Miami crypto conference predicts attendance exceeding 50,000

Miami crypto conference predicts attendance exceeding 50,000

Miami is expanding as a crypto hub by hosting this year’s Bitcoin 2021 event.

The Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami has been touted as the largest Bitcoin event in crypto history, with organizers expecting a huge turnout.

The event, running for three days from June 3 at the Mana Convention Center in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, will play host to a number of industry executives and personalities.

Crypto luminaries schedled for attendance include former congressman Ron Paul, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, pro-crypto Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis, Square co-founder Jack Dorsey, and cryptographer Nick Szabo, among others.

The organizers are expecting more than 50,000 attendees, according to a Fox Business report.

Miami has emerged as a major tech hub in recent years, with the Wynwood neighborhood, in particular, evolving into a hub for technology and innovation. The crypto conference was previously held in Los Angeles but organizers decided to move it due to venue availability issues. On the official website, event organizers stated:

“In addition to moving cities, we are also pushing the conference back slightly to June 4–5, so as to allow ample time for the second wave of COVID-19 to pass and for vaccine rollout to take place.”

A “whale pass” entry ticket is being offered with starting bids at 3 BTC. The pass allows entry to Bitcoin 2021, five celebrity-suite tickets to the upcoming Mayweather vs. Logan Paul boxing match, three vintage bottles of 1996 Dom Pérignon, a meet and greet with pro skateboarder Tony Hawk, and access to VIP concierge services.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is among Bitcoin 2021’s speakers. Mayor Suarez has gained fame within the crypto community for his pro-Bitcoin stance and incentive schemes intended to bolster digital asset adoption across the city.

In February, Suarez stated that Miami city employees would be able to get their salaries paid in Bitcoin rather than USD if they wanted to. At the time he also revealed that he was considering financing his reelection campaign in BTC.

In April, Jackson in Tennessee followed Miami's lead, with Mayor Scott Conger announcing the city was actively exploring offering its employees to be paid in cryptocurrency, and consider mining Bitcoin that would be added to the city’s balance sheet.

Thailand to target DeFi in latest regulatory clampdown

Thailand to target DeFi in latest regulatory clampdown

A new DeFi yield farming platform in Thailand has rattled regulators.

In their latest effort to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, Thailand’s financial regulators have turned their sights towards decentralized finance, or DeFi.

According to a June 1 report from Bangkok Post, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that any activities related to DeFi may require a license from the financial regulator in the near future. The SEC specifically stated it will target DeFi protocols that issue tokens.

The latest regulatory push comes after the launch of the native token for Thai DeFi protocol, Tuktuk Finance, on the smart contract platform operated by popular local crypto exchange Bitkub on Sunday.

The report noted that prices had skyrocketed to “several hundred dollars” before collapsing to $1 within just a few minutes. According to the platform’s official website, the protocol has attracted a total value locked, or TVL, of $18 million, with the TUK token last trading at $1.93 to give the project a market cap of $7.1 million.

It is the first time that the SEC has specifically targeted DeFi, with the regulator stating:

“The issuance of digital tokens must be authorised and overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the issuer is required to disclose information and offer the coins through the token portals licensed under the Digital Asset Decree.”

CEO of Ava Advisor, an investment robo-advisor app, Niran Pravithana, commented that the announcement is reasonable as there are many fraudulent tokens issued and criminals can hide in messenger applications such as Telegram and manipulate the token prices.

Centralized banks are among those that have embraced DeFi in Thailand, with the Siam Commercial Bank announcing a $50 million investment fund in February, and Kbank experimenting with DeFi services as part of its business expansion plan in April.

As reported by Cointelegraph in April, crypto adoption in Thailand has been booming with an increase of almost 600% since November. DeFi has also grown in popularity, with The Defiant recently reporting that the country ranked second worldwide by search traffic for the keyword “decentralized finance” over the past year.

Regulators in the kingdom responded in May, unveiling plans to curb new crypto exchange account creation with stringent in-person KYC requirements beginning in July. The measure will also prevent foreign investors from accessing Thai exchanges as they are unable to secure local ID cards.

Singapore’s DBS Bank launches digital bond security token

Singapore’s DBS Bank launches digital bond security token

Institutional or accredited investors signed up to the DBS Digital Exchange will be able to access secondary markets for DBS’s digital bond.

Singapore-based multinational banking corporation, DBS Bank, has launched its first-ever security token offering, or STO, by issuing a digital bond.

The DBS digital bond has been priced at $11.35 million and comes with a six-month tenor and coupon rate of 0.60% annually. The offering was carried out through a private placement hosted by DBS Digital Exchange, or DDEx, marking DDEx’s first STO.

To encourage investor engagement, the bond is set to be traded in board lots of 10,000 Singapore dollars (roughly $7,560) — a dramatic reduction compared to the 250,000 Singapore dollar board lots that traditional wholesale bonds are traded in.

The digital bonds will be available for secondary trading to clients of DDEx who are accredited or institutional investors.

DBS hopes its offering will pave the way for other issuers to launch security token offerings via the DDEx platform.

Eng-Kwok Seat Moey, the Group Head of capital markets at DBS, emphasized that security tokens offer an efficient and innovative method for raising capital in the Asia-Pacific region — which currency represents more than 30% of the global private equity markets. He stated:

“Our maiden STO listing on the DBS Digital Exchange is a significant milestone, as it highlights the strength of our digital asset ecosystem in facilitating new ways of unlocking value for issuers and investors. We expect asset tokenisation to increasingly become more mainstream as more of our clients start to embrace security token issuance as part of their capital fund raising.”

Since launching in December 2020, Moey estimates daily volumes on DDEx have increased by 900%, with the platform now servicing more than 120 traders. DBS’s crypto custody service also holds more than $60 million in assets.

The bank also launched a trust structure offering investment management services for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) speculators in early May.

