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Crypto, Blockchain & Bitcoin News

Author: Josh Radnor

Kraken Daily Market Report for November 25 2022

Overview

Daily spot trading volume: $723.9 million, 30 day average spot: $762.3 million.

Total futures notional: $49.9 million.

The top five traded coins were, respectively, Tether (↑0.01%), USD Coin (↑0.01%), Bitcoin (↓0.5%), Ethereum (↓0.5%), and Dai (↓0.0%).

Strong returns from REN Protocol (↑33%), Nodle (↑29%), and KILT (↑15%).

The post Kraken Daily Market Report for November 25 2022 appeared first on Kraken Blog.

Build your crypto portfolio with recurring buys

Keep calm and HODL on… because recurring buys are now available on the Kraken app! This new feature lets you schedule your crypto purchases quickly and easily, which saves you time and can help ease the stress of timing the market. Recurring buys also make…

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Kraken Daily Market Report for November 24 2022

    Overview Daily spot trading volume: $914.9 million, 30 day average spot: $762.3 million. Total futures notional: $55.9 million. The top five traded coins were, respectively, Tether (↑0.03%), USD Coin (↑0.0%), Ethereum (↑1.7%), Bitcoin (↑0.02%), and Dai (↑0.01%). Strong returns from Oxygen (↑60%), Saber…

The post Kraken Daily Market Report for November 24 2022 appeared first on Kraken Blog.

Kraken Daily Market Report for November 26 2022

Overview

Daily spot trading volume: $492.8 million, 30 day average spot: $758.5 million.

Total futures notional: $52.6 million.

The top five traded coins were, respectively, Tether (↑0.0%), USD Coin (↓0.01%), Ethereum (↑0.6%), Bitcoin (↓0.4%), and Solana (↑0.9%).

Strong returns from Oxygen (↑83%), Secret (↑18%), and REN Protocol (↑15%).

The post Kraken Daily Market Report for November 26 2022 appeared first on Kraken Blog.

Productively Paranoid: Here’s how Kraken celebrated Cybersecurity Awareness Month

We at Kraken believe that driving global crypto adoption relies on a solid cybersecurity framework in order to protect our clients’ financial freedom. It’s why our motto is security above everything. It’s also why we commemorate Cybersecurity Awareness Month each October. This year, we celebrated…

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Kraken Daily Market Report for November 27 2022

Overview

Daily spot trading volume: $437.6 million, 30 day average spot: $752.3 million.

Total futures notional: $34.5 million.

The top five traded coins were, respectively, Tether (↑0.01%), USD Coin (↑0.0%), Bitcoin (↓0.19%), Ethereum (↓1.0%), and Dogecoin (↑11%).

Strong returns from pSTAKE (↑33%), Step Finance (↑26%), and Bonfida (↑11%).

The post Kraken Daily Market Report for November 27 2022 appeared first on Kraken Blog.

What is Proof of Reserves? A Beginner’s Guide

In light of recent events in the crypto industry, it’s becoming increasingly important for Kraken clients and industry participants to understand the significance of Proof of Reserves (PoR) at Kraken.  This technique, one that is only possible in the new world of cryptocurrency, is a…

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Kraken Daily Market Report for November 28 2022

Overview

Daily spot trading volume: $1.14 billion, 30 day average spot: $774.3 million.

Total futures notional: $71.4 million.

The top five traded coins were, respectively, Tether (↑0.01%), USD Coin (↑0.01%), Bitcoin (↓1.3%), Ethereum (↓2.1%), and Dai (↓0.01%).

Strong returns from Oxygen (↑25%), pSTAKE (↑18%), and My Neighbor Alice (↑17%).

The post Kraken Daily Market Report for November 28 2022 appeared first on Kraken Blog.

Blockchain Pilgrimage: Regulating Crypto ‘Should Be Combined With Education’ Says Top Wadzpay Executive

The collapse of Do Kwon’s Terra empire in May, and Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX in early November 2022, will be remembered as two incidents that put the crypto industry on the back foot. It is now widely expected that regulators around the world will use the two incidents to justify the establishment of regulatory regimes that are likely to stifle further innovation. That notwithstanding, one Singapore-based blockchain payments company, Wadzpay, has partnered with Saudi Arabian fintech Geidea to provide financial solutions for pilgrims on their way to Mecca.

Providing a Cutting Edge Payment Experience to Visitors

Faced with the inevitable, some players in the crypto industry assert that tougher regulations are not going to stop cryptos and their underlying technology — the blockchain. They point to how digital currencies have been instrumental in lowering the cost of remitting funds inside and beyond national borders. According to this view, the ease and speed of moving funds across borders is another key attribute that makes digital currencies and the blockchain an indispensable part of modern payment systems.

