In this issue:
- Crypto exchange Bitso leads the way in US-Mexico remittances
- Bitcoin (BTC) turns 11 as its hash rate hits all-time highs
- Aragon puts juries on the blockchain
- Binance & MyCrypto’s Ambo add fiat on-ramps
We also cover the growing decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, which continues to break new ground in lending, cryptoasset trading, and savings products.
All that and more in this week’s issue. But first, here’s some…
🚀 Updates From Nomics
- Nomics Update #1: The Market tabs for each exchange on Nomics.com now includes an “Unmapped” section that lists markets for which we have data but haven’t yet mapped. A market can go unmapped for several reasons. The market ID (used by the exchange) could be difficult to parse or there may be an issue with the symbol used for the base or quote currency. For a look at the new section, check out the OKEx Markets tab.
- Nomics Update #2: Flippening episode #66, A Cryptoeconomic Designer’s View of Markets, is live on our blog. In the episode, we meet Matt Chwierut, co-founder and Director of Research at Smith + Crown, a blockchain research organization. We discuss cryptoeconomic design, market trends, the evolving case for Bitcoin, and more.
- Nomics Update #3: On January 9th, we held a Flippening Podcast [LIVE] webinar with Camila Russo, founder of The Defiant, a daily newsletter focused on the DeFi space. In the webinar, titled Ethereum’s Untold History & Defying Future, we cover the history of Ethereum and the promise of decentralized finance, most of which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Replay available here.
And now, let’s see what the cryptocurrency world has brought us this week.
😍 Thanks To Our Sponsor: Nexo.io
- 🚀 Updates From Nomics
- 😍 Thanks To Our Sponsor: Nexo.io
- 😎 Top Ten of the Week
- #1. Bitso Brings Crypto to US-Mexico Remittances
- #2. Happy Birthday, Bitcoin
- #3. Lending Drives DeFi
- #4. Aragon Decentralizes Justice
- #5. Rakuten Lets Customers Trade Loyalty Points for Crypto
- #6. Binance Adds More Fiat Support
- #7. Binance.US and Coinbase Pro Launch Android Apps
- #8. Casa Enables Crypto Estate Planning
- #9. Ambo Adds Apple and Google Pay
- #10. BlockFi Adds LTC and USDC
- 🏆 Our Weekly Poll
😎 Top Ten of the Week
#1. Bitso Brings Crypto to US-Mexico Remittances
- Each week, Mexicans working in the United States send nearly $700 million in remittances to their families back home. Mexican crypto exchange Bitso processes approximately 2.5% of these transfers and is looking to expand its slice of the market by 15% per week. By converting US dollars to crypto to Mexican pesos, Bitso can facilitate a remittance in less than 90 seconds. Contrast that with the 3 to 5 days traditional money transmitters require. The following chart shows how quickly Bitso’s crypto-enabled remittance business has grown. [Link]
#2. Happy Birthday, Bitcoin
- On January 3, Bitcoin celebrated its 11th birthday. It was more than a decade ago that Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis block of his peer-to-peer electronic cash system, which contained the January 3, 2009 headline, “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
- In January 2020, Bitcoin is healthier than ever with its hash rate surpassing all-time highs. A high hash rate means that network computations are being performed quickly. It also indicates a large number of miners, which could mean greater decentralization. The following chart plots Bitcoin’s hash rate over the past 12 months. [Link]
#3. Lending Drives DeFi
- Decentralized finance, or DeFi, is also setting records. There is now nearly $700 million tied up in DeFi-related smart contracts. Most of that can be attributed to lending – led by Maker (MKR) – and cryptoasset trading, which is dominated by Synthetix (SNX). [Link]
- That said, DeFi is a broad category that covers a range of financial services including payroll, insurance, and savings. For example, PoolTogether runs a weekly no-loss savings game (or lottery) funded by interest earned on Dai (DAI) deposited by participants. At the end of each week, one lucky participant takes home the interest. The others take back their Dai. The app is generating a lot of interest and has recently been translated into Spanish and Mandarin. [Link]
- For more on DeFi, read the new primer from Coinbase, A Beginner’s Guide to Decentralized Finance (DeFi), or check out the following video from Rob Paone, aka Crypto Bobby, who you may know from the Flippening podcast. Rob has made several appearances, most recently Episode 59: Exchange Volume Spamming. Here he is with “What is DeFi?”
#4. Aragon Decentralizes Justice
- Aragon, which is best known for enabling DAOs or decentralized organizations, has kicked off jury selection for its decentralized court system.
Participation requires a minimum of 10,000 ANJ tokens, which can be acquired in exchange for ANT, the Aragon platform token. From pre-activation, participants will receive ANJ-denominated subscription fees. Once court is officially in session (early February), participants will also receive dispute fees plus an additional reward for reaching consensus. For example, if jurors A and C find for the plaintiff, they would receive ANJ from juror B, who stood alone in support of the defendant. [Link]
#5. Rakuten Lets Customers Trade Loyalty Points for Crypto
- Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is letting its customers exchange Rakuten Super Points for cryptoassets like Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The company hopes the program will attract users to its crypto wallet app, Rakuten Wallet. [Link]
Binance CEO CZ thinks this is just the beginning:
#6. Binance Adds More Fiat Support
- The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has partnered with Banxa, a fiat on-ramp solution, to enable customers to purchase crypto directly with AUD, euros, and GBP. Users will also have access to fast, low-fee GBP bank transfers. [Link]
- The Banxa partnership follows the exchange’s December 26th announcement that Eurozone customers would be able to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), and Binance Coin with Visa cards bound to their Binance accounts. [Link]
#7. Binance.US and Coinbase Pro Launch Android Apps
- Binance.US is piloting a beta version of its Android trading app in the hopes that testers will identify bugs. [Link]
- The Coinbase Pro Android app is out of beta and live for customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. The iOS version was launched in October and has already generated hundreds of millions of dollars in trade volume. [Link]
#8. Casa Enables Crypto Estate Planning
- You may have heard of Gerald Cotten, the late founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX, a Canadian crypto exchange. When he died, the private keys to more than $100 million of customer cryptocurrency were lost forever.
What will happen to your crypto when you die? If that’s a concern, check out the Casa Covenant. The protocol was released a few months ago, but with Cotten back in the news (because some suspect foul play), we thought it was worth highlighting. The Covenant works by taking the traditional 3-of-5 multisig setup and adding a sixth key, which is held by an estate lawyer, a safe deposit box, or Casa itself. [Link]
#9. Ambo Adds Apple and Google Pay
- MyCrypto-owned mobile trading platform Ambo has released version 1.22 to support Apple and Google Pay. Ambo users can now buy crypto through the popular payment gateways with any linked credit or debit card. The upgrade also includes support for human-readable addresses from Ethereum Name Service and Unstoppable Domains, enabling users to send cryptoassets to any .eth, .crypto, or .zil address. [Link]
#10. BlockFi Adds LTC and USDC
- BlockFi has added support for Litecoin (LTC) and USD Coin (USDC). HODLers can earn interest on both cryptoassets through BlockFi’s interest-bearing account. USDC, a stablecoin, will earn 8.6% APY. Litecoin deposits will earn considerably less, 3.8%, but that’s still a nice bonus on top of market gains. The LTC price is up more than 50% for the year.
BlockFi will also support the cryptoassets on its trading platform, BlockFi Trading, where either can be instantly swapped for Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Gemini dollars (GUSD). [Link]
🏆 Our Weekly Poll
In our last poll, we asked you about crypto tax software. Here are the results:
This week, we want your take on the big 2019 developments that will drive crypto adoption in 2020 and beyond.