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  • Ethereum alternatives and layer-1 solutions see steady gains in September
    by Jordan Finneseth on 26/09/2021 at 10:50 PM

    Multi-million dollar incentive programs and the ease of cross-chain transfers are boosting the value of L1 and L2-based tokens and raising the total value locked in their associated DeFi platforms. The competition among layer-one (L1) smart contract platforms has been on the rise in the past couple of months as traders and developers continue to embrace Ethereum (ETH) network alternatives that offer faster transaction times and lower fees.According to a recent report from Delphi Digital, the price of Ether has remained relatively flat over the past month while competitors like as Solana (SOL) and Fantom (FTM) have seen their prices rally more than 200% during the same time. Relative performance of L1 tokens over the past 30 days. Source: Delphi DigitalOne of the drivers of the rallies seen in Fantom (FTM), Avalanche (AVAX) and Terra (LUNA) is the fact that each has launched a variety of mulit-million dollar funding initiatives designed to attract developers, investors and new liquidity to their ecosystems. These initiatives sparked a flurry of new activity and cross-chain transfers from the Ethereum network to the layer-1 projects and to date, Solana has seen the biggest gains. Total USD value locked in the top layer-one protocols. Source: Delphi DigitalWhen it comes to individual applications located on the different blockchains, the Avalanche-based Trader Joe DeFi protocol has seen the biggest gain in terms of TVL over the past seven days as the value locked on the protocol has increased by 57%. Total value locked on Trader Joe vs. exchange trading volume. Source: Token TerminalRelated: Finance Redefined: Layer-two growth and the SEC’s scrutiny, Sept. 19–23Layer-2 platforms increase their gas consumptionIt’s not just Ethereum’s layer-one competitors that have seen an uptick in activity in the past few months. The launch of several new layer-two solutions and an airdrop by the decentralized derivatives exchange dYdX (DYDX) have led to an increase in gas consumption by layer-two protocols. Layer-two vs. Layer-one gas spend as a percentage of total gas. Source: Delphi DigitalData from Delphi Digital shows that the percentage of gas used by layer-two solutions is now above 1% after spiking as high as 2% in early September.DYdX protocol was one of the earlier adopters of layer-two technology thanks to a collaboration with Starkware, and the protocol has seen a new level of activity in recent weeks following the release of its DYDX governance token which was airdropped on Sept. 8 to users who had previously used the protocol.Total value locked on dYdX vs. trading volume. Source: Token TerminalSince the airdrop release, the TVL locked on the dYdX has increased from $422 million to $554 million, and its 24-hour training volume has climbed from $700 million to as high as $2.4 billion. The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

  • Top 5 cryptocurrencies to watch this week: BTC, AVAX, ALGO, XTZ, EGLD
    by Rakesh Upadhyay on 26/09/2021 at 7:47 PM

