Cointelegraph By Jordan Finneseth
Bitcoin’s (BTC) recent institutional investor-driven rally has steadily pushed its price to new all-time highs and while investors are intensely focused on BTC’s price action, a number of altcoins have also secured new multi-year highs.
On. Feb. 10, the total crypto market capitalization hit a new high at $1.42 trillion less than a week after Tesla disclosed that it purchased $1.5 billion worth of BTC.
Despite being the center of attention for the past few months, Bitcoin’s market dominance has actually decreased from 70.2% on Jan. 13 to its current reading at 61.5%. Historical data shows that when Bitcoin dominance falls and its price enters a consolidation phase, altcoins have a tendency to rally higher.
Bitcoin might be taking a breather to gather strength for the next leg up into uncharted territory, but here’s a few of the recent big performers that could soar higher in the short term.
Avalanche (AVAX) price exploded higher in the past 24-hours, increasing by 77% from a price of $27.67 on Feb. 9 to its current price of 50.89.
The current move has been driven by growing investor optimism over the recent launch of an Avalance-Ethereum bridge that allows DeFi users to “pursue yield opportunities with the same assets across these two complementary ecosystems.”
In the 24-hours following the launch of the bridge, $6.5 million worth of assets were moved from Ethereum to Avalanche according to the community-based DEX Pangolin, which operates on the Avalanche network. This figure has continued to increase and now stands at $48.2 million.
With fees on the Ethereum network showing no sign of decreasing until Eth2 becomes more established, AVAX and its Pangolin exchange are aiming to pull liquidity from Ethereum-based DEXs in order to increase its user base.
VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for AVAX on February 5th, prior to the recent price rise. The VORTECS™ score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historic and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.
MATIC is another layer-2-based blockchain that aims to draw new users and DeFi protocols looking for an alternative to the Etheruem network.
Since Feb. 4 MATIC price increased from $0.04 to $0.1248 following the project’s rebranding to Polygon on Feb 9. According to the team, Polygon aspires to become the “Polkadot of Ethereum”.
The rebrand comes as Ethereum challengers like Polkadot begin to rise in prominence and threaten to eat away at the top altcoin’s market share. The new Polygon platform is being sold as a layer-two aggregator that supports various Ethereum scalability solutions, including Optimistic Rollups, ZkRollups and StarkWare’s Validium.
While the project offers a similar solution to what Polkadot (DOT), Cosmos (ATOM) and Avalance offer, its Ethereum-centric architecture allows it to benefit from the established network effect and security offered on the Ethereum blockchain.
Celo (CELO) experienced a price spike of 50.26% on Feb.10, increasing from $3.54 to its current value of $5.22, following a “zkSNARK ceremony” that took place on Feb. 8.
Originally a fork of the Go-Ethereum codebase, Celo has since implemented a pBFT-based PoS consensus protocol which allows the protocol to process and achieve consensus on blocks extremely quickly. This allows for high transactions per second (TPS) while maintaining a secure, decentralized network of validators.
With a mobile-focused platform that is designed to increase cryptocurrency adoption among smartphone users, Celo is now benefiting from being Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible as high gas fees plague the Ethereum network and push users to look for viable alternatives.
Rakuten’s customers can now use Bitcoin for shopping
Cointelegraph By Marie Huillet
Crypto-friendly Japanese retailer Rakuten is now enabling users of Rakuten Wallet, its crypto exchange subsidiary, to easily spend their cryptocurrency holdings in everyday transactions.
According to an announcement published on Feb. 24, users are now able to load up their Rakuten Pay accounts seamlessly with their wallet holdings of Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ether (ETH). Rakuten Pay is a mobile payment app that is operative nationwide and supported at a wide range of large and medium-scale retailers.
Back in 2019, Rakuten had already enabled consumers to convert their Rakuten Group loyalty points to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Now, a deeper integration is being implemented, tying together Rakuten Wallet, Rakuten Cash (Rakuten’s e-money service) and Rakuten Pay together to support cryptocurrency spending at retailers such as McDonald’s, Seiyu and FamilyMart.
