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As Yearn.Finance’s yield vaults grow, ‘crop’ projects define boundaries

With millions and even billions of dollars at stake, industrial-scale yield farming is leading to pockets of resistance as some projects refuse to be left with the chaff. 

In the past week, team members from no-loss lottery project PoolTogether and exchange liquidity pool provider Curve Finance have proposed ways to reduce the load Yearn.Finance strategies place on their protocols and governance tokens.

In a Tweet on Sunday, PoolTogether co-founder Leighton Cusak noted that Yearn has become the primary beneficiary of many of the protocol’s DAI lotteries, as Yearn controls 57% of all DAI funds ($27 million of the $47 million in the pool at the time of writing) and therefore has a disproportionate chance to win.

“At this scale, it becomes problematic as they monopolize the chances to win and marginalize the core value prop of the protocol,” Cusak wrote on Twitter.

Likewise, in a governance proposal today “Charlie,” a representative of the Curve core team, put forth a vote to remove the CRV benefits given to the alUSD pool. alUSD is a stablecoin from Alchemix, a project which issues loans based on future yield from deposits into Yearn vaults; Yearn vaults, in turn, use stablecoins and other assets to farm Curve’s CRV token.

Both instances of projects bucking under Yearn’s weight led to speculation on social media that there may be personal hostilities motivating what looks like a protocol-level sharecropper’s revolt (Alchemix opted to use Curve competitor Saddle for a new synthetic ETH pool); that Yearn may be overzealous with its farm-and-dump strategies; and that there could be “governance wars” creating friction in what should be an open ecosystem. 

Likening the dynamic to a “war” appears to be overblown, however.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, Cusack said that PoolTogether has already agreed to onboard Yearn as an interest provider for the lotteries, and in turn Yearn will cease acting as a whale flopping in their pools. 

“We have recently completed an integration with yearn and it is being audited. This means our prizes pools can use Yearn for yield. This is better as it will yield a higher APR. It also means that Yearn won’t be able to deposit into PoolTogether as that would create a risky recursive loop,” he said.

He also noted that “Yearn keeps 10% of all the POOL tokens it accrues” and that POOL emissions were cut 50% late last month.

“I’ve found them to be very helpful and willing to make changes to reach a more optimum outcome.They ultimately understand that our success brings more success to them,” Cusak added of the Yearn team.

Likewise, Charlie of Curve noted that the governance proposal is an effort to mitigate a recursive CRV emission structure, similar to what PoolTogether is looking to achieve with their new arrangement.

“Alchemix and alUSD are awesome products which partly make their yield by selling CRV which is why the community raised the point [they] shouldn’t receive CRV on top (the double dipping). It is not a hostile proposal towards Alchemix, just a way to see if the rest of the Curve DAO feels the same way about it and if they indeed do feel like it’s abusing the system. It has nothing to do with the selling,” he said.

While the battle between farmer and crops for the time appears to have been staved off, Cusak did say that there remains a fundamental conflict that could eventually bubble into a governance fight.

“There is inherently a tension between protocols wanting deposits to drive growth and those depositors wanting to maximize yield be selling the protocol token.”

While the DeFi ecosystem prides itself on elegant economic designs and logical systems, when it comes to governance hot heads do sometimes lead to conflicts. Earlier in the year, insurance/coverage protocol Cover and Yearn.Finance announced a cessation of a merger that some parties likened to a divorce

Multiple Yearn reps did not respond by the time of publication.

Bitcoin price hits $40K as Paul Tudor Jones slams Fed inflation claims

Bitcoin (BTC) passed $40,000 on June 14 as a consolidation period snapped to unleash a solid breakout.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

BTC price breaks out past $40,000

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD gaining 3% in under an hour, reaching $40,600 on Bitstamp.

The largest cryptocurrency capitalized on the upside that resulted from a new positive tweet by Elon Musk concerning Tesla possibly accepting BTC in the future.

Earlier, Cointelegraph reported on traders betting on a leg up to around $47,000 before a correction.

A look at buy and sell positions on major exchange Binance shows support at $38,000, with resistance at $40,500 — the next hurdle for bulls.

Buy and sell levels on Binance as of June 14. Source: Material Indicators/Twitter

Paul Tudor Jones advocates 5% BTC allocation

Bitcoin reached a $2 trillion market capitalization because of a “dichotomy” in Federal Reserve policy that “questions” its credibility, said famous trader Paul Tudor Jones.

