Home » Articles posted by Mathew Holland

Author Archives: Mathew Holland

$19.2 Billion in Staked Assets – Liquid Staking Solution Lido Set to Surpass Curve’s TVL

According to defillama.com there is $214 billion in total decentralized finance value at the time this article was written. The largest defi protocol by TVL is Curve Financing, the decentralized exchanging (dex) platform. According to statistics from defillama.com, Curve is the leader of the pack today with $20.71 trillion and a dominance rate of 9.67% as of April 20, 2022.

Curve leads the pack in TVL for defi protocols, but liquid staking solution Ludo could soon take over. According to defillama.com metrics today, Lido’s TVL is $18.97 Billion, an increase of 16.02% in the last 30 days. Lido is seeing significant usage due to the defi protocol which allows Ethereum, Terra, Polygon and Kusama users use their staked assets for yield.

If a user decides to bond Terra’s LUNA to the token called BLUNA they will exchange LUNA for BLUNA and start receiving staking rewards. To earn more rewards, BLUNA tokens may also be used to join pools. Similar results can be made for other networks such as Ethereum. Lido’s staked Ethereum (STETH), has the 18th largest market cap out of 13,671 cryptocurrency. Lido staked Solana (STSOL ) has the 193rd highest market cap and BLUNA the 22nd.

Although defillama.com states that Lido has a TVL of $18.97 trillion, this only represents four blockchains that Lido uses to stake. Polygon is not included in defillama.com’s metrics. According to Lido’s stats, April 20, 2022 there were $19,220.700,179 staked between 99,606 stakers. According to Lido stats, $10.6 billion comes from Ethereum, $8.21 trillion from Terra, $363 Million from Solana and $3.3 Million from Kusama. The Polygon network is worth $13.8 million.

3.9% to 23.9% APY depending on Chain Rewards and Skipping Validator lock-ups

Current staking estimates show that Lido’s Ethereum Staking Solution has a 3.9% annual percentage return (APY), and Kusama has a 23.9% APY. Lido’s ability to double stake assets is a highlight, but there are defi liquidity pool providers who will take the reward from Lido, Lido warns.

Lido has one advantage: people don’t have to use a validator lock up period. However, they can still sell their bonded tokens in the open market. This route is not recommended as the user may lose the dex swap fee and approximately 1-2% depending on the value of the bonded token.

Lido Finance can be considered a “staking company” and there are many in the industry. There are many staking companies today, including Kyber Network and Celer Network. However, Lido has a tremendous amount of value today, across five different blockchains, and the recent increase in staked assets has been exponential.

Peter Thiel calls Warren Buffett bitcoin’s ‘enemy number one’

Peter Theil, a billionaire venture capitalist, said Thursday that Warren Buffett, an American tycoon is Bitcoin’s “Enemy number one.” Theil spoke at a Bitcoin conference in Miami, Florida.

According to Theil Buffett is on Theil’s ‘enemies’ list of people trying to stop cryptocurrency. According to CNBC, “Thiel” said that Buffett is the “sociopathic grandpa of Omaha,” as quoted by Theil. He told the crowd, “Let’s expose [them].”

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, has said several times that he regretted not investing enough in Bitcoin. According to a Bloomberg report, Thiel said that he feels like he’s underinvested. Thiel said that he believed everyone knew the secret to cryptocurrency. He said that it might still be enough of a secret.

Warren Buffett is a well-known investor who invests in stocks that have value and cash flow. He believes that producing goods is the best way to make money. Buffett stated that cryptocurrencies have no real value in a 2020 interview with CNBC. They can’t reproduce, they don’t send you checks, they can do nothing. What you hope is that someone else will pay you more money later, but then that person has the problem. According to CNBC, it does not pass the currency test.

It is not a long-term means of exchange and it does not store value. He said that cryptocurrency is a great way to anonymously transfer money, but it’s not a durable means of exchange.

He also made an analogy to cheques. While they are a means of sending money, he said that they should be valued a lot because they can transmit money.

Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Buffet, called Bitcoin a fraud. Dimon doesn’t like Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. CNBC quoted Dimon as saying, “I personally believe that bitcoin is worthless.” However, Dimon said that he didn’t wish to be a spokesperson for bitcoin. Dimon stated that it doesn’t matter to him. “Our clients are adults. They differ. This is what makes markets. We can’t give them access to bitcoin to purchase themselves, but we can provide them with legal, as clean access as possible.

