Venezuela’s largest bank has teamed up with crypto financial services startup Glufco.
The partnership enables the purchase of dollar-pegged stablecoins through the state’s biometric payment system, Biopago.
It could prove to be a useful onramp for other crypto purchases.
In Venezuela, citizens will soon be able to buy cryptocurrency directly from state welfare accounts.
Thanks to a collaboration between the nation’s largest, state-owned bank and financial services startup Glufco, Venezuelans can now purchase Glufco’s dollar-pegged stablecoin through the same infrastructure that powers the country’s biometric payment system, Biopago, using funds distributed by the state.
The Biopago platform plays a vital role in Venezuela’s financial landscape. The Venezuelan government uses it as a bridge between the Bank of Venezuela and the country’s Patria system, which it uses to distribute bonds, manage remittances (including those made with cryptocurrency), and dole out state relief funds (similar to stimulus checks).
Now, Venezuelans can take those state relief checks and immediately exchange the funds for Glufco tokens, which are pegged to the US dollar. What it means is two-fold: first, it provides Venezuelans with yet another way to access dollars and protect themselves against the hyperinflation that the national currency, the bolivar, continues to suffer. And second, it gives residents of Venezuela a new on-ramp to crypto.
Citizens who make use of the Glufco integration can now acquire those dollar-pegged stablecoins quickly and easily, and then “subsequently trade them on another exchange for other cryptos,” such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Tether (USDT), Glufco COO Antonio Di Caprio toldDecrypt.
But why would they?
Venezuela: financial crisis and Bitcoin adoption
It’s no secret that Venezuela’s financial situation is a mess. A mix of internal corruption and international sanctions have led the country to reach extreme levels of inflation, currency devaluation, and economic recession. One way citizens have sought to escape this is by ditching bolivars and buying up dollars, which up until very recently was technically illegal and purposely very difficult.
Another way has been through cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. According to a report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis last year, Venezuela ranks third among all countries in terms of crypto adoption. And it’s peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading scene is one of the most active in the world.
The government of Nicolas Maduro, however, appears to have recently (and finally) accepted the fact that currency controls have only worsened the crisis and have decided to open up the country to some level of dollarization—that is, allowing for the US dollar to be used as the de facto currency of the nation.
Aside from lifting currency controls, Maduro’s government has also allowed for the opening of Venezuelan bank accounts with dollars. Given these recent policy changes, Venezuela’s central bank now teaming up with a crypto firm to make it easier for citizens to access dollar-pegged stablecoins appears to make sense.
The idea, it seems, is to allow them to protect themselves from both currency inflation and, potentially, Bitcoin volatility. After all, in a country where the minimum wage is less than $10, even the smallest fluctuation can have a dire impact on the most vulnerable population. Dollars (physical or digital) may offer the stability that many within the country seek.
Glufco’s stablecoin can currently be traded on small international exchanges, such as Waves, Graviex, and Vindax. There is also an OTC desk on the state-registered Criptolago exchange, where the stablecoin can be swapped for Bitcoin or bolivars.
Di Caprio also explained that Glufco’s OTC platform will also accept bolivars, Chilean pesos, Peruvian soles, and US dollars. It also supports payments using Zelle—a very popular platform within Venezuela—and a variety of stablecoins.
The Glufco COO also noted that the Bank of Venezuela played a vital role in the development of this latest platform. The Bank did not respond toDecrypt’s request for comment.
Since first launching it’s “all-in-one” crypto platform (which included a digital wallet, payment gateway, and crypto exchange), Glufco has since rolled out crypto payments via SMS text message and payroll capabilities. It plans to release its point-of-sale terminals for in-person crypto purchases within the next two weeks.
In this episode of “The Van Wirdum Sjorsnado,” hosts Aaron van Wirdum and Sjors Provoost discussed hardware wallet integration into Bitcoin Core, one of the ongoing projects that Provoost regularly contributes to himself.
Hardware wallets are a popular solution for storing private keys offline, to minimize the risk that hackers gain access to the corresponding coins. They are used in combination with regular software wallets to sign transactions in such a way that the private keys never leave the device.
