Visa Acquires Ripple Partner CurrencyCloud for $925 Million

Visa – the leading payment processing company – has completed the acquisition of CurrencyCloud for a whopping 700 million British pounds, worth around $925 million.

  • In a press release from December 20th, the payment processing mogul Visa announced that it had completed the acquisition of CurrencyCloud.
  • The latter is a platform that allows banks and fintech companies to provide foreign exchange solutions for cross-border payments.
  • The acquisition is worth 700 million British pounds or about $925 million, according to the deal that was signed back in July this year.
  • CurrencyCloud also confirmed the news through their Twitter account:

  • It’s also worth noting that CurrencyCloud partnered up with Ripple back in July 2020.
  • The focus of this partnership is to process cross-border payments on RippleNet.


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Uniswap Deploys on Polygon

Key Takeaways

  • The popular decentralized exchange Uniswap has been deployed on Polygon, a Layer 2 network for Ethereum.
  • The proposal passed with over 99% of the vote, and $2.4 million has already been locked in Uniswap’s Polygon deployment.
  • Polygon’s MATIC token hit an all-time high of $2.66 today.

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Uniswap, one of Ethereum’s largest decentralized exchanges, has been deployed on the Layer 2 network Polygon.

Uniswap Now On Polygon

Uniswap, one of the largest decentralized exchanges on Ethereum, has launched on Polygon.

Polygon founder Mihailo Bjelic noted today that Polygon has the “second strongest DeFi ecosystem” after Ethereum itself. “Polygon has been exponentially growing by pretty much all important metrics,” he observed, adding that Polygon boasts 126 million users, 1.22 billion transactions, and $5.2 billion in locked value.

In his original Uniswap proposal, Bjelic also said that Polygon is “aligned with Ethereum and its values” and “battle-tested.” He noted benefits including possible savings for users and said that Polygon can help “return to the original DeFi vision.”

Bjelic also said that Uniswap may incentivize adoption and will commit up to $20 million toward that end. That amount includes $15 million specifically for liquidity mining rewards.

Uniswap holders voted to pass the proposal on Dec. 18 with 99.3% support. 72 million votes were in favor of the proposal, while about 500,000 votes were opposed to the proposal.

Ethereum Dominates Uniswap Deposits

Ethereum has historically been plagued by high fees and long transaction times. Though Ethereum 2.0 aims to solve those issues in the future, Polygon, as a Layer 2 network, can offload some of those transactions in the meantime.

Despite its issues, Ethereum nevertheless dominates Uniswap deposits and accounts for $4.3 billion in locked value. Other Layer 2 networks on which Uniswap has been deployed have attracted significantly less—Arbitrum and Optimism have only brought in $62.3 million and $36.9 million in locked funds, respectively.

Uniswap’s Polygon version currently has attracted just a fraction of those amounts, with $2.9 million locked. It seems likely that this amount will grow in the coming days and weeks.

Polygon Gains Popularity

Today’s news arrives just as web browser firm Opera announced that it will support decentralized applications on Polygon.

It also comes days after Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s VC firm announced a $200 million fund for social media and Web3 development, which will be offered in conjunction with Polygon.

Polygon’s MATIC token is currently the 14th largest cryptocurrency, boasting an $18 billion market cap. News of the Polygon launch correlated with MATIC prices reaching an all-time high today of $2.66.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies. 

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By The Numbers: How Ethereum 2.0 One-Year Stats Stack Up

Ethereum 2.0 has been long in the making ever since the Beacon Chain went into operation in 2020. Since then, there have been numerous upgrades made to prepare the network for the final proof of stake move. Most recently of this has been the Kintsugi testnet that allows users of the blockchain to get a glimpse of what is to come when “The Merge” finally happens.

It has been a year since the move to ETH 2.0 was set into motion and there have been some notable happenings since then. In this article, we’re going to look at the year in review and all that has happened with the network since then.

