Sam Bankman-Fried: The crypto whale who wants to give billions away

Sam Bankman-Fried: The crypto whale who wants to give billions away

Like many people in crypto, Sam Bankman-Fried is in it for the money. As the founder of quant trading firm Alameda Research, exchange FTX and DeFi protocol Serum, the curly haired 28-year-old has amassed a $10 billion fortune in just three years in the industry.Unlike most people in crypto though, he’s building up a fortune in order to give half of it away. An ‘effective altruist’ he’s essentially robbing from the rich, via his preternatural crypto trading strategies, in order to give to the poor. “Maybe without the robbing part,” he says. “In the end my goal is to have as much impact as I can, however that is. And right now, I think that’s flowing through donations, so figuring out how I can be able to make as much as I can and donate as much as I can.”SBF, as he’s sometimes referred to, has been walking the walk for some time now. He spent a couple of months as the director of development at the Centre for Effective Altruism in 2017 and before that, gave away half of his income during his stint on Wall Street. He plans on giving away around 50% of his crypto billions too — but only after he’s finished reinvesting in his ever-expanding empire.He does donate to causes as they come up however. He was the second largest donor to President Joe Biden’s campaign, after former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, tipping in $5.2 million.“I was excited about the impact it might have. I basically thought that it mattered what happened in the election.”Also, the FTX Foundation launched recently. It’ll give away 1% of the platform’s fees and match user donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000 a day. In its first couple of weeks the Foundation has raised more than $2M, mostly in user contributions, with users able to vote on the recipient charities from a carefully curated list.The old bean bagSBF’s growing public profile was given a shot in the arm when he was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 finance list for this year. “I’m honored,” he says. “I tend to be fairly forward looking instead of backward look and so it was cool for a bit but it sort of wore off pretty quickly.”He also…

Total estimated crypto users worldwide tops 100 million, survey finds

Total estimated crypto users worldwide tops 100 million, survey finds

Crypto exchange and debit card provider Crypto.com has published a new report estimating that the total number of crypto users globally rose from 66 million in May 2020 to 106 million by January.Given the complexity of mapping unique crypto wallet addresses onto the number of persons, Crypto.com’s methodology combines on-chain data with several blended parameters to calculate separate estimates for the two largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). These then yield an aggregate that can be used to track trends in the growth of global users over time.Number of cryptocurrency users worldwide in millions. Source: Crypto.comOver the past eight months, June 2020, August 2020 and January 2021 were the strongest for growth. As a general rule, Crypto.com note that this growth correlates with price strength for Bitcoin, but breaking down the data between the two coins can provide more specific insights.In particular, adoption in August 2020 was largely led by Ether due to the popularity of decentralized finance. Moving into the autumn and winter months, PayPal’s launch of support for crypto purchases for United States-based users in November 2020 and institutional adoption from Grayscale and Microstrategy intersected with strong Bitcoin price performance to spur yet wider adoption.By January, the global number of Bitcoin users was estimated to be 71 million, as compared with 14 million for Ether. Each coin saw a tremendous surge in users that month — 30.2% and 13.1%, respectively.Monthly growth in Bitcoin and Ether users. Source: Crypto.comWhile the trends appear to be clear, Crypto.com has noted some of the limitations and caveats that should be kept in mind regarding its findings. The methodology draws on Bitcoin and Ethereum’s on-chain data, survey analysis and Crypto.com’s own internal data, but will likely not capture over-the-counter users and off-chain transactions effectively.Crypto.com also had to assume and estimate how many on-chain users still own crypto today, versus the number likely to have already sold their holdings. In addition, sampling bias (due to some use of internal surveys and data) should be taken into account, as well as possible differences between exchanges’ deposit sweeping flows. However, the report notes that an effort was made to remove those exchanges that use different flows from its list of 24 analyzed platforms.

Microstrategy Buys $1 Billion More Bitcoin — Company Now Holds Over 90,000 BTC

Microstrategy Buys $1 Billion More Bitcoin — Company Now Holds Over 90,000 BTC

Microstrategy has purchased an additional $1.026 billion worth of bitcoin, raising the total number of bitcoins it has accumulated to about 90,531. Its CEO explained that his company remains focused on its two corporate strategies of growing its enterprise analytics software business and “acquiring and holding bitcoin.” More Than $2 Billion Worth of Bitcoin Now in Microstrategy’s Treasury Reserves Microstrategy Inc. announced Wednesday that “it had purchased an additional approximately 19,452 bitcoins for approximately $1.026 billion in cash at an average price of approximately $52,765 per bitcoin, inclusive of fees and expenses.” The announcement continues: As of February 24, 2021, the company holds an aggregate of approximately 90,531 bitcoins, which were acquired at an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.171 billion and an average purchase price of approximately $23,985 per bitcoin, inclusive of fees and expenses. The company used the proceeds from its $1.05 billion convertible note offering which it completed last week to purchase the additional bitcoins. The pro-bitcoin CEO Michael Saylor explained that his company “remains focused on our two corporate strategies of growing our enterprise analytics software business and acquiring and holding bitcoin.” The amount of bitcoin the company holds reaffirms its “belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely-adopted cryptocurrency, can serve as a dependable store of value,” Microstrategy explained. What do you think about all the bitcoins Microstrategy has been buying? Let us know in the comments section below. Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

xSigma Passes Security Audit and Prepares to Launch Stablecoin DEX With LP Rewards

xSigma Passes Security Audit and Prepares to Launch Stablecoin DEX With LP Rewards

press release PRESS RELEASE. February 24, 2021 – xSigma, a decentralized exchange for stablecoin swaps, has announced details of its launch program. The DEX, which supports liquid swaps between stablecoin pairs, will go live on February 24, having passed a third-party security audit. Blockchain security company Hacken audited the xSigma smart contracts and found no critical errors in the code, green-lighting the Ethereum-based exchange to launch as scheduled. A second security audit is underway to give the xSigma community additional confidence in the code powering the AMM. Backed by a NASDAQ-listed company, and developed by an experienced team that includes former Google engineers, xSigma has secured the support of several high profile backers. These include NBA star Dwight Howard, who has committed to participating in the xSigma launch as an early liquidity provider (LP). LPs will earn double rewards for the first fortnight to incentivize adoption and ensure a liquid environment for executing stablecoin swaps with minimal slippage. Ahead of its launch, xSigma has created a detailed guide for liquidity providers, walking them through the process of LP’ing and staking their pool share tokens to earn SIG, the protocol’s native governance token. In addition to providing LP rewards for pooled USDT, USDC, and DAI, xSigma will incentivize a Uniswap liquidity pool for ETH/SIG. The xSigma DEX is scheduled to launch on February 24 at 13:00 EST (18:00 UTC), ushering in a new era for efficient stablecoin swaps. About xSigma xSigma is a stablecoin DEX powered by a governance token that gives holders the right to determine how the protocol should be managed. Token-holders receive a percentage of all DEX fees, with team and LP tokens vested gradually for two years to align incentives between the platform and its community. xSigma is backed by its parent company ZK International Group, a NASDAQ-listed corporation.   This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release. Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki…

DeFi exchange protocol DFX raises $5M in seed funding led by Polychain Capital

DeFi exchange protocol DFX raises $5M in seed funding led by Polychain Capital

Veteran cryptocurrency investor Polychain Capital has joined a funding round in DFX Finance, a new decentralized finance exchange protocol optimized for non-U.S. dollar stablecoins.DFX raised more than $5 million in seed funding from Polychain and True Ventures to create a new blockchain-powered market for stablecoins and open up DeFi applications to a global audience. Announcing the news Wednesday, DFX said that other investors included industry players like Hex Capital, CMS Holdings, Castle Island Ventures and DeFi Alliance.DFX is currently being developed by contributors from major crypto projects and firms like the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys. The platform is looking to provide a solution for DeFi users residing outside of the United States who often have to take on U.S. dollar risk when depositing, collateralizing and pooling liquidity.As such, DFX will debut liquidity mining, launching with three foreign stablecoins, including the Canadian dollar-pegged CADC, euro-based EURS, and the Singapore dollar-pegged XDGD. As the platform grows, DFX will add more stablecoins and plans to allow DFX tokenholders to vote for new coins they’d like to add to the platform. In order to enable liquidity mining, DFX is using major U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin USD Coin (USDC). “We leverage USDC in the heart of DFX as all of our non-USD stablecoins are paired with USDC,” core DFX contributor Kevin Zhang told Cointelegraph.Niraj Pant, partner at Polychain Capital, believes that DFX has solid potential to become a major player in DeFi industry:“By bringing FX into the DeFi space, we believe DFX will enable dozens of novel applications. Ultimately, we believe DFX is well positioned to become a core piece of DeFi infrastructure.”Amid the DeFi industry steadily gaining momentum, Polychain Capital has been actively investing in various DeFi projects. Earlier in February, the company participated in a $1 million funding round for Manta Network to help the startup build a fully private decentralized exchange on Polkadot.

Crypto on-ramp hits Opera browser following Simplex integration

Crypto on-ramp hits Opera browser following Simplex integration

Users of the Opera browser will now be able to purchase cryptocurrencies from directly within the web application following a partnership with Simplex. Founded in 2014, Simplex is an European Union-licensed fintech company that provides access to over 50 cryptocurrencies, and a principal member of the Visa network. The Opera browser was one of the first to integrate cryptocurrency usage into its core functions, supplying in-built wallets for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Tron (TRX). Now users will be able to move from fiat to crypto with the same ease. Simplex’s technological infrastructure is used by numerous well-known cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Binance, Kucoin, OKEx, and others. The firm has partnered with over 350 crypto institutions since its launch, supplying access to cryptocurrencies via debit and credit card purchases.The Opera browser’s focus on privacy sees it come with a free built-in VPN, and in 2020 it became the first browser to allow access to the decentralized web “.crypto” URLs, in combination with Unstoppable Domains. A Simplex representative told Cointelegraph the integration was in response to user demand, and that in-browser Know Your Customer checks can be completed in minutes. Opera is currently the fifth most used browser in the world taking up around 2.5% of the market share behind Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

MicroStrategy purchases another $1 billion worth of Bitcoin, now owns 90,000 BTC

MicroStrategy purchases another $1 billion worth of Bitcoin, now owns 90,000 BTC

Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy increased its Bitcoin (BTC) holdings by 27% on Feb. 24, after purchasing an additional 19,452 coins, taking its total BTC haul to 90,531 Bitcoin.Announced on the company’s website on Wednesday, the coins were reportedly purchased for approximately $52,765 per coin, equating to an outlay of just over $1 billion. MicroStrategy Incorporated CEO Michael Saylor said the firm’s focus was now two-fold: grow its analytics software enterprise, and buy more Bitcoin. Saylor said, “The Company remains focused on our two corporate strategies of growing our enterprise analytics software business and acquiring and holding bitcoin.”In the six months since MicroStrategy announced its first $250 million investment in Bitcoin, the company has gone on to spend in excess of $4 billion on the digital asset. Saylor said there was no plan to stop buying BTC any time soon. “The company now holds over 90,000 bitcoins, reaffirming our belief that bitcoin, as the world’s most widely-adopted cryptocurrency, can serve as a dependable store of value. We will continue to pursue our strategy of acquiring bitcoin with excess cash and we may from time to time, subject to market conditions, issue debt or equity securities in capital raising transactions with the objective of using the proceeds to purchase additional bitcoin.”The value of MicroStrategy’s purchase exceeded the figures previously floated by the firm, which announced it would raise $900 million to buy more Bitcoin on Feb. 17. Phong Le, president and chief financial officer at MicroStrategy, said the Bitcoin purchases would help enhance awareness of its brand as a software business, while also acting as a sign of faith in the Bitcoin network.“We believe our bitcoin strategy, including our bitcoin holdings and related activities in support of the bitcoin network, is complementary to our software business, by enhancing awareness of our brand and providing opportunities to secure new customers,” he said.

3 reasons Bitcoin price is quickly recovering from its ‘severe’ 23% correction

3 reasons Bitcoin price is quickly recovering from its ‘severe’ 23% correction

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) quickly recovered from around $44,800 to over $50,000 within merely 22 hours. Behind the rapid recovery are three major factors, including low funding rates, Square’s $170 million Bitcoin purchase, and the spot market stabilizing.Bitcoin futures funding rates substantially dropAcross major futures exchanges, including Binance, Bybit and Bitfinex, the funding rate of Bitcoin has dropped to 0.01%.The Bitcoin futures funding rate was consistently above 0.1% throughout the entirety of the rally from the $40,000s to $58,000.BTC/USDT 4-hour price chart (Binance). Source: TradingView.comWhen the futures funding rate is high, it means the market is overcrowded with buyers and the rally likely overextended.This creates a major risk of a long squeeze, which can cause the price of Bitcoin to drop quickly in a short period.With the funding rate back to 0.01%, the risk of a long squeeze is significantly lower and if a new uptrend ensues, the rally could be more sustainable.BTC and ETH funding rates. Source: Bybt.comSquare buys $170 million worth of BTCOn Feb. 24, the U.S. payments giant Square bought $170 million worth of Bitcoin. This comes after purchasing $50 million worth of Bitcoin on Oct. 8 of last year. At the time, Square’s chief financial officer Amrita Ahuja said:“We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future. As it grows in adoption, we intend to learn and participate in a disciplined way. For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey.”The additional purchase of Bitcoin by Square carries a significant meaning because it shows that the company is confident in BTC over the long term.The price of Bitcoin is substantially higher than where it was in August of last year, which indicates that as its price rises, the confidence from institutions also increases.Spot market is stabilizingWhen the price of Bitcoin was correcting, the price of Bitcoin on spot exchanges, like Coinbase, was much lower than futures exchangesOn Feb. 23, for instance, Bitcoin was trading $600 lower on Coinbase at one point when the price was near $44,800.When the price of Bitcoin initially recovered from $44,800 to $48,000, there were signs of a bearish retest.John Cho, the director of global expansion at GroundX,…

India’s Warren Buffett Wants Regulators to Ban Bitcoin and Focus on Digital Rupee

India’s Warren Buffett Wants Regulators to Ban Bitcoin and Focus on Digital Rupee

Indian billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, sometimes referred to as the Warren Buffett of India, says that the government should ban bitcoin. Calling the cryptocurrency “speculation of the highest order,” the billionaire investor stated that he will never buy bitcoin. Billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala Thinks Indian Government Should Ban Bitcoin Rakesh Jhunjhunwala believes that the Indian government should step in and ban bitcoin, CNBC reported Tuesday. Jhunjhunwala, who currently manages his own investment portfolio as a partner at asset management firm Rare Enterprises, is sometimes known as the “Warren Buffett of India” and the “King of Bull Market.” Jhunjhunwala was quoted as saying: I think regulators should step in and ban bitcoin. And they should focus on the digital rupee. The Indian government is planning to introduce a cryptocurrency bill in the current parliament session. The bill provides a regulatory framework for the digital rupee to be issued by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), but bans all private cryptocurrencies. The finance ministry recently confirmed that the bill is being finalized and would soon be presented to the cabinet for approval. Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin has risen sharply over the recent months but has since retracted over the past few days. At the time of writing, the price of BTC stands at $50,630, which is more than a 73% increase since the beginning of the year, according to data from markets.Bitcoin.com. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) emphasized last week that cryptocurrencies and the digital rupee can co-exist and that the central bank does not need to ban bitcoin in order to launch the digital rupee. “Existence and use of crypto assets by Indian consumers open up a wide scope for Indian entrepreneurs to issue such currencies and it is likely that Indians who comprise 15% of global buyers will prefer an Indian crypto asset,” the association detailed. Jhunjhunwala further said on Tuesday that he “will never buy bitcoin,” elaborating: I think it’s speculation of the highest order. I don’t want to join every party in town. I think the hangover is much worse. What do you think about Jhunjhunwala’s view on bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below. Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons Disclaimer: This article is for…

US judge dismisses crypto fraud case against BNT token issuer

US judge dismisses crypto fraud case against BNT token issuer

A federal district court in the United States has dismissed a securities fraud class action against Israel-based cryptocurrency firm Bancor.U.S. district judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled on Monday to dismiss a case against Bancor, stating that plaintiffs had failed to allege losses as well as citing lack of personal jurisdiction. The judge has also canceled an oral argument scheduled for March 4, 2021, entering judgment in favor of the defendants.The case was brought by New York law firms Roche Cyrulnik Freedman and Selendy & Gay in April 2020, alleging that the Bancor protocol developer, BProtocol Foundation, violated federal and state securities laws in the U.S. by selling unregistered securities.According to a filing seen by Cointelegraph, the court found that activities promoting the BNT token were not sufficient to give the court jurisdiction over the BProtocol Foundation. “The Court lacks personal or specific jurisdiction over the Defendants, and the case should be dismissed because of forum non conveniens,” the document reads.The filing mentions that the BProtocol Foundation is operating under the law of Switzerland, with offices in Zug and Israel. The case’s plaintiff, Timothy Holsworth, alleged that he purchased 587 BNT tokens in 2019 from Wisconsin via a digital exchange in Singapore at an aggregate cost of $212.50. Despite Holsworth allegedly being able to buy BNT tokens from the U.S., the judge stated that the jurisdiction is not appropriate:“The federal securities laws do not reach a purchase and sale outside the United States […] Wherever the current business location of Bancor, New York is not a reasonable and convenient place to conduct this litigation.”The judge also stated that Holsworth has failed to provide evidence that BNT coins declined in value. Furthermore, the plaintiff did not plausibly allege that the tokens were purchased from Bancor or in connection with its $153 million initial coin offering completed in June 2017. The latest court decision marks the latest ruling in a series of similar cases filed by investors represented by Roche Cyrulnik Freedman and Selendy & Gay. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the law firms also represent similar filings against the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, BitMEX, KuCoin, Block.one and others.The firm is also involved in the lawsuit against Craig Wright, a self-proclaimed creator of Bitcoin (BTC), representing the estate of Ira…