ConsenSys and WWF Roll Out Platform for Transparency in Philanthropy

ConsenSys, a blockchain startup founded by Ethereum’s (ETH) co-founder Joseph Lubin, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have jointly launched the Impactio platform to bring transparency into philanthropy.

Per an announcement made on Sept. 24, a new partnership between ConsenSys and the WWF resulted in an Ethereum blockchain-based platform dubbed Impactio designed to supervise and fund projects within nongovernmental organizations and standalone companies. The impetus behind the initiative is to trace how companies’ funds are spent within social impact projects.

What does Impactio solve?

Individuals and companies who utilize Impactio should submit their projects, providing clear objectives for aspects such as sustainability, inequality, emerging communities or the environment in accordance with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

After that, curators receive Impactio Tokens in a digital wallet, with the platform using a system based on ConsenSys’ research on Token Curated Registry (TCR) to curate and choose high-potential projects and subsequently present them to potential funders. The announcement further explains the TCR’s role in the process:

“It requires curators to stake their tokens to back a project, and for curators who wish to dispute that project to stake the same amount of tokens. If there are no other curators who object to the project, the project will be approved and surfaced for donors to decide on funding. If there are objections, curators can challenge the project by matching the tokens staked by the curator backing the project.”

According to Robby Greenfield, co-founder at ConsenSys Social Impact, “Many nonprofits struggle to show that they are using their funds effectively and how it aligns their funders’ goals.” Indeed, a law firm Nolo’s study revealed that 75% to 85% out of 220,000 nonprofit organizations improperly allocated their expenses.

Industry players embrace blockchain in philanthropy

As Francesco Nazari Fusetti, social entrepreneur and founder of Ethereum blockchain-based token AidCoin and full-service platform CharityStars, previously told Cointelegraph: “Charities must keep in touch with their donors all the way through the project, and keep updating them about the new milestones reached” in order to prove that a success story is true, as well as to ensure the work is sustainable. He added:

“Adding financials and proofs of payment definitely helps to create a success story, but only with crypto and blockchain we can aim to give full transparency about the use of funds.”

In early September, news broke that Rainforest Foundation US, a New York-based nonprofit NGO working in Central and South America, was hoping to support anti-deforestation efforts with crypto and blockchain tech.

Binance Charity, the philanthropic wing of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, also began a campaign to help support victims of Hurricane Dorian.

Source Cointelegraph

Glassnode Co-Founder Says On-Chain Data Can Spot Bitcoin’s Tops and Bottoms

Blockchains produce huge amounts of data and it seemed that only data scientists and blockchain research firms like Chainalysis and CipherTrace were making use of it. Recently, crypto investors like Willy Woo and Philip Swift have begun to incorporate on-chain data into their rigorous Bitcoin analyses and the results have been astounding. 

Despite these efforts, on-chain data remains something of an enigma amongst crypto investors. To clear up the confusion, Cointelegraph decided to sit down with Rafael Schultze-Kraft, the co-founder of on-chain market intelligence platform Glassnode

Cointelegraph: Let’s start with having you tell us a little about yourself and what you do. 

Rafael Schultze-Kraft: I have an academic background in computational neuroscience, programming, machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analysis. Working for several startups in Berlin over the past six years, I’ve gained substantial industry experience applying data science and machine learning to a large variety of real-world problems using data from vastly different domains.

I founded glassnode with my partners and for me it represents the perfect fusion between my passion for data with blockchain and digital assets — probably the most exciting domain to be working on today. 

While I am a co-founder and CTO, I make an effort to set time aside to conduct a fair share of data science and analysis as I find getting my hands dirty and engaging with data is the most exciting part of the job.

CT: What is Glassnode’s mission?

RSK: We are the go-to hub for all things on-chain and our purpose is to serve as the primary gateway to on-chain data. We provide advanced insights, market intelligence, tools, and data which are required for investors to freely make sense of all the data which is generated on blockchains. 

Our datasets are extremely useful for investors looking for indicators and signals. Furthermore, researchers looking to observe and analyse adoption rates and long-term valuations will find on-chain analytics indispensable.