Related Reading | Ethereum Exchange Withdrawals Reaches One-Year Low. Why This Matters

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Over 7% Of ETH Supply Staked

Staking on the Ethereum network has ramped up since the move to proof of stake was announced. Instead of requiring miners to compete and verify blocks like in proof of work, the network now requires validators who need 32 ETH to run a node. Each validator gets rewarded for helping confirm transactions in the network and making it safer to use.

The number of ETH staked on the network had quickly reached 5% of the total supply less than a year after the Beacon Chain was launched. December marks a complete year after the launch and there are now over 8.6 million ETH staked on the network worth a total of $33.5 billion. The number of validators has also grown to over 271,000 in this time.

Chart showing staked Ethereum

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7.33% of ETH supply staked | Source: Arcane Research

There is now a total of 7.33% of the total supply of ETH staked on the Ethereum network and this number is expected to grow in the coming months as it moves closer to the merge. After the merge is completed, APY is expected to increase due to unburnt fee revenue and MEV which will now go to stakers instead of miners in the new proof of stake mechanism.

Ethereum Moving Towards The Merge

The race towards complete merge with Ethereum 2.0 is still on but there has been some infrastructure put in place to ensure that the network gets there. One of those is the multi-operator validator network, Lido, built by the Obol Network. This allows for liquid staking tokens on the ethereum network.

Related Reading | Bitcoin Leads As Markets Sees Record Outflows. Bear Market Incoming?

Rocket Pool is also another decentralized staking service that went live on the main net. These two have been part of helping the network push towards 2.0 while making it easier for users to stake their tokens.

On Monday, the Kintsugi testnet was released. It is the first public testnet of significance that was released on ethereum and will precede some other testnets to come, that show how the network will work after the merge.

Ethereum price chart from

ETH continues downtrend | Source: ETHUSD on
Featured image from BitcoinKE, chart from


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Is Inflation Here To Stay? And Can Bitcoin Help Hedge Against It?

The news cycle is awash with supply chain problems and inflation. What had once been a niche academic concern seems to have reared itself into significant policy effects and narratives. Terms like the “Phillips Curve” and intricate cost curves on shipping have come to the fore as the world economy deals with aggressive monetary policy, unpredictable health policy, and fiscal stimulus paired with lockdowns. Is inflation “transitory” as a result of COVID-19? Or is it here to stay? What role does bitcoin have to play when it comes to inflation?

1- Inflation is more global than the American context it’s often spoken in

The US-based media often only comments on inflation when it comes to an American political context. Seldom does the rest of the world get as much attention. One American inflation might be worth two or three hyperinflations elsewhere when it comes to the media cycle.

And it isn’t just countries that are regularly cited as being profligate spenders or as hyperinflation examples such as Venezuela. Argentina, Lebanon, and Turkey are major economic powers that have been beset by life-altering inflation. This has changed the lives of many people: for example, in Argentina, long-known for its cultural love for fine cuts of beef, has seen residents report they can no longer afford beef.

It’s important to recognize that we talk about inflation, even though it has global impacts, in the anglophone media cycle, the focus on inflation is often on the American context — where it hasn’t had nearly the effect as it has had around the world. Globally, the story of policy elites and central bankers getting the narrative wrong and causing economic suffering among the people is widespread. It is only now that the American narrative is starting to catch up for this generation’s version of that discussion.

The United States has seen inflation rise recently and is a leader in terms of inflation growth between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2021 per Pew Research. However, the world has seen large average raises in 2008 and 2011 in inflation rate: in that time period, the United States (and most developed nations) have seen low inflation numbers, the lowest among half a century from 2009 to 2014.


In the meanwhile, Lebanon has approached famine, and there is lack of access to basics such as essential medicines due to the decimation of the Lebanese pound by inflation. Countries around the world are seeing highs in inflation, leading to political action and protests such as Spanish protests for truckers against prohibitive fuel price increases — inflation is a global problem and as such, requires more of a global perspective — and has layers of context that go beyond an America-only focus.

