Top 7 small cap altcoins with huge potential, says analyst George Tung

In the recent video, crypto KOL George Tung from CryptosRUs discussed 7 altcoins under $150M in market cap that he believes are poised to explode.

top-7-small-cap-altcoins-with-huge-potential-says-analyst-george-tung

Rally (RLY)

Rally (RLY) is the first altcoin on the list, a decentralized network for creators to monetize and align themselves with their community. As a community-owned network, the community is in charge of making the decisions for how the network evolves, not the Rally team itself.

“This is a brilliant idea! It’s a very easy way for creators to basically launch a token and interact and engage with their fans”, the trader says.

Moreover, excitingly, Rally recently launched a cryptocurrency dubbed Creator Coin that will help influencers, content creators, and streamers run their own virtual economies. The analyst also cites the news that Grammy-winning artist Portugal.The Man has also joined as a coin partner.

“All these entities have big followings and they’re adopting Rally”.

Terra Virtua (TVK)

Next on the list is Terra Virtua (TVK). Terra Virtua is a cross-platform non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem that offers a curated marketplace for NFT creators and collectors to interact. The Terra Virtua Kolect platform spans web, PC, and mobile AR/VR environments.

“Terra Virtua has launched a line of Godzilla vs. Kong NFT collectibles created in collaboration with film production giant Warner Bros. — among the first-ever NFT drops to coincide with the release of a major film”, Tung says.

He further adds that if there is anything more than places Terra Virtua uniquely in the NFT and blockchain space, it is the partnerships the project has bagged over the last 3 years, including Paramount Pictures, Legendary Entertainment, and more in the space.

Revv (REVV)

Next on Tung’s radar is Revv (REVV). REVV is designed to leverage the blockchain assets concept of interoperability, wherein a token can be utilised across multiple connected products.

“Revv is specifically created for games. Having one utility token for multiple game titles offers various benefits to players and game publishers and will encourage players to explore the other games that are part of this connected ecosystem, and has the additional potential benefit that any content or tokens could increase in utility as the larger token ecosystem expands”.

Tung also shares his bullish view on the coin that given the current strong fundamental grounds, the coin will pump to the moon really soon.

Nuls (NULS)

Nuls (NULS) is the next potential low market cap altcoin on the video.

NULS is an open-source, enterprise-grade, adaptive blockchain platform that offers fast-track business solutions for developers. Featuring microservices, smart contracts, cross-chain interoperability, and instant chain-building, NULS sets a new industry standard in streamlining blockchain adoption.

“The coin has been finally climbing, crawling up and they’re finally above 100 million, 127 million to be exact, and you know what, hopefully, they could continue to momentum and gain and go back to their previous highs”, Tung says.

Frontier (FRONT)

Next on the list is Frontier (FRONT), a chain-agnostic DeFi aggregation layer.

“To date, the coin has added support for DeFi on Ethereum, Binance Chain, BandChain, Kava, and Harmony. Via StaFi Protocol, they also enter into the Polkadot ecosystem, and will put vigorous efforts towards Serum”, he says.

EasyFi (EASY)

The sixth altcoin is EasyFi (EASY), a universal layer 2 lending protocol built for DeFi focused on scalability, composability, and adoption.

Tung points out that the one of the most interesting features is that the network design is ethereum compatible and blockchain agnostic that facilitates the expeditious settlement of assets over different blockchain networks while retaining custody with the asset owner’s network.

Bepro (BEPRO)

Lastly, the crypto KOL lists out Bepro (BEPRO), a utility token that enables token holders to setup applications on BEPRO, participate in the network, and earn token rewards by providing value.

The trader says that BEPRO Network Staking on Kucoin has been increased recently as the previous hardcap of 330M BEPRO has been increased to 430M BEPRO.

He also comments that although this is still an early coin, looking at the technology, communities and its partnerships, he believes that this coin would soon begin its rally.

[Chainlink] How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery

How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery

Oracles are commonly thought of as blockchain middleware that enable smart contracts to access external data—yet oracle networks, as they exist within Chainlink’s model, are much more than data delivery mechanisms. Through a wide-range of off-chain computational abilities, Chainlink’s decentralized oracle networks are providing blockchains with decentralized services that go far beyond securely fetching external data.

