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Indian Government Open to Exploring Cryptocurrencies — Finance Minister Offers New Clues About Crypto Regulation
March 8, 2021 12:30
Indian Government Open to Exploring Cryptocurrencies — Finance Minister Offers New Clues About Crypto Regulation

The Indian finance minister has finally revealed clues about what is in the cryptocurrency bill that is due to be introduced in parliament. Mentioning no crypto ban, she said that the government will take “a very calibrated” approach to cryptocurrencies.

Indian Finance Minister Provides Clues on Upcoming Crypto Regulation

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shed some light on the upcoming crypto regulation in her country during CNBC-TV18’s IBLA townhall Friday. This is the first time she talked about the content of the bill and the Indian government’s plans on regulating cryptocurrencies since the bill was listed to be introduced in parliament.

“On the cryptocurrency, yes a lot of negotiations [and] discussions are happening with the Reserve Bank because the supreme court order had very clearly told that the government has to take a call on the matter. We are talking with the Reserve Bank,” she confirmed. “Well, I am not sure, much before the cabinet takes a call on it, I want to give you any clues about what is in it.”

She continued: “Obviously, the Reserve Bank will be taking a call on how, what kind of an official currency, cryptocurrency, will have to be planned and how it has to be regulated, but also we want to make sure that there is window available for all kind of experiments which will have to take place in the crypto world.” The finance minister emphasized:

And therefore, it’s not as if we are going to look inwards and say no we are not, you know, going to have any of this. There will be a very calibrated position taken.

“A lot of mixed messages are coming from across the world. I don’t think there is either a complete go this way or complete go that way in this matter,” she added, elaborating:

We will have to take very calibrated position. [The] world is moving fast with technology. We can’t pretend we don’t want it.

In addition, the finance minister stated: “At the same time, we also recognize that in fintech, we led the way. Many countries are looking at us for fintech, kind of, based steps and the kind of things that we have done in payment Duniya.”

She then concluded: “So I would think, I can only give you this clue that we are not closing our minds. We are certainly looking at the ways in which experimentations can happen in the digital world and cryptocurrency and so on.”

Minister Anurag Thakur Also Provides Government’s Position on Cryptocurrency Regulation

On Saturday, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur also spoke about India’s upcoming cryptocurrency regulation. Stating that the Indian government is open to evaluating and exploring new technologies, including cryptocurrencies, for the sake of improving governance, he was quoted by the media as saying:

Let me say that we welcome innovation and new technology … Blockchain is a new emerging technology. Cryptocurrency is a form of virtual currency. I firmly believe that we must always evaluate, explore, and encourage new ideas with an open mind.

The minister added that the government would make a decision based on the recommendations of the interministerial committee (IMC) and the legislative proposal. He noted that the cryptocurrency bill will be introduced in parliament following due process, inviting suggestions and views on this issue.

Do you think India will still ban bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.

YIELD App Launches Ethereum Fund, Gives Users up to 20% APY
March 8, 2021 12:00
YIELD App Launches Ethereum Fund, Gives Users up to 20% APY

PRESS RELEASE. ESTONIA — MARCH 8, 2021 YIELD App, the DeFi wealth management platform bridging traditional and digital finance, is pleased to announce the launch of its Ethereum fund, allowing users to earn high-interest returns on their Ether (ETH). Following a successful public launch and token listing (YLD), YIELD App can now offer its users up to 20% APY on their ETH and stablecoins. Ethereum deposits will be gradually open to YIELD App users over the next several days. The platform now accepts deposits of USDC, USDT, ETH, and YLD.

YIELD App has seen notable progress since the public launch of its web application on 12 February 2021. Over 10,000 users have already registered, helping the platform reach more than USD $5 million AUM. Currently, over 33 million YLD tokens are held in YIELD App wallets – accounting for over 30% of the current supply – and more than 500 users have “Tier 5” accounts (20,000+ YLD), granting them a 10% APY boost.

Designed for both the retail and institutional market, YIELD App accommodates the needs of investors interested in digital asset classes while also allowing crypto veterans to capitalize on DeFi’s incredible opportunities without navigating a sea of complex protocols. DeFi is powerful, and YIELD App serves as a gateway for users to benefit from DeFi’s high-interest yields while keeping their funds secure and protected. The new Ether fund enables users to now receive the same high-interest yields of the DeFi Alpha Fund I without selling the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency by market cap.

