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Ethereum Classic Users to Access Ethereum with WETC

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Ethereum Classic Labs (ECL) announced the launch of Wrapped ETC (WETC), a token that connects Ethereum Classic (ETC) users to Ethereum. The company stated that WETC uses a bridging mechanism that effectively makes ETC interoperable on Ethereum. ECL made the move to give ETC users access to the large DeFi pool in Ethereum.

The launch of WETC follows the recent launch of the DAI-ETC bridge. This bridge gave ETC users access to the Ethereum-based stablecoin DAI. It also follows the same cross-chain bridging template developed by ChainSafe Systems.

ETC-ETH Bridging Template for WETC

According to ETC Labs, the cross-chain solution uses ChainBridge, a decentralised application developed by ChainSafe Systems. ChainBridge is a smart contract interface across the ETC and ETH blockchains. It mints and burns WETC tokens on the Ethereum blockchain to equal the ETC transferred into or withdrawn from the smart contract.

WETC tokens are compatible with all wallets that use the ERC-20 standard. Like other ERC-20 tokens, WETC works with all Ethereum DeFi-based exchanges, lending platforms, betting platforms and gaming platforms.

Explaining the necessity behind giving ETC users access to Ethereum DeFi protocols, ETC Labs founder and chairman James Wo said:

The realities of a global pandemic and economic crisis are cementing DeFi as an integral piece of the rapidly-expanding digital economy. Especially where access to financial services like trading, savings, lending, and borrowing are inaccessible due to distance or inability to set up a bank account, DeFi will be an increasingly important force for positive change.

ETC on ETH Blockchain – A Growing Phenomenon

Theoretically, Ethereum is a fork of Ethereum Classic following the DAO hack in Mar 2016. This should make the blockchains rivals. However, in October, ETC Labs announced the launch of the DAI-ETC bridge. This bridge enables ETC users to use their tokens on the Ethereum-based MakerDAO protocol. Like WETC, the ETC-DAI Bridge uses the ChainBridge smart contract interface to make the blockchains interoperable.

Some believe that the moves are effectively a concession to Ethereum’s place in the battle for DeFi supremacy. ETC Labs itself admits that there is a need to make the Ethereum ecosystem accessible to ETC. This is because Ethereum currently hosts the vast majority of DeFi protocols. A quote from the company reads:

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has grown to over half a million users, with over $13 billion USD locked into DeFi protocols. Given the vast majority of DeFi protocols are based on Ethereum, WETC will provide ETC users an easy way to access DeFi on the Ethereum blockchain.

According to the company, efforts are currently underway to get WETC listed on exchanges.

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David is a journalist, writer and broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, The Africa Report, The New Yorker Magazine and The Washington Post. His work as a satirist on ‘The Other News,’ Nigeria’s answer to The Daily Show has featured in the New Yorker Magazine and in the Netflix documentary ‘Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy.’ In 2018, he was nominated by the US State Department for the 2019 Edward Murrow program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). He tweets at @DavidHundeyin

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/ethereum-classic-users-to-access-ethereum-with-wetc/

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Kraken Becomes Latest Exchange to Halt XRP Trading

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US residents see their options shrink even further as Kraken freezes trading of the beleaguered crypto.

Kraken announced on Jan. 15 that it would halt trading in XRP for US residents. The company made the move because of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing against Ripple Labs.

Kraken sets parameters

The exchange specified that US residents would still be able to deposit, hold, and withdraw XRP after the freeze takes place. The action affects only US residents. “Clients residing in other countries are not affected.”

The announcement also includes a FAQ list. It covers topics such as how long the ban will last (they will adapt to any change in the SEC saga). The upcoming change to a deposit-hold-withdraw only regime may change as the situation warrants. Also, the company’s plans regarding the Spark token airdop remain unchanged.