From Chainlink’s widely adopted Data Feeds, an extensive collection of on-chain price oracles for DeFi smart contracts, to Chainlink VRF, which generates a verifiable source of randomness for dynamic NFTs, to Chainlink’s highly customizable external adapters, the Chainlink Network is supporting a rapidly-expanding array of key oracle functions that are enhancing the capabilities of smart contracts across numerous blockchains and layer-2 networks.

In his recent presentation at the 2021 ETHDenver Hackathon, Chainlink Co-founder Sergey Nazarov emphasized the expansive functionality of decentralized oracle networks and how Chainlink-powered off-chain computations service a wide variety of smart contract use cases, from DeFi to parametric insurance to blockchain-based gaming.  The following is an excerpt of Sergey’s talk highlighting a key takeaway that the Chainlink Network goes far beyond data delivery to power new features and applications for the fast-growing blockchain economy.


Chainlink is not just about data—it is about an oracle network—and oracle networks are responsible for everything that blockchains are not responsible for. An oracle network is not just about delivering data. It is about providing all the tools and services needed by a contract. Smart contracts run on blockchain platforms are hyper-secure and hyper-reliable, but they are low on feature-richness for security reasons. Oracles extend the capabilities of blockchains by offering decentralized services like off-chain computation.

Centralized systems have completely lost people’s trust in many cases and will continue to lose people’s trust in almost all cases. Centralized services from social media to communications to the financial system are being viewed even by the average person as unreliable. People no longer want to create long-term relationships with these institutions.

How the Chainlink Network Goes Beyond Data Delivery
Chainlink offers a wide-range of off-chain computation and decentralized services.

I think the middle ground between highly centralized, feature-rich systems and highly trust-minimized but low-feature blockchain systems is an oracle network. An oracle network sits between every use case and all of the blockchains that those use cases run on, providing blockchains with all the other services they need. All of the other services a blockchain needs are a huge universe of inputs that may start at providing different types of data but quickly moves on to trust-minimized computations that, generally speaking, blockchains usually don’t do and probably won’t do at scale. Oracle networks will expand to do trust-minimized computation, in addition to providing data, and the combination of these will enable a much wider realm of products to be built.

The middle ground between highly centralized, feature-rich systems and highly trust-minimized but low-feature blockchain systems is an oracle network.

The first thing that is becoming very popular in the blockchain gaming community is Chainlink’s Verifiable Random Function (VRF). VRF is working for many different blockchain games that already use it in production, and it’s going live on multiple blockchains. Anyone can easily use it on Ethereum to provide random inputs to games. Beyond that, we are finalizing some of our plans around Chainlink Keepers and the ability to maintain a smart contract’s proper operation through a Chainlink Network. This is important, once again, because even DevOps and maintenance of contracts are responsibilities of oracle networks, as these operations need to be trust-minimized. Even beyond that, I think developers can think about, “How do I use the expanded computational capabilities of Chainlink’s adapters to compute more and more advanced things in a trust minimized-way that doesn’t require me to disclose things to blockchains?”

The realm of services the Chainlink Network offers will continue to grow, so if you’re a developer and you want to build cutting-edge, truly world-changing applications, Chainlink is  fundamentally here to help you. The Chainlink Network is here to help the world’s developers make trust-minimized decentralized applications that will be the new way that society interacts around various information. To me, it’s apparent that is where society is headed because of the systemic and continued failure of trust relationships with centralized institutions like social media, other communication systems, and financial systems. Fundamentally, our goal is to accelerate the transition to a truly decentralized and fair economic system.

Bitcoin Miners Hit Jackpot as Hash Rate Peaks Again

Data from on-chain analytics provider Glassnode has reported that Bitcoin’s average hash rate hit a new all-time high this week, crossing a daily average of 178 exahashes per second for the first time in history.

Bitinfocharts confirms the record high, reporting the current hash rate at 176 EH/s. It topped 150 EH/s twice in February and has remained at these high levels for the past two months, steadily increasing.

Hashrate is often considered as computing ‘horsepower’ for the Bitcoin network and a strong sign of its security. The higher the hashrate, the harder it is to attack the network.

The bullish on-chain metrics were observed by data scientist Rafael Schultze-Kraft [@n3ocortex], who added that mining difficulty has also hit a new all-time high.

1/ A thread on #Bitcoin miner metrics.

