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The Number of Bitcoin Whales Is At a Yearly Low, Here’s Why

Apparently Bitcoin whales are not as loyal to their tokens as they are to the dollar value they represent. As time goes on and BTC fails to resume its bull run, there are fewer and fewer people with large amounts of Bitcoin in their wallets.

According to data from blockchain analytics firm Glassnode, the number of Bitcoin whales has been in steep decline since the beginning of 2021, going from 2,237 on February 7 to 1,943 earlier this week.

Number of Bitcoin whales over time. Image: Glassnode
Bitcoin whales over time. Image: Glassnode

Why Are Bitcoin Whales Dumping Their Coins?

Such decline could have a number of causes, but the main ones could be:

The drop in bitcoin prices —or at least its slower price trend— is discouraging accumulation, making it unattractive to hodl tokens that lose value over time —especially in a manner as volatile as bitcoin does.

Also, expectations around rising interest rates in the United States makes it less attractive to invest in alternative assets like bitcoin. Since keeping money in the bank generates higher returns with less risk, many whales and investors who don’t do much with their BTC other than just hodling it are likely to exit their positions in volatile assets and move into fixed income assets.

And finally, the attractiveness of alternative cryptocurrencies that are reporting higher growth is causing a mass migration of funds. Bitcoin’s dominance is currently below 50%. Its current 42% puts loyalty at levels not seen since 2018, during the famous “Crypto winter”.

Bitcoin dominance in 2021. Image: Coinmarketcap
Bitcoin dominance in 2021. Image: Coinmarketcap

The Power of Memes

Assets with established pedigree such as Ethereum and BNB are reporting clear and sustained uptrends, gaining the attention of many investors. However, DeFi projects, NFTs and meme coins are the latest trend right now with ROIs that resemble the 2017 craze.

As Cryptopotato previously reported, CryptoQuant’s CEO believes that many investors could be selling their BTC in order to bet on the price of some Dogecoin clones —like Shina Inu (SHIB) which has spiked 1700% in the last week and a whopping 28600% in the last month.

Of course, this is bad news for Bitcoin. A drop in popularity and a surge in massive sales could put even more downward pressure on prices. Pankaj Balani, co-founder and CEO of the Singapore-based Delta Exchange maintained this thesis in a brief statement to Coindesk.

“The data looks bearish, as it shows a clear trend of whales offloading their holdings,”

However, this is not necessarily an imminent scenario. Bitcoin has still respected key supports within its bullish channel, and expectations around the implementation of Taproot and Schnorr have more than one maximalist excited.

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QAN Raises $2.1 Million in Venture Capital to Build DeFi Ecosystem

QANPlatform – a project that is on a mission of building a quantum-resistant hybrid blockchain protocol, secured investment from various venture capital funds to build a DeFi ecosystem.

QAN Successfully Closes a Funding Round of $2.1 Million

The question of whether or not existing blockchain-based PoW networks would stand the test of a quantum computer is one that’s been discussed for quite some time. To this date, many believe that a quantum computer is the most serious threat to Bitcoin as it would be able to solve math problems a lot quicker compared to traditional mining machines.

In any case, in an attempt to tackle these issues, along with others, QANplatform has raised $2.1 million to fund the development of an ecosystem where developers would be capable of building various software applications within DeFi quicker.

Leading the round were the likes of DeltaHub Capital, BlackDragon, Insignius Capital, Fairum Ventures, and so forth.

Speaking on the matter was Johann Polecsak, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at QANplatform, who said:

“Our key mission is to lower the entry barriers for developers so startups and enterprises can build their Proofs-of-Concept (PoC) and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as fast as possible to reach mass adoption. We stick to this view and let only community-driven VCs invest in this strategic pool”

Quantum Computing and its Threats

According to a well-known report from one of the largest auditing and security service companies in the world – Deloitte, quantum computing does pose a threat to Bitcoin.

Of course, it’s important to factor in the possibility of such a computer being created and used for this particular purpose, but, in theory, it could cause damage, according to the experts.

For instance, there are around 4 million bitcoins that are potentially vulnerable to a quantum attack. Yet, there are plenty of things to keep in mind when thinking about this. For instance, it’s important to note that these are mostly p2pkh addresses, and only those which have never been used to spend bitcoins are safe because their public keys are not yet public. In other words – if one transfers their BTC to a new address, they should not be vulnerable to a quantum attack.

