Why Bitcoin Is Beating Gold as a Store of Value in One Chart

In brief

  • Bitcoin’s price is at an all-time high
  • Gold, another store of value, hasn’t been able to keep pace.
  • Gold’s value relative to Bitcoin is at an all-time low.

Is it still accurate to call Bitcoin “digital gold” when the real thing is becoming less valuable?

The gold-bitcoin ratio is at an all-time low, meaning that gold’s price relative to BTC is at its lowest point since Bitcoin was created. That’s mostly due to Bitcoin’s ongoing bull run. It now takes 29.63 ounces of gold to buy a single Bitcoin. At the height of the last Bitcoin bull run, in December 2017, the number was 14 ounces.

Gold’s price relative to BTC is dropping. Image: TradingView

A store of value is something that can be held on to without depreciating in value. Cars, which depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot, are bad stores of value. Gold, a precious metal that doesn’t decay, is a classic store of value. 

Investors look for currencies, metals or other assets to serve as stores of value particularly at times when inflation is high or other markets (e.g., stocks) are getting pummelled. Dollars, though they are subject to inflation, are solid if not spectacular stores of value in the short term; inflation last year reached an estimated 0.62%

But Bitcoin is creating much more attractive returns than a fiat currency that promises to only depreciate a little each year. According to data from Nomics, Bitcoin has increased in value by a whopping 80% since the beginning of the year. It’s more than quadrupled in price—up 419%—since February 2020 to its current market price of $52,240, an all-time high.

During the same time period, the price of gold is up 12%—from $1,586 to $1,776.

Mati Greenspan, founder and CEO of investment advisory group Quantum Economics, told Decrypt, “Though both assets have their unique advantages and disadvantages, at this time it’s clear that the market is far more willing to hedge the upcoming period of inflation with bitcoin over gold.”

Of course, given both assets’ historic volatility, the gold-Bitcoin ratio can yo-yo back up. It doesn’t take much searching on the calendar to see that 1 Bitcoin could only buy 3.04 oz of gold on March 12, 2020, as the globe stumbled into a pandemic-induced financial crisis.

Such volatility is almost enough to yearn for the gold standard of the 1920s—when, by law, US dollars could be exchanged for gold at a set price of $20.67 per ounce. Oh, well. A new Bitcoin standard sounds more fun anyway.


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World’s Oldest Central Bank to Extend Digital Currency Project till 2022

Swedish bank Riksbank is set to extend the pilot project for a central bank digital currency by a year. According to the bank, this enables more comprehensive consultation from professional services firms and ensures proper deployment of the digital currency. 

More Developments Towards Digital Krona

Riksbank revealed this development in a press release on Friday, 12 February 2021. According to the bank, the digital Krona project will run until February 2022. Riksbank also revealed that it would continue to work on an alternative technical solution for the digital Krona as a supplement to cash. 

According to the bank, this will lead to an increase in its knowledge of the technology powering the digital currency. The financial institution will also continue developing other products focused on improving its digital currency platform in terms of performance and scalability. 

There are also plans to extend testing to offline functions and bring external participants to monitor test results. The world’s oldest bank recently suggested that the proposed e-krona should be open-based and not feature privacy. “As all CBDC payments involve a remote ledger, no CBDC can be genuinely peer-to-peer, offline and anonymous like cash.”

Concerns Remain About The Digital Krona

The development of the digital Krona has raised some concerns within the Swedish financial industry in recent months. Some industry experts have questioned the viability of a national digital currency and its effect on the existing banking system. 

The lack of clarity over the issuance of the e-krona has also caused problems in recent months. Sweden’s central bank has been studying CBDCs for some time and has carried out significant testing that dates back more than a year.  The Swedish government is yet to make a significant legislative move towards developing a digital currency despite intense pressure from the central bank in 2020. 

However, there could be a change in sight following the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. There has been a reduction in the amount of traditional cash in circulation as more businesses move online amid the current movement restrictions. 

It is understood that the Swedish government is mulling a move towards developing a digital currency as a potential solution. Nevertheless, there are still questions still regarding the design of the e-krona and the technology that will be deployed with it.

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Cosmos Upgrades to Stargate: Another 2017 ICO Very Nearly Completes Its Vision

At 6:00 UTC Thursday, the Stargate upgrade of Cosmos will go live. The Cosmos community recommends that interested observers follow along by watching the @cosmos account on Twitter.

