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Yearn Finance Adds GUSD Vaults and Updated Keep3r Network Details

Yearn Finance, one of the leading Defi protocols has recently made an addition on Gemini Dollar (GUSD) vaults to its platform.

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Yearn Finance, one of the leading DeFi protocols, has recently made an addition on Gemini Dollar (GUSD) vaults to its platform. The firm has not yet revealed any strategies or potential earnings from this new addition to the platform. It is recently reported that the other four stablecoin pools on the platform have seen some yearly growth.

This new addition by Yearn Finance is appreciated by Cameron Winklevoss, founder of Gemini exchange. He seems to be quite delighted by this move and believed that the future belongs to the DeFi sector.

Yearn Finance Founder’s Github Updated With More Details

It is also reported that Github of the founder of Yearn Finance recently got updated with the additional details on the Keep3r network. It is believed that this is going to act as a smart contract job platform for all the projects that require some extra operations. Here the job is used for smart contracts that require an entity to perform actions. It is also mentioned that the network will be powered by KPR tokens and these tokens are issued as rewards against job completion. 

Daniel Lehnberg Explored How Protocol Should be Considered 

There has been a lot of discussion regarding this protocol by the Yearn Finance and Daniel Lehnberg has also explored how this protocol needs to be considered.  In the end, it is specified that it is actually not even a company and is not having any shareholders. It indicates that this protocol is not in a good position at present. It is reported that Yearn Finance has again slumped by 14% this week and is currently around the $13,000 mark. This position is still seen as a loss because it is 63% less the all-time weekly high of YFI which was around $37,000 back in September.

READ  BCH Proponent Releases Stamp Chat, Prototype Of Layer-2 On Bitcoin Cash

#Cameron Winklevoss #Daniel Lehnberg #GitHub #GUSD vaults #Keep3r network #KPR tokens #yearn.finance

Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/yearn-finance-adds-gusd-vaults-and-updated-keep3r-network-details

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New York Times reports on Racism Allegations at Coinbase

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2020 has turned out to be a tough year for popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, as the company and its founder’s ‘apolitical’ culture stance, has left the company open to even accusations of racism. 

The crypto trading platform was recently the subject of a New York Times report, which highlights the various racial issues within the company, pointing towards several departures of Black employees and a consistently low percentage of Black hires.

Coinbase has denied the presence of such issues, and has even hired outside consultants and conducted internal investigations into these claims by current and former employees. The reviews were not able to confirm these allegations.

However, the company’s hiring record reveals that Black employees consistently comprise about three percent of its workforce. Depending on the field chosen in official employment statistics, this is anywhere from one-half to one-third of what’s the industry average. Corporate expansion also had no effect on this percentage.

The report noted that other tech companies, such as Square, PayPal and Twitter have worked at increasing the share of Black employees in their firms.

The report even cites a number of employees, with One Black employee stating that her manager suggested in front of other employees that she was dealing drugs and carrying a gun, based on racist stereotypes.

Another noted that a co-worker at a recruiting meeting openly described Black employees as less capable. While another employee said managers spoke down to her and her Black colleagues, adding that they were passed over for promotions in favor of less experienced white employees. These incidents altogether have led to the wave of departures at the company.

“Most people of color working in tech know that there’s a diversity problem,” said Ms. Butler, who resigned in April 2019. “But I’ve never experienced anything like Coinbase.”

The New York Times report continues that Black employees of the firm were hurt by the decision of the company’s leadership who did not address the matter. The employees had also organized a meeting with the executives, and CEO Brian Armstrong had said:

“There was this outpouring of, like, Why does the company not have my back?”

It all started back in September

It all originated from a blog post from the CEO that stated that Coinbase was ‘mission-focused’ and it suggested that activism was a distraction from that mission. The conversation went deeper for those at the company as a memo said those who wanted to maintain their activism would have to take a severance.

The New York Times report particularly highlights one line in this company blog post. “We don’t engage here when issues are unrelated to our core mission.” According to the report, the post with this line outraged the employees.

Source: https://thedailychain.com/new-york-times-reports-on-racism-allegations-at-coinbase/

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Whales Flood Exchanges With Bitcoin, Take Over $15 Billion In Profits

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At the time of writing, BTC is trading up about 5.7% at its current price of $17,742, marking a sharp decline from its recent highs near $19,500 seen on Wednesday.

                                 BTCUSD Chart By TradingView 

After failing to set a new all-time high by just a few hundred dollars, BTC retracted as low as $16,300 in yesterday’s trading. Investors had anticipated that the BTCUSD pair would soon surge higher and break the Dec 2017 crypto bubble record.

Indeed, a new price record was so close that the bulls could taste the victory, but the milestone was halted in its tracks by massive whales who flooded centralized crypto exchanges with massive amounts of coins to be dumped.

What Could Be Driving the Current Bitcoin Sell-Off?

The recent rejection just below the all-time highs was certainly a contributing factor to the ongoing signs of weakness in the BTC price, but other factors could have been at play.