The SEC filing

The SEC action mentioned in the announcement is the set of Dec. 23 charges laid against Ripple Labs and some of its executives. The SEC claims that the company sold $1.2 billion of unregistered securities in the form of XRP through its platform. Former CEO Christian Larsen and current CEO Brad Garlinghouse are also charged with selling another $600 million in unregistered securities in the form of XRP. 

Ripple Labs is defending itself in court and in the media. Garlinghouse in particular has taken to Twitter to explain the company’s position.

Garlinghouse points out that the Ripple platform has been out for over seven years. Furthermore, it already has government decisions in several countries, including the US, stating that XRP is a form of currency and not a security. He also drew attention to the timing of the charges, and claimed that the outgoing SEC administration essentially left a mess for the incoming Biden team to clean up.

Ripple in still waters

The market reaction to the SEC charges came swiftly. XRP sank highs associated with the Flare airdrop at the end of November. It hit a bottom of under $0.20 at the end of December, while retail investors were raising bitcoin to new highs. A January rally raised XRP into the high 20s.

Exchanges with significant US exposure also moved quickly. Garlinghouse noted that the US accounts for about 5% of XRP holders, but the exchanges kept an eye on compliance. Coingate, Coinbase, and Bitstamp are among the exchanges that have already signaled stoppages.

In one sign as to how Ripple will leave this eddy of activity, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, commonly known as ‘Crypto Mom’, stated in a recent interview that charges such as these often get settled out of court.

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James Hydzik is a finance and technology writer and editor based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is especially interested in the development of regulation in the face of increasingly rapid technological change. He previously covered the CEE region for Financial Times banking and FDI magazines. An ardent believer in gut renovating eastern Europe one flat at a time, he currently holds more home renovation gear than crypto.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/kraken-becomes-latest-exchange-to-halt-xrp-trading/

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China-based BSN Readies International CBDC Platform

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China’s initial CBDC trials captured the attention of the world’s central bankers. Now, they’re planning on going global.

China’s Blockchain Service Network (BSN) laid out its plans for 2021 on Jan. 15. The company expects to build a universal digital payment network (UPDN) over the course of five years. However, its goals for 2021 include launching a beta-test version of the UPDN in the second half of the year.

Besides the UPDN, BSN has three other primary goals for 2021. These include expanding the BSN network and overall ecosystem as well as promoting the non-CBDC private platform.

What is BSN?

Blockchain Service Network is a Chinese government-supported blockchain research and development company. It is responsible for developing and rolling out the extensive blockchain platforms serving as a digital backbone for the country. With over 34,000 blockchain companies currently working in China, the country’s use of the technology extends deep into its economic base.

Digital yuan

BSN’s plans take part in the Chinese government’s rollout of the digital yuan. The introduction of the digital yuan was a event in the CBDC sector. It eclipsed by far the efforts of the European Central Bank in both scale and scope.

While the ECB experimented with payments in France in 2H2020, the Chinese airdropped digital yuan, engaged citizens in contests to win the CBDC, launched P2P transfers and enabled retailers to accept it.

Do BSN’s plans pose a threat to other countries? They do say that they foresee expanding Public City Nodes for their blockchains in 50 cities, “covering most developed countries” and well-growing developing countries. This is a BSN blockchain network development goal, not a CBDC goal.

However, the ECB broadcast its fears of foreign digital intervention on the currency markets. In November, 2020, the ECB laid out its “Reinvention of Money” strategy. One reason for the introduction of the digital euro, ECB Executive Board member Fabio Panetta declared, was the introduction of foreign CDBCs and the possible threat to Europe’s currency sovereignty.

Meanwhile, in America

On Thursday, Jan. 14,Chair of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell stated during an interview on Yahoo Finance that the development of a US CBDC is not something to do in a hurry. Also, he sees the US as having a first-mover advantage in that the dollar is the world’s reserve currency.

Powell stated that it would take years for a US CBDC, not months. That said, he also pointed out that it is something that needs to be done, and done right.

