Bumper Finance’s eagerly awaited liquidity provision program has now launched. Day 1 investors are already steaming in to take advantage of the superb APR on offer for those participating. The innovative protocol aims to calm the nerves of crypto investors by offering a unique set of protections against asset volatility. It hopes to empower holders…
Thailand’s oldest bank sees blockchain and DeFi as the future of global finance and is seeking to invest in the emerging digital landscape.
While serious institutional interest in crypto is perhaps becoming more of an established trend than an emerging narrative, the focus of big-money players is usually on Bitcoin (BTC). However, assets like Ether (ETH) and decentralized finance (DeFi) are beginning to pique the attention of major investors.
For Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), DeFi is a major focus point of its current digital asset drive, as Thailand’s oldest bank prepares itself for the expected financial technological disruption of decentralized finance. While other banks are still undecided or only making temporary forays into interacting with digital assets, SCB says it is keen on committing funds to explore the blockchain and DeFi space.
SCB’s DeFi focus is also coming at a time when regulators in Thailand are targeting the decentralized finance space for more stringent regulations. Indeed, regulatory attention is increasingly coming the way of the niche market space with national and intergovernmental agencies looking to craft legal policies for the DeFi market.
DeFi initially held the promise of decentralization; the disintermediation of the established gatekeepers of global finance. However, with banks and financial institutions investing in decentralized technology, the narrative appears to be shifting towards a hybrid form of DeFi known as regulated DeFi, which combines the extant norms and efficiency of traditional finance, instant settlements and cost reduction benefits associated with decentralized protocols.
Siam Commercial Bank’s $110 million blockchain war chest started as a $50 million seed fund initiated back in February by SCB 10X, the bank’s venture arm. As reported by Cointelegraph at the time, the fund further strengthened the bank’s forward-thinking approach to the emerging developments in digital finance.
In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Mukaya ‘Tai’ Panich, chief venture and investment officer at SCB 10X, said that DeFi was a sort of revelation for the bank during its assessment of the emerging digital finance landscape.
“We were doing work on the blockchain industry and started looking into DeFi. And we were amazed by it,” Panich told Cointelegraph. According to the SCB 10X executive, the bank was quick to spot the paradigm shift of potential DeFi technology and the possible disintermediation of the traditional financial institutions.
“DeFi projects can be completely automated,” he said, noting that human involvement would be restricted to smart contract code upgrades. Panich also touched on the revolutionary nature of smart contracts and how lines of code can enable direct transactions between entities like lenders and borrowers without the need for a central counterparty.
Given the possibility of DeFi upending the legacy finance status quo, Panich says banks would do well to prepare for the imminent disruption:
“The reason we want to invest in DeFi and be part of the DeFi protocol’s ecosystem is because we want to understand and capitalize on DeFi, given its potential to meaningfully impact the financial industry.”
At $110 million, the blockchain and DeFi fund is almost half of the SCB 10X’s $220 million venture capital fund. Commenting on the size of the allocation to digital assets, Panich said that it was a reflection of the bank’s commitment to the DeFi space, adding:
“SCB 10X has invested and developed multiple collaborative relationships with the blockchain community in Asia and across the world including Ripple, BlockFi, Sygnum, Alpha Finance Lab, Anchorage, Anchor Protocol (part of Terra chain), Axelar and Ape Board, among others.”
Upending global finance
Back in April, John Whelan, head of Banco Santander’s blockchain lab in Madrid, put forward an argument for regulated DeFi. According to Whelan, private layer-two settlement networks for asset classes running on top of public blockchains will likely emerge in the future.
According to Whelan, blockchain adoption for reducing transaction settlement throughput is a major focus point for legacy finance stakeholders. Whelan’s comments highlighted the emerging narrative that rather than disintermediation, financial institutions will find means to adopt DeFi tech to their own backend processes.
Panich also echoed similar sentiments, telling Cointelegraph: “I want to point out that I really see a future where traditional financial companies will work together with DeFi companies. My view is that in the future, there will be an integration of traditional finance with DeFi.”