For one, recent comments from the U.S. Treasury Secretary on a potential wave of regulations stringent crypto market regulations by late-January could have reduced investor confidence in BTC.

OKEx could also have contributed to the current BTC selloff, causing prices to tank. The top exchange resumed crypto withdraws for users who previously had their Bitcoin locked on the platform for about five weeks.

Since the reopening that took place on Nov. 26, a total of 212,000 BTC left the exchange, according to crypto analytics firm Crypto Quant.

The massive outflow of coins from OKEx coincided closely with the plunge in BTC prices by over $3,000 on Thursday. 

It is likely that investors who had been denied access to their holdings for well over a month, which saw the peak of the recent rally, may have taken the opportunity to take profits off the table.

Whales Moved and Sold Over 93K BTC

Selling pressure in the Bitcoin market has mounted significantly over the past few days, with analysts predicting that it may continue hampering BTC’s price action in the days and weeks ahead.

Since the peak near $19,500, whales began moving BTC en masse to centralized crypto exchanges and have so far taken $1.5 billion in profit even at an average sell price of $17K per coin.

While sharing the chart below, on-chain analytics firm intoTheBlock highlighted this massive inflow volume into exchanges and subsequent BTC price drop in a Nov 27 tweet

“This drop started as soon as whales began to deposit BTC to exchanges. More than 93 thousand Bitcoin’s were deposited into centralized exchanges.”

                    BTC Inflows Into Exchanges | Chart by IntoTheBlock.

Source: https://thedailychain.com/whales-flood-exchanges-with-bitcoin-take-over-15-billion-in-profits/

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Huobi introduces a Regulated Cryptocurrency Exchange in Malaysia

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Malaysia will now be home to popular cryptocurrency exchange Huobi’s latest entity dubbed Huobi Labuan, a regulated platform with a brokerage license that allows it to offer services like crypto spot and derivatives trading for an initial nine-month trial period.

The name Labuan derives from the Malay word labuhan which means harbor, making it a fitting name for this platform as a Bitcoin harbor might be much needed in the nation, considering the fact that it’s native currency Ringgit is down 15-20% against the dollar.

Meanwhile, Huobi might have a bad 2020, especially because of a rumor that the exchange’s COO Zhu Jiawei might have been arrested as a part of China’s recent crackdown on crypto exchanges. The rumor had triggered massive outflows of funds from Huobi Global in less than a day’s time.

However, the Huobi group now has better news to share, with Huobi Labuan targeting the Malaysian market with its recently secured digital asset trading brokerage service license from Malaysian authorities.

The exchange will act just like a local operating partner of Huobi Cloud, meaning it will leverage Huobi’s established trading technology in all its local digital transaction brokerage services. The report adds that Labuan is the seventh licensed Huobi platform, with the brand having entities in Thailand, the United States via strategic partner HBUS, Argentina, and Turkey, among the rest.

The launch of the Huobi Labuan exchange will allow local cryptocurrency enthusiasts to trade safely and in a regulated matter. As of now, the exchange’s website showcases OTC trading for Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), Ether (ETH), Huobi Token (HT), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) and EOS. The exchange will be permitted to list more assets upon successful completion of its nine-month trial period.

Huobi continues to grow

Despite all the various regulatory hurdles that cryptocurrency trading platforms are dealing with throughout the globe, Huobi continues its expansion saga. The platform has also continued to add more services, with the recent being the addition of new wrapped assets earlier this month.

Back in August, reports emerged that Huobi appointed Vladimir Demin as the chief advisor of Huobi Global. Demin has been serving as the partner and CEO of Huobi Russia and would now assist with the development of the Russian market. The move was a bid to deepen its roots within the Russian crypto market.

Source: https://thedailychain.com/huobi-introduces-a-regulated-cryptocurrency-exchange-in-malaysia/

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Malta’s Pivots to Becoming a Fintech Haven

Crypto enthusiasts and industry observers alike are asking what happened after the joyous announcements and parties. A better question would be to ask what happened before all that. In short, there is an essential mismatch between the original vision in 2017 and the original actions taken in 2018. To see the mismatch, ask yourself a … Continued

The post Malta’s Pivots to Becoming a Fintech Haven appeared first on BeInCrypto.

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The Malta “Blockchain Island” story that captured crypto-loving hearts in 2018 came to a sudden end in early 2020. The announcement by the Maltese government that it is pivoting to becoming a fintech center is only the most direct message this year of the failure by the government to square the circle of cryptocurrencies and the legacy system. Other signs, mostly confined to the banking sector, confirm the change.

Crypto enthusiasts and industry observers alike are asking what happened after the joyous announcements and parties. A better question would be to ask what happened before all that. In short, there is an essential mismatch between the original vision in 2017 and the original actions taken in 2018. To see the mismatch, ask yourself a question: “Why would I brand a coin haven, ‘Blockchain Island’?”

