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  • Line shuts down crypto exchange to focus on blockchain and LN token
    by Helen Partz on November 28, 2022 at 9:50 am

    The Japanese messaging giant will still continue to support its Line blockchain ecosystem and the Link token despite the ongoing industry challenges. The Japanese messaging giant Line has decided to shut down its cryptocurrency exchange business amid the ongoing crypto winter.Line-owned crypto exchange Bitfront officially announced on Nov. 27 a plan to completely close down the platform by March 2023.According to the statement, the closure was driven by the continued cryptocurrency bear market and other issues in the crypto industry.Despite the exchange’s closure, Line will still continue to run its other blockchain ventures, including the Line blockchain ecosystem and Link (LN) token, the announcement notes, stating:“Despite our efforts to overcome the challenges in this rapidly-evolving industry, we have regretfully determined that we need to shut down Bitfront in order to continue growing the Line blockchain ecosystem and Link token economy.”Bitfront also emphasized that the decision to close the exchange was made for the “best interest” of the Line ecosystem and is unrelated to the ongoing industry scandal involving the FTX exchange.According to the announcement, Bitfront will take a gradual approach to suspend its services, stopping signups and credit card payments on Nov. 28. The platform then plans to suspend additional deposits and interest payments of LN interest products and proceed with the related LN withdrawals by mid-December.By the end of December, Bitfront aims to stop all cryptocurrency and fiat deposits alongside trading suspension and cancellation of open orders. Total suspension of withdrawals is scheduled for March 31, 2023, while customers would be still able to claim their assets in different jurisdictions of the United States.As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Line launched its proprietary crypto exchange in 2018 as a Singapore-based business. Originally known as BitBox, the company was rebranded to Bitfront and moved to the U.S. in February 2020. The exchange has been downscaling some of its operations in recent years, suspending services in South Korea in August 2021.Related: Argo Blockchain is at risk of closing if it fails further financingDespite being a smaller crypto exchange, Bitfront has significant trading volumes at the time of writing. According to data from CoinGecko, Bitfront’s daily trading volume amounts to $55 million, with the exchange trading a total of five cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Link, Litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT).

