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2. Centralized Lendingbitcoin exchange disappearsIn addition to DeFi lending there are also many centralized crypto lending companies. Because loan origination happens in a centralized fashion with these companies, the interest rates are typically more stable as the lending entity sets the rate rather than pure market forces. Interest rates on centralized lending platforms are usually higher than other platforms, which is appealing to lenders.

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An introduction to crypto loansThe other side of lending is of course borrowing. If you are interested in taking a loan out (for USD for example) many of the providers above also provide that service.Most major Lending and borrowing protocols across both CeFi and DeFi require borrowers to lock up an asset in order to take out a loan. These types of loans are called collateralized loans.Collateralization is a borrower’s commitment to pledge a number of assets as a means for a lender to recoup their capital in the instance that the borrower defaults on the loan. If a borrower continually missed payments on a loan obligation then the lender has the right to possess the collateral pledged in the case that the loan defaults.Collateralized, or more specifically 'overcollaterized loans', are at the core of efficiently operating DeFi lending markers. DeFi lending protocols enable open, permissionless, and pseudo-anonymous financial services. There are no credit score requirements for borrowers and generally no formal KYC or AML requirements.

In order to maintain a balance between open access and systemic stability the value of the collateral that needs to be pledged for DeFi loans has to exceed the value of the loans. If for example, a DeFi user wants to directly take out a USD100 DAI loan on Makerdao, they need to put up at least USD150 worth of Ethereum.Borrowing from DeFi protocols can often be a precarious and time-intensive process that goes beyond simply paying back interest in installments.Despite the expanding mining treasuries and hash rate recovery, shares in publicly traded mining firms have pulled back as the broader financial markets retrace amid fears that Chinese property giant Evergrande may soon default on its loans.

Riot Blockchain, which has been spending big on building a new data center in Texas and expanding its hashing capacity this year, has suffered a 2.4% slide in the price of its stock since the start of trading Sept. 20.Competitors Marathon and Hive Blockchain are both down by a more modest 1.5% since Monday morning, while shares in Hut 8 stocks have fallen by 5.4% over the same period - rounding off the performance for each of the “Big Four” North American mining firms.However, mining stocks have outperformed Bitcoin for the week so far, with BTC tumbling more than 10% to trade at $42,730 at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko.Retail-trading platform Robinhood is reportedly testing a long-awaited digital wallet feature that enables users to send and receive crypto-assets such as Bitcoin (BTC).

Bloomberg reported the rumor on Sept. 21, with the publication claiming to have seen screenshots of a withdrawal interface in a beta version of the wallet feature in Robinhood’s IOS app.While details are sparse, Bloomberg also claims to have seen a waitlist where users will be able to sign up for the new digital asset wallet. “The app also has code referring to cryptocurrency transfers,” the report added.

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Robinhood users are currently only able to buy crypto with US dollars and trade digital assets on the platform, as the app does not support crypto deposits and withdrawals.Robinhood’s crypto traders have long badgered the company to introduce deposit and withdrawal functionality for digital assets, with the calls having grown this year as fiery-eyed Dogecoin fanatics converged on the platform.In an Aug. 19 quarterly earnings call, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev announced that the firm was finally exploring introducing a crypto wallet."I know there's been a ton of enthusiasm from the crypto community and the Dogecoin community in particular in getting access to wallets," Tenev stated, emphasizing the firm’s excitement to launch the new feature.

Robinhood first launched Bitcoin and Ethereum trading services in 2018 for customers in five U.S. states. Robinhood has since expanded its altcoin support and currently allows traders based in all but four U.S. states to access its crypto features.Crypto services have become a significant part of Robinhood’s revenue in 2021, with its Q2 report showing that around 41% of its $565 million revenue was from crypto trading. By contrast, the firm generated $5 million from crypto trading for the entirety of 2020.Earlier this month, the firm expanded its crypto offerings by launching a recurring crypto investment feature allowing users to dollar cost average (DCA) into crypto positions.Robinhood is not alone in looking to expand its support for crypto, with an increasing number of mainstream firms announcing moves to enable digital asset payments.

Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 16 that AMC Entertainment plans to accept movie ticket payments in Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) by 2022. The company already announced plans to support Bitcoin payments in August.On Sept. 15 software giant Adobe also announced that merchants using its Adobe Commerce product will be able to accept cryptocurrency payments via Paypal from the fourth quarter of this year.

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DELIVERED EVERY MONDAYRecent dialogue between MakerDAO developers and the office of anti-crypto Senator Elizabeth Warren’s has revealed a concerning lack of familiarity with the current decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

On Sept. 20, a screenshot began circulating on social media appearing to show dialogue between members of the MakerDAO community discussing the conclusions from a recent meeting between representatives of the project and the office of Senator Warren.In the screenshot, pseudonymous MakerDAO Governance delegate “PaperImperium” claims to have spent much of the time convincing Warren that Maker is not the same project as The DAO — an infamous early experiment in decentralized autonomy organizations (DAOs) that suffered a major hack before failing in 2016.MakerDAO is currently sixth-largest DeFi protocol commanding a total value locked of more than $8.2 billion, according to DeFi Llama.Despite the confusion, the delegate also concluded that the Senator is “not super interested in us,” adding that they “have a commitment for another meeting” that is expected to take place within roughly three weeks.While the screenshots shared to social media claim appear to be citing Senator Warren directly, a Sept. 17 thread posted to MakerDAO’s governance forum indicates the project’s delegates would be meeting with Warren's “economic and banking advisors.”The meeting comes after increasing efforts from MakerDAO to promote initiatives establishing dialogue between the crypto industry and lawmakers.