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James Hydzik is a finance and technology writer and editor based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is especially interested in the development of regulation in the face of increasingly rapid technological change. He previously covered the CEE region for Financial Times banking and FDI magazines. An ardent believer in gut renovating eastern Europe one flat at a time, he currently holds more home renovation gear than crypto.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/china-based-bsn-readies-international-cbdc-platform/

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PayPal’s Bitcoin revenue expected to top $2 billion by 2023

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Global payments giant PayPal is expected to generate more than $2 billion in revenue from its cryptocurrency services over the next two years, according to Mizuho Securities research analyst Dan Dolev.

If the figure ends up surging to $2 billion, it would equate to 10% of PayPal’s total annual revenue following a shift in momentum towards cryptocurrencies.

At the time of writing Bitcoin is trading above $36,000 following a barnstorming rally that saw it eclipse its previous all-time high of $20,000 in December.

The rally has been attributed to a significant increase in institutional investment, with MicroStrategy investing more than $500 million into Bitcoin dating back to September.

An influx of institutional investment has been accompanied by PayPal’s offering, which targets the retail market.

Dolev revealed in a note to clients that “50% of PayPal’s crypto clients open the app daily”, demonstrating a clear shift in sentiment around the asset class.

In December, Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead said that demand on PayPal’s platform was more than 100 percent of Bitcoin’s mining supply.

PayPal’s foray into cryptocurrency will have been a surprise to industry sceptics, but it comes as no major surprise to those involved in the industry following Facebook’s proposed digital currency in 2019.

For more news, guides and cryptocurrency analysis, click here.

Source: https://coinrivet.com/paypals-bitcoin-revenue-expected-to-top-2-billion-by-2023/

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BeInCrypto Weekly News Roundup: January 16, 2021

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This week has been a much wilder ride than the weeks previous, with Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies falling 15 percent or more before recovering nearly to their previous high levels.

Along with the price action, it was another exciting week in the cryptocurrency space on other levels. Read more in our roundup!

Bitcoin bounces back after nearly dropping below $30,000

Earlier in the week, many expected the beginning of a widespread cryptocurrency bear market and a market top. The sentiment came as Bitcoin almost broke the $30,000 support level. Some speculated that this occurred due to moves from large scale institutions that wanted to take some profit. However, the assertion was not confirmed.

This price drop, which also drove Ether below the $1,000 mark, wiped over $3 billion from the market in one day. Since the dip, most cryptocurrencies have returned much closer to their previous all time high prices.

Sushiswap and PayPal see all time high transaction volume

Both Sushiswap and PayPal’s cryptocurrency exchanges saw record volume this week. The volume indicates that either more investors or more capital are entering the space. As we noted in the roundup (above), this happened during extreme price swings.

Sushiswap, a decentralized exchange, saw $700 million in trading volume, while PayPal, a centralized exchange that does not let users withdraw Bitcoin from its platform, held over $242 million in transactions. In the course of a few days, PayPal more than doubled its previous daily volume record.

Bakkt will be the first crypto exchange to go public

Bakkt, the SEC regulated cryptocurrency futures exchange run by Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the owners of the New York Stock Exchange, will be the first cryptocurrency exchange to go public. Unsurprisingly, the exchange will be listed on the NYSE. The exchange is will merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Bakkt will be going public with a $2.1 billion valuation, which compared to its competitors may make it slightly over-valued. Coinbase, a crypto exchange with a stronger foothold in the space, is also planning to go public soon but with a possible $28 billion valuation. Although the Coinbase IPO will be taking place at a valuation 12 times higher than Bakkt, Coinbase has a daily transaction volume of $4 billion compared to Bakkt’s most recent daily volume of around $20 million.

 We’ll see you next week for another BeInCrypto Weekly News Roundup.

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Harrison is an analyst, reporter, and lead specialist at BeInCrypto based out of Tel Aviv, Israel. Harrison has been involved in the cryptocurrency space since late 2016 and is passionate about decentralized ledger technology and its potential.

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Source: https://beincrypto.com/beincrypto-weekly-news-roundup-january-16-2021/

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