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Yellen Crypto, Bitcoin, IG Group $1bn Buy, Spain FX Warning: Editor’s Pick

ICYMI: The biggest news stories of the week




In a busy week for news, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories from the worlds of forex, fintech, and crypto, in our best of the week segment.

IG Group Proposes $1 Billion Acquisition of Tastytrade

IG Group announced this week the proposed acquisition of the US-based online broker and a trading education platform, Tastytrade, in a $1 billion deal.

According to the official details, $300 million out of the total $1 billion will be paid in cash while the remaining $700 million will be offered in the form of 61 million IG shares. Subject to regulatory approvals, the proposed deal is expected to close in Q1 of IG’s financial year ending May 31, 2022.

Read more on the IG Group Purchase of Tastytrade here.

Janet Yellen Changes Tone on Cryptocurrency Assets

Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve and Joe Biden’s nominee for the US Treasury Secretary, changed her stance on cryptocurrencies.

According to her latest remarks published by the Senate Committee on Finance, digital currencies can improve the efficiency of the financial system. Yellen plans to encourage the use of cryptocurrency assets for legitimate activities. She3 also discussed crypto use for criminal activities/

Read more on the latest Yellen crypto statement here.

Cryptocurrency Polkadot Jumps 100% in 7 Days, Beats XRP and Litecoin

As Finance Magnates reported this week, The price of DOT gained more than 100% in the last 7 days.

According to the data gathered by Coinmarketcap, the price of Polkadot (DOT) jumped from $7.80 on 11 January to as high as $18.90 on 17 January. As of writing, the price of Polkadot is consolidating near $17.50.

The recent price rally helped Polkadot to reach a market cap of $15 billion. The cryptocurrency is now more valuable than Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Litecoin, and XRP. Polkadot is the fourth-largest cryptocurrency in the world behind Tether.

Read more on Polkadot here.

Biden to Pick Former Ripple Board Member as OCC Head, XRP Jumps

Michael Barr, a former US Treasury official and previously a key member of Ripple’s advisory board, will replace Brian Brooks as the Head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

According to the WSJ report, US President Joe Biden will nominate Barr soon. If nominated and confirmed, Barr will become one of the few individuals in the US administration with strong knowledge about cryptocurrencies. He joined Ripple as an advisor in 2015 and worked closely with the core team of Ripple Labs.

Read more on the Michael Barr appointment here.

Bitcoin Crash Intensifies, BTC Drops Below $32,000

The Bitcoin rollercoaster ride continued this week. Bitcoin dropped below $32,000 on Thursday as the cryptocurrency lost around 20% of its value since the last week. The selling pressure on BTC is mounting due to significant activities by Bitcoin whales at leading crypto exchanges. Approximately $726 million worth of long BTC positions got liquidated between Wednesday and Thursday.

As Finance Magnates reported, Bitcoin whales have rook nearly 270,000 BTC out of the liquid supply over 24 hours.

Read more on the Bitcoin crash here.

Grayscale Purchases $600 Million Bitcoin in 24 Hours

Grayscale, the world’s largest cryptocurrency asset management firm, has accumulated 16,244 Bitcoin worth more than $600 million in the last 24 hours due to growing institutional demand. The company now has more than 630,000 BTC worth nearly $23 billion.

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Grayscale’s total crypto assets under management (AUM) jumped above $27 billion on Tuesday as the price of Bitcoin crossed $37,000. The total market cap of cryptocurrencies reached $1.06 trillion.

As Finance Magnates reported, the company has accumulated nearly 26,000 Bitcoin in the last 7 days.

Read more on the Grayscale Bitcoin purchases here.

BlackRock Greenlights Two Associated Funds to Invest in Bitcoin

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with almost $8 trillion in AUM, is allowing two of its biggest funds to engage in Bitcoin derivatives.

According to ‘additional information’ provided in prospectus documents filed with the SEC, BlackRock has added bitcoin futures to derivatives products that its two funds can invest in. BlackRock Global Allocation Fund Inc. and BlackRock Funds V are cleared to invest in commodities, currencies, interest rates, credit events, or indices.

Read more on the BlackRock Bitcoin investments here.

