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Fintech Startup Bonded Is Tapping into Massive Emerging DeFi Market

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BONDED.FINANCE successfully closed its Private Sale round, raising $2.25 million USD in less than a week. The public sale offering will take place on November 15th.

On average, worldwide interest rates have trended down; with the majority of Europe offering negative interest on saving accounts while the US hovers at close to zero. This leaves a massive population of people, with little financial knowledge, two unfavorable choices. One would be to try their hand at investing or some equivalent of storing it under an old mattress. The latter option, passive saving has become a punishable offense as inflation keeps eating away at purchasing power.

The pandemic has been a perfect stress test on traditional finance and has resulted in abject failure. In an era of low-interest rates, lending has tightened, there’s a shortage of liquidity at traditional banks, corporate debt hit all-time highs and bankruptcies have soared along with unemployment rates. 

And what we’re seeing now is a somewhat obvious shift. Recently, institutions have publicly announced their allocations in Bitcoin, volume at Bakkt has increased immensely and in recent months, the recorded number of BTC on exchanges has dropped considerably. Traditionally, once Bitcoin becomes too “crowded” and expensive, the money finds its way into the more forward-looking products. Waiting in the wings is decentralized finance or DeFi. 

BONDED.FINANCE: Leveraging Crypto Assets to Push Liquidity to the Next Level

The Opportunity

In crypto today, there are roughly fifty billion USD in dormant value locked in altcoins (Altcoins are all cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin). This estimate represents the collective market cap of verifiable altcoin projects that have price and volume history. Currently, crypto lending platforms support only a few select altcoins while the majority of projects can not collateralize their assets. In the most general terms, as financial instruments come to crypto, supporters of a given blockchain company should be able to earn against their assets. Historically, even the most heralded blockchain projects were held hostage by traders as liquidity has often been outstripped by token inventory on the market. Liquidity came at a great premium and essentially, the success of one project created the failure of another. A finite amount of liquidity playing the equivalent of musical chairs. 

Perhaps predictably, the pandemic has spurred growth in the blockchain space. As physical contact started decreasing, online activity increased. Blockchain development has stepped up considerably and the number of various dApps (decentralized applications ran on a distributed computing system) has accelerated the growth in DeFi. In June of 2020, the amount of value locked in DeFi contracts crested one billion and less than six months later, the number is estimated to be close to twenty billion.

Bonded’s mission is to harvest this unchallenged capital and leverage these assets to push liquidity to the next level. Bonded is developing a full suite of smart instruments that generate incentives, reduce downside exposure, and effectively realize the value in a vast, but previously underserved market. 

Bonded’s pioneering innovation and contribution leverages the untapped altcoin market, in order to create incentivization to lock value (capital) in their contracts.  Given the surge in funding and proliferation of new projects, Bonded believes that their smart financial instruments could go a long way in securing value and are under development with four innovative products.

Ionic

Governed by an open protocol, supported by borrowers and lenders, crypto loans are issued against less liquid altcoins, allowing holders to unlock the borrowing power of these projects and earn on their long-term holdings. This allows supporters of a given project access to capital without needing to exit their positions. 

Bonded Index

Loans are issued against a pool of weighted assets, algorithmically distributing liquidations and risk across the basket. By providing liquidity to these pools, liquidity providers are able to earn a high-yield return composed of transaction fees and interest payments. This is in addition to Bonded’s “upside distribution,” which has borrowers relinquish a small percentage of any upward price movement of the asset during the life of the loan.

LOC Index

Bonded’s Line of Credit Index is a credit product designed specifically for the crypto space and the team’s driving it forward. Through verifiable smart contracts, approved teams can request lines of credit issued against time-locked or otherwise committed tokens. 

bEth Synthetic

Bonded’s synthetic Ethereum is minted against locked collateral, which is rebalanced by smart contracts and pegged to the current price of ETH. bETH offers the Bonded protocol a generalized substitution for ETH, creating inroads for broader adoption and interoperability.