2- Inflation has been hard to predict academically

The greatest example of stagflation in the United States, a stagnating economy with high unemployment along with punishing inflation, surprised academics as well when it first emerged in the 1970s.

The Phillips Curve, the relationship between employment wages and inflation, was first observed and fleshed out in 1958.

In general terms, economists tend to see unemployment and inflation as a tradeoff: either low inflation and high unemployment or high inflation and low unemployment. Policy prescriptions and the “dual” mandate of the Federal Reserve and most central banks follows from this: ensure the economy is performing towards maximum employment while keeping inflation within a certain stable and low band.

This analysis by the Federal Reserve talks about the different implications of the Phillips Curve when looked at different time horizons, including the trend that in the long term, high inflation seems to in turn “cause” high unemployment.

Academics however disagree on whether the Phillips Curve is dormant with the recent curve down in inflation across the developed world, whether it is dead, or whether it is actually a functional relationship. This leads to a situation where depending on the time frame you look at and the country, you might get an entirely different response.

This generation’s economists, raised in a low-inflation environment and the “need” for fiscal and monetary stimulus are gradually taking over the seats of those who were surprised (and had to reconfigure economics in its entirety) after a sustained period of high inflation and low employment.

In practice, the Federal Reserve and many other central banks, through aggressive monetary stimulus, are acting as if the Phillips Curve is dead or at the very least strongly dormant — it remains to be seen if that’s the case.

3- It’s important to decompose more “temporary” and more permanent causes of inflation

How much of the inflation being caused is because of supply chain issues that will pass away with the adjustment period to what has been incredible economic turmoil? Shipping prices for example have nearly doubled, with ships stuck in ports and shortages of workers to unload a booming line of cargo.

Yet, can we expect this to go down for exactly the “transitory” reasons often cited: that a surge of demand (especially holiday demand) from economies put back to life are driving prices and instability across the supply chain, but in a more “normalized” economy? Don’t count on it though: COVID-19 has shown an incredible ability to morph into new variants — even two years or so later, the default response from policy elites seems to be unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus to pair with a broad slowdown in physical settings, whether culturally or legally mandated (as seen in Canada and Europe).

Yet this level of analysis, which may already take us into the economy medium-term (2025 and beyond) needs to be also complemented by long-term considerations. Certain countries have seen their energy mix change radically — China, for example, became a net importer of aluminum partially after energy mandates made it prohibitive to make aluminum in domestic borders — looking beyond temporary arbitrage, this is structural change to a key manufacturing component.

There is also the idea of higher wages pushing towards higher levels of inflation, which is what the Phillips Curve is constructed around. All things equal, higher wage prices are correlated with higher inflation curves in the medium term.

Most importantly, there is a global increase in money supply: in the United States, for example, M2 money supply (a measure of how much money is in circulation, with physical cash, cash equivalents, and liquid bank deposits accounted for, with the difference in M2 and M1 largely being small-denomination longer-term savings, and savings deposits) has accelerated dramatically due to the policy response to COVID-19.

Over the long-term, a fairly robust association between the growth of money supply and inflation holds. It is this effect that bitcoin is most well-positioned to address and speaks to the longer-term time scale of the Phillips Curve: a world where policy responses that let inflation run hot eventually lead to a currency over-supply that naturally chases after fewer and fewer goods and an economy that is unresponsive to monetary stimulus — leading to stagflation — high unemployment, high inflation, and political unrest.

4- What role does bitcoin play in inflation?

Bitcoin is held up as an anti-inflation hedge. Yet, at a first glance, the research doesn’t seem to back that up. Bitcoin has recently, as a result of institutional investment, become rather pro-cyclical or aligned with broader market movements: if the market goes down, bitcoin tends to go down as well meaning that when news of inflation strikes, it’s not necessarily the case that bitcoin will perform like a pure hedge.

