First Mover: As Wall Street Goes Topsy-Turvy, Crypto Traders Are Bullish as Ever

First Mover: As Wall Street Goes Topsy-Turvy, Crypto Traders Are Bullish as Ever

As the coronavirus takes its devastating toll on the U.S. economy, financial pros are increasingly confounded by the markets.  The economy is in its worst shape since the early 20th century, and stocks are soaring. The U.S. government’s borrowing is expected to triple to a record $4.5 trillion this fiscal year, yet 10-year Treasury yields are close to historic lows. You’re reading First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily markets newsletter. Assembled by the CoinDesk Markets Team, First Mover starts your day with the most up-to-date sentiment around crypto markets, which of course never close, putting in context every wild swing in bitcoin and more. We follow the money so you don’t have to. You can subscribe here.  A report Thursday showed that U.S. jobless claims fell to 963,000 last week, the first weekly figure below 1 million since March. But in the topsy-turvy logic of financial markets, the improvement was seen as neutral or even negative – since it might relieve pressure on authorities to speed up more trillion-dollar stimulus packages.   “The good news may be bad news now,” Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank, told Bloomberg News.  Bank of America analyst Athanasios Vamvakidis acknowledged last week in a report that it was hard to tell if the dollar’s recent slide in foreign-exchange markets was due to ebullience over easy Federal Reserve monetary policies – or fears that the U.S. currency might be at risk of losing its status as the dominant world currency.  What’s striking is that, through it all, crypto traders have stayed almost unequivocally bullish.  Bitcoin is up 64% in 2020, more than double the gains for record-breaking gold. Prices for ether, the native token of the Ethereum blockchain, have tripled this year, thanks to the fast growth in decentralized finance, known as DeFi, and in digital “stablecoins” linked to U.S. dollars.   John Todaro, director of research at cryptocurrency analysis firm TradeBlock, noted in an email Thursday that the market value of 10 digital tokens associated with DeFi has quintupled this year to almost $10 billion.  Chart showing rising market value of DeFi tokens. (TradeBlock)Lennard Neo, head of research at Stack Funds, wrote Thursday in a report that bitcoin might do well in any of the currently plausible market scenarios: “Bitcoin could be a ‘risk-on hedging-type asset,’ where it performs relatively well in thriving markets, yet acting as a hedge to global uncertainties, displaying financial attributes that fall in between that…

CME Rises in Bitcoin Futures Rankings as Institutional Interest Grows

CME Rises in Bitcoin Futures Rankings as Institutional Interest Grows

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Attorney Ordered to Pay Out $5.2M for Bitcoin Escrow Mishap

Attorney Ordered to Pay Out $5.2M for Bitcoin Escrow Mishap

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Bitcoin.com Wallet Reveals USDT Support – Users Can Swap and Store SLP-Based Tether

Bitcoin.com Wallet Reveals USDT Support – Users Can Swap and Store SLP-Based Tether

During the first week of July, Bitcoin.com’s Wallet added a number of new features including a portfolio breakdown and honestcoin (USDH) swapping abilities. With the latest update this week, Bitcoin.com Wallet users can now store the SLP-based stablecoin tether (USDT) in their wallets as well.Tether (USDT) is the most popular stablecoin in the crypto ecosystem to-date and Bitcoin.com Wallet users can now store, send, and receive the stablecoin at any time.News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on how the firm Tether Limited utilized the Simple Ledger Protocol technology in order to issue over 6 million SLP-based USDT. Today there are 6,001,007 SLP-based tethers in circulation according to statistics provided by Simpleledger.info.So similar to having the ability to hold any SLP token, the Bitcoin.com Wallet now allows users to store, send, and receive SLP-based tether (USDT). It is important to note that tether (USDT) is minted on a number of different blockchains. ETH-based tethers or other types of USDT coins not minted with the Simple Ledger Protocol, will not be compatible with the Bitcoin.com Wallet software.The Bitcoin.com Wallet offers a method for people to obtain the SLP-based tethers by using the in-app swap features.It’s worth noting that the sideshift.ai website is not available in certain countries including the U.S.The Bitcoin.com Wallet allows users to swap coins by leveraging the Sideshift.ai application. The process is intuitive and it only takes a few minutes to swap coins using Bitcoin.com’s client. Users can swap bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin (BTC), honestcoin (USDH), and tether (USDT) using the wallet software.In order to swap bitcoin cash for SLP-based tethers, simply tap the “swap” button on the bottom of the wallet’s home screen and it will direct you to the in-app swapping window.From here you can select which coin you want to trade, and the other day our newsdesk swapped $6 worth of BCH for 6 tethers. The swapping feature shows a live exchange rate for BCH and the price per tether as well.We simply chose BCH and USDT swap and selected the receiving wallet, which displays the wallet’s Simple Ledger Protocol address. The minimum of bitcoin cash (BCH) needed to complete a swap is 0.003934997 BCH. After selecting the amount of tether, simply press “confirm and swap” to initiate the process.The software lets you know…

China to Launch Major Expansion of Digital Currency Trials

China to Launch Major Expansion of Digital Currency Trials

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Blockchain Bites: Coinbase’s Loans, Ethereum’s Fees, YAM’s Bug

Blockchain Bites: Coinbase’s Loans, Ethereum’s Fees, YAM’s Bug

Ethereum users are paying through the nose while miners profit. Coinbase is offering bitcoin-backed loans and nearly a quarter of the Tor Network may be compromised by a crypto-loving scammer.  You’re reading Blockchain Bites, the daily roundup of the most pivotal stories in blockchain and crypto news, and why they’re significant. You can subscribe to this and all of CoinDesk’s newsletters here.  At stakeThe memetic token project which launched on Tuesday and crashed on Wednesday – erasing nearly $60 million in value – announced itself to the world as an “experimental protocol mashing up some of the most exciting innovations in programmable money and governance,” in a Medium post.  Liquidity providers piled into YAM tokens, developed by Yam Finance, in an attempt to make a quick profit before catching the hot potato.  Profits would be derived from YAM’s elastic supply schedule, which was programmed to keep the token close to the value of U.S. dollars by creating or destroying tokens at set intervals, called a rebase.  It was this very mechanism that contained a bug that destroyed the harvest, disabling the project’s on-chain governance feature.  The first version of YAM launched as the “second purely decentralized DeFi project after Yearn Finance,” according to Cointelegraph’s Joseph Young. And this position has led to varying opinions about the value of the dead project.  Compound’s Jake Chervinsky tweeted, “This was an extraordinary governance experiment.”  But Avalanche’s Emin Gun Sirer thinks purely speculative projects – “YOLO coins” – detract from DeFi’s attempt to “accomplish things not possible in the traditional finance world.” Top shelfRecord FeesTransaction fees and miner’s profits are soaring on the Ethereum blockchain. Yesterday evening the average fee per ether transaction reached $6.04, according to Blockchair, the highest level since 2015. Median transaction fees sit near historic highs of $3. The increase in fees and ether’s jump in price has driven the daily profitability of Ethereum miners to levels not seen in 27 months – increasing profit margins for most mining equipment above 90%. Data from BitInfoCharts shows that the daily profitability for Ethereum miner operators is at $5.8 per 100 megahashes second (MH/s) of computing power – a level not seen since early May 2018. Crypto Credit LineCoinbase will allow U.S. retail customers to borrow fiat loans against as much as 30% of their bitcoin holdings, without filling out…

Mining Firm Hut 8 Reports 28% Drop in Q2 Revenue Following Bitcoin Halving

Mining Firm Hut 8 Reports 28% Drop in Q2 Revenue Following Bitcoin Halving

Canadian bitcoin miner Hut 8 announced its Q2 2020 earnings Thursday, reporting a sharp drop in revenue. However, the rising value of the firm’s bitcoin holdings helped Hut 8 finish the quarter in the black. The publicly traded company mined 795 bitcoin (BTC) last quarter, a 29% decrease from the 1,116 BTC mined during the prior quarter. As a result, revenue declined 28% to C$9.2 million (US$7 million). Management mainly attributed this to the bitcoin halving that took place on May 11, writing: “The network difficulty decreased subsequent to the halving by 15%, but quickly returned back to levels prior to the halving. This posed a difficult challenge to many bitcoin miners as they saw the bitcoin block reward drop by 50% with similar network difficulty rates meaning that revenue dropped by nearly 50% for all bitcoin miners, including Hut 8.”Despite a C$6.4 million gross loss for Q2, Hut 8 reported C$2.8 million in net income – thanks to a C$9.4 million gain on the re-measurement of its bitcoin holdings. Hut 8 has 2,954 BTC on its balance sheet as of the end of Q2 2020. The company also noted it had successfully raised C$8.3 million in gross proceeds from its public offering, which closed near the end of the quarter. According to management, the additional capital has already been committed to upgrading its existing mining equipment. “This upgrade is a big step towards modernizing Hut 8’s equipment and increasing the overall efficiency of its bitcoin mining fleet,” the company said in a statement. As of press time, Hut 8 shares have declined 2% following the earnings release.

How DeFi ‘Degens’ Are Gaming Ethereum’s Money Legos

How DeFi ‘Degens’ Are Gaming Ethereum’s Money Legos

First there were Tendies and YFI. Then came (and went) YAM. And, as of yesterday, we have Based Money. Meet today’s decentralized finance (DeFi), in what amounts to a crossover between massive multiplayer online (MMO) games, like World of Warcraft, and crypto pump-and-dump schemes. These aren’t the same DeFi projects launched earlier this summer, said Amentum Capital co-founder Steven McKie. These new projects are about leveraging Ethereum’s tech for unintended uses. They’re about making crypto fun again. They’re about making money. Yam Finance launched Tuesday. By the following day, YAM shot upwards of $160 per token and had some $700 million in no-loss collateral obligations under contract (aka yield farming). Early Thursday morning, YAM entered Github Valhalla when a bug locked the project’s governance and $750,000 treasury. The token’s market cap swiftly lost $60 million in 35 minutes.  Read more: DeFi Meme Coin YAM Succumbs to Fatal ‘Rebase’ Bug, Makes Plans for ‘YAM 2.0’ Playing the gameFrom first heartbeat to last breath in less than 48 hours. But those are the rules of DeFi’s newest toy, “minimally viable monetary experiments,” as Yam Finance dubbed itself.  “The longer it takes you to do due diligence in this cycle, the lower your alpha,” McKie told CoinDesk in a phone interview. “If you are clued in to play the game, play it. If not, sit out to the next one.” McKie was an early liquidity provider for Based.Money, another DeFi MMO game (as he likened it to). The project’s anonymous “Ghouls” founding team welcomed its users warmly via Tor: WE ARE LIVEGET THE FUCK IN YOU DEGENERATESPlay by the rules (even if you don’t know them)Does the project have a governance structure? Where can I stake collateral to farm? What pool has the best returns?  These are the questions DeFi “degenerates” (or “degens”) shoot back and forth ad nauseam in various community Telegram and Discord channels. For YAM, the central rule was “Know thy rebase,” the algorithmic supply dump issued every 12 hours to push the token’s value back toward one dollar. The token was bid up to as high as $167, according to CoinGecko. Traders rushed to take profits before the rebase. After, they pumped the token’s value back up. Read more: Deposits in ‘Monetary Experiment’ Meme…