According to the SCB 10X chief investment officer, banks and financial institutions have the necessary “customer-facing” experience to better offer innovative fintech services to consumers. “In the future, I can see a world where DeFi can power the back-end of traditional finance companies,” Panich added.
For Rachid Ajaja, CEO and co-founder of decentralized capital market outfit AllianceBlock, the promised upending of legacy finance by DeFi is something that will happen in the long term. However, Ajaja said the short-term trend will consist of more financial institutions leveraging aspects of decentralized finance.
The AllianceBlock CEO drew parallels with the digital transformation era that saw the emergence of fintech companies providing services via APIs that interface with the banking system. “With the bridging of DeFi and financial institutions, we will see exactly the same thing, and bit by bit, legacy systems will change,” Ajaja told Cointelegraph, adding:
“Long term, I am absolutely confident that DeFi will upend the global financial system completely because everything that is done in traditional finance can be replicated in DeFi with lower cost, less need for a middleman, new opportunities and increased new revenue streams. It’s only a matter of time.”
Craig Russo, director of innovation at the nonfungible token vault and marketplace protocol PolyientX, also provided further insight as to the possible future path for DeFi adoption in global finance. Russo told Cointelegraph that financial institutions will most likely adopt open-access protocols via initiatives like Compound Treasury while also utilizing DeFi technology within their internal systems.
“A big goal of the DeFi movement is to revamp the current economic system to better align incentive structures, which may ultimately come at odds with the interests of some institutions while opening the door to a new wave of fintech innovation,” Russo added.
Dealing with regulatory pressure
As the SCB continues with its exploration of blockchain investment opportunities, authorities in Thailand are shining the regulatory spotlight on DeFi. Back in June, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced plans to consider a licensing regime for the decentralized finance protocols, especially projects that issue tokens.
Commenting on how the bank will handle the increased scrutiny of the DeFi space, Panich stated, “SCB 10X’s aim is to absolutely work within the regulations laid out by the government and regulators such as the Thai SEC and the Bank of Thailand.”
“Blockchain and DeFi are very young, emerging and fast-changing industries. As a TradFi player active in DeFi, it is incumbent upon us to work closely with the government and regulators to help put forward the DeFi industry’s perspective, finding optimal ways to move the industry rapidly forward.”
The Thai SEC’s plan to consider DeFi regulations is indicative of the current attention being paid to DeFi by regulators across the globe. Also in June, the World Economic Forum released a policy toolkit for fair and efficient DeFi regulations.
The emphasis on fair and efficient regulations is likely based on fears that blockchain startups may be at a disadvantage from a compliance standpoint if more stringent measures are applied to DeFi. Regulated entities like banks and financial institutions may find it easier to negotiate these policy constraints.
Indeed, AllianceBlock’s Ajaja made this same point to Cointelegraph, stating, “DeFi primitives are definitely at a disadvantage in this regard against their counterparts in mainstream finance.” As such, Ajaja stated that compliance gateways for protocols like Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering are necessary for greater compatibility with mainstream finance and the move towards interfacing with real-world assets for DeFi primitives.
So far, throughout the cryptocurrency industry, Ethereum has been the leader when it comes to smart contract capabilities as well as a number of projects that run on its network, however, there has also been a push to add these developments to Bitcoin.
One of these projects is Stacks STX/USD, which is a layer-one blockchain protocol fully designed to provide smart contracts as well as decentralized applications (dApps) to Bitcoin.
On July 10, STX created and sold the first NFT on Bitcoin from the Stacks foundation. This marked a new beginning of smart contacts on Bitcoin. It was called Cara Delevingne’s “Mine” and sold for 18,000 STX.
Developments such as these increase the demand for the STX token and with its increased circulating supply, the value will increase as well.
On July 21, we saw the introduction of Clarinet, which was a tool built by Ludovic Galabru that streamlined the process of developing, testing, and deploying Clarity smart contracts. Through the development of tools such as these, we can potentially see a lot more developers becoming interested in developing on Stacks, which will in turn increase the demand for the STX token and increase its circulating supply and value.
