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    Terra Project Launches Loop Finance – A New AMM DEX Terra Network, the stablecoin platform, has introduced Loop Finance, a project building on the Terra network. It shares the same ambitions as Terra does, to induce mass adoption of crypto in a user-friendly manner. The team tweeted: “Loop is a Terraform Capital project offering a two-fold product -- an AMM DEX and a non-custodial crypto wallet -- to the Terra ecosystem and beyond, optimized for mass adoption.” The AMM DEX will be integrated into a beta-stage, non-custodial crypto wallet (Loop Wallet). It is aimed to help shopping in a way that is advantageous to small businesses and mainstream consumers. All About Loop Loop is a Terraform Capital project offering a product with two-fold benefit to the Terra ecosystem and beyond. First, Loop Markets is built on Terra deploying the Automated Market Maker (AMM) model of “lazy capital” pooled together. It enables a passive income for liquidity providers (LPs) and rapid swaps for a spectrum of Terra assets for traders. The second is the Loop Wallet. It is a mobile, non-custodial wallet for shopping and merchant payments. It will integrate the Loop AMM and use liquidity for payment through native swaps of Terra assets and stablecoins from the Loop DEX.  The team behind Loop is a diverse group of entrepreneurs with a wide range of experience in traditional businesses and software and blockchain development. The two main motivations behind building Loop were to help bring crypto to the mainstream mass and help small businesses survive large organizations taking over their market. What Does Loop AMM Offer? AMMs are vital to DeFi liquidity. TerraSwap, TerraForm Labs’ implementation of an AMM DEZ, is the primary means of swapping native Terra assets with other stablecoins. They are integrated directly into the Terra Station Wallet.  Loop’s AMM design is similar to that of TerraSwap. It will list ERC-20 and SPL (Solana) tokens along with Terra native tokens once the Wormhole Solana-ETH POA bridge officially goes live. The LOOP governance token will incentivize pools for tokens that don’t exist on Terra currently, with POOL token rewards to help bootstrap liquidity.  LOOP also receives shared trading fees, and the tokens that will be incentivized include ETH, WBTC, UNI, SUSHI, LINK, BNB, CAKE, SOL, SRM, FTT, and more. Terra Bridge’s Shuttle bridge will be replaced by Wormhole eventually. Once this is done, users on Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Solana will be able to port assets to Loop’s AMM on Terra. They will also be able to swap assets from different chains on a single AMM venue. Loop farming will be incentivized too, but only on one side of the swap pair. This discourages the dumping of LOOP tokens on the open market and bootstrap liquidity of specific pairs.  Loop Wallet, A Gamechanger Loop wallet is aimed at the mass adoption of Terra and has opted for combining front-end payments applications with AMM. Loop wallet will be a shopping app. People will be able to make purchases from small to medium scale businesses.  In-store pick-up and delivery will be made through Loop’s partnership with Doordash, an online food ordering and food delivery platform based in San Francisco. The app is currently in the beta testing phase. Loop will onboard many new merchants soon.  Tom Norwood, CEO of Loop, says, “Our plan all along has been to build a non-custodial crypto wallet into the app, allowing users to spend their cryptocurrencies directly with merchants. One of the main reasons we chose Terra is because most merchants don’t want to accept volatile currencies, and therefore Terra’s suite of local currency stablecoins works perfectly for us.” The Benefits Of Loop Wallet The instant swap mechanism inside the Loop Wallet app will allow users to pay with any Terra currency and swap it automatically for a stablecoin preferred by the merchant. This removes the price-volatility risk for accepting crypto payments, a point that discourages merchants from adopting crypto-oriented apps.  LOOP rewards are given to customers as a part of a cash-back incentive program. By sourcing payments liquidity from an AMM DEX, consumers and merchants will bear significantly lesser fees than many current front-end fiat on-ramps. Here, sourcing liquidity from third parties is expensive, with additional costs incurred to end-users. Small Businesses Can Gain Market Control The team states that large businesses such as Ubereats, Amazon, Facebook, and Google have negatively impacted small businesses. Loop offers a low monthly fee and zero commissions for businesses, allowing them to control their audiences and sales channels.  Businesses can source the advantage of a new market that uses Loop while saving money on transaction fees. Cryptocurrency payments (and in the future - DeFi services like Anchor savings) offer merchants and end-users rapid, low-cost settlement along with high-yield savings.  Matching this value will be difficult for large organizations unless they begin integrating DeFi-native features themselves. The team further states, “Users (both consumers and merchants) can benefit from better payments, settlement, savings, and rewards in an application market, mobile e-commerce, that accounts for roughly 45% of the total US e-commerce market already — a trend that is poised to accelerate. All of this can occur without users needing to be intimately familiar with what DeFi is or how it works.” The Future For Loop And Terra Loop Wallet is currently in its Beta testing phase, with the initial rollout planned to go live in Australia. Loop’s MVP for the AMM DEX is expected in the next 4-6 weeks. Once the Wormhole goes live, Loop Markets will provide liquidity for Terra’s cross-chain assets through its support for ERC-20 tokens and SPL tokens.  Loop can gain mainstream traction and liquidity for the wallet’s DEX with instant swaps through Loop AMM directly embedded within Loop Wallet. This will enable greater adoption of Terra’s stablecoins. Loop will integrate MoonPay as a fiat on/off ramp for its users. The team says, “We’re thrilled about Loop’s vision of onboarding more mainstream users to DeFi. The design of originating advantages from DeFi and presenting them to the mainstream via user-friendly applications within competitive e-commerce markets is characteristic of many projects building on top of Terra — including Loop. The goal? Mainstream adoption.” Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

    au 16 Apr
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    Tesla posts $1bn profits from Bitcoin, made in just 10 ... Ten weeks on from Elon Musk and his company Tesla deciding to add Bitcoin to the balance sheet, and they are already $1 billion up, as the number one cryptocurrency has nearly doubled in price since the purchase.  Since making a purchase of bitcoin worth $1.5 billion back in January, the electric car manufacturer Tesla has nearly doubled this original position. Tesla used the sum from its cash reserves to buy bitcoin when it was worth between $30 to $40 million.  As Bitcoin hit new all-time-highs earlier this week of nearly $65,000 the Tesla position was worth more than $3 billion. Currently Bitcoin is hovering around $60500. Possibly a cool-down before continuing its upward trajectory.  When the news first broke back on the 8th of February, the Bitcoin price spiked nearly 15% within the first few minutes of the announcement and led to quite a rally over the next few days.  Tesla also announced that it would accept bitcoin in payment for its cars. Elon Musk has said that the bitcoin received would not be liquidated into fiat currency, and that it would remain as bitcoin held by the company.  Other major institutions have already started to use Bitcoin as a form of payment/added it to balance sheets/have started funds with it etc.   Michael Sayler of MicroStrategy, who have purchased even more bitcoin than Tesla, recently tweeted what appeared to be a typical thought process for large institutions before they bought bitcoin:  Michael Sayler has been quoted as saying:  “We will continue to pursue our strategy of acquiring bitcoin with excess cash.”  It can be wondered just how many more large companies and institutions will come to use this same strategy over the coming months and years. Time will tell. 