“Ether is the backbone of decentralized finance, and many consider it the most important cryptocurrency in the world,” says Tim Frost, CEO of YIELD App. “We want to provide people with the opportunity to earn high interest on their Ether without selling the asset that allowed DeFi to emerge and could very well be the home to the future of global finance. This is an important milestone on our roadmap and a great development for our client base, who are looking for more ways to passively earn on crypto assets they want to hold long-term.”

Decentralized finance (DeFi) refers to a breadth of financial instruments and tools built on top of blockchains like Ethereum. DeFi removes the middleman from the equation and provides equal access and opportunities for everyone by using technology that is open, transparent, and immutable. Many of DeFi’s most popular protocols have taken familiar aspects of conventional finance (such as borrowing, lending, and insurance) and rebuilt them from the ground up, all powered and possible through blockchain.

DeFi has continued to set new records this year. Since 1 January 2021, DeFi’s total value locked (TVL) has climbed from USD $15 billion to $35 billion, a 233% increase. DeFi’s growth has been spectacular, but accessibility has hampered mainstream adoption. YIELD App bridges the divide by building a DeFi-powered service that is intuitive, secure, and backed by DeFi’s most innovative protocols. In the near future, YIELD App will launch additional funds, fiat ramps, in-app token swaps for each token pair, and card services.

 

 

About YIELD App

YIELD App believes that everyone should have access to the best investment opportunities. YIELD App’s mission is to unlock the full potential of DeFi and make it available to the world. To achieve this, the company provides an innovative platform that bridges traditional and decentralized finance in the easiest way possible. For more information, visit yield.app.

 


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.

US Court Sentences Another Centra Tech Co-Founder to 8 Years in Jail
March 8, 2021 10:05
US Court Sentences Another Centra Tech Co-Founder to 8 Years in Jail

Sohrab Sharma, a co-founder with the now-defunct Florida cryptocurrency firm, Centra Tech, has been sentenced to eight years in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges of duping investors via a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO). Additionally, the court has ordered Sharma to forfeit $36,088,960.

Material Misrepresentations

Prior to Sharma’s sentencing, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) similarly announced the jailing of Robert Joseph Farkas, another mastermind of Centra Tech. Both Sharma and Farkas are accused of using fabricated business relationships with legitimate institutions to dupe investors.

In a statement, Ilan T. Graff, the Attorney for the United States, said Sharma had “led a scheme to deceive investors by falsely claiming that the start-up he co-founded had developed fully functioning, cutting-edge cryptocurrency-related financial products.”

“In reality, Sharma’s most notable inventions were the fake executives, fake business partnerships, and fake licenses that he and his co-conspirators touted to trick victims into handing over tens of millions of dollars. We will continue to aggressively pursue digital securities frauds like this one,” remarked Graff.

In a document filed with the Southern New York District Court in 2018, investigators accused Sharma of using “material misrepresentations” about Centra Tech and its purported partnerships with Bancorp, Visa and Mastercard.

Compensation for Centra Tech Victims

In addition to the fake profiles and “claims that Centra Tech had money transmitter and other licenses in 38 states,” the masterminds also used celebrities like DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather to promote the scam. As reported by news.Bitcoin.com, Mayweather and Khaled were subsequently fined for their role in promoting the scam.

Meanwhile, after the end of the ICO, Centra Tech held digital assets which were then worth more than $25 million. According to Graff, the FBI would seize the digital assets in 2018 which were then equivalent to 100,000 ETH. Later, “the United States Marshals Service sold the seized ether units for approximately $33.4 million earlier this year.”

With respect to the seized funds, the DOJ said, “these funds and other forfeited fraud proceeds will be available for potential use in a remission program that the Department of Justice intends to create to compensate victims of the Centra Tech fraud.”

What are your thoughts on the United States’ jailing of ICO scammers? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Critics Claim Tesla Should Sell Bitcoin Position, Electric Vehicle Firm’s Shares Down 30% Since Buying
March 8, 2021 03:00
Critics Claim Tesla Should Sell Bitcoin Position, Electric Vehicle Firm's Shares Down 30% Since Buying

Ever since Tesla announced the company held $1.5 billion in bitcoin on its balance sheet during the first week of February, the company’s stocks have dropped over 30%. One analyst says that Tesla’s shareholders would be “very supportive” if the company announced it would sell the bitcoin. Additionally, the shares of Microstrategy’s firm have also dropped considerably during the last 30 days, after multiple bitcoin treasury purchase announcements.