First, some fundamentals.

Bitcoin’s average hash rate hit a new ATH yesterday – crossing a daily average of 178 exahash / sec for the first time in history.

Miners keep spinning up machines – hash rate is up only.https://t.co/SEdtQGNsT7pic.twitter.com/vIjVGyH8QC

— Rafael Schultze-Kraft (@n3ocortex) April 6, 2021

Mining Never More Profitable

The analyst noted that Bitcoin miners have been making more than $50 million per day for the past month. He put this into perspective by pointing out that a year ago, this number was around $12 million – so current earnings are a fourfold increase despite the block subsidy being cut in half in May 2020’s halving.

Miners are also now holding on to the new coins they’re minting as the net position has flipped back to green, according to Glassnode. In the run-up to the $40K price level, miners were aggressively selling off to cover their costs, but they’ve now switched back into accumulation mode.

“In fact, the Bitcoin unspent supply (BTC that has never left the original mining addresses), has started to increase again after a quick and sharp drop of around 15k BTC at the beginning of the year. More hodling than spending.”

He added that direct BTC transfers from miner to exchange wallets have been going back down significantly, and even USD-dominated miner to exchange volume has decreased despite a stable price. However, miner activity represents a tiny fraction of BTC trading volumes as a whole.

The analyst concluded that these metrics are very bullish, and miners have little incentive to cash out now or capitulate as many predicted after the halving.

Bitcoin Price Update

At the time of press, Bitcoin was trading down 1% on the day at $56,700, according to Coingecko. It is down at the same time last week by 3.4% but remains within the month-long range bound channel it has formed.

Bitcoin has not dropped below $50K for over a month, which is also a bullish sign that support is holding strong.

PayPal CEO Says Bitcoin Could Be a Chinese Financial Weapon Against the U.S.

PayPal CEO Peter Thiel loves Bitcoin but hates it when China mines or uses it.

In a virtual event organized by the Richard Nixon Foundation, Peter Thiel explained that Bitcoin could be used by China as a weapon in the non-conventional war against the United States, taking advantage of its characteristics to counteract the hegemonic power of the dollar.

“Even though I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.”

The World vs. The United States

Peter Thiel explained that Bitcoin threatens the very idea of fiat money but is especially dangerous to the U.S. dollar and called on U.S. strategists to take Bitcoin-related developments more seriously when studying the international geopolitical landscape.

However, Bitcoin hodlers are not the only ones who might take offense at being called a weapon of the Chinese communist party. According to the CEO of PayPal, the existence of the Euro itseld¿f is also a weapon of China in its conspiracy to destroy the power of the United States to control some critical aspects of the world economy:

“From China’s point of view, they don’t like the U.S. having this reserve currency, because it gives us a lot of leverage over things like the oil supply chain and things like that. They don’t want the Renminbi to become a reserve currency because then you have to open your capital account and do all sorts of things they really don’t want to do. I think the Euro you could think it is in part a Chinese weapon against the dollar”.

Regarding DECP, the digital currency that China is developing, Peter Thiel believes it cannot be compared to a cryptocurrency and called it a “totalitarian measuring device.”

The Global Tech Race According to The CEO of Paypal

Thiel’s words do not seem very harmonious with the patriotism he so proudly showed when attacking China. Several countries are developing their own digital currencies. Even the United States is beginning to advance the idea of creating a digital dollar with very similar characteristics to those of the Chinese money.

The CEO of PayPal is not concerned about China’s potential to innovate and create but rather about its power to copy things. In response to Michael Pompeo, he explained that China had not made many advances concerning blockchain technology. Still, if China reaches a position of parity with the United States from a technological point of view, the West would lose its advantage as a world geopolitical dominator.

Thiel regretted that Silicon Valley did not see China as an adversary. He pointed to Apple as a company that is a real structural problem for having “real synergies with China.” Google and Facebook were also mentioned by Thiel, who noted that they were friendly to the dreaded Chinese adversary.

Paypal has played a key role in the recent bullish trend of Bitcoin and the increase in cryptocurrency adoption.

Bitcoin price before and after Paypal supported it. Image: Tradingview

As reported by Cryptopotato, PayPal recently enabled service to purchase, store and process cryptocurrency payments for US customers, with prospects to release their support to other countries later in the year.

