Innovation & Launches
Binance Sets Up Fiat-to-Crypto Payments Provider, Lends to FCA-Regulated Custodian (2 minute read)
Binance set up its own fiat-to-crypto payments provider to help businesses become crypto-ready. Bifinity launched on Monday and supports 50 cryptocurrencies and all major payment methods. Merchants can use Bifinity's APIs to start accepting payments in crypto. Binance has reopened Euro and sterling transactions over the Single Euro Payments Area and UK's Faster Payments Service, except in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Crypto Exchange FTX Sets Up European Unit (1 minute read)
FTX has established a European equivalent licensed in Cyprus. It will offer products and services across the European Economic Area through an investment firm licensed to operate across the region. The European division will be headquartered in Switzerland, with an additional base in Cyprus. FTX was launched in the US in 2020. It now boasts a valuation of $8 billion.
Espresso Systems Raises $32M to Bring Scaling and Privacy to Web 3 (1 minute read)
Espresso Systems is a startup that plans to develop a layer 1 blockchain to deliver fast, low-fee transactions. It will integrate a proof-of-stake consensus protocol with a zero-knowledge rollup mechanism that can bundle multiple transactions efficiently. The blockchain will allow developers and asset issuers to build fast, private, and compliant stablecoins, accessible NFTs, and efficient DeFi applications. It will feature a smart contract application intended to offer customizable privacy. Espresso recently raised $32 million in funding from Greylock Partners, Electric Capital, Sequoia Capital, Blockchain Capital, and Slow Ventures.
Guides & Resources
How Swapping and Staking on Curve Drives High User Engagement (3 minute read)
This article analyzes the high user engagement on the swapping and staking side of the Curve protocol. The analysis shows that investors seek to generate yield on their assets and one of their main strategies is by providing liquidity. Curve's high user involvement is due to its low fees, low slippage, and low impermanent loss. Approximately 72% of addresses provide liquidity to the protocol. As long as the total value locked remains high, the platform will remain attractive to traders.
Why Stablecoin Interest Rates Are So Damn High (5 minute read)
Stablecoins command high interest rates because demand for them constantly exceeds supply. They are useful for liquidity in exchanges and they provide investors with a safe haven when prices are volatile. Stablecoin issuers can only control exchange rates. When money is printed to hold an exchange rate peg, interest rates rise, so stablecoins printing more tokens to keep balance contributes to high interest rates. DeFi protocols lock up a lot of stablecoins, reducing supply, but many are looking to find ways to make collateral liquid.
What Are Blockchain Bridges and How Do They Work? (4 minute read)
Blockchain bridges allow users to port assets from one blockchain to another. Sending a coin through a bridge will result in a wrapped version of the token based on the target blockchain. For example, after sending a Solana coin to an Ethereum wallet, the Ethereum wallet will receive a bridge version of Solana as an ERC-20 token. This article discusses blockchain bridges, the different types of bridges, why they are used, and blockchain bridge security.
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Crypto startup Argent wants to put an end to gas fees with Layer 2 wallet (3 minute read)
Argent, a non-custodial Ethereum smart wallet, is launching a layer 2 solution with zkSync as its scaling implementation. It will offer cheaper and faster transactions compared to Ethereum without any compromise on security. The protocol will send transactions to layer 2 nodes to be processed and batched together. It promises gas fees as low as $1 per transaction. Argent plans to build a financial super app for web3 and DeFi. It has partnered with various DeFi protocols to offer services like trading, staking, buying crypto with fiat, and more.
Coinbase says it’s blocking 25,000 Russia-linked crypto addresses (3 minute read)
Coinbase is blocking 25,000 cryptocurrency addresses linked to Russian people or entities. It claims that Russia could evade its sanctions with crypto so it is complying with new rules imposed due to the invasion of Ukraine. The exchange is required to use blockchain analytics to identify accounts that are indirectly linked to banned users. While crypto wallets can be anonymous, transactions are traceable, public, and permanent, making it possible to crack down on illicit accounts. Some crypto companies have disagreed with the analysis that crypto can be used to bypass sanctions.