Critics Say Tesla Should Sell Bitcoin

After Tesla announced to the world that there was $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin (BTC) on its balance sheet, the price of BTC shot up considerably that day. However, 30 days after the fact, it seems shareholders of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are not so hip to the idea. Furthermore, on social media and forums, critics and even lawyers, have called out companies like Tesla for making such decisions. Tesla shares have not fared so well since the purchase, even though the firm did profit nicely from BTC value increase.

The day the Tesla-bitcoin announcement went viral, shares of TSLA were swapping for $863 a unit. Today, TSLA is down -30.82% and exchanging hands for $597 per share the day before Monday’s stock market opening. The former CEO of Aegon Asset Management, Gary Black, discussed Tesla’s bitcoin holdings on Twitter three days ago and said shareholders would likely be pleased if Elon Musk’s company sold the BTC.

“Imagine the positive momentum [Tesla] would create,” Black tweeted. “If they announced the sale of their [bitcoin] position, and authorized a [Tesla] stock buyback instead. Highly unlikely, but shareholders would be very supportive,” he added.

However, a number of people disagreed with Black’s statements and one individual said he didn’t want them buying back stock. “I want them investing in growth, and making another billion on their BTC position,” the person replied to Black. The former CEO of Aegon Asset Management disagreed and said that it “makes absolutely no sense.”

“If you asked 100 institutional [Tesla] shareholders would they prefer [Tesla] to invest $1.5B excess cash in BTC, or $1.5B excess cash in [Tesla] stock, 95/100 would choose [Tesla] stock,” Black insisted.

Black continued:

It’s excess cash either way. But you’d get far more of $8T of active managers bm’d to the S&P 500 to buy [Tesla], if [Tesla] had a share buyback program instead of buying [bitcoin] with excess cash.

Bitcoin-Buying Microstrategy’s Shares Drop More Than 50% Over the Last Month

Meanwhile, the firm Microstrategy has also been purchasing bitcoin on a regular basis for a few months now and has profited from this decision as well.

On March 5, 2021, Microstrategy announced it had acquired another $10 million worth of BTC and it currently holds 91,064 bitcoin on the firm’s balance sheet. But over the last 30 days, Microstrategy shares (NASDAQ: MSTR) haven’t done well at all and have dropped -51.25% since February 9, 2021.

On that day in February, MSTR was swapping for $1,272 and today’s stats show the shares were swapping for $620 per unit before the market closed on Friday.

What do you think about the criticism and concerns from people who say these companies should sell their bitcoin to please shareholders? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

George Ball Says Crypto Is Effective Hedge Against Currency Debasement as US Passes $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill
March 8, 2021 00:30
Investment Advisor George Ball Says Crypto Is Effective Hedge Against Currency Debasement as US Passes Biden's $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

The chairman of investment firm Sanders Morris Harris, George Ball, says cryptocurrencies are an effective hedge against currency debasement. In addition, he says that cryptocurrencies are attractive as a small part of portfolios.

George Ball Advocates for Crypto as Hedge Against Currency Debasement

George Ball talked about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in an interview with Yahoo Finance last week. He described two main reasons why cryptocurrencies are now ideal targets for investment by wealthy individuals and institutional investors.

Ball is currently the chairman of investment firm Sanders Morris Harris, a dually registered broker dealer and RIA firm established in 1987. Its parent company, Tectonic Financial, has approximately $4 billion in client assets under management. He was a former CEO of Bache & Co. (later Prudential Securities), which had been purchased by Prudential Insurance Company of America where he served as a member of the Executive Office.

He argued that cryptocurrencies will be an effective hedge against the debasement of fiat currency, stating:

Longer-term, if inflation is back, if we start to debase the currency badly, then the cryptocurrencies have a great deal of allure.

His comments came as Washington voted on the $1.9 trillion stimulus package which passed over the weekend. A number of analysts, including those at JPMorgan, have warned of currency debasement risk from the passage of such a huge stimulus relief package.

Ball believes cryptocurrencies are “attractive” as a “small part” of any portfolio. The Sanders Morris Harris chairman was quoted as saying:

With the cryptocurrencies, I think there is a fundamental hydra-headed shift that makes them attractive as a part, a small part, of almost any portfolio.

