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Secret, Curve and Shiba Inu gains suggest that altseason is coming

SCRT and SHIB surge to new highs, while CRV’s rally breaks a nearly year-long sideways trend.

Calls for an altseason continue to grow louder as the price action in the altcoin market has been on the rise for a few days. Meanwhile, Bitcoin continues to consolidate below its all-time high near the $62,000 support level. 

Oftentimes, moves in altcoins center around one specific sector of tokens such as meme coins or decentralized finance protocols, but the current market is seeing rises across all sectors, which is possibly a sign that altseason is in fact heating up.

Top 7 coins with the highest 24-hour price change. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the biggest gainers over the past 24-hours were Secret (SCRT), Curve (CRV) and Shiba Inu (SHIB).

Secret partners with OpenSea to launch anonymous NFTs

The Secret Network is a blockchain protocol with built-in data privacy for smart contracts and decentralized applications that is powered by its native SCRT token.

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, market conditions for SCRT have been favorable for some time.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. SCRT price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for SCRT began to pick up on Oct. 22 and reached a high of 79 on Oct. 24, around six hours before the price increased 65% over the next two days to set a new record high at $9.66.

The rising price and momentum for SCRT comes following the launch of the first anonymous nonfungibe tokens (NFT) on the Secret Network which was made possible by a recent partnership with the largest NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Curve expands its ecosystem

CRV is the native token of the Curve ecosystem which is a decentralized exchange for stablecoins that uses an automated market maker to manage liquidity on the protocol.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for CRV on Oct. 25, prior to the recent price rise.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. CRV price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for CRV began to pick up on Oct. 25 and climbed to a high of 77 around the same time as the price increased 31.66% over the next day.

The rising price of CRV comes as the protocol continues to establish partnerships and integrations across the cryptocurrency ecosystem on multiple layer-one and layer-two networks.

Related: Shiba Inu risks drop with SHIB's 574% October's price rally near exhaustion

Shiba Inu creates a social club

Shiba Inu originated as a meme coin in late 2020 and has evolved into an ecosystem that includes the ShibaSwap decentralized exchange and its own line of NFT for members of its community to trade.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for SHIB on Oct. 24, prior to the recent price rise.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. SHIB price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for SHIB began to pick up on Oct. 23 and climbed to a high of 89 on Oct. 24, around seven hours before the price increased by 40.7% over the next two days to establish a new all-time high at $0.000049.

The surging price of SHIB comes following the introduction of the Shiboshi Social Club that is exclusively for Shiboshi NFT owners and offers exclusive perks for all members of the community.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.621 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 45%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Law Decoded: Post-ETF policy landscape and Novi fears, Oct. 18–25

The Bitcoin ETF approval has been the biggest, but by no means the only, policy-related story of the last week.

The biggest regulatory story of the week, if not the year, has been the United States Security and Exchange Commission’s lack of opposition to the launch of the first-ever Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds, which took eight long years to materialize. While the first ETFs are tracking CME-traded Bitcoin futures rather than the asset’s spot price, the crypto space is already anticipating a pure-Bitcoin ETF as a logical next step. This bar might prove to be immensely difficult to clear, however, as SEC Chair Gary Gensler seems far less convinced of the stringency of investor protections that such products offer.

Below is the concise version of the latest “Law Decoded” newsletter. For the full breakdown of policy developments over the last week, register for the full newsletter below.

Crypto and the national security game

The U.S. Treasury Department revealed last week that the increasing use of digital assets poses a growing threat to the nation’s sanctions program. Adversaries can now use these alternative financial rails to mitigate the effects of U.S.-imposed sanctions within the dollar-denominated realm. Just a few days later, a high-ranking Treasury official reiterated the department’s heightened focus on targeting crypto infrastructure used by bad actors. The official also made it clear that there is an understanding within the department that most crypto transactions serve perfectly legitimate purposes.

Novi anxiety

It took mere hours for a group of Senate Democrats to get extremely nervous about Facebook’s limited pilot of its digital wallet, Novi, run in partnership with Coinbase and Paxos. The test saw a remittances corridor opening between the U.S. and Guatemala for a small number of users, whereby they could send and receive Pax Dollar (USDP), a dollar-backed stablecoin.

