The Federated Byzantine Agreement-based (FBA) network, Flare, has announced the completion of another funding round in which it raised over $11 million. Kenetic Capital led the investment as some of the notable names that participated included Digital Currency Group, Coinfund, LD Capital, Wave Financial, and Borderless Capital.
Flare Raises $11M
Built as a scalable, decentralized smart contract platform that runs the Ethereum Virtual Machine, Flare utilizes Federated Byzantine Agreement-based consensus. The project announced the latest funding round in which it raised $11.3 million in a press release shared with CryptoPotato.
Apart from the aforementioned participants, additional financing came from private investors like Vinny Lingham, Do Kwan, DeFi Capital, ZB Group, Genesis Capital, and Litecoin’s founder – Charlie Lee.
According to Flare’s CEO, Hugo Philion, this investment round only goes to demonstrate “a belief in Flare’s potential to unleash the value and unlock the community in chains that do not have native smart contracts.”
“Flare’s goal is to bring additional utility to all chains and ecosystems that are integrated with it. The investment brings into the Flare ecosystem key participants in the investment community, together with major exchanges, market makers, blockchain founders, and entrepreneurs that have an interest in driving meaningful developments and participation of Flare.” – he added.
The Upcoming FLR Token Distribution
The statement also touched upon the upcoming airdrop of Flare’s native token – Spark (FLR). It will be distributed to XRP holders who help Ripple’s coin on December 12th, 2020. At the time, over 100 cryptocurrency exchanges participated in the distribution, and the “majority also agreed to list the token.”
The Flare protocol will enable “additional utility” for other tokens via its smart contract. Users will be able to utilize the FLR coin as collateral for the trustless issuance of assets from payment chains that lack smart contracts. After the launch, Flare will focus on XPR, XLM, LTC, and DOGE.
The PR indicated that already several DeFi, NFT, and gaming projects had revealed plans to launch on Flare, whose “Oracle system currently features at least 16 data providers.”
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand and its Board of Directors have approved new rules governing digital asset platforms. From now on, crypto exchanges can no longer trade meme-based tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and exchange-issued tokens in the country.
Thailand Bans NFT, Digital Exchange, & Meme Tokens Trading
Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced banning meme tokens, exchange-issued tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Last week, crypto exchanges were ordered to delist the coins, along with NFTs, utility tokens, and social tokens, within 30 days.
Per the SEC, “This new regulatory guideline aims to enhance protection of digital asset traders’ interest.”
Even though, the regulatory agency did not specify the exact coins, meme-based cryptocurrencies, like Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu coin (SHIB) are likely to be affected.
The regulators warned that token issuers failing to comply with their white papers and relevant rules risk having their tokens delisted from the exchange, noting that “After publication in the Government Gazette, the Notification has become effective from 11 June 2021 onwards without retrospective effect.”
Earlier this month, the SEC announced its intentions to further regulate crypto by stating “The issuance of digital tokens must be authorized and overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
Elon Musk Wants “50% Clean Energy Bitcoin Mining,” How Do We Determine That?
On Sunday, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted that when there’s “confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.” Elon Musk And The Green Energy Debate These days, Elon Musk and a slew of other billionaires have a lot to say, and it appears that […]
On Sunday, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted that when there’s “confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.”
Elon Musk And The Green Energy Debate
These days, Elon Musk and a slew of other billionaires have a lot to say, and it appears that Musk can influence the price of Bitcoin with a single tweet. It was certainly the case when Tesla first accepted bitcoin (BTC) as payment for electric vehicle purchases.
After that announcement, BTC’s price jumped by $10K seeing one of the largest daily candles in its lifetime. Then when Musk tweeted that bitcoin wouldn’t be accepted and Tesla cited environmental concerns, the price dropped significantly. Sunday’s tweet boosted BTC prices by 9% and the price has inched past the psychological $40K region.
This is inaccurate. Tesla only sold ~10% of holdings to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market.
