bookmark_borderGrayscale’s diversified crypto fund files to become SEC reporting company

Grayscale Investments has filed to make its $630 million diversified large-cap crypto fund an SEC reporting company.

Grayscale has filed its third Form 10 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission to convert one of its investment funds into an SEC-reporting company.

Tweeting on Thursday, Grayscale announced that the company’s Digital Large Cap Fund, or GDLC, has filed the application with the SEC.

Today we voluntarily filed for Form 10 with the SEC for $GDLC. If effective, it would designate GDLC as Grayscale’s third digital currency investment vehicle to become an SEC reporting company, following $GBTC as the first and $ETHE as the second in the US.

— Grayscale (@Grayscale) May 13, 2021

If approved, the GDLC will be obliged to file quarterly and annual financial reports in addition to other mandated documents stated in the Exchange Act. The move is also the first step in making the GDLC into a publicly-traded asset since an approval form the SEC would mean registration of the shares of the fund with the commission.

Launched back in 2019, GDLC has grown almost 300% and currently holds about $630.1 million in assets under management, according to data from the company’s website. GDLC is comprised of five cryptocurrencies namely: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Chainlink (LINK).

Back in January, Grayscale liquidated XRP from the market-cap weighted GDLC fund amid SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple.

bookmark_borderBlockchain sector drives female participation through funding and education

Blockchain companies are seeking out women-led teams for funding rounds to help close the financial gender gap, but will this suffice?

While it’s encouraging to see that the number of female crypto investors is on the rise, women participation within the blockchain technology sector remains low. 

This was recently confirmed in a report from the World Economic Forum, which found that the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed back gender parity by an entire generation. Vesselina Ratcheva, new economy and society lead for the World Economic Forum, further told Cointelegraph that women indeed remain a minority in the blockchain industry.

Funding of women-led blockchain projects

Fortunately, a number of new funding initiatives are being offered to drive female participation within the blockchain sector. This is especially important, as recent findings indicate that in Q3 of last year, venture funding for female founders hit its lowest quarterly total in three years.

In order to solve this ongoing challenge, Sperax, a decentralized finance protocol, has partnered with leading blockchain companies to provide grants for women-led projects.

Frida Cai, a partner at Sperax, told Cointelegraph that Sperax’s Lifted Grant Series is a year-long effort designed to support women in blockchain. Cai explained that the program runs on a quarterly basis and comprises four phases, each of which focuses on specific blockchain use cases:

“As a female in the blockchain industry, I want to help more women get involved. This grant series exists because women’s perspectives should be heard by a larger audience.”

Alec Shaw, director of business development at Sperax, told Cointelegraph that 116 applicants from seven countries applied for phase one of Lifted, which was sponsored by investment firm Polyient Capital. Three projects innovating in the DeFi and NFT spaces have received up to $15,000 in funding.

Renita Murimi, founder and CEO of WildChain — an NFT marketplace for zoos and sanctuaries looking to buy, sell and trade animals for conservation purposes — was selected as a phase-one winner. Murimi told Cointelegraph that opportunities like Lifted are significant steps for bringing women into the blockchain sector:

“The biggest challenge has been the availability of funding. And so, I am especially grateful for the Lifted grant. The entire team at Sperax have sponsored an incredibly helpful source of mentorship and funding for women in blockchain.”

Blockchain companies want to fund women-led startups

Although Murimi speaks from experience, the World Economic Forum has also found the gender financing gap to be one of the most persistent problems when it comes to entrepreneurship. As such, it’s encouraging to see that specific blockchain companies are now seeking out women-led teams for capital allocation. Eric Kapfhammer, chief operating officer and head of Polyient Capital, told Cointelegraph:

“As we looked across the blockchain industry, it seemed striking that there was such a disparity in gender, particularly in engineering and product management roles. As a successful participant in the broader ecosystem, we want to be doing our part to help provide opportunities and support to help address this issue.”