A group of five senators, including vocal crypto critic Elizabeth Warren and Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, responded with a letter condemning Facebook’s “revived effort to launch a cryptocurrency and digital wallet,” citing numerous scandals surrounding the company as a justification for why it cannot be trusted to come anywhere near launching private money.

The thunder from down under

Big news from Australia captured the crypto crowd’s attention as an Australian Senate committee tasked with devising measures to make the nation a leading technology and financial center rolled out a far-reaching report on the state and prospects of crypto regulation. The report, which was met favorably by the industry, could lay the groundwork for Australia to join the ranks of the world’s more crypto-friendly jurisdictions.

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How to use stablecoins to earn a higher APY

Platforms are offering investors several opportunities to earn from stablecoins, some of which extend far beyond cryptocurrency lending.

Matrixport

Many are quick to flock to stablecoins for their ability to de-risk cryptocurrency positions. A stablecoin can be pegged to any perceivably stable asset, for instance, a digital asset like Bitcoin (BTC) or a fiat currency like the US dollar. In theory, if a digital asset was pegged to the US dollar, $100 worth of the digital currency should mean $100 in the backed asset is held in a secure reserve like a bank account. Stablecoins are broad in utility; their uses include moving tokens between exchanges and protocols securely, lending out tokens or making payments. For this reason, they have also quickly become an entry point into the cryptocurrency world for first-time users.

Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) or other cryptocurrency projects, the price of a stablecoin is, well, stable and won’t always provide a significant opportunity to earn. In this case, earning will typically come down to new innovative products entering the market, such as peer-to-peer lending. With peer-to-peer lending, users can leverage a crypto loan platform to lend their stablecoins out. Interest rates, in this case, will often be significantly more than what is earned in a traditional savings account.

Users choose a platform that specifies a high-interest rate, higher than the rate the end-user is paying, the difference being known as the spread. The spread is how a loan platform will pay its lenders. Consider that the process can be likened to storing your assets in a normal bank account. After depositing your funds, traditional banks will invest funds or loan them out to others. With the earnings they collect, they then redistribute a portion to you, either daily, weekly, or monthly.

A happy medium

Some platforms offer a similar user interface to your traditional bank; the only difference is that higher interest rates are often offered. Although this may be riskier than storing your money in a traditional bank, stablecoins are also more attractive as an investment than traditional cryptocurrencies since there is lower chance funds will be pulled out at an amount less than a user started with.

To further illustrate this concept, say you purchased a cryptocurrency intending to earn a 10% interest rate each year on a given platform. This is an attractive rate and is more than you would likely earn with funds sitting in your traditional high-interest savings account. However, the underlying asset also holds a higher risk, suggesting to users that they may end up losing their money if the price dips (and it likely will at some point). Even if a buffer of 10% exists, it is not uncommon for a wild price swing to decrease the price of these assets far below what you were expecting if your timing is off.

More insights on Matrixport here

Stablecoins, on the other hand, almost guarantee that the amount you’ve invested is the same amount you will get back. For example, 850 USDC tokens, each priced at $1, will always result in your 850 tokens worth $1. The prices should theoretically always move in a sideways pattern, as the assets that back them (in this case, the USD) will always be worth $1.

Earning from sideways prices

While crypto lending provides an opportunity for stablecoin holders to earn higher yields, they do little in the way of allowing users to accumulate digital assets like Bitcoin. To address this concern, Matrixport is released a new user-friendly cryptocurrency investment project known as the “BTC-U Range Sniper.”

Matrixport’s new product offers users an annualized yield (APY) from anywhere between 6 and 200%, which can be paid out in USDT, BTC or USDC. The amount is determined by the price of BTC on settlement. At the time of the settlement, if the price is above the given range, a minimum of 6% APY will be paid out to the user in USDC. However, if the settlement falls below the set range, the principal investment will be transferred back to Bitcoin, and the same minimum of 6% APY will be paid to the user. In an ideal scenario, the price will fall within the predetermined raise allowing users to earn up to 200% APY.