    Bears continue to pressure BTC price but any signs of consolidation could lead to a breakout in AVAX. ALGO, XTZ, and EGLD. China has attempted to stifle the crypto sector’s growth on several occasions in the past 12 years but barring a minor blip, the blanket bans on crypto-commerce have not altered the long-term growth of cryptocurrencies. This shows that no one country, even if it is the second-largest economy in the world, can halt the emergence and growth of cryptocurrencies.Deutsche Bank analyst Marion Laboure said in an update on the bank’s website that Bitcoin (BTC) is likely to “remain ultra-volatile in the foreseeable future” as most people buy it either for investment or for speculation rather than using it as a medium of exchange.However, Laboure believes that Bitcoin could become “the 21st century’s digital gold” and the trend could continue for centuries with no major control by the government. Crypto market data daily view. Source: Coin360At Morningstar’s yearly investment conference, Dennis Lynch, the head of asset management at Counterpoint, likened Bitcoin to the South Park cartoon character Kenny. Lynch said: “I like to say that bitcoin’s kind of like Kenny from South Park — he dies every episode, and is back again.”As the effect of the China FUD diminishes, let’s study the charts of the top-5 cryptocurrencies that may remain strong in the short term.BTC/USDTBitcoin has once again bounced off the 100-day simple moving average ($41,002), suggesting that bulls are attempting to defend this level aggressively. The bulls will now try to push the price above the 20-day exponential moving average ($45,178). BTC/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe downsloping 20-day EMA and the relative strength index (RSI) in the negative zone suggest that bears have the upper hand. If the price turns down from the 20-day EMA, the possibility of a break below the 100-day SMA will increase.Such a move will complete the bearish head and shoulders pattern, which has a target objective at $32,423.05.The bulls will have to push and sustain the price above the overhead resistance at $48,843 to open the doors for a possible rally to $52,920. A break and close above this level could signal the resumption of the uptrend.BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe BTC/USDT pair is witnessing a tough tussle between the bulls and the bears near the neckline. The bulls have pushed the price above the 20-EMA and will next try to clear the overhead hurdle at $45,200.If they can pull it off, the pair could climb to $49,000. Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level, the bears will try to pull the price below the critical support zone at $41,000 to $39,600. A violation of this zone may indicate the start of a downtrend.AVAX/USDTAvalanche (AVAX) is trading inside an ascending channel pattern. The long tail on today’s candlestick suggests that bulls are aggressively buying on dips to the 20-day EMA ($61).AVAX/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe rising moving averages and the RSI in the positive zone indicate advantage to buyers. The AVAX/USDT pair could now try to retest the all-time high at $79.80. This is an important level to watch out for because a break above it could signal the resumption of the uptrend.The pair could then rally to the resistance line of the channel and the bullish momentum may pick up if this hurdle is crossed.Conversely, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below $60.04, it will suggest the start of a deeper correction to the 50-day SMA ($45).AVAX/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe pair has bounced off the 100-SMA and the bulls are attempting to sustain the price above the 20-EMA. If they manage to do that, the pair could start its northward march to $79.80 where the bears may again mount a stiff resistance.On the downside, the critical level to watch is the support line of the channel. A break and close below this support will be the first indication that the bulls may be losing their grip. If the price slips below $60.04, the decline could extend to $55.ALGO/USDTAlgorand (ALGO) is trading below the 20-day EMA ($1.77) but the long tail on today’s candlestick suggests that bulls are attempting to defend the support at $1.51. ALGO/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewIf bulls drive and sustain the price above the downtrend line, it will suggest that the short-term correction could be over. The ALGO/USDT pair could then rise to $2.15 and then to $2.55.Alternatively, if the price turns down from $1.84, the pair could again drop to $1.51. If the bulls defend this support, the pair may remain range-bound between $1.84 and $1.51 for a few days.A break and close below $1.51 will signal a possible change in trend. The pair could then slide to the next support at $1.15.ALGO/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe pair is trying to rebound off the strong support at $1.51 but the recovery may hit a barrier at the moving averages and then again at the downtrend line. If the price turns down from the overhead resistance, it will indicate that sentiment remains negative and traders are selling on relief rallies. That will increase the likelihood of a break below $1.51.This negative view will be negated if the price rises and sustains above the downtrend line. The bulls will then make one more attempt to resume the up-move. Related: Derivatives data suggests Solana has reached a short-term topXTZ/USDTTezos (XTZ) rebounded sharply from the breakout level at $4.47 on Sept.22, indicating aggressive buying on dips. The bulls pushed the price back above the 20-day EMA ($6.10) on Sept. 23 and have held the level since then.XTZ/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe moving averages are sloping up and the RSI is in the positive territory, suggesting that bulls have the upper hand. The buyers are likely to challenge the overhead resistance zone at $8.03 to $8.42.A breakout and close above this zone will signal the start of the next leg of the uptrend. The pair could then rally to the psychological mark at $10.Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the current level or the overhead resistance and breaks below the 20-day EMA, the pair could drop to $4.47. XTZ/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe pair is attempting to rebound off the 20-EMA, indicating that sentiment has turned positive and traders are buying on dips. The bulls will now try to push the price to the overhead resistance at $7.50.If this level is scaled, the pair may rally to $8.03 where the bears are likely to mount a stiff resistance. If bulls do not give up much ground from this resistance, the possibility of a break above it will increase.This bullish view will invalidate if the price turns down and breaks below the moving averages. Such a move could result in a drop to $5.50 and then $4.47.EGLD/USDTElrond (EGLD) bounced off the 50-day SMA ($181) but could not clear the overhead hurdle at $245.80. This suggests that bulls are buying on dips while bears are selling on rallies.EGLD/USDT daily chart. Source: TradingViewThe 20-day EMA ($220) has flattened out and the RSI is just above the midpoint, indicating a balance between supply and demand.The buyers are attempting to sustain the EGLD/USDT pair above the 20-day EMA. If they manage to do that, the bulls will again try to push the pair above $245.80. If they manage to do that, the pair could rally to $303.03. On the contrary, if bears pull the price down from the current level, a retest of the 50-day SMA is possible. A break and close below this support could open the doors for a further decline to the 100-day SMA ($132).EGLD/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingViewThe pair has bounced off the uptrend line, which suggests that traders are buying on dips. The bulls will now try to propel and sustain the price above the downtrend line. If they succeed, the pair may resume its up-move and rally to $277.88 and then to $303.03.Contrary to this assumption, if the price turns down from the downtrend line, the bears will try to gain an advantage by pulling the price below the uptrend line. Such a move could clear the path for a deeper correction.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