In an interview with CNBC on June 14, the founder of Tudor Investment Corporation sounded the alarm over advancing inflation.

After last week’s consumer price index (CPI) report showed that United States inflation has hit a 13-year high, Bitcoin’s deflationary nature has rarely looked so appealing.

For Jones, the idea that higher inflation is just temporary due to recent events — as suggested by the Fed and central banks in general — is a myth.

“It’s somewhat disingenuous to say that inflation is transitory — for them to say inflation is transitory,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box segment.

Today’s environment is entirely different from those that saw episodes of inflation in the past, such as in 2013. As such, there is little sense in the Fed applying the same forecasts, Jones believes.

Jones noted that the CPI was much lower then, while now, unemployment levels and job offers also roughly equal each other.

Related: Paul Tudor Jones says Bitcoin is ‘like investing early in Apple or Google’

Meanwhile, gold and Bitcoin have provided a refuge for many. Despite the precious metal vastly underperforming Bitcoin in terms of gains, it remains near record highs.

“When you look at the Fed today and the Fed back then, you wonder: How can you have such wildly different policy views on what constitutes the right levels for employment, the right levels for inflation?” he continued.

“How can you have that with an eight-year timeframe? It’s almost like a split personality. And you wonder why Bitcoin has a $2 trillion market cap and gold’s at $1,865 an ounce. And the reason why is because you have this dichotomy in policy that again questions — questions —  the institutional credibility of something.”

Ultimately, a 5% Bitcoin allocation is one of the only things he recommends to those seeking portfolio advice.

“I say, ‘OK, listen. The only thing that I know for certain is I want to have 5% in gold, 5% in Bitcoin, 5% in cash, 5% in commodities at this point in time,'” he added.

Canadian Bitcoin ETF adds to its holdings despite steep market correction

Demand for Bitcoin (BTC) among Canadian investors has not wavered amid the latest price correction, offering further evidence that market participants are capitalizing on heavily discounted prices. 

The Purpose Bitcoin ETF, which launched in February, has now accumulated 19,692.149 BTC as of June 13, according to Bybt data. The ETF has added 284.51 BTC over the past seven days and nearly 2,000 BTC since May 15.

A massive breakdown in price has not deterred Canadian investors from seeking exposure to Bitcoin. Source: Bybt.

In fact, the ETF added to its holdings during the May 19 flash crash that saw Bitcoin wick down below $30,000 before quickly recovering.

At a current BTC price of around $36,000, the Purpose Bitcoin ETF has a value of over $709 million. Assets swelled to over $1.3 billion in less than two months of operations.

According to technician Byzantine General, inflows into the Purpose ETF suggest Canadians aren’t concerned about Bitcoin’s short-term price action.

Indeed, on a shorter time scale, Bitcoin’s price action has been a source of concern for the bulls. The flagship cryptocurrency has been languishing below $40,000 for the past month, with each attempt to reclaim that level being firmly rejected. A confluence of technical breakdowns, weakening sentiment and negative headlines have contributed to the bearish price action.

Related: ‘Discounted’ Bitcoin more likely to hit $100K than $20K in 2021, says Bloomberg analyst.

Analysts remain divided on the trajectory of Bitcoin’s market cycle. Some believe we are still on track to break triple-digit levels this year, while others believe we are heading for a bear market. Inflows into the Purpose fund suggest many investors are ignoring short-term fluctuations in favor of a longer-term view.

Fund managers in the United States hope to replicate the success of their Canadian counterparts by launching a Bitcoin ETF of their own. As Cointelegraph reported, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a formal review of three ETF proposals, with the first decision expected later this month.

Nvidia CEO: We’re “on the cusp of” a blockchain and NFT-enabled metaverse

One of the most powerful men in tech thinks that the metaverse — a term for a series of interlinked, persistent virtual worlds with self-contained economies — is just around the corner. 

One of the most exciting use cases for blockchain and NFTs, enthusiasts inspired by Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash have long been hoping for a VR/AR world with a crypto-powered internal market. Now, however, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang thinks the technology to make it happen is on our doorstep.

Speaking at the virtual Computex conference, Huang said that he “believe(s) we’re right on the cusp of” the metaverse and spoke glowingly of its potential, according to a transcript of a Q&A session he had with reporters — going as far as to say that users will one day use metaverses to “simulate the future.”