UK’s Fintech Sector Secures $4.1 Billion Investment in 2020

Fintech companies in the UK attracted £3 billion ($4.1 billion) investment in 2020, the highest figure across Europe. The amount was invested across a total of 408 deals last year. The US remained the leader in global fintech capital raised as the American companies attracted nearly $22 billion in funding in 2020.

Global fintech investment reached $44 billion in 2020, a 14% jump compared to 2019.

Read more on the UK’s Fintech funding here.

Spain is Fed up with Cypriot Brokers’ Practices, CySEC Warns

In a circular to its regulated investment Firms (CIFs), CySEC drew the attention of firms that provide investment services in Spain towards a recent statement released by its financial regulator.

The CNMV issued a circular that adopted an aggressive tone and threatened some European brokers that they could end up closing their activity in Spain, as the watchdog was fed up with their unfair practices. In essence, the guidance concerns companies that offer forex, contracts for difference (CFDs), and other speculative products among retail investors in Spain.

At the time, the Spanish regulatory body said it mainly examines CFD brokers based in Cyprus, and that it has its sights set on those who use overly aggressive tactics and practices.

Read more on the Spanish CySEC warning here.

Analysis: How New Tax Law Could Kill CFDs Trading in Germany

Finance Magnates delved deep into the German trading scene this week.

German investors trading a variety of derivatives products are subject to new capital gains taxes following an amended law that was pushed almost secretly through the Bundestag during 2020 Christmas holidays.

The legislative proposal went initially unnoticed when it was first introduced and then passed more than a year ago. But, shortly after, it made a big noise as the new regulation drastically limits the ability of individual traders to offset their losses against profits they earn from derivative transactions.

Read more on the German Tax Law Here


The Blockchain Billionaires List (March 5, 2021)




Please share and grow the BitPinas community.

Good morning. Welcome to Friday Focus, part of our new series: BitPinas Daily. We will look back at all the major news and updates that happened this week. Crypto is global, but sometimes news that matters happens while we sleep. So we bring to you what’s happening in our space here and abroad. We highlight three to four important news of the past week and list down the rest.    

Market Price as of March 5, 2021:

Bitcoin $48,727 -3.66%
Ethereum $1,546.50 -2.06%
BNB $230.27 -4.45%
DOT $35.41 -4.5%
ADA $1.12 -8.20%
SLP $0.05 +17%

Bitcoin closed March 4, 2021, at $48,727 per BTC. We’re down 0.9% in the last 7 days and up 62% since the year began. This is also 16.9% below the all-time high of $58,640, which was hit on Feb. 21, 2021.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization stands today at $883,520,048,592 which is 59.43% of the entire cryptocurrency market. The entire crypto market, by the way, now has a market cap of $1,487,357,382,010  (-7%).

On the table above, there’s the cryptocurrency SLP. If you wonder what that is, check out this article: Playing Axie Infinity vs Minimum Basic Salary in the Philippines.

Table of Contents.


Dallas Mavericks to Accept Dogecoin

The Dallas Mavs will soon start accepting Dogecoin as payment for Mavs tickets and merchandise because of “one very important, earth-shattering reason: Because we can!” Mark Cuban, the team owner shouted in a press release. 

For people who want to learn about Dogecoin, this is Mark’s advice: “Talk to your teenagers who are on TikTok and ask them about it. They will be able to explain it all to you,” he said.

Dogecoin currently has a $6.3 billion market capitalization.

Blockchain Billionaires

Here are the blockchain Billionaires:

Name Net Worth US$Bn % change Main Company Country of Residence Source of Wealth
1 Brian Armstrong 11.5 1050% Coinbase USA
2 Sam Bankman-Fried 10 New FTX China
3 Zhao Changpeng 8 208% Binance Singapore
4 Chris Larsen 5.1 292% Ripple USA
5 Jed McCaleb 3.2 New Ripple USA
6 Barry Silbert 3 New Digital Currency USA
7 Tyler Winklevoss 2.8 New Gemini USA
7 Cameron Winklevoss 2.8 New Gemini USA
9 Michael Saylor 2.4 New MicroStrategy USA
9 Matthew Roszak 2.4 New Bloq USA
11 Li Lin 2 82% Huobi Technology China
12 Tim Draper 1.9 New Draper Associates USA
13 Zhan Ketuan 1.8 13% Bitmain China
14 Xu Mingxing 1.7 21% OKG Technology China
14 Michael Novogratz 1.7 New Galaxy Investment Partners USA
16 Brad Garlinghouse 1.4 New Ripple USA
17 Dan Morehead 1.1 New Panterra Capital USA

The list was made by China’s Hurun Research Institute. The Blockchain Billionaires List are people who have made their fortune mainly from cryptocurrency. 

