Interlay launches Bitcoin-backed stablecoin iBTC on Polkadot network Samuel Wan · 1 hour ago · 2 min read
The new stablecoin — interBitcoin — is a wrapped product that will bring Bitcoin’s trust and security to more technologically innovative chains.
2 min read
Updated: August 15, 2022 at 2:41 pm
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
Interlay has launched a wrapped Bitcoin asset called interBitcoin (iBTC) on the Polkadot chain. The product intends to widen BTC use “for DeFi, cross-chain transfers, NFTs, and more.”
iBTC is already Acala and Moonbeam compatible. But developers have put up $1 million of funding to extend the project to other chains. Plans are in place to launch on Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, and Avalanche soon.
“iBTC is a Bitcoin-backed stablecoin, maintained by a decentralized network of collateralized Vaults and redeemable 1:1 for BTC.”
How does iBTC work?
Interlay’s mission is to realize “the true nature of BTC” by extending its use to any blockchain.
“interBTC realizes the true free nature of BTC and decentralized finance. A 1:1 Bitcoin-backed asset, fully collateralized, interoperable, and censorship-resistant.”
Underpinning this is a network of decentralized vaults, which the company has stated is open for anyone to run and operate their own vault. Users lock their Bitcoin collateral with a vault, which then mints and issues iBTC to the user.
Interplay said iBTC is 1:1-backed and redeemable with Bitcoin. Moreover, the locked BTC is insured and reimbursed in the event of vault failure.
Interlay co-founder and CEO Dr. Alexei Zamyatin said iBTC brings Bitcoin’s trust and security to more technologically innovative chains. In effect, combining the best of both worlds while protecting Bitcoin’s trustless nature.
“Bitcoin is the driving force behind global crypto adoption, while Polkadot, Ethereum & co. is where technological innovation is happening.”
The project said iBTC is different from other cross-chain bridges in that users need only trust Bitcoin and Polkadot. What’s more, “there is no single point of failure,” and there is an automatic reimbursement process for lost BTC from the collateral insurance.
Cross-chain bridges under fire
Several high-profile hacks, including the Nomad hack, which was drained for $190 million, and the Ronin hack, where attackers netted $615 million, have put cross-chain bridges firmly in the spotlight.
A recent report from data analytics platform Chainalysis estimated that $2 billion was lost to cross-chain bridge hacks so far this year. What’s more, this type of cybercrime now accounts for 69% of all stolen crypto funds.
Chainalysis researchers said the issue has become so prevalent it now poses “a significant threat” to public trust in blockchain technology.
To combat the problem, Chainalysis called for more rigorous code audits and the use of established smart contract code to serve as a template for new projects.
TON Network launches Telegram wallet bot for P2P crypto trading
TON Network launches Telegram wallet bot for P2P crypto trading Anthony Clarke · 5 hours ago · 2 min read
Independent developers within the TON community built a wallet and peer-to-peer crypto trading bot within the Telegram app.
2 min read
Updated: October 5, 2022 at 1:53 am
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
Telegram users can now buy and sell cryptocurrency within the app due to a new update for the @wallet bot. In April, the TON (short for “The Open Network”) cryptocurrency gained its own @wallet bot on Telegram’s open WebApps platform, allowing users to buy, sell, and trade Toncoin (TON) without leaving the chat application.
A team of independent TON developers working has released a full-fledged cryptocurrency wallet inside the chat app. With this new addition, users can conduct cryptocurrency transactions directly with one another, with the service functioning as a third-party guarantor.
Instead of sending crypto to another address, users only need the Telegram handle of the recipient to transfer Toncoin. The @wallet bot functions similarly to a banking app, enabling users to buy Toncoin using their credit or debit cards within Telegram. Users will also be able to buy and sell Toncoin using fiat currencies such as Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH), Belarusian Rubel BYN, and Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT).
The Open Network (TON) was developed in 2018 by Parel Durov and Nikolai Durov, the founders of the Telegram messaging app. Eventually, the project’s creators turned it over to the TON community, and since then, the group has been responsible for expanding and improving it. Later, a group of non-commercial backers came together to create the TON Foundation, whose role was to supervise the development of the TON Blockchain.
The TON development community built the @wallet bot to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions inside the confines of Telegram. Since its introduction, there has been a significant increase in the use of the @wallet, with over a million wallets created and a $5 million quarterly revenue run.
The @wallet team spoke on the development of the Telegram trading bot, telling CryptoSlate:
“The launch of the P2P market is another step towards our main goal of creating a full-fledged crypto wallet integrated into Telegram via a bot.”
The developers’ aim was to build a cryptocurrency wallet that is user-friendly and simple to use for everyday people. The @wallet team told CryptoSlate, “We’re creating a product that would be as convenient as possible for those just getting started with cryptocurrencies, so we pay a lot of attention to crafting an intuitive interface.” continuing:
“We believe that by taking this approach, we will be able to build a large audience and that @wallet will become the most popular crypto wallet among Telegram users.”