The Bitcoin Core project has been working toward hardware wallet integration as well, which would offer users the safety of storing private keys on an offline device in combination with the security of a full node. A key part of this project is the Hardware Wallet Interface (HWI), a Bitcoin Core-compatible program designed to communicate with a range of hardware wallets.
Provoost explained how Bitcoin Core and HWI are slowly getting more closely integrated. Until now, HWI could already be used in combination with Bitcoin Core by having users copy/paste data between the two programs. This will now be automated in the next Bitcoin Core release, at least for command line users. The next step will be to also use hardware wallets from Bitcoin Core’s graphical user interface.
Finally, the hosts discussed some alternative solutions to use hardware wallets in combination with full node security, like the Specter wallet.
Analysts expect the U.S. economy to stage a strong recovery in the second half of this year as coronavirus vaccines are distributed and economic activity begins to increase. As growth picks up, inflation concerns are also on the rise. Speculation is rife that the U.S. Federal Reserve may have to adjust its dovish stance to hold down interest rates.
In anticipation, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield has jumped from about 1% at the start of the year to 1.626%. This has resulted in profit-booking in assets considered as risky and as equities pullback, a temporary pause may be put on Bitcoin’s (BTC) rally.
The drop in investor sentiment has also hurt the stock prices of MicroStrategy and Tesla who have each invested in Bitcoin recently. MicroStrategy’s stock price has plunged by over 50% from its all-time high at $1,315, even though the price of Bitcoin is currently only down about 20% from its all-time high.
Tesla, which had announced a $1.5 billion Bitcoin position on Feb. 8 has also seen its stock price plummet by over 34%. To stem the decline, longtime Tesla analyst Gary Black has suggested the electric car maker dump its Bitcoin holdings and instead use the proceeds for a stock buyback.
Let’s analyze the charts of the top-10 cryptocurrencies to spot the critical support levels where buyers may step in and arrest the current decline.
Bitcoin turned down from the $52,040.95 overhead resistance on March 04, which suggests that traders are lightening up their positions at higher levels. The selling has continued and the price has dipped below the 20-day exponential moving average ($48,087).
If the bears can sustain the price below the 20-day EMA, the BTC/USD pair could now drop to the critical support at $41,959.63 where buyers are likely to step in.
If the price rebounds off this support, the pair could trade between $41,959.63 and $52,040.95 for a few more days.
The flat 20-day EMA and the relative strength index (RSI) near the midpoint also suggest a few days of range-bound action.
Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns up from the current levels and rises above $52,040.95, it will open the doors for a rally to the all-time high.
On the other hand, if the bears sink and sustain the price below $41,959.63, the pair could drop to $37,000 and then to $28,050.
Ether’s (ETH) relief rally from $1,289.09 on Feb. 28 hit a wall at the 20-day EMA ($1,593) on March 3. The moving averages are on the verge of a bearish crossover and the RSI is in the negative zone, indicating a possible change in trend.
If bears sink the price below $1,289, the selling could intensify and the ETH/USD pair could drop to the 50% Fibonacci retracement level at $1,220 and then to the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level at $1,026.
Another possibility is that the pair rebounds off $1,289 and stays range-bound for a few more days. A breakout and close above $1,670 could result in a retest of the all-time high at $2,040.
The bulls are currently attempting to arrest the pullback at the 20-day EMA ($1.07). This suggests that the sentiment remains positive and the bulls are viewing the dips in Cardano (ADA) as a buying opportunity.
The buyers will now try to push the price above $1.23. If they succeed, the ADA/USD pair may rally to $1.35 and then to the all-time high at $1.4852896.
However, the bears are unlikely to give up easily. The negative divergence on the RSI shows that the momentum is weakening.
If the current rebound fails to sustain, the bears will once again try to sink the price below the 20-day EMA. If they manage to do that, the pair could drop to $0.80 and then to the 50-day simple moving average ($0.72).
The relief rally in Binance Coin (BNB) turned down from the overhead resistance at $265 on March 2. This suggests that traders may be using the rallies to close their long positions. The price has again dropped to the 20-day EMA ($211).
