Altcoins soar to multi-year highs while Bitcoin price gathers steam

Ether (ETH) led the market higher as it trekked toward another new all-time high at $1,763. ETH CME futures are scheduled to launch on Feb. 9, leading many analysts to predict that the top-ranked altcoin will hit $2,000 before meeting any significant resistance.  Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows Ether currently trades at $1,714, an increase of 3.27% on the 24-hour chart while Bitcoin (BTC) is up 0.21% and trading at $37,633. ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView Gas fees on the Ethereum network also set a new all-time high…

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Bitcoin is not a bubble anymore, Amber Group CEO says

A number of entities have called Bitcoin (BTC) a bubble since its inception roughly 12 years ago. Michael Wu, CEO of digital asset financial services outfit Amber Group, thinks otherwise, however.  “I think it’s always like this when people come into a new paradigm shift,” Wu said in a CNBC interview on Thursday, referring to the concept of Bitcoin as a bubble. “People start with doubts, with skepticism — it’s very natural because they will have to take time to understand what’s new there, is it sustainable,” he said, adding:…

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BlockTower Capital CIO estimates another 9–22 months of bull run for crypto

How long will crypto’s current season of prosperity last? Ari Paul, chief information officer at BlockTower Capital, thinks the bull run has at least nine more months.  In a tweet on Feb. 4, Paul said the industry is currently in the “7th inning of the crypto bull market.” He added: “This is where we get ongoing, dizzying rotation. BTC up, then when BTC takes a breather, ETH and some largecaps (and in this regime, defi bluechips), then smallcaps, rinse and repeat. Of course, throw in some 30-60% retracements for fun.”…

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The year 2021 will bring DeFi into adolescence

Following the explosive growth of decentralized finance in the second half of 2020, we’re asking ourselves what the next chapter will look like. What would it take for DeFi to expand beyond crypto-native assets and communities and start eating financial services as we know it? The second half of 2020 surpassed many of our expectations, and the market has only accelerated since then. Total value locked in DeFi rose from less than $1 billion at the start of June to $13 billion at the end of the year and over…

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Amid ongoing legal proceedings, Bitfinex announces Tether loan repayment

In a short statement today, Bitfinex — the sister company to centralized stablecoin Tether — announced that it has repaid Tether an outstanding loan balance of $550 million. This action fully closes out a larger $750 million loan from a $900 million credit line first issued in 2018 — a credit line which has been at the center of a market manipulation lawsuit in New York and a broader lawsuit from the New York Attorney General, among other legal proceedings.  “Bitfinex is happy to announce that in January it repaid…

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Coinbase outage caused crypto purchase issues, not an intentional ban

On Jan. 29, a number of Coinbase users reported issues with the platform’s buy and sell functions. The Coinbase difficulties arose just a day after Robinhood barred GameStop share purchases following surging prices on the stock. A recent blog post indicates the Coinbase difficulties arose from an outage, not a ban on trading.  “Between 4:25am and 9:31am PST on Friday, January 29, api.coinbase.com had an outage,” Coinbase said in a post on Feb. 5. “During this time, many users experienced errors while attempting to use the Coinbase app and crypto…

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Going feeless is the only way to enable blockchain adoption

Face-to-face transactions are starting to seem quaintly archaic as many countries continue or even expand lockdowns due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the crisis in early 2020, digital transactions have surged, particularly in e-commerce and digital banking. In contrast with face-to-face transactions, such as a direct payment of cash in exchange for a product or service, digital financial transactions typically require an intermediary, such as a credit card agency, payments processor or bank. This intermediary slows the process and, naturally, adds a cost to the transaction.…

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Crypto custodian Protego gets national charter from the OCC

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has granted another crypto firm a national charter. Per an announcement shared with Cointelegraph today, Washington-based institutional crypto custodian Protego is the second crypto-native firm to get national licensing from the OCC.  The new charter is conditional, and Protego is authorized as a national trust bank rather than a traditional bank, meaning that it will not handle deposits. Interestingly, Protego is a relatively new firm and is still in the process of organizing. It will have 18 months to launch operations before…

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