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Gemini Unveils Plans For Credit Card With Crypto Rewards

Gemini, a crypto exchange and custodian, today announced that it will launch the Gemini Credit Card, a credit card with cryptocurrency rewards. This effort has been accelerated by the acquisition of Blockrize, a fintech startup that has been building a credit card with cryptocurrency rewards. In preparation for launch later this year, Gemini has opened the Gemini Credit Card waitlist — providing Gemini customers, and those already on the Blockrize waitlist, with early access.

By combining Gemini’s simple, reliable, and safe platform with Blockrize’s rewards program, card holders will be able to seamlessly earn up to 3 percent back in bitcoin, or other cryptos, on every purchase they make with the Gemini Credit Card.

“The Gemini Credit Card will make it easier for any consumer to invest in bitcoin and other cryptos without changing their existing behavior, ” said Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini. “Rather than deciding how and when to buy crypto, customers can do so when making their everyday purchases. We’re excited to welcome the Blockrize team to Gemini and work together to continue to mainstream crypto.”

Those who join the waitlist, and the more than 10,000 people already on the Blockrize waitlist, will get early access. The Gemini Credit Card will work like a traditional credit card. It will be available to U.S. residents in every state and will be widely accepted wherever major cards are accepted. Rewards will be automatically deposited into a cardholder’s Gemini account.

For Gemini users or others interested in signing up to the waitlist, please visit: https://gemini.com/credit-card/waitlist. To sign up for a Gemini account visit: https://exchange.gemini.com/register.

This is Gemini’s second acquisition, following its acquisition of Nifty Gateway in November of 2019. Gemini continues to look for companies that align with its values and mission to empower the individual through crypto.

About Gemini

Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that allows customers to buy, sell, and store more than 30 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, and Zcash. Gemini is a New York trust company that is subject to the capital reserve requirements, cybersecurity requirements, and banking compliance standards set forth by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the New York Banking Law. Gemini was founded in 2014 by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to empower the individual through crypto.

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Flare Networks Announces Smart Contracts For Litecoin

Ripple’s late 2020 rise was due partly to a massive airdrop of Flare (FLR) tokens. Now, the smart contract solution is actually adding support for Litecoin (LTC). An FLR airdrop to Litecoin users is actually in the works.

XRP wallets included in the December snapshot will receive a Flare tokens (worth a great amount of money, potentially).

In a Jan. 8, 2020 tweet, Flare says that they will “reduce” the number of Flare tokens for the project’s founders by five billion. This extra will be distributed to “Litecoin participants.” The Tweet promises clarification in the coming week.

A Flare for airdrops Tokens on the Flare network, known as Spark, will be used for governance and as collateral following the expected token drop in Q2, 2021. The business plans to bring smart contracts to Ripple’s XRP. Previously, Ripple was seen as a vehicle for funds transfer, and Flare claims that Spark tokens will add value.

With this tweet, the company is actually announcing what was somewhat unexpected: that the network will support other cryptocurrencies besides XRP, namely Litecoin.

Flare received a large amount of hype and press before the December snapshot for the airdrop to XRP holders.

For what it is worth, the company is naming their FLR tokens XFLR tokens (for XRP) on their site. There can probably be LFLR tokens for Litecoin. But it may not stop there. Flare could add support for other cryptos.

The rationale for choosing to integrate with Litecoin, over some other similarly sized digital assets, may have come right down to the fact that after XRP, LTC was the next biggest asset currently with no smart contract capabilities.

The Litecoin Foundation has stated it is “very excited to see the capability of smart contracts and interoperability coming for Litecoin through Flare.”

This also opens up the possibility of more such integrations that would bring the DeFi ecosystem to all non-ETH coins in the near future.

Flare has said it may support other networks in the future, but this was given little attention. Support for, say, the Bitcoin network could have implications that are huge and give ETH a run for its money.

Smart contracts and Ethereum competition? The short version of the purpose of Flare is actually to facilitate smart contracts on protocols that don’t have them built in. Flare is backed by XRP, and the airdrop to most XRP-hodling wallets cast Flare into the spotlight.

The very last several weeks have seen insane interest in Ethereum, and as the time tested and secure smart-contract chain, that is no surprise. The #2 crypto may have new investors interested in case they feel like they “missed the boat” with Bitcoin.

But the tech backing Ethereum’s value is the smart contracts. Though there are actually lots of other similar protocols that are potential rivals (DOT, EOS), ADA, Ethereum still reigns supreme.

Nevertheless, if other networks (like XRP or LTC) could support smart contracts, that would widen their appeal. In case these protocols could be interoperable via the Flare network, that would be a coup for Spark tokens (Flare hasn’t suggested they’ve plans for this).

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World’s Oldest Operating Crypto Exchange Forecasts Trends For 2021

At the beginning of 2021, the world’s oldest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, has seen an all-time high of over $40,000 on 8 January 2021, which is not surprising, since institutional investors as well as high-net-worth individuals consider BTC as a hedge against extraordinary fiscal stimulus programs. Here is an AMA summary from Chief Research Officer, Dan at BTCC.