When asked about their new offering, John Ge, the co-founder and CEO of Matrixport, summarizes this initiative as, “Stablecoins are an important fiat on-ramp pathway and has been a great entry point for the crypto curious. However, many stablecoin holders now desire to accumulate BTC while earning higher yields. BTC-U Range Sniper is a user-friendly crypto investment product where we empower users to continue to earn attractive stablecoin yields or ride BTC’s innate volatility to accumulate more BTC.”

As a result, USDC holders looking for a suitable time to enter the market will likely benefit from Matrixport’s latest product offering.

Learn more about Matrixport

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you with all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor can this article be considered as investment advice.

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5 Dollar-Pegged Tokens Command 94% of the Swelling $135 Billion Stablecoin Market Cap

5 Dollar-Pegged Tokens Command 94% of the Swelling 5 Billion Stablecoin Market CapDuring the last month, four out of five of the top stablecoins by market capitalization saw their valuations swell in size. At the time of writing, there’s $135.4 billion in stablecoins but the top five collectively represent 94.40% of that total. While the largest stablecoin in terms of market cap increased by 2% over the […]

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Following Bitcoin’s all-time high, DeFi TVL hits a record high above $233B

The total value locked in DeFi protocols soared to $233.8 billion as rising token prices and the increasing integration of stablecoins helped send the metric to a record high.

Bullish sentiment is running high across the cryptocurrency market on Oct. 20 as Bitcoin’s (BTC) surge to a new all-time high at $67,000 thrust the digital asset into uncharted territory and investors are closely watching to see how altcoins and DeFi tokens react to the move.

Crypto Fear & Greed Index. Source: Alternative.me

The DeFi sector has also benefited from BTC's bullish breakout and today the total value locked (TVL) across all DeFi protocols climbed to a new record-high.

According to data from DeFi Llama, which collects data from DeFi protocols across all major blockchain networks, including Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Avalanche (AVAX) and wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), there is now more than $233.88 billion in value locked in protocols across the various blockchain networks. Currently, AAVE leads with $18.79 billion and Curve come in second place with $17.97 billion locked in value. 

Total value locked in DeFi. Source: DeFi Llama

As a result of the surging price of Bitcoin, WBTC is now ranked fourth-ranked in terms of TVL with $14.51 billion in value being deployed across the DeFi landscape.

The biggest gainers in TVL over the past seven days were Trader Joe with a 57.2% increase  and Rari Capital which saw a 50.57% surge. Yield Yak also gained 36.52%. 

Top TVL gainers in the past 7 days. Source: Token Terminal

New users flow into DeFi

In addition to the rising token values, the DeFi ecosystem also saw a sharp increase in new user inflow and data from Dune Analytics shows that 3,591,876 unique wallets have now interacted with at least one DeFi protocol.

Total DeFi users over time. Source: Dune Analytics

Despite the inflow of new users, trading volumes across decentralized exchanges (DEX) have remained below the highs set in May and are currently lower than the activity seen in recent months as well.

Monthly DEX volume. Source: Dune Analytics

One possible explanation for this has been the increased focus on BTC over the past couple of months as speculation about when a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) would pass and whether or not BTC price will surpass $100,000 by the end of 2021 dominated conversations.

Related: Ethereum nears its own all-time high as ETH price retakes $4K

Stablecoin growth hints at future demand for crypto

Another factor contributing to DeFi's growth could be the steady integration and infusion of stablecoins.

There has been an interesting history of increases in the circulating supply of Tether coinciding in large part with run-ups in the price of Bitcoin, and this most recent rally is no exception because on the same day that BTC established a new all-time high, so to did the circulating supply of USDT.

The importance of stablecoins to the overall DeFi economy is also evidenced by the total value locked on Curve, which specifically deals with the creation of stablecoin pools for use across the ecosystem.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.635 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 47.5%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Powerful blockchain lobby group urges Washington not to overregulate stablecoins

The stablecoin market is valued at over $130 billion and growing rapidly, putting federal regulators on high alert over systemic risk.