Stargate represents an important milestone for the Cosmos project on the way to launching its inter-blockchain communication (IBC) protocol that will allow the 200+ Tendermint-based blockchains to interoperate easily. The era of cross-pollinating blockchains is very nearly here.

Stargate enables a number of other enhancements as well. The chain will run more efficiently, upgrades will be much faster and full nodes will be able to sync up more quickly.

“Stargate upgrades all the software that makes IBC possible for ATOM, but there is an additional governance proposal before tokens can be transferred to and from the Hub,” Iqlusion founder Zaki Manian told CoinDesk in an email.

It’s at least another two weeks before IBC goes into effect, but the software to execute it is now in place.

“The Foamspace team is excited for the Stargate Launch coming to the Cosmos Hub, a pivotal moment for the blockchain ecosystem that enables the FOAM Proof of Location radio protocol to be fully realized with global scalability through local consensus,” Ryan John King, CEO of FOAM, told CoinDesk in an email.

Kava’s team is cautiously optimistic about Stargate. “Before the adoption of IBC can happen, we need to do a robust set of internal testing and review to ensure it interacts with the Kava blockchain as intended. Once this is performed, Kava is excited to release the integration of IBC,” Kava’s CEO Brian Kerr told CoinDesk.

Another founder told CoinDesk he was especially sold on the Cosmos cross-chain vision.

“The key reason I chose Cosmos to drive technology at my company was because of the planned interoperability between different Cosmos zones,” Neeraj Murarka, CTO of the Bluzelle, the decentralized dapp data storage company, told CoinDesk in an email. “I was not simply interested in a siloed network that my company operates. Interoperability is a huge advantage.”

His interest didn’t stop there, though. It’s also the ability to scale to many users and many ecosystems. “One of the biggest key advantages I want to exploit with Stargate and IBC is scalability. It is very difficult to scale blockchains,” Murarka wrote. He hopes Cosmos will enable Bluzelle to reach apps on lots of chains.

Kava’s Kerr sounded a similar note: “Once IBC is integrated, Kava will be able to rapidly expand to hundreds of new blockchains and their users. We expect IBC to be a huge catalyst in driving growth to the Kava platform.”

True fans can follow along with the launch party, where members of the Cosmos team will perform the upgrade live starting at 5:45 UTC.



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Jack Dorsey Partners With Lamar Wilson to Create More Black Bitcoin Millionaires

In brief

  • Jack Dorsey’s Square partners with Black Bitcoin Billionaires
  • The group is the biggest crypto-focused group on Clubhouse
  • They’re collaborating around ‘Operation: Satoshi Millionaire’ a project to increase awareness of and investment in crypto

It’s pretty well known that lots of crypto people have moved into Clubhouse, the hot, audio-based social media platform. The biggest group? Black Bitcoin Billionaires, which claims 17,000 members.

Now Square Inc., via its CashApp, is partnering with the group’s organizer, Lamar Wilson, to create more Black millionaires through Bitcoin via “Operation: Satoshi Millionaire.” The month-long campaign began February 4 and focuses on getting Bitcoin into the hands of more Black families, and educating people about Bitcoin. 

“CashApp is very easy to use and it fits one of our principles of owning your coins, because unlike PayPal and Robinhood, you can send your bitcoin to your own wallet,” Wilson told Decrypt. He noted that the app has been downloaded 30 million times and makes buying bitcoin as easy as selecting “enable bitcoin” in the app.

Cash App is a tool that a lot of black Americans use,” added Isaiah Jackson, who hosts Black Bitcoin Billionaires, on Clubhouse.  “We wanted ease of use, and to partner with a company that puts their money where their mouth is.”

Jackson, the author of Bitcoin and Black America, has become a prominent voice in the bitcoin community, bridging the gap between bitcoin and people of color. Indeed, Square’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, is a fan of Jackson’s book and promoted it a year ago on  to his 5.2 million followers.

It was Jackson who first reached out to Dorsey to gauge his interest in his Square partnering with the Black Bitcoin Billionaires group. “I talked to Jack personally.  Then [Wilson and I] talked to Brian Grassadonia [the co-creator of CashApp],” Jackson said. “Jack and I have talked a few times before so he loved the idea.”