ETH Price Prediction in 2021

The world’s largest financial derivatives exchange, CME Group, announces its ETH derivative product will go live on February 2021, following the launch of Bitcoin derivative product. It means Ethereum will be considered as a financial product, and will be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). We expect that the launch of ETH derivative product next year will bring more institutional funds into the market, thus the price of ETH is very likely to see a massive rise.

Growing Number of Institutional Players Entering the Crypto Market

The year of 2020 also has seen numerous examples of institutional investors turning their attention to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. For example, one of the largest insurance firms, MassMutual, has purchased $100 million of Bitcoin on December 2020.

We expected to see the crypto market to rise from the end of 2020 to 2021. The difference between the bull run this year to the one in 2017 is that previous bull was driven by individual investors and some whales. However, the bull run this year is mainly driven by institutional investors pushing the price up.

Top 10 Cryptocurrencies to Look Out for in 2021

The major theme of crypto market next year will be around DeFi, Polkadot, and ETH 2.0, therefore we will expect ETH remain unchanged at the top 2. While XRP, BCH, LTC and EOS are not what the market needs for next year, we expect to see these coins fall out of their current ranking.

Here is a prediction of crypto ranking in 2021 by Dan: BTC, ETH, USDT, LTC, XRP, BNB, LINK, UNI, DOT, BCH.

BTCC currently offer 9 major cryptocurrency trading pairs including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS (EOS), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), Dash (DASH), and Cardano (ADA). Users can trade Bitcoin with leverage.

About BTCC

Founded in 2011, BTCC is the world’s longest-running crypto exchange and currently headquartered in the UK. With nearly 10 years of operating history, BTCC is known for its safe and stable, top-end market depth, and as well as faster transaction speed. 

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Cryptocurrency Market Cap Blows Through $1 Trillion

A wave of recent institutional buying has propelled the total market cap of all cryptocurrencies to exceed the $1 Trillion level for the first time ever.

The price of bitcoin hit another all-time high Wednesday. Bitcoin (BTC) was trading around $36,868 as of 7 p.m. ET, Gaining 6.5% over the previous 24 hours, and easily surpassing Jan. 2’s previous record high of $34,366.

According to the latest data, the $1 trillion cryptocurrency economy has gained significant value in the last 24 hours. The world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is topping the list with a market cap exceeding $680 billion.

Best Performing Cryptocurrency Assets

Ethereum is the best performing asset among major cryptocurrencies, the total market cap of Ethereum jumped nearly 60% in the last 7 days to reach a market cap of $137 billion. As of writing, the price of Ethereum is hovering around $1,211, within striking distance of its all time high.

The world’s top cryptocurrencies have gained the limelight in recent days due to a significant increase in market value, but other crypto-assets like Cardano and Stellar have actually performed better than Bitcoin and Ethereum in the last few weeks in terms of percentage gain. Stellar (XLM) has gained more than 60% in the last 24 hours, and 159% in the last 7 days as the total market cap of the cryptocurrency reached $7.4 billion. Further, XLM posted strong gains after an announcement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation to work with Stellar Development Foundation to introduce virtual assets in the country.

Furthermore, Litecoin, Polkadot, Chainlink and Bitcoin Cash posted strong gains in the last few days as all the mentioned cryptocurrency assets gained more than 30% in the last 7 days. Institutional adoption is pushing the cryptocurrency economy beyond the $1 trillion market cap much quicker than most observers had anticipated.

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Litecoin and XRP Battle It Out For Spot In Top 5 Cryptocurrencies

Litecoin (LTC) and XRP traded places in market capitalization rankings over the weekend, highlighting the impact of the recent lawsuit against Ripple filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

The so-called “flippening” happened early Sunday when Litecoin’s market cap hit $9.95 billion following a more than 11% surge in price. XRP, meanwhile, had declined in excess of 40% over a 24-hour trading period

The battle for a spot in the top 5 cryptocurrencies by market cap continues to rage on.

As of yesterday, XRP was back in the fourth position with a market cap of $10.5 billion. Litecoin, meanwhile, was worth just over $10 billion. In the last week, Litecoin’s price has gained more than 30% while XRP during the same time period has only risen by about 8%.

Litecoin’s price has more than doubled since mid-December, climbing to $163 at the time of this writing from a low of about $70 on December 11, 2020. XRP was also on a tear before the SEC announced a lawsuit against Ripple for allegedly violating securities laws. From its peak to its low, XRP price tumbled more than 73%, according to CoinMarketCap data. XRP has only recovered a portion of what it lost.

XRP’s road to recovery is likely to be a bumpy one as investors await the outcome of the litigation — a process that legal experts say could take several years to play out. We do have the opion – just our opinion – that a settlement will be reached sooner rather than later. Without a settlement with the SEC, the value of XRP could struggle to regain momentum. A wave of delistings at major exchanges has also dampened enthusiasm for XRP.