Elizabeth Warren has recently become a pariah to the crypto industry, labeling crypto as "the new shadow bank" and a "lousy investment" in recent months.Earlier this month she suggested it would be “worth considering” prohibiting U.S. banks from holding the reserves to back private stablecoins in a move that could “effectively end the surging market.”

Related: Sen. Warren goes after Ethereum network fees in committee hearingThe DAO was one of the first major projects on Ethereum, launched in 2016 after raising $150 million USD worth of ETH through a token sale. The DAO was hacked due to code vulnerabilities and $60 million in ETH was stolen less than 3 months after it launched.

It was one of the most heavily invested crypto projects to date, having attracted 14% of all circulating ETH at the time.As a result of the incident, the Ethereum community opted to hard fork Ethereum to reverse the attack, with dissenting voices maintaining the old chain to spawn the Ethereum Classic classic chain.

Despite Bitcoin (BTC) dropping below the $43,000 mark on Monday, the outflow of BTC from exchanges has continued in a multi-month trend, particularly on Coinbase Pro.Over the past month, the amount of Bitcoin held in Coinbase Pro’s vaults dropped by 28,843.87 BTC. Similarly, other crypto exchanges, including Kraken, OKEx, Bitfinex and Huobi, also experienced a drop in their Bitcoin holdings, with the withdrawn amount totaling 30,236 BTC across the board.On-chain analysts perceive falling Bitcoin reserves as a bullish signal.That is primarily because most traders move their BTC assets to exchanges only when they prefer to trade them for other assets — be it fiat currencies or altcoins. As a result, the exchange balance serves as a metric to gauge traders’ sentiments for the underlying asset.

As a result, Coinbase Pro’s declining Bitcoin reserves hint at its traders’ intention to hold BTC instead of selling it. But, at the same time, its top rival, Binance, has been playing a spoilsport.However, data also shows that the Bitcoin balance in Binance wallets has risen to 29,717 BTC in the last 30 days, which is more than the amount Coinbase Pro withdrew from its vaults.

As the world’s leading crypto exchange by volume, Binance enjoys a certain influence on the market due to its global outreach. The exchange’s rising Bitcoin balances suggest that its users could sell an increasing amount of BTC, the opposite of the trend seen on Coinbase.The increase in Bitcoin reserves on Binance also reached levels that followed up with the market sell-offs during the second quarter of 2021. Notably, the Bitcoin balance on the exchange spiked from 199,700 BTC on April 20 to 347,590 BTC on June 26.

The same period saw BTC/USD drop from around $65,000 to below $30,000, including the notorious May 19 crash when Bitcoin plunged by more than 30%.Bitcoin trading at $300 premium on Binance

The massive spike in Bitcoin reserves on Binance also coincided with premium BTC/USD bids on the exchange, with the BTC spot price being almost $400 higher on Binance than on Coinbase.The vast price difference created arbitrage trading opportunities, coinciding with Binance’s Bitcoin reserves adding 1,529 BTC in the previous 24 hours compared to Coinbase that processed withdrawals of 579 BTC.As a reminder, exchanges still processed more than 30,000 BTC in withdrawals in the past 30 days, signaling that traders overall wanted to hold their crypto rather than sell it for other assets.But given Binance’s trading volumes (~$24 billion) in the previous 24 hours were six times higher than Coinbase Pro’s (~$4.23 billion) at press time — as per data collected from CoinMarketCap — the probability of an interim Bitcoin price drop appeared high.

Fall is traditionally the open season for United States financial regulators. The thicket of news coming out of Capitol Hill, federal courts and various regulatory agencies can feel overwhelming around this time, especially for those of us residing outside of these venerable institutions’ purview. It is also clear that the outcomes of these legal battles will have tremendous effects on crypto markets, adoption and, generally, the relationship between state power and the industry worldwide. But that is not the only reason for anyone interested in how the old world adapts to digital finance to follow U.S. developments closely.Security and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler appeared in front of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs last week. During the hearing, we didn’t get much clarity on how Gensler wants to handle stablecoins beyond his opinion that many of them “might well be securities.”

It was good to at least see some senators, such as Pat Toomey, willing to call Gensler out for inconsistencies and omissions in his argumentation. What was worrisome was seeing mostly Republicans on the stop-stifling-innovation side and mostly Democrats on the stricter-investor-protection side (despite all the laughs and memes that Senator Warren’s Ethereum fees spiel produced). Crypto becoming yet another partisan issue is a nightmare scenario — luckily, it does not seem to be that way outside of this particular Senate hearing yet.The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which has historically been more lenient toward the corner of the crypto space that falls under its jurisdiction, will soon have a permanent chairman and two new commissioners. All three nominees — the acting chairman who spoke amply in favor of innovation, a legal scholar specializing in digital finance, and another with a strong enforcement background — seem to have the potential to be a force for good for crypto, but let’s not get too excited just yet.

The rest of the world keeps supplying major policy developments for digital assets. Cuba recognized cryptocurrency and now allows its use as a remittance and investment vehicle. Over in El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele’s opponents made a political statement by setting a crypto kiosk ablaze. In South Korea, the majority party clashed with the finance minister over a controversial crypto tax code, attempting to postpone its implementation. Notice a common theme? All over the world, cryptocurrency-related issues are part of political agendas.In the increasingly competitive landscape of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, protocol innovation and the ability to solve the biggest problems facing the crypto community are necessary for any project that looks to have long-term success in the ecosystem.

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC#

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster

Mark Suster

Written by

2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs 〞 I*m on Twitter at @msuster

Both Sides of the Table

Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster