Značka: Trading

Tokenized government bonds free up liquidity in traditional financial systems

A handful of government-backed financial institutions have been exploring tokenization use cases to revolutionize traditional financial systems. For instance, El Salvador’s Bitcoin Volcanic bond project has been in the works for over a year and aims to raise $1 billion from investors with tokenized bonds to build a Bitcoin city. The Central Bank of Russia has also expressed interest in tokenized off-chain assets. In addition, the Israeli Ministry of Finance, together with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), recently announced the testing of a blockchain-backed platform for digital bond trading. Cointelegraph Research’s 2021 Security Token Report found that most securities will be tokenized by 2030. While notable, the potential behind tokenized government bonds appears to be massive, as these assets can speed up settlement time while freeing up liquidity within traditional financial systems. Brian Estes, CEO of Off the Chain Capital and a member of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, told Cointelegraph that tokenizing a bond allows for faster settlement, which leads to reduced costs. “The time of ‘capital at risk’ becomes reduced. This capital can then be freed up and used for higher productive use,” he said. Factors such as these have become especially important as inflation levels rise, impacting liquidity levels within traditional financial systems across the globe. Touching on this point, Yael Tamar, CEO and co-founder of SolidBlock — a platform enabling asset-backed tokenization — told Cointelegraph that tokenization increases liquidity by transferring the economic value of a real-world asset to tokens that can be exchanged for cash when liquidity is needed. “Because tokens communicate with financial platforms via a blockchain infrastructure, it becomes easier and cheaper to aggregate them into structured products. As a result, the whole system becomes more efficient,” she said. To put this in perspective, Orly Grinfeld, executive vice president and head of clearing at TASE, told Cointelegraph that TASE is conducting a proof-of-concept with Israel’s Ministry of Finance to demonstrate atomic settlement, or the instant exchange of assets. In order to demonstrate this, Grinfeld explained that TASE is using the VMware Blockchain for the Ethereum network as the foundation for its beta digital exchange platform. She added that TASE will use a payment token backed by the Israeli shekel at a one-to-one ratio to conduct transactions across the blockchain network. Recent: TON Telegram integration highlights synergy of blockchain communityIn addition, she noted that Israel’s Ministry of Finance will issue a real series of Israeli government bonds as tokenized assets. A live test will then be performed during the first quarter of 2023 to demonstrate atomic settlements of tokenized bonds. Grinfeld said:“Everything will look real during TASE’s test with the Israel’s Ministry of Finance. The auction will be performed through Bloomberg’s Bond Auction system and the payment token will be used to settle transactions on the VMware Blockchain for Ethereum network.”If the test goes as planned, Grinfeld expects settlement time for digital bond trading to occur the same day trades are executed. “Transactions made on day T (trade day) will settle on day T instead of T+2 (trade date plus two days), saving the need for collateral,” she said. Such a concept would therefore demonstrate the real-world value add that blockchain technology could bring to traditional financial systems. Tamar further explained that the process of listing bonds and making them available to institutions or the public is very complex and involves many intermediaries. “First the loan instruments need to be created by a financial institution working with the borrower (in this case, the government), which will be processing the loans, receiving the funds, channeling them to the borrower and paying the interest to the lender. The bond processing company is also in charge of accounting and reporting as well as risk management,” she said. Echoing Grinfeld, Tamar noted that settlement time can take days, stating that bonds are structured into large portfolios and then transferred between various banks and institutions as a part of a settlement between them.Given these complexities, Tamar believes that it’s logical to issue tokenized government bonds across a blockchain platform. In fact, findings from a study conducted by the crypto asset management platform Finoa and Cashlink show that tokenized assets, such as government bonds, could result in 35%–65% cost-savings across the entire financial system value chain. From a broader perspective, Perianne Boring, founder and CEO of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, told Cointelegraph that tokenized bonds also highlight how technology-driven innovations in financial instruments can provide investors with alternative financial products. “Generally, such bonds would come with reduced costs and more efficient issuance, and come with a level of transparency and monitoring capabilities that should appeal to investors who want greater control over their assets,” she said. Features such as these were recently demonstrated on Nov. 23, when Singapore’s DBS Bank announced it had used JPMorgan’s blockchain-based trading network Onyx to execute its first tokenized intraday repurchase transaction. Banks use repurchase agreements — also known as repos — for short-term funding by selling securities and agreeing to repurchase them later. Settlement usually takes two days, but tokenizing these assets speeds this process up. A DBS spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the immediate benefits of tokenized bonds or securities result in an improvement in operational efficiency, enabling true delivery vs. payment and streamlined processes with golden copies of records.Challenges may hamper adoption While tokenized bonds have the potential to revolutionize traditional financial systems, a number of challenges may slow adoption. For example, Grinfeld noted that while Israel’s Ministry of Finance has expressed enthusiasm in regards to tokenization, regulations remain a concern. She said: “To create new ways of trading, clearing and settlement using digital assets, a regulatory framework is needed. But regulations are behind market developments, so this must be accelerated.”A lack of regulatory clarity may indeed be the reason why there are still very few regions exploring tokenized government bonds. Varun Paul, director of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and financial market infrastructure at Fireblocks, told Cointelegraph that while many market infrastructure providers are exploring tokenization projects behind the scenes, they are waiting on clear regulations before publicizing their efforts and launching products into the market. Fireblocks is currently working with TASE and Israel’s Ministry of Finance to provide secure e-wallets for the proof of concept, which will enable the participating banks to receive tokenized government bonds. In addition to regulatory challenges, large financial institutions may find it difficult to grasp the technical implications of incorporating a blockchain network. Joshua Lory, senior director of Blockchain To Go Market at VMWare, told Cointelegraph that market education across all ecosystem participants will accelerate the adoption of the technology. Yet, Lory remains optimistic, noting that VMware Blockchain for Ethereum’s beta was announced in August of this year and already has over 140 customers requesting trials. While notable, Estes pointed out that blockchain service providers must also take into account other potential challenges such as back-end programming for brokerage firms to make sure they are equipped to report bonds accurately on their statements. Recent: After FTX: Defi can go mainstream if it overcomes its flawsAll things considered though, Estes believes that the tokenization of multiple assets is the future. “Not only bonds, but stocks, real estate, fine art and other stores of value,” he said. This may very well be the case, as Grinfeld shared that following the proof-of-concept, TASE plans to expand its range of tokenized asset offerings to include things such as CBDCs and stablecoins. “This POC will lead us toward a complete future digital exchange based on blockchain technology, tokenized assets, e-wallets and smart contracts,” she said. Adoption will likely take time, but Paul mentioned that Fireblocks is aware that financial market participants are interested in taking part in replicating TASE’s model in other jurisdictions: “We anticipate that we will see more of these pilots launching in 2023.” 

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Bybit launches $100M support fund for institutional traders

Crypto derivatives exchange Bybit has launched a new support fund to help institutional traders access liquidity in the wake of the FTX collapse — an event that triggered a fresh wave of panic selling across the digital asset space.The support fund, valued at $100 million, is available to market makers and high-frequency trading institutions struggling with financial or operational difficulties following the collapse of FTX earlier this month, Bybit disclosed on Nov. 24. The funds will be distributed to eligible applicants at a 0% interest rate. To be eligible, institutional traders must be active on Bybit or other exchanges. The maximum amount distributed per applicant is $10 million and the funds must be used for spot and Tether (USDT) perpetual trading on Bybit. Once the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 11 after a coordinated bank run exposed the firm for being insolvent. A scandal ensued after it became apparent that CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was comingling funds between FTX and sister firm Alameda Research, which resulted in an $8 billion hole in FTX’s balance sheet. As Cointelegraph reported, FTX’s 50 largest creditors are owed more than $3 billion.Related: Sam Bankman-Fried still speaking at events and the community is furiousSeveral companies exposed to FTX have reported financial and liquidity constraints due to its collapse. Bitcoin (BTC) lender BlockFi is considering bankruptcy, while the Digital Currency Group-backed Genesis Global Trading recently halted new loan originations.