When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions.
Despite his good intentions, it’s difficult to predict how Musk will achieve his goal of determining whether the bitcoin mining ecosystem uses 50% clean energy. According to some studies, the goal may have already been achieved, as researchers have been looking into the number of miners who use renewables for quite some time.
Musk might want to study Coinshares’ analysis from June 2019, which shows that renewable energy sources power 74.1 percent of the bitcoin mining industry. Additionally, Coinshares issued a survey on the same subject the year before, finding that renewable energy-dependent miners accounted for about 77.8% of all miners.
No Definite Data
Global asset manager Ark Invest Management explained in mid-May that concerns over the Bitcoin network’s energy consumption are “misguided.” Even John Lennon’s son detailed that Bitcoin’s use of energy was a silly argument compared to the carbon footprint that’s tied to consumerism
Well, it seems most critiques have been leveraging data derived from Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) and the index provided by digiconomist.net. Both metrics show large discrepancies (between each site) to this very day and in December 2020, Bitcoin.com News was told at the time the “CBECI map hasn’t been updated for some time now.” These discrepancies and the notation that data wasn’t (at least in December 2020) being updated regularly, could be problematic for analysts.
The CBECI representative brought this inconsistency to light in the first place because the website claimed that China accounted for 65% of the hashrate. This statistic was challenged in July 2020, when Bitooda research revealed that China accounted for only 50% of global hashrate.
Despite the rising hashrate in North America and the purchase of thousands of mining rigs by Western countries over the last six months, CBECI data shows that China still holds 65.08 percent of the BTC hashrate on June 14, 2021. According to pool statistics, Foundry USA has been capturing a lot of hashrate recently, capturing 4.3 percent of global hashrate on Monday.
Bitcoin Mining Council May Open Leeway
Meanwhile, Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor has been tweeting about the Bitcoin Mining Council, announcing that the organization will meet this week on Wednesday. Despite the noble intentions behind this concept, many people are in doubt and question whether it even matters.
“On Wednesday, you are all invited to meet with members of the Bitcoin Mining Council to discuss the latest on bitcoin Mining, the energy debate, network dynamics, China mining policy, North American mining developments, tech trends & industry outlook,” Saylor tweeted.
North America may account for 10% to 15% of global hashrate, but that is insignificant when compared to the vast majority of miners worldwide. However, the newest crackdown news from Beijing may force the worldwide mining industry to switch to renewable energy anyhow.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) has seen a surging interest unlike amid the chaos of 2020. Last year alone, the ecosystem saw a massive surge in terms of total locked-in value; from a few hundred million to more than $20 billion in a matter of months. This surge caught the eye of many investors but institutions still seemed hesitant towards diving into it.
Mark Cuban, billionaire investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks recently published a blog centered around DeFi and its various use cases. The blog titled ‘The Brilliance of Yield Farming, Liquidity Providing, and Valuing Crypto Projects‘ analyzed different aspects and looked into potential around DeFi projects.
He put forward his take on two projects, MATIC and AAVE.
On Matic, Cuban stated:
‘They (Polygon) are a very simple business that is hard to execute. Their job is to provide tools that enable transactions using their Ethereum/Solidity smart contracts, built primarily by outside parties, to take place as quickly and inexpensively as possible while still being able to bring in more money than they spend.’
On AAVE, he expressed a similar positive sentiment towards the project. He said:
They can make a FORTUNE for their depositors and token holders because their overhead vs their revenue is miniscule. Automated Financial Market Makers are so much more capital and operationally efficient than similar traditional companies. Banks should be scared.