If the price rebounds off the 20-day EMA with strength, the bulls will once again try to drive the price above $265. If they manage to do that, the BNB/USD pair could start its journey to the all-time high at $348.6969.
But the 20-day EMA is gradually flattening out and the RSI continues to weaken. This points to possible range-bound action in the short term. The pair could consolidate between $189 and $265 for a few days.
A break and close below the $189 support could result in panic selling that can pull the price down to the 50-day SMA ($126).
Polkadot (DOT) turned down from $38.68 on March 3, which suggests that traders may have booked profits during the relief rally. The altcoin has dropped to the 20-day EMA ($32.49) and the buyers are now attempting to defend this support.
A strong bounce off the current levels will suggest that the sentiment remains bullish and traders are buying on dips. If the bulls can push the price above the downtrend line, the DOT/USD pair may retest the all-time high at $42.2848.
On the contrary, if the price breaks and sustains below the 20-day EMA, it will suggest that the supply has exceeded demand. In such a case, the pair may extend its decline to the 50-day SMA ($24.89).
XRP broke above the 20-day EMA ($0.467) on March 4, but the bulls could not maintain the momentum and thrust the price above the $0.50 overhead resistance. This attracted profit booking and the price has broken below the 20-day EMA today.
The XRP/USD pair could now drop to the 50-day SMA ($0.42) and then to $0.359. The flat 20-day EMA and the RSI just below the midpoint suggest a range-bound action for the next few days. The price may remain stuck between $0.359 and $0.50.
A trending move could start if the bulls push the price above $0.50. That could result in a rally to $0.65. On the other hand, a break below $0.359 may sink the price to $0.25.
Uniswap (UNI) is in an uptrend and the bulls have been buying the dip to the 20-day EMA ($24.05). The bulls tried to push and sustain the price above $29 on March 4 but the higher levels attracted profit-booking.
The bears will now try to pull the price down to the 20-day EMA. If the UNI/USD pair again rebounds off this support, it will suggest that traders continue to buy the dips. The bulls will then try to push and close the price above $29. If they succeed, the pair could start the next leg of the uptrend that may reach $38.
Conversely, if the bears sink the price below the 20-day EMA, the pair could drop to $20. Such a move may result in a consolidation between $20 and $29. The trend will turn negative on a break below the 50-day SMA ($18.85).
Litecoin (LTC) broke and closed above the $185.58 resistance on March 3, but the bulls could not build upon this strength as the price turned down and dipped back below the 20-day EMA ($184.43) on March 4.
The bulls are currently attempting to defend the 50-day SMA ($169.29) as seen from the long tail on today’s candlestick. If the rebound sustains, the bulls will again try to push the price above the $185.58 to $196.30 overhead resistance zone. If they succeed, the LTC/USD pair could rally to $205 and then to $240.
However, the flat moving averages and the RSI just below the midpoint suggest a possible range formation. The pair could trade between $152 on the downside and $205 on the upside. A break above or below the range could start the next trending move.
Chainlink’s (LINK) relief rally turned down from $31.43 on March 3, which shows that traders are booking profits at higher levels. The altcoin has dipped to the 50-day SMA ($26.29) but the long tail on today’s candlestick suggests the bulls are trying to defend this support.
Buying on dips and selling rallies usually results in a range-bound action. The flat 20-day EMA and the RSI near the midpoint also suggest a balance between supply and demand. The LINK/USD pair could now consolidate between $24 and $32 for a few days.
A breakout of the range may result in a rally to $34 and a retest of the all-time high at $36.93. Conversely, a break below $24 could pull the price down to the critical support at $20.11.
The bounce from the uptrend line stalled at the 20-day EMA ($537) on March 3, which shows the traders are selling on rallies. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has again dipped to the uptrend line. The repeated retest of the support at short intervals tends to weaken it.
The downsloping 20-day EMA and the RSI in the negative territory suggest that bears are in control. A break below the uptrend line could sink the BCH/USD pair to $432.02 and then to the critical support at $370.