Research: Grayscale’s GBTC drops to all-time low of $12.5K; conversion to spot ETF could trigger rebound
Research: Grayscale’s GBTC drops to all-time low of $12.5K; conversion to spot ETF could trigger rebound Christian Nwobodo · 2 hours ago · 2 min read
Prior to Feb. 2021, GBTC was trading at a premium of up to 20%. As of Sept. 30, the share price has slipped into the discount area with its current price of $12,508 (priced with a -36.2% discount).
2 min read
Updated: October 4, 2022 at 5:37 pm
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
Grayscale’s bitcoin trust (GBTC) which started trading at a discount in Feb. 2021 has reached an all-time low of -36% when compared to the spot BTC price of $19,000.
Grayscale launched the first bitcoin trust in 2013, to provide institutional investors exposure to BTC through traditional instruments.
As of date, assets under management in the bitcoin trust are approximately $12.3 billion. Grayscale holds 635,240 BTC representing 3.3% of BTC’s circulating supply, with each BTC per share worth 0.00091748‡.
Prior to Feb. 2021, GBTC was trading at a premium of up to 20%. However, the share price has slipped into the discount area with its current price of $12,508 (priced with a -36.2% discount), as of Sept. 30. 2022.
At the current 36.25% discount, institutional investors’ interest in GBTC remains at an all-time low. Delphi Digital Analyst Andrew Krohn noted that the increasing GBTC discount may suggest a declining interest of institutional investors in bitcoin.
Some suggest that the increasing discount illustrates subsiding institutional interest in Bitcoin, while others point to a wider offering of ETFs or alternative vehicles for BTC investment.
The interest of institutional investors may remain low until $GBTC starts getting closer to the net asset value of $BTC.
Will a spot ETF approval trigger the next bull run?
GBTC shares accrue a 2% fee annually and are subject to a six-month lock-up. If prices fall within the lock-up period, investors can not exit their position to cut the losses.
In recent times, cheaper bitcoin ETF options have been launched across Canada, Europe, and the US. Management fees for ETFs are relatively cheaper and investors can enter and exit their position at will.
Grayscale moved to have its trust fund converted to ETF, but the SEC rejected the application. The firm has refilled its application for further consideration.
According to Krohn, the GBTC discount trend may reverse as soon as the fund is converted into an ETF.
“If the SEC approves Grayscale’s request to turn the fund into an ETF, the discount could be erased rather quickly.”
With bitcoin increasingly reclaiming its reputation as digital gold, a spot ETF approval could imitate a similar trend as the first gold ETF.
The launch of the first Gold ETF “Gold Bullion Securities” in 2003, saw the price of Gold soar significantly over the years and now trades above $1709, up by 368%, since the first Gold ETF launch.
Expectedly, a spot bitcoin ETF approval will attract more institutional and retail investors, leading to increased demand and price for BTC, which could usher the crypto market into the next bull run.
ARK Invest’s crypto strategies to offer top 20 crypto assets to wealth managers
ARK Invest’s crypto strategies to offer top 20 crypto assets to wealth managers Christian Nwobodo · 2 hours ago · 2 min read
ARK Invest has partnered with Eaglebrook to provide wealthy investors exposure to top 20 crypto assets through separately managed accounts.
2 min read
Updated: October 3, 2022 at 9:30 pm
Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate
Cathie Wood-led ARK Invest has inked a partnership with Eaglebrook Advisors to offer the ARK Cryptocurrency and ARK Cryptoasset strategies available as a separately managed account (SMA) for financial advisors and wealth managers.
Since 2015, ARK Invest has been involved in crypto equity and security investments. Through the ARK Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), the investment adviser has provided investors exposure to crypto assets investments.
Eaglebrook offers separately management accounts (SMAs) for wealth managers and advisors to gain direct exposure to digital assets on behalf of their clients.
ARK CEO Cathie Wood said that the partnership with Eaglebrook will introduce a new asset class to the wealth management industry.
She added that::
“The strategies will be separately managed accounts (SMAs) designed to meet the needs of financial advisors, wealth managers, and their clients by offering direct ownership, low minimums, and portfolio reporting integration amongst other benefits.”
ARK Crypto Strategies coming to Wealth Managers
ARK Crypto Strategies are designed to leverage blockchain’s promise to bring revolution across money, finance, and the internet.
The ARK Cryptocurrency Strategy is a high conviction portfolio that invests primarily in bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The strategy seeks to capitalize on the monetary revolution as the two flagship assets are expected to be uncorrelated to other asset classes or traditional systems in the long term.
On the other hand, the ARK Cryptoasset Strategy will invest only in the top 10-20 coins, which ARK has identified as having the potential to drive the financial and internet revolutions. The assets will be selected across smart contract networks, decentralized finance, web3, and infrastructure and scaling solutions.
Despite the global crypto market shedding over $2 trillion since its peak in Nov. 2021, ARK Invest Cryptoasset Analyst Yassine Elmandjra believes the time is right for investors to enter the market leveraging ARK’s Crypto Strategies.
“We’re thrilled to be offering actively managed crypto strategies to advisors during a time when, we believe, much of the speculative behaviors have died down. We believe this presents an attractive entry point for investors.”
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