A high-profile blockchain lobby group is urging United States lawmakers to adopt a “technology-neutral” approach when it comes to stablecoin regulation, arguing that dollar-pegged cryptocurrencies do not pose a system risk to the financial system.

In a 17-page letter addressed to the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, which includes regulators from the Department of Treasury and Federal Reserve, the Chamber of Digital Commerce outlined a six-point plan for future regulatory action involving stablecoins.

According to the group, stablecoin laws should be technology-neutral, regulate in a manner that is proportionate to risk, ensure that the U.S. maintains a competitive advantage in blockchain, recognize stablecoins as digital payment systems as opposed to investments, ensure compliance with existing Anti-Money Laundering guidelines and be underpinned by a flexible, principles-based regime.

On the topic of technology neutrality, the Chamber said stablecoins “should not be subject to a new regulatory regime simply because new technology is being deployed,” adding:

“New regulatory treatment for stablecoins should only be invoked to the extent necessary to mitigate unique risks that are not currently addressed by the regulatory regime or to account for stablecoins’ ability to reduce risk or provide new benefits.”

Established in 2014, the Chamber of Digital Commerce has a vast membership spanning blockchain, traditional finance and the information technology sector. Its executive committee includes Binance.US, Bitpay, BlockFi, Citigroup, BNY Mellon, Circle, BNP Paribas, Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Mastercard, Visa and Microsoft, among others.

Related: US Treasury reportedly in talks for stablecoin regulation

U.S. regulators are trying to tame the rapidly growing stablecoin market, which has a collective value of $130 billion at the time of writing. As Cointelegraph reported, the Biden administration is considering grouping stablecoin issuers in the same category as traditional banks for the purpose of regulation. Last month, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank has no intention to ban crypto, but that stablecoins require more stringent oversight.

As outlined in the letter, the Chamber of Digital Commerce believes that stablecoins are “already well-regulated at the state and federal level.” A regulatory regime that conflates stablecoins with securities risks “imposing an overly rigid” system that “stifles innovation.” The Chamber further explained:

“To protect consumers and reduce costs, we encourage the streamlining of state-level regulatory frameworks for stablecoins and the issuance of special-purpose charters by federal banking regulators for stablecoin companies7 seeking to operate nationally.”

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CFTC Fines Stablecoin Issuer Tether and Crypto Exchange Bitfinex $42.5 Million

CFTC Fines Stablecoin Issuer Tether and Crypto Exchange Bitfinex .5 MillionOn Friday, October 15, 2021, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it had ordered the company Tether Holdings Limited and Ifinex Inc., the parent company of Bitfinex, to pay fines totaling $42.5 million. The CFTC accuses Tether of “making untrue or misleading statements and omissions of material fact in connection with the […]

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Tether fires back against report it is using reserves for investments and making crypto-backed loans

"If those loans fail, even a small percentage of them, one Tether would become worth less than $1," said Bloomberg reporter Zeke Faux.

Tether (USDT), the largest stablecoin issuer by market capitalization, has refuted the details of a Bloomberg story on its reserves holdings.

In a Thursday report, Bloomberg journalist Zeke Faux made numerous claims against Tether, including that its chief financial officer Giancarlo Devasini has used the company’s reserves to make investments, that seem to contradict Tether’s public position that the holdings were fully backed at all times. In addition, Faux alleges that Tether has invested in Chinese firms and issued crypto-backed loans “worth billions of dollars.” According to the report, he was only able to confirm one bank in the Bahamas was working directly with Tether.

“Tether still hasn’t disclosed where it’s keeping its money,” said Faux. “If Devasini is taking enough risk to earn even a 1% return on Tether’s entire reserves, that would give him and his partners a $690 million annual profit. But if those loans fail, even a small percentage of them, one Tether would become worth less than $1.”

Tether called the report a “tired attempt” to undermine the company based on “innuendo and misinformation.” The stablecoin issuer challenged the credibility of Faux’s sources as an attempt “to discredit Giancarlo Devasini and Tether’s executives” and continued to claim its USDT tokens are “fully backed,” citing its quarterly assurance reports.