Community members integrate play-to-earn features into Dark Forest game

Community members integrate play-to-earn features into Dark Forest game

Players can now earn xDAI by broadcasting planet locations in the space strategy game.

Players of the decentralized real-time strategy game, Dark Forest, have introduced new and innovative ways of earning cryptocurrency within the virtual ecosystem.

The play-to-earn plugin “Broadcast Market” was integrated into the game on May 31, according to a tweet by programmer Blaine Bublitz. The developer noted that Broadcast Market is the first plug-in featuring its own smart contract that directly communicates to Dark Forest.

Bublitz added that he and collaborator Jacob Rosental, "Project Sophon," intend to develop additional plug-ins for the game in future, thanking Dark Forest for supporting their work.

Dark Forest praised the plug-in as showcasing the possibilities enabled by decentralization, emphasizing that players and not just Dark Forest’s official developers can expand the DApp’s gameplay and functionality:

“Thanks to interoperability, *new game features* in a decentralized game can be added by anyone, not just the original devs — this is literally not possible in traditional games.”

Dark Forest is a real-time strategy space-conquest game where players discover and capture planets in an infinite, procedurally-generated, cryptographic universe.

It has been built on Ethereum using zkSNARKs to provide zero-knowledge proofs. The cryptography secures the hashes that are created to represent planet locations in the smart contract.

Broadcast Market has been developed by Project Sophon allowing gamers to reveal the location of any planet in the Dark Forest universe once every 24 hours. Competitive players need more than a single planet broadcasted so users can now earn xDAI just by broadcasting a planet for another player, the website explained.

xDAI is a derivative of the MakerDAO stablecoin DAI hosted on an Ethereum layer-two sidechain of the same name offering high-speed and low-cost transactions. Project Sophon stated that they would take a 20% listing fee, paid by the creators of Broadcast Requests, for posting on the Broadcast Market.

The MMO, or massively multiplayer online game, was launched in August 2020, recently upgrading to version 0.6 on May 21.

Other blockchain gaming platforms encouraging play-to-earn mechanics include Axie Infinity — a play-to-earn virtual world populated by collectible fantasy creatures that are represented as nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

On May 3, Cointelegraph reported that the pseudonymous digital landowner and crypto whale, Flying Falcon, had sponsored 50 Axie Infinity players based in emerging economies.

BitMEX and Human Rights Foundation provide $150K grant to Bitcoin scaling researcher

BitMEX and Human Rights Foundation provide $150K grant to Bitcoin scaling researcher

BitMEX has collaborated with a non-profit Human Rights Foundation to provide a $150,000 grant to Korean-based Bitcoin scaling researcher, Calvin Kim.

Popular crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX has announced a $150,000 grant for Calvin Kim — a Korean-based Bitcoin scaling researcher.

The grant comprises the second instance in which BitMEX has backed Kim’s research, with the exchange donating $30,000 to Kim in August 2020.

For his current research, Kim plans to implement Utreexo into Bitcoin deployments using the Go and Rust programming languages respectively, while also working on “improving the initial block download time in Bitcoin.”

Utreexo is a Bitcoin scaling solution and hash accumulator that Kim has been working on since mid-2019, with the protocol's design having first been proposed by MIT Digital Currency Initiative researcher Thaddeus Dryja — who also co-authored the Lightning Network whitepaper.

The new grant was issued by BitMEX in collaboration with the non-profit Human Rights Foundation, or HRF — an organization that supports human rights activism globally — with the HRF contributing $50,000 on top of BitMEX’s $100,000 one-year grant for Kim. The researcher stated:

“This year, with the financial support of BitMEX and the Human Rights Foundation, I intend to continue what I was doing last year and continue moving the Utreexo project to something a user can download and use.”

In a May 31 announcement published BitMEX’s research branch, the HRF noted that it has long “worked to promote human rights on the Korean peninsula through technology,” and that it hopes to inspire others from the region to get involved with Bitcoin.

“It is exciting for HRF to have the opportunity to bolster Calvin’s efforts and we hope that his work can inspire others from the region to get involved with Bitcoin and contribute to its mission to provide open-source freedom money for the world,” HRF said.

According to the organization’s website, the HRF support Bitcoin because it “can be a tool of freedom for human rights defenders facing hyperinflation or financial surveillance.”

The HRF’s $50,000 grant to Kim is part of the organization's $210,000 Bitcoin Development Fund, which also included collaborations with Gemini exchange and Square Crypto in support of developer, Dhruv Mehta.

Mehta received $50,000 to work on increasing Bitcoin’s censorship-resistance through BIP324 — a peer-to-peer message transport protocol that aims to protect Bitcoin peers against man-in-the-middle attacks on seed nodes.

The fund also included $50,000 of support to Nur Khalil, a Nigerian Bitcoin developer who develops Bitcoin wallet software for the Nigerian context.

Binance NFT Marketplace looks to capture market share via ‘100 Creators Campaign’

Binance NFT Marketplace looks to capture market share via ‘100 Creators Campaign’

In an effort to attract users, Binance is casting a wide net to bring in artists, celebrities, and athletes.

In an increasingly crowded marketplace for marketplaces, Binance is going on the offensive with a business development push aimed at bringing “100 Creators” to their forthcoming NFT platform. 

In a press release today, Binance announced a drop from Misha Most, a noted street artist who currently holds the world record for the largest wall mural. Most will be making 10 NFTs made in collaboration with other artists, and the pieces will be available for sale in the first week of launch of the marketplace, currently scheduled for June 24th.

“Digital art is imbued with the spirit of the community, as a street artist, it's very close to me, and I'm used to working in a team with other creators,” said Most in the press release. “Working on NFT is a unique opportunity for me to collaborate with digital artists. For me, the transformation of familiar works into digital art is primarily an experiment, and real art is about that.”