Hopefully, this massive boost to Bitcoin adoption will not be seen by regulators as a support for China’s crypto plans in the years ahead.

Hedge Fund Giant Invests In Bitcoin Trust, JPMorgan’s CEO On Crypto Regulation + More News
Hedge Fund Giant Invests In Bitcoin Trust, JPMorgan's CEO On Crypto Regulation + More News 101
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan. Source: a video screenshot

Get your daily, bite-sized digest of cryptoasset and blockchain-related news – investigating the stories flying under the radar of today’s crypto news.

Investments news

  • USD 48bn hedge fund giant Millennium Management invested in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), TheStreet reported, citing two undisclosed sources familiar with the matter. “While the price premium GBTC long traded at against bitcoin collapsed recently, it’s unclear if New York-based Millennium booked any losses on the crowded trade,” the report added, without providing any numbers about the investment.

Regulation news

  • Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, placed the legal and regulatory status of cryptocurrencies on a list of “serious emerging issues that need to be dealt with – and rather quickly.” Per a letter to shareholders, others such issues include the growth of shadow banking, the proper and improper use of financial data, the risk that cybersecurity poses to the system, the proper and ethical use of AI, the effective regulation of payment systems, disclosures in private markets, and effective regulations around market structure and transparency.
  • A collective of Russian crypto and blockchain players has launched a bid to convince politicians not to pass restrictive a new set of crypto laws, per Izvestia. The new campaign has been masterminded by the pro-business pressure group Investment Russia, the law firm the Digital Rights Center and the public organization RosKomSvoboda, a body that claims to support open self-regulatory networks and protection of digital rights of Internet users. The campaign addresses the country’s finance ministry, Duma financial chiefs, tax bodies and the Central Bank. A manifesto calls for amendments to draft laws that the parties say “will have an extremely negative impact on the Russian crypto industry” if they are adopted.

NFTs news

  • Latvian airline airBalticsaid that it will become the world’s first airline to issue non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The airline will issue limited collector NFTs showcasing an individual Airbus A220-300 with its registration and a piece of art of the Kuldiga city to promote tourism and Latvia in the world. Starting with Kuldīga, the cities and towns which were voted as the people’s favorites will one by one be represented on the digital art pieces issued by airBaltic. The initial drop of the first airBaltic limited NFT will be announced later in April.
  • The seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is launching an NFT platform called Autograph this spring, CNN reported, citing a representative for Brady. The platform “will bring together some of the biggest names in sports, entertainment, fashion, and pop culture to work with creators to develop unique digital collectibles,” it added.

Exchanges news

  • Blockchain technology company Ebang International Holdings Inc.announced the official launch of its crypto exchange for qualified investors to register and trade on. This launch will “not only expand the revenue sources from our cryptocurrency business but also optimize the development of our blockchain industry chain,” said the company Chairman and CEO Dong Hu.
  • bitFlyer has gotten their third president in two years. The new president is Goldman Sachs alum Kuniyoshi Hayashi, who replaced the outgoing President Kimihiro Mine on March 30, they said.
  • ShapeShift announced support for simultaneously connecting multiple wallets. Per an emailed announcement, users can switch between KeepKey, Trezor, Ledger, Portis, and ShapeShift mobile wallets on the ShapeShift web platform, without needing to reconnect. Support for additional wallets is coming soon, they said.
  • South African crypto exchange iCE3said they “will not return to operation” and that they “have been advised to initiate liquidation proceedings.” “All withdrawals from the platform have been disabled, and we have processed the withdrawals which have already been submitted via the form today, manually. We currently have no withdrawal requests pending for any currencies other than BTC and LTC,” they said.
  • Coinme, a US-based cryptocurrency cash exchange, announced its entrance into Florida with the launch of over 300 bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks located at select Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Mas, Harveys, and other grocery outlets across the state.
  • The Miami HEATsaid it has entered into a long-term partnership with crypto derivatives exchange FTX.us, making this platform “The Official and Exclusive Cryptocurrency Exchange Partner of the Miami HEAT.” This deal works in tandem with the recent announcement that, starting with the 2021-22 NBA season, the home of the Miami HEAT will be known as “FTX Arena.”