Hurun Research said Armstrong’s wealth is ahead of his company’s upcoming initial public offering. Sam Bankman-Fried is a new entrant in Hurun’s list, following the growth of FTX in 2020.

Satoshi Nakamoto was not included in the list because his identity is not known, Hurun said. Additionally, Vitalik Buterin was also considered in the list but the Institute said it is unable to estimate the Ethereum creator’s holdings.

Rug pull?

Meerkat Finance drained by $31 million

An account of the events from The Block:

  1. One day after launching its yield farming pool on the Binance Smart Chain, Meerkat Finance said its smart contract vault was compromised.
  2. The project was drained by around 13 million BUSD and 73,000 BNB.
  3. The hacker supposedly drained the funds by altering Meerkat’s smart contract using the original deployer account.
  4. The Block said the data suggests either 1) Meerkat’s deployer private key was compromised or 2) this is self-directed by the project.
  5. Binance said it has noted of the abnormalities and now working with Certik, PeckShield, and Slowmist, all are auditing firms, to investigate.
  6. A channel is provided for affected users to report to. 


Bitfinex Pay Lets Merchants Accept Payments in Crypto

In a press release sent to BitPinas, Bitfinex Pay is a payment technology that will allow online merchants with a means of receiving contactless and borderless digital token payments

The Bitfinex Pay widget can be integrated on to a website facilitating online payments. Users can pay with Ethereum (ETH), bitcoin (BTC), Lightning Network BTC (LN-BTC) and Tether tokens (USDt) via Ethereum or Tron. Payments made via Bitfinex Pay will be directly deposited into a merchant’s exchange wallet on Bitfinex.

“This is the age of digital money and with Bitfinex Pay we’ve created an intuitive and seamless way for online merchants to receive payments in crypto,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Bitfinex. “Bitfinex Pay enables merchants to be easily equipped to support crypto payments as increasing numbers of consumers become more comfortable with paying for goods and services using digital tokens.”

NBA Top Shot 

Rising Stars Announced

In another vote of confidence, withdrawal problems notwithstanding, NBA Top Shot is where the NBA unveiled its 2021 Rising Stars Rosters. Actually, the Rising Stars game won’t be played so this is just ceremonial and a formalization of sorts.

For some primer on Non-Fungible tokens, including NBA Top Shot, check out the BitPinas article: Non-Fungible Tokens – NFT 101 – Why People are Spending Millions of Dollars for Crypto Art and Digital Items


Yield Guild Games Raises Funding To Bring Gamers to the Metaverse

This success has attracted the attention of investors. YGG recently announced that it has raised $1.325 million from a seed round led by Delphi Digital. The funds will be used to invest in game assets and virtual lands and YGG, effectively acting as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), will lend these game assets in virtual worlds to its players so they can earn income. 

Check out the BitPinas article: Yield Guild Games Raises Funding To Bring Gamers to the Metaverse

What else is happening

This article is published on BitPinas: The Blockchain Billionaires List (March 5, 2021)

Please share and grow the BitPinas community.

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Aave vs. Compound: Which DeFi Lending Platform is Better?




Aave and Compound are two of the most popular cryptocurrency lending protocols with competitive rates. As such, Aave and Compound are frequently compared. 

Aave’s rise from its early days as ETHlend and its growing influence in the DeFi (Decentralized Finance) space makes for an impressive narrative. The upstart platform often battles and sometimes even bests the upper echelon of DeFi protocols such as Maker, Uniswap, and Curve Finance.

Compound launched in 2017 and saw a dramatic increase in popularity with investors in June 2020– its  COMP governance token doubled in price in just 5 days of trading. The price was also impacted by the early support of major cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, which made it available to the average US investor. Coinbase was also an early investor in Compound and offers around $40 in COMP for learning about the project on Coinbase Learn.