Most joins a host of other artists, celebrities, and athletes who have been courted by Binance, including soccer players Michael Owen and Alphonso Davis, singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi, and artist Trevor Jones.

The broad range of “creators” reflects a harsh competitive reality for NFT marketplaces: users rarely have any loyalty to a particular chain, platform, or product, and a growing number of companies (including e-commerce giant eBay) intend to be the ones selling shovels during the new digital gold rush. 

As a result, the only way for a platform to stand out to collectors is with attractive intellectual property and licensing — and on this front Binance appears to be casting a wide net in the hopes that a broad range of voices will attract a similarly broad range of users.

“100 Creators Campaign is one of the campaigns that are prepared by Binance NFT and it is to support and promote innovative creators from around the world and spotlight NFT pieces from different cultures,” said Binance PR manager Lily Lee in an interview with Cointelegraph. “With this campaign, we hope to be able to access users from different regions.”

So far, Flow has managed to secure a dominant portion of market share on the back of a partnership with the National Basketball Association. While prices for their Top Shot collectible highlights have retreated as of late, their daily total volume still routinely ranks in the top 3 on Dappradar.

However, multiple other platforms have been throwing elbows as of late in an effort to secure a sliver of the market. ConsenSys-backed Palm is launching with a drop from renowned British artist Damient Hirst, and likewise WAX has been attempting to make inroads with baseball cards giant Topps.

How relevant is the $900M open interest on Bitcoin options above $100K?

How relevant is the $900M open interest on Bitcoin options above $100K?

Pro traders have been buying ultra bullish Bitcoin $100,000 to $200,000 options, but how confident are they that these targets will be achieved?

Bitcoin (BTC) is fast approaching its worst monthly performance in a decade, but some investors are using this as an opportunity to buy ultra-bullish long-term derivatives. There are currently over $900 million in call (buy) options aiming at $100,000 and higher, but what exactly are those investors seeking?

Options instruments can be used for multiple strategies, which include hedging (protection) and also aiding those betting on specific outcomes. For example, a trader could be expecting a period of lower volatility in the short-term, but at the same time, some significant price oscillation towards the end of 2021.

Most novice traders fail to grasp that an investor might sell an ultra-bullish call (buy) option for September to improve gains on a short-term strategy, therefore not expecting to carry it until the expiry date.

Bitcoin option profit/loss estimate. Source: Deribit Position Builder

The chart above shows the net result of selling a Bitcoin $40,000 July 30 put. If the price remains above that threshold, the investor scores 0.189 BTC gain. Meanwhile, any outcome below $33,700 will yield a negative result. For example, at $30,000, the net loss is 0.144 BTC.

The same trade will occur in the example shown below, but the investor will also sell 40 contracts of the $140,000 call option for Sept. 24. The investor is letting go of gains from a potential price increase in exchange for higher net profit at present levels.

Bitcoin option profit/loss estimate. Source: Deribit Position Builder

Take notice of how the same $40,000 outcome now results in a 0.464 BTC gain, and any price level above $26,850 yields a positive result. However, due to ultra-bullish calls, the trade will also net negative outcomes if Bitcoin trades above $68,170 on July 30.

Therefore, analyzing those ultra-bullish options separately doesn't always provide a clear picture of investors' intentions.

Aggregate Bitcoin options open interest: Source: Bybt

There are currently 24,625 Bitcoin call option contracts at $100,000 or higher, equivalent to $910 million in open interest.

Sure, it sounds like a lot, but the current market value of these ultra-bullish options is $15.4 million. For example, a Dec. 31 call option with a $120,000 strike is worth $1,500.

As a comparison, a $30,000 protective put option for July 30 is worth $2,700. Therefore, instead of focusing exclusively on open interest, one should factor in the actual cost for each option.

While these flashy $300,000 Bitcoin call options make headlines, it does not necessarily reflect true investors' expectations.

For Bitcoin holders, it makes sense to sell $100,000 and higher call options and pocket the premium. Worst case scenario, one will be making a sale in December at $100,000, which does not sound like a bad investment at all.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.


Interview: Alex Gladstein On Bitcoin's Impact And Bitcoin 2021

Alex Gladstein, CSO at Human Rights Foundation, is set to speak at the conference taking place this weekend.

Alex Gladstein will be speaking during the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami on June 4. Make sure that you set a reminder for the Bitcoin 2021 day one YouTube live stream and one for the Bitcoin 2021 day two YouTube livestream now.

Watch Alex Gladstein’s interview on YouTube.

Alex Gladstein has worked at the Human Rights Foundation since 2007 and has steadily discovered the increasing advantages bitcoin can provide to oppressed people around the world. In this interview, host Tyler Laroche sat down with Gladstein to discuss the future of the Lightning Network and Bitcoin in general along with what he's most looking forward to at the conference, including his panel with Jack Dorsey.

Gladstein and Dorsey will share the Nakamoto stage to discuss how bitcoin and the Lightning Network have the ability to provide financial sovereignty to unbanked and underprivileged communities around the world.

Gladstein believes that bitcoin is an incredibly valuable tool for people to transact outside of the scope of oppressive governments, and will highlight this throughout his discussion with Dorsey.

“Banking The Unbanked,” Gladstein’s discussion with Dorsey, will take place June 4 at 12:25 pm. This panel is sure to be one of the most popular at Bitcoin 2021, so make sure you get there early if you are in attendance!

If you do not plan on attending in person, you can catch the conference via YouTube livestream from this link, so be sure to set a reminder!

Join the #Bitcoin2021 party from anywhere in the world by joining our conversation on Telegram. Plus, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest Bitcoin news and all the happenings at Bitcoin 2021.

3 on-chain indicators suggest the Bitcoin price sell-off is losing steam

3 on-chain indicators suggest the Bitcoin price sell-off is losing steam

As Bitcoin price shows new signs of bullish momentum, data from various on-chain indicators suggest that the current sell-off is reaching an end.

