Total Value Locked in DeFi Hits New ATH of $4B

Total Value Locked in DeFi Hits New ATH of $4B

A total of $4 billion in value is now locked in the DeFi markets, according to

The Decentralized Finance, or DeFi, industry continues its massive growth trajectory as the total value locked in the DeFi markets hits $4B, according to data from major industry website

Total value locked in DeFi markets, August 1

Total value locked in DeFi markets, August 1. Source:

DeFi markets refer to the use of blockchain, digital assets, and smart contracts in financial services like credit and lending to provide financial services without a need for a centralized authority.

The new threshold means that a total of over $4 billion is now locked across smart contracts, protocols, and decentralized applications, or DApps, built on Ethereum. As of press time, the largest DeFi provider, MakerDAO’s DAI stablecoin, is responsible for just over 30% of DeFi markets, with $1.23 billion locked.

Top 10 DeFi markets, August 1

Top 10 DeFi markets, August 1. Source:

As reported by Cointelegraph, Ethereum has rallied recently both in anticipation of Ethereum 2.0, and due to the optimism surrounding DeFi.

As of press time, Ether trades at around $356, up more than 7% over the past 24 hours, according to data from Coin360. As previously reported, DeFi applications have some correlation to the Ether price, but are not entirely dependent on it.

Earlier this week, crypto market analytics firm Messari reported that the total capitalization of the DeFi sector is equal to only 1.5% of the entire crypto capitalization. This now accounts for about $332 billion.

Decentralized Exchange Bancor Officially Launches Upgraded V2 Platform

Decentralized Exchange Bancor Officially Launches Upgraded V2 Platform

After months of work, Bancor V2 finally launches promising to improve the user experience for both traders and liquidity providers.

The Bancor project has launched a heavily upgraded version of its decentralized exchange, promising to solve what it calls “DeFi’s dirty little secret.”

According to a blog post released on Friday, the contracts have been deployed to mainnet in a beta launch mode. Each pool will have its liquidity capped to $1 million until a “pool manager” permanently removes the limitation when it is confirmed safe.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the exchange mitigates the issue of impermanent loss, where liquidity providers could lose some of their money as prices for particular assets fluctuated. The solution involves a combination of incentives and oracle-driven price feeds.

Furthermore, the project divided the single pool token representing the collective value of a particular exchange pair, so that users are no longer obligated to be exposed to two assets at the same time.

Finally, an improved “bonding curve” should result in less slippage than before given the same amount of pool liquidity.

The launch was preceded by the release of the open source code and the launch of a bug bounty program.

Chainlink Partners With State of Colorado to Help Create A New Lottery Game

Chainlink Partners With State of Colorado to Help Create A New Lottery Game

Chainlink and the Colorado State Lottery have partnered on a hackathon with the goal of creating new games to generate $1 billion in future revenues from its lottery.

Chainlink (LINK) and the State of Colorado have partnered on a hackathon with the goal of creating a new lottery game. There are $17,500 in prizes available for three winners, plus an additional $8,500 in Web3 bonus prizes sponsored by Chainlink.

$1 billion revenue goal for Colorado Lottery

The Colorado Lottery has created a GameJam Hackathon that is open to participants from around the world. The state lottery hopes that the new innovative games will help it “reach its $1 billion revenue goal to fund outdoor recreation, land conservation and schools in Colorado, along with its commitment to responsible gaming.”

Colorado governor Jared Polis, perhaps, enthused by similarly successful projects in the neighboring state of Wyoming, is committed to making his government a leader in the technology space. He stated:

“Last year we launched Colorado Digital Services to begin developing critical public-private technology relationships to position our state government as a tech leader, but more importantly to better serve our population through technology”.

The opening ceremony will be held in the evening of July 31. Governor Polis and Vitalik Buterin are expected to speak at the event. According to the press release, this is the “Lottery’s first-ever public private partnership and hackathon”.

Chainlink wants blockchain to succeed beyond tokens

Chainlink co-founder, Sergey Nazarov, told Cointelegraph that he is excited to be working with the Lottery. He also said that he wants to see blockchain technology succeed beyond its traditional sphere:

"We are thrilled to be working with the Colorado Lottery on enabling developers to build truly fraud-proof gaming applications. I think this shows that smart contracts, blockchains and oracles can be successfully composed to go beyond tokens and on-chain financial products (DeFi), into the many markets that need truly tamper-proof and highly reliable digital agreements.”

It will be interesting to see how new Lottery games will be using blockchain technology.

Blockchain Could Help Content Generation Industry Be More Profitable

Blockchain Could Help Content Generation Industry Be More Profitable

Blockchain can play a role in solving the profitability challenges of content generation industry giants like TikTok.

Chinese content generation platform TikTok, a video-sharing app that has been called the fastest-growing social networking service in history, has been in the spotlight since early 2019 and now surpasses 800 million users. Despite the fact that the app’s data security breaches are raising controversy worldwide, more and more young people are using it as the go-to social media for the new generation, with a reported 69% of TikTok’s global audience being between the ages of 16 and 24.

Despite its overwhelming success and rapidly growing user base, the truth behind the worldwide sensation is that “the new Instagram" is hardly profitable. One of the key reasons behind it is IT infrastructure costs — and blockchain might have the solution.

Tackling profitability challenges

Currently, the majority of content creation and short-video platforms like TikTok have a lot of expenses and two major revenue streams: advertising and e-commerce. The latter is only popular in China. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, was able to pull off billions of dollars in profit due to its smooth integration with all major e-commerce platforms in China. When it comes to the ad revenue model, it has proven to be efficient in the United States by Google-owned YouTube and Amazon-owned Twitch, which leverage the ad optimization algorithms of their parent companies.

Both YouTube and Twitch are also utilizing the idle servers of Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services. This makes them an exception among similar platforms that have to pay millions of dollars for bandwidth and data storage, which are the main expenses for any video content generation platform. YouTube, especially, has been leveraging Google peering for almost free bandwidth. This is especially relevant for companies in China where bandwidth costs are very high due to the fact that the majority of data centers belong to state-owned telecommunications companies.

As more and more users look for high-quality videos in 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second, servers and user acquisition costs for user-generated content platforms grow exponentially. Back in 2011, Tudou — the “Chinese YouTube” — reported in a financial statement that its bandwidth expenses were $28.6 million U.S. dollars, which accounted for 42.1% of its cost of revenue. With 227 million monthly unique visitors at the end of 2011, that equates to 7.9 unique visitors per month per dollar spent on bandwidth. Nearly a decade later, Bilibili — another Chinese counterpart of YouTube — reported in its 2019 annual financial statement that it spent $132 million on servers and bandwidth and had 130 million active monthly users, meaning it had only slightly less than one monthly user per dollar spent. Both companies, as well as “Chinese Instagram” Kwai, are currently having a very hard time turning a profit.