Building community through crypto

Wilson is no stranger to building an online community around cryptocurrency.  He founded the Koinda (formerly Wacoinda) Facebook group in January, 2018. The group has more than 25,000 members and launched its own cryptocurrency, the “CJ” amed for Madam C.J. Walker, a black entrepreneur who was the first female, self-made millionaire in America. 

Wilson hopes that the current project will help advance the goal of exposing the community to crypto assets. “The campaign to help narrow the generational wealth gap is just one step in the right direction, but expect more from Black Bitcoin Billionaires soon,” he said in a statement. “Both Zay and I believe this partnership with Cash App will set the tone for other corporate sponsors that want to provide more financial access to those often forgotten.” 

San Francisco-based Clubhouse has become the go-to place for conversation on social media. Launched last March by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, the audio-only platform has hosted discussions including Elon Musk, Kanye West, and Mark Zuckerberg.


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Altcoin Daily Outlines Top 5 Crypto Assets Poised To Rise Exponentially in 2021

Altcoin Daily founder and crypto trader Austin Arnold is naming five crypto assets that he believes are gearing up to print exponential gains this year.

Arnold tells his 469,000 YouTube subscribers that he is keeping a close watch on Synthetix (SNX) after big venture capitalist firms poured money into the derivatives trading platform.


“Both Coinbase Ventures and Paradigm have invested over $12 million into Synthetix DeFi (decentralized finance) platform. It’s actually three prominent venture capital firms bought tokens directly from the DAO’s (decentralized autonomous organization) treasury. This is huge. We’re seeing actual accumulation from these major venture capitalist players of Synthetix.” 

Coming in at number four is smart contract platform Cardano (ADA), which is marching towards full decentralization according to Arnold.

“Cardano is now 80% decentralized with an ETA (estimated time arrival) of 100% decentralization on March 31st. That is 50 days away, moving right along.”

The next coin on Arnold’s list is Litecoin (LTC). The crypto trader cites another video where he offers his price prediction for Litecoin

“Litecoin could easily have 20x from the start of the year. At the beginning of this year, around January 2nd, Litecoin was between $130 and $140. A 20x from something that was around $137 is $2,740 per LTC. Things could get crazy.”

Grabbing the second spot on Arnold’s list is decentralized exchange Uniswap (UNI), which he says has massive potential in the next 12 months.

“Uniswap just became the first trading platform to process over [$100] billion in volume, an exciting milestone for DeFi. With metrics like this right here, we don’t have to guess. We’re seeing the people choose decentralized exchanges. This is when retail is just starting to enter.”

The number one coin on Arnold’s radar is Stellar (XLM) after USDC (USD Coin), a top stablecoin, landed on the blockchain of the payments protocol.

“USDC’s Stellar launch comes after credit card giant Visa revealed in December it would connect its global payments network of 60 million onto USDC. Since then, the number of USDC tokens in circulation has doubled and as more people use the stablecoin, especially as the millions of Visa merchants use the stablecoin, they don’t want to pay those Ethereum congestion fees. ‘We want USDC to be as broadly adopted as possible,’ says Circle. ‘Stellar as a blockchain is designed for payments.’ So they’re going to Stellar.”

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Why We Should Take Dogecoin Seriously

Nothing says 2021 like dogecoin, a dog-themed cryptocurrency that has recently skyrocketed in value, thanks in part to the support of Elon Musk and other celebrities. For a time it was the 10th largest cryptocurrency. Dogecoin finished 2020 at less than half a penny per DOGE, according to CoinDesk’s dogecoin price index. It now trades at or above 5 cents, putting its year-to-date returns at around 1,000%.

It may be tempting to write this off as a speculative frenzy or just a fluke, but that would be missing the larger picture. We should take note of dogecoin’s rise, if only because it reflects some of the key tensions of this moment in time. 

Emily Parker is CoinDesk’s Global Macro Editor.

Here are just a few things that dogecoin mania says about the world we live in now. 

There is a thin line between absurdity and seriousness

Dogecoin is literally named after a dog, and is represented by a Shiba Inu. The rapper Snoop Dogg recently rebranded himself as Snoop Doge. If this all sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is. Dogecoin’s creators fully intended it for it to be a joke, and absurdity is baked into its very design. 

Today, some of the more serious people in the not-always-serious crypto industry are annoyed by dogecoin’s prominence. They have spent years trying to convince people that cryptocurrency has real technology behind it, even if no one outside of the industry had the slightest idea how it worked. And now, finally, the world is paying attention. Almost every day there seems to be another brand name trying to get in on the action. PayPal. Tesla. Mastercard. Harvard. Morgan Stanley. America’s oldest bank (BNY Mellon). The list goes on, and bitcoin’s price has responded accordingly, passing $50,000 this week. 