After all, the markets will sink if there is news that there is inflation pending or happening in the United States, as it will probably weigh on the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate, and force a change in the policy interest rate or the posture of America’s central bank. If the policy rate goes up or if there is monetary tightening, then assets will go down in price — including bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s role in hedging against inflation is more subtle than its immediate financial impact and needs to be separated according to different time scales like we decomposed the Phillips Curve.

It is a philosophical, cultural and technological story rather than a financial one. Its principles of being an internationalized currency with no domestic polity and the idea of imposing strong technical constraints on controlling the monetary supply gives it clearer line of sight to the longer-term implications of Phillips Curve research: namely that monetary policy that leads to high inflation rates in the long-term ultimately end up creating the conditions for a terrible economy that will punish savers, low-income wage earners, and anybody who denominates their worth in fiat money.

By calling attention to this, and focusing the attention of many, including retail-type investors, economic analysts and journalists on inflation, and keeping central banks accountable for the transparency they owe their peoples, bitcoin rallies people around understanding what goes into money supply and inflation, a wonkish conversation that technocrats may lean towards hiding through obscurity (as Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman, mastered with “fed-speak”). It also sets the conditions to have a more permanent check on long-term inflationary and money supply growth factors — directly combating a principal source of what may be long-standing and established inflation.


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Uniswap Comes to Polygon, Sending MATIC Token to Record High

In brief

  • Uniswap is one of the most popular decentralized applications on Ethereum.
  • Its users voted to put the protocol on Polygon as well to help reduce transaction costs.

The promise of decentralized finance—blockchain-based tools for lending, borrowing, and trading—has been that it would open up savings and investment to people locked out of the financial system. 

But try telling that to someone making their first trade on decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap, where the fees to tap into the Ethereum network can run past $100.

Uniwap and layer-2 blockchain Polygon want to alleviate that pain. They announced today that Uniswap is available on Polygon, which was built to take some of the strain off the Ethereum network. 

Uniswap is governed by holders of its native UNI token, predominantly composed of the exchange’s users. Last week, they voted overwhelmingly to deploy smart contracts from the v3 version of the protocol onto Polygon. The deployment was finalized today.

“With this deployment, Uniswap as the flagship Ethereum project returns back to the original promise and again offers low fees and open access to everyone,” wrote Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic in an announcement today.

Polygon has been doing the heavy lifting to bring transaction fees down. The protocol sits atop Ethereum but can connect to other blockchains as part of a “multi-chain system.” Beyond interoperability, its design promotes scalability by routing Ethereum transactions through sidechains. Essentially, it’s like relieving the pressure on a dam by carving a river off to the side.

That comes with reduced transaction costs, a big bonus for users of Uniswap, where all buy and sell transactions are made on the blockchain. 

The appeal of decentralized exchanges is that you don’t have to trust an intermediary such as Coinbase or Binance to take custody of assets to facilitate trades. The downside is that you’re on the hook for network transaction fees. According to BitInfoCharts, the average transaction fee on Ethereum hasn’t gone below $20 since early October. 

The deployment has been good news for holders of MATIC, Polygon’s own token, which can be used to place votes on governance issues as well as to pay transaction fees. The price has risen 35% in the last week and nearly 14% in the past day, setting a record high of $2.66 in the process.


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Astra Protocol Raises $9 Million in Private Sale To Bring Decentralized Compliance to the DeFi Ecosystem

December 22, 2021 – Zürich, Switzerland

Astra Protocol is pleased to announce it has secured $9 million through its token raise. In addition, top-tier investment groups and individuals have backed the project, confirming the need for decentralized compliance in the decentralized finance industry.

Things are progressing rapidly for Astra and its globally patented protocol. The initiative focuses on equipping DeFi smart contracts with a fully decentralized compliance layer. That layer offers both know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering capabilities. Moreover, the compliance layer can act as a tool to resolve any real-world compliance issues with the help of various renowned legal firms.

The ongoing growth of decentralized finance has shown a need to adhere to strict rules determined by society. The majority of protocols on the market today do not provide this functionality, yet the change will be inevitable. Without a compliance layer, developers and users may lose control of the ecosystem.