TikTok, with its 800 million monthly active users uploading millions of videos on a daily basis —  500 million users within China and 300 million elsewhere — takes this issue to a whole new level. With an estimated data consumption of around 6.9 exabytes (over 7,000,000 terabytes), it would have to spend roughly $8 million just for content delivery infrastructure per month, according to software development company Trembit. With its monetization strategy still not figured out, such breakneck costs can be a huge obstacle on TikTok’s way to profitability. 

Decentralized storage as the solution

Today, the cloud computing market, which is estimated to be worth $364 billion by 2022, is the primary solution for large data storage around the world. It is largely dominated by public clouds such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform that store their clients’ data in their own data centers.

At the same time, according to research conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2008 and by a researcher at Stanford and a partner of Anthesis Group in 2015, 30% of servers in data centers around the world are “functionally dead,” which means they are active and available but have not been used in six months or more. This infrastructure is still consuming power, which means a continuous drain for its owners.

Just imagine if TikTok was able to use these idle servers to store its video content around the world — at a much lower cost than any public cloud. This is exactly what computing on the blockchain enables.

Decentralized computing aims at using idle servers to store user data that is broken into smaller chunks and immutably stored across multiple nodes on a peer-to-peer network of providers, which can make money on otherwise loss-making servers.

This allows for much lower storage costs for end users compared with the notoriously expensive Amazon Web Services and other public clouds. On top of that, using existing hardware limits one’s carbon footprint, which makes it the most ecologically sound solution for cloud computing.

Sooner or later, we can expect enterprise distribution of some Web 3.0 storage networks. Not only will these networks solve high storage cost issues, but they will also provide content distribution network services similar to Cloudflare.

If hundreds of thousands of nodes are distributed across all the major metropolitan areas, we will see people and companies gaining quicker and cheaper access to content in the form of photos, audios and videos.

In the case of TikTok and Bilibili, utilizing such a network could really give the platforms a boost to potentially turn profitable and be closer to their users — and become a game-changer for the entire content generation industry.

What’s next for the industry

Before becoming a recognized alternative to popular public clouds and the choice of giants with hundreds of millions of users like TikTok, a “decentralized Amazon Web Services” needs a viable industry use case. Decentralized hosting and management of blockchain nodes — the equivalent of a platform-as-a-service solution on top of public clouds — is one of them.

Enabling the deployment of thousands of decentralized storage nodes at 100 times the speed, this technology takes away substantial hours and costs from businesses and developers — showing the benefits of blockchain in cloud infrastructure and driving adoption across various industries.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Chandler Song is the co-founder and CEO of Ankr Network, a Web 3.0 infrastructure company based in San Francisco, and a Forbes “30 Under 30” laureate. He previously worked as an engineer at Amazon Web Services.

Bitcoin Price Climbs to $11,200, But Three Factors Hint at a Pullback

Bitcoin Price Climbs to $11,200, But Three Factors Hint at a Pullback

The price of Bitcoin spikes to $11,200 but three key factors suggest that a short-term pullback is likely as the BTC rally becomes overheated.

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) has increased from $10,995 to over $10,200 in the past 12 hours. But while the momentum of BTC also pushed up the price of other top cryptocurrencies, including Ether (ETH), key metrics and technical patterns suggest the chances of a pullback are rising. 

Cryptocurrency market snapshot July 31

Cryptocurrency market snapshot July 31. Source: Coin360

Three factors that hint at a drop are the fear and greed index, a potential Wyckoff pattern and major resistance.

The crypto market sentiment is at “greed,” data shows

According to data from’s Crypto Fear & Greed Index, the market sentiment is at greed. The index has hit 75 points, and every time the index reached a clear peak, Bitcoin corrected.

The Crypto Fear & Greed Index 1-year chart

The Crypto Fear & Greed Index 1-year chart. Source:

The last time the index reached a local top was in February 2020, when it reached 65 points. A month after, the price of Bitcoin dropped to as low as $3,596 on BitMEX.

Historical data shows that when the index hits a new high, BTC tends to pull back. But the way the market sentiment is measured is highly subjective. For instance, 30% of the index is composed of social media and surveys, which are non-quantifiable data. 

In a prolonged bull market, cryptocurrencies can stay overheated for an extended period, as seen in 2018 and 2019. As an example, the price of Bitcoin rose to as high as $14,000 in June 2019 before pulling back.

Bitcoin faces strong resistance

The price of Bitcoin corrected from the $11,200 to $11,400 range three times in the past three days. Metrics that suggest Bitcoin’s rally is overheated are insufficient on their own. But when combined with a relevant market structure, the argument for a bearish scenario could strengthen.

Historically, there has been lackluster resistance between $11,500 and $14,000. Hence, the chances that sellers would attempt to defend the $11,200 to $11,400 resistance range remain high.

When buyers break through the strong resistance area, the likelihood of bigger uptrend increases. Trader Michael van de Poppe explained that a breakout above $11,200 could trigger a rally to $11,700. He said:

“Crucial threshold is still the $11,200 level. Breaking through and $11,500-11,700 is next!”

Rafael Schultze-Kraft, the chief technical officer at Glassnode, raised a similar concern. Pinpointing historical BTC price cycles, he said:

“‘We will never see BTC below $10,000 again’, Episode 13. Last episode lasted one day.”

A potential Wyckoff formation and a head and shoulders pattern

Meanwhile, popular Bitcoin trader filbfilb suggests that BTC/USD may be forming a Wyckoff pattern, which typically results in a steep downtrend. Although the viability of the Wyckoff formation is contested, when combined with other metrics, the probability of a distribution phase rises.

A potential Wyckoff pattern forming on a lower time frame chart of Bitcoin

A potential Wyckoff pattern forming on a lower time frame chart of Bitcoin. Source: Filbfilb

One pseudonymous trader also noted that in the short-term, BTC faces a possible head and shoulders (H&S) formation. In technical analysis, the H&S pattern is a widely-recognized as a signal for a market top. The trader said:

“Everyone talking about BTC ripping higher when it's painting the cleanest H&S in its history?”

The momentum of Bitcoin seems to be on the side of buyers, as it repeatedly tests a key resistance level. In the near-term, it faces strong resistance and two bearish patterns that might cause a downtrend.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Dai Supply Hits New Highs as Efforts to Restore Peg See Limited Success

Dai Supply Hits New Highs as Efforts to Restore Peg See Limited Success

The total supply for DAI tripled since June as the community keeps raising the supply limits to bring the peg down to $1.

The MakerDAO community approved and executed a vote on Thursday to almost double the total debt ceiling, which indicates how much Dai (DAI) can be minted by its users.