Luna Foundation’s Bitcoin Reserve Wallet Now Holds $1.1 Billion in BTC

The Luna Foundation Guards bitcoin wallet held 24,954.95 BTC valued at $1.1 billion on March 26, 2022. The address has amassed a large amount of bitcoin in the past four days since Terra’s founder Do Kwon hinted about the blockchain project that leverages bitcoin-linked tokenomics. Do Kwon answered a question about why Terra’s founder chose bitcoin ( BTC) as a reserve asset.

Bitcoin is the only digital currency that has a hard reserve asset. It is extremely difficult to question bitcoin by someone in crypto.

The statement was followed by community noticing movement stemming form a Gnosis secure address which is reportedly owned the LFG. The news publication Bitcoin Magazine also tweeted about LFG’s bitcoin address. It said that the foundation had confirmed the address and made purchases ‘to support its UST stablecoin’. The statement was confirmed by the news publication on March 25 in an article. It stated that Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon had confirmed the address via email on Wednesday.

3AC co-founder says that $125 million per day of Bitcoin is a lot for three months.

The LFG Bitcoin address has continued to accumulate BTC. Its last transaction showed that it had 493 BTC, on March 26th at 5:18 AM (UTC). The address holds 24,954.95 bitcoin valued at $1.1 billion. It has never sent any satoshis out of its wallet. Gnosis safe addresses has sent four USDT transaction totaling around $125million. The last tether send was for 160 750,000 .

According to oxt.me and bitquery.io, the bitcoin address that sent Bitcoin to LFG bitcoin addresses has been identified as a Binance hot’ wallet. The LFG bitcoin address holds all BTC inputs. It was derived from the Binance hot wallet. The Gnosis safe address can still be purchased BTC daily with sufficient funds.

The Gnosis safe address currently holds $715.2 Million in tether ( USDT) as well as $398.23 Million in USDC. There have been many discussions in the crypto community about this purchase spree. Kyle Davies, co-founder and chairman at Three Arrows Capital (3AC), tweeted, “I can tell you some of you have never executed size before.” Let me tell you, $125mil/day [bitcoin] is a lot. This will last for three months.

Upcoming AML Regulations in Estonia to Affect Cryptocurrency Industry

Estonia’s banking sector was implicated in processing billions of dollars for Russian clients in the past. Now, Estonia is working to close those loopholes which could allow Russia, its elites and allied Belarus to avoid the sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine.

The country’s Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, which has stricter standards, will be in force next Tuesday. According to Politico, crypto companies will bear the brunt in Estonia’s fight against dirty money.

This update will make Estonia’s regulatory regime for platforms that use digital assets more stringent than the EU rules. It was deemed too loose because it allowed hundreds of businesses to apply for licensing from Estonia in 2017, despite being based elsewhere.

The Minister of Finance Keit Pennus-Rosimannus spoke out in support of the publication and stressed that Estonia is open to innovation, but that it will not tolerate financial crimes. He also stated that the priority will be given to money laundering prevention. He added:

Supervision was impossible. They operated under an Estonian license, but that was not a problem. This was the only thing that was changed by the law.

Estonian authorities are making it more difficult for companies to join the crypto space. Companies offering online exchange and digital wallet services will have to raise at least EUR100,000. Custodial service providers will need to raise at least EUR250,000.

New legislation will also increase registration fees and require stricter due diligence. It will also be subject to more regulatory scrutiny. In addition, crypto companies will have to be present in the country. This is a change from before.

Tallinn has tightened crypto oversight in the context of an ongoing audit of the country’s safeguards from illicit financial flows by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures ( Moneyval).

The task of the auditors, which will be completed in December, is to examine digital asset regulations and other policies. Estonia is in a high-stakes situation as the Baltic country could end up on a grey list alongside Malta, another EU member that attempted to be a crypto-friendly destination.

The Estonian government is adjusting its approach, despite Brussels policy makers still considering EU’s Markets In Crypto Assets ( MICA) proposal. The European standards will be more stringent than the Estonian ones. The European Commission proposes capital requirements for crypto service providers. They range from EUR50,000 to EUR150,000.

President Lukashenko Signs Decree to Create Crypto Wallet Register in Belarus

Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, has signed a new decree to expand his country’s regulatory framework regarding cryptocurrencies. This will enable the Belarus High-Tech Park ( TTP), the body that oversees the country’s crypto space to create a registry for addresses of crypto wallets that can be used for illegal purposes.