  • How Web3 resolves fundamental problems in Web2
    by Dilip Kumar Patairya on November 28, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Web3 is the next-era internet based on decentralized architecture and some innovative concepts. Find how Web3 resolves fundamental problems in Web2. What are the challenges with Web3For mainstream adoption of Web3, prevalent challenges need to be dealt with. These include centralized infrastructure, lack of regulatory clarity and rug pulls.While Web3 is perceived to be decentralized, developers integrate Web3 applications with Web2 protocols to make them work. This creates a scenario where functioning of decentralized applications is hinged to a centralized infrastructure.Another major challenge before Web3 is a lack of regulatory clarity. Blockchain technologies are advancing fast, and regulators will take time to catch up. Absence of regulatory oversight has led to unethical behavior in some projects as happened in the FTX fiasco.Rug pulls are another hindrance Web3 applications are facing. It happens when a malicious developer willfully leaves a window open in the code and later uses it to steal funds earned in cryptocurrencies. Fraudulent individuals breaking through the defenses is something everyone in cryptoverse is wary of. So is there a way to beef up the safety quotient in Web3? While Web2 safety measures like doing due diligence before investing, not sharing password credentials and keeping cautious while browsing will help, there are some specific methods for Web3. To avoid rug pull, an ideal way can be to examine the open source code before transacting. Wallets flagging the potentially malicious nature of contracts users are interacting with could also be funds-saver for many.How Web3 resolves interoperability issuesFor accelerating the acquisition of users and gaining relevance, knitting Web2 with Web3 is as essential as intra-Web3 communication. Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is an advanced technology that helps address such concerns by facilitating interoperability between blockchains.Interoperability or “cross interaction” is a critical feature in computer systems that facilitates frictionless data exchange between Web2 and Web3, as well as within Web3 projects. An example of this feature is Twitter launching NFT profile pictures for Twitter Blue (checkmark) subscribers for iOS in Jan. 2022. Users can certify the ownership of the NFT by linking their Twitter profile to the wallet storing the NFT. To enable data exchange, as happened in this Twitter feature, engineers integrate Web2 platforms with Web3.Intra-Web3 communication is also critical for the efficient functioning of applications. Owing to the Ethereum blockchain hosting a major chunk of DApps in Web3, being compatible with EVM is a key requirement for any project needing to be interoperable. EVM works as the runtime environment for smart contracts in Ethereum blockchain.Blockchains work in isolation and need solutions such as sidechain to connect with other chains .A sidechain is a blockchain that runs independent of the parent blockchain or mainnet through a two-way bridge. Examples of sidechain are Gnosis Chain (formly xDAI), Polygon PoS and others.Related: Polygon blockchain explained: A beginner’s guide to MATICAnother sidechain project is of Horizen blockchain, which is building a sidechain that will be fully compatible and interoperable with Ethereum, opening up its own broad node infrastructure to the wider Ethereum community and enabling businesses to create solutions quickly. They are also exploring the possibility of adding an EVM layer on top of other blockchain frameworks to allow greater interoperability for users to benefit from multiple ecosystems.Can Web3 solve the problems of Web2Web3 returns content rights to the author, enhances the security level, eliminates unfair censorship, ushers in transparency, automates the functioning of software and facilitates a creator economy.Thanks to the characteristics of Web3, businesses can take advantage of opportunities that are beyond imagination. Concepts like decentralization and permissionless cybersphere were just in sci-fi. Nonetheless, Web3 hopes to resolve the problems in Web2, paving the way to a decentralized era in the internet.Data ownershipDecentralization puts greater control in the hands of users, ending the monopoly of Big Tech. Users can decide whether they want to share their data or keep it private. The fact that computing power and decision making is diversified makes the system inherently more stable than centralized systems where the whole operation is hinged on a cluster of servers or a core decision-making entity or individual.Though several Web2 applications have moved toward multi-cloud hosting, the resilience of projects that are decentralized in real terms is simply at another level. Enterprises can select a topography for their application, depending on their own data landscape and challenges to address.Data securityData stored in a huge centralized database is quite vulnerable. Hackers need to break through just one system to compromise valuable user data. Often, insiders play a role in tipping key information to external malicious players. Decentralized systems are designed to be resistant to such behavior by a section of participants, making security in Web3 more efficient than Web2 systems in keeping data secure.On the contrary, when almost every company is going digital and data-driven, the risk of malicious attacks has risen exponentially as well. In such a scenario, vandalism in cyberspace has become a big threat, threatening monetary and reputation loss. Decentralization enhances the security level, if not eliminating the problems completely.Unfair censorshipCentralized systems often subject users to unfair censorship. Decentralization transfers the authority to the participants, making it difficult for any single entity to influence a narrative that doesn’t suit them. A Web2 social media site like Twitter, for instance, can censor any tweet at any time they want. On a decentralized Twitter, tweets will be uncensorable. Similarly, payment services in Web2 might restrict payments for specific types of work.In Web3, censorship will be hard, both for participants with good intent and malicious players. Decentralized web promises control and privacy to all participants. Moreover, network participants can take an active part in the governance of the project by casting votes. Financial freedomIn Web3, every participant is a stakeholder. Backed by an array of technologies that inherently resist control, Web3 promotes financial freedom. Decentralized finance (DeFi), where anyone can freely engage in financial activities, is a prime example of the independence participants enjoy.Complying with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations opens DeFi to new user groups and mass adoption. Moreover, payments in Web2 are made in fiat, while Web3 payments are made through cryptocurrencies, though fiat payment systems can be integrated as well.TransparencyTransparency is something built into the design of decentralized ecosystems. Nodes work in tandem to ensure the frictionless functioning of the system and no single node can take a decision in isolation. Even other participants have a role in decision-making regarding governance through the casting of votes.Related: What are governance tokens, and how do they work?Web3 transactions are practically irreversible and traceable, thus ruling out any possibility of someone making changes in the database post-transaction. This makes Web3 a potent tool against fraudulent behavior.AutomationSmart contracts automate the system that can function without any human intervention. The code reflects the agreement between various stakeholders, executing transactions that cannot be reversed. Smart contracts substantially bring down operational costs, eliminate prejudice and make transactions more secure.Projects, however, have to be careful about vulnerabilities in smart contracts code that hackers can take advantage of to steal the booty. This can be overcome by getting the smart contract code thoroughly audited by a team having a proven track record in vulnerability assessments using a mix of manual and automated tooling. A Web3 example of accelerating automation is Zokyo, which specializes as an end-to-end security resource for blockchain-based projects.Creator economyNonfungible tokens (NFTs), a component of the Web3 ecosystem, have added another dimension to the web economy. These tokens make each digital asset unique in some sense. Regardless of the number of times it is duplicated, there is some way to distinguish it. This feature is useful to safeguard these assets against online forgery and maintain exclusive rights of the owner over their assets. In Web3, NFTs could serve as metaverse assets, game assets, certifications and whatnot, opening up endless possibilities and empowering content creators to make money in an unprecedented manner.Earlier, when audiences consumed the content of a creator, the audience only had the emotional or intellectual benefit. Thanks to NFTs, creators were now able to turn their community members into investors and provide them with some tangible value out of the interaction. For instance, if someone has started a group on a decentralized social media site, the first 50 subscribers might be rewarded with redeemable NFTs if they spend a certain amount of time interacting there.Contrary to what many think, one doesn’t need to have the technical know-how to create an NFT-based economy. No code solutions such as NiftyKit are available for various development needs like building NFT smart contracts, revenue splits, embeddable SDKs (software development kits), token gating and more. Without any coding, one can begin building a creator economy.How is Web3 different from Web2Web3 is a decentralized, permissionless and trustless ecosystem that transfers control from a centralized entity to a pool of participants. Web2, on the other hand, is a centralized space dominated by companies like Google, Microsoft and others.Web3 refers to the next generation of the internet that is decentralized, making it fundamentally different from Web2, a centralized ecosystem based on a client-server model. In Web2, the backend code that powers apps is deployed onto a server hosted by the likes of Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS). This system centralizes the power and these conglomerates, collectively termed Big Tech, can block access to anyone or exchange users’ crucial data for money.However, the architecture of Web3 is designed to withdraw this undue advantage from Big Tech and decentralizes it, boosting transparency, facilitating innovation and giving users control over their data and online interactions. In Web3, there is no server or client. Rather, there is peer-to-peer file sharing, thanks to the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). Web3 applications are permissionless (though some private blockchains require permission) and trustless. “Permissionless” refers to the capacity of seamless inter- and intra-platform communication, while “trustless” points to the characteristic where the users need to trust the network and not network participants. Web2 applications, on the contrary, require approval by the centralized authority and users’ trust to remain operational.