An announcement by the Maker Foundation posted on July 29 details the specific proposal to raise the debt ceilings for Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) and others.

The vote passed at 8 a.m. UTC on July 30 and was executed at 10 p.m. UTC on the same day.

Specifically, the proposal raised the debt ceiling for ETH by 80 million to 340 million total, which follows two similar proposals that raised the ceiling from 160 million in early July.

Ceilings for other coins were also raised, as two USDC vaults with different parameters were raised by 100 million to a 170 million total, the WBTC ceiling was doubled to 40 million, and Basic Attention Token (BAT) limits were raised by 2 million to a total of 5 million.

This raises the maximum supply of DAI to 568 million, out of which 367 million have been minted so far, according to DaiStats.

The peg is not going down

The drastic increase is motivated by the fact that DAI has often traded above its peg of $1 ever since the events of Black Thursday in March, with a current market price of $1.02. The deviation has been exacerbated by the yield farming wars that started since June, as they stimulated demand for DAI.

Since the Maker system ensures that DAI is both minted and burned at a price of $1, creating new DAI should allow for the market price to go down as new supply enters circulation.

Members of the Maker community noted that the project essentially subsidized DAI minters by setting the ETH stability fee at zero, allowing vault creators to borrow DAI at no cost. DAI supply tripled since the beginning of July, but that did not fully restore the peg.

One possible reason why is DAI’s predominance in yield farming. About 50 million DAI is currently locked in Balancer pool to mine the YFII token, a clone of the YFI token that briefly dominated yield farming liquidity. The Compound DAI contract currently holds 172 million DAI, a significant increase since earlier this week.

Thus it appears that a significant portion of the DAI supply is being used directly to earn rewards, instead of being sold for a higher price than it was obtained for and restoring the balance. 

Plans to force the peg

The Maker community is currently discussing a direct arbitrage mechanism called the Peg Stabilization Module, which would create the possibility of directly swapping between DAI and USDC at a forced 1:1 rate. 

The idea is nevertheless finding some opposition, as many voiced concerns of excessive reliance on USDC and a fundamental change to the mechanism of the DAI peg from collateral-backed to market-based peg interventions.

Some other proposals floated in the community would involve a yield farming-like system of rewarding DAI minters with new Maker (MKR) tokens.

Tech's Antitrust Issues Flare Up on Both Sides of the New ‘Cold War,’ Report

Tech's Antitrust Issues Flare Up on Both Sides of the New ‘Cold War,’ Report

At the request of the People’s Bank of China, Beijing could soon probe its digital payments monopolies, sources claim.

Days after the CEOs of the world’s top tech firms faced antitrust hearings in the United States Congress, sources are alleging that Beijing too could soon probe its own digital monopolies. 

A Reuters report published on July 31 cites anonymous sources who claim the People’s Bank of China has formally recommended that the State Council’s antitrust committee launch a probe into the activities of digital payments titans Alipay and WeChat Pay.

The central bank has allegedly argued that both have used their ascendant position to stifle any possible competition in the field of digital payments. 

If approved, an antitrust probe could be imminent

China’s mobile banking sector processed roughly 56.2 trillion yuan ($8 trillion) in transactions in the last three months of 2019, according to Analysys statistics cited by Reuters. 

Analysys estimates that AliPay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Group, and Tencent’s fintech business (largely WeChat Pay) occupy 55% and 39% of the country’s mobile banking market respectively.

One of Reuters’ unnamed sources has said the PBoC formally recommended the State Council committee to investigate possible antitrust issues within the second quarter of 2020.

Probe could throw cold water on Ant’s IPO plans

The report notes that PBoC has already taken measures to erode the market dominance of both by announcing plans to standardize the interoperability of QR code payments in a bid to ease the entrance of smaller actors into the market.

Should a formal antitrust investigation be launched, the news could be a blow for Ant Group’s highly-anticipated dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, where it seeks an initial public offering at a valuation of a reported $200 billion.

Following the central bank’s recommendation, the State Council antitrust has already been collecting information on both digital payments platforms for over a month, sources alleged.

While the committee has not yet apparently come to a conclusion as to whether or not to proceed to a probe, it is said to have taken the PBoC’s appeal “very seriously.”

Meanwhile, the same sources allege that both Ant Group and Tencent are ramping up their lobbying efforts to dissuade government officials from backing the action.

Beyond the domestic success of its mobile payments services, China is one of the leaders in developing and testing a forthcoming central bank digital currency.

Twitter Releases Details of Attack Vector Used by Crypto Hacker

Twitter Releases Details of Attack Vector Used by Crypto Hacker

Twitter has published an update on its investigation into the causes of the recent hack, during which 12 Bitcoin was conned out of the platform’s users.

Twitter released an update on July 30 revealing how hackers gained access to its internal network and account management tools in the recent attack.

It also gave details of additional measures taken to improve security since the hack, which netted 12 Bitcoin (BTC) through targeting the Twitter accounts of celebrities and crypto businesses.

Phishing for complements

The update confirmed that Twitter had been the victim of a social engineering attack, putting paid to rumors that the hack could have been an inside job.

According to the report, the July 15 incident started with a spear-phishing attack, targeting a small number of employees by telephone to gain network access credentials:

“Not all of the employees that were initially targeted had permissions to use account management tools, but the attackers used their credentials to access our internal systems and gain information about our processes.”

The attackers then used this knowledge to target additional employees with access to account support tools.

A poor workman loses his tools

Responding to reports that over 1,000 employees had access to the admin tools, Twitter explained that it has teams around the world that help with account support.

However, access to the tools is strictly limited and only granted for legitimate business reasons. Since the attack it has further limited access, and will continue a continuous education program on the risks of phishing attacks.

During the hack the attackers accessed 130 Twitter accounts, tweeted from 45 of these, got into the direct messages inbox of 36 and downloaded the Twitter data of seven.

Noncustodial Technology and Security Is the Inevitable Future

Noncustodial Technology and Security Is the Inevitable Future

There’s no doubt noncustodial technology is the future — it’s just a question of when it enters the mainstream.

In an increasingly digital world, security is a high-stakes game. The identities of customers along with their privacy and financial information are all in the hands of centralized security systems. We are reliant on these systems, and even though security plays a critical role in our lives, we rarely stop to think about the consequences of these systems failing us. Yet those who trade financial assets like cryptocurrencies think about these consequences all the time.

Why? The risk of violations of our financial sovereignty coupled with the potential of theft without an option to recover are two big reasons why crypto traders realize security is of paramount importance. Thus, the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries are always looking for better ways to secure assets.