Moreover, the current technology landscape allows for overcoming and resolving any disputes that may arise. Therefore, an on-chain dispute resolution system is crucial, particularly for decentralized finance and the high risks it can present. Astra Protocol offers legal assurance, framework, dispute resolution, and regulatory compliance for lending and borrowing, derivatives, stablecoins, asset management, decentralized insurance, and decentralized exchanges.

The Astra Protocol token raise concluded recently, raising $9 million for the team to keep building and evolving its compliance layer. Notable investors in the project include Republic, DAOMaker, Fundamental Labs, Faculty, Richard Dai, and Wave GP Cardano.

Jonathan Han, Partner at Republic comments,

“We believe Astra’s solution is a key part of the critical movement for DeFi to become mainstream. We are excited to back the Astra team who works diligently to bring the benefits of DeFi to more people and organizations.”

Astra Protocol co-founder Arthur Ali comments,

“We are extremely pleased to announce the closure of our token raise and proud to announce strong backing from the top tier investment groups and individuals such as Republic, DAOMaker, Richard Dai, Fundamental Labs, and institutional backing.

We firmly believe that ASTRA is key to the future of DeFi. It will allow us to unlock the next path of growth in the industry, allowing more compliant practices across multiple countries and ensuring further participation from major traditional institutions. Our globally patented technology will seamlessly allow DeFi to continue its growth whilst promoting greater confidence from regulators without compromising decentralization.”

Astra Protocol has secured further globally recognized partnerships with the world’s leading legal and auditing firms, with further announcements released imminently.

About Astra Protocol

Our mission is to equip all DeFi smart contracts with a fully decentralized compliance layer, including KYC and AML capabilities, to act as a tool to resolve real-world compliance issues using the expertise of trusted legal firms.


Arthur Ali

This content is sponsored and should be regarded as promotional material. Opinions and statements expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of The Daily Hodl. The Daily Hodl is not a subsidiary of or owned by any ICOs, blockchain startups or companies that advertise on our platform. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in any ICOs, blockchain startups or cryptocurrencies. Please be advised that your investments are at your own risk, and any losses you may incur are your responsibility.

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NFT-collateralized loan platform Arcade raises $15M in funding round

Arcade, a platform that allows users to utilize nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as loan collateral, has raised $15 million in a Series A funding round with participation from Pantera Capital.

In a Wednesday announcement, Arcade said Pantera, Castle Island Ventures, Franklin Templeton Blockchain Fund, Golden Tree Asset Management, Eniac Ventures, Protofund, Probably Nothing Capital and Lemniscap in addition to angel investors BlockFi CEO Zac Prince and Quantstamp CEO Richard Ma were behind the investment in an effort to connect NFT-collateralized lending with the decentralized finance space. The platform is also coming out of a private release with $3.3 million in total loan volume secured on a total of $10 million in assets.

Arcade co-founder Gabe Frank said NFTs account for a significant portion of the ever-growing DeFi market, which is currently worth over $250 billion in terms of total value locked. “However, the lack of infrastructure in DeFi prevents NFT holders from achieving liquidity on their holdings despite massive market caps,” he said. 

Arcade’s LinkedIn page shows at least 10 U.S.-based employees, with the company currently hiring for various roles, including a senior software engineer, lead talent specialist and team coordinator. Lauren Stephanian, principal at Pantera Capital, said the platform’s collateralization of NFTs had the potential to incentivize participation from “institutional lenders, high-net-worth individuals, DAOs, companies with NFTs on their balance sheets and NFT collectors.”

Related: Nexo partners with Three Arrows Capital to launch NFT lending & art financing service

Other platforms have already launched or are in the process of launching services to facilitate loans against NFTs, including ETNA Network and Lithuania-based lending platform Drops. In March, lending protocol Teller Finance announced that some of its users would be able to obtain credit without posting collateral, accessible through special NFTs.