We seek to increase transparency on what various actors are doing in the field, and on-chain analysis allows one to keep an eye on how they are interacting within the network. One of the big problems we’ve seen in crypto is that exchanges report false volume and conduct wash trading within their order books. 

Meanwhile, investors have an extremely limited view of what is really happening within most crypto and blockchain-oriented organizations. On-chain activity paints a completely different picture of what is truly happening and this data is extremely valuable to investors and researchers. 

CT: In your opinion, why is it important for investors to study on-chain analytics?

RSK: I think that the most crucial aspect about on-chain is that it is something that has never existed before in finance: a public ledger, transparently unfolding all transactional and economic activity. It would be crazy as an investor not to carefully look at and study this data!

Many investors are using methods and data that they know well from the traditional finance markets and applying them to the digital assets space. Introducing the value of on-chain data in this space, contextualising, and making this data easily accessible and digestible, is a great part of what glassnode is about.

Furthermore, we must remember that there is not just ‘one blockchain,’ there are many different protocols and the interpretation of data across these systems is not a uniform process. 

CT: Last week Placeholder partner Chris Burniske said

“The narrative that ‘it’s just Tether’ driving Ethereum adoption is not based in fact. Tether accounts for 20% or less of Ethereum’s gas use. ETH‘s uses are heterogenous & robust; people are just now realizing how oversold it was.”

CT: Given that you posted a Glassnode chart showing otherwise, what is your take on whether or not Tether (USDT) is driving the demand within the ETH network?

Entities paying gas on Ethereum

Entities paying gas on Ethereum. Souce: Glassnode

RSK: In my opinion, it’s too early to say that Tether is driving Ethereum adoption. A close look at the chart does show that Tether is driving demand as of late, but it is too early to determine if this trend is sustainable. If you check the chart closely, you’ll notice that demand peaked and then goes down. 

Furthermore, when we talk about adoption, I don’t think it is fair to discuss the phenomena purely from the standpoint of Tether activity. The graph also shows a very large portion of transactions related to complex smart contracts that interact with each other. 

% of gas used in txs not sending ETH

% of gas used in txs not sending ETH. Source: Glassnode

Number of Ethereum txs not used to send ETH

Number of Ethereum txs not used to send ETH. Source: Glassnode

Therefore, it’s too extreme to claim that Tether is driving adoption. What is clear is that currently Tether is driving demand within the Ethereum network as nearly 20% of all network fees were connected to Tether transferring USDT.

CT: So can we infer that we will see consistent, steady or even peak demand for Ethereum in the future? 

RSK: It’s too early to say, the only thing we can objectively state is that there has been a huge increase in demand for Ethereum Gas. It went from 1% in June 2019 to more than 25% in a short period of time. Let’s observe how this evolves — Tether will not be the (sole) factor for Ethereum demand in the future.

CT: Does the surge of Tether transactions and growth of the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector mean that increased demand and higher gas fees will lead to price stability and additional growth of Ether’s price?

RSK: Tether is a token that is pegged to the dollar so people can trade easier without going back into fiat. It’s clear that the token is heavily used and that its primary utility is for trading cryptocurrency. It can be traded using automatic robot like bitqt. Read about bitqt here. Therefore, I would say that it probably has some influence on price.

DeFi platforms are a completely different animal. These are complex, self-sustaining decentralised systems that provide a venue for the exchange of value, goods and services. 

In theory and practice, they truly represent the ideal interaction one envisions Ethereum facilitating and as these platforms continue to grow it is entirely possible that the digital asset supporting these ecosystems will stabilize and potentially even increase in value. 

CT: What would you say are the core concepts one needs to grasp in order to understand on-chain analytics? 

RSK: I think people need to have a very basic understanding of core on-chain concepts such as transactions and addresses, and the differences between UTXO (unspent transaction output) and account-based systems like Ethereum.

From an investor’s perspective I would start by looking at core metrics such as transaction volume and number of active addresses, and then reading about and understanding the more advanced and established indicators metrics. In my opinion these are SOPR, realised capitalization, MVRV, HODL waves, coin days destroyed, and liveliness — to name a few.

CT: Is there a way to automate on-chain analysis for robo investment platforms or do investors just need to add these steps to their routine toolkit for conducting asset analysis? 