One way cryptocurrencies and exchanges can do this is by incorporating more noncustodial technology into their platforms, thus making transactions and accounts exponentially safer while simultaneously putting control back into the hands of the users. This is a concept that has the potential to drive the industry forward and result in the best-case scenario for security. Custodial wallets often hold millions of dollars worth of assets on behalf of their customers. The benefit of having full control over your funds is the difference between your account being frozen when you want to make a transaction and being able to freely trade at your own discretion. The key is that the customer is in control.

Where noncustodial tech fits in blockchain’s vision of decentralization

Perhaps one of the greatest and most obvious benefits of noncustodial technology is that it essentially eliminates the need for a trusted intermediary. For example, noncustodial wallets work by giving the user a private key that allows them to have full control over their funds when transferring, trading or making purchases.

As a result, noncustodial exchanges are more secure because individually secured accounts are much more difficult, costly and time-consuming to hack than a single centralized account. Having the responsibility of securing your own assets is often criticized as having a negative impact on user experience, but learning the intricacies of noncustodial technology engages users in new ways and enables them to make better-informed decisions.

The freedom and independence ensured by noncustodial technology strike at the heart of the ethos of blockchain: the empowerment of individuals. By decentralizing custody, noncustodial technology proves that greater power can and should reside in the hands of individuals.

By empowering individuals, we also create new competition for legacy organizations, institutions and businesses, which are forced to innovate and deliver more value to their customers and society as a whole. Equity also is not binary — it is a spectrum that we can move along.

Blockchain and crypto don’t need to completely dismantle legacy structures, as there is already massive benefit simply in pushing them along the spectrum to more equitable outcomes. This can be realized in reduced banking rates, improved or more equitable financial services, more effective tax regimes or government policies, less concentration of wealth in exclusive financial instruments, and many other ways. The ideal approach to delivering the best outcomes is one that is pragmatic.

Noncustodial tech proves the industry is maturing 

There are, of course, many critiques of noncustodial technology and its applications in the cryptocurrency industry. But ultimately, solving these complications is driving the industry forward in remarkable ways.

For example, one of the biggest hesitations many users have around noncustodial technology is the burden of keeping their own assets secure. If users lose their private key or mnemonic phrase, if assets are lost or hacked, or even if their computer is stolen, there is no getting back into their account or way to retrieve the lost funds. While this can empower users to educate themselves on the process, it’s also an opportunity to develop a better user experience, reduced friction and other enhancements that would ultimately further spread the use of noncustodial solutions.

Decentralization is a spectrum too. It is not either a centralized authority or only one individual. New systems are being developed to decentralize custody to an extent that it will enjoy the benefits of improved security and financial empowerment, but maintain options and backups to lighten the burden on the system itself.

A criticism of noncustodial exchanges is that they are limited in their scope. That is, the solutions appear to attract amateur traders or hobbyists who are playing with the tech and don’t factor costs into the equation. But new solutions are operating that deliver experiences arguably superior even to legacy centralized exchanges by combining the speed and liquidity that traditional exchange traders expect with the security and transparency of noncustodial technology.

As demand for noncustodial technology increases and the tech itself continues to mature, a clear signal will emerge for traditional exchanges to adopt the technology. As adoption grows, users will no longer be hamstrung by the limits previously associated with noncustodial services or those that still afflict centralized exchanges, and this diversification of products in the market will result in massive improvements in user experience and value delivered to customers.

Moving beyond blockchain and cryptocurrencies 

The superiority of noncustodial technology and the maturation of the industry as a whole point to the fact that the tech has wider applications to broader financial markets. Even trading in traditional markets has decentralized in the era of the internet. Although still dwarfed by the larger traditional finance markets, noncustodial solutions are recognized as the next wave and, as such, have brought massive inflows of capital from millions of individual accounts — such as Celsius garnering over $300 million in deposits within a year — and legacy organizations are taking notice.

The potential and necessity of noncustodial technology in securing accounts in the digital age and decentralizing and distributing security as a whole is undeniable. The wider adoption of cryptocurrency, digital assets and tokenization comes with the bearer-instrument Achilles’ heel, so to deal with this, we need to increase the adoption of noncustodial technology and educate people about it. We must also continue to improve it and make it more reliable and easier to use. 

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Steven Quinn is a product manager at Eosfinex and Bitfinex. He focuses on the EOSIO ecosystem of blockchains and communities, blockchain technology such as smart contracts and noncustodial wallets, and global trends toward decentralization and financial sovereignty.

Ether Rockets 50% in 5-Year Anniversary Month: What’s Behind the Rally?

Ether Rockets 50% in 5-Year Anniversary Month: What’s Behind the Rally?

As Ethereum turns five years old, Ether is up 50% over the past month with two main catalysts driving the uptrend, namely DeFi and ETH 2.0.

The price of Ethereum’s Ether token has seen strong momentum in July. Since the start of the month, ETH has climbed by 50% from $225.5 to $340 on Coinbase. It coincides with a five-year anniversary for the dominant smart contracts blockchain protocol.

There appear to be two key factors fueling the rally of ETH. First, the anticipation of the market towards ETH 2.0 has been continuously building. Second, the explosive growth of the decentralized finance (DeFi) market has upheld the momentum of Ethereum.

ETH/USD surges from $225.5 to $340 from July 1 to July 31

ETH/USD surges from $225.5 to $340 from July 1 to July 31. Source:

DeFi and its impact on the Ethereum blockchain

In mid-June, DeFi platform Compound essentially kickstarted the phenomenon called “yield farming.” Ethereum users would flock to DeFi platforms providing the highest incentives, trying to obtain the highest yield possible.

Since then, several major DeFi platforms have emerged. According to, Aave, Balancer, and Curve Finance have $482 million, $291 million, and $263 million locked in, respectively.

Consequently, the total value locked in the DeFi space has increased to $3.94 billion. It is up by more than three-fold since the beginning of June.

The upward trajectory of the DeFi market could positively affect Ethereum for various reasons. The most prominent factor is its usage as gas. When users clog the Ethereum blockchain with many transactions, ETH is needed to pay transaction fees or “gas.”

According to Etherscan, the amount of gas used per day has increased to a new all-time high at above 76 million. The data suggests the demand for ETH is increasing in tandem with the user activity of the Ethereum blockchain.

The daily gas used on Ethereum

The daily gas used on Ethereum. Source: Etherscan

But some experts are skeptical about the sustainability of the DeFi market. Vitalik Buterin, the co-creator of Ethereum, said on the “Unchained Podcast” on July 29 that yield farming is not sustainable. He said

“And those guys are not going to just keep on printing coins for people to, to entice people, to get into their ecosystems forever. It's a short-term thing. And once the enticements disappear, you can easily see the yield rates drop back down to 0%.”