Another interesting aspect surrounding STX is that users can stake STX to earn BTC as a reward. This is done through proof-of-transfer (Pox) which runs alongside Bitcoin and uses its network as a broadcaster. This is earned at an average rate of around 10%.
Stacks price analysis: Should you invest in Stacks (STX)?
On July 23, Stacks had a value of $1.08.
To compare its current value with its potential growth, we need to look at its all-time high.
STX had an all-time high value of $2.92 that was on April 05, 2021. To get a better perspective of its ups and downs as of recently, let’s look at how it grew across June and July.
On June 3, it had one of its highest values at $1.04 and one of the lowest at $0.53 on June 22. However, on July 11, after news came of the first NFT sold, its value got up to $1.45. This gives us a perspective as to the jumps in the value we can expect the STX token to get.
In other words, at the $1.08 price point, STX is a worthwhile investment, especially given its new developments with tools such as Clarinet and the Clarity programming language. We can expect its value to increase to $1.40 by the end of August.
The post Stacks price analysis: Should you invest in Stacks (STX)? appeared first on Invezz.
from Cryptocurrency – Invezz
Here are the most exciting headlines from the cryptocurrency sector that you might have missed this week.
A trio of Republican Senators demands banning of the digital Yuan for American athletes in the Beijing Olympics
A group of Republican Senators wrote to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) on Monday demanding that the committee bar all US Olympians from using the digital Yuan in the Beijing Winter Olympics coming early next year. Senators Roger Wicker, Marsha Blackburn, and Cynthia Lummis wrote to the commission following China’s recent confirmation that international travellers would be able to use the digital Yuan for daily transactions during the Olympics.
A reason that the senators cited was the belief that the Chinese government might attempt to spy on Americans, a suspicion tied to recent emerging details which revealed that while using the new currency, the Chinese government would be able to determine where and what a user purchased. The senators also warned that the Chinese Communist Party has a set precedent in regards to performing surveillance on its citizens.
The Chinese government has in the past been on the spot for the use of developing tech to suppress minority communities in the country. China has since responded to the senators, slamming them for politicising a sporting event and demanded that they desist from using the Chinese digital coin to cause trouble.
Institutional investors have warmed up to crypto
As per a research study conducted between December 2nd last year and April 2nd this year by Fidelity Digital Assets, a significant number of investors expect to purchase crypto assets in the near future. Fidelity Digital Assets, in the research, defined digital asset investment as direct investment in crypto, the purchase of crypto-affiliated stocks, or engagement through other cryptocurrency products.
Reuters also reported that Coalition Greenwich conducted the survey on Fidelity Digital Assets’ behalf and the scope of the study included hedge funds, high net-worth investors, and financial advisors, totalling up to 1,100 participants worldwide: 408 in the US, 299 in Asia, and 393 from Europe. The study results revealed that a significant 70% of the participants anticipated investing in crypto in the next few years.
90% of those interested in crypto disclosed that they expected to see their customers or respective companies join the digital assets revolution within the next five years. A rather interesting observation from the study was that nine of every ten investors saw something attractive in crypto, with a majority citing crypto’s absence of correlation with other assets and others noting its propensity towards innovative tech.
Regulators in Europe propose ban on anonymous crypto transactions
Earlier this week, the European Union suggested that the AML/CFT laws currently only partially covering cryptocurrencies be extended to cover all cryptocurrencies and associated products in an attempt to counter money laundering. The move comes as the EU attempts to regulate the spiralling crypto sector with the proposed regulations’ main change being the requirement that crypto-dealing firms perform due diligence on their customers.
This would mean the collection of user personal information including details such as the names, account numbers, addresses, and dates of birth. The law would also mean that the creation of anonymous bank accounts would be outlawed. If the European countries take up the new proposals, one of crypto’s core tenets—anonymity—would be negatively impacted.