Bitcoin (BTC) entered a consolidation phase following its May 19 crash from $42,600 to $30,000 on Coinbase. The flagship cryptocurrency recovered its losses quickly and reclaimed $40,000 but it failed to log a clear bullish breakout above this resistance level and at the time of writing the price remains pinned below $40,000.

The latest price action in the Bitcoin market has been — at best — choppy, with traders showing no clear indication about their short-term bias. Some analysts predicted that if the BTC/USD price does not break above $40,000, it may very well fall to as low as $20,000 in the coming sessions.

Interestingly, a handful of on-chain indicators tell a different story. One of the most interesting themes holding Bitcoin's bullish bias intact is witnessing long-term holders and accumulation addresses stacking more BTC during the recent price dip.

Furthermore, a metric known as the Bitcoin Entity-Adjusted SOPR (Spent Output Profit Ratio) shows that the market is no longer selling Bitcoin at a loss on aggregate.

Bitcoin Entity-Adjusted SOPR. Source: Glassnode

Meanwhile, on-chain data shows that exchanges saw a decline in their reserves, a signal that traders have been withdrawing their digital assets to cold wallets or depositing them into DeFi liquidity pools for more lucrative returns.

While the short-term perspective may be tilted toward bears, the following three on-chain indicators hint that Bitcoin could be in the process of bottoming out.

Bitcoin: Spent Output Age Bands

The correction in Bitcoin price resulted in three kinds of reactions in the spot market. The first involved panic-selling by short-term traders who sold Bitcoin to minimize their losses, probably because they bought the cryptocurrency near its top. 

The second reaction involved HODLERs that decided to hold on to their exiting bitcoin supply. They showed a long-term conviction in Bitcoin's bullish bias against supportive macroeconomic fundamentals, such as ultra-low interest rates, poor yields on government bonds, inflation fears and a declining U.S. dollar, that made hedging assets like Bitcoin look attractive to HODL.

The third reaction was a mix of HODLers and accumulators as traders utilized the Bitcoin price dip to buy more of the cryptocurrency at a 'discount'.

Various on-chain indicators showed a huge contrast between the Bitcoin reserves held by short-term holders and long-term holders during the price crash.

For example, the 'Bitcoin: Spent Out Age Bands' chart below, last week saw a greater amount of selling coming from coins that were one day to one week old. These coins kept moving in and out of the market, accurately reflecting the state of higher price volatility in the market last week.

Bitcoin spent output age bands, calculated per seven-day moving average. Source: Glassnode

Meanwhile, coins that remained unspent for 1 to 3 months and 3 to 6 months also changed addresses in the wake of the recent price crash.

Traders that held Bitcoin in wallets for 1-6 months moved them in May. Source: Glassnode

Another Glassnode metric dubbed the 'Bitcoin: Total Supply Held By Long-Term Holders' showed that long-term holders — entities that hold Bitcoin for more than six months, became the largest beneficiaries of the tokens sold by the short-term holders.

Bitcoin supply held by long-term holders kept increasing amid the May crash. Source: Glassnode 

In a weekly note to clients, Anthony Pompliano, investor at Pomp Investments, said:

"Long-term holders are adding to their positions, short-term holders are selling, some entities in the short-term cohort have now reached the 155-day threshold for this metric and are now in the long term cohort." 

This divergence pointed to long-term stability in Bitcoin price as more and more serious holders took positions against the ongoing macroeconomic crisis.

Bitcoin balance on exchanges drops

The net Bitcoin reserves held by cryptocurrency exchanges have also declined in the past seven days, showing that fewer and fewer traders now want to sell their Bitcoin holdings.

The metric points to a typical trading behavior. Traders only deposit Bitcoin to their exchange wallets when they want to either sell them for fiat or trade them for other digital assets. As a result, the BTC reserves on trading platforms rise.

Exchanges bitcoin reserves are down 14,207 BTC in the last 7 days. Source: Glassnode

Conversely, a higher degree of BTC withdrawals reflects traders' decision to hold the cryptocurrency. It means that Bitcoin would not face immediate sell-off pressure in the spot market, which is what the latest Glassnode readings show.

Bitcoin accumulation addresses and balances rise

The total number of accumulation addresses and the balance within these wallets are rising. In retrospect, an accumulation address is the one that has received at least two BTC transactions but has never moved the assets out of the address.

Convinced Bitcoin bulls continue stacking through the price dip, Source: Glassnode.

In the last seven days, the number of these accumulation addresses has climbed, adding 7,430 new wallets to the list.

Another metric dubbed the 'Bitcoin: Supply Held by Entities with Balance 0.01 - 0.1' showed that new users entered the Bitcoin network during its price dip. Additionally, supply held by addresses that have  0.001 BTC to 1 BTC in them increased in tandem, showing steady growth in retail interest.

Bitcoin supply held by wallets holding 0.01-0.1 BTC spikes as prices fall. Source: Glassnode

Bitcoin Mining Company Marathon Will Stop Censoring Transactions, Start Signaling For Taproot

Bitcoin Mining Company Marathon Will Stop Censoring Transactions, Start Signaling For Taproot

Bitcoin mining firm Marathon has announced its pool will stop mining only OFAC-compliant blocks and start signaling for Taproot activation.

Mara Pool, the bitcoin mining pool operated by digital asset technology company Marathon Digital Holdings, will update its miners to the latest Bitcoin Core 0.21.1 software to signal for Taproot activation, and stop censoring transactions, according to a press release.

"Marathon is committed to the core tenets of the Bitcoin community, including decentralization, inclusion, and no censorship," said Marathon's CEO Fred Thiel. "Over the coming week, we will be updating all our miners to the full standard Bitcoin core 0.21.1 node, including support for Taproot. By adopting the full standard Bitcoin core node, we will be validating transactions on the blockchain in the exact same way as all other miners who use the standard node."