In addition to Polyient Capital, Oasis Network — a privacy-focused blockchain for DeFi projects — will sponsor the second phase of the Lifted grant series. Jorge Cueto, product manager and developer relations at Oasis Foundation, told Cointelegraph that it will offer grants worth up to $50,000 for projects that launch a stablecoin on the Oasis Network. According to Cueto, Oasis is heavily focused on supporting projects that are led by women:

“We believe that fostering a more diverse and inclusive blockchain industry will lead to more innovation and growth across the industry as a whole. The Oasis and Sperax teams are both proudly led by women, and we share a common mission to empower women in the blockchain space.”

Cueto noted that the Sperax grant initiative will ultimately encourage more women to enter the blockchain space because it sends a clear message that dedicated resources are being allocated to support women.

Male and female collaboration is highly encouraged

It’s also important to point out that both female and male collaboration is being encouraged through grant initiatives aimed toward women-led companies.

For instance, although teams must be female-led to participate in Sperax’s grant series, Cai mentioned the importance of males being a part of these teams. “All of the applications we’ve received so far have been from women, but we are also encouraging men to participate,” she said.

Recent data further validates this, noting that funding for companies with both a male and female co-founder has tracked more consistently above $20 billion each year since 2017. Findings also show that from 2017 onward, only 6% of venture capital rounds were in female-only founded companies, while 13% was allocated to female and male co-founded teams.

Education is needed to drive women participation in blockchain

In addition to grant opportunities for women-led teams, educational initiatives are also being offered to bring women into the blockchain space.

For example, SheFi, a decentralized finance educational program for women, is currently accepting applications for its 2021 winter cohort program. Maggie Love, founder of SheFi, told Cointelegraph that through these free monthly programs, a number of women will learn about DeFi projects, as well as concepts on how to use different DeFi applications.

Programs like this are crucial, especially when it comes to DeFi adoption. Data from CoinGecko recently found that DeFi users are mainly male, with more than half being between the ages of 20 and 40 years old.

According to Love, the financial literacy gap must be reduced in order to get more women involved in DeFi. She further shared that DeFi enables financial freedom, which initially attracted her to the sector:

“I was empowered by the fact that I didn’t have to belong to Wall Street to build and accumulate wealth, and I started learning about the different projects. However, while the innovations in DeFi make it an incredibly exciting time to be part of the crypto scene, there’s a lack of women participating in and benefitting from DeFi.”

Although this is the case currently, it’s important to remember that DeFi is still a niche industry. Therefore, it’s positive to see that there are opportunities available to women this early on.

Love noted further: “The number of women in crypto and DeFi is growing as well as the use of both crypto and DeFi. It’s positive to see a lot of teams who are committed to getting more women into the space.”

bookmark_borderUnstoppable Domains’ .crypto websites now available via Brave browser

In contrast to traditional domains stored on behalf of users by custodians like Google Domains, .crypto domains are stored in crypto wallets.

Major privacy-focused browser Brave is the latest browser to integrate support of decentralized domains by blockchain domain name provider Unstoppable Domains.

Brave announced Thursday that its browser now provides native support for the crypto domain name company, allowing users to seamlessly access .crypto domains via desktop and Android applications.

The new feature unlocks access to 30,000 decentralized websites and more than 700,000 blockchain domain names registered with Unstoppable Domains. Through the integration, the Brave browser is supporting a decentralized network not relying on the traditional Domain Name Service, which is often associated with privacy issues and other risks like hijacking, denial-of-service attacks, and phishing attacks.

A Brave representative told Cointelegraph that the new browser integration uses Cloudflare’s DNS over HTTPS method to resolve Unstoppable Domains by default. The integration can be also configured to resolve over the Ethereum blockchain in the Brave settings, as Brave co-founder and CTO Brian Bondy noted. “There is an additional setting which can only be set from settings displayed below named Ethereum. When this is set, the resolution will occur on the Ethereum blockchain directly and the page will result in an IPFS CID,” he explained.

Source: Brave

In contrast to traditional domains that are stored on behalf of the user by custodians like GoDaddy or Google Domains, .crypto domains are stored on cryptocurrency wallets. When a user claims a blockchain domain, it is minted as a nonfungible token on the Ethereum blockchain, providing full ownership and control. Such domains can also point to content hosted on the InterPlanetary File System or to cryptocurrency addresses, simplifying the process of sending and receiving crypto on wallets and exchanges like Coinbase.

