Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin makes the case for Uniswap as an oracle token

Samuel Wan

In a post, Vitalik Buterin proposed to utilize decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap for additional oracle functionality. The UNI token currently already provides oracle data, but only for the price of ERC-20 tokens.

Data outside of the Ethereum ecosystem, especially for USD, currently falls short. Based on Uniswap’s privileged position, Buterin suggests UNI is well poised to integrate a fuller complement of oracle services.

“This is a problem: algorithmic stablecoins need an oracle for the price of ETH/USD to be able to function, and they specifically need an oracle for USD the off-chain fiat asset, and not any specific on-chain instantiation of USD.”

The response to this proposal has been largely favorable. But given Uniswap’s stuttering V3 launch, questions arise whether the team can pull off such an integration.

UniSwap better poised than Chainlink

Oracles act as a bridge between blockchains and the outside world by providing data to smart contracts. For smart contracts to execute as intended, they require that link to the outside world.

Buterin described the leading oracle, Chainlink, as useful. But he conceded that several drawbacks come from its broad approach to the oracle problem. He argued that, in this case, he prefers a less complex solution:

“It also seems desirable to complement Chainlink with a more minimalist alternative that’s more laser-focused on optimizing incentives and maximizing cost of attack.”

Making the cost of an attack prohibitively expensive is a strategy used to protect the network. As such, Buterin points out that large market cap tokens, like Uniswap, are favored as the cost of buying half the UNI market cap is high.

UNI V3 had a disastrous launch

After a year in the making, Uniswap V3 deployed earlier this month. It added concentrated liquidity, capital efficiency, active liquidity, range orders, non-fungible liquidity, flexible fees, and a license to use its open-source code.

However, users reported wallet connection difficulties on the day of launch. The issue seemed to affect a wide range of different wallets from MetaMask, to Coinbase, to hardware wallets.

One Reddit user also mentioned the complex UI, which they see as a contributory factor in novice users falling prey to scammers.

“Great work by the Uniswap guys, but it’s 2021 and we (the crypto community) have got to find a way to roll these things out in a beginner friendly way so people don’t get completely ripped off.”

Perhaps the most significant bone of contention was gas fees. Developers assured users of a reduction in gas fees, but one user points out they are up an average of 102% compared to V2.

Buterin has given his reasons for expanding UniSwap’s capabilities. But in truth, UNI still has to refine its bread and butter functionality.

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Decentralized trading platform Balancer launches V2 to become DeFi’ primary liquidity source

Shaurya Malwa

Balancer Labs have just announced the release of Balancer V2 an exciting upgrade to their Balancer V1 product, as per a release shared with CryptoSlate.

Features and changes

The protocol’s V2 seeks to address the challenges of flexibility, feasibility, and liquidity inside the world of decentralized financial markets, using a ‘Protocol Vault’ for all Balancer pool assets and a permissionless, customizable automated market maker (AMM) logic.

Other features include greatly improved gas efficiency, capital efficiency through Asset Managers, low gas cost and resilient oracles, and community-governed protocol fees.

Balancer V2 has been a year in the works and comes with a greatly enhanced and usable interface for trading and liquidity provisions.

And while the front end may appear to be exactly the same as V1, however under the hood, there is a world of difference: The backend transactions are executed in a much more energy efficient manner.

As such, trades will be directed through the V1 protocol, until sufficient liquidity builds, and then trades are channeled through the V2 structure.

Becoming a ‘baller’ on Balancer

The platform interface for liquidity providers has received a powerful makeover whereby users can invest in liquidity pools with any variety of tokens. Liquidity providers are able to stake funds in a variety of pools in exchange for BAL, Balancer’s native token.

With three pools available, users can be awarded a fixed amount of BAL each week. This process is self-governed by Ballers, the protocol’s most active members. Anyone can apply to become a Baller.

Balancer Finance is an automated portfolio manager and trading platform based on the blockchain which allows users to collect fees directly from traders who are responsible for optimizing their portfolios, removing the need to pay custodial fees to portfolio managers, effectively turning AMM on its face.

AMM is an automated market maker (AMM) protocol that uses self-learning algorithms to calculate mathematical formulas in the pricing of assets. 