Aave and Compound compete against each other while competing for greater dominance of the DeFi space, using unique concepts and services to get an edge on the competition. 

The following article will explore and compare Aave and Compound, their investment platforms, tokens, and various DeFi lending products they offer.   

Aave vs. Compound TL;DR: Aave and Compound offer investors an opportunity to borrow funds against their idle crypto tokens as collateral, or lend their cryptocurrency for fairly competitive interest rates. Aave is a newer platform and offers a few unique features that Compound doesn’t and has grown very quickly in popularity in the last year. 

How Does DeFi Lending and Borrowing Work?

Traditional banks that do long-term lending and borrowing typically use instruments like a mortgage, an auto loan, or a student loan. Short-term lenders in money markets use instruments such as CDs (certificates of deposits), Repos (repurchase-agreements), Treasury Bills, and a few others.

Lending and borrowing in the DeFi world are concretely different. 

All borrowing, lending, and managerial functions are decentralized. 

The process is permissionless

This is in stark contrast to the centralized and permission structure of traditional banking and short-term lending industries.

In DeFi, lending and borrowing occur through protocols, such as Compound and Aave. These decentralized protocols don’t require the identification or financial history of either party. 

Some of the lending transactions are done via Decentralized Exchanges (or DEXs), which facilitate these peer-to-peer transactions without the interference of a central bank or intermediary that retains the custody of cryptocurrencies. 

In other words, there isn’t a third-party organization that holds and distributes capital to enable one party to lend to or borrow from another. These functions are fulfilled by smart contracts, which automatically execute the terms of an agreement once certain criteria are met.

Traditionally, these third-parties charge a fee or percentage for their services. Since DeFi is directly peer-to-peer, in theory, a greater amount of the total value being transacted is able to flow through rather than going to another party’s pockets. 

The magic in the case of Aave and Compound occurs through Decentralized Apps (dApps.)

DeFi Apps are decentralized in both the app’s governance and custody of data, which is a revolutionary concept for the traditional finance industry. These features combined with a speculative boom of attention for DeFi tokens is a strong reason why many have formed a bullish case for the DeFi industry. 

Both Aave and Compound are non-custodial, which means that the lender’s cryptocurrency remains in the owner’s wallet, and the platform doesn’t take electronic custody of it. 

Having full custody of your digital assets was one of the primary motivations for the invention of cryptocurrencies over a decade ago, and DeFi advocates point to this feature as a necessity for decentralization. 

For example, Satoshi Nakamoto, the Founder of Bitcoin, imagined the cryptocurrency to be a full-fledged financial system neither controlled by nor benefits any single entity.

What is Aave?

Aave (pronounced “ah-veh”) originated as a peer-to-peer lending platform called ETHlend, which was rebranded to become Aave in 2020. 

ETHlend was a peer-to-peer marketplace, much like a job board, where lenders and borrowers could hash out the terms without any middle-men. 

Founder Stani Kulechov rebranded the project to Aave in a swoop of updates to make it a more attractive option for investing for institutional and retail investors. In other words, the rebrand was a facelift to enter the DeFi space as a serious competitor. 

Aave provides both variable and stable interest rates. In contrast, Compound only offers variable interest rates on borrowed funds.

Aave’s stable interest rate reflects an average of interest charged in the market for a given asset, which is visible on Aave’s platform for both borrowers and lenders. 

Aave also allows users to switch from stable to variable rate at any point by simply paying the transaction cost of the ETH gas fee.

Aave’s variable interest is determined by an algorithm that tracks how the amount of funds borrowed from user pools. The greater the borrowing amount, the higher the demand and consequently, the higher the variable interest rate.

The Aave aToken

Aave has two tokens, the aToken and the “AAVE” token.  

The aToken represents the value of funds lent or borrowed and allows investors to earn interest whereas the AAVE token is a governance token.

When a lender or a borrower with collateral lists its crypto assets with Aave, the user receives an equivalent amount of an aToken, Aave’s native token that acts as a 1:1 peg for another asset; for example, aBTC, aETH, and so on. aTokens allows the user to earn interest on either the funds lent, or it can be put up as collateral for a loan. 