  • Ethereum price gets back to $3K as institutional investors pile into ETH futures
    by Yashu Gola on 26/09/2021 at 2:40 PM

    Ethereum prices recovered on Sunday amid a market-wide upside correction while receiving an additional upside boost from a bullish JPMorgan & Chase report. Ethereum’s native token Ether (ETH) staged a rebound on Sept. 26 following a massive decline earlier this week that saw its prices plunging to as low as $2,651 on Coinbase.The ETH/USD exchange rate rose 3.63% to hit an intraday high of $3,030. The upside move amounted to a 14.3% upside retracement from the pair’s week-to-date low at $2,651, showing that traders attempted to retain their bullish bias despite potential headwinds ahead.Last week, Ether prices fell due to a flurry of issues arising from China. On Monday, traders dumped crypto assets en masse after a tumult in China’s heavily indebted property market prompted a selloff across global stock markets.A rebound move ensued later in the week but met with another selloff on Friday after People’s Bank of China reiterated that crypto transactions are illegal. Nonetheless, Ethereum bulls maintained their foothold and pushed prices back above $3,000, a psychological resistance level.ETH/USD daily price chart. Source: TradingView.comThe sentiments were similar across some top crypto assets, with the benchmark cryptocurrency Bitcoin hitting an intraday high of $43,767 on Coinbase following a 2.49% upside move. Meanwhile, Uniswap exchange’s native asset UNI also fared higher by more than 19%, becoming the top-performing crypto asset at least in the previous 24 hours.At the same time, Ethereum’s top rivals Cardano (ADA) and Solana (SOL) performed poorly, with ADA/USD dropping more than 5% and SOL/USD losing over 3% on a 24-hour adjusted timeframe.Institutional demandEthereum gains also followed a bullish report thifrom JPMorgan & Chase.  The study noted that institutional investors have started increasing their exposure in Ethereum markets.Analysts at JPMorgan credited the ongoing craze in the decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible token (NFT) sector as the primary driver behind investors’ interest in Ethereum. They added that the 21-day average Ethereum Futures premium climbed to 1% over spot ETH prices, citing the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) data recorded since August.Ethereum Futures daily price chart. Source: TradingView.comThe JPMorgan report coincided with a record amount of Ether tokens getting withdrawn out of all crypto exchanges, as per data provided by CryptoQuant. At press time, the net ETH reserves on trading platforms had dropped to 18.44 million ETH compared to 23.94 million ETH a year ago.Related: Ethereum drops more than Bitcoin as China escalates crypto ban, ETH/BTC at 3-week lowIndependent analyst PostyXBT also anticipates a potential further price rebound in Ethereum markets, noting that the cryptocurrency’s latest declines had pushed it inside a classic accumulation range, as shown in the chart below.ETH/USD weekly price chart featuring its latest accumulation range. Source: PostXBT, TradingView.com”Weekly close equally as important for ETH today as price tests the previous range highs as support,” the analyst noted. “Seems like a logical area to make a higher low and I have bought more here for long-term bags/swing trade. RR looks favorable after a 33% correction from the local top.”The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

  • The next generation of data-driven healthcare is here
    by Garri Zmudze on 26/09/2021 at 2:07 PM