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Shield Finance Completes a $780K Round to Create a DeFi Insurance Aggregator

[PRESS RELEASE – Chiang Mai, Thailand, 11th May 2021]

Shield Finance, a multi-chain DeFi insurance aggregator that will deploy across the Polkadot, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Solana blockchains announced today the completion of their private fundraising rounds, having successfully reached the hard cap amount of $780 000. Private Investors.

Shield Finance’s potential combined with its seasoned team attracted immense support from industry innovators including Master Ventures / PAID Network, DAO Maker, Zokyo, NGC Ventures, Spark Digital Capital, GD10.Ventures, Titan Ventures, and others.

The decentralized finance movement has been growing exponentially over the past year growing from $700 million by December 2019 to $65 billion as of April 2021. DeFi gives users full control over their money and financial future but this freedom comes with some drawbacks. As thousands of retail investors enter the attractive DeFi marketplace there are a variety of risks they have to take into consideration including market crashes, price volatility, and security issues. Until only recently, the DeFi has lacked any insurance options to give users peace of mind when investing in these new financial products. This is about to change.

Shield Finance is a DeFi insurance aggregator that aims to protect token investments from hacks, rug pulls, market crashes, and other DeFi-related risks. It does this through a proprietary aggregation engine that provides custom insurance packages for investor needs. Shield Finance could be referred to as the Skyscanner for DeFi insurance; users can see and select offers from multiple insurance providers without leaving the token platform.

“Insurance plays an important role in DeFi as a way to de-risk your investments. With a number of insurance players in the market, a multi-chain insurance aggregator will naturally attract users as a go-to place to buy insurance. This fundraise will be instrumental in driving the growth and development of Shield Finance.” Denis Gorbachev, CEO of Shield Finance

Shield Finance aims to dominate the cryptocurrency insurance market by partnering with DeFi exchanges, wallets, and farms. Shield Finance’s goal in doing so is twofold: to ensure DeFi insurance purchasing is easy and simple to purchase and to offer the cheapest DeFi insurance packages on the market.

As the Shield Finance platform launches more exciting features will be released including a web app and increased partnerships & integrations with insurance providers and DeFi platforms including exchanges, wallets, and farms.

Shield Finance expects development of the platform to be complete (timeframe?) after its public IDO launch on industry driving PAID Network’s crowdfunding platform, Ignition Launchpad. Operating as a decentralized swapping protocol, Ignition allows blockchain-based token projects to offer their private and public auctions to participants, leveraging both PAID Network and Polkadot technology. Capitalizing on PAID Network’s community strength and the popularity of the Ignition Launchpad platform the success of Shield Finance’s public IDO is all but certain.

Shield Finance IDO is set to take place May 19th, 2021 on PAID Network’s Ignition Launchpad at 11:00 AM UTC Ignition – IDO Launchpad on PAID Network

About Shield Finance

Shield Finance is a Multi-Chain DeFi Insurance Aggregator that allows users to buy protection against major market crashes due to black swan events (hacks, exploits, rug pulls, sell-offs). Incubated by Master Ventures (MV Fuel), Shield utilizes a proprietary aggregation engine to provide custom insurance packages for investor needs. The $SHLD token enables governance and provides staking rewards at 30% stable APY – however, the most important feature of the $SHLD token is the “buy & burn” program. Every quarter, it redirects 50% of fees generated by users to buy the $SHLD token on the open market & burn it, which results in the permanent reduction of supply.

Connect to Shield Finance:
Website: shieldfinance.io
Telegram: @ShieldFinanceHQ
Twitter: @ShieldFinance

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Hackers Attack Instagram Accounts in Malta and Require Bitcoin Ransom

Instagram accounts of Maltese residents were attacked recently by hackers. The online intruders specifically insisted on a Bitcoin ransom from the users in order to restore their access.

Hackers Insist on Bitcoin

Bitcoin and most of the cryptocurrencies keep their rally as their prices escalated in the past few months. Many companies and influential individuals either invested in them or recognized their potential. However, the skyrocketing value of bitcoin and altcoins also attracted the attention of online hackers who are always on the lookout for victims.

