1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Dips to $34.4K as Big-Name DeFi Tokens Trounce ETH
Bitcoin was slipping Friday on lower-than-average volumes for 2021 so far. In other news, while BTC and ETH are up this year, some DeFi tokens are doing even better.
Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $35,610 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Slipping 9.4% over the previous 24 hours.
Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $34,425-$39,673 (CoinDesk 20)
BTC below the 10-hour and 50-hour moving averages on the hourly chart, a bearish signal for market technicians.
2. Goldman Sachs to Enter Crypto Market ‘Soon’ With Custody Play: Source
U.S. banking powerhouse Goldman Sachs has issued a request for information (RFI) to explore digital asset custody, according to a source inside the bank.
When asked about timing, the Goldman source said the bank’s custody plans would be “evident soon.”
Goldman’s digital asset custody RFI was circulated to at least one well-known crypto custody player toward the end of 2020.
3. Kraken to Halt XRP Trading for US Residents
Citing the recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit against Ripple Labs, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced it is halting trading of the XRP token for U.S. residents.
The halt, which goes into effect Jan. 30 at 1 a.m. UTC, only affects Kraken clients residing in the U.S. Those residing elsewhere will be unaffected.
With the halt, Kraken becomes the latest exchange to suspend or end trading in XRP (-5.92%), the cryptocurrency at the heart of a SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs claiming the token is really a security.
Kraken had been a holdout.
The move follows Grayscale Investments’ dissolution of its XRP Trust earlier this week.
4. Optimism ‘Soft Launches’ Ethereum Throughput Solution With DeFi’s Synthetix
Optimism has “soft launched” its solution to Ethereum’s transaction problem, the Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM).
The startup announced Friday that OVM is now live, at a time when gas fees have reached near all-time highs for decentralized finance (DeFi) traders. Indeed, the cost to send a single Ethereum transaction has hovered in the low single-digit dollars for the last month — a bit steep for the “internet of money.”
First on the docket is DeFi exchange Synthetix, which has been working on an integration for some weeks now. The platform allows traders to exchange Ethereum-based synthetic contracts of real-world assets including oil futures.
5. JPMorgan Provides $100M Financing Facility for Blockchain Mortgage Platform Figure
Blockchain mortgage platform Figure says it has closed a $100 million financing facility for its mortgage products from investment bank JPMorgan.
Platform owner Figure Technologies said Wednesday this is the fifth financing facility for its online lending business, which has now closed almost $1.5 billion in total.
Funding partners now include JPMorgan, Jefferies and a number of other Wall Street banks, said the blockchain company.
The facility covers both conforming and jumbo mortgages — loans in excess of the traditional lending restrictions.
“This facility with JPMorgan will help us continue to innovate in the lending space,” said Mike Cagney, CEO of Figure, in a statement.
Figure Technologies reported its mortgage business grew nearly 50% month over month in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The firm uses blockchain tech to issue mortgages and loans at greater speed and reduced cost by automating parts of the process.
CoinDesk reached out to JPMorgan for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
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January 16, 2021