The announcement comes in great contrast to Marathon's actions in the past few months. In late March, the company announced its bitcoin mining pool would filter transactions to mine blocks compliant with U.S. regulations, including anti-money laundering (AML) and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) standards, effectively censoring transactions. And earlier this month, the company successfully mined its first “compliant” block.

Thiel later added that "[Marathon] looks forward to continue being a collaborative and supportive member of the Bitcoin community and to realizing the vision of Bitcoin as the first decentralized, peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users rather than a central authority or middlemen,” per the release.

Taproot is a soft fork to the Bitcoin network that could improve Bitcoin's privacy and scripting capabilities. For example, the upgrade could make smart contracts more efficient and private by only revealing the relevant parts of the contract when spending. Additionally, it could improve Lightning Network privacy by making Lightning channels look like regular bitcoin transactions.

Taproot's current deployment method is called Speedy Trial, a variation of BIP9 versionbits described in BIP341. The process is characterized by miners and mining pools helping coordinate the deployment of the soft fork by signaling its support in their mined blocks. If 90% of blocks in a signaling epoch of 2,016 blocks between May and August show support for Taproot, the soft fork gets locked in as a Bitcoin protocol upgrade for November.

According to data from, 240 blocks have been mined in the current signaling epoch at the time of writing –– an only six have not signaled for Taproot activation. Therefore, over 97% of the present epoch's mined blocks have signaled support for the upgrade.

But not all of Mara Pool's mined blocks have signaled for Taproot activation –– amounting to half of the total of non-signaling blocks in this epoch. However, by upgrading its miners, Mara Pool might start signaling for Taproot as early as next week, according to the release, leaving Bitcoiners very optimistic about the soft fork's activation.

If Mara Pool indeed stops censoring transactions and Taproot gets locked in as a Bitcoin protocol upgrade for November, the year 2021 would be etched in Bitcoin's history as a vital year for the network, bringing improvements in privacy, fungibility and scripting capabilities while laying the foundation for further improvements down the road.

Human Rights Foundation Donates $210,000 In Bitcoin Ecosystem Grants

Human Rights Foundation Donates $210,000 In Bitcoin Ecosystem Grants

The Human Rights Foundation has awarded $210,000 in grants to propel six Bitcoin projects, including developers and Lightning apps.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) Bitcoin Development Fund's latest round will award a total of $210,000 to three Bitcoin Core contributors, two Lightning Network wallet teams and an Arabic translator.

"This round of gifts will focus on: Bitcoin core development, making it easier to run nodes and making it harder to Sybil attack nodes, wallet optimization for emerging markets, privacy improvements for Lightning apps, [and] expanding arabic language Bitcoin education and translation," announced HRF Chief Strategy Officer Alex Gladstein.

HRF will award the largest sum to the Bitcoin Core developers Calvin Kim, Dhruv Mehta and Abubakar Nur Khalil –– who will receive $50,000 each.

Kim currently researches ways to scale the Bitcoin base layer with the Utreexo client and has recently shown promising results. With this new grant, Kim will take it a step further and work "towards making Utreexo usable by an end user," he shared on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Mehta will continue working on Bitcoin Core's security, while Khalil will be working on wallet optimization for his home country of Nigeria.

The Lightning Network app ecosystem will receive two grants, each totaling $25,000. According to the announcement, Sphinx Chat, a Lightning wallet and encrypted messaging service that allows for chatting over Lightning, will use its grant for a new donation interface for humanitarians and activists. And Breez, another Lightning wallet, will dedicate its funding towards bounties to add Tor and NextCloud to its platform and integrate Lightning with Matrix.

Finally, Arabic HODL will use its $10,000 grant to continue translating Bitcoin content into Arabic.

Price analysis 5/31: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, DOGE, DOT, UNI, ICP, BCH

Price analysis 5/31: BTC, ETH, BNB, ADA, XRP, DOGE, DOT, UNI, ICP, BCH

Bitcoin and altcoins are attempting to start a relief rally, suggesting traders have decided to start buying at lower levels.

Bitcoin’s (BTC) massive drop in May 2021 is among its worst monthly performances, according to data from Bybt. The decline has divided the crypto community, with long-term investors considering the fall as a buying opportunity while short-term traders are dumping their positions out of fear.

Glassnode data suggests that long-term HODLers and miners are using the current weakness to accumulate Bitcoin. This transfer of Bitcoin from weaker hands to stronger hands is a positive sign because long-term investors are unlikely to panic and dump their holdings on every bear market correction.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

In April, the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index soared by 3.1% compared to a year ago, the biggest increase over 12 months since July 1992. This indicates that inflation is knocking on the doors. Several institutional investors may use the current correction to add Bitcoin to their portfolios as it is an uncorrelated asset and many consider it as a good hedge against inflation.

Therefore, a sharp plunge below $30,000 looks unlikely. However, that does not mean a new bull market will start in a hurry. The price is likely to remain volatile and range-bound before the start of a sustained uptrend.

Let’s analyze the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to spot the critical support and resistance levels.


Bitcoin is in a downtrend. The downsloping moving averages and the relative strength index in negative territory suggest the bears have the upper hand. However, the bulls have other plans as they are trying to start a relief rally.

BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The BTC/USDT pair has formed a symmetrical triangle pattern. If the bulls push and sustain the price above the resistance line of the triangle, the pair could start a move to the 50% Fibonacci retracement level at $44,750 and then to the 50-day simple moving average ($50,161). Such a move will suggest that the downtrend could be over.

Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the resistance line of the triangle, the pair could extend its stay inside the triangle for a few more days. A breakdown and close below the support line of the triangle will indicate the resumption of the downtrend.

The bears could then pull the price down to $30,000 and if this level cracks, the selling may intensify and the pair could drop to $28,000 and then $20,000.