In February, Tether and Bitfinex agreed to pay New York state $18.5 million in damages and provide extensive reports on its finances as part of a settlement with the New York Attorney General’s Office — the most recent audit was filed with information reported as of June 30. Authorities had claimed Tether misrepresented the degree to which its USDT tokens were backed by fiat collateral.

Related: Stablecoins under scrutiny: USDT stands by ‘commercial paper’ tether

The Bloomberg report comes as many speculate whether China’s second-largest property developer, Evergrande Group, will default on $300 billion in debts. According to Faux, Tether denied holding any debt from Evergrande but would not confirm whether it held commercial paper from other Chinese firms.

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3 reasons why Terra (LUNA) price hit a new all-time high

The successful launch of the long-awaited Columbus-5 upgrade is just one of the factors in LUNA’s ascension to a new record high.

Protocol upgrades are one of the biggest drivers of momentum because they show developers' dedication to fixing bugs, incorporating user requests and adding new features that make the protocol competitive and shore up the token's value.

One project that has seen its token price rally to a new all-time high following the launch of a highly anticipated upgrade is Terra (LUNA), a blockchain protocol that uses fiat-pegged stablecoins like TerrUSD (UST) to create a global payments system.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that after hitting a low of $23.81 on Sept. 21, the price of LUNA surged 108% to establish a new record high at $49.55 on Oct. 4 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked to $2.5 billion.

LUNA/USDT 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

Three reasons for the price breakout in LUNA include the launch of its Columbus-5 upgrade which introduced a LUNA burning mechanism, the protocol’s adoption of the IBC standard which opens Terra to the Cosmos ecosystem and an increase in DeFi applications and total value locked on the protocol. 

Columbus-5 arrives

Columbus-5 launched on Sept. 30 and according to Terra developers and independent analysts, the upgrade is the most significant development to happen to the protocol to date.

One of the notable changes to come along with the upgrade was a modification to the project’s tokenomic model which leads to all LUNA used to mint UST being burned, instead of going into the community pool.

According to data from Terra, there were $832 million worth of LUNA burned in the genesis block of Columbus-5.

This change has introduced deflationary pressure to the LUNA supply and it could help boost its price in the long term as demand for UST grows.

Inter-Blockchain Communication standard

A second reason for the boost in LUNA's momentum was its integration with the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) standard which allows the Terra network to communicate and interact with protocols in the Cosmos ecosystem.

This integration opens up Terra and its UST stablecoin to more widespread adoption throughout the Cosmos ecosystem and make it the stablecoin of choice for applications and chains in the network.

With a larger pool of projects now having access to UST, this could lead to a further deflation in the supply of LUNA becaus more will need to be burned in the process of minting new UST.

Related: Evolve or die: How smart contracts are shifting the crypto sector’s balance of power

The total value locked in the Terra ecosystem is surging

A third reason for the bullish price moves in LUNA has been the network's growing ecosystem of decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols that have helped push the total value locked on the protocol to a new all-time high.

According to data from Defi Llama, the total value of assets locked on the Terra network reached a record $10.07 billion on Oct. 4 right as LUNA price was breaking out to a new record high.

Total value locked on Terra. Source: Defi Llama

Currently, Terra's TVL is above $10 billion and the top-ranked platform in terms of TVL is Ancor Protocol (ANC) with $3.86 billion. ANC is the main avenue for minting UST by pledging LUNA or Ether (ETH) as collateral.

Other notable DeFi protocols on the network include Lido (LDO), which has a TVL of $3 billion, Mirror (MIR) with a TVL of $1.38 billion and Terraswap which has a $1.32 billion TVL.

VORTECS™ data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro began to detect a bullish outlook for LUNA on Sept. 26, prior to the recent price rise.

The VORTECS™ Score, exclusive to Cointelegraph, is an algorithmic comparison of historical and current market conditions derived from a combination of data points including market sentiment, trading volume, recent price movements and Twitter activity.

VORTECS™ Score (green) vs. LUNA price. Source: Cointelegraph Markets Pro

As seen in the chart above, the VORTECS™ Score for LUNA began to pick up on Sept. 21 and reached a high of 73 around one hour before the price began to increase 108% over the next two weeks.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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