss Stock Exchange’s Crypto Trading Volume Soars — Hits Record $1.2 Billion

Swiss Stock Exchange’s Crypto Trading Volume Soars — Hits Record $1.2 Billion

Switzerland’s principal stock exchange has revealed that its crypto trading volume hit a record high of CHF 1.1 billion ($1.23 billion) in 2020. The exchange now offers 34 exchange-traded products, allowing investors “access to 100 different crypto products trading on our platform,” said the exchange’s head of markets.

Crypto Trading Volume on Switzerland’s Stock Exchange Hit Record High

SIX Swiss Exchange, Switzerland’s principal stock exchange, announced Wednesday that its crypto trading volume hit a record high last year. The announcement details:

The Swiss Stock Exchange, the world’s leading marketplace for regulated crypto products, has registered a break of the billion barrier in trading turnover in crypto products for the first time with CHF 1.1 billion in 2020.

It adds that this volume “surpassed the record CHF 525 million from 2017 by 112%.” In addition, “the number of trades reached a new record of 48,024.”

New Crypto ETP Listing

Concurrently, the Zurich-based stock exchange also welcomed ETC Group as its new crypto exchange-traded product (ETP) issuer. “ETC Group lists a bitcoin ETP, taking the number of ETP providers to six and the number of ETPs to 34,” the exchange confirmed.

“With the listing of the Btcetc Bitcoin ETP (Primary Ticker: BTCE) by ETC Group, the Swiss Stock Exchange is strengthening its position as [a] world leading marketplace for regulated crypto products,” the announcement notes. The newly listed product tracks the price of bitcoin and is 100% physically backed; it is trading in USD, GBP, and CHF.

Christian Reuss, Head of Markets at SIX Swiss Exchange, commented:

With the new product, investors gain access to 100 different crypto products trading on our platform and with this have even more opportunities to diversify their portfolio.

What do you think about all the crypto exchange-traded products on the Swiss stock exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

UK Man Offers City $72 Million for Permission to Dig up Discarded Bitcoin Fortune

James Howells, a UK-based IT worker, has offered the Newport city council $72 million in exchange for permission to dig up a hard drive he discarded back in 2013, which has 7,500 BTC stored in it.

According to The Telegraph, Howells accidentally threw away the hard drive while cleaning his house back then. His Bitcoin fortune was earned by mining with a CPU when it was still relatively easy to mine the flagship cryptocurrency.

When his fortune started being worth millions, he tried to recover the hard drive but the Newport city council has continuously rejected his requests. According to Newport daily tabloid the South Wales Argus, he has now made an offer to the city worth 25% of the funds as a COVID-19 relief donation.

At current prices, the BTC held on the hard drive is worth nearly $300 million. The IT worker reportedly said he just needs access to the landfill records to know where to search, and that the search team would create an air-tight seal to prevent the release of poisonous gases.

Commenting on the possibility of finding the funds, Howells said there is “no guarantee” that the hard drive still works because of the environment it’s in, but added:

The outside case might be rusted. But the inside disk, where the data is stored, there should be a good chance that it still works. I believe there still will be a chance. But the longer this drags on though, it’s less likely to be a possibility.

Officials have, however, countered there are environmental risks associated with the excavation, and that if the hard drive isn’t found they would have to cover the bill themselves. Howells has, however, said he is prepared to commit funds to an escrow account to cover the excavation costs.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Algorithmic asset experiments continue to entice traders & developers

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware.

If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.