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5 tips for riding out a downbeat market this holiday season

These forecasts are driven by deteriorating structural fundamentals. For example, credit card debt has surged past even 2020 levels, with interest rates charged by banks that are just slightly higher than those observed leading up to the post-2000 dot-com crash. And yet, labor force participation rates — or the proportion of the population that is able to work and is working — have still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, inflation — as measured by the consumer price index — has surged over the past few years.Economic forecasts suggest that we are in for greater economic turbulence. The United States has been in a recession and that recession is expected to continue, with the Conference Board forecasting a further decline in gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.5% in Q4 of this year. It also anticipates that the recession will continue into at least Q2 of 2023. That was before the collapse of crypto trading platform FTX, which had profound downstream effects on investment portfolios and non-crypto companies. Other more optimistic forecasts, such as those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and S&P Global, are just barely positive for 2023 at 0.7% and 0.2%, respectively.Consumer Debt & Interest Rates in the United States, 1995-2020. Source: St. Louis Federal ReserveLabor Force Participation in the United States, 1950-2020. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsConsumer Price Index, 2011-2022. Source: St. Louis Federal ReserveThese macroeconomic indicators are common outside of the U.S. too. Many – even the International Monetary Fund — have pointed out the increase in inflation as a result of higher energy prices in Europe, which is one factor, among others, that contributes to the European Union’s recent forecast of nearly zero GDP growth for all of 2023. That is on top of its already long-run demographic challenge that there are too many people aging out of the labor force and not enough new entrants, which has dire implications for GDP growth.Related: The market isn’t surging anytime soon — So get used to dark timesWhile these macroeconomic fundamentals are outside your control, there is still a lot within your control. We need to remember that we have substantial agency over our lives and do not need to get dragged into an economic tailspin just because that’s what might be happening to the aggregate economy — we can still individually thrive during a famine.Here are five tips for doing just that.Optimize the wait. Make the best use of your time every day, which might mean picking up a new skill or taking up a freelance job that deploys your broader skill set. Especially with the emergence of artificial intelligence and automation, certain tasks are becoming obsolete and other new creative opportunities are emerging — and you can leverage that trend by acquiring the skills to perform these tasks. There are substantial mismatches in the demand and supply in certain parts of the labor market, such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity jobs, so consider picking up a new skill that you can put to work.Reflect and take inventory. It is far too easy to look at the circumstances we personally or as a society are in and get worried, but take stock of what is going right and what you’re thankful for. The holidays are an especially good opportunity to do so. By putting your circumstances in perspective, you avoid a lot of mental rabbit holes that could cause you to become more anxious and disappointed, which unfortunately only further amplifies challenging circumstances. Even when circumstances look bleak, remember what you have and what you have been through — it will inspire you to go on.Grow your network. Building relationships is part of the adventure we are on. Focus on people as actual human beings, rather than potential doors of opportunity. People are indeed doors, but treating people in transactional ways warps your perspective of life and ends up closing those doors, because people do not like being treated as vending machines. (Would you like it if people only talked to you based on what you could give to them?)Related: 5 reasons 2023 will be a tough year for global marketsCherish small wins. We often focus on the big and flashy goals or aspirations, but overlook what is immediately in front of us. We have a lot more agency than we give ourselves credit for! Whether you are taking care of your property or writing an excellent report at work, demonstrating excellence in everything that you do creates a lot more optionality in the long run that yields truly fulfilling and fruitful employment opportunities.Always carve out some proportion of your earnings for savings. Consider investing it in structurally sound digital assets. There is no substitute for setting aside resources every month, whether crypto or fiat, that you can draw on when you’re most in need. There will always be an element of unpredictability in the world, so view these savings as your insurance policy on market downturns. Even though crypto has been in a winter, all assets have been struggling because the entire market is in a downturn. But the future of the major tokens, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), remains hopeful, and it’s just a matter of time before they rebound. Moreover, as governments become more volatile and inflation continues to grow, crypto can be a useful hedge and diversification strategy.Don’t despair even when the economy is faltering. You and your household can still thrive!Christos A. Makridis is a research affiliate at Stanford University and Columbia Business School and the chief technology officer and co-founder of Living Opera, a multimedia art-tech Web3 startup. He holds doctoral degrees in economics and management science and engineering from Stanford University.This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