In an announcement , the president’s press office stated that the goal of the legislation is to “protect participants in digital asset markets from loss of property” and “prevent unintentional participation in activities prohibited under law,” . Decree No.48, “On the register (identifiers of virtual wallets) and features of the cryptocurrency circulation”, is dated February 14, 2022. Lukashenko’s administration also stressed:

Belarus continues to develop the legal framework for digital asset regulation. It allows digital currency free circulation, which is a rare feature among other countries.

Officials in Belarus believe that this requires constant monitoring and, when necessary, clarification and supplementation of regulatory norms. This includes measures to stop the financing of prohibited activities, which was the primary reason for the adoption the most recent crypto decree.

If law enforcement agencies receive information that the wallet addresses are being used to conduct illegal operations or to facilitate transactions related to extremism or terrorism, they will add them to the register. Authorities can also use the assistance of other cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges to seize crypto assets.

Minsk’s government will have three months to comply with Lukashenko’s order, which will then be in force. A 2017 presidential decree legalized crypto activity in Belarus. It was implemented in May 2017 and provided tax breaks and incentives to crypto-businesses.

The Belarusian head-of-state hinted last March at tightening industry rules, citing China as an example. However, HTP officials later stated that authorities don’t intend to adopt any stricter regulations. This month, it was reported that Belarus plans to permit investment funds the acquisition of digital assets.

According to Chainalysis’ Crypto Adoption Index, which tracks blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis’s crypto adoption index, cryptocurrencies can not be used in Belarus for payment purposes. However, Belarus is third in Eastern Europe for crypto adoption. This is largely due to strong peer to peer activity. The region’s top two spots are held by Russia and Ukraine, both former Soviet republics.

Bitcoin Back on Track! US$100k Seems Possible in Q2 2022

Bitcoin closed the first month in 2022 with a negative note. The worst start to the year since the beginning of the 2018 “crypto winter” was January, which saw back-to-back falls. The’red line’ for February indicates a further decline. Experts predict that Bitcoin’s price will continue to rise despite the current crisis. This is expected to result in Bitcoin’s incredible year. It is predicted that Bitcoin will reach US$100k by Q2 2022. The experts also predict that BTC will rebound to US$50k within the first quarter.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to hit the virtual marketplace. Although there are many mysteries surrounding Bitcoin, it remains the most popular crypto asset. Bitcoin’s value has reached new records every day since 2020. The cryptocurrency has experienced a few bearish periods and slumps, but overall it recorded remarkable growth over the past few years. Unfortunately, Bitcoin is currently in a negative phase.

The cryptocurrency has been trending downward since November 2021 when it reached an all-time high at US$69,000 2022 began on a very bad note, with Bitcoin close to touching its psychological resistance level of US$30,000. Surprisingly, January saw only 11 days of growth for the cryptocurrency, meaning that it has spent more than 65% of the month in decline. Other altcoins such as Ethereum, Solana and Cardano also suffered from a downturn. Even though the market is looking very unsettling, experts still believe Bitcoin could be making a comeback and reaching a record-setting high in Q2 2022.

Why Bitcoin Crash

Although there are many factors that contributed to Bitcoin’s fall, the primary reason is the market uncertainty triggered by the Federal Reserve’s announcement towards the end 2021. The Federal Reserve announced plans to raise interest rates and tighten regulations. Many investment options, including cryptocurrency and the S&P 500, were hit hard by this announcement. Even tech stocks are experiencing constant declines.

However, there are also countries around the world that have developed regulations and new measures in order to reduce cryptocurrency use. The Central Bank of Russia proposed that cryptocurrency trading and mining in Russia be banned. The UK and Europe are also working together to create a new regulatory framework. Even countries such as Singapore, which were previously very quiet about cryptocurrency usage, are now urging governments to put restrictions in place. The Indian Finance Ministry announced recently that all cryptocurrency profits will be subject to a 30% tax.

Crypto Winter and ‘Correction Phase

There has been much concern about a coming ‘crypto-winter’ due to the steady falls and sharp selloffs in the digital currency markets. The crypto winter is a significant bear market in digital currency history. It occurred in 2017-2018, when Bitcoin prices plunged as high as 80% from their all-time highs. Some believe the so-called “crypto winter” has already come, but enthusiasts view this period as a correction’ time.