Ether (ETH) has rebounded sharply off the support line of the symmetrical triangle as traders attempt to put a higher low. The price could now challenge the resistance line of the triangle where the bears are likely to mount a stiff resistance.

ETH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the bulls push the price above the triangle, the ETH/USDT pair could rally to the 61.8% retracement level at $3,362.72. Such a move will suggest strong buying at lower levels. A break above $3,362.72 may signal an end of the downtrend.

However, the bears are unlikely to give up easily. The downsloping 20-day EMA ($2,756) and the RSI just below the midpoint suggest the sellers have a minor advantage.

If the price turns down from the resistance line of the triangle, the bears will try to sink the price below the support line of the triangle. If they succeed, the pair may retest the May 23 panic low at $1,728.74.


Binance Coin (BNB) slipped below the $306.61 support on May 29 but the bears could not sustain the selling pressure at lower levels. The altcoin quickly bounced back above $306.61 on May 30, suggesting accumulation on dips.

BNB/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The bulls will now try to push the price to the 20-day EMA ($400), which is likely to act as a stiff resistance. If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, it will suggest the sentiment remains negative and traders are selling on rallies.

The bears will then try to pull the price down to $211.70. On the contrary, if the bulls thrust the price above the 20-day EMA and the $428 resistance, the BNB/USDT pair could rally to the 50-day SMA ($512).


Cardano (ADA) dipped below the 50-day SMA ($1.51) on May 29 but the bears could not capitalize on the breakdown. The altcoin bounced back above the 50-day SMA on May 30, indicating buying at lower levels.

ADA/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The flat 20-day EMA ($1.61) and the RSI near the midpoint suggest a balance between supply and demand.

This balance will tilt in favor of the buyers if they can push and sustain the price above the downtrend line. The ADA/USDT pair could then rally to $1.94 and if this level is crossed, the next stop could be a retest of the all-time high at $2.47.

On the other hand, if the price turns down from the downtrend line, the bears will once again try to break the $1.33 support. If they succeed, the pair could drop to $1.24 and then $1.


The bears pulled XRP below the $0.88 support on May 29 but they could not sustain the lower levels. The altcoin bounced back above $0.88 on May 30, indicating strong buying by the bulls.

XRP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the buyers can propel the price above the 20-day EMA ($1.08), it will suggest that a short-term bottom has been made at $0.65. The XRP/USDT pair could then rally to the 50-day SMA ($1.32) and later to the downtrend line.

This positive view will invalidate if the price turns down from the 20-day EMA. If that happens, the bears will try to pull the price back below $0.80. If they manage to do that, the pair may challenge the $0.65 support.


The volatility in Dogecoin (DOGE) has reduced due to lack of aggressive buying or selling by traders. The moving averages have completed a bearish crossover and the RSI is in the negative territory, indicating the bears have the upper hand.

DOGE/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down from the 20day EMA ($0.36), the bears will try to pull the price below the critical support at $0.21. If they succeed, the DOGE/USDT pair will complete a bearish head and shoulders pattern. The pair could then correct to $0.10 and then $0.05.

Conversely, if the bulls push the price above the 20-day EMA, the pair could rise to the overhead resistance at $0.47. A breakout of this resistance could result in a rally to $0.59.


Polkadot (DOT) is trying to rebound off the support at $17.50. This is a positive sign as it shows that the bulls are not waiting for a dip to $15 to buy. The altcoin could rise to the $26.50 level, which is likely to act as a stiff resistance.

DOT/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

The downsloping moving averages and the RSI below 40 suggest the bears have the upper hand. If the price turns down from $26.50, the DOT/USDT pair could extend its stay inside the range for a few more days.

The next bullish move could start if the buyers push the price above $26.50. That could result in a rally to $31.28 and then to the 50-day SMA ($33). Alternatively, the next leg of the downtrend could start if the bears sink the price below $15.


Uniswap (UNI) is in a downtrend but the bulls are trying to form a higher low at $21.50. The price rebounded off this support on May 30 and the bulls will now try to push the price above the 20-day EMA ($28.27) and the overhead resistance at $30.

UNI/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If they succeed, it will suggest the downtrend could be over in the short term. The UNI/USDT pair may then rally to the 50-day SMA ($33.94). This level may act as stiff resistance but if the bulls can clear the hurdle, the pair could rise to $38.15.

The downsloping 20-day EMA suggests the bears have the upper hand but the RSI above 44 suggests the bulls are making a comeback.

This positive view will nullify if the price turns down from the 20-day EMA and breaks below $21.50. Such a move could result in a decline to the May 23 low at $13.04.


Internet Computer (ICP) broke below the $120 to $168 range on May 28 but the bears have not been able to pull the price below the immediate support at $103.71. The price is stuck between $103.71 and $120 for the past three days.

ICP/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

This tight-range trading indicates indecision among the bulls and the bears. If the uncertainty resolves to the downside, the ICP/USDT pair could challenge the May 19 low at $86.01. A break below this support could pull the price down to $60.

On the other hand, if the bulls push and sustain the price above $120, it will suggest a lack of sellers at lower levels. The pair could then gradually move up to $168. A breakout and close above $168 could start a relief rally that may reach the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $243.08.


Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is attempting to rise above $685.36. If bulls sustain the price above this overhead resistance, the altcoin could rise to the 20-day EMA ($821), which is likely to act as a stiff resistance.

BCH/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingView

If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, it will suggest the sentiment remains negative and traders are selling on every minor rally. If the bears sink the price below $600, the BCH/USDT pair could fall to $468.13.

On the contrary, if the bulls drive the price above the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that demand exceeds supply. That could start a rally to the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement level at $919.60 and then to the 50% retracement level at $1,059.07.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Market data is provided by HitBTC exchange.

Report: Amid pullback, Argentinian Bitcoin miners thriving

Report: Amid pullback, Argentinian Bitcoin miners thriving

Institutional miners and hobbyists alike are taking advantage of energy subsidies to cash in.