RELATED: Terra Virtua releases ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ NFTs to coincide with movie release

“There will be AR versions, where the art that you have is a digital art. You own it using NFT. You’ll display that beautiful art, that’s one of a kind, and it’s completely digital. You’ll have our glasses on or your phone. You can see that it’s sitting right there, perfectly lit, and it belongs to you. We’ll see this overlay, a metaverse overlay if you will, into our physical world,” he said.

He noted that Nvidia is already using a VR version of Nvidia’s new office building to test these theories, a campus that the company has dubbed “Voyager.” Among the world’s largest manufacturers of GPUs, Nvidia used supercomputers to “simulate architecture” for Voyager, helping with design and ecological efficiency, and eventually the company will allow employees to attend work by wearing VR headsets from home and controlling robots to move about the physical office space, a joint VR/physical workplace hybrid.

“This building completely exists in VR. We designed it completely digitally. We’re going to build it out so that there will be a digital twin of this very physical building in VR. We’ll be able to simulate everything, train our robots in it. We can simulate how best to distribute the air conditioning to reduce the energy consumption […] We can simulate all of that in our digital twin, our building metaverse, before we deploy anything here in the physical world. We’ll be able to go in and out of it using VR and AR.”

Huang isn’t the only CEO who has weighed in on NFTs and the Metaverse as of late, though he’s certainly the most optimistic. In January Fortnite founder Tim Sweeney said that NFTs are the most “plausible” path towards a functioning metaverse, but for now they remain a “speculative mess.” 

Ethereum’s $1.5B options expiry on June 25 will be a make-or-break moment

On June 25, Ether (ETH) will face its largest options expiry in 2021 as $1.5 billion worth of open interest will be settled. This figure is 30% larger than March’s 26 expiry, which took place as Ether price plunged 17% in 5 days and bottomed near $1,550. 

However, Ether rallied 56% after March’s options expiry, reaching $2,500 within three weeks. These moves were completely uncorrelated to Bitcoin’s (BTC). Therefore, it is essential to understand if a similar market structure could be underway for June 25 futures and options expiry.

Ether price at Bitstamp in March 2021, USD. Source: TradingView

Recent history shows a mix of bullish and bearish catalysts 

On March 11, Ether miners organized a “show of force” against EIP-1559, which would significantly reduce their revenues.

The situation worsened on March 22, as CoinMetrics launched an “Ethereum Gas Report,” stating that the highly anticipated EIP-1559 network upgrade would unlikely solve the high gas problem.

Things started to change on March 29, as Visa announced plans to use the Ethereum blockchain to settle a transaction made in fiat, and on April 15, the Berlin upgrade was successfully implemented. According to Cointelegraph, after Berlin launched, “the average gas fee began to decline to more manageable levels.”

Before jumping to conclusions and speculating whether these phenomena of the Ether price bottoming near the upcoming $1.5 billion options expiry are bullish or bearish, it’s best first to analyze how large traders are positioned.

Ether options open interest by expiry date. Source: Bybt

Take notice of how June’s expiry holds over 638,000 ETH options contracts, totaling 45% of the aggregate $3.4 billion open interest.

Unlike futures contracts, options are divided into two segments. Call (buy) options allow the buyer to acquire Ether at a fixed price on the expiry date. Generally speaking, these are used on neutral arbitrage trades or bullish strategies.

Meanwhile, the put (sell) options are commonly used to hedge or protect from negative price swings.

June 25 Ether options open interest by strike. Source: Bybt

For bulls, $2,200 is the line in the sand

As displayed above, there’s a disproportionate amount of call options at $2,200 and higher strikes. This means that if Ether’s price on June 25 happens to be below this level, 73% of the neutral-to-bullish options will be worthless. The 95,000 call options still in play would represent a $228 million open interest.

On the other hand, most protective put options have been opened at $2,100 or lower. Consequently, 74% of those neutral-to-bearish options will become worthless if the price stays above this level. Therefore, the remaining 73,700 put options would represent a $177 million open interest.

It seems premature to call who might be the winner of this race, but considering Ether’s current $2,400 price, it looks like both sides are reasonably comfortable.

However, traders should keep a close eye on this event, especially considering the price impact that surrounded the March expiry.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

VORTECS Report: When this indicator lights up, LUNA, MATIC and EGLD usually gain 10%

Consistency is not generally a hallmark of crypto asset price movements. In a market characterized by volatility, outliers often become the norm — while even macro analysis of large cap assets such as Bitcoin and Ether is often wide of the mark.