See also: Michael Casey – Money Reimagined: Memes Mean Money

But now, you have this punchline of a coin taking up some of the spotlight that bitcoin worked so hard to obtain. What kind of message does that send to the non-crypto world?

It sends a message that we should already know: What once seemed absurd to many can become dead serious. Before 2016, much of the world saw Donald Trump as an outrageous reality TV star who had no chance of winning the U.S. presidency. They saw him as a joke, and many still do. But he still held the most powerful position in the world for four full years. 

This is obviously not a perfect comparison, and the point isn’t to liken dogecoin to Trump. It’s simply to say that dogecoin “joked” its way to a roughly $7 billion market cap, and that’s real money. It also means that if DOGE mania bursts, some people are going to face some very real losses. 

Collective belief can trump ‘fundamentals’

How does this happen? How does something that seems patently absurd become undeniably real? It’s in part because reality seems to be increasingly shaped by collective belief, rather than underlying facts. 

This collective belief can prevail over more practical concerns. Until recently, Dogecoin was essentially abandoned by developers, with its last major software release happening two years ago. Others have pointed out that it lacks its own miners, which makes it vulnerable to attack. Critics will say the recent DOGE boom is driven entirely by speculation, rather than fundamental value. 

Dogecoin is a sentiment-driven asset. But lately, a lot of things feel that way. Value is created by crowd sentiment and powered by the rocket fuel of social media. The most obvious example is GameStop, where Redditers joined forces to drive up the price of a heavily shorted stock. A more recent example is MarsCoin, which shot up over 1,000% after Musk mentioned it on Twitter. 

What’s different now is that social media can translate collective belief into collective action at an unprecedented pace and scale.

Teenagers rise to dizzying levels of fame on TikTok, buoyed by the collective support of fans and the app’s mysterious algorithm. Do those seconds-long videos deserve global acclaim? Are these people deserving of fame? Maybe not, but it also doesn’t really matter. Some are becoming millionaires. This may be harmless, but less so are internet-driven conspiracy theories that don’t have to be based in fact to have real-world consequences. People just have to believe they are true.

Collective belief has always been a powerful force, but it can’t move markets on its own. What’s different now is that social media can translate collective belief into collective action at an unprecedented pace and scale. Celebrities like Musk have been able to leverage their massive fan bases to drive people to make concrete moves like purchasing DOGE and driving up its price. 

People want decentralization, but it remains out of reach

The idea of collective belief is at the heart of money, and thus of crypto culture. Without a shared belief in its value, fiat currency would be little more than paper and metal. But while central governments can print money and have an impact on price, bitcoin is meant to be independent of that system. Bitcoin’s price, to put it simply, is determined by the amount that people are willing to pay for it. In the early days, that was only a few cents. Now, it’s reached over $50,000. 

Dogecoin represents an ideal of what cryptocurrency was supposed to be. It is truly weird, and lives outside of the financial system. Its founders have effectively left the scene, leaving it to community rule. Big banks want nothing to do with it. It seems safe to say that it will be a while before we see a major headline featuring both Goldman Sachs and dogecoin. 

Bitcoin has clearly grown up, and is gaining the respect of more traditional players. That’s good for mainstream adoption, and perhaps for the industry as a whole. But bitcoin’s maturation has also come with a degree of centralization – outsized influence is enjoyed by big investors (known as whales), as well as certain mining pools and exchanges. 

See also: Michael Casey – Money Reimagined: Narratives Wall Street Can’t Control

Musk is a well-known fan of bitcoin and has suggested that dogecoin should become the “people’s crypto” – i.e., a democratic form of money. This taps into the zeitgeist we saw in the GameStop frenzy, which was an assertion of strength by retail investors over big hedge funds. But is GameStop, as entertaining as it may have been to watch, really going to alter the balance of power in the financial world?

Democratization of finance is hard to achieve. So it should come as little surprise that Dogecoin isn’t that decentralized after all. Musk recently pointed out that Dogecoin’s wealth is too concentrated. This claim was backed by Coin Metrics, which noted that the top 100 DOGE addresses hold 68% of its total supply, compared to 13.7% for bitcoin. Put another way, the top 1% of DOGE addresses have 94% of total supply.  