    Implementing artificial intelligence and blockchain technology into healthcare and medicine is key to unlocking human longevity. In the past 60 years, the life expectancy of the average newborn has increased by nearly 20 years — from 52.5 to 72, as of 2018. We’ve seen an incredible wave of technological innovation in this time: The introduction of the internet, medical breakthroughs and an enhanced understanding of public health initiatives have transformed the course of human life. And with new technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence now taking the stage, we know that even more radical transformation is coming. These disruptive technologies are paving the way for both longer and healthier lifespans.To show you just how much healthcare has advanced thanks to these technologies, I want to highlight a case study of two unique companies, Insilico Medicine and Longenesis. Together, they show how the development of AI for medical care has grown in tandem with the advent of blockchain healthcare applications.Data-driven healthcareIn 2014, longevity innovator Alex Zhavoronkov and their company, Insilico Medicine, reached out to me. The company was based on a simple but radical premise: using AI to accelerate drug discovery and development. At the time, the use of AI was still nascent, both in public awareness and its applications to medicine. But in the seven years since I invested in this company, it has used AI to transform research and development in the therapeutics sector completely. Its rapid discovery and development of new therapies result from the incredible amount of data they process searching for the next best cure. Rich in source and scope, this data comes from the genomic and proteomic sequences of actual healthcare patients. Through dozens of new drug candidates, they have shown tremendous potential in using AI for data-driven healthcare.However, the groundbreaking progress made by Insilico was not without obstacles. Working with massive amounts of data presented unique challenges regarding centralization and security. Data in healthcare tends to be scattered and siloed. Each doctor, medical center and hospital maintains its silo and, due to privacy regulations, data is typically only shared when necessary for patient care. Having access to synthesized patient data was critical for Insilico’s AI algorithms to be successful, and it just wasn’t available. Privacy and blockchain techIn looking for solutions to the security and centralization concerns associated with this type of data, Alex and the team at Insilico Medicine soon discovered blockchain and distributed ledger technology. The immutability of entries on the blockchain and the ability to have multiple decentralized nodes contributing data to a shared ledger offered a solution to the complex problems associated with patient data. This technology was what they had been looking for, but they needed a partner to build it with them. Insilico formed a joint venture with leading European blockchain company Bitfury (now one of the largest emerging technology companies on the continent) and launched a new company named Longenesis. Longenesis’ aim was clear: to create a blockchain healthcare ecosystem that considered the sensitive requirements of health data and the application needs of biotech research.Related: Concerns around data privacy are rising, and blockchain is the solutionLongenesis designed a blockchain-based environment for stakeholders across the healthcare/biotech industry, including patient organizations, biomedical research groups, and research partners and sponsors. The beauty of Longenesis’ solution is that there is always a record of consent. When patients agree to share their data for any purpose, there is immutable proof of their permission.Its first product, Curator, is used by hospitals and other care organizations to safely and compliantly present the data available for researchers without compromising patient privacy. This function empowers researchers to review datasets without endangering the security of patient information. When a researcher or company is interested in using the data, Longenesis’ second product Engage provides it. Engage also allows hospitals and researchers to quickly onboard patients into new medical trials and research, recording ongoing patient consent. Regardless of whether AI is being used to analyze new data from a medical trial or “old” data from medical records, patients know about it and can decide to consent at their convenience. Longenesis has deployed this solution in state hospitals, government biobanks and more. Its work empowers AI companies such as Insilico Medicine to access vast amounts of data that can be used for artificial intelligence analysis, leading to even more treatment and drug discovery. Data, blockchain and human longevityWhile I’ve highlighted two companies here, there are thousands of outstanding startups, research institutions and physicians working tirelessly to improve the human lifespan. They could all benefit from blockchain-unlocked data and the analytical power of artificial intelligence.The average hospital generates 760 terabytes of data annually, yet 80% of this valuable data is unstructured and unavailable to researchers. It needs to remain secure, and patients need to provide ongoing consent for its use. This disconnect is holding back progress across every aspect of medicine. The pairing of blockchain and AI can unlock this data for analysis, facilitate patient consent, track usage of clinical data and more. In conclusionWithout blockchain, artificial intelligence lacks the ethically sourced and protected biomedical data it needs to find new solutions. Without artificial intelligence, the vast amounts of data protected by blockchain remain secure but unusable for research. Progress happens when these innovations work together, just as critical public health initiatives of past decades succeeded thanks to the advent of the World Wide Web. Then, our goal must be to bring these technologies more fully to market so longevity-focused care can be accessible to all.The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.Garri Zmudze is a managing partner at LongeVC, a Switzerland and Cyprus-based venture capital firm accelerating innovative startups in biotech and longevity. He is a seasoned business expert and angel investor with several successful exits across biotech and tech companies. He is a long-time supporter and investor in biotech companies, including Insilico Medicine, Deep Longevity and Basepaws. Author’s note: Both entities, Insilico Medicine and Longenesis, are portfolio companies of our longevity-focused VC firm, LongeVC.