This negative view will invalidate if the price rises from the current levels and rises above $539. Such a move will suggest aggressive buying at lower levels. The pair could then rally to $631.71.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Bitcoin sits on top of a significant support wall that may allow it to rebound towards new all-time highs.
Ethereum’s upcoming protocol update could be the catalyst that ignites another bull rally.
XRP remains one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in Asia Pacific despite its legal uncertainty in the U.S.
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Extreme volatility levels in the cryptocurrency market have led to massive liquidations over the past few weeks. Despite the significant losses incurred across the board, data shows that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP are about to resume their respective uptrends.
Bitcoin Prime for New All-Time Highs
Bitcoin took a 12% nosedive in the past 36 hours after rising to $52,700. The downswing added credence to the thesis that BTC is creating an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern on its 4-hour chart.
Coincidentally, the Tom Demark (TD) Sequential indicator recently presented a buy signal within the same time frame. The bullish formation developed as a red nine candlestick, suggesting that Bitcoin is bound for a bullish impulse.
If validated, BTC could rise toward the head-and-shoulders neckline at $52,000 to complete this technical pattern’s right shoulder. A further spike in buying pressure around this resistance barrier could lead to a 17% breakout that sends Bitcoin to $61,000.
Microstrategy’s announcement that it once again bought the Bitcoin dip, adding another $10 million to its treasury, suggests that momentum is indeed building up for the uptrend to resume.
That notion is further validated by the rising number of new daily addresses joining the network. On-chain analyst Willy Woo maintains that Bitcoin’s user count is “growing at insane rates,” similar to trends seen during the 2017 bull market.
As long as Bitcoin continues to hold above $47,000, all of these fundamental developments will continue to push prices higher.
Rafael Schultze-Kraft, co-founder and CTO at Glassnode, maintainsthat this is a “very strong on-chain support” level, as roughly 500,000 BTC were moved at this price point. “[It is] important that we hold [$47,000], otherwise we could see low forties quickly before the next upwards movements,” said Schultze-Kraft.
Ethereum Ready to Resume Uptrend
Ethereum is back in the spotlight after core developers agreed to add the blockchain’s crucial EIP-1559 proposal to the London fork in July.
Research coordinator Tim Beiko told Crypto Briefing that EIP-1559 could be thought of as an “ETH buyback” proposal. The update will see a portion of the gas fees on every transaction get burned, reducing Ether’s supply and essentiallymaking it a deflationary asset.
The announcement comes at a time when Ethereum has been consolidating within a symmetrical triangle on the 4-hour chart. If market participants were to buy the news, this cryptocurrency could rise towards the pattern’s upper trendline at $1,570.
A 4-hour candlestick close above this resistance barrier would be followed by a 21.50% move in the same direction, sending Ether to $2,000. This target is determined by measuring the height of the triangle’s y-axis and adding it to the breakout point.
Transaction history shows that Ethereum sits on top of a massive support zone while resistance is weak.
Based on IntoTheBlock’s “In/Out of the Money Around Price” (IOMAP) model, over 370,000 addresses previously purchased nearly 10 million ETH around $1,480. This demand wall could absorb any selling pressure, capping Ether’s downside potential.
Holders within this price range will likely do anything to keep their investments “In the Money”; they may even buy more tokens to allow prices to rebound.
On the flip side, the IOMAP cohorts show little to no resistance ahead. The only considerable hurdle lies at $1,570, where more than 730,000 addresses are holding 3.70 million ETH.
Such an insignificant supply wall suggests that the bulls will not have trouble driving Ethereum’s price higher.
XRP “Unaffected” by Legal Uncertainty
While market participants are concerned about XRP being deemed a security by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ripple continues to expandits services in Eastern markets, where there is reportedly more regulatory clarity.
“[The lawsuit] has hindered activity in the United States, but it has not really impacted what’s going on for us in Asia Pacific,” Garlinghouse told Reuters. Heconcluded that XRP is still traded on over 200 exchanges around the world, and that only “three or four” U.S. exchanges have halted trading.
While Garlinghouse remains positive about Ripple’s legal stability, XRP is on the brink of a major bullish impulse. The seventh-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization seems to have developed an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern on its daily chart.