ETH 2.0

Arguably the biggest catalyst around Ethereum in the first half of 2020 was ETH 2.0. In simple terms, ETH 2.0 incentivizes users that participate in Ethereum as it switches to the “proof-of-stake” consensus algorithm.

The PoS algorithm would eventually eliminate miners from Ethereum, primarily to optimize and fasten the network. The final testnet of ETH 2.0, which is called Medalla, is expected to launch in August.

Afri Schoedon, the fork coordinator of ETH 2.0, said on Github:

“Before such a mainnet can be launched, we need testnets that mimic mainnet conditions as good as possible... The Schlesi testnet was one of many steps in that direction. The Witti testnet was another. The Altona testnet is yet another. The Medalla testnet aims to be the final one prior to mainnet launch.”

ETH futures aggregated open interest

ETH futures aggregated open interest. Source: Skew

Meanwhile, ETH futures are also gaining tractions among traders with total open interest climbing to a new record high in July after recovering since the March crash. As ETH 2.0 nears, the demand for Ether could continue to soar, given that it rewards users for staking their coins. The confluence of rapid growth in DeFi and anticipation of Ethereum 2.0 is presenting an optimistic outlook for Ether price.

Binance’s Trust Wallet Hits 5M Users, Expands DeFi Services

Binance’s Trust Wallet Hits 5M Users, Expands DeFi Services

Binance owned Trust Wallet has hit a five million user milestone, it is now delving into the DeFi sector.

Crypto giant Binance acquired Trust Wallet two years ago today. In that short space of time, the service has managed to amount 5 million users, and it is now expanding into the burgeoning DeFi sector.

In addition to the five million user milestone, Trust Wallet claims that 10% of this rapidly acquired user base is now accessing a wide range of DApps and DeFi platforms. It plans to aggressively expand into the sector as crypto investors seek liquidity farming earning opportunities.

Delving into DeFi

In a move to keep pace with the rapidly expanding DeFi ecosystem, Trust Wallet has integrated token swap platforms such as Kyber as well as its own decentralized exchange, BinanceDEX. 

The Android version of the wallet has a built-in dapp browser which gives full access into the DeFi world and a number of popular protocols including Aave, which has recently revamped its tokenomics, and Compound. It also uses an open protocol called Wallet Connect which links DApps to mobile wallets using end-to-end encryption by scanning QR codes.

Trust Wallet founder Viktor Radchenko told Cointelegraph that there are plans to integrate a number of DeFi protocols on both the Trust Wallet iOS and Android apps to increase liquidity and provide access to liquidity pooling and lending protocols. He added that having the protocols integrated natively will make it more secure and intuitive for users.

Keeping it simple

Speaking on the explosive growth of the DeFi sector Radchenko said, “DeFi is definitely booming right now. You can see good progress in the development of the new protocols that give more access for developers to build more financial applications on top of it. This also is a good time for decentralized protocols to build a governance process for building community-driven protocols.”

With regards to increasing the user base, he added that "keeping it simple" is the key. Adding DApp functionality that fulfills most of the cases for crypto users for the next few years is also a priority going forward, he stated.

Bank of Japan Appoints Top Economist to Head Up CBDC Research Team

Bank of Japan Appoints Top Economist to Head Up CBDC Research Team

The Bank of Japan insists it has no immediate plans to issue a digital yen, but research into the potential of CBDCs continues apace.

The Bank of Japan has appointed its top economist to lead a team tasked with accelerating its research into central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

According to a July 31 Reuters report, Kazushige Kamiyama’s appointment may mark a shift away from the bank’s previously cautious nature on digital currencies.

Kamiyama had previously led the bank's efforts to use big data for conducting econometric analysis in real time. According to Reuters, this proved helpful when the Japanese economy was hit by the coronavirus epidemic earlier this year. 

Stepping up the pace of research

Despite maintaining its position that it has no immediate plans to issue a CBDC, this latest development does indicate how seriously the Japanese central bank is taking the current research. 

As Cointelegraph reported, the BoJ only recently announced the new team, to accelerate ongoing studies into the feasibility of a national digital currency. It is reportedly seeking private sector input to increase its current understanding.

It has also been collaborating with several other central banks in a digital currency working group since January of this year.

Government also on board with CBDC

The potential issuance of a digital yen also has support in the Japanese government. Consideration of a CBDC has been written into The Honebuto Plan, which is the basis for Japan’s economic and fiscal policy.

Japan may currently be the most cash-loving population in the world, but its authorities seem to be increasingly looking towards digital currency and its potential for the future.

As Private Seed Funds Dry Up, European Blockchain Firms Seek Public Backing

As Private Seed Funds Dry Up, European Blockchain Firms Seek Public Backing

Publicly-backed VC firms are stepping in where private investors retreat, according to a new report on Central and Eastern European tech investments.

A Slovak blockchain startup serves as the chief example of pandemic venture capital developments in central and eastern Europe (CEE), in a new report from Reuters on July 31.

In the former Eastern bloc — where venture funding hit close to $1.6 billion in 2019 —  uncertainty during the COVID-19 crisis has hit the start-up sector hard, particularly when it comes to early-stage deals.

Alftins, a Slovak startup that is developing an online platform to trade digital assets, has recently secured funding from publicly-funded venture firm Crowdberry. The latter had earlier missed out on a version of the deal in fall of last year, but was reportedly able to secure better terms this time round. 

Alftins founder Richard Fetyko told Reuters that securing funding from Crowdberry was “the path of least resistance” at a time when publicly-backed venture capital appears to be stepping in to help the industry weather the pandemic fallout.

Michal Nespor, a partner at Crowdberry, affirmed that “a number of emerging companies will have no other choice but to tap these funds because private money will be very cautious because of the pandemic.”

Market players still “waiting to see what will happen”

A large percentage of the capital that stands behind publicly-backed VC funds like Crowdberry in the CEE region stems from the European Investment Fund. Its senior mandate manager, Michal Kosina, said:

“In times of crisis, limited partners may lower their appetite for this asset class and in some cases may even default on or try to renegotiate their existing commitments. So, in this sense, the public capital in the region is good for startups because with public sources the money remains there.”

The report notes that, prior to the pandemic, private funds and the promise of connections to Silicon Valley were a more attractive route for CEE emerging startups to take. But publicly-funded alternatives like Czech venture firm Nation 1 claim they can now offer “protection and advantage,” in the words of general partner Martin Bodocky. 

“We don’t expect any venture capital firm to die here,” Bodocky said.

The report further notes the role that is being played by Polish state-backed PFR Ventures and Hungarian state-owned investor Hiventures. 

The latter was already the most active seed investor in European firms last year and has now increased its funding for startups during the pandemic, according to EO Bence Katona.