  • FTX collapse put the Singapore government in a parliamentary hot seat
    by Prashant Jha on November 28, 2022 at 9:20 am

    The opposition party MPs has questioned the credibility over its failure to protect retail investors from FTX collapse and had demanded data on the extent of losses incurred by the investors. The collapse of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has put the Singapore prime minister and the ruling government in a hot seat. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong are set to face grilling questions for their failure to protect retail investors.The Members of Parliament (MP) from the opposition Workers’ party raised 15 questions about Temasek’s investment and FTX collapse. The MPs questioned the government’s credibility in tracking the extent of investments by Temasek and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.The discussions around the government policies while investing in digital assets will be scrutinized further in a parliamentary discussion on Nov. 28, reported a Singaporean daily. The opposition MPs have recommended a bipartisan committee to question Temasek on its investment strategies and risk management approaches.Singaporean state-backed investor Temasek was one of 69 investors to invest in the FTX crypto exchange’s $420 million funding round in October 2021. The firm had invested $210 million in the global exchange for a minority stake of 1% and another $65 million in its sister company FTX.US. However, the state-backed investor wrote down its entire $275 million investment in the crypto exchange “irrespective of the outcome of FTX’s bankruptcy protection filing.”Related: The FTX contagion: Which companies were affected by the FTX collapse?Temasek also revealed that despite eight months of due diligence in 2021, it didn’t find any significant red flags in FTXs financials before deciding to invest $275 million into the now-failed cryptocurrency exchange. Apart from Temasek, Sequoia Capital also marked down its entire $214 million investment in the crypto exchange.The impact of the FTX collapse has been far-reaching and the worst hit has been millions of retail investors whose funds were misappropriated and used by the crypto exchange to mitigate its own risk. The collapse has also led to wider regulatory discussion and demand for better regulatory oversight of these centralized entities.

  • New BTC miner capitulation? 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week
    by William Suberg on November 28, 2022 at 9:05 am

    Bitcoin miners face a shakeout, one metric warns as the November monthly close looms for BTC. Bitcoin (BTC) prepares to exit a grim November just above $16,000 — what could be on the menu for BTC price this week?In a time of what analyst Willy Woo has called “unprecedented deleveraging,” Bitcoin is far from out of the woods after losing over 20% this month.The impact of the FTX implosion remains unknown, and warning signs continue to flow in even after the first wave of crypto business bankruptcies.In particular this week, eyes are on miners, who are seeing profits squeezed by falling spot prices and surging hash rates.Upheaval is in the air, and should another “capitulation” among miners occur, the entire ecosystem could be in for a further shock.As “max pain” looms for the average hodler, Cointelegraph takes a look at some of the main factors affecting BTC/USD in the short term.Bitcoin miners due “capitulation” — AnalystLike others, Bitcoin miners are seeing a major squeeze when it comes to selling accumulated BTC at a profit. It remains to be seen exactly how much financial pain the average miner is in, but one classic metric is preparing to call “capitulation” once more.Just months after the last such period, Hash Ribbons is warning that conditions are again becoming unsustainable.Hash Ribbons uses two moving averages of hash rate to infer conclusions about miner participation in the Bitcoin network. Crossovers of the trend lines denote capitulatory and recovery phases.For Kripto Mevismi, a contributor to on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant, the time is approaching for the former to reappear.“So right now bitcoin difficulty is really high for miners so that means; costs are getting higher and doing business in this kind of environment is getting harder,” he wrote in a blog post:“That’s why miners do not work in full force. If they have efficient- new generation mining machines, they put them into work but that’s all. Inflation is high and people feels effect of living costs, bitcoin price is declining, mining cost and difficulty is getting higher. Tough environment for miners.”Bitcoin Hash Ribbons chart. Source: LookIntoBitcoinKripto Mevismi added that a significant change in mining difficulty could help the situation. Estimates from BTC.com for the next adjustment on Dec. 6 put the difficulty drop at 6.4% at the time of writing. Should it go to fruition, it will be the largest such drop since July 2021.BTC.com and others likewise estimate that hash rate is now declining from record levels as miners wind down operations.Bitcoin network fundamentals overview (screenshot). Source: BTC.comBTC/USD eyes volatility into monthly closeBTC/USD managed to stave off significant weekly losses at the latest candle close on Nov. 27.At around $16,400, the weekly close was a whisker higher than the previous week, with the pair still circling two-year lows, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows.BTC/USD 1-week candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingViewWith a lack of volatility characterizing intraday price action, traders and analysts remain cautious about the next step.“It’s a long holiday weekend so expect things to get interesting as we move towards the Weekly and Monthly close,” on-chain analytics resource Material Indicators wrote in part of a tweet last week.A subsequent post reiterated that the Nov. 30 close would likely spark fresh instability, with BTC/USD currently 21.25% down versus the start of the month.This makes November 2022 Bitcoin’s worst November since its previous bear market year in 2018, data from Coinglass confirms.BTC/USD monthly returns chart (screenshot). Source: CoinglassOn shorter timeframes, popular trader Crypto Tony, meanwhile, highlighted $16,000 as a key zone to flip for higher levels to enter next, while keeping mindful of the longer-term trend.BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/ Twitter“Lower highs along with consolidating below a major resistance zone. If you want to enter safely, wait for a flip of the lows,” he summarized at the weekend.BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/ TwitterAs Cointelegraph extensively reported, Bitcoin’s next bear market bottom is the discussion point of the moment at present, and certain targets have become more popular than others.One vocal commentator calling for further downside, Il Capo of Crypto, thus reiterated his opinion that $12,000 could be next for BTC/USD.Highlighting the relationship between perpetual futures trading volume and spot price, he warned that the current market structure was not supportive of further gains.“12000-14000 is likely. 40-50% drop for altcoins,” he stressed.Under the Bitcoin sea, hodlers accumulateBig or small, the population of the Bitcoin ecosystem is “aggressively” adding to its BTC exposure this month. In a positive sign for a future supply squeeze — where demand comes up against a larger portion of illiquid supply — accumulation appears to be gathering pace.According to on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, it is retail investors mostly responsible for the current trend.The smaller investors, referred to variously as “crabs” and “shrimps” depending on wallet balance, are increasing in numbers.“Bitcoin Shrimps (< 1$BTC) have added 96.2k $BTC to their holdings since FTX collapsed, an all-time high balance increase. This cohort now now hold over 1.21M $BTC, equivalent to 6.3% of the circulating supply,” Glassnode showed in a Twitter thread about the phenomenon.Bitcoin shrimp net position change chart. Source: Glassnode/ TwitterA further post noted:“Crabs (up to 10 $BTC) have also seen aggressive balance increase of 191.6k $BTC over the last 30-days. This is a convincing all-time-high, eclipsing the July 2022 peak of 126k $BTC/month.”Bitcoin “crab” net position change chart. Source: Glassnode/ TwitterAs Cointelegraph reported, part of the increase in smaller wallet numbers could be down to exchange users withdrawing funds to private storage.Woo flags inbound “max pain”For Willy Woo, the analyst behind popular statistics resource Woobull, on-chain metrics are pointing to Bitcoin’s next macro bottom being imminent.Highlighting three of them this weekend, Woo showed that for all intents and purposes, Bitcoin is behaving exactly as it did in the pit of previous bear markets.The portion of the BTC supply held at an unrealized loss, for example, is approaching macro lows, a phenomenon covered by the “Max Pain” model.“Bitcoin bottom is getting close under the Max Pain model. Historically BTC price reaches macro cycle bottoms when 58%-61% of coins are underwater (orange). Green shading adjusts for the coins locked up inside GBTC Trust,” Woo explained alongside a chart. Bitcoin Max Pain annotated chart. Source: Willy Woo/ TwitterContinuing, he noted that the MVRV Ratio value for BTC/USD is also targeting a “buy” zone, which has historically given investors maximum profit potential.MVRV is Bitcoin’s market cap divided by realized cap — the aggregate price at which each Bitcoin last moved. The resulting number has delivered buy and sell zones corresponding to price extremes.“MVRV ratio is deep inside the value zone,” Woo’s commentary stated:“Under this signal we were in already bottoming (1) until the latest FTX white swan debacle brought us back into a buy zone (2).”Bitcoin MVRV annotated chart. Source: Willy Woo/ TwitterWoo’s third chart, Cumulative Value Days Destroyed (CVDD), was recently covered by Cointelegraph.“Use these charts at your own discretion, we are in an unprecedented time of deleveraging,” he added, cautioning that “Past cycles do not necessarily reflect future ones.”Macro mood rocked by China protestsSome key economic data from the United States is due this week, but crypto analysts are more focused on China. With an already fragile status quo hanging on inflation trends, unrest in the world’s factories could unsettle market performance, some warn.China is in the grip of a wave of protests against the government’s policy on COVID-19, with multiple cities defying lockdowns to demand an end to “COVID zero.”With this in mind, risk assets could be in for a rough ride if the situation spirals out of control.“Crucial area of Bitcoin couldn’t break, so we’re still consolidating within that range. On support now,” Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, explained:“If this is lost, I’d expect new lows to be seen on the markets, probably depending on China & FTX contagion this week.”Even mainstream media were warning of potential repercussions on the day, with John Toro, head of trading at exchange Independent Reserve, telling Bloomberg that “elevated contagion risk is being profiled into the cryptocurrency complex.”Asian stock markets were modestly down on the day, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite Index down 1.6% and 0.75%, respectively, at the time of writing.Hang Seng Index 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingViewBonus: Bitcoin bottoms in crude oilOn a related macro note, Bitcoin is now in line for “outperformance” in U.S. dollar terms, one well-known analyst has said.Related: Bitcoin may need $1B more on-chain losses before new BTC price bottomIn WTI crude oil terms, BTC price action is already at a macro low — and history calls for a resurgence, which includes a significant appreciation trend against the USD.“We’re finally at channel bottom,” TechDev confirmed over the weekend:“Bitcoin’s crude oil (energy) purchasing power topped in April 2021. Now looks poised for another leg of outperformance (and rise in USD value).”BTC/WTI annotated chart. Source: TechDev/ TwitterAn accompanying chart drew specific parallels to Bitcoin’s performance at the pit of the last bear market in late 2018.As Cointelegraph reported, meanwhile, TechDev is far from the only voice calling for an upside to characterize BTC price action going into the new year.The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