Overall DeFi industry:
Zooming out a bit, with regard to DeFi he added,
“Yield Farming via Staking and Liquidity Providing are a core feature of most, if not all Decentralized Finance (DeFi) projects. “
He then put forward a basic difference between centralized business models and decentralized ones. While for the former, one initially needs to raise capital, start a business, and then the capital follows. For latter,
“organizations don’t require near as much capital to start and operate. Rather than raising money in a traditional sense, they can sell tokens to raise capital, they can reward Liquidity Providers instead of having to raise liquidity for financial transactions, and much of the critical security is provided by Miners or Validators……”
While discussing the future potential of the DeFi industry, the Shark Tank star wasn’t shy to shed light on the current relationship with the US regulators. He noted that most, if not all DeFi projects, were based outside of the US.
“One place that these organizations are VERY DIFFERENT is that they are not based in the USA and they are not corporations. They are foundations. They are Decentralized in their governance,” he said.
Could this be a possible reason why DeFi projects remain without a “center”? He further added:
“This is not only because of the ethos of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOS), but also because of the ABSOLUTE STUPIDITY of our regulators forcing some of the most impactful and innovative entrepreneurs of this generation to foreign countries to run their businesses.”
Recently, Cuban had appeared in a lot of interviews, talking about DeFi. As part of his prediction, he had stated:
“…in 10-20 years we would see world-changing companies had been created in 2020 and 2021. Among those companies, it’s already a certainty that De-Fi and other crypto organizations will be at or near the top of the list.”
Cuban argued against the current restriction and skepticism faced by the entire crypto industry from the US authorities, which could take a heavy toll on the country’s economy. According to him, US should consider embracing and supporting crypto innovations such as DeFi. IF not, then
“we will lose the next great growth engine that this country needs.”
Vesper provides a suite of yield-generating products, focused on accessibility, optimization, and longevity. Let’s step through the opportunities on the DApp to help you.
What is Vesper?
Founded by Jeff Garzik, Jordan Kruger, and Matthew Roszak, Vesper is one of many DeFi apps available, allowing you to profit from the growing digital asset ecosystem.
A quick look on the vesper.finance website shows unlike some of their competitors, the team behind this project is not a secret. While they are still rolling out their full planned product offerings at the time of writing, you can already start earning yield on a range of digital assets in the platform. At the time of writing, over $623 million was locked in the DApp.
Utilizing smart contracts to run the DApp allows users to retain 100% ownership of their digital assets permitting retrieval at any time.
On the app screen, you will need to click ‘Connect Wallet’ to interface with your wallet.
You can then choose which wallet to connect to. If you don’t have any funds in either of those wallets, you will need to deposit some of those assets to interact with Vesper.
Vesper Grow Pools are algorithmic DeFi lending strategies. Interest is generated across various DeFi protocols from the pooled capital. The accrued interest is then used to buy back the pool’s deposit asset and distribute this to the depositors.
The explanation of the two earning rates is as follows:
Earning Rate reflects two figures: the underlying yield accrued by pool assets as they are routed to other DeFi platforms per the pool strategy and the VSP “boost” assigned as part of VSP token distribution. The “spot” earning rate is calculated as last 24-hours performance annualized and compounded, while “average” reflects the past 30-days annualized and compounded.
The risk levels are displayed as either conservative or aggressive, though even conservative pools have risks which we will cover soon. To interact with any of the pools, just click on the pool you want.
You’ll be able to see how much is currently in that pool, and if your wallet is connected, you’ll be able to deposit or withdraw from the pool.
Vesper Grow pools have a 0.6% fee on withdrawals and a 15% platform fee on yield generated by the deposited assets.
Is My Money Safe on Vesper?
Coinspect and Certik have both audited Vesper contracts. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to hack the smart contracts, but it does mean the team has invested in getting their work independently checked.
Participants in the pools could face losses if the pool interfaces with loans and the market corrects quickly enough to cause the position to become under-collateralized leading to liquidations.
But Wait There’s More?
Vesper is still rolling out its full product offering. The future road map includes:
Vesper Earn: Hold one digital asset, earn another! Ideal for income-generating strategies.
Vesper Stake: Take advantage of digital asset’s most stable earnings alongside your DeFi holdings.
Vesper Labs: Build a pool that our community loves and earn revenue from its fees.