RSK: Yes, on-chain data can absolutely be used for algorithmic trading. This data can be fed into automated systems along with any other data source traders use. And the added value in doing so, we believe, is immense. That is why we offer our on-chain metrics through a unified API, so anyone can easily integrate with their algorithmic trading platforms.

On the other hand, on-chain data has shown to be very useful for discretionary trading as well. On-chain indicators can be used to better understand economic behaviour in these networks, as well as analyse and predict market cycle tops and bottoms.

CT: What else do you want to tell me? Are there any additional hot topics, statements or opinions of importance that you think the world should know? 

RSK: I want to emphasize that we (as in those interested in blockchain and cryptocurrency) are still early in this space and I think that every person that is investing in digital assets should begin to consider on-chain analysis as part of their analytical regime. 

Analysis of data from blockchains is revolutionary. It is very different from the old world traditional style of asset investing. 

This data is fundamentally important for crypto investors, yet the majority of investors do not understand the value it unlocks. It’s possible that investors unknowingly (subconsciously) write off the value of on-chain value as upon first glance it appears difficult to interpret due to the blockchain specific terminology and unconventional application of analytical methods. 

Sometimes you just don’t realize how valuable something is until its demonstrated to you. 

As I said earlier, many crypto investors are simply applying methods from the old world of investing (indicators and conventional trading ideology) to a totally new asset class which is behaviorally and technically different from traditional assets.

Source Cointelegraph

Price Analysis 27/09: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, LEO

Price Analysis 27/09: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, LEO

Source Cointelegraph

Ethereum’s Gas-Guzzling Suspected Ponzi FairWin Funds at Risk

The biggest Ethereum contract in the industry, dubbed FairWin, is allegedly putting user funds at risk and continues to guzzle a major amount of gas on the network.

Multiple crypto social media users have been analyzing what they believe to be the fastest-growing Ponzi scheme on Ethereum. On Sept. 27, blockchain developer Philippe Castonguay warned:

“The Ponzi Scheme contains critical vulnerabilities that put all funds at risk. Spread knowledge (especially in Asia) Users need to withdraw their funds and stop interacting with the contract ASAP.”

Crypto community sleuths at work

A detailed Dune dashboard has been collated by security and anti-phishing researcher Harry Denley at Meta Cartel Ventures, giving an overview of the contract and its creators’ exploits.

Denley notes that “the FairWin contract is a suspected Ponzi HYIP scheme, which holds a significant amount of ETH in it.” 

His dashboard provides a link to a Reddit thread collecting details of 6 Ether (ETH) wallets that are allegedly accounting for high percentage levels — fluctuating around 50% — of network gas used and that are all purportedly spamming deposits to the same contract address.

FairWin ETH balance grouped by year month. Last updated Sept. 25.

FairWin ETH balance grouped by year month. Last updated Sept. 25. 

Source: FairWin Contract dashboard on Dune Analytics

One of the biggest-ever scams on Ethereum, users claim

A detailed allegation from Reddit contributor chutiyabehenchod on Sept. 20 outlined that FairWin is purportedly mainly shared on Chinese social media and blogs, and works as a 5-day period high yield investment program whereby users allegedly deposit 1-15 ETH and get a percentage return of 0.5-1% after 5 days. The post continues:

“It’s decentralized, however only 70% of the amounts deposited actually go back to pay the commissions of the older deposits. […] 30% is always taken! Once the account is dried out those that entered last will be punished by losing absolutely everything… likely some of them will be reinvestments. Currently with 40k ETH, 12k are already for the unknown scammers.”

The post concludes with the claim that FairWin could “be one of the biggest scams ever seen in Ethereum.”

Community members have further claimed that the contract is purportedly susceptible to being “drained by the owners,” with one commentator alleging “there is a separate attack black hats can do if the owners don’t stop it (by draining it themselves).” 

ETH network congestion

As reported just last week, Ethereum network participants are currently attempting to raise the network’s block size as a direct response to network congestion.

Rather than just gas-guzzling suspected Ponzis, some have attributed the uptick in network usage to stablecoin Tether (USDT), which has shifted its reliance from Bitcoin via the Omni Layer to the Ethereum blockchain.