It is these and other attributes of digital currencies that sustain their appeal even as regulators are looking to pounce, and some crypto companies are looking to find or expand into new markets and niches.

For instance, Wadzpay, a Singapore-based company that runs an interoperable blockchain-based payments ecosystem, has partnered with Saudi Arabian fintech Geidea to provide a “cutting-edge payments experience” for pilgrims traveling to Mecca. Khaled Moharem, president of Wadzpay for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), explained to Bitcoin.com News how his company’s partnership with Geidea enables Hajj pilgrims with e-money wallets to better manage their expenses.

In addition to highlighting the impact of the two firms’ payments solutions, Moharem, a longstanding finance professional, also shared his views on topics ranging from the FTX collapse to regulation of the crypto industry.

Bitcoin.com News (BCN): Recently it was announced that your organization had teamed up with a Saudi Arabia-based fintech, Geidea, to provide future Hajj pilgrims with what was described as a cutting-edge payments experience for the visitors. Can you start by explaining why and how your payment solution makes things easier for Hajj pilgrims?

Khaled Moharem (KM): Thank you, yes, the partnership is to support digital payments for the pilgrims. In line with the Saudi Vision 2030, the partnership is forged in the backdrop of the Saudi government targeting to host 30 million Hajj and Umrah pilgrims by 2030.

The annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca is considered the world’s largest gathering, attracting some 2.5 million pilgrims in 2019 (according to Statista) before the Covid-19 pandemic triggered global lockdowns. According to Mastercard’s latest Global Destination Cities Index, Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims, generated approximately US$20 billion in tourist dollars in 2018.

Currently, pilgrims are faced with high fees when making traditional payments or overseas withdrawals or are needing to carry cash, which is not convenient for long pilgrimages. The combination of Wadzpay and Geidea’s solutions seeks to provide these pilgrims with e-money wallets to enable better expense management with payments supported through the security of the blockchain.

Our solution ensures that pilgrims can load their wallets in their home country and are able to fully enjoy their pilgrimage without having to worry about dealing with fiat. They will save on fees while enjoying a seamless payment experience.

BCN: What prompted you to create a solution that uses blockchain?

KM: Our partner, Geidea has more than one million POS [point-of-sale] terminals throughout Saudi Arabia; we see this as an opportunity for pilgrims to make payments without any currency or network limitations. Blockchain is a secure, distributed ledger that keeps a decentralized record of every transaction; the technology can significantly improve collaboration and simplify processes. Combining the reach of Geidea and the nature of blockchain technology leads to an incredible opportunity.

The pilgrim market is an essential part of the Saudi economy. This move will unlock vast SME business success for merchants across the Kingdom and make the payment experience for the pilgrims faster, safer and trackable. Through the power of blockchain, we are able to also improve the merchant’s bottom line through fast settlement and lower fees.

BCN: What does Wadzpay’s proposal to use blockchain in facilitating payments reveal about the prospects of the technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

KM: Saudi Arabia is trying to accelerate their digital transformation. The Central Bank has looked to blockchain-based transfers, as has the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. The applications of blockchain technology in various important [areas] are limitless: whether logistics, oil, education or public services.

We believe that there are blockchain use cases that have a direct impact on the P&L [profit and loss] and can solve many existing business opportunities in the Kingdom.

BCN: The crypto industry has largely had a bad year — the Terra/Luna and more recently FTX crash — and some believe this affects adoption momentum. Others believe the worst is yet to come and that unless the industry is tightly regulated, more users will fall victim to crypto fraudsters. Do you agree that the industry has not yet seen the worst?

KM: We are very much pro-regulation. Regulations set clear guidelines upon which to operate and help limit fraud.

BCN: Do you agree that more stringent regulations will make crypto much safer for users?

KM: All industries need “bad sheep” on top of regulation, it is essential to have the education to avoid falling victim to various schemes. Regulation should be combined with education (just like in the world of fiat currencies, it’s important to be aware and not put your funds at risk).

BCN: In your view, how can the industry recover from the damaging impact of both Terra’s and now FTX’s collapse?

KM: The year certainly had some negative events (as well as many positive developments). As a company, we ensure that we avoid some of the risks that may prevail in this sector. For example, we utilize asset-backed stablecoins, as opposed to algorithmic coins which Terra/Luna was.

Similarly, to reduce the risk, we ensure that customer funds are held with insured custodians rather than on exchanges. This ensures security and accountability.

At the end of the day, blockchain is a technology while crypto is just one application of it. While pricing could be impacted by volatile digital currencies, we believe this transformative technology and its wide uses will prevail. We always focus on the tech, not the speculation.