Mining news

  • Chinese online lottery company 500.com has acquired Bee Computing, a Hong Kong-registered maker of Bitcoin mining machines, in a USD 100m deal, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 500.com will pay Bee Computing USD 35m in stock by the end of the second quarter and send the other USD 65m worth of stock after the company has produced a certain number of 7nm ASIC bitcoin mining machines, as well as made higher performance bitcoin, ethereum (ETH), and litecoin mining machines.

Crypto adoption news

  • A new deal with the Valencia-based crypto exchange Criptan will allow Spanish travelers to make claims for airline-related delays and other incidents – and receive crypto rather than fiat as compensation. Per El Mundo Financiero, the exchange has teamed up with the Wings to Claim platform. The parties will allow travelers to make claims from travel agencies or airlines in situations whereby customers experience delays of three hours or more, lose baggage, if their flights are canceled or overbooked, or if they miss a connecting flight.

Blockchain news

  • Daegu, one of the largest cities in South Korea, has introduced a blockchain-powered ID authentication system for users of its online and offline public services. Per the Daegu Shinmun, the new platform makes use of a smartphone app that allows users to reserve city-operated facilities, make use of city-funded electric scooters and borrow library books using blockchain-based innovations. In a separate development, Law Issue reported that the electricity provider Nambu Power will also make use of blockchain-powered ID solutions on its renewable energy certificates platform.

Legal news

  • Michael Hlady pled guilty before a US Chief District Court Judge to conspiring to extort a startup company for millions of dollars in ethereum. When sentenced, Hlady faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as a fine, said the US Department of Justice. The startup was a mobile-based business that issued cryptocurrency as loyalty rewards for generating user traffic to its clients’ products. Hlady and his co-conspirator Steven Nerayoff issued threats to the company executives that included destruction of the company if they did not agree to demands for additional funds and tokens, claims the press release. As a result of this threat, the startup transferred ETH 10,000 to Nerayoff. He has entered a plea of not guilty to extortion charges and is awaiting trial.
Is Regulation the Silver Bullet for Financial Malpractice? / What is Financial Regulation and Does it Matter to DeFi?

The text below is an advertorial article that was not written by Cryptonews.com journalists.

cryptonews

In traditional finance, financial regulation is intended to provide protection, safety and stability for institutions and consumers alike. Organisations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK are tasked with policing the conduct of banks, asset managers and other financial organizations to ensure that strict rules are followed and punishments applied when those rules are broken.

DeFi and cryptocurrency more widely has fallen outside the remit of regulation since Bitcoin was first launched in 2009. For more than a decade digital asset holders and service providers have largely been able to go about their business unfettered by the same rules and regulations that fall on the shoulders of JP Morgan Chase, for example; not least because the rules that are set for traditional financial institutions are extremely difficult to apply to digital assets.

Regulation across TradFi, CeFi and DeFi

As anyone who has ever applied for a credit card, bank loan or mortgage will know, the long-arm of financial regulation places a significant emphasis on data collection and suitability assessment. This requires collecting and storing vaults of customer information, running complex individual credit risk checks and ensuring detailed custody, anti-money laundering and transaction regulations are followed – and while this is achievable for JP Morgan, it is less so for many cryptocurrency organizations.

In the world of CeFi, or centralized finance, we are seeing moves in this direction, with Coinbase – one of the largest CeFi exchanges – in regular discussions with the SEC as it seeks to list on the US stock market. However, in the world of DeFi, regulation is anathema to much of what the ecosystem stands for. Built largely on a decentralized, permissionless system of autonomous smart contracts, many protocols do not have the central management required to carry out regulation. Moreover, many DeFi applications don’t ask users for their information (or “KYC”), which is a key attraction for many DeFi users.

Regulation and the regulated

Governments and public-sector bodies often cite seven specific areas as being major goals of financial regulation: investor protection, consumer protection, financial stability, market efficiency, competition, the prevention of financial crime, and fairness. For end users, investor and consumer protection are the most important and refer to the way in which financial organizations should market investment products and communicate with their customers. Rules in these areas generally call for transparency (especially around potential risks of products and investments) and clear, open communication with customers.