“Unstoppable Domains was a natural fit for us, giving our users access to the decentralized web with the ability to visit any .crypto domain name. From registering .crypto domains to hosting an NFT art gallery, to sending and receiving crypto, the possibilities are limitless for Brave users,” Brave co-founder and CTO Brian Bondy said.

“We see Web3 as the future of the internet, where everyone has ownership and control of their own content. Brave’s integration with Unstoppable Domains means easy access to the decentralized internet without the hassle of browser extensions or custom DNS settings,” Unstoppable Domains co-founder and CEO Matthew Gould noted.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, .crypto domains have already been available on major mainstream browsers through Cloudflare’s integration since February this year. In April, crypto-friendly web browser Opera expanded its .crypto support integration to browsers on all platforms including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac or Linux.

bookmark_borderMark Cuban counters Elon Musk, says Mavs will continue to accept Bitcoin

The Dallas Mavericks owner contends that Bitcoin replacing the legacy financial system will be a net positive for society and the environment.

Billionaire investor Mark Cuban will not be following in Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s footsteps in withdrawing support for Bitcoin (BTC) payment.

Tweeting in response to Musk on Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks owner remarked that the Mavs will continue to accept Bitcoin, Ether (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE) as payment means for tickets and merchandise items.

We at will continue to accept BTC/Eth/Doge because we know that replacing Gold as a store of value will help the environment and shrinking big bank and coin usage will benefit society and the environment

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) May 12, 2021

“We know that replacing gold as a store of value will help the environment,” Cuban opined, adding: “Shrinking big bank and coin usage will benefit society and the environment.”

On Wednesday, Musk released a statement announcing that Tesla will no longer accept Bitcoin payments on account of the carbon footprint associated with BTC mining. Musk’s announcement likely triggered a significant market correction, with Bitcoin dipping below $50,000 and the entire crypto market capitalization shedding over 10%.

The Tesla CEO has also doubled down on his Bitcoin mining energy concerns with a follow-up tweet on Thursday morning alluding to energy usage trends, which Musk characterized as “insane.”

Energy usage trend over past few months is insane

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021

Bitcoin mining energy consumption continues to be a subject of debate as well as a popular narrative for BTC critics who often espouse the “ocean boiling narrative.” However, several Bitcoin backers dispute these arguments stating that miners are buyers of last resort for renewable energy producers.

Musk abandoning Bitcoin payments for Tesla also coincides with the company’s carbon credit aspirations. According to a report by Reuters on Wednesday, the electronic vehicle manufacturing giant is among one of eight firms with pending applications at the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Back in April, U.S. President Joe Biden set a 2030 net-zero emission goal likely making the multi-billion-dollar U.S. carbon credit market all the more enticing for companies like Tesla. The global carbon credit market reportedly grew 20% in 2020 to reach $272 billion, according to data from financial analysis firm Refinitive.

bookmark_borderHere’s why Ethereum, AAVE, ALPHA are unfazed by Bitcoin’s latest ‘Elon candle’

Several altcoins managed to escape the Bitcoin Tesla FUD.

Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins’ markets lost a combined total of up to $602 billion overnight in a shocker brought forth by Elon Musk.

The billionaire entrepreneur did an about-turn on his decision to accept Bitcoin for the electric vehicles offered by his company Tesla. He cited environmental concerns, noting that Bitcoin mining requires many fossil fuel burnings, especially coal.

Bitcoin prices started falling sharply within the first five minutes of Musk’s tweets in the late U.S. hours on Wednesday. They further plunged into the Asia-Pacific session on Thursday, logging an intraday low of $46,000 at one point in time, a breakaway from its previous session high of $59,592.

Altcoins tailed Bitcoin to its overnight losses. They collectively shed more than $367 billion off their market cap, led by massive downside corrections in some of the leading altcoins, including Dogecoin, a meme cryptocurrency pushed to explosively high levels lately on Musk’s endorsements.

Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and  (LTC) also reported huge intraday declines after notching gains in the previous daily sessions.