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Lido fundamentals shine even as the wider crypto market struggles to regain traction

The crypto market has witnessed a turbulent few weeks after the FTX collapse but Lido Finance, a liquid staking protocol, has been a bright spot amidst the chaos. According to Data from DeFiLlama, Lido protocol has earned $1 million or more in fees daily since October 26. Lido fees and revenue over time. Lido has collected over $1M in fees every day since October 26th pic.twitter.com/GHkzSzYIOo— DefiLlama.com (@DefiLlama) November 18, 2022Let’s analyze the on-chain fundamentals to see why this trend has continued. What’s behind Lido Finance’s growth?Lido’s growth started in May 2021, pre-FTX collapse. The fees reached an all-time high on Nov. 10 as fee revenue nearly topped $2.6 million. The protocol earns 10% of the total Ethereum (ETH) staking rewards generated from user deposits. Data also shows a steady increase in deposits to Ethereum’s PoS consensus translates to an uptick in Lido’s fee capture.Lido total deposits. Source: Dune AnalyticsLido’s fee revenue moves in tandem with Ethereum Proof-of-stake (PoS) earnings since Lido sends received Ether to the staking protocol. After the FTX collapse, Ethereum activity has grown thanks to an uptick in decentralized exchange (DEX) activity. Ethereum fees and revenue also reached a 30-day peak on Nov. 8, posting $9.1 million in fees and $7.3 million in revenue. Ethereum fees and revenue. Source: Token TerminalNew and daily active users keep increasingUnique depositors into the Lido protocol have reached 150,000, demonstrating that Lido is continuing to attract new users. The increase in unique deposits comes after centralized “earn” programs have shown weaknesses due to exposure to their exposure to FTX, Genesis, BlockFi and others. Lido unique deposits. Source: Dune AnalyticsDaily active users and Lido (LDO) token holders are also increasing on Lido. According to data from Token Terminal, daily active users hit a 90-day high of 837 on Nov. 17 further bolstering the platform’s positive momentum. Lido tokenholders and daily active users. Source: Token TerminalRelated: DeFi platforms see profits amid FTX collapse and CEX exodusLido’s market capitalization does not match its on-chain fundamentals While fees, deposits and revenue continue to increase for Lido, the market cap of LDO tokens is not keeping pace. As mentioned above, Lido hit a record amount of fees on Nov. 10, at the same time the market cap decreased from $1.2 billion to $663.7 million. According to Coingecko, during this same period, the price of LDO tokens dropped from $1.80 to a low of $0.90. Lido’s circulating market cap and fees. Source: Token TerminalDespite the market-wide downturn, Lido is showing strong fundamentals on multiple fronts. The steady uptick in DAUs, revenue and new unique participants are all key components for assessing growth and sustainability within a DeFi platform. 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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How a single strategy crypto algorithm gained 176.31% while Bitcoin tanked 65% in 2022