The protocol is still accessible through a variety of interfaces including 1inch, Matcha for V2 & Zerion, Zapper, PieDAO, and v2 partnerships have already been formed with some leading projects include Gnosis, Ocean Protocol, and PowerPool to name but a few.

According to Balancer, “The main architectural change between Balancer V1 and Balancer V2 is the transition to a single vault that holds and manages all the assets added by all Balancer pools.”  Because pools are contracts that sit outside of the vault, they can implement any arbitrary, customized AMM logic.

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How did Internet Computer (ICP) become a top-10 cryptocurrency overnight?

Cointelegraph By Yashu Gola

Traders valued Internet Computer (ICP) at $630 in its debut on Coinbase on Monday. On Binance, however, the dollar bids for the token surged to as high as $3,093 as of Tuesday. Meanwhile, HitBTC reported ICP at a peak of roughly $407.

The huge price differences across multiple cryptocurrency exchanges showed a berserk trading sentiment in the Internet Computer market, landing ICP in the list of top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, surpassing even veterans such as XRP, Dogecoin (DOGE) and Cardano (ADA), and reaching as high as the fourth spot.

ICP 1-hour candle close across multiple crypto exchanges. Source: TradingView

Major price corrections followed on profit-taking sentiment. Entering the Wednesday trading session, the ICP/USD exchange rate on Coinbase and Binance was about $338, and on HitBTC, it was $14 higher. The downside move prompted ICP to slip in crypto ranks — from fourth to eighth.

Why did ICP’s price rally?

The sudden arrival of ICP among the top-ranking cryptocurrencies caught many crypto traders and analysts off guard. A quick look into the token’s issuing authority, Internet Computer, described it as a “blockchain-based cloud computing project” that proposes to build an open, public network.

But the biggest takeaway for traders was the involvement of high-profile institutional players in the project. That included the United States-based angel investor Andreessen Horowitz, known for backing Twitter at its early stage, and Polychain Capital, a crypto-focused hedge fund in New York helmed by Olaf Carlson-Wee, who earlier served as the head of risk at Coinbase.

Meanwhile, the ICP token gained listing on top cryptocurrency exchanges right after its launch last Friday. That reflected a carefully structured strategy by Dfinity, the Zurich-based nonprofit backing Internet Computer, that landed ICP tokens right into the conscience of everyday traders.

What is Internet Protocol?

In retrospect, Dfinity aims to develop a blockchain-based infrastructure, one in which the internet itself supports software applications instead of cloud hosting providers. Its Internet Computer protocol proposes to host online services, such as social media, messaging, search, storage and peer-to-peer digital interactions, atop its public Web 3.0 cloud-like computing protocol.

The aim involves relying more on large data centers and high-end node machines — aka validators — with a capacity much larger than that provided by the leading blockchain Ethereum.

In short, Dfinity hopes that it will offer the first truly global blockchain network that runs at the top web speed with unlimited scaling features to support any volume smart contracts computation.

“If the IC succeeds at replacing legacy IT, there would be no need for centralized DNS services, anti-virus, firewalls, database systems, cloud services, and VPNs either,” noted Mira Christanto, researcher at crypto analytics platform Messari.

Dfinity proposes decentralization by introducing a unique consensus model dubbed as Threshold Relay, coupled with its Blockchain Nervous System to ensure algorithmic governance. 

Meanwhile, ICP serves as a native asset to the Internet Computer. Its role within the platform involves staking that allows users to participate in the Blockchain Nervous System and security deposits that allow private entities, including client software and cloud networks, to connect to the Internet Computer’s public network.

Growth prospects for ICP

Dfinity earlier raised $163 million via private funding rounds. Meanwhile, the nonprofit organization also received $4.1 million in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) in February 2017. In May 2018, it airdropped $35 million worth of ICP tokens (formerly known as DFN) among its early supporters. That marked 0.8% of the initial ICP supply.

The airdrop participants received the IOU versions of their ICP holdings in September 2020. They were able to transfer them back to ICP on Monday, a day before the token’s debut on Coinbase.

ICP crashes by 89% after its bid crossed $3,000 on Binance. Source: TradingView

Dfinity aims to expand its network of data centers and developers. As of now, the nonprofit is running seven subnets with 68 nodes across 12 independent data centers. The goal is to have reached 123 data centers hosting 4,300 nodes by the end of 2021.

Similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum, the prospects of infrastructural growth in the Internet Computer ecosystem could allow speculators to raise their long-term bids on ICP-enabled pairs. It would receive a further boost as investors continue to seek protection against their fears of macroeconomic inflation.

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Ether breaks $500 billion market cap for first time

Ether (ETH), the second most-valued cryptocurrency after Bitcoin (BTC), has hit a major milestone amid the ongoing price rally.

On May 12, Ether price set another historic record, surging to as high as $4,346, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Ether’s market capitalization briefly surpassed $500 billion, reaching nearly $505 billion on Wednesday.

The new milestone marks Ether’s ongoing massive surge after ETH surpassed a $4,000 price mark for the first time in history on May 10. At the time of writing, ETH is trading at $4,317, up more than 6.4% over the past 24 hours and seeing massive gains of about 30% over the past seven days.

Ether market cap 24-hour chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Following the parabolic surge, Ether is now larger than payment giant Visa or major investment bank JPMorgan in terms of market capitalization. At publishing time, Visa’s market valuation amounts to $481 billion, while JPMorgan’s market cap stands at $488 billion, according to data from financial information website MarketWatch.

Ether is the second cryptocurrency to hit a $500 billion market cap after Bitcoin. Ether took significantly less time to become a half a trillion-dollar asset. Launched in January 2009, Bitcoin took nearly 12 years to reach a $500 billion market capitalization in December 2020 at a price above $27,000. As the first version of an Ethereum cryptocurrency protocol was launched in July 2015, Ether is now five years and 10 months old.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin became a billionaire after the Ether price rose above $3,000 on May 3. Megan Kaspar, a crypto analyst and co-founder of digital asset investment firm Magnetic, believes that Ether is now on track to hit a price target between $8,000 and $10,000 by late 2021. The analyst previously reportedly predicted that ETH would hit $3,400 when the cryptocurrency was trading about $1,200.

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Bitcoin price bounces despite stocks rout as Ethereum hits new $4,350 high

Cointelegraph By William Suberg

Bitcoin (BTC) gained 4.3% on May 12 as cryptocurrencies recovered losses despite increasing turmoil on global stock markets.

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview

BTC price reverses upwards

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and Tradingview showed BTC/USD erasing almost all the previous day’s losses on Wednesday to trade above $57,500 at the time of writing.

The move came amid concerns over froth in tech stocks, fueled by problems in Taiwan which saw the country’s equities index post its biggest one-day loss in history. 

Bitcoin and altcoins had sold off with tech stocks more broadly earlier in the week, but the latest macro dip failed to worsen their performance.

Conversely, as has become a hallmark trait of an increasingly asymmetrical market, most major cryptocurrencies bucked the trend and returned to growth.

“BTC is bouncing here and Altcoins are recovering strongly,” popular Twitter commentator Rekt Capital summarized on Tuesday as the United States Federal Reserve buoyed the crypto cause by refusing to suggest that economic inventions could be lessened. 

Previously, concerns had surfaced that Bitcoin could ultimately fall through $50,000 under current conditions, opening up the path to as low as $40,000.

Ethereum all-time highs persist

In a continuation of “alt season 2.0,” meanwhile, Ether (ETH) led gains once again, touching new all-time highs while maintaining support at $4,000. Gas fees, however, remain a headache for traders and Ethereum network users.

ETH/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: Tradingview

Other alts also challenged record highs, among them Cardano (ADA), which at the time of writing was just four cents away from all-time highs of $1.83.

Amid continued controversy over meme coins, Dogecoin (DOGE) was flat, while “tribute” coin Shiba Inu (SHIB) lost 23% to fall out of the top twenty cryptocurrencies by market cap. Weekly gains for the coin still stood at nearly 1,500%.

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Yearn Finance surges 45% as it joins dog pack with WOOFY

Cointelegraph By Samuel Haig

Despite Dogecoin retracing from its all-time highs above $0.70, dog tokens continue to attract astonishing levels of popularity, with DeFi “blue-chip” Yearn Finance emerging as arguably the most prominent team seeking to cash in on the canine meme coin craze with the launch of its WOOFY token.