Moreover, he believes the increase in retail traders who speculate on stocks could push crypto prices higher, expecting them to move to cryptocurrencies if they begin to face losses in the equity market. “If the investors are losing money in common stocks, but still want to speculate, then the cryptocurrencies I think will be the logical and likely next focus of their combined, individually small, but combined very large dollars,” he opined.

Ball had been a bitcoin skeptic until last August when he told investors that it was time to buy bitcoin. “I’ve never said this before, and I’ve always been a blockchain, cryptocurrency and bitcoin opponent. But if you look now, the government cannot stimulate markets forever, the liquidity flood will end,” the executive explained.

Do you agree with George Ball? Let us know in the comments section below.

Satoshi’s 21 Million Mystery: One-Millionth of the Bitcoin Supply Cap Is Now Worth $1 Million
March 7, 2021 20:41
Satoshi's 21 Million Mystery: One-Millionth of the Bitcoin Supply Cap Is Now Worth $1 Million

On Sunday, March 7, 2021, the price per bitcoin jumped over the $50k handle once again, as the digital asset’s overall market capitalization is around $925 billion. One thing is for certain, there will never be more than 21 million bitcoin and today there’s roughly 18,647,525 bitcoin in circulation. Interestingly, anyone who owns 21 bitcoin or one-millionth of the entire supply is currently a millionaire today.

The ’21 Million Bitcoin Club’

Back in 2017, finance publications reported on a number of crypto proponents “gunning” for exclusive membership into the ’21 million club.’ The 21 million club refers to the number of bitcoins that will ever be produced and by the year 2140, that number will be 21 million BTC. During the last few years, many enthusiasts have tried to join the 21 million club by obtaining a single bitcoin, which is exchanging hands for a touch over $50k on Sunday morning.

For years now people can find a myriad of forum posts about people who have finally made it into the exclusive club of owners who hold a single bitcoin (BTC).

Satoshi's 21 Million Mystery: One-Millionth of the Bitcoin Supply Cap Is Now Worth $1 Million

“After almost [two] years in crypto, I finally got in,” an individual wrote on Reddit two years ago. “It might be small for most of you here, but for a person in a third world country, this is a huge accomplishment. Now, to focus on my [altcoins], then sell them for BTC at the most opportune moment. Wish me luck,” he added.

Members of the 21 million club who own a single BTC, also own precisely 0.0000047619% of the entire supply per owner. Then there’s another club of bitcoiners who have obtained approximately 21 BTC or 0.0000999999% of the entire capped bitcoin supply.

Today one-millionth of the bitcoin supply is now worth over 1 million U.S. dollars. One-millionth of the bitcoin supply is approximately 21 bitcoin. This week, is another instance of this occasion, as BTC prices dropped in value a few days ago after reaching an all-time high (ATH) at $58,354 on February 21.

Satoshi's 21 Million Mystery: One-Millionth of the Bitcoin Supply Cap Is Now Worth $1 Million
21 million club artwork published by cryptoart.com and drawn by artist Alix Branwyn.

Ten days prior to the bitcoin (BTC) price ATH, crypto writer Pete Rizzo tweeted “One-millionth of the bitcoin supply is now worth $1 million.” At the time of publication, 132,325 addresses hold anywhere between 10-100 BTC, and owners of one-millionth of the bitcoin supply are represented among this aggregate of addresses.

Besides the enthusiasts that want to simply join the 21 million club by owning a single coin, there are many who have been obsessed with joining the club of owners who own a millionth of the BTC supply.

“The 21 BTC club becomes more difficult to join,” explains a web portal dubbed “21-btc.club.”

Why Did Satoshi Choose the 21 Million Supply Cap?

The reasoning behind why Satoshi Nakamoto chose the 21 million supply limit may have been done purposely for a number of reasons. According to an email between Mike Hearn and Nakamoto, however, the Bitcoin network inventor chose the 21 million limit number so it would align with the M1 money supply of fiat currencies like the euro and U.S. dollar. Back in 2008, the M1 money supply was approximately 21 trillion when Nakamoto published the white paper.

“I wanted to pick something that would make prices similar to existing currencies, but without knowing the future, that’s very hard. I ended up picking something in the middle,” Nakamoto said in the email to Hearn.

