Hi folks. Here I am back with a news roundup - as we all learn to cope with this very worrying time we are living in.
First of all, I hope everyone is doing okay and keeping well as they isolate themselves. All the markets have taken a tumble but we can pull through this and put the worst of 2020 behind us.
Here’s some news to keep you busy. The crypto market is still moving, and it’s good to find some normalcy wherever we can. Treat this like a normal day when you used to catch up on crypto news, and put all the troubles aside for a few minutes :)
1. Binance's Delisting Drama
Ah Binance, they’re doing a lot of great things and providing innovative features but sometimes they get into the news for the wrong reasons.
This time we have some news regarding delisting that are linked to FTX leveraged tokens. On March 29 (Sunday), Binance announced that it would delist leveraged tokens from the platform because it was risky for users. The announcement was made over Twitter and Binance’s official page for announcements.
Officials stated that the motivation for removing leveraged tokens was because of the fact that users did not understand them very well, making them susceptible to losses. Assets that will be delisted include BULL, BEAR, ETHBULL, ETHBEAR, EOSBULL, EOSBEAR, BNBBULL, BNBBEAR, XRPBULL and XRPBEAR.
Of course, users have taken the opportunity to rub some salt. Whalepool, which has a sizable following on Twitter, said,
Other users have criticized the decision too, but so far Binance has not really received all that much flak - there have been worse incidents that have done that.
The delisting will take place tomorrow on March 31, so if you’ve got tokens, make sure you withdraw them.
2. Vitalik Mentions DeFi Highlights
So many things have been happening that I’ve not gotten to reading up on what Vitalik Buterin has been saying for a while, but I’m glad that the info with the above tweet is making the rounds.
And Vitalik is absolutely right. Whatever technical and price related issues that Ethereum is going through, it has really made progress since 2017.
UniSwap is an on-chain protocol that allows for quick exchange of various ERC-20 tokens using liquidity pools instead of order books. Users can also earn fees by contributing to liquidity. Loopring is also building a decentralized protocol (boosted by zk-rollups which makes for faster transactions and almost 0 fees) that has demonstrated over 2000 transactions per second (I’ve written about Loopring before).
MakerDAO is a very well known project which has built the MakerDAO ecosystem that consists of stablecoin DAI and the governance token MKR. This is by far the most popular element of DeFi. Tornado makes private transactions on Ethereum possible. While we have privacy tokens, people have been looking for more flexible solutions on Ethereum.
Vitalik notes many things in that tweet, and even an only slightly active crypto investor will realize that what he talks about has an underlying theme of Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which I think is one of the hottest niches in the crypto market right now.
For those of you who haven’t really heard how the DeFi market is exploding, I ask you take a look at this. That’s how quickly it’s growing. It’s becoming a pillar of the market and attracting more investors by the day. Even in this tough time with the virus wrecking markets, DeFi stands as an impressive part of the market that shows signs that it will continue to grow - and will do so well into the future.
3. After 5 Years of Development, Cardano Launches Ouroboros Hydra
Now Cardano is a major project that a lot of people are banking on - a “next-gen” blockchain that has the potential to address all the issues of current blockchains. It’s a competitor to all of the big tokens and in all these years it has been steadily growing its community.
However, there have been a few delays and generally comes with a comparatively long development cycle (as a result of the fastidious nature of the team and management).
But fans of the project can now rejoice as a major step has been taken - after 5 years of development, Cardano has launched the Ouroboros Hydra.
In a nutshell, Hydra works as follows: each user on the network generates 10 heads (like the hydra generating heads) which then act as throughput channels for transactions. It has been theorized that the performance could reach as much as 1 million transactions per second. This of course puts ahead of Visa - an achievement many crypto projects are striving for.
Currently, Hydra can execute about 1000 transactions per second, at least according to a few tests conducted by the University of Edinburgh. This will be especially useful for microtransactions. Combined with the ability to create various Dapps, this is a solid network growth related step forward for the project.
Cardano has been making some big moves in recent times, having also recently launched the testnet phase of the Shelley part of its roadmap. Shelley brings more decentralization to the network, part of the multi-pronged effort to make Cardano as functional, decentralized and performant as possible.
You can read more about Ouroboros Hydra here.
4. Microsoft and Human-Powered Crypto Mining
Microsoft’s involvement in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space has been getting faster and faster, with the company now actively developing all sorts of solutions, besides tying up with emerging crypto projects (and also backing an EY and ConSensys enterprise protocol). Whether it is digital identity management or gaming or just toolkit offerings, Microsoft is one of the most prominent big names to enter the crypto space.
And now they seem to be taking it up a notch even further. Granted, this is only a patent filing but damn is it interesting.
A patent filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Thursday shows that Microsoft has considered a cryptocurrency mining possibility where day to day human activity drives crypto mining! This means that every individual, instead of needing expensive hardware and relatively high power consumption to mine, can mine with things that they do unconsciously.
The specific activities include watching ads, light physical work and “mental exertion.” For example, the scanners would determine if a viewer was paying attention to an ad to reward a user accordingly. The idea is to incentivize the completion of certain tasks.
Now whether or not Microsoft will go through with this (they file a lot of patents) is up in the air. One thing is for certain though - Microsoft is upping its blockchain and crypto game.
5. Billionaire Tim Draper To Invest In Indian Crypto Scene?
Tim Draper is a prominent Bitcoin supporter and he has publicly urged many entities, including nations, to consider adopting the technology because of how revolutionary it is.
He has also spoken about how India should not consider banning cryptocurrencies - speaking of which, India’s Supreme Court recently lifted the ban on banks serving cryptocurrency exchanges, which drew much celebration out of Indian cryptocurrency investors.
And this seems to have gotten the billionaire investor excited as well, as a tweet informs us that Draper plans to invest in cryptocurrency initiatives in India, saying that the recent move to lift the ban was “a renaissance for India.”
Draper said that he had met with several startups in India and hopes to be able to “fund a number of them.” Draper also spoke of the recent lift of the ban,
The Supreme Court of India and the Indian government have shown that the best ideas ultimately prevail, and just in time, because the benefits of Bitcoin and crypto over current systems will become apparent during this crisis.
Draper is a big name and him backing Indian startups would no doubt be a pretty impressive step forward for the country. India’s authorities are eyeing the market, while it and several countries across the world are considering launching Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).