BONDED.FINANCE successfully closed its Private Sale round, raising $2.25 million USD in less than a week. The public sale offering will be on November 15th, taking place on sale.bonded.finance and will be powered by Dolomite, a decentralized exchange driven by the Loopring protocol.

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Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.



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MicroStrategy Buys Additional 13,005 Bitcoin for $489 Million

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With the current BTC price, MicroStrategy’s total Bitcoin holding is worth more than $3.4 billion.

MicroStrategy Inc (NASDAQ: MSTR) has continued its Bitcoin acquisition spree as it has purchased another $489 million worth of BTC. As of the 21st of June, the Nasdaq-listed business intelligence company holds 105,085 Bitcoins.

The company announced its latest Bitcoin acquisition earlier today. According to the company, the newly acquired BTC totaled 13,005 at an average price of about $37,617, fees and expenses included. The purchase came after MicroStrategy generated $500 million in cash from the sale of debt to fund the purchase of BTC.

Before MicroStrategy purchased the most recent Bitcoin, the company had unveiled plans to buy Bitcoin in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In the filing, MicroStrategy said it would be selling up to 1 billion of its class A common stock through an “Open Market Sale Agreement” with Jefferies LLC. The company added that proceeds from the stock sales would be used to buy more Bitcoin. MicroStrategy explained:

We intend to use the net proceeds from the sale of any Class A common stock offered under the prospectus for general corporate purposes, including the acquisition of bitcoin, unless otherwise indicated in the applicable prospectus supplement.

MicroStrategy Focuses on Bitcoin Acquisition

In addition, MicroStrategy has made Bitcoin acquisition a focus for the company. The company said that it mainly pursues two corporate strategies. Apart from growing its enterprise analytics software business, a major strategy for the company is to acquire and hold BTC.

In the SEC filing, the Nasdaq-listed company added that it is currently seeking opportunities to implement Bitcoin-related technologies like blockchain analytics into its software offerings. Also, the company intends to hold its Bitcoin holdings long-term and not engage in regular trading.

MicroStrategy became the first publicly-traded company to buy Bitcoin in August 2020. At the time, the company bought 21,454 BTC worth $250 million, making BTC its primary treasury reserve asset. When MicroStrategy made its initial Bitcoin purchase, BTC was trading at $11,653 per coin. This means that the price of Bitcoin has surged about 5 times since the first purchase.

After debuting into the crypto space in August last year, MicroStrategy had purchased more and held more than 90,000 BTCs before its latest acquisition, announced on the 21st of June.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is hovering around $33,000. With the current BTC price, MicroStrategy’s total Bitcoin holding is worth more than $3.4 billion. According to MicroStrategy, its new subsidiary – MacroStrategy, manages about 92,079 BTC of its coins.

MSTR stock is currently at $595.79, a 7.64% decline over its previous close of $646.46. The company has grown nearly 403% in the last twelve months and 53.57% in its year-to-date record. In addition, MicroStrategy stock has gained more than 26% over the past month. However, MSTR has shed 17.65% over the past three months and has dropped 0.30% in the last five days.

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Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.



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Wise Fintech to Go Public via Direct Listing on London Stock Exchange

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In the future, Wise plans to roll out OwnWise, a client shareholder program that will allow its users to own a stake in the company.

British fintech Wise, formerly TransferWise, announced Thursday its plans to go public via a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The money transfer company said it had sufficient funding and therefore, did not require underwriters or issuing of new shares.

Wise will pioneer direct listing in London, a deal which will be finalized on July 5. Sources speculate the listing could value Wise at anywhere between $6-7 billion, up from its latest $5 billion valuations. This would also make it one of the biggest floats this year.

Founded in 2010, Wise has managed to accumulate 10 million customers who use its services to send £5 billion ($7 billion) every month. Its rivals include Western Union and MoneyGram in addition to startups like WorldRemit and Revolut.

Since 2017, Wise’s track record shows consistent profitability with a 54% annual growth rate. The latest 2021 fiscal year report shows it made £30.9 million in profits out of the £421 million ($589 million) sales revenue. This year, the company’s payments app registered £54.4 billion of international transfers for 6 million clients.