Satoshi Nakamoto added:

If Bitcoin remains a small niche, it’ll be worth less per unit than existing currencies. If you imagine it being used for some fraction of world commerce, then there’s only going to be 21 million coins for the whole world, so it would be worth much more per unit.

The white paper’s math also shows that the 21 million number further aligns perfectly with some of the interesting design patterns within the software. For instance, the 21 million number is integral to the block reward halving, alongside the 10-minute average time to mine a BTC block. Rewards are also cut in half every 210,000 blocks mined, and currently miners get 6.25 BTC per block.

Satoshi's 21 Million Mystery: One-Millionth of the Bitcoin Supply Cap Is Now Worth $1 Million
The total value of the Bitcoin network’s subsidy (bitcoin block rewards) can be expressed in the equation pictured above. Block reward epochs (210,000 blocks) will be chopped in half consistently until they end following approximately 32 Bitcoin reward halvings.

Interestingly, the smallest unit in the Bitcoin network is a single satoshi or 0.00000001 BTC. The Ph.D., Christian Seberino explained in 2018, that Satoshi likely chose the 21 million in order to “involve floating-point arithmetic.”

Satoshi's 21 Million Mystery: One-Millionth of the Bitcoin Supply Cap Is Now Worth $1 Million
Floating-point arithmetic.

Seberino says that even though BTC’s supply limit seems arbitrary, the reasoning behind why Satoshi chose the number is quite sound.

“It helps avoid errors on most computer systems, and is likely sufficient for all possible transactions everywhere,” Seberino emphasized. “Floating-point arithmetic is a type of mathematics used by computers to handle decimals. Decimals are often represented with 64 bits where one bit denotes the sign, 11 bits denote an exponent, and, 52 bits denote a fraction.”

The paper written by Seberino adds:

To avoid rounding errors, it is often a good idea to avoid integers that cannot be represented with only the fraction bits. To be extra safe, it may help to also leave one fraction bit unused. With respect to 64 bit decimals, that would limit integers to 51 bits. The maximum integer that can be represented with 51 bits is just slightly over 2100 trillion.

We honestly don’t have a solid answer to why Nakamoto chose the 21 million limit and he could have had insights into some numerological concepts we don’t know about. The 21 million clubs, whether it be holders of one single coin or 21 bitcoins total, will likely continue to grow over time and even change hands across generational wealth boundaries.

Furthermore, every time bitcoin (BTC) increases by $50k, then the holders of 21 BTC will see a wealth increase by another $1 million USD. Some would say it’s not too late to join the clubs, if they are interested in carrying wealth into the future.

What do you think about the 21 million bitcoin club and the reasons behind why Satoshi Nakamoto chose that number for the supply limit? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

US House Representative Ro Khanna Lauds BTC Which ‘Cannot Be Devalued’- Calls for Less Carbon Intensive Mining
March 7, 2021 18:00
US House Representative Ro Khanna Lauds BTC Which 'Cannot Be Devalued'- Calls for Less Carbon Intensive Mining

After Elizabeth Warren, the U.S. Senator for Massachusetts called bitcoin a speculative asset, Ro Khanna, the U.S. House Representative for California has spoken in favor of the crypto asset. In his Twitter statement, Khanna says “bitcoin just like digital gold cannot be devalued.”

US House Representative Ro Khanna Lauds BTC Which 'Cannot Be Devalued'- Calls for Less Carbon Intensive Mining

Khanna also lauds the crypto asset’s decentralization, an attribute which he says “promotes transnational exchange whilst providing a check against economic mismanagement.”

Awareness of the Concerns

In her recent comments about the crypto asset, Warren said she agreed with the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen’s contention that BTC is a speculative asset. Further, in a bit of apparent advice to cryptocurrency investors, Warren warns this is “going to end badly.” For her part, Yellen says BTC is extremely inefficient due to the crypto asset’s perceived disproportionate energy use.

Meanwhile, in his tweet, Khanna appears to be cognizant of the concerns that are often peddled by opponents of the leading crypto asset. Khanna said:

“Let us nurture it but protect consumers, prevent abuse, and invest in less carbon-intensive mining. That should happen in America.”

US House Representative Ro Khanna Lauds BTC Which 'Cannot Be Devalued'- Calls for Less Carbon Intensive Mining

Twitter Reaction

In the meantime, on Twitter, not many agree with Khanna’s pro-BTC comments. In many of their responses, Twitter users repeat the common attack points against BTC. For instance, one user known as August has added electronic waste to the crypto asset’s perceived energy waste. The user tweeted:

“Gfx cards that are typically used for the mining of crypto are bought and discarded much more quickly than they would otherwise be in their typical use cases.”

