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DeFi Crypto Assets Start 2021 By Thundering Higher

Although we’re just beyond 2 weeks in, 2021 has started off with a burst for the cryptocurrency world.

Amid political chaos in the United States, the value of cryptocurrencies have risen significantly and so far this year. Bitcoin started 2021 around $29,000; and in two weeks time is has already soared above $40,000. More than a few analysts are predicting a 6-digit Bitcoin price this year.

Nevertheless, it’s not only about Bitcoin; beyond BTC, there has been an explosion in coin prices across the board, as cryptocurrency funds see record inflows. This is especially true with DeFi coins and tokens. At press time, we took a look at five major DeFi assets listed on coinmarketcap. In no particular order:

  1. Chainlink (LINK) Chainlink started the year around $12 and has gained as much as 83%, reaching a high above $22.00. LINK is a decentralized oracle network which aims to connect smart contracts with data from the real world. Chainlink was developed by Sergey Nazarov, with Steve Ellis as the other co-founder. It held an ICO in September 2017, raising $32 million, with a total supply of 1 billion LINK tokens. LINK, the cryptocurrency native to the Chainlink decentralized oracle network, is used to pay node operators.
  2. Ren (REN) Ren started the year around 34 cents and has gained as much as 85%, reaching a high above 63 cents. Ren (REN) is an open protocol built to provide interoperability and liquidity between different blockchain platforms. Formerly known as Republic Protocol, Ren launched RenVM, its virtual machine mainnet, in May 2020, having completed a $34 million initial coin offering (ICO) in 2018. The protocol’s native token, REN, functions as a bond for those running nodes which power RenVM, known as Darknodes. Ren aims to expand the interoperability, and hence accessibility, of decentralized finance (DeFi) by removing hurdles involved in liquidity between blockchains.
  3. Sushiswap (SUSHI) Sushiswap started the year around $3 and has gained as much as 153%, reaching a high above $7.60. SushiSwap (SUSHI) is an example of an automated market maker (AMM). An increasingly popular tool among cryptocurrency users, AMMs are decentralized exchanges which use smart contracts to create markets for any given pair of tokens. SushiSwap launched in September 2020 as a fork of Uniswap, the AMM which has become synonymous with the decentralized finance (DeFi) movement and associated trading boom in DeFi tokens. SushiSwap aims to diversify the AMM market and also add additional features not previously present on Uniswap, such as increased rewards for network participants via its in-house token, SUSHI.
  4. Aave (AAVE) Aave started the year around $90 and has gained as much as 114%, reaching a high above $203.00. Aave is a decentralized finance protocol that allows people to lend and borrow crypto. Lenders earn interest by depositing digital assets into specially created liquidity pools. Borrowers can then use their crypto as collateral to take out a flash loan using this liquidity. Aave (which means “ghost” in Finnish) was originally known as ETHLend when it launched in November 2017, but the rebranding to Aave happened in September 2018. AAVE provides holders with discounted fees on the platform, and it also serves as a governance token — giving owners a say in the future development of the protocol.
  5. Uniswap (UNI) Uniswap started the year at just about $5 and has gained as much as 80%, reaching a high of $9.00. Uniswap is a popular decentralized trading protocol, known for its role in facilitating automated trading of decentralized finance (DeFi) tokens. An example of an automated market maker (AMM), Uniswap launched in November 2018, but has gained considerable popularity this year thanks to the DeFi phenomenon and associated surge in token trading. Uniswap aims to keep token trading automated and completely open to anyone who holds tokens, while improving the efficiency of trading versus that on traditional exchanges. Uniswap creates more efficiency by solving liquidity issues with automated solutions, avoiding the problems which plagued the first decentralized exchanges. In September 2020, Uniswap went a step further by creating and awarding its own governance token, UNI, to past users of the protocol. This added both profitability potential and the ability for users to shape its future — an attractive aspect of decentralized entities.
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Cryptocurrency News

Cryptocurrency Funds See Record Inflows

Outsized returns on emerging cryptocurrencies fueled the year’s top-performing U.S. exchange-traded funds as the coronavirus pandemic upended global markets. Overall, those who played blockchain assets were rewarded handsomely. The year’s best fund, Grayscale Ethereum Trust, which holds Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, soared 333.7% for the year through Dec. 9.

Voyager Digital Ltd., a Canadian publicly traded, licensed crypto-asset broker that provides investors with a turnkey solution to trade and invest in crypto assets, just recently announced milestone growth, surpassing $200 million in assets under management (AUM), up 100% from $100 million at the beginning of November, and up 40x in the past 12 months.

This accelerated growth in AUM is led by unprecedented levels of net daily deposits, as the crypto bull market powers forward. With over $50 million in total net daily deposits since the beginning of November, the firm averaged nearly $1 million of net daily deposits for this same period.

Institutional money is beginning to flood into the sector.

“Voyager is firing on all cylinders as we enter 2021,” said Steve Ehrlich, Co-founder and CEO of Voyager. “The rapid pace of increase in net daily deposits is a testament to the success of our platform and the support from our community. AUM is a key metric for the performance of our business, and we are excited that users have placed their trust in our platform which allows us to generate greater returns and thereby reinvest to bring new products to market faster, including our desktop platform, debit and credit cards, and margin offerings.”

2020 has been a milestone year for the crypto-asset space with many well-known institutions either diversifying into Bitcoin or providing greater access to digital assets. The Company believes this continued momentum confirms that digital assets are a legitimate, standalone and investable asset class that is here to stay, providing investors with the ability to combat inflationary pressures from continued debasement of traditional fiat currencies. This evidence suggests that digital assets are starting to rival more established asset classes such as equities, fixed income, commodities and precious metals, in particular the $9 trillion traditional gold market.

“We’ve positioned Voyager with a leverageable technology platform ripe for expansion both internationally and product wise, with Canadian and European expansion planned in 2021,” continued Mr. Ehrlich. “We look forward to bringing Voyager’s regulatorily compliant and transparent platform to the masses in 2021.”

Cryptocurrency funds are a new breed of investment vehicle which parallels more traditional portfolio investments, such as mutual funds, but are largely made up of digital commodities. As a result, they operate by somewhat different rules than their traditional progenitor counterparts.