  • AAX exec leaves the crypto exchange amid ongoing operational halt
    by Ezra Reguerra on November 28, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Former AAX executive Ben Caselin said that his role in the firm became hollow and that the trust in the brand is broken. Weeks after the AAX exchange started halting its withdrawals, its vice president for global marketing and communications announced that he has resigned from his role at the cryptocurrency exchange. In a Twitter thread, Ben Caselin confirmed that he has left the firm and highlighted reasons as to why he decided to leave his post at the crypto exchange. According to Caselin, despite his efforts in fighting for the community, the initiatives that they came up with were not accepted. The executive described that his role in communications became “hollow.”The former AAX executive also expressed his disagreement with the way that AAX is handling the issue. Caselin described the actions of the exchange as “without empathy” and “overly opaque.” In the midst of the withdrawal halt, the former executive also highlighted that many people, including some of his family members, have asked him for help. However, Caselin wrote that there was nothing he could do at the moment and that everyone is waiting for actions from the exchange. Despite the current situation, the former AAX executive believes that things will be handled without evil intentions, but noted that the damage is already done. “The brand is no more and trust is broken,” he wrote. Related: Here’s how centralized exchanges aim to win back users after the FTX collapseOn Nov. 14, the AAX exchange started the halt for withdrawals, citing a need to fix a glitch on its system upgrade. The exchange assured its community that the halt in withdrawals had nothing to the with the ongoing FTX collapse and said that they have no financial exposure to the embattled FTX exchange. After the announcement, the AAX team highlighted that it needs additional capital because its investors have decided to withdraw their funds from AAX because of the FTX collapse. The exchange explained that this puts them at risk of a capital deficit, which they have to fix before resuming normal operations. Cointelegraph reached out to AAX’s public relations team but has not received a response yet.

Cointelegraph.com News Cointelegraph covers fintech, blockchain and Bitcoin bringing you the latest news and analyses on the future of money.