Although XRP is currently forming the right shoulder of the bullish formation, it can break out of that pattern. A spike in buying pressure that allows this altcoin to close above the pattern’s neckline at $0.66 could lead to a 74% upswing towards $1.16.
Traders must wait for a daily candlestick close above the $0.66 for the inverse head-and-shoulders pattern to be validated. Failing to do so could lead to a downswing to the $0.39 support level.
If XRP breaks below this critical support barrier, it will invalidate the bullish outlook and lead to a steep correction towards $0.20.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, this author held Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is addressing critical questions related to the taxation of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) in the US.
In a new FAQ resource, the agency clarifies that in its view, American taxpayers did not acquire a financial interest in crypto if they only bought – but did not sell – digital assets with fiat currency. This means that they do not have to answer “yes” to the crypto-related question on the 1040 form.
The IRS also says virtual currencies are treated as property, so transactions involving crypto assets will use the applicable tax principles.
US citizens who receive Bitcoin as compensation should treat it as ordinary income regardless if they performed the service as an employee or not. Meanwhile, virtual currency given as a bona fide gift is not treated as the recipient’s income unless sold, exchanged, or disposed of.
The IRS notes that a gain or loss should also be recognized in the sale of cryptocurrencies. To calculate the gain or loss, taxpayers should track the difference between the adjusted basis in the virtual currency and the amount of fiat money received in exchange for that digital asset.
“Your basis (also known as your “cost basis”) is the amount you spent to acquire the virtual currency, including fees, commissions and other acquisition costs in U.S. dollars. Your adjusted basis is your basis increased by certain expenditures and decreased by certain deductions or credits in U.S. dollars.”
Gains held for less than one year are considered short-term gains and taxed as ordinary income. The sale of virtual currencies held for more than a year and that earned profits, on the other hand, is taxable as a long-term gain.
“The period during which you held the virtual currency (known as the “holding period”) begins on the day after you acquired the virtual currency and ends on the day you sell or exchange the virtual currency.”
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Aside from a few rare outliers, over the last several years, owning Bitcoin has been the better investment compared to other cryptocurrencies. Altcoins like Ethereum and others have only recently caught up, and BTC dominance has maintained the lion’s share of the crypto market cap.
However, dominance has lost an important trendline dating back four full years to the peak of the last bull market, and it could suggest a major turnaround is about to occur across the crypto market. Could this be the altcoin season crypto investors have been waiting for?
At peak Bitcoin fever in 2017, interest turned to altcoins that were much cheaper per coin by comparison as investors searched for the next BTC.
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Related Reading | Five Signs That Say Altcoin Season Hasn’t Even Started Yet
Those investors ended up learning the hard way that there is no replacement for Bitcoin. Altcoins plunged by as much as 99% in most instances, while Bitcoin wiped out only 84% of its gains by comparison. Both scenarios are now far in the rear view, and since then Bitcoin has a commanding lead.
BTC dominance has lost an important monthly trendline dating back to the top of the last bull market | CRYPTOCAP-BTC.D on TradingView.com
At the height of that fever, dominance reached as low as 35%, but has since remained around or above 63%. That key level was lost at the same time a pivotal trendline was, and now there could be no over-performance in Bitcoin for the next year or more.
The trendline in question dates back four years to the bull market peak, and has kept dominance supported ever since.
Altcoins Are Ready To Explode If Dominance Dives Further
Bitcoin dominance holds the key to unlocking the true potential of any altcoin season, which thus far the leading cryptocurrency by market cap has kept locked away for many years now.
A zoomed in view shows how many times BTC dominance tried to reclaim the line | CRYPTOCAP-BTC.D on TradingView.com
Losing the previous long term trendline resulted in some short term consolidation followed by a large move lower. A bearish retest of 70% BTC dominance failed, sending the important crypto market metric falling back lower to the second ascending trendline.
Related Reading | Altcoin Season Is Here: “Buy Crypto” Surpases Bitcoin Searches On Google
With the 63% level now lost also, BTC dominance should gravitate toward the mid-50% range, allowing altcoins to soar compared to Bitcoin for an extended period of time.