This is, few would dispute, a highly laudable facet of regulation that should protect vulnerable customers. In practice, however, it frequently doesn’t. Aside from the sort of systemic failings the world witnessed in 2008/09, leading to USD 321 billion in fines dished out to major banks such as Barclays for LIBOR rigging, regulation often fails to keep out bad actors. In the UK, the “mini-bond” space has been a hotbed for fraud, with more than 11,000 people losing GBP 236 million in 2019 to a company claiming to offer property-backed savings accounts. These savers – largely inexperienced older people – suffered heavy losses and the scandal led to a widespread overhaul of a space with hundreds of similar cases.

Best practice should span all sectors

Despite its failings, however, regulation is important: many schemes such as the UK’s Financial Compensation Scheme (a fund paid for by banks that will reimburse savers in the event a regulated institution collapses) provide genuine protection for consumers, as do imperatives for clear, transparent disclosure about products and services and treating customers fairly. Most importantly, however, the onorousnes of regulation can also help to keep out some of the worst actors who may not have the conviction or capacity to comply with regulation.

As such, YIELD App seeks to emulate the key tenets of prudential regulation across its entire platform and customer service proposition. We provide clear and consistent public information including a product disclosure statement that details our structure, practices and principles and clearly states the risks associated with digital assets. On our site we also host a comprehensive set of FAQ’s along with a 24-hour customer helpdesk to ensure we can answer any customer queries quickly and accurately. YIELD App also seeks to mirror important system-level financial regulation, including well capitalized treasuries and the prevention of financial crime through level 1 KYC. We have also partnered with Merkle Sciences for chain analysis to ensure we comply with the FATF red flag rules and to adhere to our internal KYC/AML policies.

While DeFi is operating independently today, as one of the fastest growing areas in cryptocurrency DeFi is likely to fall under the scrutiny of regulators in the future: indeed, ita seems impossible that a market of 40 Billion USD that is expanding by the multi-millions every day would not. Therefore, it is essential that any organization truly serious about its long-term future as a DeFi service provider operates under the best practices already established in traditional finance. As highlighted above, regulation itself is no guarantee: it is only as strong as those that implement and comply with it, and you don’t have to be regulated to do so.

Raze Network Announces Partnership with UNION

Today, we are excited to let you know Raze Network partners with UNION, a technology platform that combines bundled protection and a liquid secondary market with a multi-token model.

Under the UNION system, DeFi participants are able to manage their multi-layer risks across smart contracts and protocols in one scalable system. UNION also aims to decrease the entry barriers for retail users and lays the foundation for institutional investors.

Privacy and protection, while often used together as a term, require the cooperation of different players to address the nuanced layers. For us, there are just too many synergies between UNION and Raze Network to pass up this chance to team up. UNION is known for its full-stack DeFi protection, open access for all, and creating peace of mind for DeFi users, all of which coincide with what we believe.

UNION’s approach is a natural fit for protecting value locked in Raze vaults and sent in payment channels. Beyond protection, we will explore extending our Secret DeFi Bridge to support their collateral optimization protection (C-OP) and lending platform (ULend) so DeFi participants can optimize their capital in a private fashion.

With UNION, we can help each other explore different ways of offering protection to users, be it in trading or via information and data exchange.

Raze Network, as a privacy protocol aiming to protect the user identity and confidentiality for the entire DeFi stack of the Polkadot ecosystem, can work to help UNION and UNION users acting as second-layer protection.

Additionally, with the Efficient Σ-Bullets algorithm, a self-developed algorithm based on the Σ-Bullets encryption proof mechanism of the open-source project Zether, we can help UNION encrypt user account balances and transactions, and eventually propel us toward finance sovereignty.

“We’re excited to bring our work at the UNION Protocol Foundation to the Raze Network. Privacy preservation is a necessary tool for ensuring self-sovereign data rights and maintaining transaction confidentiality in a complicated, composable DeFi environment. Privacy rights and data control architectures have had a foundational role in my own interests in distributed ledger technology; Raze has developed a leading-edge approach that is set for success. We’re looking forward to working with the Raze team and engaging their input as we address privacy considerations in our own work, going forward,”

said Michael Beck, UNION’s Project Lead.

About UNION

UNION is a technology platform that combines bundled protection and a liquid secondary market with a multi-token model. DeFi participants manage their multi-layer risks across smart contracts and protocols in one scalable system. UNION decreases the entry barriers for retail users and lays the foundation for institutional investors. UNION’s full-stack DeFi protection is inclusive, composable, and brings battle-tested capital and pricing models from TradFi to the DeFi ecosystem.