Katona has claimed that market players aren’t taking the risk now, stating,“I am seeing they are waiting to see what will happen in the next three months.” 

By contrast, he noted that Hiventures “made more investments during this period. It has been a busy time for us.” 

In a recent opinion piece for Cointelegraph, Celsius Network CEO Alex Mashinsky surveyed the current landscape for venture capital investors. He made the case that the funding models pioneered in the crypto industry —  notably “community-driven” token offerings — can offer unique advantages to emerging projects as against their VC predecessors.

Blockchain Is Part of Australia’s Cyber Security Solution, Say Experts

Blockchain Is Part of Australia’s Cyber Security Solution, Say Experts

Australian experts suggest blockchain is an integral part to protecting Australia’s business and government from cyber attacks.

A cyber security and blockchain forum with leading Australian experts and government officials has identified blockchain technology as a direct response to an increase in cyber attacks targeting the integrity of systems through manipulating data.

Recently appointed Blockchain Australia CEO Steve Vallas held a panel discussion on July 30 regarding blockchain’s use-case in cyber security with experts from various fields being part of the 300+ attendees. 

The panel consisted of National Blockchain Lead Chloe White from the Department of Industry and Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg, CEO of cyber security firm CyberCX John Paitaridis, and founder and CTO of blockchain database firm ProvenDB Guy Harrison.

The experts, with decades of experience in the cyber security sector, defined the emerging technology as a critical component in protecting Australia from future attacks. They further outlined that blockchain, although not a complete solution, should be considered by businesses across the board as the country works to keep ahead of would-be attackers. 

Blockchain is about data integrity

During the panel, Paitaridis  explained that attacks are increasing in frequency and severity, suggesting China was behind the major state actor attacks from June that threatened many industries including the Australian government: 

“In June this year, the Australian Prime Minister announced an ‘unnamed state actor’, you can read into that — China — as being targeting businesses and government agencies across Australia as part of a large, dedicated, persistent scale attack.”

These cybersecurity breaches have increased by almost 80% in the last 12 months with a specific adjustment in their focus, he elaborated:

“What concerns me greatly is the integrity of our systems. Rather than deleting information, Australia is increasingly seeing attacks that manipulate data to reduce a system’s integrity.”

This will cause mayhem, Paitaridis explains, as “senior government officials, corporate executives and investors can be imparied if they can’t trust the information they are seeing”. It’s not all bad news, as this vulnerability can be addressed through blockchain, Paitaridis concluded. 

It isn’t about keeping people out, but rather in maintaining the integrity of the data Harrison explained, “the implications of people tampering with data are huge [...] and that’s where blockchain comes in.”

“For the first time in computer science, we have a storage mechanism where we can write something, and we can be sure that it hasn’t been overwritten.”

In response to a question around live data manipulation — that is, manipulation of data prior to being injected onto the blockchain — Harrison suggested that blockchain will need to be used in conjunction with other solutions such as artificial intelligence. 

“Most blockchain’s do not have many of the other features that we need to use data effectively,” he concluded, stating that, although an essential part, they are not the only technology required in a proper cyber security solution.

Aggregators Now Drive 20% of Ethereum DEX Volume

Aggregators Now Drive 20% of Ethereum DEX Volume

Messari estimates that 20% of Ethereum-based DEX volume is driven by DeFi aggregators.

Crypto market data firm Messari estimates that 20% of all decentralized exchange (DEX) volume on Ethereum is routed via DEX aggregators.

In a newsletter, Messari writes that “the 21st century is dominated by aggregators,” adding, “Amazon aggregates consumers and merchants. Uber aggregates riders and drivers. Netflix aggregates viewers and content. The list goes on.”

With “the first attempts at aggregation in DeFi” beginning to take shape, Messari states that many of the sector’s aggregators “are seeing early product-market-fit” and will be able to capture significant value as the DeFi ecosystem grows.

DeFi aggregators emerge as gatekeepers

Messari describes decentralized finance aggregators as funneling user demand into various DeFi protocols.

With the returns available to liquidity providers constantly varying across a myriad of assets and platforms, DeFi aggregators assist investors in finding the highest possible yields, the lowest slippage and the most robust stablecoins. 

Aggregators climb DeFi rankings

Many aggregators are already emerging as leading DeFi projects, with decentralized finance management platform Instadapp now ranking as the sixth-largest protocol with $258.7 million in locked value. 

According to Messari, Instadapp locks more than 7% of value entering the DeFi space. has also exploded recently, ranking as the 8th-largest project with $177.8 million in locked capital, according to DeFi Pulse.

Despite emphasizing that three of the top five companies in the S&P 500 comprise aggregators of various kinds, Messari predicts that some DeFi aggregators “may struggle to capture value as easily as tier FAANG analogues.”

Government-Backed Tokenized Gold With ‘Killer Features’

Government-Backed Tokenized Gold With ‘Killer Features’

A crypto consortium including Bittrex Global, Ledger, CertiK, and Uphold, has launched a gold token backed by the world’s largest refiner of newly minted gold.

The Universal Protocol Alliance — a consortium of crypto firms comprising Bittrex Global, Ledger, CertiK, and Uphold —  has launched a token backed by the Western Australian government-owned Perth Mint.

The tokens, dubbed ‘Universal Gold’ or UPXAU, can be purchased on Uphold and spent using the firm’s debit card. Investors can purchase UPXAU from $1 with no investment limits. Unlike mainstream gold products which often have 0.4% monthly custody fees, the token is free to hold.

In a July 30 announcement, JP Thieriot, Uphold’s chief executive, said the token had “three killer features”:

“Spendability, zero holding costs, and government guarantee.”

Perth Mint backs ‘Universal Gold’

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Thieriot stated that “the Universal Gold project has been in the making for quite some time,” noting that one of the Alliance’s largest investors is “a prominent goldbug” who brought the Perth Mint to its attention several months ago:

“The Perth Mint is the largest refiner of new gold in the world, and is owned by the Government of Western Australia, which guarantees all the gold it holds in the same way the FDIC guarantees US dollars held in American banks.”

He said the Perth Mint didn’t charge custody fees and was technologically savvy. “We’ve been working with another prominent gold provider for the better part of six years, and they can’t match what The Perth Mint offers,” he added.

Gold tokens proliferate

The Universal Gold project is not Perth Mint’s first gold backed token. In February it teamed up with Infinigold to launch the Perth Mint Gold Token (PGMT). Other gold backed tokens appearing recently include Tether Gold which launched in January, Paxos’ PAX Gold which commenced trade in September 2019, and DigitalX’s token which launched in April 2019.

