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SithSwap raises $2.65M to build next-gen AMM on StarkNet

SithSwap, a next-generation automated market maker (AMM) on StarkNet, announced it has successfully raised $2.65 million at a $25 million valuation in a seed funding round led by Lemniscap, with participation from Big Brain Holdings, GSR, DWeb3 Capital, Ghaf Capital Partners, as well as angel investors Anthony Beaumont and Etienne Royole. The SithSwap team will […]

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Crypto Meltdown Calls for a Decentralized Compliance Layer to Protect User Interest

Over the last few weeks, the cryptocurrency market has been rocked by extreme volatility. There has been a steep decline in the price of digital assets. Such has been the meltdown in that the entire market cap has fallen under $1 trillion, which surpassed the $3 trillion mark at the peak of the bull cycle. Being a nascent market means high volatility is a common phenomenon at this stage of growth. That said, this volatility has made crypto so attractive to investors and speculators. However, volatility doesn’t always mean just a significant upside but also a remarkable downside. And that’s what we are seeing in this fourth crypto cycle, so all this carnage is not unprecedented. In fact, a 70% to 80% drop in Bitcoin and Ether prices from their all-time highs can be seen as a golden ‘buy the blood’ opportunity to plan for the future with a focus on research and only investing what you can afford to lose. However, we also witnessed this time that the significant drawdown in the crypto prices was exacerbated by the lack of proper risk management practices adopted by some of the biggest names in the industry. Extreme Market Conditions One of the biggest centralized lenders in the crypto space, Celsius Network, was among this torrent of bad news as it abruptly froze customer withdrawals, swaps, and transfers between accounts due to what it said were “extreme market conditions.” This pause in withdrawals resulted in more volatility and raised concerns about Celsius’ solvency. It was a liquidity issue, according to the experts, a classic banking problem. Just late last year, Celsius Network raised $400 million in a Series B funding round at a valuation of $3.5 billion. Back in October, the crypto lender had $25 billion in assets from more than 1.7 million users, which fell to around $11.8 billion as of last month. Besides spooking investors and the market, this is catching the attention of the administration and lawmakers during times of economic uncertainty, including high inflation and global market instability. State securities regulators in Washington, Alabama, Texas, Kentucky, and New Jersey are now investigating Celsius Network’s decision to suspend customer redemptions this week. It is expected the proposed regulations to regulate stablecoins by the President Working Group could extend to the entire crypto space in order to “mitigate the risks of these assets.” The PWG report calls for federal regulatory oversight, restricting institutions from lending customers’ digital assets out, and compliance with liquidity and capital requirements. Need for a Better Solution Much like a bank, the centralized lender Celsius was using the crypto deposits from over a million retail customers and investing them in the crypto market, including DeFi but did not apply proper risk management or provide any safety measures to its users. Thus, the market needs a truly decentralized solution that doesn’t obscure how they deal with their funds. Astra protocol is one such decentralized solution that provides a compliance layer for the Web3 economy. In the DeFi sector, undercollateralized loans have been gaining traction. Still, while they offer the benefit of no central control, they carry considerable risks in terms of a lack of asset liquidity and instant payment. Astra’s truly decentralized project onboards traditional players for funding, allowing for lending on the Astra network, and eliminating the need for these under-collateralized loans. By converging the power of Web3.0 and traditional financial ecosystems, Astra Network aims to create the next iteration of decentralization and become the largest network in the industry. Zurich, Switzerland-based Astra basically allows protocols to comply with society’s numerous regulations without giving up the benefits of decentralization or putting investors at risk. Decentralized Compliance Layer Amidst the mainstream global adoption of crypto and the regulatory challenges coming its way, Astra has designed its network to be the only fully KYC (know your customer) compliant decentralized blockchain ecosystem which is available worldwide with the protocol performing all compliance practices. This regulatory compliance is offered across a vast number of DeFi protocols to reassure users that their investments are completely protected while preserving their anonymity. The Astra network further offers its infrastructure to countries and their treasuries to issue financial products such as regulated and sustainable CBDCs bonds and financial instruments while taking advantage of the incredible yield available through digital assets. To achieve this, Astra has equipped all DeFi smart contracts with a fully decentralized compliance layer, including KYC & AML capabilities, and leveraging the expertise of trusted legal firms to resolve real-world compliance issues. To provide the best KYC/AML services available, Astra has developed a unique Decentralized Legal Network (DLN), an ecosystem that contains major, global legal and audit firms. In terms of consensus mechanism, the system that allows distributed systems to work together and stay secure, Astra is using the environmental-friendly Proof-of-Stake (PoS), which is the perfect fit to build a real-world solution for billions of users through its improved scalability and increased transactional throughput. A Vast Network Compliance is not the only feature offered by Astra. The project provides several other services, including enhanced vetting, a dispute resolution platform, AML, and reporting for process feedback and improved procedures. The demand for these services is increasing rapidly as the crypto market continues to onboard more and more people and capital invested in the sector skyrockets. Not to mention all the challenges faced by the industry, such as lack of certainty for smart contracts, recurring derivative contract disputes, high legal risks in connecting real-world assets to the blockchain, and poor management of claims disputes on-chain. Astra here certainly has the potential to gain market fit with its customizable services that offer security in retrieving incorrect transactions, create secure escrow accounts to prevent unexpected withdrawals, provide a decentralized legal layer for user protection, and equip insurance protocols with an in-built claim verification tool. Overall, with its KYC, KYB, and AML services for decentralized organizations, Astra aims to ensure that all DeFi and crypto platforms keep pace with the ever-changing regulatory landscape.   Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Crypto News