What are your thoughts about this interview? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Don’t Forget the Importance of Censorship Resistance

Since people are once again talking about self-custody as one of crypto’s unique strengths, I would like to remind everyone about an equally important fundamental value proposition of crypto that, in the early days, was touted as the killer feature. I’m talking about censorship resistance.

The following opinion editorial was written by Bitcoin.com CEO Dennis Jarvis.

The Three Pillars of Censorship Resistance


In the financial context, censorship resistance is the ability to carry out financial actions despite the wishes of any third party.

In crypto, the three pillars of censorship resistance are:

The freedom to transact. This means third parties cannot prevent you from sending or receiving assets.

The freedom from confiscation. Third parties cannot take away or freeze your assets.

The immutability of transactions. It is impossible for third parties to change or revert transactions after the fact.


Troubling actions increasingly taken by centralized entities in the public and private sector demonstrate the importance of censorship resistance. Let’s look at some examples:

Public Sector Censorship


Governments have shown an increased willingness to exert control of financial institutions while also ratcheting up their crypto regulatory efforts. Earlier in the year, Trudeau’s Canadian government took the unprecedented step of invoking emergency powers to freeze or suspend the bank accounts of Canadian citizens without court orders. Their crime? Donating funds to fellow citizens participating in the Freedom Convoy protests.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s watchdog the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) made headlines this summer by banning and sanctioning addresses that used Tornado Cash, a decentralized application that improved privacy for users by “mixing” ETH.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) increased crypto regulatory actions, best exemplified by this quote from SEC Chairman Gary Gensler who said, “…the SEC will serve as the cop on the beat. As with seat belts in cars, we need to ensure that investor protections come standard in the crypto market.” This isn’t merely empty rhetoric, the SEC nearly doubled the size of the Division of Enforcement’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit in 2022.

Private Sector Censorship


Post-merge, a majority of Ethereum’s blocks are compliant with OFAC. This is a potential problem because OFAC-compliant relays will not include any transactions that interact with the Tornado Cash smart contract or other sanctioned wallet addresses as designated by OFAC. Not all blocks built by OFAC compliant relays are censoring, however, all blocks built by OFAC compliant relays will censor when non-compliant transactions are broadcast to the network. As Martin Köppelmann, the co-founder of Gnosis, noted about the state of OFAC compliant relays, “[t]his means if the censoring validators would now stop attesting to non-censoring blocks they would eventually form the canonical, 100% censoring chain.”

Centralized stablecoin companies Tether (USDT) and Circle (USDC) have a history of cooperating with law enforcement requests to freeze assets. Circle complied with OFAC’s Tornado Cash sanctions by banning “tainted” USDC. So far Tether has decided to not comply, but that can change (and probably will, given sufficient pressure) in the future.

Outside of crypto, Paypal made international news when it released an updated policy that let Paypal fine users $2,500 for spreading ‘misinformation.’ Paypal quickly retracted the policy in public, though much of the language remains. This includes $2,500 fines that have existed since September 2021 for the very vague “promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory…”

While Paypal was almost universally condemned, its actions are consistent with a growing number of web2 companies, such as Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook, who are using their platforms to punish behavior they deem “bad” through levers like demonetization, suspensions, and bans.

Censorship Resistance Is the Antidote


Censorship resistance is one of the main value propositions of decentralized finance in general and Bitcoin specifically because it fundamentally separates the technology from any traditional financial tools. In fact, censorship resistance is so strong in Bitcoin as to render it an economic freedom enhancing technology. This dramatization powerfully demonstrates why:

The silver lining to the concerning increase in authoritarian actions from both the public and private sector is that they are helping refocus attention on censorship resistance.

Bitcoin, once the embodiment of crypto, had become ridiculed as worse than boring — antiquated. It’s nice to see this begin to shift back as people inside and out of crypto reacquaint themselves with its deceptively simple power.

Within the crypto industry, more people are paying attention to the slow creep of web2-like features of speed and cheap transactions that are coming at the cost of censorship resistance. For example, prominent developers like the aforementioned Martin Köppelmann are sounding the alarms that the percentage of OFAC compliant blocks needs to be fixed. It’s also nice to see debates about censorship resistance begin to take up more oxygen within the broader crypto community. I particularly enjoyed Erik Voorhees’ piece on the empowering nature of defi.

This is not to say that all crypto projects need to be censorship resistant; indeed censorship resistance itself exists on a spectrum. Yet it is vital that some crypto projects remain robustly censorship resistant. At Bitcoin.com, we are proud to offer tools like the Bitcoin.com Wallet, that anyone can use to self-custody their Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As an industry, let’s take the events of the last year to remember how important censorship resistance is. Let’s not sacrifice this industry-defining attribute for short sighted gains.

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know in the comments section below.