Another user, Forza Manchester City dismisses the crypto asset’s decentralization attribute. The user asserts that “decentralization of bitcoin is just in theory.” According to this user, BTC “will very likely always be controlled by a few major mining pools.” On Khanna’s contention that the crypto asset’s decentralization can provide a check against economic mismanagement, the user disagrees. Instead, he claims BTC decentralization only helps to “obfuscates movements of speculative actors.”

US House Representative Ro Khanna Lauds BTC Which 'Cannot Be Devalued'- Calls for Less Carbon Intensive Mining

Still, some Twitter users are applauding Khanna for trying to make a real change instead of “doing nothing.”

What are your thoughts on Ro Khanna’s remarks about BTC? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Discount on Grayscale’s GBTC Plunges to New Record Low as Competition From Emerging Rivals Intensifies
March 7, 2021 12:00

The premium on Grayscale Investment’s GBTC, which turned negative for the first time on February 23, is continuing its downward slide. As the latest Glassnode data shows, the GBTC was trading at a record low discount of -11.92% on March 4, 2021. According to the same data, this new low is a significant reversal from the December 21 premium of nearly 40%.

Discount on Grayscale's GBTC Plunges to New Record Low as Competition From Emerging Rivals Intensifies

The Competition

This growth in the discount on GBTC comes as Grayscale Investments gradually shifts focus to altcoins. As reported by news.Bitcoin.com, Grayscale added 174,000 litecoins or almost 80% of the newly minted LTC in February of 2021. Similarly, the investment company also added 243,000 ETH to its ethereum holdings during the same period.

However, it is the discount on the GBTC that has sparked debate about what it might mean for holders of the investment product. Some have pointed to the launch of Purpose Bitcoin ETF as the primary reason for widening discount on the GBTC. After its launch on February 18, the ETF had amassed 11,141.2363 bitcoins as of March 2. Meanwhile, also sharing the same sentiment are analysts at the financial services giant JP Morgan. In addition to naming the increasing competition, the analysts also believe “profit booking” to be the other reason why the premium on GBTC has disappeared.

In the meantime, as Josh Frank, the founder and CEO at Thetie.io explains to news.Bitcoin.com, this scenario will not hold forever.

“This discount is not going to last forever because investors will take advantage of the discount on bitcoin they can hold in their retirement accounts,” said the founder.

The Premium Has Always Existed

Meanwhile, according to Frank, who previously explained in a Twitter thread why the premium on GBTC existed, institutions were getting “into the GBTC to arb the difference between the borrowing rate and the premium.” And as the CEO notes, this “trade worked for a really long time as retail consistently paid a premium on GBTC so they could get exposure in their retirement accounts.”

However, since the GBTC does not allow investors to redeem shares for underlying bitcoin and “as more investors came into arbitrage the premium, the amount of bitcoin held in GBTC skyrocketed thus exceeding the demand for GBTC by retail.”

Meanwhile, the CEO suggests that Grayscale will have to make some changes particularly to its annual management fee of 2%. Frank said:

I think Grayscale is going to have to respond to this by allowing investors to redeem shares for underlying BTC or the management fee will have to drop.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, some crypto enthusiasts agreed with the narrative that increasing competition could be the primary reason why the premium on GBTC has turned negative.

Premium or Discount

Nevertheless, others still think the discount will not impact Grayscale’s ability to profit from offloading the BTC. For instance, one Twitter user who uses the name Sandwich Toaster, claims that after buying the BTC between $20,000 and $40,000, Grayscale can now “sell them (BTC) with the 11% discount and still make a profit.”

Discount on Grayscale's GBTC Plunges to New Record Low as Competition From Emerging Rivals Intensifies

Still, other users like Rama Rao are adamant that the GBTC should be trading at 20% to 30% premium on BTC but not everyone agrees. One user known as JPC thinks the opposite should hold. In his tweet, JPC said:

“GBTC could go to a 20-30% discount as more & more people learn about buying btc directly on exchanges.”