However, the new recommendations still have a long way to go in that they are yet to be stamped by EU member states, and the EU parliament approval is also pending. The EU has been exploring the idea of establishing a digital Euro, a venture which was finally launched last week. The launch is due following a February collaboration between the EU and the European Central Bank (ECB) to explore the possibility of creating the digital asset.
Goldman Sachs finds that 60% of mega-rich family offices are either already in or interested in crypto
A survey conducted by the multinational banking institution Goldman Sachs revealed that 45% of family office investors are interested in investing in crypto, while another 15% are already invested in digital assets. The 45% attributed their interest to crypto’s providing a hedge against inflation, more so considering the increased monetary and fiscal stimuli witnessed within the last year.
The study involved about 150 family offices, of which 22% had assets under management with a value of $5 billion or more. 45% had assets valued between $1 billion and $4.9 billion. Regional comparisons revealed that 24% of American family offices, 8% of Asian, and only 8% of the entire Middle Eastern, European, and African family offices had invested in digital assets.
A substantial 39% of the participants said they would never invest in cryptocurrencies, with about half of these offices citing crypto’s volatility, while 40% were just not satisfied with the current crypto infrastructure.
While speaking to Bloomberg, Melina Flynn, the Global Co-Head of private wealth at Goldman Sachs, noted there had been a spike in interest with more family offices inquiring about blockchain and affiliate technologies. She also revealed that several of these family offices believed that crypto could eventually become as impactful as the internet was.
MasterCard’s USDC integration to simplify crypto card payments
MasterCard has been offering crypto services for a while now, and one huge challenge on its platform is the need for conversion of the users’ crypto into fiat before it settles into MasterCard’s network. That snag is, however, seemingly coming to an end.
Earlier in the year, MasterCard had announced plans to allow the use of certain stablecoins directly on its platform and thus solve the challenge of conversion. The payment solutions firm revealed on Tuesday that it was working with Circle, Paxos Trust, and Evolve Bank & Trust, to test the new Mastercard capability before it could be rolled out.
MasterCard’s VP Raj Dhamodharan explained that not many institutions had the fundamental infrastructure required to develop systems to convert crypto into fiat. As such, MasterCard was stepping in to bridge the gap. Circle, which is one of the firms collaborating with MasterCard, is the largest operator of the USDC, a coin that has become popular because of its backing by fiat – the US dollar. Stablecoins such as USDC have in recent times seen increased interest, even more than traditional crypto assets such as BTC.
The post Weekly Report: Digital Yuan concerns resurface as EU considers more strict crypto regulation appeared first on Coin Journal.
from CoinJournal: Home
PancakeSwap CAKE/USD is a Binance Smart Chain-based DEX that was launched by anonymous developers. Its an automated market maker (AMM) and decentralized finance (DeFi) application that has seen a lot of activity recently.
On June 29, we saw Fetch.ai launch Intelligence Automation for PancakeSwap and Uniswap V2. This enabled users to create up to five DeFi Agents with stop-loss triggers, and generally lead to an increase in the usage of PancakeSwap which raised the demand for the CAKE token.
On July 22, PancakeSwap introduced the C98 Syrup Pool, which provides total rewards of up to 3,000,000 C98 tokens. In other words, it enabled users to provide liquidity in the form of C98-BNB LP tokens to earn CAKE.
Furthermore, we also saw the Axie Infinity Farm and Soup Pool going live at this time where users could stake CAKE and earn AXS, or Stake AXS and earn CAKE. They can also stake AX-BNB and earn CAKE.
As if this was not enough, we also saw the addition of the Tranchess CHESS token addition.
At this point in time, it is sufficient to say that the PancakeSwap AMM has been receiving a lot of activity, and as such we can expect to see an increase in its circulating supply, token demand, and most importantly, value.
Should you buy PancakeSwap (CAKE)?
On July 22, PancakeSwap (CAKE) had a value of $13.
CAKE experienced its all-time high on April 30, where it managed to get to a value of $43.96.
This being the case, we can see just how much potential the token has of climbing in value. To further estimate its value, we will be looking at last month’s performance as a point of reference.