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how one simple rule created the kind of insane return on investment noted in the headline — during one of the worst Crypto Winters in recent history — let’s be clear on one thing.You can’t copy this now.But anyone with access to Cointelegraph Markets Pro in 2022 could have. This is not a mere backtested strategy. It’s a real-life strategy — although you’re about to see historical results. This is no longer a thought experiment or proof-of-concept; it is an actual way to make money in crypto trading. For our purposes, it’s also a perfect way to illustrate how a simple strategy can work for real traders in real life — even during extreme market pullbacks. So, let’s dig in. What could you do, right now, today, with this algorithm?What does “Buy 85, Sell 80” mean?Here’s the basic premise. In partnership with data firm The Tie, Cointelegraph Markets Pro has developed the VORTECS™ Score, an algorithmic determination of how bullish or bearish current trading conditions are for a given crypto asset.The score is based on historical data, and it essentially sifts through the whole history of a coin or token looking for conditions that are similar to those it observes right now.It’s looking for a variety of similarities and outliers — for instance, trading volume, recent price action, social sentiment and even the volume of tweets about that asset.If it finds similarities, it looks at what happened next. Did the asset go up or down? How consistent was that movement? How significant was the rise or fall?Combining all of these data points, Markets Pro creates the VORTECS™ Score, a dynamic and constantly evolving evaluation of the current trading conditions for each supported asset. The higher the score, the more bullish the outlook — and the more confident the algorithm is. Conversely, a very low score is bearish (with equal confidence). A neutral score of 50 means the algorithm sees no significant correlation between current conditions and past price performance.The Markets Pro platform offers a whole range of strategies to traders. A “Buy 85, Sell 80” strategy means that a trader can buy an asset that crosses the 85 score, which is considered strongly bullish. And then “sell” the asset once it goes below the score of 80.Of course, this is happening live on an exchange. Or a trader can simply “paper trade” the asset to test the algorithm out. For instance — if Solana’s SOL crossed 85, and was the sole asset with that high score, the trader could place a percentage of their current portfolio into SOL. But if Binance’s BNB then crossed 85 as well, the trader could allocate some other percentage of their portfolio to BNB. Or not. The choice is theirs. So why is this valuable to know?The point here is to evaluate whether the VORTECS™ algorithm is good at its job.When it sees bullish conditions, is it right more often than not? When the score goes up, do prices generally increase? Obviously, the answer is yes.The Buy 85, Sell 80 is only one strategy. There are other strategies that have created a massive return on investment in 2022.For instance, Buy 90, Sell 85. That one is sitting on gains of +96.89% in 2022. Even stronger strategies include:Buy 90, Sell 90 | +159.15%Buy 85, Sell 75 | +102.65%In fact, Bitcoin (BTC) returned -65% since the start of 2022 and Ether (ETH) fared no better with returns of -68% while VORTECS™-based strategies averaged +81.50% across the board beating the pants off BTC and ETH respectively. And that signals that VORTECS™ is working correctly. It is — in general, over time — proving that historical trading conditions for digital assets can be a useful gauge for the current health of that asset.In other words, a high VORTECS™ Score has a proven correlation to price appreciation. Not in every instance, not for every asset… but in general, the results in 2022 have made a compelling case.Warren Buffett (perhaps paraphrasing Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel) once said that “What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history.”(As a crypto skeptic, he might want to revisit his stance.)That’s what the VORTECS™ Score is all about. Learning from history. And that’s why a real return of 176.31% right in the middle of one of the worst Crypto Winters in the market’s history is important.It tells us we’re looking at the right history.Cointelegraph Markets Pro is available exclusively to members on a monthly basis at $99 per month, or annually with two free months included. It carries a 14-day money-back policy, to ensure that it fits the crypto trading and investing research needs of subscribers, and members can cancel anytime.Cointelegraph is a publisher of financial information, not an investment adviser. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and carry significant risk including the risk of permanent and total loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Figures and charts are correct at the time of writing or as otherwise specified. Live-tested strategies are not recommendations. Consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions.All ROIs quoted are accurate as of 8:00 am UTC on Nov. 17, 2022

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How are ‘lite’ versions of crypto apps helping adoption?