MEW Founder: ‘The Full Reality of ETH 2.0 Is Still Years Away’

MEW Founder: ‘The Full Reality of ETH 2.0 Is Still Years Away’

MyEtherWallet’s founder believes ETH 2.0’s beacon chain will launch this year but says the ‘full reality’ is still some way off.

Kosala Hemachandra, the founder of MyEtherWallet (MEW), has told Cointelegraph the fully-fledged version of ETH 2.0 is still years away.

The first phase of the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade was originally set for Jan 2020 but then postponed to coincide with this week’s fifth anniversary.  It’s since been delayed again with a launch now expected sometime between November and early 2021.

While Hemachandra believes Phase 0 will launch sometime this year, he points out the full version of ETH 2.0 will not be up and running before 2022:

"I think the full reality of ETH 2.0 is at least a couple of years away.”

Beacon chain is only Phase 0

ETH 2.0, also called Serenity, consists of three phases — Phase 0: beacon chain, Phase 1: shard chains, and Phase 2: shard chain execution. Hemachandra noted:

“These days everyone refers to the beacon chain (the first step towards ETH 2.0) as ‘ETH 2.0’. I am highly confident the beacon chain will launch on the mainnet this year. It is on the final testnet now and already open for public bug bounty.”

Hemachandra added that taking a cautious approach to launching ETH 2.0 was a sensible strategy. “Software updates take time, especially when they deal with user funds, and an immutable blockchain," he said.

But he also said it would be well worth the wait. “As we've seen with past Ethereum iterations, ETH 2.0 will once again change the definition of blockchain technology by creating a secure and sustainable system capable of competing with centralized scaling solutions," he said. 

After five years, it is still a game changer

Hemachandra was there at Ethereum’s birth and looking back five years later he said its “growth had been exponential”.

"In some ways, it has redefined what blockchain technology is capable of. Today, the Ethereum community has many passionate developers, DApps that are friendly to new users, and plenty of well documented concepts.

Lawsuit: Investors Can't Prove Ripple Knew XRP Had ‘No Utility’

Lawsuit: Investors Can't Prove Ripple Knew XRP Had ‘No Utility’

Lawyers for Brad Garlinghouse haven’t argued the Ripple CEO’s statements in extolling XRP were true, simply that they can’t be proven false.

The federal case against Ripple Labs has taken an unexpected turn, as the legal team representing the firm and CEO Brad Garlinghouse have argued any statements they made overstating the utility of the XRP token can’t be proven false.

According to court filings obtained by Law360, lawyers for Ripple and Garlinghouse have argued plaintiff and XRP investor Bradley Sostack is unable to prove that Ripple misled investors with bullish claims about XRP and sold the token as an unregistered security. The legal team referred to Sostack’s statements as "unsupported leaps of logic." 

"In short, plaintiff fails to offer the factual allegations needed to show that Ripple's and Mr. Garlinghouse's statements were false when made," the filing said.

‘No utility at all’

Lawyers for Sostack used the argument that "XRP has no utility at all," something Ripple’s legal team says should have been raised in the initial lawsuit against the firm.

The original case against the crypto firm began in August 2019, when attorneys for Sostack filed a class-action lawsuit against Ripple, alleging that it had sold its XRP token as an unregistered security.

The case was amended in March to include a complaint accusing Garlinghouse of touting XRP to prospective investors while silently liquidating 67 million tokens from his holdings. The suit claimed that Ripple knowingly overstated the cryptocurrency's actual utility as a "bridge currency" to facilitate international payments.

According to the filing, lawyers argue that Sostack has been unable to explain why any alleged misstatements made by Ripple or Garlinghouse are in fact false.

"Plaintiff offers no reason and pleads no facts regarding how Mr. Garlinghouse's statement could confuse the public if it is true," the court filing stated.

Legal entanglements

In addition to Sostack’s case, a firm called Bitcoin Manipulation Abatement filed a lawsuit in a U.S. federal district court in May, accusing Ripple of similar charges: misleading investors by selling XRP as an unregistered security.

Tokenized Real Estate Hasn’t Lived Up to the Hype: Property Researcher

Tokenized Real Estate Hasn’t Lived Up to the Hype: Property Researcher

Despite early hype, real estate tokenization has failed to garner significant momentum, leading some to question its future viability.

As the initial coin offering (ICO) boom subsided and the 2018 crypto bear trend began to set in, many analysts predicted that security tokens may drive the next market cycle — with the vast capital locked in the real estate sector being eyed hungrily for tokenization.

However, with the Bitcoin halving, Ethereum 2.0, and the emergence of DeFi capturing the imagination of crypto markets recently, real estate tokenization is no longer the flavor of the month, and some are questioning its viability.

Real estate tokenization in 2017/2018

In an article in The Investor, director of global research at real estate service company JLL, Matthew McAuley, stated:

“It’s been very slow going with blockchain in real estate, despite it being touted as a game-changer for a number of years now.”

The first property sale settled using cryptocurrency happened in 2017 when a $60,000 dollar apartment in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev was purchased by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington using Ether via the Propy platform. 

The following year, 2018, the momentum continued with ‘Aspen Coin’ distributing tokens representing $18 million in fractionalized ownership in a five-star, 179-room resort in Colorado. It was the world’s first real estate security token offering.

A luxury condo development in Manhattan estimated to be worth $30 million also announced a sale via a security token offering through tokenization firms Fluidity and Propellr.

Real estate tokens falter in 2019

However, the Manhattan project was scrapped the following year, with Fluidity and Propellr attributing the decision to a lack of institutional appetite for the offering. 

The absence of established secondary markets for security token trading also hindered the sector, with Aspen Coin originally being listed on the obscure Templum Markets.

Efforts by the online retailer Overstock to launch a regulated Alternative Trading System for security tokens in the form of tZERO also appeared to take a blow last year, as the dramatic exit of the firm’s CEO Patrick Byrne led to lawsuits targeting Overstock and its executives.

Will tokenized real estate regain momentum?

McAuley believes that blockchain is not yet positioned to make a lasting impact on the real estate industry, arguing that greater computational resources, legislative apparatus, and “a practical workaround for immutability” are needed in order for the sector to regain momentum.

“I find it difficult to believe blockchain will be as used, or as useful, in real estate as was thought initially.”

Signs of life

While the tokenization of real estate may not have lived up to the early hype, there has been steady progress. Overstock’s tZERO grew to host more than $2 million in monthly security token trade ahead of launching support for Aspen Coin — which recently rebranded to ASPEN. 

Property tokenization platform RealT has also completed 16 offerings for tokens representing ownership in Michigan-based properties and is currently hosting active token sales for two properties — including a house in Florida. Nine real estate tokens are currently traded on RealT’s secondary markets, generating roughly $90,000 in monthly volume.