On June 5, we saw CAKE getting to a high point of $20. Discussing its lowest point of the month, we saw it on June 22 where it managed to drop to $10.
This indicates a $10 difference from its high to its low point, which makes it at a solid price point to buy at $13.
With the addition of so many cryptocurrencies on PancakeSwap, we can expect a lot of people to start staking CAKE or earning CAKE. In any case, this will drive up its demand, and in turn, value.
Having a daily trading volume of $336 million is an indication of just how popular PancakeSwap is, and as such, we can expect its value to rise to the $15 mark by the end of July.
Furthermore, it might even get to its recent high of $20 by the end of August if it keeps up this momentum, and this is why at the $13 price range, PancakeSwap (CAKE) is a worthwhile investment.
from Cryptocurrency – Invezz
Bitcoin is in a very dark place at the time of writing. After trading for a new all-time high of $64,000 per unit in mid-April of this year, the currency has once again (for the second time in the past few months) dropped below the $30,000 range and is now trading for just over $29,000.…
A panel of crypto experts alleges that bitcoin – the world’s number one digital currency by market cap – will potentially remove fiat currency from circulation by the year 2050. This basically gives bitcoin approximately 29 years to become the primary financial product of the world. Bitcoin Is Rising to the Top On the one…
The post Analysts: Bitcoin Will Obliterate Fiat from Existence By 2050 appeared first on Live Bitcoin News.
Social content aggregation platform, Reddit, has selected Layer 2 Ethereum solutions provider, Arbitrum, to scale its community points program. The move could potentially onboard millions of new users to the Ethereum ecosystem. Reddit made the announcement on July 22, adding that it will be testing the scaling network on the Rinkeby testnet, before migrating to […]
The post Ethereum May Get Millions More Users via Reddit on Layer 2 appeared first on Altcoin Buzz.
Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest purchased more than 450,000 GBTC shares in two separate buys this week.
As the price of Bitcoin returned to more than $32,000 this week, some major firms announced they had increased their exposure to cryptocurrencies through Grayscale’s crypto trusts.
According to a Friday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, New York-based investment firm Edge Wealth Management currently holds 54,134 shares of Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), valued at $27.13 at the time of publication, and 25,280 shares of the company’s Ethereum Trust (ETHE). The crypto holdings are worth almost $2 million at $1,468,655 and $466,668, respectively, roughly 0.3% of the $703 million total assets under management the company reported on Feb. 2.
Grayscale’s crypto trusts are not new investment opportunities for Edge. The investment firm held 37,605 GBTC and 17,300 ETHE shares in April, representing increases of 44% and 46%, respectively.
Some institutions’ exposure to Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and other cryptocurrencies through Grayscale have increased as digital currencies seemingly play a larger role in the global economy. Similar filings with the SEC show Rothschild Investment Corp quadrupled its exposure to Bitcoin through Grayscale, owning 38,346 GBTC shares in April and 141,405 GBTC as of June 30. With a reported more than $1 billion in assets under management as of April 8, the Bitcoin trust shares represent less than 0.09% of the investment firm’s holdings.
However, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest is continuing to purchase GBTC shares at higher rate than the two aforementioned companies. This week, the investment firm reported it purchased more than 450,000 shares of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust in two separate buys, bringing its combined holdings to more than 9 million shares, or roughly 0.5% of its portfolio. At its peak in March, GBTC represented 0.9% of Ark’s portfolio.
“The investment community continues to express interest in the digital currency asset class, and the crypto ecosystem more broadly, and as these assets gain mainstream adoption, we anticipate investors will seek new ways to access digital currencies to further diversify their portfolios,” said Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein in a letter to investors.
The reports of GBTC purchases come the same week Grayscale unlocked 16,240 BTC worth of its Bitcoin Trust shares after six months. Though there was some speculation the price of the crypto asset could be adversely affected by such a large release in a single day, BTC saw a roughly 2.9% increase in price week-over-week and reached $32,457 at the time of publication.