Companies become industry giants when they provide the best user experience in the simplest form possible. Google, for example, has the most advanced search engine on the whole planet. And how does it provide that sci-fi-level technology to the user? By a simple, one-line search bar.Apple’s motto is removing the hardware from the user experience (UX) as a layer. It means that when users forget that they are holding a smartphone and browsing an app while scrolling down memory lane, Apple succeeds.Technology needs to hit the perfect balance between utility and usability — comprehensive features and ease of use — to achieve broader adoption. Bitcoin (BTC), the original cryptocurrency, became available to a much bigger user base as it became easier and more reliable to buy BTC from user-friendly mobile apps.The number of Bitcoin block explorer Blockchain.com wallet users over the years. Source: StatistaFor better or for worse, crypto exchanges played a pivotal role in bringing new users to the market. Millions of users saw crypto exchanges as the go-to trading platforms as the crypto apps made the overall experience more feature-packed and simplistic. Hiring Hollywood A-listers to promote them also helped crypto companies to make a case.However, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the interface as simplistic as, say, Google’s homepage, with more and more features introduced into crypto trading platforms. So, a number of crypto exchanges made a choice at some point. They divided their target audience — for design purposes — into newbies and pro traders and offered two different user experiences to each. Some, like Binance and OKX, provide both UXs within the same application. First-time users are greeted with the “lite” version of the app, with fewer features and an emphasis on the learning curve of cryptocurrencies. If a user feels ready, or they were just reinstalling the app, they can tap a button to transform the app to its pro version with detailed order books, advanced commands, etc. Others went with two different versions with different layers of usability, like Bitpanda and Bitpanda Pro. Cointelegraph reached out to crypto exchanges and UX developers to get a better understanding of how lite versions of crypto apps work and contribute to adoption.Tech evolves by solving problemsBinance angles the lite mode of its mobile app as a simplified version of the exchange designed for users who are new to Web3, Binance head of product Mayur Kamat told Cointelegraph. “We looked at the core features that would be most beneficial for those users, and then we designed and built it with the best user experience in mind,” Kamat explained.Binance Pro, on the other hand, is aimed at Web3 natives and traders. Kamat said that both versions are designed to provide different experiences for users in different stages of their Web3 journey. “As such, we do not compare them against each other,” he added.When it comes to deciding on a specific platform for crypto, users look for a platform based on their needs at that point in time, according to Kamat:“[Users’ initial pick] could be driven by education, rewards, referral, fees, liquidity, etc. But we strongly believe that over time users stay with a platform that is trustworthy.”Technology needs to solve problems at scale for mainstream adoption, Kamat summarized. For people who care about the freedom of money, crypto means more than trading, he added, highlighting the massive crypto adoption in Turkey, Indonesia, Venezuela and Ukraine. Simpler interface led to four million users in eight yearsBitpanda, a Europe-based fintech unicorn that offers traditional commodities trading alongside crypto, provides two apps that cater to different forms of trading. The liquidity in the beginner-friendly Bitpanda app is provided by the company itself, whereas on Bitpanda Pro, other traders provide liquidity at a price they themselves set.Since its inception eight years ago, the base Bitpanda app onboarded almost four million investors, Magdalena Hoerhager, vice president responsible for growth at Bitpanda, told Cointelegraph.Experienced traders, professionals, institutions and European Union-based companies, ranging from private banks to family offices, prefer Bitpanda Pro to trade assets at more competitive costs, Hoerhager claimed. The exchange offers professional trading solutions, price-matching capabilities and fully automated clearing, settlement and netting processes.“Crypto isn’t the wild west anymore, or at least it isn’t as wild as it was five years ago,” she said, adding that the ecosystem is now seeing better regulation, better consumer protection, a better understanding of the pros and cons of cryptocurrencies as an asset class. Lite features attract even pro usersOKX is another crypto trading platform that recently introduced a lite version — conveniently named OKX Lite. Speaking to Cointelegraph, OKX global chief marketing officer Haider Rafique said that professional traders also see value in the lite version, switching between modes when they are not actively trading. Traders are using the Earn feature on OKX Lite to stake their assets and earn yields passively, according to Rafique. He explained that the demo trading feature, which allows new users to try out trading tools before actually investing any real money, is an element of attraction. Experienced traders, on the other hand, look for a broad range of investment options and advanced trading tools. Block Trading feature for example, enables institutional and high-net-worth investors to make volumed trades without adversely moving the market.“To support the mainstream adoption of crypto, we must build trust,” Rafique said, adding that OKX is investing heavily in security and user protection. However, trust alone is not enough, he noted, “We must also offer guidance to help newcomers navigate this new ecosystem, and OKX Lite is a big part of this.”Apps should not assume users understand everythingOpera made headlines earlier this year when the internet browser developer launched a Web3-focused Crypto Browser. Given that its main browser — which also has crypto-friendly features — has almost 350 million users worldwide, Opera is well-positioned to introduce crypto to a mainstream audience. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Opera Crypto Browser’s senior product manager, Danny Yao, stressed that new users want something that makes onboarding simple:“They [new users] don’t want to be hit in the face with 1,000 options, nor do they want the app to assume they already understand everything. […] Pro users want more complex functionality, usually. That doesn’t mean they need the interface to be complicated, just that the utility needs to be present.”Opera designed the Crypto Browser to enable interaction with decentralized apps and multiple blockchains more accessible, according to Yao. Simplifying the transition of users from Web2 to Web3 became the main goal. An integration with FIO Protocol allows Android-based Opera users to set up their own crypto handles to use as their wallet addresses, he exemplified.One for hodlers, one for tradersBtcTurk, a Turkish crypto exchange that turns 10 next year, designed its base “lite” and “pro” apps with two different interactions in mind. The base app, BtcTurk, is intended for hodlers who believe Bitcoin is a long-term investment and want to keep it in the custody of a trusted exchange, a spokesperson told Cointelegraph. BtcTurk Pro, on the other hand, aims to meet the needs of traders who look for detailed charts, reports, indicators and more trading pairs. BtcTurk conducted a survey with Ipsos in the summer of 2022 to look into the needs and behavior of crypto users. This research showed that trust is the first and foremost important element for the crypto ecosystem — users are looking for recognition, recommendations and ease of use when they pick a new crypto platform. The Turkish crypto exchange believes that user-friendly apps that enable investment, transfer and payments for cryptocurrencies, as well as apps that help with new use cases per each project’s strengths, would help more people to become aware of cryptocurrencies and drive adoption.No end product in crypto appsCointelegraph reached out to Altuğ Gürkaynak, a user experience designer and a crypto user. He described the process of launching a new app as a neverending one. “There’s no such thing as a ‘finished’ or ‘end product’ in the world of UX,” he explained: “You keep up with the trends that are ever-changing with iterations.”If the technology is new, however, it needs a slightly different approach. New tech with a completely new interface will result in disappointment unless there’s something truly extraordinary, Gürkaynak warned. New users need time to adapt to the technology itself, so applications need some familiar screens as a basis.Making a simple app that users are likely to recommend to others is the most important, he noted: “Prioritizing the word-of-mouth impact instead of a groundbreaking design would help crypto apps (or any apps for that matter) to drive more adoption.”