AAVE was formerly known as LEND, and was migrated in a 100 LEND to 1 AAVE ratio in October 2020. LEND was launched in 2017 during Aave’s ICO. The platform changed the name in its rebrand. The functionality remains relatively similar; AAVE is an ERC-20 token that acts as a governance token that grants holders a say in Aave’s future. 

Flash Loans

Interest on Aave is earned in real-time, updated every second, and added in the form of a fraction of an aToken. As this aToken is added to the user’s wallet, users can essentially simultaneously withdraw it from their funds. 

The feature that made Aave famous is short-term loans known as Flash Loans. Flash loans made Aave a darling for speculative investors and consequently influenced the growth of its market share.

Compound Finance:

Like Aave, Compound is a decentralized lending platform. Compound was created in September 2018 by Compound Labs, Inc., a California based company.

Initially, Compound was a centralized lending platform but largely shifted to being a decentralized platform throughout 2019 and 2020. By July 17th, 2020, it became the largest community-driven decentralized lending platform and a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in DeFi following the introduction of its governance token COMP

Unlike traditional lending, both Compound and Aave have created asset pools that lenders can contribute their cryptocurrency to, and from which users borrow.

This is particularly helpful when an investor needs to pay a debt in a currency it does not own.  So, if an investor owns ETH and needs to make payment in DAI, they can do so instantly by using an Ethereum smart contract they have used to contribute to a Compound asset pool. 

Borrowing assets on DeFi

Borrowing assets on DeFi

However, users seeking to borrow from either platform usually contribute more than the borrowed amount as collateral– usually up to a maximum of 75% of the crypto assets added to the pool can be borrowed.

The value (in USD) of the collateral must hold above the threshold set by the platform. The digital currencies put up as collateral are liquidated in the event that the value of crypto collateral dips below the established threshold. 

The collateral is then made available and can be used borrowed by other users on the platform with the applicable fees at a variable interest rate.

Compound and Aave both keep the prices of the assets up to date by using an oracle (such as Chainlink) that supplies up to date price information of various crypto assets.

Since cryptocurrency assets can be incredibly volatile, both platforms require declaring a small percentage from each pool as reserves to hedge against volatility within the protocol.

Aave vs. Compound: Which is Better? 

Aave vs Compound

Aave vs Compound

When it comes to the versatility of offerings and offering more for your money, we found Aave to be a better bargain. 

Aave offers a larger number of assets.

For starters, Aave accepts far more variety of crypto assets to its borrowing pool than that by Compound. 

Aave offers 23 different crypto assets from investors compared to 9 by Compound. 

This attracts a larger variety and number of investors, which may make the platform more appealing to a greater number of people holding the variety of tokens.

Aave’s allows for higher borrowing amounts compared to collateral.

Aave offers more money to borrowers in return for their collateral. 

Compound offers only up to 66.6% borrowing against 100% collateral. 

Aave allows borrowing as much as 75% of their amount of collateral.

Liquidation thresholds on various platforms

Aave offers Flash Loans

Aave’s short-term collateral-less loan service, called Flash Loan, is a reason may borrowers have explored the platform. 

It is a recent phenomenon in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) that allows loans without collateral for a very short period of time and is only available on the Ethereum network.

How Does an Aave Flash Loan Work?

Much of arbitrage either in centralized markets of DeFi works on borrowed money. However, centralized markets provide such instruments as CDs (certificates of deposits), Repos (repurchase- agreements), and Treasury Bills to lend this money for short-term use for leveraging arbitrage opportunities.

One such arbitrage opportunity, for example, is where investors take advantage of the price difference on different cryptocurrency exchanges by quickly buying and selling the assets, profiting on the difference.

Most loans require collateral, so that if a loan isn’t paid back, the lender can liquidate, or sell, the collateral and get some or all of their money back. 

Flash loans are unsecured, meaning they don’t require collateral. If a Flash loan isn’t paid back, the loaned amount is sent back by replacing the original transaction with a zero (0) transaction. Aave proponents argue that this arbitrage opportunity wasn’t possible before blockchain due to smart contracts and the intricacies of Ethereum’s network. 

Flash loans use smart contracts that are programmed into the Ethereum network in such a way that it does not let the ownership of crypto assets change hands until certain conditions are met.