For cryptocurrencies with smaller market capitalizations, finding trading patterns can be even harder. But as the VORTECS Score™ from Cointelegraph Markets Pro continues to absorb the history of almost 200 digital assets, careful analysis of some crypto tokens demonstrates that patterns do exist: Even if they may be invisible to the human eye, the data doesn’t lie.

The data science team at Markets Pro and The TIE examined a number of cryptocurrencies that have regularly reached a VORTECS™ Score of over 80 since the quant algorithm was launched on January 3 2021.

A score of 80 generally indicates that the algorithm has reasonably high confidence that the combination of positive sentiment, price action, trading volume, and tweet volume that it currently sees in the market has historically led to increased prices for that particular asset over the next few days.

In the chart below, we can see assets that have hit that score on at least 20 days since launch, including AVAX, EGLD, VGX, MATIC, FTM, LUNA, AXS, AAVE, SAND and COTI.

The blue bar illustrates the number of days on which the asset hit at least 80 — if the coin rose above 80 and then retreated below, before achieving the score again, only one per day was recorded; all subsequent hits in the next 24 hours were ignored.

Orange bars represent the number of occasions on which the asset then gained 3% in value over the subsequent 72 hours, while grey bars show a gain of 5% and yellow denotes a 10% gain.

LUNA boasts the most consistent gains of at least 3% following a VORTECS™ Score of 80, achieving that milestone 92% of the time:

  • Gained 3% in value 92% of the time
  • Gained 5% in value 84% of the time
  • Gained 10% in value 68% of the time

Elrond (EGLD) also has a strong set of scores following an 80 score:

  • Gained 3% in value 65% of the time
  • Gained 5% in value 61% of the time
  • Gained 10% in value 55% of the time

The Sandbox (SAND) stands out for highly consistent minor gains that didn’t translate into the same sort of 10% plus returns:

  • Gained 3% in value 86% of the time
  • Gained 5% in value 82% of the time
  • Gained 10% in value 41% of the time

What is VORTECS?™

The VORTECS™ Score is an algorithmic metric derived from historical analysis of crypto markets.

For each one of the ~200 crypto assets supported by Cointelegraph Markets Pro, the algorithm is hunting for moments in time that resemble the current marketscape — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Specifically, it’s looking for patterns that have consistently led to significant changes in price in the past.

Those patterns include a variety of factors: Volume, Outlook, RealPrice, Tweet Volume, Elevation, Confidence, and Sentiment… or VORTECS™ for short.

The algorithm combines all of this raw data into a VORTECS™ Score, which is designed to identify the general health of the market for a particular crypto asset. A high score suggests that in the past, conditions similar to those we see right now have often led to increases in the price of that asset. The higher the score, the more confident the algorithm is that these scenarios have been consistent.

All-time VORTECS™ Score performance

Markets Pro has been tracking the return on investment (ROI) of Bitcoin, an evenly-weighted basket of the top 100 altcoins, and various automated VORTECS™-based strategies since launching the algorithm on January 3 2021. A full methodology is available here.

While Bitcoin was trading just 8% higher than its price on January 3 at the time of writing, the altcoin basket had delivered 348% in returns. The top-performing VORTECS™ strategies have delivered outsized gains including several in excess of 1,000%, although the recent market pullback has meant that one strategy (buy at a score of 85, sell at 75) now trails Bitcoin’s returns.

Time-based strategy performance

Score-based strategy performance

Cointelegraph Markets Pro is available exclusively to members on a monthly basis at $99 per month, or annually with two free months included. It carries a 14-day money-back policy, to ensure that it fits the crypto trading and investing research needs of subscribers, and members can cancel anytime.

Important Disclaimer

Cointelegraph is a publisher of financial information, not an investment adviser. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and carry significant risk including the risk of permanent and total loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Figures and charts are correct at the time of writing or as otherwise specified. Live-tested strategies are not recommendations. Consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions. Full terms and conditions.

Basketball star turned digital racehorse tycoon: Wilson Chandler on NFTs and the NBA

As Wilson Chandler tells it, despite being a NBA star with a decade-plus pro career and nearly $80 million in career earnings, the 6’8 combo forward still got his start in blockchain the same way scores of enthusiasts do: trading shitcoins. 

Chandler told Cointelegraph that he first heard about crypto from some “kids” he played Fortnite with in 2017. After growing fascinated by their stories of turning paltry sums into legitimate holdings, he eventually invited one out to his Chicago home for a crash-course on setting up wallets and using exchanges.