Do you agree that increased competition has led to the growing discount on GBTC? You can tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Argentinean Startup Accelerator Launches Crypto Mining Farm in Mar Del Plata
March 7, 2021 05:30
Argentinean Startup Accelerator Launches Crypto Mining Farm in Mar Del Plata

The Technological District of Mar del Plata, Argentina, will host a massive crypto mining operation backed by a domestic startup accelerator. Lothal Mining is the company that will run the operations of the mining firm in the Argentinean city.

Firm Will Mine Ethereum During the First Stage

Per local newspaper La Capital, Grupo Neutrón invested almost 45 million pesos ($310,000), and there are plans to allocate additional funding of 200 million pesos ($2.21 million).

The infrastructure is ready, and in a first stance, the firm will mine ethereum (ETH). However, the company plans to expand to other cryptocurrencies.

The funding provided by the startup accelerator seeks to acquire hardware, refrigeration equipment, building the mining farm, hiring staff to perform electrical maintenance, among other activities.

Also, officials of the Ministry of Industry of the Nation were in the mining farm to check the project’s launching. Maximiliano Gonzáles Kunz, Grupo Neutrón’s CEO, pointed out that crypto mining is urgently needed in the context that fiat is “tending to lose ground progressively.”

He added:

With this equipment, for example, we can make our processing power available to companies that enter the world of cryptocurrencies and need to transact those operations.

Growing Interest in the Crypto Mining Project, Claims CEO

On the decision of picking Mar del Plata as a hub for the mining rig, Gonzáles Kunz praised its strategic location for the technological ecosystem of the city.

Moreover, he believes the synergy created among the startups within the area is the proper environment to set up a project like this one.

Still, the startup accelerator claimed that there is “a lot of interest” in the crypto mining project. On the energy supply costs, Grupo Neutrón’s CEO commented:

We will make investments in infrastructure to guarantee a stable and cheaper supply. (…) We have strategic alliances with Grupo Núcleo and Neutrón. This gives us access to hardware availability at the best market costs, capital investments for the project, and a technological ecosystem that allows us to achieve synergy with different projects in the sector.

What do you think about this new mining rig in Argentina? Let us know in the comments section below.

Ripple’s Asia Pacific Business Flourishing Despite SEC Lawsuit, Says CEO
March 7, 2021 03:45
Ripple's Asia Pacific Business Flourishing Despite SEC Lawsuit, Says CEO

Ripple chief executive officer Brad Garlinghouse said Friday that the company’s business in the Asia-Pacific region has not suffered from the ongoing regulatory issues in the U.S.

Ripple’s Business in Asia and Japan Sees Growth

Ripple is facing a $1.3 billion lawsuit from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In December, the SEC charged Ripple, creators of the eponymous XRP cryptocurrency, and its top executives with selling unregistered securities since 2013.

The blockchain payments firm denies the charges, but that has not stopped a number of U.S. crypto exchanges, including Coinbase, from delisting XRP, the world’s seventh most valuable digital asset by market capitalization.

Garlinghouse, who is accused of personally gaining up to $600 million from the unregistered sale of XRP in an ICO offering, told Reuters in a Mar. 5 interview that business in areas like Japan was flourishing.

It (the lawsuit) has hindered activity in the United States, but it has not really impacted what’s going on for us in Asia Pacific. We have been able to continue to grow the business in Asia and Japan because we’ve had regulatory clarity in those markets.

CEO Claims the Token ‘Still Traded on Over 200 Exchanges Around the World’

The Asia Pacific region is a major remittance corridor for Ripple and the firm has achieved remarkable results as a remittance solution provider in the region. In Japan, Ripple concluded a joint venture deal with Japanese conglomerate SBI Holdings to create SBI Ripple – a company that aims to facilitate payments underpinned by Ripple’s technology.

Garlinghouse revealed that his company has signed more than 15 new contracts with banks worldwide since the SEC brought its lawsuit, according to the Reuters report. He added that the lack of regulatory clarity in the U.S. is hindering innovation.

“We’re seeing the activity of XRP liquidity has grown outside the United States and continue to grow in Asia, certainly in Japan,” he said. On XRP delistings, the Ripple CEO stated that he was not aware of any exchange outside the U.S. that had stopped trading of the token.

XRP is traded on over 200 exchanges around the world. It’s really only three or four exchanges in the United States that have halted trading,” said Garlinghouse, who has previously spoken about relocating Ripple’s headquarters from the U.S. due to unfavorable regulation.

What do you think about Ripple’s overseas operations as revealed by the CEO? Let us know in the comments section below.