For the speculators, Flash loans have been a godsend. Flash loans were primarily created to help users exploit arbitrage opportunities: the loan is made and retrieved in the same contract and during the same transaction block where the loan originated. The entire operation of providing the loan and payback happens almost instantly. This gives the user a window of a few seconds to purchase and sell the same assets.

Flash Loans generate 0.3% in revenue for Aave for every transaction. Aave loaned out over $2B in Flash loans in 2020.

Aave vs. Compound Rates

Aave’s rates and Compound’s rates change frequently (as all DeFi platform rates do), but Aave tends to offer 2% higher on most assets. We recommend checking for yourself, as this information could change as soon as we finish writing this sentence. 

Final Thoughts: Aave vs. Compound

DeFi lending and borrowing are at the forefront of innovation, and as such, they can be very volatile and risky. 

Compound and Aave both provide well-developed solutions for lending out cryptocurrency and earning interest. 

When it comes to comparing Aave and Compound, an argument can be made that Aave has surpassed Compound in terms of innovation and execution. Aave provides a greater variety of cryptocurrency assets, and offers unique products such as Flash Loans. 

However, there is still plenty of room for Compound to grow. On December 17, 2020, Compound announced plans to create Compound Chain, a blockchain that can uniquely provide money market and financial services across multiple networks. Unlike most of the DeFi exchanges currently, which can only operate in the Ethereum Blockchain, a Compound Chain will be able to swiftly interlink to any blockchain as well as other networks. 

This move could hypothetically allow Compound to link to Digital Currencies rumored to be issued by various Central Banks across the globe.

The Compound Chain Whitepaper states:

“Compound Chain is a reimagination of the Compound Protocol as a stand-alone distributed ledger, capable of solving these limitations and proactively preparing for the rapid adoption & growth of digital assets on a variety of new blockchains, including Eth2 and central bank digital currency ledgers.”

Overall DeFi lending market is very competitive

Overall DeFi lending market is very competitive

However, Aave and Compound aren’t alone in the DeFi race and are faced with strong competition  According to DeFibase, despite the popularity of Aave and Compound, Maker Dao is the market leader in cryptocurrency lending DeFi Exchanges. 

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Bitcoin Price Prediction: BTC freefall to $42,000 beckons amid extremely drained bullish front






  • Bitcoin rejection from $52,000 leads to unstoppable declines under $50,000.
  • Technical indicators flip bearish for Bitcoin, adding weight to the impending price drop.
  • The IOMAP model reveals immense resistance ahead of BTC and robust support, hinting at a potential consolidation.

Bitcoin continues to explore price levels under $50,000 following a recent rejection at $52,000. Initially, traders anticipated support at the 100 Simple Moving Average (SMA) and the 50 SMA on the 4-hour chart, but the gravitational force seems extremely hard to stop.



Meanwhile, the bellwether cryptocurrency is trading slightly above $47,000. Short-term technical analysis shows that the least resistance path is downwards. This is emphasized by the Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) on the same 4-hour chart.

The trend momentum indicator has also flipped bearish following the MACD line (blue) cross under the signal line. Additionally, the technical indicator is falling toward the midline and may extend the action into the negative region.

Bitcoin is expected to secure support at the 200 SMA to halt the losses. However, if push comes to shove, BTC will extend the bearish leg to $42,000 due to the lack of a robust support area.

BTC/USD 4-hour chart

BTC/USD price chart
BTC/USD price chart by Tradingview

The In/Out of the Money Around Price (IOMAP) model by IntoThepBlock bolsters the massive resistance ahead of the flagship cryptocurrency. Recovery from the current price levels to $50,000 will not come easy, especially with the selling pressure between $48,450 and $49,816. Here, nearly 1.1 million addresses had bought 504,000 BTC.


Bitocin IOMAP model by ITB

On the flip side, the same on-chain model reveals that Bitcoin’s downside is also strongly supported, which means that losses as far as $42,000 may not come into the picture. Consolidation may take place owing to the support running from $45,660 and $47,026. Here, approximately 739,000 had purchased 445,000 BTC.

To keep track of DeFi updates in real time, check out our DeFi news feed Here.


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