There will be no conversion fees between fiat, e-money and crypto holdings, although there is a minimum spend amount of 1,000 yen (roughly $9.40) and a monthly upper limit of around 100,000 yen (roughly $940).
To make use of the integration, users will need to be a Rakuten member and have a trading account set up for Rakuten Wallet. The company is also offering a small bonus of Rakuten points to incentivize the new service.
Inverse Finance seizes tokens, ships code: Launches stablecoin lending protocol
Cointelegraph By Andrew Thurman
Shortly after culling its community of inactive members, one of decentralized finance’s (DeFi) strangest experiments is launching a new stablecoin lending product.
On Wednesday Inverse Finance revealed the Anchor Protocol, a money market built around DOLA, a protocol-native synthetic stablecoin. Based on “a modified fork of Compound,” in a blog post Inverse Finance founder Nour Haridy compares Anchor to Synthetix, which issues credit in the form of synthetic assets back by overleveraged collateral, and Compound, which issues credit in the form of crypto asset loans also backed by overleveraged collateral.
Ultimately, Haridy sees these models as providing the same utility.
“Lending and synthetic protocols both offer the same service: credit. Anchor brings the gap between them by combining them into a unified borrowing protocol.”
Anchor aims to accomplish this with a unique architecture that always treats the DOLA token as “$1 collateral that can be used to borrow other assets regardless of DOLA’s market conditions or peg.” Users deposit collateral, mint DOLA, and then can use DOLA to take out loans in other crypto assets or simply earn yield on DOLA.
Introducing Anchor & DOLA: Capital efficient lending, borrowing and synthetic assets (and much more)
Brought to you by Inverse DAOhttps://t.co/pOOkp8ECsR
Summary thread below ⬇️
— Inverse.Finance (@InverseFinance) February 25, 2021
“For over-collateralized borrowers and leveraged traders, we offer them a one stop shop where they can share their collaterals across their synthetic and token borrowing positions, allowing higher capital efficiency and higher leverage,” says Haridy.
Haridy envisions Anchor will use DOLA for protocol-to-protocol lending similar to Cream’s Iron Bank, for undercollateralized lending (long a prize in DeFi), and for the protocol to “lend itself” credit to pursue yield farming opportunities.
No dead weight
Perhaps more interesting than Inverse’s development at the protocol layer are the moves they made earlier in the week at the governance layer.
In what may be a DeFi governance first, On Saturday Feb. 20, Inverse community members put forth two governance proposals to seize INV — Inverse’s currently non-transferrable governance token — from inactive community members. On Thursday Feb. 25, the proposals passed, and not everyone was happy with the result.
— Knockerton (@knockerton) February 24, 2021
Haridy says that the timing was intentional — right as Anchor, a protocol that might generate revenue for the DAO, prepares to launch, the community sheds freeloaders.
“We needed to weed out our dead weight to reclaim some tokens for re-distribution to new active members soon. We also created an INV grants committee with the power to reward contributors and add new members to the DAO. Additionally, when free riders are removed, active members become more incentivized to contribute because they get a larger piece of the pie.”
While the unprecedented move may seem harsh, it’s also simply applying to governance the kind of aggressive style that put Inverse Finance on the map in the first place. By forcing token holders to participate under the threat of seized tokens, it’s helped with the development of Anchor as well.
“This is a collaborative effort among many DAO members starting from ideation to development to internal reviews and testing,” says Haridy.
The next step for Inverse will be getting Anchor off the ground, and preparing for a world in which INV becomes tradable. Haridy says there’s a growing consensus in the community for tradability. This would mean that the DAO would give up the power to seize tokens, which could alter Inverse’s community landscape.
Haridy, however, seems unfazed by the looming shifts, already preparing the next innovation.
“This will significantly change the existing incentives and may reduce participation. Fortunately, there’s some work on a new alternative governance model that’s been happening internally to address this problem.”
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