Source Cointelegraph

Venezuelan Central Bank is Considering Holding Bitcoin and Ether

Venezuela’s central bank is exploring the possibilities of holding Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) in its coffers, according to anonymous sources who reportedly have direct insights into the matter.

Can the central bank store Bitcoin and Ether?

According to a Sept. 26 Bloomberg article, the central bank of Venezuela is taking a closer look at whether they have the possibility to store cryptocurrencies. 

The state-run oil and gas company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PSDV), had requested the central bank look into the matter after the oil producer ran into difficulties receiving payments from international clients due to U.S. sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s current regime.

The unnamed sources said that the PSDV is looking to transfer Bitcoin and Ether to the Venezuelan central bank and then have the central institution pay its suppliers in cryptocurrencies.

Crypto could count toward international reserves

In the hope of overcoming its isolation from the global financial system, the Venezuelan central bank is reportedly studying proposals that would see cryptocurrencies counted toward the country’s international reserves, which currently sit at a 30-year low of $7.9 billion. 

Venezuela received its first Bitcoin ATM

Cointelegraph reported in September that after multiple false starts, Venezuela’s first crypto ATM was installed in the city of San Antonio del Táchira. The Latin American firm Panda BTM installed the machine which supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and DASH, as well as the official currency of Venezuela and Colombian pesos.

Source Cointelegraph

Altcoins Continue to Tumble, With Top-20 Showing a Sea of Red

Thursday, Sept. 26 — After Tuesday’s sudden crash, altcoins seemingly entered a consolidation phase yesterday and for the better part of today, until signs of a new downward price trend reared its ugly head.

Cryptocurrency market daily overview

Cryptocurrency market daily overview. Source: Coin360

Altcoins are still reeling from Tuesday’s painful correction, which saw double-digit losses. Bitcoin SV (BSV) took the lead with a massive hit of up to 34%, while several other major altcoins were recording multi-month lows.

Yesterday’s markets calmed down and seemingly entered another consolidation phase. However, today’s prices show us a more dire picture, with altcoins finding themselves in another downward price spiral.

The 10th most popular coin, Stellar (XLM), is the only exception that managed to show green candlesticks. XLM is currently trading at $0.058 per coin, with a 24-hour gain of more than 3% at publishing time.

Stellar 24-hour price chart

Stellar 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

The number one altcoin, Ether (ETH), dropped by 2.35% in the last 24 hours to a price point of $164 per coin — counting for a $60 loss over a period of 7 days.

Ether 7-day price chart

Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360

Ripple’s XRP is showing similar downward behavior and is trading at $0.24, down 1.58% on the day.

XRP’s 24-hour price chart

XRP’s 24-hour price chart. Source: Coin360

Other top-20 coins that fell considerably and continue seeing an exodus of cash are EOS, down 3%, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), down 4.7%. Cardano (ADA) and Tron (TRX) are both showing losses close to 3%. Huobi Token (HT) is the worst performer in the top twenty, down almost 5%.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap sits at $213.5 billion, with Bitcoin making up 68.2% of the total.

Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here

Source Cointelegraph

Ether Price Drop Shakes DAI Stablecoin Peg, Two Collateral Contracts Closed

The recent Ether (ETH) price drop showed the reliability and weaknesses of the decentralized stablecoin built by MakerDAO, Dai (DAI), and the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem built on top of it.

A decentralized stablecoin

Ethereum-collateralized decentralized stablecoin DAI managed to maintain its peg to the United States dollar as Ether lost over 18% of its value in under two hours, falling from $190 to $155 yesterday. As of press time, Ethereum holds a price of about $171.

Ethereum seven-day price chart. Source: Coin360

The impact of higher transaction fees

DeFi protocol management service DeFi Saver announced in a tweet on Sept. 24 that, because of heavy congestion on the Ethereum network, the system “struggled to execute all needed Collateralized Debt Position (CDP) ratio adjustments in time.” A CDP is a type of loan administered by a smart contract central to the functioning of the DAI stablecoin.

While MakerDAO plans to add support for other assets, so far only Ether is accepted as collateral for opening CDPs. CDPs facilitate the creation of Dai against collateral which is held until the DAI is returned. As DeFi Saver explained in a separate tweet, “MakerDAO has a mechanism in place that automatically liquidates CDPs once their collateralization ratio has dropped below 150%.”