But the YFI fans jumping in early may not have fully understood the coin’s utility which saw the price sail into the stratosphere.

Whisperings of the new project began to circulate on Twitter over the past 24 hours, with users associated with Yearn hinting at a new token called WUFFY. Rumors of an airdrop for users who posted a picture of themselves being licked a dog and tag Yearn developer “Banteg” saw a flood of face-lick photos uploaded to Twitter.

As is quickly becoming the norm for new releases from the Yearn team, fans in the community raced to purchase the new token before fully understanding its utility. 

Despite WOOFY’s sole function being to offer a means to redenominate YFI holdings — with the Woofy Finance interface offering bi-directional YFI to WOOFY conversions at a ratio of 1:1 million, over-exuberant buyers pushed the price of WOOFY so high as to imply YFI’s to be $1.5 million per token.

As of this writing, YFI is trading for roughly $88,200 after gaining 43% in 24 hours.

Community sentiment appears divided regarding WOOFY, with Twitter user “BrotherMuozone” concluding that looking like “an unsavory attempt to milk vale out of the new suckers in the market,” adding the experiment actually comprises “a brilliantly timed and themed ‘unit bias a/b test’” offering insights into whether traders prefer tokens with a larger circulating supply and lower fiat price versus a low supply and high token price.

Although whether traders choose to hodl WOOFY or YFI is arbitrary, with traders’ preference for one token over the other having no impact on Yearn’s overall market cap, the introduction of WOOFY may reduce the volatility of YFI’s price by creating arbitrage opportunities between the two tokens.

As of this writing, WOOFY last changed hands for $0.09, implying a roughly 3% premium over YFI.

According to Dextools, nine of the top 10 most-viewed pairings on Uniswap V2 are dog tokens.

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EOS and YFI lead altcoins higher as Bitcoin and Ether bounce from swing lows

Cointelegraph By Jordan Finneseth

The markets were mixed on May 11 as Bitcoin (BTC) recovered from Monday’s drop to $53,000 by bouncing to $56,862 but the digital asset is still finding resistance at the $57,000 level.

Ether (ETH) also worked its way back above $4,100 but according to Cointelegraph analyst Marcel Pechman, the bullish sentiment for Ether seen in recent weeks has begun to fade as traders question whether new all-time highs will be sustainable in the short term.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that Bitcoin bulls defended a late-night sell-off on May 10 that briefly dropped the price of BTC below $54,000 before dip buyers gobbled up sell orders and lifted the price back above $56,000.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

blue-chipWhile the blue chip cryptocurrencies have been stuck in a sideways market, canine-themed meme coins including Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogelon Mars (ELON) have followed Dogecoin’s (DOGE) lead and seen their prices explode for triple-digit gains.

Ethereum bulls take a brief breather

Bitcoin’s range-bound trading between $50,000 and $60,000 in recent weeks can partially be attributed to the rising price of Ether, which has caught the attention of institutional investors looking for exposure to more than just BTC. The growing demand for Ether can clearly be seen in the price action of the ETH/BTC pair.

ETH/BTC 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

According to David Lifchitz, managing partner and chief investment officer at ExoAlpha, Ether’s recent all-time high was in part due to a “continued rotation away from Bitcoin” which helped push the price of Ether “as high as $4,214 before suddenly puking down to $3,658 (-13% in an hour).”

The downturn in the crypto market coincided with a selloff in the U.S. equity markets that hit the tech-heavy NASDAQ index especially hard. Lifchitz noted that Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies were eventually able to “bounce back half of the loss from the high.”

While the sell-off “could be explained by some correlation trades leading to a quick profit-taking in cryptos”, Lifchitz also pointed to the possibility of a more organized selloff where some traders took advantage of frothy market conditions.

Lifchitz said:

“It could also have been an organized selloff as Ethereum was at its ATH after a torrid ride (i.e. ETH was vulnerable to a quick drop) in order to spook the weak hands and shake them off, triggering a cascading selling effect, before buying back ETH on the cheap as shown by the even higher volume to buy right after the selloff.”