Nonetheless, some altcoins managed to survive the brutal crash owing to their strong fundamental setups in the near term. Let’s take a look at he most notable three. 

Aave (AAVE)

AAVE turned out to be an exceptional performer as almost all the top altcoins declined.

The ERC-20 token, which serves as a governance token atop the Aave protocol, ended the Wednesday session up 11.62% to $511, despite reaching its all-time high of $640 earlier in the day. It looked evident that Musk’s anti-Bitcoin announcement affected AAVE as it did to other altcoins. But unlike its peers, AAVE appeared more resilient to sudden bearish pressure.

AAVE held its key moving average supports against market-wide bearish pressure. Source: Tradingview

The token maintained its bullish bias entering Thursday, trading for circa $589 as of 0813 GMT.

Fundamentals protected AAVE from serious bearish assaults. At first, Stani Kulechov, co-founder of Aave, revealed that their decentralized finance money protocol had built a “private pool” for institutional players. He noted that the new permissioned pool would serve as an emulator for investors who want to get accustomed to Aave’s lending and borrowing services before getting involved in the DeFi ecosystem.

The prospects of institutional involvement kept AAVE’s bullish bias intact. The upside sentiment further received a boost from Aave’s ballooning liquidity pool; it now holds $12.83 billion compared to roughly $2 billion at the beginning of this year, according to DeFi analytics platform Defillama. 

Alpha Finance (ALPHA)

The next asset in the queue that almost got entangled in the altcoins’ declining spree but escaped nonetheless is Alpha Finance.

The decentralized asset management platform, now running a homegrown leveraged yield farming protocol named Alpha Homora under its wing, enables its users to submit proposals and vote on operational and strategic decisions should they hold ALPHA, its native token. They can also earn ALPHA should they provide liquidity to Alpha Finance’s pool.

The Elon Musk shocker prompted ALPHA to take a breather from its prevailing upside move Wednesday, wherein it was testing its two-month high for a potential bullish breakout. The ALPHA/USD exchange rate fell by almost 23% from its Wednesday top of $2.465.

But, the pair quickly retraced its steps on supportive upside fundamentals, including a new partnership launch and continuing success of the Alpha Homora protocol.

ALPHA awaits breakout move above red horizontal resistance trendline. Source: TradingView

The total volume locked inside the Alpha Homora pools topped at $1.35 billion on May 10 vs. $1.37 billion currently. At the beginning of 2021, the TVL was roughly $188.5 million. The spike shows Alpha Homora has had a successful run so far.

ALPHA/USD has rebounded by more than 20% into the Thursday session, its recovery matching steps with the Alpha Homora TVL. Meanwhile, Alpha Finance announced the launch of Alpha Oracle Aggregator, featuring data from two of the largest data oracles providers, Band Protocol and Chainlink, to “ensure security, scalability, and flexibility.”

Bitcoin’s declines apprehensively did little in offsetting ALPHA’s overall upside bias.

Ether (ETH)

Ether’s positive correlation with Bitcoin prompted a certain degree of gains-slashing on Wednesday night. Nonetheless, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization remained stronger on medium-term timeframes, much like Aave and Alpha Finance.

The most important takeaway from Ethereum’s decline was its ability to hold above key support levels (moving average waves) despite a strong correlation history with Bitcoin trends. The ETH/USD exchange rate closed the previous session down almost 8.45% to $3,826 versus its intraday high of $4,055 on Thursday.

Ethereum bulls buy the dip just as the price approached the 20-day EMA. Source: Tradingview

The biggest factors that keep contributing to Ethereum’s rise as a blockchain project and as an investment asset include the rise of non-fungible tokens — digital assets that represent ownership of unique virtual items — and DeFi.

Meanwhile, the upcoming London upgrade in July, which proposes to transit the Ethereum blockchain from energy-intensive proof-of-work to a speedier proof-of-stake, promises lower transaction fees and scalability. Bulls expect it would onboard more crypto projects and should raise demand for ETH tokens.

ETH/USD maintains its 7-day profitability — now up 11% — unlike other altcoins. Aave and Alpha Finance are also up 25% and 13% on a seven-day adjusted timeframe.

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