VENT Finance Expands Crowdfunding Access With WingRiders General Pool Sale

WingRiders’ native $WRT token is up for grabs in what will be the first General Pool Sale on the VENT Finance launchpad. The GPS sale is designed to reduce the barrier to entry and encourage more investors to participate in the WingRiders project, which is looking to establish itself as a top decentralized exchange on the Cardano blockchain. WingRiders is an automated market maker-based DEX on Cardano that utilizes a unique extended unspent transaction model that’s said to provide a more reliable and versatile environment for executing multiple transactions, with zero system failures. It was developed by VacuumLabs and offers full functionality for DeFi investors, with token swaps, staking, liquidity providing and yield farming opportunities available on its platform. The reception to WingRiders has been positive. Since launching its mainnet earlier in the year, it has emerged as the number three DEX on Cardano in terms of total value locked. The popularity of WingRiders is due to its unique ability to support non-Cardano assets such as BTC and ETH, something that no other Cardano DEX currently offers. It also supports stablecoins such as USDC and USDT, again something that no other Cardano-based DEX can provide. Other novelties on the WingRiders platform include support for ADA auto staking, and direct integration with hardware wallets such as Trezor and Ledger. WingRiders is partnering with VENT to raise $200,000 USDC through the GPS, in addition to a $300,000 raise via an IDO. This will be the first time VENT has hosted a GPS sale on its platform. Previously, projects on VENT were launched exclusively via an IDO, but VENT said it’s looking to enable anyone to participate, not only $VENT token holders, so as to increase exposure for WingRiders. The idea is to boost publicity and obtain more liquidity by appealing to non-VENT users who don’t hold $VENT tokens. With its IDOs, VENT requires a minimum wallet balance for all participants but that isn’t the case with the GPS. Instead, the only thing investors have to do is complete KYC/AML registration and pay a 20% tax on all purchased $WRT tokens in the sale. VENT will then use a portion of the funds it raises from the sale to buy back $VENT tokens to boost the dynamics of its token value. The GPS sale is not a one-off, as VENT said in a Medium post the model is here to stay. For future projects, it is planning to use both fundraising models so as to appeal to $VENT holders and everyone else. Loyal users will still get exclusive access to new projects through IDOs as well as a guaranteed allocation in the GPS, while those who don’t hold $VENT tokens can join in the fun while still supporting the VENT ecosystem, VENT explained.   Image source: VENT Finance