Lifchitz highlighted that just:

“Twenty-four hours later, Bitcoin is back in the middle of its twilight zone ($50,000 to $60,000) and Ether is slowly grinding higher above $4K. So all in all, it was just an ordinary day in crypto land.”

Further insight into the market moves over the past week was offered by Ben Lilly, co-founder and analyst at Jarvis Labs, who highlighted an increase in on-chain profit taking over the last week that had “lots of capital turning over throughout altcoins.”

Lilly said:

“As capital made its way from coin to coin, profits were being realized as Bitcoin traded sideways. What we saw on May 10 was the end of this phase.”

Altcoins lead the market higher

The overall altcoin market shook off the bearish moves seen in the larger-cap cryptocurrencies. EOS led the day with a 50% jump which took the price to $13.92  after announced that it had secured $10 billion in funding to launch an EOS-based cryptocurrency exchange named Bullish Global.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360 (YFI) managed to break out of the trading range it had been stuck in to put on a 58% rally to a new record high above $80,000, while the price of Revain (REV) exploded 130% to reach a multi-year high at $0.049.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.474 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 42.8%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Balancer protocol launches version 2 of its automated market maker

Cointelegraph By Sam Bourgi

Balancer, a leading automated market maker, has launched version 2 of its protocol, promising faster speed, lower costs and improved liquidity. 

In addition to revamping the user interface, Balancer’s backend will provide more efficient routing for trades through “Protocol Vault.” The platform claims that this upgrade will reduce gas costs and produce better pricing mechanisms.

Expected gas costs are said to be 40% lower in version 2 – a figure that jumps to 53% with internal balances.

Balancer Labs, the development arm behind the AMM, also announced a partnership with DeFi protocol Gnosis to deliver an enhanced user experience to traders across price, user experience and transparency.

Automated market makers are essentially smart contracts that generate a liquidity pool of tokens, which are traded automatically through a programmable algorithm as opposed to an order book. This allows assets to be swapped automatically.

AMMs are part of the rapidly growing DeFi industry which, according to industry estimates, has grown eightfold since the start of 2021. The DeFi space has locked in more than $160 billion in assets as of Tuesday.

Balancer’s native BAL token has set multiple record highs this year on the back of positive protocol integrations, gas fee reimbursements and a surge in DeFi trading activity. Buzz surrounding a possible Coinbase listing has also contributed to BAL’s tremendous growth.

The price of BAL was little changed at $67 on Tuesday for a total market capitalization of $722 million. BAL is the 31st largest DeFi protocol by market cap, according to Coingecko.

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Dogelon Mars, Shiba Inu and Dogecoin take the lead as Bitcoin consolidates

Cryptocurrency traders awoke to an altcoin bonanza as a handful of meme tokens, along with some of the more established projects, staged double-digit rallies while Bitcoin (BTC) price slowly recovers to the $57,000 level. 

The biggest event generating conversations across the crypto sector and social media is the rise of dog-themed tokens inspired by the recent mega rally from Dogecoin (DOGE). The more than 20,000% rally from DOGE has shocked value investors across the world and many Bitcoin maximalist and equities traders are scratching their heads in confusion, given that DOGE was originally created as a simple joke.

While DOGE has experienced a 40% pullback since reaching an all-time high at $0.74 on May 8, other canine-themed tokens have jumped out ahead of the pack to take the lead while Dogecoin takes a breather.

SHIB/USDT vs. ELON/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Demand for Shiba Inu (SHIB) has been so intense that buyers overwhelmed the Binance system with deposits, causing the top exchange to run out of deposit addresses, while the Binance Smart Chain-based Australian Safe Shepherd (ASS) token has gained more than 400% in 24-hours. The Elon Musk-inspired Dogelon Mars (ELON) has al rallied 170%.

While Ether (ETH) continues to hold the $4,000 level as bulls successfully defend against any significant move to the downside, EOS, the once touted ‘Ethereum Killer’, has seen its price spike more than 40% after announced that it had secured $10 billion in funding for the creation of an EOS-based cryptocurrency exchange called Bullish Global.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Other notable altcoin gains include a 35% rally in the price of (YFI) to establish a new record high at $77,041 and a 20% spike in the price of Reef (REEF) to an intraday high of $0.508.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.449 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 42.8%.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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