  • Line shuts down crypto exchange to focus on blockchain and LN token
    by Helen Partz on November 28, 2022 at 9:50 am

    The Japanese messaging giant will still continue to support its Line blockchain ecosystem and the Link token despite the ongoing industry challenges. The Japanese messaging giant Line has decided to shut down its cryptocurrency exchange business amid the ongoing crypto winter.Line-owned crypto exchange Bitfront officially announced on Nov. 27 a plan to completely close down the platform by March 2023.According to the statement, the closure was driven by the continued cryptocurrency bear market and other issues in the crypto industry.Despite the exchange’s closure, Line will still continue to run its other blockchain ventures, including the Line blockchain ecosystem and Link (LN) token, the announcement notes, stating:“Despite our efforts to overcome the challenges in this rapidly-evolving industry, we have regretfully determined that we need to shut down Bitfront in order to continue growing the Line blockchain ecosystem and Link token economy.”Bitfront also emphasized that the decision to close the exchange was made for the “best interest” of the Line ecosystem and is unrelated to the ongoing industry scandal involving the FTX exchange.According to the announcement, Bitfront will take a gradual approach to suspend its services, stopping signups and credit card payments on Nov. 28. The platform then plans to suspend additional deposits and interest payments of LN interest products and proceed with the related LN withdrawals by mid-December.By the end of December, Bitfront aims to stop all cryptocurrency and fiat deposits alongside trading suspension and cancellation of open orders. Total suspension of withdrawals is scheduled for March 31, 2023, while customers would be still able to claim their assets in different jurisdictions of the United States.As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Line launched its proprietary crypto exchange in 2018 as a Singapore-based business. Originally known as BitBox, the company was rebranded to Bitfront and moved to the U.S. in February 2020. The exchange has been downscaling some of its operations in recent years, suspending services in South Korea in August 2021.Related: Argo Blockchain is at risk of closing if it fails further financingDespite being a smaller crypto exchange, Bitfront has significant trading volumes at the time of writing. According to data from CoinGecko, Bitfront’s daily trading volume amounts to $55 million, with the exchange trading a total of five cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Link, Litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT).