Altcoins could also theoretically hold up better in a wider correction, but that scenario is unlikely as the riskier assets typically are more volatile and react more sensitively to greater crypto market selloffs.
Featured image from Deposit Photos, Charts from TradingView.com
Paid Network, a DeFi platform aimed at real-world businesses, has been exploited today in an “infinite mint” attack that has sent PAID token prices plunging upwards of 85%.
While the exploit netted nearly $180 million in PAID tokens at the time of the attack — what would have comfortably been the largest exploit of a DeFi protocol — the hacker’s payday will end up being far less. One observer noted that the attacker’s wallet only converted some of their tokens to wrapped ether, leaving the rest in rapidly-devaluing PAID tokens:
Summary of $PAID incident:
Total PAID swapped to WETH: 2079.603371141493
Total PAID left in account: 594,717,455.71
Total amount in attacker account = $27,418,034.33
Stay Safe. pic.twitter.com/Lz93qGKAq0
— vasa (@vasa_develop) March 5, 2021
The attacker’s wallet still has over 57 million PAID tokens worth $37 million.
The exploit is conceptually similar to an attack on insurance protocol Cover that took place in late December last year. In that instance, the team took a “snapshot” of holders prior to the attack and issued a new token, returning the supply of the token to pre-exploit levels.
The team confirmed on Twitter that they are currently planning for a snapshot and restoration:
We are investigating the issue. We pulled liquidity, are creating a new smart contract, & will be restoring everyone’s original balances to before the hack.
Those with staked, Lpool & UniFarm $PAID will have their tokens be sent to them manually.
We will share more updates soon
— PAID NETWORK (@paid_network) March 5, 2021
However, token holders anxious for a resolution may be out of luck. Some in the community are speculating that the attack on PAID wasn’t an exploit at all, but instead a “rugpull” — a colloquial term for an insider designing contracts to specifically make them exploitable and swiping user funds.
Nick Chong of Parafi Capital noted on Twitter that Paid’s deployer contract, an externally controlled account, transferred ownership of the deployer to the attacker shortly before the mint, indicating that a member of the team either rugpulled, or errantly allowed the attack to take place with a security lapse:
Paid Network’s deployer, an EOA, transferred ownership of a contract to the attacker 30 mins before the minthttps://t.co/h14GdV4fCf
— Nick Chong (@n2ckchong) March 5, 2021
Additionally, a DeFi risk analysis account @WARONRUGS warned of exactly this exploit in late January, noting that the contract owner can mint PAID tokens at any time:
Billionaire NBA team owner Mark Cuban can’t get enough of NFTs lately.
Cuban went into detail on the NFT craze and his own collecting in a recent interview with Decrypt.
Dallas Mavericks owner and ABC “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban had never tweeted the term “NFT” until Jan. 27 of this year. But since then, he has tweeted out a cascade of links to his own NFTs or non-fungible tokens, blockchain-based collectibles that have exploded in popularity (and price) across sports, music, and art.
Cuban has gone gaga for this stuff: he’s promoted NFTs on NBA Top Shot, Rarible, Mintable, and OpenSea, different platforms for buying, trading, and sharing your NFTs.
It’s a difficult phenomenon to wrap your head around.
Cuban, in an extensive interview this week with Decrypt, explains it by holding up his own favorite basketball card: John Brisker, who played in the 1970s for Cuban’s hometown Pittsburgh Condors in the ABA before leaving the league to become a mercenary in Uganda, where he disappeared in 1978. (“Cool as hell story,” Cuban says.)
The fun of owning the card is “just the joy of ownership,” Cuban says. “I don’t take it out and look at it all the time. The picture of John Brisker, you can find that online somewhere, there’s nothing unique, and it’s not like the picture is artwork, and there’s nothing special about the stats and the commentary on the back. All that is available online. It’s the ownership that comes with it. And by physically having it, that’s your only proof of ownership.”