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FTX hacker still draining exchange wallets? Analyst calls it on-chain spoofing

The FTX hacker that drained over $450 million worth of assets just moments after the doomed crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, continues to drain assets from the exchange, four days after the hack was first flagged.Crypto analytic firm Certik in a Tweet noted that the hacker wallet is still draining crypto assets from the wallets associated with the FTX and FTX.US. The FTX hacker wallet currently holds $62 million worth of assets.Since Nov. 12 the hacker wallet has received and swapped 3.2 billion meme tokens and sent 2.8 billion of these tokens to popular addresses. These meme tokens mostly comprised profanity tokens such as FTX Sucks, F*ck FTX, CRO Next and more.Meme tokens sent and received by FTX exploit address. Source: CertikA crypto analyst who goes by the Twitter name of ZachXBT claimed the recent movement of funds is just on-chain token spoofing. The analyst claimed that Etherscan transfer logs can be spoofed and the recent movement of funds in the FTX hack saga is one example of that.The ERC-20 standard transfer and transferFrom functions can be modified to allow any arbitrary address to be the sender of tokens, as long as this is specified within the smart contract, resulting in a token being transferred from a different address than the one that initiated the transaction.These tokens can be sent to any address and then sent out of that address (to any other address), without the address owner having any control of those tokens. If you open the transaction and see “sent from,” it will show a different address.As Cointelegraph reported on Nov, 12, the hack was flagged right after FTX announced bankruptcy. At the time, out of the $663 million drained, around $477 million were suspected to be stolen, while the remainder is believed to be moved into secure storage by FTX themselves. The wallet owner was found swapping $26 million Tether (USDT) to Dai (DAI) via 1inclh and approved Pax Dollar (USDP) — a Paxos-issued stablecoin — for trade on CoW Protocol. The wallet also approved transfers and sales of other cryptocurrencies, including Chainlink (LINK), Compound USDT (cUSDT) and Staked Ether (stETH).The fact that hackers managed to drain assets from FTX global and FTX.US at the same time, despite these two entities being completely independent, became a hot topic of discussion raising speculations about it being an insid job. Certik’s director of security operations Hugh Brooks told Cointelegraph that on-chain evidence points strongly toward that possibility:”Sticking to onchain evidence, unless there was a private key compromise (of which there is no evidence of at current) then we can’t rule out that someone with access to the FTX Exchange and FTX US wallets moved the funds into the black hat wallets”Kraken’s chief security officer Nick Percoco later Tweeted that they were aware of the user’s identity but did not share any more information publicly. Certik told Cointelegraph that Percoco might be referring to the white hack involved in moving the funds to cold wallets.