The fall will be more severe if Bitcoin is considered a ‘crypto winter” asset. BTC will reach US$15,000. If it experiences a price drop of more than 80%, then that would be a major problem. However, this is not the case right now. It has experienced a 30%-50% decline, which suggests that the cryptocurrency is in correction territory. There is no guarantee that Bitcoin will make a comeback, but there aren’t any guarantees about the claims. It is a sign that things are really out of control if it drops below the US$30,000 resistance and remains there for more than a week.

Is BTC’s price at a new record in Q1?

Bitcoin’s performance is heavily dependent on its network activity. This will be the guiding light for the remainder of the year. BTC must undergo a huge correction to reach US$100k by Q1. It did so in 2017. To reach the resistance level, Bitcoin must rise 110% from its current price. It is possible, even though it seems impossible right now. However, it has been done in the past.

Bitcoin Priced at US$100k for the Second Quarter

Bitcoin struggles to overcome the US$100k barrier. People believed that Bitcoin would reach this psychological level easily by the end of 2021. The cryptocurrency market plunged into darkness and things turned around. Experts in cryptocurrency predict that BTC will make a sharp correction in Q1 and hit US$100k in quarter two.

Financial Market Committee Chair Aksakov Joins Calls for Identification of Russian Crypto Owners

Russians have invested 5 trillion rubles, or around $67 billion, in crypto. Some of these people may lose all their money as cryptocurrencies aren’t backed by anything, Anatoly Ashakov, a deputy who plays a crucial role in Russia’s regulation of the crypto space, recently stated. These people are not qualified investors, so pyramid schemes are possible, said Aksakov, who is the head of the Financial Market Committee at State Duma.

In an interview with Duma TV, the Russian lawmaker reiterated previous warnings and stated that the market for digital currency is unstable. Aksakov pointed out that crypto prices can move quickly by 20-30% in any direction.

It is therefore important to regulate the cryptocurrency market to protect our citizens and to provide taxation as well as certain rights to owners of cryptocurrency. They must however be identified.

This statement follows a similar call made by Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee. Bastrykin, who answers directly at President Putin, stated last week that cryptocurrency should not be anonymous and suggested that mandatory identification for all crypto users in Russia should be established.

Anatoly Aksakov believes that crypto holdings should be reported to the government to stop their misuse to finance terrorist financing, drug trafficking and weapons acquisitions. He also mentioned taxation. While Russians are required to pay taxes on crypto profits under current legislation, a separate law on crypto taxation has yet to be passed by the Duma.

High-ranking members of the House also spoke out about the need for regulation of cryptocurrency mining. This is a lucrative business that has spread in Russia and a source of income for private citizens.

Aksakov stated that, if Russian authorities decides to legalize mining it should be registered and taxed. He also argued that different tariffs should be applied to the energy used by mining companies in accordance with Russia’s cross-subsidization program. This would result in higher electricity rates for miners.

Sergei Mironov (leader of Aksakov’s ‘A Just Russia-For Truth’ social-democratic group) urged Bank of Russia last month to legalize cryptocurrency markets and speed up the introduction of the virtual ruble. He believes that the regulator’s strict stance in the matter hampers the development and makes crypto technology dependent on Western payment system.

Many aspects of cryptocurrencies, such as mining, trading, and taxation, are still unregulated in Russia despite the January 2021 law “On Digital Financial Assets”. The Duma has set up a working group to prepare regulatory proposals.

Kazakhstan Mulls Nuclear Power to Deal With Electricity Shortages Blamed on Crypto Miners

In Kazakhstan, authorities are considering implementing a decade-old plan for building a nuclear power station ( NPP). This is to address the country’s growing electricity shortage. The former Soviet republic attracted many Chinese miners to the country, despite having capped tariffs in place and a crypto-friendly attitude. This was due to Beijing’s offensive launched in May this year. Some of them have since left the country, as their hardware is idle.

According to Magzum Mirzagaliev, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Magzum Mirzagaliev, two locations are being considered as possible sites for a new nuclear station. These include the Alma-Ata’s village of Ulken and the East Kazakhstan city of Kurchatov. Mirzagaliev, a Russian news agency Tass, elaborated:

We have the production and consumption balance in place until 2035. We see the necessity to build a nuclear power station to supply electricity to our people and economy.

Kazakhstan is a world leader in uranium mining. It has been contemplating building a nuclear power plant for more than a decade. Mirzagaliev acknowledged that it will take another ten years to build it. Now, the government of Nur-Sultan has been in discussions with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom. This corporation has built NPPs in China and India as well as Belarus. According to the official, the nuclear power plant will help Kazakhstan achieve its carbon neutrality goals for 2060.