From there, the record is all on-chain: per a look at his Etherscan address, his early investment strategy was little more than spray-and-pray.

“From there I bought coins — Bitcoin, ETH, Stellar — bunch of shit just playing around, learning. Lost a bunch of coins doing silly stuff like pump and dump companies, not knowing any better.”

Like many degens-in-development, he relied on a network of friends for information. As he recounted on a recent episode of NFT collector podcast Club Top Shot, he had one enthusiastic buddy talk him into a pump-and-dump scheme based out of Amsterdam — a scam that cost him a significant Bitcoin position. The friend? The late, legendary rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle.

“I think about that shit all the time,” he said, laughing. 

However, he told Cointelegraph that those early stumbles have now paved a path to what may well end up being a second act for the former star.

“Experience is the best teacher they say.”

Second acts and sneaker deals

As a basketball player, Chandler’s resume is stellar. For years he could be relied on for strong 13-5-2 stat lines, primarily playing for scrappy Denver teams that twice made the playoffs — including an all-time great hipster team in the “Knuggets,” the collection of Nuggets and Knicks players assembled in the wake of the Carmelo Anthony trade. 

However, signs pointing towards the end of Chandler’s playing days. He’s been on three teams the past three years, opted out of the “bubble” playoffs last year, and most recently played for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions — a stop in China that can often signal a last hurrah for a pro player. While he’s said in interviews that he had offers on the table from NBA teams, including playoff contenders this year, he is ultimately looking towards retirement.

If some of his recent investments are any indication, crypto and NFT collecting could play a major role in whatever comes next for the former star. In addition to opening a medical marijuana dispensary, he’s starting to become a savvy NFT collector and is working to enmesh himself into the space.

Last month he revealed that he had become a proud CryptoPunk owner, changing his avatar to one of the staggeringly expensive collections of pixels. It was a surreal moment for many longtime NFT collectors, and a source of validation for those aficionados who held out hope for mainstream adoption in the thick of an ugly bear market.

Just a few weeks later, he announced a neat, possibly first-ever “digital shoe deal” in collaboration with NFT company CryptoKickers. Basketball stars inking shoe deals with major brands is nothing new, but CryptoKickers designs one-of-one streetwear-inspired shoes for virtual worlds like Cryptovoxels and The Sandbox — a use case that major fashion and apparel brands have long had their eye on. For the time being, Chandler now has the best virtual ‘gear’ of any NBA player in the Metaverse. 

Currently, however, his true passion is Zed Run. The Polygon-based collectible horse racing and breeding game has attracted significant attention due to rising popularity and the eye-watering sums rare, ‘genesis’ breed horses can fetch for collectors and racers. For Chandler, the social and educational elements are what drew him in.

“It’s a fun way to learn the space, get out there, explore, engage the communities. Fuck, I can breed and race digital horses and talk shit with friends and meet new friends. It’s just fun overall the entire space. And that interaction and engagement sometimes leads to new opportunities and other things that I may find just as fun and profitable.”

Helping him learn the ropes are some high-powered, largely unnamed whales who he’s met through chatrooms and networking. Like many traders and collectors, he’s discovered that private communities are an ideal way to corner ‘alpha,’ and he’s even gotten in on some fractionalized ownership deals for rare horses — including a horse stable agreement with one “Jake,” who works with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s venture capital outfit. 

“I’m in some incredible private group chats with some major players and they’re so giving with information and tips. Definitely makes it easier for me to open and have that confidence to ask the simple/dumb questions i need in order for me to learn. So I’m grateful for those guys. They’ve definitely embraced me with open arms in this short period of time.”

It’s a kind of elation that many investors feel in the midst of their first or second bullrun — the realization that, once you’ve learned the ropes, there’s a sprawling, thrilling, and potentially profitable frontier to explore:

“I’m having fun but I am also making an investment and building/holding assets with tremendous upside while I’m at it.”

Clout and culture

Chandler isn’t the only basketball star dabbling in NFTs. In recent weeks, younger players like Josh Hart, Tyrese Haliburton, and reigning Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball have started collections, with LaMelo in particular flourishing under the tutelage of collector-whale Pranksy. 

Ball is now an illustrious shitposter on the Bored Ape Yacht Club Discord server with hundreds of messages laughing at memes and talking digital bonsais. 

The NBA/NFT takeover shouldn’t be a surprise, given the success of NBA Top Shot. The Dapper Labs product, which turns basketball highlights into collectible “moments,” has been a smash hit, selling thousands of highlights and propelling Dapper to a valuation upwards of $7.5 million.

Chandler believes that it might be the start of a trend — NBA players, after all, have a long history of serving as tastemakers and arbiters of what is hip. And in NFTs, they now have a rapidly evolving technological and cultural movement that in some ways reflects the nature of the modern game, which is increasingly defined by absurd athleticism and pace.

“The NBA has always been more progressive than most leagues my opinion,” said Chandler. “And it’s fast paced, non stop action — especially the way the game is played now. You don’t get that anywhere else. Guys are much more athletic than before, guys’ ranges are crazyand guys are just so beautifully skilled nowadays. So I can see why fans and players gravitate towards NFTs. It’s fun and exciting, and they’re making money off this stuff.”

The range of participation in the space from players is broad. Chandler notes that, aside from collecting NFTs, plenty of players have made angel investments into blockchain companies, including early plays in Dapper and Coinbase. He thinks eventually the NBA itself will come to experiment with the technology, calling it a “no brainer for them.”

However, it’s still the early days of NFTs. He points to former Brooklyn Nets teammate as a “pioneer in the NBA when it comes to blockchain in general,” as Dinwiddies’ effort to tokenize a portion of his contract forced the league to “sit up and take notice.”

This trailblazing effort from Dinwiddie was just two years ago, and yet both the tech and adoption seem to have sprinted forward since — a sign that NFTs are just getting started with their push mainstream, says Chandler.

“We’re at the Atari stage — just wait until we get the Playstation 5.” 

Bitcoin traders eye ‘crucial’ $38K level as BTC price action consolidates higher

Bitcoin (BTC) traded in a higher range on Friday, with analysts keen to see which critical levels would fall next.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Bitcoin escapes fresh losses… for now

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD retaining $35,000 support overnight on Thursday while so far staying clear of $40,000.

A push higher had taken the pair to $39,000 before the consolidation phase began, but overall, Bitcoin was yet to make a decisive move up or down on longer timeframes.

For popular trader Rekt Capital, $38,000 needed to be flipped to support.

“The ~$38,000 area for BTC is the one to watch right now,” he noted on Wednesday, noting its significance in the current consolidation cycle.

BTC/USD 1-day candle chart (Coinbase) with consolidation highlighted. Source: Rekt Capital/Twitter

Altcoins lose dominance

Since then, volatility has waned, but broad calls for a significant market drop may ultimately go unanswered.

As Cointelegraph reported, fellow trader Crypto Ed was among those forecasting a return to near $30,000 as Bitcoin’s next move. On Friday, however, this was looking increasingly unlikely.

“Printed a couple of HL’s and starting to think we don’t complete that leg lower,” he told Twitter followers, with a chart likewise highlighting a crunch point at near $38,000.

“Confirmation when we break and retest that yellow horizontal.”

Crypto Ed’s BTC/USD forecast as of June 11. Source: Crypto Ed/Twitter

Related: Bitcoin price hits stock-to-flow rebound level not seen since 2017 all-time high

A look at buy and sell positions on largest global exchange Binance confirmed resistance at $38,500 and $40,000, respectively. By comparison, little noticeable support was in place much above $30,000. 

Buy and sell levels on Binance as of June 11. Source: Material Indicators/Twitter

On altcoins, the picture was more disheartening. Traders were faced with losses of around 4% across major tokens on Friday, with only Amp (AMP) positing noticeable daily gains of 17%.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization dominance thus improved as it drifted higher, hitting 44% from under 42% earlier in the week.

Bitcoin 2021 attendees’ positive COVID-19 tests are going viral

Some attendees of the Bitcoin 2021 event in Miami have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning home from the conference, leading to a wave of negative media coverage and social media speculation it could turn into a “super spreader event.”

Bloomberg called Miami Bitcoin a “Covid hot spot” while Gizmodo reported the conference “may be the latest COVID-19 super spreader event.”

Arcane Research chief investment officer Eric Wall was among those to contract the virus, tweeting on Thursday that he underwent a CT scan after suffering from a “high fever” and “chest pains,” with medical staff having suspected he may have a blood clot in his lungs. No blood clot was found, and Wall was discharged from the hospital and returned home.