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FTX US suspends withdrawals, according to on-chain data

Following an announcement on Nov. 10 that FTX US may halt trading on its platform, on-chain data suggests that the platform has paused withdrawals from the United States-based platform on Nov. 11.The original announcement on Nov. 10 cautioned users to “please close down any positions” while maintaining that its users would still be able to make withdrawals, as that will remain open.Although the FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, remained insistent that FTX US was fine and had been unaffected by FTX liquidity issues, it appears things may have spiraled rapidly, as FTX US was included in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the United States.On Nov. 10, Bankman-Fried assured FTX US users in an apology that “FTX US, the US based exchange that accepts Americans, was not financially impacted by this shitshow.” He added that the platform was “100% liquid” and that “every user could fully withdraw (modulo gas fees etc).”19) A few other assorted comments:This was about FTX International. FTX US, the US based exchange that accepts Americans, was not financially impacted by this shitshow.It’s 100% liquid. Every user could fully withdraw (modulo gas fees etc).Updates on its future coming.— SBF (@SBF_FTX) November 10, 2022To recap, FTX International’s liquidity issues were triggered within the last seven days when Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao announced that Binance would liquidate the entirety of its FTX Token (FTT) holdings. CZ’s announcement inadvertently caused a bank run whereby FTX’s users attempted to withdraw funds only to discover that the exchange didn’t have enough liquidity on hand to meet the demand.Since then, Bankman-Fried has resigned from his position as FTX CEO but will “remain to assist in an orderly transition” before being succeeded by John Ray.Related: FTX crisis likely to spark domino effect, macro analyst explainsFTX’s imminent collapse has invited much scrutiny of the crypto industry. Many global lawmakers and others are suggesting additional regulations for crypto firms, especially since FTX is the latest in a string of crypto-related bankruptcy filings in 2022.

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FTX US announces it may halt trading on its platform in a few days

In a long apology, the CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried — popularly known as “SBF” — assured the crypto community that the recent turn of events was only going to affect FTX international. According to him, “FTX US, the US based exchange that accepts Americans, was not financially impacted by this shitshow.” He assured users that FTX US was “100% liquid” and that “Every user could fully withdraw (modulo gas fees etc)”. 19) A few other assorted comments:This was about FTX International. FTX US, the US based exchange that accepts Americans, was not financially impacted by this shitshow.It’s 100% liquid. Every user could fully withdraw (modulo gas fees etc).Updates on its future coming.— SBF (@SBF_FTX) November 10, 2022However, many are beginning to question the validity of his statement, as a recent announcement on FTX US’ website is beginning to raise eyebrows for users. According to a banner at the top of FTX US’ website, “trading may be halted on FTX US in a few days.” The announcement urged exchange users to “please close down any positions” they may want to close down, while assuring its users that “withdrawals are and will remain open.” FTX International’s liquidity issues were triggered within the last seven days when Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao announced that his exchange would liquidate its FTX Token (FTT) holdings. CZ’s announcement effectively initiated a bank run whereby FTX’s users attempted to withdraw funds only to discover that the exchange didn’t have enough liquidity on hand to meet the demand. Related: US lawmaker warns of ‘major consequences’ for users of unregulated crypto firms, citing FTXWithin the past week, reports have also surfaced that Bankman-Fried called investors saying the exchange needed $8 billion in emergency funding to help cover the withdrawal requests and looked to raise $3 billion to $4 billion.On Oct. 10, Cointelegraph reported that data from Etherscan indicated that the troubled cryptocurrency exchange appears to have resumed withdrawals.

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