    16 Apr
  4. 90
    Nft boom or bust? While advocates of NFTs claim they have fueled a digital art boom, some critics have a more cynical outlook to the past few months of frenzied NFT auctions and staggering price points. The artist, dealer, and NFT convert Kenny Schachter recently commented on the cultural phenomenon: “In 30 years, I’ve never seen such a reaction in the art world. It’s nothing less than an earthquake. This is a whole new audience. They don’t know about the art world, and they don’t care about it,” Schachter may be open about the fact that the NFT phenomenon has brought in new, uneducated, buyers into the art world, however the New York based artist has himself profited from this boom, recently selling over $200,000 of works on the Nifty Gateway platform. He even filmed himself eating a bouquet of tulips, titling the video ‘Eating the Bubble’ as a way to prove a point about the art world and the many stages of its existence.   Other commentators have not been as open to the cultural shift as Schachter, with author and journalist David Gerard strongly opposed to what he sees as a bubble and a scam.  “NFTs are worthless, fraudulent magic beans, with massive CO2 generation per transaction, this is because NFTs only exist to further the crypto grift. Tell artists there’s a gusher of free money! They need to buy into crypto to get the gusher of free money. They become crypto advocates, and make excuses for proof-of-work and so on. A few artists really are making life-changing money from this! You probably won’t be one of them.” If, as Gerard contends, only a select few artists have made any real money from the NFT boom, has the window of opportunity for all artists to benefit from them come and gone?  Figures provided by Nonfungible.com would seem to suggest this. With the average price of NFTs plummeting almost 70% from a peak of around $4,000 in mid-February to around $1,400 last week, the data suggests that the rush of crypto-native art collectors is starting to dwindle.  Nonetheless, auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s are continuing to list NFT artworks, which realistically only makes up a miniscule percentage of all NFTs being sold. The everyday artist is not likely to have their work sold for $69,000,000, as was the case with Beeple’s The First 5000 days. In this way, high-valued art is still out of reach for both the artist and the everyday person. Who can afford to participate in a bidding war for a single grey pixel that reached the millions? More to the point, who would want to? NFTs may have transformed the art world, but has it actually reshaped the way art is valued? The value of an NFT work is dependent on the value of Ethereum, and if Ethereum is on a high, then so is the art work. In this sense, then yes, the way we value digital art has changed. The accessibility of it, well, that’s quite another matter. Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

    16 Apr
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    Jianhu Police Bust Online Casino, Seize Over 1.3M Units... The Jianhu police successfully cracked China’s first case involving a decentralized digital casino, powered by EOS. The casino named “DAPP Biggame” got raided by the cops who seized over 1.3 million virtual coins and arrested 25 suspects who were involved in the case.  The total value of the coins held is more than RMB 26 million. Preliminary Investigation Confirms Suspicion The Jianhu police opened a preliminary investigation and, on the 13th of November, 2020, decided to open the case for further analysis. It involved resources from the departments of network security, technical investigation, and criminal investigation. After close analysis of data from 27 million items, they sorted out the casino contract addresses that were being used for betting, lottery, and payout. The police found that large amounts of profitable funds were flowing to four suspicious accounts. With this information, the police could make a breakthrough in the case, with the crime’s masterminds, Xie, Liu, Hu, and others being caught. Police Seize 1.3M In EOS and BTC The police interrogation revealed the crime’s details and how Liu and others managed to pull off the crime. They confessed to opening the virtual casino and explained in particular to the police how they withdrew the stolen cryptocurrencies, which was worth over 1.3 million in EOS and BTC. The police were also able to seize two properties and one car listed under Hu’s name, and one property in Liu’s name. Total Transaction Volume Crosses RMB 60M Hu’s operation, the Guangzhou Consensus Network Technology Company, needed working capital. To get some money, Hu, together with Liu and Xie, organized a group of technicians and set up an online casino using blockchain contract technology. Hu used cryptocurrencies as a medium for betting and provided an illegal betting platform for other users. The total transaction volume crossed 420 million in digital currencies, worth more than 8 billion RMB. Out of this, the illicit proceeds totaled more than RMB 60 million. The police also discovered that exchanges in Xiamen and Shenzen provided Hu and others with promotional and settlement services in return for a percentage. Chinese Police Had Earlier Seized 310,000 BTC The Jianhu Police, in January, conducted more raids on two gangs that were suspected of providing conditions for illegal gambling. This was done during the Ministry of Public Security’s “Net 2021” special operation. A total of 11 suspects were arrested, with the discovery of 73000 gamblers on the platform and 8 billion yuan of capital. Out of this, 60 million yuan was deemed as illegal income. These raids come hot in the heels of another significant bust when the police solved the PlusToken case and seized 310,000 bitcoins. According to Wu Blockchain, a Chinese journalist who provides exclusive news about the Chinese Crypto mining industry, the police sold the 310,000 bitcoin they had seized during the PlusToken case. Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

    hu 16 Apr