Lovein Malta reported such a scam in the Mediterranean island. According to the information, foreign attackers hacked the Instagram accounts of many small business owners and everyday users of the social platform.

To regain their access back, the hackers demanded to be paid in the primary cryptocurrency.

According to the local authorities, the attackers are based in Turkey and have been on the hunt for Maltese victims over the past few months. Police, on the other hand, have been on the tail of the fraud but so far have not been able to confirm the whereabouts of the criminal operation.

The situation with the current scheme in Malta remains uncertain and highly risky as even Instagram itself has not yet cooperated with the officials of the island nation.

Instagram And Its History with Bitcoin

This is not the first time when the social platform and the primary cryptocurrency have been linked together. As CryptoPotato reported, in March 2021, an Instagram influencer by the name of Jay Mazini got involved in a $2.5 million Bitcoin scam.

According to the information, Jegara Igbara or better known as ”Jay Mazini” used his popularity on Instagram to ”buy” BTC from his followers. The deal was simple and very tempting as he promised to buy the digital asset from the users at premiums of 5% over the market value. However, the money never arrived, and the documents were forged.

In total, Jay, Mazini raked in at least $2.5 million with this scam from Instagram users who literally gave away their bitcoins. Despite the fact that the influencer was famous for giving lots of money to random strangers, he now faces up to 20 years in prison for his criminal act.

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eBay Now Allows the Sale of NFTs on its Platform

E-commerce giant eBay has become the first in its industry to catch the non-fungible tokens (NFT) mania, as the company is now allowing the sale of NFTs on its platform.

  • According to Reuters on Tuesday (May 11, 2021), eBay said that it would enable the sale of NFTs for digital collectibles such as video clips, images, or trading cards on its marketplace.
  • Meanwhile, the ability to list and sell NFTs would be open only to whitelisted sellers. This could mean that the platform may have an authentication protocol for listing NFTs.
  • The latest development comes on the heels of a recent statement made by eBay CEO Jamie Iannone, who said that the company was exploring the NFT sector.
  • Commenting on the company’s upcoming plans, Jordan Sweetman, eBay’s senior vice president, and General manager for the platform’s North American market, said:

“In the coming months, eBay will add new capabilities that bring blockchain-driven collectibles to our platform.”

  • The NFTs industry continues to see increased adoption across different sectors, with celebrities and sports stars tapping into the NFT industry.
  • Meanwhile, eBay’s foray into the NFT sector is another indication of the growing e-commerce crypto and blockchain adoption. From PayPal to JD.com, online merchants are increasingly interfacing with the emerging tech.
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Ethereum Gas Fees Surge to All-Time High on Meme Coin Pumps

Over the past week, average Ethereum network fees have spiked by 470% to a record high on May 11, and they are not looking like slowing down.

According to Bitinfocharts, the average transaction fee on the Ethereum network had fallen to around $12 this time last week. Today they are over $70, hitting an all-time high almost double the previous one in late February when they reached $40.

The analytics provider is reporting just the average price of using the network as some operations such as smart contract interactions or token swaps on decentralized exchanges can be much higher in terms of gas usage.

Eth Gas Station is currently reporting a record $200 average price for carrying out a token swap on Uniswap and a gas cost as high as $240. Adding or removing liquidity to a DeFi smart contract can cost as much as $210.

Ethereum fees
Ethereum Avg. Transaction Fee 6M – Bitinfocharts.com

Dodgy Doggie Coins Blamed

Posting a screenshot of one user paying $337 for a token swap on Uniswap, Trustnodes has correlated this surge in gas fees and network congestion with the meme token craze that was initiated by Elon Musk’s shilling of Dogecoin.

“The reason for this congestion seems to be some ‘meme’ tokens that are probably just organized opportunistic pumps and dumps.”

It added that the Shiba (SHIB) token appears to be one culprit who has described itself as a ‘Dogecoin killer.’ The only thing it is killing right now is the Ethereum network and probably the pocket of many, it added.

The scene today is reminiscent of the pump and dump patterns of the 2017/18 bull run in which FOMO gripped markets and speculators aped into tokens to ride the hype wave and make a quick buck. Most of them lost when the tokens predictably dumped.

Pumps and Dumps are Back

In less than a week, SHIB has pumped over 1,400%, but the dump has already begun. The purposeless DOGE clone meme coin has dumped 30% on the day, according to Coingecko.

