Welcome to Finance Redefined, your weekly dose of essential decentralized finance (DeFi) insights — a newsletter crafted to bring you the most significant developments from the past week.
A new analysis by investment management fund VanEck revealed that economic activity in the DeFi sector dropped 15.5% in August. Blockchain Capital, on the other hand, announced two new crypto-focused funds totaling $580 million.
Balancer protocol blamed its recent exploit on its DNS service provider, claiming that a vulnerability in the code allowed the exploiters to hijack the front end, and Chainlink and Arbitrum have teamed up on decentralized application (DApp) development on Ethereum layer-2 scaling solution Arbitrum.
The top 100 DeFi tokens had a bearish week due to the market decline after the United States Federal Reserve’s interest rate pause, with most tokens trading in the red.
DeFi economic activity drops 15% in August —VanEck
The DeFi ecosystem suffered more setbacks in August as on-chain economic activity dwindled. According to an analysis from investment manager firm VanEck, exchange volume declined to $52.8 billion in August, 15.5% lower than in July.
The findings are based on VanEck’s MarketVector Decentralized Finance Leaders Index, which tracks the performance of the largest and most liquid tokens on DeFi protocols.
Blockchain Capital closes funds totaling $580 million for investments in crypto gaming, DeFi
Venture capital group Blockchain Capital announced two new funds, totalling $580 million, for investment in infrastructure, gaming, DeFi, and consumer and social technologies.
The funds will operate as Blockchain Capital’s sixth early-stage fund and its first “opportunity fund,” with the latter serving as an inroad to companies that have already secured major funding elsewhere.
Chainlink hits Ethereum layer-2 Arbitrum for cross-chain DApp development
Blockchain oracle network Chainlink has tapped into Ethereum layer-2 scaling protocol Arbitrum to drive cross-chain DApp development.
The two protocols announced the mainnet launch of the Chainlink Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) on Arbitrum One on Sept. 21, giving developers access to Chainlink’s solution, which taps into Arbitrum’s high-throughput, low-cost scaling.
Balancer blames “social engineering attack” on DNS provider for website hijack
The team behind Balancer, an Ethereum-based automated market maker, believes a social engineering attack on its DNS service provider led to its website’s front end being compromised on Sept. 19, leading to an estimated $238,000 in crypto stolen.
“After investigation, it is clear that this was a social engineering attack on EuroDNS, the domain registrar used for .fi TLDs,” the firm explained in a Sept. 20 X (formerly Twitter) post. Approximately eight hours after the first warning of the attack, Balancer said its decentralized autonomous organization was actively addressing the DNS attack and was working to recover the Balancer UI.
Discord crypto trading bot shuts down after “critical exploit”
None Trading, a trading tool for cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens built on Discord, has shut down due to a “critical exploit” within its infrastructure.
In a Sept. 20 announcement, None Trading said it had “lost a significant amount of funding” as well as “team tokens” crucial for its operations. “Alongside this, we have lost three core team members who are required to keep the project running healthily. This unfortunate incident has put us in a financial and infrastructural position that makes it simply impossible to continue running the company effectively.”
DeFi market overview
Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that DeFi’s top 100 tokens by market capitalization had a bearish week, with most tokens trading in the red on weekly charts. The total value locked into DeFi protocols reached $44 billion.
Thanks for reading our summary of this week’s most impactful DeFi developments. Join us next Friday for more stories, insights and education regarding this dynamically advancing space.
BTC price holds 6% gains as Bitcoin battles for ‘crucial’ $28K support
Bitcoin (BTC) passing $28,000 hints at bullish sentiment, but reclaiming it for good is essential, analysis says.
In an X (formerly Twitter) post on Oct. 17, Yann Allemann and Jan Happel, co-founders of on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, described the $28,000 mark as a “critical milestone” for the BTC price.
Glassnode: “Keep an eye out” for $28,000
After snap volatility, which caused Bitcoin to hit $30,000 for the first time since August, the largest cryptocurrency has managed to preserve some of its gains.
For Allemann and Happel, the pair is now at a defining crossroads.
“The crypto market is hinged on BTC’s ability to breach and consistently maintain a value north of $28k,” part of their commentary stated.
$28,000 has formed a battleground ever since Bitcoin first crossed it in early 2021, and liquidity has traditionally surrounded it as bulls and bears fight to secure control over long-term trajectory.