While the broader crypto market suffers through a painful slump, a new report today indicates that Bitcoin miners in Argentina are thriving as they take advantage of convoluted energy policies. 

A report from Bloomberg republished in the Buenos Aires Times says that residential mining is picking up due to a mix of factors, including currency controls, energy subsidies, and rampant inflation.

The favorable mix of conditions has even brought in international attention as Canadian mining company Bitfarms Ltd. looks to set up what will reportedly be the largest mining operation in South America — part of a flourishing crypto business scene throughout the country. Earlier in the year, Bitfarms estimated that the new facility could mine BTC at a cost of just over $4,000 per coin.

"Although the price of bitcoin is at its lowest level in the last few months, mining BTC in Argentina is still profitable due to the low cost of energy in dollars," said Agustin Beltramo, a international crypto reporter for Cointelegraph in an interview.

However, Beltramo cautioned against families rushing out to buy mining equipment, saying that the upfront costs can be more prohibitive than some expect.

“The reality is that even though energy in Argentina is cheap, not everyone is going to see profits overnight. Mining power is a key factor in calculating the benefits of mining in Argentina,” he said.

“Those who have been mining for some time are the real winners, since they have had mining equipment for a long time and it is assumed that they have already amortized it. Those who are just getting started in cryptocurrency mining will see profits in the medium/long term.”

One cheaper option for Argentines looking to make passive income may be operating a Lightning Network node, however. Nicolas Bourbon, an Argentinian Bitcoin advocate quoted in the report, is a vocal proponent of the layer 2:

Subsidized Energy And Shrinking Economy Lead To Bitcoin Mining Boom In Argentina

Subsidized Energy And Shrinking Economy Lead To Bitcoin Mining Boom In Argentina

Low energy costs, high inflation and restrictive capital controls have pushed residents of Argentina to mine bitcoin in their homes.

Bitcoin miners in Argentina are taking advantage of the country’s shrinking economy and its debased currency to harvest oversized returns, powered by cheap, government-subsidized energy, Bloomberg reported.

“Even after Bitcoin’s price correction, the cost of electricity for anyone mining from their house is still a fraction of the total revenue generated,” Nicolas Bourbon, who has experience mining bitcoin from Buenos Aires, told Bloomberg.

Miners are capitalizing on Argentina’s cheap residential electricity due to intense government subsidies that seek to win political points with voters.

“The crypto that miners generate is typically sold at the parallel exchange rate, but the energy is paid for at a subsidized rate,” explained Bourbon. “At the moment, revenues are very high.”

The bitcoin parallel exchange rate in the country is selling at a hefty premium, as Argentines have substantial currency restrictions imposed on them and desperately seek better stores of value than their fiat currency –– the peso. According to Bloomberg, bitcoin’s parallel exchange rate in the country traded at around $63,000 on Sunday, a 75% premium to the official rate of $36,000.

Apart from local Argentine homeowners, international mining firms are also taking action to benefit from the situation. Last month, Canada’s Bitfarms Ltd. secured a deal to draw 210 megawatts of power from an underused Argentinian natural gas plant, per Bloomberg.

“We were looking for places that have overbuilt their electrical generation systems,” Bitfarms President Geoffrey Morphy told Bloomberg. “Economic activity in Argentina is down, and power is not being fully utilized. So it was a win-win situation.”

Although electricity in Argentina is much cheaper than in its neighboring countries, the home mining trend is starting to pick up in South America. For example, in Brazil, bitcoin mining interest has reached a three-year high, according to data from Google Trends, local outlet Portal Do Bitcoin recently reported. Growing unemployment, a shrinking economy and a devalued currency since the pandemic breakout have left Brazilians seeking alternative income sources by mining bitcoin at home.

As a permissionless, government-agnostic, decentralized money, bitcoin is providing an alternative to people under interventionist governments’ monetary policies around the world.

0x launches DEX liquidity API on Polygon

0x launches DEX liquidity API on Polygon

Polygon’s decentralized finance footprint continues to grow, with 0x releasing a version of its decentralized exchange liquidity aggregator API on the “Ethereum scaler.”

0x has released a Polygon version API for its decentralized exchange (DEX) liquidity aggregator, opening up the 0x API tool to the expanding Polygon market.

The DEX liquidity bridge service announced the move via a release issued on Monday, marking another milestone for the burgeoning decentralized finance (DeFi) scene on Polygon.

According to the announcement, the 0x API on Polygon features major Ethereum-based DEX liquidity channels like SushiSwap, Dfyn and Curve, as well as Dodo, mStable, QuickSwap and Cometh.

Detailing the ease of using the 0x API on Polygon, the announcement reads:

“Developers are able to access the open source 0x API and accompanying documentation to start building on Polygon instantly. The API has been designed to make it easy for DeFi devs to tap into DEX liquidity in a fast, reliable, and easy to use way.”

0x reportedly plans to expand its DEX liquidity aggregation capability with the team promising access to its open book orders and request for quote (RFQ) system in the next 0x API iteration scheduled for release in June.

As part of the announcement, the 0x team stated that its API service had facilitated $26 billion in trading volume from over 1 million trades carried out by about 250,000 unique entities. This $26 billion in activity has been across both the Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain networks, which are currently the two most active DeFi markets.

According to the 0x team, Polygon attracting major DeFi protocols like Aave, Curve and Augur is proof of the platform’s vibrant DeFi scene. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Polygon recently debuted an SDK framework for building Ethereum-compatible chains.

Interblockchain liquidity protocol Ren is also interfacing with Polygon. Earlier in May, Ren announced a new bridge to port Ren-based wrapped tokens — ERC-20 representations of “coins” like Bitcoin (BTC), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Zcash (ZEC), among others — to the Polygon network.

