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February 2009

Coinbase Invests Over $1 Million into DeFi Sites



One of the major reasons behind the rapid development of the cryptocurrency space is the presence of crypto exchanges, and Coinbase is one of the most influential exchanges in the world. On Wednesday, the company further strengthened its bets in the decentralized finance (DeFi) applications space by announcing a fresh round of investments.

Major Investment

Coinbase announced that it has decided to invest a total of $1.1 million in two separate projects through its USDC Bootstrap Fund. This is a major development for the DeFi space and for the crypto space at large. It remains to be seen how the blockchain industry reacts to it.

The USDC Bootstrap Fund was launched by Coinbase in collaboration with Circle in 2019 and is part of the Centre Consortium. The fund is looking to boost development in the DeFi sector and is investing in projects denominated in stablecoins backed by the United States Dollar. The money is donated directly to the DeFi protocols.

However, that is not all. The crypto exchange has already committed as much as $100,000 to the USDC with regards to the daily prize that is awarded by PoolTogether. The first project is Uniswap, which is an Ethereum-powered decentralized exchange that runs without the aid of an actual order book.

The Uniswap exchange has also announced that in the second quarter of 2020, it is going to launch its second version, which will allow users to complete token to token swaps directly. The other project is PoolTogether and is regarded as a ‘lossless lottery’ by those in the industry.

>> Binance Enters South Korea, Gets Approval for OkCoin

The decision to invest in these projects reflects the fact that Coinbase is determined to build a true crypto ecosystem that can thrive in the long-term. To that end, it is making certain investments, and many crypto watchers will be following the company’s next moves quite keenly.

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Telegram to Release TON Blockchain Code on September 1



Telegram will release the code required to run a Telegram Open Network (TON) node on September 1, according to individuals close to the project.

The news was confirmed by two individuals familiar with the project, an investor and an affiliate with TON labs. There has been a high level of secrecy around the project, and some analysts have previously raised concerns regarding the lack of activity from Telegram on advancing its proposed blockchain. Francois Pouliot, a prominent crypto analyst, said, “Is the real use-case of blockchain technology the elaboration of mechanisms to launder money via shady public financing schemes?” However, today’s reports appear to have appeased those fears.

Telegram was the talk of the industry when it raised $1.7 billion USD in 2018 in order to finance the project through two unique initial coin offerings (ICOs). However, these ICOs were highlight secretive, with investors having to sign non-disclosure agreements, and Telegram itself is yet to publicly confirm any details about TON. The purchase agreement stated that “buyers of grams may not offer, pledge, sell, swap, encumber or dispose of their tokens, directly and indirectly,” adding to the mystery surrounding the project.

>> Ethereum (ETH) Slumps to 3-Month Low on Renewed Pessimism

Despite these clauses, a secondary market quickly sprung up for sale of TON tokens even though the cryptocurrency was yet to be made public. This shadow market saw investors make returns as high as 400%, mostly due to the intense interest around the project. Initially sold for $0.37 USD, TON tokens were fetching prices of $2.00 USD in secondary sales. However, another clause in the ICO stated that Telegram must launch TON by October 31 or else refund its investors, so today’s reports are welcome news for all involved.

Telegram is a cloud-based messaging app, similar to WhatsApp in format but with supposedly higher encryption capabilities. The company was founded by self-exiled Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov in 2013.

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IIN Blockchain Expanding | How JPMorgan Wants to Improve Banking



American investment and commercial banking giant JPMorgan Chase is looking forward to expanding the use of its leading blockchain technology, IIN (Interbank Information Network), to make payments in the banking industry easier and better. At the same time, it is also roping in various fintech firms to help with the platform’s functionality.

IIN New Features

JPMorgan is planning to include new features in IIN to minimize transaction errors. IIN already helps in solving compliance issues. It was primarily built to share information on a common ledger. It is being used by 75 major banks around the world, which joined last year.

This new feature has already been included by more than 220 banks on the global level. JPMorgan believes that with the help of this introduction, banks can better perform their international payment businesses due to an increase in the digital transactions by customers on TransferWise, Ripple, and Revolut. John Hunter, the head of JPMorgan’s global clearing, says IIN’s development is working towards expansion now. He also added that though it was introduced with the aim of sorting out sanctions, now they are focusing more on settlement.

Hunter explained that JPMorgan has included a feature that will assure accurate and real-time payments. It will eradicate payment rejection problems caused due to typos of the account number, sort code, and other such issues. He explained that the STP (straight through processing) rates of banks currently work under 80%–90% of capacity, with the rest 5% to 20% lacking thereof. This problem will also be solved by the introduction of IIN.

>> Ripple Startup Launches XRPayments App: Available on iOS and Android

Execution By Q3

According to Hunter, this feature will be in force by third quarter 2019 and will be possible for both payments, within the country as well as outside it. This introduction of the testing environment will provide users with safe messaging, file transfer, and data modeling. Hunter feels it will remove problems like tooling, data, and ecosystem. And with the help of developers, all this can be possible.

Apart from IIN, JPMorgan is also establishing a sandbox that will be used by the fintechs to put applications into use.

Under the current scenario, IIN services are free but will have a fee attached eventually.

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Bitcoin (BTC) Drops Below $5K Despite US Fed Slashing Interest Rates



The outbreak of the coronavirus has had a significant impact on markets, and cryptocurrencies have not been spared either. Over the weekend, the US Federal Reserve was forced to slash interest rates to almost zero, but that didn’t help Bitcoin (BTC), which dropped below $5,000.

Bitcoin (BTC) Drops Below $5,000

The largest crypto by market cap plunged below $5,000 on Tuesday as the European session got underway. After it breached the psychological milestone, it almost came close to dropping past $4,500, having shed 16% in a day. Similarly, other cryptocurrencies also experienced double-digit drops, with XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Ether (ETH) dropping 15%, 16%, and 18%, respectively.

Before the Fed’s announcement over the weekend, BTC price was rallying and had gained 14.33%, hitting a daily high of $5,940. This strong upside movement allowed BTC to break out of the $5,070 to $5,520 range before starting to pull back following the announcement of the stimulus package. The central bank cut interest rates and said that it will buy treasury bonds worth $700 billion to help markets from crashing.

The move aims to combat the ongoing chaos in the markets resulting from the impact of the coronavirus. However, following the announcement, Dow Jones futures fell 1,000 points, which triggered a limit down. This was an indication that as the week began, major indices such as the Dow and S&P 500, could shed the gains accrued last week.

Concerns About Whether Central Banks Can Prevent a Recession

Other central banks, such as that of Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, also announced their stimulus packages to mitigate the potential of a recession. However, these interventions were unable to stop mass sell-off across markets as concerns continue growing about the long-term economic impact of lockdowns in various countries. Investors are not confident that the central banks can prevent the economy from plunging into a recession despite all these interventions.

>> Bitcoin Drops on Economic Damage from the Coronavirus

The movement of BTC has been mirroring traditional markets, thus raising concerns about the safe-haven notion. After surging following the announcement, the coin shortly corrected and dropped significantly.

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