Data from the trading suite DecenTrader, among others, confirms that the status quo remains despite recent BTC price moves, with $28,000 lying in a zone between major longs and shorts of varying leverage.
“While this pivotal milestone was momentarily attained on futures, the spot market price peaked at $27.98k earlier today. It’s evident just how crucial this price point is in the larger scheme,” Allemann and Happel added.
“The rapid movements and these price thresholds aren’t just numbers. They signify investor sentiment, market dynamics. Keep an eye out for the 28k level.”
Road to Bitcoin halving contested
As Cointelegraph reported, predictions over what the future will bring for Bitcoin both before and after its next block subsidy halving in April 2024 differ considerably.
In an interview last month, DecenTrader co-founder Filbfilb eyed BTC price galvanizing itself for upside during Q4, possibly reaching $46,000 by the halving.
Some well-known market participants, however, remain risk-averse. Among them, popular trader Crypto Tony and others are betting on a pre-halving return to $20,000 for a final local bottom.
“Many can scream they are long right now and caught that move, but if your not taking profit here at resistance your doing something wrong,” he told X subscribers about the recent surge.
“I personally will not be long unless we flip that $28,500 level into support.”
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.
Ripple job posting hints at possible IPO, XRP community says
Fintech payments company Ripple released a new job posting on Oct. 16 for a shareholder communications senior manager across multiple locations in and outside the United States. The job posting prompted many crypto enthusiasts to label it as an official hint about the company’s plans to go public.
The job posting outlines that the role will require direct communication with shareholders — a concept generally associated with publicly traded companies. The chosen candidate would be responsible for developing and implementing communication and relationship management strategies for “existing and prospective investors, current shareholders, and financial analysts.”
The job description emphasizes the candidate’s need to create strategic plans specifically suited for situations like “M&A [mergers and acquisitions], investments, liquidity events, and other high-impact moments.“
The role includes creating investor-focused materials like “presentations, fact sheets, case studies, and analyses“ to inform and educate potential investors about the company’s prospects and performance — a necessary component of the initial public offering (IPO) preparation process. The responsibilities of the post also include maintaining a shareholder database and managing routine communications like quarterly updates.
Many XRP (XRP) proponents and the pro-Ripple community on X (formerly Twitter) are referring to the job posting as a hint that there may be an IPO. Some key executives from the company have also alluded to the possibility that Ripple might go public but haven’t given any indication of timing.
Anyone notice the recent job openings at #Ripple?
The only reason you need a Shareholders Communication Manager.. is for an IPO.
— Chad Steingraber (@ChadSteingraber) October 16, 2023
The crypto-focused payments company has recently been in the limelight due to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit alleging XRP is a security. Ripple scored a major win in the lawsuit in July when a judge ruled that XRP is not a security in terms of sale on digital asset exchanges.
Key Ripple executives have claimed that even though the SEC lawsuit has cost them many business opportunities in the U.S., most of its remittance business lies outside America.
Banks’ crypto exposure must be disclosed — BIS’ Basel Committee
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) released a consultation paper on Oct. 17, proposing to make it compulsory for banks to disclose their crypto exposure.
The Basel Committee comprises central banks and financial authorities from 28 jurisdictions and is a forum for regulatory cooperation on banking supervisory matters. The latest consultation paper is based on the disclosure guidelines in the final prudential standard on how banks should handle their exposure to crypto assets released in December 2022.
The consultation paper aims to set a standardized “disclosure table and set of templates for banks’ crypto-asset exposures,” with a proposed implementation date of Jan. 1, 2025. The Basel Committee has opened the proposal for public comment until Jan. 31, 2024, after which the results will be published on its website.
Under the new proposed regulations, banks would be required to provide quantitative data on exposures to crypto assets and the corresponding capital and liquidity requirements. Banks would also be required to offer qualitative data on their activities linked to cryptocurrencies.
Additionally, banks would be required to offer information on the accounting classifications of their exposure to crypto assets and liabilities. In its proposal, the committee claimed that using a uniform disclosure format will encourage the application of market discipline and lessen information asymmetry between banks and market participants.
The committee also reviewed crypto assets and bank exposure in June. At the time, the committee didn’t delve deeply into the topic, mentioning only that it was focusing on permissionless blockchains and the eligibility criteria for “Group 1” stablecoins.
The BIS has been actively involved in crypto consultations and examining the regulatory aspect of decentralized technology. Recently, the BIS and a handful of European central banks published details of a concept to develop a system to track international flows of cryptocurrencies.
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