Indian central bank clarifies regulations as local banks shun crypto

Indian central bank clarifies regulations as local banks shun crypto

Banks like HDFC and the State Bank of India reportedly cautioned customers against crypto, citing the RBI’s quashed crypto circular.

India’s central bank has issued an official notice regarding the fact that local banks are reportedly cautioning customers against using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).

Published Monday, the notice points out that the Reserve Bank of India is aware of media reports that certain banks have cautioned their customers against crypto by referring to the RBI’s quashed, three-year-old circular.

“Such references to the above circular by banks/ regulated entities are not in order as this circular was set aside by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on March 4, 2020 in the matter of Writ Petition,” the notice reads, emphasizing that the circular is no longer valid and cannot be cited.

However, banks and other regulated financial institutions can still carry out customer due diligence processes related to Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer standards under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 2002, the RBI noted.

The RBI’s statement comes in response to media reports claiming that some of India’s largest banks, like HDFC Bank and the State Bank of India, have cautioned their customers against dealing in digital currencies. Some users claimed that HDFC Bank cited the RBI’s 2018 order banning crypto trading in India. The ban was officially overturned in March 2020 by the Supreme Court of India.

The news adds to the prevailing uncertainty regarding the legal status of crypto in India. Earlier this year, anonymous sources claimed that the government was planning a blanket ban on crypto.

BitMEX, Human Rights Foundation Award $150,000 To Bitcoin Developer Calvin Kim

BitMEX, Human Rights Foundation Award $150,000 To Bitcoin Developer Calvin Kim

BitMEX and the Human Rights Foundation have partnered to award Bitcoin Developer Calvin Kim $150,000 to further his work on Utreexo.

Bitcoin exchange and derivatives platform BitMEX has announced that it has renewed a developer grant awarded to Calvin Kim until June 2022, giving him an additional $100,000 one-year grant. BitMEX awarded Kim a $30,000 grant in August 2020.

The announcement also indicated that the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is granting Kim an additional $50,000 in bitcoin.

Kim was focused on prototyping an Utreexo Bitcoin full node, which can help users conduct the Initial Block Download 62% faster than through Bitcoin Core alone, according to recent BitMEX research.

“This year, with the financial support of BitMEX and the Human Rights Foundation, I intend to continue what I was doing last year and continue moving the Utreexo project to something a user can download and use,” Kim said, per the announcement. “I’m excited for the upcoming year of development for the Utreexo project and am confident that the project will have a positive impact on the Bitcoin ecosystem.”

BitMEX and HRF have been active in donating to Bitcoin development. BitMEX parent company 100x Group has donated $250,000 to Bitcoin Core maintainer Michael Ford (aka Fanquake). And the firm has previously given a $150,000 grant to Core developer Amiti Uttarwar.

HRF’s donation efforts have focused on supporting privacy development for Bitcoin.

Druckenmiller: Ethereum is 'MySpace before Facebook' while Bitcoin won as 'Google'

Druckenmiller: Ethereum is 'MySpace before Facebook' while Bitcoin won as 'Google'

Those with skin in the game are reiterating that comparing Bitcoin to Ethereum is a pointless and potentially costly exercise.

Bitcoin (BTC) is at risk of a “flippening” from Ether (ETH), mainstream media claims as some familiar FUD — fear, uncertainty and doubt —returns to the spotlight.

As BTC/USD continues to flag below $40,000, an old argument has resurfaced — but major investors are fighting back.

Bloomberg: ETH "will likely exceed Bitcoin"

In an article on May 31, Bloomberg cited multiple sources claiming that in the future, Ether will overtake Bitcoin as the world’s cryptocurrency of choice.

The largest altcoin “will likely exceed Bitcoin at some point in the future, as Ethereum will be superior when it comes to innovation and developer interest,” Tegan Kline, co-founder of Blockchain firm Edge & Node, told the publication.

Another executive added that Ethereum has a “better growth story.”

The argument is far from new and has appeared regularly throughout Ethereum’s existence. The Ethereum network’s recent major upgrade has kept its profile afloat, and ETH has outperformed Bitcoin over the past year and formed the backbone of the decentralized finance (DeFi) phenomenon.

ETH/BTC, long on a losing streak, reached its highest exchange rate in three years earlier this month.

ETH has also managed to preserve more of its price gains than Bitcoin in recent days. As Cointelegraph reported, a key moving average remains intact for ETH/USD, while BTC/USD has failed to recapture "lines in the sand."

ETH/BTC 1-week candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Druckenmiller compares Ethereum to MySpace

For all its impressive performance, however, claiming that Ethereum will replace Bitcoin at the top is nonsensical, many argue — and not only staunch Bitcoin supporters.

In an interview with The Hustle last week, billionaire investor Stanley Druckenmiller became the latest non-technical figure to cast aside doubts about Bitcoin’s staying power.

“I think BTC has won the store of value game because it’s a brand, it’s been around for 13-14 years and it has a finite supply,” he said.

“Is it going to be gold? I don’t know. It’s sure as hell doing a good imitation of it the last year or two.”

For Druckenmiller, Ethereum is to Bitcoin what MySpace is to Google.

“I’m a little more skeptical of whether it can hold its position. It reminds me a little of MySpace before Facebook,” he continued.

“Or maybe a better analogy is Yahoo before Google came along. Google wasn’t that much faster than Yahoo, but it didn’t need to be. All it needed to be was a little bit faster and the rest is history.”

Others have long pointed out that technically, Bitcoin and Ethereum have little in common. Bitcoin’s finite supply and years of resistance to attacks place it in a different league than any other cryptocurrency, and comparing another one to it is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

“I generally think all the other digital currencies don’t really compete with Bitcoin and are in no way similar to Bitcoin,” Saifedean Ammous, author of The Bitcoin Standard, famously told the Unchained Podcast in August 2017.

“I think their real competition is, if I’m generous, I’ll say Amazon Web Services and these kinds of platforms.”