The ‘joy of ownership’
If Cuban wanted to sell the card, he says, he’d have to start an intensive process: get it validated, graded and priced by a professional, wrap it up, ship it to the buyer, then receive his payment.
Enter NBA Top Shot, the marketplace on which fans and collectors buy digital video clips of, say, a LeBron James dunk, and can share them, hold them, or sell them. In the past 30 days, it’s done nearly $300 million in volume. On a particular frenzied day in February, the platform sold through $2.6 million of NFTs in 30 minutes. Collectors are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some cases, for a digital video clip of a play you can also watch on Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.
You have to “get over that perception that I have to physically be able to touch it,” Cuban says, “and realize that’s more hassle, the joy of ownership is really what matters. You get all the benefits of the joy of ownership… all the value creation—or loss, for that matter—the friction-free trading and transacting, the ability to pay royalties to the original creator after every sale, which is enormous, and really enables more creativity to come to the marketplace. Whoever designed [the card of] good old John Brisker and took his picture is not getting any value whatsoever.”
Getting over the feeling of wanting to physically hold the art you’ve bought is easier said than done, though anyone who believes in Bitcoin as an investment has at least partially already come around to the idea of the Internet of Value.
And even if you buy Cuban’s pitch for NFTs, the tech can be intimidating. NBA Top Shot is on Flow, a faster blockchain than Ethereum, and allows buyers to pay in dollars, so they don’t necessarily have to deal with crypto or even think about crypto. (Top Shot has another thorny issue at the moment: buyers have complained that it’s difficult to take your money off the platform.)
But Cuban’s claim about the possibilities for paying royalties to the original owner is the part that has caught on with artists. The fact that Kings of Leon turned their new album into three varieties of NFT might arguably suggests there’s something permanent here.
I dont think that people realize that the real growth in NFTs isn’t now. Art, Music, Photos, Short Videos are the proof of concept and just the beginning. The real growth comes when corporate IP goes @Ip2Nft. That changes revenue streams for ALL companies, large and small
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) February 23, 2021
‘Not as private as people think’
There’s another wrinkle with NFT ownership. When you publicly share a link to your NFT wallet on a platform like Rarible, anyone with a base-level understanding of blockchain can view the wallet address on Etherscan (a public site for viewing the Ethereum blockchain) and see the monetary contents of your wallet. (The Bitcoin blockchain is the same way: billed as anonymous, but really more like semi-anonymous.)
Cuban happily tweets out his Rarible wallet, and as of Friday afternoon that wallet contains $455,000 worth of tokens and NFTs.
Cuban knows everyone can see that, and he doesn’t care. (He also hints: “I got a lot of wallets. I got a lot of wallets.”) But does a celebrity like Lindsay Lohan, who also tweeted out her Rarible address, realize that? (Hers now has only $440.)
“Yeah, it’s not as private as people think,” Cuban acknowledges, with a laugh. “And that’s the whole point of the blockchain, right? That it’s 100% public because it’s all verifiable. But of course, I could just take it all out and put it in another wallet… And for me, 99% of what I’m doing right now is just learning. Learning how pricing mechanisms work, learning how the transfer technology works, learning how to mint, learning how to post, all this stuff is part of a learning curve. Because it does need to get simpler. It does need to be easier, so that, celeb or not, anybody can do it.”
This week was tough across the board, not just in the cryptocurrency market. It was marked by a serious correlation between Bitcoin and the S&P 500, as well as the entire legacy market, in general.
As CryptoPotato reported, the abovementioned correlation reached a 5-month high. While this seems to be bearish in the short term, given that the stock market slumped following government bond yield that gave the market a jolt, there’s also a bullish argument to be made.
Last weekend, the US House of Representatives passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Relief Package, which also got a 51-50 approval vote in the senate. Should the legislation become effective, it could be the case that markets will recover. Given the high correlation, this might also play out positively for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market as well.
Nevertheless, the week wasn’t favorable for the market as the primary cryptocurrencies, as well as the majority of large-cap altcoins, remained indecisive and failed to regain the momentum they previously had. Presently, Bitcoin is trading at around $49,000.