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Crypto trading exchange BitCoke rolls out $300M USD ecosystem fund

Bitcoke, a derivatives-focused cryptocurrency exchange, recently announced the official launch of BitCoke Ventures, its affiliated investment arm with a starting amount of $300 million to foster exchange outreach. With notable backers, the fund will focus on investing in startup projects in blockchain infrastructure, wallets, GameFi, NFTs, and other web3 areas critical to the business and […]

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Report Reveals Terra Holders Liquidated Their Holding When Crash Started

The Terra LUNA crash last month sent many investors back in their returns. The crypto market generally crashed the previous month, but the 80% deep dive in Terra wasn’t funny. The panic by the investors to pull out of the crypto crash intensified the fall of many coins. Generally, the crypto market suffered a loss estimated at $400 billion in a few days. Surprisingly, a new report has emerged showing that while the Whales were dumping their holdings, the retailers were busy buying up Terra. According to the Terra investor who made the report, many smaller wallets were stocking up the coin amid the panic. New findings that many withdrawals and swaps were going on. Most of the outflows were going on Terra’s Anchor Protocol during the early days of the crash in May. Related Reading | Bitcoin Exchange Outflows Suggest That Investors Are Starting To Accumulate The Terra crash caused a lot of pain in the crypto market. According to the Policy head at Blockchain Association, Jake Chervinsky, the crash week was one of the most painful days in the history of cryptocurrency. Diverse Reasons For Terra Crash Many people have speculated several reasons for the crash. But one glaring reason is the operations of the Terra’s Anchor Protocol. According to how stablecoins operate, they’re backed by reserves which should always be adequate to pay off investors even if they all pull out at the same time. But UST is a stablecoin that operates with algorithms relying on code. This coin needs continuous market activities and the belief that it is pegged to the dollars to work. Also, many people trusted the link to its base currency, LUNA. So when Anchor Protocol, owned by Terra, came up with a 20% return on lending six months ago, investors rushed in to cash out the ample opportunity. The UST started seeing massive purchases as all the investors targeted the 20% returns. Of course, many critics called it a Ponzi scheme, and even the Terra team members acknowledged it but argued that it was a means of creating awareness for the protocol. Related Reading | Bitcoin Rests Tentatively Above $31,000, Bull Rally Or Trap? Unfortunately, many large investors decided to pull out their investments to make big money through short-selling. As a result, UST depegged from the USD. Many people panicked and wanted to get all their earned interest out before a further crash. This bank-run also crashed Luna and brought UST to 12 cents and Luna to fractions of a penny. One other reason for the Terra crash might be attributed to the crypto sentiment that was going on following the Federal Reserve’s rate increase. Also, the increasing inflation affected the market at that time too. So, there were a lot of issues going on, and people were already worried about the hope of crypto investments. Terra Luna’s crash also facilitated the already tethering crypto market crash. Even the attempts by small depositors to increase their holdings on Anchor didn’t work because their overall liquidity is just a fraction of what is needed on the protocol. Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com

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Coinbase Wallet Adds BNB Chain and Avalanche (AVAX) Support, Allows Users To Trade Thousands of Crypto Assets

Coinbase Wallet customers can now trade crypto assets on two new leading crypto networks. The self-custody wallet rolled out swaps for BNB Chain (BNB), formerly Binance Smart Chain, and Avalanche (AVAX) this week, adding to its existing support for Ethereum (ETH) and Polygon (MATIC). Coinbase Wallet says customers can swap thousands of tokens between the […]

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Blockchain Payments Protocol PumaPay V3.0 Goes Live On Testnet

Blockchain Payments Protocol PumaPay V3.0 Goes Live On Testnet

Blockchain payments protocol PumaPay is upgrading to V3.0. The new platform incorporates advanced and adaptable features to provide users with a seamless and efficient experience. For starters, the whole protocol has migrated to BNB Smart Chain (BSC). Users will therefore experience higher transaction speeds, in addition to lower gas fees. The protocol has also been […]