In the third quarter of 2018, the country experienced electricity shortages due to the influx of Chinese miners. The country’s energy-hungry data centres were quickly criticized for the electricity shortages. Authorities estimated that one crypto farm requires as much as 24,000 homes to generate enough energy. To fill the deficit, Kazakhstan, a major source of fossil fuels, had to purchase expensive electricity from Russia.

The attitude of Kazakhstan towards crypto has been generally positive. It has welcomed crypto miners and taken steps to regulate this sector. Recent estimates show that crypto mining could bring in $1.5 billion to the country’s economy over the next five-years. Tax revenue is expected to be more than $300 million. In January, a $0.0023 fee will be levied for each kilowatt hour of electricity that registered mining companies use.

Russians Have Invested Over $67 Billion in Cryptocurrency, Lawmaker Reveals

Russian citizens have exchanged 5 trillion of their national fiat (over $67.5billion) for cryptocurrencies, according to a member of the State Duma. The information was not disclosed by him but he did not specify a time period. Anatoly Aksakov, head of Financial Market Committee, stated this Monday during hearings in the Russian lower house.

Some reports claim that 5 trillion rubles has been invested in cryptocurrency by Russians.

Russia has yet to fully regulate Bitcoin and other digital assets. The law “On Digital Financial Assets”, which came into effect earlier this year, only introduced rules for a few related activities, such as coin issuance. However, key areas like mining and taxation are still outside the reach of Russian legislation.

Aksakov noted that investors and ordinary Russians have been interested in the crypto market. According to the Tass news agency he also stated that it was time for Moscow authorities to make a decision in this regard. He elaborated:

It is important to decide how we will treat this phenomenon.

According to media reports , Russian government institutions have differing views about how to regulate cryptocurrency. Aksakov, quoted by Interfax, stated last week that a variety of approaches are being considered and weighed. These range from legalizing crypto investments and trade to imposing a blanket ban.

Reuters reported that the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is considering prohibiting crypto purchases, despite its current position of ‘complete rejection’. Elvira Nabiullina, Governor of Russia, reiterated her skeptical attitude toward crypto and insists that Russia’s financial infrastructure shouldn’t be used for crypto transactions.

Other officials also voiced their opinion on the subject. Alexey Moiseev , Deputy Finance Minister, stated in October that Russia is not planning to follow China’s lead and prohibit its citizens from purchasing cryptocurrency abroad or keeping it in crypto wallets based overseas.

Estimates cited by Bank of Russia in their recently published Financial Stability Overview Q2 and Q3 of 2020 showed that Russians make around $5 billion annually in digital currency transactions. The monetary authority noted that cryptocurrency transactions pose risks to investors and financial stability in Russia.

Iceland Refuses to Power New Bitcoin Farms Amid Electricity Shortages

Landsvirkjun, Iceland’s largest utility has been forced by the government to restrict energy supplies to industrial customers, including fish processing plants and aluminum producers. Consumers with short-term curtailable contracts were also affected. The company has been refusing new bitcoin miners and data centers that mine digital currencies.

Bloomberg reported that Landsvirkjun explained why the reduction was necessary citing a problem at a power plant and low water levels. A delay in sourcing electricity from an outside producer also caused problems for the supplier. On Tuesday, the utility announced that the cuts would be effective immediately.

Tinna Traustadottir (executive vice president of sales, customer service and sales at Landsvirkjun) noted that the deficit has also been influenced by an unusually high demand for electricity. While Iceland’s huge smelters have been a significant consumer for many decades, a growing number cryptocurrency miners attracted to the island’s low energy are also playing a part.

Among the crypto mining companies that have already established coin minting facilities in the country are the Canadian Hive Blockchain Technologies and Bitfury Holding, both listed in Hong Kong. Landsvirkjun stated that it is now refusing to accept new requests from the mining sector.

Further, the company explained that it could not serve load points at Karahnjukavirkjun, Iceland’s largest power station, due to Iceland’s distribution system limitations. The plant is in the country’s eastern region, while the island is predominantly the one with deficits.

News of Iceland’s electricity problems comes after Norway and Sweden, two Nordic countries, expressed concern about rising energy costs and the growing environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining. In November, Swedish regulators demanded an EU-wide ban of crypto mining. A few weeks later, the Norwegian government stated that it might support Sweden’s proposal.