  • DeFi and Web 3.0: Unleashing creative juices with decentralized finance
    by Alexandra Luzan on 26/09/2021 at 10:13 AM

    The creator economy is one of the most rapidly developing industries, and decentralized technologies have a chance to unlock its full potential. Decentralized technologies are starting to revolutionize the world of finance, with cryptocurrencies applied in different ways to recreate traditional financial instruments. However, since cryptocurrencies aren’t backed by anything but people’s faith in them, they are extremely volatile. That means, when it comes to loaning value with crypto, neither party can be sure that they will get a fair deal.There needs to be a way to secure the value of the assets loaned, which can be done by backing them up with a value in the real world. Here is where the tokenization of real assets comes in. This process is pretty straightforward when we consider tangible assets like a building or gold bars, but what about intangible assets like intellectual property?Related: Understanding the systemic shift from digitization to tokenization of financial servicesThe rise of the creator economy has led to intangible assets accounting for over 90% of the S&P 500’s market value, a figure that is only set to grow. There needs to be a way to unlock more creativity to realize the potential of human capital.Kickstarting creator financingFinding a start with financing in the creator economy is a great challenge, especially for newcomers. As many entrepreneurs in this segment discover, sometimes it is much easier to give away a good idea than to create a business out of that idea.Creativity, by definition, disrupts what came before; it’s about new ideas, new technologies, new products, new services and new ways of doing things. Driven in large part by the digital revolution, many creative industries are not just innovative in what they do but in how they do it.Related: Bull or bear market, creators are diving headfirst into cryptoRaising funds may be difficult for several reasons. For one, banks and investors tend to be conservative. They like certainty and are unlikely to be impressed by an enthusiastic entrepreneur convinced that an entirely new and untried idea — whether it is a design, a software tool, a fashion concept or a video game — will be a commercial success. Furthermore, banks want collateral for their loans, but many creative businesses have no capital assets to offer.Stumbling blocks in the state of playInvestors specializing in creative industries may indeed recognize an entrepreneur’s genius. But in return for their investment, they often want some ownership of the idea and, therefore, some control over its development and marketing. This may not seem acceptable to the creative entrepreneur who prefers debt-finance in the form of a loan rather than equity finance in the form of sharing ownership and control over the work with the investor.Alex Shkor, the founder of DEIP — a company that is building a protocol for the creator economy — explained to me, “For creators to be able to tokenize their works and collateralize them for funding, there needs to be a set of smart contracts, which can register assets on-chain, issue NFTs, evaluate assets and manage both collateralization and liquidation in case of default.” Loan framework for the creative economyJust as loans can be issued in the real economy based on collateral, so can they be in the creator economy.Imagine a game developer (let’s call them Jane) who begins working on a side project. After a while and some positive encouragement from friends and family, Jane decides to take the leap into converting their side project into a full-time job. But a few months down the line, and with slower progress than first anticipated, Jane’s funds start to dwindle; they begin to consider full-time roles again. This situation is a common one for budding creators out there.However, with a decentralized platform for intellectual assets, Jane’s progress on their work could be assessed by a decentralized assessment system that pools the expertise of people in the domain to give the unfinished creation an appraisal guided by the intrinsic value of the idea. This inherent value is used as the input for the collateralization calculation, the loan value that it can be issued for. Jane can use the loan offered to them for whatever they like; in this case, to support themself while they finish the game’s development. Moreover, with or without collateral, a small loan can be issued to newcomers. If Jane doesn’t have any project, ready-made or part-made creation, they still have the chance for initial financing as a newcomer to the platform. The loan amount will be smaller as it is unsecured, and the loan itself is backed by the segment decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and budgets originating from its ecosystem fund. Sources of this fund come from transaction fees and bandwidth allocation payments of the underlying blockchain.If loans are paid back on time, Jane’s personal credit rating will be upgraded. In this case, if Jane would like to apply for another loan, the collateralization factor will be less, enabling them to borrow more.Should Jane default on their loan, any collateralized assets are assumed by the platform and can be sold off to recoup the funds via smart liquidation contracts. If Jane hasn’t collateralized anything, the default risk is realized by the platform and covered by the DAO.As long as the creator’s credit history is solid and positively confirmed with each new loan, the next tranche can be issued with iteratively improved terms and conditions. Credit history becomes an integral and immutable part of the reputational profile of the creator. As Shkor noted: “he whole purpose of Web 3.0 is to enable a decentralized creator economy nd all the tech for this already exists.”He continued, “We just need to foster adoption of these technologies in real industries, in creative industries, for the assets produced by creators. It will not only increase liquidity of the creator economy assets, it will also open a flow of capital to creators.” The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.Alexandra Luzan is a Ph.D. student researching the connection between new technologies and art at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. For about a decade, Alexandra has been organizing tech conferences and other events in Europe dedicated to blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. She is equally interested in the relationship between blockchain tech and art.

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