About Raze Network

Raze Network is a Substrate-based cross-chain privacy protocol for the Polkadot ecosystem. It is built as a native privacy layer that can provide end-to-end anonymity for the entire DeFi stack. The Raze Network applies zkSNARKs to the Zether framework to build a second-layer decentralized anonymous module. It will then be imported as a substrate-based smart contract. The objective of Raze Network is to enable cross-chain privacy-preserving payment and trading systems while protecting the transparency of your assets and behaviors from surveillance.

Prepare Your Crypto Startups as Binance is Shopping
Prepare Your Crypto Startups as Binance is Shopping 101
Source: a screenshot, Instagram/binance

Major crypto exchange Binance plans to do about three acquisitions every month, according to CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka CZ).

Binance is “actively doing acquisition deals, especially in a lot of these new areas. My view is I’m not an expert in these areas, and it’s better for us to find strong teams that are already doing this well,” he told Bloomberg.

And the future, per the CEO, holds quite a few of these deals as well. CZ said that,

“We plan to do somewhere between 20 and 30 acquisitions a year. Most are smaller acquisitions—we don’t announce them. Some will be bigger ones like CoinMarketCap, but we do plan to do about 30 acquisitions each year, which probably means about three deals every month now.”

The CEO did not elaborate on potential acquisition targets.

As reported, responding to speculations in South Korean media that Binance might be among potential buyers of the Bithumb exchange, Binance said that they are “always open to considering strategic partnerships and investments at any given time.”

Meanwhile, in their recent M&A report, major consultancy company PwCsaid they expect to see further consolidation in the industry with some of the larger, well-funded, or profitable firms continuing their M&A activities.

“We expect the focus to be not on the acquisition of smaller competitors but rather of firms that offer ancillary services to their current offering (e.g. crypto media, data, compliance, research),” they added.

On multiple occasions, Binance stressed that they’re building “the infrastructure for the blockchain ecosystem.” They control both custodian and non-custodian crypto exchanges, develop Binance Smart Chain, own a token launch platform, have their own investment arm, an incubator for blockchain projects, provide digital asset research services, have their own crypto wallet, operate a charity foundation, and recently introduced a crypto pay service.

Also, in the interview, CZ went on to discuss some other potential plans. Unlike its competitor Coinbase, which has filed for a direct listing, Binance is “right now […] not looking at an IPO.” The CEO said that the company is cash-sufficient and able to grow itself, adding: “We don’t need a huge amount of money, we are profitable, and we are growing.”

On the other hand, as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are all the rage now, Binance “may look at doing something there,” said the CEO.

Besides that, they plan to add more fiat channels, saying that the exchange added about 50 different channels worldwide last year, and that they could “probably add another 30 or 50 more this year.”

As for financial metrics related to the company in terms of growth, CZ claimed that they don’t have “a lot of specific numbers.” The numbers change quickly based on bitcoin (BTC) price, he said, adding that, as the company is lowering fees across various places, it’s too early in the year to estimate the revenue. But the volumes “have grown quite a bit” in the first two months of this year, the CEO said.

In December 2020, he said that the company expects to have profits of USD 800m to USD 1bn in 2020, up from about USD 570m in 2019.

Also, Binance is making a number of “fairly large expansions” in different areas, including the Binance Card – which is actually losing money, he said. This is fine though, he argued, “because we want to get that product out.”

As to whether Binance would eventually becoming a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), the CEO said “it’s possible, but it’s going to take a number of years.”

In the meantime, as reported, Binance is being investigated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission over concerns that it allowed Americans to place wagers that violated US rules.

Industry Voices: Why Supply Chain Sustainability Is Important

How a company manages and monitors its supply chain forms a critical part of our analysis of any potential investment. Companies that fail to take this seriously are very likely to run into reputational, financial and legal issues that directly impacts the long-term sustainability of their business model. On the flip side, effective supply chain management can be a valuable way of securing a competitive advantage, enhancing reputation and brand, and improving operational performance.

Although some may naturally associate this issue with companies operating in emerging markets – where employment laws and practices are less advanced – it has relevance across a wide range of geographies and industries. It is a particularly critical issue for textile and apparel manufacturers and retailers – see the controversy over working conditions at UK fast fashion company Boohoo as a recent example. Due to the operational complexity and global reach of the sector’s multi-tiered supply chains, it carries a number of environmental and social risks from the sourcing of raw materials through to the manufacturing of the finished product.