In April, German-based Black Manta Capital launched a $12 million security token offering issuing fractionalized ownership in 2,000 square meters of apartments in Berlin. The Dubai government has also made significant progress in building the Dubai Land Department Real Estate Blockchain (DLDRE) over recent months.

XRP Is Up 30% and Has 30 New Whales

XRP Is Up 30% and Has 30 New Whales

Thirty new whales are gobbling up XRP in a sign some big investors are rethinking the cryptocurrency.

The number of accounts holding more than one million XRP has increased by 3.7% with 30 new whales appearing over the last two weeks, according to Santiment’s holder distribution chart. 

These investors now hold between $240,000 and $2.4 million in XRP each, which has contributed to upwards pressure on price. After a fairly uninspiring few months, XRP has seen a price rise of over 30% from $0.19 to $0.25 in a fortnight. At least 30 big investors with deep pockets believe the price rise is set to continue.

XRP Holder Distribution vs. Price

XRP Holder Distribution vs. Price. Source: Santiment

Why Ripple?

There’s no obvious reason behind the recent increase in whales except for speculation. The token has reclaimed the number three spot from Tether but the company is also currently in court facing a class action from investors.

Ripple was recently recognised in a bill proposal from the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection in the U.S. regarding cross border payments. Earlier this week, Ripple’s Director of Product Craig DeWitt announced a P2P payment platform built on XRP.

Big investors turn to digital assets

In a new podcast with Ripple’s CTO David Schwartz, Professor of Economic and Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, Barry Eichengreen suggested investors are turning to digital assets in general as a direct response to the threat of post-pandemic inflation:

“Some people believe increased liquidity in the market will lead to hyper-inflation and are looking for investment opportunities that can maintain value if dollar prices soar. Gold is traditionally considered a safe bet, while digital assets are increasingly seen as a new inflation hedge.”

US Printed More Money in One Month Than in Two Centuries

US Printed More Money in One Month Than in Two Centuries

The Federal Reserve’s money printer has cranked up to ridiculous levels — but will it really lead to inflation?

In a letter to investors released on July 29, Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead noted that the United States has printed a shocking amount of money to combat the pandemic-induced financial crisis.

“The United States printed more money in June than in the first two centuries after its founding,” Morehead wrote. “Last month the U.S. budget deficit — $864 billion — was larger than the total debt incurred from 1776 through the end of 1979.”

Morehead made it clear that Pantera Capital sees Bitcoin as the solution for the current crisis. He also contrasted the effects of money printing in recent months, to how the equivalent amount of currency had performed across centuries:

“With that first trillion [USD printed] we defeated British imperialists, bought Alaska and the Louisiana Purchase, defeated fascism, ended the Great Depression, built the Interstate Highway System, and went to the Moon.”

Morehead cited the resulting inflation as the main reason one should “get out of paper money and into Bitcoin.” According to the CEO, “there is no need for inflation-adjusted numbers [with Bitcoin] because there is no inflation/hyper-inflation.”

Going to zero

Goldbug Peter Schiff is also concerned about the effects of money printing. He noted comments by the Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, who said this week that the Fed was using its “full range of tools” to respond to the pandemic: printing money, keeping interest rates close to zero, and making asset purchases steady at $120 billion per month.

“The U.S. is about to experience one of the greatest inflationary periods in world history,” Schiff said on Twitter. “Any credibility the Fed has left will be lost. Federal Reserve Notes soon won't be worth a Continental.” (Continental paper money in the U.S. was at one time exchanged for treasury bonds at 1% of its face value.)

Inflated prices as well?

Despite widespread fears over inflation, many experts predict consumer prices will actually go into a period of deflation — and that’s exactly what’s happened in Australia this week where ABC News reported that consumer prices in the country actually dropped 1.9% in June. It’s a record for deflation since the Korean War.

However many pundits believe the inflation is actually hidden in asset prices, rather than consumer prices, and that money printing has underpinned the share market rally in the midst of the pandemic. 

Pantera Capital revealed its simple investment strategy for riding out the pandemic:

“Stay long crypto until schools/daycare open. Until then the economy won’t function and money will be continuously printed.”

Longfin Ordered to Repay $223M to Investors

Longfin Ordered to Repay $223M to Investors

Longfin, a blockchain-related firm that conducted a $27 million IPO in 2017, has been ordered to repay $223 million to investors.

A Manhattan federal judge has ruled that Longfin — a now defunct firm whose shares surged 1000% in 2017 after it bought an undervalued crypto company  —  must repay $223 million plus interest to investors over alleged securities fraud.

In a July 29 order, Judge Denise Cote determined the nine-figure sum is collectively owed by Longfin, its chief executive Venkata Meenaalli, CTO Vivek Ratakonda, and the director of two related companies, Suresh Tammineedi.

The ruling granted a default judgment that had been requested by lead plaintiff Mohammad Malik in January. Malik’s argument emphasized a request from Longfin’s counsel to withdraw from the case in December 2018 noting that it was no longer “in the interest of the creditors of Longfin Corp” to continue fighting the case.

Judge Cote’s order stated that Malik “offered sufficient evidentiary support through declarations and exhibits submitted in support of his claim for damages,” adding that “no evidentiary hearing is required.”

Longfin obtains approval for ‘mini-IPO’

In September 2017, Longfin launched its IPO as a Regulation A+ offering — allowing the firm to raise funds from both accredited investors and non-accredited investors while claiming exemption from many registration requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Upon closing its $27 million IPO on Dec. 8, 2017, Longfin announced it had become “the first public-listed fintech company under Reg A+ on Nasdaq.” The same month Longfin announced that it had purchased — a cloud storage platform that claimed to have morphed into a “blockchain technology empowered solutions provider.” As Cointelegraph reported back in December 2017, Longfin’s shares surged over 1,000 percent after the news broke.

Shareholders quickly accused Longfin and its executives of issuing false and misleading statements that drove up the price of its shares from $5 at listing to $140 in early 2018. 

Allegations that company insiders had sold Longfin shares prompted an investigation from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in April 2018, resulting in the stock quickly crashing.

SEC takes action against Longfin

In September 2019, the SEC was granted a $6.8 million judgment against Longfin, with a New York federal court finding that the firm had fraudulently qualified for its Regulation A+ offering.

The ruling found that the firm had falsely claimed to be principally operated in the United States, misrepresented the number of qualifying shareholders and shares sold in the offering, and had recorded $66 million in “fictitious revenue from sham commodities transaction” — equating to 90% of Longfin’s purported earnings.

Meenavalli agreed to pay $400,000 in disgorgement to resolve the SEC’s action against him in January. In June, the court also approved the SEC’s proposed plan for the distribution of more than $26 million to Longfin investors.