  • How Web3 resolves fundamental problems in Web2
    by Dilip Kumar Patairya on November 28, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Web3 is the next-era internet based on decentralized architecture and some innovative concepts. Find how Web3 resolves fundamental problems in Web2. What are the challenges with Web3For mainstream adoption of Web3, prevalent challenges need to be dealt with. These include centralized infrastructure, lack of regulatory clarity and rug pulls.While Web3 is perceived to be decentralized, developers integrate Web3 applications with Web2 protocols to make them work. This creates a scenario where functioning of decentralized applications is hinged to a centralized infrastructure.Another major challenge before Web3 is a lack of regulatory clarity. Blockchain technologies are advancing fast, and regulators will take time to catch up. Absence of regulatory oversight has led to unethical behavior in some projects as happened in the FTX fiasco.Rug pulls are another hindrance Web3 applications are facing. It happens when a malicious developer willfully leaves a window open in the code and later uses it to steal funds earned in cryptocurrencies. Fraudulent individuals breaking through the defenses is something everyone in cryptoverse is wary of. So is there a way to beef up the safety quotient in Web3? While Web2 safety measures like doing due diligence before investing, not sharing password credentials and keeping cautious while browsing will help, there are some specific methods for Web3. To avoid rug pull, an ideal way can be to examine the open source code before transacting. Wallets flagging the potentially malicious nature of contracts users are interacting with could also be funds-saver for many.How Web3 resolves interoperability issuesFor accelerating the acquisition of users and gaining relevance, knitting Web2 with Web3 is as essential as intra-Web3 communication. Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is an advanced technology that helps address such concerns by facilitating interoperability between blockchains.Interoperability or “cross interaction” is a critical feature in computer systems that facilitates frictionless data exchange between Web2 and Web3, as well as within Web3 projects. An example of this feature is Twitter launching NFT profile pictures for Twitter Blue (checkmark) subscribers for iOS in Jan. 2022. Users can certify the ownership of the NFT by linking their Twitter profile to the wallet storing the NFT. To enable data exchange, as happened in this Twitter feature, engineers integrate Web2 platforms with Web3.Intra-Web3 communication is also critical for the efficient functioning of applications. Owing to the Ethereum blockchain hosting a major chunk of DApps in Web3, being compatible with EVM is a key requirement for any project needing to be interoperable. EVM works as the runtime environment for smart contracts in Ethereum blockchain.Blockchains work in isolation and need solutions such as sidechain to connect with other chains .A sidechain is a blockchain that runs independent of the parent blockchain or mainnet through a two-way bridge. Examples of sidechain are Gnosis Chain (formly xDAI), Polygon PoS and others.Related: Polygon blockchain explained: A beginner’s guide to MATICAnother sidechain project is of Horizen blockchain, which is building a sidechain that will be fully compatible and interoperable with Ethereum, opening up its own broad node infrastructure to the wider Ethereum community and enabling businesses to create solutions quickly. They are also exploring the possibility of adding an EVM layer on top of other blockchain frameworks to allow greater interoperability for users to benefit from multiple ecosystems.Can Web3 solve the problems of Web2Web3 returns content rights to the author, enhances the security level, eliminates unfair censorship, ushers in transparency, automates the functioning of software and facilitates a creator economy.Thanks to the characteristics of Web3, businesses can take advantage of opportunities that are beyond imagination. Concepts like decentralization and permissionless cybersphere were just in sci-fi. Nonetheless, Web3 hopes to resolve the problems in Web2, paving the way to a decentralized era in the internet.Data ownershipDecentralization puts greater control in the hands of users, ending the monopoly of Big Tech. Users can decide whether they want to share their data or keep it private. The fact that computing power and decision making is diversified makes the system inherently more stable than centralized systems where the whole operation is hinged on a cluster of servers or a core decision-making entity or individual.Though several Web2 applications have moved toward multi-cloud hosting, the resilience of projects that are decentralized in real terms is simply at another level. Enterprises can select a topography for their application, depending on their own data landscape and challenges to address.Data securityData stored in a huge centralized database is quite vulnerable. Hackers need to break through just one system to compromise valuable user data. Often, insiders play a role in tipping key information to external malicious players. Decentralized systems are designed to be resistant to such behavior by a section of participants, making security in Web3 more efficient than Web2 systems in keeping data secure.On the contrary, when almost every company is going digital and data-driven, the risk of malicious attacks has risen exponentially as well. In such a scenario, vandalism in cyberspace has become a big threat, threatening monetary and reputation loss. Decentralization enhances the security level, if not eliminating the problems completely.Unfair censorshipCentralized systems often subject users to unfair censorship. Decentralization transfers the authority to the participants, making it difficult for any single entity to influence a narrative that doesn’t suit them. A Web2 social media site like Twitter, for instance, can censor any tweet at any time they want. On a decentralized Twitter, tweets will be uncensorable. Similarly, payment services in Web2 might restrict payments for specific types of work.In Web3, censorship will be hard, both for participants with good intent and malicious players. Decentralized web promises control and privacy to all participants. Moreover, network participants can take an active part in the governance of the project by casting votes. Financial freedomIn Web3, every participant is a stakeholder. Backed by an array of technologies that inherently resist control, Web3 promotes financial freedom. Decentralized finance (DeFi), where anyone can freely engage in financial activities, is a prime example of the independence participants enjoy.Complying with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations opens DeFi to new user groups and mass adoption. Moreover, payments in Web2 are made in fiat, while Web3 payments are made through cryptocurrencies, though fiat payment systems can be integrated as well.TransparencyTransparency is something built into the design of decentralized ecosystems. Nodes work in tandem to ensure the frictionless functioning of the system and no single node can take a decision in isolation. Even other participants have a role in decision-making regarding governance through the casting of votes.Related: What are governance tokens, and how do they work?Web3 transactions are practically irreversible and traceable, thus ruling out any possibility of someone making changes in the database post-transaction. This makes Web3 a potent tool against fraudulent behavior.AutomationSmart contracts automate the system that can function without any human intervention. The code reflects the agreement between various stakeholders, executing transactions that cannot be reversed. Smart contracts substantially bring down operational costs, eliminate prejudice and make transactions more secure.Projects, however, have to be careful about vulnerabilities in smart contracts code that hackers can take advantage of to steal the booty. This can be overcome by getting the smart contract code thoroughly audited by a team having a proven track record in vulnerability assessments using a mix of manual and automated tooling. A Web3 example of accelerating automation is Zokyo, which specializes as an end-to-end security resource for blockchain-based projects.Creator economyNonfungible tokens (NFTs), a component of the Web3 ecosystem, have added another dimension to the web economy. These tokens make each digital asset unique in some sense. Regardless of the number of times it is duplicated, there is some way to distinguish it. This feature is useful to safeguard these assets against online forgery and maintain exclusive rights of the owner over their assets. In Web3, NFTs could serve as metaverse assets, game assets, certifications and whatnot, opening up endless possibilities and empowering content creators to make money in an unprecedented manner.Earlier, when audiences consumed the content of a creator, the audience only had the emotional or intellectual benefit. Thanks to NFTs, creators were now able to turn their community members into investors and provide them with some tangible value out of the interaction. For instance, if someone has started a group on a decentralized social media site, the first 50 subscribers might be rewarded with redeemable NFTs if they spend a certain amount of time interacting there.Contrary to what many think, one doesn’t need to have the technical know-how to create an NFT-based economy. No code solutions such as NiftyKit are available for various development needs like building NFT smart contracts, revenue splits, embeddable SDKs (software development kits), token gating and more. Without any coding, one can begin building a creator economy.How is Web3 different from Web2Web3 is a decentralized, permissionless and trustless ecosystem that transfers control from a centralized entity to a pool of participants. Web2, on the other hand, is a centralized space dominated by companies like Google, Microsoft and others.Web3 refers to the next generation of the internet that is decentralized, making it fundamentally different from Web2, a centralized ecosystem based on a client-server model. In Web2, the backend code that powers apps is deployed onto a server hosted by the likes of Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS). This system centralizes the power and these conglomerates, collectively termed Big Tech, can block access to anyone or exchange users’ crucial data for money.However, the architecture of Web3 is designed to withdraw this undue advantage from Big Tech and decentralizes it, boosting transparency, facilitating innovation and giving users control over their data and online interactions. In Web3, there is no server or client. Rather, there is peer-to-peer file sharing, thanks to the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). Web3 applications are permissionless (though some private blockchains require permission) and trustless. “Permissionless” refers to the capacity of seamless inter- and intra-platform communication, while “trustless” points to the characteristic where the users need to trust the network and not network participants. Web2 applications, on the contrary, require approval by the centralized authority and users’ trust to remain operational.