The company offers an independent service preventing the automatic CDP liquidation built on top of MakerDAO’s ecosystem. However, the company admits that — because of network congestion and transaction fees — the system “failed to protect 2 monitored CDPs, which have been liquidated in the process.” Still, the firm announced that it intends to compensate the two users affected by the malfunction:

“Although our automated protection is still in beta, our team is disappointed to have let some of our users down and we are willing to recuperate the losses suffered. […] We ask the owners of these two CDPs to please reach out.”

An optimist perspective

On the other hand, the company also noted that “20 unique CDPs have been automatically protected by the system during this recent crash.” DeFi Saver also notes that it adjusted the system to the current transaction fees and that automation is working properly.

The author of “Mastering Bitcoin,” Andreas Antonopoulos, pointed out the development on Twitter. When another user suggested that the situation is a demonstration that the DeFi ecosystem does not work properly, Antonopoulos responded:

“Not really. It seems like DAI maintained the price parity, the CDP protection contracts worked in all but two cases. This was a good test and things worked pretty well”

As Cointelegraph reported in June, throughout May 2019, United Kingdom-based nonprofit organization Oxfam International executed a month-long trial that saw MakerDAO’s DAI stablecoin distributed as a means of exchange among citizens of Vanuatu.

Source Cointelegraph

Price Analysis 25/09: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, LEO

Price Analysis 25/09: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, EOS, BNB, BSV, XLM, LEO

Source Cointelegraph

Largest Tencent Shareholder Leads $15M Round in Blockchain Game Developer

Naspers, the largest shareholder of Chinese Internet giant Tencent, participated in a $15 million investment in blockchain game developer Immutable. 

Key investors

Immutable, a Sydney-based blockchain gaming startup, completed a new funding round led by Naspers and Mike Novogratz’s crypto investment bank Galaxy Digital, the company announced in a blog post on Sept. 23.

As reported by the Australian Financial Review (AFR), other investors also included Sydney-based VC firm Reinventure and American private investment firm Apex Capital.

Scaling from 13,000 to 1 million gamers projected

According to the report, Immutable’s flagship game Gods Unchained has made over $4.5 million in revenue in just over a year, despite it is being played by a closed group of 13,000 gamers. 

Founded by brothers Robbie and James Ferguson in July 2018, Immutable reportedly expects to grow Gods Unchained from the current 13,000 to 1 million players with the new investment, James stated in an interview with AFR.

Based on the Ethereum blockchain, Gods Unchained is a trading card game that has reportedly overtaken other popular TCGs such as Artifact, Faeria and Kards, Immutable stated. In February 2019, Gods Unchained’s unique digital card Hyperion became the world’s second most expensive card ever sold after selling for137.8 Ether (ETH), or $62,000 at the time of auction. 

On Sept. 17, the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX) announced that one of the largest decentralized apps in the world, online real-time economic strategy game Prospectors, was launching on the WAX blockchain.

Source Cointelegraph

US Attorney’s Office Indicts Two Suspects in EtherDelta Hack

The United States attorney’s office for the Northern District of California has indicted two suspects — Elliot Gunton and Anthony Tyler Nashatka — for hacking EtherDelta, a non-custodial marketplace for trading Ethereum (ETH) ERC-20 tokens, in December 2017.

According to the documents originally filed on Aug. 13, Ganton and Nashatka changed the settings of EtherDelta’s domain name system to mislead users and collect their crypto addresses, private keys and to withdraw funds.

A fake website

The suspects managed to gain access to the settings using the phone number of one of the EtherDelta employees and used it to hack their email address. After that, Gunton and Nashatka reportedly changed the parameters of the domain system in such a way as to redirect traffic from EtherDelta to a fake website that resembled a real EtherDelta platform.

Visitors of this fake website could reveal their private keys and potentially lose their cryptocurrency assets. According to the prosecution, the losses of one of the EtherDelta users amounted to at least $800,000. The total amount of stolen funds was not disclosed in the court document.

As Cointelegraph reported in August, Chinese police was reportedly investigating EtherDelta in connection with an apparent exit scam.

Source Cointelegraph