Against this backdrop, we have been formally engaging with a number of companies across the globe on this important issue since 2018, with a focus on two key areas:

  1. Human rights: wage concerns; labour exploitation and unsafe working conditions.
  2. Responsible sourcing: encouraging green sourcing manufacturing through eco-materials and use of recycled clothes.

Our main objective is to increase the overall transparency relating to how companies manage their supply chains. This could be through board-level responsibility, enhanced disclosure and auditing, as well working with their peers and suppliers to improve practices and establish best practice.

Putting theory into practice

Engagement takes time and effort, but the progress made can be long lasting and ultimately benefit both stakeholders and shareholders. We’ve been encouraged by some of the progress we’ve made with several investee companies on this issue, ranging from sportswear and equipment to jewellery and fashion accessories.

For example, we commenced an engagement with a global baggage company back in 2018 when it had provided no disclosure on responsible sourcing or human rights within its supply chain. As a result of our engagement, we were pleased to see the company move to increase disclosure in its 2019 Sustainability Report published in 2020 and update its supplier rating system. This means that each of its tier one suppliers are now given a rating based on their business practices and workers rights, which looks at things like forced labour, child labour and other worker protections.

It is important to recognise that this is an evolving process and we are encouraging the company to focus on monitoring key environmental issues among its supplier operations. This includes things like responsible sourcing of raw materials and water and waste management. We will be following up through our regular meetings with company management to check progress and ensure our engagement activity drives positive change and leads to more sustainable practices and – in turn – investment outcomes.

Working together

In addition to individual company engagements, we are also working closely with other asset managers, policymakers and relevant bodies to drive positive change on these critical issues.

In 2020, Fidelity became a founding member of Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia-Pacific (IAST APAC). This is a coalition of investors including First Sentier Investors, Aware Super, AustralianSuper, Ausbil and Schroders, among others, with collective assets under management of more than US$4tn5. IAST APAC has two work streams:

Investor statement – we sent an investor statement to the ASX100 setting out the group’s expectations of reporting companies under the Australian Modern Slavery Act. We are seeking to influence the way these companies report by setting clear expectations to go beyond the legal requirements and address labour exploitation as a leading indicator of modern day slavery.

Collaborative engagement – we are also embarking on a multi-year initiative to address complex and systematic human rights issues in the value chain through collaborative engagement with companies at risk across Asia Pacific. This will complement and strengthen our existing one-to-one engagement activity on this issue mentioned above.

Elsewhere – and closer to home – we also recently joined the “Find it, Fix it, Prevent it” initiative led by CCLA. The International Labour Organisation estimates there are 25 million people labouring as modern slaves in the private economy. The objective of this collaborative engagement is to help companies develop and implement better processes for finding, fixing, and preventing modern slavery in their supply chains.

Our first area of focus is the UK hospitality sector and as part of this initiative, we are leading the engagement with a restaurant chain regarding their suppliers’ oversight in relation to modern slavery. We have seen some early signs of progress after the company acknowledged the limitations of its existing due diligence process for suppliers. It is encouraging to hear that it is dedicating more resources to this area and we have agreed with the company to follow-up over the coming months.

Looking ahead, we must continue to hold companies to account on supply chain management – alongside other environmental, social and governance issues – as we continue to push our investee companies to act appropriately in order to protect and enhance long-term value.

Important information

This content is for investment professionals only and should not be relied upon by private investors.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. A focus on securities of companies which maintain strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials may result in a return that at times compares unfavourably to the broader market. No representation nor warranty is made with respect to the fairness, accuracy or completeness of such credentials. The status of a security’s ESG credentials can change over time. Changes in currency exchange rates may affect the value of investments in overseas markets. Reference in this document to specific securities should not be interpreted as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities, but is included for the purposes of illustration only. Investments should be made on the basis of the current prospectus, which is available along with the Key Investor Information Document and current and semi-annual reports, free of charge on request, by calling 0800 368 1732. Issued by Financial Administration Services Limited and FIL Pensions Management, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Fidelity, Fidelity International, the Fidelity International logo and F symbol are trademarks of FIL Limited. UKM0331/32771/SSO/NA