Wise Listing on LSE

Listing the giant company is a great accomplishment for London as it competes with “The Big Board”, New York Stock Exchange Group (NYSE), to attract more high growth and Blue-chip firms. As of 2020, the NYSE had 2800 company stocks and its market cap as of June, 2021 was $24.68 trillion. LSE, on the other hand, has listed over 1300 companies and its market cap is at 40.08 from today’s MarketWatch data.

To further this development, the British government is considering increasing leniency in firm enlisting guidelines to encourage issuing of dual-class shares. However, European stock markets have been hit with a lot of volatility this year, with at least two IPO cancellations in recent weeks.

The dual share structure is what Wise is opting for as it allows them to retain voting control while accommodating investors and customers into their shareholder base. At present, however, it locks them out of the lucrative Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) indices.

Nevertheless, the company intends to issue both class A and class B shares with the latter holding the privilege of 9 votes per share. The expiry for Class B shares is in the fifth year following Wise’s IPO. It is likely for concerns to arise over this structure as it may give executives excessive influence on shareholder votes.

In the future, Wise plans to roll out OwnWise, a client shareholder program that will allow its users to own a stake in the company. Financial endeavors for the company are advised by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Citigroup.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
Mythology is my mystery!
“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”



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JPMorgan Acquires Nutmeg Robo-Advisor, Furthering UK Retail Banking

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Before the deal, JPMorgan and Nutmeg had partnered late last year to offer clients an assortment of globally diversified exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: JPM) said Thursday it has closed a deal to purchase Nutmeg, an online investment management service, for an unnamed price. US biggest bank hopes the agreement, which awaits regulatory approval, will complement its launch of a standalone digital bank brand in the UK during the year.

Using the latest technology from Nutmeg will help boost JPMorgan’s retail and institutional push since the company aims at establishing as many branches as it can outside the US.

With over £3.5 billion (4.9 billion) worth of assets under management, the decade-old Nutmeg is one of the UK leading and award-winning robo-advisors. The company offers various investment accounts including Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), general investment, and pensions accounts.

Additionally, its competitors include Wealthsimple, Moneybox, and Moneyfarm. Before the take-over, Nutmeg had raised over $150 million in investments from Goldman Sachs and the British venture capital firm – Balderton Capital.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon stated last year that the banking giant would be “much more aggressive” in adding assets by conducting more acquisitions. The bank may also be stepping up to competition from adversary Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) which, in recent years, has spent $20 billion in merger agreements with E-trade and Eaton Vance.

Dimon also mentioned leveling up against blue-chip tech firm Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and other fintech firms such as PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL).

JPMorgan Stock Market and Nutmeg Acquisition

Before the deal, JPMorgan and Nutmeg had partnered late last year to offer clients an assortment of globally diversified exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This is not the first time the bank has partnered with a company then acquired it later. In October 2020, JPMorgan partnered with 55ip, a tax-smart fintech start-up, then bought it a couple of months down the line.

Differing regulatory guidelines in Europe and the UK made it necessary for JPMorgan to purchase the robo-advisor, rather than use investment technology available in the US. However, its US-based investment service You Invest is currently doing well, with assets valued at about $50 billion, as Dimon states.

JPMorgan’s tech initiative marks one among many happening in Britain’s retail banking sector. Banks such as Revolut, Starling, and Monzo manage digital-only checking accounts which have attracted a host of clients. Going by data from Innovate Finance, FinTechs in the UK probably make up the world’s largest markets, having pulled in $4.1 billion investment from venture capitalists as of last year.

JPMorgan Securities served as financial advisor in the JPMorgan-Nutmeg transaction, while Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted as legal counsel. Arma Partners was Nutmeg’s financial advisor and Taylor Wessing was legal counsel.

As of June 17, 2021, at 7:59 p.m. EDT, JPMorgan stock closed at $151.76, down 2.89%. In the after-hours session, it was trading at $151.48, down 0.18% in 24-hours.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
Mythology is my mystery!
“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”



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