Elsewhere, major news took place all over. Binance Smart Chain saw its first major rug pull as Meerkat Finance saw its protocol drained of over $30 million in both Binance Coin and BUSD.
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We saw developments in regard to the BitMEX – CFTC fiasco. In a recent filing, it was revealed that the former CEO of the derivatives exchange, Arthur Hayes, could surrender to US authorities in Hawaii this April.
On the more positive and funny side, Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks announced that they would start accepting Dogecoin as a means of payment for tickets and merchandise. The billionaire celebrity gave the most earth-shattering explanation for the move, saying they did it “because we can.”
It’s certainly interesting to see how the global macroeconomic outlook will pan out in the coming days. Will the markets start to recover, or is there more pain ahead? Only time will tell.
Bitcoin Correlation With S&P 500 at 5-Month High: Is This Bearish for BTC? Data reveals that the correlation between the S&P 500 and Bitcoin’s price has hit a 5-month high. This was clearly confirmed over the past week as the cryptocurrency is following the traditional stock market very closely.
US House Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Package, $1,400 Direct Check Provisions Included. The US House of Representatives has passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill the past weekend. The Senate also voted 51-50 to proceed with the regulation. If successful, this will see another financial injection into the US economy.
First Major Rug Pull on Binance Smart Chain? Over $30 Million Drained. Meerkat Finance might have been the very first major rug pull on the novel Binance Smart Chain. The protocol saw over $30 million drained from it in what appears to be a rug pull. The community was taken ablaze as many people lost a lot of money.
Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Could Surrender in Hawaii in April. The former CEO of BitMEX and one of the most influential figures in the cryptocurrency industry, Arthur Hayes, could surrender to US authorities in April in Hawai. This became clear after new court documents were filed.
Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks to Accept Dogecoin Payments. The Dallas Mavericks – an NBA team owned by famous billionaire and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, will be accepting Dogecoin payments for tickets and merchandise. This became clear after a recent announcement where Cuban gave an astonishing reason for the move – “Because we can!.”
Tim Draper Handpicks Netflix as the Next Company to Purchase Bitcoin. According to one of the most popular venture capitalists in the cryptocurrency field, Tim Draper, the next major company to buy Bitcoin might be the streaming giant Netflix. He believes that the company’s co-CEO is the guy in control, and he thinks he’s an “innovative guy.”
This week we have a chart analysis of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Polkadot, and Cardano – click here for the full price analysis.
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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.
Does Bitcoin meet the definition of a Ponzi scheme? This is the subject of the latest Cointelegraph Crypto Duel, where Bitcoin strategist at Kraken meets professor of computer science at the University of Campinas, Jorge Stolfi.
Similar to other Bitcoin skeptics, Stolfi repeatedly defined Bitcoin as a Ponzi scheme. The core of his argument is that Bitcoin doesn’t produce any cash flows and the money with which Bitcoin investors are paid comes exclusively from new investors buying Bitcoin.
“Every time you invest in Bitcoin, the money that you invest goes to the previous investors or to the miners and disappears”, Stolfi said.
Responding to Stolfi’s argument, Rochard pointed out that Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer cash system and, like other forms of money, it is not supposed to produce a cash flow.
“It’s just a general property of money because it is cash. So it doesn’t have cash flows and that doesn’t make it a Ponzi scheme.”, Rochard said.
Rochard also pointed out that Bitcoin is different from Ponzi schemes in that it does not guarantee fixed returns, and is well known to be a highly risky asset.
“Bitcoin’s promoters repeatedly emphasize that there is a risk of loss and that if we look at the empirical data, this risk has repeatedly been realized”, said Rochard. “That’s not how Ponzi schemes work”, he added.
Stolfi, however, is convinced that effective Ponzi schemes do not promise return since that would be “a dead giveaway.” “The S.E.C. would come knocking at your door the next day”, he argued.
As an example, the computer scientist mentioned the notorious Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which defrauded thousands of investors for $65 billion. “He didn’t promise anything. […] The reason why people invested in it is that he was paying everybody who wanted to cash out”.
Pick your side and watch the full debate on Cointelegraph’s Youtube channel!