Musk has tried to address this problem by urging big DOGE holders to sell, even offering to pay money for them to void their accounts. But it’s hard to escape the irony here. An unfathomably rich man pumped DOGE’s price and then complained about a concentration of power, which he offered to fix himself.

Dogecoin should be taken seriously, if not literally. Its rise is highlighting tensions that aren’t going away anytime soon. We should pay attention to them. Otherwise, the joke’s on us.



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A Chinese Tea Company Is Pivoting to Bitcoin Mining

In brief

  • Chinese tea company Urban Tea is investing in a Bitcoin biz.
  • It isn’t the first tea company to do this.
  • Its predecessor, Long Island Iced Tea Corp, ended in disaster.

The tea trade was never really about tea, anyway. And continuing in this age-old tradition of expedition and expansion is Urban Tea, a publicly traded baked goods and tea company based in Hunan, China, that’s getting into crypto mining. And it wouldn’t be the first.

Urban Tea today installed as Chief Operating Officer Fendgan Zhou and as independent director Dr. Yunfei Song to “lead and support the Company’s critical strategic expansion in blockchain and cryptocurrency mining.”

Zhou comes from “blockchain data center companies” in Hong Kong and Singapore, according to a press release, and Song is a scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences with experience in crypto mining and trading. Zhou will lead Urban Tea’s “blockchain and bitcoin business plan,” according to the firm.

Urban Tea’s CEO, Yi Long, said in a statement that his company’s burgeoning crypto mining biz comes as “blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are gaining widespread popularity.” Indeed, Bitcoin hit $50,000 for the first time just this week. 

The crypto switch is an uncharacteristic move for Urban Tea. The company, founded in 2011 and with a market cap of $45 million, has focused on tea since it sold off its “chemicals business” in April 2019. Since then, it’s bought controlling stakes in a brand management company and a tea supply chain management company, and opened stores in New York.

And now, out of nowhere, blockchain and Bitcoin mining.

“Going forward,” said Yi, “we expect Urban Tea will start expanding into blockchain ecology, such as cryptocurrency mining, blockchain mine construction and maintenance, and cryptocurrency exchange operations.”

Bold utterances, but Urban Tea would not be the first tea company to trundle down this path. Long Island Tea Corp, a lemonade and non-alcoholic iced-tea company, rebranded as Long Blockchain Corp in December 2017, just as Bitcoin hit close to $20,000. 

Announcing the rebrand, Long Blockchain Corp said it was investing in “opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology. 

Around the time of the announcement, the company was desperately trying to keep its stock listed on public trading markets, facing off threats by Nasdaq. Shortly after its crypto announcement, its stock pumped by 500%. 

But as the crypto bubble popped, so did Long Blockchain’s mining ambitions. By February 2018, when Bitcoin’s price crashed, Long Blockchain scrapped its plans to buy crypto miners. By April, Nasdaq wiped it from traders’ screens and Long Blockchain had to sell off its tea business. 

Since then, the company has been investigated by the FBI and the SEC over allegations of insider trading. The investigators thought that Long Blockchain was a pump and dump scheme: pump a low-cap stock to high heaven and cash out before the hype train hurtles toward hell. 

Still, during the bull run, Long Blockchain’s stock has increased tenfold. 

Urban Tea (MYT) today closed trading up 15% following news of its Bitcoin plans.


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The Motley Fool Makes $5 Million Bitcoin Investment

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Bitcoin ETF approval more likely under new SEC leadership, says Ark Invest CEO

Ark Investment Management founder and CEO Cathie Wood said the likelihood that U.S. regulators will approve a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund has gone up under the Biden administration.

In an interview with CNBC’s Bob Pisani today, Wood said there were two signs that the Securities and Exchange Commission might be more open to greenlighting a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund, or ETF. Under previous administrations, the regulatory body did not approve any Bitcoin ETFs, to the industry’s chagrin.

Specifically, the Ark Invest CEO said she was encouraged by Joe Biden’s pick for SEC chair, Gary Gensler. Gensler is known as someone who understands the underlying technology of digital assets and BTC itself. In addition, Wood saw FinHub leader Valerie Szczepanik, known as the “Crypto Czar,”  reporting directly to the next chair as a bullish sign.

“I think the probability of an ETF has gone up,” said Wood. “[Gensler] understands the technology, and I think he understands the currency itself. […] I think we have individuals now involved who really understand the space.”