Luke Martin of automated trading software developer Coinist also admitted to testing positive for COVID-19.

According to CNBC, at least 12,000 people attended the event, which did not require proof of vaccination or enforce a mask mandate. The event lasted for three days at Miami’s Mana Wynwood convention center, cramming into crowded auditoriums while social distancing was not enforced.

The event was Miami’s first major conference since the beginning of the pandemic. According to a New York Times report, lines to enter the building “stretched for more than a mile.”

Miami mayor and Bitcoin proponent Francis Suarez spoke at the event and was introduced on-stage as “probably the most irresponsible politician in all of America” and “the mayor of the meccas of freedom.”

Social media reports have estimated the number of attendees and positive tests may be higher than mainstream reports. Influencer Mr. Whale told his roughly 235,000 Twitter followers that “dozens” of conference-goers have since tested positive, estimating the event could have seen more than 50,000 attendees.

Related: The female speakers who made an impact at Bitcoin 2021 in Miami

A screenshot of an image retweeted by Bitcoin 2021 organizer Dylan LeClair that scathingly dismissed the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card system has circulated on social media.

Bitcoin 2021 was not the first crypto conference to have COVID-19 transmissions, with Torus Labs co-founder and CEO Zhen Yu Yong urging attendees of the Ethereum Community Conference in Paris and ETHLondonUK Hackathon in early 2020 to get tested when he was diagnosed with the coronavirus after participating in the events.

DOGE vs BTC: Elon Musk declares crypto ‘space race’ with BitMEX has begun

A 21st-century space race appears to be brewing between Elon Musk and BitMEX, with both parties pledging to launch their respective crypto of choice to the literal moon first.

On Friday, popular crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX announced it would be supporting space robotics firm Astrobotic Technology in the company’s mission to send its first commercial lander to the moon during Q4 2020.

Noting that the mission aims to be the first instance in which “a private company leading a coalition of government, academia, industry, and international partners reaches the lunar surface,” BitMEX plans to make the occasion by delivering a one-of-a-kind physical Bitcoin (BTC) to the moon’s surface. Referring to Musk as a “Dogecoin protagonist,” BitMEX added:

“We’ve nothing against Dog Money, we felt it was only right to help Bitcoin get there first.”

The announcement followed Musk’s early May news that SpaceX is planning to launch a Dogecoin-funded payload on one of its first rockets to the moon, asserting that Dogecoin (DOGE) would become the first cryptocurrency to reach lunar orbit next year.

Musk responded to BitMEX’s newfound astronomic ambitions on Twitter, proclaiming: “A new space race has begun!”

While replies to Elon’s tweet are largely his followers barracking for DOGE to win the crypto space race, others noted there are more pressing problems on Earth than whether one’s crypto token of choice is the first to enter the orbit of another celestial body.

While few projects exploring the utility of establishing crypto infrastructure from space have captured the mainstream imagination like Musk’s Dogecoin expedition has, the Tesla CEO’s plans to take cryptocurrency out of this world are not the first.

Blockstream appears to have been the first in pioneering the use of crypto satellites, launching satellites to broadcast Bitcoin transactions from space in August 2017.

In August 2020, Robonomics and Kusama announced an ambitious plan to develop “an interplanetary architecture” capable of relaying data between Mars and Earth using the Kusama network.

CryptoSat outlined the concept behind its ambitious plan to launch a nano-satellite the size of a coffee mug into space in a November 2017 white paper, with the satellite slated to operate as an isolated cryptographic module from orbit. The team plans to prove the concept with a launch this year before sending an entire constellation of CryptoSats into orbit later on.

Spacechain similarly launched in 2017 and has successfully deployed nodes in orbit. On June 3, 2021, the project announced that its multisig Ethereum payload destined for installation on the International Space Station had been launched aboard a SpaceX rocket.

New analysis sheds light on DOJ Bitcoin seizure, as JBS pays massive $11M ransom

JBS USA Holdings Inc. has paid an $11 million ransom in Bitcoin to cybercriminals as new details emerge over the FBI’s recovery of assets from a previous heist.

The payment, estimated to be more than 300 BTC at current prices, was made to shield JBS factories from further disruption. The firm is the world’s largest meat company by sales, processing beef, poultry, and pork from Australia to South America and Europe.

Andre Nogueira, chief executive of the Brazilian meat company’s U.S. division, said that the payment was painful and made after the majority of JBS plants were up and running again to ensure there were no further attacks. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FBI last week attributed the JBS attack to REvil, a criminal cybercrime group with ties to Russia.