One of six

BeInCrypto asked Steve Tendon, who coined the phrase “Blockchain Island” in 2017, about the mismatch. He replied that cryptocurrency was only one of the six main points underlying the blockchain concept. These points were:

  • Public registries/services on the blockchain;
  • R&D, education and innovation with and on the blockchain;
  • Appoint a blockchain regulator and create a regulatory infrastructure;
  • Regulate cryptocurrencies/tokens, including exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICO);
  • E-residency and digital identity (of individuals and legal entities) on the blockchain;
  • Smart governance.

However, the focus quickly fell upon cryptocurrency. On Feb. 23, 2017, at the CEPS Ideas Lab conference, Malta’s then-Prime Minister Joseph Muscat claimed that “Europe should become the bitcoin continent.” Tendon notes in his Chain Strategies blog post on Malta’s course that:

“A lot of work had to be done to refocus the project on the idea that blockchain technologies, and not cryptocurrencies, had to take center stage.”

Moves to realize the non-crypto aspects of the vision commenced. The Ministry of Education and Employment announced in 2017, that it would put academic records on blockchain. The fanfare was minimal.

Pivot I

Despite the attempt to keep to the original script, though, the allure of crypto proved overwhelming.

The idea was simple, if you believed Muscat. In 2018, Malta would pass three laws designed to set the country up as “Blockchain Island.” In the face of ever-tightening regulation in the United States and in particular Asia, the vision of a crypto haven would catch the attention of many companies in the industry. In the short term, it worked.

The three laws, passed on July 4, 2018, were met with great acclaim in the industry. These laws were:

  • Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA Act);
  • Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act (ITAS Act);
  • Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA Act).

Commercial confirmation of Muscat’s vision came as well. Binance, the largest trading platform in the world, at the time, landed in Malta precisely because of fears of regulatory issues in Hong Kong, after being banned in Japan early in 2018. Shortly afterward, Binance’s main competitor on the exchange markets, OKEx, followed suit.  

However, cracks began to appear, once implementation met bureaucratic and commercial realities. Incoming companies wrangled with bureaucratic issues. But at the heart of the matter was banking. It became very difficult for crypto startups to be banked in Malta.

Banking their replacements – not

Malta’s efforts ran into a commercial snag: banks were in no hurry to service blockchain and crypto-oriented companies setting up shop on the island. The irony of banks refusing to open accounts for companies who are setting up an alternative to banks seems to have been lost, but the problem is real enough.

Malta’s largest banks, HSBC and Bank of Valetta, are under direct European Central Bank (ECB) scrutiny due to their market share. However, smaller banks trying to fill the gap in the local market soon learned to fear getting caught up in money laundering schemes and becoming the next example of what happens when banks go bad.

Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has launched investigations into — and recommended that the ECB revoke the licences of — a few banks that catered to igaming and financial services, but also engaged in suspicious transactions. These moves by the MFSA occurred while Malta faced attention from the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL). 

MONEYVAL’s committee visited Malta in November 2018 as part of their review of the country’s status in implementing anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) measures.

MONEYVAL found Malta’s AML/CFT implementation to be spotty, especially in terms of investigations and enforcement. After an unimpressive 2019 follow-up visit, MONEYVAL gave the country a year to clean house or be placed under even greater monitoring measures.

Malta’s investigations into Pilatus Bank and Satabank were attempts to signal to all that the government could flex its muscles. Gaining bank accounts as well as licences would be an uphill battle. Tendon told BeInCrypto that reputational risk could well have taken its toll in this matter.

Pivot II

Physical events in Malta also had a bearing on the course of the would-be crypto haven. PM Muscat was linked substantially with the now infamous “Panama Papers” leaks by murdered journalist Daphne Anne Vella. Muscat, who had won a second term in the July 2017 general election, was forced out of office due to the ensuing scandal. He resigned effective Jan. 13, 2020.

The new government of PM Robert Abela is progressively moving Malta’s stance away from the previous emphasis on crypto-focused companies and toward a more nuanced return to Tendon’s original idea. The government introduced a regulatory sandbox for fintech companies in July 2020.

A full 70 per cent of the companies, which flocked to Malta at the beginning of the crypto haven phase, failed to file for full licensing. Malta is not begging them to return, and the new government gained attention by reporting to media that anchor Binance was not Malta-licensed in financial services terms.

Onward to 2021

Maltese regulators have been busy in fall 2020. At the end of October, VAIOT, a developer of AI-powered digital services, successfully registered its white paper with MFSA and thus became the first project regulated under the VFAA.

On Nov. 24, Crypto.com gained both a Financial Institution License and a Class 3 Virtual Financial Assets License. 

Despite the twists and turns of Malta’s journey, the essential, blockchain regulatory structure remains for the government to build upon. As Tendon told BeInCrypto: “The MDIA act and the ITAS act are still two ground-breaking laws that would serve as the basis for a ‘blockchain’-focused agenda.”

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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/maltas-pivots-to-becoming-a-fintech-haven/

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