  • FTX collapse put the Singapore government in a parliamentary hot seat
    by Prashant Jha on November 28, 2022 at 9:20 am

    The opposition party MPs has questioned the credibility over its failure to protect retail investors from FTX collapse and had demanded data on the extent of losses incurred by the investors. The collapse of the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX has put the Singapore prime minister and the ruling government in a hot seat. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong are set to face grilling questions for their failure to protect retail investors.The Members of Parliament (MP) from the opposition Workers’ party raised 15 questions about Temasek’s investment and FTX collapse. The MPs questioned the government’s credibility in tracking the extent of investments by Temasek and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.The discussions around the government policies while investing in digital assets will be scrutinized further in a parliamentary discussion on Nov. 28, reported a Singaporean daily. The opposition MPs have recommended a bipartisan committee to question Temasek on its investment strategies and risk management approaches.Singaporean state-backed investor Temasek was one of 69 investors to invest in the FTX crypto exchange’s $420 million funding round in October 2021. The firm had invested $210 million in the global exchange for a minority stake of 1% and another $65 million in its sister company FTX.US. However, the state-backed investor wrote down its entire $275 million investment in the crypto exchange “irrespective of the outcome of FTX’s bankruptcy protection filing.”Related: The FTX contagion: Which companies were affected by the FTX collapse?Temasek also revealed that despite eight months of due diligence in 2021, it didn’t find any significant red flags in FTXs financials before deciding to invest $275 million into the now-failed cryptocurrency exchange. Apart from Temasek, Sequoia Capital also marked down its entire $214 million investment in the crypto exchange.The impact of the FTX collapse has been far-reaching and the worst hit has been millions of retail investors whose funds were misappropriated and used by the crypto exchange to mitigate its own risk. The collapse has also led to wider regulatory discussion and demand for better regulatory oversight of these centralized entities.

  • New BTC miner capitulation? 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week
    by William Suberg on November 28, 2022 at 9:05 am

    Bitcoin miners face a shakeout, one metric warns as the November monthly close looms for BTC. Bitcoin (BTC) prepares to exit a grim November just above $16,000 — what could be on the menu for BTC price this week?In a time of what analyst Willy Woo has called “unprecedented deleveraging,” Bitcoin is far from out of the woods after losing over 20% this month.The impact of the FTX implosion remains unknown, and warning signs continue to flow in even after the first wave of crypto business bankruptcies.In particular this week, eyes are on miners, who are seeing profits squeezed by falling spot prices and surging hash rates.Upheaval is in the air, and should another “capitulation” among miners occur, the entire ecosystem could be in for a further shock.As “max pain” looms for the average hodler, Cointelegraph takes a look at some of the main factors affecting BTC/USD in the short term.Bitcoin miners due “capitulation” — AnalystLike others, Bitcoin miners are seeing a major squeeze when it comes to selling accumulated BTC at a profit. It remains to be seen exactly how much financial pain the average miner is in, but one classic metric is preparing to call “capitulation” once more.Just months after the last such period, Hash Ribbons is warning that conditions are again becoming unsustainable.Hash Ribbons uses two moving averages of hash rate to infer conclusions about miner participation in the Bitcoin network. Crossovers of the trend lines denote capitulatory and recovery phases.For Kripto Mevismi, a contributor to on-chain analytics platform CryptoQuant, the time is approaching for the former to reappear.“So right now bitcoin difficulty is really high for miners so that means; costs are getting higher and doing business in this kind of environment is getting harder,” he wrote in a blog post:“That’s why miners do not work in full force. If they have efficient- new generation mining machines, they put them into work but that’s all. Inflation is high and people feels effect of living costs, bitcoin price is declining, mining cost and difficulty is getting higher. Tough environment for miners.”Bitcoin Hash Ribbons chart. Source: LookIntoBitcoinKripto Mevismi added that a significant change in mining difficulty could help the situation. Estimates from BTC.com for the next adjustment on Dec. 6 put the difficulty drop at 6.4% at the time of writing. Should it go to fruition, it will be the largest such drop since July 2021.BTC.com and others likewise estimate that hash rate is now declining from record levels as miners wind down operations.Bitcoin network fundamentals overview (screenshot). Source: BTC.comBTC/USD eyes volatility into monthly closeBTC/USD managed to stave off significant weekly losses at the latest candle close on Nov. 27.At around $16,400, the weekly close was a whisker higher than the previous week, with the pair still circling two-year lows, data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows.BTC/USD 1-week candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingViewWith a lack of volatility characterizing intraday price action, traders and analysts remain cautious about the next step.“It’s a long holiday weekend so expect things to get interesting as we move towards the Weekly and Monthly close,” on-chain analytics resource Material Indicators wrote in part of a tweet last week.A subsequent post reiterated that the Nov. 30 close would likely spark fresh instability, with BTC/USD currently 21.25% down versus the start of the month.This makes November 2022 Bitcoin’s worst November since its previous bear market year in 2018, data from Coinglass confirms.BTC/USD monthly returns chart (screenshot). Source: CoinglassOn shorter timeframes, popular trader Crypto Tony, meanwhile, highlighted $16,000 as a key zone to flip for higher levels to enter next, while keeping mindful of the longer-term trend.BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/ Twitter“Lower highs along with consolidating below a major resistance zone. If you want to enter safely, wait for a flip of the lows,” he summarized at the weekend.BTC/USD annotated chart. Source: Crypto Tony/ TwitterAs Cointelegraph extensively reported, Bitcoin’s next bear market bottom is the discussion point of the moment at present, and certain targets have become more popular than others.One vocal commentator calling for further downside, Il Capo of Crypto, thus reiterated his opinion that $12,000 could be next for BTC/USD.Highlighting the relationship between perpetual futures trading volume and spot price, he warned that the current market structure was not supportive of further gains.“12000-14000 is likely. 40-50% drop for altcoins,” he stressed.Under the Bitcoin sea, hodlers accumulateBig or small, the population of the Bitcoin ecosystem is “aggressively” adding to its BTC exposure this month. In a positive sign for a future supply squeeze — where demand comes up against a larger portion of illiquid supply — accumulation appears to be gathering pace.According to on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, it is retail investors mostly responsible for the current trend.The smaller investors, referred to variously as “crabs” and “shrimps” depending on wallet balance, are increasing in numbers.“Bitcoin Shrimps (< 1$BTC) have added 96.2k $BTC to their holdings since FTX collapsed, an all-time high balance increase. This cohort now now hold over 1.21M $BTC, equivalent to 6.3% of the circulating supply,” Glassnode showed in a Twitter thread about the phenomenon.Bitcoin shrimp net position change chart. Source: Glassnode/ TwitterA further post noted:“Crabs (up to 10 $BTC) have also seen aggressive balance increase of 191.6k $BTC over the last 30-days. This is a convincing all-time-high, eclipsing the July 2022 peak of 126k $BTC/month.”Bitcoin “crab” net position change chart. Source: Glassnode/ TwitterAs Cointelegraph reported, part of the increase in smaller wallet numbers could be down to exchange users withdrawing funds to private storage.Woo flags inbound “max pain”For Willy Woo, the analyst behind popular statistics resource Woobull, on-chain metrics are pointing to Bitcoin’s next macro bottom being imminent.Highlighting three of them this weekend, Woo showed that for all intents and purposes, Bitcoin is behaving exactly as it did in the pit of previous bear markets.The portion of the BTC supply held at an unrealized loss, for example, is approaching macro lows, a phenomenon covered by the “Max Pain” model.“Bitcoin bottom is getting close under the Max Pain model. Historically BTC price reaches macro cycle bottoms when 58%-61% of coins are underwater (orange). Green shading adjusts for the coins locked up inside GBTC Trust,” Woo explained alongside a chart. Bitcoin Max Pain annotated chart. Source: Willy Woo/ TwitterContinuing, he noted that the MVRV Ratio value for BTC/USD is also targeting a “buy” zone, which has historically given investors maximum profit potential.MVRV is Bitcoin’s market cap divided by realized cap — the aggregate price at which each Bitcoin last moved. The resulting number has delivered buy and sell zones corresponding to price extremes.“MVRV ratio is deep inside the value zone,” Woo’s commentary stated:“Under this signal we were in already bottoming (1) until the latest FTX white swan debacle brought us back into a buy zone (2).”Bitcoin MVRV annotated chart. Source: Willy Woo/ TwitterWoo’s third chart, Cumulative Value Days Destroyed (CVDD), was recently covered by Cointelegraph.“Use these charts at your own discretion, we are in an unprecedented time of deleveraging,” he added, cautioning that “Past cycles do not necessarily reflect future ones.”Macro mood rocked by China protestsSome key economic data from the United States is due this week, but crypto analysts are more focused on China. With an already fragile status quo hanging on inflation trends, unrest in the world’s factories could unsettle market performance, some warn.China is in the grip of a wave of protests against the government’s policy on COVID-19, with multiple cities defying lockdowns to demand an end to “COVID zero.”With this in mind, risk assets could be in for a rough ride if the situation spirals out of control.“Crucial area of Bitcoin couldn’t break, so we’re still consolidating within that range. On support now,” Michaël van de Poppe, founder and CEO of trading firm Eight, explained:“If this is lost, I’d expect new lows to be seen on the markets, probably depending on China & FTX contagion this week.”Even mainstream media were warning of potential repercussions on the day, with John Toro, head of trading at exchange Independent Reserve, telling Bloomberg that “elevated contagion risk is being profiled into the cryptocurrency complex.”Asian stock markets were modestly down on the day, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite Index down 1.6% and 0.75%, respectively, at the time of writing.Hang Seng Index 1-day candle chart. Source: TradingViewBonus: Bitcoin bottoms in crude oilOn a related macro note, Bitcoin is now in line for “outperformance” in U.S. dollar terms, one well-known analyst has said.Related: Bitcoin may need $1B more on-chain losses before new BTC price bottomIn WTI crude oil terms, BTC price action is already at a macro low — and history calls for a resurgence, which includes a significant appreciation trend against the USD.“We’re finally at channel bottom,” TechDev confirmed over the weekend:“Bitcoin’s crude oil (energy) purchasing power topped in April 2021. Now looks poised for another leg of outperformance (and rise in USD value).”BTC/WTI annotated chart. Source: TechDev/ TwitterAn accompanying chart drew specific parallels to Bitcoin’s performance at the pit of the last bear market in late 2018.As Cointelegraph reported, meanwhile, TechDev is far from the only voice calling for an upside to characterize BTC price action going into the new year.The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