Wood recognized that institutional interest in the crypto space has surged recently but said she did not expect it to be driven by “broad-based substitution of Bitcoin for cash on corporate balance sheets.” She said this widescale investment may happen slowly as the market matures, but she was encouraged by the examples already set by Square and Tesla. The payment company added 4,709 BTC to its balance sheet in October 2020, while the car manufacturer announced a $1.5-billion Bitcoin purchase earlier this month.

“If all corporations in the United States were to put 10% of their cash into Bitcoin, that alone would add $200,000 to the Bitcoin price,” she said.

Perhaps recognizing the potential opportunity in the new regulatory environment, some firms have already applied for a Bitcoin ETF with the SEC following Biden’s inauguration. Yesterday, New York Digital Investment Group filed the paperwork for a BTC exchange-traded fund, and on Jan. 22, Valkyrie Digital Assets


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3 reasons why IOST price has risen 650% in 2021

Keeping up with the latest trends in cryptocurrency is a must for projects that want to stay relevant and continue to gain market share. The hype is currently swirling around decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) — and IOST is one protocol that has been capitalizing on these growing movements to help expand its community. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and Tradingview shows that the price of IOST, the 78th-ranked digital asset by market capitalization, has risen 650% since Jan. 8, from $0.0058 to $0.045 on Feb. 17, its highest level since June of 2018.

IOST/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the strong price performance thus far in 2021 include its entrance into the DeFi arena, the addition of NFT functionality combined with a new marketplace where users can buy and sell items, and increased support for staking from top exchanges, which led to a significant increase in the token’s trading volume.

IOST enters the DeFi arena

DeFi’s central role in expanding the cryptocurrency ecosystem is now undeniable, and the developers at IOST recently took steps to capitalize on this growing trend.

Network congestion and high gas fees on Ethereum (ETH) have led cryptocurrency traders to seek alternatives outside of the Ethereum network, and IOST is now emerging as one of those options as a result of its partnership with the new DeFi platform Donnie Finance.

The partnership was initially announced on Dec. 4, 2020, and is now preparing for its official launch on Feb. 18, which will enable IOST holders to stake their tokens on the protocol to participate in platform governance as well as earn native DON tokens.

IOST token price also received a boost after it was announced that 10% of the total supply of DON would be airdropped to IOST token holders as a way to help get them involved in the newly launched DeFi platform.

NFT introduction helps boost community involvement

Similar to the CryptoKitty craze in the bull market of 2018, NFTs have again emerged as a hot topic in the cryptocurrency space.

Following the release of its IRC-722 NFT standard in April 2020, IOST jumped into the NFT arena through a partnership with the Japanese blockchain game developer and consultancy company Platinum Egg and the creation of the TokenLink NFT marketplace.

TokenLink was designed to allow IOST gamers to trade NFTs and game items in a secure manner.

The beta version of the marketplace launched in January of 2021 and is available for community members to try out by trading items from CrossLink, a GPS-linked strategy game developed by Platinum Egg that was released in September of 2020.

IOST has also been chosen by Japanese regulators to demonstrate how NFT technology can be applied to peer-to-peer electricity trading and medical data sharing by utilizing NFTs to serve as liquid intellectual property (IP) in secondary markets.

Exchange staking support and increases in volume

The third driving force behind the recent price growth of IOST is the addition of staking on several top cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance and Huobi.

As DeFi grows and offers ways for token holders to earn a yield on their holdings in a decentralized manner, centralized exchanges have increasingly had to offer higher-yielding investment products in order to attract liquidity and users.

During the month of January, several top exchanges announced that they would be adding support for IOST staking, with an APY ranging from 20% on Huobi to a high of 54.49% on some Binance contracts.

The partnership with Huobi also included the addition of the HUSD stablecoin to the IOST ecosystem, an important development as it is the first stablecoin on the IOST blockchain, which should bring fresh liquidity to its DeFi ecosystem.

Rising fundamentals and market sentiment boost IOST

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for IOST have been favorable for some time.

For instance, the VORTECS™ score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

Cointelegraph Markets Pro – VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. IOST Price

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ score for IOST began to pick up on Feb. 15, around 48 hours before the price increased by 80%.

Since Jan. 8, trading volume for IOST has also seen new record daily volumes, which have surpassed $1 billion as interest in the protocol continues to grow.