Another doggie meme coin launched just today is Woofy from Yearn Finance. Again, FOMO-driven speculators jumped onto the hype and pushed YFI to an all-time high of $90,000 this morning in anticipation of an airdrop that was nothing more than a rumor spread on social media.

Woofy is a low-priced, high circulation token designed for YFI holders to redenominate their assets. Of course, following the doggie meme theme has sent YFI to the moon, intentionally or not.

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Palantir Accepts Bitcoin for Payments and Considers Adding BTC to Balance Sheet

Software & analytics company Palantir has announced that they will be accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. Palantir will also consider purchasing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies to store on their balance sheet.

Thiel Bets Big on Bitcoin

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Palantir (and, notably, PayPal), has been a long-standing cryptocurrency advocate. The company announced that it now accepts BTC for payments and even considers adding it to its balance sheet.

As early as three years ago, Thiel has been seen investing in cryptocurrency mining startups, exchanges, and more, making a bid on the come-up of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Earlier today, Block.one (another Thiel-backed software company) announced a bold new venture: a new cryptocurrency exchange named ‘Bullish,’ backed by a whopping $10B in funding. Thiel Capital was one of the leaders in this funding round.

A Growing Trend

The air is changing: big companies are slowly warming up to cryptocurrency. What started with a wave of small underdogs, like the Ethereum Hotel in China, has blown up this year with a flood of large new players accepting Bitcoin – even tech giants like Tesla.

As more companies join the trend and more investors start storing portions of their wealth in cryptocurrencies, there is a very real financial opportunity cost on the horizon for archaic companies that choose not to adopt what’s coming, as they risk alienating a large section of demand.

Whereas some firms are resistant to change due to the additional hiring and costs associated with adding cryptocurrency terminals, many are of the opinion that there will soon come a point where it becomes far more expensive not to accept Bitcoin as a payment method.

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Balancer V2 is Live Promising Lower Fees and Improved Experience

The automatic market maker (AMM) running on top of Ethereum, Balancer, announced that Version 2 of its platform is already live. It promises lower gas costs, a redesigned interface, and an enhanced user experience.

Balancer V2 Arrives

Built on Ethereum, Balancer is a DeFi protocol enabling users to trade ether and ERC-20 tokens in a trustless, permissionless environment. By providing liquidity to a Balancer pool, they can also earn a portion of the trading fees paid to the network for the use of their funds in the form of the native token BAL.

The team behind Balancer announced the arrival of its long-anticipated Version 2 platform in a press release shared with CryptoPotato. It comes with a new user interface, indicating that the user experience has been simplified.

The statement outlined there will be an easy-to-follow migration procedure for users to transfer their funds from Balancer V1 to V2, and it will be released as a full tutorial later.

The team believes that V1 will continue to “provide the best price until a substantial amount of liquidity migrates to V2.” At that point, Balancer expects trades to be routed through V2’s Protocol Vault resulting in “lower gas costs and better pricing.” The project’s estimations envision the fee reduction to be up to 50%.

Multi-Sig and Liquidity Mining

The upgrade has signified Balancer Protocol’s transition to a community multi-sig for its governance execution. As a result, the new signers include Alexander Lange (Inflection), Fabien Marino (Snapshot Labs), Kain Warwick (Synthetix), Kevin Owocki (Gitcoin), Trent McConaghy (Ocean Protocol), and Mariano Conti (Ethereum).

They will be responsible for “executing all transactions passed as Snapshot as Balancer continues to be run by those who care most – the community.”

V2 will also provide a new and “more trustless program” for BAL liquidity mining. Upon its launch, liquidity providers (LPs) will be able to stake positions in different pools and receive BAL tokens.

Each pool will be assigned to one of three different tiers, with each tier slot getting a pre-determined amount of coins per week.

The team also informed that it will release further details in the following weeks on the “changing Balancer landscape.”

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Boxing Legend Floyd Mayweather Set to Launch His First NFT Collection

The boxing icon Floyd Mayweather plans to join the NFT craze by launching his digital collection on May 26th ahead of his fight with Logan Paul. IronBend combined forces with Reality Gaming Group and Zytara Labs in order to release the Mayweather non-fungible tokens.

Floyd Mayweather Joined The NFT Club

Floyd Mayweather – one of the greatest fighters of all time – partnered up with IronBend, Reality Gaming Group, and Zytara Labs to release an exclusive NFT collection ahead of his long-awaited exhibition fight against the YouTube star Logan Paul.

Each digital artwork will be dedicated to the boxer’s legendary career and personal life, who has never tasted a loss during his reign on the ring. The compilation is scheduled to launch on May 26th.

Mayweather, the self-proclaimed TBE (”The Best Ever”), opined that these digital collectibles will allow his fans to be part of the ”Mayweather Legacy”:

”I started from nothing and beat all the odds to achieve what I did in my career and I think that’s the American dream. I don’t look at myself as a celebrity – I look at myself as an icon, one who made it. My name will always live on for the things that I did and the mark that I left in sports. These digital collectibles give everyone a chance to be part of the Mayweather Legacy.”

floyd_mayweather
Floyd Mayweather. Source: Yahoo

This is not the first time when the undefeated boxer has been involved with the crypto community. Back in 2017, the crypto start-up Centra Tech raised more than $25 million during its initial coin offering (ICO). However, the operation turned out to be a scam, and Floyd Mayweather, together with the famous rapper DJ Khaled, was among the employed celebrities of the company.

NFT Collections in Sports

The NFT mania has been a very hot topic recently as many celebrities and especially world-known athletes launched their own collections.

As CryptoPotato reported, another boxer – the world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury – plans to launch his own NFT series partnering up with FomoLab. The non-fungible token collection will be available in June 2021.

Additionally, Ethernity Chain came up with an idea to eternalize Muhammad Ali’s legacy via an NFT collection. Artist Raf Grasetti shared his thoughts about the project:

”Muhammad Ali inspired me in my personal and professional life as he did to most of us. It’s an honor and privilege to use my craft and work with new technologies to celebrate his life and create this collection to help us remember the Greatest Of All Time.”

Furthermore, the rapidly expanding non-fungible tokens craze caught the attention of the seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. He plans to launch an NFT platform called Autograph.

Featured Image Courtesy of FoxSports

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Breaks Beneath Rising Wedge, Where is The Target?

Bitcoin is down almost 5% today as the primary cryptocurrency broke below a rising wedge formation. BTC reached as high as $59,600 yesterday, touching the upper boundary of the wedge. However, the steep dive started from there.

As mentioned yesterday, bitcoin was trading inside a rising wedge pattern, which in most cases tends to break to the downside. This is what happened this time as well.

After breaking toward the bearish side, BTC continued to plummet but managed to find solid support around the $54,755 (.382 Fib) level – best seen on the following 1-hour chart.

Looking at the longer-term chart, BTC still looks healthy, but it also appears to be struggling to stay above the 20-day moving average line. The last time bitcoin saw a full-body candle below the MA-20 line was mid-April, and it lost over 20% following the breakdown (reaching April lows at around $46k – $47k).

Once the rising wedge was broken, and together with the global markets’ 2-day bearishness, we might see bitcoin retesting lower support zones before the continuation of the uptrend.

BTC Price Support and Resistance Levels to Watch

Key Support Levels: $55,120, $54,755, $54,000, $52,375, $51,800.

Key Resistance Levels: $56,000, $56,750, $58,355, $60,000.

Looking ahead, if the bears push beneath $55,120 (20-day MA), the first support lies at $54,755 (.382 Fib). This is followed by $54,000, $52,375 (.5 Fib & April support), $51,800 (.618 Fib), and $50,000.

On the other side, the first resistance is expected at $56,000. This is followed by $56,750 (the significant level of the 50-day MA), $58,355 (Feb 2021 highs), the falling trend line, and $60,000.

The RSI has now slipped beneath the midline, indicating the bearish momentum is starting to increase. If it continues lower beneath 50, the bearish momentum is likely to drive BTC back toward $50,000.

Bitstamp BTC/USD Daily Chart

btcusd-may11
BTC/USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

Bitstamp BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart

btcusd-may11-4hr
BTC/USD 4-Hour Chart. Source: TradingView

Bitstamp BTC/USD 1-Hour Chart

btcusd-may11-1hr
BTC/USD 1-Hour Chart. Source: TradingView