  • AAX exec leaves the crypto exchange amid ongoing operational halt
    by Ezra Reguerra on November 28, 2022 at 8:41 am

    Former AAX executive Ben Caselin said that his role in the firm became hollow and that the trust in the brand is broken. Weeks after the AAX exchange started halting its withdrawals, its vice president for global marketing and communications announced that he has resigned from his role at the cryptocurrency exchange. In a Twitter thread, Ben Caselin confirmed that he has left the firm and highlighted reasons as to why he decided to leave his post at the crypto exchange. According to Caselin, despite his efforts in fighting for the community, the initiatives that they came up with were not accepted. The executive described that his role in communications became “hollow.”The former AAX executive also expressed his disagreement with the way that AAX is handling the issue. Caselin described the actions of the exchange as “without empathy” and “overly opaque.” In the midst of the withdrawal halt, the former executive also highlighted that many people, including some of his family members, have asked him for help. However, Caselin wrote that there was nothing he could do at the moment and that everyone is waiting for actions from the exchange. Despite the current situation, the former AAX executive believes that things will be handled without evil intentions, but noted that the damage is already done. “The brand is no more and trust is broken,” he wrote. Related: Here’s how centralized exchanges aim to win back users after the FTX collapseOn Nov. 14, the AAX exchange started the halt for withdrawals, citing a need to fix a glitch on its system upgrade. The exchange assured its community that the halt in withdrawals had nothing to the with the ongoing FTX collapse and said that they have no financial exposure to the embattled FTX exchange. After the announcement, the AAX team highlighted that it needs additional capital because its investors have decided to withdraw their funds from AAX because of the FTX collapse. The exchange explained that this puts them at risk of a capital deficit, which they have to fix before resuming normal operations. Cointelegraph reached out to AAX’s public relations team but has not received a response yet.