Meanwhile, Litecoin’s ascendancy likely has more to do with Bitcoin than any change in the project’s underlying fundamentals. Being the oldest of the cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin has assumed the role of the leader. Where Bitcoin goes, the altcoins follow.

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies rose to all-time high today, surging past $950 billion.

Litecoin vs XRP


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More Signs That Institutional Money Is Flowing Into Cryptocurrency

Bitwise Asset Management, a leading provider of crypto index funds, became the most recent example of the influx of institutional money into cryptocurrency by announcing today that it recently surpassed $500 million in assets under management (AUM), up $400 million from its previous report of $100 million in AUM on October 28, 2020.

The Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (OTCQX: BITW), which seeks to track an index of the 10 largest cryptoassets—including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin—has seen the strongest demand, recently crossing over $400M in AUM.

The Bitwise Bitcoin Fund and Bitwise Ethereum Fund—which provide low-cost, professionally managed exposure to Bitcoin and Ethereum, respectively—have seen increased demand as well.

“The speed at which professional investors are moving into crypto right now is remarkable,” said Hunter Horsley, cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Bitwise. “While adoption of crypto as an asset class and conviction around its role in portfolios rapidly expands, we continue to urge all investors to consider the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies in general and the Bitwise Funds in particular.”

Bitwise saw record inflows into its funds during Q4 2020, surpassing the total cumulative inflows of 2018 and 2019 combined. The increased demand came primarily from Bitwise’s core audience, investment professionals, including financial advisors, hedge funds, corporate balance sheets, and other institutional investors.

Bitwise specializes in educating and supporting professional investors, with a senior team and staff from firms like BlackRock, Fidelity, Eaton Vance, Wealthfront, Facebook, J.P. Morgan, and iCapital. The Bitwise Funds offer ongoing private placements to accredited investors via www.bitwiseinvestments.com.

About Bitwise Asset Management

Bitwise Asset Management is a leading provider of index and beta crypto funds. Based in San Francisco, Bitwise’s team combines expertise in technology with decades of experience in traditional asset management and indexing—coming from firms including Facebook, Google, Wealthfront, BlackRock, Fidelity, Deutsche Bank, IndexIQ, and ETF.com.

Bitwise is backed by leading institutional investors and asset management executives, and is a frequent commentator on crypto in the press. It has been profiled in Institutional Investor, CNBC, Barron’s, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many other leading publications. The firm is a trusted partner to financial advisors, RIAs, multifamily offices, hedge funds, and other professional investors as they navigate the crypto space

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Bittrex Announces Delisting 3 Privacy Coins

Cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex announced impending delistings of three privacy cryptocurrencies as of Jan. 15.

As privacy coins, the three fit into a category that is increasingly under threat from government regulators worldwide.

A not-so-Happy New Year for privacy enthusiasts?

On Jan. 1, the Bittrex cryptocurrency exchange posted a notice on their website that effective Jan. 15, Monero, Dash, and ZCash would be removed from their trading platform. These three are privacy tokens, which anonymize transactions.

The notice states:

You must perform any trades with these tokens no later than Friday, January 15, 2021, 23:00 UTC.

After the markets are removed, Bittrex generally seeks to provide users up to 30 days to withdraw any delisted tokens, but in certain instances the withdrawal period may be shortened. Users should withdraw any tokens before the posted withdrawal deadline.

Privacy tokens, as the name suggests, are relatively difficult for investigators to track. Their use is rising, and some tokens have been in regulators’ sights for a while.

Back in November, Bittrex announced the delisting of 23 tokens for a variety of performance or regulatory issues. The exchange also singled out Grin at that time as a possible target for future delisting. Readers should note that Bittrex also pointed to MEME and VRC for possible delisting.

Bounty program

 In Sep. 2020,  the Internal Revenue Service of the US government offered  up to $625,000 to the team(s) that could crack Monero’s or the Lightning Network’s encryption. The announcement carried a sense of urgency, considering that tight time frames were included in the rules. In particular, Monero seems to be a thorn in the regulators’ side. The request for proposals specified that a Lightning Network on Bitcoin monitoring tool already existed. However, tools for Lightning on Litecoin and on Ethereum were needed. 

Europe is seriously determined to thwart privacy.

In October, EUROPOL, the EU’s united policing body, released the Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) for 2020. Privacy coins ranked among the top threats. Mixing services and anonymization are evolving, the report noted. Moreover, crypto-enabled crime adapts quickly to the changing landscape.

Communications encryption 

Governments focused their attention on more than privacy coins in 2020. They turned to encrypted communication as well, and saw a threat. The European Union emphasized this in early November. The EU Council of Ministers issued a proposal regarding a resolution forbidding end-to-end encryption of communications. This proposal affected What’s App and Signal in particular. 

While the proposal was non-binding, it shows where the EU is heading in terms of privacy. The rest of the world is following close behind.