The latest high-profile Bitcoin ransom payment will no doubt add to pressure on legislators to act. Earlier today Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren hacalled for tighter regulation stating that cryptocurrency has “created opportunities to scam investors, assist criminals, and worsen the climate crisis”. Regarding the recent ransomware attacks, she said:

“Every hack that is successfully paid off with a cryptocurrency becomes an advertisement for more hackers to try more cyberattacks,”

The attack on JBS, which was discovered on May 30, was part of a wave of incursions using ransomware that also targeted Colonial Pipeline, the operator of a pipeline bringing gasoline to parts of the U.S. East Coast.

As reported by Cointelegraph, the FBI managed to recover 63.7 BTC from the 75 BTC ransom paid by the firm to another Russian-linked hacker group called DarkSide.

At the time, the crypto community questioned the methods used by the federal agency to gain access to the private keys for the target address. It was also suggested by some that Coinbase was involved in the seizure but company executives denied any connection.

According to crypto asset insurance company Evertas, DarkSide was likely already on the law enforcement radar and had themselves confirmed that they had lost control of their infrastructure, including the ability to extricate crypto funds.

It notes that according to the affidavit, the private key for the subject address was in the possession of the FBI in the Northern District of California, not the actual funds.

Evertas analyzed the transfers using a combination of open-source tools and subscription-based blockchain analytics to reveal that the hacker group split the ransom over three addresses in early May.

The analysis reveals that DarkSide controlled multiple addresses containing a total of 114 BTC up until the middle of May. On 7 June, 63.7 BTC were seized from one of the addresses and Evertas believes the FBI probably controls the rest:

“Evertas suspects that the FBI likely now controls the remaining almost 114 BTC and may be working to tie other payments made to DarkSide by other victims of the hackers’ RaaS [Ransomware as a Service] before effecting official seizures of the remaining funds.”

The revelation may sound positive but analysts at data analytics firm GlobalData believe that cryptocurrencies have just become a lot less secure as the seizure sets the path towards fiat-currency-style control. Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, Danyaal Rashid, said:

“Bitcoin was supposed to liberate us from government control: decentralized and out of the government’s hands. The fact that the US Government has managed to recover most of this ransom, despite it being paid in Bitcoin, goes directly against this.”

Curve Finance’s new release positions project for AMM takeover

A new release from a foundational DeFi protocol seeks to combine two popular asset swap models into a hybrid that may reshape the nature of the automated market maker (AMM) space — a DeFi primitive currently accounting for well over $40 billion in total value locked, per DeFiLlama. 

Earlier today Curve Finance announced the launch of a new “algorithm for exchanging volatile assets.” Curve’s base functionality is designed to enable low-slippage swaps between similar assets, such as one type of stablecoin to another — USDC to DAI, etc — by concentrating liquidity on a bonding curve weighted towards a particular price.

However, the new release will allow low-slippage swaps between “volatile” assets, such as a ETH/WBTC pool, or between assets that have ever-changing changing prices. The new pools will accomplish this with a combination of internal oracles relying on Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs), as well as a bonding curve model deployed by popular AMMs such as Uniswap. 

“This creates 5 − 10 times higher liquidity than the Uniswap invariant, as well as higher profits for liquidity providers,” an accompanying whitepaper reads.

While the math and architecture may be difficult to understand, the end result is not: Curve is now taking on the broader AMM space with what it believes to be a more efficient product for both traders and liquidity providers, using automatically rebalancing fee (between .04% and .4%) and price structures.

“Most common pairs will be added in coming weeks before we go to a fully permisionless factory where anyone can spin up their own metapool,” said Charlie, a Curve team member.

The DeFi community has reacted glowingly, with many christening the release as “Curve v2.” Observers have been gushing about the capital efficiency and liquidity optimizations the new model offers. 

“[Curve v2] extends Curve v1, instead of optimizing for target price of ‘1’ to a dynamic price based on pool Exponential Moving Average (EMA), which is a good indicator of the current pool price,” said whitehat hacker and co-founder of DeFi Italy Emiliano Bonassi, comparing the product to a verison of Uniswap v3, but which concentrates all of liquidity at particular prices.

“It continuously rebalances (and concentrates) the liquidity to [the EMA]. You can think like (not equal) to rebalancing a whole Uniswap v3 pool at once.”